This Month's Top Stories . . .
Mexican Human Rights Leader 2006 Commencement Speaker (up^)
Gustavo Esteva, a passionate advocate for education, human rights, democracy, and economic justice for Mexico's poor, will deliver the graduation address at the University of Vermont's 2006 Commencement on Sunday, May 21, 2006. The ceremony will be held on the University Green, a tradition re-established in 2004 on the occasion of of UVM's 200th commencement. Esteva began his career working for large corporations and served as economic development advisor to the president of Mexico, playing a key role in shaping the country's agricultural and rural development policies. He now lives in a small Indian village in Oaxaca, Mexico, lecturing worldwide and writing regularly for popular and academic audiences. In addition to Esteva, UVM will award honorary degrees to Graham Stiles Newell, a longtime teacher at St. Johnsbury Academy and Lyndon State College and a Vermont legislator for nearly 30 years; Elizabeth Titus Putnam, founder of the Student Conservation Association, the largest conservation service program in America; Barbara W. Snelling, former Vermont lieutenant governor and state senator; and Hubert "Hub" Vogelmann, professor emeritus of botany, who, during his 36-year career on the UVM faculty, conducted pioneering research on the effects of acid rain. More at www.uvm.edu/commencement.
John Edwards to Keynote Poverty Conference (up^)
John Edwards, former senator from North Carolina and vice presidential candidate in the 2004 presidential election, will be the keynote speaker at a day-long "Conference on Poverty" February 8 at UVM's Ira Allen Chapel. Organized by UVM senior Lakshmi Barot, Vermont state senator Matt Dunne (D-Windsor), and Democracy For America, the conference focuses on major issues related to poverty, including ways to unite key players and financial approaches to helping end poverty. The keynote address by Edwards is free and open to the public. Details at Poverty Conference.
New Residence Hall Complex Opens (up^)
Four hundred first- and second-year University of Vermont students, including 200 members of the university's Honors College, began the spring semester as the first residents of a new residence hall complex taking shape on campus, the University Heights Residential Learning Complex. The North Complex is now completed, and the 400-bed South Complex and landscaping on the 12-acre site will be completed next summer. The combined 800-bed, $60.6 million, 266,000 sq. ft. facility broke ground in the summer of 2004. "It is very exciting indeed to see the first half of this important project come to fruition," said Daniel Mark Fogel, president of the university. "Along with our new student union, the Davis Center, which will come online in 2007, the University Heights Residential Learning Complex will unite UVM's residential and academic sectors and help spur a transformation of our physical campus." Read more at http://www.uvm.edu/theview/article.php?id=1878.
$5 Million Pledge to UVM Surgery (up^)
Retired surgeon Dr. Samuel Labow and his wife Michelle, a retired
registered nurse, have pledged current and estate gifts estimated
at over $5 million to the Department of Surgery at the University
of Vermont College of Medicine. An initial gift of $350,000 will
fund the Samuel B. and Michelle D. Labow Green & Gold Professor in Colon & Rectal Surgery and the Samuel B. and Michelle D. Labow Lectureship in Colon & Rectal Surgery. A trust established by the Labows will provide significantly more support to the Department of Surgery in the future. Full story at
Governor's Proposal Would Fund New Scholarships (up^)
Vermont Governor Jim Douglas has proposed a 15-year, $175 million program to fund new college scholarships for Vermont residents. If the Vermont Promise Scholarships proposal is approved by the legislature, the University of Vermont would receive $1 million in the 2007 fiscal year to provide half- and quarter-tuition scholarship grants. A related proposal, for Next Generation Jobs Investment, would provide another $1 million to the university that year for research and development in advanced, sustainable environmental technologies to foster technology transfer and job creation. Douglas said the proposals are designed to make higher education at the state's public university and private and public colleges more affordable for Vermont residents and reduce the state's nation-leading percentage of high school graduates who leave their home state to go to college. The effort is also intended to encourage college graduates to start their careers in Vermont, building what he called a "new generation of opportunity." Read more at http://www.uvm.edu/news/?Page=News&storyID=7126.
