Page 1

a publication for alumni and friends of Southern Connecticut State University

ALUMNI MAGAZINE | Fall | 17

JUMP FOR JASON FACEY, ’14


F E AT U R E S

2 The Inauguration of

President Joe Bertolino

on april 28, Southern Connecticut State University installed its 12th president — an event marked by heartfelt speeches, stellar student performances, and a series of events dedicated to community outreach and social justice.

18 What makes Southern special? Here are a few of Southern’s many notable achievements.

14 Stepping Up

Facey: (adjective) When someone’s face can be seen everywhere. — Urban Dictionary, top definition Jason Facey, ’14: choreographer, actor, motivational speaker, and dancer who toured nationally with gwen Stefani. (See above.)

Cover pHotograpHy: anya CHibiS

21

Ten Years, 18 Photos

Since 2007, university photographer isabel Chenoweth has told Southern’s story through photographs. Here are a few of her favorites.


Southern

ALUMNI MAGAZINE

| Fall | 17

41 Homecoming and Owl Family Day

32 Success,

Southern’s joint Homecoming and Owl Family Day celebration, with a “channel surfing” theme, offered something for everyone — whether they favored game shows, comedy specials, or action-packed sports.

American Style Haitian native Rey Alabre, ’09, is living the American dream — in the spotlight as one of the top franchise owners in the nation.

34 Big (4) Dreams

36 The Guide Dog Best-selling author Julie Barton, M.S. ’04, looks back on the beloved dog who brought her back from the brink.

d e pa r t m e n t s

Ten Southern students recently received prestigious internships or full-time positions with Deloitte. Yes, we’re counting!

4 ■ 11 ■ 12 ■ 20 ■ 30 ■ 38 ■ 39 ■ 42

Campus News ■ Social Southern True Blue Spaces & Places in New Haven Supporting Southern Hidden Campus Alumni News Owl Update

Daniel Trust, ’13: Catch up with the Rwandan genocide survivor and former Southern magazine cover story.

43 ■ 48

Alumni Notes ■

Southern Events


MR. PRESIDENT

Joe BertolIno Is

It

was not your grandfather’s

InauguratIon Ceremony. “For those of

you who were planning to come along to the traditional ceremony with gravitas, you’ve come to the wrong place,” a smiling Joe Bertolino told the audience moments after officially being installed as president of Southern. The joyful event, held April 28 at the John Lyman Center for the Performing Arts, was designed with a theme of “Building Communities. Celebrating Southern.” Both were readily apparent on that day, which kicked off with a bang: a “carpool karaoke” video, which featured the guest of honor harmonizing with the Owls football team, orientation ambassadors, and others. (The video went on to reach more than 278,000 on social media.) Speaking at the event, Mark E. Ojakian, president of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system, helped set the tone of the day. “A leader should always be focused on what matters — and it’s you,” he said, pointing to students in the audience. “We need leaders who show their support for everybody. We need leaders to not only say the phrase social justice but to mean it. We need leaders to embrace our collective diversity and celebrate it. And I could not be more confident that the president who will be standing in front of you in a minute is the right person for this institution at this time in its history.” Dr. Bertolino, an accomplished author, speaker, and social justice educator, has 25-plus years of leadership experience at private and public universities, the latter in Vermont, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. He comes to Southern from Lyndon State College in Vermont, where he was president from 2012 to 2016. During his short time at the helm of Southern, he has outlined the following priorities: raising the university’s profile; expanding community outreach and partnerships; strategic enrollment recruitment and retention; and streamlining students’ path to earning a degree. The power of his “students first” philosophy was readily apparent at inauguration. Bertolino’s former students traveled from as far as Texas, Florida, and even Sri Lanka to attend, while current Owls were well represented and provided entertainment throughout the event. In the celebratory weeks leading up to the ceremony, Southern students also volunteered during several signature events, most notably, the Big Event on April 22, which had students sharing

2 | Southern ALUMNI MAGAZINE

Installed as southern ConneCtICut state unIversIty’s 12th presIdent — pledgIng an admInIstratIon CommItted to CIvIlIty, CompassIon, dIgnIty, kIndness, and respeCt.

“Our students

are the reason that we are here...”

— president Joe Bertolino

their time and talents with the community. On campus, the Celebration of Philanthropy, held on April 23, recognized Southern’s leadership-level donors for providing critically needed support for the university and its students. While, on May 5, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, NBA legend, social justice advocate, and cancer survivor, delivered the Mary and Louis Fusco Distinguished Lecture, presenting a talk that touched on the nature of the game, race relations, and social justice.

M

onths later, the spirit of community that shaped inauguration and the weeks surrounding it, remain a guiding force. “I’ve been here a little more than a year now, and I feel that Southern has a special spirit that isn’t replicated on many campuses,” President Bertolino told the crowd gathered for his State of the University Address on Sept. 18. “There’s an infectious enthusiasm, a dedication to task, and a sense of pride that defines this university. We are working toward a common goal of student success, by building communities and empowering lives.”

More at inauguration.SouthernCT.edu


students were the focus of the inauguration ceremony. president Joe Bertolino’s former students traveled from as far as texas, florida, and even sri lanka to attend, joining a large group of excited southern students. the day culminated with a community picnic.

Fall 2017 | 3


Campus news ■

graduation Congratulations!

southern’s 2017 CommenCement Ceremony had somethIng

welcoming the Class of 2021

T

HEY COME WITH TALENT AND DETERMINATION FROM SIX COUNTRIES, 18 STATES, AND 150 CITIES AND TOWNS IN

CONNECTICUT . Meet the 1,377 new members of Southern’s Class of 2021. Diversity is a hallmark of the group: 45 percent of the first-year class are students of color. While the majority hail from Connecticut, all four major geographic regions of the U.S. are represented as well as Bermuda, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Spain, and Sweden. They bring to the Southern community a wide variety of interests and experiences. The class includes a competitive figure skater; nine sets of twins; a chemistry major who spent a year working in a fourth-grade classroom with AmeriCorps; and an actor, singer, and dancer who has performed off-Broadway. One classmate was a nanny to a child with autism and another served in the U.S. Naval Sea Cadets Corps, a military leadership program, and was named Cadet of the Year in his division. Their academic interests are far-reaching as well. Top selected majors include nursing, business, education, psychology, biology, and a significant number who are undecided.

for everyone — including a marriage proposal and a farewell serenade from President Joe Bertolino. Almost 1,100 members of the Class of 2017 were honored at the event, held May 19 at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Conn. Among them was Deanna Bradley, who earned a degree in social work and received a surprise proposal. Her boyfriend, Blackhawk Helicopter Crew Chief Harley Pretty, traveled almost 7,000 miles from a U.S. Army post in Egypt to congratulate his girlfriend and ask her to marry him. (See page 11.) During another emotional highpoint, graduates and their guests gave a standing ovation to commencement speaker, Derreck Kayongo, (below, left) a refugee from Uganda who, in 2015, was named the chief executive officer of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta. “Show Up! Show Up! Show Up!” Kayongo urged the graduates, spurring them to be active citizens. President Joe Bertolino ended his heartfelt charge to the class with a song, slightly reworking the lyrics to “Cups” as the crowd of thousands clapped along: “We’re gonna’ miss you by your walk. We’re gonna’ miss you by your talk. Southern’s gonna’ miss you when you’re gone.”

go.SouthernCT.edu/scsu2017

4 | Southern ALUMNI MAGAZINE


Southern

dollars and sense

ALUMNI MAGAZINE

S

■ VOL 15 • NO 1

outhern has one of the Best fInanCIal lIteraCy programs

In the natIon, according to LendEDU, which recently ranked the “Top 50 College

Financial Literacy Programs” in the nation. Southern tied for 29th on the list, which also includes Harvard, Ohio State, Georgetown, Kansas State, and Indiana University among the honorees. Founded in 2014 and led by Lewis DeLuca Jr., coordinator of Student Financial Literacy and Advising, Southern’s program was lauded by LendEDU for providing an impressive collection of financial literacy resources and tools. The university also annually holds nearly 100 workshops on topics such as smart money management, paying for college, credit, and life after college — and provides customized financial planning sessions for individual students and families. More than 1,900 such financial plans have been designed to date.

Dr. Joe Bertolino, President Robert L. Stamp, Vice President for Institutional Advancement Executive Director SCSU Foundation, Inc. staff

Patrick Dilger, Director of Integrated Communications & Marketing Villia Struyk, Editor Mary Pat Caputo, Associate Editor Michael Kobylanski, Sports Marylou Conley, ’83, Art Director Isabel Chenoweth, Photographer Brokk Tollefson, Student Photographer Melanie Stengel, Contributing Photographer

graduate CommenCement

ON

may 18, southern held two

graduate CommenCement

CeremonIes on Campus. during the

Charlie Davison, Alumni Notes Editor

afternoon, graduates of the school of arts and sciences and the school of health and human services were addressed by heather latorra, ‘88, m.s. ‘94, president and chief executive officer of marrakech, which provides a wide range of services, including career training, medical and behavioral treatment, and affordable housing. those earning advanced degrees from the school of Business and the school of education were honored at an evening ceremony, with an address by Imma Canelli, m.s. ’94, 6th year ’99, the former deputy superintendent of new haven public schools. Canelli, who retired in 2016, is the recipient of the school of education’s outstanding alumna award for 2012.

offICe of alumnI relatIons Michelle R. Johnston, Director of Alumni Relations

(203) 392-6500 edItorIal offICe Southern Connecticut State University Office of Integrated Communications & Marketing/Southern Alumni Magazine 501 Crescent Street New Haven, CT 06515-1355

Telephone (203) 392-6591; fax (203) 392-5083 Email address: StruykV1@SouthernCT.edu University website: SouthernCT.edu Printed by The Lane Press, Inc.

the secret to her success

T

here are aBout 11,000 student memBers In the amerICan marketIng assoCIatIon (ama), But JulIa rotella, ’17, was

a standout — finishing second in the organization’s 2017 Student Marketer of the Year competition. Rotella graduated in May with a degree in business administration, having made the most of her time at Southern. A member of the Honors College, she received a Presidential Merit Scholarship, a merit-based award that covered in-state tuition and fees for four years. As a sophomore, she was named president of Southern’s collegiate chapter of the AMA —

Southern Alumni Magazine is published by the university in cooperation with the SCSU Alumni Association two times a year and distributed free of charge to alumni and friends of the university. Opinions expressed in Southern Alumni Magazine do not necessarily reflect those of the university or the SCSU Alumni Association. Although the editors have made every reasonable effort to be factually accurate, no responsibility is assumed for errors. Postage paid at Burlington, Vt. Southern Connecticut State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religious creed, age, gender, gender identity or expression, national origin, marital status, ancestry, present or past history of mental disorder, learning disability or physical disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, genetic information, or criminal record. Inquiries related to nondiscrimination policies and Title IX may be forwarded to Paula Rice, Title IX Coordinator and Director of Diversity and Equity Programs, 501 Crescent Street, BU 226, New Haven, CT, 06515; (203) 392-5568; RiceP1@SouthernCT.edu. Fall 2017 | 5


Campus news ■

known as SUMA (SCSU Undergraduate Marketing Association) — a post she held for three years. “SUMA really helped me to become rooted here, to feel like I am part of a community,” she says, of her achievement-marked tenure. In 2017, SUMA was a semifinalist in the AMA’s prestigious Collegiate Case Competition, finishing among the top 17 colleges and universities in the nation. Southern was the only institution of higher learning in Connecticut to reach this level — and joined Providence College as one of only two in all of New England.

s

tops in assessment for student success

outhern Is one of only fIve

Colleges and unIversItIes

to receive the excellence in assessment designation this year. the designation recognizes institutions of higher education throughout the nation that successfully use data about student learning to help improve performance. only 15 colleges and universities have received the recognition to date. michael Ben-avie, director of southern’s office of assessment and planning, says the designation indicates that southern is a leader in self-assessment. “we are using evidence of student learning from several different assessment methods to formulate a big picture of learning on our campus, as well as a

picture of students. Involving students in survey development was also noted as a strength,” he says.

More at SouthernCT.edu/news-assessment.

6 | Southern ALUMNI MAGAZINE

fast facts. good news.

applause! applause! • david levine, chairman of Southern’s Department of Art and an

accomplished art historian, was named a Connecticut State University Professor. He is one of only twelve in the state to hold the title, which recognizes excellence in research, teaching, and service. Levine, who co-authored or co-edited three books, has been recognized internationally for his scholarship, particularly for his research on Dutch and Flemish artists working in Rome during the Baroque era.

• greg mcverry, associate professor of

curriculum and learning at Southern, was named to Mozilla’s “Network 50,” which recognizes 50 people throughout the world who “made the internet a better place in 2016.”


staff spotlight

GETTING TO KNOW HER :

De Oliveira thought she’d work as a licensed therapist, but fell in love with the higher education field while serving as a graduate assistant at a university wellness center. A native of Wisconsin, she is fluent in Spanish. She comes to Southern after earning a doctorate in educational leadership.

WHERE TO FIND HER :

The Academic Success Center (ASC), located in Hilton C. Buley Library, Room 303

The ASC provides a wide variety of free student services, including tutoring; supplemental instruction, weekly review sessions to enhance learning in historically difficult courses; and success coaching, which helps students build skills in areas such as time management, study strategies, note taking, and more. MEETING THE NEED :

There were 30,000 visits to the Academic Success Center in 2016-17 — 10,000 more than the previous academic year.

