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Upcoming Opportunities
Donate to the
First Year Programs and Learning Communities
Ignite Team!

Dialogue Series on
Race, Privilege & Responsibility.
The Uncomfortable Truth About Racism

Tuesday, February 24th
African American Cultural Center Community Room, SU 4th Floor
Global Perspectives on the Role of Women
Tuesday, February 24th
7:30 p.m.
McMahon Learning Community Lounge

Hosted by Global House
Networking 101 Presentation
Tuesday, February 24th
5:30 p.m.
Laurel Hall 201
Sponsored by the Center for Career Development
Student Life Award nominations are due by February 27th!

Apply for the
2015-2016 Learning Community Executive Council!
Applications are due on
March 12th.
Upcoming AAC Workshops:
(All workshops are located in Rowe CUE 217)
2/24 at 7 p.m. Business Math Study Skills
2/25 at 7 p.m. Igniting your Motivation
Possibilities in Human Rights: UConn and Beyond
Tuesday, February 24th
5:00 p.m.
Dodd Center 162
Sponsored by the Honors Program
Apply to be an FYE Mentor!
Applications are due by
March 1st

FYE Mentors are specially selected UConn students from across the University's schools and colleges ranging in class rank from sophomores to seniors. They are given a unique opportunity to work alongside a faculty or staff member in a First Year Experience course.

Click here to apply!  

Forensic Scientists Craig O'Connor & Heather Nelson
Wednesday, March 4th
7:00 p.m.
Laurel Hall 107
Sponsored by Leadership in Action
Leadership Legacy Speaker Series Presents
Truth: Who Decides?
with Seth Mnookin
Wednesday, March 11th
5:30 p.m.
Laurel Hall 102

Sponsored by the Leadership Office
Scholarship Opportunities

The Choi Family Scholarship

Apply today!

Robert T. Kenney
Apply today!

100 Years of Women Scholarship Award
Apply today!

UConn AACC Scholarship
Apply today!

Dr. Arnita Young Boswell Scholarship
Apply today!

Dr. Wynetta A. Frazier Scholarship
Apply today!

Learning Community Newsletter
February 2015
Learning Community Director Highlight:

Dr. Hadi Bozorgmanesh, Innovation House

Dr. Hadi Bozorgmanesh is a Professor of Practice in the School of Engineering, the Co-Director of the new Entrepreneurship and Innovation Consortium, and Faculty Director of Innovation House.  He has over thirty years of experience in technology development and commercialization. He has served as director and chairman of a number of companies in the US and across the European Union. Dr. Bozorgmanesh has a Ph.D. in Nuclear Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan, and MS degrees in both Physics and Nuclear Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan. He has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from UConn.


Dr. Bozorgmanesh teaches a graduate level Experiential Technology and Entrepreneurship course at UConn, which has produced more than a dozen start-up businesses.  He has taken the key principles taught in this course and has expanded it to the first year students in Innovation House.  Innovation House is currently in its second year, and has approximately 70 students currently participating, of which 60% of them are first year students.


The mission of Innovation House is to enable students to access and leverage campus resources and networks during their personal exploration of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship.  Students recognize their potential and convert this to real-world success by connecting with faculty, staff, students and local business leadership to develop the diverse and dynamic skills necessary for success as innovators and entrepreneurs in today's rapidly changing world.


"Innovation House is diverse in majors and in culture.  Students come from many countries and study just about everything you could think of.  It is amazing to see how team members from vastly different fields approach problems, and it has been very exciting to see the high quality of the resulting solutions they propose.


This year we have projects in orthopedics (a specially designed gear used to mimic shoulder movement), apps (a goal achievement app and a ride sharing app), consumer goods (a solar-powered pool skimmer, a smart child-seat, a way to retrofit cars with Bluetooth technology, and an aid for charging phones in the dark), and services (a student-run consulting firm to connect domain experts and student start-ups, a way to virtually try on clothes, and a way for incoming students to virtually plan dorm room layouts).


We will be participating in the joint UConn-Yale Hackathon at the end of March and the Connecticut Invention Convention in May.  We will also be travelling to the state capital to tour the legislature, and to Harvard/MIT's incubator space at the Cambridge Innovation Center" 

- Eric Sirois, Ph.D. Associate Director of Innovation House

Learning Community Student Highlight:

Aaron Plotke, Business Connections House
President, Learning Community Executive Council
Name: Aaron Plotke

Learning Community Involvement: Business Connections House, President of the Learning Community Executive Council


Current Major:  Nutritional Science (CAHNR), Individualized: Health Policy (CLAS)

Why did you decide to join a Learning Community? When I decided to attend UConn, my parents pushed me to sign up for the Business Connections Learning Community (BCLC). As an undecided business major, it made sense; a learning community could help make such a big university feel smaller. I didn't realize until later that my time with the BCLC would be so much more important to my college experience.

What were some of your favorite co-curricular experiences offered through your Learning Community? Of all the events the Business Connections Learning Community had to offer, nothing quite compared to the international experiences. I was brought as a freshman to tour China and the following year to Spain, to learn about the culture and business practices of the regions, all with my newly formed friends from UConn. Additionally, I enjoyed a host of professional programming that not only broadened my view on the complex inner workings of the business world but vastly expanded my professional skills.


How has your Learning Community experience impacted you future plans and goals?

As I reflect on my three years at UConn, my time with the Business Connections Learning Community made a lasting impact on my career direction. As mentioned, I started out as an undecided business major but later switched to major in the Nutritional Sciences during my sophomore year. Now as a junior, I have decided to create an individualized major in CLAS as a second degree. Coming full circle, this major will be based mainly from Healthcare Management, Political Science, Public Policy, and Anthropology coursework. Looking back at

my academic journey from freshman year until now, the BCLC has left me with a profound appreciation for economics and business, shaping the academic aspirations I have today.


What is one of the funniest Learning Community memories you can recall?

The funniest Learning Community memory was in China. Two friends, Nathan (BCLC Director), and myself decided to get a professional massage across town. Unbeknownst to Nathan, we decided to wear our hotel bathrobes. While catching a cab was challenging, the

drivers thought we were crazy, we ended up making our appointment and had an extremely fun time doing it.

Learning Community Student Leadership Consortium Kickoff
The Learning Community Student Leadership Consortium kicked off this semester with a Meet & Greet.  The Learning Community Student Leadership Consortium is comprised of all student leaders within the Learning Community Program; mentors, RAs, councils, Learning Community Ambassadors and the Learning Community Executive Council.

If you weren't able to attend the first meeting, please be sure to save the date for the next!

The next Learning Community Student Leadership Consortium meeting:

Topic: Planning and Executing Successful Events
Date: Thursday, March 26th
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Location: Laurel Hall 306
Student Life Awards

Faculty and staff, please nominate some of your students for these awards!

Students, ask for help from faculty and staff if you are interested in one of these awards!

The Office of First Year Programs & Learning Communities is sponsoring two new awards this year:

First Year Excellence in Innovation Award
Learning Community Leadership Award

Nominations close on February 27th!  For more information please visit www.sla.uconn.edu
East Meets West in Southern China 

Thank you for taking the time to read this month's edition of the Learning Community Program Newsletter.  If you are interested in seeing a particular article, or you want your Learning Community to be featured in the next newsletter, please email us at livelearn@uconn.edu.

The Learning Community Program Team
Melissa Foreman, Jennifer Mathieu, Kristen Glines & Jordan Szczygiel

Office of First Year Programs & Learning Communities
Learning Community Program