Author: Ryan Baldassario

Dr. Castillo-Montoya to Serve on CHAS Panel at Trinity College

Dr. Milagros Castillo-Montoya will serve as a panelist for the Consortium on High Achievement and Success (CHAS) Winter Representatives Meeting. Dr. Castillo-Montoya will work with fellow panelists to discuss topics revolving the meeting’s theme, “Diversity and Demographic Trends: Impacts on Access, Persistence, and Inclusion Initiatives at Selective Liberal Arts Colleges.”

The CHAS Winter Representatives Meeting will be held January 26-27, 2016 at Trinity College in Hartford, CT. If interested in attending the meetings or to learn more, please contact or call (860) 297-4173.

View the program flyer here.

Dr. Castillo-Montoya to Serve as Panelist for UConn Husky Sport Panel Discussion

On Thursday, January 14, Dr. Milagros Castillo-Montoya will serve as a panelist for a discussion focusing on diversity in teaching and learning. This panel is being hosted by a another program housed in the Department of Educational Leadership, Husky Sport, and will be followed by breakout sessions as well. Dr. Castillo-Montoya will be joined by Dr. Erica Fernandez, Dr. Erik Hines, and Dr. Tamika La Salle. Dr. Jennifer McGarry, chair of the Educational Leadership department, will moderate the panel.

A detailed breakdown of the event can be found at the following link: Diversity in Teaching and Learning Panel

Information about RSVP instructions can be found using this form.

Dr. Castillo-Montoya Takes Part in Fall Initiatives Revolving Around Public Discourse

As part of the Public Discourse Project, overseen by the Humanities Institute in the University of Connecticut’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, faculty across the university have been awarded grants to conduct research aimed at exploring new means to create meaningful public discourse in our country’s currently divisive culture.

One HESA faculty member, Dr. Milagros Castillo-Montoya, will be the principle investigator for the following project:

Asset Assessment, Campus Collaboration, and Facilitator Professional Development for Intergroup Dialogue
An environmental assessment of programs in the Neag School of Education engaging students and staff in advancing dialogue on social justice, equity, and intergroup differences to better understand existing resources and to establish what gaps exist in professional development for facilitating dialogue across differences.

More details about the full list of projects included in the Public Discourse Project can be found here: 

HESA Faculty Members Recognized for Teaching Evaluations by the Office of the Provost

The following members of our HESA Faculty group have received letters of recognition from Provost Mun Choi and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Sally Reis for excelling in their teaching evaluations:

Dr. Milagros Castillo-Montoya
Catherine Cocks, M.A.
Daniel Doerr, M.A.
Dr. Marijke Kerhhahn
Dr. Sue Saunders
Dr. Christine Wilson

These instructors are among a select group of faculty whose ability to engage their students’ curiosity and spirit of inquiry is highly regarded in evaluations completed by their students.

Interested in learning more about our faculty’s interests, backgrounds, and higher education experiences? Check out our HESA Faculty page!

Dr. Kenny Nienhusser to Visit UConn, Meet with HESA Students

Kenny Nienhusser

Thanks to the efforts of Dr. Milagros Castillo-Montoya and UConn’s Puerto Rican and Latin American Cultural Center, UConn HESA is happy to visit with Dr. Kenny Nienhusser on November 19, 2015.

Dr. Nienhusser is an Assistant Professor in the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership in the Department of Education at the University of Hartford. Dr. Nienhusser will present on, “Undocumented Students’ Postsecondary Education Access: The Role of Policies and Institutional Agents in High Schools and Higher Education Institutions.” This presentation will describe the landscape of undocumented students’ college access by focusing on what this population has encountered in high schools and postsecondary education institutions in their efforts to gain greater higher education participation.

Peter Lake to Visit UConn

Peter Lake

Peter F. Lake, professor of law and director of the Center for Higher Education Law and Policy at Stetson University College of Law, will be visiting UConn on October 20 and October 21. At 4:00 PM on Tuesday, October 20, Lake will be speaking at the Konover Auditorium in the Dodd Center about “Freedom of Speech in a Civil Society,” and will engage in a Q & A session with audience members.

On October 21, Lake will share his insight on higher education law and policy in a close knit session with current students of the UConn HESA Masters Program. We are grateful to have this level of interaction with a leader in the field!

Lake is an internationally-recognized expert on higher education law and policy and has been quoted or referred to in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Chicago Sun Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education, various reported legal decisions including the supreme courts of Virginia and Florida, and the most recent Restatement of the Law of Torts. He has appeared on major television networks such as ABC and CNN.

Dr. Sue Saunders to Retire in June 2016

This academic year will be the final year at UConn for current Program Director, Dr. Sue Saunders, as she will be retiring in June 2016. Though all of us at HESA are sad to see Sue leave UConn, we are happy that she is doing what is best for her, and excited to see what else lies ahead! Though the news is bittersweet, Sue shares considerable gratitude for having the privilege of serving as a student affairs administrator and faculty member for  43 years.

Her career includes service as a program coordinator and faculty member in the College Student Affairs Administration Program at the University of Georgia. In addition to teaching and research positions, Dr. Saunders has served as the Dean of Student Affairs (CSAO) at Lycoming College (PA), as Dean of Students and as Executive Assistant to the President and Board of Trustees at Longwood University (VA), and in other administrative positions in Virginia, Georgia, and West Virginia. Her Ph.D. in counseling and student personnel services is from the University of Georgia. She is the author of more than 45 publications, including Supervising New Professionals in Student Affairs (2003) and Learning Through Supervised Practice in Student Affairs (2014), both written with colleagues from Virginia Tech and the University of Georgia. More information about Sue can be found here.

Though we would love to continue celebrating, Sue regularly reminds us that we’ve plenty of work left to do this academic year!

Dr. Jennifer Lease Butts Selected as Outside Reviewer for JCSD

butts JCSD

Congratulations to our affiliate faculty member, Dr. Jen Lease Butts, on being selected to serve as an outside reviewer for the Journal of College Student Development,  one of the world’s leading journals in higher education.

Dr. Lease Butt’s topical and methodological expertise will add to the already strong JCSD review team. We wish her the best of luck with this new challenge!

Dr. Blanca Rincón Joins Review Boards for Journal of College Student Development


HESA’s newest faculty member, Dr. Blanca Rincón, has been selected to join the Review Board for the Research in Brief and On the Campus sections of the Journal of College Student Development. JCSD is one of the world’s leading journals on higher education and the official journal of the American College Personnel Association.

Meet the HESA Class of 2017!

As the Fall 2015 semester approaches, we here at UConn HESA wanted to introduce you to our newest incoming cohort, the Class of 2017!

Students hail from a range of home states, undergraduate institutions, work placements and student affairs experiences. We hope that they all enjoy the summer weather, and look forward to welcoming them with open arms this August for orientation!