With long views to both east and west, the University of Vermont stands like a city on a hill. Morning light streams onto campus past Mount Mansfield and the rest of the Green Mountains. In the evening, Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks are alight, glowing or glowering, each day a new mood.
And, like any great city, UVM never sleeps. From before sunrise, into the day, and around again into darkness UVM is busy! But as Thoreau reminds us: "It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?" With this, the third installment of our Day in the Life of UVM series, UVM Today set out to answer that question.
We dropped in on classrooms and sports fields, professors and first-years, laboratories and lunchrooms to collect dozens of stories and snapshots that give a sense of the humming life of this place -- the good work, collaboration, contemplation, conviviality, number-crunching, ab-crunching, short chats, long papers, silly shenanigans and lofty achievements. It's one day in the life of UVM.
5:52 a.m. UVM Dairy Barn
Sophomores Morgan Summers and Julia Balionis start the day at the barn milking cows as part of the CREAM program.
6:36 a.m. Gutterson Fieldhouse
The UVM synchronized skating team practices formations.
6:50 a.m. Gucciardi Fitness and Recreation Center
6:54 a.m. Frank D. Forbush Natatorium
Members of the UVM swim team warm up in the pool.
6:59 a.m. Athletic Campus
7:15 a.m. Virtue Field
The track team takes the field.
8:01 a.m. UVM Green
Ken Boutin, a 36-year veteran of the UVM staff, is a half-hour into giving the Green its twice weekly mowing. Working solo today, he figures the whole job will take him six or seven hours.
8:05 a.m. Lattie F. Coor House, 438 College St.
Antonio Cepeda-Benito, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, arrives at work. On his schedule today: a change of clothes, meetings: with faculty, administrators, department chairs and a special luncheon to honor staff. “I bike every day,” he says. “Rain and cold don’t bother me.”
8:11 a.m. WRUV Studio, Davis Center
DJ Rachel Gitajn sends out the sound on her "Fresh Tracks" show. Tuesdays from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., Gitajn plays a line-up of new releases focused on electronica and indie rock. Cued up: Local band Rubblebucket led by UVM alumnus Alex Toth.
8:25 a.m. Davis Center
Students stream to the first class of the day.
8:39 a.m. 179 Main St., Winooski, Vt.
Sculptor and art professor Kathleen Schneider, in her home studio. While her work is known for its complexity (as seen in the background), during a hectic semester of classes, she’s been working in the mornings, limiting herself to a brush, orange watercolor and paper. “I make a circle as perfect as I can given the amount of time I have that day,” she says. “It puts me in a focusing state, keeping me in touch with my work.”
8:40 a.m. Book House suite, Living/Learning Center
Sophomore Eleanor Johnson hangs out and reads Professor Paul Kindstedt's Cheese and Culture before heading off to her first class of the day.
9:16 a.m. Miller Research Complex/University Farm
"Hello, sweetie. How are you, big girl?" says university veterinarian Ruth Blauwiekel (Dr. Ruth to many) as she examines a calf. In addition to her primary focus on overseeing the care and health of animals used in research at UVM, the vet also teaches a course on livestock medicine at the farm facility.
9:26 a.m. Outside Bailey/Howe Library.
9:54 a.m. Muddy Waters, Main Street, Burlington
Recent grad Storm Leland '13, who majored in social work, is headed to nursing school. But first, there are entrance exams to pass. She's set up camp at her favorite study spot from her college days, double iced mocha at the ready.
9:56 a.m. Ecosystem Sciences Laboratory, Burlington waterfront
Wrist-deep in the “wet lab” of the Rubenstein Ecosystem Sciences Laboratory, technician Alex Sotola readies a sensor. He’s working with fisheries biologist Ellen Marsden to understand the behavior of one of Lake Champlain’s less-beloved critters: lampreys. They implant the juvenile lamprey with tags under the skin, set the water in the tank flowing “to simulate a stream,” Sotola say, and then can track their behavior day and night.
10:12 a.m. University Green
Ideal morning to grab a bench and a book.
10:17 a.m. University Heights North
Professor Emily Bernard's Honors College sophomore seminar, African American Autobiographies, discusses Richard Wright's Black Boy.
