Biomedical and Health Sciences

  • New Faculty and Staff
  • Faculty Emerita
  • Faculty and Student Publications and Projects
  • Faculty Promotions and Updates
  • Health Sciences Capstone Project Featured
  • Students Receive Research Grants
  • Graduation Celebrations


Further Details

New Faculty and Staff

Noah Derman, M.P.H., joined the department as health sciences lecturer. Before joining UVM’s faculty, Derman was Deputy Director of Development in Gardening (DIG), overseeing programs at the intersection of agriculture and health in Senegal, Kenya and Uganda. Derman has 15 years of experience working on global health issues in the public and private sectors both domestically and internationally. His areas of interest include designing programs to promote food security and nutrition, sustainable development, and monitoring and evaluation. Derman is a returned Peace Corps volunteer who served communities impacted by HIV/AIDS in Northeast Thailand. 

Melissa Scheiber, Ph.D., joined the department as clinical assistant professorof medical laboratory science. Scheiber began her career in academia as a visiting assistant professor of genetics and molecular biology at the College of Charleston. She most recently served as assistant professor of biology at Mary Baldwin University. Scheiber has experience teaching introductory and upper level biology courses, specifically cell and molecular biology. Her research aims to elucidate the cellular and molecular mechanisms of endocrine disrupting chemicals in breast cancer development and progression. Throughout her career, Scheiber has been involved in undergraduate research and has mentored several successful senior capstone projects.

Faculty Promotions and Updates

Wade Carson, M.B.A., RT(R)(T), FACHE, received a promotion to clinical associate professor.

Christine Griffin, M.S., MT, SH (ASCP), was granted status as senior lecturer emerita.

Seth Frietze, Ph.D, received a promotion to associate professor with tenure.

Faculty and Student Publications and Projects

Paula Deming, Ph.D., MT (ASCP), presented the following:

Liam L. Donnelly, Sean Lenahan, Cong Gao, Hailey M. Sarausky, Tyler Hogan, Paula Deming, and David J. Seward “STK11 Loss of Function Variants Mediate Immune Evasion in NSCLC via Dysregulation of the FAK/Hippo Signaling Axis and Subsequent Alterations in Tumor-Intrinsic Cytokine Expression” Association for Molecular Pathology Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD, November, 2019.

Dimitry Krementsov, Ph.D. and Bristy Sabikunnaha, Ph.D. candidate, published the following:

Mahalia M. McGill, Bristy Sabikunnahar, Quai Fan, Corey Teuscher, Dimitry Krementsov (2020). The sex-specific role of p38 MAP kinase in CNS autoimmunity is regulated by estrogen receptor alpha. Journal of Neuroimmunolgy, volume 342, 577209.

Theresa Montgomery, Ph.D. candidate in Dr. Dimitry Krementsov’s lab, was selected to participate in the America’s Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) Young Scientist Summit held January 9-11 in Austin, Texas. ACTRIMS is the largest organization dedicated to MS research in the USA.

Erin Froeter, Medical Laboratory Sciences g ’20, was selected to present her capstone work at the 2020 Annual American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science in June. Froeter’s poster presentation is titled,“Age Dependent Recalibration of D-dimer Assay Values at the University of Vermont Medical Center.”

Kylie Curtis, Medical Laboratory Science ’20, was first author on the following:

Curtis KD, Smith PR, Despres HW, et al. Glycogen Metabolism Supports Early Glycolytic Reprogramming and Activation in Dendritic Cells in Response to Both TLR and Syk-Dependent CLR Agonists. Cells. 2020;9(3):715. Published 2020 Mar 14. doi:10.3390/cells9030715.

Seth Frietze, Ph.D, and his team are currently working on a leukemia research project together with researchers at University of California San Francisco and Cambridge University. Part of this project was recently published in Science Translational Medicine

Health Sciences Capstone Project Featured

Four senior students in a capstone course with Deborah Hinchey, M.P.H., worked with RiseVt to collect resources for Vermont residents to access and prepare nutirious food, stay physically active, support home-based learning and manage anxiety while sheltering in place. The project was featured by UVM. Learn more >>

Students Receive Research Grants

Shannon Murphy, Health Sciences ’21, received a Simon Family Public Research Fellowship. Murphy will work with Deborah Hinchey, M.P.H., to help the National Association of Certified Professional Midwives (NACPM), to collect and compile data to inform and guide workforce expansion and diversification and state and federal policy initiatives to increase access to quality perinatal care.

