Arts & Sciences Blog
Blog from the School of Arts & Sciences.

As we approach the end of another academic year, I am proud of all that Arts & Sciences has contributed to our University…and it is you who have made this progress possible. Each department, discipline, and program has offered unique and important opportunities for our students. And while this blog can only highlight a few of our collective achievements, let it serve as a reminder of all the good we do with (and for) our students each and every day. I applaud your work; I respect your accomplishments; and I am deeply grateful to have had the privilege of working with you these past four years. Thank you…and bravo!

STUDENT SUCCESSES & HAPPENINGS

Arts & Sciences is proud of all the Barnard Award Winners and we lead with a shout out to our winners, Sadia Younas (CHE) and Brandon Brush (COM). The Dean’s Office is especially attached to Brandon who has worked in the Dean’s Office for three years. We will soon be bidding him a teary farewell. Best of luck to all the Barnard Award Winners in their future endeavors!

Each April, we invite to our campus the students that we hope will become Owls in the fall. On Saturday, April 1st, Southern welcomed 646 prospective students and their families to Accepted Students Day. With 1800 people on campus, the Southern community including administration, staff, and faculty showed their Southern pride. Associate Dean Bruce Kalk (A&S) gave an inspired welcome and introduction for the School. Many A&S faculty attended this important event. Thuan Vu (ART), Resha Cardone (WLL), Todd Ryder (CHE), and Mike Nizhnikov (PSY) participated in a panel discussion on the college experience. They were joined by students, Julio Badillo (BIO), Megan Baker (PSC), Betzabeth Castro (THR), and Daisha Brabham (HIS). Nineteen faculty representing thirteen A&S departments and twelve students from seven of those departments also participated in the mini-class presentations. Thank you to all that offered a warm welcome to the students and their parents!

Just one week later, on April 8th, President Joe, Dean Christine Broadbridge (GSRI), Dean Steven Breese (A&S), and Dr. C. Michele Thompson (HIS & RSAC, chair) welcomed over 150 students and their faculty mentors to the 3rd Annual Undergraduate Research & Creativity Conference. The School of Arts & Sciences was well represented with nearly all of our programs participating through oral presentations, poster presentations, or artistic works as part of the Art Crawl. It was an inspiring show of scholarship and mentorship that bodes well for the event to carry on for many more years to come. Thank you all for participating!

Also in early April the Political Science department took 23 majors and Honors College students to the Capitol. Students participated in a reception where they networked with legislators, aides and staff. President Ojakian also dropped by to say a few words and to wish the students well. Following the reception, the students observed the House in session and were recognized officially from the floor just before the session adjourned. Finally, the students were given a tour of the Capitol and the Legislative Office building by Michael Downes (PSC, BS ’15; PSC, MS), a Southern Alum and current Director of Communications for the House Republicans. The event was organized by Jonathan Wharton (PSC) and Michael Downes.  It is the second year that the Political Science Department has sponsored this event and there was significant growth in participation between this year and last. The Department is beginning to discuss how to grow the event for next year.

Also headed to Hartford were two Journalism students who accompanied their professors to participate in, “The Yanks Are Coming: Connecticut’s Commemoration of the United States Entry into World War I,” on this 100th anniversary event. Sandra Gomez-Aceves of Meriden, and Adrianna Rochester of Hartford joined Cindy Simoneau (JRN), chair of the Journalism Department, and Jodie Gil (JRN) to present an exhibit to state officials, veterans and educators about the research conducted by Journalism Capstone students last fall on World War I veterans, war memorials across the state and a variety of stories on Connecticut companies and organizations involved in the war effort. All student work will eventually be published on the State Library website with other documents and war artifacts. The World war I project at Southern will continue next fall with two Journalism Capstone classes.

 

More news from the Creative Writing Program!  Lynn Houston has a poem “She Loves Them Not” forthcoming in Gravel Magazine. Lynn is also on a panel of journal editors at the URI Graduate Conference, and she will give insights to graduate students on best practices for publication submissions, common submissions flaws and the future of academic and literary publishing. Shelby Lanaro had her poem, “God as Woman” published in Dying Dahlia Review. Sean Igoe presented his paper “Understanding Emojis in CMC” at the University of Rhode Island Graduate Conference in early April. Sean has also been accepted into the PhD program in creative writing at URI for Fall, 2017. Congratulations Sean!

In other news of student successes, the History Department is pleased to announce that Dan Fischer (HIS, MA) was accepted into the Mellon Summer Institute for Spanish Paleography at the Newberry in Chicago.  Fischer is one of only 13 people nationwide accepted into the program. Have a great time in Chicago, Dan!

In early March the History Department hosted the annual New Haven History Day Regional ContestTroy Paddock (HIS) invited this event to campus and organized the History Department’s participation.   Over 200 middle and high school students competed with papers and posters. Southern History faculty, Steve Amerman, Siobhan Carter-David, Marie McDaniel, Virginia Metaxas, Heather Vrana, and C. Michele Thompson served as judges and moderators.

History graduate students, Eric Anderson (HIS, MS) and Emily Gebhardt (HIS, MA) also served as judges, and undergraduates, Megan Baker (PSC), Agnes Bartoszek, Erik D’Aguanno, Linda Darkwah, James Delia, Bridget Frouge, Sarah Gardocki, Marvin Generette, Josh LaBella, Christina LoPreiato, Jamie Kelley, and Angelica Sotomayor also served as judges and/or volunteers.  The History Department hopes this will become an annual event at Southern.

In what has become an annual affair, the four chairs of History Departments at Western, Central, Eastern and Southern (Troy Paddock) hosted the 3rd Annual CSU “Making History” Conference at ECSU. On March 24th faculty and students from the four universities presented their research papers and posters. Southern students were well represented with undergraduates Daisha Brabham, Susan Koral, Michael Szeligowski, Eleni Galanos, Bridget Rogers, John Scaldini, Krystyn Devlin, Ryan Fritz, Pat Comerford, Tom Noonan, Tyler Japs, Linda Darkwah, Chris Herlihy, and Nick Hetzel presenting or joining in a roundtable discussion. Graduate students, Dan Fischer (HIS, MA), Emily Gebhardt (HIS, MA), and Matt Esposito (HIS, MA) joined Southern faculty Marie McDaniel, Troy Rondinone, Jeremy Chandler (ART), and Troy Paddock who also presented their research. Jason Smith, Virginia Metaxas, and Marie McDaniel graciously chaired sessions.

At the recent Spring meeting (April 22nd) of the New England Historical Association[NEHA] held at Salem State University, Matt Esposito (HIS, MA), also presented part of his thesis, “Communication Barriers: The effects of Censorship on the Psychological Health of American Soldiers during World War II.”  Great news, Matt! For more NEHA news see below.

Daisha Brabham (HIS ’17) has been busy this semester participating in several research events but also writing a play, HOMEGOING, about the History of Black Womanhood in America. As someone who plans to enter the field of Public History, it seemed fitting to her to convert her research into something that could engage a variety of different audiences, particularly the younger generation. The play, beginning with the Yoruba Tradition of West Africa, travels with a number of different African America women such as Venus Hottentot, Billie Holiday and Mammie, detailing the different social constructions that have been created over the centuries. The performance will be a choreo-play, emphasizing physical movement as well as primary source accounts contemporary to the time period. Southern students, as well as two Hill house sophomores have been casted to play the key roles, and six New Haven Middle and High schools have been chosen. The play will take place on April 28-29th 2017 at 7:00pm in ENC112 with doors opening at 6:30pm. Tickets are $5.00 with the 100% of the funds being donated to a local organization that serves African American women. Southern student tickets will be $2.00. Please consider attending.

Many Southern students (including some mentioned above) will be feted at the upcoming Honors Convocation, Sunday April 30th. Please join us in congratulating these exceptional students.

