June 2015

Yale Professor Establishes Faculty Fund, Fellowship at UConn

Jack Kramer
Jack Kramer

2 min read

Robert Makuch
Dr. Robert Makuch.

While UConn graduate Dr. Robert Makuch is a distinguished faculty member at prestigious Yale University, his allegiance and pride in his undergraduate alma mater couldn’t be stronger.

That connection, already clear with his establishment of The Makuch Visiting Lecture Series at UConn in 2013, was reinforced recently with the announcement of his $250,000 pledge to establish The Makuch Faculty Fund in the Mathematical and Data Sciences and his $500,000 bequest to elevate the fellowship to a full professorship.

“Bob’s gift will strengthen UConn’s programs in this exciting field by helping to recruit, retain, and support the best faculty in the field,’’ said Jeremy Teitelbaum, dean of UConn’s College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

Dr. Makuch, who graduated in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science Degree from UConn’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, also received the 2004 Distinguished Alumni Award from the UConn Mathematics Department. He explained the motivation for his generous gift. “I believe that my gift will make a difference to a University that provided me an outstanding academic experience and prepared me exceptionally well for a career as a tenured faculty member at Yale.

“Importantly, UConn established a relationship with me that allowed my interests in mathematics and data sciences to be aligned with UConn’s academic programs.  This gift provides a lasting ‘thank you’ for all that UConn helped me to achieve,’’ Makuch said.

Teitelbaum said basic and applied research in mathematics and data sciences, which includes what is sometimes called “big data,’’ is “transforming biology, economics, and many other social and natural sciences.’’

Dr. Makuch’s gift to UConn comes as part of the UConn Foundation’s “Transform Lives’’ campaign, a five-year, $150 million fundraising initiative that will double the amount of financial support—including merit and need-based scholarships—that the Foundation raises for the benefit of the UConn student body.

“The current leadership at UConn has shown exceptional skills in selecting leading new faculty, and retaining outstanding existing faculty and staff,’’ continued Dr. Makuch. “The upward academic trajectory of UConn is self-evident, including its current national ranking among other universities and other metrics of success.’’

“I made this gift with the goal that it will help UConn continue this tradition of national and international academic leadership,’’ said Dr. Makuch. “This gift represents my contribution to keep that momentum going.’’

“Dr. Makuch’s generous gift continues his already established precedent of supporting his alma mater,’’ said Josh Newton, president of the UConn Foundation. “This will helps us tremendously in our continuing our efforts to bring a UConn education within reach of more families and strengthen the University’s standing among top public institutions.”

Dr. Makuch is a renowned biostatistician, recognized for his expert statistical and regulatory consultations to the pharmaceutical industry and to national and international governmental regulatory agencies.

He is an elected Fellow of the American Statistical Association, cited for his expert statistical consultation to government and the pharmaceutical industry and his innovative contributions to the methodological design and analysis of clinical trials.

He is a prolific author and frequent conference speaker. Dr. Makuch holds a masters and Ph.D. degree from Yale University after completing his undergraduate degree at UConn.

 

Become An Ambassador
Connect with fellow Huskies
Don't miss out on alumni events and more

Related Posts

Fund Will Create UConn’s First MPH Fellowship

Fund Will Create UConn’s First MPH Fellowship

Read More
After 45 Years in Classroom, Professor Emeritus Still Supports UConn Students

After 45 Years in Classroom, Professor Emeritus Still Supports UConn Students

Read More
UConn Celebrates Outstanding Medical and Dental Faculty

UConn Celebrates Outstanding Medical and Dental Faculty

Read More

UCAA Members: Why a ‘Yes’ Vote Will Strengthen UConn Nation

Jennifer Doak-Mathewson
Jennifer Doak-Mathewson

2 min read

A letter on the vote from Joshua R. Newton, President & CEO of the UConn Foundation

This week is a pivotal time for UConn. Members of the UConn Alumni Association (UCAA) are voting by ballot on whether to approve the dissolution of the UCAA in order to help facilitate the transfer of alumni engagement efforts to the UConn Foundation. (The deadline the ballot to be received is Monday June 29th).

The University Board of Trustees, the Foundation Board of Directors and the UCAA Board of Directors have already endorsed this change. Each governing body, comprised of people who have spent decades supporting UConn, believes the new structure will result in a stronger UConn Nation, with better services for alumni and friends.

A vote of ‘yes’ will affirm this decision, help facilitate a smooth transition, and lead to many positive developments:

  1.  More coordinated points of service for all UConn alumni and friends. No truly great university can fully achieve its potential without a vast, supportive, and engaged alumni body. Our goal to dramatically increase the opportunities for you and others to stay close to UConn through expanded and improved services, such as career networking opportunities and admissions assistance. Of course, staff will still be designated specifically for alumni needs and the University intends for the Alumni Center to continue to serve as a home on the Storrs campus for all alumni.
  2. A more inclusive approach. Currently there are 230,000 UConn alumni. Of that number, only 5 percent, or about 13,000, are members of the Alumni Association. Another way to look at it: That means 95 percent, or 220,000 alums, are currently not members of UConn’s primary alumni outreach organization. As Donny Marshall, former captain of the UConn men’s basketball team and supporter of the alumni transition, says: “That (lack of Alumni Association members) doesn’t meet the championship standards for which UConn is known.’’ Many of the nation’s top colleges and universities have already eliminated their membership model in favor of this inclusive and integrated approach.
  3. More efficient use of resources. Bringing all institutional advancement activities under one umbrella—instead of having two separate organizations with overlapping goals—will increase the level of resources available to support alumni. Currently there are duplicated services, such as communications, event services, outside service contracts, and other administrative functions. Consolidating these areas strengthens our ability to invest in direct alumni engagement.

