Eastern Gallery to Present ‘Still/Live’

Written by Michael Rouleau

WILLIMANTIC, CT (01/12/2018) The Art Gallery at Eastern Connecticut State University will present “Still/Live” from Jan. 16 to Feb. 22. An opening reception will be held on Jan. 25 from 4-6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

“Still/Live” explores how four contemporary artists working in photography and time-based media (video and kinetic sculpture) have reimagined the genre of still life. Mauricio Alejo’s photographs and videos focus on everyday objects in familiar domestic spaces. Through these careful arrangements, Alejo invites the viewer to see simple objects anew. While Dave Greber’s trilogy of video loops combine still lifes with video game aesthetics, Cynthia Greig uses drawing and photography to create hybrid still life images and videos. Through his kinetic sculptures, Robin Mandel draws upon the still life tradition to investigate tension between stillness and motion, presence and absence, materiality and immateriality.

The Art Gallery is located in Room 112 of the Fine Arts Instructional Center on the Eastern campus. Gallery hours are Tuesday and Wednesday 11 to 5 p.m., Thursday 1 to 7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 2 to 5 p.m. Parking is available in the Cervantes Garage and in the Student Center parking lot. For more information, call (860) 465-4659 or visit http://www.easternct.edu/artgallery.

Eastern to Host Community Forum

     Public to Discuss Art Installation related on Whitewater Partnership

Written by Michael Rouleau

WILLIMANTIC, CT (01/10/2018) Members of the public are invited to attend an information session and community forum at Easten Connecticut State University on Jan. 17 regarding the design competition that will result in a new community art installation on Bridge Street in downtown Willimantic. The forum will run from 6-7:30 p.m. in the Paul E. Johnson Sr. Community Room of Eastern’s J. Eugene Smith Library. Interested community members are encouraged to attend to ask questions and share ideas regarding the project. Light refreshments will be served.

The design competition arose from a collaboration between Willimantic Whitewater Partnership, the Institute for Sustainable Energy (ISE) at Eastern Connecticut State University, the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development Office of the Arts (COA) and the Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI).

Three Connecticut-based design teams were recently selected as finalists in the competition to design the art piece, which must also generate renewable energy. Representatives from the three teams will be present to get feedback and community input as they craft their designs. The three teams include Pirie Associate Architects of New Haven, Gray Organschi/Howeler & Yoon Architecture of New Haven and Boston and Swiftwater Hub of Mansfield and Hartford. In March, a single design will be selected and the winning team will develop working blueprints.

More information can be found at www.landartgenerator.org/lagi-willimantic.html.

View Online: http://easternct.meritpages.com/news/community-forum-for-art-installation-related-to-whitewater-patnership/2006

Eastern Offers New Certification

          Earn Certification in Professional Human Resources 

WILLIMANTIC, CT (01/05/2018) Aspiring and veteran human resources professionals can now attain professional certifications from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) at Eastern Connecticut State University. The registration deadline is Feb. 15 for the session running from Feb. 21-May 16. Classes will take place on Wednesdays from 5:30-8:30 p.m. in Webb Hall, room 215, on the Eastern campus. The course costs $1,250 for SHRM members and $1,400 for non-members.

As an official SHRM Education Partner, Eastern is offering a certification course that will prepare individuals for the SHRM Certified Professional and Senior Certified Professional exams while equipping them with the most up-to-date knowledge in the human resources industry.

Learn from a certified instructor who provides expertise, insight and one-on-one guidance. Network, share experiences and discuss topics with a diverse group of HR professionals. Stay on track to earn your certification with a structured learning experience. Take advantage of funding options such as tuition reimbursement.

The SHRM exam window is May 1-July 15, 2018. The exam application deadline is March 23; the late exam application deadline is April 13.

Eastern will offer more SHRM certification sessions in the future. For more information or to register, contact Sandra Rodriguez at rodriguezsan@easternct.edu.

