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September 2012 Archives

Eastern Holds Open House for Prospective Students

Written by Rebecca Holdridge

Willimantic, Conn. Eastern Connecticut State University will hold an open house for prospective students from noon to 4 p.m. on Oct. 14. During the open house, potential students will learn about the benefits of Eastern's liberal arts education and can also tour the campus.
 
 From noon to 4 p.m. an academic, athletic and activities fair will be held in Geissler Gymnasium, where faculty, staff and coaches will discuss a wide range of opportunities for students who enroll at Eastern. At 1:15 p.m. and 2:15 p.m. in Room 104 of the Science Building, the Admissions Office will offer guidance on the admissions process. For Spanish-speaking students, a concurrent session will be held at 1:15 p.m. in Room 115 of the Student Center.

At 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. in the Student Center Theatre, Eastern's Housing Office will discuss what is expected of students who live on campus. At 12:30 p.m. in the Betty R. Tipton Room of the Student Center, Eastern President Elsa Núñez will share her vision for Eastern.

At 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. in Room 219 of the Student Center, Political Science Professor Bill Salka will discuss the University Honors Program. The Financial Aid Office will hold information sessions at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. in the Betty R. Tipton Room. At 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. in Room 110 of Webb Hall, the Department of Education faculty will discuss Eastern's Teacher Education Program, including how to apply and why the program is unique.

 Campus tours of the Child and Family Development Resource Center, the J. Eugene Smith Library, the Science Building, and other facilities will be provided throughout the afternoon.

Eastern Commissions Fuel Cell Power Plant

Written by Ed Osborn

fuel cell utc.JPG

UTC Power PureCell® system will reduce the University's carbon footprint and supply clean, efficient energy to Eastern's Campus

 

Willimantic, Conn. -- Eastern Connecticut State University has a longstanding commitment to energy conservation and sustainability that dates back nearly two decades. Today, Eastern is partnering with UTC Power of South Windsor, Conn., and the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA), on a project that is increasing energy efficiency at the University.

Under a 10-year Energy Services Agreement (ESA), UTC Power has furnished and installed a PureCell system combined heat and power fuel cell at Eastern's Science Building, made possible by a federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant through CEFIA.

The PureCell system, a stationary phosphoric acid fuel cell, produces 400 kilowatts of continuous electric power while generating usable by-product heat. Eastern will use 100 percent of the energy produced by the fuel cell system, which was installed earlier this year on the west side of Eastern's Science Building, to provide a majority of the power required for the Science Building, while maximizing the use of the heat output available. Supplemental heat generated by the operation of the fuel cell will be utilized by Eastern's infrastructure. With effective utilization of the thermal output, overall system efficiencies of up to 90 percent are possible -- more than double that of traditional power sources.

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

UTC Power, CEFIA and Eastern officials, along with other guests, will formally dedicate the fuel cell during a brief ceremony on Oct. 4 from 10:30-11:30 a.m. on site.
 
"We are thrilled that our Connecticut-grown fuel cell technology is helping Eastern build upon its commitment to energy conservation and sustainability with installation of a PureCell system on campus," said Joe Triompo, vice president and general manager of UTC Power. "Our PureCell system is a great fit for Eastern because it delivers efficient, affordable energy to the University, while reducing the impact on the environment."

By generating and using power on-site with a PureCell system, Eastern will prevent the release of more than 1,356 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually - the equivalent of planting more than 313 acres of trees.  The reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions compared to a conventional power plant is equal to the environmental benefit of removing more than 136 cars from the road.  In addition to the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, the PureCell system saves nearly 3.8 million gallons of water each year.

"We are pleased to have provided support in partnership with Eastern and UTC Power," stated Bryan Garcia, President of CEFIA.  "The fuel cell at Eastern provides a clean and reliable source of energy and an opportunity for students and faculty both today and for years to come to realize the benefits of distributed generation." 

Other examples of Eastern's commitment to sustainability can be found throughout the campus. The Science Building is LEED Silver Certified for its use of gray water to irrigate and its many other green features, and three of Eastern's residence halls are LEED Certified. In addition, a geothermal system provides heat and air conditioning to the 62,973-square-foot High Rise residence hall, the largest geothermal-heated building in Connecticut. The campus also generates 6.2 kilowatts from photovoltaic solar panels to light bus shelters, trash disposal areas and building perimeter lighting.
 
In addition, dual-fuel burning capability in Eastern's heating plants allows the University to switch from gas to oil and vice versa based on prices and/or the requirements of its gas utility agreement.  Water-saving features exist on a number of showers, toilets and urinals. Finally, an energy-monitoring system analyzes energy usage for each building, and can automatically reduce electricity usage through preprogrammed initiatives, to reduce peak demand and energy costs.

Eastern is also home to the Institute for Sustainable Energy, which is recognized and widely respected throughout New England as an invaluable resource for supporting sustainable energy conservation efforts in municipalities and public schools. 

In April 2012, Eastern was named one of the nation's Green Colleges 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 designation.

Eastern Connecticut State University is the state's public liberal arts university and serves approximately 5,400 students each year on its Willimantic campus and satellite locations. It is the policy of Eastern Connecticut State University to ensure equal access to its events. If you are an individual with a disability and will need accommodations for this event, please contact the Office of University Relations at (860) 465-5735.

About the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA)
CEFIA was established by Connecticut's General Assembly on July 1, 2011, as a part of Public Act 11-80. This new quasi-public agency supersedes the former Connecticut Clean Energy Fund. CEFIA's mission is to help ensure Connecticut's energy security and community prosperity by realizing its environmental and economic opportunities through clean energy finance and investments. As the nation's first full-scale clean energy finance authority, CEFIA will leverage public and private funds to drive investment and scale-up clean energy deployment in Connecticut. For more information about CEFIA, please visit www.ctcleanenergy.com.

