2020-2021 University Scholars

The University Scholars program recognizes distinguished UVM faculty members for sustained excellence in research, creative and scholarly activities. The Scholars are selected by a faculty panel based upon nominations submitted by UVM colleagues.

Nomination Guidelines

Any full-time UVM faculty member may nominate or re-nominate any full-time member of the faculty for a University Scholar Award. Please note that this award is not limited to members of the Graduate Faculty. Nominees are expected to be at the highest rank in their faculty track and to have sustained excellence at that rank.

University Scholar Awards will be available in two categories: Social Sciences, Humanities and Creative Arts, and Basic and Applied Sciences (including Biological, Medical and Physical Sciences). Each of the awards will carry a grant of $2,500 to be used at the discretion of the recipient to promote their scholarly activities.

Nominations will be reviewed by a committee of University Scholars, which will then forward its recommendations to the Graduate College for final action.

The University Scholars are announced in early April.

Each nomination must include:

-A completed PDF iconNomination Form (PDF)
-One letter of nomination from a UVM faculty member
-One letter seconding the nomination from a UVM faculty member
-A current Curriculum Vitae of the nominee

Please address the following items in the letter of nomination and the letter seconding the nomination.

-Contributions promoting research, creative activities and scholarship in the discipline of the nominee, highlighting particularly unique and highly acclaimed contributions.
-Contributions to promoting research, creative activities and scholarship in the UVM community.
-Contributions to teaching or mentoring graduate and undergraduate students in research, creative activities and scholarship.
-Other comments deemed pertinent.

Please do not include more than two letters. The nomination materials must be received by the Graduate College Office by no later than January 29, 2021.  If you have any further questions about this program, please contact Dan.Harvey@uvm.edu.


View a recording of the virtual induction of the 2020-2021 University Scholars


2020-2021 University Scholars

Basic and Applied Sciences

Gregory L. Holmes, M.D.

Chair, Department of Neurological Sciences
Professor of Neurological Sciences and Pediatrics

Dr. Holmes is an internationally renowned pediatric neurologist with an expertise in pediatric epilepsy. His research in the laboratory and clinic has resulted in an understanding of the pathophysiological basis of cognitive impairment and other co-morbidities in children with epilepsy. Dr. Holmes studied at Washington & Lee University (B.S.) and the University of Virginia School of Medicine (M.D.) followed by residencies in pediatrics at Yale and pediatric neurology at the University of Virginia. Dr. Holmes spent 16 years at Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School where in 1996 he became Professor of Neurology and was bestowed an honorary M.A. degree.  Prior to becoming the Chair of Neurological Sciences at UVM in 2013, Dr. Holmes was the inaugural Chair of Neurology at Dartmouth Medical School. His research is inspired by his patients and their families. He has over 500 peer-reviewed research articles, books, book chapters and review articles. He has enjoyed continuous funding for more than 40 years from federal agencies, primarily the NIH.  Dr. Holmes served on the editorial boards of 12 epilepsy and neurology journals and has been on multiple NIH study sections and FDA advisory committees. He is the past president of the American Epilepsy Society and has received many honors including research awards from the American Epilepsy Society, NIH, American Clinical Neurophysiology Society, International League Against Epilepsy and the Child Neurology Society. From 2010-2012 he was a member of the National Academy of Science sponsored Committee on the Public Health Dimensions of the Epilepsies culminating in the book Epilepsy Across the Spectrum.

Watch Dr. Holmes' talk in the University Scholar Lecture Series>>

Gary S. Stein, Ph.D.

