Welcome to WCSU’s Virtual Campus. Our buildings are closed to the public through May, but we are working. Please follow this link for the most recent updates about admissions, registration, and online learning. (COVID-19 Coronavirus Updates)

WCSU News

WCSU extends deadline for fall deposits

DANBURY, Conn. — Western Connecticut State University has moved the deadline to pay housing and registration deposits for freshmen entering this fall to June 1.

The $200 tuition deposit and $250 deposit for on-campus housing are normally due May 1.

“With all of the insecurity and economic uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 virus, we wanted to give families more time to make their decisions and commit to the next semester,” said Jay Murray, WCSU associate vice president of Enrollment Management. We hope the new date lessens the stress.”

Because of the Coronavirus, WCSU has shifted classes to online learning and closed all campus buildings. Students may continue to contact the Admissions office and other university services, as employees are working from home and remain connected to their offices.

For more information, 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.

 

WCSU response to novel coronavirus

Campus adopts online learning, closes residence halls

DANBURY, CONN. — Western Connecticut State University has enacted the following plan in response to the Novel Coronavirus:

In consultation with the Board of Regents, and in light of the expanding impact of COVID-19 in Connecticut, the heightened risk factors from our adjacent New York communities, and the potential travel plans of students, faculty and staff over spring break (March 16-22), the university has decided to run all academic programs online starting March 23, 2020.

All residential students must depart campus housing for the next three weeks. Residence halls will close at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 13. The expectation is that students will be allowed to return to campus housing on Sunday, April 5. Students have been advised to bring course materials home and make sure they can log into their courses.

Faculty advisers will work with students who currently are engaged in internships and clinical placements to help them determine if and when they can continue in these positions. Students have been advised not go into high-risk areas for their internships (hospitals, etc.) and they should not report to any internship if they have been exposed to COVID-19. Most companies are providing guidance to their staff, and some may be able to continue online. This is an evolving situation, but the university wants to facilitate the completion of the minimum contact hours required while taking safety concerns into consideration.

Campus buildings will remain open and administrative staff will report unless an underlying health condition exists for the employee or a family member that indicates telecommuting is advisable.

All campus events through Thursday, April 30, have been canceled. A few have been converted to Webex to replace face-to-face interaction. For a complete and updated list of previously scheduled events and the current status, visit www.wcsu.edu/newsevents/upcoming-events/.

While WCSU has had no reported incidents of COVID-19 in our community, the precautions detailed above have been established to protect students, faculty, staff and community members. A reporting structure has been established for our constituents to report travel to affected areas and symptoms indicative of the virus, with protocols for self-quarantine if necessary.

WCSU remains committed to transmitting important information to our stakeholders and will continue to post updates on our website at www.wcsu.edu/emergency-management/coronavirus-updates/, our Facebook page and Twitter feed, and via our Emergency Notification System if required.

For more information, contact 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 captures multiple KCACTF awards at regional event

image of WCSU's KCACTF award winners

WCSU’s KCACTF winners, l-r: Kelsey Lepesko, Colin Gallaher, Dante Cyr, Katie Girardot and Mark Sumner (missing from photo: Corey Stanley)

DANBURY, CONN. – The Western Connecticut State University Department of Theatre Arts returned in February 2020 from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) Region 1 competition in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, with a multitude of awards, continuing a trend of successful outcomes in the annual regional competition.

KCACTF is a national theater program involving 18,000 students from more than 700 colleges and universities nationwide. Eight regional festivals take place in January and February, with finalists and some award winners advancing to the national festival in April in Washington, D.C. WCSU is part of Region 1, which comprises Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, northeastern New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.

Students who participated in the KCACTF Region 1 event competed for a wide variety of awards, including those in areas that involve staging and design, as well as performance. The following WCSU students received recognition for their work:

Dante Cyr, of Waterbury, Dramaturgy Program Note Award for “Ubu: An Absurdist Immersive Gran Guignol Musical

Colin Gallaher, of Wappingers Falls, New York, Excellence in Allied Crafts and Design Region 1 Finalist for his work on Hair/Makeup Design for “The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui

Katie Girardot, of New Milford, Achievement in Stage Management for “Ubu: An Absurdist Immersive Gran Guignol Musical”

Kelsey Lepesko, of Stratford, the Open Jar Musical Theatre Initiative Scholarship

Corey Stanley, of Brooklyn, Honorable Mention in Allied Crafts and Design for his work as Scenic Charge for “A Little Night Music

Mark Sumner, of Middletown, Region 1 Finalist, Irene Ryan Acting nomination for “The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui

Several WCSU faculty members have mentored the student award-winners during their studies. Their pride in their students’ success is evident as they discuss the outcome of the KCACTF Region 1 competition.

