At a Glance
MICHAEL J. HOGAN, President
Peter Nicholls, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Cato T. Laurencin, Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean of the School of Medicine
Established - 1881
Statutory authority - Chapter 185b, General Statutes
Central office - Route 195,
Storrs, CT 06269
Number of full-time employees - 4,373 + 3,837 (Health Center)
Recurring operating expenses 2008-09 - (as of September 2009) $954.8 million
+ $756.8 million (Health Center)
Organizational structure - Public State University
Founded in 1881, the University of Connecticut serves as the flagship for public higher education and the primary doctoral degree granting public institution in the state. The University of Connecticut is dedicated to excellence demonstrated through national and international recognition. As Connecticut’s public research university, through freedom of academic inquiry and expression, we create and disseminate knowledge by means of scholarly and creative achievements, graduate and professional education, and outreach. Through our focus on teaching and learning, the University helps every student grow intellectually and become a contributing member of the state, national, and world communities. Through research, teaching, service, and outreach, we embrace diversity and cultivate leadership, integrity, and engaged citizenship in our students, faculty, staff, and alumni. As our state’s flagship public university, and as a land and sea grant institution, we promote the health and well being of Connecticut’s citizens through enhancing the social, economic, cultural, and natural environments of the state and beyond.
The General Statutes of the State of Connecticut and the Morrill Act adopted by the United States Congress have charged the University of Connecticut with the responsibility for the education of Connecticut youth in scientific and classical studies, agriculture and mechanic arts and liberal and practical education. General Statutes give the University authority for programs leading to a wide variety of doctoral degrees and post-baccalaureate professional degrees. The University’s constitutional mandate, “excellence in higher education,” is accomplished in its traditional triad of academic responsibilities: teaching, research and service.
University offices authorized by Connecticut General Statutes to serve the public include: Connecticut Museum of Natural History, Sec. 10-112(a-c); Office of Archaeology, Sec. 10a-112; State Historian, Sec. 11-1; State Museum of Art, Sec. 10a-112(g); and Connecticut Poison Center, Sec. 10a-132.
Support for Human Rights in Connecticut and Across the World
The University’s commitment to human rights and social justice is evidenced in interdisciplinary instruction in theoretical, comparative, and historical perspectives on human rights through classroom courses, supervised internships, the undergraduate human rights minor, and the graduate certificate in human rights. The University’s support for human rights is also evident in the interdisciplinary research and public events sponsored by: the Human Rights Institute; internationally renowned speakers on human rights issues brought to the campus through the The Raymond and Beverly Sackler Distinguished Lecture Series; activities and archival collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center; the focus of the Embryonic Stem Cell Research Oversight Committee, which provides oversight of all ethical issues related to the derivation and research use of human stem cell lines at the University; the activities of the Center for Applied Genetics and Technology, a University-wide initiative to provide infrastructure support for research and training in genetics, genomics and bioinformatics; and student organizations, such as the Idealists United, who promote human rights and social justice awareness on campus. The Journal of Human Rights, a major international scholarly publication, is based at UConn with a University faculty member as the editor.
The Humanities Institute in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, in conjunction with the University’s Human Rights Institute, collaborated with the Foundations of Humanitarianism in offering a conference at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center entitled “In the Balance: Humanitarianism and Responsibility.” The conference had an attendance of historians, writers, artists, and filmmakers from around the world to deliberate what constitutes responsible action in a humanitarian crisis, to review the rapidly expanding body of scholarship on humanitarianism, to assess its future as a guiding political principle for behavior on the individual, state, and transnational levels, and to consider how humanitarianism defines responsibility and ties that bind humans together.
The University’s UNESCO Chair and Institute of Comparative Human Rights, led by Amii Omara-Otunnu, professor of History, celebrated the tenth anniversary of UConn’s partnership agreement with the African National Congress in South Africa to promote international understanding and cooperation based on the principle of reciprocal learning and consultation. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) awarded to UConn in 2001 the first UNESCO Chair in Human Rights in the country. It is one of 52 Chairs around the world promoting human rights through education, research and collaboration among institutions of higher learning.
Enhancing and Improving Access to Health Care
The University of Connecticut Health Center is composed of the School of Medicine, School of Dental Medicine, John Dempsey Hospital, the UConn Medical Group, UConn Health Partners and University Dentists. Founded in 1961 and located on a 206-acre campus in Farmington, the Health Center pursues a mission of providing outstanding health care education in an environment of exemplary patient care, research and public service. Through John Dempsey Hospital (204 general acute care beds and 20 nursery beds), the Health Center provides specialized and routine inpatient and outpatient services. The hospital has long been regarded as the premier facility in the region for neonatal intensive care and high-risk maternity. It is also widely recognized for its comprehensive cardiovascular, cancer and musculoskeletal services. Additionally, John Dempsey Hospital is home to the only Emergency Department in Connecticut's fast-growing Farmington Valley. Also offered are a wide range of ambulatory and primary care services on the Health Center campus in Farmington and in physician offices conveniently located in West Hartford, Simsbury and East Hartford. The UConn Medical Group is the largest medical practice in Greater Hartford, offering patients access to health care services from more than 350 Health Center physicians in more than 50 specialties. The Correctional Managed Health Care program, a partnership with the Department of Correction, delivers comprehensive managed health care to State of Connecticut inmates. Medical, mental health, dental and ancillary services are provided in all eighteen correctional facilities across the state.
The Health Center is committed to maintaining high-quality research programs and has recruited distinguished researchers with expertise in neuroscience, molecular biology, molecular pharmacology, biochemistry, cell physiology, toxicology, and endocrinology, among other fields. The Alcohol Research Center is one of only 14 such federally supported centers in the nation; the Connecticut Clinical Chemosensory Research Center, one of five. A Center of Innovation, to include a new stem cell institute as well as cutting edge cell biology and genetics research, is uniting UConn scientists in a cross-disciplinary, collaborative setting to enhance Connecticut’s role as a leader in stem cell research and accelerate discoveries that ultimately could lead to therapies treating a broad range of diseases and disorders. The Medical Arts and Research Building, which opened in 2005, added to the campus a large facility for care and research related to conditions affecting bones, joints and connective tissue. The building houses an open MRI, the region’s first warm-water SwimEx therapeutic pool, and physical therapy and rehabilitation services. It also is home to clinical services including orthopedics, rheumatology and neurosurgery, and the Farmington Surgery Center, a multi-specialty outpatient surgery center. Several publications and consumer health newsletters also regularly provide health information to the public.
In addition to the comprehensive health care services of the UConn Health Center, the University has many centers and services offering health care and educational information to the UConn community and to the public. Examples include: Connecticut Center for Eliminating Health Disparities among Latinos and Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources; Center for Health, Intervention and Prevention (CHIP), Center for Health Communication and Marketing, Child Development Laboratories, the Humphrey Clinic for Individual, Couple and Family Therapy, and the Psychological Services and Speech and Hearing Clinics in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences or staffed by its faculty; Center for Healthcare and Insurance Studies in the School of Business; Nayden Physical Therapy Rehabilitation Clinic in the Neag School of Education; Center for Nursing Scholarship in the School of Nursing; and Center for Biochemical Toxicology, Center for Pharmaceutical Processing Research, and Health Outcomes, Policy and Economics (HOPE) Collaborative Group in the School of Pharmacy.
Eleven UConn scientists received state-funded grant awards totaling $5.4 million from the Connecticut Stem Cell Research Advisory (SCRAC) to advance embryonic and human adult stem cell research in Connecticut. Nine of the state grants were awarded to scientists based at the UConn Health Center and two were awarded to researchers at the Storrs Campus. The grants were among a total of nearly $9.8 million awarded this year to fund 24 research proposals in the third round of funding issued by the SCRAC in developing the state’s stem cell research grants-in-aid program. The new grants bring UConn’s total of state stem cell funding to nearly $20 million. The funding program, approved by the legislature and Governor M. Jodi Rell in 2005, set aside $100 million for Connecticut based embryonic and adult stem cell research through 2015. Research on stem cells promises to advance human health care by developing innovative cell transplantation, therapies for diabetes, cancers, hear and blood diseases, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s diseases.
The Health Center will use a $3.8 million gift to create an integrated imaging and treatment suite that will enhance patient care, particularly in cancer and cardiology. The pledge came from Carole and Ray Neag, whose history of philanthropic support includes more than $42 million in gifts to the University. The Carole and Ray Neag CT Scanner Suite will combine the latest multi-slice computed tomography technology with advanced supporting technology. Advantages of the new scanner include clearer images, a reduction in scanning times by about 90 percent, and selective presentation of a scanned image allowing a physician to, for example, isolate the image of a heart without including arteries and vessels that may be blocking the view. The new suite also will include a CT simulator to enable more efficient, convenient and accurate treatment planning for all cancer patients.
The William Raveis-American Cancer Society Patient Navigator Program opened at the Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center, thanks to a $750,000 pledge from the Wiliam Raveis Charitable Fund, Inc. and a $150,000 gift from the American Cancer Society. The Navigator Program provides free guidance and support for cancer patients, their families and caregivers as they face the logistical, financial and emotional challenges of their unique cancer experience. The UConn program is the second American Cancer Society patient navigator program in Connecticut and one of 129 nationwide.
An estimated 600 uninsured and underinsured Connecticut residents will be screened at no cost for colorectal cancer beginning this year as part of a pilot program in which the UConn Health Center is a primary partner. It will receive up to $353,206 in state funding to cover the costs of the cancer screenings from the Connecticut Cancer Partnership, a coalition of many community health centers working toward the goals of reducing the burden of cancer, improving the quality of life of those with cancer and educating the public.
A $73,400 grant from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving supported services at the Pat and Jim Calhoun Cardiology Center. The Center’s ongoing interdisciplinary research focuses on novel ways to prevent the progression of coronary artery disease, protect against heart attacks by decreasing the damage or by restoring blood flow to areas affected by clogged arteries, enhance the performance of failing hearts, detect heart damage earlier and more accurately and precisely detect the presence of circulation blockage.
More than 300 cyclists helped UConn men’s basketball coach Jim Calhoun complete his third annual signature cancer challenge bike ride. The proceeds from the CIGNA-Jim Calhoun Cancer Challenge Ride benefited the Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center and Coaches vs. Cancer, a program of the American Cancer Society. This year’s event raised more than $250,000. Proceeds from the 2009 32nd Annual UConn Cancer Research Golf Tournament, organized by volunteers, provided laboratory support for research on cancer stem cells associated with the onset and recurrence of most cancers. In its 30-year history, the tournament has raised more than $2 million for the Health Center and the American Cancer Society.
A $1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has enabled the testing of a user-friendly medication management software program developed by UConn’s Center for Health, Intervention, and Prevention for older individuals with hypertension to help them learn more about their medications and potentially dangerous drug interactions. The program runs on a touch screen tablet computer that patients can use while waiting in doctors’ offices for routine medical appointments. The test will involve a database of more than 1,600 ingredients and 183 adverse self-medication behaviors in a clinical trial with patients with hypertension age 60 and over at primary care practices across Connecticut. Patricia Neafsey, professor of Nursing, and Carolyn Lin, professor of Communication Sciences, are the co-investigators of the research.
