Annual Honors Celebration Connects Student Scholarship Recipients With Donors

The Neag School of Education honored more than 100 of its students last night at its 22nd Annual Honors Celebration. The event, held at the Jorgensen Center for Performing Arts on the UConn Storrs campus, brought together the student recipients of this year’s Neag School-affiliated scholarships, their guests, and the donors whose contributions to the School make these crucial sources of financial support possible.

Scholarship support comes from a wide range of individuals – including Neag School benefactors Ray and Carole Neag, as well as Neag School and UConn alumni; current University faculty and administrators; and families of former Neag School staff and alumni, among others.

Button_FB-Album-Honors-CelebrationDuring the reception preceding the formal ceremony, student recipients had an opportunity to connect personally with the donors responsible for providing their scholarship support. Among the student award recipients this year is Luis Organista ’14 (CAHNR), a UConn alum entering the Neag School’s Teacher Certification Program for College Graduates (TCPCG) this May. Named the first student recipient of the newly established Valerie J. Pichette Scholarship Fund, he met with members of the Pichette family, who established the fund in Valerie Pichette’s memory.

“I hope that they maybe will follow me in my career and see where I head so that they can see the potential that I’ve reached,” Organista said. 

Student scholarship recipients are selected by members of the Neag Alumni Board, who review applications throughout the fall semester.

In addition to the student awards, Neag School associate professor Todd Campbell received the David Blick Science Education Award, and RoseAnne Vojtek, principal of Ivy Drive Elementary School in Bristol, Conn., received the UCEA Educational Leadership Award.

Congratulations to this year’s award recipients:


The University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) is a membership association of higher education institutions that promotes excellence in continuing higher education. This award is in recognition of practicing school administrators who have made neynificant contributions to the improvement of administrator preparation.

Dr. RoseAnne Vojtek,
Principal, Ivy Drive Elementary School, Bristol, Conn.



This scholarship is awarded to a student(s) enrolled in the Neag School. This fund was established by the Neag School Alumni Society and recently funded by Neag School alumni and friends.

Alexandra Cichon

Brittany Guard



Friends & Colleagues of Francis X. Archambault, Jr. Fellowship

Established by friends and colleagues to honor Dr. Francis X. Archambault, professor emeritus. This scholarship provides support to a Ph.D. candidate in the field of measurement, evaluation and assessment, who demonstrates academic excellence.

David Alexandro

Arminio/Effron Scholarship

Established by Carmen Effron in memory of her father, Kenneth Arminio. This scholarship is awarded to students with a demonstrated interest in teaching as a profession and with a proven track record of academic excellence.

John Kitching

Fuller Scholarship for Social Justice in Education

This scholarship was established by Ms. Katie G. Fuller to provide scholarship support for University students enrolled in the Neag School of Education’s Integrated Bachelor’s/Master’s Program, with priority consideration to students who are also enrolled in the University’s Stamps Leadership Scholars Program.

Annie MacLachlan

Marinela Maxhari

Emily Reed

The Herbert and Sarah M. Gibor Charitable Foundation Scholarship

This scholarship provides financial support for students enrolled in the University’s Neag School of Education and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The recipient must demonstrate an interest in teaching as a profession and have a proven track record of academic excellence.

Anatar Marmol-Gagne

Marinela Maxhari

Robert H. Hart Fellowship

This fellowship was established in memory of Dr. Ronald P. Hart’s father and UConn alumnus, Robert H. Hart, in order to provide financial support for students enrolled in UConn’s Neag School of Education with priority consideration given to those who are from, student teach or plan to teach in Meriden, Conn.

Gabriella Benitez

Gabriella Benitez
Neag School student Gabriella Benitez ’15 (ED), ’16 MA an aspiring teacher, is the first recipient of the newly established Robert H. Hart Fellowship.

Lodewick TNE Alumni Scholarship

Established by Philip H. and Christine Lodewick. This scholarship provides support for students enrolled in the IB/M program with a demonstrated intention to pursue a career as a K-12 teacher.

Katherine Katehis

Nisha Villait

Ora Lee Morrison Scholarship

Established by Michael and Monique Watson in memory of Ora Lee Morrison. This scholarship provides support to students enrolled in the IB/M or TCPCG program with a demonstrated interest in teaching as a profession.

Kaitlin Jenkins

Arthur Lerner

Paula Riggi Singer Endowed Scholarship

This scholarship was established by Ms. Paula R. Singer to provide scholarship support for University students enrolled in the Neag School of Education, with priority consideration to those students who are also enrolled in the University’s Honors Program.

