CLAS Master Class Series

This event series is an opportunity for students within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) to gain technical and industry-specific skills that will supplement the transferable skills that are embedded in UConn’s liberal arts curriculum. Employers and alumni will facilitate a single web-based class a part of a series to help CLAS students further develop industry-specific skills. Presenters will also prepare a brief case study/ simulation for students to practice the skills they have gained.

Eligibility Information

  • Students must have a declared major that falls within the majors of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
  • By participating, all students agree to have their names, class years, and majors posted on the Center for Career Development web page, blog, and social media pages (Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook).
  • Students must be available for the full 90 minutes of the session they choose.

Benefits of Participating

  • Learn technical and industry-specific skills directly from an employer.
  • Practice the skill you learn in real-time.
  • Receive a certificate of completion to market the opportunity on your résumé and/ or LinkedIn.

Fall 2021 Master Class Sessions:

  • October 6 from 3:30-5:00pm – Nicole Sanclemente (Register)

    Title: Altruistic Advocacy: Ensuring Successful and Collaborative Advocacy Efforts

    Presenter Bio: Nicole Sanclemente is the Policy and Program Coordinator for the Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund (CWEALF), a statewide nonprofit organization that has been advocating for and empowering women and girls in Connecticut – especially those who are underserved or marginalized – since 1973. Nicole supports both CWEALF’s Public Policy and Legal Education programs. Under Legal Education, she facilitates CWEALF’s newest initiative, She Leads Justice, an 11-month advocacy training program that equips previous Legal Education clients with the skills they need to become leaders in their communities. Nicole also supports CWEALF’s policy efforts which include legislative priorities that center the economic security of women and girls throughout Connecticut. Nicole has been increasingly supporting CWEALF’s racial equity work within both programs and throughout the organization as a whole, directly reporting to the Director of Racial Equity and Legal Education. Her impact on CWEALF, a traditionally white-led organization, has already been felt, as she is one of the catalysts for moving CWEALF towards becoming a truly anti-racist organization. Nicole graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in Urban and Community Studies, and a double minor in Psychology and Human Rights.

    Session Description: Are you passionate about social change, but unclear how to begin your own path in advocacy? How can you effectively and successfully advocate for yourself, your loved ones and your community? How can you ensure that you’re not doing more harm than good, or that voices from the communities you’re serving are being amplified and not silenced in the process? What role is your community playing in your advocacy efforts? How do you share your experiences and stories with legislators in an efficient and powerful way? And all the while, how do you take care of your mental health throughout your journey as an advocate or a lobbyist? The last decade has called upon a new generation of leaders in our state, nation and around the globe. These leaders come in all different forms, with different backgrounds, personalities, skills, talents, experiences and perspectives that make them who they are and help us see the world through various lenses. What makes them similar is their passion for advocacy and making their voices heard on a municipal, state, or federal level. Join me as we explore these concerns and other important topics to help prepare you for a life of revolutionary change and altruistic service.


  • October 18 from 12:15-1:45pm – Lauren Jurczyk and Tara Beatty (Register)

    Topic: Building a Positive Alliance

    Building a positive alliance can be the key to successful psychotherapy, a relationship built on the expression of warmth, empathy, unconditional positive regard, nonjudgment, mutual trust, and confidence. It improves engagement, collaboration, and motivation while promoting safety to allow for deeper expression of experiences. Though these skills aren’t just for therapists. Learn more about how building a positive alliance can make a difference in any path you take. Join us in discussing skills that grow empathy, compassion, and a kinder world.

    Master Class Facilitators: Tara Beatty, DSW, LCSW CBIS and Lauren Jurczyk, LCSW. Tara and Lauren are employed by Reliance Health.

    Tara Beatty has been with Reliance Health since 2001. In her role as a licensed clinical social worker, she facilitates several agency-wide and community-based workshops provides group and individual therapy, and provides clinical support to staff. She earned her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Southern Connecticut State University in 2007 and her Doctorate of Social Work in 2021. She has been trained in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Positive Behavioral Support planning, and is certified as a Brain Injury Specialist. Tara is a member of the statewide Disaster Behavioral Health Response Network in Southeastern CT and has provided supports to individuals affected by various tragic events throughout Connecticut.

