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2016 Dean’s Report

School of Education and Professional Studies

School of Education & Professional Studies (SEPS) and Graduate Division Eastern Connecticut State University 160 Webb Hall 83 Windham Street, Willimantic, Connecticut 06226 Phone: (860) 465-5293 | Fax: (860) 465-4538

I am pleased to share with you our successes from the prior academic year, as well as our goals set to guide continuous improvement for the School of Education and Professional Studies/Graduate Division. Eastern is home to some of the nation’s most talented faculty, staff, students and alumni!

Three virtues are made evident through coursework and the public contribution made by our programs: Inspiration, Innovation and Integrity.

In this volume, you will learn of our outstanding new faculty, as well as fulltime and part-time faculty who have been formally recognized by their Dean, School of Education & peers within the state system for their teaching excellence and integrity. Professional Studies Such teaching requires novel approaches for engaging students purposefully, while ensuring high standards that prepare majors for the workplace and/or graduate study. All undergraduate and some graduate programs within the school require an internship or other experiential learning where liberal arts competencies are practically applied. These efforts have led to an indelible footprint on the satisfaction and achievements of our alumni. Jacob Easley II, Ph.D.

Equipped with the comprehensive coursework and practical experiences of an Eastern degree, our alumni have inspired countless others locally and internationally. For example, Bonnie Edmondson ’87, a two-time All-American, earned the coveted appointment of Olympic coach for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. As an athlete, educator and coach, she is an inspiration whose influence is broadly felt. Our faculty continually innovate via programming to ensure access for students. Over the past year, graduate programs have been modified so they can be completed in one year. Faculty have added a new master’s degree in accounting, and several other areas of study are under development to meet the needs of Connecticut and the region. These innovations have led to a continuous and unprecedented rise in graduate enrollment, thereby expanding the reach of Eastern’s excellence to new communities. At the undergraduate level, we have also welcomed growing enrollment in our three new majors— finance, and two interdisciplinary majors in the areas of health sciences and new media studies. As we look toward another banner year, we will continue to focus on the four goals of our strategic plan, with particular emphasis on strengthening a culture of effectiveness and continuous improvement and expanding our collaborative engagement with alumni and the community at large. I hope that you will join us in our quest. Should you find interest in partnering with us, hosting internships, supporting academic scholarships, or promoting our quality programs, the faculty, staff and I look forward to hearing from you! Regards,

Jacob Easley II, Ph.D. Dean —1—

Attracting Talent: New Faculty Brendan M. Cunningham Assistant Professor, Department of Economics Ph.D., Columbia University (Economics) Research interests: Applied industrial organization, applied econometrics, economics of media, copyright, higher education Teaching and/or research awards: Federal Communications Commission Annual Excellence in Economics Award, 2002 Industry-related experience/consulting: Visiting Scholar, U.S. Federal Trade Commission Editorships: Co-editor, Journal of Media Economics Brendan Cunningham's research focuses on the economics of media, copyright industries and higher education. Brendan is the author/co-author of 12 peer-reviewed journal articles with over 300 citations. He has also published a number of book chapters and editorial prefaces. Brendan's scholarship has appeared in Journal of Law and Economics, Journal of Human Resources, Environmental and Resource Economics, and Information Economics and Policy. He has presented his scholarship at more than 20 conferences and workshops domestically and internationally, and he served on the organizing committee for the Workshop on Media Economics. Brendan earned his doctorate in Economics from Columbia University and his bachelor's degree in Economics (honors) and History from Oberlin College. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. In his previous position as a Professor of Economics at the United States Naval Academy, he served as his department's Chair, Faculty Senator and Co-Chair of a re-accrediting committee. As a Visiting Scholar at the Federal Trade Commission, he contributed to case work and reports on consumer protection issues. He has received research funding from the Center for the Analysis of Property Rights and Innovation, University of Texas - Dallas, as well as funding for telecommunications research from Michigan State University. Brendan has two daughters, and in his spare time he enjoys reading, movies, dining out and flying his quadcopter. His first job was at the age of 15 as a customer service representative, steam press operator, and delivery truck driver in the dry cleaning industry. Through these experiences he gained a deep appreciation for air conditioning.


