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An Ode for the City, for the University by Poet Tom Healy The Inauguration of Laura Skandera Trombley, PhD


President’s Line Dear Friends,

A favorite poet of mine, who has fallen a bit by the cultural wayside in recent years, is Robert Penn Warren, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the United States’ first Poet Laureate. As has become my routine now, I walk along the Long Island Sound at daybreak, thinking and watching the birds whorl and glide, enjoying their air-stream ride. The Breakfast Club, a friendly bunch of UB faculty, staff, and students, regularly met every Wednesday morning this past spring for an early morning stroll. We all promised to gather again and walk come fall. I’ve come to love this time—a few minutes of quiet before the busy day begins to unfold at UB. I think about the academic year that has just concluded and lines from Penn Warren’s poetic masterpiece, “Tell Me a Story,” come to mind: Tell me a story. In this century, and moment, of mania, Tell me a story. Make it a story of great distances, and starlight. The name of the story will be Time, But you must not pronounce its name. Tell me a story of deep delight. This past academic year has certainly been one of deep delight and great emotion. Meeting UB students, faculty, staff, and alumni has been a continuing pleasure. I am also looking forward to teaching my general education course, “19th Century American Literature of Libation,” in Spring 2020. It was also a year of farewells, leaving California friends and

losing my mother at age ninetythree. My morning walks did much to assuage my grief over her loss. My inauguration week was a wonderful display of all that makes up UB’s character, with faculty presentations, a poetry reading, and a community creative crafts session. I owe my gratitude to Ashley Perzyna and the Inauguration committee for all their organizational expertise and creative ideas. Bright, sunny skies greeted all of us on Commencement day, when we held our first graduation on campus in over 20 years. I also wind up shedding a few tears every time, seeing the joy on students’ faces and their families’ pride in their accomplishment. This was a day of days where the campus looked shiny and bright, thanks to all the exhaustive efforts of our facilities and grounds staff. The students walked proudly into our giant tent with their heads held high. The spectacle, with the faculty robed and parents and friends holding bouquets for their graduates, was endlessly joyous, celebratory, and moving. I could not help but suspect that somewhere P.T. Barnum was enjoying this grand occasion and glad to see that the spacious green he donated to the City of Bridgeport was being well employed. We are a University of stories and each of us has our own to tell. We honor all of those who have come to be part of our community, both those who remain and those who have graduated. Summer is a busy time here, and we will spend it preparing for our 92nd year. We have exciting plans as always, and I’ll look for you on campus. Sincerely yours,

Laura Skandera Trombley

Contents F E AT U R E S 4 The Inauguration of Laura Skandera Trombley, PhD A president with an ambitious vision for the University’s future officially takes office 7 Green Research UB researcher developing fabrication technique at Brookhaven National Lab

Remember when? The Wistarian, 1956

8 The Naqvi Family Meets the Sharks UB alumnus, wife, and children make the pitch on ABC’s “Shark Tank” 10 Don’t Stop Believin’ Spotlight on Global Teacher Prize Finalist Melissa Salguero ’15 12 From UB to the NBA, NFL, and MLS Bill Manning ’87, ’89 reminisces about his days on campus and his career trajectory to president of Toronto FC 15 A 50-year Union Forged at UB A UB couple stays engaged with the University through the decades 16 Under the Big Top Once Again for a Grand Sendoff Commencement made a triumphant return to campus 42 The Inaugural Address Remarks by Laura Skandera Trombley, PhD 46 O, Bridgeport! An Ode for the City, for the University by Poet Tom Healy

D E PA R T M E N T S 2 Word Power 3 UB by the numbers 21 Bookplate 22 Honors & Awards 24 News Lines 32 Around the Sound Bites 34 Class Notes 36 Side Lines 48 Coming Soon to UB

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Knightlines A PU BLI C AT I O N O F T H E U NIV E R S I T Y O F B R I D GEP O RT S PRI NG /SU M M E R 2 01 9

PRE S I DENT Laura Skandera Trombley, PhD



Stories are made up of words, but sometimes words are a story unto themselves. This new UB Knightlines feature is dedicated to logophiles—not those who love logos, but those who love words.

A ND COM M UNIC ATIONS / UB K NIG HT LI N ES ED ITO R Susan Andrews A RT DI R EC TOR Angeline Johnston


BOARD OF TR USTEES Robert L. Berchem, Esq., Chair, Mark A. Fries, Vice Chair, Terrance J. O’Connor, Secretary, Ashley M. Perzyna, Assistant Secretary, Shintaro Akatsu, Diane M. Allison, Esq., Paul Antinozzi, A.I.A, Sean M. Carroll, David F. D’Addario, Mrs. Henry B. duPont III, The Honorable Joseph P. Ganim, Leah Blatt Glasser, PhD, Abraham I. Gordon, Esq., Herman Green, Carol Johnson Green, Thomas P. Haynes, Sara Towe Horsfall, PhD, Barbara A. James, Markus Karr, Ki Hoon Kim, Nicholas N. Kittrie, K St J, SJD, Michael Kolakowski, Michael J. LaBella, Arthur E. Landi, Kevin C. Leahy, David K. Norton, Susan Heckman O’Hara, Thomas M. O’Hara, Ann M. Ryan, PhD, Frederick W. Serra, Lambert C. Shell, Sr., PhD, Bruce T. Silverstone, Phillip G. Soaivan, Pierre M. Tardy, Joseph Vittoria, Thomas G. Walsh, PhD, Martin F. Wolf, Esq. MA I L Please send address changes and letters to the Editor to: UB Knightlines, 126 Park Avenue, Bridgeport, CT 06604 or by email to knightlines@bridgeport. edu. Please include your full name, UB class year (if applicable), and contact information. For additional assistance, call (203) 576-4625. UB Knightlines is published twice a year for University of Bridgeport alumni and friends by the Office of Marketing and Communications. ON T H E COV ER Illustration of an ode written by Tom Healy, American poet, writer, curator, and public servant, for President Trombley on her inauguration. Illustration by Michael Waraksa. Curious about the items featured in the illustration? The key appears on page 24. UB Knightlines is printed on 100% post-consumer (text) paper.




n the 1950 film noir Sunset Boulevard, Gloria Swanson plays Norma Desmond, a movie queen whose fame is but a dim light in the rearview mirror of her Italian Isotta Fraschini limo. An A-lister in silent movies, the narcissistic Norma laments the new talking pictures: “Writing words, words, more words. Well, you’ve made a rope of words and strangled this business.” Despite Norma’s outcry, Instagram’s popularity, and today’s focus on visual storytelling, words are still the glue that connect us one to the other—the human connection. My word story began as regular vocabulary quizzes from my late, beloved father. If I did not know a particular word, I was encouraged to look it up in my unabridged Oxford English Dictionary as Google was nonexistent. My dad routinely checked to see if I still anguished over words as I did one summer as a rising high school sophomore. I spent part of that summer reading old issues of Reader’s Digest, focusing on the page that promised to increase your word power by presenting a vocabulary quiz. That summer I learned 20 new words every single day of the week. The last word that my dad ever quizzed me about was sesquipedalian. I admitted that I was clueless as to its

meaning. He told me what it meant, saying that he would save me the time of looking it up. He said it is an adjective that means a word of many syllables. The second definition in Merriam-Webster for sesquipedalian is “given to or characterized by the use of long words.” The Latin into English translation for sesquipedalis is literally “(of words) a foot and a half long.” Not more than six months after my father’s passing, an acquaintance of mine said he knew a word that he bet I did not know. You already know the word. Yes, he asked me if I knew the meaning of sesquipedalian. As I continue my life’s journey, I find that I both anguish over and delight in words. Though long-form writing still exists in print and online, writing has turned to shorter, pithy statements that mimic social media. Check out How to Write Short by Roy Peter Clark. The book is well worth your time and is appropriately a quick read. Clark extols the writing of one of the finest speeches ever delivered, Lincoln’s succinct, yet powerful, Gettysburg Address. In future issues, this column will belong to UB professors, the heart of this great University, and to the words they use every day to inspire, motivate, and help shape the young minds of the future.


of UB Student-Athletes earned a cumulative GPA over 3.0

UB by the numbers Record Year 2019 Annual Fund total: $396,856 Major Gifts total: $2,696,878

1,455 Undergraduate and Graduate students walked at commencement

universities competed at the New York Model UN conference, where UB students won the top award


Mark Twain Literary awards received by President Laura Trombley for her groundbreaking scholarship

15 14


The University of Bridgeport-Discovery Museum STEM on Wheels Bus Technology Outreach

Beat out

250 NCAA II women’s soccer teams to win the National Championship


students met with President Trombley during her Spring Semester Open Office Hours


Record 548 gifts given on the University’s third annual Day of Giving, totaling over $85,000


Steps from Wahlstrom Library to the beach

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The Inauguration of Laura Skandera Trombley, PhD, 10th President of the University of Bridgeport BY SUSAN ANDREWS




he morning of Saturday, April 6, 2019, formally and ceremonially marked the official beginning of a new chapter for the University of Bridgeport. The swearingin of the University’s 10th president, Laura Skandera Trombley, PhD, began at 10 a.m. in the André and Clara Mertens Theater in the Arnold Bernhard Center for the Arts & Humanities. Thomas Juliusburger, associate professor of history and English, served as the Grand Marshal, and Congsheng Wu, PhD, professor of international finance, served as the mace bearer. The special occasion was kicked off by Robert Berchem, Esq., chair of the University’s Board of Trustees, with the Invocation delivered by the Rev. Jeffrey von Arx, S.J., president emeritus of Fairfield University. Words of welcome and congratulations were spoken by Mayor Joseph Ganim on behalf of the community, Summer Cruz ’19 on behalf of the students, Ramon Peralta ’93, ’17, on behalf of the alumni, April Vournelis on behalf of staff, and William Lay, Esq., on behalf of the faculty. The president’s son, Nelson Trombley, Jr., gave a touching speech in which he announced to the students, “You are now a part of our family,” and to the “University of Bridgeport, be prepared for [President Trombley] to challenge you.” He said that “she will encourage you to open yourself up to the world, cheer for you even in your failure, and help make you stronger and more powerful and confident than you ever thought possible.” Following Nelson’s speech, Ann Ryan, PhD, professor of English at Le Moyne College, took to the podium to congratulate her friend of 30 years and fellow Mark Twain scholar. Ryan spoke of President Trombley’s groundbreaking scholarship, insight, and courage in writing about “Twain’s humanity and not his popularity.” Trombley, she said, writes


about “Twain’s frailty and failings” in addition to his inspiring genius and incredible canon of literature. Ryan noted that President Trombley gave us what Mark Twain himself celebrates—the truth. With emphasis, Ryan said, “And this finally is what makes Laura Skandera Trombley an ideal choice to lead the University of Bridgeport into the future. … She has gravitated toward the people who make genius possible. … In the hidden recesses of libraries and archives, Laura has found greatness, integrity, and originality in what others somehow did not see at all. … Where others hear just one voice, Laura hears a chorus. You—the students, staff, faculty, and administrators of the University of Bridgeport—you are that chorus.” Renowned poet Tom Healy wrote and read a glorious and heartwarming ode about the City of Bridgeport and the University. Healy’s ode, brimming with surprises, is replete with references to P.T. Barnum, UB, steamships, parks, and “all that is and will be blossoming here.” Signifying her official installation, a beautiful medallion, adorned with vibrantly colored gems and worn by previous UB presidents during their ceremonies, was bestowed on President Trombley. The formal investiture was conducted by University of Bridgeport trustees Thomas O’Hara ’84 and David Norton. The central theme of President Trombley’s speech celebrated the gift of teaching and the love of being taught. She extolled the many virtues of her father, including his unmatchable teaching style, saying that he “fueled her imagination with metaphor and narrative.” She added that teachers like her father spark imaginations, inspire self-confidence, create intellectual legacies, and shape the futures of their students. President Trombley underscored the importance of those who

