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November 2011 Archives

Forum on Sustainability and Jobs at Eastern

Written by Kate Harner

Zarnetske_Robert_160x200bio.jpgWillimantic, Conn. - Robert Zarnetske, the Special New England Administrator for the U.S. General Service Administration (GSA), will present "White House Sustainability Forum: Sustainability and Jobs in Eastern Connecticut" at 1 p.m. on Dec. 2 in Science Building Room 215. The public is invited. Admission is free.

Zarnetske graduated from Eastern in 1987. During his presentation, he will inform Eastern students and community members about new federal sustainability policies and the construction of clean energy communities.
GSA is the federal government's property manager, with more than 10,000 facilities worldwide and nearly 500 in New England.  In the past few years, GSA has been keenly focused on renewable energy and has completed a number of innovative projects in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire.

For more information, contact Fred Loxsom, endowed chair of sustainable energy studies, at


Eastern's Penguin Plunge Fundraiser

Written by Chris Herman

Willimantic, Conn. - On Dec. 3 at the edge of Patriots Park on Coventry Lake, Eastern Connecticut State University students will be taking the plunge into chilly waters to raise money for the Special Olympics. The "Penguin Plunge" fundraiser will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Transportation will be provided to students who are participating in the fundraiser.

Students or "penguins" can solicit donations from family, friends and local businesses in order to take the plunge. Incentive prizes for money raised along with  individual and group awards, will be given in several categories. People who raise between $50-300 will be given a bow tie and a t-shirt. Gift cards will be given to people who raise a higher amount of money.

Volunteers are needed to assist jumpers with warm beverages and towel support.
For more information on the fundraiser and the volunteer opportunities, contact Kristina Scherber at (860) 465-5158 or e-mail

Intercultural Center to Host Holiday Celebrations

Written by Chris Herman

Holiday celebration 1.JPG

A wide range of delicious food will be served during the Holiday Celebration.

Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Intercultural Center will host its annual Holiday Celebration celebrating different cultures from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Dec. 6 in the Arthur L. Johnson Unity Wing of the Student Center. The public is invited.

Visitors can enjoy food, music and decorations from a variety of holiday celebrations, including Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa. The Intercultural Center will also provide opportunities to learn more about the holidays of different cultures.


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Mark Rust returns to entertain patrons of the Intercultural Center's holiday celebrations.

The Intercultural Center's mission is to create awareness and appreciation for diversity and multiculturalism on the Eastern campus.  The organization coordinates multicultural events and functions, oversees the International Student Affairs program and assists in the academic success of minority and international students.

For more information on the celebration and the Intercultural Center, call (860) 465-5749 or e-mail

Student Directors' Showcase at Eastern

Written by Kate Harner

Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Theatre Program and Drama Society will present "The Student Directors' Showcase" production of "Three Short Tall Tales of True Falsehoods: The Apollo of Bellac, The Maker of Dreams and The Ugly Duckling" from Dec. 1 to Dec. 4 in the Harry Hope Theatre, located in Shafer Hall at the corner of High and Valley Streets. The show will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 1-3, with a mid-day matinee at 11 a.m. on Dec. 2 for "The Maker of Dreams" and "The Ugly Duckling" and a 4 p.m. performance of all three plays on Dec. 4. The public is invited. Tickets are $5 for Eastern students and groups of 10 or more; $10 for Eastern faculty, staff, alumni and senior citizens; and $12 for the general public.

"The Apollo of Bellac," written by Jean Giraudoux, is directed by Stephanie LaPointe '12, a communication and theatre major from Willimantic. The play focuses on a young woman who, with the help of a stranger, manages to seduce members of a company into falling in love with her. "The Maker of Dreams," written by Oliphant Down and directed by Katharine McManus '12, a communication and theatre major from Columbia, tells about a woman in love with her performance partner, who refuses to give her the time of day. "The Ugly Duckling," directed by Seana Hendrickson '12, a theatre major from North Grosvenordale, follows a princess whom no one finds beautiful and whose parents are obsessed with finding her a suitor.

