Monthly Archives: September 2019

Owl pride is running sky high thanks to a growing list of accomplishments that position Southern among the best. Here are some of the university’s many exciting achievements and initiatives.

SCSU New Student Orientations: students jump for joy

Owl Pride graphic with facts for 2019

Southern’s student-faculty ratio is 14:1.

The website RN Careers is among those lauding the nursing program: “Congratulations to @SouthernCT for being one of the best ranked nursing programs in the country and the #1 best ranked nursing program in Connecticut for 2019 with an impressive overall ranking of 99.26%.”

The Princeton Review has consistently included Southern in its annual guide to America’s “green colleges.” The Sierra Club also previously recognized the university for environmental responsibility.

Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification was awarded to two campus buildings: the Academic Science and Laboratory Building and the home for the School of Business. The certification recognizes construction and design meeting exceptional ecological standards.

Southern is home to the CSCU** Center for Nanotechnology, the only system-wide center for the field in the state.

Also housed at Southern, the Werth Center for Coastal and Marine Studies is the only CSCU** center dedicated to faculty-mentored student research that addresses environmental issues along the Connecticut shoreline and Long Island Sound.

Southern is one of only 22 colleges/universities in the United States with graduate programs accredited by the International Dyslexia Association for providing exceptional teacher training.

Beginning with the Class of 2020, all first-year students accepted into the Honors College receive a merit-based scholarship covering one-half to full in-state tuition.

A partnership with the City of New Haven and its school system, the Barack H. Obama Magnet University School is expected to open on campus in spring 2020 — and will be the city’s first early education school located on a university campus. Serving almost 500 elementary school students, the school will provide exceptional experiential learning opportunities for Southern education majors.

Southern received a federal grant of $3.68 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help improve the health of vulnerable populations in New Haven. The project is being coordinated by the Community Alliance for Research and Engagement (CARE), which is co-housed at Southern’s College of Health and Human Services and the Yale School of Public Health (YSPH). It is the largest grant ever received by Southern.

Southern is an NCAA Division II powerhouse, holding 80 individual titles and 10 team championships.

In November 2019, Southern will celebrate its third annual Social Justice Month with almost 100 events expected, all designed to further social justice education and awareness on campus.

Southern is the first breast-feeding friendly campus in the state and the nation. — Connecticut Breastfeeding Coalition

An innovative trans-Atlantic partnership between Southern and Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) offers research internships, study abroad opportunities, and faculty exchanges.

Jacob Santos, ’19, (B.A. in theatre and B.S. in business administration with a concentration in accounting) is one of only 14 in the country named a 2019 Newman’s Own Foundation Fellow, a program designed to provide young leaders with experience in the nonprofit sector. About 150 apply for the award annually.

Rigoberto Escalera, ’19, received one of two Legacy Awards from New Haven Promise. The award recognizes recent graduates who have demonstrated a deep commitment to their studies, fellow scholars, and the city of New Haven. Escalera graduated cum laude with a degree in business administration.

Southern is historically recognized for its exceptional teacher preparation programs and education graduates. These include alumnus Jahana Hayes, ’05, the 2016 National Teacher of the Year who was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

In 2019, Southern alumnus and West Haven High School Teacher Liam Leapley, ’00, was awarded the George Olmsted Jr. Class of 1924 Prize for Excellence in Secondary Education from Williams College. The award recipients are nominated annually by graduating seniors at Williams.

Jefferine Jean-Jacques, ’18, was one of two national finalists in the “feature photography” category of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Mark of Excellence Awards, recognizing the best of student journalism.

Southern students won six awards at the annual conference of the Society of Professional Journalists for Region 1, which represents universities throughout New England, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. They were honored for their work on Crescent Magazine and the Southern News student newspaper.

Karen Reyes Benzi, a student in Southern’s RN to BSN online program, is Yale New Haven Hospital’s 2019 Magnet Nurse of the Year.

In 2019, a group of 12 journalism students earned first place in the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists’ Excellence in Journalism Awards in the “health” category for a group project. The project was awarded the highest honor above all the major news outlets in the state in the Regional A division.

