Author: Hinckley, Jessica

Announcing our 2018 UConn Early College Experience Scholarship Winners!


By Nella Quasnitschka


UConn Early College Experience is pleased to announce that the 2018 student scholarship winners have been chosen. The number of high quality applications received was impressive. The Office of Early College Programs is proud that so many students have invested in their education and future by participating in ECE.
Students took the time to submit exceptional applications and clearly demonstrated high academic achievement and a potential for future accomplishments in their chosen field. Award recipients will receive a certificate of accomplishment along with a $500 monetary award to use towards post-secondary education expenses.


And the winners are…
Civic and Community Engagement
Gregory Pelletier, Pomperaug High School
Nickolas Tibbetts, Montville High School
Excellence in Arts, Humanities, or Social Sciences
Joshua Archibald, Montville High School
Sairah Sheikh, South Windsor High School
Excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics
Hanna Harens, Norwich Free Academy
Chris Nguyen, Conard High School
We wish you well in your future endeavors.


Applications for the 2019 scholarships will be accepted from February 15, 2019 – March 30, 2019. Scholarship details and application requirements can be found at:


Office of Early College Experience Welcomes the Connecticut Science Olympaid


By Brian A. Boecherer


April 7th was a cold Saturday; the early morning mist hung shoulder-high as I made my rounds, unlocking classroom doors and checking to see if our door signs were still in place. This was the first year we were hosting the Connecticut Science Olympiad (CTSO) and we wanted it to go off without a hitch. I remembered the first planning meetings that started in the summer. Yes, an event like this takes time and many dedicated volunteers and staff. In total, we were hosting 1,200 high school students, coaches, and volunteer staff from UConn, other universities, and industry. This was the biggest event that OECP has ever hosted.


McHugh Hall (née Laurel Hall) was the center of activity, and between 7:30 and 8:00 it was a beehive of action as teams signed in and talked excitedly about the day to come. Despite the early hour, these young scientists created their own energy — we were all eager for the games to begin. By 8:30 the nearly 1,000 students had dispersed to the seven buildings which composed our academic battlegrounds. Students from 42 different teams were to compete by performing in 23 different activities, labs, and tests. The day was long, but what does an Olympian expect? While luck favors the prepared, battles are won in the will and only the strong survive. Events ranged from anatomy and physiology, to being a disease detective, to developing remote sensing systems. Other events required teams to come prepared having built a helicopter, a bridge, and a car powered by a mousetrap!


The top three finishers were: in first place, the Hopkins Schools (New Haven); in second place, South Windsor High School – Team A; and in third place, Staples High School (Westport).


I got the opportunity to walk around and visit many of the events, which were designed and hosted by high school instructors, UConn professors, and industry experts. These were great spaces to watch the excitement and see students engaging with professionals. In just a few years these students will be professionals — young scientists who we hope engage with the next generation of students.


While other departments and offices have hosted the Connecticut Science Olympiad in the past, the Office of Early College Programs is very proud to make CTSO a permanent part of our office, further developing the rich academic outreach which has become part of the State culture — UConn ECE, Pre-College Summer, and CTSO.


Science Olympaid Group Science Olympaid Group

Experience It: A Summer is Storrs! UConn’s Premiere Pre-College Summer Program

By Melanie Ochoa
The Office of Early College Programs offers several programs which target high school students and help them transition into college. If you are looking for a summer academic program, we have summer in Storrs for you! UConn Pre-College Summer (PCS) offers rising high school juniors and seniors the chance to study and live on a top-ranked public university campus through the choice of one of four challenging and intensive one-week sessions.
Through PCS, students have the opportunity to explore their academic interests by choosing one or more of the 30 available courses, interact with engaging professors, build confidence in being a college student, attend workshops that stress personal and academic development, meet new people, and make new friends, all while learning the culture of college, before college.
Academic experiences include Creative & Fine Arts courses, Language, Pharmacy, Pre-Med, Social Science, and STEM courses, all taught by a UConn faculty. But, the exploration doesn’t stop there! Students choose from over 20 different workshops they can attend during their stay to further discover their interests. Workshop offerings include: “Composing Winning College Application Essays” by the University Writing Center; “Effective Communication & Team Building” by the UConn Police Department; “Strategies for Deeper Learning” by the UConn Academic Achievement Center; “Photosynthesis and Really Low Temperatures” by the UConn Chemistry Department; “Pharmacy Compounding Practice” by the UConn Pharmacy Department; “How Major is your Major?” by the Academic Center for Exploratory Students; UConn Info Session & Tour by UConn Admissions and the Lodewick Visitors Center; and more.
Students looking to join UConn PCS are required to submit an online application. The application will require: student and parent/guardian information, application questions, submission of unofficial transcript reflecting grades and attendance records, and a non-refundable $35 application processing fee.

