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CEMS - The College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences

Dr. Melody Brown Burkins joins UVM's College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences

Release Date: 10-17-2007

Author: Dawn Marie Densmore
Email: Dawn.Densmore@uvm.edu
Phone: Array Fax: 802-656-8802

Dr. Melody Brown BurkinsDr. Melody Brown Burkins has been appointed to a newly created position of Associate Dean for Economic Development and Research Partnerships in the University of Vermont's College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (CEMS).

This position was established to support strategic research funding opportunities, coordinating CEMS economic development and entrepreneurship goals, and advancing CEMS ongoing efforts to set a new standard in innovation and technology transfer with the State of Vermont.

Complementing these goals, the position includes an initial one-year investment to directly support Vermont's Advisory Council for Engineering and Environment, which Domenico Grasso, Dean of CEMS, has been asked to chair by Governor Douglas. Burkins will continue to develop and attract new public and private partnerships to CEMS around holistic engineering priorities and expand high-level outreach for strength and visibility in complex systems studies and solutions.

Burkins obtained her PhD and MS in earth science from Dartmouth College and her BS in geology from Yale University and has a long-standing interest in the importance of interdisciplinary scientific studies. She has had scientific communication with policymakers, business leaders and communities for a number of years, which has been a key to her success in both worlds. An American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Congressional Science and Technology Fellow in 1999, Burkins has also been a visiting professor of science and policy in Dartmouth's Environmental Studies Program and served as a mentor to undergraduates in the college's Women in Science Project both during and after her graduate work.

Currently the Director of Federal Relations for the University of Vermont, Burkins brings to CEMS an established record of successfully advancing University-wide research, education, and innovation priorities in close coordination with UVM senior leadership, deans, faculty, and staff and with local, state, and national leaders in both the public and private sphere. Since her move back to Vermont in 2002 after three years as an aide to U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy in Washington, D.C., she has led and participated in key UVM initiatives that include integrating campus efforts in economic development, entrepreneurship, and environmental enterprise; advancing environmental systems research and education priorities; planning and funding of the systems-focused UVM Transportation Center; serving as Executive Director of the Vermont Monitoring Cooperative and director of the Northeastern States Research Cooperative, and helping secure an historic five-year growth of UVM-led, directed federal grants to research projects and facilities across campus.

Burkins has also enjoyed teaching abroad in Switzerland and Mexico and has spoken about science and policy in community venues ranging from the Vermont Law School to K-12 classrooms in both Vermont and Washington, D.C. Her commitment to sustainable solutions for global environmental systems and communities is informed by her policy, management, and administrative work, as well as her field studies in Antarctica, central Ireland, southeast Alaska, and the Bering Sea.

A resident of Jericho, Vermont with her husband, Derek, and two young sons, Dr. Burkins began her work with CEMS on October 8, 2007 and will transition from her Director of Federal Relations work to full-time in the College by February 1, 2008.

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