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a publication for alumni and friends of Southern Connecticut State University


Prestige Academy founder Jack Perry, ’96, sets students’ sights on college


President Dear Southern Alumni, As you know, Southern Connecticut State University has a long and proud tradition of providing access to higher education for students who might otherwise never have the opportunity to earn a college degree. One Southern graduate who exemplifies this tradition is profiled in this month’s Southern Alumni Magazine: Jack Perry, ’96, who has founded Prestige Academy, an all-boys college preparatory school in Wilmington, Del. This urban school opened last September with 103 fifth-graders and is expected to grow to 400 boys in grades five through eight by 2012 — all with their sights set on attending college. This is a noble aspiration for a school that serves a largely at-risk population.And it responds to concerns about college entry and college graduation rates that are echoed across the nation. Here in Connecticut, recent reports have warned that a continuing decline in the percentage of residents holding college degrees will erode the state’s economic vitality. At Southern,we are committed to working to reverse this trend. In recent years, the university has expanded its advocacy and support for programs that encourage academic aspirations, and ultimately, successful transition into the state’s workforce. These initiatives focus on utilizing the summer before entry into college to improve college readiness skills and provide social and academic advisement for at-risk students. The programs include SEOP (Summer Educational Opportunity Program), ConnCas and ConnCap (both funded by the state Department of Higher Education), and GEAR UP (a federally funded program). One of our most recent initiatives is the Galileo Project, another state-funded initiative designed to provide students from Hillhouse High School in New Haven, Hamden High School, and Maloney High School of Meriden with better preparation for college-level math and composition classes.

Faculty members from Southern’s mathematics, English, and education departments have teamed up with math and English teachers from those schools to share curriculum information, visit each others’ classes, and develop strategies to improve instruction. As a result of these efforts, Southern has consistently led its peers in the percentage of enrolled undergraduate minorities during recent years. In 2008, almost 22 percent of our undergraduates were members of minority groups. Retention rates for first-time, full-time minority students have also improved, and among its peer institutions, Southern has the highest six-year graduation rate for minorities and the highest percentage of minorities employed after graduation. Despite the current economic challenges, we will continue to seek innovative and effective ways to increase access to, and promote success in, higher education. Your support for our scholarship programs is crucial, particularly at a time when more students than ever are seeking the benefits of a Southern education. This spring, applications closed in March and, for the first time in our history, we established a waiting list, as we experienced unprecedented interest in our affordable, high-quality educational offerings. I thank you for your past contributions and look forward to your continued involvement as we further Southern’s mission as a university of opportunity and a university of choice for students in Connecticut and beyond.

Dr. Cheryl J. Norton President



Spring | 09 features For the Boys


Education proved the ticket out of the projects for Jack Perry, ’96. Today, as founder and executive director of Prestige Academy, Delaware’s only all-boys, tuition-free college preparatory school, Perry is helping a new generation succeed.

Write of Passage


Building on a strong writing program, Southern launches a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing, the first of its kind in the state.

Our spotlight on baseball includes profiles of three alumni who are building businesses around America’s favorite pastime: Paula Weaver, who makes vintage-style athletics uniforms and accessories, and Jared Verrillo, ’05, and Nick Benas, ’07, who have turned their passion for WIFFLE® ball into a career. Closing out the section is“Next at Bat,” a look at the Owls’ baseball team’s 2009 season.



From the President

inside cover

Campus News Nostalgia



22 Out and About 24 Alumni News 26 Alumni Notes 30 Southern Events 36

Supporting Southern





Cheerleaders Clinch National Championship Southern joined

Lenda, ’97, notes that unlike

Educating Children with Autism As the statewide

3,000 of the country’s top

most sports, cheerleading

leader in producing highly

college cheerleaders and

requires a team to be “spot

qualified special education

dancers at the 2009

on” from the start. “You

teachers, Southern has been

College Cheer and Dance

have two and a half minutes

tapped by the state to

Team National Championship

to do your routine,” says

address the growing chal-

— and returned to campus

Lenda. “You don’t have a

lenge of how to educate

as national champions after

chance at a fourth-quarter

autistic children better.

placing first in the All-Girls

comeback. One major

Div. II category. The compe-

mistake and you

signed a bill that took effect

tition was held Jan. 16-18

probably are out of

in July authorizing President

at Walt Disney World Resort

the running.”

Cheryl J. Norton and the

in Florida.

Teams from

Gov. M. Jodi Rell

university to take a lead role

Even though

43 states and 152

in developing recommenda-

Southern has consistently

colleges and uni-

tions for a comprehensive

ranked among the top 10

versities participat-

statewide plan to improve

all-girl competitive cheer-

ed in the event,

the teaching of children with

leading programs in the

which was pro-

autism and other develop-

country, this marks the first

duced by the

mental disabilities. Southern

time that the team has fin-


is working with several state

ished first in the competition.


agencies, including the

Southern finished second


Department of Development

at the 2008 national com-


Services, the Department of

petition and third in 2007.

defeated 11

Commenting on the victory, Head Coach Tricia 2 | Southern ALUMNI MAGAZINE

teams in its category.

Education, and the DepartJames Granfield, interim dean of the School of Education, and Pamela Brucker, chairman of the special education and reading department

ment of Higher Education to craft such a plan.

“It’s a huge project,”

tion programs, and com-

children diagnosed with

says James Granfield, inter-

munity colleges that train

autism are often at a loss

im dean of the university’s

special education parapro-

about how to address their

School of Education.

fessionals. The compiled

child’s medical, education-

“There is such a need for

information was used to

al, and social needs. Early

this, as people are desper-

write a report for the

intervention is considered

ate for information on how

General Assembly.

the key to helping these

to serve these students.” Autism spectrum

“There is a great need for teachers to have

children. Southern offers a

disorders are developmen-

an understanding of this

master’s degree program

tal disabilities that cause

disability,” says Ruth Eren,

in special education with a

substantial impairments in

associate professor of spe-

concentration in autism

social interaction and com-

cial education. She notes

and other developmental

munication, as well as

that parents of


unusual behaviors and interests, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Many people with these disorders learn in unusual ways, the CDC states. Individuals with a form of autism vary in their learning abilities, from gifted to severely challenged. An estimated three to six of every 1,000 children in the United States have the disorder, according to the Mayo Clinic. State and national statistics show a rise in children with autism during the last two decades. Faculty members at Southern have been hard at work gathering data to develop new teaching methods to improve teacher preparation. Data was collected from numerous sources, including public forums, online surveys regarding teacher educa-

In an ongoing effort to create a

Safe and Secure

Introduced last fall, SCSUALERT

safe learning

conveys important infor-


mation to members of the

Southern is

campus community in the

installing a

event of an emergency,


weather-related closing or

address system this

delay, or other potentially

spring. The equipment,

hazardous situation. The

which is being placed on

system delivers informa-

five buildings — Granoff

tion via text messaging,

Hall, Engleman Hall, Pelz

voice mail, and/or e-mail.

Gymnasium, Brownell


Dr. Cheryl J. Norton, President Megan A. Rock, Vice President for Institutional Advancement STAFF Patrick Dilger, Director of Public Affairs Villia Struyk, Editor Marsha Rabe, Associate Editor Michael Kobylanski, Sports Editor Marylou Conley, ’83, Art Director Isabel Chenoweth, Photographer Thomas Cain, Assistant Photographer Nancy Ronne, Development Editor Charlie Davison, Alumni Notes Editor ALUMNI RELATIONS OFFICE Michelle R. Johnston, Director of Alumni Relations (203) 392-6500 EDITORIAL OFFICE Southern Connecticut State University Office of Public Affairs/ Southern Alumni Magazine 501 Crescent Street New Haven, CT 06515-1355 Telephone (203) 392-6591; fax (203) 392-6597 E-mail address: University Web site: Printed by Imperial Graphics

“This system will

Hall, and North Campus

complement the variety

Residence Complex —

of communication tools

allows the university to

already available,” says

broadcast an audible

Southern Police Chief

tone, a live message, or a

Joseph Dooley, who

digital recorded message.


notes that Web

To further enhance

announcements and the

campus security, Southern

WeatherChek telephone

joined the other campus-

line (392-SNOW) are

es of the Connecticut

among the systems also

State University System

in use. For more informa-

to launch SCSUALERT,

tion on SCSUALERT go to

a new Emergency

Notification System.


Southern Alumni Magazine is published by the university in cooperation with the SCSU Alumni Association three 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 of 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 New Haven, Conn. Southern Connecticut State University, in compliance with federal laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or status as a veteran in any of its policies, practices, or procedures. This includes, but is not limited to, admissions, employment, financial aid, and educational services. Spring 2009 | 3



Faculty Scholars Honored The Faculty Scholar

Yacher’s book,

conduct[ing] research in

of Agriculture that will help

archives and libraries on

pay for the continuation

which the award commit-

three continents and in

and expansion of research

ty’s highest honors, was

tee called a “meticulous

three languages to bring

focusing on the environ-

presented to English

biography,” has been laud-

light to the career of

mental habitat of the

Professor Vivian Shipley

ed for its ground-breaking

Pittier…who is still relative-

Eastern oyster (Crassostrea

and Geography Professor

look at Swiss-born geogra-

ly unknown in the English

virginica) and the contami-

Leon Yacher. The award

pher and botanist Pittier.

speaking world but semi-

nation levels of oyster tis-

committee selected Shipley

The committee praised

nal to the development of

sues. The research is con-

Yacher for “single-mindedly

geography in Costa Rica.”

Award, one of the universi-

based on her book,


Island Sound and

$287,000 Grant Furthers Study Southern’s

English Professor Vivian Shipley

“Gleanings: Old Poems, New Poems.” Yacher was honored for his book, “The Role of Geographer and Natural Scientist Henri Francois Pittier (18571950) in the Evolution of Geography as a Science in Costa Rica.” Shipley’s book celebrates aspects of rural life in her native Kentucky. It was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, garnered the 2004 Paterson Award for Sustained Literary Achievement, and received enthusiastic reviews in more than 20 national literary journals. 4 | Southern ALUMNI MAGAZINE

Geography Professor Leon Yacher

ducted primarily in Long some of the harbors and rivers connected to it. The project is a joint effort of institu-

Center for Coastal and

tions across Connecticut,

Marine Studies will take the

including Central

lead in a research project to

Connecticut State

bolster the economic viabil-

University, Western

ity of Connecticut’s oyster

Connecticut State University,

industry. The center

Wesleyan University, The

received a $287,000 grant

Sound School, and the

from the U.S. Department

Maritime Aquarium at



ull-time enrollment of undergraduates reached an all-time high this fall, climbing to

, the highest number since the institution

opened its doors in 1893.


outhern also set a new record for total full-time students at fueled by an upturn in the number of full-time graduate



students enrolled this fall.


outhern students are extremely hardworking:


[BELOW] Crab Nebula, a six-lightyear-wide expanding remnant of a star's supernova explosion and an example of one of the largest mosaic images ever taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. Japanese and Chinese astronomers recorded this violent event in 1054. PHOTO: courtesy of NASA and STScI

work more

than 30 hours per week to help finance their education.


he Southern Connecticut State University Police Department has a -officer bike patrol unit that operates year round. Its goal: to

increase the department’s visibility and approachability.

