Spring 2022 Rogow Distinguished Visiting Lecturer Series Panel Discussion

December 22, 2021
Submitted By: Office of Diversity and Community Engagement

Building Resilience and Connection

Panel Discussion Details

Who: All members of the UHart community and external community are invited to participate. 

When: The event will be held virtually on Thursday, March 31 at 6:30 p.m. 

Registration: Registration is required to receive Zoom details and other event information

The University’s Rogow Distinguished Visiting Lecturer Program, in collaboration with the DEI Lecture Series Planning Committee and the Office of Diversity and Community Engagement, presents a virtual panel discussion about Building Resilience and Connection: An Antidote in Challenging Times on Thursday, March 31, 2022, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on our collective mental health with pervasive and well-documented increases in stress, anxiety, and depression. This ongoing health crisis has highlighted deep and long-standing disparities, particularly in BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) communities, yet each of us are vulnerable to pandemic stress and everyone can benefit from support. The goal of this discussion is to promote the importance of, and strategies for, developing our resiliency and strengthening our community connections.

Join Us

Register to attend this virtual Zoom event.

Meet the Panelists

event speaker headshots

Panelist Noel Casiano, PsyD, LMFT

Noel Casiano is an assistant professor of psychology and human services at the University of Hartford's Hillyer College. He teaches courses in psychology and the newly formed Human Services Concentration. Casiano's research areas include neurobiology of trauma and substance use, effects of urban trauma, health equity and assess of mental health services, and the importance of parent-child attachment

Panelist Najeia Mention, MSW, MPH

Najeia Mention is a psychotherapist in the Counseling and Psychological Services Department at the University of Hartford. As a mental health equity strategist, Najeia is committed to removing barriers that inhibit mental wellness and racial justice. Najeia uses strengths-based, anti-oppressive, and attachment therapy approaches in her work with students. Najeia earned her Bachelor of Arts in community health and American studies, and minor in Africana Studies, from Tufts University and a Master of Social Work and a Master of Public Health from the University of Michigan. Najeia is originally from New Haven, Conn.

Panelist Frances Padilla

Frances G. Padilla is president of Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut. Since joining the Foundation in 2004, Frances has held various leadership positions in addition to spearheading the Foundation’s research and policy initiatives, which led to the design of the landmark SustiNet law in 2009, and building block health-care reform legislation passed in 2011. Her career in philanthropy began as a program officer at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. She later held positions at the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven before running her own business, New Paradigms Consulting. Frances is a graduate of Wesleyan University and holds a master’s degree in public administration from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Facilitator Jessica Nicklin, PhD

Jessica Nicklin is the associate vice president for student success and an associate professor of psychology at the University of Hartford. Her research interests include workplace motivation, the work-family interface, and how positive psychology constructs influence well-being and success. She is published in prestigious journals such as Psychological Bulletin, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Journal of Vocational Behavior, and Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, and has presented at conferences across the country. Jessica has received a number of prestigious honors and awards, and most notably the Belle K. Ribicoff Endowed Professorship and the University at Albany Outstanding Young Alumni Award.

About the Rogow Distinguished Visiting Lecturer Program

The Rogow Distinguished Visiting Lecture Program brings celebrated authors, journalists, historians, academics, and artists to campus (in person or virtually) to enhance the knowledge base of both the campus community and the Greater Hartford area. The series is part of a wide array of public programming that the University of Hartford offers, fulfilling an important responsibility to serve the larger community of which it is a part. 

About the Annual Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Lecture Series

The University of Hartford’s Annual Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) Lecture series provides a forum through which students, faculty, and staff can deepen their knowledge, increase their awareness, and inform both individual and institutional actions that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus and in our communities. The academic year-long DE&I series also includes pre- and post-lecture activities, conversations, and/or readings for students through collaboration with faculty and the Office Residential Life. 


Questions? Contact the Office of Diversity and Community Engagement at