Miles Wilkerson to Present Research at Regional Conference.
Miles Wilkerson, a senior history and social sciences major from Mansfield Center, was chosen to present at the New England Historical Association’s (NEHA) fall conference in Rindge, NH on Oct. 18. His presentation, titled, “Nunca Olvide: Reframing Historical Discourse on Cuban Exile Terrorism,” focused on Cuba’s right-wing exiles and the effects that their terrorism and extremist acts had in shaping Cuban government. Wilkerson also recently presented his research at the Phi Alpha Theta New York Upper Regional Conference and saw it as an opportunity to hone his craft. “I am very grateful for the opportunity to attend the NEHA conference alongside graduate students and professors,” he said. “As one of two undergraduates presenting a paper at this conference, I am proud to be representing Eastern at a professional history meeting once again.” Wilkerson acknowledged History Professor Joan Meznar, his mentor, for helping him to present at the conference. He also thanked the Eastern History Club for offering transportation to the event.
Egan Appointed to Serve on Community Service Commission.
On Oct. 6, Lily Egan, a senior who is majoring in communication, was appointed by Governor Dannel Malloy to serve on the Connecticut Commission on Community Service. The commission administers community programs under the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993. Egan is one of 19 members on the commission statewide, and will serve a three-year term. “This appointment is something I never would have dreamed of achieving when I was a freshman,” said Egan. “I look forward to making a difference in the state in this capacity.”
As a student, Egan has been heavily involved with service projects in Willimantic. As an underclassman, she participated in the club People Helping People, where she was introduced to Eastern’s Center for Community Engagement (CCE) — where she now works as a senior student leader. “Lily is dedicated and passionate about service to our community,” said Kim Silcox, director of the CCE. “She has taken a leadership role within the CCE, and has developed several new volunteer programs based on community needs. We are so fortunate to have her on our staff.”
Aspiring Teacher Maggie Bodington Wins Vicki Soto Memorial Scholarship.
Above, Vickie Soto’s younger siblings and Bodington at Stratford High School on Senior Scholarship Award Night this past June.) Maggie Bodington, a freshman from Stratford, is one of this year’s recipients of the Vicki Soto Memorial Scholarship, given to two Stratford high school seniors each year. The scholarship was created in honor of Victoria Leigh Soto ’08, who lost her life protecting the children of her first-grade classroom at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown on Dec. 14, 2012.
The scholarship was the final award given at Stratford High School’s (SHS) Senior Scholarship Award Night this past June. “I was so blown away when I won it,” said Bodington. “I wanted it for what it really means, not just the money, but to continue her legacy. She was so full of life. The things she stood for — to live, laugh and love — they are how I try to live my life.” Bodington plays on Eastern’s soccer team, and plans to join the lacrosse team in the spring semester. She also hopes to join Habitat for Humanity and Best Buddies clubs, if her schedule permitsThe Vicki Soto Memorial Scholarship is awarded once a year to a graduating senior from Stratford High School and a graduating senior from Bunnell High School in Stratford. Recipients of the scholarship must be pursuing a career in education and demonstrate excellence in academics, extracurricular activities and leadership skills. The recipients must also demonstrate the spirit to live, laugh and love, both in life and education —the way Vicki did. (For information on the Victoria Leigh Soto Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund administered by the ECSU Foundation, Inc., visit http://www.easternct.edu/advancement/victoria_soto.html,)
Social work students present at state conference.
On Oct. 29, two Social Work majors, Steve Wilmoth of Willimantic and Desiree Laporte of Dayville, received scholarships to present a poster session on their work with the Eastern Athletic Department’s Gambling Awareness Semester Campaign, at the 11th Annual Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling Conference (CCPG): “Bridging the Gap to Recovery; Community, Prevention, Treatment,” at the Mystic Marriott Hotel and Spa in Groton. The students developed a tool kit to educate, coaches, student athletes, trainers, club sport players and intramural players on gambling and problem gambling. Their project was funded by a grant from the CCPG. Thomas Broffman, assistant professor of social work, served as supervisor for the students.
Rugby team picks up trash; helps Soup Kitchen.
Members of Eastern’s club rugby team took a break after hitting the streets of Willimantic to participate in their annual “See Trash, Pick it up!” town clean-up effort. This year, the team collected more than 475 pounds of trash and debris from local streets and sidewalks. The trash pick-up is in its fifth year.
Covenant Soup Kitchen Manager Pam Rogers, right, jokes with Eastern Connecticut Rugby team members, left to right, Demitri Voukounas, Anthony Testi and Tevin Williams at the Covenant Soup Kitchen, as the rugby team donated 1,200 kitchen towels, which were sorely needed. “For years, the team has volunteered at the Soup Kitchen, seeing this as a way to give back to their school community,” said Assistant Coach Ray Armani.