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September 2013 Archives

Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys

Written by Christoper J. Herman

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Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University recently presented "Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys," a multi-day cultural exhibition showcasing Islamic artwork, architecture and history. The Muslim Journeys Bookshelf collection consists of 25 books, three films and a database called Oxford Islamic Studies Online. This is a collection of resources carefully curated to present new and diverse perspectives on the people, places, histories, beliefs, practices, and cultures of Muslims in the United States and around the world.

Former Eastern Librarian Tracy Sutherland originally planned the event last year. Eastern librarians Carol Reichardt and Janice Wilson, and other library staff organized and presented the events and coordinated with guest lecturers.

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                Yahya Michot, professor of Islamic Studies at the Hartford Seminary

Michele Boskovic, professor of French in the Department of World Languages and Cultures, started off the series of presentations on Sept. 16 by introducing the literary editions of the grant collection. Yahya Michot, professor of Islamic Studies at the Hartford Seminary, gave an informative lecture about Islam. On Sept. 19, a film about Islamic art, architecture and history was presented to students in the Paul E. Johnson Sr. Conferernce Room of the J. Eugene Smith Library.

"It was very informative," said one Eastern student. "I know so little about Islamic art and architecture. So many of buildings and gardens that were shown looked so beautiful. It was great getting the chance to see it." Additional activities included sampling Mediterranean Cuisine and the option of getting free henna designs, a type of tattoo known for its floral patterns.

Muslim Journeys was funded through a grant award from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association. Additional support for the program was provided by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York. Additional support for the arts and media components was provided by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art. Eastern was one of several hundred libraries and state humanities councils across the country that were chosen to receive the grant contributions.

The books and videos are available to borrow in J Eugene Smith Library. They are located near the library circulation desk.


Eastern Presents "We Are Blended"

Written by Christopher J. Herman

Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Campus Activity Board (CAB), the Intercultural Center, the Office of Housing and Residential Life and the Women's Center recently co-sponsored "We Are Blended," a social change initiative that encourages immigrants and U.S.-born residents to reach out to each other. The Eastern departments worked with the Chinese and American Cultural and Assistance Corporation and Adam Bowles, the owner of Not With Ink, a Connecticut-based multimedia company that raises awareness of select topics on a project-by-project basis. The two organizations have sponsored and showcased the program across Connecticut.

 "My vision and passion is to spread the message of 'speak kindly' and 'take notice' to as many communities and schools as possible," said Bowles. "This message is found in the book of Ruth in the Bible. I want to challenge people to "speak kindly" to one another in order to put immigrants at ease and to "take notice" of immigrant students by recognizing them as more than just another face in the crowd. It's a small part to play in the spectrum of all things immigration. But it's the part I feel called to play."
The keynote speaker, Carlos Castro, founder of Todos Supermarket, talked to Eastern students about pursuing the dream of having a life of freedom and success. Today, Castro is a self-made immigrant millionaire who has been featured nationally, including in the Washington Post, for his amazing rise from cleaning toilets to owning a supermarket chain in Virginia. Castro talked about the importance of staying focused and determined. He lectured Eastern students on the importance of being kind and taking notice of each other as a community.

 Eastern has more than 50 international students from various countries including Senegal, Norway, Denmark, Turkey, China, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Pakistan. These students speak more than 40 languages, including French, Spanish, Swedish, Wolof, Urdu, Pidgin, Portuguese, Creole, Dutch, German, Italian, Hindi, Turkish, Japanese, Akan, Norwegian, Arabic and Farsi.

 For more information on upcoming events in the Intercultural and Women's Center, visit Cultural Celebrations or contact Starsheemar Byrum at

Eastern to Hold Brown Bag Concert

Written by Danielle Couture

Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Performing Arts Department will hold a Brown Bag Concert on Oct.11 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 fall 2013 semester.

Eastern to Present "Dancing At Lughnasa"

Written by Danielle Couture


Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Theatre Program and Drama Society will present "Dancing At Lughnasa" written by Ireland's renowned playwright Brian Friel, in the Harry Hope Theatre in Shafer Hall.

