Wednesday, May 14, 2014

UHart Students Win International Architectural Acoustics Design Competition

Last week at the Acoustical Society of America conference in Providence, R.I., it was announced that the University of Hartford won first place in an Architectural Acoustics Student Design Competition.
The UHart team comprised Lucas Johnson '14 and Wesley Axtell '14, both seniors in the BSE Acoustical Engineering and Music program, and Rachael Kline '14, who will be graduating with a BS in Architectural Engineering Technology.

This competition is intended to encourage students to express their knowledge of architectural acoustics and noise control in the design of a facility in which acoustical considerations are of significant importance. Designs are submitted as posters, and are judged by practicing architects and acoustical engineers. All posters are judged solely on their content and are anonymous — the names of the students and school are placed in an envelope on the back of the poster, and are not revealed until the winner has been selected.

There were 15 posters submitted, and nearly all of the other posters were submitted by graduate programs in acoustics. Submissions came from not only across America, but from Europe and Asia. In fact, the runners-up were from the graduate acoustics programs at Chalmers (Sweden) and the University of Tokyo.
Lucas Johnson is from Chatham, Illinois, and has recently accepted a position with AKRF Acoustic Consultants in New York City.  Wesley Axtell is from Londonderry, N.H., and will be attending the graduate program in acoustics at Penn State University. Rachael Kline, Axtell's fiancee, will be accompanying him to State College, Pa.

Congratulations to Team Hartford!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Bio-Medical Engineering Project Collaboration with Windham Tech.

On Friday 05/09/14 Windham Tech students took a field trip to view a presentation of a product that was the joint effort of the University of Hartford Bio-Medical Engineering Program and the CTHSS Manufacturing Technology program at Windham Tech.  This prosthetic foot may benefit civil war amputee victims in Africa.  It is a great story of not only the collaboration and learning that took place, but the humanity of the project.  

Professor Mellodge is one of five professors that have been named Faculty Fellows

Five University of Hartford professors have been named Faculty Fellows of The Humanities Center for 2014–15: Power Boothe, Don Jones, Melinda Miceli, Patricia Mellodge, and Robert Leve.
Each fellow will be working on a scholarly or pedagogical project related to the 2014–15 theme of the Humanities Center Seminar, “Exploring Complexity,” developed and led by Marcia Moen, associate professor of philosophy, and Jane Horvath, associate professor of economics and Director of the van Rooy Center for Complexity and Conflict Analysis. Each Fellow will also give a talk as part of the Spring 2015 series of lectures associated with the theme.

Power Boothe, professor of painting in the Painting and Drawing Department of the Hartford Art School, will present two workshops and a lecture titled “Complexity and Art-making” that will explore complexity as it relates to perception, the arts, and art-making. The two hands-on workshops are designed to provide experiences that will suggest that meaning is not to be found in the words we use, and, although meaning can be triggered by words, or a mark, or music, meaning arrives as an emergent “felt” coherence that is embodied and dependent on “networks” of relations between the brain, the body and things that are exterior. The lecture will demonstrate that the imaginative capacity we all have, and which is evident in how we experience the arts, is based on our innate ability to make sense of a complex range of sense experience we are bombarded with everyday—that should overwhelm us—but instead emerges as coherent and even significant to us. Professor Boothe says, “The two workshops and the lecture will explore how the bottom up, non-linear nature of complexity manages conflict by going into a turbulent phase involving experimentation and feedback, to eventually stabilize into a new structure or form, unpredicted by the parts. As a result, this new order will redefine the meaning of the parts.”

Don Jones, associate professor of rhetoric and professional writing in the English Department of the College of Arts & Sciences, will consider “Complexity and Epistemology: How Do We Know What We Think We Know?”  Dr. Jones's project will be to develop a future honors course focusing on epistemology, pragmatism, and postmodernism. In his lecture for the Humanities Center, he will explain Dewey’s non-foundational epistemology, which is based on the following four principles: the primacy of experience, the construction of knowledge, the influence of language on knowledge, and the achievement of agency. He will compare and contrast Dewey’s non-foundationalism with the postmodern epistemology of Michel Foucault. Dr. Jones will explore the epistemological implications of complexity theory, grounding these abstract principles in engaging examples including Ezra Pound’s “In a Station of the Metro” and Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave.” Like Osberg, Biesta, and Cilliers, he believes that the epistemological implications of complexity theory can best be explained as “Deweyan transactions” between reality, language, and knowledge.

