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Student Center Turns Fifty

By Jacqueline Stoughton

The Student Center celebrated its 50th birthday last Wednesday, a celebration that happened simultaneously during the annual club fair and is just the first of many anniversary celebrations to take place throughout the current academic school year.

Along with remarks from Dr. Richard Judd, the first student center director and Otis Mamed, the current director of the student center, both COLADA and DanCentral came together to perform the evolution of dance in honor of the Student Center’s anniversary.

“Today is the celebration of the Student Center building at CCSU. While the building has been here for 50 years, the idea of the Student Center has been around for much longer,” said Mamed.

“We talk about the Student Center as sort of being the extra curriculum and by that we mean the activities that go on in the Student Center integrate what happens in the classrooms and helps makes them come alive and make them work,” said Judd. “All the organizations actually implement a lot of ideas that your professors never say.”

Judd thanked all the nationally recognized interns for continuing to work on a degree while working with the students who come to the Student Center seeking assistance.

CCSU students danced along to various songs throughout history accompanied by their own famous dances from doing the Macarena to the Dougie. Following the performance, President Jack Miller, with giant scissors in hand cut the blue ribbon in honor of celebrating 50 years of the Student Center.

Waiters passed out cake to the tune of CCSU’s A Cappella group singing “happy birthday,” as students continue to explore all the clubs and organizations CCSU has to offer them.

“Rather than just having a speaking program we wanted to make sure students were showcased with dancing and singing performances,” said Maria Santilli, Director of Events. “Doing this simultaniously with the club fair was intentional to have that wow factor.”

This birthday celebration is only just the beginning. This is the kick off event to a yearlong celebration, explains Tiffany Simpson, Assistant Director of the Student Center. She says this is a wonderful event for students to be able to appreciate all that we do for them and the entire campus.

“This is an opportunity to network and a place to study, listen to the campus radio, read the newspaper and just hang out and have some fun,” said Simpson. “We are so honored that people came out and think of us; and with Dr. Judd here, it makes it that much more special.”

“All of this is for you to become apart of a teaching and learning community,” said Mamed.

Mamed explains how 60 percent of all college learning takes place outside the classroom. Much of that learning, says Mamed, is provided right here in the Student Center.

He says the Student Center has always been a place to learn about being a good citizen in this community, a place to meet the diversity of the world, to learn to work together, to resolve differences and to make changes.

The first event to take place following the last Wednesday’s ribbon cutting ceremony is the Alumni Pub Night in October. Details of this event and more throughout the year are still not final, but will be released soon.

“Students are at the center of out mission of teaching and learning,” said Mamed. “Today is not about the building. It’s about you, the students. We are celebrating you today.”


Scholarship Aims to Lift Disadvantaged Students to New Heights

by Ruth Bruno

The Computer Science, Mathematics and Physics (CSMP) scholarship program is making a difference in the lives of many CCSU Graduate students. By removing the financial burden of attending grad school, to providing them with additional benefits, the National Science Foundation (NSF) will be offering approximately 20-25 students up to $5,400 per year through this scholarship.

For CCSU student Melissa Mulcahy, deciding on a major was not a challenging decision. After being introduced to the world of computer science through a high school class, Mulcahy realized she would like to continue in her new-found area of study. “I immediately fell in love with programming. When I was applying to colleges, I did not doubt that I wanted to go into the Computer Science field.”

What was more difficult for Mulcahy, however, was finding the funds to alleviate the “financial burden” that would be placed upon her in the form of a college tuition. It was at this point in her life that the CSMP Scholarship Program stepped in to help. Mulcahy won the scholarship during her freshman year at CCSU.

The scholarship, whose program was established back in 2006, can be renewed upon review of the academic performance of scholars. The NSF says it’s main purpose is to “attract and retain academically talented and underrepresented students from low-income and disadvantaged families to achieve degrees in Computer Science, Mathematics and Physics.”

According to Dr. Stan Kurkovsky, program director and Chair of the Computer Science Department, the scholarship is given to students who can demonstrate high academic potential as well as a need for the funds.

“The hopes are that [the students] are going to continue, either being employed, or ideally attending graduate school in their respected disciplines,” said Kurkovsky.

