2023 Workshop Offerings

UConn Pre-College Summer has an exciting slate of workshops for the 2023 summer program. You can see full workshop descriptions and information about workshop facilitators by clicking the various workshops listed below. Workshops will take place on Mondays, and Wednesdays at 2:00pm and 3:30pm and Fridays at 2:00pm. Enrolled students can register for workshops by navigating to their status portal and completing the workshops checklist item.

These are required workshops, so we expect to see you there. Remember that your Community Managers are here to help you.

Session 1 Offerings

Monday, June 26th Workshops

2pm – Finding Your Dream College & Crafting Application Essays

Description: Identifying the college that is right for you can be a challenging process – one that requires research, visits, and a careful assessment of the qualities you are seeking in a school. We all know that with a big decision comes big considerations. To that end, this workshop will dive into key factors students should consider when compiling their list of schools, while also emphasizing just how many options are out there for any combination of interests and preferences. Your college application is an inherent part of this process, as it plays a big role in the way admissions offices view you at the schools you choose to apply; your application essay is an opportunity to share the experiences, traits, and interests that you feel are important. Join us as we delve into best practices for college selection and an approach to your essays that will positively impact the applications you submit to top choices.

Facilitator Bio: Emmie Hudson is an Education and Outreach Specialist with The Princeton Review. Through this role, she works closely with counseling teams, students, and families providing resources related to the college admissions landscape and test-taking best practices. Her position bridges high school academics with the various aspects of the college application process to establish supports for post-secondary success and throughout the admissions experience. Prior to joining The Princeton Review’s team, Emmie taught 5th grade English in Baltimore as a Teach For America Corps Member. She received her Teaching Certification from Johns Hopkins University, and BA in History and French from Franklin & Marshall College.

2pm – Nutrition for the College Student

Description: Navigating eating well for energy, academic success, and overall health can sometimes be challenging as a busy college student. Participants will learn strategies for eating nutritionally sound food on a college campus. Participants will also hear the facts about commonly heard nutrition myths and diets.

Facilitator Bio: Amy is a registered dietitian at UConn Student Health and Wellness, graduate assistant, and first year master's student studying Health Promotion Sciences at the University of Connecticut. She practices a weight-inclusive and intuitive eating approach and is particularly interested in eating disorders/disordered eating, vegetarian/vegan nutrition, and health equity.

2pm – Pet Therapy for Stress Relief and Well-Being in College

Description:Concerned about be at a large institution away from family, friends, and mostly - your pets? Learn how pet therapy is used as one of the resources UConn students have to help reduce stress not just at exam times, but during the entire semester. You'll discover the many physical, psychological, and emotional benefits of interacting with animals. Benefits that can make a real difference in your college experience. Find out what it takes to become a pet therapy animal and how you can participate in the programs offered at UConn. Programs are offered through Student Health & Wellness (SHaW), the Babbidge Library, the Benton Museum of Art, the Rainbow Center and more. And, best of all - meet Wrigley one of the regular pet therapy dogs on campus!

Facilitator Bio: Laurel has been involved with animal assisted activities (pet therapy) for over 40 years. She is a founding member of Tails of Joy, has served on the advisory board for Pet Partners, has been a consultant for the PBS show “Nature”, and currently is the College Pet Therapy Visit Coordinator for Tails of Joy which covers central and eastern Connecticut. Laurel has conducted graduate research on various aspects of the Human-Animal Bond (HAB), including the effects on persons with disabilities who partner with an assistance dog, has written multiple journal articles on HAB, and facilitated a course on the subject at UConn. Born and raised in Chicago, Laurel now calls Connecticut home and shares her life with her husband, two Newfoundlands (Wrigley & Ernie) and a Portuguese Water Dog (Iggy).

2pm – Promoting mental health

Description: This informative and interactive workshop increases participants' mental health literacy focusing on tools and techniques to support self-care and well-being.

Facilitator Bio:

  • Chantaul Smith, LMFT.

Professional Interests:
Chantaul is currently acquiring her doctorate which is centered around Minority mental health and ways to bridge engagement with mental health services.

Therapeutic Approach:
Chantaul uses a person-centered approach to join with students and to meet them where they are at. Chantaul uses a multicultural, trauma informed lens to address presenting concerns and to maximize symptom reduction. Chantaul’s favorite approach is create safe, authentic spaces where all feel welcomed and honored.

  • Shanice Anderson, M.S. Doctoral Intern

Professional Interests:
My clinical interests include multicultural psychology; diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging; identity development and exploration; racial trauma; and social justice issues. I enjoy live music, sneaker shopping, and reading.

Therapeutic Approach:
I utilize an integrative, person-centered approach, often influenced by the multicultural orientation framework. I try to meet my clients where they are at whilst observing their intersecting identities to better understand how those identities influence their perception of self and the world around them. It is my intention to gain a holistic viewpoint of my clients to facilitate identity development that promotes self-acceptance and empowerment, as well as provide a safe, nonjudgmental space to build meaningful therapeutic relationships and explore my clients’ unique needs.

2pm – Teambuilding and communication

Description: This fun, activity and game based program is designed to highlight interpersonal communication skills. It can be used in a variety of disciplines or as a basis for identifying the importance of communication skills as a core component of personal safety, bystander intervention techniques, and healthy relationships. Participants will identify the ways in which people communicate and discuss effective message delivery. Participants will also identify potential barriers to effective communication. They will then break into smaller activity groups to play games designed to highlight different forms of communication.

Facilitator Bio: Sergeant Justin Cheney of the UConn Police Department work as part of the Community Outreach Unit. He started working at UConn in 2015. Prior to working at UConn, he attended as an undergraduate, receiving a BA in Psychology in 2007. In 2018, he began the first police facility dog program in the state of Connecticut. His partner, Tildy, provides assistance and support to those in need. Tildy enhances positive communication between the police department and UConn community. She is highly trained and her favorite activity is dock diving!

2pm – What is leadership: Addressing Leadership Myths

Description: What does leadership mean to you? Who are leaders in your life that positively influences you? In this workshop, we will explore the commonalities as well as differences of individuals definitions and characteristics of leadership. We will also address leadership myths using an interactive activity (for example. Are Leaders made or are leaders born?).

Facilitator Bio: Joseph Briody, PhD. Assistant Vice President, Executive Director for Student Activities

3:30pm – Engineering Life Support Systems for Humans Working in Space

Description:It is 2035 and your team is tasked to design a commercial space station that will be used for space manufacturing. You will design the life support system considering thermal and air control, waste management, radiation protection, and how food will be transported/grown. Your team will also decide on what you will manufacture and how a space environment is economically advantageous.

Facilitator Bio: Jason Lee is a faculty member in the Mechanical Engineering department. He teaches thermodynamics, heat transfer, fluid dynamics, sports engineering, senior design cap stone, and manufacturing related courses. He is interested in engineering applications that help humans explore and live in space environments and manufacturing applications in space. He is the Mechanical Engineering undergraduate director and enjoys working with students of all levels from K-12 to working professionals.

3:30pm – Experience College with Our Community Managers and Hall Coordinator!

Description: Are you curious about what college life is really like? Join us for an engaging workshop where our Community Managers and/or Hall Coordinator will share their firsthand experiences and insights. During this session, you'll get a glimpse into the daily lives of college students and learn about the challenges, opportunities, and memorable moments they encountered. 

3:30pm – Resume Building

Description: Wondering how you can improve your résumé? Or perhaps you’re a bit stuck on how to get started? Have no fear, the Center for Career Development is here! This workshop will cover basic résumé formatting guidelines, résumé sections, and how to write bullet point statements.

Facilitator Bio: Amelinda oversees the Center’s strategic vision for in-person and virtual career readiness programming for UConn Nation. On average, the team hosts about 500 workshops and events for UConn students in and out of the classroom annually. In addition to career development programs, she manages Career Everywhere and the Career Champion Program.  Both Career Everywhere and the Career Champion Program focus on building and sustaining relationships with UConn’s community and equipping them with the tools and resources they need to have career conversations with UConn students.

3:30pm – The Basics of Body Image and Creating a Supportive Environment for You and Your Friends

Description: Informative presentation covering the basics of body image, and fostering positive body image and self-esteem, signs and symptoms of disordered eating and eating disorders, and how to promote body positivity and well-being for yourself and the ones around you. This presentation will also educate students on where to refer a friend or find help for themselves if they are concerned about their health and well-being.

Facilitator Bio: Amy is a registered dietitian at UConn Student Health and Wellness, graduate assistant, and first year master's student studying Health Promotion Sciences at the University of Connecticut. She practices a weight-inclusive and intuitive eating approach and is particularly interested in eating disorders/disordered eating, vegetarian/vegan nutrition, and health equity.

3:30pm – UConn Campus Tour and Information Session

Description: Get a taste of the boundless opportunities that exist at UConn and a better understanding of what makes us champions. Learn what it’s like to be a student and about the academic and co-curricular offerings available as you tour our beautiful main campus in Storrs.

Facilitator Bio: TBD

3:30pm – What’s REALLY Important to You?

Description: Your values will often be the driving force behind almost every important decision you make. They are your principles and standards. They are your judgment of what's important in life. Some values are innate and some are taught. They are beliefs, ideas and experiences that are important to you and direct your choices. By leading an in-class activity and facilitating discussion throughout, we will give students the opportunity to begin thinking about their values and how values can guide their decision making. We will focus on how this impacts a student's choice of major and/or career.

Facilitator Bio: Jillian Johnston is an Academic Advisor with UConn’s Academic Center for Exploratory Students and serves on UConn’s The Major Experience Professional Committee. She also teaches courses in UConn’s First Year Experience program. Jillian graduated from UConn (CLAS) in 2016 with a degree in History, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2018 with a M.S.Ed in Higher Education.

Wednesday, June 28th

2pm – Breaking Down Barriers: You CAN Study Abroad!

Description: Adventure awaits, no matter where you go! #UConnChangeYourWorld with global education. Where can you see yourself venturing off to with Experiential Global Learning? This workshop will educate you about the impact a study abroad program can have on your college experience, while breaking down the barriers that keep students from exploring the opportunity! UConn EGL provides opportunities to students of all fields of study across the world. See how setting goals now for your future opens doors to international opportunities. Where will this next chapter in life take you? Discover the possibilities with Experiential Global Learning.

Facilitator Bio: Laura has been with Experiential Global Learning since 2013. As a seasoned advisor in EGL she has a portfolio of majors she advises on in addition to overseeing the strategic mission of the advising team. Laura manages the Global Student Mentor program, and returnee students, as well as credits and grades. Laura graduated from UConn, where she majored in Psychology and minored in Business Administration. In the spring of 2005, Laura studied in Italy, through the UConn in Florence program. She holds her Masters in Organizational Leadership with a focus on Human Resources from Quinnipiac University. Prior to UConn, Laura worked as an Executive Recruiter, specializing in the placement of finance and accounting professionals. She spent five years at the Yale School of Management Career Development Office in New Haven developing career based workshops, maintaining internship placement and navigating MBA students through their career paths. Laura has a passion for higher education, re-entry programming and college athletics.

2pm – Cognitive Computing for Human-like Intelligence

Description: Have you ever wondered what it would be like to solve problems in dimensions beyond our everyday world? Our workshop will take you on a mind-bending adventure through the fascinating world of hyperdimensional computing, where you'll learn to manipulate and crunch numbers in higher dimensions. No need to fear the math! Our experienced instructors will guide you through mind-boggling concepts like hypervector, encoding, and other cool mathematical constructs. You will get hands-on experience with state-of-the-art computing tools, making complex computations easier than ever before. Join us for an unforgettable experience that will expand your mind and set you on a path to a future in cutting-edge technology. Let's get hyperdimensional!

