Eastern Students Consider Graduate School

Grad school fair
Grad school workshop
Grad school fair
Grad school workshop
Grad school fair
Grad school workshop

 

The Center for Internships and Career Development (CICD) hosted a graduate school workshop on Sept. 23 in the Science Building and its annual graduate school fair on Sept. 24 in the Betty Tipton Room of the Student Center.

The CICD’s role on campus is to advise and provide students with resources that will guide them in the process of career development. As part of the CICD’s mission to help students with their future careers, the staff began to organize the graduate school fair and workshop the summer prior to the fall 2019 semester.

The graduate workshop was designed so that students could drop in and out as their schedules permitted and speak with faculty and staff about different aspects of graduate school, such as financing, applying and graduate programs. The CICD involved staff from other departments who covered topics at different tables. Elizabeth Scott, the interim dean of the School of Education and Professional Studies/Graduate Division, hosted a table centered on helping students choose a graduate school that is right for them. She explained the application process, the expectations and what different graduate programs look like.

Julia DeLapp, director of the Center for Early Childhood Education, hosted a table focused on graduate school scholarships and fellowships. Katherine Wrana, associate director of financial aid, shared options on how to finance graduate school. Other tables covered the application process and standardized testing.

“We intentionally made the event casual,” said Janice Patry, assistant director of the CICD. “It was set up in the form of a table round discussion so students could move around freely from table to table, so if a student only had 20 minutes between classes they could just drop in and out whenever.”

The CIDC organized the graduate school fair to help students make further choices on prospective graduate schools. The CICD chose schools with programs that match majors offered at Eastern. Participating universities included Central Connecticut State University, the University of Connecticut’s School of Social Work, Quinnipiac School of Law, Johnson and Wales University and Springfield College. A total of 40 universities attended the event.

Deajah Curry ‘21, a communication major, attended the fair to see what graduate programs best suit her. “My main purpose for coming here today is to see which colleges have the best programs that fit me, as well as to network and create new connections.”

“A great group of colleges are here today,” she added, “because there are some that are closer to the area and some further out. The variety is good, and it got me thinking about other aspects of grad schools, such as what town I want to attend school in.”

The CICD will host a career and internship fair on Oct. 23 in the sports center gymnasium from 1-4 p.m. An estimated 90+ employers will attend, representing industries across all majors. To learn more about the CICD and their upcoming events, visit http://www.easternct.edu/career/.

Written by Vania Galicia

 

A Great Place to Work: Eastern’s Culture, Workspace Honored

Eastern was the recipient of two employment accolades this September. Eastern was named a “Great College to Work For” for the 10th time and the Hartford Courant listed Eastern in its “Top Workplaces” survey for the eighth time–the only public higher education institution honored among 60 “large” organizations. 

Of the 236 institutions surveyed by the Great Colleges to Work For program, only 85 achieved “A Great College to Work For” recognition; Eastern was one them for earning outstanding marks in the categories of collaborative governance and facilities, workspace and security. ModernThink, a strategic human capital consulting firm, administered the survey and analyzed the results, which were released on Sept. 16 in a special insert in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

As a university that shined in the collaborative governance category, Eastern is viewed as an institution that actively involves its faculty members in decisions related to academic programs. Eastern also placed in the facilities, workspace and security category for having facilities that adequately meet the needs of faculty, are aesthetically pleasing and provide a secure environment.

For the Hartford Courant, Eastern was ranked 10th in the “large” category–having nearly 1,000 employees–and was the only public higher education institution recognized among 60 organizations in Hartford, Middlesex, Tolland, Windham and New London counties. Results were published on Sept. 22 in the Hartford Courant.

“We are honored to be recognized once again as a top workplace in Connecticut,” said Eastern’s President Elsa Núñez. “Even though Eastern was recognized in the large organization category, our university has always prided itself on being a close-knit community and a welcoming, inclusive campus for students, faculty and staff. The Courant’s announcement reminds us that Eastern is a stable, inspiring place for our faculty and staff to come to work each day, and a supportive learning environment for our students. I am very pleased that we were among those recognized.”

The survey included 24 statements, with employees asked to assess each one on a scale from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree.” Topics included organizational direction, workplace conditions, effectiveness, managers and compensation. Each company was assigned a score based on a formula.

Written by Vania Galicia

Employment Expert Urges Faculty, Staff to Teach Skills

Aaron Richmond of Metropolitan State University of Denver was the first Facutly and Staff Development speaker of the semester.

Eastern hosted its first Faculty and Staff Development speaker of the semester on Sept. 25, who discussed job readiness and preparing students for the workforce. Aaaron Richmond, psychology professor and “employment expert” with Metropolitan State University of Denver, emphasized skills development and applied learning—two academic priorities at Eastern.