10:19 a.m. 207 Votey Building
Determining the effectiveness of strength shoes, and the possibilities and pitfalls of observational studies is the question of the hour in Karen Benway's STAT 051 class, "Probability with Statistics."
10:28 a.m. 202 Southwick Hall
On a step toward their final projects -- an arrangement of a jazz standard for big band -- Professor Patricia Julien has asked her jazz composition and arranging class to choose a chord that intrigues them, focus on just one particular sonority and analyze its properties. Here, one student demonstrates.
10:30 a.m. Fleming Museum
Fleming intern Katherine Golde, a UVM junior, at work on her research project focused on portrait miniatures (small watercolor paintings on ivory) in the museum collection that feature Vermonters. Pictured in the elaborate gold frame: Jerusha, wife of Ira Allen.
10:35 a.m. Outside Bailey/Howe Library
Brit Kelleher and Kunrong Cai discuss how sales are going with Sustainable Style, their business for Professor Kathleen Liang's CDAE 166 course, "Community Entrepreneurship." Students in the class gain firsthand experience in conceiving and running a small business. Sustainable Style features jewelry made from recycled materials, including shoelaces re-purposed from UVM varsity soccer cleats, and all of their proceeds will go to support the local Lund Foundation.
10:45 a.m. 322 South Prospect Street
Peter Rippberger, a post-baccalaureate premedical student, waits to speak to a student adviser at UVM Continuing and Distance Education.
10:46 a.m. Patrick Gym Dance Studio
11:15 a.m. Billings Library
Sophomore Josh Gachette digs into his Introduction to Anthropology assignment: “Kinships charts,” he says, and “a corresponding essay on the modern American family.”
11:21 a.m. University Place
“It’s an egg-and-cheese from Big Daddy’s,” says senior Jeremy Denton. “Three dollars.” He’s heading to a political science class, while senior psychology major Tesiah Coleman is about to turn the other direction, “and head home,” she says, “to take a nap in Winooski.”
11:31 a.m. University Place
Rick Carrick, grad student in bio-engineering, grabs a sesame chicken to go from Lucky Chinese, one of the beloved campus food trucks.
11:34 a.m. Booth House, 86 South Williams Street
11:38 a.m. Baird 5, Fletcher Allen
Senior nursing student Ashley French checks vital signs of a four-day-old baby as part of her five-and-a-half-week rotation in pediatrics. "Today is my last day," she says. "It has been an incredible experience working with these children."
11:55 a.m. Outside the Davis Center
Friends enjoy a lofty spot for lunch on this perfect Vermont autumn day.
Noon. Fleming Museum
UVM Student docent Nicole Bull practices for her upcoming gallery tour of the Fleming exhibition, EAT: The Social Life of Food. Nicole was one of the students who curated the exhibition along with her classmates in the University of Vermont’s spring 2013 Honors College course “Introduction to Museum Studies.”
12:18 p.m. Outside Pomeroy Hall
Not your typical exam room. Horticulture professor Mark Starrett quizzes students on the scientific names of trees for his Woody Landscape Plants course.
12:18 p.m. Burlington Harbor
Under the eye of captain Steve Cluett, the forty-five-foot vessel Melosira pulls away from the dock. Today, UVM’s multipurpose research and teaching boat has aboard a crew of MAT students from the College of Education and Social Services. “They’re learning to think cross-curriculum,” explains professor Regina Toolin from the deck. As future middle- and secondary-school science teachers, the students are reflecting on how this kind of boat trip can provide opportunities to teach about math, ecology, maritime history and more.
12:30 p.m. Third floor, Bailey/Howe Library
Angeline Chiu, associate professor of classics, searches the stacks to prep for her spring Honors College course on Shakespeare and the classic tradition. “This is third time I’ve taught the class,” she says, “but you have to keep it fresh.”
12:48 p.m. Davis Center
"Grab a grilled cheese! And by the way, I love your sweater!" Rachel Madowitz lures Davis Center pedestrians to the student-run FeelGood grilled cheese stand with her literal take on a sandwich board -- and a friendly word. Proceeds from their sales benefit The Hunger Project.
