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E. Thomas Sullivan UVM’s 26th President (top)
The University of Vermont Board of Trustees has selected E. Thomas Sullivan, J.D. as the next president of UVM. When he takes office on July 15, Sullivan -- who until last month served as senior vice president and provost at the University of Minnesota -- will become UVM’s 26th president in the 221 years since the university was founded. “I am very excited both personally and professionally about this tremendous opportunity,” said Sullivan. “I think my background, experience, values and my aspirations are compatible with those of UVM. I find the university at a very important juncture in its history and I whole-heartedly welcome the challenge to work with the faculty, staff, and students into the next phase in the pursuit of greater heights of academic excellence at UVM. I want to thank everyone for working so hard to advance the institution to its present strong, vibrant place as a premier small research university, with great promise for the future.” Read the full story here.
UVM to End Bottled Water Sales, Promote Healthy Options (top)
The University of Vermont will become one of the first institutions nationwide to end the sale of bottled water on campus and mandate that one-third of drinks offered in vending machines be healthy options. The decision marks the advent of a long-awaited systematic sustainable beverage policy after years of lobbying by students and the greater campus community. The announcement comes five months prior to the end of a ten-year contract with Coca-Cola of Northern New England. Read the full story here.
$13 Million Commitment to Green Challenge Country's Largest (top)
The University of Vermont became the thirty-fourth college in the nation this month to commit to the Sustainable Endowment Institute’s Billion Dollar Green Challenge, agreeing to establish a revolving fund to finance on-campus energy efficiency improvements. Trustees authorized a $13 million earmark for the fund, making it the largest challenge to date, surpassing Harvard’s $12 million green energy revolving fund. The Billion Dollar Green Challenge was launched in October 2011 by the Sustainable Endowments Institute and 15 partners. The program invites colleges to invest a total of one billion dollars in energy efficiency upgrades delivered through self-managed revolving funds. To date, colleges have committed nearly $80 million in total. Read the full story here.
Researchers Find Wide Variations in Partial Mastectomy Study (top)
About three-quarters of women battling breast cancer have a partial mastectomy, a surgery that aims to remove cancerous cells while maintaining maximum cosmetic appearance of the breast. However, failure to remove all the cells during the initial operation requires additional surgery. A study conducted at the University of Vermont/Fletcher Allen Health Care and three other sites and published in the February 1 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association found significant variability – by both surgeon and institution – in the rates of follow-up surgeries for women who underwent a partial mastectomy for treatment of breast cancer. The research determined that these differences could not be explained by a patient’s medical or treatment history, and hypothesized that they could affect both cancer recurrence and overall survival rates. Read the full story here.
Jeffords Hall Joins Growing List of UVM’s LEED Gold Buildings (top)
James M. Jeffords Hall has been awarded a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) New Construction Gold status by the Green Building Certification Institute, the administrator of the U.S. Green Building Council's certifications and professional designations. Gold status has only been earned by a handful of similar energy-intensive research laboratory buildings. The 97,000 square-foot, $56 million building -- home to the Departments of Plant Biology and Plant and Soil Science -- is the sixth on campus to achieve LEED Gold status. Other projects that have earned Gold include 438 College Street, University Heights Residential Complex, Dudley H. Davis Student Center, Bertha M. Terrill Hall and the Given Courtyard. The renovation and addition to the George D. Aiken Center is on track to receive the highest level of certification, LEED Platinum. Read the full story here.
Interview: Taylor Ricketts (top)
Species extinction. Climate change. Soil erosion. “Look at any trend you care to pick out of the box,” says Taylor Ricketts, “we’re losing.” That’s why he’s helping lead a new conservation movement--that seeks bankers as much as birdwatchers--built on understanding the economic value of nature. This past fall, Ricketts joined the University of Vermont as the director of Gund Institute for Ecological Economics and professor in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources. He is determined to show the many precise, market-real ways that woods, swamps, hedgerows, estuaries, farm fields, and other lands and waters provide services to people. “Ecosystems like forests support our lives in a whole variety of ways,” he has written. “When we don't place any value on them it makes it too easy to cut them down." Read the interview here.
