2009 award-winning students

The 2009 winners included Louis Jonathan Modica, the Louis Lacey McGarry Award; Rachael Datz, the Human Development Award in Undergraduate Research; and Nancy Wallace, the Susan Wagner Child Development Award.

Experiences of recent recipients of the Human Development Department awards

Callie Rotsko '08, Recipient of the 2008 Human Development Department Award for Undergraduate Research
Major Callie Rotsko engaged in an Individual Study with Professor Dunlap that involved analyzing data from 16 preschool teachers from the area. The study investigated observer perceptions and misperceptions of minority family communication and discipline. Callie not only wrote a paper based on the study, but she also made a formal presentation of her findings to the preschool teachers who participated. She and Professor Dunlap, along with their research teammates (Penny Jade Beaubrun '11, Molly Bierman '11, Andrene Burnett '11, Christina Burrell '11, Eliana Fischel '11, Renee Stainrod '11 and UConn graduate Jessica Brown '08) submitted a proposal to present this and a related study at the New England Psychological Association (NEPA) Annual Conference. In the fall, Callie joined the Teach for America program in New York.

Robert Campbell '08, Recipient of the 2008 Louise Lacey McGarry Award
Major Rob Campbell expressed the benefits of his coursework and service learning opportunities during his undergraduate experience in the department. "As a Human Development major, working at the Children's Program and interacting with fellow classmates allowed me to intellectually mature and understand my true interests. I was privileged to have had a number of positive experiences (social and educational) which influenced my future plans. I currently reside in Nuess, Germany, where I am living out my dream of playing professional hockey. If it were not for the Connecticut College community, this opportunity might have never occurred. I was fortunate enough to benefit from everything the College had to offer."

Sally Pendergast '08, Recipient of the 2008 Sue Wagner Human Development Award
Minor Sally Pendergast engaged in an Individual Study with Professor Akai that involved writing an integrated literature review and position paper about how the context of parenting for young, intellectually delayed mothers affects the development of high-risk infants. This investigation addressed the challenges faced by teenaged mothers and their children, and the societal positions that may impact positive change from a prevention standpoint. Sally's self-designed project was a part of her individualized curriculum in the Holleran Center's Program In Community Action. Her outstanding academic performance led to her selection by Connecticut College as a 2008 Winthrop Scholar. After graduation, Sally began work with autistic children near the Boston area and intended to apply for graduate programs.