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Meet the 2015 Carnegie Junior Fellowship Nominees

The Carnegie Junior Fellows program is a very selective, paid postgraduate internship program for students who have a serious interest in international affairs. Following graduation, fellows spend one year working for a research associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in one of their research divisions including areas such Democracy and Rule of Law, Energy and Climate, International Economics and Nuclear Policy. Find more information about the program here.

Robert J. Anderson (HR & IMJR: International Development ’15) from Cheshire, CT, is an Honors student and New England Scholar majoring in Human Rights with a second individualized major in International Development. A 2013 recipient of a SURF grant, RJ traveled to the League of Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, to conduct research on the 1926 Slavery Convention. This investigation provided the foundation for his University Scholar project and, together with funds from an IDEA grant, has furthered field research in California, Massachusetts, and Washington, D.C. for the documentary on modern-day slavery he is undertaking with his project partner, David Pereira. He is also the recipient of the Victor Schachter ’64 Rule of Law Award which enabled him to work as an intern at the Bangalore, Delhi High Court and Madras Mediation Centers in India in the summer of 2014. RJ is a member of the 2014 Leadership Legacy cohort and FYE mentor. He serves on the President’s Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility, participates in the Men’s Project, is a member of Humanities House Living/Learning community and is President of Extreme Measures, a co-ed a cappella singing group on campus. In pursuit of his interests in History and Cultural Theory, RJ plans to earn a Ph.D. and teach at the college level.
Linnea Logie (POLS & HIST ’15) is an Honors student and Babbidge Scholar majoring in Political Science with a second major in History. A recipient of the Philip and Barbara Kaplan Scholarship (2014) and the John G. Hill, Jr. & John G. Hill III Political Science Excellence Award, she attended the 66th annual Student Conference on U.S. Affairs at West Point this past November. Linnea has interned with Sen. Christopher Murphy in his Washington, D.C. office and studied abroad at the International Studies Institute at Palazzo Rucellai, Florence, Italy and the University of Hong Kong in China. With her interests in Asian Studies and the geopolitical context of energy issues, she is writing her honors thesis on the geopolitical implications of hydraulic fracturing and preparing to pursue graduate studies in international affairs. Her goal is to become a member of the National Security Council confronting 21st-century policy challenges in the Asia-Pacific and beyond.

Meet the 2015 Udall Nominees

Each year, on behalf of the University of Connecticut, the Office of National Scholarships & Fellowships nominates students to compete nationally for the prestigious Udall Scholarship.  Named for Representative Morris K. Udall and his brother, Secretary Stewart L. Udall, this $5,000 undergraduate scholarship is awarded to high-achieving students from any discipline who are either passionate about the environment or  are Native American students committed to tribal healthcare or tribal policy, following legacy of the Udalls, who supported legislation to protect both the environment and Native American interests.  Recipients are also invited into a strong network of committed environmentalists and Native American advocates.  If you are a UConn student and want more information about the scholarship and how to seek nomination, start here.

Nicholas Joseph Arisco (CLAS ’16), an honors student from Cheshire, CT, is a biological sciences major, McNair Scholar and member of the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP), who aspires to earn an MD/PhD in infectious disease and urban ecology.  Interested in epidemiology and the connection between health and a healthy environment, Nick would like to work with engineers as a medical professional to help developing communities design and implement sustainable solutions for safe water and clean energy.  He witnessed the connection between health and the environment while leading an Alternative Break program with UConn’s Pre-Medical Society to the Dominican Republic where the group aided hospitals and local clinics. He also participated in a Fellowship of Catholic University Students service trip to the Zuni Reservation in New Mexico where he witnessed not only a lack of resources, but also sustainable practices while he worked to restore furniture for a local convent.  Nick has also traveled to London as part of the LSAMP London Immersion Trip in Healthcare and Nursing. He has conducted biological research as part of the McNair Fellows program and in the behavioral neuroscience laboratory of Dr. John Salamone in the Department of Psychology, as well as research on disease ecology under the guidance of Dr. Mark Urban in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. He is Treasurer and co-founder of UConn’s Kidney Disease Screening and Awareness Program (KDSAP) and also works as a research database specialist, editing and populating a taxonomic cestode database for the scientific community.

