Monthly Archives: April 2016

Mark McRiley, SCSU student studying at Liverpool John Moores University

Mark McRiley, M.P.H. ’12, was intrigued by the bumper sticker. So instead of rushing inside to place his order, the Southern alumnus stood outside of the Connecticut Dunkin’ Donuts and waited for the car’s driver to explain why the phrase, “I Administered Narcan to an Honor Student,” was plastered on his car.

Narcan — a drug generically known as Naloxone — is an opioid antagonist, meaning it counters the effects of opiates, including heroin, morphine, and oxycodone. It is used when an overdose is known or suspected, potentially saving lives in the process. “I explained that I was a nurse and that I wanted the story,” says McRiley. “He told me that he worked at a high school and had given Narcan to one of the students who had overdosed.”

Many, including McRiley, would argue that such firsthand accounts are highly illuminating, providing important insights about the issues affecting a community — in this case, everything from the increased use of opiates in the U.S. to available treatments for those who are addicted.  In January — armed with a full scholarship — he began a doctoral program in public health at England’s Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), which recently launched a trans-Atlantic partnership with Southern.

“Liverpool John Moores University’s Public Health Department is so strongly focused on social services — homelessness, opiate addiction, alcohol addiction, violence against women . . . It is incredible for me to have the opportunity to work with them,” says McRiley.

His research will cut across the Atlantic, focusing on long-term opiate addiction among people living in both New Haven and Liverpool, England. He will use photovoice, a participatory research technique that employs cameras and other photographic techniques to explore issues through the eyes of community members — in this case, those addicted to opiates. “We’ll be able to compare the two [populations] to see what the major hurdles are,” he says. “What are the influences? What are the risks for a relapse? What are the difficulties related to methadone use over time? How are people being treated by the community?”

McRiley will be supported by faculty at both institutions — Gordon Hay (his lead advisor) and Conan Leavey, both from LJMU’s Centre for Public Health, as well as Jean Breny, chair of the Department of Public Health at Southern. Four undergraduates from Southern also have been studying at LJMU this spring. Countless more ultimately will benefit from the initiative, which will offer courses taught by faculty members at both universities, in addition to more opportunities for students from SCSU and LJMU to travel abroad for study, research, and field work.

“I’m receiving a 100 percent scholarship — which is three years of tuition and essentially enough money to pay for my housing,” says McRiley. “I feel unbelievably lucky and extremely honored . . . to have the opportunity to work so intently on my own research. Who gets to do that?”

IMG_0578[4]smallThe experience promises to be life-changing personally and professionally, building on McRiley’s diverse resume, which includes experience in the film and television industry, nursing, international aid, teaching, and public health. “I grew up in LA, where everybody is supposed to be in the entertainment industry,” says McRiley, who took photography courses at City College. He found work in the industry, first in craft services and later as an emergency medical technician (EMT).  He worked on more than 30 Hollywood films and television shows, including “Van Helsing,” “Rush Hour” (I and II), “Roseanne,” and “The Family Man.” But while the projects were high profile, McRiley came to find the work unsatisfying.

“I realized I wasn’t using my brain. . . . I needed to go back to school,” he says. McRiley moved to New York City, and enrolled at the College of New Rochelle to study nursing. One of only a few men in the nursing program, he earned his B.S. in 2005 and soon become a critical care nurse at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

When Hurricane Katrina hit, McRiley traveled to New Orleans with a group of doctors who set up a makeshift clinic at the Cajundome where about 7,000 displaced people were living. “I learned so much,” says McRiley, “but I came back totally changed. As a nurse dedicated to giving aid . . . this is where you want to be.”

With thoughts of working in international aid, McRiley enrolled in Southern’s graduate program in public health. For his master’s thesis, he researched the relationship between post-earthquake housing and health in Léogâne, Haiti. The city, located near the epicenter of the quake, had been devastated and many residents were still living in tents provided as emergency shelter. McRiley traveled to Haiti four times for his research. Using photovoice methodology, he gave 23 Haitian nursing students cameras to explore the issue. They then met as a community to discuss their images. “I would record their responses in Creole,” he explains, “asking them to tell me what I was looking at and why the photo was taken.”

