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October 2011 Archives

Eastern Works with UTCP on Campus Fuel Cell Project

Written by Amy Brenner-Fricke

Cover alternative Science Building -dpw image.JPGWillimantic, CT -- Eastern Connecticut State University has a long-standing commitment to energy conservation and sustainability that dates back nearly two decades. Today, Eastern is working with UTC Power Corporation (UTCP) on a project that will increase energy efficiency at the University.

Under a 10-year Energy Services Agreement (ESA), UTCP will furnish and install a PureCell Model 400 kW Class I combined heat and power fuel cell generating facility at Eastern. The PureCell system Model 400 is a stationary phosphoric acid fuel cell power plant that is capable of producing 400 kilowatts of continuous, reliable electric power while generating usable waste heat.

"We have a campus-wide commitment to sustainability at Eastern, evidenced by campus conservation programs, the sustainable energy studies curriculum, and our outreach across Connecticut in support of local energy efficiency efforts," said Eastern President Elsa Núñez. "We are delighted to work with UTCP on a fuel cell generating facility that will provide clean, reliable and affordable energy to the University."

The fuel cell, which is expected to be operational next April, will be installed on the west side of Eastern's Science Building. Electric output from the cell will be routed to the main electric room located in the building.

Eastern will use 100 percent of the energy produced by the fuel cell system to provide a majority of the power required for the Science Building while maximizing the use of the heat output available from the plant. Supplemental heat generated by the operation of the fuel cell will be utilized by Eastern's infrastructure. With effective utilization of the thermal output, overall system efficiencies of up to 90 percent are possible -- more than double that of traditional power sources.
Other examples of Eastern's commitment to sustainability can be found throughout the campus. The Science Building is LEED Silver Certified for its use of gray water to irrigate and its many other green features, and three of Eastern's residence halls are LEED Certified. In addition, a geothermal system provides heat and air conditioning to the 62,973-square-foot High Rise residence hall, the largest geothermal-heated building in Connecticut. The campus also generates 6.2 kilowatts from photovoltaic solar panels to light bus shelters, trash disposal areas and building perimeter lighting.

In addition, dual-fuel burning capability in Eastern's heating plants allows the University to switch from gas to oil and vice versa based on prices and/or the requirements of its gas utility agreement.  Water-saving features exist on a number of showers, toilets and urinals. Finally, an energy-monitoring system analyzes energy usage for each building, and can automatically reduce electricity usage through preprogrammed initiatives, to reduce peak demand and energy costs. Eastern is also home to the Institute for Sustainable Energy, which is recognized and widely respected throughout New England as an invaluable resource for supporting sustainable energy conservation efforts in municipalities and public schools.

The latest agreement to install a fuel cell generating system follows on the heels of an announcement that Eastern was been named one of the nation's Green Colleges for 2011 by The Princeton Review and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). This is the second year in a row that Eastern has received the designation.

Local Historian to Speak at Eastern

Written by Gabrielle Little

Willimantic, Conn. - Beverly York, director of the Windham Mill and Textile Museum, will speak at Eastern's University Hour at 3 p.m. on Nov. 2 in Shafer Auditorium. The public is invited. Admission is free.
York will discuss the historical and cultural background of the Windham community focusing on the 19th and 20th century cotton thread manufacturers, as well as mill workers and their ethnic backgrounds during the industrial age.

York is a site administrator of the Nathan Hale Homestead Museum in Coventry and is an educational consultant at the Windham Textile and History Museum. 

Susan Platt to Present Lecture at Eastern

Written by Kate Harner

susan platt image.jpgWillimantic, Conn. - Susan Platt, award-winning art historian and critic, will present the lecture "Art and Politics Now: Cultural Activism in a Time of Crisis" from 10-11 a.m. on Nov. 7 in the Student Center Theatre at Eastern Connecticut State University. The public is invited. Admission is free.