About UTC Power
UTC Power, a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX) company, provides energy-efficient products and services to the aerospace and building industries. UTC Power is the world leader in developing and producing fuel cells that generate energy for buildings and for transportation, space and defense applications. UTC Power has designed, manufactured and installed more than 300 stationary fuel cells in 19 countries on six continents. For more information, please visit www.utcpower.com

PEACE AND HUMAN RIGHTS PANEL

Written by Rebecca Holdridge

Willimantic, Conn. The Peace and Human Rights Committee (PHRC) at Eastern Connecticut State University will host the panel, "Ambassadors for Peace and Human Rights" at 4 p.m. on Oct. 4 in the Paul E. Johnson Sr. Community Conference Room in the J. Eugene Smith Library. President Elsa Nunez will welcome the audience and greet the presenters.

 Eudora Pettigrew, a retired member of the International Association of University Presidents (IAUP) and former chair of the IAUP United Nations Commission on Disarmament Education, Conflict Resolution and Peace, and Charles Prewitt, professor emeritus who taught Peace and Human Rights for several years at Eastern, are the featured speakers. Pettigrew will discuss universal disarmament, while Prewitt will speak on his involvement with the "Manhattan Project."

 Other speakers include Political Science Professor Christopher Vasillopulos, who will speak about "The Power State and Human Rights"; Mary Curran, associate professor of geography, who will discuss "Human-Animal Relations: Situational Ethics Rather than Rights"; Gail Gelburd, professor and chair of the Visual Arts Department, who will discuss "The Art of Social Commentary"; English Professor Raouf Mama, who will speak on "From Dictatorship to Democracy: The Beninese Experience"; Nicole Krassas, professor of political science, who will discuss "Women's Rights as Human Rights"; Stacey Close, professor of history, who will share "Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Struggle for Human Rights in the United States"; Philosophy Professor Hope Fitz, who will discuss "Spreading Gandhi's Belief in and Practice of Ahimsa and his Saryagrah"; and David McLeod, a graduate student who will lecture on "Transphobia: Is it Fear or Hate?" Executive Vice President Michael Pernal will moderate the panel.

Raising Money to Help Find Cure for Breast Cancer

Christopher Herman

Breast Cancer Logo.jpgWillimantic, Conn. - The American Marketing Association (AMA)'s student chapter at Eastern Connecticut State University is raising money for the breast cancer research group Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Fundraisers will be held at 9 a.m. on Oct. 1 and Oct. 3 in the Student Center. Students and the public are encouraged to donate.

The AMA will be selling cupcakes, ribbons and bracelets. The Susan G. Komen for the Cure is the largest breast cancer organization in the United States. Nancy Goodman Brinker founded the organization after her sister, Susan Komen, died from breast cancer in 1980. Susan G. Komen for the Cure uses its funds and donations for breast cancer research, public health education, health screening services and breast cancer treatment.

 For more information on Susan G. Komen for the Cure, visit ww5.komen.org.

PEACE AND HUMAN RIGHTS PANEL

Written by Rebecca Holdridge


peace human rights hope fitz.jpgWillimantic, Conn. The Peace and Human Rights Committee (PHRC) at Eastern Connecticut State University will host the panel, "Ambassadors for Peace and Human Rights" at 4 p.m. on Oct. 4 in the Paul E. Johnson Sr. Community Conference Room in the J. Eugene Smith Library. President Elsa Nunez will welcome the audience and greet the presenters.

 

peace human rights-close krassas mama.jpg Eudora Pettigrew, a retired member of the International Association of University Presidents (IAUP) and former chair of the IAUP United Nations Commission on Disarmament Education, Conflict Resolution and Peace, and Charles Prewitt, professor emeritus who taught Peace and Human Rights for several years at Eastern, are the featured speakers. Pettigrew will discuss universal disarmament, while Prewitt will speak on his involvement with the "Manhattan Project."

 

peace human rights prewitt pernal BEST.jpg Other speakers include Political Science Professor Christopher Vasillopulos, who will speak about "The Power State and Human Rights"; Mary Curran, associate professor of geography, who will discuss "Human-Animal Relations: Situational Ethics Rather than Rights"; Gail Gelburd, professor and chair of the Visual Arts Department, who will discuss "The Art of Social Commentary"; English Professor Raouf Mama, who will speak on "From Dictatorship to Democracy: The Beninese Experience"; Nicole Krassas, professor of political science, who will discuss "Women's Rights as Human Rights"; Stacy Close, professor of history, who will share "Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Struggle for Human Rights in the United States"; Philosophy Professor Hope Fitz, who will discuss "Spreading Gandhi's Belief in and Practice of Ahimsa and his Saryagrah"; and David McLeod, a graduate student who will lecture on "Transphobia: Is it Fear or Hate?" Executive Vice President Michael Pernal will moderate the panel.

 

Eastern Holds Open House for Prospective Students

Written by Rebecca Holdridge

aerial of south residential villageDSC_1651.JPGWillimantic, Conn. Eastern Connecticut State University will hold an open house for prospective students from noon to 4 p.m. on Oct. 14. During the open house, potential students will learn about the benefits of Eastern's liberal arts education and can also tour the campus.
 
 From noon to 4 p.m. an academic, athletic and activities fair will be held in Geissler Gymnasium, where faculty, staff and coaches will discuss a wide range of opportunities for students who enroll at Eastern. At 1:15 p.m. and 2:15 p.m. in Room 104 of the Science Building, the Admissions Office will offer guidance on the admissions process. For Spanish-speaking students, a concurrent session will be held at 1:15 p.m. in Room 115 of the Student Center.

At 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. in the Student Center Theatre, Eastern's Housing Office will discuss what is expected of students who live on campus. At 12:30 p.m. in the Betty R. Tipton Room of the Student Center, Eastern President Elsa Núñez will share her vision for Eastern.

At 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. in Room 219 of the Student Center, Political Science Professor Bill Salka will discuss the University Honors Program. The Financial Aid Office will hold information sessions at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. in the Betty R. Tipton Room. At 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. in Room 110 of Webb Hall, the Department of Education faculty will discuss Eastern's Teacher Education Program, including how to apply and why the program is unique.

