New Director Named for La Comunidad Learning Community

A new Faculty Director has been appointed to lead La Comunidad, UConn’s Latinx heritage first-year learning community. First Year Program and Learning Community Program Director, Melissa Foreman writes of Dr Nienhusser, “We believe he is well suited to continue developing an impactful experience for the amazing students involved in this community.” Dr. Nienhusser is an Assistant Professor in the Higher Education & Student Affairs Program in the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education. He holds an EdD in Higher and Postsecondary Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, as well as an MSW (Master of Social Work) and a BA in Economics, both from Stony Brook University. As a first-generation Latino college student who grew up in a working class household of immigrant parents from Chile, diversity, equity, and inclusion are at the core of his work as a researcher, teacher, advisor, and scholar-citizen. His research examines the postsecondary education access of minoritized youth in the United States with a focus on the origins of public policies and their implementation, as well as how youth navigate higher education access barriers. His work also investigates the public policy landscape and experiences of undocumented immigrant youth, including those with DACA status. Dr. Nienhusser aims to help address social and educational inequities by reconceptualizing contemporary issues in their daily practice and how we reframe sensemaking, moral reasoning, information networks, and critical practice of institutional agents’ and its impact on underserved students’ college access.

In his spare time, Dr. Nienhusser enjoys spending time with his family and practicing photography.

You can view his full profile here: