Announcements

The awardees of the Faculty Creative Activity Research Grants (FCARG) competition for 2020-21 have been announced, says Robert S. Prezant, provost and vice president for academic affairs. The winning proposals selected are those which establish new research at the university, support faculty in the continuation and completion of meritorious research or encourage the development of projects with potential for external funding. The 24 awardees chosen will receive stipends of $2,500 each to support their winning research proposals.

The FCARG Committee, chaired by Rachel Jeffrey, received a number of outstanding applications this year from faculty, and this made the decisions very difficult. Nevertheless, after careful deliberations, the awardees for the 2020-21 fiscal year are:

Imad Antonios, Computer Science
Meghan Barboza, Biology
Ericka Barnes, Chemistry
Kelly Bordner, Psychology
Adiel Coca, Chemistry
Carmen Coury, History
Zara DeLuca, Communication Disorders
Nicholas Fedorchuk, Earth Science
Robert Gregory, Health and Movement Sciences
Candy Hwang, Chemistry
Mohammad Islam, Computer Science
Dushmantha Jayawickreme, Earth Science
James Kearns, Chemistry
Kalu Ogbaa, English
Yulei Pang, Mathematics
David Pettigrew, Philosophy
Sarah Roe, History
Alaa Sheta, Computer Science
Vivian Shipley, English
Jeff Slomba, Art
Janani Umamaheswar, Sociology
Kenneth Walters, Psychology
Miaowei Weng, World Languages and Literatures
Victoria Zigmont, Public Health

Congratulations to the FCARG award recipients for this year!

Ellen Durnin, dean of Southern Connecticut State University School of Business, is pleased to welcome Lindy Lee Gold and Lakisha Jordan to the Business Advisory Council.

Durnin said about the importance of the BAC, “The Business Advisory Council serves a critical role in connecting the School of Business to the business community. The BAC members provide connections, internships, and employment opportunities for students; they advocate for the School of Business in the community; and they are key partners in fundraising efforts for strategic initiatives.”

Lindy Lee Gold has worked for the State of Connecticut since 1998. She is currently a senior specialist in the Department of Economic and Community Development, where she is responsible for business retention, recruitment, and expansion.

Prior to joining the state office, Gold was director of development and community relations for the Connecticut office of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Her professional background also includes work in the travel and investment industries, as well as devoting efforts to directing and coordinating development and renovation of low-and-middle-income housing.

Gold’s civic accomplishments are expansive and include serving two terms on the New Haven Board of Alderman for the 26th Ward, where she chaired the Legislation Committee and served on the Finance Committee. Her current leadership roles include serving as board chair of the Gateway Community College Foundation since 2009, as a Fellow at Yale’s Pierson College, Vice-President of the Jewish Federation Association of CT, and as a member of the Executive Board of the Shubert Performing Arts center since 1997.

Additionally, she serves on the state board of the Anti-Defamation League; and on the boards of the United Way of Greater New Haven, The Community Action Agency, New Haven Arts Council, Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven, Housatonic Community College Foundation, Southern CT State University Foundation, JobLinks Fairfield County, CT Technical High Schools, New Haven Manufacturers Association, and the Women’s Business Development Center.

In the past, Gold has served on the New Haven Board of Education, where her volunteer work included being vice chair of the Intergroup Relations Taskforce; and the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven, where she was president and chair of community relations. She also was founder and the first female president of Fellowship Inc, and Cornerstone Inc., and is past president of the Jewish Community Center of Greater New Haven.

Gold is a friend to Southern, where she serves as the chair of the SCSU Development Committee, is a member of the SCSU Governance Committee, and is the generous funder of the SCSU School of Business Women’s Leadership Program.

She resides in New Haven and has one son and one grandson.

LaKisha Jordan serves as the Corporate Responsibility Officer for KeyBank’s Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Hudson Valley markets, where she oversees a broad community engagement strategy, which includes Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) compliance and execution of KeyBank’s $16.5 billion National Community Benefits Plan. In her role, she works in close partnership with local KeyBank leadership and community organizations on critical community issues impacting the respective markets.

Jordan has more than eighteen years of experience in financial services and banking. She joined KeyBank in 2016 as a relationship officer for the Commercial Banking team. Prior to KeyBank, Jordan spent nine years at Bank of America in various roles in Commercial Banking.

