Neag School Accolades: Summer 2021

Throughout the academic year, the Neag School is proud to share the latest achievements of its faculty, staff, students, and alumni.

Explore their most recent promotions, awards, retirements, publications, and more:

Dean’s Office

This fall, the Neag School welcomes new faculty and announces several new appointments for existing members of the community. Read more about the School's new hires and appointees, including Morgaen Donaldson, who has been named the next UConn Philip E. Austin Endowed Chair.

Dean Jason G. Irizarry is kicking off his first full academic year leading UConn's Neag School. Irizarry, who grew up in New York City and served as a teacher before pursuing a path to leadership in higher education, was appointed dean for a five-year term in May 2021. Check out a recent Q&A and video featuring Dean Irizarry.

This fall, the Neag School launches a new interactive website featuring highlights from the School's 2020-21 Annual Report.

The Neag School welcomes its inaugural cohort of National Holmes Scholars this fall. The Holmes Scholars program is a nationwide network of higher education institutions seeking to support students from historically underrepresented communities enrolled in graduate programs across the field of education.

Jason Gilmore and two female students stand by art mural.
Art teacher Jason Gilmore, right, gathers with two of his middle school students by their art mural. Gilmore was a 2020 Rogers Educational Innovation Fund awardee. (Shawn Kornegay/Neag School)

Two innovative art projects funded by the Neag School's Rogers Educational Innovation Fund, including a photojournalism art exhibit in Norwalk, Connecticut, and a mural project at a middle school in Hartford, Connecticut, brought together middle school students this past spring.

The Neag School of Education sponsored UConn Health's "State of Health Equity Among Boys of Men of Color Summit." The virtual event was held in June.

The Neag School co-sponsored Jumpstart Virtual Conference on Racial Justice, Teaching, Leading, and Curriculum, organized by Vanderbilt University's Peabody College. The event was held in July.

UConn hosted its first-ever global alumni virtual celebration UConn Together in June. Justis Lopez '14 (ED), '15 MA served as co-host for the kick-off celebration; Jennifer McGarry served as a panelist for "#ThisIsAmerica: Social Disparities Facing Marginalized Communities;" Fany Dejesus Hannon '08 MA, director of UConn's Puerto Rican/Latin American Cultural Center (PRLACC), hosted "Cafe con Leche with PRLACC;" and Franklin Tuitt moderated a panel titled "#ThisIsAmerica: Exploring the History of Racism at UConn," which included Rodney Bass '77 (ED) as a panelist.

Jason Courtmanche recognizes one of the LAL student honorees, with Doug Kaufman in the background.
Jason Courtmanche, right, from UConn's Department of English and the Connecticut Writing Project, congratulates a 2018 Letters About Literature contest honoree. Doug Kaufman, contest co-chair, stands in the background. (Shawn Kornegay/Neag School)

Letters About Literature, a statewide literature contest for students in grades 4 through 12 and co-sponsored by the Neag School of Education, UConn's English Department, and the Connecticut Writing Project, was featured in UConn Today. The contest is co-chaired by alumnus Jason Courtmanche '91 (CLAS), '06 Ph.D., an assistant professor-in-residence of English, and Doug Kaufman.

Department of Curriculum and Instruction (EDCI) and Teacher Education

The E-Corps (Environmental Corps) faculty team was recognized with the UConn Provost's Community Engagement Award. E-Corps is a UConn faculty partnership that reaches across the University Schools and Colleges, including the Neag School, and various departments and research centers to enhance, expand, institutionalize, and study a new model for community engagement.

Department of Educational Leadership (EDLR)

The Center for Education Policy Analysis, Research, and Evaluation (CEPARE) convened more than 50 school and district administrators from across the state of Connecticut this summer to coach them on fostering social, emotional, and behavioral well-being and safe school environments. Held virtually, this Social, Emotional, and Behavioral (SEB) Leader Academy featured experts from UConn's Collaboratory on School and Child Health (CSCH). Two Neag School alumni - East Hartford Superintendent Nathan Quesnel '01 (ED), '02 MA and Vernon Superintendent Joseph Macary '94 (ED), '08 ELP, '16 Ed.D. - designed the Academy in collaboration with CSCH Director and school mental health expert Sandra Chafeoulas and CEPARE director Morgaen Donaldson.

