WCSU News

WCSU Jazz Festival to present bassist Ron Carter, Robert Glasper Trio

WCSU music student & faculty jazz artists featured in 24th annual festival April 25-27

DANBURY, CONN. — The Western Connecticut State University Department of Music will celebrate its 24th annual Jazz Festival from April 25 through 27, 2019, showcasing the university’s student and faculty jazz musicians and bringing legendary bassist Ron Carter and the acoustic jazz artistry of the Robert Glasper Trio to Danbury for featured concerts.

The opening concert of the festival at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 25, will feature university jazz musicians including the WCSU Jazz Vocal Ensemble under the direction of Adjunct Professor of Music Atla DeChamplain, the WCSU Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Assistant Professor of Music Dr. Matthew Doiron, and Frankensax under the direction of Adjunct Professor of Music Andrew Beals. The Jazz Festival concert at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 26, will present Carter, whose performances on more than 2,200 albums have made him the most recorded jazz bassist in history, as the featured guest artist with the WCSU Jazz Orchestra under the direction of WCSU Associate Professor and Co-coordinator of Jazz Studies Jamie Begian. Glasper, a Grammy and Emmy award-winning pianist, will lead his keyboard, percussion and bass trio in the closing Jazz Festival concert at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 27. 

All performances will be in the Veronica Hagman Concert Hall of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the WCSU Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury. General admission prices are $6 in advance or $10 at the door for the WCSU student concert on April 25; $20, for the April 26 Jazz Orchestra concert featuring Carter; and $25, for the April 27 Robert Glasper Trio concert. Reservations for all concerts are available at www.wcsuvpac.eventbrite.com.

As part of the university’s annual jazz celebration, the Department of Music also will host a High School Jazz Adjudication Festival on April 27 at VPAC.

image of Ron Carter

Ron Carter

Carter’s extraordinary career spanning six decades took off in the 1960s as a member of the Miles Davis Quintet, performing on the group’s “Seven Steps to Heaven” and “E.S. P.” albums and as a sideman on Blue Note recordings with Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Freddie Hubbard, Sam Rivers, McCoy Tyner and many other jazz artists of the period. He began producing his own releases on the CTI Records label in the 1970s and has built up a personal discography of more than 40 albums in wide-ranging musical partnerships ranging from Hank Jones, B.B. King, Cannonball Adderley and Jim Hall to Cedar Walton, Houston Person, Lena Horne and Billy Joel. He won Grammy Awards in 1993 for Best Jazz Instrumental Group and in 1998 for his instrumental composition “Call Street Blues” featured in the film “Round Midnight.” Among his many other recognitions are honors as Outstanding Bassist of the Decade by the Detroit News, Jazz Bassist of the Year by Downbeat magazine, MVP by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, and Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Ministry of Culture. He is also an accomplished cellist who has made numerous recordings on that instrument.

Carter continues to tour worldwide as a featured performer in concerts across the Americas, Europe and Asia. He has composed music for films, taught master classes around the world, and served on the music faculties of the Juilliard School and the City College of New York, where he is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus. He is the author of several books for bass performers and “The Ron Carter Songbook” of original compositions, as well as his autobiography, “Finding the Right Notes.” His humanitarian work with the Jazz Foundation of America has benefited elderly jazz and blues musicians, including survivors in New Orleans of Hurricane Katrina.

image of Robert Glasper

Robert Glasper

Glasper, a three-time Grammy Award winner, has been described by Tempe Nakiska in Interview magazine as “intelligent, creative and incredibly impassioned, the ideal flag-bearer for the new jazz era.” A Texas native who pursued studies at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, he has performed with leading jazz, hip-hop and R&B artists of the past two decades for recordings and at concerts and festivals across the United States and around the world. As a bandleader, he has been a pioneer in exploring new frontiers of acoustic jazz with the Robert Glasper Trio and electronic jazz music with the Robert Glasper Experiment. “It’s like you’re listening to an impromptu jam session, where everything and everyone is clicking on all cylinders,” Billboard magazine observed.