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L to R: David K. Norton, Arthur E. Landi ’74, Thomas G. Walsh, PhD, Mark A. Fries ’73, Thomas M. O’Hara ’84, Markus Karr, Phillip G. Soaivan ’95, President Laura Trombley, PhD, Robert L. Berchem, Esq., Kevin C. Leahy, Bruce T. Silverstone ’74, Michael J. LaBella ’80, Michael Kolakowski, Terrance J. O’Connor, Joseph Vittoria

teach and those who are taught at the University with a desire to “create the best possible environment for teaching to take place.” To the students, President Trombley said, “Teachers are storytellers, and you, our students, are becoming part of our narrative.” “This is a time of great change for the University,” she said, “one that we must create and encourage—and we will succeed.” Two upbeat and smile-evoking musical reflections included “Brick by Brick,” with lyrics by Anthony Harrison & Ordered By God, performed by the UB Gospel Choir; and “Teach Your Children,” with lyrics by Graham Nash, performed by the UB Fusion Ensemble, UB Gospel Choir, and University Singers. The inauguration was preceded by two days of diverse and exciting activities, including a Trash to Treasure: Upcycling



Design Workshop encompassing hands-on sustainability artwork; a panel discussion with UB faculty and alumni; a conversation with President Trombley; a poetry reading workshop; a faculty development seminar; and the 43rd annual International Festival. President Trombley’s service to the University began on July 1, 2018. To hear the inauguration ceremony in its entirety or to listen to individual speeches, visit the University’s website at and click on the inauguration link at the top of the page. President Trombley’s speech and Healy’s poem appear on pages 42 and 46 of this issue. The inauguration and associated events and activities were sponsored entirely by the generosity of private donors. 

Green Research UB Researcher Developing Fabrication Technique at Brookhaven National Lab BY SUSAN ANDREWS


rom charging smartphones to powering prosthetic limbs and pacemakers, University of Bridgeport engineering researchers are gearing up to potentially make a global impact by tapping green energy in a revolutionary new way. Determination, dedication, and drive occasionally lead to the innovative breakthroughs that change our world, and in some cases save or extend our lives. Often we take these technological inventions for granted and are unaware of the long and winding path that it took for them to arrive in our hands. Tom Arciuolo ’88, University of Bridgeport alumnus and PhD student in computer science and engineering, first came up with his concept in 1997. It was not until 2013 that he completed the first advanced design. The innovation that could lead to a commercial application is a thermopile device—an electronic device that converts thermal energy into electrical power. The device could potentially be used as a new power source for portable and mobile devices, as well as for biomedical implantable devices. The solid state device, according to Arciuolo, is the size of a silver dollar. It will come with an indefinite shelf life with no expiration date and no moving parts. It would be available at a reasonable cost should it go to market, making portable and mobile technology more affordable and accessible in developing countries. Here’s how the thermopile device would work with portable and mobile devices: You place your hand in contact with the device, and the body’s thermal energy is transferred to power the device. As described by Arciuolo, “Power will be generated with meager temperature differences—outputting substantial voltage and current.” He said the success of the device is based on content and scale. “The potential for this device is enhanced by the fact that there are no batteries, no consumables, and no hazards.” An important step towards making Arciuolo’s vision a reality is the recent acceptance of his grant proposal to conduct research at Brookhaven National Lab’s Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN) in Upton, New York. “What this grant allows us to do is have access to a world-class nanoscience facility to pursue our


research. More specifically, the grant permits access to the lab’s state-of-the-art micro and nanofabrication facilities for the nonproprietary fabrication of the device. There, we will develop a fabrication technique that is vital to making a full proprietary design,” he explained. The “we” he references includes his faculty advisor Xingguo Xiong, associate professor of electrical engineering at the University of Bridgeport. Once a week, Arciuolo and Xiong take advantage of the University’s seaside location to hop on the ferry from Bridgeport to Port Jefferson. “To sum it up, the first step that I completed was the derivation of the complete mathematical model of the design. Now, we are working on a computer simulation of the design as a proof of concept; and, in parallel, we are developing the device fabrication technique in a non-proprietary fashion at the lab. Later, we will go into an advanced fabrication phase with the aim of ultimately commercializing the device,” Arciuolo said. Arciuolo is the owner and president of Ultimate Interfaces Corporation in Milford, Connecticut. 

Tom Arciuolo with faculty advisor Xingguo Xiong, PhD

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The Naqvi Family Meets the Sharks Your children picky eaters? Won’t go to bed on time or put on their PJ’s? BY SUSAN ANDREWS


amza Naqvi was a go-getter and self-driven from the start. A 2002 University of Bridgeport graduate, Hamza held down multiple jobs and internships while completing a degree in finance and international business. “The longest internship I held while at UB was with JP Morgan Chase. I began as a teller and worked my way up to assisting a financial adviser with portfolio construction,” Hamza says. While a student at UB, Hamza was introduced to his wife and now



business partner, Amanda, who enjoyed visiting campus in her hometown of Bridgeport. A UB education had prepared Hamza well for a job he landed after graduation with Graham Capital in Norwalk, Connecticut. “I applied everything I learned in theory from books to real life and successfully competed against grads from Harvard, Princeton, and Yale. ‘Hedge fund’ was a fairly new term back then, so my timing was very good. I grew and stayed in that industry for 16 years,


culminating in my role as senior vice president with Paloma and animals, among others that we are in the process of Partners in Greenwich, Connecticut.” developing,” Hamza says. During his rise in the ranks at Paloma, Amanda’s Children are introduced to Kudo Banz through a storybook entrepreneurial spirit took off. “My story runs parallel to featuring fictional characters Drago and George. The high-energy, Hamza’s.” Hailing from an kid-friendly book walks them entrepreneurial family (her through the process step by step. great-grandfather founded There is also an interactive Desrosiers Storage in component to the product in the “I applied everything I learned Bridgeport), running a business form of a Kudo Banz app. Children seemed natural to her. “I always who achieve three charms a day will in theory from books to real dreamed of making something receive extra rewards by activating in the hopes of seeing it grow the Kudo Banz app—a parentlife and successfully competed and flourish.” controlled app that generates a Amanda started several Candyland-like labyrinth of joy and against grads from Harvard, businesses, but the one that wonder. A child spins the wheel stuck was PaperRamma, a and may earn an extra 15 minutes Princeton, and Yale.” company offering custom beyond her normal bedtime hour, artwork for homes, weddings, which will draw an enthusiastic and nurseries. “My grandpa response. showed me how to use tools, and it really paid off.” A major appeal of Kudo Banz is that it sets kids up for future Hamza assisted Amanda with growing the business. “About achievements. The couple says that you can’t teach self-esteem, three years ago, I noticed that I was having more fun working but Kudo Banz brings opportunity and lets kids learn from their with Amanda than working at my finance job, and I decided to mistakes so that they can grow. take over PaperRamma while Amanda began putting into action Their businesses operate out of the Unilever building in a new concept that she hoped to turn into a budding business.” Trumbull, Connecticut. Included on their staff are five talented The new idea would blossom into Kudo Banz, an innovative UB graduates. child-reward system that helps three- to six-year-olds achieve “Everyone we ran into, from our friends to our neighbors, their goals. It works to reinforce positive behavior similar to a encouraged us to go on ‘Shark Tank.’ Initially, I was reticent, as I smiley or star sticker and includes a fun, colorful band that is am shy, but the kids really love the show, and the rest is history,” worn on a child’s wrist as a goal reminder. Amanda explains. “I drew my inspiration from something that pulled at my After a year of auditions (including a live pitch in Pittsburgh) heartstrings. My oldest son, Mika’il, who is now 12, appeared to and signing a pile of confidentiality agreements, the Naqvi family start doubting himself at the age of three,” Amanda offers. She did pitched their idea to members of ABC’s “Shark Tank” show that not want to be the parent who kept telling her child “no” or overaired on March 17, 2019. disciplining him by doling out timeouts. The family gave an impassioned and impressive pitch to the Amanda tried using stickers for positive reinforcement when Sharks. Although they were not funded by the team of Sharks, Mika’il completed specific tasks without becoming upset. It the family felt that the experience was amazing. “We left inspired worked, but she needed a tool to use while they were away from to enhance and expand our product line to meet the needs of home, including grocery stores, parks, and friends’ homes. parents everywhere,” Hamza says. From a pool of 40,000 aspirant “To solve this problem, Amanda designed a colorful band to entrepreneurs, “Shark Tank” selects only 88 pitches to air per reinforce good behavior and it worked,” Hamza says. In tandem season. with the wristbands, she developed charms that easily fasten onto “To date, we have sold over 80,000 sets of Kudo Banz,” the bands. Hamza says. The innovative product can be purchased on Kudo Their son Ayaan and daughter Sofia also responded well to Banz’s website or Amazon and is available at a growing number the Kudo Banz system. Hamza assists Amanda with product of boutique stores in the U.S. The Naqvis have also started marketing and business development. Several eye-catching sets distributing Kudo Banz in Australia, Mexico, and the U.K. of charms (three each) designed by Amanda serve as a ladder of To learn more about the Naqvi family and Kudo Banz, visit success for the kids. “Charm themes include sports, princesses, 

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P O T S T ’ N DO ’ N I V E I BEL Melissa Salguero ’15 was selected as a 2019 Top 10 Global Teacher Prize Finalist BY SUSAN ANDREWS




F OR A C ERTA I N K I N D O F P E R S O N , nothing can

match the intrinsic satisfaction of being a classroom teacher. Also rising to the rank of incredible experiences would be appearances on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and the “Today” show, a Grammy Music Educator of the Year Award, selection as a Top 10 finalist for the Global Teacher Prize, and conversations with movie star Hugh Jackman. Imagine all of the above occurring within a five-year period. Only one person can claim to have done all of this: University of Bridgeport graduate Melissa Salguero. This March, Salguero, who earned a master’s degree in music education from the University of Bridgeport in 2015, and nine other teachers selected from around the world as Top 10 finalists for the Global Teacher Prize, met in Dubai for a whirlwind nineday adventure composed of meetings, interviews, and exchanges of teaching philosophies and pedagogies. In the preface to announcing the Top 10 Global Teacher Prize Finalists for 2019, actor Hugh Jackman brought the glitz, glamour, and spotlight to shine on a different type of celebrity: teachers. In discussing his childhood, Jackman said, “There were lots of superheroes that I wanted to be, but I can tell you right now from where I stand with all my experience that the real superheroes are teachers. They are the ones who change the world.” The Global Teacher Prize is a $1 million annual award given to “an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to their profession” by the Varkey Foundation. Salguero cheered on 2019 Global Teacher Prize winner Peter Tabichi of Kenya as Jackman made the announcement. The website for the Global Teacher Prize describes the geography, focus, and talents of the finalists as follows: “From teaching in remote towns and villages to inner-city schools, they advocate for inclusivity and for child rights, integrate migrants into classrooms, and nurture their students’ abilities and confidence using music, technology, robotics, and science.” “The experience of being in Dubai with the other finalists was incredible and life-changing,” Salguero explained. The most valuable aspect of the Dubai trip for Salguero was the networking. “The connections I made with other educators who shared the same vision to change the world was extraordinary.” She said that her teaching style benefited from the innovative pedagogical approaches of her cohort group. The experience opened up her eyes to a world of opportunities. “My initial vision was to improve my school and the lives of my students. When I returned, I wanted to change the world of education and help teachers thrive in their schools.” “I am proud to be a UB alum; no other university in the world has had two among the top 10 finalists for the Global Teacher Prize,” says Salguero. The other UB Top 10 finalist is Naomi

Volain ’83, who was a 2015 finalist. During the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai, Salguero presented her educational philosophy that focuses on respect, trust, and patience. When Salguero returned to the States, she appeared as a guest on the “Today” show. “I was hoping that I could bring my students along with me, but I was told I could not. You can imagine how surprised and overwhelmed I was to hear my students singing my favorite song, ‘Don’t Stop Believin’,’ on the plaza.” The Bose Corporation saw the “Today” show segment and donated sound equipment to her school. “We are building our program piece by piece. Now all we need is lighting and we will be all set,” Salguero said. What does the future hold for Salguero that could possibly upstage the chorus of success to date? Keep the music playing— and don’t stop believin’. Salguero has taught at Public School 48, Joseph R. Drake Elementary School in the Bronx since 2011. 

