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Developments on Campus

New Academic Programs
We continue to respond to the state’s workforce needs. Our new Sixth-Year Certificate in Mathematics Education Leadership is the only graduate program in the state geared to mathematics educators and is helping Connecticut schools and districts by training highly skilled and knowledgeable leaders. The program offers two tracks—department chair certification or intermediate administrator certification. Graduates will have a sound grasp of curriculum, pedagogy, and content, and will also understand how these areas are interconnected and overlap. They will understand how students learn math and can help design curriculum that will move their school district forward.

The new four-year civil engineering program replaces the civil engineering technology program that had been offered since 1987. Graduates will be prepared in advanced mathematics and will have knowledge of the fundamental engineering sciences common to most engineering disciplines (statistics, dynamics, fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, and mechanics of materials) and a solid undergraduate foundation in general civil engineering principles, enabling continued education at advanced levels.

The new BA in Journalism offers several distinctive qualities, including the Robert C. Vance Endowed Chair in Journalism and Mass Communication which puts us in the company of a select group of journalism programs. Graduates will be prepared, not only in the traditional skills of information gathering, reporting, writing, and editing, but also will be schooled to create news stories using sophisticated new technologies through the integration of digital media into the curriculum. Coursework will be supported by lectures and other enrichment activities led by the Vance Chair. Students can customize their degrees to gain multiple perspectives in subjects critical to their work, such as history, political science, and business.

Community Engagement
CCSU pursued its goal of community engagement with dozens of outreach activities during the past year. Through collaboration with neighboring communities, Central’s faculty, students, and staff have used the platforms of the arts, youth support, and homelessness as springboards to altruism, consistently offering aid and support to the surrounding areas.

CCSU hosted the first Connecticut Community Engagement Conference aimed at bringing together the state’s higher education institutions for sharing best practices in enhancing student engagement. The keynote lecture was given by Distinguished Professor of Political Science William Dyson, who also holds the William A. O'Neill Endowed Chair in Public Policy and Practical Politics. He focused on the widespread benefits of getting students involved in and informed about their communities.

Associate Professor of Technology and Engineering Education Michael Vincenti and 14 students from his Building Design and Construction class partnered with Farmington High School students and teachers to volunteer at the National Rebuilding Day held in Hartford. The city’s Mayor Eddie Perez commended the nearly 500 volunteers before they set off to assist low-income homeowners with property repairs and renovations.

CCSU's Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy (IMPR) hosted a daylong conference on the Children of Incarcerated Parents to increase awareness of the effects of incarcerated parents on children, families, and the community. Ann Adalist-Estrin, director of the National Resource Center on Children and Families Incarcerated, gave the keynote lecture; then a panel of policymakers, agency representatives, and community leaders led a town hall-style discussion.

CCSU's Center for Public Policy & Social Research partnered with the Governor’s Office to sponsor a conference on regionalism. Office of Policy & Management Secretary Robert Genuario was the keynote speaker and breakout sessions focused on updating local services, regional planning, affordable housing, and emergency management.

For their final projects, students in the Housing, Business and Society class researched Connecticut cities and towns, analyzed housing markets, and presented their results to members of the local business community and their fellow classmates.

DanCentral presented the New Britain chapter of the American Red Cross with a donation of over $400 to aid in Haitian relief efforts. The funds were raised during the club's benefit performance “Helping/Healing Haiti.

New Britain High School special needs students worked with CCSU staff, in various departments on campus, as part of the Start of Success program. The staff served as mentors guiding the teens in developing work production and behavioral skills. 

The School of Engineering and Technology hosted the state championship of the LEGO League. The competition involved teams of students that designed building and programming robots, in addition to giving five minute presentations to the judges.

Assistant Professor of Technology and Engineering Education David Sianez heads the Young
Engineers Program, a two-week summer program aimed at inspiring New Britain middle school students about engineering design.

