Tags Posts tagged with "honors"


Owl pride is running sky high with a growing list of accomplishments showcasing Southern's position among the best in higher education. #Expect More. Be More.

Owl Pride graphic with Otis and banner
  1. Southern’s student-faculty ratio is 14:1.
  2. About 125 student clubs/organizations continue to connect students while maintaining social distancing: 1,100 students participated in the Virtual Involvement Fair held in Sept. 2020.
  3. The retention rate in Southern’s Honors College is well above 90 percent – in step with many of the most-selective private institutions of higher education.
  4. All first-year students accepted into the Honors College receive a merit-based scholarship covering one-half to full in-state tuition, beginning with the Class of 2020.
  5. There were 52,000 visits to the Academic Success Center in 2019-20 for free services, including academic success coaching, tutoring, and the Peer Academic Leadership (PAL) program. In the latter, weekly review sessions are held for historically difficult courses.
  6. The Academic Success Center works! 87 percent of students who completed academic success coaching requirements increased their GPA; 100 percent who attended five or more PALs sessions earned a higher grade than those who did not.
  7. Southern has one  of “The 50 Best College Financial Literacy Programs for 2020,” the fourth year in a row for the honor. — LendEdu.com. Yale University is the only other college in Connecticut included on the list this year.
  8. The nationally recognized Elm Shakespeare Company is Southern’s theatre-in-residence.
  9. The Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree program earned full accreditation this spring by the American Library Association (ALA). It’s the only accredited program of its kind in Connecticut and one of just three in New England.
  10. Southern has 30 partnerships with distinguished universities worldwide. Fall 2020 study abroad programming is canceled due to COVID-19. Helping to broaden horizons, the Office of International Education is presenting “Owls In (Virtual) Flight,” a series of recorded conversations connecting Southern students with their peers at university partner institutions in Europe, Asia, South America, Africa, and more.
  11. An innovative trans-Atlantic partnership unites Southern and Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU). The partnership offers research internships, study abroad opportunities, and faculty exchanges when not influenced by COVID-19.
  12. Southern typically provides 2,700+ experiential learning and workforce-prep opportunities for students each year. In response to COVID-19, Career Services is providing 10 virtual career fairs for the 2020-21 academic year, implementing a new practice interview platform, and integrating digital resources for networking and connecting virtually.
  13. Graduates of the Class of 2019 nursing programs did exceptionally well on the National Council Licensing Examination for Registered Nurses (NYCLEX). The pass rate was 100 percent for the Accelerated Career Entry (ACE) Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN) program and 95 percent for the traditional BSN program.
  14. Graduates of the M.S.N. program had a 100 percent pass rate on the Family Nurse Practitioner Certification Examination in 2019.
  15. Southern’s Department of Music earned accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) — becoming one of just six universities and colleges in Connecticut to hold the prestigious distinction.
  16. Southern is home to the CSCU** Center for Nanotechnology, the only system-wide center for the field in the state.
  17. Also housed at Southern, the Werth Center for Coastal and Marine Studies is the only CSCU** center dedicated to faculty-mentored student research that addresses environmental issues along the Connecticut shoreline and Long Island Sound.
  18. Southern is an NCAA Division II athletics powerhouse, holding 80 individual titles and 10 team championships.
  19. Southern is one of only 24 colleges/universities in the United States — and one of only two in Connecticut — accredited by the International Dyslexia Association for providing exceptional teacher training.
  20. In 2017, Southern was honored by the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA) as an Excellence Award Designee, which recognizes colleges/universities that best proactively use assessment data to strengthen undergraduate education.
  21. The Barack H. Obama Magnet University School opened on campus in January 2020. The elementary school is a collaboration between Southern, the city of New Haven and its school system. As such, it is a rarity — uniting a public university with a public school system.
  22. Southern received a federal grant of $3.68 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help improve the health of vulnerable populations in New Haven. The project is coordinated by the Community Alliance for Research and Engagement (CARE), which is co-housed at Southern’s College of Health and Human Services and the Yale School of Public Health. It is the largest grant ever received by Southern.
  23. Approximately 300 members of the military community are attending Southern in fall 2020, including 245 veterans, 35 National Guard/Reservists, and 20 dependents.
  24. About 650 first-year students typically volunteer at the annual Day of Service – just one example of Southern’s commitment to the community.
  25.  Southern historically holds Social Justice Month, presenting about 100 events designed to further social justice education and awareness on campus.
  26. Southern was designated the first breast-feeding friendly campus in the state and the nation. — Connecticut Breastfeeding Coalition
