College Prepares for 132nd Commencement
College to Host Third Annual Hooding Ceremony
for Graduate Students
WSC Hosts 28th Annual Consortium Gerontology
Program Graduation Ceremony
Impact and Recovery: Young Survivors of Tsunami
Scholarship Tea Raises Record Amount for Scholarships
Junior Nursing Class Host First Special Olympics Young Athletes Day
Thirteen Students Present at
Mass. Undergraduate Conference
WSC IN THE NEWS
WSC e-news General Info
Guillermina Elissondo (Languages and
Literature) published “Schooling and Political Participation: The Case of Night
of the Pencils” in Lemuel Berry,
editor, Culture Monograph Series, National Association of Hispanic and Latino
Studies, pp.272-291, 2007. She also presented a paper, “Shantytown Dwellers:
From Long-Term Employees to City Scavengers” at the National Association of
Hispanic and Latino Studies Annual Meeting, Baton Rouge, February 15. On January 28-29 and April 29 she participated in the
Bias-Review Committee Meetings of the Massachusetts Department of Education for
Erika Sidor (Public Relations and Marketing)
received first and second prize for her
photos in the Worcester Magazine 6th Annual Citywide
Photography competition. The top ten photos chosen were showcased in
in the May 8th issue. An exhibit and reception
will be held at ARTSWorcester, 660 Main Street., May 16-23.
(Visual and Performing Arts) has been accepted to exhibit
her artwork at the Printmaking Exhibition,
Greece. The show was organized by the Greek
Edna Spencer (Diversity) was a panelist for Bondage and
Belonging in Black Worcester, a celebration of Worcester slave narratives, local
African American authors, and Worcester's black history, on
April 26 at the College of the Holy Cross.
(Athletics) has been named chair of the NCAA Division III National
Elizabeth J. Wark
(Business Administration and Economics) attended a textbook reviewers conference
sponsored by McGraw-Hill Publishers on May 1 - May 2. Conference
participants were chosen due to their active involvement in the review and
development of new economics texts and supplements. During the sessions,
participants were given the opportunity to provide feedback on new and revised
teaching materials under consideration.
Adam Zahler (Visual and Performing Arts) is
directing a play this summer for performance at the prestigious Edinburgh
Fringe, August, 2008. He first worked on The Patriot Act, a new
play by Lydia Bruce and Sandy Burns, during the summer of 2007 when it was a
one-act play entered in the Wonderland Festival in New York. The Edinburgh
Fringe is a dynamic theatre festival coinciding with the famed Edinburgh
International Festival of music, dance, and theatre.
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WSC Hosts 28th Annual Graduation
Ceremony for Consortium
Gerontology Studies Program
Consortium Gerontology Studies Program (CGSP) hosted its 28th annual
graduation ceremony on Thursday May 8 at 7 p.m. in the North/South Auditorium of
the Student Center.
At the ceremony, CGSP graduated nine students from WSC, Assumption, Clark and
the College of the Holy Cross. Congratulations to WSC students
A. Chew and
Ashley Marie Piette for their completion of the program.
The event featured the presentation of the Sol Boskind Award
for community service to elders and the Rosalie Wolf Award for scholarship in
gerontology. Student ambassador awards were also presented. Music for the event was
provided by the Worcester State Chorale.
CGSP is a cooperative academic program of the Colleges of Worcester Consortium,
Inc. CGSP students from four Consortium institutions (Assumption College, Clark
University, College of the Holy Cross, and Worcester State College) engage in
the interdisciplinary study of aging and earn a Certificate in Gerontology along
with their bachelor's degree. Students in the program work with dedicated
faculty and have access to supportive internship and community partners.
Established in 1978, the CGSP marks its 30th anniversary in 2008.
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Impact and Recovery: Young Survivors of
Barbara Zang, Ph.D.
Champika K. Soysa
(Psychology) calls what she does “action research.” It’s hard to know which is
more powerful, the action or the research.
“I believe that the people I study are not just a data source,” she said. “I
also try to do something for them.”
She thus did four months of psychosocial training with people in her home
country of Sri Lanka after the December 2004 tsunami. After that, she began
collecting data. Trauma among women and children is her research focus.
