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a publication for alumni and friends of Southern Connecticut State University




Top Owl



President Joe Bertolino talks about his journey to Southern, plans for the university, and the lifechanging power of Camp Ockanickon.

I’d like to briefly share the six presidential priorities I’ve developed for Southern early in my tenure: • I mentioned that I was a social justice educator, and my administration will be committed to social justice, not just in word, but in

High Flyer

action and in deed. • We’ll look to enhance enrollment management, by identifying and resolving issues related to financial aid and retention. • We’ll boost Southern’s profile and

Owl Territory

university offers to our students,

Since I arrived on campus last August,


I’ve quickly learned about the wonderful loyalty and devotion that our alumni display for their alma mater. It is clear that the members of our extended community are filled with Southern pride. They love Southern and more importantly, they care deeply for our students. I have an extensive background in public higher education, and I’m thrilled to be leading Southern, an institution committed to access, affordability, and student success. As a social justice educator for more than 25 years, I am also thrilled that this is an institution dedicated to being a good neighbor and advancing the public good. During my first months on the job, I’ve been visiting with all of the campus constituencies and meeting students, alumni, and community and business leaders as well as legislators and elected city officials. I want to learn as much as I can

our community, and the state of • We’ll seek to achieve financial stability through the promotion of entrepreneurship, community partnerships, and a greater emphasis on private fundraising. • We’ll work to ensure student


Who’s Who



Learn more about this issue’s cover Owls.

They graduated at the top of their respective high school classes — and now are first-generation college students.

already been done here to enhance academic excellence, remove obstacles to graduation, and

Life Lessons

enhance the retention rate. • And we’ll implement our 10-year


Helping Southern students become exceptional teachers was Carol Ann Shea’s passion. The late professor’s $2.2 million bequest to Southern furthers her legacy.

Strategic Plan: Discover Southern, a University for the 21st Century. During the coming months, I hope to meet many of you in person, both on

Join the Owl community on April 18 and invest in the Owls of today — and tomorrow.

campus and at networking events across the country. I thank you for your support of your alma mater, and I share in your Southern pride as we work to move our university forward, together. Sincerely,

of its residents. I am also committed to the city — my partner Bil and I have purchased a home in Morris Cove, so I hope to be

Joe Bertolino

here a long time!


For Science and Southern!

Southern’s future is here. Help make it great.


Team Southern tests the waters — and a new way to detect tuberculosis — at the prestigious iGEM International Science Competition.

When you give back to Southern Connecticut State University, you help move SCSU forward. When an entire community gives, those individual gifts have a profound impact on the future of Southern students. On April 18, the Southern community will gather for a 24-hour online Giving Day. Collectively, gifts donated at SouthernCT.edu/givingday will help Southern continue to offer exceptional education, accessibility, and innovative programs that transform student’s futures.

success: building on what has

about New Haven and how we can better partner with the city and improve the lives

First Class


Helping students set their sights sky high, Associate Professor Scott Graves establishes a new scholarship — and then there are the drones.

From cities throughout Connecticut to countries throughout the world, students have traveled near and far to become Owls.

highlight all the positives this Dear Alumni and Friends,


Music Man


Walter Stutzman, ’09, discovered his calling in music. Today, he’s dedicated to helping Southern students find their sound.

DONATE AT SouthernCT.edu/givingday

Office of Annual Giving




| Spring | 17

f e at u r e s

Homecoming and Owl Family Day

It Takes a Village


With a theme of “Game On,” Southern’s annual celebration had a playful vibe courtesy of the road race, parade of floats, and a spontaneous dance party.


The New Haven community, Yale School of Public Health, and now Southern join forces through the Community Alliance for Research and Engagement (CARE), a powerful partnership designed to improve the health of residents in the city’s lowestincome neighborhoods.




When it comes to keeping communities safe and healthy, graduates of Southern’s public health program are leading the charge as area health directors.

Finding Beauty


Having volunteered twice with the global charity Mercy Ships, Kirsten Murphy, ’12, reflects on her life-changing journeys. Plus more news from the Department of Nursing.

©Mercy ShipS/ruben ploMp

Healing Voyage

She’s a model, fashion editor, and future business owner who’s committed to making a difference. Meet graduate student Meesha Ann Daley.

d e pa r t m e n t s


From the President


2 ■ 9 ■ 10 ■ 38 ■ 46 ■ 47 ■ 50 ■ 56

Campus News ■ Social Southern True Blue Supporting Southern Hidden Campus Alumni News Alumni Notes Southern Events


new provost Welcomed

academic programs for In-demand Careers


a program leading to a BaChelor of sCIenCe In BIoteChnology is slated to launch in the fall, in step with growth in the bioscience industry in the state, region, and beyond. the program will include courses in biology and related areas of math, physics,

and chemistry — and will offer a real-world focus on research and internship opportunities. the new program aligns with the Bioscience academic and Career pathway Initiative (Biopath) — a partnership between southern and the city of new haven designed to meet the workforce needs of area biotech companies. the greater new haven metropolitan area is home to the second largest cluster of biotechnology companies in new england.



a new BaChelor of sCIenCe In envIronmental systems and sustaInaBIlIty studIes program also begins in the fall — and will incorporate a variety of disciplines,



has been named

including biology, geography, earth science, environmental studies, marine studies,

public health, political science, and business management. students will select from three concentrations within the degree program — environmental systems, coastal marine systems, and

provost and vice president

environmental policy and management. Career prospects for the field are strong: the job

for academic affairs, bring-

outlook for environmental scientists and specialists is expected to grow 15 percent from 2012

ing to Southern more than

to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations, according to the united states Bureau of

35 years of teaching, research, and leadership experience in higher education. he comes to Southern from Montclair State university where he serves as dean of the college of

labor statistics.



nearly one-third of the workforce at the region’s utility companies will be eligible to retire in the next four years. In response, southern and gateway Community College, working in collaboration with the regional Water authority, are launching educational

programs designed to fill those projected managerial and technological job openings. at southern, a BaChelor of sCIenCe In BusIness admInIstratIon WIth a speCIalIza-

Science and Mathematics

tIon In puBlIC utIlIty management will focus on management of public utilities, such as

and a professor in the

water, gas, electric, and wastewater. Course offerings will range from crisis/risk management

Department of biology,

and green energy to business law and public utility/governmental accounting.

where he specializes in malacology, the scientific study of molluscs. his professional life has always been within public institutions. prezant previously was chair of the Department of biological Sciences at indiana university of pennsylvania, and the dean of the Division of natural and Mathematical Sciences at Queens college, part of the city university of new york. 2 | Southern ALUMNI MAGAZINE

applause! applause!


is the recipient of the Faculty Scholar Award in recognition of her book, “Savoring power, consuming the Times: The Metaphors of Food in Medieval and renaissance italian literature” (university of notre Dame press). in her work, palma looks at ways italian authors used food and gastronomy to critique social, political, theological, philosophical, and cultural beliefs.

S ■

green! greener! greenest! OUTHERN IS AMONG A SELECT GROUP OF

universities included in the 2016 edition of The

princeton review Guide to 361 Green colleges

— the third consecutive year that the university was recognized for its commitment to environmental responsibility. The 160-page guide can be downloaded for free at princetonreview.com/green-guide.



■ VOL 14 • NO 2

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

Patrick Dilger, Director of Integrated Communications and Marketing Villia Struyk, Editor Mary Pat Caputo, Associate Editor Michael Kobylanski, Sports Editor Marylou Conley, ’83, Art Director Isabel Chenoweth, Photographer Brokk Tollefson, Student Photographer Melanie Stengel, Contributing Photographer Charlie Davison, Alumni Notes Editor offICe of alumnI relatIons

sCsu reflection garden to unite Community


step with a universitywide commitment to

social justice and the community,

southern is in the planning phase of creating an sCsu reflection

Michelle R. Johnston, Director of Alumni Relations (203) 392-6500 edItorIal offICe

Southern Connecticut State University Office of Integrated Communications and Marketing/Southern Alumni Magazine 501 Crescent Street New Haven, CT 06515-1355 Telephone (203) 392-6591; fax (203) 392-6597 Email address: StruykV1@SouthernCT.edu University website: SouthernCT.edu Printed by The Lane Press, Inc.

garden that will mirror these ideals. Collaboration is a hallmark of the initiative. on march 1, students, faculty, and members of the community joined one of three visioning forums held on campus. the sessions were facilitated by acclaimed landscape designer Julie moir messervy.

“The Southern community should be proud of this rating, because it is a hard-won reflection of the effort

a variety of elements and spaces have been envisioned for

by our campus community,” says Suzanne huminski,

the public garden at southern,

sustainability coordinator. The designation acknowl-

including a sandy hook memorial

edges Southern’s achievements in numerous areas,

sculpture by southern alumna

including energy efficiency, green building design,

Carlene Barnes, ’13, who gradu-

waste reduction and recycling, a commitment to sus-

ated with a degree in studio art

tainability in the curriculum, and more.

and won a 2014 campus design

Southern Alumni Magazine is published by the university in cooperation with the SCSU Alumni Association two times a year and distributed free of charge to alumni and friends of the university. Opinions expressed in Southern Alumni Magazine do not necessarily reflect those of the university or the SCSU Alumni Association. Although the editors have made every reasonable effort to be factually accurate, no responsibility is assumed for errors. Postage paid at Burlington, Vt. Southern Connecticut State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religious creed, age, gender, gender identity or expression, national origin, marital status, ancestry, present or past history of mental disorder, learning disability or physical disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, genetic information, or criminal record. Inquiries related to nondiscrimination policies and Title IX may be forwarded to Paula Rice, Title IX Coordinator and Director of Diversity and Equity Programs, 501 Crescent Street, BU 226, New Haven, CT, 06515; (203) 392-5568; RiceP1@SouthernCT.edu. Spring 2017 | 3


competition. Other potential features include paths for


A Win for Business Students

walking and exercise; an event space suitable for classes, discussions, and performances; and spots that encourage reflection, gathering, and play. Sponsors include BrightView; NatureWorks; New Haven Land Trust; Care of Trees, a Davey Company; Hamden Land Conservation Trust; Svigals and Partners; Garden Club of Newtown; and the Garden Literacy Project. Support also is provided by Bishop’s Orchards and Community Gardens as Appleseeds through their Seeds of Encouragement Grant. For more information or to make a gift, visit reflectiongarden. SouthernCT.edu.

On Feb. 25, Southern students (seated from left) Peter Blanchet, Paul Barlow, Yiying Cui, Alec Santo, and Alvin Chandesais participated in the regional Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC) at Boston University. Southern qualified for the event after the team of Blanchet, Barlow, and Santo won first place at the Connecticut VCIC in December. The team was advised by (standing, left) Benjamin A. Abugri, professor and chair of economics and finance, who is pictured with Mike Roer, president of the Entrepreneurship Foundation, a nonprofit organization that administers the competition.





National Teacher of the Year Returns to Southern


the midst of an international tour that touched down in four continents, Jahana Hayes, ’05, the National Teacher of the Year for 2016, came home to Southern. “Education is the pursuit of happiness,” she told the audience at the School of Education Dean’s Colloquium Series, held Sept. 16 at Lyman Center. A history teacher at John F. Kennedy High School in Waterbury, Conn., Hayes (right) also shared thoughts on the profession at an informal meeting with students who are majoring in education. She will be honored by Southern as the recipient of the Distinguished Alumna Award, one of the highest honors bestowed on a graduate by the university, at the undergraduate commencement ceremony on May 19, 2017.


FOR THE SECOND YEAR IN ROW. Southern’s team of Peter Blanchet, Alec

Santo, and Paul Barlow turned back stiff competition from Quinnipiac and Fairfield

universities to win the December competition, which challenges teams to present

business and investment plans. The victory qualified Southern to compete at the

regional competition in Boston.

“It was a wonderful achievement for our students,” says Benjamin Abugri,

chairman of the economics and finance department and the team’s faculty adviser.

“To qualify for competition against schools such as Harvard, MIT, and Cornell speaks

to the capabilities of Southern’s students.”

faculty focus

Professor of Philosophy Terrell “Terry” Ward Bynum NOTABLE QUOTE :

“he is considered to be, by more than one scholar, the ‘founding father’ of the [computer ethics] field.” — Troy paddock, professor of history RECENT HONOR :

named a connecticut State university professor, the most prestigious honor bestowed upon a faculty member in the connecticut State colleges and universities system A FEW OF MANY


• Founded Southern’s research center on computing and Society — a global leader in analyzing and promoting the ethical use of computer technology, and advancing the study of computer ethics. • in 1991, bynum organized and hosted the first international computer ethics conference, which was funded by the national Science Foundation. • received numerous lifetime achievement awards, including the American philosophical Association’s barwise prize for his work on computing and human values • bynum has taught at Southern since 1987. he holds a ph.D. in philosophy from city university of new york. Spring 2017 | 5

Campus neWs ■

graduate program among select few accredited


outhern Is one of

only 25 unIversItIes

in the country — and only

the second in connecticut — to

have graduate programs accredited by the international Dyslexia Association (iDA). The

students score at marketing Competition



COLLEGIATE CASE COMPETITION — finishing among the top 17 colleges and universities.

(Finalists and semifinalists were listed in alphabetical order without a specific ranking.) Southern was the only institution of higher learning in connecticut to score among the finalists and semifinalists — and joined providence college as one of only two in all of new england. The nationally recognized annual competition is open to AMA’s 370 collegiate chapters, including the Southern undergraduate Marketing Association (SuMA). in the current competition, student teams developed a comprehensive marketing campaign for ecommerce giant ebay to increase use among millennials and Generation Z. “The students were thrilled. They deserve a lot of credit for finishing in a group that included representation from some very prestigious schools,” says randye Spina, assistant professor of marketing and SuMA’s faculty adviser.

iDA awards accreditation to institutions of higher learning found to provide the best training for teachers to alleviate, prevent, or remediate reading difficulties, including dyslexia. Southern’s accreditation applies to both the Master of Science degree and Sixth-year certificate programs in reading. “our reading faculty have always had a sterling reputation in connecticut, and the impact that they have had on reading teachers has been profound,” says ruth eren, chairwoman of Southern’s Department of Special education and reading. “but this designation validates our program even further, based on the science of reading.” eren is also the director of Southern’s center of excellence on Autism Spectrum Disorders and the

students from the school of Business finished among semifinalists in a recent american marketing association competition.

Goodwin endowed chair in Special education. The department also holds accreditation from the international literacy Association, which is considered a gold standard among higher education reading programs. in addition, 97 percent of students

one stop to success


WINTERGREEN BUILDING. in step with the move, the university has its first designated Alumni house on Farnum Ave. (See page 48 for more.) Meanwhile, in the Wintergreen building the following offices are all steps away from a centrally located information desk:

• Admissions (undergraduate and Graduate)

in the program have passed the

• Academic and career Advising

state reading specialist exam to

• enrollment Management

obtain certification in

• Financial Aid and Scholarships

connecticut since the test was established in early 2015. 6 | Southern ALUMNI MAGAZINE

• Student Financial literacy and Advising

• registrar • university card office • Student Accounts • Mail Services • human resources • university Financial Services

a Win for student Journalists outhern’s Chapter of the soCIety of professIonal JournalIsts was named the

outstanding Campus Chapter for region 1, which includes Connecticut, maine, massachusetts, new Jersey, new york, pennsylvania, and rhode Island. the award, announced near the start of the current academic year, recognizes exceptional programs and activities in 2015-16. monica zielinski, ’16, served as chapter president during that period — an experience that helped prepare her for a successful career. today, the recent graduate is working in Warsaw, poland, as the head journalist of time for polska, an international project headed by the respected national newspaper, rzeczpospolita. It’s a dream assignment for the first-generation polish-american, who spent a summer studying abroad in Warsaw as a college student. at southern, zielinski made the most of her time, fine-tuning her writing skills through an internship at Connecticut magazine and several positions on the student newspaper. a member of the honors College, she also created a women’s magazine for college students as her thesis project. “Working in poland has made me realize how much globalization is impacting the world,”says zielinski. “I have attended conferences with business leaders, economists, and political figures from europe, asia, and the americas. I developed an interest in this so I would like to continue to work as a journalist with a focus on international relations.”

More at SouthernCT.edu/news-monica.

Kudos from the White house


outhern’s efforts on Campus

and in the community were recognized during the White house Summit on computer Science for All, which was held on Sept. 14. The university was cited on a White house Fact Sheet that highlighted efforts of schools and other organizations dedicated to expanding access to computer science, particularly at the K-12 level. Southern’s initiatives include:

• A commitment to increasing the number of women who major in computer science at Southern from the current 13.8 percent to 25 percent within two years. • A training program for high school teachers on mobile computing. • A mentoring program for middle school students focused on computer programming. The initiative, launched more than a year ago, is conducted by Southern computer science students at new haven’s beecher Museum Magnet School of the Arts and Sciences.

