Summit Overview

Join us at RISE, a summit hosted by UVM that brings research, innovation, sustainability, and entrepreneurship together to spur change for a better tomorrow.

June 24-25, 2024

Grand Maple Ballroom, Davis Center, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT

In Person / Online

Virtual attendance options available


“We Came Home to Vermont”

“This year’s RISE summit took a careful look at the challenges of the past and present and showed there is great reason to have hope and optimism for the future,” UVM President Suresh Garimella said. “The efforts our speakers discussed are already making a significant impact in many places, and with the added fuel of ideas and innovation discussed at RISE, they can drive solutions for tomorrow’s world.”

Read more about RISE 2024.


In a time of seemingly insurmountable challenges, we must bring together innovative- and forward-thinkers to seed partnerships and collaborations with solutions at the center. RISE was born out of a need to amplify and elevate existing ideas, and foster the development of new ones.

Hosted by UVM, Vermont’s Land Grant University, RISE will highlight efforts to utilize research, innovation, sustainability, and entrepreneurship to solve problems through partnership and collaboration.

We are bringing together researchers, entrepreneurs, problem-solvers, and energized community members to address a myriad of complex challenges. We’ll grapple with how to build flood resilience, strengthen food systems, enhance educational opportunities for learners of all ages, amplify technology solutions for our energy and community systems, and converge on ideas for a sustainable future.

Two hikers walking on top of Mount Mansfield

RISE 2024 Agenda

RISE 2024 is a two-day summit to explore and connect around new ideas driving place-based advances in health, prosperity and purpose. The event will include speakers, panels, breakout presentations and networking for in-person and virtual audiences.

Day 1: Placemaking in Practice

Day 1 will explore the role of research in community well-being and placemaking, featuring keynote addresses from national thought leaders.

Land Acknowledgement and Welcome to RISE


Patricia Coates, Director, Leahy Institute for Rural Partnerships, UVM

Introductions and Welcome


UVM President Suresh Garimella

Panel Discussion: Rural Partnerships Institute Consortium Leaders

Glenda Gillaspy, Dean and Director
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Oladiran Fasina, PhD, P.Eng.
Professor and Head
Department of Biosystems Engineering
Auburn University

Patricia Coates, Director
Office of Engagement, Leahy Institute for Rural Partnerships
University of Vermont

Facilitated by UVM Vice President for Research and Economic Development Kirk Dombrowski

Keynote: Reimagining Rural

Tony Pipa, Senior Fellow, Global Economy and Development, Center for Sustainable Development, Brookings Institution, Host and Producer, “Reimagining Rural” podcast.

Introductions by Kirk Dombrowski

Hopes for RISE 2024

Rose Friedman from the Civic Standard

Morning Break

Panel Discussion: How can a place inspire innovation?

Racheal Floreani, Burlington Bio and UVM Faculty member

Mieko Ozeki, Director, Vermont Womenpreneurs and Radiance Studios, LLC

Monique Priestly, Space on Main, Bradford

Michele Bailey, Vermont Arts Council

Facilitated by Meg Hammond, Executive Director at Generator

UVM ARC and Faculty Research Pitches

Discover the innovations happening at UVM with entrepreneurial pitches from both faculty and students.


Enjoy lunch provided by Sodexo.

Lunch and Learn

Optional: Enjoy lunch and two exciting sessions:

“DIY Tech Hub” with Doug Merrill, UVM Regional Innovation Officer, VGaN Tech Hub

“Necomer Nexus” with Tino Rutanhira, the Vermont Professionals of Color Network

Placemaking in Three Communities

Dominic Endicott
Author, Knowledge Towns

Moderated by Patricia Coates

Reflections on Community and Change

Rose Friedman from the Civic Standard

Panel Discussion: Rural Renewal through Resettlement

Joe Wiah, Director of the Ethiopian Community Development Council of VT

Yacouba Jacob Bogre, Executive Director of AALV, Inc.

Khalil Anwari, Workforce Development Program Manager, US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants

Facilitated by Tracy Dolan, Director of the State Refugee Office of Vermont

Reception and Poster Session

A reception to honor Leahy Institute partners.

All RISE participants are welcome to explore a poster session featuring researchers from UVM, Auburn University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Day 2: Placemaking Tools

Day 2 will focus on placemaking for sustainability and feature keynotes from UVM faculty members and researchers.