  27. Southern has lowered its carbon footprint for buildings by more than 50 percent since 2008 through energy efficiency, automated sensors and controls, and green energy purchasing.
  28. Solar power provides approximately 8 percent of the electricity used at Southern — thanks to two multifaceted solar installations on opposite sides of campus. Combined they produce almost 2 megawatts of energy.
  29. 100 percent of the electricity used on campus is eco-friendly — a combination of solar and Green-e-certified electricity.
  30. Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification was awarded to two campus buildings: the Academic Science and Laboratory Building and the home for the School of Business. The certification recognizes construction and design meeting exceptional ecological standards.
  31. The university composts about 45 tons of food scraps annually.
  32.  Students and recent alumni were awarded the most prestigious national honors in recent years, including four Fulbright U.S. Student Program grants since 2012; the Harry S. Truman Scholarship for “outstanding potential for leadership, commitment to public service, and academic excellence” (2020); the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship (2020); and an American Academy for the Advancement of Science [AAAS] Science and Technology Fellowship (2019).
  33. Kenneth Walters, associate professor of psychology,  is the 2020 Mensa Foundation Distinguished Teacher of the Year. He is one of only three college professors to ever receive the honor.
  34. Three 1st place finishes were awarded to Southern student teams at the Connecticut Venture Capital Investment Competition in recent years.
  35. Jacob Santos, ’19, is one of only 14 in the country named a 2019-20 Newman’s Own Foundation Fellow, a program designed to provide young leaders with experience in the nonprofit sector.
  36. Rigoberto Escalera, ’19, received one of two 2019 Legacy Awards from New Haven Promise. The award recognizes recent graduates who have demonstrated a deep commitment to their studies, fellow scholars, and the city of New Haven.
  37. The College of Education is lauded for its exceptional teacher preparation programs and graduates — including Jahana Hayes, ’05, the 2016 National Teacher of the Year. Hayes went on to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and is the first African American woman to represent the state of Connecticut in Congress.
  38. Alumni teachers and education administrators received many accolades in 2019 and 2020, including the Milken Educator Award (which carries with it a $25,000 prize), the Connecticut History Teacher of the Year Award, three Connecticut PTA Outstanding Administrators Awards, and the George Olmsted Jr. Class of 1924 Prize for Excellence in Secondary Education from Williams College.
  39. In both 2018 and 2019, Southern student photographers were one of only two national finalists in the “feature photography” category of the Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Awards, recognizing the best of student journalism in the U.S.
  40. Southern students won numerous awards at the annual conference of the Society of Professional Journalists for Region 1, which represents universities throughout New England, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. They were honored for their work on Crescent Magazine and the Southern News student newspaper.
  41. December 2019 graduate Karen Reyes-Benzi was the Yale New Haven Hospital’s 2019 Magnet Nurse of the Year.
  42. In 2019, a group of 12 journalism students earned first place in the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists’ Excellence in Journalism Awards in the “health” category for a group project. The project was awarded the highest honor above all the major news outlets in the state in the Regional A division.
  43. Astrophysicist Elliott Horch, who was recently named  a Connecticut State University System Professor, and Carolyn Thompson, who teaches geography as an adjunct faculty member, are this year’s J. Philip Smith Outstanding Teaching Award recipients. In addition, Carrie Michalski, professor of nursing, has been chosen as the Academic Advisor Award winner.
  44. In 2019, just seven years after graduation, Jeffrey Nowak, ’12, realized one of the pinnacles of journalism success — membership on a news team honored with a Pulitzer Prize, the nation’s most prestigious journalism award.
  45. Sandra Gomez-Aceves, ’17, beat out nearly 500 applicants to win one of twelve coveted spots at the 2017 ProPublica Data Institute, a seminar for journalist and journalism students. Gomez-Aceves was one of only three students chosen by the Pulitzer Prize-winning organization to participate.
  46. Computer science majors Michael Solati and Robert Crowdis, ’19, won first place at the 2017 College Tech Challenge — standing out among many of the state’s top engineering and programming students. The duo won a $5,000 prize.
  47. A Southern team was a semi-finalist in the 2017 American Marketing Association’s Collegiate Case Competition. Southern was the only institution of higher learning in Connecticut to score among the semi-finalists and finalists — and joined Providence College as the only two in New England.
  48. There are 11,000 student members in the American Marketing Association (AMA), and recent graduate Julia Rotella, ’17, was one of the best, finishing second in the organization’s “Student Marketer of the Year” competition.
  49. A Southern student team was one of only three from Connecticut to medal at the 2016 IGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine) competition. Southern, the University of Connecticut, and Yale University each won bronze at the competition.
  50.  Two Southern graduates were chosen among a total of 10 librarians from throughout the U.S. to receive the 2015 “I Love My Librarian Award,” sponsored by the American Library Association.