Doctoral Student's Environmental Work Featured in Nature (up^)
An analysis of state and local greenhouse gas reduction policies by Brendan Fisher, a doctoral student in UVM's Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, and Robert Costanza, director of the Gund Institute of Ecological Economics, was published in the November 17 issue of the journal Nature. While the Bush Administration rejected United States participation in the Kyoto Protocol for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and is maintaining its opposition to treaty-mandated emissions targets, a substantial number of states and localities have already adopted or are pursuing Kyoto-style escalating reduction targets, according to the authors. Fisher and Costanza found that between 24 and 35 percent of the US population are currently or shortly will be engaged in policies directed towards significantly reducing human-generated climate change. The authors estimate that the effort corresponds to 27 to 49 percent of the gross domestic product, which roughly translates to ten to twenty percent of the entire global economy. Greenhouse gases, most notably carbon dioxide, are primarily produced by burning fossil fuels and tend to trap heat within the Earth's atmosphere, a cycle that many experts believe is causing global climate change. Read more at http://www.uvm.edu/news/?Page=News&storyID=7042.
UVM People in the News (up^)
A November 17 article in the Christian Science Monitor included an article about disaster research that featured the work of Alice Fothergill, professor of sociology, who studied children's reactions to Hurricane Katrina. The article also appeared on CBSNews.com on November 19. And a November 20 article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel highlighted new research conducted by Kelly Rohan, assistant professor of psychology, on the positive effects of talk therapy in treating seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Talk therapy "is a way to cope with fall and winter and the negative thoughts about winter and what they mean," Rohan says. For other recent stories by and about UVM people in the national and regional news media see http://www.uvm.edu/news/?Page=http://www.uvm.edu/%7Euvmpr/ucomm/uvminthenews.html.
UVM Well Represented at 2006 Olympic Winter Games (up^)
The University of Vermont will be well represented when the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Torino, Italy, begin on February 10. Vermont has been represented in the Games over the last 60 years through 15 consecutive Olympics, including Torino. Nine former Catamounts will be competing or coaching in the Games in 2006. Catamounts making their first Olympic appearance in 2006 are: Lowell Bailey '05, US Biathlon Team, a former Nordic standout and three-time All-American at Vermont who led the Catamounts to second place in the NCAA Championships last year; Jimmy Cochran, US Ski Team, a former standout on the UVM men's alpine team who skied for the Catamounts for just one season in 2003 but earned All-America honors that year; and Martin St. Louis '97, Canadian Men's Hockey Team, former UVM men's hockey standout, currently a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning and reigning NHL MVP who led Tampa Bay to the Stanley Cup Championship in 2004. A pair of former UVM student-athletes, Aaron Miller '93 and Kris Freeman, are making their second straight Olympic appearances. Miller, a defenseman for the Los Angeles Kings, will compete as a member of the US Men's Hockey Team. Miller earned a silver medal in the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. Freeman, a former Nordic standout, skied for the Catamounts for one season before moving on to train with the US Ski Team on a full-time basis. He was named to the US Cross Country Ski Team for the 2006 Games. While at Vermont, he earned All-America honors at the NCAA Championships in 2000 and competed in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Three other graduates will be in Torino as coaches for the US Ski Team. Johno McBride '88 is the head speed coach for the US Ski Team, and Jesse Hunt '90 is the alpine director for the squad. Hunt was a two-time All-American at Vermont during his career with the Catamounts. Trond Nystad, inducted into the UVM Athletic Hall of Fame two years ago, is head cross country coach for the US Ski Team. He won the NCAA Championship in the 20K classical in 1992, leading Vermont to the national championship that year. Nystad was also a three-time All-American during his Nordic career. Also, former men's ice hockey head coach Mike Gilligan is an assistant coach on Ben Smith's staff for the US Women's Ice Hockey Team.
