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A team of Southern faculty members have been presented a prestigious national award that recognizes their efforts to collaborate with the general public on real-world science projects.

SENCER (Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities) recently announced that six SCSU faculty members are the recipients of this year’s William E. Bennett Award for Extraordinary Contributions to Citizen Science. They are: Winnie Yu, professor of computer science; James Tait, professor of science education and environmental studies; Vince Breslin, professor of science education and environmental studies and newly named chairman of the department; Terese Gemme, chairwoman of theHonors College; Terri Bennett, chairwoman of the Mathematics Department; and Susan Cusato, associate professor and former chairwoman of the Science Education and Environmental Studies Department. They were presented an engraved silver platter at a recent awards ceremony.

“We are deeply honored by this recognition,” said Yu, who coordinated the SCSU team and the effort to seek the award. “It has been my privilege working with our team, as well as our administrators, to boost our efforts toward citizen science. But the award reflects many years of hard work from so many outstanding faculty members.”

Yu pointed out that since 2004, 32 faculty members from 12 departments and three schools at SCSU played a role in the award through their devotion to citizen science. This was accomplished by participating in various activities, such as attending summer institutes, creating new courses and including SENCER ideals into existing courses and programs.

New courses that SENCER had designated as “models,” have included: “Computer Ethics,” designated in 2006 and developed by Terry Bynum, professor of philosophy; “Science on the Connecticut Coast: Investigations of an Urbanized Shoreline,” designated in 2007 and developed by Tait and Breslin; and “Pollinators: A Case Study in Systems Thinking and Sustainability,” designated in 2014 and developed by Cusato and Suzanne Huminski, SCSU sustainability coordinator and an adjunct faculty member who teaches environmental and marine science.

David Burns, executive director of the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement (NCSCE) and founder of SENCER, praised SCSU for its development of the courses, as well as the “deep insights about some of the things we need to understand about student needs when we think we are doing good things for students.” SENCER is the signature program of the NCSCE.

Yu thanked Steven Breese, dean of the SCSU School of Arts and Sciences, as well as DonnaJean Fredeen, the former dean who launched SCSU’s relationship with SENCER.


    Southern Connecticut State University has adopted a campus-wide policy that prohibits smoking and tobacco use.

    Tobacco-Free Campus at Southern
    Tobacco-Free Campus at Southern

    Southern Connecticut State University has been awarded the Tobacco Grant from the state Department of Public Health. As of August 25, 2015, the university is a tobacco-free campus, the first public university in Connecticut to implement such a policy. In coordination with this new policy, which will eliminate exposure to second-hand smoke at Southern and prohibits the use of all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, a multi-faceted state and community intervention was proposed, based on best practices in tobacco prevention and control. The proposed work will sustainably prevent the initiation of tobacco use and promote cessation among young adults at the university, while also building capacity for tobacco control and prevention in the Connecticut State University system.

    As part of the grant, the SCSU Health and Wellness Center staff plans to train and empower anti-tobacco youth advocates (Tobacco-Free Ambassadors, or TFAs) to engage and mobilize their peers through campus community outreach, education, demonstrations, and events. The Health and Wellness Center will offer enhanced onsite cessation services for students, including a comprehensive and intensive 8-week intervention facilitated by a clinical professional trained in cessation counseling. Innovative, student-led social media campaigns will highlight social norms, common misconceptions about smokeless tobacco, and exciting events such as flash mobs, film screenings, and e-cigarette exchange events. Southern will lead a statewide coalition with Central Connecticut State University (CCSU), Eastern Connecticut State University (ECSU) and Western Connecticut State University (WCSU) to build university capacity and share best practices in tobacco control and prevention. Through conferences, ongoing technical assistance and on-site consultations, Southern will coordinate state efforts for tobacco-free policies, and support other  universities in their efforts to sustain healthy communities for living and learning. As a result of the Tobacco-Free Campus Policy and the proposed programming, the university expects to see rates of tobacco use decline over the next two years as demand for cessation increases and social norms change.

    Initial grant funding will allow the university to implement, evaluate, and improve ongoing and comprehensive tobacco prevention programming and collaboration to change social norms and maximize human and financial resources. The proposed statewide coalition will serve as a replicable model for other public and private universities considering tobacco-free policies and hoping to increase efficiency and effectiveness through creative collaboration.

