Yearly Archives: 2014

On Dec. 4, SCSU President Mary A. Papazian joined President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden, along with hundreds of college presidents and other higher education leaders, to announce new actions to help more students prepare for and graduate from college.

The White House College Opportunity Day of Action helps to support the president’s commitment to partner with colleges and universities, business leaders, and nonprofits to assist students across the country in helping the nation reach its goal of leading the world in college attainment.

The day’s participants were asked to commit to new action in one of four areas: building networks of colleges around promoting completion; creating K-16 partnerships around college readiness; investing in high school counselors as part of the first lady’s Reach Higher initiative; and increasing the number of college graduates in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

SCSU has committed to increase the number and quality of students graduating in the STEM disciplines, and in particular, to ensuring the preparation of effective K-12 STEM teachers. To this end, Southern aims to increase its graduation rate in STEM degrees by 35 percent and STEM teachers with initial certification by 25 percent over the next 10 years.

To achieve these student gains, Southern will focus primarily on three areas:

  • K-12 student success in STEM disciplines through a teacher preparation program and associated initiatives. This will include enhancing STEM education for low-income, female and underrepresented minority students at the university level. Efforts will focus on transforming the preparation of 21st century teachers by integrating STEM into various programs, including elementary education and school leadership programs.
  • Southern’s newly formed Office for STEM Innovation and Leadership will generate opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to experience innovative research projects in STEM education, with the aim of translating this research into effective practices, particularly in urban contexts.
  • Southern will expand its urban initiatives, including the mentoring of undergraduates to enhance their awareness of how to address the challenges of teaching in high-need schools. It will also work to prepare students for success in business and industry, as well as graduate education and leadership in research and teaching at the university level.

“Southern is fully and actively supportive of President Obama’s initiatives to help ensure that a college degree is attainable for all,” Papazian said. “Enhanced success in STEM degree completion at the university level is a significant component of our broader student success initiatives, which strive to enhance retention and graduation rates across the university.

“Southern is committed to graduating a diverse population of students with the skills and knowledge needed to compete and lead in the high-tech, STEM-oriented 21st century economy both locally and globally.”

Obama announced new steps on how his administration is helping to support these actions, including announcing $10 million to help promote college completion, and a $30 million AmeriCorps program that will improve low-income students’ access to college. The event was the second College Opportunity Day of Action, and included a progress report on the commitments made at the first day of action on Jan. 14, 2014.

Expanding opportunity for more students to enroll and succeed in college, especially low-income and underrepresented students, is vital to building a strong economy and a strong middle class. Today, only 9 percent of those born in the lowest family income quartile attain a bachelor’s degree by age 25, compared to 54 percent in the top quartile, according to the White House. In an effort to expand college access, the Obama Administration has increased Pell scholarships by $1,000 a year, created the new American Opportunity Tax Credit worth up to $10,000 over four years of college, limited student loan payments to 10 percent of income, and seeks to reduce college costs and promote innovation and competition.

    The Department of Theatre presents “Higgins in Harlem,” Lawrence Thelen’s adaptation of George Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion.” The production is directed by Sheila Hickey Garvey. Performances are Dec. 3, 4, 5, 6 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 6-7 at 2 p.m. in the Kendall Drama Lab in Lyman Center.

    “Higgins in Harlem” is a charming adaptation of Shaw’s “Pygmalion,” re-set in New York City during the Harlem Renaissance — a time when the affluent Black society of Sugar Hill found itself at odds with the uneducated Blacks of Harlem struggling through the Great Depression. The story begins outside the Apollo Theatre where Henry Higgins discovers Eliza Doolittle. When she arrives at his Sugar Hill home in search of a better life, the sparks evident during their initial encounter reignite and burst into this very clever version of the classic Pygmalion story.

    The play is one of many versions of the beloved Greek myth about a sculptor named Pygmalion who finds all living women flawed and thus revolting. To remedy his disillusionment, Pygmalion fashions a statue of his ideal woman, a creation he begins to love as it reflects his idea of womanly perfection. This year marks the 100th anniversary of Irish playwright Shaw’s adaptation of the Pygmalion myth. This popular play was adapted by Lerner and Lowe into the British musical “My Fair Lady,” which made its American premiere in New Haven’s Shubert Theatre in 1956.  Thelan’s adaptation of the Pygmalion story closely follows Shaw’s storyline; however, Thelen strongly amplifies Shaw’s progressive approach to the mythic tale and resets the story in Manhattan during the Harlem Renaissance (1920s to WWII).