    Lauren Jurczyk is the Clinical Director of Reliance Health, Inc., a non-profit community mental health agency based in Norwich, CT that supports adults with chronic and persistent mental illness in a variety of programs from residential homes to community support programs. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a Master’s in Social Work Degree earned in 2009 from UCONN School of Social Work. She has provided individual, family, and group therapy in a variety of treatment settings, including residential homes, inpatient psychiatric units, community-based clinics, and private practice settings. Her training is specialized in Dialectic Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Nutritional and Integrative Medicine.


  • October 28 from 12:30-2:00pm – TBD

    More information coming soon

Spring 2021 Master Class Sessions:

  • Master Class Event 1 – Audria Henderson – Problem Solving, Customer Engagement, and Leadership with Amazon

    Master Class Event 1

    March 15, 2021 from 3:00-4:30 p.m.

    Presenter Bio: Audria Henderson has been with Amazon for 18 months and her current role is a University Recruiter. She graduated from Wayne State University with a Bachelors in Psychology. She then attended the University of Phoenix where she obtained her MBA. She has a great passion for helping and informing students of opportunities with Amazon.

    Session Description: Have you ever thought about the skills it takes to work successfully at Amazon? This session will give you insight into Amazon’s internal operations and, more specifically, explain how area managers use problem-solving, prioritize customer engagement, and serve as “people leaders” within the company. You will also learn about an entry-level management position they are currently hiring for. An expert will show you firsthand how to tailor your resume for Amazon and what skills it takes to thrive in a fast-paced and opportunistic environment such as Amazon.

  • Master Class Event 2 – John Kapetaneas – The Art of Storytelling

    Master Class Event 2

    March 23, 2021 4:00-5:30 p.m.

    Presenter Bio: John Kapetaneas is a national Emmy, Edward R. Murrow, and Deadline award-winning journalist and television producer for ABC News. Reporting for Nightline since 2015, his work has brought him face-to-face with brutal warlords in Chechnya, human traffickers in Cambodia, and outlaw hackers in Romania. His multi-year series, “Beyond the Bucket”, about the plight of patients battling Lou Gehrig’s Disease since 2014’s viral Ice Bucket Challenge, was nominated for Best Feature Story at the News and Documentary Emmy Awards. John is a 2011 CLAS graduate (B.A. Economics, minor in Film Studies). He received his M.A. in journalism from New York University.

    Session Description: “Stories are a communal currency of humanity.” (Tahir Shah, Arabian Nights). We do it every day: did you hear about this? Can you believe that happened? Stories shape the world we live in. With digital technology creating a content boom across industries — from film to streaming to news and beyond — informed consumers are craving inspiring, accurate, well told stories now more than ever. Join me in an upcoming masterclass session, where we will discuss how you can awaken your inner storyteller, maximize your own stories and experiences to apply in your career, and learn how to find important stories that may impact the world.

  • Master Class Event 3 – Purbita Saha – How to Make Your Writing Clear, Compelling, and Fun

    Master Class Event 3

    March 31, 2021 3:30-5:00 p.m.

    Presenter Bio: Purbita Saha is the senior editor at Popular Science magazine and a proud former editor of The Daily Campus. In the past year she’s helped direct national COVID-19 coverage, covered the flavor secrets behind Haribo gummies, and gotten Hollywood director James Cameron to curse on the record. She graduated from CLAS in 2012 with dual degrees in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Journalism.

    Session Description: Writing for the public is wildly different from writing for an academic journal or professor. Word choice, headlines, sources, and visuals can help deliver the message, but most importantly, you have to translate the information without making it too basic. This master class will coach you on the tricky balance, with plenty of real-world examples and personal workshopping. We will also talk about how to get your writing published, even if you aren’t chasing a journalism or English degree.

Fall 2020 Master Class Sessions:

  • Master Class Event 1 – John Wilson – Maximizing Market Opportunity

    Master Class Event 1 – John Wilson – Maximizing Market Opportunity

    October 20, 2020 from 4:00-5:30 p.m.