    The proposed cost of this multi-faceted state and community intervention is $235,496. Grant funding will support a part-time program coordinator, two expert consultants/trainers, four full-day conferences with partner sites, technical assistance and financial support to subcontractor partner universities, extensive training and support for staff and student workers, cessation aids, permanent signage and promotional items, supplies, and five professional conferences where project leaders will share best practices and a replicable model for tobacco prevention and control policies on campus communities. Subcontractors include CCSU, ECSU, and WCSU, as well as experts in cessation and e-cigarettes to provide specific training, support, and technical assistance to partners and student workers. SCSU Health and Wellness Center staff salaries, including the Principal Investigator and co-Principal Investigator will be paid in full by Southern as an in-kind contribution. Grant funding will cover costs associated with dozens of student-led programs, outreach, and events, including innovative e-cigarette exchange events.

      Vivian Shipley's Books
      Vivian Shipley's Books

      English Professor Vivian Shipley, a Connecticut State University Distinguished Professor, has published two new volumes of poetry: Perennial (Negative Capability Press, 2015) and The Poet (Louisiana Literature Press, 2015). Shipley, who earned her bachelor of arts and master of arts degrees in English from the University of Kentucky and her doctorate in Victorian literature from Vanderbilt University, has taught at Southern since 1969 and has published 10 books of poetry and six chapbooks. She teaches undergraduate and graduate poetry writing workshops in the English Department.

      The painting on the cover of The Poet is a portrait of Shipley’s mother- and father-in-law, Ruth and Morris Harris, who are dressed for a Halloween party. The artist, their daughter Marcia Harris, died from multiple sclerosis at age 49. Poems in this collection, says Shipley, are centered on the multiple disguises and masks that poets can wear and refer in one way or another to the act of writing poetry. “Fiction is, well, fiction,” Shipley says. “Poets seek to find truth, personal or universal, in their poetry. But, does poetry need to be literally true? Can and/or should the poet be a good liar? The difficulty of writing poetry that appears to be confessional but never really happened or didn’t happen quite that way can be very disturbing to other people—particularly family members.” In The Poet, Shipley explores different techniques to counter this problem and still write poems that sound as if the poet has had experiences she has not had. Readers who delve into the poems in The Poet can decide if Shipley really defaced Sylvia Plath’s gravestone, trekked the Inca Trail to get to Machu Picchu, hiked up Av. Du-Lachaise to visit Jim Morrison’s grave, was a surfer chick, a dominatrix or a hammer thrower. Personal poems about aging are, she admits, unfortunately true.

      Shipley was raised in Kentucky, and her relatives all lived on dirt farms there. The photograph on the cover ofPerennial is of Celia Farmer, Shipley’s maternal great-great-grandmother, who lived to be 107 on one small farm or another in Pulaski County, Kentucky. Born in 1818, she died in 1925. Blind for many years, she had no teeth and was cared for at the end of her life by her daughter, Lydia Farmer Stewart, who was Shipley’s great-grandmother. Poems in Perennial, Shipley says, are centered on the persistent poverty, illness, and terror that plague the world generation after generation. The book’s first section, arranged in chronological order, begins with a poem about Rebecca Nurse, who in 1692 was hanged in Salem, Mass., for being a witch, and ends with a poem that pays tribute to the lives of 142 Christian students in Kenya who were killed by al-Shabab on April 2, 2015. Shipley says she does not believe her poems will impact constant acts of senseless brutality, but she thinks it’s important “to not look away or forget lives that have been snuffed out by mindless cruelty.” The book’s two other sections contain poems about personal loss, focusing largely on the deaths of Shipley’s parents. “A priest is blessed to be able to offer a communion wafer that provides salvation to a deeply troubled world,” Shipley says. “Poets have only their words to give. Evil in this world will not be tamed; widespread injustice will not be curbed. The poems in Perennial bear witness to the struggle of the heart, the mind, the body ensnared by powers that cannot be understood or controlled.”

      A New York Times review of Shipley’s poetry says that it “preserves a uniqueness of place,” and her work has received many accolades. Her book All of Your Messages Have Been Erased (Louisiana Literature Press, 2010) was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and won both the 2011 Paterson Award for Sustained Literary Achievement and the Sheila Motton Book Prize for Poetry from New England Poetry Club. It was also recognized as Best Creative Work by the Connecticut Press Club and was a finalist for both the Connecticut Book Prize and the Milton Kessler Poetry Prize from SUNY-Binghamton. Shipley has received many other awards and recognitions as well, including being chosen as SCSU Faculty Scholar three times and named to the University of Kentucky Hall of Distinguished Alumni.

