Math and Computer Science Students Participate in Summer Research Institute

The Summer Research Institute conducted by Dr. Heenehan and Dr. Dancik with the assistance of Peer Mentor Haley Knox was a week-long summer program where students learned graph theory, computer programming, and network analysis while carrying out supervised research in network science. Network science is an interdisciplinary and growing field that combines elements of graph theory with computer and data science in order to better understand the connections and relationships that are all around us. During the Summer Institute, students gained foundational concepts in network science, including basic programming (scripting) for data collection, statistical concepts for summarizing and analyzing data, and graph theory for measuring important network characteristics. Common tools for network visualization and analysis were described, and students completed hands-on training of all aspects of the network analysis process (data collection, network construction, visualization, and analysis). Students used their newly acquired skills to complete a supervised research project in network science in order to analyze the social structure of a movie. Below is a list of student groups and copies of their completed poster presentations. 


Narnia Presentation

Jafet Aparicio

Chase Oliver

Anayancy Ramos

Group 2 – Mulan


Allison Gagliano

Robert Johnson

Stefanos Stravoravdis

Group 3 – Matrix Trilogy

The Matrix Network

Cole Johnson

Sawyer Marchand

Nataliia Romanenko

English Students Participate in Summer Research Institute

For many new English majors, it’s difficult to imagine just what literature scholars do besides reading books: what is research in literature? This research institute helped students discover the answer to that question for themselves by focusing on two major techniques upon which literature scholars rely to craft meaningful arguments: connecting works of literature to other works of literature and art and applying secondary sources. This workshop assisted students to make thought-provoking pairings, to select a single work of literature and put it in conversation with a variety of other texts, in order to ultimately propose a valid research project that arises from these intertextual analyses. Students focused their individual research on the literary texts of their choice, as the aim of this workshop is to help students develop skills in research and analysis that they can employ in a wide range of contexts. This allowed students both to master our departmental learning objectives and to discern their own scholarly interests with one-on-one support from the instructor Dr. Speicher and peer mentor Jessica Maloney. Below are the titles of the research projects created by each student. 

Riley Bancroft    Eugenics and religion: A biographical reading of Brave New World

Kaylee Blackwood. Fahrenheit 451 in the twenty-first century: Bradbury and contemporary debates about censorship and technology

Madeleine Case  Emotional impact, historical facts, and the functions of childhood in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Alicia Labrecque  Sexuality and book banning: The Perks of Being a Wallflower in the high school classroom

Julia MacKinnon  Americans’ views of Afghanistan: A Thousand Splendid Suns as protest novel

Zoe Marien  Eating disorders and class privilege in Wasted and other contemporary memoirs

Ashlyn O’Boyle. Narration and adaptation: The use of the first person in The Great Gatsby novel and film

Jenna Petitti. Ecocriticism and ethics: Generational differences in The Road

Olivia Sidman  Unreliable narration and mental illness: Mechanical and metaphorical thinking in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Rachel Videira  Hermione Granger’s feminist identity development in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

9 Students from Psychological Science Department Complete Summer Research Institute

From May 14 to May 18, nine students participated in the 4th annual Psychology Summer Research Institute (Montserrat Amieva-Ramos, Mia Black-Graham, Ashley Cubberly, Taylor DeJulia, Ryley LaPointe, Brooke Lemons, Olivia Mott, Genesis Ramon, and Colleen Warner). Along with our student mentor, Malvina Pietrzykowski, who completed the SRI two years ago, Luis Cordón and Dr. Lyndsey Lanagan-Leitzel introduced students to topics in sensation, perception, and cognitive neuroscience. The students dissected cow eyeballs, explored perception of taste by determining if they were “supertasters” and by blocking perception of sweetness with the herb gymnema sylvestre, and explored visual processing by working with an eye-tracker. They also learned how to search and review peer-reviewed literature, develop a research question, and design an empirical study to answer that question. After data collection, the students analyzed their results using SPSS and developed research posters to share their results with each other and the university. Completing all of this within five days was a massive undertaking, and despite having small sample sizes, some of the students were even able to obtain statistically significant results. 