The School of Pharmacy received a $781,000 grant to build an electronic medication information exchange to improve the delivery of health care in Connecticut. Pharmacy faculty, the Connecticut Pharmacists Association, and a newly created network of Connecticut pharmacists will use the funds to develop comprehensive medication profiles and medication therapy management pilot programs for Medicaid patients. The database for health care professionals will contain a patient’s pharmacy insurance claims, medication prescription records, lab test data, notes about potential medication allergies, over-the-counter medications, herbal supplements, and past medication adherence rate.
The School of Social Work was awarded a 5-year, $3.7 million grant by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to fund the Connecticut Criminal Justice Drug Abuse Treatment Studies (CJDATS) Center. Researchers, working closely with the Connecticut Department of Correction and Judicial Branch, will develop studies about assessment, treatment interventions, and HIV/AIDS with special focus on community reentry transition. Additional grants from NIDA have been awarded to several UConn Health Center research projects.
The 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day was commemorated at a special youth event in Hartford hosted by the Health Center’s Pediatric and Youth HIV Program and Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, in collaboration with the Hartford Youth HIV Identification and Linkage. The program is focused on enhancing the quality of life of patients and their families and preventing the spread of HIV by providing health, nutritional and psychosocial services.
University Student Health Services worked closely with local health departments and the Connecticut Department of Public Health to provide updated advisories on the prevention and treatment of the H1N1 (also labeled swine) flu as the World Health Organization raised its worldwide flu alert level in the spring for the potential of a swine flu outbreak in the U.S. The University has a plan in place to respond to a pandemic flu.
Research, Scholarship and Professional Education
UConn research and training grants exceeded $210 million in FY 2009 from federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and many others, and from such prestigious private entities as Carnegie Corporation of New York, Donaghue Medical Research Foundation, Ford Foundation, and Andrew W. Mellow Foundation. The Storrs campus has more than 70 active centers and institutes involved in research and graduate education. Examples include the Biotechnology/Bioservices Center, Center for Actuarial Sciences, Center for Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Center for Land Use Education and Research, Center for Regenerative Biology, Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis, Connecticut Sea Grant College Program, Connecticut Transportation Institute, Institute of Materials Science, Marine Sciences and Technology Center, National Undersea Research Center, Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, and Wildlife Conservation Research Center. The Health Center has a broad array of world-class research activities facilitated by “Signature Programs” in cancer, cardiology, musculoskeletal medicine, and public health. Examples include the Alcohol Research Center, Center for Biomaterials, Center for Cell Analysis and Modeling, Center for Immunotherapy of Cancer and Infectious Diseases, Center for Molecular Medicine, Ethel Donaghue Center for Translating Research into Practice and Policy, Gambling Treatment and Research Center, New England Musculoskeletal Institute, Pat and Jim Calhoun Cardiology Center, Taste and Smell Center, and Waterborne Disease Center.
Many of the centers and institutes benefit from the collaborative efforts of both the Storrs based and Health Center disciplines, including A.J. Pappanikou Center for Developmental Disabilities, Center for Public Health and Health Policy, and Stem Cell Institute. The Center for Science and Technology Commercialization manages the commercial application of the discoveries, inventions and technologies developed at all the campuses of the University. Each year, the Center receives approximately 75 new invention disclosures and files about 20 U.S. patent applications. Ten to 15 commercial development agreements (options, licenses, etc.) are completed annually.
UConn grants promoting collaboration between researchers at Storrs and the Health Center were awarded to 11 research teams. The year-long grants – known as UCHC/Storrs and Regional Campus Incentive Grants – were approximately $50,000 each and jointly funded from the research budgets at Storrs and the Health Center, using money derived from indirect costs on extramural grants. Criteria for evaluating the 45 proposals included the potential to attract extramural funding after the current funding expires, the interdisciplinary nature of the project, and the project’s capacity to support the University’s application for federal agency grants intended to speed up the translation of scientific research into practical applications in the medical field. The 11 award-winning projects in 2008-09 and the disciplines of their research teams included:
· A High Throughput Screen (HTS) to Identify Novel Anti-Cancer Agents – Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, and Center for Molecular Medicine, Health Center;
· The Mechanism of Phenoty(PI)c Drift in hES Cells – Molecular and Cell Biology, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Genetics and Developmental Biology, Health Center; Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources; and Computer Science and Engineering, School of Engineering;
· Genes and Environment: Copper and Ascorbate in Frail Elderly Men – Molecular, Microbial, and Structural Biology, Health Center; Psychiatry, Medicine, and Neuroscience, Health Center; and Allied Health Sciences, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources;
· Osteoblasts: Immune Responses in Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease – Pediatric Gastroenterology, and Pediatrics, Infectious Disease, Health Center;
· Phase Transformations to Control Morphology and Cell Behavior in Polymer Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering – Reconstructive Sciences, Health Center; and Chemical, Materials and Biomolecular Engineering, School of Engineering;
· The Effect of Psychotropic Medication Dosing on Symptom Control for Inmates Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder – School of Nursing; and Pharmacy Practice, School of Pharmacy;
· A Behavioral Intervention for Reducing Obesity – Medicine and Cardiology Center, Health Center; Nutritional Sciences, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources; and Kinesiology, Neag School of Education;
· Stem Cell Database – Molecular and Cell Biology, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; and Molecular, Microbial and Structural Biology, Health Center;
· Computational Modeling of Mucosal Injury Reviewer to Cancer Therapy – Oral Health and Diagnostic Sciences, and Cell Biology, Health Center; Chemical, Materials and Biomolecular Engineering, School of Engineering;
· Black Raspberry Components as Anti-Inflammatory Agents for Inflammatory Bowel Disease – Molecular and Cell Biology, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; and Molecular Medicine, Health Center;
· Novel Photoacoustic/Ultrasound Imaging System for Non-invasive Ovarian Cancer Detection and Characterization – Electrical and Computer Engineering, School of Engineering; and Cancer Center, Health Center.
In the annual Faculty Large Grant Competition, The UConn Research Foundation’s Research Advisory Council received 57 proposals totaling more than $1.2 million and made 41 awards totaling more than $600,000. The goal of these awards is to help faculty move into a better position to apply for and receive extramural funding for their research and scholarly activities.
Janine Caira, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, began overseeing a worldwide network of specialists to study the biodiversity of tapeworms, her research specialty, with a $3 million National Science Foundation (NSF) Planetary Biodiversity Inventory grant. The grant is shared with the University of Kansas, where Caira’s former Ph.D. student Kirsten Jensen is now an assistant professor of biology. Other co-principal investigators are a zoologist with the Natural History Museum in London and a zoologist with the Museum of Natural History of Geneva, Switzerland. In all, 34 researchers from 20 countries around the world – from Vietnam to Ethiopia to Argentina – are involved in the five-year project to learn as much as possible about the world’s diversity of tapeworms.
A center for research in actuarial science at UConn will be renamed the Janet and Mark L. Goldenson Research Center following a $1 million gift from the Goldensons. The Center in the Actuarial Science Program in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences partners top actuarial students and faculty at UConn with financial services companies in the Hartford area to conduct applied research on issues in actuarial science and risk management and real-world problems facing the insurance and financial services industries. Among the projects already underway are an older-age mortality study funded by the life settlements industry and a Ph.D. research project to develop a management tool for variable annuities with guaranteed options. The Goldenson Center also will be working with the Science and Islamic University of Malaysia to establish a similar center of excellence in actuarial research there. UConn’s Actuarial Science Program was established in 1976 and has evolved from an undergraduate specialty in mathematics to an interdisciplinary program that offers bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees, and an associated Professional Master’s Degree program in applied mathematics. The program’s graduates are employed throughout the financial services industry in Connecticut and the Northeast.
A team of researchers headed by Yu Lei, assistant professor in the Department of Chemical, Materials, and Biomolecular Engineering, is developing an electronic nose system to detect explosives with a three-year NSF $800,000 grant. The team hopes to develop real-time arrays of ultra-sensitive sensors that can sniff out even trace quantities of explosives. Research is focused on a miniaturized sensing device capable of detecting potential explosives with greater speed, selectivity, and accuracy than ever before, using simple instrumentation.
Urology researcher John A. Taylor III, assistant professor of surgery in the School of Medicine, received a five-year $729,000 grant from the American Cancer Society for research on the role of inflammatory molecules on the development and progression of bladder cancer, with the goal of improving ways to prevent and treat this disease. Taylor, one of the region’s few bladder cancer specialists, chairs the cancer committee at the Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center.
The study and care of lymphoma, related blood cancers and other blood disorders at the Lea’s Foundation Center for Hematologic Disorders in the Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center has been supported with a $500,000 gift from Allen M. Ward, Sr. in recognition of the care he received a decade ago under Robert Bona, M.D., now the director of the Lea’s Center.
Gene Network Sciences, Inc. (GNS) and the Health Center’s Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center entered into a research collaboration in which the parties will incorporate genetic, genomic and clinical data into computer models of different cancers to identify the best treatments for individual patients and to develop new drug treatments and diagnostics. GNS is a leader in biosimulation, the derivation of molecular mechanisms of drug and diseases directly from molecular profiling and clinical data. The parties will utilize the Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center’s clinical expertise to assess and validate findings from ovarian cancer model simulations and will work with strategic partners to make drugs and diagnostics based on these discoveries available to patients.
Arthur Gunzl, associate professor of Genetics and Developmental Biology, was awarded a $100,000 grant by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to seek innovative approaches to prevent and treat infectious diseases, such as HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, pneumonia, and diarrheal diseases. He is the first Health Center researcher to receive a Gates Foundation grant and is one of 81 researchers around the world involved in the Foundation’s Grand Challenges Explorations initiative. Gunzl’s research focuses on Trypanosoma brucei, the parasite carried by the tsetse fly in Sub-Saharan Africa that causes sleeping sickness. There are an estimated 500,000 cases each year, and in some African provinces half the population is infected. With the Gates Foundation grant, Gunzl will attempt to develop new treatments for the sleeping sickness.
Graduate student recipients of the 2009 Mitofsky Awards for Excellence in Public Opinion Research, given by the Roper Center, were Ioannis Kareklas and Jeffrey Carlson, Marketing; Sylvie Tchumtchoua, Agricultural Economics and Statistics; and Annie Widnesky, Sociology. Named for the former chairman of the Roper Board, Warren J. Mitofsky, the awards provide graduate students with a stipend to conduct research using data in the Roper Center archives. Recipients are chosen based on the potential theoretical or methodological contribution of the proposed research to the applicant’s field of study.
General Community and Public Service
The University earned classification as a Campus Sustainability Leader by the Sustainable Endowments Institute (SEI). It improved its environmental standing by a full letter grade in the 2008 SEI Green Campus Report Card, recording a grade of B for its efforts toward creating an environmentally sustainable campus. It was one of only 20 public universities to receive a B or better. The University also received an A in a new category introduced this year, Student Involvement. The Institute praised UConn for its green building policies, student involvement, administrative efforts (signing the American College & Universities Presidents Climate Commitment, and having an Office of Environmental Policy with senior level management and leadership), and a notable environmental ethic in its Dining Services, which buys locally grown produce and dairy products and raises bees for honey production. The report card rates the universities with the 300 largest endowments and assesses 43 factors, from green building initiatives to recycling programs to endowment investment policies. Since the Sustainability Leader recognition, UConn has intensified its efforts to lessen its carbon footprint by forming several new workgroups to explore issues and develop action plans on the topics of energy, transportation, sustainable development, recycling, and environmental literacy. The University also issued guidelines for working green on campus and removed trays from the dining halls in order to reduce food waste.