Soysa returned to Sri Lanka the following year to look at the long-term impact
of trauma on children. She is from the west and her work in Weligama in the
south helped her establish relationships and access to children that the
“In the south, children have recovered from the tsunami
trauma for the most part,” she said. “There was a shared sense of stress. It’s
seen as a normal reaction to an abnormal situation, the tsunami.”
It’s not psychopathology, she continued. “That’s why most people in the
community were able to get back to their normal lives.”
The north, however, presented an access problem. That’s the region where the
minority Tamil paramilitaries wage their civil war against the rest of the
country. Children in the north experienced not only the effects of the tsunami
but also persistent civil war.
Researchers need to be culturally adept, Soysa said, especially when dealing
with a complex subject like trauma. She doesn’t speak Tamil, and although she
traveled to the war zone in early 2005 to conduct psychosocial training
sessions, she herself couldn’t do the same level of research she’d done with
children in the south.
With a small grant from the American Institute for Sri
Lankan Studies, she recruited a mid-career Tamil medical doctor who lives in the
north. She then trained him in psychology research skills.
“He was already trained in counseling by an NGO in Jaffna,” she said. Jaffna is
in the heart of the war zone in the north.
She has never met her research collaborator, Dr. C.S. Jamunananthan. “We’ve done
the training through e-mail and the telephone,” she said.
He was to have provided medical services to the children in the study, but war
has once again displaced people, including the children in the study. Soysa
phones the doctor in Jaffna every few months to check up on him and his family.
Jamunananthan did, however, collect data on children in the north about their
stress reactions. “The biggest problem for them is the continuous exposure to
war,” Soysa said. “The cumulative effect of exposure to war, the tsunami, and
war again, is very high levels of stress among these children.”
Their parents worry about the disruption to their
education. There is minimal access to health care in the region. Nothing is
usual. Or normal.
“You’re listening to children whose life experience has been some sort of
extreme life-changing event,” she said. “They may not be seen as ill. But
they’re under unremitting stressors.”
Soysa’s 2007-08 mini-grant, “One year post-tsunami: PTSD in Two Ethnic Groups in
Sri Lanka (Northern and Southern),” paid her expenses to San Francisco in August
for the American Psychological Association conference. She presented a poster of
the work she did in 2005 and shared the credit with Jamunananthan.
“People were amazed to hear of the context in which I do this work,” she said.
“It is one in which there’s been a disaster, the tsunami, in the context of a
25-year-old ethnic war. Data are difficult to gather. You have to work with
schools and other organizations on the ground. It’s all about relationship
As for the next phase of this ongoing research, Soysa points to two distinct
projects. One is to figure out what helped the children who got better. “I have
the data,” she said, “but it’s neither analyzed nor interpreted.”
The other project is to carve out the time to write up what she’s done so far.
“Some of the things I’ve discovered in my work aren’t in the professional
literature,” she said.
Making this time to write might prove to be even harder than doing action
research in a war-torn, tsunami-stricken country.
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Scholarship Tea Raises Record Amount
Presented with the occasion to join Worcester State College in
honoring Worcester’s Commissioner of Public Health Dr. Leonard Morse, more than
150 friends, family members, and colleagues gathered Sunday, May 4 in the
Student Center, Blue Lounge for the 14th annual Scholarship Tea. The
event raised a record of over $23,000 in scholarship aid.
“This is a milestone, a tremendous accomplishment, and a
fantastic and fitting tribute to our honoree, Dr. Morse,” said Camilla
Caffrey, assistant vice president of Institutional Advancement.
True to his unassuming nature, Morse accepted this recognition
with humor and heartfelt sincerity. He said that recognition by the Scholarship
Tea Committee made him feel like a molecule that absorbs so much fluid it
“I was born a mile from here, at Fairlawn Hospital, and I live
one mile from here. So I haven’t gone very far,” he said.
Morse said his connection to WSC began long before former WSC
President Kalyan Ghosh asked him to be a charter member of the Worcester State
Foundation Board. He was a participant in a College program when he was a
teenager, and in 1986, he received the College’s Community Service Medallion.
Student scholarships are very important, Morse said, pointing
out that many medical school students have an average debt of $150,000 upon
graduation. “No gift is too small,” he said.
