The University Scholars Awards, presented annually, honor and recognize distinguished UVM faculty members for sustained excellence in research, creative and scholarly activities. The award is co-sponsored by the Provost and the Graduate College. The award recipients are selected by a faculty committee based upon nominations submitted by UVM colleagues. 

University Scholars Awards will be available in two categories: 1) Social Sciences, Humanities and Creative Arts, and 2) Basic and Applied Sciences (including Biological, Medical and Physical Sciences). Each of the awards will carry an award of $2,500 to be used at the discretion of the recipient to promote their scholarly activities. Names are displayed on a plaque on the third floor of the Waterman building. 

The 2024-2025 University Scholars are:

Basic and Applied Sciences


• Professor Joshua Bongard, Ph.D., Department of Computer Science, College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences
Dr. Bongard is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in machine science and artificial intelligence, with its application to evolutionary robotics. Most impressive is his design of xenobots, living robots made of frog eggs that become programmable cells that perform desired functions. This is pure science fiction come true. He publishes regularly in the most prestigious journals (Science, Nature, PNAS, etc.) and received the 2020 Cozzarelli Prize for the most outstanding PNAS for Engineering and Applied Sciences publication. This is one of the highest recognitions for a publication. He has an H-index of 53 with >12,500 citations. He has a diverse portfolio of funding sources ranging from NAA, NSF, Army, Microsoft, and the Sloan Foundation. It is no surprise that he was awarded the NSF Presidential Career Award. His expertise is sought after by sitting on advisory panels for the NSF and DOE. His unique science has splashed the popular media and, not surprisingly, has attracted numerous trainees at UVM. He sits on multiple editorial boards and is an Associate Editor for various robotics journals. His reach extends way beyond Vermont, but he ensures that Vermont receives his utmost attention through presentations in various local venues, including high schools and middle schools. Dr. Bongard highly deserves the University Scholar designation in the Basic and Applied Sciences category.


Professor Christopher Danforth, Ph.D., Department of Mathematics and Statistics, College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences
Dr. Danforth is an internationally recognized expert in extensive data analysis and complex systems. He co-developed the Complex Systems Graduate Program. His research develops algorithms to predict and understand the intersection between human behavior and social media. He is the co-inventor of the “Hedonometer,” which gathers tweets on X (formerly Twitter) to sample the mood of the world population. Such extensive data analysis has organizations like Gallup and The Economist asking his advice on issues of the day. Such human behavior and health analysis have attracted support for the Mass Mutual Insurance Center of Excellence in Complex Systems at UVM, funded from 2017–2028. His >110 publications have been cited >8,000 times, with an H-index of 38 in some of the most respected journals. He has been awarded the Kroepsch-Maurice Teaching Award and has numerous trainees. His works have been cited and featured in the popular media, putting UVM on the map. Dr. Danforth highly deserves the University Scholar designation in the Basic and Applied Sciences category.

Social Sciences, Humanities, and Creative Arts


• Professor Jessica Strolin-Goltzman, Ph.D.
, Department of Education, College of Education and Social Services
Dr. Strolin-Goltzman is is highly respected for her scholarship in social work and education, with a particular emphasis on child welfare and mental health in school settings that inform national policy. Her outstanding work has been recognized with significant and continuous federal, state, and local funding, which has amounted to nearly $20 million. Her academic recognitions include books, book chapters, peer-reviewed manuscripts, empirical articles, technical papers, and professional guidance documents with close to 2,000 citations, a significant achievement in her field.  She creates and supports new degree and certificate programs and mentors and guides undergraduate and graduate students. She serves on editorial boards and advisory boards related to child welfare. Her leadership and mentoring of others, the impact of such a meaningful curriculum, and the highest research and design quality all point to the significance of the work for new knowledge generation. Dr. Strolin-Goltzman highly deserves the University Scholar designation in the Social Sciences, Humanities, and Creative Arts category.

Eligibility/Criteria

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.

Nomination Process

Nominations are due by February 1st every year, and must include the following:

  • A completed University Scholar Award Nomination Form;
  • One letter of nomination from a UVM faculty member;
  • One letter seconding the nomination from a UVM faculty member; and
  • A current Curriculum Vitae of the nominee.

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

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

Nomination materials should be submitted with the "University Scholars Program Award Nomination" as the file name no later than 11:59 PM on February 1st.