These international short shows feature magical intervention and an overlying theme that teaches its audience that true beauty is ultimately revealed through appreciation and love.

To reserve tickets, contact the Box Office at (860) 465-5123.

Jennifer McGowan to Present Work at Eastern

Written by Kate Harner

Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's English Department will host a poetry reading by Jennifer McGowan at 7 p.m. on Nov. 30 in Room 301 of the Science Building. A book signing and light refreshments will follow the reading. The public is invited. Admission is free.

McGowan, who received her master's degree and doctorate at the University of Wales, has published a book of poetry, "Life in Captivity." Her work ranges from personal to mythological, and carries with it wit, irony and nostalgia. McGowan's poetry has appeared in "Connecticut River Review," "Vermont Literary Review," "Assent" and "The Interpreter's House." In 2012, Aqueduct Press will publish one of her poems in Rose Lemberg's anthology of feminist speculative poetry.

For more information, contact Miranda Lau at (860) 465-4570 or

Turkish American Student Association to Host Fundraiser

Written by Chris Herman

turkish dinner.jpgWillimantic, Conn. - In response to the tragic earthquake in Turkey on Oct. 23, Eastern Connecticut State University's Turkish American Student Association is hosting a dinner to raise money for relief funds. The fundraiser will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Dec. 1 in the Betty R. Tipton Room located in the Student Center. The public is invited. Admission is free.

A free dinner will be provided and the option to donate towards the relief fund will be made available to those attending the event. The Turkish American Student Association is designed to promote better understanding and friendship among Turkish and American students, communities and organizations. The organization provides accurate information on Turkish history and culture. The Turkish Club is requesting that persons interested in attending the dinner to raise money for earthquake victims to RSVP by Nov. 29.

For more information on the fundraiser, contact Zuleyha Ozen at (860) 995-3746.

African Club to Host Cultural Extravaganza

Written by Chris Herman

Africa Club 11-2010.JPGWillimantic, Conn - Eastern Connecticut State University's African Club will sponsor a Cultural Extravaganza from 7 p.m. to midnight on Dec. 2 in the Betty R. Tipton Room located in the Student Center. The public is invited. Admission is free.

The Cultural Extravaganza aims to present cultural diversity to campus life and the surrounding community. The event will inform guests on the history, development and cultures of Africa, which will include guest speakers, traditional dancers and African dishes. Guest speaker Nana Agyei-Yeboah, a social worker from the Department of Children and Families in Springfield, MA, will talk about the National Health Insurance Scheme in Ghana. The program will also provide information on community service programs available to Eastern students.

For more information on the event, contact the African Club at


David Bosso Named Connecticut's Teacher of the Year

Written by Chris Herman

bosso (3).jpgWillimantic, Conn. - David Bosso, a social studies teacher at Berlin High School and a graduate of Eastern Connecticut State University, was named Connecticut's Teacher of the Year Award on Oct. 18.

Bosso '97 expressed his gratitude for Eastern's faculty and education programs. "The professors in the History and Education Departments were always engaging, insightful, and accessible, and I feel privileged to not only have earned my degree from Eastern, but to have had the opportunity to work with so many excellent professors during my time there," he said.

Earlier this year, Bosso traveled to Ghana through the Department of State's Teaching Excellence and Achievement Program to collaborate with other educators to develop progressive teaching practices in African countries.  He also has traveled to Japan, China and Saudi Arabia as part of educational delegations. These trips were designed to promote a better cultural understanding between countries.

In addition to teaching, Bosso serves on the board of directors of the Connecticut Council for the Social Studies, and also serves as co-chairman of the Northeast Regional Conference on the Social Studies. This spring, he will travel to Washington, D.C., to meet President Obama and represent Connecticut in the national Teacher of the Year competition.

