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Faculty And Staff Achievements

On March 7, the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) presented President Elsa Núñez with the Eleanor M. McMahon Award for Lifetime Achievement at the NEBHE 2014 Excellence Awards Banquet held at the Boston Marriott Long Wharf Hotel. More than 350 higher education leaders in New England were in attendance. Presenting the award were Connecticut State Rep. Roberta Willis; NEBHE President/CEO Michael Thomas; Mark Herzog, NEBHE chair; and Emily Cain, the incoming NEBHE chair and a Maine state senator.

On April 17, the Board of Regents for Higher Education of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities System named Barbara Little Liu, associate professor of English, recipient of the 2014 Board of Regents/Connecticut State Universities Teaching Award. Liu was recognized for her work in curriculum development in the English Department and for how well she teaches students to write. Writing from Malaysia, former student Yi Qian Lee agreed: "I am an international student and English as a Second Language Learner who always has troubles with writing. After a mere four months with Dr. Liu, today I am a writing tutor. Dr. Liu is a teacher who every student deserves to have."

On March 8, 2014, the Willimantic Elks Club presented Chemistry Professor Charles Wynn its 2014 Citizen of the Year Award. Wynn earned this award for his commitment to community service and leadership roles in volunteer organizations. Some of his roles include being the long-time meet director of the Windham Invitational Special Olympics Swim Meet; president of the Greater Windham Unit of the American Cancer Society; former member of the Board of Directors of Camp Horizons; and past president of the Willimantic Lions Club.

Michelle Delaney, director of student activities, received the National Association for Campus Activities' (NACA) "Founders Award" at the association's national convention in Boston. The Founders Award, NACA's highest honor, is presented to individuals who have contributed significantly to the association's mission to provide NACA member institutions with innovative practices that support campus engagement. Delaney was this year's sole recipient.

Anne Dawson, chair of the Visual Arts Department and professor of art history, is working on a multifaceted project on J. Alden Weir, the world-famous artist who lived and painted in Windham from 1882 until his death in 1919. Dawson's project will include two art exhibitions, a book, speaking appearances and an expansion of the project's website. Dawson's research began in the fall of 2009 and is expected to be complete in 2016.

Economics Professor Dimitrios Pachis was awarded a $1,500 grant from the international economics honor society, Omicron Delta Epsilon (ODE), to augment the experience received by Eastern students studying economics. Pachis sought grant support from Omicron Delta Epsilon to bring in an outside speaker to enrich the minds of Eastern's economics students; to increase activities that encourage scholarly interaction between students and faculty; and to provide students the opportunity for funding to go to conferences and present papers.

Education Professor and outgoing Access Community Action Agency Board member Ann Gruenberg was presented with a Volunteer Service Award at the Access Annual Meeting and Dinner in October 2013 at Wright's Mill Farm.

Gregory Kane, assistant professor of health and physical education, recently donated his own stem cells, inspired by Eastern Soccer Coach Gregory DeVito's bone marrow drive for student Jon DeCasanova. When asked why he decided to donate stem cells, Kane said that the reasons were very personal. "I try to support student and faculty initiatives as best I can," said Kane. "In this particular case, Gregory DeVito's bone marrow drive was important to me. In addition, this sort of process is near and dear to my heart, as my mother had gone through a similar process about eight years ago. Her autologous stem cell transplant was very successful. In some respect, I felt like I was paying back for the technology that helped save my mother's life."

Eastern Authors


Michèle Boškovic, French professor in the World Languages and Cultures Department, authored her fourth book, titled "Paroles d'auteurs jeunesse: Autour du multiculturalisme et des minorites visibles en France" (In Youth Authors' Words: Multiculturalism and Visible Minorities in France). The book is a collection of interviews with 12 children's literature writers and one illustrator and explores multiculturalism in France through their work. History Professor

Anna Kirchmann's latest book, "Letters from Readers in the Polish American Press, 1902-1969: A Corner for Everybody," was published by Lexington Books/Rowman & Littlefield. The book is a unique collection of upwards of 500 letters from Polish American readers that were published in Ameryka-Echo between 1902 and 1969. In these letters, Polish immigrants speak in their own words about their American experience.

In April, Beacon Press published "Social Insecurity: 401(k)s and the Retirement Crisis," by Sociology Professor James Russell. The book was named by "Publishers Weekly" as a top 10 book in Business and Economics for spring 2014. English Professor Raouf Mama has authored a memoir titled "Fortune's Favored Child," published by the Curbstone Imprint of Northwestern University Press. Mama's memoir is a coming of age story which centers on his encounter with his father at the age of 20.

Stacey Close, interim associate vice president of equity and diversity, is co-editor and contributor to "African American Connecticut Explored," published by Wesleyan University Press. Nicholas Parsons, assistant professor of sociology, has published a book, "Meth Mania: A history of Methamphetamine." In the book, Parsons chronicles the history and mythology of methamphetamine use in the United States from the 1940s, when it was hailed as a wonder drug, to the present public health menace that it is today.


Gregory Kane
, health and physical education professor, has co-authored his first book, "Sport Leadership in the 21st Century," with John F. Borland of Springfield College and Laura J. Burton of the University of Connecticut. It is among the first comprehensive textbooks on the market focusing on leadership in the field of sport management. The book also features two other Eastern faculty members, Professors of Psychology Peter Bachiochi and Wendi Everton, who contributed a chapter on "Team Leadership and Group Dynamics." Art Professor Imna Arroyo's book, "La Sagrada Familia" (The Sacred Family), is a limited edition that features 32 hand-crafted linoleum prints dedicated to the Orishas and Deities of the Yoruba Pantheon. The images are accompanied by descriptions and praises written by Isis Mattei, Arroyo's daughter. James Nicholas Winner-Arroyo, the artist's son, designed the book.