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

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

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

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

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