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January 2013 Archives

Eastern sponsors program on self-image

Eastern Connecticut State University's Women's Center will host "Love Your Body" at 5 p.m. on Feb. 13 in the Student Center Lobby. Eastern students are invited to participate.  

"Love Your Body" is part of a nationwide campaign that seeks to raise awareness about self-image. In a culture dominated by Hollywood and the fashion, cosmetics and diet industries, women and men are taught to believe that they are inadequate and in need of constant improvement. Routine objectification and sexualization of women in the media and other cultural institutions can lead to anxiety, shame, self-disgust, undermined confidence and discomfort with one's own body.  According to the American Psychological Association (APA), sexualization can lead to eating disorders, low self-esteem and depression, three of the most common mental health disorders in girls and women.     

Feelings of inadequacy are pervasive, and can manifest themselves in all aspects of society, particularly among students. This program will discuss this reality, along with the everyday realities of college life, from depression and loneliness to anxiety and stress, and offer a space for students to share their experiences with others.   

For more information, contact Starsheemar Byrum at (860) 465-4314 or  

Students Attend American Economic Association Conference

Written by Danielle Couture

Economics Image-Enhanced by Ed.jpegWillimantic, CT - - Eight Eastern Connecticut State University students, members of Eastern's Economics Club, along with Behroz Baraghoshi, assistant professor of economics, travelled to San Diego, CA, from Jan. 4-7 to participate in the annual Conference of the American Economic Association (AEA).
The AEA encourages academic research and discussion on a wide range of economic topics, and holds a three-day meeting each January, where economists gather to present papers on general subjects within the field.

"Students, as well as professors of economics, learn about new ideas and meet people of extraordinary talent in their respective fields," said Baraghoshi. "It is a great place for free speech and exchange of ideas."

Students attended sessions of their interest and saw how new ideas in those fields were presented. They also were able to ask questions or comment. "The vastness of the subject matter was really apparent, and the numerous lecturers discussing completely different topics were very interesting," said Bailey Wilber, president of the Economics Club and coordinator of the trip. "It opened up a new way of thinking about economics and made me eager to study more."

Students who attended the conference included Dean Bonney, Julie Correira, Tony DeLuca, Mackenzie Fannon, Nicole Gaona, Teddy Straub, Stephanie Venuti and Wilber.

Know Your Value: Women of Color Net and Self-Worth

Written by Christopher J. Herman

Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Women's Center will host a seminar, "Know Your Value: Women of Color Net and Self-Worth," on Feb. 4 and Feb. 11 at noon in Room 217 in the Student Center. Both seminars will be moderated by Ruth Washington, professor of molecular and cell biology at the University of Connecticut, and will cover a variety of topics including education, career planning and personal wellness.
According to Washington, the median wealth among white women in the United States in their prime working years (36-49) is $42,600. Among African American and Hispanic women in the same age range, however, the median is $5, according to a May 2010 report released by the Insight Center for Community Economic Development. To break the cycle, certain barriers must be addressed, and Eastern's Women and Intercultural centers invites Eastern students to join the interactive seminar to discuss this pressing issue.   

For more information on the session, contact Starsheemar Byrum at (860) 465-4314 or

Eastern to Host Star Show

Written by Gabrielle Little

Planitrium show (2).jpg

Willimantic, Conn. - The Robert K. Wickware Planetarium at Eastern Connecticut State University will host a star show at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 4. The public is invited. Admission is free. Russell Sampson, associate professor of physical sciences, will host the show.

The show is a part of what Sampson calls a "Tour of the Spring Skies." During the show Sampson will present some of the latest highlights from space science and astronomy. A question and answer session will follow. 

Upcoming Planetarium shows will take place on March 11 and April 29, both starting promptly at 5:30 p.m. For tickets or free private star shows, contact Zosia Carlquist at (860) 465-4317 or, or Russell Sampson at (860) 465-0188 or


Dr. Martin Luther King Day of Service

Written by Christopher J. Herman

MLK activity Image(2).jpgWillimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Center for Community Engagement (CCE) organized the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on Jan. 18 to educate Connecticut elementary school students on King's teachings and philosophies.  