Christopher C. Bruno (CAHNR ’16), from Ridgefield, CT, is a junior honors student majoring in resource economics with a concentration in environmental economics and policy with minors in entrepreneurship, geographic information science and German.  Chris is pursuing a career in green consulting and seeks to earn an MBA and PhD to promote environmental stewardship within the business community.  Last summer, he was a Market Research Intern for TNS Global, an international consultancy firm. He is also interested in teaching environmental economics and policy at the college level. Recently, he received a 2015 Roper Award for Research Excellence (RARE) from UConn’s Office of Undergraduate Research to work with Dr. Benjamin Campbell, using Roper Center data to examine how race, gender and income characteristics influence perceptions of food and may result in inequalities within the food system and lack of environmentally friendly food production. He is also a sustainability intern at UConn’s Office of Environmental Policy (OEP), where he tracks and analyzes the University’s greenhouse gas emissions, has worked on the biennial environmental awareness survey and has organized a variety of events, such as Green Game Day 2014 and the upcoming 2015 Arbor Day Celebration. He is currently President of the Resource Economics Club, using this is a platform to help ARE majors leverage their degrees to find career opportunities in green-related fields, policy, and business. Last year, he was a campus ambassador for the GREEN program, a study abroad program focusing on renewable energy and sustainability. In addition to his numerous “green” activities, Chris has been a volunteer and volunteer manager for St. Mary’s Church in Ridgefield, through which he also participated on several mission trips in Bridgeport, Philadelphia and Ridgefield to serve the poor, assist the elderly, and act as a summer camp counselor.  He has also volunteered at St. Peter’s Church in Bridgeport, tutoring underprivileged kids in math and reading. A Babbidge Scholar, he is the recipient of numerous merit awards, including a William H. Allen Scholarship, Russell Palen Fund Scholarship, Academic Excellence Scholarship and received a Certificate of Leadership from Area Council in Spring 2013. This is the second time Chris has been nominated by UConn for the prestigious Udall Scholarship.

Brianna Church (ENGR ’16), from Higganum, CT, is a junior honors student majoring in environmental engineering. After an internship with the U.S. Geological Survey Branch of Geophysics last summer, she is particularly interested in how engineers can apply geophysics and hydrological sciences to address climate and water issues. A member and mentor within UConn’s Society of Women Engineers, Brianna is also an active member of EcoHusky and an intern at UConn’s Office of Environmental Policy (OEP). At OEP, she has been responsible for analyzing data from Eco-Madness to suggest ways to decrease water and energy consumption. She also helped to plan UConn’s Climate for Impact Mitigation and Adaptation (CIMA3) conference last spring. Most recently, she took the lead to coordinate with the Sierra Club to plan and promote a bus trip for UConn students and local Mansfield residents to participate in The People’s Climate March, the largest environmental demonstration ever recorded, in New York City this September. Brianna has received numerous awards for her commitment to the environment, including the Paul Krenicki Endowed Scholars in Sustainable Energy Scholarship, the Al Geib Fund Scholarship for recognition of sustainability efforts, and the Environmental Professionals of Connecticut (EPOC) Scholarship. In addition to her environmental pursuits, Brianna is a current member of UConn’s Real Slow Food and Habitat for Humanity. She is also a two-time New England Scholar, was awarded second place in UConn’s 2014 Intern of the Year Award for her work with the US Geological Survey, and is a recipient of both an Engineering Academic Merit Scholarship and an Academic Excellence Scholarship.

Jessica Eileen Griffin (CLAS ’17), from Salem, CT, is a sophomore honors student majoring in environmental science.  As a future researcher and advocate, she is interested specifically in the environmental impact of large predator removal. Last summer, she was a research intern for Dr. Hans Dam in the Marine Sciences Department at UConn’s Avery Point campus.  She has also studied gene expression in stickleback fish in the laboratory of Dr. Eric Schultz in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.  This spring, she will be volunteering in the laboratory of Dr. Tracy Rittenhouse in the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, assisting graduate students in a variety of wildlife biology projects. In addition to her commitment to environmental research, Jessica is passionate about environmental education and advocacy.  At East Lyme High School, she participated in Connecticut Envirothon and spent a summer at Georgetown University in an environmental science program for high school students.  At UConn, she has served as a Research Assistant for the GlobalEd2 project with Dr. Scott Brown at the Neag School of Education, where she worked with middle school students to address the topic of water scarcity at a UN simulation.  Also at UConn, she has been a member of the Geology Club and the Wildlife Society and volunteered for an anthropological dig at the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. She is currently an active member of EcoHusky.  This spring, she will be participating in an environmental Alternative Break to Kentucky.  Jessica is a recipient of the Eight Mile River and Scenic Watershed Award for continued studies in environmental science as well as an Academic Excellence Scholarship.  In addition to her environmental activities, she is a member of the UConn Archery Team and a correspondent for The Daily Campus.

 

2015 Goldwater Nominees

Each year, universities may nominate up to four sophomores or juniors to compete in the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship Competition.  For more information about UConn’s nomination process and the scholarship itself, click HERE.  This year’s nominees include one sophomore and three juniors from a variety of STEM disciplines.  Each satisfied the Goldwater’s criteria of academic excellence, demonstrate research experience and potential, and the desire to earn a PhD in their field.  Also vital is the strong support of their faculty mentors. Nominees will have until January 23, 2015 to complete the national application.  Results will be posted at or around April 1, 2015.

Good Luck to All!

