Monday, September 8, 2008

Press Release

Central Connecticut State University Announces Fund in Honor of Brian M. O’Connell

Central Connecticut State University announced the establishment of a fund in honor of Brian M. O’Connell, a professor in CCSU’s computer science and philosophy departments who died in May 2008. Events planned for September 24, 2008, will help to generate support for the fund.

The Brian M. O’Connell Fund will support an annual lecture series to be given by the “Brian M. O’Connell Fellow,” a recognized scholar-practitioner in computer science, engineering, technology, philosophy, law, music, and other fields of study. The fund would also support the “Brian M. O’Connell Scholarship,” which would be awarded to an undergraduate student who best exemplifies the intellectual passion, curiosity, and accomplishment of O’Connell.

After a successful career as an attorney, O’Connell joined CCSU and expanded his expertise to computer science and philosophy, fields in which his scholarship was acclaimed. He won the Franklyn S. Haiman Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Freedom of Expression from the National Communication Association. O'Connell was a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Among other offices he held within this organization, he served as Vice President, President and Past-President of the Society on the Social Implications of Technology; on the Board of Governors’ of the Computer Society; as Secretary/Treasurer of the Sensors Council; and as Chair of the Connecticut Section.

O’Connell’s incisive mind and natural exuberance inspired his many students. Whether he was teaching about robotics, ethics, or morality and literature, he and his students engaged in the mutual enterprise of education, learning from each other and pushing each other to new understandings, and towards new questions to ask. He strongly believed that students at Central were capable of great things and he dedicated himself toward providing opportunities for them to excel.

The University is working with family and friends of O’Connell to generate support for the fund, and, to that end, will hold several events. The first will take place on Wednesday, September 24, 2008. An afternoon event will feature presentations memorializing O’Connell’s life and scholarly activities. An evening reception will bring together family, friends, and colleagues from the areas that marked O’Connell’s professional life: CCSU, the University of Connecticut Law School, the Connecticut Bar Association, and the IEEE, among others.

Details of these events will be available on the University’s website. To learn more about the afternoon event, please contact Professor David Blitz: 860-832- 2916 or

For more information about the Brian M. O’Connell Fund and evening reception, please contact Laura V. Marchese: 860-832-2554 , email: or log onto:

No comments: