This is a public blog featuring the accomplishments of members of Theta Epsilon Omega Chapter.  The content on this page is read-only.  

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  • 29 Jan 2022 1:35 PM | Anonymous

    Executive celebrated for nurturing next generation of leaders

    Elicia Pegues Spearman has always been up for a challenge — and compelled to help the next person. 

    Since she was a little girl growing up in Hamden, less than a mile from Quinnipiac’s Mount Carmel Campus, she never settled for the status quo. Instead, she always pushed herself to achieve more while holding the door for those who came after her. 

    But just as she was set to begin her role as vice president of human resources and general counsel at Quinnipiac in April 2020, the global pandemic slammed many doors for people throughout the world.

    But Spearman rose to the challenge as she did countless times before by diligently working to ensure the members of the Quinnipiac community felt secure and supported with all the resources they needed.

    “Both in law and HR, you are generally reactive, but the best part of my dual role is that I so often get to be proactive,” said Spearman, who was recognized as one of Savoy Magazine’s Most Influential Black Lawyers. “When I see certain problems, I am able to implement policies and procedures to prevent them from coming up again.” 

    It’s all part of learning to be a better person and creating more opportunities for those around her, she said.

    “I believe in being a lifelong learner no matter what position you are in,” she said. “I believe in building partnerships and relationships to help people succeed.”

    It’s why she was drawn to working in higher education, with the prospect of mentoring the generations that followed her using the tools and resources needed to succeed, and the knowledge she gained through her hard work and perseverance. 

    Spearman has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to creating an environment where employees are excited to see members of the HR and general counsel teams, which is not always the case for her colleagues at other companies and universities.

    “I strive to help members of our university community — all faculty, staff and students — to reach the next level,” she said. “Working together creates a better environment for everyone.”

    Change is constant, she said — but it’s also something everyone must overcome. She has created a reputation as an agent of positive change and a resource for navigating uncharted waters.

    “You have to communicate why — the vision and how you are going to get there,” Spearman said. “You have to be agile to tweak your plan as you need to. You need to have strategic vision, and to shoot for the stars. Who wants to shoot for the trees? Shoot for the stars and have a plan and a process for strategic growth.”

    Noting that she started her journey at Quinnipiac from home with her computer mailed to her, she worked with her team to develop innovative techniques to make the university community feel connected and valued despite the physical distance — such as virtual cultural and heritage celebrations, flexible Fridays, and opportunities for members of the university community to get to know each other.

    It all went back to her roots. Years earlier, when she was a young girl growing up steps from the university she now helps lead, Spearman was the captain of both her track team and cheerleading squad. There, she laid the groundwork for a commitment to going the distance to support those around her — a reputation she is celebrated for today.

    “You have to acknowledge people’s worth, acknowledge people’s fears — while acknowledging your own fears,” she said. “I definitely believe in the old adage that nothing beats a failure but a try. If you don’t try, after all, you will fail.”

    For her lifetime of work, she was awarded the prestigious Savoy Magazine’s 2019 Most Influential Women in Corporate America; and this year she is featured in their Law and Social Justice 2022 Edition as one of the Most Influential Black Lawyers.

    “I know many of the wonderful people who are being honored,” she said. “To be honored among these incredible men and women is really humbling and a great feeling."

    She attributes her success at Quinnipiac to President Judy Olian's unwavering support and desire to hear and understand different perspectives.

    “She allowed me to be my true self,” she said. “My diversity of thought and opinion is valued and welcomed. We may not always agree, but she’s always open to hear my perspective."

    Spearman continues to nurture and help provide opportunities to young people — both at Quinnipiac as well as through the various community service and church organizations she dedicates her time to supporting.

    “I tell them to dream big and not be afraid to reach out and ask someone for help,” Spearman said. “Don’t give up. Have a plan. Work your plan. Most people are willing to help. All you have to do is ask.”

    She said helping others often starts with a smile and a warm gesture.

    “People often underestimate the power of an encouraging word,” she said. “Someone can have self-doubt, but an encouraging word can really help that person to excel and thrive.”