** Connecticut State Colleges and Universities

Several major faculty awards were presented at this year’s Celebration of Excellence, an annual ceremony to honor awardees for outstanding achievements in teaching, scholarship, research and innovation.

This year’s honorees included:

Million Dollar Club
Ms. Alycia Santilli, Director of CARE

Joan Finn Junior Faculty Research Fellowship
Dr. Meghan Barboza, Assistant Professor Histology, Physiology, Marine Mammalogy
Dr. Victoria Zigmont, Assistant Professor of Public Health

Mid-Level Faculty Research Fellowship
Dr. Md Shafaeat Hossain, Associate Professor of Computer Science

Senior-Level Faculty Research Fellowship
Dr. Kalu Ogbaa, Professor of English

Faculty Scholar Award
Dr. C. Michele Thompson, Professor of History 

Robert Jirsa Service Award
Dr. Michele Vancour, Professor of Public Health

Outstanding Academic Adviser Award
Dr. Gayle Bogel, Associate Professor and Coordinator of the School Library Media Program

Board of Regents Teaching Awards for SCSU
Dr. Charles Baraw, Associate Professor of English
Ms. Patricia Mottola, MFA Adjunct Faculty, Creative Writing

Board of Regents Research Award for SCSU
Dr. Darcy Kern, Assistant Professor of Medieval Mediterranean History

J. Philip Smith Outstanding Teacher Award
Dr. Kyle O’Brien, Assistant Professor of Social Work

Social Justice Community Award
Dr. MaryJo Archambault, Assistant Professor of Recreation, Tourism, & Sport Management

Larry DeNardis receives honorary fellowship from Liverpool John Moores University

Lawrence DeNardis, a member of the Connecticut State Board of Regents for Higher Education (BOR), recently received the award of an Honorary Fellowship of Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU). One of 12 Fellows chosen for 2017, DeNardis was honored for his outstanding achievement in creating transatlantic academic opportunities. He was instrumental in helping to establish the pioneering transatlantic partnership between Southern and LJMU, which provides a unique student exchange program, including opportunities for joint degrees.

DeNardis received the award during LJMU’s graduation ceremony, held at Liverpool Cathedral before an audience of over 3000 graduates and guests.

The Trans-Atlantic Alliance between SCSU and LJMU, now in its third year, has included research internships, study abroad for students from both institutions, faculty exchanges, and the approval of the first programs in a portfolio of joint master’s degrees. SCSU President Joe Bertolino and former Provost Ellen Durnin were part of a small delegation that visited Liverpool in May to meet with LJMU leadership and advance the university’s first major international partnership.

The Fellowship was presented to DeNardis by Sir Malcolm Thornton, who joined LJMU’s Board of Governors in 2001 and became chairman and pro-chancellor in 2007, a position he held until 2013. Thornton and DeNardis have known each other for 35 years and share a “passion for education as an engine of change,” said Thornton in his remarks during the presentation. A few years ago, together they began to plant the seeds for the transatlantic partnership between LJMU and SCSU.