Spring 2017 | 7

Campus neWs ■

owls for new haven — and Beyond!





— kicking off with a first-ever rally on the new haven green. the event was a record breaker, with more than 810 students volunteering at sites throughout the city, including ronald mcdonald house, edgewood park, the southern Community garden, and union street dog park. thanks to the new haven police department for helping to make this annual tradition possible. In the spring, campus will once again unite in support of the community at the Big event service initiative on april 22.

fast facts. good news. • Southern provides more than

2,200 experiential

learning and workforce preparation opportunities through more than 700 connecticut businesses and government agencies each year.

ranked programs — a distinction granted to only about

1 in 10 nursing schools that it assessed throughout the

nation. For more, see page 42.

• The Academic Success center provides a wide range of helpful free services to students, including tutoring and


• nursingSchoolsAlmanac.com includes Southern among its

• A

$235,500 grant from the state Department

of public health is helping Southern maintain its leadership

workshops covering everything from time management to

role in snuffing out tobacco use. Southern was the first

study skills. There were

public university in connecticut to become tobacco free.


visits last year.

Look Whooooo’s Talking

Posts, ’Grams, Tweets, and More

Southern proudly proclaimed its commitment to social justice in a 31-second video that incorporated the mannequinchallenge craze.

98,775-plus reached Thanks for the love! Almost 2,000 likes/loves “When your entire school is hip to the times ” — ruth onyirimba “As professor emeritus after 24 years at ScSu, i am proud and thank you for this video!” — patricia De barbieri

ie self n io nat

? t Joe siden e r p th ie wi a self t n lige. a W o ob t y p hap he’s .eps



faCeBooK • sCsutopowl tWItter

• @sCsutopowl

Join the Conversation! follow southern on: .eps

The owls embraced nature throughout campus — including a buck casually grazing near engleman hall. 383-plus likes



faCeBooK • SoutherncT • 21,290-plus tWItter • @ScSutweet • 5,900-plus followers Instagram • ScSugram • 1,845-plus followers snapChat • SouthernScSu

a top tweet: [because college is not only about the coursework . . . ] “our very own Adanti Student center is a #pokemonGym.” Spring 2017 | 9


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

men’s track Champions — again!

the men’s Indoor traCK and fIeld team Won the northeast-10 (ne10) ChampIonshIp for the 12th tIme ,

aided by Tikuan Johnson who finished first in the 200 meters. Johnson set a university record at the event, which was held in Boston in february. southern’s Turner Kelly won the ne10 title in the shot put and was second in the weight throw. after a hard-fought contest, the women’s track and field team finished second at the championship. southern’s Destiney Coward won both the weight throw and the shot put — and shared the title of most outstanding field performer at the competition.

Women’s swimming Crowned Champions

hall of fame Welcomes louise o’neal




11TH TIME — finishing with a nail-biting 10-point lead over Assumption college. Southern hosted the event in February, setting new university, conference, and pool records with first-place swims in the 200- and 400-yard medley relay (megan garner, lilly martin, aubrey Bailey, and Katherine Crochet in both). The owls were also ne10 champions in the following events: the 200 and 500 freestyle (sydney fromkin), the 50 and 100 freestyle (Crochet), the 100 butterfly (Bailey), and the 400 freestyle relay (garner, Crochet, fromkin and Jennifer Belanger). The men’s Swimming and Diving Team finished second at the ne10 championship, supported by standout performances by junior salim lemond and freshman david gallino, who each had a first place finish and shared Most outstanding Diver honors. Additional first place swims and other top performances are highlighted at SoutherncTowls.com.


former southern Women’s BasKetBall CoaCh louIse o’neal WIll Be InduCted Into the Women’s BasKetBall hall of fame on June 10 In KnoxvIlle, tenn. o’neal guided the owls from

1962-76, leading her teams to an impressive 143-37 win-loss record. two of her southern players also competed on the u.s. Women’s olympic team. o’neal went on to serve as a nationally recognized athletics administrator at yale university, dartmouth College, and Wellesley College.

Meet the Student-Athlete ■

Katherine Crochet

King of the Court: mallory top Career scorer

Majoring in communica tion disorders, minoring in psychology



Swimming and Diving co-captain

STeADy phoToGrAphy

SCORER during a nov. 22 matchup against American international college — breaking a record of 1,936 career points set by rich radicioni in 1990. named the northeast-10 rookie of the year as a freshman, Mallory has aptly lived up to expectations. he holds the owl record for singlegame scoring, racking up 47 points against bentley university on Jan. 30, 2016 — and also setting the record for bentley’s Dana center in the process. At the national level, he’s been ranked as a top scorer among all active ncAA players. The senior guard is making the most of his Southern experience. A communication major, Mallory was named to the college Sports information Directors of America’s Academic All-District Team for his work in the classroom and on the court. he’s also interned with Sportzedge on news 8 WTnh. “My editing has gotten 1,000 times better,” he said, while being interviewed on the show for his athletics achievements. Asked what he’s learned from head coach Scott burrell, the former nbA and uconn great, Mallory is quick and to the point. “Toughness — and to work hard,” he said. “i could go on and on. he teaches me something every day. it could be footwork . . . or how to be a good person.”

Hometown: Watertown, conn. Honors: Won five events at the 2017 northeast-10 (ne10) championship • pre-season All American (2016) • All American in the 50 and 100 freestyle in 2016 • ne10 Swimmer of the year in 2016 • A combined eight top finishes at 2015 and 2016 ne10 championships • Most outstanding champion 2016 • college Swimming coaches Association of America Scholar All American

Record breaker: Southern’s all-time fastest in the 50 Freestyle (23.31) and 100 Freestyle (51.19) * Also a team member in Southern’s fastest 400 Freestyle relay, 200 Medley relay, and the 400 Medley relay.

In the pool: As a child, crochet was diagnosed with ADhD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder). Swimming offered a way to channel her energy.

Inspiration: “i wasn’t a very good swimmer growing up,” says crochet, who credits her former Watertown parks and recreation coach paul catuccio, ’97, M.S. ’01, 6th yr. ’10, with igniting her competitive spirit when she was in eighth grade. “he told me, ‘if you put some effort in to it, you could be really good.‘ it just clicked,” she says. Today, catuccio is the athletics director at Watertown high School.

Hit by pre-NCAA Championship Nerves in 2016: “i talked to former All American national champion Amanda Thomas, [’13, M.S. ’15] — someone i always looked up to. She told me, ‘you deserve to go. you are just as fast as any of those girls.’”

Puppy love: cares for her own rescue dog, Wesley, and helps

more at


her mom, Stacy — owner of Stacy’s pet porium — provide foster care for animals. “We have anywhere from 10 to 15 puppies at any one time — all rescues.” SoutherncT.edu/news-crochet Spring 2017 | 11


President Joe Bertolino shares thoughts on Southern, how he came to the university, and the lifechanging power of Camp Ockanickon. By Villia Struyk

WAS THE ULTIMATE COLLEGE ACCEPTANCE — ALBEIT WITH A BIT OF A TWIST. The message came by phone and the recipient, Joe Bertolino, had been invited to become Southern’s new president. Roughly eight months later, Bertolino is no longer the new kid in town. Since officially taking the helm at the university on August 22, he’s quickly become “Top Owl” in name and deed, crisscrossing campus, New Haven, and beyond in an ongoing quest to connect with students, alumni, and business and community members. In recent months, Bertolino — or President Joe as students call him — has met with scores of legislators and industry leaders, joined the board of directors at the Central Connecticut Coast YMCA and New Haven Promise, rolled up his sleeves at the university’s day of service, jointly led an on-campus social justice forum with his partner and fellow higher education leader Bil Leipold, and connected with neighborhood schools. Among the Owls most vocal fans, he’s even tackled the t-shirt cannon, gamely shooting Southern swag to the cheering crowd at Jess Dow Field. “Since his first days on campus, he’s been incredibly involved,” says Corey Evans, a senior political science major and president of Southern’s Service Commission, which runs student-led community outreach programs.“He’s very committed to social justice. It’s one thing to talk about it, but he puts himself out there, helping with planning and going to events. . . .When I look back at Social Justice Week and the other programs that were held on campus during his first semester, I can’t wait to see what’s next.” Such commitment is a given says Bertolino, who has 25-plus years of leadership experience at private and public universities, the

latter in Vermont, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.“I come from a social work background. I firmly believe it’s all about relationships — and students always come first,” he says. Before Southern, he was president of Lyndon State College in Vermont for four years, spearheading the development of new master and strategic plans, the launch of nine academic programs, and an almost 200 percent increase in annual giving in three years. He joins Southern at a pivotal time, highlighted by the dramatic transformation of campus, including the construction of a state-ofthe-art science building, a new home for the School of Business, and the expanded Hilton C. Buley Library, now twice its original size. The obstacles facing the university are dramatic as well, including a statewide budget deficit and a shrinking population of high school graduates. But Bertolino remains upbeat. “In terms of our financial position, yes, we are facing challenges,” he says.“But I don’t want to lose sight of the fact that we have a lot to be proud of. When I look out over this campus, I see great facilities. Great research opportunities. Great faculty. A strategic plan that I am very excited about and will be particularly aggressive about implementing.” A longtime social justice educator, Bertolino has pledged to continue championing the cause. In November, he became one of an initial 110 college and university presidents to issue a joint letter to then President-elect Donald Trump urging a forceful stance against “harassment, hate, and acts of violence.” “I want people in this city, state, and beyond to know Southern as the university dedicated to social justice,” he says. It’s a message he’ll be sharing throughout Southern and the community-at-large. “At the moment, I am going to be out and about a lot. It’s kind of nonstop,” says Bertolino. Following, he pauses briefly to share some personal stories and his thoughts on the university’s future.

Spring 2017 | 13

What role did education play in your family?

What was your college experience like?

i’m the product of a traditional lower-middle class family, born and raised in the suburbs of South Jersey. Faith, family, and education were the priorities in our home — in that order. i had 16 years of private school education. My younger sister and i attended a catholic grammar school and high school. i went on to the university of Scranton, a catholic college in the Jesuit tradition. it was always assumed that my sister and i would go to college. it was just something you never questioned.

When i look back at grammar school and high school, it’s all a blur. i don’t have negative memories, but they’re not particularly fond either. but college was amazing. That’s one of the great benefits of higher education. it gives you the opportunity to reinvent yourself a bit . . . to explore. you find your cohorts . . . your people. i was in a group that included the band and singers. last year, i went back to my alma mater to celebrate our former director’s 35th anniversary. here it was 30 years later, and i was so excited to see everyone.

how about your parents? neither of my parents initially had a college degree when i was growing up. My father had a high school education and took some community college classes. he worked for the shipyard in philadelphia and, later, for what was then bell Telephone. he was a switch operator before going into management. My mother went to nursing school after she graduated from high school. At the time, people typically didn’t think about getting a college degree to become a nurse. but when i was in about seventh grade, my mother went back to school to get a bSn [bachelor of science in nursing].

did that make an impression on you? Absolutely. She worked very hard. i consider myself to be a first-generation college student in the traditional sense. but my mother was the first in the family to get a college education, which she did as an adult while simultaneously raising a family. 14 | Southern ALUMNI MAGAZINE

your parents have many fans on campus. they made great comments about being proud of you on facebook. it’s very, very sweet. [laughs] My mother always emphasized education, but it was important to my father, too. he started his professional life as a blue-collar worker and worked very hard. The summer after i graduated from high school, he found a job for me at a cable TV factory. later, when i was packing to leave for college, he came to my room and asked how i had liked working there. ‘i hated that job,’ i told him. ‘it was horrible. horrible.’ he looked me in the eye and said, ‘And that is why we are sending you to college. Don’t forget it.’ i never did.

“f ”

Follow President Joe .eps


“f ”


Facebook.com/SCSUTopOwl @SCSUTopOwl


this is from [ymCa] Camp ockanickon. It lists the titles I held there over the years and was given to me when I left the camp [as an employee] in 1990. seven years later, I became a board member [of the ymCa of southern new Jersey]; 16 years after that I would become president of the board. Who would have thought?”

A few of the mementoes found in President Joe’s office.

this was made for me by the ras [residence assistants] at my first university job as a hall director at east stroudsburg university [in 1991]. It has hung on the door at every job I’ve held over the last 26 years — at six institutions. It reminds me that students always are the first priority.”

this young man, Jake — a wonderful banjo player — played at my previous inauguration [at lyndon state]. he had leukemia and lost his battle. his parents gave me this banjo and a pick with his photo on it as a farewell gift when I left vermont. they’re a very special family. It means a great deal to me.”

now, both my sister and i work in education. She works in pre-K and here i am in higher education.

you recently were named to the board of directors at the Central Connecticut Coast ymCa. you’ve had a long association with the ymCa. how did it start? it was the summer after my freshman year of college. The local newspaper — the courier-post — had a job listing: ‘counselors Wanted.’ i remember thinking, ‘i’m majoring in psychology. i can be a counselor.’ i didn’t have a clue. . . . So i went to the interview. Drove up and there’s a big sign: yMcA camp ockanickon [in Medford, n.J.] i went to the director’s office, and he proceeded to ask me a series of questions. have you ever been to camp? nope. Do you swim? nope. play any sports? no. boat? nope. practice archery? no. Arts and crafts? Maybe. umm, no. how about working with children? i’d like to, i told him — and he thanked me and i left. Soon after my mother called to tell me they’d offered me the job . . . which i thought was just crazy.

so was that director right? Was it a good fit? i worked at camp every summer — both when i was in college and, after, while working as a high school teacher. i went on to serve on the camp’s board of directors for 13 years and was the president of the board from 2006 to 2010. it’s the relationships that stand out. i met Stephan, one of my first campers, when he was 9. his parents were getting divorced

this [wooden statue] is from a young man, sam from sri lanka, who attended Queens College. he’d been active in student government, but at the start of a new semester, I noticed he wasn’t there. I asked about him and was told that sam hadn’t done well and wouldn’t be back that semester. so I reached out to him — summoned him to my office — and told him that he needed to get it together. that I would help . . . but he needed to get back to school and get to work. about a year later, I found this note and this fisherman on my desk. In the letter, sam wrote that in his culture the fisherman symbolizes the start of a new day and the value of a hard day’s work. he said I had reminded him of the importance of these things.”

that first year. From then on, he came back and stayed in my cabin every summer. eighteen years later, i was the best man at his wedding. his oldest son, Matthew, is my godson. last summer we sent Matthew off to camp ockanickon, where he stayed in the cabin where his dad and i met. camp has been the single most important influence in my life. i credit the fact that i am sitting in this chair — that i’m the president of Southern — to that camp.

an article in vermont Business magazine mentioned that you contemplated becoming a priest. i was in the seminary in Scranton for a year and a half. in hindsight, it was far more conservative than i would have liked. but i didn’t leave for religious reasons or a lack of faith; i left because i wanted to forge my own path — and that presented an unexpected opportunity. i took a leave of absence and was assigned to teach religion at a catholic school in South Jersey. i never went back to the seminary. Teaching led to graduate school, which led to my starting a career in Student Affairs in higher education — and i’ve never left higher education.

What led you to pursue the presidency at southern? Southern is a highly diverse community located in a great, culturally rich, urban environment. The university educates many first-generation college students and is positioned to be a strong community partner — the traits that i really love in a university setting. new haven is also a great city, and it’s a lot closer to my Spring 2017 | 15


Resume highlights: ✽ august 22, 2016: became the 12th president of Southern connecticut State university

✽ 2012 – 2016: president of lyndon State college, lyndonville, Vt., and special assistant to the chancellor at the Vermont State colleges

✽ 2004 – 2012: Vice president for

enrollment Management and Student Affairs and Associate professor of Student personnel, Queens college/city university of new york

bertolino also was the Dean for community Development at barnard college of columbia university, and has worked in the new Jersey and pennsylvania state higher education systems and the State university of new york (Suny) system.

✽ eduCatIon: earned a Doctorate

in higher education Administration and organizational leadership from columbia university, Teachers college in 2003; a Master’s in Social Work from rutgers university in 1990; and a bachelor of Science in psychology and Sociology from the university of Scranton in 1986

✽ all In the famIly:

lives with his partner of 22 years, bil leipold, ph.D., and his three dogs, livingston (a corgi), Wanamassa (a Shih Tzu), and Willoughby Vail (a lhasa Apso mix).

✽ self-desCrIBed greatest

Joy: his eight godchildren —

christian, evan, Kevin, nathan, Tara, Teresa, remick, and Matthew — and his grandsons, roman and Maddox.

✽ lesser-KnoWn talent: plays the accordion

✽ CurrICulum vItae:



(previous page) the academic quad is a perfect setting for a photo with students from the summer educational opportunity program, designed to help students succeed. * (this page, from top) a man on the move: president Joe Bertolino welcomes incoming students, meets with Connecticut governor dannel p. malloy, smiles for the camera, and takes a minute to help set the beat on student move-in day.

family than Vermont. My partner bil and i talked about it — and i thought i had nothing to lose by throwing my hat into the ring. it’s a great opportunity. So here i am. bil and i recently closed on a home in Morris cove in new haven. We are excited.

you’ve been described in the press as one of the country’s first openly gay university presidents. does that carry an added responsibility? When i started at lyndon [State college] there were about 20 to 25 openly gay presidents in the u.S. There are now about 70 to 75. i do think that for the lGbTQ community — and also for the Student Affairs community — i feel an added responsibility to “represent” . . . to go above and beyond. but i also remind folks that i am not the gay president. i am the president who, by the way, just happens to be in a committed relationship with a man. period. it’s not really a focus for me and the work that i do. That said, i am certainly honored if my role at Southern inspires others — lets them see the possibility of holding a public leadership position.


describe your leadership style in five words. compassionate. Kind. collaborative. relationship focused.

What are your immediate goals for southern? Topping the list, i would like Southern as a community to become even more focused on social justice — in every possible way. i have been a social justice educator for more than 25 years, and my administration will be committed to social justice, not just in word, but in action and deed. Secondly, raising the profile of the institution is key. As i said during my interview [for Southern’s presidency], ‘i’m a pr man!’ i welcome the opportunity to share Southern’s accomplishments and all the benefits it offers to our students, our community, and the state. Third, we will be having solid discussions to address our financial challenges through the promotion of entrepreneurship, the development of new and innovative community partnerships, and a greater emphasis on private fundraising. And this is extremely important to me — we are focusing on student success, furthering efforts to enhance academic excellence, remove obstacles to graduation, and improve retention.

last summer, prior to officially becoming president, you attended an oncampus dialogue, “a Campus Conversation on race, policing, advocacy, and action.” you briefly shared your concerns for Joel (pronounced Jo-el), a young man from Jamaica. My family is very nontraditional. i refer to Joel as my son, though he’s not in a legal sense. but i believe family is defined by love, not by blood or paperwork. When Joel’s first baby was arriving, he told me, ‘you are going to be a grandfather.’ his son roman calls me Grandpa Joe. it’s important for people to know how we define family . . . who in our lives are important to us — especially if this helps me to better understand the young men and women at Southern. [bertolino first met Joel Welsh Jr. at Queens college. Then a student, Joel worked as his exercise trainer. Today, he is the head strength and conditioning coach at Delaware State university.]

The Inauguration of Joe Bertolino •••

April 28, 2017

S AV E T H E D AT E the inauguration of Joe Bertolino, ed.d., as the 12th president of southern Connecticut state university will be held on april 28, 2017.

you’ve invited the students to call you president Joe. Why is this important? i want members of the community to think of me as a person . . . a member of the community. i also want to be somewhat informal. but that doesn’t take away from the seriousness of my role. i tell people not to confuse my smile and my informality with a lack of seriousness. but too many times, people get stuck in their own hype. i think ‘president Joe’ invites people to engage in a conversation and build a relationship.

More information is at Inauguration.SouthernCT.edu

continues on page 54 Spring 2017 | 17

From cities throughout Connecticut to countries throughout the world, students have traveled near and far to become Owls. SO U CU THE RN RR ’S E ST UD NT E AR E F NTS RO M:




Midwest Northeast West South




IN ADDITION TO THE U.S. Australia canada china Denmark France Germany nigeria Saudi Arabia Spain united Kingdom


new york, Massachusetts, and new Jersey. Students also hail from Arizona, california, colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, nevada, new hampshire, north carolina, ohio, pennsylvania, rhode island, South carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.




. . . send students to Southern. That’s out of a total of



number of Connecticut cities/towns that have not had a student attend southern since 2014.


cities/towns in the state or

95% 84%

— and with

Who’s missing? union, conn., which as of the 2010 u.S. census had a population of 854, making it the least populous town in the state.

percent of graduates remaining in the state to live and/or work, Southern is committed to educating connecticut’s future workforce.

M a yb e next y ear, Union !

3. briDGeporT 4. WeST hAVen 5. MilForD 6. STrATForD 7. WAllinGForD 8. ShelTon 9. eAST hAVen 10. norTh hAVen 11. brAnForD 12. norWAlK 13. WATerbury 14. TruMbull 15. STAMForD 16. MeriDen 17. cheShire (Tie) 17. nAuGATucK (Tie) 18. GuilForD 19. orAnGe 20. FAirFielD (Tie) 20. SeyMour (Tie)



e mor ,600 2 than ents stud


*Full-time undergraduate and graduate students, unless otherwise noted. Spring 2017 | 19

They graduated at the top of their respective high school classes — and now are first-generation college students. By Villia Struyk

hen mIguel dIaz Was 7 years old, he moved WIth hIs famIly from puerto rICo to the u.s . He spoke only Spanish and was taught in a bilingual classroom for two years. But by fourth

grade, his lessons were entirely in English — and in 2016 Diaz delivered the valedictory speech for Bullard-Havens Technical High School in Bridgeport, Conn. Today, he is a talented, hard-working member of Southern’s Class of 2020, on track to become the first in his family to earn a four-year college degree. A fellow member of the Class of 2020, Kyley Fiondella — the valedictorian of H. C. Wilcox Technical High School in Meriden — shares his commitment.“I’m also a first-generation college student,” she says. “My parents have always been very driven.‘Do your best in school. Go to college. Make your life better,’ they told me. It was a big motivation.” A member of Southern’s Honors College, Fiondella has wanted to be a nurse since childhood. She enrolled in her high school’s Health Technology Program and, at the age of 15, became a certified nursing assistant. Today, she works at Montowese Health and Rehabilitation in North Haven, in addition to answering phones at a pizzeria and attending school full time. With her pre-acceptance into Southern’s Nursing Program, she moves one step closer to realizing her dream. “I almost cried when I received the letter,” says Fiondella, who hopes to work in pediatrics. Diaz also plans to work with youth — as a high school Spanish teacher. It’s an aspirational shift for the polite young man who until recently envisioned a career in automotive technology.“My parents are my mentors,” he says of his father, a janitor at another local university, and his mother, who cares for children for a living.“They left Puerto Rico in search of more opportunities,” Diaz explains.“They inspired me to get an education.” In high school, Diaz interned at BMW. Today, the full-time student helps pay for college by working 30 hours a week at Pep Boys, an auto parts and services retailer. He says he’ll always love cars, and speaks with pride of his brother who attended Gateway Community College and works at Nissan. But for Diaz, the promise of a teaching career has taken hold.“I grew up in a low-income community. Some of my friends weren’t focusing on their studies, especially in middle school. They got in a lot of trouble, surrounded by violence and negative influences,” says Diaz.“As a teacher, you support students — give advice and help them to keep moving forward. Education is the key to success.”


Class of



On her high school valedictor y speech

On his high school valedictor y speech

“it went well. i’ve always been supernervous when speaking in front of people — but i’ve also been pretty good at hiding it. My main message was the importance of finding your passion, and then, if possible, following through and turning it into a career.”

“in the beginning of the speech, i was really nervous. but as i went on, i felt more comfortable. it was basically inspirational . . . to keep moving forward. you never know what you’ll be able to accomplish in life.”

Well-rounded She’s a member of the intervarsity Southern christian Fellowship and the program council, which organizes entertainment and educational activities for students and the community. She’s also active at her church, serving as a teen leader and a lead singer.

Three words to describe himself as a student “hardworking, serious, helpful.”

What he’s most looking forward to “Joining a club or organization at Southern, perhaps olAS [organization of latin American Students].” he also is active at his church, serving as a teen leader, and playing guitar and piano.

Advice to students “Find the reason behind what you’re doing . . . something that motivates you. Then all of the hard work — the studying, the note taking, the homework — becomes easier.”

Advice to students “i would say to really focus on school. in the end it will definitely pay off — and always remember that you can do more than you think.” Spring 2017 | 21

Life Lessons

Helping Southern students become exceptional teachers was Carol Ann Shea’s passion. The late professor’s $2.2 million bequest to Southern furthers her legacy. By Natalie Missakian


a former Southern professor charged with supervising student teachers, Elizabeth Foye frequently visited classrooms in schools around Connecticut. More often than not, when she ran into Southern alumni, they’d ask if she knew Carol Ann Shea. “They all remembered her as such a loving and giving teacher,” says Foye, now retired, who shared an office with Shea in Southern’s School of Education. Shea, who passed away in June 2015 at age 92, was passionate about helping 22 | Southern ALUMNI MAGAZINE

Southern students become exceptional educators — a legacy that will live on at the university thanks to a $2.2 million gift she made through her will. The bequest — the largest in the university’s history — has established the Carol Ann Shea Education Endowment Fund, earmarked for scholarships for students enrolled in the School of Education. Students preparing to teach at the middle and high school levels who are majoring in subjects through the university’s other schools are also eligible.

The gift is expected to double the amount of scholarship funds available to these students. In particular, the gift will bolster the number of scholarships designed to address a critical shortage of minority educators in Connecticut. “The need to increase teacher diversity is a well-known issue and challenge in Connecticut,” says Stephen Hegedus, dean of the School of Education.“One of the ways to address it is through financial support.” While students of color make up more than 40 percent of Connecticut’s

public school population, less than 8 percent of the state’s teachers are minorities, according to the education advocacy group ConnCan. In comparison, at the national level, the most recent U.S. Department of Education Schools and Staffing Survey, showed that 82 percent of public school teachers identified as white. In Connecticut, Hegedus has worked closely with the State Department of Education, Southern faculty, and superintendents of local school districts to craft an initiative to increase the number of minority students enrolled in educator preparatory programs. Highlighting teaching as an attractive career choice is part of the effort. “It is not a common first choice for minority students — to think about teaching as a career option,” says Hegedus.“So part of our work will have to do with mentoring and guidance — and providing lots of different levels of academic and social awareness,” he says. A 2016 report from the U.S. Department of Education shows that in the 2011-12 academic year — the most recently reviewed — 73 percent of students enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program who were majoring in education were white. In comparison, only 62 percent of students in all bachelor’s degree programs at the time were white. Research has shown that minority students perform better academically when taught by teachers of color, says state Sen. Gary Winfield, D-New Haven, cochairman of the Minority Teacher Recruitment Task Force, a state panel that is examining the issue.

“It’s not only the minority students who benefit. The research says that largely majority population students are benefitting greatly by having those teachers as well,” says Winfield, ’06. He furthers that a teaching staff that more closely mirrors the student population is one way to reduce the achievement gap between white and minority students in Connecticut, which is the largest in the country. Shea left few restrictions on the gift, specifying only that income generated by the fund be used for scholarships for undergraduate or graduate students in good academic standing who are pursuing careers in education. In addition to funding the Minority Educator Initiative, Hegedus also hopes to increase scholarship support for part-time students and those wishing to study abroad. “We’re trying to keep that flexibility to support students in a wide variety of areas,” he says. Channeling the funds into programs that benefit future teachers is a nod to Shea’s lifelong commitment to the profession. After earning her bachelor’s from Albertus Magnus College, Shea began her career as a first-grade teacher in Ohio and later taught first grade in her hometown of Hamden, Conn. She went on to obtain a master’s in education from Southern and a doctorate from the University of Connecticut, and then turned her attention to training future teachers in reading instruction, with a focus on phonics. She joined Southern’s faculty in 1965 as an assistant professor in the

reading department, and later became a full professor in the education department, retiring in 1997. Foye described her colleague as the kind of professor who “never said no” to a student, even if she was busy. She recalled one year, during a Wednesday night class before Thanksgiving, when a student shared that she was nervous about cooking her first turkey. Shea was happy to help, offering the student step-by-step instructions. “She was just great,” Foye says.“She loved kids and she loved teaching. She passed those loves on to her students, so they became successful themselves.” ■

If you plan to remember Southern in your will, please let us know so that we can formally recognize your generosity and add your name to the Heritage Sociey. Office of Development (203) 392-6900 SouthernCT.edu/giving

Spring 2017 | 23




hIs Is a CInderella story,


one set in a research lab in

The Owls test the waters — and a n ew way to detect tuberculosi s — at their first tr ip to the iGEM Internation al Science Compet ition.

Southern’s new Academic Science and Laboratory Building. The players are a talented, hardworking group of nine students who hold a variety of summer jobs to help finance their college edu-

cation. One’s a nanny. Several are tutors. The others include a hockey trainer, a

pharmacy technician, and a young man who works in grounds maintenance. All also are budding scientists who volunteered countless hours last summer participating in a prestigious annual competition — the International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition, known as iGEM. The event challenges student teams to build genetically engineered systems using standard biological parts.“The goal is to genetically engineer living systems to do something. We were looking for a faster way to detect tuberculosis,” says Bryan Pasqualucci, the student leader for Southern’s team. About one-third of the world’s population is infected with tuberculosis bacteria (TB), which killed 1.8 million people in 2015 — more than HIV or malaria, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Treatment is available and saved 49 million lives worldwide from 2000 to 2015, but WHO notes many remain undiagnosed. Southern’s iGEM project is inspired by such statistics; its design summarized in a simple statement: “One Breathe = One Result.” Here’s how it might work. Those infected with TB emit the volatile organic compound 1Methylnapthalene. The team envisioned a breathalyzer that would detect this compound and release an indigo dye when used by someone with the disease. Late October, iGEM culminated at a five-day jamboree at Boston’s Hynes Convention Center, where teams presented their research, competing in various categories and striving to earn a medal (gold, silver, or bronze). Teams earn medals by meeting various criteria. Multiple teams can qualify for medals but not every team does. The competition drew about 5,600 participants, representing some 300 teams from 42 countries, including China, Germany, Israel, Japan, and the United Kingdom. Southern’s team was unable to complete the project, but their work and presentation were impressive enough to earn a bronze medal, tieing them with Yale Univeristy and the University of Connecticut — the only other schools from the state to enter the competition. In December, New Haven Mayor Toni N. Harp issued a proclamation honoring the science students for their achievement. The DNA materials generated by Southern’s students were sent to a repository for use by future college teams from around the globe. Meanwhile on campus, team member Thomas Hoang hopes to finish the project with funding

provided by an SCSU undergraduate research grant. Stay tuned. ■ See the team’s wiki page at: 2016.igem.org/Team:SCSU-New_Haven. 24 | Southern ALUMNI MAGAZINE

CH 3

TEAM SOUTHERN THANKS ITS SPONSORS • Biological Industries • Connecticut Innovations • dot scientific Inc. • Integrated dna technologies • new england Biolabs • sCsu office of stem Innovation and leadership • CsCu Center for nanotechnology • the Biopath Initiative • southern’s office of the dean of arts and sciences •

meet southern’s igem team: (from left) rye howard-stone, thomas hoang, Christopher Wojtas, Karalyn farr, hafssa Chbihi, Julio Badillo, zachary matto, Bryan pasqualucci, and patrick flynn. nicholas edgington, associate professor of biology, is the team’s adviser.

Helping students set their sights sky high, Associate Professor Scott Graves establishes a new scholarship — and then there are the drones.



April 2010, Scott Graves was watching news coverage of the bp Deepwater horizon oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. A geologist and oceanographer who spent his early career making maps from aerial views of the landscape, Graves began wondering: how would scientists document the spread of the spill along the coastline and into surrounding marshes? curious, he started poking around the internet. The federal government had basically shut down flights over the area, but Graves learned a small group of researchers was getting aerial shots by dangling cameras from kites and balloons. Thinking it would be great to bring the technique to Southern, Graves, associate professor in the Department of the environment, Geography, and Marine Sciences, decided to learn what he could and worked with his department to acquire a balloon and a kite. “i just started ‘MacGyvering’ camera systems together,” he recalls, referencing the 1980s TV character known for cobbling together everyday items to get out of tough situations. Then, a few years later, drones became widely available, and Graves thought: “That’s it.”

Today, Graves is a pioneer in the growing movement to use drones for environmental research and conservation — and he’s passionate about sharing that technology with Southern students. over the last year, he has donated about $10,000 worth of drones, mapping software, and other related equipment to forward the effort at Southern. he has also gifted about $70,000 to establish the osprey endowed Scholarship for environmental and Marine Studies, named for the coastal bird that flies at the same altitude as his drones. The scholarship is earmarked for undergraduate and graduate students who are conducting research with a faculty mentor through the Werth center for coastal and Marine Studies or the center for environmental literacy and Sustainability education, both research centers at Southern. Although it’s not required, the first two recipients have included drone technology as a focal point of their projects. peter broadbridge, who is pursuing a master’s degree in science education at Southern, notes that receiving the scholarship in 2015 changed his perspective on life — and possibly his career path. broadbridge, who studied the health of marshes along West haven’s cove river, worked with Graves to parlay the scholarship into a nASA-funded grant

continues on page 54

MEETING OF THE (SCIENTIFIC) MINDS the 21st gloBe annual meeting and student research exhibition/ field experience will be held at southern on July 30 – aug. 3. scott graves, associate professor, has had a long association with gloBe — the global learning and observations to Benefit the environment program. the organization connects students, teachers, scientists, and citizens from around the world and

By Natalie Missakian

invites them to conduct hands-on science. gloBe is sponsored by nasa and the national science foundation, with support from other government agencies.