Facilitator Bio: Dr. Imani joined the University of Connecticut in 2020 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He received his Dual-title Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from the Pennsylvania State University in 2020. His research interests focus on data analytics, machine learning, statistical learning, and decision theory for process monitoring and control, system diagnostics and prognostics, quality and reliability improvement with applications in advanced manufacturing. He was a recipient of multiple awards including James E. Marley Graduate Fellowship in Engineering (2020), Brush Graduate Fellowship (2019), University Graduate Fellowship (2016), and Breakthrough Project in National Science Foundation Industry–University Cooperative Research Centers (2020). 

2pm – Experience College with Our Community Managers and Hall Coordinator!

Description: Are you curious about what college life is really like? Join us for an engaging workshop where our Community Managers and/or Hall Coordinator will share their firsthand experiences and insights. During this session, you'll get a glimpse into the daily lives of college students and learn about the challenges, opportunities, and memorable moments they encountered. 

2pm – General Campus Safety and Risk reduction strategies

Description: In a group discussion setting, participants will identify risks they may face in daily life and discuss risk reduction strategies. Participants will understand the importance of risk awareness, recognition, reduction, and avoidance. Through group discussion, participants will develop risk recognition specific to general campus life, at parties, in residences, online, and in dating situations. The group will discuss ways to reduce those risks they self-identify.

Facilitator Bio: Sergeant Justin Cheney of the UConn Police Department work as part of the Community Outreach Unit. He started working at UConn in 2015. Prior to working at UConn, he attended as an undergraduate, receiving a BA in Psychology in 2007. In 2018, he began the first police facility dog program in the state of Connecticut. His partner, Tildy, provides assistance and support to those in need. Tildy enhances positive communication between the police department and UConn community. She is highly trained and her favorite activity is dock diving!

2pm – Setting up your semester

Description: It's never to early to start the preparation process. This presentation will help you start your semester on the right foot, organized, prepared, and in the mindset to succeed.

Facilitator Bio: Leo has worked in Higher Education for the past thirty years. Currently, Leo currently serves as the Director of the Academic Support and Assistant Director of First Year Programs and Learning Communities. Previously Leo has worked at UConn as a counselor with UConn’s TRiO program. For the past ten years Leo has served as an instructor in Educational Psychology for a fieldwork class for student mentors. As a member of UConn’s University Senate, Leo chairs the student welfare committee addressing the needs of the undergraduate population. Before coming to UCONN, Leo worked in many areas of counseling from working as a counselor and advisor at Manchester Community College, counseling six graders in the East Hartford school system to adult males involved with domestic violence issues. On campus Leo serves on many committees surrounding student retention and success. Leo holds a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from UCONN, a master’s degree in counseling from Saint Joseph University and holds national certification and licensure as a LPCA. 

3:30pm – Composing Winning College Application Essays

Description: Crafting an engaging college application essay isn’t easy--in fact, much of what you're taught about writing essays for school doesn't match up very well with application essays. This workshop will offer some coaching on which common traps to avoid and what kinds of approaches tend to work. We'll also look at several sample essays.

Facilitator Bio: Tom Deans has been an English professor and director of the Writing Center at UConn since 2005. He works with faculty across the university--and at other universities--to design writing-intensive courses in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities.

3:30pm – Interviewing

Description: The résumé, cover letter, and application all serve the purpose of getting you the interview, but the interview is your chance to actually get the job. In this presentation, you'll learn about what to expect in an interview and how to prepare to answer standard and complex questions in a professional way that makes you stand out and land the job, internship, or experience you are seeking.

Facilitator Bio: Kaitlyn designs and develops career readiness programs and resources for faculty and staff to integrate into their courses, advising, student employment and conversations with students.  She also partners with faculty in the Career Champions program which highlights faculty commitment to student career readiness.  As a former teacher, she knows it takes a village to support learners’ unique needs and goals, and she is committed to collaborating with various stakeholders to ensure that all students are career ready.

3:30pm – The Science of Exercise

Description: This practical and informative workshop helps participants understand the science behind their favorite gym routine or exercise class, provides information about starting a new exercise routine, and how to fit it into your busy schedule.

Facilitator Bio: Alex is a second-year Kinesiology doctoral student within the UConn health fitness lab and also works as a physical activity counselor in UConn Student Health and Wellness. Alex is interested in how exercise can provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of chronic disease, and formulating strategies to move the nation toward a more physically active lifestyle.

3:30pm – Mirroring in Communication

Description: Learn the steps, patterns, and tricks that make for great conversations through the fun of ballroom dance! Yes, you read that correctly. This one-of-a-kind interactive workshop uses the basics of partner dancing, like “mirroring,” to better your communication skills with others. No previous dance experience needed, just a willingness to have fun while bringing out the best in others.

Facilitator Bio: Master Teaching Artist and Counselor, Rey Bermudez created the “Relational Dance” method for helping people of all ages develop the skills needed for healthy relationships through the fun of partner dance. He has a BA in Human Services from Springfield College and a MA in Human Service Counseling with a concentration in Marriage & Family from Liberty University. Since 1995, Rey has taught thousands from all of the country and parts of the world to dance, but his greatest love is using dance to equip, empower, and entertain communities, one step at a time!

3:30pm – Who Am I? The Power of Me?

Description: During this interactive workshop, students will explore their personal identities as well as values. Who Am I? Have you asked yourself this? Being an effective leader begins with understanding who you are, inclusive of your personal values. Explore yourself within this workshop.

Facilitator Bio: Trisha Hawthorne-Noble (she/her)  Associate Director of Student Activities & Director for Leadership & Organizational Development

Friday, June 30th

2pm – Doing Undergraduate Research

Description: At UConn, researchers are producing new knowledge that changes our world everyday! From innovations in medicine, to new findings about our universe, to making change in education, research is one of the biggest ways UConn impacts the world. In our session, you will learn about how you can conduct research to make your own impact both right now and in your future career.

Facilitator Bio: Emily Schwab, Ph.D. is the Director of the BOLD Women’s Leadership Network Program and an advisor in the Office of Undergraduate Research. Dr. Schwab advises current BOLD Scholars and can provide information for those interested in BOLD as well as other undergraduate research opportunities. She holds a BA from Williams College in History and Latina/o studies and a PhD in Education (Reading/Writing/Literacy) from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining the Office of Undergraduate Research, Dr. Schwab taught undergraduate and graduate level Education students at UConn and Rhode Island College while also teaching K-12 Language Arts and English for multilingual learners in Providence.

2pm – Experience College with Our Community Managers and Hall Coordinator!

Description: Are you curious about what college life is really like? Join us for an engaging workshop where our Community Managers and/or Hall Coordinator will share their firsthand experiences and insights. During this session, you'll get a glimpse into the daily lives of college students and learn about the challenges, opportunities, and memorable moments they encountered. 

2pm – Getting Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

Description: College is a unique time in your life to meet new people and explore new ideas. The college journey is something new and exciting, but can also be a time of uncertainty and discomfort. In the workshop, I will share how embracing these feelings and stepping out of your comfort zone actually will transform you as a person.

Facilitator Bio: Kevin L. Booker, Jr. is the founder of Booker Empowerment, LLC (established in 2007) and has been an educator for over 20 years.  He is committed to uplifting and educating individuals. Mr. Booker realized his passion for encouraging others who do not have a voice when he was 12 years old. At that young age, he committed to fighting for young people, understood the importance of helping others see their full potential, and dedicated himself to a life of seeking social justice.
Mr. Booker went on to achieve various degrees through the support of his family and strong mentors. He teaches college and high school level classes, trains men and women who have experienced trauma to tell their story in order to empower others, facilitates leadership and diversity workshops, and lectures. He is a mentor and speaks publicly all over the country to encourage people to understand the power of education and using their voice to make positive change. Mr. Booker is a regular volunteer with the American Red Cross and spent 7 weeks in Puerto Rico to help after Hurricane Maria. He also volunteers regularly in a local elementary school, supporting reading instruction, something he has done for the last seven years. Mr. Booker has a strong passion for encouraging others to stay positive through adversity and voluntees his time working with many individuals from various backgrounds.
Mr. Booker is a former City Councilor for the City of New London, CT where he oversaw Public Safety. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in Connecticut, ISAAC (Interdistrict School for Arts and Communication) Charter School Board of Directors in New London, CT, Hartford Job Corps Academy Outreach Board in Hartford, CT, and the School and State Finance Advisory Council. Currently, Mr. Booker is a New London Parking Authority Commissioner. Mr. Booker co-hosts a podcast called “The Cultural Flipside” with Daisy Torres where they discuss social and cultural issues that are occurring throughout the world. Mr. Booker is an author and published a book along with other men titled “Emerging Men: Transformational Stories of Hope, Inspiration and Purpose.” His motto is “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.”

2pm – How major is your major

Description: We believe that every student should be exploratory when it comes to majors. Whether they're anxiously undecided or comfortably declared, everyone can benefit from taking the time to examine their options. However, most students simply aren't prepared to explore. Preconceived assumptions and myths about majors prevent them from being able to take full advantage of the process. This fun and interactive presentation will focus on elevating the student approach to major exploration by acknowledging and correcting these misconceptions and demonstrating that choosing a major isn’t quite so major.

Facilitator Bio: Sydnee Jones is an Academic Advisor with UConn’s Academic Center for Exploratory Students and serves on UConn’s The Major Experience Professional Committee. She also teaches courses in UConn’s First Year Experience program. Sydnee graduated from Central Connecticut State University  in 2018 with a degree in Sociology, and graduated from CCSU again in 2021 with a M.S. in Counseling with a specialization in Student Development in Higher Education. 

2pm – Label Like a Pro: The Art of Big Data Annotation

Description:Are you ready to dive into the world of Big Data? Join our workshop, "Label Like a Pro: The Art of Big Data Annotation," and learn how to make sense of massive amounts of information! As you know, Big Data is everywhere, and it's growing bigger by the day. But how do we make sense of all that information? The answer lies in labeling! In this workshop, you'll learn how to annotate data to help machines recognize patterns, analyze trends, and make informed decisions. And who knows, you might even discover a passion for data labeling! With your newly acquired labeling skills, you'll be on the forefront of shaping our future in technology. Join us and let's make sense of Big Data together!

Facilitator Bio:Dr. Chen joined the department of Mechanical Engineering as an Assistant Professor-in-Residence in August 2022. She received her Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University (2021), and dual M.S. in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from The Pennsylvania State University (2018). She obtained her B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Southeast University, China (2016). Her research focuses on data analytics, statistical learning, system identification and uncertainty quantification, and modeling and analysis of complex systems. She is currently working on privacy and security, along with human-machine teaming in advanced manufacturing systems.

2pm – Empowering Observation

Description: Today’s world moves fast and is filled with distractions, making mindfulness more important than ever. Being present and aware of the details of your daily life will support not only your success on campus, but also in the workplace. According to the job site Indeed’s Career Guide, mindfulness is associated with observation skills, which “refer to the ability to use all five of your senses to recognize, analyze and recall your surroundings”.
This workshop will empower you to sharpen your observation skills through group discussion of original works of art. Following the workshop, explore the museum with a scavenger hunt.

