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April 2014 Archives

Students Receive Awards in Environmental Earth Science

Written by Danielle Couture


Willimantic, Conn. - On April 28, eight students at Eastern Connecticut State University were honored at the Environmental Earth Science Department's annual awards. Students were selected for their research or academic excellence in 10 different categories.

Sean Kellarson of Stafford Springs was chosen as the Outstanding Environmental Earth Scientist, and also received the Hard Rock Geology and Academic Excellence Senior Class Awards; Jacqueline Lorange of Plainfield and Brian Wicks of Coventry were chosen for the Geomorphology Research Recognition Award; Timothy Bugden of Mansfield Center was chosen for the Geographic Information Systems and Academic Excellence Senior Class Awards; Christopher Lorentson of East Haddam was chosen for the Sustainable Energy Science and Environmental Service Awards; Laura Markley of Preston was chosen for the Academic Excellence Junior Class Award; Brandan Sumeersarnauth of Stafford Springs was chosen for the Academic Excellence Sophomore Class Award; and Samantha Walter of Wethersfield was chosen for the Academic Excellence Freshman Class Award.

Haitian Student Defeats Odds and Aims for PhD Program

Written by Michael Rouleau

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Willimantic, Conn. - "Do something about it." Those are the words that Eastern Connecticut State University student James Chadic lives by. Born and raised in Haiti, enduring levels of violence and poverty unseen in the United States, Chadic has overcome adversity and now has his eyes set on a PhD program in mathematics. "Math saved my life," asserts Chadic. "It showed me how to think."

As much as Chadic loved school, growing up in Haiti he could seldom attend. "I had to stay home and take care of my sister," he said. "My mother worked throughout the day to feed us and my father was in the United States trying to establish a better life for my family. They needed me home."

When Chadic was 14 years old, he was often depressed. "I didn't want live that way. I didn't want to live at all," he said. Upon reflecting on the violence and poverty of his country, he grew teary-eyed. "I know what it's like to be hungry; to have to share a piece of bread among your family. I know what it's like to have to stay on the floor because of bullets coming into the window. I know what it's like to fear for your life."

When he was 16 years old, Chadic was able to move to Norwich, CT, after his father got his permanent resident status settled. To his dismay, his depression worsened as he suffered ridicule by peers for not being able to speak English.

"Everyone laughed at me. I couldn't make friends, not even with my own people"--referring to other immigrants in the area that were further assimilated into U.S. culture. "Quickly I decided to do something about it," said Chadic.

From then on he studied diligently, reading English books and listening to audio lessons for hours on end after school in the library--Chadic also speaks Creole, Spanish and French. "I learned English in three months, and the school moved me to higher level classes with the regular students," said Chadic. "But then I realized that every time you move up the ladder, things become harder."

After his time at the Norwich Free Academy, Chadic moved on to Three Rivers Community College, where his appreciation for education grew and he met one of his greatest mentors, Eastern faculty member June Dunn, whom he affectionately refers to as "mom."

"When James transferred to Eastern, against the advice of his family who questioned the value of college, he was terrified," said Dunn, "but because of his outgoing nature he quickly made friends and came under the tutelage of two professors of the Mathematics Department, Mizan Khan and Anthony Aidoo."

"Dr. Khan taught me that I should not focus on solving 'the problem,' but on the process that gets you there," said Chadic. "Knowing the process gives you insight. I apply this thinking to life. My life is like math."

 When Chadic began studying math at the college level he could only do basic algebra, but now is taking some of the most challenging math courses at Eastern, including "complex analysis." "I was not good at first. I got all the problems wrong." Four years later, Chadic is now receiving invites--and awaiting more--from a number of PhD math programs.

"I'm not afraid to try new things anymore. I'm not afraid to take risks," said Chadic. "I've seen the worst of the worst. Why should I be afraid to fail? The more you fail and then accomplish, the stronger you are."

"I'm happy to be graduating this May and moving on to new challenges, but I don't want to leave; Eastern is family," said Chadic. "I have many people I will continue to visit."

An Evening Reading with Aisha Sabatini Sloan

Written by Akaya MckElveen

 

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Willimantic, Conn. -Eastern Connecticut State University's English Department and the Visiting Writers Series presented an evening reading with Aisha Sabatini Sloan in Webb 110 on April 24.

 Sloan read an essay titled "D is for the Dance of Operas," which centered on crime and violence in Detroit. Inspired by riding around with an officer on duty in Detroit, Sloan incorporated the idea of opera into the essay, which creates a contrast between dark and light. When asked why she had chosen to write about Detroit and use opera terms throughout the essay, she explained, "I've been there [to Detroit] intermittingly throughout my life," and also had been listening to classical music while riding in the police car. It acted as a backdrop or a soundtrack to her experience.

 During the reading, Sloan shared with the audience issues she faces during the writing process and asked members of the audience about their own writing experiences as well.

 "I think what she's done is brave," says English Professor Reginald Flood. "She took a town that she loved, and even though she talked about horrible things, the bottom line of the essay is love."
 
Sloan's essays have been named to the "The Best American Non-Required Reading" and "Best American Essays" anthologies of 2011, nominated for a "Pushcart Prize" and been published in "Ninth Letter," "Identity Theory," "Michigan Quarterly Review," "Terrain," "Callaloo," "The Southern Review" and "Guernica." Her first book of essays, "The Fluency of Light: Coming of Age in a Theater of Black and White," was published by the University of Iowa Press in 2013. She has taught writing at the University of Arizona for six years, and is currently a contributing editor for Guernica: A Magazine of Art & Politics.

Inscriptions for Air: A Celebration of Jake Adam York's Abide

Written by Akaya McElveen

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Willimantic, Conn. -The Division of Student Affairs at Eastern Connecticut State University hosted "Inscriptions of Air," an event commemorating the release of Jake Adam York's final book of poetry titled "Abide" on April 22. The event was part of "The Power of One: Engage. Enlighten. Empower" Spring 2014 Cultural Celebrations Calendar.
 
The poetry reading was organized by English Professor Daniel Donaghy, who knew York personally. "I've been a fan of his poems, a fan of his character, and a friend of Jake for about 20 years," said Donaghy. "We are celebrating the existence of his poems that will never die."

The event was a compilation of poetry readings of York's work by faculty and students, and ended with Donaghy's reading of York's "Inscriptions for Air."

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York's collection of poems sought to elegize each of the martyrs of the civil rights movement. In "Abide," York was able to took known facts from different court cases and infused them into his poetry creatively to divert attention away from the death of these martyrs, and more on the lives of these people. In his book of poetry, York takes on issues of race and social justice.

Current United States Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey said, "We find a profound intervention into our ongoing conversations about race and social justice, a bold and necessary challenge to our historical amnesia in his body of work."

 "I feel there's definitely a need for York's poetry," said Jonah Craggett, a student who read "Postscript to Silence." "York's a perfect example of someone successfully using their privilege to talk about issues on race and inequality."
York's work can be found in the Eastern bookstore located in the Student Center. 

