Faculty explore possible string ensemble for Spring 2016

The Music Department is seeking students who are experienced and interested in playing the violin, viola, cello, or double bass in a dynamic and fun string ensemble. Thanks to the generous support of the Stutzman Family Foundation, the group will be conducted by Dr. Viara Sergueeva-Albonetti – an internationally-acclaimed violinist and clinician. Selected students will rehearse for approximately 90 minutes each week and will receive (1) credit. Rehearsals will begin in the Spring 2016 semester.

For more information or to schedule an audition, please contact Dr. Albonetti at

The university is pleased to welcome 21 new tenure-track faculty members into our ranks this year.

From countries as diverse as China, Romania, South Korea, Turkey and Bangladesh – and from states all over the United States, from Louisiana in the south to Utah in the west — they bring with them a wide variety of experiences and expertise. Among them are a former president of the Connecticut School Counselor Association, a medieval historian who speaks seven languages; a strategic planner and marketing manager for Aetna, and a deputy national security advisor to the president of Romania. Their scholarly interests range from church-state relations since the 16th century to experimental and nuclear physics, from diabetes research to the psychology of donation behavior, to how art can boost literacy.

Our new faculty members’ talents add to the rich palette of teaching, creative activity, and service that characterizes our academic community. We wish them well as they begin their Southern careers!

School of Arts and Sciences

Alan Brown, assistant professor of sociology, joins Southern’s faculty after serving as an assistant professor of sociology/anthropology at Mount St. Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California in Riverside, Calif. He also has an M.A. in sociology from the University of New Orleans, and a B.A. in sociology from San Francisco State University. He was named Best Professor in Halifax in 2014 by Coast Magazine. He has written extensively on sociological aspects of sexuality.

Costel Calin, assistant professor of political science, becomes a tenure-track faculty member after a pair of one-year special appointments at Southern, and five years as an adjunct faculty member at Quinnipiac. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Tennessee. He also has an M.A. in political science from Jackson State University in Jackson, Miss., and a B.S. in technological systems’ engineering and management from University “Politehnica” in Bucharest, Romania. He served as deputy national security advisor to the president of Romania and head of that country’s National Security Council staff from 1997 to 2000. He has presented papers on U.S. foreign policy at various academic conferences.

Jason Lawrence Cootey, assistant professor of English, comes to Southern after many years as an adjunct faculty member and a graduate instructor, including a most recent stint as an adjunct faculty member teaching technical writing at Salt Lake Community College in Utah. He holds a Ph.D. in the theory and practice of professional communication at Utah State University in Logan, Utah. He also has an M.S. in literature and writing from Utah State, and a B.A. in psychology and an honors B.A. in English, both from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. He has served on his community’s library board of directors, and has attended conferences on the use of software and educational games to improve student learning.

Evan Finch, assistant professor of physics, becomes a tenure-track faculty member following a one-year special appointment at Southern. He holds a Ph.D. in physics from Yale University, where he also earned an M.S. and an M. Phil. in physics, and a B.A. in physics. He is a co-author of more than 200 journal articles pertaining to high-energy and nuclear physics. He is a member of the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer experimental high-energy astrophysics collaboration for the International Space Station.

Darcy Kern, assistant professor of history, joins us at Southern after a year as a visiting professor at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va. She previously taught at McDaniel College in Westminster, Md., and at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. She holds a Ph.D. in history from Georgetown, where she also earned an M.S. in history. She graduated summa cum laude in history and Spanish from Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan. She has studied six world languages (other than English) and has presented papers on medieval Europe.

Binlin Wu, assistant professor of physics, comes to Southern from Weill Cornell Medical College in Yonkers, N.Y., where he served as a postdoctoral associate. He also had been an adjunct faculty member at Hunter College, City University of New York (CUNY). He holds a Ph.D. in physics from CUNY, where he also earned a master’s degree in physics. He has a master’s degree and a bachelor’s degree in physics from Nankai University in Tianjin, China. He has conducted biomedical research in many areas, such as various types of cancer, diabetes and cardiac disease, using in-vitro, ex-vivo and in-vivo optical imaging.

School of Business

Russell Engel, associate professor of accounting, becomes a tenure-track faculty member after teaching at Southern last year on a special one-year appointment. He previously had been an assistant professor of accounting at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Florida State University in Tallahassee, where he also earned an M.S. and B.S. in economics. His research interests include studying how people react to uncertainty and incentives. He also studies how companies deal with large amounts of foreign earnings and how investors value foreign cash.

