This past August, after serving as interim head in the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment since May of 2017, Jason Vokoun was appointed department head. He was also promoted to full professor and director of the interdisciplinary environmental sciences major.
“It has been an eventful year for me professionally,” Vokoun says. “I’m humbled to be able to tap into my passion to help people succeed. One of my favorite things about being a professor has always been to work with students and help them find a path to their career. That was always the thing that gave me the most joy. I find in being department head that I am able to do similar things, but now across broader networks of people. It has been the great surprise of this position and provides me a lot of personal satisfaction.”
Says Dean Cameron Faustman, “As both dean and an alumnus of the department, I am grateful to have Jason Vokoun leading the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment. He has been a strong advocate for the student experience, both undergraduate and graduate, as well as for research and outreach. Dr. Vokoun’s thoughtful approach to various challenges and opportunities will serve the department well.”
Vokoun received his BS in forestry, fisheries and wildlife at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and MS and Ph.D. degrees in fisheries and wildlife from the University of Missouri, Columbia. He came to UConn as assistant professor in 2004.
Faculty and students are excited about changes taking effect in several programs offered by the Department of Kinesiology.
Athletic training is transitioning from a bachelor’s degree program to a master’s level professional degree, in compliance with the requirement that all such programs move to the graduate level by 2022 enacted by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). After 2022, students must have graduated from a master’s program to take the athletic training national certification exam.
Department of Animal Science alumna Emily Forauer was named the first Dave Theno Food Safety Fellow during the annual conference of the International Association for Food Protection in July. The fellowship is a partnership between Stop Foodborne Illness and Michigan State University Online Food Safety Program, according to the website.
As the Fellow, Forauer works in Chicago with Stop Foodborne Illness. She recently published an article in Food Safety News that describes her path at UConn to a career in food safety and microbiology.
By Patsy Evans