 

FACULTY SHOUT OUTS

Shafaeat Hossain (CSC) will present his research, “An Empirical Study on Verifier Order Selection in Serial Fusion Based Multi-biometric Verification System,” in Arras, France this June at the Artificial Intelligence Conference IEA/AIE 2017–International Conference on Industrial, Engineering, Other Applications of Applied Intelligent Systems. This work was partly sponsored by a MRRC grant. Safe & successful travels to Shafaeat.

C. Michele Thompson (HIS) was recently interviewed, by email, for an article that appeared in the April 5th edition of Scientific American on the use of rhinocerous horn in traditional medicine in Asia and how the fad for this is driving black market slaughter of these animals.

Troy Paddock (HIS) has been elected President of NEHA for 2017-18.  He is the first president of NEHA elected from any CSU school.

In the March edition of Mathenatics Teacher, Marie Nabbout-Cheiban (MAT) was first author on the work, “Revisions of a textbook problem enhance the underlying tasks and foster conceptual understanding” in which teachers are encouraged to use examples that will engage students with real-world contexts while fostering conceptual understanding.

In late March, Byron Nakamura (HIS) chaired and commented on a Panel for the Twelfth Biennial Conference on Shifting Frontiers in Late Antiquity at Yale University.

Also in March, C. Michele Thompson (HIS) attended the annual meeting of the Association for Asian Studies held in Toronto this year, Thompson is an elected member of the Association’s Southeast Asia Council and the Executive Committee of the Vietnam Studies Group.

Once again faculty and students were treated to three excellent talks by senior and junior faculty in Arts & Sciences for First Thursdays. Armen Marsoobian (PHI) kicked off the spring semester offerings with “The Presence of Absence: Photography in the Ottoman Armenian Migrant Experience.” Darcy Kern (HIS) presented “Religious Pluralism and Reform in the late Middle Ages” in March as part of the SCSU Symposium, What is Reform? 1517 to 2017. In April, Jason W. Smith (HIS) wrapped up the semester’s event with “Vessel of Memory: Mystic Seaport Museum, The Whaleship Charles W. Morgan.” In this the fourth semester for First Thursdays, we pause to thank Joel Dodson (ENG) who initiated this event to share faculty scholarship in a collegial setting and continues to support such endeavors. Faculty are encouraged to consider presenting their current research and creative endeavors and to contact Joel regarding scheduling for AY 17/18. As always faculty and students are encouraged to attend these presentations to support the fascinating research on-going at Southern.

Vivian Shipley (ENG, CSU Professor) gave a poetry reading on April 1 with Mark Doty at the Paterson Poetry Center as a Paterson Poetry Prize Finalist for Perennial which was also nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. A few days later, Vivian gave a poetry reading at Ringling College of Art + Design followed by writing workshops the next day.

 

Celebration of Faculty Excellence 2017

On Monday, May 1st, 1-2pm in the Adanti Ballroom, administration, faculty, staff, and students will come together to celebrate the 2017 winners. The School of Arts & Sciences has done quite well this year.

  • BOR Teaching Award for SCSU – Melissa Talhelm (ENG)
  • BOR Research Award for SCSU –  Corinne Blackmer (ENG)
  • BOR Adjunct Teaching Award (SCSU Honoree) –  Lisa Nakamura (HIS)
  • J. Philip Smith Award for Outstanding Teacher (F/T) – Sarah Roe (PHI) and Margaret Sargent (COM)
  • J. Philip Smith Award for Outstanding Teacher (P/T) –  Jennifer Lee Magas (ENG)
  • Faculty Scholar Award – Giuseppina Palma (WLL)
  • Robert E. Jirsa Service Award – Troy Paddock (HIS)
  • Outstanding Faculty Adviser Award – Natalie Starling (CSP)
  • Joan Finn Junior Faculty Research Fellowship recipient –  Matthew Miller (EGMS)
  • Joan Finn Junior Faculty Research Fellowship recipient – Michael Knell (ESC)
  • Mid-Level Faculty Research Fellowship recipient – Corinne Blackmer (ENG)
  • Senior-Level Faculty Research Fellowship recipient – Elliott Horch (PHY)
  • Million Dollar Club Inductees – Barbara Aronson (NUR) and Elliott Horch (PHY)

A special note of thanks to the members of the various committees for their time and thoughtful deliberations in making these recommendations for my approval.

  • The Faculty Scholar Committee, chaired by William Lunn (EXS)
  • The Robert E. Jirsa Service Award Committee, chaired by Maria Diamantis (MAT)
  • The Research and Scholarship advisory Committee (RSAC), chaired by C. Michele Thompson (HIS)
  • The J. Philip Smith Outstanding Teaching Award Committee, chaired by Bonnie Farley-Lucas (COM)

Please take a moment to look at the A&S Strategic Plan.

Thank you to the co-chairs of this committee, Craig Hlavac (MUS), Therese Bennett (MAT), Christine Broadbridge (GSRI), and Bruce Kalk (A&S), for guiding such a collegial project. For their discerning work we also thank the committee members: Rachael Vaters-Carr (ART), Joseph Manzella (ANT), Nicholas Edgington (BIO), Jiongdong Pang (CHE), David Petroski (COM), Imad Antonios (CSC), Michael Knell (ESC), Patrick Heidkamp (EGMS), Vara Neverow (ENG),  Steven Judd (HIS), Terese Gemme (HON), Frank Harris (JRN), Raymond Mugno (MAT), Karen Burke (MDS), David Pettigrew (PHI), Karen Cummings (PHY), Patricia Olney (PSC), Julia Irwin (PSY), Jessica Kenty-Drane (SOC), Michael Skinner (THR), Giuseppina Palma (WLL), and Tricia Lin (WMS). All of you should be very proud of the work that you accomplished and the academic tone you have set for the future.

EVENTS

In early March, the Department of History, the Multicultural Center, and the Black Student Union presented an evening with George Edwards, the founding member of the Connecticut State Chapter of the Original Black Panther Party for Self Defense. Siobhan Carter-David (HIS) hosted a 2 ½ hour interview followed by a public Q&A. This well-attended event touched on several important events and those in attendance addressed not only historical information but relevant issues still reverberating today.

Also in early March in celebration of International Women’s Day, Pina Palma (WLL, ITA) (through the support of a Faculty Development Grant) invited Ombretta Frau from Mount Holyoke College to talk on the subject, “Accidental Heroines: Spinsters in Early 20th Century Italy.” As part of the “Strong Women, Strong Voices” lecture series Dr. Frau presented her important research on this topic.

Just across the way the Werth Center for Coastal and Marine Studies sponsored the 14th Annual Long Island Sound Seminar Series with Koty Sharp, Assistant Professor of Biology at Roger Williams University, presenting a talk, “Exploring New England’s Reefs: Using the Coral Astrangia poculata to Shed Light on Tropical Coral Microbiomes.” A few weeks later this coral was in view at the Werth Center Aquarium Open House.

On March 21st, Southern’s Science Building (SCI 111) hosted the Werth Center Aquarium Open House. Werth Center faculty and students provided information on the fish and invertebrates in the tanks, demonstrated how the organisms are fed, toured the basement filtration systems, and allowed students to interact with organisms in the touch tanks. Sean Grace (BIO) supplied samples of the temperate coral (Astrangia poculata) for viewing. The coral continues to thrive in the touch tank. The following students provided information and tours during the event: Nick DeVito (BIO), Hollie Brandstatter (EGMS), Nicole Woosley (BIO), Matthew Connors (EGMS), Mallery Breban (BIO) and Cassandra Bhageloo (BIO). Marine Sciences faculty, Vince Breslin (EGMS) and James Tait (EGMS) also participated in the event.   This Open House is part of a year-long celebration of the fish in the tanks. If you missed the birthday/anniversary cake, take a moment to walk through the Science Building and say hello to the fish in the tanks. Students and faculty are welcome to stop in the lab for viewing or questions when students are conducting water quality testing or feeding the fish.

