November 2014 (Vol. 14, No. 4)
- University of Vermont Medical Center and Health Network Launch
- Michael Pollan on the 'Magic' and 'Everyday Alchemy' of Food
- UVM Expands SPARK-VT Initiative to Stimulate Research Innovation
- UVM Receives Higher Education Diversity Award
- Long Overdue Recognition for UVM's First African American Grad
- Interview: UVM Historian Bogac Ergene
- Microphilanthropy Changes Perspectives, Lives of Students
- Biologists’ Research in Washington Post, Los Angeles Times
- Tiny Renewable Wind Turbine for Developing World
- Call to Action
- Young Alumni Team Up on Inspiring Film
- UVM Promoted to Silver as “Bike Friendly” University
- The Midge that Eats More Kale
- More Precollege Students Choosing UVM for Undergraduate Study
- Researcher's Weight Management Program Helps Adolescents
- Athletics Update
- Campus Kudos
University of Vermont Medical Center and Health Network Launch
New names for the four-hospital affiliation known as Fletcher Allen Partners, and its individual members, became official Nov. 12 in recognition that the partnership has become one organization focused on delivering academic medicine to the people of Vermont and northern New York more efficiently and as close to home as possible. Fletcher Allen Partners is now known as The University of Vermont Health Network, and three of the Partner hospitals — Central Vermont Medical Center, Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital and Elizabethtown Community Hospital — have added that title to their existing names. Fletcher Allen Health Care has become The University of Vermont Medical Center. “This change marks a new era in health care in our region,” said Dr. John Brumsted, president and chief executive officer of The University of Vermont Health Network and The University of Vermont Medical Center. Read more here.
Michael Pollan on the 'Magic' and 'Everyday Alchemy' of Food
Bestselling author Michael Pollan, a vocal advocate for change in America’s food systems, spent the day at UVM Oct. 30, visiting classes and speaking with faculty and students. Pollan's book Cooked was required reading for this year's incoming first-year students as part of the Summer Reads Program. He culminated his visit to campus with a lively Q&A on the Ira Allen stage moderated by Amy Trubek, UVM associate professor of nutrition and food science and director of the food systems graduate program. Read some of the highlights from the talk here.
UVM Expands SPARK-VT Initiative to Stimulate Research Innovation
SPARK-VT, an initiative that helps bring promising research discoveries to the marketplace piloted in 2012 by the UVM Department of Medicine, has been expanded to engage faculty across the University of Vermont, launching in November with a Call for Proposals to all UVM researchers. David V. Rosowsky, UVM provost, and Dr. Richard Galbraith, vice president for research, are champions of the SPARK-VT program, which will accelerate the translation of new knowledge into tangible benefits to society. “As one of a series of UVM initiatives focused on technology commercialization and clinical translation of research, SPARK-VT is helping the university create an exciting new culture of faculty entrepreneurship,” says Rosowsky. Read more here.
UVM Receives Higher Education Diversity Award
The University of Vermont is a recipient of the 2014 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. As a recipient of the annual HEED Award — a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion — the University of Vermont is featured along with 82 other recipients in INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine’s November 2014 issue. "I am honored that the University of Vermont is being recognized for our more than two decades of engagement in strategic diversity work," said Wanda Heading-Grant, vice president for Human Resources, Diversity and Multicultural Affairs. "Our success is made possible through the support of our many campus partners and institutional leadership.” Read more here.