Just seven years after graduation, Jeffrey Nowak, ’12, has reached one of the pinnacles of journalism success — membership on a news team honored with a Pulitzer Prize in 2019, the nation’s most prestigious journalism award.

Computer science majors Michael Solati and Robert Crowdis, ’19, won first place at the 2017 College Tech Challenge — standing out among many of the state’s top engineering and programming students. The duo won a $5,000 prize.

A Southern team was a semi-finalist in the 2017 American Marketing Association’s Collegiate Case Competition. Southern was the only institution of higher learning in Connecticut to score among the semi-finalists and finalists — and joined Providence College as the only two in New England.

Sandra Gomez-Aceves, ’17, beat out nearly 500 applicants to win one of twelve coveted spots at the 2017 ProPublica Data Institute, a seminar for journalist and journalism students. Gomez-Aceves was one of only three of the latter chosen by the Pulitzer Prize-winning organization to participate.

There are 11,000 student members in the American Marketing Association (AMA), and recent graduate Julia Rotella, ’17, was one of the best, finishing second in the organization’s “Student Marketer of the Year” competition.

A Southern student team was one of only three from Connecticut to medal at the 2016 IGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine competition. Southern, the University of Connecticut, and Yale University each won bronze at the competition.

Two Southern graduates were among a total of only 10 librarians chosen form throughout the U.S. to receive the 2016 “I Love My Librarian Award,” sponsored by the American Library Association.

** Connecticut State Colleges and Universities

Art Professor Mia Brownell and her husband, Martin Kruck, a professor and Art Department chair at New Jersey City University, were both awarded sabbaticals last year. Their joint interest in Roman art and architecture lead them to both being awarded Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome during the month of October 2019. Their research took them to additional locations in Sicily and Malta. Artwork created during sabbatical by Brownell and Kruck is on display in a two-person exhibitionSkeptical Realism — at the Hunterdon Art Museum in Clinton, N.J., through January 2020. The exhibition opened this month.

According to the museum’s description of the exhibit, “Brownell’s series Plate to Platelet simultaneously draws on scientific images of platelets (tiny blood cells shaped like plates) and the history of the painted food still life. She explores the realism of eating by recognizing the entanglement between the consumerist idealization of food with its biological engineering and the molecular strains that then interact with our bodies. The space she paints attempts to capture this paradoxical perspective, one that is equally rational and fantastical, material and in constant flux, Brownell said. She encourages viewers to consider this question: If we are what we eat, what are we becoming?”

A sabbatical leave, CSU Research Grant, and Faculty Creative Activity Research Grant supported Brownell’s creative activity research during the 2018-2019 academic year.

In addition, Brownell’s painting Pear and Grape, oil on canvas, 2008, is featured in the group exhibit Foodie Fever at NYC’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice Shiva Gallery. This painting was also on display at the USA Department of State Embassy in Hong Kong during the Obama administration.

Her painting Passing Fruit, oil on canvas, 2008, was also featured in the exhibit Foodie Fever at NYC’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice Shiva Gallery.

Brownell’s painting Bird and Bees, oil on canvas, 2014, is featured on the cover of SCSU’s English professor Margot Schilpp’s new book of poetry Afterswarm.

Bird and Bees

The paintings below, as well as the painting featured at the top of this story, are all from Brownell’s sabbatical and are on display with many others at the Hunterdon Art Museum.

Southern takes steps to address basic needs

Responding to an issue occurring at colleges nationwide, Southern is looking to establish an on-campus food pantry and social services resource center to help a growing number of students meet their basic needs of food, shelter, transportation, child care and other essentials.

Based on surveys conducted with Southern students over the last few years, about 30 percent of the student population falls into the category of food insecure, said Jules Tetreault, dean of student affairs. (Food insecurity is a term to describe a lack of adequate access or money to buy food.)

