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Student Accomplishments

Because of their creative and effective use of library resources, Laura Perez-Handler '15, Bryan Lehner '15 and Nicole Green '18 were recognized at the Library Research Awards this past May. The awards were established to recognize exemplary student research projects that demonstrate the ability to locate, evaluate and apply information from the physical collections and online databases within Eastern's J. Eugene Smith Library. Lehner's paper was titled "Catalytic Efficiencies of Enolase from Fast- and Slow-Killing Genotypes of Paenibacillus Larvae"; Perez-Handler's paper was titled "Intergenerational Transmission of Monotheistic Religions: a Proposal for a Comparative Study"; and Green's paper was titled "The Cat in the Hat v. Piggybook: Where Do Women Belong?"

A 12-hour website development competition called "Code-A-Thon" took place at Eastern this past April. Sponsored by Cigna's Technology Early Career Development Program (TECDP), the task was to create a mobile-friendly website to help people select the correct health insurance plan. The competition involved six-person student teams from Eastern and the University of Connecticut; Eastern's Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) club won first place.

Eastern StudentsEastern's chapter of AITP also won third place in a national competition at the 20th Annual AITP National Collegiate Conference in Omaha, NE. For the conference's Database Driven Website Competition, Eastern's AITP revamped the website of the Northeast CT Economic Alliance (NECTEA), a Willimantic-based nonprofit organization that assists startups and growing businesses in northeastern Connecticut. The club was selected as one of the top 10 teams in the nation, and invited to present at the 2015 AITP national conference-in which it placed third in the National Database Driven Website Competition.

Seniors Richard Magner and Jessica Patrizi were Eastern's 2015 recipients of the Henry Barnard Distinguished Student Awards. The Barnard Awards Program recognizes the most distinguished graduating seniors among Connecticut's four state universities. To be considered, a student must have at least a 3.75 GPA, a record of community service and be nominated by their respective university president. Magner is an accomplished mathematician and student researcher, with a lengthy track record of tutoring on and off Eastern's campus. Patrizi is an aspiring medical doctor, whose involvements span biological research, varsity sports, tutoring and volunteering at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

Twenty-four Eastern students attended the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) this past winter. Students participated in theatre workshops, scholarship competitions, attended shows and networked with theatre students and faculty from different universities in New England. Several Eastern students earned awards and two students received internships to work at the festival.

Recent graduate Mackenzie Fannon '15, an environmental earth science major, was chosen to present at the American Geophysical Union's (AGU) annual conference in San Francisco, CA, this past December. She spent 10 weeks downloading and processing seismic data in order to complete her research, which was titled "Source Parameters of Large Magnitude Subduction Zone Earthquakes along Oaxaca, Mexico."

Environmental earth science (EES) students Laura Markley and Sean Kellarson won the Bighorn Basin Field Award in summer 2014, and studied the geology and petroleum industry of north-central Wyoming. The award, sponsored by the Geological Society of America (GSA) and ExxonMobil, is a national competition that grants only 20 awards annually. More than 140 graduate and undergraduate students from across the country applied for the Bighorn Basin Field Award, and Eastern produced two of its recipients.
Based on his investigative documentary titled "Eastern Explores," recent Eastern graduate Patrick Boyne '15 placed third in a Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists (CTSPJ) contest on May 21. Boyne was the only qualifier from Eastern for the CTSPJ's Excellence in Journalism Contest, and placed third in the video category for college students. Formatted like a "60 Minutes" episode, "Eastern Explores" investigates Glastonbury High School's "IPad Program." Through interviews with Glastonbury High School students, faculty and staff, "Eastern Explores" portrays how the program is being received.

Fourteen Eastern students from 11 academic departments presented at the 2015 National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) in Spokane, WA, this past April. Eastern was the top school in Connecticut for NCUR participation this year. With approximately 3,700 submissions, NCUR reported that the competition was fierce, yet 88 percent of Eastern submissions were accepted for presentation.

Recent graduate Richard Magner '15 and his mentor, Mathematics Professor Mizan Khan, presented at the prestigious Posters on the Hill conference in Washington, D.C., this past April. Magner's research, titled "Geometric Questions in Number Theory," was one of 50 submissions selected from more than 500 applications. Eastern is the only public institution to have represented Connecticut over the past decade.