Monthly Archives: February 2017

The pace of work in Arts & Sciences continues to accelerate!  Every department, discipline, and program in A&S has good news to report and multiple successes to trumpet. I am most proud that our students continue to take the lead on a wide variety of initiatives. Whether in the Humanities, the Arts, or the Sciences, our students continue to garner honors, praise, and meet with broad academic success. This Blog can only highlight a select few, but we celebrate and applaud all the work that is produced by our students, nurtured by our programs, and supported by our outstanding faculty.  

Student Success & Engagement

Just a sample of Southern’s presence at the recent Day of Action (January 26th)

Sara Baker (COM), in her first year at Southern, motivated several students to join her in Hartford for the Day of Action to support funding higher education in Connecticut. Her students along with others joined with the Reverend Doctor John L. Selders, Jr., one of the leaders of Moral Monday CT. Thirteen students majoring in Communication came to Hartford to lobby their state representatives and join in a rally on the capitol steps. Those students were Mary Parisi, Rebecca Krieger, Rabbie Acquah, Shi Atkins, Jazmin Capel, Christa Leone, Elena Manke, Jaquan Nelson, Carolyn Grace Petkevich, Jaak Rakfeldt, Stephanie Turcotte, Amani Ward, and Eric WilliamsClare Ryan organized a phone-in campaign with current students, alumni, and friends of Southern who contacted their representatives to voice their support for funding higher education. Political Science major Justin Farmar spoke at the rally and shared his story with the crowd. Faculty member Cindy Stretch (ENG) also addressed the crowd. She gave the audience an oral quiz about how funding cuts directly impacted them. Southern students were also part of the drum circle that provided a heartbeat for the rally. The Owls that were in attendance that day not only rose to the occasion, but truly soared.

Students at Hartford's Day of Action

The Theatre Department is celebrating its recent success at Western CT State University for the Region-1 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF). Eighteen students from Southern competed in various performance, directing and design-based performances, and presentations. In addition to competing, students attended workshops and networked with Professional Theatre Companies and Graduate School programs. Southern represented quite well and took home the following awards:

  • To the Cast for Distinction in an Ensemble Work for the production of The Boy Friend.
  • To the Ensemble for Outstanding Ensemble Production in the production of An Absolute Turkey.
  • To Cailey Harwood-Smith for Distinction in Properties Design for the production of The Boy Friend.
  • To Amelia Pizzoferrato for Distinction as Scenic Artist for the production of The Boy Friend.
  • To James McLoughlin for Honorable Mention in Sound Design & the Vectorworks Award in Design, Technology and Management also presented to James McCloughlin.
  • The National SDC Fellowship Program Excellence in Director-Actor Communication David Wheeler Award presented to Marcelle Morrisey. 

Brianna Bauch advanced to the final round of the Richard Maltby Jr. Musical Theatre competition, and Benjamin Cooperman and his scene partner Cantrell Cheeks II advanced to the semi-final round of the Irene Ryan Acting competition.

Julia Irwin (PSY) reports that the Psychology lab has been really productive in getting work out in the last 6 months. Graduate students Whitney Hoffman (MA ’16) and Jacqueline Turcios (BS ’14; MA ’15) are first authors on two manuscripts, and Nicole Volpe (BS ’11; MA ’15), Lori DiBlasi (BS ’15; MA ’17), and Taylor Rispoli (BA ’16) are co-authors for works on speech perception and autism.

More good news from the Creative Writing Program as Lynn Houston has happily reported that three poems written in one of Vivian Shipley’s (ENG) workshops were accepted for publication by the Marathon Literary Review, a journal produced by Arcadia University’s MFA program. Houston has also been accepted on the editor’s panel at the upcoming URI conference.

Katherine Sullivan has had a panel, “The Un-Real Mother: Character Development within Maternal Poetry,” accepted for the 9th Massachusetts Poetry Festival to be held in early May in Salem.

Rebecca O’Bern will join Sullivan at the same Poetry Festival where she will present on her experiences writing and organizing her first book as an MFA student.

The History Department is pleased to announce that Hanna Peterson (HIS ’15) has just been accepted to do a Ph.D. in Japanese History at the University of Michigan, one of the top programs in the country and Dan Fischer (MA candidate) will soon be heading to Notre Dame to enter their Ph.D. program. Also, Daisha Brabham (HIS “17) is a Fulbright Finalist.

Congratulations to all these students!