Glasper’s breakthrough album releases featuring original compositions included “Fresh Sound New Talent” in 2004 and “Canvas” on Blue Note Records in 2005. He has been nominated six times for Grammy awards and won for Best R&B Album with “Black Radio” in 2012 and “Black Radio 2” in 2015, as well as Best Traditional R&B Performance in 2015 for “Jesus Children of America.” His diverse collaborations have ranged the gamut of accompanying artists from Mos Def, Bilal Oliver, Kanye West and J-Z to Christian McBride, Damion Reid, Derrick Hodge and Vicente Archer.

Ticket reservations are available online for Jazz Festival concerts on April 25 at www.eventbrite.com/e/24th-annual-jazz-festival-feat-wcsu-vocal-jazz-jazz-ensemble-frankensax-tickets-59072157413; for April 26, at www.eventbrite.com/e/24th-annual-jazz-fest-featuring-ron-carter-with-the-wcsu-jazz-orchestra-tickets-59361437658; and for April 27, at www.eventbrite.com/e/24th-annual-jazz-fest-featuring-robert-glasper-trio-tickets-59443063804.

Ticket information is also available at (203) 837-8732.

 

 

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 showcases student research at 15th annual WRD event

Keynote talks to offer insights on Norse studies and nursing simulation research

DANBURY, CONN. — Western Connecticut State University will showcase the research and creative work of WCSU students in a wide range of academic disciplines and present keynote lectures in the fields of nursing and Norse studies at the 15th annual Western Research Day (WRD) on Thursday, May 9, 2019, in the Science Building on the university’s Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury.

The program will begin at 10 a.m. in Science Building Room 125 with welcoming remarks offered by Dr. Michelle Monette, associate professor of Biological and Environmental Sciences and chair of the 2019 WRD planning committee, and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Missy Alexander. Alexander will introduce the WRD keynote talks, which will be presented by Assistant Professor of Nursing Dr. Linda Dalessio, a WCSU faculty member since 2014, and Lynn Schoenbeck, a 2016 WCSU alumna currently pursuing master’s degree studies in Iceland.

“Promoting Interdisciplinary Conversations” will be the theme for the WRD exhibition of student posters detailing research and creative work conducted during the current academic year, continuing from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Atrium of the Science Building. Student participants in the exhibition will explain their work to the public and present their projects to judges invited from the WCSU faculty and staff as well as university alumni, Danbury Hospital employees and other members of the community.

Alexander will award the WRD Provost Prizes honoring students for outstanding research presentations in diverse academic fields during a closing session at 1 p.m. in Science Building Room 125. For the first time this year, the WCSU Library Services department also will sponsor a Library Research Award to a WRD participant who demonstrates outstanding accomplishment in the use and application of library resources and services. The keynote speakers will be recognized for their accomplishments with honorary plaques presented by WCSU Alumni Relations Director Thomas Crucitti.

Admission to all WRD program events will be free and the public is invited to attend.

image of Dr. Linda Dalessio

Dr. Linda Dalessio

Dalessio, who earned her Ed.D. in Nursing Education at WCSU in 2018, will discuss a primary focus of her doctoral research on simulation pedagogy in her keynote talk, “The Effects of Debriefing on Diagnostic Reasoning Development in Family Nursing Practitioner Students.” Dalessio holds CCRN certification, and has worked as a critical care nurse and nurse practitioner in acute and adult care areas. She earned her B.S.N. from Elsevier College, M.S.N. in Forensic Nursing from Quinnipiac University, and post-master’s degree in Acute Care Nursing from St. Louis University. She is a member of the American Nurses Association, the International Association of Simulation and Clinical Learning, Sigma Theta Tau and the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, and has received grants from the AACCN and the American College of Chest Physicians.

image of Lynn Shoenbeck

Lynn Shoenbeck

Schoenbeck will offer insights on her interdisciplinary pursuit of an M.A. in Viking and Medieval Norse Studies at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik in her talk, “Tale Isolde as Time: A Comparative Analysis of  a Key Female Figure Across the Middle High German and Old Norse Tristan Epic.” Recipient of a B.A. in History with minor in Anthropology from WCSU, she focused in her undergraduate thesis on the interrelationship of Norse art and Saga literature with Nordic laws and social mores during medieval times, which together served to define and limit women’s social boundaries. Her present research on medieval Scandinavia investigates the transfer and adaptation of continental European literature to a Nordic perspective. She plans to go on to seek a doctoral degree in museum studies with a Norse specialization.