Their issues included pollution, roaming livestock, garbage, lack of water, poor sanitation, and more. Armed with about 500 photos and their accompanying narratives, McRiley wrote his thesis. He met a few others working on similar projects, and together they connected with local city stakeholders. “Low and behold, one year later the trash was gone, the center of town was clean . . . water and electric infrastructure came through. . . .  It was terrific,” says McRiley, whose work was recognized with the 2012 Scholarship and Service Award from Southern’s Department of Public Health.

“The advantage of the photovoice methodology is that you are not just handing somebody a 50-page report. You are handing them 50 photographs that are taken by the people [most affected],” he says.  The researcher notes that today’s “selfie” culture is a tremendous boon for his upcoming research on opiate addiction. “I can collect through Instagram, Facebook, direct text, email. . . . My intention is to gather significantly more information than I have ever gathered before,” he says.

He and his doctoral advisors fully understand the potential power of such testimony. McRiley’s goals include creating a documentary on addiction. Looking further ahead, he envisions returning to Haiti — and again standing at the front of a college classroom. “I love everything about teaching,” says McRiley, who was an instructor in Southern’s Department of Public Health. Having resigned from that position and his 10-year post with Yale-New Haven Hospital  —“two terrific jobs,” he says — he notes with awe the trajectory his life has taken. “When I left Los Angeles before I went to nursing school, I was a roller-blading bartender,” he says. “Fifteen years later, I am entering a Ph.D. program.”

Students from School of Business win investment competition

A team of Southern business students has captured the recent inaugural Connecticut Venture Capital Investment Competition – pitting some of the state’s best undergraduate investment students against one another in a test of investment strategy skills.

SCSU’s Paul Barlow, Alec Santo and Egzon Dauti defeated teams from Fairfield University and Quinnipiac University to earn first place. To qualify for the competition, SCSU had to prove during a two-hour meeting with Mike Roer, a key organizer of the event, that it had a solid understanding of investment principles needed during the contest.

During the competition, each team had to decide how much to invest among a variety of business plans that were presented during the program. It was part of the overall Connecticut New Venture Competition, organized by the Entrepreneurship Foundation.

“This was a great win for our students, as well as being a significant accomplishment for the School of Business and the university,” said Benjamin Abugri, chairman of the SCSU Department of Economics and Finance and the faculty advisor for the Southern team. “It also underscores the quality of our program and the value of our stock market trading room, which is an important tool in their finance education.”

The trading room – which was enhanced a few years with the opening of the new SCSU School of Business building – enables students to follow the stock market in real time with an electronic ticker. The high-tech facility provides classes and programs with an opportunity to get a state of real world financial investment experience and research.

SCSU earned first place for recommending the most astute investment plan in the opinion of the judges.

Santo, a junior finance and math double major, said winning the competition shed light on the procedure for real-world investment decisions. “This experience has enlightened me on the fast-paced, competitive nature of the financial world and will motivate me to conquer the future challenges I face, academically and professionally,” he said.

Dauti, a senior finance major, said the competition was one of the most exciting events in which he has ever participated. As explained in this website you can learn about how binary options trading works and how to trade binary options from here.

“We believed we were the underdogs going into the competition, but we took home the trophy,” he said. “I would like to thank the dedicated professors in the School of Business for helping me achieve this major accomplishment.”

View a photo album from Jahana Hayes’ September 2016 visit to Southern.

The Council of Chief State School Officers today announced that Southern alumna Jahana Hayes, ’05, a history teacher at John F. Kennedy High School in Waterbury, Conn., is the 2016 National Teacher of the Year.

Jahana Hayes, '05
Photos courtesy of Waterbury Public Schools

Hayes’ route to teaching began as a student. The first in her family to graduate from college, she was inspired by her teachers who urged her to dream bigger and who believed that she was college material, despite a challenging upbringing. She earned an associate degree from Naugatuck Valley Community College, a bachelor of science from Southern, a master of arts from Saint Joseph University, and a certification from the University of Bridgeport.

A veteran history teacher, Hayes also sees herself as an advisor, counselor, confidant and protector. She endeavors to fill the role her own teachers had in her life, guiding students to be their best selves and encouraging them to take ownership of their communities.

