Our full-time faculty members are those that teach courses required within the program on a regular basis and serve as academic advisers for current students.
Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Leadership
Neag School of Education
Milagros Castillo-Montoya is an assistant professor of higher education and student affairs in the Educational Leadership Department at the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Castillo-Montoya teaches the assessment, evaluation, and research course, leading in a multicultural environment, and college and university environments. Her research focuses on teaching and learning in high-diversity colleges and universities with particular attention to the learning and development that first-generation African American and Latino students may experience during their undergraduate years.
Dr. Castillo-Montoya has published in the Harvard Educational Review, Encyclopedia of Diversity in Education, and Academic Leadership. She also published a narrative research-based book in 2012, entitled Cubans in New Jersey: Migrants Tell Their Stories. Prior to joining the Neag faculty, she served as an instructor of research methods in education for Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Castillo-Montoya began her career in higher education as an administrator in a Trio program at Rutgers University and has 20 years experience in student affairs, academic affairs, and higher education policy. She holds a B.A. and M.S.W. from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and an Ed.D. in Higher and Postsecondary Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Please click here for additional information on Dr. Castillo-Montoya
Related Courses: EDLR-5102: Assessment, Evaluation, and Research in Student Affairs I; EDLR-5103: Assessment, Evaluation, and Research in Student Affairs II; EDLR-5126: Leading Toward a Multicultural Educational Environment; EDLR-5113: College and University Environments
Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Leadership
Neag School of Education
Blanca Rincón is an assistant professor of higher education and student affairs in the Educational Leadership Department at the Neag School of Education. Blanca received her B.A. in Sociology from the University of California at Irvine and her Ed.M. and Ph.D. in Education Policy Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to her appointment as an assistant professor, she served as the 2014-2015 predoctoral fellow with El Instituto and the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut.
Professor Rincón’s research agenda is concerned with equity issues in higher education, with a specific focus on access and success for underrepresented and underserved students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Using both qualitative and quantitative methodologies, and with support from the National Science Foundation, she has explored various factors impacting access to and persistence in STEM for women, low-income, first-generation and students of color including issues of climate, financial aid, and intervention programs. Rincón’s most recent publications include “Low-income Students in Engineering: Considering Financial Aid and Differential Tuition” in the Journal of Student Financial Aid and “STEM Intervention Programs: Funding Practices and Challenges” in the journal for the Studies in Higher Education.
In addition to publishing articles, she was recently selected for the prestigious emerging scholars program through the American Educational Research Association (AERA)—Division J and will be joining the Review Board for the Research in Brief and On the Campus sections of the Journal of College Student Development this Fall.
Related Courses: EDLR-5102: Assessment, Evaluation, and Research in Student Affairs I, EDLR-5103: Assessment, Evaluation, and Research in Student Affairs II
We are proud to have administrators and faculty from other programs serve HESA students as teachers, mentors, or coaches.
Maureen Armstrong, M.Ed.
Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs
Maureen Armstrong serves as the Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs for Division Initiatives. Prior to this she served as Coordinator of Housing Assignments at the University of Connecticut, where she managed the undergraduate assignment process. Maureen has a major leadership role with the HESA Senior Year Experience (SYE) Course and also serves as an SYE coach.
She has been actively involved in NASPA, serving on the Region I advisory board. Past roles within NASPA Region I include Regional Historian, Awards and Nominations Chair, New Hampshire State Director and the Chair of the New Professionals and Graduate Students Network.
Maureen is a graduate of University of Maine where she received a Masters of Education and Westfield State College where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She has completed the HERS (Higher Education Resource Services) Program as well as the NASPA Region I Mid-Level Institute.
Related Courses: EDLR-5092: Practicum-Senior Year Experience, SYE Coach
David Clokey, M.Ed.
Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs
David Clokey serves as the Interim Director of Student Services and Advocacy. He coordinates the central budget process for the Division, directs the University Student Fee process for General University and Activity Funds, provides central leadership for the implementation and on-going management of the Division’s technology resource plan as well as supervises the Division’s IT Department, (including the One Card ID Office), the Office of Community Standards, and the Student Union and the program functions within the Office of the Vice President. He also co-teaches the Practicum Course for the Higher Education and Student Affairs graduate program. David earned his Master’s degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs from the University of Vermont and his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Management from Indiana State University. He has worked in student affairs leadership roles at the University of Vermont and the University of Maryland prior to his arrival at UConn in August 2002.
Related Courses: EDLR-5092: Practicum
Catherine Cocks, M.A.
Director, Community Standards
Cathy Cocks instructs the Law, Ethics, and Decision Making in Student Affairs course.
Cathy serves as the Director of Community Standards and is responsible for the coordination of individual and student group-based discipline, development of creative responses to student conduct issues, and the implementation of a comprehensive education process for helping community members fully understand their rights and responsibilities. Community Standards is the home of the UConn Compass Program, a student engagement initiative.
Prior to her current position, Cathy held a variety of positions within Residential Life. Her master’s degree is from the University of Connecticut in Higher Education and Student Affairs.
Related Courses: EDLR-5119: The Law, Ethics, and Decision Making in Student Affairs,
Eleanor JB Daugherty, Ed. D.
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Elly joined the Division of Student Affairs at UConn in August of 2014 to assume the role of Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students. In her role, Elly has direct oversight over the Dean of Students Office, Student Health Services, Counseling and Mental Health Services, Community Standards, Off-Campus Student Services, and Residential Life.
Prior to coming to UConn, Elly was the Assistant Vice President for Student Life and the Associate Dean of the College for Student Life and Alumni Affairs at the University of Chicago. Elly has also held administrative roles at Columbia University and the University of Michigan. Elly is a graduate of the University of Chicago (BA) and Columbia University (MEd). Elly’s academic interests include diversity and inclusion among underrepresented college students and is reflected in her recently completed doctoral thesis, Access Now: Exploring the Perceptions and Experiences of College Access Among Today’s Youth.
Student and Staff Development Manager for the Department of Educational Leadership
Danielle DeRosa is the Student and Staff Development Manager for the Department of Educational Leadership. She works with campus partners to design and provide student and staff development across the Department of Educational Leadership with a special emphasis on the Higher Education and Student Affairs and Husky Sport programs. Danielle has been the Assistant Director of Student and Staff Development for Husky Sport, in that role she planned professional and student development and co-designed and taught an undergraduate service-learning course for the Sports Management program.
Prior to these roles, Danielle developed, coordinated and oversaw college students’ educational and professional development through her work in the Global Training and Development Institute (GTDI), an office of UConn Global Affairs. This work allowed Danielle to engage with college students and young professionals from around the world as they learned about U.S. history and leadership, as well as program specific topics such as social entrepreneurship, women’s empowerment and economic development. Danielle oversaw collaborations with international institutions including Hong Kong Baptist University (Hong Kong), The University for Peace (Costa Rica), and The University of the Western Cape (South Africa) in order to plan meaningful professional exchanges. Previously, Danielle worked with the Office of First Year Programs and Learning Communities and the Counseling Program for Intercollegiate Athletes, in these roles Danielle provided structured academic support to students as they navigated the transition to the University of Connecticut.
Danielle joined the University of Connecticut as professional staff after completing both her undergraduate degree (Communication Sciences) and graduate coursework (Sport Management) at UConn.
Related Courses: EDLR-5105: Structured Group Dialogue in Student Affairs
Dan Doerr, M.A.
Assistant to the Vice President for Planning and Assessment, Director of Senior Transition and Engagement Programs
Dan Doerr, Assistant to the Vice President for Planning and Assessment & Director of Senior Transition and Engagement Programs, directs Senior Transition and Engagement Programs and provides oversight for several programmatic initiatives of the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, especially as they relate to alumni development, fundraising and stewardship. He also provides leadership for division-wide strategic planning and the coordination of assessment reporting. Currently, Dan co-instructs the Capstone course, designed to support HESA students’ as they synthesize their learning in the master’s program and transition to professional positions. Daniel earned an M.A. in Education with a concentration in higher education and student affairs from the University of Connecticut and his Bachelor’s degree in history from Southern Connecticut State University.