Eastern's 54th National Mathematics Honors Society Induction

Written by Akaya McElveen

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Willimantic, Conn. -Eastern Connecticut State University's chapter of Kappa Mu Episilon, the national mathematics honor society, held its 54th induction ceremony in Science 301 on April 25. In attendance were Eastern President Elsa Nunez and Provost Rhona Free.

Inductees included Samantha Camolli, James Chadic, Elizabeth Gregory, Nicole Gugliotti, Rebecca Keenan, Amelia Miceli, Jennifer Mouland, Kelly Provo, Jacqueline Slorach, Jordan Somes, Nicholas Squier, Zoraida Villalobos, Stephen White, Schuylar Whiting, Bailey Wilber, Melissa Williams and Assistant Professor of Mathematics Mehdi Khorami.

"I feel honored and privileged to have been invited here," said President Nunez, who extended congratulations to each of the inductees. She said majoring in mathematics "requires high intellect and significant curiosity. There's so much to be proud of in the math department."

Free also extended congratulations to the inductees and highlighted the accomplishments of the students and alumni of Eastern.
 
The national mathematics honor society Kappa Mu Epsilon (KME) was formed in 1931, and elected to membership in the Association of College Honor Societies in 1968. The Eastern chapter (Kappa Mu Epsilon-Connecticut Beta Chapter) was chartered in 1981. Members who have excelled in their mathematics studies are initiated into the society at the Annual Spring Initiation Ceremony. New members are nominated by Mathematics faculty under the following general guidelines: 3.0 GPA, B or better in each of Abstract Algebra and Real Analysis I, at least B+ average in higher level Mathematics courses, Junior or Senior Class standing. In exceptional cases, the Mathematics faculty may consider modification of these standards.

20th Annual Accounting Banquet a Success

Michael Rouleau

Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's 20th Annual Accounting Banquet occurred April 21st in the Student Center's Betty R. Tipton Room. The event hosted nearly 200 students, alumni, emeriti professors and current faculty for an evening of reflection and recognition of Eastern's Accounting Program.

 The banquet opened with welcoming remarks from Eastern President Elsa Núñez. "While our students typically outperform all other accounting students in the state on the annual Connecticut CPA exam," said Núñez, "here at Eastern we don't produce 'accountants'; we produce liberally educated people who happen to be accountants.  Beyond your talents and skills, the foundation of your career is your character."

 Guest speaker and alumna Kristin Hustus '04, audit manager with CohnReznick, spoke on the topic of emotional intelligence in the workplace. "Emotions help you to engage and connect with people," said Hustus. "Interaction is part of the job, so reach out and build relationships." Hustus concluded with a few bits of advice: "Be confident but also humble. Know that you can be replaced, so put forth the effort and show that you care."

 Current accounting majors also reflected on their experiences. "The faculty connect with you on a personal level and assist with finding internship and job opportunities," said Tim Galipeau, a graduating senior. "I'm finishing an internship with BlumShapiro, the largest regional accounting firm in New England, and hope to work there upon graduating."

 Following dinner, awards and scholarships were given to exceptional graduating accounting students. Nicole Brooks of Hebron, CT was awarded the Connecticut Society of CPAs (CTCPA) Junior Award; Richard Gabriel of Uncasville, CT was awarded the CTCPA Merit Award; Melanie Krol of Wallingford, CT was awarded the BlumShapiro Award; Regene Abandula of Groton, CT was awarded the O'Connor Davies Award; and Fang Chen of Storrs, CT and Kelly Labanara of Chaplin, CT were awarded the Founders of Accounting Award.
 
Many accounting alumni also attended the event. "My education as an accounting major was a great first step," said Matthew Coit '12. "Currently I'm an auditor with a large firm. I was offered the position before I even graduated." 
"I'm impressed with the progress of the accounting program," said Joseph Lobe '03, an attorney with Mohegan Sun. "It has grown in size and status, as you can tell by the sheer number of people here tonight."

Throughout the evening, past and present students praised the department's faculty--not only for their expertise, but also their character. "All of my professors have been very helpful. They supplement bookwork with real-life examples," said Josibelk Aponte, a senior majoring in accounting, "and they stress the need to have integrity and be ethical."

Eastern Student Receives NSF Fellowship

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Eric Cerino, a senior from Stratford majoring in psychology at Eastern Connecticut State University, has been named the recipient of a highly competitive Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) fellowship from the National Science Foundation. The $30,000 stipend will cover Cerino's tuition and support direct research costs during the first 12 months of his Ph.D. program at Oregon State University's (OSU) LIFE* in an Aging Society program (*Linking Individuals, Families, and Environments).

The National Science Foundation fellowship allows students to collaborate across disciplines in a multidisciplinary research traineeship. Only five students from across the nation get into the OSU program. Students pick a primary core (according to their Ph.D program) and a supplementary core. "My primary core is Psychosocial and supplementary core is Gerontechnology, so I will have the opportunity to extend my research with collaboration with the engineering professors and students," said Cerino. "It's awesome because I will continue my successful aging psychosocial research, with the inclusion of innovative and new age technologies that I will get to create with the engineers."

On April 29, Cerino will present his research project, "Investigating Subjective Age, Level of Activity and Depressive Symptoms in Older Adults," at the 18th Annual Posters on the Hill Conference in Washington, D.C.

Subjective age is defined as how old one feels. The goal of Cerino's research was to see if depression levels among senior citizens were impacted by how young a person feels and how active he or she is in society.

"I wanted to tackle something that affects senior citizens," said Cerino. "At the Trumbull Senior Center, I taught a computer course to seniors and fell in love with the idea of helping seniors. I have dedicated my research to them."

The results of Cerino's study indicated that senior citizens who had a more youthful subjective age reported fewer depressive symptoms. In addition, seniors who took part in more activity (both physical and cognitive exercises) tended to have a more youthful subjective age.

Cerino, mentored by Eastern Psychology Professor Jennifer Leszczynski, had one of 60 posters selected from approximately 600 submissions for the Posters on the Hill Conference. The student presenters will discuss the impact of their research experience with members of Congress during the conference.

Connecticut Campuses Connect at Statewide Sustainability Conference

Written by Ed Osborn

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More than 130 students, staff, faculty, and administrators from colleges and universities throughout Connecticut are sharing best practices today on how to make Connecticut campuses more sustainable.  The statewide conference is a collaborative effort spearheaded by the Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University and hosted by Middlesex Community College, with more than 20 presentations from campus representatives sharing the details of their sustainability initiatives, successes, and challenges.  The presenters and participants in the conference include a broad range of public and private universities, colleges, and community colleges.  The conference and many of the energy initiatives of the campuses are supported by EnergizeCT and the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund.

"The idea for this conference arose from the desire to have an event where students, faculty, staff and administrators from public and private colleges and universities across the state could come together to discuss campus sustainability from a variety of different perspectives," said Laura Worthington, conference organizer and energy technical specialist for the Institute for Sustainable Energy.  "This type of collaboration is vital to the sharing of best practices and trading of ideas that will continue to move us forward and keep Connecticut on the map as one of the greenest states in the nation."

