Fall 2023 PD Overview


By Stefanie Malinoski


This fall in Early College Experience we’ve hosted eighteen professional development workshops for groups of Early College Experience Instructors who offer UConn courses in English, Sustainable Plant and Soil Science, American Studies, Environmental Science, Philosophy, Physics, Economics, Human Rights, European History, Sociology, Animal Science, Communications, Music, Chemistry, Chinese, and Math. Our ECE affiliated library media specialists also met for a virtual training with Babbidge Library staff.  Another twenty-four events are slated to occur during the winter intersession and spring semester either in person or virtually. Notes on some of the events which occurred during the fall semester are below:


Sustainable Plant and Soil Science Instructors meet in person at Southington High School with Faculty Coordinator, Julia Kuzovkina. The workshop included diverse activities including a field practicum on analyzing soil for specific purposes, a discussion and update on plant diseases, and learning about new trends in the landscape industry. The group also discussed students’ preparation for future careers in the Green Industry and took part in a hands-on floral workshop where teachers were introduced to beautiful fall arrangements which can be introduced in their Floral Art classes.


American Studies Instructors were provided with a copy of Ann Petry’s novel “The Street”. Shawn Salvant, Professor of English, and Africana Studies from UConn spoke to the group about the text and what it means to revisit the classic novel in 2023. Instructors led by Faculty Coordinator Laurie Wolfley then designed curriculum focused on “The Street” which was shared with all participants for future uses in their American Studies classroom.


Chemistry Instructors participated in a hands-on lab activity with Faculty Coordinator, Dr. Fatma Selampinar after hearing from Dr. Kerry Gilmore from UConn’s Chemistry Department. Dr. Gilmore’s research surrounds Green Chemistry and its facilitating impact on photochemistry. Dr. Kerry and the Instructors discussed how these chemistries can be performed in the classroom and opened up the discussion for collaborative work in the area in the development of new processes, screening natural catalysts, and bringing advanced chemical processes to their classrooms.


Economics Instructors met for their professional development workshop and heard from fellow ECE Instructor Ian Tiedemann from Greenwich High School, Scott A. Wolla, Economic Education Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and Ariel Solomon, Curriculum Designer, Marginal Revolution University. Ian Tiedemann highlighted his students’ who created a podcast script for the 2023 issue of the Journal of Future Economists. The theme was “Economics of Globalization”. Ian’s students submitted their podcast script titled “It’s a (s)Mall World: Globalization, E-Commerce, and Shopping Malls” which can be reviewed in the Journal of Future Economists. Scott A. Wolla’s shared a teaching activity “Teaching Market Structures with Gum” and discussed “Monetary Policy has Changed. Has Your Teaching?” Ariel Slonim, Curriculum Designer, Marginal Revolution University presented on: “Supply, Demand, Action! Harnessing interactive tools to teach supply and demand” and “Cracking the Code: Understanding GDP and Inflation through interactive tools.” ECE Faculty Coordinator for Economics, Natalia V. Smirnova discussed “Teaching Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Topics in Economics”.


Environmental Science Instructors met with Faculty Coordinator, Dr. Morty Ortega at Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area in Burlington, CT where they interacted with staff from the Department of Environmental Protection learning about the private lives of bears and bobcats and habitats.


Marine Science Instructors set out aboard the “Mystic Seaport Express” captained by Liz Sistare (UConn ’13), Waterfront Operations Supervisor on the Mystic River with Faculty Coordinator, Dr. Claudia Koerting during their professional development workshop. The group of 13 teachers conducted water testing by taking readings using instruments that measure salinity, oxygen, and temperature. They deployed a water sampler to retrieve water samples near the bottom of the river and gathered surface water samples as well. Instructors performed two plankton tows and brought samples back for microscopic evaluation. An additional two sample sites were chosen, and all samples returned with the group to the seaport sailing center where they tested for chlorophyll content using a fluorometer and performed a light/dark experiment with water from two sites. At the sailing center the group ran their analysis, looked at the plankton tow and compared oxygen uptake in the light/dark bottle experiment. Conversations were held about how these samples could inform scientists and regulators about policy guiding water use in the river. By the end of the day Instructors learned a new method, a new instrument, and made new connections and shared ideas to implement in their UConn Marine Science courses.


