University of Vermont

CEMS Annual Awards

2016


Mads Almassalkhi - Outstanding Junior Faculty Performance

Doug Fletcher - Faculty Award for Excellence in Research

Dryver Huston - Outstanding Faculty Performance

Cathy Bliss - Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching

Rosi Rosebush - Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award

Bob Erickson - Faculty Award for Excellence in Service

Sylvie Butel & Anthony Fouche - Staff Award

2015


Genevieve Anthony
Genevieve Anthony - Staff Member of the Year

When Academic Advisor Genevieve Anthony tells students in CEMS that she knows what they’re going through, she’s not just being kind. The Barre, Vermont native is a CEMS graduate herself; she returned to Burlington to accept a oneyear position that later became permanent after her commencement in 2012. Today, she helps CEMS students make the leap from high school to college. “It’s really great to see a student who may have had a rough transition turn it around and make it through graduation,” she says, pointing out that it’s easy to underestimate the stress that can accompany the freedoms of university life. Besides advising and coaching students, Anthony connects students with campus resources, determines graduation eligibility, resolves scheduling conflicts, and helps coordinate with professors when emergencies arise. One of our primary goals is to teach students to take initiative and to be responsible for their academic experience. On top of all that, Anthony is heavily involved with the CEMS Club Leadership Council, where she helps coordinate outreach activities. She also serves as an advisor for the Ecological Engineers, a residential living situation for firstyear students that centers around integrating ecology of place with engineering design.


Jackie Horton
Jackie Horton - In Recognition of Outstanding Teaching

Too many people see programming and computer science as synonymous, laments Jackie Horton, a senior lecturer in CEMS and (ironically) a computer programmer. Yet applications of her field range from computer architecture and algorithm analysis to databases and beyond. A case in point: Horton’s students have found jobs in far-flung fields, from video game programming to tracking bird migration in Costa Rica. As a one-time engineering student herself, Horton worked for IBM and Digital Equipment Corporation, where she found herself gravitating toward software-oriented projects. Eventually, she began to study programming. As reflected in her outstanding teaching award, Horton’s true love is working with undergraduates, particularly freshmen, to get them thinking more deeply about their studies. There are very few professions now that can’t be well served by some computer science skills,” Horton says. “I try to teach students not just, ‘This is how you write a program,’ but ‘This is how to think about the problem.’ When she’s not teaching, Horton is a fitness fanatic, calling this hobby “my way of trying to stay healthy and young and active.” She completed her first CrossFit competition earlier this year.


Steve Titcomb
Steve Titcomb - In Recognition of Outstanding Service

Steve Titcomb finds great satisfaction in watching engineering graduates complete their educations and find jobs with companies like United Technologies, IBM, GlobalFoundries, and General Dynamics, as well as jobs outside of engineering. An engineering curriculum is a problem-solving curriculum, so they’re prepared to do lots of other things. I had a student who became a patent attorney. In CEMS, Titcomb recently served as the director’s surrogate for reappointment, promotion, and tenure reviews. And along with advising undergraduate engineering students, Titcomb is the chair of the School’s curriculum committee. With plans to retire at the end of this year, Titcomb hopes to devote time to his own research in semiconductors. Besides completing design projects involving robotics and interactive displays, Titcomb says he hopes to look into developing new materials and structures for sensors. He’s also ready to complete a more personal project: hiking the Appalachian Trail. Two years ago, he hiked 1,400 miles in 3.5 months before arthritis in his knee stopped him. “The first thing I’m going to do after graduation this spring is head back to where I left off and finish the trail,” he says.


Rachel Oldinski
Rachel Oldinski - Outstanding Junior Faculty (Formerly the Milt Silviera award)

In her lab, Rachael Oldinski values student-researchers with boldness and initiative. “It’s a tremendous joy to see nervous sophomores start talking to me about problems and telling me what I’m doing wrong,” she says. Today, Oldinski, who joined UVM’s faculty five years ago, focuses on applying mechanical engineering principles to biomedical problems, particularly stresses and strains. There’s a wide range of applications, from trying to mimic tissue for implants to trying to grow tissue for regeneration, all the way to drug-targeting mechanisms for cancer. Nowadays, Oldinski is working to develop a material that mimics articular cartilage, or the tissue that covers the ends of bones where they come together to form joints. Such cartilage is easily damaged by injury or normal wear and tear. She also recently developed a sealant for punctured lungs derived from brown algae. Oldinski also sees herself as among a new generation of female faces in engineering and is a faculty advisor for the Society of Women Engineers’ club. In the same way that female mentors encouraged her to “go for it,” she helps tomorrow’s engineers find work-life balance.