Spring 2017 | 27


1 Julia Carroll • began

4 Sean Black • international

2 Raymond Catapano •

5 Zoe Szolomayer • what’s

teaching dance at age 14 • exercise science major • favorite Southern spot: the front steps of hilton c. buley library, “especially when we have great weather!” • plans to earn a master’s degree in occupational therapy • co-captain of the Dance Team favorite Southern spot: Michael J. Adanti Student center • owls quarterback • completed 102 passes for 1,490 yards and 13 touchdowns in 11 games in 2016 • sports management major

3 Katherine Krajcik •

journalism major • cochairman of the college republicans • ScSuTV • great Southern moment: being named co-captain of the Swimming and Diving Team. “My dad was also the captain when he swam at Southern.” • part of northeast-10 champion team in 2017.


student from london, england • business administration major • Soccer Team • proudest Southern moment: earning a 4.0 grade point average in his second semester • lesser-known talent: studied French and Japanese in high school • plans to work in finance

best about Southern: “The diversity, the friendly people, the sense of home.” • Dance Team • favorite campus spot: hilton c. buley library • why Southern? “The special education program and the vast difference from my hometown.” She’s from rural Marlborough, conn., home to 6,410 residents; new haven has more than 129,000.

6 Samantha Glander •

connecticut native • “i chose Southern for its education program.” • after graduation? “i hope to land a great teaching job in an elementary school close to home.” • Dance Team

7 Duneshka Vazquez • freshman pre-psychology major • Dance Team


8 Devin Lynch • Student

11 Corey Evans • senior

9 Mishele Rodriguez • part-

12 President Joe Bertolino • named

Government Association and class of 2019 executive board • Southern student phonathon caller • what’s best about Southern: “The sense of community and family — and having that wide range of opportunities to get involved and make connections. There’s truly something for everyone.” • future elementary school teacher — and eventually a school administrator time student • member of ScSu Service commission and college Democrats • a featured panelist at a campus election viewing party

10 Natasha Fitzpatrick •

hails from Tasmania, Australia • Track and Field Team, orientation ambassador, public health Society member, and student worker at Southern’s center for Adaptive Technology • made nationals in cross country and set a Southern record in the steeple chase event • plans to attend graduate school and return to Australia to work in the public health field — “or travel with my degree around the world.”



political science major • why he chose Southern: “its impressive record of contributing to its surrounding communities and serving those in need.” • president of the ScSu Service commission and Student Government Association member • what he likes best about Southern: “its vibrant, diverse community, and its dedication to social justice.”

Southern’s 12th president in July 2016 • 25 years as a social educator • author, lecturer, and teacher who presented hundreds of programs to tens of thousands of students at more than 600 colleges and conferences • more on page 12.

13 Katherine Crochet • All

American • northeast-10 Swimmer of the year in 2016 • Swimming and Diving Team cocaptain • foster care volunteer for animals in need • More on page 11.

14 Dylan Swanepoel • born

in Johannesburg, South Africa • business administration major • won events at the 2016 and 2017 northeast-10 championships • favorite campus spot: Michael J. Adanti Student center • cocaptain of the Swimming and Diving Team


• Learn more about this issue’s cover Owls.











7 6



15 Raymond Snyder IV •

exercise science major • proudest Southern moment: “The northeast-10 championships won with my team.” • won events at the 2016 and 2017 northeast-10 championships • co-captain of the Swimming and Diving Team • future plans: graduate school

16 Kayla Laydon • favorite

campus spot: hilton c. buley libray • communication disorders major • northeast-10 conference commissioner’s honor roll selection • plans to attend graduate school to study speechlanguage pathology • Swimming and Diving Team • part of the 2017 northeast-10 champion team.

17 Taylor Portelinha •

favorite campus spots: hilton c. buley library and James W. Moore Field house • northeast10 commissioner’s honor roll • lacrosse Team • plans to attend graduate school to earn a master’s degree in sports medicine

18 Carolynn Keal • lesser-

known talent: plays violin • biology and pre-secondary education major • lacrosse Team captain • favorite campus spot: the chairs outside of the new Academic Science and laboratory building • copresident of the Student-Athlete Advisory committee

19 Hannah Bodner • amazing ScSu moment: traveled to Spain with the Soccer Team in 2016 — and blogged about it • Division ii Athletics Directors Association Academic Achievement Award for grade point averages of 3.5 or higher. • captain of the Soccer Team

20 Julie Hogan • Dance Team • communication disorders major

21 John Strezo • sociology

major • why Southern? “it was a good fit academically and athletically.” • owls Football — 49 tackles in 11 games in 2016 • favorite Southern spot: James Moore Field house for everything from classes to watching a game. “it is always a positive environment.”

22 Justin Hanna • resident


adviser • Football Team • lesserknown talent: baking cheesecake • Southern high point: “The layout and beauty of campus — particularly Jess Dow Field, which is nestled by 30 the edge of campus providing a good view of West rock.” • future high school biology teacher

35 28


13 14


Team • studying exercise science

24 Bahar Musa • proudest of:

making the dean’s list every semester • member of the Muslim Student Association, commuter commission, Zeta Delta epsilon honorary service organization, and best buddies • what she enjoys most about Southern: “open mindedness on campus as well as everyone’s willingness to be involved.” • came to u.S. from Kurdistan when 3 months old • future school psychologist

25 Emily Stross • future

teacher • Field hockey Team • before Southern: national honor Society member and All-State and All-conference athlete at Avon high School in conn.

26 Natasha Prukalski •

psychology major • regularly volunteered during the fall semester at the church Street School while assisting with the hamden early learning program • Field hockey Team

27 Kya O’Donnell • before

Southern: honor roll student at cheshire high School who played on the field hockey, basketball, and lacrosse teams • Southern Field hockey Team • plans to attend graduate school to study sports psychology

28 Cole Bryant • business

administration major • co-captain of the baseball Team • pitcher • northeast-10 conference commissioner’s honor roll selection

15 16


23 Marissa Thomas • Dance

18 17

29 McNeill Finnegan •

majoring in exercise science • has five brothers and three sisters • transferred to Southern • baseball Team

30 Gregory Zullo • sport

management • career goal: to work in facility design management for a professional arena or university • baseball Team co-captain • northeast-10 conference commissioner’s honor roll selection • lesserknown talent: “an unbelievable karaoke singer at Karaoke heroes in new haven”

31 Josie Lynch • freshman

planning to major in psychology • Field hockey Team

32 Hannah LeBeau • first-year student, planning to study communication disorders • Field hockey Team • before Southern: Field hockey captain at east lyme high School and Sportsmanship Award recipient

33 Amanda Oberly • exercise

science major • favorite campus spot: Michael J. Adanti Student center • future physical education teacher • Field hockey Team • before Southern: Allconference, All-Area, and Allregion selection

34 Christopher Ramos •

sport management major • owls pitcher • northeast-10 conference commissioner’s honor roll selection

35 Kyle Hart • communication

major • baseball Team • led the owls in doubles (11) and rbis in 2016

19 20


Spring 2017 | 29

Music Man

Walter Stutzman, ’09, found his calling in music. Today, with the leadershiplevel support of the Stutzman Family Foundation, he’s dedicated to helping Southern students discover their sound. By Villia Struyk


HE IDEA CAME TO LIGHT in the midst of tragedy and terror.“I was at the World Trade Center on 9-11 when it was attacked,” says Walter Stutzman, who was working in information technology. “It was that awful day that planted the seed. What if this had been the last day of my life?” Several years of contemplation followed.“I’m not necessarily an impulsive person,” says Stutzman with a smile. But in 2005, he said goodbye to a successful 30-year career in IT to become a 50-something-year-old music major at Southern. In some ways, it was a return to his roots. Stutzman began studying piano when he was 8, and has been the cantorial and choir accompanist for Temple Beth Tikvah in Madison, Conn., for more than three decades. But his academic and career pursuits were largely directed elsewhere. Stutzman played in the band at Pomona College in California — but he majored in mathematics, then earned a graduate degree in linguistics at Yale University and ultimately launched a career in the computer science field. At Southern, music came first.“It was a phenomenal experience. The Music Department was extremely welcoming, and I learned a tremendous amount,” says Stutzman, who graduated from Southern in 2009 with a perfect 4.0 grade point average and was named one of only 12 Henry Barnard Distinguished Scholars by the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system. Today, Stutzman is at the head of the classroom, teaching both traditional and online classes as an adjunct faculty member with Southern’s Department of Music and the First Year Experience (FYE) program.

highly accomplished as a southern student, Walter stutzman is now an awardwinning adjunct faculty member dedicated to student success. students Kristen Casale, terri lane, Jaromy green, maryrose garych, and Brendan donovan are current recipients of the stutzman family foundation music scholarship.


Through his leadership, the Stutzman Family Foundation also has funded numerous initiatives that directly benefit Southern students.“It is a way to say thank you to my alma mater for all they’ve done for me,” he says of the contributions that pay tribute to his late parents, Geraldine and Jacob Stutzman, who established the family foundation to further education. At Southern, their vision has supported the creation of an electronic music laboratory, in addition to: 1) the Southern Applied Music Program, which provides free weekly voice or instrument lessons for all music majors and minors, 2) underwriting for the University Choir’s biennial performance trips abroad, 3) support for the Drum Line and, most recently, 4) the Stutzman Family Foundation Music Scholarship. The foundation’s generosity has been transformative, says Craig Hlavac, associate professor and chairman of the Department of Music.“There is no question in my mind, the department would not be operating in the manner we are without the tremendous support we’ve received from the Stutzman Family Foundation, especially considering the fiscal constraints of the state today,” he says. In addition to the many students who take music courses as electives and as liberal arts requirements, Southern has about 45 music majors and 20 music minors. They’re a hardworking group: one-third of

students majoring in music work 21 hours a week or more, according to research conducted by the department.“Couple that with a full-time academic course load, practice time, and rehearsal demands. You see why we need scholarship support,” says Hlavac. First awarded in the 2016-17 academic year, the Stutzman Family Foundation Music Scholarship answers that need, benefiting music majors with a 3.0 grade point average or higher. Five students currently receive the scholarship, which ranges from $250 to $1,000 per semester, and is renewable up to a total of eight semesters. The recipients — known as Stutzman Scholars — are selected through musical auditions and a review of their musical and academic achievements. The process is competitive but not restrictive. “We take the access part of our mission very seriously,” says Hlavac.“We can accept students who other universities might not take — not because of a lack of talent — but because they might not have the traditional background or experience of someone majoring in music.” Stutzman concurs. “We want students to become the musicians they want to be,” he says. For current Stutzman Scholar MaryRose Garych that meant studying the pipe organ and choral conducting. Homeschooled through high school, she transferred to Southern from Norwalk Community College where she earned an associate degree in 2014, graduating summa cum laude.“Attending Southern has reshaped my entire career plan,” says Garych, who began studying piano and singing in choir in her early teens. Like all music majors and minors, she was eligible to receive free lessons through the university’s Applied Music Program, funded by the Stutzman Family Foundation.“Because of the excellent music faculty and their support, I am planning to pursue a master’s degree in choral conducting — something that I would not have dreamed of three years ago,” says Garych, who is working in the field as a part-time cantor and organist. continues on page 55

A vocalist with an interest in opera, broadway, jazz, and choral music, casale helps finance her education by holding down two jobs. “The Music Department is like a big family. i have developed a relationship with each and every one of my professors. i feel comfortable and learn so much every day because of that fact.”


Meet Kristen Casale, ’18 SouthernCT.edu/video-casale

MaryRose Garych homeschooled through high school, Garych graduated summa cum laude from norwalk community college before transferring to Southern. Music drives her college experience. She’s a member of the university choir and chamber Singers, and has studied the pipe organ, choral conducting, voice, and piano. “because of the excellent music faculty and their support, i am now planning to pursue a master’s degree in choral conducting — something that i would not have dreamed of three years ago.”

Jaromy Green A transfer student from Kansas, Green says he’s primarily a singer, but also plays the piano and trumpet. “i have been studying music since i was first able to phonate,” says Green, who has both full- and part-time jobs to help pay for college. his future plans include teaching music at the high school or collegiate level.

Terri Lane lane studied classical voice as a youth. Today, she’s a blues rock performing artist, who most recently worked with harry connick Jr. She also teaches three courses at the university of new haven and is enrolled in seven classes at Southern. “i take comfort every day, even working so hard as a student. i am so proud. yes, i am losing a lot of sleep. it is aging me a bit. but i am so excited. . . . every day is a joy.”

Spring 2017 | 31

It Takes a

members of the Care team, (from left) Jeannette Ickovics, Care founder; alycia santilli, Care director; and sandra Bulmer, dean of the school of health and human services, have joined forces to better serve new haven.


The New Haven community, Yale School of Public Health, and now Southern have joined forces through the Community Alliance for Research and Engagement (CARE) — a partnership designed to improve the health of residents in the city’s lowest-income neighborhoods.

Village Never underestimate the power of a well-thoughtout partnership. The Community Alliance for Research and Engagement, aptly known by the acronym CARE, is a telling example. Founded at the Yale School of Public Health in 2007, CARE is committed to improving the health of residents in New Haven’s lowest-income neighborhoods — which, like many urban centers, are plagued by a host of chronic diseases, including obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and asthma. CARE works to find solutions to these and other health challenges, using community-based research and projects that focus on social, environmental, and behavioral risk factors. In step with conducting highly regarded research, CARE has led initiatives to create community and school gardens, mark miles of urban trails, screen hundreds of families for foodassistance programs, and much more. Enter Southern Connecticut State University, which is partnering with CARE to enhance its ongoing efforts to support the community. During the next three years, CARE will transition from Yale to SCSU’s campus — with SCSU becoming responsible for CARE’s community engagement work. Yale will continue to manage and finance CARE’s

research agenda while gradually shifting that work to Southern. “This partnership with SCSU represents a powerful next step in the evolution of CARE by engaging with a local state university to drive deeper change into our neighborhoods,” says CARE founder Jeannette Ickovics.“This is an opportunity of mutual benefit: a way to extend CARE’s work in New Haven, provide continuity and new energy to the work, and provide a platform to launch a center at Southern.” The new SCSU Center for Community Engagement will help foster student service learning, advance community-engaged scholarship, and benefit CARE’s community partners, says Sandy Bulmer, dean of SCSU’s School of Health and Human Services. With Alycia Santilli as director and Ickovics serving in an advisory capacity, CARE has already begun transitioning to Southern. Southern is uniquely suited for the role, its School of Health and Human Services combining seven disciplines under a single umbrella — communication disorders; exercise science; marriage and family therapy; nursing; public health; social work; and recreation, tourism, and sport management. As a

result, academic opportunities are highly interdisciplinary and students are active in the community through numerous internship opportunitities while earning their degrees. “SCSU’s students and faculty are tremendous assets that will bring CARE expanded opportunities in communitybased research, programming, and policy change — leading to further improvement in the health of New Haven residents,” says Bulmer. During the transitional period, Yale’s School of Public Health will remain the central hub of CARE’s research, with a focus on data analysis from its New Haven Public Schools and neighborhood health surveys, according to Santilli, who has been with CARE since 2007. In September she joined Southern as a special appointment faculty member in the Department of Public Health. “I am excited about the capacity and resources that this expanded partnership can bring to the Southern campus community and the greater New Haven area,” says Santilli.“As I become familiar with Southern, two things stand out: the drive to best serve students and the commitment to social justice. These are simultaneously familiar and fresh perspectives from which CARE can begin to refine our focus on improving health in the New Haven community.” ■ Spring 2017 | 33

By Natalie Missakian the first full-time health director in Westbrook, Conn., in more than a decade, Sonia Marino, ’09, M.P.H. ’14, is working to develop a community health plan that could touch on everything from opiate dependency and emergency preparedness to outdoor activities for children. “Public health is my passion,” says Marino, who took the job in January 2015, replacing a part-time director.“It’s not just about wells and septic and food. It’s so much more.” Marino envisions a forward-looking health department for her town, with public education and prevention programs, and social media campaigns tailored to the community’s needs. She credits Southern, where she earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in public health, for shaping her comprehensive approach and for providing the broad background she needs to deal with the numerous issues that come across her desk, from landlord-tenant conflicts to restaurant inspections. 34 | Southern ALUMNI MAGAZINE

When it comes to keeping communities safe and healthy, graduates of Southern’s public health programs are leading the charge as area health directors.