During the conference Eastern Connecticut State University and Yale University announced that they will co-chair a new "Connecticut Alliance for Campus Sustainability" that will serve as an ongoing statewide network to facilitate greater coordination and cooperation on sustainability among public and private institutions of higher education. The primary purpose of this collaboration is to share information as peers, foster partnerships and develop system-wide strategies to address climate change and adaptation, local and regional resiliency, stormwater and water management, land use, and other sustainability-related issues.

Elsa Nunez, president of Eastern Connecticut State University, said, "We are thrilled to partner with Yale University in leading the Connecticut Alliance for Campus Sustainability.  Together we look forward to engaging our public and private peer institutions to model environmental stewardship in our buildings, our classrooms, and our communities."

The new alliance will tap into the many resources available to help campuses engage in actions that will reduce their environmental footprint, increase resiliency and save costs.  These include EnergizeCT programs administered by Connecticut Light & Power and United Illuminating, programs of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, and national programs such as the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment and the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

For additional information on the Connecticut Alliance for Campus Sustainability and the conference, contact the Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University.

Eastern Takes Two "Alternative Breaks" During Spring Recess

Written by Michael Rouleau

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Eastern students Lisa Forcellina (left) and Kim DePaolis (right) with Eastern's AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer Max Goto (center) working in raised garden beds at the Generous Gardens Project in Greenville, SC, for their week-long spring break in March.

Willimantic, Conn. - This past spring recess, Eastern Connecticut State University students participated in two "alternative break" trips. Both trips lasted a week in March; one group volunteered with the Generous Gardens Project in Greenville, SC, and the other volunteered in the Natchaug State Forest in Eastford, CT.

 Seven students worked with the Generous Gardens Project, a nonprofit organization that grows and distributes fresh produce to anti-hunger efforts in South Carolina. "Generous Gardens taught us so much about gardening, how to be 'green' and the importance of giving back," said Cassandra Marion, a senior majoring in visual arts. "The amount of work we were able to achieve made coming back every night exhausted totally worth it."

The group learned about sustainability and urban gardening while planting seeds, harvesting vegetables, composting, working on raised garden beds and other agricultural tasks.
 
"Generous Gardens helped to reignite my passion for helping people by expanding my repertoire of skills and offering me a novel vehicle for service," said Kimberly DePaolis, a junior double majoring in early childhood education and psychology. "Being completely submerged in a self-sustaining farm for the purpose of helping those in need of food was incredible."

"On Wednesday we had the day off and went for a hike on Paris Mountain, and later got to explore the town," said Lily Egan, a junior majoring in communication. "I wouldn't have traded our trip for anything. I needed an escape from regular life in Connecticut. The work was hard but also relaxing; a real stress reliever."


Another group of seven students took day trips from Eastern to Natchaug State Forest throughout the week, where they built bridges and did trail work with the Connecticut Forest and Park Association. "The labor was tough, but not as difficult as I was expecting. I especially liked working with the power tools when we were building the bridge," said Anastasia Matos, a sophomore majoring in business administration. "I was out of my element, but everyone was so kind and helpful; I felt a real connection with everyone."

The Natchaug State Forest group enjoyed a hike through the forest and an education on forestry and conservation. "This trip was fun and rewarding, and, like all alternative break trips, a great way to learn new things, meet people and lend a helping hand," said Kurt Stefanscyk, a junior majoring in environmental earth science. "It feels good to give back."

The purpose of "alternative breaks" is to provide the opportunity for students to serve outside of their own communities in a drug-and-alcohol free environment. For information about Eastern's upcoming alternative break trips, contact the Center for Community Engagement.

 

Center for Early Childhood Education Releases New Video

Written by Jordan Sakal

Willimantic, Conn. - The Center for Early Childhood Education at Eastern Connecticut State University is pleased to announce the release of "Investigating Containers," a new video highlighting the work of teachers at the Child and Family Development Resource Center (CFDRC). "Investigating Containers" explores how teachers engage toddlers and preschoolers in a variety of learning experiences while developing an understanding of the properties and uses of containers. This video features teachers Claudia Ahern, Amy Tyler and Amie Theriault, as well as CFDRC Director Niloufar Rezai.

"Investigating Containers" is the fifth film in the "Investigating..." video series. Each video in the series captures one topic of investigation in the CFDRC, and illustrates how teachers involve children in literacy, math, science, art and other experiences during the three to four months of investigation. "Investigating Containers" was directed by Media Production Specialist Ken Measimer. Communication students Megan Saunders, Sarah Pierce, Amy Dillon, Justin Bedard and Sean Leser were production assistants responsible for shooting footage, editing video and assisting with graphics.

To watch the 11-minute video, visit http://www.easternct.edu/cece/investigating_containers.html

 

 

UConn Professor to Speak at Eastern on Human Rights

Written by Ed Osborn


Willimantic, CT--Luis van Isschot will speak on human rights activism in Webb Hall 358 at Eastern Connecticut State University from 3-4 p.m. on Monday, April 21.
Van Isschot is assistant professor of history and human rights at the University of Connecticut. For more than a decade he worked internationally supporting human rights advocates in Latin America and elsewhere, mainly with the NGO Peace Brigades International.
 
Isschot's research seeks to explain the emergence of human rights as a new paradigm of social protest during the Cold War. In 2008 he was full-time coordinator of the "Life Stories of Montrealers Displaced by War, Genocide and Other Human Rights Violations" oral history project.
His current book project, "The Social Origins of Human Rights: Protesting Political Violence in Colombia's Oil Capital, 1919-2010," examines why, how and with what impact people living in conflict areas organize collectively to assert human rights.

Established by Standard Oil in 1919, the oil enclave of Barrancabermeja has long been a critical battleground in Colombia's armed conflict. Drawing on interviews, as well as social movement and legal archives, van Isschot situates the experiences of frontline activists within broader debates on the history of the international movement for human rights.

University's 14th Annual Excellence Expo

Written by Akaya McElveen

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Willimantic, Conn. -Eastern Connecticut State University held its 14th Annual Excellence Expo sponsored by The School of Education/Professional Studies and Graduate Division on April 15 in the Student Center.

The expo featured more than 100 students presenting their research presentations, business marketing plans, communication advertising campaigns, photography exhibits and poster displays. Provost Rhona Free said that the expo reflected Eastern's model of "integrative learning," where students apply the knowledge learned in class by conducting experiments, research and other creative activity, and then sharing that through presentations and publications, eventually applying their learning in the workplace after graduation. Others like Jaime Gómez, interim dean of education and professional studies/graduate division, believes that the Excellent Expo is a great way to prevent academic excellence in students from becoming "invisible." 

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As part of the opening ceremonies to the expo, Psychology Professor Carlos Escoto, coordinator of undergraduate research and creative activity, presented an Undergraduate Research Mentor Award to Jeffrey Trawick-Smith, Phyllis Waite Endowed Chair of the Center for Early Childhood Education.
 
