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April 2012 Archives

Record Number of Students Participate in Research Conference

Written by Ed Osborn

research and exhibition-cedrone.JPGWillimantic, Conn: -- A record 120 students presented at the 11th Annual Research Conference and Exhibition at Eastern Connecticut State University on Apri1 14.  More than 40 faculty members served as mentors for the students' projects. 

More than 40 oral presentations covered such topics as the geology of Andover Lake; the anatomy and physiology of coral competition; the media's influence on public opinion of war; an analysis of the Harry Potter books; sustainable energy and the workforce; ancient Greek history; the history of Irish-American women in Willimantic; and Alzheimer's Disease. Music students and faculty also presented an experimental music performance in Science 104, and several short plays were presented by theatre students. 

Other students presented their research findings using tabletop display posters. Visual art students exhibited two-dimensional and digital art as well as a range of sculpture art.


research - painting.jpgEnglish majors James Boyle'13 and Anna Sobanski'14 said the conference helped them tremendously. "The audience was small and receptive, filled with many familiar faces, but it still simulated what a large-scale conference might feel like," said Boyle. "It also proved that no small amount of work goes into a truly engaging presentation. I appreciate my mentor June Dunn for recommending me to present and persuading me to submit my abstract. It turned out to be a valuable experience."

Sobanski said, "I really enjoyed presenting at the conference because I want to be a high school English teacher, and my presentation gave me an experience that will help me in my future career goals. The conference gave me the opportunity to present on a subject I love and to practice public speaking."


IMG_5027.JPG"First off, I got to share my research, which I have worked so hard on and feel very passionately about, with both peers and professionals," said psychology major Melissa Griffin'12. "Second, I was able to hear about other students' research projects and creative activities. This second point really highlights the point of a liberal arts education: to gain knowledge and skill not only within our area of focus, but in other areas as well. Lastly, this conference was a great way to get some public speaking experience. This was the first time I shared my research in an oral presentation, but it definitely will not be the last time. Speaking at the Arts and Sciences Research Conference & Exhibition was a comfortable, yet realistic way to practice public speaking, and I am very glad I had the opportunity to do so."

"This is no longer just an event," said Eastern President Elsa Núñez, "it is part of our culture."  The president declared that undergraduate research is flourishing at Eastern and noted that it is one of the cornerstones of the University's emphasis on experiential learning. 

"Your work here today is a symbol of your perseverance and a reminder that you have something important to share with the world," said English Professor Dan Donaghy, keynote speaker for the opening ceremonies.

"I want you to spend a few moments when you have free time today to make up three short lists," said Carmen Cid, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences. "First of all, write down all the people who have helped you get here.  Secondly, write down a list of the things you have learned or discovered in the process. Finally, think of the moments of joy that you have experienced."


Eastern's 2012 Barnard Scholars

Written by Gabrielle Little

Barnars Scholars and Nunez Only.jpg     Left to right,  Brittney Cava; Eastern President Elsa Nunez; Kate Harner. 


Willimantic, CT - Eastern Connecticut State University students Kathryn Harner, an English major from Oxford, and Brittney Cava, a political science major from Torrington, were honored at the 24th Annual Henry Barnard Distinguished Student Award Dinner on April 23 at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington.

Harner and Cava were two of 12 state university students to win the award; each was nominated by their respective universities. The award is named for the first U.S. Commissioner of Education, Henry Barnard, a distinguished Connecticut educator who was the state's first superintendent of schools and principal of what later became Central Connecticut State University. A $500 award comes with the honor.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy delivered the keynote address. Malloy applauded the accomplishments of the 12 Barnard winners, calling them "exceptional people" who he said he hopes will stay in Connecticut and "contribute mightily to the economic growth and development of the state. Your own personal success guarantees you unlimited potential to affect the lives of many people around you. I implore you to find a job that makes you happy, and use your brainpower to invest in other people's success to move your community forward."

"Brittney was very engaged on campus in multiple clubs, including People Helping People," said Eastern President Elsa Nunez. "She played a key role in conducting research with Dr. Nicole Krassas that deconstructed race and gender in the 2008 primaries, and was very dedicated to improving the Eastern and Willimantic community." The president said Cava and Harner are best friends who work together as members of numerous student clubs.

"Brittney and Kate have strong GPAs that reflect their hard work. If you look at their transcripts, you see they both took rigorous courses. Like Brittney, Kate also engaged inchallenging research in a business writing class on historical homes in Scotland, CT. Kate's research will  benefit local history tremendously."

Harner earned a 4.0 GPA and has been on the Dean's List every semester while studying at Eastern. She has served as president of the student volunteer group People Helping People, and as co-coordinator of Eastern's Fifth Annual "Day of Giving" Thanksgiving meal and food drive.

Harner participated in two international field experiences with trips to Florence, Italy, and Dublin, Ireland, as part of study abroad courses offered in the summer months. She also served in numerous volunteer service capacities both on and off campus, including as a peer mentor for the First-Year Program and as a volunteer for Joshua's Trust, an organization that works to preserve more than 4,000 acres in northeast Connecticut. Harner also gained extensive research and pre-professional experience through several internships, projects and an on-campus job in the Office of University Relations.
English Professor Miriam Chirico, who hand-selected Harner to be an intern and a peer mentor in several of her courses, said, "Kate has the rare combination of intelligence, lively curiosity, and enthusiasm for a variety of projects, and has the respect of her peers to boot." Dwight Bachman, Eastern's public relations officer who served as Harner's supervisor in the Office of University Relations, concurred. "Kate is mature beyond her age. She is an exceptional, caring human being with excellent people skills, smooth writing skills, ethical standards and a wonderful sense of humor."