Facilitator Bio: Amanda Douberley, Assistant Curator/Academic Liaison, is responsible for connecting the Benton’s collections and exhibitions with teaching in departments across the university. She has curated numerous exhibitions at the museum, often in collaboration with faculty and other campus partners. Amanda holds a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin with a focus on 20th-century American sculpture and public art. Before coming to UConn in 2018, she taught in the Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Session 2 Offerings

Monday, July 3rd

2pm – Discovering your True Self

Description: This workshop takes students on a journey to self discovery where they have an opportunity to engage in activities that encourages them to go beyond the surface and to explore their identity and what they desire from life.

Facilitator Bio: A native of New Haven, Conn., Amber Jones has worked with young girls extensively through her 10 years of education in South Jersey. Her work with youth is a part of her life’s purpose. In 2018 she established a girls empowerment organization Queens Academy, whose mission is to provide girls with the necessary tools, skills, opportunities, and experiences in order to thrive. Jones said she contributes much of her success to the youth programs that she was involved in growing up and felt the need to impact young people the same way. Queens Academy touches upon topics and issues that impact girls. The workshops that she facilitates uses various therapeutic approaches and provides girls a safe space. Every summer, Jones takes her workshops on the road traveling to different states for her Journey to Self- Love tour. Jones is always looking for new and innovative ways to motivate youth, in 2022 she released her very first book “Beautiful Rising Queens.” Jones serves as a social work supervisor for interns at Rutgers University’s school of Social Work.

2pm – Teambuilding and communication

Description: This fun, activity and game based program is designed to highlight interpersonal communication skills. It can be used in a variety of disciplines or as a basis for identifying the importance of communication skills as a core component of personal safety, bystander intervention techniques, and healthy relationships. Participants will identify the ways in which people communicate and discuss effective message delivery. Participants will also identify potential barriers to effective communication. They will then break into smaller activity groups to play games designed to highlight different forms of communication.

Facilitator Bio: Sergeant Justin Cheney of the UConn Police Department work as part of the Community Outreach Unit. He started working at UConn in 2015. Prior to working at UConn, he attended as an undergraduate, receiving a BA in Psychology in 2007. In 2018, he began the first police facility dog program in the state of Connecticut. His partner, Tildy, provides assistance and support to those in need. Tildy enhances positive communication between the police department and UConn community. She is highly trained and her favorite activity is dock diving!

3:30pm – Build your team in college

Description: Get ready for fun! This workshop includes lots of hands-on teambuilding activities and exercises. Identify the many academic, social and mental health supports offered at college and learn why having a strong team is important for college success.

Facilitator Bio: Jennifer Sullivan, M.S is author of 3 books including Sharing the Transition to College Workbook and College is Like a Video Game: Press Play. She is CEO of Fast Forward College Coaching and helps new and struggling college students around the country with time management skills. Jennifer has worked at 4 colleges and universities in both CT and NY over 20 years. She is passionate about helping ALL students be successful in college including first-generation students and students with disabilities. Jennifer loves reminding students how amazing they are - if you need a pep talk, find her!

3:30pm – Resume Building

Description: Wondering how you can improve your résumé? Or perhaps you’re a bit stuck on how to get started? Have no fear, the Center for Career Development is here! This workshop will cover basic résumé formatting guidelines, résumé sections, and how to write bullet point statements.

Facilitator Bio: Eran oversees the one-on-one career coaching program. In addition to coordinating offerings, he also helps the team of coaches in their professional development by implementing trainings and discussions around diversity, equity, and inclusion topics. His favorite aspect of his job is when get to meet individually with students and alums, hearing their stories, and together, coming up with action plans to meet their future goals and aspirations. One of his emerging interests is in helping students find their purpose and find meaningful work.

Friday, July 7th

2pm – Getting Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

Description: College is a unique time in your life to meet new people and explore new ideas. The college journey is something new and exciting, but can also be a time of uncertainty and discomfort. In the workshop, I will share how embracing these feelings and stepping out of your comfort zone actually will transform you as a person.

Facilitator Bio: Kevin L. Booker, Jr. is the founder of Booker Empowerment, LLC (established in 2007) and has been an educator for over 20 years.  He is committed to uplifting and educating individuals. Mr. Booker realized his passion for encouraging others who do not have a voice when he was 12 years old. At that young age, he committed to fighting for young people, understood the importance of helping others see their full potential, and dedicated himself to a life of seeking social justice.
Mr. Booker went on to achieve various degrees through the support of his family and strong mentors. He teaches college and high school level classes, trains men and women who have experienced trauma to tell their story in order to empower others, facilitates leadership and diversity workshops, and lectures. He is a mentor and speaks publicly all over the country to encourage people to understand the power of education and using their voice to make positive change. Mr. Booker is a regular volunteer with the American Red Cross and spent 7 weeks in Puerto Rico to help after Hurricane Maria. He also volunteers regularly in a local elementary school, supporting reading instruction, something he has done for the last seven years. Mr. Booker has a strong passion for encouraging others to stay positive through adversity and voluntees his time working with many individuals from various backgrounds.
Mr. Booker is a former City Councilor for the City of New London, CT where he oversaw Public Safety. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in Connecticut, ISAAC (Interdistrict School for Arts and Communication) Charter School Board of Directors in New London, CT, Hartford Job Corps Academy Outreach Board in Hartford, CT, and the School and State Finance Advisory Council. Currently, Mr. Booker is a New London Parking Authority Commissioner. Mr. Booker co-hosts a podcast called “The Cultural Flipside” with Daisy Torres where they discuss social and cultural issues that are occurring throughout the world. Mr. Booker is an author and published a book along with other men titled “Emerging Men: Transformational Stories of Hope, Inspiration and Purpose.” His motto is “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.”

2pm – Interviewing

Description: The résumé, cover letter, and application all serve the purpose of getting you the interview, but the interview is your chance to actually get the job. In this presentation, you'll learn about what to expect in an interview and how to prepare to answer standard and complex questions in a professional way that makes you stand out and land the job, internship, or experience you are seeking.

Facilitator Bio: In his current role, Theo's priority is to leverage his more than twenty years of experience in talent acquisition and career services to help students explore and pursue their career goals. One of his favorite ways of doing so, involves working with them on developing their personal brands. This for him serves as a catalyst that empowers them to take ownership of their careers and leverage all available career tools and resources at their disposal. As a career consultant there is no better feeling than witnessing the moment a student realizes that they are not “just another brick in the wall” and are able to articulate their unique value proposition. Another part of his role focuses on collaborating with employers to ensure that they have access to great student talent, while also supporting them in effectively communicating their employer brand to their target audience. As one of his mentors used to say, “ when talent meets opportunity, great things can happen”. Finally, Theo conducts regular assessments of the student-facing CCD career technology, to determine its value and return on investment for students, staff, and faculty.

2pm – Promoting mental health

Description: This informative and interactive workshop increases participants' mental health literacy focusing on tools and techniques to support self-care and well-being.

Facilitator Bio: Anne Thompson Heller, PhD, LMFT, MA - Staff Psychotherapist

Professional Interests:
Substance use/misuse/recovery, grief, trauma, relational dynamics

Therapeutic Approach:
Uses an Integrative approach, including but not limited to: family systems, strength based empowerment, solution focused.

Session 3 Offerings

Monday, July 10th

2pm – How major is your major

Description: We believe that every student should be exploratory when it comes to majors. Whether they're anxiously undecided or comfortably declared, everyone can benefit from taking the time to examine their options. However, most students simply aren't prepared to explore. Preconceived assumptions and myths about majors prevent them from being able to take full advantage of the process. This fun and interactive presentation will focus on elevating the student approach to major exploration by acknowledging and correcting these misconceptions and demonstrating that choosing a major isn’t quite so major.

Facilitator Bio: Jillian Johnston is an Academic Advisor with UConn’s Academic Center for Exploratory Students and serves on UConn’s The Major Experience Professional Committee. She also teaches courses in UConn’s First Year Experience program. Jillian graduated from UConn (CLAS) in 2016 with a degree in History, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2018 with a M.S.Ed in Higher Education.

2pm – Teambuilding and communication

Description: This fun, activity and game based program is designed to highlight interpersonal communication skills. It can be used in a variety of disciplines or as a basis for identifying the importance of communication skills as a core component of personal safety, bystander intervention techniques, and healthy relationships. Participants will identify the ways in which people communicate and discuss effective message delivery. Participants will also identify potential barriers to effective communication. They will then break into smaller activity groups to play games designed to highlight different forms of communication.

Facilitator Bio: Sergeant Justin Cheney of the UConn Police Department work as part of the Community Outreach Unit. He started working at UConn in 2015. Prior to working at UConn, he attended as an undergraduate, receiving a BA in Psychology in 2007. In 2018, he began the first police facility dog program in the state of Connecticut. His partner, Tildy, provides assistance and support to those in need. Tildy enhances positive communication between the police department and UConn community. She is highly trained and her favorite activity is dock diving!

2pm – Pet Therapy for Stress Relief and Well-Being in College

Description: Concerned about be at a large institution away from family, friends, and mostly - your pets? Learn how pet therapy is used as one of the resources UConn students have to help reduce stress not just at exam times, but during the entire semester. You'll discover the many physical, psychological, and emotional benefits of interacting with animals. Benefits that can make a real difference in your college experience. Find out what it takes to become a pet therapy animal and how you can participate in the programs offered at UConn. Programs are offered through Student Health & Wellness (SHaW), the Babbidge Library, the Benton Museum of Art, the Rainbow Center and more. And, best of all - meet Wrigley one of the regular pet therapy dogs on campus!

Facilitator Bio: Laurel has been involved with animal assisted activities (pet therapy) for over 40 years. She is a founding member of Tails of Joy, has served on the advisory board for Pet Partners, has been a consultant for the PBS show “Nature”, and currently is the College Pet Therapy Visit Coordinator for Tails of Joy which covers central and eastern Connecticut. Laurel has conducted graduate research on various aspects of the Human-Animal Bond (HAB), including the effects on persons with disabilities who partner with an assistance dog, has written multiple journal articles on HAB, and facilitated a course on the subject at UConn. Born and raised in Chicago, Laurel now calls Connecticut home and shares her life with her husband, two Newfoundlands (Wrigley & Ernie) and a Portuguese Water Dog (Iggy).

2pm – Nutrition for the College Student

Description: Navigating eating well for energy, academic success, and overall health can sometimes be challenging as a busy college student. Participants will learn strategies for eating nutritionally sound food on a college campus. Participants will also hear the facts about commonly heard nutrition myths and diets.

Facilitator Bio: Amy is a registered dietitian at UConn Student Health and Wellness, graduate assistant, and first year master's student studying Health Promotion Sciences at the University of Connecticut. She practices a weight-inclusive and intuitive eating approach and is particularly interested in eating disorders/disordered eating, vegetarian/vegan nutrition, and health equity.

3:30pm – Exercise Science

Description: During this workshop students will learn about the exercise science major at UConn and the different careers that they can pursue following the completion of an exercise science degree. They will also explore what academic advising looks like in this field.

Facilitator Bio: Alexandrya Cairns is a 3rd year PhD student in the Department of Kinesiology. She currently works as an athletic trainer at ECSU. Alex’s research interests include athletic trainer burnout, stress, and work life balance. Her dissertation investigates how athletic trainers perceive quality patient care. Alex graduated from an Exercise Science bachelor’s program at Fitchburg State, and received her Masters in Athletic Training from Bridgewater State.

3:30pm – Resume Building

Description: Wondering how you can improve your résumé? Or perhaps you’re a bit stuck on how to get started? Have no fear, the Center for Career Development is here! This workshop will cover basic résumé formatting guidelines, résumé sections, and how to write bullet point statements.

