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Issue 15

Fall 2010

Connecticut’s Public Liberal Arts University

A Liberal Education.

Practically Applied.

EASTERN Issue 15 | Fall 2010

In This Issue 1 From the President’s Desk 2 Honors and Accolades 3 Eastern Alumni 5 Back in the Day 6 Eastern Celebrates 10 Liberal Arts Work! 12 The Merits of Experiential Learning 14 Internships: Stepping Stones 16 Paving the Way to Graduate School

Features 18 Philanthropy 20 Athletics 22 Campus News 27 Class Notes Inside back cover Final Thoughts

Staff & Contributors Editor Edward Osborn Associate Editor Amy Brenner-Fricke Designers Kevin Paquin | Leigh Balducci Contributors Dwight Bachman | Emily Bonoyer

Meghan Carden | Peter Dane | Kate Harner Joseph McGann | Jack Meltzer | Robert Molta Anne Pappalardo | Ryan Rose | Michael Stenko Sarah Swann | Timothy Talley | Kyle Verona Photographers Nick Lacy | Jennifer Smith Executive Editor Kenneth J. DeLisa

Please send story ideas to: Edward Osborn, Director of University Relations On the cover: (left) Accounting major Krista Juliano ’11 discusses auditing concepts with Professor Moh’d RuJoub that she put to use this past summer at her internship at BlumShapiro in West Hartford. BlumShapiro Partner Fred Hughes Jr., CPA (Class of 1987) (right) served as her on-site mentor.

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.


A Message from the President

In the past year, Eastern Connecticut State University has been honored with a number of national recognitions. For the second year in a row, Eastern was named one of America’s “Best Colleges to Work For” by The Chronicle of Higher Education. This past month, we were informed that, for the first time, Eastern has been named to U.S. News and World Report’s top tier of 100 regional universities in the North; we were the 28th top public institution in this prestigious ranking. We also made the Princeton Review’s list of top colleges in the Northeast, and were recognized by President Obama on his Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the second year in a row. These and other awards signify that Eastern’s focus on providing an exemplary liberal arts education is being recognized nationally. While the liberal arts have historically been viewed as a private education enjoyed by our nation’s elite, not generally available to a broader public constituency, Eastern’s goal is to provide an outstanding liberal education to students from all walks of life. The liberal arts also have been perceived in the past as an intellectual pursuit, not directly related to the skill sets required in the workplace. In today’s technologically driven society, educators are finding ways to connect the intellectual world and the world of work. By combining a rigorous liberal arts core curriculum, discipline-specific study, and out-of-classroom experiential learning, Eastern students can apply the intellectual depth and knowledge they gain in the classroom to real-life situations as they prepare for professional careers. We have institutionalized this vision in a new graduation requirement called “Liberal Arts Work!” Students can meet

the requirement through internships, paid cooperative placements, undergraduate research, creative expression, service learning, and more. These real-world experiences will allow students to apply their knowledge, gain new skills and develop confidence in their intellectual abilities. This issue of EASTERN Magazine offers a series of snapshots of the Liberal Arts Work! initiative. While the program has just been approved by the University Senate and must be further developed, we are already making progress. You will read about recent internships and other experience-based learning, as well as articles on alumni who have used their internship experience as a stepping stone to launch their careers. Another story tells of how Eastern students now attending graduate school are discovering the value of applied learning as they pursue advanced degrees. You will read news of alumni events, our 120th Commencement, faculty and student awards, and new endowed scholarships being established by generous Eastern donors. Thanks to a record 2,852 donors this past year, most of them alumni, we continue to offer an exemplary liberal education to students from all walks of life. I thank these supporters for their pride in our tradition, their faith in our mission, and their generosity in helping ensure our future. Enjoy EASTERN Magazine and stay in touch!

Elsa Núñez President EASTERN

Fall 2010


Hon ors an d Accol a des For the second consecutive year, Eastern has also made the list of “Great Colleges to Work For” released by The Chronicle of Higher Education. In addition to being recognized as a “Great College to Work For,” one of only 97 institutions to be honored, Eastern placed in the top 10 among medium-sized colleges in the category of “Collaborative Governance.” The University was also noted for the president’s annual semester meetings with teachers and students to discuss campus issues.


Eastern Connecticut State University is a rising star across the nation! The University has recently received national recognition with a number of prominent honors, accolades and top rankings that signify a new level of acknowledgment in the higher education community.

Eastern is also listed as one of the best colleges in the Northeast, according to The Princeton Review. Eastern is one of 218 institutions that The Princeton Review recommends in its “Best in the Northeast” section on

Eastern is ranked in the top 100 regional universities in the North in U.S. News and World Report’s 2011 edition of “Best Colleges.” Eastern was the 28th top public institution on the list and was also the highest-ranked university among the four Connecticut state universities. The rankings include reviews of more than 1,400 schools nationwide. Among the many factors used to determine the rankings are peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving. The North region includes colleges and universities from New England, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland.



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“The recent recognitions we have received from U.S. News and World Report, the Chronicle of Higher Education and the Princeton Review are a tribute to our entire campus — faculty, staff and students. We are making great strides to improve our academic rigor, while maintaining the spirit of community that is our hallmark,” said Eastern President Elsa Núñez.

EASTERN ALUMNI EASTERN INDUCTS NEW CLASS OF ALUMNI FELLOWS Eastern inducted its second class of Alumni Fellows on March 18. Inductees included Jeffrey Brown ’79, chief administrative officer for Webster Bank and Webster Financial Corporation; Brett Harnett ’84, assistant professor in the Department of Surgery and associate director of the Center for Surgical Innovation at the University of Cincinnati; and Kathleen Weidman ’79, CEO and president of Bright Systems, Inc. in Reno, NV. “These three Eastern alumni have distinguished themselves in their careers and bring honor to the University,” said President Elsa Núñez during her remarks. All three alumni said Eastern was instrumental to their success. “My career started here,” said Brown. Weidman said that recently retired professors John Lombard and Ken Paryzch were “instrumental in my life, motivating me and understanding my potential.” The three Eastern Fellows provided counsel to students looking to enter

Answering questions at a panel discussion were Eastern Fellows Jeffrey Brown ’79, Kathleen Weidman ’79 and Brett Harnett ’84.

the labor market: “Demonstrate your passion,” Brown noted. “You must be open to opportunities and you must make people want to hire you. You should be in ‘sell’ mode.” Harnett concurred by saying he tells his own teenage son to always give “110 percent.” “Network, network, network,” said Weidman. “It’s all about human contact.”

The Eastern Fellows program was established in 2008 to recognize and engage distinguished Eastern alumni in the life of the University. The program is a means of enriching the educational experience of current Eastern undergraduates by exposing them to accomplished alumni who are able to share their work experiences with students.

Graduate School alumni return for reception Alumni from the University’s Graduate Division, which offers the Master of Science in Education and the Master of Science in Organizational Management, gathered for a special reception to recognize students receiving their graduate degrees in 2010. Alumni and staff attending the event included: back row, from left: Michael Wolter ’04, Gerald Hart ’90/’07, Mike France ’05, Mike Saxton, ’01/’05, Richard Staron ’04, Gregory Petranek ’06 and Shirley (Doyle) Shepard ’57/’89. Third row, from left: William Black ’08, Neringa Coutu ’08, Nancy Tinker ’05, Ken Briggs ’02/’05/’10, Professor Doncho Petkov and Gail Faherty ’03/’05. Second row, from left: Thomas Clark ’06, Donna Dojan ’09, Mary Ellen Mooney ’06 and Beth Sweetland-Bailey ’99/’08. Front row, from left: Angelo Simoni ’08, Karen Latman ’09, Steven Nelson ’00, Edward Giard ’00, Karla Desjardins ’03 and Professor Elizabeth Scott. 3

Accounting Society banquet for alumni AND students Eastern’s Accounting Society held its 16th Annual Banquet on campus to recognize outstanding seniors and to showcase successful alumni from the university’s accounting program. Featured guest speaker was John P. Cantillon’91, CPA, vice president and controller, Pratt & Whitney. He talked about his career and how much he owes to the time he spent at Eastern.

Guest speaker John Cantillon ’91 (left) with Andrew Fritsch ’10 at the Accounting Society banquet.

Communication annual reunion Communication Department alumni, faculty and students gathered in April at the J. Eugene Smith Library for their annual reunion. The keynote speaker was Joe D’Addio ’96, national director Top 40 Promotion/ East Coast for the JIVE Label Group. D’Addio, who now lives in Washington, DC, fondly remembered his days on campus, getting his start in radio, and the hands-on opportunities he had at Eastern with his involvement on the Campus Activity Keynote Speaker Joe D’Addio Board.



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alumni NETWORKING IN HARTFORD Eastern partnered with the Connecticut Science Center to participate in the “Liquid Lounge,” the center’s quarterly after-hours networking event. Eastern alumni joined more than 1,000 Hartford-area residents for four hours of networking surrounded by the exciting, interactive Science Center exhibits. Coordinating the event with the Office of Alumni Affairs was Aubrey de los Reyes ’09, membership and development coordinator for the Science Center.

Eastern alumni and graduate students attending the “Liquid Lounge” included, from left: John Beck ’06, Mark Connolly, Aubrey de los Reyes ‘09, Jennifer Paradis ’09, Rachel Denny ’09, Amelinda Vazquez ’10, Dan Diaz ’10, Lana Pontbriant ’93, P.J. Rossitto and Ryan Rose ’00. The next “Liquid Lounge” will take place in the fall.


Approximately 30 former rugby team members gathered on campus in April to play against the current members of the Rugby Club before a large crowd at the Athletic Complex. Alumni joining Coach Ray Aramini were Mike Buccino ’09, Ed “SMBB” Charamut ’10, Michael Flemming ’09, Bryan Freeland ’09, Scott Garofalo ’07, Brian Jakubson ’08, Steve Maybe ’08, Dan “Eskimo” Romero ’09, Brendon “Shank” Schingh ’08, Mike “Flounder” Schwarz ’07, Dan Soda ’09, Zak Taylor ’10 and Jake Zocco ’07.

Back in t he Day Cheryl (Anderson) Kaake ’80 says that some of her fondest memories of Eastern involve the friendships she formed here: “Learning how to live together and get along were lifelong lessons everyone needs. Silly things, like hanging out in the lounge on the third floor of Burnap Hall watching our favorite soap operas, intramural softball games where I first learned how to play the game. Some of those girls (Debbie, Leslie and Patty) would be amazed that I later became a softball coach! Then there was the gang from yellow doors. We sure did know how to have fun!” Kaake also has special memories of her professors: “As an education major, I had some of the finest professors. Thirty years later, I’m still teaching, grateful for the wisdom of professors Bob Dolph, Ed Drew, Joe Nurotski and Jackie Abbott, who all helped to make me the educator that I am today.”

