WCSU News

WCSU students overcome fears, face challenges and move mountains through Adventure Club expeditions

Image of WCSU Adventure Club at Hat Point, Oregon

WCSU Adventure Club at Hat Point, Oregon

DANBURY, CONN. – The Western Connecticut State University Adventure Club is more than just an outdoorsy way to pass the time. Paintballing, hiking, whitewater rafting, camping and indoor rock climbing are some of the many activities that Adventure Club members have enjoyed. Recently, the club took things to a new level.

Adventure Club members Adam Quattro, a health promotion and exercise science (HPX) major from Brookfield; Jenna Pisano, an elementary education major from Orange; Leland Roberts, a mathematics major from Danbury; Roni Woods, an art major from Danbury; and Eric Gottier, a meteorology major from Tolland, were tested both physically and mentally as they embarked on a hardcore backpacking trip to Hells Canyon in Riggins, Oregon. Hells Canyon hugs the borders of northeastern Oregon and western Idaho and boasts an expansive 652,488 acres of wilderness. It is the deepest river gorge in North America.

“This trip was one of the best and most challenging experiences of my life,” Roberts said. “We hiked through almost every type of weather, several different climates and many dangers I was not expecting. It turned out to be a humbling experience.”

There were several different types of hurdles to overcome as well — not just the mileage. Some students had never experienced extreme outdoor activities or camping before joining the Adventure Club.

“I had not slept in a tent, cooked over a gas stove, done my business outdoors, failed to bathe for more than a day or two, hiked more than eight miles a day … while carrying a large load,” added Gottier.

In spite of the challenging physical and mental strain, students learned from each other and gained a sense of what it’s like to grow together as a team. They also spoke about overcoming their fears and other risks while out on the trail.

“I once read a quote that said, ‘We grow fearless by walking steadily into our fears,’” said Pisano, who added that the group worked “relentlessly” to overcome the canyon where together, they learned what it’s like to be a part of a group, learn from and rely on each other along the way.

Director of the Environmental Health and Safety branch of Facilities Pano Koukopoulos was asked by some founding members in August 2013 to be the Adventure Club adviser. He noticed a massive shift in the students who he accompanied to Hells Canyon.

“We all came back as different people than when we started,” Koukopoulos said. “After 10 days in the wilderness, I didn’t think I would have seen such a transformation from, ‘Let’s go hiking!’ to ‘Let’s plan a trip that will challenge every physical, psychological and emotional cell in your body.’”

While teamwork, leadership, perseverance and maturity all come into play, challenging trips like the one to Hells Canyon are the culmination of months of planning, phone calls, emails and researching. Having to know where the trails are, where to access water, or having an exit strategy is crucial for Adventure Club expeditions. The team members have to formulate a “Plan B” and “Plan C” before showing up to backpack, where nobody else may be around in case of emergencies.

Pisano said that after the group emerged from Hells Canyon and spoke with the local townspeople about it, they didn’t believe the weary group of WCSU travelers. “They looked at us like we were crazy. They thought we were joking,” she said. “They told us that about eight to twelve people die there every year.”

As a WCSU senior, Pisano has been part of the Adventure Club for three years. Since then, she has journeyed to Yosemite, the Maze and Hells Canyon. Maze is the most remote and least visited of the three districts of Canyonlands National Park. “Before all this, I’ve previously gone hiking, but never backpacking like that before,” she said.

Similarly, Adventure Club president Quattro had only been on one overnight backpacking trip before joining the ranks. But with three years of experience as a Boy Scout, Quattro’s previous knowledge and wilderness skills helped him along the way. He agreed with Pisano: “We can tell you all about our experience, but you’ll never really know what it’s like unless you were there with us.”

After an expedition of this nature, Adventure Club members believe that what we in our modern society consider “needs” are merely wants. Their perspectives on what’s necessary have changed dramatically. “Out there it’s different,” they said. “For 10 days we didn’t shower. Water was strictly for cooking and drinking.”

For the students, a sense of empowerment and accomplishment trumped the various challenges of their extreme backpacking adventures. “For instance, when we got out of the Maze I said there is literally nothing I can’t do. I did that. So I can literally do anything,” said Pisano. “You don’t get that from going to school, taking classes and playing sports.”