Katie De Oliveira • Director of Southern’s Academic Success Center and coordinator of the Supplemental Instruction Program

A FEW GOLD STAR

ACHIEVEMENTS :

• Tutoring has been expanded to 24 disciplines. Mathematics is the most requested.

• The ASC works! When students on academic probation participated in the Academic Success Coaching program in fall 2017, there was an almost 39 percent increase in the percentage who reached “good” academic standing. A LITTLE UNIQUE :

“We’re a Zen Den location for students who need to take a bit of a breather during stressful times,” says De Oliveira. Students will find Legos, music, Play-Doh, and coloring books to help them relax.

ADVICE TO STUDENTS :

“A lot of students become very discouraged when they start to struggle. They’ll say, ‘I failed the first test,’ or ‘I missed those assignments,’ and they’ll give up,” says De Oliveira. “It’s important to change that mindset. ‘Let’s see what I did wrong. Let me talk to my professor. Let me go to the Academic Success Center.’ Adopt that growth mindset and find the resources to help. Take these two steps and you can be successful.”

More at SouthernCT.edu/asc Fall 2017 | 7


Campus news ■

earning gold for going green

F

S

URTHERING SOUTHERN’S POSITION AS AN

ENVIRONMENTAL LEADER,

the new academic science and laboratory Building was certified leed® gold by the u.s. green Building Council, which recognizes ecological construction and design throughout the world. (leed stands for leadership in energy and environmental design.) designed by Centerbrook architects & planners, the building also was named an “outstanding design” in the 2017 american school and university architectural portfolio. the state-of-the-art science building is designed to save 34 percent on energy consumption and reduces water use by 20 percent. this is the second building on campus to receive gold leed® certification, which also was awarded to southern’s new home for the school of Business.

••• The Princeton Review has included Southern in its guide to green colleges for three consecutive years. •••

Click > apply

outhern students now complete a single online application to apply for the more than 300 scholarships that are managed in partnership by the SCSU Foundation, the Alumni Association, and the university. The newly launched process resulted in a dramatic increase in applications for the 2017-18 academic year. Funded through the generosity of alumni, parents, faculty, staff, and friends, the foundation-based scholarships are awarded to both undergraduate and graduate students based on a wide variety of criteria. The application for the 2018-19 academic year will be online in January.

More at SouthernCT.edu/ foundation-scholarships

health the american College

of sports medicine granted southern goldlevel recognition for its education is medicine (eIm) program, which is designed to create a culture of wellness on college campuses across the country. southern was one of about two dozen schools throughout the nation — and only two in Connecticut — to receive the honor. the award primarily recognizes the efforts of students in southern’s exercise physiology Club.

THEY CAME TOTING KAYAKS, READY TO

RACE ACROSS THE PICTURE-PERFECT SURFACE OF LAKE KENOSIA IN

DANBURY, CONN. But compassion rather than competition was the driving force at Paddle 4 Peace, a community event designed to raise funds to create a garden memorial to four alumnae of Southern’s School of Education who tragically lost their lives at Sandy Hook Elementary on Dec. 14, 2012. More than $30,000 was raised in conjunction with the event, which was held on August 4. As envisioned, the memorial will be the focal point for a garden of compasion, part of the SCSU Reflection Garden, a public space designed to highlight Southern’s commitment to access, social justice, and community service. The sculpture’s design stems from the vision of Carlene Barnes, ’13, the winner of a campus design competition. Barnes graduated with a degree in studio art.

More at reflectiongarden.SouthernCT.edu. 8 | Southern ALUMNI MAGAZINE


stellar owls

Brandon Brush, ’17

• the Class of 2017 includes four recipients of the henry Barnard distinguished student award, who were recognized for academic achievement and contributions to the community. •

nicholas Charnysh, ’17

Communication major Brandon Brush, ’17, was a member of the Crescent Players and the National Society of Leadership and Success. Following graduation, he spent his summer working as a counselor at the prestigious Stagedoor Manor in Loch Sheldrake, N.Y. Its alumni include Natalie Portman, Lea Michele, Jon Cryer, Robert Downey Jr., and Mandy Moore. In the fall, he headed to Orlando, Fla., to attend the Disney College Program.

sadia younas, ’17

A recreation, tourism, and sport management major, nicholas Charnysh, ’17, graduated with a 3.82 grade point average and was vice president of the Student Government Association, cocreator of the SCSU Spirit Commission, and a member of the Crescent Players. He spent the summer working as director of the counselorin-training program at YMCA Camp Sloper in Southington, Conn., overseeing about 40 counselors.

adam Zhitomi, ’17

Chemistry major sadia younas, ’17, graduated

A communication major with a minor in psychology, adam with a 3.94 grade point average. While at South- Zhitomi, ’17, served ern, she was secretary of on the Student Government Executive Board, the New Haven chapter of the American Chemi- and volunteered at many events, including cal Society and Relay for Life, Special researched cadmium Olympics, and the concentrations on Long Island Sound. Younas is a SCSU Day of Service. technical service consult- He is one of only 12 ant with BYK Additives & students accepted in the doctor of audiology Instruments — a job program at the Univeroffer she received prior sity of Connecticut. to graduation.

Basketball great presents distinguished lecture

on may 5, kareem aBdul-JaBBar delIvered the mary and louIs fusCo dIstInguIshed leCture to a crowd of

about 1,300 at lyman Center, thrilling the audience with a talk that touched on politics, race relations, and the evolution of the game. the nBa legend, social justice advocate, and cancer survivor addressed these and other topics during a Q&a-style interview led by dave Zirin, sports editor at the nation magazine. for 19 years, the mary and louis fusco distinguished lecture series has brought political, social, and creative leaders to campus, including Colin powell, walter Cronkite, and robin roberts of “good morning america.” proceeds from the annual event provide scholarship support for southern students through the endowed awards of excellence, a merit-based scholarship program that attracts and recognizes academically talented students. Fall 2017 | 9


Campus news ■

great news

IT’S

a good sIgn when adweek

tells you to Brag. So it was for

Sandra Gomez-Aceves, ’17, who beat out nearly 500 applicants to win one of only twelve coveted spots at the 2017 ProPublica Data Institute, a seminar covering data-driven journalism, including design and basic computer programming. The nine women and three men who were chosen for this year’s session “can rightly boast about having made the cut,” wrote Richard Horgan in a digital column for Adweek. The invitation covered all costs of attending the prestigious seminar, held June 7-21 in New York City. The program was designed for journalists and journalism students, although only three of the latter were accepted this year. Gomez-

pioneering women’s studies program turns 20

Aceves, who was invited before graduating in May with a B.S. in journalism and a concentration in political science, was among this select group. She learned about the program from Jodie Gil, assistant professor of journalism. Gil notes that the institute offered a great opportunity for Gomez-Aceves to connect on a national playing field and shows that Southern students can compete with anyone. “It’s such a prestigious program. They [ProPublica] have been around for nine years, and they’ve won four Pulitzer Prizes,” says Gil. The future remains decidedly bright for Gomez-Aceves, who was hired as a breaking news reporter at The Hartford Courant after interning with the company.

T

he master of arts in women’s

studies program celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2017 — a

milestone that was recognized at an on-

campus summit on april 21.

southern offered its first course in

women’s studies in 1971 and was one of the first universities in the u.s. to

offer classes in the discipline. as interest

in the program grew, academic

offerings kept pace. the master’s

degree program was conceived more

than 20 years ago by a small group of

colleagues — rosalyn amenta, director

of women’s programs; virginia metaxas, professor of history; and vara neverow, professor of english — all of whom continue to teach women’s studies

today. the resulting academic offering

was the first free-standing m.a.

program in women’s studies offered by

any university in the northeast. two

decades later, it remains the only m.a.

program in women’s studies offered by

a public university in new england. 10 | Southern ALUMNI MAGAZINE


Look Whooooo’s Talking

Running “late” to your inauguration? It’s time to sing! Check out carpool karaoke with President Joe and friends.

.eps

F

Posts, ’Grams, Tweets, and More

President Joe Bertolino tweeted from across the pond about a new transAtlantic alliance between Southern and Liverpool John Moores University in England. It brings countless opportunities to students — including the chance to study archeology at a medieval site.

.eps

F

.eps

faCeBook • sCsutopowl twItter

• @sCsutopowl

.eps

278k-plus reached “This is why my school’s president will always be better.” — Jenna Grace “I think I want to go back to school at my alma mater! Congratulations, Mr. President!” — Flip Wright

Derek Mathews, ’17, completed his final exams and realized a lifelong dream of competing on “American Ninja Warrior.” .eps

F

.eps

26k-plus views

Join the Conversation! .eps

F

790-plus

follow southern on:

.eps

faCeBook • SouthernCT • 22,775-plus

Deanna Bradley,’17, received a diploma — and a surprise proposal from her boyfriend Harley Pretty, a U.S. Army specialist who traveled to commencement from his post in Egypt. 210k-plus views

twItter • @SCSUtweet • 6,290-plus followers Instagram • SCSUgram • 2,600-plus followers snapChat • SouthernSCSU • 1,000-plus followers Fall 2017 | 11


Trueblue

From the pool to the playing field, a look at Southern athletics. ■

rugby rising

all eyes were on southern’s men’s rugBy CluB, whICh won the BronZe

medal at the usa rugBy College 7s dIvIsIon II natIonal ChampIonshIp. this was the first time southern competed at the event, which was held in denver, Colo., in may. the club, founded in 1981 and known as the sCsu Black attack, excels at several styles of competition. In the spring season, the team has a seven-member squad in play — and emerged the 2017 rugby northeast 7s champions. during the fall, the team competes with 15 men on a side. they were crowned the 2016 rugby northeast champs.

g’day, mate!

It takes about 30 hours for senior Natasha Fitzpatrick to travel the 10,403 miles between her home in Tasmania, Australia, and Southern’s New Haven campus, where she’s made her mark as a talented student-athlete. In addition to qualifying for nationals in cross country, the senior public health major set a Southern record in the steeplechase — a 3,000meter course that includes hurdles and a water jump. “It was quite a good moment. It felt like I achieved something for the school,” says Fitzpatrick of her record-breaking time (11:17.82). At Southern, Fitzpatrick lives in North Campus on a floor for

game day

The Owls celebrated at two signature events on May 17 — the Athletics Department Golf Outing and the Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Dinner. Seven alumni and three NCAA championship teams were honored at the ceremony, which was held at the Grassy Hill Country Club in Orange, Conn. The day was a winner for all, with proceeds supporting athletics scholarships and programs. Are you up for a little friendly competition? Match this year’s inductees with one of their many achievements.

2007 women’s Basketball team

Won an NCAA Div. II championship. Five more followed in the sport. A Walter Camp Football Foundation Player of the Year

Captured the first-ever NCAA title among all members of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system.

answers

1987 men’s soccer team

A member of Southern’s first formal swimming and diving program who’s an expert in elder-care assistance

1=E

1973 men’s gymnastics team

A decorated pole vaulter who coached three NCAA champions and 18 All-Americans

2=H

kateema riettie, ’03

Played Major League Soccer for 14 years, now an MLS coach

3=C

sandy (hittleman) myerson, ’69

Was one of the world’s fastest in the 100-meter butterfly — and won two gold medals at the Pan American Games * A 10-time NCAA Div. II champion

4=D

mike petke

Honored with an on-campus parade after winning the NCAA Division II national title with a 61- 45 win over previously undefeated Florida Gulf Coast

5=F

Ben michaelson, ’11

Jamaica’s seven-time national champion in the javelin — and a two-time NCAA Div. II national champ

6=A

michael marshall

A B C D E F G H I

7=I

12 | Southern ALUMNI MAGAZINE

art kadish, ’71

8=G

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

9=B

athletICs hall of fame InduCtees

For more on their accomplishments, go to SouthernCTOwls.com/hof.aspx.


Meet the Student-Athlete Luke Velez international students. “We help each other out,” she says. “I’ve met people from Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom . . . “ She shares more on Southern and her life in Australia, from koalas to Vegemite, at SouthernCT.edu/ news-natasha.

Championship win for men’s track

southern won the

Business Administr ati accountin g concentr on major, ation Track an d Field Te am, the 2017 Northeas t 10 (NE1 indoor an 0) d outdoor champion s Hometow n: Killing w o Xavier H rth, Conn igh Schoo ., l alumnu s SouthernCT.edu /viewbook

northeast 10 (ne10) outdoor traCk and fIeld ChampIonshIp —

earning more than twice the points of second place finisher franklin pierce university. It was the 14th time the owls won the outdoor championship — and recaps the team’s victory at the ne10 Indoor Championship in february. Congratulations to tikuan Johnson, who was named most outstanding track

Some achievements: Academic All-American Athlete • School of Business Ambassador • awarded the Oaklawn Foundation Presidential Scholarship, the David R. and Shannon H. McHale Endowed Scholarship, and the Christopher M. Borajkiewicz, ’98, Scholarship.

The intern: one of three Southern students awarded a prestigious internship with the “Big Four” accounting firm, Deloitte in summer 2017. The internship runs over two summers and includes training at the company’s facilities in Texas. (See page 34.) Previously interned with the Community Health Center, New Britain.

Entrepreneurial spirit: “As a freshman in high school, I started a landscaping business, initially riding my bike from client to client. I’ve done everything from working on a farm to painting homes to building stonewalls,” says Velez.