Ralph Greene ’60 marvels that it’s been 50 years since graduation: “It doesn’t seem possible!” He says that a few memories immediately come to mind when he reflects upon his years at Willimantic State College: “Dr. Wickware (who taught science) was the faculty member I held with great respect for his thoughtful demeanor. He was a gentle and kindhearted educator who would walk the halls of the college singing unusually high-pitched songs unexpected of a man of his tall stature!” Greene also recalls taking an upper-level course known as “The Seminar,” which focused on intercultural themes: “Our class went to Canada. In Ottawa, we had the privilege of being invited to have a noon meal at Parliament with Prime Minister Lester Pearson (who received the Nobel Peace Prize). He proved to be a gracious host!”

Kaake recently attended Eastern’s Big Tent Barbeque on May 22 as a “double-duty visitor,” as a member of the reunion class of 1980 and as the proud parent of new Eastern graduate Jennifer Kaake ’10. “Four years ago, I was able to walk around the campus saying, ‘Oh, I remember when…’ and she would respond ‘Mom, I know — we don’t need to go down memory lane again!’ But I know she enjoyed it as much as I did! I couldn’t be more proud that we celebrated her graduation while I celebrated my 30th reunion.”

Cheryl (Anderson) Kaake (right) is a kindergarten teacher at Auburn Village School in Auburn, NH, where she has been teaching for the past 23 years. Her daughter, Jennifer Kaake, graduated from Eastern on May 23 with a degree in psychology and now works at the Sexual Assault Crisis Center of Eastern Connecticut.

Ralph Green left the field of teaching to work in pastoral service for the Society of Friends (Quaker). He currently lives in Maine and serves as interim pastor at two Methodist churches while working with the H.O.M.E. Co-op Community in Orland. He is pictured above receiving his Golden Diploma from President Elsa Núñez at the Alumni Reunion in May.


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! s e t a r b e l e C n r e East 85, along s of 1950 through 19 se as Cl the m fro ni Alum paper staff Campus Lantern news with alumni from the on May 22 for together on campus (1980-1986), came lunch, while others of the groups met for their reunions. Some reception hosted n in time for a special oo ern aft the in ed arriv s of 1931 umni from the Classe Al . ez úù N a Els t en by Presid n for their ir calendars and pla the rk ma ld ou sh 86 through 19 , 2011. be held on May 21 reunions, which will



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On facing page: Class of ‘50: Patricia (Swett) Dobush, Phyllis (Pierce) Michaud and Beatrice (Siegel) Sack. Middle, top left: Classmates from several alumni years catch up at the Big Tent Barbecue: Virginia Meehan ‘68, William Meehan ‘65, Lawrence Colvin ‘64, Carol (Weber) Colvin ‘65, Norma (Lawton) Wu ’65 and Jung-Ming Wu. Middle, top right: The Murphy family of Holliston, MA, gathered to celebrate with Sarah Murphy ’10, as she looked forward to graduation. Front, from left: Sarah Murphy, Thomas Murphy, Meghan Murphy and John Murphy. Back, from left: Jeanne Murphy and Rachel Murphy. Middle, bottom left: Amanda Winter ’10 and Amelinda Vazquez ’10 celebrate on the eve of their graduation. Class of ’85: Front, from left: Jodie (Lanosa) Jandreau, Julie (Neddermann) Clement and Robert Mendez. Back, from left: Joseph Deneault, Mark McCormack and Richard Seman Jr. Also attending the reunion but not pictured were Betty (Hardgrove) Gardner, Jane (Bollinger) Joesten and Carolyn (Flowers) Whye.

i, faculty and d their families, alumn an rs nio se ng ati du Gra for one “Big Tent” on May 22 the ath ne be red the staff ga nt. Smiles were before Commenceme final event on campus looked for ward as the Class of 2010 the order of the day ile alumni relived onies the next day, wh rem ce n tio ua ad gr to ni, seniors ys on campus. Alum da ir the of s rie mo fond me dancing to the ded the evening with and their families en l Passion Band.” music of the “Vertica

Class of ’60: The Class of 1960 celebrated their “Jubilee Reunion” with a luncheon in Burr Hall, where many of the class lived as students. Front, from left: Patricia (Carone) Rust ‘60, Kathleen (Bagley) McKnight ‘60, Barbara (Yauch) Zulick ‘60, Sandra (Rosenstein) Johnson ‘60, Carol (Meikle) Moulton ‘60, Professor Emeritus Leo Schneiderman, Harriet Schneiderman. Back, from left: Mary Lou (Corbett) DeVivo ‘60, Ralph Greene ‘60, Jeanne (Portelance) Crowley ’60, Nancy (Detweiler) Shores-Vandergrift ’60, Esther (Lathrop) Beirle ‘60, Linda (Correira) Ipsen ‘60, Marie (DeMuth) Twomey. On this page: Class of ’55: Front, from left: Norma (St. Marie) Paradis, Edith (Barber) Buck, Carole (Whipple) Fish, Gail (Crawford) Yother and Hermine (Winkler) Purvis. Back, from left: Blaine Buck, Cal Fish ’54 and Larry Yother. Middle: Alumni from the Jubilee Class of 1960 lead the Alumni March to the Big Tent Barbeque. Bottom: Carol (Meikle) Moulton ‘60, Linda Kaminski, President Elsa Núñez and Mary Lou (Corbett) DeVivo ’60 pause for a photo with the Eastern Warrior at the Big Tent Barbeque.


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By Amy Brenner-Fricke

A liberal arts education is perhaps the best foundation for a successful career because it prepares students to be successful no matter what their major. The ability to develop new ideas and evaluate them; learning to work independently and in teams; understanding history and culture; and knowing how to find and use information, are just some of the skills that liberal arts students learn to prepare for a specific career field. Eastern strives to give students the power to make a difference in the world — and encourages them to start even before they graduate. Giving students opportunities to test, practice and refine their skills in pre-professional settings not only allows them to apply the fundamentals of their liberal arts education, it also provides them a competitive edge in the job market and graduate school admissions environment.


Eastern students have completed internships and paid cooperative placements at more than 70 active locations, including Animal Planet, CIGNA, ESPN, the Connecticut Science Center, Disney, BlumShapiro, Goodspeed Opera House, IBM, Merrill Lynch, Mystic Aquarium, NBC-30, Pratt and Whitney, the United Nations, the Connecticut State Capitol, United Technologies — and many more.


1. Bryan Krolikowski gained experience filming, editing and cataloging video clips during an on-campus internship at the Center for Early Childhood Education. 2. Biochemistry major Nick Shoenfelt



(right) accompanied Assistant Professor Joshua Idjadi to a reef off Tahiti where they harvested coral samples. Fall 2010

Back in the lab, they studied biological processes that allow weaker species to coexist among the stronger ones.

3. Leo Gaviria and three fellow students collaborated with the U.S. Census to produce public service announcements that encouraged Connecticut residents to respond to the census.




8 7 4. Eastern students complete more than 12,000 hours of community service every year. At the Town Pride Town Wide clean-up event, more than 200 student volunteers hit the streets of Willimantic to pick up trash and paint buildings throughout the community. 5. Ra’Shaun Custis, shown here donating books to children in Kormantse-

Nkum, Ghana, traveled there in June 2010 with fellow students and Sociology Professor Dennis Canterbury and Mathematics Professor Bonsu Osei.

6. Political science major Olivia Puckett worked at the Connecticut State Capitol, performing such diverse tasks as summarizing proposed legislation and addressing constituent issues.

7. Education major Katherine Rupp taught mathematics to students in Windham Public Schools’ after-school program as part of the “Math Counts” First-Year Program cluster course. 8. Accounting major Fang Cui recently completed a paid cooperative placement at United Technologies Corporation.


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RK ! O






Nancy DeCrescenzo

Bonsu Osei

The Merits of Experiential Learning A dialog with faculty and staff


In today’s sophisticated, technologydriven workplace, most jobs require people who can think analytically, articulate their thoughts verbally and in writing, and work collaboratively with others. Giving Eastern students opportunities to practice and refine these skills in real-world settings not only allows them to apply the fundamentals of their liberal education, it also provides them a competitive edge in the job market or graduate school admissions environment. Commencing with the graduating class of 2014, a pre-professional experience is now a graduation requirement for all students at Eastern Connecticut State University. We call this requirement “Liberal Arts Work!” Appropriate coursework and support systems are in place or under development to ensure that all students have a range of options available to them to complete the requirement. Experiences that will fulfill the requirement include internships,


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cooperative education placements, service learning, undergraduate research, creative expression and more. Mathematics Professor Bonsu Osei; Business Information Systems Professor Alex Citurs; Nancy DeCrescenzo, director of Career Services; and Kim Silcox, interim director of the Center for Community Engagement, recently visited with EASTERN editors to describe the new requirement. What is the relationship between the learning that occurs within our liberal arts classes and the experiential learning opportunities that constitute the Liberal Arts Work! graduation requirement?

(DeCrescenzo) “We want to give our students opportunities to translate their writing, project management and critical thinking skills learned in class in real-world settings. They can see the relevance and realize that those practical experiences are where

it really matters. Even a case study in class can’t do that. We are finding that fieldwork really brings learning to life for a lot of students.” (Silcox) “Our students also benefit from taking the time to reflect on their experiences and their place in the world, in ways they wouldn’t in a traditional classroom setting. This is certainly true in an international experience, but it is also happening here in Willimantic. To meet people with different experiences broadens our students’ horizons. And the act of reflection doesn’t end when the community project ends — they continue to gain understanding over time.” (Citurs) “A lot of students taking our liberal art core curriculum (LAC) are not in traditional liberal arts majors. LAW allows them to integrate the liberal arts experience into their professional degrees and majors. It’s a rich, holistic experience that provides opportunities to apply their liberal

arts education in internships and paid coops while also seeing how the various academic disciplines are interrelated. “ (Osei) “My students and I just returned from a trip to Ghana. I think that their classroom learning informed their field experiences and the field work certainly enhances what they are learning in class. For instance, whereas in the United States such things as sanitation are presumed to be a right, in other countries, such as Ghana, those amenities are seen as a privilege. Learning how different the world’s cultures are is an important part of the field experiences we offer our students.” What are our students saying about experiential learning?

