Winter 2017

National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) 2016 Conference

By Nella Quasnitschka
On October 16th, a group of UConn ECE staff hoofed it to Louisville, KY to attend NACEP’s 2016 National Conference themed, The Triple Crown: Quality, Collaboration & Transition. With over 770 educational leaders from almost every state in attendance, it was a year of change for NACEP as The Board of Directors presented a new strategic plan to help the organization move forward in the coming years.
The conference committee offered copious opportunities to learn, share new practices and network in over 60 breakout sessions that focused on all aspects of concurrent enrollment. Various tracks included
effective program management, policy & advocacy, standards & accreditation, and research & program evaluation. Included in the long list of workshop presenters was our very own thoroughbred, Magdalena Narozniak, Program Coordinator for Research and Development. Magda’s presentation titled, “Demystifying Assessments: Quality Outcomes and Quality Data Presentation,” focused on which outcomes related to enrollment are best suited to assess programs and examples of how UConn ECE presents and uses assessment data for impactful improvement.
Since 2004, NACEP has served as a national accrediting body for concurrent enrollment partnership
programs. Applicants must present evidence documenting how their college or university has implemented NACEP’s national standards in the areas of: curriculum, faculty, students, assessment, and
program evaluation. This year, eleven colleges and universities earned accreditation and were recognized at the Accreditation Recognition Ceremony. This extensive accreditation process helps institutions validate the quality of college courses offered in high schools and ensures the academic rigor matches the standards of the sponsoring post-secondary institution.
A team of six well-bred ECE staff represented UConn at the conference. We submitted a third place poster into the Marketing Competition, presented a workshop, and shared best practices. We even had a
little fun with our colleagues at a dueling piano bar after a long day of workshops and meetings. We learned, networked, and impressed others with our knowledge of running the oldest, and one of the largest, most successful concurrent enrollment program in the nation! Our poster didn’t clinch the win but we plan to train hard and go back next year stronger than ever! See you in 2017.
Jess and Melanie at NACEPThe group at NACEP

New Student Scholarships Introduced

By Wendi Richardson
UConn Early College Experience is pleased to announce three new student scholarships to be awarded in May 2017.
Scholarships will be given for: Excellence in Arts, Humanities or Social Sciences (2 awards); Excellence
in Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (2 awards); and Civic and Community Engagement
(1 award) Students competing for the excellence awards must demonstrate academic achievement and a potential for future academic and professional accomplishments in their chosen field. Qualified applicants for the Civic and Community Engagement Award must demonstrate ambition and self-drive evidenced by outstanding achievement in both school and their community. All applicants must have taken or be currently taking at least one UConn Early College Experience course.
Award recipients will receive a certificate of accomplishment along with a $500 monetary award to use
towards post-secondary education expenses. Awards will be presented by UConn ECE staff at the student’s high school award event.
Applications for the new scholarships will be accepted from February 15, 2017- March 30, 2017. Scholarship details and application requirements can be found at:

Student Ambassadors Provide Support to Their Schools and UConn ECE

By Wendi Richardson
At the February 2016 Site Representative Conference, UConn Early College Experience introduced its new student ambassador program. The growth of the ECE program brought about the need for more
support in the high schools during the heavy registration cycles. The ambassador program was developed to support the high schools and the ECE community as a whole.
UConn ECE Ambassadors are a team of enthusiastic students that are not only enrolled in ECE courses, but are also willing to talk about it. Select students from the high schools are chosen as UConn ECE Ambassadors. These students assist in the marketing and administration of the ECE program by supporting fellow students and the Site Representative at the student’s high school. Student ambassadors commit to a one-year term where they help with ECE registration and make presentations on the benefits of the UConn ECE program. They also keep the ECE office informed about the great things that are going on in their high schools. As part of their commitment, ambassadors submit photos and videos with ECE classroom happenings which are then shared with the UConn ECE community through social media pages. In exchange for their services, UConn ECE Ambassadors are rewarded
with an ECE course of their choice, a coveted husky dog Ambassadors tee shirt and a letter of recognition at the end of their term.
In the first year of the program there were fifty-seven student ambassadors in place at thirty-eight high schools. Participating schools reported that the extra support was key to the success of their ECE
program. The UConn ECE office was also thrilled with the results, having received dozens of priceless photos of students, classrooms and events at partner schools around the state.
For more information about the UConn ECE Ambassador
program, contact Wendi Richardson at the ECE office.
Applications for 2017-2018 student ambassadors will be
accepted beginning in March 2017.
ECE Ambassadors ECE Ambassadors

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

Check out Matthew McKenzie’s Faculty Spotlight!