Perelman Professor and Chair, Department of Biochemistry
Professor, Department of Surgery

Gary Stein is dedicated to translating cellular and molecular mechanisms into understanding cancer.  The central theme of his research is control of proliferation and differentiation with emphasis on cancer-compromised genetic and epigenetic regulation.  His research, a long-standing partnership with Janet Stein and Jane Lian, has consistently focused on innovative exploration of mechanisms and molecular signatures.  Gary Stein is recognized for development of paradigm-shifting concepts and strategies that opened the field of skeletal biology and pathology to molecular, cellular and epigenetic investigation.  He pioneered and has remained at the forefront of characterizing genetic and epigenetic regulation that mediates cell cycle control in lineage-committed cells, cancer stem cells and pluripotent stem cells with an abbreviated cell cycle.  He has made pivotal contributions to understanding the transcriptome by defining mechanisms that govern combinatorial organization, integration and assembly of regulatory machinery in nuclear microenvironments; higher-order genomic organization, including inter- and intra-chromosomal interactions and noncoding RNAs; and epigenetic control of cell fate and lineage commitment in biological control and cancer.  His recent discoveries of mitotic bookmarking in somatic cells and mitosis-specific bivalent histone modifications in pluripotent stem cells that are recapitulated in early stage breast and prostate cancer cells established “oncofetal epigenetic control” as a novel dimension to tumorigenesis.  He has more than 950 publications and has edited more than 25 books that illustrate his significant research contributions and his standing in the scientific community.

Trained in biology and pathology, Gary Stein is dedicated to translating mechanistic understanding of cancer biology to clinical applications.  He is committed to advancing capabilities for prevention, early detection, treatment and survivorship of breast and prostate cancer and leukemia, as well as mechanistic and clinical understanding of skeletal metastasis.  Transdisciplinary team research has always been a key approach for Gary Stein—it has been the guiding strategy for his own research group.  He advocated collaboration as Director of the University of Massachusetts Cancer Center, Director of the Massachusetts Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Chair of the University of Massachusetts Medical School Department of Cell Biology and as Director of the University of Vermont Cancer Center.  He currently emphasizes partnerships as principal investigator of the Northern New England Clinical and Translational Research Network, Co-Director of the Vermont Cancer Coalition and Chair of the UVM Department of Biochemistry.  He is an inspiring leader who has facilitated effective transdisciplinary collaborative research that unites departments within institutions, research centers across geographic regions, and researchers around the globe. He has directed graduate, post-graduate and faculty development programs and serves on regional, national and international scientific advisory boards that establish science policy research priorities and incentivize clinical trials.  Gary Stein has organized and chaired Gordon Research Conferences, FASEB Summer Research Conferences and Keystone Symposia on “nuclear structure and cancer,” “cell cycle control” and “epigenetic regulation.” Gary Stein has mentored more than 175 graduate students, research and clinical fellows, and junior faculty scientists and physician/investigators.

Gary Stein received the most prestigious research awards from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the Orthopedic Research Society and the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR).  He was also recognized by the ASBMR with the Gideon Rodan Award for mentorship, by Brown University with the Steroid-Hormone Research Award and by UVM Larner College of Medicine with the Outstanding Faculty Research Award (2018).  He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  He held the Haidak Distinguished Professorship at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS, 1999) and currently holds the Arthur Perelman Professorship at the University of Vermont (UVM).  His contributions to biomedical research development in Asia and in South America were recognized by election to the Pakistan Academy of Sciences and an honorary Professorship at Universidad Andrés Bello in Chile.

Social Sciences, Humanities, and Creative Arts

Joseph Acquisto, Ph.D.

Professor of French
Chair, Department of Romance Languages and Cultures

Dr. Acquisto joined the department of Romance Languages and Cultures in 2003 after receiving the Ph.D. from Yale University and has served as department chair since 2016.  He specializes in nineteenth and twentieth-century French literature, with particular emphasis on lyric poetry and the novel. His research interests include the relations between music and literature, the notion of modernity in intellectual history and the arts, and philosophical approaches to poetry, with particular attention to the work of Charles Baudelaire, Stéphane Mallarmé, Marcel Proust, and Emil Cioran.  He is the author of forty articles and five books: French Symbolist Poetry and the Idea of Music (2006), Crusoes and Other Castaways in Modern French Literature: Solitary Adventures (2012), The Fall Out of Redemption: Writing and Thinking Beyond Salvation in Baudelaire, Cioran, Fondane, Agamben, and Nancy (2015), Proust, Music, and Meaning (2017), and Poetry’s Knowing Ignorance (2020), along with an edited volume entitled Thinking Poetry: Philosophical Approaches to Nineteenth-Century Poetry (2013).  A sixth book, on pessimism in nineteenth-century France and our own time, is forthcoming this year.  His teaching focuses on modern French literature and intermediate and advanced language courses. He served for ten years as faculty director of the Global Village Residential Learning Community and is core faculty in the Honors College, having taught the interdisciplinary first-year seminar, The Pursuit of Knowledge, for the past ten years. He has also taught interdisciplinary sophomore seminars and graduate courses on modernity and modernism in philosophy, critical theory, and the arts.

