Editor’s Note: As Commencement approaches, we are featuring some of our Neag School Class of 2022 graduating students over the coming days.
Why did you choose UConn?
I chose UConn because it is almost a no-brainer to apply due to being someone who’s lived in Connecticut for a large chunk of my life, but it is also synonymous with producing great teachers through the Neag School of Education.
What’s your major and why did you choose it?
I chose to become an elementary education major because I have always had a passion for teaching. There are various educators in my family lineage, including my grandmother, who I believe started my love for teaching, which my fifth-grade teacher, Mrs. Zurlo, then solidified for me.
What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, I plan on studying abroad in Cape Town, South Africa, during the Fall semester of my master’s year in the Neag School program. I look forward to experiencing education abroad and closely experiencing a different culture.
What activities were you involved with as a student?
During my first two years at the Waterbury Regional Campus, I was involved in the Black Student Association and a small dance group. During my two other undergraduate years at the Storrs campus, I was involved in the Leadership of Diversity and Women of Color Pre-service Teacher Writing Group. Unfortunately, considering the pandemic made involvement quite difficult, I wish I could explore and experience more that UConn has to offer and join more clubs and organizations that pertain to past hobbies/extracurriculars of mine.
How has UConn prepared you for the next chapter in life?
UConn’s Neag School of Education has helped gear me to be and feel more prepared to become an educator. UConn has also presented me with various opportunities, such as being able to teach abroad, which will broaden my horizons.
“UConn’s Neag School of Education has helped gear me to be and feel more prepared to become an educator.”
What’s one thing that surprised you about UConn?
What surprised me at UConn is the prominent sports culture and school spirit. While walking around campus, you will always pass various students wearing school regalia. And as of this year, due to the return of all sporting events, you will almost always pass a sports game happening somewhere on campus each weekend, especially.
Any advice for incoming first-year students?
Advice that I would give first-year students is to make time to be involved in non-academic activities. I will speak on behalf of everyone and say that the pandemic put a damper on many of our lives. For one, many UConn activities and events were halted, making it quite difficult to be involved and explore the campus’s amenities. Although, no matter the circumstance, I would say that it is great to have something else on campus to be involved in that is purely leisure and fun to take your mind off academics. It’s easy to get caught up in due dates, especially when we were confined to our dorms or home for a year, but it is key to have hobbies and other non-academic things to do. So, whatever that may be, create a healthy balance of work and leisure.
What’s one thing every student should do during their time at UConn?
Since I spent my first few years at a regional campus and had the pandemic affect my Junior and Senior years, I felt like I was able to experience only some of the main campus’ staple events and amenities. Still, I would say that visiting the Dairy Bar is one thing that every student should do. I’m not going to lie. I may be plugging myself when saying this due to being one of the 2022 seniors whose Senior Scoop flavor idea was chosen (seriously, check it out; it won’t disappoint :)), but in all seriousness, their ice cream is great. The Dairy Bar is an absolute staple of UConn and is right by Horsebarn Hill, another UConn must-visit. The landscape and the animals are a beautiful sight, making for a great place to enjoy some delicious ice cream. It’s also pretty cool to see the cows that help give us such a treat!
Who was your favorite professor and why?
Within the Neag School program especially, I have had various great, unforgettable professors to select from. I would say that the duo, Professors Douglas Kaufman and Grace Player, were truly unforgettable professors that made our senior English methods course so enjoyable and enlightening. They are two amazing people that created an equally amazing course!
What’s one thing that will always make you think of UConn?
Something that will always make me think of UConn is *drum roll please* … Huskies! I assume that anytime most UConn students and faculty pass this breed of dog, we think of our school. And honestly, I think this may be a forever association. 🙂