by Sally McCay
been a busy first year on the job for President Daniel Mark Fogel, who
has proposed a bold vision for the Universitys future and moved
forward on a number of initiatives to make it a reality. Though hes
been in office since last July, Fogels ceremonial inauguration as
the Universitys 25th president took place on April 4 at Patrick
Vermont EPSCoR is all about the innovation
The crack in the Liberty Bell is an endearing flaw really, as embedded
in our understanding of the artifact as those arms gone awol from the
Venus de Milo. Yet, this piece of American history has a darker secret,
a hairline fissure that connects with the main crack and threatens to
split the entire bell in two. Thats enough for the bells keepers
to worry about in any circumstance, but as planners have plotted a 200
yard move to the new National Historical Park in Philadelphia next fall,
theyve taken every step to ensure that the icon will arrive at its
new home in one piece.
Thats where MicroStrain, a Vermont-based company headed by Steven
Arms 81, stepped in to monitor the forecast for a safe move. The
Vermont engineers approached the job with wireless sensor technology they
developed with critical support from the Vermont Experimental Program
to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), a National Science Foundation
program for the state which is housed at UVM.
Anyone who doubts the potential of the state of Vermont as a center for
technological innovation clearly needs to spend a little time curled up
with a cup of tea and a copy of the Vermont EPSCoR News. Granted, the
publication may not rival Jane Austen for rainy day reading, but it is
an enlightening glimpse into the fact that the Green Mountain states
industry is about a good deal more than maple sugaring and sliding down
talking R & D projects with titles like Nanotechnology Substrate
Cleaner and Quantum Cascade Differential Absorptions Biological
EPSCoR is a multi-faceted initiative that has been helping to foster and
strengthen scientific research in the state since 1985. One aspect of
EPSCoR, the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, is a Vermont
invention in itself, developed by Judith Van Houten, chair of UVMs
Biology Department as well as associate director of EPSCoR, and her husband
Joshua Van Houten, a professor at St. Michaels College.
It was so successful that the National Science Foundation said to
other states, you have to go and do this too, says Chris
Allen, UVM chemistry professor and Vermont EPSCoR director. The
goal (of SBIR) is to help programs and businesses get money on their own,
so we start with a seed grant fund just enough to get preliminary
data to help them write for larger grants, says Allen. Many grant
recipients go on to receive additional grants to further projects.
MicroStrain is one such business. With the help of SBIR funding, Armss
company developed tiny wireless sensors for monitoring very small motions,
just what was needed when the Liberty Bell was put to a test move.
We can use the data that we collected to create upper and lower
limits for vibration, and sound an alarm during the move to warn the riggers
if the limits are exceeded, Arms said after the successful test
in March. That will allow us to move the bell to the new location
and basically mimic the conditions that we got here today, which we feel
While MicroStrain is providing assurance for the well-being of a piece
of our national heritage, other SBIR-funded innovation promises better
mousetraps for diverse problems from back pain to prostate cancer to fuel
efficiency in semi-trucks.
A small state and a small university wouldnt always be able to compete
for research funding, says Allen, noting EPSCoRs ability to even
the playing field. He estimates that ESPSCoR puts well over $100,000 each
year into Vermonts economy, and notes how that figure multiplies
with the salaries of jobs created by the innovations.
Nationally, high-tech businesses pay significantly higher wages,
so of course this is the kind of businesses Vermont and everyone else
wants to attract, says Allen. Theyre almost always located
near a research university, so EPSCoR plays a big role in making sure
UVM is a better research university and that were funding high-tech
businesses. This is UVM bringing these resources to the State of Vermont.
Im proud that Vermont EPSCoR does exactly what land-grant colleges
Give Fogels Vision Green Light
With passage of resolutions giving the go-ahead on a transformative enrollment
management plan and critical next steps toward construction of a new student
center, the University of Vermont Board of Trustees recently demonstrated
strong support for President Daniel Mark Fogels leadership and ten-year
Fogels vision for the University, detailed in the Spring 2003 issue
of Vermont Quarterly, hinges in large part upon an enrollment management
plan that would increase the size of the student body at the University,
while also increasing quality indicators of incoming students providing
resources for the University to make a series of strategic investments.
