Author: dac13001

Finals Episode – The Dodd Center


Listen to Graham Stinnett, archivist at the Dodd Center, read a version of Aladdin from 1908.


{Intro Music}

Danielle: Welcome to Live and Learn, a production of the Honors Program at the University of Connecticut. I’m Danielle Chaloux, and this is a special finals episode.


Danielle Chaloux (DC): Can you please introduce yourself for me?

Graham Stinnett (GS): Sure. My name is Graham Stinnett and I’m an archivist at the Archives and Special Collections which is located at the Dodd Research Center.

DC: And briefly, what is the Dodd Center in general?

GS: So the Dodd Center is largely programming organization that oversees human rights related programs, offers awards to NGOs and folks doing work around human rights, continuing the work of Thomas J. Dodd who was in executive trial counsel during the Nuremberg Trials in 1946, as well as being a senator and a congressman of Connecticut. But more so his sort of stamp on the human rights record is kind of what the Dodd Center tries to continuously advocate for. And so there are all kinds of things. We teach classes in the Center; the Human Rights Institute is there, Judaic Studies is there, but largely, 3/4s of the building is made up of the archives and special collections.

DC: And what are archives?

GS: Just generally archives are kind of the collected memory of individuals, businesses, organizations. We, being the University of Connecticut Archives and Special Collections, we are kind of the one stop shop for all of the recorded past of the university. That’s everything from the corporate functioning of the university itself to student organizations that have recorded and documented their work over the existence of the university. And then further to that it’s kind of the one of a kind, focused collecting of objects that have enduring value—important historical objects, documents, papers, media, digital materials, etc. We kind of work in all frames of the recorded past.

DC: Can students use these materials and resources?

GS: Absolutely. So, kind of a big distinction between a library and an archive is that the only thing you can’t do is browse the stacks and you can’t check out material like you can in the library. The library has this fantastic kind of freedom to it where you can walk through the stacks, browse book by book. When you come to the archives, we kind of oversee how you handle the materials because a lot of the stuff we’ve got is very rare, fragile, old. It has preservation and handling requirements, so a lot of the stuff needs to be kind of minimally impacted by the research that we’re trying to facilitate. So, you can come in, you can browse the materials that we have online, and then you can request one of those objects, or a book, or a newspaper, or a photograph, whatever it might be. And then we’ll bring the box to you in the Reading Room which is located in the Dodd Center, and you can spend all day just kind of, you know, perusing through the research collections we have.

DC: Excellent. And so today we have a piece of one of the collections to share, and for the listeners at home, what have you brought out for us?

GS: So, this is from the Northeast Children’s Literature Collection, which is one of our larger collecting areas we have in the tens of thousands of literature books. And that ranges from very basic kids books to pop-up books to young adult literature to critiques of how children are written about or how they’re portrayed or illustrated. So today I’ve brought a copy of Aladdin from 1908 and it’s called Aladdin Or The Wonderful Lamp and Other Stories from the Arabian Nights.

DC: And so what we’ll do today is we’re gonna read the story cause we know you all have finals and are a little bit stressed so hopefully this brings you back to a nicer time of maybe lighthearted childhood.

GS: Okay, Aladdin Or The Wonderful Lamp.


GS: Once in a large city of China, there lived a boy named Aladdin, who was so lazy and careless that he would do nothing but play to the grief of his mother, who was a poor widow. One day when Aladdin was playing in the streets as usual with his idle friends, a stranger came up, and began to talk to him. He said that he was Aladdin’s uncle, and meant to do great things for him, and, kissing Aladdin many times, he asked to be taken to the house where he lived. Very much surprised Aladdin led the way to his home and told his mother the strange uncle had come to see him.

Now, the stranger was really no relation at all to the boy, but a wicked sorcerer known as the African Magician, who wished to make use of Aladdin to carry out a secret he had made. He had learnt by his arts that a wonderful magic lamp was hidden beneath the ground in a certain part of China, and knowing that if he had this treasure he would be the most powerful person in the world, he soon found out the exact spot where it lay, and made up his mind to get it. But, though he had learnt where the magic lamp was hidden, he was not allowed to take it himself. And having noticed, as he walked about the streets of the nearest city, that Aladdin was a sharp boy, he had decided to make use of him for his purpose. He soon made the poor widow believe that he was indeed the boy’s uncle, and saying that, he now meant to provide for all of his wants. He persuaded her to let him take Aladdin out for the day.

Aladdin was delighted to go, and, his pretended uncle, having bought him some gay new clothes, took him to visit the best parts of the town, and gave him many nice treats. After a while, he led him away from the city, right out into the country, saying he wished to show him a very beautiful garden. And Aladdin, though now very tired, was still ready to follow his new friend. When they came to a certain lonely place they stopped, and the magician made a fire. Throwing some incense into the blaze he uttered a few words of magic. Instantly the ground opened, showing a little cave, with steps leading down below.

“Go down those steps,” said the magician to Aladdin. “And you will find yourself in a most beautiful garden, at one end of which a lamp is burning. Bring me the lamp; we shall both be rich for life. But first of all put this ring on your finger and it will keep you safe from harm.” The magician placed a ring on Aladdin’s finger, and then the boy ran down the steps at once and soon found himself in the loveliest garden he had ever seen. On every side were trees laden with fine fruits which Aladdin fancied were made of brightly colored glass. And, thinking them very pretty, he filled his pockets and loose tunic with them, little dreaming that they were really dazzling jewels of priceless value. He soon found the lamp, burning at the top of some steps, and putting out the light he placed in carefully in his vest, and ran up the steps to the mouth of the little cave.

“Give me the lamp boy!” cried the magician impatiently. “No!” said Aladdin. “Not until you help me out of this hole.” The magician was so eager to snatch the magic lamp, that these words sent him into a violent rage, and throwing some more incense into the fire, he uttered certain words that caused the ground to close over the cave so that Aladdin was buried alive. Having thus failed to get the treasure he wanted, and not having power to open the ground a second time, the magician went back to Africa in a great rage, and poor Aladdin was left to his fate, knowing now that his pretended uncle was really a wicked sorcerer. For a long time he wept and cried out for help, but no help came. At last he clasped his hands together in despair and prepared to die.

As he clasped his hands together, however, he happened to rub the ring given him by the magician, and instantly there appeared an enormous genie, who said, “Who dost thou want? I’m ready to obey thee.” “Then get me out of this!” cried Aladdin. In a moment he found himself on the ground above, and, full of joy, he ran off home and told his mother of all his adventures. Next day, finding there was nothing to eat in the house, Aladdin said he would sell the old lamp he had bought from home an evening before. But just as his mother began to rub it up, to make it a little cleaner, there suddenly appeared another hideous genie, who said, “What dost thou have? I am ready to obey thee.” “Bring us something to eat” said Aladdin. Instantly the genie brought a fine feast set out on rich dishes of silver and then he vanished. Aladdin and his mother sat down to this feast with great delight, and afterwards, by selling the silver dishes one by one, they were able to live in comfort for a long time.

Aladdin now began to improve very much, leaving off his idle ways and growing into a sensible young man, and as he made it his business to talk with merchants and wise men, he learnt much from them and soon found out the real value of the jewel fruits he had brought from the underground garden. It was about this time that Aladdin first saw the sultan of China’s only daughter, the beautiful    Princess Badroulbadour, and falling in love with her at once he made up his mind to marry her. So one day he sent his mother to the royal palace with a dish full of the precious fruit jewels. Telling her to present these to the sultan as a gift from him, and to ask the Princess’s hand in marriage at the same time.

