Sunday, December 21, 2014  
The Charger Bulletin

Rocky Horror left audiences shivering with anticipation

by Elissa Sanci | November 18, 2014

The UNH Theater Program left the audience in tears of laughter with their racy rendition of The Rocky Horror Show.

Tyler Prigionieri played Riff Raff in UNH’s The Rocky Horror Show (Photo by Keegan O’Connor/Backstage crew)

Tyler Prigionieri played Riff Raff in UNH’s The Rocky Horror Show
(Photo by Keegan O’Connor/Backstage crew)

The University of New Haven Theater Program’s production of The Rocky Horror Show premiered on Nov. 12 in Bucknall Theater at 8 p.m.

The musical, directed by Jonathan Yukich, was a success and even garnered a standing ovation. The Rocky Horror Show, a musical written by Richard O’Brien, has captured audiences since its inception in the early 1970s. The musical is a humorous tribute to science fiction and horror films produced in the 1940s. It tells the story of a newly engaged couple who find refuge from a storm in the home of a mad transvestite scientist and his new creation, a muscle man named Rocky.

The theater program’s take of the cult musical classic, which features songs “Sweet Transvestite” and “Time Warp,” showed five times: Nov. 12, 13, 14, and 15 at 8 p.m. and again on Nov. 14 at 11:30 p.m.

The cast, made up mostly of seniors, included David Ransbottom as Brad Majors, Shannon Whitaker as Janet Weiss, Tyler Prigionieri as Riff Raff and Leann Boisvert as his sister, Magenta. Zachary Fontanez sported fishnet stockings and heels as Frank ‘N’ Furter and Joshua Dill donned a gold speedo as Rocky. Zachary Smith-Grabko narrated the show, delivering hilarious insight throughout the night.

Prigionieri, who played Riff Raff in the show, has been involved in four shows with the UNH Theater Program, but says Rocky Horror was his favorite.

“The script in general was a challenge for me as an actor,” Prigionieri said. “I really had to appreciate and understand the text in order to present the Riff Raff I did on stage. It was a challenge that brought me to realize how much I really do have a passion for the theatre; Riff Raff was a pleasure to perform.”

Audience participation was encouraged at the 11:30 p.m. performance on Nov. 14. Keychain flashlights were attached to the back of each seat in Bucknall Theater for audience members to wave during the performance of “Over at the Frankenstein Place.” The audience was also invited on stage after the curtain call to dance the “Time Warp” with the cast and crew.

The cast and crew had been working on this show since Sept. 4 under the direction of Yukich, rehearsing for long hours in Bucknall Theater.

“The crew began initial work on the set, such as bringing in lumber, collecting and creating props and working on measurements on Sept. 25,” said Keegan O’Connor, a member of the cast who helped build and paint the set for Rocky Horror. O’Connor has been part of thirteen shows both with UNH and within her community at home.

The Rocky Horror Show cast  (Photo Keegan O’Connor)

The Rocky Horror Show cast (Photo Keegan O’Connor)

“My favorite part was seeing how well the set came together and how creatively the actors and the director, Jonathan Yukich, used the space our set designer, Heather Konish, came up with,” O’Connor said. “It was incredible to see the original design of the set and how it made the most of such a small stage; in only two months, the crew was able to make the design come to life and that was really fun to watch it go from a pile to wood to a functioning laboratory!”

The show had many memorable moments and the crowd howling with laughter. “My favorite part of Rocky Horror was when Dr. Scott reveals his fishnet stockings and red pumps!” said Prigionieri. “Such a great comedic response.”

UNH’s production of The Rocky Horror Show was a success. The actors brought Richard O’Brien’s cult classic to life and worked in harmony to keep the audience laughing.

Aaron’s Party takes over WNHU

by Ashley Winward | November 12, 2014

This past week, the University of New Haven was visited by 90’s royalty when Aaron Carter stopped by the new home of WNHU for an interview.

