Undergraduate Research Fellow for Summer 2015

Zane Lombardo (Mentor: Robert Collins) from the Physical Sciences Department has been selected as the Undergraduate Research Fellow. Zane will be working his project titled “Biophysical  Studies of Fluorescent Protein Calcium Sensors.” According to Mr. Lombardo, the study on proteins “all connect to his ongoing biosensors project” and prepare him for his future as a biochemist.

2015 Undergraduate Research & Creative Activity Mentor Awards Recipients

At the inaugural CREATE Conference Opening Ceremony on April 17th, 2015, two Awards were presented for outstanding mentoring. Students nominated the professors that resulted in presentation at Regional and National Conference. Both of the student nominators have also been accepted into graduate programs for Fall 2015.

Dr. Miriam Chirico, Professor in the English Department was nominated by her student Renee Ann Drouin for her project on Anne Boleyn. Renee presented her research at the COPLAC Regional Research Conference (14′) and the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (15′).  Renee will be going to Rutger’s University for graduate training.

Dr. Meredith Metcalf, Assistant Professor in the Environmental Earth Science Department was nominated by her student, Laura Markley. Laura will be attending Lehigh University in the fall and presented her research at a Regional Conference. Her research poster also won an award.

Ricky Magner Presents at Posters on the Hill

Richard Magner’s research with his Mentor Mizan Khan (Mathematics) titled “Geometric Questions in Number Theory” was accepted for presentation at the Posters on the Hill Conference schedule for April 22-23 on Capitol Hill. Ricky’s research was 1 of 50 submissions selected from over 500 applications. Eastern has a distinguished record of presenters at Posters on the Hill, which has a 10% acceptance rate.   Of the years where a Connecticut institution was selected to present at POH, Eastern has been represented 4 times out of 9 (44%)times . Only the University of New Haven has been selected more than 1 time in the past 10 years.


13 Student Projects Presented at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research

A total of 13 student presentations, from 11 different departments were accepted to be at the 2015 NCUR Conference in Spokane, Washington, April 16-18th.  This represents a substantial increase in presentations at NCUR, compared to 3 in 2014. According to NCUR, they received 3700 submissions which resulted in a more competitive process this year. Eighty-eight percent of Eastern submissions were accepted for presentation. The emails notifying students of acceptance  stated “your abstract demonstrates a unique contribution to your field of study and we are pleased to offer you the opportunity to present your work to your peers, faculty, and staff from around the world.”

Below is a complete list of presenters, the titles of the presentations and photos:

Benjamin Abrahams (Mentor: Barbara Murdoch, Biology) “Regeneration in the Nervous System: Follow the Dividing Cells”

Damon Gray & Nicolas Aconfara (Mentor: Teri Toles-Patkin, Communications) “Beating The Odds” A Documentary

Nicole Berger, Ryan Blejewski, & Alexis Apel (Mentor: James Diller, Psychology) “Contingency Management and Academic Performance “

Ryan Blejewski (Mentor: Roland Clark) “A Massacre in Jedwabne: A Psycho-Historical Perspective in Trying to Understand the Events of July 10, 1941″

Alex Davenport & Egli Hila (Mentor: Sarah Tasneem, Computer Science) “Assessing the Threat Posed by Impact of Asteroids and Comets to Earth Through Parallel Simulation”

Joshua Draper (Mentor: Jian Lin, Computer Science) “Accurate Geolocation of Website Visitors Using Web Technologies”

Renee Drouin (Mentor: Miriam Chirico, English) “Adaptations of Anne Boleyn: Cromwell’s Other Self”

Kelsey Fuller (Mentor: Richard Jones-Bamman, Performing Arts) “Cultural Cohabitation: Swedish Jazz and the Folk Revival”

Daniel Grondin (Mentor: Dickson Cunningham, Environmental Earth Science)  “Rheomorphic Folding of Super-Hot Ignimbrites in the Southern Snake River Plain, Idaho”

Emily Haggett (Mentor: Denise Matthews, Communications) “Love at First Sight” Documentary

Monika Kalinowska (Mentor: Charles Booth, Biology)  “Chemical, Physical and Ecological Changes in a Man-made Pond in New England Over the Span of Several Months”