Student research and creative work exhibited at WRD will encompass diverse academic disciplines in the sciences, arts, professions, business and humanities. Participation requires prior approval by the student’s faculty adviser and submission of an abstract to the WRD planning committee for review. Serving with Monette on this year’s WRD committee are Dr. Bernard Gee, associate professor of Psychology; Debbi Johnson, adjunct professor of Biological and Environmental Sciences; Brian Stevens, university archivist and special collections librarian, and Dr. Emily Stevens, professor of Health Promotion and Exercise Sciences.

“Western Research Day not only gives students the chance to present their work in a professional conference setting, but also offers them the opportunity to interact with students and faculty from other disciplines,” Monette observed. “In that way, we are helping to promote interdisciplinary conversations among students and with the rest of the university and area community.”

For more information, contact Monette at monettem@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.

 

 

Three WCSU ‘Finding our Way’ alumni earn awards at 2019 Connecticut Science & Engineering Fair

2017-18 winners repeat success in state competition

DANBURY, CONN. — Three participants in the “Finding Our Way” program at Western Connecticut State University are among the winners in the 2019 Connecticut Science & Engineering Fair held March 11-16, 2019, at Quinnipiac University in Hamden. They are Khushi Parikh, Shristi Ramakrishnan and Sharva Karthikeyan, all from Danbury.

image of Khushi Parikh

Khushi Parikh

Khushi Parikh, a ninth grader at Danbury High School, presented her project, “Engineering a Polylectic Biomimetic Micro Aerial Vehicle to Pollinate Flowers.” The research earned Parikh several honors, including a Petit Family Foundation Women in Science & Engineering Award, Second Place, High School; CASE PepsiCo Urban School Challenge Award with IBM, Senior High Finalist; and a Meyer and Young Woman Scientist Award, High School, Physical Sciences.

As a seventh grader in 2017, Parikh won first prize in the “Finding Our Way” Stewardship Competition for her project, “Chemical Fertilizer is Ruining the World.”

Srishti Ramakrishnan, in eighth grade at the Westside Middle School Academy, presented “The Study of Effectiveness of Different Separation Methods in Removing Suspended Microplastics from Water.” Ramakrishnan’s work earned her the following recognition: CSF Finalist, Physical Sciences, Eighth Grade; Petit Family Foundation Women in Science & Engineering Award, First Place, Middle School; Urban School Challenge Award, First Place, Middle School; Environmental Sciences Awards, Third Place; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Award; Talcott Mountain Science Center & Academy, Founder’s Award; Air and Waste Management Association Connecticut Chapter Award; and GENIUS Olympiad Competition (Oswego, New York) for Highest Placing USC Eighth Grade Project.

In 2018, as a seventh grader, Ramakrishnan won first prize in the “Finding Our Way” Stewardship Competition for her project, “The Environmental Harm Caused by Microbeads in Consumer Products.” Her winning 2019 Connecticut Science & Engineering Fair entry further explores this topic and offers a mitigation approach. 

Sharva Karthikeyan, also in eighth grade at the Westside Middle School Academy, studied “Impact of Microwave-irradiated Plastic on Microbiological Health Indices.” His work earned him an Urban School Challenge Award, Middle School Finalist.

As a member of the 2018 “Finding Our Way” class, Karthikeyan’s stewardship project investigated “How Plastic Pollution Affects Candlewood Lake.” His winning 2019 Connecticut Science & Engineering Fair entry continues his research into plastics.

WCSU Professor of Biological and Environmental Sciences Dr. Dora Pinou is director of the “Finding our Way” program on campus.

With a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Pinou brings students from Danbury and regional middle schools to WCSU for a wide-ranging educational experience focusing on water resources and ecosystem biodiversity. WCSU, Danbury Family Learning Center and Danbury Public Schools collaborate on the program, which offers 30 seventh-grade middle school students and their families a yearlong integrated environmental stewardship experience focused on New England watersheds.

