43 Strong, Eastern Represents in Georgia at National Conference

With 43 student presenters, Eastern was among the top 20 schools nationwide for NCUR participation, and the only school from New England to make the list.

Forty-three students from Eastern Connecticut State University traveled to Georgia on April 11-13 to present original research at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR). The 2019 conference occurred at Kennesaw State University and featured hundreds of undergraduate students from across the country.

Eastern was among the top 20 schools nationwide for NCUR participation this year – the only school from New England to make the list – and one of the few with a student population of less than 6,000.

Eastern students from a range of majors presented artwork, music performances and oral/poster presentations. Research questions probed topics such as the microbiome of scorpions, the link between casual sex and online dating, pop-culture glamorization of eating disorders, and much more.

Adella Dzitko-Carlson presents “Finding Faith in the 21st Century: The Search for the Sacred in John Luther Adams’ “In the Name of the Earth.”

Music major Esther Jones ’20 commented on the experience of performing a lecture-recital. “This experience at NCUR was a milestone in my life because I didn’t think that I could actually do it when the time finally came around. I thought that I would be trembling so badly that my mind would go blank.”

Jones’ piano performance was titled “‘Theme and Variations on an Egyptian Folksong’ by Gamal Abdel-Rahim.” She added, “This experience helped to boost my confidence and has given me courage to face new challenges.”

“One of my greatest takeaways from this conference is how it pushes you and makes you a better academic,” said Michael Tuttle ’19, who majors in psychology and mathematics.

“Presenting at a conference subjects your research to a higher level of scrutiny, challenging your thoughts and ideas. When audience members ask questions and offer suggestions, it pushes you to think critically and creatively.” Tuttle’s presentation was titled “Overconfidence and Impulsivity of College Students in a Cognitive Reflection Task.”

Theresa Parker presents “Echo Chambers in Social Media: Why do People Seek or Reject Opposing Viewpoints.”

Biology major Chris Shimwell ’20 presented “Molecular Identification of the Scorpion Telson Microbiome.” He said, “Presenting at a national conference is a valuable experience because it allows you to synthesize information into an audio-visual format and present it to others who are highly educated and knowledgeable about your field.”

Jacob Dayton ’19, a biology major who presented two projects – one on the genetic diversity of a migratory bird group and one on the behaviors of strawberry poison-dart frogs – added that the value of presenting at national conferences is threefold.

“One, it provides students with the opportunity to practice communicating their research to a diverse audience. Two, questions and comments from audience members challenge students to defend and/or expand their thinking. And three, it provides the opportunity to publicize Eastern and the quality research that its students are conducting.”

Students also cited being exposed to new research questions during others’ presentations, interacting with peers from across the country, and sharing the NCUR experience with their Eastern friends as highlights of the conference. Psychology Professors Carlos Escoto and James Diller and Biology Professor Patricia Szczys accompanied the Eastern group.

NCUR was established in 1987. From a pool of several thousand applicants, students are accepted into the conference if their research demonstrates a unique contribution to their field of study. NCUR offers undergraduates the opportunity to present their research findings to peers, faculty and staff from colleges and universities across the nation, providing a unique networking and learning opportunity.

Written by Michael Rouleau

Mohegan Tribal Chief Named Eastern’s Commencement Speaker

 Marilynn “Lynn” Malerba, chief of the Mohegan Tribe, will be the Commencement Speaker at Eastern Connecticut State University’s 129th Commencement Exercises on May 21 at the XL Center in Hartford. Malerba will also receive an honorary doctorate degree at the ceremonies.

Malerba has achieved an exemplary career in the health care and tribal governance fields. Not only has she served her community with distinction, she has brought national recognition to the State of Connecticut.

Chief Mutáwi Mutáhash (Many Hearts) Marilynn “Lynn” Malerba became the 18th Chief of the Mohegan Tribe on August 15, 2010, and is the first female chief in the tribe’s modern history. The position is a lifetime appointment made by the tribe’s council of elders. She previously served as chairwoman of the tribal council and was also executive director of health and human services for the tribal government.

Prior to her work for the Mohegan Tribe, Chief Malerba had a distinguished career as a registered nurse and served as director of cardiology and pulmonary services at Lawrence and Memorial Hospital. She earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree at Yale University and was named a Jonas Scholar. She holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Connecticut, and has an honorary doctorate from the University of St. Joseph in West Hartford.

Chief Malerba has achieved a national reputation as an advocate and supporter of health issues and the welfare of Native Peoples. She is chairwoman of the Tribal Self-Governance Advisory Committee of the Federal Indian Health Services; is a member of the U.S. Justice Department’s Tribal Nations Leadership Council; serves on the Tribal Advisory Committee for the National Institute of Health; is a member of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Tribal Advisory Committee; and serves as a technical expert on the Commission for Environmental Cooperation. She also serves as the United South and Eastern Tribes board of directors secretary, and is a member of the board of directors for the Ms. Foundation for Women.

