PD Workshops

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.




Fall 2022 Professional Development Workshops


By Stefanie Malinoski


This fall, the Early College Experience program has been fortunate to be able to return to hosting some of our professional development workshops in person on the Storrs and Avery Point campuses. During the fall semester more than twenty events occurred with another almost twenty-five slated to occur during the winter intersession and spring semester.


UConn ECE Marine Science Instructors were not only able to meet in person but were able to set sail on the Long Island Sound as a part of their workshop day. The group discussed Winslow Homer’s “Fog Warning” and then experienced the fog first-hand from dories on the water.


After being introduced to molecular photoswitches by Dr. Michael Kienzler, from UConn’s Chemistry Department and the ECE Chemistry Instructors engaged in a hands-on laboratory demonstration “Synthesis and Photoswitching of Azobenzene”.


Sustainable Plant and Soil Science Instructors met with UConn’s Dr. Yi Ma from the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture for a pGLO Bacterial Transformation


Guest speaker, S. Garnett Russell, Associate Professor of International and Comparative Education at Teachers College, Columbia University joined the UConn ECE Human Rights workshop and shared a presentation and discussed her book, “Becoming Rwandan”, and lead a conversation focused on teaching about the aftermath of the Rwandan Genocide.


At the European History Workshop, ECE History Faculty Coordinator, Tom Maulucci spoke to the group about ideas for fitting Eastern Europe into HIST 1400 and discussed a recorded lecture “As Ukraine Goes, So Goes the World: Thoughts on propaganda, violence, and democracy” given by Timothy Snyder, Richard C. Levin Professor of History and Global Affairs at Yale University. Later in the day, Professor, Sarah Silverstein, from UConn’s History Department presented to the group on “Eastern Europe’s Invention of the West”. Later, two of UConn’s Student Success Librarian’s, Zach Claybaugh and Kelsey Brown, gave an overview of library resources available to Instructors (with a special focus on Ukraine).


Having the ability to be back on campus and in person has allowed ECE to provide interesting and engaging professional development opportunities to our certified Instructors. Many disciplines are also opting to continue offering virtual events which allows us to more easily invite speakers from across the country to meet with our Instructors.


At the virtual American Studies and U.S. History Workshop in October guests included Chris Vials, Professor, English, and Director of American Studies at UConn who gave his talk “Fascism and American Studies” and provided resources to help facilitate teaching the topics. In addition, Aya Marczyk, Curriculum Development Fellow from Yale University’s Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimony engaged with Instructors on the topic of Race and Citizenship and provided a curriculum overview. After the workshop an ECE Instructor commented “The speakers were informative, engaging, thought-provoking, and provided practical resources to assist in teaching. Both were the perfect blend of providing intellectually stimulating content within a relevant pedagogical context. I will take the materials that they provided and absolutely incorporate them into my class.”


UConn ECE Economics Instructors heard dynamic presentations from economists from across the country during their virtual workshop. Presentation topics included:
• “5 Key Economic Concepts that Popular Media Can Teach” delivered by Dr. Kim Holder, Director, UWG Center for Economic Education and Financial Literacy, Senior Lecturer of Economics, Richards College of Business, Director of Financial Literacy, University of West Georgia (UWG).
• “Building Human Capital – College and Career Exploration”, Princeton Williams, Senior Outreach Advisor of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
• “4 Tools to Make Your Teaching Stick” was delivered by Matt Hill, Curriculum Designer at the Marginal Revolution University.
• “The Vibrant History of Black-Owned Banks” given by Tim Todd, Executive Writer and Historian of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.


Much more information and pictures from the many professional development workshops hosted this fall can be located on “UConn 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 as soon as 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 additional professional development events.


WORKSHOP – Updates and Highlights


By Stefanie Malinoski 


Fall has been a busy time for UConn Early College Experience. This semester we held almost 20 different UConn ECE Professional Development Workshops for almost 500 UConn ECE Instructors. Many thanks to our UConn ECE Faculty Coordinators for their partnership and primary role in planning excellent professional development opportunities that support course instruction!


