Recently in Office of the President Category
Written by Christopher J. Herman
Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University is hosting this year's Veteran's Day Ceremony at 9 a.m. on Nov.11 in the Student Center. Eastern students, faculty, staff and the surrounding Willimantic community are welcome to attend to remember past veterans and support the brave men and women who currently serve in the Armed Forces. Both the "National Anthem" and "America the Beautiful" will be performed.
The ceremony will commence with opening remarks from Eastern's Father Lawrence LaPointe and Vice President for Student Affairs Kenneth Bedini. Eastern President Elsa Núñez will speak at the event, and will be followed by distinguished guest speaker Master Sergeant James F. Duncan. Closing remarks will be given by Veterans Center Coordinator Lawrence Schmitz '14. For more information on the ceremony, contact Eastern's Veterans Center at (860) 465-0402 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Ed Osborn
Willimantic, Conn. -The Connecticut premiere of the film, "Ocean Frontiers II: A New England Story for Sustaining the Sea," will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 30, from 7-8:30 p.m. in Webb Hall Room 110 on the Eastern Connecticut State University campus.
"Ocean Frontiers II" brings audiences face-to-face with those now embarking on the nation's first multi-state ocean plan. The film prominently features Rhode Island and is an inspiring story of citizens coming together to promote healthier economies and healthier seas across New England.
"Ocean Frontiers II" is the second of an award-winning film series produced by Green Fire Productions. After the film there will be a Q & A discussion with the filmmaker and ocean experts. The event is free and open to the public.
"The people of New England impressed us with the passionate effort that has gone into ocean planning in both Massachusetts and Rhode Island," said Karen Meyer, Green Fire Productions executive director and producer of "Ocean Frontiers II. "This work is an ideal example to share with New England and the rest of the country as ocean planning across the region gets underway."
"Ocean Frontiers II" highlights the historic and emerging ocean uses of New England waters and introduces viewers to people working on the Northeast regional ocean planning initiative. In a region steeped in old maritime tradition, we see a modern wave of big ships, energy industries and a changing climate now testing the limits of an already crowded sea. But in a pioneering trial of far-sighted planning--pushed by blueprints for offshore wind energy--old residents and new are coming together to keep their ocean and livelihoods alive.
A spotlight on Rhode Island reveals how collaborative planning reduces conflicts over ocean resources and puts us on a new path of ocean stewardship. Fishermen, coastal planners, Native American tribal leaders, environmental advocates, scientists and wind energy executives are featured in the film.
The premiere of "Ocean Frontiers II" is presented by Eastern Connecticut State University, The Department of Environmental Earth Science, The College of Arts and Sciences and Green Fire Productions.
To screen the "Ocean Frontiers II" film trailer visit www.ocean-frontiers.org/trailer. Press images are at www.ocean-frontiers.org/press. Visit www.facebook.com/OceanFrontiers or twitter@Ocean_Frontiers.
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. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Arts and Lecture Series will present the Aardvark Jazz Orchestra at 7 p.m. on Nov. 11 in the Shafer Auditorium.
Now in their 41st season, the Aardvark Orchestra is one of the longest-running large jazz ensembles in the world. The band returns to Eastern with classics from Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Duke Ellington and more.
The show will feature a new song "Merry Go Round" by band director Mark Harvey that will feature Eastern's Concert Chorale Ensemble and the Eastern Thread City Jazz Ensemble.
Tickets for Arts and Lecture Series events are $10 for the public. To reserve your ticket, call (860) 465-0036 or e-mail email@example.com.
Written by Dwight Bachman
Ghanaian high school principals pose for a photograph on the steps of the J. Eugen Smith Library.
Twenty-six school high school principals from Ghana, West Africa, visited Connecticut Sept. 1-8. Mathematics Professor Bonsu Osei arranged their visit, which was designed to have the Ghanaian educators interact with their counterparts in Connecticut on issues such as ethics, educational leadership and service to their respective schools. Sociology Professor Dennis Canterbury provided an orientation for the principals.
Education Professor David Stoloff presents a workshop on the use of technology in education.
"The visit also encouraged a broader discussion on global issues of education, and offered students' opportunities to study abroad," said Osei. "We hope that students from Ghana will be encouraged to undertake their undergraduate education in Connecticut, especially Eastern."
Shannon Fitzpatrick'14, a business administration major, conducts a campus tour for the prinicipals.
The principals met with Connecticut's African-American Affairs Commission, which showcased some of Connecticut's model educational programs with the principals. "Ghana is a nation that many African-Americans can trace their ancestral roots to, so it is fitting to share knowledge and expertise to improve educational outcomes for both countries," said Glenn Cassis, executive director of the commission. "It is an honor for the commission to serve as a host."
Two principals present Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Rhona Free a gift.
