The University Distinguished Professor Award is the highest academic honor that UVM can bestow upon a member of the faculty. Holders of this title are recognized as not only having achieved international eminence within their respective fields of study but for the truly transformative nature of their contributions to the advancement of knowledge. These faculty members are considered top scholars who have excelled in their disciplines.

No more than five percent of full professors may hold an active appointment as a University Distinguished Professor at any one time. Faculty holders of this honor may use the title University Distinguished Professor until their retirement at the University of Vermont and wear a medal with their academic regalia signifying this distinction. They will also serve as an informal advisory body to the leadership of the university and receive an annual professional expense stipend to support their scholarly endeavors until retirement or separation from UVM.

Current Professors

 

Mark E. BoutonMark E. Bouton, PhD

University Distinguished Professor of Psychological Science,
and Robert B. Lawson Green and Gold Professor of Psychology

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"Mark E. Bouton, Robert B. Lawson Green and Gold Professor of Psychology. You are considered among the most outstanding experimental psychologists of your generation working on animal learning. Throughout a 39-year career at UVM, you have conducted pioneering research into the role of context in the learning and memory process resulting in over 130 publications, including some of the most highly cited research papers in the discipline. You are one of the leading experts on associative learning—a core type of learning and memory—and considered by your colleagues as the foremost expert on extinction, a learning process that has been demonstrated to be fundamentally important to learning and to the treatment of a number of clinical disorders.

Mark E. Bouton, I am honored to recognize your stellar accomplishments as an experimental psychologist, research leader, and dedicated teacher and mentor by granting you the title of University Distinguished Professor of Psychological Science and Robert B. Lawson Green and Gold Professor of Psychology at the University of Vermont.”

—Provost Patricia A. Prelock

Read May 19, 2019
at the University’s 218th Commencement Ceremony

 

Ralph BuddRalph C. Budd, MD

University Distinguished Professor,
Director of the Vermont Center for Immunology and Infectious Diseases

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Dr. Ralph Budd is Professor of Medicine and Director of the Vermont Center for Immunology and Infectious Diseases. Dr. Budd’s achievements in scholarship, leadership, mentoring, and service are unparalleled on the University of Vermont campus.

Dr. Budd is an internationally recognized physician-scientist who has made tremendous contributions to our understanding of the immune system. His research on the mechanisms of autoimmunity has garnered him numerous awards and research grants totaling over $60 million. In 2012, Dr. Budd was elected a member of the prestigious Association of American Physicians, whose members are recognized for their pursuit of medical knowledge, and the advancement through experimentation and discovery of basic and clinical science and their application to clinical medicine. He is the only AAP member on the UVM faculty.

Dr. Budd has served in a variety of leadership roles at UVM. He was the chief architect of what is today our highly successful Immunobiology Program, and of a recognized Center of Excellence, the Vermont Center for Immunology and Infectious Diseases. He is a dedicated mentor and role model to countless junior faculty and students, and a visionary leader who has gained the admiration of his peers.

Dr. Ralph Budd, I am honored to recognize your stellar accomplishments as a physician-scientist, mentor and leader by granting you the title of University Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at the University of Vermont.

—Provost and Senior Vice President David V. Rosowsky

Read May 22, 2016
at the University’s 215th Commencement Ceremony

 

Tina EscajaTina Escaja, PhD

University Distinguished Professor of Romance Languages,
and Gender and Women's Studies

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"Tina Escaja, Professor of Romance Languages, and Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies. You are recognized as the foremost scholar of the works of Delmira Agustini, a Uruguayan poet from the early 20th century, and Ana Rosetti, a contemporary Spanish poet. The breadth of your pioneering research and trans-cultural scholarship, in several genres, is displayed in over one hundred works that include books, book chapters, journal articles, reviews, encyclopedic entries, anthologies, and artistic productions. You are internationally known for your creative and groundbreaking work that integrates poetry and technology—electronic literature—and for your digital exhibits at museums and galleries around the world.

Tina Escaja, I am honored to recognize your stellar accomplishments as a scholar in romance languages, as a poet, artistic collaborator, teacher and inspiring mentor to our students by granting you the title of University Distinguished Professor of Romance Languages, and Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Vermont.”

—Provost Patricia A. Prelock

Read May 19, 2019
at the University’s 218th Commencement Ceremony

 

Rex L. ForehandRex L. Forehand, PhD

Heinz and Rowena Ansbacher Professor of Psychology and
University Distinguished Professor Director of Clinical Training

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"Rex L. Forehand, University Distinguished Professor of Psychology. Professor Forehand, you are recognized as one of the leading authorities in child and family psychology. Before coming to UVM you attained the ranks of Distinguished Research Professor and Regents’ Professor of Psychology at the University of Georgia.

In your career you have been a prolific grant winner and scholar, publishing nearly 400 scholarly works in a field with a 70% rejection rate. Among your numerous honors you have been particularly widely recognized for your role in mentoring your student colleagues.

