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October 2013 Archives

Eastern Alumna Presents "Sisters of Frontstalag"

Writtenby Danielle Couture

Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Drama Society and Performing Arts Department will present a staged reading of "The Little Sisters of Frontstalag" at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 2 in the Student Center Theatre.
Written by alumna Nicole Panteleakos and directed by senior theatre major Corey Welden, the play is based on the true story of Panteleakos' great aunt and her experiences as a Nazi prisoner during WWIIwhen she was a novice nun in France.
Following the play will be a feedback session with the cast, playwright, director and audience. From the feedback, Panteleakos will rewrite the script and submit it to The Juilliard School for admission into their graduate playwriting program.

The play is open to the public and admission is free. For more information, please contact Ellen Brodie, director of theatre, at


Coplac Students Shine at COPLAC Conference

Written by Anne Pappalardo

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                             Chris Lorentson with Professor Steve Nathan

Ten Eastern students presented at the Fourth Annual) Northeast Regional Undergraduate Research Conference at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) in October. The conference was sponsored by the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC), a national advocacy group that supports liberal arts education at public institutions. Participating campuses included Eastern, Ramapo College of New Jersey, Keene State College, the University of Maine-Farmington, SUNY-Geneseo and MCLA.

The two-day conference gave students the opportunity to showcase the results of their individual undergraduate research projects and artistic creativity, and to discuss their work with peers and faculty members. Eastern students displayed their artwork, gave talks and presented posters in disciplines ranging from the arts and humanities to the social and natural sciences. Outstanding projects are featured in COPLACs online research journal, "Metamorphosis."

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                              Professor Barbara Murdoch and Manan Bhatt 

Students who presented posters included Sean Duggan and Christina Browning, Visual Arts majors who presented "Sentimental Journey," a poster for an annual hospital gala; Environmental Earth Science major Lindsey Beliveau, who presented "An Examination of Water-Produced Erosion Forms in Bedrock using Terrestrial Laser Scanning"; Biology major Manan Bhatt, who presented "Identifying Cells Capable of Neurogenesis in the Olfactory Epithelium"; David Klein, a Business Information System major who presented "Systems Analysis for Improvement at the Sales Department at Hayward Turnstiles"; and Christopher Lorentson, majoring in Environmental Earth Science, who presented "Geospatial and Physical Assessment of Glacial Deposits in Connecticut to Better Site Ground-Source Heat Pumps."

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                     Professor Ari de Wilde, left, Andrew Burns and Joshua Tamosaitis

Students making oral presentations included Health and Physical Education majors Andrew Burns and Joshua Tamosaitis, who presented "Doping and Cycling in the Media: A Content Analysis of Sports Illustrated"; Psychology major Eric Cerino, who presented "Academic Motivation, Self-Efficacy and Academic Procrastination"; History major Zachary Marotte, who presented "The Struggle to Break with the Ancients: The English Army's Gradual Adoption of Modern Military Theory, 1660-1728"; Economics major Ted Straub, who presented "Can Behavioral Economics Help Consumers Save?"; and Nicholas Denegre, who presented "Validation of the Economics and Energy Savings for Advanced Commercial Rooftop Unit Control Strategies."

Eastern faculty serving as research mentors included James Hyatt, Barbara Murdoch, Don Petkov, Stephen Nathan, Ari de Wilde, Lyndsey Lanagan-Leitzel, June Bisantz, Jamel Ostwald, Dimitrios Pachis and Catherine Carlson.

(At right: Andrew Burns, Joshua Tamosaitis and Professor Ari de Wilde.)


Eastern Presents Foreign Film Series

Written by Danielle Couture


Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Foreign Languages and Cultures Department will present the 2013 Foreign Film Series in Science 201, at 7 p.m. starting Oct. 23. The films will air every Wednesday until Dec. 4.

