Order Your Print – And Thank a Professor

As you may have seen on social media this week, it’s Teacher Appreciation day.

We know you are out of college and on to “real life”, but lets be honest – teachers helped us succeed – and, some of you are teachers now.

All this to say, we wanted to show a little appreciation to your professors here at UVM.

So, in addition to giving you all an art print to celebrate making it through a year of post-grad, we wanted to also give you an opportunity to let one of your professors know just how thankful you are that they were a part of your UVM journey.

When you request your print (which you should do soon, we only have 82 left!) there is a second page of the form where you can fill in the name of one professor who made a difference in your experience here at UVM. Then, you can write them a thank you note, and we’ll print and deliver it!

Here are some examples of what your classmates have already submitted:

Catamounts in Profile: Meet your fellow alumni!

We do a lot of checking in with your class, and we know that sometimes it can be easy to miss an email. So, we decided to create a catalogue for you this week: Here are all of the people from your class (or adjacent) we’ve featured during your year of afterword.

Click on their photo to read their story!

As we start to wrap-up your first year since graduation (yes, that means your weekly email from us will end in about 6 weeks), we look forward to continuing to hear from you!

If you want to be featured on Afterword as we bring on the Class of 2018, click here to refer yourself (or a friend) and we’ll be sure to follow up with you!

Want to have your own story on Afterword? Refer yourself here!

Ben & Jerry’s Free Cone Day Plus the Vermonster

It’s that time of year, Spring has sprung, the rain has settled upon us, and the flowers are starting to sprout. This week we decided to tackle the infamous Ben & Jerry’s Vermonster (a top 100 things to do at UVM before you graduate), in lieu of Free Cone Day on April 10th!

Ben & Jerry’s has celebrated free cone day since 1979 and this year, the tradition continues. This day is celebrated around the world at various Ben & Jerry’s scoop shops in 35+ countries. Wow, now that’s a lot of free ice cream! They will be serving free cones from noon to 8 pm so make sure you stop by your local scoop shop to celebrate the 40th anniversary of this Vermont tradition!

And with that in mind, we thought, why not go even bigger and eat a Vermonster?

Creating it is a work of art in itself, consisting of 20 scoops of any flavor, 4 different toppings, nuts, hot fudge, cookies, brownies, banana, whipped cream and caramel. Want to build some muscle while at work? Just head on over to your local Ben & Jerry’s and become a scoop shop professional and work out those arms!

We opted not to include all of these yummy additions in our Vermonster (bananas in ice cream? – not our thing), but we did choose the classics for the base; Americone Dream, chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice cream. The toppings included rainbow sprinkles, m&m’s, peanuts, cookies, brownies, fudge, topped with lots of whipped cream. Pretty breezy right?

Want to see us eat this monstrosity?! Check out the time lapse video we made of us conquering this feat. *hint* we shared this with a few other folks.

P.S. if you haven’t been in the Church Street Ben & Jerry’s recently, they added a VW bus. Vroom Vroom! Until next time!

5 Reasons Why Grad School is the Worst (but actually the best)- From a Grad Student

It was senior year of college, and as my friends started to perfect resumes for jobs and meet with career counselors, I was stumped when it came to what I wanted to do next.

The thing was, I loved my college experience and I never wanted it to end; the late night snack parties, movie nights with friends, days in the library procrastinating with classmates. I was a leader on campus and involved myself in nearly every aspect of campus life I could think of. For me, the prospect of graduation was less exciting than it was sad.

I chose to come to graduate school because simply, I didn’t want college to end. I got accepted to UVM’s HESA progam, and started my graduate career right away. It wasn’t much like undergrad.

Here’s a few reasons why my experience was a total bummer*.

*Warning. There might be some sarcasm and humor in this post – particularly all the words in italics – I can’t help it, I’m a millennial.

1. Free School Sucks!

Like a lot of students, I was graduating from college with a lot of student loans and the prospect of paying for more school was not in any way appealing.

However, when I started researching graduate schools and programs I discovered that a lot of institutions will actually pay for student’s degrees and pay them for their service to the college. I not only fell in love with UVM, the green mountains, and the food on Church Street, but the financial package UVM offered me.

My process for selecting a graduate school was really centered on where I could get the most financial aid and salary for the work experience I would contribute to the college.

2. Gaining tangible work experience makes it way harder to get a job when you graduate

While I am in classes full time at UVM, I also work for the Department of Residential Life and am able to translate the theory I am learning in the classroom to practice. When I first started thinking about getting a master’s degree, I was afraid I would be over educated with no experiences.