In Connecticut, Chief Malerba serves as a trustee for Chelsea Groton Bank, as a board member for the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut, as an advisory committee member for the Harvard University Native American Program and served on the board of directors for Lawrence Memorial Hospital for 11 years.

More than 1,200 undergraduate and graduate students will receive their diplomas at Eastern’s graduation exercises on May 21, with an audience of more than 10,000 family and friends expected. In addition to Malerba, dignitaries expected to attend include Eastern President Elsa Núñez; Mark Ojakian, president of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities System; and Merle Harris, vice-chair of the Board of Regents for Higher Education.

Written by Ed Osborn

SLM Classes Show Students the ‘Real World’ of Sport Management

SLM students toured Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field on April 4, led by Eastern alumnus Derek Miles ’08 (second from left), director of operations and events.

Sport and leisure management (SLM) students enrolled in Professor Charlie Chatterton’s upper-level courses have had a dose of reality this semester. They’ve toured sporting facilities and interacted with a range of professionals, from young Eastern alumni to franchise executives from the Hartford Yard Goats and Connecticut Sun.

The “Design, Construction and Management of Sports Facilities” class went to East Hartford on April 4 for a tour of Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field, led by Eastern alumnus Derek Miles ’08. Miles is the director of the stadium’s operations and events, and discussed game/television production, grass and field maintenance, game-day operations, stadium security, parking operations and internship opportunities.

Amber Cox (middle), vice president of Sports Connecticut Sun/New England Black Wolves, spoke with students on March 18.

“For any students entering the SLM field, I would offer the advice of keeping an open mind about what they would like to do,” said Miles. “The sport-management industry is tough to get started in. Often you just need a foot in the door in order for other opportunities to arise.

“I’ve seen people come to us with economics degrees or a marketing background and turn out loving the operations side of things,” he continued. “As long as students are open to different positions and are willing to try different areas of the sports field, they can absolutely grow into other positions.”

The “Intro to Sport Management and Sport Science” class welcomed alumnus Anthony Rosati ’09 on April 3. Rosati is the director of athletic facilities and graphic design enchantments at the University of Connecticut (UConn). He oversees the game-day operations of all UConn athletic facilities; manages more than $3 million in facilities budgets; and oversees the hard-branding (graphic enchantments) in and outside of athletic facilities.

“My job boils down to ensuring that our teams have everything they need from a facilities standpoint — ensuring that practice and games are set up in a safe and efficient manner.”

Eastern alumnus Casey McGarvey ’12, assistant director for athletic communications of the University of Hartford, spoke with SLM students on March 29.

Rosati advises students to volunteer at events, work an internship and job shadow professionals of interest. “The main thing is to make the most of those experiences,” he said, “not to simply go through the motions, but to stand out.”

March was a busy month the “Entrepreneurship, Marketing and Communications in Sports” class, with three visits by distinguished professionals who spoke on marketing initiatives and strategies for their companies.

Amber Cox, vice president of the Sports Connecticut Sun/New England Black Wolves, came to campus on March 18; Tim Restall, president of the Hartford Yard Goats, visited on March 25; and Eastern alumnus Casey McGarvey ’12, assistant director for athletic communications of the University of Hartford, visited on March 29.

Written by Michael Rouleau

Annual CREATE Conference to Showcase Student Art, Research

 

WILLIMANTIC, CT (04/08/2019) Eastern Connecticut State University will host its premier academic and artistic conference of the year on April 12. CREATE – Celebrating Research Excellence and Artistic Talent at Eastern – will take place from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. in the Student Center and surrounding venues. An award ceremony with remarks by Eastern President Elsa Núñez will take place at 12:30 p.m. in the Betty R. Tipton Room of the Student Center.

Hundreds of student researchers, artists and performers will present their talents at CREATE. Students from all majors will lead oral and poster presentations, participate in panel discussions, showcase music and dance performances, exhibit their art and photography, and present documentary films and more.

Registration will take place at 8 a.m. at the Student Center Café. President Núñez will present two undergraduate awards and two mentor awards to outstanding students and faculty members at the 12:30 p.m. award ceremony.

For more information, visit http://www.easternct.edu/create/, where you can view the day’s agenda and download the event’s cell phone app for iPhone and Android.

Written by Michael Rouleau

Annual CREATE Conference to Showcase Student Art, Research

Eastern Connecticut State University will host its premier academic and artistic conference of the year on April 12. CREATE – Celebrating Research Excellence and Artistic Talent at Eastern – will take place from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. in the Student Center and surrounding venues. An award ceremony with remarks by Eastern President Elsa Núñez will take place at 12:30 p.m. in the Betty R. Tipton Room of the Student Center.