The schedule is as follows:

• 10/23 The Devil's Backbone/El espinazo del diablo (Spain/Mexico)
• 10/30 A Tale of Two Sisters/Janghwa, Hongryeon (South Korea)
• 11/6 The Women on the 6th Floor/Les femmes du sixième étage (France)
• 11/13 Once Upon a Time in Anatolia/Bir Zamanlar Anadolu'da (Turkey)
• 11/20 There May or May Not Be a Tomorrow/Kal Ho Naa Ho (India)
• 11/27 NO SCREENING (Thanksgiving)
• 12/4 Paprika (Japan)

All films are free and open to the public. For more information contact Fontaine Lien at

Sex, Love and Other Stuff

Written by Christopher J. Herman

Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Women's Center is presenting "Sex, Love and Other Stuff," a presentation on understanding men, healthy relationships and confidence from 7-8 p.m. on Oct. 23 in the Student Center Theatre. Author and professional speaker Aaron Boe will host the event and discuss topics relevant to interpersonal relationships. This is a female only event.
Boe is the author of "The Dating Strengths Handbook," and "Letter to Kegan" and is the founder of Strength Culture, a curriculum development and consulting firm for the fraternity community. Each program he hosts is grounded in the latest research, but designed to connect with young people using humor, stories, and realistic and relevant scenarios. Boe also applies his experience as a stand-up comedian so that he can address important issues in an engaging and entertaining way.
           For more information on the presentation, contact the Women's Center at (860) 465-4314 or

Cosplay and Nerd Culture

Written by Chistopher J. Herman

Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University will present "Cosplay and Nerd Culture" from 5-6:30 p.m. on Oct. 31 in the Student Center Theatre. The presentation is hosted by Allison Wilhelm and will cover topics on sexism, racism and body shaming in nerd culture. Eastern students are invited to attend in cosplay and share their personal stories.  Wilhelm is a professional speaker and convention panelist. After finding inspiration from, The Mary Sue and Jezebel, websites dedicated to women in geek culture, Wilhelm decided to start bringing sexism in nerd culture to light by presenting panels and hosting discussions. Wilhelm has hosted panels such as the "Social Politics of Cosplay" at ConnectiCon and "Gender and Nerd Culture" at Anime Boston and NerdNite Boston.   

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

Akus Gallery Presents Where the Land Sweeps the Sky

Written by Christopher J. Herman

    Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University is hosting Maurice Sapiro's "Where the Land Sweeps the Sky" in the Akus Gallery from Oct. 24-Dec. 12. The opening reception will take place on Oct. 24 from 4-7 p.m.

Sapiro specializes in tonal landscapes, skyscapes, dreamscapes, sunsets, clay sculpting and woodland sketches. The gallery will feature more than 80 paintings including both a handful of Sapiro's pour paintings and a selection of his tonal landscapes.


"I paint from imagined memory," said Sapiro. "My source of inspiration comes not from Nature, but from the limitless potential inherent in the oil paint process. Even though oil has been used as a paint medium for over 500 years, its full potential is yet to be exhausted . . . It is also the only medium that keeps its color, value and hue when dry. The abstract elements in my paintings become visible when viewed up close. But when viewed 10 steps back, these isolated elements, these flecks of pigment, fuse in the viewer's eye and mind, and as if by magic, decoration becomes representation, abstraction becomes reality."                                                          

Sapiro has been painting for more than 60 years and his work has been exhibited in New York City at The National Academy of Design, The National Arts Club, The City Center Gallery and The Forum Gallery. He has published articles and two books on clay-form modeling methods; built his own harpsichord; taught himself a high level of color photography; and does his own color processing. His books have sold more than 48,000 copies and have been considered authoritative classics in the classroom and the studio for more than 30 years.

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 Sapiro's work, visit

An Evening in Politics: Gender in Public Policies

Written by Christopher J. Herman

Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University will host "An Evening in Politics: Gender in Public Policies" from 7-8:30 p.m. on Oct. 24 in the Faculty Lounge on the third floor of Webb Hall. The event is co-sponsored by the Department of Political Science, Geography and Philosophy, the Latin American Studies Program and the Gender Studies Program. Free pizza will be provided.
Topics that will be discussed include public policies aimed at supporting vulnerable groups, such as Food Stamps in the United States and Cash Transfers in Latin America, and how they do not necessarily take into account a gender perspective in their design and implementation. Professor Nora Nagels of the Université de Montréal, Professor Nicole Krassas of Eastern and Eastern students will discuss these different perspectives. The event will be moderated by Professor Martin Mendoza-Botelho.

