Bill Valliere Honored with President’s Our Common Ground Staff Award
- By Shari Halik
In April, Bill Valliere (MS-NRP '94), research specialist in the Rubenstein School Park Studies Laboratory, was notified that he had received an Our Common Ground Staff Award given by University of Vermont President Thomas Sullivan to six staff members across campus who exemplify the qualities of the University of Vermont’s Our Common Ground, the statement of aspirations and shared values of our community: Respect, Integrity, Innovation, Openness, Justice, and Responsibility. Bill officially received his award at a University breakfast honoring Our Common Ground awardees on May 5, 2014.
Bill, who was also recently voted Rubenstein School representative to UVM Staff Council, was nominated for the award by a group of colleagues led by Professor Bob Manning, director of the Park Studies Laboratory. In his tribute to Bill at the award ceremony, Bob noted Bill’s involvement in “making the Park Studies Laboratory an important component of the Rubenstein School’s program of research” by playing a lead role in dozens of research projects, co-authoring numerous papers in scholarly literature, presenting many more papers at professional conferences, helping to inform management of many of our national parks, and welcoming and mentoring countless undergraduate and graduate students into the world of park studies.
“But in particular,” Bob continued, “it’s Bill’s personal qualities and his service that make him so deserving of this award.”
“Bill is a person of great integrity who has gained the respect of everyone in the Park Studies Laboratory and the Rubenstein School,” acknowledged Bob. “This is manifested in the fact that he is often asked to serve on School standing and search committees, which he gladly does. He has an especially strong sense of justice. For example, he frequently volunteers his time to be a facilitator in the Rubenstein School’s first-year course, NR 6 Race and Culture in Natural Resources. In this important role, he is open and welcoming of diverse ideas and perspectives.”
Wrote Associate Professor Clare Ginger, lead instructor for NR 6, “Bill is a person who acts on his conscience and a sense of obligation to make the world a better place” and that “he does so persistently, cheerfully, and to good effect.”
“Bill is innovative in his pursuit of justice that goes well beyond the university campus,” said Bob. “For example, he has been instrumental in the work of the Good News Garage, which repairs donated cars and provides them to families in need; he’s the Vermont Congressional District Leader for the ONE campaign, an advocacy group of more than three million people taking action to end poverty and preventable disease; and he helped plan and facilitate an interfaith seminar series entitled “Greening our Religions.”
Bill certainly exemplifies the qualities of the University’s Our Common Ground. In this augural year of the President’s Our Common Ground Staff Awardthe President received 24 nominations. The nomination and support letters, written by members of the University of Vermont community, served as a clear testament to the outstanding contributions and deep commitment of staff members, including, without a doubt, Bill Valliere.