Connecticutâ€™s Public Liberal Arts University
EASTERN RECEIVES MAJOR GRANT FROM THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
Issue 30 | Winter 2019
Staff and Contributors Executive Editor Kenneth DeLisa Editor Edward Osborn Associate Editor Michael Rouleau Designers Kevin Paquin | Leigh Balducci | Briana Shore Contributors Dwight Bachman | Meghan Carden | Jordan Corey Peter Dane | Joseph McGann | Robert Molta | Jolene Potter | Sheila RuJoub Photographer Tom Hurlbut
EASTERN Magazine is published by the Division of Institutional Advancement for the benefit of alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends of Eastern Connecticut State University.
EASTERN Magazine is printed on coated paper that is certified by three environmental groups and manufactured with 30 percent post-consumer recycled fiber.
A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
ince its beginnings more than 125 years ago, Eastern’s community of students, faculty, staff and alumni has shared a commitment to excellence that has brought prosperity to the University and success to our graduates. The history we share has been marked by significant accomplishments and progress that inspire all of us who call Eastern “home.” This issue of EASTERN magazine showcases the latest examples of exemplary faculty and student work, ranging from a major National Science Foundation grant awarded to our Biology Department, to one of our anthropology professors being featured in a national PBS documentary television series. Our latest inductees to the Eastern Fellows program include a former FBI agent, a member of the faculty at the Air Force Institute of Technology and a major financial services executive. And our accounting students continue a 20-year tradition of providing free tax consultation services to local lowincome residents. These stories illustrate a standard of academic excellence and a dedication to service that the Eastern community can be proud of. Eastern is also committed to responding to the state’s workforce development goals, recognizing that the majority of our students are Connecticut residents who want to gain the professional skills they need to prosper in their native state. Our faculty continues to develop innovative academic programs to provide “Generation Z” with relevant, technology-based majors that lead to rewarding careers. In the coming months, the Committee on the Future of Eastern will complete its work on the University’s 2019-24 Strategic Plan so that we have a blueprint
for continuing the progress our community of learners has made over the years. Giving faculty and students the resources they need to be successful is a responsibility that members of the administration and I take seriously. We encourage alumni to visit campus to see the latest improvements to the campus. In addition to renovating and modernizing the Communication Building, Goddard Hall is being upgraded and Shafer Hall is being converted into a residence hall with apartment-style suites and the latest amenities. These facilities projects reflect the latest environmental sustainability standards, while also featuring instructional technology upgrades to ensure that Eastern students are learning on state-of-the-art equipment. I hope that the stories you read in this issue of EASTERN magazine will renew your pride in our University and inspire you to continue to engage in the daily lives of today’s Eastern students. Whether you share your professional experiences with students during a campus visit, hire an Eastern student for a summer internship at your place of work, or make a generous gift to the ECSU Foundation in support of student scholarships, there are many ways you can contribute to Eastern. Each sign of support helps to ensure that our students have the opportunity to make their own mark in the world. Together, we are making “the Eastern Difference.” Thank you!
Elsa M. Núñez
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NEW COMMUNICATION BUILDING MEETS THE PRESENT, GREETS THE FUTURE The biggest change to the Eastern Connecticut State University campus this fall was the opening of the newly renovated Communication Building. The beautiful "new" facility reopened in August 2018 with a modernized design and a number of improvements to efficiency and technology.
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“THE PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT HAS A POWERFUL EFFECT ON STUDENTS’ ABILITY TO LEARN”
Originally constructed in the early 1970s, the building’s extensive renovations include new state-of-the-art facilities for television production, sound recording, audio production and video editing. “It is as important to refresh our existing facilities as it is to build new ones,” remarked Eastern President Elsa Núñez. “In using state-of-the-art technology, students in our Communication and New Media Studies majors can better prepare for careers in the media world of the 21st century.” All of the classrooms in the building have been upgraded with new equipment; the television studio and radio station have a fresh look; and three computer labs were constructed. “These new media production spaces provide unique opportunities for communication majors to practice and hone the skills that they learn in class,” said Communication Professor Andrew Utterback. “The faculty are thrilled to be teaching in such a modern, up-to-date space.” The classrooms follow Eastern’s standards for smart-classroom design, with increased square-foot-per-student ratios that allow for better accessibility and provide ample space for collaboration between students and faculty. “The physical environment has a powerful effect on students’ ability to learn,” said Communication Professor Edmond Chibeau. “This new building is an example of Eastern’s dedication to giving students an ergonomically designed, state-of-the-art learning environment.” The renovations follow high-performance green building standards set by the State of Connecticut, including the use of recyclable materials for a portion of the construction, as well as using materials sourced within 500 miles of the worksite.
Other improvements have been made to water conservation, energy conservation and insulation systems. “We meet these high-performance standards and now have a building that is significantly more efficient than the previous building,” said Renee Keech, director of facilities management and planning. Building renovations also took into consideration occupants’ mental health by adding more windows, which admit higher levels of daylight and offer more views. Communication Professor Terri Toles-Patkin agreed: “Students and faculty are getting a morale boost just from being in this new space.” One of the Communication Building’s most distinct changes is a glass-encased façade on the north end. This ground-level area was once an outdoor concrete tunnel, but is now a vibrant foyer furnished with contemporary furniture. In addition to the foyer, the reclaimed space presented the opportunity “to prominently place the radio station and provide a multipurpose room that can be used by the Communication Department and the university,” said Keech. “This was a much needed facelift, and one that goes beyond its impressive appearance,” concluded Toles-Patkin. “This is a building designed not only to meet the needs of the present but to anticipate the changes of the future.”
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Eastern Professor Featured in PBS Series
NATIVE AMERICA Eastern professor Sarah Baires (left) reviews a light imaging, detection and ranging (LiDAR) map of the mounds of Cahokia with her colleague Melissa Baltus of the University of Toledo.
The sophistication and mystery of ancient cities in the Western Hemisphere was brought to life at Eastern on Sept. 26 during an advance screening of “Native America,” the new PBS series.
While the four-part series premiered on Oct. 23 on CPTV, Eastern was selected for a pre-screening because Sarah Baires, assistant professor of anthropology, is featured in episode three, “Cities of the Sky.” A Q&A with Baires and series director Joe Sousa followed the screening.
“People don’t hear about Cahokia partly because of the erasure of Native history through the colonial process,” said Baires. “A lot of the mounds were destroyed in the 1800s from farming and construction; people would bulldoze the area without thinking about it.”
“Cities of the Sky” explores the cosmological secrets behind America’s ancient cities, and spotlights the mysterious metropolis of Cahokia, of which Baires is an expert. Located in what is now southern Illinois, Cahokia (1050-1400 A.D.) is relatively unknown by the masses, despite containing some of the largest manmade earthen mounds in the world. The emergence of Cahokia perplexes scholars to this day.
Baires has been researching Cahokia since 2007, participating in archaeological digs and using ground-penetrating radar to create maps of the city’s unexcavated features. Among its peculiarities, all of Cahokia’s sprawling features are five degrees off north, aligning it with a lunar standstill and summer solstice. Some 30,000 people migrated to Cahokia — more populous than London
Director Joe Sousa and professor Sarah Baires
at the time — which the episode describes as “the ultimate celestial city” in alignment with both the moon and sun. More than a review of archeological research, the “Native America” series was made with the active participation of Native American communities in locales across the hemisphere. “I am very proud to be part of a project that is looking to change the narrative of how people in the United States view Native American people,” said Baires. “I think this documentary and series does a wonderful job of making it known that Native peoples are diverse, they are resilient and they have vast histories on this continent.”
During the Q&A, director Joe Sousa commented on past portrayals of Native Americans in the media, saying they were popularly objectified during the cowboys-and-Indians days of John Wayne. The narrative then changed to focus on the victimization of oppressed Native communities. “With this documentary,” he said, “we attempted to celebrate their culture and achievements. One of the joys of making this film was telling a new story that includes everybody.” n
by Michael Rouleau ‘11
Celebrating 50 years of field study! The sun in Costa Rica was setting through the pouring rain as Nicholas Kukla, a biology student at Eastern Connecticut State University, stepped foot onto a narrow suspension bridge.
Suspended 90 feet off the ground, Kukla and his group were venturing from the comfort of their lodge into the deepness of the rainforest for the first and only night-hike of their field trip in the Central American country.
“Once we got into the rainforest, the first thing I noticed was the sounds,” recalled Kukla. “A rush of sounds from different directions had my head swiveling. I wanted to know what each twig snap and leaf rustle could be.” Using artificial light to see in the pitch-black forest, the researchers spent hours investigating tropical organisms. Among their finds, they discovered the bullet ant, named for a debili-
Since 1968, Eastern biology professors have taken
students on a tropical biology field course in the Caribbean Basin. The unique annual field experience for Eastern students had its genesis when Biology Professor William Jahoda visited Bermuda in the summer of 1966 to give a lecture for the National Audubon Society. Two summers later he was bringing students to the island. Over the years, the cast of faculty mentors has included Ralph Yulo (Education Department) and biologists Barry Wulff, Michael Gable, Phillip Elliott, Ross Koning and Charles Booth. Current faculty include Patricia Szczys, Josh Idjadi, Matthew Graham, Brett Mattingly and Kristen Epp. Destinations have changed over time, with Bermuda being the first destination. In 1984, the department introduced Jamaica as a second location, with Belize taking its place in 1986. Bermuda and Belize alternated each year until 2001, when San Salvador Island in the Bahamas replaced Bermuda. Costa Rica replaced the Belize course as a destination in 2008, and has alternated with the Bahamas as the annual destination ever since.
tating sting that some say is the most painful in existence. The creature rested comfortably on the handrail of the guided trail, unbothered by its visitors.
“It was the process of turning over every log and exploring every dark hole we encountered that made the night-hike so special,” Kukla said. “This trip really shows you how science works at the smallest levels.”
