Faculty/Staff Achievements

Sandra G. Affenito, Ph.D., R.D., CD-N, dean of the School of Health and Natural Sciences and professor of Nutrition, is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and lead guest editor for a special issue of Journal of Obesity relating to the behavioral determinants of obesity. Recently, she co-authored and published a chapter, “Breakfast and Cereal Consumption — Components of a Healthful Lifestyle” in the Encyclopedia of Lifestyle Medicine and Health edited by James M. Rippe, MD. In March, Dr. Affenito received a certificate from the Higher Education Resource Services (HERS) Wellesley Institute for Women in Higher Education Administration, where she participated in a summit for women faculty and administrators.

Judy Arzt

Judy Arzt, Ph.D., associate professor, presented “New Thresholds: Writing and Communication in General Education” at the College Composition and Communication Conference in St. Louis, MO. She also served as a proposal program reviewer for the International Society for Technology in Education Conference.


Dennis Barone, Ph.D., professor of English and American Studies, published his 20th and 21st books: On the Bus: Selected Stories and Essays on Italian American Literature and Culture (co-edited with Peter Covino).  He hosted a reading for New Hungers for Old: One-Hundred Years of Italian-American Poetry at the Poetry Project at Saint Mark's in New York City and spoke at the Calandra Institute in New York for the beginning of the new book series from Bordighera Press entitled Saggistica.  Dr. Barone edited Garnet Poems', an Anthology of Connecticut Poems Since 1776, which was published by Wesleyan University Press. He spoke about the book at various locations including the Hill-Stead Museum, the West Hartford Library, the Fairfield Library, Wesleyan University, Hickory Stick Bookstore, and Connecticut College.

Cheryl Braxton, Ed.D., director of continuing education and community outreach, served on a seven-member NEASC site team to evaluate another institution.

Kevin J. Callahan

Kevin J. Callahan, Ph.D., associate professor of History, was elected as a board member of the Peace History Society.


Eric Chen, M.S.M., M.S.A.T., M.B.A., J.D., associate professor of Business Management, appeared in the following publications and media outlets: Advantages Magazine, eHow Money,, Intuit Turbo Tax, ADVANCE Healthcare, ADVANCE for Medical Laboratory Professionals, ADVANCE for Occupational Therapy Practitioners,, and WFSB TV.

Mary-Jane Eisen

Mary-Jane Eisen, Ed.D., assistant professor of Psychology, was named to the board of the Institute for Senior Living Education.


Irene Guttilla, Ph.D., assistant professor of Biology, published an article, “ERalpha, MicroRNAs, and the Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition in Breast Cancer” in the February issue of Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Catherine E. Hoyser

Catherine E. Hoyser, Ph.D., professor of English and director of Women’s Studies, presented “The Hidden Narrative of the Hawai`ian Missionary Legacy” at the New England Popular Culture Association meeting.  In April she presented “What's the Fuss? The Vagina Monologues Controversy — Not in Your Backyard” at the Central Connecticut State University Women’s Studies Program series. Dr. Hoyser also published a poem in The Paterson Literary Review, and was a featured reader at Hartford’s Wordforge Poetry Series in April.


Dorothy Keller, M’85, M.Ed., C’97, professor of Fine Arts, delivered the following presentations: “Greek and Roman Art,” “Egyptian Civilization from the Pre-Dynastic Period through the Ptolemaic,” and “Mid-Eastern Art and Assyria, Iran, and Lebanon in Context,” for USJ Honors students at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; “The Draped Warrior” at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art (which was taped for visitors); “Grandiose Dreams: The American West as Inspiration” at the New Britain Museum of American Art; “The Work of Emilio Sanchez” at the University’s Art Gallery; “Ashes to Alleluia: A Lenten Journey Using the Visual Arts” at Saint Mary’s Home; “The Art of Arab Lands: Turkey, Iran, Egypt, Southern Asia” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the University of Hartford Alumni Association. She traveled to Mexico to conduct research on the archeological findings in the Templo Mayor, Mexico City for a course on Latin American Art. This spring, two of Keller’s photos were exhibited at the Marlborough Art Association.

Janet G Knecht

Janet G Knecht, M.S.N., assistant professor of Nursing, presented a poster entitled “The Lived Experience of Women with Heart Failure” at Eastern Nursing Research Society, as well as at the National Nursing Research Symposium in Washington D.C.


Marie Kulesza

Marie G. Kulesza, CPA, assistant professor of Business Administration, published “Succession Planning Preferences and the Role of the CSCPA in Succession Planning” (with co-author Pam Weaver) in the January/February issue of Connecticut CPA. She was interviewed by Fox CT News/Channel 61 for the segment regarding young college graduates’ struggle in the down economy, and received the “Best Paper Award” at the Academy of Business Research Spring Conference for her paper,  Examining Incentive-Based State Tax Legislation in the Film Industry (co-authored with Cheryl Crespi and Paul Mihalek).


Kenneth J. Long, Ph.D., professor of Political Science, was Visiting Fulbright Professor of Political Science at Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria, March through June 2012. In April, he lectured on “Islamophobia and Juedeophobia in Europe and America during Eras of Economic Peril” at the Altenmarkt Fulbright Conference on American Studies.  He also delivered a series of Inter-Country Fulbright Lectures at Linnaeus University in Kalmar and Växjö, Sweden.

Kate Love, APRN, BC, Ph.D., AHN, assistant professor of Nursing, published “Using Theater of the Oppressed in Nursing Education: Rehearsing to be Change Agents” in Journal of Learning Through the Arts and presented on the Principles of Ecojustice in Baccalaureate Nursing Education” at the Eastern Nursing Research Society. She also volunteers at the Sustainable Farm School where she teaches about holistic and culture based nutrition.