Michael Joseph Bond (CLAS ’16), an honors student from Windsor Locks, CT, is a molecular and cell biology major and chemistry minor who aspires to earn a PhD in medicinal chemistry in order to discover novel cancer chemotherapies for pediatric cancer patients.  Since freshman year, Michael has been developing his research and skills in the laboratory of Dr. Charles Giardina from the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology. Here he has been examining colon cancer cells to better understand the regulation of TNFR1-mediated cancer cell death.  A 2014 UConn SURF Grant recipient, he spent the summer characterizing the sensitizing microtubule disrupting agent AK301 in HT29 human colon cancer cells and was awarded “Third Best Poster Presentation” by the Northeast Society of Toxicology this fall.  This summer he looks forward to joining the laboratory of Dr. Dennis Wright, in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, where he will assist in the synthesis of new derivatives of AK301. When he is not in the lab, Michael is busy as a Resident Assistant and serves as an Office of Undergraduate Research Peer Research Ambassador.  A member of UConn Change Lives/Distressed Children’s International and UConn Colleges against Cancer, he is an active fundraiser for Relay for Life.  A recipient of a Presidential Scholarship and a New England Scholar, he was recently selected to be a University Scholar, UConn’s highest academic distinction. Michael also enjoys playing flag football, softball, racquetball and ice skating.

Diana Cristina Cibreiro Macklem (CLAS ’16), from Tolland, CT, is a biological sciences major and honors student with a passion for amphibians.  She was drawn to wildlife ecology having participated seven years ago as a young field biologist for the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences and a student volunteer for the Turtle Research Conservation Project in Tolland. Once at UConn, Cristina (as she is called) was chosen as a freshman honors student to participate in the highly-selective Holster Scholars program wherein she worked with Dr. Tracy Rittenhouse in the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, studying the effects of temperature variability on frogs (Lithobates sylvatica and Hyla veriscolor).  She has also worked as a field technician for Dr. Rittenhouse and has designed a long-term field experiment to analyze the effect of exurban housing age and density on salamanders (Desmognathus fuscus, Eurycea bislineata and Plethodon cinereus). This fall 2014, she participated in Duke University’s Tropical Biology in a Changing Planet semester abroad program in Costa Rica, where she assisted with faculty research on Cane Toads and completed an independent experiment examining the jump response of Oophaga pumilio frogs.  When she is on campus, Cristina is an enthusiastic member of the UConn Outing Club and a member of the Wildlife Society.  A former member of Honors Council, a two-time New England Scholar and recipient of the Campus Safety, Health and Environmental Management Association Scholarship, she was a 2014 UConn nominee for the Udall Scholarship and was recently selected to be a University Scholar, UConn’s highest academic distinction

Isabel Chun-Yun Nip (CLAS ’17), from West Hartford, CT, is a biological sciences major and honors student with MD/PhD aspirations, with an objective of integrating medical research with medicine.  Isabel began her research journey as a high school student through UConn’s Mentor Connection program, where she worked with Dr. Kenneth Campellone in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology characterizing cell lines expressing the cytoskeleton protein WHAMM.  Once at UConn, she was chosen as a freshman honors student to participate in the highly-selective Holster Scholars program, where she continued to develop her work in the Campellone lab, investigating the role of WHAMM, Rab1 and a-Syn on SH-SY5Y human neuronal cells.  Her current research examining the role of cytoskeleton on Parkinson’s disease promises to be the basis for her honors thesis.  When she is not in the lab, she sings with the UConn Collegiate Choir, shadows physicians, volunteers at the Hartford Rescue Mission and UConn Health Center, and performs Chinese traditional dances with Asian Performing Arts in many venues across Connecticut.  Last May, she participated in a service trip to the Dominican Republic, where she volunteered at local health clinics.  A Presidential Scholar and member of the Pre-Med Society and the Medical Humanitarian Society, Isabel is a clarinetist and an accomplished pianist, having earned a Piano Performance Certificate Diploma and High Honors in Piano (College Level 1) from the University of Hartford before entering UConn.

Brendan Michael Smalec (FNAR/CLAS ’16) from Cheshire, CT, is a dual degree honors student majoring in molecular and cell biology and art history. Brendan aspires to earn a PhD in genomics, expanding on his growing knowledge of the role of epigenetics in cancer susceptibility and progression.  During his freshman year at UConn, he was chosen to participate in the highly-selective Holster Scholars program to work with PhD student Brianna Flynn in the laboratory of Dr. Rachel O’Neill on a project titled, “Genomic Instability and Karyotypic Rearrangements in the Development of Harderian Gland Adenocarcinoma in Peromyscus leucopus.” Basically, he is studying abnormalities at the genetic, genomic and epigenetic level associated with cancer in mice, has twice presented this research and is currently working on a paper for future publication.  The past summer, Brendan worked in the laboratory of Dr. Brenton Graveley, from the Department of Developmental Biology and Genetics at the University of Connecticut Health Center, studying the regulation of alternative splicing and small RNA function as part of the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) Project.  He presented this work at the 2014 Fall Frontiers poster session. A recipient of a UConn IDEA Grant and a UConn Translational Research Grant, he also serves as an Office of Undergraduate Research Peer Research Ambassador was recently selected to be a University Scholar, UConn’s highest academic distinction.  He is a member of the UConn Pre-Medical Society, Medical Humanitarian Society and Bioethics Club and participated in an Alternative Spring Break involving environmental restoration in Biloxi, Mississippi in 2013.  A current member of the UConn Swim Club, Brendan was, in high school, a recipient of the Connecticut Swimming Three Year Scholar Athlete Award and the Connecticut Association of Schools Scholar Athlete Award.