“Finding Our Way” partners with WCSU’s Weather Center and The Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation to study the life cycle and behavior of organisms that rely on the watershed for resources. It also partners with the NOAA Fisheries Lab in Milford, and FirstLight Power Resources to learn about sustainable clean energy such as biofuel and hydroelectric power.

“I’m extremely proud of our young scientists,” Pinou said.

To learn more about “Finding our Way” at WCSU, visit www.wcsu.edu/stem.

 

 

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.

 

 

Two WCSU students receive 2019 Henry Barnard Distinguished Student Award

DANBURY, CONN. — Western Connecticut State University seniors Layra Caridad Valdes Ramirez and Victor Namer are the recipients of this year’s Henry Barnard Distinguished Student Award for their outstanding academic achievement, on-campus participation and dedication to community involvement. Each year, up to 12 graduating seniors enrolled in Connecticut state universities (Central Connecticut State University, Eastern Connecticut State University, Southern Connecticut State University and WCSU) are presented with the prestigious award.

image of Layra Caridad Valdes Ramirez

Layra Caridad Valdes Ramirez

Ramirez is a Biochemistry major with a biology minor who will graduate in May with a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry, ACS Approved. She plans to pursue a DDM in dentistry and research next fall, and will spend this summer volunteering in a dental office in Cuba. Namer has dual majors in Psychology and Political Science with a minor in Conflict Resolution, and will receive Bachelor of Arts degrees in both Psychology and Political Science next month. He plans to start his career in the fields of social work, homelessness, mental health and/or local or state politics, while considering his post-graduate degree options.

image of Victor Namer

Victor Namer

Namer and Ramirez are both graduates of Danbury High School and members of WCSU’s highly selective Kathwari Honors Program. Each is graduating with a GPA in excess of 3.9, and an impressive list of awards, accomplishments and scholarships.

Professor of Political Science and Director of the Kathwari Honors Program Dr. Chris Kukk was not surprised that two of his Honors students were chosen to receive Barnard Awards.

“Layra and Victor are the type of people who make whatever they are a part of better,” Kukk said. “They are not opposite sides of the same coin (some might say that because of their different backgrounds, but similar goals in helping others); to me, they make up the edge of the same coin because they are always at the leading edge of efforts to make our world a better place. It’s been a privilege to have a front row seat in watching two young scholars create their own paths in the world as they help make the path for others easier.”

Namer was born and raised in Danbury and took advantage of WCSU’s participation in the International Student Exchange Program to study abroad in Thailand and Spain — a decision that influenced both his personal spiritual journey and the action plan for his life.

“Each of these cultural exchanges played a key role in defining who I became,” Namer said. “Entering Thailand was the first time I was put into a position where I was forced to witness poverty, sickness and hunger on my daily walk to and from the university. Thailand enlightened me to the unseen suffering of those around me, and it was devastating. Spain taught me the value of putting my beliefs into action. I joined rallies protesting unfair practices imposed upon the people in local neighborhoods. I became educated in global politics for the first time in my life.   I began donating food and money to the local homeless population. Each of these two locations helped open my heart to live my values more fully, and I will always look back fondly on these experiences.”

Ramirez was born in Havana, Cuba, and emigrated with her family to Danbury as a junior in high school. Growing up in Havana, she saw the kind of suffering that her fellow Barnard Award recipient, Namer, discovered for the first time while studying abroad.

“I grew up seeing how the concepts of liberty and justice were twisted to the government’s convenience,” she said. “I saw how people were brutally repressed and even killed for speaking against the government. In my parents (who are chemists), I saw that regardless of how hard I studied or worked, I would still live in poverty. After high school, the Cuban government assigns students a career based on the country’s needs. As I got closer to graduation, I worried that the demand in dentistry would decline and I would never fulfill my dream of becoming a dentist. When my mother told me that we were going to the United States, it was the light at the end of my tunnel. I knew coming to a new country as a teenager was going to be challenging. However, it gave me the chance to follow my passion for dentistry.”

Once enrolled as Honors students at WCSU, Namer and Ramirez found ample opportunities to expand their knowledge and horizons — and more importantly, to help others.