Facilitator Bio: Kristen manages the Career Center’s undergraduate student intern program. Having previously been called “the intern mom” by one intern, she truly enjoys building relationships with interns and designing thoughtful and engaging opportunities for them to build confidence in their personal and professional skillsets. She also oversees the department’s Undergraduate Résumé Critique and Practice Interview Programs. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer through the Professional Association of Résumé Writers and Career Coaches (PARWCC) and meet with students one-on-one for coaching on various topics including résumés, cover letters, career/major exploration, interviewing, and general career development. Before coming to UConn, She spent almost a decade working in corporate recruiting which is where her love of career and career-development started. Her current position allows her the opportunity to combine two of her professional strengths and interest areas (Human Resources and student/talent-development) while still being able to learn and grow her own personal interests as well. She has successfully made a career out of careers and she absolutely love it!

3:30pm – The Basics of Body Image and Creating a Supportive Environment for You and Your Friends

Description: Informative presentation covering the basics of body image, and fostering positive body image and self-esteem, signs and symptoms of disordered eating and eating disorders, and how to promote body positivity and well-being for yourself and the ones around you. This presentation will also educate students on where to refer a friend or find help for themselves if they are concerned about their health and well-being.

Facilitator Bio: Amy is a registered dietitian at UConn Student Health and Wellness, graduate assistant, and first year master's student studying Health Promotion Sciences at the University of Connecticut. She practices a weight-inclusive and intuitive eating approach and is particularly interested in eating disorders/disordered eating, vegetarian/vegan nutrition, and health equity.

3:30pm – What is leadership: Addressing Leadership Myths

Description: What does leadership mean to you? Who are leaders in your life that positively influences you? In this workshop, we will explore the commonalities as well as differences of individuals definitions and characteristics of leadership. We will also address leadership myths using an interactive activity (for example. Are Leaders made or are leaders born?).

Facilitator Bio: Trisha Hawthorne-Noble (she/her)  Associate Director of Student Activities & Director for Leadership & Organizational Development

Wednesday, July 12th

2pm – Breaking Down Barriers: You CAN Study Abroad!

Description: Adventure awaits, no matter where you go! #UConnChangeYourWorld with global education. Where can you see yourself venturing off to with Experiential Global Learning? This workshop will educate you about the impact a study abroad program can have on your college experience, while breaking down the barriers that keep students from exploring the opportunity! UConn EGL provides opportunities to students of all fields of study across the world. See how setting goals now for your future opens doors to international opportunities. Where will this next chapter in life take you? Discover the possibilities with Experiential Global Learning.

Facilitator Bio: Ann joined Experiential Global Learning in 2022. She advises students in the School of Business, the School of Engineering, School of Nursing and a number of CLAS majors. A Connecticut native, Ann graduated with a B.S. from Northeastern University, where she majored in Health Science and minored in Business. In the spring of 2015, Ann studied in Ireland, at the University College Dublin where she focused on courses for her Business minor. She holds her Masters in Higher Education and Student Personnel from the University of Mississippi. Prior to UConn, Ann worked in the Study Abroad Office at the University of Mississippi. As an undergraduate Ann served as a Peer Advisor in Northeastern’s Global Experience Office helping fellow students identify study abroad opportunities. Ann is passionate about international education and travel.

2pm – General Campus Safety and Risk reduction strategies

Description: In a group discussion setting, participants will identify risks they may face in daily life and discuss risk reduction strategies. Participants will understand the importance of risk awareness, recognition, reduction, and avoidance. Through group discussion, participants will develop risk recognition specific to general campus life, at parties, in residences, online, and in dating situations. The group will discuss ways to reduce those risks they self-identify.

Facilitator Bio: Sergeant Justin Cheney of the UConn Police Department work as part of the Community Outreach Unit. He started working at UConn in 2015. Prior to working at UConn, he attended as an undergraduate, receiving a BA in Psychology in 2007. In 2018, he began the first police facility dog program in the state of Connecticut. His partner, Tildy, provides assistance and support to those in need. Tildy enhances positive communication between the police department and UConn community. She is highly trained and her favorite activity is dock diving!

2pm – Stress play & GPA: College Success Strategies

Description: Learn how to navigate the stressors that come from all things College. You will be introduced to resources and strategies to make the transition more seamless & successful.

Facilitator Bio: Rachel Mongillo is the Learning Services Coordinator at the Academic Achievement Center and has been providing academic services and mentorship college students for the last five years.  In her role at the AAC, Rachel provides academic coaching, supervision to students and general programmatic support for the AAC services. She is also an FYE instructor and enjoys infusing academic learning strategies into the classroom. Rachel earned her Bachelor’s degree in English, along with a minor in History and a minor in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from UConn in 2016 and completed her Master’s degree in Counselor Education with a focus on Student Development in Higher Education from Central Connecticut State University in 2020.

2pm – Who Am I? The Power of Me?

Description: During this interactive workshop, students will explore their personal identities as well as values. Who Am I? Have you asked yourself this? Being an effective leader begins with understanding who you are, inclusive of your personal values. Explore yourself within this workshop.

Facilitator Bio: Trisha Hawthorne-Noble (she/her)  Associate Director of Student Activities & Director for Leadership & Organizational Development and Sarah Bernhardt, Coordinator for Student Involvement, within Leadership and Organizational Development (Student Activities)

3:30pm – Can You Beat the Clock? Time Management 101

Description: This session will introduce students to a variety of tools to help them stay organized in college and students will even leave the session with a free giveaway! Students will practice creating a sample college schedule, strategies to avoid procrastination and participate in hands-on activities and challenges to test their time management skills. Students - can you beat the clock?

Facilitator Bio: Jennifer Sullivan, M.S is author of 3 books including Sharing the Transition to College Workbook and College is Like a Video Game: Press Play. She is CEO of Fast Forward College Coaching and helps new and struggling college students around the country with time management skills. Jennifer has worked at 4 colleges and universities in both CT and NY over 20 years. She is passionate about helping ALL students be successful in college including first-generation students and students with disabilities. Jennifer loves reminding students how amazing they are - if you need a pep talk, find her!

3:30pm – Composing Winning College Application Essays

Description: Crafting an engaging college application essay isn’t easy--in fact, much of what you're taught about writing essays for school doesn't match up very well with application essays. This workshop will offer some coaching on which common traps to avoid and what kinds of approaches tend to work. We'll also look at several sample essays.

Facilitator Bio: Tom Deans has been an English professor and director of the Writing Center at UConn since 2005. He works with faculty across the university--and at other universities--to design writing-intensive courses in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities.

3:30pm – Experience College with Our Community Managers and Hall Coordinator!

Description: Are you curious about what college life is really like? Join us for an engaging workshop where our Community Managers and/or Hall Coordinator will share their firsthand experiences and insights. During this session, you'll get a glimpse into the daily lives of college students and learn about the challenges, opportunities, and memorable moments they encountered. 

3:30pm – Physical Therapy/ Athletic Training

Description: During this workshop students will learn about the Physical Therapy profession and Athletic Training profession. They will learn about different members of the healthcare team, the evaluation processes a clinician uses, evidence-based practice, and different environments a clinician can work in.

Facilitator Bio: Alexandrya Cairns is a 3rd year PhD student in the Department of Kinesiology. She currently works as an athletic trainer at ECSU. Alex’s research interests include athletic trainer burnout, stress, and work life balance. Her dissertation investigates how athletic trainers perceive quality patient care. Alex graduated from an Exercise Science bachelor’s program at Fitchburg State, and received her Masters in Athletic Training from Bridgewater State.

Friday, July 14th

2pm – College is Like a Video Game: Press Play

Description: Using current video game examples, students will explore a variety of academic and social topics to learn about the differences between high school and college. Whether you are a beginner or experienced gamer, let's talk about tutorials, power-ups and skill trees. Are you curious about how video games relate to persistence, professor syllabi, self-advocacy, learning supports and choosing your major? Join us for this workshop to find out!

Facilitator Bio: Jennifer Sullivan, M.S is author of 3 books including Sharing the Transition to College Workbook and College is Like a Video Game: Press Play. She is CEO of Fast Forward College Coaching and helps new and struggling college students around the country with time management skills. Jennifer has worked at 4 colleges and universities in both CT and NY over 20 years. She is passionate about helping ALL students be successful in college including first-generation students and students with disabilities. Jennifer loves reminding students how amazing they are - if you need a pep talk, find her!

2pm – Getting Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

Description: College is a unique time in your life to meet new people and explore new ideas. The college journey is something new and exciting, but can also be a time of uncertainty and discomfort. In the workshop, I will share how embracing these feelings and stepping out of your comfort zone actually will transform you as a person.

Facilitator Bio: Kevin L. Booker, Jr. is the founder of Booker Empowerment, LLC (established in 2007) and has been an educator for over 20 years.  He is committed to uplifting and educating individuals. Mr. Booker realized his passion for encouraging others who do not have a voice when he was 12 years old. At that young age, he committed to fighting for young people, understood the importance of helping others see their full potential, and dedicated himself to a life of seeking social justice.
Mr. Booker went on to achieve various degrees through the support of his family and strong mentors. He teaches college and high school level classes, trains men and women who have experienced trauma to tell their story in order to empower others, facilitates leadership and diversity workshops, and lectures. He is a mentor and speaks publicly all over the country to encourage people to understand the power of education and using their voice to make positive change. Mr. Booker is a regular volunteer with the American Red Cross and spent 7 weeks in Puerto Rico to help after Hurricane Maria. He also volunteers regularly in a local elementary school, supporting reading instruction, something he has done for the last seven years. Mr. Booker has a strong passion for encouraging others to stay positive through adversity and voluntees his time working with many individuals from various backgrounds.
Mr. Booker is a former City Councilor for the City of New London, CT where he oversaw Public Safety. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in Connecticut, ISAAC (Interdistrict School for Arts and Communication) Charter School Board of Directors in New London, CT, Hartford Job Corps Academy Outreach Board in Hartford, CT, and the School and State Finance Advisory Council. Currently, Mr. Booker is a New London Parking Authority Commissioner. Mr. Booker co-hosts a podcast called “The Cultural Flipside” with Daisy Torres where they discuss social and cultural issues that are occurring throughout the world. Mr. Booker is an author and published a book along with other men titled “Emerging Men: Transformational Stories of Hope, Inspiration and Purpose.” His motto is “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.”

2pm – Interviewing

Description: The résumé, cover letter, and application all serve the purpose of getting you the interview, but the interview is your chance to actually get the job. In this presentation, you'll learn about what to expect in an interview and how to prepare to answer standard and complex questions in a professional way that makes you stand out and land the job, internship, or experience you are seeking.

Facilitator Bio: Amelinda oversees the Center’s strategic vision for in-person and virtual career readiness programming for UConn Nation. On average, the team hosts about 500 workshops and events for UConn students in and out of the classroom annually. In addition to career development programs, she manages Career Everywhere and the Career Champion Program.  Both Career Everywhere and the Career Champion Program focus on building and sustaining relationships with UConn’s community and equipping them with the tools and resources they need to have career conversations with UConn students.

2pm – Touring UConn Athletic Facilities

Description: During this workshop students will learn about the athletic training profession and tour some of the athletic facilities at UConn. They will see some of the athletic training rooms that the UConn athletes use as well as research facilities inside Gampel Pavillion.

Facilitator Bio: Alexandrya Cairns is a 3rd year PhD student in the Department of Kinesiology. She currently works as an athletic trainer at ECSU. Alex’s research interests include athletic trainer burnout, stress, and work life balance. Her dissertation investigates how athletic trainers perceive quality patient care. Alex graduated from an Exercise Science bachelor’s program at Fitchburg State, and received her Masters in Athletic Training from Bridgewater State.

