Alumni Profiles Part 4

Here’s the next installment in a series of alum profiles leading up to your 10th year reunion.

Below are updates from Emma Lewin, Alex Cohen, Douglas Helal, Kathleen Rivard, and Josh Fredman.

Yes, many of you have been keeping up with each other on Facebook, but sometimes it’s nice to stop and reflect a bit on the last 10 years. We’ll take the slow path and try to feature as many of you as possible before October.

In that vein, if you want to see your friends in next month’s post, refer them by completing this quick form — it’s a great way to shine the spotlight on a good friend!

10 years later, what are you up to (career, family, where you’ve lived, etc.)?

For about six years now I have been running a bike and walking tour company called Van Gogh Tours, vangoghtours.com. It was started by my grandparents 25 years ago. We offer week-long vacations in Europe, namely The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy, Austria, and Germany. I spend most of my time doing the administration aspect of the company, but during the spring and summer I get to travel to Europe to lead some of the tours. It is a lot of time spent traveling but it is a ton of fun! I really enjoy learning about the culture of the places and attempting to speak their language.

What’s the best thing you’ve done in the last 10 years?

Taking over the company was a big challenge but I am very happy with my decision. I had to learn a lot about the business world and the day to day tasks of running a business in a short amount of time. I am still learning new aspects to being a successful business owner every day! On a less work-related note, two years ago I backpacked for three weeks through Norway and it was really a spectacular trip. It is a gorgeous (but expensive) place.

Who is the one person you most want to see at Reunion (classmate, professor, etc.)?

I’m hoping to have a mini-reunion with my house mates from junior and senior year. There were four of us living together and we really had a blast. We haven’t all been together since UVM!

Do you have a post-graduate tradition with your UVM friends? (ex. You get together at the beach each summer).

Unfortunately, nope. 

How is your UVM degree relevant to your career?

I majored in English and minored in business, so I think this was a fairly good combination for what I do now. I use my writing skills to better communicate with my clients through emails, my website and social media, and I keep in mind some of the things I learned in my business classes to help with the running of the business.

What were you involved with at UVM?

I was involved with gymnastics. I started with the team having never done it before, but the group was welcoming and happy to help me. I really learned a lot in a short period of time and I made some life-long friends. I am so glad that I got involved with that club because it made my time at UVM really special.

10 years later, what are you up to (career, family, where you’ve lived, etc.)?

I am living in Norwalk, Connecticut, with my wife of three years, and our 5-month-old baby boy. After UVM, I lived in New York City, Warren, Vermont, and a bunch of places in Fairfield County, Connecticut. I spent about seven years in finance, and the last three years in sales, and marketing. I’ve been lucky to be part of Bombas Socks for the past several years, and it’s truly great to love what you do.

What’s the best thing you’ve done in the last 10 years?

I recently had a baby boy, Bodhi, and he has literally changed my life. Marrying my wife, and getting this little man are probably the best things I could have done in the past 10 years.

Who is the one person you most want to see at Reunion (classmate, professor, etc.)?

I saw some of my professors a few years back, but I haven’t seen Deri Meier in almost that amount of time. I obviously hope to see other professors, and classmates as well.

Do you have a post-graduate tradition with your UVM friends? (ex. You get together at the beach each summer).

As any UVM grad, I’ve had several roommates head West in search of bigger mountains, and champagne powder. We’ve tried to do some good trips out to Utah. Not every year, but we’ve probably made the trip 4 or 5 years now.

How is your UVM degree relevant to your career?

Teamwork, and networking has been integral to my success. I learned a lot from interacting with other students in classes, but also in extracurricular activities such as the Marketing Club. Additionally, time management has helped me succeed as learning how to get a lot of work done in a short semester has helped me build strong robust pipelines, and has helped me gauge timelines.

What were you involved with at UVM?

I was part of the Marketing Club, did one or two years with the Snowboard Club, and also worked at Sugarbush Resort in Warren.

10 years later, what are you up to (career, family, where you’ve lived, etc.)?

I moved to Montreal (great city!) right after UVM and worked for one year at a dot com startup.  I then moved back to Connecticut and have worked in online media sales for the past 10 years. Currently, I am the Digital Sales Manager for four Broadcast stations in New England. I miss the B-Town lifestyle and used to go back for years after until most of my friends moved on from Burlington.

What’s the best thing you’ve done in the last 10 years?

The best thing I have done was get engaged and will actually be married on 6/2/17. That may surprise some people who knew me at UVM…lol

Who is the one person you most want to see at Reunion (classmate, professor, etc.)?

I would love to see Alfred Snider aka TUNA again, but he sadly passed away. He was a great mentor and taught me many life lessons. In place of him would be my political science professors and a few friends like Andy Trainor and Nick DeNeffe!

Do you have a post-graduate tradition with your UVM friends? (ex. You get together at the beach each summer).

I try to stay in touch with the ones who still live around New England and get together when we can. A lot of them moved throughout the country so we stay in touch via social media but don’t meet up very often.

How is your UVM degree relevant to your career?

Sure, UVM actually gets mad props as being a great school (even better since I graduated). I am not sure how I got in and how I graduated with a 3.0 but god bless ‘merica! Many of my friends didn’t make it all 4 years, so I guess I was doing something right.