He described “the changing tide of preparing students for the workforce,” and said faculty need to think outside of their fields when it comes to job prospects for their students. “We need to get out of the mindset that psychology students will go into human resources,” he said, explaining that an education in psychology can be applied to a multitude of careers.

To help students realize the variety of employment options available to them, he said faculty need to teach skills, not just knowledge. Skills valued by employers include oral and written communication, teamwork, ethical judgement, critical thinking and the ability to apply knowledge to real-world settings—all available through Eastern’s liberal arts education.  

Richmond discussed five broad skill categories—cognitive, communication, personal, social and technological—that encompass 17 sub-skills, such as creativity, adaptability, management and the ability to learn new technological systems.

The best practices for skills development in higher education, according to Richmond, include applied learning methods such as internships, service-learning projects and undergraduate research mentorships. The faculty affirmed that these practices are commonplace at Eastern.

The most common reason that recent graduates are dismissed from jobs, according to Richmond, is for not following directions—something that can be addressed by developing self-regulation and adaptability skills. Richmond challenged the faculty to pinpoint individual skills and design assignments that utilize them.

Among the greatest barriers to recent graduates securing gainful employment is the inability to articulate their skills. To address this, Richmond emphasized making skills development a priority at the institutional, departmental and course levels.

He suggested implementing “careers” courses for upperclassmen, job shadowing and curricular assessments. He also suggested having students create ePortfolios—an electronic display of their learning. For capstone courses, he suggested making resume writing and job searching a part of the coursework. For his own courses at MSU, Richmond includes a “critical statement” in the syllabus, which emphasizes the course’s goal to develop skills.

The Eastern faculty added that engaging alumni—particularly young alumni—is an effective resource, as their professional insights are more relatable to soon-to-be graduates.

Written by Michael Rouleau

Courant Names Eastern a ‘Top Workplace’

For the eighth time the Hartford Courant has recognized Eastern Connecticut State University in its “Top Workplaces” survey. With almost 1,000 employees, Eastern ranked 10th in the “large” category, and was the only public higher education institution recognized among 60 organizations in Hartford, Middlesex, Tolland, Windham and New London counties. Results were published on Sept. 22 in the Hartford Courant.

“We are honored to be recognized once again as a top workplace in Connecticut,” said Eastern’s President Elsa Núñez. “Even though Eastern was recognized in the large organization category, our university has always prided itself on being a close-knit community and a welcoming, inclusive campus for students, faculty and staff. The Courant’s announcement reminds us that Eastern is a stable, inspiring place for our faculty and staff to come to work each day, and a supportive learning environment for our students. I am very pleased that we were among those recognized.”

Surveys were administered on behalf of the Courant by Energage, LLC, a research and consulting firm that has conducted employee surveys for more than 50,000 organizations. Rankings were based on confidential survey results completed by employees of the participating organizations. This year’s Courant survey surveyed 29,000 employees across the state.

The survey included 24 statements, with employees asked to assess each one on a scale from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree.” Topics included organizational direction, workplace conditions, effectiveness, managers and compensation. Each company was assigned a score based on a formula.

To honor all “Top Workplaces,” The Hartford Courant held its annual awards program on Sept. 19 at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville, CT, where it announced the top workplaces in each category.

Written by Vania Galicia

Hip-Hop Dance Duo ‘The Wondertwins’ to Perform at Eastern

Boston-based hip-hop dance sensation The Wonderntwins will perform “Black” at Eastern Connecticut State University on Sept. 25. The evening of art and activism will kick off with a reception at 4:30 p.m. in Eastern’s Fine Arts Instrctional Center Lobby followed by the performance at 5:30 p.m. in the Prosenium Theatre.

The event is free and open to the public, and presented by Eastern’s Performing Arts Department and the University of Saint Joseph’s Autorino Center for the Arts.

“Black” is the newest piece from hip-hop dance duo The Wondertwins, Billy and Bobby McClain. The identical twins who grew up in Massachusetts started their dance careers performing for family members at the tender age of 6 years old and have been performing ever since. By age 10, they were asked to join Boston’s first professional street dance crew, The Funk Affects. During their seven years with the dance company, they opened for some of the most well-known names in hip-hop, including KRS One, Run DMC and LL Cool J.

After parting ways with The Funk Affects, the McClain brothers formed “Wondertwins.” Since then, they have toured the globe, showcasing their distinctive style. The former Alvin Ailey Theatre executive director, Judith Jamison, has described their approach to dance as “absolutely beautiful, strong, powerful and electric…made for Broadway.”

“Black” explores the traumatizing effects of police violence toward the black community by incorporating dance with historical and contemporary audio and video clips. A post-show dialogue, facilitated by Everyday Democracy and the Connecticut Collaborative on Poverty, Criminal Justice and Race will follow the performance.