(Citurs) “They begin to see how the integration of their learning will help them in their professional careers. I also find that a combination of the LAC courses and service learning early in their time at Eastern puts our students in a position to take better advantage of internships and co-ops as seniors. Students also come back from summer internships as seniors to realize they need an extra class or experience — they see what’s missing and how to fill in the pieces.” (DeCrescenzo) “Internships and other experiential learning help students explore a career path and sometimes they come to realize it’s not for them. They can make important career decisions based on those shorter-term experiences. In the Career Center, students learn to write resumes and cover letters, conduct self-assessments, and explore career choices and employers. It is wonderful to see them learning how to describe the set of skills they have developed to

Kim Silcox potential employers — they gain confidence knowing they have become well-rounded job candidates.” What does the LAW requirement mean for Eastern?

(Silcox) “It represents a big change and has great potential to give students meaningful experiences out of the classroom. We need to show departments less familiar with internships and experiential learning approaches that integrating these into their curriculum isn’t insurmountable.”

(Citurs) “It’s a paradigm shift. It’s about leveraging Eastern’s educational strengths to enrich our students’ lives and futures.” (Osei) “Math is largely a theoretical discipline, so it is sometimes difficult to apply classroom learning to real life. It’s a major shift for us in the mathematics department. We need to start getting students out of the classroom as early as possible.”

Alex Citurs


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Fred Hughes Jr. ’87 (standing, center), a partner at BlumShapiro, works with Eastern’s Office of Career Services to recruit Eastern students for internships. A number of those students are hired by the firm after graduation. Sitting, from left: Bozhena Pekhnik ’09 and Courtney Culpin ’08. Standing, from left: Sean Morse ’07, Kristen Demara ’08, Hughes, Kate Galipeau ’08 and Stephen Fuller ’08.

Internships: Stepping Stones to a Career


By Anne Pappalardo

In today’s global economy and competitive job market, Eastern graduates are seeking ways to differentiate themselves as they line up for that first job interview after graduation. Pre-professional work opportunities help Eastern students gain valuable on-the-job training and hands-on experience, develop marketable skills and enhance their resumes. Internships — paid or for academic credit — often serve as the work experience that convinces prospective employers to hire an individual. In fact, many Eastern graduates have been hired as fulltime employees by the same companies for which they originally interned. Courtney (Morgan) Culpin ’08, an accounting major, is currently a staff accountant who performs audits of governmental and not-for-profit clients at the West Hartford office of BlumShapiro. Culpin worked for BlumShapiro as an intern during the summer of 2007 and was offered a full-time position on the last day of her summer assignment. “In my opinion, internships are almost as important as the degree itself. With an internship, you get a ‘sneak


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peek’ of your desired career,” she said. “Hands-on training is invaluable to anyone’s learning process. It is easy to read about a specific subject but, for some, it is difficult to apply that learning to their professional life. An internship gives you the opportunity to do this while still in college. My Eastern internship opportunity is evidence that, if you perform well at your internship, you may have a career lined up for you the day after you graduate.” Frederick J. Hughes Jr. ’87, a partner at BlumShapiro, hired Culpin. He has worked with Eastern’s Office of Career Services to recruit Eastern students for internships at the company for more than five years. “BlumShapiro has been very successful with our recruiting efforts at Eastern Connecticut State University,” he said. “With the assistance of faculty such as Accounting Professor Mohd RuJoub and Director of Career Services Nancy DeCrescenzo, we have been exposed to the top talent at Eastern, and we are proud to say we have recruited many of them into our firm. Each fall we make a point of visiting campus multiple times to educate students about internship and full-time employment opportunities at BlumShapiro.”

Above: Kyisha Bishop ’10 was hired as a client liaison/web developer at Miranda Creative in Norwich after working as an intern last winter. At right: Kenton Webley ’10 recently started a full-time position at Target Corporation after completing a 10-week paid summer internship.

According to DeCrescenzo, “Expanding and diversifying Eastern’s internship programs has allowed us to help more students engage in preprofessional experiences. Internships are learning opportunities — students learn new skills, develop professional networks and engage in self-assessment.” Business and accounting majors are not the only ones grabbing the brass ring. Visual Arts/Digital Art and Design major Kyisha Bishop ’10 landed her current position as a full-time client liaison/web developer at Miranda Creative, a full-service strategic communications firm in Norwich, after working as an unpaid intern last winter. Bishop credits Eastern faculty members Sharon Butler, associate professor of art in digital art and design, and Terry Lennox, assistant professor of digital art and design, for much of her success. Bishop worked her way through college as a commuter, often juggling multiple jobs simultaneously, before landing the internship. Creative Director Maria Miranda says, “We have tremendous respect for Eastern’s program and have hired at least three Eastern graduates. Interns bring with them fresh ideas, new skills and a varied perspective — we grow, they grow.” History major Kenton Webley ’10 was hired by Target Corporation for a 10-week paid summer internship in White Plains, NY. Within three weeks of graduating he started a full-time position at Target as an Executive Team

Leader for Assets Protection. Webley says, “I have a fulltime position with a great company that ranks 30th on America’s Fortune 500 list. I recommend that all students pursue internships – regardless of whether they are paid or unpaid. They can be very beneficial in the long run.” “Perhaps most significant is the resulting ability to see and articulate the value of their liberal arts education,” says DeCrescenzo. “Student interns come to appreciate their critical thinking, problem-solving and communication skills in new ways through application in the world of work. All of this contributes to their increased competitiveness in the job market.”


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e v a P s e c n e i r e p x E n o s d n a H By Meghan Carden

Niece Hanna

Across various academic disciplines, Eastern students are finding exciting ways to apply what they have learned in the classroom. Students are entering into demanding internships and co-ops and are working closely with faculty on research projects and creative activities. This not only enhances the students’ undergraduate experience, it also readies them for life after Eastern, including entrance into graduate school. As a social work major at Eastern, Niece Hanna ’09 was required to complete three different field experiences, totaling 465 hours of work, before graduation. She met these requirements working with Windham Hospital, Windham Heights Learning Center and Windham Middle School, and finished her senior year with the Department of Children and Families in Willimantic. It was there that Hanna felt she was able to offer the most, as she worked in the field on assessments and attended court hearings. She took away important professional experience that helped her plan her next step. “I knew that graduate school would be imperative for what I wanted to do,” said Hanna, who chose to study Policy Planning at Columbia University. Through the program, she was able to develop the


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Kevin Douglas


e t a u d a r G o t y a W the

skills and knowledge necessary to attack social problems and work within the system to effect change. For Hanna, Eastern’s rigor prepared her well for Columbia. In fact, she found that she was able to bypass a full year of graduate school and enter directly into a one-year program. A 2010 graduate of Columbia, Hanna is interviewing for full-time jobs while working as a program counselor for children with mental health issues. Kevin Douglas ’08, also a social work major, was similarly ready for graduate school. “I had a great deal of hands-on experiences that prepared me for graduate school,” he said. “In the course of my field work I got to work at an adult day care, engage in community organizing, and provide individual and group counseling to individuals with dual diagnoses.” Douglas also gained experience outside of classroom requirements through his involvement with Amnesty International, International Students Association and Habitat for Humanity. He brought all that he had learned to the University of Pennsylvania, where he received his master’s degree in social work in 2009. Douglas currently works as the housing resource coordinator at Resources for Human Development in Philadelphia.

Jennifer Goyette

l o o h Sc

She began her master’s work in structural geology at UW in fall 2008. She soon noticed that she had much more experience than many of her peers, as she had already worked independently at Eastern and had presented her research findings at national meetings. Her current thesis research has sent Goyette to the Mojave Desert, southeastern California and western Arizona. She credits Eastern for fostering her drive and curiosity, which continues to grow as additional opportunities unfold. “The entire Environmental Earth Science Department was wonderful and very excited about what they do. It is infectious,” she said. Not every student enters into a master’s program studying the same subject they majored in as an undergraduate. Jennifer Sears ’08 majored in history and social science, but is now studying stage management at the University of Iowa. While at Eastern she developed a connection with the theatre department working as a stage manager, learning how to work with different personalities and resolve conflicts. “As the only stage manager I was able to gather a wealth of knowledge of the personalities that come into play and how to deal with them,” she said. Sears took this knowledge with her to a work-study position at Arts in Motion,

a small nonprofit that offered dance and theater classes to Willimantic youth. During her senior year, Sears learned that a handful of schools offer a master’s program in stage management. She was offered a fellowship from the University of Iowa and is in a three-year Masters of Fine Arts program there. Now in her second year, she works as a head stage manager on productions put on by the Department of Theatre Arts. In her third year of graduate school Sears will venture outside of her department to work with the Department of Music on their production of “La Traviata,” an endeavor reserved for only the most accomplished students in the Stage Management program. Eastern continues to send well-rounded, liberally educated students into graduate programs across the country. These students apply the lessons they learned in and out of the classroom and find themselves excelling in their studies.

Jennifer Sears

While Hanna and Douglas always knew that graduate school was their next stop after Eastern, some students require the intervention of a caring professor to nudge them in that direction. Such was the case for Jennifer Goyette ’08, an environmental earth science major whose hard work in the classroom gained the attention of former Assistant Professor Timothy Schroeder. He encouraged her to take on an independent research project, and soon Goyette found herself in the field studying the Mesozoic Eastern Border Fault. She gained more hands-on experience during a summer in Laramie, WY, at the University of Wyoming (UW) geology field camp, where Goyette fell in love with western geology and culture.


Fall 2010



Eastern Honors the Three Founders of EES When Eastern hosted a reception and dinner on April 17 to celebrate the careers of Henry Snider and Sherman Clebnik and honor the memory of the late Raymond Smith, it did more than recognize the three original Environmental Earth Science professors. In addition to celebrating the careers of the three founders, Eastern’s President Elsa Núñez also announced the establishment of a new “Founders of EES” Fund, which will help pay for the expenses students incur in doing off-campus field work and presentations at professional conferences. More than $21,000 has been raised to date, thanks to the generosity of EES alumni and other donors. The more than 100 people who attended the event, especially the several dozen EES alumni who came back to greet and thank their mentors, knew they were celebrating a special time in Eastern’s history. Most of those alumni were from the ’70s and ’80s,

Speakers at the Founders of EES dinner included, from left: major donors Tim White ’81 and Fred Johnson ’78; Professor Emeritus Henry Snider; Professor Drew Hyatt, chair of the EES Department; Professor Emeritus Sherman Clebnik; Carmen Cid, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences; and Eastern President Elsa Núñez.

the early days of the major and the EES Department. “We were 20 years ahead of our time,” Snider said of the creation of the EES major in the mid-1970s. It had combined traditional geology and the physical sciences with biology and other courses aimed at teaching students

better approaches to stewarding the environment. Added Fred Johnson ’78, who spoke at the event, “The environmental movement of the ’70s was considered a little freakish in its nature. But they (the founders) stuck with us. I thank the vision of Ray, Sherm and Henry for making it possible.”

