Announcements

Pina Palma, professor of Italian, has been chosen by the Faculty Scholar Award Committee as the recipient of the 2016 award.

Palma’s application, consisting of her book Savoring Power, Consuming the Times: The Metaphors of Food in Medieval and Renaissance Italian Literature (University of Notre Dame Press), was found to be “outstanding and impressive” by the committee, chaired by William Lunn, associate professor of human performance.

The committee was particularly impressed with the quality of journals that had positively reviewed Palma’s book, as well as the breadth of her work and her candid inclusion of negative reviews to balance positive critiques.

“Moreover, committee members volunteered that your publication was just plain fun to read,” Lunn wrote. “Your chapter on “The Language of Food in Boccaccio’s Decameron” was a particular joy.”

The book, according the the publisher’s website, “is an innovative look at the writings of five important Italian authors—Boccaccio’s Decameron, Pulci’s Morgante, Boiardo’s Innamorato, Ariosto’s Furioso, and Aretino’s Ragionamento. Through the prism of gastronomy, Palma examines these key works in the Western literary canon, bringing into focus how their authors use food and gastronomy as a means to critique the social, political, theological, philosophical, and cultural beliefs that constitute the fabric of the society in which they live.”

Palma earned her Ph.D. at Yale University and is a member of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences. She will be honored at the Celebration of Excellence event during the spring semester.

President Joe Bertolino said, “My congratulations to Pina, and the Department of World Languages and Literatures. Her achievement is yet another example of the tradition of excellent scholarship and research established by our faculty.”

Once again, Southern goes for the green!

For the third year in a row, Southern has been named one of the 361 most environmentally responsible colleges by The Princeton Review (www.PrincetonReview.com). The education services company known for its test prep and tutoring services, books, and college rankings features the university in the 2016 edition of its free book, The Princeton Review Guide to 361 Green Colleges.

Published October 4, the 160-page guide can be downloaded at www.princetonreview.com/green-guide.

The Princeton Review chose the schools for this seventh annual edition of its “green guide” based on data from the company’s 2015-16 survey of hundreds of four-year colleges concerning the schools’ commitments to the environment and sustainability.

The profiles in The Princeton Review’s Guide to 361 Green Colleges provide information about each school’s admission requirements, cost and financial aid, and student body stats. They also include “Green Facts” about the schools with details on the availability of transportation alternatives at the schools and the percentage of the school food budgets spent on local/organic food.

science-garden

Suzanne Huminski, SCSU sustainability coordinator, says, “The SCSU community should be proud of this rating, because it is a hard-won reflection of the effort by our campus community.” Huminski points to Southern’s long and strong leadership record with energy efficiency, green building design, waste reduction and recycling. The university is also recognized for sustainability in curriculum, research, student involvement, and community outreach, and finding symbioses among all of these elements to strengthen the campus community and surrounding neighborhoods.

Southern’s focus on food security has been an important contributor to these kinds of connections. Huminski explains that student volunteers collect excess food from Conn Hall and campus retail locations and deliver it to soup kitchens and pantries in the New Haven area, primarily St. Ann’s soup kitchen on Arch St., near Southern’s campus.

“This project could never happen without a strong partnership and collaboration with our administration, dining services staff, management, and students,” Huminski says. She credits public health and geography faculty and students with research in the area of food insecurity. In addition, CARE [Community Alliance for Research and Engagement], newly arrived on the SCSU campus, is integrally involved with reducing hunger in New Haven, establishing food security as a priority at New Haven City Hall, and developing a network of non-profits that have streamlined goals and communication. Multiple student organizations organize food drives and donations, and for Southern students experiencing food insecurity, the SCSU Office of Alumni Relations coordinates campus visits from a mobile food pantry.

“There is a great deal of potential to further align and unify these campus-wide efforts, and together we’re working on this,” says Huminski.

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The Princeton Review first published its green guide in 2010. It remains the only free, annually updated downloadable guide to green colleges.

CARE, New Haven

Above, left to right: Yan Searcy, associate dean of the School of Health and Human Services; Sandra Bulmer, dean of the School of Health and Human Services; Alycia Santilli, CARE director; and Jeannette Ickovics, CARE founder

The Community Alliance for Research and Engagement (CARE) is partnering with Southern Connecticut State University to enhance its ongoing efforts to improve the health of residents in New Haven’s lowest-income neighborhoods.

