Page 1


Summer | 13

Sweet Treats for Grads!

a news supplement for alumni and friends of Southern Connecticut State University

Dear Friends of Southern, Our vibrant May commencement ceremonies summed up an academic year full of high points for our university. The ceremonies were both poignant — with posthumous honors awarded to four graduate school alumni who died in the 2012 Newtown, Conn., shootings — and joyous, with the distribution of diplomas and ice cream at the undergraduate commencement making for a festive mix. Tom Murray of the Class of ’63 who marked the 50th anniversary of his graduation on commencement day, wrote to me how the ceremonies were: “special for my classmates and me. We experienced much of the joy we knew in May of 1963 when we completed our undergraduate studies. How proud I was to observe the great growth that has taken place at Southern during the past 50 years!” Tom and his fellow alums will be pleased to know that this growth is poised to continue, with the start of construction this summer on a 98,000-square-foot science building, home to cutting-edge programs in nanotechnology, applied physics, chemistry, and other fields. In this way, we will be supplying more qualified graduates for in-demand fields. And, with 85 percent of our annual graduating class remaining to live and work in the state, an investment in public higher education is clearly an investment in Connecticut’s future.

Mary A. Papazian, Ph.D. President


he celebration started early for members of the Class of 2013, who received their diplomas and cups of Ben & Jerry’s cookie dough ice cream — the latter presented by company co-founder Jerry Greenfield, who also delivered the commencement address. “There is a spiritual aspect to business. Just as you give, you receive,” Greenfield told the students at the ceremony, which was held on May 17 at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Conn. A total of 1,860 students earned their undergraduate degrees, with some 1,200 participating in the commencement ceremony. In 1978, Greenfield and his longtime friend and business partner, Ben Cohen, opened the first Ben & Jerry’s Homemade ice cream parlor in Burlington, Vt. With a focus on innovative flavors and a company commitment to social responsibility, they built the business into a $300 million ice cream empire.

For more on undergraduate commencement, including photos and stories on several inspiring graduates, go to commencement2013.html

Graduate Commencement



n May 16, Southern recognized the over 960 students who earned advanced degrees at two graduate commencement exercises held at the Lyman Center for the Performing Arts. Students from the schools of Arts and Sciences, Business, and Health and Human Services participated in an afternoon ceremony. Graduates from the School of Education took part in an evening ceremony, during which the Distinguished Alumni Awards were presented posthumously to four educators who died in the Newtown shooting tragedy. The awards were presented in memory of principal Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, M.S. ’97, 6th Yr. ’98; teacher Anne Marie Murphy, M.S. ’08; school counselor Mary J. Sherlach, M.S. ’90, 6th Yr. ’92; and teacher and master’s degree student Victoria Soto.


continued from page 1


“There could be no other choice than to recognize the four courageous alumnae who lost their lives protecting the children in their care,” said President Mary A. Papazian. A master’s degree in education also was posthumously awarded to Soto at the ceremony and accepted by members of her family. The ceremony was attended by Soto’s parents, Carlos and Donna, and her siblings, Jillian, Carlos, and Carlee. Murphy’s four children, Kelly, Colleen, Thomas, and Paige, accepted the award on their mother’s behalf. In addition, all six educators who were killed in the December shooting, including Rachel D’Avino and Lauren Rousseau, who were not Southern alumni, received the Citizen Honors Medal from the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, an organization comprised of Medal of Honor recipients.

Down to a Science

Over the past 10 years, jobs in the sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) grew three times faster than non-STEM positions, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. And more than two-thirds of STEM employees have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to less than one-third of non-STEM workers. In step with student interest and workforce demand, on Sept. 20 Southern is slated to break ground on a new academic and laboratory science building. The planned 98,332square-foot, four-level facility will support the ongoing expansion of Southern’s science programs and allow the university to educate more students in the STEM disciplines. Plans for the new science building will be highlighted in greater detail in the fall issue of Southern Alumni Magazine. In the meantime, here are some of the key features of the new building, which is slated to be completed in spring 2015: • The ConnScu Center for Nanotechnology will be located on the ground floor, with laboratory space isolated from building vibrations — a necessity when working with microscopic materials. • Expanded wings are planned for earth science, environmental science, molecular biology, chemistry, the Center for Coastal Marine Studies, and physics teaching and research laboratories. • A supercomputing laboratory is slated for research in theoretical science, bioinformatics, and computer science. • A saltwater aquaria room with touch tank and phytoplankton grow tank is also planned and will be the centerpiece of outreach to area schools and the community.




