WCSU News

WCSU softball to host annual fundraising breakfast

DANBURY, CONN. — The Western Connecticut State University softball team will host its annual fundraising breakfast at 7:15 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, in the Ballroom of the Campus Center on the university’s Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury. This is the biggest pre-season fundraiser for the team and a great opportunity to meet the players, enjoy a buffet breakfast, and win a silent auction and raffle prizes. The public is invited.

Head Softball Coach Heather Stone said, “As the 2019 softball season approaches, the team looks forward to having another successful season. We have been working hard all year to fundraise for our spring trip. We will be traveling to Florida for our spring training and will play a 12-game schedule. We will also play one J.V. game while in Florida. With a very talented team, it should prove to be a very rewarding trip, as we kick off our season and our journey to the NCAA tournament.”

In case of inclement weather, the make-up date is Wednesday, March 6, at the same time and place.

To sponsor a table or for more information, contact Stone at stoneh@wcsu.edu or call (203)-837-9019.

 

 

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 offer spring semester series on biology research topics

Public lectures to address themes from science advocacy to climate change impact in Arctic

DANBURY, CONN. — The Western Connecticut State University Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences will offer a spring semester series of research seminars beginning Feb. 21, 2019, that will cover diverse topics including science advocacy, the evolution of Arctic lake ecosystems, and neuroscience and human behavior.

All seminars will be at 4 p.m. in Science Building Room 125 on the university’s Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. Admission will be free and the public is invited; a reception will be held in the Science Building Atrium immediately after each presentation.

In the opening seminar on Thursday, Feb. 21, WCSU Assistant Professor of Biological and Environmental Sciences Dr. Rayda Krell will present “Beyond the Laboratory: How to be a Science Advocate and Why It’s Important.” Other seminars will be Thursday, March 28, “Secrets from an Early Eocene Arctic Lake: Global Warming, Biogeography and Evolutionary Stasis,” presented by Connecticut College Professor of Botany and Environmental Studies Dr. Peter Siver; and Thursday, April 25, a discussion of topics in neuroscience and behavioral research, presented by Wesleyan University Professor of Psychology and of Neuroscience and Behavior Dr. Matthew Kurtz.

image of Rayda Krell

Rayda Krell

Krell is the research study coordinator for the WCSU Tickborne Disease Prevention Laboratory, where she has worked with TDPL Director and Associate Professor of Biological and Environmental Sciences Dr. Neeta Connally on a four-year, $1.6 million project funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to study effective means to reduce exposure to Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases in residential settings. Krell and Connally also are collaborators with the Ridgefield Health Department in the “Spray Safe, Play Safe” program, supported by an Environmental Protection Agency grant, that seeks to provide community education about chemical spraying for tick management.

Krell earned dual B.A. degrees in Biology and Russian at Middlebury College and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Entomology at Iowa State University. A member of the Entomological Society of America, her research interests include arthropod ecology and application of this ecology as a basis for prudent pest management. She has taught the Modes of Scientific Communication course at WCSU and has worked in areas of science policy, editing and public outreach.

image of Dr. Peter Siver

Dr. Peter Siver

Siver has received several National Science Foundation grants to pursue study since 2005 of an Arctic lake estimated to have formed about 48 million years ago during the Eocene Epoch, a period of rising greenhouse gas levels and global warming. Analyses of microscopic algae fossil specimens from the lake have provided the basis to determine the chemical conditions of the ancient lake and the evolution of its ecosystems over time, providing a useful model to understand the effects of a warming climate on Arctic lake ecosystems today.

Recipient of a Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut and a Connecticut College faculty member since 1990, Siver holds the Charles and Sarah P. Becker ’27 Professorship in Botany and Environmental Studies and serves as director of the college’s Environmental Studies Program. His research specializations include the study of the biology and chemistry of lakes and other fresh-water bodies, and the study of algae with specific interest in microorganisms. He is the author of four books, two edited volumes and more than 130 peer-reviewed articles, and is credited with the description of new microorganism species. Professional recognitions include the Darbaker Prize from the Botanical Society of America and the Prescott Award from the Phycological Society of America.

image of Dr. Matthew Kurtz

Dr. Matthew Kurtz

Kurtz is the director of the Schizophrenia Cognition Laboratory at Wesleyan, which investigates issues related to cognition and rehabilitation in schizophrenia and related types of severe mental illness. Recipient of a Ph.D. in Psychology and Neuroscience from Princeton University, he took post-doctoral training in the neuropsychiatric aspects of schizophrenia at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining the Wesleyan faculty, he worked for seven years in the Schizophrenia Rehabilitation Program at the Hartford-based Institute of Living, appointed in 2005 as senior research scientist. He has served since 2001 as an adjunct professor of psychiatry in the Yale School of Medicine, and is a consulting neuropsychologist for Connecticut Valley Hospital and the Greater Bridgeport Mental Health Center.