Cava completed the majority of her academic studies in just three years, while maintaining an impressive 3.85 GPA. While finishing up her last remaining degree requirements this year, she is working full time as an AmeriCorps VISTA member in Eastern's Center for Community Engagement (CCE). In her position with the CCE, Cava has coordinated  more than 200 Eastern volunteers each semester who contribute more than 2,000 hours of service at 20 different locations in and around Willimantic.

According to Kim Silcox, CCE director, the VISTA position has only been offered in the past to college graduates. However, because of Cava's demonstrated commitment to the community and her tireless advocacy for social justice, an exception was made to offer her the post. "Brittney has been a creative, inspirational leader who listens carefully to the needs of the community as well as the interests of the students and carefully constructs meaningful relationships to address the challenges," said Silcox.
William Salka, chairperson of the Political Science Department, agreed. "Brittney is thoughtful, kind, well-organized and uniquely committed to public service. Her classroom achievements, in many ways, speak for themselves. While taking a competitive course load, Brittney has displayed  commitment, reliability and productivity...which can be traced back to her first semester here."

Cava spent a summer in Washington, D.C., at Georgetown University's prestigious Institute on Philanthropy and Volunteerism, where she took three courses; interned full-time at the Student Conservation Association in Arlington, VA; and participated in numerous site visits and professional development workshops. In addition, she was chosen by Political Science Professor Nicole Krassas to participate on a research project about the roles that race and gender played in the media during the 2008 presidential primaries.  A preliminary draft of the paper was presented by Cava and Krassas at the New England Political Science Association meeting this past year.

Cava plans to continue her commitment to community service in graduate school at the University of Vermont this fall, where she will pursue a master's degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration, with the ultimate goal of landing a job as a community engagement director at a university.

 CL&P and Yankee Gas; Otis Elevator Company; People's United Bank; Fusco; MetroHartford Alliance; and Dr. and Mrs. William Cibes Jr. were the major sponsors for this year's Henry Barnard Distinguished Student Awards Banquet.

Eastern to Present "Scenes, Songs and Monologues

Written by Kate Harner

Willimantic, Conn: -- Eastern Connecticut State University's Theatre Program will present "Scenes, Songs and Monologues 2012" from April 26-29 at the Harry Hope Theatre, located in Shafer Hall at the corner of High and Valley Streets. The show opens at 7:30 p.m. on April 26-28. The show opens at 4 p.m. on April 29. 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 show is directed by Jerry Winters, part-time performing arts professor. The performance will consist of several settings, from actors singing songs to performing short scenes from well-known plays to reciting monologues. The show contains a wide variety of performances, such as Shakespearean monologues, scenes from Sam Shepard's "True West" and songs from "Cabaret." The pieces range from tragedy to comedy and from well-known to experimental.

For reservations, call the Box Office at (860) 465-5123.

Communication Majors Present at National Conference

Written by Christopher Herman

Willimantic, Conn. - Four Eastern Connecticut State University communication students presented their work and projects at this year's National Conference for Undergraduate Research (NCUR) in Ogden, UT, on March 29. The students included Eastern senior Salome Miclette, who presented her thesis, "Cosmopolitan Magazine and the Second Wave Feminist Movement: A Cross Cultural Analysis," and seniors Timothy Snopkowski, Todd Buckholt and Colin Dunn, who presented 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.
 "Going to the National Conference on Undergraduate Research in Utah was an amazing experience for me that allowed me to meet with students and faculty from across the country who were interested in my research," said Miclette. "Being able to present my thesis to a national audience was very exciting and I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to do so."

Snopkowski's, Buckholt's and Dunn's research examines media coverage of controversial "tweets" (online posts) that exhibit unsportsmanlike behavior by athletes. Their work was previously recognized at Eastern's Excellence Expo in May 2011.

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

Eastern Named a Green College for Third Year in a Row

Written by Dwight Bachman

green campus-science external-1 (2).JPGWillimantic, Conn - Eastern Connecticut State University has been named one of the nation's Green Colleges for 2012 by The Princeton Review and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).  This is the third year in a row that Eastern has received the distinction.
"The Princeton Review's Guide to 322 Green Colleges: 2012 Edition" profiles 322 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 review -- the only free, comprehensive, annually updated guide to the nation's most environmentally responsible "green colleges" -- can be downloaded at and
"We are honored that Eastern was again selected 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 initiatives. The fact we were included in the guide for the third year in a row tells our students, faculty and staff that their sustained efforts to be environmental stewards are being noticed and rewarded."


green campus-aerial of south residential villageDSC_1651 (2).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.

"College-bound students are increasingly interested in sustainability issues," said Robert Franek, senior vice president of publishing for The Princeton Review. "Among 7,445 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.
Examples 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.

green campus-fuel cell utc.JPGUnder a 10-year Energy Services Agreement (ESA), with UTC Power Corporation, Eastern also has installed a phosphoric acid fuel cell power plant on the west side of Eastern's Science Building that will produce 400 kilowatts of electric power while generating usable waste heat. Eastern will use 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. 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.

In addition, a lighting system upgrade being installed in the J. Eugene Smith Library will save Connecticut taxpayers $136,061 annually. The control system in the library allows building occupants greater flexibility over lighting -- including occupancy sensors, remote monitoring of lighting and day-lighting strategies -- resulting in a 20 percent reduction in overall electricity consumption. The project is one of the first to be funded by Governor Dannel Malloy's Lead by Example state building energy efficiency program.