Watch Dr. Acquisto's talk in the University Scholar Lecture Series>>

Asim Zia, Ph.D.

Professor of Public Policy and Computer Science, Department of Community Development and Applied Economics and Department of Computer Science
Director, Institute for Environmental Diplomacy and Security
Co-Director, Social Ecological Gaming and Simulation Lab

Asim Zia has made substantive scientific and policy contributions towards advancing the Sustainability and Resilience of Human Environmental Systems. He is an internationally known leader in developing computational models of Social Ecological Systems, Complex Adaptive Systems and Governance Networks. Foresight generated from these computational models is used widely to enable early warnings of systematic risks, design early actions and anticipatory policies, configure governance systems and implement adaptive management. He has published 58 journal articles, 19 book chapters and 3 books, totaling 80 peer-reviewed publications. His articles have appeared in journals such as Nature Climate Change, Environmental Research Letters, Global Environmental Change, Ecology and Society, Public Understanding of Science, Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, PLOS One, Energy Policy, Journal of Environmental Psychology, Journal of Environmental Management, Conservation Biology and Sustainability.

He has served as a Principal Investigator, Co-Principal Investigator, or Senior Personnel on 22 research grants worth more than $60 Million. Grant funds have been secured from National Science Foundation, McArthur Foundation, US Department of Transportation, US Department of Defense and US Department of Agriculture.  He has recently served a 3-year term on scientific review committee of the national socio-environmental synthesis center (SESYNC), acting as an academic editor for PLOS One since 2014, and serving a 3-year term as co-editor-in-chief of Complexity, Governance and Networks . He has a Ph.D. in Public Policy from the Georgia Institute of Technology; recipient of 2004-2005 best dissertation award from the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management, a post-doctoral fellowship from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (2004-2006), a fellow at the Gund Institute for Environment and a senior research fellow for the Earth System Governance project. He was recently appointed as a Fulbright Global Scholar (July 2020-June 2022) to lead a project on “Securing Clean Water in Transboundary Indus, Jordan and Amazon Basins through Science and Environmental Diplomacy.”

Watch Dr. Zia's talk in the University Scholar Lecture Series>>

Prior University Scholars

Prior University Scholars


  • Mary Cushman, College of Medicine
  • Peter Sheridan Dodds, College of Engineering and Mathematical Science
  • Adrian Ivakhiv, Rubenstein School of the Environment and Natural Resources
  • Valerie Rohy, College of Arts and Sciences


  • Sean Field, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, College of Medicine
  • Junru Wu, College of Arts and Sciences


  • Jane Kolodinsky, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences
  • Kelly J. Rohan, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Jianke Yang, College of Engineering and Mathematical Science


  • Robert V. Bartlett, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Robert Pepperman Taylor, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Ira M. Bernstein, College of Medicine
  • Jason H. T. Bates, College of Engineering and Mathematical Science


  • Tina Escaja, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Ray Vega, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Philip Ades, College of Medicine
  • Marilyn Cipolla, College of Medicine


  • Dennis P. Clougherty, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Sylvie Doublie, College of Medicine
  • Lokangaka Losambe, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Thomas Streeter, College of Arts and Sciences


  • Michael Giangreco, College of Education and Social Services
  • Betsy Hoza, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Christopher Landry, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Curtis Ventriss, Rubenstein School of the Environment and Natural Resources