Related Courses: EDLR-5118: Seminar in Higher Education
Alisa Geller, M.S.
Assistant Director for Student Welfare, Residential Life
Alisa Geller is a coach for the HESA SYE practicum. She is currently Assistant Director for Housing Services and has served UConn Residential Life for nearly a decade in a variety of roles. Prior to her appointment at UConn, Alisa served as Coordinator of Housing Operations at Clark University in Massachusetts.
Alisa has worked extensively with peer educators, especially through Husky WOW and the RA Course. She has also taught the First Year Experience course and three different sections of the Senior Year Experience course.
She has a Master of Science degree in Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Memphis and a bachelor’s degree from Wilkes University.
Related Courses: EDLR-5092: Practicum-Senior Year Experience, SYE Coach
Michael Gilbert, Ed. D.
Vice President of Student Affairs
Michael Gilbert joined UConn in the fall of 2013 from the University of Delaware where he served as the Vice President for Student Life since July 2007. His prior academic experience includes serving as Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs at the Pennsylvania State University. He has held administrative positions at the University of Massachusetts, Northeastern University, North Carolina State University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Gilbert is a member of the American College Personnel Association (ACPA), Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA). He earned his BA degree at the University of Vermont, a MEd degree at Michigan State University, and a doctorate in education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Related Courses: EDLR-5107: Resource Management Issues in Student Affairs
Elsie Gonzalez, M.A., M.S
Executive Assistant, Residential Life
Elsie González is the Executive Assistant in Residential Life. She earned a Master’s degree in Human Resource Management from UConn School of Business (2016), Master’s degree in Higher and Postsecondary Education from Teachers College-Columbia University (2004), and completed her Bachelor’s degree in Counseling Psychology (2003) from Lesley University. She also serves the UConn community as mentor-educator and seeks to empower students as they navigate the roadmap of higher education at UConn. She is particularly interested in women’s leadership and advocacy, diversity and inclusion, and staff training and development.
Fany Hannon, M.A.
Director, Puerto Rican/Latin American Cultural Center
Fany D. Hannon, a native of Honduras came to the United States when she was 20 years old. Fany did not speak, write, or read English. A stronger believer in the power of self-motivation, perseverance and drive; Fany enrolled in ESL classes at Miami Dade College and she started in the second level. She spent many hours studying in the library, meeting with her teachers, and watching as many TV shows and movies to better understand, write, read and speak English. Fany fulfilled her dream of pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies and a minor in Brazilian Studies from Smith College. After working for some many years at Miami Dade College in different roles from Academic Advisor, Program Coordinator, and Case Manager, Fany found her calling to work in Higher Education and Student Affairs.
In 2006, Fany was admitted as a graduate student in the Higher Education & Student Affairs Master’s Program at the University of Connecticut (UCONN). She learned about different sub-populations of college students and became very passionate about learning and working in specifically with underrepresented groups, student development and leadership, and peer-mentoring. After graduating from the HESA program, Fany worked for the UCONN Alumni Association as the Manager of Students & Young Alumni Relations for four years. Currently, Fany is the Director of the Puerto Rican/Latin American Cultural Center (PRLACC) at UCONN. A role she treasures some much; for her working with her students is her calling and not a job. She also teaches two classes. In her spare time, Fany loves gardening, baking pies (in the fall and winter), fruit tarts and making jam (spring and summer); and she loves teaching Spanish to her 5 year old African Grey, Zazu. She lives with her husband Dave in Willington.
EDLR-5092: Practicum-Senior Year Experience, SYE Coach
Kimberly Hill, M. Ed.
Associate Director, Community Standards
Kim Hill serves as a coach for the HESA SYE Practicum. She is Associate Director of Community Standards at UConn. In this role she manages cases, facilitates training of conduct and hearing officers, and creates workshops and other strategies that foster the development of students’ ethical decision making. Prior to her experience at UConn, Kim served as Associate Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island. She also has experience in residential life at Bentley University in Massachusetts. Kim is a skilled group facilitator with extensive involvement in leadership training for professional associations and neighboring universities.
