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President Joe Bertolino shares thoughts on Southern, how he came to the university, and the life-changing power of Camp Ockanickon.

It was the ultimate college acceptance — albeit with a bit of a twist.

The message came by phone and the recipient, Joe Bertolino, had been invited to become Southern’s new president. Roughly eight months later, Bertolino is no longer the new kid in town. Since officially taking the helm at the university on August 22, he’s quickly become “Top Owl” in name and deed, crisscrossing campus, New Haven, and beyond in an ongoing quest to connect with students, alumni, and business and community members.

In recent months, Bertolino — or President Joe as students call him — has met with scores of legislators and industry leaders, joined the board of directors at the Central Connecticut Coast YMCA and New Haven Promise, rolled up his sleeves at the university’s day of service, jointly led an on-campus social justice forum with his partner and fellow higher education leader Bil Leipold, and connected with neighborhood schools. Among the Owls most vocal fans, he’s even tackled the t-shirt cannon, gamely shooting Southern swag to the cheering crowd at Jess Dow Field.

“Since his first days on campus, he’s been incredibly involved,” says Corey Evans, a senior political science major and president of Southern’s Service Commission, which runs student-led community outreach programs. “He’s very committed to social justice. It’s one thing to talk about it, but he puts himself out there, helping with planning and going to events. . . . When I look back at Social Justice Week and the other programs that were held on campus during his first semester, I can’t wait to see what’s next.”

Such commitment is a given says Bertolino, who has 25-plus years of leadership experience at private and public universities, the latter in Vermont, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.

“I come from a social work background. I firmly believe it’s all about relationships — and students always come first.”

Before Southern, he was president of Lyndon State College in Vermont for four years, spearheading the development of new master and strategic plans, the launch of nine academic programs, and an almost 200 percent increase in annual giving in three years.

He joins Southern at a pivotal time, highlighted by the dramatic transformation of campus, including the construction of a state-of- the-art science building, a new home for the School of Business, and the expanded Hilton C. Buley Library, now twice its original size. The obstacles facing the university are dramatic as well, including a statewide budget deficit and a shrinking population of high school graduates. But Bertolino remains upbeat.

“In terms of our financial position, yes, we are facing challenges,” he says. “But I don’t want to lose sight of the fact that we have a lot to be proud of. When I look out over this campus, I see great facilities. Great research opportunities. Great faculty. A strategic plan that I am very excited about and will be particularly aggressive about implementing.”

A longtime social justice educator, Bertolino has pledged to continue championing the cause. In November, he became one of an initial 110 college and university presidents to issue a joint letter to then President-elect Donald Trump urging a forceful stance against “harassment, hate, and acts of violence.”

“I want people in this city, state, and beyond to know Southern as the university dedicated to social justice.”

It’s a message he’ll be sharing throughout Southern and the community-at-large. “At the moment, I am going to be out and about a lot. It’s kind of nonstop,” says Bertolino. Following, he pauses briefly to share some personal stories and his thoughts on the university’s future.

What role did education play in your family?

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

How about your parents?

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

Did that make an impression on you?

Absolutely. She worked very hard. I consider myself to be a first-generation college student in the traditional sense. But my mother was the first in the family to get a college education, which she did as an adult while simultaneously raising a family.

What was your college experience like?

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

Your parents have many fans on campus. They made great comments about being proud of you on Facebook.

It’s very, very sweet. [laughs] My mother always emphasized education, but it was important to my father, too. He started his professional life as a blue-collar worker and worked very hard. The summer after I graduated from high school, he found a job for me at a cable TV factory. Later, when I was packing to leave for college, he came to my room and asked how I had liked working there.

‘I hated that job,’ I told him. ‘It was horrible. horrible.’ He looked me in the eye and said, ‘And that is why we are sending you to college. Don’t forget it.’ I never did.

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

You recently were named to the board of directors at the Central Connecticut Coast YMCA. You’ve had a long association with the YMCA. How did it start?

It was the summer after my freshman year of college. The local newspaper — the Courier-Post — had a job listing: ‘Counselors Wanted.’ I remember thinking, ‘I’m majoring in psychology. I can be a counselor.’ I didn’t have a clue. . . . So I went to the interview. Drove up and there’s a big sign: YMCA Camp Ockanickon [in Medford, N.J.] I went to the director’s office, and he proceeded to ask me a series of questions. Have you ever been to camp? Nope. Do you swim? Nope. Play any sports? No. Boat? Nope. Practice archery? No. Arts and crafts? Maybe. Umm, no.

How about working with children? I’d like to, I told him — and he thanked me and I left. Soon after my mother called to tell me they’d offered me the job . . . which I thought was just crazy.

So was that director right? Was it a good fit?

I worked at camp every summer — both when I was in college and, after, while working as a high school teacher. I went on to serve on the camp’s board of directors for 13 years and was the president of the board from 2006 to 2010.