    The cast includes Eric Clinton (Henry Higgins), Jacob Santos (Conrad Pickering), Jessica Myers (Eliza Doolittle), Jyreek Ellerbe (Alfred Doolittle), Noah Bishop (Freddie Hill), Olivia Cintron (Clara Hill), Chastity Holloway (Mrs. Hill), Camisha Farquharson (Mrs. Higgins), and Jasmine Jones (Mrs. Pearce). Other members of the creative team include John Carver Sullivan (scenic design, costume design), Jiyoun Chang (lighting design), Michael Skinner (sound design, production manager, technical director), and Larry Nye (choreographer).

    A post-show talk-back with Thelen will take place immediately after the Dec. 7 matinee performance. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased at tickets.southernct.edu or by calling (203) 392-6154.

    Reading to your children -- even during their infancy -- is an important first step in helping kids develop an early interest in books.

    Most parents know that getting their children to read at a young age is important to their future. It’s so important, in fact, that experts say if kids fail to be at or near the reading levels of their peers by third grade, they face a tougher road in school and in life.

    But what specific steps can parents do to spark an early interest in books?

    Julia Irwin and Dina Moore, associate professors of psychology at Southern, say that one of the keys is to incorporate reading as the centerpiece of many activities and discussions, starting before they head to kindergarten.

    Reading to your children — even during their infancy — is an important first step in helping kids develop an early interest in books.

    “Discussing books together creates a time for your child to share their thoughts, worries and ideas with you, to practice new words that they have learned from the book, and to discuss conflicts and concepts that arise in the book,” Irwin says. “By talking about the perspectives and feelings of favorite characters, children learn to better understand others’ and their own feelings.”

    Dealing with emotions, such as fear and sadness, in an appropriate way can be addressed through reading. For example, Irwin points to a book such as “Dog Heaven,” by Cynthia Rylant, as providing a starting point for a conversation after losing a pet.

    For a child who has first day of school or daycare jitters, she recommends reading a book such as “Curious George’s First Day of School,” by Margret and H.A. Rey or “The Hello Goodbye Window,” by Norton Juster.

    The authors note that another way in which books can be relevant is by planning an activity around a book. For example, parents and their children can read “Gingerbread Man,” and then make gingerbread cookies together. Or, reading “Make Way for Ducklings” can be followed up by a trip to the local park to see ducks.

    Irwin points out that the social and emotional development of kids can be influenced by reading, as well as the obvious academic benefits. “Kids can learn to take turns and to listen to others through reading,” she says. “That ability to self-regulate is an important lifetime, social skill.”

    They share many ideas in their book, “Preparing Children for Reading Success: Hands-on Activities for Librarians, Educators and Caregivers,” published recently by Rowman and Littlefield Publishers.

    “We have a literacy crisis in this country, despite having the research to know what works when it comes to teaching reading,” Irwin says. “It is important to put the theoretical into practice. That’s what we sought to do in this book.”

      Southern is assisting the town of East Haven in trying to prevent a repeat of major property damage inflicted upon the community two years ago by Hurricane Sandy.

      Michelle Ritchie and Fatima Cecunjanin, two students under the guidance of James Tait, professor of environmental studies, have been examining elevation levels along the coastline and how much of a factor they were in predicting damages. “In a sense, we have been looking for the black box for East Haven – what happened and what can be done to make the shoreline less vulnerable,” Tait said.

      In fact, that research earned them first place in the student poster competition at the recent New England-Saint Lawrence Valley Geographical Society’s annual meeting. Their work was placed into a broader context that included previous research conducted by Southern students related to the East Haven coastline.
      “Right now, we’re looking at coastal vulnerability – which areas are more prone to heavier damage,” Tait said. “We also want to see what we can do to improve the coast’s resilience.”

      Among the students’ tasks are to create flood maps that can depict this kind of data, as well as make projections in terms of what would have happened if the storm had occurred during high tide in the greater New Haven area, according to Tait.

      Their work has caught the attention of staff members in the Office of the East Haven Town Engineer, who say they are impressed with the magnitude, quality and thoroughness of the research. In fact, they estimated that the work performed by the students and Tait would have cost the town several hundred thousand dollars if it had hired a company to do it. And some of the students’ work has been forwarded to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

      Meanwhile, Tait and some of his other students are also looking at the West Haven coastline.