Lee B. Watts World Languages and Cultures Suite Dedicated in Webb Hall On June 14, the Lee B. Watts World Languages and Cultures Suite was dedicated in Webb Hall. Watts, who died in December 2009, taught Spanish and Spanish Literature and headed Eastern’s Classical and Modern Languages Department for many years. During that time, she developed the Spanish major and internship program and founded the Nu Chi Chapter of Sigma Delta Pi, the Spanish honors society. Steve Watts has established a scholarship in memory of his wife, Lee B.Watts.

Said Sonia Cintron-Marrero, a close friend and long-time colleague, “I can see Lee in a crisp white shirt, powder-blue jacket, tailored pants and her signature scarf looking through her new pair of glasses,

18 E ASTERN Fall 2010

elegant, poised and humble, always sharing credit for what she had accomplished.” After Watts retired in 1995, Cintron-Marrero called her nearly every day for guidance or moral support. “What I learned was her secret to teaching – that was why her students were so successful and came back year after year. Lee had confidence in what she knew and a passion for teaching that kept her up to date on new methodologies. She made the subtleties of the language and Golden Age Literature accessible to students, drawing them in with her irrepressible voice,” said Cintron-Marrero. “She took their concerns seriously and encouraged them to pursue their dreams.” Steve Watts, Watts’s husband of 57 years, has established a significant scholarship in his wife’s memory. For anyone interested in contributing to the Lee B. Watts Endowed Scholarship, please contact Kyle Verona at (860) 465-0003 or veronak@



CSU Foundation, Inc. Names Scholarship Recipients

On April 21, 280 students were named recipients of $333,000 in scholarship money during the ECSU Foundation, Inc.’s Annual Scholarship Reception. More than 200 people attended the ceremony, held in the Betty R. Tipton Room. President Elsa Núñez greeted each new scholarship recipient as they entered the room. She addressed the increasingly important role scholarships play in helping students finance their education and the role of the Division of Institutional Advancement in cultivating donors to launch new scholarships. Sandy Roth, treasurer of the ECSU Foundation, Inc., delivered the keynote address. Roth established the David M. Roth Memorial Endowed Scholarship in memory of her late husband, who served 23 years on Eastern’s faculty and was the posthumous recipient of Eastern’s 1986 Distinguished Teaching and Scholarship Award.

Eastern Bids Farewell to Economics Professor John Lombard Professor Emeritus John Lombard was instrumental in establishing economics as a major course of study in 1975 and helped lay the foundation for creating the Economics Department. A macroeconomics “guru,” Lombard earned kudos from students for his ability to make a complex subject understandable and for his mentorship and guidance over the years. In Lombard’s honor, a retirement brunch was held on June 6 in the Student Center Café. In attendance were a number of graduates of Eastern’s Economics Department, including Rex Santerre ’78, who is now a professor of finance at the University of Connecticut. “What impressed me most about Professor Lombard was From left: Brian Krot ’07, Krista Borkowski ’07, Professor his ability to engage students Emeritus John Lombard, Christopher Fitzner ’08, David in a number of different ways,” Barber ’08 and Sarah York ’08 he said. “As a college professor, I tried to mimic John Lombard’s style. Unfortunately for me, only John Lombard can be John Lombard! He was a truly wonderful teacher and role model.” To recognize and honor Lombard’s legacy, the John J. Lombard Economics Scholarship has been established. The scholarship will be awarded to an outstanding economics student with unmet financial need. For more information or to make a donation, contact Joseph McGann, director of institutional advancement, at (860) 465-4514 or

Annual Golf Tournament Another Big Success The annual ECSU Foundation, Inc. Golf Tournament to benefit the Athletics Department was held on June 21 at Lake of Isles in North Stonington. The tournament generated $76,000, with 130 alumni, faculty, staff and friends in attendance. Since moving to Lake of Isles in 2006, the tournament has grossed $425,000.

2010 ECSU Foundation, Inc. Competitive Scholarship recipients gather in the Student Center stairwell for a group photo following the April 21 reception.

Chartwells served as the title sponsor with Barnes & Noble and NewAlliance Bank/ Trust Company of Connecticut serving as breakfast sponsors. The winning foursome with a score of 59 was the Walmart team comprised of Roger Noll, Jeff Oberley, Al Newton and Jake Matot. Farmington Bank finished second.

Taking a break between holes at the annual golf tournament were the Trust Company of Connecticut team, from left: Stephen Bright, first vice president of the Trust Company of Connecticut; Roger Gelfenbien; Sam Lombardo; and Fred Bogin, pediatrician at St. Francis Hospital.


Fall 2010


philanthropy | athletics

Carmen and Juan Núñez Endowed Scholarship An endowed scholarship fund has been established in the name of Carmen and Juan Núñez, parents of Eastern President Elsa Núñez. Two book scholarships were awarded from the fund for the first time this past spring, and plans call for similar awards in subsequent years. “My parents never had the opportunity to go to college,” explained President Núñez, “They are honored and pleased to see this fund used to support deserving students with unmet financial need.”

The Warrior Magic is Back! After an 18-year layoff, the most successful postseason softball program in New England history regained its magic touch this spring. Under the direction of head coach Diana Pepin, Eastern returned to the national tournament after winning its first regional title since 1992 with a thrilling 1-0, nine-inning victory over the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. At the eight-team, double-elimination national tournament held in Eau Claire, WI, the Warriors won three games and took home third place behind Division III’s most dominant pitcher: sophomore All-America Molly Rathbun of Hebron, who set a number of season records, including those for wins (30), consecutive wins (27), complete games (26), shutouts, strikeouts and consecutive scoreless innings (48 2/3). The national tournament appearance capped a remarkable, record-setting season for the Warriors. Eastern won its first outright Little East Conference championship and first LEC postseason title, established a season record for regular-season winning percentage and tied the 25-year-old record for wins en route to a 39-6-1 slate. Four seniors – shortstop Kim Church of Farmington, centerfielder Ashley Sullivan of Trumbull, first baseman Katie O’Toole of Waterbury and catcher Nikki Mustin of Canterbury – also played important roles in the team’s climb to national prominence. Church batted .297 and set a career record for assists by a shortstop; Sullivan blossomed into one of the program’s top offensive players ever, finishing the season

The Warriors softball team finished its season as the third-best team in the country in NCAA Division III.

with a .392 batting average; starting first baseman O’Toole batted a career-high .289; and starting catcher Mustin worked seamlessly with Rathbun from behind the plate. Other team members included juniors Katie Dinihanian of Stratford and Rachel Soychak of Mahopac, NY; sophomores Priscilla Alicea of Stratford, Tina Brosnan of Preston, Kassondra Silva of Hamden, Christine Yeomans of Durham and Rosie Manzo of Hudson, MA; and freshmen Christine Akcer of Milford, Kelly Patterson of Southington, Katie Sokoloski of Eastford, Jamie Vallarelli of Vernon, Courtney Weber of Groton, Molly Cole of Wilbraham, MA, Amanda DiCicco of Somersworth, NH, and Arielle Cooper and Katie Stack, both of Mystic.

E-Club Hall of Fame to Induct Class of 2010 Six former athletic greats will be inducted into the E-Club Athletic Hall of Fame at the 17th Annual Hall of Fame banquet on Oct. 24. The reception and ceremony will begin at noon in the Betty R. Tipton Room in the Student Center. Continued on page 21

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athletics Continued from page 20

The Class of 2010 inductees include Denise Lamontagne ’90, a four-year starting second baseman on the women’s softball team who led the Warriors to four regional championships and to the 1990 NCAA Division III national championship as a senior captain; Leanne Shoop ’92, a four-year starter in right field for the women’s softball team who still holds program career records for hits, consecutive stolen bases and at-bats, and was the only freshman in program history to earn first-team All-America honors; Tom Reynolds ’83, a third baseman whose career and team-high .376 batting average helped boost the Warriors to their first NCAA regional championship and, ultimately, their first of four NCAA Division III national titles; Brian Cassidy ’87, a right-handed All-America pitcher who won 20 games in 25 decisions and saved three others in only 35 career appearances with 12 complete games in 25 starts, with four shutouts and a 2.24 ERA; Bernice Laferriere ’93, who graduated as the women’s basketball program’s all-time career (1,300) and season (473) point leader and today still ranks among the all-time Top 10 in points, assists, steals and three-point field goals; and Jason Brasher ’93, one of only four players in the men’s soccer program’s 49-year history to record as many as 100 career points (he accumulated 105 points on 40 goals and 25 assists).

Scholar-Athlete Award Winners Named A record total of 40 Eastern Connecticut State University student-athletes representing 14 intercollegiate programs were awarded an E-Club Scholar-Athlete Award for 2009-10. Of the 40 award-winners, a record 25 earned an Outstanding Scholar-Athlete Award, representing an overall GPA of at least 3.50 on a scale of 4.00. An additional 15 student-athletes earned a Scholar-Athlete Award, which represents an overall GPA of between 3.15 and 3.49. Achieving an Outstanding Award were seniors Sandra Brautigam of Scotland, Chris Bourdeau of Thompson, Sam Buczek of Milford, Alexis Cavanaugh of Cheshire, Kim Church of Farmington, Maureen Cop of Southington, Maxim Fantl of West Hartford, Douglas Hackenyos of West Suffield, Sarah Swann of Oxford, Jessica Wilson of Torrington, Kelsy Doheny of West Haven, Katherine Redman of Wallingford, Nikki Mustin of Canterbury, David Tignonsini of Vernon and Ashley Tuggle of South Windsor; and juniors Maria Altieri of Hamden, Eric Bukowski of Cheshire, Ashlee James

of Franklin, Becky Knapp of Naugatuck, Ken Landry of East Hampton, Stephanie Norell of Stratford, Amanda Pierlioni of Plainville, Jim Schult of Wappingers Falls, NY, Lauren Hickey of Southwick, MA, and Christina Schirone of Pelham, NY. Earning a Scholar-Athlete Award were seniors Erika Barber of Portland, Katie O’Toole of Waterbury, Wes Dutton of Waterbury, Dave Hunt of New Milford, Joey Perucki of Newington, Courtney Bedocs of Hamden and Christine Lemieux of South Windsor; and juniors Amanda Ericson of Bolton, Katie Dinihanian of Stratford, Melissa Healy of Naugatuck, Chris Wojick of Uncasville, Rachel Cocola of South Windsor, Jessica Moriarty of East Haven, Eric Vasil of Southington and Alyssa Ruta of Holbrook, NY. In all, seven members of the women’s track and field program attained the minimum overall GPA in order to receive a scholar-athlete award – the most of any program. Five members of the women’s swim program merited scholarathlete awards, all attaining “Outstanding” distinction.