Applications are being reviewed on a rolling basis and will be accepted until one week prior to the start of each session. Visit for more information or contact the office at 860-486-0149.


Pre-College SummerPre-College Summer Group

20th Annual Medieval Studies Celebration

By Stefanie Malinoski


On Friday, April 6th, UConn Early College Experience and the UConn History department hosted the 20th Annual Medieval Studies Outreach. The Medieval Studies Outreach began in 1998 in partnership with the UConn History and Music Departments and the Office of Early College Programs (then the High School Co-Op Program). Professor Olson has been the faculty coordinator for UConn’s HIST 1300: Western Traditions Before 1500 course for more than thirteen years. Each year the Collegium Musicum, under the direction of Professor Eric Rice, Department Head of the UConn Music Department, perform instrumental and choral pieces from the time period for the group. Like Professor Olson, Professor Rice saw the value of this unique event and has chosen to continue the partnership for the better part of the last twenty years. This private concert, lecture, and Q&A period is just part of what makes this event so special.


After a morning of music, Professor Olson and her guest speakers dove into scholarly lectures by faculty from UConn’s own History Department and other faculty from neighboring institutions for the duration of the day. This year, the topic for the 20th Annual Medieval Studies Outreach was “Religion in Medieval Byzantium.” Lectures by UConn faculty members—Professor Joseph McAlhany, “Hearing the Heavens: Etruscan Arts of Divination in Byzantium” and Professor Lawrence Langer, “Understanding the Iconoclastic Crisis of Medieval Byzantium—An Enigma of Medieval” and a document workshop by Professor Sherri Olson—were all a part of the 2018 event. We then celebrated the 20th Annual Medieval Studies Outreach over lunch and cake.


Professor Olson believes every connection that can be made between UConn and our partner schools is important, and she is grateful to all of her colleagues in the Medieval Studies Program and the Department of History who have contributed to the event over the years. A few of the notable topics of previous Outreach days include:   The Medieval Monastery; Stories and Story-Tellers in the Middle Ages: Robin Hood in Legend, Film and History; Medieval Christianity, Princes, Peasants, and the Powers that Be: Government and its Sources in the Middle Ages; and The Bible Before C.E. 1000.


We are grateful for the partnership and friendship of both Professor Olson and Professor Rice and look forward to many more Medieval Studies Outreach days in the future.


Cutting the Celebratory Cake Medieval Studies Celebration Group

Our Cool Workshops 101: The Director’s Thoughts

By Brian A. Boecherer
It is hard to define what “cool” is, but I have been dedicated to the idea that when we develop our programming, there should always be something cool about it. There is nothing juvenile or naïve about this desire; I think it is really what we should be doing, and this is especially true in the context of our professional development. It is about leaving a spark that lingers past the moment. I love our workshops and really think they offer that spark. They are a wonderful time to come together as a community of academics, exchange ideas, and learn some- thing cool. This year our Faculty Coordinators outdid themselves! We hosted approximately 250 hours of professional development on four UConn campuses, one museum, one town hall, and one extension center. There are too many wonderful moments to include in one magazine, but I wanted to offer you an overview of some of our greatest hits. They will inspire and intrigue you; they are cool—because they are fresh ideas which stimulate contemplation well after we leave the workshop.
I hope you enjoy this magazine and that it sends you into the summer with a smile of satisfaction. You worked hard this year, and your students are better off for it. We thank you, and we look forward to seeing you in the fall. On behalf of our hardworking team in Storrs, have a happy and healthy summer!
(APRIL 2018)
Kaitlin Lindhardt, scientist at Brown University, explained her work with CRISPR/Cas9, the process of cutting and inserting DNA sequences which can control for vector-borne diseases.
(MAY 2017)
This year’s guest speaker was Dr. Jessica Rouge, a professor in UConn’s Chemistry Department. As a biochemist she educated our faculty on her research which is at the cutting edge of science —working with nanoparticles and exploring the concept of engineering viruses to enter and reprogram the cell, thereby eliminating cancer.
(OCTOBER 2017)
Prof. Wensu Li discussed her research paper, which focused on pollution and its effect on the economy. Prof. Stephen Ross unpacked the mysteries of our State’s economic problems in the context of debt and earning psychology.
(APRIL 2018)
UConn ECE bought the book, Regarde les lumières mon amour, by Annie Ernaux, for ECE French instructors. UConn ECE Instructors attended the session having read the book and then participated in a graduate seminar group discussion of the material.
(OCTOBER 2017)
Profs. Glenn Mitoma, Brendan Kane, and Laurie Wolfley led a training on how to teach polarizing topics in the humanities and social sciences while maintaining professional discourse in the classroom.
(OCTOBER 2017)
Dr. Jean-Pascal Daloz, Research Professor at the University of Strasbourg, was invited to speak to ECE Political Science Faculty on “Political Representation” — fashion, politics, and how clothes represent political interests across the world.
ECE instructors were treated to the beautiful voice of opera singer Melinda Fields as she sang, “Gretchen am Sprinnrade,” by famous Franz Schubert, while Glenn Stanley led a course on musical interpretation.
ECE faculty attended their first Sociology workshop, which focused on teaching first—generation students and transnationalism in India and Mexico.

