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May 2015 (Vol. 14, No. 10)

  • Totenberg Charms with Rhymes and Reason
  • UVM Breaks Ground for Largest Capital Project Ever
  • UVM in the National News
  • Sullivan Wins ABA’s Kutak Award
  • Nelson Invested as Elliott A. Brown Green and Gold Professor of Law, Politics and Political Behavior
  • UVM Students Win Boren Scholarships to Study Abroad
  • Four UVM Students Win Fulbrights
  • UVM Students Design for NASA
  • Building the World’s Smallest Faucet
  • Student Research Conference Packs Davis Center
  • UVM Scientist Pushing Superfluid Helium Limit
  • Scholarship for UVM Students from Monkton
  • Nursing and Health Sciences Receives $250,000 Endowed Fellowship
  • Trustees Hear Details of Campus Transformation
  • Burlington Region Recognized for Sustainability Education Programs
  • Athletics Update
  • Campus Kudos

Totenberg Charms with Rhymes and Reason
Given the presence of Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Annie Proulx on the speakers' platform, a less confident person than Nina Totenberg might have had second thoughts about starting her speech at the University of Vermont’s 2015 commencement with two extended pieces of creative writing. But courage, mixed with intelligence, verve and humor, has been the hallmark of Totenberg’s 40-year career covering legal affairs for National Public Radio, so she launched quite happily into two rhyming odes to graduates she had composed, one for the women and one for the men in the audience. Both were variations, in multiple stanzas, on the commencement-appropriate theme of wanting to have it all. Read more here.

UVM Breaks Ground for Largest Capital Project Ever
The University of Vermont officially broke ground May 15 on its $104 million STEM project, the largest capital project in UVM history. Speakers at the event included Gov. Peter Shumlin, who has urged the university to produce more STEM graduates to meet the needs of Vermont’s high-tech sector, as well as Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger, UVM Board of Trustees chair Deborah McAneny, President Tom Sullivan, doctoral student Lane Manning, and Richard Bundy, president and CEO of the University of Vermont Foundation. Pyrotechnics ensued. Read more here.

UVM in the National News
University of Vermont ecologist Leif Richardson and his colleagues have discovered something surprising: bees use the toxic chemicals in plant nectar as their own pharmacy. Richardson, in UVM's Gund Institute, talked with Scientific American's Christopher Intagliata about this for SciAm's "Sixty Second Science" podcast . . . Bad hiring decisions cost employers millions of dollars, damage workplace morale, reduce productivity and account for more than half of employee turnover nationwide. A new study by David Jones, associate professor in business, shows how a few minor changes in the wording of a job advertisement can increase the size and quality of an applicant pool. Wall Street Journal reporter Lauren Weber interviewed Jones and wrote about his research for the WSJ's "At Work" Blog . . . New happiness research by mathematicians Peter Dodds and Chris Danforth, and their team in UVM’s Computational Story Lab, shows that we really do look—and talk—on the bright side of life. Their study of many billions of words has been reported in many hundreds of media outlets around the world. See the full summaries of national media coverage of UVM news and people here.

Sullivan Wins ABA’s Kutak Award
University of Vermont president Tom Sullivan has been named the 2015 recipient of the American Bar Association’s Robert J. Kutak Award, honoring an individual who has enhanced significantly collaboration between the academy, the bench and the bar. "Tom Sullivan's career and many accomplishments exemplify the spirit of the Kutak Award,” said Joan Howland, chair of the ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. “As a visionary and committed leader in higher education, Tom continues to strive to bring legal educators, the judiciary and practicing lawyers together to develop creative solutions to a myriad of issues, including the challenges associated with ensuring equal access to justice for all segments of American society.” Read more here.

Nelson Invested as Elliott A. Brown Green and Gold Professor of Law, Politics and Political Behavior
Garrison Nelson, senior member of the political science faculty at the University of Vermont and a well-known commentator on Vermont and national political trends, issues and personalities, was invested May 14 as the first Elliott A. Brown Green & Gold Professor of Law, Politics and Political Behavior. UVM president Tom Sullivan said Nelson “is richly deserving of this honor.” He shared comments from some of the more than 13,000 students Nelson has taught in his 47 years at UVM and praised Nelson as a scholar, a teacher, commentator and public intellectual. Nelson joins a group of 91 faculty who hold endowed professorships at UVM and who make up a distinguished corps of educators, researchers and practitioners at a very high level of academic achievement. Read more here.