Booth has seen much of this evolution, teaching the Tropical Biology course more than 20 times. “My first trip was in May 1985 to Bermuda with former professors Barry Wulff and Michael Gable,” he said. “I have many great memories — nighttime walks through the Belize rainforest, using a headlamp to spot animals; scuba diving with hammerhead sharks off San Salvador; visiting spectacular Mayan ruins in Belize and Guatemala. My best memories are sharing the experiences with students.” During the Bermuda period, the course was called Oceanic Island Ecology, and gave students access to the most northern coral reefs in the Atlantic Ocean. “What always stood out about the Bermuda course to me was how excited the students were when they saw animals and plants in real life that they had studied, read about and observed as pickled specimens in labs,” recalled Gable.
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Judy Parmelee ’77 went to Bermuda in 1976. “I was blown away by the beauty, diversity and fragility of the ecosystem of this place, so unlike New England shores. I learned to snorkel, which was huge for me, and it opened up a whole new world of marine life and beauty.” “One of my most memorable experiences occurred the year we went to Jamaica,” recalled Wulff. “We spent a day travelling over the backbone of the country and exploring the Blue Mountains cloud forest. Walking among the twisted tree trunks in the fog was eerie.” To guard against Eastern students thinking the course was a vacation trip, Wulff told the Campus Lantern in 1985, “This course is not designed for sun and fun but is rather an academically oriented program with a lot of work being required.” Students have continued to take up the challenge over the years.
“For students in our tropical biology courses,” said Booth, “the biological concepts they read about in textbooks and hear about in lectures come alive when they visit an oceanic island, snorkel on a coral reef or walk through a tropical rainforest. They see exotic plants and animals up close and gain a sense of how tropical organisms interact. They learn how plant and animal communities are structured and how they differ from the communities that we have in New England.
“This course is not designed for sun and fun but is rather an academically oriented program with a lot of work being required.” Barry Wulff to Campus Lantern, 1985 “The students also learn about new cultures,” continued Booth. “They see how the local people interact with their environment, how they use native plants and animals for food and medicine. Some students have never been out of New England, some have never flown on a plane before and some have never been out of the United States. The trips become a transforming experience for many, exposing them to a world they may have only read about or perhaps never knew existed.”
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Costa Rica 2014
This past May, the riveting trip to Costa Rica marked the department’s 50th anniversary. The field course in Costa Rica increases student understanding of tropical ecosystems by reviewing fundamental concepts of tropical ecology, as well as various topics currently attracting research attention. Considerable effort is devoted to assignments and activities designed to enhance educational value. In addition to factual and conceptual content, the course centers on the design and execution of field studies in tropical biology. “Every time I teach the Tropical Biology course, I have unique experiences,” said Biology Professor Patricia Szczys, who was joined by Professor Matthew Graham and 14 students on the trip to Costa Rica. “What I love most about the course is witnessing the first-time rainforest experiences of my students. Plants, animals and
Mayan temple in Western Belize, circa mid-1980s
cultural differences that have become familiar to me over 20 years feel new and exciting when I travel with them. Each student brings me a new perspective.” Jessica Purick was one of the students who studied the effects of visual and olfactory cues on behavioral responses of the strawberry poison dart frog in Costa Rica. “It was a very hands-on adventure with lots of hiking and sightseeing. It definitely made me want to go on another research trip in the future and travel more in general.” “All students return changed in some way,” said Szczys. “Some students realize that they love and have a talent for field work, others realize that they are much more interested in laboratory-based biology. All return with an appreciation of tropical biodiversity and the complexity of tropical field studies, along with an understanding of a new culture. Our students return having overcome environmental, cultural and intellectual challenges.” by Jordan Corey ’19
San Salvador Island 2015
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Raymond Hill Jr. ’83, Charlotte Braziel ’80, President Elsa Nũńez and Shawn Meaike ’95
EASTERN FELLOWS PROGRAM WELCOMES NEW INDUCTEES Three distinguished alumni with interesting and diverse careers were inducted into the Eastern Fellows Program on Oct. 19. In addition to joining the ranks of the University’s most successful alumni, Charlotte Braziel ’80, Raymond Hill Jr. ’83 and Shawn Meaike ’95 returned to campus to meet with students and share career advice during a panel discussion. A public policy and government major at Eastern, Charlotte Braziel ’80 served 26 years as a special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). She specialized in organized crime, domestic and foreign terrorism, and bank and healthcare fraud.
Charlotte Braziel ’80
“My father saw an advertisement in the paper for the FBI recruiting women,” reflected Braziel on her life three decades ago. “When he told me he thought I’d be a good candidate, I laughed and said I would never get in. His response was, ‘Not with an attitude like that.’ But after a two-anda-half-year application process, I got hired as an agent in December 1987 and had the career of a lifetime.” Braziel continued, “As a young student at Eastern I never in my wildest dreams would have
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thought that I’d make it to the FBI. I didn’t even know that women were FBI agents. The lesson I learned was to listen to people who have suggestions and encouragement for you. They may see talent in you that you don’t see yourself.” In her current occupation as head of Braziel & Associates, LLC, Braziel advises defense attorneys as an investigative consultant. She also teaches courses in crime scene investigation and criminal justice ethics at St. Leo University in Florida. “Because of what started at Eastern,” concluded Braziel, “I went from being a wallflower to an FBI agent who teaches internationally.” Raymond Hill Jr. graduated from Eastern in 1983 with a degree in mathematics, went on to earn a Ph.D. in industrial/systems engineering from The Ohio State University, and served as a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force for 23 years. Currently a professor of operations research at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), Hill conducts research to support the U.S. Air Force and Department of Defense, advises Air Force and Army graduate students pursuing master’s and doctoral degrees, and teaches graduate-level courses in statistics and mathematical modeling. “When I started thinking about the type of professor I wanted to be, I thought back to Eastern,” said Hill. “My professors’ doors were never closed. I could go to any of their offices for help
academically and personally. I’ve adopted that same philosophy.” Hill has published nearly 90 peerreviewed journal articles and more than 250 technical works. He has advised more than 150 graduate projects at the master’s and doctoral levels, and been involved in anothRaymond Hill Jr. ’83 er 125 projects. His extensive research background led to his management of more than $7.9 million in research funding. He is the principal lead investigator for an eight-university research consortium, as well as an associate editor for six journals and co-editor for the Journal of Defense Analytics and Logistics. Shawn Meaike graduated from Eastern with a degree in sociology/applied social relations in 1995 and worked for the Department of Children and Families for 13 years as a social worker. “My social work experience here was raw and real,” he said. “We were challenged to speak and work with passion; it helped shape who I am today.” In 2013, Meaike launched Family First Life, a multi-million dollar financial organization located in Uncasville, CT, that generated more than $10 million in sales in its first year. The company is a network of agencies represented by 6,000
Shawn Meaike ’95
licensed agents around the country that markets life insurance, retirement planning and investments. After five years of continuous growth, the company estimates it will end 2018 with more than $175 million in paid life and annuity business and expects to reach more than $200 million in sales in 2019.
With an abiding desire to give back, Meaike launched the Family First Life Scholarship in 2014, which helps students from New London County who have good academic standing as well as financial need. Meaike is also the founder of CT Affordable Waste. Since launching in August 2018, the company is providing local Connecticut businesses and residential homeowners with an easier and more affordable way of completing renovations. by Jolene Potter ’19 The Eastern Fellows Program was established in the 2008-09 academic year to recognize and engage distinguished alumni in the life of the campus community. Including the three newest honorees, 32 Eastern alumni have been inducted into the program.
New Eastern Fellows Charlotte Braziel ’80, Shawn Meaike ’95 and Raymond Hill Jr. ’83 share their experiences with students during a panel discussion in Science 301.
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Led by representatives Phil Blonski of United Way (sitting, left) and Christine Gaumond ’16 of The Village (standing), accounting students trained to obtain IRS certification prior to the 2019 tax season. Professor RuJoub (checkered shirt) was also on hand.
ACCOUNTING STUDENTS SUPPORT COMMUNITY WITH VOLUNTEER TAX ASSISTANCE… On a cold February evening in Willimantic, CT, an anxious, middle-aged woman enters a community agency and sits beside Nicole Brooks ’15. The woman opens a folder and nervously spreads an assortment of tax forms, pay stubs and medical bills on the table. After navigating the paperwork and plugging numbers into a computer program, Brooks turns to the woman and reveals a large, positive number on the screen. The woman’s expression lights up as she gives Brooks a hug and begins to cry, her fear of owing the IRS replaced with relief and excitement for a refund check. This was several years ago, when Brooks was an Eastern student volunteering with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Brooks is now a senior accountant at a local Connecticut-based firm, but other Eastern students continue to serve in the VITA program. The winter of 2019 marks the 20th season that Eastern accounting students have worked with VITA as IRS-certified volunteers preparing income taxes free of charge for low- and moderateincome individuals and families. Accounting Professor Mohd 10 • Winter 2019 • EASTERN
…HELPING PEOPLE MAKE ENDS MEET FOR 20 YEARS RuJoub brought the federal program to Eastern after joining the faculty in 1998. Since RuJoub introduced the program at Eastern, students have facilitated the flow of millions of dollars in tax credits and refunds. They have prepared and filed thousands of returns for families and individuals who need it most while saving them the expense of costly preparation fees. Today, approximately 30 students staff five sites during the tax season — not to mention pop-up sites and one-off events. “Our students run the program and provide all the time and effort,” said RuJoub. “They invest thousands of hours in the program.” While the economic impact for families and communities is undeniable, the experience is profound for the volunteers as well. “I will never forget the gratitude expressed by our clients,” said Brooks, reflecting on the woman she helped several years ago. “She made very little money; it was amazing to be able to help ease some of her financial stress.”