Melinda Miceli, associate professor of sociology in Hillyer College, will analyze complexity theory as it relates to sociological theory and research, specifically in the areas of social movements and intersectionality. The focus of her research is the networking of localized and regional social movement organizations into centralized, yet diverse, national and international social movements advocating for the rights of LGBT youth. This intricate networking process has forced these social movements to manage the complex intersection of inequalities of sexuality, gender, class, race, ethnicity, religion and other social factors that make up the varied lived realities of the LGBT youth whose interests they represent. Her fellowship will focus on the usefulness of complexity theory in sociological analysis of both social movements and intersectionality. Dr. Miceli’s lecture will present material on social complexity theory and its practical application in the empirical analysis of her research on LGBT youth social movements.

Patricia Mellodge, associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture (CETA), will examine “Emergent Behavior in Robot Systems: A Case Study of Cubelets.” Cubelets, made by Modular Robotics, are intended to teach children about complex systems and robotics in a way that is physically grounded instead of virtual. Rather than being screen-based as many other demonstration systems are (such as Conway’s Game of Life or NetLogo software), a user can physically touch, interact, and reconfigure the system quickly and easily. New system designs are rapidly implemented simply by altering the interconnections between the blocks. However, the system also allows for more depth and exploration. More advanced users can modify the programming in the different blocks to redefine the rules that they follow. Dr. Mellodge’s seminar talk will focus on Cubelets and the use of emergent behavior in robotic system design. The behavior of systems composed of Cubelets will be investigated through demonstrations and compared to traditionally programmed robots.

Robert Leve, associate professor of psychology in the College of Arts & Sciences, focuses his research on tests of complexity models in real world situations to understand the process of how multi-dimensional complex problems are solved without falling into a state of cognitive chaos. His previous research documents how subjects avoid intellectual chaos when given complex problems to solve across various situations such as auto navigation, bicycle racing, financial decisions, and real estate problems. Testing out such problems also analyzes how variables such as time, perceived confidence, and variable relevance influence the decision process. His most recent unpublished research focuses on the parameters that determine emergence and how the perspective of the observer influences existence of emergent phenomenon such that a narrow perspective often eliminates the recognition of emergence. Dr. Leve seeks to understand the process by which a particular variable interacts with other variables in that environment to reorganize the energy flows in the environment resulting in a new and unexpected pattern (i.e. Emergence). In his lecture for the Humanities Center Seminar, Dr. Leve will discuss the threat of chaos as a strong determinant on how humans solve complex social and scientific problems, illustrated by real world examples that document the sudden emergence of significant intellectual solutions that have had a profound influence on modern technology.
The Humanities Center Honors Seminar is a two-semester course for honors students. The Lecture Series on Complexity in the Spring 2015 semester is open to all students, faculty, and staff, as well as members of the community. Lectures begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Dana 202/Mali 2 Lecture Hall, and are free and open to the general public. The Humanities Center at the University of Hartford supports interdisciplinary scholarship focusing on the humanities through arts, sciences, technology, media, psychology, history, film, philosophy, and literature. For more information, contact T. Stores, director, at


Friday, May 9, 2014

CETA Alumni Mark Boxer to win the University Distinguished Alumni Award

Three University of Hartford alumni—a top executive at Cigna, a prolific composer for television and film, and the director of NBC’s Meet the Press—will be honored during the University’s undergraduate Commencement ceremonies on Sunday, May 18.

Mark Boxer ‘83, who is global chief information officer for Cigna, will receive the University’s Distinguished Alumni Award during the main, University-wide Commencement ceremony on the University Green. The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented annually to a University graduate who has made an exceptional impact on his/her profession, community, and the University.

