Recently in English Category
Written by Akaya McElveen
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writing her thesis, "The Francelia Butler Story," and worked with original manuscripts to prepare Francelia Butler's unpublished autobiography for publication (Mansfield Hollow Press, 2013).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.
Written by Akaya McElveen
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
Written by Akaya McElveen
Willimantic, 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.
Written by Akaya McElveen
Willimantic, Conn. - Bernard Lafayette Jr., a prominent figure in the Civil Rights Movement, spoke on "Reaching Beyond Your Grasp" on Oct. 9 in the Student Center Theatre at Eastern Connecticut State University. His presentation was part of Eastern's University Hour Series.
More than 200 Eastern students, faculty and staff heard Lafayette say he was "glad" and "shocked" that he is still alive today, in response to a question asked by a student. Lafayette's life has been threatened on many occasions, including a night when white men came to his house to kill him.
More than 200 Eastern students, faculty and staff heard Lafayette describe how resolute the Freedom Riders were while facing terrifying mobs.
Being the target of many death threats, Lafayette had expected his life to have ended already. In fact, he said he that he and his peers, realizing the dangerous journey they were about to begin, created a will before taking part in the Freedom Riders, who were African American and white college students. "No one can take your life if you've already given it," said Lafayette. He said the Freedom Rides of the 1960s provided the momentum for the Civil Rights Movement, and provided an in-depth, personal look at what life was like for the Freedom Riders.
Left to right, Stacey Close, Eastern's associate vice president for equity and diversity; Prudence Allen, former administrative assistant to the late Coretta Scott King; Lafayette, Sociology Professors Dennis Canterbury and James Russell pose for a photograph.
Lafayette played a riveting clip from a documentary on the Freedom Rides, which showed scenes of white mobs as they burned and bombed the Freedom Riders' buses and beat them with crow bars, baseball bats and any other weapon they could pick up. Law enforcement and city officials had made a deal; the mob of people was given 15 minutes to do whatever it wanted to the Freedom Riders and they would not get punished for it. Once the 15 minutes were up, Lafayette said the officers announced, "Alright, you've had your fun," and told the mob, "Not one soul will ever be arrested."
Lafayette shakes hands with Akaya McElveen'14, an English major from Waterbury.
There was a moment in the film when a black woman went to a police officer to explain that her husband was being attacked, only to be knocked to the ground by that same officer.
Lafayette said media exposure of the mob violence and city officials' sanction of it played a leading role raising public awareness. News of the mob and police brutality was heard around the world, with America's European allies making it clear to President Kennedy that they were embarrassed by the violence.
Lafayette, left, with former vice president for equity and diversity at Eastern,and administrative assistants Carmen Diaz and Kathy Escobar.
The speaker also said there is a misconception that the Freedom Rides were about integrating the buses: "The demonstrations were really about bus stations and the right to be treated equally in them." Lafayette also talked about the importance of community engagement, saying that all colleges and universities should be involved in the community. "You've got to bring young people together and organize them. If you don't use your rights, you will lose your rights." As an example, he said students could initiate a voter registration drive by hosting a public birthday party for eighteen-year-olds, where the cost of admission would be showing their voter registration cards.
Lafayette with Hope Fitz, professor of philosophy and a scholar on nonviolence.
Lafayette said that he is genuinely interested in what the next generation will contribute to the Civil Rights Movement. "Maybe the movement never really stopped; it's continuous." He said young people should never surrender to violence and injustice. "If you do, the psychological wounds will run deep and may never end." He encouraged the audience to keep the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream alive, quoting the late Civil Rights leader, "We must live together as sisters and brothers or die separately as fools."
Lafayette ended his presentation by entertaining the audience with a country song about the struggle of poor white Americans.
Written by Danielle Couture
Willimantic, Conn. - American poet Baron Wormser will present "Thoreau's Legacy" at 3 p.m. on Oct. 23 in Science 301 as part of Eastern Connecticut State University's University Hour series.
For more than 23 years, Baron Wormser lived "off the grid" with his family in the Maine woods. Like Thoreau, Wormser sought to "live deliberately" and "confront the essential facts of life." In an age that increasingly defines itself by technological progress, Thoreau's legacy emphasizes the gifts of inwardness, simple living and connection to the natural world.
