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Annual Report 2017-18

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President’s Message

nunez.jpgEastern Connecticut State University continued to make progress in 2017–18 in fulfilling its mission as Connecticut’s public liberal art university. In addition to University accomplishments, Eastern students, faculty and staff were achieving personal milestones in their academic disciplines as well as in our community. 

For the first time Eastern broke into the top 25 public universities in the North Region in the annual U.S. News and World Report rankings in fall 2017.  The University was also named a Green College by the Princeton Review for the eighth consecutive year. In addition, Eastern was named a Great College to Work For — the only four-year public institution in New England with this designation — for the eighth time. 

A number of academic initiatives and programs also gained recognition. The Behavior Analysis concentration in the Psychology major was named one of the best in the nation and the Holmes Scholars program for minority students in graduate programs in the Department of Education was also recognized. The University received a $200,000 grant from the Davis Education Foundation to enhance writing and critical thinking in the liberal arts core curriculum. And the Center for Early Childhood Education’s instructional video series for early childhood teachers topped one million views on You Tube. 

Eastern students also excelled in their pursuit of knowledge. Eastern’s first Fulbright Scholar studied southeast Asian history and the local language during his summer program in Indonesia. An Eastern student represented Connecticut at the annual Posters on the Hill research conference in Washington, D.C., for the seventh time in 12 years. The M.A.L.E.S. student organization celebrated its 20th year, and Theatre students performed at the annual Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival in Massachusetts. On-campus theatre performances included the multi-media production, “Thread City,” which told the story of Willimantic; and the classic story, “Little Women.” 

Members of the faculty were also busy, with faculty authoring books of poetry, art history, southeast Asian history and principles of videography. 

One of Eastern’s calling cards is its focus on undergraduate research, and the University continued to make inroads in this area. Several faculty mentors received NASA grants to support research ranging from the economics of satellites to research on new antibiotics. Two students used NSF grants to study mathematics and computer science in California and Iowa.  A record 41 students attended the annual conference of the National Council on Undergraduate Research, while back on campus, the Eighth Annual TIMPANI toy study announced the winning toy. 

Eastern students extended their studies abroad, taking field courses in Ghana, West Africa, Italy and Puerto Rico. Eastern students were also active in the community, running marathons in support of poverty awareness; raising funds for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life; feeding 500 members of the local community at the annual Day of Giving; hosting Puentes al Futuro (Bridges to the Future) for local middle school students; and braving the overnight cold during the annual Shackathon to spotlight homelessness. 

Alumnus Justin Brown ’09 received a fellowship to conduct cancer research through the National Institutes of Health, and Eleanor McCance-Katz ’78 was named the first Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Abuse in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  

The standard of excellence found throughout the University extended to the athletic field.  For the first time, Eastern athletes won both the Little East Conference’s Commissioner’s Cup for having the best overall athletic performance across 19 varsity sports, and the Presidents’ Cup for having the best cumulative grade point average among LEC athletes. The men’s soccer team also led a bone marrow drive in support of the national Be the Match foundation, dedicated to supporting people needing bone marrow transplants. 

These and other stories in this Annual Report highlight the outstanding year experienced at Eastern Connecticut State University.   


Elsa M. Núñez