UVM Students Win Boren Scholarships to Study Abroad
Michael Chilton, a senior microbiology major, and Colin Kamphuis, a sophomore political science and economics double-major, have been awarded prestigious Boren Scholarships. The David L. Boren Scholarship is a nationally competitive award that provides up to $20,000 for students to study a critical foreign language in a nontraditional country important to U.S. national security. Read more here.

Four UVM Students Win Fulbrights
Four UVM students have been awarded prestigious Fulbright U.S. Student grants for the coming academic year. Three of the students are members of the Class of 2015: Stephanie Burrows, Benjamin Teasdale and Meg Ziegler. The fourth Fulbright recipient this year is Lindsey Ruhl, who graduated with a master’s degree in soil science last December. Read more here.

UVM Students Design for NASA
As many students across campus close out the semester with final presentations to professors and peers, a team of four students has been preparing to show their work to a different audience: NASA engineers. Since August, the students have worked on a project to design an inflatable, deployable airlock, a container that can move astronauts safely from one pressurized environment to another — think transfer from a spacecraft to a habitat on Mars, for example. Read more here.

Building the World’s Smallest Faucet
For more than 70 years, scientists have been studying the flow of helium through ever-smaller pipes. But only recently has nanotechnology made it possible to reach the scale required to test the mathematical model — known as the Tomonaga-Luttinger theory (after the scientists who developed it) — in the real world. Now, Adrian Del Maestro, a professor of physics at the University of Vermont, has collaborated with a team of researchers from McGill University and Leipzig University in Germany, to successfully create the smallest channel yet — less than 30 atoms wide. Read more here.

Student Research Conference Packs Davis Center
Senior Angela M. Debettencourt has brought a little bit of Panama to the fourth floor of the Davis Center – about 1.5 hectare’s worth. She’s standing in front of a poster at UVM’s eighth annual Student Research Conference that is entirely focused on that small patch of Panamanian countryside – equal to about two-and-half acres – part of a 150-hectare coffee farm that’s been attacked by coffee rust, a recently arrived fungus threatening coffee growers across Central America as the climate warms. Debettencourt was one of 363 students, including 219 undergraduates, who participated in this year’s Student Research Conference. Read more here.

UVM Scientist Pushing Superfluid Helium Limit
For more than 70 years, scientists have been studying the flow of helium through ever-smaller pipes. But only recently has nanotechnology made it possible to reach the scale required to test the mathematical model — known as the Tomonaga-Luttinger theory (after the scientists who developed it) — in the real world. Now, Adrian Del Maestro, a professor of physics at the University of Vermont, has collaborated with a team of researchers from McGill University and Leipzig University in Germany, to successfully create the smallest channel yet — less than 30 atoms wide. Read more here.

Scholarship for UVM Students from Monkton
Kenneth Wheeling, the former director of the Shelburne Museum, has established a new UVM scholarship exclusively for Vermont students from Monkton, Vt. The generous gift was made in honor of Wheeling’s late parents, Kenneth John Wheeling and Loretta Marie Wheeling. The estimated value of this endowment is $1 million. “I owe them. I owe them big time,” Wheeling says of his mother, and his father -- a doctor who practiced obstetrics and gynecology at Saint Francis Hospital in Port Jervis, N.Y. “They saw that I got educated and my brothers and sisters. And who remembers?” Wheeling, the zoning administrator for the town of Monkton for over 40 years, with more than 30 years s Monkton’s town moderator, feels strongly about giving back. “I hope some deserving students from Monkton will benefit,” he says. “Maybe not just yet,” he smiles knowingly, “but some day.” Read more here.

Nursing and Health Sciences Receives $250,000 Endowed Fellowship
Sally Hergenrader of Longboat Key, Fla., a member of the University of Vermont Class of 1955, has made a $250,000 pledge to the College of Nursing and Health Sciences (CNHS) in celebration of her 60th reunion year. The gift will be used to establish the Sally Jensen Hergenrader Endowed Fellowship in Advanced Practice Education in Primary Care Nursing. The fellowship will provide tuition and stipend support for selected graduate students pursuing advanced practice education in nursing who want to earn a doctor of nursing practice degree (DNP) and engage in primary care in Vermont or other area of defined need for primary care providers. Read more here.