Kurtz is the author or co-author of more than 50 peer-reviewed articles and eight book chapters. He is a licensed psychologist with a specialty in clinical neuropsychological assessment, and a member of several professional organizations including the American Psychological Association, the Schizophrenia International Research Society and the Society for Research in Psychopathology.

 

 

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 offer community interpreting classes this summer

DANBURY, CONN. — The Western Connecticut State University Department of World Languages and Literature (WLL) will present the summer 2019 class, “Community Interpreting.” The 40-hour program will be offered during Summer Session II twice a week, on Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., and Wednesdays from 4:30 to 8:45 p.m., each with a 15-minute recess, from July 1 to August 3.

Adjunct Professor of Spanish Miguel Purgatorio, a professional interpreter and translator, will lead the class. While the course is taught in English in order to accommodate a multilingual classroom, it is designed for bilingual individuals. Training sessions ground students in what they need to know to launch a career in medical interpreting, educational interpreting or social services interpreting.

“Community interpreting is one of the fastest-growing professions in the world,” Purgatorio said.

Students will use the most comprehensive textbook and workbook in the field. Content will include ethics and standards of practice, interpreting protocols and skills, professional identity and role of the interpreter, medical terminology and practical interpreting exercise. This course has never before been offered at any higher-education institution in Connecticut.

“I am very thrilled to be able to offer this training at WCSU,” Purgatorio said. “It provides the prerequisite for national medical interpreting certification. This is an interactive, skills-based program, and upon successful completion of the course, students will receive a certificate of completion.”

He anticipates a very diverse group of students to join the course, where bilingual nursing students and medical staff are also welcome to complete the training. Participants must also be at least 18 years of age, hold a diploma for completion of secondary studies or equivalent, demonstrate oral proficiency in their working languages and show literacy in their working languages.

Chairperson and Professor of World Languages and Literature Dr. Galina Bakhtiarova expects good turnout for the program and believes this opportunity will help WCSU students within their major.

“We anticipate students, especially Spanish-speaking, as well as members of the community, as a targeted audience,” she said. “For WCSU students, this class will count toward a minor or major in Spanish and Spanish translation. We are very excited to create this opportunity.”

Purgatorio completed a six-day training program in The Community Interpreter International with Cross-Cultural Communications, LLC last summer. This is the only international training agency in the United States for medical and community interpreting and cultural competence based in Columbia, Maryland. The program licenses trainers across the U.S. and worldwide to deliver a national medical, social services and educational 40- to 100-hour interpreter training curriculum.

 

 

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 biologist discovers perfect Valentine’s Day gift

image of Paula and Tom Philbrick in Goias, Brazil

Paula and Tom Philbrick in Goias, Brazil

DANBURY, Conn. — Sorry, guys — no matter what you are planning for Valentine’s Day, it won’t be as good as what Dr. Tom Philbrick did for his wife.

Newtown resident Philbrick is a Connecticut State University professor of Biological and Environmental Sciences at Western Connecticut State University. His specialty is the study of the biology, ecology and taxonomy of aquatic flowering plants, and he spends many summers away from home pulling specimens from South American rivers.

Last year, while exploring a small stream in Amapá, Brazil, just north of the mouth of the Amazon River, Philbrick and a colleague found the plant.

The setting of the discovery wasn’t particularly romantic.

Illustration of R paulana

Illustration of R paulana

“It’s a small river about the size of the Still River” in Danbury, Philbrick said. “It flows under a bridge and next to a small farm. There’s nothing particularly exotic about it. What’s interesting is the plant is really common. It covered outcrops throughout the stream. I’m sure the locals knew about it for decades. They likely didn’t use it for anything and didn’t recognize it as a species new to science.”

Philbrick said he understood immediately that the plant represented a new species.

