University of Vermont

James M. Jeffords Center for Policy Research

News & Events

The Jeffords Center works in collaboration with other organizations to sponsor or host symposiums and lectures related to the Center's Signature Themes for the university and community-at-large.

2013 Jeffords Center Sponsored Events

August 15, 2013 - People Helping People: Interprofessional Workforce Development Forum. This day-long Forum brought together professionals from health, human services, and education to identify the common knowledge, skills and values that are necessary to engage and work with families. Governor Madeleine Kunin provided a keynote address. The agenda included a series of interactive group and table top discussions. Families described what shared knowledge is needed to realize an integration of services across the heatlh, human services and education sectors. The day ended with a panel presentation outlining future hopes for dismantling funding barriers that inhibit meeting the needs of families. Materials from the People Helping People Forum will be available on this website soon.

April 23, 2013 - UVM Student Research Conference. The James M. Jeffords Center is a co-sponsor of this annual showcase event for student research and scholarly activity held at the Davis Center. Jeffords Center Fellows and Scholars will be well represented at the conference with both oral presentations or research posters. For a complete listing of student presentation times, visit the SRC webpage

2012 Jeffords Center Sponsored Events

November 14, 2012 - "Big Oil in the Niger Delta" a panel discussion sponsored by the James M. Jeffords Center's Institute for Environmental Diplomacy and Security at UVM and Vermont Council for World Affairs. The panel is scheduled for 6:00 PM in the Williams Family Room of the Davis Center at UVM. Olav Ljøsne, Senior Manager of International Operations for Shell Oil; Gregory Gause, Professor of Political Science, UVM; and Benjamin Sovacool, Visiting Associate Professor, Vermont Law School, will provide perspectives on the current situation and future prospects for international relations concerning oil development in Nigeria and the Niger Delta. The discussion is timely because of recent events that are now unfolding concerning claims by Nigerians of pollution in the Delta and the opening of what may become a landmark case against Royal Dutch Shell.

Mr. Ljøsne has spent twenty years working for Shell Oil in the Middle East, Europe, and Africa.  Professor Gause has written three books and several articles on international relations in the Persian Gulf with particular emphasis on the role of oil in Middle East development.  Professor Sovacool, is the founding manager of the Energy Security and Justice Program at the Institute for Energy and the Environment. The Energy and the Environment Program investigates how to provide ethical access to energy services and minimize the injustice of current patterns of energy production and use.

The public is invited to this panel but since space is limited you are urged to call 802-656-3161, or email, and leave a message concerning your intention to attend by November 5, 2012.

October 16, 2012 - "How to Save American Elections" Elections in the U.S. are in an unhealthy state. But, what, exactly, is wrong with elections and why? And what can we do to restore to health both elections and the democracy that relies on them?

Jack Gierzynski, professor of political science, and Director of the Jeffords Center's Vermont Legislative Research Service. Professor Gierzynski discussed the diagnosis and prescriptions outlined in his 2011 book, Saving American Elections: A Diagnosis and Prescription for a Healthier Democracy, in a public talk, part of the College of Arts and Science' Full Profesor Lecture Series.

October 3, 2012 - Jeffords Center Fellow, Leslie "Drake" Turner Wins UVM Student Scholars Poster Competition. This event was designed to showcase the excellence of UVM undergraduate, graduate, and medical student work in research, scholarship, creative effort, and innovation across campus. Five winners were selected. Drake's poster titled, "The State of Food Systems Planning, Governance, and Network Connectivity in North America" was selected as the winner in the Social Sciences, Education and Business category. All winners were personally recognized by President E. Thomas Sullivan at the Inauguration Event on October 5th. Congratulations Drake!

