Monthly Archives: May 2014

Jenette Davis: Commencement 2014 Student Speaker

Human Services student Jenette Davis has been chosen as one of two student speakers for Goodwin College’s 2014 Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, June 7. She shares the stage with valedictorian Rebecca Whiting.

New ImageDavis’ drive, commitment, and involvement in the life of the College were among the many reasons she was selected to address the audience of students, faculty, trustees, family, and friends. Often seen giving advice, interacting with others, and sharing the wisdom of her experiences, Davis is well respected and appreciated by everyone in the Goodwin community.

“I was excited, surprised, overwhelmed, and very proud that I was asked to speak at Commencement,” Davis said.

Not only is Davis is a student, she is the wife of a pastor, mother of six (including her son, Shane, a current Goodwin student), grandmother of eight, foster mother of six, CREW member, and desk assistant at Goodwin’s Academic Success Center and Math Lab.

Enrolling in Goodwin’s Human Services program has enabled her to pursue her true passion: helping others. She plans to use her degree to enhance the work of the church, and she endeavors to be of service to young, single mothers. “I want them to know they can do whatever it is they desire, and education is a key part of that,” Davis stated.

Commencement 2014 will truly be a family affair for Davis. Her son, Shane, will be singing the national anthem at the beginning of the ceremony. “I’m delighted and proud of my son. It means so much that he’s singing on the day that I’m graduating,” she noted.

Davis is already continuing her education at Goodwin even before Commencement. She enrolled in the bachelor’s program and has begun classes.

Davis wishes her fellow graduates luck. “To everyone: a job well done. Continue to follow your dreams, no matter the circumstance.”

By: Hannah Stacy

Teara Aris: Dual Enrollment Pays Off for CTRA/Goodwin Student

Teara Aris, a Connecticut River Academy (CTRA) graduate and current Goodwin College student, was one of the College’s first dual enrollment scholars. The dual enrollment program was created to provide high school students with the opportunity to take college courses for credit and to ease the transition to their next level of learning.

Tyrone Black, Concurrent Enrollment Coordinator, explained the benefits of the program. “The early college program at Goodwin College offers meaningful learning opportunities for students beyond their high school experience. Students who take full advantage of this program and its resources are more likely to build the academic and social skills necessary to be ready for college and careers.”

Aris came to CTRA as a sophomore and took college courses during her junior and senior years. “It was nice to have all of the pre-requisites out of the way like English, math, and biology before actually being enrolled in college.”New Image

In 2013, she was a member of CTRA’s first graduating class and felt well prepared for the next step. “The Goodwin teachers expected us to be college students even though we were still in high school. I worked harder and because of this I was very independent coming into college.”

She decided to enroll in Goodwin’s Health Science program the following fall. “My little cousin has sickle cell anemia,” she said, “and he really was my inspiration to go into health care.” In the future, Aris hopes to use her education to help patients like her cousin. “Watching him go in and out of the hospital is hurtful. I want to work with patients just like him. I want to work hard and to be useful.”

Throughout her high school experience, Aris noted, one instructor really helped her along the way: CTRA English teacher JT Foster. “I was behind in English, but Mr. Foster was so helpful and patient with me. He taught me how to read and write more efficiently and explained things in a way I understood.”

Foster had equally kind words about Aris’ work ethic and drive. “From the start, Teara was a student who let nothing get in the way of her academic success. She had some setbacks, but persisted, and with a good sense of humor, she took risks that in the end put her ahead of many of her peers. She is an inspiration.”

As a Goodwin student, Aris is a now part of the WISE (Women Invested in Securing an Education) program, which supports the academic and personal success of women from disadvantaged backgrounds. “WISE helped me socialize and meet new people. I appreciate all the advice I get from the leaders and mentors of the program.”

Aris is realizing great satisfaction from her experience at Goodwin College. She will graduate with an associate degree in Health Science in May 2015, plans to continue on to receive her bachelor’s degree in Nursing, and hopes to work in the areas of hematology and oncology.

By: Hannah Stacy

Goodwin College to Present Steve Forbes in Vital Voices: The T. Boone Pickens Endowed Lecture Series in Education, Innovation and Entrepreneurship

On Thursday, June 12, Goodwin College welcomes Steve Forbes, former presidential candidate and editor-in-chief of Forbes Magazine, to Vital Voices: The T. Boone Pickens Endowed Lecture Series in Education, Innovation and Entrepreneurship.This innovative speaker series focuses on first-hand perspectives of leaders who are making their mark in the business community and the world.

The event, hosted by Goodwin College in partnership with the Connecticut Forum and RJ Julia Booksellers, begins at 6:30 p.m. in the College’s auditorium. Forbes will share insights from his new book Money: How the Destruction of the Dollar Threatens the Global Economy — and What We Can Do About It.