Aaron Carter poses with fans in the WNHU station (Photo by WNHU)

Aaron Carter poses with fans in the WNHU station (Photo by WNHU)

A large crowd of fans waited out in the cold, pouring rain for a chance to meet the former child superstar now moving towards a comeback in his late 20s.

Known best for hits like “Aaron’s Party (Come and Get it)” and “That’s how I beat Shaq,” Carter took the early 2000s by storm being a pop star, guest starring on the hit TV show Lizzie McGuire, and playing Jojo in his Broadway Debut of Seussical the Musical.

After his album Oh Aaron, his career went dormant; however, with his return to the spotlight in 2009 as a contestant on Dancing with the Stars it looked like a strong comeback was inevitable.

Fans wasted no time on Thursday afternoon, flocking to the new WNHU studio across the street from Celentano Hall and standing outside the studio huddled under a small tent. Carter was fashionably late getting to the studio, but once he settled in with Chris Schnabel, Nikki Iannace and Late Night Charge host Joe Brown, no time was wasted before the conversation got going.

He was very excited to see his fans, taking selfies with many outside the window and posting them to his Snapchat and Instagram accounts. WNHU’s new studio has made musician events such as Carter’s visit possible.

The large windows of the building, which face out onto the lawn gave fans the chance to see the interview happening live instead of hearing the show behind a wall.

Interview topics spanned almost the entirety of his career, from being a child star to the “That’s How I Beat Shaq” sequel that took place last year. One of the most interesting questions that was asked was about his friendship with Michael Jackson.

Carter discussed how Jackson deemed him the “New Prince of Pop” and how he was given a jacket by the original Prince of Pop himself. He also told the surprising story of how fate had the two miss their flight out of New York City the day of Sept. 11.

After the interview, fans were given the chance to meet Carter and take photos.

Freshman Jess Devine spoke of her experience. “It was really surreal to meet someone that you’ve adored since you were really young and then to see them all grown up was very strange,” she said. “It’s nice knowing that he’s still down to earth and he takes time out of his busy schedule to take selfies with fans.”

Photos taken have been posted to the WNHU Facebook page for anyone who is looking to retrieve their precious memory with Carter. Tickets were also raffled off for his show that night at Toad’s Place which packed the house to nearly selling out.

It was certainly a memorable throwback Thursday on campus and hopefully will be the beginning of many fan-radio interactions on UNH’s campus.

UNH Marching Band Attends New Haven Court House Ceremony

by Francesca Fontanez | November 7, 2014

The University of New Haven’s marching band made an appearance at the Richard C. Lee Court House on Oct. 30. An event was held to celebrate the 225th Anniversary of the District, as well as the 100th Anniversary of the Richard C. Lee Courthouse. The band played not only selections from their field show, but also a plethora of patriotic songs, leaving bystanders with a sense of pride and enthusiasm.

According to The Richard C. Lee U.S. Courthouse website, a cornerstone dedication ceremony was first held in 1914. Former President William Howard Taft, a professor at Yale Law School at the time, spoke at the ceremony. The text of his speech was placed in the cornerstone, along with other mementos nearly 100 years ago. The University of New Haven Marching Band was honored to be a part of the 2014 ceremony.

The University of New Haven’s Marching Band is one of the fastest growing collegiate bands in the country. What started out with 20 members in 2009 has grown to over 200. The Charger’s Marching Band is under the direction of Jason L. DeGroff.

While the Chargers’s season is just about coming to a close, they’ve had a very active season; five home games, two competitions (and one upcoming), and numerous UNH campus activities has kept the Chargers Marching Band and their supporters very busy this fall.

Indoor Cycling: the type of exercise that bring a newly inspired clothing trend

by Courtney Brooks | October 29, 2014

Lately, it seems that people are more obsessed with working out than ever before.

courtney bw

This fall, instead of sweaters and boots, the rising trend seen throughout campus has been workout clothes paired with a cool pair of Nike Free Runs, while our Instagram newsfeeds are covered with “fitspiration” photos.

This rise in exercise is not just a phase; it is a result of the growing varieties of the many different types of exercise offered to UNH students at the Rec Center. One workout in particular that is quickly gaining the popularity of many students and faculty is indoor cycling.