Since its inception in 1986, the Hall of Fame has inducted 100 individuals representing 12 intercollegiate programs. Additionally, 22 individuals have been honored with a Pioneer Award, and 16 individuals have received the Michael A. Atkind Exceptional Service Award. Tickets are $45. For more information, contact David Yeo at (860) 465-5166 or Ticket requests must be received by Oct. 20.

Eastern’s 2010 Scholar Athletes


Fall 2010


campus news

Eastern Celebrates 120th Commencement More than 1,000 undergraduates, along with 106 graduate students, heard the cheers of thousands of their family members and friends as they celebrated their accomplishments at Eastern’s 120th Commencement Exercises on May 23 at the XL Center in Hartford. Approximately half of the graduates were the first in their families to earn a degree. President Elsa Núñez told graduates not to sit on the sidelines, but to join others working to solve pressing problems: “It is your time. You are tomorrow’s leaders, and tomorrow, my friends, starts today.”

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Commencement speaker Michael P. Meotti, commissioner of higher education and a former state senator, talked about attending his 35th college reunion this year and how he valued his education at Georgetown University. “The value of those years has shaped my soul,” he said. In his remarks thanking Eastern for the honorary degree he was given by the University, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson told the Class of 2010, “Try to fix what we messed up because I don’t know who else to turn to other than the freshly minted class of 2010. Don’t take things for granted.”

campus news

Student Projects Showcased at Annual Conference and Expo On April 17, the School of Arts and Sciences at Eastern held its 10th Annual Student Research and Exhibition Conference. The conference showcased 11 departments and 13 majors,

with 105 projects by more than 95 students supported by 44 faculty mentors. Parents, friends, alumni and corporate representatives, as well as staff from graduate and professional schools, attended the conference. More than 200 undergraduate and graduate students from the Business Administration, Communication, Economics, Education, and Health and Physical Education Departments participated in the School of Education and Professional Studies 10th Annual Excellence Expo on April 28. Research presentations ranged from electronic resources for teaching a high school lesson on cellular biology to the impact of player position on the NFL draft to supporting literacy through technology. The expo also included sections on posters and photography. Posters covered such topics as music therapy, television and movie ratings, subliminal messages in movies, and alcohol advertising and the First Amendment.

2010 Barnard Scholars Receive Honors Casey Bessette and Douglas Hackenyos won prestigious Henry Barnard Distinguished Student Awards, presented in May to 12 Connecticut State University System seniors.

years. Hackenyos began graduate studies this fall at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Worcester, with the goal of becoming a community-based pharmacist.

Bessette, a theatre major, distinguished herself as a performer in a wide range of dramatic and comedic roles. In addition, she wrote an original research paper on the history of regional theatre in Windham; and for more than four years lent her time and talents to the Riverfront Children’s Center. Hackenyos, a biology major and biochemistry minor, was named to the Dean’s List every semester he was at Eastern. A member of Eastern’s University Honors Program, he also served as captain of Eastern’s men’s lacrosse team for two Casey Bessette ’10

Douglas Hackenyos ’10

Occum Hall Wins 2010 Dean’s Cup! Occum Hall is the first upperclassman residence hall to win the Dean’s Cup in the three-year history of the Cup. The Dean’s Cup is an annual competition between all 12 residence halls, which gives hall residents the opportunity to display their commitment to personal and academic success along with hall and school spirit.


Fall 2010


campus news


ITP Student Chapter Wins National Award

At the 15th Annual Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) National Collegiate Conference in St. Louis, MO, on March 27, Eastern’s student AITP Chapter won first place in the national Web-Database Team Project Contest sponsored by the Institute of Certified Computer Professionals (ICCP). The AITP is the largest association of information systems and technology management professionals in North America. Typically, more than 100 universities and colleges of all sizes from across the United States and Canada take part in the conference. The Web Database Application Project Contest is a yearlong event with student teams submitting multiple project phase reports and designs to the national judging panel. Eastern’s AITP student chapter designed, built and enhanced a dynamic database-driven website for the Covenant Soup Kitchen in Willimantic.

Science Building Wins Landscape Award Eastern’s Science Building recently won the top award for 2009 from the Connecticut Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (CTASLA). The CTASLA conducts the Connecticut Design Awards each year to recognize excellence in landscape architectural design, planning and analysis, communication and research. “The science building is a unique design appropriate for the landscape and for Eastern’s green campus commitment,” said Nancy Tinker, director of facilities management and planning. The facil-

ity was designed to meet certification standards of the U.S. Green Building Council which sponsors the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building project meets the highest green building and performances measures. To attain LEED silver certification, storm water design points were enhanced with the bioswale approach. “The bioswale slows down the rainwater that runs off into the drain system, which is better for the environment,” said Tinker.

Eastern Named a “Green College” Front row, from left: Stephen Welch ’10; Lynn Bartmess ’10; Kacy Shafiee ’11; Gloria Rivera ’11; and Eastern President Elsa Núñez. Back row, from left: Roberto Vasquez ’10; Matt Thibeault ’11; Ethan Harris ’11; and Zach Flight ’10

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Eastern is one of the country’s most environmentally-responsible colleges, according to the Princeton Review. The company selected Eastern for inclusion in a unique resource it has created for college applicants. Developed by the Princeton Review in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council, the “Guide to 286 Green Colleges” is the first comprehensive guidebook focused solely on institutions of higher education who have demonstrated commitment to sustainability in

terms of campus infrastructure, activities and initiatives. “We are honored that Eastern was selected as a Green College by the Princeton Review,” said Eastern President Elsa Núñez. “We have a campus-wide commitment to sustainability at Eastern, evidenced by campus conservation programs, the sustainable energy studies curriculum, and our outreach across Connecticut in support of local energy efficiency efforts. This recognition tells our students, faculty and staff that their hard work is being noticed.”

campus news

Spring Season Brings Flurry of Campus Awards and Honors Soncheray Hall, a junior from East Hartford majoring in social work; Alice Pritchard, executive director of the Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund (CWEALF); and Associate Dean of Continuing Education Carol Williams were named the recipients of Eastern’s annual Ella T. Grasso Distinguished Service Awards during a reception on March 31. The award recognizes members of the campus and local community whose actions demonstrate distinguished service in promoting Grasso’s ideals to advance women’s rights and gender equality. Winners of Eastern’s Community Engagement Awards

Ella T. Grasso Distinguished Service Award Winners (from left): Alice Pritchard, Soncheray Hall ’11 and Carol Williams.

On April 21, the recipients of Eastern’s 2010 Latin American Distinguished Service Awards were recognized at a ceremony held in the Johnson Room. Migdalia Salas ’08 of New London; Eastern student Amelinda Vazquez of East Hartford; and Jeanette Rivera, assistant to the director of housing and residential life, were honored for their contributions to the community.

Winners of Eastern’s Community Engagement Awards were announced on April 29. Communication student Leo Gavaria accepted the Community Event Award on behalf of Communication Professor Denise Matthews, who was recognized for supporting students Matthew Fletcher, Kristin Copeland, Jason Evans and Gavaria in developing two public service announcements created in English and Spanish to encourage state residents to return their census forms. Jennifer Succi ’10 won the Student Engagement Award for a broad range of work in the community, including serving on the advisory board to establish a Pride Room at Eastern. Business Information Systems Professor Alex Citurs was honored with the Service Learning Engagement Award for helping students build a website for the Covenant Soup Kitchen. Business Professor Eric Martin received the Faculty Staff Engagement Award for his work in Willimantic on Spring Street, developing the Nonprofit Alliance of Northeastern Connecticut (NANC) and for his work with the Willimantic Whitewater Partnership. Joanna Auriantal accepted the Community

Partner Engagement Award on behalf of her mother, Lynn White, who works with women in the community who have been incarcerated to develop work skills while also providing free landscaping through the “Growing Stronger” program.

From left: Migdalia Salas, Jeanette Rivera, Eastern President Elsa Núñez, and Amelinda Vasquez at the Latin American Distinguished Service Awards.


Fall 2010


campus news

Eastern Faculty Recognized with CSUS Teaching and Research Awards Two professors have been named Eastern’s recipients of the Connecticut State University System (CSUS) 2010 Teaching and Research Awards. Daniel Donaghy, associate professor of English, was presented the Norton Mezvinsky Trustees Research Award at the university level, while Susannah Richards, associate professor of education, was awarded the Trustees Teaching Award at the university level. The awards were presented by the CSUS Board of Trustees on April 8. Richards was recognized by the university community for her advocacy of students, her engaging style of teaching, and the incorporation of modern

technology and concepts in the reading and elementary education curriculum. Donaghy is a published poet and scholar in contemporary British and American poetry whose authenticity and clarity of poetry have earned him a prize at a topranked university press; finalist distinctions in a highly prestigious national poetry contest; and frequent publication in some of the most widely read literary publications in the country. “The CSUS Trustee Awards received by Drs. Richards and Donaghy reaffirm their stature on our campus,” said Eastern President Elsa Núñez. “Through these much deserved awards, they have brought honor to themselves,

From left: Suzanna Richards, Elsa Núñez and Dan Donaghy

their professions and their colleagues at Eastern.”

Students and Faculty Recognized with First-Place Awards Students and faculty at Eastern Connecticut State University won three out of five first-place awards at the annual Connecticut Department of Higher Education (DHE) Community Service Awards on April 27, held in Hartford. DHE Commissioner Michael Meotti, along with William Dyson, chair of the Connecticut Commission on Community Service, presented the awards. The awards include a student award, a student group award and a special award. This year, 18 Connecticut colleges submitted 46 nominations for the three awards.

Jessica Dybdahl ’09, of Storrs, won the student award for her work establishing a relationship between Eastern students and 30 adult residents with mental and physical disabilities at Lyon Manor in Willington. Ethan Harris accepted Dybdahl’s award on her behalf. Eastern’s chapter of the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) won first prize in the student group category for volunteering to increase food donations at the Willimantic Covenant Soup Kitchen, and for developing a computerized tracking system and website specific to the needs of the soup kitchen. AITP members designed systems to address food and supply inventory management, volunteer coordination and tracking of services provided to community families and individuals. Alex Citurs, professor of business information systems, was named recipient of the Special Award for engaging his students in projects that provide academic content and directly impact Willimantic organizations such as Windham Town Hall and the Covenant Soup Kitchen. Citurs’ students directly apply their academic knowledge through community outreach projects to use their skills for good.

