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Residents Graduate, Volunteer and Sing

Local are making strides on their respective campuses.

The following have earned degrees from Springfield College for studies completed in 2011:

• Brittany Collins, of Vernon, bachelor of science degree in health science - general studies.

• Latonya Major, of Vernon, bachelor of science degree in human services.

Elise Voss, of Vernon, master of science degree in physician assistant studies.

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More than 800 Eastern Connecticut State University students attended the 16th-annual Community-Oriented Policing for Students Open Rec Night on Dec. 2.

The evening is a substance-free event hosted by Eastern's Police Department. Open Rec Night provides Eastern students with an evening of fun and a chance to unwind in a safe setting prior to final exams.

A number of students who belong to various student clubs and on-campus groups provide support services at the event. Mary Elizabeth Marchesani, Class of 2012, of Vernon, volunteered at the event.

Marchesani is a Psychology major.

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Eastern Connecticut State University student Laura Gorecki, of Vernon, a Pre-Elementary Education major, recently performed with the Eastern Concert Chorale at the Cathedral of St. Patrick in Norwich.

The chorale was joined by the Concert Choir of Northeastern Connecticut and the Norwich Diocesan Choir and sang Franz J. Haydn's "Te Deum" and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "Coronation Mass." The combined choirs were accompanied by a professional orchestra. The concert was dedicated to the late Dr. Ed Drew, professor emeritus of music at Eastern.

The performance follows a recent concert appearance by Eastern's Concert Chorale at Carnegie Hall in New York. The chorale is composed of students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members.

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Sarah Pike, of Vernon, is a first-year student at Pace University's New York City campus. Founded in 1906 as a business school, Pace has always insisted on a core curriculum in the liberal arts and sciences, and now has evolved into a comprehensive university preparing professionals for a full range of careers.

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Victor Look, of Vernon, has been named to the Dean's List at the Savannah College of Art and Design for the fall quarter 2011. Full-time undergraduate students who earn a grade point average of 3.5 or above for the quarter receive recognition on the Dean's List.

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Chris Chew, of Vernon, was recently named a recipient of the Skookum Award, an honor presented by Western New England University's Alumni Association. The Skookum is awarded to students who have demonstrated a commitment to excellence in all their endeavors: academics, co-curricular activities, sports, and community service. "Skookum" is the Native American Chinook Indian word meaning "excellence." Chew was one of 15 seniors to receive the award during the University's Homecoming Weekend.

A Biology major with minors in both Chemistry and Forensics, Chew has demonstrated a wide range of talents while at Western New England. A member of the University's football team since his freshman year, Chew is also active in the Pre-med club, serving as vice president last year and as President this year. Chew has been involved with the Alternative Spring Break program for three years, traveling to West Virginia to rebuild homes for those who live below the poverty line and to New York City to work with the Gay Men's AIDS Crisis Clinic. This year, Chew will serve as a team leader of a trip to Greenfield, NH, where students will work with those who are suffering from mental or physical illness. Chew has also been involved with Americorps, Rebuilding Together, and served as a Freshman Seminar Assistant, Biology Lab Assistant, a member of the 2012 Class Council, and a Life Skills Mentor.

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Athletes from Eastern Connecticut State University's men's lacrosse team, women's soccer team, volleyball and softball teams, and numerous other Eastern organizations recently participated in the third-annual Poverty Awareness Marathon. They supported Health and Physical Education Professor Charles Chatterton by collecting more than 600 non-perishable items to donate to a local food pantry in Willimantic.

Andrew Deane, Class of 2013, of Vernon, and a student at Eastern majoring in Physical Education, was among more than 125 runners who participated.

Timothy Quinn, class of 2014, of Vernon, and a student at Eastern majoring in Sport & Leisure Management, also participated.

The marathon, part of Chatteron's Taking Strides of Brake the Cycle of Poverty initiative, was his 48th since he began running marathons in 2006 to raise public awareness of poverty in America.

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