WCSU News

WCSU ranks No. 1 among online Applied Behavior Analysis programs

Survey ranking of top universities in field cites Western’s ABA master’s degree as nation’s best

DANBURY, CONN. — Western Connecticut State University has earned recognition from the Applied Behavior Analysis Programs Guide for offering the nation’s best master’s degree program in applied behavior analysis, a growing field where employment is projected to increase by one-third nationwide by 2020 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The 2018 ABA Programs Guide survey released in December ranked WCSU at No. 1 among higher education institutions nationwide that offer an online master’s degree in applied behavior analysis. The ABA Programs Guide profile of WCSU noted that the university’s fully online instructional program prepares students “to effectively quantify and measure behavior in order to make effective changes that will improve overall behavior of an individual, group or organization.” The guide noted students in the WCSU program learn how to measure behavior, collect and analyze data, and make suitable modifications to increase appropriate behavior and decrease inappropriate behavior.

The WCSU Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis, housed in the Education and Educational Psychology Department, is achieved through completion of a rigorous curriculum of nine courses for a total of 30 credit hours. The M.S. program includes 19 credits of core coursework designed to qualify graduates to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) Examination sponsored by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). Dr. Janet Burke, coordinator of the WCSU graduate program in applied behavior analysis, has created a required course in Assistive Technology for Applied Behavior Analysis, an area of study with important applications in the profession that sets Western apart from other programs in its field.

“The top ranking of the Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis program is due to the tireless efforts of Dr. Burke and (Assistant Professor of Education and Educational Psychology) Dr. Stephanie Kuhn to maintain a quality program,” Department Chair Dr. Catherine O’Callaghan remarked. “Demand for the program is so great that WCSU now has a waiting list” for applicants seeking admission to the ABA master’s cohort, she said.

The ABA Programs Guide survey criteria for online master’s program rankings included affordability in tuition costs, a low student-faculty ratio and availability of a program concentration, as well as verification that the university offers the approved course sequence to sit for the BCBA exam. The Programs Guide noted that Board Certified Behavior Analysts are in especially high demand from employers specializing in work with individuals with autism and developmental disabilities, as well as for a diverse range of positions in areas ranging from treatment planning and therapy to school psychology and employee training in the health care, educational and social service sectors.

The mission statement for Western’s M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis program establishes the goal “to provide high-quality behavior analytic instruction to practitioners, offering courses with advanced online technology in an academic environment dedicated to education and research.” Specific learning objectives seek to prepare students to measure and interpret behavior, design and implement assessment procedures, and use data collection and analysis as a basis for maintaining or modifying behavior.

A separate ABA Programs Guide 2018 survey ranking of universities offering the applied behavior analysis graduate study certificate online placed WCSU at No. 3 among all institutions nationwide. The survey introduction noted that top rankings for certificate programs were based on relatively low student-faculty ratios, affordable tuition levels and high BCBA examination pass rates.

The online Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate option offered by the Education and Educational Psychology Department features a five-course, 19-credit curriculum qualifying candidates who have completed an accredited graduate degree to take the BCBA certification exam, and a four-course, 16-credit curriculum qualifying candidates who have completed an accredited bachelor’s degree to take the Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) certification exam. Both certificate programs are approved by the BACB.

A comprehensive description of the WCSU applied behavior analysis program is available online at www.wcsu.edu/education/bacb.asp.

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

 

 

Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.

 

 

Harlem Gospel Choir to present holiday concert in Danbury

Danbury’s New Hope Baptist Church Mass Choir to open

image of The Harlem Gospel Choir

The Harlem Gospel Choir

DANBURY, CONN. — Ives Concert Park will host the Harlem Gospel Choir for “a joyful gospel concert for the holidays” at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017, in the Veronica Hagman Concert Hall in the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the Western Connecticut State University Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury. Danbury’s New Hope Baptist Church Mass Choir, under the direction of Bro. Rhashon Mclean, will open.

According to the group’s website, the Harlem Gospel Choir performs “contemporary gospel with a touch of jazz and blues,” and “is synonymous with power vocals, glorious sound and infectious energy. For over two decades they have been America’s premier gospel choir and have toured the globe thrilling audiences with the inspirational power of black gospel music.”

The choir has performed “alongside superstars such as Bono, Diana Ross, The Gorillaz, Andre Rieu, Damon Albarn, Pharrell Williams and most recently with JamieXX, Raury, KBS Korean Traditional Music Orchestra and Lang Lang, Lou Gramm of Foreigner, Dee Snider of Twisted Sister, Sia, Yolanda Adams and The 1975. They have performed for three presidents (President Obama, President Carter and President Nelson Mandela), two Popes (Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI), Ban Ki-Moon and the UN General Assembly. They have recorded with Keith Richards, The Chieftains and Trace Adkins, among others.”