“As a teacher, I strive to facilitate learning in a way that engages students by connecting on a personal level and stimulating academic growth, while simultaneously producing contentious and productive members of society,” she says.

For Hayes, being a teacher is a privilege and an opportunity to transform lives and foster a sense of social responsibility in the next generation. As the 2016 National Teacher of the Year and a spokesperson for the teaching profession, Hayes hopes to motivate more people to become educators and continue to carry out this important work.

“I am honored to be the 2016 National Teacher of the Year,” Hayes says. “In the course of the next year, I hope to stoke a national conversation about education that is inclusive of everyone. I want to engage people who have not traditionally been part of the conversation to join in this important effort to prepare well-rounded students for success in life.”

The National Teacher of the Year program, run by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and presented by Voya Financial, Inc., identifies exceptional teachers in the country, recognizes their effective work in the classroom, engages them in a year of professional learning, amplifies their voices, and empowers them to participate in policy discussions at the state and national levels.

As the 2016 National Teacher of the Year, Hayes will spend a year traveling the nation to represent educators and advocate on behalf of teachers. She looks forward to sharing her belief in the importance of service-learning, and in making the teaching profession more attractive and appealing to young people across all demographics.

Every year, exemplary teachers from each state, the U.S. extra-state territories, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense Education Activity are selected as State Teachers of the Year. From that group, the National Teacher of the Year is chosen by a panel representing 15 renowned education organizations, which collectively represent more than 7 million educators.

“The Selection Committee selected Jahana Hayes as the 2016 National Teacher of the Year because we believe her message of service-learning resonates in the education discussion today,” the committee stated. “In addition, we believe she has a strong story that speaks to educators and will bring an important perspective to the public discourse over the next year.”

“Teachers like Jahana Hayes are leading the way to a brighter future for America. What an exceptional educator — we are all proud,” says Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. “Extraordinary academic rigor, high expectations, and unwavering commitment to service outside the classroom are the characteristics that Jahana brings to Waterbury students each and every day. She is truly preparing the next generation of global citizens. I want to congratulate Jahana and thank her for making a difference in the lives of so many Connecticut children and families.”

“Jahana Hayes inspires her students to believe in their ability to change the world. She ignites a love of learning and builds their self-confidence. This well-deserved distinction provides Jahana the platform and opportunity to share her gifts, passion, and talent with students and educators across the nation. Without question, Jahana will inspire others to believe in the power of teachers to change the world through education,” says Connecticut Department of Education Commissioner Dianna R. Wentzell. “Connecticut is so proud of Jahana. She is a true role model for educators across the nation who seek to deliver on the promise of an outstanding education for every student.”

“To be the National Teacher of the Year requires not only pedagogical precision, but also the ability to connect to the hearts and minds of a school community,” says Waterbury Superintendent Kathleen M. Ouellette. “Jahana’s own life experience, her passion for education, and the inspirational manner in which she impacts her students, all contribute greatly to her success. Jahana has masterfully refined a focused, pragmatic, yet heartfelt approach to an evolving global vision of education, bringing her to this pinnacle – the 2016 National Teacher of the Year! We in Waterbury, Connecticut, are very proud!”

Hayes and the other 55 State Teachers of the Year have been invited to an event on Tuesday, May 3, at the White House, where they will be honored by President Barack Obama.

Southern received extensive media coverage for the “Connecticut Primary Day Viewing Party” held in Engleman Hall, Room A120, during the evening of April 26. The event was co-sponsored by the College Democrats and College Republicans, as well as the Political Science Department and Office of Student Conduct and Civic Responsibility. Students of all political persuasions watched the returns throughout the evening and engaged in a passionate but respectful conversation. Student panel discussions, as well as a faculty/administrator panel, also were part of the evening’s events.

Channel 61 did a live broadcast from the viewing party for its 10 p.m. newscast. The station also previewed the party with a story that aired during the early evening newscast. That preview segment included an interview with Jonathan Wharton, assistant professor of political science, as well as two of our students – a College Republican and a College Democrat.

