UVM Alumni Association Logo
campus image

January 2015 (Vol. 14, No. 6)

  • MLK Speaker Moves Crowd with Stories of 'The Butler'
  • Salman Rushdie Defends Free Speech in UVM Talk
  • Alan Alda to Speak on 'Connecting Science with the Public'
  • UVM's Ebola Fighters: Tales from Liberia
  • 14 Memorable UVM Moments from 2014
  • Fulbrights Take Students Around the World
  • Carnegie Foundation Renews Community Engagement Classification
  • Consortium of Universities for Global Health
  • Could Music Improve Kids' Brains?
  • Study Shows Humans Erode Soil 100 Times Faster than Nature
  • Despite Resolutions, People Buy More Food After New Year
  • Research: Loss of Pollinators Increases Risk of Malnutrition, Disease
  • UVM in the National News
  • SBA's Family Enterprise Case Competition
  • UVM Student Program Featured on BBC
  • New M.S. Concentration in Leadership for Sustainability
  • UVM Medical Center Lauded for Low Infection Rates
  • Athletics Update
  • Campus Kudos

MLK Speaker Moves Crowd with Stories of 'The Butler'
Award-winning reporter Wil Haygood delivered a compelling account to a near-capacity crowd January 20 at Ira Allen Chapel of how he came to find and eventually write the life story of an unheralded White House servant who would become the basis of his bestselling book The Butler: A Witness to History. Haygood, keynote speaker at UVM’s Martin Luther King, Jr., Celebration, said he’d almost given up trying to find an African American who worked in the White House during segregation until receiving a tip about a man who worked there as a butler. On his 57th phone call, amidst pressure from his editor at the Washington Post to abandon his search and return to covering the 2008 Obama campaign, he "struck gold." Read more here.

Salman Rushdie Defends Free Speech in UVM Talk
Acclaimed author Salman Rushdie visited the University of Vermont for a sold-out talk on the power of storytelling January 14. The event was one of Rushdie’s first public appearances since he condemned of the Charlie Hebdo killings in Paris, which left more than 12 people dead. Rushdie told the crowd he was angered that, in the aftermath of the shootings, some people from both the political left and the right began to blame the victims. Rushdie, whose statements were live-streamed online, gave a powerful defense of free speech: "Freedom is indivisible," he said, quoting John F. Kennedy and Nelson Mandela. “You can't slice it up, otherwise it ceases to be freedom.” The event was presented by UVM and the Vermont Humanities Council (VHC), which recently picked Rushdie’s 1990 children’s book, Haroun and The Sea of Stories, for its statewide Vermont Reads program. Read more here.

Alan Alda to Speak on ‘Connecting Science with the Public’
Actor, director and writer Alan Alda will give a lecture, "Helping the Public Get Beyond a Blind Date with Science" at the University of Vermont on Monday, February 2, at 4 p.m. in the Grand Maple Ballroom in the Davis Center. The lecture, part of the Dan and Carole Burack President’s Distinguished Lecture Series, is free and open to the public. Seating is limited. Doors will open at 3:15. Alda, a long-time science advocate with extensive experience training scientists in communications, won the National Science Board’s Public Service Award in 2006 and a Lifetime Achievement Award from Scientific American in 2013 for helping advance public understanding of science. Read more here.

UVM's Ebola Fighters: Tales from Liberia
Dr. Margaret Tandoh, a trauma surgeon, has seen her share of patients in dire situations, but spending seven weeks with people infected with Ebola took “dire” to a new level. An assistant professor of surgery at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, Tandoh says she couldn’t check a patient’s temperature or do lab tests in the Ebola treatment unit where she first worked in Bong, Liberia. The heat and lack of resources made these basic procedures unfeasible. Tandoh and Dr. Majid Sadigh, an infectious disease expert and UVM associate professor of medicine, worked in Liberia for seven weeks, from November to December. They received Ebola-care training in Bong, then traveled to Buchanan to set up an Ebola treatment unit in that port city. The two UVM doctors are among the “Ebola fighters” named as 2014 Persons of the Year by Time magazine. Read more here.

14 Memorable UVM Moments from 2014
Just one of 223 years in UVM's long history, 2014 had its share of memorable moments. This list shows the range of successes and fun we've had — whether right here on our campus or on the world stage. Read on to relive some of the year's highlights.

Fulbrights Take Students Around the World
Seven UVM students and graduates received Fulbright Scholarships for the 2014-2015 academic year. The prestigious awards are yearlong fellowships that enable seniors, recent graduates, and graduate students to live abroad and represent the United States as a part of the world’s largest intellectual and cultural exchange fellowship. As Fulbright awardees, students receive a fully funded grant to conduct research, pursue internships, or teach English in another country. Here is a glimpse of the scholars and the focus of their Fulbright years.