Norwalk. Southern will coor-

equipment to expand the

Foundation to develop the

dinate the effort, with each


instrument three years ago,

organization contributing

prior to joining Southern.

various resources including

$40,000 gift from the Werth

The device has been sent

faculty, students, staff,

Family Foundation will fund

to Kitt Peak National

equipment, and facilities.

the purchase of a mercury

Southern has been

analyzer. This is in addition

studying sediment contam-

to a previous $170,00 grant

ination along the

from the foundation, most

Connecticut shoreline for

of which will be used to

several years. The grant will

support student environ-

fund the purchase of sever-

mental research.

al pieces of scientific

PHOTO: Meghan Marino, ’08

In related news, a

Representatives from various institutions around Connecticut joined Southern for a meeting to discuss a $287,000 federal grant that will be used to research the environmental habitat of the Eastern oyster and Connecticut’s oyster industry. Vince Breslin [SITTING, FAR LEFT], Jim Tait [SITTING, FAR RIGHT], and Dwight Smith [STANDING, THIRD FROM LEFT] serve as Southern’s co-coordinators of the Center for Coastal and Marine Studies, the lead organization for the grant. Sean Grace [STANDING, FAR RIGHT], assistant professor of science education and environmental studies at Southern, also attended. Crassostrea virginica (Gmelin, 1791) PHOTO: courtesy of


Star Gazing Scientists will have

a significantly clearer view of the skies thanks to a new device built by Elliott Horch, an assistant professor of physics. The instrument, called a differential speckle survey instrument (DSSI), is placed on telescopes to improve the crispness of images 20fold. Horch received a $352,487 grant from the National Science

Assistant Professor of Physics Elliott Horch has developed a powerful astronomical instrument. Spring 2009 | 5


NEWS Observatory, a center for

“The disturbances

optical astronomy in Tucson,

in the atmosphere can

Ariz. After final testing, it is

cause images to blur

expected to be one of the

together,” Horch says,

most advanced instruments

explaining the need for

for resolution purposes in

the instrument. “But using

the world. Among its most

this special instrument is

promising applications is

like putting eyeglasses on

the study of binary sys-

a telescope. It enables you

tems, two stars that rotate

to see the two stars in a

around each other.

binary system distinctly.”

President Cheryl J. Norton


New Leadership Roles for President Norton President Cheryl J.

Norton has been appointIn addition to being honored at a pinning ceremony, the first graduates of Southern’s ACE program will participate in undergraduate commencement.

ed to two prestigious posts in athletics. After previously serving as the vice chair of the Northeast-10 Conference President’s Council for two years, she has been elevated to the


rank of chair. Norton will

Accelerated Nursing Program Presents first Grads

serve a two-year term,

A pinning ceremony was held to honor the first cohort of nursing students to complete

which will conclude in

Southern’s Accelerated Career Entry (ACE) program. A total of 13 students completed the 12-

June 2010. In addition, she

month program, which enables students to earn their degrees in approximately half the stan-

has been appointed to the

dard time, excluding prerequisites and university requirements. Participants in the program are

NCAA Division II President’s

required to have a bachelor’s degree in any field from an accredited college or university.

Council, a national body

Southern is a state leader in producing highly qualified nurses. In addition to stan-

whose role includes estab-

dard undergraduate and graduate programs, it offers a clinical nurse leader program and an

lishing and directing the

R.N. to B.S.N. program that is tailored for registered nurses who wish to obtain their bac-

general policy of Div. II and

calaureate degrees. For information on the program, visit

establishing a strategic plan


for Div. II athletics programs.


Music Professor

David Chevan • Bassist • Educator, Performer, Composer Joined Southern: 1993. In addition to teaching, Chevan is the founder and director of Southern’s Creative Music Orchestra, which focuses on a variety of modern and older compositions with an emphasis on improvisation. Chevan also directs a number of other small ensembles.

Recent Project: “Yizkor: Music of Memory,” a critically acclaimed CD was released by Chevan with Hazzan Albert Mizrahi and the Afro-Semitic Experience. Yizkor is the name of the Jewish memorial service that is observed four times a year, on Yom Kippur and on the last day of each of the three major festival holidays: Sukkot, Shavuot, and Passover.

Accolades: The CD has been lauded by critics in numerous publications including the Wall Street Journal, Jazz Weekly, The Jewish Daily Forward, and The Jewish Week.

High Praise: “I’ve been in Hasidic synagogues where prayers are continually lifted by music, but never before have I heard this lyrically powerful a fusion of Jewish and jazz souls on fire.”— jazz critic Nat Hentoff, reviewing the album in the Oct. 7 issue of the Wall Street Journal.

“I’m writing music for adults who are living their lives and have had some losses.” —David Chevan Spring 2009 | 7



Alums Face Off in Major League Soccer Cup


Students Take to Polls

Two Southern men’s soccer alumni were on center field when the Thanks to a

Columbus Crew and the New York Red Bulls

$28,000 competitive

squared off in the 2008

grant from the U.S.

Major League Soccer (MLS)

Election Assistance Program, Southern students played a critical role in the national elections last fall, with 60 serving as poll workers.

Rock the Polls! November 4, 2008

Southern was among only 27 colleges and universities in the nation selected to receive the grant, and one of only two from Connecticut. Middlesex Community College was the other recipient.

Juan Carlos Osorio

Cup on Nov. 23. Juan Carlos Osorio, is the head coach of the Red Bulls, and Brian Bliss, ’87, is the technical director for the Crew. Ultimately, the Crew came out on top with a 3-1 win that gave the team its firstever MLS Cup victory. 8 | Southern ALUMNI MAGAZINE

Southern students assisted local communities by serving as poll workers on election day. The project was made possible by a federal grant.

Meet South Student Athern’s lete

sport shorts ual medley, Benjamin

football  Several Owls were selected to play in prestigious collegiate all-star games. On Jan. 9, senior defensive lineman Jaliem Cuttino suited up for the Cactus Bowl, which spotlights teams made up of the “best of the best”

Prue in the 100- and 200-

McNeil Johnson

yard butterfly, Austin Mizzell in the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke, and Michael Cozzi in the 200yard freestyle. women’s swimming  The women’s swim-

Senior Captain of the Track and Field Team (Event: hurdles) Business Administration (Management of Information Systems)

NCAA Division II college

ming and diving team cap-

seniors. Cuttino and senior

tured first place in the

Ty Marshall also were

Northeast-10 Conference

among the 68 student-ath-

with a final score of 958,

letes who took part in the

marking the team’s sixth-

East Coast Bowl, which

consecutive championship

Claims to Fame: Set Southern record in indoor 55m

features the best Division I-

victory. Kristen Frost won

high hurdles. 2008 Indoor/Outdoor Track and

FCS, II, III, and NAIA players

the 100-yard freestyle

Field All American and 2006-07 All American in

in the nation. The Owls fin-

event, setting new

Hometown: East Hartford, Conn.

the 4x400 meter relay. 2008 Northeast-10 Conference Men’s Indoor Track Athlete of the Year.

ished the season with an

Northeast-10 Championship

8-3 win-loss record and

and Southern records with

qualified for the NCAA

her time of 52.38. Other

playoffs for the fourth-

first-place finishes for the

straight year.

Owls included Emily

school teammates; Southern Head Coach Jack

Sundel (5:12.41 in the

Maloney; and Assistant Coach Wil Wright.

men’s swimming 

500-yard freestyle), Cody

2008 Northeast-10 indoor champion in 55m hurdles and 4x400m team relay. Inspiration: High school coach, Michael Cain; high

On Success: “Where I’m from, you don’t see many

Hall setting a new

people being successful academically or in sports.

the men’s swimming and

Northeast-10 Conference

If you do, they tend to mess up the opportunity. I

diving team, which took first

record in the 200-yard

feel that I have a responsibility to the community

place in the Northeast-10

individual medley

to make it happen.”

Conference Championships.

(2:08.45), Frost setting a

First place finishes went to

new Northeast-10

Miguel Nesrala in the 50-

Conference record in the

and100-yard freestyle

200-yard butterfly

events, Aaron Rocheleau

(2:01.91), and Amanda

in the 500-Yard Freestyle

Burden, who won the

and the 200-yard individ-

one-meter diving event.

Congratulations to

On Campus: President of Men About Business. Involved in programming and community service. Pre-Meet Rituals: Drink a lot of water and eat a lot of trail mix the night before competition. On the day of the event, drink more water, and don’t eat or talk to anyone. Favorite Sports Team: Los Angeles Lakers Favorite TV Show: Nip/Tuck

For more sports news, visit

By Elyse Williams, ’09

Spring 2009 | 9

Education proved the ticket out of the projects for Jack Perry, ’96. As founder and executive


hen Jack Perry, ’96, opened the doors to Prestige Academy — Delaware’s only tuition-free, all-boys college preparatory school — his mother, Barbara, sent him a card. Inside, she included a copy of a school assignment Jack wrote when he was 14. “It explained that he wanted to do something as a teacher for young men,” Barbara says.“He had forgotten about that, but I didn’t. This is the road he wanted to be on.” Some 20 years later, that road has led Perry, now 34, to Wilmington, Del., where he is the founder and executive director of Prestige Academy. The charter school opened in September 2008 with 103 fifth-graders — and plans to add one grade per year during the next three years. By 2012, about 400 boys in grades five through eight are expected to attend Prestige Academy, and if Perry has his way, all will have their sights clearly set on attending college.


