University of Connecticut University of UC Title Fallback Connecticut

UPCOMING EVENTS

25
SEPT

Early College Experience
Panel Discussion: Practices and Principals of Taking Action
Konover Auditorium, Dodd Center

25
SEPT

CEPA Speaker Series
Gentry 142
3:30pm-4:45pm

25
SEPT

UCAPP Workshop: Core Values, Mission, and Vision + Budget
Davis Street Arts and Academics School
New Haven, CT
5:00-7:00pm

25
SEPT

UConn Sport Business Association
Two Cents Tuesday:
Claire Czerniuk, CT Sun Game Day Operations
School of Business
6:00pm

25
SEPT

Calendar linking to more upcoming events for EDLR

RECENT ALUMNI & STUDENT NEWS

Summer 2018: Issue Briefs

This summer, the Neag School of Education caught up with three doctoral students in the Learning, Leadership, and Education Policy program regarding their research that were recently released as issue briefs, in connection to the Center for Education Policy Analysis.  Read more on their individual thoughts and recommendations for education:

Samuel J. Kamin writes about Career and Technical Education - Current Trends and Results

Alexandra Lamb discusses How School Districts are Introducing Technology Into Classrooms Through 1:1 Programs

Chelsea Connery examines the Impact of Undocumented Status on Children’s Learning, as well as the implications for schools

CEPA is a research center based at the Neag School that seeks to inform educational leaders and policymakers on issues related to the development, implementation, and consequences of education policies. Learn more about CEPA at cepa.uconn.edu.

Issue Brief: The Impact of Undocumented Status on Children’s Learning

Chelsea Connery ’13 (ED), ’14 MA, a former public school teacher and now a Neag School doctoral student in the Learning, Leadership, and Education Policy program, prepared the following issue brief — in affiliation with the Center for Education Policy Analysis (CEPA) — about the impact of undocumented status on children’s learning, as well as the implications for schools.

RECENT FACULTY & STAFF NEWS

Lessons from the Field: Dr. H. Kenny Nienhusser

The word students often use to describe Dr. H. Kenny Nienhusser is “passionate.”  From the very beginning of his career, passion has been a driving force for Nienhusser.  His first professional position was as a Residence Hall Director at Stony Brook University in New York, and it was there that the idea of a career in higher education and student affairs occurred to him.  

“It was the first seed of thinking, wow, there’s this whole field that exists,” says Nienhusser. “The residential program I worked in was very focused on making the bridge between theory and practice … it was very deliberate in thinking about how professionals could better meet the needs of students by making ourselves well-informed practitioners. This was achieved by reading scholarly work. And that was the first time I thought: wouldn’t it be cool to one day publish in one of these journals I’m reading, to help inform practice?”

He was a Hall Director at Stony Brook for three years while he worked simultaneously on his master’s degree in social work (MSW).  In 2001, he completed his MSW and decided he was ready for more. “I come from Latino immigrant parents and education is a very important 

value in my community,” Nienhusser says. “Education was always something I wanted to further pursue.” By this point, his passion for higher education and student affairs was growing.  He accepted a job at Teachers College, Columbia University and soon after that began his doctoral studies there.

Over the next nearly 10 years, Nienhusser ‘chipped away’ at his Ed.D. while working full-time at Teachers College, first as Assistant Director of Housing and then as Director of Academic 

Administration.  Since completing his Ed.D. in 2011, he has taught at Teachers College and University of Hartford, and now brings his expertise to UConn.

Dr. Nienhusser’s research focuses broadly on the high school to college transition of underrepresented minoritized populations in higher education, and especially the undocumented and DACAmented communities.  DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is a U.S. federal program that provides a stay of deportation for some undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. before the age of 16. Recently, Dr. Nienhusser has been investigating how higher education professionals obtain awareness, knowledge, and skills in relation to issues that affect undocu/DACAmented students’ postsecondary education access.  

The complexity of this question, although challenging, is also one of the most compelling parts of his research, says Nienhusser.  “It’s a complicated and fascinating phenomenon to examine,” he says. “You’re tapping into federal policies, state policies, and institutional policies. And you’re also looking at how these policies are implemented at the individual level by education institutional agents.  The financial aid officer, the admissions counselor who’s sitting behind a desk working: how do they make meaning of this complex policy environment along with their personal beliefs and professional values?”