For Chris Brown ’17, “VITA directly affected my career trajectory. I was leaning more toward auditing before, but after participating in VITA I realized how great tax accounting is; which is what I primarily focus on in my current position.” Brown is a staff accountant at Harvey & Horowitz in Rocky Hill yet still volunteers with VITA. This season he is a site coordinator in charge of staffing and quality control. “I love VITA because it’s a way for me to give back to the community by doing something that I genuinely enjoy. “It also allows me to give individuals advice on how to manage their taxes as well as insight into how taxes work,” he continued. “It’s just so rewarding for us to see how much the correct tax preparation can mean when families get the maximum refund. These refunds alleviate some of the stressors they’re dealing with, whether it’s purchasing their next meal or paying a bill. It’s truly a great program to be a part of.” by Michael Rouleau ’11 Accounting Professor Mohd RuJoub brought the program to Eastern 20 years ago. “This amazing opportunity allows our students to gain valuable experience and IRS tax certification, as well as the skills to interact with people from all walks of life. We plan to participate in this marvelous program for many years to come!”
IN WINDHAM AREA BETWEEN 2013 AND 2018:
4,500 RETURNS FILED
150 STUDENT VOLUNTEERS
$8.6 MILLION IN FEDERAL REFUNDS AND CREDITS
Chris Brown ’16 is a staff accountant at Harvey & Horowitz who continues to volunteer with VITA. In this 2016 photo, he’s volunteering at the ACCESS Agency in Willimantic. Nicole Brooks ’15 is a senior accountant at Nicola, Yester & Company in Glastonbury. This photo was taken at a VITA site in Willimantic. “Volunteering with VITA helped to kickstart my career. The experience allowed me to get my feet wet and determine whether or not tax preparation was something I enjoyed.”
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(top) The Eastern campus from Mountain Dairy in Mansfield, CT; (above) “Fun Mud Day” at the Child and Family Development Resource Center; (middle) student researcher Roshani Budhathoki and her faculty mentor Vikaykumar Veerappan conduct research through an American Society of Plant Biologists’ fellowship; (right) It’s beginning to look a lot like . . . winter!; (far right) Fall Fest
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Photographer Tom Hurlbut uses his camera and 35 years of experience to capture some of the special moments that take place each day on Easternâ€™s campus.
(top) “Body + Image” dance concert, spring 2018; (above) “Paint Night!” (right) “Spiral Plaza” in front of Webb Hall; (opposite) Environmental Earth Science students and faculty conduct fieldwork at Diana’s Pool in Chaplin.
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Division III Veteran Brian Hamm Takes Over Eastern Baseball Program
Former Amherst College head baseball coach Brian Hamm has been named the seventh head baseball coach in the 71-year history of the Eastern Connecticut State University baseball program. Hamm averaged nearly 25 wins a year with a .662 winning percentage in his nineyear head coaching career at Amherst. He replaces Matt LaBranche, who was 124-77 with two Little East Conference tournament titles in five seasons at Eastern. LaBranche left this past summer to become the director of athletics at Western New England University. “We are very excited to welcome Brian Hamm to the Eastern Connecticut State University family,” said Director of Athletics Lori Runksmeier. “Brian emerged as our leading candidate from a highly competitive pool, and I am confident he is going to do great things. The Eastern baseball program
has a tradition of success, and the expectations that accompany those successes are high,” added Runksmeier. “Brian has shown he can produce teams that win with character, and he has the passion to succeed as a Warrior. I believe he will meet our expectations and create great experiences for our baseball players.” A 2002 graduate of Middlebury College, where he was a standout soccer and baseball player, the Terryville, CT, native spent the past 14 years at Amherst, the first four assisting legendary head coach Bill Thurston before succeeding the Hall of Fame coach in 2010. In nine years as head coach at Amherst, Hamm led the program to four NCAA Division III tournaments and two New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) tournament championships. He was named NESCAC Coach-of-the-Year in 2011 and 2018. “Returning to Connecticut and coaching at one of our great public institutions is important to me,” said Hamm. “My family has a long history in sports in Terryville and in Connecticut, and to join the Eastern baseball family and represent our alumni is a privilege that I will do my best to honor. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to do so with the young men that are on the team now. I’ve spoken with some of the players and it is clear that I am joining a wonderful group.” At Eastern, Hamm inherits a team that finished 25-16 last year — 10-4 in the Little East Conference — reaching the championship round of the Little East Conference tournament. “What stands out to me during the many conversations that I have with alumni, players and coaches is their passion and love for Eastern and its baseball program,” said Hamm. “I have great respect for the many coaches and alumni who have worn the jersey and contributed to its meaning, and I look forward to learning more about Eastern’s long history from them.”
Consecutive LEC regular-season men’s basketball home wins
Number of All-LEC selections in six fall 2018 sports
Winning percentage of all fall 2018 teams in LEC games
Women’s volleyball LEC AllAcademic selections in fall 2018 (tops in LEC)
1 Win needed for head coach Greg DeVito to become winningest coach in 60 years of men’s soccer
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VOLLEYBALL TEAM WINS CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP The Eastern Connecticut State University women’s volleyball team put the finishing touches on its most successful season in 12 years by winning the Little East Conference (LEC) tournament championship on Nov. 3 with a four-set victory over Keene State College at Eastern’s Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium. Sophomore Abby Stern of Manchester had 22 kills and three players combined to commit only one reception error on 77 attempts as the top-seeded Warriors avenged their only Little East loss of the season with the victory over third-seeded Keene State College — Eastern’s eighth straight victory and 19th in its last 21 matches. After losing in straight sets at Keene State in its conferenceopener on Sept. 15, Eastern ripped off nine straight victories and won its final seven LEC regular-season matches. Eastern advanced to the tournament championship game with a sweep of Rhode Island College before ending a run of three straight losses to Keene. EASTERN • Winter 2019 • 17
T E R A B CA ET R A B CA ET R A B CA T swings Eastern Theatregoers back to 1930's Germany Theatregoers at Eastern were dazzled in October by six performances of “Cabaret,” the Tony Award-winning musical portraying the outset of Nazi-controlled Germany. The first theatrical production of the fall 2018 semester was set in the seedy Kit Kat Klub in early-1930s Berlin, a time rife with political tensions that ultimately brought Adolf Hitler to power.
The Kit Kat Klub is a lively nightclub whose patrons seem happily oblivious to the shifting culture and crumbling society outside. Cliff Bradshaw (Harold Gagne ’20) is an American writer seeking inspiration. He finds his way into the ‘klub’ and becomes enamored with one of the dancers, Sally Bowles (Zoe Czerenda ’19). Cliff is quick to notice the rising Nazi movement, but Sally and her Kit Kat patrons would rather not think about politics. Eastern’s rendition of “Cabaret” was directed by alumna and adjunct faculty member Nichola Johnson ’05. In her director’s notes, Johnson describes 1932 Berlin as a city in chaos, with economic hardships that severely stratified the country following the end of World War I. “With German citizens hungry, out of work and hopelessly dreaming of a better future, a rising extremist movement calls for hatred of the ‘other,’ the ‘other’ including Jews, African immigrants and gay people,” writes Johnson. “The rising populace is schooled to
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believe in a gloriously revived Germany, a Germany that returns to the purity of its roots.”
“I’m grateful to have had the honor to participate in such a culturally relevant show,” said Edward Lorsin ’21, who played Max, the owner of the Kit Kat Klub. “The themes within this decades-old musical highlight societal struggles that people continue to deal with today.” Staying true to the “cabaret” genre, the play featured a flamboyant emcee (Jacob Buckley ’21) and risqué musical numbers and choreography, including an act where the ensemble dressed and danced in drag. “The choreography was so different from what I’m used to,” said Hannah Avena ’21, who played a Kit Kat girl named Helga. “We had to make contorted shapes with our bodies. To act in a play from a different time period — the way the people dressed and conveyed themselves — was fascinating to me.”
“Most of the characters are based on real people,” explained Hannah Zammarieh ’20, the play’s dramaturg. Cliff Bradshaw, for instance, is based on Christopher Isherwood, who lived in Berlin from 1929-33 for the purpose of writing the novel “Goodbye to Berlin.” “Caberet” has its roots in Isherwood’s novel.
Spring 2019 Fine Arts Calendar FRIDAY FACULTY RECITAL SERIES STEVE LAMB, TUBA WESLEY MAYHEW, TROMBONE Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019; 7:30-9 p.m. Concert Hall SACRED GEOMETRY BY RENI GOWER ART GALLERY (FAIC 112) Feb. 7-March 7, 2019 Opening Reception: February 14, 4-6 p.m. MUSIC FOR PIANO FROM AROUND THE WORLD Saturday, February 23, 2019 2:30-4:30 p.m. • Concert Hall THE WOLVES Feb. 27 & 28, and March 1 & 2 at 7:30 p.m.; March 1 at 11 a.m., and March 3 at 4 p.m. DelMonte Studio Theater For tickets, visit http://easternct.showare.com/thewolves FRIDAY FACULTY RECITAL SERIES EMILY JO RIGGS, SOPRANO DAVID BALLENA, PIANO Friday, March 1, 2019; 7:30-9 p.m. Concert Hall
WILLIMANTIC ORCHESTRA Sunday, March 3, 2019; 3-4 p.m. Concert Hall www.willimanticorchestra.org
EASTERN CONCERT CHORALE AND EASTERN CHAMBER SINGERS Monday, April 22, 2019; 7:30-9 p.m. Concert Hall
EASTERN BRASS ENSEMBLE Thursday, March 7, 2019 7:30-10:30 p.m. • Concert Hall
EASTERN CONCERT BAND Wednesday, April 24, 2019 7:30-8:30 p.m. • Concert Hall
PRINTMAKING EXHIBITION Art Gallery (FAIC 112) March 21-April 25, 2019 Opening Reception: March 28, 4-6 p.m.