For tickets, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/harlem-gospel-choir-joyful-gospel-concert-for-the-holidays-tickets-39183411639. For more information, contact Ives Concert Park at (203) 837-9226.

 

 

Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.

 

WCSU Opera to present ‘Amahl and the Night Visitors’ Dec. 8 and 9

Performances of Gian Carlo Menotti holiday classic will feature student cast and orchestra

Image of a scene from a previous staging of 'Amahl & the Night Visitors' at WCSU.

A scene from a previous staging of ‘Amahl & the Night Visitors’ at WCSU.

DANBURY, CONN. — The Western Connecticut State University Opera will present its 23rd annual production of the holiday classic “Amahl and the Night Visitors” in two performances on Friday, Dec. 8, and Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017. 

Performances at 7 p.m. on Dec. 8 and at 2 p.m. on Dec. 9 will feature Western students in the principal adult roles. Both performances will be in Ives Concert Hall in White Hall on the university’s Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury.

General admission is $12, with a ticket price of $8 for senior citizens and children under 12. Advance reservations may be made online at www.wcsu.edu/tickets or by calling (203) 837-TIXX. Tickets also will be sold at the door.

The English-language opera in one act by Gian Carlo Menotti, originally commissioned for broadcast on the NBC television network in December 1951, has become a popular holiday tradition in the Danbury area for more than two decades. The opera, which runs approximately 50 minutes, tells the story of an impoverished and crippled shepherd boy’s encounter with the Three Kings on their way to Bethlehem and the heart-warming outcome of their chance meeting. In notes describing his composition of the opera, Menotti explained he was inspired by his fond memories of the Three Kings as the legendary source of Christmas gifts during his childhood in Italy.

The director and producer of the WCSU Opera production is Professor of Music Dr. Margaret Astrup. Associate Professor of Music Dr. Luis Fernando Jimenez will conduct the student orchestra. Delecia Woods, of Waterbury, is the choreographer and principal dancer. Other production staff members include Nicole Salamon, of Cos Cob, as assistant stage director, and Alex Dima, of Trumbull, as stage manager. Andrew Gordon is the rehearsal pianist and opera coach.

The cast for the Dec. 8 performance will feature Mason Harper, of Woodbury, as Amahl; Leanna O’Brien, of Barkhamsted, as Amahl’s mother; Edwin Rodriguez, of West Haven, as Kaspar; Samuel Cournoyer, of Seymour, as Melchior; Daniel Satter, of Trumbull, as Balthazar; and Adam Giard, of Ellington, as the Page. The cast for the Dec. 9 matinee will feature Erin Wilcox, of Middletown, New York, as Amahl; Taylor Doyle, of Southbury, as Amahl’s mother; Sergio Mandujano, of Norwalk, as Kaspar; Matthew Sacco, of Orange, as Melchior; Tyler Goff, of Ridgefield, as Balthazar; and Kaylin Spaulding, of Waterbury, as the Page.

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

 

 

Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.

 

 

Clements’ poetry compilation about gun violence released today

WCSU professor featured on PBS News Hour to discuss his project

Image of the cover of 'Bullets into Bells'

The cover of ‘Bullets into Bells’

DANBURY, CONN. — A poetry compilation edited by Western Connecticut State University Professor of Writing, Linguistics and Creative Process Dr. Brian Clements was released today (Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017) by Beacon Press. The book, “Bullets into Bells: Poets and Citizens Respond to Gun Violence,” is a collection of 54 poems that pairs poets with citizens and their responses to gun violence.

The compilation is introduced by Irish author and National Book Award winner Colum McCann with a foreword written by Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly. McCann writes, “The poems attempt to create a community built not just of grief, but of hope, too … The poems assert the possibility of language rather than bullets to open up our veins.

Image of Dr. Brian Clements

Professor of Writing, Linguistics and the Creative Process Dr. Brian Clements

“Many people in this book have suffered publicly, but the point of their poetry is not to whine or moan or even set things aflame but rather to communicate the intricate nuances of that suffering with others,” McCann continues. “It is a form of public sharing. Take these words. Weigh them up. Listen. Pause a while. Help reality touch justice.”

Nick Ripatrazone, writer for the online magazine The Millions, picked “Bullets into Bells” as one of the notable poetry books of December. “Poetry won’t make us whole again, but we need a form for our shouts and our cries,” Ripatrazone wrote.