What were you involved with at UVM?

I was involved with making sure the ice cubes were cold at the parties and that enough people showed up to make them a good time! I am looking forward to bringing back the good times at the reunion!

10 years later, what are you up to (career, family, where you’ve lived, etc.)?

I still can’t believe it has been ten years since we graduated. Shortly after graduation I began my career with Comcast Spotlight where I have worked my way up to Senior Account Executive. I am also a committee member with Make-A-Wish of Vermont as part of the Vermont Wish Project (Young Professional Board of MAWVT) where I served one term as the director. Life has been a whirlwind of excitement from marrying fellow alum Chris Rivard in 2010 to buying our first home in 2011 along with adding our puppy, Rio, to our family, traveling throughout the U.S. and Internationally to Japan, then buying our second home in Hinesburg in 2015 where we currently live and welcoming our first child, Wren, in October 2015.

What’s the best thing you’ve done in the last 10 years?

Become a Mom!

Who is the one person you most want to see at Reunion (classmate, professor, etc.)?

It will be great to connect with past professors as well as coaches and players from Rugby!!

Do you have a post-graduate tradition with your UVM friends? (ex. You get together at the beach each summer).

We actually get together with a rather large group of friends for “Friendsgiving” in November, for July 4th at a friend’s beach house on the ocean and for a Pub Crawl in the fall.  Logistics have proven to be more challenging as many of us in the group now have kids, however we make it work.

How is your UVM degree relevant to your career?

I use my sociology and psychology education on a daily basis in my current career with Comcast Spotlight. I act as an advertising sales consultant for local businesses, sharing my knowledge and expertise to help them grow.

What were you involved with at UVM?

While attending undergrad at UVM, I was a proud member of the UVM Program Board, valued player on the Rugby team, and dedicated work study employee in the director’s office and mail room.

10 years later, what are you up to (career, family, where you’ve lived, etc.)?

I’ve settled in Chicago—having lived here since early 2008. It’s a terrific city and my wife, and I love it. I’ve worked for United Airlines since moving here and it has afforded me the opportunity to follow my passion for commercial aviation and to travel the world.  I currently work in the Alliances group and we are responsible for all airline to airline partnerships and relationships.

What’s the best thing you’ve done in the last 10 years?

I’ve been fortunate to have many incredible travel experiences—top of the list is a trip to southeast Asia with my wife and a trip with some friends to New Zealand and India.

Who is the one person you most want to see at Reunion (classmate, professor, etc.)?

I’m looking forward to seeing classmates and other faculty and staff I have lost touch with. It’s tough to keep in touch with everyone and knowing that I’ll have an opportunity to re-connect with many of them (I hope) will be great.

Do you have a post-graduate tradition with your UVM friends? (ex. You get together at the beach each summer).

Though the desire is there to see each other often, we’ve settled all over the country—still, a number of us do get together at least once a year. With family, work, and other commitments, it’s become difficult to get together more regularly. We have discussed, though, hopefully going to Africa on safari together someday.

How is your UVM degree relevant to your career?

UVM is not the aviation hotbed school some of my colleagues attended, but my studies in Political Science and Economics is widely accepted as having merit and acceptance in my work. Living in the Midwest, I have also noticed when I tell someone today that I graduated from UVM, it’s no longer—where is UVM? It’s now, “Oh that’s a great school” and most times they know, or have heard of Burlington. This was not the case earlier on in my career.

What were you involved with at UVM?

I was an Advocate, member of Senior Class Council and ACCESS student leadership board.

Alum Profiles, Part 3

Here’s the next installment in a series of alum profiles leading up to your 10th year reunion.

Below are updates from Chad Dorman, Meg Helstowski Corry, Teddy Farrell, Brittney Cross, Ethan Joseph and Sean Dempsey.

Yes, many of you have been keeping up with each other on Facebook, but sometimes it’s nice to stop and reflect a bit on the last 10 years. We’ll take the slow path and try to feature as many of you as possible before October.

In that vein, if you want to see your friends in next month’s post, refer them by completing this quick form — it’s a great way to shine the spotlight on a good friend!

10 years later, what are you up to (career, family, where you’ve lived, etc.)?

The early years after college I worked at a private school in Kansas City teaching English, Creative Writing, and Public Speaking before venturing out into the world of business to follow an opportunity. It was, at the time, a job I couldn’t pass up.  Before long though, I realized that I wanted to get back into the world that I knew and loved.  I took my new business acumen, blended my passions for academics and athletics, and Leonard Andrew Consulting was born – offering everything to students and student-athletes from tutoring, admissions and test prep, to NCAA recruiting advice and personal training.

What’s the best thing you’ve done in the last 10 years?

So tough to narrow down an absolute best. I spent as much time with friends and family as I could, traveled when my schedule allowed, and continued to build the business.

Who is the one person you most want to see at Reunion (classmate, professor, etc.)?

Again, so tough to narrow it down to just one! There is a whole host of classmates and professors that I look forward to catching up with.

Do you have a post-graduate tradition with your UVM friends? (ex. You get together at the beach each summer).

I’m fortunate to have a great group of friends who are like family to me. We keep close with a number of traditions – a steak cook-off every spring, a Friendsgiving every November, and a holiday party every December. Each of those traditions has been running strong for nearly 10 years.