Department of Educational Psychology (EPSY)

Screenshot of participants in virtual PTI session.
Professor Joseph Madaus, center, leads a Postsecondary Training Institute Conference virtual session this summer.

The Postsecondary Disability Training Institute 2021 was held virtually in June, with more than 1,400 registrants. This year, the Collaborative on Postsecondary and Disability co-sponsored the event with the Transforming Accessibility Initiative at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Allison Lombardi has received two grants, supporting studies on college and career readiness for students with disabilities, from the Institute of Educational Sciences within the U.S. Department of Education. Together, the two awards total more than $1.2 million. For the first grant, Lombardi will collaborate with colleagues Graham Rifenbark and Eric Loken on this project and Karrie Shogren and Tyler Hicks from the Kansas University Center for Developmental Disabilities. For the second grant, Lombardi will serve as the site PI and collaborate with Rifenbark and Tracy Sinclair.

Joseph Madaus and Rachael Gabriel, along with other UConn faculty members, received a National Science Foundation Innovations in Graduate Education Program grant. The grant encourages the participation of neurodiverse students in STEM graduate programs to benefit the creativity of the professional workforce.

Jack Kent Cooke Foundation logo.The Renzulli Center for Creativity, Gifted Education, and Talent Development connected Young Scholars Senior Summit (YSSS) participants this summer with UConn experts who immersed them in university-level research investigations. This year, led by Lisa Muller and Joseph Renzulli, YSSS brought 38 Young Scholars together at two dozen mentorship sites across 21 fields of study. Each student participant spent 20 hours per week assisting with aspects of various research and creative projects. Read about the YSSS Academic Showcase held last month, a culmination of the three-week program.

Teacher instructs in front of classroom.
"PRIME may provide a feasible, low-cost approach to supporting educators' intervention implementation and maximizing outcomes for students," says Lisa Sanetti, Neag School of Education professor of educational psychology and Co-PI of the PRIME project. (Pixaby photos)

Lisa Sanetti received a $3.7 million grant from the Department of Education Institute of Educational Sciences to test the efficacy of a theory-driven system for improving intervention implementation in elementary schools. Sanetti is collaborating with Co-PIs Melissa Collier-Meek '08 (CLAS), '09 MA, '11 6th Year, '13 Ph.D. and Nedim Yel at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

"Promising Practices for Improving Identification of English Learners for Gifted and Talented Programs," published in December 2020, was named Paper of the Year for the Journal for the Education of the Gifted. The article was based on research conducted at the National Center for Research on Gifted Education by scholars including E. Jean Gubbins, Del Siegle, and D. Betsy McCoach, as well as Pamela Peters, a graduate student in educational psychology; alumna Ashley Carpenter '21 Ph.D.; Daniel Long, a research scientist; and postdoctoral students Susan Dulong Langley, Rashea Hamilton, and Jeb Puryear. 


Cara Bernard is the incoming President-Elect of the Connecticut State Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association.

Jacqueline Caemmerer co-published "Gender Difference in Children's Social Skills Growth Trajectories" for the May issue of Applied Developmental Science.

Todd Campbell and David Moss, along with alumna Laura Rodriguez '20 Ph.D., co-published with other colleagues "Intergenerational Community Conservation Projects, STEM Identity Authoring, and Positioning: The Cases of Two Intergenerational Teams" for the May issue of International Journal of Science Education. Campbell also co-wrote with UConn colleagues "The Environment Corps: Combining Classroom Instruction, Service-Learning, and Extension Outreach to Create a New Model of Community Engaged Scholarship at the University of Connecticut" for the July issue of Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement. In addition, Campbell has received secured two grants totaling near $1.6 million to fund work on improve science education.

