Fall 2020 Neag School Hires, Appointments, and Promotions

Gentry Building.
The Neag School is proud to announce for the 2020-21 academic year a number of new hires across each of its academic departments, as well as several faculty promotions and new appointments for existing members of the Neag School community, effective this month.

The Neag School is proud to announce for the 2020-21 academic year a number of new hires across each of its academic departments.

“We are so fortunate to be welcoming this outstanding group of highly qualified individuals to the Neag School this fall,” says Dean Gladis Kersaint. “Their diverse areas of expertise and scholarship will only serve to strengthen our work going forward.”

In addition, the School announces several faculty promotions and new appointments for existing members of the Neag School community, effective Aug. 23.

Department of Curriculum and Instruction and Teacher Education

Promotions

Effective this August, four Neag School faculty members in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction (EDCI) have been promoted — two to the rank of associate professor: Joseph Abramo in music education and Michele Back in world languages education, and two to the rank of professor: Jason Irizarry, associate dean for academic affairs, and Alan Marcus in social studies education.

New Faculty Hires

Jason Mizell — Assistant Clinical Professor, Curriculum and Instruction

Jason Mizell ’02 MA joins EDCI this month as an assistant clinical professor. A Neag School alumnus, a veteran, and a trilingual teacher-scholar, Mizell has more than 18 years of experience in various P-16 institutions nationally and internationally.

Jason Mizell.
Jason Mizell ’02 MA arrives this month at the Neag School as an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

He has taught in and directed various P-12 dual-language and ESOL programs, including having taught at some of the most prestigious bilingual schools in Latin America. At the British School Quito in Ecuador, Mizell established an English Language Center, and wrote and was awarded a grant from the Confucius Institute that funded several Mandarin-Chinese teachers at the school. As a classroom teacher in Georgia, he co-wrote a grant that funded a language intensive summer camp he directed, which immersed students in Spanish and Mandarin-Chinese.

Mizell’s research interests focus on supporting young people from racialized groups, as well as their adult accomplices, in exploring and valuing the languaging and literacy practices of their communities, while helping them to learn about and critically examine dominant languaging and knowledge-producing practices.

“I see myself as a community-oriented activist-scholar who will work to apprentice my students and others to become critical architects of text and knowledge.”

— Jason Mizell, Assistant Clinical Professor

“As a new assistant clinical professor in the Neag School of Education, one of my goals will be to ensure that future generations of students do not become the cogs that keep the machinery running smoothly,” says Mizell, who will be based at the Storrs campus. “I see myself as a community-oriented activist-scholar who will work to apprentice my students and others to become critical architects of text and knowledge.”

Mizell says that his decision to pursue a Ph.D. originated in part with the relationship he had formed with former Neag School faculty member John Leach, his master’s degree advisor at UConn. “As a Black professor whose work was centered around equity and critical inquiry, he became an example to me of what I wanted to become,” says Mizell. “He allowed me to truly see that I could not only dream about becoming a university professor but that it was truly possible.”

Mizell completed his Ph.D. in language and literacy education at the University of Georgia, his master of arts in bilingual-multicultural education at the Neag School, and his bachelor of arts in political science from Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia.

Katie Nagrotsky — Assistant Clinical Professor, Curriculum and Instruction

Katie Nagrotsky.
Based at UConn’s Waterbury campus, assistant clinical professor Katie Nagrotsky will work with students in TCPCG while teaching courses at the Waterbury and Hartford campuses.

Katie Nagrotsky also joins EDCI as an assistant clinical professor this month, based at UConn’s Waterbury campus. She has been an educator for 15 years. She began her career as a middle school English teacher, and she has also been a community college composition instructor, a facilitator of workshops for newer teachers, and a student teaching supervisor in field placements. Nagrotsky has a special interest in new teacher development and has worked with early-career teachers across a range of certification and content areas as an instructional coach and mentor. Most recently, she supervised teacher candidates and taught seminar courses at Queens College, City University of New York, and Teachers College, Columbia University.

