2012 Provost’s Awards for Excellence in Public Engagement

Presented November 13, 2012

Undergraduate Degree Student:

Courtney M. Beyers, School of Nursing
Courtney M. Beyers is a senior Honors Student and an Urban Health Scholar. She developed a program of study with an emphasis on nursing care for underserved populations with a special focus on sickle cell disease, cancer, and aging. She anticipates her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2013. She has assisted over a dozen research projects and recently accepted her first grant award from the Office of Undergraduate Research. Given by her peers, she was recognized by the CT League for Nursing’s “RN Peer Award.” Ms Byers looks forward to working as a Registered Nurse. A recent internship at the UConn Health Center has her eager for the future. Courtney’s Poster


Advanced Degree Student:

Ailton Santonio Coleman, Public Health
Ailton Santonio Coleman is a Public Health doctoral student and UConn Multicultural Scholar. He is a Graduate Research Assistant on the U.S. Department of Agriculture & Natural Resource Inventory project, “Effectiveness of an IMB-based intervention for Reducing Sweetened Beverage Consumption in Preschool Children.” He is a First Year Experience Instructor and guest lecturer on the Fine Steps of Community Engagement. He served as the Graduate Students of Color Association President in 2011 and had been the co-organizer of the annual UConn/OXFAM Hunger Banquet since 2010. Ailton’s Poster


Professional Staff:

Susan Coleman-Rosa, UConn Center for Public Health & Health Policy
Susan Coleman-Rosa joined UConn in 2004 and has been Administrative Program Coordinator for Husky Programs at the Center for Public Health and Health Policy since 2007. She manages over 90 student educators annually and organized the Husky Reads Program, a literacy based health and nutrition program for preschoolers. In addition to partnering with more than 18 community sites, Sue ensures that the UConn Service-Learning experience enhances academic and personal growth.Susan’s Poster



Student Support Services
The Student Support Services program at UConn has worked diligently for nearly 45 years to advance its mission of increasing the enrollment, retention, and graduation of first-generation, low-income, and/or underrepresented students at UConn. SSS serves over 1,100 students at the Storrs Campus and all five regional campuses, making the program a key partner in helping the University to meet it strategic goals for diversity. SSS provides critical outreach services in Connecticut by providing access to higher education and following up with the necessary support to inner city students so they can achieve their dream of obtaining a college degree from the University of Connecticut. Student Support Services Poster




Master Gardener Program
MasterGardenerUConn Extension Master Gardener Program is entering its 35th year of educating Connecticut citizens, forming a network of trained “citizen horticulturists” whose outreach efforts instruct and promote research-based horticultural and environmental education to Connecticut communities. As part of the program, Master Gardeners volunteer in an extensive variety of community outreach projects, contributing over 35,000 volunteer hours annually and working with municipalities, museums, schools, hospitals, environmental groups, community gardens, and garden clubs. Master Gardener Poster



Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry
The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry (B.I.M.P.) was created in 1987 through the efforts of UConn alumni and community members to support and preserve the work of Professor Frank Ballad, creator of the UConn Puppet Arts Program. Dr. John Bell, a theatre historian, puppeteer, and teacher, was named Director of the Institute in 2007. He guides the work of volunteers and students in exhibitions, puppet workshops, museum tours, lectures, conferences, performances and other programs promoting the global arts of puppetry. Dr. Bart Roccoberton and graduate student Anna Fitzgerald accepted the award for B.I.M.P. B.I.M.P. Poster


Early Career Faculty:

Thomas Deans, Department of English, CLAS
Thomas Deans came to UConn in 2005 as Director of the University Writing Center and Associate Professor of English. His teaching and research interests include community/university partnerships that hinge on writing, the teaching of writing, writing across the disciplines, rhetoric, literary and religious representations of writers, and Renaissance literature. At least a third of Deans’ undergraduate teaching at UConn has been committed to courses with a direct public engagement dimension, not only introducing first-year students to academic writing through essay assignments on social justice themes, but also engaging them in collaborative, civic writing through projects arranged with local nonprofits. Under his direction, the Writing Center uses its expertise on how to set up and maintain excellent peer writing centers to partner with Connecticut Public Schools to help them establish their own writing centers. Tom’s Poster



Devra Dang, Department of Pharmacy Practice, School of Pharmacy
Devra Dang is currently an Associate Clinical Professor at the UConn School of Pharmacy. She is one of the founding faculty of the Urban Services Track and is currently its co-director. She is also a board-certified pharmacotherapy specialist and clinical faculty at a multidisciplinary primary care clinic in the North End of Hartford, where she works with physicians and other clinical staff to optimize drug therapy management for patients with a variety of major medical conditions. Her main practice and research interests are in the areas of medical care of underserved populations and inter-professional education. Graduate student Jiehyun Lee accepted the award for Dr. Dang. Devra’s Poster





Charles Yarish, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Marine Sciences, CLAS
Charles Yarish joined the faculty of the UConn Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology in 1976. At UConn, he developed an internationally known laboratory for seaweed research and has been a leader in seaweed aquaculture. He collaborated with teams from the UConn Schools of Business and Engineering to identify the economic value of cultivating seaweed in Long Island Sound coastal waters. This new aquaculture industry provides an alternative source of revenue for people who previously based their livelihoods on shell fishing and lobster fishing. His other outreach activities include designing the marine sciences curriculum and extensive web labs for the Bridgeport Regional Aquaculture Science & Technology Education Center in Bridgeport, CT. He has published extensively and has received numerous extramural grants. Charles’ Poster



Leonille M. Kadambaya & Zato Kadambaya, AfricaPhilantropies, Inc.
Leonille and Zato Kadambaya are the founders of Africaphilantropies, Inc., a nonprofit organization created to help the children of Africa by promoting socio-economic development. Africaphilantropies, Inc. promotes the idea that many problems in Africa can be solved through improved health and education. Mrs. Kadambaya is a Special Education Teacher at Fitch High School in Groton, CT. She received her MA from the Neag School of Education in 2002. Mr. Kadambaya is the Math/Science Coordinator and the STEM Administrator at New London High School (CT). He also received his MA from the Neag School of Education, in 2004. Africaphilantropies Poster


2012 Provost's Award Winners
2012 Provost’s Award Winners
Photo by Juan Castillo

All photos by Juan Castillo