This is where we think differently
Robotics is pretty straightforward: Design a robot, build it, program it. Professor Josh Bongard and his students take a different approach. They design virtual robots that can adapt their form and function to a given task — essentially letting the robots “learn” how to do it best — and only then give their machines three-dimensional form. “The world is changing, industry is changing, and change demands students who can think differently,” he says.
Josh Bongard, Ph.D., associate professor of computer science, Cyril G. Veinott Green & Gold Professor in the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences
This is where we save our lake
How will climate change impact the Lake Champlain watershed? And how could public policies influence that impact? Dr. Judith Van Houten is leading a statewide effort that uses sophisticated computer modeling to assess how land use, transportation, recreation, development and even tax policy could influence the watershed’s future. “This integrated assessment model makes our approach revolutionary, but we have the talent right here at UVM to do it,” Van Houten says.
Judith Van Houten, Ph.D., University Distinguished Professor of Biology, State Director of the Vermont Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, Director of the Vermont Genetics Network
This is where I inspire young writers
“There is a long-standing debate about whether you can teach someone how to write. I say you can. I teach my students the time-honored tools other writers have used to move people. I help them develop a relationship with language that goes beyond everyday usage. I try to model a passion for writing. It is about challenging them and introducing them to poems that will awaken in them the desire to be writers.”
Major Jackson, Richard Dennis Green & Gold Professor in UVM’s Department of English, author of three books of poetry, winner of awards including a 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship
This is where I found everything
Alex Jenkins ’17 saw UVM as the best place to pursue all her passions — and after earning a UVM Presidential Scholarship and additional athletic and merit awards, she never looked back. Jenkins balances her commitment to the UVM women’s soccer team with a major in neuroscience, Honors College activities, community service and participation in UVM’s Pre-medical Enhancement Program (PEP). Her career goal stems from the endocrinologist who helped her navigate childhood experiences with diabetes: “I want to have the same kind of impact on patients that he had on me.”
Alex Jenkins ’17, neuroscience major
This is where we stop deadly diseases
The Vaccine Testing Center in UVM’s College of Medicine is a leader in the quest for effective vaccines against the developing world’s most challenging diseases. Collaborative clinical trials with the National Institutes of Health and Johns Hopkins already have shown promising results for a vaccine against dengue fever. Another focus is vaccine development for intestinal infections. “Children often get locked in a cycle of malnutrition, poverty and intestinal disease, and improved vaccines have the potential to break that vicious cycle,” says Center Director Beth Kirkpatrick, M.D.
Beth Kirkpatrick, M.D., Director, UVM Vaccine Testing Center
This is where I found inspiration
“The University of Vermont is teeming with dedicated individuals committed to furthering students’ academic promise. The strides I made during my time here have been the direct result of the resources, support, mentorship and guidance afforded by the faculty around me. Were it not for their encouragement and nudges in the right direction, I would not be in the position that I am today.”
Chris Kenseth ’15 worked in chemistry professor Giuseppe Petrucci’s lab, analyzing organic aerosols to understand their environmental impact. Winner of a Goldwater Scholarship, he has enrolled in the California Institute of Technology’s Ph.D. program in chemistry.
This is where I invest in the future
“I took so many great classes in the College of Arts & Sciences that piqued my interest in learning about the world,” says Julie Simon Munro ’86. After she graduated, her family established a scholarship program for students with a demonstrated commitment to leadership and service. Later, Munro created the Simon Family Public Research Fellowship in the Honors College to help students with financial need participate in community-based research with faculty mentors. “The best investment is an investment in a young person’s education,” she says.
Julie Simon Munro ’86, alumna and member of the UVM Foundation Leadership Council