March 2015 (Vol. 14, No. 8)
- Farewell to the 'Shoeboxes'
- CNN Money: UVM in Top 25 for Four-Year Graduation Rates
- UVM One of '10 Best Colleges to Study Health Professions'
- Study: Food TV a Recipe for Weight Gain
- Talking Race in the Classroom
- Alumnus Named National Superintendent of the Year
- Forgotten Conflict
- He’s Got the Beat
- An Alternative Spring Break
- Business Students Team Up with UVM Inventors
- UVM in the National News
- The Right to Food
- UVM Lab a Go-to for Genetic Specimens
- Praying to Netflix Gods
- Athletics Update
- Campus Kudos
Farewell to the ‘Shoeboxes’
By summer, three of the University of Vermont’s best-known residence halls will be gone, but until then the thousands of students who lived in Chittenden, Buckham and Wills have the opportunity to remember the best stories – and if they want, salvage a brick or two. “The Shoeboxes” — loved, loathed and never forgotten — will be razed after graduation this spring to make way for a larger, more modern residence hall and an expansion at the neighboring University of Vermont Medical Center. Built in 1947 on UVM’s Central Campus, the rectangular and modest Shoeboxes have inspired a special loyalty among generations of Vermont graduates. From midnight snowball fights to lifelong friendships, the residence halls have remained a foundation of the UVM experience for many students. Read more here.
CNN Money: UVM in Top 25 for Four-Year Graduation Rates
Graduating within four years, CNN Money says, is key to keeping the cost of college down. A new ranking published by the financial advice website lists the top 25 public colleges with the best track record at graduating students on time. UVM is 22nd on the list. Read more here.
UVM One of ‘10 Best Colleges to Study Health Professions’
The University of Vermont is ranked among the “10 Best Colleges to Study Health Professions” for its number of quality majors within the field, small class sizes, collaborative learning with professors and high salaries following graduation and mid-career. The list, reported by USA Today and compiled by College Factual, is a ranking of overall programs based on the quality of the college and the strength of individual majors offered within the health professions. UVM was lauded for its wealth of quality majors in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, and the College of Medicine was praised for having “established programs and comprehensive curriculums that students may begin pursuing at the graduate level.” Read more here.
Study: Food TV a Recipe for Weight Gain
If you’re a fan of food television, it’s fine to be entertained by the programming. But if you take the rich recipes favored by the Food Network, the Cooking Channel and others into your own kitchen, you’re at risk of putting on pounds, according to a study just published online by the journal Appetite. “The message is clear,” said Lizzy Pope, assistant professor in UVM's Department of Nutrition and Food Science, the study’s lead author. “Food TV should be a viewing experience only, not a cooking experience.” The study asked 501 women, aged 20 to 35, where they obtained information about new foods, how frequently they cooked from scratch, and what their heights and weights were. Women who watched food TV and cooked frequently from scratch had a higher body-mass-index, or BMI – weighing on average 11 more pounds – than those who obtained information from sources like family and friends, magazines and newspapers, or cooking classes. Read more here.
Talking Race in the Classroom
Emily Bernard says her best writing starts in the classroom. Take the UVM professor and celebrated author’s powerful essay on race, “Teaching the N-Word.” “The N-word came up in discussion, and hung there, like the elephant in room,” recalls Bernard, a professor in UVM’s English Department, of her African-American biography class. “It was clear to me that we needed a discussion — and the experience that followed deeply informed my writing.” The essay was named one of the year’s Best American Essays, and continues to be taught in schools across the nation. The piece — which marks its ten-year anniversary this September — will appear in her first collection of essays, Black is the Body, scheduled for Spring 2016. Read more here.
Alumnus Named National Superintendent of the Year
Alumnus Philip Lanoue, Clarke County, Ga., school superintendent, was recognized February 27 with the American Association of School Administrators' top honor: 2015 National Superintendent of the Year. The road to achieving this distinction began in his home state of Vermont, where following his 1978 graduation from UVM with a degree in secondary education science he first served as a high school biology teacher. It didn’t take long for Lanoue, who received his master of education degree in secondary education from UVM in 1985, to establish himself as an innovative educator and cutting edge administrator. He became the youngest principal in the state at age 30 at Vergennes Union High School after teaching science at Milton High and serving as assistant principal at Champlain Valley Union High School. Read more here.
The 1964 New York World’s Fair was meant to showcase America's promise. But its historical significance may lie in the conflict it generated, which erupted on the fair’s opening day. History professor Felicia Kornbluh tells the story here.
He's Got the Beat
Drummers, especially the best ones, have a secret. In performance they're the coolest musicians on stage. In the privacy of the practice room, though, they come dangerously close to nerd territory. Jeff Salisbury, who’s taught drums at UVM since 1995, has impeccable cool credentials. But he’s also a fan of those rudiments, which he’s been practicing religiously for 50 years to keep his on-stage chops sharp. Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that he recently added his own drum method to the aspiring drummer’s library: Melodic Motion Studies for Drumset, published by Hal Leonard, the world’s largest music publisher, which is being praised widely for its originality. Read more here.
An Alternative Spring Break
During spring break, more than 150 UVM students fanned out to 15 sites across the country to get involved in service projects ranging from clean-up work at Cape Hatteras to therapeutic horseback lessons in North Carolina, from building with Habitat for Humanity in Charleston to art education activities in Chicago. The volunteers are among a national force of college students who forgo more typical spring break activities in order to give back. Alternative breaks are popular at many college campuses, but only a handful of programs are designed and led by students. The UVM program, now in its 24th year, is one. Read more here.