Meet UConn’s Nominees for the 2015 Truman Scholarship

Each year, universities may nominate up to four juniors to compete in the prestigious Truman Scholarship competition for high-achieving students dedicated to careers in public service.  For more information about UConn’s nomination process and the scholarship itself, click HERE.  Nominees are selected for their strong academic records, demonstrated commitment to public service and exceptional leadership skills.   Also vital is the support of  faculty mentors and professionals in their chosen fields.

This year our nominating committee selected three outstanding candidates who will have until February 3, 2015 to complete the national application.  Finalists will then be invited to a regional interview in March, with results to follow.  Good luck to all!

2015 Truman Scholarship Nominees

Abdullah Hasan (CLAS ’16), from Danbury, CT, is an honors student double majoring in political science and women’s studies, with a minor in human rights.  Abdullah has interned for the Center for American Progress and served as the Mid-Atlantic Campus Organizer advocating for conflict-free mineral trade from eastern Congo.  He has also interned for the ACLU’s National Security Project, where he served to research and analyze declassified NSA, FBI and DOJ documents.  He is also conducting his own research around the construction of Muslim masculine identities in primary Islamic texts and within a post-9/11 surveillance culture. A member of UConn’s Special Program in Law, he seeks to earn a law degree and work to protect civil liberties. Currently, he is President of the Mock Trial Society and a Founder of the Undergraduate Political Review.  He has served as a CLAS Senator within the Undergraduate Student Government, a writer for the Daily Campus and a member of the Women’s Association for Freedom, Love, and Equality as well as a member of the Global Leadership Commission.  In fall 2014, he was the Alan R. Bennett Honors Research Assistant in the Department of Political Science.  In addition to his scholarly pursuits, he works part-time for AnswerMed Telecom. A New England Scholar and recipient of a UConn Leadership Scholarship, Abdullah has also been awarded a Balanced Man Scholarship, a 2014 Islamic National Scholarship, as well as the Irving Smirnoff Award from the Department of Political Science.  Most recently, he was selected as a University Scholar, UConn’s highest academic distinction.

Jasmine Alexander-Brookings (CLAS ’16), from Bowie, MD, is an honors student with an individualized major in Urban Youth Development and a minor in Africana Studies.  She is President and Founder of the UConn Hip Hop Collective for Education and Activism and a coordinator and Co-Founder of the annual UConn Hip Hop Summit. A former Vice President of UConn’s NAACP chapter, she is currently the CFO for Sankofa, which works to raise awareness around African American studies.  She serves as a residential tutor and counselor for UConn’s First Star Academy for High School Enrichment, volunteers for the HuskySport Community Health and Wellness Youth Development Program, and served as an intern for the UConn Summer in London Youth Development Program. Jasmine plans to earn a master’s degree in public administration, focusing on poverty, education and social welfare, and aspires to lead a community-based organization dedicated to engaging, educating and empowering urban youth.  Last spring 2014, she participated in the Impact Delta Leadership and Social Change Development Series. Jasmine is also a tour guide for the Husky Ambassadors Program and the Honors Initiative for Prospective Students, among other activities, and has served as a Resident Assistant at the Storrs campus.  She is a recipient of a UConn Leadership Scholarship and the Ladies of Imani Scholarship for Excellence.

Emily Kaufman (CLAS ’16), from Portsmouth, RI, is an honors student double majoring in human rights and cognitive science. An Executive Board member of the CLAS Student Leadership Board, she is serving as chair of the Student and Alumni Relations Task Force. She is also a UNESCO Student Ambassador of Human Rights and leader of the Visualizing Human Rights at UConn Project, which is gathering visual interpretations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights from faculty and students for an exhibit in spring 2015.  She spent spring of her sophomore year studying abroad in Cape Town, South Africa where she was also an intern for Treatment Action Campaign, a non-profit dedicated to campaigning for access to HIV/AIDS and TB treatment.  Funded by a U.S. Department of State Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship, Emily was also selected among Gilman recipients to be a travel correspondent, submitting weekly articles and photos for a classroom in the U.S. Emily has also travelled to Sydney, Australia to represent UConn at the 2014 Universitas 21 Conference on the “Shaping of Future Cities.”  In 2013, she participated in the Universitas 21 Conference on human rights hosted by the University of Connecticut.  Since October 2013, she has served as Student Assistant for Programs at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, assisting with a variety of research projects and events. Last summer, she worked as a policy intern for the Mental Health Consumer Advocates of Rhodes Island where she researched the relationship between violence and mental health and governmental policies.  She plans to earn a master’s in public policy with particular interests in corporate social responsibility and climate policy.  Ultimately, she aspires to work for an organization that advocates for human rights and policy reforms that influence the practices of multinational corporations.  Emily has received the Study Abroad Global Citizenship Award, is a recipient of funding from UConn’s Human Rights Institute and was recently selected as part of UConn’s 2015 Leadership Legacy cohort.

Julianne Norton Wins Prestigious Mitchell Scholarship!