Eric Coughlin, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics ’22, received a grant to continue working on molecular cancer research with Seth Frietze, Ph.D., and Ph.D. candidates Noelle Gillis and Princess Rodriguez. Coughlin’s accepted manuscript is titled, “Thyroid Hormone Receptor Beta Induces a Tumor Suppressive Program in Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer.”

Graduation Celebrations

The department produced a virtual celebration video for graduates.

Communication Sciences and Disorders

  • Faculty Honors
  • Faculty Updates
  • Graduation Celebrations


Further Details

Faculty Honors

Shelley Velleman, Ph.D., CCC-SLP was selected to receive a 2020 UVM Kroepsch-Maurice Excellence in Teaching Award, which recognizes excellent instruction, innovation in teaching methods, and ability to motivate and challenge students. Learn more >>

Nancy Gauvin, Ed.D., CCC-SLP was selected to receive the UVM Women's Center 2019-2020 Outstanding Faculty Award for her work in fostering diverse and supportive learning environments.

Faculty Updates

Shelley Velleman, Ph.D., CCC-SLP is stepping down as department chair and will continue to teach and conduct research at CNHS.

Michael S. Cannizzaro, Ph.D., CCC-SLP will become department chair on July 1, 2020.

Danra Kazenski, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, received a promotion to clinical associate professor.

Graduation Celebrations

The department produced videos of its undergraduate and graduate virtual graduation celebrations.

Inclusive Excellence

  • Staff Honors
  • Ongoing Discussions


Further Details

Staff Honors

Juan I. Florencia, M.A., enrollment management specialist and academic advisor, received the 2020 Dean's Inclusive Excellence Award for contributions to create an environment of social justice, inclusion, and equity in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

Ongoing Discussions

Events hosted this spring by the CNHS Inclusive Excellence committee provided opportunities to explore ideas around gender and race. Learn more >>

Interprofessional Education

  • Graduate Student Workshops
  • Interprofessional Orientation for Students and Faculty


Further Details

Graduate Student Workshops

Doctor of Physical Therapy and Doctor of Nursing Practice students participated in a Zoom-based interprofessional program arranged by Mary Val Palumbo, D.N.P., APRN, director of Interprofessional Education. Nurse practitioner students demonstrated interview techniques to assess shoulder pain virtually, and physical therapy students demonstrated a virtual shoulder examination. The NP students applied their experience to a telemedicine exam with standardized patients.

Doctor of Nursing Practice students participated in a multi-day, interprofessional skills enrichment program to practice IUD placement, microscopy, EKG interpretation, and point-of-care ultrasound.

Interprofessional Orientation for Students and Faculty: Interprofessional Roles in Health Care

Plans are underway for the annual orientation to interprofessional education and practice. The virtual event, scheduled for September 25 on Zoom, will involve students and faculty from CNHS, Larner College of Medicine, the Nutrition and Dietetics programs, The College of Education and Social Work, and Albany College of Pharmacy. For more information, contact Mary Val Palumbo.

Integrative Health

  • New Roles and Faculty
  • Faculty and Staff Honors and Projects
  • Faculty Publications
  • Dragon Boat Festival Goes Virtual


Further Details

New Roles and Faculty

Cara Feldman-Hunt M.S., NBC-HWC, Integrative Health program manager, began a new role as Integrative Health and Wellness Coaching lecturer.

Emily Reyns, M.A., R-DMT, MHC, joined the program as Integrative Health and Wellness Coaching lecturer. Reyns is a registered dance movement therapist and psychotherapist with 10 years of inpatient psychiatric experience. Currently working at UVMMC, Reyns facilitates psycho-therapeutic groups, consults in the emergency department, and educates staff as a certified Pro-Act instructor. Reyns has a vast performance arts background with an emphasis in ballet. Her research foci include: the mind-body connection, psychosis, eating disorders, nutrition, mindfulness, olfactory virtual reality, and Eastern philosophies.  

Donna Smith, PT, D.P.T., Qualified MBSR Teacher, began a new role as Integrative Health and Wellness Coaching lecturer.

David Låg Tomasi, Ph.D., Ed.D.- Ph.D., M.A., MCS, AAT, began a new role as Integrative Health and Wellness Coaching lecturer.