The 2014 Hartt Alumni Award will be conferred on composer Ed Alton ‘81 during The Hartt School’s diploma presentation ceremony in Lincoln Theater, immediately following the main Commencement ceremony.
In addition, Meet the Press director Rob Melick ’96, ‘98 will be recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus of Hillyer College during Hillyer’s diploma presentation ceremony in Millard Auditorium, immediately following the main Commencement ceremony.

Mark Boxer ‘83 — University Distinguished Alumni Award
Mark Lewis Boxer ’83 is global chief information officer at Cigna, where he is responsible for driving the company’s worldwide technology strategy and ensuring that the company’s infrastructure and applications are innovative, flexible, and aligned with both the business strategy and the needs of customers, partners, and employees.

Prior to joining Cigna, Boxer was group president for government healthcare at Xerox Corporation. He also served as deputy global chief information officer for Xerox, where he oversaw the development of all software products and information services. Prior to Xerox, he served in various leadership roles at WellPoint, Healthsource, and Hewlett Packard.

Boxer earned both a Bachelor of Science in Engineering and a Bachelor of Arts in physics from the University of Hartford in 1983. He earned his Master of Business Administration in finance from the University of Connecticut and a Master of Science in information systems from Drexel University. He holds a doctorate in global public health from the Arizona School of Health Sciences.
A trustee of the Bushnell Performing Arts Center, Boxer also serves on the boards of the University of Connecticut Foundation and the Connecticut Children’s Law Center. He oversees Cigna’s venture innovation fund, serves as an outside director for Grange Mutual Insurance, and is a member of the advisory boards of Health Enterprise Partners and Parthenon Capital. Boxer has been recognized as one of Computerworld’s Premier 100 IT Leaders and by Insurance & Technology Magazine as an Elite Eight technologist. He is a business advocate and champion of advancing the employment of the disabled, having received both the Tony Coelho Award, named after the coauthor of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Justice for All Award, given by the American Association of People with Disabilities.

Ed Alton ‘81 — Hartt Alumni Award

Ed Alton, BMus ’81, has had an impressive and prolific career in the Los Angeles TV, film, and recording industries for nearly 30 years. To date, he has composed scores for more than 530 episodes of 31 different prime time network TV series and performed as bassist on over 70 feature film soundtracks. He has received numerous honors, including five ASCAP Top TV Composer Awards, an Emmy nomination, and several Gold and Platinum record awards.
Some of Alton’s more prominent TV compositions include the scores for the 1980s hit series Head of the Class, the top-10 rated series Suddenly Susan, and The Single Guy, both of which ran during the peak of NBC’s successful Thursday night “Must See TV” reign. Recent well-known series have included My Boys on TBS and Whitney on NBC. His music is augmented by his multi-instrumental skills, since he personally plays many of the instruments used on his own soundtracks.
In 1998, Alton’s song performed by Bernadette Peters on the CBS series The Closer was recognized with an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Music & Lyrics. In 1997, Daily Variety recognized Alton as one of TV’s top theme composers when it listed him as #5 among Nielsen’s "Top '90s TV Themesters." His Single Guy theme was included on the popular Greatest TV Themes of the ‘90s CD.
Alton’s work in the recording industry includes arranging and conducting on the Britney Spears multi-Platinum CD In the Zone, and performances on the Gold Record-winning albums Flying Cowboys by Rikki Lee Jones as well as the soundtrack to the film The Breakfast Club. Alton also has written scores for three musicals for the stage.  As a studio musician, Alton performed bass on the soundtracks of such popular films as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Breakfast Club, Beverly Hills Cop 2, Ghost Busters 2, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, City Slickers, and Planes, Trains and Automobiles. He has also performed and toured internationally with The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra.

Rob Melick '96, '98 — Hillyer College Distinguished Alumnus Award

Rob Melick ’96, ‘98 is the director of NBC’s award-winning Sunday morning news show, Meet The Press.

