Eastern student Emily Barata of New Fairfield receives CSCU's highest undergraduate award

Two Eastern Connecticut State University students are recipients of the 2023 Henry Barnard Distinguished Student Award, the top academic honor for undergraduates in the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities System (CSCU).

The awards are given annually to 12 students at Connecticut's four state universities - Eastern, Central, Southern and Western. The students are nominated by their university and its president and awards are based on academic performance and community service.

Among the students was Emily Barata '23 of New Fairfield, a senior majoring in Biology.

Barata, an honors student and starter on the women's soccer team with a 3.93 GPA, has long planned on becoming a physician. She has tutored more than 100 students at Eastern in biology, chemistry and physics. She has been in charge of community service for the Student Athlete Advisory Committee at Eastern.

Barata is a volunteer emergency medical technician with the New Fairfield Volunteer Fire Department and has shadowed a physician in the emergency department at Danbury Hospital. She has been accepted at one medical school and is waiting to hear from others. She plans to become a pediatrician.

Her experiences on the soccer team are among her most memorable times at Eastern, Barata said. "It's definitely taught me to manage my time," fitting in two hours of practice a day and games. She has done research with biology Professor Kurt Lucin on how microgravity might affect brain health, and she will present her work at a conference later this spring at Quinnipiac University's medical school.


Eastern Connecticut State University is the state of Connecticut's public liberal arts university, serving upwards of 4,100 students annually on its Willimantic campus. In addition to attracting students from 160 of Connecticut's 169 towns, Eastern also draws students from 32 states and eight countries. A residential campus offering 41 majors and 68 minors, Eastern offers students a strong liberal arts foundation grounded in a variety of applied learning opportunities. Ranked among the top 20 public institutions in the North by U.S. News & World Report in its 2022-23 Best Colleges ratings, Eastern has also been awarded 'Green Campus' status by the Princeton Review 13 years in a row. For more information, visit www.easternct.edu.

Submitted by New Fairfield, CT

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