UVM in the News (top)
The Chronicle of Higher Education and the Los Angeles Times carried stories on research by Julie Dumas, assistant professor of psychiatry, finding that aging brains work harder to maintain cognitive function . . . Applied mathematician Peter Dodds and his team shared the spotlight for work tracking happiness via Twitter, gaining attention from P.C. Magazine, U.S. News & World Report, NPR and numerous other national outlets . . . The Wall Street Journal highlighted the success story of a student diagnosed with bipolar disorder who ended a semester with a 3.9 grade-point average thanks to the assistance of UVM's disability service office. See the full summaries of media coverage of these and other UVM stories in recent months here.
Alumna at Home in the House (top)
Alumna Catlin O'Neill ’99 has natural political instincts and a relentless work ethic, traits that served her well as deputy director of floor operations for Nancy Pelosi during her run as the first female speaker of the House. When she takes a visitor around the U.S. Capitol, it feels more like she’s giving a tour of her own house than the U.S. House of Representatives. O’Neill is clearly at home in her new role as chief of staff for House Democratic leader Pelosi’s congressional office — even though it was a career in the music industry and documentary filmmaking, not politics, that she dreamed of when graduating from UVM. O'Neill experienced some success in these professions in Boston and New York, but her hometown, D.C., kept calling her back. Read the full story here.
Friendship in Film (top)
The relationship between Academy Award winning cinematographer Robert Richardson, a former UVM student, and Frank Manchel, professor emeritus of English and film, is seemingly not the stuff of a Hollywood screenplay. Yet the two have a late-blooming bond that has opened across time and distance. Richardson’s work has earned two Academy Awards, seven nominations, and the admiration of his former professor. But that doesn’t mean that the feisty professor is necessarily inclined to approve of all of his films. Read more here.
Athletics Update (top)
Congratulations to the UVM ski team for winning the 2012 EISA Championship for the second straight year and the 32nd time in school history. Read more here. Up next for UVM is the NCAA Ski Championships in Bozeman, Montana.
The UVM swim team placed fourth at the America East Championships. Read more here.
The men's and women's basketball teams head to the University of Hartford for the 2012 America East Tournament. The men have earned the No. 2 seed, while the women are the No. 7 seed. More on the men’s team here. More on the women’s team here.
The UVM track and field teams competed at the America East Championships, the women finished fourth overall. Read more here.
The UVM women's lacrosse team christened newly built Virtue Field on February 24 with an 18-12 victory over Colgate. Read more here.
Campus Kudos (top)
Fayneese Miller, Dean of the College of Education and Social Services was selected to represent UVM in a video series featuring one prominent African-American from each of the nine schools affiliated with the America East. The features, which celebrate Black History Month, highlight the connection each of the nine individuals have on campus as well as the surrounding communities. Watch the video on the America East website.
Transportation Research Center director Austin Troy is author of a new book, The Very Hungry City, which looks at the concept of "urban energy metabolism," or the efficiency with which cities use energy to meet basic functions.
The New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) will honor the Vermont EPSCoR program when the regional organization holds its 10th annual New England Higher Education Excellence Awards celebration on Friday, March 2, in Boston. Vermont EPSCoR, which in 2011 won the largest-ever grant to UVM for "Research on Adaptation to Climate Change in the Lake Champlain Basin: New Understanding through Complex Systems Modeling," will receive a State Merit Award, which honors the innovative work of organizations, institutions or individuals in New England.
Duke University’s Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities & History of Medicine hosted an intensive workshop on clinical research ethics in honor of the work of UVM professor emeritus Alan Wertheimer, February 24-25. Wertheimer, a senior research scholar of the Department of Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health, studies the political philosophy of law and is author of several books, including Rethinking the Ethics of Clinical Research: Widening the Lens (Oxford 2010).
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