“It’s a problem we are seeing at all levels – local, state and national,” Tetreault said. “In fact, 14 percent of the total population in Connecticut is considered food insecure, while at a national level, we are seeing a range of 14 to 40 percent at four-year universities.”

Student Affairs is planning to have a pantry operating by the spring semester, eventually including a social services resource center that would provide guidance for students struggling with other basic needs.

To support the project, the university is donating proceeds from its 125th anniversary gala on Oct. 4.  The sold-out “A Night of Inspiration,” in the Adanti Student Center Ballroom, will feature Tony Award-winning actor Leslie Odom Jr. – who played the role of Aaron Burr in the original cast of the hit Broadway musical Hamilton.

“As we conclude our 125th anniversary year, it’s important to look at how Southern has changed, especially in recent times,” said President Joe Bertolino. “The demographics of our population are vastly different, the expectations of students, parents and employers are increasingly outcomes oriented and the competition for enrollment and private support has intensified.

“With this in mind, the continued well-being of our students is a high priority. It is important to acknowledge the complexities of their lives, and particularly, those of our low income and working students.

As the cost of higher education has increased, the availability of financial assistance has not kept pace – and these factors have seen an increase in the number of students who are not able to meet their basic needs, Bertolino said.

“Simply put, when students can’t eat, when they have no place to sleep, when they have little family encouragement for bettering their lives through education, we must do more than offer classes and assignments,” he said. “We must holistically help them navigate the complexities and challenges that they face, even as we focus intentionally on supporting their capacity to learn and ability to persist to graduation.”

The problem is also being addressed at the national level. Southern alumna and Connecticut Congresswoman Jahana Hayes, ’05, has introduced a new bill, along with Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy, to address the food insecurity crisis among college students. The Closing the College Hunger Gap Act would empower low-income college students with the information they need and ultimately reduce food insecurity on campuses nationwide.

Tetreault said Southern is at the higher end – though not at the highest – of the food insecurity category. He said this is due, in part, to the demographics of the student population with a growing percentage of students who belong to racial and ethnic minorities, as well as a relatively high percentage of first-generation college students. He said these students tend to fall lower on the socioeconomic strata.

Tetreault echoed President Bertolino’s comment that financial assistance at the state and federal levels has not kept pace with the increased costs to attend college.

“We know that food insecurity has a negative effect on academic performance,” he said. “In fact, these students report lower GPA scores, are six times more likely to withdraw from a class, and 15 times more likely to fail a class. And food insecure students have reported poorer physical health and higher levels of stress, anxiety and depression.”

He noted that K-12 school systems throughout the country offer free or reduced lunch prices to students based on family income, and some also offer similar breakfast programs. “But the need and the hunger don’t stop when you graduate from high school.”

Tetreault added that Southern already has a community garden and a food recovery program at Connecticut Hall – the university’s main dining hall – which are designed to benefit less fortunate individuals in the local community.

“A food pantry would be consistent with these efforts, but would directly benefit our own students,” he said.

The university has also adopted smaller scale programs to help needy students, such as a mobile food pantry, departmental food closets and a “swipe it forward” program designed to enable students support their peers through meal donation in the dining halls.

You can support Southern’s Food Insecurity Fund by visiting southernct.edu/giving, and choosing “Food Insecurity Fund” upon checkout.

 

In September, four SCSU Accounting students, led by Accounting Professor Robert Kirsch, traveled to England to participate in an Intensive Study Program at Bournemouth University. The objective of the program, Designing Innovative Pedagogy for Complex Accountancy Topics (DIPCAT), is to address a gap in higher education by creating an internationally-oriented learning platform in accountancy that facilitates current essential hard and soft skill development for early career professionals.

Students Kiersten Snyder, ‘20; Eldi Shahini, ‘20; Basenty Mousa, ‘19; and Alyssa Weisberger, ‘19 — the only students from an American university invited to the conference — spent five days using different methodologies to solve four challenging and intensive case studies.

