Accolades: Read About the News and Accomplishments from our Students, Alumni and Faculty/Staff

104516017-hands-clapping1-300x2001Accolades – below are news and notes from our alumni, faculty, staff, and students. We are proud of all the amazing accomplishments by our Neag family. If you have an accolade to share, we want to hear from you! Please send any news items (and story ideas) to


Cynthia Costanzo ‘88 was named executive director of recreational services for the University of Connecticut.

Lynda Mullaly Hunt BA in elementary education ’88, MA in elementary education ’96 came back to campus for an author reception and booksigning during Confratute. She recently published her first book One for the Murphys.

Daniel Mosher Long has an exhibit of unique accumulations of objects, which he then photographed, on display in the Homer Babbage Library.

Jenna Masone is the new assistant principal at Hindley School.

Dirk Olmstead UCAPP ’08 was named principal at Parkville Community School for Hartford Public Schools.

Bethany Royer BA in agriculture education ’05, MA in curriculum instruction ‘06, was chosen as 2012 Agriculture Teacher of the Year.

Paul K. Smith Sixth-Year Diploma in educational administration ’98, formerly Bolton Public Schools superintendent, was appointed to a superintendent position in the Griswold public school system.


Gifted and Talented won the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) Curriculum Award for their kindergarten geometry unit, “Exploring Shapes in Space: Geometry and the Frogonauts.” The purpose of the competition was to identify different curriculum units, for heterogeneous classrooms and gifted education programs that can be shared with other educators as models of exemplary curriculum.

Assessment — A sell-out crowd of 500 individuals attended the third annual statewide forum for K-12 school staff entitled, “Transition to the Connecticut State Standards and System of Assessments.” This forum, sponsored by the Connecticut State Department of Education and the Neag School of Education, was held August 13 and August 14 at the Crown Plaza, Cromwell. The first day Dr. Sharon Lynn Kagan provided the keynote address, while Dr. Don Leu provided the plenary session to opening the second day. The PowerPoints of the presentations are available at:

Catherine Whall Smith (retiree) has an exhibit of quilts in the Homer Babbage Library.

Sandra Bell, Marijke Kehrhahn and Doug Casa co-authored an article (in press) “Case-based analogical reasoning: A pedagogical tool for promotion of clinical reasoning” in Athletic Training Education Journal.

Anjana Bhat received a $20,800 Faculty Large Grant entitled “Embodied Rhythm Interventions in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders” from UConn’s Office of the Vice President for Research.

Laura Burton was invited to serve a three-year term on UConn’s Individualized Major Advisory & Admissions Committee. She authoredMaking a mistake as an AD: Do gender-stereotypes influence evaluation of leaders in intercollegiate athletics?” for the North American Society of Sport Management. She also co-authored “The mediating effect of organizational culture on the relationship between transformational leadership and organizational commitment, turnover intentions and job search behaviors in NCAA Division I athletic departments” for the same organization, North American Society of Sport Management.

Laurie Burton and Stephanie Mazerolle published “They cannot seem to get past the gender issue: Experiences of young female athletic trainers in Division I intercollegiate athletics” in Sport Management Review.

Doug Casa was recognized by the National Strength and Conditioning Association with the President’s Award in July. He also recently hosted the Korey Stringer Institute’s inaugural Kick-off Fundraiser at the NFL Headquarters to recognize the achievements of educators and medical professionals who have made significant contributions in preventing sudden death in sport.

Tutita Casa published a top paper in Teacher Children Mathematics (the top practitioner journal in elementary mathematics education), which she wrote with a former IB/M student. The paper shared results from her inquiry project where she investigated how her first-grade students utilized the talk frame, an instructional tool that she developed to support communication about mathematics. Maddie now is a third-grade teacher at Goodwin in Mansfield.

Casey Cobb was appointed to the editorial board of Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis.  He also co-authored an article (in press), “Intergroup Relations in Integrated Schools: A Glimpse Inside Interdistrict Magnet Schools” in Education Policy Analysis Archives.