By Melanie Ochoa

The Faculty Spotlight is a chance to highlight UConn ECE Faculty Coordinators and the great work they
do. The first spotlight goes to US History Faculty Coordinator, Matthew McKenzie, 2015-2016 award
winner of the Thomas E. Recchio Faculty Coordinator Award for Academic Leadership and star of UConn ECE’s first Welcome Video. Matthew joined the UConn ECE community as the American Studies Faculty Co-Coordinator, and has additionally taken the role as the United States History Faculty Coordinator.
1. How did you get involved with UConn ECE?
It was part of the job. NO one had told me that when I applied, but I was thrilled to learn that I would be
working with ambitious, talented, and creative High School teachers. It seemed to me the best of both
worlds: I could enjoy working with my students and could support others working with theirs.
2. What are your current research interests?
I’m finishing a history of the 20th century New England fisheries. As a follow up, I am speaking with
researchers in Canada and Australia about expanding that project to examine the ecological and social impacts of the global expansion of otter trawling (dragging). Pretty arcane stuff, but it’s important.
3. What is your philosophy of teaching and learning?
Care. A lot. That’s pretty much it. If you care about your students, colleagues, and institution, you’ll do
your best. If you care about those people who have passed, you’ll be a better researcher. Just care.
4.What do you consider to be one of your greatest achievements? Why?
Raising my son: he’s an amazing kid: happy, considerate, smart, kind, tough, and at only eight years old,
argumentatively precocious (he’s going to be a lawyer, I can see it already). The extent to which I had anything to do with who he is today, well, I’d be proud of that. The truth is, though, he is who he is: he made that.
5.What are your hobbies?
I love being outside. I hike, camp, canoe, kayak—the usual mix. I’m also a bow hunter—a hobby that taught me to look at forest ecosystems entirely differently. If I ever get any time again, I might build another boat: then again, I don’t use the one I did build—but it was a lot of fun doing it.
6.What was your favorite course you ever took in college?
I took a History of the Enlightenment course with Jan Golinski in grad school. He assigned David Wilcox’s Measures of Times Past, and Kuhn’s Copernican Revolution. Those books showed me how fluid scientific understandings—and even our understanding of measuring time—have been. I wasn’t expecting that and the course blew my mind.
7. How many UConn ECE U.S. History instructors are currently certified?
80 instructors.
8.What is the best advice an instructor can give to students on their last day of high school and/or college?
Pay attention—to everything you see. And travel, as much as you can.
9. What is your all-time favorite book?
Wow. Probably Tolkien’s works (I know, I’m cheating with that answer). As a folklorist, he was a master of inventing histories with the quirks and surprises that made them seem real.
10. What would you recommend students do to succeed in a UConn ECE class?
Pay attention.
11. If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be?
Seriously? Do I really have to answer that? I think I would be a mean fiddle player. I’m not sure that’s a
superpower, but good violin players are superheroes to me.
Photo of Matthew McKenzie

2016 UConn ECE French Immersion Day and Quiz Bowl Competition

On November 3, 2016, students from the following high schools, Cheshire, Rockville, Coventry, EO Smith, RHAM, Glastonbury, Portland and Southington participated in the 2016 UConn ECE French Immersion Day and Quiz Bowl competition. The day was full of education and fun for these UConn ECE French students and their instructors. First place went to Glastonbury, second place went to E.O. Smith and third place went to Rockville High School. Congratulations!
French Quiz Bowl Winter 2017

