2015 Provost’s Awards for Excellence in Public Engagement

Group on stairs 1
Provost Choi and OPE Director, Carol Polifroni

with 2015 Provost’s Award for Excellence in Public Engagement Recipients.

Photo by Tina Covensky




Baseler with Award 2

Emily Anne Baseler is an undergraduate student in both the NEAG School of Education and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences with a dual major in Elementary Education science concentration and Spanish. While at UConn she has been a member of the Community Service Learning Community and participated in, as well as organized, many service opportunities including homelessness awareness and Hoops of Hope. Emily also participated in the Birmingham Alternative Break focused on urban poverty, working in the community garden and rebuilding homes. Since she began her studies at UConn Emily has worked with the Office of Community Outreach as both a Team Leader and Student Program Director in the Jumpstart Program. Through the AmeriCorps Jumpstart Program, Emily and her team of 80 volunteers focus on fostering and developing language and literacy skills with preschool children in low income areas. Emily and her team serve 12 preschools and over 200 children in Windham and Vernon. Freshman year Emily was nominated as an Emerging Leader. During the summer of 2015, she traveled to Cusco, Peru to further her studies and share early literacy strategies with local educators and parents. Emily’s goals include working in an urban school district in STEM education.



Britner with Award 2

Preston A. Britner, Ph.D. is the Philip E. Austin Chair and a Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Connecticut. He received his Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at the University of Virginia in 1996. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, a 2003 University Teaching Fellow, the 2011 UConn AAUP Service Excellence Award winner, and Editor Emeritus of The Journal of Primary Prevention. He holds multiple editorial appointments and administrative and elected positions at university, state, and national levels. His engaged schol-arship has brought child development and parent-child relationship theory and research to applied settings (i.e., translational science), geared toward the promotion of healthy interactions and the prevention of negative behavioral outcomes (e.g., child abuse and neglect). With his faculty, staff, student, and community colleagues, Brit is currently studying the effectiveness of permanent supportive housing and integrated case management for child welfare-involved families (under a federal demonstration grant) and an intensive college preparation and support program for high school youth in foster care (i.e., UConn First Star Academy).



EncoreHartford accepting award

Encore!Hartford is a program of the Nonprofit Leadership Program, Department of Public Policy in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Launched in 2010 by David Garvey and Linda Friedman along with state partners, Encore!Hartford is an intensive workforce development program for unemployed seasoned professionals age 50+ seeking to transition their skill-sets and experience into successful professional and managerial employment in the Connecticut nonprofit sector. Key components of Encore!Hartford are 1) Deep Immersion in the Nonprofit Sector: all topic sessions and fellowships are held at a diverse selection of Connecticut nonprofit organizations, 2) Education: sixty-four hours of skill-set transition education, 3) Resume Restructuring and Networking: resume writing sessions and networking opportunities with sector leaders and 4) Fellowship: a two-month, 30-hour per week challenging project meeting the skills and interests of the fellows and needs of the nonprofit hosts. Encore!Hartford is operated in strategic partnership with Leadership Greater Hartford, AARP Connecticut, Capital Workforce Partners, American Job Center, Connecticut Department of Labor, Connecticut Association of Nonprofits, Jewish Family Services and United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut.



Larson with Award
Joy Green Larson, M.A. has been at UConn since 2012, when she began working at the Center for Health Intervention and Prevention (CHIP). In 2013, she transferred to the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, as Program Manager for the UConn/Ethiopia Partnership, a project designed to establish the Ethiopian Institute for Water Resource Management in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Joy came to UConn after working as an evaluation and performance management consultant for over 15 years for a wide range of community-based and international organizations, with a focus on community-based collaboration and economic development. She was an evaluation consultant for the Department of Children and Families’ Community Connections Program in Massachusetts and other local early childhood and prevention programs. Joy’s previous experience in Africa has included working for the United States Agency for International Development in Southern Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and for the Center for International Agroforestry in Kenya. Joy’s educational background includes a master’s degree in agricultural economics from the University of Wisconsin, a B.A. in Economics from the University of Colorado, and evaluation studies at Tufts University. She has lived in India, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Estonia, Russia, Latvia, and Kenya.



Ricard Plaque

Bob Ricard is Senior Extension Educator with the Department of Extension and teaches in the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment. He came to the University of Connecticut in 1991 and previously served as the Land Use and Water Program Team Leader.

Bob is responsible for helping Connecticut cities and towns with better managing public trees and forests, focusing mostly on municipal tree wardens and community forestry volunteers. He also assists educators and researchers conduct social science research design and methods. He conducts the Tree Warden School and assists the Tree Wardens’ Association of Connecticut, Inc., which he formed in 1992. He is co-author, with Glenn Dreyer, of Greening Connecticut Cities and Towns: Managing Public Trees and Community Forests (2005, 260 pp). Bob holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy with other degrees in forest resources. He is a Fellow of the Society of American Foresters.