Congratulations to Julianne Norton who is a recipient of the prestigious Mitchell Scholarship for postgraduate student in Ireland.Julianne-Norton-web

Check out the US-Ireland Alliance Press Release:

http://www.us-irelandalliance.org/content/618/en/Scholarships/Program%20News/Class%20of%202016%20Mitchell%20Scholars%20Selected.html

And the feature on UConn Today:

http://today.uconn.edu/blog/2014/11/senior-wins-award-in-recognition-of-leadership-potential/

2014 Nominees for Rhodes, Marshall & Mitchell Scholarships

Congratulations & good luck to UConn’s Nominees for the prestigious Rhodes, Marshall & Mitchell Scholarship competitions!

Rebecca Scarlett Allen (CLAS: ’15) is an individualized major in Anthropological Health Sciences from Great Falls, VA. Passionate about medical anthropology and emergency medicine, she plans a career in international disaster relief. Her scholastic pursuits have been dedicated to both anthropology and the biological sciences. Her honors thesis, under the direction of Dr. Pamela Erikson in the Department of Anthropology, is examining university stress culture and its effects on student health. She also conducts research in the laboratory of Dr. Joseph LoTurco in the Department of Physiology and Neurobiology. Becca (as she is known) is President and COO of Lambda Alpha National Honor Society for Anthropology and serves as a Study Abroad Ambassador, having relished her time studying in China through the UConn Pharmacy’s Traditional Chinese Medicine summer program in Beijing. She is active in intramural sports (soccer, flag-football, inner tube water polo and softball) and with the UConn Outing Club. When she is home in Virginia, Becca works as a lifeguard at the Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole, where she has gained experience in emergency medical rescue. She is also an avid photographer whose work has appeared in the Long River Review and on UConn’s Education Abroad website (see http://beccaallen.smugmug.com for a sample of her amazing photos!). An honors student, member of Alpha Lambda Delta Honors Society, a New England Scholar and Academic Excellence Scholarship recipient, Rebecca Allen is a nominee for both the Rhodes and Marshall Scholarships.

Peter Joseph Larson (CAHNR ’15) is a pathobiology major and aspiring virologist and physician scientist. As an undergraduate researcher in the laboratory of Dr. Paulo Verardi since his freshman year, PJ (as he is known) has contributed to several projects and developed his own research thread around the study of viral vectors. As a University Scholar, he is seeking “to develop viral vectors with synthetic circuitry capable of Boolean logic for oncolytic viral therapies.” In addition, he spent summer 2014 as the Rubin and Sarah Shaps Scholar at Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center working with researchers examining “the mechanism by which secondary bile salts inhibit the pathogenesis of multidrug resistant pathogens.” PJ was named a 2014 Goldwater Scholar for his extensive research experience and outstanding academic record. In addition to his rigorous studies, he is also active on campus, serving each year on Area Council for his residence hall and as a PATH (Peer Allies through Honors) mentor, in addition to working part time for the Pre-Medical/Dental Advising office. An accomplished ballroom dancer, PJ worked his way up from awkward beginner to an instructor and competitor. When he’s home in New Canaan, CT, he works as an EMT and firefighter for the Vista Fire Department in nearby South Salem, NY where he has been named EMT and Rookie of the Year. A former Head of the Magic Department at Belle Haven Camps in Greenwich, PJ continues to perform and teach magic wherever he can. He is an honors student, Babbidge Scholar and recipient of the William H. Allen Scholarship, the James Dewitt Scholarship, A UConn SURF Award, an Academic Excellence Scholarship and, from the New Canaan Community Foundation, a Sapienza Scholarship. Peter Larson is a nominee for both the Rhodes and Marshall Scholarships.

Patrick John Lenehan (CLAS: ’15), from Cheshire, CT, is a molecular and cell biology major and aspiring physician scientist committed to a career advancing cancer research and treatment. Currently, he conducts research as a University Scholar under the guidance of Dr. Barbara Mellone, examining “the role of RNA transcripts in the formation of centromere complexes in drosophila.” He has also served as a research assistant in the lab of Dr. Rajeswari Kasi, studying the use of protein-polymer binding for medical applications. He has worked as a research assistant at the UConn Health Center with Dr. Alireza Shamshirsaz and at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center with Dr. Melanie Collins and is listed on several publications as a result of his lab work. Pat was named a 2014 Goldwater Scholar for his research and stellar academic record. All this and he is also a member of the UConn Men’s Basketball Team. Having tried out for the team as a freshman, he has advanced from practice player to walk-on and now receives an athletic scholarship for his skill and dedication. In 2014, he was named to the American Athletic Conference All-Academic Team. Pat serves on the UConn Student Athletic Advisory Committee, is a founding member of UConn Exercise is Medicine on Campus, and coaches at the Jim Calhoun/Kevin Ollie Basketball camp during the summer. With the team, he has participated in numerous outreach activities, including “Stay Safe Hartford,” a youth basketball program designed to steer kids away from violence in favor of healthy activities like sports. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, Pat is an honors student, a two-time Babbidge scholar and recipient of a UConn SURF award, the Lieutenant Paul L. Drotch Award in Biology and Microbiology, a Presidential Scholars Award and the United Technologies Corporation Academic Scholarship. Pat is a nominee for both the Rhodes and Marshall Scholarships.

