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May 2012 Archives

Students Inducted into Omicron Delta Epsilon

Written by Dwight Bachman

economics honor society.jpg        Seven students were inducted into Omicron Delta Epsilon, the Economics Honor Society.  Students eligible for induction into Omicron Delta Epsilon must earn a 3.25 GPA overall and must have taken at least 15 credits of economics classes. The society is dedicated to the encouragement of excellence in economics and seeks to recognize individuals who have distinguished themselves in their academic programs. Inductees include Maria Garrahan, a junior from Chelmsford, Massachusetts; Cody Hall, a junior from Newington; Katherine Marois, a junior from New Milford; Katelyn Peacock, a senior from Torrington; Audrey Satterly, a junior from Jewett City; Edward Straub, a junior from Woodstock Valley; and Sean Twombly, a senior from Amston.

Annual Scholarship Awards

Written by Dwight Bachman

Scholarship awards.jpg 
On April 12, nearly 300 Eastern students filled the Betty R. Tipton Room to attend the annual ECSU Foundation Competitive Scholarship reception. The ECSU Foundation awared the students competitive scholarships totally a record $450,000 for the 2012-13 academic year. The competitive scholarship awards are based on merit and, in many cases, unmet financial need. The scholarship process is coordinated by the Office of Institutional Advancement in concert with the Office of Financial Aid.
"The ECSU Foundation plays an important role in that it often provides financial support to our students for the last critical amount of money they need to continue their goal of obtaining a college degree," said Kenneth DeLisa, vice president for institutional advancement. "Our ability to respond in a positive way with this financial support, often to purchase required books, is possible due to the generosity of our donors and the strong relationship that we have with our students. They know they can reach out to us when they are confronted with financial problems." Above, Eastern President Elsa Núñez and several scholarship donors pose for a picture with scholarship recipients in the Student Center stairwell.



Cordon Authors New Book

Written by Dwight Bachman

CordonCover.jpgPsychology Professor Luis Cordón has authored a new book, "Freud's World: An Encyclopedia of His Life and Times," published by Greenwood Publishing. "There are easily as many detractors of Freud's work as proponents," said Cordon, "but there is no denying the far-reaching influence and legacy of his theories and methods, despite the deep-seated controversy about his techniques."

"In his book, Dr. Cordón places Freud in his historical context," said Psychology  Professor Wendi Everton, chair of the Department of Psychology. "I have been impressed with the deep historical context and digging around that Luis has shown and excitedly shared with me as he wrote his book. I've learned a lot about Freud from just speaking with Luis and am very much looking forward to reading Luis' book."

"Sigmund Freud is one of the most influential 20th-century intellectuals in Europe and the United States," writes Cordon. "His innovative theories and unprecedented practices are topics worthy of extensive review, but just as fascinating are the events of his life and the origins of his core beliefs."

Cordon said his book organizes the important components of Freud's life and work in an encyclopedia format, enabling readers to quickly zero in on the particular ideas, individuals, and circumstances that contributed to his vast influence. Controversy about the scientific utility of psychoanalytic concepts is specifically addressed. "This book serves as an ideal starting point for any student interested in learning about Sigmund Freud, gathering a wide range of information into a single, easy-to-read volume," said Cordon.

2012 Library Research Award Winners

Written by Dwight Bachman

library award - anna and pat.jpg

Last month, Library Director Patricia Banach announced the winners of the Second Annual Library Research Award for 2012. The award has been established to recognize and celebrate exemplary student research projects that demonstrate the ability to locate, evaluate, select, and apply information from appropriate library resources. Primary emphasis is place on the creative and effective use of library resources, services, and collections encompassing print, microform and online data bases.

Anna Sobanski, a junior from Glastonbury majoring in English and pre-secondary education, won $350 in the  freshman/sophomore category for her paper, "True Stories by Matilda Laimo and Harry Potter." Sobanski's work was reviewed and recommended by June Dunn,  assistant professor of English.


library awards- andrew and pat.jpgAndrew Minikowski'12, from Colchester majoring in English and Economics, won the $350 prize in the junior/senior category for his paper, "A Bullet or Siberia: Pride, Redemption, and Character Relationships in Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment." Barbara Little Liu, associate professor of English, recommended Minikowski. The winning research papers can be found on the Library Research Award Guide.


library awards- staff.jpgAssociate Librarian Janice Wilson chaired the Library Research Award Committee. Other members included associate librarians Carolyn Coates, Hope Marie Cook and Carol Reichardt; Biology Professor Elizabeth Cowles; associate professors of history and psychology, respectively, David Frye and Madeleine Fugere; and Business Administration Professor Elizabeth Scott. Heidi Roberto, administrative assistant in the library, provided organization and logistical support for the committee.


