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


Caroline Thompson, an IB/M student, presented at this year’s Northeastern Educational Research Association conference, held in Trumbull, Connecticut in late October.

Nick Ahmed, former Neag student and baseball player for the Arizona Diamondbacks shared his experiences and personal stories of being a student-athlete and professional MLB player at an event sponsored by the UConn Alumni Association.



Christie Attansaio, ‘14, was named the Fairfax County First Year Teacher of the Year. She teaches first grade at Dogwood School.

Gara Field, PhD ‘07, is headed to Washington, DC for the White House Future Ready Superintendent’s Summit. The US Department of Education is recognizing outstanding examples of how to transform an urban public school by leveraging technology, full service, and family engagement to make overall improvements.

Holly Hagemen, principal of Nayaug Elementary School, is leaving to become assistant superintendent in Regional School District 17. She served as director of curriculum and instruction in Region 12 prior to coming to Glastonbury. She earned her doctoral degree in educational leadership from UConn.

Michael Louis ’05 (ED), ’07 MA a four-year letter winner for the UConn men’s tennis team and a six-year assistant coach for the Huskies, is the UConn men’s tennis head coach. He previously served as head coach of the men’s and women’s teams at the University of Hartford.

Kevin McLaughlin, secondary teaching ‘93, director of diversity and outreach for UConn’s School of Engineering, was recognized with a Public Engagement Award from the Office of Public Engagement for outstanding staff member.

Cara Quinn, ‘03, ‘04, was awarded the 2015 Connecticut Teacher of the Year. She currently teaches sixth grade at Sunset Ridge School in East Hartford. She majored in Elementary Education and spent the fall semester of her 5th year in London.

Irving “Irv” Schein ’55 (ED), president and director of publisher International Consulting & Trade Associates, Inc., in West Hartford, Conn., is the co-author of The Thinking Academy: A School Which Embraces Cognitive Education Across the Curriculum: A Proposal to Redesign America’s Schools, published in December 2013 by International Consulting and Trade Associates.

Suzanne Taylor just published “Love Letters to and from a Monk, My Aunts Letters and His Responses.” An unlikely story and romance between a widow and a monk, Taylor’s book is an exchange of letters than exposes an “unyielding romance between two unlikely people.” She is currently a professor at the University of Rhode Island.

Dr. Nivea L. Torres, ‘06, was named the 2014 Connecticut Latina Citizen of the Year. Torres currently is the superintendent of the Connecticut Technical High School System.


Passings – The following Neag alums have passed away:

Carol Roche Virostek, PhD, a former Connecticut Teacher of the Year in 1989 and Milken Award Winner in 1991. She taught English at Berlin High School. The American Association of University Women (AAUW) established an endowment in her name.

Gertrude E. Austra ‘59

Victoria A. Baird ‘75

Frank Bucci

Paul R. Burch PhD ‘64

Evan E. Confrey PhD ‘67

Mona L. Cunningham ‘78

Alan O. Dann PhD ‘98

Stephanie E. Dunshee ‘01

Judith A. Glassenberg ‘71

William Z. Goldstein ‘79

John P. Griffin Jr. ‘71

Kenneth F. Hardick ‘75

Peter A. Mahler ‘77

Harold A. Pinkham ‘56

Paul C. Porter ‘81

Lewis E. Randall PhD ‘73

Delores B. Roderick ‘94

Judith A. Roy-Dobeck PhD ‘95

Rosalie H. Savarese ‘60

Richard E. Sheehan ‘69

Catherine A. Wade PhD ‘75



The National Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support has awarded $787,000 supplement for 2014-2015 to provide technical assistance for the National School Climate Transformation Grant Initiative. Under the direction of George Sugai, the Center for Behavioral Education and Research in Neag will receive $330,000 to provide technical assistance to schools, districts, and state departments of education who are increasing capacity to improve school climate, academic achievement, school safety, and behavioral and mental health challenges.

The Connecticut K-3 Literacy Initiative (CK3LI) has been funded for a third year for $2,990,000. CK3LI is an ongoing partnership between CBER, the CT State Department of Education, the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus in the CT General Assembly, and the CT Commission on children. The goal of this initiative is to close the reading achievement gap in CT by supporting schools and districts who implement effective reading practices in instruction, intervention, and assessment.

Casey Cobb was inducted into the Orono High School Hall of Fame for sports including football, baseball and basketball.

Shaun Dougherty authored a report for the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Department. Dougherty has released a new research brief on the academic impact of career and technical education in Massachusetts. The report finds that enrolling in and attending an oversubscribed regional vocational-technical school increases the probability of on-time graduation to nearly 100 percent. That compares to a rate of roughly 60 percent for those students who just barely missed gaining admission and did not attend one of these schools.

Erik Hines, was invited as a panelist for two presentations at the International Conference on Urban Education in Montego Bay, Jamaica. His presentation entitled “African American Male Students in Pre-K12 Schools: Informing Research, Policy, and Practice” in which he discussed the school counselor’s role in creating college-going culture for African American males at the middle school level. The second panel was, “African American Students in Urban Schools: Critical Issues and Solutions for Achievement. He spoke about the solutions for helping African American students become academically successful.

David Kerns is an experienced educator, having taught as an elementary school teacher, reading specialist, and literacy coach. He has authored many books including: Modeling polymorphemicword recognition: Exploring differences among children with early-emerging and late-emerging word reading difficulty, How elementary-age children read polysyllabic polymorphemic words, How to use Reading PALS: Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies to improve students’ word recognition and reading comprehension, and press). Orthographic, phonological, and morphological predictors of children’s word reading skills in Arabic: A literature review. Recently, he gave a presentation at the Virginia Council of Administrators of Special Education.

Don Leu’s research on online literacy tied to income levels was highlighted by President Herbst at the State of the University presentation. He was only one of a few professors featured.

Alan Marcus participated in a public hearing at the CT State Board of Education on new elementary and secondary social studies frameworks for the state. Marcus helped write the new standards.

Alan Marcus and Wendy Glenn, co-hosted a workshop on “Teaching The Holocaust: Exploring Pedagogical Dilemmas.” The workshop included a presentation from Holocaust survivor Henny Simon. The event was supported by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in DC as a way to provide pre-service history and English Neag students strategies on teaching about the Holocaust and other historic events.

James O’Neil has a new book out Men’s Gender Role Conflict: Psychological Costs, Consequences, and an Agenda for Change. he combines numerous studies from renowned scholars in men’s psychology with over 30 years of his own clinical and research experience to promote activism and challenge the status quo.

Rachelle Pérusse formed a team from Connecticut that will represent at the San Diego White House Convening in November. this was a highly competitive endeavor, but the team was selected in its entirety. Eric Hones is also part of the team.

Sue Saunders co-authored a book with colleagues from Virginia Tech and the University of Georgia. The book, Learning through Supervised Practice in Student Affairs assists students in applying leadership, advising, conflict management, and planning skills to their practice. This book explores the theories that foster learning and understanding of higher education organizations while exercises, reflection activities, and case studies illuminate the skill areas that students must develop to become successful practitioners.