Alexandra Grant

Husky Teach Noyce Scholarship

Funded by the National Science Foundation and competitively available to universities, Noyce Scholarships support STEM education throughout the United States. UConn’s Noyce program, called Husky Teach, is situated at the Avery Point campus. As a condition of the scholarship, recipients agree to teach science full time for a minimum of two years in a high-needs school.

Ivy Gallimore

Yvonne Sinclair

Arthur Lerner

Charles Wentzell

John Wostrel

Luis Organista

Robert Wilkos



David Blick Science Education Award

In recognition and encouragement of innovative and/or collaborative efforts in science education, this award is given to a Neag School student, faculty member, alumnus/alumna of the School, or a member of the faculty of another School or College of the University.

Dr. D. Todd Campbell

Andrews International Education Award

The fund was established by Dr. Frank Andrews Stone in honor of his mother, Ruth, and her five siblings, originally of Pasadena, Calif., whose careers demonstrated concern for international awareness and understanding.

LaShawna Thompson


The Betty Bussman Education Fund

This scholarship was established through the generosity of Mrs. Betty Bussman and is awarded to undergraduate or graduate students who are planning careers in elementary education. The award is based on financial need, academic excellence, and a demonstrated interest in and concern for the needs of children.

Alexandra Jabick

Marianne Vakos

Thomas & Francine DeFranco Scholarship

This scholarship was established by Thomas, professor and former Dean of the Neag School, and his wife Francine, Associate University Librarian, to provide support to an academically outstanding incoming or continuing student enrolled full time in the IB/M program, with priority consideration given to a math education major.

Emily Reed

Ruth Urbina-Lilback

Degnan Family Scholarship

This scholarship was established by James and Elizabeth Degnan to provide support to an academically outstanding incoming or continuing undergraduate student enrolled full time in the IB/M program, with priority consideration given to a resident of the State of Connecticut.

Symone James
Symone James ’16 (ED) is the recipient of several scholarships, including the Degnan Family Scholarship, an award funded by James ’87 (CLAS) and Elizabeth Degnan ’87 (CLAS), both UConn graduates.

Symone James

Shannon Leigh Closter Driscoll Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship was established in memory of Shannon Leigh Closter Driscoll, an alumna of the Neag School of Education, by her family and friends. This scholarship is based on financial need, academic achievement, and a demonstrated interest in gifted and talented education.

Elaina Rampolla

Jessica Stargardter

Eva Eaton Scholarship in Elementary Education

This scholarship, established in honor of Eva Eaton by her family, is based on financial need, academic achievement, and is given to students pursuing a major in elementary education.

Jessica Guo

Symone James

Marjory C. Gelfenbien Scholarship

This scholarship was established by Roger Gelfenbien, former UConn Board of Trustees Chairman to honor his wife, Marjory C. Gelfenbien. It is awarded based on academic excellence and outstanding achievement in the areas of teacher education and educational leadership.

Alexandra Cichon

Alexandra Jabick

Micaela Orpheus

Jeffrey Even

Symone James

Julia Zagaja

Benjamin Guerette

Katherine Katehis

George C. and Jane F. Goodale Memorial Scholarship

Established in Jane Goodale’s memory by her husband, George, and her family. This permanently endowed fund is designated for outstanding graduate students in educational anthropology.

Katherine Holden

Hamilton Sundstrand Challenger 7 Science Education Scholarship

Hamilton Sundstrand employees established this award in memory of the Challenger 7 astronauts. It is designated for students in elementary and secondary science education. Among the criteria considered are past academic achievement and demonstration of potential for future academic and professional accomplishments.

Ashley Lapane

Arthur Lerner

Mary Vallo

John N. Leach Fellowship

Established in memory of Dr. John N. Leach by his wife, Sofia, and his family, colleagues, and friends. Dr. Leach was a faculty member in the Neag School for 41 years. This scholarship is based on financial need and academic achievement, with priority consideration given to students enrolled full time in the bilingual and multicultural program.

Peri Stevens

Neag Math and Science Scholarship

Established by Dr. Philip E. Austin, president emeritus. This scholarship provides financial support to a student enrolled in the Neag School who is pursuing a degree in education with a focus on either Math or Science.

Victoria Schilling

Judith A. Meagher Undergraduate Scholarship

Established by the Beta Sigma Chapter of Pi Lambda Theta Honor Society as a tribute to the many contributions and leadership of Judith Meagher, professor emeritus and former Associate Dean of the Neag School.

Madison Corlett

Daniel Thomas Perley Scholarship

Established in memory of Daniel Thomas Perley by his wife, this scholarship is awarded to incoming fifth-year students in the IB/M Program who have demonstrated academic achievement in the area of elementary education.

Dominique Grello

Philo T. Pritzkau Scholarship

Established to provide an award to outstanding minority Neag School graduate students who have shown exemplary scholarship and leadership in research and teaching. This award was established by the students and friends of Dr. Philo T. Pritzkau, professor emeritus of the Department of Curriculum & Instruction.

