Yearly Archives: 2017

A Southern team is trying to improve the lives of African children who have an autism spectrum disorder.

Ruth Eren, endowed chair of special education and director of the Center of Excellence on Autism Spectrum Disorders; Stephen Hegedus, dean of the School of Education; Doreen Tilt, coordinator of training for the Center; and Shaylah McQueen, a graduate student seeking a Master of Science degree in special education, recently spoke to a group of United Nations ambassadors and ministers from Africa.

The meeting was hosted by Necton Mhura, U.N. ambassador from the Republic of Malawi. It came about at the request of Ugoji Adanma Eze, an international human rights lawyer who is an advocate for women and children.

Eren said she was asked by Eze to speak at the U.N. to present educational interventions for children with autism. Eren then asked Fred Volkmar, professor of psychology at the Yale University Child Study Center and an expert on the medical side of autism, to join the SCSU contingent in their presentation at the U.N.

“There is still a stigma in Africa attached to having autism,” Eren said. “Many misconceptions exist. Ugoji is trying to break through and educate people about what the disorder is and what can be done to help people – especially kids – who have it.”

In fact, Eze has proposed writing a book on the subject to educate the African populace, and has asked Eren to author a chapter.

Hegedus served as the keynote speaker at the U.N. session, where he focused on the stigma. To emphasize the point that there is no need for those with the disorder to be stigmatized, he held up a photo of a nephew of his who has an autism spectrum disorder.

“That really made an impact on the 30 or so people in that room,” Eren said. “By acknowledging that someone in his family is on the spectrum, it serves as a powerful example that there is no need for a stigma to be attached to autism.”

Hegedus said the stigma problem is a socio-cultural issue that should be addressed not only though the schools and parents, but through the churches. “The churches play a significant role in education in Africa,” he said.

McQueen spoke about the genetic component of autism, which was greeted by the audience. “I was privileged to be able to speak at the U.N. about this issue and I was greeted very warmly. They know that students of today represent the future.”

 

 

 

 

What’s truly in our way of creating the life we desire? Are you ready to experience the freedom that comes with taking ownership of your life?

Evolving Soul presents “An Evening with Infinite Possibilities” with Stacy Mckenna and Anthony Mrocka on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 at 6:30 pm.

Esteemed Speaker and Executive Coach, Stacy McKenna will open up the evening followed by acclaimed Evidential Medium, Anthony Mrocka, who will talk about healing, bereavement, and connecting with loss.

Proceeds will benefit the Joseph V. Rossi Scholarship Fund. The event will be held in Southern Connecticut State University- Engleman Hall Room – C112.

See the event flyer.

Purchase tickets.

Ronnie Nunn, a former longtime NBA referee and TV show host, will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Joseph Panza Sport Management Lecture at Southern.

Nunn, who refereed 1,134 regular season and 73 playoff games during a 19-year career, will deliver a talk, “Making the Right Calls On and Off the Court.” The program is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. April 20 at the Michael J. Adanti Student Center Theater..

“We’re very excited to have Ronnie Nunn joining us,” said Kevin McGinniss, director of the SCSU sport management program. “In addition to being a former referee and TV personality, he was a special education teacher and administrator in New York early in his career.”

McGinniss said Nunn will talk about life skills and how to make good decisions in life. “He’ll weave in anecdotes about his career during his lecture.”

Nunn refereed four NBA Finals games, as well as the 1996 NBA All-Star Game. He also had been the host of the television sports show, “Making the Call with Ronnie Nunn” on NBA TV.

After retiring as a referee, he served as the NBA director of officials and director of development.

A question-and-answer period will follow his speech. The event is free and open to the public.

For further information, contact Kevin McGinniss at (203) 392-8837 or at mcginnissk1@southernct.edu.

 

Barnard Scholars 2017

Four Southern students were honored recently as the 2017 recipients of the Henry Barnard Distinguished Student Award.

Each year, 12 students are selected for the award from the four universities in the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system. Four of the 12 students come from Southern.

Criteria include a GPA or 3.7 or better, and having demonstrated significant participation in university and/or community life.

