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SouthernLife Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Permit No. 501 NEW HAVEN, CONN. A NEWSPAPER FOR THE CAMPUS COMMUNITY Southern Connecticut State University SEPTEMBER 2013 • Vol.17 No. 1 INSIDE: 4 Making a Global Impact 5 Breaking Down Barriers A Transformative Gift Record $3M Donation Will Boost Science Education, Research HAS RECEIVED THE LARGEST DONATION IN ITS The foundation for Southern's new science building is being excavated in front of Jennings Hall. CO DI ES R Big Dig: CONTINUED ON PAGE H CENTE T R E R DONATION Pam Werth (left) and her husband Peter (not pictured) have been impressed by the research undertaken by faculty and students through the Center for Coastal and Marine Studies. FO HISTORY – a gift of $3 million that promises to boost scientific research for students and faculty, President Mary A. Papazian has announced. The Woodbridge-based Werth Family Foundation will make the donation in increments during the next 10 years. It is nearly triple the size of the previous largest donation to Southern. The contribution will include a $1.5 million endowment for SCSU’s Center for Coastal and Marine Studies – a center that will now carry the family name. An additional $750,000 ($75,000 each year) will be donated to the center for its annual expenses, such as equipment and for stipends to students to support their research efforts. “In recent years, Southern has seen impressive programmatic and enrollment growth in the sciences, and this wonderful gift will take scientific research and experiential opportunities for our students to a whole new level,” President Papazian says. “We are extremely grateful to the Werth Family Foundation for its support of the university and its commitment to public higher education.” The remaining funds of the $3 million gift have been earmarked for two new initiatives that combine science education and real-world/business experience — through seminars, internships and research opportunities — with stipends provided to participating Southern students and area science teachers. “Above all, we are trying to make a difference,” says Peter Werth, who established the family foundation with his wife, Pam, in 2000. “We’ve had the opportunity to look at the research done at the center and its importance to the community. We’re believers.” The foundation has contributed nearly $380,000 to the center since 2006, including more than $50,000 a year over the last few years. In recent years, about 60 Southern students have worked W SOUTHERN 120-YEAR AS TA L & MA S RIN E TU 6. In the Name of Science Groundbreaking Ceremony Launches New Era of Research at Southern The future academic and laboratory science building at Southern will be a significant step forward for the landscape of the campus and an impressive leap for scientific study in Connecticut. Plans call for the construction of a four-story, 103,608-square-foot building that will be the “focal point” for the university’s science programs. It is being designed to enhance both the quality of those programs, as well as to educate a larger number of students. A groundbreaking ceremony, featuring local, campus and other state officials, will be held at 1 p.m. Sept. 20 near the construction site. The project actually has been under way for the last few months. “Southern’s new science building will offer our students and faculty a broader array of tools and the essential work spaces to support important teaching, learning and research,” says Steven Breese, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences. “It is a critical addition that will strengthen our university and help us to build a stronger workforce for Connecticut.” Physically, the two wings of the facility will be configured in the shape of an “L” and located next to Jennings and Morrill halls, which currently house the university’s science departments. Together, the three buildings will form a “science enclave.” A brick and glass exterior will line the building — a structure that will feature a covered skywalk connecting it with Jennings on the upper floor. A connector will also be built on the ground floor. A hallway already connects Jennings and Morrill. Academically, the building will host teaching and research labs for physics, earth science, environmental science, molecular biology and chemistry. It will include a supercomputing lab for research in theoretical physics, bioinformatics and computer science. “We’re very excited about the new building,” says Vincent Breslin, associate professor of science education. “In fact, I’m on the third floor of Jennings overlooking the site, watching the construction day by day and rooting them along. “It will undoubtedly create new opportunities for teaching and research at Southern,” he added. “There will be state-of-the-art teaching classrooms with LCD projectors and screens and smartboards, new computers, as well as additional prep rooms and storage space.” The Werth Center for Marine and Coastal Studies — recently renamed for the Werth family following a $3 million gift from the Werth Family Foundation — will be housed on the second floor. “The center will have several new labs, including an analytic lab (where mercury levels can be SCIENCE CONTINUED ON PAGE 6.

Southern Life, September 2013

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