University of Vermont

The Graduate College

University Scholars for 2012 - 2013

Each year, four distinguished faculty members – two from the basic and applied sciences, and two from the social sciences and humanities – are named University Scholars in recognition of their sustained excellence in research and scholarly activities. University Scholars are selected by a panel of faculty scholars, based upon nominations submitted by UVM faculty.

For a listing of all our prior scholars, please click here.

Our 2012 - 2013 University Scholars are:

It is nearly impossible to briefly summarize the many accomplishments of these distinguished colleagues, but below you'll find at least a little introduction to them. During the next academic year, each of these University Scholars will present a public seminar about their work. The Graduate College will announce these, and we hope you'll join us for those notable events.


M. Cristina Mazzoni

Professor & Interim Chair, Romance Languages, College of Arts and Sciences

M. Cristina Mazzoni received a Bachelor of Arts degree in General Literature, summa cum laude, from the University of California, San Diego, and a PhD degree in Comparative Literature from Yale University. Her first teaching appointment was at Connecticut College, and she joined the UVM faculty as Assistant Professor of Romance Languages in 1993, rising to the rank of Professor in 2005.

Professor Mazzoni’s scholarship is in the field of comparative literary studies, and her primary research focus is on gender, spirituality, and maternity. She has authored seven books, published by prestigious university presses including Cambridge, Chicago, and Cornell. In addition to her books, Mazzoni has published some thirty-five peer-reviewed articles and book chapters in leading journals in both English and Italian, publications that demonstrate and emphasize her remarkable scholarly range.

In addition to her research and scholarship, Professor Mazzoni is deeply committed to teaching, including Italian language, literature, and culture at all levels. When she arrived at UVM, the University had only a small Italian program. Today, thanks in large part to Mazzoni’s efforts, it is the third largest UVM language program, offering a major in Italian Studies and minors in Italian and Italian Studies. Indeed, one of her books is a popular one for language learning, Italian Made Simple, and she maintains an Italian-language website accessed the world over.

At UVM, Mazzoni has served on several College committees, as Honors College Coordinator and Faculty Mentor, and she currently serves as Interim Chair of the Department of Romance Languages and Linguistics. Among her UVM honors is the Dean’s Lecture Award for Outstanding Scholarship and Teaching (from the College of Arts and Sciences).

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Mercedes Rincon

Professor, Medicine, College of Medicine

 Mercedes Rincon received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and PhD in Immunology, both from Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain, following which she held positions as a Postdoctoral Fellow and Associate Research Scientist, Immunobiology Department, Yale University School of Medicine. Professor Rincon was appointed Assistant Professor in the UVM Department of Medicine, Immunobiology Program, in 1996, and promoted to Professor in 2009. She is a faculty member in a number of UVM programs, including the Vermont Cancer Center, Environmental Pathology Training Program, Cell and Molecular Biology Program, Vermont Lung Center, and Vermont Center for Immunology and Infectious Diseases.

Professor Rincon is a highly respected scientist nationally and internationally in the field of cytokine gene regulation and MAP kinases in T lymphocyte function, as well as in the role of Interleukin-6 (IL-6) in a variety of immune functions, including asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and cancer. A basic scientist, she is very interested in clinical medicine and has pushed her basic research in a translational direction. Her research has been supported with substantial funding from the National Institutes of Health and a wide variety of private foundations. Rincon has published 120 articles, many of them in the top journals, including Science and Immunity. Many of her publications have been frequently cited by other researchers, strong testimony to the importance of her work. In addition, she has published a number of invited review articles. She is also a frequent reviewer for numerous journals, Associate Editor of the Journal of Experimental Medicine and Journal of Immunology, and Editor of the International Journal of Biological Science. She has been appointed to various NIH study sections, and has reviewed projects for the European Research Council and other international funding agencies.

In terms of mentoring and service at UVM, Professor Rincon has mentored many undergraduate, Ph.D., and M.D. students, as well as postdoctoral and clinical fellows, in her laboratory. She started and has directed the UVM Transgenic Mouse facility since her arrival at the University, and has periodically taught an intensive graduate level course on “Genetic Manipulation of Mice”. In addition, she has been a member of the Steering Committee for the Cell and Molecular Biology Program since she joined UVM, and the UVM Women’s Mentoring Program.

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Stephanie Seguino

Professor, Economics, College of Arts and Sciences

Stephanie Seguino received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Maine, in International affairs and Political Science, and Economics, respectively, and a PhD in Economics from The American University. Prior to beginning doctoral study she was an economist with USAID’s Haiti Mission, and prior to her appointment as Assistant Professor at UVM in 1995 she served as an Instructor at both American University and the University of Southern Maine, and a Research Associate and Assistant Professor at the University of Maine.

Professor Seguino’s research focuses on the relationship between inequality, growth, and development. Recent work analyzes the causes and implications of the global economic crisis, the effects of globalization on inequality, the impact of religiosity on gender relations, and human well-being as a goal of macroeconomic policy. The results of her research are reported in many articles in a range of important journals, book chapters, and a book, “Inequality, Development, and Growth”. In addition, she has authored a variety of background papers and monographs, papers commissioned by international development agencies, including several for the United Nations Research Institute on Social Development.

Stephanie Seguino is a Research Scholar at the Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts – Amherst; Professorial Research Associate at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London; Associate Editor of Feminist Economics and the Journal of Human Development; editorial board member of Review of Keynesian Economics; and past president of the International Association for Feminist Economics. She is also an instructor in the African Programme on Rethinking Development Economics (APORDE), a training program in development economics for scholars, trade unionist and policy makers from the Global South.

At UVM, Seguino has taught a broad range of courses in economics, including the regional economies of East Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean, and she has chaired a number of student thesis defenses. In addition, she has taught extensively in international settings, and was a Fulbright Scholar at the Centre for Gender and Development Studies, University of West Indies. Her administrative service includes chairing the Department of Economics, a term as Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and membership on a number of important University committees.

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Margaret A. Vizzard

Professor, Neurology, College of Medicine

Margaret Vizzard earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology from Temple University, and PhD in Physiology from Thomas Jefferson University, following which served as a Postdoctoral Fellow and Instructor in the Pharmacology Department of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. She joined the UVM faculty as Assistant Professor in the departments of Neurology and Anatomy and Neurobiology in 1995, and was appointed full Professor in 2005.

Professor Vizzard is a nationally and internationally recognized expert and leader in system neuroscience related to the neural control of the lower urinary tract system. She has developed multidisciplinary approaches and technologies that reveal new insights into the fundamental mechanisms by which the nervous system responds to injury and inflammatory processes related to the genitourinary system and beyond. Her research has been supported by a variety of federal and private agencies including the National Institutes of Health, American Heart Association, American Paralysis Association, Interstitial Cystitis Association and Spinal Cord Research Foundation. It has been reported in more than eighty publications in important journals, and in many invited review articles and presentations at research symposia.

Within the professions, Vizzard is a grant reviewer for NIH study sections, manuscript reviewer for numerous journals, serves on an editorial board for the American Journal of Physiology, and as an associate editor for other journals.

As a teacher, Professor Vizzard is highly regarded by her students. For many years, her responsibilities have included teaching and administering the large Human Neuroscience course taken by graduate students in physical therapy, as well as advanced undergraduates. Vizzard regularly provides research experiences for undergraduate students, has been the research advisor for a number of graduate students, and has also mentored both post-doctoral researchers and UVM faculty.

Her extensive UVM service includes chairing the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee and College of Medicine Research Committee. Beyond UVM, Vizzard also volunteers in community projects, judging science fairs and promoting women in science.

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