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March 2012 Archives

Eastern Honored for Community Service

Written by Ed Osborn


Obama FINAL Images- Day of Giving.jpg

Eastern students, faculty and staff volunteers take a break during the 2011 Annual Day of Giving at the Hurley Hall Dining Room.

Willimantic, CT - Eastern Connecticut State University was honored by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and the U.S. Department of Education on March 12 as one of the nation's colleges and universities that are leading the way in bettering their communities through community service and service learning.
While 642 institutions of higher learning were acknowledged on President Obama's "Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll," Eastern was one of only 110 schools in the country to be admitted to the special honor roll category, "With Distinction," for their work in serving local communities through volunteer programs and other activities.  Of 14 colleges and universities in Connecticut who made the honor roll, Eastern was joined only by the University of Connecticut in the "with distinction" category.
 
 "Community service has been a hallmark at Eastern since our earliest days in the 1890s as the Willimantic State Normal School," said Eastern President Elsa Núñez. "Today, our Center for Community Engagement works closely with our faculty to ensure that the service that our students perform in local communities aligns with their academic programs.  In providing thousands of hours a year of service to dozens of social agencies and nonprofits, Eastern students are demonstrating their social responsibility while learning valuable professional and organizational skills. To be recognized by President Obama as a university that exemplifies such service is something that everyone on our campus should be proud of."

 

Obama FINAL iMAGES -Calvin Underwood, Tom Przybylek and Todd Mitnick .JPG

Eastern students Calvin Underwood, Tom Przybylek and Todd Mitnick worked with counselors at Camp Sequanota in Pennsylvania to build a new bridge during spring break 2012.

"This is a tremendous honor for Eastern, its faculty, staff and students," said Robert Kennedy, president of the Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education. "While students attend an institution of higher education, in many cases, to advance their career options, it is becoming increasingly important for students to have real-life, demonstrable skills in areas outside the classroom, as well. Eastern's emphasis on community service will encourage their students to become engaged, active citizens upon their graduation as they become productive members of the workforce and their local communities."

"I offer my congratulations to the students and faculty at Eastern for being named to President Obama's prestigious 2012 Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction," said U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal.  "Eastern's continued dedication to improving the community using skills learned in the classroom makes the state proud."

To better coordinate student service projects in the community, Eastern's Center for Community Engagement (CCE) was launched in September 2009. The center is staffed by a full-time director, administrative assistant and two AmeriCorps VISTA members. The center also provides leadership opportunities through federal work-study for students.
 
One emerging Eastern service tradition is the "Day of Giving," which is held on the day before Thanksgiving each year. For five years in a row, more than 450 needy individuals and families have been served a Thanksgiving meal in the University's dining hall. This is a collaborative effort between students, faculty, administrators, contractors and service providers in the community to ensure that people who might otherwise go without a Thanksgiving meal are served with dignity and respect.  More than 100 volunteers from across the campus, including student servers and staff from the University's food service provider, come together to cook, serve, clean up and provide transportation for anyone in the local community who would like to attend.  In addition to the Thanksgiving meal, students work with local grocery stores to gather canned goods -- more than 5,000 items were delivered to soup kitchens and food pantries this past year.

Another example of the University's culture of service is Eastern's "Town Pride, Town Wide," a university and community collaboration in the spring of each year that provides volunteers to clean, paint, rake, plant flowers and otherwise beautify local towns. Hundreds of students come out to help and work alongside community members, faculty and administrators to provide a spring cleaning where it is most needed. Thousands of volunteer hours are donated in this effort, which has brought a fresh spring look to such towns as Willimantic and Coventry. 
One new service project was the Math Mania summer camp in summer 2011 for more than 20 middle school students that augments the University's Math Brigade tutorial program in the local middle school.
 
An example of how service to the community is tied directly to classroom coursework is "We-Care-Info.org," a database-driven website for sharing information among local non-profits to improve their efficiency and effectiveness in serving people in need.  It was created and implemented by Eastern's Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) student club members under the direction of faculty advisor Alex Citurs.  The website is used by staff and volunteers of 10 participating local nonprofits as well as hundreds of local citizens and other nonprofits to locate available assistance services.

In all, Eastern students, faculty and staff donate upwards of 44,000 hours of time annually to local communities, a value of $1.3 million annually."We applaud the Honor Roll schools, their faculty and students for their commitment to make service a priority in and out of the classroom. Together, service and learning increase civic engagement while fostering social innovation among students, empowering them to solve challenges within their communities," said Robert Velasco, acting CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).

