Eastern Students Enjoy Field Course in Ghana, West Africa

Students enjoyed playing with this group of the children in Asamang, where Health Sciences Professor Yaw Nsiah’s compound is located. Students said the children were always so happy and photogenic.

Written by Dwight Bachman

In late May 2018, Eastern students traveled to Ghana, West Africa, with Professor Yaw Nsiah and Lecturer Shelly Gimenez of the Department of Health Sciences.The group was hosted by the Rural Health Project Africa, an NGO involved with enhancing the health of rural Ghanaians through prevention and control education. The students who participated in Ghanaian culture in the town of Agona-Asamang in Ghana’s Ashanti region.

After landing in Accra, Ghana, West Africa, students snack before a delicious meal at Professor Yaw Nsiah’s compound.

To start their field experience, the Eastern students arrived in Accra, Ghana, where they visited shrines, clinics, hospitals, schools, an orphanage and a water treatment plant to learn firsthand about the nation’s health care and public health systems.

Students visited the Baby Well Clinic at Mampong Hospital, where they watched hospital staff ensure that babies from the surrounding villages are healthy and up to date on their shots. The mothers were all very willing to let the students hold and comfort their babies, while they waited for their turn.

At Mampong Hospital in rural Agona, students participated in hospital rounds; observed in the operating theater; conducted well baby clinics; participated in the Maternal and Child Health Clinic; conducted patient intakes; and gained valuable experience in the Emergency Room.

Students visit the third largest water treatment plant in Ghana, comparing it to water treatment in the U.S.

The students also visited disease control units and compared health care in Ghana with health systems in the United States. They interacted with students at the Withrow University College, a public health tertiary institution founded by Nsiah, who chairs Eastern’s Department of Health Sciences.

After visiting a Ghanaian funeral, students returned to the family member’s house and had a party because in Ghana, they celebrate the life of the person that died rather than morn their loss.

In addition to the students’ time with Ghana’s healthcare and public health systems, they experienced the Ashanti culture by living in a compound in the rural African village of Assamang.

Weekends were spent visiting historical sites, including the Mole National game reserve at Kintampo Falls, where they saw an elephant preserve and a monkey preserve.

Students enjoying a cool day in the water at the Kintampo Waterfalls, where they saw some of Ghana’s natural beauty and made friends with local villagers.

Students visit a monkey preserve near  the Mole National Game Reserve near Kintampo Falls.

They also visited surrounding villages and markets, Kakum Rainforest, Cape Coast, the Elmina Slave Castle and a “prayer mountain,” a sacred place of worship in Ghana.

Eastern Named a ‘Great College to Work For’ for the Ninth Time

Business Administration Professor Sukeshini Grandhi presents at a Faculty Scholars Forum, a lunchtime program in which faculty members can present their scholarship to fellow Eastern staff and faculty.

Written by Ed Osborn

WILLIMANTIC, CT (07/19/2018) Eastern Connecticut State University has been named a “Great College to Work For” by The Chronicle of Higher Education, a top trade publication for colleges and universities. Released on July 16, the results are based on a survey of 253 colleges and universities. This is the ninth time Eastern has received “Great Colleges” distinction since it first began participating in the program in 2009.

Only 84 of the institutions that applied for the program achieved “Great College to Work For” recognition this year. Eastern was also named to the national Great Colleges “Honor Roll,” one of only 42 institutions named to this exclusive club. This is the fourth year in a row that Eastern has been named to the honor roll. Eastern was the only public four-year university or college in New England to gain “Great Colleges” distinction.

The Chronicle’s Great Colleges to Work For survey is the largest and most comprehensive workplace study in higher education. Now in its 10th year, the program recognizes colleges that get top ratings from their employees on workforce practices and policies.

The survey results are based on a two-part assessment process: an institutional audit that captured demographics and workplace policies, and a survey administered to faculty, administrators, and professional support staff. The primary factor in deciding whether an institution received recognition was employee feedback.

