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September 2014 (Vol. 14, No. 2)

  • Reunion, Homecoming and Family Weekend Set for October 10-12
  • Award-Winning Playwright Tony Kushner to Speak October 11
  • A Vaccine for Ebola?
  • Alexander’s and Cushman’s Study Finds Blood Type and Memory Loss Link
  • Graduate Program For a New Generation of Environmental Leaders
  • Business School Named One of 'Top 50 Most Innovative in America'
  • Aiken Lecture: Neri Oxman on Nature-Inspired Engineering
  • Four-Year Plan Helps Students Chart Career Course
  • New Study Gives Hot and Wet Forecast for Lake Champlain Basin
  • Marsh Professor-at-Large Wins ‘Genius’ Award
  • Bequest Creates First Full-Tuition Scholarship in College of Medicine
  • Inaugural SEMBA Cohort Brings Experience, Diversity
  • PepsiCo VP Rich Beck '80 Talks About 'Performance with Purpose'
  • New Farmers, New Futures
  • Bird on the Rebound
  • UVM Student Joins Classical 'Dream Team'
  • UVM Supports New Green Mountain Power and NRG Partnership
  • National Panhellenic Conference Award to UVM
  • In Memoriam: Lola Aiken
  • Athletics Update
  • Campus Kudos

Reunion, Homecoming and Family Weekend Set for October 10-12
Thousands of UVM alumni, parents, families and community members will converge on campus Oct. 10-12 for the University of Vermont's Reunion and Homecoming and Family Weekend 2014. A wide variety of events will be happening on campus and around greater Burlington over the course of the weekend. Register for a package covering admission to most events at the Dudley H. Davis Center throughout the weekend. Included is a button that entitles the wearer to special discounts at various locations on campus and in downtown Burlington and complimentary admission to the Fleming Museum. Many events are free and open to the public, including school and college open houses and receptions and the George V. Kidder outstanding faculty lecture. View the complete weekend schedule.  Please email alumni@uvm.edu or call (888) 458-8691 with questions.

Award-Winning Playwright Tony Kushner to Speak October 11
Award-winning playwright Tony Kushner will take part in a live interview and audience question-and-answer session titled "Dialogue with Tony Kushner" on Saturday, October 11 from 2:15 to 3:30 p.m. in the University of Vermont’s Royall Tyler Theater. The event, sponsored by UVM’s Department of Theatre as part of the Burack President’s Distinguished Lecture Series, is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. UVM community members can reserve tickets before October 1 by calling (802) 656-0085. Tickets are available to the general public at the same number beginning October 1. The interview and Q&A with Kushner culminate a day-long series of Saturday events during UVM’s Homecoming and Family Weekend sponsored by the Theatre Department to celebrate 40 years of theatrical production in the Royall Tyler Theatre. Read more here.

A Vaccine for Ebola?
In the past year, the largest and deadliest outbreak of the Ebola virus has spread through West Africa -- now with confirmed cases in five countries -- and more than half of those who have contracted the virus have perished from it. These frightening statistics have put the development of a vaccine on a fast track. To learn more about this outbreak and the creation of new human vaccines, Vermont Medicine, a publication of the University of Vermont's College of Medicine, talked to Dr. Beth Kirkpatrick, UVM Vaccine Testing Center director and professor of medicine, and Dr. Kristen Pierce, associate professor of medicine -- both infectious disease specialists at Fletcher Allen Health Care who have led vaccine studies for such global pathogens as cholera, West Nile virus, dengue, typhoid fever and anthrax. Read more here.

Alexander’s and Cushman’s Study Finds Blood Type and Memory Loss Link
People with blood type AB may be more likely to develop memory loss in later years than people with other blood types, according to a study published by Kristine Alexander, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow in medicine, Mary Cushman, M.D., M.Sc., professor of medicine at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, and colleagues in the September 10, 2014, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. AB is the least common blood type, found in only about four percent of the U.S. population. The study found that people with AB blood were 82 percent more likely to develop the thinking and memory problems that can lead to dementia than people with other blood types. Previous studies have shown that people with type O blood have a lower risk of heart disease and stroke, factors that can increase the risk of memory loss and dementia. Read more here.

Graduate Program For a New Generation of Environmental Leaders
Human beings have had such a powerful impact on planetary environmental systems since the Industrial Revolution that scientists say Earth has entered a new geologic epoch: the Anthropocene, the age of humans. The University of Vermont and two Canadian institutions, McGill University and York University, have received a six-year, $2.5 million grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada to develop a graduate curriculum designed to produce leaders who can help reverse recent trends and lighten humanity’s footprint on the planet’s fragile ecosystems. The new program, called Economics for the Anthropocene, will focus graduate students on redefining and broadening traditional social science disciplines so they take account of knowledge of earth systems derived from contemporary science. Read more here.

Business School Named One of 'Top 50 Most Innovative in America'
The University of Vermont's School of Business Administration has been named one of the “Top 50 Most Innovative Business Schools in America” for its new MBA in Sustainable Entrepreneurship (SEMBA), its focus on experiential learning, cutting edge technology and other measures of innovation. Business Management Degrees, an online guide for navigating the world of business management programs, ranked UVM 47th most innovative, based on criteria that included technological innovation, the fostering of new ideas, cognizance of issues like sustainability, cutting-edge research, proximity to business epicenters and pioneering faculty members. Additionally, business schools that made the list "employ a dynamic approach to education, adapting their curricula to meet emerging trends and equip students with the progressive skills necessary to succeed," the guide states. Read more here.

Aiken Lecture: Neri Oxman on Nature-Inspired Engineering
In the 1440’s, Johannes Gutenburg’s invention of moveable type revolutionized book production and led to democratic flourishing of human information sharing. Today, Neri Oxman sees a new and equally powerful change happening with digital fabrication technologies. “3-D printing has brought about a revolution in design that is equivalent, perhaps, to the printing press,” Oxman says. A visionary as much as she is an architect and designer, Neri Oxman imagines a future in which people can, “turn into material form any poetry that resides in the mind,” she says. Oxman, a professor at the famed MIT Media Lab, will speak to these themes in the 2014 Aiken Lecture, “Material Ecology: A New Approach to Nature-Inspired Design & Engineering” at the University of Vermont’s Ira Allen Chapel, 5 p.m., Thursday, October 2. The event is free and open to the public. Read more here.

Four-Year Plan Helps Students Chart Career Course
For the first time this fall, the university is presenting its "Four-Year Plan for Career Success" to all incoming first-years. A list of strategies and tangible steps, the plan helps students begin to figure out what they want to study, where they want to go with their degrees, and how to get there. Organized by year, the steps move from exploration to execution. While a first-year's checklist includes joining campus clubs, volunteering, and talking to friends and family about their professions, seniors are focused on joining professional associations, attending conferences and practicing interviewing. Read more here.

New Study Gives Hot and Wet Forecast for Lake Champlain Basin
Here’s your northern Vermont forecast for the rest of this century: annual precipitation will increase by between a third and half an inch per decade, while average temperatures will rise some five degrees Fahrenheit by midcentury. By late in the century, average temperatures will have spiked more than eight degrees. In July, by 2100, the City of Burlington will have at least ten additional days above ninety degrees. The growing season picks up 43 more days. Expect annual snowfall at six major ski resorts to decline about fifty percent by century’s end. These are just a few of the estimates by a team of University of Vermont and other scientists in a new research study, “Impacts of Projected Climate Change over the Lake Champlain Basin in Vermont,” published in the current issue of the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology. Read more here.

Marsh Professor-at-Large Wins ‘Genius’ Award
“She’s a kind of genius.” That’s what English professor and former UVM president Daniel Mark Fogel has said about Alison Bechdel, the cartoonist and graphic memoirist he nominated to become a James Marsh Professor-at-Large in 2012. That sentiment was validated in a big way Sept. 17, when Bechdel was announced as a winner of a 2014 MacArthur Foundation grant, commonly called the “genius” award. Read more here.

Bequest Creates First Full-Tuition Scholarship in College of Medicine
As one of few women who attended medical school in the late 1940s and a prolific pediatric blood disorder researcher, Virginia Donaldson, M.D.’51, was a pioneer in medicine. Her many groundbreaking contributions continue even after her 2013 death with a bequest to the University of Vermont College of Medicine that supports the first full-tuition scholarship at the school. Read more here.