Indoor cycling is done on a stationary bike in a fitness studio. The workout is typically around 45 minutes long with a few breaks added in.

Throughout the indoor cycling class, an instructor guides the participants through various stages on the bike, ranging from warm-ups and slow climbs to uphill sprints. The atmosphere is very upbeat with loud music motivating you the whole way through.

Jackie Hinrichs, one of UNH’s very own indoor cycling instructors, fell in love with the exercise because of the speed, the sweat, and the dedication to working out. “Spinning [indoor cycling]  is one of the most rewarding cardio activities you could ever possibly do,” she said.

Here are her top three reasons why you should give it a shot:

1.For those of you who get bored doing the same workouts on a treadmill or elliptical day after day, substituting in a indoor cycling class is a great cardio workout. In a typical indoor cycling class, you burn about 500 calories, which is much more than you would burn on the treadmill for 45 minutes. Also, you control the tempo of the class because the bikes have adjustable tensions, so you can always try to burn more!

2.If you’re looking to get that perfect Kim Kardashian “bubble butt” look without doing 1,000 squats a day, indoor cycling is the workout for you! This workout targets the glutes and the legs and helps build muscle and tone up.

3.Working out is always more enjoyable when it is done with a friend. Having someone next to you motivating you makes you work harder and the time pass faster. In a indoor cycling class, you are never alone.

Aside from the encouraging instructor, you are always surrounded by people with the same goals as you that push you to succeed. It is a great environment to be in!

If any of this appeals to you, Jackie, as well as all the indoor cycling instructors at UNH encourage you to try out a class. Beginners and experienced riders all welcome!

The grass is greener here

by Courtney Brooks | October 29, 2014

More often than not, someone always has something negative to say about our school. It’s like the grass is always greener on the other side; every other school seems to have something to offer that we don’t: better food, nicer dorms, bigger parties…you name it, we’ve complained about it.

courtney bw

I am guilty of this myself, but that stops today! This past homecoming made me realize just how much there is to appreciate about being a Charger and why I am proud to call UNH home.

For a small school, in a small city, in an even smaller state, UNH has more spirit than most of the bigger, division one schools. As if the fact that we are only the second in the nation to have a blue turf field to represent our football players doesn’t say it all, the enthusiasm behind the sea of blue at the homecoming game on Saturday was electric. Everyone was wearing their blue and yellow with pride, cheering the football team into a 42-14 victory over Merrimack.

This homecoming, UNH went all out! The weekend started with the Swimsuit Sprint and was followed by a concert by the popular Sammy Adams. The university didn’t have to do this—they wanted to because they wanted students to be able to enjoy this weekend to the fullest and I think many of us fail to realize that. We are part of a university that genuinely cares about each and everyone one of its students, that wants us to have fun and succeed in everyway possible and that was proven this past weekend. This is huge because at many schools, students are just another number, another source of income from tuition, but at UNH, we are family. That is something that should never be taken for granted.

After a great weekend, I’ve realized that the grass is, in fact, not greener on the other side, its greener where you water it. In other words, instead of focusing on what other schools are doing, we should be focusing on all that our own is doing. A little appreciation goes a long way and all of us should be expressing gratitude for our school, not putting it down.

And if you still aren’t happy here, instead of complaining, do something about it; join a committee or a club and make a change! This schools is ours, it is what WE make it.

President’s Corner

by Richard Rotella | October 29, 2014

Chargers,

Richard Rotella, USGA President (Chariot Yearbook Photo)

Richard Rotella, USGA President (Chariot Yearbook Photo)

I hope that everyone enjoyed Charge-A-Palooza week last week. It was great to see everyone at Midnight Madness, Swimsuit Sprint and Homecoming. Many of these events have slowly become UNH traditions and an important part of our campus.

A special thank you goes to the countless alumni of UNH that attended Homecoming. Their attendance shows that you are not a Charger for just four years, but, instead, are a Charger for the rest of your life.