Session 4 Offerings

Monday, July 17th

2pm – How major is your major

Description: We believe that every student should be exploratory when it comes to majors. Whether they're anxiously undecided or comfortably declared, everyone can benefit from taking the time to examine their options. However, most students simply aren't prepared to explore. Preconceived assumptions and myths about majors prevent them from being able to take full advantage of the process. This fun and interactive presentation will focus on elevating the student approach to major exploration by acknowledging and correcting these misconceptions and demonstrating that choosing a major isn’t quite so major.

Facilitator Bio: Micah Heumann is an Academic Advisor with UConn’s Academic Center for Exploratory Students. Micah also teaches a section of the Exploratory Learning Community with UConn’s First Year Experience program. Micah graduated from University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana in 2003 with a B.S. in Psychology and graduated from Meridian University in 2008 with a M.A. in Psychology, and is currently working on an Educational Doctorate in Educational Leadership.

2pm – Teambuilding and communication

Description: This fun, activity and game based program is designed to highlight interpersonal communication skills. It can be used in a variety of disciplines or as a basis for identifying the importance of communication skills as a core component of personal safety, bystander intervention techniques, and healthy relationships. Participants will identify the ways in which people communicate and discuss effective message delivery. Participants will also identify potential barriers to effective communication. They will then break into smaller activity groups to play games designed to highlight different forms of communication.

Facilitator Bio: Sergeant Justin Cheney of the UConn Police Department work as part of the Community Outreach Unit. He started working at UConn in 2015. Prior to working at UConn, he attended as an undergraduate, receiving a BA in Psychology in 2007. In 2018, he began the first police facility dog program in the state of Connecticut. His partner, Tildy, provides assistance and support to those in need. Tildy enhances positive communication between the police department and UConn community. She is highly trained and her favorite activity is dock diving!

2pm – Pet Therapy for Stress Relief and Well-Being in College

Description: Concerned about be at a large institution away from family, friends, and mostly - your pets? Learn how pet therapy is used as one of the resources UConn students have to help reduce stress not just at exam times, but during the entire semester. You'll discover the many physical, psychological, and emotional benefits of interacting with animals. Benefits that can make a real difference in your college experience. Find out what it takes to become a pet therapy animal and how you can participate in the programs offered at UConn. Programs are offered through Student Health & Wellness (SHaW), the Babbidge Library, the Benton Museum of Art, the Rainbow Center and more. And, best of all - meet Wrigley one of the regular pet therapy dogs on campus!

Facilitator Bio: Laurel has been involved with animal assisted activities (pet therapy) for over 40 years. She is a founding member of Tails of Joy, has served on the advisory board for Pet Partners, has been a consultant for the PBS show “Nature”, and currently is the College Pet Therapy Visit Coordinator for Tails of Joy which covers central and eastern Connecticut. Laurel has conducted graduate research on various aspects of the Human-Animal Bond (HAB), including the effects on persons with disabilities who partner with an assistance dog, has written multiple journal articles on HAB, and facilitated a course on the subject at UConn. Born and raised in Chicago, Laurel now calls Connecticut home and shares her life with her husband, two Newfoundlands (Wrigley & Ernie) and a Portuguese Water Dog (Iggy).

2pm – Prioritization

Description: In this interactive presentation, students will explore strategies to organize priorities including learning about different approaches to organizing a task list, evaluating the strategies used in an ideal settings vs. when feeling overwhelmed, and how to utilize various resources to strengthen prioritization skills over short periods of time and long-term projects.

Facilitator Bio: Joanna Rivera Davis has worked in higher education for 15 years and currently serves as the Assistant Director of Academic Support in the Office of First Year Programs, Learning Communities, Academic Achievement Center, and Innovation Zone at the University of Connecticut (UConn). In her role, she has the privilege of assisting students in attaining their academic and personal goals through the coordination of programs and services, which enhance student skill development and effective decision-making throughout their transition at UConn. Joanna coordinates the UConn Connects Program, the University’s largest and longest running, academic intervention program, designed to provide students with skills and support needed for academic and personal success.

2pm – Promoting mental health

Description: This informative and interactive workshop increases participants' mental health literacy focusing on tools and techniques to support self-care and well-being.

Facilitator Bio:

  • Daveon J. McMullen, Psy.D. Assistant Director, Training/Director, Multicultural Training Program

Professional Interests:
Sexual Violence Treatment & Prevention, Multicultural Counseling, Training, Supervision & Outreach, Group psychotherapy, Concerns related to Family of Origin, Identity, and Relationships

Therapeutic Approach:
Based on my experiences from working in various treatment settings (e.g., hospitals, prisons, colleges and universities), I have come to view psychotherapy as an honest and collaborative effort to achieve personal growth and change marked by accountability. I utilize psychodynamic, object relations, client centered, feminist, and relational-cultural frameworks to guide my work and strive to recognize the role of sociopolitical contexts as they relate to students’ presenting concerns.

  • Shanice Anderson, M.S. Doctoral Intern

Professional Interests:
My clinical interests include multicultural psychology; diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging; identity development and exploration; racial trauma; and social justice issues. I enjoy live music, sneaker shopping, and reading.

Therapeutic Approach:
I utilize an integrative, person-centered approach, often influenced by the multicultural orientation framework. I try to meet my clients where they are at whilst observing their intersecting identities to better understand how those identities influence their perception of self and the world around them. It is my intention to gain a holistic viewpoint of my clients to facilitate identity development that promotes self-acceptance and empowerment, as well as provide a safe, nonjudgmental space to build meaningful therapeutic relationships and explore my clients’ unique needs.

 

3:30pm – Exercise Science

Description: During this workshop students will learn about the exercise science major at UConn and the different careers that they can pursue following the completion of an exercise science degree. They will also explore what academic advising looks like in this field.

Facilitator Bio: Lauren Sheldon is working on herPhD in the kinesiology department. Her primary research focus is on injury prevention programs in athletics. She also assists with various research projects in the Sport Optimization and Rehabilitation Lab. She completed her undergraduate degree at UConn in Athletic Training. She really enjoyed the program and one of her most memorable experiences was in her junior year when her clinical placement was with the UConn Women’s Basketball program. Following graduation from her undergraduate degree, she pursued a master’s degree in applied physiology and kinesiology at the University of Florida. She had a wonderful experience in Florida and decided to stay for two more years, working clinically as an athletic trainer at a high school before deciding that she wanted to continue her education with a PhD at UConn. She currently teaches a variety of courses in the Undergraduate Exercise Science program and Master of Athletic Training program. She is also involved with the UConn Institute for Sports Medicine. At the Institute for Sports Medicine, she works clinically as an athletic trainer with many different schools in the area. She also assists organizations to tailor injury prevention programs for their sports teams.

3:30pm – Experience College with Our Community Managers and Hall Coordinator!

Description: Are you curious about what college life is really like? Join us for an engaging workshop where our Community Managers and/or Hall Coordinator will share their firsthand experiences and insights. During this session, you'll get a glimpse into the daily lives of college students and learn about the challenges, opportunities, and memorable moments they encountered. 

3:30pm – Resume Building

Description: Wondering how you can improve your résumé? Or perhaps you’re a bit stuck on how to get started? Have no fear, the Center for Career Development is here! This workshop will cover basic résumé formatting guidelines, résumé sections, and how to write bullet point statements.

Facilitator Bio: In his current role, Theo's priority is to leverage his more than twenty years of experience in talent acquisition and career services to help students explore and pursue their career goals. One of his favorite ways of doing so, involves working with them on developing their personal brands. This for him serves as a catalyst that empowers them to take ownership of their careers and leverage all available career tools and resources at their disposal. As a career consultant there is no better feeling than witnessing the moment a student realizes that they are not “just another brick in the wall” and are able to articulate their unique value proposition. Another part of his role focuses on collaborating with employers to ensure that they have access to great student talent, while also supporting them in effectively communicating their employer brand to their target audience. As one of his mentors used to say, “ when talent meets opportunity, great things can happen”. Finally, Theo conducts regular assessments of the student-facing CCD career technology, to determine its value and return on investment for students, staff, and faculty.

3:30pm – UConn Campus Tour and Information Session

Description: Get a taste of the boundless opportunities that exist at UConn and a better understanding of what makes us champions. Learn what it’s like to be a student and about the academic and co-curricular offerings available as you tour our beautiful main campus in Storrs.

Facilitator Bio: TBD

3:30pm – What is leadership: Addressing Leadership Myths

Description: What does leadership mean to you? Who are leaders in your life that positively influences you? In this workshop, we will explore the commonalities as well as differences of individuals definitions and characteristics of leadership. We will also address leadership myths using an interactive activity (for example. Are Leaders made or are leaders born?).

Facilitator Bio: Joseph Briody, PhD. Assistant Vice President, Executive Director for Student Activities

Wednesday, July 19th

2pm – Can You Beat the Clock? Time Management 101

Description: This session will introduce students to a variety of tools to help them stay organized in college and students will even leave the session with a free giveaway! Students will practice creating a sample college schedule, strategies to avoid procrastination and participate in hands-on activities and challenges to test their time management skills. Students - can you beat the clock?

Facilitator Bio: Jennifer Sullivan, M.S is author of 3 books including Sharing the Transition to College Workbook and College is Like a Video Game: Press Play. She is CEO of Fast Forward College Coaching and helps new and struggling college students around the country with time management skills. Jennifer has worked at 4 colleges and universities in both CT and NY over 20 years. She is passionate about helping ALL students be successful in college including first-generation students and students with disabilities. Jennifer loves reminding students how amazing they are - if you need a pep talk, find her!

2pm – Empowering Observation

Description: Today’s world moves fast and is filled with distractions, making mindfulness more important than ever. Being present and aware of the details of your daily life will support not only your success on campus, but also in the workplace. According to the job site Indeed’s Career Guide, mindfulness is associated with observation skills, which “refer to the ability to use all five of your senses to recognize, analyze and recall your surroundings”.
This workshop will empower you to sharpen your observation skills through group discussion of original works of art. Following the workshop, explore the museum with a scavenger hunt.

Facilitator Bio: Amanda Douberley, Assistant Curator/Academic Liaison, is responsible for connecting the Benton’s collections and exhibitions with teaching in departments across the university. She has curated numerous exhibitions at the museum, often in collaboration with faculty and other campus partners. Amanda holds a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin with a focus on 20th-century American sculpture and public art. Before coming to UConn in 2018, she taught in the Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

2pm – General Campus Safety and Risk reduction strategies

Description: In a group discussion setting, participants will identify risks they may face in daily life and discuss risk reduction strategies. Participants will understand the importance of risk awareness, recognition, reduction, and avoidance. Through group discussion, participants will develop risk recognition specific to general campus life, at parties, in residences, online, and in dating situations. The group will discuss ways to reduce those risks they self-identify.

Facilitator Bio: Sergeant Justin Cheney of the UConn Police Department work as part of the Community Outreach Unit. He started working at UConn in 2015. Prior to working at UConn, he attended as an undergraduate, receiving a BA in Psychology in 2007. In 2018, he began the first police facility dog program in the state of Connecticut. His partner, Tildy, provides assistance and support to those in need. Tildy enhances positive communication between the police department and UConn community. She is highly trained and her favorite activity is dock diving!

2pm – What’s REALLY Important to You?

Description: Your values will often be the driving force behind almost every important decision you make. They are your principles and standards. They are your judgment of what's important in life. Some values are innate and some are taught. They are beliefs, ideas and experiences that are important to you and direct your choices. By leading an in-class activity and facilitating discussion throughout, we will give students the opportunity to begin thinking about their values and how values can guide their decision making. We will focus on how this impacts a student's choice of major and/or career.