  • M. Cristina Mazzoni, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Mercedes Rincon, College of Medicine
  • Stephanie Seguino, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Margaret A. Vizzard, College of Medicine

2011 - 2012

  • Richard M. Foote, College of Engineering & Mathematics
  • Berta M. Geller, College of Medicine
  • Jean R. Harvey-Berino, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences
  • Gary E. Ward, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences

2010 - 2011

  • Rex Forehand, College of Arts & Sciences
  • James Hudziak, College of Medicine
  • Anthony S. Magistrale, College of Arts and Sciences
  • George Osol, College of Medicine

2009 - 2010

  • Ralph C. Budd, College of Medicine
  • John P. Burke, College of Arts and Sciences
  • William E. Mann, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Russell P. Tracy, College of Medicine

2008 - 2009

  • Jeffrey Dinitz - Mathematics and Statistics
  • Marjorie Lipson - Elementary Education
  • Benjamin Littenberg - Medicine, Nursing
  • Robert H. Rodgers - Classical Languages and Literature

2007 - 2008

  • Robert J. Gordon - Anthropology
  • Charles G. Irvin - Medicine and Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
  • Martin M. LeWinter - Medicine and Molecular Physiology and Biphysics
  • Stephanie H. McConaughy - Psychiatry and Psychology

2006 - 2007

  • Susan Crockenberg – Psychology
  • John Helzer – Psychiatry
  • Gary Mawe – Anatomy and Neurobiology
  • Ian Stokes – Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation

2005 - 2006

  • John MacKenzie Burke – Microbiology & Molecular Genetics
  • Nicholas J. Gotelli – Biology, Marsh Life Sciences
  • Carol T. Miller – Psychology, Dewey Hall
  • Robyn R. Warhol – English, Old Mill

2004 - 2005

  • Richard J. Albertini – Pathology, Medicine and MMG
  • Dwight E. Matthews – Medicine and Chemistry
  • Beth Mintz, Sociology, Benedict Bldg So. Prospect St.
  • David Scrase – German, Waterman Bldg.

2003 - 2004

  • Paula B. Tracy – Biochemistry, Health Science Complex
  • Robert J. Nash – Integrated Professional Studies
  • Dan S. Archdeacon – Mathematics & Statistics, Colchester Ave.
  • Patricia A. Prelock - Communication Sciences, 406 Pomeroy Hall

2002 - 2003

  • Charles J. Goodnight – Biology, Marsh Life Science
  • Rachel K. Johnson – Nutrition & Food Science, Terrill Hall
  • Joni K. Seager - Geography
  • Denise J. Youngblood – History, Wheeler House

2001 - 2002

  • Catherine W. Donnelly – Nut. & Food Sci., 200 Carrigan-
  • Donald H. DeHayes – SNR, 334 Aiken Center

2000 - 2001

  • Warren K. Bickel – Psychiatry & Psychology
  • Roger L. Cooke – Mathematics & Stats., 16 Colchester
  • Stephen J. Cutler – Sociology, 31 S. Prospect #002
  • Ronald Savitt – School of Business , 306 Kalkin

1999 - 2000

  • Lynne A. Bond – Psychology, Dewey Hall
  • Edith D. Hendley – MPBP, E213 Health Sci
  • Patrick Hutton – History, 204 Wheeler
  • David M. Warshaw – MPBP, D205 Health Sci

1998 - 1999

  • Daniel W. Gade - Geography
  • Martin H. Krag – Orthopedic Rehab, 430A Stafford
  • William D. Lakin – Math & Stats., 16 Colchester
  • Robert E. Manning – SNR, 356 Aiken Center

1997 - 1998

  • Charles J. Colbourn - Mathematics
  • Susan S. Wallace – MMG, 206 Stafford Hall
  • Stephen T. Higgins – Psychiatry, 118 Ira Allen School
  • Frank Manchel - English

1996 - 1997

  • Mark T. Nelson - Pharmacology, 301 Given
  • Kurt E. Oughstun – Elec. & Computer Eng. Votey
  • Howard Ball – Political Sci, 519 Old Mill
  • Susan Brody Hasazi – Education, 448 Waterman

