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Notable Student Accomplishments

McKenzie Hyde '13 was the sole recipient of the Friends and Alumni of the London School of Economics Scholarship to attend graduate school at this prestigious university in England. Hyde is studying international development with a goal of working in the international NGO (non-governmental organization) and nonprofit community working in developing countries. During her time at Eastern, Hyde interned with Senators Blumenthal and Lieberman, worked in the State of Connecticut's Attorney General's Office, volunteered on the rebuilding efforts in Haiti, taught schoolchildren in Ghana, and worked in spring 2013 to help save young women from the sex trafficking trade in India.

Nicholas Denegre, an environmental earth science major, was selected to participate in the U.S. Department of Energy's science laboratory internship (SULI) program at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Washington State. Denegre spent the summer of 2013 working on a Rooftop Unit Network Savings Analysis project, where he evaluated the operational efficiency of these units, the energy use, carbon emissions and cost savings from various retrofits.

The international relief and development organization Oxfam America named Nicolle Hill, a junior majoring in communication, as a participant in a year-long program designed to educate students on creating realistic solutions to poverty, hunger and social injustice in the global community. Students in the program commit to engage with Oxfam for an entire academic year beginning with a weeklong advocacy and leadership training program.

Eastern students Laura Kathryn Hilton '13 and Suzanne Slater '13 were two of 12 state university students honored at the 25th Annual Henry Barnard Distinguished Student Award Dinner on April 23 at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington.

Slater, an early childhood and psychology major with a 3.97 GPA, was actively involved in community service projects on campus. She was a member of the Big Brother Big Sister Program and the Education Club, for which she volunteered in a kindergarten classroom; and served as chairperson of People Helping People's Child and Youth Committee, where she planned numerous events and programs, including book drives, a Sports Day and a Pen Pal Program that paired club members with local fourth-grade students to serve as mentors and pen pals.

A biology major and anthropology minor with a 3.86 GPA, Hilton was inducted into Beta Beta Beta, the National Biological Honor Society, and Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society. She was enrolled in the University Honors program, made the Dean's List every semester, and received numerous awards recognizing her accomplishments as a biology major. She was also a member of the Biology Club, Eastern Outdoors Club, the Marine Ecology Journal Club, 180 Christian Fellowship, People Helping People and the Pre-Med Society.

The winners of the Second Annual Library Research Award for 2013 were announced in May. The award was established to recognize and celebrate exemplary student research projects that demonstrate the ability to locate, evaluate, select and apply information from appropriate library resources. Primary emphasis is placed on the creative and effective use of library resources, services and collections encompassing print, microform and online data bases.

Daniel Kowalsky won in the freshman/sophomore category for his paper, "The Psychology of Psychics: Why We Believe." Kowalsky's work was reviewed and recommended by Mika Taylor, assistant professor of English. Margaret Pallis '13 won the prize in the junior/senior category for her paper, "Authority Figures in Conversion Narratives." Barbara Little Liu, associate professor of English, recommended Pallis.

Associate Librarian Janice Wilson chaired the Library Research Award Committee. Other members included associate librarians Carolyn Coates, Carol Reichardt and Hope Marie Cook; Biology Professor Elizabeth Cowles; Associate Professor of History David Frye; and Kristalyn Salters-Pedneault, assistant professor of psychology. Heidi Roberto, administrative assistant in the library, provided organization and logistical support for the committee.

Fifteen students and staff from Eastern attended the National Association for Campus Activities conference at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford. Eastern's student Campus Activity Board (CAB) coordinators took home honors for several categories including Excellence in Programming, Best Poster, Best Themed Campaign and Best Traditional Promotion for their division.

Eastern Students

Participating students included Amy Dillon, Samantha Codding, Sydney Hanlon, Dane Paracuelles, Giancarlos Perez, Keith Sunthorn, Thomas Balestracci, Solinda Keth, Jessica Johnson, Melissa Groccia, Emilee Blais, Samantha Stevens, Lauren Hopper, Kimberly Perna and Alexa Senia.

Students in Professor of Visual Arts June Bisantz's Graphic Design 2 class, in partnership with the Willimantic Screen Project, the Willimantic Brewing Company, Thread City Development Inc. and the Town of Windham, contributed to a video project titled "Green Lights," which ran through March. "Green Lights" was a video projection of approximately 40 different interpretations of green light on the façade of the Willimantic Brewing Company.

Participating in the project were students Kara Berglund, Melissa Blazejak, Christina Broccoli, Cory Carabetta, Laura Cardeno, Samantha Cohen, Braden Herrick, Lindsay Hopkins, Lauren Hopper, Solinda Keth, Michael King, Hannah Lewis, Cassandra Marion, Alyssa Reilly and Julie Vega.

A total of 288 students were inducted this spring into Eastern's chapters of national honor societies, which recognize excellence in academic scholarship and achievement in a variety of majors, including biology, Spanish, political science, sociology, social work, psychology, English, mathematics, marketing, history, physical education, computer science, business information systems, economics, communication and business administration.


Eight Eastern students, all members of the Economics Club, along with Assistant Professor of Economics Behroz Baraghoshi, traveled to San Diego, CA, from Jan. 4-7 to participate in the annual Conference of the American Economic Association (AEA). Students attended sessions of their interest on a wide range of economic topics and ask questions or make comments. Attending the conference were Dean Bonney, Julie Correira, Tony DeLuca, Mackenzie Fannon, Nicole Gaona, Teddy Straub, Stephanie Venuti and Bailey Wilber.