African American teacher works with school aged children, all are wearing masks.
School districts are using federal COVID-19 relief funds to hire more mental health professionals. (iStock photos)

Sandra Chafouleas co-wrote an essay titled "Students Are Returning to School With Anxiety, Grief, and Gaps in Social Skills - Will There Be Enough School Mental Health Resources?" for The Conversation. Chafouleas also co-wrote "Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Assessment Within Tiered Decision-Making Frameworks: Advancing Research Through Reflections Made on the Past Decade" for the July issue of School Psychology Review and "Project ENHANCE: Assessing Professional Learning Needs for Implementing Comprehensive, Integrated, Three-Tiered (Ci3T) Models of Prevention" for the August issue of Education and Treatment of Children.

Hannah Dostal and Rachael Gabriel co-wrote with two other colleagues "The Science Writing of Deaf Developing Bilinguals" for the August issue of the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy. Dostal also co-wrote "Does Teacher Self-Efficacy Predict Writing Practices of Teachers of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students" for the July issue of International Deaf Education Collection and, with Neag School doctoral student Joan Weir and another colleague, "Transfer of Writing Skills Across Genres Among Deaf and Hard of Hearing Elementary Writers" for the 2021 issue of International Journal of Educational Research.

Rachael Gabriel's research was featured in the May 2021 edition of Marshall Memo.

Doug Glanville penned "Baseball is a Great Example of America, Offer Hope for Future of Our Nation" for Marque Sports Network.

National Public Radio logo.Preston Green participated in the 2021 National Public Radio Education Reporters and Researchers Symposium, a virtual education event funded by the Spencer Foundation.Green was part of a group of cutting-edge researchers and education journalists from across the country who participated in a series of discussions on telling the stories about the pandemic and its impacts on education in 2021 and beyond.

Robin Grenier and alumna Kristi Kaeppel '21 Ph.D., along with another colleague, co-wrote an article titled "Advancing book clubs as non-formal learning to facilitate critical public pedagogy in organizations" for the July issue of Management Learning.

Elizabeth Howard co-wrote "Kindergarteners' Perceptions of Belonging and Inclusion in a Two-Way Immersion Classroom" for the June issue of International Journal of Inclusive Education. She also co-wrote an article with Sabina Neugebauer, a former postdoctoral student, titled "Exploring Conceptions of Reading Risk and Program-Specific Literacy Outcomes for Spanish Speakers in Dual Language and English-Medium Programs" for the June issue of Journal of Immersion and Content-Based Language Education.

Jason Irizarry co-presented "Building a Just Educational System" for the University of Pittsburgh's 2021 Diversity Forum, a virtual event held in July. He was also a presenter for Rice University's Leadership Partners Summit 2021, held virtually in June.

African American female plays with science experiments.
A young student from East Hartford takes part in a workshop at B.R.A.I.N. Camp (Bridging Reading and Intervention with Neuroscience) in July. (UConn Photo)

Devin Kearns co-published "The Word Complexity of Primary-Level Texts: Differences Between First and Third Grade in Widely Used Curricula" for the July issue of Reading Research Quarterly; co-published a book chapter titled "Neuroscience and Special Education: An Attempt to Break Down Walls Between Complementary (but Divergent) Disciplines" for The Next Big Thing in Learning and Behavioral Disabilities (Emerald Publishing, 2021); and was a presenter for the Haskins Global Language and Literacy Institute for Educators "Language and Literature for Educators" conference, held virtually in June. Kearns is also co-director of B.R.A.I.N. Camp which was held at UConn Storrs this summer.

Gladis Kersaint and Rebecca Campbell-Montalvo co-authored with other colleagues "Social Capital From Professional Engineering Organizations and the Persistence of Women and Underrepresented Minority Undergraduates" for the May issue of Frontiers in Sociology.

Tamika La Salle presented at a virtual Equity Summit in August with Connecticut's State Education Resource Center. She also co-published "Not Separate But Not Equal: Improving Equity in Discipline in Racially and Ethnically Diverse School Settings" for the June issue of Beyond Behavior.

Jennifer McGarry moderated a virtual panel entitled "Collective Action: Amplifying the Political Power of Athletes and Sport" for the Muhammad Ali Center for Athletes and Social Change Forum in June.