  • 26 Jan 2022 1:29 PM | Anonymous

    Biden nominates associate state Attorney General Vanessa Avery as Connecticut’s first Black female U.S. attorney



    JAN 26, 2022 AT 9:10 AM

    President Joe Biden has nominated Vanessa Avery of the state attorney general's office to be the next U.S. Attorney for the state of Connecticut.

    President Joe Biden has nominated Vanessa Avery of the state attorney general's office to be the next U.S. Attorney for the state of Connecticut. (Mark Mirko/The Hartford Courant)

    President Joe Biden has nominated associate state Attorney General Vanessa Avery to be Connecticut’s next U.S. attorney, the state’s top federal law enforcement officer.

    If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Avery, an associate state attorney general, will be the first African American woman to serve as U.S. attorney in Connecticut.

    Avery would replace former U.S. Attorney John Durham, who left office following Biden’s election, and Leonard Boyle, who has held the office since on an interim basis.

    Avery was one of six U.S. attorney nominees announced by the White House early Wednesday.

    “These individuals were chosen for their devotion to enforcing the law, their professionalism, their experience and credentials in this field, their dedication to pursuing equal justice for all, and their commitment to the independence of the Department of Justice,” the White House said in a statement.

    Avery has been chief of the Division of Enforcement and Public Protection at the Connecticut Attorney General’s Office since 2021, and an associate attorney general in that office since 2019.

    She was an assistant U.S. attorney in the office’s civil division from 2014 to 2019.

    From 2006 to 2014, Avery was a litigation attorney at the Hartford law firm McCarter & English.

    She received a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 1999 and an undergraduate degree from Yale University in 1996.

    Avery’s current boss, Attorney General William Tong, praised the nomination

    “She is universally respected by every colleague she has worked with and has deep connections across the Connecticut legal community,” Tong said. “In our work together, Vanessa always leads with integrity and a strong commitment to justice, and she insists on accountability and respect for the rule of law.”

    “I will miss her leadership and guidance here in the Office of the Attorney General, but am so proud of this achievement and look forward to working closely with her in this new well-deserved role should she be confirmed,” Tong said.

    Gov. Ned Lamont joined Tong in applauding Avery’s nomination. “It’s a really good choice — I talked with the senators about it and they’re very enthusiastic,” Lamont said Wednesday morning in New Britain. “I think it’s a good thing for Connecticut.”

    Tong said Avery grew up in New Haven and is “a proud graduate of the New Haven Public Schools.”

    “Vanessa earned her law degree at the Georgetown University Law Center, after completing her undergraduate studies at Yale University,” he noted.

    U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., who also noted Avery’s Connecticut roots, said she “has dedicated her career to advancing fairness and equity in the judicial system.”

    “I was proud to recommend her nomination to the Biden administration. Her vast legal experience and deep commitment to justice for all will prepare her well to serve in this new role leading the District of Connecticut as United States Attorney. I look forward to her confirmation in the Senate,” Murphy said in an email.

    From 2004 to 2005, Avery served as a trial attorney at the U.S, Department of Justice in the Commercial Litigation Branch of the Civil Division, according to the White House.

    U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, also D-Conn. pointing out that he has “held this job myself,” added, “I’m particularly proud of this nomination.” 

    “Vanessa Avery is a proven prosecutor – tough and fair – who has deep roots in her community and a lifetime of service. A champion and fighter for Connecticut’s people with broad trial experience and solid, good judgement, she’ll follow the facts and law to deter and punish wrongdoers and fight discrimination,” Blumenthal said. “I’m proud to have recommended her nomination to the White House with Senator Murphy and I look forward to advocating for her confirmation in the Senate Judiciary Committee, where I anticipate strong bipartisan support.”


  • 10 Mar 2021 10:43 AM | Anonymous

    Moy Ogilvie is managing partner in the Hartford office of national law firm McCarter & English.

    She represents one of the few Black women managing partners in Connecticut and the country and is a leader inside and outside her firm.

    Ogilvie was appointed by Gov. Ned Lamont to serve on the Connecticut Criminal Justice Commission and she also sits on the board of directors for the Connecticut Bar Foundation, Lawyers Collaborative for Diversity and Hartford Youth Scholars.