EASTERN JAZZ ENSEMBLE Monday, April 29, 2019 7:30-9 p.m. • Concert Hall
FRIDAY FACULTY RECITAL SERIES STRAIGHT-UP JAZZ TRIO Friday, April 5, 2019; 7:30-9 p.m. Concert Hall SOUNDS OF KOREA Saturday, April 6, 2019; 2:30-4 p.m. Concert Hall MUSIC PROGRAM HONORS RECITAL AND AWARDS CEREMONY Sunday, April 14, 2019; 2:30-4 p.m. Concert Hall
TO DAMASCUS May 1, 2, 3, & 5 at 7:30 p.m. May 4 at 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Fine Arts Instructional Center For tickets, visit http://easternct.showare.com/ todamascus/ EASTERN BRASS ENSEMBLE Wednesday, May 1, 2019; 7:30-9 p.m. Concert Hall EASTERN OPERA WORKSHOP Saturday May 4, 2019; 2:30-4 p.m. Concert Hall
EASTERN PERCUSSION ENSEMBLES Sunday, May 5, 2019; 2:30-4 p.m. Concert Hall 3 O’CLOCK BAND Monday, May 6, 2019; 7:30-9 p.m. Concert Hall CHAMBER MUSIC RECITAL Tuesday, May 7, 2019; 7:30-9 p.m. Concert Hall GLOBAL MUSIC: WORLD PERCUSSION CONCERT Wednesday, May 8, 2019; 7:30-9 p.m. Concert Hall ART AND ART HISTORY 2019 SENIOR EXHIBITION Art Gallery (FAIC 112) May 10-21, 2019 Opening Reception: May 10, 4-7 p.m. WILLIMANTIC ORCHESTRA Saturday, May 11, 2019; 7:30-9 p.m. Concert Hall www.willimanticorchestra.org For more information, contact Sheila RuJoub at (860) 465-4979 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eastern’s Korean Ensemble Delights Audiences People around the world say that music is a universal language that everyone understands. Eastern’s Samul Jeonsa (Samul Warriors) Korean Ensemble, founded in 2014 and dedicated to performing a traditional Korean music genre known as samulnori, perfectly reflects the belief that music, wherever and however it is created, connects people the world over. Each semester, Samul Jeonsa, a diverse group of students under the tutelage of internationally acclaimed Music Professor Okon Hwang, perform the highly sophisticated art form while learning about the history and culture of Korea.
Hwang said the instruments derive from the Korean words “sa” and “mul” (“four things”) and “nori” (“play”). The buk (a barrel drum) and janggu (an hourglass-shaped drum) are leather instruments, while the jing (a large gong) and kkwaenggwari (a small gong) are brass. Each instrument is said to represent a different element of the weather: the buk symbolizes clouds, the janggu rain, the jing wind and the kkwaenggwarri thunder.
Student Joshua Perry ’19 got involved with the group to learn and practice percussion skills. “This ensemble is great because of its accessibility. Very little previous musical skill or knowledge is required. I quickly became interested in Despite its brief history, the ensemble has been invited to perform throughout Connecticut and around the nation, including performances in Pennsylvania and the cultural source materials that formed the genre of Samul Nori, as well as mastering the instruments. There is a great depth to explore when composing Oklahoma. and performing. We’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s possible.” “Talented and curious-minded students learn to play four different Korean by Dwight Bachman percussion instruments to create pieces that are firmly rooted in Korean musical tradition, while constantly pushing the limits of what is possible by incorporating contemporary references as well as individual flares,” said Hwang.
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Eastern Connecticut State University is the recipient of a major grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to fund research on a little-known type of arachnid known as the camel spider. Led by Biology Professor Matthew Graham, the grant will total more than $500,000 over the course of four years in an effort to develop young scientists and contribute to the understanding of climate change in deserts. The project is a collaboration between Graham’s lab at Eastern, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and the University of Colorado. With more than $1 million in NSF funding split between the Connecticut- and Colorado-based teams, the project represents cutting-edge research that could well have an impact on the global stage. Native to deserts and arid habitats throughout the world, camel spiders — also known as sun spiders and wind scorpions — are an understudied taxonomical group, as they are notoriously difficult to find, collect and keep alive in captivity.
Unlike their scorpion relatives, which can survive for months with no food or water, camel spiders have high metabolisms and voracious appetites, and are a challenge to study in a laboratory setting. One of the NSF’s initiatives is to investigate understudied organisms. Graham and colleagues are tasked with understanding how changing desert landscapes and climates have
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shaped the evolution of camel spiders. Doing so can help predict how they — and desert ecosystems at large — will respond to global climate change, as well as inform desert-conservation efforts.
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As the NSF-funded arachnologists study camel spiders, other scientists are beginning to use genomic techniques to look at desert mammals and reptiles. “Together,” said Graham, “we should begin to understand how our desert ecosystems formed, how they have changed, and how they respond to ongoing and future climate change.” elin a P
into joined Prof
Graham’s team at Eastern will focus on camel spiders of the American Southwest. “The most important thing Eastern is getting out of this is student training in some very marketable laboratory skills,” said Graham. “The genomics techniques they are learning are really powerful and generate exponentially more data than traditional approaches.” Genomics is a branch of molecular biology focusing on the structure, function, evolution and mapping of genomes. A genome is an organism’s complete set of DNA, including all of its genes. As part of the project, the Eastern team will travel to deserts of the United States and Mexico to trap specimens. After the specimens have been collected, they are preserved in ethanol and sent to Cushing’s team in Denver for species identification. Back at Eastern, the genome is extracted from muscle tissue using a laboratory procedure, and tagged for DNA sequencing. “After sequencing, we’re going to have tons of DNA data,” said Graham. “We hope to team up with our math department and use bioinformatics to analyze all this data. Patterns in the DNA will show us how populations of these desert animals have responded to climate change.” by Michael Rouleau ’11
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Why I Give
Steve’s late wife, Lee B. Watts, was a Spanish professor who chaired Eastern’s Classical and Modem Languages Department for many years. In addition to receiving the Outstanding Donor Award in 2013 for his support of the Lee B. Watts Endowed Scholarship, Steve has also started the Barbara C. Daring Endowed Scholarship — named after a family friend — to assist English majors with a concentration in English literature.
“When I was notified that I would receive a donor award in 2013, I was surprised because I think of awards like this going to philanthropists who give money for the pure joy of giving; that does not describe me! My contributions to Eastern come from a desire to honor my late wife. We were together for 64 years. If you include the period in which she was working while officially “retired,” she spent more than half those years serving Eastern. Lee was admired and respected by colleagues, staff and students as an excellent, enthusiastic and dedicated teacher, an able administrator and a valued spokesman for Eastern, particularly with high school language teachers.
“Many of her former students wrote they doubted they would have graduated without the support and guidance she provided. After Lee’s death on Christmas Day 2009, I decided to create and support an endowed scholarship in her name to help future students. I am sure that she would be happy to know that even though she is gone, she continues to help Eastern students in perpetuity. That is the real virtue of an endowed scholarship: the Steve Watts, ECSU Foundation Board of Directors person is honored when it is created, but the honor is renewed ECSU Foundation Outstanding Donor Award Recipient each year when another student receives the grant.” Eastern Connecticut State University’s softball field took on a new name on Sept. 15, as 150 members of the Eastern community gathered under sunny skies for the dedication of Clyde Washburne Field. Known for his wit and wisdom, Clyde Washburne passed away on April 2. He coached three varsity sports over a 22-year period, but was best known for building Eastern’s softball program from a club team and guiding it to four of its five national championships, in addition to three
more national third-place finishes. He was also remembered as an early advocate for women’s intercollegiate athletics. “Clyde Washburne served at the forefront of a revolution in American culture, with the creation of equal opportunity and access to collegiate athletics for women brought about by Title IX,” noted President Elsa Núñez in her remarks. “It was at a time when many men across the country were at best ambivalent, and at worst, hostile to the notion of women playing college sports, few stepped up to lend their enthusiastic endorsement that women had a right to play. But Clyde Washburne did!” Alumni making remarks and sharing their memories included Michael Spencer ’77, who played basketball for Washburne; Anne Iezzi ’79, a member of the club team and the first varsity team; Tammy Schondelmayer ’90, a member of the 1990 national championship team; and Diana Pepin ’92, also a member of the 1990
national championship team and the softball team’s current head coach. The naming was made possible through the creation of the Clyde Washburne Endowed Fund, which will generate a long-term stream of additional revenue for the softball program. On behalf of the student-athletes on the current team, Jacqueline Lewis ’19 expressed thanks to the many alumni, parents and friends who have generously given to the endowment, noting that it will support the team for years to come. At the end of the program, President Núñez led the countdown to the unveiling of the outfield sign proclaiming “Clyde Washburne Field,” prompting a standing ovation from the audience. A plaque recognizing Coach Washburne’s career has been placed at the entrance to the field. To make a gift to the Clyde Washburne Endowed Fund, contact Michael Stenko in the Office of Alumni Affairs at email@example.com or at (860) 465-4509.