Wormser will speak to his experiences in the Maine woods and read from his memoir "The Road Washes Out in Spring: A Poet's Memoir of Living Off-the-Grid" and from his poetry collections.
Written by Dwight Bachman
Willimantic, Conn -- Eastern President Elsa Núñez, along with more than 100 students, faculty and staff, greeted Connecticut State Universities and Colleges (ConnSCU) Board of Regents President Gregory Gray to campus on Sept. 18. The new president of Connecticut's Board of Regents for Higher Educatonis in the midst of touring the 17 schools that make up the state's public higher education system. Gray took over as president on July . He oversees the Board of Regents, which governs 12 community colleges, four state universities, and Charter Oak College, the state's on-line institution.
Nunez praised Gray for his vision; his goal of restoring integrity to the system and for finding opportunities for more collaboration between community colleges and the four-year universities.
Gray, noting that Eastern students were already fortunate to have a beautiful, physical setting, said, "Pristine is all around you here. Knowing that you were so dedicated to having such a beautiful campus tells me this same dedication must be taking place in the classroom as well." He said his primary goal is to improve the learning environment on campuses, "making it go from very good to great."
Gray said he believes that by working together with faculty members who have a deep-rooted passion for excellence, ConnSCU will become a world-class system of higher education. To achieve this long-range goal, Gray wants to (1) restore trust and integrity to the system; (2) make the system more efficient and productive; (3) develop a plan to benefit current and future students.
"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we have to get it right. I want to develop a plan that will positively impact student 25 years from now." He said online education courses; a unified calendar for all system colleges and universities; and seamless transfer of credits will better serve students. "Saving money is important, but that is not the primary goal. We want to provide access and focus on what we should focus on a student's purpose for being here, which is to learn. We then, want tell the world about it."
Gray said he wants board meetings to focus on student presentations about their achievements, and to see more scholarship celebrated on campus through academic fairs showcasing faculty books and student-published articles. He believes his plan will identify areas of efficiency, producing a more clearly-defined niche for each university.
During a question and answer period, Gray told students who want to be assured their voices are heard to "speak up, but get your facts straight. I assure you I will do all I can to support the integration of teaching, learning and service to our students. I say let's improve the overall efficiency of the system; improve the learning environment; give the governor and the legislature a good plan; and get it funded."
Written by Danielle Couture
Willimantic, CT - - John Guzlowski, professor emeritus at Eastern Illinois University, will present his poetry as part of Eastern Connecticut State University's University Hour series in the Paul E. Johnson Sr. Conference Room of the J. Eugene Smith Library from 3-4 p.m. on Oct. 2.
Guzlowski was born in a refugee camp after World War II, and came with his family to the United States as a Displaced Person in 1951. Through his poetry, Guzlowski shares his experiences of growing up in the immigrant and refugee neighborhoods around Humboldt Park in Chicago and the people he met there.
His poems also remember his parents, by sharing their experience before, during and after they were taken into Nazi Germany as slave laborers.
A number of these poems appear in his books: Language of Mules, Lightning and Ashes (Steel Toe Books) and Third Winter of War: Buchenwald (Finishing Line Press).
Written by Dwight Bachman
Willimantic, Conn: Eastern Connecticut State University has been included in the latest edition of the "Public Colleges of Distinction" guidebook. Eastern is the only public college from Connecticut listed in the guidebook. The guide says the colleges and universities listed excel in four distinctions --Engaged Students, Great Teaching, Vibrant Communities and Successful Outcomes.
"Engaged students" learn the skills they need to succeed in life -- the ability to think flexibly and address problems hands-on -- not just being able to memorize facts and follow orders. Instead, Eastern students learn to communicate, think critically, and solve problems as they explore the world through study abroad, internships, community service projects and undergraduate research.
"Great teaching" occurs in an atmosphere where feedback and encouragement are the norm. Faculty interaction is crucial to learning. "Colleges of distinction" encourage an atmosphere of exciting thought and action, led by professors who care about helping students learn to think for themselves. Academic innovation goes hand-in-hand with personalized learning.
"Vibrant communities" are campus communities that offer activities and events that help students learn even after the books are closed, creating social opportunities for students to develop friendships, and providing students a wide range of intellectually, thought-provoking speakers, seminars, unique films and artistic events.
"Successful outcomes" describes schools that produce students who can think, write, speak and reason, get a job, and most importantly, are also good citizens who can work together with diverse groups of people.