The following day STEM-IL and the School of Education presented “Project EcoLearn: Virtual Enviroments & Augmented Reality for STEM and Inquiry Learning,” with Amy M. Kamarainen, Senior Research Manager from Harvard Graduate School of Education. Dr. Kamarainen shared research findings from recent projects (e.g., EcoMOBILE, EcoXPT, & EcoMOD) and future directions for using digital technologies for student engagement in and out of the classroom. A hands-on exploration followed her presentation.

Mary Brown (ENG) (with Elsie Okobi, EDL) through the support of a Faculty Development Grant presented on April 21st, a one-day workshop, “Bringing GIS into the Humanities and Education Classroom.” During the morning session, participants worked through a cookbook-style manual developed for this workshop by the University of Connecticut’s Center for Land use Education and Research (CLEAR). Geospatial Extension Educators from CLEAR assisted participants while leading them through interactive, hands-on learning. Participants also learned how to search for and incorporate existing GIS-based materials into their lessons. Participants left the workshop with a better understanding of how web GIS can be used as an effective tool in their classrooms and with resources, including a detailed manual and web links, to help ensure successful implementation in their curriculum.

Finally, we cannot post this blog without mentioning something about the big events associated with the Inauguration of President Joe. Among the many events scheduled for the week of celebration culminating with the inauguration are the Saturday celebration of service for students to work in New Haven neighborhoods; Sunday’s Celebration of Philanthropy to honor the current awardees of scholarships and those who have established them; Monday’s remembrance with the University Choir Concert in honor of Holocaust Memorial Day and the 100th Anniversary of the founding of the New Haven NAACP; Tuesday’s celebration of Student Leadership; Wednesday’s celebration of Faculty Scholarship; Thursday’s Student Appreciation day and New Haven Accepted Students’ day; and Friday’s Inauguration followed by a celebratory picnic. Do not forget to RSVP!

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

Student Success & Engagement

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

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

Students at Hartford's Day of Action

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Congratulations to all these students!

New and Special Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

Faculty Shout-Outs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

$$$ Matters & Sabbaticals

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

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

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

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

Sorry we missed them . . .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now that we all know the outcome of this remarkable election season, I want to recognize those faculty who ably represented Southern to our local/regional press. Your calm and thoughtful voices added a healthy dose of civility to an otherwise raucous and contentious debate. Thanks to all who helped us to better understand the complex and often confusing political world in which we now live.

As usual, Arts & Sciences has been very busy this fall semester. Many departments, programs, faculty, and students have continued to demonstrate the excellence that we have come to expect in the School. We have much to be proud of and much to celebrate!

RACE FOR THE WHITE HOUSE

Political Science recently hosted two events for Talented and Gifted Middle School Students (TAG) from New Haven Public Schools. On October 26th and November 2nd the Dean’s office was pleased to welcome these students to a two-hour Election Event that examined, socialization and political attitudes, campaign and media messages, and the electoral college and election mechanics. Members of the department, Tess Marchant Shapiro, Art Paulson, Jonathan Wharton, and Jennifer Hopper, presented material, facilitated discussion, and answered questions. The session concluded with a projection of the 2016 election results. Before leaving, political science majors, Corey Evans, Montrel Morrison, Michelle Rodriguez, Samantha Nelson, and Jamie Kelly, led the students on a tour of our university.

Kevin Buterbaugh, PSC Chair, reported that the teachers and students expressed appreciation for the efforts made by the PSC faculty and students and left with a positive impression of the university and its campus. The event was so well received that teachers of the TAG curriculum and PSC faculty are hoping to make this an annual event.

FIRST THURSDAYS

History was well represented at the first two fall semester contributions to First Thursdays. On October 6th at the Interdisciplinary Forum’s new venue, the Buley Art Gallery, Heather Vrana spoke about her research and forthcoming monograph, Don’t Mess with Us!: Guatemalan Students and the State, 1944-Present. More recently on November 3rd, Siobhan Carter-David presented her research on a side project related to her book manuscript on fashion and dress, but focused in particular on the Nation of Gods and Earths, “Supreme Style: Fashion, Aesthetics, and the Making of a Black Heterodox Islamic Tradition.” Faculty and students were treated to two enlightening discussions by these dynamic scholars.

Rounding out the fall semester Forum, First Thursdays will host another young scholar, Luke Eilderts (WLL), who will present his research, “Baring It for the Republic: The (Mis)Reading of a French Anti-Gay Marriage Movement.” Before France adopted its law allowing same-sex marriage in early 2013, the country was awash in debate and demonstrations. Opposing the law, a group known as HOMMEN defended “traditional” family values through public rallies and social media outlets. Their reception in French and English-language news media, however, uncovers compelling (mis)readings of contemporary French representations of masculinity. Faculty (and students) are always encouraged to attend these presentations to support the fascinating research on-going at Southern.

iGEM BEGINS IMPRESSIVELY

Nicholas Edgington (BIO) shared some exciting news. Our first ever SCSU iGEM team won a Bronze medal at this international competition. Unlike the Olympics where only three athletes or teams win medals, at iGEM many teams can achieve a medal award by demonstrating to the judges (based on the presentation, poster, and wiki website, genetic parts that were made, tested and submitted to iGEM repository etc.) that they have achieved various accomplishments, and the number of those accomplishments increase with each medal category. There are also the “Grand Prizes” for which the elite gold medal teams compete. Unlike kids soccer perhaps, not every team automatically gets a medal, so a bronze award is significant for us as a first effort.

It’s important to note that our iGEM team competed against institutions with far deeper pockets. Edgington reported, “We really had to scrape & struggle for everything, and thus are very proud that we managed to compete successfully.”  And compete they did as they shared the honor of a bronze medal with the likes of UConn, Northeastern, Yale, and Tufts.

STUDENT SUCCESS

At the National conference in New Orleans, Southern’s Campus Chapter for the Society of Professional Journalism won Region 1 Outstanding Campus Chapter Award for 2015-16. The Director of Region 1, Jane Primerano, presented the award “in recognition of outstanding programs and activities that enhance professionalism, thereby contributing service to the Society and to the profession.” Cindy Simoneau, JRN chair, said she was especially proud of the student chapter last year which offered a variety of campus programming and assisted with panel presentations and assisted the department with hosting the regional journalism conference on campus last April for professional and student journalists. The former president of the Campus Chapter, Monica Zielinski (JRN ’16) now works for a publication in Poland, Poland Today Magazine. See Southern’s webpage for an interview with Monica.

SPECIAL EVENTS

The Art Department hosted its initial exhibition and reception on October 27th in the Buley Art Gallery. Among those in attendance were President Joe Bertolino, Provost Ellen Durnin and Deans Steven Breese and Stephen Hegedus. This vibrant show featuring work from our outstanding Art Faculty is currently open to the public Monday-Thursday between 11am – 3pm until November 17th.

Journalism faculty and students were well represented once again at the 33rd Annual High School Journalism Day which attracted over 450 high school students and their teachers from across the state on Friday, Oct. 21. The total attendance was an increase of more than 100 from the previous year. After a welcome to Southern from President Joe Bertolino and discussion about the importance of the First Amendment in today’s society by Arts & Sciences Dean Steven Breese, keynote speaker Jenn Bernstein of Fox 61 discussed the multimedia aspects of her job covering politics in Connecticut. Journalism Department faculty offered 18 workshops throughout the morning for the students, and spotlighted the growing importance of drone photography with a demonstration by new assistant professor, Vern Williams.

FACULTY SHOUT-OUTS

Shafaeat Hossain (CSC) recently shared excellent news regarding his paper with undergraduate major, Mohamed Rilvan (BS, CSC ’18). Their work, “User Authentication and Identification on Smartphones by Incorporating Capacitive Touchscreen,” after a successful reviewer stage has been accepted in 35th IEEE — International Performance Computing and Communications Conference (IPCCC 2016). This acceptance is quite an honor as this premier CS conference has a challenging acceptance rate of 25.5% for this year’s meeting.

