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

Students Win Research Awards

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.

Three undergraduate student research groups that studied in BUS 260 (Dr. Pakdil) were awarded with Honorable Mention award in Northeast Decision Sciences Institute’s Annual Conference. Below are the names of the students in each group:

Ryan Vaillancourt, Kyle Bulmer, Arthur Gifford

Adam Greczkowski, Karina Santos, Kristina Zoghbi

Shelby Donovan, Aggie Grant, Kristy Merrifield


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. 

Psychology Students Conduct Research for Local Non-Profit Organization

Ten Eastern students  mentored by Dr. Peter Bachiochi taking a Field Research course will assist a local nonprofit agency this semester with several research projects.  Reliance Health, Inc., a Norwich-based non-profit community mental health center focused on enhancing health through mental wellness, has requested help with projects to gather information from employees about workplace communication and office configurations and community members’ perceptions of the organization.  Students will conduct surveys and focus groups to provide feedback to Reliance Health that will drive the agency’s future planning.  The students who will conduct the research are: Trevor Adams, Justin Berak, Kelly Bielonko, Brian Duffany, Jessica Henowitz, Melissa Henowitz, Tess Parker, Antonio Pereira, Devin Reilly, and Viana Van.

Business Students Conduct Research at Local Businesses

Led by Faculty Mentor Fatma Pakdil students worked on undergraduate group research projects. Below are some details. 

Improving Customer Satisfaction based on SERVQUAL and DINESERV at the Willimantic Brewing Co., was the focus for Majesta Brouillette, ’19/BUS and Cayla Ruiz,’19/BUS. Increasing customer satisfaction is a main goal in the service industry. These students measured customer satisfaction based on the DINESERV scale.

Willimantic Brewing Co., students led by Alexandra Bowker,’19/BUS with Ruchi Patel,’19/BUS and Justin Stannard,’19/BUS analyzed one-year sales numbers in order to identify what menu items are preferred more favorably by customers. Based on sales, the team identified what items should be kept in the menu improvement process. 

Another group of students led by Jimmy Yuen,’19/ACCT, with contributions from Trevor Ross,’19/SLM,’20/FIN and Katie Burke,’19/BUS, ’20/BIS observed and measured serving time (the time between receiving an order and order delivery) at the Willimantic Brewing Co., during lunch and dinner services. 

At General Cable, students Arthur Gifford,’19/BUS Kyle Bulmer,’19/BUS and Ryan Vaillancourt,’20/Explor. Prof. Studies worked on Lead Time Reduction through Raw Material Planning. They analyzed a comprehensive data set including historical data collected by the firm. ABC analysis (an inventory categorization technique) was simply implemented to categorize the raw material. The results of the project were implemented in decision making processes.

Also at General Cablestudents Deep Patel,’19/ACCT, Landon Kane,’18/BUS, and Joshua Oyoo,’19/ACCT concentrated on Tensile & Elongations out of Primary as a Predictor of Irradiation Results. The students statistically analyzed and compared elongation values of the cables to their respective tensile strength values using a linear regression model. Further statistical analysis tools were implemented to discover the factors effecting elongation levels of the material.

At the Generations Family Health Center (GFHC), Koren Thomas,’19/BUS, Rebekah Brancato,’20/BIS and Mike Baldassarre,’20/ACCT worked with a project team to implement a fixed asset tagging process. The GFHC staff took yearly inventories but the system was outdated and inefficient which led to many errors and misplacing of equipment and assets. This team helped implement an asset tracking software to simplify the inventory process allowing Generations to better track and take more efficient inventory of their grant purchased assets.

In the light of the Six Sigma Methodology, Maria Taylor, ’16/Gen STUD, aimed to (1) eliminate waste and create better efficiency to help support a growing market with the existing resources and (2) improve the customers experience by focusing on quality. Using the DMAIC (Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control) process, the team came up with ideas to decrease waste by focusing on the root causes of the specific problem analyzed in the project.

2 Psychology Students Accepted to Present at National and International Conferences

Jolene Potter will present research entitled A comparison of the effect of sexual assault micro-interventions on rape myth acceptance and empathy at the annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science in San Francisco in May 2018 (with Dr. Kristalyn Salters-Pedneault). APS is the 3 largest psychological association in the world and hosts one of the largest conferences in the discipline. 

Malvina Pietrzykowski will present research entitled Evaluating effects of signals on risky choice in pigeons and humans at the annual meeting of the Association for Behavior Analysis International in San Diego in May 2018 (with Dr. James Diller)

Biology Student Wins Thoresen Scholarship to Present Research

This semester’s winner of the Thoresen Scholarship is Lauren Atkinson (BIO), whose project Evaluating the Scorpion Microbiome for Antibiotic Production will be presented at the 2018 New England Science Symposium. Her project was supervised by Barbara Murdoch (BIO).

Each semester, ECSU-AAUP considers proposals for scholarship monies to support student research or creative projects and presenting that work at conferences. If you have a student who is conducting research or completing a creative project, please ensure that they meet the qualifications for the scholarship and provide them with guidance on submitting the strongest possible application for this scholarship. In particular, students need to use the money for research or creative project purposes (either conducting a project, or travel to present that project at conferences), coherently convey the project goals and the significance of their work, provide a feasible project plan with a timeline, and present a detailed, accurate budget of expenses in order to be considered.

6 Business Students to Present at Northeast Decision Sciences Institute Conference

The students below (Mentor: Dr. Pakdil) have been accepted to present their project at the 47th NEDSI Annual Conference to be held in Providence, RI between 4/12 and 4/14. The conference “features presentations of original research papers; Ph.D. and new faculty development seminars; a placement service; case writing; and other interesting innovations in the fields of Accounting; Business Education; Finance; HRM; Management; Marketing; MIS/DSS/Expert Systems and IT; Organizational Behavior; Operations Management; Strategic Management; and Supply Chain Management, among others. Awards for “Best Paper” in several categories are given each year. ” Below are the 2 student abstracts:

The students Arthur Gifford,’19/BUS Kyle Bulmer,’19/BUIS and Ryan Vaillancourt,’20/ECON worked on Lead Time Reduction through Raw Material Planning for a large-scaled manufacturing firm in BUS 260 Operations Management course. The team analyzed a big data set including historical data collected from the business processes by the firm. ABC analysis (an inventory categorization technique) was simply implemented to categorize the raw material. Using ABC analysis, the team categorized more than 30 thousands items kept in the inventory. The results of the project were implemented in decision making processes.

In this undergraduate research project by Shelby Donovan, Aggie Grant and Kristy Merrifield, the team aimed to improve a local restaurant’s menu, considering several decision making criterions. In this process the team concentrated only on the food menu. The motivation to renew the food menu was to minimize the menu to only the most popular selling items and few staples that the restaurant is known for. Analyzing menu will allow them to highlight the most profitable items and increase the restaurant’s bottom line. This could open up room for new possible items without adding too many options to their vast menu options. In this project, we focused on eight menu engineering models proposed in the literature. All models presented in this project can be very useful in evaluating existing menu items and reconstructing menu. With careful analysis of restaurant’s food costs, menu item prices, contribution margins, item’s profitability and popularity, the identification of items that contribute to more profit helped figure out how to renew the menu in this local restaurant.