An active community volunteer, Jordan has served as a mentor and currently sits on the board of directors for Phenomenal I Am, a nonprofit in New Haven that provides mentorships and empowerment enrichment workshops to at-risk female teens. She also serves as the assistant program coordinator for KeyBank’s mentoring program, a partnership with the New Haven Public Schools that pairs students starting in their freshman year of high school with a mentor at the Bank. Additionally, she serves on the KeyBank Servicing Company Board of Directors, the Community Economic Development Fund Foundation Board of Directors, and Gateway Community College Foundation Board of Directors. She is also a member of the Corporate Leadership Circle of the State of Connecticut’s Council for Women and Girls, the Hartford Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC) Advisory Committee, and recently joined Southern Connecticut State University’s Business Advisory Council.

Jordan is a member of several social and professional organizations, volunteering her time to various initiatives including Susan G. Komen Foundation and Sickle Cell Disease Association of America. She was named as one of the “100 Most Influential Blacks in Connecticut” for 2018 by the State Conference of NAACP Branches.

Jordan is a proud Southern alumna, holding a Master’s in Business Administration and a bachelor of science from the university, with concentrations in psychology, sociology, and public health.  Jordan resides in Hamden with her husband and three children.

Fulbright scholar and Southern alumna Daisha Brabham, '17, in London

Southern alumna Daisha Brabham ’17, a Fulbright scholar studying for a Master’s of Public History degree at Royal Holloway University of London, has been awarded the Barzun Prize for Youth Engagement, which grants $10,000 to a Fulbright grantee to develop a program that works with youth.

The award — the brainchild of Former U.S. Ambassador Matthew Barzun and his wife Brooke, with generous funding from them — is awarded annually to fund projects by American Fulbrighters to deliver local community projects while they study in the United Kingdom.

Former Ambassador Barzun said, “The indispensable US-UK bond isn’t a treaty between London to Washington, but is made of millions of caring and committed relationships across the ocean and across generations. Its staying power depends on these ‘sinews of peace’ as Churchill called them, not only on Number 10 or 1600 Pennsylvania.

“Fulbright has for decades helped build and nurture special relationships, one by one, which is why Brooke and I are so proud to support it in any way we can. These award winners take time out of their already busy academic pursuits to make new connections with the next generation, and for that we are so grateful.”

Brabham graduated from Southern in 2017 with a degree in history, and her passion for her discipline, along with her scholarship and creative activity, are taking her far. Her Fulbright project involves a play she wrote for an independent study in the Women’s Studies Program in her senior year. During her senior spring and the summer following, the play — Homegoing: A Herstory of the Black Woman — was performed on campus, and Brabham later reworked the script and produced it on campus again last spring. Homegoing reflects the history of black womanhood in America, beginning with the Yoruba tradition of West Africa and going on to travel with a number of different African American women, such as Venus Hottentot, Billie Holiday, and Mammie.

A scene from Brabham’s play, “Homegoing,” during its spring 2019 production on the SCSU campus

On learning she had received the Barzun Prize, Brabham remarked, “I’m actually speechless. . . . My play has operated on a budget of $200.00, thanks to the amazing community partners of New Haven! Imagine what this play can do with 10,000!”

In London, Brabham is incorporating voices from black Britain into the play as part of her Fulbright project. As a student at Royal Holloway, she has access to the National Archives, the London Records Office, and the Black Cultural Archives.

For her application for the Barzun Prize, Brabham was required to submit a three-minute video along with a written proposal to explain her project, which she calls the Homegoing Internship. The internship will be available to students in the UK during Brabham’s Fulbright year.

As part of this proposed internship, Brabham wrote in her proposal, “Students will embark on a two and a half month journey of developing and producing a two-hour production based on the history of black women. Each student will be assigned a department in which they will complete a total of two workshops run by a local community partner who will serve as an expert during their first month. The second month will involve students producing the play.”

She further explains that the internship’s objectives include: developing leadership skills such as organization, problem solving, communication, and innovation; gaining valuable experience on project management skills such as managing a set budget; gaining an appreciation for historical knowledge, specifically the history of black women; engaging in cross-cultural discussions surrounding the African diaspora and US-UK relations with a historical context; and understanding the importance and value of utilizing local community resources.

Daisha Brabham

Barzun was appointed by President Obama in 2013 as the American Ambassador to the Court of St. James in the United Kingdom. He served in this position for three years and during his time in the UK made it his mission to spend as much time as possible out of London speaking to young people. He engaged actively with the work of the Fulbright Commission, greeting the new American Fulbright Scholars on their arrival in the UK each year. On leaving, he and his wife wanted to give the US-UK Commission a gift that would speak to their time in the UK and create a lasting legacy.