I would also like to thank EMS Club, Fire Science Club, American Criminal Justice Association, Sigma Chi and Up Til Dawn for participating in the first ever Homecoming Chariot Race; it was a great success. And congratulations to Sigma Chi for coming in first, followed closely by EMS Club in second, and Up Til Dawn in third.
Just as a reminder, USGA will be in the German Club this Friday, October 31 at 11 a.m. There will also be a President’s Roundtable before the meeting in the German Club at 9:45 a.m.

Warmest regards,
Richard J. Rotella
USGA President

Kristen Merlin returns to UNH

by Elissa Sanci | October 8, 2014

Kristen Merlin wasn’t going to try out for The Voice initially—after being shot down two previous times, she figured it wasn’t worth a third shot. She had a gig planned for the day of the tryout, and figured she’d only go to the audition if she found someone to cover for her.

Kristen Merlin performs at UNH’s Fall Fest (Photo by UNH student John Marden)

Kristen Merlin performs at UNH’s Fall Fest (Photo by UNH student John Marden)

Luck and fate were obviously on Merlin’s side that day; not only did she make it past the first round of auditions, but made it all the way to the big stage, where both Shakira and Adam Levine turned their chairs around for the University of New Haven alumna.

Merlin, one of the finalists on NBC’s reality TV singing competition, came back to her alma mater Fri. Oct. 3 to perform during SCOPE and the Music Industry Club’s Fall Music and Arts Festival.

Fall Fest began at 2 p.m., where MIC held acoustic sets until 4:30 p.m. The concert, held on the Bartels Student Activities Center patio, began at 6 p.m., featuring Ian Biggs, Sparks and the Rescue and ASTR, closing with Merlin.

“It’s awesome being back at UNH,” Merlin said. “So many things on campus have changed but it’s cool because you walk down memory lane; it’s like ‘I dormed in that one, I partied in that one!’”

Merlin, who attended UNH from 2003 to 2007, lived in Botwinik, Sheffield and Winchester Halls during her time on campus. Merlin graduated with a B.A. degree in music and sound recording.
Merlin said her favorite UNH memory was playing in SCOPE’s open mic Beanhouse events, where she would play her original music.

“The only difference [between playing for small audience and playing for large-scale audiences] is the energy in the room; the more bodies, the more energy you feel but the excitement was kinda just the same,” she said. “It was as fun for me to have that intimate crowd as it was to perform at the much larger scale.”

The Voice, which is currently in its seventh season, is based purely on a contestant’s voice; a blind audition involves the four judges listening to contestants with their chairs turned so that they can concentrate on their voices rather than their appearances. The show’s tagline—Close your eyes. Open your ears.—says it all.

“I’m always judged for looks before anything else, so it was really cool and funny to see Shakira’s reaction—she was wicked shocked to see what she turned around to,” said Merlin, who hails from Hanson, Mass. “It’s a great premise; I love the idea of The Voice, especially for me, because I fit the exact premise of it.”

Merlin said that because she was so nervous during her audition, she didn’t realize that both Adam Levine and Shakira had hit their buttons, signifying they both wanted her for their teams and guaranteeing her a spot on the show.

“It really wasn’t setting in until the end of [my audition] when I was like ‘Oh sh*t! They turned! That means this is it, I’m on! Now I get to choose.’”

Merlin initially wanted Blake Shelton as her coach, and after he didn’t turn his chair, had decided to go with Levine. She shocked herself by choosing Shakira. “As I was saying ‘I choose Shakira,’ in my head I was like ‘Whaaat?’” Merlin explained.

Merlin enjoyed working with Shakira throughout her time on The Voice, where she placed fourth. “At one point, I actually ended up mentoring her; she freaked out when we had to do a song together,” she said. “She was freaking out saying ‘It’s not going right,’ and I was like ‘Shak—take a moment. You are Shakira; I don’t know if you know this—you can do anything on stage and people will go crazy. You’re going to be fine.’ I had to, like, talk her off a ledge for a minute.”

