Tamashi Hettiarachchi ’21, Neag School of Education

Tamashi Hettiarachchi reflects on her time at UConn

Photo of Tamashi Hettiarachchi

Tamashi Hettiarachchi (Contributed photo)

Why did you choose UConn?
I chose to attend UConn primarily because of the Neag School of Education. While in high school I realized that a career in education was something I was interested in, specifically teaching high school chemistry. Given that UConn’s Neag School of Education is regionally and nationally recognized, I felt that this would be a university that would provide me with a solid foundation—setting myself up for success.

What are your plans after graduation?
I will be back at UConn for my master’s year to complete a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Following this, I hope to teach chemistry at the secondary level and perhaps become more involved in other aspects of education.

What’s something you learned in a class that you’ll always remember?
I took Jason Irizarry’s Multicultural Education class my junior year and will never forget him emphasizing how much of yourself you brought into your classroom and that, “to be a multicultural educator, you have to first be a multicultural person.”

What’s one thing that surprised you about UConn?
Though I knew this going in, just how much of everything there is at UConn. Whether that be people, majors, courses, activities, clubs, or even dining halls, there is So! Much! I quickly had to learn how to prioritize what was important to me and what exactly I wanted to immerse myself in.

Any advice for incoming first-year students?
Take the class that you have just a sliver of interest in, find professors who share similar passions and interests as you and connect with them, and remember that rest is also productive! Always keep an eye out for opportunities, learn about what resources are available to you (there’s more than you realize).

Who was your favorite professor and why?
My favorite professor hands down is Dr. Todd Campbell. He has had unwavering support for me since I met him and I have been so fortunate to work with him throughout my time at UConn. Dr. Campbell has provided me with numerous opportunities to grow as an individual and as a professional and I am forever grateful.