7 Students to Represent Eastern at Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival

The Regional Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, or in some instances the state, festival is a gathering of people to see one another’s work and to share ideas. In addition to performances, there are a wide range of activities that in the past have included workshops and seminars on such topics as playwriting, auditioning, voice, movement, stage combat, theater for children, scene painting, scenery construction, and so on. There are sessions for the beginning theater artist and the experienced faculty member. During January and February, a total of eight regional festivals are held throughout the country. The following students have been selected to represent Eastern Connecticut State in January 2015.

Richard Maltby Jr. Musical Theatre Award Competition Nominees: Alexis Kurtz and Corey Lorraine

Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Competition Nominees: Olivia Beaullan and Corey Lorraine

Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Competition Alternates: Scott Butler and Anny Ovalle

Stage Management Fellowship Competition Nominee: MaggieMarie Casto

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Students Represent Eastern at the New England Psychological Association Conference

The following students presented their research at the New England Psychological Association Conference on October 17-18th at Bates College in Maine:

Robert Santiago presented a poster titled “Ethnic and Acculturative Factors Affecting Academic Stress and Academic Expectations. “

Brett W. Gelino and Robert J. Barry presented with their mentor Dr. James Diller a poster titled “Atheists and Theists have Similar Physiological Reactivity with Demands of God.”

Cheyanne Crawford presented a poster titled “Jealousy Differences in Sex and Sexual Orientation.”

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17 Students Present at the COPLAC Northeast Regional Research Conference

Eastern students presented their work with other students from Keene State College, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Ramapo College of New Jersey, SUNY Geneseo, and University of Maine-Farmington. The conference will take place November 7-8 at Keene State College. Below is a list of all presenters and their mentors:


Roshelle Shannon; Mentor Afarin Rahmanifar (Watercolor and ink)
Samantha McGeowan; Mentor Andy Jones (Watercolor)



Melinda DeDominicis; Mentor Emily Riggs  (Duets from Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, in Italian) Video clips are included below.
Kyle Girard
Renae St. John
Alexis Kurtz



Oral Presentations

Laura Markley; Mentor Meredith Metcalf (EES)
Renee Ann Drouin; Mentor Miriam Chirico (ENG)
Eva Alfonso; Mentor Teri Toles-Patkin(COM)
Alice Di Francesco; Mentor Amy Groth (BIO)

Poster Presentations

Ben Abrahms; Mentor Barbara Murdoch (BIO)
Jessica Patrizi; Barbara Murdoch (BIO)
Summer Lily Egan; Mentor Teri Toles-Patkin (COM)
Stephanie Rogers; Mentor Steve Nathan (EES)
Jessica Link; Mentor Steve Ferrucci (ENG)

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Dominique Dubois Presents at International Biology Conference

Dominque Dubois conducted an oral presentation of her research with her mentor Dr. Patty Szczys in Novermber at the International Waterbird Society and CIPAMEX Conference in La Paz, Mexico. Her research title ” Genetic Mating System of the Marsh-Nesting Whiskered Tern.” The project’s focus is on the genetic parentage of offspring in broods of Whiskered Terns to examine breeding strategies in species that exhibit social monogamy and bi-parental care.

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Mackenzie Fannon Accepted as Presenter at International Conference on Geophysical Research

Mackenzie Fannon (Mentor: Dickson Cunningham, Ph.D. EES Department)  will be presenting her research “Source parameters of large magnitude subduction zone earthquakes along Oaxaca, Mexico.” The project was completed during a summer NSF REU internship.

Her research will be presented at the American Geophysical Union Annual Conference in San Francisco in December.  This is the top meeting in the world concerning geophysical research and it attracts a very large international audience.  It is very rare for undergraduates to present at this week-long meeting which showcases the highest levels of research in the earth and space sciences to attendees of up to 15,000 from around the world.

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Miles Wilkerson to Present Research at Regional History Conference

Miles Wilkerson will present his research titled: “Nunca Olvide: Reframing Historical Discourse on Cuban Exile Terrorism” at the New England Historical Association Fall Conference on October 18th. Mentored by Professor Joan Meznar, the project  presents the history and effects of terrorist acts perfromed by Cuba’s right-wing exiles from 1959-1976. It specifically explores the effects this terrorism had on Cuba’s governmentality and the creation of a police state on the island.

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Mackenzie Fannon to Participate in NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)

Mackenzie Fannon (EES Student, Mentored by Dickson Cunningham) was selected as an intern for the NSF funded IRIS program.  She will be carrying out summer research at the New Mexico Tech investigating earthquake hazards along the Mexican coastline and the precursor signals that could be used for future earthquake prediction.  It is important and novel research.   Mackenzie is part of an intern  group that annually includes Stanford, Cal Tech and Ivy League participants.  In addition to a full summer stipend and all travel and research costs, she also receives funding to present at the American Geophysical Union conference next December in San Francisco.

