Thursday, May 3, 2012

WELFund Announces 2012 Dorothy Goodwin Summer Scholars, CETA student Roshel Vas recieves one.

(L-R) WELFund donor and University Regent Alison Gallagher Coolbrith; Erica Lorenzo '13; Maria Arroyo '13; Erica Maas '13; WELFund Program and Grants Manager Donna Haghighat; Roshel Vas '13; and Staci Bechard '13

The Dorothy Goodwin Summer Scholars Program provides stipends for a select group of sophomore and junior women students who propose innovative summer research projects in partnership with a University of Hartford faculty member. This year marks five years since Dorothy Goodwin’s passing, so the Women's Education and Leadership Fund (WELFund) is pleased to award five scholarships!

– Maria Arroyo, a junior studying politics and government in the College of Arts and Sciences, will be working with Assistant Professor Katherine A. Owens. They are researching why water projects in developing countries don’t often yield the desired results. They will assess how local governance is related to water access.

Roshel Vas, a junior studying biomedical engineering in the College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture, will be working with Associate Professor Jonathan Hill. Vas will be researching how to properly use a mechanical vibrotactile stimulator (VTS) in infants who are born prematurely to sustain normal breathing.

Staci Bechard, who is majoring in integrated elementary and special education in the College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions, will be working with Assistant Professor John Tapper. Bechard is exploring instructional practices for itinerant teachers in third world countries. She will travel to Haiti to investigate the instructional strategies that can be used by non-governmental organizations placing teachers in short-term assignments in high-needs areas. Bechard will also create a manual to support and guide itinerant teachers working in developing countries for short periods of time.

Erica Maas, a junior in The Hartt School studying vocal performance, will be working with Hartt Community Division faculty member Susan Mardinly. This project will empower girls through music, education, and performing experience. She will offer an eight-week program of free private voice lessons to high school girls from Greater Hartford who would like to learn to sing.

Erica Lorenzo, a junior studying chemistry and biology in the College of Arts and Sciences, will be working with Assistant Professor Aime Levesque. This project will study how breast cancer grows on a cellular level.

Help to advance more wonderful women like these by donating to the WELFund today! Visit our website at


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