Long Overdue Recognition for UVM's First African American Grad
Andrew Harris’ life may have lasted only three years after becoming the first African American to graduate from the University of Vermont, but what it lacked in longevity was exceeded by Harris’ impact on the African American community and its struggle for freedom. Harris, one of 24 students to graduate in 1838, wasted little time establishing himself as a powerful voice of the abolitionist movement. In May of 1839 he delivered a provocative speech to a crowd 5,000 at the annual meeting of the American Anti-Slavery Society at the Broadway Tabernacle in New York City calling for an end to slavery. His influence continued to grow after becoming a Presbyterian minister and serving as pastor of Philadelphia’s St. Mary’s Street Church in April of 1841, commanding respect from black and white clergymen. Harris died less than one year later at the age of 27, but not before going down in history as the first black college graduate to publicly call for an end to slavery and full equality for all African Americans. It took a bit longer -- about 160 years -- for Harris to receive due recognition for his contributions to UVM and society as a whole. On Oct. 16 of this year, at a celebration on the third floor of Waterman, Harris was properly recognized at a dedication ceremony in his honor. Read more here.
Interview: UVM Historian Bogac Ergene
When he began his training at Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Bogac Ergene didn’t expect to become a leading authority on Islamic law. His passion was economics, an interest that took him to the London School of Economics for a master's, then back to METU for further study in the discipline. But Ergene, skeptical of the perfect-market abstractions of conventional neoclassical economics, was a radical at heart. He wanted to study markets when they failed. You do that, he says, “by studying economic history.” Ergene, an associate professor of history at UVM who directs the university’s Middle East Studies program, has an encyclopedic knowledge of the Ottoman Empire -- a vast kingdom centered in Istanbul that stretched from the Balkans to northern Africa. On this 100th anniversary of World War I, — the last gasp of the Ottomans — UVM Today sought Ergene’s take on the history of the empire and on the tensions that threaten the modern Middle East. Read the interview here.
Microphilanthropy Changes Perspectives, Lives of Students
Not a day goes by that Lauren Dobay ’13 doesn’t think about the people she provided care for in Uganda as a senior nursing student in the rural town of Kamuli. Forever etched in her mind are images of hallways lined with critically ill patients at the acute inpatient hospital unit where she worked — a facility that had almost no basic supplies or access to diagnostic testing. “I knew I was in for a life-changing experience, and two years later I am still amazed at how it continues to impact me as a nurse and as a person,” says Dobay, now a nurse in Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s Surgical ICU. “It was one of the most important experiences in my education and has forever changed my perception of public health.” So moved was Dobay by her experience, she helped organize a microphilanthropy scholarship fund for future nursing students, to pay for travel to Uganda as part of the travel course “Uganda: Public Health Nursing.” Her effort is part of a larger initiative begun in 2012 by the College of Nursing and Health Sciences (CNHS) in conjunction with the UVM Foundation to fund student-driven microphilanthropy projects. Read more here.
Biologists’ Research in Washington Post, Los Angeles Times
And you thought the sexual battles between people could get weird and fierce? Try ants. In a new study, biologists at the University of Vermont have discovered some queen ants that make sexual bondage into a life and death fight. In a discovery new to science, their research shows that sexual conflict between two species can drive an evolutionary bedroom-battle royal, leading to competing adaptations in which female ants of one species manage to manhandle sperm away from the unwitting males of a different species during intercourse. The study was published in the Oct. 29 online edition of the Proceedings of the Royal Society B and received broad media coverage, including stories in the Washington Post and Los Angeles Times.Read more here.
Tiny Renewable Wind Turbine for Developing World
.00002 miles per hour might remind you of a bad day on the interstate. But that’s how fast some bamboo can grow: up to 35 inches every day — a world record. It’s a grass that can, in a few months, grow as tall as a tree. And as it grows on, say, a mountainside in China or Chile, it gets hammered by the wind. But it doesn’t break. It flexes and resists, using the power of the sun to grow up and the power of the wind to grow strong. “The wind makes the bamboo grow in different directions,” says UVM professor of engineering Ting Tan, “which means that the plant’s microstructure is adapted to wind.” “Inspired by the bamboo, we decided to adapt it,” Tan says. Using bamboo as their primary building material, Tan and his colleague, professor of electrical engineering, Tian Xia, and a group of students, have built a hybrid energy harvester: it combines a small-scale wind turbine — built out of bamboo — with a solar panel. The whole device is about the size of a trashcan. Read more here.