Kim earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in student personnel administration at Springfield College in Massachusetts.
Related Courses: EDLR-5092: Practicum-Senior Year Experience, SYE Coach
Donna Korbel, M.Ed.
Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Director of the Center for Students with Disabilities
Donna is the Director of the Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) at UConn and in her role as Assistant Vice President for student affairs also supervises the Department of Wellness & Prevention Services. She received her M.Ed. in Rehabilitation Counseling from Springfield College and is a doctoral student in Educational Psychology at the NEAG School of Education at the University of Connecticut.
In her work with CSD, Donna works to assure University compliance with all relevant state and federal legislation regarding students with disabilities. To this end, she develops program services and oversees the development of University policies and procedures and participates in institutional committees to ensure inclusion of individuals with disabilities in all programs and services.
Prior to joining the staff at UConn, Donna worked as a Rehabilitation Consultant and Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor in both public and private settings. Her research interests include the transition of postsecondary students with disabilities to college, universal design for instruction and its benefits for the postsecondary education of individuals with disabilities as well as the professional development of college student personnel.
Jennifer Lease Butts, Ph.D.
Assistant Vice Provost for Enrichment Programs Director of the Honors Program
Dr. Lease Butts has had key involvement in the curriculum for the HESA program. Having served as adjunct HESA faculty since spring 2004, Dr. Lease Butts has a long-standing relationship with the HESA program, students, and faculty. Currently she serves as the Assistant Vice Provost for Enrichment Programs and the Director of the Honors Program. Additionally, she brings a background of teaching Program Evaluation and Outcomes Assessment, Structured Group Interventions, and Theory of College Student Development at the University of Georgia.
Jen is a member of the Journal of College Student Affairs Review Board, which is a publication of the Southern Association of College Student Affairs. She also serves as a member on the Journal for Advanced Academics Review Board. Twice nominated as University of Connecticut Outstanding Staff Advisor, Jen was also recognized by the receipt of the American College Personnel Association’s Annuit Coeptis Emerging Leader Award. Her service to the University of Connecticut is demonstrated by her active involvement on the First-Year Programs Advisory Board, the Provost’s Library Advisory Committee, and the Academic Support Award Committee.
Jen graduated from the University of Georgia with a Ph.D. in Counseling, Human Development, and Student Affairs Administration, specializing in gifted education and qualitative research. She is also a graduate of the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville (M.Ed. in Higher Education, and a B.A. in History, Summa Cum Laude).
Stacey Murdock, M.A.
Alumni Relations Coordinator, Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs
Stacey Murdock is a coach for the HESA SYE practicum and co-teaches the traditional practicum course. For the Division of Student Affairs, Stacey directs divisional alumni relations, development and stewardship efforts in her role as the Alumni Relations Coordinator. She also coordinates senior transition events, such as the Senior Kick Off and Countdown to Commencement, social media and marketing initiatives and the Students First Funds Golf Tournament. Prior to this, she coordinated the UConn Careers for the Common Good program run by the Center for Career Development and the Office of Community Outreach. Stacey earned her Master’s degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs from the NEAG School of Education at UConn and her Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Cornell University.
Related Courses: EDLR-5092: Practicum-Senior Year Experience, SYE Coach, Additional Practicum Roles
Pamela Schipani, M.A.
Executive Director of Residential Life
Pamela Schipani teaches “Structured Group Interventions”, a course which allows students to explore and apply the basic principles of group dynamics.
Pam is currently serving as the Interim Director of Residential Life at UConn. Pam’s work with Residential Life at UConn spans 26 years, serving in roles that include Housing Services Director, Associate Director of Residence Education, Coordinator of Training and Research, Complex Coordinator, and Interim Director of Technology Services. She has also served UConn as Interim Director of Prevention and Wellness. Prior to joining the UConn staff, Pam worked in higher education at the University of Massachusetts and Alfred State College in New York. Pam holds a Masters and a Post-Master’s degree in Counseling from St. Bonaventure University.
