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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

Eastern Student Selected for Competitive Internship

Written by Michael Rouleau

Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University student Evan Walsh, a junior communication major, was offered a summer internship with The Ohio State University's Mentorship Initiative for Student Life (MISL) Program. Walsh is one of only eight students nationwide selected for the MISL Program, which is intended for aspiring student affairs professionals.

The MISL Program is an eight-week immersion experience during which paid interns will on campus as a cohort and participate in a number of academic and professional responsibilities.

"A reason I love the college setting so much is that there are so many ideas and people," said Walsh, who is also a resident assistant of Nutmeg Hall. "College is an exciting place; that's why I want to make a career in higher education." Walsh will spend 25 hours per week working with OSU's Office of Student Life. Outside of those 25 hours, Walsh will participate in reflection and cohort meetings, GRE preparation, professional development sessions, portfolio completion and other tasks. The main event of the internship is the Capstone Experience, which will bring MISL interns to Atlanta, GA, to explore cultural and higher education opportunities.

 In order to be considered for the MISL Program, Walsh had to first be accepted into the National Undergraduate Fellows Program (NUFP), which only accepts 150 new members nationwide per year--an achievement in itself.

 MISL Interns will work in Office of Student Life departments of their choice. "I am intrigued by student residential life, Greek Life and community engagement," said Walsh. "My prospective departments are the Center for the Study of Student Life; The Ohio Union, Student Activities and Greek Life; and Buckeye Civic Engagement Connection."

As a student at Eastern, Walsh has been involved in and out of the classroom. "So many departments I've worked with, particularly the Department of Housing and Residential Life, have provided me with immense support, networks and mentorship in my pursuit in student affairs," said Walsh. "For that I am extremely fortunate and grateful."

Chief Justice Rogers and Judge Kahn to Speak at Eastern

Written by Michael Rouleau

Willimantic, Conn. - Two high-level Connecticut court officials will speak at Eastern Connecticut State University on March 26 for Eastern's University Hour series. At 3 p.m. in the Student Center Theatre, Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers and Superior Court Judge Maria Kahn will speak with the Eastern community about justice and the judicial system in today's world. 

Born and raised in Angola, Africa, Kahn was appointed a Superior Court Judge in 2006 and currently is assigned to hear criminal matters in the Fairfield Judicial District Courthouse. She moved to the United States at 10 years of age, is fluent in three languages and serves on a number state and national Bars. 

Rogers, a Connecticut native, was sworn in as Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court in 2007--the second woman ever to reach this designation in Connecticut. She was also appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the State Justice Institute's Board of Directors. In addition to serving on a number of prestigious Bars and committees, Rogers is also an adjunct professor at the University of Connecticut School of Law.

"The event is open to the public and will be organized in a question-and-answer format," said Starsheemar Byrum, coordinator of the Women's Center. "Arrive early at the Student Center Theatre to ensure a good seat."

Beltran Attends Anniversary of Hungarian Holocaust Exhibition

Written by Michael Rouleau


Beltran- Woman at Holocaust exhibit3.jpgent of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights acation Professor Cesar Beltran; on the right is Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett, President of the Lantos Foundation for Human

Adjunct Professor of Communication Cesar Beltran recently represented Eastern Connecticut State University at "Holocaust in Hungary" at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. The exhibition was in observance of the 70th anniversary of the deportation and extermination of the Hungarian Jews.

The exhibition reflected on the political and social events that led to the Hungarian Holocaust, the various atrocities committed against Hungarian Jews, and the acts of courage by those who resisted the status quo and safeguarded Jews. "The event was solemn and dignified and attended by some 120 invitees," said Beltran. Above, Beltran talks with Katrina Lantos Swett of the Lantos Foundation.

"Eastern in 4," Eastern's Revamped Academic Plan

Written by Michael Rouleau

Willimantic, Conn. - As part of Eastern Connecticut State University's 2013-18 Strategic Plan, "Eastern in 4" is now a requirement for current students and incoming freshmen. The goal of "Eastern in 4" is to lay out a tight and comprehensive plan--including academic and career goals--that will lead students to their bachelor's degrees in four years.

"Eastern in 4" has existed as an informal objective for several years now, but recent data supporting the need for college-career planning has caused the University to revamp and mandate the program. "There are so many options and requirements in a college setting," said Alison Garewski, a professional advisor with the Advising Center. "Students unknowingly taking courses they don't need--costing them more money and prolonging their time in college--is an issue nationwide."

With nearly 1,000 freshman at Eastern this year, approximately 650 have completed their academic plans. Though the plans are designed in group sessions of five to 20 students, each four-year plan is individualized according to a student's degree requirements and preferences--taking into consideration which liberal arts courses to take, internships and study abroad opportunities.

"Every semester when registering for classes I use my four-year plan to aid in my selection," said Christina Harmon, a sophomore majoring in psychology. "'Eastern in 4' was a great way for me to learn what classes I need to take and how to stay on track in order to graduate on time."

While "Eastern in 4" is available to all students and majors, it is especially useful to transfer students, continuing education students and those switching majors. "This program is ideal at Eastern because we're a liberal arts school," said Chris Drewry, a professional advisor with the Advising Center. "Students are required and encouraged to take courses outside of their major, so having this direction is really helpful."

"Before making my 'Eastern in 4' plan, I had no idea if I could fit a double major's worth of classes into my schedule," said Thomas Hacker, a freshman with a double major. "Now I have a roadmap to double major in music and communication in four years."

EES Defeats Political Science in College Bowl Competition

Written by Dwight Bachman

On March 12, the Eastern College Bowl completed its 37th consecutive season.  Held in the Student Center Theatre, the College Bowl is a competition for undergraduates representing various majors.

