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February 2013 Archives

Eastern Students Partake in Green Lights Project

Written by Nana Ama Owusu-Agyemang

photo(2).JPGWillimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Department of Visual Arts, in partnership with The Willimantic Screen Project, the Willimantic Brewing Company, Thread City Development Inc. and the Town of Windham is contributing to a video project titled "Green Lights," running through March 17. "Green Lights" is a video projection of approximately 40 different interpretations of green light for the façade of the Willimantic Brewing Company.    

This is the Last Green Valley's third annual showcase, and is currently on view in public space in downtown Willimantic, visible at night. The Last Green Valley is the 35-town National Heritage Corridor in eastern Connecticut and south-central Massachusetts. At night, the region appears distinctively dark amid the urban and suburban glow when viewed from satellites or aircraft.  In the daytime, the green fields and forests confirm the surprisingly rural character of the 1,085 square-mile area defined by the Quinebaug and Shetucket Rivers systems, and the rugged hills that surround them. 

"I'm very proud of the work our students have done," said Eastern Professor of Visual Arts June Bisantz, of her Graphic Design 2 class. The students, along with local artists, have contributed images to "Green Lights." Students participating in the project include Kara Berglund, Melissa Blazejak, Christina Broccoli, Cory Carabetta, Laura Cardeno, Samantha Cohen, Braden Herrick, Lindsay Hopkins, Lauren Hopper, Solinda Keth, Michael King, Hannah Lewis, Cassandra Marion, Alyssa Reilly and Julie Vega.

For more information about the "Green Lights" project, contact Bisantz at or (860) 465-5174.


Willimantic Orchestra to Perform at Eastern

Written by Nana Ama Owusu-Agyemang

Willimantic orchestra.JPG Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Performing Arts Department will host the Willimantic Orchestra on March 3 at 3 p. m. in Shafer Auditorium. The public is invited. Admission is free, though a donation is encouraged. Shafer Auditorium is in Shafer Hall, located at Valley and High Streets in Willimantic.

Conducted by David Vaughan, part-time professor of performing arts, the orchestra performances will feature Jeanne Pocius on trumpet and include presentations of Ludovic Lamother's "Danza No. 3"; Michael Haydn's "Trumpet Concerto No.2" in D; Julio Racine's "Trois Feuille" for Trumpte and String Orchestra; and F. Laguerre's "Conte Haitien" and "Un sèl badjo, mi-an, mi-an." Beethoven's "Egmont Overture"; Saint-Saens' "Bacchanale" from "Samson and Delilah," and Anderson's "Bugler's Holiday" will also be performed.

The Willimantic Orchestra is a non-profit orchestra of local community members committed to playing authentic orchestral music. For more information regarding the Willimantic Orchestra, visit

For more information about the performance, contact conductor David Vaughan, at (860) 429-0865 or

Eastern's Black and White Ball

Written by Christopher J. Herman

black white ball - students dancing.jpgWillimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Intercultural Center is hosting its second annual Black and White Ball at 7 p.m. on Feb. 28 in the Betty R. Tipton Room in the Student Center.  The celebration is being held to commemorate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. The public is invited. Admission is free.            
During the event, the Intercultural Center will also be accepting donations for the No Freeze Shelter and the First Baptist Church. Leigh Duffy, director of the No Freeze Shelter, and Fred Shapiro, pastor of the First Baptist Church, will attend the ball.

The Intercultural Center is responsible for events that focus on Eastern's diversity and cultural understanding. The center provides a tranquil environment, where students can study and relax away from the daily bustle of college life.        For more information on the event, contact Starsheemar Byrum at (860) 465-4314 or

Forum on Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Written by Christopher J. Herman

 Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Center for Community Engagement (CCE) will host a forum on immigration reform and the difficulties immigrant families face when coming to the United States from 2:30-4:30 p.m. on Feb. 24 in the Betty R. Tipton in the Student Center. The public is invited. Admission is free.   Participants will gain new insights into the immigration debate, as they hear from community organizers, undocumented young adults brought here as children and adults with no formal authorization.
 Forum sponsors include the Foundation for Campus Ministry, Inc.; United Action Connecticut (UACT); Committee: "Embracing the Same Dream;" Corpus Christi Catholic Community of Willimantic; Office for Hispanic Ministry; and the Diocese of Norwich, CT.  For more information on the event, contact Tim Eakins at (860) 752-4328 or

Bob Woodward to Speak at Eastern

Written by Christopher J. Herman

Woodward.jpg     Willimantic, Conn. - Award-winning journalist and author Bob Woodward will be the fourth and final speaker in Eastern Connecticut State University's 2012-13 Arts and Lecture Series. The series is celebrating its 12th season. Woodward will speak at 7 p.m. on March 12 in the Betty R. Tipton Room of the Student Center. Tickets are $10 each for the general public, but free of charge to all students.                Since 1971, Woodward has worked for The Washington Post, where he is currently an associate editor. He and Carl Bernstein were the main reporters on the Watergate scandal for which The Post won the Pulitzer Prize in 1973. Their book, "All the President's Men," formed the basis for the Academy Award-winning movie of the same name.     