How is your UVM degree relevant to your career?

My career and work came after seemingly the perfect combination of education and experiences, passion and interests.  I always knew that I wanted to be working in education and with athletes. The real ‘spark’ wouldn’t come until a few years after college, but with my degree in education the fuse was lit.

What were you involved with at UVM?

I loved being part of UVMtv. Those days I worked on everything from news reports to covering the UVM hockey games.

10 years later, what are you up to (career, family, where you’ve lived, etc.)?

I currently live in St. Simons Island, Georgia with my husband, Brian; kiddo, Will; dog, Oakley, and cat, Gordon Bombay.

After UVM I attended law school at Florida Coastal School of Law and thereafter took the Georgia bar. I practiced personal injury law for 3 years in Savannah, Ga. which was fast paced and crazy. I learned a ton. For the past 4 years I have been a staff attorney for the Superior Court judges of the Brunswick Judicial Circuit. I (actually) love my job.

Living at/extremely close to the beach for the past 10 years has been as awesome as I hoped it would be.

What’s the best thing you’ve done in the last 10 years?

Moved south! Just kidding – I miss the Vermont mountains and the first snow of the season. Best thing I’ve done is become a mom to a very funny little boy.

Who is the one person you most want to see at Reunion (classmate, professor, etc.)?

The Patty 3/2 crew – looking at you Dave Lombardo.

Do you have a post-graduate tradition with your UVM friends? (ex. You get together at the beach each summer).

Does g-chatting with Krista Iannoni Easterly every day count?! She keeps me sane on a daily basis.

How is your UVM degree relevant to your career?

Well, political science led me directly into law; some of my really great professors definitely influenced me to take the LSAT and go immediately to law school. That was great advice. And I suppose it’s fair to say I used my business degree to decide it was a good business decision to work for the government (great hours and benefits).

What were you involved with at UVM?

Women’s tennis team; College Republicans.

10 years later, what are you up to (career, family, where you’ve lived, etc.)?

Have lived in Aspen, Colorado, since graduation and I work in Real Estate Development across the western US. I got married in 2013 to Emily and now have two kids (Sid -2 years and Maisey – 1 month).

What’s the best thing you’ve done in the last 10 years?

Hard to say, but happy to have maintained relationships with most of my UVM classmates and starting a family has been fun and challenging.

Who is the one person you most want to see at Reunion (classmate, professor, etc.)?

Jacob Dibble, a living legend and the handsomest member of UVM’s class of ’07.

Do you have a post-graduate tradition with your UVM friends? (ex. You get together at the beach each summer).

We try and go on a trip each year, either golfing or fishing.

How is your UVM degree relevant to your career?

I studied finance and currently use that with real estate acquisitions and financing.

What were you involved with at UVM?

Finance Club and AdvoCats in the admissions office.

10 years later, what are you up to (career, family, where you’ve lived, etc.)?

I can’t believe it’s been 10 years! I currently live in Rhode Island and I work at the University of Rhode Island as an academic advisor with our student athletes. This was a career switch for me after getting a MSW at UNH and working as a social worker in mental health/addiction field for 5 years. I love being back as part of a university community and part of the draw back was due to the great time I had at UVM! I am recently married (July 2016) to Brandon Miles (also UVM ’07) and we live in Wakefield, Rhode Island with our dog Blaze. Brandon is a U.S. Probation Officer.

What’s the best thing you’ve done in the last 10 years?

The best thing I’ve done in 10 years…totally cliché, but marry Brandon! We met the first week of freshman year at UVM in 2003. We didn’t begin dating until after graduation around 2009 and it has been an incredible journey. We make a great team and he’s is absolutely the best gift UVM gave me 🙂

Who is the one person you most want to see at Reunion (classmate, professor, etc.)?

Don’t have one person in mind but look forward to seeing familiar faces from the UVM years!

Do you have a post-graduate tradition with your UVM friends? (ex. You get together at the beach each summer).

I feel so lucky to have made and stayed close to a core group of UVM friends. They are truly my favorite people, my dearest friends and I miss them all the time! Fortunately, we make a big effort to get together multiple times each year…ski weekends, cape weekends, now weddings, and babies; it has been so wonderful to spend the last 10 years building on our friendship that started at UVM!

How is your UVM degree relevant to your career?

I was a Psychology major and maybe unlike most did end up working in the field (kind of)…the PSY background certainly helped me in graduate school when I pursued a Masters in Social Work, as much of the theory/core human development concepts were similar. I think my undergrad degree helped me begin to understand how to connect with, lead and ultimately help people. I certainly use this every day!

What were you involved with at UVM?

Primarily, I was a member of the Women’s Basketball team—two-year captain.

10 years later, what are you up to (career, family, where you’ve lived, etc.)?

Within a few months of graduation, an opportunity to work at Shelburne Vineyard arose and since then I’ve been happily growing grapes and making wine as the Vineyard Manager and Winemaker there. This career choice has led to a real passion for agriculture and wine and has provided me with opportunities to travel as a speaker/presenter at several national and international cold/cool climate wine conferences. During my tenure, Shelburne Vineyard has become recognized as the top producer of cold climate grapes and wine.