“Bullets into Bells” was featured on the PBS News Hour on Monday, Dec. 4. A link to the segment can be found here.

Clements said, “The book is the first part of a three-pronged project, which includes additional poems and other content on the book’s website, and a nationwide series of events that will include readings from the book and discussion among local poets, activists and audiences. The first of those events will take place at the Boston Public Library on Dec. 13.”

Clements is the author of multiple books, most recently “A Book of Common Rituals,” and editor of “An Introduction to the Prose Poem.” He lives in Newtown, Connecticut, where his wife, a teacher, survived the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

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

 

 

Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.

 

 

Get in the holiday spirit with WCSU’s ‘Happy Holiday from Irving Berlin: A Musical Revue’

Image from a scene in "Happy Holiday"

(l-r): Raymond Lubus, of New Fairfield; Caleigh Lozito, of Bristol; and Alex Niatopsky, of Wolcott; in a scene from the WCSU holiday production, “Happy Holiday from Irving Berlin: A Musical Revue.”

DANBURY, CONN. — The Western Connecticut State University Department of Theatre Arts will present “Happy Holiday from Irving Berlin: A Musical Revue” in the MainStage Theatre of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the WCSU Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury. Performances will be at 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 8; 2 and 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9; and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017. For tickets, visit www.eventbrite.com/e/happy-holiday-from-irving-berlin-a-musical-revue-tickets-38448644932.

The show will feature a collection of songs composed for and performed in the film, “Holiday Inn,” written in 1942 by Irving Berlin. “Happy Holiday,” the WCSU production,  is written and directed by Michael Bartoli. Musical arrangements are by Amy Jones, with music direction and additional vocal arrangements by Howard Kilik. The performance is choreographed by Jennifer Turey. Bartoli, Jones and Kilik are adjunct professors in the Department of Theatre Arts. Turey is an adjunct in the Department of Health Promotion and Exercise Sciences.

Professor of Theatre Arts Pamela McDaniel is the producer. Costume design is by Johnna Fettinger, sound design is by Victoria Gelling, set design is by Abigail Bueti, technical direction is by Thomas Swetz, technical supervision is by Kori Hansen, wardrobe supervision is by Joni Johns Lerner, lighting design is by Stef Carr and costume shop supervision is by Brenda Phelps. Hayley Moretti is the stage manager and Claire Gaudette is the production manager.

The cast of actors includes Ray Cook, of New Preston; Kelsey Lepesko, of Stratford; Emily Gray, of Southington; Christopher W. Cummings, of Naugatuck; Lexi Tobin, of Sandy Hook; Joelle Tshudy, of Belvidere, New Jersey; Laura Portera, of Fairfield; Caleigh Lozito, of Bristol; Raymond Lubus, of New Fairfield; Alex Niatopsky, of Wolcott; and Annaleigh Lester of Ballston Lake, New York.

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

 

 

Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.

 

 

WCSU Art Department to host student ceramics sale Dec. 7 & 8

DANBURY, CONN. — The Western Connecticut State University Department of Art will host a ceramics sale from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, Dec. 7 and 8, 2017, in Room 012 of White Hall on the university’s Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. The public is invited.

Students in the WCSU Department of Art will sell their handmade ceramic craft products. The student artists have produced a variety of functional and non-toxic ceramic wares as part of their work in classes at WCSU. Ceramics on sale for holiday gift giving and personal use will include plates, bowls and other pieces that are made with pigmented clays or have been given a glazed finish.

The sale also will feature a special holiday offering of limited-edition artist illustration cards, sold as sets or individually.

Funds raised from the sale will be used to purchase supplies for the Art Department ceramics program. A tour of the WCSU art studio and information about the ceramics process will be available to visitors during the sale.

For more information, contact Adjunct Professor of Art Jurg Lanzrein at lanzreinj@wcsu.edu.

 

 

Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.

 

 

WCSU faculty to review works by local artists at Portfolio Day Dec. 2

Student artists offered special opportunity to learn about art and design education at WCSU

DANBURY, CONN. — The Western Connecticut State University  Department of Art  will offer an opportunity for students interested in pursuing an education in art and design to have their works reviewed by members of the WCSU art faculty during a “Portfolio Day” event from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, in Room 145 of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the university’s Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury.

Participants are invited to bring in selections from their works or a digital portfolio, and will meet individually with professional artists who teach at WCSU. Faculty members will critique portfolios to provide feedback and guidance on works presented and also will be prepared to discuss professional career opportunities in art and design, as well as concentrations for study in the Art Department’s Bachelor of Arts program.

