University of Vermont

University Communications

Day in the Life of UVM: Oct. 10, 2017

Women's lacrosse warms up at Virtue Field at dawn

It's one of our newer traditions in our 226-year history: a day when we aim to capture all that happens within 24 hours at the University of Vermont. Tune in here as we stop by classrooms, check on labs, head out on the lake, swing by games and practices, go downtown and more.

Share a moment from your own day with #uvmditl.

Melosira on the lake

5:55 a.m. Lake Champlain. Fisheries professor Ellen Marsden and Steve Cluett, captain of UVM research vessel Melosira, were on deck preparing for a pre-dawn trawl. The goal: lake trout. And, yes, they caught some big fish. But the biggest catch in the net this morning was an old wooden boat dragged off the bottom. “Wow. I’ve trawled through this stretch a hundred times, and you never know what will come up,” says Cluett, as he and his assistant, Brad Roy ’16, hauled a waterlogged mast onboard. As for the scientist, she, and her technician Jessica Griffin, were pleased to find four trout in the net—half of which were wild, meaning the ongoing surprising recovery of these favorite native sportfish continues. “And that’s way cool,” says Marsden.

Nursing student walking to hospital

6:10 a.m. University of Vermont Medical Center. Junior nursing student Kaitlyn Sutter makes her final weekly trek to the UVM Medical Center, where she is finishing a six-week clinical rotation in the mother-baby unit on Baird 7. The highlight of the experience: attending a live birth.

Skateboarder at Gutterson fieldhouse

6:59 a.m. Gutterson Fieldhouse. Later today, women's hockey will skate their home opener at The Gut. This morning, students make their way past the iconic field house on foot and on wheels, headed to the fitness center and fields for a morning workout.

Student walking dog

7:17 a.m. Athletic Campus. Senior environmental science major Zoe Hutcher on her morning walk with golden retriever Charlie outside their apartment at Redstone Lofts.

Student leading a horse at the Morgan Horse farm

7:35 a.m. UVM Morgan Horse Farm. Farm Manager Kimberly Demars (right) and Equine Specialist Sarah Fauver walk UVM Valencia and UVM Westerly to the outdoor paddock.

Irrigation system on Virtue Field
7:43 a.m. Moulton-Winder Field.
Irrigation system kicks on to keep field surface in top condition for the women's field hockey team practice.

8:15 a.m. Main Campus. Balloon and tower rise over campus.

Bike crossing Main Street

8:18 a.m. Main Street. Students make their way to the first class of the day.

9:02 a.m. Given Building. First-year medical students enter the gross anatomy lab for a Foundations of Clinical Science course review session.

Kunal Palawat

9:38 a.m. George D. Aiken Forestry Sciences Laboratory. Environmental sciences major Kunal Palawat '18 is sanitizing sampling materials in Dr. Carol Adair's Terrestrial Biogeochemistry for a Changing World Lab in prep for field work later that day. Palawat and Adair are studying the role of microorganisms in forest decomposition within the larger context of ecological changes caused by global warming.

Student teaching at Edmunds

9:22 a.m. Edmunds Elementary School. "She really excels, is incredibly dedicated, always goes above and beyond and brings skills to support me," says second grade teacher Janet Bellavance about senior Grace Colbert, who's working with students today on their e-book reports about a recent trip to the forest.

10:05 a.m. University Heights North. Catching sparks from Columbus/Indigenous People's Day events, students in Kelley Helmstutler Di Dio's Honors College seminar "Art & Its Destruction" start off with a discussion of the proposed removal of a statue of Christopher Columbus in New York City. The class will then shift back to its planned focus on ISIS and art objects destroyed or used to fund their operations.

10:08 a.m. Morrill Hall. Speed is of the essence as student Emily von Weise conducts a two-minute Facebook Live interview with Bob Parsons, Extension professor. Two minutes, two questions on Vermont agriculture. Von Weise says she enjoys the challenge and has gotten comfortable with the medium after an inaugural-interview blooper, in which she introduced herself as "Emily Vermont." Her work helps spread the word for the Center for Research on Vermont. Von Weise's busy days also often include work in the Vermont Lieutenant Governor's Office. Post-graduation, she envisions a career at the intersection of media and policy. "That connection is broken," she says, "and I'd like to help fix it."