The four SCSU students are:

Adam Zhitomi, Barnard Scholar 2017*Adam Zhitomi, a communication disorders major with a GPA of 3.71. He has served on the Student Government Association Executive Board and volunteered for many activities at SCSU, including Relay for Life, Special Olympics and SCSU Day of Service. He also has been a member of the Best Buddies Executive Board, which seeks to help those with various types of disabilities.

Zhitomi struggled with a series of health-related issues in high school. That struggle made it difficult for him to fully engage in the “high school experience.” But since graduation, he has made a point of becoming fully engaged in the “college experience.”

“I had the opportunity to witness Adam’s drive and determination to achieve a high level of success,” said Barbara Cook, assistant professor of communication disorders. “He has grown and developed a level of maturity and integrity that prepares him for pursuing his graduate degree, and would not only take full advantage of gaining the highest level of knowledge and competency provided by a program, but would likely contribute a great deal.”

Sadia Younas, Barnard Scholar 2017*Sadia Younas, a chemistry major with a GPA of 3.91. She has served as secretary of the New Haven chapter of the American Chemical Society and has presented posters at several undergraduate research conferences regarding cadmium concentrations in Long Island Sound.

Born in Pakistan, she moved to the United States in 2002. After graduating from high school, Younas attended Middlesex Community College, before transferring to Southern.

“Sadia is one of those students that leaves a tremendous impact on anything she does,” said Jeffrey Webb, chairman of the Chemistry Department. “I have no doubt that she will go on to be an incredibly successful scientist and will continue to serve SCSU as an outstanding alumna once she graduates.”

Brandon Brush, Barnard Scholar 2017*Brandon Brush, a communication major with a GPA of 3.93. He has been a member of the Crescent Players and the National Society of Leadership and Success. He also is providing in-home support for two young adults in Hamden with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Brush is writing and directing a pilot episode of a sitcom for his honors thesis.

“I have found him a consistently reliable provider of excellence,” said Michael Shea, chairman of the English Department. “Whatever the nature of the work, he completes it thoroughly, thoughtfully and on time. Always. He is smart, but he does not rely solely on his native intelligence – he works hard and arrives very well prepared. No excuses. No complaints. All in all, he is a great package of smarts, hard work, and courtesy, as well as earnestness, eagerness and curiosity.”

Nicholas Charnysh, Barnard Scholar 2017Nicholas Charnysh, a recreation, tourism and sport management major with a GPA of 3.8. He is vice president of the Student Government Association. He has been a basketball instructor for kindergartners and first graders with the Branford Parks and Recreation Department. He also is director of the counselor-in-training program at the YMCA Camp Sloper in Southington.

Charnysh co-created the SCSU Spirit Commission in an attempt to boost school pride and is a member of the Crescent Players.

“Nick represents to me the ideal of a Renaissance person,” said Lee deLisle, professor of recreation, tourism and sport management. “His interests are varied, ranging from management opportunities, political service to the university, creative expression through the arts and a consistent desire to explore and learn more about himself and his environment.”

Academic Science and Laboratory Building

Southern’s Academic Science & Laboratory Building has been certified LEED® Gold, placing it among the top one-third most sustainably designed certified buildings in the state.

Designed by Centerbrook Architects & Planners, the nearly 104,000-square-foot building exceeded expectations with its sustainable features. Originally targeted for LEED® Silver, the Academic Science & Laboratory Building scored 63 points on the LEED® scale to earn BD+C (Building Design + Construction) Gold.

“We are grateful to Centerbrook Architects & Planners for their innovative, sustainable design work,” said SCSU President Joe Bertolino. “This is our second LEED® Gold recognition at Southern – the first was awarded for our new home for the School of Business – and adds to our growing reputation as an environmentally friendly campus.”

Southern has been recognized regionally and nationally in recent years for its greening initiatives — including new building design, energy efficiency and student-driven recycling programs.

Designing a sustainable facility that would increase operational efficiency and reduce the SCSU’s long-term energy and water costs was an important goal of the project. This is a challenge for laboratories, which are voracious consumers of energy and water.

What resulted was a building that saves the university 34 percent on its energy consumption and reduces water use by 20 percent.