Top, Melissa Salguero chats with Jenna Bush Hager on the “Today” show. Bottom left, Melissa and her father George Salguero. Bottom right, Melissa posing with Hugh Jackman at the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai.

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Images: Top left, Manning featured in the 1986 Soccer Media Guide; Top right, Manning, his wife, Jennifer, and sons, John and Will, at Toronto FC championship parade; Bottom, Manning cheering on his 2017 MLS Cup winner


ill Manning ’87, ’89, the current president of Toronto FC, a Major League Soccer (MLS) team based in Toronto, Canada, has fond memories of UB. He even wonders if Cooper Hall is still open. “I have the fondest memories of Cooper 3,” he says. He recalls the late Manute Bol—UB’s most famous athlete, NBA star, and humanitarian—attending soccer games and cheering on the team. “Every weekend Marina Circle would be packed for intramural sports or another campus event.” “Our best soccer team was probably during my junior year,” Manning says. “However, we did not make the NCAA playoffs. During my senior year, we lost four or five of our starters, but we came together and made the Final Four.” Manning, sporting jersey #8, was one of only three Division II players to participate in the National Senior Bowl that year. Almost all talented athletes have a play or two that they relive repeatedly in their head. That play for Manning, a forward and goal scorer (who holds the University’s assist record), is a national semifinal game when UB was down by a goal. “I made a play on the left side of the field, shooting from about 25 yards out. It just missed. If I would have shifted a bit to the left, I might have scored. It was my senior year against the defending champion Seattle Pacific, and if the ball had gone in, it might have changed the momentum and result.” A native New Yorker from Massapequa, Manning arrived at the University of Bridgeport ready to play soccer for UB’s head coach at the time, the late Fran Bacon. “Another great was the legendary Chico Chacurian, who was the assistant coach and a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame,” Manning remembers. Chacurian, who passed away this year, was a special guest at Manning’s table when he was inducted into UB’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2006. During high school, Manning played soccer and basketball, and also wrestled. “I liked a number of sports, but the one I was best at


was soccer.” After securing his degree in business, he consulted with the then-dean, Frank Moriya, who suggested he stay on for his MBA. “I appreciated his advice as well as that of the then-UB president, the late Leland Miles.” Following his MBA, Manning continued his playing career, advancing to two U.S. Open Cup finals with the Brooklyn Italians, winning the title in 1991. Manning says that Major League Soccer was not even around when he graduated with his MBA in 1989. “I had a sort of vagabond professional league experience, but my time playing professionally has proved helpful in my career.” He started his sports career a bit late, but not too late that he could not soar to the top. “I was late to get on the sports bus, but I have been able to make a career of it,” he says. Manning has worked in numerous time zones and in a variety of professional sports, from minor league soccer, professional basketball (the NBA’s Houston Rockets), professional football (the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles), and back to soccer (Major League Soccer with Tampa, and then Real Salt Lake). “In the last decade, you see more individuals in sports management cross over between leagues and sports. In the past, people used to stay in their own lane,” Manning explains. Manning describes his most exciting career achievement as having two Major League Soccer teams win championships in MLS: Salt Lake in 2009 and Toronto in 2017. He is the only team president to win with two different teams. Chalk up another championship when he was president of a minor league soccer team, the Minnesota Thunder (now MLS’s Minnesota United). He credits his UB business education with helping him succeed as a team president. In that role, he oversees all departments, including business, team, and stadium operations (such as marketing and sales).

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Bill and Jennifer Manning and son, Will, with MLS Supporters’ Shield trophy

Manning serves as the co-chair of the Toronto bid for the 2026 World Cup. “I had the opportunity to interact with federal, city, and provincial governments. It’s been quite an honor, especially as an American in Canada.” Toronto will be one of three Canadian cities to host the games. He believes this may change the game in Canada as the ’94 World Cup did for the U.S. Competitiveness drives Manning. “I like to win, and I want to win at everything on and off the field. I compare myself and my team against my competitors.” And in soccer, there is a growing list of competitors. Soccer is the fastest-growing sport in America. The number of soccer teams has doubled in the last 12 years, he says. Asked what he thinks about David Beckham’s foray into soccer in the capacity of an expansion team owner, he quickly answers, “Soccer changed in a big way when Beckham joined the LA Galaxy as a 31-year-old and helped win championships. Beckham was fantastic for soccer then and will be again in Miami.” What’s the next goal for Manning? “I am working toward making our team the model franchise in all of North America.” A Canadian Football League team, the Toronto Argonauts, has been added to his portfolio. “Toronto is a big city and a big



market. I will strive to make the football team a model franchise as well over time.” “My friends and I had a great educational and social experience at UB in the mid- to late 80s. Many have successful careers, even surpassing graduates from top-tier universities. Credit has to go to the University.” Besides achieving first-team All-America status at UB, leading his team to a Final Four appearance as a senior, and acquiring a solid business foundation, Manning has another reason to count his UB experience as invaluable. He met his future wife, Jennifer (nee Gaffney ’91), a fashion merchandising major, on campus. “I saw her photo in the gymnastics brochure and told my friend that I was going to meet her,” he recalls. Manning says that Jennifer’s UB degree in fashion merchandising served her well in her roles as a buyer and store manager at Nordstrom prior to leaving the workforce to raise their children. The Mannings have two sons, John and Will. “Soccer is a family passion in our house. I am fortunate that my wife and sons enjoy soccer and love to attend the games.” 

A 50-year union forged at UB Howard and Nancy Copelan serve as alumni representatives and champions of the University for the state of Florida B Y G R E G H A R D E S T Y

AS I S COM M O N with couples

approaching 50 years of marriage, Howard and Nancy Copelan love to tease each other. Their union began during Nancy’s first week at the University of Bridgeport, in 1966. She had just enrolled in the Fones School of Dental Hygiene, the first school of its kind in the world. Howard was a marketing major in the College of Business Administration. “We met at a hamburger joint right off

The Copelans, both 70, are semiretired and living in Delray Beach, Florida, their home for the last two decades. They are ambassadors of UB, and as alumni representatives for the Sunshine State have hosted receptions in their home and local hotels. Nancy and Howard recently hosted President Laura Trombley and Marie Muhvic, vice president for advancement, where President Trombley presented a number of exciting upcoming initiatives for the University.

campus,” Howard recalls. “I was looking around and I saw this beautiful woman and I came back and started to ask around if anybody knew her. It turned out my roommate was from the same town she was from on Long Island.”

“We’re trying to reach out to as many alumni as possible to share all that is happening at UB today. It’s a very different University from what it was in the 1960s.” For the last two years, Howard, who


graduated from UB in 1970, has served as a mentor to UB students. Currently, he’s advising a graduate student in the Trefz School of Business. In 2018, Nancy marked her 50th anniversary as a UB graduate, which earned her the prestigious Golden Knight distinction. She spoke last year at the Fones School of Dental Hygiene Commencement. The Fones School of Dental Hygiene was established in 1949 and has been accredited since 1953. Nancy explained how her 50-year career in the dental field has been very diverse, ranging from private practice to academics, public health, and consulting. She earned an associate’s degree at UB, and a bachelor’s degree at the University of Maryland Dental School in Baltimore. After retiring from consulting, Nancy devotes her time to volunteering and creating sculptural bronze art and jewelry. Howard is president of Orchid Electronics, a distributor of electronic components to non-consumer clients. Outside of work, Howard enjoys playing tennis, pickleball, and cards. The Copelans fondly remember UB. They continue to speak the language of two UB graduates who remain very much in love. They have a grown daughter who works for a hedge fund in New York City and two grandchildren, ages 6 and 4. 

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Stephanie Sura ’19

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he weather, the best day of spring bar none, was picture perfect, with Seaside Park as the idyllic, stunning backdrop for the University of Bridgeport’s undergraduate and graduate Commencement ceremonies. All in attendance were pleased to experience the events on campus, under the big top—in honor of Bridgeport legend P.T. Barnum—for the first time in more than 20 years. Happiness and pride filled the early morning air on Saturday, May 18, as the milestone occasion closed one chapter and ushered in the next with appropriate pomp and circumstance, first for the undergraduates and then for the graduate students. The elegantly appointed Graduate Health Sciences Commencement ceremony, held on Sunday, May 12, in the André and Clara Mertens Theater in the Arnold Bernhard Arts and Humanities Center, was the first of the three ceremonies. During all three events, President Trombley charged the new graduates with staying in touch with their alma mater. Her first year, and their last, is especially memorable for both. Students, faculty, administrators, and special guests processed through the recently renovated Marina Arch (not the Perry Memorial Arch) toward the tent, marking the beginning of a new tradition. In her passionate speech, describing her personal journey to graduation, Alison Camillo, the undergraduate student speaker, challenged her peers: “Take your degree and do everything you possibly can do with it. Squeeze everything out of it. Make the hard work you put in worth your while. No matter how hard you all work in life, please do not forget also to live your life. Live life. Breathe. Enjoy everything. It is a beautiful world and it is your playground.” Camillo told an enthusiastic audience: “When we walked into this school, we did so as a group of individuals—and today, we leave as Purple Knight alumni.” The undergraduate Commencement speaker was Congresswoman Jahana Hayes, the first African American woman to represent the state of Connecticut in Congress. A National Teacher of the Year awardee, she received a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Educational Leadership from the University of Bridgeport in 2014. Summer Cruz, senior class president of the Student



Government Association, introduced Rep. Hayes as “a groundbreaking, award-winning teacher and public servant, and a fierce advocate for equitable access to educational opportunities.” In her inspiring speech, Hayes said, “Although today marks the end of your journey, I hope you realize that your education is not complete.” She told the graduates that she took a circuitous route to get to where she is today. She always wanted to be a teacher and still considers herself one: “I watched every movement of every teacher that stood before me. I listened to their words. I loved school. In my mind, I imagined a future for me that was different than the life that existed. I imagined living in a place that was not in the community of poverty where I was growing up. And every part of those thoughts included an education.” Graduate Commencement speaker Stacie Ropka, PhD, JD, a partner at Axinn, Veltrop & Harkrider LLP, specializes in the practice of law with a focus on the Food and Drug Administration, intellectual property, and patents. Describing change as the only constant in life, Ropka said, “My own experiences in graduate school gave me my foundation in learning and the confidence to pursue and succeed in a career field that was unknown when I began my educational journey.” Ropka’s commentary underscored the importance of UB’s career-oriented focus and commitment to prepare its students for careers of the future. President Trombley spoke to graduates about their uniqueness “as the rare blue moon that shines over Long Island Sound, for all that’s distinct about their journeys” and about their hard work and enormous sacrifices that “connect one graduate to another.” The Commencement speaker for the Health Sciences graduates was Tracy W. Gaudet, MD, executive director, Veterans Health Administration Office of Patient-Centered Care & Cultural Information. She is a recognized leader in the transformation of healthcare. Gaudet addressed the current state of health and well-being in America, saying that it is in a full-blown crisis. However, she countered that grim assessment by noting that the good news about crisis is that it calls for transformation. “What is needed is radically re-envisioning what healthcare actually is and redesigning how we deliver it.”