Under the auspices of the History Department, Byron Nakamura (HIS), our resident ancient historian, organized and hosted the recent Fall 2016 New England Ancient History Colloquium. On October 13th at Southern on the Green, leading ancient historians from the New England area attended talks on Athenian Economic history. Dr. Michael Leese from the University of New Hampshire was the keynote speaker and spoke on “The Intergenerational Transmission of Commercial and Financial Business Estates in Ancient Greece.” As the main commentator Professor Graham Oliver, from the department of Classics at Brown University, led a lively discussion including all of the scholars in attendance.

In our September Blog, we neglected to highlight the summer work of two physics majors, Richard J. Magnotti and Michael Schriefer, and their professor Evan Finch (PHY) whose CSU Research grant allowed them to visit Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island.  They worked on part of the STAR (Solenoidal Tracker at RHIC) experiment at Brookhaven, a National Science Laboratory known for research in nuclear and particle physics. They join a prestigious group of physicists from around the world who travel to Brookhaven every year to use their Relativistic Heavy ion Collider. The purpose of RHIC heavy ion collisions is to recreate conditions that are believed to have existed in the first millionth of a second of the life of the universe. While the work was quite exhausting, the students found it extremely rewarding. And so much so, that they made three separate trips there – each visit, spending two to three days at a time.

Alan Brown (SOC), a new faculty member we coaxed away from Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2015, has had a chapter titled, “‘Nothing About Us, Without Us’: Sex Work, Marginalization and the Politics of Social Research,” accepted for the book, Studying Urban Crime, edited by Cognella by Robert Grantham.

The Daily Nutmeg New Haven recently ran a story on Southern’s MFA program, the only full-residency MFA program in the state. Tim Parrish (ENG/CRW) reflected on the benefits of such a program: “‘this sort of program ‘provides you a chance to have a community. You come in and you’re there with some seasoned writers. Then, after your first year, you get to be the seasoned writer.’” “SCSU attracts students with a greater range of ages and experiences. Many students already have careers, Parrish says. Age diversity is one of Rachel Furey’s favorite things about the program. Furey (ENG)—a new tenure-track faculty member—is also excited by SCSU’s unique Prose Class offering, where students can submit fiction and nonfiction in the same workshop.” Southern’s MFA program continues to produce active and creative writers. Liz Wager (MFA, CRW) developed a piece in Vivian Shipley’s graduate course (ENG 507) and recently had the poem, “Meeting a Stranger,” accepted for the winter issue of Able Muse.

Welcome Back! Each of us, in our own way, celebrate the academic rhythms that shape and balance our work as teacher/scholars.  As the days grow shorter and cooler; as the leaves grow more colorful and grass less so; our campus experiences a kind of renewal—the returning of our students and the optimism that accompanies the beginning of the academic year. This year is special, of course, as we also welcome our new president, Dr. Joe Bertolino.  Arts & Sciences has so much to be proud of and to “show off” to our new president.  I hope that each of us takes the time to acquaint Dr. Bertolino with our many success stories as well as our plans and ambitions. We have a lot going on this academic year and I hope that we all will spend some time attending the many events offered by Arts & Sciences. So, I welcome you back and look forward to another productive and creative year!

As a reminder, the purpose of the Dean’s Blog is to highlight faculty achievements, departmental initiatives, curricular advancements, and student successes. We also use the blog to bring attention to key academic, scholarly, and artistic events of interest to the School. So, if you have an item that you wish to share, please email the School of Arts & Sciences at ArtsAndSciences@southernct.edu.

A SPECIAL WELCOME TO OUR NEW COLLEAGUES

Arts &Sciences adds strength to strength this year by bringing aboard nine (9) new tenure track faculty. Each of these exceptional new faculty bring unique expertise, energy, and new/exciting ideas.  Please join me in welcoming these new colleagues to our School and to our campus!

Alex Girard: Art / Graphic Design
Sara Wojiski:  Biology / Bio-Education
Sara Baker: Communication / Professional & Personal Communication
Mohammad Tariqul Islam:  Computer Science / Data-Science
Rachel Furey:  English / Creative Writing
Matthew Miller: Environment, Geography & Marine Sciences / GIS
Jason W. Smith: History / Science & Technology
Vern Williams: Journalism / Photo-Journalism
Jennifer Hopper: Political Science / American Politics

SELECT ACCOMPLISHMENTS & FACULTY SHOUT-OUTS 

History department faculty have proven especially productive as Nikos Chrissidis, Dick Gerber, Alan Friedlander, and Michele Thompson collectively published three monographs this past year. Additionally this summer, Michele Thompson was a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Asia Research Institute of the National University of Singapore.

The new Department of the Environment, Geography, and Marine Sciences continued to sponsor the study abroad program in Iceland.  Patrick Heidkamp (EGMS) and two faculty members from Liverpool-John Moore’s University (LJMU) brought fifteen students from LJMU and eleven from Southern to engage in the department’s field-based approach to teaching and learning.

Last year, the university opened the Buley Art Gallery, which featured three exhibitions. Students and faculty in the Art Department now have a dedicated exhibition space. In conjunction with the 2016 Undergraduate Research Conference, Mia Brownell (ART) again organized the “Art Crawl” for conference participants to see and discuss faculty and student works.

Vivian Shipley (ENG) was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for her poetry collection, Perennial.

In April, the Women’s Studies program hosted its 22nd conference, “Feminist In(ter)ventions: Women, Community, Technology”, co-hosted by Yi-Chun Tricia Lin (MDS & WMS) and Heidi Lockwood (PHI).

Nearly one in three interns from the Communication Department received offers of full-time employment upon completion of their internships this year. Annette Madlock Gatison (COM) published Health Communication and Breast Cancer Among Black Women: Culture, Identity, Spirituality, and Strength. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2016.

Cindy Simoneau (JRN) was awarded the SPIG Teacher of the Year. Congratulations Cindy!  A well-deserved honor.

In Spring 2016 the Music Department’s enrollments in private music lessons matched the all-time program high of 62 lessons, thanks to the ongoing support from the Stutzman Family Foundation.

The Psychology Department hosted CSU Psychology Day, a conference of student research from the four CSU campuses. More than 140 students and faculty participated, with 82 student posters, four student talks, and a keynote address by Dr. Bridget Nugent of the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, the department’s Mike Nizhnikov, along with colleagues at Binghamton University, was recently awarded an NIH grant to study prenatal exposure to alcohol.

Two teams of three Math students competed in the annual four-day Mathematical Contest in Modeling. One of the teams earned an Honorable Mention designation, which put them in the top half of the nearly 7500 participating international teams. This team also presented a poster on their solution at Southern’s Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Conference.

Betsy Roberts (BIO) won the CUR award and presented a poster on Capitol  Hill (Washington DC) with undergraduate researchers Laetitia Iboki and Jacqueline Mary Desrosier. Meanwhile, Nick Edgington (BIO) published a paper with 2,683 other authors (one of the three largest in history), the most ever with undergraduate authors!

Mike Rogers (ANT) received a prestigious Louis Leakey Grant and brought another team of students and alumni to Ethiopia to research pre-historic human origins, while Joe Manzella (ANT) brought two students to British Columbia to assist in his work on a documentary about Canada’s First Nations.

The A&S Strategic Planning Committee (Co-Chairs: Craig Hlavac (MUS), Terri Bennett (MAT), Christine Broadbridge (PHY,GR), & Bruce Kalk (A&S)) drafted and submitted a 5-year plan for A&S. We will be collaborating with the committee to finalize and implement our plan this coming academic year.

Twenty-eight Political Science majors completed internships at sites from Senator Richard Blumenthal’s office to Disneyland.

Earth Science faculty members have been active collaborating in student-faculty research projects which have led to a number of successful grants, publications, and presentations. Two of these projects (Rock Wall and Rock Garden) were highlighted as prominent additions during the opening of the new Academic Science Building.