The new student center, tentatively dubbed University Commons, is envisioned
as an educational, cultural, and social crossroads of campus. A feasibility
study by consulting firm WTW Architects proposes a 200,000 square foot
building, potentially sited along Main Street between Morrill and Terrill
halls and the Bailey/Howe Library. As proposed, the commons would include
a bookstore, several additional retailers, dining areas, a 600-seat performing
arts center, conference spaces, lounges and game rooms.
board authorized the University to carry forward the next phase of the
project, which will include hiring an architectural firm and the beginning
of the permitting process. Once those steps are completed by next spring,
the board will decide whether to give a full go ahead to the project,
estimated to cost $70 million.
The boards mandates came the day before Fogel, just ten months into
his UVM tenure, would preside over his first graduation ceremony. Im
elated by the progress weve made, he said.
has Deep Roots
And is still growing strong after a century
The collections very name The Pringle Herbarium sounds
antique, yet ripe with mystery and full of promise. What goes on up there
on the second floor of humble Torrey Hall?
the arrows from the front door and wind up the stairs to the quiet world
of science the type practiced before the era of the electron microscope,
DNA analysis, and chromosome counts. It is the place of exquisitely detailed
botanical prints, painstakingly preserved plant specimens, and mellifluous
Latin monikers. Yet it is not just an archive of the past, rather very
much the taxonomy of both the past and present informing todays
scientists in consort.
The UVM Botany Departments Pringle Herbarium is a working resource
for researchers world wide. A total of more than 310,000 plants make it
the third largest herbarium in New England (after some schools called
Harvard and Yale). The backbone of the collection is made up of specimens
collected by the herbariums namesake Cyrus Pringle, a legendary
Vermont botanist, who became the Universitys first herbarium director
when his collection was brought to UVM and endowed in 1902.
More than 100 years later, these specimens are still among the best collected
and preserved. Not just extraordinary to look at but chock full of information
that botanists could not otherwise glean. His specimens are beautiful,
says Professor David Barrington, director of the herbarium. This
art shines where plants are reduced from three to two dimensions. But
what is important is that they display the character of plants to scientists.
Though the centennial of Pringles original collection has been cause
for celebration, the most recent additions to the herbarium have been
noteworthy as well. Barrington took a lead role in bringing in the acquisition,
the library collection of eminent fern biologists Rolla and Alice Tryon.
The seven-hundred books and ten-thousand scientific reprints detail the
evolution and diversity of ferns found throughout the world. It is the
fruit of 70 years of research by the two, who taught for years at Harvard.
Barrington, who earned his doctorate at Harvard, was among their students.
The UVM botany professor says the collection has found the right home.
Pringle was especially interested in ferns, and so am I, and Vermont
is a ferny place, he says. With the Tryon collection here,
it solidifies our position as the place for fern study.
While the recent addition to the herbarium hearkens back to the Universitys
past, Botany Department Chair Thomas Vogelmann sees it also as a sign
of good things to come. This magnificent gift beautifully reinforces
the fact that the Plant Sciences at UVM are of world-class standing,
he says. Our planned investments in new faculty positions and a
new plant sciences building over the next few years will further prove
and Health Sciences Receives $2 Million Gift
Announced in May, a $2 million gift from an anonymous donor to the College
of Nursing and Health Sciences is a milestone for the college and provides
support for two key initiatives. The largest individual gift in the history
of the college will be equally divided to support an endowed professorship
in radiation therapy and an endowed chair in end-of-life/palliative care.
This gift is a powerful endorsement of the work of the College of
Nursing and Health Sciences and its leadership under Dean Betty Rambur,
said President Daniel Mark Fogel. At such a critical time in health
care, we will look to the college to play a vital role in achieving the
Universitys mission in this important area.
The $1 million directed toward end-of-life/palliative care is the first
step toward an overall goal of $3 million to support an endowed chair
in this area. Its an important issue for health care professionals
and society while about 70 percent of Americans say they want to
die at home, about 75 percent die in medical institutions such as hospitals
and nursing homes.
Our goal is to better understand how to serve patients and families
at the end of life, and prepare all our students, regardless of professional
discipline, to be a healing force in this process, Dean Rambur said
when the gift was announced. Detailing some of the areas where palliative
care could be improved, Rambur noted that pain management is dramatically
under-treated. So often were focused on cure and not care.
We need to be looking at how we can really enhance the end stage with
a focus on what the patient and what the family want.