Her research is at the intersection of writing studies and teacher education, driven by her years of experience as a writing teacher at the secondary and community college levels and her desire to make schools more equitable spaces. These experiences, she says, have shaped her teaching and research interests in working with educators to recognize students as experts in their own language use and teach against racist policies, curriculum, and practices. One of her current projects examines how early-career teachers make sense of and resist expectations for writing proficiency in a no-excuses charter network.

Nagrotsky earned her doctorate in English education from Teachers College, Columbia University, master’s degree in English education from Lehman College, and bachelor’s degree in English from Bryn Mawr College. She will be working with students in the Teacher Certification Program for College Graduates and will teach courses at the Waterbury and Hartford campuses.

“We couldn’t be more excited for our students, faculty, school, and community to welcome Drs. Katie Nagrotsky and Jason Mizell to the Department of Curriculum and Instruction,” says Todd Campbell, head of the department.

“Both bring with them experience teaching in K-12 schools that will serve our students and partners well. Additionally, Kaite’s past research and focus on new teachers’ development with early-career teachers across a range of certification and content areas as an instructional coach and Jason’s focus on helping pre- and in-service teachers and minoritized youth value and nurture racialized community languaging practices, among other important interests, make us all in EDCI excited to welcome them into our community and to get to work collaborating and learning with and from them both.”

New Appointments

Violet Jiménez Sims — Associate Director, Teacher Education, and Coordinator of School-University Partnerships

Violet Jiménez-Sims, who arrived at the Neag School in January as an assistant clinical professor of curriculum and instruction, takes on the role of associate director of teacher education and coordinator of School-University partnerships. She steps into the role following Robin Hands, who has served as director of School-University partnerships for the past decade.

Violet Jimenez Sims.
Violet Jiménez Sims has been named associate director of teacher education and coordinator of school-university partnerships.

“Many have witnessed firsthand all that Robin has meant to our students and programs and have learned from her about how to cultivate university partnerships and negotiate critical student placement issues with professionalism and immense care,” wrote Dean Gladis Kersaint in an internal communication to Neag School faculty and staff. “Over the years, thousands of our students have benefitted from the strong, mutually enriching partnerships with school districts she has helped facilitate, and we owe her a special debt of gratitude for her service to the Neag School and our district partners.”

As school districts release their reopening plans, Jiménez-Sims’ role will entail leading the implementation of the clinical components of the Neag School’s teacher education programs, including cultivating and sustaining relationships to develop, maintain, and support Professional Development Centers (PDCs) and other clinical placement sites. She also will support accreditation and accountability efforts, oversee the administrative components related to clinical placement sites, and help move the teacher education program forward.

“UConn and Neag have solid traditions of excellence that put us in an exceptional position to be pioneers with equity and social justice at the forefront of our practice.”

— Violet Jiménez Sims

“I am excited to join a collaborative leadership team to ensure that all our students have an outstanding experience in our program that prepares them to excel in the field,” Jiménez Sims says. “I look forward to supporting Neag’s academic vision through my inclusive worldview. UConn and Neag have solid traditions of excellence that put us in an exceptional position to be pioneers with equity and social justice at the forefront of our practice. I anticipate an immense amount of work given the additional challenges brought on by COVID-19, but I am eager to work with my colleagues to maximize the opportunities that are propelled by challenges.”

“Dr. Jiménez Sims brings a wealth of experience to the position,” says Dean Kersaint. “Violet has been an ESOL teacher at Manchester and New Britain High Schools and served as an assistant principal at the CREC Montessori Magnet School in Hartford. She is a community-engaged scholar … and her passion for teacher education is rivaled only by her commitment to educational equity and social justice. We are incredibly fortunate to have someone so eminently qualified for this position within our ranks.”

Niralee Patel-Lye — Associate Director, Teacher Education

Niralee Patel-Lye.
Niralee Patel-Lye has been named associate director of teacher education at the Neag School.

Also this month, Niralee Patel-Lye begins her role as associate director of teacher education at the Neag School. Patel-Lye, who joined the Neag School this past January as an assistant clinical professor of curriculum and instruction, will help lead the teacher education program and oversee all aspects of the Teacher Certification Program for College Graduates (TCPCG) across three UConn campuses: Avery Point, Hartford, and Waterbury.

