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    A learning event that brings colleagues together from across campus to share knowledge and cultivate skills that will positively impact our work life

EDU@UVM: Thriving in Change | March 11, 2020

Keynote Speaker

Phelan Fretz

Announcing the 2020 Edu@UVM Keynote Speaker Phelan Fretz, Executive Director, ECHO Science Center.

Keynote welcoming remarks by President Suresh Garimella and Dr. Wanda Heading-Grant, Vice President of Human Resources, Diversity and Multicultural Affairs.

Wednesday, March 11th @ 8:15 AM | Davis Center, Grand Maple Ballroom

Phelan is Executive Director of ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain on Burlington’s waterfront. Phelan decided to move from his position at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, the largest science museum in the country, to become executive director of the still unbuilt ECHO. Since his arrival, ECHO has triumphed and failed, resisted change and embraced it. As a leader, you wear it all. After four strategic plans, 51 exhibits, transitioning from 2 staff to today’s 31 dedicated folks that make the magic everyday, and engaging hundreds of community members to chart ECHO’s future. Phelan will share stories and draw insights - all to nurture our change journey.

Registration Required PeopleSoft Course Code EDU400

Phelan Fretz Bio

Phelan loves the outdoors and spends time skiing, cycling, hiking, birding or other outdoor pursuits. He arrived in Burlington in 2002 after 20 years in the museum industry to lead the opening of the new ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain. He has served in leadership positions at The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, The Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia and the New England Aquarium in Boston. In 2008, he received the national Noyce Leadership Award for museum service. He received his B.S. from the Pennsylvania State University and M.S., M.Ed. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis. Since arriving in Vermont, he has served as Board Chair of the New England Museum Association and the Burlington Business Association, and chairs the New England Museum Director’s Roundtable. He lives in Burlington with his wife Laura Botte, a sixth grade teacher at Burlington’s Edmund’s Middle School.  He has two boys; Caley who is journalist out of Boulder, CO and Ramsay who is in real estate in Boston, MA

Conference Overview

Morning Keynote Address:  Be the Change

  • Wednesday, March 11th, 8:15 AM to 9:30 AM
  • Advance registration required in PeopleSoft HR - Use Peoplesoft Code EDU400
  • Coffee and muffins will be served starting at 8:00 AM

Lunch Provided

  • Wednesday, March 11th, 11:45 AM
  • For employees attending our EDU@UVM events
  • Sponsored by UVM Dining
  • Separate Registration Required in Peoplesoft HR – Use PeopleSoft Code EDU401
  • Please notify Professional Development & Training (E-mail Link) by March 3rd if you have dietary restrictions

Afternoon Break and Treats

  • An opportunity to unplug, mingle and enjoy!
  • Coffee, cookies, popcorn and hot cider.
  • Sponsored by Staff Council and PD&T.

Schedule and Workshop Descriptions


EDU@UVM is generously supported by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont, Hickok & Boardman, UVM Dining and the Division of Human Resources, Diversity and Multicultural Affairs. Thank you!

Important Dates

EDU@UVM: March 11, 2020

Registration Opens: February 18, 2020

Registration Closes: Mar. 6, 2020


Workshop Locations

All events will take place at the Davis Center 4th floor, except for Holistically Thriving Gentle Yoga and Healing Touch (Patrick Gym) and Fleming Museum tour (Museum).



If you cannot attend a session you signed up for, please email Professional Development & Training (E-mail Link) with the course name to let us know. Due to heavy volume we will not be sending confirmations of your cancellation.