Congratulations to our Neag School alumni, faculty, staff, and students on their continued accomplishments inside and outside the classroom. If you have an accolade to share, we want to hear from you! Please send any news items and story ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dean’s Office and Departments
The Neag School of Education and its Alumni Board are proud to announce the 2018 Neag School Alumni Awards honorees:
- Outstanding Early Career Professional — Xaimara Coss ’04 (ED), ’16 MS
- Outstanding School Educator — Jennifer Lanese ’94 (ED), ’95 MA
- Outstanding School Administrator — Samuel Galloway ’01 6th Year
- Outstanding School Superintendent — Nathan D. Quesnel ’01 (ED), ’02 MA
- Outstanding Professional — Carol D. Birks ’08 ELP
- Outstanding Higher Education Professional — Mohammad Zaheer ’74 Ph.D.
- Distinguished Alumna Award — Persis Rickes ’80 (CLAS), ’81 MA, ’93 Ph.D.
The 2018 Alumni Awards recipients will be honored at a celebration in March. Register online at s.uconn.edu/NeagAlumni2018.
The Neag School named three 2017 research award recipients during its December faculty/staff meeting: Michael Coyne, 2017 Distinguished Scholar; Devin Kearns, 2017 Outstanding Early Career Scholar; and Charles D. T. Macaulay, 2017 Outstanding Student Researcher. Read more.
The Neag School Dean’s Fund stands among 2017’s top funds supported by Close to Home donors, according to the UConn Foundation.
In conjunction with the Connecticut Children’s Book Fair in November, the Neag School hosted a schoolwide visit to Vernon Center Middle School in Vernon, Conn., featuring author Carol Weston, who wrote the Ava Wren and Speed of Life series. Check out photos from the event.
The UConn Collaboratory on School and Child Health (CSCH) partnered with co-sponsors Neag School and the UConn Foundation to host the first Science Salon of the 2018 series. The event, “How Schools Succeed by Nurturing the Whole Child,” took place in November at the Lyceum in Hartford, Conn. Read more and see photos from the event.
Department of Curriculum and Instruction (EDCI) and Teacher Education
Junior-year curriculum and Instruction students in elementary education gathered in November for the second annual Curriculum Conference, where they presented their work and interacted with peers. Check out photos from the event.
Department of Educational Leadership (EDLR)
The Center for Education Policy Analysis (CEPA) Speaker Series in November featured Kara S. Finnigan from the University of Rochester, who presented “The Politics of Regional Equity: Mobilizing Civic Capacity to Address Segregation.” In December, George Spencer from New York University spoke on “Promoting the Attainment-to-Transfer Pathway: Effects of Transfer Associate Degree Policies Across States.” Learn more about the CEPA Speaker Series here.
Numerous faculty members and graduate students from the Department of Educational Leadership presented at the 2017 UCEA Convention in November in Denver. Faculty presenters and facilitators included Aarti Bellara, Eric Bernstein, Laura Burton, Casey Cobb, Morgaen Donaldson, Shaun Dougherty, Michele Femc-Bagwell, Erica Fernández, Rachael Gabriel, Richard Gonzales, Kimberly LeChasseur, Jennie Weiner, and Sarah Woulfin; for more information, access the full UCEA Convention program here. Read about some of the student researcher presentations, which included those given by Jonathan Carter, Shannon Holder, Alexandra Lamb, Scott Hurwitz, and others.
First-year Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) students hosted a Gallery Walk in November on the UConn Storrs campus, culminating their experience in the Structured Group Dialogue in Student Affairs course. The course is designed to allow students the opportunity to explore relationship building, as well as differences and commonalities of experience; engage in dialogue around contentious issues; and share social responsibility within student affairs. See photos from the event.
Department of Educational Psychology (EPSY)
The Neag School’s measurement, evaluation, and assessment program was ranked No. 14 among the 20 best online master’s programs in educational assessment, measurement, and evaluation by Top Master’s in Education.
The Center for Behavioral Education and Research (CBER) hosted its December Breakfast Brown Bag series with a panel discussion titled “Conceptualizing and Studying Classroom and School Climate,” featuring Tamika La Salle, George Sugai, and Elizabeth Howard. In November, CBER also hosted “Enhancing Equity in School Discipline: Practical Strategies and Tools,” featuring Kent McIntosh from the University of Oregon, Charlene Russell-Tucker of the Connecticut State Department of Education, and Jennifer Freeman of the Neag School. The full-day session was co-sponsored by the Connecticut State Department of Education and the Connecticut School Climate Transformation Grant.
