A global submission manager at Pfizer Inc, Jeffrey Autrey has over 15 years of experience in the role. Desiring to deepen his local community involvement, Jeffrey Autrey is a member of Saint Agnes Catholic Church in Niantic, Connecticut. Saint Agnes Catholic Church has a long history in the area, spanning over a century.
Saint Agnes Catholic Church began offering masses in 1905 in preexisting spaces at the Crescent Beach Hotel, and did not have dedicated venues until 1908 when construction on the St. Francis Chapel completed. However, the chapel was only usable during the summer. In 1922, the local diocese began using a purchased home as a church and rectory, and a dedicated wooden church was completed in 1924. The modern church hall began construction in the 1930s, paused during World War II, continued in 1953, and finished in 1957.
Alongside the masses, which serve over 1,000 registered parishioners, Saint Agnes Catholic Church offers religious education classes for over 250 local children. To serve homebound parishioners, volunteers deliver the Eucharist to homes on Friday mornings, and to the Bridebrook Health Center on Sundays, after the regularly-scheduled 9 am mass. Volunteers also hold a monthly mass at this facility.
Despite the state’s relatively small size, hiking enthusiasts visiting or living in Connecticut have a wide range of options when it comes to selecting trails, from simple, well-maintained suburban trails to more challenging and technically demanding backcountry adventures.
The Mohegan Park Loop is a favorite of hikers in the Norwich region. Located about 40 miles southeast of Hartford, Mohegan Park provides families with a number of outdoor activities, ranging from swimming at Spaulding Pond to the Veterans Memorial Rose Garden, which consists of nearly 2,500 rose bushes.
The park’s 1.9-mile loop is easy to find and, thanks to a series of colored blazes, can be hiked year-round, even in winter. That said, the trail still manages to feel set away from civilization. Hikers can complete the scenic loop as many times as they wish, or they can plan out a longer hike through the area by branching off the path onto the Blue Trail, the Green Trail, the Red Trail, and the Inner Paved Loop.
For hiking groups or individuals looking for a longer day on the trail, West Thompson Lake in Thompson, not far from Worcester, Massachusetts, and Providence, Rhode Island, features a 7.2-mile loop of intermediate difficulty. The dog-friendly trail loops around the lake, providing various stop-offs, including picnic areas, a shoreline offering kayaking and other water activities, and a disc golf course. The lake also includes the West Thompson Lake Campground, with 24 sites for overnight camping. The winding Thompson Lake trail passes over a dam and weaves through tranquil meadows and woodlands as hikers make their way back to the boat launch on Shoreline Trail.
The Zoar Trail in Oxford’s Paugusset State Forest presents an even greater challenge, though the 6.4-mile trail is a convenient loop. The trail is a favorite of those who prefer the peace and solitude that can sometimes be hard to find among the more well-known public parks. The Zoar Trail presents hikers with obstacles such as steep inclines and descents, rocky terrain, and a series of small river crossings. Those willing to take on the challenge are rewarded with picturesque waterfalls and a view of Lake Zoar, a reservoir formed by the Housatonic River.
If a person or hiking party is unsure of what degree of difficulty they are in the mood for, the Macedonia Ridge Trail in Macedonia Brook State Park is a great option. Located in Kent, the park’s popular trail features a rugged western section for advanced hikers and a more forgiving eastern portion for those less interested in climbing to the summit of Cobble Mountain. In fact, the entire park consists of interlocking trails of varying difficulty. Because the trail is a loop, hikers can elect to take on the difficult half first, while their legs are still fresh, or start on the eastern side and turn back when the going gets tough. The trail’s main challenge is presented in the form of several steep, rocky climbs. Those who conquer the climbs are able to enjoy panoramic views of the nearby Catskills and Taconics.
Additional Connecticut hiking trails to consider include the West Rock Ridge Loop in New Haven and the trails at Bear Mountain in Salisbury’s Mount Riga State Park.
Pfizer global submission manager Jeffrey Autrey holds a master’s in pharmacy quality assurance and regulatory affairs as well as a professional certificate in drug development from Temple University. Outside his work, Jeffrey Autrey has a profound interest in philosophy as well as subjects such as cognitive psychology.
One of the most popular books in the latter genre is Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Nobel prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman. The book describes the brain’s two main systems and how they can clash during important processes such as decision-making. The older, automated system evolved to help humans avoid immediate dangers and makes decisions based on emotions and previous experiences.
The other more conscious system is suited for the complex decision-making required in modern-day life. Kahneman explains how reliance on the outdated system in modern areas such as investing and analyzing data can lead to erroneous conclusions. He also offers several definitions and examples of common cognitive distortions, such as the halo effect, which is the tendency to have a high regard for a person due to a single positive trait.