Eastern won honors in seven survey categories this year: Collaborative Governance; Compensation and Benefits; Facilities, Workspaces, and Security; Confidence in Senior Leadership; Teaching Environment; Professional/Career Development Programs; and Tenure Clarity and Process.

President Elsa Núñez

“It is gratifying to know that our employees continue to value the positive working environment we have at Eastern,” said Eastern President Elsa Núñez. “The ‘Great Colleges to Work For’ recognition not only symbolizes the common purpose shared by our faculty and staff, it also represents the welcoming and supportive environment that our students experience every day.

“To know that Eastern has consistently received this honor – winning ‘Great Colleges’ recognition in each of the nine years we have participated – is proof that our dedication to working together on this campus is a lasting value firmly rooted in our culture.”

To administer the survey and analyze the results, The Chronicle worked with ModernThink LLC, a strategic human capital consulting firm that has conducted numerous “Best Places to Work” programs, surveying hundreds of thousands of employees nationwide.

“It’s easier to be a great workplace during good times, but it’s when times are tough that the commitment to workplace quality really gets tested,” said Richard K. Boyer, principal and managing partner of ModernThink LLC. “Those institutions that measure up during times of economic hardship reinforce their already strong cultures and put even more distance between them and their peer institutions for whom they compete for talent.”


Eastern Grads Accepted into Doctor of Occupational Therapy Degree Programs

Kelsey Sullivan ’18 and Kaley Kennedy ‘18

 By Anne Pappalardo

Two recent Eastern Connecticut State University graduates, Kaley Kennedy ’18 of Enfield and Kelsey Sullivan ’18 of Wethersfield, were recently accepted into occupational therapy doctoral programs. Both Kennedy and Sullivan were Health Sciences majors.

The Health Sciences major prepares students to become health specialists through coursework and experiential learning such as internships, independent study and faculty-directed research.

To my knowledge, these are the first Eastern students to be accepted into a doctor of occupational therapy degree program,” said Health Sciences Professor Amy Bataille. The Health Sciences major includes three concentrations – public health, pre-nursing and pre-physical therapy. Kennedy and Sullivan are members of the first Health Sciences graduating class since the program was created in 2014. Kennedy’s concentration was pre-nursing, while Sullivan’s was public health.

Kennedy and Sullivan are also friends, having met early in their college experience through mutual acquaintances. Both were members of Phi Theta Delta, Eastern’s Health Sciences honor society. Sullivan was also a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, the national honor society for leadership. Sullivan started at Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions in Boston in June, while Kennedy will be initiating her studies this fall at Western New England University in Springfield, MA. 

When it came to Eastern as an undergraduate option, the choice was clear for both. “Eastern stood out for me and made the decision easy,” said Kennedy. “It offered much smaller class sizes compared to other schools, so I knew that would ensure a more direct learning style and increased student participation.” She was also attracted by the opportunity to play on the women’s soccer team and played on the team until her junior year.

Sullivan chose Eastern for a similar reason. “I wanted to go to Eastern because it offered small class sizes and good professor-to-student ratios. Because of this, I knew Eastern would give me the opportunity to build relationships with my professors. I also wanted to come to Eastern because of their well-known and exceptional education program.”

Sullivan originally started her academic career as a double major in Math and Secondary Education as she comes from a family of teachers. “However, after some soul-searching, I decided that I really had a passion for the medical field and helping people,” said Sullivan. ‘Through my research, occupational therapy popped up as a career option. I decided to pursue a Health Sciences degree and become an occupational therapist.” Sullivan also worked in Eastern’s Office of AccessAbility as well as a chiropractic office in her hometown. Both helped her gain insight into health-related fields.

As part of her Public Health concentration, Sullivan was required to complete an internship. She chose to complete the requirement by participating in a Global Field Course to Ghana led by Health Sciences Professors Yaw Nsiah and Rochelle Gimenez. Sullivan was moved and deeply impacted by her work in Ghana. “The trip has become a part of me,” said Sullivan. “It molded me, shaped me and inspired me to be the best version of myself, as well as inspire others to do the same.” 

