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  From the Honors College

Spring is a busy time in the University of Vermont Honors College. Over the past several weeks students have been presenting research, applying for national awards, and hearing renowned speakers present at plenary lectures. The Honors College has also received national certification for its peer mentor program, is preparing students to study abroad, and is getting ready to host the university's annual Student Research Conference.

This newsletter contains the most recent news and information from the Honors College. We wish you a happy spring, and appreciate your being a part of the HCOL community.

Dean's Message

I have reasons every day to love my work in the Honors College; February 5 I had four very present ones whose names were Claudia, Luke, Hira, and Nick, and a larger, invisible one: everything they represent. David Rosowsky, UVM;s Provost, had invited the Honors College to give a presentation to the UVM Board of Trustees at their February meeting. We had, in turn, invited Claudia, Luke, Hira, and Nick-two current students and two recent alums--to do the presenting. (In my last Dean's Message, I talked about how every chance I get, I put our students up front to tell the story of the Honors College. This was one of those wonderful opportunities!) Claudia, a sophomore, spoke about her decision to come to UVM and how the combination of community and academic rigor in the Honors College was the deciding factor. Luke is a senior who joined the Honors College as a sophomore. He spoke about how a conversation with Brit Chase, now our Assistant Dean who was then the director of our Fellowships Office, lit a fire under him and inspired him to create the Vermont Prison Debate Initiative at the Chittenden Correctional Facility. Hira, a December 2015 grad who will begin medical school this fall, talked about the pioneering research on gut health that she had been involved in as an undergraduate, and how important her faculty mentors had been to her journey. And Nick, who is now pursuing a Ph.D. in biostatistics at Vanderbilt University, spoke about how the liberal arts focus of the Honors College helped to transform his sense of himself as a scientist. Nick was hired by the Upshot, the cutting-edge policy and politics website of the New York Times, to work with them this summer on data visualization. The Times learned of Nick's work (work he had done at UVM) at the Paris Climate Summit this past fall, and were impressed with what they called his "narrative empathy," something he attributes to both the things he was taught and the way he was taught in his Honors College seminars.


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