With a grin, Koukopoulos responded to her: “And to me as an educator, I’ve done my job. I’m done. If I accomplish nothing for the rest of my life, I’d be okay knowing that my students can feel like they can do anything.”

 

 

Western Connecticut State University changes lives by providing all students with a high-quality education that fosters their growth as individuals, scholars, professionals and leaders in a global society. Our vision: To be widely recognized as a premier public university with outstanding teachers and scholars who prepare students to contribute to the world in a meaningful way.

 

 

WCSU to host conference on opioid crisis and addiction

DANBURY, CONN. —  The Western Connecticut State University Justice and Law Society will present the documentary “Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opiate Addict” at the Heroin and Opioid Awareness Conference presented by the Heroin Education Action Team (HEAT), a partner program with the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut. The event will take place at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018, at Ives Concert Hall in White Hall on the university’s Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. The conference will be free and the public is invited.

The documentary was created by the FBI and DEA to educate students and parents about the dangers of addiction. The movie will be followed by a panel discussion with a federal prosecutor, DEA agent, and two local parents who lost children to an opioid overdose.

The HEAT program aims to increase community understanding of the dangers associated with deadly drugs like oxycodone, heroin and fentanyl, which have become widely and easily available in Connecticut.

WCSU senior and member of the Justice and Law Society Joseph Tamberelli found HEAT through research last semester and decided to spread its message to WCSU. He believes there needs to be more awareness about the opioid epidemic, especially in Connecticut.

“Many of us, myself included, have all been affected by this terrible epidemic in a personal way,” Tamberelli said. “The objective of this event is for as many people as possible to leave this event with knowledge about the epidemic, in hopes to prevent further deaths from occurring.”

 

 

Western Connecticut State University changes lives by providing all students with a high-quality education that fosters their growth as individuals, scholars, professionals and leaders in a global society. Our vision: To be widely recognized as a premier public university with outstanding teachers and scholars who prepare students to contribute to the world in a meaningful way.

 

 

WCSU Art Gallery ‘?’ exhibition presents Goldberg, Scoon exchange

Opening reception Oct. 25 and show through Dec. 9 celebrates artistic collaboration

image of Woven Sticks by Glenn Goldberg and Amber Scoon

Woven Sticks by Glenn Goldberg and Amber Scoon

DANBURY, CONN. —  Internationally acclaimed artists Glenn Goldberg and Amber Scoon will show selections from their year of creative exchanges by mail in an exhibition titled “?” that will run from Thursday, Oct. 25, through Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018, in the Visual and Performing Arts Center Art Gallery at Western Connecticut State University.

image of Wrapped Rock by Glenn Goldberg and Amber Scoon

Wrapped Rock by Glenn Goldberg and Amber Scoon

The works in the exhibition were inspired by the artists’ collaboration as co-authors of the book “?” published in 2017 by Atropos Press. An opening reception and artist talk for the show will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 25 in the VPAC Art Gallery on the university’s Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury. The exhibition will be open for public viewing during gallery hours from noon to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission for gallery viewing and the opening reception will be free and open to the public; reservations to attend the reception should be made online on the VPAC events web page at www.wcsuvpac.eventbrite.com. The Art Gallery exhibition program is sponsored by the WCSU Department of Art with support from gallery patrons; donations to sustain the program will be accepted.

Goldberg, an artist who pursues his career at a studio in his native New York City, and Scoon, an artist, philosopher and educator residing in Pelham in western Massachusetts, created and mailed to each other a series of artistic objects over the course of a year. Neither knew when or how many objects they would receive. The works selected from this exchange present a conceptual and intentionally ambiguous exhibition exploring the nature of art, collaboration and ownership.

Goldberg and Scoon described the collaboration as “a direct confrontation to the obsession with borders, separation, power and status. When viewing the anonymous objects, the audience is able to experience their materiality and idea without the maker. The feeling of coming to a work for the very first time, unencumbered, is akin to the thrill of meeting a stranger.” The artists said that the process of collaboration and editing enabled them to see their work change “until the identity of the origin is erased, and a new condition emerges.”

The ”?” book that inspired the creative collaboration and exhibition presents the text of a continuing conversation between the two artists. The summary notes for the book described the conversation as a quest to “challenge themselves to articulate their questions and insights” covering a diversity of topics including “ownership, instability, nature, curiosity, language, contemporary art, ghosts, religion, fetish objects and consciousness.”