Undergraduate Commencement speaker Jahana Hayes ’14, the first African American congresswoman in CT

Golden Knights stand proud

Marina Arch and a new tradition

College of Health Sciences chiropractic graduates take the Chiropractic Oath

To success and a bright future

President Trombley’s first UB graduation

Joseph Marcello, ND, with his daughter Gianna after earning his degree from the School of Naturopathic Medicine

A day to celebrate and remember

Mortarboard Wisdom

Gaudet stated that “the real solution to the healthcare crisis in you—you all are the answer.” She challenged the graduates to be change agents who must be ready to engage patients as full partners, empowering them to align their unique healthcare goals with a healthy lifestyle rooted in prevention. During the undergraduate ceremony, six UB alumni from the Class of 1969 were recognized as Golden Knights on the 50th

anniversary of their graduation. Those who could not be present with their loved ones and friends at the ceremonies were able to enjoy the livestream from afar, celebrating student achievement from all corners of the globe. Photos and videos from the Commencement ceremonies are available at 

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Schelfhaudt Gallery 

ID Alumni Design Show August 26 – October 12

(Opening Reception: September 28, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.)

Type Directors Club

October 23 – January 11

(Opening Reception: October 23, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.)

A large, modern exhibit space in the Arnold Bernhard Center on the UB main campus, the Schelfhaudt Gallery is free and open to the public during these hours: Tuesday–Friday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. 20 U B KN IG HTL IN E S SP RING/SUMMER 201 9

Everything My Parents Taught Me in 6 Steps: Life’s Guide Shelby Davis (Right House Publications, 2018) Shelby C. Davis ’11, in his motivational book, writes about how to begin each day using six easy steps. Mr. Davis received his master’s in counseling from the University of Bridgeport. Jade Mountains and Cinnabar Pools: The History of Travel Literature in Imperial China James M. Hargett (University of Washington Press, 2018) James M. Hargett ’72 pens the first book-length treatment in English of Chinese travel literature (youji). He identifies and examines core works in the genre from the Six Dynasties (220-589) to the late Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Dr. Hargett earned his bachelor of arts in political science.


Beyond the Gender Gap in Japan Linda Hasunuma, PhD, contributing author (University of Michigan Press, 2019) Linda Hasunuma, PhD, assistant professor of political science, contributed her findings on how women, especially mothers, organized after 3/11 (the name coined for the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami that destroyed the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant). Recruitment and Selection: Strategies for Workforce Planning & Assessment Carrie A. Picardi, PhD (SAGE Publications Inc., 2019) Carrie A. Picardi, PhD, associate professor of management, describes best practices for designing, implementing, and evaluating strategies for hiring the right people. One of the book’s main focal points is job design and understanding the significance of how job analysis flows throughout the staffing process. The combination of Picardi’s academic and industry experience helps teach students how to assess candidates in an accurate, legal, and ethical manner.

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who have distinguished themselves by creating opportunities for women to


complete their higher education and/ or pursue careers in higher education in the state of Connecticut.


(4) Linda Paslov, EdD, director of administrative operations in the College of Engineering, Business,

(1) Robert Riggs, PhD, chair and associate

the Student Entrepreneur Center at

and Education, is the recipient of the

professor of religion and politics, has been

the University of Bridgeport and has

CTAWN 2019 Emerging Leader Award.

named a Fulbright Scholar by the J. William

been instrumental in the design and

This award recognizes and honors

Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

implementation of UB’s new Bauer Hall

a woman with at least five years of

Riggs will teach and research as a visiting

Innovation Center.” 

professional experience in higher education who has been a leader in

Fulbright Scholar at the Gulf University for Science and Technology’s Global Studies

The University of Bridgeport was

the development and/or operation

Center in Kuwait. The title of his research

recognized for Academy Curriculum

of an office, program, or service that

project is “Where Sectarianism Ends:

Excellence in CCNA as a result of its

has significantly advanced women’s

Mapping Intra-religious Peace in Kuwait.”

accomplishments and contributions

learning and development in the state

to Cisco Networking Academy. The

of Connecticut.

Riggs also was selected to

(5) Gladys Njeri Muturi, a UB

participate in the 2019 Teaching

annual award is presented to one

Interfaith Understanding Seminar.

academy in each region for achieving

graduate student, is one of two

This seminar is offered by the Council of

excellence in teaching a curriculum. The

recipients of the CTAWN 2019 Graduate

Independent Colleges (CIC) and Interfaith

Cisco Networking Academy program

Student Scholarship. She received a

Youth Corps with the generous support of

uses a rigorous process to select

scholarship in the amount of $2000,

the Henry Luce Foundation. 

academies for this award based on

which supports a graduate student who

student feedback scores and student

has been accepted to or is currently

performance. 

enrolled in a graduate program in

(2) Elena Cahill, JD, director of the

the state of Connecticut and whose

Ernest C. Trefz School of Business, received the Entrepreneurial

The University took home three of four

academic interests are in the area of

Innovation & Leadership Award at the annual Women of Innovation (WOI)

prestigious awards from the recent

social justice or gender equality. 




event sponsored by the Connecticut Technology Council. Here is an excerpt

American Council on Education CT





Women’s Network (CTAWN): (3) Tarek Sobh, PhD, PE, executive




(6) Mark Pitcher, PhD, director, Health Sciences Inter-Professional Research,

from her nominator’s submission: “As

vice president and dean of the

was selected for a fellowship to join

an entrepreneur, attorney and educator,

College of Engineering, Business, and

the 2019-20 Mayday Pain & Society

Elena Cahill has helped hundreds of

Education, received the CTAWN 2019

Fellowship: Communicating Science &

individuals create new businesses.

Friend of Women in Higher Education

Improving Care Program. 

She founded and is a past director of

Award. This award honors individuals


(7) Patricia Mulcahy-Ernt, PhD, professor

Arrangement.” Dr. Bhushan Dharmadikhari

becoming award recipients. 

of education and director of the graduate

served as the advisor and Dr. Prabir Patra

programs in Literacy and Secondary

(11) Luanelly Iglesias, a 2002 graduate of

as co-advisor. Navarun Gupta won the

English Education, has been nominated

the School of Education with a degree in

outstanding campus representative award

by the College Reading and Learning

Elementary Education, is the recipient of

for both section and zone. 

Association to be a Fellow in the Council of

the George I. Sanchez Memorial Award. The

Learning Assistance and Developmental

award is given annually to an educator who

(17) Kelli Meyer, director of campus

Education Association, which is a

promotes education for Hispanic children. 

activities and civic engagement, was

consortium of professional organizations

recognized by the Fairfield County

concerned with postsecondary learning

UB Industrial Design students (12)

Business Journal as a 2019 Fairfield

assistance or developmental education.

Hong Fan (Nissan), (13) Zhenyu Yang

40 Under Forty winner. 

This prestigious nomination recognizes

(Volvo), and (14) Haocong Ye (AAA) in

outstanding contributions to higher

UB’s Shintaro Akatsu School of Design

(18) Carol Papp, DNP, MS, RN-BC, dean

education and leadership in the field. 

placed first, third, and fifth in the

of the College of Health Sciences, is the

Design for Traffic Safety Competition

recipient of the St. Anselm College (SAC)

(8) Flo McPherson, ND, was elected to

at the New York International Auto

2019 Health Service Alumni Award, which

the Board of Trustees of the American

Show in NYC, one of the biggest

recognizes alumni or friends of the College

Institute of Homeopathy, the oldest medical

auto shows in the world with more

for exceptional achievement in health

association in the U.S., established in 1844. 

than 1 million people in attendance.

care, research, practice, and/or health

The students were awarded a total

education. 

(9) Diane Doodnauth, a first-year

of $6,000 in prize money at the

graduate student in the master’s

auto show’s World Traffic Safety

(19) Laura Skandera Trombley, PhD,

program in Global Development &

Symposium. Richard Yelle, director

received the 2019 Legacy Award from

Peace in the UB’s School of Public

of Shintaro Akatsu School of Design,

the Center for Mark Twain Studies at

and International Affairs (SPIA), and

served as the faculty advisor. 

Elmira College (NY). 

Business major, have been awarded

UB MS students in the Department of

(20) Ruba Deeb, PhD, director of

Critical Language Scholarships

Biomedical Engineering (15) Wu Qi and

Biomedical Research Development

(CLS) to study Korean in South Korea

(16) Pegi Haliti, along with Boxborough

and associate professor of Biomedical

(the 11th and 12th CLS awards for

Regional High School student Antara

Engineering & Technology Management,

UB). The CLS program, an intensive

Pal, placed third among undergraduate

was awarded a certificate from the

(10) Amy Siranaula, an International





15, 16





overseas language and cultural

and graduate students from colleges in

Stratford Partnership for Youth and

immersion program for American

the Northeast in an American Society

Families in recognition of Making

students enrolled at U.S. colleges and

for Engineering Education (ASEE)

Extraordinary Differences And Leading

universities, is sponsored by the U.S.

competition. The competition included 60

Stratford (MEDALS). 

Government. The CLS scholarship

research projects. Their project was titled

program is highly competitive, with

“A Computational Approach for Cancer

only 10 percent of applicants

Invasion Manipulation through ECM


U B K NI GH T L I NE S S PR I N G /S U M M E R 2 01 9





UB and ARS Team Up and Showcase a New Cloud Robotics Platform at Amazon Web Services CES Booth











From L to R: Pritesh Bhavsar ’19 (MS in computer science), Sarosh Patel, assistant professor of computer science and engineering, and Tarek Sobh, executive vice president and dean of the College of Engineering, Business, and Education






Cover Illustration Key

The University of Bridgeport and industry partner Advanced Robot Solutions (ARS), a High Visibility Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) company, demonstrated an innovative service robot in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) space at the 2019 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, one of the world’s biggest technology events.

1. Wisteria 2. Peet, Smith & Company opened in Bridgeport, 1815 3. The Bridgeport and Port Jefferson Steamboat Company 4. Main Street Clock 5. Frisbie Pie Company was founded in Bridgeport, 1871 6. Circus Tent 7. Columbia Records’ manufacturing operations were based in Bridgeport until 1964 8. Basketball 9. Yost Writing Machine Company was based in Bridgeport, 1887-1924 10. Elias Howe established The Howe Machine Co. in Bridgeport between 1865 and 67 11. Historic postcard of the New Fairfield Bridge, Bridgeport 12. P.T. Barnum 13. Mark Twain’s Other Woman: The Hidden Story of His Final Years, by President Laura Trombley, PhD 14. The Barnum Museum 15. Red Ruffles Azalea Shrub on campus 16. Perry Memorial Arch 17. UB tattoo

A special shout-out to Prof. Eric Lehman for his assistance in identifying historically accurate images that are referenced in “O, Bridgeport” by Tom Healy.