To honor King's legacy and to celebrate the national holiday in his honor, Eastern students teamed up with Teach for America, an organization of educators who work to expand educational opportunity for low-income communities, to engage in activities focused on themes of social justice, nonviolence and peace. Eastern students went to Sweeney, North Windham, Windham Central and Natchaug afterschool programs to lead activities with students, and teach them about King's values. CCE student leaders included Federica Bucca, Jeannine Gemma, Max Goto, Yollaine Kaja, Megan Sargent and Olivia Carney.      

Some Eastern students also went to Journey House, a residential center for at-risk adolescent girls, to lead an activity with Journey House residents about what they can do to advance King's principles of nonviolence and community participation. That evening, 25 volunteers attended a session in the Student Center to reflect on their experience and how they can help make King's teachings a reality.

Eastern to Hold Brown Bag Concert

Written by Nana OwusuAgyemang


brown bag - fiddlers.JPG            Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Performing Arts Department will hold a Brown Bag Concert on Feb. 8 at noon. in the Shafer Hall Auditorium. The public is invited. Admission is free. Shafer Hall is located at Valley and High Streets in Willimantic.

The Brown Bag Concert series is an opportunity for students who are studying applied music to demonstrate their skills on a regular basis in a relaxed environment. This opportunity is outside the normal setting of large concerts that occur regularly on campus, and serves as a way for individuals to perform solo material.

The concerts are an hour in length and are held on the second Friday of every month. They are performed in a friendly, inviting setting, and the audience is encouraged to bring lunch and enjoy the music.

This is the first of the Brown Bag Concert series for the spring 2013 semester.


Eastern Seeks Toy Nominations for Annual Study

Willimantic, CT -- Faculty and student researchers at Eastern Connecticut State University are seeking nominations for the 2013 TIMPANI Toy Study.  This annual study, conducted through Eastern's Center for Early Childhood Education, examines how young children in natural settings play with a variety of toys. 

Faculty and student researchers observe how children play with the nominated toys and rate children's interactions on three subscales: thinking and learning, cooperation and social interaction, and self-expression and imagination. The study provides valuable information to parents and teachers about the types of toys that help children learn, and helps researchers understand how children's play with toys contributes to their overall development.
The highest-scoring toys in previous studies have included DUPLO bricks, a toy made by the LEGO Group; Hasbro's Tinker Toys; and Wooden Vehicles and Signs, made by Melissa and Doug, LLC.

Eastern is now seeking nominations of toys to be included in the 2013 study.  Toys may be nominated by parents, grandparents, teachers and others not affiliated with the toy industry.  To nominate a toy, visit, or contact the Center for Early Childhood Education at (860) 465-0687.  Nominations must be received by Feb. 1.

Students to Participate in Sandy Hook Memorial Concert

Written by Nana OwusuAgyemang

            Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University students will take part in a memorial concert for one of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims on Feb. 2 from 6-9 p.m. at Naugatuck High School in Naugatuck, CT. Two of Eastern's acappella groups -- "Key of She" and "Fallin' Flat" -- will perform at the event, dubbed "Perform For Peace: A Concert to Benefit." The public is invited. Tickets will be sold at the door. Admission is $10; $5 if you bring a non-perishable food item. All food items will be donated to the local food bank.

The concert, which will focus on promoting peace and positivity, will benefit the Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung Memorial Fund. Hochsprung was the principal at Sandy Hook; she died while trying to protect her students. Hochsprung's family has established a scholarship fund in her honor to benefit students from her hometown high school who are planning to pursue a career in education.

Other groups and individuals performing include: The "AcaBellas" from Central University State University (CCSU); CCSU "Too Good For Instruments"; "University of Connecticut (UConn) Chordials"; "UConn Notes Over Storrs"; Hartford's "Love Note Sentiment"; Naugatuck Community Choir; Derek Waldron; Nathan Glenister; Everett Casini; and the Rubber City Blues Band.

For more information on the Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung Memorial Fund, visit For more information about "Perform For Peace: A Concert to Benefit," email Jessica Johnson at


Administrative Faculty Raise $800 for No-Freeze Shelter

Written by Dwight Bachman

SUOAF Donation.jpg

Leigh Duffy, executive director of the No Freeze Hospitality Center, and (left) Kim Silcox, director of Eastern's Center for Community Engagement and a member of the shelter's board of directors, accept a check for $800 from Eric Germain, Eastern's environmental, health and safety coordinator.