Carnegie Foundation Renews Community Engagement Classification
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has renewed the University of Vermont’s Community Engagement Classification. The classification certifies that UVM has a significant and institutionalized local, national and global commitment to community engagement through reciprocal partnerships that benefit both community partners and faculty, students and staff at the university. UVM first won the Carnegie community engagement classification in 2006, the year it was launched, for both academic engagement and community participation, one of only 76 schools in the country to receive both designations. Since then Carnegie has combined the two categories, and more than 350 schools have received the classification. Read more here.

Consortium of Universities for Global Health
The University of Vermont College of Medicine, in alliance with Global Health Program partner Danbury Hospital/Western Connecticut Health Network, has been accepted as a member of the Washington, D.C.-based Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH). The organization’s members include more than 130 academic institutions and other organizations from around the world engaged in addressing global health challenges. Established in 2008 with generous funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation, CUGH aims to build interdisciplinary collaborations between universities and other sectors to facilitate the sharing and implementation of knowledge to address global health challenges. Read more here.

Could Music Improve Kids’ Brains?
Children who play the violin or study piano could be learning more than just Mozart. A University of Vermont College of Medicine child psychiatry team has found that musical training might also help kids focus their attention, control their emotions and diminish their anxiety. Their research is published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. James Hudziak, M.D., professor of psychiatry and director of the Vermont Center for Children, Youth and Families, and colleagues including Matthew Albaugh, Ph.D., and graduate student research assistant Eileen Crehan, call their study “the largest investigation of the association between playing a musical instrument and brain development.” Read more here.

Study Shows Humans Erode Soil 100 Times Faster than Nature
A new study shows that removing native forest and starting intensive agriculture can accelerate erosion so dramatically that in a few decades as much soil is lost as would naturally occur over thousands of years. Accurately measuring the natural rate of erosion for a landscape — and, therefore, how much human land use has accelerated this rate — has been a devilishly hard task for geologists. But research by UVM geologist Paul Bierman, who co-led the new study with his former graduate student and lead author Luke Reusser, and geologist Dylan Rood at Imperial College, London, for the first time has precisely quantified this background rate of erosion. “Soils fall apart when we remove vegetation,” Bierman says, “and then the land erodes quickly.” The study, supported by the National Science Foundation, was presented online January 7 in the February issue of the journal Geology. Read more here.

Despite Resolutions, People Buy More Food After New Year
Despite New Year’s resolutions to eat better and lose weight, people buy the greatest amount of food after the holidays, says a study led by University of Vermont researcher Lizzy Pope. The study, published by PLOS ONE, finds consumer spending on food increases by 15 percent over the holiday season (Thanksgiving to New Year), with most of the increase attributed to higher levels of junk food. But shoppers buy the greatest amount of food after New Year — the equivalent of a nine percent increase in calories above holiday levels, says Professor Pope, who led the study as a post-doctoral researcher at Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab. Read more here.

UVM in the National News
The Associated Press profiled UVM’s Connecting Cultures program, which provides culturally sensitive counseling to refugees who have suffered torture and trauma in the home countries. Stories also appeared in media across the country including the Providence Journal, Tampa Tribune, Sacramento Bee, Albany Times Union, Kansas City Star and San Antonio Express . . . Salman Rushdie defended the role satire plays in society and made pointed references to the shootings at Charlie Hebdo. Print stories and video of the talk appeared in news media around the world, from Fox News to the Japan Times to U.S. News & World Report to NBC News and the Times of India . . . Geology Professor Paul Bierman’s study published in Geology was also featured on the homepage of the National Science Foundation. See the full summaries of national media coverage of UVM news and people here.

Research: Loss of Pollinators Increases Risk of Malnutrition, Disease
A new study shows that more than half the people in some developing countries could become newly at risk for malnutrition if crop-pollinating animals — like bees — continue to decline. Despite popular reports that pollinators are crucial for human nutritional health, no scientific studies have actually tested this claim — until now. New research by scientists at the University of Vermont and Harvard University has, for the first time, connected what people actually eat in four developing countries to the pollination requirements of the crops that provide their food and nutrients. Scientists around the world have observed a worrisome decline of many pollinator species, threatening the world’s food supply. Recent studies have shown that these pollinators are responsible for up to forty percent of the world’s supply of nutrients. Read more here.