Ramirez became involved in Minorities in Medicine, ultimately becoming treasurer and currently, president. She is the vice president and treasurer of the Collegiate Health Service Corps and serves as a Pre-Health Peer Mentor. She volunteers at local schools and nursing homes, and participates in events like Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week and during volunteer days at the university’s Permaculture Garden. Ramirez has worked on a tick awareness program at summer camps, as a free Spanish language interpreter at the New Haven Free Clinic and in the Danbury schools, and as a provider of enrichment programs for Extended Learning Program 4th and 5th grade students in Danbury. As part of her studies, Ramirez has served as a research assistant in the Center for Disease Control-funded Backyard Integrated Tick Management Study conducted by WCSU’s Biological and Environmental Sciences Department. She has completed internships and observations with several area dentists, and attended the Yale School of Medicine Summer Medical and Dental Education Program. At the same time, Ramirez has been a teaching assistant for Biochemistry, Organic Chemistry and Biology courses at WCSU, while also maintaining a part-time job at a local grocery store. She also has returned to Danbury High School annually to encourage other immigrant students to pursue a college education and assist them with the application process.

Namer became involved in Honors Students of Compassion, ultimately becoming secretary, vice president and currently, president. He volunteers at the Community Warming Center, is the social action chair at his synagogue, is an Honors student representative to the WCSU Center for Compassion, Creativity and Innovation board, and a student ambassador for the International Student Exchange Program. He has served as a teaching assistant for Fundamentals of Conflict Resolution and The Nature of Inquiry courses taught at WCSU and is working with the dean of Student Life to develop training sessions on conflict resolution for campus residence halls. As a member of WCSU’s Hancock Student Leadership Program, Namer had the opportunity to shadow the deputy superintendent of the Danbury Public Schools for a leadership field experience. He also was a legislative intern in the Connecticut General Assembly for State Rep. Christopher Rosario, where he oversaw constituent casework, and he undertook an events and planning internship at CityCenter Danbury, which led to part-time employment as a project coordinator working to revitalize downtown Danbury.

As his five-year journey toward obtaining dual Bachelor’s degrees nears its conclusion, Namer is philosophical about his receipt of the Henry Barnard Distinguished Student Award. “It is both a pleasure and an honor to be selected as one of the CSCU Henry Barnard Distinguished Student Award recipients,” he said. “Looking back on everything, I could not have done it alone. They say it takes a village to raise a child, but it takes a strong community to raise leaders of tomorrow. I am grateful to faculty, staff, family, friends and my peers who helped me along my path to get to where I am today, and I am overjoyed to have received this award.”

Also reflective on her impending graduation and receipt of the Barnard Award, Ramirez said, “When I first walked through the doors of WCSU I thought that I didn’t belong here. I could barely speak English and I thought there was no place for me in a college. I thought professors wouldn’t have the patience to explain things again when I didn’t understand. I thought people would judge me for my accent and for being different. But that was never the case. I was celebrated for being different; I was loved and respected. So this award means that at WCSU we have a support system so strong that your background becomes secondary and the only thing you need to be successful is hard work and dedication. It means that yes, YOU can.”

Namer and Ramirez will accept their awards at an April 23, 2019, ceremony in Plantsville.

 

 

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 presents art students’ works in Senior Portfolio Exhibition

Opening reception at VPAC Art Gallery to be held April 18

DANBURY, CONN. — The Senior Portfolio Exhibition, featuring works by 38 Western Connecticut State University undergraduate art majors who are candidates this year for the Bachelor of Arts degree, will open with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 18, 2019, in the Art Gallery at the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the university’s Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury.

Viewing of the exhibition will be offered at the gallery from Monday, April 22, through Monday, May 6, 2019. Gallery hours will be from noon to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission will be free to the reception and the exhibition, and the public is invited.