DSC_5530.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.


library daytime.jpgTo prepare Eastern students for jobs in the emerging green economy, Professor Fred Loxsom, endowed chair of Sustainable Energy Studies at Eastern, has worked with his colleagues in the Environmental Earth Science Department to develop an Energy Science track within the Bachelor of Science Environmental Earth Science (EES) major. The track was offered for the first time in the spring 2010 semester. Students complete a core course in earth science as well as a sequence of courses that prepares them to understand energy-related environmental issues and policies and to design, analyze and monitor fossil fuel and renewable energy systems.  The department also offers an interdisciplinary minor in the field.  In March 2010, Eastern students traveled to Jamaica on a study tour and built a wind turbine for a local school.
Eastern 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 as an invaluable resource for supporting sustainable energy conservation efforts in municipalities and public schools throughout Connecticut and the region.

Eastern to Host Service Expo

Written by Ed Osborn

Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Center for Community Engagement will host a Service Expo on April 19 from 2-4 p.m. in the Betty R. Tipton Room of the Student Center. Students who have volunteered during the 2011-12 academic year will showcase their volunteer efforts through poster presentations. The Service Expo and Awards Ceremony are open to the public. Admission is free.

  Guest judges from the Willimantic community and the Eastern faculty and staff will award prizes in six categories, including Broadening Horizons, Leadership Development, Strengthening Communities, Effective Communication and Best New Program.
  The Expo awards will be presented at 4 p.m. in the Student Center Theatre. In addition to the Expo awards, awards will be presented to Maiyah Gamble-Rivers, a senior from Providence, RI, for Student Engagement; Physical Education Professor Charlie Chatterton of Vernon, CT, for Faculty Engagement; and Sally Milius of Mansfield for Community Partner Engagement.

  Nick Fitzner and Patrick Scully of Eastern's Rugby Team will receive a Community Project Award for their Ride for Hunger, which raised awareness of hunger issues and funds for the Covenant Soup Kitchen. Lecturer Peter Cavanagh will receive a Service Learning Award for his work with students and individuals with developmental disabilities.
For more information, contact Kimberly Silcox at (860) 465-4426 or

Caitlin Carenen Named Academic Fellow in Terrorism Studies

Written by Dwight Bachman


carenen eo forite.jpgWillimantic, Conn: - The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), a non-partisan policy institute headquartered in Washington, D.C., has named Caitlin Carenen, assistant professor of history at Eastern Connecticut State University, an "Academic Fellow" for 2012-13.

Carenen, who teaches courses on American history, foreign policy, terrorism and religion and a course on the history of U.S.-Middle East relations, will travel to Israel at the end of May for an intensive course in terrorism studies, and in particular, how democracies can defeat the worldwide terrorist threat.

The FDD Academic Fellows program, which will be conducted at Tel Aviv University, provides a 10-day learning experience from May 27 to June 6  for U.S.-based teaching and research professionals to provide them with cutting edge information about defeating terrorist groups.

 "Terrorism is the greatest threat today to the world's democracies, including the United States and our allies around the globe," said Clifford May, president of FDD.  "To win the war against terrorism, we must win the war of ideas by promoting democracy and defeating the totalitarian ideologies that drive and justify terrorism." 

 "I am very much looking forward to the opportunity to learn more about how Israel and other countries work to counter terrorism," said Carenen. "The ability to meet with diplomats, counter-terrorism experts and academics interested in the subject is enormously exciting. It should offer useful material for courses I teach on terrorism as well as provide excellent research material for my second book project on popular and policy responses to terrorism."

The 2012 program includes lectures by academics and military and intelligence officials, as well as diplomats from Israel, Jordan, India and the United States. It also includes hands-on experience through visits to police, customs and immigration facilities; military bases; and border zones to learn the practical side of deterring and defeating terrorists.

For more information on the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies or the Academic Fellowship program, contact Dana Murphy, Campus Programs Coordinator, at (202) 207-0190.


Town Pride, Town Wide

Written by Chris Herman

 Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Center for Community Engagement(CCE) is encouraging students to participate in Windham's and Willimantic's Town Pride, Town Wide event to improve the physical beauty of the towns. Volunteers will meet at the Foster Clock Tower on the Eastern campus and be transported to area where they will work from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on April 28.
Town Pride, Town Wide brings students and residents together with local nonprofit organizations and town parks to provide a helping hand giving the towns of Windham and Willimantic a face lift. The event will culminate with a celebration and lunch provided by local businesses. Town Pride, Town Wide also encourages Willimantic residents, clubs, organizations, town leaders and local businesses to enhance their own property or to make monetary or in-kind donation for improvement projects.

The CCE supports the mission and vision of Eastern Connecticut State University by providing resources to build a culture of civic responsibility and engaged learning among Eastern students. The CCE creates sustainable, effective and productive relationships with community partners that benefit students, faculty and the community
For more information on the volunteer opportunity, contact the Center of Community Engagement at (860) 465-5158 or

Take Back the Night

Written by Christopher Herman

 Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Women's Center is hosting a week-long "Take Back the Night" series of events from April 16-27 to advocate against sexual and domestic violence and raise awareness on the attitudes, beliefs and behaviors that perpetuate sexual violence against women.

 The first event, "Revolutionary Paint Cries," will be held from April 16-20. Eastern students will volunteer to help paint a giant rock near Hurley Hall. Students will have the opportunity to create expressions about gender issues and social justice.

 On April 17, Governor Dannel Malloy will join Eastern students and faculty while the Women's Center conducts a one-mile march to address issues of gender violence. The event begins at 11 a.m. in front of the Student Center. The event encourages all Eastern students to participate in the march to raise awareness about sexual violence and to gain insight into what women experience.

 On April 18, the Women's Center will present "Revolutionary Balladry" from 7-9 p.m. in the Student Center. "The Revolutionary Balladry" welcomes Eastern male students to speak on women issues.

 Eastern will also present "My Story, Your Story, Our Stories" on April 19 from 1-6 p.m. in Room 217 of the Student Center. Eastern students will express a story or their experiences of someone close to them.