The Renzulli Center for Creativity, Gifted Education, and Talent Development was recently awarded $300,000 from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation to provide a summer mentorship program in the summer of 2018. Read more.
UConn alum Howard Klebanoff, a friend and supporter of the Neag School and its Special Education Summit, was recognized with the Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award for his dedication as an attorney who represents families of children with disabilities.
Ronald Beghetto published “Inviting Uncertainty into the Classroom” in the October issue of Educational Leadership. It was one of the top 10 articles published by Educational Leadership in 2017. Also in October, he served on a panel for the 50th anniversary of the Creativity Expert Exchange in Buffalo, N.Y. In November, he gave the keynote on “Unfreezing Creativity” at the Radboud Teachers Academy in the Netherlands.
Patricia Bellamy, assistant director for programs and partnerships for Husky Sport, received the 2017 Provost’s Award for Excellence in Public Engagement in a full-time staff position.
Reginald Blockett took part in symposia and paper sessions at the 42nd Annual Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) Conference in Houston in November.
Scott Brown provided training on problem-based learning at the Universidad Javeriana in Colombia, as part of a two-week Fulbright Specialist Program.
Rebecca A. Campbell spoke on the importance of accurately recording home languages during school registration at the American Anthropological Association meeting in November in Washington, D.C.
Milagros Castillo-Montoya co-presented with doctoral student Joshua Abreu and alum Abdul Abad ’16 MA, in addition to giving other presentations, at the 42nd Annual Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) Conference in Houston in November.
Todd Campbell co-presented with doctoral student Laura Rodriguez at a professional development day they led for Norwich Free Academy (NFA) science teachers at NFA in Norwich, Conn. The title of the workshop was “Next Generation Science Standards and Engineering” and is part of an extended partnership with NFA based on the STEM Academy work John Settlage initiated with the school. Campbell also presented, along with Neag School Rodriguez and another doctoral student, TJ McKenna, at the Connecticut Science Teachers Association meeting at the Connecticut Science Center in Hartford, Conn., in November.
Casey Cobb was awarded the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA)’s 2017 Hanne Mawhinney Distinguished Service Award, which was presented in November at the UCEA Convention in Denver. The award honors UCEA faculty for their outstanding service to the organization and to the field. Cobb was also elected to serve another three-year term on the Executive Committee for UCEA.
Joseph Cooper participated in UConn’s Day of Metanoia, hosting a discussion on “Racism at UConn and Beyond.” Read more.
Shaun Dougherty presented on his IES-funded research in career and technical education at New York University in November.
Justin Evanovich presented “Husky Sport as a Campus-Community Partnership Model” at the Campus Compact for Southern New England meeting at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn., in November.
Adam Feinberg co-published “Examining the Influence of Interval Length on the Dependability of Observational Estimates” in volume 46 of the National Association of School Psychologists’ School Psychology Review.
Michele Femc-Bagwell co-published “Culturally Responsive Practice and the Role of School Administrators” in the October issue of Psychology in the Schools.
Erica Fernández published “Venimos Para Que se Oiga la Voz”: Activating Community Cultural Wealth as Parental Educational Leadership in the July issue of Educational Policy.
Erik Hines presented on education abroad and university partnerships at the “Breaking Barriers for Buckeyes Abroad: Inclusive Excellence” event at The Ohio University in October. He also presented on the ScHOLA2RS House and how school counselors and other educators support Black males in the PK-12 educational pipeline. For the UConn School Counselors Day, held in November, he was also a featured presenter. More than 200 school counselors from Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York attended the daylong event at the Storrs campus.
Elizabeth Howard is the lead author of the third edition of Guiding Principles for Dual Language Education (Center for Applied Linguistics, 2017), released in November. The volume is available to download for free. Guiding Principles has become the seminal guide for dual-language programs nationwide. Read more about the latest edition here.
Joshua Hyman published “Does Money Matter in the Long Run? Effects of School Spending on Educational Attainment” in the November issue of American Economic Journal: Economic Policy.
