Marshall Distel, Geography Major, Spanish and Community/International Development Minors
Throughout the course of his undergraduate career at the University of Vermont, Marshall has been most interested in studying methods to reduce car dependency, encourage sustainable patterns of development, and to promote alternative forms of transportation. During his time at UVM, he has enrolled in nearly every planning and energy-related class the university has to offer, including the full-year program, the Integrated Study of Earth and the Environment (ISEE). He’s passionate about researching innovative methods to develop sustainable transportation and to encourage compact and energy-efficient land-use planning.
While studying abroad in Spain during the fall 2013 semester, he was awarded a travel grant through the Geography Department, funded by the Oaklawn Foundation, to travel to Madrid, Barcelona, Geneva, and Zurichto study how sustainable transportation and dense development can benefit communities environmentally, economically, and socially. Additionally, Marshall has been developing a senior honors thesis titled "The Cul-de-sac Dream: Analyzing the Desirability of the Cul-de-sac in Burlington and the Surrounding Suburbs," to examine what is attractive about cul-de-sacs to residents in Chittenden County, and what are the drawbacks of cul-de-sacs from a planning perspective.
After graduation, he plans to find a job with a planning firm (preferably in Spain) and then eventually to pursue a master's degree in either city or transportation planning.
Kelsey Vivian, Theatre and English Double Major
Kelsey Vivian is a junior Theatre/English double major from West Greenwich, Rhode Island. She started off her first-year experience by enrolling in one of the Teacher-Advisor Programs (TAP) offered by the College of Arts and Sciences. During her time at UVM she has performed in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s A Grand Night for Singing (2014) and The Toys Take Over Christmas (2012). Her behind-the-scenes credits are much more extensive. She first became involved in the Theatre Department as a house manager and has gone on to stage manage several shows and to work on the scenic, costuming, and lighting crews of six productions at UVM. Currently she is an active Student Representative of the Theatre Department. .
This past summer she completed a ten-week paid internship at Saint Michael’s Playhouse as a stage management intern and worked with theatre professionals on four shows, including Young Frankenstein, The Fox on the Fairway, Arsenic and Old Lace, and Ring of Fire. She also volunteered to work on the Playhouse Junior shows, which included The Cat in the Hat and Dear Edwina. After her internship, Kelsey decided to apply to Actor’s Equity, the labor union for actors and stage managers, and is currently an Equity Member Candidate, working towards her Equity card.
At this point in time, Kelsey is interested in pursuing stage management professionally, although she would be happy with any job in the theatre. While working on Broadway is always a possibility, Kelsey is more interested in finding and establishing herself at a reputable theatre company and to bring professional theatre to those who can’t afford Broadway prices.
Kevin Santamaria, Economics and Political Science Double Major
Kevin Santamaria was born in Bogota, Columbia, and moved to Miami, Florida two months before his seventh birthday. During his first semester at UVM, Kevin was encouraged by English professor Elaine Harrington to further develop his writing skills during his Teacher-Advisor Program (TAP) course: Reading and Writing the News Media. Kevin also writes for the Vermont Cynic, UVM's student newspaper.
Four years later, Kevin is a last-semester senior with a double major in economics and political science. His journey through UVM has allowed him to discover many new interests in philosophy and political activism. He plans to continue to pursue his education outside of academia by traveling and exploring other cultures. Kevin believes that his education at UVM has equipped him with the tools that he needs to make a meaningful impact on the world by promoting alternative economics, human rights, and acceptance.
Natalie Williams, History Major and English Minor
During her time at the University of Vermont, Natalie has focused her studies on the contemporary history of the Americas. Her favorite class was History of Vermont because the material was very tangible—so much of what she learned in that class related to UVM’s campus or downtown Burlington. Natalie loved that she could pass buildings on the street and recognize them from slideshows from class and know their historical relevance. Recently she has revived her love for Post-Colonial courses, especially those related to Latin America.
Natalie has been especially involved with the Vermont Cynic while on campus. She joined as soon as she got to campus and hasn’t stopped working since. Natalie held the roles of Photo Editor, Multimedia Editor, and, most recently, Editor-in-Chief at the newspaper. It not only provided key creative outlet for her and helped her develop job skills, but it also served as her second family while at UVM.
After graduation in May, Natalie hopes to continue her love for journalism and work as a photojournalist at a newspaper.
Erin Kerr, Geography Major, and Assistant Professor Pablo Bose
In her sophomore year, Erin Kerr was awarded a Boren Scholarship to study in Serbia, Bosnia, and Kosovo during the 2012-2013 academic year. Kerr, a geography major, is in the Honors College and is currently participating in the Peace and Conflict Studies program through the School of International Training.
Kerr’s long-standing intellectual interest in the former Yugoslavia is rooted in the connections she made to the Bosnian community in her hometown of St. Johnsbury, Vt. After coming to UVM she became engrossed in the study of geopolitics through her coursework in the geography department. She took Development, Displacement and the Environment with Professor Pablo Bose during her first year at UVM, and then went on to conduct an independent study, also with Professor Bose, examining how former-Yugoslav countries have been affected by nationalism and colonialism, as well as how these countries fit into world-system theory. While in Serbia, Kerr will continue her research by examining how land distribution along ethnic lines was a factor throughout the Yugoslav Wars as well as the reparation and peace-building processes.
Pablo Bose, Assistant Professor of Geography, came to UVM in 2006. His areas of expertise include culture, space and power, transnationalism and diaspora, urban and cultural geography, political economy and ecology, India and South Asia.
The Boren Awards provide U.S. undergraduate and graduate students with resources and encouragement to acquire language skills and experience in countries critical to the future security and stability of our nation. In exchange for funding, Boren award recipients agree to work in the federal government for a period of at least one year.