"Preparing students to participate in our democracy and providing them with opportunities to take on local and global issues in their coursework are as central to the mission of education as boosting college completion and closing the achievement gap," said Eduardo Ochoa, assistant secretary for postsecondary education in the U.S. Department of Education.  "The Honor Roll schools should be proud of their work to elevate the role of service-learning on their campuses.   Galvanizing their students to become involved in projects that address pressing concerns and enrich their academic experience has a lasting impact - both in the communities in which they work and on their own sense of purpose as citizens of the world. I hope we'll see more and more colleges and universities following their lead."

The President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll recognizes higher education institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities. Inspired by the thousands of college students who traveled across the country to support relief efforts along the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina, the initiative celebrates the transformative power and volunteer spirit that exists within the higher education community.

On campuses across the country, millions of college students are engaged in innovative projects to meet local needs, often using the skills learned in classrooms. In 2010, 3.1 million college students dedicated more than 312 million hours of service to communities across the country, service valued at more than $6.6 billion. Business and law students offer tax preparation and legal services, and college student volunteers provide meals, create parks, rebuild homes after disasters, conduct job training, run senior service programs, and much more.
 
The CNCS oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education. Honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors, including the scope and innovation of service projects, the extent to which service-learning is embedded in the curriculum, the school's commitment to long-term campus-community partnerships, and measurable community outcomes as a result of the service.

Habitat for Humanity and Special Olympics Bond for Bail

Would you want to see your loved ones ever again? Prove it at Jail N' Bail! The Eastern Connecticut State University student chapter of Habitat for Humanity is collaborating with the Special Olympics to host a Jail N' Bail event on April 18 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Webb Lawn on Eastern's Willimantic campus. This event raises money and awareness for Eastern's Habitat for Humanity campus chapter and Special Olympics Connecticut.

 

The event begins by requesting a warrant to 'arrest' either students or faculty. When the participants arrive at the "jail," their bail is set by a judge. The prisoners must find friends/family to bail them out. Professors can even have their entire classroom full of students in the jail during their class period.

 

Event organizers are asking for suggested donations to Habitat for Humanity and Special Olympics in order for students and faculty to participate. "Last year we made about $2,000 and this year we are hoping to raise a lot more since we are collaborating with a great organization," said Jackie Giuntini, president of Habitat for Humanity's Eastern student chapter.

 

Habitat for Humanity, along with Eastern's Police Department, is trying to get the entire campus involved. The event will be televised live throughout the campus so that friends and family can see their 'prisoners' behind bars.

 

"There will be two incentives for this event," said Lieutenant Tom Madera, operations commander for Eastern's Police Department. "The prisoner who raises the most money will win a three-day, two-night trip for two (airfare not included) to any pre-selected destination around the world. There will also be one lucky winner for an additional three-day, two-night trip for two for those that participate in filling out warrants with a suggested donation."

 

Eastern's Habitat for Humanity chapter's mission is to increase campus and community awareness of sub-standard housing and to work with the Windham Area Habitat affiliate to help eradicate sub-standard housing. Special Olympics Connecticut provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. It gives them the opportunity to develop fitness, demonstrate courage and create friendships within the community.

 

For more information, contact Jackie Giuntini at (914) 620-5366 or habitatforhumanity@my.easternct.edu or Lt. Tom Madera at (860) 465-5310 or maderat@easternct.edu.                                                                

                                                            

Nominees Sought for Latin American Distinguished Service Award

Written by Gabrielle Little

Willimantic, Conn. -Eastern Connecticut State University is accepting nominations from the community for the Latin American Distinguished Service Award. Nominations must be received by Tuesday, April 2.
 
The Latin American Distinguished Service Award recognizes individuals who have performed extraordinary service in support of the Latin-American community by either developing or contributing to programs or activities that focus on positive development of minority youth and/or foster minority educational opportunities and advancement. Winners will receive and have their names added to a commemorative plaque to be displayed on campus.
 
Three awards will be given: one to a member of the faculty or staff; one to a member of the student body; and one to a member of the community.

The awards will be presented at a reception on Wednesday, April 25, at 6 p.m. in the Paul E. Johnson Sr. Community Conference Room of the J. Eugene Smith Library. The ceremony is free and open to the public.