Though Mulcahy was helped financially by the scholarship program, she says the benefits did not end there. Mulcahy attended several conferences in game development and research as well as computers in education with other members of the program.  She says that due to the program’s student-faculty relationship, she has been able to do two research projects with Kurkovsky.

“The program has opened me up to opportunities that I would never had had before,” says Mulcahy.  “If I had to pick the major benefit of the CSMP Program, it would be the experience it provided.”

Mulcahy plans to move on from CCSU to get a Masters degree in software engineering. She encourages other students to apply.

“The opportunities presented by the program should not be passed up,” she says, “Without the aid of this scholarship, I am not sure if I would be where I am.”

For some students, the scholarship program’s most helpful attribute was not monetary, or even tangible.

“It gave me a shot of confidence that someone had reviewed my information and thought that my future was worth supporting,” said Hannah Hocutt, who won the scholarship during her freshman year and applied it towards a degree in Physics.  “Physics appeals to me because it is so obvious in everyday life. It’s the study of the basic clockwork of the universe, and it is so, so beautiful in its simple elegance,” said Hocutt.

According to Dr. Ivan Gotchev, professor of mathematics and faculty member of the CSMP program, dedication to a CSMP discipline, as Hocutt has exemplified, is a main factor in deciding which students become part of the program, helping to assist the scholarship program in meeting its goals.

“Our program has been very successful,” said Gotchev.  “We have been able to help many minorities, female, and first-generation students in financial need to come to study at CCSU and to graduate within four years.”

Before I go….

By: Joe Suszczynski


I first came to Central in spring 2012, but before that during the winter break I discovered The Recorder office when getting my CCSU student ID. Coming from Tunxis Community College and writing for their newspaper I wanted to keep writing for the student newspaper. When went into the office I found then Editor-in-chief Nick Proch in the layout room on the computer. After introducing myself I began asking him about the paper and what I could expect if I joined it, which after being told what I could expect I immediately made the decision to join in the coming semester.


The Recorder was vastly differently from the paper at Tunxis ranging from how often a paper gets put out to the different sections in the newspaper. I essentially found myself a niche in the paper where I was the guy who reviewed movies, wrote opinions on various topics, and covered Student Government Association meetings. The funny thing about covering the SGA meetings when I was first starting out was that people in the meetings thought I was crazy because covering SGA meetings were deemed to be boring beyond all recognition and I wanted to cover them every week. But I just took in stride because I enjoy politics and this was something I could see firsthand and at times they were extremely boring.


Another new thing I had to learn how to do was to write a news story. I had taken a journalism course at Tunxis, but only had written so many news samples so it was still a challenging thing for me. Thankfully I had some major help from the news editor, Kassondra Granata; she showed me the proper way to set up a lead and how to gauge what information was most important when writing a story.


I’m also happy that I wrote for the Recorder because I met and befriended a lot people. I am not the most social person so I think if I hadn’t wrote for the newspaper I don’t think I would have too many friends at school. The office was like a second home to me, others especially, and I would have fun just chatting up with friends on the paper.


Plus writing for the newspaper also gave me something to do in my spare time. One of the many things I can do well is write so with the added encouragement of my father I started to write for the student newspaper at Tunxis and continued on at Central.


I find my time writing for the school newspaper to be rather ironic because journalism is something I do not wish to pursue career wise. I did consider the major at one point, but after weighing the pros and cons I decided against it rather pursing a major in history with a minor in political science. But I did learn new writing methods, forged some good friendships, was given certain opportunities that most people wouldn’t be normally given, and had fun doing everything most of all.


So before I’m done, I’d just like to say thank you for the opportunities given to me by this organization, thank you to everyone in it for being nice to me and helping me and to anyone who has read my articles for the past two years—it means a lot.


Fare thee well.

Surround Yourself With Good People

By: Brittany Hill

Working at The Recorder has been a lovely cocktail of chaos mixed with sheer camaraderie.

Before I joined, I never put emphasis on belonging to a club on campus. Little did I know how much it would assist in learning life lessons — not only in regarding my surroundings, but myself as well.

Just like any endeavor, you cannot expect too much. But even so, I am honored to say that, as Managing Editor, it was everything that I expected and more.

It could have very well been the hazy cognition that was our 2 AM layout nights (excuse me, the 3, 4 and 5 AM layout nights) or the fact that I acutely share the same humor with a couple other editors; working here seemed anything but work.