Eldi Shahini said, “The DIPCAT Conference was by far the most enjoyable and challenging trip I’ve been a part of. I had the pleasure to work with many great individuals through Europe to solve cases, and go beyond our collaborative work and create great friendships. I (learned) more about other European countries and the way they operate than I would have in a classroom experience. I would like to thank everyone who made this experience an enjoyable one, and especially the individuals from Bournemouth University, who did an amazing job organizing this event.”

Alyssa Weisberger said, “(DIPCAT) was an amazing opportunity, and I encourage all future accounting majors to try to take part in this.”

Weisberger continues, “Some topics we learned about during DIPCAT were Classification of Financial Instruments, International Tax and Permanent Establishments, Corporate Social Responsibility and Business effects on stakeholders, and the Rapid Digitization of Audit. Another thing that was amazing about this trip was the people that we worked with during the conference. It was very interesting how everyone there communicated in English. Not only did we learn so much about these complex accounting topics, but we also learned about other European countries’ cultures and laws, etc. We all, also, left with quite a few new friends for life.”

Kiersten Snyder said, “DIPCAT meshed an educational experience with a social experience.” She said it’s a great way to get involved, especially for students looking for more experience with international accounting.

Kirsch, who has participated in 15 of the last 17 conferences, has had 50 students accompany him over the years. He says the friendships the students make during the conferences can last years and that the experience has a lasting impact on them, both personally and professionally.

This year’s topic of discussion led by Kirsch was “Modern History of European Accounting,” with a corresponding book in the works, of which Kirsch is the editor-in-chief. Kirsch points out that it is quite an honor for an American to lead a book on European accounting.

On the importance of facilitating this unique experience for students, Kirsch said, “As an undergraduate at Duquesne University, I had the opportunity to study in Israel for 14 months and I’ve wanted to make possible a similar opportunity for my students here at Southern. That’s why I’ve been instrumental in having 50 of them have the chance to go to various points in Europe to participate in various international conferences.”

Weisberger said, “SCSU has presented me with countless opportunities as an accounting major, and I’m really lucky. We also want to say a huge thank you to Dr. Kirsch for making this trip possible and selecting us to be a part of it.”

To hear more about the group’s DIPCAT experience, you can attend the Accounting Society’s DIPCAT Informational Session on Tuesday, September 24 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Buley 204. Pizza and drinks will be provided.

 

The MFA Program will officially celebrate its 10th anniversary at an alumni reading and reception on Friday, October 4, at 7 p.m., in Engleman A120. The reading will feature Ryan Leigh Dostie, author of the memoir Formation, and Martina “Mick” Powell, author of the poetry chapbook, chronicle the body.

Once upon a time, Southern Connecticut State University didn’t have a master of fine arts in creative writing program. But for the past decade, the university’s MFA program has been attracting and educating writers who have found success in publishing their work, as well as in related arenas such as teaching and editing. The program is a quiet powerhouse, its graduates’ work winning prizes and finding its way into countless literary journals, onto best-seller lists, and into the hands of eager readers. It’s also the only full-residency program of its kind in Connecticut.

“When I first got here in 1994 and found out there was no MFA program at all in Connecticut, I was extremely surprised,” says English Professor Tim Parrish, one of the program’s founders. “I realized we had the quality of writing students here at Southern who could get MFAs, but because we didn’t have a program here, we had to send many of our creative writing undergrads to MFA programs in other states just in the first few years I was here.”

Parrish, who teaches fiction and memoir writing to undergraduates and graduates and is himself the author of three books, decided to propose an MFA program at Southern, to give his undergraduate writing students a way to continue their work at the university while earning the MFA degree. The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing is the terminal degree in its field, similar to a Ph.D., and qualifies those who hold the degree to teach creative writing at the university level, among other types of positions. The university already offered a master’s degree in English, in which students could concentrate in creative writing, but bringing an MFA program to Southern would benefit student writers in ways the master’s concentration could not.

Parrish presented his first proposal to the English Department in 1997 — “just a sketch of an idea for an MFA program” he says – and the department supported it. In 2002, Parrish and English Professor Jeff Mock, a poet, wrote the first formal proposal. In 2004, fiction writer Robin Troy joined the English Department faculty, and together, Parrish, Mock, and Troy began rewriting the proposal. “We finally got it approved in 2009 and brought in the first class of MFA students that same year,” says Parrish.

