University of Connecticut University of UC Title Fallback Connecticut



Neag Alumni Awards Ceremony
in Rome Ballroom
starting at 5:00pm



Gentry 144


UConn Hartford Campus
10 Prospect St.
Hartford, CT 06103


Pizza will be served at 6:00pm


Davis Street Arts and Academics School
35 Davis St.
New Haven, CT 06515

Calendar linking to more upcoming events for EDLR



Sport Management Alumna Visits Pyeongchang For 2018 Olympics

Olympics rings in 2018
Ithaca College School of Business Sport Management students during their visit to Pyeongchang, South Korea during the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Associate Sport Management professor at Ithaca College, Dr. Rachel Madsen, had a very exciting opportunity this past February to travel to Pyeongchang, South Korea and volunteer at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Madsen, a 2010 graduate from the Sport Management and Women Studies doctoral programs, spent over two weeks in South Korea with 20 Ithaca College School of Business Sport Management students.

During her first ever Olympics, Madsen and her team worked specifically with the event operations department in seven different competition venues, interacting with fans, athletes and coaches to provide customer service.

She and three of her students volunteered in the skating rink that housed figure skating and short track speed skating. Because those are two of the most popular events in the Olympics, they are typically scheduled to air live during U.S. prime time, meaning very early mornings for Rachel and her team.

Hockey rink, Rachel Madsen
Dr. Rachel Madsen, overlooking the skating facilities in South Korea during the Winter Olympics.

“Many days for us required waking up at 4:30 a.m. to catch a 5:15 a.m. bus to the skating rink. From 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., we managed the fans and other visitors to ensure that everyone had a positive experience while also staying safe and not interfering with the athletes,” she said.

When asked about one of the greatest experiences that she had during her trip, Rachel said it’s too hard to narrow it down to just one.

“We often came face to face with famous athletes and other VIP’s, such as IOC members and the Today Show hosts. We were able to attend history-making events as fans, which was a dream come true. The Korean Olympic Committee often provided free tickets for volunteers to attend events, as long as the event wasn’t sold out,” she said. “Additionally, as Americans, we were often treated like celebrities by Korean fans and volunteers. Many Korean fans asked us where we were from and when we said New York, they often wanted to take pictures with us.”

Though Rachel spent only 17 days in South Korea, her students were lucky enough to spend five weeks assisting at the games. In doing so, they were able to take part in a monumental worldwide event and appreciate the importance of embracing culture and diversity.

“The students really learned what it takes to put on an event of this size. When watching the Olympics on TV, it’s impossible to understand the incredibly complicated logistics of organizing, training, transporting, housing, feeding and motivating 20,000 volunteers,” she said. “Being part of a large volunteer staff also enabled them to interact and become friends with other volunteers from all around the world.”

2nd Year HESA Students Earn Competition Title

Congratulations to Julia Anderson (‘18) and Lisa Famularo ('18) who successfully won first place in the American College Personnel Association’s (ACPA) 2018 Winter Case Study Competition for graduate students. The competition, which was was sponsored by the ACPA’s Graduate Student and New Professional Community of Practice, brought graduate students from programs across the nation to compete against one another. Students assumed responsibilities as acting members in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to create an 8-10 minute video which outlined an action plan to address the concerns of a specific transgender student. Through this lens, participants grappled with the treatment transgender students face on campuses nationwide in the current political climate. We caught up with current HESA students Julia and Lisa to talk a little more about the competition. 

The challenge for this competition focused on building an inclusive higher education environment (specifically for trans students). Can you talk about why inclusivity in higher education is so important, and how you’re learning to be inclusive in your practice?

Julia Anderson headshot
Julia Anderson

JA: This case study centered on a trans student who was concerned about her career goals unravelling, and she was also reporting that she was being misgendered by professors on campus. As someone who has worked with students facing similar situations, I am so thankful to work on a campus with a designated resource for LGBTQ+ students. Not all campuses are designed this way, so all student affairs practitioners must be prepared to support all students they encounter. This is a commitment that we must make anew each day – I work to re-commit myself to inclusivity by consistently considering intersections of identity within the LGBTQ+ community.

LF: The years a student spends in college can sometimes be some of the most influential years of their life. Because the primary reason students pursue higher education is typically to learn, it is important for higher education professionals to create and maintain spaces where every student feels comfortable enough to learn; there is nothing more distracting than feeling alienated, unwanted, or uncomfortable. One of the founding values of the field of student affairs is to tend to the whole student, so it is vital that student affairs professionals take the whole student into account when planning programs, events, and services in order to be inclusive and equity-minded. As a young student affairs professional about to fully enter the field, I believe that one of the most powerful equity-minded practices I have learned is challenging the underlying assumptions for each decision that is being made in order to avoid perpetuating assumptions that are biased, inequitable, or wholly incorrect. I believe this practice can and will little-by-little identify and eradicate some of the problematic assumptions and resulting decisions that persist in higher education today.

How did your UConn HESA experience help you with this challenge?