Brabham is grateful not only to be a 2019 Barzun Prize winner but also for all the support she received while a student at Southern, and she credits the university for helping her move forward with her project. She says, “A special thanks to the beautiful, talented and inspiring students who inspired the internship and all the support we have had from The City of New Haven and Southern Connecticut State University!”

 

 

 

 

The Top Owl Social Justice Award is given to recognize contributions toward helping the university achieve its mission of creating and sustaining an inclusive community that appreciates, celebrates, and advances student and campus diversity.

This award, selected by the President’s Commission on Social Justice, is being awarded this academic year during the months of November, December, January, February, and March to recognize the contributions, leadership, and service of a worthy faculty, staff, part-time student, and full-time student.

For the month of December 2019, the Top Owl Award winners are student Molly Flanagan, staff member Britt Conroy, and Cheryl Green, associate professor of nursing.

Molly Flanagan is a senior Honors student majoring in interdisciplinary studies who conducted two events for Social Justice Month this past November. The first event was an open discussion on diversity, equity, and inclusion within the visual and performing arts communities. Flanagan gathered a panel of professionals from Long Wharf Theatre, Yale School of Drama, Collective Consciousness Theatre, Elm Shakespeare, the International Festival of Arts & Ideas, and other local arts companies to discuss issues and current initiatives around social justice in arts administration and programming. Flanagan also organized a second event, “Voices of Immigration,” where she invited SCSU faculty, students, and members of the Ethnic Heritage Center to address their experiences of immigration to the United States from historical, sociological, political, and personal perspectives. Flanagan’s nominator wrote, “The event was a safe space for open discussion and embraced all with a relationship to or experiences with immigration in the U.S. — a completely important topic right now. I could not get over how one student, probably bombarded with classes and work, put together these two important events all on her own. I believe [Flanagan] should be recognized for her efforts as I don’t know many students that would want to do something like this in their spare time.”

Britt Conroy, who works in the First Year Experience office, is a veteran who leads yoga and meditation sessions for veteran students and also offers these experiences for staff and faculty members of the third floor of Buley Library, where her office is located. Her nominator, who also works on Buley’s third floor, wrote that she observes Conroy “consistently comforting and encouraging a population of students who are academically at risk for many different reasons and obstacles, some of which are out of their control completely. She provides a safe space for students and community members daily in her work. Britt does this additionally to her role in the FYE office. Britt helps to make the third floor of the library a place where each and every individual matters and feels just as important as the next. We are really lucky to have her as part of the Southern family.”

As a licensed clinical social worker, Associate Professor of Nursing Cheryl Green is one of the founding members of the National Association of Social Worker’s first Cultural Diversity Committee in the state of Connecticut. Through this committee, at a legislative level, Green and her social work colleagues have supported legislation on LGBTQ Health and Social Work Title rights, and transfer of licensure from state to state. As a registered nurse, Green is published in the area of incivility and bullying in clinical practice and academic settings. She is also participating in the writing of a white paper on equity with National Education in Nursing Collaborative (NEPIN). Her nominator wrote that “civility and equity are important in the development of healthy environments that do not just talk about social justice, but live it.”

Congratulations to December’s Top Owl Award winners!

To nominate someone for a Top Owl Award, visit the university’s Social Justice website.

 

One of the largest grant awards Southern has ever received will directly benefit students who face educational or economic disadvantages.

The five-year, $2.18 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Education, through its Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP), was spearheaded by Kathleen De Oliveira, director of the university’s Academic Success Center.

De Oliveira’s grant submission, “Promoting Educational Retention through Collaborative High-Impact Services,” or PERCHS (an acronym that nods at Southern’s mascot, Otus the owl), proposes one overall goal: to increase the success and retention of promising students who face educational or economic disadvantages and who will thrive with additional support.

“The opportunities this creates for impact on our students is amazing,” Tracy Tyree, vice president for student affairs, said. “We are really focusing on what holds students back, and we recognize that we have to get down to a more granular, student-by-student level. One-on-one points of connection are important and successful ways to help students persist.”

Students who face educational or economic disadvantages — notoriously called at-risk — constitute a growing portion of Southern’s population. Close to 40 percent of Southern’s undergraduate class receive federal Pell Grants, the most popular federal grant given primarily to low-income undergraduate students. And nearly 30 percent of students are food insecure, according to Jules Tetreault, dean of student affairs.