“I am excited to work with colleagues to see how our initial teacher certification program can build teacher leaders who partner with families and communities to transform their schools into places where the personal, cultural, and linguistic assets of students and families are not only acknowledged but also celebrated and valued in meaningful, authentic ways,” says Patel-Lye.

“Niralee has a wealth of experiences that will contribute to the implementation our initial teacher certifications program.”

— Dean Gladis Kersaint

In addition to teaching and advising students in the program, Patel-Lye will be coordinating annual program activities, including in the areas of admissions, certification, and course scheduling.

“Niralee has a wealth of experiences that will contribute to the implementation our initial teacher certifications program,” Dean Gladis Kersaint wrote in an internal announcement to faculty and staff earlier this summer. “A special thank-you goes out to John Zack, who has led the development and growth of TCPCG for the last eight years.” Zack led TCPCG for the past eight years and will return to serve as a full-time clinical assistant professor.

Department of Educational Leadership

Promotions

Morgaen Donaldson in the Department of Educational Leadership (EDLR), director of the Center for Education and Policy Analysis, has been promoted to the rank of professor, effective this August.

New Faculty Hires

Adam McCready — Assistant Professor-in-Residence, Higher Education and Student Affairs

Adam McCready, who joined the Neag School in Fall 2019 as a visiting assistant professor in Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA), has been named assistant professor-in-residence for the HESA program.

Adam McCready
Adam McCready has been named assistant professor-in-residence in the Higher Education and Student Affairs program.

McCready’s research centers on the college student experience in order to address inequitable or oppressive structures in higher education. He has 17 years of professional experience in higher education, including 15 years of experience as a higher education and student affairs professional in the areas of student activities, fraternity and sorority life, assessment, leadership development, student unions, and residential life.

“We are so pleased to welcome Adam as an in-residence faculty member to continue his valuable service as a faculty member in HESA,” says Professor Laura Burton, head of the Department of Educational Leadership. “Adam’s scholarship on the college student experiences and the gendered climate of higher education lend important insights into the training of the next generations of HESA administrators.”

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to continue my faculty career at UConn as a member of the Neag School community,” says McCready.

A first-generation college student, McCready earned his bachelor’s degree at George Washington University, his master’s at Bowling Green State University; and his Ph.D. at Boston College.

Saran Stewart — Associate Professor, Higher Education and Student Affairs, and Director of Global Education

Arriving at UConn this summer from the island of Jamaica, Saran Stewart takes on the role of associate professor in the HESA program while also stepping in as director of global education at the Neag School as David Moss concludes 10 years of service as director.

Saran Stewart.
Saran Stewart takes on the role of associate professor in the HESA program while also stepping in as director of global education at the Neag School.

Stewart’s career path started in student affairs at Florida International University, where she served as assistant director of the university’s Center for Disability Services, partnering with students as well as faculty and staff in providing support services that included career development, academic advising, and leadership development. Working closely with a diverse campus community, she says, “shaped my commitment to equity and social justice in higher education.”

Most recently, she served as senior lecturer of higher education at the University of the West Indies’ campus in Mona, Jamaica, teaching postgraduate-level seminars in such areas as applied research in education, research methods, and comparative higher education. There, she also was deputy of quality assurance and undergraduate matters in the Faculty of Humanities and Education. She is a Salzburg Global Fellow and the recipient of multiple awards, including the 2019 Vice Chancellor Award for Excellence from the University of the West Indies and the 2018 African Diaspora Emerging Scholar award by the Comparative and International Education Society.

“[Saran’s] significant administrative experiences will be so valuable as she takes on leadership of the highly regarded HESA program.”

— Professor Laura Burton, Department Head, Educational Leadership

Stewart’s research expertise encompasses such areas as access and equity, postcolonial theories in education; and international and comparative student affairs and higher education administration. Having lived, studied and worked in four countries, Stewart’s love for global education and international administration has led her to partner with a number of government of states to develop their education agendas.

“Saran’s research expertise focused on diversity and equity, and inclusive pedagogy, complement the scholarship of our current faculty in the Higher Education and Student Affairs program and the Department of Educational Leadership,” says Burton. “In addition, her significant administrative experiences will be so valuable as she takes on leadership of the highly regarded HESA program.”

