Women’s Appreciation Reception and Awards Ceremony

On Friday, March 6th, 2015, the M.A.L.E.S. club of Eastern Connecticut State University hosted a Women’s Appreciation Reception and Award Ceremony in honor of Women’s History Month. M.A.L.E.S. stands for Men Achieving Leadership, Excellence, and Success, and is comprised of men on campus who fuse their academic and social skills with their interest in civic engagement and public service. More on the M.A.L.E.S. club can be found here.

Upon entering the Paul E. Johnson Room of the J. Eugene Smith Library, attendees were greeted at the door by two members of M.A.L.E.S. who offered to take coats and provided brochures on the evening’s events. Female attendees were also given a single red rose, as a token of appreciation on behalf of the hosting club. Recipients were surprised and delighted to receive these gifts. It helped set the tone for this semi-formal evening, and allowed attendees to have a memento to remember it by.

The reception kicked off with Tashawn Ward giving introductions and Kevin Hyacinthe giving opening remarks about M.A.L.E.S., Women’s History Month, and a brief back story of tonight’s awards ceremony. Next was an inspiring musical selection sung by the Women’s Center’s very own Ami Jallow. Following this was the presenting of the awards, recognized by Martin Ralda, Lovel Cassels, and Avery Floyd.

Staff Recipient
LaTrisha A. Walton is currently the finance clerk for the Student Activities Business Office at Eastern. She first started her career in finance as Senior Account Specialist at CIGNA in 1998. Since coming to Eastern in 2006, she has worked diligently in SABO maintaining journals and ledgers, preparing financial statements, and handling cash and checks. Ms. Walton is a very well-respected member of the staff at Eastern—not only her colleagues and superiors, but by students as well. She serves as an Adviser for the F.E.M.A.L.E.S. organization on campus and serves as a mentor to students in the community. More on the F.E.M.A.L.E.S. club can be found here.

Faculty Recipient
Dr. Candice Deal is an Assistant Professor in Accounting at Eastern. She graduated from Morgan State with a Bachelor’s in Finance and a Master’s in Business Administration. Dr. Deal earned her Ph.D. from Morgan State in 2013. Her students say that she is the best Accounting Professor, as she goes above and beyond for her students, while still being able to serve on various university committees.

Student Recipient
Deisy Morales is a graduating senior, striving for a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and a minor in Anthropology and Sociology. During her years at Eastern, she made every effort to impact the lives of others on campus and in the surrounding community. She has served as a Resident Assistant, a mentor for children at the Windham Early Childhood Development Center, and currently serves as Coordinator for the Sister-Sister Project. Ms. Morales’ hard work and dedications also transfers over to her academics, as she has a cumulative grade point average of 3.69. It has earned her the honor of being inducted into the Phi Alpha Honor Society of Social Work.

Following the awards ceremony, attendees were welcomed to help themselves to fruit platters, chocolate fondue, tiny sandwiches, and plenty of sparkling fruit punch. The room was abuzz with conversation, laughter, and the clinking of dinnerware. When everyone was settled back into their seats, Malik Turner introduced the Keynote Speaker, Ana Valentin-Jackson. Ms. Valentin-Jackson shared the story of her large family, the struggles she faced as a single-mother raising two daughters, and the accomplishments she had along the way to pursing her goals. Education, she emphasized, is vital to success and should be constantly sought after—whether it is education through a college program, work experience, or from reading a book. As long as you are constantly learning, and constantly improving yourself, that is what truly matters.

After this speech, there was a poetry reading by Sabrina Scott that expressed how we all stem from the first woman on Earth. Through rhymes and similes, the poem described the first woman as having great strength, patience, courage, and compassion. The ceremony was brought to a close with Jacob Singer offering a reflection on women’s history, and Dajoun Jones giving gifts to the female participants: Ami, Ana, and Sabrina. Special thanks were given to Hatef Alavi, Walter Diaz, Clifford Marrett, Chartwells, Dan’s Awards and Engraving, and the M.A.L.E.S. committee.

CT Women’s Hall of Fame: A Reflection

Post Contributor: Yamundow Jatta

On February 19th, the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame was invited by the Women’s Center to present at Eastern Connecticut State University. Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame is an educational outreach organization whose mission is to publicly honor the achievements of Connecticut women. They preserve their stories, educate the public and inspire the continued achievements of women and girls.

During this event, we learned a lot about many women in Connecticut that have done amazing things but are often lost or overlooked by history books. The speaker that came on this day was particularly focused on the achievement of black women throughout history. From Jewel Plummer Cobb, who led the way for equal access to education and professional opportunities for women and minorities, to Denise Lynn Nappier, a woman of firsts: she was the first woman elected State Treasurer in Connecticut history, the first African American woman elected State Treasurer in the United States, and the first African American woman elected to any statewide office in Connecticut.

Although we wish more came to learn about the amazing women that are from our very own state, the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame has a website that can be accessed by anyone. For those that missed the event, they can read all about these amazing women online.

Students that attended this event were very interested in the topics discussed. Since it was a small group, it was more interactive with questions being asked and answered throughout the presentation. Overall, I would say the event was a success but we would like to see more people attend it next time. Next time we hope to collaborate with the Women’s Studies professors, who can give out extra-credit to students that attend the event.