Above, Ethan Harris accepts the student award from DHE Commissioner Michael Meotti on behalf of Jessica Dybdahl ’09; at right, Meotti presents a special certificate to Business Professor Alex Citurs.

26 E ASTERN Fall 2010

class notes


Elsie (Murray) Jolly and her husband, Armand, are doing well and enjoying retirement. They keep busy with family and friends, including six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.


Jean Rowley retired from teaching in 1988 after 38 years. She spent several of those years as head teacher and assistant to the principal when needed. Jean now enjoys participating in church activities, socializing with friends, knitting, embroidery, reading and taking part in craft shows. She sends her best to the Class of 1950 for a happy and enjoyable life.


Carole (Whipple) Fish and her husband Calvin Fish ’54 celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary in July. Of her time at Eastern, Carole fondly remembers Professor Forbes, who taught a class on the human life cycle and “challenged us continuously.” Her sophomore seminar provided education in a specific area 12 hours each week. Catherine (Chapman) Hiller was unable to attend her 55th class reunion, but shared memories of her time spent with fellow residents of Burr Hall, especially her roommate of four years, Marie (Nabel) Fuller, and friends Didi, Gail, Peg, Jean, Hermine, Nancy and Alyce. Gail (Crawford) Yother lives in Bloomfield and enjoys a volunteer job at the information desk at Bradley International Airport. Her retirement years have been filled with many trips in the United States and abroad.


Shirley Shepard (’57/’89 M.S.) is retired and keeping busy with the community. She is on her high school reunion

committee, serves as chairwoman with her First Congregational Church, and is active with the No Freeze Shelter and the Windham Area Interfaith Ministry.


Ralph Greene left teaching a number of years ago and has spent most of his working life in pastoral service for the Society of Friends (Quaker). He married a woman from Nova Scotia and they raised eight children in a blended family (biological, step and adopted children, with occasional foster children added to the mix). Ralph lives in Maine, serves as interim pastor to two Methodist Churches and works with the H.O.M.E. Co-op Community, which serves low-income families. Kathleen (Bagley) McKnight has found immeasurable enjoyment reconnecting with classmates through informal lunches at restaurants across the state. She offers, “If you’d like to join us for one of these events, please e-mail me at” Carol Meikle Moulton has two daughters, one an Eastern graduate. Carol worked at the University of Connecticut library as a library assistant/stacks supervisor. She married her 35-year partner, Linda Kaminski, when same-sex marriage was legalized in Connecticut. When asked about her memories of Eastern, Carol wrote, “In addition to personal memories, it is my overriding sense that the progressive philosophy of WSTC from 1956 to the present continues to connect education to citizenship and an intelligent democratic process. Whoever they have been – G.I. Bill vets, empty nesters, retirees, defined and undefined minorities – WSTC, ECSC, and ECSU has managed to reach

out and make a place at the table for the next person in line.” Patricia (Carone) Rust enjoyed a very rewarding teaching career for 29 years. In June she celebrated her 50th wedding anniversary with her husband, John, with whom she has three children and four grandchildren. Frances (DelBroccolo) Dzicek retired after 35 years of teaching. She and her husband, Thomas Dzicek ’67, have three grandchildren.


Paula Coughlin retired after a 31year teaching career. She now works with the Connecticut Audubon Society Center in Pomfret as the coordinator of the Citizen Science Volunteer Monitoring Program, where she trains volunteers to collect conservation data on water quality, vernal pools, birds and mammals.


Robert MacDougall received a Bachelor of Science in education from Florida Atlantic University in 1973. He is married and has two children: Kalli, 26, and Kyle, 24. He retired from the Broward County school system in June 2009 after 36 years of teaching physical education. June (Roma) Machia became a grandmother for the first time on Dec. 24, 2009, when her daughter gave birth to Ashley Elizabeth. While at Eastern, June enjoyed watching the championship soccer team. Sherlene (Reikofski) Skov (’70/’74 M.S.) taught grades six and seven language arts and social studies for 27 years at the East Lyme Middle School.


Natalie Pfanstiehl is working on her second major art show for 2010. For the past 30 years she has taught at the Newport Art Museum and has led the Plein Air Painters of Narragansett Bay.


Deborah Tuscano Abate began her own bookkeeping company, Abate and Associates, Inc. in 1988. The company is located in New Britain and has a staff of five full-time employees and one part-time employee. They specialize in nonprofit organizations, law firms and small businesses. Mary Ann (Vocatura) Arico has spent 20 years with her husband, John, as co-owner of an engineering firm. The couple has two married children.

Students at Jaffrey Grade School in Jaffrey, NH, participated in “College is Possible!” days during the 2009-10 school year. The campaign included discussions about the different paths to college that were undertaken by each of their teachers. Paulette Slovenkai ’02, a reading specialist at the school, proudly shared her Eastern experience with the students.


Philip Blinn retired after 34 years with the State Technical School System, where he served as a guidance director, athletic director and coach. He is currently the freshman academy counselor at Plainfield High School. Philip is married to Linda Smith ’77. They have two children and two grandchildren.


Fall 2010


class notes Phyllis (Ducatelli) Craig is living in Ames, IA, with her husband, Dave. She is employed as the membership/volunteer services director at the Octagon Center for the Arts. Brendan Moriarty retired from the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch after more than 27 years as a family relations counselor. Michael Romanski was appointed senior vice president and senior commercial loan officer of Farmington Bank’s new office in Glastonbury. Michael has more than 30 years of banking experience in Central Connecticut and most recently served as vice president of Commercial Banking at NewAlliance Bank. Michael Scanlon Jr. retired in 2008 after 32 years in global industrial chemical marketing for American Cyanamid, Cytec, Bayer and Kemira Paper Chemicals. He and wife, Lorraine, enjoy traveling, spending time with family and friends, and attending Eastern baseball and other athletic events.

Thomas Connors received his doctorate in chemistry from the University of Connecticut in 1986. He has been employed by Colgate-Palmolive Company for the past 23 years and holds 28 U.S. patents in the area of consumer product formulations. Thomas enjoys volunteering in his community and was elected to the Piscataway, NJ, Township Board of Education for a three-year term ending in 2012. Charlene Desbonnet is a scientist in the Antibacterial/Biology Department of Pfizer. She has been with the company for 22 years. Susan (Bober) Marshall has worked as a professional blackjack dealer for 13 years. She enjoys it and says her statistics class comes in handy whenever she plays. Anthony Ross Jr. is on the faculty at the University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine. His oldest daughter, Kristin, is a senior at Rhode Island School of Design and his youngest, Nicole, is a senior in high school.


Peter Walch is the president and owner of Walch & Company in Tolland.

Lisa Maruzo-Bolduc (’82/’87 M.S.) was recently elected president of the Connecticut Chief of Police Association. She is the chief of police for the Willimantic Police Department.


Richard Grenon is a maintenance data engineering technical service bulletin writer with Pratt & Whitney Aircraft in East Hartford.


Linda (Smith) Blinn is currently teaching in Willington and has spent 32 years as an educator. She is married to Philip Blinn ’75, and has two children and two grandchildren. Cynthia Konney owns and operates New England Gemological Laboratory and Appraisal Services, LLC, with offices in Old Lyme and Newton Center, MA.



John McArthur is a software developer at Farm Credit Financial Partners in Agawam, MA. He is also the organist and choir director at the Federated Church of Willington.

Christopher Rindos founded an industrial publishing company called Index Publications in 1984 that produced two nationally-circulated, monthly publications. After 21 years of continuous publication, Christopher ceased production of the magazines and formed Rindos Communications. The company provides database design, development and maintenance, as well as professional real estate and architectural photography and image management services for a variety of real estate brokerage firms in Connecticut and Rhode Island. His work can be found on Susan Vaccaro has lived in Cheshire for the past five years with her daughter. She has worked for RIS Paper Co. Inc. in Cheshire as a customer service representative for the past 11

years. Susan wishes she could have attended the Campus Lantern reunion and sends a “hello” to all. She has enjoyed reconnecting with alumni on the computer and hopes to find more fellow alumni online.


Diane (Polocko) Burke left a 20year career in accounting in 2003 and returned to school. She then opened Diane’s Sweet Treats, a custom cake shop located in Newington. Gary Iadarola is a senior project manager at GEI Consultants. He does marketing, project management and site assessments. He says he loved his time at Eastern, and has fond memories of EES Professors Clebnik and Sardi.


Roger Dean is president and owner of Rye Ridge Ceramic Tile, a Port Chester, NY, firm co-founded by his father in 1973. The company supplies high-quality tile, glass and stone finishes for home and commercial use. A standout baseball player who was a part of the first Eastern National Championship team in 1982, he also played and scouted in the Detroit Tigers system before joining the family firm. He lives in Danbury with his wife, Kathy; son, Cory; and daughter, Rachel.


Kenneth Barber is a Democratic Judge of probate candidate for the new probate court comprising East Hampton, Portland, Marlborough and East Haddam. He currently works as an attorney with Barber & Roberts in East Hampton. James Blake is executive vice president at Southern Connecticut State University, where he has been a top administrator for more than a decade. His current responsibilities include oversight of finance and administration, construction and capital budgeting, safety, purchasing and other operations management at the New Haven campus. He and his wife Priscilla (Merritt) ’72 are parents to three adult sons and live in Old Greenwich.

greetings from the alumni association It’s an honor to bring you greetings on behalf of the Alumni Association, and to serve as president of the Alumni Association Board of Directors. As alumni, each of us can be proud of the positive changes taking place at Eastern, for we exemplify what a liberal arts education is all about. Our Eastern education has prepared us for a lifetime of success, as the ability to speak convincingly, write clearly and think creatively transcends every purpose for which we are called. I ask you to join with me in giving Eastern your full support as we build our alma mater for future generations. To learn more, contact the Office of Alumni Affairs at (860) 465-5302 or at

28 E ASTERN Fall 2010

Mark Bradley ’90, president of the ECSU Alumni Association

class notes Brenda (Baltovick) Koboski is married with a son who graduated high school this year and another who finished his sophomore year of high school. She works as a controller for a small research and development fuel cell technology firm. Mark McCormack lives in Seymour with his wife and daughter and works in New York City for Print International. Ruth Isabelle O’Neil relocated her business (Song-Day Music Center) in February to a full storefront in Coventry. The center offers music instruction, sales and repairs. Brian Taylor retired from the federal government and is enrolled full time in Boston University Center for Digital Imaging Arts in Washington, DC, where he is studying photography. Gregory Thomas returned to Connecticut in 2009 to become pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Danielson. His wife works for Humana in Louisville, KY. His oldest son, Christopher, is 26 and in his ninth year in the U.S. Navy in San Diego as a search-and-rescue swimmer. Youngest son, Timothy, is 24 and lives in Virginia, where he is a writer for films and an acrylic and watercolor artist.


