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Eastern Students Take Global Field Course to Hawaii

Written by Danielle Couture


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Students participating in the course included Ashley Lovett, Chad Dominique, Paul Lietz, Melissa Conkling, Robert Morgan, Michael Pina. and Darcy Bruce.


Willimantic, CT - - Seven Eastern Connecticut State University students, accompanied by Assistant Professor of Theatre J.J. Cobb, traveled to Oahu, HI, from Jan. 1-13, to perform a series of theatrical pieces ranging from scenes to monologues to readings. The trip was the culmination of the Site-Specific Theatre course the group had taken during the fall semester, when they wrote their performances and learned about the history and culture of Hawaii.

Site-Specific Theatre is a creative approach that illuminates how a location can influence events; theatrical stories are constructed about a particular place, and are then performed on site. Students participating in the course included Ashley Lovett, Chad Dominique, Paul Lietz, Melissa Conkling, Robert Morgan, Michael Pina. and Darcy Bruce.

Cobb, who was born in Honolulu, noticed her student's assumptions and misperceptions about the Hawaiian Islands, and thought exposure to the reality of the culture was important. "During this experience, theatre is being used as a new way of 'encountering' a place," Cobb says. "In the past, the Theatre Program has offered tours for students to go to a location to study and view shows, but this is the first opportunity for students to generate and perform theatrical pieces of their own during travel."

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                                    Students visiting tourist sights in their off time.


When performing, the students literally "popped up" in various places around Oahu and acted out their pieces. "It was tough to battle the noise of our surroundings, including passing traffic and people," said Paul Lietz, a senior majoring in theatre. "But it was a good obstacle for me to try to find different ways to grab people's attention, since they couldn't always hear me."

The Eastern students visited many sites such as the Polynesian Cultural Center, Hanauma Bay, Pearl Harbor and the North Shore, which helped them become familiar with the history of the island. They also experienced cultural activities such as fire-dancing and paddle boarding.

Students also worked with local actors who helped them with the historical accuracy of their scripts and the pronunciation of Hawaiian words. "Getting to see their technique and how they perform and vocalize in their native tongue was probably one of the biggest things I could have gotten out of working with them," said Chad Dominique, a junior majoring in theatre. "It made me realize that theatre is and always will be a universal art form."

Eastern in Top 30 Public Universities in North

Written by Ed Osborn

Willimantic, CT -- For the third year in a row, Eastern Connecticut State University is ranked in the top 30 public universities in the North Region in U.S. News and World Report's 2013 edition of Best Colleges. Eastern was the highest ranked university among the four Connecticut state universities. Again, Eastern was in the top 100 regional universities -- both public and private -- in the region.

Regional universities such as Eastern are ranked on the basis of criteria that include peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving.  The North Region includes colleges and universities from New England, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland.

"On behalf of the entire Eastern campus community, I am honored to learn that Eastern Connecticut State University is again ranked in the top 30 public regional universities in the North by U.S. News and World Report," said Eastern President Elsa Núñez. 

"We are honored to be a Tier One institution with a public mission to provide an outstanding liberal arts education to students from all walks of life.  Today's news is a tribute to our entire campus community.  To continue to be ranked this highly in the U.S. News ratings is a sign of an improved academic reputation and the quality of our faculty and educational programs. We are also working hard to give Eastern students more opportunities to apply their classroom learning in such experiences as internships, paid co-ops, service learning, undergraduate research and other applied settings.  This is a great day for our faculty, staff, students and alumni."

  This year's U.S. News and World Report rankings included reviews of 1,391 schools nationwide and are available at They will also be published in the Best Colleges 2013 Guidebook, published by U.S. News & World Report and available on newsstands starting Sept. 18. 
Over the past two decades, the U.S. News and World Report rankings, which group colleges based on categories created by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, have grown to be the most comprehensive research tool for students and parents considering higher education opportunities.

The 2013 Best Colleges program provides the most thorough examination of 1,391 accredited four-year schools, compared on a set of 16 widely accepted indicators of excellence.

Eastern Named a "2012 Great College to Work For"

Written by Dwight Bachman

Great College Image.jpgWillimantic, Conn. - For the fourth year in a row, Eastern Connecticut State University has been named as one of the best colleges in the nation to work for, according to a new survey by The Chronicle of Higher Education. The results, released today in The Chronicle's fifth annual report on The Academic Workplace, are based on a survey of more than 46,000 employees at 294 colleges and universities.

In all, only 103 of the 294 institutions achieved "Great College to Work For" recognition for specific best practices and policies. Eastern won honors in three categories this year: "Collaborative Governance"; "Compensation and Benefits"; Facilities, Workspaces and Security."

"We are honored to be included in 'Great Colleges to Work For'," said Eastern President Elsa Núñez. "Receiving this national recognition once again from the Chronicle of Higher Education is very gratifying, especially given our high ranking in three important areas of campus operations. The spirit of collaboration that exists on our campus is a strength that helps us better serve our students and the State of Connecticut."