“Science laboratory buildings present significant challenges from a sustainability standpoint, especially one with 76 fume hoods, as this one had,” said Centerbrook Partner Jefferson B. Riley, FAIA. “Through a holistic sustainable design approach we were able to provide students, faculty and staff with a healthy and uplifting environment in which to learn and work.”

Riley’s design, marshaled by Centerbrook’s project architect Reno Migani, AIA, and project manager Andrew Safran, AIA, captured six out of 10 points in Water Efficiency, including both points available in the Innovative Wastewater Technologies subcategory. This was achieved by the rainwater collection system that reduces the amount of potable water used to irrigate the quad by more than 60 percent.

The project also earned 22 out of a possible 26 tallies in LEED’s Sustainable Sites category. By connecting to Jennings Hall and utilizing existing resources, the new building’s program and footprint was reduced, while promoting connectivity between the science disciplines.

The Academic Science & Laboratory Building is the 18th project designed by Centerbrook to earn LEED certification. An additional six are currently slated for LEED.

“Southern Connecticut State University’s LEED certification demonstrates tremendous green building leadership,” said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chair, USGBC. “The urgency of USGBC’s mission has challenged the industry to move faster and reach further than ever before, and Academic Science & Laboratory Building serves as a prime example of just how much we can accomplish.”

The LEED certification system was established by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in 2000. Short for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, LEED is the foremost program for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. LEED-certified buildings are found in all 50 states and in more than 164 countries and territories.

http://www.usgbc.org/projects/new-academic-and-laboratory-building

Walter Stutzman, Stutzman scholars
Walter Stutzman, ’09, found his calling in music. Today, with the leadership-level support of the Stutzman Family Foundation, he’s dedicated to helping Southern students discover their sound.

The idea came to light in the midst of tragedy and terror. “I was at the World Trade Center on 9-11 when it was attacked,” says Walter Stutzman, who was working in information technology. “It was that awful day that planted the seed. What if this had been the last day of my life?”

Several years of contemplation followed. “I’m not necessarily an impulsive person,” says Stutzman with a smile. But in 2005, he said goodbye to a successful 30-year career in IT to become a 50-something-year-old music major at Southern.

In some ways, it was a return to his roots. Stutzman began studying piano when he was 8, and has been the cantorial and choir accompanist for Temple Beth Tikvah in Madison, Conn., for more than three decades. But his academic and career pursuits were largely directed elsewhere. Stutzman played in the band at Pomona College in California —  but he majored in mathematics, then earned a graduate degree in linguistics at Yale University and ultimately launched a career in the computer science field.

At Southern, music came first. “It was a phenomenal experience. The Music Department was extremely welcoming, and I learned a tremendous amount,” says Stutzman, who graduated from Southern in 2009 with a perfect 4.0 grade point average and was named one of only 12 Henry Barnard Distinguished Scholars by the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system.

Today, Stutzman is at the head of the classroom, teaching both traditional and online classes as an adjunct faculty member with Southern’s Department of Music and the First Year Experience (FYE) program.

Through his leadership, the Stutzman Family Foundation also has funded numerous initiatives that directly benefit Southern students. “It is a way to say thank you to my alma mater for all they’ve done for me,” he says of the contributions that pay tribute to his late parents, Geraldine and Jacob Stutzman, who established the family foundation to further education.

At Southern, their vision has supported the creation of an electronic music laboratory, in addition to: 1) the Southern Applied Music Program, which provides free weekly voice or instrument lessons for all music majors and minors, 2) underwriting for the University Choir’s biennial performance trips abroad, 3) support for the Drum Line and, most recently, 4) the Stutzman Family Foundation Music Scholarship.

The foundation’s generosity has been transformative, says Craig Hlavac, associate professor and chairman of the Department of Music. “There is no question in my mind, the department would not be operating in the manner we are without the tremendous support we’ve received from the Stutzman Family Foundation, especially considering the fiscal constraints of the state today,” he says.