After going to the court for several days, Aladdin’s mother at last was brought before the sultan, and laying her gift at his feet, she asked him to allow his daughter to be married to her son, Aladdin. The sultan was delighted with the dazzling gems, and he said if Aladdin would send him forty golden basins full of the same kind of fruit jewels, carried by forty black slaves led by forty white slaves, and would also provide a splendid palace for her to live in, he should certainly be married to the princess. When Aladdin had heard what the sultan had said he took the wonderful lamp and rubbed it hard. Instantly the genie appeared and asked his commands. Aladdin told him what he required, and the genie vanished, but soon returned with forty golden basins of jewels, forty black slaves, and forty white slaves. Aladdin at once sent the slaves with the golden basins to the sultan, and then he desired the genie to bring him a handsome suit of jeweled trimmed clothes, fit for a king, a splendid horse to ride upon, and forty richly dressed slaves to attend on himself. He also ordered gorgeous robes and slaves to be brought for his mother. And then the genie instantly carried out his commands. Aladdin then dressed himself in his glittering garments and rode in great state to the palace, where he was received very kindly by the sultan, who promised that the marriage should take place directly, he had provided a suitable palace for the princess to live in. So, when he returned to his home at night, Aladdin once more called up the genie, and ordered him to build a gorgeous palace, with walls of solid gold, and windows, doors, and pillars, all covered with precious gems, and to set it up in the open space opposite the royal palace.

Next morning, the golden palace was ready, it’s dazzling jewel windows glittering to the sunlight and when Aladdin entered he found it completely furnished in splendid style, with lords, ladies, and slaves in attendance, with great treasure of gold and silver laid only in a secret place known only to himself. The sultan was now perfectly satisfied, and that very day, Aladdin was married to the beautiful Princess Badroulbadour. He was very happy indeed, and lived the life of a splendid prince. But trouble was yet in store for him.

The wicked African magician was still alive, and having learnt by means of his arts of all that had happened to Aladdin, he made up his mind to try once more to obtain the magic lamp. So, he came back to the capital of China, and soon thought out a cunning plan. Learning that Aladdin was away hunting, he dressed himself up as a poor merchant, and buying a basket full of small lamps, he went from street to street crying out, “New lamps for old lamps! Old lamps for new lamps!” He soon made his way to Aladdin’s palace where he was seen by one of the princess’s ladies, who said to her mistress, “A foolish fellow outside is giving away new lamps in exchange for old ones. Shall I give him that rusty old lamp in Prince Aladdin’s room, and get a nice new one for it?” The princess, having no idea of the real value of the magic lamp, answered, “Yes. It down at once by all means.” The attendant did so, but no sooner had the cunning magician snatched the old lamp from her, then he rubbed it hard, and the genie appeared. “Carry me and Aladdin’s palace with all inside it to the middle of Africa!” cried the magician.  And instantly his command was obeyed.

When Aladdin returned from hunting next day, he was full of dismay to find that his palace and beautiful princess had disappeared, and, guessed it once that this was the work of the wicked magician. The sultan was in such a rage that he declared that Aladdin should be killed unless his daughter was soon restored. Aladdin set off at once to look for his princess and palace, but, finding his search in vain, he had at last flung himself down in despair on the bank of the river, thinking that he might as well drown himself. In his grief he had forgotten the wonderful powers of his magic ring, but as he laid by the river he had happened to rub the ring, and instantly there appeared the same genie he had seen in the cave. Aladdin was delighted to see the genie, and he said at once, “Set me down beneath the window of the princess’s room in my palace, wherever it may be.” Directly as he had spoken, he found himself in the midst of a lonely plain in Africa, outside his own splendid palace.  He soon made his way to the room of the princess, and, full of joy, they rushed into each other’s arms. The magician was, happily, in another part of the palace, so Aladdin and the princess were able to arrange a plan in getting rid of him. Having settled everything, Aladdin hid himself behind the curtains, and, then the princess sent out one of her ladies to invite the magician to come to a little feast with her. The magician came in good time, looking quite delighted for, until now, the princess had refused to have anything to do with him, and he wished above all things to win her favor. And directly he arrived, a grand feast was served.

The princess chatted and laughed, pretending to be very friendly with the magician, and presently she offered him a cup of wine, in which a deadly poison had been mixed by Aladdin. The wicked magician dazzled by the smiles of the beautiful princess, drank off the wine at once, and instantly he fell over on the couch, quite dead. Aladdin now rushed forward, and, searching amongst the dead magician’s clothes, he found to his great joy the magic lamp. He rubbed it at once, and when the genie appeared he commanded him to set the palace down again in its proper place in the capital of China. This was instantly done. And when the sultan looked out of his window next morning, he was full of surprise and joy to see Aladdin’s dazzling palace, standing in its place once more. He quickly went to embrace his beloved daughter, and rejoicing for her safe return were kept up all over the country for a long time. And now that the wicked magician was dead, Aladdin was safe from harm and the sole master of the wonderful lamp, and he and his beautiful Princess Badroulbadour lived happily together to the end of their lives.

DC: The end!

GS: And what the listeners couldn’t see were some of the illustrations that came along with it. So there’s one, subtitled “The genie carries Aladdin’s palace into Africa.” and it’s kind of a gaunty man with leather straps on his feet and his shins and he’s got a big, winding robe up around him that ultimately comes up onto his head and he’s carrying off this gigantic pagoda looking palace over what is probably the Nile. There are camels, there are elephants, there are little lions, lionesses, around the banks of this river. The coloration is kind of a cross fade of psychedelic greens and blues and purples. It’s kind of basic but that’s one of the only colored images in the book.

DC: So if you’re interested in learning more about archives, what are some resources you can check out?                            

GS: Well one of them is the podcast I’m working on that is hosted at, and it’s called D’Archive. Every week I interview somebody who does research in archives or works in an archive or a library, someone who is a specialist around materials that we have. And I play audio samples from our collections which are kind of hard to listen to often. Things have come from real to real tape or come from cassette or vinyl, so having to do that electronic migration of a lot of the media is the work of an archivist, basically. Having to make sure that things are still accessible to this day, even though that media is slowly disintegrating. So that’s something you can check out, and it’s a weekly feature. We also do exhibitions, come on by the Dodd Center if you can! Archives and special collections are open Monday to Friday, there’s always somebody there to answer reference question or to chat about the great stuff that we have.

DC: Excellent. Thank you so much.

GS: Thank you.

DC: That’s all for this semester. We’ll be back in the spring with the next season of Live and Learn!

{Outro Music}


Episode 8 11.13

Live and Learn Episode 8


[intro music]


[Danielle Chaloux]: Welcome to Live and Learn, a production of the Honors Program at the University of Connecticut. I’m Danielle Chaloux, and this is Episode 8 for the week of November 13th. Dr. Nicholas Leadbeater of the Department of Chemistry will be hosting a Lunch & Learn on Tuesday, Nov. 14th, at 12:30 PM in the Buckley Classroom. All majors are welcome to join Dr. Leadbeater in an informal conversation over lunch. RSVP at And on Thursday, Nov. 16th, stop by the Student Union Theater at 7 PM to hear from the Pollinators Protection Panel, featuring beekeepers, professors, and the state apiary, talking about the necessity of bees and how to save them.


[music break]


[DC]: This week we’re talking Education Abroad with Katie Ouimette, a junior Art major and global student mentor in the Study Abroad Office. Katie has recently returned from Australia and speaks about her experience. We’ll also hear from Matt Yates, the associate director of Education Abroad.


[DC]: What is the importance of Study Abroad?


[Matt Yates]: It’s very important in this day and age. We all know that this world is very globalized and that there are a lot of different, competing ideas and perspectives and cultures, and in order to make sense of that, it’s important to engage, not to pull back. It doesn’t matter what your perspective is and your personality if you’re not really somebody who is a people person or you don’t really see yourself going out a lot, that’s fine, because there are so many ways to engage with difference: difference of opinion, difference of religion, difference of language, no matter what you’re studying, you can find a way to globalize that. And that’s important of course, not only for the practical things of getting a job but to become a better person. We have an ethical obligation to work with other people, we don’t live in a world where we can get to do whatever we want, for better or worse. And so we should do right by them, we can only do right by them if we talk with them, if we engage with them, if we get to know who they are as people. Going abroad isn’t necessarily just about taking classes in your discipline, which I hope people do, that’s great! They can make academic progress towards a degree, they can take languages that will give them practical skills to get jobs, but it’s also really about learning who you are as a person, and how to ethically act towards others in a way that will help this world become a better place.


[DC]: And what about Honors students specifically? Can you earn Honors credit abroad?