I understand that there may still be questions about this change, such as how will it affect chapters and other affiliate groups of the University.

Learn more on the UCAA’s voting information page.

Ultimately, UConn needs the loyal support of its alumni now more than ever. I encourage members to speak up with ONE strong voice and vote YES.

 

Joshua R. Newton
President & CEO
UConn Foundation, Inc.

 

Become An Ambassador
Connect with fellow Huskies
Don't miss out on alumni events and more

Related Posts

RELEASE: UConn Alumni Association Votes to Dissolve

RELEASE: UConn Alumni Association Votes to Dissolve

Read More
RELEASE: Two UConn Foundation Board Members Among Inductees into School of Business Hall of Fame

RELEASE: Two UConn Foundation Board Members Among Inductees into School of Business Hall of Fame

Read More
Will Athletic Trainers Make High School Sports Safer?

Will Athletic Trainers Make High School Sports Safer?

Read More

Hartford Students Find Pipeline to Health Care Careers

Jennifer Doak-Mathewson
Jennifer Doak-Mathewson

3 min read

A cohort of 20 exceptional high school seniors from greater Hartford celebrated the end of an exciting year working toward their goals to become health care professionals. On May 20, 2015, State Rep. Douglas McCrory, D-Hartford, gave the keynote address to graduates of UConn Health’s Senior Doctors Academy.

The Senior Doctors Academy is funded in part by the Aetna Health Professions Partnership Initiative and managed through UConn Health’s Health Career Opportunity Programs. The ceremony also recognized nearly 100 high school and middle school graduates of UConn’s other Aetna HPPI programs, including the Great Explorations Program, Jumpstart Program, and the Junior Doctors Academy.

Faculty awarded ceremonial white coats to graduates of the Senior Doctors Academy.

“We are tremendously proud of our graduates for their hard work and investment in their futures,” says Marja Hurley, MD, director of UConn Health’s Health Career Opportunity Programs. “The white coat is a symbol of our integrity as health care professionals. We honor our high school graduates with white coats to recognize their academic achievements and give them a tangible reminder of their potential.”

The Senior Doctors Academy is geared toward students who are interested in careers in medicine, dental medicine, and biomedical research. Students attend academy classes on Saturdays during the school year and an intensive six-week enrichment academy over the summer focusing on pre-calculus, calculus, biology, physics, anatomy, physiology, and writing. Additionally, workshops and seminars are held for their parents and guardians.

“With support from Aetna, we’re preparing low-income students and students who will be the first in their families to attend college for the rigors they will face in a university or college setting. Our Doctors Academy identifies bright students who want to enter health careers and gives them the skills, resources, and confidence to succeed,” says Hurley.

UConn Health instituted the Health Career Opportunity Programs in 1996 to increase diversity in health professions and address health disparities among underrepresented populations in Connecticut. The Aetna Foundation established a generous endowment in 2005 to support UConn Health’s effective pipeline programs like Senior Doctors Academy. Additional support for HCOP programs is provided by the William and Alice Mortensen Foundation and other generous donors.

I'Jaaz Muhammad
Graduating senior I’Jaaz Muhammad

For graduating senior I’Jaaz Muhammad, the day marked the culmination of a year of hard work and a pivotal moment for his future. Muhammad received the distinguished John and Valerie Rowe Health Professions Scholarship to attend UConn next year and enroll in the prestigious Honors Program.

​“My experience at this academy was very helpful in implanting a spirit of investigation and excellence,​and I would very much recommend applying for and attending this program. I learned many new things and met many wonderful people who inspired me greatly,” says Muhammad.

All of the graduates will attend college in the fall; 11 of them will join Muhammad at UConn. Six will attend other institutions in Connecticut and two will attend universities out of state.

“We are grateful for Aetna’s long-term support for the Aetna Health Professions Partnership Initiative and to John and Valerie Rowe for their visionary scholars program,” says UConn Foundation President and CEO Josh Newton. “We have launched an ambitious initiative to raise $150 million in student support over the next five years to create more opportunities for promising students like I’Jaaz Muhammad.”

Become An Ambassador
Connect with fellow Huskies
Don't miss out on alumni events and more

Related Posts

Saving Lives in Haiti

Saving Lives in Haiti

Read More
RELEASE: Coach Calhoun Launches Event to Raise Dollars for Research and Care at UConn Health

RELEASE: Coach Calhoun Launches Event to Raise Dollars for Research and Care at UConn Health

Read More
Mental Health Q and A

Mental Health Q and A

Read More

Disabled Vets Get Job Training from UConn School of Business

Jack Kramer
Jack Kramer

2 min read

UConn’s Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities has received a $15,000 grant from the Bank of America Foundation.