Lexi Bodick
Aspiring educator and current Neag School student Lexi Bodick ’16 (ED) is the recipient of several scholarship awards.

Alexandria Bodick

Aryliz Crespo

Sidney Skolnick Scholarship

Established through the generosity of Dr. Sidney Skolnick, this scholarship is awarded annually to Neag School students based on financial need and academic excellence.

Alexandria Bottelsen

Jennifer Frazon

Kelsey Iwanicki

Glenda Reilly

Joe Couture

Gabrielle Gallucci

Sarah Mangiafico

Mary Vallo

Jessica DeMaio

Lara Hawley

Rachael Orbe

Laura Veilleux



Earle G. Bidwell Educational Leadership Scholarship

This scholarship was established by a cohort of Earle G. Bidwell to provide scholarship support for a graduate student, with priority consideration given to a University of Connecticut Administrator Preparation Program (UCAPP) student.

Jenna Barrows

Sidney P. Marland, Jr. Scholarship for Educational Leadership

This scholarship was established by friends, family, and the estate of Sidney Marland, Jr., former U.S. Commissioner of Education, to provide support for minority undergraduate and graduate students in educational leadership.

Robert Valentin

Peter J. Nicholls Scholarship in Educational Leadership

This scholarship was established by friends, family, and colleagues of Dr. Peter J. Nicholls, former Provost of the University of Connecticut. This scholarship provides support to a graduate student(s) enrolled in the Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) program.

Yamiesha Bell

Karen L. Parizeau Memorial Scholarship

Established to honor the memory and work of Karen Parizeau, a beloved teacher, this scholarship was created by donations from her husband, Philip, their children, Lauren and Philip, and her friends and colleagues. It is intended for experienced teachers pursuing careers in education administration, particularly at the middle-school level.

Alexis Stolarun

The Steven J. Smith Scholarship

This scholarship has been established in honor of Dr. Steven J. Smith, UConn alumnus and retired Assistant Dean from the Neag School of Education, to support students enrolled in the Neag School’s Department of Educational Leadership with demonstrated academic achievement and an interest or association with athletics.

Aidan Coll

Kelly Lewis

Thomas P. Weinland Scholarship

Established by students, colleagues, and family to honor Dr. Thomas P. Weinland, professor emeritus of the Department of Curriculum & Instruction, this scholarship is awarded to a deserving student who is preparing to teach secondary history and social studies.

Meredith Ramsey



Vernon and Elizabeth Brown Family Scholarship

Made possible by a generous gift from Vernon and Elizabeth Brown, this award is designated for graduate students of the Department of Educational Psychology.

Ashley Boyle

Kathleen Williamson

Robert K. Gable Scholarship

Made possible by a gift from Dr. Robert K. Gable, professor emeritus, this scholarship is designated for a graduate student in the Department of Educational Psychology who is enrolled in the Measurement, Evaluation, and Assessment Program.

David Alexandro

Raymond & Augusta Gerberich Scholarship

In memory of J. Raymond Gerberich, professor emeritus, and his wife, Augusta, this award is presented to doctoral students in the foundation areas (educational psychology, educational evaluation and measurement, statistical methods, or educational philosophy). Basis for this award includes superior academic achievement and financial need.

Beomkyu Choi

Jiajun Guo

Adam Lalor

Lisa Pappanikou Glidden Scholarship

Established in memory of former Neag School staff member Lisa Pappanikou Glidden – and, more recently, in memory of her parents, Lucette Pappanikou and Dr. A.J. Pappanikou, professor emeritus – this fund is intended to enhance the field of special education by providing financial support for graduate students engaged in the study of educating and/or training special-needs youngsters with severe and profound disabilities.

Katherine Andrews

Amy Bardino

Melissa Oberlander

Vivienne Dean Litt Memorial Scholarship

Established in memory of Vivienne Dean Litt, former Assistant Director of the University Program for Learning Disabilities, by her sons, Martin and Matthew Litt, and her colleagues and friends, this award is designed to promote and encourage the success of a student whose interests and character continue Vivienne’s spirit and professional work with children and/or adults with special needs.

Morgan Smith

Jessie Carew Moreland Endowment Scholarship

This scholarship was established by Wallace S. Moreland in memory of his first wife, Jessie Carew Moreland. It is presented to students majoring in Special Education who have demonstrated intellectual curiosity, personal integrity, academic achievement, and a serious interest in pursuing a career in the field of developmental disabilities.