12:51 p.m. Bailey/Howe Library
Sophomores Kathryn Darling, Olivia Abt, and Molly Helfend shut the door and get to work.
1:02 p.m. Outside the Aiken Center
Taking roll: Students in Natural Resources 001 pile into a yellow school bus for a field trip to Potash Brook.
1:09 p.m. Livak Ballroom, Davis Center
At a special luncheon, the College of Arts and Sciences presents two staff appreciation awards to longtime employees. The recipient for superior technical support is Michael J. Hamblin, scientific equipment technician in physics, having worked at the university for 37 years, including 17 in CAS. "His service," according to his nomination letter, “goes beyond (his) department, helping students and faculty in chemistry, engineering and physics over his career."
The recipient for superior administrative support goes to Candace L. Smith, a UVM alumna who has worked in the Department of Political Science (her major) for 32 years, “her sense of humor an invaluable part of her management portfolio."
1:10 p.m. East Avenue helipad
Members of the student-run UVM Rescue squad meet a New York State Police medical helicopter to transport a patient to nearby Fletcher Allen Healthcare.
1:21 p.m. Outside University Heights
English professor Huck Gutman has long brought a healthy dose of theatrics to the front of the classroom. This afternoon he brought his "Poetic Revolutions in the Modern World" class outside to the UHeights amphitheater to enjoy some sunshine with the day's lecture and discussion.
1:25 p.m. Clinical Simulation Laboratory, Rowell Hall.
Fletcher Allen cardiology fellow and clinical instructor in medicine Dr. Sadi Raza, second from left, teaches third-year medical students Laurel Wickberg, Monique-Terese Squiers, Hayley Munoe, Marissa Mendez, Kevin Pelletier and Colin King how to identify valvular heart disease using a Harvey cardiopulmonary simulator.
1:26 p.m. Catholic Center
Sophomores Kelly Mulvehill, Mikayla Peront and Bethany Trainque (from left) study at the Catholic Center where they also attend church.
1:28 p.m. Patrick/Gutterson Complex
Lisa Champagne, director of Athletics Communications, at work on a new brochure for the department. It's a busy time of year for Champagne and her staff as they regularly have a dozen or more events a week to cover during the fall sports season.
1:30 p.m. Fleming Museum
Art Professor Jane Kent teaches with prints from the permanent collection of the Fleming Museum during a class visit to the museum's study room.
1:44 p.m. Fleming Museum
1:53 p.m. Miller Research Complex, Equine Barn
Meredith Chamberlain, a senior in zoology/pre-vet, grooms her horse, M'Lady. Students at the UVM Horse Barn Co-op regularly host community open houses (AKA child-friendly petting fests), including the popular annual Halloween Barn. M'Lady dressed as a pinata last year, Chamberlain says. This year, she's thinking Dorothy from Wizard of Oz. Red hooves.
1:57 p.m. Allen House
First-year student Dayle Sargeant stops by the LGBTQ Center to pick up her t-shirt for National Coming Out Day (Oct. 11) from Becky Swem, education and outreach coordinator. The shirt celebrates this year's theme: the power of visibility.
1:57 p.m. Edmunds Elementary School
Senior Caroline Manahan, an elementary education major, teaches a math lesson to a class of third graders at Edmunds Elementary School as part of her full-time student teaching experience.
2:05 p.m. College Street
Burlington's free College Street shuttle heads down the hill the mile to the waterfront, where it will turn around and head back up to campus.
2:10 p.m. Outside the Davis Center
2:30 p.m. Career+Experience Hub, Davis Center
Groups tour the Career+Experience Hub at a celebration of the new space, a clearinghouse for students looking for hands-on learning experiences and career-oriented advice.
2:50 p.m. Votey Hall
Behind the doors of the Fabrication Laboratory, “Clean Speed,” the latest hybrid gas/electric racecar to be built by UVM’s AERO racing club comes into being. Provost David Rosowsky gets a tour of the machine from Mitchell Dundon, a mechanical engineering major, Andrew Giroux, electrical engineering, and the team’s adviser, professor Jeff Frolik.