Platt's lecture will include a PowerPoint presentation examining some of the 80 artists she highlights in her book, "Art and Politics Now: Cultural Activism in a Time of Crisis." Artists featured in the presentation include Goya, Picasso, Kollwitz and Siqueiros, as well as contemporary artists. The lecture will focus on the multiple strategies and media artists utilize in order to address political and social issues such as opposition to war, terrorism, pollution and racism. Platt's lecture and book follow artists from street protests to galleries to the international community.

susan platt book cover.jpgPlatt is the recipient of many distinguished awards and fellowships, such as the 2011 Puffin Foundation Fellowship, the 1999-2000 Fullbright Fellowship and the 2002 Kathe Kollwitz Award, among others. She taught at Mills College, Washington State University, the University of North Texas and Yildiz Technical University in Istanbul, Turkey, as well as other universities. She currently writes for "Sculpture Magazine" and many online publications, and maintains her blog, "Art and Politics Now" (

The event is sponsored by Eastern's Visual Arts Department, the Office of Equity and Diversity, the Dean of Arts and Sciences and the Student Affairs Division. For more information, contact Carla Sheldon at (860) 465-0197 or

Decoding Gender with Sut Jhally

Written by Chris Herman

sutjhally (2).jpgWillimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Intercultural Center will host filmmaker and media critic Sut Jhally from 5 to 7 p.m. on Nov. 3 in Webb Hall. The filmmaker will address how masculinity and femininity are construed in today's media and how the media's relationship to gender, violence, assault, racism and commercialism affect campus life. The public is invited. Admission is free. 
         Jhally is a communication professor at the University of Massachusetts and the executive director of the Media Education Foundation. He is one of the world's leading scholars on the role played of advertising and popular culture in the processes of social control and identity construction. Jhally is best known as the producer and director of multiple films and videos such as "Dreamworlds: Desire/Sex/Power in Music Video," "Tough Guise: Media, Violence and the Crisis of Masculinity," and "Hijacking Catastrophe: 9/11, Fear and the Selling of the American Empire." These films deal with issues ranging from gender, sexuality, race, commercialism, violence and politics.

For more information on Jhally's presentation, contact the Intercultural Center at or (860) 465-5749.


Peace and Human Rights Bake Sale

Written by Chris Herman

Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Student Peace and Human Rights Club will hold a Halloween-themed bake sale from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 26 and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 28 in the Webb Hall lobby. All proceeds will go to refugee camps in Darfur. The bake sale will include an assortment of cakes, cookies, brownies, and candies. Students and the public are encouraged to make donations.
The bake sale is meant to energize and mobilize Eastern students to become informed advocates of peace and human rights locally and internationally. The bake sale serves as a platform for the club's message of promoting civil service in the Willimantic community. Members of the club include Katie Roome, Mckenzie Hyde, Rachel Murad, Annie Kanzow, Ryan Henowitz, Robert Ensign, Yunchu Liu, Jessica McDonald and Brian Levy.

For more information on the bake sale, visit

AccessAbility Services: Disability Challenge at Eastern

Written by Chris Herman

Willimantic, Conn. - The Office of AccessAbility Services of Eastern Connecticut State University will hold its annual Disability Challenge from 1 to 4 p.m. on Oct. 25 and Oct. 26 in front of the Student Center. Students and the public are encouraged to volunteer and participate in the event.
AccessAbility Services is designed to meet the unique educational needs of students with documented permanent and temporary disabilities. The Disability Challenge will provide activities that stimulate an individual's mind, body and soul. The philosophy and mission of the program is to encourage independence, assist students in realizing their academic potential, and  facilitate the elimination of physical and attitudinal barriers.

For more information on the event, contact the office of AccessAbility Services at (860) 465-5573.

Eastern to Present Hotta Kiyomi's "The Island"

Written by Dwight Bachman

The Island Image FINAL.jpgWillimantic, Conn:  The Theatre Program and Drama Society in the Department of Performing Arts at Eastern Connecticut State University will present "The Island," their first major production for the 2011-12 season, from Oct. 27 to 30 and Nov. 1 and 2. The play will be presented at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 27, Oct. 28 and Oct. 29; at 4 p.m. on Oct. 30; and at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 1 and 2. All performances are in the Harry Hope Theatre, which is on the ground floor of Shafer Hall, located at the corner of Valley and High Streets in Willimantic.
The public is invited. The admission fee for students and groups of 10 or more is $5; $10 for Eastern faculty, staff, alumni and senior citizens; and $12 for the general public. For tickets, call the box office at (860) 465-5123.

"The Island" was written by Japanese playwright Hotta Kiyomi; translated by David Goodman; and directed by David Pellegrini, associate professor of theatre history and chair of Eastern's Performing Arts Department.

"Kiyomi's 1955 Kishida Prize-winning play was the first drama about the atomic bomb to receive national attention in Japan," said Pellegrini. "Set on an island in the Inland Sea near Hiroshima toward the end of the Korean War, the play presents a social microcosm of Japan in the post-war era. It also is an intimate portrait of the struggles of an extended family and a shattered community to rebuild their lives. Not only does the play provide a powerful portrait of hope and courage of Japanese survivors of the atomic bomb, it is a timely statement about the dangers of a nuclearized age."