Dr. Donald Gagnon, professor of Theatre Arts, said, “Dante Cyr delved at least as deeply and thoughtfully into his dramaturgy as any student I’ve worked with. The scope of his research not only contributed to the success of the production, but it also fed into the creativity with which he approached his program notes. The KCACTF responders recognized the originality and clarity of his notes, derived from the same distinctive philosophy of the playwright, so it was clear that he applied his understanding of the material to the project so that his audience was properly prepared for the potential disorientation that they were about to experience. To call him dedicated to the ethics of his task is an understatement; he evidenced all the hallmarks of a true professional in translating the playwright’s ideas to the audience via his well-researched and cleverly crafted notes.”

Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts Joni Johns Lerner, whose expertise focuses on costume technology, said, “I was very pleased that Colin Gallaher received this recognition from KCACTF. It was well deserved and well earned. It has been a pleasure working with Colin as a collaborator on this and other shows. He has real talent and skill in working with wigs and makeup, and is well on his way as a working professional.”

Professor of Theatre Arts Sal Trapani, who teaches acting, directing, playmaking with children, devised theatre workshop and theatre history, said, “Katie Girardot is an amazing student and stage manager. ‘Ubu’ was a big show, a brand new musical with lots of moving parts. Katie was magnificent in handling everything with grace and professionalism. She is an excellent manager of people, as well as being an organized and capable manager of operations. In the middle of things, Katie was hospitalized for a day with a health scare. The running of the show was so organized by her that an assistant stage manager was able to step in and call the performance without a hitch. This is a testament to Katie’s talent and organizational skills.”

Associate Professor of Theatre Arts Tim Howard, coordinator of the university’s Musical Theatre program, mentored two of the award-winning students. “I am so pleased for B.F.A. Musical Theatre senior Mark Sumner for winning the Classical Acting Award. Audiences may remember his performance in the title role in ‘The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui,’ for which he was nominated to participate in the Irene Ryan Acting competition. I believe this speaks to the well-rounded training our students are receiving in the Department of Theatre Arts. This year at KCACTF, our B.F.A. Musical Theatre program had five out of the 20 chosen as finalists in the prestigious Musical Theatre Initiative Awards. I could not be more proud of junior Kelsey Lepesko for winning an Open Jar Musical Theatre Scholarship. Kelsey is an example of what happens when stellar work ethic and talent come together.”

Professor of Theatre Arts Elizabeth Popiel, an Emmy Award-winning set designer for ABC’s “Good Morning, America,” said, “It has been a joy and a pleasure to watch Corey Stanley’s development as both a performer and in the Design and Allied Crafts areas. He has recently been developing a keen interest in Faux Painting techniques where he has been developing a portfolio of marble and wood scenic art techniques. He works extremely hard, and excels in all he commits to with grace and beauty. He is currently working with me on an independent study in advanced scenic art techniques, which will prepare him for professional work to come.”

The Theatre Arts Department’s record of success at the KCACTF regional and national festivals is indisputable.

In 2019, WCSU earned seven awards at the Region 1 Festival. Five were for “Uncle Vanya”: Distinguished Performance in a Play (three awards), Distinguished Achievement in Directing and Distinguished Achievement in Stage Management. Two were for “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” including recognition for Abigail Bueti, of Brewster, New York, a Region 1 Finalist for the Barbizon Award for Excellence in Design. Buetti was invited to attend the KCACTF National event in Washington, D.C., as a result of her award.

In 2018, WCSU captured 10 awards for “Evita,” including Distinguished Production of a Musical, Distinguished Director of a Musical, Distinguished Choreography, Distinguished Performance by an Actress in a Musical (five awards), and Distinguished Performance by an Actor in a Musical (two awards).