The Huffington Post posted a live stream from the viewing party on its Facebook page. The reporter interviewed Jonathan and students from both parties.

Channel 3 covered the viewing party and interviewed students during the evening. The station reported live from the campus during a special 8 p.m. newscast in which students were just beginning to assemble. Interviews conducted during the evening were aired on the 11 p.m. newscast.

WSHU/WNPR aired a story during the morning of April 27, when the station interviewed two of our students – a Republican and a Democrat — during the event.

The New Haven Register posted several photos online on April 27 from the viewing party. The photos were part of the paper’s overall CT Primary Day coverage.

The following photo of two of our students was included online in the Register on April 27 and accompanied a story about the Democratic contest:

The New Haven Register also included quotes from Jonathan and Theresa Marchant-Shapiro, associate professor of political science, as part of a preview of the Connecticut Primary in its April 24 edition.

Channel 30 interviewed Jonathan, as well as our students, during a preview of the viewing party aired April 26 on an early evening newscast.

Vara Neverow, professor of English and women’s studies, was quoted in an April 25 article in the Women’s eNews publication regarding the pending eviction of the Feminist Library in Southwark, London.

The Southern football team was highlighted in the April 22 edition of the New Haven Register. An article talked about the team’s commitment, which includes spring practices starting before 5:30 a.m. Coach Tom Godek was quoted extensively in the story:

Armen Marsoobian, professor of philosophy, was quoted in the April 21 edition of Newsweekregarding recent ads pertaining to the Armenian Genocide. The ads deny that Turkey was responsible for the deaths that took place about 100 years ago. Armen said that these kinds of denials are generated by Turkey and seem to occur each year, especially in the United States, around April 24 – the anniversary date of the start of the genocide. But he said Turkey is responsible for the genocide.

The April 2016 edition of the New Haven Register supplement, “Education Connection” featured an article about how Southern business students participated in the recent statewide course, “New Venture Challenge.” The course enabled Southern students to join with about 100 students from colleges and universities throughout Connecticut to form teams that worked on putting together hypothetical businesses centered on student products and services. It marked the first time Southern participated in the program.

Priscilla Maldonado, a graduate student in social work, was quoted in a story that ran in the April 17 edition of the New Haven Register about the New Haven Promise program. Priscilla is a New Haven Promise Scholar. Her photo accompanied the story.

Carlos Torre, professor of elementary education, was interviewed in the April 15 edition of La Voz Hispana that previewed the Latino and Native American Film Festival.

The New Haven Register highlighted recent research by Betsy Lewis Roberts, assistant professor of biology, with an article in the April 14 edition of the paper. The research involves the discovery of a fungus — produced by a common type of grass in Connecticut – which can help protect lawns. In effect, it’s a “probiotic” for lawns.

Jonathan Wharton, assistant professor of journalism, was profiled April 11 in the New Haven Independent. He recently took over as chairman of the New Haven Republican Town Committee.

The recent lecture by political analyst John Heilemann drew the attention of the Connecticut Network (CT-N), which taped and recently broadcast the program.

Southern’s Journalism Department and the university chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists sponsored a journalism conference on campus on April 8 and 9. One of the Friday sessions – which focused on police body cameras and state Freedom of Information laws — wascovered by the Connecticut Network (CT-N).

An April 12 article later appeared about the session in the CTNewsJunkie.

Also, the New Haven Register ran a photo April 11 from one of the panel discussions at the event.

Southern was mentioned April 8 in a New Haven Registerstory as a participant in a recent conference for colleges and universities that focused on adapting to climate change. Suzie Huminski, sustainability coordinator at Southern, was quoted in the article.

Stephen Hegedus, dean of the School of Education,  was quoted in a New Haven Registerstory that appeared April 8 about the proposed “lab” school that would be built in Southern’s campus. The proposal could be mutually beneficial with elementary school students having opportunities to learn on a college campus, while providing Southern students with an opportunity to gain valuable classroom experience before becoming teachers.

Stephen also was quoted in a Page 1 story on April 4 in the New Haven Register about how colleges and universities prepare future teachers to avoid improper relationships with students. He discussed how Southern has multiple gates in place to prevent individuals who might endanger students from entering the classroom and becoming teachers.

