Recently in Police/Campus Safety Category
Written by Jordan Sakal
Willimantic, Conn. - The Middletown Police Department and Eastern Connecticut State University's Campus Police Department will team up again on March 19 from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Amici's Italian Grill on 280 Main St., in Middletown to support Special Olympics Connecticut. This is the second time that the Eastern police department has worked with Middletown police on this project.
Middletown and Eastern Connecticut State University police officers will be taking orders and serving customers for lunch and dinner alongside Amici Italian Grill staff to support the Special Olympics.
Tip-A-Cop will donate 100 percent of the tips made to benefit the athletes and partners of Special Olympics Connecticut. The Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
For more information contact Thomas Madera at Maderat@easternct.edu or call (860)465-0007.
Written by Akaya McElveen
Willimantic, Conn. - The Community Life Improvement Project (CLIP), a collaborative between Eastern Connecticut State University and the Windham community to prevent student alcohol abuse, hosted a free training conducted by the Connecticut State Police and the Northeast Communities Against Substance Abuse (NECASA) in the Paul E. Johnson Sr. Community Conference Room in the J. Eugene Smith Library on Dec. 5. The training focused on new trends in alcohol and drug use related to college students and youth, and was made possible by the CLIP grant. The training was led by Connecticut State Police Sergeant Christopher Bartolotta.
Departments and agencies represented at the training were: CCSU Police, Cheshire Police, Colchester Police, Coventry Police, Mansfield Resident Troopers, Dept. of Consumer Protection, ECSU Police, Fairfield Police, Greenwich Police, Groton Town Police, Manchester Police, Middletown Police, Milford Police, Mitchell College, Newtown Police, Plainfield Police, Putnam Police, Quinnipiac University, SCSU, State Environmental Conservation Police, University of Hartford, WCSU Police & Westport Police.
Coalition members of CLIP include Eastern faculty members, staff and students as well as local officers, liquor license holders and residents. Together, these members help curb underage and high-risk student drinking.
Highlighted in the training was the importance of preventing and identifying home labs for illicit drugs. Bartolotta introduced the law enforcement officers to home labs such as mushroom labs, LSD labs, urine labs and indoor marijuana grows. The training concentrated on ways to identify such labs. Bartolotta also examined the occurrence of cross contamination when handling certain illicit drugs.
The training also provided the law enforcement agencies in attendance an overview of The Drug Endangered Children Program, which is set to promoted throughout the country in August 2014. The mission of the program is to break the cycle of abuse and neglect by empowering practitioners who work to transform the lives of children and families living in drug environments. The program began through the efforts of two women. Sue Webber Brown, a District Attorney Investigator in California, recognized the connection between child abuse cases and illicit drugs. "Sometimes it takes a tragedy to see that something needs to be done," stated Bartolotta in referencing Kathey James, who was sentenced to life in prison after the drug lab in her mobile home caught fire and exploded, killing her three small children. The Drug and Endangered Child comprises of representatives from district attorney offices, children's services and law enforcement.
Written by Jordan Sakal
Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Police Department is hosting an event in the Sports Center of Eastern Connecticut State University to give students a fun and relaxing evening as the semester ends. The 18th annual C.O.P.S. Open Rec Night and will take place on Friday, Dec. 6, from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. It is a non-alcoholic alternative event hosted by the Eastern Police Department in conjunction with the Student Government Association and Eastern's Office of Student Affairs and Housing.
Last year, 750 students attended and went through a mountain of food. This year will have a DJ providing music, a masseuse and the staff from Friendly's Ice Cream dishing up ice cream for the students. There will be tables of board games, arts and crafts tables, basketball and volleyball in the gym, plus racquetball. There will also be plenty of prizes every hour provided by SGA, area businesses and professional sports teams.
Written by Jordan Sakal
Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Police Department hosted an event on November 9, 2013 at Nita's Restaurant in Willimatic, CT. The goal of the event was to raise money for the Special Olympics of Connecticut and the results did not disappoint.
The event raised $1,112.90 for Special Olympics CT and it could not have been possible without the drive and dedication both of the Eastern Police and the surrounding community who came together to support such a worthy cause. Lieutenant Tom Madera said, "Thank you for making a difference in the lives of those with intellectual disabilities, this success could not have been possible without your support." The next event will be held Saturday December 6th, 2013, it's the annual Penguin Plunge event at Coventry Lake. Anyone out there who is brave enough to jump into the cold water can contact Officer Dave DeNunzio or visit http://soct.org/plunges/
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 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.