One reviewer noted that your students over the years have contributed 800 of their own scholarly pieces to the literature. Another reviewer, a University Distinguished Professor at his own institution, summarizes your stature by noting: “Rex Forehand is a superstar. He not only deserves this honor, but he will be a terrific standard bearer, someone who will set the exact tone I would want to set with your new University Distinguished Professorships.”

Rex L. Forehand, I am pleased to recognize you as University Distinguished Professor of Psychology.”

—Provost John M. Hughes

Read May 17, 2009
at the University’s 205th Commencement Ceremony

 

Major JacksonMajor Jackson, MFA

Richard Dennis Green and Gold Professor of English and
University Distinguished Professor of English

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Professor Major Jackson is the Richard Dennis Green and Gold Professor of English. Professor Jackson has achieved national and international eminence in the field of poetry. He is widely recognized as one of the leading poets in America today and an influential voice in contemporary American poetry.

Professor Jackson has authored hundreds of poems, five books, and contributed to over 40 published anthologies. His work has appeared in many online and print outlets, among these The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, Boston Review, and The New York Times. Professor Jackson’s work has received critical attention in the Boston Globe, the Christian Science Monitor, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Washington Post, and on National Public Radio. He is the recipient of some of America’s most prestigious awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts Artist Fellowship.

Professor Jackson, you are recognized by America’s poets as one of the best writers of your generation and I am honored to recognize your accomplishments by granting you the title of University Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Vermont.

—Provost and Senior Vice President David V. Rosowsky

Read May 22, 2016
at the University’s 215th Commencement Ceremony

 

Wolfgang MiederWolfgang Mieder, PhD

University Distinguished Professor
of German and Folklore

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I should begin, of course, with a Proverb, suggested by one of the many young scholars for whom Wolfgang has provided opportunity.

“If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing well.”

Wolfgang Mieder has been an esteemed member of the faculty at the University of Vermont since 1971. Beginning as assistant professor, he rose to the top rank of full professor in the Department of German and Russian within just 7 years. He served as chair of the department for thirty-one years, from 1977 to 2008. He has contributed to this university in countless ways as a faculty member, administrator, mentor, friend. His expertise is in the areas of German and international folklore, the history of the German language, the Middle Ages, and especially paremiology, the study of proverbs.

In fact, Professor Mieder is widely considered the leading scholar in the world in the study of proverbs. He has spent decades collecting and studying proverbs covering a wide range of topics and languages, from their use in ancient history to today’s slang.

Most recently, Professor Mieder has published a series of books on the rhetoric of heads of state and social leaders, including Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Charles Dickens, Harry Truman, Winston Churchill, and Barack Obama. For his study on his hero Martin Luther King, Making a Way out of No Way: Martin Luther King’s Sermonic Proverbial Rhetoric, he read some 6,000 pages of King’s published texts, collecting, cataloguing and analyzing the proverbs in the process and thereby telling the story of King’s life, a biography in proverbs. His comprehensive index contains 1,092 proverbs used by King, each shown in every context that King used them, sourced and dated. The title, Making a Way out of No Way, is an African American proverb of unknown origin and for Professor Mieder characterizes King’s struggle for universal rights, more so perhaps than the better known, “I Have a Dream.”

Scholars also credit Professor Mieder with widening the concept of the paremiological minimum, that is, that a certain set of proverbs must have (or have had) currency for a substantial period of time, which in turn demonstrates the central role proverbs play in linguistic and cultural communication. He is also the creator of the term “anti-proverb” for proverbs that are twisted from their original wordings and structures.

An example: “Practice makes perfect.”
Becomes: “If you think practice makes perfect, you don’t have child taking piano lessons.”
Or: “Car drivers are living proof that practice does not make perfect.”

Since 1984, he has been the founding editor of Proverbium: Yearbook of International Proverb Scholarship published right here at the University of Vermont. With over 200 authored or edited books, 450 articles, 120 reviews, and 325 invited addresses, he is indeed a most prolific scholar in the world of proverbs and folk narratives.

As a folklorist, he is the first scholar to receive the 3 highest most prestigious world-wide awards: the Pitré International Folklore Prize, the European Fairy Tale Prize, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Folklore Society.

For his 60th birthday, he was honored by three Festschrift publications and again with another volume on his 65th birthday here at the University of Vermont.

A final proverb: “Nothing is done while anything remains to be done.”

Wolfgang has never been in danger of getting nothing done.

Professor Wolfgang Mieder, it is an honor and privilege to award you the title “University Distinguished Professor of German and Folklore”.

—Interim Provost Robert B. Low

Read May 19, 2013
at the University’s 2117th Commencement Ceremony

 

Brooke T. MossmanBrooke T. Mossman, PhD

University Distinguished Professor of Pathology
 

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"Dr. Brooke T. Mossman is Professor of Pathology and Director of the Environmental Pathology Program in the College of Medicine.  Dr. Mossman is an accomplished scientist, mentor and leader in the field of asbestos-induced carcinogenesis.

Dr. Mossman’s scientific contributions over the past 30 years are numerous and sustained, resulting in international recognition as one of the world’s foremost authorities in the field of fiber carcinogenesis.

