Neag School 2020 Alumni Awards Virtual Celebration

It’s time to congratulate the Neag School of Education 2020 Alumni Awardees!

We are not the only ones here to celebrate your stellar accomplishments. Jonathan XIV also took a moment to get a closer look at all of you.

Music Education Students Serenade 2020 Alumni Awardees

In honor of the Neag School’s 2020 Alumni Award winners, Neag School music education students coordinated a virtual performance of University of Connecticut’s “Old Connecticut,” also known as “UConn Alma Mater.”

Special thanks to Jonah Garcia, one of our fifth-year music education majors, for spending all the hours it takes to edit this!

Welcome From Neag School of Education Dean Gladis Kersaint

A Message From the 2019-20 Neag School Alumni Board President

And now, the honorees ...

Each of the Neag School’s 2020 Alumni Award honorees represent the best and brightest in their field. It is our privilege to celebrate all that they have accomplished through their careers and their service to the community.


Explore each honoree’s featured page to find:

  • Special profile videos about each of this year’s winners
  • Acceptance speeches from the honorees, and
  • Praise and well wishes from nominators, colleagues, families, and friends

Jessica Stargardter.
Click the image to visit Jessica’s featured page.

Jessica Stargardter ’16 (ED), ’17 MA
Outstanding Early Career Professional

Daniel J. Crispino.
Click the image to visit Daniel’s featured page.

Daniel J. Crispino ’15 6th Year
Outstanding School Administrator

Robin Schader.
Click the image to visit Robin’s featured page.

Robin M. Schader ’01 Ph.D.
Outstanding Professional

Christine L. Carver.
Click the image to visit Christine’s featured page.

Christine L. Carver ’91 (ED), ’97 MA, ’09 Ed.D.
Outstanding School Superintendent

Jeffrey Corbishley with colleagues.
Click the image to visit Jeffrey’s featured page.

Jeffrey Corbishley ’07 (ED), ’08 MA
Outstanding School Educator

Marcia A.B. Delcourt with students.
Click the image to visit Marcia’s featured page.

Marcia A. B. Delcourt ’80 MA, ’88 Ph.D.
Outstanding Higher Education Professional

Bert Wachtelhausen, 2020 Neag School Distinguished Alumna.
Roberta “Bert” Wachtelhausen ’81 (ED)

Neag School 2020 Distinguished Alumna

Additional 2020 Honorees

Jenna Karvelis and Ajane Santora-Fyne
Jenna Karvelis and Ajane Santora-Fyne.

Alumni Board Scholarship Award

Through the generosity of current and past board members of the Neag School of Education Alumni Board, funding is made available each academic year to provide much-needed scholarship support to one or more current Neag School students.

Formally established in 2014, the Neag School Alumni Board Scholarship this academic year will support Jenna Karvelis and Ajane Santora-Fyne, graduate students in the teacher education program.

Read their story.


Watch Ajane Santora-Fyne’s Video Remarks:

Rogers Educational Innovation Fund Award

Jason Gilmore painting with his students.
Jason Gilmore, left, 2020 Rogers Fund awardee, paints with students.

The Rogers Educational Innovation Fund, designated by Neag School of Education Professor Emeritus Vincent Rogers, provides a $5,000 award available annually in support of innovative projects carried out by teachers at the elementary and middle school levels in Connecticut.

We are proud to congratulate Jason Gilmore, an art teacher in Hartford, Connecticut, on being selected to receive the 2020 Rogers Award in support of his “Mural Intervention Project.”

This project, Gilmore wrote in his proposal, “will benefit the entire school community through beautification, as well as inspiring conversations about challenging subject matter, such as personal issues and triumphs, social issues, education, and [students’] neighborhoods.” Read about his project.

Watch Jason Gilmore’s Video Remarks:

Learn more about the Rogers Award.

Dr. Perry A. Zirkel Distinguished Teaching Award

Milagros Castillo-Montoya.
Milagros Castillo-Montoya

The Dr. Perry A. Zirkel Distinguished Teaching Award is awarded annually to a full-time faculty member in the Neag School of Education for outstanding teaching.

Milagros Castillo-Montoya, assistant professor of higher education and student affairs at the Neag School, has been named the 2020 Zirkel Award recipient.

Castillo-Montoya is a first-generation scholar. In addition to serving as assistant professor at the Neag School, she is assistant director of faculty development at UConn’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, and affiliate faculty with El Instituto and the Sustainable Global Cities Initiative.

Milagros, Congratulations! I’m so delighted for you!!

With best wishes,
— Heather

Her research focuses on educational equity for first-generation college students, as well as racially minoritized students. Castillo-Montoya studies teaching and learning in racially and ethnically diverse college classrooms, particularly culturally relevant teaching in higher education. 

Watch Milagros Castillo-Montoya’s Remarks:


Learn more about the Zirkel Award.


“On behalf of the entire HESA Program, we wish to congratulate you and celebrate the amazing professor you are. You are exemplary in your teaching, mentoring, and advising of not only our students, but students across Neag. You have a big heart and an ‘open’ door policy, always trying to design community events and constantly setting the bar high for exemplary teaching. Thank you for being an example in your teaching.”

— Saran Stewart, Associate Professor

Congratulations to all of the award winners! Thank you for your hard work and dedication to your students! The need is greater than ever and the work you do is much appreciated. Congratulations again!

— The Stargardter Family

Congratulations to everyone from UConn for your achievements!

— Marcy Delcourt

Would you like to make a difference in the lives of the next generation of educators?


Support the Neag School Alumni Scholarship fund


Or, you can give directly from your smartphone via our text-to-give option: Text neagalumni to 41444.

Pay It Forward:

Nominate Alumni for the 2021 Alumni Awards


We’re accepting nominations for the Neag School 2021 Alumni Awards through Oct. 30, 2020.
The deadline is now extended to Nov. 6, 2020!

Submit your  nomination online.


And, coming in 2022: Outstanding Diversity Recognition Award.
Stay tuned for details and criteria!

Thank You, From the Neag School 2019-20 Alumni Board

Today, more than 24,000 Neag School alumni are making a positive impact on communities worldwide as educators, school psychologists, counselors, researchers, sport management professionals, and leaders across and beyond the field of education.

It is our great privilege to sponsor this annual event — now in its 22nd consecutive year — as a way of formally recognizing a selection of the School’s most accomplished and dedicated graduates. These awards honor distinguished educators and professionals who have made a significant contribution in their chosen profession.

On behalf of UConn’s Neag School of Education, we congratulate this year’s incredibly deserving award recipients. Thank you for joining us online in honoring these remarkable individuals.

The 2019-20 Neag School Alumni Board


Lisa Cushing ’17
Emma Czaplinski ’15, ’16
Elizabeth DeVitto ’14, ’15 (Secretary, 2019-20)
Robert “Bob” Garry ’05
Carl Johnson ’03, ’04, ’15
Kathryn “Katy” Keenan ’10, ’11, ’19 (President, 2019-20)
Kelly Lyman ’92, ’93, ’10
Joseph “Joe” Macary ’94, ’08, ’16
Desi Nesmith ’01, ’02, ’09

Timothy “T.J.” Neville ’06, ’18
Santosha Oliver ’06, ’16
Megan Parrette ’12, ’17 (Vice President, 2019-20; President, 2020-21)
Tiffany Smith ’08, ’09, ’17
Norma Sproul ’93
Jocelyn Tamborello-Noble ’03, ’04, ’09
Elsie Torres ’18
Kim Wachtelhausen ’08