“The professors are great,” says Marino.“I had a wonderful relationship with all of them.” Marino is one of about 20 Southern alumni now serving as health directors across Connecticut’s 74 local health agencies. Many more hold jobs as deputy directors and sanitarians — the latter, a public health worker with knowledge of environmental and public health issues such as food protection, water quality, product safety, and more. Peggy Gallup, professor of public health and coordinator of the undergraduate program, says she was contacting

Connecticut health directors for a project recently and was struck by how many she recognized as former students. Professor of Public Health William Faraclas says producing graduates who would lead local health efforts in the state was a dream of founders who launched the program in 1980. “We dreamed big and our dream came true,” says Faraclas, who chaired the department for 33 years. Southern’s was one of the first undergraduate public health programs in the United States when it began, Faraclas says, and it continues to serve as a national

as director of the Westbrook health department in Connecticut, sonia marino, ’09, oversees public health for more than 6,900 residents.

model. The Master of Public Health program — state law requires local health directors to have the degree — was added at Southern in 1990. While many graduates work in hospitals or non-governmental organizations, Southern graduates are particularly suited for jobs in local health departments because of the program’s strong focus on community-based aspects of public health. Meanwhile, hands-on programs, such as the popular two-week field study trip to Guatemala, foster the resilience and “rollup-your-sleeves” attitude needed for jobs in public service. 35 | Southern ALUMNI MAGAZINE

Students must also complete an internship that takes them to the front lines of public health practice, says Faraclas. It was an internship during his senior year at Southern that launched Robert Rubbo’s career with the Torrington Area Health District in 1996. Two decades later, he is running the place. After graduation, Rubbo, ’96, M.P.H. ’02, was offered a position as a sanitarian trainee and worked his way up, becoming a sanitarian, deputy director and, in 2013, the director. Comparing notes with colleagues who attended other schools, Rubbo says he real-

izes how much Southern stands out in terms of quality. “I really feel like they have one of the more challenging M.P.H. programs out there,” Rubbo says. Gallup notes Southern’s relationship with local health departments is reciprocal. Health directors often email her if they are looking for interns or resources for projects. One graduate student worked with a health department to survey pediatricians about their lead-screening practices for young children; another created a brochure on healthy homes and household environmental hazards. In Westbrook, Marino says Southern students have helped her conduct a community health assessment in town. Maura Esposito, ’90, M.P.H. ’11, director of the Chesprocott Health District, which covers the towns of Cheshire, Prospect, and Wolcott, says she recently had several Southern students working for her as interns, and would love to work with more. “I take Southern interns all the time because I know the program, and I know the quality of work that is expected,” Esposito says. In return, she gives them plenty of opportunities to work in the trenches. “Anybody who comes through my department should be able to get a really good job,” she says. ■ Spring 2017 | 35

Beauty ING ND I F

She’s a model, fashion editor, and future business owner who’s committed to making a difference in the community. Meet everfashionable graduate student Meesha Ann Daley. By Villia Struyk



eesha ann daley has alWays found Joy In fashIon. “I was born into it,” says the

Jamaican native who’s enrolled in Southern’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) program.“My uncle is a tailor. Growing up, I was constantly in his sewing room, going through his scrap box for fabric to make doll clothes.” Modeling and pageants held allure as well. A passageway in the family’s home became an impromptu runway for the young Daley, who practiced walking with books balanced on her head. She also spent hours happily watching pageants with her mother — “a petite, gorgeous woman,” she says. “The expectation was for me to be a contestant someday. Unfortunately, I was not the size you are ‘supposed to be’ in these competitions,” she says with a smile. Growing up, Daley unsuccessfully tried a slew of diets. “At home I was a social butterfly. I felt beautiful, loved, and supported. At school I was the reserved child in the corner. I was teased constantly about my weight,” she says. Shying away from social gatherings, Daley focused on her school work — and teachers gradually noticed the quiet girl in the back of the room who received top marks.“For some kids, it’s soccer. For me, it was school work. I found my strength. Then came the revolution,” says Daley. She became a peer counselor and the prefect of her class, and went on to graduate valedictorian of Pembroke Hall High School in Kingston, completing her studies at the age of 15. After furthering her education at a second high school, she was accepted at the University of Technology (UTech) in Jamaica.“It’s famous in the U.S. for our athletes — Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell,” says Daley. At UTech, she majored in accounting and minored in banking and financial services. For the first time, Daley also was free to choose her school clothes, a significant turning point for the fashion-focused young woman.“Jamaica has a very strict school system. We wore uniforms. My uncle made every single one, from the time I was 2 years old to 18.”

When Daley signed on to a program that permitted students to work in the U.S. during the summer, her uncle made her work clothes as well. Staying with extended family in New York City from May to August, she held a variety of jobs, often simultaneously. She worked as a junior auditor at a law firm, babysat, and took shifts at McDonald’s and Old Navy. Then it was back to UTech to finish up to eight classes a semester. After receiving her undergraduate degree, Daley moved to the U.S. permanently, with a five-year plan that included starting a business and earning a graduate degree. When an early attempt to run an online clothing store was unsuccessful, she put that dream on hold and decided to earn a master’s degree. At Southern’s graduate open house, she met Samuel K. Andoh, now dean of the School of Business. “He helped me throughout the whole process, even though a person at his level could easily have passed me on to an assistant,” says Daley.“Others say the same. He really cares.” A modeling career also has become a reality for Daley, who entered her first modeling competition — Full Figured Fierce — after being inspired by the organization’s message of “empowerment, self-love, and positive body image.” She won the online competition and has gone on to additional modeling work, most recently gracing the cover of the September issue of Queen Size Magazine. The photo shoot, which focused on “clothes college students need in their closets,” took place on Southern’s campus at Daley’s suggestion. After modeling for the publication several times, she was asked to serve as its fashion editor. continues on page 55

Spring 2017 | 37

supportIng southern ■


Who Gave & How it Helps sCsu undergraduates received

financial aid in 2015-16

sCsu undergraduates received a federal


Pell Grant in 2015-16, awarded to



students with the greatest need

more donors gave in


4,123 donors

the increase in the percentage of students who completed the new online sCsu foundation scholarships application in

ni staff alum faculty/ sCsu rations o Corp ations d ts, foun s, paren d frien tudents s and


comparison to last year

Students need your support $100 • tuItIon 1960s

$10,054 • tuItIon today,


a comparative value but still a challenge for students

Philanthropic Support

SCSU Foundation’s Net Assets Donor Support of University Programs

Scholarship Support $ $ 5 • small 2.2 m est gift illion • larg est g ift*

SCSU Foundation Endowment $ 29.4 $ 27.3 $

7 7127,0 1,0 00 00 • 2 • 0


$1,392,000 • 2016 $ 816,000 • 2015

2016 • n millio n • 2015 millio

20 16 15

$ $ 16.69 m 14.43 illion • 20 m il l io n • 2 16 015

Gifts — Large and Small

$4.4 million • 2016 $2.3 million • 2015

*Amount reflects the 2016 and 2017 fiscal years. Southern’s fiscal year begins July 1.

Visit SouthernCT.edu/giving

• Call (203) 392-6900 Spring 2017 | 39

Healing Voyage

Since 1978, the global charity Mercy Ships has served as a floating hospital, bringing medical care to developing nations around the world. Having volunteered twice with the organization, Kirsten Murphy, ’12, reflects on her life-changing journeys.

©Mercy ShipS/ruben ploMp

By Natalie Missakian

©Mercy ShipS/creDiT: Deb louDen

HE 11-YEAR-OLD GIRL ARRIVED WITH A large tumor covering the front of her scalp and drooping over her right eye — and like many new patients on board the Africa Mercy, she was withdrawn and nonverbal. Volunteer nurse Kirsten Murphy, ’12, was responsible for changing her dressing after surgeons removed the mass. But while Murphy tried to make a connection, the girl, Angeline, never spoke, not even through translators. “She hung her head and rarely made eye contact . . . avoided everyone’s gaze, even

NURSING PROGRAM TOPS southern’s nursing program is ranked among the top 10 percent in the country, according to nursingschoolsalmanac.com, a prominent online resource for prospective nursing students. the site lauded southern for its 90-percent pass rate on the national Council licensure examination (nClex), the test a nurse must pass to attain a license. the guide also notes that since 2010, students in the university’s accelerated Career entry (aCe) program earned a pass rate of between 93 and 100 percent. aCe is geared toward students who are interested in making a career change into the nursing field. most recently, the firsttime pass rate of southern’s aCe graduates was 100 percent. and there’s more good news: the nursing department celebrated a 100 percent first time pass rate on the family nurse practitioner credential-

after surgery,” says Murphy. Determined to reach the young patient, she tried to put herself in the girl’s shoes. “It hit me — what she must have gone through as a child, the pointing and the bullying,” says Murphy. So she decided to greet the girl with a daily affirmation: “Jesus loves you, Jesus thinks you’re beautiful, and I think you’re beautiful too.” Day after day, Murphy repeated those words to no response. Until one day,“she gave me this little grin,” Murphy says. 42 | Southern ALUMNI MAGAZINE

©Mercy ShipS/creDiT: Deb louDen

ing examination. more at: southernCt.edu/nursing.

volunteer nurse Kirsten murphy, ’12, cares for tafitasoa on the africa mercy in madagascar. • the world’s largest private hospital ship, the africa mercy has five state-of-the-art operating rooms and ward bed space for 80 patients. • murphy (top row) and two other volunteers visit with a young orthopedic patient on deck.


“When I finally saw pictures of her looking straight into the camera with a smile on her face, it brought me to tears.” For Murphy, patients like Angeline are the ultimate inspiration, prompting her to return to Africa in fall 2016 for a second trip with Mercy Ships, a faith-based organization that brings health care to the world’s poorest nations. More than 1,600 volunteer with the group annually — with about 400 of those aboard the Africa Mercy at any given time. In March 2016, Murphy, a registered nurse from Bristol, Conn., finished her first seven-month assignment on the ship, helping provide critically needed medical care for patients unable to pay for treatment. Her responsibilities included working with plastic surgeons to repair life-altering facial tumors and burns. She also assisted in the obstetrics unit, treating women with severe childbirth-related injuries.

©Mercy ShipS/ruben ploMp


Murphy discovered Mercy Ships while researching college options in high school and credits Southern’s rigorous nursing program with making her dream of volunteering with the organization a reality. After earning a bachelor’s degree in nursing at Southern, she spent three years working in hospitals in New Britain and Hartford before applying to the organization in early 2015. By August, she was on a plane headed for Tamatave, Madagascar. “It’s not only medical professionals. It’s basically a small city,” she says of the 16,572-ton ship, which housed 400 volunteers from 40 countries. Living conditions are comfortable, she says, with air conditioning, Wi-Fi, and even a Starbucks on board. continues on page 55

ouring a state-of-the-art hospital in rural Armenia, cheryl resha, associate professor of nursing, was struck by the guide’s frustration. “he was showing us a wonderful facility with state-of-the-art equipment,” says resha. “‘but we still have a limited health care system,’ he told us.” Such challenges are the driving force behind Southern’s exploratory outreach efforts in Armenia, a former Soviet republic bordering Georgia, Azerbaijan, iran, and Turkey. Since declaring independence on Sept. 21, 1991, Armenia has confronted numerous obstacles in its quest to strengthen public infrastructures — including the lasting effects of a massive earthquake in 1988 that killed 25,000 people and left 500,000 homeless. Aided by a grant from the richard Davoud Donchian Foundation, a delegation of Southern faculty and staff traveled to the country in 2015. Their goal: to explore ways to help Armenia enhance its health care system. The trip was successful. in addition to delivering the keynote address at the country’s fourth international Medical conference, Mary A. papazian, former university president, met with key leaders, including Armenian president Serzh A. Sargsyan. There were grassroots gains as well. About 200 Armenian nurses attended a presentation by resha and Southern colleague Antoinette Towle, assistant professor of nursing. The two returned to the country in 2016 along with other international stakeholders for the release of a study on the status of nursing in Armenia, conducted by the university of pennsylvania and the American university of Armenia. Today, Southern is exploring future collaborations. “it’s a focus that we would like to pursue,” says Sandra bulmer, dean of the School of health and human Services, noting that a preliminary meeting was held with the children of Armenia Fund. The nonprofit organization is committed to reducing rural poverty through education, healthcare, and community and economic development. Ties also have been strengthened with the American university of Armenia, where faculty from Southern’s School of health and human Services have been invited to teach intensive, three-week courses. “it’s an exceptional faculty development opportunity and has furthered scholarship — and the students at American university of Armenia benefit by sharing the classroom with our outstanding professors,” says bulmer. Among them is Joan Kreiger, coordinator of Southern’s respiratory care program. in March 2016, she traveled to Armenia to teach a course on health care management with cynthia o’Sullivan, associate professor of nursing. “i was most inspired by the level of commitment of the students and their pride in their country and heritage,” says Kreiger. “They have limited resources that cut across multiple areas — education, human resources, infrastructure — but they remain very forward thinking and are truly committed to providing the best possible care for their people.” research will play a key role. in Sept. 2016, Mark Mcriley, M.p.h. ’12, was invited to Armenia to teach a course on qualitative research methods. (Mcriley is completing a doctoral program in public health in england as part of a trans-Atlantic partnership between Southern and liverpool John Moores university.) in Armenia, his research focused on smoking. he and his students investigated the perceptions and experiences of people in smoking cessation programs in the capital city of yerevan. Among their findings — most adults in the study don’t understand smoking is related to lung cancer, stroke, and heart disease. The research is slated to be published alongside a larger, complementary study of cigarette smoking in Armenia. “The opportunity to teach in Armenia was rewarding,” says Mcriley, commenting in the Department of public health newsletter. “but the best part was getting to share in the students’ accomplishments to further Armenia public health research. Their goal is to one day participate in implementing wide spread health benefits, but to receive recognition this early in their careers was beyond our wildest expectations.” by Villia Struyk Spring 2017 | 43


e Owl Family Day

A Numbers Game 1

homecoming theme: “game on.” the parade of floats reflected students’ favorites, from pacman and pokeman to “neffopoly” and, of course, football.

36 –13:

the final score of the homecoming football game. victory went to the owls!

more than 700

celebrated under the alumni tent, a new record.


hamburgers and hot dogs were served at the tent party, along with gallons of chili and other tailgate favorites.

about 80

ran, walked, and rolled their way through campus for the 5K robert Corda road race and Kids 1K fun run.



new home for southern graduates. the alumni house, located on farnham avenue, was dedicated by president Joe Bertolino and Christopher Borajkiewicz, ’98. see page 48.



homecoming photos on facebook. Check them out at facebook.com/southernCt.

members of the class had even more to celebrate — their 50th reunion!


spontaneous dance party broke out at the end of the robert Corda road race.


the year lightning from hurricane sandy hit a giant oak on campus. Wood from the felled tree was used by Benjamin Komola, ’11, to build a pedestal for a bronze owl by Jules moigniez displayed in the new alumni house and dedicated at homecoming. the sculpture was donated by John Caceci, ’80, and restored by anthony Bonadies, ’58, professor emeritus of art.