J. J. Cobb, assistant professor of acting, will make her Harry Hope Theatre acting debut in "The Island." Cobb earned her master's degree in acting at the University of Arizona; established the Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre at the University of Rio Grande; and continues to work professionally as a director, vocal coach, playwright and actor with site-specific theatre companies. In addition to Cobb, 16 Eastern students constitute the cast.

Kristen Morgan, assistant professor of set design, designed the set for "The Island." Morgan previously was instructor of scenic technology in the Department of Theatre and Cinema at Virginia Tech. Morgan earned her Master's of Fine Arts in Design for Stage and Film from New York University.

For more information about the 2011-12 Harry Hope Theatre season, please contact Ellen Faith Brodie, professor and director of theatre, at (860) 465-5122 or at

Resident Assistants Serve Special Function at Eastern

Written by Ed Osborn

srv2.JPGSeventy-one students at Eastern Connecticut State University are serving the campus in a special way this fall as Resident Assistants (RAs) in one of Eastern's 13 residence halls.

RAs at Eastern are carefully selected and trained to help students living on campus create an environment that is conducive to individual and social growth. Each RA develops recreational, educational and community service programming to involve students in the residence hall community and the community at large. RAs also assist individual students in their social and personal development.


DSC_5530.jpg"Having students serve as resident assistants not only allows us to augment our professional housing staff, but they provide support and build relationships with fellow students that are not possible with full-time staff," said Angela Bazin, acting director of housing and residential life.

DSC_3866.jpgApproximately 60 percent of all Eastern undergraduate students live on campus. The peer support of resident assistants in bridging a student's academic, residential and social life on campus is a critical element of Eastern's liberal arts environment. Small classes, 70 student clubs and a vibrant cultural calendar contribute to the overall campus experience found at Eastern.


DSC_5298.b.jpgFocusing on undergraduate education as Connecticut's only public liberal arts university, the University combines a strong liberal arts curriculum with experiential learning opportunities -- internships, student research and community service -- to prepare graduates for successful careers in a variety of professional fields.


DSC_4587.jpgFounded in 1889 as a two-year normal school training elementary schoolteachers for jobs in Connecticut schools, Eastern has grown to become a comprehensive, master's degree-granting institution of more than 5,600 students recognized by such publications as U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review.

Students Experience European Media

Written by Arielle Cotoia

European Media Eiffel Tower (2).jpgWillimantic, Conn. - A group of Eastern Connecticut State University students, along with Associate Professors of Communication Olugbenga Ayeni and Denise Matthews, traveled this past summer to London and Paris to learn about different platforms of European media and how they compare to American media. The trip coincided with the students' European Media course taken prior to the trip, which covered all aspects of intercultural and global communication across all media platforms.

The students learned how the British practice advertising, broadcast, print journalism and film. They visited Thing1 Digital Advertising agency; The Guardian newspaper; McCann Erickson Advertising Agency; British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC); British Board of Film Classification (BBFC); World Advertising Research Center (WARC); and the London Film Museum.

European Media GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER (3).jpg 

"European Media is much like our media," said Jennifer Smith, a senior from Manchester. "When we toured Thing1, we saw that the concept is the same, advertisements hope to sell and drum-up business.  Also, film needs to be edited well in order to become successful." Students also learned about the BBFC's rating system.

And that's not all. "We were able to practice reading the news like a true news anchor would," said Joelle Schrock, a senior from Stratford. The students also visited the International Film School of Paris and learned about its degree programs, equipment rooms, studio, classrooms and computer labs.

Students also had rich cultural experiences, visiting historical landscapes such as Parliament Square and Tower of London in London, and the Arc de Triumphe, the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Overall, the students received a mix of European culture and knowledge that makes for knowledgeable students. They experienced the magic of London and Paris and returned with a true appreciation for the beauty and intellect that lies within. Smith said, "The trip broadened my knowledge of communication and gave me a global experience that will last a lifetime."

