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September 2015 (Vol. 15, No. 2)

  • Reunion, Homecoming & Family Weekend Oct. 2-4
  • UVM Ranked Among Top 50 Public Universities by U.S. News
  • Washington Monthly Ranks UVM a Top “Bang for the Buck” School
  • UVM Receives Higher Ed Excellence in Diversity Award
  • UVM Uniquely Positioned in New Federal College Scorecard
  • UVM Among Colleges Doing the Most for Low-Income Students
  • Peace Corps Director Sings UVM's, Vermont's Praises
  • UVM Business School Ranked Among Best for Family Business
  • Building the Electron Superhighway
  • A (Nano)Wrench in the Works
  • Bring on the Night, Says New UVM National Park Study
  • Film Prof Appears in PBS Documentary on Walt Disney
  • Alumna Wins Emmy for 'Transparent' Costume Design
  • Lessons from a Pulitzer Winner
  • New Katrina Book Details Long-Term Impact on Children
  • UVM Student Named Miss Vermont 2015
  • Athletics Update
  • Campus Kudos

Reunion, Homecoming & Family Weekend Oct. 2-4
Be a part of the UVM Alumni Association’s signature weekend and make sure to celebrate your class reunion! Join us for a fabulous fall weekend to reminisce, reconnect, and rediscover the University of Vermont at its finest. Reminisce with old classmates and rediscover a campus alive with students and festivities. Weekend Highlights include:

  • A "Welcome Back Party" on Friday evening
  • UVM Fest on Saturday with live music, local vendors, games and entertainment
  • Class-specific Reunion events on Saturday evening
  • Segway tours of campus and UVM Historic walking tours
  • Academic unit open houses
  • Greek open houses and programs to highlight campus
  • Over 75 different activities, programs and events

Online registration has now closed. On-site registration begins at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 2 in the Davis Center. Please email alumni@uvm.edu or call 888-458-8691 with questions.

UVM Ranked Among Top 50 Public Universities by U.S. News
U.S. News & World Report has ranked the University of Vermont one of the top 50 public universities in its 2016 College Guide. UVM was ranked 37th among more than 170 public universities listed in the guide. The university was also ranked 89th among over 220 national universities. UVM received a record number of applications for fall 2015 and enrolled the most academically talented class in its history. Read more here.

Washington Monthly Ranks UVM a Top “Bang for the Buck” School
Washington Monthly ranked the University of Vermont 15th among 402 colleges and universities in the Northeast on its "Best Bang for the Buck" list in the magazine’s annual College Guide issue, published in September. No other Vermont colleges were in the top 100. The magazine describes the list as showing “which schools in the Northeast are the best value for your money based on ‘net’ (not sticker) price, how well they do graduating the students they admit, and whether those students go on to earn at least enough to pay off their loans.” Read more here.

UVM Receives Higher Ed Excellence in Diversity Award
The University of Vermont is a recipient of the 2015 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. The HEED Award is a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. This is the second year in a row that UVM has been named as a HEED Award recipient. Read more here.

UVM Uniquely Positioned in New Federal College Scorecard
A new federal website that allows college-bound students and families to compare important school-by-school data shows that the University of Vermont is uniquely positioned in the state. The new U.S. Department of Education site, available at collegescorecard.ed.gov, shows that UVM is the only college or university in the state with an average cost for Vermont students that is below the national average — and at the same time — boasts higher than national average figures for graduation rate and graduate earnings. Read more here.

UVM Among Colleges Doing the Most for Low-Income Students
The University of Vermont ranks 59th on the New York Times' College Access Index, a measure of top colleges’ efforts to boost economic diversity at their institutions. UVM is among universities whose scores “indicate the most effort” toward making college accessible to economically disadvantaged students. The ranking scores schools on the share of students who receive Pell grants, the graduation rate of those students, and the price that colleges charge both low- and middle-income students. Only schools with a five-year graduation rate of 75 percent or higher are included on the list. Read more here.

Peace Corps Director Sings UVM's, Vermont's Praises
The University of Vermont was the setting for an important announcement made recently by Peace Corps director Carrie Hessler-Radelet, accompanied a small entourage from the volunteer organization. What drew Hessler-Radelet and her colleagues to northeastern Vermont wasn’t the state’s scenic beauty in late summer, it was UVM’s and Vermont’s strong track record of Peace Corps service. With 857 alumni who’ve served in the Peace Corps, and 25 currently serving, UVM ranks seventh among mid-size schools for its participation rate. Vermont ranked #1 in the nation in 2014 for the number of Peace Corps volunteers per capita. “Both Vermont and the University of Vermont are real rock stars in our eyes,” Hessler-Radelt said. Read more here.

UVM Business School Ranked Among Best for Family Business
The UVM School of Business Administration has been ranked among the top 25 programs in the world for its expertise in family business, joining Harvard, Cornell, Pennsylvania, Northwestern and Kennesaw State as the only U.S. representatives. The ranking by Family Capital, a publishing company dedicated to the global family business sector, is reflective of the efforts of Business School Dean Sanjay Sharma, who arrived in 2011, and Professor Pramodita Sharma, a world-renowned scholar in family business. Read more here.