Rambur believes this gift will be an essential step to build an emphasis
on both research and curriculum in this area. We need to build a
critical mass of caregivers who are sensitive to these issues, Rambur
said. My goal is that every one of our 500 students will have the
knowledge and emotional preparation to be advocates for patients and help
foster positive end-of-life experiences.
other half of the gift will address a need for radiation therapists in
Vermont and throughout the nation. The $1 million in support of the Radiation
Therapy Program will help us prepare professionals who provide treatment
for those afflicted with cancer, and also advance our research agenda
in the area of cancer treatment, said Burton W. Wilcke, associate
professor and chair of the Department of Biomedical Technologies.
Wilcke said that the role of radiation therapists has evolved from what
was once seen as a purely technical function. Cancer treatment has increasingly
become a team approach with patients, families, doctors, nursing specialists,
and many other healthcare professionals deeply involved. Wilcke said that
the endowed professorship will enable the college to bring in a new faculty
member well-versed in the range of skills highly technical to interpersonal
that are essential to training excellent future radiation therapists.
Summing the potential in the record private support, Rambur said, Outstanding
research and teaching in these areas are essential to high quality health
care. The generous gift will enhance our existing strengths and enable
a profound and lasting impact on society.
I Doing the Right Thing?
After graduation, I moved to New York City to begin what I hoped
would be an exciting career in the film business. It took me a year to
get my first job on a movie set, but I finally did thanks to a UVM alumna
named Yudi Bennett. She was one of the top assistant directors in New
York. My first job was doing crowd control, many blocks from the action.
So after four years of college and a year of odd jobs, there I was, standing
on the corner of Bleecker and McDougal streets at 3 oclock in the
morning, asking the denizens of Greenwich Village to please cross to the
other side of the street, were making a movie. I could hear my poor
mothers voice in my head saying, Its not too late, you
can still apply to law school.
Jon Kilik 78 in his May 18 commencement address to the UVM
Class of 2003. Kilik, who didnt heed his mothers voice, went
on to a career in film that has included producing more than a dozen major
motion pictures, including Malcolm X, Do the Right Thing, Dead Man
Walking, and Pleasantville.
Support Boosts Fleming Collection
Glenn Ligons contemporary text appropriations and Charles Heydes
pastoral Vermont landscapes, wildly different on the surface, have at
least one thing in common: The Fleming Museums recent acquisition
of paintings by the two artists was made possible only by swift rallying
of the UVM community.
Tom Pierce, a local Heyde enthusiast who co-curated the 2001 Heyde exhibit
at the Fleming, knew that speed mattered when, on the Web, he spotted
two small Heyde paintings belonging to a woman in California. They were
calling card paintings, small works created as something between
a business card and an advertisement to drum up some commissions. Of particular
interest to Pierce, they traced directly to ownership by Heyde and his
wife, Hannah Whitman Heyde, sister of American poet Walt Whitman.
Pierce says that he views the Fleming as the home-base of Heydes
work and adds, these paintings were too important not to be in the
collection. Within the space of 24 hours, Pierce got to work making
sure that was exactly where theyd be. He contacted the paintings
owner; arranged appraisals; and put in calls to a circle of potential
donors who he hoped would support purchasing the paintings then giving
them to the Fleming Museum. With a batting average that would be the envy
of any fundraiser, Pierce placed five calls and yielded five gifts. The
Heydes were coming home. Those who answered the call to make the swift
purchase and subsequent gift to the Fleming possible were Theodore Church,
Judy and James Pizzagalli 66, Gunnel and Grier Clarke 74,
Carolyn and Harry Thurgate, J. Brooks Buxton 56, and Pierce himself.
Currently on display in the European and American Gallery, the two Heyde
works feature the view out UVMs front door Lake Champlains
Burlington Bay and the back Mount Mansfield.
When Fleming Museum Director Janie Cohen found Glenn Ligon works on paper
for sale through a New York art dealer, she saw another rare opportunity
to grow the museum collection in an important direction. The Fleming had
lacked any text-based work, an important contemporary movement, Cohen
says. Adding Ligon to the Fleming would also build the museums collection
of works by African-American artists.
Richard Meyer described Ligons approach in the October 1997 edition
of the publication Art/Text: In his best-known series of work, Ligon
stencils black text across the surface of white, door-sized canvases.
