Research Centers

The Institute for Translational Research in the College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions supports four distinctive yet integrated content centers:

Read more about each of these centers below:

BFit physical therapy program

The Center for Health, Care and Well-Being

The Center improves the health of vulnerable populations through:

  • Conducting research that will advance outcomes in health, care, and well-being
  • Creating outreach and internship opportunities to prepare the next generation of scientists, clinicians, and educators
  • Building professional networks that refine educational programs and further the professions

More about the Center

Community partners of the Center for Health, Care, and Well-Being include:

  • St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center
  • Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital
  • Connecticut Children’s Medical Center
  • Shriners Hospitals for Children
  • Apple Rehab
  • Farmington Valley Transition Academy
  • Cerebral Palsy Collaborative

Our students assist with community events sponsored by the above organization on campus, in the Greater Hartford/Springfield region, nationally and internationally.  Faculty collaborate with partners to create and improve programs and develop original research projects.

Faculty research:

This Center conducts research to forward the University of Hartford’s mission of dedication to learning, personal growth, knowledge creation, and the betterment of society. Through the Center, students have opportunities to participate in research that furthers classroom learning. Some of our research projects are listed below.

  • An eye on the future: Preparing future health professionals to work with patients with low vision  (Claudia Oakes)
  • Impact of home modifications provided by Rebuilding Together Hartford (Claudia Oakes)
  • Hydration: person reported outcomes and biomarkers (Colleen Muñoz)
  • Health and well-being of the homeless (Karen Breda)
  • Hartford hand (Michael Wininger)
  • Prosthetics and Orthotics Quality of Life (Michael Wininger)
  • Recreation and Amputees (Duffy Felmee, Kristamarie Pratt)
  • LimbWise—mobile app for prosthetic users (Daniel Lee)
  • Lower Limb Orthotics in impoverished areas (Daniel Lee)
  • Health surveillance of adults with cerebral palsy (Mary Gannotti)
  • Balance and spinal motion in scoliosis (Adam Goodworth, Sandra Saavedra)
  • Musculoskeletal system training for children with cerebral palsy (Mary Gannotti)

For more information about the Center for Health, Care, and Well-Being, contact Mary Gannotti, Professor, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, at gannotti@hartford.edu.

Megan Pare leads asthma discussion

The Center for Leadership in Education and Health

The Center facilitates learning opportunities, leadership development, and partnership between students, faculty, and community members through combined cooperative endeavors in research, policies, and practices that lead to positive social change.

More about the Center

The Resilient Teacher Podcast
Resilient Teacher podcast

"The Resilient Teacher" podcast by Julie Sochacki, Program Director for Secondary English Education, offers 30 minutes or less of on-the-go professional development segments intended to inspire and empower busy educators. The project is supported by the Institute for Translational Research. Listen

In the Center for Leadership in Education and Health, faculty, partners, and community affiliations join together to:

  • Conduct scholarly activities that inform best practices and contribute to professional discourse
  • Create scholarly exchange among University faculty and students
  • Facilitate research partnerships that connect students and institutional partners in the Greater Hartford and global communities

Examples of undergraduate research projects include:

  • Nursing Students Promote Public Health in Hartford
  • Promoting Independence: Employment Support for Transition Aged Individuals with Disability (Mikayla Pascucci ’18, Integrated Elementary and Special Education)
  • Segmental trunk support for hippotherapy (Madison Markey ’20, Combined Health Science and Physical Therapy)

Examples of undergraduate honors program projects include:

  • Respiratory Care students lead class to help the homeless quit smoking. (Caitlin Connelly ’17 and Hajar Altimimi ’17, Respiratory Care)
  • Increasing Understanding of Childhood Asthma (Megan Pare ’18, Health Science)
  • Educating Students on Medical Radiation (Elizabeth Ragozzino ’18, Health Science)

Examples of graduate student research participation include:

  • Physical Therapy Students and Professor Pioneer an Exercise Program for Children with Disabilities that Fills a National Void (Physical Therapy)
  • Cutting-edge Research by Physical Therapy Professor and Students Improves the Lives of Children with Cerebral Palsy (Physical Therapy)
  • Development of Sensory Function and Postural Control in Infants with Sensorineural Hearing Loss (Jamie Calamari ’18, Katelyn Donohue ’18, Demetrios Michel ’18, and Alexandros Petridis ’18, Physical Therapy)
  • Sensory contributions to typical and atypical development of trunk control (Brittany Ainsworth ’18, Jamie Calamari ’18, Katherine Compton ’18, Sarah Couture ’18, Katelyn Donohue ’18, Demetrios Michel ’18, Alexandros Petridis ’18, Aaron Schwabacher ’18, and Deanna Zysman ’18, Physical Therapy)

For more information about the Center for Leadership in Education and Health, contact Karen Case, associate professor, Department of Education, at kcase@hartford.edu.

Teacher with elementary age students

The Center for Learning and Professional Education

The Center focuses on scholarly activities that inform best practices and contribute to professional discourse around teaching and lifelong learning.

Faculty, partners, and community affiliations join together to:

  • Conduct public scholarship, the scholarship of teaching, and other community-engaged research to inform best practices for professional learners
  • Create apprenticeships and learning communities to extend professional learning
  • Refine partnership activities to inform each other and our professions

More about the Center

Community partners of the Center for Learning and Professional Education include:

This Center conducts research to forward the University’s mission of dedication to learning, personal growth, knowledge creation, and the betterment of society. Through the Center, students have opportunities to participate in research that further classroom learning. Some of our research projects are listed below.