Todd Roberts has owned his own physical therapy business, Roberts Physical and Aquatic Therapy in Old Saybrook, for three years.


Jameson Chace was named Crown Collision Centers’ first “Rhode Island Face of Success.” Jameson is an ecologist and assistant professor of biology and biomedical sciences at Salve Regina University in Newport. He was nominated by two different students and was selected because of the passion his students showed for him and the impact he is making with young people in his area of expertise: Jameson Chace ’89 ecology.

Brian LaBrec is director of engineering and operations for the Foster Corporation of Putnam, a developer of precision polymer devices for the medical, pharmaceutical and bioengineering fields. After graduation from Eastern he earned a Master of Science in plastics engineering from the University of Massachusetts Lowell and an MBA from Nichols College. He lives in North Oxford, MA, with his wife, Shari.

92 93

Daniel Graziano has been named advertising director for the Norwich


Christian Renstrom was named vice president of corporate relations and special events for Special Olympics Connecticut, Hamden. Christian most recently served as vice president at The Worx Group. He is also a member of the ECSU Foundation Board of Directors.

Dennis Savage submitted episode one of his series called “Bring ‘Em Back To Life” as a documentary in the Silk City Flick Fest in Manchester last October. The producers and directors were very supportive and encouraged him to continue promoting and seeking distribution for the film. Dennis then entered a 15-minute short version in a film showcase at the Old Mystic Cinemas sponsored by the SouthEastern Connecticut Film Makers, of which he is a member.

Deborah Bellody is the controller with New England Silica, where she has been since 1988. In this role she handles the company’s financials and accounting.


Jerry Chang recently attained his certified public accountant certificate from the Connecticut State Board of Accountancy. Jerry has worked with Fulco, DiTommaso, McMahon & Co., PC CPAs of Newington and Bristol since 2001.

Mark A. Andrews was elected to serve as chairman of the Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants for 2010-11. He is a tax manager for ESPN in Bristol.

Dale Chenette worked for several environmental firms Mark A. Andrews ’95 until 2002, when he decided to become an educator. In 2005 he moved to Memphis, TN, where he began teaching for Shelby County Schools and earned his master’s degree in education through Union University. Dale and his family are planning to move back to Connecticut after the school year to be closer to family. Travis Mathewson manages the automation and data support group at Pfizer. He works with databases, performing data mining for metrics gathering and decision support as well as data curation. Travis and his group are also in charge of creating new software utilities to simplify daily tasks and establish new protocols on automated platforms to streamline and enhance workflows. Software written by his group and automated solutions assembled by them are often used globally by Pfizer.


Bonnie Kellogg is an underwriter for General Reinsurance, a Stamford company for which she has worked for 20 years. She works primarily from her Trumbull home while caring for her two sons. She and husband, Todd, are parents to Ben, 5, and Sam, 1.



Denis Kelly has been named vice president at Sunstates Security in Raleigh, NC. In this newly created position Denis will oversee customer service, marketing, sales and business development efforts, including strategic growth initiatives. Prior to this appointment he was executive director of business development for Andrews International, a global security services firm.

Alexander Mrazik Jr. ’94

Alexander Mrazik Jr. relocated to Fairfax County, VA, in January 2007 to accept a position with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and is currently a branch chief, managing transportation infrastructure security grants. Alexander is single and just purchased a townhouse.

Marlene Piche (’94/’99 M.S.) is the senior vice president and director of branch sales and service for New Alliance Bank. She has been with the bank since 2006, after working with Fleet and Bank of America since 1991. Marlene was recently elected to the ECSU Foundation Board of Directors.

Edwin Muenzner ’95

Edwin Muenzner is the owner of Edwin R. Muenzner, CPA, LLC in Norwich and an adjunct instructor at Three Rivers Community College. He will chair the Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants’ Educators Interest Group for the coming year.


Robert Ashton received his master’s degree in science and mathematics education after graduating from Eastern. He has been teaching for 10 years and currently teaches eighth-grade science in Norwich. Kim (Bellerive) Bosworth welcomed her first child on June 20. Charles Ebbert Bosworth weighed 8 pounds 2 ounces and measured 19.5 inches. Neal Thomassen announced that “London Betty,” his first feature film as executive producer, was released nationally on DVD in February.


Costas Bouzakis owns Church and Main Deli-Café, a restaurant/catering company in Hartford that opened in March 2005.


Fall 2010


class notes David Jones launched his website and consulting business at and He invites the Eastern community to view the sites and circulate them to friends and colleagues. David writes, “Thank you, in advance, for your support as I embark on possible opportunities to offer consultation in the areas of diversity education, leadership development and motivational speaking.”

Michael Shane Guilford is a Submarine Group Two Supply Officer in the U.S. Navy and recently enlisted his wife, Amy, into the Air Force Reserves. The couple has been married for 18 years and have two daughters: Sydney, 16, and Michaela, 12.

Michael Saxton ’01/’05 M.S. and Milton Jackson ’05

Michael Shane Guilford ’97 and his wife Amy


Beth (Newton) Girard has been a professor of dance at Eastern for 10 years and has been coaching, choreographing and judging dance and cheer for 16 years. She has danced and cheered for semi-professional basketball teams and was a New England Patriots Cheerleader for the 1999-2001 seasons. She is currently running a hip-hop program in East Lyme called “Street Elite.” The program has earned five top-three Dance World Championship trophies in the last three years, and won the 2009 Senior Hip Hop World Championship. Beth will begin the UFL’s new 2010 season as director for the Hartford Colonials Cheerleaders. Bethany (Fish) Muscara and her husband Paul announced the birth of their daughter, Seraphina June, on Sept. 9, 2009. Jennifer Plis teaches physical education at Berlin High School, where she coaches women’s junior varsity lacrosse and is the assistant coach for the varsity team.


Michael Lessard is a history teacher at Windham High School and was recently elected to the Windham Town Council. Robert Schmidt is the surface anti-submarine warfare combat system resource officer at the Pentagon. A former submariner who came to Eastern after his military service and the early years of his civilian career, he lives with his wife, Barbara, in Alexandria, VA.

Michael Saxton (’01/’05 M.S.) is the author of the recently published “7 Scorpions: Rebellion.” In this first book of a trilogy, Earth is turned upside down by the brutal attack of a dictator known as Zodiac. Michael, who lives in Vernon and works as an independent consultant in information technology, is hard at work on the two other books in the series, and plans to donate 10 percent of his commission to Eastern scholarships. Milton Jackson ’05 designed the book cover and the website (www.7scorpions. com).


Latoya Grandy received her master’s degree in social work. She is employed as an intake coordinator with ASFC Outreach in Georgia.


Kate Fortier has accepted a position as a community engagement manager in the Department of Development and Community Services with the Access Community Action Agency in Willimantic. She is on the Board of Directors of the ECSU Alumni Association. Bryan Moretti, head basketball coach at William Hall High School in West Hartford for the past seven years, recently coached the West LL/L team in the Connecticut High School Coaches Association Basketball All-Star game at Maloney High School. Bryan also serves as an assistant baseball coach and freshmen girls soccer coach at Hall, where he is a physical education instructor. Vanessa Van Ryzin has been shooting and exhibiting photography for more than five years, and her work, titled “Sea and Sky,” was recently on display at the Davis Gallery in Orange.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was selected for the New Yorker’s “20 Under 40” list of fiction writers worth watching, a group assembled by the magazine’s editors. The list was published in the double fiction issue of The New Yorker.

Veronica Tiedt (’03/’07 M.S.) is working at Louden Legal Group as director of administration. She is on the advisory board for Branford Hall Career Institute in Windsor and is active in the Association of Legal Administrators. She continues her education by attending legal management conferences and local seminars.

Ryan Kelly is the manager of Client Device Technologies at Pfizer. He is married to Melissa Kelly.



30 E ASTERN Fall 2010

Frederick Gordon is a certified instructor for the district Community Emergency Response Teams. It is part of his job with the Washington, DC, Fire Department.

Brian Markowitz married in 2004 and is working as a senior financial consultant for Travelers.


Casey (Naylor) Fortin graduated from the University of Bridgeport in 2006 with her master’s degree in secondary education and has been teaching sixth-grade science at Har-Bur Middle School ever since. Casey was married in August 2009 and bought a home in Torrington with her husband. Kelvin Harris was married on July 2, 2010. In June he began a new job as higher education assistant (student conduct coordinator) at Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, NY. Kelvin is on the board of directors of the ECSU Alumni Association. Susan (Halpin) Smith and her husband, Jason, became parents to daughter Cailyn Smith on May 6, 2009.


Aimee Hayward recently received her LCSW and is now working as a clinician for Habit OPCO in Springfield, MA. Jared McGrath is a project engineer with Turner Construction in Phoenix. Jared lives in Scottsdale, AZ, with his wife. Benjamin Rach was hired by GZA GeoEnvironmental in June 2006 and currently works there as a consultant. He works mostly in remediation, but also does storm water pollution prevention plans and is starting to work on commercial-scale geothermal design.


Tiffany Adams is pursuing a master’s degree in community psychology at the University of New Haven. Linda Aidoo graduated from Southern Connecticut State University with her MBA in May. She has been working as a database technician for Albertus Magnus College for the past few years. Erik Christensen has fulfilled the requirements to be a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). The requirements include passing all parts of the rigorous CPA and ethics exams, completing five years of college education and two years of experience. Janet Cyr graduated from Central Connecticut State University in December with a master’s degree in communication.

class notes Joshua Davis completed his Master of Science in urban education from Mercy College in May 2009 and is teaching elementary school full time in the Bronx, NY. Katie Duggan works as a project scientist with HRP Joshua Davis ’07 Associates, Inc. in Farmington. HRP is an environmental consulting company specializing in civil/environmental engineering and hydrogeology. Jessica Gagnon is a counselor at Discovery House in Providence, RI. Meredith Hoskins is an environmental scientist at Maguire Group Inc. in Foxboro, MA. She is also in the environmental engineering master’s program at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Heather Kwasnick works as the director of social services for Mystic Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center. Marc Anthony Mojica recently joined the accounting team for the firm Kosovsky, Pratesi & Company, LLC. He is also a member of the Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants and is involved in their New and Young Professionals Group. Jonathan Nemergut married his wife, Samantha, on Oct. 13, 2009, at Sandals in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The couple sold their home in Marlborough and moved in June to their new home in Daytona Beach, FL. Jonathan devotes a large portion of his time working with alcoholics in sobriety and addicts in recovery and finds the volunteer work very rewarding. He is currently employed as an education benefit processor for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Gregory Page received his master’s degree in social work from the University of Connecticut in 2008. He is now working as a counselor at Hartford Dispensary. Lawrence Roach is currently working on his master’s degree in organizational management at Eastern. He is employed at Electric Boat in Groton as a process improvement engineer following 22 years in the U.S. Navy Submarine Service. His wife, Jennifer (Kessinger) ’08, and daughter, Allison ’10, are also proud graduates of Eastern. Amy Roselle-Cahill works at Reliance House, Inc. in Norwich as a service coordinator. Derek Roy is working at Arcadis, Inc. as a Scientist I performing soil and groundwater investigations for Chevron and BP sites in the Northeast.

