Business Student Presents Research with Mentor

Lynda Petrides (Mentor: Dr. Kunene) presented her work with her mentror at the  EDSIGCON Conference on Information Systems and Computing Education in Austin, Texas held between Nov. 5-8, 2017. The title of their paper: “Mind the LMS Content Producer:  Blackboard usability for improved productivity and user satisfaction.” Below is the abstract:


The usefulness of learning management systems (LMS) is evidenced in the literature. In particular, a great many studies have been conducted showing the effect of LMSs on various kinds of student learning. However, without instructor adoption and use of these systems and their tools, LMS usefulness is unfeasible. Blackboard is a mature platform and a market leader among LMSs. Understanding how instructors perceive the usability of Blackboard within their work contexts is an important and under-reported area in LMS research. In this study, we examine the usability of the Blackboard LMS from the perspective of the content producer. We conducted usability experiments using routine tasks ranging from basic to relatively more complex tasks. This study uses grounded theory for sense-making; two underlying generative questions central to the study are “how usable do instructors find using Blackboard overall?” And “how usable do they find Blackboard in the context of repeating tasks?” While the first question speaks to issues of user satisfaction, the second speaks to productivity. We report on both local and global findings within the application stemming from analysis of basic tasks on the platform. We conclude though there are general usability issues that are easier to remedy through design choices, for repeating tasks and productivity support, a change in the basic design pattern is needed. 

2 History Students to Present at Conference

Alexa Potter (Mentors: Dr. Camp Davis and Dr. Tucker) will present her work titled “There Must Be Something in the Water: The Industrial Pollution of the Naugatuck River, 1850-1930.” Also presenting is  Adam Murphy (Mentor Dr. Camp Davis) whose work titled “A Professor’s Experience in Indonesia: Examining the Partnership Between University of Kentucky and Bogor Agricultural College 1957-1966.” Both students will present at the Phi Alpha Theta 2018 Biennial Convention in New Orleans held from January 3-6th. 

Math Students to Present Research at Conferences

Catherine Falvey (Mentor: Dr. Heenehan) will be presenting her research titled “Enumerating 2×2 and 3×3 Diagonalizable Matrices over Ζρκ” at the Joint Mathematical Meetings (the largest mathematics conference in the world) in San Diego, CA between January 10-13. 

Amanda Burkhart (Mentor: Mizan Khan) will be presenting her research on Number Theory at the 20th Annual Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics held from January 26-28. 


Music Students Perform Throughout December

The Eastern Jazz Ensemble performed a variety of big band music featuring student soloists. The Eastern Jazz Ensemble is composed of students who play traditional jazz band instruments, including saxophone, trumpet, trombone, piano, bass, guitar and drums. The traditional big band plays music from a wide variety of styles and eras in the jazz idiom, focusing on traditional jazz composers, but also contemporary composers as well.

The Eastern Percussion Ensembles will present a collection of works from the percussion and marimba ensemble repertoire. The concert will feature the Eastern Percussion Ensemble, Percussion Group and World Percussion Ensemble, and will feature a broad spectrum of musical styles. The following is a list of student performers:

Ben Adams
Noah Lerch
Skye Serra
Kyle Austin
Emily Miclon
Nick Sharp
Amy Bergman
Gabriela Mikunda
Erick Smith
James Burnes
Mac Muscara
Matt Solorzano
Julia Calusine
T. Venlo Odom
Matt Solorzano
Jeff Stalaboin
Izzy Russo
Jacob Cote

Music Program alumni, faculty and current students performed in a production of the holiday classic “Menotti: Amahl and the Night Visitors.” The following is a list of student performers:

Hannah Bythrow
Caraline Gartrell
Andrew Hofmann
Josh Perry
Sam Price
Annie Lion-Lee
Tiara Lussier
Julia Medina
Ryan Michaud
Halie Poirier
Antonia Reynolds
Sara Vega
Austin Stone
Michael Beckstein
Jordan Pollard
Elizabeth Heaney
Noah Lerch

The Jazz Combo “3 O’Clock Band” will present a concert of classic jazz tunes from a variety of eras, ranging from standards and bebop to jazz and rock. The ensemble provides students with a small-group experience with an emphasis on improvisation.

The Eastern Concert Band and Wind Ensemble in celebrating the “Sounds of the Season” in a joint concert perfect for children and families. Eastern Concert Band is a unique blend of more than 80 musicians consisting of Eastern students, faculty, alumni, local music educators and talented community members.