Since its founding in 2007 at the Yale School of Public Health, CARE has worked to identify solutions to health challenges such as diabetes, asthma, and heart and lung diseases through community-based research and projects focusing on social, environmental, and behavioral risk factors. During the next three years, CARE will transition from Yale to SCSU’s campus, with SCSU becoming responsible for CARE’s community engagement work. Yale will continue to manage and finance CARE’s research agenda while gradually shifting that work to SCSU.

“This partnership with SCSU represents a powerful next step in the evolution of CARE by engaging with a local state university to drive deeper change into our neighborhoods,” said CARE founder Jeannette Ickovics. “This is an opportunity of mutual benefit:  a way to extend CARE’s work in New Haven, provide continuity and new energy to the work, and provide a platform to launch a center at Southern. “

The new SCSU Center for Community Engagement will help foster student service learning, advance community-engaged scholarship, and benefit CARE’s community partners, said Sandra Bulmer, dean of SCSU’s School of Health and Human Services (HHS). With Alycia Santilli as director, and Ickovics serving in an advisory capacity, CARE is beginning its transition to SCSU this month, Bulmer said.

Southern’s School of Health and Human Services is unique in Connecticut in combining seven disciplines under a single umbrella –  communication disorders, exercise science, marriage and family therapy, nursing, public health, social work, and recreation, tourism, and sport management. As a result, academic opportunities are highly interdisciplinary, while the school’s wide range of internships means that students participate in the community while earning their degrees.

“SCSU’s students and faculty are tremendous assets that will bring CARE expanded opportunities in community-based research, programming, and policy change, leading to further improvement in the health of New Haven residents,” Bulmer said.

During the transitional period, YSPH will remain as the central hub of CARE’s research activities, with a focus on data analysis from its New Haven Public Schools and neighborhood health surveys, said Santilli, who began her employment with SCSU Sept. 23 as a special appointment faculty member in the Department of Public Health.

“The potential of student, faculty, and staff power, combined with the legacy of work initiated over the past decade at the Yale School of Public Health, will be leveraged in a new way that I hope will have a lasting impact for another decade to come,” Santilli said.

“I am excited about the capacity and resources that this expanded partnership can bring to the SCSU campus community and the Greater New Haven area. As I become familiar with SCSU, two things stand out: the drive to best serve students and the commitment to social justice. These are simultaneously familiar and fresh perspectives from which CARE can begin to refine our focus on improving health in the New Haven community.”

Santilli, who has been with CARE since 2007, will spend the coming months transitioning CARE’s operations to Southern’s campus, developing CARE’s new strategic plan, and launching its new community engagement activities. She will split her time between offices at Lang House and Southern on the Green in downtown New Haven.

More information about CARE, including its accomplishments and publications, can be found on the CARE website.

The university is pleased to welcome 22 new tenure-track faculty members to Southern this academic year. Together, they bring a variety of skills and backgrounds to the institution that will serve to enhance not only Southern’s academic offerings but also enrich the campus community.

girard2Alex Girard, assistant professor of art, joins Southern’s faculty after serving as an assistant professor of graphic design at the University of Minnesota – Duluth. He holds an M.F.A. in graphic design from the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, N.Y. He also has a B.A. in graphic design and painting from the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa. He was previously an associate dean of academic affairs at the Community College of Aurora, Colorado, and is a freelance graphic designer.

 

bakerSarah Wojiski, assistant professor of biology, comes to Southern after more than five years at MCPHS University (formerly known as Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Services). She holds a Ph.D. in genetics from Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. She also has an M.Ed. in secondary education and biology from Boston College, and a B.S. in diagnostic genetic sciences from the University of Connecticut, where she graduated summa cum laude. Her research includes the area of cancer, particularly leukemia.

grimesSara Baker, assistant professor of communication, joins us at Southern following an appointment as a course mentor at Western Governors University in Salt Lake City. She holds a Ph.D. in organizational communication from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. She also has an M.A. in communication studies from San Diego State University, and a B.A. in communication studies from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She was previously an assistant professor of communication studies at Eastern Illinois University. Her research includes the role of gender, sex and sexuality in communication.

Mohammad Tariqul Islam, assistant professor of computer science, comes to Southern after serving as a teaching and research assistant at the University of Kentucky. He holds a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Kentucky, where he also holds a master’s degree (en passant) in computer science. He has a B.Sc. in computer science in engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. His research includes geo-facial image analysis.

fureyRachel Furey, assistant professor of English, joins us at Southern after serving as a writing instructor and fiction specialist at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo. She holds a Ph.D. in English from Texas Tech University. She also has an M.F.A. in creative writing from Southern Illinois University, and a B.S. in English from State University of New York, College at Brockport. Her works – both fiction and non-fiction – have appeared in many publications.

