Bill Falls photoWelcome from the Dean

We’re proud of UVM’s status as an important research institution, one that still retains the feel of a true academy where faculty mentors and students work together to solve pressing challenges in science and society.

In a sense, we are all part of an academic family in the College of Arts and Sciences, and I mean “family” quite literally. Let me give you one example.

Several months ago, the mother of a 2017 CAS graduate was looking for ways to give back to the institution that had provided her daughter with such a rich and rewarding education. The graduate pointed her in the direction of the Liberal Arts in Prison Program (LAPP), which we introduced last year under the leadership of Dr. Kathy Fox. It was involvement in this program that made an especially deep and transformative experience for the student.

In this case, the donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, gave us a generous gift to support a program that equips incarcerated Vermont citizens with knowledge and skills vital to their reintegration into society, and which will help them live productive, fulfilling lives. It’s a valuable program not just for student inmates, but for UVM students who get first-hand experience in understanding the criminal justice system, prison reform and policymaking.

In recent months, other members of our extended CAS family have stepped forward to fund important projects that will enhance the student experience at UVM. Among them are Sandy Plotkin ‘65, who has provided ongoing support for summer arts internships for current CAS students; Michele Cohen ‘72 and her husband Marty, who provided a leadership gift of $5 million to renovate the former Taft School into UVM’s first integrated center for the arts; and Eugene Kalkin ’50, who provided funding for an endowed professorship in Jewish Studies that catalyzed the creation of a new Jewish Studies minor.

As you read about the exciting research and scholarship performed by students and faculty members in this issue, I invite you to consider ways you can give back. If there are particular programs or initiatives you would like to support, feel free to reach out to George Rutherford, CAS assistant director for major gifts.


Bill Falls signature

Bill Falls
Dean of Arts and Sciences

Top News


Searching for Extraterrestrial Life

New research, published January 10 in the journal Nature, begins to unravel the origin and nature of "fast radio bursts," bizarre blasts of energy that, in the blink of an eye, emit far more energy than our sun does in 24 hours. Fast radio bursts may be the hottest and deepest mystery in astronomy today—and UVM physics major Casey Brinkman '17 was a co-author on the study, the only undergraduate student on the team. 

Read more.

Stories Behind the Bricks 

A UVM undergrad delving into the architecture of Morrill Hall has come to appreciate the history and symbolism of a building that honors Vermont congressman Justin Morrill, sponsor of the Land-Grant College Act of 1862.

Read more.

Redefining Democratic Ideals

UVM Professor of Art Jane Kent contributed to the 2017 book It Occurs to Me That I Am America, which brings together more than fifty contemporary writers and artists to consider “the fundamental ideals of a free, just, and compassionate democracy."


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From Around the University

CAS Alum Alexander Nemerov '85 to Give UVM Commencement Address

International Job Shadowing Program Expands to Nine Countries

Catamounts Medal in PyeongChang

UVM's Stolen Rhino Horn Recovered, Returned


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