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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."

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.

Chief Justice Rogers and Judge Kahn to Speak at Eastern

Written by Michael Rouleau

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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."

Mama Chosen as Faculty Row's Super Professor

Written by Akaya McElveenMama.JPG

Willimantic, Conn. - Distinguished Professor of African Literature and Storytelling at Eastern Connecticut State University Raouf Mama has been invited to join Faculty Row's network of Super Professors. Faculty Row is a private network originally developed for educators and researchers to connect, collaborate and share ideas nationally. It is now the leading network of experts for more than 100,000 academics globally.

Faculty Row has Fulbright Scholars, TED Speakers and countless accomplished academics. These include invited international scholars and faculty from Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Princeton, Yale and Stanford universities.

Super Professors are a peer-reviewed group of expert academics that consistently demonstrate excellence, passion and clarity. Super Professors are recognized by traditional academic institutions as well as emerging technology entities looking to change the landscape of academia. Many individuals have begun acknowledging Super Professors as independent thought leaders.

"Faculty Row is pleased to welcome Professor Raouf Mama to this elite group of accomplished academics," said Amy Hunter, director of the Faculty Row Network.
Besides being recognized as one of Faculty Row's Super Professors, Mama is the recipient of two Connecticut State University Excellence Awards, two Greater Hartford Arts Council Individual Artist Awards and two artist fellowships from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, which has also awarded him the title of Master Teaching Artist. In December 2004 Mama was awarded a Distinguished Immigrant Award. In January 2005, the office of the English Language Program in the U.S. State Department awarded him the title of Senior U.S. English Language Specialist.
A graduate of the University of Michigan with an M.A. and  Ph.D in English and Education, Mama is fluent in English, French, Fon and Yoruba, and proficient in Spanish and German.

Mama performs African and multicultural stories, blending storytelling with poetry, song, music and dance. An orator from the African oral tradition, he has been a keynote speaker at literary award ceremonies and fundraisers as well as a plenary speaker at international and regional conferences in the United States, Benin, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Venezuela. He also lectures on African literature and African folklore and conducts workshops on storytelling and creative writing. He is an expert on the power of folktales as multicultural teaching and learning tools, especially as tools for teaching literacy skills, creative writing and public speaking.

Mama regularly travels to Benin to work with English teachers, Peace Corps Volunteers, education professionals and children, using storytelling as a multicultural teaching and motivational tool. Participants' evaluations and comments often point to Mama deepening their appreciation of the power and magic of storytelling.

Over the past 10 years, Mama has worked in partnership with UNICEF and the School of African Heritage in promoting education and cultural awareness through storytelling.  In 2005 and 2006 he travelled to Benin as a Senior U.S. English Language Specialist and provided training for English teachers in all 12 provinces. In December 2008, he participated in the first International Festival of Storytelling and the Spoken Word in Benin.

"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.

English at Work: A Panel Discussion

Written by Akaya McElveen

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Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's English Department will host a panel discussion of Eastern alumni titled "English at Work" from 3-4 p.m. in Science 301 on Feb. 26. The discussion will be a part of the English Department's ongoing visiting alumni series to help build support networks between alumni and current students. The panelists are Starsheemar Byrum, Jessica Fontaine, Kileen Gilroy and Matthew Ryan.

Byrum received her Bachelor of Arts in English, minoring in women's studies. Following graduation, she completed her master's degree in Women's Studies at Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU). While attending graduate school she served as a university assistant to the director of the Women's Center at SCSU. In her position at Eastern, Byrum creatively engages students in causes that provoke their growth and empower their futures. She previously oversaw the Intercultural Center, and today coordinates all operations of the Women's Center as well as the Sexual Assault Response Team.