 Campus tours of the Child and Family Development Resource Center, the J. Eugene Smith Library, the Science Building, and other facilities will be provided throughout the afternoon.

Eastern Announces 12th Season of the Arts and Lecture Series

Written by Chris Herman


Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's is celebrating its 12th season of their Arts and Lecture Series. Opening this year's Lecture Series on October 9 in the Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium is former "CBS News" anchor and "60 Minutes" correspondent Dan Rather. Rather, for more than forty years, has been the leading example of journalistic integrity in news.

Rather's reporting skills have taken him to locations as far ranging as Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, China, Russia and Cuba. He served as a correspondent during the Vietnam War, the Mujahadeen uprising against the Soviets in Afghanistan, and the first and second Iraq wars. He was among the first western journalists to report on the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. He interviewed Mikhail Gorbachev in Red Square, and Fidel Castro in Havana.
Rather has written eight books, five of which are on the New York Times best-sellers list. "Rather Outspoken" is currently in stores.

The Arts and Lecture series continues on Nov. 15 with a lecture by U.S. Marine Colonel Matthew Bogdanos, author of "Thieves of Baghdad: One Marine's Passion to Recover the World's Greatest Stolen Treasures," in the Betty R. Tipton Room.

 After the 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, Colonel Bogdanos served in a counter terrorism task force in which he received a Bronze Star for his actions against al-Qaeda.  Colonel Bogdanos also led an investigation of the looting of Iraq's National Museum. Exposing the link between antiquities trafficking and terrorist financing, and presenting those findings to the United Nations, Interpol, British Parliament and the Peace Palace in The Hague, Colonel Bogdanos received the National Humanities Medal from President George W. Bush for his work recovering more than 6,000 of Iraq's treasures in eight countries. All royalties Colonel Bogdanos book, "Thieves of Baghdad," go to the Iraq National Museum.

 On Feb. 13, 2012, the U.S. Coast Guard Dixieland Jazz Band brings its special brand of classic jazz, blues and New Orleans ragtime to Eastern's Shafer Auditorium. Formed in 1989, the U.S. Coast Guard Swing Band specialize in 30's and 40's era swing era music. Notable venues include the open-air theater in Disney World; the Boardwalk in Atlantic City; the Galaxy Jazz Festival in Milwaukee; the Embarcadero in San Francisco and Mardi Gras in New Orleans. The group has also performed on numerous radio and television broadcasts across the nation.

Veteran journalist and author Bob Woodward wraps up the 2012-2013 Arts and Lecture Series on March 12 with a lecture in the Betty R. Tipton Room. Woodward has worked for "The Washington Post" since 1971 and is currently an associate editor for the paper.

Woodward and Carl Bernstein were made famous for their investigation on the Watergate scandal in 1972, which earned the Washington Post a Pulitzer Prize in 1973. Woodward is the other and co-author of seventeen books, all of which have been best-sellers. His current book, "The Price of Politics," analyzes 18 months of how President Obama worked with high profile Republican and Democratic leaders in the United States Congress attempted to restore the American Economy. His other notable works include "All the President's Men" and the "Final Days," which chronicle the Watergate scandal/investigation and the resignation of President Richard Nixon.
Tickets for Arts and Lectures Series events are $10 for the general public and can be reserved by calling (860) 465-0036 or e-mailing tickets@easternct.edu. For more information on the 2012-2013 series, visit www.easternct.edu/artsandlecture

Cid and DeVivo Receive Girl Scout Recognitions

Written by Ed Osborn

CID DEVIVO Award-2.jpg

                                       Carmen Cid, left, and Mary Lou DeVivo

Willimantic, CT-- Carmen Cid, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Eastern Connecticut State University, and Eastern alumna Mary Lou DeVivo '60, were recognized by Girl Scouts of Connecticut at the Centennial "Woman of Merit" Gala at the Hartford Marriott on Sept. 12.  The 19th Annual Woman of Merit Benefit Dinner celebrated 100 years of Girl Scouting and honored 100 women, men, groups and organizations.

Cid was recognized in the Trailblazer category while DeVivo was honored as a Community Champion. Trailblazers are recognized as pioneers who have opened doors for other girls and women to follow.  Community Champions have made significant contributions to their home communities.

Cid emigrated with her family from Cuba in 1968, and has long been a champion for women in the sciences. For several decades, she was the only Hispanic woman in plant ecology in the United States.  Cid received a B.A. in Biology from NYU, and her master's degree and Ph.D. in ecology from Ohio State University and Michigan State University, respectively. On Aug. 25, the Connecticut Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission named Cid "Latina Citizen of the Year" at its annual award ceremony in New Haven.

DeVivo is president and owner of Willimantic Waste Paper Co., Inc., a single stream recycling company that recycles metal and collects solid waste. She was a Girl Scout during her years at Windham High School and went to a Round-Up in 1956.  In 1960, DeVivo graduated from what was then Willimantic State College and is now Eastern Connecticut State University.  She says her happiest achievement is her five children and 13 grandchildren.

President Núñez and Eastern Honored by Hartford Courant

 

036.jpgOn Sept. 20, 2012, the Hartford Courant/Fox 61 announced their Top Workplaces Awards for 2012 at the AquaTurf in Southington.  Based on the ratings of Eastern employees, President Núñez was honored as the Top Leader in the Large Organizations category.  The Courant ran an interview with Dr. Nunez in today's edition. Read more at http://www.courant.com/business/hc-top-workplaces-elsa-nunez-20120919,0,6456004.story.

In addition, Eastern was again listed in the top five top workplaces in the large organization category.

Sexuality in Your Own Skin

Written by Gabrielle Little

Justine Shuey (2).jpgWillimantic, CT - Justine Shuey, certified sexologist, will present "Sexuality in Your Own Skin," at Eastern Connecticut State University's University hour at 3 p.m. on Sept. 26 in the Student Center Theatre. The public is invited. Admission is free.