Call to Action: Nate Bosshard ’01
In the college admissions fight, it does not hurt to have the Green Mountains in your corner. When Nate Bosshard was a high school kid in La Crosse, Wisconsin, deciding where he wanted to go to college, he considered his priorities, snowboarding among them: “I wanted to be able to go to a good school, close to mountains. I picked UVM because I really liked the blend of lifestyle and academics.” As a prospective student, Bosshard was not alone in that. Nor is he alone as an alumnus who found a way to turn his love for action sports into a livelihood. The new issue of Vermont Quarterly checked in with Nate Bosshard and fellow alumni who followed their passions into careers in the action sports industry. Read Bosshard's story here, and visit the VQ website to read more.
Young Alumni Team Up on Inspiring Film
High in Quebec’s rugged Chic Choc mountains last winter, Vasu Sojitra ’13 knew he’d better ski the line below him flawlessly. It had been a six-mile hike in and a steep trudge up thousands of feet — tough for anyone but another level of challenge for a skier with one leg. On a distant ridge, Sojitra’s friend, filmmaker Tyler Wilkinson-Ray ’12, waited with his camera, a long lens and a radio to cue the action. Footage of the run creates a transcendent moment in Out on a Limb, T-Bar Films’ recent short documentary about Sojitra’s skill and ingenuity as a skier who carves turns in backcountry powder better on one leg than most can on two. Read more here.
UVM Promoted to Silver as “Bike Friendly” University
The League of American Bicyclists recognized the University of Vermont as one of the nation’s most “Bicycle Friendly Universities,” on Oct. 22 — and promoted UVM to its silver level award, the group announced from its headquarters in Washington, DC. UVM was honored as one of 33 new and renewing Bicycle Friendly Universities in 20 states. “This is a step forward from our previous award of bronze in 2011,” noted Doug Connelly, UVM’s bicycle coordinator. “Now UVM joins the City of Burlington in its quest for gold!” Read more here.
The Midge that Eats More Kale
Three years ago, Tony Lehouillier began to worry about some of his purple kale. “It was just weird looking,” he says, cupping his hands around a tall stalk on his farm near Johnson, Vt. “Then the top would start to die. Plants would fold over.” Others had strangely puckered leaves and brown scarring. The blighted kale didn’t necessarily die, but it wasn’t marketable either. For Lehouillier, one of Vermont’s largest organic growers of kale and other cabbage-family crops — like broccoli — the mysterious damage looked like disaster. It turned out the culprit was a tiny pest called swede midge. Soon, Lehouillier was in touch with Yolanda Chen, an assistant professor in UVM's Department of Plant and Soil Science — the only researcher in the United States actively studying the midge. Read more here.
More Precollege Students Choosing UVM for Undergraduate Study
UVM was at the top of Ellie Myers’ list during her college search. Still, she had to be sure it was the right school for her. To assure her that UVM was a good fit, Myers enrolled in UVM’s Summer Academy precollege program while still in high school and took classes in engineering and drawing. “I wanted to see if I really liked engineering and could handle the course load,” says Myers, of Providence, R.I., now a UVM sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering. “I had my eye on UVM for a while, and taking a precollege course really gives you a hint of what college is like.” Ten years after UVM established its precollege program for high school students, more students like Myers who complete the precollege program are choosing UVM for their undergraduate degree. Read more here.
Researcher's Weight Management Program Helps Adolescents
On her way out of the pediatrician’s office with her son, Becky Loftus noticed a flyer seeking adolescents interested in learning about nutrition, exercise and maybe shedding a few pounds in the process. Intrigued, she inquired about the weight management program at UVM, which in 12 weeks time would turn her son’s poor eating habits into healthy ones and convert a high percentage of fat into muscle. The weight management program run by Connie Tompkins, assistant professor of exercise physiology, has produced similar results for other adolescents who have completed the program over the past three years. On average, they lost about four percent body fat and gained about four pounds of muscle — a significant exchange of body mass that transforms the way participants look and feel. Read more here.