It is a noble and high aspiration for an urban school that serves a largely at-risk population. Perry estimates that 61 percent of Prestige Academy’s students qualify for free or reduced lunch, a statistic with potentially harsh ramifications. Only 66.2 percent of low-income high school students in Delaware from the class of 2007 graduated, in comparison to 79 percent overall, according to a report from the Alliance for Excellent Education. Statistics are even more disturbing for minority students, who compose the majority of Prestige Academy’s student population. In Delaware, there is a 28 percent gap between whites and all minorities in college graduation rates at four-year institutions, the largest difference in the United States, according to“Measuring Up 2008, the State Report Card on Higher Education.” Addressing the causes behind such statistics is a personal goal for Perry.“I tell my students,‘Getting ready for college is about

By Linda Simoes Cocchiola

director of Prestige Academy, Perry is helping a new generation of boys succeed. more than what happens in the classroom,’”he says.“‘It’s about what you do every day.’”The expectation that every student can and will go to college is embedded deeply in the academy’s culture.A neat, handwritten sign taped to the school’s wall summarizes the school’s mission:“Prestige Class of 2012. High School Class of 2016. College Class of 2020.” Teachers name their classrooms after their alma maters, and the academy is open to any boy seeking a collegepreparatory experience. At Prestige, that experience includes school days that end at 5 p.m., silent hallways, double class periods, data-driven instruction, a day-long commitment to reading, and earning the right to wear an academy shirt and tie. Every student receives character education, grounded in a strict disciplinary environment.Among the lessons learned are the importance of a firm hand shake and maintaining eye contact, and, above all, respect.“We tell them why

we shake hands and look each other in the eye, and why these things, literally, can save their lives,” Perry says. Like many of the boys who attend PrestigeAcademy,Perry’s own childhood was marked by obstacles.“There were lots of odds stacked against me,” says Perry.“Many of the friends I had growing up did not make it out,literally.I know education was the reason I did.” Perry’s father died when he was 14, leaving his mother, Barbara, to raise four children — Jack and his three sisters— in a Brooklyn, N.Y., housing project known for its violence.“I never struggled with this,” Barbara says.“I was strict and my children listened.” Her voice takes on a compassionate tone as she continues, “Today, there are lots of moms who are not able to do it on their own. That is why what Jack is doing is great.” Perry says he never gave college much thought before continues Spring 2009 | 11

receiving a recruitment call from Southern during his senior year in high school.With his mother’s guidance, Perry became the first in his family to attend college, playing football for the Owls for one year. He earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Southern and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Connecticut in 2000. (Perry’s youngest sister, Kendra, also attended Southern, graduating in 2006.) Though Perry initially majored in education at Southern, he found it difficult to envision himself as a teacher.“I didn’t think I could do it,” he says, noting there were few men and even fewer African American men in the classroom to look to as role models. Eager to complete a degree in four years and hold down student loans, he switched his major to sociology. He graduated and went on to work for the Department of Children and Families and later as the director for a private alternative school for troubled boys in Bridgeport, Conn. “After 10 years as a social worker, it clicked,” says Perry, who became convinced that education was the best way to improve lives.“If we can change the mindset of the child, we can also begin to change the mindset of the family.”


erry’s interest in high-performing schools like New Haven’s Amistad Academy grew. He enrolled in the educational leadership doctorate program at Southern and was partway through when he was accepted for a fellowship in school leadership with Building Excellent Schools, a nonprofit organization based in Boston, Mass. He studied and visited successful urban schools throughout the Northeast for a year, observing programs and developing plans for what has become Prestige Academy. He set out to develop an all-boys school because he believes the concept proved successful in the past.“This was not a new idea, but an idea making a comeback,” Perry says of the single-gender concept.“We realized this is something that worked for a long time, and Building Excellent Schools supported it.” Opening Prestige Academy was a challenging journey, spanning more than two years, several cities, and multiple legal jurisdictions. Calling it a crash course in the politics of public education, Perry says the process encountered a few eleventh-hour obstacles, including convincing the legislature to pass a law allowing Talking about education, Perry frequently uses the word “catapult.” His goal: to put that catapult within reach of boys for whom learning and school previously have presented mostly failure and frustration. Although some of the boys at Prestige Academy struggled in traditional public schools, others were tops in their class. Expectations are high, as noted on the school’s Web site: “Students wear uniforms, participate in community service, and benefit from a strong, no-excuses character education through which they are taught how to be Prestige Men.”


single-gender public schools. The Delaware General Assembly passed the necessary legislation in March, just five months before the academy’s opening. Finding a home for the school in a very short time also was problematic, but Perry eventually borrowed space in a Police Athletic League facility in Wilmington.


hile most of the media attention around Prestige Academy’s opening has centered on its status as a single-gender charter school targeting underserved minorities, Perry prefers to stress another characteristic above all others: Prestige is a college preparatory school.“This is not a school we are sending black and Latino boys to,” Perry says.“It is a school for getting ready for college.” The teaching staff is committed to the process. Many hail from Teach for America, a national corps of recent graduates and professionals who dedicate part of their career to extending educational opportunities in urban and rural schools. Looking forward, Perry’s“to do”list for 2009 includes finding a permanent home for the school, expanding his staff, and recruiting a second class of fifth graders. Perry is also busy building relationships with high-performing high schools (public, private, and public charter) that he hopes will be eager to accept Prestige’s first graduates — scholars with college firmly on their minds and within their reach. The year ahead also offers personal firsts. Perry and his wife, Tamara, will become parents. He also plans to contact Southern to resume work on his doctorate. Like public schools across the U.S., Prestige is“under the magnifying glass,” Perry says. Parents, supporters, school officials, state government, and others will be monitoring student test results for signs of improvement. Perry welcomes the scrutiny. He believes strongly in accountability and school choice. He is also a proponent of educators working together and sharing best practices to support successful schools of all kinds. “My hope is that in a few years, we will see progress and we will be able to share what we know to be effective,” says Perry.“Our doors will be open.” I For more information see Prestige Academy offers a rigorous academic curriculum. Students take 120 minutes of mathematics and 120 minutes of English every day. The school’s Scholarship Academy also provides tutoring and academic support focused on individual needs throughout the week and two Saturdays per month. Perry’s appeal to parents and the community is simple but profound: “To have your son thinking about college at 10- or 11-years old, how powerful can that be?” Spring 2009 | 13

By Betsy Currier Beacom


riters and poets with a drive to learn more about their craft, and to do it within a community of other writers, now have a home at Southern. On Sept. 17, the state Board of Governors for Higher Education approved a new degree program at the university: a Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in creative writing. It is the first fullresidency M.F.A. program in the state. “The M.F.A. offers a different level of professionalism, with different expectations,” says English Professor Tim Parrish, one of the architects of the new program.“In the abstract, M.F.A.s prepare people to be flexible thinkers, great written communicators, and facilitators in groups,” he says,“but personal enrichment is really the draw. Students get to be part of a serious community of writers.” The English Department has long offered the M.A. and M.S. with creative writing option; the M.F.A. will replace these programs. The primary difference between these degrees and the M.F.A. is that the latter is the terminal or highest degree in the field of creative writing.A more rigorous program than that leading to the M.A. or M.S., the M.F.A. is essentially the equivalent of the Ph.D. in its field, preparing students to become published writers and to seek jobs as university-level writing instructors. Southern’s M.F.A. joins the Ed.D. program as one of the university’s two terminal degree programs. “We’ve had a wonderful writing community here,” says English Professor Jeff Mock, who worked with Parrish on developing the proposal for the M.F.A.“But it’ll be a major difference to have these students here for this specific purpose.” continues on page 35

The creative writing faculty [LEFT TO RIGHT] Vivian Shipley, Tim Parrish, Robin Troy, and Jeff Mock 14 | Southern ALUMNI MAGAZINE

Master of Fine Arts in creative writing program launched — the first of its kind in the state.

Spring 2009 | 15

Vintage baseball uniform-maker Paula Weaver answers the question, “What would the Babe wear?” By Joan Wells

he’s dressed the ghost of Babe Ruth for an HBO special and made the perfect uniform for a 6-foot tall minor league baseball mascot with 72-inch hips. Meet Paula Weaver, who along with her husband, Ken, owns K & P Weaver, LLC, a manufacturer and supplier of 19th and early 20th century athletics uniforms and accessories. Founded in 1992 as a maker of Civil War uniforms and accessories, the company branched off into baseball uniforms in 1996. Today, the business is thriving, thanks to sky-high demand for vintage and farm team baseball uniforms. In response, Paula works in her Orange, [ABOVE] Paula Weaver in her studio. 16 | Southern ALUMNI MAGAZINE

Conn.-based home workshop 12 to 15 hours a day, seven days a week. Ken helps, too, by finishing seams, sewing buttons, and packaging. Though she always loved to sew, Weaver had several other occupations before founding K & P Weaver. She worked for about 15 years at Southern New England Telephone Co., while earning a college degree in the computer field.When she left the telephone company because of downsizing, she decided to attend Southern to receive certification in special education. She worked in special education for five years. Then, in the 1990s, Ken learned through research that he had ancestors in the Civil War and joined a re-

enactment group. He asked Paula to make him a uniform, and the two delved into research, even visiting the Smithsonian Institution to get a closer look at originals. Ken’s finished uniform was greatly admired at reenactments, and orders began pouring in from around the country. Before Paula knew it, a business was born. In 1996, Paula experienced another professional epiphany, but this time she stayed in the same career ballpark — literally and figuratively. She and Ken heard about a vintage baseball team from Connecticut, the Middletown Mansfields, continues on page18



Bat. Ball. Business Plan. Two alumni are turning a passion for WIFFLE® ball into their ultimate career.

By Marianne Lippard


hat bright yellow plastic bat that provided endless hours of neighborhood fun is far more than child’s play for Jared Verrillo,’05, and Nick Benas,’07.In 2007,the longtime friends left behind their nine-to-five jobs to devote themselves full-time to Big League WIFFLE® ball. Today,Verrillo and Benas run Sandlot Recreation from an office in Branford, Conn. The business hosts WIFFLE® ball tournaments across the country, including corporate events and fund raisers for organizations like The Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The partners, who prefer to be called co-commissioners, can trace the roots of their business back to childhood. As kids, the duo created a“topnotch” WIFFLE® ball field in their neighborhood. Fittingly, the factory where WIFFLE® bats and balls are made is located in Connecticut, as well. Its founder, David Mullany, a local baseball hero, mortgaged his home in 1953 to create The Wiffle Ball, Inc., which is located in Shelton. ore than five decades later, the game has retained much of its homespun roots and focus on simplicity. WIFFLE® ball teams usually have three to five play[LEFT AND RIGHT] Sandlot Recreation’s “co-commissioners” ers, and the games are played on a based their business on a favorite field that is smaller and more childhood pastime. intimate than a traditional


continues on page19

Spring 2009 | 17

continued from page 16

and went to see them play against the Great Black Swamp Frogs of Ohio. The game was vintage all the way. The guys played like gentlemen of yesteryear — no cursing, spitting, or scratching. The pitches were underhanded, and the ball could be caught on one bounce. If the players wanted to roll up their sleeves, the protocol was to ask “the ladies in the audience.” There was only one glitch for Paula: one team wore t-shirts and the other was in pseudo uniforms.“A bell went off in my head,” says Paula.The next stop for the couple was the Baseball Hall of Fame. Paula next sent a brochure to nearly every vintage team in the country, showing what style uniform they would have worn back in the day. Once again, the orders came in like a fast pitch. Since 1996, the number of vintage teams in the country has grown from 30 to about 125, and if they have uniforms, there’s a good chance Paula