For more information on the event, contact Mendoza-Botelho at (860) 465-5257 or


Written by Ed Osborn

Willimantic, Conn. -The Connecticut premiere of the film, "Ocean Frontiers II: A New England Story for Sustaining the Sea," will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 30, from 7-8:30 p.m. in Webb Hall Room 110 on the Eastern Connecticut State University campus.

"Ocean Frontiers II" brings audiences face-to-face with those now embarking on the nation's first multi-state ocean plan. The film prominently features Rhode Island and is an inspiring story of citizens coming together to promote healthier economies and healthier seas across New England.

"Ocean Frontiers II" is the second of an award-winning film series produced by Green Fire Productions.  After the film there will be a Q & A discussion with the filmmaker and ocean experts. The event is free and open to the public.

"The people of New England impressed us with the passionate effort that has gone into ocean planning in both Massachusetts and Rhode Island," said Karen Meyer, Green Fire Productions executive director and producer of "Ocean Frontiers II. "This work is an ideal example to share with New England and the rest of the country as ocean planning across the region gets underway."

"Ocean Frontiers II" highlights the historic and emerging ocean uses of New England waters and introduces viewers to people working on the Northeast regional ocean planning initiative. In a region steeped in old maritime tradition, we see a modern wave of big ships, energy industries and a changing climate now testing the limits of an already crowded sea. But in a pioneering trial of far-sighted planning--pushed by blueprints for offshore wind energy--old residents and new are coming together to keep their ocean and livelihoods alive.

A spotlight on Rhode Island reveals how collaborative planning reduces conflicts over ocean resources and puts us on a new path of ocean stewardship. Fishermen, coastal planners, Native American tribal leaders, environmental advocates, scientists and wind energy executives are featured in the film.
The premiere of "Ocean Frontiers II" is presented by Eastern Connecticut State University, The Department of Environmental Earth Science, The College of Arts and Sciences and Green Fire Productions.

To screen the "Ocean Frontiers II" film trailer visit  Press images are at Visit or twitter@Ocean_Frontiers.   

Bernard Lafayette Says "Use Your Rights, or Lose Them!"

Written by Akaya McElveen

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Willimantic, Conn. - Bernard Lafayette Jr., a prominent figure in the Civil Rights Movement, spoke on "Reaching Beyond Your Grasp" on Oct. 9 in the Student Center Theatre at Eastern Connecticut State University. His presentation was part of Eastern's University Hour Series.

More than 200 Eastern students, faculty and staff  heard Lafayette say he was "glad" and "shocked" that he is still alive today, in response to a question asked by a student. Lafayette's life has been threatened on many occasions, including a night when white men came to his house to kill him.


       More than 200 Eastern students, faculty and staff heard Lafayette describe how resolute the Freedom Riders were while facing terrifying mobs.

Being the target of many death threats, Lafayette had expected his life to have ended already. In fact, he said he that he and his peers, realizing the dangerous journey they were about to begin, created a will before taking part in the Freedom Riders, who were African American and white college students. "No one can take your life if you've already given it," said Lafayette.  He said the Freedom Rides of the 1960s provided the momentum for the Civil Rights Movement, and provided an in-depth, personal look at what life was like for the Freedom Riders.

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Left to right, Stacey Close, Eastern's associate vice president for equity and diversity; Prudence Allen, former administrative assistant to the late Coretta Scott King; Lafayette, Sociology Professors Dennis Canterbury and James Russell pose for a photograph.

Lafayette played a riveting clip from a documentary on the Freedom Rides, which showed scenes of white mobs as they burned and bombed the Freedom Riders' buses and beat them with crow bars, baseball bats and any other weapon they could pick up. Law enforcement and city officials had made a deal; the mob of people was given 15 minutes to do whatever it wanted to the Freedom Riders and they would not get punished for it. Once the 15 minutes were up, Lafayette said the officers announced, "Alright, you've had your fun," and told the mob, "Not one soul will ever be arrested." 