For five years this August, I’ve been the lucky spouse of fellow RESNRer, Jessica DeBiasio. We are now proud residents of South Burlington, having bought a house just before our wedding. As I write this, we are in the midst of a major renovation, continuing to update our home and make it our own. We also garden like crazy; seedlings for this season are already starting to grow.

What’s the best thing you’ve done in the last 10 years?

I’m terrible at picking “bests” I’m too diplomatic for that. As I said above, five years ago I married the beautiful Jessica DeBiasio, so that of course tops the list. We turned our large SoBu yard into an epic garden and we’ve taken some amazing trips, including to France and Nova Scotia, both with fantastic wine. Professionally, I’ve dedicated myself to wine-growing in VT and this has helped elevate the perception of VT wine and gained me national attention.

Who is the one person you most want to see at Reunion (classmate, professor, etc.)?

If I’m able to attend, I think it will be fun to see those people I knew and liked but haven’t kept in touch with.

Do you have a post-graduate tradition with your UVM friends? (ex. You get together at the beach each summer).

Nothing regular, but there have been some Slade reunions and occasional dinner parties with folks still in the area.

How is your UVM degree relevant to your career?

While my Natural Resources degree isn’t directly relevant to wine-growing, there are certainly some parallels and related subject matter like soils, chemistry, and hydrology. In addition, my natural resource background has allowed me to think ecologically about the best way to grow grapes while limiting environmental impact.

What were you involved with at UVM?

Early on at UVM I participated in the Outing Club and Trek. However, it was really my time at Slade Hall that had the strongest influence over my career. Practicing my ag. skills in the garden and experimenting with fermentation provided me with the opportunity to realize my interest in wine-growing. I was also President of CEL (Consortium for Ecological Living) and played pick-up soccer regularly.

10 years later, what are you up to (career, family, where you’ve lived, etc.)?

Right out of college I started working with a local VT web and marketing firm called Loud Canvas Media. I bought the company about two years later and have been doing that ever since. Together with my talented team, we’ve grown the company from an initial 30-40 clients to now over 400. I now live in the Portsmouth NH area, which is about an hour from Boston. I have a beautiful baby girl named Ava Grace who turns 1 at the end of May.

Who is the one person you most want to see at Reunion (classmate, professor, etc.)?

I made a lot of excellent and lifelong friends at UVM, most I still stay in close connection with. However, others (due to no fault of their own or mine) simply let life pull them along its serpentine current and I lost touch. There are actually a long list of people I can’t wait to catch up with. I feel bad not being able to list them all. Peter Dunbar was a crazy guy who, if he isn’t a multi-millionaire by now, is most certainly on his way and/or hatching up a half dozen crazy ideas for new business ventures. Nick Donahue, who I also went to high school with, is someone I’d love to see and hear where life has taken him. Matthew Lewis is probably the funniest and most impressive person I’ve ever known but now lives on the other side of the country; can’t wait to see him again! And Andrew Stickney, who’s last words to me in college were (and I quote) “well, Sean, it’s been real and I love you. But I probably won’t ever see you again for the rest of my life. So … bye.” – thus I look forward to proving him wrong. 😉

Do you have a post-graduate tradition with your UVM friends? (ex. You get together at the beach each summer).

Several UVM friends (mixed with many high school friends as well) get together each and every year without fail to celebrate Thanksgiving (“Friendsgiving Weekend”). For a weekend we rent out a large house on Home Away or use a friend’s house to cook an ostentatiously large bird or two. Then we spend the weekend (the time preceding and post dinner) celebrating our friendship with adult beverages, games/tournaments, and many laughs about the ‘good ol times’.

How is your UVM degree relevant to your career?

Very much so! I received both a Business and Computer Science degree, and have put them both to very good use. My undergraduate business degree (as well as my MBA a few years later) has been instrumental in maintaining and growing a successful web/marketing business. And my CS degree was very helpful in the early years when most of the projects my firm took on were done with me as the lead/principal developer. So without my experience at UVM I would not be where I am today.

What were you involved with at UVM?

I was president of UVMtv for 2 or 3 years. We brought the fledgling club from 7 or 8 active members to over 150 by my senior year. Sadly the club has not been treated too well recently and its numbers have dwindled significantly (compounded with the fact the campus is no longer on a closed-circuit TV network.) I was also an RA (resident advisor) for almost my entire career at UVM; that was an extremely rewarding experience as well.

A Special Gift Just for You!

Congratulations Class of 2007, not only is this your 10 year reunion year, It’s also your 10 year grad-a-versary!

Yep, we made that word up.

To celebrate, we commissioned a local artist and UVM alumna, Katharine Longfellow ’13, to paint you a lovely picture of campus to hang in your home or office. How awesome is that?

That’s right, you can have your very own “window into campus”. All you have to do is request one.

Not quite sure what to do with your new print? Here’s an idea:

’07 Reunion Print Giveaway! from UVMF on Vimeo.

In case the nostalgia of your time at UVM wasn’t already hitting you…

Take a moment to write a quick note of thanks to your favorite professor as you complete the print request. We know that you’ll never forget your best professors, so let them know once more how important they were in shaping your UVM experience! We will send along your messages as the semester wraps up in the coming weeks.