Christine Vatovec, Ph.D., Fellow, Gund Institute for Environment, joined the program as Integrative Health and Wellness Coaching lecturer. Vatovec is an adjunct research assistant professor in the Larner College of Medicine, and lecturer in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources. Vatovec’s research and teaching focus on interconnections between human health and the environment through a lens of sustainability. Her work centers on the principle that ecological flourishing is the foundation of sustainability, and that human flourishing is best accomplished through community-based policies, actions, and behaviors that support health, happiness and well-being for all.

Susan Whitman PA-C, NBC-HWC, joined the program as Integrative Health and Wellness Coaching lecturer. Whitman has been active in the health care field for more than 25 years, starting as a ski patroller, EMT, and progressing to a primary care PA-C. In 2011, she added a certificate of Integrative Health and Wellness Coaching from Duke Integrative Medicine to her repertoire. She built her own coaching practice, offering individual and group coaching and mindfulness practices with local doctor’s offices, a national firm, universities, and several corporations. In 2014, Whitman began teaching and mentoring with the health coaching program at Duke Integrative Medicine.  She was part of the first cohort to pass the National Board Exam for Health and Wellness Coaches in 2017. Whitman lives in an off-grid home in Richmond, Vermont, with her husband and two sons. 

Faculty Publications 

David Låg Tomasi, Ph.D., Ed.D.-Ph.D., M.A., MCS, AAT, published the following:

Tomasi, David Låg. Mind-Body Medicine in Inpatient Psychiatry. Columbia University Press, April 2020.

Tomasi, David Låg. Critical Neuroscience and Philosophy: A Scientific Re-Examination of the Mind-Body Problem. Palgrave MacMillan, 2020.

Tomasi D, Gates S, Reyns E. Positive Patient Response to a Structured Exercise Program Delivered in Inpatient Psychiatry. Glob Adv Health Med. 2019;8:2164956119848657. Published 2019 May 21. doi:10.1177/2164956119848657.), the most-read research item from the University of Vermont (Researchgate, 2019). 

Marcus, Mackenzie & Tomasi, David. (2020). Emotional and Cognitive Responses to Academic Performance and Grade Anxiety. Journal of Medical Research and Health Sciences. 3. 919-923. 10.15520/jmrhs.v3i4.172.

Faculty and Staff Honors and Projects

Karen C. Westervelt, PT, ATC, NBC-HWC, Ph.D., received the 2020 Dean's Faculty Innovation in Teaching Award for creating educational opportunities that integrate clinical simulation, interprofessional education, integrative health, and international experiences. Dr. Westervelt recently led the development of the Integrative Health and Wellness Coaching Certificate curriculum. 

Cara Feldman-Hunt M.S., NBC-HWC, was named policy working group vice-chair for the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine & Health.

Dragon Boat Festival Goes Virtual to Raise Funds for Integrative Therapies

Rally friends, family and colleagues, grab a (virtual) paddle and join Team Groovy UV for one of our region’s most spirited events: the 2020 Dragon Boat Festival. This year, the festival will include fun, virtual challenges throughout the summer, with a race the week of July 24-31 that can include running, walking, paddling or swimming on your own. Participants are asked to raise funds, and the proceeds will benefit Integrative Therapies at the UVM Cancer Center, bringing relief and comfort to cancer patients and survivors here in Vermont and northern New York. Join Team Groovy UV >>


  • Professional Nursing Students Graduate Early
  • Student Receives Research Grant
  • Preceptor Appreciation Reception
  • Appletree Bay Primary Care Establishes Telemedicine Office Visits
  • New graduate Featured in Seven Days
  • Faculty Honors and Projects
  • Faculty Updates


Further Details

Professional Nursing Students Graduate Early

All 96 members of the Nursing class of 2020 opted to graduate on May 1 so that they could join the workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Vermont’s State Board of Nursing offered students temporary permits so they can begin staffing hospitals and other health care facilities in the state. This news gained national attention. Read more >>

Student Receives Research Grant

Kylie Beausoleil, Professional Nursing ’21, received a Simon Family Public Research Fellowship. Beausoleil will work with Jason Garbarino, D.N.P., RN-BC, CNL, to assess the experiences of older people while using Zoom to meet with college students during the service-learning initiative included in Professor Garbarino’s gerontological nursing course.