The CSU NYC Showcase of Student Talent

Written by Dwight Bachman

scenes and monlogues - hilary-8506.jpg    Eastern and Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) Theatre students represented the Connecticut State University (CSU) at the Annual CSU NYC Showcase of Student Talent, presented, this year, at the Producers Club Crowne Theatre on May 20 and 21. This showcase, which began in 1994, enables students to put theory into practice by performing in an off-Broadway theatre, and engages students in outstanding  learning experiences through participation in workshops, master classes, as well as technical and design tours, led by working professionals in the field.
      This year, Eastern juniors and seniors presented "Scenes, Songs, and Monologues 2012," a compilation of short works; SCSU Theatre majors performed a one-act play titled "The Book of Liz." Families and friends; CSU faculty, students, staff and alumni; the general public; invited guests; and professionals from the field such as actors, directors, casting directors; and talent agents comprised the audiences at the NYC Showcase.

This year, Robin Carus, casting director of  J & R Creative, led a question and answer session following the Monday evening show, where students learned about the next steps necessary to prepare for life and work in theatre in NYC. In addition to this real-world experience of taking a show on the road and networking with Theatre artists, students also attended Broadway shows; toured cutting edge design companies; participated in a backstage tour of the Broadway musical, "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert"; and took an intensive movement workshop at the Actors Movement Studio in the heart of Broadway.  Above, Liz Swan, left, and  Hilary Osborn, right, perform in "Scenes, Songs and Monologues."

Eastern Student Wins 2012 Chemistry Achievement Award

Written by Dwight Bachman

Wynn's Chemistry Prize Winner.jpgSean Kellarson, a junior from Stafford Springs majoring in Environmental Earth Science with a concentration in Sustainable Energy Studies, has been named the recipient of the 2012 CRC (Chemical Rubber Company) Press Chemistry Achievement Award. "The award is presented to the student with the highest test average in General Chemistry,"  said Charles Wynn, professor of chemistry, who likes Kellarson's career goal. "Sean's career goal is to attend medical school." The CRC Press Chemistry Achievement Award is sponsored by the CRC Press, and includes a commemorative scroll and a copy of the "CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics."



Students Inducted into Spanish Honor Society

Written by Trevor May

Spanish Honor Society UPDATE.jpgOn April 28, seven Spanish majors at Eastern Connecticut State University were inducted into the national Spanish honor society, Sigma Delta Pi. Qualifications for inductees include three years of college-level Spanish (18 semester credit hours), including at least three semester hours of Hispanic literature or Hispanic culture and civilization at the junior level; a 3.0 GPA in all Spanish courses taken; a ranking in the upper 35 percent of their class; and completion of at least three semesters.

 Inductees included George Barr, a senior from Hampton; Evi Correia, a senior from Norwich; Katia Diaz, a junior from Niantic; Christina Frugale, a senior from Cheshire; Monica Malaver, a senior from Ellington; Theresa Pagnozzi, a senior from Waterford; and Carlene Putnam, a senior from Woodstock.

Students Inducted into Social Work Honor Society

Written by Trevor May

social work honor society.JPGOn May 12, 14 students majoring in social work at Eastern were inducted into Phi Alpha, the national social work honor society, The society builds relationships among students of social work and promotes humanitarian goals and ideals.  Phi Alpha fosters high standards of education for social workers and invites members who have attained excellence in scholarship and achievement.

 Inductees included Belisa Adorno, a senior from East Haven; Megan Berube, a senior from Columbia; Courtney Ann Doherty, a senior from Ardsley, NY; Namgyal Gyalnor, a senior from Greenwich; Kayla Lauretti, a senior from Middlefield; Daniel Lombardi, a junior from Woodstock; Hannah Ojard, a senior from Vernon Rockville; Emily Royce, a senior from Newington; Katelyn Vaughan, a senior from Hamden; Matthew Vezina, a senior from East Lyme; Stephanie Weiner, a senior from West Hartford; Delia Welge, a senior from Ledyard; Ashley Williams, a senior from Torrington; and Jasmine Williams, a senior from Willimantic.

Students Inducted into Psychology Honor Society

Written by Trevor May


Sixty-three psychology majors were inducted into Psi Chi, the national psychology honor society on April 24. The society encourages the stimulation and maintenance of excellence in scholarship and advancement of the science of psychology. Qualifications for inductees include declaring a major or minor in psychology; at least 12 credits of coursework in psychology or sophomore class standing; a 3.5 GPA in psychology; and a 3.0 GPA overall.