Spring 2017 | 45

hIdden Campus ■

sInCe 2012, southern has Been part of the neW haven urBan oasIs partnershIp — a citywide

effort to create inviting habitats for bees, birds, and other pollinators. the program was launched by audubon Connecticut to combat the declining population of many pollinators, a drop blamed on numerous factors, including deforestation, mites, pesticides, and climate change. at southern, students have welcomed pollinators by planting a science garden near the academic science and laboratory Building and by revitalizing the area around Beaver pond. this and similar initiatives prompted the princeton review to include the university in its guide to green Colleges for three years running. “Bees are critically important to ecosystem health because of their pollination services,” says suzanne huminski, sustainability coordinator at the university. In north america, honeybees enable production of at least 90 commercially grown crops. on the global level, 87 of the leading 115 food crops are dependent on animal pollinators, contributing 35 percent of worldwide food production. for more, InCludIng photos of southern’s urBan oasIs, go to:



alumnI neWs ■

dear felloW alumnI,

It is a very exciting time to be engaged in the life of our alma mater, and I am honored to serve as the president of our alumni association. I admire the dedication of the many alumni volunteers whose hard work provides such important support to the southern community. you appreciate all southern has done for you, and now — in overwhelming numbers — you are supporting the university and its students in many ways — contributing to scholarship and other funds; sharing career and professional expertise; creating internships; and more. thank you. since joining the university in august, president Joe Bertolino has been sharing southern’s message in the community — highlighting the university as a premier institution of higher education.  the university master plan and president Joe’s vision encompass many facets — enhancing our exceptional academic programs, focusing on the community, and becoming a leader in social justice. as alumni, we will play a critical role in helping to achieve these goals. new buildings, new and enhanced academic programs, and new services designed to provide students with a first-rate education — all require new funding at a time when public allocations have fallen to a historic low. more important, I believe, will be the support that you and I can lend by telling our stories. If we share — often and proudly — how southern helped us achieve our goals, we will build support for the university that cannot fail to attract highly motivated students and a wider community that, in turn, will help to support them. If you are not currently a member of the alumni association, please join or renew your membership by contributing to the annual giving Campaign currently in progress. a gift of $25 or more entitles you to membership in the southern alumni association — $10 or more if you have graduated in the last five years. the alumni association is working with the office of alumni relations to offer a growing number of networks and events across Connecticut and across the country. future events are listed at southernCt.edu/alumni/upcoming-events. We hope you will attend, bring classmates from your years at sCsu, and help define ways that the alumni association can help southern continue to provide the high-quality education students deserve. finally, if you have not been back to campus in a while, you will be amazed by southern’s growth. visit our new alumni house at 131

sCsu alumnI assoCIatIon Board of dIreCtors

Christopher M. Borajkiewicz, ’98, President Robert Felder, ’08, Vice President Robert Lockery, ’95, Treasurer Judit Vasmatics Paolini, ’73, MS, ’79, 6th Yr. ’93, Secretary Phoebe Donehoo Browning, ’04, M.B.A. ’05 Teresa Cherry-Cruz, M.S. ’86, 6th Yr. ’06 Kathy Coyle, ’74, M.S. ’78, 6th Yr. ’81 Aba Hayford, ’10 Angela Hudson-Davis, ’88, M.P.H. ’97 Yvonne Klancko, ’70, M.S. ’74, 6th Yr. ’94 Benjamin Komola, ’11 Dorothy J. Martino, ’54, M.S. ’69 (Board Member Emerita) Patricia Miller, ’69, M.S. ’75, 6th Yr. ’81 (Board Member Emerita) Christopher Piscitelli, ’93 Guy Tommasi, ’79 Carolyn Vanacore, ’52, M.S. ’68, 6th Yr. ’73 (Board Member Emerita) Brian West, ’80 Southern Connecticut State University Office of Alumni Relations 501 Crescent Street New Haven, CT 06515-1355 (203) 392-6500 Michelle R. Johnston, Director JohnstonM2@SouthernCT.edu

farnham avenue. It is a beautiful space for alumni to gather and a source of pride for all of us. Best wishes,

Chris Borajkiewicz, ’98

Spring 2017 | 47

alumnI neWs ■

S ■

Welcome to the new alumni house OUTHERN HAS ITS FIRSTEVER ALUMNI HOUSE

a welcoming new gathering

spot for graduates. The recently renovated home is located on campus at 131 Farnham Ave., in what was previously the Admissions house. The latter has been relocated to the Wintergreen building to create a one-stop Student enrollment Services area. The new Alumni house was fittingly dedicated at homecoming on oct. 29, with president Joe


bertolino and christopher

that was hit by lightning on campus

borajkiewicz, ’98, president of the

during hurricane Sandy.

Alumni Association, performing the honors at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Stop by to visit the dedicated Alumni relations team, who bring

Adding to the festivities, a bronze owl

more than three decades of combined

by celebrated artist Jules Moigniez,

experience to Southern: Michelle

also was dedicated. A true reflection

rocheford Johnston, director of

of owl spirit in action, the sculpture

alumni relations; Doreen cammarata-

was donated by John caceci, ’80, and

Gilhuly, ’89, assistant director of

restored by Anthony bonadies, ‘58,

alumni relations; charlie Davison, sec-

professor emeritus of art. it’s

retary; and the newest team member,

displayed on a pedestal built by

Deborah cedar Vincent, ’82, alumni

benjamin Komola, ‘11, from a tree

network coordinator.

“I want to learn as much as I can about new haven and how we can better partner with the city and improve the lives of its residents,” said president Joe Bertolino at a gathering of alumni from the Westville neighborhood of new haven. the event was held at lyric hall.

alumni networks: Coming to your neighborhood!



with each other and their alma mater. in

connecticut, local networks have been established in new haven, hartford, Fairfield, litchfield, and new london counties. numerous regional networks also are being organized throughout the country, including those serving

Atlanta, boston, chicago, new york, philadelphia, and Washington, D.c. in addition, several employer-specific groups have been organized, including a Southern Alumni network for employees of yale-new haven hospital and yale university, and a group for employees of eSpn. The latter is slated to meet on April 26, 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. at the Wood - n – Tap in Southington, conn. For more information, contact Michelle Johnston at JohnstonM2@SoutherncT.edu or (203) 392-6500; Deborah Vincent, ’82, alumni network coordinator, at VincentD1000@SoutherncT.edu or (203) 927-8473; or use the alumni network contacts below. Boston alumni network

rob simpson, ’83


new york City alumni network

aba hayford, ’10


Washington, d.C alumni network

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

Jamie.alvaradotaylor@gmail.com sranel03@gmail.com

new haven area alumni network

deborah vincent, ’82


Boca raton, florida area network

harry howell, ’68


new london/southern rhode Island network

deborah vincent, ’82


philadelphia network

deborah vincent, ’82


Spring 2017 | 49

alumnI notes ■

reunion news

will be recognized in honor of its 50th reunion at the undergraduate commencement ceremony on May 19, 2017. For more information or if you would like to organize a reunion for your class, please contact the office of Alumni relations at (203) 392-6500. the Class of 1967


louIs anastasIo Jr., ’62, M.S. ’67,

was inducted into the East Haven High School Alumni Association Hall of Fame for his accomplishments as a swimmer and swim coach, and decades of community service. Anastasio taught for 34 years, primarily at East Haven High.


patrICK d. spInola, M.S. ’70, was

honored by the Norwalk High School Alumni Association. He is a 1957 graduate of the school, where he went on to serve as a physical education instructor, soccer and swim coach, and faculty manager of boys athletics. fred r. “BoB” BruCh, ’73, M.S. ’78,

6th Yr. ’83, is secretary of the Clinton Cemetery Association, which oversees the care of two centuries-old cemeteries. A retired teacher with almost 40 years of experience, he is an active volunteer with many organizations, including Clinton’s Historic District Commission, as reported by the Harbor News. gary Cole, ’73, was inducted into the

SUNY (State University of New York) Delhi Athletic Hall of Fame in 2016.

High School at its spring brawl fundraiser. Carolyn dorsey vanaCore, ’52, M.S. ’68, 6th Yr. ’73, a division director emeritus of health, physical education, recreation, and safety at Southern, also was honored as a celebrity coach. roy J. nIrsChel, ’74, is the founding

president of the American University in Vietnam, a privately funded, nonprofit U.S.-style university based in the city of Da Nang. Nirschel has 35 years of experience in higher education, having served as president of Roger Williams and Newbury College and as vice president of the University of Miami and the University of Pittsburgh. He has worked in Vietnam since 2010. Wendy shImKoWItz sChWartz,

’74, has retired after 38 years of teaching French in South Windsor, Conn. Jay frIedman, ’75, was inducted into

the Norwich Sports Hall of Fame and lives in Bozrah, Conn. franCIne aloIsa, M.L.S. ’76, the

director of Somers Public Library, is retiring after 21 years. She lives in Enfield, Conn. Jerome Brennan, ’76, has been

named chief financial and administrative officer of Kuhn Employment Opportunities. He lives in Cheshire, Conn.

pattI turCzany, ’77, spoke on the

topic of joint health at the VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital’s Rehabilitation and Exercise Therapy Center. She lives in Clarksville, Va. ChrIs polasKoWsKI, ’78, was

inducted into the Joel Barlow High School Athletics Hall of Fame in Redding, Conn. As a Southern student, he broke the record in the high jump and was named an AllEast selection in his senior year. He has taught physical education at Essex Middle School in Essex Junction, Vt., for 38 years. In 2000 he was inducted as a coach into the New England Weightlifting Hall of Fame. susan m. sauCIer, ’78, has retired

after 36 years with Southington Youth Services in Connecticut. She lives in Southington. davId ulmer, ’78, was promoted to

the position of chief technology officer with Tribune Media. deatrICe napper, M.S. ’79, 6th Yr.

’90, was named the National Substitute Teacher of the Year for 2015-16 by Kelly Educational Staffing. She is a substitute teacher at East Hartford Middle School. John Walter, ’79, is the chief execu-

tive officer and president of Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy, a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding new ways to treat cancer. Walter is the former chief executive officer of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.


steve dICKson, ’80, was appointed

director of sales at Flux Power Holdings, a developer of advanced lithium batteries for industrial applications. He lives in Bergenfield, N.J.

102 Birthday Candles


aving celebrated her 102nd birthday, Sophie Barron Bialeck, ’34, reflects back on her life’s journey in an article written by Charlie Davison, secretary of alumni relations, who interviewed the alumna on her family life, civic involvement, and career. Read the story on the Office of Alumni Relations home page at SouthernCT.edu/alumni/news.html.

He has had a 26-year career as a coach and athletics director, and lives in Ocean City, Md. tony fusCo, ’73, M.S. ’04, is president

and the past president of the Connecticut Poetry Society and the former editor of Caduceus, an anthology of the Yale Medical Group Art Place. KevIn gIlBrIde, ’74, whose coaching

resume includes the New York Giants and other NFL teams, was honored as a celebrity coach by North Haven 50 | Southern ALUMNI MAGAZINE

Judy dInKle, ’76, was honored as the

“Citizen of the Year” in Moraga, Calif. roBert d. parKer, ’76, was reap-

pointed to the Cultural Affairs Commission by the New Haven Board of Alders. Walter leWandosKI, ’77, was

named Elementary Art Teacher of the Year by the Connecticut Art Education Association. He lives in Wolcott, Conn., and has been teaching for eight years in Bristol, Conn.

ColIn lavalette, ’80, retired after a

36-year career teaching photography at Lyman Hall High School with Wallingford Public Schools. He now teaches at the school part-time. steve Celmer, ’81, was inducted into

the North Haven Sports Hall of Fame. He lives in Wallingford, Conn. edWard CrIsafI, ’81, M.S. ’95, was

inducted into the East Haven Alumni Association Hall of Fame. He is a 1970 graduate of the school.

erIC dupee, ’83, is the minister of

Christian formation at the Congregational Church in New Canaan. He has 18 years of ministerial experience. rIChard salerno, ’83, is executive

vice president of TVEyes in Fairfield, Conn. The company provides online, real-time search and indexing for television and radio broadcasts. John B. (JaCK) zIBluK, ’83, M.S. ’84,

was named the Luther Masingill Professor and head of the Department of Communication at the University of TennesseeChattanooga. nanCy Cappello, 6th Yr. ’84, is the

founding director of “Are You Dense” and a related advocacy group, dedicated to educating the public about the risks and screening challenges of dense breast tissue. She was recognized by the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame as a Women’s Wellness Honoree. roBert d. Boudreau, ’85, is presi-

dent of the Connecticut Society of Certified Accountants for 2016-17. He lives in Clinton, Conn. valerIe hotChKIss, M.L.S. ’85, was

named university librarian for Vanderbilt University and will serve as executive administrator of the Jean and Alexander Heard Library, with responsibility for nine divisional libraries. george perez Jr, ’85, received his

M.F.A. from UMass Dartmouth and is a professor of furniture design at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia. norman forrester, ’86, has been

appointed to the Board of New Haven Parking Authority. marty durKIn, ’87, a basketball

coach at the Church of St. Patrick’s gymnasium, hosted a basketball skills camp in Armonk, N.Y. roBert madore, ’87, is the executive

vice president and chief financial officer of American Eagle Outfitters. Prior to this appointment, he was the chief financial officer at the Ralph Lauren Corporation. He lives in Ridgefield, Conn. deB solfaro, ’87, was named direc-

tor of athletics, intramurals, and recreation at Penn State Abingdon. Previously, she was director of athletics at Mansfield University, an NCAA Division II program in northern Pennsylvania. BarBara Costello, ’88, is the local

coordinator of Special Olympics Cheshire in Connecticut. Previously, she was employed by Institute of Living for eight years. Joseph mCneIl, ’88, is the chief of

police of Stratford, Conn., and lives in Shelton, Conn.

althea norCott, 6th Yr. ’89, has

been appointed to the Cultural Affairs Commission in New Haven by the Board of Alders. lynn zaffIno, ’89, M.L.S. ’10, is the

director of the Easton Public Library. She lives in West Haven, Conn.

Award from her alma mater, Bethany College in West Virginia. She is a program manager with the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, where she has worked for 28 years. samantha gonzalez, ’93, of South

Windsor, was named director of the

Agency in Atlanta. An avid traveler who’s been to more than 40 countries, he was recently featured on the website, JohnnyJet.com which includes advice from travelers. The interview is at johnnyjet.com/travelstyle-roland-alonzi. Jon t. romeo, 6th Yr. ’97, was named

principal of Gainfield Elementary School in the Middlebury-Southbury school district. He lives in Cheshire, Conn.


Joshua smIth, ’97, M.S. ’04, was

appointed superintendent of schools in New Milford, Conn., after being named to the position on an interim basis. Joy Bush, M.S. ’98, who retired from

the position of university photographer at Southern in 2007, participated in a three-woman photography exhibit in Hamden, entitled, “Mother(ing) and Child.” anthony sagnella, M.S. ’98, a

physical education teacher and the head coach of North Haven High School, participated in their football program’s 12th annual Spring Brawl Fundraiser. franCo BIanCamano, ’99, is the

was a trip down memory lane for Katie and Tim Dennett, ’08, who met in Hickerson Hall in 2004 and married in 2011. The couple visited campus with their twin girls, Avery and Hannah.


Do you have a great shot of your spirited owlet(s)? Please email your highresolution photo to StruykV1@SouthernCT.edu. Include names, graduation year(s), and any other news. Thank you!


sCott CoChran, ’90, M.S.W. ’99, was

named the director of the Madison Youth and Family Services Clinical Department, which includes the Outpatient Clinic, Student Assistance Counseling, and Parent Support Counseling programs. Bryan hesse, ’90, is the vice president of

marketing for Cooper Tire and Rubber Company’s North America operations. Previously, he served as vice president of residential marketing at Armstrong World Industries, a manufacturer of flooring and ceiling solutions. roB manzo, ’91, is the president of

the Max Sinoway Little League. He lives in North Haven, Conn. Brenda mCKInley, M.L.S. ’92, is

director of the Ridgefield Library. She lives in Newtown, Conn. dayna r. snell, M.S.W. ’92, received

an Alumni Community Service

Liberal Arts Academic Division at Manchester Community College in Connecticut. John gonsKI, ’94, was named to the

Housatonic Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors. He is the market manager, vice president of sales, of People’s United Bank. He lives in Newtown, Conn. Jeffrey KItChIng, M.S. ’95, 6th Yr.

’99, was named executive director of Education Connection in Litchfield, Conn. Previously, he was the superintendent of schools in Plainville. WIllIam s. tesBIr, M.S. ’95, is the

administrator of special education at New Canaan High School. He has served the school district as a member of the special education staff since 1994. trIsha turner, M.S. ’95, is chair-

woman of the Ontario County Women’s Republicans Club in New York. roland alonzI, ’96, is a senior

account director at the Dalton

co-founder of Ghosticks, a mobile phone case with a patented suction cup designed to stick to many surfaces. He serves as operations manager, product designer, web developer, and in marketing. He lives in East Northport, N.Y. donald WalKer, M.B.A. ’99, a

faculty member in Southern’s School of Business, has been appointed to the Board of Police Commissioners.


trudI durrell, 6th Yr. ’00, was

appointed assistant principal at the Hamilton Avenue School, as published in the Greenwich-Post. James W. KoBIeroWsKI, M.B.A. ’00,

is a Realtor with Carolina One and lives in the Charleston area. mIChelle WIttKo, ’00, M.S. ’07, is an

elementary teacher and reading specialist in Danbury and darren WIttKo, ’00, M.S. ’07, is a media specialist at Broadview Middle School. They live in Danbury, Conn. John ChampIon, M.S. ’02, has been

appointed to the Board of Directors of the New Haven Solid Waste and Recycling Authority. anne mCKernan, 6th Yr. ’02, is the

director of secondary education for West Hartford Public Schools. She is the former director of Leadership Development for the Connecticut State Department of Education’s Talent Office.

negyat sheWaye, ’02, and wife, Gabi

Merayo, are owners of the organic coffee shop B-Natural and have launched an online snack subscription business. They live in Hamden, Conn. JennIfer naughton BasCh, M.S. ’03, and nIKa WIllIams-arBelo,

M.S. ’03, are cofounders of Connecto-Talk, a private practice in the speech, occupational, and applied behavior analysis therapy fields. The company has Connecticut offices in Wilton, Stamford, and Madison, and recently opened a fourth office in Pikesville, Md. loIs hIller, M.L.S. ’03, is the director

of West Falmouth Library in Hyannis, Mass. dereK muharem, M.S. ’03, 6th Yr.

