In the News

Moore Field House interior, April 1, 2020

Trucks with hospital beds and medical equipment pulled up outside Moore Fieldhouse on March 31, 2020, as the National Guard began the assembly of a 300-bed “Connecticut Medical Station” inside the facility. Southern is providing “overflow” beds for Yale New-Haven Hospital, in anticipation of a surge in COVID-19 patients throughout the month of April . The university has also made available 2,500 rooms in nine residence halls for an as yet undesignated purpose, although at least one hall will be used to house medical personnel.

“As a public institution dedicated to the pursuit of social justice, Southern is committed to helping the state mitigate the spread of COVID-19,’” said SCSU President Joe Bertolino. “With hundreds of graduates from our College of Health and Human Services on the front lines fighting the pandemic, it was a natural step for the university to make our facilities available during the duration of this public health crisis.”

See a photo gallery of the field house’s conversion into a field hospital

See media coverage of Southern’s conversion to a medical station:

Gov to visit ‘hospital in a box’ at SCSU (WFSB, April 1, 2020)

National Guard soldiers help build field hospital to help overflow of coronavirus patients (WTNH, April 1, 2020)

Field hospital for non-coronavirus patients built at SCSU (New Haven Register, March 31, 2020)

National Guard, SCSU To The Rescue (New Haven Independent, March 31, 2020)

Overflow hospital to be set up at Southern Connecticut State University (WTNH, March 31, 2020)

National Guard Sets Up Field Hospital at SCSU For Coronavirus Patients (NBC CT, March 31, 2020)

COVID-19 overflow site being constructed at SCSU (WFSB, March 31, 2020)

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont (third from left) at Moore Field House to inspect the Connecticut Medical Station that the National Guard set up there (April 1, 2020)

 

 

Frank LaDore teaching the Death and Dying class (photo courtesy Cara McDonough, New Haven Independent)

The New Haven Independent ran an article, “SCSU Prof, Students Work Through The Covid Grief” (March 31, 2020), about Frank LaDore, director of Transfer Student Services, who teaches the Death, Dying & Bereavement class at Southern. LaDore, who has worked at the university for 28 years in a variety of departments, has been teaching the course since 2012.

The class, offered by the Department of Public Health, is described on the university’s website as “understanding death in our culture and social and personal mechanisms for responding to death, dying and bereavement.”

While the university remains closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the course is meeting online for the rest of the semester.

 

Journalism Professor Frank Harris III

Journalism Professor Frank Harris III, an award-winning columnist for the Hartford Courant, speculated about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic in a recent op-ed, “We don’t know where the coronavirus is taking us, but off we go nonetheless” (Hartford Courant, March 17, 2020). As Harris writes, “I will adjust and adapt, just as we all must in this journey along the road of our oh-so-exciting lives.”

In addition to teaching journalism and writing a column for the Courant, Harris formerly served as chair of the Journalism Department. He also makes documentary films.

 

 

A scene from the film "Outbreak"
You’ve probably said it to yourself more than once during the past few weeks: “I feel like I’m living in a movie.” The coronavirus pandemic has turned people’s lives upside down, and the daily news reporting is unnerving, and even frightening. Images in the newspaper and on TV can seem unreal, like something we’ve only seen in films. Troy Rondinone, professor of history, is a scholar of American culture, and in a recent blog he published in Psychology Today, he discusses the portrayal of pandemics in film. In the blog, he addresses the question, “What has Hollywood taught us about pandemics?”
Rondinone is also the author of Nightmare Factories: The Asylum in the American Imagination.
Troy Rondinone

Collin Walsh, '08, and his wife, Amika

Congratulations to Collin Walsh, ’08, who was awarded a highly prestigious Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship for 2020. Designed to prepare outstanding young people for Foreign Service careers, the fellowship is funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by Howard University. We recently caught up with Walsh, who had just completed a course at the Foreign Service Institute. Here’s what we learned.

The award: Each Pickering Fellow receives $75,000 to complete a master’s degree; two internships with the State Department (one in the U.S., the other overseas); and mentoring and other professional development.