 

millerMatthew Miller, assistant professor of the environment, geography and marine sciences, becomes a tenure-track faculty member after serving last year as a visiting assistant professor at Southern. He holds a Ph.D. in biogeography from the University of Georgia, where he also holds an M.S. in biogeography. In addition, he has a B.A. in geography from University of Vermont. He previously had been a visiting assistant professor at Oklahoma State University, and had an earlier stint as a visiting assistant professor at Southern in 2010-11.

smithJason Smith, assistant professor of history, joins Southern after serving for the last two years as a post-doctoral fellow at the U.S. Naval Academy. He holds a Ph.D. in history from Temple University in Philadelphia. He also has a B.A. in history from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. He previously had been an adjunct instructor in the social sciences at Howard Community College in Columbia, Md. His research expertise includes U.S. naval science.

 

Vern WilliamsVern Williams, assistant professor of journalism, becomes a tenure-track faculty member after serving two consecutive one-year special appointments at Southern. He holds an M.P.S. in communication from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. He also has a B.F.A. in photographic illustration from Rochester Institute of Technology. He previously served as director of multimedia and photography at the New Haven Register.

 

Jennifer Hopper, assistant professor of political science, joins Southern after serving for five years as an assistant professor of political science at Washington College in Chestertown, Md. She holds a Ph.D. in political science from City University of New York. She also has a B.S. in political science from Hunter College in New York, where she graduated summa cum laude. Among her areas of expertise is media coverage of the presidency.

ramachandarSujini Ramachandar, assistant professor of communication disorders, joins Southern after teaching and conducting research as a doctoral student at the University of Pittsburgh. She holds an M.S. in speech-language pathology from Syracuse University in Syracuse, N.Y., and a B.S. in accounting from Madras University in Coimbatore, India. She previously served as a speech-language pathologist at the DePaul School for Hearing and Speech.

 

bereiCatherine Berei, assistant professor of exercise science, comes to Southern after serving as a temporary lecturer in physical education teacher education at the University of Idaho. She holds a Ph.D. in sport and exercise science from the University of Northern Colorado. She also has an M.Ed. in health education and a B.S. in physical education from Plymouth State University in Plymouth, N.H. Among her areas of expertise is comprehensive physical activities in schools.

 

Andrea Adimando, assistant professor of nursing, becomes a tenure-track faculty member following two consecutive one-year special appointments at Southern. She holds a D.N.P. from Chatham University in Pittsburgh. She also has an M.S. in human nutrition from the University of Bridgeport, an M.S.N. from the Yale University School of Nursing and a B.S. in behavioral neuroscience from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Penn. She previously had served as an A.P.R.N. in child psychiatric emergency services at the Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital.

Frances Penny, assistant professor of nursing, comes to Southern after a year as an adjunct clinical faculty member at the University of Connecticut. She holds an M.S.N. from the University of Connecticut. She also has an M.P.H. from Johns Hopkins University and a B.S.N. from Georgetown University. She previously has worked as a nurse in various hospitals along the East Coast and in California.

contrufoRaymond Contrufo, assistant professor of recreation, tourism, and sport management, joins Southern after two years as an assistant professor of sport management at State University of New York College at Cortland. He holds a Ph.D. in kinesiology from the University of Connecticut. He also has an M.S. in sport management from California University of Pennsylvania, as well as a B.A. in French from the University of Connecticut and a B.S. in industrial engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Mass. He previously served in sales and marketing positions with minor league baseball programs.

mcginnisKevin McGinniss, assistant professor of recreation, tourism, and sport management, joins Southern after serving as president and CEO of the Eastern College Athletic Conference. He holds an Ed.D. in sport administration/sport and physical education pedagogy from Columbia University Teachers College. He also has a Sixth Year Professional Diploma in educational leadership, an M.S. in physical education/athletics administration and a B.S. in health education from Southern. A former director of alumni affairs at Southern, he returns to his alma mater after 15 years.

Paul LevatinoPaul Levatino, assistant professor of social work, becomes a tenure-track faculty member following a series of special appointments at Southern. He holds an M.F.T. and a B.S. in computer science from Southern. He previously served as program coordinator for Wheeler Clinic’s Multidimensional Family Therapy Program.