3:12 p.m. Delahanty Hall
With a new noble gas mass spectrometer that creates a vacuum many times greater than that found in space -- “two times ten to the negative twelve torr,” explains lab technician Dan Jones -- there’s always a getting-to-know-you stage. He and assistant professor of geology Laura Webb work together to fine-tune procedures for using the machine. The spectrometer lets the scientists measure the age of rocks and other samples -- from thousands of years to billions. But it’s very sensitive. “We’re basically counting ions,” Webb explains.
3:14 p.m. 206 Williams Hall
The artist-professor moves from studio to classroom. In Kathleen Schneider’s advanced sculpture course, senior Ruth Shafer explains her “scorpion,” the result of an assignment in which students were asked to deconstruct an old chair and put it back together in a completely different form, but one that can still function as a chair. “You don’t have to want to sit on it,” Shafer laughs. “I wanted to do something that gives me the willies but I also wanted it to be funny.”
3:22 p.m. Perkins Geology Museum
Katy Huling came from Rhode Island and Wendell Soctomah from Connecticut -- to see the skeleton. “The real skeleton,” of the famed Charlotte Whale, says Huling. She’s wondering about how these fragile whale bones -- found in 1849 and assembled by UVM naturalist Zadock Thompson -- might connect to the durable and elusive creature of Lake Champlain legend: Champ. In fact, she’s so curious about Champ that she’s written a book, Water Horse of Lake Champlain. “It’s on Amazon,” she says, “and Champ’s Trading Post in West Addison.” As for the skeleton, it remains silent.
3:35 p.m. Farrell Hall
How does the happiness signal in Arabic stack up against that in English? Mathematician Chris Danforth discusses the data pouring into the UVM Complex Systems Center’s now world-famous and world-searching hedonometer with Luis Garcia, dean of the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, and fellow professor, Paul Hines. (Haven’t heard of the hedonometer? Check it out at hedonometer.org.)
3:35 p.m. Kalkin Hall
Sixteen exchange students from Fribourg Switzerland attend a lecture at School of Business Administration by Bill Reichert. Their most interesting takeaway from the trip so far? "The ecological consciousness of companies here is surprising," Marie De Faria e Castro says. "Being from Switzerland, I didn’t think U.S. companies focused on the environment."
3:45 p.m. Farrell Hall
Three graduate students in mathematics, Mike Foley, Lindsay Van Leir, and Eric Clark, work a problem on the venerable whiteboard. “What are you working on?” they’re asked. “Measure theory,” is the answer. Then they look closely at the reporter asking the questions. “And we can’t explain it more than that,” they say with a cheerfully sympathetic laugh.
4 p.m. Bailey/Howe Library
Among books to be labeled and prepared for shelving: Gregg Turkington's Enjoy the Experience: Homemade Records 1958-1992, recently cataloged by Bailey/Howe staff.
4:12 p.m. Fabrication Laboratory, Votey Hall
With quiet curiosity, Hunter O’Folan, turns over a nautilus gear made here, in UVM’s Fabrication Laboratory. O’Folan, a senior in mechanical engineering, also runs the lab as a student employee. His work ranges from machine maintenance to “helping senior design groups,” he says. But right now, he and fellow engineering student Max Morgan have a fluid dynamics lab report to finish.
4:14 p.m. Fletcher Allen Health Care rooftop garden
A group of first-year medical students come together for their once-weekly Professionalism, Communication and Reflection class meeting. Catherine LaPenta leads the day's discussion on death and dying, a timely topic given their current course -- Human, Structure and Function -- which includes work with cadavers in the anatomy lab to gain an understanding of the intricacies of the human body. In PCR, students reflect on what they're experiencing and learn from each other as they progress through the first year of medical school.
4:14 p.m. John Dewey Lounge, Old Mill
LaToya Eaves, dissertation fellow at the University of Connecticut, delivers a lecture that is part of the Geography Department's fall semester colloquium series. Eaves' talk, "Fertile Ground: Landscapes of Race and Desire," discussed her exploration of the intersection of gender, sexuality and race. Her research is built on interviews with black queer and lesbian women in the western region of North Carolina, Eaves' home state. One quote she shared: "It is interesting being black and lesbian," said Stephanie, a 49-year-old woman living in Asheville. "Because, believe it or not, there are lesbians who are also racists."
