Handlettered phrase, 'Do Good, Feel Good'

Do Good, Feel Good

Illustration by Mary Kate McDevitt

Neuroscientists who study our brains on happiness tend to agree that a key ingredient for one’s own contentment is helping others.

As the Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus famously told a room full of Forbes 400 billionaires, “Making money is a happiness. Making other people happy is a super-happiness.”

We are all in need of a little happiness and a little inspiration lately, so we’ve devoted this issue of the magazine to stories of just a few of the many UConn faculty, staff, students, and alumni who spend their days doing good in the world, making it a better place for all of us.

These folks are called to their vocations because they are passionate about what they do and about making a difference — it just so happens that doing so may be making them happier in the process. We know that reading and writing about them made all of us just a little bit happier, too. And we hope you share that feeling.

Greg Sazima

Dispensing Stress Vitamins

Have you been wanting to try a meditation practice but just haven’t known where to start? Greg Sazima ’90 MD might just be the guru for you.

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Dolly Parton sits with David Dotson

Helping Dolly Fight Illiteracy

As CEO of the Dollywood Foundation, Dotson has helped legend Dolly Parton realize and expand her vision of improving childhood literacy.

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Dr. Cato T. Laurencin

Pioneering the New Field of Regenerative Engineering — and Championing Social Justice

A master of multiple fields, Dr. Cato T. Laurencin, holds UConn’s highest academic title: University Professor.

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Jessica Rubin

Advocating for Animals

Professor Jessica Rubin worked with animal rights groups to pass and implement the groundbreaking 2016 Desmond’s Law.

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Pam Bedore

Stoking Our Apocalyptic Fantasies

“They have popped like crazy,” says literature professor Pam Bedore of the apocalyptic and dystopian books that are one of her specialties.

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Gina Barreca

Elevating English Majors

English professor Gina Barreca, dubbed the “feminist humor maven” by Ms. Magazine has kept us laughing through 10 books from “I Used to Be Snow White But I Drifted” to “If You Lean In, Will Men just Look Down Your Blouse?” Her latest, though, invites others to the party.

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Michael Willig

Inspiring Students to Save the Planet

“Sustainability is arguably the biggest challenge we face in the 21st century,” says Michael Willig.

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Pauline Batista

Raising Her Voice to Amplify Other Voices

Saving a festival youth program in her hometown of Paraty, Brazil, made Pauline Batista ’16 MA a hero there.

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Mutts ’06 (CLAS)

Redefining “Wealth”

For Richie Mutts ’06 (CLAS) the impulse to do good is as irresistible as an infectious melody.

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