In addition to the many students who take music courses as electives and as liberal arts requirements, Southern has about 45 music majors and 20 music minors. They’re a hardworking group: one-third of students majoring in music work 21 hours a week or more, according to research conducted by the department. “Couple that with a full-time academic course load, practice time, and rehearsal demands. You see why we need scholarship support,” says Hlavac.

First awarded in the 2016-17 academic year, the Stutzman Family Foundation Music Scholarship answers that need, benefiting music majors with a 3.0 grade point average or higher. Five students currently receive the scholarship, which ranges from $250 to $1,000 per semester, and is renewable up to a total of eight semesters. The recipients — known as Stutzman Scholars — are selected through musical auditions and a review of their musical and academic achievements.

The process is competitive but not restrictive. “We take the access part of our mission very seriously,” says Hlavac. “We can accept students who other universities might not take — not because of a lack of talent — but because they might not have the traditional background or experience of someone majoring in music.”

Stutzman concurs. “We want students to become the musicians they want to be,” he says. For current Stutzman Scholar MaryRose Garych that meant studying the pipe organ and choral conducting. Homeschooled through high school, she transferred to Southern from Norwalk Community College where she earned an associate degree in 2014, graduating summa cum laude. “Attending Southern has reshaped my entire career plan,” says Garych, who began studying piano and singing in choir in her early teens. Like all music majors and minors, she was eligible to receive free lessons through the university’s Applied Music Program, funded by the Stutzman Family Foundation. “Because of the excellent music faculty and their support, I am planning to pursue a master’s degree in choral conducting — something that I would not have dreamed of three years ago,” says Garych, who is working in the field as a part-time cantor and organist.

Fellow Stutzman Scholar Terri Lane was always drawn to music. At the age of 3, she’d sit at her grandmother’s piano, pinging out songs playing in the background. By age 11, she was receiving classical voice training. She also was in the midst of surviving years of horrific child abuse, which continued until age 15 when she left home.

Lane planned to study music in college, a natural progression for a high school honors student. “That’s when the tragedies — everything I had gone through with my family — essentially hit home and prevented me from going. But I always said I would go back,” she says.

In 2013, she made the move, leaving a successful 20-year career in the fields of energy efficiency, sales, and marketing, much of it with United Illuminating. Through it all, she’d never left the music behind. Now a blues-inspired rock recording artist, Lane sang lead and backup on dozens of CDs. She also teaches three music courses at the University of New Haven — and is well on her way to earning her bachelor’s degree in music at Southern.

She says receiving the Stutzman Scholarship was a defining moment. “I was shaking when I got the envelope,” she says. “What the Stutzman family has done is so meaningful. They have built a wonderful legacy through their commitment to the arts and now I can be part of that forever.” Stutzman, who shares his parents’ commitment to education, says such stories offer the ultimate reward.

“The students love his courses because he is very organized, very responsive to students, and very engaging,” says Hlavac of Stutzman, who received Southern’s Outstanding Teaching Award in the adjunct professor category in 2014.

Stutzman credits highly interactive assignments with fostering student engagement. He was invited to present a poster on the topic at the College Music Society’s national conference in October 2016. The presentation showcased Stutzman’s First Year Experience course, “Thinking about Music,” which he has taught for six years. The course culminates in a unique capstone project: after studying protest music, students compose a 75-second protest rap. Students have tackled a variety of topics, including 8 a.m. classes, cafeteria food, gun violence, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Fueled, perhaps, by the presentation, Stutzman says he’s thought a lot about teaching methodology — and he says he knows he’s found his true professional calling. “I mean no offense, but no one teaching the first semester of chemistry is going to learn anything about the subject from their students. But I have this wonderful opportunity to learn from them, and that is incredibly inspiring.”

Vocalizing with some of this year’s Stutzman Scholars

Kristen Casale
A vocalist with an interest in opera, Broadway, jazz, and choral music, Casale helps finance her education by holding down two jobs.

“The Music Department is like a big family. I have developed a relationship with each and every one of my professors. I feel comfortable and learn so much every day because of that fact.”

MaryRose Garych
Homeschooled through high school, Garych graduated summa cum laude from Norwalk Community College before transferring to Southern. Music drives her college experience. She’s a member of the University Choir and Chamber Singers, and has studied the pipe organ, choral conducting, voice, and piano.