Philosophy Instructors met with Faculty Coordinator Prof. Mitch Green who led a discussion on “post-truth” epistemology after instructors watched, a Ted Talk by UConn Professor Michael Lynch: “How to See Past Your Own Perspective and Find Truth.”


More information and pictures from the many professional development workshops hosted this fall can be reviwed on “ECE PD Blog” on the Early College Experience website. Dates for spring workshops will be posted to the ECE website’s “Dates to Remember” section once details are finalized. We look forward to continuing to utilize the winter months with additional virtual workshop opportunities and welcome our community members to campus in the spring for more professional development events.




News to Know

NEACEP Conference 2023

In their first post-pandemic regional confer­ence, attendees from the six New England states and beyond gathered at the University of Rhode Island, Feinstein Campus in Providence for the New England Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NEACEP) on Friday, May 5, 2023. The theme was “Up­ward and Outward” and over a dozen breakout session centered on themes of equity, policy, and teaching and learning. Dianne Lassai Barker, Na­tional Alliance of Concurrent Enroll­ment Partnerships (NACEP) Director of State Engagement, addressed a group of nearly 100 people with an overview of NACEP and thoughts on equity and inclusion. UConn ECE was well-represented, on the planning committee, as a sponsor, and through presentations. University High School of Science & Engineering (Hartford) Principal, Sean Tomany, and UConn ECE American Studies Instructor, Jennifer Todisco, presented “Expand­ing ECE Offerings and Equity”; Jake Skrzypiec and Sarah Wiederecht (Manchester High School) and Chris Buckley (Brookfield High School) UConn ECE Human Rights Instruc­tor presented “Building Bridges: Human Rights & the Early College Experience Classroom”; and our own, Chris Todd, represented UConn ECE in two sessions. His first presentation, “Navigating the Tide: Expanding Pathways to Concurrent Instructor Certification in an Era of Teacher Un­certainty,” Todd spoke to the struggle with the recruitment and retention of teachers. He was also part of a panel for the “Expanding Pathways to Postsecondary Readiness through Dual Credit” session with others from the state: Ajit Gopalakrishnan, CT State Department of Education; John Maduko, President, CT State Com­munity College; Anne Dichele, Quin­nipiac University, CT; Karen Hynick, CEO, Quinebaug Valley Community College; and Thomas Coley, Executive Vice President of Strategic Partner­ships and Enterprise Performance, CT State Community College.


UConn Pre-College Summer PCS is growing with options! With over 30 course of­ferings for students to experience in the areas of Fine Arts, Digital Media, Pre-Med, STEM, and Social Scienc­es, we are also now offering a credit course option. Students now have the opportunity to earn two credits by taking the AH 2001: Medical Termi­nology course. The course provides an introduction to and mastery of medical terminology. Students will be studying the location, functions, ter­minology and pathology of the organs of the various systems of the body will be studied. In a unique two-week format, the course will be delivered in a distance learning model during the first week followed by a second week of a hands-on, residential experience. To check out the full list of course of­ferings visit, (contributed by Melanie Banks)


Italian Studies Workshop This winter, Italian Studies at UConn (ILCS) launched a pilot Professional Development workshop series for teachers of Italian across Connecticut and the Tri-State area. The series, en­titled, “Lasciatemi cantare: Teaching Italian Language and Culture through Music,” was generously supported by funds from the Consulate General of Italy in NY and ECE and was deliv­ered in hybrid form – simultaneously online and in person. The workshop’s four Saturday morning sessions in January and February focused on using music theory and Italian the­ater, opera, and popular music in the language classroom. UConn Italian Ph.D. candidates David Lara and Rosy Pitruzzello (who is also a Plainville HS teacher) led two sessions each with presentations and interactive ex­ercises aimed at expanding the didac­tic benefits of incorporating different kinds of music into language instruc­tion. The combination of language pedagogy, songs, and music videos led to lively discussions among the participants, all of whom came away with access to new materials, a collab­orative space for continued develop­ment, and many practical applications for their classrooms. ILCS hopes to bring the workshop back next year with a different topic of focus. Please contact Tina Chiappetta-Miller with any suggestions at: (con­tributed by Tina Chiappetta-Miller)