Shuey's presentation will focus on safer sex, sexual health, wellness, consent, communication, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) issues, as well as tips on how to create a safe space where students can explore issues, get honest answers and make wise decisions regarding their sexual health.

Shuey is a human sexuality professor at Montgomery County Community College in Pottstown, PA, as well as a board member of the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN) chapter in New Jersey.  

Eastern First in National Study of Hispanic College Graduation Rates

The Education Trust, a national education advocacy group, announced today that Eastern Connecticut State University ranks number one in a national study of the improvement of six-year graduation rates of Hispanic students among public universities and colleges, according to their report, "Advancing to completion: increasing degree attainment by improving graduation rates and closing gaps for Hispanic students."

The Education Trust study examined the graduation rates of 391 public and private colleges and universities in the United States, detailing the results for African American, Hispanic and white students, as well as the overall graduation rates of all students at those institutions.

For the class of full-time, first-time students entering in fall 1998, the six-year graduation rate was barely 20 percent for Hispanic students at Eastern. However, for those Hispanic students entering in 2004, the proportion who had graduated by 2010 was 57.8 percent, the largest improvement among the 228 public institutions in The Education Trust study.

"Colleges must do more to ensure success for all students, particularly the growing number of black and Latino students in our country. Thankfully, some institutions are showing us that the status quo is not inevitable," said José Cruz, vice president for higher education policy and practice at The Education Trust. "The lessons are clear: What institutions of higher education do -- and don't do -- for students directly and powerfully impacts student success.  The schools we've identified provide vivid sign posts on the road to boosting graduation rates at colleges and universities across the country." 

Eastern's 57.8 percent graduation rate for Hispanic students is actually above Eastern's overall graduation rate of 52.4 percent for the entire entering class of 2004. In addition, Eastern's improvement rate of 37.8 percent far exceeds the overall improvement rate among the study's 391 institutions of 3.5 percent, as well as the 3.9 percent improvement rate among the study's 228 public colleges and universities.

"While we know that there is much more work to be done on our campus in supporting Latino and other underrepresented students to achieve their educational goals and graduate from college, I am very pleased with today's announcement," said Eastern President Elsa Núñez.

"This is a tribute to the work of our faculty and staff in providing support to students who face a myriad of issues in enrolling in and succeeding at college -- language barriers, cultural isolation, financial challenges and lack of family history as it relates to college attendance."

"Raising the graduation rate for Hispanic students by nearly 40 percentage points in only six years is no small feat, and President Núñez and her team deserve an extraordinary amount of credit for relentlessly focusing on the success of all of the students at Eastern," said Robert Kennedy, president of the Board of Regents for Higher Education of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities. "This level of performance helps expose and shatter the myth that demographics are destiny in college completion and educational success. As we focus on encouraging and supporting more students to finish their degrees across our institutions, this news is a timely reminder that success isn't bound by demographics."

Núñez mentioned several grants from private and federal grant sources that have helped Eastern to identify and serve students who are academically at risk so that appropriate support systems can be activated early on. In particular, a Nellie Mae Education Foundation "Project Compass" grant and a U.S. Department of Education Title III grant have helped the University to create and improve its Student Success Model, which features additional advising staff; a revised, four-tiered advising system; faculty mentors; and a one-stop Academic Services Center that provides tutoring, math and writing instructional support for more than 10,000 student visitors a year.

"In addition to these two impressive grants, students from low-income families, including many of our Hispanic students, have benefited from the generous support of corporate and private donors giving to our ECSU Foundation," said Núñez.

The Eastern president also noted that in addition to students with academic challenges, higher-performing Hispanic students are also staying at Eastern for their entire college experience as they find the University's liberal arts program and student leadership opportunities on campus to be challenging and rewarding.

"It is equally important for students of color to see familiar faces at the front of the classroom," said Núñez, indicating that Eastern has the largest percentage of minority faculty of any college or university in Connecticut.

Eastern also has two pre-enrollment programs each summer for students who may not meet the University's standard entrance requirements--the Summer Proof of Ability Program, which offers an opportunity to demonstrate academic potential, and the Summer Transition at Eastern Program/Contract Admissions Program, which provides intensive instruction in study skills and foundation academics to help low-income, first-generation and traditionally under-represented students transition from high school to college.

"All of our programs work together to support students with special academic needs," explained Núñez, "and most of them are available to serve all our students.  Clearly these strategies are working in support of Hispanic students as a special cohort. We are gratified that the hard work of our faculty and staff, as well as the students they serve, is paying off.  It is strong motivation to continue our efforts to ensure educational access and success for students from all walks of life."

The stakes involved are high. As The Education Trust report noted.  "...while nearly 40 percent of white 25- to 29-year-olds have attained at least a bachelor's degree, attainment among young Hispanics is only one-third that rate. These disparities are unac-ceptable. If America is to restore its status as first-in-the-world in degree attainment, colleges need to do more to ensure that all of their students -- especially Hispanic students -- graduate from college."

Echoing Núñez's comments that it takes a multi-faceted approach to have a long-term impact on student performance, The Education Trust report declared, "Only when colleges institutionalize the policies and prac¬tices that make programs for underrepresented students successful will they bring about a transformative process that benefits all students, and Hispanic students in particular."

 

Cesar Gonzalez to Speak at Eastern

Written by Chris Herman

Willimantic, Conn. - Cesar Gonzalez, an analyst for Wexford Capital LP in Greenwich, CT, will speak at Eastern Connecticut State University at 11 a.m. on Sept. 20, in the Paul E. Johnson Sr. Community Conference Room in the J. Eugene Smith Library. The public is invited. Admission is free.

Gonzalez will discuss how to pursue a job on Wall Street and explain the responsibilities of an analyst at an investment bank and hedge fund. He previously worked at Lehman Brothers as an analyst in the Private Equity Group.
Gonzalez's presentation is sponsored by Eastern's Department of Business Administration. He graduated from the University of Southern California, where he earned a B.S. in Business Administration.