Cathleen Mary Lisk (CLAS ’15) is a political science major with a minor in history from Fairfield, CT. An aspiring judge and mock trial maven, Cathleen is passionate about trial law and the criminal justice system. She has served as a research assistant for the Department of Political Science, reviewing and coding state-level Supreme Court opinions regarding freedom of speech and is currently conducting research for her thesis on the effects of personal factors in appellate judges’ rulings in obscenity cases. She has served as an intern for the Milford Superior Court State’s Attorney’s Office, the CT General Assembly, and the Bridgeport Regional Business Council. Related to her interest in history, she also served as a research assistant for Dr. Michael Orwicz (Art and Art History), helping him research and document Civil War photographs for a large-scale exhibit at the Benton Museum of Art. Off campus, she spends time tutoring at Windham High School in nearby Willimantic. On campus, she is a PATH mentor and HIPS (Honors Initiative for Prospective Students) guide and member of the UConn Pre-Law Society. Last spring, she was appointed to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Leadership Board, which is working to create a sense of community and opportunity for students within the college. In addition, Cathleen has appeared in productions through Dramatic PAWS (Producing, Acting, Writing Students) and is a member of the Scared Scriptless improv group. She is active with the UConn Outing Club and an avid skier. An honors student and a member of Pi Sigma Alpha Honors Society and Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, Cathleen is a two-time New England Scholar and a recipient of the Fund for Legal Studies Scholarship and an Academic Excellence Scholarship. She is a nominee for both the Rhodes and Marshall Scholarships.

Julianne Norton (CLAS ’15), from Trumbull, CT, is completing an individualized major in international relations with a concentration in cross-cultural relations and a minor in studio art. Her myriad activities at UConn serve to combine her interests in cultural criticism and theory with art. She aspires to earn a JD and practice art law. As a freshman in the honors program, she received funding as a Holster Scholar for a project that examined postmemory in five generations of her family’s artwork and included original paintings in response to her analysis. Building upon this work, she presented at the U21 International Research Conference in Amsterdam (2013) and has since received a UConn IDEA Grant and a SURF Grant to fund work on her thesis project, a graphic novel. She was also awarded a SHARE Grant in 2013 to work with Kathryn Myers in the Department of Art and Art History, researching Jewish Indian art and culture. She spent time in Israel during her Holster project and later studied abroad in the Czech Republic. On campus, she is active as a UCAELI Volunteer, HIPS Volunteer and event coordinator for the International Relations Association. Julianne was a member of the 2013 Leadership Legacy Experience cohort, through which she was able to work with UConn alumnus and lawyer Jeffrey Ment on a political asylum case, and is a founder and COO of Everybody Arts, a group that provides outreach in the arts on campus and to area schools. Her own art work has been widely acclaimed and has appeared in several galleries across campus. One of her paintings, “Unshaven Rooms,” done in collaboration with Antonio Campelli (SFA ’15) is on permanent display at the Jorgensen Gallery. More of her stunning artwork can be seen on her website: http://juliannenorton.wix.com/julianne. Julianne is a nominee for the Mitchell Scholarship.

Mary Rockett (CLAS ’15), widely known as “Molly,” is political science major, honors student, New England Scholar and University Scholar from Somers, CT. Deeply committed to political engagement, Molly led UConn’s College Democrats to an impressive showing in an off-year election cycle last fall. She has been an intern for both Senator Richard Blumenthal and Representative Joe Courtney in Washington DC, and served as a Nominator at Courtney’s Nominating Convention. Despite her national exposure, Molly believes strongly that political engagement starts at the local level, and she was elected in 2013 to the Somers Board of Education. In high school, she organized a Youth Issues Assembly with Rep. Courtney for her school and, as President of the Somers Gay/Straight Alliance, was an active leader in support of the LGBT community. At the college level, Molly has been a research assistant for Dr. Matthew Singer, examining voting behavior in Latin America, and was awarded a Roper Award for Research Experience (RARE) grant with Dr. Virginia Hettinger for a project titled, “Public Perception and Judicial Legitimacy,” which informs her current University Scholar thesis addressing the same topic. As a sophomore, she was invited to participate in UConn’s Leadership Legacy program and in other opportunities for emerging leaders, including the National Education for Women (NEW) Leadership New England Conference and “Elect Her”: Women in Politics Training Conference. In 2014 she was named a Truman Scholar for her record and commitment to public service. “My mission,” wrote Molly in her Truman application, “is to show people the magnitude of their own personal power in the political system.” A recipient of the Donald McCullough Leadership Award, the Robert F. and Margaret Dodge Belden Scholarship and an Academic Excellence Scholarship, she is a nominee for both the Rhodes and Marshall Scholarships.

Congratulations to Molly Rockett! 2014 Truman Scholar

We are so proud of all our nominees and thrilled to report that Molly Rockett was named a 2014 Truman Scholar! See UConn Today’s feature story HERE.