Mehdi Hossain, assistant professor of marketing, comes to Southern from Minot State University in North Dakota, where he served as an assistant professor of marketing. He holds a Ph.D. in marketing from the University of Texas at Arlington. He has an M.S.S. in economics from the University of Dhaka in Bangladesh, where he also has a B.S.S. Honors in economics. His research interests include the psychology of donation behavior, and the role of affective and cognitive motivation in consumer decision making.

Rebecca Ranucci, assistant professor of management, comes to Southern after having been an adjunct faculty member at the University of Connecticut while pursuing her doctorate. She formerly had been a marketing manager, and then a strategic planner, for Aetna in Hartford. She has a Ph.D. in management/strategy at UConn, where she also earned an M.B.A. She has a B.A. in humanities from Providence College in Rhode Island. She has conducted research on firm strategy and capital markets, long-term decision making in strategic management and corporate governance.

Alison Wall, assistant professor of management, comes to Southern after working as a visiting lecturer at the University of Louisiana at Monroe and at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, La. She holds a D.B.A. in management from Louisiana Tech University in Ruston. She also has an M.B.A. from the University of Louisiana at Monroe and a B.B.A. from the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Miss. She is a former marketing director at the Monroe-West Monroe Convention and Visitors Bureau in Louisiana. Her research interests include the moderating effects of personality with regard to turnover and the use of social media in higher education.

Sang Won Yoon, assistant professor of economics and finance, joins us at Southern after serving last year as an assistant professor of business and economics at the University of Wisconsin in Stevens Point, Wisc. He holds a Ph.D. in agricultural and resource economics from the University of Maryland in College Park, Md. He also has an M.S. in applied economics and management at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., and a B.A. in economics from Korea University in Seoul, South Korea. He formerly served as a consultant for the World Bank. His research includes environmental economics and development economics.

School of Education

Jessica Powell, assistant professor of elementary education, comes to Southern from Cazenovia College in Cazenovia, N.Y., where she had been an assistant professor of inclusive early childhood/elementary education. She holds a Ph.D. in education from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She also has an M.Ed. in early childhood inclusive education from the University of Florida in Gainesville, as well as a B.A.E. in special education from the University of Florida. She has researched the role that families and cultures play in the education of children.

Louise Shaw, assistant professor of special education, comes to Southern after serving as an instructor of reading and language arts at Central Connecticut State University. She previously worked at Dowling College in Oakdale, N.Y., where she served as director and an instructor in that institution’s Literacy Center. She holds an Ed.D. in literacy studies from Hofstra University on Long Island. She has an M.Ed. in literacy from Southampton College/Long Island University in Southampton, N.Y., and a B.S. in elementary education and special education from Wright State University in Fairborn, Ohio. She has written extensively about how art can be used to boost literacy.

Kari Swanson, assistant librarian, comes to Southern after working as a systems librarian at the Ruth A. Haas Library and Robert S. Young Library at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury. She previously had been chief acquisitions librarian at Yale University. She holds an M.L.S. from Southern and a B.A. in English literature from Lyndon State College in Lyndonville, Vt. She is a member of the American Librarian Association.

Yan Wei, assistant professor of special education, joins us at Southern after teaching courses at the University of Connecticut as a graduate assistant instructor. He also has been active as a research assistant at UConn for many projects, including those related to teaching students with disabilities and examining the achievement gap. He holds a Ph.D. in special education from UConn, where he also earned an M.S. in educational psychology/school counseling. He has a B.A. in English education from the Anhui Normal University in Wuhu, China, and an A.A. in English education from Huainan Normal College in China. He also has been a classroom consultant for many school districts in Connecticut.

Olcay Yavuz, assistant professor of educational leadership, joins us at Southern after having been the AP curriculum supervisor and director of guidance at Central Jersey College Prep in Somerset, N.J. He also has been an adjunct faculty member at the New York Institute of Technology. He holds an Ed.D. in teacher leadership from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J., an M.S. in school counseling from the New York Institute of Technology, an M.Ed. in educational management and supervision from Yildiz Technical University in Istanbul, Turkey, and a B.S. in primary mathematics education from Bogazici University in Istanbul. He was a teacher and counselor in the Paterson, N.J., school system for many years, and has presented many papers addressing urban education.