’05, is the principal of Long River Middle School in Prospect, Conn. Kateema rIettIe, ’03, won her

seventh Jamaican National Championship in the javelin in July. She is a Bridgeport police officer and an instructor at the Bridgeport Police Training Academy. erIK m. Clemons, ’04, was appointed

to the Connecticut State Board of Education by Governor Dannel P. Malloy. Clemons is the founding chief executive officer and president of the Connecticut Center for Arts and Technology. He lives in New Haven, Conn. gerI dIorIo, M.L.S. ’04, is the assis-

tant director of the Stratford Library in Connecticut. Carlos reyes-CouvertIer, ’04, was

named the New Haven Teacher of the Year for 2017. He teaches first grade in a bilingual classroom at the Strong School. stephanIe romano, ’05, is the

director of Chester Library in Connecticut. Colleen martIn, 6th Yr. ’06, a special

education teacher at Stafford High School, was named Stafford Teacher of the Year. KImBerly feher adams, M.S. ’07,

was named the Emmett O’Brien Technical High School Teacher of the Year. She teaches mathematics. maurICe douglas, ’07, was

appointed to the New Haven Board of Fire Commissioners. BrIan edel, M.S. ’07, was appointed

upper school director at the Saint Thomas Academy in Mendota Heights, Minn. davId KImBall, M.S. ’07, 6th Yr. ’09, is

the principal of Avon Middle School in Connecticut. Spring 2017 | 51

alumnI notes ■


City Games, a café and gaming coffeehouse. The membership-based business allows people to play old, new, indie, and foreign games. uyI osunde, 6th Yr. ’12, is the assis-

tant principal at Illing Middle School in Manchester, Conn. A former NFL player, Osunde was previously a counselor at East Hartford and New London schools. alexandra Klaus, M.L.S. ’13, is the

children’s librarian at the Durham Public Library. She lives in Glastonbury, Conn. KerIann maxelIx, M.S. ’13, is the

assistant principal at Westover Magnet Elementary School in Stamford. She lives in Orange, Conn.


anIelle [QuaglIaro] lIudzIus , ’13, and KevIn lIudzIus ,

’12, met in high school, but sharing time at Southern cemented their relationship. The couple wed in November 2015 at St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, and celebrated with many fellow Southern graduates [pictured] at a reception at the Omni Hotel.

Please email a high-resolution photo of your Owl group wedding to StruykV1@SouthernCT.edu. Remember to include names, graduation year(s) of the wedding couple, along with the wedding date, location, and any other news. Thank you!

Jasree peralta, ’15, was named com-

munications coordinator for the National Diaper Bank Network in New Haven.

tions manager in the business office at the Yale University Art Gallery. She recently spoke at the Westerly Library and helped create an exhibit at Yale entitled, “Art and Industry in Early America: Rhode Island Furniture, 1650-1830.”

marriages seth phostole, M.S. ’80, and

Jennifer Schlechtweg, June 24, 2016.

mIChael CeBula, ’08, M.S. ’10, was

inducted into the SUNY (State University of New York) Delhi Athletic Hall of Fame. He’s a five-time National Junior College Athletic Association All-American in cross country and track and field. At Southern, he was the first Owl to earn All-American honors in the 1500 meters. A physical education teacher in Hamden, he was named District Teacher of the Year. Chad Curry, ’08, a New Haven police-

man, was recognized as the “Cop of the Week” by the New Haven Independent. shadIa goldsteIn, ’08, is a licensed

Realtor in Old Lyme and lives in Chester, Conn. leslIe lÓpez, M.S. ’09, is a teacher at

Jeffrey Elementary School in Madison, Conn., where she founded a children’s gardening club. The children raised 37 pounds of food, which was donated to the Madison Food Pantry. 52 | Southern ALUMNI MAGAZINE

2010s Joseph apICella, 6th Yr. ’10, is the

sylvIa sIegel Caplan, ’35, Oct. 19,

melIssa Ceraso, M.L.S. ’10, was

named editor in mathematics and the natural sciences for Choice, a publishing unit of the Association of College and Research Libraries. Choice provides a source for reviews of new English-language books and digital resources for academic libraries. Kyle sandBerg, ’10, was named head

football coach at Toms River East High School in New Jersey. He was a three-year starter for the Owls. nICK yaCovou, ’10, M.S. ’11, was

named Teacher of the Year by Cooperative Educational Services (CES). He is a teacher at the Therapeutic Day Program, a regional special education school placement program for children and adolescents with a variety of emotional and behavioral disabilities. JIll flanagan, M.L.S. ’11, is a full-

time assistant professor and coordinator for the Middlesex Community College Health Information Management Program. She lives in Waterford, Conn. trIsh loter, ’12, is co-owner of the

Chapel Street Happiness Lab/Elm

Meza, Ariz. letItIa nastrI, ’51, M.S. ’62, 6th Yr.

’79, Feb. 17, 2016, New Haven, Conn. madelIne v. raBInoWItz, ’51, June

4, 2016, Branford, Conn. Bernard “KnoBBy” fappIano, ’52,

April 19, 2016, Guilford, Conn. Joseph e. o’Connor, ’52, M.S. ’75,

June 4, 2016, Old Lyme, Conn. Betsy sullIvan Bern, ’54, July 9,

2016, New Rochelle, N.Y. patrICIa Curley Bruno, ’54, July 9,

2016, Bonita Springs, Fla. edIth J. matson, ’54, April 26, 2016,

Venice, Fla. ruth anton parrett,

’54, April 14,

2016, Naples, Fla. Cheshire, Conn. Barry herman, ’56, Aug. 28, 2016,

Hamden, Conn. WIllIam m. murray, ’56, Feb. 16,

2016, Iowa City, Iowa

CatherIne f. CaIn, ’33, Aug. 20, 2011,

principal of Orange Avenue Elementary School.

8, 2016, Orange, Conn. edWard maCK, ’51, Sept. 2, 2016,

Charles hague, ’56, April 19, 2014,

IN MEMORIAM Charlene senICal, ’07, is the opera-

estelle malone marren, ’50, Sept.

Guilford, Conn. BarBara ullrICh BrooKs, ’35, Jan.

13, 2000, Amherst, Mass. 2009, Atlanta esther holman anderson, ’36,

Dec. 14, 2006, North Haven, Conn. dorIs elIzaBeth BIshop, ’36, Nov.

30, 2015, Shepherdsville, Ky. adele Cohen Blumenthal, ’36,

March 20, 2003, Woodbridge, Conn. alICe m. anderson, ’39, Sept. 1,

2016, Nichols, Conn. marIe e. BuCCIno, ’39, April 23, 2010,

Rhinebeck, N.Y. ruBy Kary, ’39, Nov. 22, 2016,

Meriden, Conn. elvera seaQuIst goranson, ’41,

March 29, 2006, Oak Lawn, Wis. elIzaBeth BoyKo, ’42, M.S. ’64, Oct.

24, 2016, New Haven, Conn. f. herBert Bormann, ’43, June 7,

2012, North Branford, Conn. elIzaBeth “Betty” BauKat o’neIll, ’43, Aug. 2, 2016, Scottsdale,

Ariz. BernICe hansen shepard, ’43, Aug.

8, 2016, Hamden, Conn. loIs eloIse munson tolles, ’48,

July 23, 2016, Irvine, Calif. marIe CarruBBa, ’49, Nov. 29, 2016,

Ansonia, Conn.

Carolyn ClaIre Coleman, ’57,

April 16, 2016, Hamden, Conn. WIllIam “BIll” mott, ’57, Feb. 23,

2015, Orlando, Fla. Carol WIllIams BedWorth, ’58,

M.S. ’70, July 3, 2016, Woodbridge, Conn. raymond d’amato, ’58, Nov. 16,

2016, Boynton Beach, Fla. anna pasCuCellI fIorIllo, ’58,

M.S. ’74, Sept. 5, 2016, Hamden, Conn. rosemary BosCo panICo, ’58, Aug.

27, 2016, Hamden, Conn. rIta flemIng rosano, ’59, June 16,

2016, Ivoryton, Conn. george B. saxton, ’60, April 18,

2016, Delray Beach, Fla. Joan Kelly spItzsChuh, ’60, Sept. 8,

2016, Centerbrook, Conn. Janet e. Waldron, ’60, M.S. ’70,

Nov. 7, 2016, North Haven, Conn. donald J. Caruth, ’61, July 15,

2016, Wallingford, Conn. pIa CIarellI delpIano, ’61, Aug. 6,

2016, Milford, Conn. georgIa BaBey KIlpatrICK, ’62,

April 15, 2016, Trumbull, Conn. geraldIne mattIa, ’62, Nov. 14,

2016, New Haven, Conn. mary rICCIo montesanto, ’62,

M.S. ’66, Oct. 8, 2016, Branford, Conn. frederICK W. adams, ’63, Nov. 22,

2016, Cheshire, Conn. John “JaCK” gallagher, ’63, Nov.

8, 2016, Canadaigua, N.Y.

John C. narduCCI, ’63, June 28,

2016, Trumbull, Conn. edWard C. morgan, ’64, July 13,

2016, Astoria, Ore. florenCe a. proestaKIs, ’64, July

10, 2016, North Haven, Conn. mary moCKalIs verCellone, ’64,

June 25, 2016, North Haven, Conn. peter m. romano, ’67, M.S. ’72, Oct.

5, 2016, New Haven, Conn. luCIlle estrella senaK, ’67, June

23, 2016, Wernersville, Pa. gertrude madden altIerI, M.S.

’68, Oct. 23, 2016, Guilford, Conn. sara-Jane frynCKo, M.L.S. ’68, July

14, 2016, Oxford, Conn. mary hope sCarpellIno gagnon, ’68, Nov. 12, 2016, Fort

Pierce, Fla. Jean elIse sChIldgen loomIs,

M.S. ’68, May 13, 2016, Branford, Conn.

Judy martha Carlson, ’69, July 30,

2016, Hartford, Conn. veronICa ellen dutton, ’70, April

13, 2016, Wyoming, Del. adrIenne mallette, M.S. ’70, May

13, 2016, West Haven, Conn. george WInes Jr., 6th Yr. ’70, June

17, 2016, Stratford, Conn. suzanne m. ouellette, ’71, M.S.

’77, July 22, 2016, Branford, Conn. dorothy soltesz perry, ’71, Oct.

14, 2016, Wallingford, Conn. franCes f. rostoCKI, ’71, May 2,

2016, Waterbury, Conn. tImothy J. ryan Jr., M.S. ’71, Sept. 4,

2016, Brattleboro, Va. ChrIstIe Jessen Wall,

’71, April 19,

2016. Joan andersen Callahan, ’72,

M.S. ’76, June 10, 2016, Branford, Conn.

Share your good news

WiTh SouTh ern FrienDS AnD clASSMATeS.

Mail this completed form to Southern Alumni news, ScSu Alumni relations office, Alumni house, 501 crescent St., new haven, cT 06515-1355; fax, (203) 392-5082; or email, AlumniinFo@SoutherncT.edu.

In print and on screen

eleanor rupp, ’58, has published “A Student’s notes on Genesis — A bible for public Schools.” She is a retired educator and lives in bluefield, W.Va. John twomey, ’67, is the author of “retiring To, not From — From Massachusetts professor to Maine Farmer,” a book about retirement, sustainable living, and being in harmony with nature. he lives in Montville, Maine. arthur Ciaramicoli, M.S. ’72, a clinical psychologist and author, recently published, “The Stress Solution: using empathy and cognitive behavioral Therapy to reduce Anxiety and Develop resilience.” he lives in hopkinton, Mass. peter lion, ’83, is the author of “The American St. nick — A True Story,” the tale of a group of American soldiers who brought the joy of the holiday season to a small luxembourg town during World War ii. A new documentary film is based on the book. lion, a seven-time emmy winning producer/director, lives in collinsville, conn. lisa rogers, M.l.S. ’06, of Wellesley, Mass., received the Susan p. bloom children’s book Discovery Award for her picture book titled, “Mr. Marshall’s red Wheelbarrow.” her website is lisarogersWrites.com. akintunde sogunro, ’11, is the author of “Stitches: To cover with love,” the first in a series of stories about a mother dog, her puppies, and their owner who sews clothes for the homeless. Sogunro lives in new britain, conn.

name____________________________________________________________ Street Address____________________________________________________ city ______________________________State______________Zip__________

Clinton, Conn. luCIlle halfpenny, M.L.S. ’72, Aug.

19, 2016, Glastonbury, Conn.

check if this is a new address. phone (

Joseph CIfferellI, ’72, Jan. 23, 2017,


email____________________________________________________________ ScSu Degree/year________________ Major__________________________ name under which i attended college________________________________ news item________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________

pamela mIller matsos, ’72, M.S.

’81, Sept. 6, 2016, Wooster, Ohio vIrgInIa dolan passaggIo, ’72,

M.S. ’80, March 2, 2016, New Haven, Conn. mIldred “mIdge” CooK, M.L.S. ’73,

June 20, 2016, Essex, Conn. myra morse fezza, ’73, Aug. 7,

2016, Northford, Conn. alICe gIlBert, M.L.S. ’73, 2016,

Sarasota, Fla.


sally a. gIlChrest-unrau, ’73, 2015


s. mIChael luCash, ’73, June 30,

Signature__________________________________________ Date__________ Spouse’s name____________________________________________________

SpouSe'S ScSu DeGree/yr.

children’s names/Ages____________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________

2016, Granby, Conn. susan henChman pavelKo, ’73,

Aug. 3, 2016, Milford, Conn. gurdon h. slosBerg, M.S. ’73, Aug.

13, 2016, Norwich, Conn. sandra everett pICCIrIllo, ’74,

M.S. ’92, July 31, 2016, Avon, Conn.

JaCQuelIne smIth gherlone,

M.S. ’75, July 31, 2016, Port Orange, Fla. nanCy WhIte malerI, ’75, M.S. ’81,

Aug. 26, 2016, Seymour, Conn. ChrIstopher g. may, ’75, June 13,

2016, Branford, Conn. roBert edWard sepanIK, M.S. ’75,

Aug. 21, 2016, Westbrook, Conn. WIllIam WeIss Jr., 6th Yr. ’75,

June 26, 2016, Danbury, Conn. Joseph CIpollInI, ’76, M.S. ’83, April

19, 2016, Southington, Conn. maBel t. massaro, ’77, M.S. ’90, May

17, 2016, Wallingford, Conn. marIlyn J. roWe, M.S. ’77, June 7,

2016, Norwalk, Conn. glorIa gomBar, M.S. ’78, 6th Yr. ’89,

Oct. 2, 2016, Cheshire, Conn. peter W. Kemp, 6th Yr. ’78, May 15,

2016, Wesley Chapel, Fla. maureen lange, M.L.S. ’78, July 17,

2016, Wallingford, Conn. ruth turney, M.S. ’78, Oct. 9, 2016,

Lawrence, Kan.

sharon a. Ward verlezza, ’74,

dorothy f. adamson, M.L.S. ’79,

M.S. ’79, May 29, 2016, Hopkinton, Mass.

M.S., ’80, May 28, 2016, Bethlehem, Conn. Spring 2017 | 53

alumnI notes ■

tImothy B. Connell, M.S. ’79, 6th

2016, North Haven, Conn.

Yr. ’81, Aug. 30, 2016, North Haven, Conn.

Carl e. KImmons, 6th Yr. ’86, Aug. 4,

Ilene fernald, ’79, June 2, 2016, West

antoInette tarInI, ’87, M.S. ’93, Jan.

Hartford, Conn. luIs garCIa-aBrInes, ’79, May 17,

2016, New Haven, Conn. CatherIne anne monahan, M.S.

’79, April 30, 2016, Shelton, Conn. rose anna morroW, M.S. ’81, 6th

Yr. ’95, June 26, 2016, North Branford, Conn. mary ellen phaelan raCCuIa, ’81,

Sept. 13, 2016, Woodbridge, Conn. Johnson Clayton Jones III, ’82,

July 20, 2016, Waterbury, Conn. dIane e. parrIsh, M.S. ’82, July 23,

2016, Clinton, N.Y. george John Caffrey, M.S. ’83,

2016, Waterford, Conn. 14, 2016, Orange, Conn. darlene horton, M.S. ’88, Aug. 3,

2016, Tallahassee, Fla. edWIn reynolds “ted” fletCher,

M.S.W. ’89, Sept. 10, 2016, Hamden, Conn. ChrIstopher zIemnICKI, ’90, July 27,

2016, Granby, Conn. elIzaBeth harrIson BuCKley, ’91,

July 21, 2016, Killingworth, Conn. lorI dolInsKI antonIK, ’93, May 9,

2016, Charlotte, N.C. Joseph v. rossI, ’93, June 4, 2016,

Edgewater, Md.

M.S. ’86, Nov. 18, 2016, Meriden, Conn.

natalIe “nat” BaKer, ’96, April 19,

phyllIs frye ford, ’83, Aug. 3, 2016,

margaret ClarK lerChen, M.L.S.

