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Faculty/Staff Achievements and Awards

On Aug. 9, 2012, more than 4,300 ecologists from around the world were on hand in Portland, OR, when the Ecological Society of America (ESA) honored Carmen Cid, dean of Eastern's School of Arts and Sciences, at the annual ESA conference. The society presented Cid with its America Diversity Award in appreciation of her 20 years of ongoing work in promoting diversity among current and future ecologists.

On Aug. 25, 2012, the Connecticut Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission (LPRAC) presented Cid with the "Latina Citizen of the Year" award at its annual award ceremony in New Haven. Cid was honored by LPRAC for two decades of work to enhance the career development of Latinas in the sciences.

Biology Professor Ross Koning was honored with the 2013 Distinguished Professor Award at the University Meeting in May. Excellence Awards were presented to Political Science Professor Nicole Krassas for full-time teaching; to Kathryn Niemasik for part-time teaching in Performing Arts; and to Performing Arts Professor David Belles for creative activity. Shirley Audet, associate director of fiscal affairs; Suzanne Dowling, counselor in psychological services; and William Leahy, executive director of the Institute for Sustainable Energy, received Excellence Awards for Service.

Professors from Eastern's Department of Mathematics and Computer Science and Department of Education presented papers at conferences and conducted research around the globe.

Anthony Aidoo, professor of math and computer science, traveled to Valencia, Spain, to the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) Conference on Applied Linear Algebra, where he presented the paper, "A Solution to the Inverse Eigenvalue Problem for Certain Singular Hermitian Matrices."

Mathematics Professors Marsha Davis and Sita Koirala and Education Professor Hari Koirala traveled to the International Conference on Mathematics Education (ICME-12) in Seoul, South Korea. Davis and Hari Koirala presented the paper, "Secondary Teacher Candidates' Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching as Demonstrated in Their Portfolios"; Pete Johnson, associate professor of math and computer science, was also one of the authors. In addition, Davis, Sita Koirala and Hari Koirala presented the poster, "Students' Achievement in Introductory and Intermediate College Algebra," which included Kim Ward, associate professor of math and computer science, as one of the authors.

Bonsu Osei, associate professor of math and computer science, traveled to Greece to deliver the paper, "Evolutionary Algorithms and Eco-informatics: A Myth or Reality." The paper was rated number one in its field this past year. Osei also hosted a session on "Education and Development of Ghana."

Christian Yankov, associate professor of math and computer science, traveled to the Institute of Mathematics and Informatics at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in Sofia, Bulgaria, where he conducted joint research with members of the Institute's Analysis, Geometry and Topology Department.

Reginald Flood, associate professor of English and coordinator of the African American Studies Program, was named the recipient of a Creative Writing Fellowship in Poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

Librarian Kris Jacobi collaborated with several other Charles Darwin Research Station volunteer librarians to publish a peer-reviewed article titled, "Cataloging in a Remote Location: A Case Study of International Collaboration in the Galapagos Islands" in a special issue of Cataloging & Classification Quarterly. The article was the result of Jacobi's spring semester 2008 sabbatical as an international volunteer librarian working at the Research Station in the Corley Smith Library on Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos.

Students, faculty, staff and friends packed the Paul E. Johnson Sr. Community Conference Room in the J. Eugene Smith Library on Dec. 6 to say farewell to Executive Vice President Michael Pernal, who retired on Feb. 1, 2013, after more than 43 years of distinguished and dedicated service to Eastern. Eastern President Elsa Núñez hosted the retirement reception.

The Center for Early Childhood Education (CECE) was awarded a prestigious Telly Award for the production of "Investigating Balls" in the Internet/Online Video Education category. The Telly Awards honor outstanding television, video and film production programs, focusing on the technical quality, rather than on content.

"Investigating Balls" is part of the newest series of videos from the CECE, which highlights how teachers at Eastern's Child and Family Development Resource Center (CFDRC) implement engaging projects on a variety of topics.

Individuals responsible for developing "Investigating Balls" included Julia DeLapp as author and producer; Ken Measimer as director of the video; students Sean Leser and Ross Page as videographer/editor and music composer respectively; and Nick Napoletano '07 in animation. This is the third Telly Award that the CECE has received. The first two were awarded in 2010 and 2011.

Eastern participated in an international education trade mission to Brazil from Aug. 30 to Sept. 6, 2012. Christopher Dorsey, associate director of admissions, joined Francisco Sánchez, undersecretary of commerce for international trade, on one of the country's largest education missions in history. In addition to participating in college fairs in Brazil, Dorsey visited the American School of Brasilia; Colégio Porto Seguro in Sao Paulo; and The American School in Rio de Janeiro.

Carmen Cid, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, and Eastern alumna Mary Lou DeVivo '60, president and owner of Willimantic Waste Paper Co., Inc., were recognized by Girl Scouts of Connecticut at the Centennial "Woman of Merit" Gala at the Hartford Marriott on Sept. 12, 2012. The 19th Annual Woman of Merit Benefit Dinner celebrated 100 years of Girl Scouting and honored 100 women, men, groups and organizations.

Cid was recognized in the Trailblazer category while DeVivo was honored as a Community Champion. Trailblazers are recognized as pioneers who have opened doors for other girls and women to follow. Community Champions have made significant contributions to their home communities.

President Elsa Núñez was honored as the recipient of several awards in 2012-13. On Sept. 20, 2012, the Hartford Courant/Fox 61 announced their Top Workplaces Awards for 2012 at the AquaTurf in Southington. Based on the ratings of Eastern employees, Núñez was honored as the Top Leader in the Large Organizations category.On Nov. 3, she received the 2012 Transforming Lives Award from Hartford-based Family Life Education during its 25th anniversary gala at the Connecticut Convention Center. Family Life Education is an independent, non-profit organization that empowers inner-city families in the Hartford area through partnerships with corporate, civic and social organizations.

In presenting the award, Family Life Education's Executive Director Candida Flores called Núñez "a powerful example of career achievement" and "an outstanding role model for young girls and young women," and noted that "she has devoted her entire career to the field of education; with special attention to supporting communities of color obtain access to higher learning, including the development of a program identifying Hartford students who have the capacity to succeed academically."

On Nov. 15, Liberty Bank officials presented Núñez with the 2012 Willard M. McRae Community Diversity Award at a gala reception in the Betty R. Tipton Room attended by more than 300 friends, family members, students, faculty, Eastern staff, bank officers and community leaders.

"In choosing the recipient of the award, we look not just for people who have given their time in service to community organizations, but for those who have made it their mission to make opportunities available to all," said Chandler Howard, president and CEO of Liberty Bank. "There is not a shadow of a doubt that Elsa Núñez is such a person."