[MY]: Yes, that is possible. We do have some programs that are more geared towards Honors students, so that’s something that advisors can help recommend to students depending on what they’re looking into, but yes that is possible.


[DC]: And what about thesis research?


[MY]: I would be more than happy to help students try to find programs in which they can do that. Research can often be very customized, right? So, it’s maybe more a matter of doing a impending study, network with faculty members, and then, not necessarily “studying abroad” but going abroad and registering with our travel registry so that you get insurance and are connected with the resources that you need in order to be successful and save for when going abroad.


[DC]: For a student who is maybe just starting out their UConn career, what advice would you give them, specifically regarding Education Abroad?


[Katie Ouimette]: My first piece of advice would be going to talk to your academic advisor and let them know that that is in your mind, so then you can plan accordingly and then you can know what program you want to go on and what program will offer the course you want to take while abroad, a lot of people, plan to take their gen eds abroad so that they don’t have to worry about taking their specialized classes in their course. So that, really just planning ahead and letting all of your advisors know, and even coming in and talking to a Study Abroad advisor, they’re more than open to talking to people who are years ahead from studying abroad.


[MY]: Talking about students who come in and I’ve talked with a lot of juniors and seniors in high school who say “I know in my second semester of my junior year I want to do this program” and like wow you’ve done a lot of research and you know exactly what you want to do, there are students like that. And then there are students who, one of the best students I have ever worked with was a student at Kansas State who came into the office the day before the deadline to apply to one of our most intense academically challenging exchange programs in Australia. And he completed the application on time and went and got scholarships for a lot of the programming he worked on while in Australia. He’d liked to say he came back with “down one penny” because he had enough scholarships and work while he was there, he was able to cover the costs of not only his program but also the traveling he did while he was there, so you don’t have to plan everything out to be a successful student is my point. It’s great if you do, and that’s what we’re here for, we’re here to talk about that process, the strategic process, it’s best that you do, I recommend that you do try to think things out and that’s what we’re here for too. If the moment strikes and you feel like the opportunity is there, come talk to us we can definitely see what we can do.


[KO]: That’s another thing I noticed. I was one of those students who was not together at all. I had no clue where I wanted to go, I know that I wanted to abroad, I’ve been thinking about going abroad my whole life, but I just waited and waited until the deadline, so you have to be flexible, and you have to think “Ok, I can’t go to Barcelona so where should I go?”, and I waited and waited so that a ton of deadlines were passed, so I kind of ended up in Australia, and I went and had an amazing time. So really being flexible and sometimes things don’t go to plan, even if you do plan ahead years in advance.


[DC]: What would you say to students who are on the cusp of leaving to start their semester, year, or experience abroad?


[KO]: I think one of the cliche things people always say is “never say no” and always be open to experience, and when someone says “Oh, do you want to go try this weird food”, try it! If they ask you to go on some trips say, “yes of course I’ll go” or “of course, I’ll try it” because you’re never going to get that chance again, and if you do it might be a little different, and to always take every opportunity that you can.


[MY]: I think that’s very well said, I would definitely jump on the food piece, I’m a big foodie, and part of the reason why I love Education Abroad so much is because I love to try new things, and to talk about that. And that’s something that I worked with with my students when I was teaching them at Kansas State was that I asked them to try different foods in Hong Kong and in Paris, two very very different cities, and to discuss it, because food is a very social thing, it’s something that we all have to engage in. Katie was saying earlier how it’s in the small things that you kind of have culture shock in, based on unknown assumptions I think that’s dead right, because another topic, not just food, that I like to talk about with students is, because we can all relate to it and it’s also kind of fun, is toilets. Like how to flush a toilet when you’re going abroad can be so different and force you to challenge you to think about something you never really thought about. In the states, for most of the toilets you just flush, right? But you may be prompted to think about how to do that when you’re abroad. And that can be uncomfortable and unsettling but it can also be exciting because this is something that I never thought about before. This is a way in which the culture is formatted, for whatever reason, has a different approach. Food is the same way, sleeping habits, when people eat, all the different things that go into our lives that we don’t have to think about are brought to our attention full force whenever we’re abroad and that can be very unsettling but also incredibly exciting and it makes you become a lot more open to experiences and open to other people’s stories, and doing right by them, and helping the world become a better place.


[DC] If you’re thinking about studying abroad, there are options that work for almost any constraint. The Education Abroad Office in Rowe 117 is a great resource to ask the questions you’re worrying about. Live and Learn visited the Puerto Rican and Latin American Cultural Center (PRLACC), located on the fourth floor of the Student Union. We spoke with two undergrad student workers, Ashley Amaro and Stephanie Andrade about the programs and community of the cultural center.


[AA] Our programs are usually student run and they do give more of an idea of what you can do to better yourself as an individual and to give you more of an idea that you are as capable as anyone else on this campus to get as far as you want to. And it’s giving you that motivation to push yourself further while also giving you that community that’s also pushing you forward. You can come if you want to expose yourself to different cultures around the world and embrace all the different parts of Latin America. We do have another program called Cafe con Leches where we have a guest speaker come in and we talk about social issues or we talk about things that impact a person’s life on campus.


[SA]: One of the biggest things is that we want to be a resource to people so we even smaller things, we had one just recently which was “How to Apply to Jobs as a LatinX Student”, the kind of things you want to say on your resume, like your second language, they try to teach you on how to emphasize that, especially the LatinX community, but could be absolutely anyone.


[AA]: The community is very family like, you have someone to talk to at any point in time that’s not going to judge you for any decisions you made or the classes you take or for switching your major five or six times, or even if you had a bad grade on your exam and you’re questioning who you are, there are people there who are going to motivate you. You can be of any ethnicity, of any culture, you can be somebody who’s never dropped by the center before, and you just need someone to talk to, they are there for you. How we can make you feel comfortable, knowing that when you’re comfortable and you are relying on people around you, you do the best that you can be. Being a part of this campus, it’s not just making it past your academics, it’s about making bonds that will last a long time.


[SA]: It’s very diverse. I want people not to think that they come in and they’re going to find one kind of LatinX student, and it’s not like that, they are so different. Typically there’s always music or talking and you can also find all sorts of majors and stuff like that, and that’s one of my things that you find all sorts of different kinds of people in the center and they’re always welcome to help you. I get to work with people who are genuinely driven to try and help people. Recently we just had a meeting and we talked about how we can help Puerto Rico with everything that’s happen and I think that’s amazing that I’m a part of something much bigger.


[AA]: This is a center that is so dedicated to helping the society around them and helping the communities within the LatinX community, and the drive to help other people. We see how we’re all working together to make sure they get to what their goals are, and that’s my favorite part of the center, it’s knowing that they want the best for me. They’re going to do whatever they can, and what’s in their power, to get whatever I need, and I reach my goals.


[DC]: That’s all for this week. To provide feedback and to enter to win a limited edition Honors Program long sleeve t-shirt, visit where the code word is GLOBAL.


[outro music]


Live and Learn Episode 7 11.6


[intro music]

[Danielle Chaloux]: Welcome to Live and Learn, a production of the Honors Program at the University of Connecticut. I’m Danielle Chaloux, and this is Episode 7 for the week of November 6th. On Tuesday, November 7th, at 5PM in Laurel Hall 201, Dr. Erin Cox from Counseling and Mental Health Services will discuss strategies and tips to manage stress levels, perfectionism, and demanding schedules. We’ve heard from Dr. Cox in Episode 3, so check that out for a teaser. This week, we’re going to get a peek into ANTH 2400: Analyzing Religion. It’s an Honors Core class taught by Jocelyn Linnekin. Here’s Professor Linnekin.

[DC]: Can you provide a brief overview about what that class is?

[Jocelyn Linnekin]: This is the course where I, um, mess with their minds as much as I possibly can. I want to make them rethink, push, probe, everything they ever thought about religion. It’s very wide ranging, it’s challenging, but I think I guide the students through very well. It’s very excited because with Honors students you have a tremendous amount of discussion and they’re smart. It’s great fun!

[DC]: And what are some of the topics in this wide-ranging course that you’re covering?