Jonathan Wharton, assistant professor of political science, was quoted in a story that appeared April 4 in the Hartford Courant about the presidential election. Jonathan talked about how businessman Donald Trump, a Republican presidential candidate, has been attracting disaffected Democrats and independents during the primaries and caucuses this year.

The “SlutWalk” event held on campus yesterday generated plenty of media attention. The event was part of an international effort to educate people not to blame the victims of sexual assault, harassment and verbal abuse. A panel discussion was held, followed by a campus march.TheNew Haven Register ran a Page 1 story in the April 1 edition of the paper. A Page 1 photo, and a series of online photos, also were included in the coverage.

The New Haven Independent published an article April 1 on its website.

Channel 61 aired a segment about the event during the evening newscast on March 31.

Some Parting Shots from Great Britain

We pulled together some of our favorite pictures from our time in Liverpool, Chester and London to share with you. The Liverpool trip allowed us the opportunity to learn about John Moores University and the many programs they offer. We learned about the common interests we have with the students attending LJMU. Our research projects and on site presentations helped us to understand and share the characteristics of particular elements of life in Liverpool from many different perspectives. We learned that although we share a common language there are many different expressions that were both puzzling and enlightening for us.

We saw the success that Liverpool has undertaken in transforming itself into an  excellent destination for tourism and special events and we had the opportunity to experience a wide variety of foods, culture and recreational opportunities. We also learned about our fellow SCSU students by spending twelve days together in a foreign land, supporting each other in many ways.

Here are some of our memories:

And with that, we invite all of you to spend some time at Liverpool John Moores University in the years to come!


London Phone Booth

The London Bridge is…. actually in Arizona!

We were fortunate to have about 36 hours in London before flying home to JFK. The quickest way to take in the city in a limited amount of time was the big red double-decker tour bus. You can get on and off as many times as you like to visit all of the important sites in the city. Here are a few of the things we saw:

We were very happy to spend at least some time in London, a much bigger and busier place than Liverpool. Definitely deserves a return trip!


Students walking on Abbey Road
Abbey Road Owls style

For anyone old enough to have a vinyl record album, the name Liverpool brings to mind the Fab Four, the Beatles, and the impact they and other British Invasion groups had on popular culture in the second half of the 20th century.

For those of us on the trip, although we couldn’t all name the four Beatles, we had heard of them from our grandparents and the occasional appearance of Paul McCartney on tv.

What we learned on the trip is the importance the Beatles had in bringing Liverpool out of the industrial era and into the 21st century as a cultural, event and tourism center for Great Britain. Although current Liverpool students listen to much the same music as American students, they all have a keen awareness of the role the Beatles played in Liverpool.

From visiting the Beatles Museum we learned that the group first played music that they call “skiffle” which was American folk music including instruments like the banjo. They were conscious of the folk traditions of the US and added their own interpretation to the music. But what made a bigger impression was the music of black artists from the US south and cities like Chicago and Memphis that made its way to the Liverpool shores via the influx of black American soldiers during World War II. The Blues and Gospel music and something called rock and roll made the biggest influence on the Beatles as evidenced in their earliest recording of songs by black artists. What the Beatles, and groups like the Rolling Stones, did was to introduce white America to the music of people like Little Richard, Chuck Berry and others who did not find a way to the mainstream audiences in America due to the segregationist attitudes in the US through the 1960’s.

Dr. deLisle tried to help us understand the influence of the Beatles by saying that if Taylor Swift, Beyonce,  Adele and Chris (Ed) Sheeran formed a band they still would not match the impact of the Beatles on American musical culture.

For one of our group members, Jim Russo, who graduated in 2015 and had participated in last year’s trip to Rome, his main motivation for joining the trip was to learn more about the Beatles and to see, hear and feel their presence in Liverpool.