The public is invited and admission is free. Attendance is especially encouraged for high school and college transfer students interested in the fields of art and design, as well as their parents, teachers and guidance counselors. Registration is requested and should be made online at https://wcsuvpac.eventbrite.com.

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

 

 

Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.

 

 

Ana Márquez-Greene remembered at her father’s ‘Love Wins’ scholarship concert at WCSU

Image of Jimmy Greene playing the saxophone at the 2016 'Love Wins!' concert

Jimmy Greene plays the saxophone at the 2016 ‘Love Wins!’ concert

DANBURY, Conn. — The “Love Wins! Benefit Concert,” a Celebration of Music to Benefit the Ana Márquez-Greene Scholarship Fund at WCSU, will be held at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017, in the Veronica Hagman Concert Hall of the Visual and Performing Arts Center (VPAC) on the Western Connecticut State University Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury.

The Love Wins! concert will feature Matt Wilson’s Christmas Tree-O with DownBeat and JazzTimes poll winning drummer Matt Wilson, Paul Sikivie on bass and Jeff Lederer on saxophone, as well as an all-star group featuring Grammy-nominated vocalist René Marie, Grammy Award winner Bill Charlap on piano, Grammy-nominated bassist Rufus Reid , and and Grammy-nominated saxophonist Jimmy Greene, who is WCSU co-coordinator of Jazz Studies and associate professor of Music.

The event is hosted by the WCSU Department of Music. Ticket sales and donations will go to the Ana Grace Márquez-Greene Music Scholarship, an endowed memorial music scholarship for incoming freshmen at WCSU. The scholarship fund was created to honor the memory of Ana Grace Márquez-Greene, daughter of Jimmy Greene and Nelba Márquez-Greene, who lost her life at the Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012.

“Ana was a joyful, musical child and full of life,” said Jimmy Greene. “This scholarship is one of the ways we remember her — it helps young musicians who want to study at WestConn. Ana’s mom and brother and I look forward to the concert every year.”

Tickets are $35 for general admission and $50 for a VIP reception with the musicians before the concert. A limited number of $20 WCSU student tickets are available with a valid WCSU ID at the VPAC box office. For more information and tickets, visit the concert’s Eventbrite page.

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

 

 

Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.

 

 

WCSU Child Care Center fundraiser to feature reception, ‘Evita’ ticket

DANBURY, CONN. — The Western Connecticut State University Child Care Center will host an event to raise funds for the center on Friday, Nov. 17, 2017. At 6:30 p.m., guests will enjoy tapas and a cash bar in Room 241 of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the university’s Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury. At 8 p.m., guests will enjoy the theatre department production, “Evita,” in the MainStage Theatre in the Visual and Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $40, and include the reception, show and a donation. Tickets are available at the Midtown Student Center and Westside Campus Center box offices or online at www.wcsu.edu/tickets.

The center has raised funds in the past through Cabaret tickets, raffles, auctions and donated goods. This year, the center’s board decided to piggyback on “Evita,” this fall’s Theatre Arts Department performance. Oni Figueroa, a member of the board that made this fundraiser possible, said, “As a result of these fundraisers, we’ve been able to award grants to our WCSU students, many of whom may not have been able to continue taking classes without affordable child care.”

The Child Care Center is licensed by the State of Connecticut and accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. NAEYC administers the largest and most widely recognized national, voluntary, professionally sponsored accreditation system for all types of early childhood schools and child care centers. The center provides high quality, developmentally appropriate experiences for children ages three through five.

The center exists to provide a safe, developmentally appropriate learning environment for preschool children of the Western Connecticut State University community as well as the Danbury region.  It provides an engaging early care and education experience that encourages parental involvement and promotes each child’s social, emotional, physical and cognitive development.

 

 

 

Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.

 

Local food service innovators featured on WCSU entrepreneurial panel

Entrepreneurial Arc program on Nov. 13 to showcase successful niche restaurateurs

DANBURY, CONN. — Owners of three local entrepreneurial businesses whose innovative startups in the fiercely competitive food service field are poised to survive and prosper will offer insights into strategies for success in a panel discussion on Monday, Nov. 13, 2017, at Western Connecticut State University.

“The Entrepreneurial Arc,” a WCSU series of programs showcasing local entrepreneurs, will present the forum featuring Jasson Arias, owner of the Danbury-based food truck business Rice and Beans; Anna Llanos and Andrea White, cofounders of Mothership Bakery & Café, with locations at 44 Old Ridgebury Rd. and 331 Main St. in Danbury; and Andrea Gartner, owner of Pour Me Coffee & Wine Café at 274 Main St. in Danbury.