Who Knew?


By Carissa Rutkauskas


A compilation of UConn ECE awards, events, successes, inside classroom perspectives, news, research, and information that only social media friends and followers know about the ECE community.
The UConn Early College Experience community is far-reaching, diverse, and engaging. From events on campus to classroom activities and community happenings, UConn ECE students, teachers, administrators, and faculty coordinators do it all! Here are just a few social media posts dating back to January 2018.
• Photos of the poster session/ mini-symposium presented at the UConn Avery Point campus by Intro to Oceanography UConn ECE students from Ledyard High School, Waterford High School, The Morgan School, and Marine Science Magnet High School.
• Photos of UConn ECE Chemistry classes from Berlin High School and Orville H. Platt High School visiting the Chemistry labs on the UConn, Storrs campus.
• UConn ECE Rockville High School students receive awards at the 2018 UConn ECE Wallace Stevens Poetry contest in March (
• Dominic Corraro, beloved UConn ECE instructor in Italian and Spanish at Notre Dame High School in West Haven, is the new principal of Holy Trinity School in Wallingford!
• UConn ECE Student numbers series
• Windham High School UConn ECE HDFS1070 students’ Windham Cares Feminine Products drive
• Medieval Studies celebrated their 20th annual outreach with music by the Collegium Musicum under the direction of Professor Eric Rice, Department of Music
• UConn ECE Professional Development Awards winners and photos
• 53 of 112 seniors at Aero/Hydrospace Engineering Magnet HS were accepted to UConn
• Mrs. Charpentier and her ECE Biology class at Xavier High School students accepted to UConn Health Center’s eight-week mini Medical/Dental school program
• Video and photos from the Connecticut Science Olympiad, now hosted by the Office of Early College Programs
• Photos of Berlin High School’s UConn ECE Drawing I pieces
• Wilcox Tech’s Early College Experience English and Social studies teacher Andrew Taddei class gather school memorabilia Wednesday in preparation for Wilcox Technical High School’s 100th anniversary (
• Photos and winners of the 8th UConn Early College Experience Globalization Conference: Globalization’s Effects on Women’s Rights
• Photos of Norwich Tech’s UConn ECE American Studies and ECE Early American History classes at Connecticut History Day
• UConn ECE ambassador submissions/inside peek into UConn ECE classrooms
• Photos of NFA and Glastonbury High School UConn ECE students taking Chinese language courses at the Chinese New Year celebration with UConn Chinese language students
• UConn ECE political science students from AITE are exercising their rights and organizing a walk-out in support of gun control (
• Registration and billing dates, deadlines, and tips
Share your ECE stories with us. Like, friend, follow, tweet/ retweet, #tag and/or @ at us!