 Inductees included Kelly Auner, a sophomore from Glastonbury; Daniel Babbitt, a sophomore from Jewett City; Haley Baxendale, a senior from Wilton; Raena Beetham, a junior from Oakdale; Emma Boardman, a junior from Willimantic; Allison Brodeur, a sophomore from Bristol; Roxanne Campbell, a sophomore from Willington; Amber Carbone, a junior from Wolcott; Peter Castagna, a junior from Waterford; Michael Christina, a junior from Manchester; Chelsea Clay, a sophomore from Vernon; Michael Cole, a junior from Meriden; Patricia Donahue, a junior from Bristol; Michelle Eigner, a junior from Columbia; Thomas Farnsworth, a junior from Northford; Sarah Favalora, a junior from Niantic; Justine Fish, a junior from Baltic; Cathie Fontaine, a senior from Jewett City; Shannon Glenn, a junior from East Lyme; Colleen Gomola, a junior from Fairfield; Melissa Groccia, a junior from Stamford; Kaila Harrington, a junior from Newtown; Natasha Hernandez, a junior from Willimantic; Calvin Hobbs, a senior from Willimantic; Amanda Johnson, a junior from Columbia; Emma Julius, a junior from Bristol; Rachel Junga, a sophomore from Stratford; Brianna Keegan, a junior from Columbia; Jennifer King, a junior from New Hartford; Samantha Leen, a junior from Groton; Miranda Lekacos, a senior from Norwich; Kaitlin Lessard, a junior from Milford; Jillian Librandi, a senior from Willimantic; Evan Lintz, a sophomore from Willimantic; Michele Lodigiani, a junior from South Glastonbury; Sarah Luginbuhl, a junior from Tolland; Lindsay McGee, a senior from Glastonbury; Kelly McSorley, a junior from Vernon Rockville; Brittany Miskell, a junior from Woodstock; Andrew Narcisco, a junior from Cheshire; Rachel Novello, a junior from Rocky Hill; Alexa Palasky, a sophomore from Griswold; Amber Pion, a junior from North Stonington; Sarah Popp, a junior from Columbia; Lauramarie Rahusen, a junior from Uncasville; Carrie Robinson, a senior from South Windsor; Isaiah Roby, a junior from Willimantic; Broderick Sawyer, a senior from Willimantic; Lindsey Scarpace, a sophomore from Marlborough; Rachel Schaedler, a sophomore from Waterford; Janelle Schmittberger, a junior from East Haddam; Tanya Seace, a junior from Dayville; Kelly Shepard, a senior from Willimantic; Aubrey Skelskey, a sophomore from Avon; Margaret Starr, a senior from Canterbury; Ellen Swol, a junior from Berlin; Ashley Tremonte, a junior from South Windsor; Teresa Vacca, a junior from Enfield; Jamie Vallarelli, a junior from Vernon; Jack Wassell, a junior from Monroe; Cynthia Zanard, a senior from Danbury; and William Zern; a junior from Shelton.

Students Inducted into Math Honor Society

Written by Trevor May


Math Honors.jpgTen math majors were inducted into the Kappa Mu Epsilon on April 21. The society recognizes students who have a 3.0 GPA; a B or better in each of the Abstract Algebra and Real Analysis I courses; at least a B+ average in higher level mathematics courses; and a junior or senior class standing. Inductees included Paula Bailey, a senior from Hampden, MA; Sarah Chouinard, a junior from Ellington; Kyle Courtemanche, a senior from North Providence, RI; Daniel Delany, a senior from Broad Brook; Sarah Joy, a senior from Stratford; Christopher Laurich, a senior from Bozrah; Lisa Lawrence, a senior from Shelton; Michael McCarthy, a senior from Plainville; Jessalyn Salisbury, a senior from Willington; and Nicholas Vitterito, a senior from Ellington.

Students Inducted into Marketing Honor Society

Written by Trevor May

marketing honors.JPGTwelve marketing majors were inducted into the Alpha Mu Alpha honor society on April 24. The society is committed to the advancement of excellence in the field of marketing and recognizes senior undergraduates who have a marketing concentration in the Department of Business Administration and hold a minimum cumulative GPA of at least 3.25. Inductees included Jessica Cebelius, a senior from Wethersfield; Andzelina Chmielewski, a senior from Enfield; Kelsey Daniels, a senior from Waterford; Timothy Haggan, a senior from Norwich; Ian Hills, a senior from Somers; and Robert Regan Jr., a junior from Enfield.


