In the News

Scott Burrell with the Owls

Southern men’s basketball head coach Scott Burrell is featured in ESPN’s highly-anticipated documentary series, The Last Dance, which follows Michael Jordan and the NBA Champion Chicago Bulls, of which Burrell was a member, during their historic 1997-98 season.

Ahead of the premier of the series on ESPN and ESPN2 on Sunday, April 19, Burrell was featured in Newsday and on Heavy.com. He also appeared on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Radio channel (82) on April 19 and on ESPN’s SportsCenter on April 20.

Read more about Burrell and his career.

Scott Burrell

 

Melanie Savelli, assistant professor of communication, published an op-ed in the April 8, 2020, edition of the New Haven Register about what educators can do during this time of crisis to foster student learning. Savelli encourages innovation and creativity, emphasizing that “We are witnessing history in the making and educators should not be bystanders. Let’s be known for playing a key role in connecting, educating, and inspiring tomorrow’s future.”

 

New “Safe Store” rules took effect in Connecticut recently in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus in grocery stores and others of the few remaining public spaces open to groups of people.

John Nwangwu, professor of public health and an epidemiologist, and Jean Breny, chair of the Department of Public Health, were both quoted in an April 2, 2020, front-page story in the New Haven Register that addressed the effectiveness of the Safe Store rules. Nwangwu and Breny discussed the latest protocols being used in supermarkets to reduce the chances of exposure to the COVID-19 virus.

Read the article, “Masks, restricted entry, one-way aisles: coronavirus retail reality.”

Jean Breny and John Nwangwu

Moore Field House interior, April 1, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

 

Journalism Professor Frank Harris III

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

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

 

 

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

How's this for true grit? Alumnus and former track star Collin Walsh, ’08, learned to walk again after being diagnosed with a severe form of multiple sclerosis. What's next for the stellar scholar? A highly selective fellowship that will prepare him for a career in the Foreign Service.

Collin Walsh, '08, and his wife, Amika
Collin Walsh, '08, and his wife Amika

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

Jay Moran

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

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

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