We hope you enjoy this one-of-a-kind print!

–Kathleen

Alum Profiles, Part 2

Here’s the second in a series of alum profiles leading up to your 10th year reunion.

Below are updates from Jessica Frank, Katerina Baratta, Denny Madigan, Krista Easterly, and Rachel Klenicki.

Yes, many of you have been keeping up with each other on Facebook, but sometimes it’s nice to stop and reflect a bit on the last 10 years. We’ll take the slow path and try to feature as many of you as possible before October.

In that vein, if you want to see your friends in next month’s post, refer them by completing this quick form — it’s a great way to shine the spotlight on a good friend!

1. 10 years later, what are you up to (career, family, where you’ve lived, etc.)?

After graduating from UVM in 2007, I spent two years traveling and living in Alaska, New York City, Hawaii and Costa Rica.  I eventually​​ settled down in Stowe, VT and become a snowboard instructor.  After a few years of the ski bum lifestyle I decided to go back to UVM and get my master’s degree to become a science teacher.  I currently teach 7th grade in Colchester.  Last summer, I became a first time homeowner and now my boyfriend and I reside in Hinesburg.  We spend our Vermont summers in the garden or our on our sailboat on Lake Champlain.

2. What’s the best thing you’ve done in the last 10 years?

I’m so glad I spent time traveling after I graduated.  It was wonderful to get out and see some beautiful places, but it also made me realize how much I love Vermont.

3. Who is the one person you most want to see at Reunion (classmate, professor, etc.)?

Professor Doc Donnelly!

4. Do you have a post-graduate tradition with your UVM friends? (ex. You get together at the beach each summer).

My housemates and I get together every February in Vermont to enjoy winter activities.

5. How is your UVM degree relevant to your career?

I use my foundation science knowledge from my undergraduate degree in Natural Resources every day in my classroom.

6. What were you involved with at UVM?

I was involved in the Outing Club and lived in Slade Hall.  My closest friends today I met while I was an undergrad at UVM.  I am thankful we have such wonderful community of friends that continue to keep in touch.

1. 10 years later, what are you up to (career, family, where you’ve lived, etc.)?

After graduating from UVM I embarked on few years of exploration and experimentation, followed by intense focus, and now I’m entering into a new phase of discovery. After college I went down to New Orleans for a year and volunteered at a middle school. Becoming a teacher was on my radar as a career option, but while I will always cherish the time I spent with the kids in New Orleans, I realized that being a school teacher was not a good fit for me.

Yoga had become the grounding force in my life amidst the chaos of post-Katrina New Orleans, so the following summer I decided to complete yoga teacher training. I immediately knew I was onto something, it just felt right, but I didn’t know how exactly I was going to proceed. I dabbled in a graduate program for art therapy, but one week into the first semester I already knew that, along with being a school teacher, art-therapy didn’t resonate with me either.

The future looked too foggy for me to know where I was going, so I took some time off from standardized education and spent a few months exploring Mexico, followed by a work-study program at the Herb Pharm in southern Oregon, where I learned about medicinal herbalism and holistic nutrition. I still didn’t know what I wanted to do in terms of my career, but just as I felt at home in yoga teacher-training, I also felt right diving into the world of medicinal herbalism.

Shortly after I left the Herb Pharm I received a free acupuncture treatment and something inside me clicked. I realized that Chinese medicine would let me incorporate all the things I love- nutrition, herbalism, movement therapy, bodywork, coaching and deep connections with my future patients.

I also fell in love with Portland -the delicious and sustainable food scene, the natural surroundings, the interesting people- so I set out to complete pre-requisites as I applied to the Chinese medicine program at the National University (then College) of Natural Medicine (NUNM).

Five years later I completed my Master’s in Science and am now a licensed acupuncturist, working at the Canyon Medical Center, a naturopathic clinic that also serves as a birthing center.

I am also happily married to my husband, Adam, who works as a nutrition professor at NUNM and runs an organic farm where he teaches students everything that goes into cultivating the most nutritious foods on earth. Last July we welcomed our scrumptious and endlessly curious baby boy Walden into the world.

Now my time is split between being a mama (most of the time), working on my online business, and working one-on-one with patients in clinic a couple times a week. I’m currently creating a podcast and online-course called Love My Body, Love My Life, where I help women stop dieting and stop feeling bad about themselves, so they can step into their power and craft the healthy, happy, and impactful lives they want.

2. What’s the best thing you’ve done in the last 10 years?

This is SUCH a hard question to answer! The most all-encompassing answer would be that the best thing I’ve done in the last 10 years is to learn how to take care of myself and follow my bliss. When I feel good I have the strength, endurance, and inner-light I need to help other people so they, too, can become the best version of themselves.

3. Who is the one person you most want to see at Reunion (classmate, professor, etc.)?

Can I name 3? I would love to see Professor Jones. He gave me the chance to be a TA for Race-Relations in the U.S. and getting to know that course material on such a deep level made me a better person in all I do.

I would also love to see Professor Lynn Bond, because the Psychology of Women course she taught was SO much more than I ever could have imagined when I signed up. She’s a really strong, sassy, and wonderful woman, and I’m forever grateful that I had her as a teacher.