Glenn Mitoma in front of Human Rights Institute.
"I really do see my research as continuing to be responsive to what I see as the needs of the communities that I'm a part of," says Glenn Mitoma, Neag School assistant professor and director of the Dodd Human Rights Impact. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

Glenn Mitoma, director of the Dodd Human Rights Impact, was featured in UConn Today.

Bianca Montrosse-Moorhead
co-wrote with Anthony Gambino, a doctoral student in educational psychology, alumni Laura Yahn '19 MA, and Mindy Fan '18 (ED), '19 MA, along with another colleague, an article titled "Evaluator Education Curriculum: Which Competencies Ought to Be Prioritized in Master's and Doctoral Programs?" for the June issue of American Journal of Evaluation.

Kenny Nienhusser and alumna Chelsea Connery '13 (CLAS), '14 MA co-published "Examining the Undocumented College Student Policy Implementation Environment Through a Contextual Interaction Theory Lens" for the May issue of Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis. Nienhusser also co-wrote with Milagros Castillo-Montoya, former faculty member Shaun Dougherty, and others "If You Fund Them, Will They Come? Implications From a Ph.D. Fellowship Program on Racial/Ethnic Student Diversity" for the September issue of AERA Open.

Sally M. Reis co-authored "Creative Productive Eminence in Talented Women: Beliefs, Motivation, and Drive to Create" for the July issue of Gifted and Talented International.

Joseph Renzulli published a chapter titled "A Theory of Blended Knowledge and a Technology-Based Approach for the Development of Creative Productive Giftedness"] in Creative and Collaborative Learning Through Immersion (Spring Nature Switzerland AG, 2021). In addition, the book Schoolwide Enrichment Model, co-authored by Renzulli, Reis,and another author, has been translated into Spanish (Universidad Internacional de La Rioja-UNIR, 2021). In addition, Renzulli and Reis were among thee co-authors of Scales for Rating the Behavioral Characteristics of Superior Students: Renzulli Scales (Routledge, 2021).

John Settlage co-authored a paper titled "Equitizing Engineering Education by Valuing Children's Assets: Including Empathy and an Ethic of Care when Considering Trade-offs after Design Failures" for the Vol. 11 issue of Journal of Pre-College Engineering Education Research.

Tracy Sinclair received the American Association on Intellectual and Development Disabilities Student and Early Career Professional Interest Network's Education Scholarship in June.

Stephen Slota was a co-presenter with other UConn faculty at the virtual Board Game Design Conference: A Degree in Game Design, held in May.

Mathematics Teacher Educator Podcast logo.
Listen to Megan Staples on the MTE podcast.

Megan Staples was featured in a May episode titled "Student Argumentation Work Sample Sorting Task and Teachers' Evaluations of Arguments" for the Mathematics Teacher Education (MTE) Podcast, sponsored by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Saran Stewart co-authored a paper titled "When Home is the Mouth of a Shark: Navigating the Academy as the Self in Black and Brown Skin" for the August issue of Qualitative Inquiry. Stewart was also appointed director of UConn's Global House Learning Community.

Suzanne Wilson published a book review, "Realizing STEM's Potential and Promise, A Review of Integrated Approaches to STEM Education: An International Perspective," for the July issue of Journal of STEM Education Research. Wilson also co-authored with Dorothea Anagnostopoulos "Methodological Guidance Paper: The Craft of Conducting a Qualitative Review" for the May issue of Review of Educational Research.

Michael Young co-authored "Let's Play! Gamifying Engineering Ethics Education Through the Development of Competitive and Collaborative Activities," "Engineering Ethics Through High-Impact Collaborative/Competitive Scenarios (E-ETHICCS)," and "Mapping the Landscape of First-Year Engineering Students' Conceptualizations of Ethical Decision Making" for the American Society for Engineering Education's 2021 Annual Conference, held virtually in July.


Three Neag School students were featured in UConn's College Tour video series: Nicole Wiggins (11:13-14:11), a senior in special education; Adam Lynch (18:23-20:45), a master's student in math education; and Brianna Chance (21:08-24:11), a junior music education student.