 The final event of "Take Back the Night" will be held on April 23 at 7 p.m. in the Student Center Theater, when students will discuss social issues such as rape, sexual abuse and domestic violence.

 For more information, contact Starsheemar Byrum at (860) 465-4313 or

Eastern Holds Inaugural "Marion Parks Honorary Lecture"

Written by Ed Osborn

Marian Parks.jpg

                                                       Rachel Carson

Willimantic, Conn. - On Wednesday, April 18, from 3-4 p.m. in the Student Center Theatre on the Eastern Connecticut State University campus, Patricia DeMarco will present the lecture, "On the Message from Silent Spring: Transition to a Sustainable Future."  The lecture honors the 50th anniversary of the publication of Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring" in 1962 and is the first in what is planned to be an annual series of Marion Parks Honorary Lectures. 
 DeMarco is the director of the Rachel Carson Institute in the School of Sustainability and the Environment at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA (Rachel Carson's alma mater). DeMarco is a national leader in the areas of energy, economic development and environmental policy.  In addition to having provided counsel in the past to the Governor or Connecticut, she spent seven years in Alaska, including a term as commissioner on the Regulatory Commission of Alaska.

  Marion Parks was a U.S. Foreign Service Officer from 1941-1965. After her retirement, she founded the Rachel Carson Trust in Maryland. Ms. Parks was also a close friend of Joseph Zaring and Dorothy Church Zaring, who donated the Church Farm property in Ashford to Eastern Connecticut State University.  Ms. Parks was very involved in helping the Zarings develop documents that led to the Church Farm being placed in the National Historical Register.  With the Zaring's encouragement, Eastern has created an annual lecture series to honor Parks' efforts to preserve the Church Farm property. 
"We are delighted to open our Marion Parks Honorary Lecture series with a talk about one of our country's pioneer conservationists," said Eastern President Elsa Núñez. "Just as Rachel Carson's work helped spawn the global environmental movement and launch the Environmental Protection Agency, Dr. DeMarco's career has been marked by a commitment to sustainability.  As manager for resource development for the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative; President of the Anchorage, Alaska, Economic Development Corporation; and Executive Director of the Rachel Carson Homestead Association, to name just a few of her accomplishments, Dr. DeMarco has been a national leader on energy and environmental policy issues.  It is fitting that she speaks on Rachel Carson's legacy as part of our tribute to Marion Parks and her own efforts to preserve historical properties."

Professor to Present at International Autofiction Conference

Written by Kate Harner

        Willimantic, Conn. - Michele Boskovic, professor of French in Eastern Connecticut State University's World Languages and Cultures Department, will present at "Autofiction: Literature in France Today." The conference, which is hosted at New York University (NYU), will take place from April 19-21 in Hemmerdinger Hall, located at 100 Washington Square East in New York City. The public is invited. Admission is free.

 Boskovic will present "Annie Ernaux: Writing the Self, Writing Life" on April 21. All 15 presentations focus on autofiction, a term coined by Serge Doubrovsky that describes a genre of writing that combines both autobiography and fiction. It has become a popular mode of writing in contemporary French literature that has expanded into other countries, including the United States. Autofiction allows authors to use their real names and insert themselves into their own fictitious stories in a search for self.

 The conference is supported by the Florence Gould Foundation, with additional support from Open Skies, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, and the NYU Humanities Initiative.

 For more information, contact Dale Dubina at or (860) 465-4571.

The Community Life Improvement Project

Written by Dwight Bachman

Willimantic, Conn: -- The Community Life Improvement Project (CLIP), a collaborative effort between Eastern Connecticut State University and the local Willimantic community to promote a drug and alcohol-free community, will have a kick-off event on May 3 from 5:30-7 p.m. on the patio in front of the University's Student Center. The public is invited. Admission is free.

The CLIP coalition, formed in October 2011, consists of University faculty, staff and students as well as local community leaders, residents, landlord and liquor license holders. The May 3 event is supported by a recent four-year, $300,000 grant from the State Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services ( DMHAS).

"The DHMAS grant allows Eastern and Windham to work together to address issues related to underage drinking and alcohol abuse," said Ken Bedini, vice president for student affairs. "It is a wonderful collaboration that addresses the issues we both have been affected by for many years, and our work together has helped each community better understand each other's perspective, allowing for a partnership to which we are very committed."

So far, the coalition has facilitated a needs assessment, and  based upon the findings, developed a strategic plan to be implemented over the next two years.  The coalition then contracted the Pita Group, a marketing firm, to assist with the project. Everyone involved with CLIP is working  to implement strategies that include conducting training workshops for landlords, liquor license holders, police and others. Anyone interested in participating in the CLIP coalition and the May 3 event should email or call (860) 465-0063.

Nancy Tinker Named "2012 Woman of Accomplishment"

Written by Dwight Bachman

Tinker and Wendy Venoit.jpg

PWC-CT President Wendy Venoit, right, presents Nancy Tinker with "Woman of Accomplishment" Award.

Willimantic, Conn: -- Nancy Tinker, director of facilities management and planning at Eastern Connecticut State University, has been named the recipient of the third annual "Woman of Accomplishment" Award by Professional Women in Construction - Connecticut Chapter (PWC-CT). The award was presented to Tinker on April 3 during a ceremony held at the Marriott in Rocky Hill.
PWC-CT supports education in the fields of architecture, construction and engineering, and recognizes ongoing professional excellencethrough its annual awards program. The "Woman of Accomplishment" award, instituted by PWC-CT in 2010, is designed to honor a woman who has been working in the A/E/C industry for at least 15 years, and who exemplifies outstanding professional achievement, performance and contributions within her field of endeavor. 
Tinker has more than 25 years of experience in facilities management, working previously for IBM, Georgia Institute of Technology, Ohio State University and the Connecticut State University System. As Eastern's director of facilities management and planning, Tinker is responsible for managing a capital project budget of more than $250 million and an operational budget of more than $8 million. This includes overseeing the regular maintenance and operations of Eastern's facilities, and developing and implementing its campus and master plan, which includes 57 buildings totaling 2,247,672 gross square feet.