Lisa Famularo

LF: My UConn HESA experience both directly and indirectly gave me the knowledge and skills I needed to be successful in this competition. When putting together our plan to address the issues presented in the case, Julia and I relied on information about student development

theory we learned in our classes, programming/campaign ideas that have proven successful in our assistantships, and the connections we have made with various offices on UConn's campus throughout our time in the HESA Program. In the end, we were successfully able to develop a plan to follow up with a student in crisis, put on support and educational programming, and establish beneficial campus partnerships to work towards a more inclusive campus climate.

JA: I believe that I was equipped to respond to students in crisis by my assistantship in the Rainbow Center. There, I work with students who are encountering difficulties related to their gender identity every day, and we work together to find and enact solutions.

What does this award mean for you and your career goals?

JA: This award was based on our recommendations for a case study about a transgender student who was experiencing difficulties in her personal, professional, and academic life. I am seeking positions in LGBTQ+ services, and my assistantship is in the Rainbow Center, so this award was an affirmation of the work I do each day.

LF: I am proud of achieving first place in this case study competition sponsored by a national organization because it shows that the knowledge and experience I have gained in the UConn HESA Program truly does make me stand out from other graduate students in the field. I plan to pursue a career as either a career counselor or career coach for college students, and in order to do so successfully, I need to be able to work effectively with students from a variety of backgrounds. This case, especially since it was focused on supporting a student with a marginalized identity, was putting my abilities in this regard to the test, and winning first place was an encouraging indication that I am headed in the right direction.

Doctoral Student’s Research Empowers Student Expression through Film in South America

Students in South America with Ph.D. Candidate Pauline Batista
Photo provided by Pauline Batista.

Pauline Batista is a first year doctoral student in the Learning, Leadership and Education Policy program in the Department of Educational Leadership. Her current work goes beyond country borders while challenging the traditional approach to research, as she incorporates film directed by student responses into her final product.

Batista’s research focuses on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)'s power over Educational Policy & Curriculum in Latin American (Traditional) Communities that have obtained UNESCO's Heritage Site titles.  The methodology for this data collection draws from yPAR (Youth Participatory Research) and other participatory research methodologies, in which the objective is to center students as co-researchers during the data collection process. In this way she is empowering students in this community to speak out about their educational experiences and capture the attention of policymakers through film and digital media.

Batista has recently returned from a self-funded, pre-research trip in Brazil where she established connections and gathered information for the basis of her research. She will be returning to South America this summer to design a Participatory Video Initiative at previously selected schools, with the help of El Instituto’s Predoctoral Fellowship and the Tinker  Fellowship. This Participatory Video initiative will entail a two week-long filmmaking workshop in which student-learners will be offered basic film  making lessons, discuss what they believe are relevant issues for their communities by engaging in various activities, and gain experience by documenting key concepts, directly from the field. Rooted in Paulo Freire’s participatory action framework, the goal of this initiative is to capture the attention of local policymakers by showcasing the students’ ideas and critiques of their schoolwork under UNESCO’s influence, using short films.

This trip will include schools in Cartagena, Colombia and Paraty, Brazil where Batista is originally from. Batista is humbled and motivated by the opportunity for her work to impact her own community as she explains,

“It is rather different when you go back to your community as a scholar with a purpose. I had to be very careful and very open to hear from the community, because I believe that this is part of my duty as I was given the privilege of being educated.”  

During her initial trip this past winter, Batista met with students who, in her words, "run schools." These students had a mature understanding of the oppression the education system possesses and how the system was not designed for them. This perspective fostered incredible conversations with the students’ ideas surrounding what their education should look like. “I have been learning that schooling demands are changing, but oppression remains, therefore as educators our work must serve as a medium of expression for these communities,” explains Batista on her takeaways thus far from this unique research endeavor.

Pauline Batista Working on Film
Photo provided by Pauline Batista.

Batista's passion was ignited during her studies at the University of Connecticut’s El Instituto where she achieved an M.A. in International Studies (Latino & Latin American Studies). The theoretical body of work that she was exposed to during her studies motivated her to become an educational advocate for her own community as well as others in South America. For this reason, she decided to focus her research on communities with Educational Policies that are not necessarily reflective of the communities' desires and needs as she entered the Learning, Leadership and Educational Policy Program at the University of Connecticut.

Batista currently studies under Dr. Erica Fernández and Dr. Kimberly LeChasseur serves as her Graduate Assistantship manager. She thanks EDLR’s incredible faculty for introducing her to new ideas and perspectives, which have broadened her perception of the world and how the educational model of the U.S. has been influencing Latin American communities. The knowledge she is continuously building in her work with EDLR mentors drives Batista, and she is honored to share that with the communities she is working in.

Batista plans on traveling to Brazil on July 17, 2018 and to Colombia on August 1, 2018 to host the Participatory Video Initiatives for students. The Department of Educational Leadership looks forward to watching Batista’s research develop further and for the premier of the films on Vimeo when the project is complete. This is only the beginning of Batista’s journey and she hopes to expand her research efforts so that it is applicable and relevant to communities across South America.


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.”