Students Inducted into History Honor Society

Written by Trevor May

history group shot.jpgOn April 17, 14 history majors were inducted into Alpha Mu Alpha, Eastern's chapter of the Phi Alpha Theta Honor Society. The society promotes the study of history through the encouragement of research, good teaching, publication and the exchange of learning and ideas among historians. The society recognizes students who have completed a minimum of 12 semester hours in history; have a minimum GPA of 3.1 in history; have a cumulative GPA of 3.0; and are in the top 35 percent of their class.
 Inductees included Shannon Lee Angelina Andros, a junior from Quaker Hill; Jessica Chapman, a senior from Griswold; Sylvie Chho, a junior from Southington; Alexander Cross, a senior from Manchester; Todd Douglass, a junior from Glastonbury; Ethan Fortuna, a senior from Stafford Springs; Christin Fowler, a senior from Bolton; Kathleen Goebel, a senior from Moosup; Ryan Hughes, a senior from Cheshire; Deborah Mazzarella, a junior from Bozrah; Sarah Mockalis, a junior from Marlborough; Aaron Myers, a senior from Oakdale; Courtney Rivera, a senior from Norwich; and Christopher Sloan, a senior from Amston.

Students Inducted into Computing Science Honor Society

Written by Trevor May

UPE Induction.jpgFifteen students majoring in business information systems and computer science were inducted into Upsilon Pi Epsilon, the international honor society for computing and information disciplines on April 21. The society recognizes academic excellence in the computing and information disciplines.

 Inductees included Kevin Couture, a junior from East Windsor; Marc Fitzgerald, a senior from Bristol; Nicholas Follett, a junior from East Lyme; Jason Gurtz, a senior from Norwich; James Harakaly, a senior from Ashford; Joshua Larkin, a senior from Jewett City; Christopher Laurich, a senior from Bozrah; Derrick MacLellan, a senior from Griswold; James McCormick, a senior from Hampton; James Mills, a senior from Danielson; Ilya Radchenko, a junior from Putnam; Alexander Rouleau, a junior from Vernon; Casey Sebben, a junior from Tolland; Ross Silberquit, a junior from Hebron; and James Stafford, a junior from Woodstock.

Students Inducted into Communication Honor Society

Written by Trevor May

comm honors 2.JPGTwenty-nine students majoring in communication were inducted into the Tau Nu Chapter of the Lambda Pi Eta Honor Society on April 26. The society recognizes students who have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0, have a communication studies GPA of at least 3.25, are in the upper 35 percent of their graduating class, are enrolled in good standing and display a commitment to the field of communication.

 Inductees included Lindsay Ancel, a junior from Milford; Justin Bedard, a junior from Coventry; Megan Carlo, a sophomore from Milford; Catherine Cremé, a senior from Andover; Amy Dillon, a junior from Coventry; Jacqueline Fedor, a senior from Milford; Nicole Gaona, a junior from Haddam; Grace Guerin, a junior from Amston; Kelsey Hutchinson, a junior from Rocky Hill; Kevin Jacobsen, a junior from Tolland; Holly M. Johnson, a junior from Waterford; Sarah M. Johnson, a senior from Watertown; Jessica Kennedy, a junior from Broad Brook; Brian Labrecque, a junior from Waterford; Hamilton Levy, a junior from Woodbury; Michele Lodigiani, a junior from South Glastonbury; Lindsay Lusk, a junior from Oakdale; Melissa Magliola, a junior from East Haven; Amanda Palmieri, a sophomore from Southington; Adam Phelps, a junior from Hebron; Alexander Puchalski, a junior from Branford; Patrick Rossetti, a senior from Enfield; Tyler Rudolph, a junior from Newtown; Emily Skurja, a senior from Wallingford; Michael Tiscia, a junior from Stamford; Robert Tyrseck, a senior from Portland; Emma Ungerleider, a junior from Valley Cottage, NY; and Melissa Walters, a junior from Stratford.

Students Inducted into Business Honor Society

Written by Trevor May

business honors (1).JPGThirty-nine business majors were inducted into Delta Mu Delta, the international honor society for business administration on April 24. The society recognizes academic excellence of students in a community that fosters the well-being of its members and the business community through life-time membership.