James Kaufman co-published, with Neag School graduate student Sarah Luria and another colleague, “Enhancing Equity in the Classroom by Teaching for Mathematical Creativity” for the September issue of the International Journal on Mathematics Education.
Dean Gladis Kersaint presented at the Florida Mathematics Leadership Summit in Orlando, Fla., in November.
Tamika La Salle presented at the 10th Annual Georgia Association for Positive Behavior Support (GAPBS) Conference in Duluth, Ga., in November. She also served as the keynote speaker at the Texas Equity Summit in December in Houston.
Kimberly LeChasseur, Morgaen Donaldson, Erica Fernández, and Michele Femc-Bagwell co-published “Brokering, Buffering, and the Rationalities of Principal Work” in the November issue of Journal of Educational Administration.
Catherine Little presented on her Project SPARK grant (Supporting and Promoting Advanced Readiness in Kids) at West Hartford (Conn.) Public Schools as part of a community member showcase in December. Read more about the exhibit.
Allison Lombardi co-published “Is College and Career Readiness Adequately Addressed in Annual and Postsecondary Goals?” in the December issue of Journal of Disability Policy Studies.
Betsy McCoach, Del Siegle, and E. Jean Gubbins, along with postdoctoral student Rashea Hamilton, co-published with other colleagues “Disentangling the Roles of Institutional and Individual Poverty in the Identification of Gifted Students” for the October issue of Gifted Child Quarterly.
Jennie McGarry was a panelist on the role of sport and physical activity at University of Pennsylvania’s Netter Center’s 25th Anniversary International Conference in Philadelphia in November. McGarry has been also named to a two-year position as consultant to the editor of the journal Sex Roles, serving as a qualitative methodologist. In November, she also presented a case study for the 2017 Harvard Graduate School of Education Management Development Program Post-Program Webinar.
Jennifer Michno and Richard Gonzales were awarded funding by the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving for a project focused on leadership training through UCAPP. Read more.
Glenn Mitoma served as co-chair of UConn’s Day of Metanoia, held in November. Read more.
Bianca Montrosse-Moorhead was sworn in as a board member-at-large for the American Evaluation Association, and also presented, at the annual conference in Washington, D.C., in November. In December, she presented “A Primer on Evaluation Theories and Approaches” at the Conferencia Global De Evaluacion 2017 in Guanajuato, Mexico.
Sally Reis, Joseph Renzulli, and Deborah Burns ’87 Ph.D co-wrote Curriculum Compacting: A Guide to Differentiating Curriculum and Instruction Through Enrichment and Acceleration (Prufrock Press, 2nd ed.), which was awarded the inaugural National Association of Gifted Children (NAGC) Book of the Year Award.
Sally Reis and Joseph Renzulli co-presented at the National Association of Gifted Children’s national conference in Charlotte, N.C., in November.
Lisa Sanetti and Michele Femc-Bagwell are part of a team that won a seed grant competition, sponsored by the Collaboratory on School and Child Health (CSCH), for their project “Applying the Healthy Workplace Participatory Program to Address Teacher Wellbeing: A Mixed-Methods Pilot Study.”
Del Siegle published “Technology: The Dark Side of Technology” in Gifted Child Today.
George Sugai participated in the Education Working Group with the Moving Justice Forward Conference at Yale Law School in October at the Yale campus in New Haven, Conn. He also gave the keynote address at the 10th anniversary celebration of the Missouri Prevention Center, held at the University of Missouri in November.
Kari B. Taylor presented “Contextualizing How Undergraduate Students Develop Toward Critical Consciousness” at the 42nd Annual Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) Conference in Houston in November.
Jaci VanHeest is part of a team that won a seed grant competition, sponsored by the Collaboratory on School and Child Health (CSCH), for a project titled “Gearing Up! Using Exergaming to Impact Health in Overweight Children.”
Jennie Weiner taught at the opening convening for the new Strategic Data Fellows (SDP) initiative at Harvard University’s Center for Education Policy Research (CEPR) in Boston in November. She also spoke to New York’s region superintendents on her and Laura Burton’s work on gender bias in educational leadership. Weiner also co-published with doctoral student Chelsea Connery ’13 (ED), ’14 MA “Direct Democracy’s Threat to Democratic Schools: Ron Unz and the Case of Bilingual Education” in the National Network for Education Renewal’s October 2017 Education in a Democracy edition.