Stewart holds a BA in English and international studies as well as an MA in international administration from the University of Miami; an MBA from Barry University; and a Ph.D. in higher education from the University of Denver. Learn more about her work at saranstewart.com.

Franklin A. Tuitt — University of Connecticut Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer

Franklin Tuitt.
Franklin Tuitt is UConn’s Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer.

In addition, Franklin A. Tuitt, who was named the University’s Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer this past July, has have his academic home at the Neag School, in the HESA program.

Tuitt most recently served as a visiting scholar at the Echo Center for Diversity Policy at The Hague, Netherlands; prior to that, he served from 2015 to 2019 as Chief Diversity Officer at the University of Denver.

Read more about Tuitt’s role as UConn’s Chief Diversity Officer.

Department of Educational Psychology

Promotions

Neag School faculty Eric Loken in the Department of Educational Psychology (EPSY)’s research methods, measurement, and evaluation program was awarded tenure, and Lisa Sanetti in school psychology was promoted to the rank of professor.

New Faculty Hires

Jacqueline Caemmerer — Assistant Professor, School Psychology

Joining the Neag School as an assistant professor in school psychology this August, Jacqueline Caemmerer most recently served as an assistant professor at Howard University’s School of Education in Washington, D.C., where she taught graduate-level courses in such areas as educational research, school psychology, and psychoeducational assessment.

A nationally certified school psychologist, Caemmerer has extensive clinical experience in a range of urban and suburban settings, among them juvenile detention centers, private practice, and charter schools.

Jacqueline M. Caemmerer.
Jacqueline M. Caemmerer, a nationally certified psychologist, arrives this August as an assistant professor of school psychology at the Neag School.

“In the classroom, I present theories, concepts, and research in a way that can be applied in clinical practice by emphasizing real-world applications,” says Caemmerer. “My experience across multiple systems and within a variety of multidisciplinary teams allows me to teach students how to communicate effectively to a wide variety of audiences.”

With her research work focused on supporting students’ academic achievement, Caemmerer has examined the effects of social variables, such as social skills and the influence of families, on youth’s educational outcomes, as well as assessment validity issues, including what is measured by frequently used tests.

She earned bachelor of arts in psychology at Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York; her master’s degree in school psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University in New York, New York; and her master’s degrees in quantitative methods and Ph.D. in school psychology at the University of Texas at Austin.

Ido Davidesco — Assistant Professor, Learning Sciences

Ido Davidesco arrived at EPSY as an assistant professor of learning sciences this July. He most recently served as a research assistant professor at New York University’s (NYU) Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.

“We are excited to welcome Ido Davidesco to the Neag School,” says Dean Gladis Kersaint. “His background, experience, and knowledge will be a tremendous asset to the department, the faculty, research opportunities, and students. We look forward to his contributions across the School.”

“I see great opportunities for interdisciplinary research and innovative teaching at the Neag School, and I look forward to interacting and collaborating with faculty and students.”

— Ido Davidesco,
Assistant Professor

In his role at NYU, Davidesco was active with several federally funded research projects totaling over $5.3 million, including a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant on a neuroscience curriculum development and teacher training for underserved high schools, for which he served as principal investigator. Another notable project included a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), for which he served as the co-principal investigator, studying an interactive citizen science (crowdsourcing) platform for students, teachers, and researchers. He is also author or co-author of several peer-reviewed publications and a book chapter, and has presented at regional, national, and international professional organizations.

Active in community and service outreach, Davidesco has served as the facilitator for Math for America, science mentor for the New York Academy of Sciences, city coordinator for Taste of Science, and volunteer/event coordinator for the Greater New York City’s chapter of the Society of Neuroscience, among other roles.

Ido Davidesco in maroon shirt in front of city background.
Ido Davidesco joins the Neag School as assistant professor of learning sciences.

“I am thrilled to join the Neag School of Education,” says Davidesco. “I see great opportunities for interdisciplinary research and innovative teaching at the Neag School, and I look forward to interacting and collaborating with faculty and students.”