Robert Santiago (Mentor: Alita Cousins, Psychology) “Ethnic and Acculturative Factors Affecting Academic Stress and Academic Expectations”

Kelsey Tuller (Mentor: Barbara Tucker, History) “From Mystery to Methodism: Untangling Legends of a Cult in Connecticut”

Melissa Zablonski and Ryan Blejewski Accepted to Present at Harvard University

History major Melissa Zablonski will present her research titled “The Pension Widow: Defining the Criteria for Women in the Revolutionary Pension Process” at the Conference for International Journal of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University. Her research (mentored by: Professor Tucker) focuses on the review of public records of the criteria used to award pensions to widows of affluence versus those from lower social status of soldiers in the Revolutionary War.

Ryan Blejewski’s work is titled (Mentor: Roland Clark) “A Massacre in Jedwabne: A Psycho-Historical Perspective in Trying to Understand the Events of July 10, 1941.″ Ryan’s research was also accepted to the British Council for Undergraduate Research Conference.

English Students Accepted to Present at International English Honor Society Conference

Alexandra Rogan and Renee Drouin (mentored by Lisa Rowe Fraustino, Ph.D.) have had their papers accepted for presentation at the 2015 Sigma Tau Delta Convention in Albuquerque March 18-21.

Alexandra Rogan’s paper to be presented is titled “Traditional vs. New Media Publishing.”

Renee Drouin’s paper is titled “The Cooper Case of Anthropomorphism.”



Fall 2014 Recipients of Travel and Project Grants

Dominique DuBois received an UGRCA Travel Grant to present her research at the 38th Annual Meeting of the International Waterbird Society and CIPAMEX in La Paz Mexico. Her work with Dr. Patty Szczys in the biology department was titled  ”Genetic Mating System of the Marsh-Nesting Whiskered Tern.”

Sonya Beetham (mentor Roland Clark) from the History Department received a Project Grant to support her research titled “Pablo Picasso in Time and Place.”


Love at First Sight Documentary Screening

December 8th, 2014, Love at First Sight: J. Alden Weir in Windham Connecticut” was screened in the Student Center Theatre at Eastern Connecticut State University. Under the direction of communications professor Denise Matthews, Eastern students videotaped interviews with the director of the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, the director of the Windham History and Textile Museum in Willimantic, and professor Anne Dawson, art historian and chair of the Art and Art History department at Eastern. Students also filmed reenactments at the Weir House and the Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum. Final editing was done by Eastern student Emily Haggett in spring 2014. “Film is a new medium for me, so working with the documentary class was a new experience,” Dawson said, but added that Matthew’s class “did a really wonderful job.”

16 EES Students Present at Regional Geological Conference

Sixteen environmental earth science students from Eastern Connecticut State University and three of their professors presented findings of their fieldwork along the Rhode Island coastline at the New England Intercollegiate Geological Conference (NEIGC). The conference took place Oct. 10–12 at Wellesley College in Wellesley, MA. The Eastern presentation was titled “Climate change comes to the south shore of Rhode Island: Erosion, inundation and migration.” The group’s research focused on storm damage and rising sea level, and discussed the science and management of the Rhode Island coastline.  The project was supervised by Eastern professors Bryan Oakley, Drew Hyatt and Steve Nathan. Below are the student presenters:

Daniel Grondin, Josh Bartosiewicz, Mackenzie Fannon, Dustin Munson, Stephanie Rogers, Carly Burgess, Mike Lundquist, Kevin Veilleux, Amber McDonald, Brandan Sumeersarnauth, Trent Stevens, Matt Marsie, Ujjwal Davda, Prof. Nathan and Zach Beauchesne, James Malcolm, and Vicky Szamocki

Student Researchers Present TIMPANI Toy Study Results

Alyssa Zebrowski and Kristen Krause, seniors Kimberly DePaolis, Danni Meskill and Heather Oski participated as student researchers on the ongoing TIMPANI Toy Study. Results focused on how young children play with a variety of toys in natural settings., Krause, Oski and Zebrowski, along with Dr. Trawick-Smith, presented their findings at the National Association for the Education of Young Children Conference in Dallas. TX, on Nov. 8.