Sarah Woulfin began her appointment as a UCEA Plenary Session Representative. Woulfin also co-published with graduate student Britney Jones “Rooted in Relationships: An Analysis of Dimensions of Social Capitol Enabling Instructional Coaching” for the recent issue of Journal of Professional Capitol and Community.
Husky Adapted Sport, a UConn student organization led by sport management undergraduate students Kenisha Lee and Nadeige Bailey, organized an Adapted Sport Wheelchair Basketball event in November on the UConn Storrs campus through a partnership with UConn Recreation and the Ryan Martin Foundation. View a photo album from the event.
Nneka Arinza, a sport management doctoral student, presented “Initiating Dialogue Across Differences” at the Campus Compact for Southern New England at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn., in November.
Pauline Batista, a first-year doctoral student in educational leadership, has been awarded a $1,900 El Instituto predoctoral award to support the production of a short documentary to be shot in Brazil entitled “A escola e a alma.”
Craig Creller, a student in the Executive Leadership Program, was appointed interim chief academic office of Norwalk (Conn.) Public Schools. Creller will serve in the role for the remainder of the 2017-18 academic year. He has served as the district’s K-12 mathematics instructional specialist for the past seven years.
Elizabeth Howe, a doctoral student in educational psychology, won the 2017 Kaleidoscope Student Research Poster Award for Qualitative Research at the Teacher Education Division meeting for the Council for Exceptional Children in Savannah, Ga., in November. Mary Beth Bruder is her advisor.
Scott Hurwitz ’06 (CLAS), ’07 MA, a doctoral student in education leadership, received the School Superintendents Association (AASA) 2018 Educational Administrative Scholarship Award. He will be honored at the 2018 AASA National Conference on Education (NCE) in Nashville, Tenn., in February. He has also been chosen to participate with the 38th annual David L. Clark National Graduate Student Research Seminar in K-12 Educational Administration and Policy, held in conjunction with the AERA Annual Meeting in New York, N.Y., in April. Hurwitz serves as a mentor principal to a UCAPP intern as well.
Patricia Jahaly, a first-year doctoral student in the leadership and education policy program, has been appointed the new managing editor of Educational Administration Quarterly (EAQ), a journal hosted by the Neag School.
Nina Klein, a sport management undergraduate student, was a member of the UConn women’s field hockey national championship team.
Jenna Stone, a senior elementary education major, received the 2017 Provost’s Award for Excellence in Public Engagement as an undergraduate student.
Michael Alfano ’01 Ph.D. was appointed dean of the Farrington College of Education at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn. He was most recently the dean of the School of Education and Professional Studies at Central Connecticut State University.
Christina Amspaugh ’06 MA, ’17 Ph.D. was recognized with the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) Doctoral Student Award at the organization’s annual conference in Charlotte, N.C., in November. The award is presented to doctoral students who have demonstrated exemplary work in research, publications, and educational service, as well as for their potential for future scholarship. She is currently an assistant professor at the University of Virginia.
Emily Armstrong ’16 (ED), ’17 MA, former UConn women’s soccer goalkeeper, signed with Icelandic soccer club IBV, Iceland’s top women’s soccer league, for the 2018 season.
Daniel Arndt ’15 (ED), ’16 MA organized a professional development/networking day in December with Todd Campbell that included a group of six other Neag School alum science teachers on the UConn Storrs campus.
In addition to being named the Neag School’s 2018 Outstanding Professional, Carol D. Birks ’08 ELP has been appointed superintendent of the New Haven (Conn.) Public Schools.
Robert R. Bonn ’74 (ED), Carthage College’s director of athletics, is retiring in June after a 25-plus year career at the college.
Bridget (Heston) Carnemolla ’13 Ed.D., ’14 ELP was appointed superintendent of Avon (Conn.) Public Schools. She currently serves as superintendent of Watertown (Conn.) Public Schools.
Patricia Charles ’90 6th Year retired as the superintendent of Middletown (Conn.) Public Schools after leading the district for five years.
Jeremy Crouse ’13 (ED), ’14 MA, Bob Janes ’12 (ED), ’13 MA, Carolyn Larson ’11 (ED), ’12 MA, Lauren Midgette ’12 (ED), ’13 MA, Garrett Schwab ’16 MA, and Kelly Soule ’12 (ED), ’13 MA presented as guest speakers for Richard Schwab’s Teacher Leadership course in November.