Kennedy works in the special education department in the East Windsor public school system, where she observed an occupational therapist in both in- and out-patient settings, helping familiarize her with the field. She also works at Strong Foundations in Vernon to assist children diagnosed with autism, Asperger Syndrome, social communication disorder and other related disabilities, as well as language and cognitive delays. She attributes her experiences at both places as a major influence in her interest in occupational therapy.

Both students credit their parents as being major influences in their success. “My parents have always told me to reach for the stars and strive to do my best, but to also have fun while doing it,” Kennedy said. “They never stood in the way of my dreams, but rather pushed me even closer to fulfilling my goal.”

“My mom and dad have been a continual pillar of support since I was born a premature baby,” said Sullivan. “Without their dedication to support me in any way needed I would not be the woman I am today.”

“My favorite thing about occupational therapy is the fact that I get to provide help to people,” said Kennedy. “As an occupational therapist, I can help patients with rehabilitation or everyday life skills. My favorite thing about the Health Sciences major at Eastern is how it prepares students to further their education.”

“My favorite thing about occupational therapy is not only the opportunity to help change someone’s life by helping them adapt to the world around them, but the opportunity for them to change my life as well,” said Sullivan. “This career, like the major at Eastern, is constantly adapting to best serve its clients, professionals, staff and students.”  

After receiving her doctorate, Kennedy plans on gaining experience in the field and working in a public school system. Sullivan is interested in either inpatient or outpatient hospital-based pediatric occupational therapy, eventually becoming a certified neonatal therapist.

“We are very proud of our students and the fact that they are admitted into these strong, reputable programs,” said Bataille. “It is especially gratifying to see that our Health Sciences program is succeeding in giving students these opportunities and contributing to their tremendous success.  We look forward to hearing more about their exciting careers in the future.”

Eastern Named a 2018 College of Distinction

WILLIMANTIC, CT (06/18/2018) Eastern Connecticut State University has been recognized as a 2018-19 College of Distinction by the college-guide/ranking organization Colleges of Distinction.

The organization praised Eastern for its student-centered approaches and high-impact educational practices. High-impact practices of note include Eastern’s community-based learning programs, intensive writing courses, living-learning communities for residents, undergraduate research, internships and other hands-on learning experiences.

“We are absolutely thrilled to recognize Eastern Connecticut State University as a College of Distinction for its effective dedication to student success,” said Tyson Schritter, CEO for Colleges of Distinction. “Colleges of Distinction is so impressed with Eastern’s curriculum, which is enriched with the kind of high-impact educational practices that are most crucial for student development. Such innovative engagement is preparing the next generation of young adults to thrive after college.”

Colleges of Distinction’s selection process consists of a review of each institution’s freshman experience and retention efforts alongside its general education programs, alumni success, strategic plan, student satisfaction and more. Schools are accepted on the basis that they adhere to the Four Distinctions: Engaged Students, Great Teaching, Vibrant Community and Successful Outcomes.

“Colleges of Distinction is far more than a ranking list of colleges and universities,” said Schritter. “We seek out the schools that are wholly focused on the student experience, constantly working to produce graduates who are prepared for a rapidly changing global society. Again recognized as a College of Distinction, Eastern Connecticut State University stands out in the way it strives to help its students to learn, grow and succeed.”

‘Town Pride, Town Wide’ Beautifies Greater Windham

Written by Michael Rouleau

WILLIMANTIC, CT (05/03/2018) More than 100 students from Eastern Connecticut State University dispersed around Willimantic on May 28 for “Town Pride, Town Wide,” Eastern’s annual spring cleaning and beautification project. The students volunteered nearly 500 hours of time as they worked at more than 20 sites in collaboration with community partners.

Among their efforts, students washed windows at local churches, picked up trash along roadways, mulched and cleaned garden beds at town parks, painted and raked leaves at nearby housing developments, and much more.