When students balance multiple jobs, or they’re worried about where their next meal will come from, or they are underprepared and don’t understand concepts in class, that prevents them from thriving academically; the PERCHS award aims to support those students in a multi-pronged, multi-faceted, multi-divisional approach.

“Funding started October 2019, and we hit the ground running,” De Oliveira said. “It’s kind of like we’re first responders. Whatever students need, we either help them or refer them to the right place.”

Bolstering the offerings of the Southern Success Center is just one of the PERCHS program’s approaches. Currently, the center encompasses the Academic Success Center, First Year Experience (FYE), New Student and Sophomore Programs, Career Services, and Academic Advising. Students use the center as a centralized hub, minimizing room for error and frustration when seeking university services such as academic or career help.

“The idea is to have a central location for students instead of sending them to multiple stops around campus,” De Oliveira said. “And if you don’t know where to go, come here and we’ll help you.”

The PERCHS program has four distinct goals when it comes to the Success Center: decrease the percentage of students with grades of D, F or W in key gateway courses; increase persistence rates for first-time, full-time freshmen; decrease the percentage of the student body with an overall GPA of 2.5 or lower; and increase student satisfaction with support services.

Within the center, the current Peer Academic Leaders Program (PALS), will be expanded.

“PALS focuses on many gateway/foundational courses, particularly in STEM,” De Oliveira said. “Unlike tutoring, which can be sporadic, PALS helps students understand material on a week-by-week basis, and the grant helps us increase our number of PALS to almost 60. We’ve seen students improve as much as a grade level with consistent help. This takes students on the cusp of success and brings them to solid footing.”

The number of academic success coaches will increase as well.

“For students on academic probation who consistently meet with coaches, their retention rate is 70 percent,” De Oliveira said. “This grant lets us add more coaches and see how to use them most strategically.”

On a broader level, the PERCHS grant allows for the creation of an Opportunity Center, a physical space that will house a food pantry, and a full-time and part-time position to support it. Though the pantry will give students immediate access to food, the center also will connect students to various types of assistance they might need.

“There’s been a lot of talk about the cost of higher education, but it’s mostly been centered on tuition,” Tetreault said. “The reality is the expenses of rent, childcare, food and books is very high, and that aid is shrinking, and it’s left a big population who can’t meet their basic living needs. The idea is to use the Opportunity Center as a hub to support these pieces. Can we help them and refer them? It’s all about connection points. We are a culture of support and care. We want to provide our students with access and success.”

De Oliveira added that the distribution of funds over five years enables the university to explore all of the objectives and analyze the outcomes so key players can hone in on what is sustainable and keep it going.

“It’s about finding the right keys, all with the goal to help students,” she said.

Ultimately, the efforts benefit everyone.

“We’re paying attention to things that higher ed hasn’t usually paid attention to,” Tetreault said. “If a student gets a degree, they’re more likely to give back to their community, to make a million dollars more over their lifetime, and they’re less likely to rely on social services. We’re just providing the right mechanisms of support, so students are equipped to thrive.”

 

The Top Owl Social Justice Award is given to recognize contributions toward helping the university achieve its mission of creating and sustaining an inclusive community that appreciates, celebrates, and advances student and campus diversity.

This award, selected by the President’s Commission on Social Justice, will be awarded this academic year during the months of November, December, January, February, and March to recognize the contributions, leadership, and service of a worthy faculty, staff, part-time student, and full-time student.

For the month of November, the Top Owl Award winners are Marian Evans, assistant professor of public health and the department’s graduate program coordinator, and Jane DeLuca, secretary in the Department of Management.

Marian Evans incorporates social justice into her classroom curriculum and inspires her students to take initiative for their own social justice journey while guiding them with reading, support, and events. She has led the public health service trip to Bermuda and beforehand held a “how to pack” session for students who had never traveled or who may not own traditional luggage. 

Evans’ nominator wrote, “Dr. Evans continuously involves herself in making the university better and more equitable for her students. She is always willing to listen to students and over the month already has met with various students who were struggling with employment or class, and helped them navigate the systems to best meet their needs. Overall Dr. Evans does a lot for this SCSU campus and for her students who are struggling.”

Evans’ teaching and research interests include public health, women’s health, environmental health, health disparities, academic and public partnerships, and scholarship of teaching and learning.

Jane DeLuca‘s nominator wrote that as the department secretary, “she ‘intercepts’ a lot of calls and/or visits from students and faculty. She treats everyone with respect and dignity even when they do not treat her with respect back. Oftentimes, they are upset, mad, crying, yelling or frustrated. She is compassionate and a great listener. She also knows who to refer each student or faculty to in order to solve their problem. There is no one like her throughout the entire campus.”