By Michael Kobylanski, associate director of athletics/communications

Some of the faces may be different, but the goal remains the same for head coach Tim Shea, ’87, and the Owls’ baseball team as it embarks on the 2009 season — qualify for the NCAA Tournament.


made them. K & P’s uniforms also grace displays in numerous historical landmarks and museums, among them The National Baseball Hall of Fame and the Smithsonian Institution. The couple also holds a license to replicate the uniforms of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League of 19431954. Hollywood has come calling, as well. HBO asked Paula to create a uniform for the ghost of Babe Ruth for a special,“Curse of the Bambino.” She also was hired by HBO to make a tank-top jersey for a special on Adolf Hitler’s attempts to keep Jews from playing in the 1936 Olympics.And Fox Television ordered an 1880s-style men’s jersey with a sexy flare to be worn by a woman on the show“New Amsterdam.” What’s next for the homerun couple? Paula answers with a smile:“We’re researching football.” I

he team is building on a strong legacy. The Owls have reached the NCAA Tournament three times in the past four years and four times since 2001. Last season, the club concluded the year with a 36-19

win-loss mark overall, which tied for the second-most season wins in school history. Pitcher Jim Fuller and infielder Mike Diaz were selected in the Major League Baseball Draft following the campaign, and both left Southern early to pursue professional careers. Nevertheless, the Owls are focused on maintaining their high level of success this season, even with the addition of 11 newcomers to the roster. If the fall season provides any indication, Southern should fare well. The Owls defeated two Division I programs — Yale and Quinnipiac — to capture the prestigious City Series Championship in October. Leading the way for the Owls is senior All-American Karl Derbacher. As a junior, Derbacher collected All-America and Northeast Region Player of the Year honors from three organizations, the National Collegiate


continued from page 17 softball field. The sport is also inclusive: most tournaments draw participants from their teens to their sixties. Verrillo and Benas were among them. Beginning in high school, the partners played WIFFLE® ball competitively, and ultimately used their earnings to help fund the business. Top prizes can vary, but are usually about $1,000. For both partners, sharing their love of the game comes naturally. Benas, a Marine Corps veteran stationed in Iraq in 2004-2005, taught Iraqi police officers how to play during downtime. The police officers, avid soccer fans, were intrigued when they saw the plastic ball and bat, and became instant fans of the game, he says. Benas was drawn to Southern after meeting Jack Mordente, associate director of student supportive services and head of the office of Veterans Affairs, who Benas says is known as an

advocate for veterans on the local, state, and national levels. Benas also found a mentor in Patricia Olney, associate professor of political science.“She motivated me to follow my dreams,” he says. Thus far, the result of those dreams has been promising. Benas says the economic downturn hasn’t hurt business. In fact, the partners see renewed interest in WIFFLE® ball, which became popular in the 1950s and remains a staple in homes across the country, despite the draw of high-tech video games. Both say that they see the sport taking off internationally, with televised tournaments in the future. Recently, the pair was featured on Fox’s“This Week in Baseball”and CNBC’s“The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch.” And more big ideas are on the horizon.Verrillo is working on developing new products that can be used in WIFFLE® ball. Verrillo and Benas also organized a tournament set to take place at Southern on May 2-3. The goal: to set a Guinness World Record for mass participation in a WIFFLE® Ball tournament.A reality show pilot is slated to be filmed during the event, which potentially could bring the sport a wider audience. I

Baseball Writers Association, the American Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings, and Daktronics. Derbacher also was named the 2008 Northeast-10 Conference Player of the Year after batting .408 with 53 runs batted in, a .550 slugging percentage, and 28 stolen bases. He ranked among the top 50 players nationally in hits, doubles, triples, stolen bases per game, and stolen bases. Joining Derbacher as team captains this year are fellow seniors Kevin Bowerman and Mike Connors. Bowerman is coming off a season in which he batted .329 with 29 stolen bases and 29 RBI. Pitcher Mike Connors has been one of the top relievers in the Northeast-10 Conference during the past few seasons and is one of the top options out of the bullpen. He didn’t allow an earned run in 17 appearances last season, while posting a 2-0 mark and five saves. The starting rotation is anchored by a pair of returners. Senior Justin Cox has earned All-Conference honors twice in the last three seasons. He registered a 6-4 record in 2008 with a 3.09 earned run average (ERA). Junior southpaw Ed Bethke was 5-2 with a 3.39 ERA and ranked second on the team in innings pitched. The incoming group, which Shea deemed the best recruiting class in program history prior to their arrival in After leading the nation in strikeouts in the 2008 season (145), Jim Fuller signed a professional contract with the New York Mets.

the fall, figures to play an important role in the program’s development, this year and beyond.


For more information on Southern athletics, visit Spring 2009 | 19

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at a Glance

• The median family income was $24,580. • Motorola made history when the FCC approved the world’s first commercial portable cell phone. • “Terms of Endearment” brought home the Oscar for Best Picture. Other popular films included “Flashdance,” “WarGames,” and “Tootsie.”

• Fashion trends included leg warmers, slouchy sweatshirts, “big” hair, fluorescent shirts, “Dynasty”-style glitz, and the “lone glove” look inspired by Michael Jackson. • Grammy Awards were presented for Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” (Album of the Year), Sting’s “Every Breath You Take” (Song of the Year), and Culture Club’s “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?” (Best New Artist).

Spring 2009 | 21

The Gift of Music


Two generous gifts from the Stutzman

his spring, the University Choir will travel to Ireland to take part in a oncein-a-lifetime musical experience: a presentation of George Frideric Handel’s masterpiece,“Messiah.” The oratorio, performed in commemo-

ration of the 250th anniversary of the composer’s death, will unite choirs from throughout the United States — all of which will gather in Dublin, the site of the first performance of “Messiah” on April 16, 1742. The opportunity to be among them is a rare gift for a vocalist, one forwarded by a generous $52,800 donation from the Stutzman Family Foundation. The gift will underwrite a portion of the

travel and participation costs for members of the Southern choir who are taking part in the June 2009 performance. “There are 24 Southern students and recent graduates who are going,” says Professor of Music Terese Gemme, who directs the choir.“I don’t think any of them would have been able to participate had it not been for this exceptionally generous gift. “They will be performing in a choir of several hundred people, something most would not otherwise have the opportunity to do,” Gemme continues, noting the historical significance of the location and timing of the event.“This is also a tremendous opportunity to experience the culture of Ireland. It will be an experience they will never forget.” This gift builds on a previous transforming contribution from the foundation, one that promises to enrich Southern’s musical and cultural programs for decades to come. In 2008, the Stutzman Family Foundation, represented by Walter J. Stutzman, ’09, made a gift in memory of Mr. Stutzman’s parents, Geraldine and Jacob Stutzman, to establish and support the Southern Applied Music Program. The program provides free weekly private voice or instrument lessons to all declared music majors who maintain a C- or better average in music courses. Previously, students were required 22 | Southern ALUMNI MAGAZINE

to pay for lessons. The Foundation has agreed to fund the program with initial grants of $80,000 a year for the first four years and additional necessary funding in the years following. Stutzman, who retired in 2005 from a career in software consulting, graduated from Southern in January 2009 and plans to teach music at the secondary-school level. He points to the encouragement and openness of the music faculty as having sparked the idea of making such a gift.While he did not take lessons under the new program, Stutzman’s wish is that other students will fulfill their dreams. The gift has three intentions, he says:“to honor my parents, who supported me; the Music Department faculty, who have helped me; and my fellow students, who have inspired me.” According to Stutzman, one of the unique strengths of the Southern music program is its ability to include and develop a wide variety of musical backgrounds.“It is the Stutzman Family Foundation’s intent to continue this spirit of inclusive development of musical talent and to provide a chance for aspiring musicians, as

well as more advanced students, to explore the joys — and the rigors — of becoming proficient performers,” he says. Addressing Stutzman, President Cheryl J. Norton acknowledged the importance of the gift at the university’s fall convocation. “[The gift] shows that you want to be a part of our future and not just a graduate of our past,” she said. Stutzman’s familiarity with Southern’s music program evolved from his own distinct experience. During his undergraduate days as a mathematics major at Pomona College, Stutzman spent most of his time making music and exploring computers.After earning a master’s degree in linguistics at Yale University, he worked on the Yale Artificial Intelligence Project and later for the Digital Equipment

Family Foundation will benefit the Music Department. Corporation (DEC) for 16 years. In 1996, he joined a small consulting firm, Information Design, Inc., where he was responsible for resolving critical problems with clients’ computer systems. Throughout his career, Stutzman maintained his involvement with music, sitting in on keyboard and flute with three jazz bands. Since 1985, he has been the accompanist for the cantor and choir at Temple Beth Tikvah in Madison, Conn., where he and his family have lived for 23 years. As he approached the time when most people begin their retirement plans,Stutzman realized that music was more important to him than fixing the next“mission-critical”computer problem. Consequently,he retired in July 2005 with the intent of becoming a secondary school music teacher.“I realize that my teaching career will necessarily be shorter than my first career,” says Stutzman,“but I will have succeeded if I can help some students hear‘with new ears’and discover the joy of ensemble music making.”

By Betsy Currier Beacom

Stutzman capitalized on his time at Southern, excelling in his studies and earning a perfect 4.0 cumulative grade point average and departmental honors in music.He was one of four outstanding seniors to receive the Henry Barnard Foundation Distinguished Student Award, which recognizes high academic achievement and commitment to the campus and the greater community. Stutzman’s mother encouraged him to pursue a second career as a secondary music teacher, and although she did not live to see her son begin his studies at Southern, his father was able to follow his first two years in the music program.“He was very appreciative of the guidance and encouragement I received from the music faculty, and agreed with my suggestion that a major gift to support Southern’s music program would be an appropriate project for our family’s Foundation,” says Stutzman.