Wexford Capital LP is a Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) registered investment advisor.  The firm, formed in 1994, invests in distressed companies in the energy, telecommunication and transportation sectors.

Eastern to Host Culture of India Workshop

Written by Nana Owusoagyemang


Willimantic, Conn. ¬¬- Eastern Connecticut State University will host Fulbright Award recipient Neeta Naik Omprakash for a series of workshops to educate students about the culture of India. The first workshop, "The Ganesha Festival in India and the Politics of the Festivals for Gods in India," will be held on Sept. 19 at 10 a. m.  and then repeated at noon in Room 210 Shafer Hall.  Omprakash's second workshop will discuss "Miniature Painting as a Reflection of the Mughal and Rajput Eras" at 8 a. m. on Sept. 20 and 11 a.m. in Shafer Hall, Room 216.

Omprakash studied art criticism at the University of Baroda in India and did post-graduate work at Mumbai University in comparative mythology. She has lectured at universities in India and the United States. In 2010, she spoke at the University of Connecticut, and Yale and Ohio State Universities.
 
She has conducted several workshops on the comparative arts, working with artists from visual and performing arts. This past summer, Omprakash, along with Eastern Visual Arts Professor Gail Gelburd and University of Connecticut Art Professor Kathryn Myers, presented a workshop on performance and installation art related to Tagore, in Goa, India.

  Omprakash has curated numerous exhibitions, published essays in catalogs, and written regularly for several newspapers and art magazines in India. She has also been the host of a series of television programs on the visual arts, where she interviewed contemporary artists.

She has also hosted a television program on Indian miniature paintings.
In 2012, Omprakash was awarded a one-year Fulbright grant to conduct research in the United States on Indian American artists and the use of contemporary mythology.

For more information on Omprakash's visit to Eastern, contact Gail Gelburd at gelburdg@easternct.edu  or 465-0195.

McDonald's Hot Coffee Lawsuit

Written by Gabrielle Little


Willimantic, Conn. -The J. Eugene Smith Library at Eastern Connecticut State University will host a screening of the documentary, "Hot Coffee," during Eastern's University Hour at 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 19 in the Student Center Theatre. The public is invited. Admission is free.
 
According to the documentary's website, the film reveals what really happened to Stella Liebeck, the Albuquerque woman who spilled coffee on herself and sued McDonald's, while exploring how and why the case garnered so much media attention; who funded the effort; and to what end.

A panel discussion featuring two Connecticut trial lawyers, Attorneys Michael Walsh, Lincoln Woodard, along with Brian Levy, president of Eastern's Pre-Law Society, will follow the screening.

Greek Diaspora Descendent: Producing and Restoring Identity

Written by Chris Herman


Willimantic, Conn. - Denise Matthews, associate professor of communication at Eastern Connecticut State University, will present her work on displaced Anatolian Christians from the country of Greece during the 1920's from 12:30-1:30 p.m. on Sept. 27 in the President's Dining Room, located in Hurley Hall. The public is invited. Admission is free.

The presentation is based on original and secondary research into the fate of Christian people expelled permanently from their Anatolian homeland by the Lucerne Treaty of 1923. While 1.5 million displaced Christians became refugees in Greece, others immigrated to the United States.

Matthews, a descendent of this diaspora, will explore the impact of the experience on the lives of Anatolian Greek families who built new lives and identities in the United States. "I grew up thinking that I was 100 percent Greek," said Matthews. This is a personal excavation of genetics, family lore and world history in a documentary format, shot in Turkey, Greece and the US."

Matthews has taught at Eastern since 2003.  She earned a doctorate from the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications, where her doctoral dissertation was on "The Effect of Educating Parents on Children's Comprehension of Television Commercials." She has presented at several film festivals and professional association meetings, winning awards for her documentaries, and has published on the social implications of new media and technologies.

For more information on the presentation, contact Professor David Stoloff at (860) 465-0028 or stoloffd@easternct.edu.

Eastern to Stage "Sun, Stone, and Shadows" Readings

Written by Nana Owusu-Agyemang

Big Read Book Cover.jpgWillimantic, Conn. -- Eastern Connecticut State University's Theatre Program will stage theatrical readings of stories found in Jorge Hernández's "Sun, Stone, and Shadows" on Oct. 3 from 12-1:30 p.m. in the University's Student Center Theatre. The public is invited. Admission is free.

"Sun, Stone, and Shadows" is one of 31 books included in the nationwide Big Read Project to stimulate an interest in reading. The project kicks off in the Betty R. Tipton Room of the Student Center at Eastern on Sept. 18. The Big Read Project is a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) program that seeks to enhance literacy abilities by raising public awareness of reading.

The readings, including "The Mist" by Juan de la Cabada and "The Square" by Juan Garcia Ponce, will be presented by students enrolled in Theatre Professor Ellen Faith Brodie's Children's Theatre class. A question and answer session will follow.

Eastern is one of two organizations in Connecticut to have received a Big Read Project grant, and has joined 78 other not-for-profit institutions and organizations nationwide in an effort to restore reading to the center of American culture.

For reservations and information about the staged readings, please call Ellen Faith Brodie at (860) 465-5122 or email her at BrodieE@easternct.edu.
 
For a listing of all Big Read events, visit www.easternct.edu/universityrelations/bigRead.html.

Eastern in Top 30 Public Universities in North

Written by Ed Osborn

Willimantic, CT -- For the third year in a row, Eastern Connecticut State University is ranked in the top 30 public universities in the North Region in U.S. News and World Report's 2013 edition of Best Colleges. Eastern was the highest ranked university among the four Connecticut state universities. Again, Eastern was in the top 100 regional universities -- both public and private -- in the region.

Regional universities such as Eastern are ranked on the basis of criteria that include peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving.  The North Region includes colleges and universities from New England, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland.

"On behalf of the entire Eastern campus community, I am honored to learn that Eastern Connecticut State University is again ranked in the top 30 public regional universities in the North by U.S. News and World Report," said Eastern President Elsa Núñez. 