Jeff Marshall & Jeff Dinitz
Jeff Dinitz - Outstanding Overall Faculty Performance

Jeff Dinitz strives to show his students what makes math fascinating. He specializes in a field of study known as combinatorial design or the study of balanced set systems. Sudoku is one well-known example of such a design. When I teach something, I try to figure out why I thought it was cool when I learned it and I try to relay that,” he says of a career that has spanned decades. “… Math has a lot of truth and beauty to it; there’s an art to math. Dinitz believes today’s students are doing slightly better than their predecessors, despite many competing demands for their attention. (He bans cell phones in class, telling students it makes him too distracted.) Best known in his field for the theorem he created – the Dinitz conjecture – Dinitz’s real claim to fame, at least in the non-math world, came in 2001, when his work creating schedules for the XFL, a now-defunct professional American football league, was highlighted in the New York Times. Dinitz enjoys sailing, skiing, and backpacking, counting his move to Vermont among the three luckiest events of his life.


Jeff Marshall & Jeff Dinitz
Jeff Marshall - Outstanding Overall Faculty Performance

NASA needed help cleaning dust off Mars rovers’ solar cells and Jeff Marshall thought he could help. Mars lacks water, so dust particles cannot glom into clay as they would on Earth, says Marshall, head of the Vortex and Particulate Flow Laboratory in CEMS. Worse, dust particles in space contain an electric charge and latch onto everything. “If you mechanically wipe the dust off, it will stick to the wiper and just deposit it back,” Marshall says. Once enough dust covers the solar cells, energy can no longer reach the rover and it stops working. Working with NASA, Marshall and colleagues helped develop an electrostatic dust shield that basically uses the dust particles’ own electric charge to transport them off a surface like a solar panel. Cleaning solar cells on dusty planets is just one of many applications of Marshall’s work, which focuses on developing new approaches for simulating fluid flows with particles and vortex structures, uncovering new fluid flow phenomena, and understanding the physics behind these flows. Marshall also relishes his role as director of the interdisciplinary Smart Grid Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program, noting: The fact that students and faculty from highly diverse fields know each other and are working across disciplinary boundaries, it’s just wonderful.


2014


Meghan Kelly
Meghan Kelly - Staff Member of the Year

Meghan Kelly, an office support generalist in CEMS’ Mathematics and Statistics Department, says the college’s enthusiastic students and faculty create an inspiring workplace. “The passion of my colleagues is infectious,” says Kelly, who was awarded the CEMS 2014 Staff of the Year Award by Dean Luis Garcia. Kelly’s strong organizational and technical skills help ensure the department’s faculty have the resources they need to do their jobs, notes Jeff Buzas, the chairman of CEMS’ Department of Mathematics and Statistics. She also recently took on the role of business support specialist for UVM’s Vermont Mathematics Initiative and serves on the UVM staff council committee for personal and professional development. On top of that, Kelly helps recruit and work with volunteers for UVM’s FIRST Robotics.


William Louisos
William Louisos - In Recognition of Outstanding Teaching

William Louisos, a lecturer in CEMS’ School of Engineering, points to a built-in advantage when teaching subjects such as thermodynamics. “The stuff we do is cool,” says Louisos, who was awarded the CEMS 2014 Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award by Dean Luis Garcia. “Right now in Applied Thermodynamics, we’re talking about jet engines and aircraft engines, so we went to the VT Air National Guard and crawled on top of and inside turbo jet engines. To bring the classroom textbook material to life is what engineering is all about.” A good teacher is like a coach, Louisos notes. “I tell the students, ‘We’re all on the same team, so it’s not me versus you. I’m here to help you be the best so you can go out and represent UVM engineering.”