Twitter Logo Facebook Logo Instagram Logo

12,047 ECE applicants and counting…

By Todd Blodgett
Registration is under way for the 2018-2019 academic year. We look forward to welcoming in a new class of ECE students and continuing to work with our current ones! This past year we had more than 12,500 students across 205 partner schools register to take at least one ECE course. During the registration process, students will have the opportunity to select, apply and enroll in their courses for the upcoming year. Many schools have expanded their course offerings and students should meet with their Site Representative or school counselor to see which course(s) fit their academic plan. Planning ahead is a critical aspect of looking towards your academic future and will make your registration process much simpler and smoother. Stay tuned to our social media pages for registration tips and deadlines that can assist you with completing the registration process.
With 12,047 students already applied we are anticipating another successful year of ECE course offerings!
Registration Dates and Deadlines
April 30, 2018: Registration Opens
June 1, 2018: Application Deadline
June 29, 2018: Enrollment Deadline
August 15, 2018: Add/Drop Period Opens*
September 14, 2018: Add/Drop Application Deadline*
• September 28, 2018: Add/Drop Enrollment Deadline*
* Additional $25 processing fee for either adding or dropping a course during the add/drop period.
Billing and Payment Dates
November 8, 2018: Third Party Billing Roster Submissions
November 22, 2018: Fall and Full Year course fees due*
January 8, 2019: Spring course fees due*
* Additional $50 late fee charged if entire course fees are not paid by the posted deadline.
Consent Form

UConn ECE Professional Development Award Winners

By Jack Greenwood Jr.

This year UConn Early College Experience selected eight Professional Development Award winners, across five individual award categories, based on their nominations for outstanding instruction and administration of the ECE program. Each award recipient was invited to attend the annual formal dinner celebration in recognition of their achievement. With over 1,300 certified UConn ECE Instructors, it is difficult to choose a small selection of award winners from such a large pool of talented nominations. Although we take this time to celebrate the work of these specific individuals who have gone above and beyond the normal scope of what is expected as a UConn ECE Instructor and Administrator, it is important to recognize that our program’s growing success is deeply rooted in the overall combined efforts of all affiliated ECE instructors, staff, and faculty. It is truly a pleasure for ECE to award and recognize such dedicated educators who work tirelessly with students to achieve their individual academic goals.


We are pleased to announce our 2017-18 UConn ECE Professional Development Award Winners:


Thomas E. Recchio Faculty Coordinator Award for Academic Leadership
William Alpert, Economics
Site Representative Award for Excellence in Program Administration
Douglas Melody, Edwin O. Smith High School
Principal Award for Program Support and Advocacy
Louis DeLoreto, Edwin O. Smith High School
Instructor Award for Excellence in Course Instruction
David Bednarz, Marine Science, Ledyard High School
Linda Charpentier, Environmental Science & Biology, Xavier High School
Emily Kilbourn, English, Ridgefield High School
“Rookie of the Year” Award for Excellence in First-Year Course Instruction
Mark Waller, Political Science, The Master’s School
Michelle Amann-Wojenski, English, H.C. Wilcox Technical High School


Professional Development Award Winners

Change is Good: UConn Pre-College Summer’s Most Successful Summer

By Erin Donohue, Pre-College Summer Graduate Assistant

In the summer of 2017, UConn’s Pre-College Summer (PCS) program for rising high school juniors and seniors expanded in more ways than just increasing numbers. This past summer, the program has also extended its reach both nationally and globally! Thirty-five percent (35%) of program students out of the 383 total registrations came from states outside of New England, including Puerto Rico. The program also had a total of 8 international students from countries such as Canada, France, Romania, Luxembourg, China, and Taiwan! This is the largest and most diverse group of students that have ever attended Pre-College Summer, which prepares students for college life through a non-credit, academic enrichment environment.


One of the main goals of UConn’s Pre-College Summer program is to allow students to “test out” an academic area that they may be interested in pursuing in college before they attend college. This year, to accommodate the growing number of students, PCS ramped up its course selection. This past summer’s course spread included new courses in the Arts with Animation and Photography, as well as a range of Pre-Med courses on topics such as Anatomy and Physiology, Kinesiology, and Human Pathology. These new Pre-Med courses provided the students with an opportunity to aid in the dissection of a human cadaver right on campus! We additionally added a Pre-Law course to the line-up, and as part of the course students were able to visit the UConn School of Law and a local courthouse! The hands-on experiences provided by these courses allowed students to really get a feel for whether this academic focus is something that they would want to further pursue in college, or not. As Sarah from Ohio put it, “UConn has given me an incredible experience that reassured my desire to pursue medicine.” Other students learned based on their class experience during Pre-College Summer that perhaps the subject they chose was not the best fit for them. Ina from Massachusetts who studied Statistics while at Pre-College Summer remarked, “The UConn Pre-College Summer Program was a good experience in that I left the program with many new friends and a glimpse into what college life will be life. The academic course itself, however, was one that I would definitely not repeat.”