    In 2017, Moy was appointed McCarter & English’s Diversity & Inclusion Partner, where she coordinates and implements the firm’s initiatives designed to enhance the recruitment, development, promotion and retention of women and diverse attorneys.

    The firm also recently launched its McCarter & English Social Justice Project, which Ogilvie co-chairs. The initiative combines McCarter’s diversity and inclusion and pro bono practice areas to take on cases that combat the impact of racial injustice in local communities.

    Moy’s areas of legal practice include product liability, toxic tort and pharmaceutical matters.


  • 27 Nov 2020 12:08 PM | Anonymous

    Early in her career, Deborah Dyett Desir, MD, assistant professor of clinical medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn., planned to go into infectious disease. With the support of a dedicated mentor, she shifted her sights to rheumatology and hasn’t looked back. After serving in several leadership roles in the ACR and other medical organizations throughout her career, she has now joined the ACR’s Executive Committee as its new secretary. Here, Dr. Desir talks about her experiences in both academic medicine and private practice, her goals for the ACR and her passions for rheumatology and advocacy.

    The Rheumatologist (TR): What does the ACR secretary do, and why were you interested in the position?

    Dr. Desir: I love rheumatology and I am very interested in seeing the specialty thrive. When rheumatology thrives, our patients thrive.

    The secretary is an officer of the ACR and the Rheumatology Research Foundation. In my role, I will keep minutes of all meetings of the ACR and Foundation board of directors and executive committees. I’ll also chair the Committee on Corporate Relations.

    Joining the Executive Committee is a four-year commitment: the first two years [are spent] as either secretary or treasurer. That’s followed by a year as president-elect and a year as president.

    TR: What do you bring to the table?

    Dr. Desir: I have been a volunteer with the ACR for more than a decade. I have been on the Board of Directors, Government Affairs Committee, the Committee on Rheumatologic Care and the Finance Committee, and I served as the alternate advisor to the AMA Relative Value Scale Update Committee. I also have experience at other levels of organized medicine. I am the immediate past president of my county medical association, and I am currently on the council and finance committee of the state medical society of Connecticut.

    I have insight into the demands of private practice in addition to those of academic medicine. Prior to joining the faculty at Yale Medical School, I was in private practice for close to 33 years. I started a solo practice in 1993 and built it into a large practice with two satellite offices.

    I am passionate about advocacy. Rheumatologists must advocate for our patients, keeping our elected officials and their staff members informed about issues that affect our patients, workforce, practices and academic institutions.

    TR: What are your goals for your tenure on the Executive Committee?

    Dr. Desir: A very important issue to me is the workforce problem in rheumatology. Finding innovative ways to address this is paramount. Another issue is patient access to care. The ever-escalating impediments to rheumatologists providing adequate care for their patients must be addressed.

    TR: Why did you feel now was a good time to make this commitment?

    Dr. Desir: Let’s just say that the stars are aligned.

    TR: How did you choose rheumatology as a specialty?

    Dr. Desir: When I was in medical school, my honors thesis was on activation of white blood cells. Steve Malawista, MD, who was then section chief of rheumatology at Yale, came to Student Research Day and heard my presentation.

    Although my original plan had been to go into infectious disease to continue my research, I realized that I enjoyed clinical rheumatology more than clinical infectious disease. It was a different time back then and there was no fellows match. When I told Dr. Malawista that I was interested in rheumatology, he remembered my thesis presentation and offered me a fellowship in rheumatology. Dr. Malawista was my mentor and was a past president of the ACR. He is no longer with us, but I think he would be very happy that I am following in his footsteps.

    TR: What do you [do] off the job?

    Dr. Desir: My husband, Gary Desir, MD, and I love to spend time with family. I have four adult children: one advertising executive, one family medicine physician, one public defense attorney and one medical student. I have two of the most delightful grandchildren ever—I love to walk around Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., grandchildren in tow.

    I am an avid gardener. I love reading. And I do as much community service as time allows. As the quote says, “Service to others is the rent that you pay for your room here on Earth.”


