UConn ECE Student Profiles

Timothy Breckel, Class of 2015 Valedictorian @ RHAM High School

Timothy Breckel, Class of 2015 Valedictorian @ RHAM High School
Timothy Breckel, Class of 2015 Valedictorian @ RHAM High School

1. What are your future plans for college and career?
I will begin attending Boston College starting this August, where I will be a member of the Carroll School of Management Honors Program. I intend on studying some aspect of business, most likely accounting or economics.

2. What was your best experience/project/lesson in your UConn ECE Course(s)?
My favorite project in the Latin UConn ECE course that I took was an essay in which I had to identify verbal echoes in the poems of a Roman poet named Catullus. This assignment required me to truly dive into the text, pick up on common themes, and identify relationships between the various poems in order to craft a strong paper.

3. What would you recommend future UConn ECE students do to become successful?
What I would recommend to future UConn ECE students is to always stay on top of deadlines and remain organized with the various assignments that will be assigned. Additionally, students should go into their class prepared for the challenges and the responsibilities that are associated with a course in-line with college standards.

4. Any other comments about UConn ECE?
I would say that UConn ECE courses are definitely unique opportunities for high schoolers, in that they provide a small sample of university-level education. I am glad I was able to be a part of this program and would recommend it to any other dedicated or high-achieving student.

Leonard Chiang, Class of 2015 @ Tolland High School

Leonard Chiang, Class of 2015 @ Tolland High School
Leonard Chiang, Class of 2015 @ Tolland High School

1. What are your future plans for college and career?
Starting this autumn, I’ll be an Engineering Physics major at Fordham University in the Bronx. Within the Engineering Physics program I’ll be concentrating my studies on biomedical engineering; I hope my degree will get me a job in the corresponding field and will work hard to that end.

2. What was your best experience/project/lesson in your UConn ECE Course(s)?
I think the best lesson I drew from the ECE courses I took (Chemistry 1127 & 1128 and Physics 1201 & 1202) was how to strategically approach problems, gathering the relevant scientific and mathematical principles and equations before using my calculator to help fill in the blanks.

3. What would you recommend future UConn ECE students do to become successful?
The number one thing is to try to enjoy the course. As a big fan of science, I happened to be already pretty deeply invested in the subject matter. For any students out there who are finding themselves bored in the classroom, though: a positive outlook might not hurt, while a negative attitude will not help. Another thing to keep in mind is just to stay focused. You might have the distraction of stressful external events or of your crush being in the class (I actually had both problems concurrently), but remember that you, not just the teacher, need to put in the effort. Having a good set of lecture notes was critical to my success, and the same could very well go for you— or a good friend of yours who asks for an update after an absence. With the help of those notes, you can develop and maintain a good hold on the course material. Having a good working knowledge of “what’s going on” will give you confidence and allow you to stay relaxed and clear-minded even when facing difficult exams.

4. Any other comments about UConn ECE?
The Early College Experience was a wonderfully academically rigorous opportunity. Though I know my studies at Fordham will still pose challenges, I think the ECE program has provided both an excellent preview and unmatched preparation for college course-work. I’m very happy to have been part of the ECE program and wish current and prospective participants all the very best.

Jason Gallo, Class of 2015 Valedictorian @ Wethersfield High School

Jason Gallo, Class of 2015 Valedictorian @ Wethersfield High School
Jason Gallo, Class of 2015 Valedictorian @ Wethersfield High School

1. What are your future plans for college and career?
I am attending the University of Connecticut next fall. I'm in the Honors Program and majoring in Physiology & Neurobiology. I'm on the pre-med track and plan on attending medical school after college. I aspire to become a surgeon one day.

2. What was your best experience/project/lesson in your UConn ECE Course(s)?
My best experience in ECE Composition & Rhetoric was the education unit. In this unit my class investigated the extent to which public schools in the U.S. serve the goals of a true education. In order to write a paper on this topic, we needed to define what a true education was first. To do this, I researched educational topics online, read the sources in the textbook, watched the documentary Race to Nowhere and interviewed my high school principal. This unit was enlightening and transformed the way I thought about education.

3. What would you recommend future UConn ECE students do to become successful?
I recommend that future ECE students prioritize their ECE classes before their other classes. If you get a C or higher in your ECE class and decide to attend UConn, then you have the option of keeping your grade on your transcript. This means that your grade will affect both your high school and college transcripts, so the grade in your ECE class is twice as important. I devoted the most time to my ECE class, which resulted in me getting an A, and entering college with a 4.0 GPA. I urge you to do the same.

4. Any other comments about UConn ECE?
If you're on the fence about taking an ECE course, I encourage you to choose to take it. I found that ECE courses are more thorough than AP classes. While AP classes solely prepare you to take a single test, ECE classes are more holistic and worthwhile. You will benefit from taking an ECE class.

