February 2019

Supporting Future Community Leaders

Kristin Dumont
Kristin Dumont

3 min read

Cassandra Marrero ’15 (CLAS), ’18 MSW is making a difference for her community thanks in part to the support she received from the Julio Morales Jr. Fellowship endowment at the UConn School of Social Work.

Cassandra Marrero ’15 (CLAS), ’18 MSW has always been interested in helping those in need. In this respect, she follows in the footsteps of Dr. Julio Morales Jr., who is both professor emeritus of UConn’s School of Social Work and the donor who established one of her graduate fellowships.

Dr. Morales spent much of his academic career working to involve more Latinx faculty and students in the world of social work. Since arriving at UConn in 1978, he has established the Puerto Rican and Latinx Studies Project within the School of Social Work, promoted bilingual and multicultural education for aspiring social workers, created mentoring programs for Latinx high school students, and developed curricula to help social workers address HIV/AIDS in the community and LGBTQ issues, among many other accomplishments.

“I was in awe of Dr. Morales’s work with the Latino community and his influence on the UConn School of Social Work curriculum,” says Marrero.

Upon his retirement in 2013, Dr. Morales wanted to create a permanent channel through which he could continue to support UConn social work students like Marrero. So, he established the Dr. Julio Morales Jr. Fellowship Endowment.

“I worked at UConn for 25 years, and I think most Latino students I met needed some help,” he says. “Many of the students going into social work come from families with little savings. And, there were no scholarships specifically for Latino students.”

The Morales Fellowship Endowment provides funding for graduate students enrolled at the School of Social Work who have demonstrated a commitment to outreach programs, are fluent in English and Spanish, and have or will have completed a field education practicum in the Latinx community.

“I think social work is an altruistic profession. And it’s a profession with a hundred faces. Social workers are everywhere; they work in schools, in prisons, in hospitals. I want Latinos to continue to be involved in that.” — Dr. Julio Morales Jr.

Cassandra Marrero fit all the criteria when she received the fellowship for the 2016-2017 academic year. She used the funding to participate in the Puerto Rico Travel Study, another program that Dr. Morales had helped to establish.

“The travel study trip to Puerto Rico emphasized both micro and macro practice with children and families, older adults, diverse populations, and women on the island,” says Marrero. “Some areas of focus were physical health, mental health, HIV/AIDS prevention, substance abuse, and social mobilization. Because of the Morales Fellowship, I was able to afford this great opportunity and had an amazing time.”

Back home in Hartford, Marrero continued to work with children and families. She completed a field placement in the Hartford Public Schools, where she ran therapeutic groups for children ages 6-13 and became interested in those who struggle with ADHD. She completed a second field assignment at an East Hartford community agency and also presented her LEND Fellow project (Leadership Education in Nuerodevelopmental Disabilities) on the cultural barriers Latinx families encounter in the Hartford Public School System.

Now graduated, Marrero currently serves as a clinician at Village for Families and Children, providing outpatient services to children in the Greater Hartford area. “As a bilingual clinician, the majority of my clients are of Latino descent. I take great pride in providing services to the Latino community and, in the future, I hope to open my own private practice to enhance the overall well-being of underserved populations.”

This is but one example of the impact Dr. Morales hoped his fellowship would have. And he would like to keep the momentum going.

“I think social work is an altruistic profession. And it’s a profession with a hundred faces,” he says. “Social workers are everywhere; they work in schools, in prisons, in hospitals. I want Latinos to continue to be involved in that.”

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Jean Homere Found Lasting Friendships and Success at UConn

UConn Foundation
UConn Foundation

3 min read

Jean Homere ’93 (ENG) has degrees in engineering, law, and business. He’s a member of the D.C. Bar and the U.S. Court of Appeals. And, he serves as a patent judge in the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

But if you ask him to describe himself, he’ll say “average.”

When you consider his educational and professional achievements, average isn’t the first word that comes to mind. However, Jean believes his successes were a product of discipline and diligence—not an innate genius. This message is essential when he talks to students. He wants them to know that if he can do it, they can do it.

After graduating from high school in Haiti, Jean moved to Stamford to live with his mother and siblings and continue his education. He earned his associate’s degree in electrical engineering from Norwalk Community College and contemplated UConn as a next step, but relatively few of his friends were headed to Storrs. “We viewed UConn as this shining thing up there—out of reach,” he says.