Reporting on the authors’ discussion of “?” last year at the Visual Arts at Chautauqua Institution School of Art, where both Goldberg and Scoon have served as visiting instructors, Adrianna Jereb wrote in the The Chautauqua Daily that their book “features selections from transcribed conversations between the two, but without identifying whether Scoon or Goldberg is the one speaking. The book also leaves room for interaction on the part of the reader, as all the pages on the left-hand side of the book are blank.”

Goldberg, recipient of an M.F.A. from Queens College at CUNY, has shown his works at more than 40 exhibitions across the United States and in Germany. Recent solo shows have been held at the New York Studio School and the Luther Brady Gallery in Washington, D.C. His works are held in public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Guggenheim Museum, Brooklyn Museum and National Academy of Arts and Letters, all in New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, California; the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia; the National Gallery of Art, in Washington, D.C.; the Rose Art Museum in Waltham, Massachusetts; and the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri.

His numerous honors include grants from the Edward F. Albee and John Simon Guggenheim foundations and the National Endowment for the Arts. Artist notes for his 2015 show at Betty Cunningham Gallery in New York observed that Goldberg draws inspiration from a culturally eclectic range of sources: “Goldberg’s compositions, consciously devoid of a narrative context, allow for the discovery of layered visual references ranging from the decorative arts to childhood imagination.” He currently teaches at Queens College and previously taught at the New York Studio School and the Cooper Union School of Art. He also is a visiting artist for the Master of Fine Arts program in the Department of Art at WCSU.

Scoon, who received an M.F.A. in Painting from American University and a Ph.D. in Philosophy, Art and Critical Thought from the European Graduate School, has participated in more than 40 solo and group exhibitions across the United States and in Italy, Portugal, Switzerland, Ireland, Ukraine and Iran. She has served as the John Berger Fellow at the European Graduate School since 2011, research professor at the Institute for Critical Philosophy in the Global Center for Advanced Studies since 2015, and adjunct professor at several colleges including WCSU. She also is the director of the Art and Philosophy Seminar program at the American Academy in Rome, where she also received a visiting artist appointment in 2015. In addition to “?’, she is also the author of “Quantum Art,” “Quantum Art (Second Edition): Mimesis, Uncertainty and the Infinite,” and “Conversations and Uncertainty.” Her research interests include contemporary art and the relationship of art to philosophy and science.

Scoon has received numerous recognitions including grants from the National Endowment for the Sciences and the National Endowment for the Arts; an artist in residence scholarship at Scuola Grafica in Venice, Italy; and the Lugar Comum Art Residency in Lisbon, Portugal. She also has participated in art workshops in San Antonio, Texas; Kingston, New York; and Williamsburg, Massachusetts.

For more information, contact the WCSU Department of Art at (203) 837-8403.

 

 

Western Connecticut State University changes lives by providing all students with a high-quality education that fosters their growth as individuals, scholars, professionals and leaders in a global society. Our vision: To be widely recognized as a premier public university with outstanding teachers and scholars who prepare students to contribute to the world in a meaningful way.

 

 

WCSU students, faculty to broadcast live news and election coverage

Prize-winning “Election Connection” to air two previews and Nov. 6 election night program

DANBURY, CONN. — Western Connecticut State University students and faculty members will present a four-hour live broadcast of the award-winning election night program “Election Connection” from 8 p.m. to midnight on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, from the high-definition TV studio on the university’s Midtown campus in Danbury.

Now in its eighth year, WCSU’s “Election Connection” will reach viewers across western and central Connecticut on Charter Spectrum Cable Channel 192, Comcast Xfinity Channel 97, WTXX-TV Channel 32 and WRNT-TV Channel 34. A radio simulcast of the program will air on WXCI-FM (91.7), with live web streaming of the broadcast provided at www.wcsu.edu/live and www.wxci.org.

Coordinated by executive producer Dr. JC Barone, professor of communication and media arts at WCSU, this year’s election night broadcast will provide up-to-the-minute coverage of Connecticut’s U.S. Senate and House races as well as contests for governor and other state offices. The 2018 edition of “Election Connection” also will broadcast pre-election programs from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 23, and Tuesday, Oct. 30. All programs will offer discussions of topical issues facing Americans today, featuring “Election Connection” reporters and analysts, professional journalists, and local Democratic and Republican candidates.

