Jun 2023

From the President

Dear CSCU Community,

As the summer begins, let’s celebrate the 8,706 students who graduated from our institutions and were recognized at wonderful commencement ceremonies throughout the CSCU system. I would also like to express my appreciation to everyone in the CSCU community for a successful 2022-23 academic year.

As you can see from this roundup there was much accomplished by our dedicated faculty and staff and talented students. Achievements range from the accreditation of Southern Connecticut State University’s School of Business and the first CCSU Manufacturing Challenge, to our 2022-23 Faculty Teaching and Research Award Recipients and Housatonic Community College Dream Scholar. These accomplishments serve as a testament to the success of CSCU in providing a high-quality education to our students.

As we move towards the consolidation of the 12 community colleges into CT State, many positive changes have already occurred. These include the appointment of a new police chief and a new CEO at Middlesex Community College, while workforce development efforts are ongoing. We also extend heartfelt gratitude to Eastern Connecticut State University President Elsa Núñez on her retirement and are excited to have former Housatonic Community College CEO Dwayne Smith join Southern Connecticut State University as interim president.

Please take a moment to read this roundup, and if you have stories of your own you would like to see featured in future editions, please reach out to cscu-newsletter@ct.edu.

Terrence Cheng
President, CSCU


In the News

Commencement Recap: CSCU Graduates 8,706 Students in Class of 2023

The Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system graduated an estimated 8,706 students this spring — many with degrees in the high demand fields of health care, education, manufacturing, and business — at commencement ceremonies held at 17 CSCU institutions statewide. When factoring in noncredit programs, an estimated total of more than 12,000 credentials were conferred during the spring semester.


Board of Regents Names 2022-23 Faculty Award Recipients

The Board of Regents named 15 CSCU faculty members as recipients of the annual 2022-23 Board of Regents Faculty Awards. The awards recognize faculty for excellence in teaching or research. Campus-based award and system-wide categories include teaching, research, and scholarly excellence.


CCSU’s Dr. Larsen named CSU Professor

Central Connecticut State University President Toro announced that Dr. Kristine Larsen, professor of Geological Sciences, was designated Connecticut State University Professor, one of the university’s most prestigious honors.


Dr. Dwayne Smith Appointed Interim President of SCSU

CSCU President Terrence Cheng appointed Dr. Dwayne Smith, who has served as CEO of Housatonic Community College since 2020, interim president of Southern Connecticut State University. Smith previously served as interim president and as provost at Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis.


SCSU School of Business Earns AACSB International Accreditation

Southern Connecticut State University’s School of Business earned accreditation from AACSB International that is held by only five percent of business schools worldwide. The new School of Business building will also provide state-of-the-art facilities for students and faculty.


Eastern President Elsa Núñez Announces Retirement

After serving 18 years, Elsa M. Núñez, the sixth president of Eastern Connecticut State University, announced her retirement. She began her presidency in 2006 and will support the University as it transitions to a new president.


Eastern Receives State Grant to Launch Nursing Program

Eastern Connecticut State University is receiving a $1.2 million grant from the Connecticut Health Horizons project to fund equipment and faculty positions in Eastern’s new Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. The new major is scheduled to enroll its first students this coming fall 2023 semester.


CSCU Manufacturing Challenge and Showcase

The CSCU Manufacturing Challenge and Showcase was held for the first time at Asnuntuck Community College where student teams from Asnuntuck, Housatonic, Naugatuck Valley, Quinebaug Valley, and Tunxis Community Colleges’ machine technology programs competed in a manufacturing challenge. There was also a maze challenge featuring robots from Asnuntuck’s robotics/mechatronics programs, and a showcase of community college and Central Connecticut State University manufacturing programs. Congratulations to award winners Asnuntuck for Robotics; Best Table Display to Capital; Teamwork to Tunxis; and Quinebaug for Precision, Assembly and Aesthetics.


Daniel Donaghy named Eastern’s Distinguished Professor of the Year

Daniel Donaghy, Eastern Connecticut State University professor of English, poet and award-winning writer, was named the 2023 Distinguished Professor of the Year at Eastern Connecticut State University,

NBA and NCAA Basketball Champions Team Up with GEAR UP CT to Coach Students on Post High School Game Plan

GEAR UP CT, a federally funded national program that helps prepare high school students for educational opportunities beyond high school, teamed up with Scott Burrell, Southern Connecticut State University’s men’s basketball coach, and Morgan Tuck, assistant general manager, WNBA’s CT Sun, to be “Career Coaches” on students’ post-high school game plan in three state partnerships. The partnerships include East Hartford Public Schools and Manchester Community College, Meriden Public Schools and Middlesex Community College, and Waterbury Public Schools and Naugatuck Valley Community College.

CCSU Professor Wins Emmy® Award

Jeffrey Teitler, Central Connecticut State University film professor, in collaboration with Hartford HealthCare and Medscape, won an Emmy® Award for State of Emergency - No Judgement Zone in the Health/Medical-Short Form Content category. He received four nominations in categories focusing on healthcare, public health, and the arts. The award was presented by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Boston/New England Region at its 46th Emmy Awards Ceremony.

Charter Oak State College Recognized for Five Online Degree Programs

Intelligent.com, a resource for program rankings and higher education planning, included Charter Oak State College on its list of top online institutions assessed for 2023, based on flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation.

CSCU System Receives Grant for EDI-focused Library E-Resources

CSCU was awarded $91,000 in grant funds for the purchase of permanent system-wide online access to library e-resources that address equity, diversity, and inclusion across academic disciplines.