Davidesco’s research merges cognitive neuroscience, psychology, and education, where he studies how students learn science in real classrooms using portable electroencephalography (EEG) and eye-tracking technology. He has developed innovative instructional methods and curricula for students from elementary to graduate school. For his contribution to science education, he received the 2017 Society for Neuroscience Next Generation Award.

Before his faculty role at NYU, Davidesco served as a post-doctoral fellow in NYU’s Department of Psychology. Prior to that, he held a similar position at Princeton University’s Neuroscience Institute. He has also taught at Columbia Teachers College, Yeshiva University, the Weizmann Institute of Science, and The Open University of Israel. Davidesco earned a BA in psychology, summa cum laude, at the Open University of Isreal and an MS and Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.

Kathleen Lynch — Assistant Professor, Learning Sciences

A postdoctoral research associate at Brown’s Annenberg Institute since 2018, Kathleen Lynch joins the Neag School’s Department of Educational Psychology this August as an assistant professor of learning sciences.

Kathleen Lynch.
The Neag School welcomes Kathleen Lynch as an assistant professor of learning sciences.

Her research, which has received support from the American Educational Research Association, National Science Foundation, and Spencer Foundation, centers on education policies to strengthen outcomes for academically vulnerable children, particularly as in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Having published on such topics as teacher professional development and curriculum reform, teacher evaluation, and personalized learning, Lynch will focus her research work in part on investigating how to improve instruction in early STEM and on developing design principles for out-of-school STEM programs that promote student learning and motivation.

Lynch holds a bachelor’s degree in history and literature, a master of education degree in education policy and management, and a doctorate of education, all from Harvard.

Diandra J. Prescod — Associate Professor and Program Coordinator, Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

Diandra J. Prescod joins EPSY as an associate professor and program coordinator of counseling education and counseling psychology this August. She most recently served as an assistant professor of counselor education and program coordinator of career counseling at Pennsylvania State University.

Diandra J. Prescod.
Diandra J. Prescod joins the Neag School as associate professor and program coordinator of school counseling education and counseling psychology.

“We are excited to welcome Diandra to the Neag School,” says Dean Gladis Kersaint. “Her teaching and research experience in the counseling education field is exceptional. We are impressed with her body of work and her engagement in many leadership roles. We look forward to her contributions across the School.”

At Penn State, Prescod was primarily responsible for coordinating the Career Counseling program, where she taught graduate-level courses and advised master’s and doctoral students. She was also a researcher, including having served as co-principal investigator for a $1.8 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant examining research from a project aiming to increase the number of STEM degree recipients. In addition to authoring a book chapter in Career Counseling Interventions: Practice With Diverse Clients (Springer Publishing Company 2016), Prescod was first and second author on 80% of her referred publications, and has presented at regional, national, and international professional organizations.

Prescod was also active at Penn State in academic service through a two-year commitment on the College of Education’s Faculty Council and as a member of the Faculty Senate, where she served on the Educational Equity Committee. In that role, she facilitated discussions on diversity and inclusion, sexual harassment regulations, and support for international and military students. In addition, she partnered with Penn State’s department of mechanical engineering to create the Academic Wellness and Career Consultation program, which provided an internship site for career counseling students.

“The energy I felt when I visited UConn the first time was contagious, and I’m excited to take part in continuing the work of this great institution.”

— Diandra J. Prescod, Associate Professor

Academically experienced in the mental health field, Prescod served as a graduate intern with the Gateway Day Treatment Program and a case manager with Easter Seals. She received accolades for her professional work, including having been named the New Professional of the Year by the North Atlantic Region Association for Counselor Education and Supervision and an Emerging Leaders Fellow by the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision. Prescod’s areas of research focus on career development interventions for STEM undergraduate students and for women/students of color in higher education and she has served as chairperson on several doctoral dissertation committees.

“The Neag School of Education has a reputation of excellence in teaching, research, and service to the community,” says Diandra Prescod. “The school counseling program charges itself with the responsibility of training students as counselors who are social justice advocates, and that is precisely what I believe in as a counselor educator. The energy I felt when I visited UConn the first time was contagious, and I’m excited to take part in continuing the work of this great institution.”