The Hillside Environmental Education Park (HEEP) near the Storrs Campus is the result of the transformation of a once toxic landfill into a serene environmental landscape complete with trails, boardwalks, and rookeries. The site, used as a landfill and as a dump for toxic materials from 1966 to 1989, was capped and remediated to surpass environmental standards; several contaminated wetlands were restored and others were created. The park now offers more than two miles of hiking trails and more than 30 acres of wetlands. Senior landscape design students determined how to make the most of the hilly site and where to connect the trails, place signs to educate visitors and maximize observation of ecosystems, plants, and wildlife.
Students returning in fall 2008 to the Storrs campus came back to cleaner Mirror and Swan Lakes. Sludge and detritus from the bottom of Mirror Lake was vacuumed out into a temporary retention pond, allowing clean water to drain back into the lake. UConn also took steps to repair Swan Lake, located in front of the Chemistry building, where the beauty of this lake had nearly been lost in the overgrown trees and bushes along the shoreline. A “Save the Lakes Fund” has been established in support of the University’s goal to restore the lakes to their original beauty. As for student generations in the past, the lakes bring to mind countless memories of early-morning walks to class, views out of classroom and dorms, and calm, peaceful places to sit, read or gather. This fund will help the lakes once again function as healthy and eco-friendly scenic icons of the Storrs campus.
This year’s Awards for Excellence in Outreach and Public Engagement were announced by Provost Peter J. Nicholls during a special reception and poster display celebrating the variety of University outreach activities. The Faculty Award recognized Stephen Schensul, director of the Center for International Community Health Studies in the School of Medicine for development of transdisciplinary programs related to the health needs of the public on both local and international levels. The Staff Award recognized Richard Schwab, dean of Neag School of Education, for building productive partnerships with educators, donors, and policy makers, and for championing innovative efforts such as Teachers for a New Era and the CommPACT schools initiative to close the achievement gap in American society. The Program Award was given to the Healthy Environments for Children Initiative/Environment Health Program, Hartford County Extension Center, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, for providing statewide, regional, and national leadership in the areas of lead poisoning, radon, and asthma education as related to children’s health. The Graduate Student Award recognized Andrew Bzowyckyj and Jennifer Scholle, School of Pharmacy, for their promotion of health literacy in presentations to practicing pharmacists in Connecticut, and to pharmacy, nursing, and medical students during National Primary Care Week. Undergraduate Student Award was given to Shahista Ramanand, Allied Health Sciences, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, for founding a campus fund-raising and awareness initiative regarding HIV/AIDS, serving as a shelter volunteer in her native South Africa, and being a UNESCO student ambassador for human rights.
Recipients of UConn’s 2008-09 Environmental Leadership Awards, in recognition of dedication and outstanding contributions to a more environmentally aware and sustainable campus, are as follows: Undergraduate Student – Emily Galanto, Environmental Science, for helping Ecohusky with its first annual "Green Week" by organizing "Energy Day" with a fuel cell car demonstration, volunteering to teach K-8 students about recycling issues, and piloting a "Students Stopping Hunger" program for students to reduce food waste by donating their surplus food items at the end of the year; Graduate Student – Ross Friedberg, JD and MPH candidate, Law School and Health Center, for advocating installation of recycling bins in classroom buildings, encouraging the use of new, energy efficient boilers on campus, and helping plan a conference on "Is it Easy Being Green? Sustainable Development and the Law"; Staff – Amy Crim, Department of Residential Life, for playing a crucial role in getting placed in each dormitory reusable bags for recyclables and collection bins for electronic waste; Faculty – James Stuart, professor emeritus, Chemistry, for volunteering time since retirement on the development of alternative fuel quality testing, the attraction of external funding to set up a biodiesel testing facility at the university, and monitoring the use of biodiesel in UConn’s bus system; Team – Avery Point Campus Environmental Awareness Team, for establishing an Ecohusky Club at Avery Point and raising awareness with shoreline clean-ups, teach-ins, and film showings; Student Organization – Law School’s Environmental Law Society, for publishing a 31-page report outlining energy, purchasing, transportation, recycling, carbon output and green building policies at the school, offering recommendations on how to make the school more sustainable, and co-sponsoring panels on environmental justice and clean-tech; and External Organization – Willimantic River Alliance, for promoting recreation of the Willimantic River Watershed, the Annual "Walktober" with 79 walks and hikes for over 25,000 participants, and a composting facility at UConn.
The U.S. Department of Education awarded a $500,000 Emergency Management for Higher Education grant to the University’s Center for Continuing Studies to fund a state-of-the-art behavior threat assessment model. Specialized training in behavior threat assessment and crisis leadership will be incorporated into UConn’s existing emergency management plans, and will be offered over an 18-month period to students, faculty, staff and local government and local health officials. The training, to be designed and delivered by nationally recognized leaders in their respective fields, will be implemented in conjunction with planning by the Connecticut Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and local emergency management and public health agencies.
State Museum of Natural History at the University reaches more than 50,000 people annually through visits to the facility and exhibit loans to schools and organizations. It also houses the Connecticut Office of State Archaeology and the Connecticut Archaeology Center, and coordinates numerous efforts, such as the Stone Wall Initiative. Biodiversity, conservation and natural history are the education, research and outreach focus of many departments in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the museum’s home at UConn.
School of Fine Arts events in art, music and dramatic arts annually serve over 300,000 on campus and over 560,000 in locations throughout the state. Some 600,000 register each year for the wide variety of non-credit programs and events offered by the schools and colleges, offices, and campuses of the University.
Supporting Economic Development
The University contributes every day to Connecticut's economic vitality and to the quality of life of state residents through research, teaching, public service, and a broad range of programs and initiatives. UConnomy: Contributing to the Economic Health of Connecticut illustrates UConn's direct and indirect impact on the economic, social, and cultural landscape of Connecticut. Incorporating quantitative data culled from a comprehensive economic impact study recently conducted by the state Department of Economic and Community Development, this report demonstrates the University's role in sustaining the state economy as it shapes a bright future for the citizens of Connecticut. Key findings of the report (http://uconn.edu/par/EconomicImpact.pdf) include the following:
· More than 29,000 jobs are generated in the state by the University, including the UConn Health Center.
· Ongoing operations at UConn, including the UConn Health Center, add $2.3 billion to Connecticut's gross domestic product on average each year.
· UConn, including the UConn Health Center, receives total state support of $456 million. As a result of this state support, the University attracts an additional $713.5 million to the Connecticut economy.
· As a result of UConn and the UConn Health Center's combined operations, Connecticut's state coffers realize a net financial gain of more than $76 million annually.
· Every state dollar allocated to UConn, including the UConn Health Center, results in a $5.05 increase in Connecticut's gross domestic product -- a 505% return on investment.
· Connecticut's businesses experience $3.2 billion in new sales as a result of ongoing operations at UConn, including the UConn Health Center.
· 7 out of 10 UConn graduates remain in Connecticut, contributing to the state's knowledge-based workforce and economy.
· In 2008, UConn received nearly $200 million in sponsored research grants and awards.
The University’s Eminent Faculty Initiative in Sustainable Energy enabled the hiring of six top alternative energy researchers, including a new director of UConn’s Global Fuel Cell center. The new faculty members in the School of Engineering collectively have experience in Westinghouse Electric Corp., FuelCell Energy, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the NASA Center for Advanced Microgravity Materials Processing. The initiative, associated with the state’s 21st Century Jobs Act, which became law in 2006, was designed to attract to UConn researchers skilled in commercialization and technology transfer to promote economic development and enhance training of energy workers and entrepreneurs in the state. This public-private partnership was created with $4 million in state funding and a combined $2 million as an industry match from three major Connecticut energy companies – UTC Power of South Windsor, the Northeast Utilities Foundation, and FuelCell Energy of Danbury. The initiative is expected to help Connecticut meet the state’s goal of reducing fossil fuel consumption by 20 percent and replacing it with clean or renewable energy sources by 2020.
UConn’s Office of Technology Commercialization capitalizes on Connecticut's investment in world-class facilities, research and people at the University to support the formation of new technology companies and jobs. Housed in this office are: Tech-Knowledge Portal Program, to help existing companies seeking assistance with technology related issues and entrepreneurs developing new tech-related products; the Center for Science and Technology Commercialization, to manage the commercial application of the discoveries, inventions and technologies developed on campus; the University of Connecticut Research & Development Corporation, a for-profit subsidiary of the UConn Foundation to initiate new business start-ups based on innovative technologies developed by UConn faculty and staff; and Technology Incubation Program, to help new companies locate on campus and provide access to resources that could be otherwise unattainable.
Connecticut Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation (CCEI), housed in the Management Department of the School of Business, stimulates student and faculty participation in entrepreneurship and innovation, provides a pipeline of talented, knowledgeable, and skilled entrepreneurs to the State's economy, facilitates the development of transformational businesses in Connecticut, and enhances Connecticut's business climate by assisting new as well as existing companies to solve the complex business problems associated with capturing market opportunities. The CCEI’s Innovation Accelerator assists entrepreneurial companies in addressing challenges associated with business opportunities with projects such as market entry analysis, commercialization of technology, competition assessment, marketing and pricing analysis, product and service development, globalization strategies, capital-raising strategies, and logistics and technology strategies.
The Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship Law Clinic at the School of Law was established by the Connecticut legislature as part of UConn's CCEI to strengthen Connecticut's economy with innovative new programs that support emerging companies encountering challenges arising from both the law and the marketplace. The clinic provides law students, under the guidance of supervising attorneys, with the unique opportunity to counsel Connecticut's innovators on an extensive range of intellectual property (patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret) and related business law issues. The clinic also demonstrates the School of Law’s broad-based commitment to clinical education, its innovative approach to the study of intellectual property law, and its dedication to serving the people of Connecticut.
The Cooperative Extension System in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources offers a variety of programs in community and economic development: Center for Land Use Education and Research (CLEAR); Connecticut Land Use Academy; Connecticut Tax School; Farm Risk Management and Crop Insurance Program; Food Marketing Policy Center; Green Valley Institute; Geospatial Technology Program; Land Use Planning Program; Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials (NEMO) Program and National NEMO Network.
In the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis (CCEA), established in 1992, serves the people of Connecticut by improving their understanding of the state's economy -- past, present, and future. The Center’s services include: monitoring and forecasting economic developments in Connecticut; maintaining models of the state's economy; promoting economic and financial literacy through its Connecticut Center for Economic Education; and serving state agencies, municipal governments, non-profit and private organizations and Connecticut citizens through the data bank, research, publications, and outreach of the Connecticut State Data Center, the official U.S. Census liaison for Connecticut.
The University’s graduating classes each year provide a new resource of skilled individuals for continuing and new businesses and industries in the state, and for service with distinction in schools, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations.