  • 25 Nov 2020 12:40 AM | Anonymous

    On November 22, 2020, Dr. Khalilah L. Brown-Dean, tenured Associate Professor of Political Science at Quinnipiac University and author of Identity Politics in the United States, appeared on the AM Joy Show on MSBC

  • 16 Sep 2019 10:20 PM | Anonymous

    Jeffie Frazier Way Unveiled

    by ALLAN APPEL | Published in The New Haven Independent on September 16, 2019

    Allan Appel Photo


    With retired Sgt. Shafiq Abdusabbur at the unveiling.

    A lot of high school kids have to perform community service in order to graduate.

    Now a legendary teacher, principal, and parent mentor proposes that parents of every kid in the New Haven Public Schools also be required to render volunteer service in their kids’ schools, the better to know what’s going on and to be their child’s advocate.

    That potential plan of action emerged Saturday as the retired longtime principal of the Wexler-Grant School, Jeffie Frazier, stood among 50 admirers to see the unveiling of the corner sign “Jeffie Frazier Way.”

    The sign was created in her honor at Foote Street at the entry driveway to the school that Frazier led.

    “You made sure that parents everywhere took part in the education of children,” said Dixwell Alder Jeanette Morrison, who helped organize the event, along with Frazier’s sisters in the New Haven chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.

    The Dixwell community’s efforts to honor one of its significant elders began back in October with the gathering of hundreds of signatures—250 are required, with 166 coming from immediate neighbors. Money was also raised to pay for the sign, and approval granted by the Board of Alders in June.

    At the ceremony Morrison and other speakers hailed Frazier’s pioneering efforts to involve parents, especially dads, through mentoring programs in the lives of their children at school.

    “It’s not just the teachers and principals,” Morrison said. “You made sure education is outside the four walls of the school, and in the home, and the community.”

    With Dixwell Alder Jeannette Morrison.

    Morrison credited Frazier, a Louisiana native who migrated to the Elm City and started teaching in the public schools in 1966, with being critical to the development of her own son, now studying to be a social worker.

    Frazier became principal of the Helene W. Grant School on Goffe Street and later the combined Wexler-Grant.

    Since retirement in 2008, Frazier has continued donating her time to the community and is well known for working with kids and families and corralling volunteers, especially men, to help out at Wexler-Grant and other schools.

    Other speakers hailed Frazier’s other contributions while helming Wexler-Grant. Those contributions include developing a policy to create dress codes that eliminate causes for jealousy and friction among children; taking groups of Wexler-Grant kids on trips to Senegal in Africa to see historical sites of the slave trade and other significant places ; and maintaining an open-door policy for parents, inviting them into the principal’s office and into the school in a welcoming way, no appointment necessary.

    With her pastor, Philippe Andal.

    Many of those approaches are now widespread in the schools. Frazier was credited with pioneering them, along with unswervingly high expectations for and a fierce dedication to her students.

    “If you don’t want to teach my kids,”  one younger colleague of Frazier’s recalled an encounter overheard, “I’ll give you a recommendation, but you have to leave my school.”

    James Harriott, a student at the Helene W. Grant School when Frazier was principal there, recalled that he had written a poem as part of a class assignment. Decades later he couldn’t remember much of it although it did contain the verse “Life is game and you’re holding the dice/ Don’t be a fool and take my advice.”

    With fellow sorors Shenae Draughn and Khalilah Brown-Dean.

    His words caught Frazier’s attention. She brought Harriott into her office and singled him out for praise. Subsequently he won an award for the writing.

    “She knew every child’s name,” he recalled.

    Following the pulling of the cord and the falling away of the pink banner to reveal the corner sign, Frazier received a bouquet of flowers. Then in her remarks she did not miss an opportunity to continue to emphasize that the education of children takes place, importantly, also outside the walls of the school, and involves bringing the parents and the community within.

    “As citizens,” she said, “and I’m a citizen, not a senior citizen, it’s our job to get the community back into education. Let’s get these men to line up and to greet these students when they come to school. You don’t need a degree; you just need to stand tall. Our kids don’t know what’s right. You do. You need to show them. Get them a library card. Read with them. Sit at the computer with them.”

    With grandsons Wesley and Wilbert Frazier.

    Frazier said all schools in New Haven should be so good that families clamor to get into them.

