USJ Associate Professor Dianna Wentzell Awarded the Elizabeth Kennan Award

Nominated by her alumni peers, Dianna Wentzell, Ed.D. Director of Clinical Education, Associate Professor was awarded the Elizabeth Kennan Award from Mount Holyoke College. The Elizabeth Topham Kennan Award is given to an alum for outstanding achievement in and contributions to the field of education that exemplify the values and virtues set forth by the College honoring the service that former president Elizabeth Topham Kennan ’60 has given to the College and to higher education in general. 

 Wentzell is a member of the class of 1986 at Mount Holyoke where she earned a B.A. in Russian Studies. She went on to receive her M.A. in Educational Leadership at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership for the University of Hartford. She served the state of Connecticut as chief academic officer for the state’s Department of Education and was appointed by Governor Dannel Malloy as Connecticut Commissioner of Education from 2015 until 2019 before arriving at the University of Saint Joseph.  

As the 2021 recipient of this coveted award, Wentzell said, “I am pleased and honored to be the 2021 recipient of the Elizabeth Topham Kennan Award. It was as a student at Mount Holyoke that I began my journey toward teaching, and I will always be grateful for the environment that inspired my career in education. I feel especially fortunate to be at the University of Saint Joseph, which has such a strong focus on developing teachers.” 

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