The championship match saw the lead exchanged several times, a match that was not decided until the final question. The team representing the Environmental Earth Science (EES) Department defeated the team from the Political Science Department. EES had won matches against Economics and Mathematics to reach the finals, while Political Science had won its previous matches over Biochemistry and Biology. The winning EES team included students Dustin Munson, Cody Lorentson, Daniel Grondin, and Mackensie Fannon. 

College Bowl questions asked come from many different academic and non-academic areas, often involving audio or visual clues. Questions in this year's championship match included ones involving Dante's "Inferno," Julius Caesar and his crossing the Rubicon, phobias, songs from Disney movies and one titled, "The Doors of Eastern," in which contestants were asked to identify buildings on campus after seeing photographs of their front doors.  The question that decided the winner of the 2014 College Bowl  involved the naming of Transuranium elements. 

The College Bowl is organized and run by Tim Swanson, associate professor of physical science, who originated the competition in 1978.  This year, he was assisted by Biology Professor Gloria Colurso and Marty Levin, interim dean of the School of Arts and Sciences.

Prolific Author to Teach Special Course at Eastern

Written by Michael Rouleau

jeff Benedict the system (3).jpg

Willimantic, Conn. - Jeff Benedict, bestselling author, award-winning features writer for Sports Illustrated and Eastern Connecticut State University alumnus, will join Eastern's faculty this summer to teach an upper-level communication course. The prolific writer, teacher and public speaker--and 1991 Eastern graduate--will lead COM 460, "Non-Fiction Writing from Idea to Publication," a three-credit course being held on Saturdays from June 28 to Aug. 9.

 "We are proud of Jeff and his distinguished career in journalism, and happy to have him back on campus," said Eastern President Elsa Núñez. "His work is value-centered and focuses on critical issues of society. Jeff is a role model for young people aspiring to be writers."

COM 460 will cover the stages of non-fiction writing from idea conception to publication. Using Sports Illustrated stories and his own books, Benedict will teach students how to develop story ideas, conduct interviews, structure a story, develop sound writing habits and promote a story. Benedict will use his own story drafts and interview transcripts in his lesson plans; students will also engage in role playing and question-and-answer sessions.

"We are delighted that Jeff will be teaching on our campus this summer," said Eastern Provost Rhona Free. "The students in his course are in for a real treat.  They will be learning from a seasoned pro, one whose straight-forward, engaging writing style has gained critical acclaim and an expanding national readership." Jeff Benecict Jabari Coach K cover.pdf

 Benedict will use one of his latest projects, a Sports Illustrated cover story about the relationship between Duke's head basketball coach Mike Kryzyewski and freshman Jabari Parker.  The story has been featured on CBS News, Fox News Channel and ESPN radio.
"Sound writing is a key that has unlocked doors to a rich life of experiences and priceless relationships," Benedict said.  "As a student at Eastern I never imagined I'd make a career out of telling stories.  I am eager to share what I've learned with the students at my alma mater."
Students interested in signing up for Benedict's course should visit

Benedict has authored 12 books, including his most recent book, the New York Times bestseller "The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football." His writings have also appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and, and have been the basis of programming on 60 Minutes, 20/20, Good Morning America, The Early Show, Dateline and the Discovery Channel.
Benedict is a nationally recognized authority on athletes and crime, Indian gaming, eminent domain, and leadership and ethics in business. He is also a distinguished professor of English at Southern Virginia University.

Ready to Climb

Written by Akaya McElveen

Climbing Wall.jpg
Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Child and Family Development Resource Center (CFDRC) recently introduced two climbing walls for its preschool children; the wall are documented in the short film, "Ready to Climb: Bringing the Climbing Walls to the CFDRC."

"Ready to Climb" was produced by Eastern communication students Sarah Pierce, James Nixon, Dylan King and Attah Agyemang in their Documentary Production class taught by Denise Mathews, professor of communication. Students gained hands-on experience in directing, field shooting, conducting interviews, editing and other production skills. The video will be used to highlight to prospective families and students some of the experiences available to children at the CFDRC.

The indoor and outdoor climbing walls serve to support children's cognitive, social-emotional, creative and physical development, and provide critical experiential learning opportunities for Eastern students who hope to work with young children in their careers. Niloufar Rezai, director of the CFDRC and Darren Robert, professor of Health and Physical Education, detail the benefits of the addition of the climbing walls, citing risk-taking and peer motivation as a few. For instance, children in the center use the climbing walls to improve their hand-eye coordination, said Rezai.

Health and Physical Education students Teresa Rozycki, Mattie Brett and Josh Tamosaitis appear in the video as they work to support the children. Claudia Ahearn, CFDRC lead teacher, also appears in the video.  
The climbing walls were made possible through the support of the ECSU Foundation.

Global Field Course to Hungary and Poland

Written by Christopher J. Herman

 Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Communication and History Departments are conducting a multi-credit global field course titled "The Nazi Aftermath in Central Europe: History, Media and the Holocaust," from May 15-June 1, 2014.

The course is being offered as a 1-credit course in the summer for COM 471, a 1-credit course in the spring for HIS 470 and a 3-credit course in the summer for HIS 471. Global Field Course cost per student will be a maximum of $3,600 with a small group of 10 students, and will be less with a larger group of 15 to 20.
Students will investigate how the Holocaust is represented by the present-day Polish and Hungarian media; meet with major media, embassy officials, and historians; and visit historical and cultural sites including the Warsaw Ghetto, Auschwitz-Birchenau Concentration Camp, Krakow's Kazimierz Jewish Quarter and Budapest's Dohany Synagogue.

 For more information on the course, contact Communication professor Cesar Beltran at (860) 465-4389 or

Students Inducted into Communication Honor Society

Written by Jordan Sakal

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

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

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

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