 

 

hoffler

Steve Hoffler, assistant professor of social work, becomes a tenure-track faculty member after having taught at Southern for six years. He holds a Ph.D. in social work from Smith College in Northampton, Mass. He also has an M.S.W. and a B.A. in history from the University of Connecticut. In addition, he has served as a consultant with the state Department of Children and Families.

 

 

James Aselta, assistant professor of accounting, joins Southern after retiring from Ernst & Young as a management consultant and audit executive. He holds an M.B.A. and a B.S. in accounting from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, N.J. He served as a visiting instructor last year for the University of Hartford, where he taught financial accounting and auditing concepts.

richardsonAnthony Richardson, assistant professor of management/management information systems, becomes a tenure-track faculty member following a pair of one-year special appointments at Southern. He holds an M.S. in management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., and a B.S. in management information systems from Central Connecticut State University. He has served as a project manager for Hartford Healthcare.

 

Robert Smith, assistant professor of management/management information systems, joins Southern after serving as an adjunct faculty member at Lincoln College of New England, located in Southington. He operates his own law practice and holds a J.D. from Quinnipiac University in Hamden. He also has a B.A. in psychology from Central Connecticut State University.

Natalie Starling, assistant professor of counseling and school psychology, comes to Southern after serving as a psychological and behavioral consultant for EASTCONN Regional Educational Services. She holds a Ph.D. in school psychology from the University of Connecticut. She also has a Sixth Year Professional Diploma in school psychology and an M.S. in school psychology from Southern. In addition, she has a B.A. in school psychology from the University of Connecticut. She previously served as a contract school psychologist for the Meriden Public Schools.

bogelGayle Bogel, associate professor of information and library science, becomes a tenure-track faculty member following a one-year special appointment at Southern. She holds a Ph.D. in interdisciplinary information science from the University of North Texas. She also has an M.L.S. from Southern, an M.A. in education from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, and a B.A. from California State University. She previously worked as director of the educational technology program at Fairfield University.

 

 

The Board of Regents for Higher Education has voted to select Dr. Joe Bertolino as the 12th President of Southern Connecticut State University. A Board of Regents search committee recommended Dr. Bertolino among three finalists after a five-month long nationwide search.

“I want to thank everyone who participated in this process, especially the University Advisory Committee for their time and collective input,” said Larry DeNardis, Chair of the Regents Search Committee. “Dr. Bertolino greatly impressed the Committee and I am confident he will be a perfect complement to the great talent we have at Southern.”

Connecticut State Colleges and Universities President Mark E. Ojakian agreed:  “Dr. Bertolino’s commitment to students and their access to high quality higher education is very clear. He is going to be a great advocate for Southern and our system.”

”I am both honored and humbled to serve as Southern’s next president,” shared Dr. Bertolino. “While there are certainly many challenges ahead, the institution’s potential far outweighs those challenges.  I look forward to working closely with the Southern team to ensure that we continue to build strong relationships and that our institutional core rests in our mission and in service to our students.”

Dr. Bertolino is currently the President of Lyndon State College in Vermont and Special Assistant to the Chancellor for System Integration and Related Efforts at the Vermont State Colleges. He replaces Dr. Mary Papazian who resigned as of July 1. He will begin August 22, 2016, at an annual salary of $294,700.

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Dr. Bertolino’s Curriculum Vitae can be found here: http://www.ct.edu/files/pdfs/SCSU-Joe-Bertolino.pdf

 

View a photo album from Jahana Hayes’ September 2016 visit to Southern.

The Council of Chief State School Officers today announced that Southern alumna Jahana Hayes, ’05, a history teacher at John F. Kennedy High School in Waterbury, Conn., is the 2016 National Teacher of the Year.

Jahana Hayes, '05
Photos courtesy of Waterbury Public Schools

Hayes’ route to teaching began as a student. The first in her family to graduate from college, she was inspired by her teachers who urged her to dream bigger and who believed that she was college material, despite a challenging upbringing. She earned an associate degree from Naugatuck Valley Community College, a bachelor of science from Southern, a master of arts from Saint Joseph University, and a certification from the University of Bridgeport.

A veteran history teacher, Hayes also sees herself as an advisor, counselor, confidant and protector. She endeavors to fill the role her own teachers had in her life, guiding students to be their best selves and encouraging them to take ownership of their communities.

“As a teacher, I strive to facilitate learning in a way that engages students by connecting on a personal level and stimulating academic growth, while simultaneously producing contentious and productive members of society,” she says.