Tinker has long been a proponent of sustainable design and of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, offered through the U.S. Green Building Council. She also heads Eastern's Green Campus Committee, which leads the University's  efforts to practice environmental stewardship on campus. Eastern has established  a goal of using LEED standards to design all new campus construction; adopted an ENERGY STAR policy for purchasing of products; and begun purchasing or producing at least 15 percent of the institution's electricity consumption from renewable sources.

"Nancy Tinker is the epitome of the Woman of Accomplishment in our industry," said Jessica Samios, director of business development for Fuss & O'Neill EnviroScience, LLC and a member of the PWC-CT board of directors. "Overall, Nancy is an example to women and men in construction, constantly demonstrating her organizational and interpersonal skills and her desire to provide the students and staff of Eastern with a state-of-the-art, clean, and well-maintained environment in which to learn, work and play."

Tinker, who has a long history of community involvement, was recently elected to the Board of Education in the Town of Windham. She also serves on numerous other building committees, professional association committees and executive boards. Tinker earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, graduating Cum Laude, and her master's degree  in Organizational Management from Eastern. 

Imna Arroyo Honored by Hispanics in Higher Education

Written by Dwight Bachman

Imna Arroyo pic.jpgWillimantic, Conn: -- Imna Arroyo, CSU professor of printmaking at Eastern Connecticut State University, has been named the recipient of the Outstanding Latino/a Cultural Arts, Fine and Performing Arts Award by the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE). The AAHHE presented the award to Arroyo at a special awards luncheon on March 10 during its seventh annual conference in Costa Mesa, CA.
Arroyo was selected by a panel of experts in higher education, based on her  sustained contributions to greater understanding of the Hispanic community and culture through the arts. "I want to express my deepest appreciation to the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education," said Arroyo. "This recognition of my work is not just for me alone. It is a celebration of the kindness and vision of those who have helped to bring me to this moment. This moment is a re-affirmation of the powerful African adage: 'I am because we are. We are because I am.'"

 AAHHE is a national, educational, IRS-approved 501(c)3, non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of higher education. It works collaboratively with all sectors of education, business, industry, as well as community and professional organizations, to enhance the educational aspirations and to meet the professional growth needs of a significantly increasing Hispanic population.

Band to Perform Fundraiser With Eastern Thread City Jazz

Written by Trevor May

jazz ensemble.jpg         Willimantic, Conn.: The Delta Generators, a popular blues band throughout New England, will perform a fundraiser with Eastern Connecticut State University's Thread City Jazz Ensemble in Shafer Hall on April 22 at 3 p.m. Proceeds will go towards buying a new stand-up string bass for Eastern's Department of Music. The public is invited. Admission to the concert is free, however, the ensemble is suggesting a $5 donation.

 "Eastern does own a stand-up string bass, but simply put, it is unplayable," said Performing Arts Professor Joe Tomanelli. "The bridge of it is warped and worn completely down. The school needs one that anyone can play."

 The Delta Generators and Eastern Thread City Jazz will perform separate sets and then present other tunes together. Songs that will be performed include "Mr. P.C." by John Coltrane; "All Blues" by Miles Davis; and "Stompin' At the Savoy."

 "Eastern's Thread City Jazz Ensemble and The Delta Generators will not only deliver a great afternoon of jazz and blues," said Rick O'Neal, a member of both Thread City Jazz and The Delta Generators, "but also hope to raise enough donations at the concert to deliver a new, badly needed, string bass to the Eastern Music Department."

Student-Run A Cappella Groups to Present Concert

Written by Trevor May

Willimantic, Conn.: 6 Ways to B Natural, Key of She and Fallin' Flat -- Eastern Connecticut State University's three student-run a cappella groups -- will present their annual spring concert at 7:30 p.m. on April 28 in the Betty R. Tipton Room of the Student Center. The public is invited. Admission is free. The songs will range from 1950's doo-wop to today's music and everything in between. This will be the final concert for many of the performers before they will graduate in May.

6 Ways to B Natural is the most tenured of the ensembles performing in the concert. The all-male group will perform songs like "The Bed's Too Big Without You" by The Police to "The Other Side" by Bruno Mars, featuring Ludacris and Cee Lo Green.

"Although it is bittersweet that this will be my last show, I am very proud of how far we have come in three years," said Pete Gamble '12, director of 6 Ways to B Natural. "It has been a lot of fun and I will certainly miss it. I hope that this concert will be our best so we can leave with a bang."

            Key of She is Eastern's all-female a cappella group. The ensemble will sing songs such as "What A Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong and "The Dogs Days Are Over" by Florence and the Machine. "Creating and being part of a group like Key of She has been one of the most amazing adventures in my life," said Marisa Mazzo '12, director of Key of She. "Although I am sad to be leaving, I know that the group will continue to flourish and that this performance will show our hard work, dedication and love for music."

            Fallin' Flat is the youngest of the groups. Headed by Erica Eakin '15, the mixed gender ensemble will sing songs such as "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" by The Tokens to "Somebody I Used to Know" by Gotye. "It's been amazing to watch the group progress in just a few months," said Eakin. "We have made great music together and have built strong friendships with each other, and we plan on conveying that to our audience that night."

            To promote this concert, members of Fallin' Flat will be guests on the Wayne Norman radio show on WILI-AM in Willimantic on April 27 to sing and talk about the group. "This is a great opportunity for the group," said Fallin' Flat member Emma Kuehnle '14. "It gives our young group an opportunity to let the community know that we are here, and that this concert will truly be a great night of entertainment and fun!"