Bosso was previously recognized by the Connecticut Council of Social Studies and given its Excellence in Social Studies Education award. He earned a bachelor's degree in social studies and history from Eastern; a master's degree in history from Central Connecticut State University; and another master's degree in educational computing from the University of Hartford.   

Connecticut's Teacher of the Year is selected from nominations by 110 of Connecticut's 116 school districts.

HPE College Bowl Science Competition

Written by Ebony Minott

Willimantic, CT -- Three Eastern Connecticut State University students participated in the eighth annual New England American College of Sports Medicine College Bowl on Nov. 3 at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence, RI. Fourteen other New England universities participated in the competition.
 The competition was held in a Jeopardy-style format. During the three rounds of competition, the Eastern team worked together to answer questions in categories such as metabolism, skeletal muscle, nutrition, testing and prescription, body composition, and cardiovascular.
 "The College Bowl was a humbling experience," said Conal Brandon '12 of Baltic, a physical education major. "It was enlightening to compete with so many competent individuals who will be entering the job market. It has been an honor to work under the mentorship of several individuals who elicit the highest potential within all of their students."
"It was a great experience and I was honored to be able to represent Eastern and my department," said Gianna Trombino'12 of East Moriches, NY, a physical education major. "Dr. Switchenko's dedication to Exercise Science is contagious and I am fortunate to have had such a knowledgeable and enthusiastic mentor for the subject."
Nick Stoop '13 of Crofton, MD, also participated in the competition.

Author Speaks on Future of Literature in Electronic Age

Written by Gabrielle Little

Matthew Tobin Anderson 1 (2).jpgWillimantic, Conn. -Author Matthew Tobin Anderson will address the influence of technology on the world of literature at 3 p. m. on Nov. 30 in Eastern Connecticut State University's Student Center Theatre. The lecture is part of Eastern's University Hour Series. The public is invited. Admission is free.

Anderson has written stories for adults, picture books for children and adventure novels for young readers.  His satirical book "Feed" was a finalist for the National Book Award, and was the winner of the L.A. Times Book Prize. Anderson is a board member of the National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance, a national nonprofit organization that advocates for literacy, literature and libraries. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of Vermont College of Fine Arts.

 Anderson attended Harvard University and received his bachelor's degree in English literature at Cambridge University. He earned his master's degree in Creative Writing from Syracuse University.

Eastern Concert Chorale to Perform in Norwich

Written by Kate Harner

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Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Concert Chorale will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 22 at the Cathedral of St. Patrick at 213 Broadway Street in Norwich. The public is invited. Admission is free; however, a $5 donation is suggested.

The concert will open with a performance by Eastern's Chamber Singers. The Concert Chorale, which is directed by Associate Professor of Music David Belles, will perform part of its repertoire from a Carnegie Hall concert that took place on Nov. 13. The repertoire includes Franz Haydn's "Te Deum" and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "Coronation Mass."

The Norwich Diocesan Choir and the Concert Choir of Northeastern Connecticut will join the Concert Chorale for the concert. The combined choirs will be accompanied by a professional orchestra. The concert is being dedicated to the late Dr. Ed Drew, professor emeritus of music at Eastern.

For more information, contact Lana Raymond at (860) 465-5325 or

Eastern to Host Its 5th Annual Day of Giving

Written by Kate Harner

day of giving wide shot.JPG

Willimantic, Conn. - On Nov. 23, Eastern Connecticut State University will host its fifth annual "Day of Giving" Thanksgiving dinner for community members who are patrons of local soup kitchens and other social service agencies. The Thanksgiving meal will take place from noon to 2 p.m. in Hurley Hall, located on Eastern's North Campus.