Viewers are invited to participate directly by submitting comments and questions on Facebook at “WCSU Election Connection,” sending tweets on Twitter at “@ElectionCT” or calling in at (203) 837-9182. The program’s Facebook page will feature additional stories and interviews, as well as a live stream showing the production team at work behind the scenes in the studio control room during the broadcasts.

The production will be directed by Samantha Saalborn, a media arts major from New Fairfield, who heads the crew of 40 appearing on-air and working behind the scenes. Producers for “Election Connection” will include Rebecca Burton, of New Milford; Alanna Hill, of Ridgefield; Richard Lee, of New Milford; Leon McIntosh, of Bridgeport; Thais Paixao, of Bethel; and Dion White, of Ridgefield.

Anchors offering commentary and analysis will be political science major David Kuhn, of Sherman, and media arts major Jason Ferenczy, of Southbury; Corey Paris, of Stamford, a 2014 WCSU alumnus; Dr. Jacqueline Guzda, assistant professor of communication and media arts; John Roche, assistant professor of journalism; and Dr. D.L. Stephenson, professor of philosophy and humanistic studies. Journalism major Ryan Yursha, of Danbury, will present voting results for congressional and state races during the election night broadcast, and six field teams will deliver live reports from party and candidate headquarters around the state. A student crew under the guidance of Adjunct Professor of Marketing Tom Zarecki will be responsible for monitoring and reporting social media submissions from viewers.

The significant IT and other technical requirements for production of the live broadcasts from studio and field locations will be handled by User Services Manager Jason Esposito and Assistant Director of Media Services Scott Volpe. WCSU 2016 alumnus Nicholas Hossan, of Danbury, will assist with studio operations. Patrick Carlone will be the audio engineer.

WCSU’s “Election Connection” has earned numerous recognitions from professional organizations in the communications field, including first place and second place honors over two consecutive years in the category of Studio Multi-Camera Production in a nationwide college competition for the Broadcast Education Association Festival of Media Arts. Previous recogntions include Telly Awards for Live Coverage and a Communicator Award of Distinction from the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts.

WCSU students and faculty have collaborated every election night since 2011 to produce continuous live televised coverage of voting results for local, state and national elections, along with reporting and analysis on major political, economic and social issues affecting the electorate. Since 2015, “Election Connection” has been produced on the university’s Midtown campus in Danbury at an HDTV broadcasting studio complete with control room, audio and lighting equipment, green screens and anchor desk on set.

For more information, contact Barone at baronej@wcsu.edu or the Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486.

 

 

Western Connecticut State University changes lives by providing all students with a high-quality education that fosters their growth as individuals, scholars, professionals and leaders in a global society. Our vision: To be widely recognized as a premier public university with outstanding teachers and scholars who prepare students to contribute to the world in a meaningful way.

 

 

WCSU Theater Department to present ‘Uncle Vanya” in October

Image of Joseph Calabrese and Alicia Napolitano in a scene from "Uncle Vanya"

Joseph Calabrese and Alicia Napolitano in a scene from “Uncle Vanya”

DANBURY, CONN. — Anton Chekhov’s classic 1898 play, “Uncle Vanya” will come to the stage at Western Connecticut State University this month. Presented by the university’s Department of Theatre Arts, performances will be at 8 p.m. on Oct. 12, 13, 19 and 20; with 2 p.m. matinees on Oct. 13, 14, 20 and 21. It will take place in the Studio Theatre of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the university’s Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury. General admission is $20. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit www.eventbrite.com/e/uncle-vanya-tickets-45385142182 or call (203) 837-8732.

A popular plot summary describes a retired professor who has returned to his estate to live with his beautiful young wife, Yelena. The estate originally belonged to his late wife. Sonya, the professor’s daughter, who is about the same age as his new wife, also lives on the estate. The professor is pompous, vain and irritable, and occasionally calls in a doctor named Astrov for gout issues. Astrov and Uncle Vanya both fall in love with Yelena, but she rejects them both. Meanwhile, Sonya is in love with Astrov, who fails to notice her. Finally, when the professor announces he wants to sell the estate, Vanya tries to kill him. Family conflict, unrequited love and darker motives play out in this newer rendition of the Russian play.