“We started out with poets mostly, and a couple of fiction writers,” Parrish says. “The next year we started getting a lot more out-of-state students. I thought we’d be serving primarily Connecticut residents, but we became a national program. We had a really good word-of-mouth reputation.”

Troy, the author of two novels, recalls that when she first came to Southern, Parrish had already done “much of the heavy lifting” to get the MFA program off the ground, “and I got to arrive in time to join the fun. Sure, we still had a lot of work to do on the proposal, and presenting our program to the chancellor in Hartford, but the fundamental work of convincing our university why we should have an MFA program had already been done.” She calls Parrish “our hero, the true heart behind the program, without whom it never would have gotten off the ground.”

Troy explains that nationally, MFA programs generally are small, but are also highly competitive and very popular. These programs “undeniably bring an identity to their university,” Troy says, “and our program was no exception. MFA programs attract students full of heart and passion, and we felt that in our program at SCSU from the start. To me, bringing that kind of intense, passionate, terminal-degree program to a university is priceless.”

Parrish agrees, adding that a key ingredient in the program’s success is that it is a teaching community that is both very accessible and supportive to students. The MFA faculty develop close mentorships with students, Parrish says. “We try to help them realize their vision as writers – we meet them where they are.”

Troy adds that the MFA experience at SCSU extends far beyond the classroom, to one-on-one mentoring, after-class gatherings, on- and off-campus readings, events in New Haven, conference attendance across the country, and celebrating each other at thesis readings and in parties in people’s homes. “All of this contributed to our momentum in building a program that has clearly gained recognition for Southern as a whole,” she says.

English Professor Vivian Shipley, a CSU Professor and a highly-acclaimed poet, also speaks warmly about her mentoring relationships with her MFA students. “I have been lucky enough to have the program’s  wonderful students in my MFA poetry workshops, and I am honored to be a part of it,” Shipley says, adding that she is especially proud of the students who chose her to direct their MFA poetry thesis and published a book as a result of the thesis, among them Lori DeSanti, Christine Beck, Pat Mottola, Brendan Walsh, Lynn Houston, and Mick Powell. Many of the rest of Shipley’s students have published extensively in major national journals and are now professors themselves. “So,” she says, “my teaching life has been enriched by the efforts of Tim Parrish and all he has done for the MFA.”

Parrish agrees with Shipley that Southern’s MFA grads “have had a lot of poetry books come out, and we’re starting to get more on the fiction and memoir side.” He says his initial instincts about the Southern’s creative writing students were correct – many of them have published books, some have become professors, and one made the New York Times bestseller list.

“People don’t have to come here as stars,” he says, “because we’re interested in folks who have a passion for literature and studying literature and who want to become better writers.” And that is clearly happening.

On campus, Parrish says, MFA students have a reputation for being smart and reliable. They’re in demand for working in departments around campus. Several students have become teaching interns and develop mentor/mentee relationships with undergrads. Interns work with full-time faculty in the classroom and learn from them, and in the process develop their own pedagogy. “People come out of our program and teach in others,” says Parrish, pointing to another example of the program’s success. He gives as examples creative writing alumni Sheila Squillante, now the MFA program director at Chatham University; Jeff Voccola, now a professor of creative writing at Cuttstown University; and Lisa Mangini, who now teaches at Penn State.

Assistant Professor of English Rachel Furey, the program’s newest faculty member, says that the internship program is helpful for faculty, too, as having another person in the classroom can bring a fresh perspective to familiar material. Furey came to Southern in 2016 to teach fiction, and she enjoys the age diversity of students within the MFA program and the variety in the writing that her students do. “They’re not afraid to experiment a lot with their writing,” she says, “and this is good for me to see, as a writer myself.” Furey also points to the sense of community among the MFA students and faculty as one of the program’s strongest points.