Steve M. Muchiri Assistant Professor, Department of Economics Ph.D., University of Kentucky (Economics) Research interests: Impact of cash transfers on labor supply and household consumption in developing countries, health and environmental economics Teaching and/or research awards: Doctoral Fellowship, University of Kentucky Steve Muchiri earned his doctorate and a Master of Science degree, both in Economics, from the University of Kentucky; he earned an MBA and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Business from Eastern Kentucky University. His first job was in sales for his parents’ local market business when he was 9-14 years old. This job taught him customer engagement skills and the value of hard work.

Promoting Talent: Faculty Promotions Dr. Wayne Buck (BUS) was awarded tenure. His research interests include using systems theory to understand corporate moral failure, through a holistic, integrated and actionable theory that understands companies as complex, dynamic systems. Wayne is also interested in developing a robust theoretical framework for constructing and using computer-based simulation games to support the teaching of business ethics in the classroom and in corporate training to strengthen ethical business decision-making by managers and executives.

Dr. Niti Pandey (BUS) was awarded tenure and promoted to associate professor. Her research interests include Teamwork and Performance Outcomes in Healthcare Organizations, Workforce Demographics and Human Resource Practices, and Corporate Social Responsibility and Employee Attitudes.


Faculty Publications: Recent Books Published by SEPS Faculty Dr. Xing Liu (EDU) authored the book, Applied Ordinal Logistic Regression Using Stata, published by Sage in 2016. The book is the first of its kind to provide both single-level and multilevel modeling of ordinal categorical data.

Dr. Fatma Pakdil co-authored the book, Performance Leadership, published by Business Expert Press in 2016. The authors discuss Performance LeadershipTM – the idea of leading employee performance, emphasizing that it should be the focus of management. The book is intended as a resource for supervisors, managers, human resource staff and others – anyone who needs to manage performance.

Dr. Mark Fabrizi, Assistant Professor, Department of Education, has edited a new book entitled, Fantasy Literature: Challenging Genres. The 2016 addition to the Sense Publishers Critical Literacy Teaching Series: Challenging Authors and Genre serves to help teachers use fantasy texts in the classroom to develop critical reading abilities within their students.

Dean Jacob Easley II co-edited a book entitled, Educational Accountability: International perspectives on challenges and possibilities for school leadership, published by Routledge in 2016. The volume provides readers an opportunity to assess, reflect on and discuss current issues surrounding accountability policies in education from around the globe and the implications they hold for school leadership.


Community Connections

School of Education and Professional Studies Dean Jacob Easley II with Education Club speakers Jahana Hayes, 2016 National Teacher of the Year and Connecticut Teacher of the Year, (right) and Dianna Wentzell, Connecticut Commissioner of Education (left).

Thirteen Eastern Health Science students traveled to Ghana, West Africa, for a threeweek field experience in Summer 2016. Students were able to compare and contrast what they saw with systems in place in the United States. The field experience included visits to clinics, hospitals, schools, an orphanage and public services, where students learned firsthand about the health care and public health systems in place. At Mampong Hospital in rural Agona, students participated in hospital rounds; observed in the operating theater; conducted well baby clinics; actively participated in the Maternal and Child Health Clinic; conducted patient intake; and gained valuable experience i the Emergency Room.

Dean Easley met with Horizons leaders to discuss programming. The mission of Horizons is to create and sustain personcentered opportunities for people with special needs where they live, learn, work and play.