Dr. Mossman has provided an important and sustained body of work that continues to inform the world about asbestos.  She historically remains the most widely cited researcher in the world on asbestos-related diseases.

Dr. Mossman’s nominators commented that it is difficult to imagine a scientist having more direct impact on the world’s understanding of asbestos-induced cancer, or one who has provided more service to the scientific community over the past 30 years.

Dr. Brooke Mossman stands as a stellar academician and world citizen and is most deserving of holding the title of UVM University Distinguished Professor.

Brooke T. Mossman, I am pleased to recognize you as University Distinguished Professor of Pathology.”

—Provost Jane E. Knodell

Read May 22, 2011
at the University’s 207th Commencement Ceremony

 

Mark T. NelsonMark T. Nelson, PhD

Chairman and University Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology
 

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"Mark T. Nelson, University Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology. Professor Nelson, you are considered a superb scientist, an effective and admired professor and chair, and a remarkably supporting and nurturing mentor.

Your discoveries and characterizations of diverse channels, Ca2+ sparks and functional changes in vascular smooth muscle have changed the field and now inform all work in smooth muscle function that is published today.

Reviewers observe that the pace of building your research portfolio, with over 170 scientific publications and an astonishing number of those in the journals Science and Nature, appears to be even accelerating. As one reviewer summarized, “Mark T. Nelson is a remarkable and complete scientist of international renown. It is truly appropriate for the University to bestow upon him the title of University Distinguished Professor.”

Mark T. Nelson, I am pleased to recognize you as University Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology.”

—Provost John M. Hughes

Read May 17, 2009
at the University’s 205th Commencement Ceremony

 

George F. PinderGeorge F. Pinder, PhD

University Distinguished Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering
 

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"George F. Pinder, University Distinguished Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering.  Professor Pinder you are an internationally recognized pioneer in the creation and use of computer models for solution of groundwater contamination problems.

Working at the nexus of groundwater hydrology and numerical mathematics, you were the first to recognize the power of this interdisciplinary approach to addressing the critical environmental issue of rehabilitating contaminated aquifers. Always at the forefront of pioneering efforts in groundwater modeling since your days as a graduate student; today you are universally recognized as one of the preeminent scholars of that discipline.

Throughout your career; you have received numerous national and international awards including Fellow of the American Geophysical Society in 1993, the Distinguished Member Medal from the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2012, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Environmental & Water Resources Institute in 2016. You were inducted into the National Academy of Engineering in 2010 – the only member of the University of Vermont faculty inducted in this prestigious academy.

You have held countless leadership positions, including President of the Hydrology Section of the American Geophysical Union and served as the founding Director of what is now the Environmental Engineering Program at Princeton University (recently named the number one Environmental Program in the US).  From 1989 to 1996 you served as the  Dean of the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences at the University of Vermont.

In addition, you were also the founding editor of two prestigious journals – Advances in Water Resources and Numerical Methods for Partial Differential Equations.

You are a dedicated mentor and role model to countless faculty and students, and a visionary leader who has gained the unwavering admiration of your peers.

George F. Pinder, I am honored to recognize your stellar accomplishments as an engineer and mathematician, teacher and scholar, and a mentor and leader by granting you the title of University Distinguished Professor of  Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Vermont.

—Provost and Senior Vice President David V. Rosowsky

Read May 21, 2017
at the University’s 216th Commencement Ceremony

 

Russell P. TracyRussell P. Tracy, PhD

University Distinguished Professor of Pathology
and Laboratory Medicine, and Biochemistry

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"Russell P. Tracy, Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and Biochemistry. You have played a prominent role in elucidating hematologic aspects of cardiovascular disease. Your research through 34 years as a faculty member at UVM has resulted in major discoveries in the molecular, cellular, and genetic epidemiology of blood coagulation, fibrinolysis, and inflammation. Your more than 700 publications have been cited more than 110,000 times, numbers that placed you among the top 1 percent most highly cited researchers of 2018. For the period 1996 to 2011, you were recognized as one of the 400 most highly influential biomedical researchers.

You have served your profession with passion and dedication. Your commitment to UVM is equally impressive including, among many activities, ten years as Senior Associate Dean for Research and Academic Activities for the Larner College of Medicine.

Russell P. Tracy, I am honored to recognize your stellar accomplishments as a biomedical and clinical researcher, teacher and mentor by granting you the title of University Distinguished Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and Biochemistry at the University of Vermont.”

—Provost Patricia A. Prelock

Read May 19, 2019
at the University’s 218th Commencement Ceremony

 

Contact Information

Please contact the following individuals with any questions.

Jim O. Vigoreaux
Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs

Breazzano Family Green & Gold Professor in the College of Arts and Sciences

304 Waterman Building
85 South Prospect Street
Burlington, VT 05405

Phone: 802 656-8513
Email: Jim.Vigoreaux@uvm.edu

 

Jennifer Diaz
Executive Assistant to the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs

304 Waterman Building
85 South Prospect Street
Burlington, VT 05405

Phone: 802 656-8513
Email: Jennifer.Diaz@uvm.edu