Troy speaks nostalgically about the program, having left Southern in 2014 and now co-directing the Beargrass Writers Workshop in Missoula, Montana. “We just had so much fun together,” she says. “We represented such a range of ages and life experiences, all coming together with the common goal of making our varied, colorful voices heard. There was such a mutual respect among us, such a lack of pretension — and a shared feeling of never to want to say good-bye. I love seeing how our grads, even if they’ve moved on to different jobs or states, still stay in touch and circle back to Southern and each other. Ten years might sound like a long time, but it’s actually just a blink, and in that blink the MFA faculty at Southern has created a competitive, spirited program with real legs and heart. I’m proud to have been a part of it.”

RSVP for the October 4 MFA alumni reading and reception.

The Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce (GNHCC) will award Ellen Durnin, Ph.D., dean of Southern’s School of Business, with the with the Leadership Center Alumnus Award at the Annual Leadership Awards Luncheon on September 26, 2019.

The Alumnus of the Leadership Center Award honors an exemplary leader and graduate of the Leadership Center. The Leadership Center supports the professional growth of business executives through leadership training and community education.

Durnin was appointed dean of the School of Business at SCSU in 2010. She has served in this role since, excluding 18 months when she served as interim provost for 2016 and 2017.

Under Durnin’s leadership, the School of Business has created the nation’s first Public Utilities Management Program; a Women’s Mentoring Program; a Business Success Center for student internships and professional development; and a Business Advisory Council.

Durnin is also leading the School’s committee to design a new School of Business building that will be the first “net zero” space constructed by the State of Connecticut, and she developed the Business School’s first international partnership with ESPEME University in France. Additionally, Durnin leads SCSU’s Transatlantic Alliance with Liverpool John Moores University in Liverpool, England, providing international research and educational experiences for faculty and students.

Previously, Durnin was the dean of Graduate Studies and External Programs at Western Connecticut State University. While at WestConn, she was a member of the Business Women’s Forum; TBICO, an advocacy organization for women in the workplace; and provided training for corporations such as Boehringer-Ingelheim and Cartus.

Durnin holds a B.A. in sociology from Wagner College, a master’s in industrial and labor relations from Cornell University, and a Ph.D. in business from the City University of New York Graduate Center. Her teaching, research, training, and consulting focus on the areas of human resource management, negotiations and conflict resolution, and work/family balance.

Durnin sits on the Board of Directors of the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce, the Board of Director’s for Chapel Haven’s Schleifer Center, and the Vista Life Innovations Economic Development Committee. She was named the Business Community Advocate of the Year by the Hamden Regional Chamber of Commerce in 2013.

The Annual Leadership Awards Luncheon will take place at the Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 26, 2019. Tickets can be purchased online at the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce.

Music Professor Mark Kuss (right) with Music for Life International Director George Mathew

Music Professor Mark Kuss has been elected by the board of Music for Life International as interim chairman for the next 24 months. The organization’s treasurer and longtime board member, Kuss — a composer and digital entrepreneur as well as an educator — has served on the board with distinction since 2011 and as treasurer since 2013. In addition, he has generously shared his own artistry with Music for Life International over the years, as pianist, composer and arranger in several Music for Life International initiatives in the United States and abroad. Kuss will join Artistic Director George Mathew in a lecture-performance focusing on Music, Migration and Displacement this next week in Maastricht, in the Netherlands.

Since its founding in 2006, Music For Life International has pursued its mission to create transformative social impact through music for the most vulnerable human beings. Music for Life International Inc. (MFLI), which takes its name from the legendary MUSIC FOR LIFE concerts organized by Leonard Bernstein in the late 1980s at Carnegie Hall, was created to conceive and present musical concerts and related events to promote the awareness of significant international humanitarian crises and other public interest issues in the United States and throughout the world. MFLI, a registered 501(c)(3) tax-exempt not-for-profit organization, contributes the net-proceeds from its humanitarian concerts at Carnegie Hall to organizations directly addressing the crises and issues, which are the context for the concerts.