My Editor-in-Chief, Paige Brown, created an environment that encouraged laughter and light heartedness, even at the most stressful of times. And even after spending way too much time in our office, we still managed to hold an equally professional, honest and strangely silly relationship with each other.

It is what leadership is all about. If you cannot be completely open with your colleagues, then you are being unfair to both yourself and them.

As leaders, we each had to find our own way of disciplining writers that are merely a few years younger, while maintaining a friendly repertoire. But what made this possible was our ability to work together as a team.

If you are in charge of a group of people, you need to be able to communicate openly with your coworkers. If you are not on the same page, nothing will work.

Luckily for The Recorder, Paige and I were able to comfortably critique each other’s ideas and faults. In the same breath, we confidently could acknowledge each other’s contributions and talk an idea out; an idea that would equally be hers as it was mine.

But what it really comes down to is how you handle yourself.

Without confidence and strength, one cannot maintain a position of power while considering people’s feelings. It’s important to realize that, as a member of an organization, you need to know yourself best. Know yourself before someone else tries to.

It is not easy to take the mold of a position if you have not your own spine. This experience really made me realize how confident I am in my own self; simply put, it kept me in check.

I learned to reprimand people for not performing their job in an effective and constructive way. Nevertheless, my go-to is always humor. I realized how comfortable people became when everyone could just laugh a little.

For an entire semester, I surrounded myself with people that would listen to me vent, who could make me laugh hysterically and who made me feel so confident with who I am.

The office became an environment in which my mood, personality and silly humor could manifest itself. Although I may not be the strongest writer or reporter, I helped create an environment in which people could feel comfortable being themselves.

And when you can be yourself, you can do your best. I have shown nothing but my true self this past semester and have encouraged the staff to do the same; as their hard work shows, it pays off.

If nothing else has resonated these past few years, one thing certainly has: if you want to be happy, surround yourself with good people. Stay healthy, stay happy.

Your Phone, A New Home?

By the time that this newspaper goes to print on Wednesday, the Supreme Court will have made a decision about whether or not law enforcement officers may search the mobile phone of a person that they were placing under arrest.

The Supreme Court will make the decision about the fourth amendment off the basis of two court cases. The first relates to a man in Massachusetts, who was arrested for dealing drugs. After the authorities went through his phone, they found a number that he called and tracked down the address. At this address, the police found more illegal substances and a firearm.

The second case involves a Californian man who was pulled over for driving with an expired license. The police then found guns in his car and searched his smart phone. Using the evidence found on his phone, prosecutors were able to convict him of attempted murder.

Both of these cases relate to the fourth amendment, which prevents the unreasonable search and seizure of a person’s property. Under this amendment, police are required to have probable cause and obtain a warrant from a judge to search a person’s property. The only property that the police are allowed to search in the event of an arrest is the arrestee themselves and the immediate area within arms reach of the arrestee, if they are unsecured.

The fourth amendment was critical to those who created the amendments to protect the rights of United States citizens. The foundation of this country was based off of preventing the civil rights abuses inflicted upon early Americans by the British. The purpose of the amendment was to prevent the government from being able to pry too deeply in the private lives of citizens. The continuation of this search policy will be exactly what the framers of the constitution feared.

The cell phone appears to be included as on the person rather than other personal property that requires a warrant to search. The two appeals on this case will determine whether or not this practice will continue to be acceptable. A mobile phone is currently treated more like a wallet or a purse than the personal, miniature computer that it is.

This should not be the case. This Supreme Court decision is critical to preventing a downwards slide towards a lack of digital privacy. A mobile phone is a view into a person’s entire life. From it, authorities can find out more than from a wallet. At this point, most cell phones have more personal information on them than some computers do.

Technological advancements have thrown lawmakers for a loop. Every day, laws are becoming further and further away from being applicable.

Think about the information that one holds on his or her phone. Addresses, credit card information, insurance, their latest phone log, etc. None of this was available to the average police officer or authority figure without a warrant. But now with the tap of a screen or the click of a button, all of this information may be obtainable by a simple body search.

We must equate one’s phone lock with the lock on their home. There is a reason the lock is there and it should be respected in the same manner. Only those who own the key, or key code, can unlock it. Whether its a home, or a phone.