      “In West Haven, we have students looking at which beaches are the most stable,” Tait said. “In addition, they are studying where the beach sand is disappearing and where it might be accumulating.”

      One of the students, Kaitlyn Stobierski, will do a cost-benefit analysis in terms of where it might be most cost effective to add sand and manage beaches. Stobierski, along with Catherine Cota and Steve Krozier have collected two years of data about beach stability.

      “The price to nourish beaches with extra sand has skyrocketed over the last 40 years,” Tait said. “It costs more than $800 per linear foot today, compared with about $55 per linear foot back in 1957, when a similar beach project was conducted in West Haven.

      “Therefore, a town like West Haven wants to spend its money wisely when trying to restore its beach areas,” he added. “You need to know which areas would benefit in the long run from additional sand, and which areas are likely to lose the sand in the long run.”

      Mark Paine, assistant to the commissioner of public works in West Haven, said he is excited about seeing the impending cost-benefit analysis.

      “The analysis will give us the ability to make informed and justifiable decisions,” Paine said.

      Tait hopes to continue SCSU’s work along the coastline in the future with plans to look at the Milford beach areas, and perhaps to Fairfield and other communities. “Certainly, East Haven was the poster child for damage due to hurricanes Sandy and Irene.”

      *The New Haven Register ran a story in its Sunday, Nov. 23, edition that profiled Stephen Hegedus, the new dean of the School of Education.

      **The recent forum, “Remembering the Fall of the Berlin Wall: 25 Years Later,” generated a slew of press coverage. The event attracted 300 people, including about 90 students from 4 area high schools — Shelton, Cheshire, Seymour and Sound from New Haven.

      The following media outlets covered the forum with an advance, day-of-event coverage or post-event item:

      *The New Haven Register ran a Page 1 article in its Nov. 8 edition that previewed the event. The article included an interview with Nicholas Burns, the keynote speaker who is a former State Department and National Security Council official.

      The Register also published a photo of Burns delivering the keynote speech in its Nov. 12 edition.

      *The Waterbury Republican-American ran a Page 1 story in its Sunday edition of Nov. 9 thatpreviewed the forum. The story included an interview with Kevin Buterbaugh, professor of political science, who was a panelist at the forum. It also included interviews with a Seymour High School teacher and student who would attend the event.

      *WTIC radio (1080 AM) aired two interviews during the week before the event:

      Troy Paddock, chairman of the History Department, was interviewed on Nov. 5 on the “Mornings with Ray Dunaway” show.

      Kevin Buterbaugh was interviewed Nov. 7 on the afternoon talk show with Joe D’Ambrosio.

      *CT-N covered the event and broadcast the program several times, initially on Nov. 12.

      *WATR radio (1320 AM) interviewed Kevin on Nov. 7 in advance of the event.

      *Channel 30 also interviewed Kevin on its Sunday morning newscast and previewed the forum.

      *The Fairfield County Business Journalpreviewed the forum in its Nov. 3 edition.

      The following is a link to the Business Journal story:

      *The Connecticut Post published a post on Oct. 29 in its “Postings” blog that previewed the forum. It noted that classes from Shelton and Seymour high schools were planning to attend.

      *The Connecticut By The Numbers blog also posted an item on Nov. 7 previewing the forum.

      The following is a link to the Connecticut By The Numbers blog:

      *The Hamden Times ran photos and a brief description about the forum that was published on Nov. 10.

        Marla McLeod had never painted before she took an art class with Rachael Vaters-Carr in her first year at Southern. The senior painting major from California arrived at the university with the intention of majoring in geography, but when Vaters-Carr encouraged her to try more art classes, McLeod fell in love with studio art, and with painting in particular. Now, she is graduating in December, and her senior thesis exhibition, “Black,” was on display in Earl Hall recently, with a closing reception on Friday,  Nov. 21.

        The show featured five large-scale figure paintings; one is six feet across. McLeod explains that the show explored “the struggles that minority groups face as they attempt to free themselves from negative stereotypes. I paint the figures bound and emerging from darkness, fighting for freedom,” she writes in her artist’s statement. “This struggle is a metaphor for the task that each person faces in trying to become an individual. The enormity of this journey is reflected in the large scale of the paintings.”