Fortunately, Jean had the chance to meet with UConn students who had transferred from Norwalk Community College. They painted a positive picture and offered to give him a campus tour. From that tour, he remembers the “green, farm feel” of the campus and the welcoming people he met. They “wowed” him. “You come here and everyone you come into contact within the community has something to do with UConn,” he says.

 

Recently, Jean returned to Storrs to share his experiences with students in UConn’s ScHOLAR2S House Learning Community. The ScHOLAR2S House is designed to support the scholastic efforts of male students who identify as African American. “As a former member of UConn’s minority engineering program, I’ve always known the University was conscious about diversity,” he said.

Jean’s high school-aged son, David, is now considering following in his father’s footsteps and recently had an in-person visit with the ScHOLAR2S House learning community as well. David says that the visit put UConn even higher on his list. “It just opened my eyes, being around mostly black students who shared the same values and goals. It gave me a sense of community. I believe I’d go a lot further in the ScHOLAR2S House than if I go it alone.”

Jean agrees. “It was magic when we got there,” he says. “I looked around and saw all those young men, and it reminded me of myself when I was a young man. It was how they were being groomed. This program creates an ideal environment for them. People need to see people like themselves. This program speaks volumes for UConn.”

 

THE POWER OF CONNECTING

After he arrived at UConn, Jean felt a sense of rebirth. “I was enthused to be surrounded by so many experts in their field,” he says, with a radiant smile. “They were approachable and willing to take the time to help you out.”

Dr. Charles Knapp, ’53 (ENG), ’62 Ph.D., who recently passed away, was one of the professors Jean bonded with as a student:

“One summer, I was looking for an opportunity to do an independent study. I approached Dr. Knapp, who had recently retired, to ask him for a recommendation for this class. Even though he was retired, he agreed to teach this independent study for me. He did that out of the kindness of his heart.”

Jean also recalls his friendship with his civil engineering professor, Norman Garrick. He described how much he enjoyed playing soccer games with him. Jean encourages students to reach out to their professors. “If you reach out, most professors will take the time to help you and share their knowledge.”

Along with the valuable relationships he built, Jean explored the campus community to ensure he took advantage of opportunities that could expand and enhance his educational experience. Even though he was an engineering student, he worked for three years in the archeology department and developed friendships in the Department of Literature, Cultures, and Languages. As someone who spoke French and Spanish, he spent time in the international dorm and enjoyed conversations with people from all over the world. “When it was time for me to graduate, I think I was ready.”

With the ideal combination of academic rigor and accessible faculty, UConn offered Jean—a gregarious, intellectually curious student—a strong foundation to build a career culminating in the esteemed role of a patent judge.

Support ScHOLA²RS House Learning Community at UConn

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UConn Gives Social Media Challenge Rules

UConn Foundation
UConn Foundation

9 min read

NO PURCHASE IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. ALL FEDERAL, STATE, LOCAL, AND MUNICIPAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS AND APPLICABLE NCAA RULES AND REGULATIONS APPLY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

  1. Eligibility:

The “Giving Day Social Media Challenges” Contests (“Contest”) are open to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia who are at least eighteen (18) years old at the time of entry. Employees of University of Connecticut, University of Connecticut Foundation, Inc. and other companies associated with the promotion of the Contest, and their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates and advertising and promotion agencies as well as the immediate family (spouse, parents, siblings, and children) and household members, whether related or not, of each such employee are not eligible. The Contest is subject to federal, state, and local laws and regulations and applicable NCAA rules and regulations.

  1. Sponsor:

The Contest is sponsored and promoted by The University of Connecticut Foundation, Inc. (“Sponsor”), located at 2390 Alumni Drive, Unit 3206, Storrs, Connecticut 06269-3206.

  1. Agreement to Official Rules:

Participation in the Contest constitutes entrants full and unconditional agreement to and acceptance of these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsor, which are final and binding. Winning a prize is contingent upon being compliant with these Official Rules and fulfilling all other requirements set forth herein.

  1. Contest Period:

The Contest begins March 27, 2019 at 9:00 AM ET and ends March 28, 2019 at 7:00 PM ET (“Contest Period”). Entries that are submitted before or after the Contest Period will be disqualified. Only online submissions will be accepted for the duration of the Contest.