Trawick-Smith received the award for involving students in his research of children's play activities. "Students provide interesting fresh insights into our work, and ask questions I would never think to ask," he said. "It has been great fun working with students on this research." Trawick-Smith's student researchers have joined him in presenting their findings at national conferences and publishing their work in national early childhood education journals.

Student research was on display throughout the Student Center. While special research presentations from the Business Administration and Education Departments were conducted in rooms located on the first level of the Student Center, business marketing plans, communication advertising campaigns and photography exhibits were held in rooms located directly across from the Betty R. Tipton Room, where poster boards were on display.
 
Jordan LaRusso, who presented a poster on "Freedom of Speech in Schools," discussed the topic of verbal and written speech in our school systems in terms of the First Amendment. It was a project she started in her Ethics and Law class for Communication, and she felt that "conducting research and choosing my own topic is really what had drawn me to present here."

Similarly, Amanda Eckert, who presented a poster on the effects of social media on society titled "Do it for the Vine: and Other Excuses Social Media Gives Us," chose to present at the expo because she had the opportunity to present on a topic that she was genuinely interested in.
 
Judges included Gómez; George Hernandez, Windham Regional/ Small Business Specialist; Robert Jeannette, director of health services; Stephen Nelson, interim chief information officer; Edward Osborn, director of university relations; Michael Palumbo, technical support analysis; Peter Polomski, owner of The Lily Pad and Chase Rozelle III, associate professor in the Performing Arts Department. Members of the local community have been invited to judge the expo since 2004.
The 2014 Excellence Expo committee included Theresa Bouley, associate professor in the Education Department; Maryanne Clifford, economics professor; Doncho Petkov, business administration professor; Terri Toles-Patkin, communication professor and Nanette Tummers, health and physical education professor.

Arts and Sciences Research Conference and Exhibition

Written by Michael Rouleau

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Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University held its 14th Annual Arts and Sciences Research Conference and Exhibition (ASRCE) on April 12. The event featured oral and visual presentations of student-led scientific research and artwork. More than 50 presentations were delivered by students from a range of academic departments. 

 Mike Manzi, a junior majoring in environmental earth science (EES), presented on shoreline erosion due to weathering along Block Island. "I have enjoyed being a part of every step of the scientific process," said Manzi. "The best part is knowing that the information from my project can be used in the future by others doing research in this field."

 "Students studying environmental earth science have the opportunity to carry out exciting field-based research," said EES Professor William Cunningham. "Last summer undergraduates carried out original and important research in Idaho, Spain and various localities around southern New England. Their findings were presented at Saturday's event."

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At the ASRCE, Mathematics Professor Mizan Khan won the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Mentor Award. He was nominated by one of his students, Richard Magner, who has conducted extensive "number theory" research with Khan. 
 "Students who are interested doing research should ask a faculty member about opportunities in their area of interest," said Psychology Professor Madeleine Fugere. "I am always impressed by the quality of the research presented at this event."

Laura Markley, a junior majoring in EES, presented on population, natural resources and sea level rising in Bangladesh. "My research experience at Eastern has provided me with invaluable hands-on field experience," said Markley. "I'm lucky to be able to present on topics that interest me and address real-world problems."

"This event gives students the chance to experience the 'next step' in the research process: presentation," said Peter Bachiochi, psychology professor and faculty mentor. "It is very motivating for them."

"As a faculty mentor it is very rewarding to see your students present. It represents the culmination of a lot of hard work," said Fugere. "The ASRCE is one of the best academic events all year."

Buddhist Monk Speaks at Eastern

Written by Michael Rouleau

 

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Willimantic, Conn. - Ajahn Boumlieng, a Buddhist monk of the Lao Lan Xang Temple in Willington, CT, spoke at the J. Eugene Smith Library at Eastern Connecticut State University on April 8. The event, titled "The Way of the Elders: Buddhism and the Lao Community in Connecticut," discussed Theravada Buddhism and Lao culture.
 Theravada directly translates to "the way of the elders," and is among the oldest and most traditional forms of Buddhism. It follows closely to the teachings of Buddha and focuses on meditation. "Meditation is the most important part of my culture," said Boumlieng. "Meditation can be active or still, but must focus on breath."

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 Boumlieng, a native of Laos, has traveled extensively amidst his spiritual journey, learning various Buddhist philosophies along the way. He became a monk 30 years ago at the age of 25, and spent approximately 10 years meditating in Laotian caves to learn his Buddhist routes --a common practice of monks from that area.
Since then he has lived in China, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and now the United States. He's been in the United States for about 10 years--Connecticut for six. Boumlieng's English is limited, but he speaks Thai, Lao, Vietnamese and French fluently.

Speaking of the goal of meditation, Boumlieng said, "The mind is like water; naturally clear, but able to be colored." The mind is colored by thoughts and emotions, which Boumlieng calls "monkey mind." Clarity is the state of mind hoped to be achieved through meditation.

In his culture, monks are highly revered and are not expected to work; they are totally supported by the community. Through enlightening themselves, the community benefits, as monks provide a service as teachers and counselors. In Laos, monks are not allowed to use technology, but because of the support they receive, there is no need for it. In Connecticut, however, Boumlieng must occasionally resort to cars and the Internet.

Elks Club Names Eastern Professor "Citizen of the Year"

Written by Michael Rouleau

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Charles Wynn (left) being presented the 2013-2014 Citizen of the Year Award at the Elks Lodge's Irish Night on March 8, 2014.

Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University Chemistry Professor Charles Wynn has been named 2014 Citizen of the Year by the Willimantic Elks Club. Wynn earned this award for his commitment to community service and leadership roles in volunteer organizations.

 Wynn got his first taste of volunteering in the late 1960s as a Peace Corps volunteer, when he spent two years in Malaysia as a science education lecturer at the Malayan Teachers College in Penang. "Through volunteering you meet exceptional people; the types of people you didn't even know existed," said Wynn. "Those people and experiences with them expand your perspective of the world."


Wynn's causes include working with people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities, supporting cancer patients and serving those afflicted with blindness. "I consider myself a very fortunate person. I volunteer because I want to give back," said Wynn. "As John F. Kennedy said, 'Of those to whom much is given, much is required.'"

Wynn is involved with numerous charitable organizations locally, regionally and at Eastern. Some of his roles include being the long-time meet director of the Windham Invitational Special Olympics Swim Meet; president of the Greater Windham Unit of the American Cancer Society; former member of the Board of Directors of Camp Horizons; and past president of the Willimantic Lions Club.

 "There is nothing more influential in changing people's behavior than a good role model," said Wynn. "If you want people to change for the better, show them the way, don't tell them." In the words of Fred Lebeau, one of Wynn's greatest role models and fellow member of the Lions Club, "I want to leave the wood pile with more in it than when I found it."

Magner Earns Goldwater Honorable Mention!

Written by Anne Pappalardo

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Willimantic, Conn. - Richard Magner '15, a mathematics major from Beacon Falls, CT, recently received an Honorable Mention from the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. The Goldwater Scholarship program was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering. The program recognizes undergraduate students who demonstrate the potential to make significant research contributions in their future careers.