        McLeod says she wanted to express the show’s theme in a way that is aesthetically pleasing, but at the same time showing that the figures are coming from a dark place. Although the show’s title ws “Black,” McLeod says she intended for the works to be “representative of everyone, because everyone is stereotyped in some way.” The title refers to the place of darkness from which each figure in the paintings is striving to emerge.

        “So many people in our society are struggling to be who they are,” McLeod says. “I wanted the images to not just be pretty but also to speak to the viewer.”

        McLeod’s thesis adviser, Art Professor Thuan Vu, is enthusiastic about her work. “Marla has been an exceptional student,” he says. “The rigor displayed in her impressive paintings reveals an active, searching mind combined with a deft hand and keen powers of observation. These are ambitious paintings that speak to how self-motivated, inspired, and diligent Marla is in pursuing her desired goals. She is a marvelous talent and a wonderful young lady. I am certain in her continued success and could not be more proud of her.”

        McLeod’s post-graduation plans include working on her painting portfolio in preparation for applying to MFA programs in painting.

          Studies have shown for decades that getting children interested in reading at an early age is crucial to their academic development. Those who are not at or near the reading levels of their peers by third grade generally face a much tougher road – not only in school, but in life. But what specific steps can parents and daycare providers take to spark an early interest in children’s reading?

          Julia Irwin and Dina Moore, associate professors of psychology, share some ideas in their book, “Preparing Children for Reading Success: Hands-on Activities for Librarians, Educators and Caregivers,” published recently by Rowman and Littlefield Publishers.

          “We have a literacy crisis in this country, despite having the research to know what works when it comes to teaching reading,” Irwin says. “It is important to put the theoretical into practice. Kids who grow up in homes in which parents play an active role in fostering a reading-friendly atmosphere, especially in the pre-school years, generally succeed in school and later in life. But those who do not grow up in that kind of environment generally have a much tougher time.”

          So, what can help parents make reading a centerpiece in their young children’s lives? The authors give many examples in their book.

          “Discussing books together creates a time for your child to share their thoughts, worries and ideas with you, to practice new words that they have learned from the book, and to discuss conflicts and concepts that arise in the book,” Irwin says. “By talking about the perspectives and feelings of favorite characters, children learn to better understand others’ and their own feelings.”

          Dealing with emotions, such as fear and sadness, in an appropriate way can be addressed through reading. For example, Irwin points to a book such as “Dog Heaven,” by Cynthia Rylant, as providing a starting point for a conversation after losing a pet.

          For a child who has first day of school or daycare jitters, she recommends reading a book such as “Curious George’s First Day of School,” by Margret and H.A. Rey or “The Hello Goodbye Window,” by Norton Juster.

          The authors note that another way in which books can be relevant is by planning an activity around a book. For example, parents and their children can read “Gingerbread Man,” and then make gingerbread cookies together. Or, reading “Make Way for Ducklings” can be followed up by a trip to the local park to see ducks.

          Irwin points out that the social and emotional development of kids can be influenced by reading. “Kids can learn to take turns and to listen to others through reading,” she says. “That ability to self-regulate is an important lifetime, social skill.”

          A celebration of the new book is being held on Nov. 20 at Southern on the Green (900 Chapel St.). The event is co-sponsored by SCSU, Haskins Laboratories and R.J. Julia Booksellers.

          Southern’s School of Education has earned a full five-year reaccreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)’s Continuous Improvement Commission.

          The commission issued its decision recently using the rigorous professional standards required by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), which is now part of CAEP.

          The School of Education met all six national standards, which measured the knowledge, skills and professional dispositions of the teacher candidates; assessment; field experiences and clinical practice; diversity; faculty qualifications and performance and the school’s governance and resources.

          “We are very pleased that our School of Education was among those institutions receiving full reaccreditation,” says President Mary A. Papazian. “Southern has been a leader in teacher education in Connecticut for the past 120 years, and we look forward to further enhancing our program in the spirit of the continuous improvement model that is at the heart of successful teacher preparation programs.”

          The decision was welcome news to Stephen Hegedus, the university’s newly hired dean of the School of Education.

          “I am very pleased that once again CAEP has decided to continue the national accreditation of the School of Education at the initial and advanced program levels,” he said. “This indicates the quality and rigor of our programs. I am very proud of our faculty and staff in maintaining this great achievement.