Merlin remembered watching artists like Matt Nathanson performing on campus when she was an undergraduate and said that she aspired to tour campuses and perform for students too. “And here I am,” she said. “It’s pretty awesome.” Merlin plans to travel to Los Angeles, Calif. soon to record an EP; she writes all her music and plays acoustic guitar as well.

“Music is my life—I’m sickly addicted to music,” she said.

“Kristen was very personal,” said Chariot Yearbook Editor Annalisa Berardinelli. “She literally hopped over the wires of the BSAC patio and danced with the crowd; she was very cool and down to Earth.”

Derek Watson, president of SCOPE, was very pleased with the turnout of the event. “It was excellent to have Kristen Merlin back as an alumna of UNH.” It was cool to see her interact with the crowd, he added, where she hung out with fans, taking pictures and talking to undergraduates.

“Fall Fest was a great event to foster and cultivate a great sense of community among local artists,” said senior Colby Thammavongsa.

“Don’t ever give up; always chase your dream,” Merlin said to anyone looking to pursue a career in music. “No matter how big or small your goal is, jump at any opportunity you can take. Timing is everything, that’s for sure.”

Families come to campus

by Elissa Sanci | September 24, 2014

Families traveled from near and far to visit their loved ones Sat. Sept 20 for the University of New Haven’s annual Family Day.

Families travel to visit UNH students and spend the day together (Office of Student Activities Photo)

Families travel to visit UNH students and spend the day together (Office of Student Activities Photo)

UNH had a plethora of events throughout the day for families to choose from; the activities ranged widely so there would be something for everyone and no one was left out. UNH offered over 50 activities throughout the course of the day. These events ranged from physic readings and face painting to a tour of West Haven and a Taste of New Haven Food Tour.

“There’s a great schedule,” Melissa Rourke, freshman, added. “I like how there’s things for little kids to do, so siblings can have fun too while families are visiting.”
Family Day is organized by the Office of Student Activities.

Assistant Director of Student Activities Shelissa Newball was in charge of coordinating the event this year. “I think it went well this year,” she said. “It was a little chaotic but I think the families had a good time.”

Newball has been working on Family Day since May of 2014.

“We had a committee that helped plan the day, but it was a big team effort. Not just OSA was involved, but the Office of Residential Life as well, and all of campus,” she said. “It took a lot of planning and everyone on campus played a major role in this event.”

“Everything UNH does is very organized, from move in day to family day,” said Tim Rourke, father of freshman Melissa Rourke.
Freshman Joey Marino, of Clinton, Conn., and his parents were most looking forward to seeing Brian Miller, magician and comedian. Miller’s act combines magic, comedy and mind reading, among other things, and took place in Bucknall Theater.

“I’m really happy UNH does this,” Marino said about Family Day. “There’s tons of activities and they all seem interesting.”

At 1 p.m., families could attend the UNH vs. Assumption football game at North Campus, which a lot of father’s, including Rourke, said they were looking forward to most.

Other activities included a trip to the Flight Trampoline Park, a fire show performed by Antonalia the Fire Goddess, and hypnotist Jim Spinnato.

Antonalia the Fire Goddess (Office of Student Activities Photo)

Antonalia the Fire Goddess (Office of Student Activities Photo)

“For the most part, everyone enjoyed the day,” said Newball. “The hard part is figuring out how many people are going to show up. For next year, I’d like to offer more activities and spread them out more throughout the day.”

Undergraduate Student Government Association President Richard Rotella said the day was a blast.

“It was a lot of fun seeing the families celebrate all that UNH has to offer,” said Rotella.

Cyber Forensics and Research team open their doors

by Miriam Correia | September 24, 2014

The Cyber Forensics Research and Education Laboratory at the University of New Haven is now up and running.

The ribbon cutting ceremony (Photo by Harold Shapiro)

The ribbon cutting ceremony (Photo by Harold Shapiro)

The Grand Opening ceremony and ribbon cutting was held Friday, Sept 19 in Buckman Hall, followed by a reception in Gehring Hall.