In 2017, “The Drowsy Chaperone” won 11 awards and an invitation for director Tim Howard and student Jillian Caillouette, of Meriden, to attend the national KCACTF event to accept awards.

The WCSU 2015 production, “Parade,” was nominated for 14 awards and won five at the 2016 KCACTF event.

 

 

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 Entrepreneur of the Year Award honors Bridgewater Chocolate

image of Erik Landegren and Andrew Blauner of Bridgewater Chocolate

Erik Landegren and Andrew Blauner of Bridgewater Chocolate

DANBURY, Conn. — Erik Landegren and Andrew Blauner of Bridgewater Chocolate are the recipients of WCSU’s 2020 Macricostas Entrepreneur of the Year Award. A breakfast celebration will be held at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, at the Ethan Allen Hotel, 21 Lake Ave. Extension, Danbury.

Founded in 1995, Landegren and Blauner have expanded Bridgewater Chocolate to multiple locations and established the company as a premier candy producer whose products are eagerly anticipated at every holiday and special occasion.

Landegren, a native of Sweden, moved to New York to open the Nordic-style restaurant called Aquavit. Later, he and his wife Patti moved to Bridgewater, Connecticut, where he managed the Bridgewater Village Store and started making chocolates. Blauner joined the operation in 1999 and runs the business side of the company.

Western Connecticut State University designates the Entrepreneur of the Year award annually to recognize local business leaders whose drive, intelligence and creativity lead to notable business success. The program’s benefactor is Constantine “Deno” Macricostas, the founder of Photronics Inc., in Brookfield, who is a longtime supporter of WCSU and its students.

Landegren and Blauner took different paths to Bridgewater Chocolate. Landegren has always worked with food. Blauner had a career in television, movie production and communication before joining Bridgewater Chocolate.

Today they operate out of a 25,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Brookfield. Now celebrating the company’s 25th anniversary, Bridgewater Chocolates sends its confections throughout the world, with the bulk of sales coming through mail-order and corporate sales. Retail outlets, including those in Brookfield, Bridgewater and West Hartford, comprise remaining sales.

One key to success is the personal attention each confection receives. Most employees have been with the company more than a decade. They mix the chocolate, hand-pack the gift boxes, and tie ribbon and bows on each. Even the candy bars are wrapped by hand.

 At the award breakfast, Landegren and Blauner will share their entrepreneurial journey and plans for the future of the company. For reservations please visit wcsu.edu/eoy.

For more information, 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.

 

 

WCSU nursing professor receives honor

image of Dr. MaryEllen Doherty

Dr. MaryEllen Doherty

DANBURY, CONN. — Western Connecticut State University Professor of Nursing Dr. Mary Ellen Doherty will be inducted as a Fellow in the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) this spring.

With years of clinical experience as a certified nurse-midwife, maternal-child clinical nurse specialist, family nurse practitioner, childbirth educator and expert witness for the legal system, as well as teaching engagements at Northeastern University and University of Massachusetts, Lowell, Doherty became a WCSU faculty member in 2008. She teaches a variety of courses in the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral curricula.

Dr. Joan Palladino, interim dean of the School of Professional Studies, reacted to Doherty’s induction.

“The WCSU Department of Nursing is proud and honored to have Dr. Doherty as a member of our faculty,” she said. “She is an outstanding professor, talented researcher and extraordinary nurse midwife whose research adds to the body of knowledge of our profession.”

An active researcher, Doherty’s first book, “Nurses in War: Voices from Iraq and Afghanistan,” co-authored with twin sister Dr. Elizabeth Scannell-Desch and based on three research studies, was released in 2012 by Springer Publishing Co. A follow-up book, “Nurses After War: The Reintegration Experience of Nurses Returning from Iraq and Afghanistan,” was released in 2016. Doherty also has research studies published in a wide variety of professional nursing journals.

According to their website, the ACNM “is the professional association that represents certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) and certified midwives (CMs) in the United States. ACNM sets the standard for excellence in midwifery education and practice in the United States and strengthens the capacity of midwives in developing countries.” The website elaborates on the fellowship, stating, “the Fellowship in the American College of Nurse-Midwives (FACNM) is an honor bestowed upon those midwives whose demonstrated leadership within ACNM, clinical excellence, outstanding scholarship and professional achievement have merited special recognition both within and outside of the midwifery profession.”