And finally, I would love to give Christine Campbell a biiiiiiiig hug. She was like a mother-figure to me at UVM, making me feel seen and confident in my abilities, not just in my artistic ability but as a contributing member of society.

4. Do you have a post-graduate tradition with your UVM friends? (ex. You get together at the beach each summer).

I wish! I’m just grateful that I am still so close to my friends from UVM that I find myself texting many of them throughout the week, almost every week! We visit each other whenever we can, but thanks to technology I feel closer to them on an emotional level than I do with many people I live closer to.

5. How is your UVM degree relevant to your career?

I majored in psychology with a double minor in ALANA studies and studio art. As I mentioned before, my experience with ALANA studies (and race-relations in general) helped make me a more compassionate person.

Psychology and studio art have combined in an unexpected way for me, spawning a deep love of marketing in the online business realm. Studio art has, also surprisingly, translated into a unique understanding of the human body and what it means to be balanced. Art creation has remained my sanctuary and indulgence regardless of what else is going on in my life.

And finally, psychology has helped me become a better clinician than I might otherwise be and has given me a deeper understanding of the human condition.

6. What were you involved with at UVM?

What I have written on my resume is that I led an Alternative Spring Break trip to North Carolina where we helped build houses with Habitat for Humanity. In a similar vein, I led an orientation group where we built Habitat houses and helped in a soup kitchen. And as you know by now, I was a TA for the class Race Relations in the US.

However, my time at UVM was largely about social connection and, after growing up in the high-pressure environment that is Manhattan, it was also about learning to slow down and appreciate the beauty in life.

A lot of my time in Burlington was spent hiking, snowboarding, and cooking with my friends. I was also deeply enamored with the music scene and enjoyed official concerts as well as impromptu living-room jam sessions. While the ambitious New Yorker in me cannot be tamed, I am glad that Vermont taught me to pause and enjoy simple moments instead of always rushing from one endeavor to the next.

1. 10 years later, what are you up to (career, family, where you’ve lived, etc.)?

I’m a Financial Services Market Manager at TD Bank. I oversee the sales activities for 86 branches in Upstate New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire. I currently live in Essex Junction, VT with my wife Karen and 3 year old Mackenzie.

2. What’s the best thing you’ve done in the last 10 years?

Met my wife and started an amazing family with her.  Karen is from Shelburne, VT and we met senior year while she was attending St. Mike’s.

3. Who is the one person you most want to see at Reunion (classmate, professor, etc.)?

Jordan Hershman, classmate.  It’s been forever since I’ve seen him.

4. Do you have a post-graduate tradition with your UVM friends? (ex. You get together at the beach each summer).

We get together once a year for a Friendsgiving in November.  We have about 12 of us every year.

5. How is your UVM degree relevant to your career?

I wouldn’t be in my current role without my UVM degree.  It has helped me be prepared for so much and I’m very thankful for it.

6. What were you involved with at UVM?

Varsity Swimming, Water Polo

1. 10 years later, what are you up to (career, family, where you’ve lived, etc.)?

After graduation I received my master’s degree in interior design from the New England School of Art and Design at Suffolk University. For the past 9 years I have been working as an interior designer in Boston. I am currently working at Bergmeyer, an architecture firm, where I design higher education spaces at universities and colleges throughout New England.

I live just outside the city with my husband, Adam and my pit bull, Theodore Roosevelt Easterly.  I haven’t strayed too far from my home in Massachusetts but, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love where we live and I love working in the city.  My husband is from Kansas City so I have grown very familiar with the Midwest, a part of the country I never thought I would see.

2. What’s the best thing you’ve done in the last 10 years?

I hope this isn’t too pathetic of an answer but, rescuing my dog, Theo. It has been the absolute best experience.

I was never able to have pets growing up and I cannot believe that I made it 29 years without one. He has been through some pretty terrible experiences before he was rescued in Tennessee and he still manages to be a gentle, sweet boy. We can all learn a lesson or two from Theo.

3. Who is the one person you most want to see at Reunion (classmate, professor, etc.)?

My old BFF, Kyle Cieplicki. Remember me, Kyle??

4. Do you have a post-graduate tradition with your UVM friends? (ex. You get together at the beach each summer).

I wish I had a post-graduate tradition! I occasionally see alums that live in the Boston area, but outside of the local group, I haven’t seen anyone on a regular basis. I’m looking forward to catching up with a few roommates that I haven’t seen in 10 years.

5. How is your UVM degree relevant to your career?

I doubled majored in political science and studio art. (And much to everyone’s disappointment, I did not end up drawing political cartoons).

Although I did not put my poli sci background to use, I use my studio art degree every day in my design career.

6. What were you involved with at UVM?

I was involved in intramural sports and recreational partying. 51 Brookes Ave was pretty hopping from 2005-2007.

 

1. 10 years later, what are you up to (career, family, where you’ve lived, etc.)?

I can’t believe it’s been ten years! I live in Los Angeles, California where I’m the Division Manager for a Technology Recruiting Firm.

2. What’s the best thing you’ve done in the last 10 years?

I’ve done a lot of cool things the past ten years, but I guess I’m most proud of being promoted t to LA from our Boston location in 2010. The West Coast is awesome and I highly recommend more people move here. It’s 72 and Sunny every day.  I can’t believe I used to walk to class in -20 degree weather.

