News Archive

Bon Voyage Wendi!

Wendi Richardson's Retirement Party
CETL and OECP staff at Wendi Richardson’s Retirement Party

OECP Assistant Director Wendi Richardson retired from the University of Connecticut on June 23. She spent five years with OECP and twelve years total with the university. Wendi was in charge of enrichment programs and dual enrollment in the office. She is moving to Colorado with her husband and pets. The entire CETL department wishes her great adventures on this new leg of her journey!

UConn ECE Hosts 7th Globalization Conference

This year’s globalization conference; Globalization & New Migration Patterns brought teams from eight Connecticut high schools to make presentations on the reasons and implications of migration throughout the world.  The event was held on April 17th at the Storrs Campus with each school representing a chosen country and presenting to the group how globalization not only blurs national boundaries to the trade of goods and capital, but also the reasons behind the movement of people from regions of rapid population growth, systematic oppression, economic depression, and violent conflict. About 160 students were welcomed by keynote speaker Chris George, Executive Director of New Haven's Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services, who spoke about his organization's effort in resettling recent refugees to Connecticut. 

Connecticut high schools represented the countries of Mexico, El Salvador, Syria, Qatar, Sweden, Australia, Canada and the United States.  Teams not only presented their findings but also participated in discussion sessions with UConn faculty that are subject matter experts on the represented countries.

Bridgeport Aquaculture Science and Technology High School took second runner-up representing Qatar.  First runner-up went to University High School representing Australia and the grand prize was awarded to Greenwich High School for their thorough presentation on migration patterns in Mexico.

Pictures of the event can be found on the UConn ECE Facebook page

Details of the event can be found on the event page

Australia - First Runner Up
University High School
AMST1201: Introduction to American Studies
Jenn Todisco

Lyme-Old Lyme High School
PHYS1202Q: General Physics II
Glenn Elliot

El Salvador
Oxford High School
SPAN3179: Spanish Conversation Cultural Topics
Matthew Greaves

Mexico - Grand Prize Winner
Greenwich High School
POLS1202: Introduction to Comparative Politics
Aaron Hull

Qatar - Second Runner Up
Bridgeport Regional Aquaculture Science & Technology Education Center
MARN1002: Introduction to Marine Science
Kirk Shadle

Cheshire High School
ECON1202: Principles of Macroeconomics
Caitlin Schmidt

The Master's School
ENGL1011: Seminar in Writing Through Literature/POLS1402: Introduction to International Relations 
Sarah King & Lisa-Brit Wahlberg

Prince Technical High School
HIST1502: United States History since 1877
Christopher Morgan

Greenwich High School (Mexico) Grand Prize Winner
Greenwich High School (Mexico) Grand Prize Winner

University High (Australia) First Runner Up
University High (Australia) First Runner Up

Bridgeport Aquaculture (Qatar) Second Runner Up

UConn ECE Site Representative Conference Promotes Sharing Amongst Peers

IMG_2108The 2017 Site Representative Conference took place on Thursday, March 2nd with over 200 Site Representatives in attendance.  This year’s conference not only featured sessions on the nuts and bolts of the registration process, it also incorporated informative speakers on transitioning students to college.

The day was book-ended with Katrina Higgins, Director of Advising at UConn opening the event with a talk on advising and the trials and tribulations students face when transitioning from high school to college.  Leo Lachut, Director of Academic Support in First Year Programs & Learning Communities, ended the day with a few laughs and head nods, speaking of the resources available for students to be successful in their first semesters.

As the result of feedback from previous conferences, this year featured break-out sessions where ECE programs of like sizes were able to share ideas amongst their peers on how to manage a successful program.  “Who are Your Neighbors” contact sheets were distributed and participants were encouraged to reach out to similar or neighbor schools for advice or to brainstorm ideas.

UConn ECE staff also presented on course evaluations, school growth graphs, new student enrichment programs and Pre-College summer. Thank you everyone for attending!

Conference Slide Show

Breakout Slide Show

The Development Plan

Dr. Akhil Amar speaking at the 2016 UConn ECE Political Science workshop.
Dr. Akhil Amar speaking at the 2016 UConn ECE Political Science workshop.

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 The Development Plan By Brian Boecherer 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 textbook. 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.

By Brian Boecherer

ECE Biology Summer Institute: 3D Investigation into Viruses

3D print design

UConn Molecular and Cell Biology faculty and AET Labs collaborated on a 2-day event held June 27 & 28, 2016, on the UConn Storrs campus.