  • Teacher Quality Partnership Grant provided secondary social studies teachers a professional learning opportunity that targeted content areas in history and civics and government, aligned with the new Connecticut Social Studies frameworks. This opportunity used Universal Design for Learning, a scientifically-valid framework for proactively designing curricula, implementing instruction, and assessing learning so all students have equal access to learning.  (Lisa Zawilinski)
  • Effect of optimal trunk support on academic engagement in children with moderate to severe disability. (Sandra Saavedra,  Thilagha Jagaiah)

For more information about the Center for Learning and Professional Education, contact Paige Bray, associate professor, Department of Education, at bray@hartford.edu.

Montessori students working with materials

The Center for Montessori Studies

The Center is an intellectual community co-founded by researchers and practitioners contributing to Montessori education and the broader implications of Dr. Maria Montessori’s theories on human development, learning, and social reform. The Center was founded in 2017. The Center's priorities are:

  • Create new knowledge
  • Facilitate exchange
  • Advance the field of Montessori education

More about the Center

Center Priorities:

  • Create new knowledge 
    • About Montessori education through research in our greater Hartford community as well as the larger international Montessori community.
    • Through Montessori Teacher Education Exchange to promote dialogue and the exchange of ideas among and between higher education Montessori preparation programs.
  • Facilitate exchange 
    • Focus a diaspora of emerging Montessori research efforts.
    • Educate and socialize the next generation of Montessori researchers.
    • Generate and disseminate new knowledge about the Montessori movement through research.
  • Advance the field of Montessori education 
    • Transfer knowledge about Montessori education through degree program at all academic levels.
    • Ensure relevance of undergraduate and graduate programs through data-informed decisions.
    • Sustain a physical location and virtual structure for researchers and practitioners to collaborate.

Montessori Community Engagement

Who is part of this larger community?

  • Montessori Training Center Northeast
  • Association Montessori International and the organization’s Bold Goal project
  • Association Montessori International Global Research Committee
  • Current students in bachelor’s degree with Montessori education concentration
  • James Walton Fund, Walton Family Foundation through the $4.8 Walton Family Foundation Grant Award 
  • Current students and alumni of Master of Education with Montessori education concentration
  • Montessori Schools of Connecticut
  • Montessori Higher Education Exchange - On May 28-30, 2018, leaders from AMI and AMS Higher Education TEP’s gathered at the Center for Montessori Studies at the University of Hartford to begin to establish a network of information exchange and reciprocal collaboration.  The Montessori Higher Education Exchange is an initiative to connect Montessori program leaders to identify and pursue opportunities specific to Montessori education programs located in institutions of higher education and establish a nimble, responsive network among the emerging influences on education, specifically the US public school landscape occurring in Montessori and non-Montessori. The Montessori Higher Education Exchange continues to come together and currently efforts are focused on bachelor's degree pathways.
  • Montessori Public Policy Initiative (MPPI) - Our partners in providing advocacy training and resources for Montessori educators.
  • Educators Sans Frontiers (EsF)
  • Public and Private Montessori Schools
    • CREC Montessori Magnet School
    • Montessori Magnet at Annie Fisher School, Hartford Public Schools
    • Montessori Magnet at Batchelder, Hartford Public Schools (formerly at Moylan)
    • Montessori School of Greater Hartford
    • The Cobb School

Center Events

  • Angeline Lillard, professor of Psychology, University of Virginia, returned to campus six years later to speak to the Hartford-based longitudinal study dissemination and the published article Montessori Preschool Elevates and Equalizes Child Outcomes: A Longitudinal Study, the most cited article in 2018 in Frontiers. Paige Bray, director of Montessori Studies at UHart, is also a contributing author. Lillard is the author of Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius (March 2019) and signed books as well as enjoyed alumni and friends at the Montessori Training Center Northeast, Butterworth Hall, UHart Asylum Ave campus.
  • Montessori Schools of Connecticut Conference, co-sponsored by the Institute of Translational Research's Center for Learning and Professional Education, Montessori Studies Initiative with keynote speaker Dr. Howard Gardner, the Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Gardner has studied and written extensively about intelligence, creativity, leadership, and professional ethics, and is senior director of Project Zero and co-founder of the Good Project (October 2018). Read more.
  • Celebrating 10 years of Partnership (Oct. 11, 2017)

Research

Our research efforts serve the local and global Montessori community by preparing Montessori teachers in the context of a generative research community and seeking to prepare the next generation of Montessori scholars.  

Select Research Projects

Research and Teaching Fellows

Founding Fellows:

  • Paige M. Bray, director of Montessori Studies, College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions
  • Tim Nee, managing director, Montessori Training Center Northeast, CREC
  • Joshua Russell, Chair of Music Education, Hartt School

Teaching Fellows:

  • Gretchen Hall, AMI Primary Trainer
  • Gerry Leonard, AMI Elementary Trainer
  • Carla Foster, AMI Elementary Trainer
  • Dora Maria Vidales, AMI Assistant to Infancy Trainer

Visiting Teaching Fellow

  • David Kahn, Montessori Adolescent Programs

Research Fellow

  • Courtney Reim, coordinator of Data & Programmatic Information

 For more information about and how to engage with the Center for Montessori Studies, contact Paige Bray, associate professor, Department of Education and director of Montessori Studies at bray@hartford.edu