The play, directed by assistant professor of theatre J.J. Cobb, will run Oct. 10-13 and Oct. 15-16 (Thursday-Saturday at 7:30 p.m.; Tuesday-Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.) with a 4 p.m. matinee on Oct. 13. The public is invited. Admission is $5 for students and groups of 10 or more; $10 for Eastern faculty, staff, alumni and senior citizens; and $12 for the general public.

The play is "set in County Donegal in 1936, and explores five sisters at a crossroads in their lives," says Performing Arts Department chair David Pellegrini. "Through humor, colorful dialogue and beautifully-drawn characterizations, this Tony Award-winning play delves into the bonds of sisterhood, faith, social change in Ireland between the two world wars."

Reflecting upon the script, Cobb says, "This is one of my favorite plays of all time. I've had a true affection for this story since seeing the original production more than 20 years ago. I've waited to direct it until the moment when I could gather the right ensemble, to be led primarily by a core of strong, open and passionate women. Now is that moment."

An opening night gala for ticket holders will be held at 6 p.m. in the Akus Gallery in Shafer Hall. Featuring Irish music, the event is being co-sponsored by the Performing Arts Department, the Women's Center and the Intercultural Center.
For more information on "Dancing At Lughnasa," call the University Box Office at (860) 465-5123 or email Ellen Brodie at

Students Inducted into Communication Honor Society

Written by Jordan Sakal

Willimantic, Conn. - Forty-five students majoring in communication at Eastern Connecticut State University were inducted into the Tau Nu Chapter of the Lambda Pi Eta National Honor Society on Sept. 23, 2013, and will later be installed into the club in a formal ceremony on March 27, 2014.

The honor society recognizes students who have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0, have a communication studies GPA of at least 3.25, are in the upper 35 percent of their graduating class, and are enrolled in good standing and display a commitment to the field of communication.

Inductees included Amanda Baum, a junior from Bolton; Justin Bedard, a junior from Coventry; Patrick Boyne, a sophomore from Glastonbury; William Brodersen, a junior from Glastonbury,  Gregory Canzio, a sophomore from Sandy Hook; Holly Carver,  a senior  from East Haddam; Meredith Cooper, a junior from Enfield; Danielle Couture, a sophomore from Glastonbury; Rachel Desantis, a senior from Trumbull; Elizabeth Disco, a junior from Gales Ferry; Katelyn Dobrowolski, a junior from Bristol; Michael Downs, a junior from Torrington; Monique Dumaine, a sophomore from Manchester; Amanda Eckert, a sophomore from Stamford; Summer Egan, a junior from Willimantic; Theodore Escalona. a junior from Ashford;  Lauren Feige; a junior from Milford; Katie George, a junior from Danbury; Catherine Gothers, a junior from Wethersfield; Matthew Hesterberg, a junior from Harwinton; Emily Haggett, a sophomore from Ledyard; Nicolle Hill, a junior from Willimantic; Christine Jardes, a junior from Vernon; Kyle Kammer, a sophomore from Ridgefield; Cindy Kapp, a senior from Bethel; Stephanie King, a sophomore from Columbia; Sarah Krulicki, a junior from Torrington; Carrie Mantis, a junior from Glastonbury; Nicole McBride, a junior from Torrington; Abby McCarthy, a sophomore from Coventry; Anthony Miclon, a sophomore from Enfield; Alex Owen, a junior from Woodstock; Paras Pirzada, a junior from Brooklyn, CT; Zachary Powers, a junior from Clinton; Alexandra Remy, a junior from Meriden; Amanda Rivers, a junior from Meriden; Jordan Sakal, a senior from East Hartford; Rebecca Sanderson, a sophomore from Wallingford; Rose Saxton, a junior from Marlborough; Shanna Steele, a junior from Tolland; Emily Stevenson, a junior from Portland; Evan Walsh, a sophomore from Bolton; Andrew Way, a sophomore from Lisbon, CT; Christopher Weedon, a sophomore from Simsbury; and Lauren Zenzie, a sophomore from Newington.