Students present research during the poster session of the 2018 CREATE conference.

Hundreds of student researchers, artists and performers will present their talents at CREATE. Students from all majors will lead oral and poster presentations, participate in panel discussions, showcase music and dance performances, exhibit their art and photography, and present documentary films and more.

Registration will take place at 8 a.m. at the Student Center Café. President Núñez will present two undergraduate awards and two mentor awards to outstanding students and faculty members at the 12:30 p.m. award ceremony.

For more information, visit http://www.easternct.edu/create/, where you can view the day’s agenda and download the event’s cell phone app for iPhone and Android.

Written by Michael Rouleau

Sport-Management Students Win Case Study Competition

Alexa Spalla, Brighton Leonard, Ryan Coppinger, Mckenzie Maneggia and Professor Gregory Kane represent Eastern at the New England Sport Management Case Study Competition.

Four sport and leisure management students from Eastern Connecticut State University students won the 2019 New England Sport Management Case Study Competition on Feb. 28 at Nichols College.

Eastern competed against eight other teams and won first place for the second year in a row. Students Alexa Spalla ’19, Brighton Leonard ’20, Ryan Coppinger ’20 and Mckenzie Maneggia ’20 represented Eastern alongside Professor Gregory Kane of the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education (KPE).

In advance of the competition, students were given two weeks to analyze a case study and prepare a 10-minute PowerPoint presentation. The study concerned a NFL team that needed to choose a new naming-rights sponsor for its stadium.

The students analyzed the advantages and disadvantages of four different sponsors and prepared a defense by comparing financials and community input, and adding additional recommendations to increase revenue. The presentations were then cross-examined by a panel of distinguished judges, including Paul Cacciatore of the Boston Celtics and Greg Kaye, NCAA Division III commissioner.

The Eastern students who competed were selected for the competition based on their academic achievements, independent research, work ethic and community involvement.

Although Eastern has never before competed in the College Sport Research Institution (CSRI) National Competition, the KPE Department is now considering it. The National Case Study Competition will be held at the CSRI National Conference in Columbia, SC, and includes competitors from across the country.

Written by Raven Dillon

Gregory Kane Releases New Edition Book on Sport Leadership

Gregory Kane, kinesiology and physical education professor at Eastern Connecticut State University, recently released the second edition of his book “Sport Leadership in the 21st Century.” The textbook is co-authored by John F. Borland of Springfield College and Laura J. Burton of the University of Connecticut. Eastern Psychology Professors Peter Bachiochi and Wendi Everton contributed to chapter 10, “Leadership in Groups and Teams.”

Several years ago, the authors set out to create a textbook designed for sport management classes that emphasized leadership styles. In an effort to reflect changes in the field, the second edition of “Sports Leadership in the 21st Century” features more interviews with sports professionals who share their experiences and helpful practices they’ve learned through their careers. Topics discussed range from social media usage, to integration of athletes with disabilities, to governance structures at the Olympics.

Gregory Kane, chair and professor of the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education

“We made a point to get industry-direct information from a wide variety of organizations and sports,” says Kane, who conducted interviews with members of the Boston Celtics, New York Marathon, Twitch and Ski Magazine.

Included in the new edition are updated case studies to spark classroom discussion and bring real-world experience to student learning. These case studies contain critical-thinking questions and a variety of topics, such as effective team leadership in electronic sports (including video game competition) and the continued underrepresentation of women in international sport leadership.

Speaking to the evolution of sport management, Kane concluded, “Leadership styles change as we grow as individuals, reflect our behavior, and adapt to evolving organizational and societal landscapes. Leadership is a set of behaviors that can be learned through understanding theory, practice, mentorships and internships.”

Written by Raven Dillon

Nanette Tummers Authors ‘Healthy Choices’ Book

Nanette Tummers, professor of kinesiology and physical education at Eastern Connecticut State University, recently published “Healthy Choices for Your Health, Wellness, and Overall Happiness.” The textbook introduces students to proactive practices they can apply to positively impact current and long-term health. “Healthy Choices” was published by Cognella Academic Publishing this January.

The book recommends practices such as identifying goals, working with a peer mentor as an accountability coach, meditating and making healthier nutritional choices. Tummers’ book encourages readers to examine key aspects of their personal wellness and make adjustments to enhance their health now rather than later in life.

The text explores broad topics related to health and also addresses social, emotional, spiritual, physical, environmental and intellectual well-being, to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of health and wellness in today’s society.

“Health focuses primarily on physical aspects and on symptoms, while wellness looks at the person’s well-being, including physical but also emotional, intellectual, social, spiritual and environmental factors,” said Tummers. “Wellness see us an integrated whole – that all areas affect and connect with each other. Prevention and enhancement of our lives is the focus: living well every day, not just when you are sick or old.”