This presentation is made possible in partnership with the University Of Saint Joseph’s Autorino Center For The Arts, Eastern’s Office of Equity & Diversity and the Windham/Willimantic Branch of the NAACP. For more information, contact the Box Office at (860) 465-5123 or theatreboxoffice@easternct.edu, or visit easternct.edu/performingarts/theatre.

Written by Sheila RuJoub

Eastern Named a ‘Great College to Work For’ for 10th Time

Eastern Connecticut State University has been named a “Great College to Work For” for the 10th time by the Great Colleges Program, administered by ModernThink. The results were released on Sept. 16 and based on a survey sent to 236 colleges and universities.

Of these 236 institutions, only 85 achieved “A Great College to Work For” recognition; Eastern was one them for earning outstanding marks in the category of collaborative governance as well as facilities, workspace and security.

As a university that shined in the collaborative governance category, Eastern is viewed as an institution that actively involves its faculty members in decisions related to academic programs. Eastern also placed in the facilities, workspace and security category for having facilities that adequately meet the needs of faculty, are aesthetically pleasing and provide a secure environment.

The survey results were based on a two-part assessment: an institutional audit that captured demographics and workplace policies, and a survey administered to faculty and staff. ModernThink, a strategic human capital consulting firm, administered the survey and analyzed the results. The primary factor in deciding whether an institution received recognition was employee feedback.

Rich Boyer, a senior consultant at ModernThink, commented on how faculty satisfaction is not only important for faculty themselves, but also for students. “In the private sector, it’s well documented that employee engagement influences customer satisfaction. There can be little doubt that the day-to-day experience of our faculty and staff influences the experiences of our students. The institutions recognized in this year’s ‘Great Colleges to Work For’ program have each found their own key ingredients to engage their faculty and staff to the ultimate benefit of their students.”

The Great Colleges Program is the largest and most comprehensive workplace study in higher education. Now in its 12th year, the program recognizes colleges that get top ratings from their employees on workforce practices and policies. For more information and to view all the results of the survey, visit the Great Colleges Program website at www.greatcollegesprogram.com.

Written by Vania Galicia

Student-Involvement Fair Fosters Engaged Student Body

 

More than 800 students converged on Webb Lawn on Sept. 5 for the President’s Picnic & Student Involvement Fair. Hosted by the Student Activities Office, the annual event brought together more than 90 student-run clubs and organizations vying for new members.

Music filled the quad as students browsed tables staffed by club representatives. The festive afternoon also featured an array of picnic and barbecue food.

Approximately 30 percent of Eastern’s student body participates in clubs annually. In spring 2019, more than 1,600 students overall—and more than 50 percent of on-campus residents—participated in at least one club. Traditionally, students involved with clubs have higher GPAs. In spring 2019, the average GPA for such engaged students was 3.11, while the GPA for those not in clubs was 2.96.

Student organizations span a range of interests, and the lineup changes every year as membership fluctuates and new organizations are started. Categories range from club sports to art and media, academics to culture, leadership to recreation.

Some of last semester’s highest-membership organizations include the Eastern Outdoors Club, Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP), Education Club, Freedom at Eastern, People Helping People, Ski-N’-Board Club, Repertory Dance Troupe (RDT) and Latinx Sensation.

Written by Michael Rouleau

Goddard, Shafer Halls Reopen to New Look and Purpose

Shafer exterior
Shafer cafe
Shafer residence
Shafer lounge
Shafer kitchen lounge
Goddard KPE lab
Goddard KPE lab
Goddard psychology lab

 

Two fabled buildings on the Eastern campus reopened their doors this fall semester after undergoing extensive renovations for more than a year. Shafer Hall, formerly home to the university’s fine arts programs, has been transformed into a loft-style residence hall. Goddard Hall, the university’s first facility devoted to science, has been outfitted with fresh labs and technology and finished with a contemporary interior.

Constructed in 1946, Shafer Hall remains one of Eastern’s most historic buildings. While major renovations have converted it into a residence hall, the building retains its original glazed block arches, wooden benches lining the hallway and other classic touches. The original lobby’s raised paneling was restored and continues to serve as an entrance to the newly remodeled auditorium and café.

The building has capacity for 91 residents. The residential suites include single apartments with kitchenettes, sitting areas, breakfast bars and lofts for bedroom furniture. Three- and four-person suites feature private bedrooms, kitchens and separate bath and toilet facilities.

The former Harry Hope Theatre will soon be reopened as a gym for students campus wide. Other building highlights include a game room, a kitchen lounge where students can gather to cook group dinners, as well as computer, study and meeting rooms.

