Awards and Recognitions

Awards or Recognitions received by UConn

UConn School of Dental Medicine Receives 2016 Golisano Health Leadership Award

The UConn School of Dental Medicine has received the 2016 Golisano Health Leadership Award.

This award is in recognition of the efforts of School of Dental Medicine students, faculty, and staff in providing oral health services and programs to participants in the Connecticut Summer and Winter Special Olympics. These efforts have spanned the past twenty years or more and have been largely coordinated by our students with mentorship and supervision by a very dedicated group of our faculty.

The Award is presented by Special Olympics and the Golisano Foundation, a major supporter of Special Olympics, and is given to “an individual or organization that is dedicated to improving the health of people with intellectual disabilities and advancing the health work of Special Olympics”. The School of Dental Medicine is one of 32 individuals or organizations to receive this award world-wide this year and one of only two awards given in recognition of efforts in oral health.

The Award was accepted on Wednesday night by Dr. Deb Redford-Badwal and Mr. Matthew Lepowsky, DMD ’18 at the COHI annual dinner in Middletown. Dr. Redford-Badwal is the Clinical Director and Matthew is the Coordinator for the Special Olympics CT/Special Smiles program.


The Golisano Health Leadership Award was established in 2016, in partnership with Special Olympics and the Golisano Foundation, and is given to an individual or organizationimage002 that is dedicated to improving the health of people with intellectual disabilities and advancing the health work of Special Olympics.

The Golisano Health Leadership Awards recognize health champions – leaders and organizations – that are making a significant contribution to equal access to health, fitness and/or wellness for people with intellectual disabilities. The awards will also promote awareness for the progress and extraordinary efforts toward fulfilling the goals, values and mission of Special Olympics health program. This is the highest Special Olympics honor for health partners.

There are up to 32 individuals or organizations across the international Special Olympics movement that will receive the Golisano Health Leadership Award in 2016. Honorees are selected based on their involvement in work related to year-round efforts to increase access to quality health care, programming and resources for people with intellectual disabilities. Nominees will be selected based upon the following criteria: 1) expanding health athletes; 2) impact on follow-up care and/or wellness programming; 3) increasing the financial sustainability of health programs; and 4) advancement of the health rights of people with intellectual disabilities.

UConn Office of Public Engagement Secures Grant

Invest Health is a new initiative that brings together diverse leaders from mid-sized U.S. cities across the nation to develop new strategies for increasing and leveraging private and public investments to accelerate improvements in neighborhoods facing the biggest barriers to better health. The program is a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Reinvestment Fund.

This initiative was developed to provide an opportunity for mid-sized cities to transform the way local leaders work together to create solution-driven and diverse partnerships. These partnerships will emphasize making changes in low-income neighborhoods to improve resident health and well-being. These changes can focus on increasing access to quality jobs, affordable housing, and nutritious food, and reducing crime rates and environmental hazards.

Read more about the grant UConn’s Office of Public Engagement secured with the City of Hartford Department of Health and Human Services in collaboration with Community Solutions, Hartford Food System, and St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center.

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McNair Scholars Poster Symposium


Inaugural New England McNair Scholars Program Conference for Undergraduate Researchers:

Poster Symposium

Thursday, July 23, 2015 from 4 to 5:30 PM

Wilbur Cross North Reading Room

UConn – Storrs

Representing 5 New England McNair Scholars Programs:

  • Suffolk University
  • Wesleyan University
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Massachusetts-Boston
  • University of New Hampshire

For more information on the program, explore the website.

Anticipating the 2015 Provost’s Awards for Excellence in Public Engagement

In anticipation of the 2015 Provost’s Awards for Excellence in Public Engagement, please share this invitation with colleagues in your school and department:

2014 Provost's Awards plaques
2014 Provost’s Award Plaques

The University community is invited to participate in the nomination process for the 2015 Provost’s Awards for Excellence in Public Engagement. Engaged Scholarship, Community Partnerships and Community-based Learning combine to form Public Engagement; an essential component of the land-grant mission of the University of Connecticut.

This event and the awards are a celebration and recognition of the work of our faculty, staff and students who successfully integrate public engagement into their academic, research and service programs thereby maximizing the University’s impact on the communities with whom it engages.

There will be six categories for the awards which include:

  • Tenure-track faculty members
  • Non-Tenure track faculty members
  • undergraduate students
  • advanced degree students
  • staff
  • In addition there will be an award dedicated to a person or team who has demonstrated on a longstanding basis the importance and value of Public Engagement to their professional activities as well as that of their colleagues, staff students and partners.

Selected awardees will receive recognition at the Excellence in Public Engagement Reception on a date in late October.

Please consider who of your department colleagues, staff or students should be nominated for these awards. Further information will be available through the Daily Digest and here on the Office of Public Engagement website when the new academic year starts in August.

Results of Academic Vision proposal evaluation announced

A view of the moon seen over the cupola of the Wilbur Cross building.In May President Herbst and Provost Mun Choi announced the first major financial awards in support of the Academic Vision’s Path to Excellence. Totaling almost $10 million, the awards represent a milestone in UConn’s continuing efforts to achieve the academic goals set for the University. These grants support research across a wide variety of disciplines and departments – the humanities, social sciences, sciences, and professional schools and colleges.

Included in the announcement was recognition of the University’s increased investment in Public Engagement and community partnership initiatives:

“During the past decade, UConn has made impressive strides in public engagement in the form of engaged scholarship, service-learning courses and experiences, and mature community partnerships. Additional funding will enable the Office of Public Engagement and its Director, Dr. Carol Polifroni, to develop additional outreach/engagement programs and support engaged and translational scholarship. This funding will continue our support for our UConn Cities Collaborative project that serves the public good with relevant, responsible and reciprocal programs.”

