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  News From the Rubenstein School   |   Spring 2018
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Dean's Message

Prioritizing Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity in Our School

Nancy MathewsOur Rubenstein School Community has taken great pride for many years in our work to create a close-knit community, one that brings students, staff, and faculty together, bonded by the belief that we can and must do more to understand and protect the environment. Underpinning nearly all that we do is an unwavering commitment to environmental justice and the belief that multiple and diverse perspectives lead to more effective problem solving and decision making.

Even before the Rubenstein School got its name, we took the goal of enhancing diversity seriously. In 1988, we established the “Diversity Task Force” and, with support from the USDA, we began an effort to reach out to high schools to promote multicultural scholarships. In the early 1990s, we developed two key undergraduate courses: NR 6 Race and Culture in Natural Resources and NR 207 Power, Privilege and Environment. In 1996, Rubenstein School faculty and staff formally endorsed our first Diversity Plan. And, in 2017, in collaboration with the UVM President's Commission on Inclusive Excellence, the School began work on an Inclusive Excellence Action Plan, based on a diversity assessment, to address inclusivity within academics, community, environment, and operations in the School.

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Feature Stories

Carolyn Finney, Environmental Justice Scholar, to Speak at Rubenstein School Commencement

Carolyn FinneyDr. Carolyn Finney will give the 2018 Rubenstein School Commencement address on Sunday, May 20 at the University of Vermont. Dr. Finney is a storyteller, author, and cultural geographer. A professor at the University of Kentucky, she is deeply interested in issues related to identity, difference, creativity, and resilience. In particular, she explores how issues of difference impact participation in environmental decision-making processes.

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UVM Forestry Program Earns Society of American Foresters National Accreditation

Nancy Patch speaks to students in forestThe Society of American Foresters (SAF) has granted accreditation to the University of Vermont’s bachelor of science degree program in forestry administered by the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources. SAF is the national organization responsible for accreditation of postsecondary degree-awarding programs in forestry in the U.S. Accreditation of the UVM forestry program, effective January 1, 2018, assures that it meets quality standards established by the forestry profession.

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Rubenstein Family Honored by 2017 UVM Foundation Lifetime Achievement in Philanthropy Award

Andy and Beverly RubensteinThe Steven and Beverly Rubenstein Charitable Foundation, Inc. has received the 2017 UVM Foundation Lifetime Achievement in Philanthropy Award. The University of Vermont Foundation and the UVM Alumni Association honored outstanding philanthropists and graduates on Friday, October 6, and Saturday, October 7, 2017 during Alumni Weekend at the UVM Alumni House in Burlington, Vermont.

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Rubenstein School Develops UVM's First Master's of Professional Studies

Matt Kolan teaching students at Shelburne FarmsIf there was a yellow brick road leading to ultimate protection for the third planet from the Sun, it might look like the Master’s in Leadership for Sustainability (MLS) at the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources — and thanks to a recent University of Vermont Board of Trustees approval, it’s shinier than ever. Now known as the Master’s of Professional Studies in Leadership for Sustainability, the two-year program is the first at UVM to receive such a designation, validating the dedication of its students, who hail from across the U.S., and its nationwide network of visionaries finding new ways to help Earth thrive.

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UVM Professor Named Fellow of Ecological Society of America

Nate SandersThe Ecological Society of America (ESA) announced today that professor Nathan J. Sanders, Director of the Environmental Program in the University of Vermont’s Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, has been elected a fellow in the organization.

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UVM Says Sí to Its First-Ever Semester Abroad Program in Costa Rica

Students in Costa Rica classroom learn from community partnerIt’s 5 o’clock on a recent Tuesday at a palm-fringed beach in Costa Rica, where Lecturer Dave Kestenbaum ‘02 wears a grin that stretches nearly as wide as the mountains and sunset behind him. This sunset, or puesta del sol, over the Golfo Dulce sees 20 students from UVM’s Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources digging their toes into the sand after a day of lectures on rural development followed by meetings with members of a clean beach initiative, a local fishermen’s association, and other community partners.

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A Gift for Students... and the Environment

Carolyn Goodwin KueffnerUVM alumna and current Rubenstein School student services specialist Carolyn Goodwin Kueffner has given a generous gift to the School to fund the Rubenstein graduate students she supports daily. The gift will help to enhance students' professional development and environmental leadership skills.

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move Mountains: The Campaign for the University of Vermont logo

As part of Move Mountains: The Campaign for The University of Vermont, we hope you will consider a gift dedicated to the Rubenstein School, so we can continue offering graduate fellowships, undergraduate scholarships, valuable student internships, and other key experiential learning opportunities for our students. Visit the UVM Foundation online giving page and specify "Rubenstein School Dean's Discretionary Fund" or another fund of your choice in the "other" box. The Rubenstein School community thanks you.

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