Each year, universities may nominate up to four juniors to compete in the prestigious Truman Scholarship competition for high-achieving students dedicated to careers in public service.  For more information about UConn’s nomination process and the scholarship itself, click HERE.  Nominees are selected for their strong academic records, demonstrated commitment to public service and exceptional leadership skills.   Also vital is the support of  faculty mentors and professionals in their chosen fields.

Melissa Beth Lovitz (CLAS: Human Development and Family Studies & MPA Fast-Track ‘15), an honors student and New England Scholar from Westford, MA, has deep roots in public service, having spent a “gap year” before college as a City Year Corps Member in Washington D.C. There she witnessed the problems of access to quality education and income disparity and has since been devoted to unravelling the complexity of education policy, economics and family engagement.  Melissa spent the spring of her sophomore year in Cape Town, South Africa, where she interned at City Mission Educational Services and volunteered at the Cape Town Holocaust Center.  She has also spent time in Uganda as an American Jewish World Service Volunteer, is an active member of UConn Hillel and a frequent Hebrew teacher at Temple Beth El in West Hartford, CT.  Currently a research assistant for the Neag School of Educational Leadership, she has also been a teaching assistant for BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life) in Boston.  Melissa is 1st Vice President of Service for UConn’s chapter of Alpha Phi Omega, a national community service fraternity, and is a UConn Husky Ambassador and City Year Campus Ambassador.  Tireless, she is also a member of the UConn Marching Band and can be found working at the UConn Student Union Market Café.

Natalie Holt Vieira (CANR: Resource Economics ’15) is an honors student from Wolcott, CT who plans to study public policy and environmental law in order to advocate for effective environmental policies.  Natalie spent a semester interning for Senator Christopher Murphy in Washington D.C. and has since been serving as the lead intern for the CT League of Conservation Voters.  She is the appointed Undergraduate Representative to UConn’s Environmental Policy Advisory Council and is an active member of EcoHusky.  Natalie is also committed to serving the homeless and displaced populations.  She is a regular volunteer at the local Holy Family Shelter and is calling for new environmental refugee status for individuals displaced by the effects of climate change.  Ultimately, she aspires to work with the Disasters and Conflicts Sub-Programme of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), where she would address resource management and sustainability issues in conflict areas around the world. Natalie is the recipient of a Walt Disney Foundation Scholarship as well as an ARE Russell Palen Fund Scholarship, a CANR Smyrski Farm Scholarship and a UConn Academic Excellence Scholarship.  This fall she was the keynote speaker at the UConn Honors Ceremony for recipients of the Sophomore Certificate and other awards.

Sarah Purtill (CLAS: Philosophy, Psychology, Political Science ’15) is a dual degree, triple major honors student and New England Scholar from Manchester, CT.  Passionate about public service, Sarah focuses much of her boundless energy in the area of education reform.  She aspires to earn a master’s degree in education and public policy in preparation for a doctorate in educational leadership. Recipient of the Elizabeth C. Hanson Scholarship, she is currently studying political economy in U.K. during a semester abroad at the University of Nottingham.  One of Sarah’s many strengths is her ability to synthesize her majors and think critically about issues that contribute to barriers to education, a theme that resonates through her extracurricular activities.  This spring, she will lead an Alternative Spring Break to Providence, RI on Youth Development and Education.  On campus, she is a UNESCO Student Ambassador for Human Rights, and has been Assistant Editor for Namaste: Student Journal of Human Rights, a media specialist for UConnPIRG’s Hunger and Homelessness Campaign, a news contributor to UCTV, and a featured presenter at UConn’s International Women’s Day.  While in Nottingham, she is part of the Youth Civic Education cohort for the University of Nottingham Pro Bono Society.  Sarah also spends time volunteering as a Girl Scout leader and has served as a Student Mentor for PeaceJam New England.  Among these and many other activities, Sarah is an accomplished ballet dancer.

Mary Rockett (CLAS: Political Science ’15), widely known as “Molly,” is an honors student and New England Scholar from Somers, CT. Deeply committed to political engagement, Molly led UConn’s College Democrats to an impressive showing in an off-year election cycle last fall.  She has been an intern for both Senator Richard Blumenthal and Representative Joe Courtney in Washington DC, and served as a Nominator at Courtney’s Nominating Convention.  Despite her national exposure, Molly believes strongly that political engagement starts at the local level, and she was recently elected to the Town of Somers Board of Education.  In high school, she organized a Youth Issues Assembly with Rep. Courtney for her school and, as President of the Somers Gay/Straight Alliance, was an active leader in support of the LGBT community.  At the college level, Molly has been a research assistant for Dr. Matthew Singer, examining voting behavior in Latin America, and was recently awarded a Roper Award for Research Experience (RARE) grant with Dr. Virginia Hettinger for a project titled, “Public Perception and Judicial Legitimacy.”  As a sophomore, she was invited to participate in UConn’s highly selective Leadership Legacy Experience program and in other opportunities for emerging leaders, including the National Education for Women (NEW) Leadership New England Conference and “Elect Her”: Women in Politics Training Conference.  “My mission,” writes Molly, “is to show people the magnitude of their own personal power in the political system.”

