As you surely noticed, this edition of the UConn ECE Magazine looks a little different from the past. We are celebrating student art on the cover for the first time, which reflects our interest in publishing a magazine that connects with our community. As I write this welcome it is Thanksgiving, by the time the magazine goes to print and gets to our community it will be New Years. These holidays bookend an important concept that does not go unappreciated in the UConn ECE Program Office — we all have a lot to be thankful for. This semester, it seems to me, embraces that concept more than in recent memory. One example that stands out from the Fall semester is our community effort to inform the Department of Education about changing the State Accountability index because UConn ECE positively impacts our students’ academic careers, as well as our professional careers. The emails I was copied to told important stories of how our partnership fosters something special. Additionally, this semester saw a quadrupling of student events: we hosted not only our flag-bearing French Immersion Day & Quiz Bowl; but also a German and Italian version, as well as a Chemistry Day that connected UConn ECE Students and Instructors with students and instructors from a STEM-intensive high school in Japan. These examples illustrate my reflection that since the time I first started with UConn ECE, back when it was called High School Co-op, we have transformed the program into a cultural part of education in Connecticut — not just in the high schools, but also here at UConn, and hopefully at the Department of Education. This transformation was not easy, and it didn’t happen overnight or without incident either. We all worked at it — encouraging, forgiving, and inspiring each other for something better. It was our shared ideals and common values that made UConn ECE an expectation in our Connecticut high schools. This transformation happened during our careers and is a great example of how working together can create great things. Thank you for being the agent of change that has positively impacted so many thousands of lives in Connecticut each year.
The Spring Semester is ahead of us! To paraphrase Ebenezer Scrooge, let’s keep the spirit of thanks and collaboration in our hearts and honor it all year through. And when current events make us fret about the arrow of progress, we can invest ourselves more deeply in what we can control — insightful classroom discourse, dynamic professional development workshops, and the next great educational opportunities.
From all of us at UConn ECE, thank you!
Brian A. Boecherer