A standout: Only 3.5 of applicants were successful with the program receiving 844 applications for 30 spots. “My emotions were a mix of elation and peacefulness, as if years of dedication realized their purpose in that instant,” says Walsh of receiving the acceptance letter.

At Southern: As a student-athlete majoring in political science, he served as a White House intern and vice-president of the Pre-Law Society. An NCAA All-American athlete, he was captain of the cross country, and indoor and outdoor track and field teams — and graduated magna cum laude. “Collin’s academic talent is unparalleled,” notes Patricia Olney, professor of political science.

His early career: Shortly after graduating Southern, Walsh enrolled at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, where he studied abroad in India. (He’s proficient in Bengali.) Building on a commitment to public service, he next became a police officer in Milford, Conn., and taught law courses at the Connecticut Police Academy. His tenure with the U.S. Department of State began with an appointment to the Foreign Service as a Diplomatic Security Special Agent.

Challenging times: “Three days after achieving my career dream of being appointed a Special Agent in the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Service, I became suddenly and unexpectedly paralyzed with a disease I did not know I had,” says Walsh. The disease: a severe form of Multiple Sclerosis (M.S.)

Fighting spirit: Told he’d unlikely walk again, Walsh began extensive medical treatment in the U.S. and India. “I was aimless and hopeless until my wife [Amika] shook me back to reality and taught me what it meant to believe and to fight. And those two things we did — all day long, every day — until I was back on my feet,” says Walsh.

On Nov. 11, 2017, Walsh participated in the James Barber/Wilton Wright SCSU Alumni Track and Field Meet, completing the 55 meters as the Southern community cheered on.

Returning to campus: On Nov. 11, 2017, he participated in the James Barber/Wilton Wright SCSU Alumni Track and Field Meet, completing the 55 meters as the Southern community cheered on. Walsh now serves as a Foreign Affairs Officer in the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, where his work spans the fields of national security, intelligence, and counterterrorism.

What’s next: Supported by the Pickering Fellowship, he’s pursuing a Master of Public Affairs from Indiana University’s O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

On Southern:  He gives special thanks to Patricia Olney, professor of political science, and Jack Maloney, Southern’s former long-time cross country, indoor/outdoor track and field head coach.

“Professor Olney’s student-focused enthusiasm convinced me to pursue political science as a major and to dedicate my life to public service. From that point, there was no looking back,” says Walsh.

“Coach Maloney welcomed me into the SCSU athletic family and steadfastly supported both my athletic ambitions and personal development from my first practice. . . . I owe an immeasurable portion of my success to “Coach.”

On sharing his diagnosis: “I believe in the power of story. Anyone with a disability understands the impact of stigma, but I am here to change the conversation: the community of the disabled is powerful,” says Walsh.

Future plans: “It is difficult to imagine literally where I will be in five to ten years, because, by definition, I will be ‘worldwide available.’ However, I can say with certainty that I will be working hard every day in support of our foreign policy objectives,” says Walsh.

Colin Walsh, wedding
“With each step I take, however, I know that it will be better than the last, so I invite the struggle to come. That level of perseverance is attributable entirely to my wife, Amika, for her uncompromising faith and her unwavering support,” says Walsh. The couple is pictured during their wedding.

 

 

 

 

Jay Moran

Athletic Director and mayor of Manchester, Conn., Jay Moran talks about the challenges of dealing with the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic.

A column about Athletic Director Jay Moran in the March 22, 2020, edition of the New Haven Register discusses in depth the challenges he and the SCSU Athletic Department face because of the coronavirus, and how he has adjusted to working online. As for having to cancel the spring athletics season at Southern, Moran is quoted as saying, “‘Our athletes were upset at first, but I think they are accepting now that it has affected all college athletics. I think people have a different perspective on life. You’ve seen what happened in Italy. As difficult as it was for the student-athletes, it was an easy decision in some ways for us. This must be about their safety and well-being.'”

In addition to heading up the University’s Athletic Department, Moran is mayor of Manchester, Conn.

