University of Vermont

Cynic Editor Gets Byline in Online NY Times

Brent Summers

On Dec. 12, just-departed Vermont Cynic Editor-in-Chief Brent Summers published his first solo effort on The New York Times website, with his story “Campus Divestment Fight Resonates in the East” appearing on the Times’ environmental themed Green Blog.

This was the second time in as many weeks that Summers’ work appeared in some version of the Times. The week prior, he received a reporting-credit tagline on the bottom of a story by Times’ environmental writer Justin Gillis. That story appeared both in print and online.

“There is no feeling in the world like seeing your name in The New York Times,” Summers said. “I am so thrilled to have gotten this opportunity and could not have done any of this without the experience of being part of the Cynic." Summers, who graduated from UVM this past Saturday, says, "…there is no doubt that joining the Cynic was the best decision I made in college."

In his first effort for the Times, Summers contributed Vermont-centric writing to Gillis’ story about the divestment movement, which calls for institutions like the University of Vermont to end their investments in funds associated with fossil fuels: coal, oil and gas.

Gillis steered Summers toward a Times editor who helped him prepare the story for the Green Blog. Summers said he used many of the notes he’d originally taken for Gillis – along with new reporting – to compose the story.

In the article, Summers explores the nature of the divestment movement, which is particularly strong in the Northeast at schools like UVM, Middlebury College and the University of New Hampshire. Summers writes that the region’s movement serves as a model for activists in other parts of the country.

Summers’ byline isn’t the only time a departing Cynic editor has reached national prominence. His predecessor, Natalie DiBlasio, began writing for USA Today about 18 months ago, while still serving as Cynic editor-in-chief. Today, she serves as the breaking-news reporter and as a host of USA NOW, the paper’s online video news service.