University of Vermont

RGSA Update - May 2014

Winners of the RGSA Annual Com-PIE-tition from left: Jeff O'Donnell, Laura Yayac, and Tyler Goeschel. Maddy Morgan missing.
Winners of the RGSA Annual Com-PIE-tition from left: Jeff O'Donnell, Laura Yayac, and Tyler Goeschel. Maddy Morgan missing.

As summer finally makes its appearance in Burlington, the Rubenstein Graduate Student Association (RGSA) is proud to celebrate our accomplishments and reflect on a great semester. Now entering its third year, the RGSA is firmly established as the voice of graduate students in the Rubenstein School and an engaged member of the Rubenstein community. 

Several accomplishments and contributions in 2013-14 deserve special recognition. These include the undergraduate mentoring program headed by Christine Peterson and Bess Perry, the expansive and illuminating Fall Seminar Series organized by Monika Derrien and Christopher Clement, the successful implementation of a new internship recruitment program pairing undergraduates with graduate students looking for research assistants, and several community building social events. Many thanks to all the RSENR graduate students who participated in RGSA meetings, programs, and gatherings.

RGSA End-of-the-Year BarbequeLooking ahead to the fall semester, the RGSA is excited to build upon the success of our first two years working with RSENR leadership, faculty, and staff to ensure graduate student interests are represented, improve the graduate student experience, and build community. 

RGSA Announces New Officers for 2014-15
We are pleased to announce the recently elected RGSA Executive Committee officers for next year. These graduate students will serve in the following positions: Stephanie Juice as President; Rezwana Zafar as Aiken Chair (Vice-President); Xiao Xiao as Treasurer; Emil Tsao as Communications Chair; and Ariana Cano as Social Chair. 

Many thanks to Sarah Pears, Christine Peterson, Sam Parker, Jeff O’Donnell, and Clare Crosby for serving in these roles during the 2013-14 academic year.

Interim Dean Jon Erickson addresses Rubenstein School graduate students.RGSA Applauds Interim Dean Jon Erickson
The RGSA recognizes Dr. Jon Erickson for his exemplary service over the past two years as Interim Dean of the Rubenstein School. Dr. Erickson took over the helm during an important period of strategic planning. As the Dean, he facilitated and strongly encouraged graduate student involvement in all aspects of school governance and planning. Dr. Erickson was always available to meet with RGSA leadership and participated in several RGSA events, including the “State of the School” address and RGSA Dean’s Forum as well as community events like the RGSA End-of-the-Year Barbeque.

The RGSA would also like to congratulate newly-appointed Dean Dr. Nancy E. Mathews. We look forward to working with Dean Mathews and welcome her to Rubenstein and Burlington. 

RGSA sponsored Rubenstein School faculty breakfastFaculty Breakfasts
In an effort to encourage collaboration and camaraderie among RSENR graduate students and faculty, the RGSA hosted two “faculty breakfast” forums. On March 18th and April 24th, faculty and graduate students enjoyed breakfast treats and sipped coffee while discussing research strategies, tips on writing theses and dissertations, and ways to advance a career in academia and natural resource professions.

Many thanks to those graduate students and faculty who attended these community-building events.


Winners of Annual RGSA Com-PIE-tition from left: Maddy Morgan, Jeff O'Donnell, and Laura Yayac. Tyler Goeschel missing.Bakers Shine in Annual Com-PIE-tition
Monday, April 7th was a delicious day at the Aiken Center, as Rubenstein bakers served up fourteen sweet and savory pies to hungry student, faculty, and staff judges at the annual RGSA Com-PIE-tition.  This year’s winners are:

  • Savory – 1st Place: Tyler Goeschel, 2nd Place: Maddy Morgan
  • Sweet – 1st Place: Laura Yayac, 2nd Place: Jeff O’Donnell

Proceeds from the competition have been donated to New Farms for New Americans, a program of the Burlington-based nonprofit AALV, which seeks to ensure new Americans thrive in their new communities.

Rubenstein graduate students: RGSA is your organization!  Executive Committee meetings are open to all members, and our e-mail inbox is always open. Send your thoughts, ideas, and opinions along to