Morgaen Donaldson authored “Coaching for Instructional Improvement: Conditions and Strategies that Matter” in The Cambridge Handbook of Implementation Science for Educational Psychology. She published “An Evaluation of Disparities in Instructional Quality Across Connecticut School Districts” for the Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Finance. She also published “Teachers’ Perspectives on Teacher Evaluation Reform: Findings from One Reformist District” for Center for American Progress in Washington, DC.

Michele Femc-Bagwell and Mallory Bagwell published the A.S.P.I.R.E. Survey: Six Points of Engagement for School Communities. It is an instrument that assesses the collective resource pool of all parents and adults associated with a school community as well as the assets and traits of the community itself. A.S.P.I.R.E. Survey work at Bassick (2011-2012) was just accepted in the new edition of Promising Partnership Practices 2012 (National Network of Partnership Schools/Johns Hopkins University). It was recognized as one of 80 best practices from 16 states.

Wendy Glenn has several publications in press, “Omdefinerer en Norsk Norge: The influence of changing demographics on Norwegian schooling for social democracy” in Equity and Excellence in Education Special Theme Issue, Global and Local Perspectives on Social Justice Pedagogy: History, Policy, and Praxis. She co-authored “Looking into and beyond time and place:  The timeless potential of young adult literature” in The ALAN Review. The other article, “Developing understandings of race: Pre-service teachers’ counter-narrative (re)-constructions of people of color in young adult literature,” in English Education came out in July.

Richard Gonzales authored his first article (in press) “Planning University-District Partnerships: Implications for Principal Preparation Programs in Educational Planning.  He was a co-author with three colleagues at UT.  His second article (in press), “A Rigorous Recruitment and Selection Process of the University of Texas at Austin Principalship Program” is a chapter in Advances in Educational Administration (Vol. 17). He co-authored the article. He’s also the founding member of the UCEA Graduate Council that’s producing the first annual Graduate Student Summit at UCEA 2012 in Denver.

Anysia Mayer was elected to treasurer in addition to her current role as registrar of the Sociology of Education Association (SEA).  She was also elected to AERA program chair for the Tracking/Detracking SIG for 2013-15. In addition, she developed new programs for ELL students at CREC schools.

Anysia Mayer authored (in press) “Misinterpreting School Reform: The Dissolution of a Dual Immersion Bilingual Program in an Urban New England Elementary School” in Bilingual Research Journal. She also co-authored a report with Kimberly LeChasseur “English Learners and Language Policies in Connecticut” for the Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Finance on behalf of the Center for Education Policy Analysis.

Stephanie Mazerolle and Laura Burton co-authored a paper, which was accepted. “The professional socialization of college female athletic trainers: navigating experiences of gender bias” will appear in Journal of Athletic Training.

Joe Renzulli, on the recommendation of International Center for the Study of Giftedness board of directors, was invited to become a member of the international Scientific Advisory Board of the International Center for the Study of Giftedness (ICBF).

Del Siegle was recently named “2012 CAG Friend of the Gifted” by the Connecticut Association for the Gifted for his contribution to the field of gifted education over the past 30 years. He will be officially recognized at a later event.

George Sugai was invited to present at two national events by the federal government (OSHS Institute on School Discipline). He presented at the “Third Annual Bullying Prevention Summit” and “Education Experts Discuss Alternatives to Traditional Disciplinary Strategies.” Both were televised by C-SPAN.

Bob Villanova was invited to serve on the Educator Preparation Advisory Council (EPAC), co-chaired by Dr. Robert Kennedy (president of the Board of Regents for Higher Education) and Commissioner Stefan Pryor.  EPAC was established on by the State Board of Education to develop a system for the approval, quality, regulation, oversight and accreditation of Connecticut educator preparation Programs.

Sarah Woulfin was appointed to the editorial boards of Reading Research Quarterly and Education Policy Analysis Archives. She also authored (in press).“Equity-oriented instructional leadership: Turning up the volume for English Learners” in Re-imagining Education Reform.