“The Music Department is a very special place. One simply needs to be serious about some aspect of music, and there is always a faculty member ready to help you grow through learning. I cannot imagine anywhere else that a 55-year-old amateur musician could have found such an enthusiastic reception for his dream.” — Walter J. Stutzman, ’09 He and his wife, Esther, have passed along a passion for education to their children. Their son, Michael, has taught high school English and is currently pursuing an M.F.A. in writing at Sarah Lawrence College, and their daughter, Anne, is enrolled in Southern’s master’s degree program in special education. I

[FROM LEFT] Messiah on the Street, 2008, Dublin Photo courtesy of Temple Bar Cultural Trust; The Stutzman Family Foundation, represented by Walter J. Stutzman, ’09, [PICTURED] made a gift to support Southern’s music program; [REMAINING PHOTOS] Southern has numerous music ensembles — including the University Choir, the Chamber Singers, the University Symphonic Band, and the Jubilee Singers gospel choir — all of which performed in the Music Department Gala in December. Spring 2009 | 23

Out and About A look at events for alumni and friends on campus and beyond.

President Cheryl J. Norton [STANDING CENTER] joined the Class of 1950 this fall to dedicate the “Alumni Corner.� The class donated funds to purchase and maintain decorative plantings and a new bench, which have been placed near Founders Gate outside John Lyman Center for the Performing Arts.


The Class of 1958 celebrated its 50th reunion on October 3 at Woodwinds in Branford, Conn. The attending members of the class, who graduated from New Haven State Teachers College, as the institution was then known, were presented with diplomas from Southern Connecticut State University.

Seventy-five alumni and friends enjoyed an outing at the Bronx Zoo in New York City on October 4. Highlights included visits to the African Congo Exhibit, the Butterfly House, and the Bug Carousel.

Spring 2009 | 25



And the Winner Is…

American, he also received the Golden Boot Award, given

Southern honored six of its best and brightest at the annual Alumni Awards Celebration, which was held on March 13 at the Michael J. Adanti Student Center.

to the nation’s top collegiate goalkeeper. Oshoniyi played professional soccer in the United States for 12 years, including time with the Columbus Crew (1996) and Kansas City Wizards (2000-06), which won the MLS championship in his first year with the team.

Among the highlights of the

The Alumni Citation Award,

event was the induction of three

which honors alumni for exemplary

Southern graduates into the Alumni

achievements, was presented to Patty

Athletics Hall of Fame. Former

Pursell, ’95, M.S. ’99, 6th Yr. ’02. An

Southern football great Joseph D.

elementary physical education teacher

Andruzzi, who helped the New

for the Wallingford Public Schools,

England Patriots win Super Bowl

Pursell is the author and administrator

Championships in 2002, 2004, and

of a federal physical education grant

2005, was among those honored. A 10-year veteran of the

for $314,212. The past president of the Connecticut

National Football League, Andruzzi also was a member of

Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and

the Green Bay Packers and the Cleveland Browns.

Dance, Pursell also is the secretary for the Governor’s

Andruzzi, who played at Southern from 1993-96, was a two-time All-American and was twice selected to the

Committee for Physical Fitness. Pursell has received numerous other honors, includ-

All-ECAC squad. Today, Andruzzi, who is a cancer survivor,

ing being named the Wallingford Teacher of the Year, the

serves as the chief executive officer of the Joe Andruzzi

Connecticut Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year,

Foundation, which is dedicated to fighting the disease.

and a finalist for the Connecticut State Teacher of the Year.

Fellow inductee Loretta Di

The Alumni Service Award was

Pietro, ’79, M.S. ’82, was a four-year

presented to Carolyn Dorsey

starter for the Southern field hockey

Vanacore, ’52, M.S. ’68, 6th Yr. ’73.

team, serving as captain in her senior

Vanacore began her teaching career at

year. Following graduation, she

North Haven High School, and during

remained active in field hockey and

the next 13 years served as a teacher,

lacrosse, working as a member of the

coach, and intramural activity director

coaching staffs at Southern, Yale University, Hamden High School, and Hopkins School. Currently the chair of the Department of Exercise

at numerous area schools. In 1965 she joined Southern as an assistant professor, and was named director of the university’s Division of Health,

Science at George Washington University, Di Pietro previ-

Physical Education, Recreation, and Safety (now Exercise

ously was with Yale University School of Medicine, where

Science) in 1982, a position she held until her retirement

she was an associate professor of epidemiology and public

in 1989.

health and a fellow of the John B. Pierce Laboratory. Also honored was former Major

Board, Vanacore has been active with numerous organiza-

League Soccer (MLS) goalkeeper

tions and causes on campus, notably those supporting

Adegboyega “Bo” Oshoniyi, ’95, who

female student-athletes.

is an assistant coach for the Wake


In addition to serving on the Alumni Association

The Alumni Appreciation Award was presented to

Forest University men’s soccer team.

George M. DeMaio, Jr., ’70, M.S. ’77, a sportscaster on

At Southern, Oshoniyi helped the

960 WELI and ESPN Radio 1300. DeMaio, who helped

Owls to two NCAA Div. II National

found the university radio station, went on to become a

Championships. A two-time All

pioneer in the promotion of local sports.

SCSU Alumni Association Board of Directors 2008-2009 Michael Roshka, Jr., ’73, M.S. ’79, President Christopher Piscitelli, ’93, Vice President Denise Bentley-Drobish, ’90, M.S. ’92, Secretary William “Doc” Holley, ’55, Treasurer

Affectionately known by his fans as “The Coach,” he has received numerous honors in recognition of his coverage of high school sports, including induction into the Connecticut Scholastic and Collegiate Softball Hall of Fame and the Connecticut Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. In 2008, he was honored by the Connecticut Association of Athletic Directors with the Distinguished Service Award — Outside the Field of Athletic Administration. DeMaio recently retired from a teaching career spanning more than two decades.


Ms. Santiago-Martinez Goes to Washington

James Barber, ’64, M.S. ’79 Anthony Bonadies, ’58 Hugh S. Cafferty, ’69, M.S. ’70, 6th Yr. ’76 Kathy Glinka Coyle, ’74, M.S. ‘78, 6th Yr. ‘81 James Elmo, ’71 Patricia R. Giulietti, ’76, M.S. ’87 Jerry Katona, ’74, M.S. ’88 Anne Hollingworth Leone, ’51, M.S. ’61 John Mastrianni, ’66, M.S. ’73 Albert Mieczakowski, ’71 Mark A. Nivet, ’92 Judit Vasmatics Paolini, ’73, M.S. ’79, 6th Yr. ’93 Bessie Scott, ’70, M.S. ’78, 6th Yr. ’81 Teresa Sirico, ’70, M.S. ’73 Bridget Stepeck-Holt, ’95 Marvin G. Wilson, ’01, M.S. ’06

• Ex-Officio Dr. Cheryl J. Norton, President Megan A. Rock, Vice President for Institutional Advancement Michelle R. Johnston, Director of Alumni Relations Patrick Dilger, Director of Public Affairs Robin Sauerteig, Chair, SCSU Foundation, Inc.

Witnessing history in the making, Raquel SantiagoMartinez, ’79, and her daughter, Ariel, pictured below, cheered on then-President-Elect Barack Obama at Delaware’s Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park, a stop on Obama’s train ride to the White House. January 17 was a lucky day for the Connecticut natives, who had traveled to Delaware to join the thousands

became the first to sign a gift book that would be presented to President Obama. Although Raquel describes the lead up to the ceremony as challengingly crowded, she says the event itself was overwhelmingly joyous. “When Barack and Michelle stood for the oath, you could hear a pin drop,” says Raquel. “You could see tears of pure joy on so many faces. The roar of approval and sound of applause was indescribable. It was, indeed, an experience of a lifetime.”

hoping to catch a glimpse of the incoming presidential team and their families. After arriving at the train station at 6:45 a.m. to wait in below-freezing weather, the mother and daughter were randomly selected to sit behind the speaker’s platform to watch the event. The duo enjoyed a stellar view of the speeches, after which Raquel received a handshake from Obama. Then it was on to Washington, D.C., where Raquel and Ariel visited the office of Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd to pick up tickets to the Inauguration ceremony — and Spring 2009 | 27






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Mark your calendars for Homecoming 2009 on October 17.

Spring 2009 | 29

alumni notes

’50s JOSEPH CIABURRI, ’56, recently retired as chairman and chief executive officer of the Bank of Southern Connecticut. Ciaburri’s 60 years in banking includes founding the Bank of Southern Connecticut and the Bank of New Haven.

JOHN L. CARUSONE, ’57, M.S. ’62, received the Gold Bat Award from West Haven Twilight League Baseball. Carusone also was honored to have the former St. Ann’s Field renamed in his honor.

’60s CHARLES HAYDEN,’60,was posthumously honored by the Boys and Girls Village in Milford,Conn.,when the school was rededicated in his name in recognition of the many years he contributed to the well being and success of students.

JUDITH FREEDMAN, ’61, M.S. ’72, represents the 26th district in the Connecticut State Senate, which includes the towns of Bethel, New Canaan, Redding, Ridgefield, Weston, Westport, and Wilton, Conn. Freedman will retire from public office after 22 years.

JEANNE TERRELL BLUDÉ, ’65, and husband, Zivko (Jeff), live in Stratford, Conn., and are sharing their home with their daughter and grandchildren while their son-in-law is on duty in the Persian Gulf.

VALERIE (SPENCER) AHRENS, ’68, M.S. ’74, lives in Annapolis, Md., after many years of “snowbirding” between Maine and Florida.

’70s ERIC STEINMETZ, ’70, is a SCORE (Senior Corps of Retired Executives) volunteer and counselor. SCORE counselors are mentors, who share their time and career experience.

PATRICK VINGO, ’72, has been appointed by Governor M. Jodi Rell to serve as a member of 30 | Southern ALUMNI MAGAZINE

sentative to the Branford Board of Education, and elected to the Branford Educational Hall of Fame in 2005.

Reunion News

• The Class of 1959 will be honored at undergraduate RICHARD WATSON, ’81, joined commencement on May 29, 2009, in recognition of their the Mobilization Team at Global Hope Network 50th reunion. For more information or if you would like to organize a reunion for your class, please contact Alumni Relations at (203) 392-6500. the Council on Developmental Services. Vingo resides in South Norwalk, Conn.

KENNETH GABELMAN, ’73, retired from teaching and coaching at Hauppauge High School in Long Island, N.Y. and serves as the assistant men’s basketball coach at Northwood University in West Palm Beach, Fla.

PASQUALE GUIDO, ’73, M.S. ’76, 6th Yr. ’80, was appointed principal of St.Vincent de Paul School in East Haven, Conn. Guido taught in New Haven Public Schools for 35 years.

PAUL CALALUCE, ’74, is retiring after 35 years in education. Calaluce began his career as a special education teacher in Rocky Hill and was hired by Cheshire in 1992 as the director of pupil personnel services.

PATRICIA COSTA, M.S. ’74, retired in 2002 after teaching special education for 25 years for Newburgh, N.Y., schools. Costa’s second career as a Reiki Master is based in her home office in Montgomery, N.Y.