[JL]: I start out with, what is religion, and I ask if religion has to be theistic, do there have to be deities, do there have to be supernatural beings? So we start out with various definitions of religion. And rather quickly move into different famous scholarly approaches to and rejections of religion. I rather like putting Sigmund Freud, Friedrich Nietzsche, alongside anthropologists,and the K’iche’ Maya Book of the Dead. It’s intended to be a juxtaposition of very different sorts of sources but, having Freud and Marx and Nietzche and the Christian mystic Gregory of Nyssa, and Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, just go home and tell them you’re reading THAT, they’re going to know the tuition is worth it.

[DC]: What’s the importance of this course?

[JL]: My pitch for this class initially was that there are few institutions that are more implicated in today’s crises, conflicts, politics, one hardly needs to say, religion is implicated in so many arenas of life globally from one end of the earth to another. That the wide ranging nature of this course, I hope makes them better world citizens, better informed, better able to understand conflicts that seem overtly religious but actually there are always underlying claims that could be ethnic or national or based on territory.

[DC]: And from a student perspective, here’s Nathan Friday, a sophomore studying Biomedical Engineering with minors in Math and Computer Science and Engineering.

Last semester you took an Honors Core class.

[Nathan Friday]: Yup.

[DC]: What course did you take?

[NF]: The course I took was ANTH 2400: Analyzing Religion, and it’s really, I don’t know, I really liked the course just in general because it felt very different than a lot of the other courses I’ve been taking up until that point.

[DC]: How is it different?

[NF]: Just in terms of engagement, assignments, and expectations in the classroom I think. So, you know, we had a lot of expected readings that we’re supposed to do, so that we could come to class prepared to talk about whatever concepts she wanted to bring up. She really focused on bringing up a wide range of examples for each concept that we talked about, despite the fact that it was kind of a point of the class that it’s very difficult to make broad assumptions about any particular belief system. There is an interesting element to that, that you can talk about things in a general sense but we also had this caveat that nothing applies to everything universally.

[DC]: At the end of the semester, when you looked back at the class, and you said, “Oh, you know, in my ANTH 2400 class, this is what I learned.”

[NF]: What I learned exactly from it? Oh, man. I would say that I learned an appreciation for the anthropological method more than anything else, you know, understanding the role of ethnography, that kind of thing, where somebody goes into the field and does work with these people who are completely different from them in some senses. And, it really comes away with a different understanding, and you can spread that to other people, and help expand our view of the world.

[DC]: And how did this class square with your very science heavy major coursework.

[NF]: It was refreshing, honestly. The previous semester I had taken a presidential election class as one of my UNIVs, and, I liked the break from the science sometimes, you know, because I do like politics, religion, I like those topics and I like talking to people about that. I like the interaction you can get in those kinds of classes. It’s why I’m taking a modern drama class this semester, is that I like that interaction you can get. It doesn’t happen as much in the science heavy courses.

[DC]: How will you apply the things you’ve learned in these classes that are nothing like your major to your major?

[NF]: I don’t know if I feel like I have to apply to my major, I feel like it makes me a more well-rounded person just in general. And I think that benefits me.

[DC]: Here’s another sophomore student, Nandan Tumu, studying Computer Science and also took ANTH 2400 last semester. Is there value in that interdisciplinary nature?

[Nandan Tumu]: I think there is enormous value in it, personally, I think that no matter how much of the sciences or how much of the field you know, everything boils down to people. At the end of the day you’re going to be working with people. The products you make are going to serve people. And your users are always going to be people. You’re going to work with people to create everything you create. Understanding religion, something so critical to how people carry on their daily lives, is I think important to understand. Because, if you do understand that,if you understand where people are coming from, you can build deeper connections with them, you can understand their drive, you know, what makes them tick.

[DC]: What’s the biggest takeaway you had at the end of the semester when you kind of had that moment of reflection on, “Well, I learned a lot this semester.” What was the thing that stood out for this class.

[NT] How much of an understanding I’d gained of other religions. There’s a lot of source text we read in that class. And, when we discuss it in class, I think that, our understanding of the material is deep in a way that’s unlike any non-Honors class I’ve taken. What we read and how we discuss what we read really makes a difference in terms of an Honors Core, because the discussion is not surface level, it goes deeper than that. The thoughts that your classmates bring to the table are sometime ones you never thought of before. And Professor Linnekin’s method of teaching the class I think really furthers students’ understanding of religion as a whole.

[music break]

[DC]: Live and Learn spoke with the Women’s Center about what they do on campus, how to get involved, and what the cultural centers can do to help the student population be more aware of the world around them.

[Stephanie Goebel] My name is Steph Goebel, I’m the outreach committee chair for the Women’s Center here at UConn. The Women’s Center was created to establish gender equity here at the University of Connecticut, so it came out of campus activism, activism around equality in access to the field house, equality for university professors who weren’t receiving tenure on the basis of gender, just to continue to make sure that we’re educating the student body on what gender equity is and how they can help and pursue that as students here at UConn and then as they go into the greater world, achieve that in the spheres of influence after the university. It’s also to make sure that the university is holding themselves accountable to that equal treatment of everybody regardless of gender. They are able to create programs that address topics of gender-based violence, gender-based issues like pay equity, one thing we’re very focused on is campus safety, so they do things like the SlutWalk, and then they have the Speak Out afterward. And then we talk about different issues pertaining to what it’s like to be a woman on this campus, what it’s like to be a man on this campus as well. So they’ve got the Men’s Project which focuses on masculinity and the role that plays in young men’s lives here at the university and how masculinity influences the way you think about so many things. It’s also focused on making sure we’re not exclusionary in our work, that our work isn’t sexist or that it’s not classist and that we’re working within that to make sure we’re achieving goals on that sort of multi-dimensional level because everything is sort of interconnected.

[DC]: So what is gender equity, as a definition?

[SG]: It’s being treated in everybody’s eyes, regardless of gender, especially as a university student or somebody who teaches here that you’re going to be treated on the basis of your work, rather than your gender.

[DC]: And the Women in STEM program, what does that involve?

[SG]: That’s run by my friend Kavya. She runs it like this mentorship program, so you’re assigned another student who’s going to be your mentor in that program. It’s for younger students who are in that Woman in STEM program, and to make sure these women feel comfortable in the field that they’ve chosen, that they continue on with it. Especially, as a woman, when you’re one of the only women in the classroom. And I think it sort of encourages you, that yes it is hard but it can be done, and I’ve done it before and I’m so passionate about it and I love it so much now.

[DC]: What advice would you have for students who are maybe just starting their UConn career.

[SG]: I think it’s really about knowing yourself, finding out what your interests are, and being ok with that you don’t have something to fill every box, that if you’re passionate about something, run with it. And that your free time is so important, that element of self care is so important, it’s more important than your resume or how long it is. I think that coming to UConn, I would hope to tell myself, to take it slow and dive in headfirst, and experience and understand that you don’t have to be perfect.

Coming to the Women’s Center, coming to one of the Cultural Centers, figuring out how your identity plays into the work that you do here and how it informs the education you’re getting here, how it informs the work that you’re eventually going to do, understanding the intersection of your identities, because the Cultural Centers aren’t just for people who are of that identity, it’s for everybody to learn more about those cultures.

[music break]

[DC]: That’s all for this week, stop by and enter for a nifty long-sleeve t-shirt with the code word “self-care”.


[music outro]


Episode 5 10.23

[Danielle Chaloux] Welcome to Live and Learn, a production of the Honors Program of the University of Connecticut. I am Danielle Chaloux and this is Episode 5 for the week of October 23rd. Halloween is coming up and Honors for Diversity is hosting their annual “My Culture is Not a Costume” discussion about how one can show appreciation for a culture without disrespecting members of a cultural group, or culturally appropriating their traditions. That will be on Tuesday, October 24th in the Student Union room 317 (7-8 PM). On Wednesday, October 25th, we are celebrating student research, scholarship, and creative projects with the fall Frontiers poster exhibition in the Wilbur Cross south reading room from 5-7 PM. Stop by to see undergraduate students and what they’ve been up to.


And now, a UConn professor who is studying exertional heat stroke, heat illnesses and hydration to find ways to prevent sudden death during sport and physical activity.    


