|Plants are learning resources
Libraries and laboratories arent the only on-campus academic resources for UVM faculty and students. The universitys flora has long been a reference for teaching and research in fields such as horticulture and dendrology. That resource promises to continue to thrive and improve, thanks to a coordinated effort among the Department of Plant and Soil Science, UVM Developments Commemorative Tree Planting Plan, and the Grounds Department of Physical Plant.
Approximately 250 trees, shrubs, and benches on campus stand in
honor or in memory of alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of the
university. The plantings, notes Joan Kieran, stewardship coordinator
in UVM Development, provide a living memorial that contributes
to both form and function on campus. By more closely coordinating
the commemorative tree selections with the teaching and research
needs of the university, the program not only beautifies the campus
but has a direct impact on the universitys academic mission.
Were working to build the diversity of the plantings on campus
and shape things in a more careful way through this program,
says Mark Starrett, assistant professor of horticulture in the
Plant and Soil Science Department. Many professors use the trees
on campus for teaching purposes and for their own research.
In addition to sponsoring a planting in honor of or as a memorial
to an individual, alumni can become involved with the program
by making contributions in support of existing plantings on campus.
For more information on UVMs Commemorative Planting Plan, contact
Joan Kieran, (802) 656-4671.
Will Miller, assistant professor of philosophy, and senior Justin
Parmett, a regional debate champion, took the position that the
United States should end its role as the worlds police force.
Robert Kaufman, associate professor of political science, and
senior Robert Pontbriand, vice president of the Student Government
Association, argued to uphold the status quo.
This debate didnt have a winner or loser, said Kaufman. It
presented, in a clear way, what the fault lines are in American
Miller noted that the debate provided the UVM community with an
opportunity that students have long sought to see faculty and
students debating issues of vital importance from very different
Unhappily, the concurrent U.S. wars on Iraq and Yugoslavia made
the event even more timely than we imagined when the debate was
initially arranged, he added.
Pontbriand, who traveled to Serbia in 1997 as part of a debate
program, said he was inspired by seeing four hundred students
turn out for a Thursday night debate. UVM students are interested
in dialogue, in open debate of issues and are willing to listen
to opinions that may not agree with their own, said Pontbriand.
This debate was certainly a highlight of my academic career here.
Cardiac disease often takes young lives
A congenital disease, FHC can be triggered by a change in exercise
level and is the cause of death for about half the athletes who
die suddenly such as the Boston Celtics Reggie Lewis, who died
on the court in 1993. People with FHC may exhibit symptoms such
as chest pain, dizziness, or shortness of breath. While people
sometimes live long, productive lives despite the condition, often,
the first symptom is death, says Warshaw.
It is believed that FHC begins with a genetic mutation in the
hearts myosin molecules. Myosin is one of the main proteins of
the heart and works with a second protein to function as the hearts
molecular motor. Like a car motor, the mechanical function of
this molecular motor is made up of many parts, Warshaw says.
Changing one part may compromise how the entire motor functions.
Researchers suspect that the muscle of the heart thickens, or
enlarges, to compensate for the myosin defect, impeding both the
flow of blood through the heart and the hearts ability to pump
blood to the rest of the body.
As they follow the course of FHC from the mutation in the myosin
molecule to an enlarged heart, Warshaw and his colleagues hope
to understand how and when the disease becomes lethal. Our objective
is to discover at what point we can intervene and treat the disease,
Warshaw says. The scientists also hope to acquire information
that will help in the development of a diagnostic test to detect
the presence of the mutation in families with a predisposition
John Abbott, outdoor programs specialist in the Department of
Student Life, has been a strong supporter of the initiative to
construct a UVM ropes course. Abbott notes that UVM groups typically
have spent considerable funds each year for the adventure ropes
Now, thanks to the Class of 1999, those in search of a taste of
adventure and the opportunity to learn something about themselves
and others neednt travel far.
The Class of 1999 raised approximately $25,000 for the course,
which will be constructed on university-owned land in either Jericho
The fourth person to climb the highest peaks of all seven continents,
Tabin has impressive credentials as an adventurer. His 1993 book,
Blind Corners, An Adventure on Seven Continents, chronicles his
climbing expeditions, from the first successful attempt of Mount
Everests extremely dangerous and virtually insurmountable East
Face to expeditions with Pygmies in the New Guinea jungle.
As founder and co-director of the nonprofit Vermont Himalayan
Cataract Project, Tabin combines his passions for remote, rugged
landscapes and for improving the quality of human lives through
his medical skills. Tabin sets up cataract camps several times
each year in the Himalayas, performing up to forty pro bono cataract
surgeries per day on the indigenous population and working with
physicians to improve eye care. In Nepal and Tibet, cataracts
are responsible for nearly seventy percent of all blindness, and
more than ten percent of people over age sixty are blind in both
eyes from cataracts, according to a World Health Organization
Tabins goals are not only to help cure blindness through performing
surgery in areas where access to physicians and specialty care
is extremely limited but also to teach the local doctors, nurses,
and technicians to do the job themselves. He brings along medical
students from UVM and other institutions, providing them with
the opportunity to learn under very different circumstances than
they encounter in the United States.