Colleges of Distinction are considered "hidden gems" of higher education, according to the panel of academicians, guidance counselors and parents that made the selection, officials said.
The guidebook describes a College of Distinction as being:
• nationally recognized by education professionals and honored for the excellence of its programs;
• strongly focused on teaching undergraduates, where students are taught by real professors, not by graduate students or teaching assistants, in vibrant classrooms where the faculty keep their students challenged and interested;
• home to a wide variety of innovative learning experiences, from study abroad and scientific research to service learning and internships;
• an active campus with many opportunities for personal development. Whatever their passion, students find plenty of encouragement to help them pursue it; and
• highly valued by graduate schools and employers for its outstanding preparation.
The Public Colleges of Distinction are currently featured on the newly redesigned Colleges of Distinction website and will be featured in the Public Colleges of Distinction eGuidebook available this fall.
Written by Dwight Bachman
Willimantic, Conn: -- Imna Arroyo, professor of art at Eastern Connecticut State University, has published the book, "La Sagrada Familia" (The Sacred Family). The book was introduced at the Museo Casa Africa in Havana, Cuba, in July. Arroyo is an artist whose work incorporate mixed media and installation art to explore her Afro-Caribbean spiritual traditions.
"The Sacred Family" is a limited edition that features 32 hand-crafted linoleum prints by Arroyo, dedicated to the Orishas and Deities of the Yoruba Pantheon. The print edition was printed by Ramon Vargas Artiz at the El Templo Studio in Santiago de la Vegas, Cuba, and by Arroyo at her studio in Willimantic. The images are accompanied by descriptions and praises written by Isis Mattei, Arroyo's daughter. James Nicholas Winner-Arroyo, the artist's son, designed the book. Arroyo's son and daughter are both Eastern alumni.
"Orisha are divinities who embody aspects of the Supreme Being, Olodumare," writes Mattei. "Acting as agents of the Deity, Orisha carry out specific functions in the creation and maintenance of the natural world. They personify elemental energies, natural phenomena and transcendental metaphysical principles. Orisha are also understood as universal symbols or signifying archetypes of collective ancestral consciousness."
Arroyo, a Black Puerto Rican and the descendant of enslaved indigenous and African peoples, said the seeds for "La Sagrada Familia" were sown in 1997, when she traveled to Ghana, West Africa and stepped into the dungeons of the Elmina Castle, a primary port in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. "I was standing at the "door of no return," the last portal through which enslaved Africans passed before their shipment to the Americas," she said.
"A shiver ran through my core. I realized that my spirit had returned to the scene of untold atrocities and I felt, without a doubt, a spiritual connection to my ancestors. It is my intent to create art that is a kind of medicine used to heal the deep-seated collective wounds of history, and to celebrate the vibrancy and relevance of the legacy of those who came before me."
Arroyo has devoted her artistic development to exploring the connections between the African continent and the Diaspora, traveling throughout the Americas, the Caribbean and Africa. "La Sagrada Familia" draws upon the symbolism and language of the Yoruba people whose oral and aesthetic traditions use poetry, proverbs, legends, myths and imagery to express a majestic, complex and sophisticated worldview.
The book, translated into Spanish by art critic Yuneikys Villalonga, is in the permanent collection of the Museum Casa Africa of the Office of the Historian of Habana, Cuba. Arroyo will present the Sacred Family at the National Museum of Fine Arts of Havana, Cuba, in April 2014 during Antonio Martorell's retrospective exhibition, where she will also be presenting a children's book and printmaking workshop. In addition, Arroyo will present the book at Casa de las Americas, which has the most important collection of Caribbean art in Latin America.
In November, 2013, Arroyo will travel to Cartagenas and Barranquillas, Colombia, to make a presentation at the III Congresso Iberroamericano y V Nacional por una Educacion de Calidad y IV Encuentro de Docentes conference. Jaime Gómez, interim dean of Eastern's School of Education and Professional Studies, will moderate a panel titled, "Comprehensive Education, Art and Cultural Perspectives: A Transdisciplinary Path for Quality Education." Eastern alumna Migdalia Salas will also participate in the panel discussion.
In December, Arroyo will travel to Brazil to conduct research on the Yoruba legacy of Bahia with Brazilian filmmaker, sculptor and printmaker Chiro Fonceca, whose work also focuses on the African Diaspora experience.