University of Vermont

First Year Summer Read

First Year Summer Read

First Year Summer Read

Featuring An Evening with Michael Pollan

Thursday, October 30, 2014
5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Ira Allen Chapel
Book signing to follow in Billings Library
SOLD OUT- see additional info below

Sponsored by President Tom Sullivan, the Department of Student Life, the Honors College and the Zeltzerman Visiting Lecture Fund.

Tickets are no longer available for this event. The event will also be livestreamed, available from any computer with an internet connection. Livestream info will be posted here the day of the event.

For questions regarding this event please contact 802-656-3272 or

CART and ASL services will be provided.

View Event Flyer

Cooked: A Natural History of TransformationThe Summer Reading Program is a new student’s first introduction to the academic life of the university. Each year the selected book is integrated into foundation courses from each academic college for discussion as a way for students to engage with the book's themes both inside and outside the classroom.  All UVM first-year students were required to read Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation by Michael Pollan over the summer for the start of their Fall Semester.

As part of the UVM First Year Summer Read Program, Michael Pollan, will participate in a question and answer conversation moderated by Dr. Amy Trubek, Associate Professor in the Nutrition and Food Science Department at the University of Vermont and Faculty Director for UVM’s graduate program in Food Systems.  Questions will be prepared ahead of time based on input from the campus community.


View An Evening with Michael Pollan from any computer with an internet connection by visiting the livestream during the event.


A book signing will immediately follow the event in Billings Library next door to Ira Allen Chapel.  Books, provided by the UVM Bookstore, will be available for purchase.  No tickets are necessary for the book signing and it is open to the community.


Michael PollanFor the past twenty-five years, Michael Pollan has been writing books and articles about the places where nature and culture intersect: on our plates, in our farms and gardens, and in the built environment. He is the author of Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation (2013) and of four New York Times bestsellers: Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual (2010);In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto (2008);The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (2006) and The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World (2001). The Omnivore’s Dilemma was named one of the ten best books of 2006 by both the New York Times and the Washington Post. It also won the California Book Award, the Northern California Book Award, the James Beard Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. A young readers edition called The Omnivore’s Dilemma: the Secrets Behind What You Eat was published in 2009.

In 2011, Pollan published a illustrated version of Food Rules with beautiful new paintings by Maira Kalman. The Botany of Desire received the Borders Original Voices Award for the best non-fiction work of 2001, and was recognized as a best book of the year by the American Booksellers Association and PBS premiered a two-hour special documentary based on The Botany of Desire in fall 2009. Pollan is also the author of A Place of My Own (1997) and Second Nature (1991). Read more


Cathleen Barrows, Sodexo Manager, Davis Center
Cynthia Belliveau, Dean, Continuing Education
Tiffany Delaney, Director of Admissions, College of Medicine
Joel Goldberg, Associate Dean, College of Arts & Sciences
Teresa Mares, Assistant Professor, College of Arts & Sciences
Alison Nihart, Assistant, Food Systems Initiative
Kelly O'Malley, Coordinator of Presidential Events
Laura Smith, Assistant, Vice President of Executive Operations
Amy Trubek, Associate Professor, Nutrition & Food Science
Melissa Zelazny, General Manager, Sodexo
Deidre Zoll, Research Coordinator, Gund Institute

Last modified October 30 2014 01:44 PM