Kathy Manizza, Coach-of-the-Year

Written by Casey Collins

Eastern Connecticut State University cross country coach Kathy Manizza was named Little East Conference (LEC) Cross Country Coach-of-the-Year this fall after leading the Warriors to their first-ever LEC title. Manizza, who resides in Lebanon, has been coaching at the university level for more than 24 years, serving as head coach of Eastern’s cross country and track and field teams for the past six years. She is the first LEC Cross Country Coach-of-the-Year in Eastern’s history.

At this year’s LEC championships, the Warriors found themselves matched up against a daunting field of competitors. Eastern’s main rival, Keene State College, entered the championship as the 17-time defending conference champions. In the end, Eastern placed all five of its scoring runners within the top 14 finishers, out of a seven-team field from seven schools. As a result, the Warriors edged out second-place Plymouth State University by a mere eight points to take home the championship.

“This was my dream team,” said Manizza. “We had been building this team for the past five years, and we had an outside chance of winning the conference last year. We knew that it was a small chance, but we also knew that we had the talent to do it.”

Junior Christina Gosselin has been running for Manizza for the past three years. When asked about her head coach she said, “Coach Manizza has been a great mentor and coach to me. Not only has she helped me become a stronger runner, but she has led our team to achieve success and many accomplishments over the year.”

Sophomore Samara Johnson just concluded her first year running on the team, and said of her coach: “Coach Manizza is always supportive, encouraging and pushing us to do our absolute best. If anyone deserves coach-of-the-year, it’s certainly her.”

Eastern Supports Community Art Project

                                            Teams up with Willimantic Whitewater Partnership

Written by Lynn Stoddard

Three world-class design teams from Connecticut have been selected to prepare detailed design concepts for public artwork that generates renewable energy for the future Willimantic Whitewater Park site.

The invited design competition arose from a collaboration between Willimantic Whitewater Partnership, the Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University, the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development Office of the Arts and the Land Art Generator Initiative.

From proposals submitted by 15 multi-disciplinary teams, the selection committee chose Pirie Associate Architects of New Haven, Gray Organschi/Howeler & Yoon Architecture of New Haven and Boston and Swiftwater Hub of Mansfield and Hartford to develop detailed designs. The designs are due at the end of February. In March, one winning design will be selected and the winning team will develop working blueprints. More information about the project can be found at http://www.landartgenerator.org/lagi-willimantic.html.

Members of the public are invited to attend an information session and community forum on Jan. 17 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the Paul E. Johnson Sr. Community Room of the J. Eugene Smith Library at Eastern Connecticut State University. All interested community members are encouraged to ask questions and share their ideas regarding the project at this public event.

Students Recognized at “English Night”

Written by Jordan Corey

On the evening of Dec. 6, English enthusiasts gathered in the Betty R. Tipton Room for Eastern’s “English Night,” which showcases student excellence in the English Department.

Hosted by English Professor and department chair Barbara Liu, the event featured the awarding of scholarships, the Sigma Tau Delta induction and three senior seminar presentations.

The Connie Campo Memorial Scholarship — awarded to non-traditional English students — was given to Yanira Hernandez. Liu highlighted Hernandez’s dedication to her studies and undeniable contribution to the department.

The First-Year Writing award, presented by Stephen Ferruci, English professor and coordinator of the First-Year Writing Program, was given to Christopher Oski.

The Sigma Tau Delta induction ceremony was the largest in its chapter, Alpha Epsilon Delta, with 36 new members joining. According to its official website, Sigma Tau Delta — the International English Honor Society — has more than 880 active chapters located in the United States and abroad, there are more than 1,000 faculty sponsors, with approximately 9,000 members inducted annually.

The products of months’ worth of effort, senior seminar projects from Maureen McDonnell’s Liberation Literature course were thoughtful and engaging. Students featured were Jacob St. Jean, Montgomery Kupson and Jason Osman.

Professor Jaime Gomez Co-Authors Book

Communication Professor Jaime Gomez has co-authored a new book. Amazon.Com, the publisher, says the book,  Introduction to Video Production.” is “written in a clear, non-technical manner. It focuses on the fundamental principles and aesthetics of video production and the technologies used in both studio and field environments.”

