Month: January 2016

EDLR Accolades – December 2015


EDLR Accolades – December 2015

Below are news and notes from our EDLR alumni, faculty, staff, and students. We are proud of all the amazing accomplishments by our EDLR family.


Joshua Abreu, a Ph.D. student in educational leadership, was awarded UConn’s El Instituto 2015-2016 predoctoral award for his initiative to identity and develop mentoring relationships with scholars in higher education.

YujinKim, doctoral student in educational leadership, defended her dissertation entitled “Development of the Employee Expertise Development Scale (EEDS)” in November.


More than 20 UConn alumni returned to their alma mater in October to network with current sport management students for a “Career in Sports Night.” Each alum is following a promising career path at major sports corporations, including ESPN, NBC Sports, and Major League Baseball. More than 60 undergraduates attended.

The Department of Educational Leadership hosted an “Issues in Sport Discussion Series” in December. Karissa Niehoff ’10 Ph.D., the executive director for the Connecticut Association of Schools—Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CASCIAC), and Anne McKernan ’11 ELP, director of leadership development for the Connecticut State Department of Education, shared via WebEx the importance of the relationship between sport and academic achievement in schools.

Brittany (Perotti) Agne ’11 MA serves as director of children’s education programming at New York Cares.

Fernando Carrasquillo ’13 (ED) is the Relay for Life community manager for the American Cancer Society in Winter Park, Fla.

Alex Friedman ’08 (ED) is working in mergers, acquisitions, and corporate development at WME/IMG in New York, N.Y.

Jennifer Myatt ’13 (ED) is a tennis service representative for the New England branch of the United States Tennis Association, a position she was offered upon completing an internship there while she was still enrolled at UConn.

Matt Ouimette ’12 (ED), who started in the football equipment room for the NCAA, the NBA and the NFL, now produces videos for the sports organizations.


The Neag School hosted a film screening the 2013 documentary “Stolen Education,” followed by a panel discussion that explored racism, segregation, and the Mexican-American contribution to the civil-rights movement. Guest panelists included Cathy Schlund-Vials, director of UConn’s Asian and Asian American Studies Institute and chair of the UConn Reads program; Richard Gonzales, director of the Educational Leadership Preparation Programs in the Neag School; Blanca Rincón, Department of Educational Leadership faculty member; Erica Fernández, Department of Educational Leadership faculty member and mentee of “Stolen Education” executive producer and co-writer Enrique Alemán, professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio; Martha Perez-Pedemonti ’08 (CLAS), ’12 JD, staff attorney at Sanctuary for Families in New York City and member of the New York City Bar Association’s Committee on Women in the Legal Profession; and Sarah Hodge ’15 (ED), current fifth-year student in the IB/M Program.

Faculty from across the Neag School presented “Contemporary Conversations” during UConn Huskies Forever Weekend in October. Sessions included expert panels on mental well-being, diversity, and creativity and innovation. Presenters for the first session, chaired by Sandra Chafouleas, included Elizabeth Cracco, director of Counseling and Mental Health Services at UConn; Anne Farrell, director of the Center for Applied Research in Human Development and associate professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies in UConn’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; and Alice Forrester, executive director of the Clifford Beers Clinic. The session on diversity was presented by Milagros Castillo-Montoya, and the session on creativity was presented by Ron Beghetto.

CommPACT helped ninth-grade students at five Bridgeport schools kick off their school year in September. Kickoff day was themed “Preparing Our Youth for a Better Tomorrow” and provided programs to show students how to make good decisions, prevent violence, and take charge of their own lives.

Sandy Bell was an invited speaker last month at the 2015 Agriculture & Food Systems Inservice, sponsored by the Cornell University Cooperative Extension. Her talk was titled “Adult Learning: Considerations for Educating and Training Pesticide Applicators.” She also conducted two focus groups of current students and recent graduates of adult learning programs, who are also UConn employees, in October. The groups provided insights about the learning and degree needs and interests of other UConn employees, and suggestions for marketing such programs to various employee groups.

Patricia Bellamy completed the Middle Management Institute (MMI) training series offered by the city of Hartford’s Department of Families, Children, Youth, and Recreation. Bellamy also represented Husky Sport as a participant in two workshops facilitated by the central office of Hartford Public Schools: “K-3 Early Literacy Interventions” and “Community Partnership Alignment with Classroom Curriculum.”

Eric Bernstein was one of five finalists in the “College Professor” category of the 2015 Bammy Awards, a cross-discipline honor that recognizes teachers of all subjects and education levels nationwide. In addition, in November, Bernstein, along with a colleague, presented his research findings “Gaps in Support for Students with Disabilities: Reconceptualizing Approaches to Disabilities through Culturally Relevant Pedagogy” at the Association for the Study of Higher Education Conference in Denver.