For Hayes, being a teacher is a privilege and an opportunity to transform lives and foster a sense of social responsibility in the next generation. As the 2016 National Teacher of the Year and a spokesperson for the teaching profession, Hayes hopes to motivate more people to become educators and continue to carry out this important work.

“I am honored to be the 2016 National Teacher of the Year,” Hayes says. “In the course of the next year, I hope to stoke a national conversation about education that is inclusive of everyone. I want to engage people who have not traditionally been part of the conversation to join in this important effort to prepare well-rounded students for success in life.”

The National Teacher of the Year program, run by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and presented by Voya Financial, Inc., identifies exceptional teachers in the country, recognizes their effective work in the classroom, engages them in a year of professional learning, amplifies their voices, and empowers them to participate in policy discussions at the state and national levels.

As the 2016 National Teacher of the Year, Hayes will spend a year traveling the nation to represent educators and advocate on behalf of teachers. She looks forward to sharing her belief in the importance of service-learning, and in making the teaching profession more attractive and appealing to young people across all demographics.

Every year, exemplary teachers from each state, the U.S. extra-state territories, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense Education Activity are selected as State Teachers of the Year. From that group, the National Teacher of the Year is chosen by a panel representing 15 renowned education organizations, which collectively represent more than 7 million educators.

“The Selection Committee selected Jahana Hayes as the 2016 National Teacher of the Year because we believe her message of service-learning resonates in the education discussion today,” the committee stated. “In addition, we believe she has a strong story that speaks to educators and will bring an important perspective to the public discourse over the next year.”

“Teachers like Jahana Hayes are leading the way to a brighter future for America. What an exceptional educator — we are all proud,” says Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. “Extraordinary academic rigor, high expectations, and unwavering commitment to service outside the classroom are the characteristics that Jahana brings to Waterbury students each and every day. She is truly preparing the next generation of global citizens. I want to congratulate Jahana and thank her for making a difference in the lives of so many Connecticut children and families.”

“Jahana Hayes inspires her students to believe in their ability to change the world. She ignites a love of learning and builds their self-confidence. This well-deserved distinction provides Jahana the platform and opportunity to share her gifts, passion, and talent with students and educators across the nation. Without question, Jahana will inspire others to believe in the power of teachers to change the world through education,” says Connecticut Department of Education Commissioner Dianna R. Wentzell. “Connecticut is so proud of Jahana. She is a true role model for educators across the nation who seek to deliver on the promise of an outstanding education for every student.”

“To be the National Teacher of the Year requires not only pedagogical precision, but also the ability to connect to the hearts and minds of a school community,” says Waterbury Superintendent Kathleen M. Ouellette. “Jahana’s own life experience, her passion for education, and the inspirational manner in which she impacts her students, all contribute greatly to her success. Jahana has masterfully refined a focused, pragmatic, yet heartfelt approach to an evolving global vision of education, bringing her to this pinnacle – the 2016 National Teacher of the Year! We in Waterbury, Connecticut, are very proud!”

Hayes and the other 55 State Teachers of the Year have been invited to an event on Tuesday, May 3, at the White House, where they will be honored by President Barack Obama.

Alumni Counselor with First Lady Michelle Obama
Photo: American School Counselor Association

Southern pride is running sky high, with Colleen Palmer, M.S. ’90, 6th Yr. ’93, and Jahana (Flemming) Hayes, ’05, respectively named the 2016 Connecticut Superintendent and Teacher of the Year, and Megan Johnson, M.S. ’98, 6th Yr. ’99, honored as the 2016 School Counselor of the Year Connecticut state representative.

Johnson was among a select group of school counselors honored by First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House in January (Johnson is pictured above in the second row from the top, second from the left.).

Alumni librarians are feeling the love as well. Congratulations to Diane Brown, ’95, M.L.S. ’04, and Elizabeth G. Rumery, M.L.S. ’05, two of only 10 librarians from throughout the nation to receive the “I Love My Librarian Award.” The competition, which is overseen by the American Library Association, recognizes librarians who have transformed lives through education. Here’s more on the honorees.

Connecticut Superintendent of the Year

Colleen Palmer, M.S. ’90, 6th Yr. ’93

colleen-palmer-200x255Superintendent of Weston Public Schools Colleen Palmer is no stranger to success. In Newsweek magazine’s most recent rating of high schools in the U.S., Weston High was top in Connecticut and 47th nationally. Palmer, a 30-year education veteran has received personal accolades as well, including being named the 2016 Superintendent of the Year by the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents. “I have always loved being an educator, from being a teacher, a guidance counselor, a principal, an assistant superintendent, and a superintendent. In each of those roles you can positively influence the lives of children. I love my work,” said Palmer, quoted in the publication Westport Now. In July, she will begin serving as superintendent for the neighboring town of Westport.