JO ANN MCMASTER, ’75, is the Democratic Registrar of Voters and Election Administrator in Fairfield, Conn.

RUTH NEWQUIST,M.S.’75,an art teacher at New Fairfield High School for 25 years,had her paintings exhibited at the Booth Library in Newtown,Conn.

BRUCE WUEBBER, ’76, has been promoted to environmental specialist for the U.S. Postal Service for the Hudson Valley region.Wuebber also serves as chairman of the Board of Fire Commissioners for the town of North Castle, N.Y.

KAREN FECKO, M.S. ’77, was named the 2008-2009

ee involvement coach/facilitator manager for the Boeing Company commercial airplanes, manufacturing services core operations in Everett, Wash.

Glastonbury Teacher of the Year. Fecko is the library media specialist at Glastonbury High School in Conn.

DIANE GONCLAVES, ’77, M.S. ’84, 6th Yr. ’86, is the assistant superintendent for the Regional School District #1, which serves Canaan, Cornwall, Falls Village, Kent, Salisbury, and Sharon, Conn.

’80s JUDITH MUSCO, M.S. ’81, is the newest member of the Mathematics Department at Sacred Heart Academy and was most recently the principal of Sacred Heart School in Bronx, N.Y.

VICKIE ORSINI NARDELLO, M.S. ’77, won reelection in the 89th House District. Nardello has served seven terms in the state of Connecticut House of Representatives.

SUSAN SPEAR, M.S. ’81, was

MAUREEN FOX, ’78, has joined the Greenwich, Conn., sales team of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.

FRANK E. (SID) MAIETTO, ’79, was promoted to employ-

posthumously memorialized by the Mary T. Murphy Elementary School in Branford, Conn., when the Susan H. Spear Rainbow Memorial Library Media Center was named in her honor. Spear was a third and fourth grade educator, a repre-

International, a nonprofit humanitarian aid and community development organization based in Geneva, Switzerland. Watson lives in Stamford, Conn.

THOMAS P. GAFFEY, ’82, Connecticut State Senator, won reelection and is serving his eighth term.

JUDITH SCHAEFER JOSLIN, ’82, coach for Enfield High School, has been named Outstanding Coach of the Year for the 2007-2008 season for boys volleyball by the Connecticut High School Coaches Association.

RICHARD GRANDE, ’83, was the mayor of the City of Derby, Conn., from 1985 to 1991 and never lost an election.

SANDRA L. MENDYK, ’83, M.S. ’91, retired from a 22-year teaching career at St. MarySt. Michael School in Derby, Conn. Mendyk is currently working as the editor-in-chief of the Valley Times.

Support Southern. Leave a Legacy. Planned gifts — also called deferred or estate gifts — can help you meet your long-term financial goals, while providing critically needed support to Southern’s talented and deserving students. The university’s Development Office can supply information on numerous types of planned gifts that help Southern maintain a climate of excellence — from bequests that extend your generosity beyond your lifetime to charitable gift annuities and trusts, which can provide fixed-income payments and several tax benefits. If you’ve already included the Southern Connecticut State University Foundation in your will, please let us know so that we can acknowledge your generosity by enrolling you in the Heritage Society. If not, please consider leaving a legacy by making a planned gift to the Southern Connecticut State University Foundation. For more information, contact the Development Office. (203) 392-5598 • Southern Connecticut State University 501 Crescent Street, New Haven, CT 06515-1355

Lorraine Phillips O’Grady, ’68, M.S. ’73, Timothy O’Grady, ’67


It was spring 1965

when freshman Lorraine Phillips and sophomore Timothy O’Grady enrolled in a botany class taught by Dr. Chester Bosworth.

Southern Style

Fortunately for the future couple, Dr. Bosworth was a proponent of alphabetized

assigned seating. As surely as the letter “P” follows “O,” the two classmates were seated next to each other and quickly became friends. Because both were still involved with high school sweethearts for the moment, friendship would have to do.

Tiffany (Moffo) Simpson, ’00, John Simpson, ’02


Then, in the summer of 1966, Lorraine won a scholarship to travel to Turkey through the School for International Training in Vermont. It was a life-changing peri-

Score one for romance! Tiffany (Moffo) Simpson,

od for both young people, whose high school relationships came to an end. When

’00, and John F. Simpson, ’02, met on the first day of

Lorraine returned to Southern in the fall, she and Tim became a couple. On a week-

their freshman year, thanks to an experimental program

end in December 1967, Tim asked Lorraine to marry him.

called Southern’s Core (SCore). Both were enrolled in the

Some time later, Lorraine told Dr. Bosworth that she hadn’t received the “A”

program, which gave students the opportunity to com-

she thought she deserved in botany. “Ah, what did you get in that class anyway…?”

plete their core course requirements

asked Dr. Bosworth. Lorraine proudly extended her left hand to show her engage-

during their first four semesters. Entering Buley Library on Sept. 4, 1996, Tiffany asked John if the seat next to him was taken. The

Tiffany (Moffo) Simpson, ’00, and John Simpson, ’02, visited Scotland to commemorate their anniversary.

ment ring, explaining that she had gotten Tim O’Grady. The O’Gradys, who celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary in December, have four sons and three grandchildren. Lorraine taught art in Connecticut for many years, including art education at

rest, as they say, is history. John, who

Southern from 1997 to 1999. The couple now lives in California where Lorraine is a

was known for punctuality, began waiting for Tiffany in

background actress in movies and television. Tim is an executive at Western Asset

the parking lot so that they could walk to class together.

Management and has completed several acting gigs, as well.

The two became habitually late for class, but romance blossomed right on schedule. “We started as friends, studying together and hanging out,” writes Tiffany, who was the president of the Class of 2000. “Now, 12 years later, we recently celebrated our four-year wedding anniversary.” Today, John works as a software support specialist at Bright Horizons Family Solutions, Watertown, Mass. Tiffany is employed by Central Connecticut State University.

If you and your spouse are both Southern alumni, we want to hear from you. Briefly (in 250 words or fewer) tell us how you met or share another memory from your days as a Southern couple, and we may feature your Southern love story in an upcoming issue of Southern Alumni Magazine. Mail or e-mail your story and accompanying photo to SCSU, Public Affairs/Southern Alumni Magazine, 501 Crescent Street, New Haven, CT 06515; e-mail,, fax: (203) 3926597. Due to space constraints, we may not be able to publish all stories. Submissions may be edited.

A heartfelt congratulation goes out to William “Doc” Holley, ’55, and Joan Marie Noga Holley, ’56, who celebrated their golden wedding anniversary on December 20. The couple shares a devotion to their alma mater, New Haven State Teachers College, as Southern was called when they graduated. Doc, a past recipient of the Alumni Service Award, has served on the Alumni Association Board of Directors since 1985 and currently serves as its treasurer. He also represents The Alumni Association on the SCSU Foundation Board of Directors. He retired in 1997 after 38 years in public education, having held numerous positions, including principal. Joan taught for 35 years in public education and was employed by the state’s Department of Children and Families. Spring 2009 | 31

MICHAEL SHERRIL, ’83, has joined Southern’s Center for Career Services to help implement and support the new JOBSs online job searching tool for students and alumni.

JOHN B. ZIBLUK, ’83, M.S. ’84, received the Arkansas Scholastic Press Association’s top educator honor, the Walter J. Lemke Award. This award is given annually to an educator in recognition of exemplary service to scholastic journalism in the state of Arkansas.

TODD GOODHUE, ’85, is a golf pro at Shennecossett Golf Course in Groton, Conn., and hosted the 26th Connecticut Senior Open.

CARL GROSS, 6th Yr. ’86, is the new director of special education at the Hebron, Andover and Marlborough Regional School District #8, as report-

In Print AND On Screen

ed in the Rivereast News Bulletin in New Britain, Conn.

RODGER FOLEY, ’87, and GERALDINE (CASHMAN) FOLEY, ’88, M.S. ’96, celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary in September 2008. The Foleys met at Southern in 1986. They have two children, Megan (11) and Ann (8).

KAREN FONTNEAU, ’87, M.S. ’04, was featured in a Huntington Herald article about mothers returning to college to further their education after their children have grown. Fontneau is a special education teacher for third and fourth graders in Monroe, Conn.

AMY MANGOLD, ’87, is the director of the Parks and Recreation Department in Newtown, Conn. Mangold is also a life skill coach for the State Department of Mental Retardation, a gymnastic instructor, and a show coordinator for Dance, Etc.

JILL TALLBERG, ’87, a 16-year veteran of the teaching profession, has been selected Manchester Public School’s


Eleanor Russo Benefico, ’65, M.S. ’86; Florence Kuzemka Zielinski, ’54; and Sally Williams Chapin, ’58, M.L.S. ’84, and four childhood friends— Jeanette W. Acton, Helen B. Fisher, Shirley W. Hufcut, and Marylee K. Mitchelson, are the authors and editors of “Sand in Our Shoes,” a 545-page history of the Walnut Beach/Myrtle Beach section of Milford, Conn. The authors received the Community Service Award from the DAR on the local and state levels, and the book has been used as a high school textbook. Diana Ross McCain, M.L.S. ’79, has released a new book, “It Happened in Connecticut,” (Globe Pequot Press). Katie (Krauss) Murphy, M.S. ’80, is the author of “Woodmont on the Sound,” a postcard history of Woodmont that includes 200 postcards and photographs, some never before published. Murphy works as a writer and editor in the public relations office at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Mario L. Vazquez, ’02, M.S. ’03, has written his first young adult book, “The Color of My Paint,” which is a compilation of short stories about life-changing experiences during his childhood. Vazquez is a teacher in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools Visual Arts High School. Teacher of the Year. Tallberg is a math and science instructor at Manchester Regional Academy in Conn.

DEBORAH BEST, ’88, having

from the South Florida Community Blood Bank in appreciation for community service and for making at least 80 donations of blood and platelets. Forbes lives in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

completed her student teaching at the Sound School in New Haven, Conn., is now teaching science at Amity High School.




’88, former Region I assistant superintendent, is retiring and moving to Arizona, as reported in the Lakeville Journal in Falls Village, Conn.

is a professional educator and head coach of the Stepney Elementary School Wildcats Read Across America Team in Monroe, Conn.

SHARI VALENCIC-URSEL, ’91, has earned her Ed.D. in educational leadership from Argosy University in Sarasota, Fla. Valencic-Ursel is a teacher, private professional development consultant, and teacher-trainer.

eled to China as part of a delegation from the town of Stonington, Conn., and visited the cities of Changchun, Xi’an, and Beijing. Norcross attended the annual Fulbright Conference there.

BETH SMITH, M.S. ’92, 6th Yr.