The Day of Giving was started by Jason Budahazy '09 in 2007. This year, members of Eastern's student clubs People Helping People and Best Buddies, led by Center for Community Engagement (CCE) staff, have organized the event. They have enlisted community-wide support from Eastern's administration, housing staff, student clubs and organizations, Chartwells Dining Services, the Office of Institutional Advancement, the Windham school system, the Windham Housing Authority, Ted's IGA, the Willimantic Food Co-Op, Highland Park of Coventry, Plainfield's Better Value, East Hampton's Stop & Shop, the East Brook Mall, Main Street Café, the Lebanon Green Market and others.

The project consists of two parts. The first is a large-scale food drive that takes place in the local community as well as on the Eastern campus. The last food drives will take place at East Hampton's Stop & Shop from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on Nov. 18, as well as Plainfield's Better Value from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Nov. 19. All food items collected go to the Northeast Food Collaborative, which consists of local food charities such as the Covenant Soup Kitchen, Access Agency, Catholic Charities and others.

The second part of Day of Giving is a full-course Thanksgiving meal complete with all the trimmings for members of the Willimantic/Windham community who otherwise would not be able to have a Thanksgiving dinner. Chartwells Dining Services will provide the food. Members of Eastern's student clubs, as well as Eastern's administration, faculty and staff, will volunteer at the event.

"Eastern's Day of Giving is a special event because it is student-driven," said Scott Nolan '12, a political science major from Windsor Locks and one of the coordinators of this year's Day of Giving. "It could not be possible without the help of several key professionals and crucial departments here at Eastern, such as the CCE under its director, Kimberly Silcox; Eastern's AmeriCorps VISTAs Brittney Cava '12 and Kristina Scherber; the student club People Helping People; overwhelming support from the University; and especially the ECSU Foundation, Inc., without which this event would not be possible."

For more information regarding the Day of Giving, contact the CCE at

Senegal Artist Visits Eastern

Written by Gabrielle Little

Abdoulaye Ndoye (3).jpgWillimantic, Conn. -Abdoulaye Ndoye, a contemporary Senegalese artist, will share his love for traditional African Henna through his art at Eastern Connecticut State University at 3 p.m. on Nov. 17 in the Akus Gallery, located on the lower level of Shafer Hall at Eastern. The lecture is part of the University's Global Citizenship Program. The public is invited. Admission is free.
Ndoye is professor of art at the National School of Fine Arts in Dakar, Senegal, as well as founder and retired director of the National School of Design in Dakar.  Ndoye is currently in residence in the International Artist Residency Program at the Griffis Art Center in New London, a program that has brought more than 60 artists from around the world to southeastern Connecticut in the last 25 years.

Ndoye's work is in the permanent collection at the Smithsonian Institute, and in museum, private and corporate collections throughout the world.  This past fall, Ndoye's tryptich "Pourquoi" ("Why") was on display in the exhibition at the United Nations, "The Transatlantic Slave Trade: The Living Legacies of 30 Million Untold Stories," along with the work of Eastern Visual Arts Professor Imna Arroyo.
Ndoye received his Master of Fine Arts from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Brussels, Belgium.

Eastern Reveals TIMPANI Research Results for Best Toy

Written by Ebony Minott

Tinker Toys  and bucket.jpgWillimantic, CT -- TINKERTOY construction set, a toy made by Pawtucket, RI-based Hasbro, Inc., under its globally popular PLAYSKOOL brand, has been named the 2011 best Toy to Inspire Mindful Play and Nurture Imagination (TIMPANI). The results of the 2011 TIMPANI Toy Study, to be presented by faculty and student researchers, will be announced at 11 a.m. on Nov. 14 in Eastern Connecticut State University's Center for Early Childhood Education, located in the University's Child and Family Development Resource Center on Eastern's North Campus.

This annual empirical study by Eastern researchers examines how young children in natural settings play with a variety of toys. Toys are selected for TIMPANI study based on recommendations from parents, teachers and faculty.
After the toys are chosen, they are then placed in a preschool classroom for a specified number of days and rated on three subscales: thinking and learning, cooperation and social interaction, and self-expression and imagination. The TINKERTOY construction set received the highest total score.