2016 Connecticut Teacher of the Year

Finalist for National Teacher of the Year

Jahana (Flemming) Hayes, ’05

Social studies teacher, John F. Kennedy High School, Waterbury

Johana-Hayes-200x255The first in her family to attend college, Jahana (Flemming) Hayes transferred to Southern after earning an associate degree from Naugatuck Valley Community College. Raised in Waterbury, she credits teachers with inspiring her to dream big. “Teachers exposed me to a different world by letting me borrow books to read at home and sharing stories about their college experiences,” writes Hayes. After beginning her teaching career in New Haven, she returned to Waterbury where she has taught for the past 11 years. In addition to her classroom duties, she was the lead teacher for the district’s after-school programming for seven years and is working to further minority teacher recruitment and retention. “I’ve been telling my students for years that excellence happens here every day. Our students need to know that they have value and can make a difference in the world. This honor makes that real for them,” says Hayes. She is one of only four finalists for the National Teacher of the Year Award, which will be announced in April.

2016 School Counselor of the Year State Representative for Connecticut

Megan Johnson, M.S. ’98, 6th Yr. ’99

King Philip Middle School, West Hartford

megan-johnson-200x255Megan Johnson kicked off the year in high style. Named the Connecticut state representative for the 2016 School Counselor of the Year program, Johnson was among a select group honored at the White House and a black-tie gala held at Washington, D.C.’s historic Union Station. “Going to the White House was an amazing experience,” says Johnson. “It was so nice to see our profession be publicly recognized and appreciated by the First Lady.” Johnson was raised in a family of educators. Her father, David Fox, is a retired history teacher and her mother, alumna Rosemary Fox, ’69, M.S. ’72, also taught before becoming a school counselor. At Southern, Johnson worked as a graduate assistant while pursuing her studies. She credits Professor Emeritus of Counseling and School Psychology Michael Martin, for his mentorship. “His belief in me as a professional helped me gain the confidence I needed to pursue my career and is something I will never forget,” says Johnson, who earned this most recent honor after being named the 2015 School Counselor of the Year by the Connecticut School Counseling Association.

I Love My Librarian Award

Elizabeth Rumery, M.L.S. ’05

Library Director, University of Connecticut Avery Point Campus, Groton

rumery-e-200x255Librarian Elizabeth Rumery has rolled out the welcome mat for students and the community, says Sue Shontell, executive director of the New London Housing Authority, (NLHA), which provides housing opportunities for the elderly, those with disabilities, and low-income families. In addition to welcoming NLHA families and staff at on-campus events, Rumery has encouraged her students to learn the joys of giving back. “She has made the library not only a place of academic learning and support, but a place to learn life lessons as well,” says Shontell. Interested students have attended a presentation by Edward Epps, a representative from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Washington, D.C., and collected cellphones for victims of domestic violence. On campus, Rumery has worked to enhance the library’s physical space and fostered collaborations with veterans, the Rainbow Center, and the writing center. She’s also created a “safe space” in the library, where students grappling with problems and issues will be connected with the appropriate help and resources.

I Love My Librarian Award

Diane Brown, ’95, M.L.S. ’04

Branch Manager, Stetson Branch, New Haven Free Public Library (NHFPL)

brown-diane-200x255When members of a recent focus group were asked to describe what they loved most about the Stetson Branch library in New Haven, their answer was lightning fast: “Miss Diane!” Many echo their enthusiasm for Diane Brown, who is widely credited with transforming the library into a safe, nurturing oasis for the inner-city Dixwell neighborhood — an area burdened by poverty, high unemployment, and low literacy. Working with the Connecticut Center for Arts and Technology, for example, she helped establish an afterschool tutoring program for Lincoln Bassett School as well as a satellite branch library within the school. Other initiatives she’s helped forward include family nights, health fairs, the International Festival of Arts and Idea’s Pop-Up Festival in the Dixwell neighborhood, and much more. Dawn La Valle, director of the Division of Library Development for the Connecticut State Library, who nominated Brown, notes: “Her commitment to the community she was born and raised in is unbreakable, and it goes well beyond the walls of the library.”