 Julia DeLapp, Eastern's coordinator for national scholarships and fellowships and program coordinator for the Center for Early Childhood Education (CECE), said, "As far as I know, this is the first time an Eastern student has been recognized by the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program. Richard has been conducting research under the mentorship of Professor Mizan Khan for two years and is also Eastern's first Undergraduate Research Fellow."

"By the time he graduates, he will have completed eight graduate-level courses at the University of Connecticut, served as a teaching assistant for an upper-division math course, and will have had at least one publication and multiple presentations related to his own research," added DeLapp.

Magner's professors have recognized his unique capacities and have provided him with challenging experiences to ensure that he continues to develop while at Eastern. In addition to earning the respect of members of the Department of Mathematics, he has also impressed Computer Science faculty by writing computer programs on his own to aid his research.

In order to qualify to be considered by the Goldwater Scholarship program, students must be nominated by their institutions. Each institution can only nominate up to four students and each student must show actual potential for promising careers in research.
 
Eastern mathematics Professors Mizan Khan, Peter Johnson and Christian Yankov submitted letters of recommendation for Magner. His career goals include pursuing a Ph.D. in Mathematics, conducting research in number theory and teaching at the university level.

"Ricky is arguably the strongest mathematics major we have had in the past 20 years. He has an excellent mind and has shown that he is capable of doing original work in mathematics. Most importantly, his level of motivation and study ethic is extraordinary," said Khan.

Magner presented his research at two research conferences during the summer of 2013. The first, "Combinatorial and Additive Number Theory 2013" at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY); the second, the 2013 Young Mathematicians Conference at Ohio State University (OSU), which was funded by the National Science Foundation. Only one-third of the abstracts submitted were accepted at the OSU event.

The research has culiminated in two manuscripts. "The Combinatorial Geometric Problems Involving Modular Hyperbola," authored by M. Khan, R. Magner, S. Senger and A. Winterhof, will appear in INTEGERS (www.integers-ejcnt.edu) this year. INTEGERS is a refereed electronic journal devoted to research in the area of combinatorial number theory. "An Application of Modular Hyperbolas to Quadratic Residues," authored by Khan and Magner, will also be published in American Math Monthly (www.maa.org) this year.

Annual Eastern Excellence Expo Set for April 15

Written by Dwight Bachman


Willimantic, Conn: -- Eastern Connecticut State University's School of Education/Professional Studies and Graduate Division will hold its 14th Annual Excellence Expo on April 15, 2014, from 1-3p.m. in the Student Center.  The public is invited. Admission is free.

More than 110 students, supported by 10 faculty mentors, will present research projects and posters showcasing the five departments in the School of Education/Professional Studies and Graduate Division: Business Administration, Communication, Economics, Education, and Health and Physical Education.
Presentations include business marketing plans and communication advertising campaigns;  research presentations from business and education students; and a gallery photography exhibit of framed prints and color slides, just to name a few.  Poster research includes topics on communication law and ethics; health communication issues; and systems analysis.

For more information on the Excellence Expo, contact Pat Kucharski at (860) 465-5264 or email her at kucharski@easternct.edu.

Eastern Mathematicians Makes Discovery

Written by Michael Rouleau

mathmeticians make discovery-wagner,left Khan right.jpg                           Richard Magner, left, and Professor Mizan Khan, right


Willimantic, Conn. - Two members of Eastern Connecticut State University's Mathematics Department have made a discovery in the field of mathematics known as "number theory." Eastern mathematics professor Mizan Khan and Richard "Ricky" Magner, a junior majoring in mathematics, will have their discovery  published in Volume 14 of the electronic journal INTEGERS.

 The research, titled "Two Combinatorial Geometric Problems Involving Modular Hyperbolas," was a collaborative effort among four scholars, including Khan and Magner, as well as Steven Senger of the University of Delaware and Arne Winterhof of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

"The research concerned two problems, and Ricky answered one of them," said Khan. "Ricky's discovery is quite pretty; he is very clever."

 The questions leading their research were: "given a finite collection of points on a two-dimensional grid, how many distinct lines can you draw connecting two or more points in that collection?"; and "what conditions ensure that a line connecting two points in that collection do not meet a third point?"

The answers to these seemingly simple questions are indecipherable for those without some background in number theory--which deals with the properties and relationships of integers, or whole numbers.

 "Questions in number theory are easy to state," said Magner, "but they are difficult to answer, and their implications are often unknown."

 During Magner's freshman year, Khan approached him after class with an excerpt from a book dealing with "modular hyperbolas"--an area of number theory that Khan has been working on since 1999. "At first I didn't really know what we were looking for," said Magner, "but in the fall of my sophomore year, after spending much time with modular hyperbolas, things started to come together."

 Both Khan and Magner agree that the discovery alone has no practical application. "While the solution is elegant, this is a minor discovery," said Khan. "In this case, it is the process that is important, not the solution. My hope is that Ricky will build on this experience to prove bigger theorems in the future when he is in graduate school."

 "Through solving problems you develop skill and build an 'arsenal,' which can lead to new discoveries and expand the field of mathematics," said Magner. "At the time, you may not know if the discovery is useful. It may be years before its use is realized."

 Magner is currently taking graduate mathematics courses at UConn, in addition to his full-time workload at Eastern. After obtaining his master's degree, he plans to apply for a PhD program in mathematics, while still investing time in his passion for writing and other intellectual pursuits.

Eastern's Office of Admission to Host Junior Preview Day

Written by Dwight Bachman


Willimantic, Conn: The Office of Admissions at Eastern Connecticut State University will host Junior Preview Day on April 13 from noon to 4 p.m. in the Student Center. Juniors in high schools from across Connecticut and surrounding states, along with their families, are invited to visit campus to familiarize themselves with Eastern's unique public liberal arts learning experience.

"Eastern provides an affordable top quality undergraduate education, even for many from out-of state, that prepares students to begin their career or pursue graduate school," according to Ned Harris, director of enrollment management. "The university is able to do this," he said, "by pairing outstanding, diverse faculty with great students in small classes, undergraduate research and global field courses."

Eastern President Elsa M. Nunez will greet the students and their families. The program will provide information on Eastern's approach to applying one's academic pursuits in practice, admissions, financial aid, housing and residential life, athletics, student academic resources and student activities. Visitors will also have the opportunity take guided tours of campus with one of our student ambassadors.

Students are encouraged to register on-line for Junior Preview Day by visiting http://www1.easternct.edu/admissions/juniorpreviewda/  Students may also call the Admissions Office at (860) 465-5286.

Eastern Hosts 2014 Research and Exhibition Conference

Written by Jordan Sakal


Willimantic, Conn. -  Eastern Connecticut State University will host its annual Arts and Sciences Research Conference & Exhibition on April 12 from 8:30 to 1:30 p.m. This annual event highlights student creative activity undertaken within the 11 departments and 13 majors in the School of Arts and Sciences.