SBA’s Family Enterprise Case Competition
UVM’s School of Business Administration hosted its globally renowned World Cup of case competitions, the Family Enterprise Case Competition (FECC), in early January. Once again Burlington, Vermont, became the international center of family business case competition as 24 teams from some of the best business schools on four continents came to the Green Mountain state with one goal in mind: to win the cup and bragging rights. After four days of competition, students from Jönköping International Business School in Sweden successfully defended their title by again winning the graduate competition, while the Sprott School of Business at Carleton University in Ottawa took the top slot in the undergraduate rankings. Students, judges and sponsors from more than 20 countries travelled from as far away as Hyderabad India, Malaysia, Chile, Saudi Arabia, France and Sweden to compete in this unique, annual event. Read more here.

UVM Student Program Featured on BBC
UVM students Alison Bell and Ruby Labrusciano-Carris planned to spend this year immersed in all things BBC — studying everything from “Doctor Who” to news coverage — but they couldn’t have predicted their own voices would be broadcast by the esteemed British institution. On January 3 the BBC radio program “Over to You” featured Bell and Labrusciano-Carris, directors of the student-led BBC House, a residential learning program housed in UVM’s Living/Learning Center. “I’m speaking to you from the BBC’s broadcasting house in London,” began program host Rajan Datar, “but it’s come to my attention, thousands of miles away on the east coast of the United States, there’s another BBC House, of sorts.” Read more, and link to the segment, here.

New M.S. Concentration in Leadership for Sustainability
The UVM Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources is offering a new distance learning master’s program for emerging leaders committed to deepening their capacity to catalyze change and collaborate effectively across fields and sectors. The M.S. in Natural Resources with a concentration in Leadership for Sustainability offers a blend of residential and online learning experiences delivered in a two-year, 30-credit program. Students choose one of two applied areas of specialization that provide specific skills and knowledge in either Ecological Economics or Ecological Leadership. The program includes a residential component and gives students the opportunity to be mentored by experienced practitioners. Read more here.

UVM Medical Center Lauded for Low Infection Rates
Reporting on trends in health care-associated infections, an article in U.S. News and World report cites the University of Vermont Medical Center as “one hospital that has been recognized for its initiatives to eliminate health care-associated infections.” Sally Hess, manager of infection prevention, discusses the hospital’s education effort to teach best practices to all care providers and its practice of encouraging surgeons to provide feedback to administrators on how to make systemic changes that might reduce surgical site infections. Read the full article on the U.S. News and World Report website.


Men’s Hockey
The men's hockey team is currently ranked 14th in the country in the USA Today Division I Poll. The Catamounts dropped a heartbreaker to No. 6 Boston University, falling 2-1 in overtime, at Gutterson Fieldhouse. Goalkeeper Mike Santaguida ranks second in the country in goals against average (1.51) and save percentage (.944) with just 15 goals allowed in 11 appearances. Teammate Brody Hoffman is fifth in the nation with a .786 winning percentage (10-2-2), and he ranks 14th with a 1.97 goals against average in 14 starts. Senior captain Mike Paliotta was selected as one of 20 candidates for the 2014-15 Senior CLASS Award, which honors a Division I senior with notable achievements in four areas of excellence — community, classroom, character and competition. Paliotta leads Vermont in scoring with 21 points.

Vermont travels to Philadelphia to take on Penn State in the third annual Philadelphia College Hockey Faceoff at the Wells Fargo Center on January 31. Listen to the game on WVMT-620 AM or online at SportsJuice.com.

Be sure to visit UVMathletics.com for the latest on the men's hockey team. All games can be heard on the radio at WVMT-620 AM and online at SportsJuice.com. Additionally, all home games can be seen online for free in HD via CatamounTV.com.

Hockey East Standings
2014-15 Schedule
2014-15 Statistics

Men’s Basketball
The men's basketball team stands in second place in America East with a 6-2 record and is 11-10 overall. Vermont is coming off a 47-44 loss to Albany on January 28. The Great Danes nailed a 3-pointer with two seconds left to earn the win. The Catamounts will face Hartford in West Hartford, Connecticut, on January 31 at 2 p.m. The game can be seen online via ESPN3.com. Junior Ethan O'Day leads the team in scoring at 11.3 points per game and leads America East in field goal percentage, shooting 56.6 percent from the floor for the season.

Be sure to visit UVMathletics.com for the latest on the men's basketball team. All games can be heard on the radio at ESPN 101.3 FM and online at 1013ESPN.com. Additionally, all home games can be seen online for free in HD via CatamounTV.com. All America East road games are available online at AmericaEast.tv for free.