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Donors Give Generously to Third Annual #WARRIORSGIVE Campaign
This past November marked Eastern’s third #WARRIORSGive campaign, with final results indicating the University had its best showing ever. While prior years featured a one-day campaign to align with national “Giving Tuesday,” this year’s campaign took place throughout the month of November. When Dec. 1 rolled around, 812 donors — 392 of them alumni — had contributed $195,000, aided by two generous matching gifts. This is double what was received in 2017, when 365 people donated a total of $98,609, again supported by two matching gifts. The Eastern intercollegiate athletic program also conducted the Athletic Directors Challenge during the month, with alumni participation incentives for the top three teams. Men’s lacrosse took first place (25 percent) and received a $3,000 check, followed by the women’s swimming and softball teams, which received $2,000 and $1,000 respectively. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you to everyone who donated through
Kalbers Support Early Childhood Program Theresa Kalber ’70 and her husband, Ray, are deeply committed to supporting today’s students. That isn’t surprising when you consider that they combined to spend nearly 60 years as educators — Ray as a math teacher at Tolland High School and Theresa as an elementary school teacher at Northeast School in Vernon. Ray spent 22 of his 30 teaching years in Tolland; Theresa spent all but two of her 28 years as an educator in Vernon. The Kalbers continue to be major gift contributors to Eastern’s Department of Education and have decided to earmark their FY19 gift for the Jeffrey and Nancy Trawick-Smith Early Childhood Undergraduate Research Fund. “The youth in this country are our future and must be educated for the skills of the future,” explained Theresa. The purpose of the Trawick-Smith fund is to provide assistance to undergraduate students who are conducting scientific, empirical studies of young children in Eastern’s Center for Early Childhood Education. Studies supported by the fund will yield practical knowledge in early education and development, and promote the well-being of young children and their families. The fund will also provide opportunities for undergraduates to gain research knowledge and skills that will be invaluable to them as they pursue careers in today’s data-driven work environment. “As graduates of state universities and as retired public school teachers, education is important to us” said Ray, “especially early childhood education, which is vital for students to succeed. Supporting Eastern’s Education Department is the right thing to do.” EASTERN • Winter 2019 • 23
Matches Mad 24 • Winter 2019 • EASTERN
Andy ’84 and Sue (Kucharczyk) Skroly ’86 In the fall of 1983, Andy and Sue lived across from one another in Low Rise, “blue doors.” Aside from passing in the halls, though, the two had little contact. “I would watch Sue from my apartment window as she left to go to and from class,” said Andy. Their friendship developed over time, at on- and offcampus events, rugby games, Halloween parties, Thanksgiving dinner in “blue doors” and Spring Weekend. Though Andy graduated that spring, he returned to campus over the next two years to visit friends. “I remember one time Andy came up to show me his brand new blue Nissan Pulsar. He was so proud of his first new car!” said Sue. Still, it wasn’t until Sue graduated that Andy asked a mutual friend for her phone number, and it wasn’t until Super Bowl Sunday 1987 that he finally called. “The rest is all history,” said Sue. Now married for 28 years, Andy works as a senior scientist with a large German chemical company while Sue is a benefits manager with a women’s health company. They have two sons, Andrew, 26, and Patrick, 23. The couple recently downsized to a home by the beach in Madison, CT, and still meet up with their Eastern friends to talk about old times. “The small school feel at Eastern has served us both well in our careers. We were lucky to meet there and share our wonderful life together.”
“The rest is all history.”
Rachel and Alex shared their special day with fellow Eastern graduates.
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June and Mark started at Eastern in the fall of 1975 but their paths didn’t cross until sophomore year, when Mark was a student assistant in June’s chemistry lab. “My whole world changed and I would never have it any other way,” she says. “Mark and I became active in the Biology Club, which provided us time to get to know one another. Trips to New York and Boston quickly proved that we both loved to travel and experience new places together.” After the couple graduated in 1979, Mark left for Chicago to continue his education in medical technology. They stayed together and were married on May 2, 1981. “Over the 37 years we have been married,” said Mark, “June and I have experienced many ups and downs and we have had great times together with our children and family.” That family now includes their son, Nick, and his fiancé, Cristin, their daughter, Lara, and her husband, Dustin, and their first grandchild, Henry. They have also been able to explore their love of travel, visiting Canada, France, England, Ireland and the Caribbean. “Our match at Eastern has given us friendship, a confidant and love for a lifetime!” said Mark.
“love for a lifetime!” Alex ’14 and Rachel (Junga) Bieniek ’14 Rachel (Junga) Bieniek ’14 met her husband Alex ’14 on move-in day in August 2010 in Constitution Hall. Her roommates Jordan Somes ’14 and Lesia Kerr ’14 knew Alex, who was attending the University of Connecticut at the time. Alex was visiting his Eastern friends that day, and Rachel and Alex had their unofficial “first date” over Labor Day weekend. “My roommates went back to their hometowns, and I ended up being alone in Constitution Hall. I didn’t know many people yet and refused to spend my first weekend of college alone, so I asked Alex to hang out on campus and we hit it off!” Rachel even got him to transfer to Eastern. “We got married on Labor Day weekend, so it all came full circle!” said Rachel. The couple married in Darien, CT, on Sept. 2, 2018, surrounded by their Eastern friends. “We also inadvertently chose Eastern colors (maroon and navy) as our wedding colors.” Alex works as an air traffic controller in Knoxville, TN, where the couple now resides with their dog, Ace. Rachel is the assistant director for alumni engagement and development at the Webb School of Knoxville, a private pre-K-12 school.
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Mark ’79 and June (Kolterman) Dalidowitz ’79
Eastern Graduates Succeed Almost nine million jobs were lost during the “Great Recession” a decade ago. Set against that economic downturn, Eastern alumni used their solid liberal arts education to continue to land or maintain viable professional positions. Among them were Melissa Barone Garvin ’04, Adam Brzozowski ’08, David Ciccalone ’10 and Kyle Savage ’09, who remind us that an Eastern education can place our graduates on a solid path to long-term success. by Dwight Bachman Melissa Barone Garvin of Southington, who graduated summa cum laude and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology, has spent most of her career with the Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS). She is currently director of tactical planning, a research and planning position, where she oversees data collection and analysis to determine where improvements are needed in DSS operations.
“I knew when I was working on my degree in Sociology that I wanted to be in the public sector and use my degree to help people,” said Garvin. “With this job, I really use all of what I’ve learned at Eastern. I find ways to expand access to those who apply for public assistance. I use agency technology and performance data to find opportunities to service delivery for residents of Connecticut in need.”
Garvin prepares reports and presentations for the agency leadership to validate that changes DSS implements are working. “When the data shows improvements in how we provide assistance because of an idea I offered, there is nothing better to me. Making things easier for people who really need help is priceless. I love what I do because I know I am making a difference by helping as many people as possible. ” Garvin credits such professors as Social Work Professor Emeritus Robert Wolf for inspiring and engaging her. “They showed me that I could help people through research and how the results of research were put into practice.” She said professors like Music Professor David Belles also taught her the value of gratitude and pushed her beyond her own expectations of herself. Adam Brzozowski graduated magna cum laude, with a triple major in Economics, History and Political Science. He lives in Mansfield, MA, with his wife and two children and serves as associate director of research analytics for C Space in Boston.
C-Space is a boutique management consulting firm headquartered in Boston, with offices in New York City, London, Shanghai and elsewhere, that specializes in helping big brands (mostly Fortune 500 companies) reconnect with their customers for continued growth.
“I work within C Space’s product innovation group, where I am helping build data and analytics groups from the ground up,” said Brzozowski. “We primarily provide customer-centric data analytics. I use statistical learning techniques to help clients answer very big, strategic questions about their customer experience. I have also built out a suite of analytics for C Space as well, which has begun to help the company revolutionize how it uses data for its operational decision making.”
Brzozowski says Eastern provided him with a broad foundation of intellectual skills that he uses every day on the job. “What I didn’t understand concretely until years after I left Eastern, was that being educated liberally across many disciplines and ways of thinking is critical to functioning well in the global economy. In so many cases, my ability to do so many different things well—reading, writing and mathematics—has given me the edge needed to succeed.”
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in Lean & Prosperous Times
David Ciccalone, who lives in North Hampton, NH, wanted to change his career after graduating from the University of Connecticut with a degree in political science. He came to Eastern to earn his Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Earth Science (EES) with Dean’s Distinction. Ciccalone subsequently earned a master’s degree in Geoscience-Hydrogeology at the University of Rhode Island (URI), and was just promoted from senior to principal hydrogeologist in the Woburn, MA, office of Roux Associates, a national environmental consulting firm specializing in environmental site cleanup. The Roux organization, an employee-owned company with more than 300 environmental professionals, works on large complex environmental remediation projects, including Superfund sites, chemical and manufacturing plants, and petroleum refineries and distribution terminals, operating in a variety of science and engineering disciplines. Ciccalone uses his degrees to prepare technical opinions on large multi-million dollar remediation sites. He is also charged with developing new business. “I enjoy the technical side of the work at Roux. No two sites are exactly the same,” said Ciccalone. “I utilize the things I learned at Eastern on a daily basis. I like new challenges and this is a job that provides those challenges.” Kyle Savage, who lives in Southington, uses his degree in business administration to serve as New Britain-based Stanley Black and Decker’s senior global sourcing manager. He works with more than 75 Black & Decker plants and with suppliers around the world, engaging in contract negotiations and management, risk management and new supplier development worldwide. “Our company purpose is ‘For Those Who Make the World’… That is what our products allow our customers to do; and do it efficiently,” explained Savage. “After a disastrous hurricane, earthquake, or tornado, our products aid in rebuilding communities, getting people back on their feet more quickly.” Savage said Eastern was the perfect school for him. “I attended classes where all the professors, especially those in Business Administration, knew my name and cared about my success. Davetta Thatcher, an adjunct professor who taught Entrepreneurship, always pushed her students to dream big and pursue what makes you happy.”
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Behind the Scenes with
8 9 ’ s li e g n eA D e c a Cand Did your experience as an Eastern student influence your interest in student affairs as a career?
how have you adapted to changes in eastern students over the years?
My experiences at Eastern were the reason I decided to enter the field of student affairs! After an entry-level Sociology course with Jean Thoreson, I began to explore my interest in social interaction and behaviors in society. Planning events, leading my peers in student organizations and exploring my own leadership potential became a priority for me. After working in the Student Center as an undergraduate and serving on the Campus Activity Board, I began to ask questions of my advisors to learn how they came to work at a university.
It is so important to meet students where they are and help them grow while providing the tools and resources for them to do so independently. From access to updated technology and inviting spaces in our campus buildings, to programs and events that students want to see, I have learned to ask questions and give students the opportunity to voice their opinions and share their interests. Knowing when to be flexible and accommodating, and when to hold students accountable is a challenge that I very much enjoy.
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What’s your favorite student event of the year?
What do you love most about Eastern?