Dr. Nienhusser says he hopes his work informs and supports higher education institutional agents as they try to meet the needs of the undocu/DACAmented student population.

“What undocu/DACAmented students are living through is so very troubling,” says Nienhusser. “If I can make a positive impact at even one or two institutions, I’m happy.”

The reach of Dr. Nienhusser’s work extends far beyond one or two institutions, however.  Just as he once imagined during his time at Stony Brook University, he has published in the Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice, the Journal of College Admission, Research in Higher Education, Community College Review, The Review of Higher Education, among others.  

His current project is something he says he’s really excited about: working with a group of scholars in the field to disseminate work related with the undocu/DACAmented community.  For this project, the Association for the Study of Higher Education’s (ASHE) Presidential Commission on Undocumented Immigrants (of which Nienhusser is co-chair) UndocuScholars (at UCLA), and UConn’s Neag School of Education have partnered to create a research brief dissemination series this academic year, and Nienhusser is kicking it off this October with a Twitter chat regarding his brief, “Implementation of Public and Institutional Policies for Undocu/DACAmented Students at Higher Education Institutions.”

When asked what advice he would give to students and emerging practitioners, Dr. Nienhusser’s passion for his work once again shows through.  “Never stop learning,” he says without hesitation. “I always say that to my students: I’m learning with you. It is so important that as practitioners we never stop learning.”

Dr. Nienhusser’s Twitter chat (“Implementation of Public and Institutional Policies for Undocu/DACAmented Students at Higher Education Institutions”) will take place on October 16, 2018 at 11 a.m. PST.  Those interested can RSVP here, join the conversation using the hashtag #UndocEdu, and follow Dr. Nienhusser on Twitter at @kennynien.

Preston Green Served on NEPC Research Panel

EDLR’s Dr. Preston Green recently served on the 12th Annual National Education Policy Center (NEPC)’s research panel, held on Sept. 14, 2018.  The talk was titled The Challenge of Making Research Usable and Used and included panelists:

Erica Frankenberg from Pennsylvania State University
Genevieve Siegel-Hawley from Virginia Commonwealth University
Preston Green from the University of Connecticut

The panel discussion was open to all faculty, students and community members and was held at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Nienhusser Joins AERA Books Editorial Board, 2018-2022

H. Kenny NienhusserCongratulations to HESA’s Dr. H. Kenny Nienhusser who recently accepted a four year term serving on the AERA Books Editorial Board.

The Books Editorial Board presides over the books publishing program of the association and enables the association to serve as a publisher of books of excellence and importance to the research community, and to practitioners and policymakers interested in education research. AERA publishes works to advance knowledge, to expand access to significant research and research analyses and syntheses, and to promote knowledge utilization.  The Books Editorial Board is an eight person committee who will serve as the board of advisors for books and book series.

Fall 2018 Faculty Appointments

Editor’s Note: This story has been altered from its original form.  The original story, written by Stefanie Dion Jones, appeared on the UConn Neag School of Education website on August 20, 2018.

EDLR welcomes two new faculty members effective August 23rd. Read more about the new faculty hires below!

Gerardo Blanco joins the Department of Educational Leadership as an assistant professor in the Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) program. Previously, Blanco served as an assistant professor in the higher education doctoral program at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He earned his Ed.D. in 2013 from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He also has served as a summer visiting assistant professor since 2016 at Shaanxi Normal University in China. His research and teaching interests focus on quality assurance and internationalization in higher education.

H. Kenny Nienhusser arrives as an assistant professor in HESA as well. He joins the Neag School from the University of Hartford, where he served as an assistant professor in the doctoral program in educational leadership since 2012. He has more than 15 years of professional experience in student and academic affairs at several types of higher education institutions. His research and teaching interests include implementation of public and institutional policies that affect underserved students’ high school-to-college transition; higher education policy; and undocu/DACAmented students. Nienhusser earned his Ed.D. at Teachers College, Columbia University in 2011.

Gerardo Blanco joins the Neag School as an assistant professor in the HESA program. (Photo courtesy of Gerardo Blanco)
H. Kenny Nienhusser joins the Neag School’s HESA program from the University of Hartford. (Photo courtesy of Kenny Nienhusser)