The forum will be at 6 p.m. in Room 218 of the Classroom Building on the university’s Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury. Admission will be free and the public is invited to attend. Co-sponsors for the event include the Center for Entrepreneurship, Research, Innovation and Creativity (E.R.I.C.@THEGARAGE), the Ancell School of Business and the Macricostas Entrepreneurial Endowment, all at WCSU; the Greater Danbury Chamber of Commerce; and the Danbury Hackerspace.

“We’ve heard that most new restaurants fail, so what does it take to succeed?” remarked Associate Professor of Management Dr. Pauline Assenza, coordinator of the Entrepreneurial Arc program. “Here are three businesses who are making their mark in the local food industry.”

Arias, who earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration at WCSU in 2011, drew from the culinary traditions of his parents’ native Guatemala, his Western education and his experience at Mezon Tapas Bar and Restaurant in Danbury to found his Rice and Beans food truck business in 2016. Serving weekly at sites in Danbury and Stamford as well as private parties and community events across Fairfield County, his signature yellow trailer specializes in white, brown or green rice served with black beans and tortilla chips as well as slow-cooked beef and chicken and roasted vegetable dishes. A portion of profits goes to his “Share Your Beans” charitable fund to help those in need.

“Developing his business to compete in the food truck market meant Jasson had to use what he learned in marketing — the importance of building a brand and then making sure he could stand out by promoting it successfully,” Assenza said. His primary promotional vehicles have been the extensive use of the Internet and social media tools including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. In presenting a focused and limited menu, Assenza observed, “Jasson has avoided one of the mistakes many food service startups make” in attempting do too much, too soon. “By keeping it simple, Jasson can focus on food quality, make the choices clear to customers, and be really great at what he does. He can streamline operations and reduce costs as well.”

Llanos and White also began their Mothership Bakery & Café business in 2012 as a mobile food service housed in a vintage Airstream trailer, expanding to open a kitchen and cafeteria on Ridgebury Road as well as catering for the Belimo Americas headquarters in Danbury. The partnership of Llanos as baker and chef and White as business manager took their venture to the next level in 2016 when they opened Mothership on Main, serving breakfast and lunch weekdays, Thursday evening dinner and weekend brunch with varied offerings including baked goods, soups, sandwiches, savories, salads. smoothies and organic coffee and tea.

Directing meal preparation in a kitchen open to diners’ view, Llanos said she “is adamant that the food not have that institutional taste and should be as close to home cooking as possible.” Assenza remarked that all foods are “made from scratch with only what is needed for the day — when something runs out, it runs out, but customers are assured of freshness.” In the review accompanying Connecticut Magazine’s recognition of Mothership as 2017 “Best in Connecticut” in the bakery category, Erik Ofgang wrote, “Visiting the Mothership can be a little like visiting a few of your aunts around the holidays — there are a lot of friendly, smiling faces and everyone is trying to feed you delicious food.”

The Mothership partners will discuss the need for deliberate decisions on business strategy and growth that account not only for food choices, but also cash flow, staffing and customer service, and regulatory and health issues. “Mothership has pursued a very deliberate growth trajectory, which has paid off in customer loyalty as witnessed by the excited buzz around their expansion to Main Street,” Assenza noted.

Gartner played an important role in the downtown Danbury revitalization that has attracted Mothership and other restaurants to the area, promoting business and cultural activities in the area as executive director from 2007 to 2015 of CityCenter Danbury. After forming Gartner & Main in 2015 as a consulting firm specializing in community, business and economic development, she launched her own downtown food service venture this June with opening of the Pour Me Coffee & Wine Café. In a setting based on the traditional European café concept, Pour Me serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with a menu ranging from breakfast burritos and salads to personal pizzas, vegan dishes and chicken, stead and seafood entrees, complemented by a tasting bar with wines and spirits.

Joining an active downtown Danbury restaurant scene that also features foods of many ethnic traditions, Gartner has expressed hope that her full-service neighborhood bistro will make a contribution to this vibrant mix. Pour Me seeks to support local suppliers by featuring items such as the organic beverage products made by Cross Culture Kombucha of Danbury and Sacred Grounds Coffee Roasters of Sherman.

Gartner’s panel presentation will cover her strategy for business development as well as her adaptation of food service operations in the restaurant’s first six months to respond to customer demand and cost issues while maintaining quality food offerings. “Andrea encourages everyone to join the community of urban enthusiasts behind the resurgence of Danbury’s downtown, hoping to make this the most appealing place for all to invest their time, money and talent,” Assenza said.

For more information about the panel discussion, contact Assenza at assenzap@wcsu.edu or the Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486.

 

 

Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.