The Chronicle is the nation's most important source of news about colleges and universities. "The institutions that the Great Colleges program recognizes provide innovative educational experiences - while also offering their employees outstanding workplace experiences - and we are eager to help readers learn more about them," said Liz McMillen, The Chronicle's editor. The survey results are based on a two-part assessment process: an institutional audit that captured demographics and workplace policies from each institution, and a survey administered to faculty, administrators and professional support staff. The primary factor in deciding whether an institution received recognition was employee feedback.

To administer the survey and analyze the results, The Chronicle worked with ModernThinkLLC, a strategic human capital consulting firm that has conducted numerous "Best Places to Work" programs, surveying hundreds of thousands of employees nationwide. Great Colleges to Work For is one of the largest and most respected workplace-recognition programs in the country.
For more information and to view all the results of the survey, visit The Chronicle's web site at

Boys State to Educate Students about Government

Written by Chris Herman

Willimantic, Conn.--From June 22-28, more than  200 high school juniors from across the state will converge on the campus of Eastern Connecticut State University to attend the 25th Annual American Legion Boys State.

During Boys State, students will learn how state and municipal governments operate. They set up and run mock town, city and state elections and engage in role-playing where towns are represented. Mayors lobby and representatives and senators will debate and enact legislation.

According to Rochelle Gimenez, dean of the School of Continuing Education, "Boys State is a program that we value since it teaches young men how to become exemplary citizens by educating them about the political process.  High school students attending this program have the opportunity to run for mock office and participate in all aspects of government. Many well-known politicians have attended Boys State in the past and have gone on to public service as adults. We look forward to having Boys State once again on our campus."


Eastern Remembers 9/11 with Week of Activities

Written by Ed Osborn

In observance of the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, which left more than 3,000 people dead, Eastern Connecticut State University will hold a number of events during the week of Sept. 5, 2011.

"Each year at Eastern, we mark the passing of Sept. 11 with a moment of silence and personal reflection," explained Eastern President Elsa Núñez.  "We felt this year's 10th anniversary of 9/11 was an opportunity to come together as a community and spend time remembering those who perished that day.  As Americans, we should never forget what happened 10 years ago.  We owe it to the innocent people who died that day and their families to honor their memory."

To honor those who lost their lives and to support the causes of world peace and global understanding, students working in the Center for Community Engagement spent the summer making 1,000 paper peace doves that will be displayed in the Student Center throughout the weeks of Aug. 29 and Sept. 5.  Students, faculty and staff will write their names on the doves and then display them prominently in the center.

On Sept. 7, Professor Charles Wynn will describe how the events of Sept. 11 inspired him to write the book, "And God said, 'Let there be evolution!'; Reconciling the Book of Genesis, the Qur'an and the Theory of Evolution."  The book explains how Darwin's Theory of Evolution can be reconciled with Christianity, Judaism and Islam.  Wynn's lecture is the first event in this year's University Hour series, and will begin at 3 p.m. in the Student Center Theatre.

At 11 a.m. on Sept. 9, a memorial service to honor those who perished on Sept. 11, 2001, will be held in front of Gelsi-Young Hall.  A permanent tree "9/11 Tribute Tree" has been planted at that site to honor those who died. 

On Sept. 10, Eastern students can sign up for a trip to the Connecticut Historical Society's 9/11 Exhibit in Hartford.  The event is open to the first 20 students; to register, send an e-mail to

At 9 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 11, Eastern students will hold a candlelight vigil at the Foster Clock Tower.  If it rains, the vigil will take place in the Paul E. Johnson Sr. Community Room in the J. Eugene Smith Library.

            Throughout the week of Sept. 5, Eastern's Center for Community Engagement will be working in four local elementary afterschool programs to help children understand the events of 9/11.  A giant banner, with handprints of schoolchildren and Eastern students, will be on display at the University's Student Center and hung in the Windham Town Hall the following week.


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Cover- LibraryTower-.jpgWillimantic, CT --  To our friends in the media, we first hope this note finds you in good health and good spirits! And I personally want to wish each of you the most productive, prosperous and happiest New Year ever! 

Second, we want to assure you that we plan to continue sending you press releases about events and activities taking place at Eastern Connecticut State University, Connecticut's public liberal arts university on a timely basis. However, we want to raise the bar in getting Eastern news to you.

To that end, we invite you to subscribe to our newswire RSS (Really Simple Syndication) Feed.  Doing so will enable you to receive our press releases right into your email account or web browser, as they are posted to our website.  It's easy to subscribe to our RSS Feed.  Simply click on:

We are committed to serving you by bringing you our good news to share with your audience. While we seek your assistance in helping us tell our story, we also believe you will thoroughly enjoy what Eastern students, faculty and staff are doing to contribute to the intellectual and economic growth of the State of Connecticut. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to call me at (860) 465-5114 or on my cell phone at (860) 428-6779.




Dwight Bachman

Public Relations Officer


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