Congratulations to our UConn ECE Faculty Coordinators on their promotions

  • Promotion to Associate Professor In-Residence

- Emma Bojinova, Agricultural and Resource Economics

  • Promotion to Professor

- Oksan Bayulgen, Political Science

  • Promotion to Professor In-Residence

- Fatma Selampinar, Chemistry

Congratulations to Educational Lead­ership UConn ECE Faculty Coordina­tor, Dr. Danielle DeRosa, for defend­ing her dissertation, Exploring Sense of Community for Undergraduate Women in Sport Management.


UConn ECE HDFS 1070: Individual & Family Development Instructor, Mr. Becker, from Daniel Hand High School gave a TEDx Talk about his passion for wellness and journey on becoming a teacher, called The skill of wellness: maximizing your health to benefit the world. He talks about, “How a transformational moment at 15 would inspire my life’s work… I teach to enhance the wellness of my students; I coach to help students be­come respectful, responsible, honest, & caring people who will impact the world for good.”


UConn ECE Chinese Talent Show

By Jessica Dunn | Photos by Gordon Daigle and Mike Illuzi
UConn ECE Faculty Coordinator of the Year, Dr. Chunsheng Yang, brought back the UConn ECE Chinese Talent show to the benefit of 175 students this past March. With 100 UConn ECE Students, and about 75 UConn undergraduates, this event provided a space for students to work together to demonstrate their Chinese skills through various abilities and learn to embrace cultural diversity. As Dr. Yang explained in an interview for the UConn Daily Campus, “the Chinese talent show provides an avenue for both high school Chinese learners and UConn undergrad Chinese learn­ers to showcase their Chinese language skills and have fun while socializing with peers both from other CT high schools and UConn undergraduate students.”

Participants from Connecticut high schools were students enrolled in UConn Chinese 1114 through UConn ECE and represented Amity Regional High School, Simsbury High School, Granby Memorial High School, Hall High School, Miss Porter’s School, and Norwich Free Academy. Along with attendance from high schools across the state, there was also a wide variety of talents showcased at the event. From a Kung Fu performance from Amity Regional High School and a Gourd Flute performance from Miss Porter’s School to an authentic Dragon Dance from Hall High School, the talent was extraordinary, and it was evident the students worked very hard through­out the year to improve their Chinese language skills and gain the confi­dence to perform at UConn in front of their peers.
We commend all students for their willingness to participate and look forward to offering this event to fu­ture UConn ECE students.


UConn ECE项目负责人杨春生是 2023 年度 ECE Faculty Coordinator Award获得者,他于今年3月组织了UConn ECE中文才艺秀。此次活动汇聚了100 多名UConn ECE 学生和75名 UConn 本科生,为学生提供了一个共同展示中文技能、欣赏文化多样性的平台。正如杨博士在接受UConn Daily Campus采访时所说:“中文才艺秀为高中中文学习者和 UConn 中文学习者提供了展示中文技能、与其他高中和 UConn本科生社交的机会。”
才艺秀的高中参与者都是UConn ECE中文课程的学生,包括Amity Regional High School、Simsbury High School、Granby Memorial High School、Hall High School、Miss Porter’s School 和 Norwich Free Acad¬emy。来自不同高中的同学展示了各种各样的才艺,从 Amity Regional High School 的功夫表演,到 Miss Porter’s School 的葫芦丝表演,到 Hall High School 的正宗舞龙表演,同学们个个才华横溢,在展示中文语言能力的同时,也表现出精湛的表演才能。
我们为所有参与的同学喝彩,并期待将类似活动扩大到UConn ECE的其他项目中去。
Translated by UConn ECE Chinese Faculty Coordinator, Dr. Chunsheng Yang