Fall 2019 Professional Development



6 Philosophy

12 Sustainable Plant and Soil Science

13 United States History

25 Natural Resources and the Environment, English

30 Physics


14 American Studies & Maritime Studies

20 Sociology

21 Music




3 Library Media Specialists

15 Political Science

16 European History

21 Human Rights & Educational Leadership

23 Marine Sciences



17 Math





Three of our workshops that were noted for their high quality and interest were our Political Science, Marine Sciences and American Studies and Maritime Studies Workshops.

Political Science

Prof. Sanford Levinson, a notable legal scholar from the University of Texas spoke to UConn ECE Instructors about his area of expertise—Constitutional Law. Instructors were able to hear from him and enjoy a lively conversation about current affairs. Special thanks to UConn ECE Instructor Aaron Hull (Greenwich High School), UConn’s Political Science Department, and UConn ECE Faculty Coordinator, Fred Turner for inviting Prof. Levinson to campus.


Marine Sciences

The UConn ECE Marine Science Instructors held their professional development day in New London at the Credabel Coral Laboratory where they heard from Michael Gerdes about the research conducted at the laboratory. Later the group discussed high school students’ projects. We are thankful that UConn ECE Faculty Coordinator Claudia Koerting established this partnership with the Credabel Coral Laboratory and look forward to future collaborations.


American Studies and Maritime Studies
Certified American Studies Instructors and Maritime Studies Instructors enjoyed a visit to UConn’s Benton Museum of Art as a part of their professional development day. The theme for the workshop was learning how to integrate visual arts into the interdisciplinary classroom. Instructors and UConn Faculty and staff discussed Winslow Homer’s paintings and wood engravings and were able to view a painting by Martin Johnson Heade, Rye Beach (1863), which is apart of the Benton Museum of Art’s permanent collection. Many thanks to UConn ECE Faculty Coordinators for American Studies and Maritime Studies, Laurie Wolfley and Matthew McKenzie, Jeanne Ciravolo (adjunct faculty), Betsy Athens (Assistant Professor Art and Art History), and Amanda Douberley (Art Museum Registrar, Benton Museum of Art).

Details about all of our fall events can be referenced on the UConn ECE website under the “Instructor Benefits” section where our new “Professional Development Blog” is located. Information and pictures from each event are posted here regularly.


Looking ahead to the Spring, we will be planning another series of professional development events. They include events for Instructors who teach Italian, Allied Health, Biology, Classics, Chinese, Spanish, English, Medieval History, Animal Science, Art, French, Human Development and Family Sciences, Chemistry, Digital Media, Engineering, German, Latino and Latin American Studies, and Statistics. Please look to the UConn ECE website “Events” section to view upcoming dates.

Spring Professional Development Events


by Stefanie Malinoski


UConn Early College Experience Faculty Coordinators offer annual professional development workshops for their Instructors. This spring, we hosted UConn BCE Instructors from eighteen different departments on campus. Highlights from some of the most exciting events are below:


Animal Science: Our certified Animal Science Instructors along with Faculty Coordinators
Dr. Jenifer Nadeu and Dr. Amy Safran met with
Dr. Julia Wilkinson from Tufts Veterinary Field Service to learn about equine aging and dentistry in a hands on science lab. The group of 12 certified Animal Science Instructors were able to tour the horse barns and observe Dr. Wilkinson floating a horse's teeth. This routine procedure involves filing a horse's teeth to make the chewing surfaces relatively flat or smooth as a part of overall equine health.



Biology: Dr. Thomas Abbott, Faculty Coordinator for UConn ECE Biology, and a group of fifty certified instructors discussed all things insects. Special guest speaker, from UConn's EEB department, Professor David L. Wagner shared his research on caterpillars with the group in an interactive presentation during the morning. In the afternoon, Instructors were able to tour UConn's Research Greenhouses under guidance by Living Plant Collections Manager, Clinton Morse. Instructors walked through each zone getting to take a close look at the thousands of plants thriving in the greenhouses. Later groups of Instructors were able to visit the Biodiversity Research Collections with Dr. Sarah Taylor and Dr. Jane O'Donnell who shared a variety of samples from the Collections with the Instructors.