Walk a Mile in Her Shoes

Written by Chris Herman

        Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Women's Center is coordinating a one-mile march to address issues of gender violence on April 17 from 11 a.m. to noon in front of the Student Center.

        The event is designed to promote gender equality by critically examining cultural ideals of gender and gender relations. Students, faculty and the public are invited to participate and help address issues of how gender is shaped by social class, ethnicity, age, religion, sexual orientation and geographic location.

       According to the National Association for Women (NOW), one woman is beaten by her husband or partner every 15 seconds in the United States. NOW also reports that three to four million women in the United States are beaten in their homes each year by their husbands, ex-husband or male lovers.

       For more information on the event, contact Starsheemar Byrum at (860) 465-4313 or

Keith Bolender to speak at Eastern

Written by Gabrielle Little

Keith Bolender 1.jpgWillimantic, Conn. - Freelance journalist Keith Bolender will speak at Eastern Connecticut State University at 3 p.m. on April 11 in the Paul E. Johnson Sr. Community Conference Room of the J. Eugene Smith Library. Bolender's lecture is part of Eastern's University Hour Series. The public is invited. Admission is free.
Bolender will present a multi-media lecture on the unknown history of terrorism against Cuba, which has claimed the lives or more than 3,500 civilians since the earliest months of the Cuban Revolution in the late 1950s. The presentation will reveal acts of terrorism, including bombing of Cubana Airlines in 1976, biological terrorism, the 1997 bombing campaign against tourist facilities and the murder of teachers.

Bolender has written extensively on Cuban matters for a variety of North American publications, including the Toronto Star, Florida Sun Sentinel, Chicago Tribune and the Council for Hemispheric Affairs. Bolender is also a member of the Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA) on their Roster of Experts for Cuban Affairs and has lectured at the University of Toronto's School of Continuing Studies on American Foreign Policy and the Cuban Revolution.

Eastern to Perform "In C" and Other Experimental Music

Written by Ed Osborn

Willimantic, CT -- Imagine a piece with a few musical phrases, each of which is just a measure long.  As a performer, you are told to repeat each one for as long as you like, and then move on to the next one.  There will also be someone keeping a steady beat on the piano, playing the top two C notes like a ride cymbal.   Welcome to the world of "In C," the piece that single-handedly defined musical minimalism.  It's a landmark work, and will be presented in its entirety at Eastern Connecticut State University on Sunday, April 15 in Shafer Auditorium, as part of a retrospective of contemporary music.

 Besides "In C," the concert will also feature two pieces by Steve Reich, one of the most prominent composers working in the Minimalist style.  The classic work "Piano Phase" will be played by two Eastern students.   Both pianists begin playing the same idea, but then one gets a little ahead of the other.  Reich's idea of "Phasing" inspired many other works of his, including "Music for Pieces of Wood," which will be played by the Eastern Percussion Studio. 

 Also on the program is a work by Connecticut-based Alvin Lucier, who has been a staple of experimental music since the 1960s.  His piece, "Nothing is Real," takes fragments of the Beatles' "Strawberry Fields Forever" and re-imagines it so that it is eventually sent through a teapot!  These pieces are riveting and an amazing experience to see and hear.

The instrumentation for "In C" is left up to the performers, the number of which is variable.  The performance at Eastern will have a multitude of percussionists, keyboard players, synthesizers, guitars, basses, mandolins, accordions, pianos and a variety of wind instruments.
 The concert is free and open to the public, and will be at 5 p.m. in Shafer Auditorium on April 15.  For more information, please call the Performing Arts Department at (860) 465-5764.

Jazz Ensemble to Perform in Student Center Café

Written by Trevor May

Willimantic, Conn.: Eastern Thread City Jazz, Eastern Connecticut State University's jazz ensemble, will perform in the Student Center Café on April 14 at 12:30 p.m. as part of the School of Arts and Science's 11th Annual Research and Exhibition Conference. The public is invited and admission is free.

 Thread City Jazz is directed by Performing Arts Professor Joe Tomanelli and Rick O'Neal, a senior from Pomfret majoring in music theory, composition and electronic music. Ten students constitute the group, which plays a mix of jazz standards and big band music. "Jazz combos are all about playing jazz," Tomanelli said. "It's about showing your stuff and learning to fit in with others.  We show pride in ourselves and our school when we practice to sound good."

 Some of the songs the group will perform include "Tough Talk" by The Jazz Crusaders; "Take Five" by Dave Brubeck; and "Haven't Met You Yet" by Michael Bublé.
 "We are a proud part of Eastern and want to show it by sharing our music," Tomanelli said. "It is a real blast to play with them!"

 Admission is free and doors will open at 12:25 p.m.

Cid Presented Higher Education Honor of Distinction

Written by Dwight Bachman

cid award image.jpg

Martha Shouldis, left, president and CEO of St. Vincent's College in Bridgeport; Carmen Cid,  Henriette Pranger, chairperson of the Department of General Education at Goodwin College in East Hartford; and  Christine Boronico, associate vice president for retention at the University of New Haven, pose for a photograph after Cid is presented with Higher Education honor of Distinction.

Willimantic, Conn: -- Carmen Cid, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Eastern Connecticut State University for the past seven years, has been named the first recipient of the American Council on Education's Women's Network/Connecticut Women in Higher Education Distinguished Woman in Higher Education Leadership Award. This award was created to recognize and honor women who have distinguished themselves by providing outstanding leadership in their institutions, in their profession and in society at large.  The award is designed to recognize the work of women in higher education that is outside the scope of the nominee's formal job responsibilities.
"Dr. Cid is an inspiration to women everywhere," said Eastern President Elsa Núñez, "especially young women considering careers in science. As our Dean of Arts and Sciences for the past seven years, Dr. Cid has supported undergraduate research, led efforts to enhance access and retention for underrepresented student populations, and advocated for our faculty and students to have research opportunities in science.  She is a distinguished member of the biology faculty who leads by example."