Kuss has received awards from the American Academy and the Institute of Arts and Letters, the N.E.A., the Jerome Foundation, Meet the Composer, A.S.C.A.P., the Copland Foundation and others. His work has been performed by the 21st Century Consort, the Folger Consort, the State Orchestra of Romania, at Merkin Hall, the 92nd Street Y, the MacDowell Colony, the Swannanoa Music Festival, the Monadnock Music Festival, San Francisco’s Composers Inc., the Vancouver Chamber Music Festival, and throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe.

 

 

 

✉️ Deliver to:

Dr. Barbara Aronson
Professor of Nursing & Ed.D. Coordinator
Department of Nursing


Dear Professor,

This past semester I was faced with a very stressful family event. While on campus to see my dissertation chair, you happened to see me waiting and inquired how I was doing. I am sure youdid not expect to hear the story I told youBut you listened with kindness and understanding. You offered some supportive suggestions to help me not only manage this time in my life, but to put my educational goals into perspective. Throughout this semester you have been a source of guidance. When faced with a decision to possibly withdraw from the program, you took it upon yourself to seek out a solution that I was not able to see. You have been a source of guidance during a time of darkness in my personal life. I find that I look to you for help, but also find that I want to prove to you that I can make it through this challenging time. I am grateful to have you as my advisor. You have gone out of your way to show me that having balance is essential. It is so apparent that you truly care.

Thank you,
Deborah Morrill


About Barbara Aronson

Favorite Teaching Moment(s):

Some of my most favorite teaching memories happen after the long process of helping my students write, conduct and defend their dissertations. As I watch them on the podium during the defense, nothing can match the pride I feel for my students, knowing how hard they have worked and the many obstacles and frustrations they have overcome. Being a part of their dissertation journey, and watching them transition from novice researchers to emerging scholars, is one of the most rewarding experiences I have had as a faculty member at SCSU.

Teaching Philosophy:

I believe good teaching is student-centered and grounded in evidence-based teaching practices and theories of teaching and learning. Excellent teachers set high expectations for students and encourage students to be active partners in their own learning and development as a practitioner or teacher/scholar. Providing prompt feedback to students and opportunities for ongoing student/faculty interaction and collaborative problem solving will prepare students to be innovators in their future practice. Active teaching practices encourage students to be self-directed and accountable for their learning. Teachers who role model professionalism, caring, curiosity, respect and humility in their teaching and interactions with students prepare students to extend the same virtues to their patients or students in their future practice.

Favorite Course to Teach:

One of my favorite courses to teach is Theories of Teaching and Learning in Adult and Higher Education. This is one of the very first courses our Ed.D. in Nursing Education students take in the program. While they are understandably overwhelmed by the amount of work in the course, they quickly come to realize how helpful learning about educational theories can be to them in their role as academic nurse educators. What is most gratifying to me as a teacher is to hear how they are using what they are learning each week to improve their teaching. As one student said, “The knowledge and understanding of adult learning theory I gained in this class has had a tremendous impact on my teaching and course design. I have begun to incorporate the different theories into my class presentations. I now see the students as a unique, multi-generational, multicultural set of learners. This course has also shifted my framework from my teaching to student learning.”

Recent Courses Taught:

  • NUR 432: Adult Responses to Complex Health Problems
  • NUR 443: Nursing Capstone
  • NUR 801: Theories of Teaching and Learning in Adult and Higher Education
  • NUR 803: Curriculum Development, Implementation, and Evaluation in Nursing
  • NUR 813: Dissertation Seminar I
  • NUR 814: Dissertation Seminar II
  • NUR 817: Continuing Dissertation Advisement

Christine Caragianis Broadbridge, Ph.D., professor of physics and executive director of research and innovation at Southern Connecticut State University, has been appointed vice president of the Connecticut Academy of Science & Engineering. Broadbridge will serve as vice president through June 30, 2020, with the Council’s recommendation that her name be submitted for election by the membership for President (2020 – 2022) and Past President (2022 – 2024).