Luckily, most graduate program incorporate internships, jobs, or teaching experiences, that help students prepare for the working world after graduation.

3. Having a seat at the table means you have just too many opportunities

To me, the best part about being a graduate student, is that everyone around you sees you as a learner first. I am often invited to meetings and spaces that I would never have the opportunity to shadow if my work at UVM were an entry level job.

It’s really special and cool to be a in a graduate program, because you are invited into another level of academic spaces which become a conduit to experiences and knowledge to which you never would have normally been exposed. These experiences have all come together to make me feel confident in my knowledge and abilities in a way that I wasn’t after undergrad.

4.Taking ownership of your own learning and focusing on what you are passionate about is super boring

My favorite part of my experiences in graduate school is the passion and excitement I have discovered for my own learning. When you are focused exclusively on not only a topic that maters to you, but specific issues and concepts within that topic, learning becomes so much less trivial.

In graduate school; professors invite you into research, see you as a colleague and peer rather than a pupil and you learn to create new knowledge rather than just reproduce it.

5. Its hard having so many friends and even worse building meaningful connections

Some of my greatest friends and mentors where made in college. When I graduated and started graduate school at UVM I never thought I would build connection and friendships as strong as I have.

Graduate school fosters individuals who are strong, passionate, diverse, and excited about learning. Many programs function in a cohort model and this model has giving me a group of 14 students who have been through it all with me. My peers are some of my greatest teachers and it is even more exciting to know that we are not only classmates, but the future of a work field we care so much about.

Carly graduated from Mount Holyoke College is 2016 and is graduating this May from UVM’s College of Education and Social Services Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) program. While at UVM she works in the department of Residential Life and with the UVM Foundation.

Check in with your classmates, Part II

This week on Afterword, we are checking in with a few of your fellow classmates to see what they’ve been up to since graduation.

We connected with five alums; Teresa Dotson, Sarang Murthy, Abby Stone, Renee Cruise and Drew Cooper. See what they had to say about their post grad year!

We are always looking to hear from more of you, so click the button at the bottom of this post to refer a friend (or yourself)!

What are you up to in your first year out of UVM?

After graduating from UVM I had planned to take a gap year before venturing on my next academic pursuit. I was lucky enough to spend the summer working on Martha’s Vineyard and then once summer came to a close, I moved back to my hometown of Pittsford NY, where I began work as a high school rowing coach. Fall season rowing ended around early November so I was able to enjoy the fall/winter holiday season at home with my parents and younger sister. Fast forward to just after New Years, 2018 has been an amazing year so far. While I was on Martha’s Vineyard in the summer, a high school friend and I began planning a month and a half long trip, backpacking through South East Asia. That adventure began mid-January, starting in Hanoi, Vietnam, continuing through the countries of Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and Myanmar. It was the trip of a lifetime with so many incredible memories. I returned to New York February 27th where I got to spend 10 days at home before venturing out to Idaho and Utah to visit friends and explore some of the west coast.

What are you looking forward to in the next year? What do you think will be your biggest challenge?

So far my year has been fantastic, but I am very much looking forward to beginning an Accelerated Bachelors in Nursing (ABSN) program, most likely at Drexel University in Philadelphia! It will definitely be a challenge, as it’s a full bachelor’s degree condensed into about 12 months of intense coursework; nonetheless, I am very excited for this new challenge!

What are you most proud of since you graduated?

Since graduating, I’ve been most proud of saying “yes” more. After leaving UVM, and having loved my experiences there, I wanted the excitement and amazing memories to continue; and they most definitely have. Saying “yes” more, has allowed me to meet new people, see incredible sights, and make the memories of a lifetime.


What are you up to in your first year out of UVM?

I moved down to New York City where I work at a public policy think-tank as a Technical Research Assistant. Living in Brooklyn and working in Manhattan is an adventure, everyday!

What are you looking forward to in the next year? What do you think will be your biggest challenge?

One of my biggest challenges in the next year is applying to graduate school but also something that I am looking forward to. I have to make myself stand out among the increasingly competitive pool of applicants.

What are you most proud of since you graduated?

The thing I am most proud about is mastering the NYC subway system! I am originally from Dallas, Texas so the big city was an adjustment for me. It’s incredibly overwhelming the first few weeks but then it becomes second nature.