Where in the World are SCSU Alumni?


JAMES L. FORBES, ’89, was presented with an award

J. LeRoy Ward, ’73, M.S. ’75, the executive vice president of ESI International, has delivered project management programs to clients in North and Central America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. His recent travels included a trip to Dubai, the most populous city of the United Arab Emirates. Ward took the background photo, which depicts a view of the major business area of the city. 32 | Southern ALUMNI MAGAZINE


’95, is the headmaster of Shelton High School. Smith previously was the house principal at Newington High School.

member of the North Haven Congregational Church, was the featured soloist at their “A Candlelight Coffeehouse Contemporary Christian Music” event.

BRUCE SIEVERS, 6th Yr. ’93, principal of Howell Cheney Technical High School, was named principal of the year by the Connecticut Technical High School System.

CRAIG POWERS, M.S. ’94, 6th Yr. ’97, is the assistant superintendent of schools in Waterford, Conn.

SALVATORE URSO, M.S. ’94, has been appointed principal of Emma Willard Elementary School in Berlin, Conn.

GINO ANG, ’95, was featured in New Haven Magazine for his efforts to bring surgical supplies and professionals to the Philippines to aid those needing cleft lip/palate and other surgeries. The article was entitled, “To Silay City, with Love.”

BONNIE HAUPT, ’95, is a faculty member at the VA Nursing Academy, a new initiative and partnership between Fairfield University’s School of Nursing and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

owner of Clinic for Women, a counseling service for women.

JANET BALDI, M.L.S. ’97, exhibited her paintings at the Gertrude White Gallery in Greenwich, Conn.

MICHAEL BARILE, ’98, M.S. ’00, 6th Yr. ’04, is the new principal of Chester Elementary School in Connecticut.

16 Teacher of the Year, has been named assistant principal at Long River Middle School in Prospect, Conn.

KARI LYNCH SWANSON, M.L.S. ’99, has been appointed the director of Science Libraries and Information Services at the Kline Science Library at Yale University.

JODI HOSS, ’98, is an attorney at the law firm of Sonnenschein Nath and Rosenthal in Kansas City, Mo.

JAMIE LINDWALL-BELILE, ’98, is the co-founder of the Dennis Lindwall Foundation, which raises money for pediatric cancer-related causes. Lindwall-Belile is a member of the Greater Fairfield Board of Realtors and is employed by Coldwell Banker.

’00s JENNIFER MCBRIDE, ’01, has been appointed as an intern to the Child Guidance Center of Southern Connecticut’s Social Work Internship Program.

KENNETH CRAW, 6th Yr. ’02, is the new principal of Weston Middle School in Conn.

Alumna Nominated to State Post

in Valhalla, N.Y. She received the 2007 Rising Star Award from Business New Haven for her work with SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives).

STEVEN FOWLER, M.L.S. ’04, is the new children’s librarian in Portland, Conn. Fowler was formerly the children’s librarian at the West Haven Public Library.

MATT LAPRINO, ’04, has been named aquatic director at the Woodruff Family YMCA, as reported by the Milford Mirror.

KRISTINA LAWSON, ’04, was appointed the pre-kindergarten through fifth grade program coordinator for ESL (English as a Second Language) and FLEX (Foreign Language in Elementary Schools). Lawson is the assistant principal at Silvermine Elementary School in Norwalk, Conn.

GEORGE MOORE, ’04, is now Gov. M. Jodi Rell has nominated Amalia Vazquez Bzdyra, ’80, to serve as a commissioner of the Department of Public Utility Control (DPUC). The DPUC regulates the rates and services of Connecticut’s investor-owned electric, natural gas, water, and telecommunication companies and is the franchising authority for the state’s cable television companies. Since February 2007, Bzdyra has served as deputy commissioner of the Department of Social Services. Bzdyra’s tenure includes numerous other key posts, among them serving as chair of the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities from 2000 to 2005 and as vice president of government relations for the Connecticut Hospital Association from 2000 to 2004.

THERESA CONROY, ’96, was elected as state representative in the 105th District in Conn.

JUSTIN DION, ’96, M.A. ’97, has been recognized as a“rising star”in the November 2008 issue of Boston Magazine. Dion is an attorney who specializes in business and financial matters with the Bacon Wilson, P.C. law offices in Springfield, Mass. Dion also teaches law classes at Bay Path College and Western New England College School of Law.

ALICE KROLL, M.S. ’96, a family and consumer science teacher, has retired from Seymour High School. Kroll is now the

covering the Meriden City Hall beat after two years of covering Wallingford news, as reported by the RecordJournal newsroom.

ROBYN BRANCATO, ’05, received her degree in midwifery from Columbia University.

CRYSTAL HEFT, M.S. ’05, of Plainville, Conn., was named coordinator for the Early Childhood Collaborative of Southington, Conn.

KEVIN KIRK, ’05, was featured THOMAS R. SCARICE, M.S. ’98, THOMAS M. KODZ, ’02, has has been named assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction in Weston, Conn. Scarice spent the last three years as principal of Two Rivers Magnet Middle School in East Hartford, Conn., which was nominated in 2007 as a finalist for the Connecticut Association of Schools’ School of the Year.

JULIE-ANN (PESCATELLO) MAHEU, ’99, M.S. ’01, is an athletics trainer at The Williams School in New London, Conn.

KRISTIN REICHELT-BERNIER, M.S. ’99, 6th Yr. ’02, a Region

joined Quinnipiac University as an assistant professor and educational coordinator in the physician assistant program.

SHANI PUGLIESE, ’03, has joined the staff of Redding Elementary School in Connecticut as its first fulltime autism special education teacher. Previously, Pugliese spent four years in Wilton as a middle school special education assistant.

JULIE BRANDER, M.B.A. ’04, runs the This Close for Cancer Research Institute at the New York Medical College

in a story in the New York City Daily News about his quest to become a United States Navy SEAL. Kirk will participate in the Great Illinois Triathlon to raise money for the Naval Special Warfare Foundation that supports families of Navy SEALs killed in action. Since that article was published, Kirk has become a Navy SEAL.

KAREN HEILIGMAN, 6th Yr. ’06, is the fulfillment manager of Barker Specialty Company in Cheshire, Conn. The company is a manufacturer and distributor of promotional products.

COLLEEN MROWKA, M.S. ’06, is the sole proprietor of

Mrowka Physical Therapy in Cheshire, Conn., which she opened in 1993.

LEO DISORBO, ’07, taught his first clay sculpture class during the summer. Disorbo also teaches high school art classes at Westover School in Middlebury, Conn.

JESSICA HOVAN, ’08, a fouryear veteran of the Naugatuck Valley Community College nurse aide certification program, currently works as an R.N. at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

RYAN NEWTON, M.A. ’08, was accepted as a volunteer in the competitive WorldTeach program. Having completed a one-month training program in Changsha, China, Newton is teaching English at a secondary school in China’s Hunan Province.

MARK PIRES, ’08, has joined the Shelton accounting firm of Dwoken, Hillman, LaMorte and Sterczala as a member of its accounting and auditing department.

EMILY K. SOPCHAK, ’08, graduated from the Milford Police Academy. Sopchak had her badge pinned on by her father, a retired Milford police officer, at a ceremony in December.

KATE STEPHENSON, M.A. ’08, is the Waterford Country School’s new director of development and community support.

MATTHEW SWANSON, M.S. ’08, winner of the 2005 Fairfield University College of Arts and Sciences Award for Distinguished Work in the Humanities, is an educator at Cheshire High School, as reported in the Cheshire Herald.

Marriages BONNIE STISKAL, 6th Yr. ’92, and Donald Wolk, Oct. 5, 2008.

LAUREN ANN ROYLE, ’94, and Erik Bryan Methe, Aug. 30, 2008.

MARY FRANCES BONVINI, ’95, and Todd Michael Work, May 8, 2008. Spring 2009 | 33

ELIZABETH ANN TRACEY, ’96, and JOSEPH DECICCO, ’93, April 14, 2008.

JULIE-ANN PESCATELLO, ’99, M.S. ’01, and Michael J. Maheu, Oct. 12, 2008.

DANIEL HARAYDA, ’01, M.S. ’04, and Ellen Rice, June 21, 2008.

ANGELA SILVERSTRI, ’03, and Brent Weaver, July 29, 2007.

CAROLINE ECKERSDORFF, M.S. ’04, and Elo Comfort, June 28, 2008.


Births/Adoptions JUNE KATZE NEWTH, ’50, Tacoma, Wash., Feb. 24, 2008.

Daniel Taylor, May 24, 2008.

DANIELLA ZALLO, ’06, and Michael Schiano, December 2007.

JENNIFER SUSAN GUARINO, ’07, and Frederick Nelson Mulholland, July 26, 2008.

NANCY (GOUTHRO) SCHREIBER, FRANCES WOODWARD, ’50, ’91, M.S. ’00, 6th Yr. ’03, a son, William Patrick,on Jan.19,2008.

ANTHONY (TJ) TRIMBOLI, ’02, and wife Kelley, a son,Anthony John, on June 9, 2007.

JOHNIELLE EASTWOOD, ’08, and Kristopher Dwyer, June 21, 2008.

TRICIA R.WINTON, ’08, and Ryan Edgar, June 14, 2008.

IN MEMORIAM MARY E.AHERN, ’30, ’48, M.A. ’52, Plymouth, Mass., Jan. 22, 2008.

M.S. ’57, New Haven, Conn., Nov. 14, 2008.

LOUIS J. CARDILLO, ’52, Wallingford, Conn., Sept. 2, 2008.

tell us about it

) ______________________________________________

Street Address ______________________________________________ City ____________________________State ________Zip __________ SCSU Degree/Year______________Major __________________________ E-mail ____________________________________________________ J Check if this is a new address.

Name under which I attended college ______________________________ News Item__________________________________________________

GEORGE R.JOHNSON, ’54, Glastonbury, Conn., June 2008.

DONALD W. MALONEY, ’58, Southbury, Conn., Dec. 14, 2008.

Bridgeport, Conn., Oct. 25, 2008.

GEORGE J. BARANIECKI, ’68, Terryville,Conn.,Sept.21,2008.

ELISE (PLACE) (ELLIOTT) CASEY, M.S. ’70, Paoli, Penn., July 11, 2008.

Conn., Sept. 26, 2008.

JOAN (LIFTMAN) KATZ,’71, Bridgeport,Conn.,Oct.23,2008.

JANIS (RYDINGSWARD) MOORE-WILLIAMS, ’71, Plainville, Conn., Dec. 12, 2008.

GRACE S.BRENNER, M.L.S. ’72, Houston, Texas, Sept. 8, 2008.

