Neag awards their alumni

The Neag School of Education held their 25th Annual Neag Alumni Awards Celebration this month celebrating alums work in the field. Illustration by Kaitlyn Tran/The Daily Campus.

This month, the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education awarded alumni for their work in the field. 

For the past 25 years, Neag has given out eight awards, with the recipients being chosen by the school’s alumni board. 

Categories which the awards fall under include outstanding school educator, outstanding school administrator, outstanding diversity equity and inclusion professional and more, a press release said. 

“The goal of these awards are to recognize early, mid and late career professionals who are making great contributions to educating communities,” Neag School Alumni Board President  Kim Wachtelhausen said. 

The only requirement to be eligible for the awards is that the nominees must have graduated from Neag, Wachtelhausen explained. 

“One thing we are trying to do is have better outreach to our alumni who live outside of Connecticut and even outside of the country,” Wachtelhausen said. “One way we’re doing that is nominating members to the alumni board who live outside of the state and beyond.” 

After years of changes to the celebration of awardees due to COVID-19, this past ceremony took place in person for the first time since 2019, Neag School of Education’s Alumni Relations Director Emily Murray explained. 

“Awardees are nominated by colleagues, fellow alumni, faculty and friends,” Murray said.  

“We just held the 25th Annual Neag Alumni Awards Celebration on Saturday, March 11th at the UConn Alumni Center. This was our first in-person celebration since 2019, with virtual programs from 2020-2022.” 

Although the award ceremony itself was different the last couple of years, Wachtelhausen emphasized that the award distribution was not interrupted. 

“The pandemic did not stop us. There were no interruptions in the application process, candidate discussions and choosing of winners. Everything just switched to being online,” Wachtelhausen said. “We had an online celebration when the awards were given out in 2020, 2021 and 2022.” 

These awards are meant to inspire current Neag students and future educators to continue their hard work, Neag School Alumni Awards Committee Chair Bryan Kirby said. 

“Neag alumni are doing such amazing work across the globe that it’s important we recognize them. A school is only as good as the people who attend and by seeing what the alumni are doing is humbling,” Kirby said. 

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