The World Languages Department finished the academic year with a one-day Olympics for World Languages (OWLS) event, thanks in particular to Christine Dombrowski, Lisa Vitale, Luke Eilderts and Luisa Piemontese. Twenty world language teams of French, German, Italian, and Spanish speakers from eight Connecticut high schools participated.

The Media Studies Department is in the process of bringing an exciting new minor on Social Media to fruition.

Ten Sociology students participated in Southern’s Undergraduate Research Conference with co-authored work presented in the poster sessions.

Elliott Horch (PHY) received two new NSF grants totaling more than $250,000 in addition to his other ongoing grant-related activities. Elliott is now in the prestigious “One Million Dollar Club” awarded to faculty who garnered at least $1 million dollars in external funding.

…and much, MUCH more!

THE BEST OF THE BEST

A&S is proud to acknowledge the accomplishments of History alumna Jahana Hayes (Jahana Fleming, BS ’05), the 2016 National Teacher of the Year!  She will be honored at a reception on Friday, September 16th hosted by the School of Education. As with many of our fine teachers their paths begin with certification programs in Arts & Sciences.

LIGHTING THE WAY

Southern students soon will be able to use the Southwest Ledge Lighthouse — which overlooks New Haven Harbor — as a base to conduct research, thanks to the generosity of a group of donors who recently bought the facility. The donors were awarded the lighthouse recently after posting the successful bid of about $180,000. The plans are moving forward to renovate the lighthouse in preparation for future use of the facility by the Werth Center for Coastal and Marine Studies, as well as other educational organizations. SCSU intends to use it as a field station that would include classrooms and lab space. Read the story in the New Haven Register about the purchase and future use of the facility by Southern.

NURTURING OUTSTANDING STUDENT TALENT

Southern’s Biology students are still on the Phage hunt! Nick Edgington (BIO) reported that in June undergraduates, Bryan Pasqualucci and Elena Haury, gave an oral presentation and poster session at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute SEA-PHAGES Research Symposium. They joined other Phage hunters at the Janelia Farm Research Campus in Ashburn, VA.

Jeff Webb (CHE) and Vince Breslin (EGMS) were pleased by the turnout as the Chemistry Department played host to the American Chemical Society Regional Undergraduate Research Symposium in late April. Cody Edson (CHE, BS ’16 / now in the master’s program), mentored by James Kearns (CHE) and Sadia Younas (CHE) mentored by Vince Breslin won top honors placing first and second for their poster presentations. Sadia later presented her work at the Long Island Sound Research Conference in mid-May. Both students were recipients of research stipends from the Werth Center for Coastal and Marine Studies.

The MOU with the Elm Shakespeare Company broadened the collaboration with Southern’s Theatre Department offering several students positions in the professional company of A Midsummer Night’s Dream:

  • Elisa Albert – Camp Director, Administrative Assistant, and Apprentice Actor (playing Starveling)
  • Briana Bausch – Jr. Camp Teaching Artist and Apprentice Actor (playing Peaseblossom)
  • Nathan Tracy – Non Equity Actor (playing Snout)
  • Cailey Harwood Smith – Assistant Stage Manager

Kaia Monroe Rarick (THR) participated as a senior camp teaching artist and choreographer while Mike Skinner (THR) provided the music to Midsummer as well as the sound design.

LEST WE FORGET…

While the occasion that celebrated academic excellence in April has passed, we want to take the time to extend congratulations to Thomas O’Malley (COM) who was awarded the J Philip Smith Outstanding Teaching Award for Part-Time Faculty, Leon Yacher (EGMS) for Southern’s Technological Teacher of the Year, and Armen Marsoobian (PHI) for Southern’s Faculty Scholar Award for his work entitled, Fragments of a Lost Homeland: Remembering Armenia.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR A&S

Our students benefit from the ongoing generosity offered by our many friends and donors–including many faculty, staff and alumni. This year A&S awarded a record number of scholarships! The total A&S scholarships awarded thus far is $47,335.00. If you would like to make a contribution or begin a new scholarship, contact our dedicated team in University Advancement.

MATH FOOTPRINT GROWING

The GeoGebra Institute of Southern Connecticut held its Fourth Annual GeoGebra Conference–its largest ever!  Sixty-five (65) participants from around the country (CT, MA, ME, NY, OH, TX) and one international participant coming from Sri Lanka attended. The conference proceedings will be published as a special volume in the North American GeoGebra Journal. This conference is the brainchild of Marie Nabbout-Cheiban (MAT) and Len Brin (MAT). Dr. Doug Kuhlman gave the keynote presentation and was followed by three parallel sets of sessions including 6 peer-reviewed presentations, 9 short presentations and 11 workshops.

EXCELLENCE FROM THE CREATIVE WRITING PROGRAM 

The Arts & Sciences Creative Writing Program have had many remarkable success stories over the years. Here are few recent accomplishments by their students:

Lynn Houston (MFA) book of poetry–The Clever Dream of Man—won 1st place in the Connecticut Press’ statewide literary competition.  Advancing to the national awards, it was selected by the National Federation of Press Women as their 2016 second place winner! Lynn Houston also runs Five Oaks Press.

Seven poetry students in the MFA program participated in a graduate conference hosted by the University of Rhode Island and entitled “Trans(form): New Insights and New Directions.” Sean Igoe, Shelby Lanaro, Laura Ahking, Rebecca O’Bern, Elizabeth Wager, and Lynn Houston read their poetry on a panel called “Transforming Life into Art.” Lynn Houston chaired the panel and opened with remarks about the transformative value of poetry and the various techniques that poets use to make meaning of autobiographical experiences in creative works. During another panel session, MFA graduate student Katherine Sullivan presented a paper on maternal poetry and read poems from her thesis manuscript. Vivian Shipley, with whom all of the poets have studied, attended the conference and contributed to the question and answer sessions after the presentations.

A poem by Rebecca O’Bern (MFA), “To the Man or Woman Who Finds my Body,” will appear in the anthology, Theories of HER, published by the Mercurial Noodle Press.

MFA graduate, Suzanne Lacroix, has received representation for her novel from the New York literary agency DeFiore and Company.

Current MFA, Ryan Leigh Dostie, has received representation for her memoir, Real Soldiers Don’t Cry, about sexual assault while in the military and her time in Iraq in 2003-04, from William Morris, the world’s largest entertainment agency.

MA graduate Julie Barton’s memoir, Dog Medicine, will be released by Penguin in, so far, eight countries in July and discussions of a movie are in progress.

Former undergraduate, Xhenet Aliu, previous winner of the Prairie Schooner Prize for fiction for her first book, has sold her novel, Brass, set in Waterbury, to Random House for release in 2018.

MA graduate Jean Copeland’s novel, The Revelation of Beatrice Darby, is a finalist for the Golden Crown Literary Society’s author debut and historical fiction prize.

MA graduate, Patricia Bjorklund’s memoir, U.S. and Them, has been acquired by Alamo Press for release in fall 2017.

Current and recent MFA graduates published these full collections of poetry during the past year.

  • Christine Beck, Blinding Light
  • Brendan Walsh, GO
  • Joy Mlozanowski, Night Flying
  • Pat Mottola, Under the Red Dress
  • Chris Grillo, Heroes’ Tunnel

Graduate Lisa Mangini has been hired full-time as a lecturer by Penn State University. MA graduate, Sheila Squillante, has been promoted to associate professor and now directs the MFA Program at Chatham University. MFA fiction graduate Nancy Antle (author of numerous young adult novels) has been selected to attend the One Story Writers’ Workshop, a highly-selective national competition.

April 13, 2016

Spring Comes to Arts & Sciences

As the winter blues begin to recede in the semester’s rear-view mirror, we all begin to look forward to spring’s revitalization and renewal. Along with the reemergence of flowering buds and the greening of the grass, the A&S Music Program ushers in spring with its own annual welcome: Concerts!  In the coming weeks the Music Program will offer a wide array musical programming including Choir Concerts, Jazz, Broadway Classics, a Piano Recital with Karine Poghosyan, and much more. Already this month, the Department of Music presented two faculty music recitals sponsored by the Stutzman Family Foundation: Jonathan Irving (piano) with Kim Collins (flute) and Olav van Hezewijk (oboe) with Eric Trudel (piano). I encourage you to check out the A&S Event Calendar to peruse the wide variety of events the School has to offer.