Project sites included the Airline Trail/East Coast Greenway, the Windham Textile and History Museum, Lauter Park and Willimantic Whitewater Park; Andover Town Hall; local nonprofit organizations Windham Area Interfaith Ministry (WAIM), CLiCK and Grow Windham; and others.

Sponsored by Eastern’s Center for Community Engagement (CCE), “Town Pride, Town Wide” is the university’s largest volunteer event of the year. This year it was funded in part by The Last Green Valley, Inc.

“Town Pride, Town Wide” started years ago as a means to give Eastern students the opportunity to work closely with community members and agencies. The event is a collaboration between the CCE, Windham Region Chamber of Commerce, Willimantic Waste Paper Co. and the Town of Windham.


Eastern Service Expo Honors Community Servants

Italo Bucca presents on his volunteer work with the Windham High School ESOL program

Written by Michael Rouleau

More than 1,000 Eastern Connecticut State University students volunteered more than 17,000 hours in the Windham area in the past academic year. On April 19, these students—and the projects and community partners they represent—were honored at the annual Service Expo and Awards, sponsored by Eastern’s Center for Community Engagement.

The expo showcased more than 30 student-led community service projects, followed by an award ceremony and keynote address by Erin Corbett of the Second Chance ex-offender educational program. Projects spanned a variety of causes and organizations, including working with the elderly at a rehabilitation center, mentoring high school students at afterschool programs, volunteering at the local homeless shelter, soup kitchen, addiction center, and more.

Italo Bucca ’19, a sociology major, volunteers with the Windham High School ESOL, an English language-learning program that benefits Spanish-speaking youth in Willimantic. ESOL stands for “English for Speakers of Other Languages.”

“Growing up, I was an ESOL student,” he said. “I can speak from my own experience and assure them that it’s possible for them to learn English. I, too, only spoke Spanish, so it gives them hope.”


Alyssa Law ’19, a health sciences major, volunteers at the High Chase Residential Care Home, a facility in Willington that cares for people with intellectual disabilities. “They don’t often get to socialize outside of the facility,” said Law, who visits every Tuesday with other Eastern volunteers to play games and interact with residents.

“I want to be an occupational therapist,” she said, “so working at High Chase has given me insight into how to approach people with autism and other disabilities, and shown me what they’re capable of.”

Dillon Wadsworth ’20, a criminology major, volunteered at Vanderman Place Rehabilitation Center, which works with elderly people who are recovering from medical issues. “Twice a week we go there in hopes of getting the people to leave their rooms and join us in our recreation center,” he said. “Even though we come from different times, we find common ground and have meaningful interactions. Some people say it’s the highlight of their week.

“Some people are depressed,” admitted Wadsworth. “They fear this may be the end of their independence, but others have such a positive outlook; they want to make the most of their situation. I find that empowering.”

Adilsa Encarnacao ’18, a social work major, volunteers with the Barrows STEM Academy After School Program, where she tutors kids and engages them in educational activities. Encarnacao is an aspiring social worker who has worked a variety of projects during her years with the CCE.

“At first thought I wanted to work with kids, but then I fell in love with our addiction recovery program,” she said. “Then I volunteered with one of our high school programs, which is a population I never thought I’d work with, but I fell in love with them, too. Then I did a prison program, and now I can see myself working in a prison… I’m comfortable working with so many populations. The CCE has provided me with great experiences for when I become a social worker.”

Keynote speaker Erin Corbett of Second Chance Educational Alliance

A panel of 14 judges representing seven categories—composed of faculty, staff and community members—went from student to student, rating their projects.

“The range of people the students are working with is impressive,” said Patrick Doyle of United Way, a judge for the “Putting Liberal Arts Into Action” category. “They’re covering a lot of ground and completing a lot of good work in so many different places.”

United Way partners with the CCE for some of its Windham-area programs. “This partnership has enabled us to grow our own programming,” said Doyle, “not only quickly but securely. When the CCE helps us recruit and train volunteers, I know that they’ll be top notch and that we can depend on them.”

