|Students test selves on NASA flight
UVMs reputation for offering students down-to-earth, hands-on learning experiences is about to lose ground. Elevating experiential education to the celestial realm, four engineering seniors will be testing their bioengineering experiment and themselves aboard NASAs KC-135, commonly known as the vomit comet. Their March flight, officially part of the NASA Reduced Gravity Student Flight Opportunities, should snag most unusual off-campus placement honors in the annals of career development.
It likely will be the flight of a lifetime for Dan Barnett of
Asburg, N.J.; Dan Cheung of Roslyn Heights, N.Y.; Megan Carroll
of Vineyard Haven, Mass.; and Noel Nutting of Essex Junction,
Its a great opportunity for us to meet with other students and
see what theyre doing, Carroll says, referring to the other
student teams accepted by NASA. Carroll, whose parents encouraged
her to participate, admits to being a little nervous about it
and, like the other students, really excited.
The four mechanical engineering majors have been part of a yearlong
bioengineering project for NASAs Student Launch Program.
The two-week, March program will take place at Ellington Field,
Texas, home of the Johnson Space Centers Reduced-Gravity Program.
The students will undergo a one-week, pre-flight, physiological
training that includes testing in a hyperbaric chamber. Then,
donning their flight suits, theyll board the KC-135 for a two-to-three
Look for a feature story on this unique field experience in a
future issue of Vermont Quarterly.
Stavrakiss paper was published by The Atlantic Council, a nonpartisan
network of leaders in the policy, academic and corporate communities
dedicated to fostering informed public policy in the United States
and abroad. The organization requested that Stavrakis analyze
the factors underlying the failure of Americas previous Russian
policy and reflect on what should be the elements of any future
While the objective of influencing policy is generally a high-risk
affair, Stavrakis says, the present vacuum of ideas and interest
surrounding Russia increased the likelihood that my work through
the auspices of the Atlantic Council would stimulate serious
thinking regarding how to best craft future policy and avoid the
mistakes of the past seven years.
Stavrakis explains that his paper suggests an approach to reform
that not only saves the United States and international financial
institutions time and money, but demonstrates to Russians that
America is not interested in defeating or exploiting them through
their transition to the modern world.
Prof a key witness in Civil Action case
In 1986, Pinder was an expert witness for the seven Woburn, Massachusetts
families who had suffered serious illness and lost children to
leukemia. The defendants, two large corporations, W.R. Grace and
Beatrice Foods, were accused of contaminating the groundwater
systems and nearby production wells with a variety of toxic materials.
Pinders reconstruction, using elementary and sophisticated mathematical
modeling, was critical to the outcome of the case, as it determined
when and at what concentration contaminants arrived at the production
British actor Stephen Fry portrays Pinder in A Civil Action. Pinder
himself will appear in an upcoming documentary about the Woburn
story on the Lifetime channel, and the Arts & Entertainment channel
covered the story on its American Justice program.
Go northeast, young man!
They call on public institutions to become engaged institutions
by responding to the needs of todays students and tomorrows,
not yesterdays; enriching students experiences by bringing research
and engagement into the curriculum and offering practical opportunities
for students to prepare for the world they will enter; and putting
critical resources (knowledge and expertise) to work on the problems
facing the communities they serve.
Becoming a more fully engaged institution requires a commitment
to enhance the student experience, encourage innovation and creativity,
and share its intellectual resources with the citizens of its
state and beyond, Ramaley said. Engaged institutions will find
ways to create real partnerships with local communities partnerships
in which we define problems together, share goals and agendas,
develop common definitions of success, and pool or leverage university,
public, and private funds.
The Kellogg Commissions recent letter is the third of a series
framing a vision for reforming public higher education and outlining
actions for change. Ramaley and her presidential colleagues stress
that engagement goes well beyond conventional, one-way notions
of public service. The Commission, says the report, envisions
partnerships, two-way streets defined by mutual respect among
the partners for what each brings to the table.
New Center for Cultural Pluralism
Researcher to head anti-drug effort
Worden will chair a seven-member panel that will develop strategies
and key advertising messages in a five-year, $1 billion media
campaign, the largest and most comprehensive ever undertaken by
the federal government. The campaigns goal will be to educate
and empower Americas young people to reject illicit drugs and
Worden and his UVM colleagues have already contributed to the
campaign through their research. The groups smoking prevention
project in the 1980s showed that a well-designed TV and radio
campaign can result in as much as a thirty percent decrease in
levels of youth smoking.
Several features of the new, national anti-drug campaign were
designed in a similar way to the UVM campaign, says Worden, except
that the one were undertaking has a one billion dollar budget.
On hand in Vietnam for the initial hookup was Dr. Michael Ricci,
medical director of the UVM/Fletcher Allen telemedicine system.
The goal of the program is to improve the level of medical education
in Vietnam. When fully implemented, the program will provide advanced
medical training for medical students and physicians in the United
States and Vietnam, enabling people in both countries to share
knowledge about conditions and techniques that are less common
at one site or the other.
Vermont was among the first states to explore methods of providing
health care at a distance. Now Vermonts system provides a tool
for daily consultations around the state and in northeastern New
York, while experts in Vermont are teaching others from around
the world how to use this promising new technology.
This effort is a logical extension of our telemedicine program,
says John Evans, executive dean of UVMs College of Medicine.
We designed our system to serve, teach and learn from the people
of our region by linking physicians and patients across some of
the nations most rural and rugged territory. Now we see an opportunity
to serve, teach and learn from the people of Vietnam by extending
our expertise across the globe.
Moderegers link to Salesman came via Jo Mielziner, a legendary
set designer known for his simple yet suggestive stages including
the original one for Millers play. Mielziner taught at the University
of Utah when Modereger was a graduate student there. After graduation,
Modereger hit the road with Mielziner as his mentor, assisting
him for two years on everything from architectural work at the
Denver Center for Performing Arts to set designs for Don Giovanni
at The Met.
This winter, Modereger and his students have prepared Royall Tyler
Theatre for their departments production honoring the 50th anniversary
of Death of a Salesman. Due to the theatres configuration,
they had to design and build the set under special spatial considerations.
The result suits the story in the signature Mielzinerian way.
He always told me never to design reality, Modereger says. The point, as he describes it, is to create a hyper-reality and thereby foster a heightened sense of drama. Quoting his mentor, Modereger says, Were all salesmen, trying to get the audience to believe in something they didnt know they were going to buy.