University of Connecticut

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Meet new faculty member Anita Morzillo

Anita Morzillo

Anita Morzillo

Anita Morzillo is a new assistant professor in the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment. Her area of focus is human dimensions of natural resources, particularly wildlife management, urban ecosystems and water resources. She is interested in how people make decisions about natural resources and human characteristics that influence those decisions across space and time. Here is what she said in an interview.

Where did you get your degrees?

I graduated with a bachelors in biological sciences from State University of New York (SUNY) at Plattsburgh in 1996. I received my masters in zoology from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale in 2001 and completed my PhD from Michigan State University in 2005.

I worked in corporate for two years after college, and I was taking business classes at night. I did work outside of the university for a couple years and then went back to school. I decided to go back to school because the corporate environment wasn’t the right fit for me; I was more interested in natural resource management than in what I was doing in business.

What did you do before you came to UConn?
I worked for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for several years after I finished my PhD. I was a biologist and my research there focused on integrating natural and social sciences. I was also a faculty member at Oregon State University for four and a half years, from 2010 to 2014; so I have the corporate, federal and academic experience. (more…)

Fairfield County gardening programs teach nutrition, integrated pest management and life skills

The Fairfield County Extension Center Demonstration Garden

The Fairfield County Extension Center Demonstration Garden

The Fairfield County Extension Center hosts a variety of gardening programs, and the season just past was a successful and bountiful one.

With the support of a five-year grant from USDA/NIFA’s Children,  Family, and Youth at Risk Program (CYFAR), Edith Valiquette, 4-H youth development educator, coordinates an urban 4-H garden program for sixth through eighth grade students at Barnum Elementary School in Bridgeport. German Cutz, associate extension educator, serves as principal investigator for the grant.

Students attend the program four hours each week during the school year and eight hours a week during the summer. The curriculum focuses on gardening, workforce readiness and technology.

Students learn about nutrition, gardening and healthy meal preparation while working together as a group. They explore agriculture by visiting local farms and participate in community service projects. Students designed, filmed and edited videos to teach healthy eating and used these guides to mentor younger students. Students also participated in a Christmas program presented in nursing homes.

“The program allows kids to have fun while learning valuable skills such as leadership and life skills,” says Valiquette. “The program brings these 4-H opportunities to urban neighborhoods.”


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UConn Center for Career Development selects allied health sciences major as Intern of the Year

Emily Snodgrass

Emily Snodgrass

The University of Connecticut’s Center for Career Development (CCD) has awarded its annual Intern of the Year to Emily Snodgrass. Emily was chosen for the 2014 Intern of the Year Award for her internship with the Minnesota Memory Project due to her dedication to the organization, academic excellence and leadership on and off campus. Pursuing a bachelor of science degree in Allied Health Sciences, Emily is a senior, graduating in May 2015.

Emily was nominated by Jared Fine, research associate at the Alzheimer’s Research Center at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, MN, and Judy Brown, associate professor in residence at UConn. Fine commented on Emily’s likability in the Minnesota Memory Project: “I remember telling her during her exit interview that she was one of the most likable people I’ve ever encountered. Her positive can-do attitude and social skills made her a team player and a desirable and valuable intern.” Brown praised Emily and her efforts, stating, “She demonstrated creativity and independence to design and complete an external internship, she has continued to integrate the skills and knowledge gained from the internship into her research process and the work products she has already distributed, and is now developing, will undoubtedly be of value to the aging population and their health care providers.”