University Scholars for 2009 - 2010

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.

For 2009-2010, the 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.


Ralph C. Budd

Professor of Medicine
College of Medicine

Professor Ralph Budd received both his bachelor’s and Doctor of Medicine degrees from Cornell University. He joined the University of Vermont faculty in 1989, following residency and fellowships in rheumatology and immunology at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center; postdoctoral research training in Switzerland and at Stanford University; and positions as a Scientist at Genentec, Inc., and as Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at Stanford.

Prof. Budd’s research has centered on cellular and molecular interactions of the immune system. He has made seminal contributions to immunology in the areas of immune system “memory” cells, in analyzing cell death and growth, and in studying mechanisms of autoimmunity. This work has been continuously supported by the National Institutes of Health and by private foundations, and has resulted in 68 original publications and 13 review articles to date. In addition to grants specific to his research, Budd has also directed (a) multiple investigator grants that support academic programs and researchers across campus; (b) a training grant that funds graduate students; (c) and a COBRE (Centers for Biological Research Excellence) grant that supports new faculty and which established the Vermont Center for Immunology and Infectious Diseases. Based on the merits of his work, Dr. Budd has received a number of awards, including the prestigious Pew Scholars Award in the Biological Sciences – one of only two UVM faculty members to be recognized as a PEW Scholar.

In addition to his research and scholarly work, Dr. Budd is also an active clinician, seeing patients with autoimmune disorders. He continues to be the senior editor for the Textbook of Rheumatology, the highest-selling text in its field. Budd also directs the Immunobiology Program within the Department of Medicine (which he has done for 13 years); he also served as Director of the Cell and Molecular Biology Program from 2000 to 2003. He lectures regularly here at UVM, and is invited nationally and internationally to speak on his research. As one colleague wrote, “Ralph cares passionately about every aspect of his career and life. He is a consummate physician-scientist.” Please join me in acknowledging Ralph Budd as University Scholar.

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John P. Burke

Professor of Political Science
College of Arts and Sciences

Professor John Burke joined UVM in 1984 as Assistant Professor of Political Science. He received his bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, and MA and PhD degrees from Princeton. Prior to his UVM appointment, he served as a Lecturer and Research Associate at Princeton University, and as the Charles Culpepper Fellow in the Social Sciences at Williams College.

The focus of Professor Burke’s research and scholarship has been the American presidency, presidential transitions, and the details of presidential organization and administrative management. He is the author of eight books, several of which have been nominated for or received major awards. A book reviewer once wrote about Burke’s book, The Institutional Presidency, that “this book should be read by all presidency specialists, including presidents themselves.” His most recent book is entitled, Honest Broker? The National Security Advisor and Presidential Decision Making. It was just published in 2009. Burke’s scholarship has also been published in the leading journals in the field, including The Journal of Politics, Political Science Quarterly, and Presidential Studies Quarterly. His work has been supported by research grants and fellowships from many sources, including the American Political Science Association and several presidential institutes and foundations. In addition, during 2008 alone, he was interviewed more than fifty times for articles in national newspapers and magazines, and for TV and radio news and stories.

In addition to his extensive record of scholarship, Burke has been a reviewer or editorial board member for a variety of professional organizations, and his University service includes a term as Chair of the Department of Political Science. In addition, he is respected by his colleagues and his students for his outstanding teaching. A colleague wrote, “I can always identify students who have studied with Prof. Burke. They appreciate complexity, they don’t look for simple answers.” Other colleagues wrote that Burke is a “a university citizen, a quiet and unassuming man who has been a source of encouragement and support” for his colleagues. Another commented that Burke is, “a model faculty member, an outstanding teacher, and a scholar of the very highest order.” Please join me in acknowledging John Burke as University Scholar.

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William E. Mann

Marsh Professor of Intellectual and Moral Philosophy
College of Arts and Sciences

Professor William Mann received Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees from Stanford University, and the PhD from the University of Minnesota, all in Philosophy. Prior to joining UVM as Associate Professor in 1974, he served on the faculties of St. Olaf College and Illinois State University. He was named the Marsh Professor of Intellectual and Moral Philosophy at UVM in 2002.

While Professor Mann’s research has focused mainly on the philosophy of religion, and on ancient and medieval philosophy, his publications cover a broad array of philosophical fields and subfields, including logic, metaphysics, ethics, and epistemology. Nominators wrote that it is rare that a scholar in philosophy demonstrates mastery of so many diverse subjects – and, as a one observed, Mann’s scholarly works have “appeared in some of the most prominent and distinguished journals in our profession.” Prof. Mann’s scholarly publications include two edited volumes, a book, The Languages of Logic, used in logic courses for nearly thirty years, translations of works by important medieval philosophers, many contributions to The Cambridge General Encyclopedia and The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, and numerous articles in the most distinguished philosophical journals. His scholarship has been recognized by a number of external fellowships and awards.

Professor Mann is highly regarded as a teacher, mentor, and friend by his students and faculty colleagues. He served as Chair of the Department of Philosophy from 1978 to 1991, a period of growth and re-building in that Department, and he returned to the position of Chair in 2007. He has contributed to far-too-many College and University committees to list. In addition, Prof. Mann’s scholarly stature is shown in his professional service, including his work as a reviewer for prominent journals in his field, his efforts as an editorial consultant to more than a dozen publishers and to the National Endowment of the Humanities, and his multiple roles, including Acting Executive Director, within the American Philosophical Association.

As several colleagues noted, “Bill Mann is a major scholarly force on the UVM campus and across the nation.” “He is a dazzling teacher, an invaluable colleague and mentor, and a celebrated researcher.” Please join me in acknowledging William Mann as University Scholar.

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Russell P. Tracy

Professor of Pathology and Biochemistry
Colleges of Medicine

Professor Russell Tracy joined the University of Vermont in 1984. He received his bachelor’s degree in biology from LeMoyne College, and a PhD in biochemistry from Syracuse University. Prior to his UVM appointment, he held postdoctoral positions at the Mayo Clinic and was on the faculty of the University of Rochester.

Prof. Tracy’s research focus is on the role of inflammation in human disease, and in particular, on the intersection of the immune and hemostatic systems with ageing and cardiovascular molecular epidemiology. One of his many important research contributions was the recognition and establishment of a risk factor for cardiovascular disease that is now used in the assessment and treatment of atherosclerosis. Supporting his research work is the Laboratory for Clinical Biochemistry Research, which he has developed over the last 20 years into one of the top laboratories in the world for large-scale molecular epidemiology. Tracy’s work has been reported in nearly 400 articles published in the major journals of his field. Many of his publications rank among the most cited and highest impact articles in these journals. Support for this research has been continuous and has derived from various agencies of the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association, other universities, and a number of major corporations. He is in constant demand as a speaker, with more than thirty invited presentations in the last four years.

At UVM, Tracy is regarded as an outstanding mentor both by students and his faculty colleagues. He has been an advisor to many students at all levels, including high school summer researchers; undergraduate, graduate, and medical students; and post-doctoral students and junior faculty. Since 2001, Tracy has served as Senior Associate Dean for Research and Academic Affairs in the College of Medicine, with a focus on research program development, and faculty recruitment and development. He has also been a member of editorial boards and has served his profession as a reviewer for publishers, for grant reviews for a variety of agencies, and as a program reviewer for a number of institutions. As one colleague wrote, “He is absolutely amazing – how can only one person possibly do all this?” Please join me in acknowledging Russ Tracy as University Scholar.

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