HUBERT TOMKINSON EDMONDSON, M.L.S. ’72, Coventry, Conn., Oct. 21, 2008.

ROBERT E.POLUHOWICH,’72, Bridgeport,Conn.,Dec.10,2008.

THOMAS RAEKE,’72, Marlborough,Mass.,Oct.5,2007.

MARGARET LAPOLT, M.L.S. ’73, Branford, Conn., July 19, 2008.

Date ______________________________________________________ Spouse’s Name ______________________Spouse's SCSU Degree/Yr.______ Children’s Names/Ages ________________________________________

6th Yr. ’76, Danbury, Conn., Sept. 5, 2008.

GILBERT R. ROGERS, JR., ’76, Hartford, Conn., Aug. 18, 2008.

NICHOLAS W. ROMANIELLO, III, ’76, Stamford, Conn., July 9, 2008.

KATHLEEN MARY (PRAMUKA) STASH, ’76, Milford, Conn., Sept. 10, 2008.

JOHN MCCARTY LAFONTANA, 6th Yr. ’78, Hartford, Conn., July 11, 2008.

(MICHAEL) GRACE MARGUERITE (TAGG) OREST AKSYMIUK, M.S. ’79, M ROCHE, ’70, M.S. ’76, Madison, Bridgeport, Conn., July 10,


Signature __________________________________________________




’93, 6th Yr. ’99, Woodbridge, Conn., July 9, 2008.

M.S. ’55, July 18, 2008.


Phone (



Plantation, Fla., Dec. 18, 2008.

Name ____________________________________________________

’75, Arlington, Mass., July 4, 2008.

Stamford, Conn., June 30, 2008.


Share your good news with Southern friends and classmates by sending it to Southern Alumni News. Mail this completed form to Southern Alumni News, SCSU Alumni Relations Office, New Haven, CT 06515-1355; fax, (203) 392-5082; or e-mail,



THOMAS LEHMAN, M.S. ’80, 6th Yr. ’80, West Haven, Conn., May 25, 2008.

JOSEPH JAMES ROMANELLO, ’84, Greenwich, Conn., Nov. 11, 2008.

ALGIRDAS STANKUSSAULAITIS, M.L.S. ’87, Oakville, Conn., July 11, 2008.

CHRISTINE CODY, ’90, Tarpon Springs, Fla., June 28, 2008.

JUDITH E. MORGAN, M.S.W. ’93, Sebastian, Fla., Sept. 1, 2008.

JASON DANIEL GIGLIOTTI, ’97, Derby, Conn., June 23, 2008.

JAMES V.TUCKER, M.S. ’73, New WENDY (KARLSBERG) Haven, Conn., Sept. 4, 2008. MELTZER, M.S. ’05, Middletown, Conn., July 18, DORIS S.WILLIAMS, M.S. ’73, Woonsocket, R.I., Oct. 13, 2008.

RONALD L.WALLISA, ’74, M.S. ’85, Monroe, Conn., July 23, 2008.


MICHAEL F. TOBIN, Ph. D., Professor Emeritus at Southern, Vernon, Conn., Oct. 21, 2008.

________________________________________________________ Class notes are compiled from submissions from alumni, as well as announcements made in newspapers and magazines. 34 | Southern ALUMNI MAGAZINE

Write of Passage continued from page 14

The creative writing faculty, which

well prepared to offer the high level of liter-

literature and theory courses, and the the-

includes CSU Professor Vivian Shipley and

ary activity expected in an M.F.A. program.

sis. Currently, the M.A. and M.S. curricula

Michael Shea, English department

Assistant Professor of English Robin Troy,

allow up to 18 credits of fiction or poetry

along with Parrish and Mock, says that

chairman, says,“The creative writing pro-

workshops and six credits of creative-thesis

there has long been a need in Connecticut

gram has a long history of great teachers

work. The M.F.A. will retain these opportu-

for a full-time M.F.A. program in creative

and courses, and the M.F.A. program is a

nities while increasing course requirements

writing. Other available options in the state

culmination of this tradition of excellence.”

in literature studies, the study of rhetoric

“The M.F.A.’s approval is the most

are low-residency only.

and theory, and the teaching of high school

exciting thing to happen in this depart-

and college writing. The core of the pro-

one misses the presence of a human com-

ment since I got here,” says Shipley, who has

gram will be the workshop, a class in which

munity and the opportunities for personal

been a member of the faculty since 1969.

students submit their original manu-

interaction,” Shipley says. Southern’s is an on-site program that, the faculty says, will

The creative writing program has evolved

scripts-in-progress for critical examination

steadily. The offering of the M.F.A. is a nat-

by their classmates and the instructor.

give students a sense of common purpose

ural next step — the culmination of a pro-

and enable them to develop close friend-

gram marked by success. Parrish points to

competitive, with roughly six poets and six

ships and working partnerships.And, as

the accomplishments of Southern’s creative

fiction writers admitted each year. The cre-

Troy points out,“People from Connecticut

writing students — publications, prizes,

ative writing faculty expects that the M.F.A.

will have the opportunity to complete this

fellowships, and acceptances to demanding

will attract prospective students from out-

degree without leaving the state.”

M.F.A. programs around the country — as

of-state as well as from Connecticut, due to

evidence that the university attracts serious

the increasing national competition to gain

“With an online degree program,

The new program is an exciting development within an already vibrant

writing students and supports them in

department.With flourishing undergradu-

their craft.

ate and graduate literary publications,

The curriculum for the 48-credit program will be based in literary studies,

award-winning faculty members, and a visiting writers series, the department is

consisting of fiction and poetry workshops,

Admission to the M.F.A. program is

admission to residential programs. I

For more information about the M.F.A. in creative writing, visit the English Department’s Web site at mfainfictionpoetry.

Calling All Business and Health and Human Services Alumni! Join us on May 16 for Alumni Day 2009 A Celebration of the Schools of Business and Health and Human Services ACTIVITIES INCLUDE:

I Continental breakfast

I Faculty and student exhibits and posters

I Alumni College seminars on numerous topics, among them cross-generational communication, fraud protection, self-marketing in a down economy, and more.

I Fun-filled children’s activities, including the Nursing Simulation Lab, Business: Create Your Own Product, and The Amazing Race scavenger hunt.

I Cocktail party for the adults and movie/snack party for the children. For tickets and more information, call Alumni Relations at (203) 392-6500 or visit Spring 2009 | 35

Southern Connecticut State University Annual Golf Outing

June 8


June 1

Multicultural Center Gallery located in the Michael J. Adanti Student Center (Room 234) A stunning exhibit on loan from the extensive Robert J. and Yvonne S. Klancko collection. Among the highlights are ornately decorated eggs by celebrated artist Yvonne Klancko, ’70, M.S. ’74, 6th Yr. ’94. (203) 392-5888

Les Blancs

May 5-9 8 p.m. May 10 2 p.m. Southern students’ performance of playwright and activist Lorraine Hansberry’s last work, which explores European exploitation of the land and people of Africa. Directed by William R. Elwood. $5 for Southern students, faculty, staff, and senior citizens; $10 for general admission. (203) 392-6154

Alex Bugnon with Special Guest Paul Taylor

May 8

A Celebration of The Schools of Business and Health and Human Services

May 16 On campus all day Return to Southern to enjoy reunion celebrations of these two schools, featuring exciting educational programs, tours, entertainment, and plenty of opportunities to reconnect for alumni and their families. $10 per person. (203) 392-6500

Graduate Commencement

May 28

Lake of Isles South Course, Foxwoods Casino, North Stonington, Conn. Support Southern’s athletics programs while playing one of the highest-rated courses in the country. For reservations, call (203) 392-5518. For more information, visit or e-mail

“The Color Purple”

June 10 6 p.m. reception;

(800) 448-0661; (203) 392-5240

7:30 p.m. performance

Undergraduate Commencement

The Bushnell, Hartford, Conn. Oprah Winfrey presents this legendary musical based on the classic Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker. An Alumni Association-sponsored reception in the Seaverns Room begins at 6 p.m.

May 29 Connecticut Tennis Center New Haven, Conn. (203) 392-6586

Tickets range from $23 to $63.50. (203) 392-6500

8:00 p.m.

$25 for active alumni, faculty, and staff; $28 for general admission; and $15 for Southern students.

International Festival of Arts and Ideas Throughout New Haven PHOTO: Apparatus Theatre Group

Two solo artists unite for a soul-stirring evening of jazz.

The Alumni Association will offer two packages to a variety of events during the three-week festival, which runs from June 13-27. (203) 392-6500

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. Discounted tickets are limited to two per person, subject to verification. For additional information and listings, visit Southern’s Web site at 36 | Southern ALUMNI MAGAZINE



YES YOU Chelp AN a student succeed

In these difficult economic times, here are some examples of what your gift CAN do for a Southern student:


Make your gift today by returning the envelope provided or visit us online at



1 gift of $35

Science lab fee for a course

2 gifts of $50

Book for a course

1 gift of $100

Six hours of tutorial assistance for a student with disabilities

8 gifts of $250

Student meal plan for a semester

15 gifts of $500

A year’s education for a deserving student

25 gifts of $1,000

International study abroad experience for five students


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xercise science graduates William Lunn, M.S. ’08, [LEFT] and Kurt Sollanek, ’08, each have been awarded competitive scholarships from the New England Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine (NEACSM). Southern students received two of the organization’s four annual awards, which recognize exceptional students. Lunn, who won the Mark Connelly Memorial Masters Scholarship for graduate work, competes as a runner, cyclist, and triathlete. “I just naturally became very inquisitive and fascinated with human performance,” says Lunn, who wrote his thesis on the effects of various training techniques on competitive cyclists. The response has been highly enthusiastic. His work was presented at the ACSM national convention, and the manuscript from his thesis, co-authored by Southern professors Robert Axtell and Joan Finn, was accepted for publication in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. Fellow honoree Sollanek, who received the Undergraduate Scholarship, became interested in

exercise science as a high school athlete. He excelled at Southern, graduating summa cum laude while participating in the university’s academically challenging Honors College. His thesis, which has implications for providing physical therapy for people with multiple sclerosis, also was presented at the ACSM national convention. And as a senior, Sollanek helped Southern capture first place in the 2007 College Bowl sponsored by the NEACSM. The event tests competitors’ knowledge of sports medicine. Both scholars are continuing their studies. Sollanek is attending graduate school at Southern, while Lunn is a doctoral student at the University of Connecticut.

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Southern Alumni Magazine Spring 2009  

A magazine for alumni and friends of Southern Connecticut State University

Southern Alumni Magazine Spring 2009  

A magazine for alumni and friends of Southern Connecticut State University