TINKERTOY construction sets feature easy-fitting, durable plastic pieces to make all kinds of creations. Children can build and play with many different large-scale structures using a design guide for their imagination.
"This year's findings confirm what we've been finding over the years with the TIMPANI study: those basic, open-ended toys tend to be more beneficial to children's play and learning than some of the more elaborate and commercial toys that are on the market," said Professor Jeffrey Trawick-Smith, the Phyllis Waite Endowed Chair of Early Childhood Education and the study's principal researcher. "There's a reason why TINKERTOY  construction sets have been around for more than 95 years -- parents, teachers, and children have noticed that the toy has some special qualities that allow children to express themselves, solve problems and interact with their peers."

"Today's announcement of the winner of the second Annual TIMPANI Toy Study demonstrates the level of research that is occurring at our Center for Early Childhood Education," said Eastern President Elsa Núñez. "At the same time that we are identifying and testing toys that promote the intellectual, social and creative development of children, we are also helping our students prepare for careers as professional early childhood educators. I congratulate Professor Trawick-Smith and his students for this ground-breaking research. The investigative work they are doing to build strong foundations for young children will last a lifetime."

"PLAYSKOOL is thrilled that the TINKERTOY brand was selected as the winner for this year's TIMPANI Toy Study," said Jerry Perez, senior vice president, Global Brand Leader, Preschool & Girls Brands.  "It is great to see that after 95 years, TINKERTOY construction sets still provide children the tools needed for creative freedom to build what they want, when they want."

"It was very interesting to see how some toys encourage children to use their imagination, taking something simple to create something very unusual," said Kelly Zimmermann, an Eastern graduate student in early childhood education. Zimmerman was responsible for videotaping the toys and coding the videos according to the evaluation rubric.  "I think that when looking for a toy that will encourage social interaction and creative play in a preschool classroom, it would be important to make sure the toy is open-ended enough that children can use their own language and ideas to construct and build with the toy."

Zimmermann and Trawick-Smith co-presented the results of the study at the National Association for the Education of Young Children conference in Orlando on Nov. 3.

For more information on the TIMPANI Toy Study, contact the Center for Early Childhood Education at (860) 465-0885 or visit For information about PLAYSKOOL, Hasbro, Inc., and its products, visit

Eastern's to Host BEST-FEST

Written by Ebony Minott

 Willimantic, CT -- The Business Administration Department at Eastern Connecticut State University will hold the fall 2011 BEST-FEST (Business Experiential Skills and Technology Festival) from 2 - 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 17 in the Betty R. Tipton Room of the Student Center. At BEST-FEST, students from Eastern, the University of Connecticut, Central Connecticut State University and several community colleges will exhibit experiential learning projects as they compete for prizes in 19 categories.

Each category will offer prizes provided by corporations and student organizations. The exhibits with the top three vote totals in each of the 19 categories will be presented the winning prizes. The 19 project categories include start-up business proposal; business plan competition; business project design; financial analysis of firms; industry-sector economic analysis; firm-product economic analysis; financial stock sector analysis; personal financial analysis tools; project or product line viability financial analysis; marketing research analysis; market sector analysis; marketing campaign proposal plan; business strategic analysis; organization information management project; organizational systems analysis; organizational web presence site; organizational technology strategy plan; emerging technology application; and organizational database-web application.

BEST-FEST is designed for seniors and juniors majoring and minoring in business administration, accounting, business information systems, economics, social informatics, labor relations and human resource management, communications and computer science. The event is an opportunity for students to network with potential employers, who will provide feedback to students on their projects. Students hope to land an internship, co-op or even a position with the companies and organization represented.

The event is co-sponsored by the November 2011 Connecticut Innovation Connections Event, Connecticut Technology Council, Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and the Allied Health Technology Workforce's Health Information Technology Career Path Initiative.