Facilitator Bio: Jillian Johnston is an Academic Advisor with UConn’s Academic Center for Exploratory Students and serves on UConn’s The Major Experience Professional Committee. She also teaches courses in UConn’s First Year Experience program. Jillian graduated from UConn (CLAS) in 2016 with a degree in History, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2018 with a M.S.Ed in Higher Education.

3:30pm – College is Like a Video Game: Press Play

Description: Using current video game examples, students will explore a variety of academic and social topics to learn about the differences between high school and college. Whether you are a beginner or experienced gamer, let's talk about tutorials, power-ups and skill trees. Are you curious about how video games relate to persistence, professor syllabi, self-advocacy, learning supports and choosing your major? Join us for this workshop to find out!

Facilitator Bio: Jennifer Sullivan, M.S is author of 3 books including Sharing the Transition to College Workbook and College is Like a Video Game: Press Play. She is CEO of Fast Forward College Coaching and helps new and struggling college students around the country with time management skills. Jennifer has worked at 4 colleges and universities in both CT and NY over 20 years. She is passionate about helping ALL students be successful in college including first-generation students and students with disabilities. Jennifer loves reminding students how amazing they are - if you need a pep talk, find her!

3:30pm – Composing Winning College Application Essays

Description: Crafting an engaging college application essay isn’t easy--in fact, much of what you're taught about writing essays for school doesn't match up very well with application essays. This workshop will offer some coaching on which common traps to avoid and what kinds of approaches tend to work. We'll also look at several sample essays.

Facilitator Bio: Tom Deans has been an English professor and director of the Writing Center at UConn since 2005. He works with faculty across the university--and at other universities--to design writing-intensive courses in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities.

3:30pm – Experience College with Our Community Managers and Hall Coordinator!

Description: Are you curious about what college life is really like? Join us for an engaging workshop where our Community Managers and/or Hall Coordinator will share their firsthand experiences and insights. During this session, you'll get a glimpse into the daily lives of college students and learn about the challenges, opportunities, and memorable moments they encountered. 

3:30pm – Physical Therapy/ Athletic Training

Description: During this workshop students will learn about the Physical Therapy profession and Athletic Training profession. They will learn about different members of the healthcare team, the evaluation processes a clinician uses, evidence-based practice, and different environments a clinician can work in.

Facilitator Bio: Lauren Sheldon is working on herPhD in the kinesiology department. Her primary research focus is on injury prevention programs in athletics. She also assists with various research projects in the Sport Optimization and Rehabilitation Lab. She completed her undergraduate degree at UConn in Athletic Training. She really enjoyed the program and one of her most memorable experiences was in her junior year when her clinical placement was with the UConn Women’s Basketball program. Following graduation from her undergraduate degree, she pursued a master’s degree in applied physiology and kinesiology at the University of Florida. She had a wonderful experience in Florida and decided to stay for two more years, working clinically as an athletic trainer at a high school before deciding that she wanted to continue her education with a PhD at UConn. She currently teaches a variety of courses in the Undergraduate Exercise Science program and Master of Athletic Training program. She is also involved with the UConn Institute for Sports Medicine. At the Institute for Sports Medicine, she works clinically as an athletic trainer with many different schools in the area. She also assists organizations to tailor injury prevention programs for their sports teams.

Friday, July 21st

2pm – De-Clichéing the Cliché: A Journey Flexing Original Language

Description: Take part in a poetry workshop that offers you the opportunity to flex your language in ways that provide pathways towards poetic excellence! In this workshop, Manchester Poet Laureate Ryan Parker will take you on a journey of exercising your linguistics to the extent that you begin generating original language that adds spice and everything nice to the poetry that you write!  After engaging in poetic push-ups, participants will segue into a Vibe-out Writing Session, and then have an opportunity to share their pieces in a Community Open Mic!  

Facilitator Bio: Ryan Parker's mission is to disrupt oppressive legacy embedded in educational spaces and to influence and empower educators and youth to also engage in the disruption. Parker’s 20 year career in teaching has been dedicated towards challenging United States education norms, reimagining what school looks, sounds and feels like through a justice lens and applying that reimagination to his own pedagogy while influencing and supporting other educators in doing the same. A youth empowerment activist and Manchester, CT school district Race & Equity Coordinator who presents regularly at education conferences and various schools and universities abroad, Parker’s work focuses on race in education, the power of hip hop pedagogy and the necessity of centering Black and Brown youth amplifying their lived experiences, voices and brilliance! As the 2019-2023 Poet Laureate of Manchester, CT and the coach of the Manchester-based youth spoken word poetry slam team PaperVoices, Parker's work as a poet, educator and activist extends outside of the walls of his school building. In addition to his work as an educator, Parker is a hip hop artist/poet, author, husband, father, brother, mama’s boy, chocolate chip cookie lover and was named as the 2020 Peace Hero of Connecticut and 2022 CT Community Kindness Hero. Parker's most recent book and collection of poems are centered on the necessary narrative of Black Joy and excellence that co-exists with the trauma narrative that so often dominates the focus in relation to Black minds and bodies.

2pm – Exploring Engineering

Description: Learn more about UConn's School of Engineering! We'll discuss different SoE majors, the SoE experience, and enrichment opportunities.

Facilitator Bio: Shoshana completed both her B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies and M.A. in Educational Psychology at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT. Shoshana’s professional experiences in education over the past decade have helped shape her holistic approach to the field of advising. In March 2014, Shoshana joined the School of Engineering’s advising team and currently advises Undecided Engineering, Engineering Physics, Multidisciplinary Engineering, Regional Campus, and Exploring Engineering students. Shoshana assumed the role of Associate Director of Advising for Student Transitions in January 2023. Shoshana’s primary responsibilities are to advise engineering students at all UConn campuses regarding course scheduling, degree planning, and career enhancement. She also teaches multiple courses to support transition, monitors student progress, assists during academic and personal difficulties, and coordinates prospective engineering and orientation registration sessions. Additionally, Shoshana serves as an advocate and resource for her students to help them find opportunities that will enhance their experience at UConn and beyond. Shoshana serves on numerous University committees. She also co-directs the Transfer Connections House learning community and is a UConn Connects Mentor, UConn Career Champion, TME staff liaison, and First Year Learning Experience facilitator. Shoshana was named a 2017-2018 FYE Instructor of the Year, 2019 Outstanding UConn Connects Mentor, and most recently received the 2020-2021 Outstanding Undergraduate Staff Advisor Award.

2pm – Getting Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

Description: College is a unique time in your life to meet new people and explore new ideas. The college journey is something new and exciting, but can also be a time of uncertainty and discomfort. In the workshop, I will share how embracing these feelings and stepping out of your comfort zone actually will transform you as a person.

Facilitator Bio: Kevin L. Booker, Jr. is the founder of Booker Empowerment, LLC (established in 2007) and has been an educator for over 20 years.  He is committed to uplifting and educating individuals. Mr. Booker realized his passion for encouraging others who do not have a voice when he was 12 years old. At that young age, he committed to fighting for young people, understood the importance of helping others see their full potential, and dedicated himself to a life of seeking social justice.
Mr. Booker went on to achieve various degrees through the support of his family and strong mentors. He teaches college and high school level classes, trains men and women who have experienced trauma to tell their story in order to empower others, facilitates leadership and diversity workshops, and lectures. He is a mentor and speaks publicly all over the country to encourage people to understand the power of education and using their voice to make positive change. Mr. Booker is a regular volunteer with the American Red Cross and spent 7 weeks in Puerto Rico to help after Hurricane Maria. He also volunteers regularly in a local elementary school, supporting reading instruction, something he has done for the last seven years. Mr. Booker has a strong passion for encouraging others to stay positive through adversity and voluntees his time working with many individuals from various backgrounds.
Mr. Booker is a former City Councilor for the City of New London, CT where he oversaw Public Safety. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in Connecticut, ISAAC (Interdistrict School for Arts and Communication) Charter School Board of Directors in New London, CT, Hartford Job Corps Academy Outreach Board in Hartford, CT, and the School and State Finance Advisory Council. Currently, Mr. Booker is a New London Parking Authority Commissioner. Mr. Booker co-hosts a podcast called “The Cultural Flipside” with Daisy Torres where they discuss social and cultural issues that are occurring throughout the world. Mr. Booker is an author and published a book along with other men titled “Emerging Men: Transformational Stories of Hope, Inspiration and Purpose.” His motto is “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.”

2pm – Interviewing

Description: The résumé, cover letter, and application all serve the purpose of getting you the interview, but the interview is your chance to actually get the job. In this presentation, you'll learn about what to expect in an interview and how to prepare to answer standard and complex questions in a professional way that makes you stand out and land the job, internship, or experience you are seeking.

Facilitator Bio: Kristen manages the Career Center’s undergraduate student intern program. Having previously been called “the intern mom” by one intern, she truly enjoys building relationships with interns and designing thoughtful and engaging opportunities for them to build confidence in their personal and professional skillsets. She also oversees the department’s Undergraduate Résumé Critique and Practice Interview Programs. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer through the Professional Association of Résumé Writers and Career Coaches (PARWCC) and meet with students one-on-one for coaching on various topics including résumés, cover letters, career/major exploration, interviewing, and general career development. Before coming to UConn, She spent almost a decade working in corporate recruiting which is where her love of career and career-development started. Her current position allows her the opportunity to combine two of her professional strengths and interest areas (Human Resources and student/talent-development) while still being able to learn and grow her own personal interests as well. She has successfully made a career out of careers and she absolutely love it!

2pm – Touring UConn Athletic Facilities

Description: During this workshop students will learn about the athletic training profession and tour some of the athletic facilities at UConn. They will see some of the athletic training rooms that the UConn athletes use as well as research facilities inside Gampel Pavillion.

Facilitator Bio: Alexandrya Cairns is a 3rd year PhD student in the Department of Kinesiology. She currently works as an athletic trainer at ECSU. Alex’s research interests include athletic trainer burnout, stress, and work life balance. Her dissertation investigates how athletic trainers perceive quality patient care. Alex graduated from an Exercise Science bachelor’s program at Fitchburg State, and received her Masters in Athletic Training from Bridgewater State.

2pm – Who Am I? The Power of Me?

Description: During this interactive workshop, students will explore their personal identities as well as values. Who Am I? Have you asked yourself this? Being an effective leader begins with understanding who you are, inclusive of your personal values. Explore yourself within this workshop.

Facilitator Bio: Trisha Hawthorne-Noble (she/her)  Associate Director of Student Activities & Director for Leadership & Organizational Development

Session 5 Offerings

Monday, July 24th

2pm – How major is your major

Description: We believe that every student should be exploratory when it comes to majors. Whether they're anxiously undecided or comfortably declared, everyone can benefit from taking the time to examine their options. However, most students simply aren't prepared to explore. Preconceived assumptions and myths about majors prevent them from being able to take full advantage of the process. This fun and interactive presentation will focus on elevating the student approach to major exploration by acknowledging and correcting these misconceptions and demonstrating that choosing a major isn’t quite so major.

Facilitator Bio: Micah Heumann is an Academic Advisor with UConn’s Academic Center for Exploratory Students. Micah also teaches a section of the Exploratory Learning Community with UConn’s First Year Experience program. Micah graduated from University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana in 2003 with a B.S. in Psychology and graduated from Meridian University in 2008 with a M.A. in Psychology, and is currently working on an Educational Doctorate in Educational Leadership.