        Southern alumna Sarah Tortora

        Wellesley College has awarded Southern alumna Sarah Tortora the prestigious Alice C. Cole ’42 Fellowship, which is given to an outstanding early-career painter or sculptor, and this year provides $35,000 of unrestricted funds to support one year of unimpeded time and space to experiment, develop a body of work, and focus on future artistic goals. A solo exhibition at the Jewett Art Gallery at Wellesley College concludes the fellowship.

        Tortora graduated from Southern in 2011 with a B.S. in studio art, concentration in sculpture, under the direction of Professors Jeff Slomba and Rachael Vaters-Carr. Tortora says, “Southern is where I experienced my first challenges in art-making; where I used wood and metal tools for the first time, took my first art history courses, and developed a rigorous work ethic.” After graduating, she attended graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania, and received her M.F.A. in interdisciplinary arts in 2013. From 2013 to 2015, she returned to Southern as an adjunct faculty member in the Studio Art Department and taught various sculpture courses. During that time, she also attended artist residencies at the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and the Jentel Foundation.

        Tortora describes her sculptural works, which consist primarily of wood and steel constructions, as “containing references to Modern architecture, art history, furniture, utilitarian fixtures, and mechanisms of display. They suggest performativity, or the potential for intervention, but remain amalgams in a cycle of identification and misrecognition. These works become sites for projection, as facsimiles of archetypal objects and icons, or signs to reveal the structure of their own presentation.”

        For the fellowship year, she intends to focus on “expanding a series of large-scale pieces that conflate the sculptural lexicons of museum-based Modern sculpture, often nomadic in its placement, and Equestrian monuments, which are always site-specific.” Tortora’s plan is to devote the majority of her time to working in the studio, not only producing new bodies of work, but also conducting creative research and acquiring new technical skills in the facilitation of future pieces.

        The Cole Fellowship is made possible by the generous bequest of Wellesley alumna Alice C. Cole, ’42. Aware of the burdens that face recent graduates of art school, Alice Cole had said that she wanted to provide “a ‘breathing space’ early in an individual’s career that will stimulate creativity and allow time to focus on career objectives, freeing the individual from concentrating on purely monetary achievements.”

        Students use one of the Southern campus' water bottle refilling stations.
        Students use one of the Southern campus' water bottle refilling stations.

        For the second year in a row, Sierra Magazine has included Southern on its list of “Cool Schools” — American’s greenest universities. Ranked at 125 for 2015, Southern jumped this year from its prior position at 152. The “Cool Schools” article with rankings is published in the magazine’s September/October 2015 issue. The full list of rankings can be found here.

        Participation in Sierra Magazine’s “Cool Schools” ranking is a voluntary opt-in process that is open to all four-year undergraduate colleges and universities in the United States. This year, campus administrators could participate by completing an extensive questionnaire about their school’s sustainability practices. Staff from Southern’s Office of Sustainability completed the questionnaire. The magazine’s goals for publishing the ranking are that it will serve as a guide for prospective students who want to compare colleges based on the schools’ commitment to environmentalism and that the ranking might spur productive competition between colleges, raise eco-standards on campus, and publicly reward the institutions that work hard to protect the planet.

        The “Cool Schools” ranking is an index that provides fair, comparative information about the most important elements of campus sustainability. Sierra’s researchers determine the numbers and order when they evaluate schools’ survey responses via a scoring key developed to emphasize the Sierra Club’s environmental priorities.

        The university was also recently named to “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 353 Green Colleges” for 2015.The Princeton Review — an education services company known for its test prep programs and college rankings, ratings, and guidebooks — profiles Southern in the sixth annual edition of its free downloadable book, “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 353 Green Colleges.”

        The Princeton Review chose the schools for this edition of its “green guide” based on data from the company’s 2014 survey of hundreds of four-year colleges concerning the schools’ commitments to the environment and sustainability.

        The profiles in “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 353 Green Colleges” provide information about each school’s admission requirements, cost and financial aid, and student body stats. They also include “Green Facts” about the schools with details on the availability of transportation alternatives at the schools and the percentage of the school food budgets spent on local/organic food.