“There are 20 or so genera of this family in South America and I can recognize all of them. The fruits were clearly those of a species of the genus Rhyncholacis (pronounced rincho-LATH-us) but the leaf didn’t fit at all.”

For most of us, the plant itself won’t inspire love songs.

As described by Philbrick, the plant “is distinguished from all other species in the genus by its simple pinnately lobed leaf, which is fleshy and undulate.”

To his credit, Philbrick says that nothing about the physical description of the plant reminds him of his wife, Paula Philbrick. Still, the new plant species is now named for Paula, also a Ph.D. biologist who teaches at UConn-Waterbury. Officially the little plant, part of a group called Riverweeds, is known as Rhyncholacis paulana,

Philbrick found the plant in 2014. He has been to Brazil on research trips many times and works with a Brazilian biologist based in Rio de Janeiro named Dr. Claudia Bove.

After identifying a previously unrecognized species, a scientist must study it in the lab to accurately describe it, prepare scientific drawings, and write a manuscript for a peer-reviewed scientific journal. The article is often revised several times based on the comments of other scientists, and then a final proof is sent to the author for review.

It was while the low-key Philbrick reviewed those proof pages in his living room that he let Paula know about his special gift.

“I was reading the pages and she walked in the room and I said, ‘Well, look at this.’ I think she was pleased. She smiled and I think I saw tears in her eyes,” Philbrick remembered. “Only another biologist would be so touched by a new species being named for them.”

Philbrick said he has named 10 to 15 new plant species during his career and finally realized he should do something special.

“If it wasn’t for my wife, I wouldn’t be doing this work,” he said. “She’s a marine ecologist and she essentially gave up her research career for our family. She was home for 16 years raising our two kids. Without her encouragement while I was in grad school, I probably wouldn’t have gone on to get my Ph.D.  She continues to be one of my most trusted scientific advisers.”

For more information, or to interview Philbrick, email steinmetzp@wcsu.edu or call 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.

 

 

Marian Anderson celebration at WCSU features Jobson, Thompson

Internationally acclaimed vocalist and pianist to perform at VPAC concert Feb. 23

image of Christine Jobson

Christine Jobson

DANBURY, CONN. — Internationally acclaimed vocalist Christine Jobson and pianist Gregory Thompson will perform at Western Connecticut State University on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019, in a concert celebration honoring the legendary 20th century singer and longtime Danbury resident Marian Anderson.

The concert, which celebrates the 122nd anniversary of Anderson’s birth on Feb. 27, 1897, will be at 7 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. General admission is $10; tickets may be purchased online at www.eventbrite.com/e/marian-anderson-celebration-with-christine-jobson-gregory-thompson-tickets-54411023837 or by calling (203) 837-8732. Tickets at a fee of $5 for WCSU faculty and staff and free for WCSU students with ID are available at the VPAC box office.

image of Gregory Thompson

Gregory Thompson

Jobson has performed operatic roles in productions of “La Boheme,” “Porgy and Bess” and “Signor Deluso” and has appeared as a soprano soloist and concert singer across the United States and in Russia, Spain, Portugal, Austria and Bermuda. She has a particular interest in the preservation and dissemination of vocal music written by African American composers including spirituals, anthems, art song, gospel and hymns. She is pursuing studies for a doctoral degree in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy at the Frost School of Music of the University of Miami, where she has been awarded the Presser Foundation Graduate Music Award to support her development as a young artist.

Recipient of a D.M.A. in Piano Performance from the University of South Carolina, Dr. Thompson has performed as a solo and collaborative artist in the United States, Europe and Asia at venues including Carnegie Hall in New York and the Schloss Leopoldskron palace in Salzburg, Austria. His performances with orchestras and chamber ensembles in concert have featured works by Bach, Grieg, Liszt, Schumann, Beethoven, Mozart and many other composers. He also has performed widely as a recitalist at universities across the United States and internationally. He has been praised by the New York Times for his “intuitive feeling for phrase shapes” and his ability to “make a melodic line sing and inflect it with delicate rubato effects.” He also is a veteran music educator who currently serves as associate professor of music at Winston-Salem State University and has held previous faculty positions at several colleges in North and South Carolina.