Congratulations to the UConn ECE Student Scholarship Winners

Increased Scholarship amounts garner more competitive application pool.
By Jessica Dunn
UConn Early College Experience increased the student scholarship amount for each available award to $1,000 this year! For many years, the scholarship award was $500 each, and we are excited to be able to increase the value of these scholarships to $1,000 each. Partly due to the increase in value for these scholarships, we received a record number of incredibly competitive applications, making the selection process difficult.
Through a rigorous review process, the UConn Early College Experience Office selected six outstanding 2022-2023 UConn ECE Students as Scholarship winners, awarding each a $1,000 scholarship to be used at any institution. All winners are high school seniors, who have taken or are currently taking at least one UConn Early College Experience course and have excelled in the area in which they submitted their project. Additionally, applications are scored on a holistic rubric which aims to capture a variety of factors including academic success, future academic aspirations, and demonstrated financial need.
Winners talk about their projects in this video. Additional information about UConn ECE Scholarships can be found on our Student Scholarships page.

Excellence in the Arts, Humanities, or Social Sciences

Winners demonstrate academic achievement and a potential for future academic and professional accomplishments in a field focusing on the Arts, Humanities, and/or Social Sciences.

CREC Academy of Computer Science and Engineering
Original Project, “The Real Talk on: Anxiety and Depression”
Hall High School
Personal Essay, “Children of Sunshine and Rain”

Excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics

Winners demonstrate academic achievement and a potential for future academic and professional accomplishments in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and/or Mathematics.

Trumbull High School
Original Coding of a Murder Mystery Game
New Britain High School
Research Paper on Serotonin Receptors

Excellence in Civic and Community Engagement

Winners are academically successful, are already making a positive difference in their town or neighborhood, and are inspiring others to do the same. The students chosen for this award are UConn ECE Students who demonstrate ambition and self-drive evidenced by outstanding achievement in both school and their community.

James Hillhouse High School
Youth Director at Dixwell Community Q House
OLIVER TUFF (center)
New Canaan High School
Founder of Feeding 500

UConn ECE Magazine Cover Submissions

We challenged our community to submit artwork with the prompt: Growth Mindset: Challenging the status quo and received many fabulous submissions.
First Place/cover
Jane Freiler, Fairfield Ludlowe High School
The Voyager, mixed media
This piece is a connection of the person I am through the places I have been and the places I have yet to go. The strings tie the self of selfhood to the natural land, the county, and our memories. I constructed this piece from the parts of my past, the thread I used to make friendship bracelets, an old map I weathered and tore, and simple package tape from the closet. The package tape transfer is a simple and beautiful method to blend separate images, such as my photograph of the girl, seamlessly with the map.
Second Place
Lila Gillon, E.O. Smith High School
A Hyacinth Peeks Out from Among Green Stalks, photo
This issue’s theme of a “growth mindset” immediately calls to mind the joyful perseverance and adaptability of spring plants. In this close-up photo, a purple hyacinth is dwarfed by the tall green stalks all around it yet still manages to bloom. I imagine the flower’s undaunted display of color as symbolizing a challenge to the status quo - regardless of what else surrounds it, it can thrive and proudly showcase its unique qualities.


Third Place
Ella Sigurdsson, Ridgefield High School
Unplugging, mixed media
Social media and electronics have become a prominent part of our everyday lives. Everyone is expected to be on social media and when “unplugging” I challenge the status quo. My work is comprised of a collage for the background of the photo and I created an original makeup as well as taking my own photo.