The 2006 Winter Olympic Games run from February 10 to February 26, and NBC will carry much of the action on its family of networks (NBC affiliate, MSNBC, CNBC, USA).
Campus Kudos (up^)
Russell Agne, professor of education, won the 2005 Annual Prize for Excellence for best paper submitted to the International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability. His paper, "Sustainability in Vermont's K-12 Curriculum Framework," was selected from the ten top-ranked papers on the basis of its contribution to new thinking in the field and will be published in their journal.
Dr. Richard Colletti, professor and vice chair of pediatrics, is the network director and co-principal investigator for the Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease Network for Research and Improvement, officially launched in late November. Over 200 physicians at 66 sites in the United States and Canada, plus a site in Sydney, Australia, can enter data in the registry with Institutional Review Board approval.
Robert Daniels, professor emeritus of history, published a new book, The Fourth Revolution: Transformations in American Society from the Sixties to the Present. The book explores Sixties "revolutions" in the context of other sweeping changes in American life beginning with the religious revolution of the 16th and 17th centuries.
Michael Giangreco, a research professor in the College and Education and Social Services' Center on Disability and Community Inclusion, recently spent 15 days in New Orleans working on relief projects with the Red Cross. Giangreco and his wife worked on mobile feeding projects and contributed to clean-up work. Four months after the disaster, he reports, the need for relief remains urgent, and service agencies still need volunteers.
Chrisopher Koliba, assistant professor of community development and applied economics and co-director of the Master of Public Administration Program, was published in the American Journal of Education. The article, "Place-Based Education in the Standards-Based Reform Era — Conflict or Complement?", was co-authored with Nancy Jennings of Bowdion College and Steve Swidler from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.
Seth Marineau, a second year doctoral student in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, was selected to participate in the prestigious David L. Clark National Graduate Student Research Seminar in Educational Administration and Policy this spring in San Francisco. The highly competitive seminar selects only 40 students from research institutions across the country.
Kevin McKenna, professor of German and Russian, is the author of an article, "'Poslost', syllogisme hégélien et proverbe: une approche parémiologique du roman Vladimir Nabokov Rire dans la nuit " in Revue des études slaves. It argues that Nabokov's novella Laughter in the Dark amounts to a visual as well as literal enactment of the classical proverb "Love is blind."
Wolfgang Mieder, professor and chair German and Russian, is the author of "Andere Zeiten, andere Lehren": Sprichwörter zwischen Tradition und Innovation. The book contains 11 chapters on the nature of German proverbs, the linguistic and cultural history of proverbs, proverbial stereotypes and intercultural relations, proverbs in the letters of Mozart, the survival of Schiller quotations in modern literature, proverb parodies in the mass media, the use and function of anti-proverbs, modern proverb poetry and the lexicographical representation of proverbs in bilingual dictionaries.
Garrison Nelson, professor of political science, served as a judge on the three-member panel awarding the Jewell-Loewenberg Prize for the best article in Legislative Studies Quarterly for 2004 at the 2005 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association in Washington, DC. Nelson's biographical sketch of U.S. Representative Bernie Sanders (Ind-VT) was published in The Encyclopedia of New England (Yale University Press, 2005). His op-ed piece, "UVM Faculty Is Worth the Price," was published in the Burlington Free Press in November. Nelson was also interviewed by Slate Magazine about using the Congressional Record for political favors and by Energy and Environment on the environmental policies of candidates for the U.S. Senate race in 2006.
Sufia Uddin, associate professor of religion, has been named a 2005-2006 Fulbright Scholar. Uddin's research as a Fulbright Scholar is currently underway at the University of Dhaka in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where she is studying Muslim and Hindu veneration of Bonbibi, goddess of the forest in Sunderbans, the world's largest estuarine forest located in India and Bangladesh.
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