It’s the relationships that stand out. I met Stephan, one of my first campers, when he was 9. His parents were getting divorced that first year. From then on, he came back and stayed in my cabin every summer. Eighteen years later, I was the best man at his wedding. His oldest son, Matthew, is my godson. Last summer we sent Matthew off to Camp Ockanickon, where he stayed in the cabin where his dad and I met.

Camp has been the single most important influence in my life. I credit the fact that I am sitting in this chair — that I’m the president of Southern — to that camp.

An article in Vermont Business magazine mentioned that you contemplated becoming a priest?

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

What led you to pursue the presidency at Southern?

Southern is a highly diverse community located in a great, culturally rich, urban environment. The university educates many first-generation college students and is positioned to be a strong community partner — the traits that I really love in a university setting. New Haven is also a great city, and it’s a lot closer to my family than Vermont. My partner Bil and I talked about it — and I thought I had nothing to lose by throwing my hat into the ring. It’s a great opportunity. So here I am. Bil and I recently closed on a home in Morris Cove in New Haven. We are excited.

You’ve been described in the press as one of the country’s first openly gay university presidents. Does that carry an added responsibility?

When I started at Lyndon [State College] there were about 20 to 25 openly gay presidents in the U.S. There are now about 70 to 75. I do think that for the LGBTQ community — and also for the Student Affairs community — I feel an added responsibility to “represent” . . . to go above and beyond. But I also remind folks that I am not the gay president. I am the president who, by the way, just happens to be in a committed relationship with a man. Period. It’s not really a focus for me and the work that I do. That said, I am certainly honored if my role at Southern inspires others — lets them see the possibility of holding a public leadership position.

Describe your leadership style in five words.

Compassionate. Kind. Collaborative. Relationship focused.

What are your immediate goals for Southern?

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

Last summer, prior to officially becoming president, you attended an on-campus dialogue, “A Campus Conversation on Race, Policing, Advocacy, and Action.” You briefly shared your concerns for Joel (pronounced Jo-el), a young man from Jamaica.

My family is very nontraditional. I refer to Joel as my son, though he’s not in a legal sense. But I believe family is defined by love, not by blood or paperwork. When Joel’s first baby was arriving, he told me, ‘You are going to be a grandfather.’ His son Roman calls me Grandpa Joe.

It’s important for people to know how we define family . . . who in our lives are important to us — especially if this helps me to better understand the young men and women at Southern.

[Bertolino first met Joel Welsh Jr. at Queens college. Then a student, Joel worked as his exercise trainer. Today, he is the head strength and conditioning coach at Delaware State University.]

You’ve invited the students to call you President Joe. Why is this important?

I want members of the community to think of me as a person . . . a member of the community. I also want to be somewhat informal. But that doesn’t take away from the seriousness of my role. I tell people not to confuse my smile and my informality with a lack of seriousness. But too many times, people get stuck in their own hype. I think ‘President Joe’ invites people to engage in a conversation and build a relationship.

Speaking of conversations, you’ve been talking to many constituencies — from students and alumni to faculty to legislators. Have you learned anything that surprised you?

One thing I am really excited about is the quality and the caliber of our student population. The academic excellence and rigor at Southern is far beyond what many realize. Our students are sometimes underestimated. In the sciences, a team of Southern students recently won a bronze medal at an international synthetic biology competition. Southern’s Society of Professional Journalists was named the Outstanding Campus Chapter in our region [Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island]. Our freshman class includes many top students, including three high school valedictorians. We are a community of scholars, artists, and community activists. I’m looking forward to seeing all that we accomplish.

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— This article was featured in Southern Alumni Magazine, Spring 2017

Students from the Department of Communication Disorders presented three research papers at the 2017 National Black Association for Speech Language and Hearing Conference on April 8. Two of the papers earned the distinction of highlighted posters, and were recognized among “the best research posters presented by faculty, students and clinicians.”

Undergraduates Coral Jiménez, Jacqueline Hernández-Flores, Teresa Wirtemburg, Shea Keeley, and Giovanna Diana presented “Cultural Competence Club–Join-Up!”  The paper examined the development of Southern’s trailblazing student-led organization Cultural Competence Club, which invites cross-disciplinary involvement in learning about and engaging across cultures.

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Pictured Left to Right: Shea Keeley, Glenda DeJarnette (Mentor), Jacquelin Hernández-Flores, Coral Jiménez, Teresa, Wirtemburg.

Graduating senior Taylor Bird presented “Systematic Review of African American English (AAE) Narrative Discourse: Impact on Literacy.” The paper was an extension of research Taylor conducted as a recipient of the 2016 SCSU Undergraduate Research and Creativity Grant to determine AAE narrative skills across disciplines.

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Pictured: Taylor Bird

Graduate students Caroline Berkovich and Peyton Moss presented “Gauging Institutional Commitment to Cultural Competence for CLD Populations.” The research examined policies from national organizations in health-related fields regarding professional workforce preparation to address cultural diversity.