New Job? New Grandchild? The University of Bridgeport wants to know what you’ve been up to, and so do your classmates! Keep in touch at

The Bridgeport Plan The Bridgeport Plan is a distinctive educational approach designed to promote student success at the University of Bridgeport. The purpose of this unique concept is twofold: to connect education to careers while students pursue undergraduate degrees and to serve as a resource to alumni from recruitment to retirement. UB students are encouraged to tap the multitude of resources and support services available to them in a welcoming environment. Located in the Heckman Center on the second floor of the Wahlstrom Library and available to students as soon as they commit to UB, the Bridgeport Plan offers academic and co-curricular programming along with a host of support services in an open-floor design that includes social spaces to build community. From day one, all first-year students are paired with an academic advisor to help them build their first semester around a learning community with three classes and a group of 20 students. Upperclass students serve as peer mentors, and classes are taught by excellent faculty, including the president and provost. The Academic Advising Center reaches out to students to ensure a smooth transition to college and sets them on a path to graduate on time. Students benefit from strong faculty–student collaboration in which they receive guidance on majors, minors, and general core courses. Students can take advantage of the Tutoring and Learning Center, open six days a week, for writing, math, science, and more. Career Development helps students find internships and navigate the job search process. Students are advised about careers that align with their interests and talents, receive information about careers of the future, and learn the shortand long-term salary expectations in their chosen field. Other benefits of working with Career Development include resume preparation, interview practice, and workshops; alumni networking (job shadowing); career showcasing; and major fairs. Internships are vital in preparing students with real-world experience for early career success. UB students often excel in their internships and may be hired by the organizations where they intern. Many UB alumni offer internships, job shadowing opportunities, and jobs to our talented students. Students may apply to join the Honors Program as early as their first semester or after their first semester (based on GPA), where they will have a dedicated lounge space, interdisciplinary course offerings, early course registration, and extracurricular activities. Students learn about transformative study abroad opportunities that vary in duration from a week to a semester to a full academic year. Trips to Costa Rica, Guatemala, Hungary, and other destinations take place during spring break, providing outstanding opportunities for students to apply their theoretical

knowledge and obtain hands-on experience. While students make an impact in the world, they acquire a strong sense of intercultural understanding. Volunteerism is an important part of a college experience, and UB students take part in a service day and a service fair during Welcome Week. Students may volunteer locally, during alternative spring breaks, or through faculty-led trips that focus on volunteerism. The University of Bridgeport is the first university on the East Coast to offer an Equality Lounge, a student-run pop-up where women connect, collaborate, and activate change—preparing women with confidence to advance in the workforce through programming, mentoring, and community. Student leadership opportunities abound at UB with 60+ clubs and organizations, internships, classroom experiences, and more. The Bridgeport Plan helps students become the lead in their own unique stories. -SA

Concept renderings of The Bridgeport Plan in the Heckman Center by Antinozzi Associates

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Impactful Research 2019 Faculty Research Day

The University of Bridgeport’s ninth annual Faculty Research Day competition showcased a diverse array of faculty and student research throughout the Schelfhaudt Gallery in the campus’ Arnold Bernhard Arts & Humanities Center. Over 100 posters were on display

with researchers present to discuss their work with the UB community and general public. Thirteen additional posters were on display, belonging to participants from Housatonic Community College and select area high schools, including

Fairchild Wheeler Magnet High School – IT & Software Engineering (Bridgeport), Notre Dame High School (Fairfield), Shelton High School, and the Stratford High School Project, which involves students from Bunnell, Fairfield Warde, Stratford, New Canaan, and Kolbe Cathedral High Schools. Prominent surgery robotics researcher Bruno Siciliano, PhD (University of Naples Federico II) delivered the keynote speech, “The Future is Now! Robots, AI and Automation,” followed by oral presentations by notable faculty and student researchers. Always a crowd favorite, UB’s STEM bus—the first in Connecticut—rolled onto the scene, parked, and remained open to curious event participants. Tarek Sobh, executive vice president for research & economic development and dean of the College of Engineering, Business, and Education, recognized cochairs Christine Hempowicz, EdD, and Joanna Badara, PhD, for their work in organizing the annual event.


The University of Bridgeport has many creative and diverse ways in which you can leave your legacy.  Securities Transfer

 Electronic Funds Transfer

 Charitable Gift Annuity, Trust, or other Legacy Gift  Real Estate or Personal Property

 Wire Transfer

 Donor Advised Fund

 Cash or Check or Credit Card

Please contact our Office of Advancement at 203-576-4542 today to explore these options and more.


 Charitable IRA Rollover  Gifts-in-kind

2019 SASD Lifetime Achievement Award Three 1986 graduates of the University of Bridgeport—Donna Shea, Andy Pandiani, and Eugene Shapiro—were awarded the Shintaro Akatsu School of Design (SASD) 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award. The SASD Gala took place on May 4 at the Schelfhaudt Gallery in the Arnold Bernhard Center for the Arts & Humanities. In 1985, three University of Bridgeport classmates and friends began envisioning a plan for a new start-up business. The trio of students, due to their industrial design studies, were drawn into the world of trade show exhibits. On receiving the award and enjoying the trip down memory lane, the business partners agreed that the industrial design degree is still as relevant today as it was in 1986. They remarked that their UB education had prepared them for career success, noting several inspirational teachers who influenced their career path. Two of the three even met their spouses at UB. “It’s so heartening to see friendships

forged at UB turn into impactful relationships for life, both personally and professionally,” said Marie Muhvic, vice president for advancement. The winning team also mentioned that they were pleased to be graduates of a school with so many illustrious alumni who have gone on to become leaders in illustration, lighting, metals, and fabrication. In 1986, with $1,500 each, the three officially opened the doors of their small business in Bridgeport, offering customized exhibits and point-ofpurchase displays. Still thriving, now 33 years later, Innovative Display & Design, Inc. (IDD) is a global leader in brand experiences through award-winning exhibit design, unique events, and made-to-order customer experiences. IDD serves customers big and small from a broad range of industries, including healthcare, printing, chemicals, information technology, software, financial services, cloud computing, energy, and more.

DO YOU HAVE A PIANO TAKING UP ROOM IN YOUR HOUSE OR STORAGE? Bring music and joy to others by donating your piano to UB for student use in the residence halls. Let the music continue!

Restoring the ornate black wrought iron Marina Arch at the Marina Circle The ornate black wrought iron Marina Arch at the Marina Circle (not the Perry Memorial Arch) on the University of Bridgeport campus was removed to undergo a minor restoration. The preservation of this historical landmark that was originally in front of Marina, P.T. Barnum’s mansion (now the location of Marina Dining Hall), both refreshes its elegant design and ensures its sustainability for generations of UB students to come. The arch made its return to campus in time for Commencement.


Attention Proud UB Alumni You know firsthand the benefits of the University of Bridgeport experience.

Email Kelly Campion-Socol at

Lead the way for new UB students by referring them to

U B K NI GH T L I NE S S PR I N G /S U M M E R 2 01 9


UB students awarded best delegation at Model United Nations conference in New York BY MIGUEL ARROYO ’07, ’08, ’15 The University of Bridgeport Model United Nations (UBMUN) team won the Outstanding Delegation award at the 2019 National Model United Nations Conference in New York (NMUN NY), the highest award given at the conference. This is the first time the UB team has won this prestigious award in 13 years of attending the NMUN NY conference, the most competitive Model UN event in the country. Over 5,000 students from all around the country and the world were in attendance. This year the UBMUN represented the country of Sierra Leone in six committees and Belgium in the Security Council. The UB team also won the Outstanding Position Paper award in the General Assembly First Committee, which is one of the highest academic awards given at the NMUN conference. In addition, two UB students were selected to become chairs of their committees: Ameya Patkar ’19 (General Assembly Third Committee) and Ryan Saunders ’20 (United Nations Children’s Fund). Ameya Patkar, president of the UBMUN club, knew how hard it was to win an award at the NMUN conference and made sure that this year’s team was well trained. He attributes the success of the team to the rigorous training that the team endured in preparation for the conference: “The team prepared for a period of four months leading up to the conference, which included simulations of committee proceedings, research, discussions of important geopolitical issues and writing position papers.” Zachary Remington ’22 was the Head Delegate for the UBMUN team at the conference. He said that the night the team won the Outstanding Delegation award, the reaction of the UB team was “pure euphoria!” He also stated that the look of accomplishment in each of the team members’ eyes after receiving the good news was “worth every hour we put into preparing for the conference.” As the Head Delegate, Remington understood the importance of the achievement that the team had accomplished: “This group of new, passionate, young leaders saw their hard work rewarded with the acknowledgement that they were the best of the best, earning the respect of thousands of students from around the world.” Faculty advisor Dr. Chunjuan Nancy Wei, chair and associate professor of East Asian and Pacific Rim Studies at the School of Public and International Affairs, said that “Model UN conferences are a great place to meet like-minded youths” who care about international politics and diplomacy. “The skills students gained include teamwork, public speaking, and critical thinking— skills crucial for future success in life.” In New York more than half of the delegates were from outside the United States. The UB delegates participated in a range of issues and gained rich experience in simulated negotiation and cooperation. Wei was proud that “the UB delegates have demonstrated their leadership


and were recognized for their outstanding performance.” The awards were “a testimony to the rigorous preparation under the leadership of Ameya Patkar and the guidance of my colleague Adjunct Professor Miguel Arroyo.”


Attention Alumni Planning to attend Homecoming Weekend 2019 If you attended UB during the bowling alley’s heyday, you may wish to purchase a remnant from the past at this year’s Homecoming Weekend. Dust off an original UB bowling ball or pick up a bowling pin for the good ol’ days. Surprise a former bowling team partner or treat yourself to a piece of nostalgia. It’s a great way to STRIKE up a conversation.

University of Bridgeport recognized as a Phi Kappa Phi Circle of Excellence Platinum Chapter The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi—the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines—recently recognized the University of Bridgeport’s chapter as a Circle of Excellence Platinum Chapter. The platinum level is the highest commendation a chapter can receive from the organization. According to the organization’s release, “The award is given to chapters that exceed expectations in chapter operations and who demonstrate sustainability and vitality as a chapter of Phi Kappa Phi.” The Circle of Excellence distinction is a part of the Society’s Circle of Honor program, which was introduced in 2018 and awarded for the first time this year. Phi Kappa Phi currently has chapters on more than 300 select campuses in the United States and the Philippines. “The Circle of Honor program recognizes Phi Kappa Phi chapters that have gone above and beyond to promote academic excellence on their campuses,” said Society Executive Director Dr. Mary Todd.


Leave your mark by paying it forward to the Annual Fund! WHAT IS THE ANNUAL FUND? The annual fund is the driver that makes UB stand out. Without your support to the Annual Fund, we would not have the resources that make our classes and activities valuable and unique. WHY IS GIVING IMPORTANT? In addition to improving the student experience, our standing in college rankings is partly dependent on the number of alumni who give back. With each donation, the value of past and future UB degrees increases! WHAT IS OUR CURRENT PARTICIPATION RATE? To date, our alumni participation rate is 3%. The national average is around 11%, according to U.S. News & World Report. No matter the amount, every gift matters!