These community partnerships are the CCE’s specialty, resulting in long-term projects that address root problems and authentically connect students to the greater community. “We’re not simply picking up trash,” said CCE Director Kim Silcox. “These are meaningful, sustainable collaborations with community organizations.”

The ceremony’s keynote address was given by Erin Corbett, founder of Second Chance Educational Alliance (SCEA). Recognizing that education is a pathway to career enhancement, SCEA provides ex-offenders with access to postsecondary educational opportunities.

“There are some brilliant minds in prison,” said Corbett of her students. “My goal is for them to see the freedom that education provides, and that even in jail, your education cannot be taken, cannot be stripped from you. For higher education to be offered to the incarcerated… it means a new beginning, a new chance at life, it means chains being broken,” she continued. “A new mind produces a new day. Some of my students’ entire outlooks change.”

The awards portion of the expo included the judges’ picks for best community programs as well as awards for select individuals.

Outstanding Student Leader Award winners Carly Perron and Sarah Tricarico (middle) beside CCE Director Kim Silcox and Associate Director Kemesha Wilmot
Faculty/Staff Community Engagement Award winner Nancy Brennan (right) with CCE Director Kim Silcox
Student Community Engagement Award winner Makayla Mowel
Communication Department colleague John Murphy accepted the Service-Learning Award on behalf of Professor Denise Matthews


For the program awards, the Girl’s Circle at Natchaug Elementary won in the Leadership Development category.  Windham High School ESOL won in two categories: Putting Liberal Arts into Action and Broadening Horizons. Windham Recovery Center Jobs 101 won in the Strengthening Communities category. Jumpstart won in the Kids First category. Warrior Food Recovery won in the Going Green category. Boy’s Circle at Natchaug Elementary won in the Best New Program category. Covenant Soup Kitchen won in the Community Choice category. 

For the individual awards, Eastern Communication Professor Denise Matthews won the Service Learning Award. She’s an accomplished documentary filmmaker who has recently increased her involvement with the CCE by working with students to produce videos for a range of local businesses and nonprofit organizations.

The Student Community Engagement Award went to Makayla Mowel ’19, an elementary education and women’s and gender studies double major who volunteers with Jumpstart, a program that focuses on early childhood literacy. As a Jumpstart AmeriCorps member and team leader for three years, Mowel has spent more than 1,000 hours working directly with children and supporting other Jumpstart volunteers.

The Faculty/Staff Award went to Nancy Brennan of the Campus Ministry, who manages Eastern’s quarterly Red Cross blood drives.

The Community Partner Award went to Erin Corbett (the keynote speaker) of Second Chance Educational Alliance.

The Outstanding Community Event Award went to Journey House Program of Natchaug Hospital, a residential treatment program for adolescent girls who have been referred from the juvenile justice system. Many have a history of trauma, domestic violence, sex trafficking, mental illness and other serious conditions. Eastern first became involved with Journey House in 2010, and it is consistently among the most popular CCE programs.

Finally, the Outstanding Student Leader Awards went to history and social science major Carly Perron ’18 and social work major Sarah Tricarico ’18. Their volunteer efforts have spanned a number of CCE programs over their Eastern tenures, including The Covenant Soup Kitchen, Sweeney Elementary After School Program, Windham Middle School Enrichment and After School Programs, Windham No Freeze Hospitality Center, and more.

Eastern’s Spring Career Fair Connects Students to Employers

Written by Jordan Corey

Eastern Connecticut State University held its spring semester career and internship fair on April 5 in the Geissler Gymnasium. The fair was attended by more than 300 hopeful students who browsed the career opportunities of more than 70 employers.

 Companies in attendance ranged from local police departments to Mohegan Sun Casino, and spanned a variety of industries such as education, finance, medical, and the armed services. 

“I really appreciate that Eastern gives us this chance to connect with all these companies,” said Junior Kevin Zeppieri. “It’s great to be able to talk with professionals; hopefully one of them will want to hire me.”