“Uncle Vanya has been one of my favorite Chekhov plays since I was a graduate student,” said producer and director of the show Pamela McDaniel. “On discovering Curt Columbus’ ‘New American Translation,’ this play has been on my short list of productions that I wanted to bring to the WCSU community. This fall has seen a confluence of student talent with translation that could allow for the realization of the piece, making it accessible to our audiences.”

The Russian playwright Chekhov first published “Uncle Vanya” in 1898 and received its Moscow premiere in 1899 in a production by the Moscow Art Theatre, under the direction of Konstantin Stanislavski. The play was nominated for the Drama Desk Award Outstanding Revival of a Play in 2000 and the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Revival in 1992. It won the 2003 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Revival and the story has been adapted for various films and opera performances.

The cast includes Joseph Calabrese, of Harwinton, as Vanya; John J. Mudgett, of Danbury, as Serebryakov; Jillian Caillouette, of Meriden, as Sonia; Alicia Napolitano, of Woodbury, as Yelena; Sam Rogers, of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, as Astrov; Jason Keane, of Trumbull, as Telegin; Kat Karl, of Redding, as Marya; Caleign Rose Lozito, of Bristol, as Marina; Brian O’Sullivan, of Montville, as Workman/Guitar; and Chris Planninschek, of Cheshire, as Yefim.

The crew includes: Production Manager and Technical Director Thomas Swetz, Set Designer Maiko Chii, Lighting Designer Scott Cally, Sound Designer Arielle Edwards and Costume Designer Joni Johns Lerner.

 

 

Western Connecticut State University changes lives by providing all students with a high-quality education that fosters their growth as individuals, scholars, professionals and leaders in a global society. Our vision: To be widely recognized as a premier public university with outstanding teachers and scholars who prepare students to contribute to the world in a meaningful way.

 

 

Fore ‘n’ Aft reunion set for Saturday at Ives Concert Park

Multiple bands to perform at charity event

DANBURY, CONN. — Throughout the United States, some cities were fortunate to host rock clubs that made history. The Agora Ballroom in Cleveland, The Chance in Poughkeepsie and Toad’s Place in New Haven are examples. One such establishment had four different sites: The Fore ‘n’ Aft, with locations in Brewster, White Plains and New Rochelle, New York; and one in Westport, Connecticut.

The rock venues were beloved by club-goers in the ’60s, ’70s and early ’80s — and boasted the best musicians and bands from the East Coast, including Twisted Sister, Richie Scarlet, Rat Race Choir, Zebra and far too many to list.

The Fore ‘n’ Aft will be celebrated from noon to 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, at Ives Concert Park on the Western Connecticut State University Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury, in a multi-band concert appropriately titled “The Fore ‘n’ Aft Benefit Reunion Concert/Festival.”

On Oct. 6, this event will reunite the bands, fans and notables from the unforgettable years that helped pave the foundation for rock music and events in the region that are still talked about today. Open to the public, this festival will feature live music, special guests, surprise appearances, food trucks, vendors and more — with proceeds going to four local charities. The show is presented in association with Townsquare Media. Tickets are available at https://fore-n-aft-reunion.ticketleap.com/.

Among the musicians scheduled to appear is Neal Smith of the original Alice Cooper Band. Smith, recognized as one of rock’s foremost drummers, played or recorded with the Plasmatics, Flying Tigers and the Hollywood Vampires, among others. He is best known as the man pounding the skins for Alice Cooper on all the band’s classic albums and tours from the late ’60s through the ’70s. In 2011, Smith was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with the Alice Cooper Band.

The band lineup is Dan’s Garage Band (noon), Hey Baby Band (1 p.m.), Whitewood (2 p.m.), Future Tense (3 p.m.), Paralax (4 p.m.), Richie Scarlet (5 p.m.), Doug Wahlberg Band (6 p.m.), Limelight Rush tribute (7 p.m.), Witch Hunt (8 p.m.), Rat Race Choir (9 p.m.) and a surprise performance at 10 p.m.