President Ashley said, “Dr. Morse has been a
leader on our campus for many years and a strong advocate for our scholarship
Jill Dagilis, executive director of the Worcester Community
Action Council and a Worcester State Foundation Board member, told the audience
that behind Morse’s “kind, gentle exterior” is a man with “superhuman strength”
who is “passionate and laser-focused on public health issues.”
Before presenting Morse with a key to the city, Worcester
Mayor Konstantina Lukes told the audience that one of his myriad notable
achievements happened in the city nearly 40 years ago. It was Morse who
discovered the cause of the College of the Holy Cross 1969 football team’s
hepatitis A outbreak, she said. “He makes it a habit to serve the city,” she
“The Scholarship Tea has played a long and honorable role in
the history of the College, constituting a direct link to the Worcester State of
the past, and serving as both a guide and inspiration to the greatly enhanced
scholarship program of today,” Caffrey said.
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Junior Nursing Class Hosts First
Young Athletes Day
Robyn Leo, R.N.
On a very
sunny April 19, the Worcester State College junior nursing class sponsored the
first “Young Athletes Day” of the Special Olympics of Massachusetts. The program
was initiated to introduce children between the
ages of two through seven with cognitive delays the chance to develop basic athletic
skills for playing in organized sports. It also gives the families of these
small children the chance to meet and network with one another. Along with
organizing each of the skills stations, the 41 junior pediatric students also
set up a craft table so each child could assemble an “Olympic torch."
Chartwells donated an ice cream sundae station for all the participants
Debbie Benes (Nursing) initiated the contact with
Special Olympics Section Director Jonathon Muskrat. “This opportunity
worked well for all involved," says Debbie. "It gave the students the chance to provide
community service, along with the opportunity to work with cognitively
challenged children and provide a fun filled day for the children. We hope this
is the beginning of a long relationship with Special Olympics."
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WSC Students and Faculty Attend 14th Annual
Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference
Josna Rege, Ph.D.
More than a dozen WSC students, sponsored by eight faculty
members in five different departments, participated in the 14th Annual
Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference, held at UMass Amherst on
Kristine Bielecki’s poster presentation, sponsored by
Bradley (Biology), was on “Spider Silk Structures as Seen with the
Scanning Electron Microscope." William Brideau, sponsored by Professor Eihab Jaber (Chemistry),
gave a presentation on “Hydrogen Bonding Formations via Cyanuric Acid/Melamine
Complexes." Economics major Christopher Hescock, sponsored by
William O’Brien (Economics),
gave a talk on “Male Life Expectancy: A Global
Perspective," and on the same
panel, Manoj Jonna, sponsored by Professor Bonnie Orcutt
(Economics), gave an early presentation of his research on
“Worcester’s Unbanked: Trends and Characteristics." Also
sponsored by Professor Orcutt, Aaron Kohl, Lindsey Gustafson, and Manoj Jonna presented “Microfinance: Prospects for
Prosperity,” an overview of the ongoing Worcester State College microfinance
project in Nicaragua.
Occupational Therapy students Alycia Barney, Kathleen
Lynch, Sarah Clement, and Kristin Gajda gave an oral presentation and slideshow
on their service learning project in Nicaragua, led by Jacqueline Brennan
(Occupational Therapy), “An Exploration of Healthcare Settings in
Nicaragua to Assess the Need for Occupational Therapy Services."
The Psychology Department was also
well represented at the conference. Haley Duncanson, sponsored
by Professor Brandi Scruggs (Psychology),
presented “Comparison of Reaction Times for Localization of a Color Stimulus
Following a Mood Induction Procedure." Michelle Giddens, also
sponsored by Professor Scruggs, presented “Feature Contrast
Effects on Salience as Measured by Reaction Time." Paula Edmonds,
sponsored by Professor Emily Soltano (Psychology),
presented “The Effect of Self-reference and Irrelevant Sound on Memory for
Unfortunately Economics major Heather Chou,
sponsored by Professor O’Brien, who had prepared a
paper on “Oil Shock: The Federal Reserve’s Evil Twin," was unable to attend the conference due to a family illness.
Rege of the Department of Languages and Literature served as the WSC campus
contact for the conference. Professor Rege would like to congratulate all the
students who participated in this inspiring event, and thank their sponsors for
their encouragement and guidance.