 The conference is a forum for Arts & Sciences students to give oral and poster presentations of research they have conducted while at Eastern.  Students will also be reading poetry, discussing interpretations of literature, and displaying artwork. This exhibition will be the first ever to feature an award presented to faculty mentors for services to their student researchers.
 
 The award is student-nominated, and draws attention to the fact that Eastern students and faculty contribute to scholarly fields of inquiry beyond the classroom. The opening ceremonies of the conference will begin at 9 a.m. in room 104 of the Science Building. There will brief introductory remarks by Professor Nick Parsons, Dean Martin Levin of the School of Arts and Sciences, President Elsa Núñez and Provost Rhona Free.

Hockey Club Picking Up Speed

Written by Michael Rouleau

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Willimantic, Conn. - In its fifth season, Eastern Connecticut State University's club hockey team is developing into a force to be reckoned with. This past season the team played in the Northeast Collegiate Hockey Association (NECHA)--a subset of the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA)--and concluded the season with a 17-3 record, tying them for first place in the Colonial Conference of the NECHA.

 Five years ago, when the original group of students gathered to form the club, they played informal games according to an inconsistent schedule. One day the group came upon John Brancati when he was practicing with his son at Bolton Ice Palace. Soon after, Brancati--who has years of coaching experience with youth and high school teams--agreed to be the head coach of Eastern's club team.
 
 "There wasn't much of a team when I first joined. We had little talent and not much structure," said Sam Spellman '14, a team captain who has played right wing with the club for four years while majoring in accounting. "We probably didn't have 17 wins combined in my first three years. The program is making huge strides in being seen as a respectable team for competition."

 The ACHA is a collegiate hockey association with more than 400 teams nationwide--even schools with NCAA hockey programs have club teams in the ACHA. Because Eastern is still new to the association, the team underwent a "probationary period" this season and was not eligible to participate in playoffs or championship games--despite their conference-leading record.

 "We got lucky this year and picked up a lot of good players. Also, the guys who helped start the program have stayed loyal and kept on playing," said Jeremy Proto '14, a team captain who has played right wing with the club for four years while majoring in business administration. "We have a real solid group of guys who share one thing in common: a diehard passion for the game of hockey."

 The team has completed three preliminary seasons with the NECHA. These trial seasons are intended to test a prospective team's commitment to the league and gauge its playing style and sportsmanship. At the NECHA's spring meeting on April 19, the team will learn of their official placement in the Colonial Conference. In fact, since the team did so well, they may be moved to the American Conference, which is more competitive.
 
 "We hope to be placed in the American Conference, but we'll be happy with whatever the NECHA decides," said Assistant Coach Galen Byram, who has led the team's defensive strategy for four years. "We are very happy with how we've played and a bunch of guys at the association have been asking about Eastern."
 This year the team consisted of 23 players--all from Connecticut--six of whom will be graduating this May. "We're getting more exposure, more participation and more talent," said Coach Brancati. "The guys have been real committed. Our core will be returning next year; it's safe to say we'll have at least 20 guys to start off the season."

Since the team is not part of the NCAA or an official intercollegiate varsity sport at Eastern, team members must conduct fundraising efforts to afford ice time, transportation, referees and other expenses. For the 2013-14 season, they put together a team booklet that generated more than $2,000 by offering advertising space to local businesses.

Currently the team's home rink is in South Windsor, but they are working to relocate to Bolton Ice Palace. This location closer to campus would boost fan attendance and cut down on transportation costs.

 In order to play on Eastern's club team, there is a $500 yearly player's fee. Team jerseys are provided by Eastern, but players need their own gear. "Compared to other leagues, Eastern's club team is inexpensive and a great value," said Coach Brancati.

 "The best part about the game is it's unlike any other sport. There is a serious brotherhood among hockey players," said Proto. "It's one of the only sports that guys start playing when they're three and don't stop until they're 50. It's just that good."

History Honor Society Inducts New Members

Written by Jordan Sakal


Willimantic, Conn. - On April 7, 13 history majors and one member of the faculty at Eastern Connecticut State University were inducted into Alpha Mu Alpha, Eastern's chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the national honor society for the study of history.

The society promotes the study of history through the encouragement of research, good teaching, publication, and the exchange of learning and ideas among historians. The society recognizes students who have completed a minimum of 12 semester hours (four courses) in history, have a minimum GPA of 3.1 in history, have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and are in the top 35 percent of their class.

Inductees included Eastern professor Bradley Davis, and students Abby J. Arisco of Wallingford; John P. Allen of Tolland; Nicholas G. Cecere of Branchburg, NJ; Emily C. Dwelley of Stafford Springs; Joseph L. Garzone of Rocky Hill; Margaret Kurnyk of Willimantic; Kevin M. MacVane of Manchester; Meagan Rose McCane of Torrington; Brandon Thomas Nickle of Hampton; Michael A. O'Neill of Killingworth; Victoria L. Schell of Norwich; Erin Renee Strickland of Gales Ferry; and Shannon J. Williamson of Baltic, CT.

Eastern to Present "An Evening with Chuck Klosterman"

Danielle Couture

Klosterman.jpgWillimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Arts and Lecture Series will present author Chuck Klosterman at 7 p.m. on April 22 in the Betty R. Tipton Room, where he will discuss how pop culture shapes a person's identity.


Klosterman is the New York Times best-selling author of six books of nonfiction and essays, including "Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs" and "I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling with Villains," and two novels "Downtown Owl" and "The Visible Man," all of which focus on American popular culture. His debut book, "Fargo Rock City," was a winner of the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award. He has written for GQ, Esquire, Spin, the Washington Post, the Guardian, the Believer and the A.V. Club. Klosterman currently covers sports and popular culture for ESPN and writes "The Ethicist" column for the New York Times Magazine.

In his fresh, candid observations and metaphoric illustrations, Klosterman astounds and informs his readers on a variety of topics--love, music, sports and others--within the broad context of American popular culture. In the process, he contemplates how popular culture can define individual and group identity, with the movies we watch, the music we listen to and the television shows we obsess over becoming the subscript of our lives.  Klosterman shows us how pop culture becomes inextricably linked with our memories, how it helps us understand the world, and what this says about us as individuals and as a society.

"An Evening with Cluck Klosterman" will include a question-and-answer session and a book signing following the lecture presentation.Tickets for Arts and Lecture Series events are $10 for the public. Reserve yours by calling (860) 465-0036 or e-mailing tickets@easternct.edu.

Eastern Offers New Fashion and Costume Design Minor

Written by Danielle Couture

 

Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University will be offering a new Fashion and Costume Design minor this coming fall through the Theatre and Visual Arts departments. Students will be able to register for classes for the 2014 fall semester.

The interdisciplinary minor is designed for students interested in developing skills and abilities in the areas of costume and fashion design. Core courses cover aesthetics, technology and basic skills development in costume and fashion design, including one practical applications experience. Elective courses cover more specialized areas related to costume and fashion history, textiles and pattern-making techniques.

Students minoring in Costume and Fashion Design will develop cutting-edge skills to prepare for careers and further study in the fashion, costume, retail and entertainment industries. Students will apply basic techniques of design and illustration by hand and computer-assisted technology related to the production of garments and accessories.