        Published April 16, a few days before the April 22, 2015, celebration of Earth Day, the free, 218-page guide can be downloaded here.

        The Princeton Review created its guide to green colleges in partnership with the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

        The university’s new Academic and Laboratory Science Building, slated to open in fall 2015, incorporates many elements of green building practices and will be home to Earth Science, Environmental Science, and The Center for Coastal Marine Studies, among other environmentally-oriented academic programs.

        Joan Kreiger is coordinating a new bachelor's degree program in respiratory therapy for individuals already in the field. Classes have begun this fall.

        In an effort to meet the advancing healthcare needs of the 21st century, Southern is launching a Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy degree program this fall for those who already have an associate degree in the field.

        The A.S.-to-B.S.R.T. program includes 36 credits and can be completed either on a full-time or part-time basis. Students also must complete the university’s Liberal Education Program requirements, but most of these can be met via an associate degree at one of Connecticut’s community colleges. The curriculum is intended to be flexible with courses offered both online and in traditional classrooms, as well as via a hybrid format (combination of the two). Accelerated classes (eight weeks in duration) also are being offered.

        “The program is ideal for individuals who are respiratory therapy professionals and who want to pursue a leadership role in clinical practice, research, education, marketing or management,” said Joan Kreiger, SCSU assistant professor of exercise science and B.S.R.T. program coordinator. “The profession is steadily moving in a direction where a bachelor’s degree will eventually become the norm.”

        Kreiger said SCSU is the only public institution in New England to offer an A.S.-to-B.S.R.T. program. “We are providing an affordable, accessible, high quality option,” she said.

        Two pathways will be available to students – a leadership track that can be completed through online coursework, and a clinical track (which includes a six-credit clinical component.)

        Required courses include: Case Studies in Medical Ethics; Principles of Care Coordination in Respiratory Disease Management; Evidenced-Based Practice and Research in Respiratory Care; Neonatal/Pediatric Care of the Pulmonary Patient; Respiratory Care Education and Respiratory Care Seminar. It also includes two courses in exercise science – Pathophysiology and General Medical Perspectives.

        The program includes a wide variety of electives in respiratory therapy, public health, medical anthropology, medical sociology, and recreation and leisure studies.

        Acceptance into the program requires students to have an associate degree in respiratory therapy, a valid registered respiratory therapy credential (RRT) and completing all prerequisite courses with at least a 2.5 GPA. Applications are made initially to the university through the Admissions Office, followed by an application to the respiratory therapy program.

        In addition to programs in public health, exercise science, and recreation and leisure studies, the SCSU School of Health and Human Services also offers degrees in nursing, social work, communication disorders, and marriage and family therapy. The university added an Ed.D. in nursing education two years ago as part of a collaborative effort with Western Connecticut State University.

        For further information, contact Joan Kreiger at (203) 392-6963 or at kreigerj1@southernct.edu.

        Sarah Brochu, who recently concluded a stellar career with the Southern Connecticut State University women’s soccer team, has been named as one of 480 student-athletes nominated for the 2015 NCAA Woman of the Year award.

        The Woman of the Year award honors graduating female student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, service and leadership.

        Previously named a nominee for the 2015 Northeast-10 Conference Woman of the Year award and the 2015 Northeast-10 Conference Outstanding Female Scholar-Athlete Award, Brochu capped her Owls’ career with All-America laurels, just the fourth player in program history to earn such an honor.

        Regarded as possibly the finest defender in school history, the three-year team captain was named the Northeast-10 Conference Defensive Player of the Year and the ECAC Defensive Player of the Year. Brochu earned All-New England, All-Region and All-Conference honors four times in her career.

        Brochu, of Wilbraham, Mass., was also honored extensively for her work in the classroom, where the nursing major maintained a cumulative grade point average of more than 3.6. She was selected as a Division II Athletic Directors Association Academic Achievement Award recipient, a three-time NE-10 Women’s Soccer All-Academic Team selection and as a NSCAA Academic All-Region honoree.

        Adam Cohen, women’s soccer coach, said Brochu was a strong role model for the younger players during her Owls’ career.

        “She exemplified what we want our program to be about at Southern,” he said. “She is driven, motivated and extremely intelligent. She has a way of not only getting herself motivated, but motivating the people around her. She was a leader from the moment she stepped on campus.”