Expanding Educational Opportunity
On-going collaborations of the University with Connecticut’s public schools expand educational opportunities and postsecondary education participation outcomes for the state’s elementary and secondary students. The Carnegie Foundation funded, multi-year, multi-disciplinary Teachers for a New Era Project involves faculty and staff in Neag School of Education, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and College of Agriculture and Natural Resources working with school systems and the Connecticut State Department of Education to establish pre-service and in-service training for K-12 teachers and to provide a database for informing teacher preparation programs and educational policy decisions.
Other collaborations of the University with Connecticut’s public schools for expanding the educational opportunities of all students and students from underrepresented groups are illustrated by the following examples:
· College of Agriculture and Natural Resources: 4-H LIFT (Learning, Interaction, Friends, and Talents) and other after-school programs; Adventures of Lead Busters club, focused on hazards of lead poisoning; Classroom Incubator Management instruction; Integrated Pest Management training; Beetle Farmer program; and career development events for high school agricultural science students.
· College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Kids Are Scientists Too (KAST) summer day camp; Physics Olympiad; Visiting Junior Scientist program; Marine Scholars program; BioBlitz; Archaeology camp; GlobalEd project; and Writing Tutorial Center.
· School of Business: Connecticut Information Technology Institute (CITI) training; CITI support for the Academy of Information Technology and Engineering, a technology high school in Stamford; Teenage Minority Business Program; Connecticut Youth Financial Institute; and Jump$tart Coalition to increase financial literacy among Connecticut youth.
· Neag School of Education: Reading Intervention program; Connecticut Reading Recovery Center; Mentoring Mathematical Minds project; Husky Sport programs for after-school and summer sport instruction; and School Counseling program to improve minority achievement.
· School of Engineering: Connecticut Invention Convention; Northeast Regional Science Bowl; Regional Chess tournament; Da Vinci workshop; Galileo project; Pre-Engineering program; Engineering summer camp; Multiply Your Options workshop for female students; PATHS to the Future – Community of Learners program for urban students; and BRIDGE residential summer program for admitted underrepresented minorities and women.
· School of Fine Arts: University Symphony Orchestra rehearsal option for public school musicians; and music and drama productions and art exhibits in the schools.
of Nursing: Healthy Kids are Happy Kids program and Healthy Schools
Collaborative for key health topics; and a Nursing Academy in Hartford Public
High School to assist in academic preparation for college success in nursing.
· School of Pharmacy: Science Fair judging and underrepresented minority student mentoring.
· School of Law: Connections Mentoring program and Street Law Seminar on legal issues.
· School of Social Work: Safe Schools/Healthy Students initiative to reduce and prevent school and urban violence; social work student internships in school settings; and certification program in school social work.
· Schools of Medicine and Dental Medicine: Great Explorations middle school program; Junior Doctors Academy; Health Professions Academy; Give Kids a Smile Day; and Connecticut Youth Health Service Corps volunteer service in the health professions.
· Avery Point Campus: Marine Scholars program and summer outreach programs with Mystic Seaport; Yes I Can program; Read Across America day; and Expect Great Things career paths program and mentoring in New London and Groton School Districts.
· Greater Hartford Campus: Jumpstart Academy and summer programs for 9th and 10th graders and Junior and Senior Doctors Academy for 11th and 12th graders preparing for health careers, both programs in collaboration with the UConn Health Center; College for Every Student program and Writing tutoring for Hartford Public High School; and Inroads New England for recruitment of minority students into business, engineering and other college preparatory careers.
· Stamford Campus: University Pals program for middle school students; Speakers Bureau for faculty talks to high school students in Fairfield County; and Globalization Conference for high school students.
· Torrington Campus: Highlander Transition Academy, a local group providing guidance to high school students with special needs; and partnerships with Explorations Charter School in Winsted and area high schools.
· Waterbury Campus: KnowHow2Go program and College Goal Sunday planning for first-generation and lower-income students; tutoring to students in Waterbury public schools; and school-based research on the development and treatment of anxiety in children and adolescents.
· Center for Academic Programs, in association with Undergraduate Admissions: Gear-Up program; Educational Talent Search; Upward Bound for ninth graders; and Pre-Freshmen Student Support Services for summer before first UConn semester.
· Center for Continuing Studies: Community School of the Arts opportunities for credit and noncredit programs in music, theatre, art; and Homeland Security training for school systems on emergency preparedness.
· Early College Experience (ECE) Program: 44 different first-year University courses offered in 128 Connecticut high schools. More than 7,000 high school students annually register for ECE credit courses. UConn’s ECE program, begun in 1955, is the oldest high school-to-college transition program in the nation.
The Health Professions Partnership Initiative (HPPI), formed in 1996, and renamed The Aetna Health Professions Partnership Initiative following a $2 million gift from the Aetna Foundation, has continued to provide long-term academic enrichment and support activities for underrepresented and disadvantaged students in Hartford-area middle and high schools interested in the medicine, dentistry, biomedical research, nursing, pharmacy, and allied health professions. HPPI is a cooperative effort of faculty and staff of the University’s Schools of Medicine, Dental Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy and its Physical Therapy and Pre-Engineering programs, UConn’s Greater Hartford Campus, and other Hartford area higher education institutions.
A $1.6 million gift from Travelers Companies, Inc. has expanded the successful Travelers Education Access Initiative (TEAI) at UConn. TEAI seeks to improve access to higher education for underserved populations and to build awareness about careers in insurance and finance. The comprehensive initiative supports leadership scholarships for minority students, the Multicultural Business Club in the School of Business, Project M3: Mentoring Mathematical Minds of the Neag School of Education, the National Middle School Science Bowl, co-sponsored in the northeast by UConn’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the Science, Engineering and Health Professions Collaborative Symposium for minority undergraduate students considering careers in those fields. The new gift has strengthened the longstanding collaborative partnership between UConn and the insurance company, which has more than 700 alumni employees.
The CommPACT schools program, a school reform effort based at the Neag School of Education, was supported in Bridgeport by gifts from JP Morgan Chase and the Near and Far Aid Association, Inc. of Southport. The CommPACT initiative seeks to close the achievement gap at two Bridgeport schools, Barnum and Longfellow, through Neag faculty working with Bridgeport teachers and administrators and onsite professional development at the schools. Other CommPACT schools include M.D. Fox in Hartford, Davis Street and Hill Central in New Haven, Washington and West Side Middle in Waterbury and Shoreline Academy in New London. The name, CommPACT, symbolizes the collaboration among a school’s community, parents, administrators, children, and teachers to make decisions and run the school based on student needs.
A nationally recognized school reform organization moved its headquarters to the Neag School of Education, the latest step in making the University a prominent center for urban school reform. ATLAS Learning Communities, which operates in about 60 schools across the nation, joined Neag’s Institute for Urban School Improvement and enabled educational researchers from UConn and ATLAS to test ideas on school reform by working with teachers and principals in real classrooms. The addition of ATLAS strengthens UConn’s role in assisting struggling elementary and secondary schools and in helping close the achievement gap that finds many low-income and minority children lagging in reading, mathematics, and other subjects.
Connecticut Department of Higher Education renewed and increased a grant to help UConn continue its efforts to recruit and retain undergraduate minority students. The $165,000 in this year and in each of the next four years supports undergraduate admissions of underrepresented students and several programs successful in retaining them, including a summer program of student support services by the Center for Academic Programs, First Year Experience, and mentoring and tutoring services in the Center for Undergraduate Education. Seventy percent of the minority students who enroll at UConn’s main campus graduate within six years, placing the University in the top 20 of 58 public research universities nationwide.
Thirty-six undergraduate students from colleges and universities across the United States participated in the Northeast Alliance Summer Research Program for Minority Undergraduates, now in its third year at UConn. The program, sponsored by NSF, encourages and prepares underrepresented students for doctoral studies. The students are paired for the summer with a UConn faculty researcher and a graduate student mentor and conduct research under their supervision.
The University of Connecticut, its students, alumni, faculty, and staff take pride in the University’s 128-year history of achievements. The quality of our student population, and those seeking admission, continues to rise, as the accomplishments of our faculty, staff and students continue to impress.
The Board of Trustees approved a new Academic Plan to set the future direction and priorities for the entire University, including the Health Center, building on the previously identified themes of health and human behavior, the environment, and arts, culture and society from a local to global perspective. Organized into five interrelated areas – undergraduate education; graduate and professional education; research, scholarship and creative activity; diversity; and public engagement – it includes specific goals for each theme and identifies timelines and metrics to evaluate the accomplishment of each goal. The Plan takes into account input from a dozen faculty colloquia on specific themes and feedback from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges institutional reaccreditation team, as well as the recent reorganization that aligns the Health Center more closely with the rest of the University. The plan represents a systematic approach to guiding the University’s strategies for taking UConn to the next levels as one of the nation’s premier public research institutions.
Due to the economic recession, UConn President Hogan began a broad-based effort to identify cost savings, efficiencies, and revenue enhancements. He created the Costs, Operations, & Revenue Efficiencies (CORE) Task Force to examine a wide range of University operations with the goal of protecting core academic programs and strategic priorities while identifying substantial cost-savings and revenue enhancements. Co-chaired by Richard Gray, vice president and chief financial officer, Barry Feldman, vice president and chief operating officer, and Peter Nicholls, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, the Task Force hosted a series of town hall meetings at Storrs and West Hartford and received e-mailed suggestions from more than 500 faculty, staff, and students. Among the areas reviewed were budgeting, utilities, productivity, administrative procedures, procurement, and information technology systems. The task force also examined budgeting and operations at comparable public research universities, as well as efficiency and cost savings strategies at those institutions. A preliminary report of the Task Force recommended initiatives that could save $5 to $7 million by the end of FY 2010: increasing energy conservation, selling energy credits, streamlining workflow, reducing print materials, offering an expanded summer session, reviewing how graduate assistants are appointed and how their assignments are determined, implementing a voluntary schedule reduction program, and more effectively allocating funds from the Research Foundation. Significant cost reductions already resulted from the 3 percent rescission to the University’s FY 2009 state appropriation. Substantial savings also have been achieved this year by placing strict limits on out-of-state travel, implementing a hiring freeze, and increasing energy efficiencies resulting from the recently constructed cogeneration plant.
More than 360 University employees took advantage of the state’s Early Retirement Incentive (RIP) Program. At the Storrs and Regional Campuses, 20 percent (211) of 1,067 eligible employees retired, including 52 faculty, 75 professional staff and 84 classified personnel. At the Health Center, 18 percent (129) of the 725 eligible employees accepted the retirement offer, including 10 faculty, 11 professional staff and 108 classified personnel. The Correctional Managed Health Care’s RIP count was 27. Despite the loss of personnel, the University is working to ensure that students returning in the fall will not be affected and that selected replacements will be for positions essential to the ongoing growth and enhancement of our academic, research and outreach missions.
The University received national recognition from many sources for the quality of its programs and accomplishments. Following are a few examples of the recognition:
Academic Programs, Research and Scholarship
· For the tenth consecutive year, the University of Connecticut was named the top public university in New England in U.S. News & World Report: America’s Best Colleges. The report published in August 2008 ranked UConn 26th among 164 public universities in the nation.