The ambassador: Velez is one of nine School of Business Student Ambassadors, a new leadership-development program for juniors and seniors at Southern.

Full speed: won the 4x100 relay at the NE10 outdoor championship, with teammates Yakabu Ibrahim, Tikuan Johnson, and Brian Sappleton.

performer at the event.

Running start: “My father ran in high school. He was a 400 hurdler and a long jumper.”

Johnson took first place in

Thoughts on John Wallin, ’00, head coach men’s cross country/track and field: “He believes in you before you believe in yourself. He has very high expec-

the 100 meter dash (10.73) and the 200 meter (21.35), and helped the owls win the 4x100 meter relay.

tations, which brings you up to another level,” says Velez.

And more praise: Coach Wallin is the 2017 NE10 Men’s Indoor Track and Field Coach of the Year and the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches’ Association’s East Region Coach of the Year.

more at

southernCtowls.com

k CheC out ’s hern so ut new etICs athl . logo More at SouthernCT.edu/news-new-logo Fall 2017 | 13


Stepping Up

14 | Southern ALUMNI MAGAZINE


•ANYA CHIBIS PHOTOS

p

Facey: (adjective) When someone’s face can be seen everywhere. — Urban Dictionary, top definition

Jason Facey, ’14: dancer, choreographer, actor, motivational speaker. (See above.)

By Villia Struyk


It’s the last Wednesday in May, and Jason Facey, ’14, is flying out of Los Angeles to dance with Gwen Stefani

more than 14,000 shareholders and guests will pack the Bud Walton Arena to cheer on Blake Shelton, Mary J. Blige, Ne-Yo, The Band Perry, and Stefani — the latter joined on stage by Facey, a lead dancer — one of several pop on her 2016 North star royalty headlining American tour. “What kind of life is this! at Wal-Mart Stores’ Performing for thouinfamous annual shareholder meeting. sands,” says Facey, a As far as hump days quick laugh punctuatgo, Facey is having a ing his Jamaican accent. good one, and his His star is clearly week will only get on the rise. Soon after better. On June 2, graduating from Southern with a degree in com-

16 | Southern ALUMNI MAGAZINE

munication and a minor in theatre, Facey came to LA for an internship with the Hallmark Channel arranged by the university’s Department of Communication. Since then his career has unfolded like the plot of a feel-good movie. It’s a musical, one that begins in a small home in Saint Mary, Jamaica, where Facey was born in 1989. He elaborates: “I was born inside of

that house not in a hospital. The entire house is about the same size as two dorm rooms put together. My whole family lived there.” Facey found his passion for performing at an early age. A DJ was playing at a community gathering, and the then 4-yearold talent was dancing his heart out. Gradually everyone stopped to watch. “I remember thinking, ‘This is all right!’” he says, before turning serious. “Music and

dance were our escape in Jamaica. It took us away from the poverty we were facing.” Facey came to the U.S. at the age of 11 with his older brother, joining family in Hartford. “It wasn’t difficult, but then again it was,” he says, recalling efforts to downplay his Jamaican roots. He was held back twice in fifth grade while learning English, but took the momentary set back in stride. “If that hadn’t hap-

pened, I would not be where I am today,” says Facey, who opted to attend Hartford’s Classical Magnet school. The challenging collegeprep curriculum focuses on the classics and liberal arts in the middle grades and high school — and includes an award-winning theater program. At Classical Magnet, Facey caught the attention of then eighth grade teacher Marydell Merrill, M.S. ’08, who encouraged him to try out for the


school production of “A Raisin in the Sun.” “I tried out because of her, but only for the smallest role — about five lines,” says Facey, who has a speech impediment — a stutter. He got the role and Merrill also named him the understudy for the lead. When said lead was later kicked out of the production, Facey rose to the occasion. “On the day of the show, I figured it out. I don’t stutter at all when I act,” he says. Soon after he landed the first of numerous roles in

Hartford Stage’s summer productions of Breakdancing Shakespeare, which combine the Bard of Avon’s works with breakdancing and hip-hop. Facey applied to Southern at the suggestion of his high school soccer coach, whose brother had attended the university. At Southern, he joined the Crescent Players and continued acting, his first role playing Cassius in “Othello.” Still something was lacking. “I was used to dancing every day, whether at a

party or for Hartford Stage. I didn’t know dancing was a career choice, but I knew I missed it,” he says. In 2009, he teamed up with three other Southern students — Isaiah Lyte, ’11, Jesse Kroll, ’14, and Muonia Wiley — to start the university’s Symphonic Pulse Dance Company (SPDC). The group, which blends different genres of dance including hip-hop and street-style, is still going strong today. Facey’s internship with the Hallmark

Channel was another college highpoint. “It showed me a whole new world. I learned what goes into making a movie — and I learned that acting is what I want to do,” he says. He stayed in Los Angeles when the internship ended, and was working at a city call center when he had an epiphany. “I remember thinking, ‘What am I doing here. I have a college

degree and I have talent.’” He drew up a list of goals: Get acting and dance agents; work as a motivational speaker; and build the ‘So Facey’ brand, playing off his surname. “I see Facey as standing for ‘Faithfully Accomplishing Challenges Every Year,’” he explains. He also kept dancing, letting off steam at Federal Bar, a North Hollywood club that holds throwback Thursday dance nights. Facey doesn’t drink or smoke. He does, however, “dance like crazy,”

and at the urging of a club friend decided to try out for a video. Then fate stepped in. “The choreographer at the audition was Fatima. The. Legendary. Fatima. She has worked with everyone,” says Facey of the famed artist who has collaborated with Jennifer Lopez, Gwen Stefani, Britney Spears, the Black Eyed Peas, Usher, Prince, Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige, and others.

continues on page 46

•ANYA CHIBIS PHOTOS

SouthernCT.edu/news-facey

Fall 2017 | 17


thanks to h ig h y k s g runnin nts that e Owl pride is m h s li p m o st of acc est. Here b e a growing li h t g n o m thern a g position Sou niversity’s many excitin the u ee more S . are some of s t n e m e v nd achie wl-pride. initiatives a o s w e n / u CT.ed at Southern 18 | Southern ALUMNI MAGAZINE


Fall 2017 | 19


spaCes & plaCes In new haven ■

OWL TERRITORY

NEW HAVEN

is a foodie’s paradise — and, in 2014, was even named the top “foodie” city in the U.S. by Livability.com, surpassing both Boston and Washington, D.C., on that year’s top ten list. What’s bringing everyone to the table in the Elm City? Variety! The city’s claims to fame include Louis’ Lunch (birthplace of the hamburger sandwich), Claire’s Corner Copia (a celebrated vegetarian restaurant serving New Haven since 1975), and arguably the best pizza in the nation (compare Pepe’s, Modern, and Sally’s to start). Located at 603 Orange St., Nica’s Market continues the trend, serving up a wide array of take-out choices. Nica’s panini is number five on The Daily Meal’s list of the 10 best in the U.S. — while 20-some other awards laud the market for its grinders, gourmet market, sandwiches, pizza, deli, and more. (Specialties range from chicken cacciatore to porchetta roast to sausage and broccoli rabe.) The market also includes fresh fruit and vegetables, a twelve-foot cheese case, a coffee bar, homemade baked goods, and gelato by the scoop in flavors such as blood orange, mint chip, Tahiti vanilla, and espresso. Tables with umbrellas line the storefront, uniting diners with the community.

20 | Southern ALUMNI MAGAZINE


10 YEARS •••

18 PHOTOS Since 2007, university photographer Isabel Chenoweth has told Southern’s story through photographs. Here are a few of her favorites.

II

SABEL SABEL CHENOWETH CHENOWETH

has searched for light in the darkest places — including has — including the basement of James Moore Field House. In Hutchinson the Hutchinson Natatorium. Under the water. On that particular day — —April April 8, 8, 2013 2013 — Chenoweth — Chenoweth stood in the humidthick air, her mind set on finding a new way to photograph Southern swimming sensation Amanda Thomas. Thomas, among the most celebrated student-athletes in Owl history, would go on to graduate with two degrees in exercise science (a bachelor’s in 2013 and a master’s in 2015) and four first-place finishes at the NCAA Div. II national championships. But at that moment some four and one-half years ago, victory would be a simpler thing for the 18time All American — look serene while swimming horizontally across the pool, face aimed directly at a viewing window where Chenoweth stood camera-in-hand. “We focused thethe water and and thenthen triggered them with wizard,” says Chenoweth. “We focused the thelights lightsinto into water triggered thema radio with radio transmitters,” says “It took several takesseveral to get takes her hands placed, withplaced, her legs right her.behind You canher. seeYou where Chenoweth. “It took to getperfectly her hands perfectly with herbehind legs right can the light falls It wasn’t anItinstant It was trial and error.” see where theoff. light falls off. wasn’tportrait. an instant portrait. It was trial and error.” The resulting shot on is one Chenoweth’s — and that is saying something. As of something. July 2017, she theof next page is onefavorites of Chenoweth’s favorites — and that is saying As has chronicled campus life for more than decade, taking close totaking 50,000close Southern-related photographs of July 2017, she has chronicled campus lifeafor more than a decade, to 50,000 Southern-related every year. The subjects and subjects assignments are decidedly Theyvaried. include portraiture, event coverage, photographs every year. The and assignments arevaried. decidedly They include portraiture, event and photo and journalism well as editorial marketing On ashoots. “typicalOn day,” Chenoweth captured coverage, photo as journalism as well and as editorial andshoots. marketing a “typical day,”has Chenoweth megastar John Legend John on stage at the Center, singing with such strength the microphone to has captured megastar Legend onLyman stage at the Lyman Center, singing with such strength the had microbe turned She’s also traveled London toto photograph Southern’s choir preforming to sold-out phone haddown. to be turned down. She’s to also traveled Europe to photograph Southern’s choir performing audiences and made trips throughout Haven neighborhoods to get shots of to sold-out— audiences —countless and made countless trips New throughout New Haven neighborhoods to stuget dents volunteering, interning, and conducting research. And she’s spent countless shots of students volunteering, interning, and conducting research. And she’s spent hours taking portraits of faculty members, often learning about their fields of scholarship. She says these and all other assignments share a common denominator: “Photography is is storytelling basically painting with light. You have to always conscious of with light and a moment in time. Light be is key. You have where your coming from— its sourcecoming and direction, the quality ofdireclight, to always belight’s conscious of where your light’s from— its source and and being created.” tion,the thepatterns quality and quantity of light, and the patterns being created.” Following are some of Chenoweth’s favorite photographs photographs — perfect and and — images captured when the light was perfect all all was was right right with with her her world. world.■ ■

Fall 2017 | 21


[Clockwise from top] • 2013 Four-time NCAA Div. II champion Amanda Thomas, ’13, M.S. ’15 • 2016 Southern at the New England Outdoor Track and Field Championship • 2016 President Joe Bertolino gets caught in the sprinkler on student move-in day. “It was interesting, because President Joe was still new and he had such an immediate [positive] reaction. You can tell a lot about a person by how he reacts to a surprise — especially if it’s not necessarily a good surprise. I love his expression and the tie flung over his shoulder,” says Chenoweth. “My instinct was to run. I was getting wet and holding the camera. I had to tell myself, ‘Wait, take the picture.’” 22 | Southern ALUMNI MAGAZINE


• 2011 A school in a rural town in Guatemala is one of many sites regularly visited by Southern students during the university’s annual international field study in the country. In summer 2017, a public health and special education course were both offered through the program.

Fall 2017 | 23


• 2011 Perched atop Engleman Hall, an owl sculpture watches over Southern’s stunning snow-topped campus in this award-winning photo.

24 | Southern ALUMNI MAGAZINE


• 2011 • 2014 • 2016 • 2010

Chenoweth captures the beauty of Connecticut’s seasons, including [second from top] a shot of faculty-driven student research being conducted along the state’s shoreline through the Werth Center for Coastal and Marine Studies at Southern. Fall 2017 | 25


[Clockwise from top] • 2015 Chenoweth photographed a local fisherman while joining Southern students on an exploration of the Grecian coastline. The university’s choir traveled to Greece to perform, and was joined by a group of Honors College students studying the history of Athens. The choir also has traveled to Ireland, England, and Spain, and is headed to Portugal in March. • 2017 A student painter at work • 2014 Alumnus James J. Griffin, ’71, performs with his therapy horse at a retirement home. Chenoweth remembers: “They put on a short drama for the residents, then went around the outside of the building and talked through the windows to those who couldn’t come outside. He had finished, and I was packing up to leave when I got this shot. He was just having a moment with his horse.” 26 | Southern ALUMNI MAGAZINE


• 2012 Set on a hill overlooking the campus pond, the bronze sculpture, “Serie Metafisica XVIII,” was created by the late artist Herk Van Tongeren. Students often sit on the sculpture, bringing Tongeren’s vision to life.

Fall 2017 | 27


28 | Southern ALUMNI MAGAZINE

• 2016 “I like wondering through campus and finding ‘moments’ — great light, colors, shapes and patterns. This is an example of Rembrandt lighting. One side of the face is lit and there’s a triangle of light on the opposite cheek. You can set up studio lights to achieve the effect, but it’s difficult to find it naturally. The light that day was incredible,” says Chenoweth of the photo taken in Buley Library, which received an award from the University Photographers’ Association of America.