Willimantic, Conn: -- The Eastern chapter of the State University Organization of Administrative Faculty (SUOAF) presented a check for $800 to the Windham Region No-Freeze Hospitality Center on Jan. 10. SUOAF raised the funds at its annual holiday gathering on Dec. 19.

"SUOAF members wanted to give back to the community in which we work each day," said Kevin Gill, president of  Eastern's SUOAF chapter. "The members had a say in where to donate money and overwhelmingly voted to give back to the local Willimantic community."

"The work of the Windham Region No Freeze Center is important to this community and this generous gift from SUOAF will help us to keep the doors open through the end of the season," said Leigh Duffy, executive director of the No Freeze Hospitality Center. "We truly could not exist without donations like this and are grateful for the support from the SUOAF members."

Virtue and Vice: The World of Lizbeth Anderson

Written by Christopher J. Herman

Akus Image by Liz Anderson.jpgWillimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University is hosting "Virtue and Vice: The World of Lizbeth Anderson" in the Akus Gallery through Feb. 28. A reception will take place on Jan. 31 from 5-7 p.m.

Anderson is a mixed-media artist, tattooer and art historian.
She works in a variety of media including paint, beeswax, collage, techniques of printmaking and skin. She also teaches historical painting techniques focused on the methods of the medieval and Renaissance Italian masters. She shows and sells her artwork at various venues.
 Anderson has traveled extensively in Italy and has studied the work and culture of 14th century Tuscan painters, as well as Baroque Italian sculpture and architecture. She has an acute interest in skin, anatomy and the history of tattooing. "Beeswax became a way for me to explore metaphorically the physicality of the body without being a traditionally figurative painter," said Anderson.  "Its luminous, visceral and literally alchemical properties became carriers for the content of my work. Ultimately, the intersection of the physical body and the spirit, of instinct and intellect, of virtue and vice, has been the motivation for me to make work for as long as I can remember."

The Akus Gallery is located in the lower level of Shafer Hall at the corner of Windham and Valley Streets in Willimantic.  Gallery hours are 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 1-7 p.m. on Thursday and 2-5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

For more information, call (860) 465-4659 or visit
For more information on Anderson's work, visit

Eastern to Perform "The Birds"

Written by Nana Owusuagyemang

            Willimantic, Conn. - The Theatre Program and Drama Society at Eastern Connecticut State University will present the Walter Kerr rendition of Aristophanes' play, "The Birds."  The play will be performed on Feb. 21-23 at 7:30 p.m. with mid-day matinĂ©es on Feb. 21-22 at 11 a.m., and Feb. 24 at 4 p.m. All productions are the in Harry Hope Theatre located on the ground floor of Shafer Hall at the corner of High and Valley Streets, Willimantic, CT. 

The public is invited. Admission is $5 for students and groups of 10 or more; $10 for Eastern faculty, staff and senior citizens; and $12 for the general public.

             "Walter Kerr's updated version of  Aristophanes' classical Greek comedy, "The Birds," will take the audience to a magical world where humans seek to become like their feathered friends in order to establish Cloud Cuckoo land -- a  kingdom high in the sky -- where they can live like and rule as the 'Gods,'" said Theatre Professor Ellen Faith Brodie. Described as a "fantastical, classical comedy for families, "The Birds" is set within a topsy-turvy world in which wildly comic archetypes, gender, power and politics are humorously presented through banter, song and dance," said Brodie. 

"The Birds" is the first of the Harry Hope Theatre's season of shows for the spring 2013 semester. For more information call the Box Office at (860) 465-5123 or email Ellen Brodie at


Special Olympics Call For Volunteers

Written by Christopher J. Herman

special olympics-1.JPGWillimantic, Conn. - Volunteers are needed for the 34th Annual Windham Invitational Special Olympics Swim Meet, which will be held on March 9, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Windham High School on High Street in Willimantic. According to Eastern chemistry professor Charles Wynn, who has been the meet director for 18 years, more than 200 athletes with disabilities from Connecticut and Massachusetts are expected to register for the competition.

