Students, Donors Celebrate at Annual Scholarship Awards Ceremony

Editor’s Note: This story, written by Neag School's Stefanie Dion-Jones, originally appeared on the Neag School’s website.

The Neag School of Education honored more than 100 of its students last night at its Annual Scholarship Awards Ceremony.

Formerly known as the Honors Day Celebration, the event — held at the Jorgensen Center for Performing Arts on the UConn Storrs campus — brought together current students receiving Neag School-affiliated scholarships in the coming academic year; their guests; and the donors whose contributions to the Neag School make these sources of financial support possible.Jennie McGarry with Neag Scholarship receipients

Support for scholarships comes from numerous sources, including Neag School benefactors Ray and Carole Neag; Neag School and UConn alumni; current University faculty and administrators; and families of former Neag School staff and alumni, among others.

During the reception preceding the formal ceremony, student recipients had an opportunity to connect personally with the donors responsible for providing their scholarship support.

View photos from the Scholarship Awards Ceremony.

Student scholarships were awarded in the following departments or categories: Teacher Education; the Department of Curriculum and Instruction; the Department of Educational Leadership; the Department of Educational Psychology; and School-wide Scholarships.

In addition to the student awards, Erin McGurk, director of educational services for Ellington (Conn.) Public Schools, received the UCEA Educational Leadership Award.

HESA professor, students and alumni in a group shot from Neag Scholarship Awards Ceremony, 4/17

Congratulations to this year’s award recipients:


The University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) is a membership association of higher education institutions that promotes excellence in continuing higher education. This award is in recognition of practicing school administrators who have made significant contributions to the improvement of administrator preparation.

Erin McGurk, Director of Educational Services, Ellington Public Schools




Friends & Colleagues of Francis X. Archambault Jr. Fellowship

Established by friends and colleagues to honor Dr. Francis X. Archambault, professor emeritus. This scholarship provides support to a Ph.D. candidate in the field of measurement, evaluation and assessment, who demonstrates academic excellence.

David Alexandro

Sarah Newton


Arminio/Effron Scholarship

Established by Carmen Effron in memory of her father, Kenneth Arminio. This scholarship is awarded to students with a demonstrated interest in teaching as a profession and with a proven track record of academic excellence.

Anne Denerville

Joseph Leslie Jr.


Fuller Scholarship for Social Justice in Education

This scholarship was established by Ms. Katie G. Fuller to provide scholarship support for University students enrolled in the Neag School of Education’s Integrated Bachelor’s/Master’s Program, with priority consideration to students who are also enrolled in the University’s Stamps Leadership Scholars Program.

Julia Eldridge


The Herbert and Sarah M. Gibor Charitable Foundation Scholarship

This scholarship provides financial support for students enrolled in the University’s Neag School of Education and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The recipient must demonstrate an interest in teaching as a profession and have a proven track record of academic excellence.

Tala Adawiya

Amy Hetherington-Coy

Asfia Qutub

Elaina Rampolla


Robert H. Hart Fellowship

This fellowship was established in memory of Dr. Ronald P. Hart’s father and UConn alumnus, Robert H. Hart, in order to provide financial support for students enrolled in UConn’s Neag School of Education with priority consideration given to those who are from, student teach or plan to teach in Meriden, Conn.

Sarah Mangiafico

Rex Sturdevant


Lodewick TNE Alumni Scholarship

Established by Philip H. and Christine Lodewick. This scholarship provides support for students enrolled in the IB/M program with a demonstrated intention to pursue a career as a K-12 teacher.

Matthew Miller

Heather Vasquez


Ora Lee Morrison Scholarship

Established by Michael and Monique Watson in memory of Ora Lee Morrison. This scholarship provides support to students enrolled in the IB/M or TCPCG program with a demonstrated interest in teaching as a profession.

Lindsay Kahoe


Paula Riggi Singer Endowed Scholarship

This scholarship was established by Ms. Paula R. Singer to provide scholarship support for University students enrolled in the Neag School of Education, with priority consideration to those students who are also enrolled in the University’s Honors Program.