[Clockwise from top] • 2010 Olympic superstar Apolo Ohno signs autographs after delivering the annual Mary and Louis Fusco Distinguished Lecture. • 2009 John Legend performs at Lyman Center. • 2012 A biology student examines a tarsier skull. • 2012 Southern’s choir works with famed conductor Simon Carrington while performing in London.

additional photo favorites are at southernCt.edu/gallery-2017

Fall 2017 | 29


supportIng southern ■

udents t s s p l e h t ip suppor h s r a l o h c Southern S r i e h t f o n most applicatio e n make the i l n o apply. e. A new o t m e h t r experienc s it easy fo e k a m s s e proc

scent ted Cre dedica ic Clinton er player thern’s in sou starred rmance rfo fall pe t.” Clinton k le io v “ f rederic o d the f ial e iv e c re or e mem Cacces d scholarship e w endo l. and e larry and th . Bingaman J a marth hip. rs schola

iewbook CT.edu/v Southern

30 | Southern ALUMNI MAGAZINE

nors gs, ho e siblin cy tenesaca in n f o one ent tra e stud er thesis in Colleg h g in t le ns to p is com alth and pla l. “the e o h o c h li c s b te pu e gradua gave m attend ip support y m h d s n r a schola el to exp ld. I fe edom the fre ge of the fie says d ,” knowle and blessed d ed the honore , who receiv c health a li c b a u s tene . lves p larship gonsa danny hapter scho C i alumn

acy his leg leave t sa pearl o t d lys rou “I’m p ern,” says a key role a th at sou who played to include , n korzon ern’s decisio r suicide th fo u n o s io t a in ult m t infor al-assa contac d sexu udents’ n a n io t t s n n e o v pre ups ceived cy gro she re advoca tion cards. l education ca ia identifi vance spec nd a a n in h g o J e h d t ship an on sullivan r la o h sc ke . ret mc marga d scholarship e w endo

ips cholarsh dation-s n u o /f u d 8 CT.e , 201 Southern tion opens Jan. 1 a c li p p a The


B

usIness maJor erIC t. ClInton doesn’t have muCh

down tIme. Since arriving at Southern in 2014, he’s helped launch a mentoring group for men of color, served as a peer mentor to new students, and tackled numerous lead roles in campus theater productions. Public Health major Tracy Tenesaca is equally driven. In addition to being a peer mentor in the Honors College, she’s vice president of the Class of 2018, a member of OLAS (the organization of Latin American Students), and an extremely active volunteer. Then there’s Alyssa Korzon, an Honors College student with a dual major in special education and theatre. Korzon has two jobs — she’s a certified yoga instructor and works in retail — and is president of Active Minds, a group dedicated to mental health awareness and advocacy. Clinton, Tenesaca, and Korzon have unique backgrounds, accomplishments, and dreams. But their Southern success stories share a common thread. All are scholarship recipients, a distinction that recognizes their achievements — while lessening financial pressures so they can make the most of their Southern experience. (The specific scholarships each receives are included with their photos.) More than 300 scholarships are overseen by the SCSU Foundation, with funds benefiting both undergraduate and graduate students. In 2017, the application process was simplified, making it possible for students to apply for all by completing a single online application. Applying takes as little as 10 minutes, but students may opt to earn extra points by completing an optional short essay. “They are quite amazing,” says Heather Rowe, business manager of the SCSU Foundation. “Our students are very passionate about what they want to do with their lives. They are dedicated to helping their peers — and they want to pay it forward.” Three out of every four Southern undergrads receive some form of financial aid — and in 2015-2016, almost 41 percent of undergraduates received a Federal Pell Grant, awarded to those with the most extreme need. Scholarship dollars, like grants, do not have to repaid. As such, scholarships play an extremely important role in a student’s financial aid package: helping them graduate with less debt. At Southern, about 75 percent of the Class of 2016 graduated with student debt averaging about $28,000, according to a study by LendEDU. The SCSU Foundation hopes to sharply slash both statistics with the help of donations from alumni, faculty, staff, parents, and friends. Among them is Rowe, who last year established the Grace Rowe International Travel Award to benefit students who want to enhance their education through travel. The award honors Rowe’s mother, who received a framed certificate announcing the fund’s creation on her 95th birthday. “It represents something she firmly believes in — the power of travel to broaden your horizons. I was raised on the road and international travel was part of my upbringing,” says Rowe. The ability to tailor a scholarship to reflect a donor’s specific desires is readily seen when browsing through the 300-plus funds. Some benefit students with certain majors or career aspirations. Others recognize specific talents like athletics success or community service. Students may browse through the various scholarships on the website — and learn about the donors. At a time of great need, foundation scholarships were at an all-time high for fiscal year 2017 at just under $800,000. The goal, moving forward, is to encourage more students to apply and to establish additional funds to benefit them. Consider the words of David McHale, ’98, chairman of the SCSU Foundation Board, speaking at the inauguration of President Joe Bertolino: “It’s our aspiration, perhaps, in just a few short years to provide $1 million in scholarships to 1,000 students. That would be a real game changer for this university.” ■

New Scholarship Continues Educator’s Legacy In July the sCsu foundation established a new endowed scholarship for the support of special education students, a gift made in memory of gina vance, who earned a 6th year professional diploma from the school of education. vance was a beloved administrator in the glastonbury school system for 26 years, serving as the director of special education, and as principal at both a primary and middle school. a pioneer in the

inclusion of special needs students in regular classrooms, she was a founder of special olympics in glastonbury 25 years ago. she was known for always putting the interests of students first while effectively supporting teachers, staff, and parents. In 2011, the Connecticut association of schools awarded vance its highest honor for her service and commitment to education — a well-deserved award in the eyes of her colleagues. the gina vance special education scholarship endowment was funded by a direct transfer from the donor’s individual retirement account (Ira) to southern. the Irs permits directs transfers — up to $100,000 per year — from an Ira to a charitable institution if the donor is at least 70½ years old. unlike regular Ira withdrawals, the charitable donation is not subject to ordinary income tax. If desired, the Ira charitable rollover gift also can satisfy all or part of a required minimum distribution. such a gift also reduces the donor’s adjusted gross income, which many other deductions, credits, and phase-outs are tied to.

Further information about direct IRA transfers SouthernCT.edu/go/ira or contact Carrie Pettit at (203) 392-6515 or PettitC1@SouthernCT.edu. Fall 2017 | 31


SUCCESS American Syle Haitian native Rey Alabre, ’09, is living the American dream — in the spotlight as one of the top franchise owners in the nation. By Villia Struyk

rowing up in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, Reynold “Rey” Alabre, ’09, was surrounded by inspiration. “My mother was a single parent, raising my sister and me in poor conditions,” says Alabre. “But she always had a business mindset. She did everything she could as far as businesses to help support us. Selling clothes, shoes, candies.” Eventually, the hardworking mom began traveling to the Dominican Republic — located next to Haiti on the island of Hispaniola — to buy items less expensively and earn a greater profit. Her determination left a lasting impression on Alabre, who today runs a successful H&R Block franchise in 32 | Southern ALUMNI MAGAZINE

Bridgeport, Conn. Last fall, H&R Block, the global tax services provider, named Alabre the National Franchisee of the Year, recognizing him for excellence in the one to two store category among more than 1,500 franchisees considered for the honor. The achievement is particularly sweet for Alabre, who crossed the ocean and numerous hurdles on the way to success. “My first day in the U.S., it wasn’t that great,” says Alabre, who flew to the U.S. alongside his sister in winter 2002. It was the first time Alabre saw snow, and he was wearing a thin T-shirt, comfortable attire in his island homeland. He expected to be met at the airport by his father, who he hadn’t seen in about 15 years. But there were complications. Alabre’s father hadn’t yet told his wife in the U.S. that the teens were coming and didn’t travel to meet them — and so the two waited alone at the airport. Neither spoke English. Eventually,

they fell asleep. Alabre was 18. Today he shares the story matterof-factly, smiling when he recounts the high point of that day. “A limo driver at the airport heard my sister and I speaking Creole. He asked us where we were from and our names,” Alabre says. The driver coincidentally knew another Alabre — the teens’ half-sister Angelina — and he drove them to her home. Despite this inauspicious start, Alabre swiftly found his way. He attended Bassick High School in Bridgeport, Conn., rapidly learning English. “I’m a poet, so I picked it up quickly by writing,” he says. He also loves music, but at the urging of family and friends decided to study computer science at the University of Bridgeport. Later realizing the computer science field wasn’t a good fit, he transferred to Southern to major in business


administration. When he took an accounting class, he knew he’d found his calling. Life wasn’t easy. Alabre was homeless at one point, living in his car for several weeks. But he persevered. He worked full time while attending school, holding posts as a security guard and as a factory worker. (While still a student, he applied to work at H&R Block but was turned down.) At a Southern professor’s recommendation, he began volunteering with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, which offers free tax help to people with low incomes, disabilities, and limited English. The following year, VITA asked him to manage the site where he worked. When others outside of the VITA program began asking Alabre to complete their taxes, he took the leap and started a business. “I was a junior

then,” he says. “One of my instructors at Southern told me exactly what to do — step by step. I rented an office space in Bridgeport for very, very little. In the beginning, it was just me. . . . But then we needed to move to a bigger office.” Eventually he partnered with H&R Block. “It is a very good relationship,” says Alabre. “They are very supportive of what I am doing in the community.” Which is quite a lot. Building on experience gained volunteering in college, Alabre supports numerous community organizations, from the Connecticut Food Bank to the Bridgeport Public Library, where the company donated 600 books this year alone. He also has launched his own foundation, Mind is Power, a nonprofit committed to expanding educational opportunities. Business continues to thrive as well. The H&R Block National Franchisee of the

Year award caps off a string of honors for Alabre, who also received a Mission: Possible Award from the Bridgeport Regional Business Council and was a finalist in the Celebrating Diversity in Business competition run by Business Journals. About eight years ago, he also became a U.S. citizen. “That was one of my proudest moments,” he says. In a fitting twist, H&R Block recently named Alabre to its government relation team. His assignment: to meet with representatives and senators on Capitol Hill to discuss issues taxpayers are facing in the community. He says he plans to travel to Washington, D.C., at least once a year, furthering his commitment to community service and his country. “There is no way I could accomplish all that I have in Haiti,” he says. “I moved to the U.S. for hope — for a better life — and I have found that.” ■

husband and wife nathalie and rey alabre, ’09, receive the h&r Block national franchisee of the year award.

Fall 2017 | 33


BI G

dreams

Ten Southern students recently received prestigious internships or full-time positions with Deloitte. Yes, we’re counting! By Villia Struyk

[left] louis signor, ’17, who graduated with a degree in business administration, is one of numerous southern alumni who recently joined deloitte. * [right, pictured from left] students luke velez, Brooke davis, and lyman depriest interned with deloitte over the summer, while student yenny Bayas completed an earlier internship during the busy tax season. 34 | Southern ALUMNI MAGAZINE

I

T’S THE HOLY GRAIL FOR MANY

ACCOUNTING STUDENTS: a position with

one of the “Big Four” accounting firms — Deloitte, PwC, Ernst & Young, and KPMG — widely recognized as the largest professional services networks in the world. In 2016, they earned a combined revenue of $128.2 billion through work in auditing, advising, consulting, tax services, and more. Deloitte is the largest of the Big Four in terms of revenue ($36.8 billion in 2016) and number of employees (244,400) — the latter figure receiving a boost from a growing number of Owls who recently joined Deloitte’s Stamford, Conn., office as interns and full-time employees. “Once I became an accounting major, my only goal was to work for a Big Four firm. The goal now is specifically [to become] a partner at Deloitte,” says Kayla Seminoro, ’17, who graduated from Southern with a degree in business administration and a concentration in accounting. In September, she moved closer to realizing that dream, joining Deloitte as an audit assistant after interning there. Her interest in accounting came relatively late in her college career. After transferring from

Central Connecticut State University, she took her first college-level business course at Southern — an accounting class taught by Janet Phillips, professor of accounting and chair of the department. Several years later, Phillips recommended that Seminoro apply for an internship with Deloitte. “The best advertisement for Southern’s accounting program is definitely our students,” says Phillips. Her confidence in Seminoro was well placed. After interviewing online and in person, she was selected for the highly competitive internship, which began at Deloitte University, The Leadership Center, a 700,000-square foot training facility in West Lake, Texas. She was then assigned to a client-team, receiving extensive realworld experience. “Deloitte values the importance of networking and making genuine connections with the professionals around you. This is one of my favorite aspects about both the firm and my internship experience,” says Seminoro. Such positive feedback is icing on the cake for Lori Charlton, a partner at Deloitte based in its Stamford, Conn., office. Southern flashed on Charlton’s radar screen several years ago when she was working with an especially talented


The Interns

young colleague. “I asked her where she went to school, and she said Southern,” she says. Soon after, Deloitte made its first campus presentation. “We had a very good turnout. The students were well-dressed and well-prepared, with resumes in hand. They asked great questions and were very enthusiastic,” says Charlton. “The faculty also came, showing a lot of support for their students and for us being there.” In September 2017, Deloitte made its fourth campus visit — and many Southern students now know a classmate who’s interned or become an employee there. “They’ve been terrific,” says Charlton of the students and alumni who’ve received offers in both the audit and tax practices. “They interviewed very well and were very competitive. . . . It’s been a great success from my perspective. We’re really encouraged by our partnership with the university and want to keep the relationship going.” Deloitte rates first among accounting companies for formal training, according to Vault, which annually ranks firms on numerous criteria. The services provider also finished among the leaders in the “prestige” and the overall accounting categories.