Inductees included Sean Abbott, a junior from Colchester; Sara Barile, a junior from Preston; Katherine Buyse, a sophomore from Avon; Lisa Cassella, a senior from Bristol; Jessica Cebelius, a senior from Wethersfield; Donna Chrisbacher, a senior from Mystic; Dinorah Collado, a senior from Norwich; Kevin Couture, a junior from Broad Brook; Minna DeGaetan, a senior from Ledyard; Matthew Dortenzio, a junior from Stratford; Tierra Downie, a junior from Springfield, MA; Kyle Droniak, a junior from Sandy Hook; Erika Enderle, a junior from Woodstock; Haley Garman, a junior from Tolland; Brittany Gasparino, a junior from Griswold; Melissa Gugliotti, a junior from Burlington; James Harakaly, a senior from Ashford; Ian Hills, a senior from Somers; Charles Hooper, a junior from Coventry; Bethany Langenbach, a senior from Groton; Melinda Loiselle, a junior from Somers; Edward Lowe, a junior from East Lyme; Michael Marafito, a senior from Old Lyme; David Marceau, a junior from Norwich; Joseph Orgioli, a junior from Willimantic; Joshua Poudrette, a senior from Brooklyn; Jaimie Przygocki, a junior from Bristol; Patrick Reeds Jr., a senior from Groton; Jessica Roessler, a junior from Waterford; Danielle Sailer, a junior from East Hartford; Kathryn Satagaj, a sophomore from Rocky Hill; Alissa Savage, a junior from Preston; Brandon Shumbo, a junior from Moodus; Heather Slesinski, a junior from Brooklyn; Ian Stonecypher, a senior from Waterford; Erin Thompson, a senior from Orange; Kayla Viens, a senior from Putnam; Andrew Votta, a junior from Enfield; and Kevin Wagner, a senior from Putnam.


Students Inducted into Biology Honor Society

Written by Trevor May

biology honor society.jpgFourteen biology majors were inducted into the TriBeta Honor Society on April 13. TriBeta is dedicated to improving the understanding and appreciation of biological study and extending boundaries of human knowledge through scientific research. Inductees included Alexandra Byrne, a junior from Stafford Springs; Alexander Cavacas, a sophomore from East Windsor; Erin Conn, a sophomore from Moriches, NY; Amanda DiCicco, a junior from Somersworth, NH; Conrad Guthrie, a senior from Waterford; Brittney Hajek, a junior from Higganum; Laura Hilton, a junior from West Haven; Shalon Hinojosa, a junior from Glastonbury; Nadine Menard, a senior from Woodstock; Nicholas Mills, a junior from Bozrah; Kevin Proffitt, a senior from Berlin; Nicole Roczniak, a junior from East Haddam; Amy Sinko, a junior from Preston; and Derek Werner, a sophomore from Niantic.


Eastern Students Help Support Local Pantry

Written by Chris Herman

Willimantic, Conn. - The Food Justice Committee was formed in fall 2011 by Eastern Connecticut State University's Center for Community Engagement to address issues of food insecurity, poverty and education in the Willimantic community. Eastern student Becky Rushford recently contacted the Connecticut Food Bank (CFB) and asked for mobile food trucks to come to Willimantic to deliver fresh food to low-income families in the area.

Students on the committee have worked to establish a mobile food pantry through the CFB in Willimantic. The committee's goals include increasing donations of fresh and healthy food to local agencies, educating the community on how to prepare and cook healthy food, and developing a weekly after school program on nutrition and gardening.

In collaboration with the CFB, committee members participated in two gleanings at a local apple orchard. Gleanings are defined as picking through a farmer's leftover crop to salvage food for other uses. Members were able to pick 500 lbs. of apples that would have otherwise rotted, and donated them to Catholic Charities, the Salvation Army and the Covenant Soup Kitchen. The committee also seeks to raise awareness on campus through activities such as food audits of Hurley Hall, and raising awareness about food carbon footprints.

The committee is a connecting hub for food-related activities occurring on campus through clubs and classes, as well as off-campus activities.  Participating Eastern students included Whitney Allen, Bryan Lehner, Kate Harner, Lauren Greeney, Nicolle Hill, Nicole Brooks, Israel Bonello, Rebekah Rushford, Sabrina Scott, Megan Thomson, Jonathan Yackel and Heather Lepper.

Eastern faculty members teach courses every year that incorporate service into the curriculum. Students in a wide variety of disciplines gain practical experience and provide valuable services to the local community.