Congratulations to November’s Top Owl Award winners!

To nominate someone for a Top Owl award, visit the university’s Social Justice website.

Ellen Durnin, dean of Southern Connecticut State University School of Business, is pleased to welcome Kevin Burke and Lauren Tagliatela to the Business Advisory Council.

Durnin said about the importance of the BAC, “The Business Advisory Council serves a critical role in connecting the School of Business to the business community. The BAC members provide connections, internships, and employment opportunities for students; they advocate for the School of Business in the community; and they are key partners in fundraising efforts for strategic initiatives.”

Kevin Burke is a senior vice president and Market Executive for the Wells Fargo Commercial Banking in Connecticut and NY Capital Region. He manages commercial banking division that develops and maintains business relationships with companies with annual revenues greater than $5 million. Burke’s team has offices in Albany, N.Y., and Greenwich, Hartford and Shelton, Conn.

Burke started his banking career in 1991 and, before joining Wells Fargo, had a long and impressive career utilizing his talents at Consolidated Asset Recovery Corporation, a subsidiary of Chase Manhattan Bank; Shawmut Bank; and Fleet Bank, a successor to Shawmut.

Burke, a U.S. Army veteran, earned a B.A. from Fordham University in New York; an M.A. in international relations from Boston University in Heidelberg, Germany; and an MBA in finance from the University of Connecticut in Storrs.

Burke is an active member in the community. He is the chairman of the Gateway Community College President’s Council, and immediate past chair and board member of the Shubert Theater in New Haven. In addition, he is a member of the board of overseers of the Bushnell Theater in Hartford.

Burke and his wife have two daughters and reside in Guilford, Conn.

Lauren Tagliatela joined Franklin Construction, a family business founded by her great-grandfather over a century ago, in 2006. She serves as the chief community officer for Canal Crossing at Whitneyville West and Franklin Communities, managing a total of 1,200 apartment homes in the Greater New Haven region. She is responsible for marketing, social media campaigns, online reputation analytics, resident engagement, conflict resolution, budgeting, and creating design concepts for future apartment communities.

Born and raised in Wallingford, Conn., Tagliatela currently resides in North Haven with her wife and twin boys. She graduated from Boston University in 2002 with a B.S. in journalism, a concentration in photography and minor in women’s studies. In 2017, she received her MBA with high honors from Albertus Magnus College, with a concentration in marketing and leadership.

Currently, Tagliatela is serving on the Board of Directors for the Hamden Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Durnin said, “Both Kevin and Lauren bring experience, knowledge, and passion to their roles as new BAC members. I am pleased to welcome them to my advisory council, and I look forward to continuing our progress of building bridges with the business community.”

 

Alumna wins the "Oscars of Teaching," becoming the first Milken Educator Award recipient of the 2019-20 season.

A group of students come in for a group hug to support their award-winning teacher.
Excited students swarm Sepulveda for a group hug. Photo: Milken Family Foundation

Social studies teacher Lauren Sepulveda, ’10, entered the gym prepared for an upbeat but typical morning assembly at Clinton Avenue School in New Haven. Instead she received the surprise of a lifetime when her name was announced as the first recipient of the 2019-20 Milken Education Award and its $25,000 prize. Watch Sepulveda receive the award.

Hailed by Teacher magazine as the “Oscars of Teaching,” the Milken Educator Awards are designed to “celebrate, elevate, and activate the American teaching profession.” It is not a lifetime achievement award. Instead, the recipients are recognized for exceptional mid-career achievements — and the promise of what they might accomplish given the resources provided with the award.

Jane Foley, senior vice president of the Milken Educator Awards, made the presentation to a shocked Sepulveda in front of a cheering crowd of students, colleagues, and local and state officials. “Lauren Sepulveda brings history to life by demonstrating how past events have shaped our nation, world, and people today. Students develop a greater understanding of the responsibilities as global citizens and lifelong learners,” said Foley.

Sepulveda, who earned a B.S. in history 7-12 at Southern is the sole award recipient in Connecticut. Nationwide, no more than 40 educators will be honored during the 2019-20 season.