“Because of the excellent music faculty and their support, I am now planning to pursue a master’s degree in choral conducting — something that I would not have dreamed of three years ago.”

Jaromy Green
A transfer student from Kansas, Green says he’s primarily a singer, but also plays the piano and trumpet.

“I have been studying music since I was first able to phonate,” says Green, who has both full- and part-time jobs to help pay for college. His future plans include teaching music at the high school or collegiate level.

Terri Lane
Lane studied classical voice as a youth. Today, she’s a blues rock performing artist, who most recently worked with Harry Connick Jr. She also teaches three courses at the University of New Haven and is enrolled in seven classes at Southern.

“I take comfort every day, even working so hard as a student. I am so proud. Yes, I am losing a lot of sleep. It is aging me a bit. But I am so excited. . . . Every day is a joy.”

Southern Alumni Magazine Spring 2017

Earlier this month, Philosophy Professor David Pettigrew traveled to Paris to make an important presentation: on behalf of SCSU President Joe Bertolino, CSCU President Mark Ojakian, and the CSCU Board of Regents, Pettigrew presided over a ceremony to present Dr. Juan-David Nasio with an honorary doctoral degree. Nasio, a medical doctor and trained psychiatrist from Argentina who emigrated to Paris in 1969 to pursue a career in Lacanian psychoanalysis, has made an exceptional contribution to society and to academic culture. He has been working as a psychoanalyst for more than 50 years and is also widely recognized as a distinguished intellectual and author, having published more than 30 books that have been translated into more than 13 languages. In addition to his private practice, Nasio gives professional development workshops and so-called “closed seminars” for psychoanalysts from throughout Europe. He also taught at University of Paris 7 for 31 years (1970-2001) and was the first psychoanalyst in history (1999) to be named a Chevalier (Knight) in the prestigious French Légion d’Honneur. His other distinctions include an honorary degree from the University of Buenos Aires in 2012, and an honorary degree from the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México in November 2015.

diploma

Pettigrew was chosen to confer the degree on behalf of Southern, CSCU, and the Board of Regents because he nominated Nasio for the honor and has worked on his texts since around 1995: he presented three lectures for Nasio’s exclusive “closed seminars,” co-translated three of his books, and is finishing the translation of a fourth book on his own. Pettigrew’s co-translations of Nasio’s work have received various recognitions, including the SCSU Faculty Scholar Award in 2000, and recognition from the French Ministry of Culture, including the Hemingway Award. “I have had a unique opportunity to witness Dr. Nasio’s contribution to therapeutic and academic discourse,” Pettigrew said.

President Bertolino chose to send Pettigrew to Paris to confer the degree so that the ceremony could take place in the presence of Nasio’s family, friends, and colleagues. Nasio’s entire family was in attendance, including his wife Nelba, his four children, and three grandchildren, as well as many friends and colleagues.

Bertolino, who was unable to attend the ceremony, said that, “all of us at Southern Connecticut State University are honored and proud that Dr. Nasio will be receiving this well-deserved recognition.

“As a social worker, I can relate to his professional efforts in a caring practice, and as an academician, I am wholly impressed by his contributions to society as both an educator and a scholarly author.”

At the ceremony, after the presentation of the degree and Nasio’s hooding, Nasio delivered remarks, thanking President Bertolino and President Ojakian, as well as the Board of Regents. He also thanked Pettigrew, on behalf of himself and of all those gathered for the ceremony, “for bringing a message of friendship, culture, and passion for psychoanalysis,” and added that Pettigrew had “just added a new link to the golden chain that connects or bonds French psychoanalysis to American psychoanalysis and philosophy, French culture to American culture, and in a word, to the chain that links France to the United States.”

hooding

See more photos from the ceremony.

Jeff vanLone, athletics

The transition from high school to college athletics is not always easy for students. It can be particularly difficult for hometown stars, who now find themselves sitting on the bench, or having to compete with several others for starting roles at the college level.