New and Special Events

Psychology recently hosted David Moore, Senior Lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University, who gave a talk entitled, “Pain in Autism: Sensation, Feeling and Behaviours, What Might Differ?”  Members of the Psychology department also met with David to develop study-abroad opportunities for Psychology students at SCSU and LJMU, and we look forward to continued collaboration.

First Thursdays continues to provide faculty a venue in which to share their new scholarship. Armen Marsoobian (PHI) kicked off the spring semester offerings with “The Presence of Absence: Photography in the Ottoman Armenian Migrant Experience.” Darcy Kern (HIS) will present in March as part of the SCSU Symposium, What is Reform? 1517 to 2017 (see below). She will talk on “Religious Pluralism and Reform in the late Middle Ages.” History will represent again with the last talk of the semester in April. Jason W. Smith (HIS) will offer his work “Vessel of Memory: Mystic Seaport Museum, The Whaleship Charles W. Morgan.”

The Renaissance Studies minor at SCSU and the School of Arts & Sciences, with generous support from the Office of Faculty Development, is sponsoring an event to mark the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s Reformation.  What is Reform? 1517 to 2017, a two-day interdisciplinary symposium, will take place March 2-3 at Southern and Southern on the Green. An interdisciplinary group of early modern scholars including our own Joel Dodson (ENG), presider, and Darcy Kern (HIS), presenter, will participate in this event  to ask what the prospects are for reforming and transforming society amidst the global volatility and upheaval today. Speakers and events will touch on a variety of topics – history, politics, religion, technology, and ecology – of interest to a wide audience. Faculty, staff, and students are welcome to attend.

In the category of coming events, be on the lookout for the Math Emporium opening Fall 2017 in the Basement of Buley. The Math Department, in particular Len Brin and Klay Kruczek, have been hard at work for many, many months to bring this physical manifestation of a reinvigorated math curriculum to fruition. The Emporium, serving about 75% of Southern students, will help them make the transition to college math courses, and the faculty role will become one of facilitator of student learning. More news to follow in the coming months.

For an event a bit more upcoming be sure to celebrate Mardi Gras and the 100th anniversary of the first jazz recording at 7:30pm Tuesday evening, February 28th in the Garner Recital Hall. David Chevan (MUS) reminds that this year Mardi Gras is going to have a special commemorative twist to it as 100 years ago (on February 26th) the Original Dixieland Jass Band from New Orleans recorded two songs, “Livery Stable Blues” and “Original Dixieland One Step.” Please join the SCSU Jazz Standards Ensemble and Music Department Bands for the music, the parades, and, of course, the Mardi Gras beads.

Our Garner Recital Hall is getting makeover. EN C-112 has long served multiple purposes–classroom space, lecture hall, performance space, guest lecture space, as well as Southern’s only music recital hall.  This important space has been in need of a tech-upgrade for many years–I’m happy to report that Garner will get this necessary attention over the summer. Stay tuned for more information and details, but for all those who use Garner, this fall will bring may welcome improvements.

Faculty Shout-Outs

News came late in the fall semester, but congratulations are offered to Pina Palma (WLL) who was chosen to receive the 2016 Faculty Scholar Award for her work, Savoring Power, Consuming the Times: The Metaphors of Food in Medieval and Renaissance Italian Literature. Pina will be honored at the Celebration of Excellence event during the spring semester. Be sure to attend.

Joining all the award-winning students in Theatre, Mike Skinner (THR) travelled with the group and also delivered his workshop, Sound for New Plays, to a group of approximately 25 students hailing from 8 different Universities across the Northeast Region.

Nikos Chrissidis (HIS) was awarded a book contract from I.B.Tauris for his book, Russian Pilgrimage to the Holy Land: Piety, Patronage and Politics from the Middle Ages to the Revolution.

Heather Vrana (HIS) published her monograph, Anti-Colonial Texts from Central American Student Movements with Edinburgh University Press. Prior to its release on February 1st, the book reached #1 in sales in Latin American literature on Excellent news!

Our own Scott Graves (EGMS) was highlighted on the main Southern page for his use of drones for environmental research and conservation. He has donated nearly $10,000 worth of drones, mapping software and other related equipment to further the research efforts with drones among the members of the Southern community. Read the full story of his innovative work and interesting life on the main Southern webpage. Scott also has a leadership role in GLOBE – The Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment Program, sponsored by NASA, NSF, and other government agencies. The 21st annual meeting will take place on Southern’s campus this summer.  Stay tuned for updates in an upcoming blog.

