Current Ph.D. Students

ka Khalilah Arrington
Advisor: James Kaufman
Quinn Austermann is a PhD student in Educational Psychology. She was a 2014 Neag School of Education graduate from the IB/M program with Bachelor’s in History and Education and a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction. Quinn taught high school Social Studies for 6 years before beginning her PhD program. She is working as a graduate assistant conducting research on college readiness for academically talented students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Advisor: Sally Reis



Emma Bloomfield received her BA in Mathematics from Smith College (2003) and her MS in Educational Leadership from Central Connecticut State University (2007). For the past 12 years she has been teaching high school mathematics in Connecticut, first at New Britain High School for 2 years and then 10 years at Windsor High School. Emma is now working with the Renzulli Center for Creativity, Gifted Education, and Talent Development to pursue her interests in underachievement. Advisor: Del Siegle

Julie Delgado

Advisor: Sally Reis

rachael Rachael DesAutel is a first year doctoral student in the Giftedness, Creativity, and Talent Development program. She serves as a graduate research assistant for Project LIFT and Thinking Like Mathematicians: Challenging All Grade 3 Students. She graduated with her BA in Secondary Education and English (2018) from Whitworth University. She received her Master’s degree in Special Education (2019) from Whitworth as well. Rachael worked as a substitute teacher and a long-term substitute for the Spokane Public Schools while she completed her Master’s degree. Her research interests involve underserved populations, with an emphasis on the twice-exceptional population and students from lower socio-economic backgrounds. Advisor: Catherine Little


Stacy Hayden, M.A., is a doctoral candidate in the Giftedness, Creativity, and Talent Development program. Stacy received her B.S. in Elementary Education from Radford University (2012). She is a graduate of the UConn Three Summers Program where she received her M.A. in Giftedness, Creativity, and Talent Development (2016). Prior to coming to UConn, Stacy taught gifted students and coordinated the Young Scholars Program in Alexandria City Public Schools, Virginia. Stacy was recognized as a Javits-Frasier Scholar in 2014 by the National Association for Gifted Children and was named Outstanding Teacher of the Gifted for Region IV-E by the Virginia Association for the Gifted in 2017.  Stacy serves as a Graduate Research Associate and Site Coordinator for Thinking Like Mathematicians: Challenging All Grade 3 Students, a research study funded by the Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Program. Her research interests include equity, pre-identification programs, and college honors programs. Advisor: E. Jean Gubbins
Molly Holinger is a Visiting Instructor at the John W. Altman Institute for Entrepreneurship in the Farmer School of Business at Miami University of Ohio and a PhD candidate in Educational Psychology at the University of Connecticut under the advisement of Dr. James C. Kaufman. She received her M.S. in Creative Studies from the International Center for Studies in Creativity, SUNY Buffalo State. Her current research focuses on the positive outcomes of creativity such as positive emotions, engagement, and meaning. Advisor: James Kaufman

Sarah Luria earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Smith College in Middle East Anthropology (2006), and graduate degrees in Gifted Education (Duke University, 2012) and Special Education (University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, 2014).  She taught secondary mathematics, science, and human rights in North Carolina from 2006 until she began her studies in Giftedness and Creativity in 2014.  Sarah began the PhD program with the goal of becoming a professor of teaching practice.  Her research interests include creativity and social justice, equity in gifted programming, and human rights education. Advisor: James Kaufman

luis Luis Orione is a PhD student of University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education. The psychologist obtained a Master’s degree in Human Development and Health at the University of Brasília, focused on talent development studies. The researcher is centrally interested in comprehending the role of psychosocial factors in the trajectories of talented people. He investigates possible psychosocial and technical impacts of the use of Psychological Support Training. Luis has experience researching and applying the interfaces between elite performance, psychology, motor learning and human development. Advisor: Del Siegle

Pam Peters is a fifth-year doctoral student focusing both on Gifted Education, Creativity, and Talent Development and Research Methods, Measurement, and Evaluation. She is interested in issues of equity in both general and gifted education, including issues of equity in measurement.  Pam developed the Assessment of Teachers’ Attitudes Toward Twice-Exceptionality (ATATE), serves as a teaching assistant for Structural Equation Modeling, and supports the undergraduate statistics tutors at UConn’s Q Center.  Pam is the chair-elect of the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) Parent and Community Network and serves on the Northeast Educational Research Association (NERA) Graduate Student Issues Committee.  Advisor: E. Jean Gubbins
anne-roberts Anne Roberts, M.Ed., is currently an Assistant Professor of Education at Fisk University in Nashville, TN. She received her B.A. in Linguistics (2010), and her M.Ed. (2015) from the University of Mary Washington. She is certified to teach English, as well as Gifted Education, in Virginia. She worked as a gifted education specialist and Advanced English teacher in Spotsylvania County Public Schools, Virginia. While teaching, she implemented a MakerSpace in her school system, started the county’s Destination Imagination program and served as the county coordinator. Anne has taught multiple summer enrichment programs in Robotics and Programming. She has also presented at local, national, and international conferences on STEM, gifted, and literacy topics. Her research interests include teacher perceptions of curiosity & creativity and women in STEM. Advisor: Catherine Little  
kennethwright Kenneth Wright is a first-year doctoral student in the Giftedness, Creativity, and Talent Development program.  He has an undergraduate degree in secondary education social science teaching, a master’s degree in school counseling, and an endorsement in gifted and talented education.  He has 17 years of experience teaching history, geography, and psychology at both the junior high and high school levels.  He is currently a GA on project Bump-Up.  Advisor: Del Siegle


Lihong Xie obtained her M.A. in Social Studies Education from UConn. She was a high school history teacher in China for over ten years. She is currently a first-year doctoral student and works as a graduate assistant in the Giftedness, Creativity, and Talent Development program. Her research interest lies in teaching creativity in the classroom, gifted women and creativity in cross-cultural settings. Advisor: James Kaufman