"Volunteers are the backbone of this event," said Wynn. "Approximately 350 volunteers are needed to continue to make this event the largest and most successful Special Olympics Swim Meet in Connecticut.  The greatest need is for one-to-one partners, where participants are paired with their own special partner for the day.  Partners make sure athletes get to their registered events, cheer them on, and get them involved in activities when they are not swimming.  Volunteers are also needed in areas such as sports clinics, food service and water safety."          All volunteers will be provided with lunch from McDonald's and a souvenir Windham Special Olympics T-shirt.  Volunteer registration forms can be picked up in Goddard Hall, Room 114 on the Easter's campus. This activity is approved for community service credit.  Additional information as well as volunteer registration forms are available at

Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge

Written by Christopher J. Herman

energy forum speaker.jpg

Neighbor to Neighbor Speaker Kate Donnelly speaking to  audience on energy saving techniques.

Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University played host to the Connecticut Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge on Jan. 8 in the Science Building. Neighbor to Neighbor speakers Kate Donnelly and Corey Krohn moderated a discussion on how Connecticut residents could potentially improve their lives and the energy efficiency of their homes. 
         The Connecticut Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge is a nonprofit community savings program that engages residents in 14 Connecticut towns in ways to reduce their home's energy use by 20 percent. As residents take actions to make their homes more energy efficient, they earn points that can be redeemed for community rewards. If all the towns participate in the program, Neighbor to Neighbor would be able to reinvest $150 million on local Connecticut businesses.

"Neighbor to Neighbor offers a fantastic program for Connecticut residents," said Donelly. "The program really brings the cost down for homeowners and it provides a great opportunity for communities wishing to participate."


energy forum wide shot.jpgThe Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge is made possible by a $4.17 million competitive grant from the U.S. Department of Energy as part of the BetterBuildings initiative, whose mission is to create self-sustaining buildings and homes. Nine partner organizations work together to bring the Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge to Connecticut residents.

The program is administered by the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund and gathers resources and experience from other organizations including the Clean Water Fund, the Connecticut Energy Efficency Fund, EarthMarkets, EMpower Devices, MIT, Mobile Genius, SmartPower, SnuggHome and the Student Conservation Association.
Towns currently participating include Bethany, Cheshire, East Haddam, East Hampton, Glastonbury, Lebanon, Mansfield, Portland, Ridgefield, Weston, Westport, Wethersfield, Wilton and Windham.       
 For more information on Connecticut Neighbor to Neighbor Challenge, visit

U.S. Coast Guard Swing Band to Present Free Concert

Written by Ed Osborn

U.S. Coast Guard Swing Band.jpgWillimantic, Conn: -- Eastern Connecticut State University's 12th Annual Arts and Lecture Series continues on Feb. 5 with a free concert by the U.S. Coast Guard Swing Band. The concert will take place in Shafer Auditorium at 7 p.m.
Formed in the summer of 1989, "The Masters of Swing" U.S. Coast Guard Swing Band spotlights swing-era music of the '30s and '40s, performing compositions by such jazz greats as Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller and George Gershwin. Skillfully arranged by members of the group, the musical selections demand sparkling ensemble playing and highlight the performer's improvisational expertise. In Duke Ellington's words, "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!"

Swing Band musicians include band leader Joel Flunker on trumpet; Cedric Mayfield on clarinet; Greg Case on saxophone; Sean Nelson on trombone; Robert Langslet on piano and keyboards; Mark McCormick on bass; Nathan Lassell on drums; sound engineer Robert Holtorff; and vocalist Megan Weikleenget.

 The concert is free of charge; however, because seating is limited, those interested should reserve their seats by calling (860) 465-0036 or e-mailing

Eastern's First Winter Alternative Break Trip

Written by Christopher J. Herman

generous-garden.jpgWillimantic, Conn. - This year marks Eastern Connecticut State University's first Winter Alternative Break Trip. Eastern's Center for Community Engagement (CCE) is sponsoring a group of students to participate in the Generous Garden Project in Greenville, S.C. from Jan. 6-12. Students Christine Geer and Bill Villalba are coordinating the trip.

The Generous Garden Project's mission is to provide nutritious and fresh produce to local ministries and soup kitchens. They work to fight hunger by growing and harvesting their own fresh produce. Eastern students will be volunteering on the Project's farm and will learn a variety of organic farming techniques. Those participating in the project will bring back what they learn to develop similar programs in the Willimantic community.