UConn ECE 2016 Small Grant Winners

By Magdalena Narozniak
For the first time, the UConn Early College Experience offered Small Grants for Classroom and Program
Development to our high school partners. The office set aside $10,000 for the UConn ECE community available to high school instructors through a competitive grant process. The purpose of the grants is to
create an opportunity for classroom and community development for a UConn ECE course. The classroom grant can be used for books, technology, equipment or other materials that enable students to learn the subject matter or skills. Community grants may include projects that have a large impact on the surrounding community, including projects that eliminate an eyesore, make communities healthier, or foster creativity. Applications must have the support of students, principals, and UConn faculty coordinators.
The office received fifteen incredibly competitive applications from schools all over Connecticut. Applicants sought funds for textbooks and advanced pieces of equipment like Spectrophotometers, miniPCRs, and a theremin, campus visits, and a series of nationally recognized speakers. Projects for the community included community gardens, a butterfly sanctuary, a project targeting the hygiene of young impoverished women, and a solar panel system. Out of these incredible proposals, six winners were fully funded and two applications were partially funded.
Among them:
William Schultz and several other instructors of Enfield High School applied for the purchase of a solar
panel system and additional physical outputs to be used in the classroom and in community outreach events for demonstrations and experiments relating to renewable energy conversations. Experiments will include electrical, chemical, and mechanical energy conversions in the UConn ECE Chemistry, Biology, Environmental Science and Physics courses.
April Kelley of Laurelton Hall at Academy of Our Lady of Mercy applied for funds to build a hoop-
style greenhouse in the corner of the campus designated for green learning. The intention is to use the greenhouse as an outdoor classroom, to let students participate in a farm-to-table experience and to allow community gardening, fostering stronger ties between students and senior citizens living in the senior complex next door. Students of UConn ECE Environmental Science will construct the greenhouse.
Lisa-Brit Walhberg and Sarah King of the Master’s School proposed a collaborative community-based learning project designed to address the psychosocial effects of war and resettlement on refugees in Connecticut. UConn ECE Political Science and English students will be instructed in journal making, journal writing, and art activities to foster and develop global citizenship, social justice and diverse cultural awareness. Students will be trained through IRIS (Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services) of New Haven about the Syrian crisis and plan community activities involving Syrian refugees.
And briefly, Jan Frazier of Waterford High School received funding for the publication of a minitextbook, edited and put together by students of UConn ECE Latin. Equipment purchases of
spectrophotometers to upgrade laboratory facilities were also approved for Jane Carey Lyon of Windham High School and Sharon Geyer of Woodstock Academy. A joint application of Jennifer Gampel at Masuk High School and Jamie Cosgrove at Christian Heritage Academy for the purchase of a miniPCR and a PTC Taster Lab was also approved.
The office will be providing grants again next year. The deadline to apply will be October 15, 2017. We encourage all our schools to apply. To be eligible for a grant, applicants must be instructors of a currently running UConn ECE course and complete the entire grant application available on our website.
All projects must be completed within the school year.
Congratulations to all our winners!
We look forward to seeing the progress on the projects.

New ECE Student Art Show in 2017

UConn ECE and the UConn School of Fine Arts are pleased to announce they will be co-sponsoring a prestigious art show featuring the work of UConn ECE students. The showing will take place in the gallery at the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts from May 15th until July 15th with a gala opening on Saturday, May 27th from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. More information about the show and opening event will be available on our website in January.