3. Who is the one person you most want to see at Reunion (classmate, professor, etc.)?

I want to see a Rise and Shiner Sandwich from KKD!!

4. Do you have a post-graduate tradition with your UVM friends? (ex. You get together at the beach each summer).

We try to see each other at Phish shows as much as possible. Whether it’s Seattle, San Diego or NYC, I’ll always see a post UVMer at a Phish show.

5. How is your UVM degree relevant to your career?

It’s not really relevant but I did need a degree to work for my current company!

6. What were you involved with at UVM?

I was on the UVM dance team for 4 years.  I was also part of the concert committee my freshman and sophomore years. I remember I decorated the dressing room for George Clinton, New Deal, Flaming Lips and Talib Kweli. That was pretty awesome. I miss UVM 🙁

 

If you liked these profiles and want to see some of your friends, refer a classmate or two. We’ll reach out to them and include them in the next post.

Customize Your Reunion Weekend

You probably got an email a few days ago asking you to save the date for Reunion weekend (October 6-8).

Well, we have a little follow-up for you in the form of a quick, 4-question survey. It will give us a sense of how you want to spend the weekend with your friends (and how you don’t want to spend the weekend).

It’s a great chance to customize some of the events for your class, so take 30 seconds and complete the survey.  Thanks!

And, if you aren’t planning to attend Reunion weekend, don’t worry. We have lots of great stuff to share throughout the spring and summer and a few ways you can participate from afar.

Alum Profiles, Part I

Here’s the first in a series of alum profiles leading up to your 10th year reunion.

Below are updates from Brad Duemmler, Tori Jones, Megan Pendleton, Sam Madden, and Alex Chigas.

Yes, many of you have been keeping up with each other on Facebook, but sometimes it’s nice to stop and reflect a bit on the last 10 years. We’ll take the slow path and try to feature as many of you as possible before October.

In that vein, if you want to see your friends in next month’s post, refer them by completing this quick form — it’s a great way to shine the spotlight on a good friend!

1. Ten years later, what are you up to?

I am a freelance music video and commercial Director/Cinematographer living and working in LA. I’ve been fortunate enough to collaborate with various artists including YG, Juicy J, Murs, Macy Gray and Snoop Dogg.

Currently, I’ve decided to take a step back from the music video and commercial world to focus on my first feature, titled AMAROQ (www.AmaroqMovie.com), which is scheduled to shoot this fall. The horror/thriller film follows five UVM grads who reunite, a few years out of school, to go big game hunting in the Canadian Yukon. However, the first night, their guide mysteriously abandons them, leaving the party of amateur hunters to recklessly trek deeper into the dense wilderness where they quickly become the hunted: by an ancient menace of the ferocious North known as the AMAROQ.

2. What’s the best thing you’ve done in the last ten years?

Man… I’m not really sure… I’m very thankful for quite a few projects. I’ve been the Director of Photography for Snoop Dogg’s GGN News the past 5 years which has been an incredible ride. I’ve had several short films win DGA awards and broadcast on HBO including (as writer) Without You (Director Adam Tyree) and (as Director of Photography) Fig (Director Ryan Coogler – Fruitvale Station, Creed, Black Panther).

As a Writer/Director, my feature script, DOGGED, placed in the top-8 of the Hollywood tracking Board Screenplay competition which really opened doors and ultimately led to the indie horror path I’m currently on.

3. Who is the one person you most want to see at Reunion?

The bartender at RJ’s who constantly bobs his head while making drinks.

4. Do you have a post-graduate tradition with your UVM friends?

We did, it’s very much fallen off of late as most friends are now married with kids.

5. How is your UVM degree relevant to your career?

I was a film theory major which got me into USC graduate school for film production and ultimately kick-started my career. I credit UVM for my filmmaking foundation. USC taught me the tools, but UVM taught me what to use them for.

6. What were you involved with at UVM?

I played club hockey. Lots of good friends from the team I’ve fallen out of touch with.

1. Ten years later, what are you up to?

The last 10 years have flown by! After graduation, I worked in Congressman Welch’s Burlington office for five years as a caseworker and community liaison. I had the opportunity to explore all corners of Vermont and be a liaison for Vermonters with the federal government. It was a challenging but very rewarding experience.

I now work in fundraising at Middlebury College where I supervise the student phonathon program, help the seniors fundraise for their class gift, and coordinate the post-50th reunion committees and their fundraising efforts.

In my free time, I enjoy skiing, hiking, biking, and adventuring. I moonlight as a spin instructor and I volunteer with EverybodyWins! as a reading buddy at the local elementary school.

2. What’s the best thing you’ve done in the last ten years?

Traveling to Vietnam and South Korea were two highlights. I visited Megan Pendleton ’07 and we had some incredible adventures. I’m looking forward to visiting her in Moscow next year!

3. Who is the one person you most want to see at Reunion?

 I can’t pick just one person but I hope the Orchard Terrace squad will be reunited! 

4. Do you have a post-graduate tradition with your UVM friends?

Our group gathered at our 5th reunion which was a blast and two summers ago we rented a house on Lake Fairlee, VT. We’re eager to get together again in October.