Additional UConn ECE Benefits

By Jessica Dunn

Discount Tickets

As part of the UConn ECE Community, Students, Instructors, Site Represen­tatives, Library Media Specialists, and Faculty Coordinators have access toattend select UConn athletic events and performances at the JorgensenCenter for the Performing Arts at discounted rates! UConn Early CollegeExperience has partnered with UConn Athletics to offer YOU the opportuni­ty to be in the stands and show your Husky pride with your friends andfamily. We have also partnered with Jorgensen who offers UConn EarlyCollege Experience Students and high school partners, with a valid UConn NetID, FREE tickets to a selection of their annual performances.
Available athletic event tickets and Jorgensen performance offers are an­nounced throughout the academic year to the UConn ECE Community. Take advantage of these great offers and opportunities to immerse yourself in the UConn culture. Hundreds of UConn ECE partners did this year! You may not be in Storrs, Avery Point, Hartford, Stamford, or Waterbury, but you are a part of UConn wherever you are. Bring your class, your friends, or your family to a game or a show! This is just one of the many benefits of being part of the UConn ECE family, and we hope to see you on campus.
Find your tickets here:
Don’t forget, show your Husky Pride and tag us in your photos from the games and shows you attend!
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | TikTok


UConn Recreation Center Access – just for our partners

UConn ECE Instructors, Site Representatives, and Library Media Specialists are eligible foraffiliate membership to the UConn Recreation Center. UConn ECE administrative partners must provide a UConn One Card for purchase of membership.


Professional Development and New Instructor Orientation


By Stefanie Malinoski

Professional Development Workshops

UConn Early College Experience Faculty Coordinators offer annual professional devel­opment workshops for their Instructors. This spring, UConn ECE hosted twenty-nine different professional development workshops for certified Instructors. Many of these events occurred in person on the Storrs and Hartford campuses and others were held in a virtual capacity. Some highlights are below. Please be sure to check out the UConn ECE Professional Development Blog on the ECE website for details and pictures from our events.
Animal Science

Our certified Animal Science Instructors along with Faculty Coordinators Dr. Jenifer Nadeu and Dr. Amy Safran took a tour of UConn’s animal facilities including the voluntary milking system, and Molly Riser, UConn ANSC PhD student, provided an overview of the domestication and breeding of dogs.

Along with ECE Faculty Coordinator, Dr. Alexia Smith, certified UCo­nn ECE Anthropology Instructors met for a virtual workshop where they focused on practical strategies for teaching anthropology today and recent changes within the field. Hot topics such as participation agreements, accessibility issues, and engagement modalities were the main topics of discussion. UConn’s Dr. Noga Shemer served as a guest facilitator for the workshop. Dr. Shemer is an Assistant Professor-in-Res­idence of Anthropology at UConn, where she also serves as an Affiliate faculty member of El Instituto (Institute of Latina/o, Caribbean, and Latin American Studies) and as an Assistant Director of Faculty Development at the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. As a cultural anthropol­ogist with many years teaching experience, she provides workshops across the university focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the classroom and has pub­lished journal articles focusing on her use of person-centered ethnographies to build empathy.

UConn ECE Faculty Coordinator for Art, Prof. Cora Lynn Deibler, met with UConn ECE Art Instructors for their virtual professional development session and invited Dr. James J. Hughes to speak with the group about artificial intelligence (AI) in the art world. Dr. Hughes is an American sociologist and bioethicist. He serves as the Executive Director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies and as Associate Provost at UMass Boston. He writes and speaks often on topics of bioethics, technology, and Buddhism. The group listened to Dr. Hughes’ presentation and engaged in a lively conversation discussing the rise of tech­nological art-generating tools that use artificial intelligence. While students are interested in new AI tools, established artists are skeptical – even fearful. The group discussed strategies for talking about, contextualizing, and using or discouraging use of AI artmaking in our classrooms.

Dr. Thomas Abbott, Associate Professor In-Resi­dence and ECE Faculty Coordinator for Biology, met with a group of fifty Instructors for an on-campus workshop. The Instructors engaged in hands on laboratory experience dealing with Maltose Transport Assays with Dr. Chris Malinoski, Assistant Professor in Resi­dence and Rebecca Newcomer, Laborato­ry Manager for UCo­nn’s undergraduate Biology 1000 courses.
Educational Psychology

Dr. Joe Madaus invited author of “The Lottery”, Patricia Wood, to speak with our group of certified Special Education Instructors. Patricia shared her personal experiences with the group in a lively virtual discussion all the way from Hawaii!