Accepted Students Day

Each April, we invite to our campus the students that we hope will become Owls in the fall. On Saturday, April 2nd, Southern hosted hundreds of prospective students and their parents to Accepted Students Day. Many A&S faculty attended this important event. Thuan Vu (ART), Marie Nabbout-Cheiban (MAT), Evan Finch (PHY), Jodi Gil (JRN), and Jessica Kenty-Drane (SOC/IDS) participated in a panel discussion on the college experience. Walter Stutzman (MUS), Evan Finch (PHY), Kevin Buterbaugh (PSC), Troy Paddock (HIS), Meredith Sinclair (ENG), Kelly Bordner (PSY), and Linda Sampson (COM) presented sample mock classes in their respective fields in an effort to give these prospective students a sense of undergraduate college academics.  Three A&S students, Laeticia Iboki (BIO), Jacob Santos (THR), and Arden Rand (PSY) also talked to the assembled group of prospective students and parents. Thank you to all that offered a warm welcome to students and their parents!

Society of Professional Journalists

The Journalism Department brought 200 professionals and students to Southern Connecticut State University April 8th and 9th for Making CONNections, a regional journalism conference. The conference featured keynote speaker John Dahl, vice president and executive producer for ESPN Films and Original Content. More than 20 professional development workshops gave insights into topics ranging from drones to ethics to different news beats.

Speakers represented major media outlets, including ESPN Films, the Hartford Courant, Newsday, the New York Law Journal, Connecticut Health Investigative Team, and Slate. Also present were leaders of journalism groups such as the Freedom of Information Commission, the Tully Center for Free Speech and the National Society of Professional Journalists. Leonard Boyle, the deputy chief state’s attorney for Connecticut, and Scott Burrell, the men’s basketball coach at Southern, also appeared on panels.

The conference attracted journalists and students from New England and the tri-state area. One student traveled from Cairo, Egypt to receive an award in the Mark of Excellence student journalism contest Saturday.

Students in the SCSU SPJ chapter organized two of the panel discussions. One focused on how to work with college coaches and sports information directors when covering college sports; the other covered free speech issues on college campuses. Faculty members and adjunct instructors in the Journalism Department moderated several of the workshops, and Southern alumni were part of four of the panels.

The conference attracted media coverage in the New Haven Register, CTNewsJunkie and on CT-N.

Conferences Coming to A&S at Southern

There are several conferences and events in the coming weeks. Anita Sarkeesian, media critic, public speaker, and founder of the website, Feminist Frequency, will give the keynote address for the 22nd Women’s Studies Conference Saturday, evening April 16th. The presentations and panel discussions of this conference will not only address the past, present, and future of the intersections of women, community, and technology, but also showcase feminist in(ter)ventions with technology. Participants will explore how women and girls have participated (or not) in the fields of technology and in what ways this participation has intersected with the studies of gender, race, class, and sexuality. Several A&S faculty and students will present at the Friday/Saturday conference including Christine Broadbridge (PHY), Lisa Lancor (CSC), Alan Brown (SOC) and Siobhan Carter-David (HIS). Alexis Elder (PHI) and Anahit Ter-Stepanian (ART), also A&S faculty, will present late Friday afternoon with Sarah Reeves, a graduate student in WMS.

Following the success of the April 2015 Commemorative Conference in honor of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the World Languages & Literatures Department presents “Literature Across Disciplines: Gabriel García Márquez II: An Interdisciplinary & Transcultural Conference.” Southern faculty, including Maria Diamantis (MAT), Patricia Olney (PSC), David Pettigrew (PHI), Rubén Pelayo (WLL), Resha Cardone (WLL), Rafael Hernández (WLL), and Miaowei Weng (WLL), will participate in panel discussions on the works of this great author. The conference is free and open to the public.  Connect to the President’s Blog for more information.

At the end of April, Southern will host the 12th Annual Conference of The International Association for the Study of Environment, Space, and Place (IASESP). This will be the second time that Southern has hosted this interdisciplinary conference that seeks to bring together scholars from a variety of institutions and disciplines to address the inscription or spatialization of meanings. Participants will be arriving from California to Florida and just down the hall with Southern faculty from History (Darcy Kern, Troy Paddock, Christine Petto, and Troy Rondinone), English (Charles Baraw), and World Languages & Literature (Erin Larkin). This year’s theme is “Mythical Places/Legendary Spaces,” and the organizers look forward to discussions on the vital role that myths and legends have played in various cultures over time and the geographical links created by their development, use, and manipulation.

A&S Program Highlights

Seven of our outstanding Computer Science students participated in the finals of Connecticut Technology Council Skills Challenge.  The finals consisted of 50 students selected from colleges and universities across Connecticut including: Quinnipiac, CCSU, ECSU, WCSU, UConn, Yale, UNH, Sacred Heart University, University of Bridgeport, and Gateway Community College.  All 50 students were formed into 10 teams of 5 – our Computer Science team among them. Congratulations to Tudor-Matei (Matt) Boran and Steve Blandon, whose team placed second overall and were awarded prize money.  Our other CSC students who participated were, Mario Aguayo, Stephen Csvihinka, Nicholas Bittar, Ivan Meyerovich, Julian Velez and Utibe Idongesit.

Steven Brodeur, a recruiter for Aerotek, responded to the success of Southern’s Engineering Concentration. He reported that Enis Bukalo (PHY ’15), a recent graduate with this concentration, was successful in landing a job with Assa Abloy. Brodeur wrote, “It is a unique story because although Enis didn’t have a standard engineering degree, he still beat out multiple other engineering candidates that had engineering degrees from notable schools. It was Enis’ work ethic and great senior project that set him apart from the competition. For Enis’ senior project, he designed and built a 3D printer from scratch and presented it to the Physics Department. SCSU’s hands-on teaching styles and real world applications are very beneficial and definitely carry on with students as they embark into the real world!”

Last month the Hartford Courant ran a story on colleges and the biosciences industry. The article mentioned Southern’s bioscience pathway partnership with the city of New Haven. Christine Broadbridge, Director of STEM initiatives (STEM-IL), and biology student Bryan Pasqualucci were quoted in the story. Broadbridge offered, “‘Higher education officials are looking at how to expand the jobs pipeline, talking with businesses about drawing up professional development and certificate programs at Connecticut companies’.” Pasqualucci, a junior biology major, is seeking a summer internship. He reported, “A lot of companies in Connecticut are doing [gene] sequencing work so when I go to apply for jobs there are a lot of opportunities for me.”

Also on April 20th, a 25th-year anniversary gala celebration of the SCSU Program in Salamanca, Spain, will be held from 6:30-10:30 p.m. in the Adanti Student Center Ballroom. The event includes dinner and entertainment to celebrate this study abroad program’s quarter-century milestone and also will raise funds for a scholarship program to assist future study abroad students in Spain. Tickets are $60 per person and $20 for current SCSU students. The event is sponsored by the World Languages and Literatures Department, the Office of International Education, and the School of Arts & Sciences Dean’s Office. For more information, you can contact Carlos Arboleda. Purchase tickets.

Theatre/SCSU Awarded for Excellence

Each year our Theatre Program enters at least one production in the Kennedy Center’s American College Theater Festival. This year two of our students where highly honored in their respective competitions!  Kiernan Norman attended the Festival to compete in Dramaturgy and Criticism. She was the proud winner in Best Program Notes/Dramaturgy and the Region’s Theatre Journalism institute. She will be going on to Washington DC in April to compete on the national stage. Christine Parella competed in Lighting Design, in which she received 1st Runner up in the National Award for Excellence in Lighting Design and won the Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas Award. She will be traveling to Las Vegas this summer to attend the prestigious Stagecraft Institute. In addition to these honors, Theatre/SCSU also received three merit awards: Outstanding Multiple Dialect for Our Country’s Good, another for Outstanding Student Sound Mixing (JT McLoughlin) for Rent and Outstanding Ensemble Acting for Almost Maine. Finally, Marcelle Morrissey, an Irene Ryan nominee for acting, made it to the semi-finals. Congratulations to the Theatre Department and to all of our student artists!