Melick earned an associate’s degree from Hillyer College and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in communication from the College of Arts and Sciences. While at the University of Hartford, Melick was highly motivated to get as much television experience as possible. He immersed himself in the Student Television Network, STN-2, and he had internships at Hartford’s NBC affiliate and at the Fox Network in New York City.
Melick’s career took off from there, as he directed news broadcasts in Rochester, N.Y., Hartford, and Philadelphia, earning a reputation for his talent, dedication, and tireless work ethic. His stellar reputation and his network of mentors helped earn Melick a spot as director of the weekly political television show Fox News Sunday, based in Washington, D.C. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Melick produced shows on the road in 26 different states, and he has directed everything from Oval Office interviews to broadcasts from Afghanistan.
Melick’s meteoric rise and his outstanding work brought him to the attention of NBC, and in 2010 he became the director of Meet The Press, the longest-running show on network television and a venerable institution in the worlds of public affairs, politics, and foreign policy.


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The cost of homes in Brazil is too high: Graduate students from Architecture Department share findings from fellowship

On April 14, the University of Hartford Architecture Department held a presentation by two graduate level students and their findings from being part of the fellowship they won in 2013.

Derek Zero and Bartek Pociecha teamed up and put together an idea to look at Urbanizing favelas in Brazil for the JCJ Architecture Endowment that was started 6 years ago by a student Tai Soo Kim.

This program allows graduate students who are chosen by a panel to be able to go to the country where their research lies and go in-depth with it.

A presentation is required after the traveling is completed.

Zero and Bartek traveled south to Brazil for two weeks and focused their studies primarily on the favelas that stood tall in Rio De Janeiro.

Many of the slides also shows the difference in the way of life in Rio by showing the price of villas versus the price of these favelas.

Their findings revealed that for a family of four, it would cost 500 American dollars to live there a month whereas a villa costs $800 a day.

The presentation presented history, demographics and numbers of people inhibiting these favelas.

After learning about these homes that middle class people build with their own hands and local supplies, they moved on to speak about what the next step for them was.

When speaking about ideas on re-amping the favelas, Zero and Bartek spoke about the government and why they have been unsuccessful over many decades.

Many are being renovated today to allow possible housing for up in coming events such as the World Cup and the Olympics.

People living in favelas are not in support in what the government wants from passed experiences of them trying to demolish all of their homes, that also are used as shops at times.

This brought up a question in the crowd as to why they wouldn’t want them to be knocked down for a chance at better living conditions.

Zero responded with the simple word, “community,” people living there have so much pride in what they have even though it isn’t much because they made everything themselves and all enjoy each others company, over all it’s one big family.

The presentation came to a close as they spoke about some plans that have worked on giving the favelas a face lift and allowing thousands of people to live in better housing conditions.

After their presentation was over, the floor was open to questions which then lead to the announcement of the 2014 fellowship award.

Jesse McKay, a second year graduate student, won with his proposal on going to Amsterdam this year.


Thursday, May 1, 2014

CETA Day, Part 1, on Friday, May 2

CETA Day 2014 will be held on two different days this year—Friday, May 2, and Friday May 9.
The presentations on May 2 will be given mainly by undergraduate students (freshmen, sophomores and seniors). Please feel free to stop by and hear what fellow University students have been working on.

Course: ES 143 Engineering and Design
Instructor: Ying Yu
Time: 12 p.m.
Location: D 320

Course: ES 242 Engineering by Design (all Friday morning sections)
Instructor: Patricia Mellodge
Title: Sophomore Design Projects
Time: 8:00-11:30 a.m.
Location: Wilde Auditorium

Course: ES 242 Engineering by Design (Tues. evening 7:30-9:45 p.m. meeting time)
Instructor: Phil Faraci
   1) Farmland Drainage and Water Storage project
   2) Bridge Model Design project
   3) Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) Battery Swap project
Time: 4 p.m.
Location: Dana Hall Room 201 (Mali I)

Seniors: Capstone Project
Course: ME 561 Acoustic Capstone Presentations
Instructor: Bob Celmer
Time: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Location: UT 320

An announcement of the May 9 presentations will be posted next week.