It’s hard to pick a favorite; we offer so many great events, but Orientation, Family Day and Commencement are some of my favorites. I love seeing students start their college career at SOAR with their parents by their side; bring parents and family members to visit for Family Day; and then invite their family and friends to see them walk across the stage at Commencement. The growth and development I have the privilege of seeing in students throughout their time at Eastern is why I do what I do.
The students! I love learning where they are from, what they have experienced and how they learn transferable skills that will make them marketable to employers in their future career fields. One of the things I love most about working with students is seeing them develop over their time at Eastern and encouraging them to take on leadership positions that will challenge them to learn new things and meet new people.
Bob Brewster still works full time for Watson Realty Corp. in Port Orange, FL, where he lives, and is one of the company’s leading realtors. In 2017 he received the company’s Silver Pinnacle Award for sales of $3 million or more, and in 2018 the Presidential Award for sales of more than $5 million. Bob and his wife Ruth love to take cruises, and have gone on roughly a dozen in the past two years. He said he loved his 50th class reunion last year.
72 Raymond Stone sold his 42-year-old insurance agency, Stone Insurance of Suffield, LLC, in 2017 and moved to Florida with his wife, LuAnne. He writes that he doesn’t miss the work, but he does miss clients and “our old friends as we continue to build relationships in Florida.”
74 Don Richmond retired from Franklin Elementary School in 2012 after 34 years of teaching, then worked part time from 2014 to 2017 at Three Rivers Community College as an education assistant for two English courses. His daughter, Amanda, and her husband, Matt Otteman, have two daughters. His son, Todd, married Krystal Moon in June 2018.
75 Andy Cote is a research administrator at the University of Massachusetts. His research involves harnessing energy
from deep-water wells or the ocean and redesigning turbine engine technology to produce clean energy. His earlier career involved working on international contracts for two UTC companies, Pratt & Whitney and Hamilton Sundstrand.
78 Deb (Delamater) McCrackan has spent her career in banking, and is now branch manager for Key Bank in Storrs, CT. Deb was a member of the ECSU Alumni Association Board of Directors, and served as its treasurer.
83 Edward Manfredi received the Professional Honor Award from the Connecticut Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance at its state conference in Cromwell. He is K-12 Department Leader for Health, Physical Education and Wellness for the Farmington Public Schools, providing leadership to a department of 17 faculty in seven buildings.
85 Kristen (Morosky) Day reaches her 25year anniversary with the Connecticut Department of Public Health, where she is an environmental analyst, in February. She was also a tutor and mentor with the CONNECTIKIDS INC program in Hartford Public Schools for nearly nine years until last spring. She hopes to return to the program in the spring if her schedule allows. Alan Goldsher serves as chairman and CEO of Re-Invention TV, LLC, a company founded to bring selected work of publishers and their companies and ideas to television and other video outlets. In cooperation with the New York Daily News and NJ Monthly, one of his company’s productions, “Best Places to Live,” was nominated for an Emmy.
86 Bob Polito, senior vice president and director of government guaranteed lending at Webster Bank, has been named an SBA Lender of the Year by Coleman Publishing, a leading source of news, information and training materials Bob Polito '86 for the small business industry. Bob has been with Webster for more than 24 years and leads a team of six other SBA professionals, managing the Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island SBA markets. He and his team have successfully completed eight SBA reviews and Webster has lent almost $750 million in new SBA loans under Bob’s leadership. Bob is currently serving his third term as chairman of the Board of Trustees for Masonicare, a $200 million not-for-profit and leading provider of healthcare and senior living services. Mary (Boss) Withey now works for Community Health Services in Hartford as manager of infection control and prevention, after many years of working in health care in the Windham area. She said she is “forever grateful” for the education she received at Eastern.
90 Susan Mullaney is president of Kaiser Permanente Washington, the newest of eight branches of the Kaiser Permanente health care and health plan organization in the western states. In her new role, Susan leads the nonprofit health plan, which provides affordable health care to nearly 700,000 people. Prior to assuming her new position, she was chief operating officer for the Kaiser Permanente Northwest Region, based in Oregon, and prior to that, was the region’s vice president of hospital operations from 2013 to 2015. She serves on several Seattle area nonprofit boards, including the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and the Washington Healthcare Cooperative. Susan earned a master’s degree in health care policy and management from the University of Massachusetts. Travis Sirrine has been hired by the town of Putnam as the highway superintendent. EASTERN • Winter 2019 • 29
91 Diana Pepin has been Eastern’s head softball coach since 2001, and in that time has led the team to two regional championships and a third-place finish at the World Series in 2010. As a player at Eastern, she was a starter on the softball team for four years, during which time the team won four regional championships and a national championship in 1990. Lauren Perrotti-Verboven became chief information officer in August 2018 for Orca Manufacturing, a New Britain firm that produces metal packaging and enclosing materials including metal cans and tops. She started her career by spending 16 years at Horizons, a South Windham agency that assists adults with a range of disabilities, leaving as its director of operations. Lauren also served on the board of directors of the ECSU Alumni Association, and was a longtime adjunct professor at Eastern.
92 Jim Barrett has been a Hartford police officer for more than 15 years. He also had Army service that sent him on three overseas tours, including 18 months in a combat role in Iraq. In 2016, he launched “Footwear with Care,” a program that has since provided more than a thousand pairs of shoes and boots to Hartford’s homeless and
counts Eastern’s cross country and track student-athletes among its proud participants. Darren Robert, professor of kinesiology and physical education at Eastern, received the Professional Service Award from the Connecticut Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance at its state conference in Cromwell. He is the director of the Physical Education Teacher Education Program and has taught courses in Motor Development, Preschool and Elementary Physical Education, Technology and Assessment in PE and the Student Teaching Seminar. Stephen Trimper is the head baseball coach at Stetson University in Florida. Previously he completed 11 seasons as head coach at the University of Maine, where he compiled a 309-292-2 overall record and took his team to the conference tournament nine times, advancing to NCAA regional play in 2006 and 2011. Steve and his wife, Lisa (D’Agostino) ’92, have twin daughters, Ally and Morgan, who are sophomores at the Taft School in Connecticut, where they play ice hockey.
94 Dawn Peck was appointed treasurer of Venerable Annuity, where she will oversee treasury strategy and processes for the business, including cash management, liquidity, short-term investments, debt management, and bank and creditor relations.
Student-athletes met with alumni on Nov. 13 to talk about career planning and preparation as well as the challenges of making the transition from student-athlete to the workforce at the annual Warriors@Work reception. Alumni sharing their expertise with students included (front row) Ryan Cavanaugh ’01, Pratt & Whitney; Amber Tucker ’04, Fiondella, Milone & LaSaracina, LLP; Ashley Marchitto ’08, Dick's Sporting Goods; Diana Pepin ’92, Eastern. (back row) Lauren Perrotti-Verboven ’91, Orca Manufacturing; Chris Vechinsky ’98, Social Security Administration; James Barrett ’92, Hartford Police Department; Joe Genovese ’95, Brookfield Public Schools 30 • Winter 2019 • EASTERN
95 Candace Callahan recently became director of early childhood programs at the Worcester Jewish Community Center. She was previously director of the Worcester Child Development Head Start Center, director of the University of Washington Children’s Center in Seattle and a teaching director for the Diocese of Seattle. Candace has also taught at Notre Dame Academy in Worcester. She has a master’s degree in education from Assumption College. Joe Genovese teaches physical education in the Brookfield Public Schools system, where he has taught for nearly 20 years. As a pitcher, he was a three-year varsity baseball player and was part of Eastern’s 1990 NCAA Division III World Series championship team. He has earned master’s degrees from Sacred Heart University in Elementary Education and from Quinnipiac in Educational Leadership. Mary Kay Knox was recently chosen to lead the Quinebaug Middle College and East Conn magnet school located on the campus of Quinebaug Valley Community College in Danielson. She had joined the schools as the science technology, engineering and mathematics instructional coach and data facilitator. Mary Kay, who earned a master’s degree in Education with a concentration in Marine Environment at Eastern, earned her bachelor's degree at UConn.
98 Candace DeAngelis returned to campus to join Eastern’s staff in 2005 and has been working in positions of increasing responsibility in student activities ever since. She is now interim director of student activities. Candace earned a master of science in College Student Personnel/Human Development & Family Studies from the University of Rhode Island in 2000. Eric Larson was named Manchester Citizen of the Year for 2018 by the Manchester Lodge of Elks 1893, in the wake of being named the Manchester Public Schools Teacher of the Year for 2016-17. Students in his Broadcast Journalism class produce a weekly news program for Manchester High School called “The Pulse” which has been recognized as the Northeast regional finalist for the Student Television Network’s (STN) Broadcast Excellence Award in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Glenn Lungarini has been named executive director of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference. He had been principal of Pomperaug Regional High School in Southbury. In a two-decade education career, he has served as teacher, coach, department chair, athletic director, assistant principal and principal of a middle school and Seymour High School. He was also an assistant baseball coach at Yale for seven years. Chris Vechinsky is a vocational counselor with the Social Security Administration in Hartford. He previously held a similar position in the State of Georgia. Chris is also a staff sargeant in the U.S. Air Force Reserve at the Westover Air Reserve base in Chicopee, MA, and is scheduled to deploy to the Middle East within the next two years.
00 Jennifer Delskey was named 2018-19 Educator of the Year by Windsor Public Schools. She has served as an educator in Windsor for 16 years and currently teaches second grade at Poquonock Elementary School.