John O'Donnell's Busy Fall Exhibition Schedule

Written by Akaya McElveen

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Willimantic, Conn. - John O'Donnell, adjunct professor of art at Eastern Connecticut State University will be featured in numerous art exhibitions for the fall 2013 semester. O'Donnell teaches painting and drawing at Eastern. His solo exhibition, "Ponzi Structure," will be featured at Real Art Ways in Hartford, CT, until Sept. 29. "The title refers to a Ponzi scheme, a fraudulent investment operation, much similar to a pyramid scheme," said O'Donnell. "These structures and systems are built on deception and bound to fail."

O'Donnell will also present drawings of dinosaurs in the "Hartford DADA" exhibition at the Pumphouse Gallery in Hartford, CT. The exhibit will open 5-9 p.m. on Sept. 26 and will run through Nov. 1.

He will also take part in an exhibition titled "New Prints 2013/Autumn" at the International Print Center New York (IPCNY) in New York, NY. The opening reception will take place on Nov. 7, and the exhibit will be open from Oct. 29 through Nov. 30.

Lastly, O'Donnell will present a large-scale watercolor in the exhibition, "Habitat" at Manchester Community College's Hans Weiss Newspace Gallery in Manchester, CT. It will be curated by Susan Classen-Sullivan.

The exhibit will run from Oct. 24 through Dec. 4, with the opening reception at 6 p.m. on Oct. 24. O'Donnell can be contacted at


Nancy Wynn Invited to Show at "Hartford DADA" Exhibition

Written by Akaya McElveen


Willimantic, Conn. - Nancy Wynn, assistant professor of digital art and design at Eastern Connecticut State University has been invited to showcase her piece titled "I Pledge Allegiance" in the "Hartford DADA" exhibit at the Pumphouse Gallery in Hartford, CT. The exhibit will open 5-9 p.m. on Sept. 26 and will run through until Nov. 1.

"I Pledge Allegiance," created in 2004, is a reaction to war and gun violence in America. It questions America's sense of allegiance and the system of homeland security.

The Pumphouse Gallery, originally built in 1947 by the Army Corps of Engineers and resembling an English cottage, is the only public gallery in a municipal park in Connecticut. It acts as a gallery for local Connecticut artists as well as a functioning pump house as part of the Connecticut River Flood Control Project.

All inquiries about the Pumphouse Gallery should be directed to the City of Hartford at (860) 757-4895.

Eastern Presents NPR's Chion Wolf

Written by Danielle Couture


Willimantic, Conn. -Eastern Connecticut State University will present National Public Radio's (NPR) Chion Wolf as part of Eastern's University Hour Series in Science 104, from 3-4 p.m. on Sept. 25. Wolf will discuss her unlikely career path in "Find a Job You Love and Do What No One Else Is Doing with It."

Wolf is a successful radio producer, voice actor and photographer for NPR. She is the announcer for WNPR's Colin McEnroe Show, and does voice-over all over the country. Listen to a journey that started with a simple internship and led to her becoming one of NPR's most famous radio personalities.

University Hour is open to the public and admission is free.

Board of Regents President Gray Visits Eastern's Campus

Written by Dwight Bachman

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Willimantic, Conn -- Eastern President Elsa Núñez, along with more than 100 students, faculty and staff, greeted Connecticut State Universities and Colleges (ConnSCU) Board of Regents President  Gregory Gray to campus on Sept. 18. The new president of Connecticut's Board of Regents for Higher Educatonis in the midst of touring the 17 schools that make up the state's public higher education system. Gray took over as president on July . He oversees the Board of Regents, which governs 12 community colleges, four state universities, and Charter Oak College,  the state's on-line institution.

Nunez praised Gray for his vision; his goal of restoring integrity to the system and for finding opportunities for more collaboration between community colleges and the four-year universities.

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Gray, noting that Eastern students were already fortunate to have a beautiful, physical setting, said, "Pristine is all around you here. Knowing that you were so dedicated to having such a beautiful campus tells me this same dedication must be taking place in the classroom as well."  He said his primary goal is to improve the learning environment on campuses, "making it go from very good to great."

Gray said he believes that by working together with faculty members who have a deep-rooted passion for excellence, ConnSCU will become a world-class system of higher education. To achieve this long-range goal, Gray wants to (1) restore trust and integrity to the system; (2) make the system more efficient and productive; (3) develop a plan to benefit current and future students.

"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we have to get it right. I want to develop a plan that will positively impact student 25 years from now." He said online education courses; a unified calendar for all system colleges and universities; and seamless transfer of credits will better serve students. "Saving money is important, but that is not the primary goal. We want to provide access and focus on what we should focus on a student's purpose for being here, which is to learn.  We then, want tell the world about it."

Gray said he wants board meetings to focus on student presentations about their achievements, and to see more scholarship celebrated on campus through academic fairs showcasing faculty books and student-published articles. He believes his plan will identify areas of efficiency, producing a more clearly-defined niche for each university.

During a question and answer period, Gray told students who want to be assured their voices are heard to "speak up, but get your facts straight. I assure you I will do all I can to support the integration of teaching, learning and service to our students. I say let's improve the overall efficiency of the system; improve the learning environment; give the governor and the legislature a good plan; and get it funded."


Latino Migration Project Presents Overmyer-Velázquez

Written by Danielle Couture

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Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University and the Windham Textile and History Museum will celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month this fall with two events open to the general public. On Saturday, Sept. 21, Mark Overmyer-Velázquez will deliver a speech, "Global Latinos: Connecticut's Latin American Diaspora", and on Oct. 12, a panel on Latino policy will be held. Both events are scheduled as part of ongoing "Latino Migration Exhibit," on display at the museum through Dec. 8, 2013.

Overmyer-Velázquez, director of El Instituto: Institute of Latina/o, Caribbean and Latin American Studies, will explain how Willimantic's Latinos are part of larger state, national and global diasporic movements. His presentation will "de-center the history and experience of Latinos away from the United States as a singular and single migratory destination and consider instead a larger global framework for understanding the movement of people from Latin American and the Caribbean." The panel on Latino policy will consist of former and current members of Willimantic's Town Council who will address the history of political participation of Latinos in various elected positions and talk about the major policy issues currently impacting the Latino community. Among the panel participants are Lourdes Montalvo, Yolanda Negrón, Luz Osuba, Robert Fernández and Américo Santiago. 

In September 1968, the U.S. Congress authorized President Lyndon B. Johnson to proclaim National Hispanic Heritage Week, observed during the week that included Sept. 15 and Sept. 16. The observance was expanded in 1989 by Congress to a month-long celebration (Sept. 15 - Oct. 15). Sept. 15 was chosen as the beginning of the month-long celebration because it marks the anniversary of the independence of five Latin American countries (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua). Mexico's Independence Day is Sept. 16 and Chile's Sept. 18.

Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month has cemented the popular usage of the term "Hispanic," an ethnic label created by the U.S. Congress with the approval of Law 94-311. The law mandated the Census Bureau to collect, analyze and publish demographic data on the Hispanic population. As a result, the term "Hispanic" has been adopted as a government construct to classify people who trace their ancestry to Spain, Mexico, and the Spanish-speaking countries of the Caribbean and Central and South America. The term has gained popular acceptance after being used in all census schedules from 1980 to the present. In 1997, a directive of the Office of Management and Budget added the term Latino to Hispanic. 

"Global Latinos: Connecticut's Latin American Diaspora" and the panel on Latino policy are part of the Windham Textile and History Museum's Lyceum Series. Both events start at 4 p.m. and will take place at the Windham Textile and History Museum, located at 411 Main St. in Willimantic. The two events are free and open to the general public. The Latino Migration Exhibit opened to the general public on March 22, 2013, and will be on display until Dec. 8, 2013. The exhibit, which documents the history and significance of Latin American immigration to Willimantic since the mid-20th century, can be viewed during the museum's normal operating hours: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. General admission is $7.

For more information, please, contact Ricardo Pérez at or Jamie Eves at or (860) 456-2178.

Eastern's Poverty Awareness Marathon

Written by Christopher J. Herman

 Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University is hosting its fifth annual Poverty Awareness Marathon with a goal of collecting 462 nonperishable items (to represent the 46.2 million Americans living in poverty) which will be donated to the Covenant Soup Kitchen. The marathon will be held from 7 a.m. to noon on Sept. 20. Registration is on the day of the event. A monetary donation of at least $1 or a canned good is needed to register.
    Health and Physical Education Professor Charlie Chatterton, Eastern's men's lacrosse team, Eastern's women's soccer team, and numerous other Eastern organizations are participating in the marathon. Donors and supporters will have the opportunity to run, walk or cheer on the participants during the marathon.

 "Although we do intend to collect non-perishable food during this event, the overarching goal is to kick off this year's community service opportunities with a project that raises awareness of something that impacts both our local and our global communities," said Event Coordinator Maxwell Goto. "This event is a good way to raise awareness and promote service in our community that will help alleviate some of the stresses that poverty inflicts on an individual or family."

 Donations should be dropped off at the Sports Center or the Center for Community Engagement, located on the second floor of the Woods Support Services Center. For more information, call the Center for Community Engagement at (860) 465-0900.

Eastern Alumnus Darien Lewie Discusses Financial Markets

Written by Jordan Sakal

Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern's Department of Economics and the Economics Club hosted alumnus Darien Lewie who lectured on the state of U.S. Financial Markets on November 5, in the Johnson Community Room of J. Eugene Smith Library. Lewie graduated from Eastern in May 1999 with a degree in economics that he parlayed into a job at Merrill Lynch focusing on providing financial advice services for the company. In 2008, Lewie founded his own company located in Granby, Connecticut called Lewie Financials that provides financial advisory services. In 2011, he started Lewie Insurance, which is an independent property and casualty insurance company. Through his hard work and dedication, Darian Lewie has achieved great things, and to this day, he has never forgotten the beginning steps he took at Eastern Connecticut State University.

Fall Skies at Eastern and a Space Update

Written by Jordan Sakal

Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern's Department of Physical Sciences hosted a show
titled, "Fall Skies and Space Update" on September 16th, in the Robert K. Wickware Planetarium. The presentation showed which constellations like Sagittarius, Capricorn, Pisces, and Vega (which is a star part of the constellation Lyra) are available to be seen just by craning your head skyward and looking into the heavens during these fall months and into wintertime. Also discussed was recent space news with the space probe Voyager I making its way out of our solar system and into the region known as interstellar space. The "space between space."

Hosts of the event, Drs. Pazameta and Sampson said "The most remarkable thing about Voyager is that there are modern refrigerators that are "higher tech" and have more computing power than Voyager which was developed and launched in 1977."  The thing visitors should take away from their travels to the planetarium is that there is so much out there still to explore and learn about. According to Pazameta, "Science is the application of the laws of nature, without understanding science; you cannot have any technology, any advancement in society. That is why science is still so important in schools today."

University Hour Welcomes the Poetry of John Guzlowski

Written by Danielle Couture

Willimantic, CT - - John Guzlowski, professor emeritus at Eastern Illinois University, will present his poetry as part of Eastern Connecticut State University's University Hour series in the Paul E. Johnson Sr. Conference Room of the J. Eugene Smith Library from 3-4 p.m. on Oct. 2.

Guzlowski was born in a refugee camp after World War II, and came with his family to the United States as a Displaced Person in 1951.  Through his poetry, Guzlowski shares his experiences of growing up in the immigrant and refugee neighborhoods around Humboldt Park in Chicago and the people he met there.

His poems also remember his parents, by sharing their experience before, during and after they were taken into Nazi Germany as slave laborers.

 A number of these poems appear in his books: Language of Mules, Lightning and Ashes (Steel Toe Books) and Third Winter of War: Buchenwald (Finishing Line Press).

Eastern Presents Rita Chiarelli and Wally Lamb

Written by Danielle Couture

Rita Chiarelli-Final.jpgWillimantic, CT - - Rita Chiarelli, Canada's most highly acclaimed female roots and blues artist, and Wally Lamb, bestselling local author, will be this year's first presenters for Eastern Connecticut State University's Arts and Lecture Series in the Betty R. Tipton Room at 7 p.m. on Oct. 9.

Chiarelli has won every major Canadian blues award, including multiple Maple Blues awards, CBC's Great Canadian Blues Award, a JUNO (a Canadian Grammy) award and four JUNO nominations.

Her most recent release is the soundtrack to the documentary film "Music from the Big House," recorded live with the inmates of Louisiana's maximum-security Angola Prison, considered to be the "birthplace of the blues."


Norwich native Wally Lamb is the bestselling author of "The Hour I First Believed," "She's Come Undone," "I Know This Much Is True" and "We Are Water." Wally Photo 5.jpgLamb has facilitated a writing program at the York Correctional Institute in Niantic; Connecticut's only women's prison. The writing program has produced two collections of the inmates' writing, "Couldn't Keep It to Myself: Testimonies from Our Imprisoned Sisters" and "I'll Fly Away: Further Testimonies from the Women of York Prison."

Chiarelli and Lamb's presentation will include a viewing of the film "Music from the Big House," followed by a musical performance by Chiarelli. Afterwards, Chiarelli will be joined by Lamb to discuss "Healing in Prison Through the Arts."

Tickets are free for students and $10 for the public. To reserve your ticket, call (860) 465-0036 or e-mail

Ricky Magner is Eastern's First Undergraduate Research Fellow.

Written by Jordan Sakal

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Willimantic, Conn. - 

Richard "Ricky" Magner, a senior studying mathematics at Eastern Connecticut State University, is the University's first Undergraduate Research Fellow. The research fellowship program provides undergraduate students with a stipend and the opportunity to research with experienced professionals in their field. During his freshman year, Magner met Professor Mizan Khan of the Mathematics Department and was invited to take part in the research that Khan was undertaking in the field of Number Theory.

"The interesting part of the experience was that the original question we started out with wasn't answered in the end," said Magner. "We realized that it was not the most successful question to ask, so we had to modify things as we went along." The research in the field of Number Theory is about phenomena known as modular hyperbolas, which are sets of points in a plane. The original goal of the research, according to Magner, was to show when three or more points passed through a line, which proved to be unsuccessful.

Magner and Khan modified their experiment to test for only two points passing through a line and that proved to be a more successful operation. "The research is pretty much self-contained and probably won't change anyone's lives except for mine," said Magner, "but it is good practice and résumé building experience for the future." Magner also spoke to the nature of math research. "It is not too uncommon in math research to go for a long time and not get anything and then have it all come tumbling out in a great realization."

Khan was Magner's research supervisor and mentor throughout the process and helped introduce him to the topic more than 18 months ago. Magner presented his research at two research conferences this past summer. The first was at the "Combinatorial and Additive Number Theory 2013" at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY); the second was the 2013 Young Mathematicians Conference at Ohio State University (OSU), which was funded by the National Science Foundation. Only a third of the abstracts were accepted at the OSU event.

The research has culminated in two manuscripts. The first, "Two combinatorial geometric problems involving modular hyperbola," ( has been submitted to a research journal. The authors are M. Khan, R. Magner, A. Winterhof and S. Senger. The second, "An application of modular hyperbolas to quadratic residues," co-authored by Khan and Magner, has been accepted for publication in the American Mathematical Monthly, the flagship journal of the Mathematics Association of America and will be published in late 2014. The Monthly accepts less than 10 percent of submissions, and publication of the research represents a major milestone for Magner. He believes being a research fellow will serve him well when he applies to a prestigious doctoral program in mathematics.



Students Volunteer at Early Childhood Block Party in Hartford

Written by Christopher J. Herman

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 Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University had several students and alumni volunteering at the Early Childhood Block Party at Bushnell Park in Hartford on Aug. 24. The event was organized by Connecticut's Office of Early Childhood Education, and was designed to provide both family-friendly activities and information and resources for parents.

Eastern Education Professor Sudha Swaminathan recruited students and alumni to staff an Eastern tent, where they engaged children and families in various early math and science activities. Volunteers included Swaminathan, Professor Ann Gruenberg, Jenny Wolff '13, Chamari Davis '14, Katie-Lynne Twarog '13, Stephanie Timek '13, Brittny Wieloch '13 and Patrick Donovan.

The event was also co-hosted by the Governor's Early Childhood Education Cabinet; The City of Hartford Department of Families, Children, Youth and Recreation; The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving; and the Connecticut Department of Education, with additional support from many community providers and other organizations throughout the state.

Eastern Presents Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys

Written by Danielle Couture

Willimantic, CT - - Eastern Connecticut State University will present "Bridging Cultures

Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys" in the J. Eugene Smith Library on Sept. 16 and 19. The

project, made up of six events, is designed to promote understanding of and mutual

respect for people with diverse histories, cultures and perspectives.

Michele Boskovic, professor of French, will host Literary Reflections from 11 a.m - noon on Sept. 16. Boskovic will introduce the literary reflections books from the Muslim Journeys collection. Attendees will also have a chance to review the new Oxford Islamic Studies online database that will be accessible for one year.

Yayha M. Michot, professor of Islam at the Hartford Seminary, will host "Pathways of Faith" at 2 p.m. on Sept. 16. Michot will talk about Islam as a religion and as a way of life. There will also be a brief introduction to the collection of books from Pathways of Faith by Patricia Banach, library director.

"Points of View/American Stories" will take place at 3 p.m. on Sept. 16. Participants can read aloud from the Muslim Journeys books in this collection.

Free Henna designs will be available from 6-8 p.m. and Mediterranean cuisine can be sampled from 6-7 p.m. on Sept. 19.

"Film Screening of Islamic Art Spots" will take place at 7 p.m. on Sept. 19. The Islamic Art Spots are seven visual essays, presented in a series of short films. Together, they provide access to the art of Muslim societies through their exploration of seven key topics: calligraphy, mosques and religious architecture, the arts of trade and travel, Islamic gardens, Islamic textiles, geometry, and the art of the book making and miniature painting.

Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journey is a project of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association.

Eastern to Present Documentary on Search for Missing Children

Written by Dwight Bachman

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Willimantic, Conn: -- Charles Tuggle, professor of journalism and mass communication at the University of North Carolina (UNC) in Chapel Hill, will present his documentary,  "Las Abuelas De la Plaza de Mayo" (The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo) on Sept. 25 at 3 p.m. in the Student Center Theater. Tuggle's presentation is part of Eastern's popular University Hour series, and is sponsored by the Communications Department, Intercultural Center, OLAS (Organization of Latin American Students), School of Education and Professional Studies, and Eastern's Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program.

Tuggle's documentary film premiered on Jan. 17 on the UNC campus, and is now being viewed at universities across the country. The film tells the story of Las Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo, an Argentinian human rights organization of grandmothers committed to finding their lost grandchildren, who they believe were stolen by their country's government some 30 years ago.

At least 10,000 --  some estimate as many as 30,000 -- dissidents of the military dictatorship were kidnapped, tortured and killed during Argentina's Dirty War from 1976-1983. Those kidnapped became known as "Los Desaparecidos" or "The Disappeared." Some of the women were pregnant or new mothers when captured, and infants ended up in homes of people sympathetic to the regime. The babies' names, birth dates and other identifiers were changed.

"This isn't something that happened years ago and has no relevance now," said Tuggle. "The grandmothers continue to find missing grandchildren. This is an ongoing injustice. Ordinary women who continue to find missing grandchildren are fighting this battle and serving as an example to all of us that we can make a difference." Las Abuelas has located more than 100 missing grandchildren, many who had no knowledge of their true identities.

Tuggle's daughters Brynne Tuggle Miller and Bethany Tuggle Parker, both graduates of UNC, served as coordinating producer and writer/editor, respectively, for the documentary. "Working on this documentary has been a labor of love," said Miller. "But it's also been such a rewarding experience to work on telling a story that my family is so passionate about and, in the process, complete a work that we are so proud of." Dylan Field, a television director and producer at UNC, served as the film's audio editor and videographer.

For more information, visit or call Charles Tuggle at (919) 962-5694, or email him at


Eastern to Present "Opening the Path" Cultural Exchange

Written by Dwight Bachman

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                                                           by Imna Arroyo

Willimantic, Conn: -- Imna Arroyo, professor of art at Eastern Connecticut State University, and Roberto Zurbano, Cuban poet and visiting scholar at Connecticut College, will present "Opening the Path," on Oct. 3 in the Paul E. Johnson Sr. Community Conference Room of Eastern's J. Eugene Smith Library.

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                                                            by Alejandro Sainz

Zurbano's presentation, "The Impatient Shadows," begins at 3:30 p.m. Zurbano believes important works of art have uncovered the blanket of silence on the issue of race, which he says pervades Cuban society in multiple layers. "There are ancestral shadows, tearful and deep wounds that must be acknowledged and healed. A battle against the darkness and the silence has been unleashed in today's Cuba, in the doors of the 21st century, through a social activism that rejects other forms of discrimination, in search of light and plentitude for all Cubans."

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                                                           by Amanda Lebel

At 5 p.m., Arroyo will present her artist book, "Elleguá," as a gift to the J. Eugene Smith Library, with copies of the book also being gifted to the libraries at Central, Western and Southern Connecticut State Universities. Elegguá, also known as Elegbá, is inspired by storytelling traditions on themes from Beninese and Afro-Cuban Yoruba trickster tales.  The limited edition of 50 copies contains linoleum cut prints created by 12 visual artists and text from two writers.

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                                                          by Cynthia Guild

In addition to Zurbano and Arroyo, project director of Elleguá, the book features Raouf Mama, writer, storyteller and  English professor at Eastern;;  Cynthia Guild and Amanda Lebel, lecturers in Eastern's Visual Arts Department; and nine Cuban artists. Yuneikys Villalonga, curator and art critic; Humberto Figueroa, director of the museum at the University of Puerto Rico in Cayey; journalist Bessie Reyna and Eastern alumna Migdalia Salas served as translators for the book. Eastern alumnus James Nicholas Winner-Arroyo designed the book.

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                                                   by Ramon Vargas Ortiz

Elegguá is published by New York City-based Ancestral Imprint. The artwork was printed at the Taller Experimental de la Gráfica de la Habana, Cuba and Ama-Bel Press Printmaking Studio in Willimantic.

Zurbano, majored in language and literature at the Universidad de la Havana, and completed advance studies at the Casa de las Américas, el Instituto de Literatura y Lingüística de Cuba and the Sorbonne in Paris, France.  He is a visiting scholar at the Center for Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity at Connecticut College from Sept. 20 through to Oct. 31. His visit is sponsored in collaboration with the Hispanic Alliance of Southeastern Connecticut. 

Roth Wins Dance Alliance Distinguished Achievement Award

Written by Danielle Couture

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Willimantic, CT - - Brad Roth, lecturer of performing arts at Eastern Connecticut State University has been given the Connecticut Dance Alliance (CDA) 2013 Distinguished Achievement Award in Dance.

The award is given to those who represent the depth and breadth of excellent dance experience available within the dance community of Connecticut.
Roth began studying modern dance when he was a junior at Cornell University in 1973. He continued with ballet and modern dance at the Hartford Ballet and the Syracuse Ballet and became a member of the chamber Ensemble as well as performing the Nutcracker.
During the 1980's, Brad studied at the Laban/Bartenieff Institute for Movement Studies (LIMS) in New York City, and became a Certified Laban Movement Analyst (CMA). Brad began his teaching career at the Hartford Camerata Conservatory, and taught Laban studies for nine years at the School of the Hartford Ballet. In 1988, he began teaching as an adjunct faculty member at Eastern.

"I am honored to receive the Distinguished Achievement Award for 2013 from the Connecticut Dance Alliance," says Roth. "It's hard to say what exactly is the distinguished achievement- perhaps still dancing, teaching, and performing at 61 years old! Having started dance training in college, this is now my 41st year in the field. An award is like a still shot from a movie, or a number of stills, like the promotional material. Slices of a dance life. I'm glad it is adding up, and more glad to still be dancing and teaching, still making the movie."

PHOTO: Roth dancing with a shared ability dance student from Bulkeley High School in Hartford.

March 2015

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