"We are honored to be a Tier One institution with a public mission to provide an outstanding liberal arts education to students from all walks of life.  Today's news is a tribute to our entire campus community.  To continue to be ranked this highly in the U.S. News ratings is a sign of an improved academic reputation and the quality of our faculty and educational programs. We are also working hard to give Eastern students more opportunities to apply their classroom learning in such experiences as internships, paid co-ops, service learning, undergraduate research and other applied settings.  This is a great day for our faculty, staff, students and alumni."

  This year's U.S. News and World Report rankings included reviews of 1,391 schools nationwide and are available at www.usnews.com/colleges. They will also be published in the Best Colleges 2013 Guidebook, published by U.S. News & World Report and available on newsstands starting Sept. 18. 
Over the past two decades, the U.S. News and World Report rankings, which group colleges based on categories created by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, have grown to be the most comprehensive research tool for students and parents considering higher education opportunities.

The 2013 Best Colleges program provides the most thorough examination of 1,391 accredited four-year schools, compared on a set of 16 widely accepted indicators of excellence.

Dave Giardina & Mariachi Fiesta del Norte Celebrate Big Read Project

Written by Nan Owusu-Agyemang 

fiesta del norte 1.jpgWillimantic, Conn. ¬¬- Eastern Connecticut State University's will continue to celebrate The Big Read Project during National Hispanic Heritage Month, with an afternoon of music and entertainment by Dave Giardina and Mariachi Fiesta del Norte on Sept. 20 from 3-5 p. m. in the University's Student Center Café.  The public is invited. Admission is free.

Fiesta del Norte is an interactive Hartford-based Mariachi band that performs traditional, folk and popular Mexican music on authentic instruments. The musicians dress in customary charro outfits as they interweave songs with translations, storytelling, joyful gritos and cultural insights. They describe their music as "always uplifting, interactive and in many cases - educational."

The public is encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to donate to the local food bank.

Eastern to Host Arnaldo Rivera and Friends

Written by Nana Ama Owusu-Agyemang

Willimantic, Conn. ¬¬- Eastern Connecticut State University, in partnership with Quinebaug Valley Community College, will host Arnaldo Rivera and Friends during the Third Thursday Street Fest for a 90-minute concert and discussion on the influence of Latin music and its origins. The concert will take place on Sept. 20 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at 729 Main Street.

At the conclusion of the concert, the band will give away a limited number of the book, "Sun, Stone and Shadows, 20 Great Mexican Short Stories." The title has been selected as one of 31 books included in the nationwide Big Read Project to stimulate an interest in reading.
 
The Big Read project, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), seeks to enhance literacy abilities by raising public awareness of reading. Eastern is one of only two organizations in Connecticut to have received a Big Read grant, and has joined 78 other not-for-profit institutions and organizations nationwide in an effort to restore reading to the center of American culture.

Eastern will kick off The Big Read project in Willimantic on Sept. 18 at 2 p. m. in the Betty R. Tipton Room of the Student Center at Eastern. Eastern President Elsa Núñez says that "reading is perhaps the most fundamental academic skill we can give young people, for without reading, you cannot work on any other academic subject."

 For a complete listing of specific Big Read programs, visit: www.easternct.edu/universityrelations/bigRead.html.

Eastern Receives National Grant to Support Adult Learners

The American Council on Education (ACE) has awarded a $25,000 grant to Eastern Connecticut State University for a pilot project aimed at expanding access to higher education for adult learners.  The grant is one of six awarded for pilot projects at institutions around the country, part of ACE's multipronged national initiative to ensure more adults in the United States obtain college degrees.

Eastern's grant proposal is titled, "The Reverse Internship:  Converting Banked Applied Learning into College Credit."

The Lumina Foundation estimates that the United States must increase the percentage of adults with college degrees from 38 percent in 2010 to 60 percent by 2025 to maintain an educated workforce.  Connecticut is hard pressed to be part of that effort for several reasons.  College attendance by nontraditional adult students is low, among the bottom third of the states; the cost of attending college in Connecticut is high and growing; and the drop-out rate of adult students attending college in Connecticut is high.

However, the Council for Adult & Experiential Learning recently studied adult students at 48 colleges across the country and found that adults who receive credit for prior learning were more successful in completing their degrees in a timely fashion.

"Eastern has a long history of serving adults students," explained Carol Williams, associate dean of continuing education, "and we have had a Credit for Lifelong Learning program since 1973." 

Even so, the program is labor intensive and serves only about 20 adult students a year. "Capitalizing upon the idea that working adults have 'banked' valuable applied learning through their work," says Williams, "we will offer working adults a way to turn that learning into meaningful college credit through a 'reverse internship' concept whereby individuals will be able to convert their prior learning into college credits equivalent to a standard practicum or internship usable toward degree requirements." 

The program will incorporate an online interactive tutorial for reverse internships, as well as other faculty support and guidance, with the goal of increasing the number of part-time adult students taking advantage of the CLL program, while decreasing the cost of their college education.

A Kresge Foundation grant of $600,000 announced earlier this year is helping support ACE's national adult education agenda. ACE also is devoting additional funding from the Ford Foundation, Lumina Foundation and Hearst Foundation to the overall adult education initiative and will spend approximately $1 million to propel action on a national scale.

An aggressive adult learner agenda is needed in an economy where, according to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, 63 percent of the 46.8 million job openings that will be created by 2018 will require workers with at least some college education.

ACE is deploying Kresge Foundation money, as well as Ford Foundation funds, for these six pilot projects testing new strategies to assist adult learners in pursuing a postsecondary path. Among the key adult education issues tackled by the projects: How to ensure adult students receive appropriate college credit for prior learning experience gained in the workplace or the military.

Eastern and the other five institutions that have won grants, including public and private, two- and four-year colleges and universities, will present the outcome of their projects at the ACE Annual Meeting, which will be held March 2-5, 2013, in Washington, D.C.