    “You’re not too good to wash tables in the lunch room, to stand with a kid who’s acting up, and take them, with the principal’s permission, to their parents. It’s about helping each other,” Frazier concluded.

    One of the organizers of the event and a sorority sister of Frazier, Quinnipiac University political scientist Khalilah Brown-Dean, called her an educational stalwart, whose formal sign now in front of Wexler-Grant will be “a reminder of this community and the power of working together.”

  • 19 Oct 2018 2:07 PM | Anonymous

    Referrals rise, shortage remains for speech-language pathologists in Connecticut

    By Brian Zahn Updated 10:15 am EDT, Monday, October 15, 2018

    NEW HAVEN — As schools become better at detecting signs of communication disorders, diagnoses and referrals are on the rise while the licensed speech-language pathologists who serve them are in demand across the country.

    “We actually diagnose and treat communicative disorders and that’s any person that might have difficulty in the areas of articulation, fluency, voice or language,” said Glynis King-Harrell, supervisor of speech and language services in the New Haven public schools. “Speech is a basic entitlement that we take for granted because it comes easily for most of us.”


    Officials in New Haven Public Schools said during a budget review that contractor costs have increased as the district looks to fill vacancies in shortage areas such as speech-language pathologists.

    “New Haven Public Schools has been proactive in its recruitment efforts and partnerships as it seeks to recruit, retain and hire talent. The District has also leveraged support through contractors, consultants, university and community based partners to fulfill staffing needs in shortage areas,” said Superintendent of Schools Carol Birks in a statement. “With respect to meeting the individualized educational plans of our students who have been identified as in need of Speech and Language Services, New Haven Public Schools has supplemented staff with contractors and other support services.”

    Filling positions

    King-Harrell said building and caseload assignments are made logistically.

    “There’s not a lot of time to travel from Point A to Point B, and we also keep data on what the identified numbers are per building and try to come up with a reasonable caseload for each person,” she said.

    Speech-language pathologists in the city’s schools say that, of approximately 25 full- and part-time speech-language pathologists, about a third are contractors, and the number of students in the city who receive referrals fluctuates between about 1,500 to 2,000 students annually.

    “The level of dedication required, especially in urban districts, is monumental,” said Derlene Ortiz, a speech-language pathologist who works with students at five schools, most with a heavy English learner population.

    King-Harrell said the challenges are exacerbated in urban districts such as New Haven, which is perpetually plagued by money woes because of funding austerity and a large number of high-needs students.

    In Middletown schools, a smaller nearby urban district, an administrator said open speech-language pathologist jobs receive fewer applications than classroom teacher positions, but the applicants all come with many qualifications.

    “We’re lucky enough to be fully staffed with fully-qualified speech paths,” said Sara Alberti, supervisor of pupil services and special education in Middletown schools. She said the district, which has student enrollment approximately one-fifth the size of New Haven according to state data, employs 10 speech-language pathologists.

    Although Alberti said Middletown is currently fully staffed with speech-language pathologists, as a trained speech-language pathologist herself she knows there is a growing need for workers in a selective field.

    Stefania Larry, early childhood coordinator in West Haven Public Schools, said filling positions within the last three years has been “challenging.” Currently, there are 12.5 speech-language pathologists in the district, she said, and they are all assigned to one school each.

    “We’ve hired former interns in the past once they’ve graduated, we’ve advertised at local universities but not every university has a program,” she said.

    Larry said that in West Haven many of the speech-language pathologists come to the district without much history in school-based settings.


    According to the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, Connecticut employed 1,730 speech-language pathologists in May 2017, although not all of them necessarily worked in schools or with a student population. The annual mean wage for speech-language pathologists in the state was $93,340 according to the bureau’s data, making it the highest paying state in the nation for the occupation on average.

    Despite the competitive pay and the need for qualified workers, King-Harrell said there are several required certifications — from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the state Department of Public Health and the state Department of Education — that might be prohibitive.

    Ortiz said the path to earning these certifications amounts to a lot of tests and paperwork for aspiring speech-language pathologists.

    After receiving these certifications, King-Harrell said many speech-language pathologists certified to work in schools may let the 061 certification with the Department of Education.

