Alumni Notes: Spring 2021

Regina Rush-Kittle ’83 (CLAS), deputy commissioner of the CT Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, was honored as a Black heroine of Connecticut history by the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame.

Matthew Leep ’13 Ph.D, an instructor of political science at Western Governors University, has a book forthcoming from the SUNY Press entitled Cosmopolitan Belongingness and War: Animals, Loss, and Spectral-Poetic Moments (

Stephen Barry ’07 (CLAS), a former honors student and POLS major, was recently named a partner in the Washington D.C. office of the law firm, Latham & Watkins.  

Taylor Mayes ’18 (CLAS), a former double major in environmental studies and political science, was recently accepted into the Master Program in Urban Planning at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. Harvard offered Taylor a Presidential Scholarship to cover half of her tuition.

Meghan Bowden Peterson ’17 Ph.D. has accepted a position as a researcher with the Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy at Central Connecticut State University. Her work will  assist the police reform task force created by the Connecticut legislature last summer. 

John Dearborn ’13 (CLAS) will begin his new position in the fall as an assistant professor of political science at Vanderbilt University. He recently co-authored (with Desmond King and Stephen Skowronek) an opinion piece entitled “How to Tame the Presidency After Trump,” which appeared in the March 16, 2021 issue of The New York Times.

Kylene Perras ’01 (CLAS), a double major in POLS and psychology, has been appointed Assistant Dean for Administrative Operations and Strategic Initiatives at UConn’s School of Engineering. Kylene originally joined UConn in 2011 as a development officer for the school.

Dr. Christine Sylvester organized and led a question-and-answer session with a former Ph.D., Dr. Timothy Bussey ’18 Ph.D., on his achievements since receiving the doctorate in 2018. These include his activities as Associate Director of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Kenyon College, and his creating a guidebook on LQBTQ policies and practices within the U.S. military (the Biden presidential transition team requested a copy). The full Q&A will appear in the UConn Magazine this coming June. Two shorter segments appeared in UConn Today (March 17) and the UConn 360 Brave Space Podcast (episode 80).

Yazmin A. García Trejo ’05 MA, ’07 MA, ’15 Ph.D., who works at the U.S. Census Bureau, has been tracking job losses for mothers of school-age children during the recent health crisis. Her data shows that there were 1.4 million more mothers not actively working for pay in January 2021 compared to pre-pandemic levels. The story can be found on the census bureau website.