Preceptor Appreciation Reception

Doctor of Nursing Practice faculty hosted a preceptor appreciation reception at the UVMMC Garden Atrium that included a presentation by Dr. Lewis First. The event was organized by Holly Whitcomb, M.S., APRN, FNP-BC, in collaboration with colleagues from the UVM Medical Center Department of Nursing.

Appletree Bay Primary Care Establishes Telemedicine Office Visits

Months before the coronavirus outbreak became international news, nurse practitioner Jennifer Allaire, M.S., APRN, and Erin Leighton, D.N.P. ’20, began developing a telemedicine protocol for patients of Appletree Bay Primary Care in Burlington. With a telemedicine system ready when the COVID-19 pandemic began unfolding, Appletree Bay quickly converted to clinic-wide remote primary care that helped prevent potentially sick patients from spreading coronavirus and kept faculty, staff and students healthy so that they could continue doing their jobs with the clinic. Learn more >>

New Graduate Featured in Seven Days

Rachel Beauchemin, 2020 RN to B.S. graduate, was featured by the independent newspaper Seven Days. The article highlighted Beauchemin's role as a nurse manager at Birchwood Terrace, which faced one of the state’s worst COVID-19 outbreaks. 

Faculty Honors and Projects

Betty Rambur, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, professor emerita and founding dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, was appointed to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC). The role provides Congress with key insights and advice.

Faculty Updates

Jason Garbarino, D.N.P., RN-BC, CNL, received a promotion to clinical associate professor.

The following faculty members were granted emeritae status:

  • Hendrika Maltby, Ph.D., RN, Professor of Nursing Emerita
  • Brenda Hamel-Bissell, Ed.D., RN, Professor of Nursing Emerita

Farewell to the following faculty members:

  • Jennifer Allaire, M.S., APRN, Nursing clinical instructor, is moving with her family to Los Angeles.
  • Christina Harlow, D.N.P., FNP-BC, APRN, Nursing clinical assistant professor, has left UVM and will continue to work at Gifford Health Care.

Rehabilitation and Movement Science

  • Professor Vreeland Takes First in Florida Adventure Race
  • UVM Named "Gold" Exercise is Medicine Campus
  • Faculty Promotions
  • Doctor of Physical Therapy Faculty and Students Present at National Meeting
  • Faculty Publications and Projects
  • Undergraduate Student Research Presentations and Publications


Further Details

Professor Vreeland Takes First in Florida Adventure Race

Kathryn “Kit” Vreeland, Ed.D. M.B.A., ATC, participated in the Florida Sea to Sea Expedition Adventure Race in March. Participants competed in teams to navigate 400 miles on bicycle, trekking, and paddling, from the west coast to the east coast using only map and compass (no GPS) to 72 checkpoints, self-supported with only a small bin of pre-planned gear and food at transition areas. Vreeland’s team, “Strong Machine,” cleared the course in 62 hours for the win.

UVM Named “Gold” Exercise Is Medicine Campus

UVM attained Gold-level recognition as an Exercise Is Medicine Campus for the third year in a row. The honor was achieved by students in the UVM Exercise Science Club, led by academic advisor Connie Tompkins, Ph.D. Exercise Is Medicine is a global health initiative launched by the American Medical Association (ACSM) and American College of Sports Medicine. UVM is one of only 166 universities and colleges around the world to be honored by ACSM for its efforts to create a culture of wellness on campus. Tompkins will participate in virtual recognition ceremony on June 12.

Faculty Promotions

The following faculty received a promotion to Associate Professor with Tenure:

  • Nancy Gell, PT, Ph.D., M.P.H.
  • Timothy Tourville, Ph.D., ATC

Mathew Failla PT, Ph.D., received a second reappointment as assistant professor.

Doctor of Physical Therapy Faculty and Students Present at National Meeting

A team of Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students and faculty attended the American Physical Therapy Association meeting in Denver, Colorado, to present original research and highlight a new DPT program of study at the University of Vermont. Class of 2020 students Tyler Gregory, Brittany von Oldenburg, Jerimiah Crawford, Christina Barr, Marta Topor, Maddie Hobaugh, Nick Franssen and Leanne Scott presented their doctoral research. Justine Dee, PT, M.S., OCS, Interim Director for the Doctor of Physical Therapy program, presented on the new DPT Movement System curriculum, earning the group an “Education Influencer Award.” Paula Smith, PT, M.A.S., D.P.T., received a Geriatric Clinical Specialist certification, and Westervelt and Dee renewed their Orthopedic Clinical Specialist certifications at the meeting. Learn more >>