Eastern Students Travel to Nepal

Written by Arielle Cotoia

nepal image 1 (2).JPGWillimantic, Conn. - Associate Professor of Psychology Carlos Escoto; Geeta Pfau, retired associate director of health services; and Information Technology Service Trainer Barbara Williams led a group of Eastern Connecticut State University students to the country of Nepal this past summer. The trip was part of a Comparative Health Psychology course designed to provide students with an overview of social, psychological and education aspects of health from an East Asian perspective, and a look at the HIV pandemic affecting Nepal.

nepal image 2.jpg 
The students gained insight into Nepal's health care system by visiting the Ayurveda Health Home, which practices health from a holistic approach; Maiti Nepal, a women's shelter for women involved in sex-trafficking, sexual abuse and domestic violence; Cattrapati Free Clinic, which provides free health care for those who cannot afford it; MaryKnoll Nepal, the first psychiatric hospital solely for helping the mentally ill; and other hospitals. When visiting MaryKnoll Nepal, the students also learned how doctors use cow milk as agricultural therapy.


nepal image 3.jpg "Ayurvedic health practices health through a holistic approach that incorporates mind and body," said Natalie Bustamante, a 2011 graduate. "It includes physical, sensorial, mental and spiritual aspects of health. One thing I learned was that people must learn to love themselves and be truly happy before any real healing can occur."
Despite the medical and economic limitations in Nepal, the students were inspired by people such as Anuradha Koirala, the founder of Maiti Nepal and 2010 CNN Hero of the Year. Koirala has worked tirelessly to address the harsh social struggles Nepali women face daily. "Maiti Nepal is a safe haven for traumatized women and children, and is treated as sacred," said Sydney Price, a junior from Oakdale. "It was very hard to listen to our presenter speak of the horrors that occur in Nepal and the world today, where children as young as 7 are stolen from their homes and forced into a life where they are exploited, beaten and tortured. I'm very thankful for Anuradha Koirala and people like her who dedicate their lives to rescuing these poor individuals."
The situation in Nepal has inspired the students to take action. "Visiting Chattrapati Free Clinic was extremely inspirational," said Price. "It got all of us thinking how Eastern could help raise money for it since it is run by volunteers and donations."

For many students, discovering the Buddhist temples and shrines throughout Nepal was the highlight of the trip, as the shrines and temples represent symbols of hope for Nepali people. "The people, culture and scenery made this trip the most beautiful experience of my life," said Melissa Griffin, a senior from Willimantic. "We met wonderful people who gave us so much, and I feel that it is now my turn to give back to them. I plan on spending a few months next summer volunteering in Nepal because this trip has had such an impact on me."



Eastern Students Study Art in Italy

Written by Dwight Bachman


Italy Landscape image.jpgWillimantic, Conn: Six student from Eastern Connecticut State University traveled to Italy this past summer as part of an honors course titled, "Art in the Italian Landscape." The course, taught by Professor Anne Dawson, allowed students to journey extensively throughout Italy to view a variety of famous architectural art treasures, including French sculptor Niki di St. Phalle's "Tarot Garden" in Tuscany; the Fountain of the River Gods at the Villa Farnese in Caprarola, Italy; the Park of Monsters in Bomarzo, Italy, a collection of volcanic rock carvings created by architect Pirro Ligorio in the 1500s; Etruscan tombs in Ceveteri; and churches, piazzas and other historical art in Viterbo, Bagnoregio and Florence.

Students traveling to Italy included Lindsey Ancel of Milford; Emma Boardman of Willimantic; Sebastian Gronback of Tolland; Carolyn Guzzo of Pawcatuck; Marley Koschel of Sandy Hook; and Jaime Mugavero of Clinto. Pictured, above, is "The Ogre" in the Park of Monsters in Bomarzo.

Third Annual Veteran's Day Challenge

 Written by Chris Herman

vets challenge one mile run.JPGWillimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University will host its third annual Veteran's Day Challenge from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 11. The event consists of a demanding one-mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups and 300 air squats, followed by another one-mile run. Participants can compete as teams of four or individually, and can increase the number of points received by wearing a 10-or 20-pound weight vest. Prizes will be awarded for first, second or third place.


vets challenge one mile run 2.JPG 
 The Veterans Day Challenge competition is based on the workout of Medal of Honor recipient and Navy Seal Lt. Michael Murphy, who was killed in action during a tour in Afghanistan. The Navy Medal of Honor website describes his sacrifice in his biography:  "Murphy is credited with risking his own life to save the lives of his teammates. Murphy, intent on making contact with headquarters, but realizing it would be impossible in the extreme terrain where they were fighting, with complete disregard for his own life, moved into the open, where he could gain a better position to transmit a call to get help for his men."

vets challenge mcgraw.JPG The Veterans Day Challenge is the main source of funding for the Veteran's Scholarship Fund, which, once endowed, will help military, veteran and dependent students at Eastern fund their education. Each team is encouraged to raise at least $100 to donate to the fund.

