Three graduates of UVM’s College of Education and Social Services (CESS) — Lindsey Cox, Emily Gilmore, and Abbie Bowker — have been named as Rowland Fellows for 2017-2018.

Every year, up to ten visionary secondary school educators in Vermont are selected for the Rowland Fellowship. The Rowland Foundation provides grants up to $100,000 to the schools of each selectee to transform an aspect of the school that will positively impact its culture and climate. The community of Rowland Fellows work together to influence systemic, sustainable change and school improvement throughout Vermont.

Lindsey Cox (Secondary Education: English and Humanities ’05)

Lindsey takes pride in her work as an iLab teacher at Winooski Middle/High School.  “The iLab is an independent learning lab where students build their communication skills, critical thinking, persistence, creativity, well-being, culture and community by pursuing the content of their choice,” she says.  “All students design a semester-long, interest-driven project that engages with their community and culminates in a final product.”

With the Rowland Fellowship, Lindsey is excited about the opportunity to develop more flexible pathways for students as the state transitions to proficiency-based requirements and fully implements Act 77. “I look forward to my fellowship year and supporting the programs created in the future, both for Winooski and possibly for a larger regional or statewide audience.”

Lindsey’s interest in teaching began when she was in high school. “I had the opportunity to learn about the teaching profession in a program my high school provided that allowed students to be teachers for a day.”

Looking back with appreciation on her time as a UVM student, Lindsey reflects on how it prepared her for success. “The UVM CESS program demonstrated the importance of relationships in education and the professional world. My advisor was a fantastic support throughout the program, into my initial teaching job, and continues to be a friend today. The program equipped me with the skills I needed to start in the education field, but also emphasized continual improvement and learning.”

Lindsey believes that one of the most powerful experiences a pre-service teacher can have is working in schools in a variety of roles. “The UVM CESS program has a number of strong relationships with local schools that open their doors as ‘teaching schools’."

As a result, Lindsey not only learned the teaching profession but also built relationships with teachers and administrators. “Those experiences were paramount in finding employment straight out of undergrad,” she says.

In 2010, Lindsey completed her master's degree at the SIT Graduate Institute in International Education. “I believe strongly in international travel as a part of students' education,” she says. This summer she will be returning to China with the GIAC (Governor’s Institute on Asian Cultures) and a group of high school students.

Beyond teaching, Lindsey is actively involved in the community, serving on the Colchester School Board since 2013. She is also a member of the board of Leadership Champlain, a leadership program affiliated with the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Emily Gilmore (Secondary Education: Social Studies ’12)

For as long as she can remember, Emily wanted to be a teacher. “I was always observing the ways in which teachers were building meaningful and long-lasting relationships with their students. Helping individuals gain confidence in their abilities — there is no better feeling in the world!”

As a Social Studies Teacher at South Burlington High School, Emily utilizes Understanding by Design (UbD) to develop curriculum for Humanities (Social Studies), U.S. History, American History through Film, and Global Studies. She creates differentiated lesson plans and implements Universal Design for Learning (UDL) to provide students with multiple ways to access learning such as Project-Based Learning, website design, and complex summative assessments.

Technology integration is another important aspect of Emily’s teaching. She uses Actively Learn to enhance student engagement and understanding. She also incorporates growth mindset practices within curriculum and instruction for her students.

Emily is excited to be involved with developing the advisory and proficiency-based learning systems at her school. “I am fortunate to have the opportunity to help develop these systems while implementing them in my own classroom.”

“The greatest gift I received from my time at UVM was Jennifer Prue. She supported and encouraged every risk I took, from studying abroad to moving to Oregon (and back again to Vermont). My life would not be the same without her.”

But why UVM? “I fell in love with Burlington, first, and then quickly realized all that UVM had to offer — incredible teachers, interesting courses, and beautiful views,” Emily says. “The experiences I had throughout the program, particularly in the schools, provided me with concrete opportunities to develop relationships with students, teachers and administrators. UVM changed my life and I am forever grateful!”

Following her undergraduate studies at UVM, Emily attended the University of Kansas where she completed her Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction in 2016.

Abbie Bowker (Art Education ’03)

A creative and visionary educator, Abbie has been a Visual Arts Teacher at Champlain Valley Union (CVU) High School since 2004. “Why art? It is something I could say I have a true passion for, along with my passion for teaching,” she says.

Abbie’s teaching includes a wide variety of visual arts offerings from Foundations through Advanced Placement (AP) Studio Art, both in two- and three-dimensional studies. She is a teacher leader who is active on a variety of school committees, including Climate, Technology, Curriculum Clearinghouse, Maker Space and Graduation Requirement Design Teams. 

As an artist, Abbie enjoys printmaking and illustration. In 2016, she co-authored and illustrated a book with her sister Cam Sato, also a UVM alumna, called Woolly Bear Winter: How North Woods Creatures Weather the Cold, which was inspired by Vermont animals and lore.

She recalls how the Art Education program at UVM prepared her for success. “UVM provided me with incredible professional development and support. I worked full-time, so having such a strong program close to home really made a huge difference for me,” she says. “I am constantly pulling from my experience with Frank Owen, one of my most influential art teachers at UVM.” She is also proud of her continuing connection to the Art Education program at UVM. “Each year I have gladly hosted either student observers or student interns, as I feel a responsibility to carry forward the excellent practical experience that I received under the tutelage of Lynda McIntyre and Christine Campbell."

Abbie plans to bring a wide constituency on board for school transformation efforts, including students, faculty, staff and the community. "With the Rowland fellowship, my CVU Rowland partner Peter Langella and I plan to explore interest-based learning opportunities built into the regular school schedule that will ignite passion for learning… and hopefully be useful for other schools in other districts around the state.”

“This opportunity for deep professional development among others who are committed to the best educational opportunities for Vermont's students is not only exciting for me personally, but for our whole school community,” she says.

Outside of school, Abbie is active in various leadership roles in the community. She has been on the Board of Directors for the Catamount Family Center since its inception in 2005, serving as President of the Board since 2012.

To learn more about the Rowland Fellowship, please visit The Rowland Foundation web site.