C. Michele Thompson (HIS) recently presented at Yale University for the Southeast Asia Studies Seminar.  Her talk, “The Gardens of Tranquil Wisdom: Tuệ Tĩnh and the Medical Environment of 14th Century Ðai Việt,” addressed the impact of this Vietnamese monk physician on early Vietnamese traditional medicine.

Julia Irwin (PSY) and Larry Brancazio (PSY) also deserve a shout out here as they have been working and publishing with the Psychology students mentioned above. We look forward to more exciting research from them.

In late December, Virginia Metaxas (HIS) appeared as a commentator on the Investigation Discovery Channel for an episode on the program, “A Crime to Remember.” She spoke about the sensationalized rape/murder case that took place in Honolulu, Hawaii in the 1930s in which a white Naval officer’s wife falsely accused 5 young Hawaiian men of rape. When the first trial ended with a hung jury, Thalia Massie’s family and some Navy colleagues captured and murdered one of the young men as an “honor killing.” Clarence Darrow defended the family in the “Massie Affair,” one of the most notorious cases in Hawaiian history and a subject of study for race, gender, class, and the militarization of Hawaii.  

$$$ Matters & Sabbaticals

In closing this opening blog of the spring semester, we pause to congratulate the numerous A&S faculty who have received grants and sabbaticals for 2017-2018. You do the School and Southern proud!

Faculty Creative Activity Research Grants totaling $70,000 were awarded to 28 A&S faculty. The Dean’s Office applauds their proposals and looks forward to the impressive outcomes by Mike Rogers (ANT), Jeremy Chandler (ART). Camille Serchuk (ART), Meghan Barboza (BIO), Rachel Jeffrey (BIO), Sarah Wojiski (BIO), Adiel Coca (CHE), Todd Ryder (CHE), Mohammad Tariqul Islam (CSC), Audrey Kerr (ENG), Vara Neverow (ENG), Meredith Sinclair (ENG), Melissa Talhelm (ENG), Vince Breslin (EGMS), Patrick Heidkamp (EGMS), Nikos Chrissidis (HIS), Christine Petto (HIS), Heather Vrana (HIS), Val Pinciu (MAT), David Chevan (MUS), Chelsea Harry (PHI), David Pettigrew (PHI), Mattew Enjalran (PHY), Binlin Wu (PHY), Kelly Bordner (PSY), Ken Walters (PSY), Jesse Gleason (WLL), and Miaowei Weng (WLL).

Faculty Development Grants (ranging in amounts from $1800 to $4000) totaling over $22,000 will support such efforts as those by Armen Marsoobian for the “Philosophy Department Colloquium Series”; Kelly Bordner, Meghan Barboza, Rachel Jeffrey, & Kelly Stiver, for the “Biology/Psychology Joint Seminar Series”; Sean Grace, Jim Tait, & Vince Breslin for the “Fourteenth Annual Long Island Sound Seminar Series”; Pina Palma for “Strong Women, Strong Voices: The Italian Tradition, International Women’s Day”; Erin Larkin for “#Diversity-in-Media-Matters, a two-part lecture with film screenings by African Italian filmmaker, producer and activist Fred Kuwornu”; Trica Lin (with Amy Smoyer, SWK) for “The Role of Forgiveness and Atonement in Reducing the Number of Incarcerated Women in Connecticut”; and Mary Brown (with Elsie Okobi, EDL) for “GIS into the humanities and education classroom.”  Congratulations to everyone and we look forward to seeing these events on the calendar.

Congratulations also to all the A&S faculty granted sabbaticals in the upcoming AY 2017-2018: Ericka Barnes (CHE), Sean Grace (BIO); Joel Dodson (ENG); Nicole Fluhr (ENG); Vara Neverow (ENG); Kalu Ogbaa (ENG); George Rosso (ENG); Scott Graves (EGMS); Leon Yacher (EGMS); Troy Rondinone (HIS); Tricia Lin (MDS); Jo Ann Abe (PSY); Jessica Suckle-Nelson (PSY); and Todd Schwendemann (PHY).

Sorry we missed them . . .

In November the History Department and Southern CT State University hosted the Association for the Study of Connecticut History. Steve Amerman (HIS) and Siobhan Carter-David (HIS) served as commentators for two of the panels.