    Presenter Bio: John is the President of Industrial Flow Solutions which formed in 2017 to design, manufacture, sell, and service highly effective pumping and fluid management solutions for harsh, rugged environments. Prior to joining Industrial Flow Solutions, John spent over 20 years at Emerson Automation Solutions. Throughout his tenure, John held a variety of senior leadership roles across four business units, including Vice President and General Manager, Global Sales and Operations Manager, and Acquisition Integration Leader. John also brings experience with leading multiple business units while living and working on assignment in Asia. John earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Nebraska and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Iowa.

    Session Description: Learn strategies to better understand and segment a market opportunity and to determine the ideal engagement model(s) to maximize success.

    Key Topics Discussed:

      • Using broad macroeconomic and geopolitical trends to prioritize focus areas
      • Methods to broadly qualify market opportunities
      • Understanding and segmenting opportunities based on customer buying behaviors
      • Using sample cases to assess current market position and opportunities for growth
      • Develop spending benchmarks to qualify and track growth opportunities
      • Define customer engagement approach to drive most efficient means of engagement
  • Master Class Event 2 – Hayley Segar – Social Media & Branding: Using Analytics to Fuel Content Creation

    Master Class Event 2 – Hayley Segar – Social Media & Branding: Using Analytics to Fuel Content Creation

    October 27, 2020 3:30-5:00 p.m.

    Presenter Bio: Hayley Segar is a UConn Alumna that graduated in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in English. Currently, she has her own YouTube channel which has over 88,000 subscribers. Hayley is a lifestyle content creator that has had brand partnerships with Ulta, Poshmark, Curology, Revolve, Pandora, and Green Chef. Hayley has a niche focus on YouTube in Amazon content and bridal shopping advice with press coverage in a few major sites and magazines. She is excited to lead this master class and help students within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences gain more opportunities outside of the classroom.

    Session Description: Learn about tailoring content to a specific demographic using social media analytics. In addition to helping an influencer or brand understand who is consuming their content/product, analytics are incredibly helpful for conjuring new content (or even product ideas!) Influencer Hayley Segar will disclose how honing in on her analytics aided her in catering to her audience in a more targeted way, ultimately allowing her to pursue content creation full-time. As a case study, participants will have the opportunity to utilize what they have learned to generate content ideas and methods for a start-up.

  • Master Class Event 3 – Zak Romanoff – Branding and Marketing

    Master Class Event 3 – Zak Romanoff – Branding and Marketing

    October 29, 2020 3:30-5:00 p.m.

    Presenter Bio: Zak is a UConn Alumnus that graduated in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science. Zak is the President of OMNI Food Sales. His family has been in the food industry for 5 generations. During his tenure as President, OMNI has won multiple “Broker/Vendor Partner of the Year Awards.” He coined the term “Brand Advocate” to describe more accurately his and OMNI’s role in the relationship between manufacturers and retailers. He wrote and filmed a video called, “What Is the Network?” It highlights some of the retailers in the Metro NY/NJ market, why this market is unlike any other in the country, and how OMNI has cracked the code in selling it. The video has led to a Zak being sought out by prominent organizations & universities in the food industry to speak publicly.

    Session Description: We are living in one of the most exciting times in human history. We are basically living in a time on par with the Industrial Revolution, where new technologies and apps are disrupting traditional ways of consuming media and doing business. It is scary for some, but this provides an incredible opportunity for others to stand out and take advantage of these new mediums. People not bold enough to familiarize themselves with these new tools will be left behind. Branding and Marketing have never been easier or cheaper to produce given today’s tools. It is also very important to position yourself the right way.

  • Master Class Event 4 – Brien Buckman – Product Management

    Master Class Event 4 – Brien Buckman – Product Management

    November 4, 2020 2:30-4:00 p.m.

    Presenter Bio: Brien is a UConn Alumnus with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Bachelor of Science in Business. He leads teams that build new products, design scalable business models, and create delightful experiences for customers. He has worked at companies like Apple and MasterCard.

    Session Description: What is product management? What is the difference between product, project, and program management? What do I need to do to be a product manager? Come learn about what product management is (and is not!) and what a career in the field could mean for you!