Eastern Wins Grant for Community Education Garden Project

Written by Dwight Bachman

Willimantic, Conn: Northeast Utilities has awarded an Environmental Community Grant to Eastern Connecticut State University's Green Campus Committee to set up a community education garden on campus. The garden site and adjacent area will be developed this fall, with plans for events to begin during the growing season in 2013.
Eastern faculty, staff and students will develop educational events that will enable school groups and other community members to learn about developing urban gardens and green spaces. All events will be open to the public.
 "Topics will include  how to compost; how to develop a vertical garden; how to harvest seeds and seed-saving techniques; harvest marketing; and creative ways to connect gardens to the quality of life in our community," said Mary Ragno, part-time faculty member in Eastern's Department of Health and Physical Education. "We are grateful to Northeast Utilities for funds that will provide garden materials, plants and educational brochures for community education events, and help to better connect Eastern students, faculty and staff with the local community and with the natural environment."

For more information about Eastern's Community Education Garden, contact Ragno at

Wesleyan President Tells Graduates to Find Something They Love

Written by Dwight Bachman and Ed Osborn

Commencement - Roth .jpg

      Wesleyan University President Michael Roth speaking Tuesday at the Eastern Connecticut State University Commencement at the XL Center in Hartford.


Willimantic, Conn. --  1,230 undergraduates and 88 graduate students heard the roars and cheers of thousands of their family members and friends as they celebrated their achievements at Eastern Connecticut State University's 122nd  Commencement exercises at the XL Center in Hartford on May 15.
Michael S. Roth, president of Wesleyan University, delivered the Commencement address.  He told the graduates he hoped they had learned three things at Eastern: "What you love to do, how to get better at it and how to share that with others . . . I hope that at Eastern you have found something that stirs your soul, that draws what is best from you, that is an activity without which you feel impoverished, denied, not fully human."

Commencement 2012 - Nunez.jpg

  Eastern President Elsa M. Nunez congratulates a graduate in the XL Center.


Roth also told the Class of 2012, "The habits of mind developed in liberal arts environments like Eastern's . . . will empower you to see opportunity where others see only obstacles."
Noting the social, political and economic divisiveness that exists in our society today, Roth concluded that universities "must continue to strive to be places where young people discover and cultivate their independence and must themselves resist the trends of inequality that are tearing at the fabric of our country."

Approximately half the Eastern graduates were the first in their families to earn a bachelor's degree. As Connecticut's only public liberal arts university, Eastern draws students from 165 of the state's 169 towns. Approximately 90 percent of graduates stay in Connecticut to launch their careers, contribute to their communities and raise their families.

Commencement Class of 2012.jpg

                                                                    Eastern seniors celebrate their graduation day.


 Eastern President Elsa M. Núñez told the graduates not to sit on the sidelines. "The challenges we face today as a nation and international community are ours to face and ours to solve."The point I would make is not that everything is bad but that we can make things better.  I say we, because it always takes a team of people to get the job done . . . There is no other country in the world that places its future so firmly in the hands of the people.  You are now the next generation of citizen leaders in our state and in our nation.  Together, you can be the force of change that can keep our country strong.  It is your time. You are the leaders of the future, and the future starts now!"

commencement - kate.jpg

     Barnard Scholar Winner Kate Harner, of Oxford, enjoys the Commencement ceremony.

From the Governor's Foot Guard Color Guard in attendance to the plaintive sound of the bagpipes of St. Patrick's Pipe Band, Eastern's graduation ceremonies were marked by dignity, grace and elegance.  Eastern also conferred an honorary degree on Roth.
commencemetn - family waving.jpg

"Graduates of the Class of 2012, you have participated and helped create a vibrant community, and you have learned and grown in ways I'm sure few of you could have imagined," said Zac Zeitlin, a member of the Board of Regents for Higher Education.  "I want you to leave here tonight with conviction that what you've learned will help you tremendously in your careers and in your personal lives."

sister holding up diploma.jpg

 Audriana White delivered the Senior Class address. She encouraged the graduates to thank their parents and Eastern's faculty and staff for arriving at this point in their lives. "We're all here in part because we've successfully absorbed Eastern's six core values that have prepared us for our significant life goals: Academic excellence, engagement, inclusion, integrity, empowerment and social responsibility . . . Each year we gave back.  We showed appreciation to our Willimantic community in so many ways and it has been such a terrific feeling . . . With Eastern's core values firmly in place as we set forth in our life's journey, all I can say to you all is 'ready, set, fly.'"

commencemetn- male holding up diploma.jpg

Senior Class President Benjamin Foran presented President Nunez with the class gift, a scholarship funded by donations from 222 seniors. Foran encouraged the graduates to continue donating so that the scholarship would grow, telling his classmates, "For many of us graduating tonight, college was a time for self-discovery, immense change and personal growth.  Eastern has given us all incredible opportunities, which have allowed us to flourish and succeed . . . Because of your commitment to give back to our University, we are able to pass on experiences and opportunities that we have enjoyed to future students for years to come, so that they too may benefit from the University that has given us so much."