Eric Bernstein, Laura Burton, Casey Cobb, Morgaen Donaldson, Erica Fernández, Michele Femc-Bagwell, Richard Gonzales, Jennie Weiner, Sarah Woulfin, and current doctoral student Regina Hopkins presented research papers or book chapters, participated in panel discussions, and/or chaired sessions at the 2015 University Council of Educational Administration (UCEA) annual convention earlier this month in San Diego. Cobb, member of the UCEA Executive Committee, and Gonzales, UCEA Plenum representative for the Neag School, also participated in preconference business meetings.

Milagros Castillo-Montoya hosted a guest lecture in November at the Puerto Rican and Latin American Cultural Center event at the UConn Storrs campus regarding the challenges undocumented students face in obtaining a college education. The forum featured assistant professor of educational leadership H. Kenny Nienhusser from the University of Hartford and UConn members of the group CT Students for a Dream. Castillo-Montoya has also been selected as a 2016-2018 American College Personnel Association (ACPA) Emerging Scholar Designee. She will be honored at three conventions and will receive $3,000 in research funding.

Milagros Castillo-Montoya, Justin Evanovich, Jennifer McGarry, and Blanca Rincón were awarded an $8,000 research grant from the Public Discourse Project and the Humanities Institute in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Their project, titled “Asset Assessment, Campus Collaboration, and Facilitator Professional Development for Intergroup Dialogue,” examines Neag School programs that advance dialogue on social justice, equity, and intergroup differences to increase the effectiveness of these programs.

Casey Cobb, Richard Gonzales, and Jennie Weiner published a new article in Teaching and Teacher Education, “Historical Trends and Patterns in the Scholarship on Leadership Preparation.”

Morgaen Donaldson and Kim LeChasseur presented findings from year two of their evaluation of the New Haven Public Schools Professional Educator Program, funded by the Department of Education, to an audience of district and teachers union leaders in New Haven.

Morgaen Donaldson was appointed an editorial board member of Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis.

Shaun Dougherty led the Neag School in co-sponsoring the Getting CTE Right Conference at Georgia State University in October. The high-profile event, which featured more than 30 policymakers, academics, and state officials, evaluated career and technical education (CTE) and its future in the United States.

Justin Evanovich presented a workshop titled “The American Dream” at the Campus Compact “Unmasking Social Change” conference held at Wesleyan University in October.

Michele Femc-Bagwell presented at UPenn’s University-Assisted Community Schools Conference in December.

Erica Fernández was a recent contributing author to the CEPA blog, titled “The School Could Not Get Involved in Those Matters: The Intersection of Anti-Immigration Reform and Schools.” She is serving as an associate editor for Educational Administration Quarterly. Her research was highlighted in the latest issue of Equity Dispatch, in a recent theme of “Appreciating Difference: Toward Parents/Caregivers as Authentic Partners.” In addition, Fernández has served on several recent panels: One panel titled “Local Activism and Approaches to Social Justice,” held in November at UConn’s African American Cultural Center; another in December for Dorothea Anagstopoulous’ seminar on parental engagement perspectives, which targeted junior preservice teachers; and as an invited keynote for a panel titled “Pathways to College: Access and Success,” held in North Dakota in October.

Preston Green, along with a colleague, released his book Censorship and Student Communication in Online and Offline Settings through IGI Global in September. The book discusses First Amendment rights and how those rights are often censored in schools, even within the realm of social media.

Robin Grenier is a co-investigator on a UConn Public Discourse project that was recently awarded $7,000 to explore public discourse in museums.

Josh Hyman presented “Data vs. Methods: Quasi-Experimental Evaluation of Alternative Sample Selection Corrections for Missing College Entrance Exam Score Data” at the National Bureau of Economic Research Economics of Education Fall Meeting in November in Cambridge, Mass.

Marijke Kehrhahn is representing the Neag School on the organizing committee for Connecticut’s Transportation Summit, to be held on the Storrs campus in January. The summit will explore and set a collaborative agenda for the University, the Connecticut Department of Transportation, other colleges and universities, and private business and industry in implementing the governor’s 30-year transportation vision for Connecticut. She also facilitated a strategic planning retreat for the board of the Connecticut Autism Spectrum Resource Center in November and has been appointed to the Advisory Board for the New England Board of Higher Education’s Problem-Based Learning Center.

Robert Villanova facilitated a panel discussion on “Leadership Preparation in Connecticut” at the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education and the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents in Hartford, Conn., in November.

Jennie Weiner has a new article in Teaching and Teacher Education titled “Different Location or Different Map?: Investigating Charter School Teachers’ Professional Identities.” Weiner and Sarah Woulfin presented “Diagnosing the District: How First Year Principals Frame the District” at UCEA last month.

Over the summer and fall of 2015, Sarah Woulfin advised members of Hartford Public Schools’ Department of Professional Learning and facilitated a professional development session titled “Levels of Change: From Compliance to Transformation.” Woulfin and Shaun Dougherty also co-facilitated an orientation session for 16 incoming members of the 2015 Neag School Ed.D. cohort.

Sarah Woulfin’s article “Highway to Reform: The Coupling of District Reading Policy and Instructional Practice” was published in the Journal of Educational Change.