Tabin recently shared his experiences at the annual dinner of
the legendary Explorers Club, an international, multidisciplinary
professional society dedicated to the advancement of field research
and scientific exploration and the preservation of the exploring
instinct. Former senator and astronaut John Glenn was the keynote
speaker for the evening.
Maribelli became involved with the World Citizen Foundation, which
promotes a number of issues with an emphasis on world peace, through
UVMs Womens Studies Program. She volunteered with the foundation
as an undergraduate and she will continue to work with it this
summer as she sorts out future options, which likely will include
An English major/speech minor, Maribelli has been inspired by
Professor Alfred Tuna Snider. I took a class with him my freshman
year and thought, This guy is on to something. I learned that
speech the power of the spoken word is profound. Adds the
two-year veteran of the Lawrence Debate Union, Professor Snider
gave me my voice.
Likely, Maribelli will use that voice well. When she left her
home in Washington, D.C., for college in Vermont, Maribelli acknowledges
that she was tired and a bit jaded of the political world.
That perspective has changed over the course of her UVM experience.
Helping people is very important to me, and I thought that politics
and humanitarianism were not particularly compatible, Maribelli
says. I realize now that you can work in a political environment
and make a positive difference.
After sixty years, trophy is where it belongs
The trophy went astray when a couple of Dartmouth skiers, upset
about their loss to UVM, decided to steal it as a prank. No doubt
it was a prized possession in a Hanover dorm room for a few years,
but it had been boxed up in an attic when it was recently rediscovered
in New Jersey by the widow of a Dartmouth alum. She gave it to
a neighbor who owned a house at Killington, figuring that would
get the cup on its way north. Indeed, the neighbor passed it on
to one of her neighbors in Vermont, knowing the family had UVM
ties. Finally, with a letter to President Ramaley, Joan Cross
re-presented the award to UVM in February.
UVM helps Vermont, America to read
While the tragedy in Littleton, Colo., has put a national spotlight
on school violence, addressing violence in our society, particularly
as it involves youth, has been a focus of UVM Continuing Education
conferences over the past five years. During that span, conferences
have included Building Community Alliances Against Domestic Violence,
Combatting the Gang Crisis in America, Growing up Terrified:
The Damaging Effects of Domestic Violence on Children, and Preventing
Hate Crimes: Learning to Live in a Multicultural Society, among
UVM students enjoy "Shining" moment
Although the classmates had done their homework exploring most
of Stephen Kings work in depth and planning his visit at great
length they were anxious about meeting the man behind the myth.
How could they relate to a man their teacher calls the literary
heir to Charles Dickens and Edgar Allan Poe?
Magistrale, who has written three scholarly books about the intellectual
merits of Kings prose, had been cautious about inviting a celebrity
to campus. He initiated the visit after some encouragement from
Stanley Gutman, chair of the English Department, and together
they decided to create a cultural event for the entire city, with
UVM at center stage.
Magistrales eighteen Buckham Honors Seminar students were charged
with helping organize the two-day, one-man show.
All the event planning in the world and no amount of literary
foreshadowing could have prepared the class for what was to
come: a true scholar and a gentleman. When the King of Horror
walked into their Old Mill classroom on March 29, he immediately
shifted the attention back on the students. He asked them about
their studies of Poe, not his own work. Magistrale saw it as an
act of genuine humility; his students were genuinely surprised.
He was extremely approachable and down to earth, Dawn Pelkey,
Magistrales teaching assistant, says. He said that the way we
treat celebrities is overblown and that he is just a guy with
a knack for something.
King sent the same message and left the same impression at every
Ira Allen Chapel was filled to capacity when he read from his
latest work, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, for a predominantly
student audience. He also played to an awestruck crowd at Patrick
Gym, a moment Magistrale wont soon forget.
It reminded me of what it must have been like to see a luminary
from the 19th century in a public forum, he contends. It was
a performance that was part intellectual discourse, part road
show, and part love-fest.
King shocked more than four thousand die-hard fans, some of whom
made the pilgrimage from neighboring states, with his self-deprecating
celebrity jokes and razor-sharp take on reality. I just do this
because it buzzes me, the prolific author said of his lifes
work, pausing to remind everyone to check their back seats before
The Buckham Honors Seminar students now consider King a role model. He was generous with his time and knowledge, and he does a tremendous amount of charitable work. Hes really giving something back. And the only thing more startling than Kings entrance was his exit. The man who gave so much of himself to UVM handed his honorarium check back to Magistrale. Do something interesting with this, were his last words.