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Eric Cerino Receives NSF IGERT Fellowship for Graduate Training

Eric Cerino (Psychology Department) graduating in May has been accepted into the Ph.D. program at Oregon State University in Human Development and Family Studies. He has also been selected as a National Science Foundation (NSF) IGERT (Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship Program) Fellow for the Oregon State University LIFE* in an Aging Society program. He will receive a stipend, tuition remission, health benefits and research support costs.

The National Science Foundation’s Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship allows students to collaborate across disciplines in a multidisciplinary research traineeship. Students pick a primary core (Psychology) and a supplementary (Gerontology) core.  He plans on extending his research begun here at Eastern Connecticut State University with Dr. Jennifer Leszczynski in collaboration with the engineering professors and students.

Eric has presented his research on Alzheimer’s at regional conferences and is scheduled to present at the Poster’s on the Hill Conference later this month. During his time at Eastern Eric has received a Travel Grant, The Jean H. Thoresen ECSU-AAUP Scholarship and will receive the Barnard Scholar Award.

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2013-2014 Student Recipients of Travel/Project Grants and Fellowships


Manan Bhatt biology student,  (Mentor: Barbara Murdoch) will be supported this summer in continuing his research titled “Identification of Cells that Produce Neurons in the Chick Olfactory Epithelium” for the biology department. Once completed, the research will be presented at a regional and or national conference and submitted for publication.

Jessica Patrizi also from the biology department, will receive the 2nd Summer Fellowship to prepare her work for presentation and publication with Dr. Barbara Murdoch). Jessica’s project is titled ” Can Extracellular Matrix Molecules Enhance Neurogenesis in the Chick Olfactory Epithelium.”


The following students received Travel Grants that were used to present research and regional and national conferences:

Eric Cerino (Psychology) “Investigating Subjective Age, Level of Activity, and Depressive Symptoms in Older Adults.” Posters on the Hill, April 2014

Eastern Concert Chorale (Performing Arts) “John Rutter’s Requiem.” Carnegie Hall, NYC March 2014.

Mackenzie Fannon (Environmental Earth Science) “Kinematic Constraints on the Emplacement of Very Hot Rheomorphic Ignimbrites in the Southern Snake River Plain, Idaho.” Geological Society America NE Section Annual Meeting, March 2014.

Matthew Gonsalves (Environmental Earth Science) “Structural Evolution of the Soapstone Mountain Metagabbro Complex, Somers, CT.” Geological Society America NE Section Annual Meeting, March 2014.

Destinee Holmes (English) “Stepping Out: Encouraging Inclusivity and Differences In/Outside the Writing Center.” Northeast Writing Center Association, February 2014.

Rebecca Keenan (Mathematics) “Estimating the Volatility in the Black Scholes Formula.”  National Conferences on Undergraduate Research, April 2014.

Kacey Rainone (Communication) ” Slut: The Deconstruction and Recoding of a Defamatory Term.” National Conferences on Undergraduate Research, April 2014.

Jordan Sakal (Communication) “The Effect of Social Media on Political Awareness.” National Conferences on Undergraduate Research, April 2014.

Krysta Valerio (Health and Physical Education) “Real-Time Analysis at Sports Venues.” North American Society for Sport Management, May 2014.

Miles Wilkerson (History) “Nunca Olvide: Reframing Historical Discourse on Cuban Exile Terrorism.” Phi Alpha Theta NY Upper Regional Meeting, April 2014.


Dominique DuBois a student in the Biology Department Mentored by Dr. Szczys received the first Project Grant to continue their project titled “Genetic Analysis of Parentage in Whiskered Terns.” The grant will be used to continue genotyping their samples.


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Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Mentor Recipients 2014

We are happy to announce the recipients of the first 2 faculty to receive the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Mentor Award. Faculty were nominated by students and also their respective department chairs.

The recipient for the School of Arts & Sciences is Mizan R. Khan, Ph.D., Professor in the Department of Mathematics. Dr. Khan received his award from the Provost and his student Richard Magner at the 2014 Arts & Sciences Research Conference & Exhibition held Saturday April 12th. Richard Magner and Dr. Khan created several conference presentations and 2 publications in selective journals in Mathematics.

Dr. Jeffey Trawick-Smith (Professor of Education) was nominated by 8 Students including Kimberly Depaolis, Heather Oski, Kristen Krause, Cassandra Savalli, Jennifer Wolf, Marley Koschel, Jamie Vallarelli, and Christina Samaha. Their work resulted in 2 publications and several conference presentations.

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