Muhamad Chowdhury, ’16, knew of Deloitte’s reputation. Before graduating in December, he’d explored different career options, including a potential winter internship with the organization. But after an in-depth interview process, Deloitte offered him a full-time position as an audit assistant in financial services. He started in January 2017. His success comes after a period of intense struggle. In 2014, Chowdhury was a full-time junior at the University of Connecticut, among the first generation in his family to attend college. His parents both immigrated from Bangladesh to the U.S., where they built a successful life operating several Subway franchises in the Wallingford and New Haven areas. Then the family patriarch became seriously ill. Chowdhury left UConn, returning home to help run the family business. He also enrolled at Southern — working full time, attending school full time, and commuting. “It came out of a difficult situation, but I have to say it was the best decision I ever made,” he says. At Southern, he majored in business administration with a concentration in economics

continues on page 47

deloitte consistently earns top ratings for its formal training program, a benefit experienced firsthand by a growing number of owls, including four who participated in coveted summer internships in 2017. the interns — all business administration majors with a concentration in accounting — are students luke velez, lyman depriest, and Brooke davis, and alumnus nicholas Intino, ’17. velez and depriest completed deloitte’s discovery Internship, with time spent exploring two company functions — audit and tax services. the hands-on learning kicked off at deloitte university, the leadership Center, in west lake, texas, where they connected with other high-achieving students from around the u.s. “Before heading to deloitte university, I heard so much about it that my expectations were through the roof. . . . those expectations were met,” says depriest. during one team-building exercise, the students were placed in groups and challenged to develop a presentation. depriest’s team took first place out of 25, earning an assortment of deloitte gear. the victory was particularly sweet for depriest. his team’s presentation focused on a startup mobile application that he is developing (myhypeeye.com) — here are your parties and events everywhere. looking forward, there is certainly a lot to celebrate. after completing their summer 2017 internships, Intino and davis received offers to join deloitte’s audit practice. meanwhile, deloitte’s discovery Internship will continue for depriest and velez. Both chose audit as their area of focus and will

continues on page 47 Fall 2017 | 35


The Guide Dog

Best-selling author Julie Barton, M.S. ’04, looks back on the beloved dog who brought her back from the brink. By Natalie Missakian

36 | Southern ALUMNI MAGAZINE


EFORE SHE ADOPTED HER

GOLDEN RETRIEVER PUPPY,

BUNKER, IN JUNE 1996,

JULIE BARTON, M.S. ’04,

WAS CONVINCED NOTHING COULD LIFT HER CRUSHING

DEPRESSION.

“I had gone into a therapist’s office, literally sat down and said, ‘Good luck,’” she recalls. “Because nobody had helped me yet.” Two months earlier, Barton, then 22 years old, had collapsed on the kitchen floor of her New York City

apartment, where she would remain for 24 hours in a haze of tears and inertia — her first depressive episode, a therapist would later tell her. That same day, more than 500 miles away, Bunker was born on a family farm in Central Ohio. It was as though the universe willed them to be together, says Barton, who believes her seemingly cosmic connection with the dog she found through a newspaper ad saved her life. “We absolutely understood each other. It was amazing,” says Barton, who chronicles her journey out of depression’s grip, with Bunker’s help, in her New York Times bestselling memoir, “Dog Medicine: How My Dog Saved Me From Myself,” published by Penguin Books. After her breakdown, Barton moved back home to Ohio, where, with her parents’ support, she began seeing a therapist and taking antidepressants. But she still struggled with rogue thoughts telling her she was

“dumb,” “ugly,” and “weak.” In her darkest moments in New York, the thoughts had become sinister: “Just kill yourself. Just tie a rope around something, cinch it around your neck and jump,” she writes in the book. As a kid, she would retreat to her room with the family dog whenever she felt scared or stressed. So she asked her mother if she could adopt a puppy, thinking it might help her recover. It did. “I had this love in front of me that was so palpable, the thoughts starting going away. They didn’t get as much oxygen as they used to,” she recalls. “I was less up in my head and more back down on Earth.”

Barton eventually became well enough to start over in Seattle, where she met her husband, Greg. In the following years, she earned two master’s degrees — one in women’s studies at Southern and an MFA from Vermont College — and became both a mother and successful author. The latter was a longheld dream, but Barton had strayed from it after earning her undergraduate degree. Instead, she took jobs in marketing and business — including one at a startup kiosk company in Branford, Conn. — while her husband did postdoctoral work at Yale. She credits Southern with helping to “right the ship.” Unhappy at work, she decided to

Julie Barton, m.s. ’04, read from her bestselling memoir at an on-campus event. [right] she reconnected with several of her former professors, tim parrish, professor of english, and rosalyn amenta, adjunct professor of women’s studies.

continues on page 47 Fall 2017 | 37


hIdden Campus â–

IKE A SECRET WORLD,

hilton C. Buley library is captured in a photo of a rain drop by journalism major Brokk m. tollefson, an assistant photographer in southern’s office of Integrated Communications & marketing. the water droplet functions as a lens, inverting the image of the 245,000-square-foot building, which is widely considered the academic heart of campus. dramatically renovated in 2013, Buley library includes computer labs, large open seating spaces, the owl perch cafe, an art gallery, the academic success Center, a library instruction classroom, quiet rooms for studying, and more.

For photos, a video, information on holdings, and more, visit go.SouthernCT.edu/buley.

38 | Southern ALUMNI MAGAZINE


alumnI news ■ sCsu alumnI assoCIatIon Board of dIreCtors

Christopher Borajkiewicz, ’98, President Robert Felder, ’08, Vice President Robert Lockery, ’95, Treasurer Angela Hudson-Davis, ’88, M.P.H. ’97, Secretary

W ■

help wanted: advice from alumni HAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB AFTER GRADUATION? WHAT’S MOST CHALLENGING ABOUT YOUR CURRENT POSITION? IS THERE GROWTH POTENTIAL IN

YOUR INDUSTRY?

Students came to Alumni Professionals Day with plenty of

questions — and they left the event with insights and answers from the many Southern graduates who returned to campus to share career advice about a variety of fields, including marketing, education, nursing, political science, accounting, and more. The event, held Oct. 10 in the Michael J. Adanti Student Center, had a casual vibe, with students meeting informally with graduates seated at small tables in a café-style setting. Looking forward, 156 students signed up to participate in the annual Alumni-Student Mentoring Program, which kicked off on Oct. 24 with a reception in the student center. Information on these and other volunteer opportunities is at SouthernCT.edu/alumni/volunteers.html.

fore southern!

N

early 200 alumni, faculty, staff, and friends partici-

pated in the 28th annual Owl Golf Classic, which was held on May 22 at the award-winning

Teresa Cherry-Cruz, M.S. ’86, 6th Yr. ’06 Kathy Coyle, ’74, M.S. ’78, 6th Yr. ’81 Thomas Dolan, ’58 Aba Hayford, ’12 Jerry Katona, ’74, M.S. ’88 Yvonne Klancko, ’70, M.S. ’74, 6th Yr. ’94 Benjamin Komola, ’11 Dorothy J. Martino, ’54, M.S. ’69 (Emerita) Patricia Miller, ’69, M.S. ’75, 6th Yr. ’81 (Emerita) Sandy Hittleman Myerson, ’69 Dara Onofrio, ’81 Judit Vasmatics Paolini, ’73, M.S. ’79, 6th Yr. ’93 Robert Parker, ’76 Christopher Piscitelli, ’93 Teresa Sirico, ’70, M.S. ’73 Renee Barnett Terry, ’75 Guy Tommasi, ’79 Carolyn Vanacore, ’52, M.S. ’68, 6th Yr. ’73 (Emerita) Brian West, ’80 Southern Connecticut State University Office of Alumni Relations Alumni House 501 Crescent Street New Haven, CT 06515-1355 (203) 392-6500 Michelle R. Johnston, Director JohnstonM2@SouthernCT.edu

Lake of Isles at Foxwoods Resort and Casino. Proceeds from the event support the university’s athletics programs and scholarships. Fall 2017 | 39


alumnI news ■

A

find your southern network LUMNI NETWORKS ARE BEING ESTABLISHED IN CONNECTICUT AND THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES

in areas

where there are large concentrations of Southern alumni. Watch for events in your area. For more information, contact Michelle Johnston, director of alumni relations, at JohnstonM2@SouthernCT.edu or (203) 392-6500. You may also reach out to the alumni network contacts below.

Boston alumni network

rob simpson, ‘83 Briana o’neill, m.s. ’13

rob@waveridercomm.com boneillslp@gmail.com

new york City alumni network

aba hayford, ’10

aba.hayford@gmail.com

washington, d.C, alumni network

Jamie alvarado-taylor, ’05, m.a. ’08 shaundricka ranel, ’07

jamie.alvaradotaylor@gmail.com sranel03@gmail.com

new haven area alumni network

doreen Cammarata-gilhuly, ’89

(203) 392-8824 gilhulyd1@southernCt.edu

naples, florida, area alumni network

doreen Cammarata-gilhuly, ’89

(203) 392-8824 gilhulyd1@southernCt.edu

new london/southern rhode Island network

andrew lawn, ‘09

lawna12@gmail.com

Boca raton, florida, area alumni network

harry howell, ‘68

harryhowelljr@yahoo.com

philadelphia network

doreen Cammarata-gilhuly, ’89

(203) 392-8824 gilhulyd1@southernCt.edu

mallory goes pro in europe

M

IChael mallory, ’17,

the all-time leading

scorer for both Southern and the Northeast-

10 Conference overall, has signed a professional contract with KK Blokotehna Gevgelija in Macedonia. Having finished his career with 2,515 points, Mallory holds 11 individual school records and earned All-America honors as a junior and senior. A standout in the classroom as well as on the court, he was named an Academic All-District selection by the College Sports Information Directors of America and is a member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches’ Honors Court.

michael mallory, ’17, is southern’s all-time leading scorer.

40 | Southern ALUMNI MAGAZINE


S ■

homecoming and owl family day 2017 OUTHERN’S JOINT HOMECOMING AND OWL FAMILY DAY CELEBRATION, WITH A “CHANNEL SURFING” THEME, OFFERED SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE

— whether they favored game shows, comedy specials, or action-packed

sports. Leading up to the big day, students enjoyed game nights — Ultimate TV Trivia and Let’s Make a Deal —as

well as a Thursday evening pep rally and after-party in James Moore Field House. The Southern community continued the celebration on Saturday, October 21— a picture-perfect, unseasonably warm day on campus. Festivities included the Bob Corda Road Race and Homecoming parade, and, for the first-time ever, the Owls had a designated tailgate area on Farnham Ave. There was also a foodtruck festival and plenty of opportunities to cheer on the home team. The university used the occasion to launch a new athletics logo (above). In addition to several alumni games, the women’s field hockey team took on Assumption College and Southern hockey competed against Western Connecticut State at Northford Ice Pavillion. On campus, the Owls football team had a 28-9 victory over Merrimack College, a particularly sweet win for the team which is commemorating its 70th anniversary. The competition also was friendly but fierce at the “Owl Family Day Road to 11K” scavenger hunt. Those who completed the task, received an entry ticket — and three lucky contestants were randomly chosen to compete for an amazing prize: tuition costs for a year up to $11,000. See more at homecoming.SouthernCT.edu.

Fall 2017 | 41


owl update ■ at shared office space in Bridgeport’s B:hive, daniel trust, ’13, meets with doubenz fabius, a senior from Bassick high school, which trust also attended.

42 | Southern ALUMNI MAGAZINE

IN

the winter of 2011, Southern Alumni Magazine shared the story of thenstudent Daniel Ndamwizeye, who, at the age of 5, tragically lost his parents and two siblings during the Rwandan genocide. After facing years of hardship, he immigrated to the U.S.,

where despite the initial language barrier, he thrived at Bassick High School in Bridgeport, Conn. Chosen “Most likely to Succeed” by his graduating high school class, he lived up to the title at Southern. Trust worked full time at TD Bank and actively volunteered as a student, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2013. “America has allowed me to be who I want to be,” said, Nadamwizeye, who began using the last name “Trust.” Ndamwizeye means “I trust him,” in Kinyarwanda, one of Rwanda’s official languages. Today, Trust is the founder and chief executive officer of the Daniel Trust Foundation, which is dedicated to helping low-income students reach their educational and professional goals, and honoring exceptional teachers. Since 2014, the foundation has awarded about $46,000 in

scholarships and provided mentoring to more than 50 high school students. Trust’s perseverance and commitment to his community are widely recognized. Connecticut Magazine and Fairfield County Business Journal have included him on their “40 Under 40” lists — and the Connecticut news anchor Ann Nyberg interviewed him on her namesake show. Trust — an advocate for refugee, low-income, and LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) youth — is also a soughtafter speaker, with clients including Sony Playstation, The Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations, and hundreds of colleges and organizations. It’s an inspiring development for the advocate, who counts addressing the classroom of Shirley A. Jackson, professor of sociology at Southern, among his first public speaking engagements.


will be recognized in honor of its 50th reunion at the undergraduate commencement ceremony on May 18, 2018 at Webster Bank Arena, Bridgeport, Conn. For more information or if you would like to organize a reunion for your class, please contact the Office of Alumni Relations at (203) 392-6500. the Class of 1968

1950s

ed tyBurskI, ’55, was inducted into

the Connecticut Association of Athletic Directors Hall of Fame.