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        Lafayette shakes hands with Akaya McElveen'14, an English major from Waterbury.

There was a moment in the film when a black woman went to a police officer to explain that her husband was being attacked, only to be knocked to the ground by that same officer.

Lafayette said media exposure of the mob violence and city officials' sanction of it played a leading role raising public awareness. News of the mob and police brutality was heard around the world, with America's European allies making it clear to President Kennedy that they were embarrassed by the violence. 

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       Lafayette, left, with former vice president for equity and diversity at  Eastern,and administrative assistants Carmen Diaz and Kathy Escobar.

The speaker also said there is a misconception that the Freedom Rides were about integrating the buses: "The demonstrations were really about bus stations and the right to be treated equally in them." Lafayette also talked about the importance of community engagement, saying that all colleges and universities should be involved in the community. "You've got to bring young people together and organize them. If you don't use your rights, you will lose your rights." As an example, he said students could initiate a voter registration drive by hosting a public birthday party for eighteen-year-olds, where the cost of admission would be showing their voter registration cards.

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          Lafayette with Hope Fitz, professor of philosophy and a scholar on nonviolence.

Lafayette said that he is genuinely interested in what the next generation will contribute to the Civil Rights Movement. "Maybe the movement never really stopped; it's continuous." He said young people should never surrender to violence and injustice. "If you do, the psychological wounds will run deep and may never end."  He encouraged the audience to keep the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream alive, quoting the late Civil Rights leader, "We must live together as sisters and brothers or die separately as fools."

Lafayette ended his presentation by entertaining the audience with a country song about the struggle of poor white Americans.

Eastern to Present Baron Wormser

Written by Danielle Couture

Willimantic, Conn. - American poet Baron Wormser will present "Thoreau's Legacy" at 3 p.m. on Oct. 23 in Science 301 as part of Eastern Connecticut State University's University Hour series.

For more than 23 years, Baron Wormser lived "off the grid" with his family in the Maine woods. Like Thoreau, Wormser sought to "live deliberately" and "confront the essential facts of life." In an age that increasingly defines itself by technological progress, Thoreau's legacy emphasizes the gifts of inwardness, simple living and connection to the natural world.

 Wormser will speak to his experiences in the Maine woods and read from his memoir "The Road Washes Out in Spring: A Poet's Memoir of Living Off-the-Grid" and from his poetry collections.

Eastern to Host A Capella Sing Off

Written by Danielle Couture

Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Music Society will host the Connecticut Collegiate A Cappella Sing-Off at 7 p.m. on Nov. 9 in the Betty R. Tipton Room.
This annual event features a capella groups from Connecticut colleges who will present vocal arrangements of popular songs to compete for the honor of becoming the sing-off champions.

Groups featured in the sing off include University of Connecticut's Chordials, Extreme Measures and Rolling Tones, Central Connecticut State University's TGFI and Fermata The Blue, Western Connecticut State University's Parallel Fifths, University of Hartford's L'Shir and Connecticut College's Co Co Beaux. There will be intermission performances by Eastern's own a capella groups, Fallin' Flat and Key of She.

For more information about the event, contact the Music Society at

CFDRC Unveils New Rock Walls

Written by Jordan Sakal

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Willimantic, Conn. - The Child and Family Development Resource Center at Eastern Connecticut State University unveiled two new climbing walls for use by the center's preschoolers. One wall is located inside the facility and the other is in the main playground area.

According to Darren Robert, professor of health and physical education, "Over the past decade of professional physical education, I have noticed a low degree of upper body strength among preschool children."

The goal of the rock walls, according to Robert, is to increase the amount of outdoor playtime for the children so that they will have access to exercise activities that improve their upper body strength and overall physical conditioning. Rules and policies regarding the correct and safe use of the rock walls have been taught to all of the professionals on staff at the early childhood center and the children have been told the rules regarding the walls to keep both themselves and the faculty out of harm's way.