P.T. Barnum Festival Parade

HOW TO GIVE BACK Give online: Give over the phone: (203) 576-4542 Give through the mail: University of Bridgeport Office of Advancement 126 Park Avenue Bridgeport, CT 06604 Questions? Please contact Ryan Zapolski: (203) 576-4542

The UB float and the STEM bus at the 71st annual Barnum Festival Great Street Parade that took place in late June

Thank you to all who have given back this year! UB would not be the same without your support!

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new le a d er s h i p ea team m e m be r s

Susan Andrews Vice President for Marketing & Communications

Susan has 23 years of experience in leadership positions at Northwestern University, Gustavus Adolphus College, Pitzer College, the University of Southern California, Bradley University, and Penn State. Sara Connolly, PhD Assistant Provost, Director of the Bridgeport Plan

Sara has more than 20 years of experience in student success in higher education, having previously served both in student affairs administrative roles and as a faculty member. Louis R. Izzi, Jr. Vice President for Enrollment Management & Athletics

Lou has over 25 years of experience in higher education, including leadership and coaching positions at Johnson & Wales University, Nichols College, and New England College. Yuet Lee Vice President for Administration and Finance

Yuet has over 35 years of progressive experience in internal auditing and administration and finance. Prior to the University of Bridgeport, Yuet served as Vice President for Administration and Finance at Pitzer College and at California State University.


Craig Lennon Dean of Students, Student Affairs

Craig has over 20 years of professional experience working as a faculty member and administrator in Residential Life, Study Abroad, Campus Activities, Greek Life, Civic Engagement, Student Leadership, and Diversity Initiatives. He has worked at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Grafton Job Corps, Council Exchanges-CIEE, Donbass State Pedagogical University, and UB.

Marie Muhvic Vice President for Advancement

Marie has over 10 years of advancement experience in positions of increasing responsibility, including the University of Tennessee, Princeton University, Fairfield University, St. John’s University, and New England College.

Ashley Perzyna Chief of Staff & Assistant Secretary of the Board of Trustees

Ashley has over 10 years of experience in presidential administration and board governance at colleges, universities, and institutionally related foundations. She held positions at DePaul University, the New England Board of Higher Education, the University of Illinois Foundation, and Dickinson College. Jason Rivera, PhD Vice President for University Systems, Effectiveness, and Planning

Jason has more than 10 years of experience working within higher education as both a faculty member and administrator focused on data and institutional effectiveness at Claremont Graduate University, Pitzer College, and Dickinson College.

n e w to t h e b oa rd o f t ru st ee s

Kevin C. Leahy president & CEO, Connecticut Wealth Management

Frederick W. Serra ’84 managing director, NFP Associates

Ann M. Ryan, PhD professor of English, Le Moyne College

Thomas P. Haynes president & CEO, Haynes Group, Inc.

Sean M. Carroll president, Merit Insurance Inc.

Herman Green owner, Benman Industries

Carol Johnson Green president, little green angel

Leah Blatt Glasser, PhD professor of English and former Dean of Studies, Mount Holyoke College

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2 3


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Isha and Sushant Singh ’13 MS, ’17 MS (MBA ’20, PhD student respectively) served up a winning combination during the 2018 Innovative Challenge Weekend, which was held at Fairfield University.

Reem Mahjoub ’18, PhD (computer science) competed in the Guinness Hajj Hackathon in summer 2018 that set a Guinness world record for the most participants in a hackathon. Her team placed in the top 10 out of 700 teams, 3,000 participants representing 100 nations.

Reem Alattas ’18, PhD (computer science and engineering) was named a Women of Innovation Awards finalist by the Connecticut Technology Council at its 15th annual event, honoring women of all ages who are making their mark in myriad fields. She was interviewed about her many accomplishments on “Good Morning CT” (WTNH).

Aresta Johnson ’10, EdD, has been hired by the University of Bridgeport as the director of K-12 strategic initiatives within its School of Education. Johnson earned her doctorate in Education from UB in 2010. She most recently served as the superintendent of Bridgeport Public Schools.





Linda Hasunuma, PhD (assistant professor of political science) joined Worldview to discuss the first Japanese abdication in over 200 years.

James J. Lehman, DC, MBA (director of University of Bridgeport Clinics and Community Health Clinical Education Department) appeared on a Comcast Community Forum episode. His interview focused on the challenge of accessibility and affordability of healthcare as well as the University’s collaboration with the Community Health Center in Bridgeport. Lehman also serves as the director of UB Clinics.

Robert Riggs, PhD (chair and associate professor of religion and politics) is a frequent guest on CTV News Video Network. In June alone, he appeared on four video newscasts covering a number of topics, including the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Pompeo’s meeting with the Saudi king, and U.S.Iran tensions regarding the downing of a drone and increased sanctions. Chunjuan Nancy Wei, PhD (chair and associate professor of East Asian and Pacific Rim Studies) appeared on the Voice of America Russia program regarding the U.S.-China trade relations ahead of the Trump-Xi Summit.

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class notes We want to hear what you’ve been up to, and so do your classmates! Submit your class notes to or UB Knightlines, 126 Park Avenue, Bridgeport, CT 06604

McKernan ’77, Fones School of Dental Hygiene, resides in Florida; Kris Welsh Holleran ’77, College of Nursing,

resides in New Hampshire.


Margaret Smith ’92, RN, of Norwalk


Kenneth A. Graham ’71,

retired Assistant Attorney General for the State of Connecticut, has been reappointed by the Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court to a seventh term of office as Superior Court Trial Referee. He was also reappointed to a new three-year term of office as Superior Court Arbitrator/Fact Finder. Roger Carlson ’74 recently retired

as Director of Corporate Strategy from Verizon and previously ITT Corp. He fondly recalls being an adjunct Economics instructor in CAS during the late 70s. Neill Borowski ’75 in January was

promoted to Enterprise and Watchdog Editor in the Washington bureau of USA TODAY from Executive Editor of USAT Network newsrooms in the Southern Tier of New York State (Binghamton, Ithaca, Elmira). He now resides in Fairfax, Virginia. We all met freshman year, August of 1973. We are still the closest of friends. We celebrated 45 years of sisterhood in 2018 in Ireland! We stayed at Kilcolgan Castle ... unbelievably fantastic! Left to right: Joan Mesch Heather ’77, College of Nursing, resides in Washington state; Janet (JJ) Jezsik ’77, College of Nursing, resides in North Carolina; LuAnn Lawton


run a nonprofit called Basement Films ( and a film festival (14 years) called Experiments in Cinema ( To this end I am forever grateful for my tenure at UB!”

Michael Hedden ’76

was appointed Chair of NJ Sharing Network, the nonprofit organization responsible for the recovery of organs and tissue for nearly 4,000 New Jersey residents awaiting life-saving transplants.


Bryan Konefsky ’80 writes, “My time

as an undergraduate art student at UB (1976-1980) was profoundly inspiring, informative and ultimately led me to a path of pursuing a creative life. I recall fondly instructors such as George Morris (film history), Shalom Goerowitz (video production) and Bob Cuneo (painting). In addition to pursuing my own career as a moving image artist (as such my creative work has received awards from organizations such as the NEA, Trust for Mutual Understanding, NEH and the Banff Centre for the Arts), I have now internalized the teachings of those influential UB instructors and for the past 25 years I have taught film history and production courses in the Department of Cinematic Arts at the University of New Mexico. Additionally, as a result of the careful guidance I received at UB I also

was honored with the prestigious Marian Nowak Award—given to the employee who embodies the best of Greenwich Hospital’s values—at the annual Employee Service Awards Dinner. She joined Greenwich Hospital in 1978 and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Bridgeport while working full time.


On May 11, 2019, UB alumna Laura Varelas ’16 married UB alumnus Miguel Arroyo ’07, ’08, ’15 at the Holy Trinity Church in Hackensack, New Jersey. Laura works at the Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence and Miguel in the Marketing and Communications Department at UB. Miguel is also a member of UB’s Alumni Board of Directors. The two alumni met at a Global Affairs Society meeting on campus.




Honors Awards


(21) UB’s Model UN delegation (12 students) won Outstanding Delegation, the highest award at the National Model United Nations conference in New York. The UB delegation was recognized at the conference’s closing ceremonies at the United Nations headquarters. Approximately 300 schools competed from all over the world. This is the second time that

Dear Purple Knights,

UB has been recognized with this honor. Nancy Wei, PhD and Miguel Arroyo serve as club advisors. 

From one University of Bridgeport graduate to another, I am writing to share my enthusiasm for the good things happening at UB and to ask for your support in advancing the University’s mission. My experience with UB goes way back. I graduated in 1960 with a BS in Physical Education and earned an MS in Secondary Education in 1966. My wife Barbara is also a UB graduate. After completing college, I went on to have a wonderful 42-year career at St. Luke’s School in New Canaan, first as a teacher and then as its headmaster.

Newly minted EdD graduate (22) Thomas Nobili received the third-place award for the best dissertation in the country, which was presented to him at the annual AERA (American Educational Research Association) convention in Toronto in April.  Three graphic design students swept the top

I have decided to renew my involvement with UB after having the chance to speak with the new president, Dr. Laura Skandera Trombley, and Vice President for Advancement Marie Muhvic, when they visited me on an alumni tour in Florida.

three prizes in the “Branding Portfolio” contest at the Connecticut Business Competition and Entrepreneur Conference, held at Gateway Community College, New Haven. The student winners are (23) Estefanic Medina, (24) Weiyu

To say the least, I was blown away by their presentation. I have the utmost confidence in the new president’s ability to lead the institution to new heights. We have the real thing in Dr. Trombley: She is inspirational, visionary, indefatigable, and has an unparalleled work ethic. She is also of impeccable character and charming to be with. The board hit a home run with her selection.

Zhu, and (25) Qiangying Niu. They were presented with a trophy and cash prizes. 

Please join me by pledging your financial support to UB—any amount will be appreciated. She cannot do what is needed without our help. She is ready for the challenge. Barbara and I are demonstrating our support by contributing $100,000 this year to the cause. Hopefully, we can continue this on a yearly basis. We hope you will also consider contributing during this exciting new chapter in UB’s history. The cause is noble, and it is worthy. Sincerely, Richard Whitcomb ’60, ’66






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9 1 n 8 o 1 s a 0 e 2 S s c i t e l Ath 1st



Volleyball makes fifteenth consecutive conference championship tournament appearance

Annual University of Bridgeport Athletics Golf Classic



Fall Sports student-athletes return to campus


Purple Knights Women’s Soccer wins 2018 NCAA Division II National Title with 1-0 win over Grand Valley State


Men’s Soccer Tops Roberts Wesleyan, 3-2, for win number 10 of season



Homecoming and Athletics Hall of Fame Induction


Women’s Soccer advances to Final Four with 3-1 victory over Bloomsburg University (Pa.)


18th Women’s Soccer defeats American International for first win of the season


Women’s soccer defeats LIU Post, 2-1, for 2018 ECC title




ts h g i l h hts Hig

ig n K e l Purp

29th 20th UB Baseball plays first game at new diamond in Seaside Park and opens with a 1-0 win over Southern Conn. State


University of Bridgeport hosts 2019 East Coast Conference Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships. UB men reach the Tournament Final


12-14th University of Bridgeport hosts 2019 USA Gymnastics Women’s Collegiate National Championship in front of packed houses in Wheeler Recreation Center. Purple Knights finish third in the nation



UB Women’s gymnastics captures eleventh consecutive ECAC Division II crown


Annual University of Bridgeport Athletics Awards Ceremony

Softball claims firstever ECC title

4th Women’s Lacrosse clinches firstever berth in East Coast Conference Championship Tournament with 21-3 home win over Queens (N.Y.) College

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Play Ball!

