UITE Connect Meet the Team

The Power of Educators Working Together and Soaring to New Heights

The Urban Institute for Teacher Education (UITE) is dedicated to students both before and after graduation. UITE Connect is an amazing PAID opportunity to reconnect with fellow UofU elementary and secondary licensure graduates who are in their first three years of teaching. By being part of this program, new teachers will learn from one another, brainstorm ideas for difficult situations in their classrooms, and explore topics relevant to them as they lead the way in teaching.

Our hope with the UITE Connect initiative and this site is to provide our new teachers with all the support they need in their teaching.

Meet The Team


Kelly Haakenson

Kelly Haakenson is a Social Studies teacher at the Salt Lake Center for Science Education, a charter school in the Salt Lake City School District. Over the course of 10 years, she has taught all history classes ranging between 7th and 12th grade. Kelly is currently teaching Financial Literacy and Senior Seminar to primarily 11th and 12th graders.  Kelly has been a mentor/ teacher leader for her school for several years.  Additionally, Kelly is a Utah Teacher Fellow through the Hopestreet Group.  Outside of school, Kelly stays busy keeping up with two kiddos, rooting for the Utes, traveling, and skiing whenever possible.


Professor Gupta’s started her teaching career in 2000 as a lecturer in India. In 2002, she moved to US after getting married and pursued secondary math teaching certification from Johns Hopkins University. This certification led her to the amazing opportunity of teaching in a very diverse high school (which she loved!). After completing her doctorate, Gupta started her faculty job as the Secondary Cohort Leader teaching and mentoring secondary pre-service teachers in STEM and non-STEM areas. Along with working with pre-service teachers, Professor Gupta also teaches secondary math methods classes in the College of Education. Her research interests include cognitive load, reflective practices that pre-service teachers use during the course of their licensure year, mentoring and reflection practices used by mentor teachers and community-engaged learning practices. When Professor Gupta is not working, she enjoys cooking world cuisines, baking, embroidery and spending time with her two kids.