 The Veterans Day Challenge is also conducting an art contest, with the winner being honored for how well he or she express what the military means. For more information or to register, contact the VETS Center on campus by emailing or call 860-465-0402.

19th Annual Health, Wellness and Benefits Expo

Written by Chris Herman

health expo vendor.JPGWillimantic, Conn. - More than 50 health agencies, vendors and representatives will convene at 10 a.m. on Oct. 18 in the Betty R. Tipton Room of the Student Center at Eastern Connecticut State University for the 19th Annual Health, Wellness and Benefits Expo. The program runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will include demonstrations, performances and free health screenings throughout the day. The public is invited. Admission is free.


health expo vendor 2.JPGThe Connecticut Department of Children and Families Foster Care Services, Liberty Bank, the Visiting Nurses Association, the Willimantic Food Co-Op, United HealthCare, the Social Security Administration, Planned Parenthood, the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling and Windham Hospital are just some of the nearly 50 participants in attendance.

Free chair massages, free HIV and STD testing, blood pressure and cholesterol screenings, body fat analysis and free health food samples are some of the offerings at this year's event. Among the day's activities will be a variety of demonstrations, descriptions and performances including yoga; accupuncture; massage therapy; and CPR Training offered by Windham Hospital's Emergency Medical Services. In addition, representatives will be on hand with information about retirement, finances, health insurance and cancer prevention.

For more information, please contact Julie Trainor, associate director of health services, at (860) 465-5263 or e-mail; and/or LaShawn McBride, manager of human resource programs at (860) 465-5220 or e-mail

Eastern Leads in Percentage of Minority Faculty

Written by Ed Osborn

A recent study of faculty at U.S. universities by the U.S. Department of Education's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), confirms that Eastern Connecticut State University has the largest percentage of minority faculty of all higher education institutions in Connecticut.
The report is found in the Sept. 30 edition of the Washington, D.C.-based Chronicle of Higher Education. Twenty-six percent of Eastern's faculty members are minorities, compared to 16 percent at Yale and Central Connecticut State Universities; 15 percent at the University of Connecticut and Southern Connecticut State University; and 14 percent at Western Connecticut State University.  Capital Community College had the highest figure among community colleges at 23 percent.
More than 3,800 two- and four-year colleges and universities from all 50 states were analyzed. Complete results of the research are found at "We are pleased to see that we have achieved such success in having a faculty that reflects the world around us," said Eastern's President Elsa Núñez, "and we are proud to know that our University is taking a leadership role in Connecticut in enhancing the diversity of our faculty.  Having a faculty that represents a global society benefits all of our students by providing them with a rich, multicultural experience on our campus, and is one of the hallmarks of a liberal arts college.  It is important that our students understand how their liberal arts education prepares them to live, work and lead in their communities once they graduate.  The skills and perspectives they learn on our campus will allow them to interact more effectively with clients, co-workers and fellow community members of Connecticut's increasingly diverse population."

Eastern supports and serves minority students and underrepresented populations in other ways.  For instance, the University continues to experience success in admitting students from inner-city high schools under its "Dual Enrollment" initiative.  Now in its fourth year, the program admits a cohort of 10 students from Hartford Public High School each fall, students who might otherwise not attend college.
Newly enrolled Dual Enrollment students take three remedial courses at Quinebaug Valley Community College while enrolling at one course at Eastern, living in Eastern residence halls and working at on-campus jobs.  Usually they become full-time Eastern undergraduates at the start of their second semester.  This past fall, a cohort of students from Manchester High School began the program, marking a new relationship with a second feeder high school. "The key to the    program is the students' immersion in campus life at Eastern," said Rhona Free, vice president of academic affairs.
The Dual Enrollment initiative has received financial support from the SBM Charitable Foundation, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Hartford Foundation of Public Giving and the WalMart Foundation.  It has also received awards for its innovative approach to increasing college access for underrepresented populations from the College Board and the New England Board of Higher Education.

Beta Israel: Ethiopian Jews Exhibition at Eastern

Written by Chris Herman

Ethiopian Jew.jpgWillimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University is hosting an exhibition this fall that explores the mass migration of Ethiopian Jews into modern Israeli society and the difficulties of integration that they faced. The exhibition will be on view from Oct. 27 through Dec. 8 in the Akus Gallery. The public is invited. Admission is free.

A talk with South African photojournalist Ilan Ossendryver will take place from 3 - 4 p.m. on Oct. 27 in Shafer Hall Auditorium. A reception will follow from 4 - 7 p.m. in the Akus  Gallery in Shafer Hall, and will include a book signing with Len Lyons, author of "The Ethiopian Jews of Israel: Personal Stories of the Life in the Promised Land," a recent publication featuring Ossendryver's photography.


