Bill Falls photoWelcome from the Dean


The spring issue of the CAS e-newsletter was ready to be mailed early last month. Then our world changed dramatically. The rapid spread of COVID-19 and stay-at-home orders meant that we had to quickly pivot to remote instruction and telecommuting. So, the newsletter was delayed.

The transition was demanding for all of us. As our president Suresh Garimella pointed out, many of the things we excel at—like personalized instruction and face-to-face mentoring—are the very things we are deprived of during this time of social distancing. 

Faculty, staff and students have all had to make this transition against the backdrop of a true national crisis, the dimensions of which we are only beginning to understand. While learning and teaching from home, many of us are caring for young children who ordinarily would be in school, or watching out for the safety of our older relatives, friends and neighbors. 

With the opportunity now to reflect on the past few months, I am filled with pride at the hard work of my faculty and staff colleagues and the spirit of collaboration across the college, including rapid adaptation to unfamiliar technologies. I am impressed by the resilience of our students.  In these times we draw upon the reservoir of our experience and skills that we so highly value in the liberal arts: our adaptability, our originality and our persistence.

Finally, I’ve also been humbled by the unremitting support from our alumni and friends. In response to the questions “What do you need?” and “How can I help?” the UVM Foundation has established the Pandemic Response Fund to ensure UVM has the resources to help our campus community get through this pandemic. Gifts to the fund will support student emergency travel funds, remote education assistance, community online training sessions, and other campus responses. 

While we are in challenging times, our commitment to each other will help us all see this through.

Wishing you good health and a happy spring.


Bill Falls signature

Bill Falls
Dean of Arts and Sciences

Top News

In Cuba, cleaner rivers follow greener farming

For the first time in over 50 years a team of Cuban and U.S. field scientists have worked together to measure the impacts of contemporary agriculture on water quality in Cuba’s rivers. 

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Geography major Lucia Possehl wins UVM service learning award

Lucia Possehl ’20 misses her friends, her faculty mentors, and spring in Vermont. But she’s also had time to reflect on her academic career at UVM, which includes winning the 2020 Student Award for Outstanding Leadership in Service-Learning.

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Racing Towards a Vaccine

Estee Dilli ’15 (neuroscience) is part of an international team of scientists scrambling to develop a potential vaccine for COVID-19. 


News and Events:

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ExpertsLive Speaker Series Explores Pandemic’s Multiple Impacts

As new COVID-19 cases multiply and the death tolls mount daily, uncertainties trigged by the pandemic ripple outward. A new online speaker series, developed by the College of Arts and Sciences and the Center for Research on Vermont, addresses some of these implications, such as health policy, economics, human relationships, politics and international relations.  

The series kicked off the first week of April with the program “Pandemics in an Age of Resurgent Nationalism,” presented by Pablo Bose, director of UVM’s Global and Regional Studies program and a professor of geography. 

Other live talks are scheduled on upcoming Thursdays at noon through the ExpertsLive website. Each session lasts for about 20 minutes, followed by an online question-and-answer period. Transcripts of past programs are also available on this page

Thursday, April 23: Religion in a time of COVID-19
Ilyse R. Morgenstein Fuerst, Professor of Religion

Thursday, April 30: Latin America, the Mexico-US Border and COVID-19
Caroline Beer, Professor of Political Science

Thursday May 7: Weather, Climate and COVID-19 
Lesley-Ann Dupigny-Giroux, Professor of Geography

From around the University:

Vermont Team Invents Emergency Ventilator

UVM Strong: A Message from the President


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