In December Pat Cumpstone (BS HIS ’15) participated in a series of exhibitions at Trinity College’s Watkinson Library and offered his individual work entitled “‘Can We Keep the Faith?’: The American Bible Society in the Flood of Evangelism, 1816-1850.”

Also in December the Creative Writing Program celebrated with Laura Ahking (MFA) as she was selected for the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences Graduate Fellowship for the year 2017. In fall 2017, Laura will present her research at a CAAS event. We look forward to hear her presentation.

Molly Miller (MFA) also shared good news. Her poem “How I Love” is going to appear in Love and Ensuing Madness, an anthology being edited by Rat’s Ass Review. What a great name for a journal!

Camille Serchuk (ART) and Troy Paddock (HIS) continue to organize the A&S Research Roundtable and welcomed Steve Larocco (ENG) as the first presenter of the spring in late January. Steve enjoyed a conversation with those attending on his sabbatical project on forgiveness. Be sure to look for upcoming Roundtables.

In early February, Tom Radice (HIS) hosted Yuhua JI, Professor of English at Xiamen University, for a talk on Current Trends in socio-cultural development in China: Perspectives on globalization and intercultural communication.

Frank Harris (JRN) was in New York on February 22nd taping a segment on the n-word and his film “Journey to the Bottom of the n-Word” with two others for the Fox 5 New York show “Street Soldiers with Lisa Evers.”

In late January Winnie Yu (CSC) announced an exciting new opportunity for a Summer Internship with the program, Plant Health Fellows. See this URL for information. Deadline is March 10th!

For students who are considering a career in scientific research or who are interested in doing work to help food, farms, forests, or the environment, a new internship program co-sponsored by Southern and the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station could be an ideal way to become immersed in field- or laboratory-based research projects and engage in hands-on learning.

The Summer Undergraduate Fellows in Plant Health and Protection program offers 10 undergraduate research internships during summer 2017. During the internships, which will be funded by the USDA, students will participate in research projects focused on plant health and protection, including: plant pathology, analytic chemistry, entomology, microbiology, molecular biology, plant physiology, and forest health.  Weekly enrichment activities will include field trips to learn about research careers in the public and private sector, and workshops to develop scientific leadership and communication skills.

i-MvGxgZC-X3Interns will be provided with free housing, a meal plan, and a stipend. The nine-week program beginning on June 5 will culminate with student presentations at Plant Science Day held on August 2 at the CT Agricultural Experimental Station’s outdoor research facility, “Lockwood Farm”. Students interested in conducting scientific research in areas related to agriculture and crop health are encouraged to apply.

The program is open to undergraduate students from any college or university who: are U.S. citizens or permanent residents; are at least 18 years of age; will have completed two to four semesters toward a biology, chemistry, or related science major by June 2017; are in good academic standing; and can commit to live at SCSU and to work full-time from June 5-August 4, 2017 (not including July 4). Underclassmen and novice researchers (students with no prior paid research experience) are strongly encouraged to apply, as are first-generation and minority college students. The deadline for applications is March 10, 2017.

For more details or to apply, visit

Katie Crochet, swimmer, Northeast-10

Southern’s men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams will look to continue their dominance of the Northeast-10 when they host the conference championship at Hutchinson Natatorium Feb. 16 to 19.

The men’s team is seeking its 13th NE10 championship title in the past 14 years and seventh in a row.

The women have won 10 NE10 championships in the previous 13 years and have finished in the top three of every single competition.

One of the standout performers on the women’s team is All-American scholar and athlete Katherine Crochet, who won six events at the 2016 conference championship. As a child, Crochet was diagnosed with ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) and swimming offered a way to channel her energy.

For more on Katherine Crochet and her inspirational journey, see the video and Q and A below:


Meet the Student-Athlete

Katherine Crochet
Majoring in communication disorders, minoring in psychology
Swimming and Diving co-captain
Hometown: Watertown, Conn.

Honors: Pre-season All American (2016) * All American in the 50 and 100 freestyle * Northeast-10 (NE-10) Swimmer of the Year in 2016 * Won six events at the 2016 NE-10 Championship and named Most Outstanding Champion * Two first place finishes at the 2015 NE-10 Championship * College Swimming Coaches Association of America Scholar All American

Record breaker: Southern’s all-time fastest in the 50 Freestyle (23.31) and 100 Freestyle (51.19) * Also holds the Owls’ record in the 400 Freestyle Relay, competing with teammates Sydney Fromkin, Emily Wolfe, and Katherine Krajcik.