The men's hockey team is currently ranked No. 12 in the country. The Catamounts are coming off a sweep of UMass, where UVM outscored the Minutemen 14-2 in the two-game set. Vermont owns a record of 9-3-1 overall and as of this report sits in first place in the Hockey East standings with a 7-3-1 league record. Vermont will travel to Maine for a pair of non-conference games November 28 and 29.
The women's hockey team owns a record of 8-6-1 overall and is 1-4-0 in Hockey East. The trio of Dayna Colang, Amanda Pelkey and Brittany Zuback were the top three offensive players last season, and they have not missed a beat in 2014-15. All three are averaging a point per game and have combined to score 25 of UVM's 39 goals this season. With three points against Syracuse, Pelkey became Vermont's all-time scoring leader with 89 carer points. She is also the program's all-time leader in assists (46).
The men's basketball team stands at 2-2 overall to start the season. The Catamounts host Bryant University on November 26 and will face Quinnipiac in Hamden, Connecticut, on November 30. The Catamounts have seven freshmen on the squad this season. Newcomer Trae Bell-Haynes ranks second on the team in scoring (12.8 ppg) and started his career reaching double-digits in his first three games. Junior Ethan O'Day leads the team in scoring (13.0 ppg) and has moved into seventh place among the all-time block leaders at Vermont with 86 for his career.
The women's basketball team is 0-4 on the season. The Catamounts fell in overtime, 77-75, at Central Connecticut in their last outing on November 25. Sophomore Kylie Butler leads the team in scoring (13.3 ppg), and senior Niki Taylor is nearly averaging a double-double with 12 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. Taylor is also closing in on the 1,000-career point milestone.
Women's Swimming & Diving
The women's swimming and diving team wrapped up the first half of their 2014-15 schedule with a 7-1 record. After dropping the first meet, the Catamounts rattled off seven straight wins in the pool.
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Rocki-Lee DeWitt, professor of business,was selected to be a FOBI Scholar by the Family Owned Business Institute at Grand Valley State University to support her research on intergenerational innovation in family business. DeWittalso co-authoreda chapter"Successful Family Business Ownership Transitions: Leveraging Tacit Knowledge," in the book Exploring Transgenerational Entrepreneurship: The Role of Resources and Capabilities.
Francis Nicosia, Raul Hilberg Distinguished Professor of Holocaust Studies, received the Distinguished Achievement Award in Holocaust Studies at academia’s premier Holocaust conference, the biennial Lessons & Legacies conference presented by the Holocaust Educational Foundation, in October.
Pramodita Sharma, Sanders Chair and professor of business, co-authored two books, "SAGE Major Works of Family Business Studies (SAGE, 2014), and "The SAGE Handbook of Family Business (SAGE, 2014).
Sanjay Sharma, professor and dean of the School of Business Administration, co-authored "Advancing Research on Corporate Sustainability -- Off to Pastures New or Back to the Roots?" in Business and Society.
Alexandre Strokanov, history professor at Lyndon State College and instructor at UVM, was named winner of the 2014 “Best Teacher of Russian Humanities Abroad” contest. The Pushkin Institute, the foremost school for Russian language studies, along with a host of Russian governmental agencies including the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, of Culture, and of Education, sponsored the Moscow-based contest. More than 500 contestants from more than 50 countries took part in the initial three-part online test held earlier this summer designed to whittle the contestants down to fifteen. These fifteen finalists represented fourteen countries. Strokanov finished first and was the only contestant from the United States. Read more on Lyndon's website.
Richard Vanden Bergh, associate professor of business,and Allison Kingsley, assistant professor of business, co-authored "How Regulatory Uncertainty Drives Integrated Market and Nonmarket Strategy" in The Routledge Companion to Nonmarket Strategy edited by T. Lawton and T. Rajwani.
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