Mindy Fan



Andrews International Education Award

The fund was established by Dr. Frank Andrews Stone in honor of his mother, Ruth, and her five siblings, originally of Pasadena, Calif., whose careers demonstrated concern for international awareness and understanding.

Francisco Ahumada

Kennedy Martin


David Blick Science Education Award

In recognition and encouragement of innovative and/or collaborative efforts in science education, this award is given to a Neag School student, faculty member, alumnus/alumna of the School, or a member of the faculty of another School or College of the University.

Dr. Catherine Koehler


The Betty Bussman Education Fund

This scholarship was established through the generosity of Mrs. Betty Bussman and is awarded to undergraduate or graduate students who are planning careers in elementary education. The award is based on financial need, academic excellence, and a demonstrated interest in and concern for the needs of children.

Abigail Nagy

Emily Sebesky


Thomas & Francine DeFranco Scholarship

This scholarship was established by Thomas, professor and former Dean of the Neag School, and his wife Francine, Associate University Librarian, to provide support to an academically outstanding incoming or continuing student enrolled full time in the IB/M program, with priority consideration given to a math education major.

Amanda MacDonald

Marinela Maxhari


Degnan Family Scholarship

This scholarship was established by James and Elizabeth Degnan to provide support to an academically outstanding incoming or continuing undergraduate student enrolled full time in the IB/M program, with priority consideration given to a resident of the State of Connecticut.

Kimberly Duhart


Shannon Leigh Closter Driscoll Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship was established in memory of Shannon Leigh Closter Driscoll, an alumna of the Neag School of Education, by her family and friends. This scholarship is based on financial need, academic achievement, and a demonstrated interest in gifted and talented education.

Bryan Kirby

Jennifer Zaffetti


Eva Eaton Scholarship in Elementary Education

This scholarship, established in honor of Eva Eaton by her family, is based on financial need, academic achievement, and is given to students pursuing a major in elementary education.

Cheyenne Clark

Briana DiCicco


Marjory C. Gelfenbien Scholarship

This scholarship was established by Roger Gelfenbien, former UConn Board of Trustees Chairman to honor his wife, Marjory C. Gelfenbien. It is awarded based on academic excellence and outstanding achievement in the areas of teacher education and educational leadership.

Kathleen Bradway

Emily Burstein

Jennifer Couture

Rachel Crowder

Anthony Dolcimascolo

Julianna Fusco

Jesse Hegener

Alyssa Hughes

Shaelyn Killoh

Anika Koerfer

Rachael Orbe

Micaela Orpheus

Nichole Pitruzzello

Taylor Schultz

Heather Vasquez


George C. and Jane F. Goodale Memorial Scholarship

Established in Jane Goodale’s memory by her husband, George, and her family. This permanently endowed fund is designated for outstanding graduate students in educational anthropology.

Manqian Zhao


Hamilton Sundstrand Challenger 7 Science Education Scholarship

Hamilton Sundstrand employees established this award in memory of the Challenger 7 astronauts. It is designated for students in elementary and secondary science education. Among the criteria considered are past academic achievement and demonstration of potential for future academic and professional accomplishments.

Emma Chassagnoux

Alexander DeBrizzi

Amy Hetherington-Coy


Neag Math and Science Scholarship

Established by Dr. Philip E. Austin, president emeritus. This scholarship provides financial support to a student enrolled in the Neag School who is pursuing a degree in education with a focus on either Math or Science.

Kathleen Gorman


Judith A. Meagher Undergraduate Scholarship

Established by the Beta Sigma Chapter of Pi Lambda Theta Honor Society as a tribute to the many contributions and leadership of Judith Meagher, professor emeritus and former Associate Dean of the Neag School.

Joseph Leslie Jr.


Daniel Thomas Perley Scholarship

Established in memory of Daniel Thomas Perley by his wife, this scholarship is awarded to incoming fifth-year students in the IB/M Program who have demonstrated academic achievement in the area of elementary education.