2014-2019 Strategic Plan: 2016 Status Goal 1 Educate undergraduate and graduate students in the tradition of liberal arts for professional and scholarly preparedness. Activity/Strategy

Current Status

Faculty mentor students during inquiry/research-based projects

Met/Ongoing 2015: 61 Students 2016: 98 Students (61% Increase)

Design and implement structure(s) to formally promote and recognize student internships and professional activities

In Progress

Establish formal articulations with regional K-12 schools (Education) and regional, professional programs (See also Goal 3)


Recognize and assist in the development of departmental or program level integration of student learning assessment system(s) to inform curriculum revisions

In Progress/On Schedule

Goal 2 Integrate issues of social responsibility, global awareness, and diversity within the educational experience. Activity/Strategy

Current Status

Faculty encourage and promote students’ participation in global field experiences or programs integrate an emphasis on global/intercultural perspectives at the course level Review current practices and integrate perspectives of diversity, ethical responsibility, and leadership throughout programs of study Establish and recognize curriculum-based partnerships with external organizations that address a focus on problem-solving within organization and/or communities


Future Target Set

Future Target Set

In Progress

Goal 3 Promote the Value of Eastern to the community at large through collaborative engagement with students and alumni. Activity/Strategy

Current Status

Establish outreach programs or formal articulations with regional PreK-12 schools (education), community colleges, and regional professional programs (See also Goal 1) Develop professional networks among alumni and students Develop SEPS level alumni activities, representing all departments to enhance curriculum, programming, and/or development Develop SEPS level social media presence representing all departments


Future Target Set

Future Target Set


Goal 4 Foster a culture of effectiveness and continuous improvement. Activity/Strategy

Current Status

Establish SEPS strategic plan with departmental input


Reconstitute Graduate Division Advisory Committee to focus graduate program marketing, enrollment, and effectiveness


Revise Graduate Programs in order that motivated students might graduate in one year


Review and adjust class size to align with course requirements and design

In Progress

Streamline and eliminate complexities of academic requirements in majors and LAC and incorporate flexibilities that promote completion of integrative learning experiences Refine annual program review process to include examination of processes and incorporate Effectiveness and Impact Index measures Create system for recognizing and rewarding faculty excellence in teaching (including advising), scholarship, and service Create system for faculty development to support student advising Align fiscal and development/programming decision making priorities with SEPS’ Strategic Plan


Future Target Set


In Progress In Progress


Internships/ Experiential Learning Graduates of Eastern are recruited by educational, business, industrial, medical, mass media, and nonprofit organizations because of the organizational and interpersonal relations skills they develop through their academic programs. These skills are brought into sharp focus by a variety of field experiences that students complete during their junior and senior years, including opportunities for cooperative placements. Our programs directly benefit our partners and provide positive contributions to the broader community.

Internships/Experiential Learning by Major: 2015-16          

Accounting: 10 Business Administration: 105 Business Information Systems: 24 Communications: 111 Economics: 16* Education: 460 Finance: 8 Health & Physical Education: 12 Labor Relations & Human Resources Management: 5 Sports & Leisure Management: 56 *Some Economics students complete internships in Business Administration

Internships by Major (2015-16)

Business Information Systems

Business Administration

Labor Relations & Human Resources Management






Health & Physical Education

Sports & Leisure Management


Student Enrollment: On the Rise! Full-time graduate enrollment has increased 27% over 2015. Part-time graduate enrollment has increased 5.8% over 2015. 167 is our Average Graduate Enrollment (for 2013-15 school years) 2,551 is our Average Undergraduate Enrollment (for 2013-15 school years)            

Accounting: Business Administration: Business Information Systems: Communication: Economics: Education (all programs): Finance: LHRM: New Media: Physical Education: Pre-education: Sports & Leisure Management:

222 544 102 387 58 331 52* 30 23* 139 438 225

*2-year average

Average Undergraduate Enrollment by Major (2013-15)


Business Administration





New Media (2-year average)

Physical Education


Sports & Leisure Management

Finance (2-year average)

Business Information Systems


Faculty Diversity: 2015-16 (SEPS Full-Time) Female








SEPS Faculty Diversity (2015-2016 Full-Time) 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Female

Male Female

Minority Male


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Recent Partnerships The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education Holmes Master’s Program supports master’s students from historically underrepresented groups interested in a career in teaching, school administration, or the professoriate. The first initiative of its kind within the region, the inaugural cohort of Holmes Masters enrolled at Eastern in the summer 2016 term.

