Month: April 2020

A One Credit COVID Course and Public Policy

A One Credit COVID Course and Public Policy

Specializing in Disaster Response, there is arguably no better person to have helping COVID-19 response than our own Professor Amy K. Donahue. Last month Professor Donahue assisted in the development and distribution of the University’s one-credit COVID-19 course.

The COVID-19 Pandemic: Impacts on Health, Business and Society” finished May 1st and drew upon faculty from Allied Health, Public Health, UConn Health, Pathobiology and Veterinary Science, Pharmacy, Nursing, Psychology, Management, Finance and Public Policy. 

The course provided a multi-disciplinary guided approach through the science of the virus, the social impacts, and business, financial and legal implications.

Over 5,000 students attended the course making it the most popular in University history. The course was highlighted by the Hartford Business Journal (HBJ) and UConn Today.

This fall the course may expand to a 3-credit opportunity as information continues to evolve and update.

Addressing Child Neglect and Policy-making with UConn DPP and SSW

Addressing Child Neglect and Policy-making with UConn DPP and SSW

April was Child Abuse Awareness month, and Department of Public Policy (DPP) Associate Professor Kerri Raissian and School of Social Work (SSW) Assistant Professor Megan Feely with their collaborators published both a brief and alert with UConn’s Collaboratory on School and Child Health (CSCH) on preventing child neglect.

Their briefing argued that researchers and policymakers should address “Preventing Child Neglect” by “looking at the problem through a macro lens”. This brief was also co-authored by Research Specialist Helene M. Marcy of Educational Psychology and InCHIP (Affiliate) and undergraduate researcher Daniel Schwartzman. 

In order to conduct macro-level research the brief recommends:

  • A standard definition of child abuse and neglect.
  • To clearly delineate the causes of neglect.
  • Access to data on neglect and economic factors.
  • To collaborate across disciplines.

Later in the month Dr. Raissian and Dr. Feely published an alert with Assistant Professor Lindsey Bullinger from Georgia Tech and Assistant Professor Will Schneider from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Their alert was issued by The American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC) and addressed “Practical Steps to Prevent Child Neglect in the COVID-19 Pandemic“.

The alert addresses the risk posed by “…drastic changes to families’ financial well-being, community resources, and overall concern for society..” in regards to child well-being. The impact of child-serving agencies and their decision makers were noted for being able to “…help reduce the risk of child neglect.”

UConn Today featured the alert through an article entitled “As Families Struggle During Pandemic, Children At High Risk for Neglect”.

 

Feeding Connecticut with Foodshare and Jason Jakubowski

Feeding Connecticut with Jason Jakubowski

Jason Jakubowski
Jason Jakubowski, CEO and President of Foodshare

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought intense hardships for many families around the country. In Hartford and Tolland counties, Foodshare works to provide millions of meals each year. A member of Feeding America, Foodshare has worked to provide up to date information regarding access to food assistance in the area.

Jason Jakubowski is the President and CEO, and we are proud to say a 2001 MPA alum! Jakubowski and the Foodshare team consist of staff and volunteers who have been working to distribute food and protective equipment to families across Connecticut.

Foodshare’s Partner Programs Coordinator Yahaira Escribano, is also MPA alum. Escribano has been working to ensure that all programs meet food safety standards while building and strengthening relationships. 

With a large portion of their volunteer force in the at-risk population, they have had to rely on the generosity of the community to fund overtime for staff and purchase additional food packages for the community. Foodshare has most recently opened up a new donation center at Rentschler Field in East Hartford.

To Jason, Yahaira and all the staff and volunteers at Foodshare, thank you for all of the work you have been doing to provide food assistance to residents in the Greater Hartford area!

For more information about Foodshare and Feeding America programs in your local area please visit Feeding America’s  Find Your Local Food Bank page to see ways to volunteer or find food.

Melissa McCaw Named to Hartford’s 2020 Power 50

Melissa McCaw Named to Hartford’s 2020 Power 50

Photo of Melissa McCaw
State Secretary of OPM, Melissa McCaw

Last week, UConn DPP Alumna Melissa McCaw was named one of Hartford Business Journal’s 2020 Power 50. Coming in at #24, McCaw is noted for her major role regarding policy and fiscal decisions that impact communities across the State. 

Currently, McCaw serves as the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management for Connecticut. She brings 18 years of finance and operations experience in government and education to OPM, graduating with her Masters of Public Administration in 2014. 

Lately, the Office of Policy and Management has been integral in Connecticut’s COVID-19 response – working around the clock to develop economic projections and deliver needed aid to communities around Connecticut.

Congratulations Melissa!