Alumna Jessica Stargardter ’16 (ED), ’17 MA has been named by the Neag School of Education as the recipient of the 2019 Rogers Educational Innovation Fund award. Stargardter serves as a gifted and talented educator for Norwalk (Conn.) Public Schools.
The Rogers Educational Innovation Fund, designated by Neag School of Education Professor Emeritus Vincent Rogers and his late wife, Chris, a lifelong teacher, provides a $5,000 award available annually in support of innovative projects carried out by Connecticut teachers at the elementary or middle-school levels. This gift is intended to support and expand the innovative, collaborative work of Connecticut’s classroom teachers and the Neag School of Education. This is the second year the award will be bestowed.
“In this political climate, it is so important to give students space to research and explore social issues that interest and in some cases directly influence them.”
— Jessica Stargardter ’16 (ED), ’17 MA
Stargardter will receive $5,000 in support of her project, titled “An Eye for Change: Real World Investigations through Photojournalism.” The project funding will make available to Stargardter’s students a variety of texts and technologies, including disposable film cameras that will allow them to document problems and proposed solutions in their communities, says Stargardter.
“Students need access to resources that present multiple viewpoints and narratives in order to become effective, empathetic members of our global society,” she wrote in her proposal. “Students will gain access to books and technology to research social issues such as racism, sexism, climate change, food insecurity and so on. Additionally, they will be given the skills to recognize and analyze problems within their own community. This authentic learning experience will be framed around the idea of photojournalism.”
Stargardter will be formally recognized at the 2019 Neag School Alumni Awards Celebration, taking place on the UConn Storrs campus in March.
“I’m so excited for my students to explore social issues through the lens of photojournalism,” she says. “In this political climate, it is so important to give students space to research and explore social issues that interest and in some cases directly influence them. This project will open up doors for my students to look at these issues and make a difference. My students are going to have all the resources they need to succeed at their fingertips.”
Read more about the Rogers Educational Innovation Fund at rogersfund.uconn.edu.