Below are the posters created and presented on the last day of the institute:

2018AC 2018MB 2018BL 2018OM 2018RL 2018CW 2018GR 2018TD 2018MA

23 Psychology Students Present at CSU Psychology Day

On May 4th, 2018, students from the Department of Psychological Science participated in the annual CSU Psychology Day. Below is a complete list of presenters:

Trevor Adams, Relationship among employment hours, gender and college students’ stress

Daphne Botteron, Childhood protective and risk factors linked to educational experiences and academic outcomes: Examining family and contextual factors

Mandi Charette, Correlations among absorption, anxiety and depression

Alysia Daneult, Yohan Krumov & Lauren Leavy, Social evaluation associated with choosing “healthy” snacks for preschool aged children

Kaylee Defelice, The social and academic effects of inclusivity on children with Autism

Brian Duffany, Does personality mediate the effects of stress on cognitive

Nathan Edwards, How year in college relates to perceived control and optimism

Jessica Henowitz, Relations between leadership style, masculinity and

Melissa Henowitz, Effects of eye gaze on perceived trustworthiness and intended helping behavior

Alexandria Hollwedel, Campus police and stopping at stop signs

Kaylee Kimlingen & Sabrina Mcfarlane, Reducing electricity consumption within Constitution Hall on Eastern ‘s campus

Danny Lee, How religion relates to happiness and relationship satisfaction

Allison Lundy, Exploring the relationship between risk taking, casual sex and attitudes toward online dating applications

Luis Martinez, The correlation between self-regulation and aggression levels

Katelyn Murray, The impact of families on eating disorders

Taylor O’Rourke, Effects of personality and preferred emotions on psychological well-being in college students

Antonio Pereira 

Molly Smith, Well-being in college students: The role of social support and humor

Angela Vining, The relationship between parenting styles and childhood outcomes

Morgan  Winship,  Nicole Lenares & Joseph Dracobly, A descriptive assessment of activity based variation in pre­ school children

2 Performing Arts Students Place at Regional Competition

Two singers have placed in the top 5 in their respective categories in the New England Regional NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) Competition. 

Hannah Bythrow, soprano- 5th Place Upper College (women)
Austin Stone, tenor- 2nd Place Upper College (men)

By placing in the top 5 in their category they are now through to the preliminary round for the National Competition. Austin Stone, tenor, has made it to the National Semifinal Round to be held at the NATS National Conference in Las Vegas from June 22nd-26th. Austin is one of sixteen Upper College Men to be selected from across the country to participate in this semifinal round.

6 Students Selected to Perform at Annual Honors Recital and Awards Ceremony

On April 8th the Music Program held our annual Honors Recital and Awards Ceremony. Among the participants were six students from performance who were selected by a panel of Music faculty for recognition and performance on this program. Here are this year’s honorees in performance:

Adella Carlson, clarinet
Emily Miclon, marimba
Hannah Avena, trombone
Hannah Nilsson, piano
Austin Stone, tenor
Erick Smith, baritone saxophone

32 Students Show Work at Senior Art Exhibit

The following students were participated in the Senior Art Exhibit for the Department of Art & Art History between May 4, 2018 – May 15, 2018:

Amy Javarauckas                                                   
Meaningful Tattoos, 2018
Mixed media paper and stencil transfer
Painting & Drawing
Professor William A. Jones

Andrea Marie Costa
The Lovers, 2018
Printed digital media
Digital Art & Design
Professor Qimin Liu

Alex Jensen
Jensen Ale Brewing Company, 2018
Mixed media
Digital Art & Design
Professor Tao Chen

Ashley Shumbo
Guardians of Light, 2018
Printed digital media
Digital Art & Design
Professor Tao Chen

Carissa Robinson
I Said I’m Fine, 2018
Mixed media
Painting & Drawing
Professor Tao Chen

Erin Ely
Dissociation, Clarity, Empathy, 2018
Printed digital media
Digital Art & Design
Professor Tao Chen

Haley Bishop
Lance of Alabastre Gallery of Concepts, 2018
Printed digital media
Digital Art & Design
Professor Tao Chen

Ian Joerres
Mad Max Quadrilogy, 2018
Printed digital media
Digital Art & Design
Professor Tao Chen

Jamie Piscitello
LAGI Willimantic 2018 Catalogue, 2018
Printed Digital Media
Digital Art & Design
Professor Tao Chen

Julien Clancy
Illumináre Wine Brand, 2018
Printed Digital Media
Digital Art & Design
Professor Tao Chen

London Jones
Nike Airmax – A Motion Graphic Video, 2018
Printed digital media and video
Digital Art & Design
Professor Tao Chen

Jenna Mancini
Arden & Imre, 2018
Acrylic on Wood
Painting & Drawing
Professor Qimin Liu

Rachel Vallerie
The Siren, The Dryad, The Echidna, 2018
Printed digital media
Digital Art & Design
Professor Tao Chen