Over the past decade, 3D printing has become a tool by which we can visualize biological complexes from the microscopic world face-to-face. Using these enlarged 3D models we facilitate a better exploration and hence an enhanced understanding of everything not visible to the naked eye such as single amino acids, protein domains to macromolecular machines and our focus this year, viruses.

Based on a number of interactive modules and lectures, educators were exposed to various aspects of this exciting and rapidly growing educational and research tool. Dr. Eric May introduced concepts of virus structural organization and used molecular visualization and 3D printing to provide a hands-on interaction with these structures. Kunica Asija focused on the contribution of protein-protein interactions in viral assembly. Dr. Victoria Robinson took participants through a tour of the system and the software. Finally, participants spent a day with two 3D printers and printed their own bacteriophage!

Pictures of the event are on our Facebook page.

153 New UCONN ECE Instructors in Storrs for Orientation

NIO 2016On Friday, June 3rd, 2016, UConn Early College Experience welcomed 153 newly certified ECE instructors from 92 CT high schools to campus for Orientation. The first part of the day focused on a general overview of the policies and procedures regarding the ECE Program and included interactive information sessions about the library and technology resources available to instructors. This year ECE highlighted the use of the iClickers which are used on campus in large lecture courses. Incorporating new technology into our own presentation proved to be great fun and gave the new instructors a window into what it’s like to be a student in Storrs. In addition, most instructors were also able to meet with their faculty coordinators in the afternoon to discuss course specific information.
Included in the group of newly certified instructors were 12 teachers coming to ECE from 6 new partner schools. Our new partner school additions for 2016-2017 are Cooperative Arts & Humanities High School, Hebrew High School of New England, Jewish High School of Connecticut, Public Safety Academy, Waterbury Career Academy High School, and Westminster School.
We look forward to working with everyone during the coming school year. New and veteran ECE Instructors will be invited back to campus during the 2016-2017 academic year for their discipline-specific workshop with the faculty. Details for fall workshops are in the process of being finalized and dates should be posted to the event calendar later this summer. With now over 1,300 certified ECE instructors across the state, UConn ECE serves as one of the largest professional development organizations in the state.

Written by Stefanie Malinoski

Pictures from the event are on our Facebook page. 

NIO 2016 Presentation

iClicker Questions & Answers

2016 UConn ECE Globalization Conference

About the Conference

2016 Grand Prize Winners - China from Greenwich High School
2016 Grand Prize Winners - China from Greenwich High School

April 6, 2016, UConn Stamford Campus

UConn Early College Experience hosted the 6th UConn ECE Student Conference on Globalization: Globalization’s Effects on Public Health. UConn ECE classes, 120 students, and 40 guests and instructors came prepared to present and engage in debate and discussion on this year’s topic. As part of the day, after groups presented their research, students attended small sessions with other UConn ECE students, University professors, and practitioners from the community. Speakers shared their experiences and conducted lively conversations on the different elements of globalization’s effects on countries and their people. Delegates also heard a keynote address from Dr. Adam Silverman, of the Connecticut Children's Medical Center, about his work improving the child health care system in Haiti.

This year’s conference, requiring students to view the issue of public health through the lens of foreign policy, dealt with how globalization has either positively or negatively affected a country’s public health in the areas of trade, migration, environmental practice, and human rights. Health is deeply interconnected with the environment, trade, economic growth, social development, national security, and human rights and dignity. In a globalized and interdependent world, the state of health of citizens has a profound impact on all nations, whether they are developed or developing. Ensuring public health on a global scale is of benefit to all countries.

This marks the sixth globalization conference run by the UConn Early College Experience, which first began in 2008.

Judges/Discussion leaders:

Dr. Jorge M. Agüero
Dr. Joel Blatt
Brian A. Boecherer
Catherine Buerger
Jack Condlin
Dr. Kevin Dieckhaus
Dr. Isaac (Morty) Ortega
Dr. Stephen Schensul
Dr. Adam Silverman

Globalization 2016 Program

Participating Teams

Woodstock Academy
HRTS1007: Introduction to Human Rights
Sara Dziedzic

China - Grand Prize
Greenwich High School
POLS1202: Introduction to Comparative Politics
Aaron Hull

Dominican Republic
Brien McMahon High School
SPAN3179: Spanish Conversation Cultural Topics
Hector Mirabal