Cid's advocacy of women in higher education began in 1991 with her appointment as chair of the Women and Minorities Committee of the Ecological Society of America (ESA).  She successfully laid the foundation for this newly established committee through initiatives and programs for mentoring and promoting career development of women and minorities. During her three-year term, Cid, a native of Cuba, developed the first Careers in Ecology brochure, coordinated the first provision of child care at the ESA annual meeting, and coordinated the publication of the first ESA article on career options for dual-career couples.
"Dr. Cid has been a role model, advocate and mentor to women," said Martha Shouldis, president/CEO of St. Vincent's College in Bridgeport. "Her work inspires me to do more to support the development of women in higher education. The Connecticut Women in Higher Education are proud to have her as the first recipient of this Distinguished Women in Higher Education Leadership Award." Henriette M. Pranger, chair of the Department of General Education at Goodwin College, agreed: "Dr. Cid's scholarship, resilience and service to others inspire all women, especially young women, like my teenage daughters who dream of a career in the sciences."

 From 1991-2000, as a member of the American Institute of Biological Sciences Executive Council, Committee on Women, Minorities and the Disabled, AIBS Board of Directors, and chair of the AIBS Human Resources Committee, Cid coordinated collaborative projects to enhance recruitment and retention of women and minorities in the biological sciences. From 1993-1995, Cid was an ecology panelist for the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation Fellowship organization and was responsible for coordinating doctoral fellowship distribution to women Ph.D. ecology applicants. Cid chaired the AAUW Educational Foundation American Fellowships combined panel for two years, and was in charge of distribution of more than $2 million in grants/fellowships to women pursuing doctoral programs in all disciplines.

 Cid said she was fortunate to have as mentors women who were pioneers in plant ecology in the 1970s and 1980s, as well as minority male and female university presidents who empowered her to develop her leadership potential. "I believe women leaders need to pay attention to the talents of those around them to meet the strategic planning goals for the organizations they lead, seeking out diversity of perspectives and training so as to maximize innovative solutions to any problems that arise.

"Women must be permitted equal opportunities to excel at all ages and to give back to other women seeking to advance and succeed, Cid continued. "We need to encourage girls from an early age to become independent thinkers, to value their point of view and to learn how to use data to back their statements."

In 1994, Cid was one of the first recipients of four-year National Science Foundation funding for developing programs to improve participation and mentoring of girls and women in the sciences, with the project entitled "United Connecticut for Women in Mathematics, Science and Engineering."

She developed an education coalition to unite Connecticut's education programs (K-16), community groups and businesses in working toward attracting and keeping girls and women in STEM studies and careers.
 Since 2005, Cid has been an active member of the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences (CCAS), the national professional organization for deans of arts and Sciences. In 2006, she organized the first Cultural Diversity Committee for CCAS. Since then, she has put together panels and workshops at the annual CCAS conference on ways to mentor women and minority faculty who seek leadership positions, with special attention to the additional problems encountered in the sciences.

With CCAS, Dr. Cid is now a co-principal investigator of a National Science Foundation ADVANCE grant that infuses STEM gender equity content in an existing CCAS national professional development program for deans and chairs.

Cid has received several awards and distinctions recognizing her work as a professor, scholar and mentor in the sciences, including the 1984 Michigan State University Woman Achiever Award and the 1995 American Association of University Women Achievement Award. Her NSF-funded work in improving recruitment and retention of women and minorities in the sciences, creating education coalitions to enhance student retention and progress to graduation, and Project Wonderwise led to her being chosen for the 2006 Maria Stuart Miller ― Woman of Excellence Award by the Connecticut Women's Education and Legal Fund (CWEALF).

Cid earned her bachelor's degree in biology at New York University; and a master's degree and PhD. degrees in plant ecology at Ohio State University and Michigan State University, respectively.

Excellence Expo Set for May 2 at Eastern

Written by Dwight Bachman

Willimantic, Conn: -- The School of Education and Professional Studies at Eastern Connecticut State University is hosting its 12th Annual Excellence Expo on May 2 from 2 to 6 p.m.  Students from the Business Administration, Communication, Economics, Education and Health and Physical Education Departments will present their research projects in the Betty R. Tipton Room; the Theatre in the Student Center; the Paul E. Johnson Sr. Community Conference Room in the J. Eugene Smith Library; and other venues on campus.

Presentations will include health education curriculum electronic portfolios; early childhood education presentations; Eastern ePortfolios; a photography exhibit; a poster research competition; and research sessions utilizing technology.  Presentations will cover a wide variety of topics crossing numerous disciplines, including communication law and ethics; sport and leisure management; business information systems; economics; nonverbal communications; technology and education; and much more.

All sessions will be juried.  Judges will make their decisions based on content, originality, clarity and overall presentation.  Scores will then be tallied and the announcement of prizes will be made at the closing ceremony from 5 to 6 p.m. in the Betty R. Tipton Room in the Student Center.
For more information on the expo, contact Patricia Kucharski at (860) 465-5264 or

Arts & Science Research Conference and Exhibition

Written by Ebony Minott

Willimantic, CT -- The School of Arts and Sciences at Eastern Connecticut State University will hold its 11th Annual Student Research Conference and Exhibition from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on April 14. The conference will take place in the Science Building and lunch and the closing reception will be held in the Student Center. The student presenters' families are expected to attend, along with faculty and students from each of the departments in the School of Arts and Sciences. The public is invited. Admission is free.