Thornton said, “It’s not easy to establish a formal partnership between universities on different sides of the Atlantic. We have succeeded – we have succeeded because of shared values, shared beliefs and because our academic staff, here and in America, have seized the opportunity to create new ways to work together.”

DeNardis said of his award, “It is with great pleasure to have this honour bestowed on me and to my wife to be here with me. It is true that this 35-year friendship has led to a strong partnership between SCSU and LJMU – a partnership that will benefit countless students at both institutions for decades to come.”

LJMU’s highest honor, the Honorary Fellowship is bestowed each July during Graduation Week upon a select group of individuals from outside the university, in recognition of their outstanding achievement in a given field or profession, and who personify the university’s ethos and go on to inspire others.

The Fellowship of the university is an association of individuals who are closely connected with the work of LJMU, and Fellows play an active role in the life of the university by delivering guest lectures, hosting events, helping with projects and in some cases mentoring and supporting individual or groups of students.

DeNardis’ own academic career includes 16 years as an associate professor and chairman of the Department of Political Science at Albertus Magnus College, visiting professor of government at Connecticut College, guest scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars of the Smithsonian Institution, and seminar instructor at Yale University. He earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from the College of the Holy Cross and a master’s and a Ph.D. in government from New York University.

He has pursued a combined political and educational career and as a public servant has worked to create opportunities to raise the aspirations of the communities he has served, Thornton said.

President Emeritus of the University of New Haven and a former United States Congressman from Connecticut, DeNardis has been a federal and state legislator and chief executive officer, in addition to his work as a political science professor. He represented Connecticut’s Third District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1981 after serving five terms in the Connecticut State Senate from 1971.

He was the Acting Assistant Secretary for Legislation at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 1985-86 and was appointed by President George Bush to serve as a member of the Board of Regents of the National Library of Medicine.

In 2005 and 2006, DeNardis was an official election observer for national parliamentary and presidential elections in Ukraine and Tanzania and co-chaired delegations from both the Association of former members of Congress and the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. He also led a delegation of former members of Congress to meet with the new president of Chile in February 2006.

DeNardis was appointed in 2012 to the BOR, which governs Connecticut’s four state universities; 12 community colleges; and Charter Oak State College.


Celebration of Excellence, faculty awards

At the annual Celebration of Faculty Excellence on May 1, several major faculty awards were presented at a ceremony to honor the awardees, with President Joe Bertolino and Provost Ellen Durnin welcoming those in attendance. Bertolino said, “I want the members of Southern’s faculty to know that your hard work is visible, and it is appreciated. Today is our chance to applaud our colleagues for careers characterized by excellence.” Durnin agreed, adding, “it is important to recognize the work of our faculty, for all the kinds of work that they do. The awards to be given today reflect the university’s regard for not only research, but also for teaching, advising, and service.”

This year’s honorees included:

Million Dollar Club
Dr. Barbara Aronson, Nursing
Dr. Elliott Horch, Physics

Joan Finn Junior Faculty Research Fellowship
Dr. Matthew Miller, Environment, Geography, and Marine Sciences
Dr. Michael Knell, Earth Science

Mid-Level Faculty Research Fellowship
Dr. Corinne Blackmer, English

Senior-Level Faculty Research Fellowship
Dr. Elliott Horch, Physics

Faculty Scholar Award
Dr. Giuseppina Palma, World Languages and Literatures

Robert Jirsa Service Award
Dr. Troy Paddock, History

Outstanding Academic Adviser Award
Dr. Natalie Starling, Counseling and School Psychology

Board of Regents Teaching Awards for SCSU
Dr. Melissa Talhelm, English
Dr. Lisa Nakamura, History

Board of Regents Research Award for SCSU
Dr. Corinne Blackmer, English

J. Philip Smith Outstanding Teacher Award
Dr. Sarah Roe, Philosophy
Dr. Margaret Sargent, Communication
Professor Jennifer Lee Magas, English