Rebecca Clementino
Enchant Your Sparkle Branding Design, 2018
Printed digital media, bracelets, and sweater
Digital Art & Design
Professor Tao Chen

Richard Duff
Branding for Crossgate, 2018
Printed digital media
Digital Art & Design
Professor Tao Chen

Sarah Dugay
Psyche, 2018
Printed digital media
Digital Art & Design
Professor Tao Chen

Sarah Gambardella
Lunar Launch, 2018
Printed digital media
Digital Art & Design
Professor Tao Chen

Scott Campbell
Halcyon Days, 2018
Oil on Canvas
Painting & Drawing
Professor Qimin Liu

Sean Puckett
Star Key: Process of Creating an Illustrated Character, 2018
Printed digital media
Digital Art & Design
Professor Tao Chen

Rebecca Schultz
Resilience, 2018
Professor Rob Greene

Anning Antwi
Zina, 2018
Oil on canvas
Painting & Drawing
Professor Qimin Liu

Sarah Falman-Florez
Vessel of Life, 2018
Steel rods, chicken wire, burlap, handmade paper, filament
Professor Rob Greene

Brochures for Commercially Licensed Cooperative Kitchen Inc. (CLiCK) and Windham Region No Freeze Project (WRNFP), 2017
Printed Digital Media
Eastern Design Group
Professor Tao Chen

George Ajayi
Ivan Carlson
Brendan Conway
Brooke Fulcher
Sarah Gambardella
Thong Hong
Sean Puckett
Carissa Robinson 
Allyson Row
Rebecca Whittemore

English Students Present Scholarly Work and Awards Presented

On Tuesday May 1st, the English Department hosted their “English Night” event to showcase student work and acknowledge outstanding work. The following students presented their work in the Capstone Poster Session:

Nadia Balassone—ENG 499  The Rhetoric and Performativity of Depressed Male Stand-Up Comedians”  Faculty Mentor: Rita Malenczyk

Students from ENG 462: “To Sound Like Yourself: A Conversation with Poetry” and “Memoir: Exploring the Private and Public ‘I’”

The following students participated in Senior Seminar Presentation:

Dr. Daniel Donaghy’s “To Sound Like Yourself: A Conversation with Poetry”

Julia Bonadies, a reading from “Testimony,” a collection of original poems

Joshua LeBlanc, a reading from “Trailways,” a collection of original poems

Beth Crocker, a reading from “Gold Steps,” a collection of original poems

Dr. Susan DeRosa’s “Memoir: Exploring the Private and Public ‘I’”

Quinn McAdam, Choice: All In

Juanita Wilbur, “Born Black…and Female: A Documentary and Critical Analysis Inspired by bell hooks’s Memoir, Bone Black

At the end of the event Awards for First Year Writing were presented. The first year writing awards are given to students in College Writing and College Writing Plus whose writing is innovative, creative, splendidly researched, or uniquely articulated.

Creativity and Innovation

“A Home Made from Mangoes” written for Professor Sarah Lennox’s ENG 100

Joyce Figueroa

Excellence in Research

“Must be Music on the Brain” written for Professor Rebecca Mathews’ ENG 100

Julia Montville

1st Goldwater Scholar and Fulbright Scholars Announced

For the first time Eastern Connecticut State University has one of it’s students win the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship. Jacob Dayton ’18, a biology major from Bolton, has been awarded the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship for undergraduates in STEM fields who intend to pursue a Ph.D. and research career and intends to attend graduate school in genomics. Mr. Dayton is the only Goldwater Scholar in the state of CT. 

Eastern Connecticut State University student Adam Murphy ’18 has been awarded a Fulbright-Hays Scholarship to study Indonesian language in an intensive-language program in Salatiga, Indonesia, this summer. Murphy hails from Meriden and double majors in political science and history with a minor in Asian studies.



This year’s CREATE (Celebrating Research Excellence and Artistic Talent at Eastern) Conference was held on April 13th in the student center. Approximately 280 students presented, performed and exhibited their work in oral, poster, performances and an art exhibit throughout the day. Twenty-two departments/programs were represented at the event and several awards for undergraduate research were presented at a ceremony held in the middle of the day. 

Julia Underhill (Mentor: Dr. Pandey) and Tess Candler (Mentor: Dr. Broscious) received the President’s Award for Undergraduate Research & Creative Activity at this year’s CREATE Conference. 

Dr. Pandey and Dr. Broscious received this year’s Undergraduate Research & Creative Activity Mentor Awards.