Students in Eastern's Education and Health and Physical Education programs work with the children of the center in order to provide educational experiences for both the children and themselves. Professional educators who teach preschool at the CFDRC and serve its 68 students will also make use of the new rock walls. Using the walls' magnetic surface, the teachers will be able to display numbers and letters as a fun way to interact with the students and use the new materials at their disposal.

The overall impact of the rock walls' on children's learning has yet to be measured but a bright future awaits the students of the CFDRC, as they have fun, develop cognitive skills and, strengthen their physical conditioning all at the same time.

Eastern Presents GivingBackLife

Written by Christopher J. Herman

Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University will host GivingBackLife from 6-8 p.m. on Oct. 16 in the Student Center Theatre.   

Giving Back Life is an organization that works with and assists the underprivileged and orphaned children of China. Founder of the organization, Daniel Lui, will share his experiences working with the children of China and talk about the history and mission of GivingBackLife. The event will culminate with an activity that captures the essence and difficulties of being an orphan in rural China.
"GivingBackLife may be young, but we are going to carry with us a fresh outlook on making a difference in the world in which we live," said Liu, when describing the mission statement of his organization. "We are ambitious, we are passionate, we care dearly about people, and we realize that big things cannot be accomplished alone; however, if we can collectively do small things with great love, as Mother Teresa once said, there is no reason why we can't change the world."

For more information on the event, contact the Intercultural Center at (860) 465-5749 or

Written by Ed Osborn

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On Oct. 9, more than 300 Eastern students, faculty and staff, as well as emeriti faculty, alumni and local residents were treated to an evening on the healing power of the arts by Canadian blues artist Rita Chiarelli and best-selling author Wally Lamb. The two guests filled the Betty R. Tipton room with a multi-media glimpse into the lives of inmates of two different prisons in Louisiana and Connecticut. Chiarelli was the inspiration and facilitator for the documentary, "Music in the Big House," which showed how the music ministry at Angola Prison in Louisana--"the birthplace of the blues" is bringing redemption and healing to the prison population there. Many of the inmates are serving life terms without the hope of parole, and several have been at Angola more than 30 years. Through their music and testimony, they told a moving story of remorse, forgiveness, hope, and love.


Following two musical selections off the soundtrack she recorded for Music from the Big House," Chiarelli was joined on stage by Lamb, who has been volunteering for the past 14 years at York Prison in Niantic. Through two collections of writings by the female inmates of the prison, Lamb has helped the women to find an avenue for their anger and repressed feelings while also shedding light on the plight of the prisoners there. It was fitting and uplifting, Lamb noted, that earlier that day, long-time inmate Bonnie Foreshaw had been granted clemency for a 1986 murder, after serving more than 27 years in jail

Interschool Walk for Warmth

Written by Christopher J. Herman

Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Center for Community Engagement (CCE) is looking for Eastern student volunteers to help with the Interschool Walk for Warmth from 2-5 p.m. on Oct. 18 on the Windham Middle School track. The purpose of the event is to raise awareness about energy sustainability. Transportation for Eastern students will be provided.

CCE has partnered with the Windham Elementary After School Programs and Willimantic Area Interfaith Ministry (WAIM) in support of WAIM's Energy Assistance fundraiser of a similar name, the Walk for Warmth.

Eastern students will form committees and create fun activities related to energy sustainability for Windham students to engage in. Volunteers are needed to assist in activities and setting up tables and booths.
If students are interested in being on the planning committee or volunteering on the day of the event, contact CCE at

21st Annual Health, Wellness and Benefits Expo at Eastern

Written by Dwight Bachman

Willimantic, Conn. - More than 50 health agencies, vendors and representatives will convene at 10 a.m. on Oct. 15 in the Betty R. Tipton Room of the Student Center at Eastern Connecticut State University for the 21st Annual Health, Wellness and Benefits Expo. The theme this year is "Balancing Your Mind, Body and Soul." The program runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will include demonstrations, performances and free health screenings throughout the day. The public is invited. Admission is free.