Robert Cotto, doctoral candidate at the Neag School, co-authored “Choice With(out) Equity? Family Decisions of Child Return to Urban Schools in Pandemic,” with former faculty member Sarah Woulfin, in the Journal of Family Diversity in Education’s September issue. Cotto is also quoted about the article in The Hartford Courant.

Nikko Garmendiz, a second-year student in the Higher Education and Student Affairs program, co-authored "Beyond Disenchantment: Toward a Sociology of Wonder" for the August issue of Sociological Inquiry.

Madison Levine and Rachel Lauzier.
Madison Levine and Rachel Lauzier co-presented on a recent NGS Navigators podcast episode.

Tamashi Hettiarachchi was named a 2021 Outstanding Senior Woman Academic Achievement awardee by the UConn Women's Center in May.

Susan Meabh Kelly, a doctoral student in curriculum and instruction, is a co-author of "Connecting Science Instruction to Neighborhood Life Through Collaborative Design with Community" for Institute for Science and Math Education's STEM Teaching Tools practice brief No. 73.

Madison Levine and Rachel Lauzier were co-presenters for an NGS Navigators May podcast episode titled "Student Teaching NGSS in a Pandemic."

Ashley Robinson, a doctoral student in educational leadership, published "Color-Evasive Free Speech Ideology: A Conceptional Analysis of Free Speech as Racial Oppression in U.S. Higher Education" for the August issue of Critical Studies in Education.

Jon Simmons '11 (ED), '12 MA, a doctoral student in curriculum and instruction, published a conference proceedings article titled "Intercultural Development in Preservice Teacher Study Abroad" for the Global Conference on Education and Research, held virtually in June.

Jeff Wihbey.
Doctoral student Jeffrey Wihbey is superintendent of schools for Regional School District 17 in Haddam and Killingworth. (Photo Credit: The Hour)

Jeffrey Wihbey '95 (CLAS), '06 6th Year, '16 ELP, a doctoral student in educational leadership, was appointed superintendent of schools for Regional School District 17 in Haddam and Killingworth, Connecticut. He most recently served as superintendent of schools for the Connecticut Technical Education and Career System.

Emily Winter, a doctoral student in educational psychology, and alumna Alyssa Bunyea '21 MA co-presented with others on the National Association of School Psychologists Exposure Project at Connecticut College virtually in June.


Andrew Almazan '18 MA was recognized by the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children with the Emerging Leader in Gifted Education Award. The award is given to an individual in the first 10 years of their career in gifted education who has impacted teaching, research, and or advocacy on gifted education in their country and shown outstanding promise for leadership. Almazan works at Centro de Atencion al Talento, Mexico.

Gabrielle Julia Bachoo '19 (ED), (CLAS), '20 MA, a second-year, fifth-grade teacher at Governor William Pitkin School in East Hartford, Connecticut, was recognized by the National Council of Teachers of English as a 2021 Early Career Educator of Color.

Vivien Beil '19 (CLAS), '20 MA, a professional soccer player for Napolie Femminile of the Italian Series B team, self-published Student-Athlete Journey: An Evidence-Based Guide to be Successful as a Student, Athlete and Person.

Adam Behling '12 (CLAS), '13 MA, a seventh-grade math teacher at John F. Kennedy Middle School in Enfield, Connecticut, was chosen as Enfield's Teacher of the Year.

Joseph Briody '86 (BUS), '95 MA, '96 Ph.D. was named assistant Vice President/executive director of Student Activities at UConn.

Patricia Buxton '97 6th Year is executive director of Lutz Children's Museum in Manchester, Connecticut. She most recently served as an assistant professor of education at the University of Bridgeport and a member of Vernon Public School's Board of Education.

Michael Crocco '17 ELP is principal for Southington (Connecticut) High School. He previously served as principal at Metropolitan Business Academy in New Haven, Connecticut.

Kess Elmore '21 (ED) was selected for the University of Oregon's women's soccer team for the Fall 2021 season. She played for four years at UConn, including being named to the 2019 American Athletic Conference Second Team.