Events: Knights Paddle to Gold

By Randy Philavong, Emily Wheeler, Catherine Bedson, and Melody Crane
Groton, CT- Ellington High School students claimed victory in UConn’s annual Cardboard Boat Races on
September 22, 2016 at UConn Avery Point campus.
UConn Early College Experience (ECE) students from all around the state gathered to compete in the university’s sixth annual cardboard boat competition. Ellington High School received its first invitation to participate in the event after the competition initially began.
Three to four days prior to the race, ECE Physics students at Ellington High designed and built their boats only using cardboard and duct tape. Students looked back the design process as difficult but highly successful.
“It was an enjoyable experience building the Piece of Ship, but picturing what the boat would end up looking like was difficult.” said Cat Bedson, senior at Ellington High School. “There were so many different components but it ended up coming together nicely!”
The students produced four, of many, cardboard boats to compete in the race: The Bass Kickers, Piece
of Ship, E=m(sea)2, and Shake Your Boaty, Nauti Buoy.
Ellington High School’s ECE Physics teacher, Justin DeCormier, explains the event as a great opportunity to teach students about the physics revolving around buoyancy in a competitive way.
“This is a grand opportunity for us to practice team building and real world applications of classroom
knowledge, engineering, teamwork, and focus,” said DeCormier.
The race included four heats of cardboard boats. Current UConn Physics’ students were to participate in the first heat. Followed by two heats of high school students and the fourth heat being the championship race.
Colby Unterstein, senior at Ellington, piloted Piece of Ship that started the race with a commanding lead and maintained that lead by finishing first in heat one. Unfortunately, the other Ellington boat, Shake Your Boaty, Nauti Buoy, could not finish in the top three of the heat.
In heat two, Ellington’s E=m(sea)2 looked to place second in the race but in the final stretch, pilots, Tessa Webb and Matt Phillips, made a dramatic comeback giving Ellington another first place ranking. Sadly, another Ellington boat could not participate in the race due to their boat sinking.
In the final heat, Piece of Ship, E=m(sea)2, and other boats from other schools competed for the overall  champion. Unterstein pulled another commanding lead as Piece of Ship became the only candidate to stay afloat, while the other boats, sadly, fell apart or sank.
Unterstein commented that his experience as the pilot meant a lot to him and his school.
“It was a true honor to win such a prestigious award for my school.” said Unterstein. “I know it meant
a lot to the students and teachers involved.”
There is no doubt Ellington’s competitive spirit has helped them achieve success.
Ellington Cardboard Boat Race Winners

Windsor High Schools POLS102 Students Participate in CTKidGovernor Program

By Christopher Todd, UConn ECE POLS Instructor
In an effort to increase civic participation during the 2016-17 school year, Windsor Public Schools decided to have 5th grade classrooms districtwide participate in the 2016 Connecticut Kid Governor
program. Sponsored by the Connecticut Public Affair Network and the Connecticut Old State House, CTKidGovernor coincides with Election Day in November, and offers each school in Connecticut the opportunity to enter one student candidate into a statewide election that other 5th graders vote in. Classes can nominate a building- wide candidate to run for office, as well as vote in the statewide election.
What was unique about Windsor’s participation in the CTKidGovernor program was that students from Windsor High School’s AP Government & Politics and UConn ECE POLS 1602 courses were assigned to 5th grade classrooms across the district. Acting as “Campaign Consultants”, the 12th grade students met with Brian Cofrancesco, Head of Education for Connecticut’s Old State House to gain an overview of the CTKidGovernor program and the subsequent resources available. Throughout October, Windsor High School students prepared and presented two in-person lessons which they delivered to their assigned
5th grade classes on a number of topics including an overview of the CTKidGovernor program, an
overview of the 3 Branches of State Government and how to design a successful campaign platform. In addition to the in-person lessons, WHS students created 5-10 minute mini-video lessons and corresponding materials on the Role of the Governor and Choosing a Campaign Issue which were shared with their teacher to use at their convenience. Each 5th Grade classroom and building conducted their own primary race and held building-wide elections. The 12th grade ‘Campaign Consulting’ teams for each building winner returned to their classroom to help the candidate complete their video submission for the statewide competition.
In the end, the partnership between 12th grade Government & Politics students and 5th grade classrooms proved to be an incredibly worthwhile experience. It provided an opportunity for high schoolers to not only interact with younger students from across the district, but more importantly it forced them to engage with the content material becoming both the expert and the instructor simultaneously.
KidGovernor Program KidGovernor Program KidGovernor Program KidGovernor Program KidGovernor Program KidGovernor Program