Doherty will be inducted at the 65th ACNM Annual Meeting and Exhibition, taking place May 29 through June 2, 2020, in Austin, Texas. “This honor means the world to me and I still can’t believe it,” she said. “I keep pinching myself that it is not a dream.”

For more information about WCSU’s nursing program, visit the Department of Nursing website at www.wcsu.edu/nursing. For more information about Doherty, visit her WCSU faculty page here.

 

 

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.

 

 

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information Sessions

To all members of the WCSU Community,

 

We will be hosting information sessions regarding the COVID-19 virus as follows:

 

Midtown campus:

When? March 4, 5, 6, 10 & 13 at noon

Where: Student Center Theater, Midtown campus

 

Westside campus:

When? March 9 at noon

Where? Campus Center Ballroom South, Westside campus

 

Free individual hand sanitizer will be handed out to all participants (while supplies last).

Please come and learn how we can all help to keep our community healthy and get more information on our university-wide preparations.

For the most current information, you can also visit our website at www.wcsu.edu/emergency-management.

 

Thank you,

Pano Koukopoulos, MA, CIT, CHMM, Director, Emergency Management

Nancy Haensch. MS, APRN, NP-C, Director, Health Service

 

 

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.

 

 

Coronavirus – Staying Healthy

Please be assured that we are closely monitoring the rapidly developing coronavirus situation. We are committed to helping the WCSU community stay healthy this spring. In addition to making sure you are maintaining a healthy diet, daily exercise and adequate sleep, these are important steps you can take to minimize the spread of illnesses.

Stay home if you are sick, but if you must leave home, avoid close contact with others. Practice social distancing, which is defined as staying six feet away from other individuals.

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing. Wash your hands after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.

Discard used tissues in a trash receptacle and wash hands.

Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. (If unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.)

Do not share food or drinks.

Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as desks, phones, doorknobs and water faucets.

Get a flu shot!

A flu clinic has been scheduled for next week in Health Services:  Tuesday, March 10, from 1 – 2:30 p.m.
Please come if you haven’t gotten the shot this flu season!

The symptoms of Influenza and COVID-19 may include fever, sore throat, cough, body aches or difficulty breathing.

If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical advice. It is important that you call before going to any medical office and report your symptoms.

Students: Call Health Services at (203) 837-8594 or your primary care provider.

Faculty/staff: Call your primary care provider or a local urgent care.

 

 

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.

 

 

Coronavirus information

To all members of the WCSU Community,

As you are likely aware, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and local public health agencies are monitoring the spread of COVID-19 – or the novel Coronavirus. While there have not yet been any identified cases in Connecticut, there have been single cases in New York, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. At this time, both the Connecticut State University and Colleges system and WCSU are monitoring the situation locally and setting in place protocols in the event of a local outbreak. Here are the first things that you should know.

Travel

As of last week, the CDC identified several categories of travel risk – levels 1, 2 and 3, with three being highest risk. To date, the following countries are at level 3: China, Iran, South Korea and Italy. As a result, we have cancelled all university-sponsored travel to these locations for students, faculty and staff. Our ISEP students in Italy are returning to their homes, with classes offered remotely from the host institution in Italy. Other ISEP students are remaining in their programs at this time.

Spring Break Travel

The BOR is preparing a statement on Spring Break travel.  Please watch for that announcement later today.

Here is the CDC website for more information on their travel precautions: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

Continuity of Services

In the event that we are faced with limited or extensive closures of our campus, we are preparing for remote operations wherever possible.

For all full- and part-time teaching faculty, we ask that you familiarize yourselves with your shell in Blackboard (all courses have one), so that you may switch to remote instruction if necessary. While this will not work for everything, it will work for many things. We can also make use of Web-Ex for live instruction where that is the most appropriate alternative. IT&I is preparing additional guidance to help with remote instruction. If you have questions now, please contact Rebecca Woodward or John DeRosa.