"These promising initiatives have the potential to enhance adult education in this country and offer adult learners a more accessible pathway to a degree," said Gretchen M. Bataille, ACE senior vice president for leadership and lifelong learning. "This exemplifies the commitment ACE and The Kresge Foundation have to forging progress in the national adult education arena."

"As the United States seeks to retake its position as the world's best educated nation, it is critical that colleges and universities look to opportunities to support older adults to build and retool their skills through lifelong learning," said William Moses, Kresge's program director for education.  "Working with adults offers the twin benefit of increasing American competitiveness globally and providing individuals and their families a more secure future in these changing economic times."

ACE has long led the national movement to recognize and promote adult learning in higher education, from initiatives for returning World War II veterans to the GED® test and other programs that evaluate military and corporate training and courses for college credit recommendations.

*******

Eastern Connecticut State University is the state's public liberal arts university and serves approximately 5,600 students each year on its Willimantic campus and satellite locations. For more information, visit www.easternct.edu.

Founded in 1918, ACE is the major coordinating body for all the nation's higher education institutions, representing more than 1,600 college and university presidents, and more than 200 related associations, nationwide. It provides leadership on key higher education issues and influences public policy through advocacy. For more information, please visit www.acenet.edu or follow ACE on Twitter @ACEducation.

Based in metropolitan Detroit, The Kresge Foundation is a $3.1 billion private foundation that seeks to influence the quality of life for future generations through its support of nonprofit organizations working in its seven program areas: Arts and Culture, Community Development, Detroit, Education, the Environment, Health, and Human Services.  Fostering greater access to and success in postsecondary education for low-income, minority and first-generation college students is the focus of Kresge's Education grantmaking. In 2011, Kresge awarded more than $22 million in grants to support higher education in the United States and South Africa, with half benefiting U.S. community colleges.  For more information, please visit the Foundation website: www.kresge.org or follow @kresgedu.

 

Eastern Launches Kick-Off for The Big Read in Willimantic

Written by Dwight Bachman

Big Read Book Cover.jpgWillimantic, Conn:  -- The U.S. Department of Labor says that nearly 50 percent of the nation's unemployed youth ages 16-21 are functionally illiterate, with virtually no prospects of obtaining good jobs. The department estimates that the cost of illiteracy to businesses and taxpayers is at least $225 billion a year.
 
To help youth participate more fully in society and the workplace, Eastern Connecticut State University has joined 78 other not-for-profit institutions and organizations nationwide in an effort to restore reading to the center of American culture. The Big Read Project, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), seeks to enhance literacy abilities by raising public awareness of reading.
 
Eastern received a $14,900 Big Read grant to foster an appreciation of quality literature among area young adults, college and high school students, especially reluctant readers.  To carry out this community-wide program, the University is involving libraries, public schools, local and state officials, all of who will engage in discussions, lectures, public readings and theatrical performances.

"Reading is perhaps the most fundamental academic skill we can give young people, for without reading, you cannot work on any other academic subject," said Eastern President Elsa Núñez. " Reading is not only the key to our intellectual development and career success, literature provides a richness of experience and perception that brings a much larger world to us than we are capable of experiencing on our own.  Through literature, we learn about and connect with people from other lands; we explore worlds of imagination; we experience relief from our daily routines; and we create opportunities to share these new worlds with others."
 
 Ira Silverberg, the NEA's director of literature, said, "Whether you're reading a used paperback or a downloaded novel on an e-reader, nothing can beat the experience of getting lost in a good book. I look forward to seeing the creative ways these 78 organizations will use The Big Read to promote reading within their communities."
Eastern's intent in writing its grant proposal was to focus on English language learners in Willimantic, which has a large Latino population. A recent Hartford Courant report showed that 40 percent of Willimantic's 17,737 people are Hispanic or Latino, and that more than 60 percent of the student body in Willimantic's public school system is Hispanic. A third of Windham students come from homes where English is not the primary language.

Hope Marie Cook, associate librarian and coordinator of Eastern's Big Read program, wrote the award-winning grant proposal. She said it reflects the goals of the University's Strategic Plan, which specifically engages students, faculty and staff in service to community. "Patrons of libraries in Windham County and Willimantic, along with community members, have a deep appreciation for, and interest in, the cultural beauty of the Hispanic population, its history, values, beliefs and literature."

Cook said Eastern and the surrounding community is responding enthusiastically to the selection of the Big Read book, "Sun, Stone and Shadows: 20 Great Mexican Short Stories" because of its rich cultural beauty, relevancy and programming flexibility.  The NEA says the book, edited by Jorge Hernandez, "represents a sample of some of the most important writers of Hispanic American literature."  University students, faculty and staff, along with area public school teachers and educators, will include the book in lesson plans and discussions. Eastern's library staff, along with area libraries, coffee houses and even laundry facilities in Windham County, are participating in the local Big Read Project.

People at 17 locations have planned theatrical readings, discussions, band performances, movies, exhibitions and an interactive video conference. Some locations include Eastern's Student Center; Quinebaug Valley Community College; Willimantic's Regional Magnet School at the Capital Theatre; Guilford Smith Memorial Library in Windham; and Scotland Public Library. For a complete listing of specific programs, visit: www.easternct.edu/universityrelations/bigRead.html.

A "Stop, Drop and Read" campaign has also been set up and will take place at various locations in Willimantic and surrounding areas.  The strategic placement of plastic bins that contain two copies of "Sun, Stone and Shadows: 20 Great Mexican Short Stories" and free materials to support the book selection, will be found in agencies and businesses where individuals may have to wait for service and consequently, have the time to read the stories found in this classic piece of literature.

Prior to the project's kick-off on Sept. 18, the University is presenting a Teaching Excellence Seminar on Sept. 13 at 12:30 p.m. in the President's Dining Room in Hurley Hall to explain its involvement in the Big Read Project. The presentation will focus on the book selected, the partnerships that were created, and the events that will take place to support the three-month long program. Persons attending the teaching excellence seminar are asked to bring a non-perishable food item to be donated to the local food bank.
 