2014-15 Schedule
2014-15 Statistics
America East Standings

Women’s Basketball

Albany booked an 89-48 win over Vermont in America East women's basketball at Patrick Gymnasium on Thursday, January 29. The Great Danes remain unbeaten in America East play, moving to 8-0 and 15-6 overall. Vermont falls to 3-17 on the year and 0-8 in the conference. Vermont travels to Hartford to begin the second round of conference play on Sunday, February 1. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Chase Arena in West Hartford, Connecticut.

Women's basketball alumnae are invited to join the team on February 7 when it hosts Binghamton and for a reception following the game. If enough alumnae are interested in playing, an alumnae game will be held in the morning. Please contact our Victory Club office at Victory.Club@uvm.edu or 802-656-0956 to register or for more information.

2014-2015 Schedule
2014-2015 Statistics
America East Standings

Women’s Swimming & Diving
The women's swimming & diving team moved to 8-2 on the year with a 174-123 win over Rhode Island on Senior Day. The Catamounts have posted at least seven victories in 12 consecutive seasons under head coach Gerry Cournoyer. UVM will compete at the Middlebury Invitational on January 30 and 31 and will wrap up the season at the America East Championships, set for February 12 in Worcester, Massachusetts.

2014-15 Schedule

The Catamounts, the 2014 national runners-up, have won the first two carnivals of the season and extended their win streak to 17 straight EISA Carnivals with a victory at its own UVM Carnival. Vermont won its own carnival for the third straight year and fourth time in five seasons.

2015 Schedule

Men's Lacrosse
The Vermont men's lacrosse team opens the 2015 season on February 7 at No. 14 Penn State. UVM's home opener is scheduled for February 14 versus Colgate. Senior Andrew Buckanavage and junior Bryan Capone will serve as the team captains this season. Head coach Ryan Curtis returns 67 percent of the scoring from last year's team, that includes reigning America East Rookie of the Year Ian MacKay (42 pts), junior Nick Bartlett (21 pts) and Buckanavage (20 pts). Goalie Justin Rosenberg returns for his junior season after finishing 2014 with the second highest save percentage (.513) among America East goalies. The Catamounts have added 18 newcomers to the roster, including 12 freshmen, five transfers and one walk-on.
Be sure to visit UVMathletics.com for the latest on the men's lacrosse team. All home games can be seen online for free in HD via CatamounTV.com. All America East road games are available online at AmericaEast.tv for free.

2015 Schedule

Women's Lacrosse
The Vermont women's lacrosse team was picked to finish fourth in the America East Preseason Poll. The Catamounts open the 2015 season on February 14 at Colgate. UVM's home opener is scheduled for February 21 versus Boston College at Virtue Field. Vermont won a program-high 12 games last season and advanced to the America East Semifinals for the second straight year. The Catamounts return 57 percent of their scoring from a year ago, including senior Jessica Roach and junior Vanessa VanderZalm, who each earned IWLCA Regional All-America and America East All-Conference First Team honors in 2014. Head coach Jen Johnson bolstered the roster with the addition of six newcomers to this year's squad.
Be sure to visit UVMathletics.com for the latest on the women's lacrosse team. All home games can be seen online for free in HD via CatamounTV.com. All America East road games are available online at AmericaEast.tv for free.

2015 Schedule


Want to get all the latest UVM athletic news delivered to your personal inbox? Subscribe to UVM's e-Newsletters for free.

Receive all the UVM final scores from your favorite University of Vermont team(s) to your cell phone via a text message. Sign up for free.

Sign up for the new Cat Pride Fan Rewards Program. Attend games and/or engage with UVM Athletics on social media to earn points. The more points you earn the better prizes you can receive.  Click here for more information or to sign up.

Get your own UVM browser theme for free.

Show Your Pride: Buy Vermont Gear Here

Visit us on the Web
Watch us on YouTube
Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter


Extension faculty Lisa Chase and Vern Grubinger published Food, Farms, and Community: Exploring Food Systems (University of New Hampshire Press, 2014). The book takes an in-depth look at critical issues, successful programs, and challenges for improving food systems spanning a few to a few thousand miles.

Four Extension faculty contributed three chapters to the just published textbook, Bioenergy: Biomass to Biofuels (Academic Press/Elsevier, 2014), edited by Anju Dahiya. Sid Bosworth contributed “Perennial Grass Biomass Production and Utilization,” Heather Darby and Chris Callahan, “On-farm Oil-based Biodiesel Production,” and Bob Parsons, “Economics of Ethanol and Biodiesel.”

Wolfgang Meider, professor in the Department of German and Russian, received an honorary degree from the University of Athens on December 16, 2014, in Athens, Greece. In a ceremony that lasted more than two hours, the university's president, dean and two professors spoke. Meider delivered an address on proverbs in the modern age.

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