WCSU recently announced its intention to name the School of Visual and Performing Arts and the Visual and Performing Arts Center in honor of Marian Anderson. The naming project currently in progress seeks to recognize Anderson’s accomplishments in music and civil rights, as well as the memory of her years of activity in Danbury.

 

 

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 announces spring 2019 wellness lectures, workshops

DANBURY, CONN. — The Western Connecticut State University Institute for Holistic Health Studies (IHHS) will present a number of lectures and workshops that focus on physical, mental and spiritual health and wellness in the coming months. The holistic and integrative health programs will be free and open to the public.

Two evening guest lectures will be at 7 p.m. in Room 127 of White Hall on the WCSU Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury.

  • Thursday, Feb. 26: “Integrative Medicine for Better Pain Management” presented by Mitchell Prywes, MD, medical director of The Center for Pain Rehabilitation, an integrative medicine practice in Danbury.
  • Tuesday, March 26: “Ayurveda an Art of Healthy Living” presented by Dr. (Vaidya) Jaya Daptardar, Ayurvedic physician, CEO and founder of Active Ayurveda and Yoga LLC. Daptardar concentrates on prevention and wellness, women’s health, nutrition, weight and lifestyle management, and the healing of arthritis, asthma, allergies, acne, digestion issues, chronic pain, mental health, stress-related illness, addiction and Ayurvedic therapies like Shirodhara, Nasya and more.

Additional IHHS events include the following Wellness Wednesday Workshops, which are free and open to the public at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesdays in Room 127 of White Hall on the WCSU Midtown campus:

  • Wednesday, Feb. 6: “Thoughts Shape Our Words and Actions,” presented by Cicely Greaves, owner and operator of REGARD. Greaves practices daily meditation and is a Reiki Master.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 27: “Healthy Habits, Healthy Eating” with Stravros Mastrogiannis, personal trainer and health coach, and owner of Live Your Way Thin in Danbury.
  • Wednesday, March 27: “Environmental Health Where You Call Home” presented by WCSU alumna, Holistic Lifestyle and Ecotherapy Coach Marcia Kendall. She is the host of “Sunday Soulstice” at 11 a.m. on WXCI, the campus radio station.

The ongoing Mudra meditation series will continue at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month in Room 103 of Warner Hall on the WCSU Midtown campus. The 2019 dates for this series are: Feb. 12, March 12, April 9, May 14, June 11, July 9, Aug. 13, Sept. 10, Oct. 8, Nov. 12 and Dec. 10. 

The Fourth Annual Health, Fitness and Wellness Fair at WCSU will be from noon to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, April 2, 2019, in the Bill Williams Gym in Berkshire Hall on the WCSU Midtown campus. A popular annual event, the fair features local holistic practitioners and health-related organizations demonstrating their areas of expertise, often with free samples.

IHHS Director Christel Autuori planned the spring semester slate of events.

Autuori said, “The holistic and integrative approach to health and wellness is multifaceted and multidimensional. The word holistic relates to the whole person — body, mind and spirit — and encompasses many aspects and factors relating to health. The integrative approach blends the best of our conventional Western medical practices with the best of the non-Western (the alternative or complementary) healing modalities. The holistic and integrative approach to health, therefore, addresses the whole person and utilizes and delivers the best of Western medicine combined with the best of the non-Western modalities and practices: the best of both worlds intertwined in unified treatment plan.”

The IHHS is housed within the Department of Health Promotion and Exercise Sciences (HPX) at WCSU. It encourages the community to explore different aspects of holistic and integrative health through programming and instruction while promoting conventional healing and various traditional, modern and alternative practices.

For more information, contact Autuori at autuoric@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.

 

Historian Dann Broyld to discuss fight for black liberation then and now

CCSU scholar to relate legacy of key 19th century abolitionists to contemporary struggle

image of Central Connecticut State University historian Dr. Dann Broyld

Central Connecticut State University historian Dr. Dann Broyld

DANBURY, CONN. — Central Connecticut State University historian Dr. Dann Broyld will discuss the work of leading 19th century abolitionists in achieving freedom from slavery in the United States and the impact of their legacy on the contemporary struggle for black liberation in a lecture at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, at Western Connecticut State University.

Broyld’s talk titled “Douglass, Tubman and Brown: Recasting Their Fight for Black Liberation in the American-Canadian Transnational Light,” sponsored by the Department of History and Non-Western Cultures and the Office of Diversity and Equity, will be presented as part of Black Heritage-History Month at WCSU. The lecture will be in Room 127 of White Hall on the university’s Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. Admission will be free and the public is invited.