          “There were some areas highlighted to improve our programs,” Hegedus added. “We have already addressed many of these areas and continue to work at improving our programs to ensure that we are preparing our students to be effective teachers and professionals in our schools today. Southern has a direct impact on the future of education in the region-at-large.”

          NOTE: The New Haven Register ran a story in its Sunday, Nov. 23 edition that profiled Stephen Hegedus, the new dean of the School of Education, and talked about the CAEP accreditation.

          The contrast was stark.

          Some 300 people of varying ages assembled recently at Southern for a forum in the Michael J. Adanti Student Center, Grand Ballroom. They were there to hear just how and why the Berlin Wall fell almost 25 years ago to the day.

          The forum, “Remembering the Fall of the Berlin Wall: 25 Years Ago,” attracted high school classes from Shelton, Seymour, Cheshire and the Sound School, as well as a group of senior citizens from the Guilford Senior Center, and various faculty, staff, students and members of the general public from every age group in between.

          Cheshire High School students respond to a question from keynote speaker Nicholas Burns before the start of an SCSU forum marking the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
          Cheshire High School students respond to a question from keynote speaker Nicholas Burns before the start of an SCSU forum marking the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
          Seymour High School students pause for a moment before the forum with keynote speaker, Nicholas Burns (standing, far left), and their history teachers Chris Pagliaro (standing next to Burns) and Heather Brown (standing, far right).
          Seymour High School students pause for a moment before the forum with Nicholas Burns (standing, far left), and their history teachers Chris Pagliaro (standing next to Burns) and Heather Brown (standing, far right).

          The attendees listened to the perspectives of the speakers, especially that of Nicholas Burns, a career U.S. diplomat who served in the State Department when the wall fell. He later was appointed to the National Security Council specializing in Soviet/Russian affairs, and would go to hold various positions, including the State Department’s third-highest position as undersecretary of state for political affairs. Today, he is a professor at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

          Nicholas Burns, a career diplomat, delivers the keynote address during the SCSU forum, 'Remembering the Fall of the Berlin Wall: 25 Years Later."
          Nicholas Burns, a career diplomat, delivers the keynote address during the SCSU forum, ‘Remembering the Fall of the Berlin Wall: 25 Years Later.’

          Opinions varied about the Berlin situation and the Cold War, to be sure, particularly with questions such as who and what were primarily responsible for the fall of the wall. But the windows by which they view the Berlin situation, and indeed the Cold War, were even more different.

          Keynote speaker Nicholas Burns joins Guilford Senior Center members before the start of the program.
          Nicholas Burns, who once served as the third-highest official in the U.S. State Department, joins members of the Guilford Senior Center before the start of the program.

          Those individuals in their middle-age years and older remember well the wall coming down. Some can vividly recall the scenes on television as throngs of East Germans standing on and pushing through the gate. To most of us who grew up during the Cold War, the photos were surreal.

          “I never thought the Cold War would end,” Burns said. “I thought it would go on and on. I didn’t have any particular insights that it was going to end. But there was a confidence that we were in the right and that they (the Soviet Union and their Eastern Bloc satellite governments) weren’t, and that ultimately, people were going to decide their own fate at ‘some point in the future.”’

          But even Burns – someone who was an insider’s insider and was well aware of the movements toward greater freedom in Poland and Hungary earlier in 1989 – did not believe that “point in the future” would be in November of that same year.

          That point of view was shared by most Americans, who dreamed of the day the Wall would fall, but did not believe it was imminent.

          Cindy Simoneau, chairwoman of the SCSU Journalism Department, asks a question of the panel during the university's forum marking the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
          Cindy Simoneau, chairwoman of the SCSU Journalism Department, asks a question of the panel during the university’s forum marking the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The panelists are (from left): keynote speaker Nicholas Burns; Kevin Buterbaugh, SCSU professor of political science; Eileen Kane, assistant professor of history at Connecticut College; Steven Breese, dean of the SCSU School of Arts and Sciences; and Troy Paddock, chairman of the SCSU History Department.

          Kevin Buterbaugh, a Southern professor of political science and expert on international relations who was among the forum panelists, added that even Soviet troops stationed in East Germany were taken by surprise on Nov. 9, 1989, and that they anticipated getting an order to close the border after it had opened. But that order never came from then-Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev.