Ronald Compesi, professor emeritus of broadcast and electronic communication arts at ‎San Francisco State University, and Gomez cover each aspect of the process step-by-step, from pre-production to lighting, sound, directing, editing, graphics and distribution.   In 2007, Compesi was recognized as the outstanding media arts professor in the California State University System.

“Key features in the book include a thorough overview of video production in studio and field environments without being overly technical, allowing students to get the “big picture” of production; coverage of new digital production, recording, and editing technologies; more than 300 photos and line art illustrating aesthetic elements, technical issues, and production planning; and key words identified in boldface throughout the text and reinforced in a comprehensive glossary of terms,” said the publisher.

Eastern Joins Connecticut Healthy Campus Initiative

Written by Casey Collins

In an effort to promote awareness of substance use, Eastern Connecticut State University has been granted $10,000 by the Connecticut Healthy Campus Initiative, a project supported by the Wheeler Clinic and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

The grant supports a number of awareness, education and prevention efforts at Eastern around the topic of substance use on college campuses.  In addition to marketing to targeted audiences, the University will be sponsoring public awareness events and speakers throughout the spring semester. In addition, as a member of the Connecticut Healthy Campus Initiative, Eastern will be inviting its students to participate in a voluntary survey in January to further understand the attitudes and perceptions of substance use on campus.

The survey is being administered by the Core Institute, the nation’s largest database on college students’ drinking and substance use. It has been found that students’ perceptions of drug use and the reality of campus drug use are often far apart. The survey aims to bridge this knowledge gap by understanding trends among students, identifying influential factors and determining areas that need to be monitored or improved.

One of the project’s education and awareness efforts concerns the proper disposal of medicines and legally obtained drugs. Far too often, prescription drugs are handled in an improper manner, starting with how they are prescribed. Dr. Daniel Tobin, assistant professor of medicine at Yale University, says that 80 percent of doctors prescribing opioids are primary care physicians, not pain specialists. They may not receive the same comprehensive training that pain specialists receive and may be less qualified to accurately diagnose and responsibly distribute opioid prescriptions. This contributes to an issue we face as a nation today — the improper disposal of unused medicines.

To many people, a natural solution to this issue is simply to dispose unused medications by flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the garbage. This approach only worsens the situation. Drugs that are flushed down the toilet enter our water stream and can contaminate water or harm aquatic wildlife. The same goes for garbage as well, as pills that make it to landfills can make their way into the soil and contaminate the ground.

To address this issue, Eastern has invested in a special new preventive technology called Deterra. Known as a drug deactivation system, Deterra consists of a charcoal lined bag that seals off and deactivates the active compounds inside a capsule, therefore rendering them completely safe to dispose of. The school has made Deterra widely available to students who need to dispose unused medicines.

Eastern’s participation in the Healthy Campus Initiative program comes at a time where our nation faces a serious drug abuse issue. As of Oct. 26, 2017, President Donald Trump declared the opioid epidemic a “national emergency.” While Eastern has never experienced an opioid overdose on its campus, the state of Connecticut finds itself at risk. The Wall Street Journal estimates that more than 1,000 people in Connecticut perished from an opioid-related overdose in 2017. By promoting the safe storage and disposal of drugs, along with other prevention initiatives, Eastern is building a foundation of knowledge to reduce the risk of opioid use.

If you or anyone you know is dealing with these issues, contact the Opioid Treatment hotline at (800) 563-4086.

‘Amahl, Night Visitors’ Visit Eastern

Amahl and the Night Visitors Cast

Amahl and the Night Visitors Cast

Written by Jolene Potter

A talented cast of Eastern Connecticut State University students, alumni, faculty and staff recently performed in “Amahl and the Night Visitors” on Dec. 2 to celebrate the holiday season. Composed by Gian Carlo Menotti, the opera tells the story of the Magi from the point of view of a young disabled boy named Amahl and his widowed mother.

Among the cast was Samantha Price ’19 of Cheshire. Price majors in Visual Arts and English.