· The Neag School of Education was ranked 24th among all graduate schools of education in the country, named the top public graduate school of education in New England, and ranked 14th among all public doctoral education programs in the country (and in the specialties, 12th in Elementary Teacher Education, 15th in Special Education, 18th in Curriculum and Instruction, and 19th in Administration/Supervision. The rankings were in the U.S. News & World Report: America’s Best Graduate Schools published in spring 2009.
· UConn’s School of Business was recognized by Business Week for having the best full-time MBA program among public institutions in New England and for ranking among the top 20 among public institutions nationwide. Business Week also rated the UConn MBA program 16th globally and 7th nationally in its “return on investment” category. The biennial ranking of full-time MBA programs is based on three elements: a survey of new MBA recipients, a poll of corporate recruiters, and an evaluation of faculty research output.
· Many of the University’s graduate and professional programs were highly rated by U.S. News & World Report in its latest issue of America’s Best Graduate Schools. Among public medical schools nationwide, UConn ranked 29th in Medical Schools-Primary Care, 27th in Medical Schools-Research, and, in the medical specialties, 4th in Drugs and Alcohol Abuse. In the Liberal Arts and Sciences, UConn national public graduate program rankings included 21st in Speech-Language Pathology, 30th in Psychology, and 34th in Public Affairs. Public graduate and professional program rankings nationwide in other disciplines included: 25th in Law, 42nd in Nursing, 42nd in Engineering (and in the specialties, 27th in Materials Engineering, 30th in Mechanical Engineering, 34th in Chemical Engineering, 35th in Environmental Engineering, 41st in Electrical Engineering, and 43rd in Civil Engineering). The U.S. News rankings are based on expert opinion about program quality and statistical indicators of quality of faculty, research, and students. U.S. News does not rank all programs or all specialties every year.
· UConn, including both the Health Center and Storrs-based programs, ranked 77th among all institutions and 53rd among public universities nationwide in research and development expenditures, as measured by the National Science Foundation.
· The Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics received high worldwide ratings in two academic areas according to the American Economic Association. The department ranked 15th in environmental and resource economics and 23rd in the broader discipline of agricultural and resource economics. The rankings, published on the EconPhd.net website by University of Melbourne, Australia, are based on faculty articles published in 63 refereed economics journals during a ten-year period (1993-2003).
· The Thomas J. Dodd Research Center received the 2008 Distinguished Service Award of the Society of American Archivists for having become a center of campus intellectual life by linking collection development and preservation to public programming and the academic curriculum in a vital and exciting way. Established in 1995, the Dodd Center was named for the late Connecticut Sen. Thomas J. Dodd and houses the University’s archives and research collections that document the U.S. Congress, human rights, and public policy. The Society of American Archivists is North America’s oldest and largest national archival professional association.
· The UConn chapter of the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) has been awarded the prestigious 2009 Paul R. Wright Award for Excellence in Medical Education. It is the first time UConn medical students have received this award, which was presented at the AMSA’s annual convention. The award recognizes a medical school, chosen by the nations’ medical students, whose exemplary achievements in medical education foster the development of socially responsive physicians. In 2009 the award focused on local advocacy and activism and honored UConn medical students for their initiative toward achieving high quality, affordable healthcare for all. AMSA is the nation’s largest independent medical student organization.
· Cato T. Laurencin, vice president for health affairs at UConn Health Center, dean of the School of Medicine, professor in its Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, and professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in the School of Engineering, was named one of “100 Chemical Engineers of the Modern Era” by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. The recognition from the world’s leading organization for chemical engineering professionals acknowledges Laurencin’s work in tissue engineering to develop materials to promote bone repair and wound healing. The institute specifically recognized him for the development of a novel polymer-synthesized, ceramic composite-based system for bone repair and in vitro evaluation. The honor highlights individuals who have contributed to the profession during the “Modern Era,” the years following World War II. Laurencin also was the 2009 winner of the Pierre Galletti Award, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering’s highest honor. The Galletti Award recognizes contributions to public awareness of medical and biological engineering and to promotion of the national interest in science, engineering and education. Laurencin also received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania and was the institution’s keynote speaker during its 150th commencement exercise. Lincoln University, chartered in 1854, was the first institution in the world to offer higher education in the arts and sciences for young men of African descent.
· UConn Health Center received an Environmental Excellence Award from Practice Greenhealth, an independent nonprofit organization that works with health care organizations to adopt best environmental practices. The Health Center was one of 50 U.S. health care facilities honored with a 2008 Partner for Change Award, which recognizes facilities helping to create healthy, healing environments and committed to eliminating mercury and reducing waste and pollution. Energy conservation, recycling, carpooling, and the use of environmentally responsible cleaning products are examples of the environmental improvements at the Health Center.
· The University of Connecticut Women’s Basketball team in 2009 won its sixth national NCAA Division I Basketball Championship. The team also finished the season undefeated, the regular season champions of the BIG EAST, and the winners of the BIG EAST conference tournament championship.
· UConn’s women’s basketball player Maya Moore was named the “Best Female Collegiate Athlete” at the 2009 Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly (ESPY) Awards sponsored by the cable television network ESPN. Moore was the consensus National Player of the Year in 2009 and was recognized as the BIG EAST Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. She also was honored as a First Team Academic All-America choice.
· Governor M. Jodi Rell announced that the World Youth Peace Summit will be held in Connecticut the summer of 2011, with the University of Connecticut serving as the host institution. Nearly 20,000 participants are expected. The World Youth Peace Summit is a major initiative of the Institute for International Sport, a non-profit organization that has organized numerous U.S. and World Scholar-Athlete games for the past 25 years with the goal of promoting peace through the medium of sports and the arts. The Summit’s mission is to help current and former scholar-athletes and scholar-artists develop peace initiatives for their home community or country.
· Seven UConn Baseball Huskies signed professional baseball contracts following the 2009 season: Dennis Accomando with the Atlanta Braves; Harold Brantley, Jr. and Dan Mahoney with the Florida Marlins; Peter Fatse with the Milwaukee Brewers, John Folino with the St. Louis Cardinals, Dusty Odenbach with the Kansas City Royals, and two-time UConn captain David Erickson with the San Diego Padres.
· UConn’s men’s and woman’s swimming and diving squads both were recently honored by the College Swimming Coaches Association as Scholar All-American teams for the spring semester.
· The 1994-1995 University of Connecticut women’s basketball team, which won the 1995 NCAA National Championship and posted a perfect 35-0 overall record, was inducted into the “UConn Huskies of Honor” recognition program. The program, launched in 2006, pays visible tribute in the Harry A. Gampel Pavilion to the top individual and team achievements in UConn basketball history. This is the first induction of an entire team (players and coaches) into the program.
· Sue Bird ’02 and Diana Taurasi ’05 won gold medals as members of the United States Women’s Basketball Team during the Beijing Summer Olympics Games. It was the second gold medal for both players, who also represented the U.S. in 2004.
· The official UConn Division of Athletics website, UConnHuskies.com, created its own Twitter page where Husky fans can stay connected with all 24 varsity athletics programs on campus, as well as receive other news and updates on UConn athletics. Twitter is a free social networking service that allows its users to send and read updates, also known as “tweets.”
Fundraising for Charities and UConn
· The University of Connecticut Foundation reported more than $48 million in new gifts and commitments for the year, with total assets of $322 million as of June 30, 2009. The number of households that donated this year totaled 29,000, with alumni giving $22.5 million. Endowments managed by the Foundation made available more than $11 million in spending allocations for FY 2009. Disbursements in support of students, faculty, and programs totaled $28.8 million. Donations and endowment investments result in the addition of endowed chairs and professorships, expansion of merit-based student aid, major support for facilities in business, athletics, and the arts, and funding for many academic program initiatives.
· UConn President Michael J. Hogan announced a new President’s Challenge Fund to raise $100 million in private funding for scholarships and graduate fellowships at the University. As an incentive to donors to participate in the program, UConn will use $50 million in existing scholarship funds to provide a match for new gifts to the UConn Foundation by contributors. The program has already attracted two major donors, a parent, Margaret Keane, and an alumnus, Doug Donaldson ’73 Ed.D.
· More than 250 people attended the second annual “Imagine Gala” fundraiser event to benefit the Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center at the UConn Health Center. The event, held at the Bushnell Center for Performing Arts, honored three individuals who have helped to raise awareness about cancer. The honorees were: Peter J. Deckers, M/D., dean emeritus of the UConn School of Medicine and former executive vice president for health affairs at the Health Center; Michael Economos, founder of the Hartford nonprofit Lea’s Foundation for Leukemia Research, Inc.; and Donald “Dee” Rowe, former UConn men’s basketball coach, longtime university ambassador and cancer survivor. This year’s proceeds went to two Cancer Center programs: Lea’s Foundation Center for Hematologic Disorders and UConn Survive, a new initiative to support clinical and research programs for cancer survivors.
· The Department of Dermatology at the Health Center was the recipient of two major gifts: a pledge for $100,000 from Jane Grant-Kels, M.D., chair of the department, along with her husband, Barry DF. Kels., J.D., M.D., executive director of risk management at the Health Center; and a matching gift of $100,000 by an anonymous grateful patient of Grant-Kels. The gifts contribute toward the department’s fundraising goal of $3 million for a distinguished endowed chair in melanoma and cutaneous oncology or psoriasis.
· This year’s HuskyTHON Dance Marathon raised more than $107,000 for the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford and for the national Children’s Miracle Network. The 24-hour marathon, held each spring at the Storrs campus, is the University’s largest student-run philanthropic event. In the past ten years, HuskyTHON has raised over $290,000 for these two organizations.
· The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources established a new fund to honor former dean Kirklyn M. Kerr. The Kirklyn M. and Anna P. Kerr Legacy Fund provides future deans of the college with some financial resources for enhancing the college’s land grant mission. UConn is Connecticut’s land grant university, funded under the Morrill Act of 1862 granting federal land for the development of “agricultural and mechanical arts” institutions to provide a practical higher education to the people. Today, the three components of the land grant mission – teaching, research, and outreach – guide the activities of the college as well as of the entire University.
Individual Achievement Examples
Many individuals in the University community contributed academic and scholarly achievements and services to the University, the state and beyond. Examples include the following:
· Cheryl Tatano Beck, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Nursing, received the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) 2009 Distinguished Professional Service Award for unparalleled dedication to improving the health of women and infants around the world. The award is the highest honor bestowed by AWHONN, the country’s foremost nursing authority dedicated to advancing the health care of women and newborns through advocacy, research and the creation of high quality, evidence-based standards of care. Beck, a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, was recognized for her internationally renowned research and expertise in perinatal (the period immediately before and after childbirth) mood and anxiety disorders.
· John M. Biancamano, new chief financial officer of the UConn Health Center, brings to the University 18 years of financial administrative experience with Hartford Healthcare, the parent organization of Hartford Hospital. He also had previous administrative experience at Mount Sinai Hospital in Hartford and in health care auditing at Ernst and Young. He earned both his bachelor’s degree, in accounting, and M.B.A. from UConn and serves on the board of the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority.