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

Inspiration: “I wasn’t a very good swimmer growing up,” says Crochet, who credits her former Watertown Parks and Recreation coach Paul Catuccio, ’97, M.S. ’01, 6th Yr. ’10, with igniting her competitive spirit when she was in eighth grade. “He told me, ‘If you put some effort in to it, you could be really good.‘ It just clicked,” she says. Today, Catuccio is the athletics director at Watertown High School.

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

Puppy love: Cares for her own rescue dog, Wesley, and helps her mom, Stacy — owner of Stacy’s Pet Porium — provide foster care for animals. “We have anywhere from 10 to 15 puppies at any one time — all rescues.”

On her Teammates: “We have one common goal this season — winning the NE-10.”

Katie Crochet, swimmer, Northeast-10

3 new undergraduate programs

Three recently approved programs promise to meet workforce needs and prepare Southern students for jobs in exciting, rapidly evolving fields.

The university is adding Bachelor of Science degree programs in biotechnology and in environmental systems and sustainability studies, both of which will start this fall. While the two programs are rooted in science, they will be multidisciplinary in nature to provide students with the breadth of knowledge and the tools to take on real world issues.

Meanwhile, a concentration in public utility management – within the Bachelor of Science degree program in business administration – is designed to focus on utilities, such as water, gas, electric and wastewater. The program also is interdisciplinary and intended to provide students with an opportunity to fill managerial and technological job openings that are occurring as a result of the aging of the workforce in the public utilities field.

The B.S. in biotechnology requires 32 credits in biology and 23-24 credits in the related areas of math, physics and chemistry. The program will include a combination of existing courses and several new courses – such as Introduction to Bioinformatics and Seminar in Biotechnology. It also will provide students with internship opportunities with bioscience companies throughout the region.

“We are very excited to offer this major,” said Nicholas Edgington, an associate professor of biology who will serve as coordinator of the new program. “Jobs – good, high paying jobs – are plentiful in this cutting-edge field. Students will come away with a background that will enable them to be competitive for these biotechnology positions.”

Christine Broadbridge, dean of the School of Graduate Studies, Research and Innovation, said she is thrilled with the launch of the degree program. She noted its connection with the Bioscience Academic and Career Pathway Initiative (BioPath) — a partnership between Southern and the city of New Haven that was designed specifically to meet the workforce needs of area biotech companies.

“We have optimized our courses to align with the needs of local industry,” Broadbridge said. “Students will be uniquely prepared for internships with these companies and for immediate employment.”

Examples of biotechnology uses include the biopharmaceutical industry to treat or cure diseases, such as cancer; testing the body’s reaction to medical devices, and clinical genetic testing.

The B.S. in environmental systems and sustainability studies will offer students the chance to focus on one of three concentrations within the major – environmental systems, coastal marine systems, and environmental policy and management.

“It really is going to be an exciting program,” said Vincent Breslin, professor of the environment, geography and marine sciences, who helped organize the major. “It takes a holistic, multidisciplinary approach to environmental and sustainability issues.

“As an example, let’s take climate change. Sure, the solution sounds simple – eliminate the use of fossil fuels. But realistically, that’s not going to happen anytime soon. So, what are our options? What steps can we take? The students will look at those options and the social and economic consequences they could have on society. There is a need for professionals who understand the complexities associated with environmental problems and solutions,” he said.

The program will require students to take about 40 credits in their major, differing slightly based on their concentration. All students will take 15 foundational credits, including an introduction to environmental and marine studies, an introduction to the principles of sustainability and a research methods course. They will also will complete an experiential component, such as an internship, research experience and participating in a seminar.

Breslin said the major incorporates various disciplines – including biology, geography, earth science, environmental studies, marine studies, public health, political science and business management.

The public utilities management concentration requires 30 credits, including courses in crisis/risk management, green energy and environmental sustainability, and workforce safety and industry regulatory codes. It also includes courses in business communications, business law, public utility/governmental accounting, and business continuity planning.

The program is a collaborative effort that also includes public utility companies in the region and Gateway Community College. Students at Gateway can earn a certificate or an associate degree in public utility management, and then transfer to Southern to pursue a B.S. in business administration with a concentration in public utility management.