The WCSU Department of Art presents the Senior Portfolio Exhibition each spring as a capstone experience for students pursuing the B.A. in Art in one of five areas of concentration: graphic design, illustration, painting, photography and sculpture. This year’s exhibition will feature 10 art majors with a concentration in graphic design, six in illustration, 11 in painting, eight in photography and three in sculpture. The following 2019 B.A. in Art candidates will show selected works:

  • Graphic Design: Nahndi Ali, of Bristol; Joseph Bottone, of Westport; Paige Carnes, of Newtown; Alexa Collins, of New Milford; Ramazan Dovoljani, of Weston; Heather Gantt, of Sandy Hook; Lucas Gonzalez, of West Haven; Joshua Mueller, of Bethlehem; Kimberly Palmer, of New Milford; and Jonathan Spencer, of Sherman.
  • Illustration: Kelly Criswell, of Danbury; Francisco Del Carpio-Beltran, of New Haven; Lindsey Lawton, of Oakville; Zachary Lloyd, of Westfield, New Jersey; Julie McCloskey, of Simsbury; and Felisha Ortiz, of New Fairfield.
  • Painting: Dana Aftyka, of Mahopac, New York; Emily Alderman, of Middletown; Octavia Byrd, of Bridgeport; David Flook, of Southbury; Morgan Ho, of Ridgefield; Alex Mondaca, of New Milford; Ashley O’Brien, of New Milford; Rachel Rossier, of New London; Thoai Tran, of Norwalk; Valerie West-Rosenthal, of West Redding; and Veronica Woods, of Danbury.
  • Photography: Alex Diverniero, of East Haven; Marcus Escribano, of Danbury; Khaalis Lee, of New Haven; Charles Loomis, of Newtown; Casey Orsini, of Middlebury; Rachel Peet, of New Fairfield; Alessandra Turano, of Chappaqua, New York; and Brianna Walker, of New Haven.
  • Sculpture: Jacob Martnick, of Danbury; Phillip Reynolds, of Southbury; and Rockelle Veneruso, of Monroe.

For more information, contact the Department of Art at (203) 837-8403, Art Gallery Curator Melissa Ralston-Jones at (203) 837-3982, 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 to host Northeast Writing Center Association conference

DANBURY, CONN. — Western Connecticut State University will host this year’s Northeast Writing Center Association (NEWCA) conference on Saturday and Sunday, March 30 and 31, 2019, in White Hall on the university’s Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. Saturday’s events will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday’s events from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The regional conference will center around the theme, “Voices of Engagement: The Roles Writing Centers Play in Making Writing Meaningful.” Host of the event, WCSU Writing Center Coordinator and Associate Professor of Writing, Linguistics and Creative Process Dr. Kelli Custer, expects about 275 attendees from universities across the Northeast.

Visitors will travel from Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey. Their presentations will cover issues such as working across cultures, multilingual writers and theory-driven methods to engage writers.

“Successful conferences are ones that generate conversation, and smaller, regional conferences like this are the ideal place for that to happen,” Custer said. “With panels, workshops and roundtable discussions from administrators, faculty and student tutors, this exchange of ideas is an integral part of writing center philosophy.”

Custer has directed WCSU’s Writing Center since 2014 in the Ruth Haas Library, which operates Sunday through Thursday. She employs 11 students from various disciplines as writing consultants. All WCSU students are encouraged to come for free writing consultations on any writing project for any class, as well as cover letters and applications.

NEWCA is a regional affiliate of the International Writing Centers Association (IWCA), which was founded in 1983. IWCA has affiliates throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.

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 to screen film ‘Measuring the World’ April 10

WCSU faculty to introduce film with commentaries on Gauss & Humboldt

DANBURY, CONN. — The lives and legacies of two of the world’s most celebrated intellectual giants of the 18th and 19th centuries will be recalled with a presentation on Wednesday, April 10, 2019, of the film “Measuring the World” at Western Connecticut State University.

The 2012 film directed by Detlev Buck, based on the novel by Daniel Kehlmann, offers a dramatized portrayal of the personal stories and intellectual genius of the German mathematician and physicist Carl Friedrich Gauss and the German humanist, naturalist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt. The screening will be at 3:30 p.m. in Room 025 of White Hall on the university’s Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. The presentation will begin with introductory remarks offered by Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics Dr. Todd Trimble, about Gauss; and by Professor and Chair of the World Languages and Literature Department Dr. Galina Bakhtiarova, about Humboldt.

Admission will be free and the public is invited. Sponsors for the event include the German Studies Center and the departments of Mathematics and of World Languages and Literature at WCSU.