Faculty Publications and Projects

Reuben Escorpizo, PT, M.Sc., D.P.T. co-authored/published the following: 

  • Post MWM, Reinhardt JD, Escorpizo R (2020) Return to work after spinal cord injury. In: Bültmann U, Siegrist J (eds) Handbook of disability, work and health. Springer Nature, Cham. 
  • Aragaki D, Saby A, Zappaterra M, Escorpizo R: Occupational medicine and vocational rehabilitation. In Cifu DX, editor: Braddom’s physical medicine and rehabilitation, ed 6, Philadelphia, 2021, Elsevier.
  • Huang SW, Lin LF, Chang KH, Escorpizo R, Liou TH. Development of a comprehensive core set from the international classification of functioning, disability and health for return to work among patients with stroke through delphi-based consensus [published online ahead of print, 2020 Jan 23]. Eur J Phys Rehabil Med. 2020;10.23736/S1973-9087.20.05992-4. doi:10.23736/S1973-9087.20.05992-4
  • Chang, K. H., Chi, W. C., Liao, H. F., Chen, S. C., Chiou, H. Y., Escorpizo, R., & Liou, T. H. Development of indicators to assure quality of disability evaluation based on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health in Taiwan: a Delphi consensus. Disabil Rehabil. 2020;42(7):975‐982. doi:10.1080/09638288.2018.1514536

Elizabeth Sargent, PT, Sc.D., OCS and Mathew Failla, PT, Ph.D., SCS, co-published the following:

Fred Breidenbach PT, DPT, Elizabeth Sargent PT, ScD, Mathew Failla PT, Ph.D. (2020)Rehabilitation of Shoulder Injuries in Basketball. In: Basketball Sports Medicine and Science. Springer.

Karen C. Westervelt, PT, ATC, NBC-HWC, Ph.D. and Rebecca Ouellette-Morton, PT, M.S., D.P.T. and students presented the following:

Westervelt, K., Oullette-Morton, R., Badillo H., Chmielewski A., Hobaugh M., Sullivan S.; (2020) Yoga Reduces Anxiety for 12 Hours in Doctor of Physical Therapy Students. Poster presentation at APTA CSM February 2020.

Undergraduate Student Research Presentations and Publications

Students presented the following with faculty:

Sophie John, Exercise Science ’20John, S., Westervelt, K., Kasser S. (2020) Incorporating Nutrition into Physical Therapy Practice; An Exploratory Study on Education and AttitudesPoster presentation at the International Conference for Health Wellness and Society. Paris France, September 2020.

Kristen Mackie, Exercise Science ’19: Mackie, K., Kasser, S, Sibold, J, Westervelt K (2020) Yoga for State Anxiety Reduction in University StudentsPoster presentation at the International Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health (April 2020) and abstract published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine and Global Advances in Health and Medicine.

Student Services

  • Staff Honors
  • Class of 2020 Honors


Further Details

Staff Honors

Juan I. Florencia, M.A., enrollment management specialist and academic advisor, received the 2020 Dean's Inclusive Excellence Award for contributions to create an environment of social justice, inclusion, and equity in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

Celebrating the Class of 2020

On May 17, 211 undergraduate and 174 graduate CNHS students received degrees during a virtual celebration. View graduating student honors >>

Alumni News

Forbes featured alumna Lynn Black, Nursing '74, now medical director of the Respiratory Illness Clinic at Massachusetts General Hospital, in “15 Heroic Firsthand Stories From the Coronavirus Front Lines.”  Black serves on the College of Nursing and Health Sciences Advisory Board. Read more >>

Megan O’Brien ’01 G ’08 ’17, an inpatient hospitalist nurse practitioner at Gifford Medical Center, received the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) 2020 Nurse Practitioner State Award for Excellence. A three-time UVM Nursing graduate, O’Brien most recently receiving her doctorate of nursing practice in 2017. UVM featured O’Brien’s perspective working on the COVID-19 frontline.

Diana Gerrard, G ’19, a medical laboratory scientist in UVM Medical Center’s genomic medicine department, is working with a task force to develop a new process for testing COVID-19 samples in the UVM Medical Center’s genomic medicine department. Read more >>


Nursing Health Sciences