Joe Kudrle
Joe Kudrle - In Recognition of Outstanding Service

Jianke Yang
Jianke Yang - In Recognition of Outstanding Research

Jianke Yang, a professor of applied mathematics in CEMS’ Department of Mathematics and Statistics, says his research has been driven by a desire to find solutions to scientific problems, ranging from rogue waves to applications for photonic crystals. “Especially when this pursuit is motivated by real-world physical problems, since my findings may have direct physical impact,” he says. “Discoveries are addictive, and curiosity is enticing.” Yang, who has served as a professor at CEMS for two decades and was awarded the CEMS 2014 Outstanding Researcher of the Year Award by Dean Luis Garcia, conducts research on nonlinear waves and physical mathematics. Physical examples of nonlinear waves include water waves, optical waves and Bose-Einstein condensates


Eric Hernandez
Eric Hernandez - Outstanding Junior Faculty (Formerly the Milt Silviera award)

“There are two things that motivate me,” says Professor Eric Hernandez, who teaches in CEMS’ School of Engineering. “The first one is the pleasure of figuring things out; the second, teaching and mentoring. Both are complementary to each other.” Hernandez, who was awarded CEMS’ 2014 Outstanding Junior Faculty Award by Dean Luis Garcia, joined UVM in 2011 after earning a PhD from Northeastern University in 2007. He earned his BS in engineering in 1994 from Universidad Nacional Pedro Henriquez Ureña in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and was awarded a Fulbright scholarship from the U.S. State Department in 2002 to pursue graduate studies.


Peter Dodds
Peter Dodds - Outstanding Overall Faculty Performance

Peter Dodds, who was awarded the CEMS 2014 Outstanding Overall Faculty Performance Award by Dean Luis Garcia, has a research portfolio that includes publications across many fields such as theoretical physics, Earth sciences, biology, economics, psychology, and sociology. He currently focuses on sociotechnical and psychological phenomena, such as population-scale health and emotional states, language, and stories. Dodds’s research is shedding light into what he calls “homo narrativus” —that we are fundamentally storytellers—and how humans consequently succeed or fail to contend with the world around them, both individually and collectively.


Monika Ursiny
Monika Ursiny - UVM's Our Common Ground Award

Monika Ursiny has worked in the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences for more than 20 years. As the business manager for the College, she is highly esteemed by her colleagues for her ability to artfully balance the vastly different needs of students, faculty and staff, while living up to the community values set forth in Our Common Ground. Further, she exemplifies the reliability, approachability, and humility in all aspects of her professional life. Over the course of her career, her collegiality and commitment to excellence has made a significant impact on the University.


2013


Dawn Densmore
Dawn Densmore - Staff Member of the Year

Joe Kudrle
Joe Kudrle - In Recognition of Outstanding Teaching

Sheila Weaver
Sheila Weaver - In Recognition of Outstanding Service

Josh Bongard
Josh Bongard - In Recognition of Outstanding Research

Mary Dunlop
Mary Dunlop - Outstanding Junior Faculty (Formerly the Milt Silviera award)

Older Staff Kudos

2012

  • Karen BernardKaren Bernard
    Administrative Assistant

    Karen Bernard was presented the 2012 CEMS Outstanding Staff Member Award during a 2012 UVM CEMS Holiday Celebration held Friday, December 6, 2012 in the Fleming Museum by Bernard "Chip" Cole, Interim Dean of the College, for her achievements in her role as Administrative Assistant for the School of Engineering.

    "Karen plays a key role in the success of our College," says Bernard 'Chip" Cole, Interim Dean of the UVM College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences. "She creates functionality and continuity for faculty, staff and visitors within the School of Engineering."

    "Karen's assistance to me has been invaluable," says Jason Bates, as Interim SoE Director. "Her unwavering efficiency and constant good nature, together with her wealth of knowledge about the operational aspects of the School of Engineering, have made all the difference in keeping things running smoothly. I am extremely happy that Karen is receiving this award."

2011

  • Penni FrenchPenni French
    Administrative Assistant

    Interim Dean Bernard "Chip" Cole presented Penni French with the 2011 CEMS Outstanding Staff Award during the UVM College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences holiday celebration in the Fleming Museum on Thursday, December 8, 2011.

