Our Faculty

PK-3 Leadership Program’s Instructor: Roszena Haskins

Roszena Haskins
Roszena Haskins, Ed.D. grad and current PK-3 Leadership Instructor. Photo credit: Shawn Kornegay

This Spring, a former Ed.D. student, Roszena Haskins (‘17) will begin facilitating the third and final module of the 2017-18 PreK-3 Leadership Program at the University of Connecticut. The module titled, Leading for Equity, Excellence and Early Success, covers a variety of topics with the ultimate goal of preparing educators to build a school culture led by caring, competent, and well rounded leaders.

Like all the facilitators who join the PreK-3 Leadership Program team, Haskins is an expert in her field. She has over 20 years of experience as an educator and a strong passion for equity and diversity. Currently serving as the West Hartford Director of Adult and Continuing Education and the district’s Director of Diversity Advancement, Haskins works with other members of West Hartford Public School’s Equity and Diversity Council to strengthen the cultural competence of the district and advance institutional equity. Her multiple roles in district-wide early education and diversity initiatives require her to stay up-to-date on ever-changing federal, state, and local policy changes. This expertise coupled with a commitment to the children, caregivers, and community has prepared Haskins for her upcoming role as an instructor with the PreK-3 Leadership Program.

Haskins is excited to share her experiences as she explains, “Navigation across agencies, organizations, and constituents is something I enjoy personally and professionally and hope to contribute to the PreK-3 Leadership Program.”

In addition to her direct experience in the field, Haskins is an accomplished researcher. Her doctoral dissertation for the University of Connecticut’s Ed.D. program focused on Black and Latino students disproportionately leaving college without a degree as a result of low access to college-level courses and extended time spent completing developmental education requirements. She bridges her research and the importance of initiatives like the PreK-3 Leadership program by explaining,

“Longitudinal research shows that investing in high quality early education programs, leveraged by highly competent, knowledgeable and skillful leaders promotes post-secondary success and improved life changes as adults.”

Haskins looks forward to working with other state leaders, as well as the Expert Advisory Panel, who are passionate about early childhood development and inclusion. She stated, “I continue to be eager to contribute to building the leadership capacity of committed educators through an equity-focused lens.”

The PreK-3 Leadership Program is thrilled to Dr. Haskins on board, as Program Director Dr. Karen List describes her as “very hard working,” with a “strong background in diversity and PK-12 leadership,” Dr. List adds,

“She genuinely connects with people. The importance of relationships is evident in her style.”

Are White Coaches Fulfilling the Culture Needs of Black Athletes?

Joseph Cooper meets with student
Joseph Cooper meets with student Joseph Cooper, assistant professor of sport management, meets with a Neag School student. (Photo Credit: Sean Flynn/UConn)

Editor’s Note: The following was originally published on the UConn Innovation Portal and then again on the Neag School of Education’s website.  

Joseph Cooper, an assistant professor  of sport management and educational leadership in UConn’s Neag School of Education, is a co-investigator with Drew Brown, assistant Africana studies professor at the University of Delaware, on a grant from the American Athletic Conference to study the topic of whether and how white coaches are fulfilling the cultural needs of black college athletes.

Nine out of the 12 universities in the American Athletic Conference (AAC) have white football coaches, but many of the athletes on these teams are black, and the quality of the relationship between black college athletes and white coaches often impacts athletes’ developmental experiences in college and post-college, according to the researchers.

The quality of the relationship between black college athletes and white coaches often impacts athletes’ developmental experiences in college and post-college, according to the researchers.

Cooper and Brown will conduct interviews and administer surveys to college athletes from three different AAC schools to better understand if black college athletes feel their relationship with their white coaches fulfill their cultural needs.

The study will apply co-cultural communication theory, which studies how nondominant groups in society create alternative forms of communication to articulate their experiences. In addition, this study will incorporate critical race theory, which scrutinizes existing societal power structures that marginalize people of color and is germane to the study of the dynamic between white coaches and black college athletes. Thus, this study will explore the role race, culture, and communication styles play in the relationship between “in group” and “out group” members across the lines of race and sport role involvement.

After completing this study, Cooper and Brown will generate suggestions for the direction of future research in this area to improve these critical relationships.

Cooper received his Ph.D. in kinesiology and sport management and policy from the University of Georgia. His areas of interest are sport management, gender and race in sports, racism and other forms of oppression, higher education and qualitative research.

Access the original post on the UConn Innovation portal.