University of Vermont: A day in the life
Source: University of Vermont

Ever wish you could experience one day at university to know if it’s the right choice for you? This American university helps you do just that. In this story, the University of Vermont (UVM) shares dozens of real moments from a single day that together give insight into the many people, places and endeavours that define campus life.

7:02 a.m. Athletic Campus

Source: University of Vermont

Motivation for a morning workout.

7:35 a.m./1:35 p.m. Aarhus, Denmark

Source: University of Vermont

Caitlin Morgan, a Ph.D. student in food systems, is in Denmark investigating the country’s approach to food education. It’s “a different way of teaching kids about food than we usually undertake in the US,” she says, one with a “focus on sensory engagement and pleasure.”

While many of her days involve observing this learning in action, today, she’s scoping out a big department store that claims to sell many organic and local foods. “Interestingly,” she says, its offerings were mostly “industrially produced and much of the same stuff available at my small corner grocer in the northern part of Aarhus.”

9:14 a.m. Alumni House

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At the Global CEO Forum on Sustainable Innovation and Business Transformation, hosted by the Grossman School of Business, keynote speaker and Coca-Cola Board Chairman, Muhtar Kent, addresses the audience on the role business can and should play to help solve the pressing issues of today.

“You cannot transform business without innovation: innovate or become irrelevant. We all need growth to make positive change. Sustainable growth is what makes the world go around for everyone. A good product is no longer enough, consumers now expect more.”

9:23 a.m. UVM Green

UVM’s Spatial Analysis Lab provides rapid, aerial photography and mapping services that help inform officials during disasters. Here, their drone offers a bird’s eye view of campus during peak foliage season.

9:38 a.m. Sullivan Classroom, Medical Education Center

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First-year medical students listen to different heart valve sounds and feel a carotid artery pulse via a Harvey cardiopulmonary simulator in their doctoring skills session with instructor Shirley McAdam, standardized patient educator in UVM’s Clinical Simulation Laboratory.

10:07 a.m. Biomedical Engineering Research Laboratory, Votey Hall

Engineering graduate students Lukas Adamowicz and Reed Gurchiek monitor biomechanical data as research subject/engineering undergrad Jarad Clark runs on the treadmill. Research led by Ryan McGinnis, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, studies human movement patterns, with applications for patients with neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s and Multiple Sclerosis, or those recovering from surgery.

12:42 p.m. Mann Hall

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Higher Education and Student Administration Professor Jay Garvey leads a research team studying queer and trans policies and practices in higher education. A grant application for overviewing Title IX and its relevance to queer and trans collegians is underway, using geo-visualizations of policies by state.

1:08 p.m. City Hall Park, Downtown Burlington

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Ph.D. completed, Praveena Nukareddy, finally, has time for some errands. She came to UVM because of the university’s expertise in mass spectrometry. Now she says: “I love Vermont. Everyone is so friendly.”

2:33 p.m. Old Mill

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Today’s conversation hour — led by international student services staffer, Rebecca Prigge for graduate students who have come to UVM through the Global Gateway Program — is all about music.

Students are sharing favorite songs and why they’re drawn to them. Selections range from soft indie to epic scores. The chance to get together and practice conversational English in a low-key setting is a welcome change for these international students.

2:58 p.m./1:58 p.m. La Barca, Jalisco, México

Source: University of Vermont

How does domestication of crops affect insect diversity? This is one question Jorge Ruiz-Arocho is hoping to answer on his path to a Ph.D. in plant and soil science under the mentorship of Professor Yolanda Chen.

Today, he was in the field for a long day of collecting insects from wild Physalis philadelphica for a first-of-its-kind study comparing agrobiodiversity between wild species and cultivated crops. Why study this question in this part of the world? “Mexico is the region of origin of many crops that are the base of our modern food system,” says Professor Chen — like corn, beans, squash and chili.

4:39 p.m. Global Change Biogeochemistry Lab, Spear Street

Kyle Dittmer, a graduate student in the Rubenstein School pursuing a master’s in natural resources, is extracting soils from samples that he gathered yesterday at Borderview Farm in Alburgh, Vermont. Kyle is measuring inorganic nitrogen, a bioavailable form of nitrogen for crops and microorganisms, in the samples.

The research, conducted in Carol Adair’s Global Change Biogeochemistry Lab, receives funding from the USDA and other sources. Its goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through informed and sustainable agricultural practices.

5:02 p.m. UVM Recital Hall

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Perhaps most famous for his tune “The Gael,” which became the theme song for The Last of the Mohicans, Dougie MacLean is one on Scotland’s most beloved singers and songwriters. On a 10-day tour of the US, he tests his sound in an empty house. Not for long. The show — part of the UVM Lane Series — sold out days ago. “I can’t handle the long road trips anymore,” MacLean says, “but it sure is nice to come here.”

5:46 p.m. Sunny Hollow trails

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After class, friends Michael McGuire ’20, Gennaro Valant ’21 and Bryce Potts ’20 head for the rolling hills of nearby Colchester for mountain biking.

6:15 p.m. Central Campus

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One last flash before the sun dips behind the Adirondacks.

10:14 p.m. Aboard UVM’s Research Vessel, The Melosira

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After four hours of trawling for trout in the dark, graduate student Pascal Wilkins inspects a large healthy adult fish. “Each year it’s been getting better,” he says. Meaning: more native trout are appearing — and reproducing — in Lake Champlain. Native lake trout disappeared from Champlain about 1900. Then, in 2015, they came back. The scientists are very happy about this — and are working to figure out why.

12:15 a.m. Technology Park, South Burlington

Source: University of Vermont

The Vermont Advanced Computing Core is getting a massive upgrade, thanks to a US$1 million grant from the National Science Foundation. Over the coming months, computing speeds will increase 3,000 times over current levels, ultimately exceeding one petaflop. While human researchers rest up for another day ahead, these machines are always serving, helping find answers, discover new problems, and push forward a collective understanding of things great and small.

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