Eastern Hosts Early Childhood Education Conference

Written by Ed Osborn

child care- speaker.jpg Judy Harris Helm discusses how engaging children in meaningful, child-initiated projects enhances their congnite development

Willimantic, Conn: -- More than 125 students, faculty and other early childhood educators attended Eastern Connecticut State University's Early Childhood Investigations Conference on April 27.  The conference theme was "Using Projects to Foster Children's Cognitive Development."  Visitors from across the state of Connecticut attended the day-long conference, which was co-hosted by the Center for Early Childhood Education and the Child and Family Development Resource Center.

The conference was designed for preschool and toddler teachers, administrators and teacher educators who are interested in learning more about using projects with young children.  Presenters came from New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Illinois.

child care - diverse image.jpg"Hosting the conference enabled us to provide professional development to early childhood teachers throughout Connecticut, and also gave Eastern students the opportunity to experience a professional-level conference," said Julia DeLapp, program coordinator for the Center for Early Childhood Education.  "Thirteen Eastern students gave poster presentations during the conference, and 18 other students attended as participants. What a fantastic chance for our students to interact with and learn from a diverse group of early childhood professionals."

Judy Harris Helm, author, early childhood consultant and president of Best Practices, Inc., delivered the keynote address, "Projects That Power Young Minds: You Can Do It and Here's How."

The conference also introduced participants to the "Investigations Curriculum," developed by Eastern faculty and child development center teachers, which includes video examples of young children engaged in project work.

child care three females.jpgEastern students majoring in early childhood education presented professional posters about their work with young children in the CFDRC; their attendance was made possible by the sponsorship and financial support of the ECSU Foundation, Inc.  Seven students from Asnuntuck Community College (ACC) also attended in part due to support from ACC's foundation.

The conference featured a number of hands-on workshops, including "Listening to Children's Voices:  A Year-long Investigation of an Artist's Work"; "Balls: Projects, Inquiries, Investigations"; "Building a Preschool City"; and "Going Green: Reconnections, Collective Actions and Investigations."

child care wide shot.jpg

Conference attendees enjoy lunch and peruse poster presentations by Eastern students in the Child and Family Development Resource Center.

"The Investigations Conference was part of the center's mission as the model laboratory program in Connecticut," said Niloufar Rezai, director of the Child and Family Development Resource Center.   "Early childhood educators and faculty from around the state attended workshops to learn about our research-based teacher-and faculty developed Investigations curriculum and its application in real-life classrooms.  Our teachers also had the opportunity to attend sessions by colleagues from other laboratory schools.  This exchange of ideas is an integral part of a model lab school program."

Kick-It for Cancer Kickball Game

Written by Christopher Herman

Kick-It logo.jpgWillimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Center for Community Engagement (CCE) is asking Eastern students to participate in a charity that will help raise money for cancer research. Kick-It for Cancer, a national fundraising program for cancer research, is working with CCE to organize a kickball game at Windham High School from 1-4 p.m. on May 5. The minimum donation to play is $10; Eastern students are encouraged to donate more.   

Kick-It was founded by a 10-year-old cancer patient with a big dream to cure cancer by playing kickball. Now a national fundraising program, Kick-It raises money for pediatric, adolescent and young adult cancer research. Kick-It partners with national medical advisory boards to identify the most promising research studies and projects.
Despite medical advances, cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children. Each year, nearly 13,500 parents are told that their child has cancer. On average one in four elementary schools has a child with cancer. More than 40,000 children undergo treatment each year. While the overall cure rate now approaches 80 percent, one in five children still loses his or her battle with cancer and three out of five children who survive cancer suffer devastating, late effects such as secondary cancers, muscular difficulties and infertility.

Over the past 20 years, there has been only one new drug developed specifically for pediatric cancer. Cure rates have risen through collaborative research efforts, but more funds need to be dedicated to research to save the lives of more children.      For more information, contact Heather Lepper at

Latin American Distinguished Service Awards

Written by Gabrielle Little



Executive Vice President Michael Pernal with Latino Distinguished Service  Award winners, left to right, William Stover, Luz Burgos and Omar Rodriguez.

Willimantic, CT - Luz Burgos, an Eastern Connecticut State University

residence hall director; William Stover, director of  supplemental services for Windham Public Schools; and Eastern student Omar Rodriguez'12 received the University's Latin-American Distinguished Service Awards on April 25 in the Paul E. Johnson Sr. Community Conference Room of the J. Eugene Smith Library.