  1. How to Enter:

To enter you must be otherwise eligible in accordance with these Official Rules and your entries must be submitted during the Contest Period. To enter one of the six (6) different challenges (“Challenge”) held throughout the Contest Period, you must use the #UConnGives hashtag and tag UConn Alumni social media handles on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram (“UConn Alumni Social Media Account”), following the directions provided to fill out the entry information and submit an original photograph or video during the required time period that meets the submission criteria described below. One Entry is permitted per Challenge, per user’s social media account. Eligible Entry’s submitted for one Challenge will not be included in the drawing for any other Challenge. Entry’s submitted at times not within the required submission period for each respective Challenge will not be accepted.

On March 27, 2019 from 11:30 a.m. ET to 1:30 p.m. ET, the “Spirited Selfie Challenge” requires each entrant to submit a photograph of himself or herself in UConn gear, tagging the UConn Alumni Social Media Account of his or her choice and using the hashtag #UConnGives.

On March 27, 2019 from 2:00 p.m. ET to 4:00 p.m. ET, the “Bleed Blue Work Crew Challenge” requires each entrant to submit a photograph of himself or herself with UConn alumni colleagues, tagging the UConn Alumni Social Media Account of his or her choice and using the hashtag #UConnGives. Entrants must obtain permission from each individual photographed. Entrants are advised to follow all workplace policies and take photographs only if permitted in his or her workplace.

On March 27, 2019 from 8:00 p.m. ET to 10:00 p.m. ET, the “Huskies at Heart Challenge” requires each entrant to submit a photograph of his or her pet, tagging the UConn Alumni Social Media Account of their choice and using the hashtag #UConnGives.

On March 28, 2019 from 9:30 a.m. ET to 11:30 p.m. ET, the “Throwback Thursday Challenge” requires each entrant to share a photograph from when he or she was a student at UConn, tagging the UConn Alumni Social Media Account of his or her choice and using the hashtag #UConnGives.

On March 28, 2019 from 12:00 p.m. ET to 2:00 p.m. ET, the “GIF This! Challenge” requires each entrant to caption a GIF image posted by the UConn Alumni Twitter account, tagging the UConn Alumni Twitter Account and using the hashtag #UConnGives.

On March 28, 2019 from 2:30 p.m. ET to 4:30 p.m. ET, the “Campus Snapshot Challenge” requires each entrant to submit a photograph they have taken of any UConn campus, tagging the UConn Alumni Social Media Account of their choice and using the hashtag #UConnGives.

On March 28, 2019 from 5:00 p.m. ET to 7 p.m. ET, the “Your Husky Pack Challenge” requires each entrant to submit a group photograph, including himself or herself, to the UConn Alumni Social Media Account of their choice and using the hashtag #UConnGives. Entrants must obtain permission from each individual photographed.

Challenge Entries may not include any intellectual property of third parties, including copyrighted material or third-party trademarks. Entrants should consider safety first. Do not engage in any stunts or risky behavior to shoot or produce the photograph. Submissions evidencing such behavior will be disqualified. Entries must be suitable for publication/broadcast at Sponsor’s sole discretion. All entries become the property of Sponsor and will not be acknowledged or returned. Entries must be submitted by an individual, eligible entrant only; no group entries allowed.

  1. Prize Drawing:

On March 27, 2019 and March 28, 2019, the Sponsor or its designee will select one potential winner for each of the eight (8) Challenges in separate random drawing from among all eligible entries received for each Challenge as follows:

  1. One (1) winner will be drawn at or about 11:30 p.m. ET on March 27, 2019 for the “Caption This Challenge.”
  2. One (1) winner will be drawn at or about 2:00 p.m. ET on March 27, 2019 for the “Spirited Selfie Challenge.”
  • One (1) winner will be drawn at or about 4:30 p.m. ET on March 27, 2019 for the “Bleed Blue Work Crew Challenge.”
  1. One (1) winner will be drawn at or about 10:30 p.m. ET on March 27, 2019 for the “Huskies at Heart Challenge.”
  2. One (1) winner will be drawn at or about 12 p.m. ET on March 28, 2019 for the “Throwback Thursday Challenge.”
  3. One (1) winner will be drawn at or about 2:30 p.m. ET on March 28, 2019 for the “GIF This! Challenge.”
  • One (1) winner will be drawn at or about 5 p.m. ET on March 28, 2019 for the “Campus Snapshot Challenge.”
  • One (1) winner will be drawn at or about 7:30 p.m. ET on March 28, 2019 for the “Your Husky Pack Challenge.”