    “Some people may get into a setting that’s only clinical, like a hospital or a clinic, and say, ‘Why am I maintaining my school certification?’” she said.

    Three speech-language pathologists in New Haven schools said there can be some role ambiguity when students are referred for their services, and it is their job to figure out how to best serve children who might have communication disorders.

    “I don’t think anybody has ever had a year where they think their workload is ‘a vacation,’” said NHPS speech-language pathologist Sondi Jackson [Theta Epsilon Omega Chapter Member]. “We have to leave time for evaluations, observations, consultations with teachers and parents,” planning and placement team meetings, (student and staff support team meetings and scientific research based interventions.

    “Caseloads are only one part of the workload,” said speech-language pathologist Cayla White.

    Ortiz, Jackson and White all graduated from Southern Connecticut State University’s communication disorders graduate program, although the way they describe how they became speech-language pathologists differs. Ortiz said, as a bilingual speaker of Spanish and English, she was attracted to the program as a junior at SCSU, although her intention was to work in a medical context before doing a placement in West Haven schools.

    White said her initial intention was to go into broadcast journalism until two cousins who work as speech therapists persuaded her to consider the field.

    “I love working with kids. I knew eventually I would want to work in a school system,” she said.

    Jackson, who had a career in banking and insurance, said education was “what was in my heart.” A speech pathologist who attended her church convinced her to go back to school at age 30, so she started taking classes during her lunch break at work.

    Jackson, who has now worked in the field for 26 years, said there has always been a shortage of fellow speech-language pathologists.

    Ortiz said pathologists tend to be cautious about assigning labels to students, because “they may be going through a silent period.” Jackson said she is also cautious about the difference between language disorders and language differences.

    White said that, especially in the last year after a number of evacuees from Hispanic-speaking countries and territories enrolled in the city’s schools, she works collaboratively with bilingual educators such as Ortiz.

    For a period of time Jackson was an adjunct in SCSU’s communication disorders master’s program. One of the challenges from transitioning from the preparatory programs to a real-life scenario, she said, is that speech-language pathologists must be reactive in real time.

    “I felt like I was the person giving students some real-world experience. I’m working as a pathologist and sharing with them what it’s like day-to-day,” she said. “They don’t have all week to prepare for one case.”

    The preparatory programs in the state are also limited to three colleges: SCSU, the University of Connecticut and, recently, Sacred Heart University. All three programs are selective.

    Deborah Weiss, chairwoman of the Communication Disorders Department at SCSU, said the program accepts about 45 students annually, with about 100 in the program at any given time.

    “The majority of those students are two-year students, but some can also be for three years,” she said.

    About 200 to 250 students apply annually for those 45 spots.

    Rhea Paul, chairwoman of Sacred Heart’s Speech Language Pathology department, said there are about 40 seats per class with about 80 students in the program. She said there are between 200 and 300 applicants to the program annually.

    Paul said she believes the global shortage of speech-language pathologists is somewhat related to a growing need under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

    “There has been more obligation on the part of schools to provide for kids with special needs,” she said.

    That is tied to increasing rates of autism spectrum disorder diagnoses; according to the Centers for Disease Control, there is a reported diagnosis of autism in one in 59 children born in 2006, whereas one in 150 children born in 1992 has been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.

    “Because the core of their problems have to do with communication, virtually every child who is diagnosed with autism needs the services of an SLP,” Paul said.

    “That’s a population that speech-language pathologists are very, very involved with — children with autism — and that population has been growing,” Weiss said.

    Growing field

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is a projected to be a 10.4 percent increase in speech-language pathologist jobs by 2026.

    “The number of speech-language pathologists that are needed has grown incrementally and continues to grow,” Weiss said. “It’s not like the need has remained static and we haven’t fulfilled the need; the need keeps growing.”

    Both department heads said the required clinical hours needed for a degree present a challenge for students and the programs that need to place students alike. Students need 400 clinical hours to graduate with a degree in speech-language pathology, and they work at different professional areas. Although UConn and SCSU both have on-site clinics, Sacred Heart does not.