[Douglas Casa] My name is Douglas Casa. I am the CEO of the Korey Stringer Institute. I am a professor of Kinesiology at the University of Connecticut.


[Chaloux] We spoke with Dr. Casa about his work at the Korey Stringer Institute, working with undergraduates, and what the research has shown.


[Casa] Korey Stringer was an NFL offensive lineman for the Minnesota Vikings and he died from an exertional heat stroke in August of 2001. He is the only NFL player in history, in 100 years, to die during a practice or a game. Like I said, he had a heat stroke, really brutally hot conditions on the first day of practice in Minnesota during a heat wave back in 2001. And, he struggled that day in the heat and the next morning he came back and it was hot again and struggled again that day and unfortunately he did not have appropriate treatment in regards to rapid cooling. He stayed hyperthermic for too long and ended up passing away in the middle of the night the following day. I worked with his widow, Kelsey, for many years after as an expert witness on the lawsuits she had. And, when she settled with the NFL, her and Commissioner Goodell, from the NFL, asked if we would be willing to host a lasting legacy for Korey to prevent future things like this from happening for athletes who are fighters and laborers. And that is what we have been doing the last seven years.


[Chaloux] And what is exertional heat stroke?


[Casa] Exertional heat stroke happens when people get severely hyperthermic, or they get too hot. The intensity is too high, the environmental conditions could most likely be oppressive. They have central nervous system dysfunction like maybe they’re unconscious or have cognitive dysfunction. If you stay hyperthermic, like above 104 or 105 (degrees) range for more than 30 minutes, it’s very likely you’ll have long term complications. You could potentially die from the incident so the appropriate, best practice is treatment for heat stroke is cooling someone down as fast as possible.


[Chaloux] What is the research or work that you’re doing at the Institute?


[Casa] So we have two big things that we do at the Korey Stringer Institute. One side that we do is anything related to enhancing athletic performance, or military performance, a person that has to do intense physical activity, especially in the heat… how can you enhance performance? Things like body cooling strategies, keeping your temperature down, heat acclimatization, getting used to the heat, hydration, the influence of certain medications or supplements or different clothing or textiles, or things like that. So anything you can do to enhance performance. The second half of what we do at KSI has to do with the medical and clinical side of things. What are the best ways to prevent, recognize, treat, and help people recover from an exertional heat stroke. And then other things related to preventing sudden death during physical activity whether they be cardiac conditions, or head injuries, or other conditions that could put people at risk. so the medical/clinical side is half and enhancing athletic performance, especially in the heat, is half of what we do.


[Chaloux] And what are some of the findings you’ve seen over the past several years?


[Casa] So I’d say some of KSI’s biggest contributions to the medical literature and society at large is definitely things we know about recognizing and treating exertional heat stroke. So, what are the right modalities to assess body temperature for instance. And in terms of what is the best way of cooling a hyperthermic person, what are the ramifications for the different amount of time it takes, and we basically played a big role and we are proud of the role we took in getting people to use cold water immersion for treatment of heat stroke. And then also the strategy called “cool first, transport second”. So if someone has a heat stroke at a in high school or college, most of those places that follow best practices, they cool them on-site before shipping them to the hospital because they don’t want to lose any of the minutes waiting for an ambulance, waiting to go back to the hospital, waiting to start cooling at the hospital because it takes us out of that 30 minute window we have to get their temperature down rapidly. And then we’ve also done a myriad of things in the realm of preventing heat stroke. But, anytime you’re preventing heat stroke like things like heat acclimatization, hydration, body cooling, those are also things that enhance athletic performance in the heat. So we’ve done a lot of work in that area that has contributed to the exercise science, performance side of things but also the literature.


[Chaloux] Do you work with undergraduates in research?


[Casa] Oh yeah, we are extremely thankful. One of the big reasons I think KSI has had much success over the last seven years is the undergraduates from the University of Connecticut. We have about 20 staff that consists of Masters students, PhD, post-docs, and professors that are paid by the Korey Stringer Institute. But then we had 60 volunteers, that takes us to about 80 people for staff, and those 60 people played intrical roles in the research studies we do. I’ll just give you one example. We did a study that we contacted every single high school in America to see if they had an athletic trainer and the extent of coverage if they did, and if they didn’t why they didn’t. So we contacted all 21,000 high schools and we only did that because of the amazing staff that we have. So we literally had 30 people working on that for a year.


[Chaloux] And did you hear from all 21,000 schools?


[Casa] Well we contacted all of them up to four times, but we actually an amazing dataset. We actually ended up having correspondents with almost 12,000 of the schools, which is incredible for really getting an idea of what is happening nationally. And we have another project now where we’re actually back again contacting all of the high schools. And right now we are less than 1000 left of every high school that we got information on for what we needed for our study. And this is all happening because of the incredible undergraduates here that are super smart, super motivated, and they come to us as a lot of them have a passion or interest in either sports or medicine, or often a combination of them both.


[Chaloux] What are some of the qualities a researcher looks for in an undergrad assistant?


[Casa] We don’t look for anyone that doesn’t have experience, per say. We look for someone that has the interest and the passion, the internal motivation, someone who just feels a connection with what we’re doing.


[Chaloux] So do some investigation about the labs and the work that’s being done at UConn. Talk to some professors and see if your interests line up!


[music break]


[Chaloux] When Spencer Matonis, a junior in the Honors Program studying Material Sciences and Engineering with a concentration in Nanotechnology, went looking for research, he found a business need instead and found Coalesce, a database for undergrads to find opportunities. Can you talk about the process of founding a start-up and how that came to fruition?


[Spencer Matonis] Absolutely. About October 26th of 2016 is when I first incepted Coalesce and put pen to paper to essentially sketch out the very first structure of the site as well as the workflow that currently exists with students getting into research and getting a job, how professors get funding, and then how I would like to see it happen. I took that workflow and made it into a software system. What I ended up doing was I found a software called Bubble which allows for a non-technical website building essentially, so it’s much more design-oriented, it is in between traditional coding and something maybe like Squarespace. Bubble is a nice middle ground, and the design-oriented process was really good for me. So, essentially with Bubble I was able to make an early MVP, a minimal viable product, in about a month, and then once I got to that stage and I started taking on marking efforts and tackling data entry stuff as well as consumer interviews. I was able to talk to the Bubble community and essentially got a couple of freelance developers to work with, so with those developers in place  and freelancers for data entry, it’s just a big hustle and grind and you’re constantly pitching, so I probably end up pitching by proxy about once a day. So I’ve pitched 365 times more or less. And it’s amazing, one thing I was thinking about recently is that you can pitch 150 times, and you’re generally supposed to use the same narrative, and you want to have a narrative, you want to be able to tell your story, how you got into the sector, what’s the need, what’s the solution, and what’s the market, in 2 minutes in the same exact format you tell it the same way every time, and it’s amazing after 200 times or so, something new might click. And you would be able to broaden your perspective, and realize I can see why people are telling me this or I see the market from a different angle now, and you might make a slight adaptation or iteration. It is a long process so, you have to be patient. It is a taxing process, so you have to keep up your mental health, you have to have a support structure. I think it all goes back to why you chose the topic and what you’re interested in. If you’re just looking for the money, or fame, start-ups are not the option for you. It is a lot of tinkering and frustration and failure.


[Chaloux] And what’s your pitch?


[Matonis] My pitch is that we’re the first ever database for students, that we’re the first ever database for university research labs, and we’re bringing specialized software to a sector that has been left behind in the past 10 years or so. So there’s Blackboard and other ed-tech solutions for all the classes that you take, yet graduate students don’t have that resource. So professors up until this data have hodge-podged bunch of different things together, and now we’re bringing a platform that will hopefully go on every research computer in the country, and we’ll be able to help them with inventory at bringing new students into the lab, getting them funding, managing lab operations on a day-to-day basis, in a much more efficient and intuitive platform that currently is out there.


[Chaloux] That’s all for this week. Visit to tell us about your favorite class at UConn, share feedback, and enter to win a long-sleeve Honors Program t-shirt with the code word “macaroni”.


[outro music]


Episode 4 10.16


Welcome to Live and Learn, a production of the Honors Program at the University of Connecticut. I’m Danielle Chaloux, and this is Episode 4.