The departments facing the most pressing hiring needs in the public utility field include customer service, field operations, employee relations, information technology, purchasing, and finance and quality assurance, according to an industry study conducted by SCSU and Gateway.

“At Southern, one of our commitments is to meet the needs of the state workforce,” said Ellen Durnin, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “This is exactly the type of program that will accomplish that goal. At the same time, it will provide our students with skills necessary for a career in that field.”



Hello again! Here are the three videos I created from my trip to Italy. I went to Rome, Florence, and Pisa over an eight-day period. It was the biggest trip I went on in Europe but I went with my two Southern flat mates, Shannon and Andrea. We planned the entire trip on our own from the hostels, to trains across the Italian country side, to finding tours or simply exploring the cities ourselves! We got a lot of tips and advice from friends and family who have previously studied abroad or went to these cities.

The videos were all done with my iPhone and a selfie-stick. I held the selfie stick like holding someone’s hand so the entire blogs are meant to look as if YOU, the viewer, was with me the whole trip!

Italy has always been somewhere I wanted to go but it greatly exceeded my expectations. The Italian culture is simply beautiful from the language, to the historic roman architecture, and of course, the food! The people we met were also completely inspiring and enriched this experience. We me an older couple from Florida who raised kids and made a good life for themselves but then decided two years ago that they wanted more out of life. So what did they do? They sold their house and everything they owned, and have been traveling across Europe for the past two years. We were lucky enough to meet them in a café in Roma. We also met a nineteen-year old who was enjoying the views of the Vatican on his last day of his 11-month solo journey around the world.

My eyes of the world significantly got wider from this Italian adventure. It was an experience I will never forget. These videos try to do justice to what I saw and experienced for those eight days. I hope you enjoy them, and if I were you, start planning your trip to Italia!


America in Liverpool



School of Business, marketing students

Southern’s Student Marketing Club (SUMA Marketing) recently placed among the semi-finalists at the prestigious International Collegiate Case Study competition after developing a comprehensive campaign for an ecommerce giant.

Each fall, the American Marketing Association hosts the Collegiate Case Competition for its 370 student chapters around the world. Every year, a different company sponsor provides the chapters with a marketing problem that they are prompted to solve through a comprehensive 40-page marketing plan.

“This was the first time that an ecommerce company (eBay) was used as a case study, so for our students, this was great experience in digital marketing,” said Randye Spina, assistant professor of marketing and faculty advisor to SUMA.

The challenge was to increase eBay’s participation in the online trading marketplace by Millennial and Generation Z non-users. Listed as one of the most valuable brands in the world with more than $8 billion in revenue in 2015 and with an estimated 164 million active buyers as of the second quarter of 2016, eBay is facing an increasingly crowded and competitive market with competition from rivals such as Amazon, Alibaba, craigslist, and Etsy.

To address the challenge, SUMA collected primary and secondary market research, devised a marketing strategy, and created an integrated marketing communication plan with creative marketing tactics — all within the sponsor’s provided budget.

From data collected through 186 completed surveys of commuter and resident students “we learned that many young adults think of eBay as their parents’ website, while theirs is Amazon,” said SUMA Marketing President Julia Rotella.

“To overcome this, our recommendations included tapping into their existing business assets including Shyp (their trucking company) and StubHub (the world’s largest ticket site),” Rotella said. “In addition we recommended using several demographically-relevant social media influencers as spokespeople and we recommended simplifications to their website to make the user experience easier for younger audiences who don’t want to ‘bid’ but would rather buy.”

The resulting annual plan for July 2017 through August 2018 saw Southern’s team placed among the top 20 competing colleges, when results were announced in January.

“The students were thrilled, this is a major accomplishment for them,” Spina said. “They deserve a lot of credit for finishing in a group of finalists that included representation from some very prestigious schools.”

This year, for the first time, due to the complexity and difficulty of the project, the AMA Case Study was run as a three-credit course (MKT 398). Past Southern entries were based solely on club activities, Spina said.

About SUMA Marketing

SUMA (SCSU Undergraduate Marketing Association) is Southern’s collegiate chapter of the American Marketing Association. SUMA provides members with marketing and professional experience through national competitions, fundraising, community service, and much more. For more information visit:

About the American Marketing Association

American Marketing Association student membership and AMA collegiate chapter affiliation offers many benefits, from career resources, platforms for professional development and experiential learning, execution of chapter events, leadership development, to taking part in the many AMA competitions offered annually. For more information visit: