Volume 14, Number 1 Summer 1999

In this issue:

New outstanding senior award honors Dean Lawrence Forcier

At the 6th Annual Alumni and Friends dinner at Shelburne Farms on May 15, Interim CALS Dean Catherine Donnelly (left) and UVM President Judith Ramaley present Lawrence Forcier with a gift of recognition of his outstanding contributions during the past seven years in his role as Dean of CALS.
When she travels with Larry Forcier around Vermont, notes UVM President Judith Ramaley, "Larry speaks with the greatest animation and joy when he talks about his students. To recognize him is to recognize what really matters about this college and about UVM."

Now that Forcier has taken on new responsibilities as Senior Advisor to President Ramaley, he has relinquished one of his UVM roles, Dean of CALS. In order to honor Forcier for his contributions to the college, an annual award--the Lawrence K. Forcier Outstanding Senior Award--will be given each year to a CALS senior.

The award couldn't have been more appropriate, Forcier says. "While serving as dean, I found a number of heroines and heroes in the CALS student body. It has been both humbling and heartwarming to see and learn of their commitment, courage, and accomplishments. I feel deeply honored to have my name on this award."

Forcier's commitment has extended well beyond UVM. For instance, he has frequently worked closely with Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., on legislative issues. "Without hesitation, I can say that he has been an effective advocate for both the University and the state of Vermont," Leahy says. "He has brought insight, intelligence, enthusiasm, and the highest professional standard to his work on behalf of the College's faculty, staff, and students."

Forcier's contributions to CALS will continue as he works side-by-side with President Ramaley on issues of concern to UVM and the state of Vermont. Forcier will retain his roles as Director of UVM Extension and as Dean of the Division of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Extension. The college will miss his day-to-day leadership skills and commitment.


Marie Machado receives first Lawrence K. Forcier Senior Award

Marie E. Machado '99, winner of the first Lawrence K. Forcier Outstanding Senior Award, is jumping into her career with gusto. She's working at Landmark Landscaping in Burlington and within a year, she says, she plans to open her own landscaping business in Chittenden County.

There's no doubt she has the gumption. A native of Albany, Vt., and a 1999 graduate of CALS' Department of Plant and Soil Science, she has worked part-time throughout her college career to pay for her education, yet maintained a 3.33 grade point average. She co-founded UVM's Horticulture Club and won the 1999 Burlington Garden Club Award.

And in case you wondered who was beneath that costume of Kitty Catamount, UVM's mascot...guess who?

"Marie is a natural leader who has demonstrated her leadership skills...her communication skills are beyond reproach," says Mary Evelti, Marie's neighbor and former state representative, who at 79, is a recent UVM graduate. "I believe Marie to be a shining example in all aspects."

"The award has given me more confidence in my abilities and in the knowledge I've learned," Machado says. "It's a great feeling."

Machado, 22, served as a teaching assistant for Dr. Wendy Sue Harper's plant and soil science class. "But the term 'teaching assistant' does not really describe the impact she has had on this course, my thinking, and students' learning processes," Harper says. She "is a thoughtful student dedicated to our students' educational experience and to creating an amazing learning environment in the classroom."


Philanthropy makes new equine center shine

UVM student members of the Horse Barn Drill Team perform at the May 8 dedication of the new horse barn at the UVM Farm on Spear Street.
University of Vermont President Judith Ramaley was joined by CALS faculty, staff, and students for the May 8 dedication of a new horse barn and indoor riding arena at the UVM Farm on Spear Street. Thanks to the generous and timely philanthropy of Amy Tarrant and others, the University was able to close down the aging and outmoded horse barn and open a shining state-of-the-art facility well suited to the present and future needs of the College's Equine Science program. It was fitting that the new structure was named on Mother's Day Weekend for Ellen A. Hardacre, Amy Tarrant's late mother.

Dr. John Bramley, chairman of the UVM Department of Animal Sciences at UVM sees multiple benefits coming from the new facility. "It has enabled UVM to replace a 35-year-old facility with a barn and arena that will help us attract outstanding students interested in equine science and, once here, to provide them with a first-rate educational experience. I also see the new facility helping the University better serve Vermont's equine industry."

According to Dr. Bramley, when the Equine Science program was established in 1991 to meet the substantial demand for equine courses and skills among students and potential students, there were 80 Animal Sciences majors. Today, there are nearly three times as many students majoring in Animal Sciences and approximately one third have a strong interest in equine science.

Charitable gifts are still being accepted to conclude the fundraising for the $400,000 project. For more information about naming opportunities and gift-giving options, please contact Howard Lincoln.


