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Dean's Message

Abu Rizvi

We have just wrapped up the orientation sessions for incoming first-year students. The students received a packet of information that includes a copy of David Sloan Wilson's Evolution for Everyone, which is summer reading for the first-year seminar, "The Pursuit of Knowledge." A book on the important and controversial topic of evolution is timely. This year marks not only 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth but also the 150th of the publication the Origin of Species. David Wilson's book is also very engaging. Natalie Angier, science writer for the New York Times, calls it "a minor miracle, the near complete emulsifying of science and the real world." Students will arrive on campus having read the book and written a short essay on how evolutionary theory accounts for infanticide among burying beetles. A discussion of these essays will kick off the academic year for the first-year class of about 160 students, who will get to hear from David Wilson on September 10.

Dean Rizvi's Message

Honors College Commencement Ceremony
May 16, 2009

HC Scholars - Class of 2009 The day was gray, the sky threatening and heavy with storm clouds. Inside Cooks Common, nothing about the weather could dampen the spirits or stifle the ‘we did it’ smiles on the faces of the 112 graduating Honors College students, who dressed in their black robes draped with bright green banners, waited for the 2nd Honors College Commencement ceremony to begin. As she did last year, Patty Redmond roamed the room with graduation list in hand doing her best balancing act between den mother and chief of staff, making sure every student lined up in their proper place. Commencement Article
Photo gallery of HC Commencement Ceremony

Honors College UVM Award Winners

With commencement over and diplomas bestowed, accomplishments acknowledged and awards given, we at the e-News would like to recognize some of the Honors Colleges students who have been among this year's University award recipients. We list them below in alphabetical order.

Benjamin Bezark: won the F.T. Kidder Medal, honoring the senior man ranked first in character, leadership and scholarship.

Emma Kennedy and Julie Kwok: won the Keith M. Miser Leadership Award, recognizing outstanding service to the university.

Daniel Lim: won the Elmer Nicholson Achievement Prize, recognizing the greatness of the students’ UVM experiences and the expectation that they will make major contributions in their fields of interest.

John Soltys: won the Class of 1967 Award, presented to seniors who best exhibit leadership, academic competence and character, and who have earned the respect of faculty and fellow students.

Faculty Spotlight: Professor Walter Poleman

Walter Poleman

When planning his Honors College sophomore seminar for the spring semester, "An Ecological Approach to Living Well in Place," Walter Poleman, Senior Lecturer of Environment and Natural Resources in the Rubinstein School, and Director of the GreenHouse Residential Learning Community, felt strongly that he wanted to get his students out into the community. There, he thought, is where they would get first hand experience in "cultivating their understanding of ecology and the local landscape." His goal that they come away from the seminar with a real sense of connection to the landscape not attainable in the classroom. For this Faculty Spotlight feature, we are pleased to have had the opportunity to talk to Walter about his class and to introduce him to our readers. We want to thank him also for allowing us to trail around after him and his students one spring day ‘out in the field,’ getting our own first hand experience in how suburban environments connect to the landscape, and to attend the final presentations of his seminar students, where the fruits of his efforts were on full display both in the breadth and range of their projects and in the legacy they would leave for the community. Walter Poleman

Good-Bye and Thank You!!

We are saying good-bye to several people who have been a part of the Honors College for the past few years.

Bob Biral, has been the special assistant to our Dean for the past three years. Bob was the editor for this e-newletter and we appreciate all of his work in making this newsletter a success. Bob has taken a job in Human Resources here at UVM. We wish Bob luck with his new adventure.

Ali Dubin, a rising Honors College Junior and is this year's winner of the Kidder Scholarship, served as our student mentor this past year. In addition to working closely with our students on a daily basis, Ali also collaborated with Dom to create our Peer Mentoring program. Their efforts were greatly appreciated and we plan to continue the program this year. Ali, good luck with your studies at UVM!

Domonic Rollins, who just finished the HESA (Higher Education and Student Affairs) graduate program, has been our Leadership Coordinator for the past two years. He was instrumental in designing and implementing the Peer Mentor program for our first year students. He also organized various student activities in U Hgts North and helped in recruiting our new first-year class. With his degree in hand, Dom recently moved to Chicago to take a position at Loyola University in Chicago. We will miss Dom's energy and wish him the best of luck with his new career.

Look for introductions of new faces in our newsletters this fall.