Neag School Class of 2023 Sarah Abbey

Sarah Abbey reflects on their time at UConn

Portrait of Sarah Abbey

Portrait of Sarah Abbey, taken on April 14, 2023. (Sydney Herdle/UConn Photo)

Fostering learning and increasing student success – particularly marginalized students – is the ultimate career goal for Sarah Abbey, who earns their Master of Arts from the Neag School of Education this spring. They encourage incoming graduate students to “Know your why!” and to use the opportunity at UConn to explore new areas of interest – while affirming their own passions.

Why did you choose UConn?

I chose UConn because of the specific courses offered by my program related to my goals. I was also invested in staying on the East Coast due to my community. Because of the Graduate Union, the benefits that UConn offered to graduate students was also a compelling motivator.

What’s your major/field of study, and what drew you to it?

I currently study Higher Education and Student Affairs. I came into my degree program with a lot of questions around how identity is constructed, how we make meaning in different identities that we hold, and how to appropriately teach in a way that centers marginalized students. When I looked at the different programs, UConn’s seemed like it would help me meet those goals.

Did you have a favorite professor or class?

My favorite class was our year-long assessment course. It was taught by Dr. Adam McCready, who singlehandedly changed a lot of how I thought about assessment and evaluation but also how I approach my teaching and programming.

What activities were you involved in as a student?

Due to my Graduate Assistantship in the Rainbow Center, I was very involved in the on-campus LGBTQ+ community. I also participated in the UConn Student Affairs Association. I have also worked in the Dean of Students Office and taught within my program.

What’s one thing that surprised you about UConn?

I was really surprised by my own adjustment to living in a more rural area! I have also enjoyed the campus and living in Stafford Springs. I moved to Connecticut from living in a much larger city and have enjoyed the little things about Stafford – like the incredible coffee shop. Building those relationships have helped this place feel like home.

What are your plans after graduation/receiving your degree?

After graduation, I plan to continue learning in whatever capacity I can! I also hope to be working in a position where I am fostering learning and increasing student success. I will be prioritizing opportunities to build my community and am very excited to have more time on my hands.

Any advice for incoming students?

Know your why!! Graduate school can be quite a challenging journey, and in so many moments I have felt grounded through remembering why I am making the choice to be in the program and how it connects to my long-term goals.

What’s one thing everyone should do during their time at UConn?

Go to the Dairy Bar!! That place is a definite favorite of mine. And feel free to explore new areas of interest! I started taking courses in teaching and ended up reaffirming a passion of mine.