Psychology Opens New Student-Friendly Website

Psychology Website has undergone a significant update this month! The Department has added many of features to make it easier to navigate including pages embedded in menus that are directly accessible from the homepage. The goal is to help students more become more proactive and informed as they move through the Psychology program(s).

Of note, PSY has an area devoted to “prospective majors,” which includes promotional info about their program (and some bragging, based on student feedback from our department’s assessment survey), and the site has a new page specifically for prospective transfer students. Larry Brancazio, the Department Chair, indicates that, “We’ve been trying to make things easier for psychology majors in general. To this end, we have: online signups for group advising that are directly accessible from the webpage; forms for students to request an advisor;  pages explaining the acceptance process; information about tutoring opportunities….we’ve also tried to help students have a better sense of direction with their major.  We now include pages with comparisons of our different degree options (including a comparison of the requirements for each, and a list of how they match up with different career paths),  lists of graduate programs and professions our alumni have gone to, lists of faculty research projects, explanations of how to get involved in research, and lists of different interests and which courses are good choices to match those interests. In general, we’ve been working hard to promote our program, to be accommodating and welcoming to students, and to streamline processes for majors to keep them on track for graduation.”

Psychology has also been hard at work on their curriculum, having recently revamped their B.S. in Psych which will be going into effect in the fall. This revised program will have Behavioral Neuroscience, Cognitive Science, and Applied Psych tracks which will be an exciting new option for STEM-oriented students.  Along with this, they have revised their minor, which will now offer a general minor and a higher-level minor in Psychological Science. The new minor is designed to allow higher-achieving students (either minors or IDS majors) to take upper-level Psych classes, while other students with a more general interest will still have a variety of options.

Congratulations to everyone in Psychology for these new and important innovations!

Rock Stars in the Building

Earth Science Faculty and students were highlighted in “Business New Haven” for the many projects they worked on as we opened our new science building. Congratulations and thank you to the Department of Earth Science for raising our profile and representing A&S so very well. Read the article on pages 16-18. (This issue is dated November 2015 but was not released until January).

Invitation to “The World of Gaming, Gaming in the World” 

Visiting Scholar Dr. Joaquín Granell Zafra from Universitat Jaume I (Castellón de la Plana, Spain) will be on campus from April 18th to 22th to visit classes and learn about our varied approaches to teaching at SCSU. He is particularly interested in attending courses in Media Studies and other fields related to his research and teaching (described below). In addition to Dr. Granell’s presentation about his work, this event will feature a student-led round-table, during which five students will discuss topics related to our theme, “The World of Gaming, Gaming in the World.”  If you have students who might be interested, please invite them to attend or to contact Charles Baraw with proposed topics for the round-table.

The nature of this topic and Dr. Granell’s work make it a multi-disciplinary endeavor and this event welcomes participation from all Departments, Programs, and campus groups. We hope students and faculty from across the university will participate. Finally, as part of Dr. Granell’s visit, the English Department is organizing a symposium which will take place on Thursday April 21st from 4:30-6:30 p.m. in Engleman C112. 

Clubs & Organizations

Southern hosts over 100 clubs and organizations, many of which have ties to the School of Arts & Sciences. Thanks to all the faculty advisers for their service to our students through the many clubs and organization including:

  • Anthropology Club, Valerie Andrushko
  • Biology Club, Meghan Barboza & Michael Fisher
  • Biotechnology Club, Nicholas Edgington
  • Bookmarks English Club, Cindy Stretch
  • Botany Club, Rebecca Silady
  • Chemistry Club, James Kearns
  • Computer Science Club, Winnie Yu
  • Crescent Players, Mike Skinner
  • Digital Production Club, Kaia Monroe-Rarick
  • Drumline, Craig Hlavac
  • Earth Science Club, Cynthia Coron & Mike Knell
  • Folio, Jeff Mock
  • French Club, Luke Eilderts
  • German Club, Christine Dombrowski
  • History Club, Siobhan Carter-David
  • Italianissimi, Pina Palma
  • Math Club, Ross Gingrich & John Scheuermann
  • Media Studies Club, Rosemarie Conforti
  • Music Club, Jonathan Irving
  • Music Studio Club, Mark Kuss
  • Philosophy Club, Richard Volkman
  • Physics Club, Todd Schwendemann & Eric Anderson
  • Society of Professional Journalists, Jerry Dunklee
  • Sociology Club, Cassi Meyerhoffer
  • Southern News, Cindy Simoneau & Frank Harris III
  • Spanish Club, Rubén Pelayo
  • WSIN Radio, Jerry Dunklee

Student Shout Outs

Brian Darrow, a secondary education mathematics major, was recently accepted to an eight-week summer REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) at Illinois State University for pre-service teachers doing research in Discrete Mathematics. These programs are funded by the NSF and are highly competitive. Review REU program information.

Lynn Houston, an MFA student working with Vivian Shipley, was named a finalist in the Broad River Review’s Rash Awards in Poetry with her poem, “Not All Who Wander Are Lost.” More information about the Broad River Review can be found here: http://broadriverreview.org/2015-contest/

Patrick Cumpstone, a recent graduate in history teaching at a Hartford magnet school, has published his work, Connecticut Witchcraft: Witch-Speak and Social Unrest in 17th Century Connecticut, with the Maine academic publisher, Picton Press. Drawn from his honors thesis completed under the guidance of Marie McDaniel, Cumpstone investigated the speech patterns of the accused witches from the documents of ten trials. His work contributes not only to the scholarship on the history of witchcraft, women, and Connecticut, but also to public and local history as an avenue of study for the students he is teaching in Hartford.

Jacqueline M. Desrosier Thurber (BS ’15) and Laeticia Iboki (BS ’16), both in Biology working under the guidance of Elizabeth Roberts, will soon be presenting her research in Washington, DC at the 20th Annual Posters on the Hill event in April. Out of 300 applicants, their work, “Characterization of a Novel Antibiotic and Plant Growth Promoting Pseudomonas Bacterium found in Connecticut” was accepted as one of 60 presenters. Here is more information about the Posters on the Hill.

Jahana Hayes (Jahana Fleming, BS ’05) was named Connecticut Teacher of the Year in October. Governor Malloy praised the work she is doing at John F. Kennedy High School in Waterbury. Hayes, a social studies teacher, is one of four finalists for the National Teacher of Year to be announced this month (April). She earned this distinction through her dedication to teaching and her encouraging efforts to direct student attention to the community and projects that will improve society. Read the Courant Article.

Mohamed A. Rilvan, a CSC student working with Shafaeat Hossain, attended the National Conference for Undergraduate Research last week at the University of North Carolina, Asheville. Mohamed began his research as part of an NSF funded REU program at Washington State University and continues to develop it under the guidance of Dr. Hossain.

Faculty Shout Outs

In early February Charlene Dellinger-Pate (MDS) contributed to the Southern webpage story, “Satire: an Essential Element on the Political Landscape.” Commenting on the presidential campaign coverage, Dellinger-Pate noted that “‘we need satire to see what is behind the performance.’” She teaches a course, MDS 385: Political Satire and New Media, which gives student a front row seat to the antics and analysis of the events. Furthermore she warns, “‘there is no informed political discourse—no informed debate—in punditry. So much information is presented as true, with so much money behind it. Without satirists, there’s a perfect recipe for disaster.’” Read the full article.