he Chemistry Department has launched several academic initiatives, including an accelerated B.S./M.S. degree program set to debut this fall. Dubbed the “Four Plus One” program, it will allow students to earn both a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in five years — cutting one year from the typically required six years of study. Southern is one of only a few colleges and universities in the state to offer an accelerated option. “Two of the biggest advantages of this program are that students can enter the workforce a year earlier than normal, which also reduces the cost of their education, and they are involved in significant research that will bolster their resumes when they apply for a job,” says Andrew Karatjas, assistant professor of chemistry and program coordinator. In addition, the department has started a professional science track within the current Master of Science degree program that will provide advanced training in both chemistry and business. “This program is intended to help students who are in the chemistry field and wish to pursue a managerial position,” says Karatjas. The 36-credit curriculum is divided equally between credits in chemistry and business administration. More information is available at or contact Andrew Karatjas at (203) 392-6271 or


est known for portraying Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce on the landmark TV series M*A*S*H, actor Alan Alda has consistently captivated audiences — winning seven Emmys, six Golden Globes, and three awards from the Directors Guild of America. On May 3, Alda delivered the 15th annual Mary and Louis Fusco Distinguished Lecture at the Lyman Center for the Performing Arts — sharing insights and humorous recollections with the sold-out crowd. Prior to the lecture, Alda, who has hosted PBS’s “Scientific American Frontiers” for the past 11 years, also met with science students and professors who are committed to educational outreach. A portion of the evening’s proceeds supports Southern’s Endowed Awards of Excellence, a merit-based scholarship program.





Alda a S*M*A*S*H at Southern

The new School of Business facility has earned LEED Gold certification — becoming the second building in the state recognized for this significant level of “green” construction. Overseen by the U.S. Green Building Council, the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program provides third-party verification of ecologically sound building designs and practices. Points are awarded for meeting various environmental standards in categories such as water and energy efficiency — with a higher overall score earning a higher certification level. The 22,000-square-foot School of Business was lauded for eco-friendly design, including the reuse or incorporation of recycled building materials: it was created by renovating the

Green Building Earns Gold

former student center, which was built in 1959. The state-of-the-art facility also includes a roof-mounted photovoltaic system to produce electricity, energy efficient LED lighting, and low-flow plumbing fixtures. “Achieving Gold certification for this new building is a significant achievement,” says Robert Sheeley, associate vice president for capital budgeting and facilities operations. “To be only the second building in the state to attain this status is great, but even better is what it means for Southern’s efforts at becoming a greener campus.” Southern is working to become carbon-neutral by 2050, as dictated by its participation in the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment.

Stellar Students Honored


wo graduated with perfect academic records — while

all four are exceptional graduates of the Class of 2013 with a demonstrated commitment to community service. Meet Southern’s recipients of the Henry Barnard Distinguished Student Award, one of the university’s most prestigious honors.





• Graduated Magna Cum

• Graduated Magna Cum

• Graduated with a degree

• Earned a perfect 4.0 grade

Laude with a 3.84 grade

Laude with a degree in

in nursing, earning a

point average while

point average


perfect 4.0 grade point

majoring in social work

• Majored in elementary

• Member of Colleges

• Served as a sergeant in



Against Cancer, the

• Member of Zeta Delta

education and Spanish

National Society of

Epsilon and the Sigma

to 2005 and the U.S. Army

• A four-year recipient of

Leadership and Success,

Theta Tau International

Reserve from 2005 to

the Presidential Merit

and Zeta Delta Epsilon, a

Honor Society of Nursing


service honor society

• Secretary of the Student

• Plans to pursue a

• Created an annual family

the U.S. Army from 1998

2008 • Received numerous

fundraiser in honor of her

honors for her service,

Government Association

master’s degree in special

deceased mother to

including the Global War

and a peer mentor for the

education and seek a job

benefit organizations that

on Terrorism

First-Year Experience

as a high school math

support those with cancer

Expeditionary Medal and

program for incoming



National Defense Service Medal

Swimmers’ Championship Run Continues The Owls swept the competition at the 2013 Northeast-10 Conference Championship, with both the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams capturing first place. This marks the women’s squad’s 10th consecutive title and the men’s ninth championship victory in 10 years. Southern also dominated the conference’s yearly awards presentation. Head coach Tim

Quill was named Northeast-10 Coach of the Year for both squads, and the following studentathletes received top honors: Raymond Cswerko (Men’s Swimmer of the Year), Amanda Thomas (Women’s Swimmer of the Year), and Louis Geist (Men’s Rookie of the Year).