1970s

patsy lemley kamerCIa, ’71, M.S.

’75, was inducted into the Connecticut Association of Athletic Directors Hall of Fame. pamela BastIano, ’74, a member of

the International Nurses Association, is the director of nursing at Psychiatric Solutions. She lives in Tampa, Fla., where she serves patients at the veterans hospital. kevIn lempa, ’74, is the senior defen-

sive analyst for the University of Michigan football team. roBert ey, M.L.S. ’76, has retired from

a career in law publishing, journalism, and librarianship, and is living in Hopewell, N.J. amelIa Joseph, ’78, is the nurse

administrator to The Citadel’s new Swain Department of Nursing with responsibly for helping to build the curriculum and directing the initial operations of the nursing department. She brings almost four decades of experience to the position and lives in Charleston, S.C. donald nessIng, ’78, is a regional

sales manager at HarborOne Bank and lives in Barrington, R.I. nathan p. lawrenCe, M.S. ’79, is

the vice president of marketing and business development at Pressure BioSciences, as reported at equities.com. frank “sId” maIetto, ’79, was

inducted into the Pacific Northwest Basketball Officials Association Hall of Fame. He lives in Snohomish, Wash.

1980s

roB Beale, ’80, M.S. ’88, M.S. ’02, was

inducted into the Platt High School

Athletic Hall of Fame. He established the girls soccer program at the school where he is a special education teacher. frederICk J. “Jon” wallaCe, M.S.

’82, presented a program entitled, “Black Holes, Neutron Stars, and Magnetars,” at the Freeport Community Library, in Freeport, Maine. He lives in Durham. gary pflomm, M.S. ’83, an elemen-

tary school teacher for 40 years, is the 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year for Watertown Public Schools. He lives in Watertown, Conn. leah seCondo, ’84, is celebrating 33

years in sports broadcasting. Secondo lives in Bradenton, Fla. sharon wIse, ’85, earned an M.S.W.

from New York University and works as a family social worker. She resides in Brooklyn, N.Y. deBBIe maCCarry, M.S. ’86, is an

accreditation consultant with Accreditation Guru, which helps guide private and public health and human services organizations through the accreditation process. She lives in Danbury, Conn. roBert n. mItChell, ’86, is a senior

communication specialist at American Health Administrators in Philadelphia. davId C. eustIs Jr., ’87, has been

appointed headmaster of Xavier High School in Middletown, Conn. roBert manCusI, ’87, M.S. ’89, 6th

Yr. ’98, is the director of special education and student services for Wallingford Public Schools. mIChael rInaldI, ’87, is principal at

Westhill High School and lives in Stamford, Conn. deB solfaro, ’87, the director of

athletics at Penn State Abington, is the senior woman administrator on the North Eastern Athletic Conference executive committee. saundra stephenson, M.S. ’88,

was awarded the National Sojourner Truth Award for Meritorious Service at the Elm City Clubs Founders’ Day awards luncheon. She was recognized

for community service and her commitment to advancing the status of women. James forBes, ’89, was honored by

One Blood of Florida for reaching the 25-gallon milestone for blood and platelet donations. He lives in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. sean gallagher, ’89, is the co-chief

executive officer and executive producer of Half Yard Productions, a Bethesda, Md.-based production company that creates nonfiction programming for numerous networks, including TLC, Animal Planet, and the History Channel. He cofounded the company in 2006. Previously, he was the senior vice president of production and development for TLC. wIllIam roland, ’89, is the special

education academic chair for the Board of Education Region 15 and lives in Naugatuck, Conn. don sIkorskI, ’89, is the director of

shops at The Mohegan Sun Casino and Resort in Uncasville, Conn., with responsibility for overseeing more than 225,000 square feet of space. James r. wendt, M.S. ’89, is the town

planning and zoning director in Fairfield, Conn.

1990s

davId panagrossI, ’90, is the opera-

tor of the Plymouth Notch Club in Plymouth, Vt. Born and raised in New Haven, he learned to ski in 1971 and previously spent 25 years in finance. artIe roy, ’90, was inducted into the

Branford Sports Hall of Fame. He has been the head athletics trainer at Branford High School since 1995. donald Casey, M.S. ’91, received the

2016 Harvey “Hoppy” Pretty award for his volunteer work as a Pyramid Shrine Temple clown. He also has received the Red Nose Award for his volunteerism as a clown. sarah dekutowskI, ’91, of Atlanta,

Ga., is a partner at Draffin & Tucker, an accounting firm. adam mCphee, ’92, is the president of

East Division Operations at CleanSlate Centers, a multi-state provider of outpatient, physician-led addiction-treatment centers. thomas poItras, ’92, was inducted

into the Connecticut Soccer Hall of Fame. He was a member of Southern’s 1987 national championship team and coached at numerous colleges, including the University of Wisconsin. He lives in Southington, Conn. alICe s. JaCkson, 6th Yr. ’93, retired

after 40 years as an educator and is a

member of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Her paintings have been accepted in numerous juried shows and have won awards locally and in Connecticut. She lives in Landrum, S.C. rICh sChroeder, ’93, is supervising

producer of “Good Morning Football” on the NFL network. He lives in Mamaroneck, N.Y.

alumnI notes ■

reunion news

andrea leonardI, M.S. ’95, 6th Yr.

’96, is the assistant superintendent of special services of the Wilton Public School District. kIm holley, M.S. ’96, 6th Yr. ’04, is the

executive director of the Ben Bronz Foundation in West Hartford. She retired from the Unified School District after more than 20 years. angel n. ortIZ, ’96, was promoted to

the position of group supervisor with Homeland Security Investigations in Puerto Rico. He is a special agent with the organization. tammy torres, M.S.N. ’96, has been

named chief executive officer of the Memorial Hospital of Salem County in New Jersey. marC durfee, ’97, was featured in the

Derby Informer as the art director for the Derby Recreation Commission. He is one of the featured artists in the book, “Wichita Artists in their Studios.” He lives in Wichita, Kan. Charles Jarmon, M.P.H. ’97, M.B.A.

’00, is an adjunct professor at Hofstra University, Department of Health Professions, and resides in Huntington, N.Y. lIsa olIvere, M.S. ’97, was a semifi-

nalist for the 2017 Connecticut Teacher of the Year award for Regional School District 16. She is the chairman of the Social Studies Department at Woodland Regional High School. shamaIn Johnson-Cohen, ’98,

M.S. ’03, 6th Yr. ’09, was recognized by the Bridgeport Chapter of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs. karIssa nIehoff, M.S. ’99, executive

director of the Connecticut Association of Schools-Connecticut interscholastic Athletic Conference (CAS-CIAC), was named presidentelect of the board of directors of the National Federation of State High School Associations. davId pelIng, M.S. ’99, has been

named principal at Avon High School. He lives in Granby, Conn. ron plasky, M.S. ’99, is the director

of athletics, physical education, and health for the Board of Education Region 15 and lives in Naugatuck, Conn. Fall 2017 | 43


alumnI notes ■

2000s

denIse fowlIn-mIgnott, ’00, is a

global food safety specialist with Hojeij Branded Foods (HBF). She is responsible for food-safety best practices for more than 2,000 employees at more than 75 HBF food service locations at 14 airports across the country. sarah heath, M.S. ’00, is the social

services director for the Westport Center for Senior Activities. kImBerly Beauregard, ’01, is presi-

dent and chief executive officer of InterCommunity, a mission-driven national healthcare company based in East Hartford, Conn. Beauregard lives in Meriden, Conn. wendy hallaBeCk garland, ’01,

elementary school librarian in Dedham, Mass., has been named “Super Librarian” by the Massachusetts School Library Association. hannah Jung, M.S. ’02, was the

guest artist at the Cheshire Art League at the Cheshire Library in Conn. lIsa torres, ’02, M.S. ’06, 6th Yr. ’11,

is the principal of Lincoln Elementary in New Britain, Conn. marCo vItIello, ’02, is a member of

the sales team at Hoffman Landscapes in Danbury, Conn. aron Boxer, ’03, M.S. ’12, is the

director of special services at the Greenwich Catholic School. staCIe Broden, M.S. ’03, was a semi-

finalist for the 2017 Connecticut Teacher of the Year award for Regional School District 15. She is a K-fifth-grade interventionist at Middlebury Elementary School and lives in Waterbury, Conn. anthony deluCIa Jr., ’03, has

joined Filomeno & Company as a manager. lashante kelley-James, ’04, M.S.

’14, is the assistant principal of Roton Middle School in Norwalk, Conn. sCott leroy, M.P.H. ’04, was

appointed health officer of Caroline County, Maryland. He brings 24 years of experience in public health to the position. trICIa BelluCCI mIgnosa, ’04, and husband ChrIstopher mIgnosa,

M.S.W. ’14, have an outpatient mental health practice at the Stony Creek Wellness Group in Guilford, Conn. Carlos reyes-CouvertIer, ’04, was

named the 2017 Teacher of the Year for New Haven and was also a semifinalist for the 2017 Connecticut Teacher of the Year award. 44 | Southern ALUMNI MAGAZINE

pasQuale “lIno” IZZo, ’05, is a

realtor with Real Living Wareck D’Ostilio Real Estate and lives in Woodbridge, Conn. safIya key, M.S. ’05, is the interim

assistant principal for Glenville School in Greenwich, Conn. Key lives in Norwalk. keIth sCher, ’05, is a general manager

of The Brigade, a Manchester, N.H., arena football team. He is a former Owls football player. eBrIma JoBe, ’06, received the

Stamford Health Department Housing Code Inspector of the Year award. andrew tarasuk, ’07, is the execu-

tive program director of the Nashoba Valley Medical Center’s Garvin Center for Geriatric Psychiatry. He lives in Haverhill, Mass. karen tatarka, M.L.S. ’07, is director

of the C. H. Booth Library in Newtown, Conn. kelly todd, ’07, a native of Orchard

Park, Ky., has been promoted to the position of attorney at the Louisvillebased Dolt, Thompson, Shepherd, and Conway law firm. Todd is a member of both the Kentucky and Michigan Bar associations.

In print and on screen

sandra addis, ’62, M.S. ’73, has published four children’s books. She lives in Strasburg, Pa. robert nicoletti, ’64, has written, “Parenthood a Life Sentence? A Journey from the Womb to the Tomb.” He lives in Wallingford, Conn. Carl Balestracci, ’67, M.S. ’74, 6th Yr. ’77, has written a book about the quarry industry in Connecticut: “John Beattie and His Quarrymen: Building America Stone by Stone.” Susan Capezzone, ’81, was the artistic editor of the book, which received an Award of Merit from the Connecticut League of History Organizations. arthur Crowell, ’70, M.A. ’73, is the author of “A Handbook on Special Education Administration.” He resides in West Hartford, Conn. laura a. macaluso, ’94, is the author of the nonfiction book, “New Haven in World War I.” She lives in Lynchburg, Va. nick Benas, ’06, M.S. ’14, is the author of “Mental Health First Aid: A Guide to Handling and Recognizing Mental Health Emergencies.” It is available on Amazon.com. patrick moody, ’13, is the author of “The Gravedigger’s Son.” He lives in Hamden, Conn.

Brendan gallagher, M.L.S. ’08, is

co-owner and chief executive officer of ByWater Solutions, a technologydriven management company servicing libraries. He lives in Santa Barbara, Calif. BenJamIn Boger, ’09, operates a

burger-based food truck called Cowabunga and lives in Norwalk, Conn. darron vIglIottI, M.S. ’09, 6th Yr.

’13, is the assistant principal of New Terryville High School. Vigliotti lives in Hamden, Conn.