“Healthy Choices” explains the difference between health and wellness, teaches ways to improve the quality of immediate environment and proposes methods for determining personal wellness strategies. It serves as a resource for pre-service professionals in health education pedagogy, in addition to acting as an ideal supplementary text for foundational courses in public health and healthcare professions.

Tummers is a certified holistic stress management instructor and yoga teacher. In the past, she was awarded the prestigious professional service award for her years of commitment to health education and fitness by the Connecticut Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

Written by Jordan Corey

 

Faculty Present in 3 October Scholars Forums

Ari de Wilde

Written by Dwight Bachman

Eastern faculty continue to share their prolific scholarship with the campus community during the University’s Faculty Scholars Forum. In the month of October, three professors shared fascinating research on the underworld of professional bike racing, how service to community can enhance faculty scholarship, and the evolving artistic work of how women are now depicted in Persian art.

On Oct. 31, Ari de Wilde, associate professor of kinesiology and physical education, presented “Splinters, Snake Oil and Six Days: Collusion and Underworld Politics in Early 20th Century Professional Bicycle Racing.”

Today, professional cycling is marred by doping scandals and corruption, scenarios that de Wilde says are portrayed as new by the popular media. He argues that these realities are not new behaviors and could be found in the thriving, professional racing circuit of America’s early 20th century, noting that “while underworld-related actives are rarely formally recorded, close reading of autobiographies, newspaper accounts and other descriptions can yield tremendous insight into this world.” 

On Oct. 17, John Murphy, lecturer in the Communication Department; Nicolas Simon, sociology lecturer; Art Professor Terry Lennox; and Kim Silcox, director of the Center for Community Engagement, examined “Community Engagement as a Path to Faculty Development.” Topics ranged from Simon’s discussion of his scholarly research based on community engagement to Silcox’s overview of the Center for Community Engagement and how the center supports faculty through service learning course development. Faculty interested in learning more are encouraged to contact the center at (860) 465-4426.

On Oct. 3, Afarin Rahmanifar, lecturer in the Art and Art History Department, shared her work on “Women in Persian Poetry, Storytelling and Painting.” Rahmanifar said to understand her work, one must understand Iranian history. Until the 20th century, traditional painting, art, poetry and writing in Iran were dominated by men. Women were often portrayed in art without power or authority.

Afarin Rahmanifar

In 1932, Reza Shah, the first Shah of Iran and father of Mohamad Reza Pahlavi, passed a law that forced women to take off their veils. From 1945-1979, Rahmanifar says there were a huge effort to modernize the country and create an educational system.  After the Iranian Revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini made it mandatory for women to wear the hejab again.

Rahmanifar’s work primarily reflects her experience living in exile from Tehran, where she grew up in the aftermath of the Iranian Revolution. Her art reflects an interest in telling stories about women in repressed societies who are involved in politics, culture and religion. Rahmanifar’s most recent project is “Women of the Shahnameh,” which is a result of her reading “The Book of Kings (“Shahnameh”) by Persian poet Ferdowsi, who lived 1,000 years ago.

“His epic stories shape women as active and who play participatory and even leading roles in leadership and decision making in Iranian society,” said Rahmanifar.  “Women are presented as lively figures, warm, with intellect who dare to exercise liberties and do not fear death. . . Within my work, I’ve attempted to not only create images from my inspired reading of (Ferdowsi’s) stories, but also to break the conventional wisdom and messages of earlier historical miniature paintings.”

Poverty Awareness Marathon Raises 378 Food Items

KPE professors Charlie Chatterton and Ari de Wilde midway through the marathon.

Written by Raven Dillon

Eastern Connecticut State University held its 10th annual Poverty Awareness Marathon on Oct. 5. The event culminated with 197 members of the Eastern community who walked and ran to raise awareness, as well as 378 food items that were donated to the Covenant Soup Kitchen and Shawn’s Cupboard, Eastern’s on-campus food pantry.

Beginning at 7 a.m., marathon runners participated for as many laps around campus as their schedules permitted; some for a single lap (roughly 1.2 miles) others for a half-marathon (13 miles). Professor Charlie Chatterton, who has completed numerous marathons, exceeded by running 28 miles in approximately six hours.

Participants pose for a group photo before the 7 a.m. starting time

Chatterton teaches kinesiology and physical education (KPE). He has been involved in poverty awareness efforts for years, and has been instrumental in this event since the beginning. He encourages students to get involved in any way they can.

Aside from running or walking, the Eastern community donated nonperishable food items and students signed large, colorful posters, pledging to volunteer in upcoming events and to call attention to issues of poverty with their friends and family. Among them were several athletes from Eastern’s sports teams, including the men’s and women’s cross-country teams, men’s basketball and women’s lacrosse.

The marathon was organized by the Center for Community Engagement and the student organization People Helping People.