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.

Werner Oyaandel, acting executive director of the Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission (LPRA), delivered the keynote address. He encouraged students to stand up for equal opportunity and justice. "We must provide more mentorship opportunities to our youth and inspire other students to be active in their communities as our leaders being recognized here today," said Oyaandel. "Most importantly we must remain committed to a vibrant pluralistic society which acknowledges the strength of diversity."   

Burgos received the award in the faculty/staff category. Burgos oversees approximately 90 residential students. "As a hall director, Luz makes herself available to respond proactively to the needs of her residents. Whether its mediating student crisis and conflict or facilitating educational and community service programs, she has a style of supervision that allows students to learn and discover who they are as individuals," said Women's Center coordinator Starsheemar Byrum.  Burgos has served as co-coordinator of the Connecticut Statewide Conference on Latinos in Higher Education. In addition, Burgos is an active member of Sigma Lamda Upsilon, Senoritas Latinas Unidas Sorority (SLU) Inc. SLU is an organization that provides sisterhood and support, while prompting academic achievement, service to the community, leadership and cultural enrichment.

Rodriguez '12, a business administration major from Wethersfield, received the award in the student category. Rodriguez has been able to maintain a GPA of over a 3.0. While finishing up his degree requirements, Rodriguez is serving as the president of Men Achieving Leadership Excellence and Success (MALES). As president, Rodriguez assists in leading 56 male students into academic excellence and community involvement.

 Rodriguez has held many leadership roles on campus, serving as an office assistant in the Communications Department, a peer counselor in Career Services, a student representative on the Academic Misconduct Committee, the public relations representative in the Africa Club of Eastern, a member of the entrepreneurship club, and the Campus Activity Board promotions assistant. "I have always found Omar to be courteous, respectful and professional in all interactions with the public including students, faculty, staff and community members, said Dean of Students Walter Diaz. 

Stover received the award in the community category. He created and is actively involved in numerous initiatives thatserve the Latino community. Some of these successful initiatives include the Parent Engagement Advisory Team (PEAT) and the Windham Before/After School Task Force, which have provided after-school opportunities for hundreds of Windham schoolchildren and learning opportunities for their parents. In the spring of 2011, Stover helped lead a group of community-minded individuals in the creation of " Community Conversation on Education," a program that helped bring parents, community stakeholders and business individuals together to discuss the resources needed to give every child in Windham a quality education. As a result of this program, Stover provided seven full-time bi-lingual family liaisons for the district. Stover has also collaborated with the United Way to help create and institute the Common Sense Parenting curriculum and program. He lived in Honduras for more than 10 years and uses his first-hand knowledge of the Latino community to bring people together.


Church Farm Family Day

Written by Ed Osborn

Church Farm.JPGWillimantic, Conn: -- Area families can enjoy a fun afternoon on the "farm" on Saturday, May 5 from 1-4 p.m. at Eastern Connecticut State University's Church Farm Center for the Arts and Sciences.  Church Farm Family Day is for children of all ages!  The event is free and open to the public.

Visitors to the farm, located at 396 Mansfield Rd. in Ashford, will engage in four interactive learning activities, including Environmental Sculpture, Nature Tokens/Monoprinting, Visual Journaling and Letterboxing, using their Church Farm Family Day "passport" to receive stamps that indicate which activities they have completed.  The learning activities are being coordinated by students from Eastern's Education, Visual Arts and Education Departments, as well as the Visual Arts Club, the Education Club, and the Writing and Illustrating for Children and Young Adults Club. 

In addition to the interactive play stations, visitors will treated to three visual exhibits of the history of the Church Farm, including "Women of the Church Farm," "Church Farm Then and Now" and "Life at the Church Farm," which will show original farm implements and the history of the farm site.  This portion of the event was created by Elizabeth Peterson, director of Eastern's Akus Gallery and Barbara Tucker, director of Eastern's Center for Connecticut Studies.

The Church Farm Center for the Arts and Sciences was gifted to the ECSU Foundation, Inc., in 2007 by Joseph and Dorothy (Church) Zaring of Washington, D.C.  The 110-acre farm had been in the Church family since the early 1800s.  The original house was built in 1791 and was replaced with the present structure in 1821.  The barn was built in 1895.  The Church family ran a successful clothing store chain in Hartford, Danielson, Putnam and Willimantic in the late 1800s and early 20th century, and used the Ashford farm as their summer home.  The farm is now on the National Historic Register.

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