Eastern Sociology Professor Dennis Canterbury provided the principals an orientation at the Ramada Hotel in East Hartford. They held a series of discussions on public policy and practices in Connecticut, and participated in lectures, seminars and workshops on information technology for educational management.
Ghanaian principals purchase souvenirs and clothing items in the bookstore.
They also visited high schools in Bloomfield and East Hartford; toured the Connecticut Science Center; visited state government officials at the State House and Legislative Office Building; and met with Connecticut Department of Education officials to discuss financial and behavioral management, supervision, evaluation and professional development; assessment and testing and school safety issues.
After dinner at Biology Professor Yaw Nsiah's home, the principals present Academic Servics Center Director Susan Heyward with a desk pen holder as a gift.
On Sept. 6, the Ghanaian principals toured Eastern's facilities and enjoyed a luncheon hosted by Provost Rhona Free. That evening, they dined at the home of Yaw Nsiah, professor of biology and a native of Ghana, where they expressed gratitude "for Eastern's fine and gracious hospitality" and vowed to send students from their respective schools to Eastern.
Written by Dwight Bachman
Willimantic, Conn: --Bernard Lafayette Jr., a veteran of the Civil Rights Movement, will speak at Eastern Connecticut State University on Oct. 9 at 3 p.m. in the Student Center Theatre. Lafayette, who the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. hand-picked as one of King's deputies during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, will lecture on "Reaching Beyond Your Grasp." His presentation is part of Eastern's popular "University Hour" series.
"Rev. Dr. Lafayette began his career fighting non-violently for peace, human rights and equality as a college student, and continues to be vigilant in that struggle as one of the deans of the struggle today," said Stacey Close, Eastern's interim associate vice president for equity and diversity. "This year marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'I Have a Dream' speech. Dr. Lafayette was an active participant in the critical moments and changes in our nation's history. We are truly fortunate to have such a visionary leader visiting our campus."
Lafayette is recognized as a major authority on strategies for nonviolent social change and nonviolent direct action in the world. As a student in 1960, he was a co-founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) at Shaw University in Raleigh, NC. Lafayette was also involved in the struggle for civil rights in Nashville.
A year later, he and other African American and white college students joined the call to become part of the Freedom Riders, a movement to enforce federal integration laws on interstate bus routes, as a way to nonviolently transform the nation.
Later in 1965, Lafayette played a leading role in organizing the voting rights campaign in Selma, AL. He also served as national program administrator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). In 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. appointed Lafayette to be national program administrator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and national coordinator of the 1968 Poor People's Campaign.
Lafayette is a Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence at the Candler School of Theology, at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. He received his B.A. from American Baptist Seminary, and earned his Ed.M. and Ed.D. degrees from Harvard University. He founded and served for several years as the director of the Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies at the University of Rhode Island. He has published widely and has lectured throughout the world.
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 - - Rita Chiarelli, Canada's most highly acclaimed female roots and blues artist, and Wally Lamb, bestselling local author, will be this year's first presenters for Eastern Connecticut State University's Arts and Lecture Series in the Betty R. Tipton Room at 7 p.m. on Oct. 9.
Chiarelli has won every major Canadian blues award, including multiple Maple Blues awards, CBC's Great Canadian Blues Award, a JUNO (a Canadian Grammy) award and four JUNO nominations.
Her most recent release is the soundtrack to the documentary film "Music from the Big House," recorded live with the inmates of Louisiana's maximum-security Angola Prison, considered to be the "birthplace of the blues."
Norwich native Wally Lamb is the bestselling author of "The Hour I First Believed," "She's Come Undone," "I Know This Much Is True" and "We Are Water." Lamb has facilitated a writing program at the York Correctional Institute in Niantic; Connecticut's only women's prison. The writing program has produced two collections of the inmates' writing, "Couldn't Keep It to Myself: Testimonies from Our Imprisoned Sisters" and "I'll Fly Away: Further Testimonies from the Women of York Prison."
Chiarelli and Lamb's presentation will include a viewing of the film "Music from the Big House," followed by a musical performance by Chiarelli. Afterwards, Chiarelli will be joined by Lamb to discuss "Healing in Prison Through the Arts."
Tickets are free for students and $10 for the public. To reserve your ticket, call (860) 465-0036 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 Christopher J. Herman
Willimantic, Conn. - For the fifth 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 yesterday in The Chronicle's sixth annual report on The Academic Workplace, are based on a survey of more than 45,000 employees at 300 colleges and universities.
In all, only 97 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."
Eastern was one of only three Connecticut institutions to make the list and the only public university among the three; Quinnipiac University and Middlesex Community College were the other two.
"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 one of the nation's most important sources of news about colleges and universities. 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 receives recognition is 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 Meet 2013's Great Colleges to Work For.