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ENROLLMENT for Health
Insurance for Non-Benefited Employees
Part-time, non-benefited employees who do not have health
insurance (or want to change health plans) may enroll through the
Massachusetts Health Connector during the Open Enrollment period from May 1
to May 31. The coverage will be effective July 1
Under the Health Care Reform law, all Commonwealth
employees must carry health insurance or be subject to a penalty when they
file their state income tax return.
If you are already covered under a health plan other than
through the Connector, you must complete a HIRD Form before July 1
and provide proof of coverage (copy of your health insurance card). These
forms are available in the Payroll Office. Please contact Mary Zona (ext.
8491, or firstname.lastname@example.org) to
obtain a form. The College is required to obtain a new HIRD form every year
from all employees who are not insured through the GIC or the Connector; and
we are required to keep them on file for 3 years.
To view FAQ’s about this health insurance benefit, please
visit the GIC’s website at www.mass.gov/gic. To get an idea of the costs and various plans offered
through the Connector or to enroll in a plan, please visit the Connector’s
website at www.mahealthconnector.org. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Employer
ID # is 149683 – you will need this number to enroll.
to everyone who donated books for the K-6 Worcester - The City that Reads
Book Drive. We collected over 850 books! We more than doubled our donation
from last year. The books are all going to local children who wouldn't
otherwise have books to read this summer. Thank you again for your generous
WSC GIRLS BASKETBALL CAMP:
July 21-25, ages 7-16, 9 am - 3 p.m. The camp will cover skill development
and include team games. Cost is $175 with a $10 discount for WSC employees. Contact
for brochure at ext. 8769 or check the WSC Athletic Department website to
BRIDGE TO HER FUTURE AWARD:
The WSC Women's Forum received a matching grant of $500 to help fund their
first annual "Bridge To Her Future" award.
For each additional dollar raised by the Women's Forum from now
through May 30, the donor will match the contribution dollar for dollar up
to a maximum of $500. Donations are continuing to flow in and if the
matching grant is realized, the Women's Forum will be very close to their
overall fundraising target of $2000. Contact Bonnie Orcutt
Time is running out to nominate a colleague for these awards.
Awards are given in three categories: Commonwealth Citation for Outstanding
Performance, Eugene H. Rooney, Jr. Public Service Award and the Manuel Carballo Governor's Award for Excellence
in Public Service nomination forms for these
awards are available in the Human Resources Office on campus (Admin. Village,
Room 118). All nomination forms must be in to Carol Faron by Friday, May 16.
HOW TO WRITE
STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES: Understanding the difference between
departmental goals, learning objectives and outcomes. This forum will be
presented by Andrea Bilics and Maureen Erickson on Tuesday,
May 13 at 10 a.m. in the Student Center North/South Auditorium. Space is
limited. Please bring your own syllabi.
To reserve a space please contact Andrea Bilics at:
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Staff Associate/Associate Controller
Division of Administration and Finance
College Police Officer I
Office of Institutional Research and Assessment
Communication Sciences & Disorders
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WSC IN THE NEWS
**Please Note - Links to online newspaper
may no longer be available after a certain period of
Green Building Costs, Benefits
Worcester Business Journal
Excerpt: Worcester State College President Janelle
Ashley, left, and Vice President Kathleen Eichelroth,
right, in front of the administration building the school is upgrading using
'Skip' primed for first coaching job: McCormack may be
next in line of Newburyport baseball alumni to coach
The Daily News
Mike McCormack will likely be the next product out of the
Newburyport coaching factory. But first, the Worcester State College senior and
2004 Newburyport High graduate will compete in the NCAA Division 3 Regionals
next Wednesday. The McCormack-captained Worcester State club recently captured
the Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference title with a two-game sweep
of No. 1 seed Westfield.
Worcester State energy project is sunny side up
Telegram & Gazette
Excerpt: Worcester State College will join the
green revolution this summer with the installation of a 100-kilowatt solar
photovoltaic array, a project that is part of the governor’s Leading By Example
program to increase the amount of solar power used in state buildings.
May 12, 2008
Monday, May 12
Free and Open to the Public
Tuesday, May 13
10 - 11 a.m.
Thursday, May 15
Friday, May 16
Saturday, May 17
Senior Send-Off BBQ
Open to Campus Community
Purchase tickets @
Student Center Info Desk
Sunday, May 18