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College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Kudos to CALS Students, Staff, Faculty & Alumni

Achievements Over the Past Year

ANIMAL SCIENCE

Betsy Greene received the 2011 Excellence in Extension Award for the Northeast Region at its Nov. 13 meeting in San Francisco.

Jana Kraft is now assistant professor. She was hired in 2010 as a research assistant professor after completing postdoctoral work here and at the University of Jena-Germany where she received her B.S. and Ph.D.

Nicole (Bogdanowicz) Marschilok ’99, participated in the Cornell Institute for Biology Teachers Middle School workshop in July and presented at the annual Science Teacher Association of New York State in Rochester.

Jane O’Neil received the College’s 2011 Outstanding Staff Award.

Katie Turnball ‘11 (pre-vet.), and André-Denis Wright’s findings of recent research involving the molecular diversity of methanogens in camels’ fecal samples will be published in “Research in Veterinary Science.” 

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AND APPLIED ECONOMICS

Natalie DiBlasio '11 put her public communications major and stint as UVM Cynic editor to work to land a job at USA Today newspaper in Washington DC. She began the job in March. 

Kelly Hamshaw moved across Morrill Hall to a new position again when promoted to research specialist. Since 2007, Hamshaw has alternately worked for Partnership in Service Learning office (CUPS) and as a CDAE teaching and research assistant. Among her research expertise is: Vermont’s agricultural labor force, farmers’ markets and international community development. Hamshaw and Carrie Williams received a “shout-out” on Gov. Peter Shumlin’s blog Sept. 13 for their UVM course on rebuilding Vermont, post flooding. In spring 2012, their video of Irene volunteer efforts helping mobile home park residents is nearly viral. 

Sarah Heiss teaches public communications courses as assistant professor arriving in September with a Ph.D. and M.S. in health communication from Ohio University. Her summa cum laude B.S. is from Hiram College. Her expertise in food issues fits UVM’s leadership in food system research and education.

Jonathan Maddison ’09, MPA, was named UVM Transportation Research Center student of the year in January. Maddison was a student of Richard Watts.

April Orleans ’10 a cum laude grad in community & international development is a Fulbright Scholar in Trinidad and Tobago educating communities about safe wastewater disposal.

Richard Watts published “Public Meltdown” in March. It’s the history of the controversial Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant.

MICROBIOLOGY AND MOLECULAR GENETICS

Gary Ward is one of four recipients of the 2011 prestigious UVM University Scholar Award for sustained excellence in research and scholarship.

Susan Wallace rose to the title “Distinguished University Professor,” an honor recognizing sustained research and scholarship at UVM.

Aimee Shen joined the faculty as assistant professor in April after finishing her postdoctoral work at Stanford University and earning her Ph.D. at Harvard University. Her research aims to understand how proteases integrate environmental inputs in order to regulate bacterial growth and infection. In March she learned that she will receive prestigious 2012 Pew Scholars Award.

NUTRITION AND FOOD SCIENCES

Linda Berlin, Extension faculty member, was one of 19 Food Systems Leadership fellows honored in April by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities at its annual meeting in San Francisco.

Susan Grooters ’02 was appointed to a two-year term on the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods on Aug. 12 by U.S. Secy. of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. She is also director of research and education for STOP Foodborne Illness.

Jean Harvey-Berino is one of four recipients of 2011 prestigious UVM University Scholar Award for sustained excellence in research and scholarship. She was also named special assistant to the dean in November.

Paul Kindstedt published a definitive book, “Cheese and Culture: A History of Cheese and its Place in Western Civilization” in April. He’s being interviewed nationwide about the topic.

Rachel Johnson was selected in February to serve a three-year term on the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition Science Board. Also: Johnson told “USA Today” and affiliates, Aug 31, that sugary drinks add 300 calories a day to youths’ diets. The article reached millions of readers.

PLANT AND SOIL SCIENCE

Aleksandra Drizo recognized in March among the top "clean scientist thought leaders” in the nation by Clean Tech.

Samuel Hoadley a senior, and Victor Suarez were selected by the well-known Longwood Gardens summer internship program. Suarez, a UVM exchange student from Spain, attended the new International Student Summer Internship Program in 2011. Insiders say it is unprecedented for a school to have more than one student selected per year.