Prior to Penn State, Prescod served as an assistant professor of clinical mental health counseling at the University of Texas at Tyler, Texas, and taught and conducted research at the University of Central Florida, where she first joined the NSF research project. She earned her BA in psychology from Rutgers University, master of science in mental health counseling from Monmouth University, and Ph.D. in counselor education from the University of Central Florida.

Tracy Sinclair — Assistant Clinical Professor, Special Education

The Neag School’s special education program welcomes Tracy Sinclair as an assistant clinical professor this month.

Sinclair arrives from the University of Oklahoma, where she recently completed her Ph.D. in special education, with concentrations in applied behavior analysis and transition. There, she taught undergraduate- and graduate-level courses, including courses in applied research in special education, behavior analysis in school settings, early childhood education, and student teaching internship. Sinclair also earned her credentials as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, and provided mentorship and supervision for others pursuing this certification. She currently serves as the chair for the Council for Exceptional Children’s Student and Early Career Committee, and was named CEC’s Graduate Student of the Year in 2018. Sinclair says she views service within the field of special education as an essential role as a higher education professional.

Tracy Sinclair.
Tracy Sinclair joins the Neag School as an assistant clinical professor in special education.

Previously, Sinclair served as a public-school teacher in Tennessee and Michigan at the high school and elementary school levels, earning three different teacher of the year awards over the course of her 14-year teaching career. Her experience in public schools also led to numerous leadership roles, including having served as special education department chair and Schoolwide Positive Behavior Supports coordinator at a high school in Tennessee. 

These teaching and leadership experiences, Sinclair says, inspired her to pursue a doctorate to teach at the university level, directly supporting and working with pre- and in-service teachers. “My personal philosophy,” she says, “is that there is no student who cannot be taught, and my role is to provide future and current teachers the knowledge and skills to find innovative ways to reach even the most challenging of students.”

Her broad range of classroom experience, she adds, directly informs her instruction at the higher education level. When working with pre- and in-service teachers across disciplines and grade levels, she seeks to infuse her practical advice and experiences within the framework of evidence-based practices.

Sinclair’s line of research embeds principles of behavior analysis within the classroom setting, in particular with self-management strategies for transition-age individuals with disabilities. She seeks to continue pushing the boundaries of traditional applications of applied behavior analysis into other areas in education.

“My role is to provide future and current teachers the knowledge and skills to find innovative ways to reach even the most challenging of students.”

— Tracy Sinclair, Assistant Clinical Professor

Sinclair also has focused on the development of transition-based assessments for teacher use in a variety of settings, and currently is collaborating with others to complete an assessment, funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, for students with more significant cognitive disabilities. One underlying theme runs throughout Sinclair’s projects — equipping students and teachers with tools and strategies to promote the best possible learning environment and future outcomes. 

In addition to her Ph.D., Sinclair completed her bachelor’s degree in elementary and early childhood education at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and master’s degree in curriculum with a special education concentration at Tennessee Technological University. 

“My biggest hope is that we develop an even more innovative and resilient teaching force who go forth in their careers with an increased sense of purpose, creativity, and compassion,” Sinclair says. “In light of the pandemic, this hope seems both more urgent, and more possible.” 

New Appointments

Sandra Chafouleas — Neag Professor

UConn Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of School Psychology Sandra Chafouleas has been named Neag Professor, effective Aug. 23. Chafouleas, who joined the Neag School two decades ago, is a licensed psychologist and expert in school mental health, trauma, and school psychology. She also serves as co-director of UConn’s Collaboratory on School and Child Health (CSCH), which seeks to facilitate innovative connections across research, policy, and practice arenas relevant to school and child health.

Sandra Chafouleas.
Sandra Chafouleas has been named Neag Professor.

Chafouleas’ extensive research and service work as part of CSCH in protecting the mental health and well-being of today’s schoolchildren, for instance, have led to the establishment of a dedicated fund supporting CSCH’s efforts, an initiative focused on cross-agency integration of work in trauma-informed schools across the state, collaborative annual symposiums that bring together researchers and school and community leaders to discuss trauma-informed school mental health, documentary film screenings, and more.