10:13 a.m. Vermont Energy Investment Corporation. “At the end of the day, in economics, we’re talking about humans,” says Elizabeth Palchak, “how do humans actually make decisions?” “Yes,” says Dan Fredman, “economics has now become behavioral economics.” They’re both doctoral students at UVM — and they share one full-time job at the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation. “We’re behavioral scientists in the consulting department,” Palchak explains. She’s working on ways to help low-income residential customers reduce their energy bills. Fredman’s assignment: assist small businesses “using data science and algorithms for efficiency,” he says.

10:13 a.m. Kalkin Hall. Assistant Professor Akshay Mutha, Grossman School of Business, shows students how to solve a simple minimization problem in his Decision Analysis course.

10:20 a.m. Rowell Hall. Shira Habermehl, a junior in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, meets with Patty Prelock, who’s both dean of the college and is directing an autism research project Habermehl has been part of since her first semester at UVM. “I want students to know I’m not just a dean,” says Prelock, a nationally known autism expert. “I have an active research program I want them to be part of.”

10:27 a.m. Hills Building. "I'm a geek. I read reports," says Tim Ashe, Vermont Senate President Pro Tempore. Ashe is visiting an "Introduction to Contemporary Public Affairs" course taught by Jason Duquette-Hoffman, lecturer in community development and applied economics. One contemporary issue informed by those reports and under discussion in the class today: the economic and societal ins and outs — "the balancing act" — of raising the minimum wage in Vermont. Ashe is a UVM alumnus, Class of 1999.

11:20 a.m. The Hub, Davis Center. Mitch Plummer ’19 is one of 10 undergrads at a workshop this morning in The Hub — they’re preparing for a job shadow. “I’ve done two job shadows before,” he tells the other students, “this is a really good program, so be ready to follow through on it.” With coaching from career counselor Amanda Chase, the students will spend a day or longer with a UVM alum in their workplace. “You’re not expected to have any prior experience,” Chase assures them. But she does want them to learn the dress code before they start. “Some places it’s a suit; some you need steel-toed boots.”

11:24 a.m. UVM Medical Center. Nursing student Candyce Avery prepares a medication for a pediatric patient at The Vermont Children's Hospital under the supervision of UVM nursing instructor Kate Goodwin.

11:26 a.m. Pam's Deli Truck. Decades before food trucks were cool—1982 to be precise—Pam and George Bissonnette started serving up hamburgers, hot dogs, Philly cheesesteaks, and strollers from their yellow truck parked along University Row. An era in campus food will come to a close soon; the Bissonnettes plan to retire at Thanksgiving. "We're getting old. It's time, it's time," Pam says. "We'll miss the kids, they're great. We love all the athletes who stop by. We've got a lot of regulars."

11:35 a.m. Converse Hall. Construction scaffolding surrounding Converse Hall is reflected in the remnants of yesterday’s rain.

11:40 a.m. Williams Hall. Phylicia Hodges, art education major, at work in a "Painting, Observation, and Image" course taught by Coady Brown, lecturer.

11:50 a.m. Central Campus Dining Hall. Alex Weingard '19 makes his own stir fry at the new dining hall

11:56 a.m. Outside Davis Center. Student Lejla Mahmuljin leads an admission tour. One mom gives her an enthusiastic thumbs up as a guide: "Awesome." Mahmuljin, a nutrition and food science major, laughs and says, "I've mastered walking and talking at the same time."

12 p.m. Fleming Museum. Junior anthropology and religion major Abra Clawson takes notes during a visit to the current Fleming exhibition, "Spirited Things: Sacred Arts of the Black Atlantic.”

12:01 p.m. Jeffords Hall. "What's your family name? Where does it come from? What originally brought your family to Vermont?" Students in Kevin Richmond's ASL 3 Class pair-up to sign and learn about one anothers' family history.

12:14 p.m. Redstone Campus. "I like doing my homework out here when it's nice. I'm just happier outside, and I study longer," says first-year business major Mark Puglisi from his hammock in the woods near Redstone campus.

12:15 p.m. Southwick. Carolyn Bittner, a sophomore environmental science major from Farmington, Connecticut, is practicing the cello part to Franz Liszt’s "Hungarian Battle March" for an upcoming UVM Symphony Orchestra concert. The concert isn’t until November 11, so she “still has a little time.”

12:38 p.m. Athletic Campus. Traveling pillow? Check. Sophomore Greg Ginsberg and UVM men's soccer teammates board a bus bound for Long Island for an America East Conference showdown with Stony Brook.