Here is an excerpt from his journal:

I have been a Beatles fan since I was about six years old. I studied their entire history, and knew every song at a very young age. Ever since I can remember I have wanted to visit Liverpool, where The Beatles were born and became famous. I visited at Mathews Street, site of the Cavern Club, where The Beatles played their very first gigs together. I went to the Beatles Museum twice! Before I left for this trip, I told myself that I would try and experience as much as I could while I was in Liverpool. Who knows when I will be back? Being the obsessive fan that I am, I “googled”, where some very important people related to the band were buried around Liverpool. I found out that their manager, Brian Epstein, was buried in Everton Cemetery, just a few miles down the road from Mathews Street, where the Cavern is located. The visit became quite an adventure getting bogged down in the mud in the cemetery in a hired cab. It all worked out and I even found a second hand store where I was able to buy some 45 rpm records of Beatles songs that were never released in the US.

A final connection to the Beatles took place in our last days spent in London. At Jim’s urging we made an early morning trip to Abbey Road, the recording studio for the Beatles and the site of an iconic album cover that were looking forward to re-enacting.

For the group, learning about the Beatles was an unexpected and very fun part of the trip!

undergraduate research grant, creative writing, robotics

Most Americans believe that robots and computers will perform much of the work currently done by humans at their jobs within the next 50 years. In fact, a Pew Research Center poll released last month shows that 65 percent of the public believes that is likely to be the case.

Three students at Southern who are interested in pursuing a career in writing – two English majors and a journalism major – explored the trend toward the use of artificial intelligence in the workplace. They focused their research on the potential effect on writing professions – ranging from journalism to technical writing to medical writing to poetry.

The students – Chelsea Green, Melanie Espinal and Kaylin Tomaselli – will share their findings in a poster presentation April 23 during the SCSU Undergraduate Research and Creativity Conference. The conference, to be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Michael J. Adanti Student Center, will feature posters and oral presentations from more than 150 students. The event will be headquartered in the Grand Ballroom, but also will include various other rooms in the student center.

Green, Espinal and Tomaselli currently are conducting their research as part of an English class, “Writing for Business and Industry,” taught by Jason Lawrence, assistant professor of English.

Among the trends they found are:

  • Kismet, a humanoid robot with eyes that was created at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the late 1990s, has been learning “social cues” and uses “facial expressions” of its own.
  • The What-If-Machine (WHIM) research project in Europe is teaching computers to understand humor, metaphor and sarcasm.
  • Computers have written novels and poems that are sometimes indistinguishable to those written by people.

But while the students, based on their research, believe that robots will be doing some of the more menial writing tasks – such as writing basic, data-driven reports, and obituaries in newspapers – they are optimistic that skilled writing jobs will still require humans in 50 years.

Espinal pointed to an example of a reporter interviewing someone for a story, particularly a controversial one. “You can lie to a machine,” she said. “But it’s much harder to lie to a real person, especially when a reporter can ask more probing questions.”

She said while the technology is improving, a robot is unlikely to be the equal of an experienced, inquisitive reporter.

Green agreed. “Part of a good profile story brings in an individual’s personality traits,” she said. “A robot is not able to do that the way a real person can.”

Tomaselli said having robots to do menial work is fine. “The important thing for us to keep in mind is that they should be working for us, not the other way around,” she said.

Lawrence said the use of artificial intelligence in the writing professions is the theme of his course this semester.

“I actually got the idea for this topic a couple of years ago when I was living in Utah and my kids were attending elementary school,” Lawrence said. “The school used software developed by a North Carolina company to grade papers. The claim was that the computer was a more accurate grader than the teachers. And we weren’t talking just about spelling or grammar. The computer was assessing writing skills such as originality, organization and persuasiveness.”

Lawrence said that got him thinking about whether computers and robots can actually write, and how that might affect the workplace. “My hope is that we can use robots, computers and other forms of artificial intelligence in a symbiotic way, rather than looking at it as an ‘us vs. them’ kind of relationship.”


Miguel de Cervantes, author of the 17th-century Spanish novel “Don Quixote,” wrote of Salamanca, Spain, that it “enchants the will because once you have experienced its placid character, you have to go back.”

Hundreds of Southern students have experienced the “placid character” of Salamanca over the past quarter century, thanks to the university’s longest consecutively running international study program — the International Field Study in Spain — led by Carlos Arboleda, professor of Spanish in the World Languages and Literatures Department. And as one of those students, Rachel de la Torre, has said, “I definitely need to go back soon!”