Fontaine graduated from Eastern in December 2008 with her bachelor's degree in English. Assisting in Lisa Fraustino's Deconstructing Disney Freshman Colloquium course in spring 2008 inspired her to pursue a master's degree in children's literature from Hollins University. She spent three years researching and writing her thesis, "The Francelia Butler Story," and worked with original manuscripts to prepare Francelia Butler's unpublished autobiography for publication (Mansfield Hollow Press, 2013). Fontaine is currently taking classes at SCSU to become a certified school library media specialist and is the librarian at Tolland High School.

Gilroy received her bachelor's degree in Secondary Education English, as well as a minor concentration in writing. During her time spent at Eastern, Gilroy was the chief editor of the university's literary journal, "Eastern Exposure," as well as the vice president of the English Club. Gilroy is a mixed media artist and emerging poet who has published in a number of literary and online journals. She currently teaches English at Lincoln High School in Rhode Island while applying for graduate school and writing a full poetry manuscript.

Ryan graduated from Eastern in 2006 with a bachelor's degree in English, minoring in History. He is employed at Union Savings Bank in New Milford as a supervisor and branch operations specialist; while he is working with numbers and computers, he puts his degree to use in writing appraisals, business correspondence and assisting administration with revising job descriptions.

Eastern's English Department Presents English Night

Written by Akaya McElveen

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Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's English Department presented English Night in the Betty R. Tipton Room on Dec. 5. The night included the Constance Campo Scholarship ceremony, the announcement of the spring 2013 first-year writing award winners, the Sigma Tau Delta induction Ceremony and senior seminar presentations. English Department Chair Lisa Fraustino hosted the event.


The evening began with the presentation of the English Major Constance Campo Scholarship. The scholarship was established in memory of Constance Campo who was a longtime member of the English Department staff. The scholarship is awarded to a non-traditional student who demonstrates excellence in their studies, and who shows sensitivity to gender issues as Campo did. The scholarship was awarded to Lauren C. Thomas. Fraustino highlighted Thomas's efforts in supporting many students on campus as well as her volunteer time outside of Eastern. Thomas decided that she wanted to pursue a career in teaching inmates in prison and began to tutor three times a week at the Brooklyn Correctional Institution, where she had been visiting for the last six semesters. Thomas's next step is to graduate in the spring of 2014 and attend graduate school at the University of New Haven to receive her master's degree. Thomas states that she feels "incredibly honored and grateful" to have received the scholarship.

English Night 3.JPG Next was the announcement of the first-year writing awards that are given to students enrolled in the first-year writing courses whose writing demonstrates innovation, creativity, splendid research or is uniquely articulated. The awards were given to Madeline Cahill for her personal writing: "I wish my father was unreasonably wealthy so I could waste his money and go to art school to become a writer" and Sarah Dube for her research writing: "Bottled Water: The Cost of Convenience."

 Following the awards was the Sigma Tau Delta induction, which was led by chapter President Emily Story and Vice President Anna Sobanski. Inductees included Elizabeth Allen, Brooke Baldwin, Alexis Ballirano, Mathew Bossi, Jacob Carpenter, Brandon Choquette, Amy Cordner, Sara DeConti, Rene Drouin, Meaghan Eales, Mae Ehrnfelt, Helene Fjeldstad, Molly Gosselin, Chelsea Griffin, Michelle Hoetjes, Vanessa Jones, Jessica Link, Lauren Madison, Chelsea McNamara, Bryan Mitchell, Ashley Parker, Sean Richmond, Alexander Rogan, Meena Roy, Jessica Salkeld, Megan Sargent, Mathew Savona, Kathryn Shpak, Renae St. John, Alexis Thoma, Jessica Wainman, Ashley Westman and Alyssa Zebrowski.