12:43 p.m. Davis Center. Kira Wallensak and Jane Baker feed their hunger with pesto maple and Bella sandwiches from the FeelGood cart. One hundred percent of proceeds go to the 2030 Fund, aimed at ending extreme poverty. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., everyone can feel good savoring grilled cheese ordered up at the organization's cart by the Davis Center tunnel entrance.

1 p.m. Davis Center Green. Daniel Cortez and Amanda Martinez do a brisk business selling homemade empanadas, bread pudding and rice pudding, a fundraiser for the Alianza Latina student organization. While buying an empanada is nice, Cortez makes a pitch for students to get more involved. The group meets Thursdays at 7 p.m. in the Mosaic Center. Open to all.

1:19 p.m. Davis Center. Hailey Reilly and Emily MacDonald are at the Dairy Bar for motivation and reward. A strawberry banana smoothie is fuel for an essay Hailey has to write. Emily just wrapped up Tuesday classes – reason enough for a Triple Berry treat. DB staff say smoothies rule the day, but ice cream takes over at night. Most popular flavors? Make it Green and Proctor Maple Cream.

1:35 p.m. Morrill Hall. Nine hours a week, student Mallory Curtis helps resolve consumer complaints through her internship in the Vermont Attorney General's Office's Consumer Assistance Program. Today, it might be auto sales; another day, a defective refrigerator. Curtis, a public communications major, says she appreciates the opportunity to "see real-world change" due to her efforts.

1:45 p.m. Discovery Hall. With a laser scanning microscope, doctoral students Kim Hua and Libin Liang can measure atoms at the micron scale — about 0.000039 inch. In the laboratory of professor Madalina Furis, director of UVM’s Material Science program, these students explore an increasingly important family of materials called organic semiconductors. “They can be good for solar cells or wearable electronics,” Furis says. “There are some you can now wear like a band-aid.”

1:55 p.m. Outside Discovery Hall. Burning M&M’s. In the name of science. “I have the best job on campus,” says Travis Verret, the lab coordinator for the Chemistry Department. He’s working with two work-study students—first-year biochemistry major Anne Stetson and transfer student Jesse Birkett '19 — applying a blowtorch to a test tube with a fuel in the bottom. Once it’s hot, they drop a single M&M into the bottom. Smoke! Fire! Light! And what’s with the tie-died lab coats? “We’re making a web video series,” Verret explains. “It’s called Stuff We Can’t Do in the Lecture Hall.”

2:08 p.m. Larner Classroom, Larner Medical Education Center. Class of 2020 medical students Lauren Donnelly, Kirsten Martin, Patricia Wong and Rachael Munoz work together to determine a diagnosis based on a series of lab results during an active learning workshop on the kidney led by pathologist Pamela Gibson, M.D., for the Cardiovascular, Renal and Respiratory course.

2:40 p.m. Carpenter Auditorium, Given Building. Heads up when you walk into Dr. Jim Hudziak's "Healthy Brains, Healthy Bodies" (HB/HB) class. From the front of the lecture hall, the professor fires away with the rubber brain/football that has become something like a Wellness Environment mascot. No Hail Mary lobs; he throws ropes. Then, after some taking-care-of-business discussion, and with a "good old-fashioned HB/HB cleansing breath," Hudziak says, "Let's get our mindfulness on."

3:10 p.m. Rowell Hall. Glioblastoma is the most aggressive form of brain cancer. For his senior thesis, Honors College student Tyler Hogan has been working alongside professor Paula Deming — the chair of the department of Medical Laboratory & Radiation Sciences — hunting for why. “We’re studying the mechanisms in the cell that might allow that invasive potential — with hopes of identifying a target for therapy,” Deming says. Over the summer and into this year, Hogan has been exploring two proteins in glioblastoma cells, “PKA and FYN,” he says, looking for the role they play in this cancer. He’s going to graduate in December and start an accelerated nursing program at U. Conn. Doing research, “gives me a better appreciation of what professors do, and the scientific studies I read,” Hogan says, “it’s not as easy as it might look.”

3:12 p.m., Hoehl Gallery, Health Science Research Facility. Medical alumni Mark Pasanen, M.D.’92, associate professor of medicine, and Betsy Sussman, M.D.’81, professor of radiology, assist with inserting personalized notecards written by Larner College of Medicine alumni into the pockets of each of the Class of 2021’s white coats in preparation for the White Coat Ceremony, which takes place Friday, October 13, at 2:30 p.m. in Ira Allen Chapel.