Kara Heilemann, Class of 2016 @ Woodstock Academy

Kara Heilemann
Kara Heilemann, Class of 2016 @ Woodstock Academy

 

 

1. What are your future plans for college and career?
I would like to attend college and pursue a dual major in pathobiology and nutrition. I would also like to try to incorporate a minor in environmental studies and look forward to attending the Pre-College Summer program at UConn about sustainable living this summer. Ultimately, I would like to continue on to medical school to become a naturopathic physician.

2. What was your best experience/project/lesson in your UConn ECE Course(s)?
I appreciate the opportunity that UConn ECE Courses give me in regard to challenging and interesting material and activities. The UConn ECE Courses also provide me with the chance to work with peers who are motivated to learn and work hard.

3. What would you recommend future UConn ECE students do to become successful?
I feel that you can be successful with UConn ECE courses as long as you are willing to put in the time and effort to help yourself to learn. The courses are interesting and the dedication needed to succeed is worth it.

4. Any other comments about UConn ECE?
I am grateful for the variety of UConn ECE Courses that have been available to me through my local high school, Woodstock Academy. I have enjoyed courses in biology, chemistry, English, Latin, environmental science, and art. In my upcoming senior year I will be taking UConn ECE Courses in physics, calculus, biotechnology, Latin, and English. I will be finishing my senior year with 40 UConn ECE credits before starting my college career. I would like to thank the UConn ECE Program and my teachers for providing this amazing learning experience.

Julia Provenzano, Class of 2015 Salutatorian @ Trumbull High School

Julia Provenzano, Class of 2015 Salutatorian @ Trumbull High School
Julia Provenzano, Class of 2015 Salutatorian @ Trumbull High School

1. What are your future plans for college and career?
I will be attending Rochester Institute of Technology in the fall to major in chemical engineering in the honors program. I am not exactly sure what I would like to do within chemical engineering as a profession, but definitely something with a focus on biology.

2. What was your best experience/project/lesson in your UConn ECE Course(s)?
For my Intro to Biotechnology ECE class we transformed E. coli to express a pGLO gene. The lab experience was one of a kind and it's pretty awesome to say that I've made bacteria glow. The lab format for college labs is very different than the ones I was used to writing in high school, so having already written a college lab report will undoubtedly help me in the future.

3. What would you recommend future UConn ECE students do to become successful?
My biggest piece of advice: do not procrastinate! ECE courses are much more independent work. There are usually only a few tests but they are on a lot of material, so cramming the night before does you no good. If you study the material in increments, the subject matter becomes manageable.

4. Any other comments about UConn ECE?
Unlike AP courses, UConn ECE courses follow the same curriculum as the classes taught at UConn. I believe that my ECE experience has prepared me better for college than AP classes because they are actual college courses instead of "college level courses".

Marina Tinone, Class of 2016 @ Hall High School

Marina Tinone, Class of 2016 @ Hall High School
Marina Tinone, Class of 2016 @ Hall High School

1. What are your future plans for college and career?
In college, I hope to pursue my interests in molecular biology and writing; I wish to develop a complete understanding of life, from both a scientific and a literary approach. Whether I perform research in a lab or publish a book later in life, I am optimistic that I will find a way to incorporate and balance both studies of life into my career.

2. What was your best experience/project/lesson in your UConn ECE Course(s)?
Taking UConn ECE Calculus I was the most challenging course I have taken in high school. Although I struggled with many of the concepts, I truly enjoyed the experience; I learned a completely different (and cool) side of math that I would not have been otherwise exposed to in high school.

3. What would you recommend future UConn ECE students do to become successful?
Enjoy what you’re learning! The topics you will be learning are much more interesting than a traditional high school course. Although the material can be intimidating at times, the amount (and the extent) of what you learn is more comprehensive and thought-provoking. Have fun!

4. Any other comments about UConn ECE?
I am very grateful to have had (and continue to have) the UConn ECE program at my school. It has definitely helped me feel prepared for college.

Caleb Veth, Class of 2015 Salutatorian @ Daniel Hand High School

Caleb Veth, Class of 2015 Salutatorian @ Daniel Hand High School
Caleb Veth, Class of 2015 Salutatorian @ Daniel Hand High School

1. What are your future plans for college and career?
I am excited to say I will be attending Wheaton College in Illinois this fall, and will be studying mathematics and computer science. Post-college, I plan to pursue a career that allows me to combine my own interests and skills with the ability to help make peoples’ lives better.

2. What was your best experience/project/lesson in your UConn ECE Course(s)?
I honestly cannot pick out one simple example that was “best,” because that would not do the courses I would consequently not name justice. I thoroughly enjoyed each ECE course I took in high school for a variety of reasons; whether I was learning optimization in calculus, creating reactions in chemistry, or studying a cultural novel in Spanish, I enjoyed both being challenged and learning in differing academic areas.

