Today: Jul 14, 2024

Trustees honor faculty, approve physics graduate degree funding

From left to right: John A. Doyle, Acting Chancellor Dr. Louise H. Feroe, Elliot Horch, Misty Ginicola,

Monica Szakacs, News Writer : 

The four campuses of the Connecticut State University System are sufficiently moving forward with achievements, said Louise Feroe, acting chancellor, during the CSUS Board of Trustees meeting held last Thursday at Southern. 

“We live in interesting times,” said Feroe. “The system is indeed moving forward and every university is involved with its community.” 

Feroe said the BOT has a duty to analyze the progress of each university and report on the assessments. She said to the 60 people in the audience that faculty and students will be recognized by the system. All 2020 projects are moving forward, according to Feroe. Selase Williams, Southern’s provost and vice president of academic affairs, sat in for Stanley Battle, interim president, while he was on his way back from appearing on NBC’s “Today Show” with Bill Cosby that morning. 

“We have gone through challenging times,” said Williams, “but the work has been outstanding.” 

Williams showed a slideshow of all of Southern’s recent accomplishments through research and studies, academic and community programs and achievements through thought provoking methods. 

During the meeting, the committee approved of Southern’s proposal of a Master of Science in Applied Physics Degree Program to be licensed and accredited from the Connecticut Board of Governors for Higher Education. 

Under the staff report of the BOT agenda, it states that the proposed program incorporates advancements into a Master of Science program that follows the Professional Science Masters (PSM) program model, combining education in science with practical focus through management, marketing and entrepreneurship components.

Another approved item that will benefit SCSU is the approval of the CSU-AAUP Faculty Research Grants, which is a widely supported program by both faculty and administration, according to the executive summary in the agenda. 

The program is considered a primary tool in promoting the advancement of research and creative works by faculty at all universities in the CSUS. Southern is expected to receive $253,016 and an extra $71,410 from local residual funds from previous years that are being added.

Honorary awards were given out to each campus’ nominated faculty for teaching and research. Southern assistant professor in the department of counseling and the School of Psychology, Misty Ginicola, won the university-level CSUS Trustees Teaching Award. Elliot Horch, associate professor of physics, won the university-level Norton Mezvinsky CSUS Trustees Research Award and the system-level Trustee Research Award.

Ginicola’s abilities, teaching and coaching, said Williams as he presented the award, have received departmental and university recognition culminating in the 2010 J. Philips Smith Outstanding Teaching Award, which is the highest teaching honor given at SCSU.

“She has an impressive set of credentials, having earned four degrees beyond her bachelor’s degree,” said Williams. “She is widely regarded in the Southern community as an exemplary junior faculty member for successful efforts to engage a broad range of students across the variety of disciplines.”

Horch recently developed a differential speckle survey instrument, according to Williams, which is a camera that is placed on large telescopes that enables astronomers to see images of distant stars with 20 times greater clarity.

“Elliot Horch is an innovator in a world of innovation. He is a modest and humble person, yet his achievements have not gone unnoticed,” said Williams as he introduced Horch. “In fact, his design and construction of the telescopic instrument led to his being selected as the platinum recipient of the 2009 Connecticut Quality Improvement Award (CQIA) Innovation Prize.”

When Horch was announced to receive the system-level award, he was surprised and thanked his Physics Department Chair Christine Broadbridge, and School of Arts and Science Dean DonnaJean Fredeen, for supporting his work and application. 

“I didn’t expect this at all, because of the excellence of the other candidates,” said Horch when he received the award.

Regarding all the hard work of each award recipient and the rest of the CSUS faculty, BOT member John Doyle said, “It is a continuum seamless package that makes us possible. It doesn’t happen by accident, it happens on purpose. We should all be proud.”

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