Faculty Coordinators for Spanish Dr. Guillermo Nanclares and Dr. Eduardo Urios-Aparisi invited special guest Dr. Maria Lourdes Casas to speak to a group of 40 UConn ECE certified Spanish Instruc­tors. Dr. Casas is a professor in the World Languag­es, Literatures, and Cultures Department at Central Connecticut State University.

UConn Early College Experience New Instructor Orientation

New Instructor Orientation occurred in May on the Storrs campus for over 150 newly certified ECE Instructors. Returning to an in-person event for the first time since 2019 the morning was spent covering all things Early College Experi­ence. Topics includ­ed: student regis­tration, instructor responsibilities and resources, creating a UConn ECE com­munity, data highlights, enrichment programs, and Pre-College Summer. After some Q&A and lunch as a group, teachers met with their ECE Faculty Coordinators for discipline-specific orientation sessions.
Instructors shared their feedback after orientation and some mentioned that they were happy to hear that UConn ECE is aware of the struggles teachers may face convincing their school boards that run­ning multiple UConn course offerings is beneficial to their students and faculty. They are now aware that the ECE program staff is willing and able to help teachers work with their schools to promote and “package” their UConn courses (with meetings, pro­motional materials, etc.). Most Instructors reported they enjoyed learning about how to create a UConn ECE community in their classrooms and schools and were grateful to have the opportunity to participate in orientation in person to meet with their discipline specific UConn Faculty Coordinator.



Congratulations to our 2023-24 Course Enhancement Award Winners!

By Nella Quasnitschka

UConn Early College Experience is happy to announce the return of the Course Enhancement Awards for UConn courses taught in partner high schools. Eligible UConn ECE partners were invited to submit proposals for two types of projects: (1) Classroom Enhancement and (2) Community Development. Below is a list of proposals that have been funded for the 2023-24 academic year. We look forward to sharing results and outcomes with you next year.

Bullard Havens Technical High School

ECE Instructor: Bridget Wrabel

UConn Course: ENGL 1007: Seminar and Studio in Academic Writing and Multimodal Composition

Description: A class set of “Worn Stories” by Emily Spivack will be purchased to help build their classroom library.

Christian Heritage School

ECE Instructor: Jamie Cosgrove

UConn Course: BIOL 1107: Principles of Biology I

Description: Students will have hands on experience to new technology that they otherwise would not be exposed to be­cause of Professor Cosgrove’s effort to secure funding for a new CRISPR lab set.

East Hampton High School

ECE Instructor: Kasey Tortora

UConn Course: HDFS 1070: Individual & Family Development

Description: A Reality Works Pregnancy Profile Simulator will be purchased to help students understand pregnancy’s impact on the body. The goal of these simulation experiences is to give students real hands-on exposure to pregnancy and stages of life.

Glastonbury High School

ECE Instructor: Laura Haddad

UConn Course: ENGL 1007: Seminar and Studio in Academic Writing and Multimodal Composition

Description: Microphones will be purchased to script and record informational podcasts. This multi-modal project allows students to have a voice and to practice putting their writing into real-world applications.

Hall High School

ECE Instructor: Connie Xu

UConn Course: CHIN 1114: Intermediate Chinese II

Description: Lanterns, dragons, mahjong, tea set, and calligraphy are great authentic materials that will be acquired for the classroom over the years. What was missing was a karaoke machine – a very popular form of entertainment among Chinese culture across age groups.

Lewis S. Mills High School

ECE Instructor: Laura Faga

UConn Course: FREN 3250: Global Culture I

Description: This award will allow students to attend the French Quiz bowl in the Fall of 2023. Students will return to their school and share the knowledge they have gained with younger students.