Sepulveda, who teaches seventh and eighth grade, was lauded for efforts to help her students become global thinkers and empathetic citizens. In her classroom, students have met guest speakers who share personal stories of their experiences during World War II, the Korean War, and the Rwandan genocide. Another assignment challenged students to review coverage of the Revolutionary War in their text books — and determine whose perspectives were missing. The students next drafted a new chapter that included the stories of significant minorities. Sepulveda then helped the students submit their work to the text book publisher for consideration for the next edition.

In addition to the cash prize, the award includes networking and mentoring components. Sepulveda will join the other 2019-20 honorees at an all-expenses-paid trip to the Milken Educator Forum in Indianapolis from March 26-28, to connect with other educational trailblazers. In addition, each 2019 recipient will be paired with a veteran Milken Educator mentor.

The Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce (GNHCC) will award Ellen Durnin, Ph.D., dean of Southern’s School of Business, with the with the Leadership Center Alumnus Award at the Annual Leadership Awards Luncheon on September 26, 2019.

The Alumnus of the Leadership Center Award honors an exemplary leader and graduate of the Leadership Center. The Leadership Center supports the professional growth of business executives through leadership training and community education.

Durnin was appointed dean of the School of Business at SCSU in 2010. She has served in this role since, excluding 18 months when she served as interim provost for 2016 and 2017.

Under Durnin’s leadership, the School of Business has created the nation’s first Public Utilities Management Program; a Women’s Mentoring Program; a Business Success Center for student internships and professional development; and a Business Advisory Council.

Durnin is also leading the School’s committee to design a new School of Business building that will be the first “net zero” space constructed by the State of Connecticut, and she developed the Business School’s first international partnership with ESPEME University in France. Additionally, Durnin leads SCSU’s Transatlantic Alliance with Liverpool John Moores University in Liverpool, England, providing international research and educational experiences for faculty and students.

Previously, Durnin was the dean of Graduate Studies and External Programs at Western Connecticut State University. While at WestConn, she was a member of the Business Women’s Forum; TBICO, an advocacy organization for women in the workplace; and provided training for corporations such as Boehringer-Ingelheim and Cartus.

Durnin holds a B.A. in sociology from Wagner College, a master’s in industrial and labor relations from Cornell University, and a Ph.D. in business from the City University of New York Graduate Center. Her teaching, research, training, and consulting focus on the areas of human resource management, negotiations and conflict resolution, and work/family balance.

Durnin sits on the Board of Directors of the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce, the Board of Director’s for Chapel Haven’s Schleifer Center, and the Vista Life Innovations Economic Development Committee. She was named the Business Community Advocate of the Year by the Hamden Regional Chamber of Commerce in 2013.

The Annual Leadership Awards Luncheon will take place at the Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 26, 2019. Tickets can be purchased online at the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce.

As of August 2019, Public Health Professor Michele Vancour has accepted a two-year position as interim associate dean for the School of Health and Human Services.

Vancour earned her B.A. in English from CCSU, an MPH from Southern, and her Ph.D. in health education from NYU. In 1998 she began her career at Southern as an assistant professor in the Department of Public Health and Founding Director of the SCSU Wellness Center. During her tenure at Southern, Vancour has established herself as an outstanding teacher, scholar, mentor, and leader. She has served in several major leadership roles, including 8 years as the undergraduate program coordinator for Public Health and most recently as the director of Faculty Development. Her list of service activities is extensive, and includes founder of the Childcare committee, Work-Life Advisory Committee, Southern’s Chapter of the CT ACE Women’s Network, and membership or chair positions with more than 30 different groups on our campus.

Headshot Photo of Michele VancourVancour earned tenure and promotion to professor in the Department of Public Health, received the Outstanding Academic Advisor Award, Robert E. Jirsa Award for Service, and the Distinguished Academic Woman in Higher Education Leadership Award from the CT ACE Women’s Network.

She has an extensive list of professional presentations and publications in her areas of expertise, which include: motherhood, maternal health, breastfeeding support, women’s health, and work-life balance. She is highly respected in her profession having served as president and board member for the College and University Work/Family/Life Association, chair and board member for the Connecticut Breastfeeding Coalition, and board member and committee chair for the CT ACE Women’s Network.

Adding Vancour’s talents to the HHS Dean’s office will allow the School to expand its support for students, department chairs, and coordinators. Vancour will take the lead to support chairs with course schedules and administrative processes related to student enrollment. She will also design and facilitate professional development for HHS faculty and staff, coordinate furniture decisions for offices and collaboration spaces in the new building, monitor implementation of marketing and recruitment efforts for HHS programs, and serve as a resource for program accreditation and new program development.