    “We’re limited by how many places we can put students so they can acquire these clinical hours,” Paul said. “We don’t have an on-campus clinic like Southern and UConn, but we do have nursing homes, where students do therapy under the auspices of an in-house therapist, and it doesn’t take away from their in-house therapists because we send our own supervisors.”

    Weiss said Medicare requirements make student speech-language therapists less attractive for hospitals to train because of compliance issues, as they often need to be supervised 100 percent of the time.

    She said expanding the class sizes within SCSU’s program doesn’t seem possible for a mix of issues besides finding placements for students, including fiscal restraints and a shortage of qualified faculty, as an industry with a global shortage perpetuates itself.

    “For our field when we have a position open maybe we’re going to get five or 10 people applying because of the shortage in the field,” she said. “One of the reasons for the shortages of the field is there’s such a good market for students in the field.”

    The speech-language pathologists working in the district say that, despite the burden of certifications, loans and the time commitment, they wouldn’t rather be doing anything else.

    “Giving students the ability to communicate is extremely empowering,” White said.



  • 05 Mar 2018 11:53 PM | Anonymous

    McCarter & English announced the following changes in leadership, effective March 1, 2018:

    • Cynthia Keliher and Simone Wilson-Brito will serve as co-chairs of the Real Estate Practice Group
    • Amy Haberman will lead the Labor & Employment Practice Group
    • Moy Ogilvie will serve as the Hartford Office Managing Partner

    “Cynthia, Simone, Amy and Moy served as leaders in our business and mentors to associates for many years,” said Joseph Boccassini, the firm’s managing partner. “I know they will continue to represent our clients well in their new roles with the same focus and dedication.”

    Cynthia Keliher, joined the firm’s Boston office as a partner in 2006. Her practice addresses all aspects of commercial real estate, with a focus on representing landlords and tenants in complex ground, retail, office and data center leases. She is president of the New England Chapter of CoreNet Global, an association of corporate real estate professionals. Ms. Keliher is the co-chair of the firm’s Women’s Initiative Steering Committee.

    Simone Wilson-Brito, a partner in the Newark office, has been with the firm for nearly 10 years. Her practice focuses on complex commercial real estate transactions with a concentration in financing, leasing and acquisition of real property. She represents lenders and borrowers in commercial and construction loans, and purchasers in the acquisition and disposition of real estate. Ms. Wilson Brito is a member of the firm’s Diversity Committee and the Women’s Initiative Steering Committee. She represents, pro bono, individuals seeking asylum in the United States.

    Amy Haberman, a partner in the New York office, joined McCarter & English in 2005. Her global practice spans numerous industries and focuses on representing U.S. and multinational corporate clients in recruiting and transferring of foreign nationals, immigration consequences of mergers and acquisitions, and compliance with Department of Labor statutory and regulatory requirements. She also counsels individuals on obtaining permanent resident status and citizenship. She is a member of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee.

    Moy Ogilvie is a partner in the Products Liability, Mass Torts and Consumer Class Actions Group and is chair of the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee. She joined our Hartford office  in 2003. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Connecticut Bar Foundation, Lawyers Collaborative for Diversity and the Hartford Youth Scholars, and volunteers with Lawyers for Children on pro bono matters.

    With the recent changes, seven of the firm’s 11 practice groups are led by women.


  • 28 Jun 2017 1:05 PM | Anonymous

    Hundreds Bid Godspeed to "Dr. K" by Lucy Gellman for The New Haven Independent

    A trailblazer who developed “a monument to education” downtown isn’t saying goodbye. She’s saying godspeed.

    Surrounded by hundreds of friends, family and colleagues, outgoing Gateway Community College President Dorsey “Dr. K” Kendrick made that announcement Wednesday night at a packed celebration of her 18-year tenure and retirement next week.

    Held at Anthony’s Ocean View in Morris Cove, the event doubled as a chance to bring attention to the Dorsey L. Kendrick Access To Success endowment fund, to which attendees had the option of donating. Money raised for that fund Wednesday night will go toward student scholarships. That includes $500 from the Theta Epsilon Omega Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) Inc., a black sorority. 