For additional information regarding the program, please call Indira Petoskey at (860) 465-5749 or e-mail petoskeyi@easternct.edu

Eastern Names Martin Luther King Award Recipients

IMG_4499.JPG(from left) Marci Reisman, Margaret Hebert, Xae Alicia Reyes and Wiley Dawson

Eastern Connecticut State University presented Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Service Awards to Eastern seniors Wiley Dawson Jr. and Marci Reisman; University of Connecticut  Professor Xae Alicia Reyes; and Eastern retiree Margaret Hebert on March 14 at a reception in the J. Eugene Smith Library.

 

The awards recognize members of the campus and community-at-large whose actions demonstrate distinguished service in promoting the ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and to further the goals of diversity and social equality. The recipients of the awards were judged on their commitment to the goals of an integrated society, leadership in a program serving the needs of a diverse community, and efforts to unify groups and increase sensitivity.

 

Dawson has established himself as a proven leader both on and off campus.  He has served as a senator, treasurer and president of the Student Government Association.  He also served as chairman of the Student Advisory Board for the Connecticut Systems Board of Trustees.  He currently participates in the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Undergraduate Fellow Program, a mentoring program for undergraduate students wishing to explore and better understand the field of student affairs in higher education.  Dawson also has served as a resident assistant and an office assistant for the Office of Housing and Residential Life.  He also serves as a peer counselor for the Office of Career Services.  In addition to these responsibilities, Dawson is a member of Men Achieving Leadership Excellence and Success (M.A.L.E.S.) and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.                           

 

Reisman is a sociology major who is actively involved in residential life, having served as a resident assistant since 2009.  She also participated in Eastern's Summer Orientation Program as a counselor.  Reisman has worked in the Office of Career Services as a student assistant and interned with the Connecticut Judicial Branch.  She is actively involved in many of Eastern's clubs and organizations, including the Student Government Association, Females Excelling Maturing to Achieve Leadership, Excellence and Success (FEMALES), the Senior Class Committee, Pathways to Leadership and the Omnicron Delta Kappa Honor Society.  Reisman's community service work includes serving as a Big Sister, participating in the Town Pride Walk, Take Back the Night March and Rally, and the Crohns and Colitis Walk.  She has also volunteered with the Special Olympics.

 

Reyes, an associate professor at the University of Connecticut, has made Willimantic the main site for her community outreach, engaged scholarship and volunteer work.  Through her work and volunteerism, UConn's presence in Willimantic has increased significantly. Reyes has been on the Latino Advisory Board for the Superintendent of Windham School District since 2002 and advises the Windham Board of Education on matters related to curriculum and instruction of bilingual children.  She is also involved in multiple boards and organizations, such as the Windham Area Interfaith Ministries.

 

Hebert, who recently retired after more than 30 years of service at Eastern, served as Associate Director of the Summer Transition at Eastern Program/Contract Admission Program (STEP/CAP). Over her career at Eastern, Hebert has demonstrated her commitment to supporting the educational access and success of underrepresented students.  She also served as director of the Tutoring Center. During her tenure at Eastern, Hebert provided quality academic and personal development services for hundreds of students from diverse cultures and backgrounds, while also serving as a mentor to students.  She also served on numerous University Senate committees.

 

 

Wesleyan President Michael Roth Commencement Speaker

Written by Kate Harner

Michael S  Roth (2).jpgWillimantic, Conn: -- Michael S. Roth, president of Wesleyan University, will deliver the commencement address at Eastern Connecticut State University's 122nd Commencement Exercises on May 15, 2012 at the XL Center in Hartford. 

Roth, widely respected as a historian, curator and author, is a 1978 graduate of Wesleyan. He took office as Wesleyan's president in July 2007.  Prior to his appointment at Wesleyan, Roth served as president of California College of the Arts, where he enhanced that institution's academic quality, national reputation and financial strength.

"I am delighted that Dr. Michael Roth has agreed to be our Commencement speaker this coming May," said Eastern President  Elsa Nunez. "He is deeply committed to liberal arts education and speaks about it eloquently.  His own scholarship in the field of psychology is widely recognized and respected. Dr. Roth is a wonderful role model for our students. I know our graduates and guests are going to enjoy what he has to say."