WCSU Implements Expanded Smoke-Free Policy as Part of Healthy Campus Initiative

Western Connecticut State University approved an expanded Tobacco and Vape-Free Policy for both of its Danbury campuses effective July 1, 2023, that will make all university-owned property tobacco and vape-free as part of a healthy campus initiative. Pictured are (left to right seated): Uche Aja, student Campus Leader, Interim President Dr. Paul B. Beran and Keithsany Valentin, student Campus Leader, with Dr. Jeffrey Schlicht (standing), WCSU policy adviser and HPX professor.


WCSU’s AMA Chapter Named Top Small Collegiate Chapter in North America

Western Connecticut State University’s (WCSU) collegiate American Marketing Association (AMA) chapter — the Western Marketing Association — was named Top Small Collegiate Chapter in North America for 2022–23. Thirteen WCSU students and two faculty advisers, Dr. Ron Drozdenko and Donna Coelho, attended the AMA International Collegiate Conference in New Orleans.


CSCU Launches Pilot Partnership with Domus for Young People Facing Adversity

Connecticut State Colleges and Universities President Terrence Cheng announced the launch of a pilot partnership with Domus Kids, Inc., a Stamford-based nonprofit that seeks to empower young people facing adversity. Under the partnership, 15 to 20 individuals will work part-time on Western Connecticut State University’s campus, receiving a paycheck while learning important vocational skills.


CCC and Accenture Help Expand Access to In-Demand Tech Jobs

Capital Community College launched an apprenticeship program in partnership with Accenture, an international IT and consulting company, that will expand access to training for coding and technology jobs and create a pipeline of skilled workers for Connecticut employers. Pictured (left to right): John Maduko, President, CT State Community College; Ryan Oakes, Health and Public Service Lead, Accenture; CSCU President Terrence Cheng; G. Duncan Harris, CEO, Capital Community College; Harford Mayor Luke Bronin; and Kelli Vallieres, Vice Chair, Governor’s Workforce Council and Chief Workforce Officer, Office of Workforce Strategy.


MxCC Announces New Chief Executive Officer

Kimberly Hogan was named Chief Executive Officer of Middlesex Community College effective June 2, 2023, where she will lead the college’s transition as the Middlesex campus and Meriden center become part of CT State Community College merger on July 1.


CT State Swears In First Chief of Police

Christopher Chute became Connecticut State Community College’s inaugural chief of police following a public swearing-in ceremony at Naugatuck Valley Community College. He will lead safety, security, law enforcement and emergency preparedness for Connecticut’s 12 community colleges across 18 locations.


HCC’s Vitória Nogueira Named DREAM Scholar

Vitória Nogueira, a Housatonic Community College (HCC) graduate, was named a 2023 DREAM Scholar by Achieving the Dream. She is HCC's first DREAM Scholar and one of only eight scholars nationwide and will partake in a year-long experiential learning opportunity for students to grow as leaders.


Eversource Partners with HCC to Develop Future Workforce

Eversource partner with Housatonic Community College (HCC) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local Unions 420 and 457 to expand the Electrical Lineworker Certificate Program and prepare the next generation of electrical lineworkers in Connecticut.


NVCC Receives Awards at PTK Annual Convention

Naugatuck Valley Community College received several international, national and regional awards during PTK Catalyst 2023, the Society’s annual convention in Columbus, Ohio. NVCC student Chandra Owen was selected as a Coca-Cola Bronze Scholar. Shown are NVCC CEO Lisa Dresdner (center) and PTK co-advisors (left to right) Alan Teitleman and Greg Harding who received PTK awards for their leadership.


NCC Engineering Program Receives $1 Million Grant for Scholarships

The Engineering Program at Norwalk Community College (NCC) received a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) S-STEM program to provide scholarships of up to $10k to academically talented low-income students in the engineering program to lower their cost of attendance.


NCCC Professor Named President of the National Association of Biology Teachers

Tara Jo Holmberg, professor in Environmental Science and Biology at Northwestern Connecticut Community College, was elected president of the National Association of Biology Teachers. At the national conference, Holmberg conducted a live interview with Dr. Michael Thomas Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota and member of President Biden’s COVID-19 Advisory Board.


QVCC Ribbon-cutting Celebrates New Building in Willimantic

Quinebaug Valley Community College celebrated the re-opening of its permanent, expanded and fully renovated location at 729 Main Street in Willimantic that will allow students to pursue full degrees and certificate options in Willimantic. Quinebaug Valley CEO Karen Hynick cuts the ribbon with (right to left) Windham Mayor Tom DeVivo, Steven Townsend and CT State President John Maduko


WCSU Students Open Food Pantry to Help Their Peers in Times of Need

Western Connecticut State University students Karla Matos ’23, Emily Kappel ’25, and Michael Azzi ’24 (pictured left to right), organized the WCSU Food Pantry project for the university to serve students who are enduring hardships.


New Director Envisions a Bigger Picture for the Housatonic Museum of Art

Jennifer Reynolds-Kaye, Ph. D., was named director of the Housatonic Museum of Art, and is working to bring the collection to wider audiences and making it available for online viewing. Shei s also working on building with campus organizations and bringing more students into the gallery.


CCSU Baseball Wins NEC Title

Central Connecticut State University won the Northeast Conference Tournament against second-seeded Wagner College 12-3.


SCSU Selected as Member of First Scholars Network

Southern Connecticut State University was selected as one of 76 new members of the First Scholars Network for 2023-24. This honor distinguishes SCSU for its support of first-generation students and its commitment to advancing degree completion.

Please submit story ideas for CSCU Buzz to cscu-newsletter@ct.edu.
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