Welcome from Antonio Cepeda-Benito, Dean of UVM’s College of Arts and Sciences

Antonio Cepeda-Benito “Time flies and flies fast—particularly when one is having fun!” I’m not sure “fun” is the most accurate word to describe my first three months at UVM but I definitely can say that there have been NO dull moments.  In the last couple of days the temperatures have dropped and some of my “well-intentioned” friends seem to think I am too attached to my hat and my coat and say things like, “Oh, this is nothing—in February we get a day like this and you’ll see us all out in shorts.” Really?

Jokes aside, my first three months have been very rewarding and exciting. I have now met with most of the faculty in the College and they continue to impress me with their achievements and complete commitment to deliver a world-class education to our very talented and hardworking students. Just about a month ago I presented awards to eight College of Arts and Sciences students who competed in the Presidential Installation Research Poster Competition using their own theories and research findings. Just reading through the titles of their posters and their aspirations you’ll realize the high caliber and sophistication of our students.

I also want to bring to your attention a new initiative I count on to continue to perfect the quality and quantity of student-teacher interactions at the College.  Whereas we already offer many rich learning opportunities such as the First-Year TAP Seminars, Full-Year Integrated Programs, Residential Learning Communities, etc., I see a need to increase the range of offerings that (a) expose students to multiple disciplines in an integrated or linked fashion, and (b) include “real-world” learning experiences (i.e., service, internship, or research/creative components). The initiative, Enhancing Excellence through Interdisciplinary Experiential Engagement, will also serve to motivate faculty to seek or cement interactions and collaborations across departments. I believe this networking may lead to the development of new, meaningful, and fruitful collaborations, which would serve as a vehicle to renew, revitalize, and enrich the creativity of our faculty and their enthusiasm for teaching, learning, and discovery.

The current E-News issue is full of interesting stories which I hope you will enjoy. Please know that we appreciate enormously the support and encouragement we receive from you. Do not hesitate to contact me with any questions, concerns, or ideas you may have for a better UVM!