Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Update: Dan DeRosa, Psychology alum

Dan DeRosa
Dr. Shane Murphy, associate professor of Psychology, provides this update about recent alumnus Dan DeRosa, who is finishing his master's degree and will soon begin doctoral work at Florida Tech:
Dan DeRosa was the President of the WCSU chapter of Psi Chi, 2008-09, and graduated from WCSU with a Psychology major in May 2009.
Upon graduating from Western Connecticut, Dan presented the results of a research project conducted at Western in a poster session at the annual conference for the Association for Behavior Analysis International (the day after graduation). Dan describes what happened next: "While at the poster session I had the opportunity to meet two authors of one of the studies I referenced in the paper. One of these men invited me to present the paper in a symposium in Boston the following October. This was an honor I could not have anticipated. Also while I was at the conference, I met the Chair of the Behavior Analysis program at the Florida Institute of Technology. He urged me to apply to the Master's program, where I am now."

Dan is now finishing a dual master's degree in
Applied Behavior Analysis and Organizational Behavior Management at Florida Tech. He has been accepted to the Ph.D. program and will begin his doctoral work in the Fall 2011. Dan told us about some of the amazing experiences he is having at graduate school.
“While here, at Florida Tech, I have had the opportunity to work with many wonderful people, sharpen my clinical skills, and learn amazing new things. I have been a part of conducting a great deal of research and I look forward to continuing that for the rest of my career. I am currently assisting in the process of writing multiple grants that would enable me to continue conducting research in areas such as training school teachers to use behavior analysis in the classroom, autism applications of vibra-technology, and research that will translate basic research into real-world applications," he said.
"Also, I have served as the president of the Behavior Analysis Students Association and vice president of the Society for Performance Management. Our organizations host an annual conference that, I am proud to say, has continued to grow and attract a larger audience every year for the last three years. For the first time this year, our conference was broadcast over the internet and was viewed by behavior analysts from Massachusetts to California.”
 Way to go, Dan!  We're proud of you and your accomplishments! 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Congratulations to Drs. Galina Bakhtiarova and Damla Isik for winning CSUS awards!

Congratulations to Drs. Galina Bakhtiarova and Damla Isik for winning prestigious Connecticut State University System (CSUS) awards for teaching and research!

Dr. Bakhtiarova, chair and associate professor of World Languages and Literature, won both the CSUS system and WCSU campus 2011 Trustees Teaching Award(s). 

Dr. Isik, assistant professor in Social Sciences, won the WCSU campus Norton Mezvinsky Trustees Research Award.

Congratulations!  You both make us so proud!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sister Helen Prejean on campus on April 14

Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking, will present "Dead Man Walking:  The Journey Continues" on April 14 (Thursday) at 7:30 p.m. in Ives Concert Hall in White Hall on the Midtown campus.  The event is free and open to the public.  

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A&S faculty mark 150th anniversary of start of American Civil War

Several A&S faculty members have played an important role in the Danbury region's commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the start of the American Civil War. 

Over the weekend, History professors Kevin Gutzman and Marcy May published op-ed pieces for the Sunday Discussion page of the News-Times on the topic of  "A Nation Divided."   Dr. May's piece was entitled "Peace rallies fought in Danbury area."  Dr. Gutzman  approached the topic from the perspective of "Scars of war still close to South's surface."  In addition, the research of long-time Communication adjunct Dr. Jeanne Christie into the life of Civil War nurse Almira Ambler was featured on the front page of the same issue of the News-Times.

Today, Drs. Gutzman, May, Burton Peretti,and Leslie Lindenauer of the Dept. of History and Non-Western Cultures participated in a panel discussion on "The Legacy of Our Civil War:  150 Years After Fort Sumter" at 11 a.m. in the Haas Library.   In addition, a special exhibit of Civil War-era artifacts will be on display in the Haas Library through the end of April.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Zarecki to give Pop Culture lunch series lecture (4/7)

Communication adjunct Tom Zarecki will share his insights on "The Impact of Radio and Other Media on Popular Culture" at noon on April 7 (Thursday) in Student Center 202.  Zarecki's lecture is part of the "How Pop Culture Impacts Our Lives" brown bag seires sponsored by Student Affairs.  The event is free and all are welcome.

Zarecki has extensive experience in the radio industry and serves as faculty advisor to WXCI, the campus radio station.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Graduate Open House Today (4/5)

Graduating in May?  Thinking about graduate school?  WestConn is hosting its annual Graduate Open House today (Tuesday, April 5) from 4:30-7 p.m. in the ballroom of the Westside Campus Center.  For more information, go to http://http//  This Open House is a fantastic way to explore a number of graduate options in an afternoon.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Update: Ben England, Psychology alum

Dr. Shane Murphy, Associate Professor of Psychology and long-time Psi Chi advisor, provides the following update about recent Psychology grad Ben England:

"Ben England graduated from WestConn in May 2008. He was the President of the WCSU chapter of Psi Chi, 2006-2007, and Vice-President of the Psychology Student Association. Before graduation he received the Psychology Department’s 'Psychology Spirit' award. In part, his citation read: 'you have demonstrated an unfailing enthusiasm for improving student life, for creating new learning opportunities for your fellow students, and for challenging yourself and others intellectually.'
"Ben is currently in his third year as a graduate student at Texas Tech University, in the Experimental Psychology: Applied Cognitive Division. His research focuses on a fairly new area in cognition; metacognition (thoughts about one’s thoughts). Within this area, Ben mainly focuses on how people evaluate their learning (e.g., Judgments of Learning or JOLs) and what may make their judgments more/less accurate. While JOLs are functional in the control of study time allocation, his research mainly focuses on the accuracy of the judgments and not the allocation element.

"In December Ben received his non-terminal M.A. after completing the required coursework and defending his thesis. Currently he has three scientific papers in preparation for publication. He is planning on taking his qualifying exams (to be admitted to doctoral candidacy) in September 2011, and from there will begin work on a dissertation. Ben says, 'I hope to be "Dr. England" by Spring 2013, and everything so far seems to be on track for that.'
"To get more information about the lab where Ben works at Texas Tech, follow this link:"
Way to go, Ben!  Thanks much, Dr. Murphy, for sharing this info with us.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Congrats to Brandon Litwin

Congratulations to Chemistry major Brandon Litwin, who won the "Best Undergraduate Poster Prize" at the 20th Annual Symposium hosted by the Connecticut Microelectronics and Optoelectronics Consortium on March 16th.   Brandon competed against students from Yale, UConn, Trinity, the University of Bridgeport, the University of New Haven, and Southern Connecticut State University.  Way to go, Brandon!