Neag School Welcomes New Faculty, Celebrates New Program Director

Risa Isard and Zachary Collier join the Neag School as assistant professors, while Tracy Sinclair has been named director of the Teacher Certification Program for College Graduates

The Gentry Building, home of the Neag School of Education, at UConn Storrs.

(Sean Flynn/UConn)

This fall, the Neag School of Education welcomes its incoming faculty hires and congratulates an existing faculty member on a new appointment.

Department of Educational Leadership

Risa Isard
Risa Isard.

Risa Isard, Assistant Professor

Risa Isard joins the Department of Educational Leadership as an assistant professor. Isard arrives at the Neag School from the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Isenberg School of Management and McCormack Department of Sport Management, where she recently completed her Ph.D. in management with a concentration in sport management. Isard is the founder and principal of RISport, where she provides consulting services to help sport organizations advance equity. She also previously served as the associate director of thought leadership for KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., dedicated to ensuring every child has the balanced and active play they need to thrive.

I’m very excited to join the terrific faculty at the Neag School, where social justice is a key value. — Risa Isard

“My goal is to provide insights that can help make sport more inclusive, improving both sport and society,” Isard says. “I’m very excited to join the terrific faculty at the Neag School, where social justice is a key value. I look forward to working with Neag School students, colleagues, and industry partners to help make sport more equitable.”

Isard is an experienced sports industry and thought leadership professional with for- and nonprofit organizations and is a sports policy expert passionate about the intersection of sport and social change. Her academic work focuses on researching and pursuing equity for girls and women, LGBTQ+ folks, people of color, and others in and through sport, along with examining the role of stigma in influencing the experiences and treatment of stakeholders in women’s sport.

Department of Educational Psychology

Zachary Collier, Assistant Professor

Zachary Collier
Zachary Collier.

Zachary Collier joins the Department of Educational Psychology from the University of Delaware, where he served as an assistant professor of Educational Statistics and Research Methods at the Data Science Institute. He was also a 2019 High-Performance Computing Early Career Awardee and the director of the Methods for Unstructured and Difficult to Use Data (MUDD) Lab.

“I aim to equip students with the tools to confidently use robust methods and analyze research critically,” Collier says. “Simultaneously, I aim to empower students with the skills to handle missing data and communicate results transparently in their research endeavors.”

I aim to equip students with the tools to confidently use robust methods and analyze research critically. — Zachary Collier

Collier is an expert in the field of causal data mining, with a particular focus on advanced techniques such as latent variable modeling and propensity score analysis. He is also deeply committed to ensuring that valid conclusions can be drawn from datasets that contain missing values. Collier’s expertise in both causal data mining and missing data analysis has made him a valuable contributor to a wide range of research projects in fields such as special education and public health. His work has helped to improve understanding of complex causal relationships and ensure that data-driven decisions are based on valid and reliable information.

Office of Teacher Education

Tracy Sinclair, Director, Teacher Certification Program for College Graduates

Tracy Sinclair
Tracy Sinclair.

Tracy Sinclair was promoted to director of the Teacher Certification Program for College Graduates, responsible for the graduate program across four regional campuses: Avery Point, Hartford, Stamford, and Waterbury. Sinclair previously served as an assistant clinical professor in special education for the Neag School, where 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. She holds a Ph.D. in special education from the University of Oklahoma with concentrations in applied behavior analysis and transition.

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