Robert G. Madden, L.C.S.W., J.D., professor of Social Work, led a workshop entitled “Recognizing, Analyzing and Managing Ethical Dilemmas in Military & Veterans’ Social Work Practice Settings” for the Department of Defense and Veteran’s Administration at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The workshop was also broadcast on the department’s Video Teleconference System. He also presented “Social Work Documentation: Best Practices for Safe, Effective, and Ethical Practice,” at the annual conference of the National Association for Social Workers, Connecticut Chapter. Professor Madden and Susan L. Brooks published “Epistemology and Ethics in Relationship-Centered Legal Education and Practice” in the New York Law School Law Review.

Jule McCombes-Tolis

Jule McCombes-Tolis, Ph.D., associate professor of Special Education, serves on the International Dyslexia Association's Standards and Practices Committee. She also delivered a presentation entitled, “A Balanced Assessment: Where to Begin . . . When to Stop” at the organization’s annual Connecticut chapter conference. Additionally, Dr. McCombes-Tolis and Sheila Blachman developed a pro-bono diagnostic clinical to accompany SPEC 526: Educational Assessment. 


Justin McGlamery, coordinator of Adventure Education, delivered the keynote address at the Connecticut Department of Education's Physically Active Classroom Institute in February. He spoke on “The Power of PICOUP: People in Charge of Unlocking Potential” and presented a workshop on “Focus Your Locus,” based on a book of the same name which he co-authored with former USJ colleague, the late Mike Gessford. Other workshops presented include: “Focus Your Locus” at the 39th Annual Association for Experiential Education International Conference in Jacksonville, Fla. and at the Association for Challenge Course Technology International Conference in Boston, Mass.; “To Reflect and Serve: Experiential Activities and Reflective Practices to Boost Learning” at the 2012 CT Association for Private Special Education Facilities in Hartford, Conn; and a full-day “Focus Your Locus” workshop at the 2012 Association for Experiential Education Northeast Regional Conference in Woodstock, Conn.

Cristina Osbourne, development associate, won the employee scholarship for the medical interpreter’s course. A native of Romania, Cristina is also working on a bachelor’s degree in Accounting.

Karen Palmunen, Ph.D., associate professor of French and director of the First-Year Seminar Program, received the 2012 Outstanding First-Year Student Advocate Award presented by the National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition. She also published “Attracting and Retaining First-Year Seminar Faculty” in E-Source for College Transitions.

Madeline Perez, Ph.D., M.S.W., assistant professor of Social Work & Latino Community Practice, spoke on the topic of school choice and cultural capital at the Connecticut Women's Education and Legal Fund. Dr. Perez spoke to USJ students in the Sophomore Focus program, and presented the following workshops at the New York Collective of Radical Educators: “Achieving Equity, Diversity, and Transparency in School Assignment Plans and Admissions Policies” (presented with Ujju Aggarwal, Khin Mai Aung, and Damon Hewitt) and Dodging the Dumping Ground High School.” She also delivered a talk entitled “A Meditation on Method” at City University of New York. In April, Dr. Perez and USJ colleagues Nelly Rojas-Schwan, Ph.D., L.S.W., A.C.S.W., assistant professor of Social Work and coordinator of Latino Community Practices and Lorrie Greenhouse Gardella, J.D., M.S.W., A.C.S.W., professor of Social Work and associate dean of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies,, presented at the National Association of Social Workers-CT conference on “Latina/o Success, Mentorship, and Aspirations: Findings from a Working Group.”

Judith Perkins, Ph.D., professor emerita of Classics, received a fellowship at the Max Weber Center for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies in Erfurt, Germany, as part of the research group “Religious Individualization in a Historical Perspective.” Dr. Perkins also delivered papers at the annual meetings of the American Philological Society and the Society for Biblical Literatures.

Courtney RamosCotto ’11, coordinator of Annual Fund and Alumnae/i Relations, was one of two CASE summer scholars selected nationwide. She attended the 2011 CASE Conference at Dartmouth College.

Robert Smith

Robert Smith, Ph.D., director of The Carol Autorino Center for the Arts and Humanities, was elected president of the Consortium of Eastern Regional Theatres (ConsERT). The election took place during the spring meeting of ConsERT held at the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown, New Jersey. The Carol Autorino Center has been an active ConsERT member since opening its doors in 2001.


Wayne Steely, Ph.D., dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and professor of Spanish, published “Talk like an All-Star: Tracking and Teaching Authentic Use of Sports Jargon with the Corpus of Contemporary American English” in the International Conference Proceedings of the Asociación Nacional Universitaria de Profesores de Ingés.

Raymie H. Wayne, Ph.D., J.D., M.S.W., chair and associate professor of Social Work and Latino Community Practice, was elected president of the Connecticut Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. She published a book review, Using the Law, in Best Practices in Mental Health: An International Journal. She also published a chapter entitled, “Focus Groups” in Qualitative Research in Social Work (second edition) and served as a manuscript reviewer for Children and Youth Services Review. Dr. Wayne is also a cooperator for Connect Community Care in Bristol, Conn.

Dora E. Wiskirchen, Pharm.D., assistant professor of Pharmacy Practice, co-authored the following articles: “Improving Safe and Appropriate Use of Antibiotics” in Journal of the American Pharmacists Association (with  K.J. Suda and R. Advincula); and “In Vitro Pharmacodynamics of Vancomycin (VAN) and Cefazolin (CFZ) Alone and in Combination against Various Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)” in Antimicrob Agents Chemother (with M. Hagihara, J.L. Kuti, and D.P. Nicolau).

Mary Alice Wolf, Ed.D., professor emerita of Gerontology, published “The Older Adult in Education” in The Routledge International Handbook of Learning, edited by Peter Jarvis.

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