Connell, a native of Woodstock, Ill., has been working in the ceramics medium since 1975. He has juried six out of the last eight National Council on the Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) Clay National Exhibitions and 16 out of 17 Strictly Functional Pottery Nationals. In 2001, he also served as on-site conference liaison for the Charlotte NCECA Conference. Connell is the recipient of the 2004 NCECA International Residence Award (China).
Throughout his career, Connell's work has appeared in numerous exhibitions, including 24 in 2003; 21 in 2004; 21 in 2005; 32 in 2006; 18 in 2007; 24 in 2008; and 30 in 2009. His work has appeared in 48 publications to date, and eight of his pieces have been acquisitioned by museums. Connell teaches ceramics at Winthrop.