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'Reset(s) the Clock': President Obama’s Campaign Rally at UVM (top)
Noting that Vermont has gone longer than all 50 states without a presidential visit – by President Clinton in 1995 – Barack Obama made a campaign stop at UVM, speaking to an audience of roughly 4,000 standing shoulder-to-shoulder in the Athletic Campus Multipurpose Facility for a chance to see the sitting president and hear his case for reelection. Obama’s arrival was met by thundering cheers. The event also included a performance by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals and remarks by Gov. Peter Shumlin as well as Sens. Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders. “It’s good to be at UVM,” the President said before outlining the achievements of his first term. The event was sponsored by the Obama Victory Fund 2012, a joint fundraising committee authorized by Obama for America and the Democratic National Committee. Read more here.
White House Honors Alumna as 'Champion of Change' (top)
Jan Blittersdorf '84, president and CEO of NRG Systems, a Vermont-based manufacturer of wind energy assessment equipment, was recognized as a "Champion of Change" at a White House April 19. The award recognizes "ordinary Americans…doing extraordinary things in their communities to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world." Blittersdorf, who was nominated to receive the award by Kristen Graf, executive director of the Women of Wind Energy, became CEO of NRG Systems in 2004 after serving as vice president and CFO. In 2010, she became sole owner of NRG Systems, one of only a few independent, women-owned companies in the wind energy industry. Read more on the White House blog.
Brent Reader ’13 Wins National Truman Scholar Award (top)
Social work major Brent Reader, a UVM junior, has been named a 2012 Truman Scholar. He is one of 65 students this year to win the highly competitive national award, which recognizes those who want to make a difference in public service. Reader is the third UVM student to win the award. Alumna Kesha Ram, now a Vermont state representative, was a winner in 2007, and William F. Steinman was a winner in 1988. Two other UVM students were chosen as finalists for this year's Truman award. Read more here.
Susan Leggett '13 Wins National Goldwater Scholar Award (top)
Honors College student and biochemistry major Susan Leggett, a UVM junior, has been awarded a 2012 Goldwater Scholarship, a highly competitive award that recognizes sophomores and juniors who have done outstanding work in science, math, or engineering and seek to become researchers and leaders in their disciplines. In addition, students David Bernstein ‘13 and Kanita Chaudhry ’13 were acknowledged with honorable mentions. This is the first time that three UVM students have been acknowledged in the competition in a single year. Leggett is the first UVM student to receive the award since Isabel Kloumann ’11 in 2009. Professor Rory Waterman, UVM’s Goldwater faculty representative, oversees the advising and nomination process for the scholarship. Read more here.
Tad Cooke ’14 Awarded Udall Scholarship (top)
UVM student Tad Cooke’ 14 has been named a 2012 Udall Scholar. This nationally competitive scholarship acknowledges sophomores and juniors who have been outstanding leaders and who have demonstrated excellence in the classroom. It is the most prestigious undergraduate award available for students who are pursuing careers focused on environmental or Native American issues. During the past two years, Cooke, a Charlotte, Vermont, native and a sustainable food and energy systems major, has worked to fundamentally rethink the way organic material has been used and reused in the way that society produces food and energy. This past spring Cooke, along with fellow student Erick Crockenberg ’14, received first place in UVM's Clean Energy Fund competition for their proposal to research and then build a carbon-negative, compost heated production and research greenhouse on UVM’s Miller Farm. Read more here.
Alumnus Finds A Place in Politics: The White House (top)
Ed Pagano ’85 was perfectly happy working as chief of staff for U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy. Then the phone rang, and the only employer capable of luring him away from the longtime legislator from Vermont was calling. “When the President of the United States asks you to work for him, you answer the call,” says Pagano, who was named President Obama’s deputy director of legislative affairs in March. With only a few months under his belt at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Pagano says he’s still learning the ropes, but has been “amazed at how much information the White House has to deal with on a given day.” His experience with Leahy, the second most senior member in the senate, has been helpful in working with all branches of government. Read more here.
WRUV Wins National Listenership Title (top)
WRUV listeners tuned in for nearly 152 days of music — in just three days. It was listener commitment that proved enough to win WRUV a national title among college radio stations: that of most listened-to college station. WRUV-FM 90.1, a student-run station staffed by University of Vermont students and local DJs, competed against 63 other stations in Soundtap Madness, a bracket-style event patterned after the NCAA basketball tourney. The contest started March 15, with pairs of college stations competing for online listening hours through the Soundtap platform. In the NCAA bracket tradition, winners advanced through rounds of 64, then 32, 16, 8, 4 and finally 2. Each round involved three days’ worth of listening, with each listener’s hours being added to the station’s total. Read more here.