4:28 p.m. Outside Englesby House
Even on a day that starts at 7 a.m. and ends a bit before 10 p.m., with five speeches to present, meetings, special events and an official dinner, the family dog still has to stretch his legs. President Tom Sullivan and Sully, an Australian Shepherd-Border Collie mix, take their late afternoon stroll.
5:32 p.m. Burlington Skate Park
Classes done for the day, it's down the hill to the waterfront skate park for a number of students.
5:37 p.m. 233 Marsh Life Science
With kale freshly picked from UVM’s gardens, students in environmental cooking are making pizza and curly kale and potato soup from Alice Water’s The Art of Simple Food. In addition to teaching basic cooking skills, Cynthia Belliveau, dean of Continuing and Distance Education and professor of nutrition and food sciences, is helping the class explore the social, environmental, culinary and nutritional aspects of local food.
5:43 p.m. Lake Champlain
The UVM sailing team heads in for the dock after the afternoon's session on the water. "I always get really sad when practice is over because then I have to go do homework," student sailor Adam Ceely, an environmental engineering major, is overheard saying. As his teammates laugh, he consents to have that on the record. The sailing team, a club sport at UVM, is perennially strong and is currently ranked fourteenth in the nation.
5:45 p.m. Southwick Hall
The Tuesday Afternoon Jazz Ensemble, led by Ray Vega, rehearses Thad Jones' "Don't Get Sassy."
5:46 p.m. North Lounge, Billings
As UVM looks to increase internationalization to strengthen and diversify the educational experience, the university welcomes a conversation with H.E. Ashok Kumar Mirpuri, the ambassador of Singapore to the United States.
6:10 p.m. Buell Street
Seniors Arline Weaver and Lara Nargozian make dinner, spring rolls with pork, in the Burlington apartment they share with four other students. The meal is all local, they claim, even the music that's on in the kitchen, a Vermont band called Twiddle.
6:12 p.m. Main Street
A longboarder crosses Main St. as the traffic light and sky turn yellow.
6:17 p.m. City Market
With a baking recipe at the ready on her iPhone, junior Hannah Trischman starts a shopping trip in City Market downtown. First stop is produce for some dates, then cashews, carob, etc. to follow.
6:21 p.m. Patrick/Gutterson Complex
Basketball players Nas Williams, Tray Davine, Harrison Taggart and Kurt Steidl study three nights a week in the men's basketball office so their GPAs are as impressive as their on-court statistics.
6:22 p.m. Stone Soup, Downtown Burlington
Sam Kleh, a senior in film studies, waits on customers at Stone Soup on College Street. He puts in about twenty hours a week behind the counter.
6:30 p.m. Patrick Gym
Shotokan Japanese karate practice.
6:41 p.m. Ira Allen Chapel
A small but good-spirited group of the On the Border Morris dancers demonstrates what the ancient English tradition looks like, “a celebration of the seasons and soil.” When gathered in earnest, the group combines elaborate costumes, “a general rowdiness,” including the clashing of sticks, with precisioned dance steps.
7:03 p.m. Royall Tyler Theater
Even mid-run of their production of The Mousetrap, UVM’s Department of Theatre is in rehearsal for its next play, Little Women, directed by Peter Jack Tkatch.
7:18 p.m. Carpenter Auditorium, Given Building
Dr. Robert Shapiro, professor of neurological sciences, answers questions following his Community Medical School lecture on chronic headaches.
7:30 p.m. 427 Waterman
New England Italian Film Festival screening of La Scomparsa di Pato.
7:33 p.m. Lafayette Hall
Water Tower newspaper staff, writers and artists talk ideas for next week's issue.
7:34 p.m. Davis Center
The Trekkies clap and cheer at the screen. They’re not watching Spock. They’re participants and leaders in this year’s edition of TREK, a team-building experience for first-year students that has them out on group service projects and backcountry outings before the fall semester begins. Tonight, they’re reviewing some of their photos and adventures.
