Class of 2022 Student Profile: Jonathan Dos Santos

Jonathan Dos Santos
“Take a chance, and don’t be afraid to fail. You never know what you are capable of until you try,” says graduating master’s student Jonathan Dos Santos ’20 (ED), ’22 MA. (Photo courtesy of Jonathan Dos Santos)

Editor’s Note: As Commencement approaches, we are featuring some of our Neag School Class of 2022 graduating students over the coming days.


Mathematics Education


Bethel, Connecticut

Why did you choose UConn?

I chose UConn as my school due to the numerous opportunities that the school provided me. After my first time stepping foot on campus, I knew that this was the place for me and that I would successful here. Another reason why I went here was to be with my family. My sister also went to UConn, and she only spoke great things about the school, which influenced me in becoming a Husky.

What’s your major and why did you choose it?

My major is secondary math education. I always loved doing math, and growing up, it was always my favorite subject. However, I fell in love with teaching due to my old job as a martial arts teacher. Constantly being around families and supporting the children’s growth in schools is something that I care deeply about, and one of the main reasons I chose this major. I also chose it because I am passionate about helping others and care strongly for the youth of America. I want to impact kids’ lives not just during school but for decades beyond.

What are your plans after graduation?

My plans after graduation is to find a job as a math educator in a high school in Connecticut, preferably close to my hometown.

What activities were you involved with as a student?

As a student, I tried to do as much as I could. I participated in several clubs and met so many incredible people that I still know today. I spent most of my time on campus meeting new friends, going on adventures, and making long-lasting connections with other fellow Huskies.

How has UConn prepared you for the next chapter in life?

UConn has prepared me for my next chapter by teaching me how to be a good self-reflector. UConn challenged me always to be better than I was yesterday, and from this, I learned to always look for feedback and ways to improve myself. UConn has also taught me the connections we make here can last forever if we cherish them. I have met so many incredible people on this campus, and I am excited to watch them grow and prosper along my side.

UConn challenged me always to be better than I was yesterday, and from this, I learned to always look for feedback and ways to improve myself.

What’s one thing that surprised you about UConn?

One thing that surprised me about UConn is that there is so much to do. There are so many activities, clubs, extracurriculars, and other fun things to do on this campus that I’m confident everyone could find something they enjoy.

Any advice for incoming first-year students?

My number one advice for incoming first-year students: Be comfortable being uncomfortable. I know it is easier said than done. But I am a firm believer that if I am always comfortable with where I am, that means I haven’t worked hard enough or done enough to put myself out there. Sometimes the best things in life come unexpectedly. Take a chance, and don’t be afraid to fail. You never know what you are capable of until you try. Signup for that club, go to that meeting, apply for that position, and most importantly: don’t hold yourself back from being the best version of yourself.

What’s one thing every student should do during their time at UConn?

I would say to go to Horsebarn Hill to watch the sunset when it is nice out, it’s an incredible sight, and a can’t miss the activity on this campus.

Who was your favorite professor and why?

My favorite professor has been Anthony Rizzie, my professor for Calculus I and III. His teaching style was entertaining to watch, and I don’t think I missed a single class of his for the two semesters that I had him. I enjoyed coming to class and learning new math skills that I still practice to this day.  He also made an effort to connect to the students despite having so many of us. He always had math jokes he would tell us, and he just was very passionate about math which is what you always want from an instructor.

What’s one thing that will always make you think of UConn?

One thing is definitely when I plug in my headphones and go on long walks. It always reminds me of walking through campus. No matter where I’m walking, I remember my walks to class, the dining hall, the Union, and the Rec Center. So, I feel like every time I go for a walk, I think of my times on campus and all those emotions of being a UConn student.