Written by Dwight Bachman
Willimantic, Conn. -- Police officers from Derby, Milford, Norwich, University of Vermont and the Connecticut State Police have converged on the campus of Eastern Connecticut State University to learn how to effectively ride a bike while on patrol. Eastern police officers Jim Salvatore and Jene Comstock are also participating in the class.
Lt. Thomas Madera, operations commander for Eastern's Police Department, is the lead instructor for the class. Police officers will be taught how to maneuver through tight spaces; climb curbs and stairs; how to ride in traffic; learn proper use of gears; and effectively use their brakes. They will also learn defensive tactics and how to balance at slow speeds.
"Riding a bicycle may seem easy," said Madera. "After all, most everyone has ridden a bike before. And we've all fallen off many times. Police officers whose primary duty is to ensure public safety have a heightened sense of duty and responsibility to hone the skill of bike riding, as they often find themselves in crisis situations. The bike also enables officers to more easily engage in community policing -- interacting more closely with individuals; gaining their trust; and letting them know we are their friends and caretakers, there to ensure public comfort and safety as much as possible."
The bike class runs this week from May 20-24. Classes will also be taught to officers from other police departments on June 10-14 and July 15-19. For more information about the bicycle classes, contact Madera at firstname.lastname@example.org or (860)-465-5310 or (860) 465-0007.
Written by Dwight Bachman and Ed Osborn
Willimantic, Conn. -- 1,256 undergraduates and 41 graduate students heard the roars and cheers of thousands of their family members and friends as they celebrated their achievements at Eastern Connecticut State University's 123nd Commencement exercises at the XL Center in Hartford on May 14.
Carlotta Walls LaNier, the youngest member of the "Little Rock Nine," gave the Commencement Address, telling the graduates "This is your moment, a time you have been looking forward to and working toward since you first arrived at Eastern. Celebrate the moment; seize it. Step out into your future bravely and boldly." LaNier noted that the graduates were bound to encounter challenges. Those experiences will be "the greatest teacher in the grand classroom of life. Those challenges will show you who you really are."
The Little Rock Nine was a group of nine African American students who desegregated Central High School in Little Rock, AR, in 1957. Due to the segregation policies of Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus and the mob atmosphere in Little Rock at the time, President Dwight Eisenhower ordered 1,000 members of the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division to Arkansas to provide protection and escort the nine students to class throughout the 1957-58 school year.
Despite the daily military escort, LaNier and her friends were kicked, hit with rocks, threatened, and shunned. Her own home was firebombed. As the onslaught continued, "the more determined I became to get my diploma." Today, she has "made peace with my past."
LaNier turned to the Class of 2013 and encouraged them to have the same commitment: "Finish whatever goals you have set for yourself. Find the strength, fortitude and determination to see it through. When you see injustice, how will you respond? I hope you take the heroic stand." LaNier was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa at the Commencement Exercises.
Eastern President Elsa M. Nunez told the graduates, "There is no other country in the world that places its future so firmly in the hands of the people. You are now the next generation of citizen leaders in our state and in our nation. . . . The world needs your energy, your enthusiasm, and your skills . . . There is a challenge out there ready for you to conquer, whether it's helping out at your church or synagogue, volunteering at the local senior center, or inventing a new surgical procedure. There is a team somewhere that needs you to complete its mission."
As an example of the contributions Eastern students are making in the world, Nunez cited more than 100,000 hours of volunteer work performed by Eastern students, faculty, and staff each year in local communities, noting that President Barack Obama's had named Eastern to his National Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the third time in four years that past March.At the same time, President Nunez told the graduates to "be yourself and do what makes you happy," and quoted New England bard Henry Thoreau, who wrote: "Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still."
From the Governor's Foot Guard Color Guard in attendance, to the plaintive sound of the bagpipes of the St. Patrick's Pipe Band and the pre-event music of the Thread City Brass Quintet, Eastern's graduation ceremonies were marked by dignity, grace and elegance. Senior Jessica Johnson sang "America the Beautiful," and Senior Class President Thomas Balestracci presented President Núñez with the class gift, a scholarship funded by more than 200 donations from the graduating class. Balestracci encouraged his classmates to continue donating so that the scholarship would grow. "We have all benefited from our experiences here at Eastern. These experiences are the ones that we will keep with us forever as we move on. They will be the ones we will look back upon and realize that they have helped us become who we are today. We lived up each day like it was our last at Eastern, and now, it really is our last day. We have turned our dreams into reality during our time at this University and we made memories that will last a lifetime."