New England Champions! It was a stunning victory for the men’s outdoor track and field team, which won the New England Championship with a total of 159 points — driving past Stonehill College, which finished second with 66 points. This is the second time Southern has taken the New England title, having also won the championship in 2011.

The Owls’ five first-place performances cemented the victory. The victors included: Twayne Forth in the 200 meter (21.68 seconds); Selasi Lumax in the 400 meter (47.49 seconds); Logan Sharpe in the 400 meter high hurdles (51.79 seconds); Sharpe, Forth, Jimm Guerrier, and Lumax in the 4X400 relay team (3:11.07); and Thomas Phommalinh, Forth, Guerrier, and Lumax in the 4X100 relay (41.91 seconds). The team went on to sweep the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association regional awards. Congratulations to student-athletes

Lumax (Regional Track Athlete of the Year) and Nick Lebron (Regional Field Athlete of the Year). Owls head men’s coach John Wallin was named Regional Coach of the Year, while Southern assistant coach Bill Sutherland took home Regional Assistant Coach of the Year honors. Summer | 2013



October 12

Catch the

Owl spirit at a campuswide

celebration The The 5K for the Alumni Robert entire Tent Party Corda Road with children’s family. Race • The area • Student President’s Parade of Floats • Donor Recognition The Homecoming Breakfast • and Football Game much, much more! (203) 392-6500


ing Seekteers! n Volu


September 25 • 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. Michael J. Adanti Student Center Grand Ballroom

Looking for alumni volunteers to talk about their professions with students in a fun, relaxed atmosphere. Part of the First-Year Experience program, the event is designed to expose freshmen to a wide variety of careers. Please consider sharing your professional experiences.

(203) 392-6500

EQUALITY IN ACTION: THE ENDURING LEGACY OF TITLE IX October 11 • 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. (Conference includes lunch and dinner.) With keynote speaker Ann Meyers Drysdale, vice president of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns, Olympic silver medalist, and UCLA national collegiate champion. Additional speakers include: • Sally Jenkins, award-winning author, sports columnist, and feature writer, The Washington Post • Donna Lopiano, ’68, president and founder, Sports Management Resources • Marilyn “Lynn” Malerba, Chief, Mohegan Tribal Nation • Dr. Debra Rolinson, physical chemist, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory • Carol Stiff, ’83, M.S. ’89, vice president, programming and acquisitions, ESPN • Carolyn Vanacore, ’52, M.S. ’68, 6th Yr. ’73, director emeritus of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Safety, SCSU • Susan Ware, noted author and historian

For more information, visit OWL




Future Keep a Southern education in reach of talented and deserving students and help the university create a climate of excellence.

Please make a gift to our students by visiting us online at



Summer | 13

Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Permit No. 1035 Springfield, MA

Alumni Association 501 Crescent Street New Haven, CT 06515-1355 Address Service Requested



aving traveled throughout Southeast Asia, Brendan Walsh, M.F.A. ’13, feels a special affection for Laos. “[It’s] sort of the last bastion of Asia, unexplained by Westerners,” he says, of the country that will soon be his temporary home. As the recipient of a prestigious Fulbright U.S. Student Award for 2013-14, Walsh will be based in Laos, where he will teach English at Vientiane University, assisting an English professor. The program will draw on his demonstrated strengths. Walsh, who graduated with a master’s degree in creative writing, worked at Southern’s Office of International Education and previously taught ESL (English as a Second Language) in Korea. He’s received numerous prizes for his poetry, been published in several literary journals, and served as poetry editor of Noctua Review, Southern’s graduate art and literary magazine. Travel promises to provide additional inspiration. Walsh’s plans include continuing his study of Theravada Buddhism, volunteering at a local orphanage, and working on a new collection of poetry inspired by his experiences in Laos.

Student Awarded Fulbright

Owl Sightings Summer 2013  
Owl Sightings Summer 2013  

A news supplement for alumni and friends of Southern Connecticut State University