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Annual Report | 2009-10
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Outstanding Students  
Eastern embraces rigorous academic standards, intellectual inquiry, curiosity, integrity and social responsibility as benchmarks for educational achievement for all students. The expectation informs every mode of learning on campus.

Casey Bessette ’10 and Douglas Hackenyos ’10 were named Eastern’s Henry Barnard Distinguished Student Award winners for 2010.  Bessette, a theatre major, distinguished herself as a performer in a wide range of dramatic and comedic roles. Her work as Celia in Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” resulted in her being singled out as an Irene Ryan Scholarship candidate, for which she competed at this year’s Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. In addition, Bessette wrote an original research paper on the history of regional theatre in Windham; and served as a publications assistant in support of Associate Professor David Pellegrini’s work as book review editor for the New England Theatre Journal.

Hackenyos, a biology major and biochemistry minor, was named to the Dean’s List every semester he was at Eastern. A member of Eastern’s University Honors Program, he graduated after completing an honors thesis on the respiratory physiology of anadromous fish (e.g. salmon). Hackenyos served as captain of Eastern’s men’s lacrosse team for two years, helping the team capture the Little East Conference regular-season and playoff championships in 2009.

Students and faculty at Eastern won three out of five first-place awards at the annual Connecticut Department of Higher Education (DHE) Community Service Awards.

Jessica Dybdahl ’09 won the student award for her work at Lyon Manor in Willington. Eastern’s chapter of the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) won first prize in the student group category for developing a computerized tracking system and website for the Covenant Soup Kitchen. The team also won first place at the 15th Annual National Conference of the Association of Information Technology Professionals for website design. Alex Citurs, assistant professor of Business Information Systems, was named recipient of the Special Award.

Eastern theatre students and their productions were recognized at the annual Region I Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, held at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, NH, from Jan. 26-31, 2010. Director of Theatre Ellen Brodie; J.J. Cobb, assistant professor of theatre and acting; Robert Sweetnam, assistant professor of theatre and design; and Chase Rozelle, associate professor of theatre and technical director, accompanied 25 Eastern students to the festival. Stephanie Armagno ’13 and Sarah Paprocki ’13 were cast and performed in “One X Ten’s,” which are premieres of new plays. Paprocki was the lead actress in that production. Kyle Charles ’10, Jason Wadecki ’11 and Ryan Gearity ’12 were chosen and worked as festival technical theatre interns. Guest Director Nora Cole and the cast of Eastern’s Spring 2009 production, “The Black Girl in Search of God,” won Merit Awards for “Best Ensemble” and “Best Storytelling.”

Eastern Connecticut State University student Jordan Lorrius of Stamford, Kim Ward, associate professor of mathematics, and Lynn Frazier, a Windham High School teacher, were honored on Feb. 24, 2010, at Eastern’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Service Awards.

Casey Bandarra, assistant to the director of student center and student activities; communication major Sarah Potrikus ’11, and the University’s Campus Activity Board (CAB) received awards at the National Association of Campus Activities (NACA) regional conference in November 2009.  

Soncheray Hall, a junior from East Hartford majoring in social work; Alice Pritchard, executive director of the Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund (CWEALF); and Associate Dean of Continuing Education Carol Williams were named the recipients of Eastern’s annual Ella T. Grasso Distinguished Service Awards during a reception on March 31. The award recognizes members of the campus and local community whose actions demonstrate distinguished service in promoting Grasso’s ideals to advance women’s rights and gender equality.

On April 21, the recipients of Eastern’s 2010 Latin-American Distinguished Service Awards were recognized at a ceremony held in the Johnson Room.  Migdalia Salas ’08 of New London; Eastern student Amelinda Vazquez ’10 of East Hartford; and Jeanette Rivera, assistant to the director of housing and residence life, were honored for their contributions to the community.

Winners of Eastern’s Community Engagement Awards were announced on April 29. Communication student Leo Gavaria accepted the Community Event Award on behalf of Associate Professor Denise Matthews, who was recognized for supporting students Matthew Fletcher, Kristin Copeland, Jason Evans and Gavaria in developing two public service announcements created in English and Spanish to support the 2010 Census. Jennifer Succi ’10 won the Student Engagement Award for a broad range of work in the community, including serving on the advisory board to establish a Pride Room at Eastern.

Casey Bessette

Douglas Hackenyos

Assistant Professor Alex Citurs (center) and Lynn Bartmess ’10 review features of a website created by Citurs’ BIS students for the Covenant Soup Kitchen in Willimantic. Soup Kitchen Director Paul Doyle looks on.

Jonathon Knust ’10 won the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) first prize for “Technical Craftsmanship” for the deer he created for Eastern’s Fall 2009 production, “As You Like It.”

Soncheray Hall, Alice Pritchard and Associate Dean of Continuing Education Carol Williams were named the recipients of Eastern’s annual Ella T. Grasso Distinguished Service Awards. With them are Executive Vice President Michael Pernal (left) and English Professor Marcia McGowan (far right).

Kim Silcox, director of the Center for Community Engagement (middle), congratulates the winners of this year’s Community Engagement Awards.

Migdalia Salas, Amelinda Vazquez and Jeanette Rivera were honored for their contributions to the community. President Elsa Núñez helps congratulate them.