For other personnel, we are working to insure that wherever feasible, people will have remote access to the materials they need to work from home. Please be sure to review your daily routines to see that your materials are in the common drives and/or the One Drive. If you require access to other specialized databases, please let your supervisor know so that they can make the arrangements.

For students, please identify your options for connecting to campus electronically so you can stay informed about all university functions and complete your coursework. If you have no options, we ask that you communicate with your advisor so that they can help you assess the situation.

Health Precautions

At this time, the best guidance for avoiding COVID-19 is the same as any flu. This means:

  • Wash your hands on a regular basis. Use soap, scrub for at least 20 seconds and dry thoroughly.
  • Invest in a personal bottle of Purell or related products so you can use it whenever throughout the day, when handwashing is not feasible.
  • If you cough or sneeze, please cover your mouth with a tissue or your sleeve.
  • Consider alternatives to handshakes for now.
  • If you have a fever, or other flu-like symptoms, please stay home. However, for public health reasons, we do ask that you let us know if you develop flu-like symptoms.

Please be assured that we have a team working on all scenarios. They are in close contact with the System Office, the Connecticut Department of Public Health and the City of Danbury. We will continue to inform you of developments as they occur. For now, please take the precautions detailed above and prepare for any potential closures. We hope it does not come to that, but we do need to prepare accordingly.

Thank you for your attention to this message.

Missy Alexander, Ph.D., Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs

Keith Betts, Ed.D., Vice President for Student Affairs

 

 

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.

 

 

2020 Housatonic Book Awards now accepting submissions

DANBURY, CONN. – The 2020 Housatonic Book Awards, hosted by the Western Connecticut State University Master of Fine Arts in Creative and Professional Writing program, are now open for submissions. The contest seeks authors and poets to submit their work published in 2019.

Awards include a $1,000 honorarium with an additional $500 travel stipend in exchange for the opportunity to lead a one-day, three-hour writing workshop for M.F.A. in Creative and Professional Writing students. Winners also will give a public reading during students’ weeklong residency at WCSU.

Genres accepted include fiction, poetry, nonfiction (and all subgenres), middle grade and young adult literature. Winners for nonfiction, middle grade or young adult will appear at the M.F.A. program’s August residency. Winners in fiction and poetry will appear at the January residency.

The submission fee is $25. The application deadline is Sunday, June 14, 2020.

Contestants can review detailed submission guidelines online at the Housatonic Book Awards website: https://housatonicbookawards.wordpress.com/guidelines/.

Submit work online using the electronic submission portal: https://alumni.wcsu.edu/housatonic-book-awards.

Snail-mail submissions can be sent to: Housatonic Book Awards, WCSU Writing Dept., White Hall 314, 181 White St., Danbury, CT 06810.

A list of previous Housatonic Book Award winners can be found at https://housatonicbookawards.wordpress.com/winners/.

For more information, contact 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 to host free self-defense class on campus

DANBURY, CONN. — Western Connecticut State University, Jane Doe No More and East Coast Training Systems will host Escape Alive, a self-defense course designed for women and girls ages 12 and over. The four-hour course is from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 7, 2020, in the Campus Center Ballroom on the university’s Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury. This course is free and open to the public. Reservations are required and can be made at www.janedoenomore.org/registration or by calling (203) 729-0245.

Attendees will participate in an educational component as well as physical training. According to the website, participants will learn “awareness tips; escape strategies and kick, strike and blow techniques designed to disable assailants and enable escape.”

The March 7 event is open to any individual who identifies as female. Participants under the age of 18 must be signed in by a parent or guardian at the time of the event.

Jane Doe No More’s mission is to “empower survivors of sexual crimes to find their voice, advance their healing and educate others.” The nonprofit organization provides a variety of programs focused on survivors, prevention and community outreach.

East Coast Training Systems is a martial arts training school in Waterbury, specializing in American-Filipino Kun Tao. According to their website, in addition to the Escape Alive Survival Skills course in partnership with Jane Doe No More, they offer regular martial arts classes “for children and adults, personal fitness training and fitness classes.”

For more information on Jane Doe No More, visit www.janedoenomore.org. For more information on East Coast Training Systems, visit www.eastcoasttrainingsystems.net.

 

 

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.