2010s

frank e. Brady, ’10, is a dream

director at The Future Project, working with teenagers to establish projects based on their passions to benefit their communities and school. Through his employer, Driven2Inspire, he provides leadership training and development to college students. Jared CeCColInI, ’10, has been

sworn in as a police officer in Middletown, Conn. sergIo merIno, ’10, is the head

strength and conditioning coach at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Brook mInner, M.L.S. ’10, is the

librarian at the Brooksville Free Public Library in Brooksville, Maine. twana shIrden, 6th Yr. ’10, is the

principal of Washington Elementary School in West Haven, Conn. tonya deangelIs, ’11, an RN with a

bachelor of science degree in nursing, has joined HomeCare, a Visiting Nurse Association subsidiary in Ridgefield, Conn. ChrIstIna nassayan pesCo, ’11,

was honored in Westchester Magazine as a “Wunderkind,” an award recognizing professionals under the age of 30. She is the assistant director of alumni relations at Iona college and resides in New Rochelle, N.Y. ellIot ross, ’11, is a search analyst at

Cronin, a digitally driven marketing agency in Connecticut. sarah tortora, ’11, participated in

the Western Connecticut State University visual and literary arts exhibit. Tortora lives in Guilford, Conn. mary elIZaBeth fulCo, M.A. ’12,

was named 2017 Teacher of the Year for the town of Westport and was a semifinalist for the Connecticut Teacher of the Year award. She teaches English and is the adviser for the student newspaper. Joseph t. poulen, ’12, is an associate

attorney with the law office of Karen Fisher in Seymour, Conn. kIrk samuelson, 6th Year ’12, is the

assistant principal for Waterford

High School. Samuelson lives in Branford, Conn. steve Besonson, ’13, M.B.A. ’14, is

employed by Soma Technology, an international company that refurbishes medical equipment. He works in the procurement department and lives in Branford, Conn. Charles klatt, ’13, graduated from

officer candidate school in Newport, R.I., and is stationed at a naval base in San Diego, Calif., as a surface warfare officer aboard the ship USS Harpers Ferry. lauren Ball mIldrum, ’13, and husband, mIChael mIldrum, ’11,

live in Trumbull, Conn. She is a fourth-grade teacher in Bridgeport and Michael is a financial adviser at Merrill Lynch. danIel trust, ’13, founder and chief

executive officer of the Bridgeportbased Daniel Trust Foundation, was the keynote speaker at the annual “40 Under Forty” ceremony in Stamford, Conn. His foundation is awarding $20,000 in scholarships this year. Brendan walsh, M.F.A. ’13, is a

finalist for the 2017 Luminaire Award for Best Poetry for his poem, “Sacks of Cells.” He lives in Avon, Conn. max demusIs, ’14, was an organ

donor match for his business partner, Frank Andrews, and underwent a transplant operation. They are


co-owners of Frank Andrew’s Mobile Kitchen, a Clinton-based wood-fired pizza vendor that travels all over the state of Connecticut. tom frenette, ’14, and Jordan sIms, ’14, won Emmy Awards for

their videography and production work for the Miami Dolphins. alessandra petrIno, M.L.S. ’14, is

the children’s librarian at the Weston Library. Petrino lives in New Fairfield, Conn. marCella monk flake, 6th Yr. ’15,

is the executive director of The Monk Center for Enrichment and Performing Arts in New Haven, Conn. heather l. smIth-Jaser, ’15, is a

principal with the Shelton-based Dworken, Hillman, LaMorte & Sterczala accounting firm. tonya rICks, ’16, was recognized by

the New Haven Chapter of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs. tafarI turner, ’16, was recognized in

Jamaican Magazine in the “30-under30 Caribbean American Emerging Leaders” feature. He was honored in the student leadership category. Turner is a graduate adviser at Southern.

marriages marIa santopIetro, ’09, to Jason A.

Willis, June 25, 2016, Wolcott, Conn.

ellen I. hall wrIght, ’53, July 23,

2017, Enfield, Conn. margaret mullen CrImmIns, ’54,

Jan. 2, 2017, Cheshire, Conn. angela ewer, ’54, Jan. 28, 2017,

Branford, Conn. eIleen gIBson, ’54, Dec. 26, 2016,

Norwalk, Conn. James mCkeown III, ’54, M.S. ’59,

March 4, 2017, West Haven, Conn. mIChael r. CarBone, ’55, March 27,

2017, Wallingford, Conn. Carl g. wIlkInson, ’55, April 27,

2017, Stamford, Conn. helen Convery, ’56, March 10, 2017,

Stamford, Conn. walter J. Camp, ’57, Jan. 11, 2017,

elIZaBeth v. Bell, ’46, May 1, 2017,

Branford, Conn. harrIet hapke kenney, ’49, April 9,

2017, Holmes Beach, Fla. stuart James mCenerney, ’50, ’55,

Feb. 9, 2017, Hamden, Conn. Joseph w. sChmIdt, ’50, M.A. ’55,

Aug. 6, 2017, Eastham, Mass. audrey p. tIanI, ’50, Jan. 7, 2017,

Madison, Conn. anna k. dest, ’51, June 24, 2017,

Wethersfield, Conn. Jean shanley BaIsley, ’52, 2008,

Washington, D.C. verna B. moIdel, ’52, Dec. 23, 2016,

Wellesley, Mass. franCes BeatrICe kosowsky mIller, ’53, March 27, 2017,

Tequesta, Fla. ConCetta sarno panICo, ’53, April

12, 2017, Hamden, Conn. vIolet t. polena, ’53, July 1, 2017,

Trumbull, Conn.

6th Yr. ’79, May 19, 2017, Milford, Conn. patrICIa dImensteIn eagle, ’67,

M.S. ’70, July 3, 2017, Orange, Conn. lanCe haworth, ’67, Jan. 23, 2017,

Chapel Hill, N.C. Jean s. kaas, ’67, June 19, 2014,

Wallingford, Conn. phIlIp lagattuta, ’67, M.S. ’74, 6th Yr.

’79, Aug. 18, 2016, Albuquerque, N.M. ClaIressa weIss lentI, ’67, M.S. ’81,

March 10, 2017, Wallingford, Conn. rIChard J. Basso, ’68, M.S. ’75, April

5, 2017, New Canaan, Conn. gregory J. pIontek, ’68, M.A. ’72,

June 4, 2017, North Haven, Conn.

paul k. Baretta, ’69, May 8, 2017,

New Britain, Conn. JanICe votto guIdo, ’69, March 18,

2017, North Haven, Conn. frederICk C. hatfIeld, ’69, May 14,

2017, Clearwater, Fla. lIllIan BaChman offner, M.S. ’69,

Jan. 28, 2015, Darien, Conn. BlanChe luCIBellI porto, M.S. ’69,

Dec. 14, 2016, Hamden, Conn. James alva sCrugss, M.S. ’69, Sept.

1, 2016, Tallahassee, Fla. gIlBert J. Cannon, M.A. ’70, Dec.

26, 2016, Cheshire, Conn. arlene starno Cassello, ’70, M.S.

’73, Jan. 21, 2017, Wallingford, Conn.

Durham, Conn. mIChael parente, ’57, Feb. 17, 2017,

Wallingford, Conn. ronald v. wInfIeld, ’57, M.S. ’63,

April 13, 2017, Milford, Conn. raymond d’amato, ’58, Nov. 16,

2016, Boynton Beach, Fla. rosemary e. wIlson, ’58, Dec. 9,

2015, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. marIo gradoIa, ’59, May 20, 2017,

Milford, Conn. JulIa k. stadler, ’59, April 25, 2017,

Trumbull, Conn. margery graCe luCIanI, ’60, 6th Yr.

’85, Nov. 30, 2016, Woodbridge, Conn. angela sCaramella Carrano,

’61, June 28, 2017, Branford, Conn. anne kelleher smIth, ’61, May 30,

2017, Ocala, Fla.

IN MEMORIAM

donald r. CIvItello, ’67, M.S. ’70,

gertrude frItZell Barnes, ’62,

M.S. ’72, Dec. 14, 2016, Branford, Conn. tessIe krupa, ’62, Nov. 24, 2014,

Shelton, Conn. edward “sonny” shaw, ’62, April

13, 2017, Myrtle Beach, S.C. fred Balet, ’63, June 8, 2017, Delray

Beach, Fla. rIChard s. BuChanan, ’63, June 10,

2017, Plainville, Conn. laurel yurgIewICZ, ’63, M.S. ’68,

Aug. 3, 2017, East Haven, Conn. anthony J. Celello Jr., ’64, M.S.

’80, Jan. 6, 2017, Woodbury, Conn. dIane franCes darCey, ’64, July 4,

2017, New Haven, Conn. dawn molumphy, ’65, Jan. 26, 2017,

Redlands, Calif. roBert l. sandagata, ’65, M.S. ’74,

July 31, 2017, Wallingford, Conn. roBert a. harrIs, ’66, June 25, 2017,

Wallingford, Conn. roBert e. keane, ’66, March 31,

2017, Rockingham, N.C.

Share your good news

WITH SOUTH ERN FRIENDS AND CLASSMATES.

Mail this completed form to Southern Alumni News, SCSU Alumni Relations Office, Alumni House, 501 Crescent St., New Haven, CT 06515-1355; fax, (203) 392-8726; or email, AlumniINFO@SouthernCT.edu. Name ____________________________________________________________ Street Address ____________________________________________________ City __________________________________State ______________Zip______ Check if this is a new address. Phone (

) ______________________________________________________

Email______________________________________________________________ SCSU Degree/Year __________________ Major ________________________ Name under which I attended college ________________________________ News Item ________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ Signature ______________________________________________Date______ Spouse’s Name ____________________________________________________ SPOUSE'S SCSU DEGREE/YR.

Children’s Names/Ages ____________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ Fall 2017 | 45


alumnI notes ■

wayne r. davIs, ’70, June 17, 2017,

Milford, Conn. mary p. kennard, M.S. ’70, July 5,

2017, Milford, Conn. phyllIs langsner, M.S. ’70, June 26,

2017, Milford, Conn. BernICe ZIgler, M.S. ’70, Feb. 4, 2017,

North Haven, Conn. rIChard s. fItol, ’71, M.S. ’77, 6th Yr.

’80, June 10, 2017, Woodstock, Conn. Joseph CIfferellI, ’72, Jan. 23, 2017,

Clinton, Conn. suZan a. frIsBIe, M.S. ’72, March 24,

2017, New Haven, Conn. mIChael BonavIta, ’73, June 13,

2017, Ansonia, Conn. patrICIa ChleBowskI, ’73, Dec. 26,

2016, Bridgeport, Conn. gayle gIlBert JaCoB, ’73, April 9,

2017, Oxford, Conn. nanCy danIel Johnson, M.S. ’73,

May 23, 2017, Durham, Conn. sandra Barker-Boyd, ’74, May 1,

2017, White Plains, N.Y. sheIla stevenson Brown, ’74,

Dec. 28, 2016, Manchester, Conn. malColm taBaCkman, M.S. ’74,

Dec. 26, 2016, Cheshire, Conn. rosemary defIlIppo, ’75, Feb. 5,

2017, Meriden, Conn. laurel salvaggIo ernst, ’75, June

10, 2017, Lordship, Conn. dIane lIBBy-ramage, ’75, Dec. 26,

2016, Middletown, Conn. davId p. raCCaro, ’75, M.S. ’84, July

20, 2017, New Haven, Conn. Br. edward ZdrowskI, M.S. ’75,

April 14, 2017, Austin, Texas valerIe ClInton Bertrand, ’76,

July 13, 2017, Hamden, Conn. nICholas stanton may Jr., ’76,

July 9, 2017, Rocky Hill, Conn. geraldIne phelan, M.S. ’76, April

25, 2017, Milford, Conn. Cheryl gInsBurg Bell, ’77, Dec. 28,

2016, Pembroke Pines, Fla. Jeff dyous, M.S. ’77, 6th Yr. ’82, Dec.

30, 2016, Hamden, Conn. Cheryl l. foust, ’77, June 25, 2017,

Denton, Texas wIllIam krumm, ’77, March 2017,

Carlsbad, Calif. stanley maClaChlan, ’77, June 6,

2017, Branford, Conn. JosephIne ChmIel whIte, ’77, Jan.

21, 2017, West Haven, Conn. susan l. wruBel, ’77, Aug. 8, 2017,

Colchester, Conn. kathryn CarpentIerI, ’78, July 31,

2017, Waterbury, Conn. 46 | Southern ALUMNI MAGAZINE

Joseph a. CasCIo, ’78, April 14, 2017,

Venice, Fla. rIChard C. laveCChIa, M.S. ’78,

Aug. 12, 2017, Branford, Conn. pasQuale J. latIna, 6th Yr. ’79, Feb.

10, 2017, New Britain, Conn. roBert f. marChettI, ’79, March 1,

2017, Shelton, Conn. sandra loCkwood trIffIn, M.S.

’79, M.S.W. ’97, June 18, 2014, New Haven, Conn. pamela J. mullIn, ’80, June 12, 2015,

Locust Grove, Va. Jane pICColo shaffer, ’80, May 12,

2012, New York, N.Y. patrICIa orr newton, ’81, M.S. ’87,

May 17, 2017, Durham, Conn. tom dooley, ’83, M.S. ’92, July 17,

2017, Wallingford, Conn. kImBerly BouCher, ’84, April 15,

2017, Ansonia, Conn. mIChael J. margaIt, ’84, Dec. 25,

ChrIstIne fatterusso, ’01, Jan. 23,

2017, Davenport, Fla. oBIdImma “oBI” okoBI, M.S. ’01,

April 3, 2017, Baltimore, Md. nanCy hunICke allen, M.S.W. ’02,

May 16, 2017, Roxbury, Conn. Caryl lynn gautrau, 6th Yr. ’02,

April 20, 2017, Wilton, Conn. roByn swan fIlIppone, M.L.S. ’03,

April 18, 2017, Bridgeport, Conn. luCas pannone, ’07, June 24, 2017,

East Haven, Conn. ChrIstan star moran, M.A. ’08,

May 3, 2017, Trumbull, Conn. gayle tIedemann-grIllo, 6th Yr.

’10, March 31, 2017, North Haven, Conn.

wIll hoChman, professor emeritus of

English, June 28, 2017 Betty C. horn, professor emeritus of

accounting, April 5, 2017, Cheshire, Conn. ann “nanCy” mCCleery, professor

emeritus of English, July 15, 2017, North Haven, Conn. alICe “gerI” mCConnell, professor

emeritus of art, March 27, 2017, Ridgefield, Conn. edward a. thompson, professor

emeritus of psychology, New Haven, Conn. BruCe wood, professor emeritus of

counseling and school psychology, June 24, 2017, Shelton, Conn.

John f. steIn III, ’13, Dec. 26, 2016,

Hamden, Conn. erIC davId CrImé vanderpool,

’16, April 2, 2017, West Hartford, Conn. keIth a. hatCher, professor emeritus

of art, July 2, 2017, New Milford, Conn.

Class notes are compiled from alumni submissions as well as announcements made in newspapers and magazines.