        Barbara Aronson (left) and Lisa Rebeschi (center) of the Nursing Department are recognized by the Connecticut Nursing Collaborative Action Coalition for their efforts to improve the quality of nursing education in Connecticut. Also pictured is Marianne Kennedy, former associate vice president for academic affairs.

        Two nursing faculty members at Southern were honored recently by the Connecticut Nursing Collaborative Action Coalition (CNC-AC) for their effort to eliminate the gap between academia and real world practice.

        Lisa Rebeschi, chairwoman of the SCSU Nursing Department, and Barbara Aronson, coordinator of SCSU’s nursing doctoral program, were presented awards at the CNC-AC’s Education Summit held at the Yale School of Nursing.

        A recent initiative, supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, seeks to minimize the divide and better prepare students to be nurses. Nurses and nursing faculty at SCSU, Gateway Community College and Yale-New Haven Hospital worked collaboratively on the project.

        The project enabled faculty to analyze their curricula, as well as real world patient care, leadership, technology, communication and teamwork, safety, quality improvement and evidence-based practice. The goal is to better prepare nursing students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to provide high quality and effective care.

        The analysis also assists in identifying the educational needs of associate degree nursing students who begin baccalaureate nursing degree programs.

        More than 175 recommendations were made and an action plan developed to implement many of these strategies during the next several years.

        Sandra Bulmer, interim dean of the SCSU School of Health and Human Services, said Rebeschi and Aronson have made substantial contributions that will have benefit the future of nursing education in Connecticut.

        “Their wealth of experience as nurse educators in public institutions added important perspectives to the work of the CNC-AC,” Bulmer said.

        “Their leadership positions at our institution uniquely position them to take immediate action to begin implementation of curricular changes that will benefit our students and improve the quality of patient care in our healthcare settings.”

          In April 2013, Theatre Professor Sheila Hickey Garvey served as theater director for the Greater Middletown Chorale’s (GMChorale) production of Letter from Italy, 1944, a dramatic oratorio comprised of 24 choral and solo pieces, performed by the 80 members of the chorale. The oratorio told the true story of one man’s experiences during wartime. In addition to serving on Southern’s faculty, Garvey is resident director of the GMChorale.

          Karyl Evans
          Karyl Evans

          On June 18 at 8 p.m., a new documentary about the oratorio will premiere on Connecticut Public Television (CPTV). Commissioned by the GMChorale, the film explores the effects of war on a soldier and on his relationships with his family through the lens of staging a new American oratorio. Narrated by Academy Award winner Meryl Streep, the film was directed by five-time Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Karyl Evans (left), niece of Southern’s Hilton C. Buley and formerly a member of the Communication Department faculty.

          Letter from Italy’s ties to SCSU go deep,” says Garvey. She adds that the project is especially meaningful to her not only because of the veteran’s story but also it served “as a capstone sort of project in my professional directing career.”

          The film Letter from Italy takes viewers on the journey of the creation of an oratorio written by two sisters, Sarah Meneely-Kyder and Nancy Meneely, about their father, Dr. John K. Meneely Jr., a doctor trained at Yale Medical School (1941) who served as a medic in the elite 10th Mountain Division during World War II. He returned home from war in Italy with post-traumatic stress disorder and tried to rebuild his life.

          Meneely-Kyder, a Grammy-nominated composer, and Nancy Meneely, a noted poet, both Connecticut residents, wrote the compelling two-hour oratorio in collaboration with GMChorale Artistic Director Joseph D’Eugenio of Hamden.

          Evans, a North Haven resident and owner of Karyl Evans Productions LLC, says of the story, “Everything about this project is compelling: the story of Yale-trained Dr. Meneely and his family, the impressive accomplishments of the 10th Mountain Division in Italy, and the breathtaking quality of the lyrics and music in the oratorio.”

          “Karyl Evans’ enormous gifts as a storyteller and filmmaker are palpable through the tone and atmosphere she creates in telling this powerful story about an American soldier’s struggle with PTSD,” D’Eugenio says of the documentary.

          “We are so pleased to be able to premiere such a unique and creative program on CPTV,” says Carol Sisco, vice president and executive director of television programming and acquisitions for the CPTV networks. “This documentary showcases the talents of local artists and allows us to share an important story with our viewers.”