     Woodward was also the lead reporter for The Post's articles on the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City that won the 2002 National Affairs Pulitzer Prize. In 2004, CBS News anchor Bob Schieffer of CBS News said, "Woodward has established himself as the best reporter of our time. He may be the best reporter of all time."  

     Woodward has authored and co-authored 17 books, all of which have been national no-fiction best sellers. His most recent book, "The Price of Politics" is based on 18 months of reporting, and is an examination of how President Obama and Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress tried to restore the American economy and improve the federal government's fiscal condition.          
     A native to Illinois, Woodward is a 1965 graduate of Yale University and served five years as a communication officer in the United States Navy before beginning his journalism career at the Montgomery County Sentinel, where he was a reporter for one year before joining The Post.       

     Persons interested in attending Woodward's presentation can reserve seats by calling (860) 465-0036 or e-mailing

Eastern Holds Second Brown Bag Concert

Written by Nana OwusuAgyemang

 Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Performing Arts Department will hold a Brown Bag Concert on March 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 of 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 second of the Brown Bag Concert series for the spring 2013 semester.


Billie Jean Young to Portray Fannie Lou Hamer

Written by Gabrielle Little

bille jean young as fannie lou hammer.jpgWillimantic, Conn. - Actor and poet Billie Jean Young will present at Eastern Connecticut State University's University Hour Series from 3-4 p.m. on Feb. 27 in the Student Center Theatre. Young's presentation will include a performance of the one-woman show, "Fannie Lou Hamer: This Little Light."  The public is invited. Admission is free.

Young's captivating, award-winning show recaptures the breadth and majesty of Hamer's brave journey from a downtrodden field worker to a victorious champion of civil and human rights.
In 2004, Young performed her re-enactment of the speech that Hamer presented at the 1964 Democratic National Convention. Young is a resident of Perry County, AL, where she serves as an artist-in-residence at Judson College in Marion.

"Reverse Internship" Program to Help Adult Students

Written by Danielle Couture

Willimantic, CT - - Eastern Connecticut State University's School of Continuing Education has organized a "Reverse Internship" program, offering help to adult students who want to gain college credits towards their degree for what they have learned at work and can validate.

The program, titled "The Reverse Internship: Converting Banked Applied Learning into College Credit," was formed with the help of a $25,000 grant from the American Council on Education (ACE). The program offers adult students a way to turn their previous work experience into college credits, equivalent to a standard internship.

With the help of faculty, adult students take an online, interactive, reverse internship tutorial which requires them to reflect upon their experiences, identify what they have learned in various categories and then document how they acquired that learning. "The online tutorials challenged every one of us to dig deep into our experiences and recall, reconstruct and then put into proper college format all those bits and pieces that are the puzzle of a life," said Hamden resident Robert Grindle, who participated in the program. "The Continuing Education staff at Eastern has been incredible and encouraging, to the point of being inspirational."

 "Through the program, Eastern hopes to increase the number of part-time adult students who will complete their degree at Eastern," said Carol Williams, associate dean of the School of Continuing Education.
Persons interested in participating in the program should contact Williams at (860) 465-5250 or e-mail her at

Eastern Students Take Global Field Course to Hawaii

Written by Danielle Couture


Hawaii 1.jpg

Students participating in the course included Ashley Lovett, Chad Dominique, Paul Lietz, Melissa Conkling, Robert Morgan, Michael Pina. and Darcy Bruce.


Willimantic, CT - - Seven Eastern Connecticut State University students, accompanied by Assistant Professor of Theatre J.J. Cobb, traveled to Oahu, HI, from Jan. 1-13, to perform a series of theatrical pieces ranging from scenes to monologues to readings. The trip was the culmination of the Site-Specific Theatre course the group had taken during the fall semester, when they wrote their performances and learned about the history and culture of Hawaii.

Site-Specific Theatre is a creative approach that illuminates how a location can influence events; theatrical stories are constructed about a particular place, and are then performed on site. Students participating in the course included Ashley Lovett, Chad Dominique, Paul Lietz, Melissa Conkling, Robert Morgan, Michael Pina. and Darcy Bruce.

Cobb, who was born in Honolulu, noticed her student's assumptions and misperceptions about the Hawaiian Islands, and thought exposure to the reality of the culture was important. "During this experience, theatre is being used as a new way of 'encountering' a place," Cobb says. "In the past, the Theatre Program has offered tours for students to go to a location to study and view shows, but this is the first opportunity for students to generate and perform theatrical pieces of their own during travel."

Hawaii 2.jpg

                                    Students visiting tourist sights in their off time.


When performing, the students literally "popped up" in various places around Oahu and acted out their pieces. "It was tough to battle the noise of our surroundings, including passing traffic and people," said Paul Lietz, a senior majoring in theatre. "But it was a good obstacle for me to try to find different ways to grab people's attention, since they couldn't always hear me."

The Eastern students visited many sites such as the Polynesian Cultural Center, Hanauma Bay, Pearl Harbor and the North Shore, which helped them become familiar with the history of the island. They also experienced cultural activities such as fire-dancing and paddle boarding.