Are you interested in helping first-year Honors students transition to UConn? Do you want to enhance your leadership and communication skills? Become a UNIV peer facilitator, and earn 6 Honors credits while leading a class of first-year Honors students and working closely with a UConn faculty member. There will be information sessions on Tuesday, October 17th at 4:45pm, Wednesday, October 25th at 5:30pm, and Thursday, November 2nd at 4:45 pm, all in the Shippee Pequot Room.

The Honors Humanities and Arts Collective is hosting a professional development workshop about creative entrepreneurship on Thursday, October 19th at 5:15pm in the Buckley Classroom. Guest speaker Allison Kuhlman will talk about about starting a creative business and marketing yourself.

And if you’re a junior or senior, there’s a thesis retreat coming up on Sunday, October 22 from 1-5pm. Whether you’re planning, researching, analyzing or writing, the retreat will provide a structured environment, with time for chatting with friends, focused writing, and breaks – snacks included. RSVP at


We’ve seen rave reviews about the opening weekend Honors community service event in collaboration with Jumpstart, here’s Associate Director of Community Outreach, Gina DeVivo Brassaw, and junior Digital Media and Design student Anna Janott to talk about how you can find a community service project that fits your schedule.

Gina DeVivo Brassaw – Students run all of our programs, so we have 110 student leaders that run a variety of different programs or services or initiatives. For service programs we have semester-long programs that students can get involved and go out weekly to area non-profits, students can go on trips around the country, serving and living together and reflecting about different social issues, or they can get involved in one-time projects. Community service days are when agencies come to us with weekend projects. everything from raking leaves to running bingo at nursing homes, to running Special Olympics events. And students sign up online, we provide the transportation, and they serve for 2-4 hours on the weekend and they come back and give a quick evaluation of the program, and that’s it. It’s a great way to get involved easily without much of a time commitment in case they have a lot on their plate. Typically they get involved in that type of program to start getting involved.

D: How can students get involved in Community Outreach?

The best way to figure out what a student wants to do is to go to our website: So, I typically recommend that they go on the website, figure out what programs they’re interested in and contact the student leader directly.

D: And who are the people that serve with Community Outreach?

Well a lot of people come into UConn wanting to help and wanting to serve. Community Outreach gives them that opportunity, so they come from a background of wanting to do community service. Or, you get others that didn’t realize it was their calling and then they find it when they come here. It really is inspiring seeing all these people who are just so dedicated to what they are doing and who has been involved since coming to UConn and will continue to be past UConn. They just work to help others and inspire others to be the same.

D: If you’re already a student leader who’s passionate about public service and/or the environment, there are several scholarship and fellowship opportunities available to you. The Truman Scholarship, Udall Scholarship, Mt. Vernon Fellowship and Newman Civic Fellowship all seek change agents who demonstrate passion, intelligence, commitment, and leadership on issues important to them.  And there’s an information session on Monday, October 16th at 4:30pm in Rowe 420.


For involvement out in the wilderness, UConn Outdoors offers something for everyone.

My name is Leah Rossettie. I am the coordinator for Outdoor Programs, part of UConn Recreation

D: What does that entail? What’s offered under that umbrella?

We have our rental center down in the Student Union, room 228, our Adventure Center, that’s where we do equipment rentals so anything from backpacks, mountain bikes, two burner grills that are great for tailgating. Sleds for snow in the winter. Beyond that we do weekend trips. Sometimes a simple day trip. If you’ve never been mountain biking or rock-climbing before we can take you out, teach you the basics, and get you on real terrain out there. Some overnight trips over the weekend, sometimes backpacking, some overnight mountain biking, and then extended trips over the breaks. Week-long adventures. This Thanksgiving break we’re going to the Grand Canyon, over winter break we’re going to Yellowstone National Park for the first time ever. If you’re not so sure you want to go that full level of commitment going off campus we have evening clinics. Paddle clinics, which take place in Brundage pool in SRF; we also have backpacking 101, where we talk about things to pack, good things to eat, things you want to avoid doing, and even bike maintenance clinics taught by our biking mechanics down in the Adventure Center if you want to learn how to take care of your bike on your own and these offer the knowledge tools to do that.

D: Do you have to know anything about mountain biking or rock climbing in order to go on these trips?

You do not! We are super beginner-friendly. Everything we do is geared towards entry-level beginners. Someone who has always wanted to do something and never had an avenue to get involved with it before. We try to remove barriers, and that’s a big part of our trips, is that we try to educate people on if this becomes a life-long passion for you, we’d like to give you the tools to do it safely and responsibly in the outdoors. So we’re a really good introduction if you want to learn how to do something like rock climbing or mountain biking, cross country skiing. Whatever it is, we have professional and student staff go out on those trips to guide you through those activities we do. We do have different level of intensity trips. Some are much more laid back than others, but it’s all beginner friendly. We provide the equipment and instruction, and vehicle transportation out to the site.

D: How would a student go about signing up to participate in any of the programs?

Any and all of our programs registration, because we do have limited spaces, is handled through our online registration portal, You’ll be able to scroll through our calendar. You’ll see not just UConn Outdoors, but also any offerings for Bodywise, Intramurals, or any other special events that we have going on. You can click on any of those individual events and get a bit more of a description, and then you can register. If it’s a free, local trip, as many of our local trips are, on the weekends that are day trips, then you’re all set. Those rosters are kind of fluid, so you can add or drop up until the Wednesday before, and then we kind of lock up and prepare for those people who are going on the trip. If it’s a paid trip, you have until the end of the next business day to come in and make payment on that trip to confirm the registration. At that point, we start getting more information out as the trip gets closer. If it’s an overnight, like the Grand Canyon, we obviously have some of those pre-trip meetings so that we can make sure you’re prepared to go on this adventure. Or just drop into the UAC and ask around because our staff are definitely excited to tell you about some of the different trips and some of their favorite trips.

D: There are costs associated with the overnight trips and some of the programming, what about renting equipment?

So our equipment rentals they do have costs associated with them. They are extremely affordable compared to if you went to a commercial outfitter. We have everything from cross country skis, tents, backpacks, so if you go with us and you really enjoyed it, and there’s no spaces on any more backpacking trips for the rest of the semester, and you have a couple of friends and want to get together and do it yourself, you can absolutely do that. Our staff are happy to help you with places to go. It depends on how long you want to rent it for. We have day rates, weekend rates, and week long rates, depending on the item. But again, they’re extremely competitive if you compared it to what a commercial retailer would be charging.

D: And it’s right on campus!

It is right on campus, yes, so it’s super convenient location.

That’s all for this week, thanks for listening. Feedback and segment suggestions are encouraged, visit While there, enter to win a limited edition Honors Program long sleeve t-shirt, by entering the code word, adventure.

Episode 3 10.9


Welcome to Live and Learn, a production of the Honors Program at the University of Connecticut. I’m Danielle Chaloux, and this is episode 3.

The Holster Scholars First Year Project is an enrichment opportunity for curious first-year Honors students. Holster projects are in-depth, individualized learning experiences completed during the summer after the first year (so for current first year students, 2018). Beyond some basic requirements, projects are self-designed. Scholars receive $4,000 in research support to complete their projects during the summer under the guidance of a faculty member.

Interested in learning more? There’s an information session on Monday, October 16, at 7:00pm in the Buckley Classroom.

Here’s 2016 Holster Scholar Katie Grant, who investigated the public perception of school choice options in Connecticut.

[Katie Grant]: to the students that were in my position two years ago, go for it, it’s something you won’t regret. No matter if it comes out in a successful Holster acceptance or not you will learn something about yourself through it and that’s the most valuable thing you can get.

As the semester is now fully underway, stress levels all over campus are rising.

Counseling and Mental Health Services offers a wide range of options for students. They include clinical services such as individual therapy, group therapy, and on call support 24/7, as well as free activities, such as drop in consultation hours, yoga classes and various workshops throughout the semester.

To learn more, visit, or call 860-486-4705

Here’s Dr. Erin Cox from CMHS to talk about stress and perfectionism.