SUBMIT A NOMINATION HERE

Award Committee

Nominations will be reviewed by a committee of University Scholars and University Distinguished Professor Award Recipients. The Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs appoints the Chair of the Committee and its members. The Committee recommends candidates for the award to the Provost. The Provost makes the final decision regarding award recipients.

Award Review Committee 2023-2026

Review Committee Chair: Professor Jianke Yang, the current Williams Professor of Mathematics and Chair of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, and a recipient of the AY2020-2021 University Distinguished Professor Award and AY2017-2018 University Scholars Award.

Review Committee Members:

  1. Beth Kirpatrick, Professor & Chair, Department of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, Larner College of Medicine; AY2021-2022 University Scholars Award recipient
  2. Tina Escaja, Professor, Department of Romance Languages & Linguistics, College of Arts & Sciences; AY2018-2019 University Distinguished Professor Award, AY2015-2016 University Scholars Award, and AY2012-2013 Kroepsch-Maurice Professor Award recipient
  3. Lokangaka Losambe, Professor, Department of English, College of Arts & Sciences; AY2014-2015 University Scholars Award recipient
  4. Kimberly Vannest, Professor & Chair, Department of Education, College of Education & Social Services; AY2021-2022 University Scholars Award recipient
  5. Janis Fook, Professor & Chair, Department of Social Work, College of Education & Social Services; AY2022-2023 University Scholars Award recipient
  6. Asim Zia, Professor, Department of Community Development & Applied Economics, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences; AY2020-2021 University Scholars Award recipient

Selection Timeline

  • December 1, annually: Call for nominations opens.
  • February 1, annually: Nominations due.
  • February 1 - March 30: Nomination reviewed by Awards Committee.
  • April 1: Awards Committee submits list of finalists to the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs at Jokech@uvm.edu. Copy submissions to Jennifer Diaz (she/her) at Jennifer.Diaz@uvm.edu.
  • May 1: The Provost announces award recipients.

For more information
Contact Jennifer Diaz (she/her) at Jennifer.Diaz@uvm.edu

Prior University Scholars

Prior University Scholars

2023-2024

  • Sarah Heil, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Rory Waterman, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Terence Cuneo, College of Arts and Sciences

2022-2023

  • Emily Bernard, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Anne Dixon, Larner College of Medicine
  • Jan Fook, College of Education and Social Services
  • Beverley Wemple, College of Arts and Sciences

2021-2022

  • Beth Kirkpatrick, Larner College of Medicine
  • Donna Rizzo, College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences
  • Kimberly Vannest, College of Education and Social Services

2020-2021

  • Joseph Acquisto, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Gregory L. Holmes, Larner College of Medicine
  • Gary S. Stein, Larner College of Medicine
  • Asim Zia, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

2019-2020

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

2018-2019

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

2017-2018

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

2016-2017

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

2015-2016

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

2014-2015

  • 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

2013-2014

  • 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

2012-2013

  • 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 and Mathematical Sciences
  • Berta M. Geller, College of Medicine
  • Jean R. Harvey-Berino, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Gary E. Ward, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

2010-2011

  • Rex Forehand, College of Arts and 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, College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences
  • Marjorie Lipson, College of Education and Social Services
  • Benjamin Littenberg, College of Medicine
  • Robert H. Rodgers, College of Arts and Sciences

2007-2008

  • Robert J. Gordon, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Charles G. Irvin, College of Medicine
  • Martin M. LeWinter, College of Medicine
  • Stephanie H. McConaughy, College of Medicine

2006-2007

  • Susan Crockenberg, College of Arts and Sciences
  • John Helzer, College of Medicine
  • Gary Mawe, College of Medicine
  • Ian Stokes, College of Medicine

2005-2006

  • John MacKenzie Burke, College of Medicine
  • Nicholas J. Gotelli, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Carol T. Miller, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Robyn R. Warhol, College of Arts and Sciences

2004-2005

  • Richard J. Albertini, College of Medicine
  • Dwight E. Matthews, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Beth Mintz, College of Arts and Sciences
  • David Scrase, College of Arts and Sciences

2003-2004

  • Paula B. Tracy, College of Medicine
  • Robert J. Nash, College of Education and Social Services
  • Dan S. Archdeacon, College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences
  • Patricia A. Prelock, College of Nursing and Health Sciences