English Students Present and Receive Recognitions

On December 6th the Department of English hosted “English Night” to recognize their students with awards for writing and also allowed student to present their work. 

The First Year Writing Award Winner was Christopher Oski for his work titled “Considerations in the Shift to Online Learning” (Mentor: Dr. Eves). 

The following students mentored by Dr. Maureen McDonnell, presented their work:

Jacob St. Jean: “My Gay America: A Collaboration of Art and Research. Erasure, Media, and the Queer Experience Following the AIDS Epidemic” 

Montgomery Kupson: “Sherwood Manor”

Jason Osman: “The Yoruba Diaspora in Beyoncé Knowles’ Lemonade” 

Yanira Hernandez: “An Exploration of Conditions That Engage Student Writers” Faculty mentor: Dr. Rita Malenczyk

Eastern Students Participate in Art Exhibition

Students in Eastern Connecticut State University’s “Museums and Exhibitions” course participated in the  Spectrum Exhibition.  “Spectrum” (an emotional exhibition about the psychology of color) displayed the art work of the following students Anning Antwi, Dylan Waddington, Isabella Zira and Amber Dickinson, as well as global artists including Jack Youngerman, Katerina Stepanova and Ilya Bolotowsky. 

Music Majors Participate in Regional Competition

Eight Music Majors represented Eastern in a statewide voice competition at UCONN. The annual competition is sponsored by the Connecticut Chapter of NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing). Each student presented four selections in at least three languages (one aria from an opera or oratorio was also required).

Participating students were Jordan Pollard, tenor; Sara Vega, soprano; Tiara Lussier, soprano; Michael Beckstein, baritone; Ryan Michaud, baritone; Austin Stone, tenor; Hannah Bythrow, soprano; Halie Poirier, soprano. 

Eastern student, Austin Stone, received 1st place in the Upper College division from a field that included students from WCSU, CCSU, UCONN, and The Hartt School (University of Hartford).

10 Students Participate at COLAC Undergraduate Research Conference


Picture1The following students represented Eastern at the Northeast Regional Undergraduate Research, Scholarly and Creative Activity Conference at Mansfield University, October 13th and 14th, 2017:

Picture1Examining Davis and Frohlich’s System for Classifying Induced Earthquakes Alexia Bohnenkamper, Faculty mentor: Meredith Metcalf


Developing 3-Dimensional Photogrammetry Models of Jurassic Conglomerates in Central CT . Jennifer Croteau, Faculty mentor: James A (Drew) Hyatt



Where Have All the Good Students Gone? Luke Davis,  Faculty mentor: Meredith Metcalf

Women, Strikes, and the Early Labor Movement: An Exploration of Union Strategy from 1870-1910 Julia Underhill,  Faculty mentor: Niti Pandey 


Korean samul noriSamul Jeonsa  Performers: Jason Crocker, Noah Lerch, Glenden Merrell, Hannah Nilsson, Sun Tae Park, Joshua Perry Faculty mentor: Okon Hwang 


4 Eastern Students to Present at the National Coalition of Campus-based Childcare Centers

The following students will be co-presenters at the NCCCC 2018 Conference in New Mexico in March 2018:

Emily CatesOlivia Morrison, Caroline Perry, and Morgan Winship

The students have been mentored by Dr. Trawick-Smith and Niloufar Rezai for the project tilted “The Effects of Authentic Experiences with Families on the Knowledge and Dispositions of Preservice Early Childhood Educators. According to their proposal “The purpose of this presentation is to share the outcomes of a project that provides preservice early childhood teachers with authentic experiences with families of diverse backgrounds, within a campus-based child development center. The project represents a unique collaboration among research faculty, center teachers and administrators, families, and undergraduate teaching candidates in early childhood education. A goal of the presentation is to inspire and support the development of family-related projects at other campus children’s centers.”


2 Psychological Science Students to Present Independent Research

The following students (mentored by Dr. James Diller) have been accepted to present their research:


Michael K. Pelletier received funding to present his project, Increasing Composting on a College Campus (co-authored by Melanie Byrne), at the Berkshire Association for Behavior Analysis & Therapy annual meeting.

Rachel Pilver received funding to present her project, Improving the Public Image of Psychology: Who Should Interventions Target?, at the New England Psychological Association annual meeting.

Also present at the conference were the following alumni  who are all pursuing graduate training, from the Behavior Analysis program including Tom Farnsworth and Brett Gelino and Jenna Gray.