Senior Kyle Chung, who is graduating in May, said, “This event is great. It’s really one of the only times that students get a chance to meet employers and figure out what they really want from us, without a full interview.”

The fair was sponsored by Eastern’s Center for Internships and Career Development (CICD), which organizes career and internships each fall and spring semester.


The Eastern Chamber Singers Tour Post-Hurricane Puerto Rico

The Chamber Singers pose for a group photo in San Juan

Written by Michael Rouleau

A group of talented vocalists from Eastern Connecticut State University embarked on a unique tour of post-hurricane Puerto Rico this spring break. From March 9–15, members of the Chamber Singers performed in concerts and worked on service projects in the slowly recovering island.

In addition to three performances in San Juan, the group volunteered in the hurricane-battered neighborhood of La Perla, just beyond the walls of Old San Juan. Divided into three work crews, they cleared away debris from the residential section of the neighborhood while others repaired roofs and restored gardens.

Eastern students repairing roofs
Eastern students sorting through rubble in La Perla


“We witnessed the devastation firsthand while sorting through the rubble in La Perla,” said Jenny Lindquist ’20 of Tolland, who sings alto. “Piece after piece, we picked up the left-behind memories and belongings of families.”

Hannah Bythrow ’18 of Bolton, alto, remembers seeing new electricity poles being installed along the roads—flown in by helicopters—a stark reminder that many people are still living without power. “Exploring outside the city was eye opening,” she said. “I realized how long it might take for the island to return to its former glory. It made me realize the privileges we take for granted on the mainland.”

On a lighter note, during a roofing project, Bythrow recalled, “I remember us hammering nails in the heat of the day, singing at the top of our lungs and thinking to myself, ‘This is happiness.’”

The Chamber Singers performed for enthusiastic crowds at Stella Maris Parish and Escuela Libre de Música (Music School in San Juan).

“The high school-ers were shouting and dancing in their seats the entire time, itching to get up and sing with us,” said Halie Poirier ’18 of Putnam, soprano. “I’ll never forget those amazing kids.”

The Chamber Singers perform at Escuela Libre de Musica

David Belles, conductor of the ensemble, said of the demands of the tour: “Seeing our students have to kick it up a notch and adjust immediately to a new environment, new audiences, new spaces—having music be the only language many of us had in common—was a moment when all the work preparing for this endeavor really paid off.”

“Much like the colorful buildings and landscapes of the island,” added Bythrow, “our audiences’ faces lit up when they heard us and it was clear that they were truly thankful be a part of our singing.”

For Poirier, a graduating senior, this was her final tour with the Chamber Singers. “Puerto Rico was the perfect ending to a magnificent run with these truly awesome and talented people. I have laughed and cried with them while singing many wrong notes but still making beautiful music. I’ve toured with them for three years and no matter where we go, we always have a fantastic time.”

The Chamber Singers is Eastern’s premier vocal ensemble, composed of 20-25 auditioned singers from various academic departments. Performance repertoire encompasses chamber music from more than four centuries. The annual spring tour serves to enrich the musical lives of audiences near and far, and enhance the cultural experience of members of the ensemble while studying at Eastern.

Eastern Students Assist in Biology Research Project

Christianne Senechal and Biology Professor Amy Groth

 Written by Anne Pappalardo

Undergraduate research and creative activities at Eastern Connecticut State University provide opportunities for students to work closely with faculty mentors on research or creative work. Projects are aligned with the faculty mentor’s expertise and designed to expose students to professional activities within a chosen field. Specific activities vary with each experience and by discipline.

Eastern Connecticut State University Biology majors Christianne Senechal ’18 of Amston and Jonathan Rappi ’18 of Southington are assisting Eastern Biology Professor Amy Groth with a complex research project that uses microscopic worms to study genes that are important for human development and disease, including cancer.

During her research, Senechal has learned the dedication it takes to achieve results. “The research that I have done at Eastern has helped me learn to think critically and persevere,” said Senechal. “These values are important regardless of what path someone takes. I never thought that research would be a path I would consider taking, but I have come to enjoy the process very much and believe that what I have learned will carry over into whatever career I pursue.” said Senechal.

