Former UConn star Daniels signs with Australian pro team

By:Mike Corasaniti

Former UConn men’s basketball player DeAndre Daniels will be playing basketball in Australia this season after failing to make the Toronto Raptors’ roster.

Toronto took Daniels with the No. 37 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft this summer but has reportedly signed a one-year contact with the Perth Wildcats of Australia’s National Basketball League (NBL). The eight-team league plays a 28-game schedule with the top four teams making the playoffs.

The Raptors still retain Daniels’ rights for one year despite sending him overseas. Daniels declared himself eligible for the draft following his strong performance during UConn’s national championship run last April.

The 22-year-old had a breakout 2013-14 season with the Huskies averaging 13.1 points and six rebounds per game. Daniels performed even better in the NCAA tournament, earning a spot on the All-Final Four Team. The 22-year-old forwent his senior season to follow his NBA aspirations.

The Wildcats introduced Daniels with a press conference on August 20.

Daniels is now the second NBA draft pick in two years to sign with the Perth club following former Long Beach State standout James Ennis. Ennis, who was signed by the Miami Heat in mid-July, went to the NBL after being drafted by the Atlanta Hawks in the 2013 draft.


Ebola Commentary

By:Sumia Hussain

Ebola. Oh wait, I forgot to give a trigger warning first. The media’s portrayal of the threat of the Ebola outbreak is one that is alarming, confusing and leading to widespread hysteria around the world. Despite efforts made domestically and internationally to educate and inform populations about the Ebola virus, there are persistent rumors and superstitions spreading about viral transmission, treatment options and risk management.


As an unaware citizen myself, I became interested in the discussions surrounding the Ebola outbreak.  Following the trending hashtag of #Ebola, I saw many informative articles from World Health Organization (WHO), Center for Disease Control (CDC), National Public Radio (NPR) Health, and Harvard School of Public Health as well as many ignorant or paranoid comments by tweens about the disease.


I was hoping to help explain some key concepts about Ebola in laymans terms.


According to the WHO the Ebola virus disease – previously known as Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever – is a virulent, particularly nasty viral illness that historically has fatality rate of 90 percent. This disease is still relatively new, and the first few cases were pinpointed back to two outbreaks in 1976 in Nzara, Sudan and in Yambuku, Democratic Republic of Congo. From what researchers have gathered, the disease is believed to be originated from wild bats in the rainforest which may have passed the disease to human hosts.


Despite misconceptions, this fatal virus is not an airborne disease nor is it transmitted through contact with bodily fluids of infected people who are symptomatic. According to the CDC, a person is not contagious from the moment that they are exposed to the virus. These people who have come into contact with the virus and are asymptomatic will not transmit the disease through coughing, sneezing or even crying on you. Throughout the world, people are worried that they may have come in contact with the disease while at an airport or on a plane. However, this is unlikely since most of the victims of this illness are too weak to travel and no evidence has proven this virus to be airborne.


The WHO’s factsheet on Ebola describes it as “a severe acute viral illness often characterized by the sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat.  This is followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding.”  It is difficult to diagnose Ebola because these symptoms are similar to many diseases that are sadly common in the Western and Eastern African regions, like malaria, cholera, typhoid fever, meningitis, hepatitis and more. The incubation period (the time before the symptoms can begin to manifest themselves) can be anywhere from two days to three weeks.


In terms of reducing human-to-human infection, WHO states, “in the absence of effective treatment and a human vaccine, raising awareness of the risk factors for Ebola infection and the protective measures individuals can take is the only way to reduce human infection and death.”


Prior to the experimental use of a drug treatment (zMAPP) on the two American mission workers in Liberia who were infected this summer with Ebola, there was said to be no cure or vaccine for Ebola. There are many drugs that are being tested in pharmaceutical facilities that were in their early stages of development and would otherwise not be allowed for human trials. However, due to the severity of the disease and accelerated incidence rates a panel of bioethical experts at WHO have allowed for the use of experimental treatment procedures on infected persons.


An interesting  question that many people are asking is: why is it that there is suddenly “new, experimental treatment” available for two American missionaries, even though there have been an estimated 1,800 infected persons in Africa and 1,200 deaths for months prior to this July?  While I may not have an answer to this question, it does raise an important point about the idea of privilege and access to healthcare for Westerners. There are many parallels between the reactions of people to the outbreak of Ebola and the first outbreak of HIV/AIDS. It will be interesting to see how healthcare systems and the world react to this epidemic as well. Being informed, doing your due diligence to check your facts and keeping an open mind is important to make sure we do not make the same mistakes that we did with HIV/AIDS by treating those infected like pariahs and discriminating in healthcare.


Seismic Activity

By:Trevor Phillips

The University of Connecticut seismic station picked up an earthquake that shook the town of Deep River near East Haddam earlier this month. The station monitors seismic activity across the country, even picking up an earthquake in San Francisco last Sunday.

“Many are not aware that UConn has an active seismic station capturing earthquake events,” Christin Donnelly, the Program Assistant at the Center for Integrative Geosciences at UConn, said.

