June 2014

Gift Supports Global Energy Sustainability Program

Jennifer Doak-Mathewson
Jennifer Doak-Mathewson

2 min read

The UConn Foundation announced a significant gift from the Satell Family Foundation that will support UConn’s new research partnership in sustainable energy with Technion–Israel Institute of Technology. UConn and Technion are recognized leaders in energy engineering and education, and both are committed to advancing global adoption of clean and efficient energy technologies.

UConn’s Center for Clean Energy Engineering and Fraunhofer Center for Energy Innovation, led by Professor Prabhakar Singh, together with Technion’s Grand Technion Energy Program, led by Professor Gideon Grader, provide an excellent platform to advance sustainable energy research in such areas as fuel cell systems, molten salt technology, materials corrosion, concentrated solar power life enhancement, and large-scale stationary batteries.

The Satell UConn–Technion Leadership Program for Global Energy Sustainability will support an international exchange of faculty and graduate students. Teams from both institutions will visit each other’s campuses in the US and Israel to present ongoing research and discuss joint investigations.

“I’m proud to support this exciting alliance between my alma mater and Israel’s great research institute, the Technion, where for years I’ve quietly sponsored some major research projects. This project can have a dramatic, positive, creative impact on the world’s much-needed clean, affordable, plentiful alternative energy resources. Professors Grader and Singh are the tops in their fields, so our hopes are high,” said Ed Satell ’57 (BUS).

Satell is founder, president and CEO of Progressive Business Publications. Previously, he established the Ed Satell Non-Profit Internship Program and the Ed Satell International Social Entrepreneurship Fund at UConn to mark the 50th anniversary of his graduation from the UConn School of Business. The Satell Family Foundation also supports numerous research projects in energy and medicine at Technion.

“Technion is one of the finest institutions in the world, and we are delighted to be expanding our collaboration. This generous gift from the Satell Family Foundation will support an innovative partnership and very important research and scholarship,” said Daniel Weiner, vice provost for global affairs at UConn.

UConn has developed collaborations in multiple disciplines at Technion, including sustainable energy, stem cell research, physics and mathematics, and is exploring new collaborations in materials science and robotics. UConn’s alliance with Technion is part of broad global engagement strategy with premier institutions in Israel and around the world.

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Fund Will Create UConn’s First MPH Fellowship

Jennifer Doak-Mathewson
Jennifer Doak-Mathewson

3 min read

Retiring with a splash, Joan Segal ’64 ’82 is capping off her 40-plus-year tenure with an offer to match donations to establish UConn’s first fellowship in public health. When she learned that the MPH Advisory Board was launching an initiative to establish the Joan Segal Fellowship for Public Health, she volunteered to match gifts up to $25,000.

“I was very touched and humbled. It is our alumni who inspire me with all that they do to improve the health conditions of our population,” says Segal. “Their commitment to eliminating health disparities and to promoting social justice inspires me and makes my career worthwhile.”

David Gregorio, director of UConn’s graduate program in public health, credits Segal with providing the foundation her students need to make a difference in communities across Connecticut and beyond.

“Several hundred of our state and region’s local health directors, health care advocates, teachers, physicians and allied health professionals have been influenced by Joan’s guidance and determination to address the needs of the most vulnerable members of society,” he explains.

The Segal Fellowship Fund kicked off at the thirtieth anniversary celebration for the MPH program on March 29 at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn. with more than 100 alumni and friends paying tribute to Segal. Two dozen gifts have come in so far, including a $2,500 lead pledge from the UConn chapter of Delta Omega, an honorary society for public health.

“Joan’s most enduring accomplishment may well be ahead of us. Thanks to the generosity of Joan and Joe Segal and fellow alumni, the Segal Fellowship will allow our program to attract excellent students to continue her mission well beyond the foreseeable future,” says Gregorio.

Segal’s career at UConn started as an undergraduate in the early 1960s. Her first love was literature. She majored in English and kept busy socially through Phi Sigma Sigma Sorority.

“I had a wonderful undergraduate experience at UConn. I had a grand time, and I was well prepared for graduate school. Upon graduation, I immediately entered the graduate program in English at New York University,” she says.

Next came marriage and starting a career. Living in New York City and Philadelphia, Segal had a successful early start in publishing as a copy editor. But she needed a new career direction when she and her husband left those hubs for publishing and moved back to Connecticut in 1969 to build her husband’s optometry practice.

At that time, UConn had just started the new dental and medical schools and was getting ready to open John Dempsey Hospital. Segal was hired by the dean of the School of Dental Medicine as his research assistant. Part of that first job at UConn was establishing the dental school’s continuing education program, which was perfect training for her later positions as assistant and then associate director of UConn’s graduate program in public health.

Segal was one of 10 students in the first class of Master of Science in Community Health program—the forerunner to the MPH program—in 1976. She counts helping the program earn accreditation in 1984 under the direction of former director Holger Hansen as one of her greatest accomplishments. Segal has worked with dozens of MPH students as a mentor, advisor for theses and major projects, and supervisor for field placement. During spring 2014, she supervised 24 students working throughout the state on six different public health projects of significance to Connecticut’s population.

“My copy editing experience was highly useful in advising students on their capstone projects. I may have driven my students crazy with all the editing marks,” she says. “This year I am perhaps having the most fun I’ve had during my tenure. I’m enjoying seeing how they take their prior course work and apply what they learned to practical projects in Connecticut communities.”

Segal, who spent 32 of her more than 40 years at UConn working in the MPH program, sees a bright future for the program and its role shaping public health in Connecticut.

“I would like to see the MPH program grow and have a presence in the national Association of Schools and Programs in Public Health. I would love to see more financial support for MPH and doctoral students, as well as a little more money to support student activities and academic endeavors like international research and presenting at national meetings,” she says. “We should be using financial support to recruit the very best and diverse students to public health.”

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Humphreys Supports Institute for Political Social Work

Jennifer Doak-Mathewson
Jennifer Doak-Mathewson

2 min read

Social worker, educator, and political activist Nancy Humphreys has made a $1 million bequest to support the Institute for Political Social Work at UConn to encourage social workers to take an active role in politics.

Humphrey’s bequest will help ensure the continued success of the Institute, which she founded at the School of Social Work in 1995 to encourage political activism as a legitimate specialization in the social work profession. “Social workers are devoted to helping people change and to changing society,” says Humphreys.  “By participating in politics, we can help make the system fairer, especially for those most at risk.  I am delighted that my gift will support the Institute and help more social workers become politically active by providing them with training that allows them to be successful.”

Among the Institute’s most important activities is its annual Campaign School, a two-day workshop that teaches social workers about political campaign strategies and how to run successful political  campaigns. Held annually for more than 18 years, the school has trained more than 700 individuals from 24 states on all aspects of running a successful campaign for elected office.

The gift was announced this week at an event honoring Humphreys upon her retirement from the School of Social Work, which she joined in 1987 as dean and professor.  Since stepping down as dean in 1995, she has served as director of the Institute and professor of policy practice.

“We are so grateful for Nancy’s generous gift, which will continue her legacy at the School of Social Work and the University,” says Salome Raheim, dean of the School of Social Work. “Nancy pioneered a new way of strengthening social workers’ understanding of policy and its impact; and she recognized and supported their tremendous potential as elected leaders and political activists. With this gift, the Institute that bears her name will continue to attract high quality candidates from across the state of Connecticut and the nation.”

The Master’s in Social Work has been the signature program of the School of Social Work since 1946 with more than 6,700 alumni. The School also provides a PhD in social work and extensive professional development programs.

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