Building the Electron Superhighway
TV screens that roll up. Roofing tiles that double as solar panels. Sun-powered cell phone chargers woven into the fabric of backpacks. A new generation of organic semiconductors may allow these kinds of flexible electronics to be manufactured at low cost, says University of Vermont physicist and materials scientist Madalina Furis. But the basic science of how to get electrons to move quickly and easily in these organic materials remains murky. To help, Furis and a team of UVM materials scientists have invented a new way to create what they are calling “an electron superhighway” in one of these materials that promises to allow electrons to flow faster and farther in organic semiconductors. Read more here.

A (Nano)Wrench in the Works
Over billions of years, evolution has found clever ways to fold proteins to do many jobs. People can’t wait that long. The hunt for new synthetic materials — like stronger polymers and more-targeted medicines — has chemists seeking for better ways to control the shapes of molecules. UVM assistant professor of chemistry Severin Schneebeli has found a revolutionary one. Read more here.

Bring on the Night, Says New UVM National Park Study
Natural wonders like tumbling waterfalls, jutting rock faces and banks of wildflowers have long drawn visitors to America’s national parks and inspired efforts to protect their beauty. According to a UVM-led study published Sept. 4 in Park Science, visitors also value and want to protect a different kind of threatened natural resource in the parks: dark nighttime skies. The study's lead author is Robert Manning, Steven Rubenstein Professor of Environment and Natural Resources in UVM's Rubenstein School. According to the study, 99 percent of the U.S. population lives in areas that are light polluted, and two-thirds of Americans can’t see the Milky Way from their homes. Read more here.

Film Prof Appears in PBS Documentary on Walt Disney
Sarah Nilsen, associate professor of English and director of UVM's Film and Television Studies program, appears in the PBS American Experience documentary exploring the life and legacy of Walt Disney. The series premiered Sept. 14 and 15. Nilsen, whose work explores Disney, the popular culture of the Cold War, and cultural diplomacy, also attended a preview event at the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco, where she was invited to speak as one of three panelists. Joining her on the stage: Don Hahn, Academy Award-nominated producer of the Disney film Beauty and the Beast, and Floyd Norman, animator of films including Sleeping Beauty, The Jungle Book and Monsters, Inc. Read more here.

Alumna Wins Emmy for 'Transparent' Costume Design
Marie Schley, UVM Class of 1994, has won a 2015 Emmy Award for her costume design work on Transparent. The Creative Arts Emmy Awards were announced on Sept. 12, a week before the televised Emmys. Schley and her colleague Nancy Jarzynko were honored for their work on the Amazon Studios comedy-drama that revolves around a transgender character played by actor Jeffrey Tambor. UVM Today caught up with Schley via e-mail. Read more here.

Lessons from a Pulitzer Winner
The staff of the Vermont Cynic gathered before him, Eric Lipton, UVM alumnus and investigative reporter for the New York Times, asked the editors of the student newspaper how they come up with their story ideas. A philosophy major who graduated in 1987, Lipton praised the Cynic as a great training ground for his own career. He mined his first documents at UVM, wrote his first front-page stories there and made mistakes that he wouldn’t make again. In April, Lipton won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting for his series of articles about the lobbyists and lawyers who pay for access to state attorneys general in hopes of influencing legal and regulatory decisions in favor of their corporate clients. He reflected on those stories during a public talk entitled “Lobbying in America: White Hats, State Troopers, Ski Resorts and Buckets of Money.” Read more here.

New Katrina Book Details Long-Term Impact on Children
A new book, Children of Katrina, coauthored by sociology professor Alice Fothergill, is the first multi-year sociological study of children after a disaster. Fothergill and co-author Lori Peek, of Colorado State University, spent seven years after the hurricane interviewing and observing several hundred children and their family members, friends, neighbors, teachers and other caregivers. The book focuses intimately on seven children between the ages of three and eighteen, selected because they exemplify the varied experiences of the larger group. Read more here.

UVM Student Named Miss Vermont 2015
Alayna Westcom ’15, a student in UVM’s Post-Baccalaureate Medical Laboratory Science Program, earned the Miss Vermont 2015 title with a talent for scientific experiment and a goal to promote success through STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics among young people in the state. Inspired by a desire to serve her community, the Bakersfield, Vt., native pursued an undergraduate degree in forensics before entering the Post-Baccalaureate Medical Laboratory Science Program. Westcom’s ultimate career goal is to become a pathologist. Read more here.


UVM Reunion & Homecoming Weekend
Vermont will host a Former Student-Athlete Reception this Friday (Oct. 2) from 5-7 p.m. at Halvorson's Upstreet Cafe on Church Street. Former Catamount student-athletes are invited to join current athletic coaches and staff at Halvorson's for a reception to mingle. Light hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar will be provided. For more information, please contact the Victory Club Office at 802-656-0956 or victory.club@uvm.edu. UVM will also be hosting several alumni events at home games throughout the weekend. Click here for the full reunion & homecoming weekend schedule.

