2021 UConn ECE Professional Recognition Award Winners


By Carissa Rutkauskas


The UConn Early College Experience (ECE) community and the University of Connecticut publicly recognize and thank outstanding instructors and administrators whose dedication and commitment help make UConn ECE successful. Those recognized have exceeded program expectations and excelled in preparing their high school’s students for the next level in their education.


The UConn ECE Professional Recognition Awards Show premiered on YouTube on Thursday, May 13 in front of a live virtual audience. Ten instructors and administrators were spotlighted in the production, as well as UConn’s Associate Vice Provost, Peter Diplock, and many UConn undergraduate musicians. Congratulations to the recipients:


Thomas E. Recchio Faculty Coordinator Award for Academic Leadership
Anthony Rizzie, Mathematics, University of Connecticut


Principal Award for Program Support & Advocacy
Frances DiFiore, Cromwell High School


Site Representative Award for Excellence in Program Administration
Ka Man (Mandy) Cheung, Fairchild Wheeler Interdistrict Science Magnet School


Instructor Award for Excellence in Course Instruction
Dr. Thomas Vrabel, Sustainable Plant and Soil Sciences, Trumbull Regional Agriscience and Biotechnology Center
Margaret Kimmett, Chemistry, Valley Regional High School
Lalitha Kasturirangan, English, Eli Whitney Technical High School


Library Media Specialist Award for Excellence in Enrichment and Collaboration
Liza Zandonella, Newtown High School


“Rookie of the Year” Award for Excellence in First-Year Course Instruction
Kelsey Kapalczynski, Statistics, Wethersfield High School
Christopher Wisniewski, Biology, Berlin High School


Jan Pikul Award for Continued Excellence in Instruction
Aaron Hull, Political Science, Greenwich High School