    Penni exhibits the qualities of humanity, generosity of spirit, and dignity, especially under the pressure of deadlines and those pesky technology hurdles. She is responsible for planning the wide-ranging logistics associated with guest speaker visits, student-run technical evenings, and outreach activities. She works with patience and respect, camaraderie and the genuine affection appropriate of educators towards our students, humor, and a tenacious resolve to overcome whatever stumbling blocks may arise.

    Penni's disposition and helpful, trustworthy, proactive attitude ensure the smooth running of the Department, as she maintains cordial working relationships with staff colleagues across the College and UVM.

2010

  • Monika UrsinyMarnie Owen
    Student Services Advisor

    Marnie Owen was presented the 2010 CEMS Outstanding Staff Member Award during a 2010 UVM CEMS Holiday Celebration held Friday, December 10, 2010 in the Fleming Museum by Bernard "Chip" Cole, Interim Dean of the College, for her achievements in her role as Student Services Advisor for the College.

    "Marnie exemplifies our CEMS mission," says Bernard 'Chip" Cole, Interim Dean of the UVM College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences. "Her field of expertise is vital to both teaching and student services within CEMS."

2009

  • Monika UrsinyMonika Ursiny
    Budget Manager

    Monika Ursiny was presented the 2009 CEMS Outstanding Staff Member Award by Bernard "Chip" Cole, Interim Dean of the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (CEMS), during the CEMS holiday celebration on Thursday, December 17, 2009. Ursiny was recognized for her work as Budget Manager for the College.

    "Monika is a longtime CEMS employee who has been an invaluable resource to the College," said Dean Cole.

2008

  • Jim WhiteJim White
    Senior IT Professional, Computer Facility

    Jim White is winner of the 2008 UVM/CEMS Outstanding Staff Member Award. Criteria for this award include: maintaining a positive attitude, exceeding job expectations, engaging in tasks beyond one's job description, making special contributions to the College, participating in public service, and being a valued representative for the College.

2007

  • Gail CurrierGail Currier
    Student and Faculty Support, School of Engineering

    Currier is one of seven to receive the 2007 Outstanding Social Justice Activist Award. This award recognizes that various forms of oppression (sexism, ableism, racism, classism, heterosexism, religious discrimination) are connected and support one another. This award honors women (students, staff or faculty) who have worked not only in anti-sexist endeavors but also to draw connections between various communities and to end multiple forms of oppression.

  • Josephine Herrera Josephine Herrera
    Director of Diversity and Special Programs

    Herrera is one of seven staff to receive the 2007 Outstanding Staff Woman Award. The award acknowledges significant contributions to the lives of women on campus through service, advocacy, and feminists programming.

  • Joan Jordan Joan Jordan
    Assistant Dean of Student Services

    Joan Jordan is winner of the 2007 UVM/CEMS Outstanding Staff Member Award. Criteria for this award include: maintaining a positive attitude, exceeding job expectations, engaging in tasks beyond one's job description, making special contributions to the College, participating in public service, and being a valued representative for the College.

  • Thomas McLeod, Victor Rossi, Jim White
    Thomas McLeod
    Student, Mathematics & Computer Science

    Victor Rossi
    Lecturer & Senior IT Professional, Computer Facility

    Jim White
    Senior IT Professional, Computer Facility

    McLeod, Rossi and White are three of nine to receive the 2007 Outstanding Ally Award. This award honors men (students, staff or faculty) who have made significant contributions to feminist and anti-sexist activism on the campus.

2006

  • Floyd Vilmont and Karen Wright Floyd Vilmont
    Supervisor, CEMS Shop and Prototype Facility

    Karen Wright
    Administrative Assistant, Department of Mathematics & Statistics

    Floyd Vilmont and Karen Wright are co-winners of the 2006 UVM/CEMS Outstanding Staff Member Award. Criteria for this award include: maintaining a positive attitude, exceeding job expectations, engaging in tasks beyond one's job description, making special contributions to the College, participating in public service, and being a valued representative for the College.