Eastern Reveals Research Results of Best Toy for Children

Written by Ebony Minott

WHAT: Researchers at Eastern Connecticut State University's Center for Early Childhood Education will announce the results of a study on Toys that Inspire Mindful Play and Nurture Imagination (TIMPANI).
WHEN: November 14, 11 a.m.

WHERE: The Joinery Room in the Child and Family Development Resource Center, Eastern Connecticut State University

WHO: Speakers will describe the TIMPANI Toy Study research methodology and announce what toy best promotes the intellectual, social and creative development of children. Speakers include:

Dr. Elsa M. Núñez, President, Eastern Connecticut State University

Dr. Jeffrey Trawick-Smith, Principal Investigator and Phyllis Waite Endowed Chair of Early Childhood Education

Julia DeLapp, Program Coordinator, Center for Early childhood Education

VISUAL: TIMPANI Video. Dr. Trawick-Smith, DeLapp and Eastern student researchers available for interviews. TIMPANI Toy available for demonstration/photos

Cardinalli-Padilla to Perform at Eastern

Written by Gabrielle Little

Padilla (5).jpgWillimantic, Conn. -Anna Maria Cardinalli-Padilla, classical flamenco guitarist and accomplished scholar, will share her passion for the richness of Latino culture during Eastern's University Hour at 3 p. m. on Nov. 16 in the Betty R. Tipton Room, located in the Student Center. The public is invited. Admission is free.
Cardinalli-Padilla is an 18th-generation native of Santa Fe, NM, and considers herself an original link to Spanish colonial culture. She recorded her first album at age 15. Shortly after, she successfully launched her own label, Musica Mundial Productions. Her musical talent has gained her international acclaim, with performances at the Kennedy Center for the prince of Spain and with the Santa Fe Opera. Cardinalli-Padilla also provided vocals for a Kanye West and Malik Yusef album, titled "Good Morning, Good Night." She was awarded the Mother Theresa Award, which recognizes the achievements of "those who beautify the world," for her artistic efforts.

Cardinalli-Padilla is a professor of intelligence and national security studies at American Military University. She completed her bachelor's degree summa cum laude at St. Mary's College of California at age 18; her master's degree at St. John's College at 20; and became the youngest person to receive a Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame at the age of 25.

For more information, contact Michelle Delaney, director of student affairs/activities at (860) 465-0105 or at

Eastern Connecticut Rugby vs. Tufts University

Written by Chris Herman

Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Rugby Club has made the New England Rugby Football Union (NERFU) semifinals and will play Tufts University from noon to 2 p.m. on Nov. 12 at Keene State College. The public is invited. Admission is free.

If Eastern wins on Nov. 12, it will play for the NERFU championship on Nov. 13 at Keene State. The Eastern rugby program was established in 2004 and has been competing in the NERFU for the past seven years. For more information, contact Chris Jones at (860) 884-8521.

TV, film and stage actor Dan Lauria to Speak at Eastern

Written by Dwight Bachman

Lauria Photo NEW.jpg


Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Arts and Lecture series continues at 7 p.m. on Nov. 14 in the Betty R. Tipton Room with a lecture by television and film actor Dan Lauria, best known for his portrayal of Jack Arnold on the television series, "The Wonder Years," which ran from 1988 to 1993.
Lauria has appeared on such television series as "How I Met Your Mother"; "Army Wives"; "The Mentalist"; "Law and Order: Criminal Intent"; "Smallville"; "JAG"; "Criminal Minds"; "Costello"; "Party of Five"; and "Amazing Grace."  He has been in numerous TV movies and appeared in the 1996 movie "Independence Day."

Lauria also has written, directed and produced for the stage. He appeared in the off-Broadway production of "A Stone Carver" in 2006; played Jimmy Hoffa in Brian Lee Franklin's "Good Bobby," a fictionalized account of Robert Kennedy's rise; and in 2010, starred as Vince Lombardi in the Broadway play "Lombardi."