Despite the Deep River earthquake, UConn students are unlikely to experience a serious seismic event any time soon.

Dr. Vernon Cormier, a Professor of Physics and member of the Center for Integrative Geosciences, indicated that small earthquakes with magnitudes of just 2 or 3 could be felt around UConn every decade or so. However, more serious earthquakes like those of magnitude 5 are only likely to occur in New England once every few hundred years.

As a result, it’s unlikely that UConn would ever have to deal with a particularly dangerous earthquake, but sometimes they can take you by surprise.

“I worked in Washington, D.C. at the National Science Foundation when the Virginia earthquake of 2011 hit, just about the same time as the Napa earthquake this year. This was such an unsuspected event that it shut down the government in Washington for next day. Even more alarming was the fact that it damaged the Washington Monument so badly that it had to be closed for three years of repairs,” Lisa Park Boush, Director of the Center for Integrative Geosciences, said.

She also offered advice in case a large earthquake does erupt in our area.

“The most important thing is to try to get out of a building and in lieu of that, get to an interior wall.  Stay away from things that can topple down, like bookcases and other types of shelving,” Boush said.

Cormier stressed the seismic station’s significance as part of a much larger network that allows universities and organizations to locate and understand earthquakes as they happen all over the world and with a high degree of sensitivity.

The seismic station detects earthquakes by measuring the displacements they cause in units as small as the millimicron – a billionth of a meter. The primary instrument in the station is similar in operation to a pendulum. It contains a box with three sensors, two of which measure horizontal motion and a third that measures vertical motion. The devices digitize the record of earthquakes and sends it by radio.

“We’ve come a long way since drum, pen and ink recordings,” Cormier said.

He also pointed out that while the station offers a great deal in terms of research data, its true value to the university had perhaps more to do with educating students in the fields of physics and geoscience.

When it comes to class, Cormier uses information from the station’s readings to guide and teach.

“Students learn to interpret the data,” Cormier said.


Local Businesses

By: Sylvia Cunningham

It’s nearing 10 a.m. and Dog Lane Café employee Lizzy Hayes is polishing off her second cup of coffee. She started her shift three hours prior and takes sips from the largest size they offer at Dog Lane – aptly named the “Ridiculous” – between taking orders and making drinks for customers.

Not far from the cash register sits a group of six older men who meet at the café every Wednesday.

As they chat over their morning beverages, Hayes smiles. She says the regulars are her favorite part of the job.

“I love knowing what they’re going to order before they order it,” Hayes says. Moments later, one such regular walks through the door and Hayes greets her with a grin.

“Hey – where’s your latte partner in crime?” Hayes calls out as she gets to work on the professor’s usual drink order.

Just down the road, owners of other local business are beginning their days: Holly Upton sits outside Head Husky Barber Styling Shop. She has worked in Storrs since she was an 18-year-old fresh out of hairdressing school.

The Flower Pot owner, Jessie Shea, graduated from E.O. Smith High School and attended UConn and says it is fulfilling to be doing what she loves in the town where she grew up.

Mike Young recently purchased Sweet Emotions from former owner Barry Schreier. Young says he loves coming to work every day.

“I see this place as an opportunity to bring happiness to people and that’s one of the reasons I love owning the store,” he said. On top of that, he said, the neighboring business owners want to see one another succeed, so they promote one another.

Young offers a free piece of candy to the customers who get their hair cut by Holly Upton, while Shea says she lucked out being so close to a candy store.

Shea explains that because candy and flowers go hand in hand, many flower shops will keep an inventory of boxed chocolates.

“We have the luxury of having a gourmet candy store right next door,” Shea says.

Customers in any of the four businesses might spot traces of the others. A bouquet of flowers from The Flower Pot adorns the display case when customers walk into Dog Lane Café.

“That’s how local businesses survive,” Dog Lane Café manager Tiffany Siefert says. “They support each other.”

Farmer’s Market 20th Anniversary

Lovers of everything organic can satisfy their natural cravings this Saturday, Aug. 30, at the Storrs Farmers’ Market 20th Anniversary. Farmers and vendors will congregate on the front lawn of Mansfield Town Hall from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. with their “vast array of locally grown and produced foods,” said Kathleen M. Paterson, an organizer for the event.

“Visitors are invited to enjoy food from our sponsors at Dog Lane Café, The H.A. Café and Jean & Milo’s Kettle Corn,” Paterson said.

Additionally, the celebration will include music by Zach Silk. Silk describes his music as “back-porch, old-time music to get your heart beatin’ and feet stompin’.”

“Weaving together American roots music, the sounds of early blues, ragtime, and early bluegrass, Zack creates a sound both unique and familiar. Pick up your groceries and enjoy,” Paterson said.

Guest vendors will include NakedMamas, who self-describe their products as “handcrafted with bare naked ingredients,” and Woodstock Hill Preserves, who according to their website have been “hand making natural jams and preserves in the quiet corner of Connecticut for over 30 years.”