Jonathan Rappi and Professor Amy Groth

“The biggest lesson I have learned is that science takes a very long time and lots of trial and error,” said Rappi. “Of the results that we did achieve, I was surprised one gene that was inhibited seemed to cause the worms to develop more slowly than usual. We could observe this phenomenon with a normal microscope because the worms without this particular gene were smaller than normal. This observation showed me the power of genetics.”

“All of the research in Eastern’s Biology Department is conducted by our extremely talented undergraduates in collaboration with a faculty member,” said Groth, who teaches courses in genetics, biotechnology, molecular genetics and the biology of cancer. “The student researchers are utilizing cutting-edge techniques such as RNA interference and confocal microscopy to study genetic pathways in nematodes. The findings will shed light on how those pathways function in human development and disease.”

The students believe that undergraduate research benefits students because it provides them with a true appreciation for the amount of work, dedication and effort that is involved, and that it is an opportunity for students to build relationships with professors by working closely with them.

“It also helps students to learn in a different way than in a normal classroom setting. Students must be creative and solve unique problems rather than just memorize information for a test,” said Rappi.

“When performing independent research, students learn the variability in research, including how to devise protocols that work for their own experiments and how there are often a number of explanations for why things may go wrong,” said Senechal. “and since undergraduate research is performed under the mentorship of a professor, there is always someone for the student to turn to when they need help.” 

“Professor Groth helps determine the direction of my research. We often spend time discussing the results of my experiments and how we should proceed based on those results,” explains Senechal. “She supervises me when I am learning how to carry out protocols for different procedures, until I am capable of working on them independently. Since my research is essentially a branch of her area of research, Professor Groth is a knowledgeable resource who I can turn to when I am unclear on direction.”

Rappi also credits Groth with guiding him through the research process by offering suggestions, answering questions and teaching him laboratory techniques. “She encourages me to take charge of my project and to be independent.”

After graduating, Senechal plans to take a year off to conduct more research or work as a medical assistant before applying to medical school. Her interests include medical genetics, emergency medicine and specialties such as oncology. Rappi is interested in pursuing a research career.

Both will be presenting their research at two research conferences in April; Eastern’s Celebrating Research Excellence an Artistic Talent at Eastern conference and the Eastern Colleges Science Conference in Ithaca, NY.


Northeastern Connecticut launch of Sustainable CT

Written by Lynn Stoddard

WILLIMANTIC, CT (03/28/2018) Sustainable CT, a new statewide initiative to support Connecticut’s cities and towns, will be holding an upcoming regional launch event at the Connecticut Audubon Society Center in Pomfret on April 18 at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Registration is encouraged; if you are planning to attend please call (860) 928-4948.

Created by towns for towns, Sustainable CT includes a wide-ranging menu of sustainability best practices, tools and resources, peer learning and recognition. Many area municipal leaders, experts and community members have worked together for the past 19 months to develop Sustainable CT.

The Sustainable CT platform supports a broad range of actions, such as improving watershed management, supporting arts and creative culture, reducing energy use and increasing renewable energy, implementing “complete streets” (streets that meet the needs of walkers and bikers, as well as cars), improving recycling programs, assessing climate vulnerability, supporting local businesses, and providing efficient and diverse housing options. There is no cost to participate and communities will voluntarily select actions that meet their unique, local character and long-term vision. After successful implementation of a variety of actions, municipalities will be eligible for Sustainable CT certification.

The initiative was developed under the leadership of the Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University in partnership with the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities. Three Connecticut philanthropies – The New Haven-based Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, the Hampshire Foundation and the Common Sense Fund – have supported the program’s development and launch.

The Northeastern Connecticut regional launch event is for anyone interested in learning more about Sustainable CT and how to get involved in supporting the implementation of Sustainable CT actions. Event attendees will include municipal-elected officials and staff, residents, nonprofits, businesses, colleges and universities.

For more information, visit www.sustainablect.org.