School of Health and Human Services

Marian Evans, assistant professor of public health, becomes a tenure-track faculty member after serving as an adjunct faculty member for three years in both public health and women’s studies. She previously had been an associate professor of public health at Southern. She formerly held the position of director of health and social services for the city of Bridgeport. She holds an M.D. from Pennsylvania State University in State College, and an M.P.H. from Southern. She also has a B.A. in biology from Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Penn. She has researched various health subjects, including diabetes and menopause.
Lorrie Greenhouse Gardella, associate professor of social work, comes to Southern after many years as an administrator in higher education. She previously served as vice president for professional and graduate studies at Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, where she also had been a professor of human services. She also had been associate dean of the School of Graduate and Professional Services at the University of St. Joseph in West Hartford. She holds a J.D. from the University of Connecticut in Storrs, where she also earned an M.S.W. In addition, she has an A.B. in government from Smith College in Northampton, Mass. She has written extensively on a variety of social work topics.

Cheryl Green, assistant professor of nursing, becomes a tenure-track faculty member after three years in an adjunct role at Southern, as well as a senior therapist at Renew Counseling Associates in Fairfield, a nurse leader at Yale-New Haven Hospital, and a clinical nurse educator at Bridgeport Hospital’s School of Nursing. She holds a D.N.P. from Chatham University in Pittsburgh and a Ph.D in clinical Christian counseling from the International University for Graduate Studies from Basseterre, St. Kitts, as well as a Master of Nursing from Sacred Heart University, an M.S.W. from Southern and a B.S.N. from the College of Our Lady of the Elms in Chicopee, Mass. She has written journal articles on a variety of nursing topics.

Amy Smoyer, assistant professor of social work, comes to Southern from the Yale School of Public Health in New Haven, where she has served as a post-doctoral fellow in the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS. She also has been an adjunct faculty member at Southern. She holds a Ph.D. in social welfare from City University of New York/Hunter College. She also has an M.S.W. and an M.P.A. from Florida State University, as well as a B.A. in women’s studies from Columbia University in New York. She researches food in prison, especially in women’s prisons, and earned a grant from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program in 2014.

The university community is saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. Noble Proctor, professor emeritus of biology and noted ornithologist who taught at Southern for 34 years before retiring in 2003.

A memorial gathering in remembrance tor will be held on Tuesday June 9 from 6:30-9:00pm in the third floor auditorium of the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History (170 Whitney Ave., New Haven, CT).

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April is National Alcohol Awareness month 

National Alcohol Screening Day aims to raise awareness and educate students about the misuse and abuse of alcohol.  We invite all students, whether infrequent or frequent drinkers to come by to take the free alcohol screening and pick up some important information about alcohol and your health.

Please stop by if you or someone you know is struggling with an alcohol problem and you would like to learn more about resources and support services on and off campus!

Alcohol Screening Day
Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

Student center theatre: plaza level 

FREE food and T-shirts!

Contact the Drug and Alcohol Resource Center for more information: 392-5074/5087

Adanti Student Center Ballroom, 1-4 p.m.

• Meet prospective employers
• Discover career possibilities
• Dress like you mean business!

Each year the Academic and Career Advising Center holds a career fair that bring national and regional employers representing all fields to the Southern campus. The fairs foster student and employer interaction while offering students the opportunity to explore various careers, learn about organizations and industries, and apply for full-time, part-time, internship, and cooperative education opportunities.

Good afternoon everyone!

As we are all well aware of by now, we have been experiencing some extremely cold temperatures.  In order to protect our facilities and ultimately faculty and staff personal space, we need your help in making sure all windows are closed in offices and classrooms.  Since many of our buildings have units located on outside walls, it is extremely important to make sure windows are closed so piping won’t freeze.

Last weekend we found several windows open in both classrooms and offices.   Had we not been on Campus doing snow removal these areas might not have been discovered and frozen pipes could very well have caused serious water damage.

Please take a moment to check for open windows in your areas, and thank you for your assistance.

Robert G. Sheeley
Associate Vice President for Capital Budgeting & Facilities Operations
Southern Connecticut State University
Phone:  203-392-6050
Fax:  203-392-6058

President Papazian will host a University Dialogue on Tuesday, March 3 at 12:30 p.m. in the Adanti Student Center Theater.

