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Alumni Giving Back

Alumna Kileen Gilroy Presents Poetry Reading
Alumna Kileen Gilroy '10 returned to campus in November 2013 to present her poetry to the Eastern community. Gilroy is an emerging poet and aspiring artist who has been writing poetry for the past 13 years. Her work primarily concerns the journey of the self and the many relationships individuals must endure to obtain some sense of discovery, purpose and realization. Gilroy teaches English at Lincoln High School in Rhode Island. She received her B.A. in Secondary Education/English as well as a minor concentration in Writing. During her time spent at Eastern, she was the chief editor of the University's literary journal, "Eastern Exposure," as well as the vice president of the English Club.

English at Work: A Panel Discussion
Eastern's English Department hosted a panel discussion of alumni titled "English at Work" on Feb. 26. The discussion was part of the English Department's ongoing visiting alumni series to help build support networks between alumni and current students. The panelists were Starsheemar Byrum '07, Jessica Fontaine '08, Kileen Gilroy '10 and Matthew Ryan '06. Students questioned them about their current occupations and how the English major helped prepare them for their careers.

Arielle Cooper Coaches Her High School to State Championship
This past June, Eastern Connecticut State University alumna Arielle Cooper '13 coached her high school alma mater to a softball state championship. Cooper, 23 years old and one year out of college, returned to Fitch High School in Groton to fill in as interim head coach this past April. On June 14, the Falcons finished with a 26-1 record and were Class L state champions. Originally, Cooper was interested in filling in as the junior varsity coach, but instead was offered the varsity coaching position. "It felt great that the players trusted me as a first-year coach. The team chemistry was amazing. I think that aspect helped us get to the championship," she said. "It was really rewarding to go back to my alma mater, where it all started for me. I feel like things have come full circle."

Eastern Alumna Presents "Sisters of Frontstalag"
A staged reading of "The Little Sisters of Frontstalag," a piece written by alumna Nicole Panteleakos '08, was performed on Nov. 2, 2013, in the Student Center Theatre. The performance, presented by the Drama Society and Performing Arts Department, was directed by theatre major Corey Welden '13. "The Little Sisters of Frontstalag" is based on the true story of Panteleakos' great-aunt and her experiences as a Nazi prisoner during WWII when she was a novice nun in France. Following the play, a feedback session occurred. From the feedback, Panteleakos rewrote the script and submitted it to The Juilliard School for admission into their graduate playwriting program.

Eastern Graduate Takes Her Talents Overseas
Alumna McKenzie Hyde '13 has a record of academic excellence and international volunteer work that earned her a full scholarship at the London School of Economics. Hyde recently earned her master's degree in international development with a focus on refugee and migration studies.

During her four years at Eastern, Hyde spent much time traveling and developing her knowledge and skills as a humanitarian. In 2011, she volunteered in Haiti for three weeks, doing disaster relief after the earthquake of 2010. Soon after her stint in Haiti, she went on to Ghana, where she taught English in orphanages. Immediately after graduating in December 2012, Hyde went to India, where she taught English and nutrition education, worked on HIV/AIDS outreach programs, and rescued young girls and women from the sex trafficking trade. She is now a Global Health Fellow at the U.S. Agency for International Development in Washington, D.C.