Frank Harris (JRN) was interviewed on WNPR’s “Where We Live” about his research on the history of the n-word. The project culminated in a film, “Journey to the Bottom of the n-Word,” produced by Harris that explores the history and modern day usage of the n-word, as well as dispelling some myths associated with it. WNPR interview.

Derek Taylor (COM) has had his recent experimental film, Into the Light of the Present, chosen for screening at the Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival in Hawick, Scotland this April. Out of 850 submissions, Derek’s film was one of 90 selected. His work will be screened with 38 other films, of which only 17 are from US filmmakers.

Jonathan Wharton, Assistant Professor of Political Science, was profiled Monday in the New Haven Independent. He recently took over as chairman of the New Haven Republican Town Committee.

January 29, 2016

As I begin my sixth semester as Dean of Arts & Sciences at Southern, I am struck by the escalating pace of change on our campus as well as the many successful initiatives and accomplishments that have helped move the School and University forward.  Witness the Buley Library expansion (and opening of the Buley Art Gallery), the new Science Building, the Student Success Task Force (and creation of the new Academic Success Center), the University’s 10-year Strategic Plan, the President’s Commission on Campus Climate and Inclusion, the first annual Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Conference—and much, much more. Arts & Sciences played an important role in all of these endeavors and will always have a significant impact on our campus.

I have also learned that because A&S is so large and diverse, it is difficult to find ways to adequately communicate the many accomplishments of our students, faculty and staff. We have a lot to be proud of in Arts & Sciences and I think it is important that the School creates a space to share the work we are doing together, the many faculty achievements, departmental initiatives, curricular advancements, and student successes that define us. This blog is dedicated to spreading this important news. Additionally, the blog will bring attention to key academic, scholarly and artistic events that may be of interest to you and to your A&S colleagues. So, if you have items that you would like to share, please email them to my office at ArtsandSciences@southernct.edu

PARTNERING WITH THE BARD

The University has entered into an exciting partnership with Elm Shakespeare Company that promises to bring new energy to our Theatre Department and the entire University community.  Southern and Elm Shakespeare recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that brings Elm Shakespeare onto our campus and integrates it into the Theatre Department’s activities and facilities. Under the MOU, the Elm Shakespeare Company officially is “in residence” at Southern and the University will provide rehearsal, production, and office space for the company. In turn, Elm Shakespeare will bring its expertise into the Theatre Department’s programming. More details can be found in the President’s January 21st Blog post.

FIRST THURSDAYS

In an effort to highlight some of the important new scholarship Southern faculty are doing in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, an interdisciplinary group of nearly 20 faculty led by Joel Dodson and Christine Dombrowski, are spearheading a “Humanities and Social Science Scholarship Forum.” This new faculty speaker series will be held the first Thursday of each month beginning in February.  These First Thursday talks, will feature a 25–30 minute scholarly talk/presentation on a new or recently completed project by a faculty member. There will be plenty of time left for questions and conversation.  The first scheduled speaker this spring is Dr. Charles Baraw (English), “It is strange how these familiar places are haunted: Posthumous Hawthorne, Literary Tourism, and Uncanny Authorship” on Thursday, February 2nd at 4:45-6:00 PM, ASC Theatre.  For more information about First Thursdays please contact Joel Dodson (dodsonj2). Also, updates and featured presentations will soon be available on the A&S Dean’s website.

CHOIR TOUR: MUSIC DEPARTMENT

Congratulations to the Department of Music and to Therese Gemme for another very successful international tour –this time to Athens, Greece!  This tour was made possible by generous donations from the Stutzman Family Foundation. Check out the many pictures and comments on the dedicated Greece Blog.

CURRICULAR INNOVATION: HONORS COLLEGE

The Honors College has just successfully undergone a dramatic curricular overhaul.  Beginning Fall of 2016, the Honors curriculum will be two-tiered.  Honors Foundations represents 16 credits from the HON curriculum taken freshman and sophomore years.  HON 150 remains a team-taught course, as will some other HON courses.

A new freshman and sophomore seminar/ plenary will use a disbursed-teaching model and involve students engaging with faculty and peer mentors.  This model will provide increased opportunities to explore a variety of team-taught and other interdisciplinary teaching methods.  Students will complete six credits of this Honors Seminar over the course of the freshman and sophomore years.  In addition, all first- and second-year students will participate in the Honors Plenary, a 1-credit course with most programming over the weekend.  Service-learning and leadership training will play a greater and more formalized role in the program as well.

Qualified students may elect to continue in the program during their junior and senior years in an Interdisciplinary Honors Minor. Finally, students now have a greater variety of capstone experiences from which to choose.  In addition to the traditional Honors Thesis, options include: Service-Learning, Study Abroad, Problem-Based Small Group Projects, or an Honors Travel Semester with faculty.

STRATEGIC PLAN UPDATE: ARTS & SCIENCES

The A&S Strategic Planning Committee has been hard at work since October working on a five-year school-wide plan.  The department chairpersons selected full-time faculty representing every department in Arts & Sciences.  There are four major goals in the current draft: one each on Scholarship, Student Success, the Development of Sustainable Physical & Academic Resources, and Making Connections.  Co-chaired by Christine Broadbridge, Terri Bennett, Craig Hlavac, and Bruce Kalk, the committee anticipates releasing its final plan by April 2016!

JOURNALISM DAY (FALL 15)

For 32 years the Journalism Department has hosted high school students and teachers across the state for a professional development conference on journalism. On October 30th Dennis House from WFSB gave the keynote address to an audience of over 350 participants. Ten workshops on a variety of topics ranging from traditional reporting to photojournalism to broadcast news were led by full-time and part-time faculty.

In an effort to support this professional development, the Journalism Department offers a monthly workshop called CTTeens where students from various public and private high schools come together in the department to work on story and photo packages and to design a web platform to display their work. This program, in its 17th year is under direction of Chair Cindy Simoneau. 

OLYMPICS WORLD LANGUAGES (OWLS)

Professors Christine Dombrowski, Luke Eilderts, Luisa Pietmontese, and Lisa Vitale have successfully proposed the reinstatement of the World Languages Olympics Day to be held here at Southern on Friday, May 6th. Over forty teams applied for the Olympics Day and twenty teams from all over the state have been accepted to participate in this unique event. This May competition will offer four languages, French, German, Italian, and Spanish, with plans to expand in future Olympics. The event will bring high school world language student teams and their coaches to campus to participate in an all-day event centered on world languages and cultures. The twenty teams will compete in various games created and proctored by the World Languages faculty along with graduate and undergraduate student volunteers.

RESEARCH TAPAS

For the second year the Research and Scholarship Advisory Committee (RSAC) hosted an afternoon Tapas event. On November 23rd twenty-six faculty presented four-minute presentations of their new or on-going research. Nearly two-thirds of the presenters were A&S faculty members including four members from the Psychology Department: Julia Irwin, Ken Walters, Kelly Stiver, and Larry BrancazioGerry Lesley and Jim Kearns from the Chemistry Department, and Troy Paddock from the History Department. This event proves to be such a great hit with all participants that Tapas is likely to be enjoyed for years to come.

FACULTY SHOUT OUTS

Sean Grace, chair of the Biology Department, was invited to become a Co-PI on the KEEN (Kelp Ecosystem Ecology Network), which is a world-wide network of researchers examining the effects of global climate change on kelp beds.

Sheila Garvey, Professor of Theatre, directed the Theatre Department’s production of Almost, Maine in early December. At the recent American College Theatre Festival (ACTF), this production won a merit award for Outstanding Ensemble Acting.

Vivian Shipley, CSU Professor in the English Department, will do a benefit poetry reading on March 3rd at the Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington, CT. She will join Richard Blanco, who read at President Obama’s inauguration and used to teach at CCSU, in this benefit to help fund the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival. The Festival, held every summer, “connects poetry and people,” provides workshops for budding poets and experienced poets alike, as well as the opportunity for poets and their audiences to gather and enjoy the creative process. Vivian sits on the Advisory Committee for this annual event.