Wallingford, Conn. trevor trInKaus, M.S. ’83, July 8,

2016, Spring Hill, Fla. Joan roBerta CallI, M.S. ’84, April

20, 2016, Branford, Conn. BIon franCIs Jr., M.S. ’84, April 22,

2016, Easton, Conn. laurel Blauvelt, ’85, M.S.N. ’91, July

9, 2016, East Haven, Conn. margaret Castellon, ’85, Aug. 12,

2016, Trumbull, Conn. ’96, May 12, 2016, Fairfield, Conn. margaret gherard mCCormaCK, M.F.T. ’96, July 31,

2016, Naugatuck, Conn. g. peter nugent, ’96, Nov. 5, 2016,

Bethany, Conn. John m. martIn, M.S. ’03, Nov. 2,

2016, Gales Ferry, Conn. Jason CzeCh, ’06, July 1, 2016,

Branford, Conn.

Top Owl continued from page 17 speaking of conversations, you’ve been talking to many constituencies — from students and alumni to faculty to legislators. have you learned anything that surprised you? one thing i am really excited about is the quality and the caliber of our student population. The academic excellence and rigor at Southern is far beyond what many realize. our students are sometimes underestimated. in the sciences, a team of Southern students recently won a bronze medal at an international synthetic biology competition. Southern’s Society of professional Journalists was named the outstanding campus chapter in our region [connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, new Jersey, new york, pennsylvania, and rhode island]. our freshman class includes many top students, including three high school valedictorians. We are a community of scholars, artists, and community activists. i’m looking forward to seeing all that we accomplish. ■

m. teresa saKonChICK, B.S. ’07,

May 8, 2016, Orange, Conn. meghan starson, M.A. ’08, July 9,

2016, Stamford, Conn. luIsa vaz, M.S. ’09, Sept. 7, 2016,

Shelton, Conn. lorenzo CuCCInIello, ’16, Sept. 27,

2016, Hamden, Conn. KatherIne e. mCCarthy, professor

emeritus, Oct. 7, 2016, Woodbridge, Conn. mary louIse semmler, assistant

professor emeritus of music, Aug. 18, 2016, Hamden, Conn. WIllIam taylor, professor emeritus

of theatre, April 5, 2016, New Haven, Conn. vICtor a. trIolo, associate professor

emeritus of information and library science, Aug. 7, 2016, Easton, Conn.

Class notes are compiled from submissions from alumni as well as announcements made in the media.

High Flyer continued from page 27 to continue his drone-assisted research. This year’s winner, christine Woehrle, is using drones to study the health of local vineyards. in Graves’ opinion, drones hold enormous potential as a less expensive, more effective way for environmental scientists to collect data from aerial perspectives. “This is an incredibly powerful tool for getting information on landscapes that might otherwise be inaccessible,” says Graves. “in the past, if you wanted to have aerial photography, you either had to hire a helicopter or an airplane — either of which needed to fly very high. but now, for a couple thousand dollars, you can get a drone that carries a 4K camera, learn how to fly it yourself, and get very low-altitude imagery.” Graves’ obsession with learning about his surroundings dates back to childhood. Growing up in Malibu, calif., he spent hours with friends exploring the creek near his family’s home. “i’d get home from school and my mom would say, ‘See you at sundown,’” he recalls. During his senior year in high school, he took an earth science class and decided he wanted to become a geologist. After earning a bachelor’s degree from the university of california-Santa cruz, he took a job with the u.S. Geological Survey, where he was charged with producing a map of coastal erosion in the Arctic. in 1986, Graves’ quest to earn a doctorate in oceanography led him to the university of rhode island. but funding for research was sparse, and Graves ultimately graduated with a master’s degree when his major professor retired abruptly before he could finish the program. “i was devastated because i’d spent five years in a ph.D. program and passed all the preliminaries and qualifications,” Graves says. “here’s your dream. you’re pursing it and the door slams right in your face. So 54 | Southern ALUMNI MAGAZINE

what do you do? you have to change directions.” he took a break from academia to work as a snowboard instructor before landing a job with a nonprofit organization, where he codesigned an environmental education curriculum for middle schoolers. While presenting at a conference at the university of idaho, he was recruited into a doctoral program, and earned his doctorate in science education in 1999. it was there that he got his big break — authoring a successful $7.5 million federal grant to train teachers from new Jersey to oregon in how to use GiS (geographic information system) technology to document 200 years of change along the lewis and clark expedition Trail — a career highlight that would consume his time for the next five years. in 2005, wanting to move to an urban area near the coast, he came to Southern and never looked back. “i fell in love with the programs and the people in this department,” he says. While he has made smaller donations to his various alma maters, he reserves the bulk of his philanthropy for Southern. Graves also was among a group of benefactors — that included the Werth Family Foundation and others — who recently bought the Southwest ledge lighthouse in new haven for student research. reflecting on the ups and downs of his own career, Graves says his philanthropy is a “pay it forward scenario,” noting he’s “had some breaks along the way.” “i know what it’s like to have your dreams shut down — and i know what it’s like to suddenly see a new horizon and go for it,” he says.

See Southern from the sky courtesy of a drone in flight: SouthernCT.edu/video-southern-above. ■

Finding Beauty continued from page 37

Mercy Ship continued from page 43

She says she’ll always be drawn to fashion and plans to revisit her dream of opening an online clothing store. But another issue has become a driving force as well. Working with classmate Asa Cort, Daley hopes to launch #trustfund, a seminar covering financial topics for young people and their families. “This seminar not only will cover money management, but also the important role education plays in developing financial stability,” says Daley. She notes that the goal of the project meshes closely with her work as a plus-size model — furthering her commitment to self-empowerment.“In my eyes, we need not associate the concept of beauty with a size, color, or shape. That is the industry I want to help build . . . the industry I am moving toward.” ■

Murphy, who bunked in a room with three other volunteers, found the experience rewarding and eye-opening.“It’s tough to see people who are no different than us with dramatically different medical outcomes. The only thing that’s changed is that they were born in a different country,” she says. She recalls one patient, Dinette, who at 26, came to the hospital ship with an obstetric fistula, a childbirth injury that is virtually nonexistent in the U.S. thanks to Cesarean deliveries. After losing two children in two different pregnancies, Dinette’s husband abandoned her. Murphy learned from the woman’s aunt that she had attempted suicide twice. “She was my age. I couldn’t imagine going through what she had,” says Murphy. She notes that Dinette ultimately went through a positive transformation similar to Angeline’s. There were lighthearted moments, too. Like her encounters with the “Three Musketeers” — three teenage boys admitted with almost identical burns who became fast friends. “They were always together, gabbing, and giggling. They would do their exercises in a synchronized fashion. It was so funny to see them egging each other on,” says Murphy, who brought the trio a soccer ball after a trip to town. In September, Murphy began her second assignment with the organization, this time traveling to the country of Benin in West Africa. She said her family backed her decision 100 percent. She recalls a social media post made toward the end of her first trip: “I had posted on Facebook that it was my last week of service, and my mom’s comment was: ‘Stay!’” ■

Music Man continued from page 31

Fellow Stutzman Scholar Terri Lane was always drawn to music. At the age of 3, she’d sit at her grandmother’s piano, pinging out songs playing in the background. By age 11, she was receiving classical voice training. She also was in the midst of surviving years of horrific child abuse, which continued until age 15 when she left home. Lane planned to study music in college, a natural progression for a high school honors student.“That’s when the tragedies — everything I had gone through with my family — essentially hit home and prevented me from going. But I always said I would go back,” she says. In 2013, she made the move, leaving a successful 20-year career in the fields of energy efficiency, sales, and marketing,

dozens of CDs. She also teaches three music courses at the University of New Haven — and is well on her way to earning her bachelor’s degree in music at Southern. She says receiving the Stutzman Scholarship was a defining moment.“I was shaking when I got the envelope,” she says. “What the Stutzman family has done is so meaningful. They have built a wonderful legacy through their commitment to the arts and now I can be part of that forever.” Stutzman, who shares his parents’ commitment to education, says such stories offer the ultimate reward. “The students love his courses because he is very organized, very responsive to students, and very engaging,” says Hlavac of Stutzman, who received Southern’s

ment. He was invited to present a poster on the topic at the College Music Society’s national conference in October 2016. The presentation showcased Stutzman’s First Year Experience course,“Thinking about Music,” which he has taught for six years. The course culminates in a unique capstone project: after studying protest music, students compose a 75-second protest rap. Students have tackled a variety of topics, including 8 a.m. classes, cafeteria food, gun violence, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Fueled, perhaps, by the presentation, Stutzman says he’s thought a lot about teaching methodology — and he says he knows he’s found his true professional calling.“I mean no offense, but no one teaching the first semester of chemistry is

much of it with United Illuminating. Through it all, she’d never left the music behind. Now a blues-inspired rock recording artist, Lane sang lead and backup on

Outstanding Teaching Award in the adjunct professor category in 2014. Stutzman credits highly interactive assignments with fostering student engage-

going to learn anything about the subject from their students. But I have this wonderful opportunity to learn from them, and that is incredibly inspiring.” ■ Spring 2017 | 55


the Inauguration of president Joe Bertolino

april 28 | 10:30 a.m.

president Joe bertolino will be installed as Southern connecticut State university’s 12th president. For more information and to RSVP for the community-focused event and celebration, please visit Inauguration.SouthernCT.edu.

peter White

With special guest lindsey Webster

april 29 | 8 p.m.

Soulful r&b vocalist lindsey Webster opens the double bill, followed by peter White, one of the most dynamic acoustic guitarists on the contemporary jazz scene. $35 for general admission; $30 for series and Southern faculty, staff, and active alumni with valid identification; and $20 for Southern students. (203) 392-6154

student-directed one acts april 25 – 29 | 8 p.m.; april 29 | 2 p.m. Kendall Drama lab

Showcasing the talented students of the Department of Theatre and the crescent players. $10 for general admission; $5 for Southern faculty, staff, and other students; and free for Southern students at the box office only. (203) 392-6154

marion meadows and paul taylor may 13 | 8 p.m.

An unforgettable evening of contemporary urban jazz. $35 for general admission; $25 for series and Southern faculty, staff, and active alumni with valid identification; and $20 for Southern students. (203) 392-6154

athletics department golf outing/athletics hall of fame Induction dinner may 17 | Golf Registration at 9 a.m.; Hall of Fame: cocktails at 5:30 p.m., dinner ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Grassy hill country club, orange, conn. Attend one or both events, with all proceeds supporting athletics scholarships and programs. participation in the golf outing is $160 for breakfast, 18 holes with cart, lunch, and more. Also includes the hall of Fame induction ceremony, with cocktail hour and dinner. Those wishing to attend only the hall of Fame dinner may purchase tickets for $75. This year’s hall of Fame class includes: Art Kadish (track and field), Michael Marshall (football), ben Michaelson (swimming), Mike petke (soccer), Sandy (hittleman) Myerson (swimming), and Kateema riettie (track and field) as well as the 1973 men’s gymnastics, 1987 men’s soccer and the 2007 women’s basketball teams. SouthernCTOwls.com

the 19th mary and louis fusco distinguished lecture


nBa legend, social Justice advocate, Cancer survivor

may 5 | 7 p.m.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the nbA’s all-time leading scorer and a sixtime nbA champion. he is also a new york Times best-selling author, and a contributing columnist for The Washington post and Time Magazine. in 2008, he was diagnosed with early stage chronic myeloid leukemia (cMl) — and led a high-profile cancer awareness campaign. his inspiring talk will weave together personal perspectives on his career, the challenges we all face in life, and the issues confronting America today. A portion of the proceeds supports Southern’s endowed Awards of excellence, a merit-based scholarship program.

eSTher lin phoTo

southern events ■


graduate Commencement may 18 | 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Graduates earning advanced degrees from the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of health and human Services will be honored at the afternoon ceremony. The School of business and the School of education will recognize graduates at the evening event. SouthernCT.edu/commencement (203) 392-5240

undergraduate Commencement may 19

Webster bank Arena 600 Main St. bridgeport, conn.

recognizing the graduates of the class of 2017. (203) 392-6586

Candy dulfer with special guest grace Kelly June 2 | 8 p.m.

Known for her high-energy performance, celebrated saxophonist candy Dulfer takes the stage. The evening kicks off with a performance by Grace Kelly, a winner of the 2016 Annual Downbeat critics poll. $35 for general admission; $30 for series and Southern faculty, staff, and active alumni with valid identification; and $20 for Southern students. (203) 392-6154

gloBe —

Premium seating (M1-6): $30 * Regular Seating: $25 for general admission; $20 for Southern active alumni, faculty, and staff; $10 for Southern students with valid Identification; and $125 for VIP reception package with premium seating, post-lecture reception with photo opportunity, and autographed book. (203) 392-6154

the golden dragon acrobats may 6 | 8 p.m.

The internationally recognized chinese touring company combines award-winning acrobatics, spectacular costumes, ancient and contemporary music, and theater. $25 for general admission; $20 for Southern faculty, staff, and active alumni with valid identification; $15 for children; and $10 for Southern students with valid identification. (203) 392-6154

July 30 – aug. 3

the global learning and observations to Benefit the environment program — annual meeting and student research and field experience

coastal resilience in urban environments

An international science and education program connecting students, teachers, scientists, and citizens from around the world. Sponsored by nASA and the national Science Foundation, with support from other government agencies. globe.gov

*All events held in John Lyman Center for the Performing Arts unless otherwise noted. Southern students must have valid identification to receive their ticket discounts and are limited to purchasing one student ticket and two student guest tickets per event. For tickets and additional information and listings, visit LymanCenter.org. 56 | Southern ALUMNI MAGAZINE


Top Owl



President Joe Bertolino talks about his journey to Southern, plans for the university, and the lifechanging power of Camp Ockanickon.

I’d like to briefly share the six presidential priorities I’ve developed for Southern early in my tenure: • I mentioned that I was a social justice educator, and my administration will be committed to social justice, not just in word, but in

High Flyer

action and in deed. • We’ll look to enhance enrollment management, by identifying and resolving issues related to financial aid and retention. • We’ll boost Southern’s profile and

Owl Territory

university offers to our students,

Since I arrived on campus last August,


I’ve quickly learned about the wonderful loyalty and devotion that our alumni display for their alma mater. It is clear that the members of our extended community are filled with Southern pride. They love Southern and more importantly, they care deeply for our students. I have an extensive background in public higher education, and I’m thrilled to be leading Southern, an institution committed to access, affordability, and student success. As a social justice educator for more than 25 years, I am also thrilled that this is an institution dedicated to being a good neighbor and advancing the public good. During my first months on the job, I’ve been visiting with all of the campus constituencies and meeting students, alumni, and community and business leaders as well as legislators and elected city officials. I want to learn as much as I can

our community, and the state of • We’ll seek to achieve financial stability through the promotion of entrepreneurship, community partnerships, and a greater emphasis on private fundraising. • We’ll work to ensure student


Who’s Who



Learn more about this issue’s cover Owls.

They graduated at the top of their respective high school classes — and now are first-generation college students.

already been done here to enhance academic excellence, remove obstacles to graduation, and

Life Lessons

enhance the retention rate. • And we’ll implement our 10-year


Helping Southern students become exceptional teachers was Carol Ann Shea’s passion. The late professor’s $2.2 million bequest to Southern furthers her legacy.

Strategic Plan: Discover Southern, a University for the 21st Century. During the coming months, I hope to meet many of you in person, both on

Join the Owl community on April 18 and invest in the Owls of today — and tomorrow.

campus and at networking events across the country. I thank you for your support of your alma mater, and I share in your Southern pride as we work to move our university forward, together. Sincerely,

of its residents. I am also committed to the city — my partner Bil and I have purchased a home in Morris Cove, so I hope to be

Joe Bertolino

here a long time!


For Science and Southern!

Southern’s future is here. Help make it great.


Team Southern tests the waters — and a new way to detect tuberculosis — at the prestigious iGEM International Science Competition.

When you give back to Southern Connecticut State University, you help move SCSU forward. When an entire community gives, those individual gifts have a profound impact on the future of Southern students. On April 18, the Southern community will gather for a 24-hour online Giving Day. Collectively, gifts donated at SouthernCT.edu/givingday will help Southern continue to offer exceptional education, accessibility, and innovative programs that transform student’s futures.

success: building on what has

about New Haven and how we can better partner with the city and improve the lives

First Class


Helping students set their sights sky high, Associate Professor Scott Graves establishes a new scholarship — and then there are the drones.

From cities throughout Connecticut to countries throughout the world, students have traveled near and far to become Owls.

highlight all the positives this Dear Alumni and Friends,


Music Man


Walter Stutzman, ’09, discovered his calling in music. Today, he’s dedicated to helping Southern students find their sound.

DONATE AT SouthernCT.edu/givingday

Office of Annual Giving


Profile for Southern Connecticut State University

Southern Alumni Magazine Spring 2017  

A publication for alumni and friends of Southern Connecticut State University

Southern Alumni Magazine Spring 2017  

A publication for alumni and friends of Southern Connecticut State University

Profile for scsu