Samuel Dixon and Mark Rodgers are New Achiever Award Co-winners

Samuel C. Dixon '84 turned Shelburne Farms' 125-head dairy herd into one of the premier Brown Swiss herds in the country. He strengthened the farm's profitability during a difficult transition, and improved the quality of its milk, which is made into award-winning Shelburne Farms Farmhouse Cheddar Cheese. And that's just in the three years he has been the dairy farm manager.

"From his first day on the job here, he has exhibited outstanding leadership and problem-solving skills, combined with an unflagging focus on his work," says Alec Webb, president of Shelburne Farms. "In everything he has done, he has demonstrated the highest integrity, a strong land ethic, and a willingness to keep learning."

But Dixon says he's plays another role just as important: educator. "I think it's really going to be important in the future to make agriculture accessible to people and teach them about farming," he says.

Dixon's effect on people is noteworthy, says Don Maynard, superintendent of the UVM Farm. "As the manager of a farm that is viewed by literally hundreds of thousands of critical people, he maintains a positive attitude," Maynard says.

Dairy farmer Mark Rodgers '85 has an energy that makes its mark on whatever he undertakes.

And he undertakes a lot. It may be in the Vermont Farm Bureau: he is vice president and a runner-up for the American Farm Bureau Federation's 1998 Young Farmer of the Year. Or on his dairy farm in West Glover, Vt., where he and his partner milk the highest-producing herd in Vermont, or on his local school board, of which he is chairman.

"Mark has passed along his enthusiasm for agriculture and his belief in the ability of one person to make a difference to other young Vermont farmers," says Clark Hinsdale III, president of the Vermont Farm Bureau and owner of the Charlotte Berry Farm.

Rodgers graduated from UVM with a degree in dairy food technology, an education he and his wife, Nikki, hope to put to even more use someday in processing their farm's milk into value-added products.

Meanwhile, Rodgers has a task for everyone: "I hope we can all carry and share a message about how valuable agriculture is and how much work we put into it," he says. "I'm proud to be a CALS graduate and I'm very proud to be a farmer."


Marion Brown Thorpe and David Marvin receive Outstanding Alumni Award

During the 33 years that Marion Brown Thorpe '38 of South Burlington taught home economics at UVM, she inspired generations of loyal, loving students.

"She was the rare professional educator who cared about the overall welfare of her students, not just their education," says Pamela Lord '68, who has taught health, and family and consumer science in Vermont for 30 years.

While Thorpe taught at UVM, she held a joint appointment as assistant state supervisor with the Vermont Department of Education. She retired in 1974, but continued to work with first-year teachers in their schools, share resources with teachers, and teach in-service courses.

She and her late husband, Norman, established an endowed scholarship fund for family and consumer sciences education students attending UVM.

In 1987, Thorpe was honored for her service to the American Home Economics Association and presented a 50-year Future Homemakers of America National Leadership Hall of Fame.

David R. Marvin '70, owner of Butternut Mountain Farm in Johnson, Vt., has long been a respected spokesman for Vermont's maple industry. But he doesn't stop at speaking out for what he believes in. "His accomplishments are by actions, not just words," says Hub Vogelmann, UVM botany professor emeritus.

Marvin has developed a successful sugaring operation and retail enterprise with national and international markets. He's worked hard to promote the maple industry, as a sugarmaker and as former president of the Vermont Maple Promotion Board, Vermont Maple Industry Council, and the International Maple Syrup Institute.

"He's also an advocate for improving the health of sugar maples and the Northeast forests, and has tirelessly encouraged research at UVM's Proctor Maple Research Center in Underhill, Vt. That's because he understands how important it is to the future of the maple industry," says David Barrington, chair of UVM's Department of Botany and Agricultural Biochemistry.

Accepting the Outstanding Alumni Award, "I couldn't help think of my father," Marvin said. "Because of my family connections, and because I know the caliber of people who graduated from that college, it means a lot to me."


Paul Kindstedt named Robert L. Bickford Scholar


His favorite pursuit, says Paul S. Kindstedt '79 G'81, winner of the 1999 Robert L. Bickford Scholar Award, is "unraveling the complex chemistry of cheese." Succeeding at that has earned him the nickname the "Mozzarella King."

But Kindstedt has many other irons in the fire as well. He's developing low-fat cream cheese and probiotic dairy foods. He's organized wildly popular short courses on cheesemaking that are helping spark the growth of a farmstead cheese industry in Vermont. And he was recently named associate director of the Northeast Dairy Foods Research Center (NEDFRC).

"Paul's innovative research on the changes in the water phase within mozzarella cheese has been some of the most exciting new information to help the industry better understand how to control mozzarella's composition and quality," says Dave Barbano, a Cornell professor and NEDFRC director.

Wendy Sue Harper wins Joseph E. Carrigan Teaching Award


Wendy Sue Harper G'92, winner of the 1999 Joseph E. Carrigan Teaching Award, is "one of UVM's best teachers and advisors," says Lorraine P. Berkett, former chair of UVM's Department of Plant and Soil Science.

