How Teaching Assistants support and empower neurodiverse students in STEM and beyond
This workshop will build awareness of the unique strengths and challenges of neurodiverse students. This workshop will primarily focus on neurodiversity in STEM; however, TAs from any field are welcome. Topics of discussion will include: neurodiversity basics, language and terminology, accessibility, and inclusive practices including the Universal Design for Learning framework. Attendees will also receive a set of virtual resources for further learning. Open to UConn graduate TAs from all disciplines!
There are two dates for this event:
Friday, September 9, 2022 -- in-person.
11:00am - 12:15pm
JRB 204 (the Ryan Building)
Friday, September 16, 2022 -- online.
11:00am - 12:15pm
A link will be sent to registrants.
Karen Skudlarek: Karen Skudlarek is the IT Accessibility Coordinator at the University of Connecticut. She provides collaborative leadership ensuring that IT at UConn is accessible, educates departments and individuals to help them better understand accessibility as it relates to IT, and oversees document and website compliance. She was formerly an Educational Technologist at UConn and offered numerous workshops on how to use technology for teaching and learning.
Connie Syharat: Connie is a Ph.D. student and Research Assistant at the University of Connecticut as a part of two neurodiversity-centered NSF-funded projects aimed at encouraging the participation of neurodiverse students in undergraduate engineering and graduate STEM programs. Previously, she spent eight years as a K-12 teacher in Connecticut, where she maintained a focus on providing a varied learning environment and differentiated instruction for all types of learners. She received her Master’s Degree in Modern Languages from Central Connecticut State University in 2011. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Hispanic Studies and her teaching certificate from Connecticut College in 2001. She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Curriculum and Instruction at UConn's Neag School of Education.
Caressa Wakeman: Caressa Wakeman is an M.A. student and graduate assistant at the University of Connecticut and is a part of the INCLUDE project; an NSF-funded project to improve the learning experiences of neurodivergent students in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering with the end goal of increasing engineering innovation. Caressa identifies as neurodiverse and is very grateful for the provisions the project provides. She has a bachelor's degree from UConn in Chemical Engineering and an Associates degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences from Gateway Community College. She thoroughly enjoys helping students and spreading awareness of the unique capabilities of neurodivergent students and believes that higher education should not be a one-size-fits-all experience.