Arts and Lecture tickets are free to faculty, staff and students ($10 for members of the general public), and can be reserved by calling (860) 465-0036 or e-mailing

Book Drive at Eastern

Written by Chris Herman

book drive.jpgWillimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Center of Community Engagement worked alongside the University's People Helping People student club to organize a book drive on campus. The book dive collected more than 920 books, which will be distributed to Windham school children. Anyone still wishing to donate is welcome to drop off gently used books at the Center for Community Engagement, located in the Wood Support Services Building.
The Center for Community Engagement is responsible for encouraging civic duty on campus and throughout the Eastern community. People Helping People regularly volunteers on campus and informs students on important social issues such as poverty, hunger and education. Eastern students who participate in People Helping People have the opportunity to develop leadership and interpersonal skills.
Twenty Eastern students participated and provided support for the book collection project.

Eastern Students Participate in Shack-a-Thon

Written by Chris Herman

habitatforhumanity.jpgWillimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Habitat for Humanity campus chapter held its annual "Shack-a-Thon" fundraiser over a 24-hour period from Oct. 26-27 in front of Webb Hall. The fundraiser was held to increase awareness of substandard housing in the Willimantic community.


shackathon 2.jpgParticipating Eastern students were asked to live in cardboard box structures for the full 24 hours. Students were able to attend classes and extracurricular activities, but they had to return to the cardboard shelter during the fundraising period.  Students were encouraged to give up electronic devices including cell phones, laptops and iPods to fully appreciate someone living in a substandard home. Habitat for Humanity members collected donations during the event and will continue to accept donations throughout the semester to raise money for their Alternative Spring Break trip in March 2012, when they build a house in South Carolina.

shackathon 3.jpgStudents participating in the fundraiser included Jamie O'Connor, Avery Schena, Emily Cameron, Heather Lepper, Jackie Fedor, Chris Connors, Rebecca Ingoglia, Dave Coffey, Christina Reynolds, Katie Lynne Twarog, Amy Dias, Jackie Giuntini, Melissa Timbrell, Scott Nolan, Despina M, Corey Pelletier and Austin Baldour.

Scientific Illustrator to Speak at Eastern

Written by Gabrielle Little

Buchanan 2.jpgWillimantic, Conn. - Steve Buchanan of Winsted, will speak at Eastern Connecticut State University for its University Hour presentation at 3 p.m. on Nov. 9 in the Paul E. Johnson Sr. Community Conference Room. The public is invited. Admission is free.
Buchanan, a scientific illustrator, will display his artwork and describe how he creates his illustrations by computer.
Buchanan was a concert pianist at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and a professor before he found his second calling as an artist. The majority of his work involves subjects from botany, horticulture, natural history and wildlife. Buchanan's art has appeared on book and magazine covers, posters, T-shirt designs, advertisements, product packaging and US postage stamps. His work has also been exhibited at the Norman Rockwell Museum, the Hunt Institute and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

President Núñez Wins Lifetime Achievement Award

Written by Dwight Bachman and Ed Osborn

Nunez Party- Comrs Diaz Elas Lourdes Juan UPDATE.JPGPresident Núñez receives the Lifetime Achievement Award from LPRAC Chairman Isaias Diaz and Commissioners Lourdes Montalvo, Enrique Marcano and Juan Perez.

Willimantic, Conn. - The Connecticut Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission (LPRAC) honored Eastern Connecticut State University President Elsa M. Núñez with its Lifetime Achievement Award on Oct. 22 during its 14th Annual Scholarship Awards Ceremony at Amarante's Sea Cliff Restaurant in New Haven.
Núñez also delivered the keynote address at the banquet.  She recalled the days when Latinos worked long hours in difficult conditions in the tobacco fields, thread mills and other factories of Connecticut.  The pay was low, the conditions were often dangerous, and families were not treated well.  "We have moved away from the tobacco farms and the thread mills, but life is not better for many members of the Latino community."  President Núñez went on to describe the educational achievement gap in Connecticut that exists between Latino students, often living in urban, low-income households and more affluent, white suburban students. "The achievement gap in Connecticut is the worst in the country," she explained, "and Latino students' academic performance actually gets worse as they progress through school.  Our educational system is failing them."