Some students seem to make the transition without much of a problem. Others shift gears a bit – perhaps taking up a new, recreational sport, or immerse themselves in other university activities. But some athletes become discontented, even depressed, as a result of the new reality. Some of these students will leave that school, either transferring to another institution, or perhaps dropping out of college entirely.

So, which athletes tend to be resilient, and which don’t make handle this “athletic disengagement” so well?

Jeffrey VanLone, director of counseling services at Southern, has some answers, based on several years of research he and others conducted. VanLone is also a youth sports coach and was a high school athlete, himself. He began at SCSU two years ago.

“One of the trends we are seeing is an increase in the number of kids who specialize in a particular sport, rather than participating in various sports,” VanLone said. He said that kind of specialization is often happening even before high school. As a result, a single sport is becoming more a part of the identity of students than in the past.

While serving as an associate vice president of student affairs at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, N.Y., from 2007 to 2015, he said he noticed that a rising number of athletes were leaving the school if they weren’t getting much playing time, or didn’t get a starting role in their freshman year. “They were more connected with a particular sport than the institution,” he said.

VanLone said he and some colleagues at that school decided to study what appeared to be a trend, adding that very little research was available on this topic. What research was available indicated that those who identified the most strongly as an athlete had a greater likelihood of suffering emotionally, and sometimes even physically, when trying to cope with a diminished role in a particular sport.

“Our research found the same trend – but what we also found was that there were many dimensions to it,” he said. “We identified seven major factors that are involved.”

His findings appear in an article posted Jan. 13 in the Journal of College Students Psychotherapy and will run in the print version next month. The article is titled “Assisting College Students With Athletic Disengagement.”

VanLone said that while previous research focused on internal factors when assessing how strongly a person identified as an athlete in a particular sport, his study also found significant external factors, as well. Examples of external influences include encouragement or pressure generated from family members and from the campus community. In other words, those who have a significant fan base, or whose parents push them, are likely to have a stronger athletic identification, and therefore, may have a more difficult time disengaging from their sport.

The seven factors that VanLone found significant were:

Internal Factors

  • Sport vs. collegiate identity: Those who identify more closely with their sport than the college they are attending tend to have a more difficult time with athletic disengagement. As a result, an athlete is more likely to leave the school to play somewhere else than someone who identifies more closely with their school. Conversely, those who identify more closely to the college or university are more likely to continue as students at that institution.
  • Athletic identity primary: Athletes who put a preponderance of their time and energy into a particular team tend to have a tougher time when faced with the prospect of leaving that time or having a diminished role. On the other hand, those with a wider array of interests tend to make the transition more easily.
  • Direct engagement: Those who place a higher importance on excelling and actual playing time than average tend to have a more difficult time with athletic disengagement. For example, a player who is used to starting for his team and suddenly is forced to take a substitute role may have a hard time adjusting.

External Factors

  • Perceived encouragement from coaches and teammates: Athletes who believe their coaches and teammates support and care about them as individuals tend to handle the possibility of athletic disengagement better. They may opt to continue participating on the team in a reduced role, or perhaps in a new role assisting the coach. Similarly, those who like the social aspect of sports tend to more easily find another sport or activity that brings similar social benefits.
  • Athletic achievement history: Athletes who receive significant rewards and gain positive notoriety from the public with regard to their participation reap significant benefits. But one of the potential challenges associated with these benefits is a more difficult time for athletes in adjusting to a new identify if they leave the team.
  • Perceived social status symbol: If an athlete believes their popularity or social life is strongly related to their participation, leaving the team can be more difficult.
  • Family pride: While family encouragement and support can be healthy, students who feel that the family has invested a high degree of time and money into their participation in a sport can feel pressure not to let them down. As a result, they may opt to transfer to another college where they will be able to have a bigger role on that team.

sustainability major

A new major at Southern will enable students to not only learn the science behind environmental issues, but to understand their societal complexity and offer practical, real world solutions.

A Bachelor of Science degree in environmental systems and sustainability studies will be offered starting next fall. Three concentrations will exist within the major – environmental systems, coastal marine systems, and environmental policy and management.