In addition to celebrating a part of the region’s cultural music history, “The Fore ‘n’ Aft Benefit Reunion Concert/Festival” will contribute to four charitable organizations: the ALS Association, National Adoption Foundation, Hillside Food Outreach and Ann’s Place.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/forenaftreunion, www.ivesconcertpark.com/ or call (203) 770-9336. For ticket information and options, visit www.forenaft.org.

 

 

Western Connecticut State University changes lives by providing all students with a high quality education that fosters their growth as individuals, scholars, professionals, and leaders in a global society. Our vision: To be widely recognized as a premier public university with outstanding teachers and scholars who prepare students to contribute to the world in a meaningful way.

 

 

League of Women Voters of Northern Fairfield County to present ‘The Suffrage Movement in Connecticut’ at WCSU

National Get Out the Vote Day event will allow attendees to register to vote

DANBURY, CONN. — The League of Women Voters of Northern Fairfield County (LWVNFC) will present “The Suffrage Movement in Connecticut” from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018, in Room 103 of Warner Hall on the Western Connecticut State University Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. The event is free and the public is invited. Attendees will have the opportunity to register to vote at this National Get Out the Vote Day event. Free pizza and refreshments will be served.

LWVNFC President Judy Griemsmann will open the event with introductory remarks and student member Timia Graham will talk about the Connecticut suffrage movement. Graham will give a PowerPoint presentation highlighting its history, issues women fought for and the resistance they faced. She also will discuss the LWV from its formal organization in 1920 to today.

The LWVNFC serves Bethel, Brookfield, Danbury, New Fairfield, Newtown and Sherman. The organization encourages informed and active participation in government, and seeks to increase understanding of major public policy issues and influence public policy through education and advocacy. The LWVNFC also registers voters and provides election information through voter guides, as well as candidate forums and debates. Every two years, the LWVNFC co-hosts the 5th Congressional District Candidate Debate, and also schedules Meet the Candidates forums and breakfast events.

 

 

Western Connecticut State University changes lives by providing all students with a high-quality education that fosters their growth as individuals, scholars, professionals and leaders in a global society. Our vision: To be widely recognized as a premier public university with outstanding teachers and scholars who prepare students to contribute to the world in a meaningful way.

 

 

 

 

Hall of Fame Banquet to honor achievements in WCSU athletics

Dinner and induction will honor Colonials alumni, 2002 softball team and ‘Voice of Western’

DANBURY, CONN. — Five Western Connecticut State University alumni who left lasting sports legacies at WCSU, a longtime supporter of the WCSU Athletics program, and the legendary 2002 Colonials women’s softball team will be honored at the WCSU Athletic Hall of Fame Banquet to be held on Friday, Oct. 19, 2018. 

The dinner, sponsored by the WCSU Alumni Association, will celebrate this year’s Hall of Fame inductions of former WCSU student athletes in baseball, football, women’s softball, men’s soccer and women’s basketball, as well as a professor emeritus, coach and longtime public address announcer for WCSU football and basketball games. The event also will recognize the Hall of Fame induction of the 2002 softball team that captured Little East Conference (LEC) and NCAA Division III regional tournament titles.

The banquet, part of 2018 Homecoming Week events at WCSU, will begin at 6 p.m. at the Amber Room Colonnade, 1 Stacey Road in Danbury. Admission is $75 per person or $700 to reserve a table for 10. Registrations may be made online at http://alumni.wcsu.edu/alumni-events or by calling the Alumni Association office at (203) 837-8298.

The honorees will be enshrined in the WCSU Athletic Hall of Fame at an Induction Ceremony at noon on Saturday, Oct. 20, at the O’Neill Athletic and Convocation Center on the university’s Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury. The ceremony will take place in the Hall of Fame at the front of the O’Neill Center. Admission is free and the public is invited.

 

image of 2002 Softball Team

2002 Softball Team

The 2002 Colonials women’s softball team finished with an overall record of 34-9-1, and coach Alicia O’Brien claimed her 300th career win

image of Softball Coach Alicia O'Brien

Softball Coach Alicia O’Brien

during that historic season. The squad posted a conference record of 12-1-1 to place first during the regular season and captured the LEC tournament championship. The team went on to win the NCAA Division III New England regional tournament and became the first Colonials team to appear in the Division III women’s softball championship. The team achieved a ninth-place ranking in the final 2002 National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division III poll, and shortstop Cherie Bailey and pitcher Sarah Zaslaw were named to the 2002 Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division II All-American first team.

