Mission Statement

The Workplace Navigators group endeavors to provide a safe place where faculty, staff, post-doctoral associates and graduate students can informally discuss academic and nonacademic concerns including administrative, workplace, and climate issues.  We are a group of colleagues from STEM departments in CLAS that includes faculty from all ranks, as well as administrative personnel. You can consider us as “Thinking Partners”. Together we will work to define the problem, explore options, outline strategies, review policies, inform you about applicable resources, and manage expectations while upholding the values of respect, integrity, diversity and freedom from bias or harassment. We strive to maintain the privacy of our discussions, if desired. Keep in mind that regardless of the service or assistance requested, university policy requires us to report cases of alleged research misconduct and fraud to the Office of the Vice President for Research, depending upon the nature of the allegation. Likewise, we must report assaults, intimate partner violence, stalking, child abuse, and situations in which students and others are in imminent risk or danger. We may be required to report allegations of discrimination and harassment. The group meets periodically to discuss any emerging climate issues. If you or someone else is in immediate danger call 911. Please feel free to contact any of the Navigators by campus phone or email (note that email is not appropriate for confidential communication).


Teshke Carolyn Teschke - Convener
Carol Teschke is a Professor and Department Head in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology. Her NIH funded research group studies how viruses assemble using bacteriophage P22 as a model system. Her group also investigates how Mycobacteria species secrete proteins. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and is an Associate Editor for Science Advances and the Journal of Virology. In 2018, Teschke was awarded the Alice C. Evans Award for the Advancement of Women by the American Society of Microbiology for “major contributions toward fostering the inclusion, development, and advancement of women in careers in microbiology, demonstrated commitment to women in science through mentorship and advocacy, and by setting an example through scientific and professional achievement.”
Redden John Redden
John is an Associate Professor in Residence in the Department of Physiology and Neurobiology. In the laboratory, his research focuses on understanding the molecular basis of cardiovascular diseases like heart failure. His classroom based research focuses on how to create and assess student centered classrooms. He teaches courses in human anatomy, physiology, and public communication of science.  He currently serves as an assistant director of faculty development programs in the University of Connecticut CETL, and an education mentor for the National Institute on Scientific Teaching (NIST, formerly the HHMI/National Academies Summer Institute on Scientific Teaching).
aguirreAquirre J. Dafhne Aguirre
Dafhne Aguirre is an Assistant Professor in Residence in the Department of Chemistry. She teaches courses in General Chemistry for STEM majors and a General, Organic and Biochemistry class for non-science majors. In addition to her role as an undergraduate advisor, she is a faculty member of the Academic Integrity Board and she serves on many other different committees at the university and department level.
Basu Ashis Basu
Ashis Basu is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry. His research focuses on the biological outcome of DNA damages caused by chemical carcinogens, γ-radiation, and certain antitumor drugs. He teaches both undergraduate and graduate organic and biological chemistry. He continues to serve on many different committees at the university, college, and department level.
Klassen Jonathan Klassen
Jonathan Klassen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology. His research studies interactions between fungus-growing ants and their microbial symbionts. He also teaches Scientific Writing and Project Development for MCB Graduate Students (MCB 5801), and serves on the MCB DEI committee.
Zhao Jing Zhao
Jing Zhao is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Connecticut. She has been at the University of Connecticut since 2012. Her research focuses on the synthesis and characterization of metal and semiconductor nanomaterials. She teaches analytical chemistry at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. She has been the chair of the chemistry department safety committee for the past few years and has been a mentor for the student led Joint Safety Team.
Robinson Victoria Robinson
Victoria Robinson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology. The goal of her research is to understand how cells survive after being stressed focusing on how protein biogenesis is regulated to conserve resources and support adaptation. Vikki teaches the MCB Graduate Intro Class (MCB 6001) as well as other undergraduate and graduate courses in biochemistry and biophysics. She is the founder and Co-Director of the Applied Biochemistry and Cell Biology Masters program and serves on a number of departmental and university level committees including the Graduate Faculty Council.
Selampinar_Fatima_300x300 Fatma Selampinar
Fatma Selampinar is an Associate Professor in Residence in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Connecticut. She has been at the University of Connecticut since 2004. As a coordinator of general chemistry 1127-8 from 2004 – 2017, part of her responsibilities included in training the incoming graduate students. Now, she is in charge of three-semester general chemistry course. For the past 16 years, she has taught thousands of students and worked with hundreds of graduate students. Fatma works closely with high school teachers and students as an ECE (Early College Experience) faculty coordinator.
Maggie McDonnell Maggie McDonnell
Maggie McDonnell is responsible for the oversight and management of the department of Molecular & Cell Biology including finance and budgets, staffing plan, PTR,  faculty/staff hires, departmental committees and facilities. In addition, strategic plans, departmental outreach, communications, and alumni records fall under her purview.
Cichocki Carrie Cichocki
Carrie has been a Program Assistant in the Physics Department since 2017. She is responsible for graduate, faculty, and staff hiring and onboarding; facilitating graduate admissions procedures; special events planning, donor and alumni communications, and various other administrative duties.