Eastern Hosts ‘Career Conversation’ on Biz-Tech

 

The Center for Internships and Career Development hosted the second-annual Career Conversations event for “Business in the Tech Industry” (Biz-Tech) on Oct. 8, in collaboration with Business Information Systems Professor Alex Citurs. The event, described as “speed-networking” by Citurs, covered career areas ranging from social media to applications development. The event included 14 industry alumni and seven students who have completed related internships.

The “career conversations” event was created to encourage networking so that students could learn more about careers that interested them. Approximately 100 students took advantage of the event. Citurs, who hosted the first event last year on October 2018, said it gave students who work on weekends a time during the week to build connections. “There are students in this room who have internships and already have jobs waiting for them when they graduate.”

Justin Ferrari, an Eastern alumnus who majored in Business Information Systems with a minor in Computer Science, said his time at Eastern made him well prepared for the business industry. Like many other guest speakers, he encouraged students to work towards completing multiple internships. Jillian Wirth, a junior with a major in Accounting said internships were her reason for attending the event. “It’s interesting to see the different areas and focuses of business.”

The “speed networking” technique that Citurs described allowed students to go to tables covering multiple fields. With 12 minutes at each table, students were able to talk to the guest speakers about their careers and what they did on a day-to-day basis. Students were also provided with a pamphlet that had biographies for each guest speaker and conversation starters to get the discussion flowing.

The tables, in order of popularity, were Business/Systems Analysis; Application Development; Business Intelligence Analytics; Network Administration; Project Management; Internet Marketing; Cloud Services; Healthcare IT; and Database Administration. Students were asked to sign in at each table that they visited, so that the University could understand the varying degrees of interest for each career path.

Written by Molly Boucher

Alumni Recruit Students at 15th Annual Accounting Job Fair

Fiondella, Milone and Lasaracina (FML) auditors and Eastern graduates Alyssa Townsend '17 and Destiny Hartmann '17 speak with students.
Brian Green of the Defense Contract Audit Agency speaks with students about fraud management and job opportunities.
Horizons Inc. representatives speak with an Eastern student.
Nicola Yester auditors and Eastern graduates Nicole Brooks '15 (CPA), Tessa Jordan '07 (CPA and partner) and Carissa Riccio '16 pose with Professor RuJoub at the fair.

 

The Accounting Program at Eastern Connecticut State University hosted its 15th Annual Accounting Job Fair on Oct. 5. With more than 70 students, 17 companies and nearly 25 alumni, the event was busy as students shared resumes and networked with future employers.

The Accounting Job Fair was created by Accounting Professor Mohd RuJoub, who has been teaching at Eastern for 20 years. RuJoub has seen students graduate from Eastern’s Accounting Program and go into careers with top companies such as Blum Shapiro and Travelers, and even earn top positions as vice presidents and managers.

“This career fair has enabled our accounting students to meet employers in an informal setting over the last 15 years and given them the opportunity to learn more about those employers and the opportunities available,” said RuJoub. “Employers were very impressed with the turn out and engagement with our students. Most employers were represented by Eastern accounting alumni—Eastern was represented on both sides of the table, as recruiters and job seekers–it was a sight to see!”

Many Eastern alumni that attended the event expressed the bond they still have with the university. Alumna, Amber Tucker’ 04, who works for the Connecticut-based accounting firm of Fiondella, Milone & LaSarcina stated, “Every Eastern graduate that we’ve worked with has been of extremely high quality.” Tucker, who also teaches auditing in the spring and winter semesters at Eastern, said she enjoys coming back to campus. “It’s great to come back and see my former students working and trying to get their career on the way.”

Alumna Nicole Brooks’ 15, who works for the accounting firm Nicola Yester, recalled her time as an Eastern student when she attended the Accounting Fair. “We’ve hired quite a few Eastern grads as interns… they have good working knowledge and have been well-versed in accounting related topics.”

RuJoub added, “Our alumni are very proud of their alma matter and accounting education that they have received and happy to come back to campus and play an increasingly significant role in our students’ careers, from getting that first internship or full-time job out of college to finding advanced positions.”

Eastern’s Accounting program provides introductory and advanced courses in financial and managerial accounting, auditing, taxation, and accounting information technology and business solutions, as well as teamwork and leadership skills. Senior Jenna Moreiria, who majors in Business Administration and minors in Accounting, spoke highly of the education she received through the Accounting program and her professors. “It gives you a well-rounded education that prepares you for internships and future careers.” With a high interest in tax auditing, Moreiria is aiming to take her skills to Blum Shapiro.

