Laboratory Instruction Category
Lauren Ash

Biology Graduate Program

Lauren was raised in Tampa, FL and grew interested in the field of ecology through an introductory biology class in her sophomore year at the University of Florida.  While obtaining a B.S. in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, she had the opportunity to travel to and conduct research in Belize and Africa. She also taught for the first time as an undergraduate teaching assistant for a Wildlife Management class. After graduating, she attended University College London and received a Master of Research degree in Biodiversity, Evolution, and Conservation.

Lauren realized her love of teaching during her first hands-on teaching experience as a Vermont State Park interpreter, before starting her Ph.D. program in the University of Vermont Biology department. At Silver Lake State Park, she was able to develop and deliver educational nature programs to audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Lauren is now a fourth year Ph.D. candidate in Dr. Nicholas Gotelli’s lab and has served as a teaching assistant for four years in three different Biology courses for both undergraduate and graduate students. Her research integrates field, computational, and genetic approaches to answer questions on the distribution, ecological drivers, and host-pathogen dynamics of ranavirus, the emerging infectious disease in amphibian communities. Through this research, she has had the opportunity to mentor 12 undergraduate students. Besides research and teaching, Lauren loves to travel, pet dogs, paint, and make and eat desserts.

Lecture Instruction Category
Cassie van Stolk-Cooke

Clinical Psychology Graduate Program

Cassie van Stolk-Cooke is a doctoral student in the Clinical Training Program of the Department of Psychological Science at UVM.  Cassie came to UVM from New York City, where she attended college and conducted research on technology-based interventions for substance use problems.

At UVM, Cassie has focused her energies on seeing patients at Vermont Psychological Services, the Department’s community outpatient clinic, pursuing a research interest in the social support providers of those suffering from mental illness, and honing her teaching skills.  In the classroom, she has found a passion for helping her students to hone their critical thinking and writing skills in the context of psychological science. In her free time, Cassie enjoys dancing, music, and spending time with her dog, Badger.


Hannah Helme