A professor in history and the humanities since 1983,  Roth was the founding director of the Scripps College Humanities Institute in Claremont, CA, a center for intellectual exchange across disciplines. He developed a reputation as a leader in the arts community through his accomplishments as associate director of the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles.

Roth has authored four books: "Psycho-Analysis as History: Negation and Freedom in Freud" (Cornell University Press, 1987, 1995); "Knowing and History: Appropriations of Hegel in Twentieth Century France" (Cornell, 1988); "The Ironist's Cage: Trauma, Memory and the Construction of History" (Columbia University Press, 1995); and "Irresistible Decay: Ruins Reclaimed, with Clare Lyons and Charles Merewether" (Getty Research Institute, 1997).

This last publication stemmed from the exhibition of the same name that Roth co-curated for the opening of the Getty Museum. He also curated the exhibition "Sigmund Freud: Conflict and Culture," which opened at the Library of Congress in 1998. Roth has edited and co-edited numerous journal issues and books, and in recent years, has published essays and book reviews in such publications as the San Francisco Chronicle, the Los Angeles Times, Book Forum, Rethinking History and Wesleyan's History and Theory.

A native of Brooklyn, NY, and a member of the first generation of his family to attend college, Roth designed his own major in "History of Psychological Theory" at Wesleyan and wrote a thesis titled "Freud and Revolution," which served as the foundation for his first book and the basis of the Library of Congress exhibition. He completed his undergraduate studies in three years, graduating with university honors, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, and went on to earn his doctorate in history at Princeton University in 1984.

Since becoming the president of Wesleyan, Roth has increased grant support for its students who receive financial aid, and undertaken a number of initiatives that have energized the curriculum. In 2009, the energy-efficient Allbritton Center opened as the home to two new programs: The Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life, which links intellectual work on campus to policy issues nationally and internationally, and the Shapiro Creative Writing Center, which brings together students and faculty seriously engaged in writing. Roth has also overseen the launch of a multidisciplinary College of the Environment and efforts to anchor civic engagement in the University's culture.

 

Unnatural Variations: A Playful Look at Science and Art

Written by Kate Harner


Unnatural Variations 5-ROTH DIAZHOPE AllegoryoftheInfiniteMortal (2).jpgWillimantic, Conn. - The Julian Akus Gallery at Eastern Connecticut State University will present "Unnatural Variations: A Playful Look at Science and Art" from March 15-April 26.  The opening reception will take place March 29 from 5-7 p.m. in Akus Gallery, bottom floor of Shafer Hall. The public is invited. Admission is free.

"Unnatural Variations" draws together the work of five artists, all of whose work references forms and themes seen in many different types of science. The artists whose work will be on view in "Unnatural Variations" are Joseph Saccio, Laurel Roth, Andy Diaz Hope, Irene Miller and Mia Brownell.

Unnatural Variations 1-BROWNELL SLwGrapeandPear (2).jpg Brownell's paintings are in several different collections, including Wellington Management, Fidelity Investments and the National Academy of Sciences. Her works have been reviewed in such publications as The Boston Globe, New York Times, ArtNet and HiFructose. "My paintings embrace a fusion of traditional still life techniques and scientific models of proteins, sublimated by notions of American dyspepsia," said Brownell.

 

Unnatural Variations 3-ROTH Food.jpgMiller's work is influenced by Post Minimalism and Neo-Geo.  In order to create her "Sightlines" and "Floaters" monoprints, she combines ephemeral resources such as dust, seeds, dirt, hair and plants, as well as more tangible materials such as photos, wax paper and thread.  "These series concentrate on minuscule details in the electron-microscopic and cellular studies of the invertebrate eye influenced by Kandinsky's series 'Several Circles,'" said Miller. "This new work is most personal, as it is a commentary on visual deterioration, which, to an artist, becomes a life concern." 

Unnatural Variatons 2-SACCIO ColloquyforClint.jpg 
Roth's work has been shown in India, London, New York, Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles, Wisconsin, Kentucky and San Francisco. "I use art in order to examine the biological ramifications of human behavior and humankind's drive to modify itself and its environment," said Roth. "By playing with the convergence of biology and product design to create innovative cultural artifacts, I try to question social constructions of need, design and individual desire."

 

Unnatural Variations 4-MILLER Floaters.jpgRoth and Hope have collaborated on several works, including "The Allegory of the Infinite Mortal," which is a detailed woven jacquard tapestry depicting the intellectual structures humankind uses to try to understand the concept of the infinite.
 