The Connecticut Department of Children and Families Foster Care Services, Liberty Mutual Bank, the Willimantic Food Co-Op, United HealthCare, the Social Security Administration, Planned Parenthood, the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling and Windham Hospital are just some of the nearly 50 participants in attendance.
Free chair massages, free HIV and STD testing, blood pressure and cholesterol screenings, body fat analysis and free health food samples are some of the offerings at this year's event.

Among the day's activities will be a variety of demonstrations, descriptions and performances including yoga; accupuncture; massage therapy; and CPR training offered by Windham Hospital's Emergency Medical Services. In addition, representatives will be on hand with information about retirement, finances, health insurance and cancer prevention.

The Health Expo is sponsored by Student Health Services and the Office of Human Resources. For more information, please contact Jane Neu, associate director of health services, at (860) 465-5263 or e-mail and/or LaShawn McBride, manager of human resource programs at (860) 465-5220 or e-mail

Eastern Student Presents "We the People" Play

Written by Danielle Couture

Willimantic, Conn. - Anthony Piccione, theatre student at Eastern Connecticut State University, will present a stage reading of his play "We the People" at 7 p.m. on Nov. 9 in the Student Center Theatre.
Set in an alternative reality, "We the People" tells the story of the second American Revolution in the 21st century, and how far one man is willing to go to save his family from suffering. The play describes how when society is given the right amount of unrest and turmoil, a large populist movement could easily lead to a revolution in the United States of America.

 The event will last roughly 2 ½ hours, and will include a straight read-through of the full-length play by community and professional theatre actors. Following the play will be a brief open discussion, during which the audience will have an opportunity to provide feedback.

Eastern to Present the Aardvark Jazz Orchestra

Written by Danielle Couture

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Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Arts and Lecture Series will present the Aardvark Jazz Orchestra at 7 p.m. on Nov. 11 in the Shafer Auditorium.

Now in their 41st season, the Aardvark Orchestra is one of the longest-running large jazz ensembles in the world. The band returns to Eastern with classics from Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Duke Ellington and more.
The show will feature a new song "Merry Go Round" by band director Mark Harvey that will feature Eastern's Concert Chorale Ensemble and the Eastern Thread City Jazz Ensemble.

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

Professor Osei Brings Ghanaian High School Principals to Campus

Written by Dwight Bachman

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Ghanaian high school principals pose for a photograph on the steps of the J. Eugen Smith Library.

Twenty-six school high school principals from Ghana, West Africa, visited Connecticut Sept. 1-8. Mathematics Professor Bonsu Osei arranged their visit, which was designed to have the Ghanaian educators interact with their counterparts in Connecticut on issues such as ethics, educational leadership and service to their respective schools. Sociology Professor Dennis Canterbury provided an orientation for the principals.


 Education Professor David Stoloff presents a workshop on the use of technology in education.

"The visit also encouraged a broader discussion on global issues of education, and offered students' opportunities to study abroad," said Osei. "We hope that students from Ghana will be encouraged to undertake their undergraduate education in Connecticut, especially Eastern."

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Shannon Fitzpatrick'14, a business administration major, conducts a campus tour for the prinicipals.

The principals met with Connecticut's African-American Affairs Commission, which showcased some of Connecticut's model educational programs with the principals.  "Ghana is a nation that many African-Americans can trace their ancestral roots to, so it is fitting to share knowledge and expertise to improve educational outcomes for both countries," said Glenn Cassis, executive director of the commission.  "It is an honor for the commission to serve as a host."

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Two principals present Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Rhona Free a gift.

Eastern Sociology Professor Dennis Canterbury provided the principals an orientation at the Ramada Hotel in East Hartford. They held a series of discussions on public policy and practices in Connecticut, and participated in lectures, seminars and workshops on information technology for educational management.

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Ghanaian principals purchase souvenirs and clothing items in the bookstore.

They also visited high schools in Bloomfield and East Hartford; toured the Connecticut Science Center; visited state government officials at the State House and Legislative Office Building; and met with Connecticut Department of Education officials to discuss financial and behavioral management, supervision, evaluation and professional development; assessment and testing and school safety issues.