Bolton Public Schools

SEPS has begun networking in a consortium manner to develop and offer opportunities for dual enrollment and minority teacher recruitment. Three participating school districts Bolton, Coventry, and Windham seek to expand college and career access in the areas of science, technology and mathematics (STEM). This program will prepare highly motivated junior— and senior— level high school students for college and career readiness.

Early Childhood Teacher Credential (ECTC) Eastern Connecticut State University is partnering with Connecticut community colleges, such as Norwalk Community College, for an innovative program design aimed to provide ease of accessibility and affordability for graduates of associate’s degree programs in early childhood education who wish to earn a four-year degree and become head teachers in preschool programs in the state of Connecticut. This partnership is for the Early Childhood Teacher Credential.

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Students, Faculty, and Alumni: Social Engagement and Impact 

Bonnie Edmondson ’87 (English and Communication), served as an assistant coach for Team USA in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in the summer of 2016, working with the throwers on the women’s team. A highly accomplished athlete and coach, Edmondson was inducted into Eastern’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1996. She currently serves as a school health program manager at the Connecticut State Department of Education.

Melody Kramarz ‘17 (Sport Management), won the Undergraduate Research Investigator Award for the Eastern District of the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE) America.

Bill Hancock, Adjunct Professor, Department of Business Administration, recently completed a tour of duty as the commander of the Connecticut River Gateway Flotilla of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary in Essex, CT.

Ashon Avent ’02 (Business), behavior technician, founded MALES (Men Achieving Leadership, Excellence and Success), a mentoring club that develops leadership among middle school young men at M.D. Fox School in Hartford; he was part of the founding group of MALES while an Eastern student in the late '90s.

Anita Lee, D.P.E., Special Assistant to the Dean, School of Education & Professional Studies and Associate Professor, Department of Kinesiology & Physical Education, received an Excellence in Service to the University Award (2016). In addition, she served as the faculty mentor for Melody Kramarz, winner of the Undergraduate Research Investigator Award for the Eastern District of SHAPE America.

Jeff Farmer ’08 (Business), is co-founder (with fellow Eastern alumnus, Andy Tran) of Farmington-based Center for Transitional Living LLC (CTL), a multi-state business that helps people with mental illness and acquired brain injuries who are on Medicaid and live independently, saving the state money and creating jobs for caretakers.

Jeffrey Schaller, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Business Administration, received the 2016 Eastern Connecticut State University Distinguished Professor Award.

Charles Chatterton, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Kinesiology & Physical Education, was one of three 2016 recipients of Eastern’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Service Award, presented to honorees for distinguished service in promoting King’s ideals.

Kevin Donohue, Adjunct Professor, Department of Business Administration, was honored with both the Board of Regents System-Wide Adjunct Faculty Teaching Award and the Excellence Award for adjunct faculty at Eastern in 2015.

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Green College 7 years in a row

- Princeton Review

Second best undergraduate elementary teacher prep program in New England -

85 among regional universities in the North th

- U.S. News and World Report

Ranked in top 10 of best value colleges in Connecticut -

26th best public university in the North

- U.S. News and World Report

4th best undergraduate secondary teacher prep program in New England -

Ranked in top 5 Bachelor’s and Master’s Teaching Programs in Connecticut -

Undergraduate Elementary Education program ranked 8th best in the U.S. - National Council on Teacher Quality

100% of employers surveyed would hire a graduate of Eastern’s Education program again - 2016 Teacher Education Employer Survey

School of Education and Professional Studies (SEPS) $249,000 median 20-year net return on undergraduate degree investment -

Top 15% Best Colleges for the Money without aid -

#1 Graduation rate among Connecticut state universities -

Points Of Pride

More than 90 percent of Eastern alumni are employed or in graduate school within six months of graduation 9 baseball & softball national championships

Dean's Annual Report 2016  
Dean's Annual Report 2016