          The film tells the history of the 10th Mountain Division — still active today — and the life of John Meneely, and then follows the creative process of the writing of the oratorio’s lyrics (which are based on Dr. Meneely’s poetic letters home from war) and music, as well as the staging of the oratorio by theater director Garvey and the intensive rehearsal process with the GMChorale’s 80 members and the soloists, including tenor Jack Anthony Pott and Metropolitan Opera soprano Patricia Schuman.

          The film uses interviews with the creators, singers, three World War II 10th Mountain Division veterans, historians, audience members, community participants and other veterans, as well as archival photos and film, to weave together a compelling story about a veteran and his family and the way a shared artistic experience can help heal the trauma of war.

          The film Letter from Italy, also commissioned by the GMC, was made possible with the major support of the state DECD/Connecticut Office of the Arts.

          For more information on the program, visit CPTV.org or the GMChorale’s website. A promotional video about the film is available for viewing on YouTube.

          Photo below:  Garvey (center, in blue dress) and the composers, director and cast of Letters from Italy, 1944, take a bow at the oratorio’s 2013 production.

            The crown jewels of Buley Library have returned home after several years away. Four magnificent stained-glass windows were recently reinstalled in the library after being removed while the building was undergoing construction. Two arched windows, known as the “Hector” window and the “Water Brooks” window, among three donated by the First Church of Christ in New Haven, are considered masterful examples of the work of Louis Comfort Tiffany. Along with a third arched window known as “The Angel of Praise,” the “Hector” and “Water Brooks” windows are now on the south side of the first floor of the renovated section of the library, near the Reference Desk and computer area. These windows were originally donated to the university in the 1960s and installed in Buley in 1972. A fourth window, known as the “Congregational” window — donated by the North Stonington Congregational Church in the 1990s — is also on the south side, in the two-level reading area that starts on the second floor of the connector between the original library building and the addition built in recent years. Both locations illuminate the windows with natural light during the day and are also be visible at night from the outside.

            Buley's Tiffany WindowThe three arched windows were the first major works of art the university acquired for permanent exhibition. They were originally installed for public display in the library’s main reading lounge, set in shadow boxes with back lighting. It was believed that this manner of displaying the windows was the first incidence of former church windows being exhibited as art works in a public building, aside from museums. The windows were removed when construction began on the library, and they were restored and kept in storage until their new home became ready for them.

            The Tiffany windows are considered to be fine examples of the work of Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933), a renowned designer, painter, and craftsman who remains one of America’s most influential and celebrated artists. Tiffany founded the Tiffany Glass Company on December 1, 1885. He focused on new methods of glass manufacture, and before opening his studio, he had registered a patent for opalescent window glass, in which several colors were combined and altered to create an inconceivable range of hues and three-dimensional effects. Tiffany devoted himself to “the pursuit of beauty” and the elevation of American Arts and Crafts into a fine art.

            Tiffany’s studio achieved national and international recognition when he was commissioned to produce stained-glass windows for the interior homes of Mark Twain, Cornelius Vanderbilt, and the White House under President Chester A. Arthur. Tiffany’s unparalleled style – reflected most notably in his glass vases, tiles, mosaics, and particularly his glass table lamps and lampshades – greatly influenced the Art Nouveau movement. The artistic pieces he produced between the 1890s and 1918 were dazzling, exquisite, exotic, and of the highest quality, thus forever joining his name with the ideal of elegance.

            Unfortunately, by the time of his death in 1933, there had been a decline in the interest and popularity of the Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles, matched by a drop in the market for Tiffany’s works. With the advent of the Art Moderne and Expressionist movements, the popularity of Tiffany’s signature design and style was diminished.

            It was Dr. Robert Koch, (Professor Emeritus, 1918-2003) a decorative arts expert and Louis C. Tiffany’s biographer, who set in motion a revival of interest in Tiffany’s Art Nouveau glasswork designs.

            His scholarly infusion into Tiffany’s legacy led to a resurgence in popularity and increased demand for Tiffany works. Born in New York City and educated at Harvard and New York universities, Koch served in the United States Army from 1942 to 1945 and in 1958 earned a doctorate in art history at Yale University.

            For over 20 years, he served as a faculty member and was an art historian in the Art Department at Southern. Upon his retirement, Koch’s significant contributions earned him professor emeritus status. He was the author of several books on Tiffany, and he donated rare Tiffany works to several museums. Koch was responsible for the donation to Southern of the Tiffany windows.