· Robert R. Birge, the Harold S. Schwenk, Sr., Distinguished Chair in Chemistry, won the 2009 Connecticut Medal of Science, the state’s highest award for scientists. He is known for his basic research on protein structure and function and in biomolecular electronics, yielding breakthroughs that lead to technological developments. Examples include using proteins to store data, applying a new spectroscopic technique to reveal previously unavailable information about a biological molecule, Vitamin A, and understanding the molecular components of visual perception. The Connecticut Medal of Science, modeled after the National Medal of Science, was created by the state legislature to recognize extraordinary achievements in scientific fields crucial to Connecticut’s economic competitiveness.
· Karen Bullock, associate professor of Social Work, was a recipient of the 2009 Women of Color Recognition Award. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to the University and excellence in leadership, achievement, and service. She has been the chair of the Black Studies substantive area in the School of Social Work since 2002 and is the faculty advisor for the Organization of Black Social Work Students. She also serves several professional and community boards with her expertise in working with African American and Latino populations.
· Mun Y. Choi, dean of the School of Engineering and professor of Mechanical Engineering, had an experiment on combustion and fire suppression in space traveling aboard the U.S. space shuttle Endeavour to the International Space Station for testing. The first phase of the experimental research, conducted in conjunction with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and three other universities, investigates the behavior of isolated fuel droplets under microgravity conditions. The second phase will investigate flame extinction, soot formation, and radiative heat transfer. Choi’s research is directed toward understanding the fundamental burning process of liquid fuels and its impact on pollutant formation and efficiency.
· Arnold Dashefsky, professor of Sociology, was named to the Doris and Simon Konover Chair of Judaic Studies. Dashefsky is director of the University’s Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Life, a past president of the Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry and an immediate past secretary-treasurer of the board of directors of the Association for Jewish Scholars. The Konover Chair supports teaching and research by a leading scholar of Jewish life, history and religion
· Thomas DeFranco, associate dean of the Neag School of Education and professor of Curriculum and Instruction, was named to become dean and to replace Richard Schwab who completed 12 years as dean this year. Named a Teaching fellow in 2001, one of UConn’s highest honors, DeFranco also holds a joint appointment in Mathematics in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and conducts research on mathematical problem solving and the teaching and learning of mathematics at the K-16 level.
· Christopher Keen Donovan, longtime director of the Golden Globe Awards and a 1969 graduate of UConn’s Fine Arts Theatre program, was the recipient of the School of Fine Arts 2009 Alumni Award. A four-time Emmy-nominated director with an extensive list of television credits, Donovan has earned an unprecedented 25 national cable television awards.
· Steven Geary, professor of Pathobiology and Veterinary Science, was one of eight tenured professors nationwide selected to be Jefferson Science Fellows at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. He specializes in infectious diseases of animals and is the first microbiologist/vaccinologist to serve as a Jefferson Fellow. Geary, director of UConn’s Center of Excellence for Vaccine Research, hopes to bring his expertise in microbial diseases that can devastate the food animal industry to international policy-making that prevents agro-terrorism. The fellowship program, administered by the National Academies of Science and Engineering with support from the Carnegie and MacArthur Foundations, brings specialized knowledge to the formulation of U.S. foreign policy.
· Maria Gordina, associate professor of Mathematics, was the recipient of the Ruth I. Michler Memorial Prize awarded by Cornell University and the Association for Women in Mathematics. The award will fund a semester’s residency at Cornell to study infinite dimensional spaces, a research project that involves collaborations with a physicist and two other mathematicians, one of whom was her Ph.D. adviser at Cornell. Gordina also has been a Humboldt Foundation Research Fellow.
· Bruce E. Gould, professor and associate dean for primary care in the School of Medicine, received this year’s Faculty Recognition Award from the Health Center Board of Directors. An advocate for public health, primary care and preventative medicine, he serves as director of the Connecticut Area Health Education Center Program, medical director of Hartford’s Department of Health and Human Services, and medical director of the Burgdorf Health Center, a community clinic serving the underserved population in Hartford’s north end in collaboration with Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center. He also is the founder of and adviser to the Mobile Free Migrant Farm Workers Clinic, which has served Connecticut’s migrant farm worker population since 1998.
· Richard D. Gray, new vice president and chief financial officer for both the Storrs-based and Health Center programs, has had a 36-year career in public finance, commercial lending, health care financial management and banking. He was the executive director of Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority (CHEFA) for 12 years. Gray reports directly to the president and is also responsible for developing financial policy and serving as a point of contact for external agencies and partners on financial matters.
· Debra A. Kendall, UConn Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology and associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science. She was cited for distinguished contributions to the field of membrane protein biochemistry, particularly for advances in protein transport and signal transduction systems. Kendall’s large research program at UConn has been funded for 24 consecutive years by NIH and last year brought in $3 million in research grants to UConn. Previously a recipient of a NSF Career Advancement Award, she is an editor for the Public Library of Science, recently completed a term on the editorial board of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, and actively mentors minority students and young women beginning their science careers.
· Joel Levine, a prominent gastroenterologist at the UConn Health Center and a professor of Medicine, was named one of America’s Top Doctors for Women by Women’s Health magazine. Levine is one of only five gastroenterologists in the Northeast selected for this honor. He has pioneered an innovative program aimed at colon cancer prevention.
· Zihai Li, associate professor of Medicine and Immunology, was inducted into the American Society for Clinical Investigation, one of the nation’s oldest and most respected medical honor societies. Li joins more than 2,800 physician-scientists from all medical specialties elected to the Society for their outstanding records of scholarly achievement in biomedical research. Li and his research team have contributed to the understanding of the immunological properties of heat shock proteins (HSPs) in cancer immunotherapy and immune tolerance.
· Jay R. Lieberman, director of the UConn Health Center’s New England Musculoskeletal Institute, was inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. The professor and chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery was nominated for significant and sustained contributions to understanding the biology of arthroplasty implants, and for innovative strategies for bone regeneration using gene therapy and materials science.
· Lawrence McHugh was appointed by Governor M. Jodi Rell to serve as the new chairman of the University of Connecticut Board of Trustees. He will replace longtime UConn trustee chairman John W. Rowe, who resigned from the post at the end of FY 2009. McHugh is currently the chairman of the Connecticut State University System Board of Trustees and also is president of the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce.
· Lirio K. Negroni, associate professor of the School of Social Work, was named the 2009 Educator of the Year by the Connecticut Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. She is nationally recognized as a leading social work educator on issues related to Latinos and Latinas, including the promotion of Latino leadership, culturally competent practice and recruitment to the profession, the retention of Latinos in education and community-university collaborations. She also serves as a faculty member of the School’s Puerto Rico and Latino Studies Project.
· Rafael Perez-Escamilla, professor of Nutritional Sciences, was appointed to the national 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, which helps establish federal nutrition policy affecting millions of people across the country. The federal dietary guidelines educate the general public about the importance of good nutrition to promote health and reduce risk for major chronic disease. Perez-Escamilla is an internationally recognized scholar in domestic and international community nutrition where much of his work focuses on food safety, obesity, diabetes and food security for Latino and low-income American populations. He also is the principal investigator and director of UConn’s Connecticut Center for Eliminating Health Disparities among Latinos.
· Richard Schwab, dean of the Neag School of Education and professor of Educational Leadership, was elected to the board of directors of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF), a non-profit, non-partisan advocacy group based in Washington, D.C. NCTAF is dedicated to providing every child with competent, caring, qualified teaching in schools organized for success. Schwab brings to the group a strong focus on innovation in teaching education and administrator preparation.
· Kathleen Segerson, professor of Economics, was named by the UConn Board of Trustees to fill the Philip E. Austin Chair for a three-year term. The $1.4 million endowed faculty chair was established with contributions made in honor of Austin who completed 11 years as the University’s President in 2007 and returned to teach as a tenured professor of Economics. Segerson, who specializes in environmental and natural resources economics, law, and applied microeconomics, is a former chair of the Economics Department, a fellow of the American Agricultural Economics Association and a fellow and president-elect of the Association of Environmental and Resources Economists. She also is a member of the Science Advisory Board of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and recently served as a member of the U.S. General Accounting Office’s expert panel on climate change economics.
· Stefan Wawzyniecki, chemical health and safety manager at the Department of Environmental Health and Safety at UConn, was the recipient of the 2008 Tillmanns-Skolnick Award from the American Chemical Society to honor his outstanding service to the Society’s Division of Chemical Health and Safety. Wawzyniecki is a board certified industrial hygienist, hazardous materials manager and the University’s chemical hygiene officer.
· Shengli Zhou, assistant professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering and director of the School of Engineering’s Wireless Communication Research Laboratory, was one of 67 researchers nationwide to receive the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, presented by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. The award is the nation’s highest honor for professionals at the outset of their independent scientific research careers. Zhou will receive a $1 million federal grant over the next five years to expand his research in underwater acoustic communications, which involves novel transmitter design and advanced receiver processing, as well as development of an underwater modem prototype. He serves as co-director of the University’s Underwater Sensor Network Lab, a nexus for an interdisciplinary team of faculty in Engineering, the National Undersea Research Center, and the Departments of Marine Sciences and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
· Three deans new to the University in summer of 2008 completed their first full year of UConn academic administration: Salome Raheim, new dean of the School of Social Work, came to UConn from the administration of the University of Iowa, where she was senior associate to its president and the director of its School of Social Work. Raheim also had served on the board of directors of the Council on Social Work Education, the accrediting body for social work programs. Jeremy Teitelbaum, new dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, was previously a senior associate dean of liberal arts and sciences and professor of mathematics at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Teitelbaum, whose research interest is number theory, had previously overseen innovations in mathematical sciences learning and public school teacher development in mathematics education. Gregory Weidemann, new dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, was previously dean of agriculture, food and life sciences at the University of Arkansas, where he also served as associate vice president for research and director of the agricultural experiment station. As a faculty member, he had received several teaching awards and has focused his research on the taxonomy and biology of plant-pathogenic fungi and biological control.
· Two faculty members in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences were the recipients of the NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award, NSF’s most prestigious recognition of the career development of promising teacher-scholars who integrate research and education. Rajeswari Kasi, assistant professor of Chemistry and a member of the interdisciplinary Polymer Program faculty, was the recipient for her research into new polymer-based organic and hybrid materials that can be tailored for a particular function. The award of $475,000 supports her research with materials that respond to physical and chemical stimuli – heat, light, electrical or magnetic fields – and their applications, such as encapsulating a drug in a polymer that responds to a magnetic field for use in an MRI scan to find cancer. Victoria Robinson, assistant professor of Molecular and Cell Biology, was the recipient of $936,000 for a research project on a bacterial protein known as BipA. Robinson’s research group uncovered a link between BipA and a “major spot” molecule in bacteria discovered 30 years ago. Her group’s further research will be focused on understanding bacterial infections such as those caused by Salmonella or MSRA Staphylococcus, which are highly resistant to current drug therapy. Both CAREER grants cover a five-year period.