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After dinner at Biology Professor Yaw Nsiah's home, the principals present Academic Servics Center Director Susan Heyward with a desk pen holder as a gift.

On Sept. 6, the Ghanaian principals toured Eastern's facilities and enjoyed a luncheon hosted by Provost Rhona Free. That evening, they dined at the home of Yaw Nsiah, professor of biology and a native of Ghana, where they expressed gratitude "for Eastern's fine and gracious hospitality" and vowed to send students from their respective schools to Eastern.

Walk for Crohn's and Colitis Disease

Written by Christopher J. Herman

 Willimantic, Conn. - FEMALES (Females Excelling Maturing to Achieve Leadership, Excellence and Success), a women's leadership club at Eastern Connecticut State University, will host its fifth annual "Take Steps for Crohn's and Colitis" walk from 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m. on Oct. 6 at the Mansfield Athletic Complex.

The cost is $3 for students, $5 for adults and $25 for a group (no less than 15 people and no more than 25 people in a group). Proceeds will benefit the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA).

Crohn's Disease is a chronic disorder that causes inflammation of the digestive or gastrointestinal tract. Ulcerative colitis is a chronic condition that mainly affects the colon. Both diseases belong to a larger illness called inflammatory bowel disease. The two diseases are extremely difficult to distinguish due to their similar symptoms. According to CCFA, approximately 10 percent of colitis cases are unable to be pinpointed as either ulcerative (chronic) colitis or Crohn's disease, and are called indeterminate colitis. Currently there is no cure for Crohn's disease and colitis, but available treatment options can make life easier for those affected by the disease.           
For more information, e-mail

Eastern to Honor of Hispanic Heritage Month

Written by Danielle Couture

Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's music program will present "The Music of Latin America and Spain"--a series of three events--on Oct. 11-12 to honor Hispanic Heritage Month.

The student brown bag recital will take place at noon on Oct. 11 in Shafer Hall Auditorium. The concert will feature music students performing works by composers from Latin America and Spain. Bring your lunch and join us for this informal concert. This event is free and open to the public.

Guest lecturer Diana Sáez will present "Choral Music of Latin America" at 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on Oct. 12 in the Student Center Theatre. This interdisciplinary lecture will focus on the development of choral music in Latin America and Sáez's own experiences in using music to strengthen communities and bridge gaps in cultural understanding. The lecture will be followed by a reading session of repertoire appropriate for choirs of varying levels of ability. The event is free and open to the public.

The faculty recital "Ritmo y Melodía: The Music of Latin America and Spain" will take place at 3 p.m. on Oct. 12 in the Shafer Auditorium. Faculty artists include Rebecca Calissi, piano; Jeff Calissi, marimba; Okon Hwang, piano; Eric Ouellette, piano; Emily Riggs, soprano; and David Ballena, piano. The program will involve audience members as a celebration of the rich folk song tradition of Latin America. This event is free and open to the public.

Jason Edwards Joins E-Club Hall of Fame

Written by Akaya McElveen

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Willimantic, Conn. - After holding Eastern Connecticut State University men's outdoor track and field school record in the long jump for nearly 14 years and counting, Jason Edwards, Eastern's second-year assistant track and field coach, will be inducted into the E-Club Hall of Fame on Oct. 19. Edwards is the first track athlete to earn All-American honors as many as four times, and only one of three individuals to get inducted based solely on track and field accomplishments.
The E-Club Hall of Fame induction ceremony and social will take place starting at 5 p.m. in the Betty R. Tipton Room in Eastern's Student Center. Tickets are $50. 
Jason Edwards Broad Jumping.jpg

On May 21, 1999, Edwards jumped 25 feet and 2½ inches at the NCAA Division III national meet at Baldwin-Wallace, breaking the men's record at Eastern. He also holds the Eastern's men's 200-meter record of 21.74 seconds which he set on April 21, 200, at Springfield College. To this day, Edwards' records have not been broken.