3. What would you recommend future UConn ECE students do to become successful?
Work hard. Realize that in order to do well, you need to want to learn; you must allow yourself to enjoy working hard and seeing yourself succeed as a result of it. If you go into an ECE class with high expectations for yourself, and you work to exceed those expectations, you will not only be successful, but you will also find yourself enjoying the challenge.

4. Any other comments about UConn ECE?
Take as many UConn ECE classes as your school offers. The credits you can carry into college with you are invaluable! Plus, it is a good way to expose yourself to college level work as a high school student.

Taryn Wisniewski, Class of 2015 Salutorian @ Oxford High School

Taryn Wisniewski, Class of 2015 Salutorian @ Oxford High School
Taryn Wisniewski, Class of 2015 Salutorian @ Oxford High School

1. What are your future plans for college and career?
1. Starting this fall, I will be attending the University of Connecticut as a Chemistry major. I plan to apply to the Neag School of Education at UConn for the IB/MA program to become a secondary-level chemistry teacher, meaning (if all goes according to plan) I will spend five years at UConn before entering the workforce. I have always dreamed of being a teacher, and I am excited to see how my years at UConn help me reach this goal.

2. What was your best experience/project/lesson in your UConn ECE Course(s)?
I took a UConn ECE course for Spanish, and I absolutely loved the opportunity to take a more sophisticated approach to the material, specifically the focus on culture. In previous Spanish classes I had taken, the curriculum was based on vocabulary and grammar, which were obviously important to setting a solid foundation in the language, but in the ECE course we were able to focus more on implementing the skills we had already acquired into more functional use and to learn more about the language through the culture of the people who speak it. This meant everything from watching modern statement films to performing comical skits for the class, and it was all part of what made the experience so positive for me.

3. What would you recommend future UConn ECE students do to become successful?
I would recommend that future UConn ECE students make sure to remember that this is a real college course and that they should therefore take it seriously and be committed to the work. It is an amazing opportunity to challenge oneself and reach beyond the limits of the normal high school experience, and so it deserves to be respected and appreciated. I greatly enjoyed the course I took, but it did require real focus and dedication to succeed.

4. Any other comments about UConn ECE?
The UConn ECE program, in my opinion, was completely worth the effort it required, and I would definitely make the same decision to take the class again were I given the opportunity. The courses are designed to engage you in a way that is deeper than you are used to seeing, and I was truly impressed by this. I am grateful to have gotten the opportunity to get a jump start on my college career through this course, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is considering it.

Mark Zebrowski, Class of 2015 Valedictorian @ Rocky Hill High School

Mark Zebrowski, Class of 2015 Valedictorian @ Rocky Hill High School
Mark Zebrowski, Class of 2015 Valedictorian @ Rocky Hill High School

1. What are your future plans for college and career?
I will be attending the University of Connecticut, my first choice college, beginning in the fall of 2015. I plan to major in accounting and political science to further my knowledge of the political, financial, and legal fields I find so interesting and look to pursue when it is time to develop a career. UConn is known for the support it gives its students in finding connections and internships within their fields, so I hope to gain experience in these fields during my upperclassman years of college. Eventually I hope to find myself as a legal and/or financial adviser so that I may play my part in bettering the economy and political climate of America.

2. What was your best experience/project/lesson in your UConn ECE Course(s)?
My favorite assignments during my Early College Experience courses were to analyze the poems of the ancient Romans during my UConn Latin courses. I found it fascinating how similar we are to the Romans despite the centuries between our cultures and societies. The poetic analysis was discussion based and led to thought provoking questions of politics, love, and the human condition as a whole between two surprisingly similar worlds.

3. What would you recommend future UConn ECE students do to become successful?
To be a successful ECE student one must first take the classes which are an absolutely phenomenal opportunity to better your education, experience collegiate level work, and earn college credits, at a fraction of the cost, from the comfort of your own high school. Once one has made the decision to pursue an ECE class the best way to be successful is to do your homework. This is definitely the most important thing you can do to be a better student as the assignments are a vital part of your grade for the points they give you and the understanding of test related concepts that they provide. Whether it is studying, an essay, or a reading, make sure to do your homework.

4. Any other comments about UConn ECE?
UConn ECE is a great program from a great university that has provided me with a semester of college credit before I even began college. Taking these classes as a high school student offer many benefits as they look great on a transcript, increase your GPA at many schools, and provide you with an understanding of what classes in certain majors will be like so you may gain a better understanding of what your next four years may be like with certain majors. If you want to set yourself up for the future then ECE classes are a great choice for you.