· Two faculty members in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences were recipients of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) fellowships to undertake scholarly projects. Michael Lynch, professor of Philosophy and author of several books on truth, including True to Life, will write a book defending an original theory of truth that is at odds with both traditional theories and what he calls the new orthodoxy. Richard Wilson, the Gladstein Distinguished Chair in Human Rights, director of the Human Rights Institute and professor of Anthropology, will devote his fellowship to completing a book on three United Nations tribunals: the International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda and the International Criminal Court in The Hague. An NEH fellowship is one of the most distinguished awards that a scholar in the humanities can receive.
· Two graduate students were awarded Fulbright Scholarships for research overseas. Jonathan Wintersein, a doctoral student in Materials Science and Engineering in the School of Engineering, will carry out research for nine months at the Austrian Centre for Electron Microscopy and Nanoanalysis associated with the Technical University of Graz. Amanda Wendt, a doctoral student in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, will continue her research on bats and their role in the regeneration of tropical forests in Costs Rica. The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the U.S. Government and seeks to enhance cultural awareness and cooperation between U.S. scientists and professionals and peers around the globe.
· Michelle Prairie, a senior Economics major in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, was one of 40 new Marshall Scholars named and funded by the British government. She is the only student at a public institution in New England chosen this year for a Marshall, awarded to intellectually distinguished young Americans. She will spend the next two years in the United Kingdom studying for two master’s degrees in development economics, focusing her research on income inequality, particularly in Latin America, and on the effects of trade, aid, and government policies on the distribution of wealth. Prairie was valedictorian of her senior class at Rockville High School and is a UConn Presidential Scholar with a perfect 4.0 grade average.
· Three students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences are recipients of prestigious Goldwater Scholarships to further their studies toward doctorates in the sciences. Michael Abramczyk, with a double major in Physics and Philosophy, Kevin Burgio, with a major in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Alexander Meeske, with a major in Molecular and Cell Biology, are among 278 students nationwide who won 2009 Goldwater awards. The Goldwater awards were established by the U.S. Congress in 1986 in honor of former Senator Barry Goldwater to encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering. The one- and two-year scholarships of up to $7,500 per year are considered the premier undergraduate award in these fields.
In Fall 2008, 29,383 students were enrolled in degree credit programs in: College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the Schools of Business, Neag Education, Engineering, Fine Arts, Graduate, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Ratcliffe Hicks at the Storrs campus, the five regional campuses (Avery Point, Greater Hartford, Stamford, Torrington, Waterbury), the School of Law and Graduate Business Learning Center in Hartford; the School of Social Work in West Hartford; and the Schools of Medicine and Dental Medicine and graduate programs at the Health Center in Farmington. The enrollment represents the largest number of students ever at the University.
The number of freshmen applying to UConn has risen dramatically, from 10,809 for Fall 1995, to 14,677 for Fall 2002, to 22,346 for Fall 2008. The increased interest has been attributed to the physical transformation of the University through the state-supported UCONN 2000 and its continuation into 21st Century UConn, the quality and efforts of the University’s academic departments and faculty, the success of Husky athletic teams, and the perceived value of a top quality education at a reasonable cost.
Nearly 4,900 new freshmen and more than 900 new transfers joined the UConn community in Fall 2008. At all of UConn’s campuses, nearly three-fourths of the new freshmen were Connecticut residents, and 22.7 percent were from minority groups.
The average SAT score for Storrs enrolled freshmen has risen 88 points since 1997, to 1200 for the Fall 2008 entering class. The Fall 2008 entering freshman class included 131 valedictorians and salutatorians, bringing the total since 1995 to 1,074 at all campuses.
At the Health Center, the Fall 2008 incoming class included 44 new dental students and 88 new medical students (less than 3 percent of the applicants to the Schools of Dental Medicine and Medicine).
More than 6,970 degrees were conferred in FY 2008-09 for completions of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs at the Storrs, regional and Health Center campuses. The 4,610 bachelor’s degrees were the highest number of baccalaureates awarded in any year of the University’s history. Other degrees awarded included: 1,499 masters, 266 doctoral, 89 education sixth-year, and 19 agricultural associates. The graduate professional programs awarded 76 medicine (M.D.), 40 dental medicine (D.M.D.), 98 doctor of pharmacy (Pharm.D.), and 240 law (J.D. and LL.M.) degrees and 41 post-baccalaureate professional certificates. Since its founding in 1881, the University has conferred more than 242,430 degrees.
More than 800 students graduated during UConn’s December Commencement, attended by some 6,000 friends and family. Denis M. McCarthy ’64 ’65, retired chairman, CEO, and president of Fidelity Management Trust Co., a subsidiary of Fidelity Investments, delivered the keynote address and received an honorary doctor of humane letters degree. He is co-chair of UConn’s current capital campaign and a member of the UConn Foundation Board of Directors. This was the sixth and last Winter Commencement prior to the reorganization of the May Commencement, beginning in 2010, to enable individual school and college ceremonies.
The May Commencement included the following speakers for the undergraduate ceremonies: Gary English, UConn Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor; William Finch ‘79, Mayor of Bridgeport; Eleanor Krohn Herrmann, UConn emeritus professor of Nursing; Chandler Howard ‘92, president and chief executive officer of Liberty Bank; John Kim ’87 MBA, president and chief executive officer of New York Life Investments; Sharon Nunes, vice president of IBM’s Big Green Innovations; Jennifer Osowiecki, healthcare attorney and a partner in Hartford law firm of Cox and Osowiecki; Richard Schwab, dean of UConn’s Neag School of Education; and Timothy Shriver ‘97 (Ph.D.), chairman and chief executive officer of Special Olympics. Speakers for the graduate and professional ceremonies included: Robert Sternberg, dean of the Tufts University School of Arts and Sciences and a past president of American Psychological Association, for the Storrs-based graduate programs; Victor Yanchick, dean of Pharmacy at Virginia Commonwealth University, for the School of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.); Keith Batchelder, founder and chief executive officer of Genomic Healthcare Strategies, for the Schools of Medicine and Dental Medicine; and Sheila Bair, chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., for the School of Law. Two honorary degrees were conferred by the University at its May Commencement ceremonies: Doctor of Humane Letters - Timothy Shriver, and Doctor of Science - Robert Sternberg,
UConn’s 30-year-old Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) program implemented a new format that requires its students to create an interdisciplinary major in one of seven curricular themes: Human Services, Social Science, Arts and Humanities, Society and Justice, Diversity and Multiculturalism, International, or Community and Public Engagement. The BGS program enrolls about 900 students annually, primarily at UConn’s regional campuses. Students range in age from 21 to 78, with many balancing their degree program with work or caring for children or a parent.
The innovative undergraduate Management and Engineering for Manufacturing (MEM) program has been accredited as a School of Engineering program by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), in addition to being accredited as a School of Business program by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). These accreditations confirm UConn’s commitment to integrating student learning experiences in engineering and business and provide the opportunity to strengthen the program’s preparation of students for professions in world class manufacturing organizations.
UConn’s School of Nursing developed the Post-Master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program to serve nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, midwives, nurse anesthetists, and administrators who prefer an alternative to doctoral programs focused on research. It is the only program in Connecticut and the second in New England to be offered in direct response to the national need for doctorally prepared nursing leaders in practice. The School of Nursing also offers a traditional Ph.D. doctoral program in nursing.
Plans to expand the Master’s Entry Into Nursing (MbEIN) program at UConn’s Stamford campus were enabled with recent contributions of more than $250,000 from Stamford Hospital, Norwalk Hospital, and Greenwich Hospital. The MbEIN program is designed for those with a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field, and allows students to become eligible to take the RN licensure exam after the successful completion of a calendar year of coursework. The program expansion is expected to help ease the shortage of nurses in Fairfield County and across the state.
A $50,000 gift from the Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA) Foundation expanded a School of Nursing experiential program in Cape Town, South Africa, and defrayed the cost for fourth-year students to spend a semester of coursework and clinical practice abroad. The IFSA Foundation is a private foundation promoting study abroad as a major component of undergraduate education. UConn’s Office of Study Abroad and the School of Pharmacy sponsored a group of UConn students for the study of traditional Chinese medicine in China. The students earned six credits in five weeks of learning the history, basic theories and current practice of traditional Chinese and herbal medicine at the Peking University School of Pharmaceutical Sciences in Beijing. Both the China and South African student experiences exemplified the way in which study abroad can provide a valuable curriculum and pedagogy not available on campus.
At Torrington campus, a $250,000 gift enhanced the Litchfield County Writers and Artists Project, a program that has become a touchstone of the University and brought dozens of highly acclaimed authors and artisans to that campus. The gift, the largest ever to support the Torrington campus, will be used for project fellowships and events and to renovate a room for a dual-purpose teaching and gallery area.
Students who want to improve their academic skills and strategies have a new place to go for help: the Academic Achievement Center. The Center, part of the Office for First Year Programs and Learning Communities, is open to students on a walk-in basis to be coached individually or in small groups and is designed to serve all students, not just those who are struggling with their courses. It also serves students who want to perform at the highest levels to be eligible for competitive scholarships, majors, or postgraduate opportunities. The Center is staffed by undergraduate coaches who have taken a course that teaches them how to mentor other students in basic skills and strategies. It operates on a combination of existing resources and builds on the First Year Programs, UConn Connects, and campus peer education programs, including the First Year Experience mentor initiative.
Many academic scholarship funds are developed and expanded through gifts and endowments. Some recent examples include:
· UConn President Michael J. Hogan and his wife, Virginia, established a permanent endowment to fund need-based scholarships for undergraduate students. The Hogan Family Scholarship will be reserved for residents of Connecticut to help them attend the state’s flagship public university. Recipients will be selected based on their academic achievement and financial need. The scholarship will be awarded alternately to students majoring in History and English. Hogan was inspired to create a scholarship by the private support that helped him achieve his academic goals.
· Jeanne Bartman ‘43 and Raymond Bartman, Jr. ‘41 established the Bartman Scholarship in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies for students who need financial assistance and are committed to helping families cope with the challenges they face and to promoting strong family ties.
· George Cloutier ’49 endowed the George F. Cloutier Scholarship Award for meritorious undergraduate students in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources who demonstrate financial need and want to focus their study on forest resources and the forestry profession. Cloutier dedicated his career to forestry in Connecticut and taught dendrology – the study of trees – for several semesters at UConn.
· Barbara ‘61 and Myron ‘61 Dickstein made a $100,000 gift to support student scholarships in the School of Business. Myron graduated with a degree in accounting and credits his education for making his later success in business possible.
· George Findell, Jr. ’56, an alumnus of the School of Business, gave $100,000 toward two funds. The George Findell Program Fund supports the Leadership Legacy Experience, a yearlong enrichment program for exceptional students who have demonstrated leadership at UConn and in the community. A portion of his gift also helps kick off fundraising for the Students First Fund, created to help students after unforeseen misfortunes, such as a serious illness or injury, fire or flood.
· A new graduate fellowship endowment, created with a $150,000 gift from Carolina Herfkens, supports graduate training in clinical psychology, with priority given to students with an interest in studying the effects of family dynamics or childhood disorders on personality development. She is the widow of psychology professor Conrad Schwarz, who died in 2003 and was the founder of UConn’s Psychology Services Clinic, a campus-based training facility for graduate students in clinical psychology.