For information about the minor, contact June Bisantz in the Visual Arts Department at (860) 465-5174 or bisantz@easternct.edu, or Kristen Morgan in the Theatre Department at (860) 465-5058 or morgank@easternct.edu.

Eastern to Present "The Laramie Project"

Written by Danielle Couture

 

Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Theatre Program and Drama Society will present "The Laramie Project," written by Moisés Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project, in the Harry Hope Theatre in Shafer Hall. The play, directed by senior theatre major Kelsey Guggenheim, will run from April 24-27 at 7:30 p.m., with a Friday showing at 11 a.m. and a Sunday showing at 4 p.m.

The play follows the true story of Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old student at the University of Wyoming who was kidnapped, severely beaten, tied to a fence in the middle of a prairie outside Laramie, WY in 1998 and left to die. He was a victim of this brutal murder just because he was gay.

Kaufman and fellow members of the Tectonic Theater Project made six trips to Laramie over the course of a year and a half in the aftermath of the beating and during the trial of the two young men accused of killing Shepard. They conducted more than 200 interviews with the people of the town. Some people interviewed were directly connected to the case, and others were citizens of Laramie. Kaufman and Tectonic Theater members constructed a deeply moving theatrical experience from these interviews and their own experiences.

Guggenheim was given the opportunity to direct this full-length stage production through Pathways to Leadership. The program for students interested in directing includes a series of directing classes, stage management and assistant directing duties, and opportunities to direct staged readings, children's theatre, one-act plays, and on occasion, for the student with special skills, the opportunity to direct a full-length, fully-staged production as part of the Harry Hope Theatre season of shows.

Guggenheim has acted in nine Eastern productions including "The Skin of our Teeth," "The Birds" and The Gilded Age." She was stage manager for "Dancing at Lughnasa" and assistant stage manager for "Biloxi Blues." She directed "Sacrifices for the Sake of Art" as part of the Phoenix New Play Series, and was the assistant director of "Once on this Island." She was chosen as a Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Candidate for her work in "The Skin of Our Teeth" and is also the president of Drama Society.

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.

For more information on "The Laramie Project," call the University Box Office at (860) 465-5123 or email Ellen Brodie at brodiee@easternct.edu.

Eastern Students Present at National Conference

Eastern Connecticut State University communication students Kacey Rainone '14 of Stratford and Jordan Sakal '14 of East Hartford joined more than 4,000 other undergraduate scholars from across the country on April 3-5 for the 2014 National Conference on Undergraduate Research held at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY.  The three-day event included student presentations from anthropology to zoology and everything in between, as well as career and graduate school workshops and networking events.

kacey rainone.jpg

 

Rainone's paper, "Slut: The Deconstruction and Recoding of a Defamatory Term," explored the ways in which offensive labeling influences social interaction. Her rhetorical analysis included the history of the term as well as an examination of several contemporary controversies. "It was incredible to meet people from all over the country and to learn new things across the disciplines. I feel like this was the chance of a lifetime," said Rainone.

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Sakal's paper, "The Effect of Social Media on Political Awareness," analyzed the role of mass media and digital media in the construction of citizens' political viewpoints.  He commented, "The NCUR experience has provided me with insights into many fields, allowed me to interact with fellow researchers and expanded my horizons."

Terri Toles-Patkin, professor of communication, accompanied the students to the conference, with Eastern's Office of Undergraduate Research providing financial support.

Eastern's Energy Institute to Receive National Award

The Institute for Sustainable Energy (ISE) at Eastern Connecticut State University has been selected to receive a prestigious national award honoring its accomplishments in energy efficiency and sustainability. 

The 2014 Energy Star Partner of the Year Award, to be formally presented in Washington, D.C., on April 29 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy, recognizes the institute's work with Connecticut towns, state agencies, school buildings and college campuses to strategically and comprehensively manage energy use.

"We are honored to be recognized nationally for the contributions the Institute for Sustainable Energy has made to energy conservation and sustainability in Connecticut," said Elsa Nunez, President of Eastern Connecticut State University.  "In addition to being a leader in evaluating energy efficiency and supporting the adoption of practical energy solutions in municipalities and school systems across our state, the institute has provided dozens of Eastern student interns with the skills necessary to augment our state's clean energy workforce."

Established in 2001, the institute has performed Energy Star "benchmarking" on more than 40 percent of Connecticut's 1,000 public schools, 170 state facilities and more than 120 other municipal buildings.  The benchmarking empowers decision-makers with valuable information on a building's energy use, enabling them to save money and lower energy consumption.  The institute also connects towns and agencies with the many energy incentive programs available in Connecticut, accelerating the installation of energy efficient equipment. 

The ISE and Connecticut's energy incentive programs are supported by the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Board through funding from electric rate payers.  As Connecticut strives to become the most energy efficient state in the nation, the Energy Efficiency Board's 2013 initiatives resulted in more than $53 million of annual savings for Connecticut's businesses, residents and municipalities.

"The Institute for Sustainable Energy is an important partner in achieving a sustainable energy future for Connecticut," said Connecticut's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection's Commissioner Robert Klee.  "Energy efficiency is a key component of Governor Malloy's Comprehensive Energy Strategy for Connecticut.  We applaud the institute for providing technical support and building strong relationships to help our communities and state agencies save energy, save money, and lead by example."

The Energy Star label applies to products, homes and buildings that prevent greenhouse gas emissions by meeting strict energy efficiency requirements set by the U.S. EPA. From the first Energy Star-qualified computer in 1992, the Energy Star label can now be found on products in more than 70 different categories, with more than 4.5 billion Energy Star units sold. More than 1.5 million new homes and 23,000 office buildings, schools and hospitals have earned the Energy Star label. Since the Energy Star program began, American families and businesses have saved $297 billion on utility bills and prevented more than 2.1 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions with help from Energy Star.

For more information, please contact Lynn Stoddard, director of the Institute for Sustainable Energy, at (860) 465-2813.

Eastern's Most Successful Career Fair in Years.

Written by Michael Rouleau

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Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's largest and most successful career fair in recent years took place on April 1 in the Student Center. More than 400 students attended the event, which featured representatives from more than 70 local and national companies and organizations.

 The fair connected students to full-time jobs, internships and opportunities to work abroad. The companies and organizations ranged from Connecticut public school systems to the Armed Forces, software firms to insurance companies, the FBI to the Peace Corps, newspapers to Six Flags, with two additional rooms dedicated to nonprofits.

 "I'm here to explore all the opportunities my major can be applied to," said Zach Marotte, a senior majoring in history. "I know that it's not so much about the major you choose, but how you apply it."

Clifford Marrett, director of the Center for Internship and Career Development, said, "It's been a couple years since our last career fair, so we worked hard to make this a big one with a variety of employers. We especially focused on having employers that applied to all of the majors offered at Eastern."