Efthimia Kutrubis

Wallace S. Moreland Memorial Scholarship

Established in memory of Wallace S. Moreland by his four children – Lucy Wistreich, David, Wallace, Jr., and John Moreland – this scholarship is presented to graduate students majoring in special education who have worked with persons with developmental disabilities and who demonstrate promise of becoming a leader in the field.

Jodi Bourdon

Joseph Renzulli and Sally Reis Renzulli Fund for Graduate Studies in Gifted Education

Made possible by a gift from Drs. Joseph Renzulli and Sally Reis Renzulli, this scholarship provides support to a student pursuing an MA or Ph.D. in gifted education and talent development with demonstrated academic achievement.

Laurel Brandon

Patricia O’Rourke

Susan Hope Sherman Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to graduate or undergraduate students majoring in special education, particularly those working with persons with developmental disabilities.

Grace Healey



Valerie J. Pichette Scholarship

This scholarship was established with the support of Valerie J. Pichette’s family, friends, colleagues across the Neag School and the larger University, as well as students past and present, in honor of her 30 years of service to the state of Connecticut and will offer financial assistance to students enrolled in the Neag School’s teacher education program.

Luis Organista

Harry J. Hartley Scholarship

The Harry J. Hartley Scholarship was established by Dr. Hartley, who formerly served as Dean of the School of Education, as well as Vice President for finance and administration and President of the University of Connecticut, to provide scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in the Neag School of Education.

Tracey-Ann Lafayette

Gloria A. Murray Scholarship

This scholarship is in memory of Brandon Murray’s grandmother and James Murray’s mother, Gloria A. Murray, and was established to provide scholarship support for University students enrolled in the Neag School of Education.

Jessica Guo

Juros Scholarship for the Neag School of Education

This scholarship is given to Neag School undergraduate students with demonstrated academic achievement. This scholarship is made possible by the generosity of Thomas S. Juros.

Collin Andersen

Irene P. and Emanuel A. Makiaris Scholarship in the Neag School of Education

This scholarship is given to Neag School students preparing to be teachers through either the IB/M or TCPCG program. This scholarship is made possible by the generosity of Irene P. and Emanuel A. Makiaris.

Alexander DeBrizzi

Dominque Grello

Yaoxin and Ethel W. Rong International Education Scholarship

Established in memory of Dr. Yuhang Rong’s grandparents, Yaoxin and Ethel Rong, this scholarship is awarded to a Neag School student with demonstrated academic achievement and an interest in international education.

Jessica Stargardter

Neag Scholarship

This scholarship has been established for the purpose of supporting outstanding academic achievement, contribution to the University and the community, and participation in extracurricular activities. Financial support comes from the generous contribution of Raymond and Carole Neag, as well as contributions from the faculty and staff of the Neag School of Education.

Amy Bardino

Jodi Bourdon

Alexandra Cichon

Adam Dion

Benjamin Guerette

Erin Biron

Kerry Chavoya

Margaret Collins

Teresa Dzilenski

Carol Hackett

Alexandria Bodick

Somaly Chhean

Garrett Connolly

Lars Edeen

Colin Haydu

Symone James

Jessica Lundquist

Lee-Ann Percoski

Charles Schaub

Corey Thomas

Mary Vallo

Erik Kolodziej

Jonathan Novitski

Reuben Pierre-Louis

Mark St. George

Deshir Thomas

Gabriella Veloz

Ian Learned

Kristian Pagan

Glenda Reilly

Jessica Thibault

Michael Tramontanis

April Wilson

Neag School of Education Undergraduate Scholarship

Established thanks to the generosity of numerous faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the Neag School of Education, this scholarship is awarded to undergraduate students who were identified by nomination in their programs as having strong academic performance and having gone above and beyond by contributing significantly to the Neag School.

William Bartelli

LaShawna Thompson

Efthimia Kutrubis

Jennifer Zaffetti

Reuben Pierre-Louis


Neag School of Education Graduate Fellowship

Established thanks to the generosity of numerous faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the Neag School of Education, this scholarship is awarded to a graduate student identified by nomination in his or her program as having a strong academic performance and having gone above and beyond by contributing significantly to the Neag School.

Luis Organista

Yvonne Sinclair


Neag School Veterans Fund Scholarship

This scholarship was established for students who are either U.S. service members or veterans who have served in Afghanistan or Iraq. The funds, which may be used for tuition, course materials, and other educational expenses, are also available to the children of a veteran enrolled in the Neag School.

Jesse Mala

Christopher Rusaw


Richard L. and Kristin E. Schwab Fellowship

This fund was established to provide financial support in the form of a graduate assistantship to an incoming or continuing graduate student enrolled in the Neag School who has demonstrated their academic achievement.

Alexandria Bodick

Learn more about additional scholarships and giving opportunities related to the Neag School here; or, contact Heather McDonald at for more information.