Yvette Melendez, vice president of the Board of Regents for Higher Education, the governing body for the 17 Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, brought greetings on behalf of the Board of Regents. "Congratulations to each and every one of you for reaching this incredible milestone. This is one of those moments that will forever be embedded in your memory. You are at the beginning of a future you have just begun to mold. You took the first step in that journey by enrolling at Eastern. You have much to be proud of." Meléndez urged the graduates to make their contribution to society "in the way that Eastern has taught you. You have worked exceedingly hard . . . you have learned that regardless of major, you are part of a community."
Nana Owusu-Agyemang of Ghana, West Africa, delivered the Senior Class Address. She thanked the faculty for their support, saying, "During my time here at Eastern, I have met professors that I simply cannot forget -- professors who really care for their students. It will forever strike me how much time professors at Eastern are willing to spend with each student...how much of themselves they give. It's not just the professors who make Eastern what it is. At Eastern it's not just about imparting knowledge, it's about joining hands to mold each student into a richer person academically and mentally, as well." Owusu-Agyemang closed by quoting the late philosopher Alan Watts, who once said, "The attitude of faith is to let go, and become open to truth, whatever it might turn out to be."
"May our truth be a good truth," said Owusu-Agyemang. "May our world be a good world. May our mark be a good mark."
Carlotta Walls LaNier made history at age 14 when she enrolled at Central High School as a sophomore. On the first day of school she was surrounded by an angry mob that prevented the nine African American students from entering the building. After two weeks of protests and violence, President Dwight Eisenhower sent U.S. Army troops to Little Rock to protect the "Little Rock Nine" by escorting them to class for a year. Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus closed Little Rock schools for the 1958-59 school year, forcing LaNier to take correspondence courses. In June 1960, she became the first African American female student to graduate from Central High School.
LaNier has received numerous awards and recognitions, including the prestigious Spingarn Medal from the NAACP in 1958, and the Congressional Gold Medal, the nation's highest civilian award, which was bestowed upon the Little Rock Nine in 1999 by President Bill Clinton. She is also the author of "A Mighty Long Way: My Journey to Justice of Little Rock Central High School."
Written by Ed Osborn
Willimantic, Conn. - U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today announced the selection of Eastern Connecticut State University to participate in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Campus Resilience Pilot Program (CR Pilot). Eastern will join six other colleges and universities nationwide to help develop and pilot an emergency preparedness and resilience planning program, facilitated by community engagement, local stakeholders, campus leadership and students.
"Eastern will serve as a valuable partner in our efforts to help colleges and universities prepare for, respond to and recover from crisis and emergency situations," said Secretary Napolitano. "Through its work with DHS, Eastern will help us further develop best practices, resources and tools needed to assist campus communities nationwide in their resilience and emergency planning processes."
"We are very pleased that our University was chosen by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as one of only seven colleges and universities to be part of this national pilot program," said Eastern President Elsa Núñez. "Emergency preparation is a major part of our commitment to campus safety. We are honored to help develop best practices for improving campus preparedness on a national scale."
The CR Pilot will emphasize the importance of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's "Whole Community" approach to planning and resilience efforts, and will highlight the needs of various student populations. The program will bring together school officials, students and members of the local community to discuss new, innovative approaches to campus resilience and emergency planning, and will build upon Eastern's existing efforts in this area.
"Eastern Connecticut State University is committed to being prepared for any emergency or disaster," said Jeffrey Garewski, director of public safety. "Key university personnel have received Incident Command System/National Incident Management System training and additional training will continue as required to keep the university compliant with federal regulations. Originally developed from our Influenza Pandemic Continuity of Operations Plan, Eastern's Incident Management Team oversees the University's preparation to effectively sustain critical campus services in the event of a pandemic or other major emergency."
Eastern also employs an "Eastern Alert" emergency messaging system which uses several methods of communicating emergency notifications to the University community, including public address capabilities.
The University's information technology infrastructure also allows network access from remote computers so personnel can access their desktop computers from home or another location. Personnel providing critical services have priority for accessing the University's network so they can continue business operations if campus access is not possible.
Eastern has also established a Campus Community Emergency Response Team made up of interested faculty and staff members, who have received training and are equipped with the necessary tools to assist first responders at campus incidents.
"The key to effective implementation of our emergency plan is communication between key departments and providing accurate information to our constituents in a timely manner," said Garewski. "We are committed to the safety of our campus community and maintaining the continuity of our operations in the event of a crisis situation."
For more information, visit www.dhs.gov.