CCSU’s Veterans Affairs, Student Affairs, and the Student Government Association co-sponsored the 5th annual concert by the Plainville Wind Ensemble. Though the concert to honor veterans was free, the audience was asked to bring toys to donate to the US Marine Corps Toys for Tots Foundation. The toys were distributed to needy children in the local community.

CCSU students and faculty are providing a wide variety of resources to local youth from homework assistance and college preparation to raising money.

High school juniors from New Britain, Hartford, Waterbury, and Bridgeport were selected to participate in the “Go for Aerospace” program organized by the School of Engineering and Technology and funded through NASA. The program reaches out to students who are highly skilled in math and science, but are undecided about their college plans and/or choice of major.

Students Luis Enrique Mendez Angulo and Christian Ayala worked with the Creative Arts Ministry and offered free classes to New Britain youth. Angulo taught creative writing while Ayala gave art lessons.

College Goal Sunday is an annual workshop held at Central to help college bound students, from surrounding communities, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Central’s financial aid officers work with accounting and tax professionals to ensure students complete the necessary forms to apply for federal financial aid, as well as a plethora of other scholarships.

The Education Club partnered with New Britain’s Northend Elementary to host a Family Math Night and a Family Science Night.

The Social Work Club hosted a Halloween party at New Britain’s Oval Grove Community Center to celebrate both the holiday and a tutoring project involving CCSU students who provide homework assistance to young New Britain students.

The new Barnard International Community Education Program, co-sponsored by the School of Education and Professional Studies and the Center for International Education, connects Central’s international students with children in the local community. Over 70 international students visited classrooms at Hartford’s Naylor Middle School to share their heritage using mini-lessons on topics such as language, culture, holidays, customs, and geography.

Associate Professor of English Aimee Pozorski organized “CCSU Night at Holmes” for the New Britain elementary school. In a simulated college environment, Holmes students were put through some of the typical college experiences like registering for classes. Eight faculty members volunteered their time to teach courses on their fields of study.

Assistant Professor of Communication Jeffrey Teitler worked with Production in the Community, a pilot program targeting high school participants at risk of violent behavior and dropping out of school.

Approximately 100 seventh grade girls from New Britain, Newington, Meriden, Hartford, and Bloomfield participated in the second annual Girls and STEM Expo at CCSU featuring workshops designed to promote the girls’ interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The event was a collaboration between the Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund and the School of Engineering and Technology.

Central’s honor society chapters of Sigma Tau Delta and Golden Key International sponsored a children’s book drive to help students at New Britain’s Gaffney Elementary School build their home libraries.

Student-athletes participated in Operation Christmas Child by filling boxes with age-appropriate gifts. The boxes were then shipped by the international relief organization Samaritan’s Purse to needy children around the world.

CCSU’s Institute of Technology and Business Development partnered with Connecticut Light and Power to fund a “Young Entrepreneurs” program for New Britain High School. The Teeny Tiny Manufacturing Company is run by students and teachers who decided to produce and market wooden Adirondack chairs.

The School of Engineering and Technology hosted the 4th Annual BEST Robotics Competition which attracted 70 students from 14 middle and high schools in Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey. BEST (“Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology”) is designed to help build a pipeline of future engineers, one of the state’s critical workforce needs.

Students enrolled in the Housing, Business, and Society class, a course designed to teach social responsibility in the community, joined New Britain Mayor Timothy Stewart on a bus tour of the city’s blighted areas. Stewart discussed his efforts to provide housing to the homeless, pointing out the low income houses built near Willow Brook Park.

School of Business student Joshua Fischer organized a food drive on behalf of the CCSU-New Britain Homeless Initiative. The drive has become an annual event for the Management Information Systems Club. Fischer also developed instructional materials for tutoring residents in computer skills; and then organized student volunteers to conduct the tutoring.

Nursing major Morgan Madore organized her neighbors for a United Way toy drive. The toys were given to area homeless shelters and other organizations serving those in need.