2pm – Pet Therapy for Stress Relief and Well-Being in College

Description: Concerned about be at a large institution away from family, friends, and mostly - your pets? Learn how pet therapy is used as one of the resources UConn students have to help reduce stress not just at exam times, but during the entire semester. You'll discover the many physical, psychological, and emotional benefits of interacting with animals. Benefits that can make a real difference in your college experience. Find out what it takes to become a pet therapy animal and how you can participate in the programs offered at UConn. Programs are offered through Student Health & Wellness (SHaW), the Babbidge Library, the Benton Museum of Art, the Rainbow Center and more. And, best of all - meet Wrigley one of the regular pet therapy dogs on campus!

Facilitator Bio: Laurel has been involved with animal assisted activities (pet therapy) for over 40 years. She is a founding member of Tails of Joy, has served on the advisory board for Pet Partners, has been a consultant for the PBS show “Nature”, and currently is the College Pet Therapy Visit Coordinator for Tails of Joy which covers central and eastern Connecticut. Laurel has conducted graduate research on various aspects of the Human-Animal Bond (HAB), including the effects on persons with disabilities who partner with an assistance dog, has written multiple journal articles on HAB, and facilitated a course on the subject at UConn. Born and raised in Chicago, Laurel now calls Connecticut home and shares her life with her husband, two Newfoundlands (Wrigley & Ernie) and a Portuguese Water Dog (Iggy).

2pm – Promoting mental health

Description: This informative and interactive workshop increases participants' mental health literacy focusing on tools and techniques to support self-care and well-being.

Facilitator Bio:

  • Chantaul Smith, LMFT - Multicultural Mental Health Clinician

Professional Interests:
Chantaul is currently acquiring her doctorate which is centered around Minority mental health and ways to bridge engagement with mental health services.

Therapeutic Approach:
Chantaul uses a person-centered approach to join with students and to meet them where they are at. Chantaul uses a multicultural, trauma informed lens to address presenting concerns and to maximize symptom reduction. Chantaul’s favorite approach is create safe, authentic spaces where all feel welcomed and honored.

  • Ashley Smith, M.A. Doctoral Intern

Professional Interests:
My clinical interests include anxiety and stress management, mood disorders, cultivation of self-compassion, identity development and exploration, interpersonal distress, and phase-of-life concerns. I also often encourage the practice of mindfulness and/or use of expressive therapies such as art and writing. Other professional interests include outreach and crisis intervention. More personally, I enjoy live music, my pets (two cats and a tortoise!), time in the woods or on the beach, writing, and yoga.

Therapeutic Approach:
I utilize a person-centered, holistic approach grounded in humanistic and interpersonal theories and place great importance on the therapeutic relationship. Based on a clients’ needs, I will also shift to an integrative, strengths-based approach for an individualized treatment plan that meets those needs while respecting cultural diversity and personal autonomy. I believe that an individual should be an active participant in their treatment as progress is made when the treatment model considers not only a client’s current struggles, but also their unique experiences and perceptions as well as their hopes and goals for the future.

2pm – Stress, Play, and GPA: College Success Strategies

Description: Learn how to navigate the stressors that come from all things College. You will be introduced to resources and strategies to make the transition more seamless & successful.

Facilitator Bio: Pam Fischl is a Retention Specialist in UConn’s First Year Programs Office, where she’s worked since 2017.  In her current role with the Academic Achievement Center, she welcomes any and all students seeking academic assistance and specializes in supporting international and first generation students.  As a “first gen” student herself, Pam has a unique and personal understanding of the multitude of challenges faced by students who are first in their family to pursue a college degree.  Pam holds both a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in higher ed from the University of Miami.  She is the proud parent of two college graduates, happily married to a long-time UConn professor, and a Husky herself since 2007.

2pm – Teambuilding and communication

Description: This fun, activity and game based program is designed to highlight interpersonal communication skills. It can be used in a variety of disciplines or as a basis for identifying the importance of communication skills as a core component of personal safety, bystander intervention techniques, and healthy relationships. Participants will identify the ways in which people communicate and discuss effective message delivery. Participants will also identify potential barriers to effective communication. They will then break into smaller activity groups to play games designed to highlight different forms of communication.

Facilitator Bio: Sergeant Justin Cheney of the UConn Police Department work as part of the Community Outreach Unit. He started working at UConn in 2015. Prior to working at UConn, he attended as an undergraduate, receiving a BA in Psychology in 2007. In 2018, he began the first police facility dog program in the state of Connecticut. His partner, Tildy, provides assistance and support to those in need. Tildy enhances positive communication between the police department and UConn community. She is highly trained and her favorite activity is dock diving!

3:30pm – Exercise Science

Description: During this workshop students will learn about the exercise science major at UConn and the different careers that they can pursue following the completion of an exercise science degree. They will also explore what academic advising looks like in this field.

Facilitator Bio: Emma completed a BS in Athletic Training from High Point University in North Carolina and a Masters in Exercise Science from the University of Connecticut. Currently, Emma is a fourth year PhD student in Kinesiology at UConn. She is also pursuing graduate certificates in College Instruction and Public Health. Emma’s research focus is on the influence of social determinants on physical activity in children. She is the associate director of social media for the Institute for Sports Medicine. Emma has experience teaching biomechanics, upper and lower extremity evaluation, first year experience, introduction to health and wellness and more.

3:30pm – Finding Your Dream College & Crafting Application Essays

Description: Identifying the college that is right for you can be a challenging process – one that requires research, visits, and a careful assessment of the qualities you are seeking in a school. We all know that with a big decision comes big considerations. To that end, this workshop will dive into key factors students should consider when compiling their list of schools, while also emphasizing just how many options are out there for any combination of interests and preferences. Your college application is an inherent part of this process, as it plays a big role in the way admissions offices view you at the schools you choose to apply; your application essay is an opportunity to share the experiences, traits, and interests that you feel are important. Join us as we delve into best practices for college selection and an approach to your essays that will positively impact the applications you submit to top choices.

Facilitator Bio: Emmie Hudson is an Education and Outreach Specialist with The Princeton Review. Through this role, she works closely with counseling teams, students, and families providing resources related to the college admissions landscape and test-taking best practices. Her position bridges high school academics with the various aspects of the college application process to establish supports for post-secondary success and throughout the admissions experience. Prior to joining The Princeton Review’s team, Emmie taught 5th grade English in Baltimore as a Teach For America Corps Member. She received her Teaching Certification from Johns Hopkins University, and BA in History and French from Franklin & Marshall College.

3:30pm – Resume Building

Description: Wondering how you can improve your résumé? Or perhaps you’re a bit stuck on how to get started? Have no fear, the Center for Career Development is here! This workshop will cover basic résumé formatting guidelines, résumé sections, and how to write bullet point statements.

Facilitator Bio: Eran oversees the one-on-one career coaching program. In addition to coordinating offerings, he also helps the team of coaches in their professional development by implementing trainings and discussions around diversity, equity, and inclusion topics. His favorite aspect of his job is when get to meet individually with students and alums, hearing their stories, and together, coming up with action plans to meet their future goals and aspirations. One of his emerging interests is in helping students find their purpose and find meaningful work.

3:30pm – UConn Campus Tour and Information Session

Description: Get a taste of the boundless opportunities that exist at UConn and a better understanding of what makes us champions. Learn what it’s like to be a student and about the academic and co-curricular offerings available as you tour our beautiful main campus in Storrs.

Facilitator Bio: TBD

3:30pm – What is leadership: Addressing Leadership Myths

Description: What does leadership mean to you? Who are leaders in your life that positively influences you? In this workshop, we will explore the commonalities as well as differences of individuals definitions and characteristics of leadership. We will also address leadership myths using an interactive activity (for example. Are Leaders made or are leaders born?).

Facilitator Bio: Trisha Hawthorne-Noble (she/her)  Associate Director of Student Activities & Director for Leadership & Organizational Development

Wednesday, July 26th

2pm – Breaking Down Barriers: You CAN Study Abroad!

Description: Adventure awaits, no matter where you go! #UConnChangeYourWorld with global education. Where can you see yourself venturing off to with Experiential Global Learning? This workshop will educate you about the impact a study abroad program can have on your college experience, while breaking down the barriers that keep students from exploring the opportunity! UConn EGL provides opportunities to students of all fields of study across the world. See how setting goals now for your future opens doors to international opportunities. Where will this next chapter in life take you? Discover the possibilities with Experiential Global Learning.

Facilitator Bio: Laura has been with Experiential Global Learning since 2013. As a seasoned advisor in EGL she has a portfolio of majors she advises on in addition to overseeing the strategic mission of the advising team. Laura manages the Global Student Mentor program, and returnee students, as well as credits and grades. Laura graduated from UConn, where she majored in Psychology and minored in Business Administration. In the spring of 2005, Laura studied in Italy, through the UConn in Florence program. She holds her Masters in Organizational Leadership with a focus on Human Resources from Quinnipiac University. Prior to UConn, Laura worked as an Executive Recruiter, specializing in the placement of finance and accounting professionals. She spent five years at the Yale School of Management Career Development Office in New Haven developing career based workshops, maintaining internship placement and navigating MBA students through their career paths. Laura has a passion for higher education, re-entry programming and college athletics.

2pm – Empowering Observation

Description: Today’s world moves fast and is filled with distractions, making mindfulness more important than ever. Being present and aware of the details of your daily life will support not only your success on campus, but also in the workplace. According to the job site Indeed’s Career Guide, mindfulness is associated with observation skills, which “refer to the ability to use all five of your senses to recognize, analyze and recall your surroundings”.
This workshop will empower you to sharpen your observation skills through group discussion of original works of art. Following the workshop, explore the museum with a scavenger hunt.

Facilitator Bio: Amanda Douberley, Assistant Curator/Academic Liaison, is responsible for connecting the Benton’s collections and exhibitions with teaching in departments across the university. She has curated numerous exhibitions at the museum, often in collaboration with faculty and other campus partners. Amanda holds a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin with a focus on 20th-century American sculpture and public art. Before coming to UConn in 2018, she taught in the Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

2pm – General Campus Safety and Risk reduction strategies

Description: In a group discussion setting, participants will identify risks they may face in daily life and discuss risk reduction strategies. Participants will understand the importance of risk awareness, recognition, reduction, and avoidance. Through group discussion, participants will develop risk recognition specific to general campus life, at parties, in residences, online, and in dating situations. The group will discuss ways to reduce those risks they self-identify.

Facilitator Bio: Sergeant Justin Cheney of the UConn Police Department work as part of the Community Outreach Unit. He started working at UConn in 2015. Prior to working at UConn, he attended as an undergraduate, receiving a BA in Psychology in 2007. In 2018, he began the first police facility dog program in the state of Connecticut. His partner, Tildy, provides assistance and support to those in need. Tildy enhances positive communication between the police department and UConn community. She is highly trained and her favorite activity is dock diving!

2pm – What’s REALLY Important to You?

Description: Your values will often be the driving force behind almost every important decision you make. They are your principles and standards. They are your judgment of what's important in life. Some values are innate and some are taught. They are beliefs, ideas and experiences that are important to you and direct your choices. By leading an in-class activity and facilitating discussion throughout, we will give students the opportunity to begin thinking about their values and how values can guide their decision making. We will focus on how this impacts a student's choice of major and/or career.

Facilitator Bio: Micah Heumann is an Academic Advisor with UConn’s Academic Center for Exploratory Students. Micah also teaches a section of the Exploratory Learning Community with UConn’s First Year Experience program. Micah graduated from University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana in 2003 with a B.S. in Psychology and graduated from Meridian University in 2008 with a M.A. in Psychology, and is currently working on an Educational Doctorate in Educational Leadership.