2016, Sandy Hook, Conn. dIane e. oefInger, ’84, M.S. ’95, Jan.

5, 2017, Quaker Hill, Conn. donna B. sInger, ’84, Dec. 3, 2016,

Towson, Md. kathleen henry walker, M.S. ’84,

March 27, 2017, New Haven, Conn. danIel “gee” mCswIney, ’85, Jan. 5,

2017, Port St. Lucie, Fla. JanICe manley weyl, ’85, M.A. ’92,

Feb. 9, 2012, Madison, Conn. marJorIe stevenson hICks, M.S.

’87, Jan. 5, 2017, Salisbury, Conn. Carol o’day morIarty, ’87, April

11, 2017, Madison, Conn. roBert t. rIley sr., 6th Yr. ’89, May 3,

2017, Danbury, Conn. susan trovarellI, M.L.S. ’90, March

11, 2017, Derby, Conn. BarBara knef gorman, ’91, April

15, 2017, Arden, N.C. lorIe ketCham, ’91, April 19, 2017,

Windsor, Colo. wIllIam e. mCgraw, ’91, M.S. ’93,

6th Yr. ’94, June 20, 2017, Hamden, Conn. davId J. russell Jr., ’91, Feb. 20,

2017, West Haven, Conn. James h. martens, M.S. ’92, Dec. 23,

2016, New Haven, Conn. JulIe aldrICh, M.L.S. ’93, July 17,

2017, Westwood, Mass. Carol payne merrIman, M.A. ’93,

Dec. 1, 2016, North Haven, Conn. luCy shoCkley, M.S. ’93, M.L.S. ’99,

Dec. 3, 2016, Cary, N.C. anthony w. Corden, M.S. ’96, 6th

Yr. ’99, April 2, 2017, Middlebury, Conn.

Stepping Up continued from page 17 Fatima, named one of Entertainment Weekly’s “100 Most Creative People in Entertainment,” saw something in Facey, and gave him and the two friends he auditioned with roles in Pharrell Williams’ ”Freedom” video. It was Facey’s big break. He was signed to a major agency; performed at the BET [Black Entertainment Television] Awards and the Video Music Awards; and booked a commercial for Comcast Xfinity. Then Gwen Stefani entered the picture. Facey was signed as a lead dancer in her “Misery” video, and went on to tour nationally with the star, traveling across the U.S. and Canada from July through November 2016. He continues to perform with her as needed and has nothing but praise for his experience on the road with Stefani: “She’s an artist in the truest sense — awesome and adorable. She’s very talented but also very down to earth. She has spent years working incredibly hard to be standing in the light she’s in today,” he says. Facey’s own light is shining brightly. In addition to dancing, he hopes to break into acting. “I’ve used skills gained at Southern in video production to promote myself,” he says of a series of short comic skits he’s produced. “I’ve had about 12 go over a million views,” he says of the videos, many of which play on his Jamaican roots and dance talents. [Be warned, some are racy and include explicit language.] He’s also moved on to motivational speaking, incorporating dance in his presentations. “I love the idea of being able to inspire somebody the way that I was inspired . . . to do what Ms. Merrill did for me,” he says of his former theater teacher. Facey has reached another milestone, appearing in a national advertisement for Old Navy. In the spot, a traffic light is the site of an impromptu dance party. Facey kicks off the action, launching himself off the front of a car to the street. Meanwhile, he continues to dance. In addition to teaching classes, he is studying dance — something the self-taught performer hadn’t done before coming to LA. And while nothing thrills like booking a performance with the likes of Alicia Keys, WizKid, and Major Lazer, he says he’ll always dance for the joy of it. “I still love it,” he says of hitting the club. “It is the only thing I can control 100 percent . . . where no one can tell me what to do. I was always a freestyler.” ■


The Guide Dog continued from page 37 enroll in an MFA program for creative writing, but in 2002, none existed in Connecticut. (Southern launched a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing program in 2008.) So Barton pursued a master’s in women’s studies at Southern, with writing as her focus. “My thesis was a feminist novel that is still sitting in a drawer. It was a good practice book,” she says, laughing. She credits Tim Parrish and Vivian Shipley, both professors of English, and Rosalyn Amenta, adjunct professor of women’s studies, with shaping her as a writer — especially Parrish, a “great friend” and “tough critic” who taught her the art of brevity. “They were amazing,” she says. “It was a formative time for me. I wouldn’t be where I am without it, that’s for sure.” While she did not set out to write a memoir, that changed when Bunker died of

cancer in 2007. The next day, she learned she was a finalist in a prestigious fiction contest, and for Barton, it was yet another sign. “I swear I heard some voice — or him — saying, ‘Tell our story,’” she says. She started jotting down memories that became the basis of the book, which took roughly five years to finish. It was difficult, but healing, as she untangled family dynamics she believes fueled her depression, including abuse at the hands of her older brother growing up. (They have since mended their relationship, and he’s given the memoir his blessing.) “Dog Medicine” has received critical acclaim as well. “It’s a harrowing story told with gentleness and wit,” writes New York Times critic Judith Newman. O, The Oprah Magazine cites the work as one of the 10 best memoirs of 2016. A review by Jenni Berrett on Ravishly.com notes, “Julie Hill Barton’s ‘Dog

Medicine’ is probably one of the toughest reads I’ve encountered, and I mean that in the very best way possible.” For her part, Barton finds the book’s impact on readers far more gratifying than her commercial success. More than 600 emails from readers around the globe are saved in her inbox — many detailing similar struggles with depression. “The messages are really long and heartfelt, and it means a lot to me, so I write back,” says Barton, who lives in Piedmont, Calif., with her husband, two daughters, 10 and 13, and two rescue dogs, a Chihuahua and a terrier mix. “[Depression] is hideous. It’s brutal. It’s impossible to get out of without help. But you can get out of it,” says Barton, who is working on a second memoir. “That’s hopefully one of the messages of this book.” ■

Big (4) Dreams continued from page 35

The Interns continued from page 35

— a program he says develops a comprehensive understanding of the business world. He also volunteered with the campus VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program, which helps those with low-incomes, disabilities, and limited English. “My career is not in taxation, but the knowledge and experience I gained translate to any business environment,” he says of the program overseen by Frank Bevvino, associate professor of accounting. Today, things are looking up. His father has recovered, and Chowdhury’s transition to Deloitte has been remarkably smooth. “After working for Deloitte for six months, I can absolutely say that this was the right decision for me. It’s been priceless in terms of the experience and many benefits,” he says. Lubna Sparks, ’17, also transferred to Southern — and says her interest in Deloitte peaked after the organization made a presentation to the SCSU Accounting Society. After interning at the company last year, she’s been offered a full-time position. But she asked to remain an intern while preparing for her examinations to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) — a request Deloitte honored. A fellow graduate of the Class of 2017, Louis Signor is preparing for his CPA examinations as well. It’s a welcome development for the talented alumnus who had worked at Home Depot for about six years when, in 2016, his position as an asset manager was eliminated. “I’m not a typical student,” says Signor, who graduated from Southern at the age of 29. He’d attended Utica College right after high school, but didn’t return after his first year. Instead, responding to his father’s request to “get a job,” Signor applied at Home Depot — and steadily moved up the corporate ladder. Armed only with a high school degree, he ultimately found himself overseeing asset protection for all stores in the Norwalk, Conn., and New York Metro area — a market grossing $105 million. “At the age of 24, I had a really good job making much more money than I thought would be possible,” says Signor. A watercooler conversation with coworkers changed his perspective. “The general consensus was that they felt stuck. They were paid well. It wasn’t a bad situation, but they didn’t have alternatives,” he says. He began attending Southern part-time, using Home Depot’s tuition reimbursement benefits. Then in August 2016, Home Depot underwent a corporate restructuring and his position was eliminated. Signor took the compensation package and, as a Southern senior, began attending the university full time for the first time ever. In May 2017, Signor became the first in his family to earn a college degree, graduating magna cum laude. He interviewed with six employers and received five job offers — including one from Deloitte. He started in September. ■

intern with deloitte again: velez in summer 2018 and depriest in the winter. “It’s a very unique experience because it allows you to get a glimpse of both aspects of accounting to possibly steer your career decision-making before you graduate,” says depriest. southern senior yenny Bayas, who interned with deloitte in the winter of 2017, agrees, noting the experience confirmed her career aspirations. although she’s wanted to study business since high school, she was unsure what specialization to select. But she loved her accounting classes — and a trip to a major european accounting conference with robert J. kirsch, professor of accounting, and three other southern students cemented the deal. southern was the only college or university from the u.s. at the event. “that’s where I really fell in love with accounting,” says Bayas. “But my internship at deloitte made that even clearer.” like the others who won internships after completing several rounds of interviews, Bayas is a hard-working, highachieving student. she — and classmate velez — are school of Business ambassadors, two of only nine in the selective leadership program. at the age of 23, she also has been a licensed realtor for several years. In sum, Bayas — a native of ecuador and a first-generation college student — is no stranger to a challenging workload. still, she concedes that her deloitte internship, conducted during the busy tax season, was very intense at times. “I loved the challenge,” she says. In terms of a future career, she says being an accountant who specializes in real estate would combine her passions. But she’s also drawn to audit services. “I like that you are with a team and that you are investigating,” says Bayas. “you see the financial statements, think about the facts and numbers, and combine them into the story to make sure it all makes sense. I discovered that I really enjoyed that at deloitte — and that’s one of the things I loved most about my internship.” ■ Fall 2017 | 47


southern events ■

lysistrata

student-directed one acts

feb. 23 - 24, march 1 - 3 | 8 p.m. feb. 24 - 25, march 3 | 2 p.m.

april 24 - 28 | 8 p.m. april 28 | 2 p.m.

Southern’s Theatre Department and Crescent Players present Aristophanes’ classic comedy — in which the women of Greece try to end the Peloponnesian War by denying their partners sex. Directed by Raphael Massie, ’98. $15 for general admission; $10 for senior citizens and Southern active alumni, faculty, and staff; and $5 for Southern students. (203) 392-6154

spring Career and Internship fair march 28 | nov. 28 - 30, dec. 1 - 2 | dec. 3 | 2 p.m.

8 p.m.

1 - 3:30 p.m.

Michael J. Adanti Student Center Ballroom

Meet prospective employers and explore career options. (203) 392-6539

Kendall Drama Lab

Inspiring and thought-provoking drama from Southern’s Theatre Department and Crescent Players. $15 for general admission; $10 for senior citizens and Southern active alumni, faculty, and staff; and $5 for Southern students. (203) 392-6154

graduate student research and Creative activity Conference may 7

Stay tuned for more information on this annual event showcasing graduate students’ research projects, including oral presentations, round-table discussions, posters, and more. (203) 392-5240

Kendall Drama Lab

Walking through New York City one night, Sara and Callie share their first kiss — which is followed by a vicious attack by a bystander. Southern’s Theatre Department and Crescent Players present this exploration of relationships. By Diana Son and directed by Raphael Massie, ’98 $15 for general admission; $10 for senior citizens and Southern active alumni, faculty, and staff; and $5 for Southern students. (203) 392-6154

undergraduate research and Creativity Conference april 14

Stay tuned for more information on Southern’s annual spotlight on undergraduate students’ scholarly papers, posters, art exhibitions, and live performances. Students, faculty, family, and friends are welcome. (203) 392-8959

graduate Commencement may 17 |

tidings of Jazz and Joy starring euge groove, keiko matsui

featuring lindsey webster and adam hawley

dec. 2 |

(Times to be determined.)

Honoring graduates earning advanced degrees from the schools of Arts and Sciences, Health and Human Services, Business, and Education. SouthernCT.edu/commencement (203) 392-5240

8 p.m.

An incredible evening of jazz — with a dusting of holiday classics. $35 for general admission; $30 for Southern faculty and staff; and $20 for Southern students. (203) 392-6154

Jan. 31 |

12:30 - 3 p.m.

Academic Science and Laboratory Building Learn about Southern’s programs, meet students and faculty, and share career opportunities in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields.

(203) 392-7480

STEM

stem Career fair

undergraduate Commencement may 18

Webster Bank Arena, Bridgeport, Conn. Recognizing the graduates of the Class of 2018. (203) 392-6586

*All events held in John Lyman Center for the Performing Arts unless otherwise noted. Southern students must have valid identification to receive their ticket discounts and are limited to purchasing one student ticket and two student guest tickets per event. For tickets and additional information and listings, visit LymanCenter.org. 48 | Southern ALUMNI MAGAZINE


“I could not be more proud to be a Southern student — or more thankful to the wonderful alumni and friends whose combined gifts make it possible for me and so many other students to attend the university.” — Matthew Connors, ’18 environmental systems and sustainability major

very Southern student has a story, and every student deserves an opportunity to receive an exceptional education. A gift of any size to the Southern fund of your choice can have a profound impact on Southern and its students. The Southern community is stronger together, and your gift can make the difference!

Have a positive impact on Southern’s future. VISIT: SouthernCT.edu/giving or contact the Office of Annual Giving at (203) 392-6514 or AnnualGiving@SouthernCT.edu.

Office of Annual Giving (203) 392-6514 AnnualGiving@SouthernCT.edu SouthernCT.edu/giving


Alumni Association 501 Crescent Street New Haven, CT 06515-1355 ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED

Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Burlington, VT Permit No. 19

Southern Alumni Magazine Fall 2017  
New