University of Vermont

The Honors College

Homecoming at the Honors College: October 3, 2009

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On Saturday, October 3, spend your morning with Honors College alumni, students, faculty and staff. Enjoy a reception in the Honors College beginning at 8:30 a.m., then hear about post-graduate life from several Honors College alumnae. The panel, moderated by Associate Dean Lisa Schnell, will talk about what they've done in their post-UVM lives and how their experiences in the Honors College helped to shape who they are today. The panel will take place at 9:30 a.m. in Aiken 104.

Meet the panel members:

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John Huntsman was born & raised on the Jersey Shore before finding his way to the University of Vermont in 2004. While attending school in Vermont he focused his studies on finance and marketing, leading him to an exciting position as Project Director for a boutique marketing firm called KL Communications (and inevitably back to his stomping grounds in NJ). As a Project Director John spends most of his time managing online communities and other research projects for such clients as Frito Lay, Warner Music Group, and Dairy Queen. Outside of his professional pursuits he enjoys pickup basketball, competitive sailing, skiing, running, and live music. Looking back on his college experience, John would say that he his most grateful for the many friendships formed while attending UVM.

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Gwen Buel graduated from the Honors College at the University of Vermont in May 2009 with a bachelor's degree in Biochemistry and an individual design minor in neurobiology. During her last two years at UVM, she worked in the lab of Dr. Bryan Ballif in the Biology Department researching a protein involved in neuronal positioning in a developing brain. Due largely to this work and other experiences at UVM, she was inspired to pursue graduate work in biochemistry. Currently she is pursuing a Ph.D. through the Biological and Biomedical Sciences program at Harvard University, with the ultimate goal of becoming a professor.

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Kesha Ram is in her first term as a State Representative, serving on behalf of the City of Burlington, Chittenden District 3-4 in the Vermont Legislature. She is the Clerk of the House General, Housing, and Military Affairs Committee. She was born in Santa Monica, California in 1986. She graduated from the University of Vermont in 2008 (BS, Natural Resource Planning [cum laude]; BA, Political Science [magna cum laude]) and also completed a Public Law program at American University in 2006. Prior to entering the legislature, she served as the 2007-2008 University of Vermont Student Government Association President, led the Policy Team for the Burlington Climate Action Plan, and taught preschool at Burlington Children's Space. She is a United States Department of Agriculture Multicultural Scholar, Morris K. Udall Scholar, Ronald E. McNair Scholar, and Harry S. Truman Scholar.

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Elias Altman, a native Vermonter, graduated from the University of Vermont in 2007 with a degree in English and art history. After working his old summer job, he packed up a sixteen-foot U-Haul and moved to New York City. He was hired as an intern at Lapham's Quarterly, a new magazine founded by Lewis Lapham, the longtime editor of Harper's Magazine. Elias is currently an assistant editor at the Quarterly, which operates under the assumption that "observations of the human character and predicament don't become obsolete." Each issue of the magazine addresses a single topic such as war, travel, and medicine, and assembles relevant writing from authors recent and ancient, from James Baldwin to Josephus. Elias selects and edits texts for publication and has commissioned essays from writers including William Gass, Terry Eagleton, and Francine Prose.

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Aida Sehovic was born and raised in Banjaluka, Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1977. She lived in Turkey and Germany before moving to the U.S. with her family in 1997. After receiving her B.A. degree with College Honors from UVM in 2002, she went on to complete Artist Residency programs at the Vermont Studio Center and at the Santa Fe Art Institute. She is a recipient of the 2006 ArtsLink award and the Jacob K. Javits Fellowship for graduate studies from the U.S. Department of Education, which enabled her to study towards her MFA degree at Hunter College, and move to New York, where she still lives and works. She is a multi-disciplinary artist who works in variety of media such as installation, photography, performance and video-art, and who tends to include and collaborate with the public throughout her creative process. In addition to working on her MFA Thesis, she is currently also trying to develop a model for temporary, self-perpetuating monuments.

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Jon Parker graduated from the Honors College in 2008 with a dual major in Computer Science and Mathematics. After graduation he returned to my hometown of Hopkinton New Hampshire and currently works at Deka Research and Development in Manchester as a software engineer. Led by its founder, inventor Dean Kamen, Deka R&D develops a variety of products. Jon is currently involved in the development of a medical device, writing C++ and Python code to test the software used to run the machine.

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Nat Koloc took a job after graduating UVM as a project manager for a sustainability consulting firm in Pittsburgh where he worked with communities, nonprofits, and private companies to develop strategic plans for introducing the discipline of sustainability into their operations, planning, and core philosophies. In early 2009, he joined a team of entrepreneurs starting a nonprofit, The Institute for Ecological Innovation, which was recently awarded funding from the Heinz Endowments, one of Pittsburgh's largest foundations.

Nat is currently working on a second startup, this one a private company with a social mission. TerraShift Inc. is a human capital development firm that provides client organizations with a steady supply of exceptional young talent. Specializing in the discipline of sustainability, TerraShift fellows are sent to companies and organizations that work towards building an equitable and sustainable future, particularly in the fields of sustainable agriculture and permaculture, post-petroleum community design and urban planning, microfinance and social equity, public health, and fair trade advocacy.

Last modified September 29 2009 04:23 PM