Most recently, the Neag Foundation awarded CSCH a two-year grant to support Think About the Link, a project for which Chafouleas serves as principal investigator and that builds from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model. Think About the Linkoffers a suite of practical tools to help schools enhance academic, social, emotional, behavioral, and physical supports in supporting student well-being.

 “There is so much to be done to support schools in their policies and practices that advance child well-being in all areas. Whole child and school work has never been more critical.”

— Sandra M. Chafouleas, Neag Professor

Yet another example of her work in addressing the well-being of schoolchildren is the NEEDS2 project, which has examined federal, state, and local government administrative data to identify the extent to which state departments of education have provided specific guidance on social, emotional, and behavioral health screening approaches. NEEDS2 also involved conducting extensive nationwide surveys to look at current screening approaches and at how educators and families think about the options available for addressing social, emotional, and behavioral health. Listen to a recent CSCH podcast episode dedicated to this project.

The appointment as Neag Professor, Chafouleas says, will support her in “advancing the work of CSCH – especially in the challenges we are facing in the current education environment. There is so much to be done to support schools in their policies and practices that advance child well-being in all areas. Whole child and school work has never been more critical.”

Chafouleas, who also recently launched a blog on Psychology Today, was named a UConn Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor in 2017 — the highest honor that the University bestows on faculty who have demonstrated excellence in scholarship, teaching, and service. Her scholarly work has focused on assisting with decisions about school-based practices to help define which behaviors are critical to learning, health, and well-being; who needs additional supports to be successful; and what processes can inform practices that are effective for individual students, classrooms, and schools.

Prior to her career in academia, Chafouleas worked as a school psychologist and school administrator in a variety of settings supporting the needs of children with behavior disorders.

Del Siegle — Lynn and Ray Neag Endowed Chair for Talent Development and Director of the Renzulli Center for Creativity, Gifted Education, and Talent Development

Professor Del Siegle has been appointed the Lynn and Ray Neag Endowed Chair for Talent Development and director of the Renzulli Center for Creativity, Gifted Education, and Talent Development. The University’s Board of Trustees approved the appointment, effective Aug. 23.

“Joe Renzulli and Sally Reis, legends in the field of gifted education, built the Renzulli Center, which is the pre-eminent national and international resource for training and research in gifted education and talent development.”

— Del Siegle, Lynn and Ray Neag Endowed Chair for Talent Development

Established through a 1996 gift  to UConn, the Lynn and Ray Neag Endowed Chair for Talent Development supported the creation of the Center for Talent Development, now known as the Renzulli Center, as well as the endowed chair, who serves as the Center’s director.

Joe Renzulli and Sally Reis, legends in the field of gifted education, built the Renzulli Center, which is the pre-eminent national and international resource for training and research in gifted education and talent development,” says Siegle, who also serves as director of the National Center for Research on Gifted Education and the Neag School’s Three Summers program. “I am both honored and humbled to assume the Lynn and Ray Neag Endowed Chair for Talent Development, and I look forward to continuing to work with them and the other talented faculty and staff of the Renzulli Center as we strive to improve talent development opportunities for young people.”

Dean Gladis Kersaint nominated Siegle, a professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and a nationally recognized expert in gifted student achievement, based on his distinguished and sustained record of scholarship and service.

Del Siegle.
Del Siegle has been named Lynn and Ray Neag Endowed Chair for Talent Development and director of the Renzulli Center for Creativity, Gifted Education, and Talent Development.

Siegle formerly served as the Neag School’s associate dean of research and faculty affairs, as well as head of the Department of Educational Psychology. He is past president of the Montana Association of Gifted and Talented Education and the National Association for Gifted Children. He also formerly served as chair of the American Educational Research Association’s Research on Giftedness, Creativity, and Talent Special Interest Group.

Along with Betsy McCoach, he was co-editor of Gifted Child Quarterly and founding co-editor of the Journal of Advanced Academics. He also writes a technology column for Gifted Child Today. Siegle is co-author of the popular textbook Education of the Gifted and Talented (Pearson, 2017) and author of The Underachieving Gifted Child: Recognizing, Understanding, & Reversing Underachievement (Prufrock, 2012). Prior to becoming a professor, Del worked with gifted and talented students in Montana.