    Throughout the evening, Kendrick was praised for her groundbreaking efforts to revitalize access to higher education in New Haven. Her tenure included cultivating the college’s special education, nursing, adult education and high school crossover programs and moving Gateway's campus to downtown from Long Wharf.

    A lineup of 20 speakers — none of whom stayed within a suggested two-minute limit, and a few of whom had prerecorded their messages by video — focused not only on Kendrick’s accomplishments, but on the spirit with which she had worked.

    Mayor Toni Harp recalled Kendrick’s fight to institute the nursing program, and the verve with which Kendrick went head-to-head with Connecticut legislators, then-governor John Rowland, and “the nursing profession itself, frankly” before the program began in 2002. It has since graduated almost 1,000 nurses. 

    Others painted a portrait of a woman who was direct but kind, unyielding yet candid and compassionate. Tunxis Community College President Cathryn Addy told attendees she knew Kendrick was special when she’d said, mid-interview for her position at Gateway, that she would “have a little come-to-Jesus meeting and get things settled” if faced with a difficult situation. Chamber of Commerce President Tony Rescigno lauded Kendrick as an educator “with vision focused like a laser beam,” for whom the world stopped when she saw a student in need. And Community Foundation Director Will Ginsberg thanked her for her work as a servant to the city, and changemaker in the community. 

    “You changed the way New Haven thinks of itself,” he said. “You have elevated education for all in this community.”

    So did former Gateway alum and former student body president Abdur Wali. A native New Havener, Wali had grown up walking past Gateway Community College. “I would see the big blue sign saying GCC, and I would dream about being on that terrace,” he recalled.

    Wali didn’t know that Kendrick’s office was up there, or that she was there at all. That changed his first year, when he attended an event where she was speaking, and she instantly became “Dr. K” to him. She issued a call to action that stirred something in him, he said — an urge to push himself even harder academically. He became involved in student government, meeting with Kendrick weekly. When Wali asked her to add a letter to the Black Student Association time capsule, she used it as an opportunity to laud students in the association and to encourage them to use “hope, care, hard work and tenacity” in both their studies and their lives. 

    “There were many times after speaking with her I teared up and cried a little bit,” Wali said, speaking to Kendrick from across the ballroom. “In my mind and in my heart, I consider myself her and Mr. Kendrick’s adopted son ... you have lit the path, lightened the load, and provided a shining example for all of us to follow.”

    Room bursts into applause as Kendrick rose to give her remarks.

    When Kendrick rose to speak at the end of the evening, she kept her remarks brief, her voice wavering every few sentences as she choked back tears.   

    “This is hard, because it is bittersweet,” she began. She then invoked Luke 12:48 (“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked”). “I really believe that I have an obligation to do as much as I can to make my little corner of the world the best that I have to give,” she said.

    Cake, a guest book, dancing and conversation awaited attendees after almost 90 minutes of remarks.

    “I know that my work has not been in vain,” she continued, pointing to Gateway’s most recent class of over 1,200 students. “To think that I may have made a difference for even one student makes the journey so much sweeter…. I want to thank God for giving me the life that I have, so that I could do the work that I did on behalf of the citizens of this community and for the state. I am grateful to have been of service.” 

    “I shall not say goodbye tonight, rather godspeed,” she added. “May the best that life has to offer come to each and every one of you. Thank you for being a part of my life, my vision, my hopes and dreams and aspirations for the last 18 years. I am humbled to have been able to serve.”

    Asked how he is planning to handle the transition, incoming Gateway Paul Broadie said that the end of Kendrick’s tenure marks “tremendous opportunity for both Housatonic and Gateway.” (He’ll be running both community college branches.) Broadie credited Kendrick with building “a strong foundation” for her successors and that he looks forward to relying on Gateway’s “exceptional faculty, staff and administration.” 

    Published 6/22/17: http://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/dorsey_kendrick_dinner/

  • 13 Feb 2017 3:29 PM | Anonymous

    Theta Epsilon Omega salutes our chapter member Shelly Daniley Hicks, who is the February Survivor of the Month for Sisters' Journey.  Learn more about Shelly's path toward health and healing.  We honor all of our Theta Epsilon Omega members and women across the globe who navigate their journey with courage and conviction.

    You can read her story here:


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