Saccio's sculptures, ranging in installation sizes for indoors or outdoors, utilize both natural and synthetic materials. Most of his work uses natural materials like wood and found objects that are joined together in a very primitive manner in order to express feelings that have to do with myth, ritual, loss and rebirth.

Unnatural Variations 2-SACCIO ColloquyforClint .jpgThe Akus Gallery is located in the lower level of Shafer at the corner of Windham and Valley Streets in Willimantic. Gallery hours are 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 1-7 p.m. on Thursday and 2-5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
 
For more information regarding this exhibition, contact the Akus Gallery at (860) 465-4659 or www.easternct.edu/akusgallery.  

Communication Majors Present Research at Conference

Written by Chris Herman

 Four Eastern Connecticut State University communication students have been chosen to present their work and projects at this year's National Conference for Undergraduate Research (NCUR) in Ogden, UT on March 29. The presenters include Eastern senior Salome Miclette, who will present her thesis, "Cosmopolitan Magazine and the Second Wave Feminist Movement: A Cross Cultural Analysis," and seniors Timothy Snopkowski, Todd Buckholt and Colin Dunn, who will present their work, "Twitter: The Uncensored Loudspeaker for Professional Athletes."

Miclette, who is also in Eastern's Honors Program, theorized that women's magazines have the ability to change and shape women's roles in society. Her research looks at feminist activity in both the United Kingdom and the United States during the 1960s and addresses issues such as reproductive rights, the fight for political power and equality in the workplace.Snopkowski's, Buckholt's and Dunn's research looks at media coverage of controversial "tweets" (online posts) that exhibit unsportsmanlike behavior by athletes. Their work was previously recognized at Eastern's Excellence Expo 2011.

Professional teams and franchises have banned athletes from accessing their Twitter accounts during games and imposed fines and punishments on athletes who do. Their study examined whether First Amendment Rights were being violated by teams and therefore limiting athletes freedom of speech. Their research presented five examples of controversial Twitter messages that forced athletes to pay fines. The examples were presented to an undergraduate Communication Law and Ethics course on Eastern's campus. The opinions of the class were documented and the majority of the students in the class found that the athletes' rights were not being violated.

NCUR promotes undergraduate research, scholarship and creative activity in all fields of study. The annual conference gives undergraduate scholars in all fields and from all types of institutions of higher learning a forum to share the results of their work through posters, presentations, performances and works of art.

 

Rugby Players Bike for Hunger

N&P pic 1.jpgWhile most college students go to exotic places or work during spring break, Eastern Connecticut State University seniors Nick Fitzner of Glastonbury and Patrick Scully of Farmington have different plans. These two captains of Eastern's Rugby Club will be biking for their own charity, "Nick and Patrick's Ride for Hunger," which begins March 18 and will end on March 25.

           

Scully, a history major, and Fitzner, an economics major, will start at the White House in Washington, D.C., and finish at the Covenant Soup Kitchen in Willimantic. During the trip, they will travel 500 miles through Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. They plan to average 85 miles a day, with one day of rest during the week.

 

Scully and Fitzner hope to raise $25,000 for the soup kitchen, Connecticut Food Bank and the Greater Hartford Food Share. In doing so, they also want to raise awareness of hunger in Connecticut. Since arriving at Eastern four years ago, Fitzner and Scully -- along with their rugby teammates -- have been active in Willimantic, volunteering at the Covenant Soup Kitchen, which provides thousands of meals, love and caring to hundreds of impoverished individuals every month.

 

According to the Connecticut Food Bank website, one in seven households is struggling to afford food and there are more than 400,000 people in Connecticut who are at risk of hunger every year.

 

Fitzner and Scully are inspired by Eastern Rugby coach Ray Aramini, who has participated in two Bike for Bread charity events dating back to 1996. In 1996, he rode his bike 500 miles from the Canadian border to Willimantic. The event raised more than $65,000 for the Covenant Soup Kitchen. In 2000, Aramini biked from Stockton, CA, to Willimantic in a 37-day journey that covered 3,087 miles.

 

"[Coach] Ray is our inspiration for having a chance to do something great," said Fitzner. "He is a good influence on not just Pat and me, but to everyone who has seen, heard, or been part of what he has done. Pat and I are blessed to give back to the community like Coach Ray has achieved. From this, we hope to create awareness for hunger and create a stronger relationship between the university and the town. We also hope to inspire Eastern students to get out and get involved with the community."