Ronald S. Harichandran, Dean of the Tagliatela College of Engineering, welcomed everyone to the event. Remarks were given by Henry C. Lee, Dora B. Schriro, the Commissioner of Emergency

Services and Public Protection, Ali Golbazi, the Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science, and Ibrahim Baggili, Assistant Professor and Director of CFREL.

Although the laboratory has just opened, the Cyber Forensics and Research team has been making a name for themselves.

The team has gained recognition beginning fall of 2013, and some of their accomplishments include being the first in Connecticut to establish an Educational Partnership Agreement with the Defense Cyber Crime Center.

They have had 18 peer-reviewed publications and investigated the security of Android Apps. They have done exposés of security flaws found in WhatsApp, Viber, Instagram, OKCupid and several other international social apps. There are videos on these apps that can be found on YouTube and there was a news special done on it that was featured on WTNH. Some of the students developed MINT or Malware Investigation Toolkit. They were invited to join the Academic Alliance for the Department of Homeland Security’s Stop. Think. Connect campaign and they are hosting the International Conference on Digital Forensics and Cyber Crime and the Systematic Approaches to Digital Forensics Engineering conference.

They also received a grant of $140,000 from the Department of Homeland Security to build the Artifact Genome Project. This only touches on the list of accomplishments they have made just within the past year.

The Cyber Forensics lab (Photo by Erica Naugle)

The Cyber Forensics lab (Photo by Erica Naugle)

Jason Moore, a student of the Cyber Forensics program, gave a quick info session on some of the lab’s amenities. The state of the art new lab features 18 brand new iMac workstations, a portable clean room for hard drive discs, .XRY Mobile Forensic units, military grade forensic duplicators and wipers, hardware write-blockers, and a 75” flat screen television that can stream information from any computer in the room.

The most important part of all the recognition and accomplishments are the students, according to Baggili. He ended his speech by asking, “Who are the real heroes?” He then answered with “the students” and then asked everyone for a round of applause for them and their hard work. “Without my students, nothing would be possible.”

Catalina Gonzalez will be running through your mind in no time

by Ashley Winward | September 24, 2014

Being a member of the University of New Haven community has led me to meet so many talented people in so many different fields.

Catalina Gonzalez (Photo by Kara Zavaglio)

Catalina Gonzalez (Photo by Kara Zavaglio)

Catalina Gonzalez has been no exception.

Hailing from Santiago, Chile, the senior here at UNH has made a name for herself in the local music community and is looking to expand out with new music opportunities. Over the past few years she’s put out two EPs, Old Soul, New Voice and Game Of Words, with plenty of fun covers along the way including her “Song Sunday” installments you can check out on YouTube. She released her newest EP last semester, Roadrunner, and I think it truly shows her versatility as a songstress and her power as a vocalist!

The EP opens with the title track “Roadrunner” that is reminiscent of an old bluesy rock track. The chugging guitar line evokes a ZZ Top vibe while Gonzalez croons about chasing after a “roadrunner” love. The next track, “To Forget You,” goes in a completely new direction, taking me to a distant island with the reggae harmonies and again that very distinctive guitar setting the tone for the song. For me, the best was certainly saved for last with the very slinky and sultry “My Man.” The mysterious verses opened up to a powerful wailing chorus that absolutely blew me away with an organ part that felt like I was being taken to church.

There is no low point to this EP, no filler track to take up space and nothing missing from my musical palate. I can really appreciate artists who put out short EPs like Roadrunner because it’s a sampling of short songs that all show such strength. I would much rather a short brilliantly crafted EP over a full length that has sub-par filler tracks.

All in all, Catalina Gonzalez hit this one out of the park. You can pick it up for yourself at catalinagonzalez.bandcamp.com as well as her other EPs and cover singles. You can also find her on Facebook or on her website at Catalinagonzalezmusic.com. Her next show in the area will be at Two Roads Brewery in Stratford, so be sure to go support!

It’s been awesome for me personally to watch Gonzalez go from performing at the freshman talent show singing Adele to now putting out great original music. Hopefully it won’t be long before I can say that the girl on TV winning a Grammy went to my alma mater!

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