September 26 & 27, 2012- UVM Professors Christopher Koliba and Asim Zia Present at the US General Accountability Office
In a series of talks at the United States General Accountability Office, UVM professors Christopher Koliba and Asim Zia from the Community Development & Applied Economics Department, and fellows with the Vermont Complex Systems Center and the James M. Jeffords Policy Research Center, discussed the tools and techniques currently being used to model and evaluate interagency network performance and accountability. Koliba presented a talk titled, Assessing Complex Public Sector Networks: New Developments in Research Design and Methodology. Zia presented a talk titled, Computer Simulation Models of Interagency Networks: Applications to Transportation Infrastructure Planning and Watershed Management. In both presentations research and modeling efforts funded through grants from the National Science Foundation and the James M. Jeffords Policy Research Center were discussed. Their talks were sponsored by the Applied Research and Methods Division of GAO.

Saturday, March 31, 2012 - "The New Feminist Agenda: The Next Revolution for Women, Work and Family; Balancing a Career and Family." A conference hosted by Governor Madeleine Kunin, and sponsored in part by the James M. Jeffords Center. The conference will address several broad themes, via keynote speakers, concurrent panel discussions and a culminating roundtable discussion: how to increase access to quality, affordable childcare; what we can learn from other countries; what government can do to help accommodate the needs of working families; and what the private sector can do. Information and registration is available at

Wednesday, April 19, 2012 University of Vermont Student Research Conference, 4th Floor Davis Center

Wednesday, April 19, 2012 "U.S. Housing Policy: Debates, Puzzles and Insights" Sandra J. Newman, PhD, Professor of Policy Studies, Johns Hopkins University and Director, Center on Housing, Neighborhoods and Communities, at the Johns Hopkins Institute for Policy Studies. 4:30-6:00 p.m., Frank Livak Ballroom, Davis Center, UVM

2011 Jeffords Center Sponsored Events

October 21-23, 2011 International Conference on Environmental Diplomacy and Security – University of Vermont

Environmental issues are often framed as a source of conflict in terms of resource scarcity. Yet they tend to be relegated as "low politics," in the larger scheme of international relations. This conference aims to consider ways by which environmental issues can be raised to "high politics of war and peace" to ensure ecological, economic and social sustainability. The conference is the inaugural event of a new research and practice center on the emerging discipline of environmental diplomacy and security at the University of Vermont.

The conference is broadly arranged around 5 short symposia, each of which is targeted towards developing a product for research and educational purposes. These "products" can range from edited volumes to new educational web sites to video documentaries. Topics have been chosen based on the relevance of these efforts to mandate of the institute's three thematic areas: a) Borderlands b) Pragmatic Peace and c) Resource Values.

Conference symposia:

A) Polar Diplomacy: Energy, the Environment and Security in the Arctic and Antarctic
B) The Social Ecology of Borders: Environmental Regionalism and Globalization
C) Beyond African "Exceptionalism": Ecological approaches to improving the African Union
D) Bridging Eurasia: Energy Infrastructure, Conservation and Culture
E) Chemical Diplomacy: Negotiating the Global Mercury Treaty


2010 Jeffords Center Sponsored Events

  • January 25, 2010 – Gubernatorial Forum.  Candidates for Vermont Governor discussed their views on educational policy issues facing Vermonters.  The Jeffords Center jointly sponsored this event with the Programs in Educational Leadership from Castleton State College, St. Michael’s College, and the University of Vermont.
  • March 2, 2010 – “What is the Role of Government? Then and Now” A Celebration of the 25th Anniversary of Madeleine M. Kunin’s Inauguration as Governor of Vermont. Organized by The Center for Research on Vermont, this day-long symposium included a panel discussion focused on education, the environment, women’s issues, and the positive impact government can have when people work collaboratively under strong leadership.
  • October 14, 2010 – “Realist Based Evaluation Methods” Dr. Gillian Westhorp, Director of a small consultancy company specializing in realist evaluation and realist synthesis in South Australia, provided an introduction to the principles and practice of realist evaluation. Dr. Westhorp has completed many realist evaluation projects, primarily in education, health and community service settings, as well as several criminal justice related projects.


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