Eastern's Big Read Kickoff takes place on Sept. 18 at 2 p. m. in the Betty R. Tipton Room of the University's Student Center and will feature Eastern President Elsa Núñez; Patricia Banach, director of library services at Eastern; Ann Anderberg, assistant professor of education at Eastern; Lucy Ferriss, Writer-in-Residence at Trinity College; and Denise Merrill, Connecticut Secretary of the State.
 
Speakers will discuss the latest research on why literacy matters; their own literary histories; and how learning to read has influenced their career paths. Persons attending the kick-off are asked to bring a non-perishable food item to donate to the local food bank. 

Former Puerto Rican Governor Sila Calderón Visits Eastern

Written by Ed Osborn

Sila Maria Calderon.jpgWillimantic, Conn: -- On Monday, Sept. 17, Sila María Calderón, former Governor of Puerto Rico, will visit the Eastern Connecticut State University campus in Willimantic for a series of appearances.
From 2-2:50 p.m

. in the Student Center Theater, Calderón will be giving a keynote address on building community partnerships. At 3:15 p.m., also in the Student Center Theater, Calderón will host a press conference for local news media. The two events are free of charge and the public is invited to both of them.


In 2001, Calderón became the first woman to serve as governor of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. She began her career in public service in 1973 as special assistant to the secretary of labor, and later worked for Governor Hernández Colón as special assistant on economic development and labor issues. In 1985, Governor Hernández appointed Calderón as the first woman chief of staff for the Commonwealth, and two years later, appointed her as Puerto Rico's secretary of state. She was elected mayor of San Juan in 1996, and expanded her involvement with the underprivileged communities to include 53 other sectors in dire social and economic need.


In November 2000, Calderón was elected the seventh governor of Puerto Rico after a campaign based on fiscal responsibility, economic development, special attention to underprivileged citizens and responsible government. Calderón made job creation the priority of her administration.


As governor from 2001-05, she put in place programs in economic development, drug control, child abuse, public education and tourism. One of Calderón's most notable initiatives was the Special Communities Program, through which more than a million citizens living in 686 barrios were provided with the tools and opportunities to break the cycle of poverty. The program organizes the communities, empowers its residents, and has invested more than $1 billion of local funds in housing and infrastructure.


Calderón has also been president of Commonwealth Investment Company and manager for business development for Citibank, N.A. She has served on the board of directors of such private institutions as Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, Pueblo International and the Puerto Rico Economic Development Council. She also spearheaded a joint public and private initiative to rehabilitate the poverty-stricken community of the Cantera Peninsula in San Juan.
The governor has firmly defended Puerto Rico's present political and economic relationship with the United States that allows for common defense, fiscal autonomy and cultural identity for the Commonwealth.   

 
Calderón graduated with honors in 1964 from Manhattanville College, where she earned a bachelor's degree in political science. She earned her master's degree in public administration from the University of Puerto Rico, and has received several honorary doctorate degrees.

The governor also has been active in the field of philanthropy. The Sila Calderón Fellowship at Rutgers University in New Jersey is offered to graduate and doctoral-level students in the Master's in Public Administration Program at Rutger's Camden campus.  The fellowships allow scholars to engage in applied research in the areas of ethics, social justice and community building, and are part of the Sila Calerón Endowed Fund, which Gov. Calderón established at Rutgers to support scholars working in Puerto Rico and in Puerto Rican communities in the United States.

Carmen Cid Named Latina Citizen of the Year

Written by Dwight Bachman


cid head shot 2.jpgWillimantic. Conn: -- On Aug. 25, the Connecticut Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission (LPRAC) presented Carmen Cid, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Eastern Connecticut State University, a "Latina Citizen of the Year" award at its annual award ceremony in New Haven. Cid was honored for two decades of work to enhance the career development of Latinas in the sciences.
  Cid grew up in Havana, Cuba, and emigrated with her family to Brooklyn, NY, in 1968. She was fortunate to be encouraged by her parents and Cuban elementary school teachers to explore her interests in science, nature, music and foreign languages. Mentored by dedicated and forward-thinking guidance counselors, biology and music teachers and supported by Upward Bound and ASPIRA programs, she gained early admission to New York University after her junior year in high school.
Cid earned a B.A. in Biology from New York University, where she developed a love for plant ecology after taking a class that bussed students from Greenwich Village to the forests and wetlands of New York and New Jersey on Saturdays. Cid obtained a master's degree and Ph.D. in ecology from Ohio State University and Michigan State University, respectively, where women pioneers in ecology became her career mentors, the first time she had encountered women science professors.


CID-Latina Citizen of the Year award picture (3).JPG

Roberto C. Fernandez, a LPRAC Commissioner and the director of financial aid at Quinebaug Valley Community College, presents Cid with the "Latina Citizen of the Year" award.

For decades, Cid was the only Hispanic woman in plant ecology in the United States.
Cid has 28 years of experience in higher education and has received various awards for her work to improve representation and career development for women and minorities in the sciences. In 1991, she chaired the first Women and Minorities Committee of the Ecological Society of America (ESA), developing the first comprehensive human diversity and education plan for ESA. 
Cid is proudest of her award-winning "Project Wonderwise" multimedia science education program, titled "The Urban Ecologist," which integrates her wetland ecology research done on Eastern's campus wetlands with interactive software to help 4th-6th graders explore nature in both English and Spanish. This is the only bilingual science education
multimedia kit highlighting a Latina ecologist, with her own Spanish translations of field trip videos, classroom inquiry activities and innovative field exploration software. It is part of the
4-H and USDA national curriculum for after-school programs in 27 states.
Currently Cid's mentoring activities focus on training deans and department chairs nationally how to develop university-wide models of inclusive excellence to enhance career development for all students and faculty, through her efforts as Co-Principal Investigator of a Council of Colleges of Arts (CCAS). Cid serves as a member of the CCAS board of directors and has a National Science Foundation grant to help promote career development of women in the sciences.

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