The words presented are not the artists own but have been appropriated
from writers such as Zora Neale Hurston, Ralph Ellison, and James Baldwin.
Typically, Ligon will repeat an especially charged sentence (Hurstons
How it feels to be colored me) until it verges, through the
force of excess paint, on illegibility. The tension these works set up
between visibility and erasure, between the linguistic naming of
color and its painterly absence on the canvas suggest
the subtle contradictions and perpetual slippages of racial identity and
The Flemings new portfolio of four Ligon prints includes works featuring
the Hurston text described above, and a quote from Ellisons Invisible
rallied support across University departments to make the Ligon acquisition
possible. In addition to the Flemings Way Endowment Fund, financial
support for the acquisition came from the Provosts Central Diversity
Fund, the H. Lawrence McCrorey Gallery of Multicultural Art, and alumnus
Stephen D. Kelly 85, a member of the Fleming Advisory Board.
Pride, Possibility, Partnership
Within weeks of being selected as the University of Vermonts 25th
president, Daniel Mark Fogel traveled to Arizona to meet with former UVM
leader Lattie Coor. Among the wisdom Coor shared with Fogel was the advice
to not rush scheduling his inauguration, an academic ceremony steeped
in pomp and tradition, and often a milestone opportunity for a new leader.
Fogel related the story early in his April 4 inaugural address at Patrick
Gymnasium. The event is the most important occasion for you to set
forth your vision of where the University has been and where you want
to take it, Fogel recalled Coor telling him. Take time to
get to know the place well and to develop that vision. Then you can have
With a nod and a smile to Coor, sitting among the guests of honor on stage,
UVMs new president admitted that he hadnt followed that advice
to the letter.
never the patient man, I floated a vision for
the next phase of this institutions history some two months ago,
stealing my own thunder, as it were, in advance of todays event.
If Fogels inauguration speech lacked for the nuts-and-bolts vision
detailed in his February letter to the UVM Board of Trustees and widely
discussed since, he made up for it with a talk that focused on the spirit
of pride, possibility, and partnership he sees driving his
vision to reality. The speech was also a very personal talk shaped by
a sense of gratefulness to the many family, friends, and career-long colleagues
whom Fogel thanked for helping him realize one of the great achievements
of his life. Early in his address, Fogel put his emotions on the day in
simple terms: You see before you a very happy man.
For complete text of President Fogels inauguration speech or his
10-year vision for the University of Vermont, see www.uvm.edu/president.
Honored by Ebony
Sederick Rice, a doctoral student in the Cell and Molecular Biology Program,
has an impressive array of talents so impressive that they earned
him inclusion in a recent Ebony magazine feature titled Young
Leaders of the Future. As a mentor to incoming undergraduates in
the Summer Enrichment Scholarship Program (SESP), a co-teacher of a course
on race and culture, and an author of a book on music, Rices pursuits
are varied and intense.
But research is what consumes most of his life right now. He and advisor
Barry Finette in the Department of Pediatrics study the damage chemotherapy
generates in the DNA of kids with cancer.
It would be a sad set of circumstances to cure a kid at the age
of five only to predispose them to another type of cancer at age 30 or
40, Rice says. Preliminary results indicate that the amount of damage
or number of mutations in genetic material varies according
to both the age of the child and the chemotherapy procedure he or she
endured, a result that may someday help doctors weigh different treatment
Rice also highly values his life outside research, especially the time
he spends mentoring undergraduates. Graduate school is a very selfish
process, he says, adding, I have been mentored all my life.
Raphael Okutoro, a former student of Rices and a peer advisor at
SESP 2002, says, Everyone respects Sederick. Hes a person
of action. When recalling team-building summer days on the ropes
course and games of horse at dusk, Okutoro smiles. Sederick is also
one of the funniest people youll ever meet.
Februarys Ebony picked Rice from among thousands of applicants,
but Rice always knew he had a shot. Finette remembers, He said he
was going to do it. He had one try, and, by God, he got in. Power to him.
a Leo, Sederick laughs, We have a problem. We dont think
that there are things we cant do. That mentality has helped me to
stay focused and give everything I have.
Thinking caps on, readers, its time for a little Trivial Pursuit
UVM style. What New England university did actor Ben Affleck attend for
the first semester of the 1990-1991 academic year? Eyes on your own papers,
the University of Vermont. The Registrars Office turned down our
request to see Bens transcript (something about privacy law). So,
well just have to wonder about the progress of his studies during
the time in Burlington.