Inaugural SEMBA Cohort Brings Experience, Diversity
Ben Tacka’s reasons for packing his bags and moving from Houston to Burlington to be part of the inaugural class of the University of Vermont’s new MBA in Sustainable Entrepreneurship (SEMBA) are strikingly similar to the rest of the cohort. In short, he wants to acquire the skills to start his own sustainable venture or help other companies incorporate the sustainable business principles of the triple bottom line: people, profits and planet. Joining Tacka in the one-year executive MBA program are 19 other students with an average of 10 years of professional work experience in a variety of fields. They come from as far away as Peru and Colombia and include a doctor, professional golfer, attorney, restaurateur, a handful of professionals from environmental fields, and some from non-governmental organizations and non-profits. Read more here.

PepsiCo VP Rich Beck '80 Talks About 'Performance with Purpose'
As senior vice president for the global supply chain operations of one of the world’s largest food and beverage companies, Rich Beck ’80 has helped advance PepsiCo’s ambitious “Performance with Purpose” agenda. This guiding ethos for strategy and operations strengthens all its businesses, including Pepsi-Cola, Quaker Oats, Frito-Lay, Gatorade and Tropicana, by focusing on three planks: environmental sustainability, human sustainability and talent sustainability. Beck presented “Performance with Purpose” on Tuesday, September 16 in Waterman's Memorial Lounge as part of the School of Business Administration Dean’s Leadership Speaker Series. In advance of his talk, UVM Today spoke with Beck about his undergraduate experience at UVM, his career, sustainability issues, the business landscape and UVM’s new MBA in Sustainable Entrepreneurship (SEMBA). Read more here.

New Farmers, New Futures
Rachel Hong, 43, was a lawyer in a “small litigation boutique,” she says, in Seattle. In November of 2013, she quit her well-paying job, sold her house, bought an Airstream camper, packed up her two dogs — and drove to Vermont. Now, on a hot July afternoon, she wipes a piece of duct tape over the leaves of a squash plant in a garden at the UVM Horticulture Research and Education Center in South Burlington. The tape is bumpy with the eggs of cucumber beetles. “They’re really gross,” says her workmate, Anya Dudek, 22, who is harvesting beautiful bundles of cilantro in the next row over. “It’s not at all glamorous.” But neither Hong nor Dudek, nor the other 22 students in the UVM Farmer Training Program are spending six months learning the science and art of organic farming because they thought it would be glamorous. They knew it would be a lot of hard work. Read more here.

Bird on the Rebound
Because of shrinking habitat lost to development and disrupted by intensive new farming practices, the bobolink population has declined 75 percent over the last half century in the Northeast. A research team from the University of Vermont and the University of Connecticut had a question: Would the public be willing to pay landowners directly to conserve the open grassland this charismatic species needs to survive? View the video here.

UVM Student Joins Classical ‘Dream Team’
When David Fickes played Carnegie Hall this summer, he brought his trusty violin and the flashiest pair of sneakers he could find. The shoes, loudly emblazoned with the American Flag, were part of his uniform in the National Youth Orchestra, the country’s top ensemble for teen musicians. The 19-year-old is the first Vermonter ever accepted to the prestigious program. “It was the best summer of my life,” says the University of Vermont student, who spent June training with classical superstars and performing across America, proudly dressed in orchestra’s playful stage attire, which pairs a traditional black jacket and white shirt with bright red pants and the stars-and-stripes sneakers. Read more here.

UVM Supports New Green Mountain Power and NRG Partnership
On Sept. 2, David Rosowsky, UVM Provost, joined with Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin, Mary Powell, CEO of Green Mountain Power, and David Crane, CEO of NRG Energy, Inc. — the largest solar power developer in the U.S. — to announce a new partnership between GMP and NRG pushing Vermont forward on a path toward national leadership in developing and deploying sustainable energy technologies. The GMP/NRG partnership, to begin in 2015, will first focus on developing a sophisticated electricity distribution grid in the city of Rutland through NRG’s expertise in “microgrid” technologies: smaller-scale, distributed energy systems, driven by solar and other renewable power sources. The aim of this smarter microgrid is to be more resilient to threats like major storms, lower in carbon emissions, and affordable to ratepayers. The new partnership will also look statewide with an expanding network of electric vehicle charging stations, community solar arrays and portable power-packs for smartphones. Read more here.

National Panhellenic Conference Award to UVM
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 Achievement Award this year. The University of Vermont is one of 32 universities to receive a prestigious recognition from NPC, which has recognized student-managed College Panhellenics with awards of excellence and achievement for more than 50 years. This is the second year in a row UVM has been recognized. Read more here.