 

 

The university has entered into an exciting partnership with The Elm Shakespeare Company (ESC) that promises to bring new energy to the Theatre Department and the entire university community.

The Elm Shakespeare Company, recognized as the premiere Shakespeare company in Connecticut and one of the very best in New England, has been offering free professional outdoor Shakespeare performances in New Haven for 20 years. Southern and Elm Shakespeare recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that brings Elm Shakespeare onto campus and integrates it into Theatre Department activities and facilities.

Under the MOU, ESC is officially “in residence” at Southern Connecticut State University. For two decades, ESC has rehearsed its actors and built the sets for its productions at Lyman Center; the MOU formalizes this relationship. As part of the agreement, ESC will reserve three non-union acting or technical positions for Southern students in its summer season; provide a member of its artistic staff to teach a Shakespeare workshop (THR 228) every semester; and offer additional free workshops to SCSU theater students. In addition, when available, a member of the ESC artistic staff will direct agreed-upon Theatre Department productions, and the company will provide formal fieldwork opportunities for qualified Southern students interested in theater education. The university, for its part, will provide office, classroom, and rehearsal space for ESC; allow access to the costume shop and scene shop; and offer the opportunity for qualified ESC staff to teach, direct or design in Theatre Department courses or productions. Both organizations will acknowledge the partnership in their advertising literature and publications.

Steven Breese, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, says of the new partnership, “We are delighted that Elm Shakespeare will be taking up residency at Southern. Our artistic and educational missions are deeply interconnected and, like any good partnership, we strengthen one another by joining our forces.

“While SCSU has, for many years, had a strong relationship with Elm, having the company and its artistic staff ensconced on our campus and interacting with students and faculty every day will be a ‘shot’ of creative adrenaline — something that all artists need and welcome.”

Rebecca Goodheart, Elm Shakespeare’s new Producing Artistic Director, says, “We at Elm Shakespeare are so excited to solidify our long-time working relationship and become the theater company in residence at Southern Connecticut State University. This partnership is the best kind of collaboration. Together we will create more classical performance at the highest standards, and more opportunities for students than ever before. Together, we will ensure that everyone in this great community and beyond has access to world-class arts and education. Together, we will be the example of what is possible in New Haven.”

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Breese acknowledges the efforts of Goodheart and Kaia Monroe, Theatre Department Chair, for the work they have done to bring this partnership to fruition, adding, “It represents a giant step forward for our theater program, while offering a secure home for one the region’s most respected professional Shakespeare companies.”

An official signing of the MOU will take place on March 2, at 4:30 p.m. in the Lyman Center lobby. The signing will coincide with Elm Shakespeare’s announcement of its 2016 season. For more information about Elm Shakespeare, visit its website.

 

Laos

In terms of diversity of and access to faculty-led study abroad programming, Southern is now “walking the walk,” says Erin Heidkamp, director of international education. With the recent addition of five new study abroad programs, destinations now range from Liverpool to Laos, and program fees are affordable compared to other institutional and third-party programs study abroad programs outside of Southern.

New programs this year include Amsterdam (sociology), China (nursing), Guatemala II (special education), Laos (English), and Liverpool (recreation and leisure). These programs join the university’s existing programs in Belize (biology), Bermuda (the environment, geography, and marine sciences), Guatemala I (public health), Iceland (the environment, geography, and marine sciences), Rome (English), Spain (world languages and literatures) and Tuscany (world languages and literatures).

Heidkamp says, “The publication of our new 2016 faculty-led program abroad booklets has sparked tremendous interest among faculty interested in establishing their own programs. We couldn’t be more excited about the growth in this area of OIE (Office of International Education) services. It’s the direct result of having defined the direction in which we, as a university, want to move.”

A key part of Southern’s mission as an institution of higher learning is “preparing our local students for global lives,” and each year, a significant number of Southern students study abroad. Last year, the university joined 240 institutions nationwide in the Institute of International Education’s Generation Study Abroad initiative to double the number of American students who study abroad by the end of the decade.

Amsterdam

The Amsterdam program (July 7 – August 7) will address social problems in The Netherlands, especially as they relate to crime, drug culture, sexuality and social control. These and other topics will be covered in courses taught by experts on Dutch social policy and field experiences led by activists, policy makers, and scholars from the University of Amsterdam.