Harper's students think so, too. "The most meaningful lessons that I learned from her were not subjects covered in lectures, but from the value that she has placed on the learning process. Education is a powerful tool in life and is something she knows how to use beautifully," says former student Anne Vaupel.

Harper, a lecturer and research assistant professor in plant and soil science, has worked at UVM since 1989. She teaches not only classes in soil science, but such courses as Living Self-Sufficiently, a reflection of her philosophy that experience is as important to learning as the classroom.

"I teach and mentor from the heart," she says. "But this is also a college award, a recognition of the whole college, which is a wonderful thing."

Bud Etherton retires after 31 years with UVM


Bud Etherton, professor of botany and agricultural biochemistry, retires this year after a distinguished 31-year career with UVM.

"Dr. Etherton's most central value to this department has been his extraordinary ability to think creatively and synthetically, to find the pattern in observations about the plant cell and to create new ideas to explain these patterns," says David Barrington, chair of the Department of Botany and Agricultural Biochemistry.

His integrity and honesty have been valuable in helping the department fulfill its vision, Barrington says.

Etherton's research interests have included the membrane potentials of cells of higher plants, what causes them and their roles in the transport of amino acids. In 1960, he reported in Science the first microelectrode measurements of membrane potentials of higher plants, and has written prolifically in the journal, Plant Physiology.

"I've found a tremendous amount of generosity and cooperation at the university and it's all within walking distance," Etherton says. At UVM, he's been able to study art, to work with faculty from a wide range of fields from pharmacology to engineering, to drink coffee with professors of classics and history. "There's no isolation here," he says. "Instead, my experience has given me a tremendous richness in my research and in my private life."


Message from Interim Dean Catherine Donnelly

Let's all take pride in accomplishments of CALS students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends

It is indeed a pleasure for me to be writing the Dean's message for this issue of Keeping in Touch in my role as Interim Dean of CALS. As an alumnus of CALS (Class of 1978), I take pride in the outstanding accomplishments of our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends. This issue is devoted to the celebration of achievements of those who are connected closely to the college.

On May 15, a picture-perfect Vermont day, the College held its 6th Annual Alumni and Friends dinner at Shelburne Farms. Thanks to the hard work of a very dedicated planning committee, guests enjoyed a variety of afternoon tours, a dressage exhibition, a fabulous dinner prepared by the chefs of the New England Culinary Institute, and a touching awards presentation that honored the New Achiever Alumni Award and Outstanding Alumni Award recipients, Sam Dixon '84, Mark Rogers '85, Dave Marvin '70, and Marion Brown Thorpe '38. Indeed, this was a special evening devoted to the celebration of agriculture.

A new award to recognize the outstanding contributions of Larry Forcier during the past seven years in his role as Dean of CALS was presented for the first time to Marie E. Machado '99. Additionally, an invitation was extended to all CALS graduating seniors to attend this event, and the class of 1999 was well represented.

For me personally, the spirit of celebration, energy, and pride present in the Coach Barn that evening symbolized what our college is all about. It was a special pleasure to see in attendance so many alumni from the School of Home Economics. As you read this edition of Keeping in Touch, we hope the same spirit of pride in accomplishment that was present on May 15th will touch you and make you proud to be an alumnus of the UVM College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

My best wishes for an enjoyable summer!


Contact these individuals if you have questions or need information:

Interim Dean: (through 8/15/99)
Cathy Donnelly

Associate Deans:
Rachel Johnson
Donald Foss

Department Chairs:
Animal Sciences: John Bramley (through 8/15/99)
Botany and Agricultural Biochemistry: David Barrington
Community Development and Applied Economics: Catherine Halbrendt
Microbiology and Molecular Genetics: Susan Wallace
Nutrition and Food Sciences: Robert Tyzbir
Plant and Soil Science: Alan Gotlieb

Program Heads:
Biological Sciences Program: Robert Ullrich
Family and Consumer Sciences Education: Valerie Chamberlain
Environmental Sciences: Alan McIntosh
Environmental Studies Program: Ian Worley, Interim

Coordinator: Robin Smith
Writers: Susan Harlow, Howard Lincoln
Editor: Meg Ashman
Designer: Bob Fardelmann
Photos: UVM Photography, Howard Lincoln


Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension Work Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture. Lawrence K. Forcier, Director, University of Vermont Extension, Burlington, Vermont. University of Vermont Extension and U.S. Department of Agriculture, cooperating, offer education and employment to everyone without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, and marital or familial status.

This page is hosted by Communication and Technology Resources, University of Vermont, and maintained by Kim Parker, (Kim.Parker@uvm.edu); April 1, 2002. Return to:

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