Kelsey Iwanicki

Taylor Schultz


Philo T. Pritzkau Scholarship

Established to provide an award to outstanding minority Neag School graduate students who have shown exemplary scholarship and leadership in research and teaching. This award was established by the students and friends of Dr. Philo T. Pritzkau, professor emeritus of the Department of Curriculum & Instruction.

Kara Patterson

Alissa Velazquez


Sidney Skolnick Scholarship

Established through the generosity of Dr. Sidney Skolnick, this scholarship is awarded annually to Neag School students based on financial need and academic excellence.

Tala Adawiya

Carly Bernheimer

Devon Castiello

Anne Denerville

Mindy Fan

Matthew Ferraro

Kelsey Hammerman

Rachel Haze

Mikayla Hood

Jordyn Meyenberg

Griffin Michalek

Asfia Qutub

Kevin Smaglis

Laura Veilleux

Thomas P. Weinland Scholarship

Established by students, colleagues, and family to honor Dr. Thomas P. Weinland, professor emeritus of the Department of Curriculum & Instruction, this scholarship is awarded to a deserving student who is preparing to teach secondary history and social studies.

Chelsea Constantino



Earle G. Bidwell Educational Leadership Scholarship

This scholarship was established by a cohort of Earle G. Bidwell to provide scholarship support for a graduate student, with priority consideration given to a University of Connecticut Administrator Preparation Program (UCAPP) student.

Lauren Poppe


Peter J. Nicholls Scholarship in Educational Leadership

This scholarship was established by friends, family, and colleagues of Dr. Peter J. Nicholls, former Provost of the University of Connecticut. This scholarship provides support to a graduate student(s) enrolled in the Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) program.

Emily Daher


Karen L. Parizeau Memorial Scholarship

Established to honor the memory and work of Karen Parizeau, a beloved teacher, this scholarship was created by donations from her husband, Philip, their children, Lauren and Philip, and her friends and colleagues. It is intended for experienced teachers pursuing careers in education administration, particularly at the middle-school level.

Caitlin Bexley

Gregory Miska


The Steven J. Smith Scholarship

This scholarship has been established in honor of Dr. Steven J. Smith, UConn alumnus and retired Assistant Dean from the Neag School of Education, to support students enrolled in the Neag School’s Department of Educational Leadership with demonstrated academic achievement and an interest or association with athletics.

Faith McCarthy




Vernon and Elizabeth Brown Family Scholarship

Made possible by a generous gift from Vernon and Elizabeth Brown, this award is designated for graduate students of the Department of Educational Psychology.

Lindsay Morales

Meaghann Revis


Robert K. Gable Scholarship

Made possible by a gift from Dr. Robert K. Gable, professor emeritus, this scholarship is designated for a graduate student in the Department of Educational Psychology who is enrolled in the Measurement, Evaluation, and Assessment Program.

Anthony Gambino


Raymond and Augusta Gerberich Scholarship

In memory of J. Raymond Gerberich, professor emeritus, and his wife, Augusta, this award is presented to doctoral students in the foundation areas (educational psychology, educational evaluation and measurement, statistical methods, or educational philosophy). Basis for this award includes superior academic achievement and financial need.

David Alexandro

Maria Avitia

Xiaochen Liu

Daniel Volk


Lisa Pappanikou Glidden Scholarship

Established in memory of former Neag School staff member Lisa Pappanikou Glidden – and, more recently, in memory of her parents, Lucette Pappanikou and Dr. A.J. Pappanikou, professor emeritus – this fund is intended to enhance the field of special education by providing financial support for graduate students engaged in the study of educating and/or training special-needs youngsters with severe and profound disabilities.

Morgan Recore

Julia Vitti

Max Wittstein


Vivienne Dean Litt Memorial Scholarship

Established in memory of Vivienne Dean Litt, former Assistant Director of the University Program for Learning Disabilities, by her sons, Martin and Matthew Litt, and her colleagues and friends, this award is designed to promote and encourage the success of a student whose interests and character continue Vivienne’s spirit and professional work with children and/or adults with special needs.