Written by Bobbi Brown

Eastern Named to Princeton Review’s 2020 ‘Best Colleges’ Guide

Eastern Connecticut State University has been recognized by in the Princeton Review in its “2020 Best Colleges” guide for the Northeast region. Featured schools were chosen based on survey results from 140,000 students across the country. Eastern was praised for its small class sizes, close-knit campus community and affordability. 

Home to 5,200 students annually, Eastern students come from 160 of Connecticut’s 169 towns, along with 29 other states and 20 other countries. The 16:1 student to faculty ratio encourages group discussions and teamwork. Eastern offers 41 majors and 59 minors, with a liberal arts curriculum that’s rooted deep in the school’s mission to provide students with a well-rounded education. Eastern was also ranked among the top 25 public universities in the North Region by U.S. News and World Report in its 2020 Best College ratings.

Eastern also offers 18 NCAA Division III sports teams, more than 90 registered student organizations and 17 honors societies. Eastern’s athletic mission is to emphasize values such as diversity, sportsmanship, health, wellbeing and equity. Eastern hosted its annual President’s Picnic and Student-Club Fair. In spring of 2019, more than 50 percent of Eastern students participated in at least one club. Clubs with the highest membership last semester were Eastern Outdoors Club, Freedom at Eastern and People Helping People. Eastern is also home to student services such as the Womens Center, LGBT support groups and minority support groups. Eastern was awarded the ‘Green Campus’ Status by Princeton Review for the ninth year in a row in fall 2018.

Written by Molly Boucher

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

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

Eastern a Top 25 Public Regional University in U.S. News and World Report

The class of 2023 gathered for a group photo during the Fall 2019 Warrior Welcome weekend–Eastern draws students from 160 of Connecticut’s 169 towns

 Eastern Connecticut State University is again the highest ranked institution among Connecticut’s four state universities in this year’s U.S. News and World Report’s edition of “Best Colleges.” The 2020 rankings were released on Sept. 9.

This is Eastern’s highest ranking ever as it was ranked 21st among public universities in the North Region. Eastern moved up five spots among public institutions over last year’s rankings and moved up 13 spots when both public and private institutions were considered.

Under the mentorship of Biology Professor Vijaykumar Veerappan, Roshani Budhathoki ’19 was selected for an undergraduate fellowship by the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB).

.The North Region includes colleges and universities from New England, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland, and is known as the most competitive among the four regions that make up the U.S. News and World Report ranking system.

Regional universities such as Eastern are ranked based on 15 criteria that include peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, class size, faculty resources, admissions selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving.

“Given the uncertain times facing the higher education community, I am delighted to see Eastern achieving its highest ranking ever,” said Eastern President Elsa Nunez. “This is a testament to our commitment to high standards and the faculty and staff’s focus on providing students with personal attention. Our improved ranking this year is due to our rising graduation and retention rates as well as the continued quality of our incoming classes.

 Environmental earth science students traveled to the mountains of Wyoming and Idaho this summer for a geology field course led by Eastern faculty.:

“Students and their families turn to the Best Colleges rankings to help decide where to attend college. These newest rankings reaffirm that Eastern is providing a relevant and high-quality education on our beautiful residential campus.”

This year’s U.S. News and World Report rankings included reviews of upwards of 1,400 schools nationwide and are available at www.usnews.com/colleges. They will also be published in the Best Colleges 2020 Guidebook, published by U.S. News & World Report and available on newsstands on Oct. 15.

For the past 35 years, the U.S. News and World Report rankings, which group colleges based on categories created by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, have grown to be the most comprehensive research tool for students and parents considering higher education opportunities.

Written by Ed Osborn

Professor and Alumnus Join Forces in Augmented Reality Venture

When Eastern students graduate, they often stay in touch with faculty via e-mail. Benjamin Williams ’15, chief executive officer of ARsome Technology Group, a Manchester-based software company specializing in augmented reality (AR), went one step further. He went into business with his former Eastern instructor!

Williams, who studied business information systems and management at Eastern, is partners with David Oyanadel, former part-time Business Information Systems lecturer and ARsome Technology’s chief innovation officer.

“David worked closely with Business Information Systems Professor Alex Citurs for years,” said Williams. “We stayed in contact after the class and started the business, building augmented and virtual reality software.”

“We came together to start a business because of our friendship and shared interests in technology and innovation,” said Oyanadel. “We both have different skill sets. Ben is more business-like, and I am more tech-like, but we have great synergy.”

Augmented reality superimposes computer-generated images on the physical world using VR goggles, cell phones or tablets. The two entrepreneurs are using this new technology to provide services to educators, as well as for manufacturing, art, business and advertising organizations.