Stephanie Hurley, who has been a post doctoral associate in UVM’s Rubenstein School, developing land management recommendations to prevent pollution in Lake Champlain, became assistant professor in September. She also operates a landscape design business. She received her Ph.D. from Harvard University, M.L.A. from the University of Washington and B.S. from the University of California-Berkley.

Deborah Neher was plenary speaker at the Sept. 5 symposium in Portugal of the Organization of Nematologists of Tropical Americas. Title: “Ecology of Free-Living and Plant-Parasitic Nematodes”.

Whitney Northrop '10 replaced retiring Mariann Steen in student support and communications. She came to the job from UVM's Davis Center, where she worked in reservations and at the information desk. She has also worked for UVM Admissions office.

Meryl Olsen, an agroecology doctoral candidate under Ernesto Mendez researches swamp rice farming practices in Sierra Leone as part of a recent Fulbright research grant.

Leonard Perry updated the “Fruit Gardener’s Bible” originally published by the late Lewis Hill and now out since December 2011.

PLANT BIOLOGY

Laura Almstead joined the department as a biology and biochemistry lecturer in fall. She arrived in August from Yale University’s School of Medicine where she was a lecturer and completed her postdoctoral research involving cancer cells. She received her Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from Stanford University and her bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from Williams College.

David Barrington gleaned two important grants in April to help realize the online Pringle Herbarium project: a Mellon Foundation and National Science Foundation funding will total $150,000 over four years.

Karyn McGovern of North Ferrisburgh joined the business office staff in September. She previously handled finances and budgets for two Vermont ski resorts and her own in-home bakeries.

Monique McHenry, a grad. student in David Barrington’s lab, won an American Society of Plant Taxonomists travel award to attend the Botany 2011 meetings in St. Louis in July, then returned with the Wherry Award for the best paper presented in the pteridological section of the Botanical Society of America meetings.

Jill Preston has deferred her new position of assistant professor until fall 2012 in order to finish her post doctoral fellowship at the University of Kansas on the evolutionary consequences of gene duplications in plant diversification. Preston received her Ph.D. at the University of Missouri, M.S. at the University of Nottingham and B.S. at Edinburgh Napier University.

Donald Stratton received the College’s top teaching award; the 2011 Joseph E. Carrigan Award for Excellence in Teaching and Undergraduate Education.

Elizabeth “Liz” Thompson, lecturer in field botany and plant ecology received Vermont’s 2012 Franklin Fairbanks Award in March for “contributions to the natural world.”

COLLEGE-WIDE ACHIEVEMENTS

At the 18th annual CALS alumni and friends dinner last May Valerie Chamberlain and John C. Page received lifetime achievement Robert O. Sinclair Cups; Sam Cutting III, Frank Blazich and Diane Bothfeld were named Outstanding Alumni; Dennis (DJ) D’Amico received the New Achiever Award; Erin King was named Outstanding Senior.

Lorraine Berkett, Lyndon Carew and William Currier became emeriti professors in 2011.

Here are the names of students recognized for outstanding scholarship and research at the 2011 Honors Day in April.

Eleven members of CALS Class of 2011 graduated from the UVM Honors College. They are: Kyle ConcannonPatrick Dunseith, Amanda LaCroix, Wingyin Lo, Caitlin Loretan, Christopher Page, Emily Potter, Elle Robertson, Marissa Ruppel, Melanie Stewart and Kathryn Turnbull.

Kayla Gatos joined CALS Advisory Board in November. She is a junior majoring in ecological agriculture and dietetics, nutrition and food science.

Ja Yun Lee joined the dean’s office as student services specialist in September, replacing Heather Palow who took a position in UVM continuing education. Lee arrived from the admissions office of New York University School of Law where she handled recruitment, applications and related admissions projects.

Henrietta Menzies of Burlington brings technical support and training to Morrill Hall’s recently Apple-upgraded computer lab. A UVM staffer since 2005, she comes, most recently from HR learning services where her accomplishments include training and curriculum for Blackboard.

Marion Brown Thorpe ’38 was one of eight who received honorary degrees UVM commencement last May. Thorpe was a home economics teacher for 33 years. She and her husband established the Marion Brown Thorpe and Norman Thorpe Scholarship Fund.

Abby van den Berg, research scientist at UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, received more than $80,000 from the Northeastern States Research Cooperative to research the economic feasibility of birch syrup production

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