A number of research grants were made along with major grants to support the Center for Genome Innovation and a new Institute for Brain and Cognitive Science as well as funding for the Humanities Institute’s Public Discourse Project. Investment is also committed to support for teaching excellence and equipment to enhance research technology.

The full text of the announcement may be found in UConn Today.

Barbara Netter Honored with John H. Filer Award

From left to right: Carol Polifroni, Director of Engagement, UCONN, Barbara Netter, President and Co-Founder, ACGT, Margaret Cianci, Executive Director, ACGT
From left to right: Carol Polifroni, Director of Engagement, UCONN, Barbara Netter, President and Co-Founder, ACGT, Margaret Cianci, Executive Director, ACGT

As posted by, Barbara Netter, the President and Co-Founder of Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy (ACGT) has been awarded the John H. Filer Award by the Connecticut Council of Philanthropy. The John H. Filer Award recognizes outstanding individuals who have spurred philanthropy and bettered the public good across Connecticut. Mrs. Netter and her late husband, Edward, are also funders  of the Netter Center for Community Partnerships at the University of Pennsylvania which provided a grant to UConn to create the New England University-Assisted Community Schools Collaborative (NE UACSC).



2015 CT Higher Education Service Awards announced

Winners of the 2015 Connecticut Higher Education Community Service Awards were presented at an Awards Ceremony the State Capitol on Tuesday, April 14, 2015.

The Connecticut Higher Education Community Service Awards recognize community service activities conducted by college students, faculty and staff statewide. The awards are made by the Connecticut Commission on Community Service working in partnership with an awards committee representing community-based organizations.  Awards were given to two recipients in each of three categories: Students, Student Groups, and Faculty & Staff.

In the faculty and staff category, Douglas Goodstein, a resident hall director at the University of Connecticut was honored alongside Cathy Lechowicz, the Director for Community Partnerships in the Office of Community Service at Wesleyan University.

Student winners included Faustino De La Cruz from the University of Bridgeport and Hunter McGinty from Norwalk Community College.

Yale University’s Hunger and Homelessness Project and Eastern Connecticut State University’s High Chase Weekly Program – People Helping People were recognized as outstanding student groups focused on community service.


UConn student Melissa Lovitz named Newman Civic Fellow

Campus Compact has announced the 2015 Newman Civic Fellows which include Campus Compact logoUConn senior Melissa Lovitz. This year’s class honors a record 201 community engaged students hailing from 36 states and Washington, D.C.

Newman Civic Fellows are recommended by college and university presidents to acknowledge motivation and ability in public leadership. In her nomination, UConn President Susan Herbst wrote:

“Melissa Lovitz, a senior honors student at the University of Connecticut, has deep roots in public service, having spent a gap year before college as a City Year Corps Member in Washington D.C. There she witnessed the problems of access to quality education and income disparity and has since been devoted to unraveling the complexity of education policy, Melissa Lovitz 2015economics and family engagement. Melissa has since spent a semester in Cape Town, South Africa, where she interned at City Mission Educational Services and volunteered at the Cape Town Holocaust Center. She has also spent time in Uganda as an American Jewish World Service Volunteer, helping to build a public radio station at a school for former child soldiers. She has served as a research assistant in UConn’s Neag School of Education and has also been a teaching assistant for BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life) in Boston. Her honors thesis, “Identifying Strategies for Family Engagement in Low Income Schools,” emerged from her work as a research intern with Achieve Hartford!, an organization committed to closing the achievement gap in Hartford, CT. Melissa is well on her way to becoming a leader in education reform.”

The Newman Civic Fellows Award honors inspiring college student leaders who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country. Through service, research, and advocacy, Newman Civic Fellows are making the most of their college experiences to better understand themselves, the root causes of social issues, and effective mechanisms for creating lasting change. These students represent the next generation of public problem solvers and civic leaders. They serve as national examples of the role that higher education can—and does—play in building a better world.  The Newman Civic Fellows Awards are made possible through the generous support of the KPMG Foundation.KPMG logo


 Newman Civic Fellows awards are made in memory of Frank Newman, who dedicated his life to creating systemic change through education reform. Frank Newman’s leadership was selfless, optimistic, and determined, spanning an incredible career of more than five decades. At the core of Dr. Newman’s leadership was a belief in the power of individuals to make a difference and in the power of connection with others. Newman Civic Fellows form a unique network of leaders who will inspire and keep hope alive for one another during college and afterward, as the network expands exponentially each year. Frank Newman had a tremendous impact on American education and its role in the development of citizens who want to make a difference. The Newman Civic Fellows are reflections and affirmations of his life’s work.  Learn more about Frank Newman.

Urban Service Track receives 2014 E. “Bud” Tarrson Dental School Student Community Leadership Award

ADA Foundation logoThe ADA Foundation recently announced that the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine has been awarded a 2014 E. “Bud” Tarrson Dental School Student Community Leadership Award for its Urban Service Track program.

The Tarrson Award recognizes dental school student programs that demonstrate excellence in providing services to underserved populations within the U.S. The ADA Foundation received many outstanding applications this year and the selection of winners was difficult. For the second year, a generous gift from ADA Business Resources, Inc. (along with a gift from an anonymous donor) will allow the ADA Foundation to present a total of seven Tarrson Awards. Urban Service Track logo