Ethiopian Jewish child.jpgThe exhibition will feature a 20-minute film of a mass airlift, and will display photographs of the Ethiopian Jews migration from Africa to Israel from the early 1980s to the present.Since the 1970s, thousands of Ethiopian Jews have journeyed from the Horn of Africa to settle in Israel. The Law of Return, passed by the Israeli government in 1950, allows any Jew to settle in Israel and qualify for Israeli citizenship. This law also extended to the isolated Jews of Ethiopia, also known as Beta Israel, one of the Lost Tribes of Dan.

A Marxist revolution in Ethiopia in 1974 sparked the first wave of immigration to Israel. The routes Ethiopian Jews often took through unstable countries like Sudan resulted in as many 4,000 deaths between the mid-'70s and '80s.
In 1991, the Israeli government conducted a covert operation called Operation Solomon, a massive evacuation of Ethiopian Jews using more than 30 jumbo jets to move more than 14,000 Ethiopian Jews into Israel in a 36-hour period. There are over 100,000 Ethiopian Jews living in Israel today.

Isolated in Ethiopia, the Beta Israel practiced an ancient pre-rabbinic form of Judaism.   Today those who have successfully completed "aliyah" -- a purposeful and transforming journey -- from Ethiopia to Israel continue to face tremendous challenges of culture, language, religion, race, and social status as they integrate into modern Israeli society.

For more information on the event, contact the Akus Gallery at (860) 465-4659 or (860) 465-4647, or visit

Filmmaker to speak at Eastern

Written by Gabrielle Little


Kenyan Filmmaker.jpgWillimantic, Conn. - Award-winning documentary filmmaker Patrick Mureithi, a native of Kenya, will speak at Eastern's University Hour Series from 3 to 4 p. m. on Oct. 26 in the Student Center Theatre. The public is invited. Admission is free.
Mureithi's presentation, "ICYIZERE: HOPE," documents the experiences of victims of the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The documentary shows how they are taught about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as they undergo a series of exercises to help build trust with their perpetrators. Mureithi's documentary also explores how the media was used to incite fear, hatred and ultimately genocide.
The film has been shown in Kenya, Uganda and in churches, colleges and high schools in the United States, where Mureithi currently resides and works as artist-in-residence at Drury University in Springfield, MO. Mureithi's presentation is co-sponsored by the Intercultural Center and Women's Center and is supported by the University's Africa Club and the International Student Association.

Eastern Named a Green College Two Years in a Row

Written by Ed Osborn

Green Eastern  2011.jpgWillimantic, Conn - Eastern Connecticut State University has been named one of the nation's Green Colleges for 2011 by The Princeton Review and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).  This is the second year in a row that Eastern has received the designation.

"The Princeton Review's Guide to 311 Green Colleges: 2011 Edition" profiles 308 institutions of higher education in the United States and three in Canada that demonstrate notable commitments to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation. The 220-page book -- the only free, comprehensive, annually updated guide to the nation's most environmentally responsible "green colleges" -- can be downloaded at and

clocktower.jpg"We are honored that Eastern was selected again as a Green College by The Princeton Review," said Eastern President Elsa Núñez.  "We have a campus-wide commitment to sustainability at Eastern, evidenced by campus conservation programs, the sustainable energy studies curriculum, and our outreach across Connecticut in support of local energy efficiency efforts. This recognition tells our students, faculty and staff that their hard work continues to be noticed."

energy sustain- outside of science building-DSC_0786.JPGThe Princeton Review, well known for its education and test-prep services, first created this one-of-a-kind resource for college-bound students in 2010 in collaboration with USGBC, which is best-known for developing the LEED green building certification program. This past fall, USGBC launched its Center for Green Schools ( to increase its efforts to drive change in how campuses and schools are designed, constructed and operated so that all educational facilities can enhance student learning experiences.


energy sustain residence hall close up-DSC_5298.JPG"College-bound students are increasingly interested in sustainability issues," said Robert Franek, senior vice president of publishing for The Princeton Review. "Among 8,200 college applicants who participated in our spring 2011 'College Hopes & Worries Survey,' nearly 7 out of 10 told us that having information about a school's commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend the school," he added. "Together with USGBC, we are pleased to make this free resource available to all students seeking to attend colleges that practice, teach and support environmentally-responsible choices. To that end, we highly recommend the terrific schools in this book."

library daytime.jpgExamples of Eastern's commitment to sustainability can be found throughout the campus.  For instance, the Science Building is LEED Silver Certified for its use of gray water to irrigate and its many other green features.  In addition, a geothermal system provides heat and air conditioning to a 62,973-square-foot residence hall, the largest geothermal-heated building in Connecticut.


