Today, Dec. 14, 2017, marks the five-year anniversary of one of the most devastating events in Connecticut history—the fatal shooting of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
This tragic event hit the University of Hartford community especially hard. Among the adults who lost their lives that day was Rachel D’Avino ‘07, a behavioral therapist who earned a BA in psychology from the University of Hartford. Two other alumni—Jimmy Greene '97 and Nelba Marquez-Greene ’97—lost their six-year-old daughter Ana Grace Marquez-Greene.
In 2014, the Department of Psychology, with the generous support of the Parents Association, dedicated a bench and study alcove in East Hall in celebration of Rachel D’Avino’s life and the positive impact that she had on our community She is fondly remembered as a diligent and caring student who enjoyed visiting with friends and faculty between her classes in front of East Hall.
D’Avino was a behavior therapist who was passionate about education and working with students with autism. After receiving her bachelor's degree from UHart, she went on to earn a master's degree and post-graduate degree from the University of St. Joseph.
There also is a tribute to Ana Grace Marquez-Greene and her surviving brother, Isaiah, on campus. A white stone inscribed with a dedication can be seen in the water garden between the Harry Jack Gray Center and The Hartt School.