What are you up to in your first year out of UVM?

After graduation, I took a part-time job as a graphic designer at Alchemy & Science on Pine Street in Burlington. When summer ended, I found a new full-time job at Okemo Mountain Resort, where I am currently the Marketing Coordinator and occasional Snow Reporter!

What are you looking forward to in the next year? What do you think will be your biggest challenge?

I’m looking forward to moving to a bigger city, like Boston or Denver, but the biggest challenge for me will be that I won’t live next to a ski resort anymore.

What are you most proud of since you graduated?

Adopting my adorable dog, Maple, from All Breed Rescue in Williston and training her to enjoy being little spoon. (Seen in picture above)


What are you up to in your first year out of UVM?

After graduating, I spent the summer living and interning in Boston. I went to quite a few Red Sox games and enjoyed weekends at the beach. Currently, I am in the Masters of Accountancy Program at UVM’s Grossman School of Business. I’ve been enjoying another year in Burlington and another season of skiing! I’ll graduate with my Masters this coming May.

What are you looking forward to in the next year? What do you think will be your biggest challenge?

I’m really looking forward to starting my career in accounting as an Auditor for RSM. I’m also excited to move to Boston this Fall.  I think my biggest challenge will be studying for my CPA exams which I hope to complete this summer, before I begin work in the fall.

What are you up to in your first year out of UVM?

I spent the first few months after graduation packing my belongings in preparation to move to Europe. While I’ve lived in Vermont for the past 15 years with my mother, my father has lived in England for the past 10 years and offered to help me prepare for starting grad school in Germany. I was lucky enough to be accepted into a two-year Master’s program for Medical Neuroscience at the Humboldt University of Berlin. The program is run through their medical school, Charité Universitätsmedizin, which is analogous to UVM’s Robert Larner College of Medicine. The summer and fall were relatively difficult; saying goodbye to my friends and home state, moving to two different countries, and dealing with endless logistics and bureaucracy. I don’t even speak German! But despite the challenges, it’s been an incredibly fruitful experience thus far.

Berlin is an absolutely crazy city, more international than it is German. I’ve made friends with people from Mexico, Ethiopia, Russia, Greece, Pakistan, Spain; the list goes on. I’ve been studying like crazy — semester grades are based on single, comprehensive exams covering everything from neurophysiology to computational statistics to bioethics — but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the nightlife. Clubs are open well into the morning and there are next-to-no open container laws. Work-Life balance is at an all-time high.

Most recently, I finished interning in an ophthalmology lab as my first of four lab rotations. My research concerns thermo-mechanically activated transmembrane receptors called TRP channels and protein fragments of cellular immune systems, specifically within human corneal keratocytes. I’m still (clearly) working on a summary for my research paper, but I’m essentially investigating if immune responses can be triggered through temperature activation of the cornea. What I’m happiest about are the images I’ve captured using the microscopes in the lab — the cells light up like a Christmas tree!

But even better than that, I was able to have my best friend Jaden (Class of ’18!) visit me. He and his family have accepted me as their own for as long as I’ve known them, so to share my life here with him was nothing short of amazing. He’s the other guy in the above photo.

What are you looking forward to in the next year? What do you think will be your biggest challenge?

My biggest challenge will most likely be the one I’m still dealing with: Germany. I won’t preach too much, but given everything going on in the USA, people have a tendency to romanticize moving to another country, especially European countries. Living here is not easy. Most important documents are co-dependent; to get a German bank account you need a visa, to get a visa you need health insurance, to get health insurance you need a German bank account… you get the idea. To even have a chance at surviving here, somebody within the system has to take pity on you, the unaware foreigner. I have been the American Idiot many times and I will probably continue to be, but it does build character. I’m quoting myself here from an old piece I wrote in the Cynic, but there are things I do today that would’ve made me curl into the fetal position a year ago. I’m hoping I can still say that next year.

What are you most proud of since you graduated?

The fact that I’m in Berlin! Sometimes I still can’t believe I’m here! The application process was 6 months alone, my grades were average at best and I don’t speak the native language; what chance did I have? But lo and behold I’m here, and I’m actually doing well. I spent so many days last year assuming the worst in the world and myself, that I’d be better off taking the safe route staying at UVM and continuing my education there. And this is not a dig at UVM, because it’s actually my favorite part of my home state, but I knew I had to take a chance and do something that scared me to death. Those are the only experiences that show you who you really are as a person, and help you change into the person you want to be.