Anastasia DiFedele-Dutton ’04 (CLAS), ’08 MA, ’15 Ed.D. and Elizabeth Simison ’04 (CLAS), ’08 MA, ’17 Ed.D. presented at the National Council of Teachers of English Annual Conference in St. Louis in November.
Tessla Donovan ’15 (CLAS), ’17 MA presented at the National Council of Teachers of English Annual Conference in St. Louis in November.
R.J. Evans ’13 MA has been named assistant coach for the University of Louisville men’s basketball team. He was most recently an assistant coach at the University of Texas.
Kirk Ferentz ’78 (ED), head football coach of the University of Iowa, led the team to a historic Pinstripe Bowl win.
Lindsay Fallon ’09 MA, ’11 6th Year, ’13 Ph.D., an assistant professor of counseling and school psychology at UMass Boston, co-published “Direct Training to Increase Agreement Between Teachers’ and Observers’ Treatment Integrity Ratings” in Assessment for Effective Intervention with Lisa Sanetti, Sandra Chafouleas, Amy Briesch ’09 Ph.D., and others.
Susan D. Huard ’78 MA, ’83 Ph.D. was named interim president of Great Bay Community College in New Hampshire. She is currently president of Manchester (N.H.) Community College and will remain in that position, dividing her time between the two colleges.
David N. Kohn ’79 (ED), ’81 MA is serving as the girls’ basketball coach at Parish Hill High School in Norwich, Conn.
Fran P. Mainella ’69 (ED) was recognized with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award by Marquis Who’s Who. President of Fran Mainella Consulting since 2014, and visiting scholar at Clemson University, Mainella had a 40-year park and recreation career culminating as director of the U.S. Department of Interior’s National Parks Service.
Joseph J. Masi ’99 (ED), ’00 MA, ’11 6th Year was selected by the Connecticut Association of Schools as the 2018 High School Assistant Principal of the Year. He is the assistant principal at Northwestern Regional High School in Winsted, Conn.
Karen Mullins ’79 (ED), ’80 MA was inducted into the National Fastpitch Association Hall of Fame after serving as UConn’s softball coach for 31 seasons (1983-2014), including eight trips to the NCAA tournament.
Jocelyn Poglitsch ’06 6th Year was named principal of Metacomet School in Bloomfield, Conn.
Violet Jiménez Sims ’02 (CLAS), ’05 MA, ’11 6th Year as been elected to the New Britain (Conn.) Board of Education. She is an assistant principal at the Montessori Magnet School in Hartford, Conn.
Len Tsantiris ’77 (ED) retired from UConn women’s soccer after 37 years serving as coach, raking up accomplishments including four national champion game appearances, seven Final Four appearances, and more than 500 wins.
Hope Wilson ’09 Ph.D. received the 2017 Early Leader Award at the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) National Conference in Charlotte, N.C. in November. Wilson is an associate professor at the University of Florida and president-elect of the Florida Association for Gifted Children.
Jack Zamary ’85 (ED), ’88 MA has been named superintendent of Monroe (Conn.) Public Schools. He previously served as assistant superintendent for the same school district.
Anna Zamora ’16 MA is strength and conditioning coach for DePaul University’s women’s basketball program; fellow alum Jasmine Lister ’16 MA serves as assistant coach at DePaul.
Stephanie R. Blecharczyk ’80
Waldemar L. Block Jr. ’50
Walter C. Burcroff ’58
Alan C. Davis ’74
William J. Demers Jr. ’70
John J. Dowd ’57
Victor F. Galgowski ’46
Edward F. Harrison ’61
Lawrence E. Jones ’50
Mary M. Keenan ’82
Ellen R. Kline ’78
Joseph T. Lombardo ’55
Maria A. Miranda ’70
George E. Membrino ’66
Maryellen Noonan ’96
Joseph P. Pannitto ’67
Ann S. Pickens ’80
Philip Pumerantz ’59
Melvin Rosenthal ’68
Kathleen M. Schrass ’81
Karen E. Simpson ’75
Sebastian J. Tarallo ’60
Sheila A. Tucker ’80
Alfred A. Viola Jr. ’58
Deborah L. Wood ’78