Ben, if you pick up a copy of Vermont Quarterly during an idle moment
on the set and read this, please know that youre welcome to re-apply
if the movie star thing doesnt work out. J.Lo, shes welcome,
When nearly 100 Boston eighth graders participating in the Citizen Schools
program sampled college life at the University of Vermont this semester,
students and staff tried their hands at some Andy Warhol-style portraiture.
Art education majors and the Fleming Museum staff coordinated on the activity,
which included a tour of the Flemings Warhol show. This was the
second year that the College of Education and Social Services has sponsored
the Citizen Schools visit. For a past VQ story on Citizen Schools, founded
by alums Ned Rimer 83 and Eric Schwarz 83, see the Fall 2001
issue of Vermont Quarterly online, ww.uvm.edu/vtquarterly. Self-portrait
by Ifanyi Bell.
I see these absurd bumper stickers
Dont Sweat the Details, If Its Not Fun,
Why Do It?
and they bother me. Why would I write a Ph.D. dissertation, then? Lord
knows it wasnt fun. You do these things because they are challenging
and because they are personally worthwhile.
UVM Classics Professor Jacques Bailly, 1980 National Spelling Bee
champion and official pronouncer for this years competition.
Mieder in print early and often
Does absence make the heart grow fonder, or is out of sight really out
of mind? The man to ask is Wolfgang Mieder, the worlds leading authority
on folklore and proverbial wisdom.
Professor and chair of the Department of German and Russian for 26 years,
and a collector of proverbs for 30, Mieders personal library contains
more than 4,500 collections of proverbs; 8,000 books, dissertations and
articles on the subject; and a 10,000-slide archive.
Weve had to add on to our house three times, he admits.
But every professional needs his tools, and these are mine.
Mieder delights in searching for pearls of proverbial wisdom, finding
pithy passages everywhere from New Yorker and Playboy cartoons to political
buttons and greeting cards.
Much like the maxims he studies, Mieder is a man of contradictions. The
author and/or editor of more than 100 books in several languages, he strongly
disagrees with the publish or perish mandate in higher education.
A professors job shouldnt be reduced to that,
he asserts. The students come first. Never expect more from
your students than you can deliver yourself. You can call that Mieders
proverb, he says with a laugh.
Despite his amazing productivity, he does not consider himself a workaholic.
Im driven by an active mind and a deep interest in the life
I am lucky enough to live, he explains. There are days I come
home dead tired from meetings and classes, but I go into my office to
work and suddenly its 2 a.m.
Mieder shrugs off the good-natured teasing of his peers, who often ask
if he has a new book out this week.
dont suffer from my particular disease, he jokes. But
theres a nut like me in most countries.
latest book, Wisecracks: Fractured Proverbs, is the last in a series
of ten light-hearted volumes published by New England Press. Wisecracks
pairs familiar proverbs with fractured versions that put a
modern, often humorous spin on the originals. Nobody is perfect,
for instance, becomes No body is perfect, and a health club
slogan is born.
and other mainstream books, allow me to communicate with people
from all walks of life, Mieder says. But a leopard cant change
its spots, and Mieder is a scholar at heart. Within the last year, in
addition to his University duties, he has published his 20th annual volume
of Proverbium: Yearbook of International Proverb Scholarship. Big Fish
Eat Little Fish, a scholarly treatise on the expression, is currently
being printed in Vienna. Mieder has ideas for several more publications,
and would especially like to publish an updated edition of his 1996 Dictionary
of American Proverbs a big job, considering the first edition
contained 15,000 annotated proverbs.
Meticulous bibliographies are mainstays of Mieders scholarship,
but his mental inventory rivals those in print. Every proverb, it seems,
has a unique story and history of its own.
Mass media has incredible power to create and share proverbs
that travel quickly throughout the world, he says. Yet Mieder discourages
accepting any proverb as a universal truth. Proverbs are as contradictory
as life, he says, though a well-worn axiom often rings true in the
right situation. Consequently, A good lawyer or politician is well
served to throw in a proverb, says Mieder, because its
very difficult to spontaneously argue against it.
In short, he advises: If the proverb fits, use it. Lynda