Accolades from Neag Faculty, Staff, Alumni and Students

104516017-hands-clapping1-300x2001We want to hear from you! Accolades is a special section in the Spotlight about the accomplishments from our faculty, alumni, and students. If you have some great news to share, please let us know. Feel free to email them to

Elizabeth Osga (Sixth-Year Diploma in special education ’85, Ph.D. in education leadership ’05), superintendent of  Region 18 public schools, was presented with the Superintendent of the Year Award during the annual CABE (Connecticut Association of Boards of Education)/CAPSS (Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents) Convention. She was selected because of her leadership in the Region 18 schools, particularly for  providing high-quality learning experiences for students, providing modern and efficient school facilities for the children in the district and for leading successful efforts to improve the learning of those children, according to the association.

Cesarina “Ces” Thompson (M.S. in nursing ’83, Ph.D. in adult and vocational education ’93) was inducted as a fellow in the National League for Nursing – Academy for Nursing Education. She credits the adult education program and especially Barry Sheckley, Neag professor of adult learning, for the knowledge and skills she developed as a doctoral student.

Professor Sirmsree Sevatamorn Chaisorn (Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction ’75), former dean of education at Chiang Mai University in Chiang Mai, Thailand, received a national university teaching award given by the president of the Privy Council of Thailand at the Annual Conference of Higher Education, The award recognizes her teaching excellence and lifetime professional achievement for her work as department head, dean and creator and chair of graduate programs at Chiang Mai University during her 33-year career.

Emily Hall (athletic training ’10), heading to Indiana University for her master’s degree in athletic training, was selected for the first annual Penny F. Dunker-Polek Scholarship from the Connecticut Athletic Trainers’ Association.

Stephanie “Stevie” Clines (athletic training ’11) was selected to attend the Young Professionals Leadership Conference for athletic training students. The workshop, which required an application and acceptance, is very competitive and is designed to help foster leadership skills and networking.

Del Siegle (Neag associate professor of educational psychology and past president of the National Association of Gifted Children)  was asked to be a co-author of the newest edition of the best-selling textbook Education of the Gifted and Talented by Gary A. Davis and Sylvia Rimm. The sixth edition of what is considered to be the bible on the gifted and talented has been revised with updated research in several areas, practical classroom strategies and case studies.

Mary Yakimowski (Neag director of assessment) was invited to participate in the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement meeting on Teacher Quality Programs and designed for grant directors and evaluators.

Xae Alicia Reyes (associate professor Curriculum and Instruction and of Puerto Rican and Latino Studies) was asked to be a member of the state task force on the achievement gap in Connecticut’s public schools.

Hayley MacDonald (exercise science Ph.D. student in kinesiology)  contributed to planning UConn’s 25th Annual Student Health and Wellness Fair that took place in October.

Miguel Cardona, who was honored with an Alma Exley Memorial Scholarship in 1998, has been appointed to co-chair a state task force on the academic achievement gap in Connecticut’s public schools. The task force was formed by the General Assembly to study the gap between racial and socioeconomic groups and recommend effective approaches to closing it. Cardona earned an M.A. in bilingual bicultural education in 2001, a Sixth-Year Diploma in educational administration in 2004 and is currently a student in the Department of Educational Leadership’s Ed.D. program.

Mike Faggella-Luby, Natalie Olinghouse and Michael Coyne (all in the Educational Psychology Department) are co-PIs for a Center for Behavioral Education and Research  contract with the Providence, RI, school district. The team will help support the writing and implementation of their new K-12 English Language Arts Curriculum. The multiple-year contract also involves several Neag Ph.D. graduate assistants who are working on site with teachers and administrators.

Sandra Chafouleas (professor of school psychology) was elected as fellow of the American Psychological Association. In 2009 she received the Alumni Association award for Faculty Excellence in Teaching, at the graduate level.

Neag Center for Gifted Education received the 2010 National Association for Gifted Children’s Curriculum Studies Award for outstanding curriculum development. The award is in recognition of the first published unit, funded through the National Science Foundation under Project M2: Mentoring Young Mathematicians, entitled Designing a Shape Gallery: Geometry with the Meerkats. It is an advanced curriculum unit on geometry for second-grade students.  M. Katherine Gavin, Neag math specialist, directs the five-year M2 grant project.

Sally Reis (Board of Trustees distinguished professor and teaching fellow in Educational Psychology) was a presenter on “Enabling Environments that Nuture Leaders” at the 2010 First Ladies Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Reis is also prinicipal investigator of the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented.

Joseph Madaus (associate professor, Educational Psychology, and director of the Center on Postsecondary Education and Disability) was invited to join the advisory board of the National Post-School Outcomes Center. The center is in the federal Office of Special Education Programs. Madaus also was asked to join the editorial board of TEACHING Exceptional Children, which is the Council for Exceptional Children’s practitioner journal.

Michael Alfano (TCPCG), Shuana Tucker (UCAPP), Michael Faggella-Luby (Special Education), Austin Johnson (School Psychology), and Mary Yakimowski (Dean’s Office) gave a presentation on “Extreme Assessment: Going beyond the Classroom.” This was the third consecutive year that individuals from the Neag School gave a presentation for the New England Educational Assessment Network, established in 1995 by a group of higher education professionals interested in supporting a regional exchange of ideas related to assessment.

Lawrence Armstrong (professor in the Human Performance Laboratory)  was invited to speak on “Influence of Progressive Mild Dehydration on Cognitive Performance and Mood in Men and Women” at the Second Annual Hydration for Health Conference in Evian, France.

Stephanie M. Mazerolle (program director for the undergraduate athletic training program) reports a 100 percent pass rate on the Board of Certification exam on the first try – a first for the Neag program.