Meet the New UConn Holmes Scholars

In Fall 2020, the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education was selected to join the more than 50 higher education institutions nationwide currently sponsoring the Holmes Scholars Program. Meet the new Holmes Scholars through the following Q&As:

Meet Holmes Scholar Sandra Silva-Enos

Sandra Silva-EnosHometown: I was born in Lima, Peru, but grew up in both New London, Connecticut, and Waterford, Connecticut.

Which academic program are you in?
I am currently in EDCI [the Department of Curriculum and Instruction] focusing on Bilingual and Bicultural education.

Why did you seek to join the Holmes Program at UConn’s Neag School?
I sought to join the Holmes program because I believe in the power of mentorship and peer support. I think there is something so powerful in community support and mentorship, and as a student of color it is not always easy to find that community in the higher education world. The Holmes Program makes that world more of a reality.

Where were you previous to joining the program?
Prior to joining the program, I was working on a research project focused on sociocultural competence in the dual language classroom. I was and am working with a fabulous research team who are dedicated to the importance of critical consciousness and equity for our linguistically and culturally diverse students.

What do you hope to learn/gain through your experience in the Holmes Program?
Through this experience I hope to gain a network of support and be able to provide support, mentorship, and encouragement to others. I hope to fuel and continue my strength, motivation and determination through interactions with mentors, who look like me and have similar life experiences, who have found their place in the world of academia. 


Meet Holmes Scholar Kenya M. Overton

Kenya M. OvertonHometown: Springfield, Massachusetts

Which academic program are you in?
Mathematics Education Ph.D. program

Why did you seek to join the Holmes Program at UConn’s Neag School?
Encouraged by my advisor, I sought to join the Holmes Program to further my agenda of providing quality mathematics education for all.

Where were you previous to joining the program?
Previously, I was teaching secondary mathematics in a public school in Connecticut.

What do you hope to learn/gain through your experience in the Holmes Program?
Being the only Black woman in my field at UConn, I hope to become a part of a network of individuals who are as passionate about math education as I am.

Meet Holmes Scholar Anamaria Arteaga

Anamaria ArteagaHometown: Pawtucket, Rhode Island

Which academic program are you in?
Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with a specialization in School Psychology

Why did you seek to join the Holmes Program at UConn’s Neag School?
Working with students in the Human Rights and Action Learning Community through my graduate assistantship and personally adopting the ethics of advocacy from the National Association for School Psychologists, I have developed a commitment to active citizenship by working towards legislative changes that will positively impact education. Being bilingual and interested in working with bilingual learners and their families, I was interested in connecting with other students and professionals from diverse backgrounds who are working within education for community and support to achieve this shared goal.

Where were you previous to joining the program?
Prior to enrolling in the School Psychology graduate program at UConn, I was working as a full-time Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) in Rhode Island, providing in-home applied behavior analysis services to clients diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

What do you hope to learn/gain through your experience in the Holmes Program?
I am looking forward to the future collaboration and support network as I complete my doctoral studies. I am also looking forward to participating in the AACTE’s annual Washington Week to learn more about active citizenship to promote legislative change in education to provide an equitable educational experience for students who have been historically disproportionately affected by educational laws, policies, and practices.

 

Meet Clarisa Rodrigues 

Clarisa RodriguesHometown: Monroe, Connecticut

Which academic program are you in?
Educational Psychology, Special Education doctoral program

Why did you seek to join the Holmes Program at UConn’s Neag School?
I have wanted to be a Holmes Scholar since I was an undergraduate student at SCSU. I learned about the Holmes through participating in the AACTE with the Dean’s Leadership group I was a part of at SCSU. I wanted the opportunity to connect with fellow doctoral students who can unite to provide support and mentorship to one another.

Where were you previous to joining the program?
Prior to joining the program at UConn as a doctoral student I worked a special education teacher in a self-contained classroom.

What do you hope to learn/gain through your experience in the Holmes Program?
I hope to find a group of students to connect with and a mentor that could provide guidance and support through my doctoral studies.

 

Meet Holmes Scholar Dominique Battle-Lawson

Dominique Battle-LawsonHometown: Washington, D.C., raised in Silver Spring, Maryland

Which academic program are you in?
Ph.D. in Reading Education

Why did you seek to join the Holmes Program at UConn’s Neag School?
I am very excited to meet people who are pursuing graduate school degrees. I am also very happy to be involved in mentorship opportunities.

Where were you previous to joining the program?
Currently, I am the Assistant Director of Student Support at the Neag School of Education.

What do you hope to learn/gain through your experience in the Holmes Program?
I am excited to gain support as I pursue new academic opportunities.

 

The Neag School has pledged to cover the costs of sending each of its Holmes Scholars to the AACTE’s annual conference, as well as the two-day preconference exclusive to Holmes Scholars, for a minimum of three years. Interested students are encouraged to visit the new UConn Holmes Scholars webpage to learn more about the benefits of being a Holmes Scholar and the application process.

Diandra J. Prescod is associate professor of counselor education and program coordinator of the Holmes Scholars Program at the Neag School. She is also an alumna of the University of Central Florida’s Holmes Scholars Program.

 


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