Alumni Spotlight - June 2024


Mamta Saxena (PhD '13)

 

 

Mamta Saxena

Mamta is originally from India and moved to the United States in her late twenties. Before moving to the US, she received her master's degree in child development from the University of Delhi and worked as a lecturer at MS University in Vadodara, Gujarat, as a consultant at IGNOU, and as a research assistant in the area of developmental disabilities at Lady Irwin College. After relocating to the US, she worked as a substitute teacher and afterschool director in California and a preschool teacher in Connecticut. These roles provided her with practical experiences and a socio-cultural systems perspective of the field.

 

In 2008, she joined the UConn HDFS Department. Under the supervision of Drs. Anne Farrell, Kari Adamsons, and Edna Brown, she completed her dissertation on the caregiving aspects of adult siblings of individuals with disabilities. Dr. Farrell also guided her in completing her fellowship - leadership education in neurodevelopmental and related disabilities (LEND) from UConn Health. She also worked with Dr. JoAnn Robinson to evaluate Early Head Start Programs which exposed her to field observations and coding as a method of study. After graduation in 2013, she was hired as a visiting assistant professor in UConn HDFS and taught undergraduate and graduate courses.

 

Mamta joined the State University of New York at Oswego Department of Human Development in 2016 as an assistant professor and was tenured and promoted to associate professor in 2021. She teaches courses on lifespan development, research methods, program evaluation, internships, diversity, equity, inclusion, siblings and extended family, and mental health issues. She spearheaded the department’s standardization of methods courses to align course objectives, activities, and assessments for data-driven practices, and evaluation of courses. The initiative resulted in revisions in course objectives and activities that promoted student success regardless of differing instructor effects.

 

Mamta also serves as co-chair of the sibling relationship focus group at the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) and as a program evaluation consultant for Sibshops – a program for siblings of individuals with disabilities. Her research includes mixed methods studies on sibling relationships and caregiving, caregiver’s mental health and caregiving patterns, program evaluation, and pedagogy. Her current research project aims to study trends in demands, family routines, coping, life satisfaction, and their influences on perceptions of stress in post-pandemic contexts. She was recently elected to chair the Family Science Conference 2025 in Costa Rica.

 

Mamta received the Best Presentation Award (May 2023) for her paper on  gender issues in navigating demands, family routines and stress during the pandemic at the World Conference for Women Studies in Singapore. She was also awarded the Cognella Innovation in Teaching Award for Family Science (Nov 2022) at NCFR.

 

Mamta has always been passionate about teaching and her experiences at both UConn and SUNY Oswego with students have encouraged her to experiment with innovative methods in teaching and have given her “big-picture thinking.” She continues to think of how teaching can be made more relevant, applied, effective, and efficient and mentor junior faculty to do the same. Ultimately, she would like to transition from a faculty to a leadership position in higher education that integrates DEISJ perspectives, curriculum development, and teaching/research on pedagogy. Mamta’s son is now in college and that leaves her with a lot of time for her hobbies, especially taking care of her vegetable garden in summer. When she is not teaching, she enjoys nature walks, gardening, cooking, sewing, and listening to podcasts on the neuroscience of meditation, focus, learning/motivation, and more.


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