Welcome to Day 2

Rose Friedman from the Civic Standard

US Senator Peter Welch

Introductions by Rose Friedman, Civic Standard

Remarks on Planetary Health

Patricia A. Prelock, Ph.D., Provost and Senior Vice President, UVM

Keynote: “Science to Shape the Future of Our Places”

Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young, USDA Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics (REE), and USDA’s Chief Scientist.

Introductions by Patricia Prelock

Morning Break

Presentation: Placemaking Tools: Maps, Drones, and Data

Holly Morehouse, Vermont Community Foundation

Paige Brochu
UVM Spatial Analysis Lab

Kendall Fortney
Vermont Research Open Source Office

Facilitated by Chris Campany, Executive Director, Windham Regional Planning Commission

Remarks from The Civic Standard

Rose Friedman, The Civic Standard


Enjoy lunch provided by Sodexo.

Lunch and Learn

Optional: Enjoy lunch with two exciting sessions.

“Who is Vermont for?” with Kevin Chu, Executive Director of Vermont Futures Project and Matt Dunne, Founder and Executive Director of the Center on Rural Innovation

“Student Engagement for a Resilient Vermont” with the Resilient Vermont Network with Emma Spett, Engagement Initiatives Coordinator, Leahy Institute.

2024 Leahy Institute Partnership Awards

Speakers: Senator Patrick Leahy (retired), Patricia Coates

Our Places, Our Community Schools

Peter Knox, PhD
UVM College of Education & Social Services

Colby Kervick, EdD
UVM Associate Professor College of Education & Social Services

Jess DeCarolis, Division Director, VT Agency of Education

Johannes Haensch, Program Manager, VT Agency of Education

Jason DiGiulio, EdD, Principal
Hazen Union School

Rebecca Tatistcheff, EdD, Principal
Cabot School

Moderator: Bernice Garnett, ScD
UVM College of Education and Social Services

Afternoon Break

“Partners in Place” UVM’s new seminar and podcast

Martha Caswell, Associate Director of Community and Learning
UVM Institute for Agroecology

Jon Ramsay
Executive Director
Center for an Agricultural Economy
Hardwick, Vermont

Megan Wayland
Staff Director
Northeast Kingdom Organizing

Katie Horner
Postdoctoral Associate, Institute for Agroecology, UVM

Facilitated by Chris Callahan, UVM Extension Professor of Agricultural Engineering

Wrap Up: RISE in the Future

Rose Friedman from the Civic Standard

Powered by the Leahy Institute for Rural Partnerships

The University of Vermont’s Leahy Institute for Rural Partnerships operates alongside the Office of Engagement with the mission to provide engagement opportunities and partnerships with UVM for the benefit of our rural places. The Leahy Institute brings financial and technical assistance, access to UVM research, faculty expertise, student projects and internships, and established UVM startup and engagement programs.

Together, we will collaborate on impactful solutions that drive positive change for Vermont and beyond.

RISE 2023

In 2023, the University of Vermont opened its campus to the region’s business leaders, entrepreneurs, and economic development organizations with the first Research, Innovation, Sustainability, and Entrepreneurship (RISE) Summit, introducing an intensive new partnership approach to building a bright and prosperous future for Vermont and the region.

Read More About RISE 2023

A collage of people attending and speaking at RISE 2023

2024 Collaborators

Parking Information

If you selected, yes, for a parking permit on your registration form you will receive a follow up email from our Registration coordinator about a week before the Summit with further information. At that time you will receive the UVM parking permit that you will need to print and display on your dashboard while parked on campus. The permit will also include a detailed map locating the UVM parking lot for the Summit as well as the Davis Center, where the Summit will take place. There will also be written driving instructions from Highway I-89 to the parking lot and also from Downtown Burlington to the parking lot.

If you have any questions regarding parking accommodations, please contact us at:

2024 RISE Summit – Hotel Room Block Information

The following hotels are offering special rates to our RISE 2024 attendees.

Courtyard Burlington Harbor (Marriott)

25 Cherry Street
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 864-4700

Reserve Here
Room Block Cutoff Date: May 31, 2024

Hotel Vermont

41 Cherry Street
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 651-0080

Reserve Here
Room Block Cutoff Date: May 31, 2024