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Pictured Left to Right: Peyton Moss and Caroline Berkovich

“Numerous faculty colleagues approached me to share how impressed they were with the caliber of research and professionalism demonstrated by our students,” said Glenda DeJarnette, faculty mentor to the projects. “I watched as each student fielded questions and engaged attendees in very thoughtful conversations about their research. As a mentor for these projects, I extend kudos first to the students who worked diligently on the research and secondly to colleagues at Southern whose efforts have helped to shape these promising scholars.”

 

 

Southern will host three events in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day, Monday, April 24, 2017. All events are free and open to the public.

‘Days of Remembrance’

1-2 p.m.: Professor Jason Stanley, Ph.D., Jacob Urowsky Professor of Philosophy, Yale University, will share the largely unknown story of his grandmother Ilse Stanley’s heroic efforts to save more than 400 Jewish prisoners from concentration camps between 1936 and 1938, as well as her efforts to help many others escape from Germany. He will read from his grandmother’s 1957 book, The Unforgotten.
Learn more.

University Choir Concert: ‘We Will Remember….’

7:30-9:30 p.m.: The concert commemorates Holocaust Remembrance Day, and also honors the 100th anniversary of the founding of the New Haven Chapter of the NAACP.  Musical selections include Daniel Hall’s hauntingly beautiful piece for choir and viola, “Reflections from Yad Vashem”; Verdi’s “Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves” (Va Pensiero); Leonard Bernstein’s “Somewhere” from West Side Story; American spirituals arranged by Moses Hogan, Sheldon Curry and Thomas Trenney; a musical reflection for trumpet and choir inspired by Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech; and Wilhousky’s famous concert arrangement of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” – Learn more. 

Holocaust Exhibition in Memory of Elie Wiesel

All day: The Holocaust Exhibition showcases books, videos, mementos, and pictures from private collections and Hilton C. Buley Library. – Learn more.

What’s truly in our way of creating the life we desire? Are you ready to experience the freedom that comes with taking ownership of your life?

Evolving Soul presents “An Evening with Infinite Possibilities” with Stacy Mckenna and Anthony Mrocka on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 at 6:30 pm.

Esteemed Speaker and Executive Coach, Stacy McKenna will open up the evening followed by acclaimed Evidential Medium, Anthony Mrocka, who will talk about healing, bereavement, and connecting with loss.

Proceeds will benefit the Joseph V. Rossi Scholarship Fund. The event will be held in Southern Connecticut State University- Engleman Hall Room – C112.

See the event flyer.

Purchase tickets.

Academic Science and Laboratory Building

Southern’s Academic Science & Laboratory Building has been certified LEED® Gold, placing it among the top one-third most sustainably designed certified buildings in the state.

Designed by Centerbrook Architects & Planners, the nearly 104,000-square-foot building exceeded expectations with its sustainable features. Originally targeted for LEED® Silver, the Academic Science & Laboratory Building scored 63 points on the LEED® scale to earn BD+C (Building Design + Construction) Gold.

“We are grateful to Centerbrook Architects & Planners for their innovative, sustainable design work,” said SCSU President Joe Bertolino. “This is our second LEED® Gold recognition at Southern – the first was awarded for our new home for the School of Business – and adds to our growing reputation as an environmentally friendly campus.”

Southern has been recognized regionally and nationally in recent years for its greening initiatives — including new building design, energy efficiency and student-driven recycling programs.

Designing a sustainable facility that would increase operational efficiency and reduce the SCSU’s long-term energy and water costs was an important goal of the project. This is a challenge for laboratories, which are voracious consumers of energy and water.

What resulted was a building that saves the university 34 percent on its energy consumption and reduces water use by 20 percent.

“Science laboratory buildings present significant challenges from a sustainability standpoint, especially one with 76 fume hoods, as this one had,” said Centerbrook Partner Jefferson B. Riley, FAIA. “Through a holistic sustainable design approach we were able to provide students, faculty and staff with a healthy and uplifting environment in which to learn and work.”

Riley’s design, marshaled by Centerbrook’s project architect Reno Migani, AIA, and project manager Andrew Safran, AIA, captured six out of 10 points in Water Efficiency, including both points available in the Innovative Wastewater Technologies subcategory. This was achieved by the rainwater collection system that reduces the amount of potable water used to irrigate the quad by more than 60 percent.

The project also earned 22 out of a possible 26 tallies in LEED’s Sustainable Sites category. By connecting to Jennings Hall and utilizing existing resources, the new building’s program and footprint was reduced, while promoting connectivity between the science disciplines.

The Academic Science & Laboratory Building is the 18th project designed by Centerbrook to earn LEED certification. An additional six are currently slated for LEED.

“Southern Connecticut State University’s LEED certification demonstrates tremendous green building leadership,” said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chair, USGBC. “The urgency of USGBC’s mission has challenged the industry to move faster and reach further than ever before, and Academic Science & Laboratory Building serves as a prime example of just how much we can accomplish.”

The LEED certification system was established by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in 2000. Short for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, LEED is the foremost program for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. LEED-certified buildings are found in all 50 states and in more than 164 countries and territories.

http://www.usgbc.org/projects/new-academic-and-laboratory-building

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 www.planthealthfellows.com.

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.

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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.