Assistant Professor of Teacher Education Barbara Clark answered Provost Carl Lovitt’s call to aid New Britain’s “Art in the Heart of the City” exhibit. Clark and some of her student teachers spent time at Gaffney Elementary School to explain the issue of homelessness and guide the young students through the creation of their art that was later displayed at City Hall.

Clark also partnered with emeritus Professor of Art Michael Cipriano in creating a joint visual arts exhibit, “Closing the Circle” exhibited during the “Art in the Heart of the City” series. They donated half of the proceeds from the sale of pieces to efforts seeking to end homelessness in New Britain.

The Department of Theatre presented the seventh annual “Laugh With Purpose!” show at Trinity on Main in downtown New Britain. The free event featured a blend of music and comedy, and donations benefitted New Britain Mayor Timothy Stewart’s Work Plan to End Homelessness.

Four School of Business students helped put New Britain municipal buildings on an energy sustainable track. Management and organization majors Michael Camarco, Eric Francis and Kerry Keltos, and international business major Brian Waddell took the MGT 390 course, an independent study, and under the advisement of Associate Professor of Management and Organization Drew Harris, the group designed a plan that would accurately measure the energy output and corresponding efficiency of local municipalities.

Sustainability
The University’s Sustainability Initiative achieved national recognition this year while also shedding new, environmentally-friendly light on campus.

CCSU was named an “exemplary Green institution” by the Princeton Review’s Guide to 286 Green Colleges. The guidebook, produced in partnership with the US Green Building Council, focuses on higher education institutions that have demonstrated “an above average commitment to sustainability” in terms of campus infrastructure, activities, and initiatives.

The Review credits CCSU with being the “only school in Connecticut to meet all of its deadlines for the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment” and President Miller was applauded for naming sustainability as “one of the top four priorities of the University.”

Other green improvements that were cited: campus parking restrictions to encourage carpooling and special parking for carpoolers, the implementation of a solid waste and recycling

plan, and the use of environmentally responsible procurement policies. On the academic side, CCSU was applauded for offering an environmental studies degree.

Professor of Management and Organization David Fearon hosted a live webcast titled “Does ‘Green Jobs’ Programming Make Sense for Your Campus?”

CCSU hosted the third annual Global Environmental Sustainability Symposium. As keynote speaker, Commissioner Amey Marrella of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection talked about “A Green Economy for a Sustainable Future.” At a town hall-style meeting, CCSU’s Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Philosophy Ned Lamont and State Representative Christopher Donovan discussed what needs to be done to create a thriving green business economy locally and nationally.

Earth Day, April 22 was marked by a variety of earth-friendly events on campus aimed at inspiring awareness of nature’s delicate balance and educating students, faculty, and staff about their roles in and the University’s commitment to achieving environmental sustainability.

The Geography and Tourism Club planted a Scarlet oak tree on campus, between Copernicus Hall and the Burritt Library. Also involved in the project were students from several geography classes and the Global Environmental Sustainability Action Coalition. Associate Professor of Geography Charles Button, founder of the coalition, guided students through the process of what is now an annual event.

A milestone in the University’s initiative was reached when the last of 500 Victorian-style lamps along the campus walkways were retrofitted with energy-saving LED bulbs. Light-emitting diode lamps, or LEDs as they are best known, are reducing kilowatt usage by more than 75% and saving 332,400 kWh each year. Over the life of LEDs 4,155,000 kWh will be saved. The LEDs significantly reduce uplight pollution and air pollutions --the equivalent of taking 36 cars off the road for 10 years.

Additional Earth Day activities included a series of talks held at the Student Center. Assistant Professor of Geography Patricia Houser presented “Sustainability in Semesters”; Sharon Vocke from Evergreen Energy of Southington focused on “Climate Change and Solar Energy Solutions,” and Associate Professor of Geography Charles Button shared information on “Reducing Your Carbon Footprint.”

 

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