Middletown High School

ECE Instructor: UConn ECE team

UConn Course: HIST1300: Western Traditions Before 1500, HIST1400: Modern Western Traditions, ENGL 1007: Seminar and Studio in Academic Writing and Multimodal Composition, ANSC 1676: Introduction to Companion Animals, ANSC1602: Behavior and Training of Domestic Animals, SPSS 1110: Fundamentals of Horticulture, and HRTS 1007: Introduc­tion to Human Rights

Description: This award will be used to support an all-day community event for Middletown High School students. Stu­dents will be able to network with community members and explore resources available to them. Middletown High School Pride Leaders, who are students that take UConn ECE courses, will lead events, direct students, and be positive role mod­els. This event will benefit all involved parties.

Newington High School

ECE Instructor: Carla Toney

UConn Course: ILCS 3239 & ILCS 3240: Composition & Conversation I & II Description: With the goal of increasing opportunities for students to access authentic materials, funds have been provided to create a readers’ library in the classroom.

Ridgefield High School

ECE Instructor: JR Condosta

UConn Course: ERTH 1051: Earth’s Dynamic Environment

Description: Funding for this award will support the development and implementation of a self-guided geoscience walk­ing trail on the Ridgefield High School campus. This educational walking trail will be a valuable resource for students in various high school courses and members of the community. It will provide an engaging way to learn about the geology and natural history of the area.

Trumbull High School

ECE Instructor: Gregg Basbagill

UConn Course: ECON 1201: Principles of Microeconomics

Description: One major deficiency in Mr. Basbagill’s course is the gap between the economic models being taught and the lived experience in the real world. To address this gap, microphones will be purchased so students can begin podcasting. This will allow students to develop a more empathic understanding of how inflation, unemployment, and output affect actual people.

University High School of Science and Engineering

ECE Instructor: Caryn Baseler UConn Course: MARN 1001E: The Sea Around Us

Description: Students in the UConn ECE Marine Sciences class will visit Meigs Point Nature Center and participate in their Three Shoreline Ecosystems program so students can visualize and apply what they have learned in class to the rocky shore, sandy beach and salt marsh ecosystems.

Waterbury Career Academy

ECE Instructor: Frank F. Marcucio, III

UConn Course: AH 4092: EMT Training

Description: Funds for this award will go towards the purchase of cardiopulmonary resuscitation mannequins that record their performance and interface with AEDs. This will provide immediate feedback to Mr. Marcucio’s students. The mannequins will allow students to develop and hone their skills and address inadequacies in a scientific method based on recorded performance.

The Woodstock Academy

ECE Instructor: Sharon Geyer

UConn Course: CHEM 1127Q & CHEM 1128Q: General Chemistry I & II

Description: This classroom enhancement award is for the acquisition of Go Direct sensors and probes that will allow the implementation of science experiments in UConn ECE courses. The sensors will be used throughout all UConn ECE Science courses, allowing approximately 160 students annually to benefit.

The Office of Early College Programs will award UConn ECE Course Enhancement Awards again next year.



Ways to Change Language Learning | Un camino hacia cambios…

by Dr. Sarah Lindstrom
SPAN 3178 and 3179
Bristol Central High School
UConn ECE 2023 Award Winner for Excellence in Course Instruction

Ways to Change Language Learning: Advocacy and Courses for Heritage Speakers


When I moved back to my hometown and began work¬ing at one of the high schools in 2020, I hoped to make a difference in a district that had done so much for me. After surviving the challenges and growth of that first year, the next year I felt energized to more closely examine the way things were in our language program in an effort to reach students who I felt were not engaged like I knew they could be even when back in the classroom.

As a teacher of Spanish, I quickly noticed there was not a great path for our heritage or native Spanish speakers to get to the ECE Spanish courses we offer. I had a good number of heritage speakers in Spanish 2, where they were being underserved by verb charts, vocabulary lists, and a level of input that was far below their proficiency level. At the same time, I had a relatively small ECE class with only one native speaker, who I happened to recruit from my study hall. There was so much Spanish being spoken in our school, I could not sit back while those students missed the chance to gain college credit for their home language.