Pam’s teaching experience includes, SYE, FYE, and a 3-credit RA Course at UConn, Counseling and Interviewing Techniques at UMass, and high school social studies.
Assistant Director, Community Standards
Ashley Vrabely is an Assistant Director in Community Standards and began this role in the summer of 2014. As an Assistant Director, Ashley investigates large-scale and complex cases and works with students to help them reflect on their decisions to be successful community members at the institution and beyond. Prior to her current role, Ashley served as the Assistant Coordinator of Student Conduct Education and Administration at Oklahoma State University. Ashley is an active member in the Association for Student Conduct Administration and serves as the Connecticut State Coordinator.
Ashley first joined the UConn community as an undergraduate student, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Communication Sciences and went on to earn her Master of Arts in Higher Education and Student Affairs at UConn.
Leslie Williams, Ed.D. Candidate
Teaching Fellow, Neag School of Education
Leslie A. Williams’ career in education has spanned more than 20 years. He worked as a research and program consultant on higher education access and success and K-12 education reform at the Ford Foundation in New York City from 2006 to 2012, as well as independently from 2004 to present. Leslie also served as the Assistant Dean of the College for Multicultural Affairs and Director of the Multicultural Center at Connecticut College in New London, CT from 1996–2005. He began his career in education as a middle and high school history teacher at the Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn, NY from 1991-1994.
Leslie’s experience in working in education led him to pursue a doctorate in education. He is currently a doctoral candidate (ABD) in the Higher and Postsecondary Education (HPSE) program at Teachers College, Columbia University. His research focuses on the access, inclusion and success of underrepresented racial/ethnic minority, low-socioeconomic status and first-generation groups in higher education in the United States.Leslie is currently working on his dissertation that is titled, Beyond College Enrollment: Exploring the Relationship between Historically Underrepresented Students’ Prior Participation in College Access Programs and Undergraduate Success, which he intends to defend in the spring of 2017. He has co-authored a book chapter, Pursuing equity through diversity: Perspectives and propositions for teaching and learning in higher education, Race, equity, and the learning environment: The global relevance of critical and inclusive pedagogies in higher education, edited by Frank Tuitt, Chayla Haynes and Saran Stewart (2016). He has presented several peer-reviewed scholarly papers at national education research conferences. Most recently, he presented Towards a Critical Conceptual Framework for Analyzing of Race-based Educational Equity Policy: Assessing the Impact of Affirmative Action on Higher Education Admissions at the 2016 Teachers College Diversity in Research and Practice Annual Conference.
During his career as a graduate student Leslie has served as a graduate assistant for programming and professional development 2009-12, a teaching assistant for a course on affirmative action in higher education admissions from 2012-16, the Internship Coordinator for the Teachers College HPSE Program 2013-16 and a research assistant for a project examining the learning experiences of Master’s students participating in the HPSE Internship Program 2013-16.
Related Courses: EDLR-5122: College Student Development: Programs and Service
Christine Wilson, Ph.D.
Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs & Director of Student Activities
Dr. Christine Wilson currently teaches the application of leadership theories to challenges faced by higher education professionals.
As Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Director of Student Activities, Christine is responsible for the overall administration, management, and operation of a department serving many of the co-curricular needs of students. The Department of Student Activities includes the Programs Office, Leadership Programs, the Involvement Office, Community Outreach, and the Business Office. She also supervises the directors of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life and of the five UConn cultural centers– African American Cultural Center, Asian American Cultural Center, Puerto-Rican & Latin American Cultural Center, Rainbow Center, and Women’s Center.
Before arriving at UConn, Christine served as the Memorial Union Assistant Director for Student Leadership at the University of Rhode Island and as the Director of Student Activities at the University of Baltimore. She earned a doctorate in Education from the University of Rhode Island, as well as a Master’s Degree in College Student Personnel and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Indiana State University.
Related Courses: EDLR-5108: Leadership Challenges in Higher Education