[Dr. Erin Cox]: One thing that I always like to emphasis is that stress itself is not a bad thing. It’s just really how that stress is impacting us or how we think about that stress. At certain levels stress is pretty normal throughout college. If you have midterms coming up that’s going to be a stressful experience and perhaps would help you be more motivated to study and do well. That being said, a lot of student are impacted by numerous stressors at once and that might build up to become something more like anxiety or depression or other types of more significant health concerns where it’s starting to impact your ability to function.

So there’s a number of self-help strategies that’s I’m a big fan of. One of my favorites would be something like meditation or deep breathing exercises. There’s a lot of great YouTube videos and apps out there that offer instruction on how to mediate. My favorite strategy is called diaphragmatic breathing. It’s a specific technique that taps into our relaxation response, which is through our parasympathetic nervous system, and the technique for this is to kind of breathe, essentially, into your belly. So your diaphragm is an organ right above your belly and when you breathe into your diaphragm you are triggering this response in your body. Your nervous system thinks “I’m safe now. I’m breathing in a calm manner. And that sends a message to your brain.” The trick is to kind of take nice slow breaths in and out of your nose and maybe about counting about 3 to 6 counts in and 30 to 6 counts out and really focusing on getting it into your belly. If you do this for a few breaths that’s great, but it’s actually even more effective if you’re doing it for about 5 minutes per day, in a kind of meditation practice.

So I personally like to use apps as a guide, because if I don’t have a guide, I will only meditate for about one or two minutes and then I get bored, so use a guide and that will kind of help you stay track on time.


One of my other favorite strategies is to really consider the way we think about stress. When we’re stressed out, we tend to think about things in a more illogical, maybe more negative way than what is actually the reality of the situation. And so sometimes when we take a step back, we can see the more logical ways of thinking. And there’s a whole field of therapy called cognitive behavioral therapy, that’s based on this principle. And they’ve identified what they call cognitive distortions, which are specific ways in which people think about things that are a little bit more illogical. Essentially what you want to do is learn to recognize when you’re using a cognitive distortion. For example, magnifying a problem, so if I fail this exam, I assume that I failed the class and that I failed out of college; that would be an example of magnification. What you want to do with that is kind of step back and say “I am magnifying right now, what’s an alternative way of viewing this problem? Well, I failed the exam, that’s not great, but maybe if I talk to the professor or the TA, if I have a study group, if I think about a different way to study, then I can turn it around, and one exam does not make my final grade.”


So that would be a way that you’re challenging that thought. And that’s essentially the idea with cognitive behavioral therapy – to identify negative thought patterns and to challenge them.


One thing I’d really like to emphasize are our free drop in services. One thing that we often hear from students is concern about wait time for getting in for therapy, things like that. To a certain degree, there can be a wait time, just like when you call a doctor’s office or a dentist’s office, things like that. But we do have a lot of rapid access services. So certainly our emergency on call services are available, but our drop in consultation program, which is technically called the “Consultation and Support Hour,” is a really amazing service for students, you know if you’ve just gone through a breakup, if you’re having a roommate problem, if you’re struggling with test anxiety. Our clinicians are trained to identify these concerns and give you tools, resources, referrals to other campus agencies that can really be helpful, and often, actually, many of the students who use the drop in service find that they do not need to come back for longer term therapy. They find that those resources were enough to get them through that one particular difficult time. So that’s one of my favorite services that we offer, and that is free. It’s available on a first come, first serve basis every day of the week during the school year.


UConn Recreation offers a wide variety of programming opportunities. Over the next few weeks, Live and Learn will dig a little deeper into what’s offered. Today, we’ll hear from Steve Drasdis, Coordinator of Club Sports, as well as Meg O’Neil and Ashleigh Jepson, both students involved with clubs sports. But first, some information on the new recreation facility that’s currently under construction.

[Cyndi Costanzo]: My name is Cyndi Costanzo, I am the executive director of UConn Recreation.

[DC]: You’re the person in charge of the big construction project happening on Hillside Road.

[CC]: I absolutely am. It’s very exciting! I call it my building, which I’m not really sure that’s what the university is calling it, but it feels very much like my building. Uh, the project is on time. It is also on budget, which is great. And, we will plan to open that building in August of 2019. And so students that are on the campus right now will be using that building. And we’re very excited about that.

[DC]: And what will it look like when it’s done?

[CC]: For students that are on the campus, they can stop by the Student Union right now and see our video fly through, as well as the two models that we have available for students to see. And really, capture the essence of how, how big the building is. We developed a fantastic aquatic center, which will be two individual pools, and that will really meet the need of a lot of our club sports athletes as well as our recreational users. We’ll have four fitness centers. One of the fitness centers that we have outlined right now will house more equipment than what is currently available in the entire recreation center. We also will have four gymnasiums with wood court floors as well as two additional, what’s called a MAC court, or a Multi Activity Court, more of a synthetic surface. Those six courts are surrounded, by a really unique design, an indoor running track. And then we have our outdoor adventure center, which will be part of the actual building, which now most people know that’s an annex program for us and available in the Union. Now in there it will run all the programs that we currently run, our cycle share program, signup for our weekend adventure programs where we take students to offsite locations, from everything from mount biking to ice climbing, etc. In addition we will expand our climbing center. Currently we have a relatively small, mostly bouldering climbing center. We will expand the bouldering that will be available in our new climbing center but will also add the high climbing elements. And we will be the home to the 55 foot high climbing center, which will be the largest in New England!

[DC]: And here’s the club sports team.

[Steve Drasdis]: So we have 39 club sports, ranging from men and women’s soccer, women’s basketball, baseball, softball, men and women’s rugby to more nontraditional sports such as woodsmen, skydiving. We have three different horse disciplines, so pretty much something for everybody. You don’t have to have any experience with some of these clubs to participate. Obviously if you try out for the men’s lacrosse team and you have no idea about lacrosse, you don’t know what a lacrosse stick is, that might not be something that is going to work for you. But we have other sports, even if you have never tried them that you can come out and try. So running, for example, or archery, you can go out and try it even if you have never done it. If you just want to run recreationally, you fit and run with them. They have group runs four to five times a week, you can do that as long as you’re following the membership requirements, paying your dues. But if you really want to be competitive and compete and you want to go to the races, they take 45+ members to the races on weekends, so you can go do that. Similar to archery, where they have a competitive team and they go and they compete at a very high level but then they have people who just come to practice twice a week and practice their shooting on targets. So, it’s a really cool dynamic where you don’t have to be experienced in some of these clubs. You can come in and you kinda learn. Rugby is another good example, where we have a lot of athletes that have even played varsity sports or have played high school football and they want to go to the next level but they don’t know what to do and they’re very athletic, rugby pretty much takes anyone. And, that’s one of those things where they can come and participate in a new sport, a unique sport that is growing in America and be really successful.

[Meg O’Neil]: That also opens up the opportunity to be on more than one club sports team, which I think is awesome since D1 takes up so much of your time that you can’t really be on two D1 sports teams. But with club sports I see athletes all the time going from practice to practice and just being able to try out different kinds of sports which is a great opportunity.

[SD]: The way that we have it set up is that these teams, while they might not be competing all year, they’re kinda doing things as a team from August usually through April and when the school year ends.

[DC]: So it being October now, is it too late to get involved in club sports?

[SD]: No, again some of that goes back to tryouts, so we have those set tryout dates that they need to attend. Some of our clubs will have fall and spring tryouts, some will not. We do have certain roster deadlines in general, so for example a team like running that will take everyone, October 13th is our fall roster deadline this year, when for the fall no one can join after that date. But then in the spring when classes begin around MLK day, in the spring there is six week window where people can join teams again if teams are accepting new members.

[DC]: And the best part of club sports?

[Ashleigh Jepson]: I would say the best part of being on a club sport is that it really is that, it’s a club and you’re getting to play the sport that you love. So, you’re not just joining a team, like in high school, but you’re getting a whole new network of people you might not have met otherwise at this huge university. It really does make UConn feel smaller, and these teams act like a family. They have dinners, they have practices and team bonding events all throughout the year. You’re really joining a close group of friends that you’ll have for the next four years.