· A couple with four degrees from UConn between them endowed two new permanent scholarship funds. J. Peter ‘82 ‘83 ‘85 and Jennifer ‘92 Natale gave $50,000 to establish scholarships for fine arts majors and student leaders. The Natales also are longtime supporters of the track and field team.
· The Henry A. Palmer Professorship was created in honor and memory of Henry A. Palmer, who was a popular teacher, scholar, and mentor in the School of Pharmacy for more than 40 years. More than $756,000 was raised from donors to establish the professorship that will focus on all aspects of community pharmacy practice.
· Marshall Senk ‘85 ‘87 endowed a scholarship fund for full-time undergraduate and graduate students who demonstrate financial need as a result of their own or a family member’s health care costs related to cancer or other life-threatening illnesses. The Marshall Senk Family Scholarship was inspired by Senk’s own experience with the devastating effects of cancer.
· A gift from a UConn School of Medicine Alumni family supports a scholarship for first-year medical students interested in women’s health issues. The anonymous $250,000 gift from the family of a recent M.D./Ph.D. graduate addresses an area of health care that the donors believe is feeling increasing strain from high costs and legal pressures, which is driving some medical students away from pursuing a field they otherwise would be interested in.
Three faculty members were named the 2009 Board of Trustees Distinguished Professors. Gregory Anderson, professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and former vice provost for Research and Graduate Education, researches the origin and evolution of domesticated plants. He has been president of the Botanical Society of America and the American Institute of Biological Services and this year is serving a one-year appointment as graduate dean in residence at the Council of Graduate Schools and at NSF in Washington, D.C. Diane Burgess, professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, is developing miniaturized, implantable blood glucose sensors that could become indispensable for millions of people with diabetes. A national expert in drug delivery systems, an American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) fellow and former president of AAPS, she also is studying ways that small molecule drugs, vaccines, and gene therapeutics can be safely and effectively delivered at the cellular level. Diane Lillo-Martin, professor and former department head of Linguistics, studies how children acquire their native language. Editor-in-chief of the journal Language Acquisition, her latest research focuses on “bimodal bilinguals”- young children who learn both spoken and sign language in families with deaf parents. The designation, the University’s highest honor for faculty, is reserved for no more than five percent of the full professors in active service.
The Alumni Association announced the winners of its 2009 Alumni and Faculty Awards to recognize alumni and faculty who have made extraordinary contributions to society and the university. The recipients are: Distinguished Alumni Award – Robert Fiondella ‘68 J.D., retired chairman of Phoenix Companies, Inc.; Honorary Alumni Award – M. Kevin Fahey, senior associate director of UConn’s Division of Student Activities; Alumni Association Service Award – Theresa Hopkins-Staten ’81, ’84 J.D., Connecticut Light and Power Company; Graduate of the Last Decade (G.O.L.D.) Award – Daniel Mullins ’97, ’98 M.A., ’06 J.D., resource specialist of EASTCONN’s Regional Education Service Center; University Service Award – Elizabeth T. Beaudin ’74, ’80 M.S.N., ’06 Ph.D., director of Nursing and Workforce Initiatives of the Connecticut Hospital Association; Faculty Excellence in Research Humanities/Social Sciences) – Sharon Harris, professor of English; Faculty Excellence in Research (Sciences) – William Kraemer, professor of Kinesiology; Faculty Excellence in Teaching at the Undergraduate Level – Linda Strausbaugh, professor of Molecular and Cell Biology; and Faculty Excellence in Teaching at the Graduate Level – Sandra Chafouleas, associate professor of Educational Psychology.
The UConn Chapter of American Association of University Professors (AAUP) awarded two faculty members for excellence in teaching and teaching promise: Laura Donorfio, assistant professor of Human Development and Family Studies; and Stephanie Milan, assistant professor of Psychology. At the annual Instructional Excellence Recognition Dinner, the following teaching and advising award winners were announced: First Year Experience and Learning Communities – Marie McCain, counselor in Center for Academic Programs, and Kathleen Holgerson, director of Women’s Center; Advising – Hedley Freake, professor of Nutritional Sciences, and Matthew Farley, associate director for Community Outreach in Division of Student Activities; Teaching Fellows – Wendy Glenn, associate professor of Curriculum and Instruction, and Jane Kerstetter, associate professor of Allied Health Sciences; Teaching Scholar – Kevin McEvoy, instructor of Marketing, Stamford Campus; Outstanding Adjunct Lecturers – Tamarah Kohanski, English, and Sydney Plum, English; Outstanding Teaching Assistants – Martina Luke, Modern and Classical Languages, and Oscar Levin, Mathematics; The John T. Szarlan Memorial Outstanding Student Mentors – Chelsea Anderson, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Danielle Jones, Center for Academic Programs; Honors Council Faculty member of the Year – Robert Gross, professor of History. Many other teaching awards, including those in various academic disciplines, were acknowledged throughout the year.
UConn’s Office of Audit, Compliance and Ethics (OACE) annually submits required reports to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In compliance with the John Dempsey Hospital’s Certification of Compliance Agreement, the UConn Health Center compliance office annually submits a Certification of Compliance Agreement report to the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. OACE also holds annual required compliance training sessions for all University employees to educate them on the Code of Conduct and the University Guide to the State Code of Ethics. Separate sessions are offered to new employees, to staff members for recent updates to last year’s training, and to faculty covering all the elements of the staff updates as well as an overview of the AAUP Consulting Policy.
UCONN 2000 (also known as 21st Century UConn) building projects in FY 2009 continued with new landscaping for the Student Union Mall on the former site of the pharmacy building, exterior renovations to the Wilbur Cross Building, and both interior and exterior renovations on the 92-year-old Hawley Armory. Both Wilbur Cross and Hawley are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Facilities renovations on the Avery Point Campus, which included code upgrades for the gym and pool building and the underground steam distribution system, also were completed.
Current project planning includes the replacement of the aging Arjona and Monteith classroom buildings, renovations of and additions to several other buildings on the Storrs campus, new or renovated instructional and library space at the Avery Point Campus, and Law School renovations and improvements. All UConn 2000 projects have been re-phased to be in alignment with Academic Plan priorities: enhancement of undergraduate teaching and learning; building upon research and creative activities; improvement of technology support; increase in capacity for modern life science research; and achievement of the standards of the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International. The re-phasing of UCONN 2000 enables the University to focus on academic priorities, continue emphasis on deferred maintenance projects, preserve older beautiful buildings, achieve efficiencies by completing code corrections and renovations together, and fund smaller projects while planning for larger projects.
Planned renovations of the 103-year-old Augustus Storrs Hall housing the School of Nursing will include the addition of a 15,800-square-foot new wing with a 175-seat case-study room, a large lecture hall and individual exam and clinical simulation rooms. The renovations will enable the School to replace a much smaller modular building serving as temporary classroom space, to offer students state-of-the-art classrooms and labs, and to begin to expand enrollment. UConn currently has the largest nursing program in the state and graduated 160 nurses this year.
A new Center for Implant and Reconstructive Dentistry opened at the UConn Health Center with a team of nationally recognized experts who provide a full range of dental implant services. The Center, part of the New England Musculoskeletal Institute, has eight state-of-the-art treatment rooms and sophisticated equipment, including a cone-beam tomography unit that quickly and precisely captures 3-D and 2-D images of jaws and teeth. The new Center will support many research initiatives of the School of Dental Medicine and the Musculoskeletal Institute, including NIH-funded projects, to improve dental implant and restorative techniques, promote bone growth and develop new materials for implant prostheses.
The University expanded its nanotechnology research capabilities with the opening of a 1,000-square-foot “clean room” that will allow scientists to fabricate cutting-edge devices for use in defense, industry, and medicine. The Nanobionics Fabrication Facility will supplement the more than $20 million in state-of-the-art research technology currently available at UConn’s Institute of Materials Science (IMS), including high power electron microscopes, atomic force microscopes, luminescence and Raman spectrometers, X-ray and surface analysis and focused ion-beam etching capabilities. The $2 million facility was made possible in part through the support of a U.S. Army Center grant. In addition, UCONN 2000 funding supported the necessary infrastructure improvements to make the clean room.
The University Alert Notification System, established last year, was tested at the Storrs Campus with successful results: 88 percent of the faculty, staff and students indicated they had received notice of the test within 10 minutes. Tests of the system at the regional campuses were also scheduled. The system enhances communications with the University community in emergency situations and includes website alerts, email, voice mail, text messages, broadcasts through classroom cable and intercom systems, outdoor sirens and code blue phone kiosks.
The security of personally identifiable data on University computers was upgraded with a new encryption program that ensured that sensitive data, such as Social Security numbers and credit card numbers, remained secure, and that unauthorized people cannot gain access to the data even if the computer is lost or stolen. The University-wide encryption is expected to take 18 months, beginning with the areas of highest need and critical areas that work with sensitive data.
Master plan development continued for the 50-acre site that will offer the UConn Storrs Campus and Mansfield community a future village of restaurants and retail stores, offices, and up to 800 units of new housing. The Mansfield Downtown Partnership received the 2008 Community Consensus-Building Award for the Storrs Center project from the Connecticut Main Street program, a statewide non-profit organization under the auspices of the National Trust for Historic Preservation that supports the development of economically vibrant, traditional main streets as a foundation for healthy communities. The project, approved by the University’s Board of Trustees and local agencies in 2005 and by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development in 2006, has also received a $10 million bonding authorization from the State. Storrs Center is planned in phases to allow flexibility to make changes along the way while remaining focused on bringing together residents, members of the University community, and visitors in a vibrant downtown environment.
Information Reported as Required by State Statute
In accordance with state and federal laws and regulations, the University of Connecticut is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. The University’s affirmative action plans are in compliance with the requirements of the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, pursuant to the Regulations for Affirmative Action in the Connecticut General Statutes.
Fall 2008 minority undergraduate enrollment at all campuses was 20 percent. Graduate and professional minority enrollment was 15 percent. One hundred and six countries were represented among the international students, who comprised 16 percent of the graduate and professional students.
The Fall 2008 workforce for Storrs and regional campuses included 19 percent minority faculty and 15 percent minority staff. At the Health Center, the workforce included 23 percent minority faculty and 22 percent minority staff.
The University of Connecticut Board of Trustees is comprised of 21 members: 12 appointed by the Governor; two elected by alumni; two elected by students; and five ex-officio, including the Governor, the Commissioners of Agriculture, Economic & Community Development, Education, and the Chair of the Health Center Board of Directors. Members of the Board of Trustees in 2008-09 were: the Honorable M. Jodi Rell (President), John W. Rowe, M.D. (Chairman), Louise M. Bailey (Secretary), Philip P. Barry, Michael A. Bozzuto, Gerard N. Burrow, M.D., Richard Colon, Jr. (Student Trustee), Andrea Dennis-LaVigne, D.V.M., Peter S. Drotch, Linda P. Gatling, Ross Gionfriddo (Student Trustee), Lenworth M. Jacobs, M.D., Rebecca Lobo, Michael J. Martinez, the Honorable Joan McDonald, the Honorable Mark K. McQuillan, Denis J. Nayden, the Honorable F. Philip Prelli, Thomas D. Ritter, Wayne J. Shepperd, and Richard Treibick.
Other information required by state statute appears in other sections of this report.