“It really is going to be an exciting program,” said Vincent Breslin, a professor of the environment, geography and marine sciences who helped organize the major. “It takes a holistic, multidisciplinary approach to environmental and sustainability issues.

“As an example, let’s take climate change. Sure, the solution sounds simple – eliminate the use of fossil fuels. But realistically, that’s not going to happen anytime soon. So, what are our options? What steps can we take? The students will look at those options and the social and economic consequences they could have on society.”

Breslin said the program will emphasize critical thinking, system thinking and problem solving.

“There is a need for professionals who understand the complexities associated with environmental problems and solutions,” he said. “This program will provide our students with the knowledge and skills to help Connecticut face a rapidly changing future.”

Breslin said the Connecticut coastline is an example. Since Hurricane Sandy in 2012, he said coastal communities have been more sensitive to the potential damage caused by major storms and hurricanes, as well as rising tidal waters and other consequences of global warming. “I could envision a time when each community, or group of communities, has its own sustainability coordinator,” he said.

Steven Breese, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, said the quality and health of the environment is being challenged every day.

“And with this challenge comes a pressing need for our students and our culture to develop a deep and broad understanding of the complex interactions between human and natural systems,” Breese said. “Not only will this new program teach our students about this critical interaction, it will empower them to devise sustainable solutions that will impact our collective well-being now and for generations to come. It is a timely program and one that, we believe, will attract new students to Southern while offering our current students new educational opportunities.”

The environmental policy and management concentration within the new program would be ideal for someone who wanted to pursue environmental law, according to Breslin.

The program will require students to take about 40 credits in their major, differing slightly based on their concentration. The coursework includes foundation classes – such as an introduction to environmental and marine studies; an introduction to the principles of sustainability; and a research methods course. Students also will complete an experiential component, such as an internship, research experience or participation in a seminar.

In addition, each concentration will require four core courses and three electives, as well as a social science and humanities course.

Breslin said the major incorporates various disciplines – including biology, geography, earth science, environmental studies, marine studies, public health, political science and business management.

(For additional information about the program, please contact Vincent Breslin at (203) 392-6602 or at breslinv1@southernct.edu; Jim Tait, professor of the environment, geography and marine sciences, at (203) 392-5838 or at taitj1@southernct.edu, or Patrick Heidkamp, chairman of the Department of the Environment, Geography and Marine Sciences, at (203) 392-5919 or at heidkampc1@southernct.edu.)

Connecticut is not known for major earthquakes. But even when small tremors hit the Nutmeg State, a newly installed seismograph at Southern will be able to detect them quickly and accurately.

Dushmantha Jayawickreme, SCSU assistant professor of earth science, said that although the device is small, it has detected major earthquake activity across the country and even as far away at New Zealand. In addition, it has picked up weaker quakes along the East Coast, including the oceanic Atlantic Ridge.

Jayawickreme uses the device as a teaching tool in several geology classes. It is located in the Academic Science and Laboratory Building, and is accompanied by a display that includes a map and chart of earthquakes picked up by the SCSU seismograph. The display also includes seismic activity as reported by other more sophisticated seismographs.

i-h2tkRKT-X2

“Our seismograph is small, but it’s quite good at detecting activity in this part of the country,” he said. “It’s a wonderful teaching tool and a great investment for the university,” he said.

Thomas Fleming, chairman of the SCSU Earth Science Department, agreed.

“Connecticut tends to have a magnitude 2.0 earthquake every few years, generally in the central or eastern part of the state,” Fleming said. “It’s great to be able to accurately measure them from our new science building.”

Fleming said the seismograph was installed last year by Jayawickreme.

The device itself is small and simple, and most people probably would not recognize it as a seismograph. A green arm inside a rectangular box goes up and down when there is seismic activity. The box also includes a red magnet, a spring and a few other small pieces.

The seismographic has detected several major earthquakes since its installation last year, including a magnitude 5.8 tremor in Oklahoma last September.

Earthquakes are measured based on the Richter Scale. An increase of 1 point in the magnitude of an earthquake indicates a 10-fold increase in the amount of energy released. So, a 6.0 earthquake would be considered 10 times more powerful than a 5.0 earthquake.