Say “meltdown” and many think of Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, Fukushima — nuclear power plants stricken by disaster where cooling systems failed and the reactor core spiked to thousands of degrees, melting fuel rods and spewing radiation. Happily, this list doesn’t include Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, in Vernon, on the banks of the Connecticut River. Still, UVM’s Richard Watts watched Vermont Yankee go through a metaphorical meltdown — and decided to write a book about it, Public Meltdown: The Story of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant, published by UVM’s Center for Research on Vermont. “This book is about another kind of meltdown, a public meltdown that took place over an eight year period, ” says Watts, assistant research professor in Community Development and Applied Economics. Read more here.
Back on Track (top)
This spring when head track and field coach Matt Belfield tries to entice a fresh crop of high school prospects to become Catamounts, he has a powerful recruiting tool at his disposal: a brand new place for them to run, jump and throw. The Frank H. Livak Track and Field Facility, a nine-lane polyurethane surfaced track and adjacent field areas, is especially exciting for Belfield, who has led a program lacking its own outdoor facility for the past nine seasons. Needless to say, he was happy about hosting the first outdoor track and field meet at UVM in fifteen years when the Catamounts welcomed Middlebury on April 17. Officially opened at the Archie Post Athletic Complex on October 15, the $2.5 million facility includes a grass infield for javelin and discus events; an adjacent throwing area to be used for hammer throw and shot put training and competition; and two multidirectional long jump and pole vault runways and pits, along with bleacher seating for 350 spectators. The facility was made possible in large part by a $1 million donation from the late Frank Livak ’41, a standout cross country runner at UVM who was a generous benefactor and supporter of the university. Read more here.
Taekwondo Returns from Nationals with Two Champions (top)
UVM's Taekwondo team competed at collegiate nationals, hosted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, April 7 and 8. The team returned with two national champions, Javier Noinsistasfb and Samantha O'Dwyer.O'Dwyer won in the women's heavy weight blue belt competition against Harvard, Princeton and Stanford, making her a three-time national champion. Noinsistasfb, an exchange student from Spain, claimed the champion spot in the men's yellow belt competition. Silver medalist in that competition was UVM student Alex Gordon. The team also gained a silver in women's blue belt welter weight sparring, earned by Danielle Steimke; a silver in women's fly weight yellow belt sparring, awarded to Shelbie Lynn; and a bronze in women's red belt heavy weight sparring, to Jacquelyn Deverell. In traditional patterns (poomse), Chyanne Holmes won silver in women's yellow belt and Danielle Steimke earned a bronze in women's blue belt. Competitors at the tournament included teams from Stanford, Brown, Princeton, Harvard, Iowa State, Colorado and MIT, among others. The team's coaches are Ernest Hart, chief instructor; Jaime Shultes, master instructor; Adis Vehabovic, senior instructor; John Austin, senior instructor); and Derek Wheeler, instructor.
Campus Kudos (top)
Dr. Ralph Budd, University of Vermont professor of medicine, director of immunobiology, and director of the Vermont Center for Immunology and Infectious Diseases, was inducted in the Association of American Physicians, the national honorary society for physician-scientists.
A new study by a national quality improvement and research network demonstrates that a collaboration by physicians led to marked improvement in the outcomes of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), without introducing new drugs in treatment. Published online in Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the study was conducted by ImproveCareNow, a national quality improvement and research network based at the University of Vermont and directed by Dr. Richard Colletti, professor and vice chair of pediatrics and a pediatric gastroenterologist.
Aimee Marcereau DeGalan, curator of collections and exhibitions at the Fleming Museum, received a visiting scholar fellowship at the Yale Center for British Art this summer to work on a book based on her dissertation, Dangerous Beauty: Painted Canvases and Painted Faces in Eighteenth-Century Britain.
Professor emeritus Robert Larson presents research and case studies that critique the current climate of top-down management of U.S. public schools in his book Changing Schools from the Inside Out: Small Wins in Hard Times.
Second-year medical student Elizabeth Robison was awarded first place for her abstract and poster titled “Relationship between Sentinel Lymph Node Radioactivity Count and Metastasis in Breast Cancer” at the 2012 American Medical Student Association (AMSA) National Convention held in Houston, Texas, in March.
Xindong Wu, professor for the Department of Computer Science in the UVM College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, received the 2012 IEEE Computer Society Technical Achievement Award and $2,000 “for pioneering contributions to data mining and applications.”
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