To recognize the 25th anniversary of this program and the work of Arboleda as its organizer, the university will hold a gala celebration on April 20 at 6:30 p.m. in the Adanti Student Center Ballroom. Alumni, faculty, staff, and current students are welcome to attend the event, whose proceeds will benefit a scholarship fund for future study abroad students in Spain. The gala will include dinner and entertainment — flamenco dancing, live music, speakers, and a DJ — and Arboleda will have available for purchase copies of a book he has compiled about the Salamanca program; proceeds from the book sale will also benefit the scholarship fund. Tickets to the gala are $60 general admission and $20 for current Southern students and may be purchased here.

Celebrations also took place in Salamanca last summer, including events hosted by the City of Salamanca and universities with which the program has been affiliated over the years. One such event was a reception in the City Hall of Salamanca hosted by representatives of the city and the Colegio de España (pictured below). Now, Southern will host the campus celebration to highlight and recognize the Study Abroad Program in Spain and the SCSU study abroad faculty and staff for their con­tribution to the program’s success.

salamanca 2

Arboleda says, “As Director of the SCSU Program in Spain since 1990, I continue to be honored to work with a system that has such a highly developed commitment to internationaliza­tion. Southern Connecticut State University recognizes the significance of international education for the academic strength of its programs and the quality of the education it provides to its students.”

Upon being hired as a full-time pro­fessor at Southern in 1988, Arboleda accepted the university’s invitation to develop the program in Spain. Since then, he has successfully run the program in Salamanca, known as the Golden City of Spain. Since 1990, the SCSU program has worked with the University of Salamanca (1990– 1994) and later with the prestigious Colegio de España.

Over the past 25 years, the Salamanca program has provided professional development, commu­nity engagement, and intercultural travel experiences for students from Southern and other Connecticut higher education institutions. About 25 students attend the program each year. Many of the graduates of the SCSU–Colegio de España program have pur­sued careers in the field of teaching Spanish as a second language, international edu­cation, multi-national organizations, and in a variety of fields where the Spanish language is critically needed.

A key part of Southern’s mission is “preparing our local students for global lives,” and each year, a significant number of Southern students study abroad. The university recently joined 240 institu­tions nationwide in the Institute of Interna­tional Education’s Generation Study Abroad initiative to double the number of American students who study abroad by the end of the decade. President Mary Papazian says, “Professor Arboleda saw long ago the need for students to have such experiences and has said that total immersion in another culture helps the indivi­dual not only to learn about that culture but also gain insight into him or herself. Dr. Arboleda’s vision and his understanding of the importance of study abroad have set a foundation for this university to build upon.”

Erin Heidkamp, director of the Office of International Education, agrees, noting Arboleda’s “steadfast commitment to international education, and to our students.” Heidkamp credits Arboleda’s leadership as playing a critical role in the growth of global education initiatives at Southern.

Steven Breese, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, who was present at the anniversary celebration in Salamanca last summer, says that the students who attend the program there are “forever changed by the great city and culture that is Salamanca.” Indeed, for nearly eight centuries, Salamanca has been home to the first Spanish language university, and it has been a World Heritage Site for more than 25 years and was named the European Capital of Culture in 2002. Salamanca is also recognized as an international leader in Spanish language education.

Our group was the guest of John Moores University at the Annual Grand National horse race at Aintree. It is a week of horse races, charity events and high fashion. It is a combination of the Kentucky Derby and a high school prom. Average citizens put on their best clothes and parade around the grounds usually with a pint of beer or glass of wine in hand. The races are exciting to watch and we did win a few quid on the races. But the greatest entertainment is watching the slow erosion of the crowd after a day of drinking in the afternoon sun. The local train authority actually hands out free flip flops to the women so that they can free themselves from their four inch stiletto heels in order to safely make it back to town on the trains.

As always, the faculty from LJMU were very wonderful hosts and provided us with a unique look at social life in Liverpool.

Betting takes place on everything – not just the horses!
A Soucer reading the race form and planning the bets!
The races are followed on the huge video screens.
The races are followed on the huge video screens.