Williams and Oyanadel believe the interactive nature of AR will become the predominant method of teaching. “Picture a science class where a student can hold an iPad over a map of the solar system and planets begin to rotate,” explains their website.

The two entrepreneurs recently created a virtual statue of Mark Twain that stands on the sidewalk next to the real Twain statue in front of Hartford Public Library. When seen on an iPad screen showing the front of the library, Twain looks as natural as a live person until a passerby walks straight through him. Then he starts waving his arms and speaking in Twain’s famous Southern accent about the city of Hartford!

Oyanadel and Williams also have designed scavenger hunts for museums using AR and created menus that allow restaurant diners to view meals in front of them via cell phone before ordering.

ARSome Technology now has five employees and clients as far away as Brazil.We want people to really enjoy remembering what they experienced,” said Williams.  “Augmented Reality is a fun-filled way to make life experiences memorable.”

Written by Dwight Bachman

Photo Credit: Erik Ofgang, Connecticut Magazine

Field Courses Bring Students to Bahamas, Western U.S., Italy

Eastern biology students on the North Point of San Salvador Island, Bahamas.
Biology students on San Salvador Island, Bahamas.
EES students study geology in the American West.
EES students study geology in the American West.
EES students study geology in the American West.
Business students at the United Nations in Rome, Italy.
Business students at the Colosseum in Rome, Italy.

 

In the weeks following Commencement, three groups of Eastern students traveled to San Salvador Island in the Bahamas, Italy, Idaho, Utah and Wyoming to engage in exciting Global Field Courses. 

Tropical Biology in the Bahamas

On San Salvador Island and surrounding waters 19 students accompanied by Biology professors Kristen Epp, Brett Mattingly and Josh Idjadi, examined the ecology of marine and terrestrial organisms from May 14-25. The 10-day field experience was headquartered at Gerace Research Centre (GRC) from which students ventured daily; nightly lab sessions and discussions supplemented each day’s field observations.

Marine studies focused on coral reef, sea grass bed, mangrove, beach and rocky shore communities, while terrestrial studies examined cave, mud flat, and sand dune and upland shrub communities. On a visit to Oyster Pond, some students swam across the pond (about a half-mile) to arrive at a vent through which the water in the pond communicates tidally with the ocean. Students also visited a very large cave to see native bats and other cave-dwelling creatures including an endemic isopod.

Environmental Earth Science in the Wild West

EES students study geology in the American West.

Geology came to life in the field, as the Environmental Earth Science (EES) field course to Wyoming and Idaho from May 24-June 3 introduced 23 EES majors to concepts in geology and environmental earth science. The course included a lecture course prior to the trip that provided background knowledge and a regional geological context for the field excursion.

During the field course, students placed emphasis on group observations and discussions. At each location, faculty and students spent time collecting observations and drawing conclusions about the geological features, earth processes and environmental issues relevant to that location. In the evenings, everyone met and reviewed what we saw that day, to reinforce and expand on key concepts and learning points. 

Highlights included seeing the vast geothermal features and beautiful landscapes of Yellowstone, the stunning beauty of the Grand Tetons, the bleak lava plains and diverse volcanic landforms of Craters of the Moon National Monument, and the high alpine zone of the Idaho Rockies.  In addition, students saw wonderful wildlife including grizzly and black bears, moose, elk, pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, bald eagles and many bison, including newborn calves.  A rafting excursion down the Snake River, a tram ride to 10,500 feet elevations in Jackson Hole, WY, and fossil fish collecting in the Green River Basin rounded out the trip.   The excursion was a marvelous experience for students and faculty.  The EES extended field course has now become an annual highlight in the EES department.

Business students at the United Nations in Rome, Italy.

How Business is Conducted in Italy

From May 22–June 3, Professor Emiliano Villanueva, associate professor business administration, led 18 students on a trip to Rome and Perugia, Italy, or the seminar “International Business in an International Setting.” Prior to their departure for Italy, the students researched a range of topics related to business in Italy and gave 30-minute presentations to their class.

Upon their return, students submitted in-depth, 20-page reports reflecting on their experiences in Italy. Topics included the “History and Geography of Italy, “History of Rome,” “Government and Politics in Italy,; “Culture in Italy,” “GDP and the Economy of Italy,” “Business Opportunities in Italy,” “Business Rtiquette and the Italian Language” and “Rome and Vatican Sightseeing.”