“Coming back home to Seaside Park has been a major goal of our program for the past seven years. To finally be able to practice

and play at our new home facility, where UB Baseball began, means a lot to our program. Our players are taking tremendous pride in calling one of college baseball’s nicest facilities HOME.” — JO E TO N E L L I , H E A D COAC H M E N ’ S B AS E B A L L


P H OTOGRAP H S BY K A ZU H I R O S H OJ I ’ 98 , ’ 02

UB Hosts 2019 USAG National Championship Meet Gymnasts shine in the Park City BY CHUCK SADOWSKI

The eyes of the collegiate women’s gymnastics community were firmly fixed on the University of Bridgeport’s Wheeler Recreation Center from April 12-14, as the Purple Knights hosted the 2019 USA Gymnastics Women’s Collegiate National Championship Meet for the second time in program history. Bridgeport also hosted the meet in 2012. And what a show it was for three days in the Park City, as large and enthusiastic crowds watched some of the best female gymnasts in the nation in Friday’s and Saturday’s team competition and Sunday’s individual event finals. The host squad took third in the nation on Saturday, finishing behind first-place Lindenwood (Mo.) University, and secondplace University of Illinois Chicago. The Purple Knights, who

earlier in the season won their eleventh consecutive ECAC team title, wowed the home fans by posting season-high team scores of 195.750 on Friday to advance to Saturday’s team final, where UB surpassed that total with a score of 195.925. In Sunday’s individual event finals, freshman Julianna Roland took fourth place on the vault, scoring a 9.7500, and sophomore Kathryn Doran placed fifth on the bars with a score of 9.7750. On the balance beam, Roland and junior Maya Reimers tied for twelfth place with a score of 9.700, and in the floor exercise, senior Kelly Aycock took seventh place at 9.8250, while Reimers and freshman Crystal Gwinn tied for eighth place at 9.800. A total of 10 Purple Knights earned 2019 USAG All-America honors.

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ALLIE LUZZI ’20 MAJOR: Biology HOMETOWN: East Haven, CT POSITION: Infield FUTURE PLANS: To become a physician’s assistant WHY UB: The closeness of all the athletes at UB stood out to her during her first campus visit. GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT: Being selected to the first team All-Region for two consecutive years, as well as helping her team win the ECC tournament for the first time and making its first appearance ever at the regional tournament. NEXT SEASON GOAL: “My goal is for our team to repeat this year’s successful season next year. Having such a strong team chemistry was a crucial component in achieving our goals.”


WHY UB: “I chose UB because of its family atmosphere. The first time I visited it felt like home; everyone was so friendly.” GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT: “Being chosen as one of 50 candidates for the WBCA ‘So You Want To Be A Coach’ program.” FUTURE GOAL: “To give back to the game of basketball by passing down my knowledge and experience as a basketball coach for women’s basketball on the collegiate level.” 40 U B KN IG HTL IN E S SP RING/SUMMER 201 9

PH OTOG R AP H S BY K A ZU H I R O S H OJ I ’9 8 , ’ 02

MAJOR: Human Services HOMETOWN: Paterson, NJ POSITION: Guard FUTURE PLANS: College Basketball Coach

Softball wins UB’s first-ever East Coast Conference title BY CHUCK SADOWSKI

The 2019 University of Bridgeport softball team raced out to a quick 12-2 start during the squad’s season-opening spring trip to Florida, and the Purple Knights never slowed down during a remarkable campaign, capturing UB’s first-ever East Coast Conference title and making the program’s first NCAA Division II Championship appearance in 30 years. Under the direction of tenth-year head coach Dawn Stearns, Bridgeport finished the year with a 33-16 overall record. After finishing in second place during the regular season with a 15-9 mark, the Purple Knights swept three games, defeating St. Thomas Aquinas College at home in extra innings and shutting out top-seeded LIU Post twice on the Pioneers’ home field. These spectacular wins led to taking home UB’s inaugural East Coast Conference title and a trip to the NCAA playoffs for the first time since 1989.


Sophomore standout Kaira Ramon finished the season as UB’s leading hitter with a .391 batting average plus three home runs and 35 runs batted in. Ramon also finished the year a perfect 16-for-16 in stolen bases. Junior Allison Luzzi earned First Team All-Conference and All-Region accolades for the second straight season, as she batted .374 with six homers and 28 RBI from the lead-off spot. Senior Jenna DiLorenzo blasted a team-high nine home runs, and junior Samantha Sabor drove in a team-leading 40 runs in 2019. Graduate student Amanda Staheli closed out her stellar season at Bridgeport with an impressive 19-7 record in the pitching circle with a 2.12 earned run average and seven shutouts to lead the Purple Knights’ pitching staff.

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INAUGURAL ADDRESS Laura Skandera Trombley, PhD Saturday, April 6, 2019



ood morning on this most beautiful of spring days, on the campus of the University of Bridgeport nestled alongside Seaside Park, on the edge of Long Island Sound, across the street from the only remaining home built by P. T. Barnum, located in the historical city of Bridgeport, here in the Nutmeg State where Mark Twain spent his happiest years, I extend greetings to you all and I am as delighted by your presence as I am honored. And I am deeply honored. Today marks a passage in my life as well as in this institution’s history and future. Welcome to everyone here today: the faculty, students, alumni, staff, dear friends, families, community leaders, and trustees. Spring is always my favorite time of year; April is the month when my son was born. Spring, the season of renewal, rebirth, and regeneration. A treasured poet, Rilke, summed up the feelings that this time of year brings forth: “Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems.” There is a joy, a freshness, a rush of anticipation. The University of Bridgeport is my constant spring. At a moment such as this I think of my mentors and dear colleagues, many now gone, who played such a large part in why I am fortunate enough to stand before you today. I think of the sumptuous talent alive and well with us now. I think of the commitment and dedication of the faculty here passionate about their teaching, research, and service. I think of the astonishing students from whom I draw energy and hope every day. I think of the opportunities ahead for you and commit all of my efforts on behalf of your brilliant, yet to be realized, careers and futures.


I think of my life, thus far, and all the friendships I’ve been so fortunate to enjoy, and am deeply moved that my friends, family, and colleagues—some of whom I have known for nearly thirty years, who have given so much of themselves, both personally and professionally—are here on this special day to share my joy. I am deeply thankful. We are gathered together for a shared purpose—to celebrate the gift of teaching and the love of being taught. This is not a new venture for us; indeed, this life cycle has been in place at the University of Bridgeport for 91 years now, yet it is renewed with each entering class of freshmen and with every graduation. Our mission here is a simple one. In the words of a classic folk song: we aim to teach your children well. And we know that those lessons become legacies; they stretch long past our stint on Earth, on and on into Einstein’s great continuum where we will all be together beyond the reach of time. I learned early on how an inspired teacher can enrich and transform a life. This might be an unlikely story to tell, surrounded as I am by such distinguished individuals, in the company of our extraordinary students and dedicated staff. However, if you’ll indulge me, I’d like to share my first memory of what it means to be taught, of that powerful, magical alchemy that happens when a gifted teacher encounters a willing student. I was a preschooler, and my father, John Skandera, a fifth-grade teacher at the 98th Street School in Los Angeles, had decided that the time had come for me to learn to tie my shoes. My father told me the story of the bunny ears, how to form them and how they

disappear—first to the left and then to the right—and reemerge from their burrow, united at the end. My scuffed-up Keds were suddenly transformed into a fairy tale landscape. We practiced again and again until my father hugged me with delight and congratulated me on my sublime accomplishment. My father—the most gifted teacher I will ever know—understood that it wasn’t enough simply to empower me with a skill. He fueled my imagination with metaphor and narrative. He gifted me with a story that connected him to me, a simple story that would eventually connect me to my son, and someday—subtle hint—it will connect me to my grandchildren. Whether the subject is macroeconomics in our Trefz School of Business; coding, AI, and robotics in our School of Engineering; nursing in our College of Health Sciences; creative writing in our College of Arts and Sciences; or the history of modern architecture and urbanism in our Shintaro Akatsu School of Design—no matter what the content may be, teachers are storytellers, and you, our students, are becoming part of our narrative. Teachers like my father spark the imagination, inspire self-confidence, create intellectual legacies, and shape the future. My father taught me how to tell a joke, how to drive a stick shift, and how to balance my checkbook. My mother taught me how to read, how to cook, how to embroider, and that women are leaders. She was an elementary school teacher and then a principal for 20 years, during a time when women in administrative positions were a rarity. My parents taught me how to speak up for myself, how to speak up for others in need, how to listen with care and with empathy, and how to take action and encourage success. They taught me well. And those lessons weren’t reserved just for me. Together they taught generations of children well. This past September, I was invited to attend in my father’s place his fifth grade class’s reunion from 1957—51 years after he had taught this particular group of students. They remembered him fondly, the lessons he taught them, and, most importantly, the care and attention he gave them. Amazingly, to me, several of my father’s students were also my mother’s—she was their firstgrade teacher. The class of 1957 spent a few wonderful hours reminiscing, and told me stories about my parents I had never heard before that had not dimmed over half a century. Teach your children well and they shall teach theirs, too. The ripple effect will cover the world with light, kindness, and hope. As I take up this great honor and responsibility you have

entrusted in me, I think of my parents’ lessons, and the abiding power of their good example. I also think of the University of Bridgeport’s faculty’s commitment to teaching—inspired, rigorous, and transformational teaching—that has never been more valuable or vital. These are “tough times,” as my favorite musical group, Punch Brothers, sing in their hauntingly beautiful ballad, “This is the Song: Good Luck.” We are caught within an endless 24-hour news cycle with never a day off. We are inundated with images and sound bites of tragedy and terrorism, of alienation and incrimination, of fabrication and frustration. We long ago bid adieu to the Agricultural and Industrial Ages of my parents and grandparents, which reluctantly gave way to my generation’s super-charged Information Age. The Information/Internet Age promised us connectedness—my son was born to the rallying cry of “we want more bandwidth,” data in Olympian proportions, access to knowledge heretofore impossible to imagine, and all served with a heaping helping of a borderless commons where we could all share our thoughts, insights, and speculations. Yet, it hasn’t necessarily worked out that way. Sure, there have been benefits—who doesn’t love a good bulldog video or babies laughing at Kleenex?—although this encouraging commons has given birth to a perilous cyberspace where there are no-holds-barred bullies hiding within the web of social media. Their action is brutal, intended to harm and destroy, rather than encouraging a safe place for civil discourse. I recognize, though, that this technology has also brought us great gifts. No Luddite here, I delight in reading Mark Twain’s digitized letters online. When I started my area of scholarly work 30 years ago, I first had to write a letter asking for permission to visit the Mark Twain archive at UC Berkeley and then suffer the travel costs. Having archival material available at a keystroke has opened new areas for me that would have been impossible in the dusty hard-copy era. When I teach, as I will do here next spring, pedagogical tools such as Canvas allow me to post grades, readings, and assignments in real time that foster greater communication with my students. Now pundits are claiming that we have moved beyond the Information Age and are in the Experience Age—a combination of the digital and the experiential. Your apps can track every step you take and every calorie you eat, the online world of Amazon’s one-click service has set a standard for all businesses, and the GPS nirvana of self-driving cars is upon us. A utopian view of the Experience Age would be to conclude that we are now wrapping data within context with the goal that we can share