01 Ryan Cavanaugh is the associate director and group manager for the Finance Applications Department at Pratt & Whitney, having held roles with increasing responsibility with the company’s digital technology division since working in a co-op role there in 2001. He was a four-year member of the men’s lacrosse team and a two-year captain, and was the inaugural recipient of the Francis E. Geissler Senior Male Sportsperson-ofthe-Year award in 2001. Jessica (Woike) Gonzalez became director of marketing, communications and outreach for Sacramento Regional Transit in October 2018. Her duties include preparing press releases, video scripts, speeches, talking points and website content. Prior to assuming her new post, she had worked in communications positions for the California Department of Motor Vehicles for nearly seven years. She also holds a Master of Science degree in Broadcast Communications from Boston University. Alyssa Gwinnell has been principal of Horace W. Porter School in Columbia since 2012. She earned her master’s degree in Reading and Language Arts as well as her bachelor’s in Middle Level Education at Eastern, and went on to earn certification in Educational Leadership at Central Connecticut State University and Executive Leadership at UConn — preparing for principal- and
superintendent-level positions respectively. She also earned a B.A. in English at UConn before coming to Eastern. She lives in Mansfield, CT, with her husband, John, and two sons, and is involved in a wide range of civic and volunteer activities. Holly (Mandes) Ryan is an associate professor of English and Writing Center Coordinator at Penn State Berks, a branch of Pennsylvania State University in Reading, PA. She teaches courses in the Professional Writing Program and the Composition program, and her academic research focuses on writing and communication practices in public, professional and academic contexts to analyze power dynamics and the way they influence rhetorical situations. As writing center coordinator, she administers the Berks campus Writing Center. Holly earned her master’s degree and Ph.D. at the University of Arizona. Umesh Vig has been named director of international student affairs and student conduct at Manchester Community College. He was previously assistant to the Dean of Student Affairs at MCC. In addition to his Eastern degree in Communication, Umesh holds master’s degrees from the University of Connecticut and the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade in New Delhi, and another bachelor’s degree from Guru Nanak Dev University in India.
Eastern lacrosse alumni ranging from members of the original club teams of the early ’90s to members of the current team joined together to play in lacrosse tournaments over the summer in Glastonbury, CT, and Lake Placid, NY. (standing left to right) Scott Burch ’04, Tom Gallagher ’18, Matt Godbout ’02, Mike Grabski ’03, Ryan Cavanaugh ’01, Ryan Rose ’00, Harrison Urda ’19, Matt Rougeot ’19, Scott Berniker ’99, Matt Garcia ’15, Thierry Francois ’00, Mike Moore ’15, Eddie Sheehan ’02, Jared Beazley ’97, Ryan Lallier ’00, Marc Graham (current Eastern head coach); (kneeling) Andy Ivanick ’03, Brendan Carney ’00, Pat Ammendolia ’03, Chris Strycharz ’04, Jeff Reinhart ’01, Dan Campbell ’00, Bill Rentiers ’01, John Rubano ’00; (front) Kirk Belanger ’03
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Andrea Simmons became senior director of prospect development and information strategy for the University of Rhode Island in November 2018. She had spent the previous 10 years at Connecticut College, the last six as director of advancement services. In that role she had a senior position working with approximately 40 fundraising professionals in a program raising about $30 million annually in donations and commitments.
Christopher Davis has ended a distinguished 24-year career with the Manchester Police Department to become the deputy chief of the East Hartford Police Department. He rose from the patrol ranks and through the detective division to become a captain in Manchester. He had been the public information officer there since 2004. In addition to a degree in Sociology from Eastern, Christopher earned a master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Boston University. He teaches criminal justice at Eastern and at Manchester Community College. Shaymus McTeague is commercial fulfillment manager in the San Jose, CA, office of ARM, an international computer hardware engineering firm headquartered in England that designs and markets hardware for computers, mobile devices, automobiles and other electronic devices. He is also a volunteer at the Tech Museum in San Jose, promoting STEM interests with students from kindergarten to high school. Amber (Drake) Tucker is a director with the accounting firm of Fiondella, Milone & LaSaracina (FML), and has more than 14 years of accounting experience. Her experience includes work as a financial auditor and consultant working with not-for-profits and private companies in retail, distribution and manufacturing. She earned her Master of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Hartford in 2006, and her CPA license in 2009.
03 Laura Mlyniec-Beam is academic advisor in the University of Connecticut College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources. Working in higher education since graduating from Eastern, she has held positions at Cornell University, the Rhode Island School of Design and Brown University. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Intercultural Relations and Higher Education from Lesley University. Heather (Scorca) Warner has been named Teacher of the Year for the Bolton School District, where she has spent her entire career since graduating from Eastern. Heather teaches eighth-grade language arts at Bolton Center School, where she also leads the school’s book club and spelling team.
Michael Wolter is an associate professor and director of the management and leadership program at Goodwin College, where he has been on the faculty since 2012. He also earned a master’s degree in Organizational Management from Eastern in 2009 and holds a Ph.D. in Organization and Management from Capella University in Minneapolis. Michael is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Business Administration at Eastern.
05 Bruce Desmarais has been named the inaugural DeCrandis-McCourtney Early Career Professor of Political Science at Penn State University’s College of Liberal Arts. Bruce specializes in developing and applying statistical models that illuminate the interrelationships among politics, policymaking and public administration. After graduating from Eastern summa cum laude with a double major in Economics and Public Policy & Government and a minor in Mathematical Economics, Bruce earned his master’s degree and Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina. Brian Lanoue of Jewitt City won the election to represent the 45th District in the Connecticut House, defeating the district’s former representative Steve Mikutel, who had stepped down in 2016 after holding the seat for 22 years. The district is made up of Griswold, Sterling, Voluntown and part of Lisbon and Plainfield. Jewett City is part of Griswold.
LEAP Six successful
alumni met with students to talk about career development as part of the annual leadership development networking reception on Nov. 14. Alumni participating included Holly Ryan ’01, Penn State Berks; Derrick Gibbs ’08, Change Inc.; Cody Guarnieri ‘09, Brown, Paindiris & Scott, LLP; Andy Cote ‘75, UMass-Amherst; Deborah McCrackan ‘78, Key Bank; Candace DeAngelis ‘98, Eastern.
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On Oct. 22, Eastern’s English Department hosted another in its continuing series of “English@Work” career development events, designed to introduce English majors to the wide variety of career paths available to them. The panel, focusing on careers in Higher Education Student Affairs, included Eastern alumni Melissa Dwelley ’12, Yale University; Reece D’Angelo ’11, Quinnipiac University; Megan (Sniffin) Vo ’13, University of Saint Joseph; and Monica Mordowanec ’16, Salem State University. Moderating the panel was Emily Hill ’19, an English major with a concentration in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. Emily is also president of Eastern’s chapter of Sigma Tau Delta and a University Honors Scholar.
Luciano Faugno has been with AQR Capital Management, LLC, a global investment management firm located in Greenwich, CT, for six years, and was promoted to vice president at the firm in 2017. An IT professional since his graduation, Lou now supervises more than a dozen AQR employees/contractors around the globe, and travels abroad to set up new offices to meet their infrastructure needs. Luciano lives in Stamford, CT, has a dog and enjoys outdoor activities. Mae Ryan Maloney, a program director for Leadership Greater Hartford, was chosen as one of the Hartford Business Journal’s “40 under 40” outstanding young professionals for 2018. Leadership Greater Hartford is a nonprofit organization that seeks to develop, connect and inspire community leaders for the greater Hartford area. Mae directs the organization’s Leaders on Board program. In addition to her Eastern degree in Sociology and Applied Social Relations, she has a master’s degree in Sociology from Smith College. Elijah Oliver became associate director of admissions at Manchester Community College in August 2018. Prior to that he was enrollment management coordinator at the school. Also in 2018, Elijah completed his master’s degree in Counselor Education, Student Development in Higher Education from Central Connecticut State University.
Derrick Gibbs is chief executive officer of Change Incorporated, a Middletown organization that provides recovery services for mental health patient clients and persons recovering from brain injuries or dealing with developmental disabilities throughout the state. The agency’s services include companion, homemaking, case management, counseling and more. The agency is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Services. Ashley Marchitto has worked for Dick’s Sporting Goods for 10 years, and is district manager for the Hartford district, overseeing business operations for a majority of stores in Connecticut and Western Massachusetts. She was a four-year starter for Eastern’s softball program, was named to the Little East All-Academic team three times and served as a co-captain her senior year. Ashley was a university honors scholar and was inducted into international honors society in Economics.
09 Cody Guarnieri is a partner in the Hartford office of the law firm Brown, Paindiris & Scott, where he specializes in criminal defense and personal injury litigation. He has been listed as a Super Lawyers Rising Star since 2015 and was named New Leader in the Law by
the Connecticut Law Tribune in 2016. He graduated from the UConn School of Law in 2012. Among several professional and civic affiliations, Cody sits on the executive board of the Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. Devin Lewis is a vice president in small business banking for Bank of America in the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC. He was promoted from assistant vice president in April for the bank, where he has worked for about six years.
10 Katherine Patnaude, CPA of Wethersfield was reappointed by the Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants (CTCPA) to its advisory council for the organization’s 2018-19 activity year. The council serves as a sounding board for the CTCPA board. Katherine is an audit senior manager with PKF O’Connor Davies LLP in Wethersfield. She holds an M.S. in Accounting from UConn, and has served in other leadership roles with CTCPA and other professional organizations in her field. Justin Sorel became senior accountant for Ximedica, a Providence firm that serves as a facilitator for the development and marketing of innovative medical technologies. He earned his Accounting degree at Eastern summa cum laude.
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Reece D’Angelo is an academic specialist at Quinnipiac University. She earned an M.S. in Counseling and Student Development in Higher Education from Central Connecticut State University.