Trustees Hear Details of Campus Transformation
Highlighting the May meeting of the university’s Board of Trustees was a capital projects presentation summarizing six major building projects that will transform the campus over the next few years and signify the university’s continued commitment to invest in quality. “The scope and breadth of these projects reflect the investment the university is making in academic excellence and in providing a high-quality experience for our students,” said Thomas Gustafson, vice president for university relations and administration, who made the presentation with Robert Vaughan, director of capital planning. Read more here.

Burlington Region Recognized for Sustainability Education Programs
Vermont’s Greater Burlington Region received official designation as a Regional Center of Expertise (RCE) on Education for Sustainable Development by the United Nations University Institute for Advanced Studies of Sustainability. The region, which includes the Vermont portion of the Lake Champlain Basin, is one of 136 RCEs worldwide, and one of only five in the United States. A network of worldwide RCEs aspire to achieve the goals of the Global Action Programme for Sustainable Development by translating global objectives into the context of the local communities. The Greater Burlington Region is being recognized for its collaborative and groundbreaking education for sustainability programs, such as the University of Vermont’s service-learning partnerships with local schools and non-governmental organizations; Shelburne Farms' education program, the Sustainable Schools Project; among others. Read more here.

ATHLETICS UPDATE

Track and Field
The Vermont outdoor track and field team boasted eight all-conference selections and four student-athletes won America East Championships at the league meet at Albany. In addition, 11 student-athletes earned All-New England honors at the New England Championships and Sara Roderick won the heptathlon at the ECAC Championships.

2015 Rally Awards
The 11th annual Rally Awards were held on May 5 at the Flynn Theatre in downtown Burlington. During the year-end celebration of UVM Athletics all senior student-athletes and team MVPs are honored, and seven major department awards are handed out during the event. Click here for a complete recap and here for the 2014-15 Vermont Athletics Highlight video.

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CAMPUS KUDOS

Laurie Gelles, director of technology in the College of Education and Social Services, has been selected to join the Apple Distinguished Educators Class of 2015 for her work in helping integrate technology across CESS. Launched in 1994, the Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) Program was created to recognize K-12 and higher education innovators who were using a variety of Apple products to transform teaching and learning. Gelles, who earned her doctorate in educational leadership and policy at UVM, joins more than 2,000 “visionary educators and innovative leaders who are doing amazing things with Apple technology in and out of the classroom,” according to an Apple press release. Read more here.
Lori Erbrederis Meyer, assistant professor of early childhood and early childhood special education, has been named the 2015 Outstanding Doctoral Student Medal Recipient by the College of Education at the University of Illinois based on her scholarship, service and leadership. Medal winners, who are nominated by faculty members, are honored at the convocation ceremony where recipients deliver an address on behalf of their respective class. Meyer's dissertation topic and current research focuses on supporting the peer-related social competence of young children with disabilities within early elementary experiences.

Jed Murdoch, associate professor of wildlife biology in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, won a Fulbright Award from the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program to support a sabbatical year of study in Mongolia. Murdoch’s research focuses on how best to manage protected areas for wildlife given numerous ecological, economic, and social trade-offs. “The project is in partnership with the Mongolian Academy of Sciences,” he says, “ and builds on over a decade of wildlife research I've conducted in Mongolia.”

George F. Pinder, professor at the University of Vermont in the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, was named an Honorary Diplomate, Water Resources Engineer of the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers (AAWRE), a subsidiary of the American Society of Civil Engineers. The award is the highest honor the organization gives to an individual — one who has attained a position of eminence in the water resources engineering profession, has made a singular noteworthy achievement or sustained noteworthy contributions to the advancement of the water resources engineering profession, or has rendered outstanding service over a sustained period of time in the field of water resources and to the work of the academy. Read more.

Patricia Prelock, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, was named a Distinguished Alumna from the University of Pittsburgh, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences in Communication Sciences and Disorders. The award, the premier alumni honor awarded by the University of Pittsburgh, is given to alumni who have positively impacted patient care, clinical services, and disabilities-related research. Prelock accepted the award remotely, as the SHRS 45th Anniversary Dinner and Awards ceremony coincided with UVM's commencement celebration May 16-17.


Dateline UVM Would Like to Hear from You: Send comments, questions, and address changes to Dateline UVM Editor Jay Goyette (jay.goyette@uvm.edu)