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Hamilton Receives Dissertation Award

Dr. Rashea Hamilton was selected as the recipient of the 2015 William E. Loadman Outstanding Dissertation Award for Educational Psychology at The Ohio State University. This award is given annually to the Ph.D. student who has completed and defended the most outstanding dissertation in each academic area during the previous year. Dr. Hamilton is a Research Associate for the National Center for Research on Gifted Education in the Neag School of Education at UConn.

Dr. Rashea Hamilton receives outstanding dissertaton award

Picture: Dr. Rashea Hamilton (center) is presented with a William E. Loadman Dissertation Award by donor Professor Emeritus William E. Loadman (left) and Dr. Eric Anderman, her advisor and the chair of the Department of Educational Studies.

Kehle and School Psych Program Recognized for Research Productivity

Dr. Thomas Kehle is among the most published school psychologists from 1907-2014 according to a recently published review of publication in School Psychology Quarterly (March 2016), Vol. 31, No. 1.   UConn was listed as seventh out of all school psychology programs for the number of publications by school psychology faculty and students at a university for that period. In addition to Kehle, UConn school psychology professors include Dr. Melissa Bray, Dr. Sandra Chafouleas, Dr. Lisa Sanetti, and Dr. Tamika La Salle.

Siegle Receives National Award for Impact on Gifted Education

Dr. Del Siegle was recognized for his impact on gifted education as recipient of the 2016 Palmarium Award, presented Feb. 4 in Denver.

The Institute for the Development of Gifted Education at the University of Denver presented the award during its annual conference.

Siegle is a professor of gifted and talented and Head of the Department of Educational Psychology in the Neag School of Education at UConn. He also serves as director of the National Center for Research on Gifted Education, the federal government’s only funded national center on giftedness.

The Palmarium Award is presented to the individual most exemplifying the vision of the Institute for the Development of Gifted Education: A future in which giftedness will be understood, embraced and systemically nurtured throughout the nation and world. Recipients demonstrate that vision through practical impacts on education, advocacy outreach, educational publications and influential research.

“I am honored and humbled to receive the third annual Palmarium Award,” Siegle said.

After receiving the award, Siegle delivered a talk titled Tips for Making a Difference in Young People’s Lives, addressing important attitudes toward learning that enable young people to be successful.

Siegle is a past president of the National Association for Gifted Children, the largest organization dedicated to promoting the needs of gifted and talented children. He is also chair of the American Educational Research Association’s Research on Giftedness, Creativity, and Talent SIG. With over 650 state, national, and international presentations and over 100 articles, book chapters, and books on gifted and talented education, Siegle is nationally recognized for his work on motivation and underachievement of gifted students.

Sugai Addresses Legislators About Lowering Use of Restraints in Schools

Connecticut lawmakers and education leaders seeking to reduce the use of restraints and seclusion in public schools were encouraged this week by EPSY Professor George Sugai who offered a successful, research-driven alternative to addressing disruptive student behaviors.

More than 100 people attended a two-hour presentation at the state Capitol on Jan. 27, where professors George Sugai and Nicholas Gelbar described how a prevention and de-escalation strategy known as Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) can significantly reduce incidents of seclusion and restraint, while simultaneously improving the classroom climate for all students. Read more at

George Sugai

Betsy McCoach Receives 2016 Distinguished Researcher Awards

D. Betsy McCoach, Measurement, Evaluation, and Assessment Program Coordinator, was named the 2016 Neag Distinguished Researcher. This award is given to a senior level-investigator in the Neag School of Education who, over at least the past 10-year period of time (at least five consecutive years at UConn), has made significant research contributions to his or her field of study.

Ron Hambleton IRT Talk Set for October 30

Dr. Ronald Hambleton, a world renowned expert in Item Response Theory, will be giving a colloquium in the Neag School of Education on Friday, October 30th from 1:00pm -2:30pm in Room 144 Gentry.  All faculty, staff, and students are welcome to attend. Dr. Hambleton is co-author of several textbooks including “Fundamentals of Item Response Theory,” and editor or co-editor of several books including “International Perspectives on Academic Assessment,” “Handbook of Modern Item Response Theory,” “Computer-Based Testing and the Internet,” and “Adaptation of Educational and Psychological Tests for Cross-Cultural Assessment,” and the author of more than 600 articles in the measurement and statistics area. His research interests are in the areas of large scale assessment, test score reporting, and computer-based testing.


For more information, contact: Betsy at

Dr. Aarti Bellara joins EPSY Faculty

Aarti P. Bellara Dr. Aarti P. Bellara is an assistant professor in the measurement, evaluation, and assessment (MEA) program in the Department of Educational Psychology at the Neag School of Education. Most recently, Bellara was a researcher and evaluator working with the David C. Anchin Center and the Department of Measurement and Evaluation at the University of South Florida (USF). She has evaluated several state and federal grants and recently conducted two federal grant evaluations at USF.

She received her BA in political science and communication sciences from the University of Connecticut, her MA in teaching and curriculum from Sacred Heart University, and her Ph.D. in educational measurement and research from USF.

She worked for four years in the Fairfield (Conn.) Public Schools as a classroom teacher, teaching both second and fourth grades. Bellara was a member of the school system’s professional development committee and worked with the administration on attaining various speakers and educational developers for the school. She has also written a number of grants, which aimed to enhance learning by using inquiry-based teaching in science and social studies.

Bellara is a member of Kappa Delta Phi International Honor Society, the American Evaluation Association, the Florida Educational Research Association, the American Educational Research Association, and the National Council on Measurement in Education. She has presented at several national conferences, including the American Evaluation Association, and the American Educational Research Association, as well as several regional conferences. Her research interests focus on educational evaluation and measurement; data analysis and leadership; and equity studies with regards to teacher retention and attrition.

Aarti Bellara

Dr. Jonathan Plucker Authors New Policy Brief

The International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement announced the release of a new policy brief authored by Dr. Jonathan Plucker, Giftedness, Creativity, and Talent Development Program. The brief entitled, Advanced Academic Performance: Exploring Country-Level Differences in the Pursuit of Educational Excellence can be downloaded from  The International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) is an independent, international cooperative of national research institutions and governmental research agencies. It conducts large-scale comparative studies of educational achievement and other aspects of education, with the aim of gaining in-depth understanding of the effects of policies and practices within and across systems of education.

Jonathan Plucker, Gifted and Talented Program, is a creativity expert who joined the EPSY faculty last fall.