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our experiences to create a greater sense of happiness. Maybe we will become closer than ever to achieving “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” Whatever label we might give it, we are living in a hyper, self-focused age, awash in images of the self; an age of continuous self-reflection. Twenty-four billion selfies were uploaded last year, and millennials will each take an estimated 25,000 selfies in their lifetime. The students I taught last year told me that they fear they are in the grip of an addiction to their handheld devices. Students today are arguably the most connected generation in history and yet they claim to be the loneliest. As the Punch Brothers sing,

These are tough times But we’ll get by Good luck This is the song where you speak up This is the song where you get moving Our University finds itself in the most competitive environment ever for American higher education. With small New England colleges disappearing from the higher education landscape, increased competition from online educational providers, tuition costs and student debt ever increasing, and a decrease in the college-age population thanks to the great recession, we must be mindful of all the current challenges sweeping higher education. Together we realize that change is not just inevitable but crucial to our future growth and success. Founded in 1927 as The Junior College of Connecticut as the first two-year college in Connecticut, the college expanded in 1947 into a four-year institution and was renamed the University of Bridgeport. Over the years, the tide of fortune has ebbed and flowed for the University and for the city of Bridgeport. Since our start we have been innovative and entrepreneurial, and we have taught generations of students well. We must be ever bolder, more determined, and increasingly innovative. We are fortunate to have the breadth of educational platforms that we enjoy, three distinct colleges, thriving online programs, as well as one of the most beautiful locations on any coast, east or west. Our enrollment today is approximately 5,000 students, with the majority undergraduate. The preponderance of our students come from Connecticut with the rest from the tri-state area. The majority come from first-generation families and over half are students of color. Over the years, the University has had a large percentage of international students both at the undergraduate and graduate levels.


Now, as we celebrate our history and our future, we come together as a community and as a university and engage in what every child instinctively knows from the moment of birth: the love of learning. Teach your children well. This is the time when we work with each other, actively listen to each other, and move forward with integrity. We all share in the rarest of things here, greater than any precious mineral or metal: the luxury of thinking. We talk about a subject, read about it, research it, write about it, talk about it, and think. We have dedicated spaces on campus where that is all a student is allowed to do—just think. And students are asking me to create even more. As one admirable graduate business student and working mother of three urged me: “Please keep the library open on the weekends. That is the only time I have in my life to sit and think.” I have often thought, on my morning walks by Long Island Sound, how ideally situated the University of Bridgeport is, a buffer between the vibrant world to our west and the quiet horizon at our east. We often hear higher education derided as an Ivory Tower, a place apart from the so-called real world. Yet, it may be that one of the gifts of an education is to keep the noise and clutter and chaos of the world at bay—for a little while—so that students can think clearly and patiently and with focus. A classroom is a kind of temple in that way, an oasis, where students and teachers meet to explore, to examine, to wade into mysteries and problems of all shapes and sizes—from tying your shoes to splitting an atom. Our campus turns even the busiest of students into a patient observer of the times and seasons. Last fall, I had the pleasure of speaking with first-year students in their residence halls and asking one group what their greatest surprise was in coming to the University of Bridgeport. I was anticipating that it might have been having a roommate or getting used to the food. Instead, they all agreed it was the presence of wildlife. “The turkeys,” they said. “Have you seen the turkeys?” They told me they walk out in the mornings to watch the birds fly, our campus fox run on the grass, our white squirrel scamper from tree to tree, and the deer silently disappear into the bushes. I was struck by their appreciation of the natural elements remaining around us in this previously industrial space, this fragile ecosystem, just 3/5th of a mile from I-95. What else surprised you, I asked? “The silence.” This is a generation seldom without noise in the background. A young woman from the Bronx told me that at first she was afraid of it, and now she welcomes it. “I can’t find it at home, and it helps me to think,” she said. Thinking is the oxygen we breathe here and it is coming in ever shorter supply. Our students are brave, serious, beautiful,


UB alumni through the decades participated in the inauguration ceremony

President Trombley and Poet Tom Healy

Dean Carol Papp snaps a shot of President Trombley with Board of Trustee member Bruce Silverstone ’74

President Trombley and UB Board of Trustees Chair Robert L. Berchem

and smart. In the conversations we have been having this year, I am often reminded of a line from Joan Didion’s great work “Slouching Towards Bethlehem.” “People with self-respect exhibit a certain toughness, a kind of moral nerve; they display what was once called ‘character’, a quality which, although approved in the abstract, sometimes loses ground to the other, more instantly negotiable virtues.... [C]haracter—the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life—is the source from which selfrespect springs.” We have character here at the University of Bridgeport. As one engineering student shared with me, “We are not like students at other places. We have no time for foolishness. We are serious students. We are here to learn from our faculty, have careers, and uplift ourselves and our families.” Students, we are so glad that you are spending a portion of your lives with us. The University of Bridgeport today offers career-oriented undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees and programs for people seeking personal and professional growth housed within three colleges. We are entrepreneurial and the faculty is hardworking. New majors and programs are continually being considered and vetted. This fall, we will introduce “The Bridgeport Plan: Connecting Education to Career,” and our thoughts are turning to how to fully incorporate our unique and gorgeous Long Island Sound into our curriculum and student life. This is a time of great change for the University—one that we must create and encourage—and we will succeed. I have been most fortunate in my life. Teachers, family, and friends have taught me well and patiently. I’ve seen times of success as well as failure and I’ll always continue to learn and to grow. As I try to get in better physical shape, I try to develop my inner self as well. I’ve had the unlikely gift of nearly dying a decade ago, and my takeaway from that experience was realizing what is important for me for the remainder of my life and what is not. You are the most important. All of you. I have learned through interesting, unpredictable, and exciting times to take nothing for granted, to not be afraid, and to not allow anything to derail me from using my voice, intellect, and passion for education and creating the best possible environment for teaching to take place. In closing, I’d like to express my gratitude to my partner, Bruce, who kindly and steadfastly has always been at my side, even if it means riding a camel through the Judean desert in summer or helping me learn to walk again after a hip replacement. And to my son, Nelson, who is and will always be my greatest teacher, because without him I would never have learned what true love is. 

U B K NI GH T L I NE S S PR I N G /S U M M E R 2 01 9


O, BRIDGEPORT! An Ode for the City, for the University, for my friend Laura Skandera Trombley on her inauguration as the tenth president of the University of Bridgeport

O, Bridgeport! Think of the circle, the shape of gathering, the arc of praise, the wrist-flicked spin of a frisbee, the rounded crust and stuffed-with-processed joy of a Subway sandwich. O, hungry Bridgeport! Mouth of the Pequonnock! Eyes on the clock of a century of 8-hour days. And just one day before the passing of your son, that Shakespeare of Advertising, the Greatest Showman, who left this shore tomorrow, one hundred and eighteen years ago.

O, Bridgeport! City of sweat. City of giants, jugglers and magicians. City of corsets and steam ships, saddles, typewriters, sewing machines and harpoons. City of the long-play, round sound of vinyl records. City of the Sound itself, estuary of ambition and arrival, the rhythm of tides, the wax and wane of super moons. City of parks. City of bridges and their ceaseless crossing between ancient ghost tales and stories of love and losses to come.


O, Bridgeport! On this day when we are in between – not winter, not really spring, not yet, no longer damp, not dark, fog lifting off the water, but visibility still just a bit fuzzy about what’s up and what will be— here in your Grand Museum, Menagerie, Caravan, and Hippodrome, all of us are adorned in the city’s favorite color: a lived-in shirt, frayed at cuffs and the collar, passed down, passed on, monogrammed over the heart: UB. Ok, Bridgeport! Let’s be real—I know those letters are more likely tattooed on someone’s arm or emblazoned on the front of a dope UB hoodie. But the purple pride goes everywhere dreams are wrestled with and struggles are won— onstage, on the court, hitting the books, at all-nighters and hard parties, in the sea of inquisitive classroom eyes— everywhere life is loved and love is lived.

O, Bridgeport! Say those two letters aloud and what you’ll hear is the sound of pretty damn good advice: You, Be! Exist, become, struggle, thrive. Lead yourself on a joyfully uncertain way. Shape the circle to include all of us learning to be who we are and how to be with one another. O, Bridgeport! How beautiful it is to wake in the chill, grey circle of questions, to come celebrate as this day gives way to the warmth of a new season and new stories, to come praise all that is and will be blossoming here.

Tom Healy April 6, 2019

Coming Soon



THE P L A N ET N EE DS O U R H E L P. Human impact on

the environment is complex and we need scientific research to help inform our domestic and commercial practices, as well as laws and policies, both globally and locally. The urgency of the situation is not lost on the current and rising generation of college students. These are young people who have grown up understanding, more than ever before, the importance of their role in creating a sustainable future for themselves. They have grown up talking about carbon footprints. The new Conservation and Environmental Biology Program at UB offers a unique opportunity for students with strengths in the sciences to learn and research the ecological impact of urban and suburban life as well as domestic and commercial practices. The program takes advantage of UB’s ideal location on a major shipping and transportation harbor of Long Island Sound, in Connecticut’s largest city, and along the state’s densely populated “Gold Coast.” Biology faculty at UB provide research expertise in ecology, microbiology, genetics, and parasitology. The program will provide outstanding preparation for students to enter established and emerging careers in one of the fastest-growing job markets for biologists. The program offers concentrations in Marine Biology, Environmental Science, and Pre-Veterinary Medicine. The core of the program focuses on the impact of natural and human activities on the environment and, in turn, the impact of the environment on human health and biodiversity. Students with a degree in Conservation and Environmental Biology can seek positions as policy scientists, fishery and wildlife managers, water and air quality technicians, mapping and surveying technicians, park rangers, and as field research


assistants in projects ranging from the coral reefs to tropical canopies to the Antarctic. The program is excellent preparation for graduate work in veterinary medicine, environmental law, or engineering, and a wide range of graduate programs in marine biology, wildlife biology, or ecology. Students in humanities, social sciences, international studies, and other programs with an interest in conservation and environmental issues are also able to take advantage of the program by minoring in Conservation and Environmental Biology. The program emphasizes both field and laboratory skills. Students will have opportunities to pursue paid or volunteer internships and research experience both on campus and with neighboring organizations such as the NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center and the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk. The concentration in Pre-Veterinary Medicine offers courses in zoology and the prerequisites for most programs in veterinary medicine. The Marine Biology concentration offers courses in marine science, including oceanography and marine chemistry. The Environmental Science concentration includes courses on spatial and biological modeling, physical geography, and wetlands.

Twenty-Third Annual

UB Athletics Golf Classic LUNCH • GOLF • DINNER • PRIZES


Save the date for the

UB Golf Outing

Monday, September 23, 2019 12 p.m. Shotgun Start at Race Brook Country Club of Orange, CT $250 per player • $1,000 per foursome For information call 203-576-4936 or email Register:

CE Credits Pending: This event offers 6.0 contact hours to MD, ND, DC, PA, and RN attendees


Office of Marketing & Communications Wahlstrom Library, 8th Floor Bridgeport, CT 06604

BURL, VT 05401 PERMIT #19

Profile for University of Bridgeport

UB Knightlines, Spring/Summer 2019  

O, Bridgeport! An Ode for the City, for the University by Poet Tom Healy

UB Knightlines, Spring/Summer 2019  

O, Bridgeport! An Ode for the City, for the University by Poet Tom Healy