The production was directed by Emily Riggs, professor of music and voice, and Pete Perreira.

The first opera ever commissioned for television, “Amahl and the Night Visitors” made its world premiere on Christmas Eve 1951 on NBC. Menotti drew heavily from his childhood in Italy when composing the production, stating in an interview, “This is an opera for children because it tries to recapture my own childhood. You see… when I was a child I lived in Italy, and in Italy we have no Santa Claus… Our gifts were brought to us by the Three Kings, instead.”

Performed in Eastern’s state-of-the-art Fine Arts Instructional Center Concert Hall, the production captured the wonder of the hoiday seasons and entertained Eastern students, faculty, staff and community members.

Amahl, a poor, disabled boy from just outside of Bethlehem sees a large bright star in the sky one night and tells his mother. However, as he is known for his vivid imagination and tall tales, Amahl’s mother dismissed his claims.That night, three kinds stop to rest in their home for the night, as they have traveled a long way following the star that Amahl saw in the sky. The three kings show Amahl the jewels and gifts they are bringing to the new born king and Amahl goes to sleep for the night. Poverty-stricken and hoping to improve Amahl’s quality of life, Amahl’s mother tries to steal some of the valuables brought by the three kings but is caught. Despite the kings generous offer for her to keep the gold, she returns it after hearing about the child that will need nothing but love to rule his kingdom. Amahl, hoping to offer an additional gift to the child, offers his most prized possession, his crutch. However, he finds shortly after offering his crutch that he is able to walk.

Eastern Jazz Ensemble Performs!

Jazz Ensemble

Jazz Ensemble

Written by Jolene Potter

Jazz music is in the air at Eastern Connecticut State University. Two concerts featuring student performers hit the main stage this December, including the Jazz Ensemble and 3 O’Clock Band, which performed on Dec. 1 and Dec. 4 respectively. Both concerts took place in the Fine Arts Instructional Center (FAIC) Concert Hall.

Michael Della Valle ’19 of North Haven, who majors in Accounting, played bass in the Eastern Jazz Ensemble.

The Eastern Jazz Ensemble is composed of students who play traditional jazz instruments including saxophone, trumpet, trombone, piano, bass, guitar and drums. The ensemble performs works from the standard and modern Big Band repertoire.

Conducted by Bryce Call, the ensemble performed several selections from Duke Ellington. Ellington, who called his music “American Music” rather than jazz, remains one of the most influential figures in jazz and is widely considered as one of the twentieth century’s best-known African American composers. The ensemble also performed selections from Benny Carter and Marty Paich, providing a unique and entertaining show.

The Jazz Ensemble came out strong with an opening performance of “C Jam Blues,” an Ellington staple written in 1942 that features several improvised solos. The ensemble also performed Benny Carter’s “Vine Street Rumble,” a traditional Big Band jazz piece with extensive solos for tenor saxophone and piano.

This traditional ensemble entertains Eastern students, faculty and community members with music from a wide variety of styles and eras in the jazz idiom. In addition to performing compositions from traditional and contemporary jazz composers, the ensemble also enjoys improvisation.

The 3 O’Clock Band is a variable-sized ensemble that provides the student with a small-group experience. Students play classic jazz tunes from a variety of eras, ranging from standards and bebop to recent jazz and rock. Similarly to the Jazz Ensemble, the 3 O’Clock Band values experience in improvisation, a staple in jazz music.

The 3 O’Clock Band was featured in the Dec. 4 concert that highlighted significant figures in the jazz idiom, as well as musical compositions seen as highly influencial in the progression of jazz improvisation from the mid 1940s to present day. Composers featured in the concert included Jaco Pastorius and Charlie Parker. Pastorius was bass player known primarily for his highly advanced techniques on the bass. Charlie Parker was one of the first to introduce Bebop to the world, as well as adding to the style of improvisation.

Among the performed pieces by the 3 O’Clock Band was Billie Holiday’s “God Bless the Child,” a timeless jazz piece that originated from an argument between Holiday and her mother.