Regardless of what the weather is like outside, it certainly feels like spring semester is barreling toward its finale. By my count, there are only five weeks left in the semester. Yikes! (And Yay!)
This is the time in the semester when we start to hear about our students who are receiving prizes and recognition. And indeed, some of our faculty are too. So let me share some good news with all of you.
Ian Worley (Professor and Director Emeritus) is set to receive the Sally Laughlin Award, which is given to a Vermonter who has shown extraordinary leadership throughout their career in protecting our state's most vulnerable species. The state's Endangered Species Committee voted unanimously to recommend him. I can't think of anyone who is more deserving.
Ali Wood (CAS ENGL/ENVS double major) and Julia Wood(CAS ECON major, ENVS minor) were recently elected to the prestigious honor society Phi Beta Kappa. If you're not aware of this society, this is a big deal.
Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest and most prestigious academic honor society in the United States. Founded in 1776 at the College of William & Mary, it recognizes outstanding performance in the liberal arts and sciences and derives its name from the Greek phrase Philosophia Biou Kybernetes: “Love of wisdom is the guide of life.” Approximately 10 percent of US colleges and universities shelter a Phi Beta Kappa chapter, and approximately 10 percent of students at those institutions are invited to join. Membership in Phi Beta Kappa is a rare honor, and academics and employers recognize it as a mark of intellectual breadth and exceptional academic performance.
The chapter sheltered at the University of Vermont—the Alpha of Vermont—was chartered in 1848, making it the eleventh chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. It has a rich history in its own right, being the first chapter in the nation to elect women and African Americans to membership, which it did in the 1870s. Since 1848, approximately 4,200 UVM students have been inducted.
--From the Phi Beta Kappa page at UVM
Sabrina Smith (CAS ENVS) is going to receive the "Outstanding Service-Learning Student Award." She was nominated by Brian Tokar for "her strong role in supporting a new SL course, including serving as point of contact for three community partners, supporting students in project management and tracking, developing critical reflection assignments and synthesizing themes in student reflective work, and supporting the instructor to more deeply understand student needs and student experience in service-learning."
And finally, though this isn't an award, it certainly is news worth sharing. On Thursday, March 29, 2018, 13 UVM students met with Governor Phil Scott for 30 minutes at the State House to urge him to sign pending gun control legislation and consider banning assault weapons. Students told personal stories of how gun violence has personally affected them since they were children. They also shared their research on gun control laws in other countries like Japan. Governor Scott discussed his concerns about mental health problems among schoolchildren, the impact of social media on bullying, and the proliferation of violence and anger in our society. He asked students for their advice. The meeting was organized by first-year environmental studies major Emma Radeka, who “just had to do something” after the Parkland, Florida school shooting. The 13 students are all enrolled in ENVS 195: Environmental Policy, Media Literacy and Activism taught by Trish O'Kane.
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