1995 - 1996

  • Kenneth I. Gross – Mathematics & Stats., 16 Colchester
  • Joseph J. Schall – Biology, 203 Marsh Life
  • Mark E. Bouton – Psychology, 354 Dewey Hall
  • Alan P. Wertheimer – Political Sci, 513 Old Mill

1994 - 1995

  • John R. Hughes – Psychiatry, 130 Ira Allen School
  • Robert C. Woodworth - Biochemistry
  • Bruce E. Compas - Psychology
  • Joan M. Smith - Sociology

1993 - 1994

  • Bruce S. Kapp – Psychology, Dewey Hall
  • George F. Pinder – Civil & Envi. Engrg. 371 Votey
  • Luther H. Martin – Religion, 203-481 Main Street
  • Mark A. Stoler – History, 207 Wheeler

1992 - 1993

  • Kenneth I. Golden – Mathematics & Stats. , 16 Colchester
  • Robert J. Johnson – Orthopedic Rehab, 406 Stafford
  • Abbas Alnasrawi – Economics, 340 Old Mill
  • Esther D. Rothblum – Psychology, 362 Dewey Hall

1991 - 1992

  • Richard L. Anderson – Electrical Engineering
  • Judith L. Van Houten – Biology, 215 Marsh Life
  • Thomas M. Achenbach – Psychiatry, Degoesbriand
  • Chad D. Hansen - Philosophy

1990 - 1991

  • A. Paul Krapcho - Chemistry
  • Rodney L. Parsons – Anatomy & Neurobiology
  • Heinz L. Ansbacher- Psychology
  • William A. Haviland - Anthropology

1989 - 1990

  • Paula M. Fives-Taylor – MMG, 206 Stafford Hall
  • Jerold F. Lucey – Pediatrics, MFU, McClure Wing
  • Raymond T. Coward –Human Dev. & Family Studies
  • Samuel B. Hand - History

1988 - 1989

  • Kenneth G. Mann – Biochemistry, C401 Health Sci
  • Malcolm H. Pope – Ortho & Rehab & Mechanical Engrg.
  • R. Paul Hilberg – Political Science
  • George A. Sher - Philosophy

1987 - 1988

  • Lyndon B. Carew – Animal Science, 207A Terrill-Home
  • John J. McCormack – Pharmacology, B322 Health Sci.
  • C. Hackett Bushweller - Chemistry
  • R. Harry Orth - English

1986 - 1987

  • Richard Klein - Botany
  • Robert B. Low – Mole. Physiology & Biophysics, E317 Given
  • Martin E. Kuehne – Chemistry, A318 Cook
  • George W. Albee - Psychology

1985 - 1986

  • Bernd Heinrich – Biology, 102 Marsh Life
  • Julian J. Jaffe - Pharmacology
  • Ted B. Flanagan – Chemistry, A121 Cook
  • John Weiger – Romance Languages

1984 - 1985

  • James G. Welch – Animal Sciences
  • Norman Alpert – Physiology & Biophysics
  • Wesley L. Nyborg - Physics
  • Leonidas M. Jones - English

1983 - 1984

  • Richmond J. Bartlett – Plant & Soil Science
  • James E.Clapp, III - OBGYN
  • William E. Geiger, Jr. – Chemistry, A221 Cook
  • Philip Kitcher - Philosophy

1982 - 1983

  • George M. Happ - Zoology
  • Thomas J. Moehring – MMG
  • Christopher W. Allen – Chemistry, A131 Cook
  • Harold Leitenberg– Psychology, 302 Dewey

1981 - 1982

  • Robert C. Ullrich - Botany
  • Brooke T. Mossman – Pathology, A151 Health Science
  • David B. Brown - Chemistry
  • Robert V. Daniels - History

1980 - 1981

  • Alexander H. Duthie – Animal Sciences
  • Stanley Rush – Electrical Engineering
  • Wolfgang Mieder – German & Russian 422 Waterman