The grant will support UConn’s program in the School of Business that provides disabled veterans with training in entrepreneurship and small business management, the UConn Foundation, which applied for the grant, announced.

“These men and women made great sacrifices in service of our country,” said Kevin Cunningham, Connecticut president, Bank of America. “UConn’s program connects veterans with the resources they need to pursue their dreams of starting a business.”

UConn’s EBV provides disabled veterans with the knowledge, skills, and support to start and grow their own businesses and achieve financial independence. Since its inaugural class in 2010, UConn’s EBV program has helped 110 veterans start 90 businesses, 18 find full-time employment, and 10 access professional business education programs.

“This grant will provide significant support,” says program manager Michael Zacchea, Lt. Col USMC (ret). “This grant will have a significant ‘ripple effect’ on our veterans and our state’s economy.”

In each of the last two years, the UConn School of Business has been ranked as a “Top Vet-Friendly” school by the Military Times. “Bank of America has supported the UConn EBV from the beginning. They are important partners in creating economic and social value for veterans re-entering the workforce,” says Zacchea.

Over the past five years, veteran businesses started through the UConn EBV have provided a 6-to-1 return on capital, says Zacchea. A typical UConn EBV business, after five years, has $150,000 – $200,000 in gross revenues and creates two jobs in addition to the principal.

UConn is part of a 10-school consortium administered by the Institute of Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University offering the EBV program nationwide. The EBV program is widely recognized as a best-in-class entrepreneurial training program in the nation.

More About the EBV Program

Become An Ambassador
Connect with fellow Huskies
Don't miss out on alumni events and more

Related Posts

UConn to Align Alumni Efforts Within Foundation (UConn Today)

UConn to Align Alumni Efforts Within Foundation (UConn Today)

Read More
UConn couple gives to support frontline at UConn Health

UConn couple gives to support frontline at UConn Health

Read More
UConn Health, UConn Schools of Medicine and Nursing, and The Jackson Laboratory Announce New Statewide Pain Consortium

UConn Health, UConn Schools of Medicine and Nursing, and The Jackson Laboratory Announce New Statewide Pain Consortium

Read More

Donny Marshall ’95 Joins Association President in Supporting New Alumni Engagement Model

Jennifer Doak-Mathewson
Jennifer Doak-Mathewson

< 1 min read

Donny Marshall ’95

Donny Marshall ’95, a current alumni trustee and former men’s basketball captain, wrote a letter to association members, who will be voting on whether or not to accept a new model for alumni engagement.

“My fellow trustees and I recently voted to embrace a new concept in which UConn would consolidate its alumni relations efforts under a single entity, the UConn Foundation, which would lead all alumni engagement and programming in Connecticut, across the country, and around the globe in more meaningful ways than ever before,” he wrote. “We believe this approach should come at no membership cost to alumni, who’ve already paid for the privilege of staying connected to their alma mater through their efforts in the classroom and subsequently in life as ambassadors of UConn.”

Read the full letter on the UConn Alumni website. You can also view a letter from UConn Alumni Association President Lori Riiska and the text of the ballot.

 

Become An Ambassador
Connect with fellow Huskies
Don't miss out on alumni events and more

Related Posts

UConn Foundation President & CEO Joshua R. Newton to step down midsummer

UConn Foundation President & CEO Joshua R. Newton to step down midsummer

Read More
Scott M. Roberts Chosen as President and CEO of the UConn Foundation

Scott M. Roberts Chosen as President and CEO of the UConn Foundation

Read More
FAQ: President Clinton, African Human Rights Group to Receive International Justice and Human Rights Award

FAQ: President Clinton, African Human Rights Group to Receive International Justice and Human Rights Award

Read More

Sellout Women’s Football Event Benefits UConn Health

Jennifer Doak-Mathewson
Jennifer Doak-Mathewson

< 1 min read

Fans are known as the “12th man” at football games, but last week showed that there’s a strong “12th woman” presence for UConn, too.

UConn’s football program held its Second Annual Football 101 for Women clinic Friday night at the Burton Family Football Complex and Mark R. Shenkman Center. The event was a sellout for the second straight year, with over 200 participants.

Participants learned about offensive and defensive strategy, player training, and nutrition—and also got to try kicking, passing, catching and tackling.

Proceeds of the event benefited programs for women’s cancer prevention and treatment at UConn Health.

Become An Ambassador
Connect with fellow Huskies
Don't miss out on alumni events and more

Related Posts

First UConn Gives Event Raises Over $260,000

First UConn Gives Event Raises Over $260,000

Read More
A Trailblazer For Women’s Philanthropy

A Trailblazer For Women’s Philanthropy

Read More
Trustee Helps UConn Scholarship Drive for Women

Trustee Helps UConn Scholarship Drive for Women

Read More