In a recent article in The New London Day, Lee deLisle, a professor in the Department of Recreation, Tourism, & Sport Management, discusses the impact that COVID-19 has had on our favorite leisure activities and how it affects us on a personal level. He comments on the trend of sports programs being postponed/cancelled for safety reasons in light of the pandemic, and the importance of sports and entertainment in society.

Read “Loss of live entertainment leaves seats, people empty.”

Lee deLisle

 

Southern's information and library science programs will give you solid experience in library science while offering an array of electives in areas like digital libraries, information architecture, network management, and instructional design.

Southern’s online Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program was judged among the best in the nation — coming in at number five on Online Schools Report’s (onlineschoolsreport.com) rating of the top 35 such programs in the U.S. for 2020. Programs were evaluated on numerous factors, including admission rates and student satisfaction.

Southern is the only Connecticut-based institution of higher learning to offer a fully online library science master’s degree. The program was granted candidacy status for accreditation by the American Library Association — and is the only program in the state to have achieved this distinction as of January.

The master’s degree in sport and entertainment management program, which is offered fully online, was also evaluated among the nation’s best, included on Intelligent.com’s guide to the Top 49 graduate programs in the field in 2020.

The organization reviewed 333 educational programs offered through 137 colleges and universities to compile the guide, evaluating curriculum quality, graduation rate, reputation, and post-graduate employment. Southern’s program was specifically lauded for its focus on experiential learning.

The School of Graduate and Professional Studies will be holding a Virtual Spring 2020 Graduate Open House on Thursday, April 2, 2020. Learn about these and Southern’s many other exceptional graduate programs.

The fully online graduate program allows students to choose between a specialization in either sport or entertainment management.

Alumna jewelry designer takes the prize for artistry and entrepreneurship.

Jewelry designer Stephanie Howell wearing one of her creations.

Having spent six years traveling throughout the U.S. and Europe, Stephanie Howell, ’11, has officially arrived as a business owner. In June 2019, she launched her first collection of jewelry through her namesake company S. Howell Studios — and within months was named a top five finalist in the Halstead Grant competition for emerging silver jewelry designers.

Applicants to the annual competition submit a portfolio of their work and answer 15 questions related to their businesses. “Applying for the Halstead Grant is essentially like creating a well-thought out business plan,” says Howell, who won a $500 grant and received national media exposure from the competition.

The recognition was a welcome confirmation for the entrepreneur, who traveled extensively after graduation. She financed her trips by working in restaurants while keeping future business plans in mind. “I set a goal to start turning one of my passions into a career by the time I turned 30,” says Howell. At 29, she decided to devote her career to jewelry design. “Once I was ready to settle down, it felt like a no brainer,” she says.

“I am profoundly inspired by botanical textures. By co-creating with the earth, I’m able to make carefully handcrafted silver fossils,” says Stephanie Howell.

The clues to Howell’s future career were certainly there. Years earlier, as an incoming freshman browsing through Middlesex Community College’s undergraduate catalog, she was immediately drawn to a course in metal and jewelry design. She earned an associate degree and transferred to Southern where she was a studio art major “from day one,” with a concentration in jewelry and metalsmithing.

She recalls a small, tight-knit group of classmates, and cites Professor of Art Terrence Lavin as being “invaluable” in terms of shaping her education. “He constantly challenged me to step outside of my creative comfort zone and become a better artist,” says Howell, who graduated magna cum laude.

She continues to design in metal, valued equally for its permanence and malleability. She uses the lost-wax casting process to create “silver fossils, preserving plants indefinitely.” Botanical details — the delicate veins of an aspen leaf or the floral whorls of lupine — embellish her handcrafted collection of earrings, bracelets, and necklaces, often accented with gold and semiprecious stones.

“By featuring subtle beauty in my work, I encourage people to take a closer look at the world around them,” she says.

A model shows some of Howell's latest jewelry collection.
A model shows some of Howell’s latest collection. “Terry Lavin was my jewelry and metalsmithing teacher the entire time I was at Southern. He constantly challenged me to step outside of my creative comfort zone and become a better artist,” says Howell.