For this trip to be possible, the group relies heavily on fundraising and the support of others in the Eastern community.  The J. Eugene Smith Library, the CCE and local Willimantic businesses have generously donated to the cause.

For more information on the Generous Garden Project, visit                                                                

Eastern Shines at National Student Activities Conference

Written by Christopher J. Herman

NACAgroup 2012.jpgFifteen students and staff from Eastern recently attended this year's National Association for Campus Activities conference at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford. Eastern's student Campus Activity Board (CAB) coordinators took home honors for several categories including Excellence in Programming, Best Poster, Best Themed Campaign and Best Traditional Promotion for their division.

Participating students included Amy Dillon, Samantha Codding, Sydney Hanlon, Dane Paracuelles, Giancarlos Perez, Keith Sunthorn, Thomas Balestracci, Solinda Keth, Jessica Johnson, Melissa Groccia, Emilee Blais, Samantha Stevens, Lauren Hopper, Kimberly Perna and Alexa Senia.

The National Association for Campus Activities advances campus activities in higher education through a business and learning partnership, creating educational and business opportunities for its school and professional members. NACA has more than 950 college and university members and over 550 associate members who represent artists, lecturers and performers.


College Goal Sunday

Written by Christopher J. Herman

college sunday patrick Kelly.jpgEastern Conn. - On Jan. 27, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., students and their parents will receive one-on-one expert advice in learning about financial aid and planning for college during College Goal Sunday at Eastern Connecticut State University. The event takes place in Room 410 of Webb Hall.        

Eastern is one of 15 locations around the state participating in the annual event. Students and their families will be able to talk with financial aid counselors and college staff in person to become familiar with college entrance requirements; learn about planning for college; and obtain on-site assistance in filling out financial aid applications. In addition to receiving assistance with their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), participants will receive general information about state and federal financial aid programs. Spanish language interpreters will be available.   

college sundaymariasi and RI family.jpgFor students who are the first ones in their families to attend college, the process of applying for college can seem complicated, especially finding financial resources and applying for financial aid. Participating in College Goal Sunday gives students and their families a jump start on the pathway to college by learning about preparing for college and financial aid in a welcoming setting.  Participants can get assistance in completing the FAFSA online. Most grants and scholarships require a completed FAFSA form, which does not obligate applicants to attend college, but is required for most sources of financial aid.

College Goal Sunday is funded and sponsored by the Lumina Foundation for Education, the Connecticut Association of Professional Financial Aid Administrators (CAPFAA), the Connecticut Association of Educational Opportunity Programs (CAEOP), and the YMCAs of Connecticut.           

For more information, contact Neville Brown at or (860) 465-4428.  For a list of all participating institutions and to find out what to bring to the event, visit

Singing Groups to Present Newtown Memorial Concert

Written by Dwight Bachman


Chorale-wide shot.jpgWillimantic, Conn: -- More than 200 singers and orchestra members from more than 20 ensembles across Connecticut, including Eastern Connecticut State University's Concert Chorale and Chamber Singers, will combine to present a memorial concert on Jan. 13 at 5 p.m. at St. Joseph's Church at 99 Jackson St. in Willimantic in honor of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy.  The public is invited. Admission is free; however, donations will be collected at the door.

 The concert, organized by David Belles, professor of music at Eastern, will present Faure's "Requiem" and other selections. Eastern's Chamber Singers and members of Guilford High School Chamber Singers will also perform "There Will be Rest" by Frank Tichelli. Some of the groups performing include Willimantic-based Renaissance Revival; Norwich Diocesan Choir; Concert Choir of Northeastern Connecticut; Vernon Chorale; Mystic River Chorale; Greater Middletown Chorale; E.O. Smith High School; Guilford High School; Hartford Gay Men's Chorus; Hartford Chorale; Hartford-based CONCORA AND VOCE, two professional choirs; Storrs Congregational Church; St. Mark's Chapel; and the Storrs and the Putnam Congregational Church.

Eastern Performing Arts Professor Anthony Cornicello will compose a work for organ to be dedicated and premiered during the concert, and the Willimantic-based Thread City Brass Quintet will perform prelude music.

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