Broadbridge began her faculty career at Trinity College. In 1998, she was appointed Visiting Fellow in Electrical Engineering at Yale University and in 2000 joined the Physics Department at Southern. She has been a principal investigator or co-principal investigator on ten National Science Foundation projects and a researcher on many others, including grants from NASA, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and the U.S. Department of Energy. Broadbridge participated in the establishment and is a researcher and education director for the Center for Research on Interface Structures and Phenomena (CRISP) at Yale/SCSU and is the director for the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities Center for Nanotechnology. Throughout her career she has implemented numerous industry workforce initiatives, most recently BioScience Academic and Career Pathway Initiative (BioPath) and the New Haven Manufacturer’s Association Summer Teachers’ Institute.

An active member of the Academy since her election in 2008, she chairs the Membership Committee, serves on the Development and Advocacy Committee, and was elected to the Council in 2016.

“I am honored to continue working with such a distinguished and dedicated group of scientists and engineers from Connecticut’s academic, industrial, and public sector communities,” said Broadbridge. “The work that the Academy does adds value to the state of Connecticut from promoting science education for K-12 students and the citizens of Connecticut to providing expert advice on issues of science and technology.”

Broadbridge has a B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Rhode Island, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in engineering from Brown University. At Brown, she conducted research in the fields of materials science, physics and nanotechnology. Selected awards include the 2006 Connecticut Technology Council’s Woman of Innovation Award for Academic Leadership and the 2014 Connecticut Materials and Manufacturing Professional of the Year Award. Broadbridge was a Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame Honoree in 2008 for Outstanding Women of Science in Academia and was a Connecticut Science Center STEM Achievement Award nominee in 2016. She is a member of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a member of Sigma Pi Sigma and Tau Beta Pi (national honor societies for physics and engineering respectively).

The Connecticut Academy of Science & Engineering is a nonprofit, 501(c)3 institution patterned after the National Academy of Sciences to provide expert guidance on science and technology to the people and to the state of Connecticut, and to promote the application of science and technology to social and economic well being. The Academy’s 400+ members include leading scientists, physicians, engineers, and mathematics who are experts in a wide range of science and technology-related fields.

As of August 2019, Public Health Professor Michele Vancour has accepted a two-year position as interim associate dean for the School of Health and Human Services.

Vancour earned her B.A. in English from CCSU, an MPH from Southern, and her Ph.D. in health education from NYU. In 1998 she began her career at Southern as an assistant professor in the Department of Public Health and Founding Director of the SCSU Wellness Center. During her tenure at Southern, Vancour has established herself as an outstanding teacher, scholar, mentor, and leader. She has served in several major leadership roles, including 8 years as the undergraduate program coordinator for Public Health and most recently as the director of Faculty Development. Her list of service activities is extensive, and includes founder of the Childcare committee, Work-Life Advisory Committee, Southern’s Chapter of the CT ACE Women’s Network, and membership or chair positions with more than 30 different groups on our campus.

Headshot Photo of Michele VancourVancour earned tenure and promotion to professor in the Department of Public Health, received the Outstanding Academic Advisor Award, Robert E. Jirsa Award for Service, and the Distinguished Academic Woman in Higher Education Leadership Award from the CT ACE Women’s Network.

She has an extensive list of professional presentations and publications in her areas of expertise, which include: motherhood, maternal health, breastfeeding support, women’s health, and work-life balance. She is highly respected in her profession having served as president and board member for the College and University Work/Family/Life Association, chair and board member for the Connecticut Breastfeeding Coalition, and board member and committee chair for the CT ACE Women’s Network.

Adding Vancour’s talents to the HHS Dean’s office will allow the School to expand its support for students, department chairs, and coordinators. Vancour will take the lead to support chairs with course schedules and administrative processes related to student enrollment. She will also design and facilitate professional development for HHS faculty and staff, coordinate furniture decisions for offices and collaboration spaces in the new building, monitor implementation of marketing and recruitment efforts for HHS programs, and serve as a resource for program accreditation and new program development.