During Edwards' freshman year at Eastern, he won the New England Alliance championships in the long jump with a mark of 23 feet and four inches. Later he won the Division III New England championships and finished fourth at the New England Open championships. Unfortunately, his marks fell short of qualifying for the Division III national championships. Edwards returned for the outdoor season of his sophomore year and qualified for nationals throughout the remainder of his track career.

"Jason is one of those athletes that I was lucky to have coached and will remember for my entire life," said Edwards' former coach and current head track and field coach Kathy Manizza. "As an athlete, he had it all: incredible talent, positive attitude, great work ethic and focus. He knew how to work hard, but he also knew how to keep it fun and enjoy the sport."

(photo credit:

Eastern to Present Foreign Language Tables

Akaya McElveen

Willimantic, Conn. - The Eastern Connecticut State University World Languages and Cultures Department will present their foreign language conversation tables series starting Oct. 9 in the Student Center Café. The language tables will include both the Chinese and French languages. The foreign language tables are designed to provide an informal environment to students and faculty members where they can practice the Chinese and French languages.
Starting Oct. 9, the Chinese Corner language table series will take place every Wednesday from 11 a.m. to noon in the Café. All levels of Mandarin Chinese speakers ranging from beginner to fluent as well as all members of the Eastern community will have the chance to come together and practice their Mandarin Chinese.
Starting Oct. 11, the French language table series will take place every Friday from noon to 1 p.m. in the Café. All levels of French speakers ranging from beginner to fluent as well as all members of the Eastern community will have a chance to come together and practice their French.

The conversation tables will be set up every Wednesday and Thursday in the Student Center Café throughout the fall 2013 semester.

Eastern Red Cross Blood Drive

Written by Christopher J. Herman

Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University is holding its first blood drive for the academic year from 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. on Oct. 7 and Oct. 8 in the Betty R. Tipton Room located in the Student Center. 
"Eastern hosts four Red Cross blood drives each academic year, two in the fall and two in the spring, said Irene Cretella, administrative assistant in Eastern's Center for Community Engagement (CCE).  "The students, faculty and staff have been donating the gift of life since 1993 and have steadily increased the number of blood donations to approximately 10 percent of the student population."

For more information on future Red Cross blood drives at Eastern, contact  (code Eastern) or Cretella at (860) 465-0090,

Bernard Lafayette, Dr. MLK Jr. Protégé, to Speak at Eastern

Written by Dwight Bachman

Bernard_LaFayette (2).jpgWillimantic, Conn: --Bernard Lafayette Jr., a veteran of the Civil Rights Movement, will speak at Eastern Connecticut State University on Oct. 9 at 3 p.m. in the Student Center Theatre. Lafayette, who the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. hand-picked as one of King's deputies during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, will lecture on "Reaching Beyond Your Grasp." His presentation is part of Eastern's popular "University Hour" series.

 "Rev. Dr. Lafayette began his career fighting non-violently for peace, human rights and equality as a college student, and continues to be vigilant in that struggle as one of the deans of the struggle today," said Stacey Close, Eastern's interim associate vice president for equity and diversity. "This year marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'I Have a Dream' speech.  Dr. Lafayette was an active participant in the critical moments and changes in our nation's history.  We are truly fortunate to have such a visionary leader visiting our campus."

Lafayette is recognized as a major authority on strategies for nonviolent social change and nonviolent direct action in the world.  As a student in 1960, he was a co-founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) at Shaw University in Raleigh, NC. Lafayette was also involved in the struggle for civil rights in Nashville.

A year later, he and other African American and white college students joined the call to become part of the Freedom Riders, a movement to enforce federal integration laws on interstate bus routes, as a way to nonviolently transform the nation. 

Later in 1965, Lafayette played a leading role in organizing the voting rights campaign in Selma, AL. He also served as national program administrator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). In 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. appointed Lafayette to be national program administrator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and national coordinator of the 1968 Poor People's Campaign.

Lafayette is a Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence at the Candler School of Theology, at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. He received his B.A. from American Baptist Seminary, and earned his Ed.M. and Ed.D. degrees from Harvard University.  He founded and served for several years as the director of the Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies at the University of Rhode Island.  He has published widely and has lectured throughout the world.

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