Nunez Party- Elsa Speaking UPDATE.JPGNúñez ended her remarks by encouraging the audience to do all it can individually and collectively to bridge the achievement gap between the larger society and the Latino community.

Prior to joining Eastern in 2006, Núñez served as vice chancellor of academic and student affairs in the University of Maine System from 2003 to 2006. Before her appointment in Maine, Núñez serves as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Lesley University. From 1993 to 1997, she was university dean for academic affairs and vice chancellor for student affairs at the City University of New York. She also served as associate dean of faculty at the College of Staten Island from 1986 to 1992.

Núñez also has held positions as a tenured faculty member at Ramapo State College; the College of Staten Island of the City University of New York, and Lehman College of the City University of New York. She is the author of "Pursuing Diversity" (1992) and has published numerous articles in the areas of language acquisition, diversity, academic attainment in higher education, cultural differences in education and retention.

Nunez Party -Imna Elsa CarmenSophia Adrianna Pat Carlos UPDATE.JPG Several members of the Eastern family were on hand to congratulate President Nunez. Some of them, above, left to right, included Imna Arroyo, Carmen Cid, Sophia Cortez-Gomez, Adrianna Sanchez, Pat Banach and Carlos Hernandez.

In addition to serving on the American Council on Education's Council of Fellows and the Association of American Colleges and Universities' Presidents Trust, Núñez also serves on the boards of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation; Girl Scouts of Connecticut; Hartford Healthcare; and Leadership Greater Hartford.


Nunez Party-Carlos Elsa Dwight dwight image.JPG

Carlos Hernandez, left, from Eastern's Facilities and Management Planning Department, and Dwight Bachman ,right, Eastern's public relations officer, congratulate President Nunez on her honor

Núñez earned her B.A. from Montclair State College, an M.A. from Fairleigh Dickinson University and a doctorate in linguistics from Rutgers University.


Eastern student Noel Bautista and Caithlyn Sanchez of Windham High School were among the 15 students who received scholarships. Over the 14 years of its scholarship program, the LPRAC has awarded more than $117,000 in scholarships to Connecticut students.
Other awardees included Army National Guard Major Lesbia Nieves, president of the Association of Hispanic Veterans of Connecticut and Ruth Vázquez of ASPIRA/United Way of New Britain, who were named Latina Citizens of the Year; the late educator and community activist Antonia Pantoja, who received a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award; Luis Caban, executive director of the Southside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance, and Angel Ruiz of Latino Community Services in Hartford, who received Latino Citizens of the Year awards; and the Spanish Speaking Center of New Britain, which received the community agency award.

The Guakia youth musical troupe of Hartford provided entertainment by playing Puerto Rican folk music, under the direction of Ray Gonzalez.

Classic Brass to Perform with International Tuba Virtuoso

Written by Kate Harner

Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Performing Arts Department will present a Classic Brass concert with Oystein Baadsvik, international tuba virtuoso, at 2 p.m. on Nov. 6 in Shafer Auditorium, located on the corner of Windham and Valley Streets. The public is invited. Admission is free.

Music Director Adam Crowe will conduct the performance. Accompanied by Classic Brass, Baadsvik will perform Monti's "Czardas," Baadsvik and Giske's "Fnugg Blue," Morricone's "Gabriel's Oboe" and Arban's "Variations on The Carnival of Venice." Classic Brass will also perform Bach's "Arioso," Williams' "Henry the Fifth Overture," Allan's "Knight Templar March," Borodin's "Polovtsian Dances" and Lovatt-Cooper's "Walking with Heroes."

For more information, contact Lana Raymond at (860) 465-5325 or

March 2015

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