Category: Students


Read stories, issue briefs, op-eds, and more by or about Neag School current students.

Martin Elementary & District Teacher of the Year

June 28, 2021

Christina (Nikki) Kupec speaks up for what she believes in, and she genuinely has the best interest of every student in her heart. She is willing to push back when she feels a student’s needs are being compromised or in times when injustices or equity issues come up. She is passionate about equity work and strives to improve intervention to reflect this work at Martin. Nikki Kupec embodies all four core pillars and is, therefore, an excellent example of a Teacher of the Year!


High School Students Exposed to UConn Chemistry Through Virtual Event

June 15, 2021

“The visits to UConn are really important to the students taking UConn classes for credit in high school,” says Brendan Wilkosz ’03 (ED), ’04 M.Ed., who has been at Berlin HS since 2004, and teaches a chemistry class that grants UConn credit through the ECE program. “There can be a disconnect for the students if they are physically separated from UConn. This year, that was not possible, but it was important for me to do something, so we worked on a virtual day. There was a real willingness at UConn to get that done to have students experience the challenges and complexities of the work, but also see that the research is cutting edge.”


Fulbright Recipients. Top Row: Elizabeth Clifton, Karli Golembeski and Chloe Murphy. Bottom Row: Simran Sehgal, Jessica Stargardter and Candace Tang.

Six UConn Students Receive Fulbright Program Grants

May 18, 2021

Six UConn students have been selected as recipients of a grant through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program for the 2021-22 academic year. The program provides grants for individually-designed study and research projects or for English teaching assistantships around the world. Students meet, work, live with, and learn from the people of the host country, sharing daily experiences.



Mother and teenage sons gather around laptop to learn remotely.

UCAPP Projects Engage Families in Supporting Student Learning

May 17, 2021

Neag School students completing the UConn Administrator Preparation Program (UCAPP) this spring recently presented their capstone projects – the program’s signature final assignment in which students identify a need or opportunity for school improvement and work toward positive change. The UCAPP program went through a redesign in 2020 as part of a nationwide effort known as the University Principal Preparation Initiative (UPPI), funded by the Wallace Foundation. As a result of the redesign, the concept of family and parent engagement became a priority for the first organizational leadership course in UCAPP’s program of study.



For 4-H Leaders and Neag Student, Learning is a Lifelong Process

May 14, 2021

For Rachael Manzer, a doctoral candidate in the Neag School of Education, life-transformative education takes many forms. Manzer is a five-year volunteer of the UConn 4-H Program, a leader with the Granby 4-H Club, a member of the NASA Network of Astronaut Teachers (NEAT), and a candidate for commercial space flight through Teachers in Space, Inc. In 2019, Manzer received the UConn College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources (CAHNR) 4-H Leadership Award, and was recently selected as the 2021 Northeast 4-H Volunteer of the Year Award.



Isabella Gradante works with young student.

Neag School Grad Supports Literacy, Leadership at Local School

May 11, 2021

Isabella “Bella” Gradante ’20 (ED), ’21 MA says she always knew she would pursue a career in education, having been raised by a family of educators and around schools her whole life. It wasn’t until she entered her master’s year in the Neag School’s Integrated Bachelor’s/Master’s (IB/M) program that she found what truly called her to the field: the practice of culturally relevant and sustaining teaching.


Education Secretary Cardona Encourages UConn Grads in Speech

May 9, 2021

.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona praised new University of Connecticut graduates for their work in helping to respond to the coronavirus pandemic and urged them to use their uniqueness as their “superpower” to accomplish their career and life goals, in a recorded speech played Saturday at a virtual 2021 commencement. Cardona, Connecticut’s former education commissioner who earned graduate degrees at UConn, taped the speech Friday at UConn’s football stadium in East Hartford, the site of Saturday’s ceremony. The school awarded nearly 8,200 degrees.