          “In many ways, the former East Germany was the most communist of countries,” added Troy Paddock, chairman of the Southern History Department and a German history expert who also was on the panel. “In some ways, it thought of itself as more communist than the Soviet Union.”

          That made the fall even more dramatic.

          Now contrast that feeling that the Wall was going to be with us for many years, with the life view of most college students and all of the high school students attending the event. The students watched intently at the clips of the wall’s construction, the famous speeches at the Wall by Presidents John F. Kennedy (1963) and Ronald Reagan (1987), and the Wall’s demise.

          Shelton High School students are handed programs and goody bags on their way into the ballroom for the Berlin Wall forum.
          Shelton High School students are handed programs and goody bags on their way into the ballroom for the Berlin Wall forum.
          Students from Sound School in New Haven gather outside the ballroom after the forum.
          Students from Sound School in New Haven gather outside the ballroom after the forum.

          To them, it was history. Not living history. But history a la the way many adults today think of World War II. To them, the concept of a wall preventing free access across one of Europe’s major cities is foreign. They never remember a time in their lives when that was the case. It’s difficult to imagine such a thing.

          But that’s the way history goes. One generation’s vivid memories are the next generation’s history. And it won’t be long before a new generation of high school graduates, and college graduates, will not have been alive when we were hit with the 9/11 attacks.

          The forum can be viewed online in its entirety at CT-N.

            The men’s soccer team is used to having players from all over the globe. England, Scotland, France, Israel, Serbia, and Trinidad and Tobago are among the countries that have been represented over the years.

            But this year, the Owls are relying on a troika of Norwegians to ensure success.

            Jonas Folstad and Mads Larsen, natives of Trondheim, made the journey from across the Atlantic for the 2012 season. The pair had previously played together and attended the same school in Norway. A year later, Oslo’s Markus Jacobsen arrived to turn the duo into a trio.

            All three have been starters since their arrival on campus. This year, each is playing an integral role as the Owls look to cap their best season in several years.

            The Owls won their first nine games of the year to elevate as high as No. 5 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Division II poll. The 9-0 start was the team’s best since 2002, when it won 11 games in a row to open the year. The No. 5 national ranking was also the highest for the Owls since 2007.

            Larsen and Folstad, now juniors, have clearly established themselves as team leaders. In fact, Folstad is serving as a captain for the second year in a row this fall. However, it wasn’t so long ago when each was faced with the decision to leave home for an opportunity in Connecticut more than 3,000 miles away.

            “It started with one of my teammates from back home who went over here to play,” Larsen says. “It sounded interesting so I decided to do the same. I got in touch with this agency that helps students get over here to play. It was a big process, a lot of paperwork to do, a lot of mailing back and forth. Then we got in touch with coaches over here and sent some videos of us playing. We got to talk to coach Lang and obviously Jonas and I wanted to go together. He wanted us both, so that’s why I decided to come here.”

            By the time Jacobsen joined Folstad and Larsen the following fall, the newest Owl had a built-in advantage.

            “Especially the first year, it was a big benefit,” Jacobsen says. “I lived with them for the first week I was here before I could move into the dorms. They showed me everything — how to get a phone; they showed me around campus; they showed me how to sign up for classes. It was definitely a big advantage the first year and it still is. We can talk about stuff that’s difficult.”

            Each has enjoyed individual success during their time as Owls. Folstad earned All-Conference and All-Region honors a year ago, while Larsen collected All-Conference laurels in 2013. Jacobsen ranks among the team leaders in points as a sophomore. All three featured in season-ending conference honors again this year, along with four other Owls including Danish first-team honoree Sebastian Brems, a stalwart on defense.

            One thing that has eluded the Owls in recent years, though, is an NCAA Tournament berth. For a program that has won a record six Division II national championships and made 32 NCAA Tournament appearances, Southern has not reached that level since the 2010 season.

            Thanks to the outstanding start, and a march through the NE-10 conference play-offs to the final against reigning national champions Southern New Hampshire, that trend will change this year.  The Owls are expecting an at-large entry into the NCAA Tournament playoffs tonight, and will likely host first-round matches this weekend. Follow their progress on the Southern Owls site.  And come out and cheer them on this Sunday when they play the winner of Merrimack vs. Philadelphia at Jess Dow Field at 1 p.m.