The odds of being selected depend on the number of entries you make and the total number of entries received in each Challenge. The Sponsor will attempt to notify the potential winners via email or private message on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram on or about March 27, 2019 or March 28, 2019. If the potential winners cannot be contacted within three (3) days after the date of the first attempt to contact him/her, the Sponsor may select an alternate potential winner in his/her place at random from the remaining non-winning, eligible entries.

  1. Winner Notification:

The potential winners will be notified by email or private message on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. The winners (parent/legal guardian if a minor in his/her state of residence) will be required to complete, electronically sign and submit a Declaration of Compliance, Liability and Publicity Release (“Declaration”) and any required University and NCAA forms within five (5) days of the date notice or attempted notice is sent, in order to claim his/her prize. If a potential winner cannot be contacted, fails to submit the Declaration within the required time period (if applicable), or prize is returned as undeliverable, potential winner forfeits prize. If the potential winner is at least 18 but still considered a minor in his/her jurisdiction of residence, Sponsor reserves the right to award the prize in the name of his/her parent or legal guardian, who will be required to sign the Declaration on the potential winner behalf and fulfill any other requirements imposed on winner set forth herein. Potential winners must continue to comply with all terms and conditions of these Official Rules and winning are contingent upon fulfilling all requirements. In the event that a potential winner is disqualified for any reason, Sponsor will award the applicable prize to an alternate winner by random drawing from among all remaining eligible entries. Only three (3) alternate drawings will be held, after which the prize will remain un-awarded. Prizes will be fulfilled approximately 7-10 days after the conclusion of the Contest.

  1. Prize:

Eight (8) individual prize winners will each receive (i) a UConn prize pack that will include the following items: one (1) pair of UConn Gives socks, one (1) pair of UConn sunglasses, one (1) chapstick, one (1) UConn paracord bracelet, and (ii) the opportunity to choose one (1) existing UConn Foundation account into which the UConn Foundation will direct $100 from its unrestricted funds. No cash prize will be awarded to winners. Major restrictions may apply to the use, availability or receipt of the prizes. Winners are solely responsible for all applicable taxes and tax filings.

  1. General Conditions:

In the event that the operation, security, or administration of the Contest is impaired in any way for any reason, including, but not limited to fraud, virus, bug, worm, unauthorized human intervention or other technical problem, or in the event the Contest is unable to run as planned for any other reason, as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion, the Sponsor may, in its sole discretion, either (a) suspend the Contest to address the impairment and then resume the Contest in a manner that best conforms to the spirit of these Official Rules or (b) terminate the Contest and, in the event of termination, award the prizes at random from among the eligible, non-suspect entries received up to the time of the impairment. The Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual it finds to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Contest or to be acting in violation of these Official Rules or in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner. Any attempt by any person to damage the website or undermine the legitimate operation of the Contest may be a violation of criminal and civil law, and, should such an attempt be made, the Sponsor reserves the right to seek damages (including attorney’s fees) and any other remedies from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law. Failure by the Sponsor to enforce any provision of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision.

  1. Release and Limitations of Liability:

By participating in the Contest, entrants agree to release and hold harmless the Sponsor, the University of Connecticut, and each of their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, advertising and promotion agencies, other companies associated with the Contest, and each of their respective officers, directors, trustees, employees, shareholders, representatives, and agents (the Released Parties) from and against any claim or cause of action arising out of participation in the Contest or receipt or use of the prize (including any travel or activity related thereto), including, but not limited to: (a) any technical errors associated with the Contest, including lost, interrupted or unavailable Internet Service Provider (ISP), network, server, wireless service provider, or other connections, availability or accessibility or miscommunications or failed computer, satellite, telephone, cellular tower or cable transmissions, lines, or technical failure or jumbled, scrambled, delayed, or misdirected transmissions or computer hardware or software malfunctions, failures or difficulties; (b) unauthorized human intervention in the Contest; (c) mechanical, network, electronic, computer, human, printing or typographical errors; (d) application downloads, (e) any other errors or problems in connection with the Contest, including, without limitation, errors that may occur in the administration of the Contest, the announcement of the winner, the cancellation or postponement of the event, if applicable, the incorrect downloading of the application the processing of entries application downloads or in any Contest-related materials; or (f) injury, death, losses or damages of any kind, to persons or property which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from entrants participation in the Contest or acceptance, receipt or misuse of the prize (including any travel or activity related thereto). Entrant further agrees that in any cause of action, the Released Parties liability will be limited to the cost of entering and participating in the Contest, and in no event shall the entrant be entitled to receive attorney’s fees. Released Parties are also not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by site users, tampering, hacking, or by any equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Contest. Entrant waives the right to claim any damages whatsoever, including, but not limited to, punitive, consequential, direct, or indirect damages. By making a submission entrant: represents and warrants that the photograph is entrant’s own, original, unpublished work; provides the UConn Foundation with an exclusive, royalty-free, irrevocable license in and to the photograph submitted to the Contest, including all copyrights; agrees and acknowledges that the UConn Foundation shall have the right to sublicense to others all copyrights, which may be available for the photograph, in any and all media and/or formats now known or hereafter to become known, including but not limited to books, CD-ROMs, the Internet and online services, and may make derivative works therefrom; and, irrevocably grants the UConn Foundation and third-parties licensed by the UConn Foundation a license to reproduce, market, distribute, publicly display, publicly perform, and otherwise commercially exploit the photograph in whole or in part for any and all uses and products. Except where prohibited by law, entrants grant the UConn Foundation and/or any other UConn affiliated organizations the right to use entrant’s name, address (city/providence/state) and photograph in relation to the contest in any manner or media whatsoever, without further notice or compensation.