Lindsay Swanson is working as a senior specialist in the Annuity Division of The Hartford Financial Services. She has been with the company for three years. Jennifer Wheaton is a care manager with the Area Agency on Aging of South Central Connecticut.


Stephen Bresciano is teaching at Manchester Community College and is an officer with the Manchester Police Department. He is assigned to the traffic unit investigating fatal crashes. Holly Butler was featured in Grace Magazine in a story titled, “Holly Butler Has Learned to Make Time for Herself.” The piece is a followup to her February 2007 cover story. Holly is a member of the ECSU Alumni Association Board of Directors. Lucretia DeCourcey is the in-school suspension coordinator and science substitute teacher at Fitch Middle School in Groton. Michelle Dupuis was accepted into the Master of Arts in teaching program at Central Connecticut State University. Derrick Gibbs has started a new career as a business consultant for A&A Office Systems. Kaitlyn Kociela has been accepted into the MFA in Costuming program at Florida State University. She will begin in the fall of 2010.

Kelly Looke was presented with the 2010 Connecticut Counseling Association’s (CCA) Graduate Student Scholar Award on June 11. Kelly is enrolled in the Counseling Program at Central Connecticut State University. She is an active student member of CCA, mainKelly Looke ’08 (right) with tains a 4.0 GPA, and has already secured Nancy DeCrescenzo her first counseling position at Manchester Community College. Kelli Mahder joined the U.S. Army in December. “I wanted to do something bigger than myself,” she explained. “I asked myself why I shouldn’t do it, and I couldn’t come up with a valid reason.” Kelli is training to be an imagery analyst, reviewing aerial photographs that provide Army personnel with critical information about enemy forces, potential battle areas and combat operations support. Pamela Marotti and her father, Fred, are the co-founders of The Performing Arts Society of East Haven (PASEH). The group presented their first performance, “Father of the Bride,” on Jan. 22 and 23. Pamela also serves on the East Haven Arts Commission.

Stefanie Tanguay is a successful freelance graphic designer, providing services to a renowned publishing company. Her work is published in several college textbooks. Stefanie credits her Eastern education along with a year-long co-op position in the Office of Career Services for preparing her to go into business for herself. She lives in Boston with her partner and their two dogs. Steven Teschendorf is halfway through the Naval War College Masters night school program in Strategic Studies. He had orders to St. Louis, MO this summer, where he was the deputy sector commander responsible for all Coast Guard missions on the Mississippi, Missouri and Illinois Rivers. Steven has 19 years of active duty with the U.S. Coast Guard and there’s a chance he will be in line for selection for promotion to the rank of Captain next year.


Shelby Adams is currently pursuing her master’s degree in secondary education with the University of Bridgeport to become an English teacher. Shelby is interning at Hillside Middle School in Naugatuck Public Schools. Jessica Barbieri moved to New York City last November to work with Fox News as a production assistant in the promotions department. Jessica helps create the daily promos that promote the shows that air on Fox News. “Everything is going really well here,” she says. “It’s a great place to work and I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the Communication Department at Eastern.” Kendra Bramlett is a substance abuse counselor for Hartford Dispensary in Norwich. Bethany Busch is on the Conservation Commission for the Town of Andover and serves as a trustee for Joshua’s Land Trust. Aubrey de los Reyes is the membership and development coordinator for the Connecticut Science Center, where she is responsible for selling memberships and helping to plan events. Christopher Doyle finished his first year as a graduate student in the Student Personnel Administration program at Springfield College. He also works at Springfield College as a tutor manager. Kerry Fair has been employed by Generations Family Health Center, Inc., in Willimantic as nurturing connections/group coordinator. Later this year she will begin graduate work at Saint Joseph College, where she hopes to become a licensed marriage and family therapist. “My overall goal is to provide family therapy to those who are experiencing upsets that are creating behaviors in the children as well as providing community education through parenting groups and seminars.” She is also working on a book on parenting. Caitlin Foley works as a case manager at Community Health Resources in Manchester.


Fall 2010


class notes Chelsea Graham is a residential counselor at Northeast Center for Youth and Families in Chaplin. Alicia Kern is receiving her master’s degree in social work from SUNY Albany. She will then be pursuing employment in the Albany area. Susan Kiddy is a junior executive at LVA Communications in Niantic, and her photography business, Ray of Light Photography, has taken off in the last several months. In addition to a few weddings, Susan has been busy with family and pregnancy portraiture. She has also been lending her services to nonprofits such as O.P.I.N. and Bully Breed Rescue (both committed to the rescue, rehabilitation and placement of dogs to responsible homes) and Donate Life Connecticut. Laura Kolar is attending LIM College in New York, where she will graduate in December 2010 with her MBA in Fashion Management. Natalia Marcantonio is working as an IICAPS case manager at Community Health Resources in Windsor. Norman Melendez is working for the Barnum Financial Group – MetLife as a financial services representative. Kayleen Misale is a prevention coordinator with ERASE in East Hartford. She is also working on her Master of Social Work degree at the University of Connecticut and plans to graduate in 2011. Andrew Powaleny has joined CRAFT Media/ Digital as a political consultant. He has also been accepted into the prestigious audition-only Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC. Candice (McEwan) Rzeznikiewicz is a transitional living coordinator for Access Agency in Danielson.


Lawrence Baker has been accepted to the preeminent design and technology graduate program at Parsons The New School for Design in New York City.

Three Eastern alums brought their classes from Putnam Elementary School for a visit to the planetarium on March 15. Above, pictured from left, are Sheryl Higging ’02, Antaya Radding ’08, Chastity Briquier ’97, Physical Sciences Professor Zoran Pazameta and Nicole Sherwinsky ’10. Sherwinsky is the first student to progress through the Physical Sciences Department’s new minor in Astronomy Outreach and Public Presentation, the only such program in the country. Frank-Thomas Grogan has written, directed and produced an original play based on the popular children’s book “Where’s Waldo.” His children’s theatre show, “The Wild Wacky World of Waldorf Waldorsky,” stars Frank-Thomas and Casey Bessette, with Kara Williams serving as the stage manager.

Thomas Gavigan ’49

Brianna London was accepted in the Peace Corps and left on June 21 for the African country of Burkina Faso where she will work in small enterprise development.

Doris Gagnon ’70

Marriages Bethany Wisniewski ’01 to Kristoffer Wagner on April 10, 2010 Stephanie Gwudz ’03 to Evan DeGaetano on Oct. 2, 2009 Carol Wesche ’07 to Liam Ahearn on July 25, 2009 Elizabeth McDermott ’09 to Lance Cargill on June 7, 2009 Aaron Hogue ’10 to Cassie Newcomb on April 10, 2010

In Memoriam Dorothy (Stone) Snelgrove ’28 Adelaide (Steward) Colton ’35 Lucille (Wheeler) Rutty ’35 Carol (Williams) Kimball ’36 Hilda (Hendry) Mustard ’38 Evelyn Burdick ’40

Brianna London ’10

32 E ASTERN Fall 2010

Roberta (Byrnes) Czarsty ’50 Hubert Edmondson ’55 Peggy Cornish ’56 Eleanor Whipple ’60 Harrison F. Day ’64 Corinne Breed ’73 Barbara Fredrickson ’73 Michael Leonard ’75 Douglas Zimmerman ’80 Sonja Lindlan ’82 Elayne Velanno ’83 William Walsh Jr. ’85 Cheryl Porter ’86 Marie-Pierre Diana ’88 Joan McCabe ’92 Niranjan Boniface ’93 William Pramberger ’96 John Wrighten IV ’05 Allen Schmied ’09 Lija Inese Briga ’10 Ronald V. Stevens (on staff 1974-92) Kymberly M. Meyers (a sophomore Social Work major)

final thoughts


astern alumni and friends are continually asking me how they can support the University. The quick answer is that financial contributions are always gratefully accepted through the ECSU Foundation, Inc. This past year, the number of contributors increased 7.5 percent to a record 2,852 donors. More than half our donors — 1,580 — are alumni, a figure that has grown 151 percent over the past five years. This growth in alumni and overall donor numbers is just one indicator of the commitment we continue to see from Eastern supporters. Another example is the generosity of dozens of alumni and friends who helped create two new endowed scholarships this past year in memory of Eastern emeriti faculty members Henry Snider and Sherman Clebnik, and the late Raymond Smith and Lee Watts. Most donations come to Eastern in the form of Annual Fund gifts. This steady stream of giving is essential to our ability to support Eastern students and their academic programs. Another option for alumni and friends to consider is our President’s Legacy Society, a growing group of people who have chosen to plan a future gift to Eastern by including the University in their estate planning. Over time, we hope more supporters will take advantage of these planned giving opportunities. Financial donations are not the only way that alumni and friends can support the University. A number of stories in this issue of EASTERN Magazine describe our “experiential learning” focus, which uses internships, paid cooperative placements and other experiences occurring out of the classroom to provide students with practical opportunities to apply their classroom education in real-world settings. As we expand this important element of our academic offerings, we will continue to need more internship locations in businesses, government agencies and nonprofit agencies. For example, Fred Hughes ’87, a partner at BlumShapiro, has offered Eastern accounting students internships at his company for more than five years. Dozens of Eastern students have interned at ESPN, where ECSU Foundation Board member Carol Pandiscia ’89 is senior vice president of technology. We welcome internship opportunities from more alumni and other supporters. Carol joins Kelvin Harris ’05, on the staff at the University of Maryland, and David Abel ’08 of Barnum Financial Group, as fresh faces on our Foundation and Alumni Association boards. Such board activism is another way that alumni and friends can help the University. Whatever your interest or area of expertise, we encourage you to think of ways to support Eastern and the students it serves. As always, we are grateful for your generosity.

Kenneth J. DeLisa Vice President Division of Institutional Advancement P.S.: Eastern is undergoing its 10-year reaccreditation review and welcomes public comments. Visit for details.


Fall 2010

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Eastern Fall 2010  

Eastern Fall 2010