Students also worked with local actors who helped them with the historical accuracy of their scripts and the pronunciation of Hawaiian words. "Getting to see their technique and how they perform and vocalize in their native tongue was probably one of the biggest things I could have gotten out of working with them," said Chad Dominique, a junior majoring in theatre. "It made me realize that theatre is and always will be a universal art form."

Rachel's Challenge

Written by Christopher J. Herman

Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Intercultural and Women's Centers will host "Rachel's Challenge" at 7 p.m. on Feb. 26 in the Betty R. Tipton Room in the Student Center. The public is invited.

Rachel's Challenge is a series of student empowering programs and strategies that equip students and adults to combat bullying, and to allay feelings of isolation and despair by creating a culture of kindness and compassion. The programs are based on the writings and life of 17-year-old Rachel Scott, who was the first student killed at Columbine High School in 1999. Scott left a legacy of reaching out to those who were different, who were picked on by others or who were new at her school.
            "I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, then it will start a chain reaction of the same," wrote Scott in one of her many articles on anti-bullying.   "People will never know how far a little kindness can go."

Rachel's Challenge was started by Rachel's father and stepmother, Darrell and Sandy Scott. They both realized that their daughter's writings and drawings not only had an impact on her friends and classmates, but also resonated with students around the world.    

For more information on the program, contact Starsheemar Byrum at (860) 465-4314, or interculturalctr@easternct.

The Vagina Monologues

Written by Christopher J. Herman

Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Women's Center will host Eve Ensler's "The Vagina Monologues" at 7 p.m. on Feb. 21 and Feb. 22 in the Student Center Theatre. The public is invited. Admission is $5 for students and $7 for faculty, staff and the public.     

Based on interviews of more than 200 women, the episodic play is a poignant, joyous and heartbreaking examination of female self-discovery. Celebrated and performed across cities and on campuses around the world, the Vagina Monologues give voice to real women's stories of moving past violence, rejection and shame to fully accept their bodies and reclaim their sexuality. All performances will feature Eastern students, faculty and staff, with proceeds donated to the Sexual Assault Crisis Center of Eastern Connecticut, Inc. and Ensler's V-Day campaign, a global movement to end sexual-violence against women and girls.

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

16th Annual Connecticut Young Writer's Competition

Written by Christopher J. Herman

Willimantic, Conn. - The Connecticut Young Writer's Trust has announced its 16th Annual Writing Competition, the state's longest running literary contest dedicated to encouraging youth literacy and creative expression. The organization encourages high school teachers from around the state to submit their students' prose and/or poetry to the annual writing competition through their online system.
Students need to be enrolled or in the equivalent of 9th through 12th grades in a public, private, parochial, Catholic, remedial or home school and all nominations must be made by a teacher. The annual awards ceremony will be held in June, where a team of published writers, journalists, and professors will announce the winners from a pool of finalists.

  Finalists and two teachers will be rewarded for their hard work at the awards ceremony. The high school teachers who enter the most submissions in poetry and in prose respectively will receive $250 to the retailer of their choosing. The deadline for submissions is March 15. Enter all submissions at

  For more information, visit,; or email Connecticut's Young Writer's Trust at

Eastern Hosts "One Billion Rising" Presentation

Eastern Connecticut State University's Women's Center will host "One Billion Rising" from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on Feb. 14 in the Student Center Lobby.

Around the world, one in every three women will be sexually or physically assaulted in her lifetime. On Valentine's Day, Eve Ensler, the founder of One Billion Rising, encourages men and women to join the global campaign to end sexual violence. The organization encourages one billion women and those who love them to walk, dance, rise up and demand the issues of sexual- and gender-based violence to be addressed. Eastern students are invited to dance and support the Women's Center mission to promote One Billion Rising and its goal of bringing sexual violence against women to light.

According to a World Bank report, it is estimated that sexual violence against women was as serious a cause of death and incapacity among women of reproductive age as cancer, and a greater cause of ill-health than traffic accidents and malaria combined. Sadly, the human cost of gender-based violence is invisible in many countries. Fear and shame continue to prevent many women from speaking out, and data collected is often insufficient and inconsistent. Even in countries that enjoy relative peace and prosperity, many women are living in a constant state of fear and insecurity.

For more information on the program and the One Billion Rising organization, contact Starsheemar Byrum at (860) 465-4314 or

Eastern Hosts Triathlon

Written by Danielle Couture

Eastern Connecticut State University's Track and Field team, along with Newington Bicycle, is hosting an indoor triathlon on Sunday, Feb. 10, in the Eastern Sports Center. The event is open to everyone.

The race will take place in groups of 12 people. Each person will swim for 20 minutes, transition to a bike set up in the Sports Center lobby and ride for 20 minutes, and then move into the gym to run laps for 20 minutes. All athletes will have a volunteer assistant to help them transition through the events and keep track of the results. The event is a great opportunity to stay in shape during the winter.

There will be a $35 cost to register. All proceeds will benefit Eastern's Track and Field programs. If you are interested in participating, go to to register, or contact Kathy Manizza, track and field coach, at (860)465-4341.

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