  1. Disputes:

Except where prohibited, each entrant agrees that any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of, or connected with, the Contest or any prize awarded shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and exclusively by the appropriate court located in the State of Connecticut. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, entrants’ rights and obligations, or the rights and obligations of the Sponsor in connection with the Contest, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of Connecticut, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules, which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than Connecticut.

  1. Privacy:

Information collected from entrants is subject to The University of Connecticut Foundation, Inc. privacy policy.

  1. Winner List:

To request the name of the winners send a self-addressed stamped envelope to The University of Connecticut Foundation, Inc., 2390 Alumni Dr., Unit 3206, Storrs, CT 06269-3206. Winner List requests will only be accepted for thirty (30) day following the end date of the Contest Period.

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What You Need to Know about UConn Gives 2019

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36 Hours to a Better UConn.

The initiative starts at 7 a.m. ET on March 27 and ends at 7 p.m. ET on March 28. You can make a gift at any time during this window to support the aspects of UConn’s mission you care about the most. So, keep an eye on givingday.uconn.edu!  

You Could Unlock Extra Funds for Your Favorite Cause.

Some projects will have matching funds pledged by donors that will multiply your gift’s impact. Additional funding will also be given to the three projects with the highest number of donors.  

Everyone Will Be There.

Did you love your time at Avery Point, Stamford Campus, or the Law School? Or did a club sport, a cappella group, or other student organization really make your time at UConn special? You can support funds at all of UConn’s campuses, as well as UConn Law, UConn Health, and the more than 40 student groups participating in Ignite this year.  

You Can Spread the Word.

UConn Gives can only be successful with your help. You can spread the word on your social network, through email or phone calls, or even at alumni events. Stay tuned for other ways in which you can champion your University.

We’re Hosting Social Media Challenges.

We’ve scheduled a selfie challenge, a caption contest, a call for Throwback Thursday photos, and other challenges to get the UConn online community into the spirit! Winners, chosen at random, will get a UConn prize pack and the opportunity to direct money to the fund of their choice. Make sure to tag/share using #UConnGives and @UConnAlumni in your posts!  

You Can Be a Part of Something Big.

With more than 110 UConn projects—ranging from scholarships to learning communities to programs that give a leg up to first-generation students—you can celebrate UConn and make meaningful change to your community.

 

UConn Gives 2019 is almost here! Join us at givingday.uconn.edu on March 27 and 28 for another record-breaking 36 hours of giving.

 

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

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Leann Mclaren discovers a love for research at UConn

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She and other UConn students will be working with children in an afterschool program and packing meals for low-income seniors.

“It’s more meaningful to me than going to Miami,” explained Mclaren, a row of sparkly stud earrings outlining her ear. “I feel like you can always do vacations, but these trips are specific to undergrads. When will I get the chance to do this again?”

Mclaren is all about helping others improve their lives. A double major in political science and history, she has a special interest in racial history. Her goal is to become a college professor. Through teaching and research, she hopes to help raise awareness and spark public policy to help disadvantaged populations.

“Getting people to think a lot deeper about why things may be the way they are is one of my ultimate goals,” she said.