3:21 p.m. Central Campus Dining Hall. In the sleek new Discovery Kitchen, students learn hands-on the art and science of making vegetable sushi, led by master-trained chef Matt Lawrence. Classes are offered every Tuesday and Wednesday and are open to all students. Health, culture, and sustainability guide each session, but the culinary feature changes weekly. Apples and pickles preceded sushi, next up is kale, then sweet potatoes roll in as "Harvest of the Month."

3:23 p.m. Vaccine Testing Center. Ian McHale '17 pulls frozen samples from a liquid nitrogen tank. McHale has interned in the Vaccine Testing Center since his undergrad days; now he's pursuing an accelerated master's degree in public health.

3:23 p.m. Athletic Medicine Training Room, Patrick Gym. Sophomore athletic training major Kagan Beachum stretches the hip of first-year men’s basketball player Stef Smith during her first semester-long clinical rotation. “I’ve really enjoyed my clinical rotation with the men’s basketball team. The hands-on experience has been invaluable.”

3:36 p.m. Outside Votey Hall. After yesterday’s downpour, Elle Mountain '18, Alicia Tanneberger '20, and Sam Marano '20, attend to a rain garden near Votey Hall. They’re all members of a student chapter of Engineers With Borders that provides service as far away as Nicaragua and as close as Colchester Avenue. “These plants were under more than a foot of water,” Mountain explains. “The garden does a good job of controlling runoff.”

4:02 p.m. North End, Burlington. Holly Juliet Danger, right, of Burlington, purchases eggplant from UVM Farmer Training Student Casey McNeel at the Farmers’ Market in the Old North End, where Farmer Training students sell everything from kale and pumpkin to garlic and beets grown at UVM Catamount Farm.

4:19 p.m. Living Well, Davis Center. Briana Martin leads a monthly Yoga for Womxn of Color class at Living Well in the Davis Center. Living Well offers several classes for UVM students, including a 7-session series "Exploring the Chakras," also taught by Martin.

4:56 p.m. Alumni House. President Tom Sullivan, Vice Provost for Student Affairs Annie Stevens and Center for Health and Wellbeing Director Jon Porter accept the prestigious Prevention Excellence Award on behalf of UVM from EVERFI, a leading technology education company, creator of the AlcoholEdu program. UVM was honored by EVERFI for its institution-wide efforts to promote wellness and prevent alcohol abuse among students. Presenting the award are Kimberley Timpf and Rob Buelow of EVERFI.

5:04 p.m. Fleming Museum. Students in Helen Scott’s “The Works of Edwidge Danticat” (ENGS 281) class receive a private tour of the exhibition Spirited Things: Sacred Arts of the Black Atlantic by the exhibition’s curator, Andrea Rosen.

5:20 p.m. Redstone Unlimited Dining Hall. First-year environmental studies major Elizabeth Mackin, sophomore environmental science major Lucy McGrew, and sophomore environmental studies major Alysa Kelly (from left), manage a Weigh the Waste event. The idea? “We want students to realize that, even though they’re putting food in the compost bin, it’s still waste,” says McGrew. The three will weigh today’s edible compost later, but yesterday, students threw away 50 pounds of food in just two hours. Weigh the Waste aims to raise awareness so, in the future, students will start off with less food on their plates.

5:23 p.m. Uncommon Grounds. Sophomores Ivana Djidda, left, and Tau Le, take advantage of the caffeine and wifi at the Church Street coffee shop to do some homework.

5:27 p.m. Jeffords Hall. Last night, the members of the UVM Horticulture Club made kimchi with “radishes, carrots, garlic,” says club president Kaly Gonski ’19. They regularly harvest from their garden bed outside Jeffords Hall, making “dilly beans and pesto with basil,” says Gonski, a Sustainable Landscape Horticulture major. “Club members got to bring it home.” This evening, she’s harvesting carrots and beans — and she’s thinking about a career in medicinal herbs “or growing hops,” she says. “Hops are hot.” Asked about what attracts some 200 students to be part of the club, she says, “who doesn’t love flowers?”