China

The 2016 China program (March 17 – 26) will provide nursing students a unique opportunity to study global healthcare abroad within a developing, culturally diverse population. Students will identify how cultural issues and global diversity impact the delivery of healthcare and will work collaboratively with Chinese nursing students from Central South University in Changsha, China, to explore, understand, and appreciate these differences as well as identify, assess, and plan interventions from a global perspective.

Guatemala

The special education field study in Guatemala (July 31 – August 14) will provide students with a unique opportunity to learn about special education in a developing country through interactions with children, teachers and families; discussions with in-country experts; community observations; and visits to schools, residential facilities and other agencies serving children with disabilities. Students will examine special education policies and services with attention to availability, accessibility, assessment, professional preparation, and resources. Topics such as cultural and linguistic diversity, literacy, school attendance and completion, and successful post-school transitions will be explored.

Laos

In the Laos program (May 30- June 16), students will take a course that introduces and teaches travel writing while offering intensive practice in multiple forms within the genre, making it suitable for seasoned as well as aspiring travelers and writers. Students will use their daily interactions with Lao culture, food, historical sites, and people to inform their written reflections on what it means to be a foreign person traveling through an unfamiliar country.

Liverpool

The Liverpool program – “Atlantic Crossing!” (April 3-12) — will provide students with the opportunity to meet like-minded students at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), and learn about the shared historical and cultural roots of two significant coastal cities that played a major role in the international economic and cultural development of the United States and England. The program may also serve as a practicum experience for a student in the Tourism, Hospitality and Event concentration, with student involvement in the planning and logistical management of the program. Students will be required to attend face-to-face meetings with RLS faculty, online meetings with LJMU counterparts prior to departure, and develop a research project linked to their current course work and concentration.

For more information about any of these programs, including fees and contact information, visit the OIE website.

To hear study abroad alumni speak about their experiences with international study, don’t miss the Global Ambassador Symposium on February 24 at 12 p.m. in Engleman A120.

President Mary A. Papazian

Mark Ojakian, President of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) system, has announced that Mary A. Papazian will resign as President of Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) effective July 1, 2016, and will become the 29th president of San José State University.

In announcing her resignation, President Ojakian noted that while President Papazian has only served as SCSU president since 2011, she has nevertheless produced a distinguished record of student success and accomplishment. “From major construction projects that have changed the face of SCSU, to urban initiatives and the growth of STEM programs to meet workforce development needs, President Papazian has served the SCSU community with exceptional vision and integrity,” said President Ojakian. “We are indeed fortunate to have had the benefit of her extraordinary leadership.”

“The Board of Regents greatly appreciates President Papazian’s service and commitment to Southern Connecticut State University and its students,” said Board of Regents Chairman Nicholas Donofrio. “We wish her well in her future endeavors and we thank her for her service to the state, CSCU community and Southern Connecticut State University.”

Since 2011, President Papazian — the 11th president of SCSU — led a period of institutional advancement. During her tenure, she established a Student Success Taskforce that enhanced student services and support, and the first Presidents Commission on Campus Climate and Inclusion. Major construction projects included the new School of Business, renovation of Buley Library, and the Academic Laboratory Science Building and changed the face of the SCSU campus.

While president, she also established the Office for STEM innovation and Leadership, where SCSU’s new science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs were created in alignment with the needs of a 21st century economy. In spring of 2015, President Papazian and New Haven Mayor Toni Harp announced a new bioscience partnership linking SCSU and the City of New Haven.  In addition, the university is now developing an initiative with the city of Bridgeport, focusing on education, business and environmental science.

During her time at SCSU, President Papazian also led the university through the final phase of a successful academic accreditation process, expanded SCSU’s community engagement by cultivating stronger ties to SCSU’s feeder K-12 school districts, and began the planning phase in partnership with New Haven Public Schools to place a K-4 magnet school on campus. Her efforts enabled SCSU to earn a place on the coveted President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

Before joining SCSU, President Papazian was provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs at Lehman College at the City University of New York. She also served as dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Montclair State University in New Jersey, and associate dean of the College of Arts and Science at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. At Oakland University where she also was an assistant, associate and tenured professor of English.  She holds a bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. in English literature from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

President Papazian is active in many community organizations, and is chair of the Connecticut Campus Compact governance sub-committee, president of the Greater New Haven Heart Walk and director of New Haven Promise, a scholarship and support program to promote college education for New Haven Public school students. In 2014, she received the Athena Leadership Award from the Greater New Haven and Quinnipiac Chambers of Commerce, and a state delegation member for Complete College America.

The Board of Regents shall commence a search for President Papazian’s replacement shortly.