Brielle Heinl will be Jonathan Ayala has opened traveling to China Fresh Men Spa Lounge in with the Global Audowntown New London, a tism Project, a nonbusiness that offers perBrielle Heinl '13 profit organization sonal care treatments, sells that aims to create personal grooming products sustainable programs to assist people for men, and serves as a place for men with autism around the world. Brielle, to socialize. An Army veteran, Ayala is who is completing a master’s degree in offering military discounts and hopes to Applied Behavior Analysis from Southwork with the Department of Veterans ern New Hampshire University, was one Affairs. He continues serving as the New of only four people accepted for the trip London city clerk. out of hundreds of applicants. She is Jordan Clark works at the Bank of required to meet a fundraising goal, and America headquarters in Charlotte, NC. hopes people with Eastern connections This is his third year with the company, will help. The web site is www.globalauworking in a role that supports both tismproject.org. the capital as well as the recovery and Zainab Giwa recently became impact resolution plans that the bank submits manager in Providence for City Works, to regulators on an annual basis. an organization working in 28 cities deJessie Kohn recently did ploying AmeriCorps members to prevent the design for Eric Clapdropouts in high-risk school systems. ton’s latest “Happy Xmas” She has served in previous positions CD, which came out in as an AmeriCorps Vista worker and a October. Jessie worked leader with the organization. with Clapton’s team to get Joseph Kwasniewski stepped down the perfect design, basing as chief executive officer of the Port it on one of the legendary Chester Carver Center in October, after guitarist’s original drawearning his MBA from the Yale School of ings. He also recently Management in May 2018. Joseph spent exhibited his own art at almost six years as the Carver Center’s the prestigious “Schön leader before leaving to pursue career Konferenz” in Augsburg, opportunities in the for-profit sector. Germany. An Austrian To help with the transition he stayed on native, Jessie moved back as advisor to the incoming CEO of the to Salzburg in 2015, and his subsequent Carver Center, an educational and social success has enabled him to focus on services organization that assists the freelance work as of August 2016. He low-income population of Port Chester, works almost exclusively on a computer, NY. “painting” with stylus and tablet. Katie Rychling has taken the position of science curriculum chair at Hall Memorial School in Willington to assist in the transition to the Next Generation Science Standards. She was in her fourth year as a seventh- and eighth-grade science teacher at Hall in fall 2018, where her teaching duties cover a span of science classes including physical, Liane Povilonis was selected for United life and earth science. Technology’s prestigious two-year-long Human Resources Leadership Program, Megan (Sniffin) Vo is assistant director of and began its first phase in July 2018. residential life at St. Joseph University. Liane’s first posting is with United TechShe holds an M.F.A. in Creative Nonficnology’s Aerospace Systems operation tion from Hofstra University. in Windsor Locks. While she has a master’s degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Liane credits Eastern, especially Professor Peter Bachiochi, for guiding her and helping her find where her professional interests lie.
12 Peter Brander, an officer with the Glastonbury Police Department, received a Letter of Recognition during the department’s annual award ceremony. He was commended for his work on an armed robbery and carjacking case, ultimately identifying and arresting the perpetrator. Melissa Dwelley is communications officer for the Yale Young Global Scholars program. She holds a master’s of education degree in Student Personnel Administration from Springfield College. Matt McDonnell has become a star, cheerleader and organizational leader in the sport of Ultimate Frisbee – generally referred to as Ultimate. A multisport athlete in high school in East Lyme, Matt did not discover Ultimate until about a year before his graduation from Eastern, but has been focused on it since. He moved to the Washington, DC, area and was recently named most valuable player in the 23-team American Ultimate Disc League. Matt is also the co-founder of the American Ultimate Academy, which was established in 2017 and offers national camps to high schoolage participants. Andrew Minikowski has joined the Office of Consumer Counsel as a staff attorney. Prior to this appointment, Andrew worked as an attorney for the Connecticut Fund for the Environment, Inc. He holds his J.D. and Master of Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School. Marci Reisman became assistant director of student life at Loyola University Maryland in October 2018. She had been residence director at Stonehill College in Massachusetts for more than two years before attaining her new position. Marci earned an M.S. in Counselor Education, Student Development in Higher Education from Central Connecticut State University in 2016.
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Jessie Kohn '14
Connecticut Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and DanceDespite a mid-November snowstorm, alumni and
students from the Kinesiology and Physical Education Department networked at the annual conference of the Connecticut Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance on Nov. 16. Joining the alumni and students were faculty members Charlie Chatterton, Michelle Ferrer and Darren Robert ‘92. Jonah Sanchez successfully completed the two-year rotational management training program in financial leadership with United Technologies and landed a job with Pratt & Whitney. He credits Julisa De Los Santos ’08 as a wonderful mentor for him at Eastern, encouraging him to achieve more than he thought he could and helping him apply successfully for an internship program that ultimately led to his UTC position. Elizabeth Valenzuela is a store merchandising associate for Saks Fifth Avenue in Greenwich, CT. She continues to work as a real estate agent for Sotheby’s International Realty in Irvington, NY.
16 Liam Murphy was named head coach of the Dover, NH, high school lacrosse team in November. He had been the freshman and assistant coach at the high school, where he starred in lacrosse and graduated in 2012. He played lacrosse for four years at Eastern, where he was captain and a FirstTeam All Little East Conference selection his senior year. Anthony Piccione's new play, “A Therapy With Myself,” premiered in three January 2019 performances at the Hudson Guild Theatre in Manhattan as part of the New York Theatre Festival’s 2019 NYWinterfest. The play is a fulllength, semi-autobiographical drama concerning the inner struggles of living with mental illness and Asperger’s Syndrome. A Theatre major, Anthony is an award-winning playwright whose works have been performed at a number of New York theaters.
17 Jonathan Gonzalez is a market support and analytic associate at Titan Energy. A mathematics major, Jonathan began his Titan experience as an Jonathan Gonzalez '17 intern in spring 2017. He provides Titan customers with monthly reports on how to manage their energy costs and also performs data input and pricing analysis for the energy company. Monica Mordowanec is graduate resident director at Salem State University in Massachusetts. She is also working toward a Master of Education degree in Higher education and student affairs at the university.
18 Nicholas Afragola is enrolled in the Masters of Organizational Management program at Eastern and hopes to finish by summer 2019. Casey Collins is a marketing representative for ExperTaste Marketing, a company that specializes in consumer product sampling and promotions. He works in southeastern Connecticut, where part of his job is to set up and host events in different stores and record sampling data.
In Memoriam Arlene (Sullivan) Norman ’43 Lorraine (Bowen) Klapp ’48 Ellen (Larson) Geer ’50 Barbara (Cohen) Rosenthal ’51 Muriel Carlyon ’52 Patricia (Kelly) Osten ’53 Norma (Atale) Youngerman ’55 Geraldine (Reynolds) Green ’58 Henry Haddad ’58 Wilda (Loveday) Devine ’64 Gloria (Person) Holbrook ’64 Mark Biase ’69 Paula (Kowal) Bender ’70 Katherine Wolf ’73 Bruce Kinel ’74 Joan Gorlach ’76 William Guazzo ’77 Carolyn (McKeon) Kokoska ’81 Robert Marquis ’82 Thomas Hodge ’83 Ruth Yulo ’83, ’86 M.S, ’89 M.S. Priscilla Kamala Willey-Diwan ’85 John Mikulak ’85 Barbara Chase ’91 Daniel Prior ’93 Carol Booth ’99 Vicki Buchanan ’01, ’03 M.S. Gregory Fisher ’13 Thomas Madden, student Samuel Tharp, student Professor David Ferbrache Bernard McDonald, Faculty Emeritus
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I continue to be encouraged by the range of private funds received this past year by the ECSU Foundation. In this issue of EASTERN magazine, you may have read about some of that philanthropy. Individuals such as Theresa and Ray Kalber, or groups of people such as the donors who are supporting the Clyde Washburne Endowed Fund, made important contributions to the University. “#Warriors Give,” our month-long fundraising campaign this past November, was another example of the generosity of the Eastern family, with individual donations matched by other funding sources totaling $195,000. I share these successes not to boast, but to focus on the critical role that philanthropy continues to play in assisting Eastern and its students. I truly believe that it has never been more important for Eastern’s alumni and friends to support our University. How important is your investment in Eastern and its students? The costs associated with educating our students continue to rise with overall economic trends. At the same time, the State of Connecticut continues to face budgetary challenges that impact Eastern’s budget and place an increased financial burden on our students and their parents. In human terms, the financial support provided by the generosity of our donors is life-changing — for many scholarship recipients, your help means that a college education is possible. Without that assistance, their dream of earning a college degree may never be fulfilled. When a grateful Eastern scholarship recipient walks across the stage at graduation, they are not just achieving their own personal aspirations. Most of our students stay in Connecticut and contribute to the tax base and the local and state economies. Perhaps most importantly, they become active members of our republic — as informed, engaged citizens staying current with public policy issues, debating those issues with each other and participating in the electoral process. Every time a donor contributes to the ECSU Foundation, they invest in a student, in our state economy, and in our democratic way of life. The value of an Eastern degree has never been higher. Not only do we have the highest four-year graduation rate among Connecticut’s state universities, Eastern’s place in the annual U.S. News and World Report rankings remains number one among the four state universities. And while other schools may struggle with enrollments, we have seen steady growth in Eastern’s enrollment over the past two decades — families are proud to send their children to Eastern. I ask every person who values Eastern to consider investing in the University and our students in 2019. The unmet financial needs of many of our students are all too real, and the potential return on your investment can change lives. Thank you for your support.
Kenneth J. DeLisa Vice President for Institutional Advancement
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2019! Class of 1964 Pizza Party
Young Alumni Bash at Blarney’s (2009–18). Come help the Class of ’14 celebrate their fifth and the Class of ’09 celebrate their tenth reunions!
Reunion Reception honoring the Classes of 1939, 1944, 1949, 1954, 1959, 1964, 1974 and 1979 All alumni who graduated before 1969 will be invited to enjoy the day on campus! 50th Reunion and Presentation of “Golden Diplomas” for the Class of 1969 MS in Organizational Management Reception Tours of the newly renovated Communication Building and Fine Arts Instructional Center, as well as other campus highlights “Alumni March” Eastern Celebrates “Big Tent Barbeque” (when alumni celebrate with the Class of 2019 and their families) “Back in the Day” Reunion (1984-2008) (starting with the Big Tent Barbeque and continuing at Blarney’s) Watch your mail for reunion information and plan to come home to Eastern in May! For more information, contact the Office of Alumni Affairs at (860) 465-5302.
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Eastern Magazine Winter 2019