When I set out to challenge what the current course offer¬ings were, I was careful to do my research and bring forth recommendations that could be implemented in ways that made sense for our district. The first thing I did was ask my Spanish-speaking students what they thought of the class they were taking. I listened to their concerns and asked them what they thought of having classes that could help them learn Spanish in a different way. Each student was not only interested but excited about the idea. With this information, and some research, I created a presentation to share with district administrators that highlighted some ways we could better serve our Spanish-speaking students and families. I shared a variety of possible solutions and offered ways I could help make these a reality. Fortunately, the administration spoke to the high school administrators and with the help of a supportive guidance department, they decided to run heritage Spanish courses in both of our high schools for the 2022-2023 school year.

After spending the spring of 2022 writing curriculum, the course was officially approved and this year we had four successful classes run between the two high schools. We are fortunate to have two highly qualified heritage speak¬er teachers who tell me that students and families have expressed gratitude for this opportunity to not only learn Spanish in a way that is more natural for them, but also to be seen as multilingual individuals who bring a great lan¬guage legacy with them into the classroom. I have an ECE class this year that is about half native speakers and next year I am going to have even more. The students, families, teachers, and administrators would all agree that in this case the change we made was for the better and I cannot wait to see how this program grows in the future.

Un camino hacia cambios en el aprendizaje de idiomas: Apoyo y clases para los hablantes de herencia


Cuando me mudé de nuevo a mi ciudad natal y empecé a trabajar en una de las escuelas secundarias aquí en 2020, quería tener un impacto positivo en un distrito que había hecho tanto para mi. Después de sobrevivir los desafíos y el crecimiento del primer año, el próximo año tuve la energía para examinar bien como eran las cosas en nuestro programa con el deseo de ayudar a los estudiantes quienes mostraban menos interés de lo que esperaba estando otra vez en las escuelas.

Como profesora de español, en poco tiempo me enteré de que no existía un camino fácil para que nuestros es­tudiantes hispanohablantes llegaran a la clase de ECE que ofrecemos. Tenía unos hablantes de herencia en mi clase de Español 2, donde les enseñaba con tablas de verbos, listas de vocabulario, y un nivel de lenguaje mucho menos de lo que tenían. Al mismo tiempo, tenía una clase pequeña de ECE con una sola hablante nativa, quien yo había reclutado de mi hora de estudio. Había tanto español en los pasillos de nuestra escuela que me parecía impensable no hacer nada para mejorar las opciones para nuestros estudiantes hispanohablantes.
Cuando empecé a cuestionar nuestro programa de estudios en español, tenía cuidado con investigar y recomendar ideas que serían posibles y beneficiosas para nuestro distri­to. La primera cosa que hice fue hablar con mis estudiantes quienes hablaban español y les pedí sus opiniones sobre
las clases que tomaban. Presté atención a sus dudas y les pregunté sobre la idea de aprender español en una manera diferente, una manera más natural. A todos los estudiantes les gustaba la idea y estaban emocionados. Con esta infor­mación y las investigaciones que leí, presenté a la admin­istración algunas recomendaciones para mejor apoyar a los estudiantes y a las familias hispanohablantes. También ofrecí mi ayuda. Afortunadamente, la administración tenía interés y hablaron con los directores de las escuelas secund­arias. Con el apoyo del departamento de consejeros, decid­ieron añadir clases de español para los hablantes nativos en el año escolar de 2022-2023.
Después de pasar la primavera de 2022 escribiendo el currículum, la clase nueva fue aprobada y este año tuvimos cuatro clases exitosas entre las dos escuelas secundarias. Tenemos la suerte de tener dos profesores muy cualifica­dos para enseñarlas y me dicen que tienen estudiantes y familias que les han comentado el agradecimiento que se sienten por tener la oportunidad de aprender su idioma en una manera más natural y además tener una clase donde se sienten como individuos bilingües quienes traen un rico legado lingüístico consigo. Mi clase de ECE este año tiene más hablantes nativos y el año que viene va a tener aún más. Los estudiantes, sus familias, los profesores, y la ad­ministración están de acuerdo que en este caso los cambios que hemos hecho han mejorado nuestro programa y tengo muchas ganas de ver cómo va a crecer en el futuro.