Maria Avitia


Jessie Carew Moreland Endowment Scholarship

This scholarship was established by Wallace S. Moreland in memory of his first wife, Jessie Carew Moreland. It is presented to students majoring in Special Education who have demonstrated intellectual curiosity, personal integrity, academic achievement, and a serious interest in pursuing a career in the field of developmental disabilities.

Jillian Bucciero

Sean Curvelo


Wallace S. Moreland Memorial Scholarship

Established in memory of Wallace S. Moreland by his four children – Lucy Wistreich, David, Wallace Jr., and John Moreland – this scholarship is presented to graduate students majoring in special education who have worked with persons with developmental disabilities and who demonstrate promise of becoming a leader in the field.

Jamila Champier


Joseph Renzulli and Sally Reis Renzulli Fund for Graduate Studies in Gifted Education

Made possible by a gift from Drs. Joseph Renzulli and Sally Reis Renzulli, this scholarship provides support to a student pursuing an MA or Ph.D. in gifted education and talent development with demonstrated academic achievement.

Ashley Carpenter

Sarah Luria

Pamela Peters


Susan Hope Sherman Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to graduate or undergraduate students majoring in special education, particularly those working with persons with developmental disabilities.

Matthew Miller



Valerie J. Pichette Scholarship

This scholarship was established with the support of Valerie J. Pichette’s family, friends, colleagues across the Neag School and the larger University, as well as students past and present, in honor of her 30 years of service to the state of Connecticut and will offer financial assistance to students enrolled in the Neag School’s teacher education program.

Lindsay Kahoe

Chelcee Schroll


Gloria A. Murray Scholarship

This scholarship is in memory of Brandon Murray’s grandmother and James Murray’s mother, Gloria A. Murray, and was established to provide scholarship support for University students enrolled in the Neag School of Education.

Shannon Bollard


Juros Scholarship for the Neag School of Education

This scholarship is given to Neag School undergraduate students with demonstrated academic achievement. This scholarship is made possible by the generosity of Thomas S. Juros.

Kamola Rabbimova

Taylor Schultz


Irene P. and Emanuel A. Makiaris Scholarship in the Neag School of Education

This scholarship is given to Neag School students preparing to be teachers through either the IB/M or TCPCG program. This scholarship is made possible by the generosity of Irene P. and Emanuel A. Makiaris.

Dominique Grello

Matthew Miller


Yaoxin and Ethel W. Rong International Education Scholarship

Established in memory of Dr. Yuhang Rong’s grandparents, Yaoxin and Ethel Rong, this scholarship is awarded to a Neag School student with demonstrated academic achievement and an interest in international education.

Katherine Holden


Neag Scholarship

This scholarship has been established for the purpose of supporting outstanding academic achievement, contribution to the University and the community, and participation in extracurricular activities. Financial support comes from the generous contribution of Raymond and Carole Neag, as well as contributions from the faculty and staff of the Neag School of Education.

Marianna Bedoya

Rebecca Joseph

Hana Picorelli

Rex Sturdevant


Neag School of Education Undergraduate Scholarship

Established thanks to the generosity of numerous faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the Neag School of Education, this scholarship is awarded to undergraduate students who were identified by nomination in their programs as having strong academic performance and having gone above and beyond by contributing significantly to the Neag School.

Jessica Guo

Taylor Hudak

Marinela Maxhari

Thu-Anh Nguyen


Neag School of Education Graduate Fellowship

Established thanks to the generosity of numerous faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the Neag School of Education, this scholarship is awarded to a graduate student identified by nomination in his or her program as having a strong academic performance and having gone above and beyond by contributing significantly to the Neag School.

Ricardo Destinvil


Neag School Veterans Fund Scholarship

This scholarship was established for students who are either U.S. service members or veterans who have served in Afghanistan or Iraq. The funds, which may be used for tuition, course materials, and other educational expenses, are also available to the children of a veteran enrolled in the Neag School.

Jesse Mala


Learn more about additional scholarships and giving opportunities related to the Neag School here; or, contact Heather McDonald at for more information.