Please join the President and members of her Cabinet to discuss issues of interest to the campus community.

Dear Colleagues,

I am very pleased to announce that Dr. Troy Paddock, chair of the History Department, has been named as the recipient of the 2014 Faculty Scholar Award.

Troy, who is an expert on German history, was chosen by a committee of his peers for his book, “Creating the Russian Peril: Education, the Public Sphere and National Identity in Imperial Germany, 1890-1914.”

Rex Gilliland, Chair of the Faculty Scholar Award Committee, said committee members were impressed by Troy’s “breadth of scholarship and the innovative methodology that he developed and employed.

“We also noted the fact that he addressed a neglected issue in historical research and questioned widely-held assumptions about the development of public attitudes in Imperial Germany,” Rex wrote. “The importance of his work for the field was evidenced by several detailed and fascinating reviews of his book.”

Troy’s book — published in March 2010 by Camden House of Rochester, N.Y. — explores the German perception of Russia in the years before World War I, which is a topic of some debate. Drawing on extensive scholarly research conducted in several German cities, his work explores how Russia was presented in various books, newspapers, and academic writings.

Several reviewers praised Troy’s contribution to an important topic that has been little-discussed in the English-speaking world.

As Andrew Donson, a University of Massachusetts Amherst scholar, wrote in The American Historical Review: “The book’s main argument – that the image of Russia created by German historians and journalists was largely a foil for their own concerns about Germany, their reflection in a panoptic mirror – is sharp and illuminating. It is commendable that, rather than writing a purely intellectual history, Paddock traces the transmission of this image from experts to school textbooks and the press.”

As a result of his book, Troy has been invited to participate in a multi-volume project, “Russia in the Great War and Revolution.” He also edited “World War I and Propaganda,” published by Brill in 2014 and the 2004 book, “A Call to Arms: Propaganda, Public Opinion and Newspapers in the Great War,” published by Praeger.

Troy, who has taught at Southern since 1998 and was promoted to full professor in 2008, was the recipient of that year’s Connecticut State University System Board of Trustees Research Award.

On behalf of the university community, I congratulate him on this latest accolade, which is a fitting recognition of the depth and impact of his scholarly work. I thank the committee for their successful deliberations, and am also pleased to note that there were 13 applicants for the 2014 Faculty Scholar Award. This was the largest applicant pool in several years, reflecting the breadth and quality of scholarly endeavors by our Southern faculty.

Sincerely yours,
Mary A. Papazian, Ph.D.

As the CDC continues to monitor and respond to the recent ebola concerns, please be assured that SCSU is remaining informed through local and state health authorities.  We currently have no university-sponsored trips where students or faculty are coming to campus from the affected areas.  There are no university-sponsored study abroad trips in the affected areas.  Any students that require medical care for any reason are being properly screened for travel history and symptoms of concern.  We have no reason to believe that our campus community has any heightened reason for alarm.

Since we are beginning to enter the season for other illnesses such as influenza, the usual methods to prevent infection remain important including handwashing.  However, the ebola virus cannot be transmitted through the air, through water or through food.  It can only be transmitted through fluids of an infected person or from exposure to contaminated objects – such as needles.  Body fluids include blood, sweat, urine, feces, saliva and possibly nasal secretions if close to the infected person.

Any person with recent international travel to affected areas separate from university-sponsored travel should monitor their health status for three weeks after arrival from West Africa. Taking your temperature once or twice daily might be helpful. If you have traveled to West Africa and develop sudden fever, chills, muscle aches, severe diarrhea, vomiting, rash or other symptoms consistent with Ebola, you should seek immediate medical attention.  When traveling to a health-care provider, limit contact with other people and avoid all other travel.

Maintain good healthy practices like getting plenty of sleep, maintaining good nutrition, drinking plenty of water and increasing your physical activity to help your immune system best resist infections.

SCSU is committed to ensuring the health and wellness of our community and will keep you updated in the event of any changes.

Dr. Diane S. Morgenthaler, MD
Director SCSU Health and Wellness
Granoff Health Center
501 Crescent Street
New Haven, CT 06515
(203) 392-6300 phone
(203) 392-6301 fax

Southern’s second terminal degree program is the first of its kind in the state

Writers and poets with a drive to learn more about their craft, and to do it within a community of other writers, now have a home at Southern. On Sept. 17, the state Board of Governors for Higher Education approved a new degree program at the university: a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, only the second terminal degree to be offered by the university and the first full-residency M.F.A. program in the state.