5:52 p.m. Aiken Center, Green roof. Since 2013, there have been eight tiny watersheds on the roof of the Aiken Center. Each has its own plants, soil and pipes that drain rainwater down into tipping buckets inside, where the water volume and quality can be compared. This evening, UVM researcher Gary Hawley is talking with a group of environmental sciences students and grads about how green roofs can help control erosion and pollution. “We‘ve learned that this roof retains anywhere from 55 percent to 60 percent of the water over a whole growing season,” he says. “That was a surprise.” Next step: Hawley’s students will be taking data from here and “applying that to all the flat roofs that UVM owns,” he says. “What impact would that have on the stormwater discharge of UVM? Or what would happen if all the flat roofs in Burlington have a green roof? Maybe we could reduce stormwater by 20 percent. That’s a big number.”

6:01 p.m. Votey Hall. The Alternative Energy Racing Organization (AERO) is a student-run club at the University of Vermont that designs and builds electric and hybrid vehicles to compete at Formula Hybrid, an international collegiate competition. AERO members work to change a tire on one of their vehicles.

6:55 p.m. Harris Millis Residence Hall. Roommate compatibility test: first-year Mason Strunk, left, and Eli Lewis, right, discovered they both play the mandolin.

7:03 p.m. Gutterson Fieldhouse. UVM provost David Rosowsky (right) and a buddy, College of Medicine faculty member Jim Hudziak, take in the UVM-Union College women’s hockey game. Six players on the women’s team are members of UVM’s Wellness Environment, which Hudziak directs.

7:05 p.m. Coolidge Hall.

Sophomore Gennaro Valant leads a gear-packing workshop for members of the Outdoor Experience Learning Community.

7:14 p.m. Outside Royall Tyler Theater. Night falls on Royall Tyler Theatre.

7:23 p.m. Lafayette Hall. Members of AFECT, Advocating For Exceptional Children Today, meet in Lafeyette to discuss club business, including brainstorming for their next fundraiser. Club members spend time with children staying at a Burlington shelter run by COTS, the Committee on Temporary Shelter, which is the leading organization in Vermont that fights homelessness. "Our mission, says College of Education and Social Services student Nicole Lewis, "is simply to bring positivity to the children at the shelter and a chance to have fun while giving their parents a break."

7:52 p.m. UVM Catholic Center. Father Dwight Baker leads a talk about the fundamentals of Catholicism as part of a Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults gathering.

8:42 p.m. Forbush Dance Studio. UVM's first Bollywood club, Jazbaa, practices a dance routine.

9:31 p.m. Patrick Gym. Beginners learn new moves from the Salsa and Swing Society. No experience or partner necessary.

9:35 p.m. Central Heating & Cooling Plant. Working a 3 to 11 shift, Jason Clark is the lone operating engineer overseeing the show at the plant that hums along 365 days a year keeping campus buildings warm, cool, safe, and comfortable. Done well, there's an invisibility to their duty, Clark says—"If everything is working right, no one notices us."

10:05 p.m. WRUV, Davis Center. "Yo! Yo! Yo! What's good, folks? This is 'Bangers and Mash' with Chef Coop!" DJ Chef Coop (AKA student Cooper Hayes) brings the energy as he opens his evening radio show. But, almost immediately derailed by mysterious technical difficulties, he slides into a patter as his music will not cue up. Chef Coop ad libs about the "stellar week and stunning weather" until he can get his show of urban music up and running. Shadowing Coop for his show, future WRUV DJs in-training Sophie Brunets and Emily Perlmutter gain a lesson in live radio: sometimes you just have to roll with it.

10:25 p.m. UVM Rescue Headquarters. Brand new headquarters await next door as the student volunteers of UVM Rescue work their final days out of a well-worn space that has served the unit for years. Some of the students on duty this evening admit they might even miss this old space a little. After all, it's a home away from home. Rescue HQ, yes. But also where they study, hone their rescue skills, sleep, eat pizza, and hang with friends on the squad. There are a lot of memories here.

11:05 p.m. Forbush Multipurpose Studio. As the athletic and recreation facilities quiet down for the night, there's still a swirl of activity in this studio—the Celtics Cats Club midway into an Irish step dancing practice, focused on a competition at Villanova University next month. As dancers Aimee Terry and Liam Daugherty take a breather by the door, they say that the club has doubled in size this year with an influx of Irish step-dancing first-years. "Irish dance is inherently social," Daugherty says. "You're dancing for the group."