2012-13 Faculty Member of the Year Award: Rebecca Flanagan

Rebecca Flanagan is a lifelong Husky, but her path back to UConn took her across the country. She graduated from UConn as an Honors Scholar, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, in 1999, with a B.A. in English and political science. After a year spent working as a reading tutor, a waitress, and a barista, she returned to UConn to pursue an M.A. in elementary education.

While at the Neag School of Education, she was the graduate assistant in the dean’s office and taught at Center School in Willington, Connecticut. Her master’s thesis focused on the work of Howard Gardner and how his theory of multiple intelligences applied in the lower (K-3) elementary grades. Although Rebecca loved working as an elementary school teacher, she was fascinated by the pressing legal and policy issues facing public schools. Upon much reflection and deliberation with her family, she applied to law school after finishing her master’s program at Neag.

Law school took Rebecca from Connecticut to North Carolina, graduating from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 2005. While in law school, she was chosen by Prof. RuthAnn McKinney to be a teaching assistant in the academic support program (ASP). Working in ASP turned out to be the perfect merger of her interests in teaching, education, and law. After passing the bar in Massachusetts and New York, she accepted a job as Assistant Professor and Assistant Director of the Academic Success Program at Whittier Law School in Costa Mesa, California. In 2006, she moved to Tempe, Arizona, to be Director of the Academic Support Program at Arizona State University-Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law. In 2008, she moved again, to Vermont Law School, where she was Assistant Professor and Director of the Academic Success Program.

When UConn decided to create a pre-law program, Rebecca jumped at the opportunity to give back to her alma mater. She returned to UConn in 2009, becoming the first full-time professional to exclusively work with pre-law students. Among her accomplishments at UConn, she worked with Dr. Lynne Goodstein to design the curriculum for the university’s Special Program in Law and wrote a chapter in Dr. David Moss’s book, Reforming Legal Education: Law Schools at the Crossroads.