The English Department has long offered the M.A. and M.S. with creative writing option; the M.F.A. will replace these degree options. The primary difference between these degrees and the M.F.A. is that the latter is the terminal degree in the field of creative writing. A more rigorous program than that leading to the M.A. or M.S., the M.F.A. is essentially the equivalent of the Ph.D. in its field, preparing students to become published writers and to seek jobs as university-level writing instructors. Southern’s M.F.A. joins the Ed.D. program as one of the university’s two terminal degree programs.

Left to right: Vivian Shipley, Tim Parrish, Robin Troy, Jeff Mock

“The M.F.A. offers a different level of professionalism, with different expectations,” says English Professor Tim Parrish, one of the architects of the new program. “In the abstract, M.F.A.s prepare people to be flexible thinkers, great written communicators and facilitators in groups,” he says, “but personal enrichment is really the draw. Students get to be part of a serious community of writers.”

English Professor Jeff Mock, who worked with Parrish on developing the proposal for the M.F.A., agrees. “We’ve had a wonderful writing community here,” he says, “but it’ll be a major difference to have these students here for this specific purpose.”

The creative writing faculty, which includes CSU Professor Vivian Shipley and Assistant Professor of English Robin Troy, along with Parrish and Mock, say that there has long been a need in Connecticut for a full-time M.F.A. program in creative writing. Western Connecticut State University offers a low-residency M.F.A. in professional writing, and Fairfield University recently added a low-residency M.F.A. program in creative writing. Low-residency programs allow students to do most of their coursework online, with only occasional visits to campus.

“With an online degree program, one misses the presence of a human community and the opportunities for personal interaction,” Shipley says. Southern’s is an on-site program, which, the faculty say, will give students a sense of common purpose and enable them to develop close friendships and working partnerships. And, as Troy points out, “People from Connecticut will have the opportunity to complete this degree without leaving the state.”

The new program is an exciting development within an already vibrant department. With flourishing undergraduate and graduate literary publications, award-winning faculty members and a visiting writers series, the department is well prepared to offer the high level of literary activity expected in an M.F.A. program. Michael Shea, English department chairman, says, “The creative writing program has a long history of great teachers and courses, and the M.F.A. program is a culmination of this tradition of excellence.” Shipley, who has been a member of the faculty since 1969, says the M.F.A.’s approval “is the most exciting thing to happen in this department since I got here.” She calls her colleagues — Parrish, Mock and Troy – “miracle workers” for what she sees as their success in bringing their collective vision for the M.F.A. program to fruition.

Parrish says that the creative writing program has been steadily evolving and that the M.F.A. is the natural next step. He points to the accomplishments of Southern’s creative writing students — publications, prizes, fellowships and acceptances to demanding M.F.A. programs around the country – as evidence that the university attracts serious writing students and supports them in their craft.

The curriculum for the 48-credit program will be based in literary studies, consisting in fiction and poetry workshops, literature and theory courses and the thesis. Currently, the M.A. and M.S. curricula allow up to 18 credits of fiction or poetry workshops and six credits of creative-thesis work. The M.F.A. will retain these opportunities while increasing course requirements in literature studies, the study of rhetoric and theory and the teaching of high school and college writing. The core of the program will be the workshop, a class in which students submit their original manuscripts-in-progress for critical examination by their classmates and the instructor.

Admission to the M.F.A. program is competitive, with roughly six poets and six fiction writers admitted each year. The deadline for applications is March 1. The creative writing faculty expect that the M.F.A. will attract prospective students from out-of-state as well as from within Connecticut, due to the increasing national competition to gain admission to residential programs.

Parrish expresses his appreciation for the support of President Cheryl Norton; Selase Williams, provost and vice president for academic affairs; DonnaJean Fredeen, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences; Sandra Holley, dean of the School of Graduate Studies; Kenneth Florey, professor of English and the English Department’s graduate coordinator; Robert McEachern, professor of English; Marianne Kennedy, associate vice president for assessment, planning and academic programs, Scott Ellis, associate professor of English, and the English Department.