- aerial of south residential villageDSC_1651.JPGThe campus also generates 6.2 kilowatts from photovoltaic solar panels to light bus shelters, trash disposal areas and building perimeter lighting. In addition, dual fuel burning capability in Eastern's heating plants allows the University to switch from gas to oil and vice versa based on prices and/or the requirements of its gas utility agreement.  Water-saving features also exist on a number of showers, toilets and urinals.  Finally, an energy-monitoring system analyzes energy usage for each building, and can automatically reduce electricity usage through preprogrammed initiatives, to reduce peak demand and energy costs.


webbhall.jpgEastern is exporting its commitment to energy conservation beyond its own campus ecosystem through the Institute for Sustainable Energy (ISE). The institute is recognized and widely respected throughout New England as an invaluable resource for supporting sustainable energy conservation efforts in municipalities and public schools throughout Connecticut and the region.

Eastern's English Club Hosts Poetry Reading

Written by Kate Harner

Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's English Club will present student work at a poetry coffeehouse at 7 p.m. on Oct. 12 in the Student Center Café. Coffee will be served. The public is invited. Admission is free.

Students will read poetry and perform musical pieces at the event. An open microphone session will follow. "This is the first poetry event of the year, so it's very exciting," says Alex Robinson, president of the English Club. "Students in any major are welcome to share their work because writing as a creative outlet and a crucial piece of cultural identity has a presence in every discipline. Our coffeehouse will maintain a fun and relaxed atmosphere so everyone can feel comfortable sharing and performing."

For more information, contact the English Club at

SBM Charitable Foundation Supports Dual Enrollment Program

Written by Ed Osborn


Students who will benefit from SBM Charitable Foundation's donation to the DEI program include, from left:  Honesty Getfield, Courtney Calloway and Kevandra Amos.


The SBM Charitable Foundation will donate $250,000 to Eastern during the next three years, starting with a $100,000 gift made in May 2011, to establish the SBM Charitable Foundation Dual Enrollment Scholarship Program for students graduating from Manchester High School (MHS).  The Eastern Admissions Office, in conjunction with the MHS Guidance Office, will enroll five MHS students in this unique program each fall, beginning in 2011. 

This SBM Foundation grant brings the charitable foundation's giving to Eastern to $750,000 since 2004, and will enable Eastern to expand upon a program it started in fall 2007.

The students take remedial coursework at Quinebaug Valley Community College in Willimantic; enroll in one class at Eastern; live in Eastern's residence halls; and work at on-campus jobs. The primary success factor of the DEI is the requirement that the students reside on campus, allowing them to focus on the academic, campus and community aspects of their college experience. 

Since fall 2008, three groups of 9-10 Hartford Public high School graduates have enrolled in the Dual Enrollment Initiative (DEI) each fall.  The program continues to establish a positive track record, evidenced by an overall retention rate that exceeds the University's average. 

Earlier this year, the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) selected the Dual Enrollment Initiative as the 2011 recipient of NEBHE's Robert J. McKenna Award for Program Achievement.   Expanding the Dual Enrollment Initiative to Manchester High School, historically a key feeder school for Eastern, is another indicator of the program's success.

"I am grateful to the SBM Charitable Foundation for this latest gift to Eastern," said President Núñez.  "Bringing the promise of a college education to Manchester High School students extends the positive impact that the DEI is having in Connecticut.  I am very proud of the faculty, students and staff who have been involved."

"We could not have accomplished this expansion of the program without the foresight and generosity of the SBM Charitable Foundation board and management team," said Nunez.

Interschool Walk for Warmth

Written by Christopher Herman

Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University is looking for volunteers to help with the Interschool Walk for Warmth from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Oct. 26 on the Windham Middle School track. The purpose of the event is to raise awareness about poverty. The public is invited to participate. Transportation for Eastern students will be provided.

The event is being organized by Windham Middle School students. During their after- school programs and in classes, students are reminding local residents about the rise of poverty in Connecticut and the United States by participating in a marathon and playing educational games. Volunteers are needed to assist in activities and setting up tables and booths.

For more information on the event, contact Lauren Greeney at (860) 465-0684.