 

This year’s Hall of Fame induction will award the prestigious Lifetime Support recognition to Bill Walton, professor emeritus

image of Bill Walton

Bill Walton

and former department chair in the university’s communication and theatre programs. Walton’s contributions to WCSU Athletics include his roles as an assistant baseball coach and as academic adviser for baseball student athletes for the past 26 years. He has been well known to generations of Colonials fans for more than a quarter century as “The Voice of Western Athletics,” providing continuous service as the PA announcer at home games for the WCSU football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball programs since 1992. During his academic career, he earned several university recognitions for teaching excellence, and he has been a master of ceremonies at many WCSU events.

 

Alumni who will be honored for their contributions to WCSU Athletics during their competition in intercollegiate sports include:

  • Conor Bierfeldt, baseball from 2010 through 2013. As an outfielder, Bierfeldt set records in the Colonials baseball
    image of Conor Bierfeldt

    Conor Bierfeldt

    program for offensive production, achieving a career batting average of .412 and 148 RBIs as well as new highs for doubles and triples. He was named in both 2012 and 2013 as Baseball Player of the Year in the LEC, and also earned New England Player of the Year honors from the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) and the American Baseball Coaches Association. Other honors included selections for three years to All-LEC and All-New England teams, and for two years to All-American collegiate squads. Selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the 2013 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, Biefeldt has played professional baseball with the Aberdeen IronBirds, Delmarva Shorebirds, Frederick Keys, Bowie Baysox, New Britain Bees and Rockland Boulders.

 

  • Adam Kennett, football from 1996 through 1999. Kennett still holds the WCSU record for most field goals in a career at
    image of Adam Kennett

    Adam Kennett

     

    27, as well as records for most field goals in a game and in a season. His prolific field goal production per game achieved a seventh-place ranking nationally in 1999, when he also earned recognition as Special Teams Player of the Year and as a second-team All-American. He received All New England first-team selections in 1999 from ECAC and from the New England Sports Writers for NCCA divisions II and III. Other honors included selections as a second-team All-Star in 1998 and a first-team All-Star in 1999 by the Freedom Football Conference.

 

  • Kim Lynch, women’s softball from 1998 through 2001. Lynch achieved a .399 batting average in her four years as a
    image of Kim Lynch

    Kim Lynch

    Colonial, setting WCSU career records for slugging average at .686, total bases at 330 and doubles at 61. A durable player who set a single-season record for games played at 50, she was named LEC Offensive Player of the Year in 1999 and 2000 and made the All-Tournament teams in LEC and NCAA post-season competitions from 1999 through 2001. She also was recognized as a Northeast Regional second-team All-American in 1998 and first-team All-American in 1999 and 2000.

 

  • Matt March, men’s soccer from 1967 through 1969. Serving as co-captain for the 1968 and 1969
    image of Matt March

    Matt March

    seasons, March led the soccer team to consecutive winning regular seasons in both years and to a runner-up result in the 1969 Pre-season Invitational Tournament. He established a lasting legacy as one of the most prolific goal scorers in Colonials history: He scored 25 goals in the 1969 campaign and still holds the WCSU single-game scoring record with a remarkable eight goals. He was awarded the Sportsman of the Year prize in 1969 by the Men’s Athletic Association at Western and was named to the elite Top 20 Players recognized by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

 

  • Melissa Teel, women’s basketball from 2007 through 2011. Teel helped to lead the Colonials to three NCAA Division III
    image of Melissa Teel

    Melissa Teel

    tournament appearances and two LEC tournament championships, and became the first WCSU basketball student athlete ever to achieve more than 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds. Her 1,052 rebounds and 367 blocked shots shattered previous Colonials career records. She became only the third player in program history to be named to the State Farm Coaches All-American Team in 2011, and also was named in 2011 as Player of the Year by the New England Women’s Basketball Association and as All-MET Division III Co-Player of the Year. She received LEC honors in 2010 and 2011 as the conference’s Player of the Year and as an LEC first-team selection. Her prowess on defense was recognized with selections to the LEC All-Defensive Team in 2009 and 2010, and as the LEC Defensive Player of the Year in 2011. She also was named in 2010 to the Women’s Division III News All-American fifth team. She received selection to the D3Hoops Northeast All-Region first team, and was a member of the USA D-3 All-Star Team Brazil tour in 2010.