All new mechanical systems, electrical, plumbing, sprinklers, data connectivity, windows, floors and roofing meet the university’s high standards for safety, technology and minimal environmental impact. The renovation was designed in accordance with Connecticut High Performance Building Regulations, which closely align with the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification standards.

The project was funded by bonds from the Connecticut Health & Educational Facilities Funds Authority (CHEFA) at a cost of $24.6 million. Construction began in August 2018. The architect was Stantec and the contractor was O&G Industries Inc.

The newly reopened Goddard Hall marks the completion of the Goddard/Communication Renovation Project—the Communication Building reopened in fall 2018. The adjoining buildings now represent a modernized academic complex home to several departments.

Completely gutted and rehabbed, Goddard includes fresh labs, classrooms and offices. There’s a suite of six labs for the Psychology Department as well as a lab for the Kinesiology and Physical Education Department, outfitted with an interactive wall and workout equipment for research.

The building also has new HVAC, plumbing, sprinkler and heating systems. New windows and improvements to the exterior make the building more energy efficient, also aligning it with Connecticut High Performance Building Regulations.

The two-phased Goddard/Communication project was funded by state-appropriated bond funds at a cost of $21.7 million. Goddard construction began in May 2017. The architect was MDS National Inc. and the contractor was PDS Engineering & Construction Inc.

Written by Michael Rouleau

Business Student Hannah Beazoglou Receives DMD Regional Award

Hannah Beazoglou

Eastern Connecticut State University student Hannah Beazoglou ’20 of West Hartford was recently selected as one of 25 scholars nationwide to receive a regional award from Delta Mu Delta (DMD), the international honor society for business. Beazoglou majors in Business Administration and was the only awardee from Connecticut.

To be considered for a regional award, one must be a member of DMD, complete an application and submit two letters of recommendation from faculty members to support their candidacy.

“I am extremely proud to be the recipient of this award, which showcases the outstanding education and opportunities I have been afforded at Eastern,” said Beazoglou, who was inducted into DMD in April 2019. “I’m very proud to be a Delta Mu Delta scholar. The organization has supported me in my studies and my future career goals in business.”

Beazoglou aspires to work in the healthcare industry, and has interned at the Aetna insurance company for two years. As a continuous intern, she has researched more than 50 companies to create prospect profiles and presented them as recommendations to Aetna executives.

She has also revised proposal content for Aetna’s Medicare programs and researched competitors in the Medicare industry to refresh Aetna’s goals. Beazoglou‘s knowledge of the health care industry and Medicare has allowed her to create FAQ documents for Aetna and assist retirees at annual open enrollment events.

Beazoglou is currently working on her senior thesis with Business Administration Professor Fatma Pakdil. She explained that her thesis focuses on implementation of “statistical process control (SPC) in the analysis of length of stay (LOS).”

After graduating from Eastern, she plans to pursue a leadership position within the healthcare industry.

Written by Vania Galicia

Art Gallery Presents ‘Consistency of the Temporal’ Until Oct. 10

A gallery patron admires a sculpture.

 The Art Gallery at Eastern Connecticut State University hosted New York-based artist Beatrice Modisett on Sept. 5, who spoke on her current exhibition titled “Consistency of the Temporal.” The exhibition runs until Oct.10 and features drawings, paintings and clay sculptures that are inspired by Modisett’s interest in landscapes and environment.

Artist Beatrice Modisett explains her work at the “Consistency of the Temporal” opening reception.

After leaving her office job to pursue art, Modisett spent a month driving to California, visiting national parks along the way. She was struck by the land formations and intrigued by the earthly forces that configured the environment. Modisett felt a deep connection to the national parks and how their vastness made her feel small. She also mentioned how the environment is manipulated by wind, water and erosion: “… the forces are shaping it. Erosion leads to creation.”

Growing up in New England, Modisett has a deep connection to Eastern, as her grandparents were students in 1938 and lived on a farm 10 minutes from the university. She used wood from the farm as fuel to fire the ceramics that are on display in “Consistency of the Temporal.” Among the pieces is an arched clay sculpture inspired by Arches National Park in Utah, as well as the arches of Brescia, Italy, a city that was built upon its own ruins. In her drawings, she used ash from the burnt clay to add shades of gray.

Students discuss Modisett’s drawings.

Speaking to the exhibition at Eastern and her future plans, Modisett said, “This show has launched more ideas. It’s such a gift when that happens, when you can work and it expands things for you.”

“Consistency of the Temporal” is on display until Oct.10 in the Art Gallery of the Fine Arts Instructional Center. Gallery hours are Tuesday and Wednesday 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursday 1-7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 2-5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, contact the Art Gallery at 860-465-4659 or visit the website at http://www.easternct.edu/artgallery/.

Written by Bobbi Brown