The event opens in the Science Building Auditorium (Room 104) with a keynote address from Daniel Donaghy, associate professor of English and winner of the 2010 Norton Mezvinsky CSU Trustees Research Award for Eastern Connecticut State University. Donaghy is a published poet and scholar in contemporary British and American poetry whose authenticity and clarity of poetry have earned him a prize at a top-ranked university press; finalist distinctions in a highly prestigious national poetry contest; and frequent publication in some of the most widely read literary publications in the country.

From 9:30-11:50 a.m., students will present oral presentations in the Science Building. From 11:50 a.m.-12:30 p.m, poster presentations will be on display in the Science Building Lobby and visual arts exhibits can be viewed in the Science Building display cases. These exhibits include digital art, prints, paintings, drawings and sculptures made by Eastern students.

The projects range from presentations such as "Plotting Authority in Mister Pip" by English major James Boyle '12 of Andover, to "The Smith Sisters' Rise in the Society: Mobility of Third Generation Irish American Women in Willimantic, Connecticut, 1900-1930" by history major Kira Holmes '12 of Milford.

In her presentation, "The Relation Between Humor and Confidence on Sexual Attraction," psychology major Danielle Gillespie '13 of Lebanon describes her discovery of whether or not individuals felt sexually attractive based on their sense of humor and self confidence. In his presentation, "Inducible Defense in Corals and the Role of Nematocysts in Coral Competition," biology major David Stein '12 of Lebanon discusses the reactions of corals to the competitive treatments and the development of different cnidae types.

The closing reception features the Eastern Jazz Ensemble conducted by Joe Tomanelli, a part-time faculty member of the Music Department.

For more information on the Research Conference and Exhibition, contact Carmen Cid, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, at (860) 465-5295 or

Eastern Announces Ella Grasso Award Recipients


Eastern President Elsa Núñez poses with the winners of Eastern Connecticut State University's Ella T. Grasso Distinguished Service Award.  Left to right; Christy Calkins assistant program director at the Journey House; Núñez; Eastern alumna LaShawn McBride and Eastern student Ashley Lovett '12 of Marlborough.


Ashley Lovett, a junior from Marlborough majoring in sociology; Eastern Connecticut State University alumna LaShawn McBride; and Christy Calkins, assistant program director of the Journey House in Willimantic, were named recipients of Eastern's 2012 Ella T. Grasso Distinguished Service Awards on March 28 at an award ceremony in the Paul E. Johnson Sr. Community Conference Room of the J. Eugene Smith Library. The award recognizes leaders who have made contributions towards advancing women's rights and issues of gender equality in memory of former Connecticut Governor Ella T. Grasso.


 "In just four short years, this award has become a cherished tradition at Eastern," said Eastern President Elsa Núñez as she opened up the ceremony. "We are an institution built on values. Among those are the values of inclusion, empowerment and integrity. I believe that protecting women's rights and recognizing women leaders is fundamental to upholding the values of our institution . . . Sometimes I have moments when I worry. I read the news, as you do, and wonder if we have lost sight of the fight for women's rights.  It's not done. The struggle continues." Núñez then gave a plaque of one of Grasso's famous quotations to Jim Grasso, Ella's son, who is an Eastern alumnus.


Núñez told the awardees, "Through your leadership and service, our campus is a better place to learn, our community is a better place to live, and our state is stronger."


Teresa Younger, executive director of the Connecticut Permanent Commission on the Status of Women, delivered the keynote address. She encouraged the audience to model the career of Grasso. "Push the limits and go one step further." She said the honorees "have stepped up with power and moved forward with honesty.  They kept plowing ahead."


Lovett has committed her time to service both on and off campus. Currently a resident assistant for Niejadlik Hall, Lovett develops leadership skills and fostering personal self-esteem by devoting large amounts of her time to Journey House at Natchaug Hospital, a transitional living community that provides intensive, comprehensive mental health treatment and special education for adolescent girls. Lovett also serves as the president of Eastern's Best Buddies student chapter. During summer 2011, Lovett served as an Eastern orientation counselor and helped incoming students learn methods for academic and social success. "Nothing that I do feels like work," said Lovett. "I love every part of what I do. This is what I'm supposed to do; I'm supposed to use the resources I have obtained to give back to the community."


McBride is a 1993 graduate of Eastern with a bachelor's degree in sociology and applied social relations.  She has been employed at Eastern since November 1989, and currently serves as the coordinator of human resources programs. Recognizing the need for young women to develop self-esteem and leadership skills, McBride became committed to organizing and advising Females Excelling Maturing to Achieve Leadership Excellence and Success (FEMALES), a group of female students on campus. Since 2005, McBride has served as the FEMALES advisor. "Although the task isn't always easy, it is very rewarding to see the transformation of students from their freshman year up to when they graduate," said McBride. McBride also serves as secretary, treasurer and youth Sunday school teacher at Stanley Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.  She is married to Derrick McBride and is the mother of three daughters, Turquoise, Taylor and Tamia.


Calkins is the assistant program director at the Journey House at Natchaug Hospital, where she is a tireless advocate for residents, always looking for new ways to develop new opportunities for them to grow and thrive. Thirteen girls receive a variety of treatment programs, where the mission is to build healthy relationships and participate in meaningful activities. Through Calkins' leadership, the program has helped more than 90 girls achieve personal success through building self-confidence, positive self-image, healthy relationships, academic success, and management of anger and stress. "I would like our kids to experience this community of women and the community of Eastern at its best," said Calkins. "I am blessed to be a part of Journey House, Eastern and the Natchaug community." Calkins also has been involved with the success of the Sisterhood Project, a program developed by Eastern Health and Physical Education Professor Nannette Tummers.  



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