 The Student Center's Betty R. Tipton Room and two additional conference rooms were teeming with students dressed in professional attire, trading freshly written resumes--some of which were fine-tuned at the "Resumania" event on March 31--for business cards and brochures from company representatives.

 "I'm poor, I need money and as of May I'll be unemployed," said Rachel Junga, a senior majoring in psychology. "I'm going to hand my resume to and follow up with the FBI, Mohegan Sun and Ticket Network."

 One of the career fair's sponsors was software-provider company RMI, which was represented by '12 Eastern graduate Stephanie Armagno, who majored in theatre and now works as a staff consultant. "I love my job and we're looking to hire more full-time people," said Armagno. "Some of my work includes customer service, trouble shooting and leading trainings."

Warriors Against Violence Rally

Written by Michael Rouleau

warriors against violence-students marching.JPG
Willimantic, Conn. - On April 1, a crowd of Eastern Connecticut State University students gathered on the Student Center patio for "Warriors Against Violence," a rally to raise awareness of dating violence. The event started with a march around campus and concluded with a speech by author and advocate Susan Omilian.

During the march, students shouted empowering statements of courage and antiviolence, led by a speaker with a megaphone. "Wherever we go, however we dress, no means no and yes means yes!" shouted the crowd of female and male students.

At 2 p.m. on the Student Center patio, Omilian took the podium and told the story of her niece, Maggie Wardle, who was a 19-year-old sophomore in college when she was shot and murdered by her ex-boyfriend in 1999. At the time of this tragedy, there were no on-campus organizations dedicated to awareness, intervention or victim support of dating violence and related issues.

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Since her niece's death, Omilian has spoken across the country on the topic of dating violence. Colleges across the nation, including Eastern, have established on-campus resources to handle these issues, such as Eastern's Sexual Assault Response Team (SART).

"Warriors Against Violence," an event within an ongoing awareness-raising campaign, was organized and sponsored by the Womens' Center, SART and a number of social work students.
 
According to Omilian and other authorities on the topic, warning signs of an unhealthy, abusive relationship can be emotional, physical, psychological, sexual and economic. If they have any concern whatsoever, students are urged to utilize Eastern's support resources.

Eastern Announces 2014 Commencement Speaker

Written by Ed Osborn

nick_lawson.jpgWillimantic, Conn. -

Eastern Connecticut State University has announced that Nicholas Lawson, director of field human resources for Doctors without Borders/"Médecins sans Frontières" (MSF), will be  receiving an honorary degree from the University at its 124rd Commencement Exercises on May 13, 2014, at the XL Center in Hartford, CT.
 
Lawson began working for MSF in 1997 as a logistical and administrative expert in a project in southern Sudan during that country's brutal civil war. Since then he has held 11 other positions within the organization, which have taken him on humanitarian missions across the globe to Afghanistan, Burundi, East Timor, Pakistan, Kenya and elsewhere.

Last year in Uganda, Lawson coordinated MSF's response to the Kamango/Bundibugyo refugee crisis on the Uganda/Congo border. In 2011, he coordinated a similar mission to provide HIV-related hospital care to the population of the Chiradzulu district in Malawi. Over the years, Lawson has traveled to and coordinated humanitarian and medical relief efforts in a number of other countries in response to natural disasters, refugee situations, the AIDS pandemic and other health emergencies.

During his years with MSF, Lawson has risen through the organizational ranks from logistician to field coordinator, logistical coordinator and finally head of mission. Lawson's extensive field experience prepared him for the headquarter role of Recruitment Officer for Field Human Resources at MSF-Australia in Sydney. Today, he continues to use these skills to lead the New York-based human resources team that recruits and places U.S. medical and non-medical staff in MSF projects.
Prior to joining MSF in January 1997, Lawson worked in the finance, construction, education, and hospitality industries in Australia and other locales. He studied anthropology at the University of Western Australia.

Career Center Presents Resumania

Written by Akaya McElveen


Willimantic, Conn. - The Center for Internships and Career Development and the Office of Alumni Affairs at Eastern Connecticut State University hosted "Resumania" on March 31 in the Career Development Office.

Professional alumni and human resource professionals conducted mock interviews and resume critiques for the 48 students who participated in the event. Alumni professionals included Kate Fortier, Marlene Pinche, Maribel Sanchez and Umesh Vig. Human resource professionals included Christopher Bylone, Maria Fish Proulx, Janine Dunn and Jessica Linicus.

 

AmeriCorps Mayor's Day of Recognition for National Service

Written by Dwight Bachman


Willimantic, Conn: --On April 1, mayors across the United States will recognize AmeriCorps Mayor's Day of Recognition for National Service. The day salutes the contributions of AmeriCorps members to the nation.
 
In Connecticut, mayors from Bridgeport to Windham will participate and recognize the contribution of 5,800 active service members across the state. To celebrate AmeriCorps, Food Corps, Teach for America and other service corps in Windham, Mayor Ernie Eldridge will read an official town proclamation during a gardening service project at Natchaug Elementary School at 3:30 p.m. at 123 Jackson.  The event, sponsored by GROW Windham, runs to 5:45 p.m. The public is invited; admission is free.

Representatives from Eastern Connecticut State University, The Windham Area Hour Exchange, Eastern Area Health Education Center, Windham Public Schools and several other organizations in town with service corps members, will participate in the event. Current and former service corps members are encouraged to wear AmeriCorps apparel or bring AmeriCorps promotional materials.

 

The Workforce of the Future Panel Discussion

Akaya McElveen


Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Business Administration Department will host a networking and panel discussion event titled "The Workforce of the Future" from 5-8 p.m. on March 31 in the Betty R. Tipton Room as part of the University's 125th Anniversary celebration.

Business Administration students will display their creative work, and panel discussions will start at 7:15 p.m. Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to attend.
 
Panelists include Judith Resnick (Executive Director, CBIA Education Foundation); Marty Levine (SPHR; 25+ years of experience in Hospital Management/HRM); Michael Christina (Eastern graduate, BS in I‐O Psychology; Aetna - HR Analytics function) and Peter Bachiochi (Eastern Professor of Industrial‐Organizational Psychology).

Eastern Offers New Finance Major

Written by Akaya McElveen


Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University will be offering a new Finance major this coming fall in the Business Administration Department. Students will be able to register for classes for the 2014 fall semester.
 
The Bachelor of Science degree in Finance will provide students with preparation to enter the financial services sector, work in a corporate setting and/or enroll in graduate school. With a broad foundation in the liberal arts, the Finance major includes related courses in business, economics, and core and elective courses in finance and economics. Courses include Business Finance, Financial Institutions and Markets, Money and Banking, Investment Analysis, Real Estate Finance, Bank Management, Financial Management, Personal Financial Planning, International Financial Management, Financial Derivatives, Management of Business Information and Business Law, and Business Ethics.

The Finance major is designed to develop students' intellectual skills for problem solving, communication, critical thinking, technical and quantitative analysis, understanding of ethical issues and knowledge of principles, and theories and regulations in finance. Requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree in Finance include completion of all University Liberal Arts Core requirements as well the required related business, finance and economic course requirements and electives.

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