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The event concluded with student presentations from Associate Professor Daniel Donaghy's senior seminar "The Harlem Renaissance," and Associate Professor Stephan Ferruci's senior seminar "The Rhetoric of the Hollywood Film." Three of Donaghy's students presented: Alexandra Karamesinis presented her paper on "Representations of Women Forsaking Motherhood in Harlem Renaissance Literature and Culture";Katie Levis presented "'No Great Poet has ever been afraid of being himself': Using Nella Larsen's Passing to Examine the Double Door of Segregation and the Importance of Voice in the Harlem Renaissance"; and Sean Richmond presented "Two Doors and A Closet: Lesbian Homosexual Coding and Literary Passing in the Harlem Renaissance."
 

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 Three of Professor Ferruci's students presented:  Caitlin Breen presented her paper "We Work with What We've Got: Subversion, Convention and Women's Sexuality in The Cabin in the Woods"; Molly Gosselin presented "'It'll Put Hair on Your Chest': The Appearance of Bipolar Masculinities in Fantasy Films from the 1980s to the 2000s"; and Eliza Kirchoff presented "From Connery to Craig: The Shifting Portrayal of Gender in the James Bond Franchise."
 Following the senior seminar presentations was a Q&A session between the audience and the presenters.

English Night!

Written by Akaya McElveen

Willimantic, Conn. - The English Department at Eastern Connecticut State University will have its annual English Night from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Dec. 5 in the Betty R. Tipton Room.
 
The festivities will include the Sigma Tau Delta induction ceremony, an announcement of the spring 2013 first-year writing award winners, the Constance Campo Scholarship ceremony, and senior seminar readings from Professor Dan Donaghy's "The Harlem Renaissance" seminar and Professor Stephen Ferruci's "The Rhetoric of the Hollywood Film" seminar.
 
Family and friends are welcome to attend the event. English Chair, Lisa Fraustino notes special thanks is due to Dean of Arts and Sciences Martin Levin for contributing to the refreshments.

Alumna Kileen Gilroy to Present Poetry Reading

Written by Akaya McElveen

Kileen Gilroy.jpgWillimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's English Department will present a poetry reading by alumna Kileen Gilroy on Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. in Webb 110.

Gilroy received her B.A. in Secondary Education /English as well as a minor concentration in Writing, with Magna Cum Laude honors. During her time spent at Eastern, she was the chief editor of the University's literary journal, "Eastern Exposure," as well as the vice president of the English Club.

Gilroy is an emerging poet and aspiring artist who has been writing poetry for the past 13 years. Her work primarily concerns the journey of the self and the many relationships individuals must endure to obtain some sense of discovery, purpose and realization.

She presented her poetry at the University's Research Conference and Exhibition for three consecutive years (2008-10) and was the recipient of the University's Contributions to Cultural Life on Campus Award in 2009. Gilroy also participated in the 11th Annual Writer's Conference and Workshop at the University of Rhode Island in June 2012 with Brooklyn Poet Laureate Tina Chang, and has read at several venues in Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York City. She currently teaches English at Lincoln High School, is applying for graduate school, and is writing a full poetry manuscript.

Gilroy's literary and online publications include The North Central Review, The New Plains Review, Inner Art Journal, Imitation Fruit, Silkworm: 4, Eastern Exposure (editions 1, 2, & 3), Nefarious Ballerina, The World Voice Project: Inspiring a Conscious Signature, The Kaleidoscope Project, Maintenant 6: A Contemporary Dada Art & Literary Journal and Poetry & Art Exhibition Book. She was the featured poet for Caught in the Net in June 2011 and her poetry was also incorporated in the local film project, Villanelle (fall 2012).

Her mixed media work has also been exhibited in several Gallery X shows in New Bedford, MA,  including "Public Hanging," "I am Curious Red," "From Olympus to Alderaan," and "Low Brow." Other art exhibits include "Duality" with Keith Ranaldi at Java Madness (June 2012); "Places of the Small Point" commissioned for Bonnet Beach Club restaurant (June 2012); "Memphest: In Memory of Matt Sands" donation piece to raise scholarship funds; and The Wickford Art Association "Poetry and Art" exhibit with Kerstin Zettmar.

 

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