El Salvador
RHAM High School
SPAN3179: Spanish Conversation Cultural Topics
Amy Nocton

Haiti - Fourth Runner-Up
Two Rivers Magnet High School
NRE1000: Environmental Science
Michelle Serwatowski

Stonington High School
ENGL1010: Seminar in Academic Writing
Jennifer Norcross

Brien McMahon High School
ILCS3240: Italian Composition & Conversation II
Francesca Dattilo

Terryville High School
NRE1000: Environmental Science
Don Jarvie

Paraguay - First Runner-Up
Oxford High School
SPAN3179: Spanish Conversation Cultural Topics
Matthew Greaves

Greenwich High School
POLS1202: Introduction to Comparative Politics
Aaron Hull

Saudi Arabia - Third Runner-Up
Stamford High School
BIOL1108: Principles of Biology II
William Halmeck

Bridgeport Regional Aquaculture Science & Technology Education Center
MARN1002: Introduction to Marine Science
Kirk Shadle

Pictures of the event can be found on our Facebook page

Annual Site Rep Conference is Largest Ever!

Jess and Wendi at 2016 Site Rep ConferenceThe annual UConn Early College Experience Site Representatives Conference, a meeting for guidance counselors and principals from UConn ECE high school partner high schools took place February 22, 2016, on the UConn Storrs Campus. Almost 230 individuals gathered to hear updates and news about the program and listen to keynote speaker, Betsy Cracco, Director, UConn Student Mental Health Services, speak about the difficult transition from high school to college that students often experience. After a “Registration Overview”, the afternoon program focused on specific topics related to different part of program management: “Growing Your Program”, “Credit Transfer”, and “Registration 101”. This was the largest site representatives conference to date of the community who help deliver UConn courses efficiently for nearly 11,000 students in 174 high schools in CT.

Pictures of the event can be found on our Facebook page:

The main presentations make be found below:

Understanding Student Mental Health Issues in Advising and Teaching (PPTPDF)

Registration Information, Dates & Reminders (PPTPDF)

Course Evaluation Results & Growth Graph Updates (PPTPDF)

Best Practices Forum & Additional Program Support (PPTPDF)

Breakout Sessions:

Credit Transfer: Tools, Policies & Tips (PPTPDF)

Registration 101 (PPTPDF)

STEM, HASS, and Our Community of Education

stem hassWhen reading any newspaper or education journal these days, it is nearly impossible not to see an article on the importance of STEM education. A Google News search of STEM results in an average of 12.6 million news articles daily. This year alone, the Federal budget for STEM education was suggested to be $2.9 billion, an increase of 3.7 percent. The acronym does not even need to be defined in the news, because it is now an established part of our lexicon. Naturally, in so many ways, the emphasis on STEM education is essential to our present success and comfort as well as our future development and longevity. UConn ECE has worked for many years with the departments at UConn to establish diverse STEM offerings to our high school partners. We recently added engineering to our offerings, complementing our rich offerings in plant science, soil science, environmental science, math, biology, chemistry, physics, and other courses. On page 4 & 5 of the newsletter, you can see the breakdown of course offerings in these areas. We are proud of these offerings as they support a diverse education as well as a gateway into many STEM and non-STEM majors. As we all push to strengthen the STEMs in the country, we must also not forget the importance of the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS). Education in these areas is just as important. And while the acronym invokes images of the avocado, the humanities, arts, and social sciences benefit both science and our society; inspiring creativity, developing our culture, and allowing science to be applied in beautiful, functional, and engaging ways. Indeed, Human Development and Family Studies is a required course for nursing majors. Likewise, math and science courses are required to graduate from the University. STEM, HASS, and Our Community of Education UConn ECE offers many rich opportunities in all these areas. Moreover, UConn ECE supports small departments as well. This fall it was so much fun to attend the ECE Classics Workshop and listen to the dynamic conversations for Latin and Ancient Greek instructors. I learned that the Latin instructors were recruited as the first computer programmers due to their logic and eagle-eye precision. While our Italian offerings are at only 10 percent of partner high schools, it is also the second most popular second language spoken in Connecticut, and we enjoy supporting those communities. In short, we like supporting the interests and passions of education; educators and students. Our micro programs are as vibrant as our large programs. All of our programs are communities and academic neighborhoods. Our advice is do not trade one for the other, but build a diverse UConn ECE program so all students are supported in multiple ways.

Written by Executive Director, Brian Boecherer in the 2016 Winter ECE Newsletter.