Tickets for the event are $25 per person and include a copy of Forbes’ new book, a wine and cheese reception, and book signing following the talk.

To purchase tickets, please call 860-509-0909 or visit the Connecticut Forum’s website at:

With a circulation of more than 900,000, Forbes’ flagship publication, Forbes, is the nation’s leading business magazine. In 1996, Forbes entered the new media arena with the launch of Now averaging 47 million unique monthly visitors, it has become a leading destination site for senior business decision-makers and investors.

Under Forbes’ leadership, the company has launched a variety of new publications and businesses, which include ForbesLife, the dedicated luxury lifestyle and culture magazine; Forbes Europe; Forbes Asia; and Forbes licensee editions published in over 30 countries.

In 1985, President Reagan named Forbes chairman of the bi-partisan Board for International Broadcasting, where he oversaw the operations of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty. He was reappointed to his post by President George H. W. Bush and served until 1993.

Forbes serves on the boards of The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, The Heritage Foundation, and The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. He is also on the Board of Overseers of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the Board of Visitors for the School of Public Policy of Pepperdine University.

The event will take place at Goodwin College, One Riverside Drive, East Hartford, CT 06118.

By: Hannah Stacy

CTRA Celebrates Earth Day

What better place to celebrate Earth Day than at our own Connecticut River Academy! Following is a write-up from CTRA student reporter Lydia Griffin.

On Friday, April 25, the Connecticut River Academy held its second annual Earth Day celebration. CTRA students were given the opportunity to experience several environmentally themed events, such as a career fair, planting, riverside cleanup, and a buffet filled with fresh ingredients. The goal of the day’s events, in the words of main coordinator Ms. Saulis, was to “empower students to make informed decisions about…[their] health, nature, and quality of life.” With this celebration of Earth Day, CTRA aimed to make students more aware of the choices they can make to improve themselves and their environment.

To that end, the Connecticut River Academy invited many organizations to take part in its first “career fair.” Over a dozen local organizations were given booths, which lined CTRA’s second floor hallway. Students were given the opportunity to learn about organically grown, sustainable food sources from the CEO of FreshFarm, the importance of maintaining the delicate ecosystem of Connecticut River by a River Steward, and the growing advantage to using environmentally friendly building techniques by a spokeswoman for Living Green. The town of Portland’s geographical survey taught students that acknowledging the environment was key to public safety, while East Hartford’s Public Health Department informed students about the negative effects of polluted drinking water that the Public Health Department protects citizens from. Goodwin College’s own environmental department was also present at the career fair, reminding students that environmental studies are not simply theoretical and that students could very well make a career out of protecting the environment, if they so chose.

Outside, students could involve themselves in activities like planting new trees or cleaning up the litter surrounding the nearby riverbank. With the help of teachers Ms. Morales and Ms. Pereira, as well as Dan Connelly — an environmental science intern from the University of Connecticut — students planted the Connecticut River Academy’s first annual Earth Day tree, a beautiful sugar maple. CTRA senior Sonsherae Owens coordinated the creation of vertical gardens out of palettes. She’d been instructed in the planting technique during her time in the Summer of Solutions program; she did a wonderful job sharing her knowledge with fellow students. Students were also able to take part in a riverside cleanup, which was overseen by Mr. Metler. By the end of the day, CTRA students had managed to remove a large pile of trash from the riverbanks. Both activities helped students not only get in touch with their surroundings, but also improve the environment around their school. Other activities included an environmentally themed scavenger hunt, led by Ms. Keeney and Ms. Minor, and a set of games coordinated by Ms. Haggerty.

Finally, after taking part in the career fair and outdoor activities, students could travel to the cafeteria, where a buffet of fresh, non-processed food could be sampled. Students from CTRA’s Food Systems class were involved in the creation of this buffet from beginning to end; they chose which meals would be served and helped Mr. Kilgus with the creation of the meals. While waiting for their food, students had the chance to transform regular river rocks into pieces of art using paint and decorate a banner using paint-covered vegetables. Both of these activities allowed students to take everyday items from nature and use them to create beautiful works of art.

Reception of the celebration was overall positive; the combination of activities and food managed to hold the interest of even students who had no previous interest in environmental subjects. For example, Ray Mitchell, a freshman at Connecticut River Academy, “found the water [sanitation] booth interesting” and “had fun” during the festivities. Although she is not interested in pursuing an environmental major at this time, Ray — like many students at CTRA — nonetheless found the Earth Day celebration to be engaging as well as educational. This Earth Day, students at the Connecticut River Academy learned more about their community, improved their surroundings, and had fun while doing it.