 

As captains of the rugby team, Scully and Fitzner have been instrumental in leading the team to the New England Rugby Union Division III playoffs in 2010 and 2011. During summers, Scully works for the Farmington Parks and Recreation Department at "Playground Pals," a local camp for children. Each summer, Fitzner works with the developmentally disabled at Camp Harkness in Waterford.  

 

Fitzner recently received the Dan "Eskimo" Romero Award for outstanding leadership for 2011-12. This annual award is presented to a member of Eastern Connecticut State University Men's Rugby Team who displays outstanding leadership skills, dedication to the team and camaraderie both on and off the field.   

 

For more information on Fitzner and Scully's event, visit www.nprideforhunger.org.

Students Honored at Annual Theatre Festival

Written by Kate Harner


Willimantic, Conn. - Several Eastern Connecticut State University theatre students and their productions were recognized at the annual Region I Kennedy Center American Theatre Festival (KCACTF), held at Fitchburg College in Fitchburg, MA, in late January.

Stefanie Paschen-May, a senior visual arts major from Dayville, won the KCACTF Award for Excellence in Illustration for her design of posters for "The Island" and "Three Short Tall Tales of True Falsehoods."
"The experience of collaborating with the theatre professors at Eastern through my work has made me feel closer to artists I admire, like Saul Bass, who is known for his direct involvement in imagery associated with several Hitchcock films," said Paschen-May, a student graphic designer in Eastern's Office of University Relations. "Creating posters, programs and ads for the Theatre Department is a treat because I am in constant dialogue with everyone involved in the play including the director and actors, as well as the costume and stage designers. Collectively, they help me find the perfect visual manifestation for their shows, helping to bridge the gap between theatre and other forms of art."

Elizabeth Swan, a senior majoring in theatre and English from Woodstock, was chosen to go to the semi-finals in the KCACTF Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Competition with her partner, Michael Hinton, a senior English major from New London. Swan also participated in the Musical Theatre Initiative, having been chosen by the festival's respondents after seeing her performance in "Working, The Musical" at Eastern in spring 2011.
"It was an unexpected honor that my partner Mike Hinton and I were chosen to go to the semi-final round, where we were surrounded by talent," said Swan. "Moving on in the acting competition and being a part of the musical theatre initiative have given me more confidence and determination in my acting. I received great feedback that I can implement in my future endeavors as an actor."

Paul Lietz, a junior theatre major from Somers, performed in a rehearsed reading of an original one-act play, "Beleaguered," as part of the KCACTF New Plays Program. "It was wonderful to work with a graduate student playwright," said Lietz.  "He was there at every rehearsal and was very eager and happy to answer any and all questions the cast had about the script. Performing 'Beleaguered' as a staged reading was interesting because although I have done staged readings before, doing it in front of directors, playwrights and other figures who could potentially hold my future in their hands was rather nerve-wracking. However, being surrounded by such energy from like-minded people helped me remember why I wake up every day and declare myself an actor."

 Seana Hendrickson, a senior theatre major from North Grosvenordale; Stephanie LaPointe, a senior communication and theatre major from Willimantic; and Katharine McManus, a senior communication and theatre major from Columbia, received a merit award for Excellence in Student Directing for "Three Short Tall Tales of True Falsehoods" presented at Eastern in fall 2011. Hendrickson directed a scene starring Hinton and Stephanie Armagno, a junior theatre and business administration major from Colchester, that was adjudicated as one of seven student directors chosen to participate in the KCACTF Stage Directors and Choreographers Initiative. LaPointe was chosen to participate in the KCACTF directing observership program and assisted the director of a new one-act play at the festival's New Plays Program. McManus directed an original show as part of KCACTF 48-Hour Play Slam, which featured Sarah Paprocki, a junior theatre major from Norwich.

 Hilary Osborn, a senior theatre major from Columbia, wrote and directed an original work performed by Lietz, Paprocki and Deniz Ugurlu, a senior theatre major from Haddam Neck, as part of the KCACTF Devised Theatre Initiative.

 Craig Harlow '11, a theatre major from East Haven, received a merit award for Most Creative Original Props for "Fab Fables," which was performed in spring 2011, as well as the second place KCACTF/USITT Allied Arts Technology Award for props design for "Working, The Musical," which was performed in spring 2011.

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