Mclaren, 21, often punctuates her sentences with a mischievous laugh, exudes an easy confidence. She was raised in Manchester, Conn., the middle child of Jamaican parents—he a machinist, she a medical assistant. They didn’t have the opportunity to go to college themselves but always told their children that education was the key to everything.

During her time at UConn, she discovered a love for research. She won several scholarships, including the Greenblatt Undergraduate Research Award Fund, which has helped fund her research into voting patterns of West Indian immigrants in Hartford.

“Getting people to think a lot deeper about why things may be the way they are is one of my ultimate goals,” she said.

“I’m trying to predict how they would vote if they were to show up to the polls more often in the future and how that may change Hartford politics as well as Connecticut politics,” she said. “I’m combining my background in politics and history to produce an analysis that may help the community.”

Her next step is graduate school. She is waiting to hear from more than a dozen doctoral programs across the country.

Since coming to UConn, she has gone to a scholar conference in Michigan, studied abroad in Cape Town, South Africa, and interned with U.S. Rep. John Larson.

“All of these things really made my goals a reality for me so I’m definitely thankful for UConn for that,” she said. “I don’t know if I’d be able to do all of it at any other school, especially with all the support they’ve given me and all the belief they’ve had in me too.”

You can support undergraduate student research by donating to the Greenblatt Undergraduate Research Award Fund.

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Advocating for Equity in Global Public Health

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Dr. Barbara J. Hatcher ’67 (NUR) has dedicated her career to improving health outcomes through nursing and public health leadership.

Over the course of 51 years of nursing, instigating system-wide change, and providing leadership in health care policy and practice, Dr. Barbara Hatcher ’67 (NUR) has achieved many breakthroughs, as an African American, a woman, and a nurse.

She was the first nurse and African-American nurse to sit on the March of Dimes Medical Advisory Committee. She was the first nurse selected for her hometown of Waterbury’s Hall of Fame. She served as the first chief science officer for the American Public Health Association. And she was the first woman, first African American, and first nurse to serve as secretary general of the World Federation of Public Health Associations.

But the firsts don’t even begin to tell the whole story of Dr. Hatcher’s career.

After graduating from UConn’s School of Nursing, where she learned from Kate Hyder, who championed the training of African-American women as nurse-midwives, Dr. Hatcher worked with the Visiting Nurse Association of Washington D.C. in primarily low-income neighborhoods, including those destroyed during the 1968 riots after the death of Martin Luther King Jr.

There, desperate addicts tried to steal nurses’ syringes, families didn’t have enough to eat, and seniors were living in deplorable conditions. “It took everything you learned in school plus an understanding of place and context to provide care,” she says. “But I loved this job, and I felt I made a difference.” The experience inspired her to become one of the first pediatric nurse practitioners in the District of Columbia and the United States.

The work she had done with families, mothers and children in these communities served as the foundation of her work in public health programming and shaping policy.

“Health policy is important, because you have a constantly revolving cycle of people who cannot reach their full potential due to systemic stressors in their lives,” she says. “Nurses work around the barriers that exist for certain populations, but the aim should be to improve the system for the whole population.”

Dr. Hatcher, who also holds Master of Public Health from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a Ph.D. in Nursing Administration and Health Policy from George Mason University, has collaborated with a variety of local, national and international organizations to address health inequities and expand the use of evidence-based practices.

She founded the D.C. Department of Health’s multimillion-dollar Healthy Start project to reduce infant mortality and barriers to pre-natal care; served as chair of the District of Columbia Board of Nursing, where she worked to establish rules and regulations for expanded nursing practice; and established a program in Kenya to support the salaries of two nurses providing care to HIV/AIDS orphans in conjunction with the Alpha Chapter of Chi Eta Phi Sorority — a professional organization of registered nurses and nursing students founded in 1932 when black nurses were barred from joining the American Nurses Association.

Dr. Hatcher currently serves as president of the Chi Eta Phi Educational Foundation and runs a health care consulting firm, Hatcher-DuBois-Odrick Group, LLC. She has been named a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and honored with the National Black Nurses Association’s Trailblazer Award in recognition of her efforts to eliminate barriers for African-American nurses and their patients.

“The Code of Ethics for Nurses compels us to ‘practice with compassion and respect for the inherent dignity, worth, and unique attributes of every individual,’” she says. “Nurses must be part of the broader fabric of society in order to make certain we can eliminate health disparities for good.”

Support aspiring nurses and health care professionals at UConn through the Health Care Innovations Fund.

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