Kwasi Boadi to Discuss Famine and Drought in Somalia

Written by Gabrielle Little

somalia.jpgWillimantic, Conn.: Kwasi Boadi, professor of geography at Eastern Connecticut State University, will speak from 1 to 3 p. m. on Oct. 12 in the Student Center Theatre. Boadi's presentation, "Impact the World," raises awareness on famine and drought in Somalia. The public is invited. Admission is free.

Boadi's presentation, sponsored by the Africa Club of Eastern (ACE), will focus on connections between the geographical features of Somalia and the effect they have on the country's food crisis.

As a part of its mission to promote interest in the history, development and cultures of Africa, ACE presents events and activities to benefit Eastern and surrounding communities. ACE will collect donations to send to the American Red Cross.

For more information, contact ACE at

Eastern to Present Phoenix New Play Series

Written by Kate Harner

Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Performing Arts Department will present the play "Ring Around the Bottle" as part of the Phoenix New Play Series at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 8 in the Student Center Theatre. The public is invited. Admission is free.

This year's play is written by Nicole Ball, a senior English major from Danbury. "Ring Around the Bottle" focuses on Kelly, a woman who is dealing with the death of her alcoholic best friend, John. Her husband encourages her to go to therapy in order to deal with the trauma. Through her sessions, she relates to the audience the story behind John's addiction as well as their relationship.

"I'm excited that my play is being performed in this staged reading," said Ball. "I've spent a lot of time working on it in my playwriting class, as well as during my free time. I feel that having my play performed is a representation of my liberal arts education because it combines the fields of writing and acting. If I had gone to another school, I may not have received this opportunity."

Sarah Paprocki, a junior theatre major from Norwich, is the director of the play. Ben Friedman, a senior communication and theatre major from Bristol, is the assistant director. The cast includes Kelsey Guggenheim, a sophomore theatre major from Stratford; Chad Dominique, a sophomore theatre major from Willington; Shannon Erwin, a senior social work major from Unionville; Ian Burke, a junior English major from Ellington; Melissa DiPasquale, a sophomore theatre major from Meriden; Jennifer Phipps, a music major from Meriden; Sarah Dillon, a senior theatre major from Willimantic; and Paul Lietz, a junior theatre major from Somers.

The Phoenix New Play Series are rehearsed readings of new plays. A question-and-answer period will follow the readings.For more information, contact the Drama Society at

David Belles to Conduct at Carnegie Hall

Written by Ed Osborn

david belles.JPGWillimantic, Conn. - On Nov. 13, David Belles, associate professor of music at Eastern Connecticut State University, will make his conducting debut at Carnegie Hall as part of the Mid America Production Concert Series. 


Belles' role as conductor is the culmination of a five-day Carnegie Hall residency that he was awarded in recognition of his national reputation in the field of choral music and the musicianship and artistry he brings to the stage.

Belles' residency includes rehearsals, musicianship building, creative expression and cultural learning opportunities in New York City. "This is a wonderful opportunity for students, me and especially the University, to have a headliner presence at this world-renowned concert hall," he explained. "It is an honor to have my work as a conductor and educator recognized by this invitation."

Eastern's Concert Chorale will join Belles on stage during the Nov. 13 concert.  In addition to singing with 120 other participating singers, the Chorale will also perform a 25-minute solo featuring F.J. Haydn's "Te Deum" and Howard Hanson's "Song of Democracy."  Combining with the other singers, they will perform Robert Ray's "Gospel Mass." 

"What sets this far and above those other experiences is that the 50 singers from Eastern
will be featured in a solo portion of the concert, separate from the other 120 singers participating in the festival," said Belles.
The Chorale previously performed at Carnegie Hall in 2008 when they sang Mozart's "Requiem," and in 2005 when they appeared with groups from four other universities to perform Mozart's "Coronation Mass."

Celebrating Diversity at Eastern

Written by Christopher Herman

Willimantic, Conn. - The Intercultural Center at Eastern Connecticut State University will host a day-long cultural event celebrating diversity at Eastern. The event will be held from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Oct. 20 in the Betty R. Tipton Room in the Student Center. The public is invited. Admission is free.

The purpose of the multicultural event is to build more trust between Eastern students, faculty, staff and the public. Students are encouraged to bring a flag of the country from which they and their families have come from. The event will also include a cultural exhibit that explores diversity at Eastern. All attendees will be able to participate in a dance competition.

The Intercultural Center have a focus on creating awareness and appreciation for diversity and improving the academic experience and success of multicultural, international, national exchange and commuter students.

For more information, contact the Inter Cultural Center at (860) 465-5749.

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