Another goal of the Pre-College Summer Program is to make sure that students gain the full experience of what college life is like before actually attending college. Students who attend our program live in residence halls on the Storrs campus where they attend interactive classes for 19 hours a week for up to four weeks and participate in engaging afternoon workshops of their choice. New workshops popular with students this past summer included Creating a Vision Board where students were able to highlight their future goals using pictures, participating in a Hands on Drumming circle, and DJ Session 101, an introduction to disc jockeying. While all of this is daunting to high school students at first, by the end of their time in the program they begin to understand the importance of their experience on campus and get, according to Christina from Connecticut, an “eye-opening experience of what life at UConn could possibly be.” Justin from Connecticut remarked, “It was even better than I imagined it would be. I felt like a college student and got more information about college life out of the program than any other experience.” And Michele from California added, “This program provided me with a good balance of college lifestyle, subject based learning, and workshop learning.The summer staff members were very sweet and welcoming and we were able to do a lot of evening activities that were really fun.”


Students also experience social opportunities similar to that of incoming college freshman. While spending time in the program, students are able to hurdle social obstacles and make friends, which can be difficult when in a new environment. Our summer staff, including mostly current UConn undergraduate and graduate students, are as inclusive as possible of all students and convey the message that students are in a safe space where they can express themselves and feel comfortable in their own skin. On the first day of student check-in and drop off, students are usually anxious about meeting new people and may be shy to get to know one another, so making friends can be difficult. Once students realize that they are all in the same boat, however, friends are made quickly. Emelyn from Connecticut could relate, saying, “Even people who are shy like me can find people to hang out with.” The Pre-College Summer program provides many fun and exciting experiences and activities through which students can bond, such as unorganized sporting events, game and movie nights, visiting downtown Storrs, taking walks on Horsebarn Hill, and even a talent show! This past summer we also included horseback riding lessons provided by the Department of Animal Sciences for students who are passionate about riding. It’s clear by the end of the week that after all of these amazing experiences, students are sad to leave campus and their newly made friends to return home. Meira from Massachusetts remarked, “I’m not going to lie, I was pretty nervous about coming to UConn, but everyone is friendly and it only took a day for me to get comfortable. I definitely wish I stayed longer, it’s an unforgettable experience! It may be scary at first, but you’ll have a 50+ person family to back you up!” Yazmin from Massachusetts also reflected on her total experience in the program, saying, “It was a truly unforgettable experience. I had the opportunity to create bonds with different people and experience the ACTUAL college life while sleeping in the dorms, eating in the dining halls, and being taught by an actual college professor. We were also given a bit of freedom just like real college students. This program has a lot of variety and it’s a must.”

The impact that Pre-College Summer has on students is truly remarkable. While the experience is new and intimidating at first, students learn so much about themselves and who they would like to become in college. It’s amazing to think that UConn’s Pre-College Summer Program will host its 5th summer beginning in July of 2018. The 4-week program will run from July 8th through August 4th 2018, and program registration will open in December of 2017. For more information, please visit or contact our office at 860-486-0149.


DJ Workshop PCS Dairy Bar Trip PCS

Avery Point Cardboard Boat Race 2017


The 2017-2018 academic year was off to a strong start. On September 27, 2017, the ECE Marine Sciences, Maritime Studies, Physics and Engineering students participated in the 7th annual UConn Avery Point Cardboard Boat Race. The event is always a fun and exciting time filled with lots of laughs. This year we had about 450 students and instructors in attendance.
Participating in this year’s event were twenty one partner high schools:Waterford High School, Marine Science Magnet High School, Science and Technology Magnet High School of Southeastern Connecticut, Manchester High School, University High School, Westbrook High School, Norwich Free Academy, Shelton High School, Windham Tech, Lyman Hall High School, H.C. Wilcox Tech, Kaynor Tech, Glastonbury High School, Ellington High School, Bridgeport Aquaculture, Enfield High School, Hartford Engineering and Green Tech, Emmett O’Brien Tech, Ledyard High school, Northwestern Regional High School and Daniel Hand High School. The team from H.C. Wilcox Technical High School won first place in the UConn ECE Championship Division.


Cardboard Boat Race 2017 Cardboard Boat Race 2017