2pm – Who Am I? The Power of Me?

Description: During this interactive workshop, students will explore their personal identities as well as values. Who Am I? Have you asked yourself this? Being an effective leader begins with understanding who you are, inclusive of your personal values. Explore yourself within this workshop.

Facilitator Bio: Trisha Hawthorne-Noble (she/her)  Associate Director of Student Activities & Director for Leadership & Organizational Development

3:30pm – Composing Winning College Application Essays

Description: Crafting an engaging college application essay isn’t easy--in fact, much of what you're taught about writing essays for school doesn't match up very well with application essays. This workshop will offer some coaching on which common traps to avoid and what kinds of approaches tend to work. We'll also look at several sample essays.

Facilitator Bio: Tom Deans has been an English professor and director of the Writing Center at UConn since 2005. He works with faculty across the university--and at other universities--to design writing-intensive courses in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities.

3:30pm – Moving from a secure self

Description: Marching to the beat of your own drum can impact the way you connect with others. Learning to keep your BEAT in a world of changing rhythms, can help you identify and keep your true north. Using a BEAT acrostic and the basics of partner dancing, this interactive workshop will give you the opportunity to identify four fundamentals areas for healthy connections with others. No previous dance experience needed, just a willingness to have fun while moving from a secure self.

Facilitator Bio: Master Teaching Artist and Counselor, Rey Bermudez created the “Relational Dance” method for helping people of all ages develop the skills needed for healthy relationships through the fun of partner dance. He has a BA in Human Services from Springfield College and a MA in Human Service Counseling with a concentration in Marriage & Family from Liberty University. Since 1995, Rey has taught thousands from all of the country and parts of the world to dance, but his greatest love is using dance to equip, empower, and entertain communities, one step at a time!

3:30pm – Physical Therapy/ Athletic Training

Description: During this workshop students will learn about the Physical Therapy profession and Athletic Training profession. They will learn about different members of the healthcare team, the evaluation processes a clinician uses, evidence-based practice, and different environments a clinician can work in.

Facilitator Bio: Emma completed a BS in Athletic Training from High Point University in North Carolina and a Masters in Exercise Science from the University of Connecticut. Currently, Emma is a fourth year PhD student in Kinesiology at UConn. She is also pursuing graduate certificates in College Instruction and Public Health. Emma’s research focus is on the influence of social determinants on physical activity in children. She is the associate director of social media for the Institute for Sports Medicine. Emma has experience teaching biomechanics, upper and lower extremity evaluation, first year experience, introduction to health and wellness and more.

3:30pm – SAT & ACT: Do They Still Matter?

Description: With the growth in test-optional admissions policies, there is often a question of where the SAT and ACT fit into the current world of college admissions. Should I take the SAT or ACT? Should I take both or neither? These are common student-facing questions that deserve concrete answers! This workshop will explain the test-optional approach to college admissions and clarify the role of these tests in that process. Additionally, we will review the similarities, differences, truths, and misconceptions about the tests while also providing strategies that can be used to improve scores.

Facilitator Bio: Emmie Hudson is an Education and Outreach Specialist with The Princeton Review. Through this role, she works closely with counseling teams, students, and families providing resources related to the college admissions landscape and test-taking best practices. Her position bridges high school academics with the various aspects of the college application process to establish supports for post-secondary success and throughout the admissions experience. Prior to joining The Princeton Review’s team, Emmie taught 5th grade English in Baltimore as a Teach For America Corps Member. She received her Teaching Certification from Johns Hopkins University, and BA in History and French from Franklin & Marshall College.

3:30pm – The Science of Exercise

Description: This practical and informative workshop helps participants understand the science behind their favorite gym routine or exercise class, provides information about starting a new exercise routine, and how to fit it into your busy schedule.

Facilitator Bio: Alex is a second-year Kinesiology doctoral student within the UConn health fitness lab and also works as a physical activity counselor in UConn Student Health and Wellness. Alex is interested in how exercise can provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of chronic disease, and formulating strategies to move the nation toward a more physically active lifestyle.

Friday, July 28th

2pm – Doing Undergraduate Research

Description: At UConn, researchers are producing new knowledge that changes our world everyday! From innovations in medicine, to new findings about our universe, to making change in education, research is one of the biggest ways UConn impacts the world. In our session, you will learn about how you can conduct research to make your own impact both right now and in your future career.

Facilitator Bio: Emily Schwab, Ph.D. is the Director of the BOLD Women’s Leadership Network Program and an advisor in the Office of Undergraduate Research. Dr. Schwab advises current BOLD Scholars and can provide information for those interested in BOLD as well as other undergraduate research opportunities. She holds a BA from Williams College in History and Latina/o studies and a PhD in Education (Reading/Writing/Literacy) from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining the Office of Undergraduate Research, Dr. Schwab taught undergraduate and graduate level Education students at UConn and Rhode Island College while also teaching K-12 Language Arts and English for multilingual learners in Providence.

2pm – Embracing clean energy of future

Description: This workshop will provide introduction to clean energy transition from power system aspects, including renewable energy and grid modernization technologies, such as offshore wind and solar generations, energy efficiency improvement, distributed energy resource integration, sensing and communication, etc. The end goal is to enable students to have a big picture about energy system transition and its enabling technologies. Some essential industry needs will also be elaborated.

Facilitator Bio: Junbo Zhao is an Associate Director of the Eversource Energy Center for Grid Modernization and Strategic Partnerships and an assistant professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Connecticut. He is also the Research Scientist at National Renewable Energy Laboratory. He received his Ph.D. degree from the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech, in 2018. He did the summer internship at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory from May to August 2017. He is currently the officer of multiple IEEE PES Committees and Subcommittees as well as Working Group and Task Forces, such as Renewable Systems Integration Coordinating Committee, Distribution System Analysis Subcommittee, etc. He has published three book chapters and more than 160 peer-reviewed journal and conference papers, where more than 100 appear in IEEE Transactions. His research interests are cyber-physical power system modeling, estimation, security, dynamics and stability, uncertainty quantification, renewable energy integration and control, robust statistical signal processing and machine learning. He serves as the associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid and IEEE Power and Engineering Letters, etc. He is the receipt of the best paper awards of 2020, 2021 and 2022 IEEE PES General Meeting (5 papers), the 2021 Best Paper Award of IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, the 2021 IEEE PES Outstanding Volunteer Award, the 2022 IEEE PES Technical Committee Working Group Recognition Award for Outstanding Technical Report, and 2022 IEEE PES Outstanding Young Engineer Award (Society Level).

2pm – Exploring Engineering

Description: Learn more about UConn's School of Engineering! We'll discuss different SoE majors, the SoE experience, and enrichment opportunities.

Facilitator Bio: Shoshana completed both her B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies and M.A. in Educational Psychology at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT. Shoshana’s professional experiences in education over the past decade have helped shape her holistic approach to the field of advising. In March 2014, Shoshana joined the School of Engineering’s advising team and currently advises Undecided Engineering, Engineering Physics, Multidisciplinary Engineering, Regional Campus, and Exploring Engineering students. Shoshana assumed the role of Associate Director of Advising for Student Transitions in January 2023. Shoshana’s primary responsibilities are to advise engineering students at all UConn campuses regarding course scheduling, degree planning, and career enhancement. She also teaches multiple courses to support transition, monitors student progress, assists during academic and personal difficulties, and coordinates prospective engineering and orientation registration sessions. Additionally, Shoshana serves as an advocate and resource for her students to help them find opportunities that will enhance their experience at UConn and beyond. Shoshana serves on numerous University committees. She also co-directs the Transfer Connections House learning community and is a UConn Connects Mentor, UConn Career Champion, TME staff liaison, and First Year Learning Experience facilitator. Shoshana was named a 2017-2018 FYE Instructor of the Year, 2019 Outstanding UConn Connects Mentor, and most recently received the 2020-2021 Outstanding Undergraduate Staff Advisor Award.

2pm – Getting Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

Description: College is a unique time in your life to meet new people and explore new ideas. The college journey is something new and exciting, but can also be a time of uncertainty and discomfort. In the workshop, I will share how embracing these feelings and stepping out of your comfort zone actually will transform you as a person.

Facilitator Bio: Kevin L. Booker, Jr. is the founder of Booker Empowerment, LLC (established in 2007) and has been an educator for over 20 years.  He is committed to uplifting and educating individuals. Mr. Booker realized his passion for encouraging others who do not have a voice when he was 12 years old. At that young age, he committed to fighting for young people, understood the importance of helping others see their full potential, and dedicated himself to a life of seeking social justice.
Mr. Booker went on to achieve various degrees through the support of his family and strong mentors. He teaches college and high school level classes, trains men and women who have experienced trauma to tell their story in order to empower others, facilitates leadership and diversity workshops, and lectures. He is a mentor and speaks publicly all over the country to encourage people to understand the power of education and using their voice to make positive change. Mr. Booker is a regular volunteer with the American Red Cross and spent 7 weeks in Puerto Rico to help after Hurricane Maria. He also volunteers regularly in a local elementary school, supporting reading instruction, something he has done for the last seven years. Mr. Booker has a strong passion for encouraging others to stay positive through adversity and voluntees his time working with many individuals from various backgrounds.
Mr. Booker is a former City Councilor for the City of New London, CT where he oversaw Public Safety. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in Connecticut, ISAAC (Interdistrict School for Arts and Communication) Charter School Board of Directors in New London, CT, Hartford Job Corps Academy Outreach Board in Hartford, CT, and the School and State Finance Advisory Council. Currently, Mr. Booker is a New London Parking Authority Commissioner. Mr. Booker co-hosts a podcast called “The Cultural Flipside” with Daisy Torres where they discuss social and cultural issues that are occurring throughout the world. Mr. Booker is an author and published a book along with other men titled “Emerging Men: Transformational Stories of Hope, Inspiration and Purpose.” His motto is “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.”

2pm – Interviewing

Description: The résumé, cover letter, and application all serve the purpose of getting you the interview, but the interview is your chance to actually get the job. In this presentation, you'll learn about what to expect in an interview and how to prepare to answer standard and complex questions in a professional way that makes you stand out and land the job, internship, or experience you are seeking.

Facilitator Bio: Steve helps coordinate all the programming that the Center for Career Development puts on including presentations for classes or student organizations, panels, webinars, and workshops. He also works one on one with students to assist them within a variety of career-related topics such as career and major exploration, interview preparation, and post-graduation opportunities. As a first-generation student, he didn’t know that there were resources he could have used to make his life easier when it came to career. Now, as a Career Consultant, he wants to help students realize that there are people and tools here at the Center for Career Development that can provide much needed support no matter where they are within their career journey.

2pm – Touring UConn Athletic Facilities

Description: During this workshop students will learn about the athletic training profession and tour some of the athletic facilities at UConn. They will see some of the athletic training rooms that the UConn athletes use as well as research facilities inside Gampel Pavillion.

Facilitator Bio: Emma completed a BS in Athletic Training from High Point University in North Carolina and a Masters in Exercise Science from the University of Connecticut. Currently, Emma is a fourth year PhD student in Kinesiology at UConn. She is also pursuing graduate certificates in College Instruction and Public Health. Emma’s research focus is on the influence of social determinants on physical activity in children. She is the associate director of social media for the Institute for Sports Medicine. Emma has experience teaching biomechanics, upper and lower extremity evaluation, first year experience, introduction to health and wellness and more.