Broyld, who has served since 2014 as assistant professor of Public History and African American History at CCSU, will explore the contributions of Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman and John Brown to the eventual abolition of slavery and emancipation of slaves in the United States. He also will place Douglass, Tubman and Brown within the broader context of the continued movement to achieve black liberation.

Broyld earned his Ph.D. in 19th Century U.S. and Afirican Diaspora History at Howard University in 2011, completing his dissertation titled “Borderland Blacks: Rochester, New York, and St. Catharines, Ontario, 1850-1860.” He has served as a consulting scholar for the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument and as a member of the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site Board of Trustees. His scholarly work focuses on issues of black identity, migration and transnational relations as well as oral history and museum-community interaction. He previously taught at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and is working on a manuscript with the University of Toronto Press.

Broyld’s talk is the first of several Black Heritage-History events planned this month at WCSU. Additional events can be found at www.wcsu.edu/intercultural/spring-2019-events-calendar/february/.

 

 

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.

 

 

‘Sip and Sketch’ evening at WCSU pairs art with wine and refreshments

Guests of all artistic levels invited to participate in Jan. 18 event

DANBURY, CONN. — An entertaining and creative evening that pairs the experience of drawing from a live model with wine and refreshments will be offered in the “Sip and Sketch” series event to be held from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 18, 2019, at Western Connecticut State University.

Guests of all artistic skill levels are invited to create original drawings as they enjoy wine and assorted snacks during the “Sip and Sketch” evening in the Drawing Studio, Room 241 of the WCSU Visual and Performing Arts Center on the university’s Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury. The admission fee includes refreshments as well as basic art supplies including charcoal and paper. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own drawing supplies.

The ticket fee is $25 for general admission, or $20 for WCSU alumni who may obtain the discount code by email correspondence to robeaul@wcsu.edu. Admission to the event is open to adults 21 years of age and older. Tickets may be purchased at the VPAC ticket office or online at www.wcsuvpac.eventbrite.com. The “Sip and Sketch” series is sponsored by the Department of Art and the WCSU Alumni Association.

For more information, contact the Department of Art at (203) 837-8403 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 Opera presents Mozart’s ‘The Magic Flute’

WCSU ensemble to stage English-language production Feb. 8, 9 and 10

DANBURY, CONN. —   The Western Connecticut State University Opera Ensemble will present Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” in four performances on Feb. 8, 9 and 10, 2019, at the MainStage Theatre of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the university’s Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury.

The WCSU Opera Ensemble cast, directed by Professor of Music Dr. Margaret Astrup, will perform the two-act opera in English, translated from the original German libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder. Evening performances will be at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 8, and Saturday, Feb. 9, with matinee performances at 2 p.m. on Feb. 9 and Sunday, Feb. 10. General admission is $25, with a ticket price of $15 for seniors and children under 12. Reservations may be made online at www.eventbrite.com/e/the-magic-flute-tickets-53202740830.

The WCSU Opera program has received national recognition for the excellence of its productions, earning first-place honors for its spring 2018 presentation of Engelbert Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel” in the 2017-18 Opera Production Competition sponsored by the National Opera Association.

“The Magic Flute,” which premiered in Vienna two months before Mozart’s death in 1791, recounts the tale of Prince Tamino’s quest to rescue and ultimately marry Pamina, daughter of the Queen of the Night. Aided by a magic flute that turns sorrow to joy and accompanied by his worldly companion Papageno, Tamino endures trials in the temple of the high priest Sarastro to prove his worthiness to wed Pamina, while the queen and her accomplice Monostatos are banished for scheming to prevent their marriage and destroy the temple.

“‘The Magic Flute’ is one of the most delightful operas in the repertoire,” Astrup remarked. “It was Mozart’s last opera, and many consider it his best. With set pieces and dialogue, the form is that of a ‘singspiel’ or ‘sing-play’ opera, not so different from contemporary musical theatre. By presenting our production in English, we are making it truly accessible to everyone.”