2002-2003

  • Charles J. Goodnight, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Rachel K. Johnson, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Joni K. Seager, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Denise J. Youngblood, College of Arts and Sciences

2001-2002

  • Catherine W. Donnelly, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Donald H. DeHayes, School of Natural Resources

2000-2001

  • Warren K. Bickel, College of Medicine
  • Roger L. Cooke, College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences
  • Stephen J. Cutler, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Ronald Savitt, School of Business Administration

1999-2000

  • Lynne A. Bond, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Edith D. Hendley, College of Medicine
  • Patrick Hutton, College of Arts and Sciences
  • David M. Warshaw, College of Medicine

1998-1999

  • Daniel W. Gade, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Martin H. Krag, College of Medicine
  • William D. Lakin, College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences
  • Robert E. Manning, School of Natural Rsources

1997-1998

  • Charles J. Colbourn, College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences
  • Susan S. Wallace, College of Medicine
  • Stephen T. Higgins, College of Medicine
  • Frank Manchel, College of Arts and Sciences

1996-1997

  • Mark T. Nelson, College of Medicine
  • Kurt E. Oughstun, College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences
  • Howard Ball, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Susan Brody Hasazi, College of Education and Social Services

1995-1996

  • Kenneth I. Gross, College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences
  • Joseph J. Schall, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Mark E. Bouton, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Alan P. Wertheimer, College of Arts and Sciences

1994-1995

  • John R. Hughes, College of Medicine
  • Robert C. Woodworth, College of Medicine
  • Bruce E. Compas, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Joan M. Smith, College of Arts and Sciences

1993-1994

  • Bruce S. Kapp, College of Arts and Sciences
  • George F. Pinder, College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences
  • Luther H. Martin, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Mark A. Stoler, College of Arts and Sciences

1992-1993

  • Kenneth I. Golden, College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences
  • Robert J. Johnson, College of Medicine
  • Abbas Alnasrawi, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Esther D. Rothblum, College of Arts and Sciences

1991-1992

  • Richard L. Anderson, College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences
  • Judith L. Van Houten, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Thomas M. Achenbach, College of Medicine
  • Chad D. Hansen, College of Arts and Sciences

1990-1991

  • A. Paul Krapcho, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Rodney L. Parsons, College of Medicine
  • Heinz L. Ansbacher, College of Arts and Sciences
  • William A. Haviland, College of Arts and Sciences

1989-1990

  • Paula M. Fives-Taylor, College of Medicine
  • Jerold F. Lucey, College of Medicine
  • Raymond T. Coward, College of Education and Social Services
  • Samuel B. Hand, College of Arts and Sciences

1988-1989

  • Kenneth G. Mann, College of Medicine
  • Malcolm H. Pope, College of Medicine
  • R. Paul Hilberg, College of Arts and Sciences
  • George A. Sher, College of Arts and Sciences

1987-1988

  • Lyndon B. Carew, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • John J. McCormack, College of Medicine
  • C. Hackett Bushweller, College of Arts and Sciences
  • R. Harry Orth, College of Arts and Sciences

1986-1987

  • Richard Klein, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Robert B. Low, College of Medicine
  • Martin E. Kuehne, College of Arts and Sciences
  • George W. Albee, College of Arts and Sciences

1985-1986

  • Bernd Heinrich, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Julian J. Jaffe, College of Medicine
  • Ted B. Flanagan, College of Arts and Sciences
  • John Weiger, College of Arts and Sciences

1984-1985

  • James G. Welch, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Norman Alpert, College of Medicine
  • Wesley L. Nyborg, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Leonidas M. Jones, College of Arts and Sciences

1983-1984

  • Richmond J. Bartlett, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • James E.Clapp, III, College of Medicine
  • William E. Geiger, Jr, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Philip Kitcher, College of Arts and Sciences

1982-1983

  • George M. Happ, College of Medicine
  • Thomas J. Moehring, College of Medicine
  • Christopher W. Allen, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Harold Leitenberg, College of Arts and Sciences

1981-1982

  • Robert C. Ullrich, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Brooke T. Mossman, College of Medicine
  • David B. Brown, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Robert V. Daniels, College of Arts and Sciences

1980-1981

  • Alexander H. Duthie, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Stanley Rush, College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences
  • Wolfgang Mieder, College of Arts and Sciences