Business Students Team Up with UVM Inventors
Any entrepreneur knows the importance of mastering the trade show. It's a chance to quickly explain your new product to customers and to suss out the competition and market trends. That's why Erik Monsen, associate professor of business, organized a trade show of sorts for his Entrepreneurship and Commercialization course. As much as the event was just practice, it wasn't entirely theoretical. Monsen's students have been working this semester with real inventions created by UVM faculty. The business students have worked with the inventors to create business plans to bring these technologies to market. Read more here.
UVM in the National News
Scientific American’s “Sixty Second Science” podcast talked with University of Vermont ecologist Leif Richardson about something surprising he and his colleagues have discovered: Bees use toxic chemicals in plant nectar as their own pharmacy . . . The Wall Street Journal reported on a new study by David Jones, associate professor in business, showing how a few minor changes in the wording of a job advertisement can increase the size and quality of the applicant pool . . . The Los Angeles Times covered research by mathematicians Peter Dodds and Chris Danforth and their team in UVM’s Computational Story Lab showing that we really do look — and talk — on the bright side of life . . . The New York Times covered UVM efforts to support students' gender identity by allowing students to "select their own identity . . . and records these details in the campuswide information system.” See the full summaries of national media coverage of UVM news and people here.
The Right to Food
All people deserve access to adequate, nutritious food. The complicated and provocative question for the fourth annual UVM Food Systems Summit on June 16-17 is how to provide this basic human right. Globally and in Vermont, the stakes are profound. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, one in nine people worldwide is chronically hungry. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 13 percent of Vermont households are food insecure. The challenge of “feeding the world” is complicated by income inequality, environmental constraints, technological limitations, climate change and a growing world population — a multi-dimensional challenge calling for interdisciplinary responses. Read more here.
UVM Lab a Go-to for Genetic Specimens
Precision medicine found the limelight when President Obama unveiled a $215 million initiative to target its growth as part of his 2015 State of the Union Address in January. But for researchers both nationwide and at the University of Vermont, exploring how to best tailor medicine to individual needs has been a focus for years. Whether it’s referred to as precision, personalized or genomic medicine, the goal is the same: to obtain individuals’ detailed genetic information so that both risk and treatment of disease can be dealt with at the most elemental level. Read more here.
Praying to Netflix Gods
Why do we binge-watch shows on Netflix? Erica Andrus, a UVM religion scholar, says TV shows provide more than just entertainment – they help satisfy a primal urge for spiritual meaning. In her popular class, Andrus and her students explore religion through the lens of pop culture, from The Walking Dead to The Big Lebowski. For many people, the act of TV viewing has become a ritual of spiritual significance, due to our desire for meaningful stories and the power of digital technology, she says. UVM Today spoke to Andrus about religion, TV, and her recent essay on “digital death,” which explores how society reacts to death online. These new expressions of grief offer important insights into the spiritual state of contemporary society, she says. Read more here.
The men's hockey team advanced to the Hockey East Semifinals with a pair of thrilling three-game series wins over Maine and Boston College. The Catamounts fell to UMass Lowell in the semifinals after making their first appearance at the TD Garden since 2010. UVM posted back-to-back 20-win seasons for the third time in its Division I era and the fourth time in school history. The Catamounts finished the year 22-15-4 overall and 10-9-3 in Hockey East. Senior Michael Paliotta was named the Best Defensive Defenseman in Hockey East, becoming the first Catamount to earn the honor. He recently signed a two-year contract with the Chicago Blackhawks. Fellow senior Nick Luukko signed an amateur tryout agreement for the rest of the 2014-15 season with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the American Hockey League.
The men's basketball advanced to the America East Semifinals before falling to Stony Brook. The Catamounts extended their postseason streak to seven straight years with an invitation to the CBI Tournament. Vermont posted an 85-81 win at Hofstra in the first round, then earned a 78-71 victory over Radford at Patrick Gymnasium in the program's first-ever home postseason game. Vermont's season ended with a 71-65 loss at the University of Louisiana at Monroe on March 25 in the semifinals round. The Catamounts finished the season with a 20-14 record, reaching 20-wins for the seventh straight season and 12th time in the last 14 years.
Vermont finished fourth at the NCAA Ski Championships held in Lake Placid, New York. Junior Dom Garand, who was making his NCAA debut, won an individual national championship in the men's slalom race. He is the 55th Catamount to win an individual national title in the program's history. Every alpine skier and 10 of the 12 Catamounts that competed earned All-America honors.
The Vermont men's lacrosse team opened up America East action with an 18-10 win over America East foe UMass Lowell to start the conference slate at 1-0. The Catamounts have won three of their last five games and has averaged 17.5 goals per game in the last two contests. UVM boats four 20-plus point scorers this season, led by Cam Milligan's 39 points.
The Vermont women's lacrosse team owns a four-game winning sreak and stands at 7-3 overall this year. Jessica Roach and Vanessa VanderZalm have led the Catamount attack, combining for 60 goals and 16 assists.
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Robert V. Bartlett, chair of Political Science and Gund Chair of the Liberal Arts, is co-author of a new book, Consensus and Global Environmental Governance (MIT Press). The work proposes a new approach to international environmental governance, one that “emphasizes the role of the citizen rather than the nation-state as the source of legitimacy in international environmental law.”
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