Seven Inducted Into UVM Athletic Hall of Fame
The University of Vermont Athletic Hall of Fame officially welcomed seven new members on Saturday night. Inductees in the Class of 2015 were Lowell Bailey '05 (men's nordic skiing), Taylor Coppenrath '05 (men's basketball), Kami Cote '05 (women's hockey), Vanessa Cox '05 (women's lacrosse), Ethan Foster '05 (men's nordic skiing), TJ Sorrentine '05 (men's basketball), and Tom Brennan (special inductee). All seven individuals were formally inducted at the 47th annual UVM Athletic Hall of Fame Dinner at the Hilton Burlington. Click for a recap and photo gallery.

Hockey Seasons Begin This Weekend
The Vermont women's hockey team opens the 2015-16 regular season with a home series this weekend against Bemidji State at Gutterson Fieldhouse on Friday (Oct. 2) at 4:30 p.m. and Saturday (Oct. 3) at 4 p.m. The men's team plays host to Acadia in its exhibition game on Sunday (Oct. 4) at 4 p.m. For tickets, log on to UVMathletics.com/Tickets. All three games will be streamed for free in high definition via CatamounTV.com. The annual Vermont Hockey Media Day will also be streamed for free at CatamounTV.com on Wednesday (Sept. 30) at 12 p.m. live from Gutterson Fieldhouse.

Sign Up for New Catamount Score Alerts
Fans of University of Vermont athletic teams have a new way of keeping up to date with results from the Catamounts through the new "Catamount Score Alert" text message update service provided by Phizzle. Fans who formerly received updates through our website provider, SIDEARM Sports, will need to re-register for the new service by texting UVM to 83200 or by clicking here (message and data rates may apply). Catamount Score Alerts will provide options to receive the final score for Vermont teams throughout the season. Sign up today to receive the latest results from your favorite team or teams.


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Francine Bazluke, vice president for legal affairs and general counsel at the University of Vermont, has been appointed as a fellow of the American Bar Foundation. Membership in the fellows is limited to less than one percent of lawyers licensed to practice in each jurisdiction. Members are nominated by fellows in their jurisdiction and elected by the Board of the American Bar Foundation. The American Bar Foundation is an organization dedicated to advancing justice through rigorous research on the law, legal processes, and the law's impact on society. Read more here.

UVM has been named one of 14 “Promising Places to Work in Student Affairs at Research Institutions” by the Center for Higher Education Enterprise, the American College Personnel Association and Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. This research institution-specific ranking is the third recognition UVM’s Division of Student Affairs has received for its workplace diversity, staffing practices, and work environment; UVM was also included on the 2014 and 2015 list of the Most Promising Places to Work in Student Affairs.

UVM Panhellenic Council, a cooperative association comprising all sororities on campus belonging to the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC), is one of 21 campuses receiving the College Panhellenic Excellence Award this year. The award recognizes excellence in the areas of recruitment; Panhellenic structure; communication with NPC area advisor; judicial procedures; programming; academics; and Panhellenic community impact and relations.

An essay by UVM junior Olivia Peña reflecting on diversity training at land-grant universities was selected for publication by the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems and Community Development. Read the essay.

Lizzy Pope is the 2015 recipient of the Peggy R. Williams Emerging Professional Award, presented by the Vermont Women in Higher Education association. Pope joined the UVM faculty last year as an assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences and director of the didactic program in dietetics, after receiving her Ph.D. from UVM in 2013 and doing post-doc work at Cornell University. She has received rave reviews for her teaching, winning several prestigious awards including the Vermont Dietetic Association Outstanding Educator Award. Her research focuses on behavioral economics and nutrition and exercise choices that influence people toward making healthier decisions. Several of her recent studies have received national media attention, including articles in the New York Times and the Washington Post.

The first installment of two articles drawing on Department of Psychology professor Kelly Rohan's R01 SAD treatment study was published in the September issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry. Titled “Randomized trial of cognitive-behavioral therapy vs. light therapy for seasonal affective disorder: Acute outcomes,” the study is also featured on the journal’s podcast, hosted by editor Susan K. Schultz, and will be offered in the journal's continuing medical education program. In addition to Rohan, the lead author, the paper’s co-authors include four students in the Psychology Department’s clinical Ph.D. program: Jennifer Mahon, Maggie Evans, Sheau-Yan Ho, and Jonah Meyerhoff.

Professor Dana Walrath's verse novel about the Armenian Genocide, Like Water on Stone, is a finalist for the Vermont Book Award. Walrath, an anthropologist, writer and artist in the Department of Family Medicine, developed major components of the humanities curriculum for the College of Medicine.

Burton Wilcke Jr., associate professor in the Department of Medical Laboratory and Radiation Sciences in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, was awarded the 2015 American Public Health Association (APHA) Executive Director Citation for his exceptional, distinguished service to the field of public health. Wilcke was cited for his service as chair of the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and for being a member of the Accreditation Committee for the Public Health Accreditation Board.

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