Gauss, who lived from 1777 to 1855, is universally recognized as one of the preeminent mathematicians of the modern era, whose wide-ranging achievements made pioneering contributions to knowledge in diverse fields including number theory, algebra, geometry, astronomy, magnetism and geodetic surveying. Humboldt, whose life spanned nearly 90 years from 1769 to 1859, brought the modern scientific tools of measurement and analysis to his explorations of vast and previously uncharted lands in the Americas and central Russia. Humboldt’s scientific work resulted in enduring contributions to diverse fields of study from botany, geology and geography to ecology and meteorology. His master work “Kosmos,” published in several volumes, sought to provide a holistic scientific understanding of the physical world.

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.

 

 

‘Crazy for You’ at WCSU

image of Crazy for You posterDANBURY, CONN. – The Western Connecticut State University Department of Theatre Arts will present “Crazy for You” from April 4-14, 2019, in the MainStage Theatre of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the university’s Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury.

Evening performances will be at 8 p.m. on April 4 (High School Night), 5, 6, 12 and 13. Matinee performances will be at 2 p.m. on April 6, 7, 13 and 14. Tickets may be purchased online at www.eventbrite.com/e/crazy-for-you-tickets-53195971583 or by calling (203) 837-8732. Student and senior tickets are available at the box office with a valid ID.

Featuring the music and lyrics of Ira and George Gershwin, the production is a tribute to the optimistic musicals that were popular in the 1930s. It opened at New York’s Shubert Theatre in February 1992 and received the 1992 Tony Award for Best Musical and the Olivier Award (London) for Best Musical the following year.

WCSU’s production is directed and choreographed by Scott Wise and Elizabeth Parkinson. Wise and Parkinson are veterans of the Broadway community, with some highlights including Wise’s Tony Award for “Jerome Robbins’ Broadway” and his two nominations for “Fosse” and “State Fair” and Parkinson’s Tony nomination and Astaire Award win for “Movin’ Out.” Parkinson also has worked extensively with dance companies across the globe, particularly The Joffrey Ballet.

“When we did ‘Crazy for You’ in Russia at the Boris Tschukin Theatre Conservatory, we didn’t really have the dancers you might expect for this show, but that forced us to really get to the truth and heart of the story,” Parkinson said. “There’s so much slapstick and vaudevillian humor in this show, but beneath it is a sweet love story and a touching coming of age. Here at WCSU, we are fortunate enough to have dancers with the necessary experience, so we get to combine both the truth and honesty of this story with some fantastic dancing!”

The cast includes student actors Alex Colavecchio, of Cromwell, as Polly Baker; Alexis Reda, of Trumbull, as Tessie; Michael Katz, of Monroe, as Bobby Child; Colin Gallaher, of Wappinger Falls, New York, as Eugene Fodor; Alaina Mueller, of Windsor, as Irene Roth; Dominick Ventrella, or Ridgefield, as Lank Hawkins; Derek Alexander, of Swansea, Massachusetts, as Everett Baker; Tyler Gallaher, of Wappinger Falls, New York, as Bela Zangler; Abigail Swartout, of Horseheads, New York, as Patricia Fodor; and Aurora Schloat, of Avon, as Patsy.

WCSU theatre department faculty involved with the production are Producer Pam McDaniel, Co-Directors/Choreographers Scott Wise and Elizabeth Parkinson, Music Director David Baronowski, Production Manager Tom Swetz, Technical Director Frank Herbert, Scenic Designer Elizabeth Popiel, Lighting Designer Scott Cally and Costume Designer Sharon Sobel.

For more information, contact the Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486. Get tickets at  www.eventbrite.com/e/crazy-for-you-tickets-53195971583.

 

(Please be advised that from now through April 14, the Department of Theatre Arts at the Visual and Performing Arts Center will be presenting the play “Crazy for You.” Actors are using prop guns during the performance that involve simulated gunshots. We want to alert you to be aware of this, in the event you overhear the noises.)

 

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.