Most of the published remembrances of Lola Aiken, who died at 102 on September 8, stressed her engaged life in politics and public service as the wife, then widow, of Vermont governor and senator George D. Aiken. Over the years, Lola, as she was affectionately known to almost everyone who knew her, also loomed large at UVM. “Lola Aiken was a vital figure in the life of the University of Vermont for nearly four decades,” said UVM president Tom Sullivan. “We’re enormously grateful for her many, varied contributions — from launching UVM’s best known lecture series to helping find a home for our natural resources school to inspiring our students, staff and faculty every time she met with them. We will miss her dearly.” Read more here.


Men's Basketball Tipoff Dinner
The men's basketball program will be holding an inaugural tipoff dinner on Saturday, October 18, at Patrick Gymnasium. UVM alum and ESPN Radio personality Ryen Russillo '97, will be the keynote speaker at the event. Click here for more information or to purchase tickets.

Hockey Season Begins
The UVM men's and women's hockey teams hit the ice this month. The women's team opened with an exhibition game against defending Canadian National Champions McGill University on September 26. The men's hockey team hosts Royal Military College of Canada at 4 p.m. on October 5. Tickets are available online at UVMathletics.com, via the phone at 802-656-4410, or in person one hour before faceoff at the Gutterson Fieldhouse Box Office.

Individual Game Tickets On Sale
Tickets for individual games for men's and women's basketball, as well as men's and women's hockey, are now on sale. Tickets can be purchased online at UVMathletics.com, via the phone at 802-656-4410 or in person at the UVM Athletic Ticket Office located on the balcony in the Patrick Gymnasium Lobby.

Recap of 2014 Hall of Fame Induction
The University of Vermont Athletic Hall of Fame welcomed five new members this year in the Class of 2014. This year's inductees were Matt Knittle '03 (men's skiing), Kristal Kostiew '04 (women's track & field), John Minahan '02 (men's skiing), Aaron Yantzi '04 (women's basketball), and Robert Cioffi '90 (special inductee). Click here to read more.

Lacrosse Programs Announce Newcomers
The men's and women's lacrosse teams recently announced their newcomers taking the field in 2015. Click here to read about the men's lacrosse recruits and click here to learn more about the new additions to the women's lacrosse program.

Schedules Announced
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Women's Swimming & Diving - click here
Skiing - click here

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Christopher W. Allen, emeritus professor of chemistry, has co-authored, along with Jonathan C. Shaw, a paper, ”Organophosphazenes.27:The Synthesis and Polymerization of (4-ethenylphenyl)pentafluorocyclotriphosphazene” in Phosphorus, Sulfur, Silicon and Related Elements.

Emeritus professor of history Alfred Andrea was presented with the World History Association’s prestigious “Pioneers in World History” award for his lifetime contributions to scholarship, teaching and mentorship in the field. Andrea accepted the honor at the WHA annual meeting in Costa Rica in July.

Following her Scholar-in-Residence appointment at Goddard College in August, geography professor Lesley-Ann Dupigny-Giroux has been named the school's commencement speaker. Dupigny-Giroux gave a public presentation during her residency, followed by a workshop with students in various master’s degree programs who were in residence. After the lecture and workshops, the students selected Dupigny-Giroux as their first choice for commencement speaker.

Beth Mintz, professor of sociology, was the recipient of the 2014 Jackie M. Gribbons Leadership Award from Vermont Women in Higher Education. The award is presented annually to a woman who has demonstrated leadership abilities and effectiveness, served as a model and mentor for aspiring professionals, developed innovated programs/activities in higher education and contributed significantly to her institution and/or profession.

The American Fisheries Society has selected University of Vermont biologist Donna Parrish to become its 130th president. Founded in 1870, the American Fisheries Society is the world’s oldest and largest fisheries science organization.Parrish is the unit leader of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Vermont Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and a research professor in UVM’s Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources. Parrish assumed the new office on Aug. 20 at the AFS 144th Annual Meeting in Québec City, Canada.

UVM senior Corey Tondreau is the newest recipient of World Learning’s Alice Rowan Swanson Fellowship, which returns alumni of its SIT Study Abroad programs to their host countries to conduct human rights projects. Tondreau will return to Madagascar to establish a community garden and seed bank for the Ampasy-Nahampoana commune in Mandena. Read more.

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