Meet UConn’s 2014 Critical Language Scholarship Winners

Two University of Connecticut CLAS students have been awarded a Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) for intensive overseas language study. The CLS is a highly competitive program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State which reviews more than 5,000 applications and awards approximately 600 scholarships to study and master critical foreign languages. Participants are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship period and to later apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers.

Kelly Morrissey

Kelly Morrissey (’15, Communication & Individualized: International Relations) will be spending 8 weeks in Suzhou, China beginning in June, 2014. This demanding program requires 20+ hours of classroom instruction, extensive community engagement and a language pledge requiring that scholarship recipients speak only Chinese during all program activities.  Kelly is well-prepared to meet the challenges of this program, having spent the summer of 2013 in Shanghai, China on a Center for International Education (CIE) language program.  Her interest in China and her commitment to becoming proficient in Chinese developed in high school and have shaped the focus of her undergraduate program. In pursuit of her interests in global communication and trade, she is developing a comparative study on the traits of individualism and collectivism in relationship to media consumption in the U.S. and China for her senior honors thesis. Kelly’s ultimate goal is to pursue graduate study in China and to work for the U.S. State Department.

Melanie Meinzer

Melanie Meinzer (Ph.D. student, Political Science) will continue her study of Arabic at the Arab American Language Institute in Meknes, Morocco with her scholarship. Her six-week program will also involve 20+ hours a week of formal classroom instruction divided between Modern Standard Arabic and the local Maghrebi Arabic dialect.  Outside of the classroom, Melanie will be engaged in activities in the host community and living with a local host family.  Acquisition of proficient conversational Arabic language skills is essential to her doctoral research on the impact of foreign aid on non-governmental organizations in Palestine, where she will be conducting interviews with ordinary Palestinians and other stakeholders.  Her interest in these issues grew out of her pre-dissertation field research in the Occupied West Bank earlier this year, and her work at the British Consulate-General in Boston, MA, where she organized interfaith events with local Jewish and Arab-American organizations.

For these students, applying to the Critical Language Scholarship provided a process that enabled them to identify their academic interests, articulate a coherent research framework and work towards future career goals.  Kelly asserts that the scholarship is not “something you do in a random fashion; you must distinguish yourself by proving your commitment to learning the language.” Having applied for a CLS for the summer of 2013 and been turned down, she redoubled her efforts to demonstrate the seriousness of her commitment by pursuing an independent CIE program, continuing her involvement in campus and community organizations and maintaining a relationship with faculty from her CIE program.  “Persistence is the key – don’t give up!” is Kelly’s advice. Melanie concurs that demonstrating a consistent, long-term interest in the language and country is critical to a successful application. “Being able to develop a narrative about yourself, your studies, and your career plans in specific terms,” and being able to explain how the scholarship would move you forward is important.  She recommends starting early and working with the Writing Center and the Office of National Scholarships &Fellowships (ONS&F) staff on the application essays, and says that writing and revising several drafts before final submission is a critical step in the process.

For both Kelly and Melanie, the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the culture and language of their respective countries, in addition to meeting the CLS program requirements and adapting to local culture and dialects, are all challenges they are eager to accept.  Let’s congratulate them and wish them best of luck in their travels!

To learn more about the Critical Language Scholarship and other opportunities for critical language studies, contact LuAnn Saunders-Kanabay, Assistant Director, Office of National Scholarships & Fellowships at luann.saunders-kanabay@uconn.edu.

 

2014 Goldwater Scholarship: 3 Recipients & 1 HM from UConn

Out of four nominees from UConn  in the prestigious national Goldwater Scholarship competition, 3 are recipients and 1 has been named an Honorable Mention!  The Goldwater Scholarship supports sophomores or juniors who have demonstrated exceptional academic achievement and research experience as undergraduates and are committed to earning a PhD or MD/PhD in a STEM discipline in the future.

Rebecca Jean Wiles (CLAS ’15) was named an Honorable Mention in the competition this year.

An honors student from Londonderry, NH, Rebecca is focusing her studies in the area of organic chemistry, particularly “green chemistry.” Consistently on the Dean’s list, Becky has also won the Office of Undergraduate Research Supply Award, a book award for Excellence in General Chemistry and the UConn Award. Actively involved in research, she is currently a member of the New Synthetic Methods Group (NSMG) headed by Dr. Nicholas Leadbeater (Chemistry), has contributed to one publication and, having been named a 2014 University Scholar, continues to collect promising data. Rebecca has also had research experiences through her participation in the Undergraduate Research Apprentice program and spent a summer at Stonehill College to hone her skills in green chemistry oxidation. Following graduation she aspires to earn a PhD in chemistry with a concentration in organic synthesis and ultimately pursue a career as an industrial scientist. When not in the lab, Rebecca enjoys baking, but also dedicates her time to the UConn Marching Band as a piccolo player.

Peter Larson (CANR ’15), Michael Cantara (ENGR ’16) and Patrick Lenehan (CLAS ’15) are all recipients of the award.  To learn more about them, see UConn Today‘s feature story:

http://today.uconn.edu/blog/2014/03/three-uconn-students-named-goldwater-scholars/