Adrienne Foret plays ukulele and sings.
Adrienne Foret is a music educator in Farmington. (Photo courtesy of West District School)

Adrienne Foret '20 (SFA), '20 (ED), '21 MA is the new music educator for West District School in Farmington, Connecticut. She is a member of the Connecticut Army National Guard and performs in the 102nd Army Band.

Andrew Girard '19 MS was promoted to director of stadium operations for the Hartford Yard Goats team in Hartford, Connecticut.

Neag School alumni Karli Golembeski '20 (ED), '21 MA and Jessica Stargardter '16 (ED), '17 MA were two of six UConn finalists selected for the 2021 Fulbright Student Program award. In addition, Jon Simmons '11 (ED), '12 MA, a doctoral student in curriculum and instruction, was named an alternate for the Fulbright grant.

Brian Hendrickson '10 6th Year as been appointed as superintendent of Salem (Connecticut) Public Schools. He most recently served as the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction for Ellington (Connecticut) Public Schools.

Emily Iovino '15 (ED), '16 MA, '20 Ph.D., a postdoctoral research associate, co-wrote with Jacqueline Caemmerer and Sandra Chafouleas "Psychological Distress and Burden Among Family Caregivers of Children With and Without Developmental Disabilities Six Months into the COVID-19 Pandemic" for the May issue of Research in Developmental Disabilities. Iovino also co-wrote with Chafouleas, Lisa Sanetti, and Nicholas Gelbar an article titled "Pilot Evaluation of a Facebook Group Self-Care Intervention for Primary Caregivers with Developmental Disabilities" for the August issue of Journal of Child and Family Studies.

Jamison Judd '03 (CLAS), '07 MA, is assistant director of academic technology, strategy, and innovation at California State University, Long Beach. He served as staff in the Neag School Dean's Office for nearly 20 years, including most recently as director of technology.

Christine Kupec.
Christine Kupec was selected as Teacher of the Year by Manchester (Connecticut) Public Schools. (Photo courtesy of MPS)

Christina (Nikki) Kupec '03 (ED), '04 MA, an educator at Martin Elementary in Manchester, Connecticut, was selected Teacher of the Year for Manchester (Connecticut) Public Schools.

Gail Lanza '14 ELP, '20 Ed.D. has been appointed executive director and CEO of Ben Bronz Academy in West Hartford, Connecticut. She recently served as the superintendent and special services director for the Sterling Community School District in Eastern Connecticut.

Tricia Lee '20 6th Year has been named principal of The Friendship School in Waterford, Connecticut. She previously served as the assistant principal.

Kelly Lewis '16 (ED) is associate director of alumni relations for UConn's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Charles Macaulay '17 MS, '21 Ph.D. and Ajhanai (AJ) Newton '21 Ph.D. co-presented with another colleague "Institutional Shocks: Foundational Conditions for Institutional Change in Sport" for the 2021 North American Society for Sport Management Virtual Conference in May.

Rachel Manzer, a doctoral candidate in curriculum and instruction, is a five-year volunteer of the UConn 4-H Program and was recently selected as the 2021 Northwest 4-H Volunteer of the Year Award. Manzer is the STEM coach for Winchester (Connecticut) Public Schools, where all three of her 4-H robotic teams qualified for the 2021 VEX World Championship and took home awards.

Ty C. McNamee '15 MA, a doctoral student at Columbia University, Teachers College, is a graduate research associate at the American Council on Education in Washington, D.C.

Ed and Rachael Manzers
Rachael Manzer, with her husband Ken, receives a 4-H leadership award in 2019. Manzer, a STEM educator who has worked with NASA, is a doctoral candidate in the Neag School. (Photo courtesy of Defining Studios)

Jim Messina '20 6th Year has been appointed principal for New Southington Catholic in Southington, Connecticut. He spent the first portion of his teaching career as the founding teacher of Saint Martin de Porres Academy, a tuition-free Catholic school in New Haven.

Jennifer Michno '06 6th Year was appointed as principal of John F. Kennedy Elementary School in Windsor, Connecticut. Most recently, she served as a faculty member in the Neag School's Department of Educational Leadership.