 

 

Women’s History Month continues at WCSU

DANBURY, CONN. – Western Connecticut State University will continue its observance of Women’s History Month with two upcoming events:

image of Dr. Ines P. Rivera Prosdocimi

Dr. Ines P. Rivera Prosdocimi

University of Hartford Assistant Professor of English and Modern Languages Dr. Ines P. Rivera Prosdocimi will present a poetry reading and discussion at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 28, 2019, in the Student Center Theater on the university’s Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. Prosdocimi is the author of “Love Letter to an Afterlife,” a debut collection of poems that illustrate how the speakers are displaced in time, yearning for a half-imagined past between cultures, languages and racial designations. It is a collection of animated memories of her family and life in the Dominican Republic. This event is sponsored by the WCSU Office of Diversity and Equity and the Department of Writing, Linguistics and Creative Process.

image of Madonna Thunder Hawk and Marcella Gilbert

(l-r): Madonna Thunder Hawk and Marcella Gilbert

On Monday, April 1, 2019, Madonna Thunder Hawk, and her daughter, Marcella Gilbert, featured in the documentary “Warrior Women,” will screen the film and discuss their family’s involvement in protests for indigenous rights in the United States, at 5:30 p.m. in Room 127 of White Hall on the WCSU Midtown campus. Thunder Hawk is an Oohenumpa Lakota and a veteran of every contemporary Native American civil and human rights struggle over the past 50 years. Gilbert works on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in South Dakota with the nonprofit agency Simply Smiles. This event is sponsored by the Muslim Student Organization, the Office of Public Affairs & Community Relations and the Office of InterCultural Affairs.

Both events are free and open to the public.

 

 

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 present Marian Anderson Tribute Concert on April 9

Performance by student vocalists to mark 80th anniversary of Anderson’s Lincoln Memorial concert

DANBURY, CONN. —   Western Connecticut State University will celebrate the 80th anniversary of legendary contralto singer Marian Anderson’s historic concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1939 with a special presentation on Tuesday, April 9, 2019, featuring WCSU vocal students performing songs by four of the leading African American female composers of the 20th century.

The Marian Anderson Tribute Concert will be at 8 p.m. in the Veronica Hagman Concert Hall of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the university’s Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury. Admission will be free and the public is invited.

Anderson performed on April 9, 1939, in an open-air Easter Sunday concert at the Lincoln Memorial after the Daughters of the American Revolution refused permission for an African American to sing to an integrated audience in Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes were instrumental in arranging Anderson’s public appearance before an audience of 75,000 on the National Mall.

Sixteen WCSU voice students will perform a diverse program of art songs and spirituals directed by Professor of Music Dr. Margaret Astrup, with piano accompaniment by Yale University Music Lecturer Sara Kohane. Selections will include works by composers Margaret Bonds, Betty Jackson King, Undine Smith Moore and Florence Price.

Astrup observed that the featured singers range from beginning to advanced levels of development in their voice training at WCSU. She said the university’s Department of Music will present the concert free for the public’s enjoyment “in the spirit of the original event” to which the tribute is dedicated.

Soprano singers will include Amy Cerbie, of Meriden; Alexandra Dima, of Trumbull; Julia Giattino, of Terryville; Katherine Kelly, of Bristol; Tiffany Owen, of Stratford; Carly Sacco, of Orange; and Marguerite Walsh, of Stratford. Mezzo-sopranos will include Cathryn Jordan, of New Britain, and Christina Tran, of Branford.

Tenors who will perform are William Alldredge, of Naugatuck; Elias Levy, of Monroe; and Michael Newman, of Naugatuck. Baritone singers will include Anthony Deluco, of Cheshire, and Matthew Sacco, of Orange. The featured bass singers are Kevin Michaud, of Bristol, and Americo Salvi, of Hamden.

WCSU is conducting an initiative, chaired by School of Visual and Performing Arts Dean Brian Vernon, to name the SVPA and the Visual and Performing Arts Center in honor of Anderson. She had deep roots in Danbury, where she purchased a home in 1940 and resided for 52 years until a year prior to her death in 1993.

The naming campaign seeks to recognize Anderson’s accomplishments in music and civil rights, as well as her contributions to the local community. All contributions to the Marian Anderson Fund will go to the naming, development and enhancement of the SVPA and to community programming.

 

 

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.