5. How is your UVM degree relevant to your career?

While I’m not using my ENVS degree at the moment, I wouldn’t be where I am were it not for the Rubenstein School. My first job in Congressman Welch’s office was a result of a job posting shared by Professor Deane Wang. The close community and best friends I made at UVM have enriched my life so much.

6. What were you involved with at UVM?

I was on the RSENR Student Advisory Board and volunteered with SEEDS (environmental education in BTV schools).

1. Ten years later, what are you up to?

I am completing my first year living and working in Moscow, Russia. I’m a middle school art teacher at the Anglo-American School of Moscow. I moved here last year following three years of teaching Art in Seoul, South Korea.

I guess you could say teaching has taken me to places I never expected to live. Moscow and Seoul are as different as Essex Junction and Washington, DC, two other towns that I’ve lived and taught Art in. I also spent two years teaching at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA.

2. What’s the best thing you’ve done in the last ten years?

The best thing I’ve done in the last 10 years would have to be attending President Obama’s First Inauguration. I’ll never forget the pride and electricity in the crowd that cold January day. We are so lucky to have had him for 8 solid years.

3. Who is the one person you most want to see at Reunion?

I would love to see my Education professor, Holly-Lynn Busier. She was a huge supporter of my pursuit of combining special education and art education. I will always appreciate her guidance and belief in me.

4. Do you have a post-graduate tradition with your UVM friends?

My college roommates (shout out to Hickok) and I have met up all over the country – from Austin, TX to Portland, OR.

I try to make a trip up to Burlington every summer. A picnic on the waterfront with Flatbreads is one of our traditions.

5. How is your UVM degree relevant to your career?

I majored in Art Education with a minor in Special Education. I’m an art teacher serving students from countries all around the world. I like to say we all have some form of special needs and I use my training from UVM in the classroom everyday.

The UVM Art Ed program was pivotal in opening my eyes to many different teaching venues – from museum education to after school programs.

6. What were you involved with at UVM?

At UVM I was part of the Ski & Snowboard Club, the Pottery Co-op, and the tennis program. And I never missed a hockey or basketball home game in 4 years 😉 Go Cats!

1.Ten years later, what are you up to?

Living and practicing law in Manhattan, after graduating from Fordham Law in Lincoln Center after UVM.   

2. What’s the best thing you’ve done in the last ten years?

 I play a lot of music (piano) when I’m not working.  That’s at least my favorite thing.  

3. Who is the one person you most want to see at Reunion?

 Mike Jones (my classmate, not the Texan rapper) 

4. Do you have a post-graduate tradition with your UVM friends?

Nothing official.  Random reunions on the East Coast and West Coast.  

5. How is your UVM degree relevant to your career?

It’s not!  

6. What were you involved with at UVM?

President of the Class of 2007, RA of the Live Music Floor and Orientation Leader.

Alexander Chigas

1.Ten years later, what are you up to?

10 years after college, I am a Financial Advisor, working with my father and brother at Morgan Stanley as The Chigas Group. Our family practice works with a select group of dedicated business professionals and their families to help achieve a high degree of financial security during their career and throughout their retirement. 

I currently live with my girlfriend, Cate, in Watertown, MA 

2. What’s the best thing you’ve done in the last ten years? 

I would have trouble choosing one thing that has been the best in the last 10 years. I have enjoyed traveling, I’ve worked some interesting jobs and I’ve grown as a person.

3. Who is the one person you most want to see at Reunion?

My friend Betsy Boppo

4. Do you have a post-graduate tradition with your UVM friends?

We all try to get together annually, rotating the city we meet in.

 6. What were you involved with at UVM?

Honor Society, Club Hockey, Club Lacrosse, Broomball (undefeated)

If you liked these profiles and want to see some of your friends, refer a classmate or two. We’ll reach out to them and include them in the next post.

A Virtual Tour of Campus

When you were students, the Davis Center construction was a big presence (and possible nuisance) on campus. Right now, central campus is undergoing its own major face lift with a new STEM building and residence hall.

So, we figured it would be nice to get your right into the heart of what’s changed in the past 10 years.

We shot a few 360 degree photos and dropped them into the Class of 2007 Facebook group. 

Check out the Class of 2007 Facebook group take a virtual look around.

Survey Results!

Thanks to everyone who completed the survey! There was some purely silly stuff in the survey, but a few of the questions will really help us tailor your Reunion experience to your class.

And congrats to Geoff Robinson, Emily Kilcoyne Maguire, William Goldberg, Morgan Hollister, and Elizabeth Fallon — they are the 5 lucky t-shirt winners.

Without further ado, here are the survey results.

Takeaway: You aren’t strangers to campus and Burlington.

Takeaway: Y’all are interesting.

Takeaway: Your class is definitely not averse to commitment.

Takeaway: You are ready to hop in your DeLorean, fire-up the flux capacitor, and hit 88 mph on your journey back to UVM.

Takeaway: Reunion = Hanging out with your friends, surrounded by delicious food and drink.

Takeaway: Your ideal UVM day involves getting out of bed at Redstone, heading to the Marche for breakfast, hitting the slopes, eating as much cheese as possible, and ending the night with a tasty sandwich downtown.