Art: Along with UConn ECE Faculty Coordinator, Cora Lynn Deibler, certified UConn ECE ART 1030: Drawing I Instructors were able to visit the Thomas J. Dodd Center on the Storrs campus to take a firsthand look at the Maurice Sendak archives. Recently, the Maurice Sendak Foundation chose to share Sendak's archives with the University of Connecticut who are now housing and stewarding the Collection. Project Archivist, Carla Nguyen shared her knowledge with the group who were able to learn more about Sendak's life, and view his original artwork, sketches, books and other materials.


Spanish: Faculty Coordinators for Spanish Dr. Ana Maria Marcos-Diaz and Dr. Eduardo Urios-Aparisi invited special guest Dr. Angel Rivera, Associate Professor of Spanish and International Studies at Worcester Polytechnic University to campus for the event. Dr. Rivera presented his research titled: "Un acercamiento teorico a la naturaleza del horror, la ciencia ficcion y los monstruos en la literatura del Caribe" (A theoretical nature of horror, science fiction and monsters in Caribbean literature). Later in the day, UConn ECE Instructors competed in groups writing their own short stories to share. Winners were awarded UConn ECE prize packs.

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.

The Development Plan

By Brian Boecherer
The audience was riveted. Our guest speaker for the October Political Science workshop, Professor Akhil Reed Amar, lit-up the room with his conversation on the election. The last time the country was in a similar position was 1864, he said, when the election had the chance of pulling all four levers of government in the same political direction. Prof. Amar clarified that in this election, just like in Lincoln’s second campaign, it is completely possible to have a result where the president, the House, and the Senate could all shift to either completely Democratic or Republican controlled. If this were to happen, the nominee for Justice Antonin Scalia’s position would also be from the party in power. The next justice, who will be nominated and elected under the new government, will shift the balance of power. As we now know, all four levers of power did/will move in one direction. Professional development workshops should always be so engaging and so informative.
Prof. Akhil Reed Amar is the preeminent scholar on Constitutional law in the country. His expert analysis has been cited in a score of Supreme Court decisions and his name has been mentioned as a possible nomination for Scalia’s seat on the bench (not by the Trump administration though). We were
honored and quite fortunate to have him as our guest speaker, the result of UConn ECE Instructor Aaron Hull (Greenwich High School) who was previously acquainted with him.
The Political Science workshop is an example of a larger UConn ECE effort to deepen our academic impact on the ECE community. A year ago UConn ECE examined budgets and reapportioned funds to deepen our academic investment in faculty and students. We have always been very proud to receive feedback that our workshops are the best PD faculty attend all year. But these comments spurred us to reach even higher. Departments like Biology forged the path already a few years ago, when Dr. Tom Abbott, faculty coordinator, designed his workshops to get ECE faculty back into the labs, the greenhouses, and using equipment that is generally inaccessible to high school faculty.
Departments have been using these new financial resources in unique ways. U.S. History hosted experts from the Pequot Museum in November to lead a discussion on indigenous approaches to teaching U.S. History. Last spring Statistics purchased specialized software called R and organized an online Summer Institute to learn proficiency. Maritime Studies hosted their annual workshop offsite at the Connecticut River Museum. In December, UConn ECE Chinese (pilot program) will host a leading scholar on the teaching and learning of Chinese, where workshop attendees will receive a complementary copy of her
The development plan for UConn ECE has always been built around rigorous academic standards. NACEP standards were a guiding light for our development, just over 10 years ago. Now that NACEP
standards are institutionalized, our new endeavors are the deepening of academic resources. Additionally, UConn ECE is hosting a number of small grant opportunities to develop the classroom and the community. There are also student scholarships and opportunities for increased student participation, like the hugely popular UConn ECE Ambassador program. This edition of the newsletter will highlight many of the new development initiatives. We hope you enjoy reading about them, we hope you enjoy participating in them, and we welcome your input always.
Maritime Studies Workshop