Sabina Rak Neugebauer, a former postdoctoral student, and Elizabeth Howard co-published "Exploring Conceptions of Reading Risk and Program-Specific Literacy Outcomes for Spanish Speakers in Dual Language and English-Medium Programs" for the June issue of Journal of Immersion and Content-Based Language Education.

Ajhanai Newton '21 Ph.D. and former Neag School faculty member Joseph Cooper co-authored an article titled "Black Female College Athletes' Sense of Belonging at a Historically Black College and University (HBCU)" for the Winter 2021 issue of The Journal of Negro Education.

D'Lanie Pelletier stands outside smiling and wearing her 2021 graduation cap.
"The students have been more than patient with us teachers trying to figure out the new technology, so we owe it to them to be patient as well,” writes alumna D'Laine Pelletier. (Photo courtesy of D'Lanie Pelletier)

D'Lanie Pelletier '20 (ED), '21 MA penned an essay that appeared in the Spring 2021 newsletter of the Connecticut Council of Language Teachers.

Agnieszka Petlik '16 6th Year, a first-grade distance learning teacher, published a social-emotional learning/equity book titled Follow Me to Distance Learning (Fulton Books, 2021).

Jason Poppe '04 (ED), '07 MS is manager of Live Nation Entertainment's historic Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C. He previously worked with Georgetown University Athletics.

Felicia Poskus '10 MA was appointed the principal of Clover Street Elementary School in Windsor, Connecticut. Poskus previously served as an instructional and climate support specialist for Hartford (Connecticut) Public Schools.

Nathan Quesnel '01 (ED), '02 MS; Robert Villanova; and Mark Benigni, the superintendent for Meriden Public Schools, co-published “The Seven R's of Collaborative Leadership” for the September issue of School Administrator.

Robert "Bob" Quinn '98 (CLAS), '20 MS, was hired as a senior consultant for the Cleveland Browns professional football team. He previously served as the general manager for the Detroit Lions.

Christie Robinson '13 6th Year was chosen to lead Tracey Magnet School in Norwalk, Connecticut, during an administrative transition. She most recently served as the curriculum and instruction site director for Norwalk (Connecticut) Public Schools.

Paula Singer
Paula Singer is serving as appointed interim president of Walden University. (Photo courtesy of Walden University)

Paula Singer '76 (ED) was appointed interim president of Walden University, where she currently serves as the CEO. She has served in several executive leadership roles since joining Laureate, the parent organization of Walden University, including chief of learning and innovation, chief network officer, and president and CEO of Laureate Global Products and Services.

Dario Soto '04 (ED), '05 MA, '20 6th Year was appointed principal for Crystal Lake Elementary School in Ellington, Connecticut. He most recently served as an instructional specialist to ensure the successful STEM redesign of a Pk-8 school for Windsor Public Schools.

Matthew Talmadge '12 6th Year has been appointed principal of Westbrook Middle School in Westbrook, Connecticut. An experienced school leader with more than five years of experience as the associate principal at Valley Regional High School, he most recently joined Westbrook Middle as a music teacher.

Ruiqi Ying '21 (ED), '21 (CLAS) and Todd Campbell co-published "Appropriating the Next Generation Science Standards in Secondary Science and Engineering Education Contexts in China" for the July issue of Southeast Asian Journal of STEM Education.

Jonathan XIII white husky.

The Neag School honors Jonathan XIII, who died this August. Jonathan attended numerous Neag School events, including accompanying students on their processions to Commencement ceremonies in past years.

Dean Emeritus Mark Shibles.
Mark Shibles, who served as dean of the Neag School from 1975 to 1987, passed away this August.


Joan D. Nelson ’81
William H. Nicholson ’75
Roger G. Penland ’67
Robert J. Picknally ’66
Sandra M. Powers ’70
Richard Norman Pratte ’67
Linda A. Putterman ’74
Judith C. Saenger ’70
Olive A. Santavenere ’91
Mark Shibles (faculty and dean emeritus)
Sidney Skolnick (donor)

Doris Luther Smith ’52
Virginia L. Stewart ’51
Gladys A. Tucker ’68
Ross A. Worley ’83
Sheila M. Zittel ’80

* (past Neag School Commencement participant)