The organization Buy CT Grown will attend to encourage customers to pledge 10 percent of their food dollars to locally grown goods, Paterson said.

The Market is open every Saturday from May through November, rain or shine. It is located next to Windham Region Transit District and UConn bus stops. It’s within walking distance of Storrs Center, Paterson said. “Don’t forget your picnic blanket!” she added.

Puppet Arts Program

Located inside the isolated depot campus, is one of the University of Connecticut’s most unique and renowned program.  Here in this remote area is the UConn Puppet Arts program. Despite its location, the UConn Puppet arts program is widely acclaimed and has a nearly 50-year history.

In 1965, Professor Frank Ballard established UConn’s Puppet Arts program. He went on to found the National Institute and Museum of Puppetry. This was later renamed the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry (BIMP) in his honor.  Now, almost 50 years later, the UConn Puppet Arts program has flourished, and has grown to be one of the greatest programs of it’s kind in not only the nation, but in the entire world.

UConn is the only university in the country that offers puppetry in both the Undergraduate and Graduate levels, and is also the only university that offers a masters degree in puppetry.

“West Virginia is the only other University which offers a degree in Puppetry and only a BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts). We offer a BFA, MA (Master of Arts) and MFA (Master of Fine Arts) degree,” said Director of the Puppet Arts Program Professor Bart Roccoberton.

UConn alumni from the Puppetry Arts program have gone on to work in all types of artistic venues from theatre to television and cinema.

“UConn Puppet grads are essential members of shows like Sesame Street Avenue Q… They also work for the Jim Henson foundation, Avant Garde Theater, and the related area of costume design,” said Dr. John Bell, Director of the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry.

UConn Puppetry graduates are also play an important part in the film industry, and have worked in notable Hollywood films such as the original Spiderman 2 film.

“We also have people that go on tours, and one of our recent grads helped build costumes for Disney on Ice’s Frozen. Another alum is on Disney Channel, on the show Crash and Bernstein, one of the channels most popular shows,” said Roccoberton.

In the past few years the University has taken steps highlight the Ballard Institute of Puppetry- its location was moved recently to a brand new facility in the Storrs Center, in stark contrast to it’s previous location in the depot campus. “The University is finally catching up to it’s renown, what UConn has with Puppetry is unique, no other university [has] what we have with puppetry,” said Bell.

Next year, the UConn Puppet Arts program will celebrate its 50th year anniversary.

Exploring Your Summer Options

By: Reid DiRenzo

The University of Connecticut provides its students with many resources to help them find something to do over the summer. There is no right or wrong way to spend your summer, but UConn provides its students with many options for exploration and growth.

HuskyCareerLink and career fairs help students find jobs and network. Clubs and organizations provide students with summer trips or volunteer opportunities to work with people in need. Programs directed through UConn such as the Study Abroad program or summer courses allow students to continue taking classes.

Senior Lauren Almonte, 21, a Molecular and Cell Biology major went on a trip with 35 students on a 10-day-trip to the central coast region of Ghana during May. The trip was with the Global Brigades UConn division and was primarily a medical brigade. Almonte said they had spent “a day of meeting the community and finding out their health care needs and worries” and find out what they wanted in order to aid, not change the community. Aside from treating the community, Almonte said that the team spent a day traveling and sightseeing in the bigger cities and overall she had a “great time”.

“I think it completely changes your perspective about the world in general. It is so different even like the first few days it’s like a completely different world. It really opens your eyes to you know there’s different things outside the bubble of UConn that you could really help with and make a difference with,” said Almonte.

Phillys Yang, 21, a 7th-semester Finance major, worked as a financial optimization analyst for IBM at their operations headquarters in Somers, New York. Yang said she went to the School of Business Career Fair Expo, connected with the recruiter and eventually scored the co-op. Yang will be working in New York until December.

“Working at IBM has given me great insights to how a large corporation functions. Being part of a global company has really been teaching me how to improve my communication skills,” said Yang.

Besides working with Excel “checking emails throughout the day” and “joining conference calls” Yang said she made a lot of new friends. They frequently got together for happy hour, went to Yankee’s games or spent the day hanging-out in the city.

“I think I made a great choice choosing to take this semester to intern at IBM. I get to live in New York for 6 months, get great experience from a great company and enjoy having fun with the people I’m meeting. It’s like a semester working and being abroad,” said Yang.

Senior Catherine Goff, 21, an Economics major took a different route and spent most of her summer on Storrs campus taking summer classes in order to be able to graduate on time.

Goff said that it was better than staying home during the summer and “kept me productive.” There wasn’t much to do besides hang out with her roommate and go bowling occasionally, according to Goff. UConn did host summer events, but there weren’t many fliers to promote student interest, said Goff.

“The only thing I learned was not to take summer courses at UConn. There’s a lot of of important information that you miss when you take classes over the summer because they’re a lot shorter,” said Goff.

Whether you spend the summer soaking up the sun, studying or traveling to places you’ve never been before there is always something to learn and take with you.