For more information, contact the Office of Alumni Relations at (203) 837-8298.

 

 

Western Connecticut State University changes lives by providing all students with a high-quality education that fosters their growth as individuals, scholars, professionals and leaders in a global society. Our vision: To be widely recognized as a premier public university with outstanding teachers and scholars who prepare students to contribute to the world in a meaningful way.

 

 

‘Western Day of Service’ underway to benefit the community

DANBURY, CONN. — Western Connecticut State University hosts its annual “Western Day of Service,” today, Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. Beginning at 8 a.m. this morning, faculty, staff and student volunteers checked in, received continental breakfast and a free T-shirt. After a pep-talk by President Clark, all volunteers gathered for a group photo before being bused to the local organizations for three hours of volunteer service. Buses will return all participants to the Midtown campus by noon.

WCSU encourages students, faculty, staff and alumni to commit to some form of volunteer work. Options include: raking, trimming and/or weeding trails; sanding and/or painting; serving food; parking cars; registering dancers; cleaning offices; washing fire trucks; moving boxes; tagging books; working with animals; or picking up trash along the streets of Danbury.

During last year’s celebration, close to 500 volunteers helped more than 40 community agencies including: Lake Kenosia, Escape to the Arts, Danbury Fire Department, City Center Danbury, Ives Concert Park, Danbury Museum & Historical Society, the Salvation Army, Danbury PAL, Still River Greenway and Maplewood Senior Center. Volunteer activities included everything from reading to elementary school students, painting stairwells, sorting through donated clothes, cleaning and pulling weeds to washing fire trucks and ambulances.

This year, WCSU anticipates several hundred volunteers at more than 45 local sites. They will be visible across town as work teams wearing bright yellow T-shirts.

Townsquare Media, owner of i95 and KICKS105.5 has come on board as a supporter of Western Day of Service again this year, bringing its street team to the event kick-off to hand out bottled water to the volunteers before they head off to their work sites.

Townsquare Media Market President George Mihalopoulos said, “Townsquare Media Danbury looks forward to supporting the Annual Day of Service. i95 and KICKS 105.5 are committed to promoting events like Western’s Day of Service to help further community causes.”

For more information, contact the Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486.

 

Western Connecticut State University changes lives by providing all students with a high-quality education that fosters their growth as individuals, scholars, professionals and leaders in a global society. Our vision: To be widely recognized as a premier public university with outstanding teachers and scholars who prepare students to contribute to the world in a meaningful way.

 

WCSU Police Department to host ‘A Walk to Remember’

Event aims to raise cancer awareness, pay tribute to lost colleagues

DANBURY, CONN. — The WCSU Police Department Benevolent Association will host its second annual event, “A Walk to Remember,” from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018, at the Alumni Circle on the Western Connecticut State University Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. The walk will raise money for cancer awareness and prevention in honor of those who have lost the battle with cancer. The cost to participate is $10 for WCSU students and $15 for the public. All proceeds will be donated to Regional Hospice and Palliative Care of Danbury. Personal donations are welcomed.

Eleanor Chance, a WCSU building and grounds patrol officer, proposed the event after three fellow members of the department succumbed to cancer: WCSU Chief of Police Neil McLaughlin, in April 2015; Officer Ernie Leclercq, in September 2015; and Department Secretary Shirley Hatch, in August 2016.

“Shirley would enjoy walking the Midtown perimeter during her lunch breaks, which gave me the idea for the fundraiser,” Chance said.

The 1.5-mile walk starts at the Alumni Circle before proceeding to White Street, then toward Locust Avenue. This completes a full circle around campus and ends back at the Alumni Circle.

For more information, contact Chance at chancee@wcsu.edu or the Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486.

 

 

Western Connecticut State University changes lives by providing all students with a high-quality education that fosters their growth as individuals, scholars, professionals and leaders in a global society. Our vision: To be widely recognized as a premier public university with outstanding teachers and scholars who prepare students to contribute to the world in a meaningful way.