7:35 p.m. Huber House
With just 15 minutes to prepare after hearing the topic, debaters tonight argued the motion, in their particular parlance, “this house supports the creation of a new country, open to all, where the only functions of the government are to provide security and to protect property rights.” And the fight begins...
7:40 p.m. Davis Center
Five seniors -- Jamisha Williams, Kat Luis, Jazmine Rodriguez, Shaunese Crawford and Tiffani Hemcher -- stand together on the fourth floor of the Davis Center. They’ve just finished watching the film, The Peculiar Kind. A documentary, it explores “the queer people of color experience in the inner city,” explains Valerie Castaneen, the president of Alianza Latina, one of the student groups that sponsored the screening along with Free2Be. “We’re demystifying the experience of LGBTQ people of color,” Castaneen says.
7:45 p.m. Chikago Landing, Davis Center
Senior Caleb Fields and grad student Debbie Krug (right) meet with fellowships adviser Brit Chase for help with their Fulbright applications. Fields hopes to study glacier modeling in New Zealand, and Krug is interested in economic analysis of renewable energy sources in Germany. What's the outcome of their work tonight? "I've rewritten a lot of my personal statement," Krug says. "I was fine with it before I came, but now I'm not fine with it again. Thanks a lot, Brit!" she jokes. But, she says, Chase has helped her find a clear path forward "to make the narrative smoother and more compelling."
7:55 p.m. Outside Davis Center
A slice of moon over the grasses that line the walk into the Davis Center.
8:20 p.m. Southwick Hall Ballroom
The university’s symphony orchestra rehearses under the direction of Yutaka Kono. Tonight they’re working on a composition by associate professor Patricia Julien, “Among the Hidden,” which they will premiere Nov. 12.
9:40 p.m. Pottery Co-op, Living/Learning Center
Medical student Bob Love (right) and Fletcher Allen resident and UVM alumnus Aaron Glenney relax with clay at the end of the day. Why come to the co-op now? "Why not?" Glenney says.
11:39 p.m. Outside Royall Tyler Theater
Campus police officer Shawna Crump responds to a minor fire. “Somebody threw a butt in there,” she says, “and up it went.”
11:43 p.m. Bailey/Howe Library
Burning the near-midnight scholarly oils. Or posting to Facebook. Either way it's good to be with friends at day's end.
11:49 p.m. Bailey/Howe Library
Twenty-eight-year staff veteran Greg Godbout collects trash and recycling on the second floor of the library. “I’ve worked all over campus,” he says. “I’ve done five library tours.”
11:51 p.m. Bailey/Howe Library
11:56 p.m. Bailey/Howe Library
How much longer are you going to study? For sophomores Maddy Hunt and Jocelyn Nicotero the locking of the library doors doesn't mean the end of their labors. "It's molecular genetics. Yes, it's hard!" says Hunt. They expect to be up til 2 a.m.
12:03 a.m. Central Heating and Cooling Plant, Royall Tyler Theatre Annex
Jason Clark, operating engineer, came on duty in the central heating plant at 11 p.m. He'll be on the job until 7 a.m., testing water samples and operating the boilers. "They come on and off as the load changes," he says.
1:25 a.m. Fletcher Allen Health Care Emergency Department
It’s way past midnight. It’s the emergency room. And these students are cheerfully on duty. Nektarios Konstantinopoulos is doing post-baccalaureate courses, aiming for medical school. Ashley French is a nursing major. (She’s busy; see 11:38 a.m. above!) They’re both part of Dr. Kalev Freeman’s emergency medicine research team. Freeman has built a program with undergraduates in his Surgery 200/201 courses as “research associates.” Their weekly four-hour lab is in the ER, day or night. They're looking for incoming trauma patients and others who they might enroll as volunteers for studies. “Nothing too crazy tonight,” says French, “that’s good, but it’s not as interesting.”
2:17 a.m. Intersection of Main Street and Beaumont Avenue
A few cars still streak by. A solo walker passes, laden with books. Then a trio of bicyclists cut across the grass,screeching -- or is it singing? The light of the new University of Vermont sign shines through the night.