Written by Dwight Bachman

Eastern Alumna Salutes Inclusive Excellence Award Winners

On May 9, Eastern recognized more than 100 students with a 3.5 cumulative grade point average or higher, and an additional 11 students who have demonstrated exemplary co-curricular engagement at the University’s Seventh Annual Inclusive Excellence Student Awards Ceremony. The ceremony recognized the achievements of African, Latino, Asian and Native American (ALANA) students at Eastern.

Eastern President Elsa Núñez said the ceremony was not just about inclusion, but also spoke to the University’s other core values of academic excellence, integrity, social responsibility, engagement and empowerment. “It is important for each of you to stand tall and be proud of who you are and what you are capable of. Never, ever, ever let anyone attempt to diminish your worth or your talents.

“Today’s honorees join thousands of other successful Eastern alumni who are making their own personal contributions out in the real world, including our guest speaker today, Dr. Kawami Evans. Today, we show respect and celebrate the accomplishments of students who too often have been forgotten in the past.  Thank you for being part of this celebration; to our honorees, congratulations.  We are very proud of you.”

Keynote speaker Evans ’97 serves as associate director at the Center for African Diaspora Student Success at the University of California at Davis. She earned her bachelor’s degree in history and social science at Eastern, her Master of Education in educational policy and research administration from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and a doctorate in educational management and leadership from Drexel University.

Evans encouraged the students to use their curiosity and optimism to persevere through unseen psychological struggles that can become their staunchest challenges. She said many high- achieving students fall prey to chasing individual achievements, accolades or material gain as their goal, even confusing their self-worth with what they can accomplish.

“This is dangerous; it can lead to anxiety and depression. Don’t let this be your reality or focus,” said Evans. “Who you are is what we are celebrating today. All the earned accolades you are receiving are but a byproduct of the brilliance within you . . . You are the promise of our ancestors’ prayers and walk with the wisdom and swag of those who have grit, resilience, the social and emotional intelligence, curiosity and hope.”

Evans told the students the most important element they need to resurrect in discussing their future success is their spirituality, ways in which students discover their destiny — answers to the big questions of who they are, what is their life purpose and how do they make difference in the world.

“Much of the world right now is relegated to systems and polices. We have to raise the bar with our vision of what’s possible,” Evans said. “It will take hard work, community, love, bravery, unrelentless effort and celebration.  I sincerely believe that we can create a world that works for all.”

A total of 280 students qualified for an Academic Excellence Award with a 3.5 cumulative GPA or higher, and more than 100 of them were able to attend the May 9 event. During the ceremony, several students received service awards. Adrianna Arocho and Mayra Santos Acosta was presented the Volunteer Service Award; Aiyana Ward, the Athletic Excellence Award; Kimberly Allen and Sommer Bachelor, the Career Development Award; Jenilee Antonetty, the Resident Assistant Diversity Impact Award; Rafael Aragon, the Residential Community Leadership Award; Tristan Perez, the Social Justice Advocacy Award; Emma Costa, the Inspirational Leadership Award; Ishah Azeez, the Resilient Warrior Award; Kimberly Allen and Vishal Jungiwalla, the Advisor’s Choice Award; and the Freedom at Eastern Club, the Building Bridges Award.

By Dwight Bachman

Hundreds Gather for 25th Annual Accounting Banquet

Keynote speaker and alumnus Jason Handel ’04 address the Betty Tipton Room crowd.

The Accounting Program at Eastern Connecticut State University hosted its 25th Annual Accounting Banquet on April 25. With more than 200 students, faculty and alumni in attendance, the event included an award ceremony and keynote speech by alumnus Jason Handel ’04, CPA and vice president of finance for Jacobs Vehicle Systems.

It is the personal and professional connections made or celebrated in this room tonight that make this an amazing group,” said President Elsa Núñez of the networking opportunities offered by the Accounting Program. Speaking to program coordinator Mohd RuJoub, she added, “Through Dr. Rujoub’s leadership and the inspiration of our founders, this accounting community is truly a family.”

 

A highlight of the evening was an awards ceremony in which 11 outstanding students were awarded scholarships by Accounting Program alumni and dignitaries. The RuJoub Family Scholarship awarded six scholarships. One scholarship each was awarded by the firm BlumShapiro, presented by Frederick Hughes ’87; the firm PFK O’Connor Davies, presented by Katherine Patnaude ’10; the firm Fiondella, Milone & LaSarcina, presented by Amber Tucker ’04; and Founders of Accounting, presented by Professor Emeritus William Sisco.

Keynote speaker Jason Handel’s address was titled “Transitioning from Public Accounting to Private Accounting.” He spoke on his experience in the field and offered advice to students.

Written by Bobbi Brown