[DC]: And maybe beyond.

[S2]: Yeah!

[DC]: If you’re interested in club sports, check out That’s all for this week! To enter to win Honors Programming swag, provide feedback, and suggest future segments, visit, where the code word is BALANCE. (outro music)



Episode 2 10.2

(thoughtful music)

Welcome to Live and Learn, a production of the Honors Program at the University of Connecticut. I’m Danielle Chaloux, and this is episode 2.

On Tuesday, you and two friends can test your STEM knowledge by participating in the STEM Bowl from 7:30-8:30 PM in Laurel Hall 107. Winners receive a Dairy Bar gift card!

On Friday, swing by the Business Career Expo from 11 AM-3 PM in the Student Union Ballroom. More information about this event at

And on Thursday and Friday, check out the Conference on Business and Human Rights – Protecting Rights at the End of the Line. Here’s Associate Political Science Professor Shareen Hertel.

Professor Hertel: This year’s conference is really looking at how companies and communities interact along the supply chain, so beyond the factory floor, how are communities impacted positively or negatively by business’ presence in the community.

Danielle: What would you stay to students who might be thinking they’re not the target audience necessarily?

Professor Hertel: I would encourage students to come no matter what point in their career they are academically or their interest or their field of interests because as I say to students in my own classes I teach on related themes you will make more decisions about what to buy or use in your life than you will ever vote.

Danielle: And what if you can’t miss class for two days to come to the conference?

Professor Hertel: So you can come to any part you can come to. We ask that you register online.. we have a really beautiful portal it’s and just fill out the end. And that way if you come during the lunch hour we know to count you for lunch and you can drop in to as many sessions as you can.

That website has registration information as well as speaker bios and an agenda.

Also upcoming is the Fall Frontiers Poster Exhibition application deadline on October 9th. Undergraduate students in all majors at all campuses can apply to present their research or creative activity. For more information and to apply, visit

To hear a little more about research, here’s Dr. Alaina Brenick, of Human Development and Family Studies. We heard from Dr. Brenick last week during the last lecture presentation so what we’re going to talk about is what is research and how to get involved and what office hours looks likes from the other side of the desk.

Danielle: So what is your research about?

Dr. Brenick: My research focuses on how children and adolescents experience, evaluate, or make sense of, and respond to victimization particularly when it’s based on aspects of their social identity. Um so if they’re being bullied, or excluded because of their sexual identity, their gender identity, their ethnicity, their immigration status.

Danielle: How would you help students get started? So, when…I think a lot of students are maybe a little bit nervous about going to talk to a professor, and I know it’s not one size fits all, but what’s kinda—how would you say: “Here’s how to prepare for going to talk to a professor, whether it’s in office hours or maybe an appointment.”

Dr. Brenick: I think that office hours are great. So one of the things that you said that you wanted to see was what office hours looks like from this side. Really, if, if somebody came to my office hours I would be surprised, because most of the time people don’t come to office hours because of the sense of feeling like they might be intruding, or they’re potentially intimidated by us, or don’t even know what to say. But you don’t always have to know what to say—you can just come by. And, and those office hours that we have are a time where we’re just dedicated to being there for you in whatever way that means. So if students wanted to come up and say, “I’m interested in research and I don’t know how to get involved in it… can you tell me about it, can you tell me about your research?” That’s always an excellent question to ask any faculty member, because faculty love talking about their research—they do. Um, so if you don’t know you can always start the question with, “Can you tell me about your research experience?” Um, and that’ll open up the floor to have the faculty member discuss what they’re doing, discuss how they got involved in it.

Danielle: And so, when you’re working with Honors students specifically, whether that’s you know on a thesis or something like that, what is, what is that process like?

Dr. Brenick: Yeah, so I have… I’ve really had great fortune working with a number of different students, and they’ve each kind of taken their own path, whether it was creating a study from scratch or whether it was looking for data that I had already collected and looking at it in a new way doing some secondary data analyses. Um but really we start off with these conversations. Um I tell them about all of the different data sets that I do have, and I explain the opportunities they have within my lab, and I talk to them about my areas of expertise. So, if you’re not interested in the data I’ve already collected, here are they ways I can best mentor you if your interests are aligned with mine um but you want to conduct your own study.

Danielle: If you’ve checked your student admin and have a hold to go see your advisor, here’s Dr. Jess Hoffmann with what to expect from that meeting.

Dr. Hoffmann: We are going to talk about how things are going. We’re gonna talk about what your plans are, what they would be interested in registering for. We’re gonna talk about what they’ve gotten involved in. The meeting will probably go more smoothly if they come with some ideas—they don’t have to be very specific, humongous plans—they can just be “I’ve heard about this class from my friend, sounds really interesting to me”. It could be, you know, “Orientation I said I wanted to be pre-med, but now I’m thinking I’d be much more interested in studying history”… it could be anything like that. So we’ll just have a conversation, we’ll map some things out. After the student leaves, they will then be in charge of registering by themselves at their registration appointment date.

Danielle: And what about students who are not in their first year who’ve kind of done this before but maybe are still in ACES as a sophomore (that was me, just so you know. That was me until Jess said “No really you have to pick a major otherwise they’re gonna kick you out of UConn.”)

Dr. Hoffmann: Okay, so I don’t think the conversation went just like that, but there are students who are kind of pre-applying to their programs… if they are in that situation we’ll talk about where they are in terms of getting geared up for the application, you know, we’ll think positive thoughts but then we’ll also think worst case scenario, what would you wanna be registered for and what direction would you want to be going in if this doesn’t work out for whatever reason. If they are not a first year student and they are not pre-pharmacy, teaching, sports management whatever it may be, we’ll just talk a little bit more about where their explorations have taken them, what they’ve learned being involved in their extracurriculars—what did they particularly like about community service, why did they decide that they didn’t want to be in the Pre-Law Society… if this is a student who had some academic struggles, we’ll talk about academic resources, what their academic goals are, are they headed in that direction… really the conversation can go in a variety of ways.

Danielle: So let’s hear from our STEM Advisors

Kaitlin: My name is Kaitlin Heenehan

Anne: And my name is Anne Kim

Kaitlin: And our role is multifold… we work particularly with the STEM Scholar community, who are students who received a particular scholarship, but we also serve as secondary advisors to all Honors students to help them to feel comfortable here at UConn and connected to resources.

Danielle: So are you the people to come talk to to get your hold lifted?

Anne: We are not. Um we are available for all sorts of appointments, but if you have a hold in Student Admin the advisor listed on your Student Admin profile is the person you would need to get that hold lifted.

Kaitlin: We also are resources when perhaps their advisor can’t meet with them right away we are resources to them as well. Um same thing with Dr. Hoffmann… we all provide that kind of secondary resource… so hopefully students in the Honors Program will feel that they always have somebody to go to… we like to say that we’re kind of good people to go to when you don’t know where to go because we can either answer the question for you, get you connected to the right person on campus, point you in the right direction… we can help if you don’t know where to go.

Danielle: And what are some of the questions that students are asking about this time in the semester?

Kaitlin: I’m getting a lot of students who are, having taken their first exam, whether they’re a first year student or not, and may need some extra support on campus. And what I’ve been telling them is our best Honors students are the ones who ask for the most help because there are so many resources on this campus, and it’s really your role to reach out and to ask for help and to go to office hours and to go to the Academic Achievement Center. It’s really beneficial if you utilize all of the resources. So I’m getting a lot of questions, or not necessarily even questions, just students telling me about how things are going in their classes or not going according to plan, and that’s okay, because there’s still plenty of time in the semester and there’s still tons of time to reach out for help.

Anne: And you’d be surprised how many people are feeling the same way. If you’re feeling like this is a huge adjustment and you don’t know how you’re handling it, there are a lot of students feeling the same way. I know at this point in the semester it’s easy to look around you and see other students seem like they have their routine down and everything’s going well; you know you might still be struggling to adjust and that’s completely normal. This a huge change from high school, um and I think a lot of students are realizing that the things that worked for them in high school aren’t necessarily working right now and that’s exactly why we’re here.

That’s all for this week. To enter to win Honors Program swag, visit, where the code word is Muppet.