Most principal roles in the opera have been double cast for separate performances. Sergio Mandujano, of Norwalk, and Edwin Rodriguez, of New Haven, will appear as Prince Tamino; Callie Sorrento, of Carmel, New York, and Christine Manalo, of Watertown, as Pamina; Sam Cournoyer, of Seymour, and Anthony Deluco, of Cheshire, as Papageno; and Tiffany Owen, of Stratford, and Natalie Andrews, of Salem, as Papagena. Amy Cerbie, of Meriden, and Olivia Doolittle, of Trumbull, will share the role of the Queen of the Night; Peter Ryan, of Watertown, and Zachary Nelson, of Hopewell Junction, New York, will be featured as Monostatos; and Dan Satter, of Trumbull, will appear in all performances as Sarastro.

The WCSU Orchestra will be conducted by Associate Professor of Music Dr. Fernando Jimenez. Sets have been designed by Adjunct Professor of Theatre Arts Joshua “Joshbob” Rose, with costumes by Summer Lee Jack.

The WCSU Alumni Association will host a special evening package on Feb. 9 featuring a cocktail reception at 6 p.m. at The Daily Grind in the Westside Campus Center followed by the 7:30 p.m. performance of “The Magic Flute.” The fee for the reception and opera admission is $30 per guest. Tickets may be purchased online at http://wcsu.edu/alumni/2018/12/11/the-magic-flute-saturday-feb-9/; inquiries should be directed to the WCSU Alumni Association at (203) 837-8298.

 

 

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 spring semester M.F.A. artist lecture program

Illustrator Nancy Stahl’s talk Feb. 5 opens series featuring six artists through April

Image of NatureBridge by Nancy Stahl

NatureBridge by Nancy Stahl

DANBURY, CONN. — Six artists whose critically acclaimed works span a wide spectrum from illustration and painting to digital, sculpture, installation and mixed media will discuss their artistic philosophies and creative process during the Western Connecticut State University spring semester Master of Fine Arts lecture series continuing from Feb. 5 through April 24, 2019.

All lectures, sponsored by the WCSU Department of Art M.F.A. in Visual Arts program, will be in Room 144 of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the WCSU Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury. Admission will be free and the public is invited; advance registration is requested at www.wcsuvpac.eventbrite.com.

The series will begin at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 5, with a lecture by Nancy Stahl, whose works in both traditional media and digital creative platforms during a career stretching over nearly five decades earned her election in 2012 to the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame. A native of New York who attended the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, Stahl initially worked in gouache and developed a signature poster style of illustration during the 1970s. Her introduction during the late 1980s to digital image creation on early platforms including Quantel Paintbox and Adobe Photoshop inspired her to transition exclusively to computer-generated art work over the past three decades.

Stahl’s illustrations have become widely recognized internationally through her editorial work for many publications including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Time magazine, as well as through her corporate branding and advertising work for many clients including the Disney Family Museum, the National Parks Service, Stonyfield Farms and the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute. The U.S. Postal Service has featured more than 35 Stahl illustrations on postage stamp issues. Her works have been shown in many solo and group exhibitions in the United States and abroad, and have been included in several major anthologies of contemporary illustration. Stahl is an art instructor at the University of Hartford and has taught at Syracuse University, the School of Visual Arts and the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Other artists featured in the M.F.A. spring semester lecture series include:

  • Tuesday, Feb. 19, at 11:30 a.m.: Hilary Doyle works in diverse media including painting, drawing, printmaking and sculpture to explore myriad aspects of class, gender and the human psyche. A native of Worcester, Massachusetts, who now resides in Brooklyn, Doyle received her M.F.A. in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design and has shown her works in 45 solo and group exhibitions since 2007 across the United States and in England, most recently at the Saatchi Gallery in London and at Field Projects in New York. She has held artist residencies at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art and the Vermont Studio Center and has curated exhibitions at RISD and at New York galleries including Projekt722, where she served for three years as co-director. In an artist statement about her creative process, Doyle explained that many of her works begin with “mundane moments observed” that inspire exploration of “the rituals and emotions of daily life. People reveal their disposition in their folded arms, baby carts, laughing eyes, tightly clutched bags or work uniforms. These clues spark imaginary narratives about people’s lives in each work.” Doyle also is an art educator who founded and co-directs the NYC Crit Club and who has taught drawing, painting and foundation classes at RISD, SUNY Purchase College and Brown University.
  • Tuesday, March 5, at 11:30 a.m.: Ross MacDonald, who now resides in Connecticut, learned his illustration, graphic design and printmaking craft on the job at several small printing and publishing houses in his native Canada before embarking in the United States on a career that has popularized his works in magazines, newspapers, movies, TV shows, comics and children’s literature. His illustrations have appeared in scores of publications including Vanity Fair, Harper’s, The New Yorker and Rolling Stone, and his children’s books “Another Perfect Day” and “Achoo! Bang! Crash! The Noisy Alphabet” have earned Publisher’s Weekly, Child Magazine and Nick Jr. Best Book awards. His professional honors include a retrospective show at the New York Times and recognitions for artistic excellence from the Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, the Society of Publication Designers and Communication Arts. His skill with letterpress and drawing in re-creating retro-styled illustrations has earned steady work to create period “graphics props” for many TV series including “In Treatment” and “Boardwalk Empire” and movies such as “Silver Linings Playbook,” “Seabiscuit,” “National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets” and Quentin Tarantino’s “Hateful Eight.” He also has created animated shorts for “Sesame Street” and “Saturday Night Live” as well as cards for MOMA and a postage stamp design.
  • Tuesday, March 19, at 11:30 a.m.: Leslie Cober-Gentry an adjunct professor of art at WCSU and adjunct instructor at the Fashion Institute of Technology, has created illustrations for approximately 50 publishing and corporate clients ranging from the Washington Post, Reader’s Digest and National Geographic to Sony Records, Disney, “Sesame Street,” Nike and Microsoft. Cober-Gentry observed on her website that she strives through illustration and design to meet each client’s goals, striving “to make sure that each component of the project is attended to with every possible effort, passion and dedication.” Daughter of Alan Cober, whose legendary career was celebrated with his induction into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame, Cober-Gentry published her first work in the New York Times at age 15 and has gained critical praise for her elegant and uplifting designs. Recipient of an M.F.A. from the University of Hartford, she has garnered numerous honors including recognitions from the Society of Publication Designs and Graphic Design USA and citations in the Print Regional Design Annual and Vision Awards Annual Report competitions. She serves as a member of the Society of Illustrators executive board, the Fairfield Theatre Company board of directors and the New Britain Museum of American Art’s Sanford B. Low Illustration Collection Committee. She also curates the annual Members Show at the Museum of American Illustration of the Society of Illustrators.
  • Monday, April 1, at 11 a.m.: Fritz Drury, professor of illustration and faculty member at RISD since 1981, focuses at his Brooklyn studio on figurative oil paintings that evoke a poetic narrative derived from literature, art history and contemporary experience. The artist notes on his website observed that he explores “themes with extended socio-political significance” in works such as his recent painting “Rumpelstiltskin,” which suggests an ideal state of human connection with the natural universe and considers the role that the painter plays as a mediator between the individual and the world. Drury, who holds an M.F.A. from the Yale School of Art, has exhibited widely across the United States including shows at the Painting Center and the National Academy of Design in New York. As a portrait painter, he has created commissioned works for collections at Brown University, Colorado College, the University of Rhode Island and other institutions. He is co-author of the textbook, “Drawing: Structure and Vision.” Recipient of the John R. Frazier Award for Excellence in Teaching at RISD, he also has taught a collaborative course at Brown in virtual reality design for science.
  • Wednesday, April 24, at 11 a.m.: Kenny Rivero draws deeply from his childhood roots in the Washington Heights neighborhood in upper Manhattan to create a diversity of painting, drawing, sculpture and installation works. “My work addresses themes of Dominican-American identity, socio-geographic solidarity, cultural and familial expectations, race and masculinity,” Rivero explained. “I produce work that offers viewers a chance to reflect on hope, loss and memory.” Recipient of an M.F.A. from the Yale School of Art, he has presented eight solo exhibitions and three solo installation projects and has participated in more than 55 group exhibitions across the United States as well as Italy, Spain, Japan, the Netherlands, Iran and Turkey. He has held a visiting scholar position in the Steinhardt School at New York University and artist residencies at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Mana Contemporary, the Fountainhead, the Roswell AIR Foundation and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace Program. Other honors include the Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Artist Grant, the Robert Schoelkopf Memorial Travel Grant and the Doonesbury Award. Rivero has taught painting, drawing and sculpture at many institutions including Yale, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the School of Visual Arts, Montclair State University and the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

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

 

 

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