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December 17, 2012

Aspiring Behavior Analyst is Sandy Hook Victim


West Hartford, CT - Rachel D'Avino, a student in the graduate certificate program in applied behavior analysis at the University of Saint Joseph, died in the December 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. She was working as a paraprofessional with a child with special needs, and was scheduled to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst examination the following week. 

In a message to faculty and staff, university President Pamela Trotman Reid said of Rachel, " She was building a life that melded professional expertise with a commitment to serve others, especially children, when she was tragically taken. Our hearts break for her family, friends, students, and future students — those whose lives would have been bettered had she lived to fulfill her dreams." Dr. Deirdre Fitzgerald, in whose class Rachel was enrolled at the time of her death, said "Rachel D'Avino was remarkable, energetic, and engaging. She was a leading force in the group.  She just sparkled with ideas and potential.  Rachel was a stunning young professional.  We, and the world, will feel her loss." 

A community memorial mass will be held at noon on Tuesday, December 18 in The Connor Chapel of Our Lady at the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford, CT.