Five Vermont Entrepreneurs Win Travel Awards to Attend SBIR Regional Summit

Thu, 10/20/2016 - 23:26
As part of VT EPSCoR's ongoing effort to build capacity for technology infrastructure, competitiveness and economic development throughout Vermont, travel awards for small businesses were offered for the first time in 2016 and resulted in 5 Vermont attendees at the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) New England Regional Summit in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The summit was held on October 6, 2016, with a pre-conference networking held on October 5, 2016.

The summit was held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The pre-conference event on October 5th focused on networking to increase engagement for female innovators and entrepreneurs. The theme of the full-day conference on October 6th was "Connecting New England Innovation Ecosystem Leaders, Entrepreneurs, Technologists, Investors, and SBIR/STTR Federal Funding Decision Makers."

The five travel awardees included:
Christian Fayomi of Synapse IC, LLC in Winooski, Vermont, who is currently working to create a low-cost method of sensing and detecting urinary incontinence to help those who suffer from this condition.

Stephen Guerrera, Bill Parker, and Julie Parker of the Creative Microsystems Corporation. The company is focused on fields including augmented reality, advanced vision, situational awareness, and data communications.

Ting Tan is an assistant professor in the University of Vermont's College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, who is currently involved in NASA's flexible thermal protection systems project and whose long-term research is focused on understanding the creation of novel materials and structures.

VT EPSCoR also offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to compete for seed funding of up to $15,000 through its SBIR Phase (0) awards intended to help be more competitive for federal SBIR/STTR competitions. More information may be found here:

For more information about the SBIR conference please visit:

To learn more about the SBIR program, please visit:

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Vermont EPSCoR Hosts Workshop at 18th Annual "Women Can Do STEM & Trades" Conference

Thu, 10/20/2016 - 23:26
Vermont EPSCoR conducted a macroinvertebrate identification workshop during a career immersion event for high school girls from across Vermont on October 13, 2016. The 18th annual "Women Can Do STEM & Trades" Conference was organized by Vermont Works for Women at Vermont Technical College. Held in Randolph, Vermont, about 90 participants attended.

Livia Donicova and Janel Roberge, VT EPSCoR Center for Workforce Development and Diversity (CWDD) members, led a "Let's Bug Out" workshop during the conference. The workshop allowed attendees to identify three different macroinvertebrates using microscopes and dichotomous keys. Students and teachers who were interested in learning more were provided with information about Vermont EPSCoR's high school and scholarship programs.

The Women Can Do STEM & Trades Conference is expected to return for a 19th annual event in the fall of 2017, and members from Vermont EPSCoR expect to participate in that event as well.
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Kyle Dash of Moretown wins $5000 scholarship - Stowe Today

Thu, 10/20/2016 - 23:26

Kyle Dash of Moretown wins $5000 scholarship
Stowe Today
Kyle Dash of Moretown, a freshman who's majoring in environmental science at Castleton University, has received a $5,000 first-generation scholarship for the current academic year. EPSCoR, an initiative of the National Science Foundation, stands for ...

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Betts Receives 2016 Bert Bolin Global Environmental Focus Group Award - Eos

Fri, 10/14/2016 - 08:33


Betts Receives 2016 Bert Bolin Global Environmental Focus Group Award
Alan Betts's research “has been transformative by providing a new understanding of one of the fundamental climate processes—land-atmospheric coupling and how it varies from the diurnal to monthly time scale, with land cover, and how it may vary under ...

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Lake Champlain water levels dip toward history

Sun, 10/09/2016 - 02:12

Lake Champlain water levels dip toward history
Adding to the shifting numeric sands: Sea levels have never been constant, said Mike Winslow, a writer and longtime lake scientist who now works with the Vermont Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, based at St. Michael's College in ...

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UVM President and Provost Dedicate Display Celebrating Faculty Talent and Achievement

Wed, 10/05/2016 - 14:09

President Tom Sullivan and Provost David Rosowsky unveiled a new permanent display on Tuesday afternoon showcasing the university's most accomplished faculty. The display is located on the third floor of the Waterman Building near the registrar's office.

The display highlights faculty who have been named University Distinguished Professors and lists all of UVM's endowed professors and Kroepsch-Maurice winners.

More than 35 people attended the dedication, including many of the University Distinguished Professors who were being honored.

"We are here today to celebrate the talent of our faculty," Sullivan said in opening remarks. "The teacher-scholar model has a long history at UVM and, over the years, a great many students have learned from faculty who are not only engaging teachers, but distinguished scholars, researchers and creative artists, as well. Today we're celebrating the most accomplished of these teachers-scholars, acknowledging both their contribution to the discovery and the creation of new knowledge and the deep connections they have made with their students. The contributions and accomplishments of our faculty have a direct effects on our students' success."

Rosowsky acknowledged the key role associate provost Jim Vigoreaux played in conceiving of and creating the display, which was strategically located in a hallway in the Waterman Building with a high volume of foot traffic, he added. "This is a building that welcomes the entire university. It has become a place where we celebrate and recognize excellence," he said, noting that other displays celebrating University Scholars and UVM staff achievement have recently been mounted in the same Waterman hallway. "It is becoming a very important point for the university, where we all come together and walk through these halls and, hopefully, have occasion to look up and realize that there are a lot of really talented people giving an enormous amount to the university."

The rank of University Distinguished Professor is the highest academic honor that the University of Vermont can bestow upon a member of the faculty. Holders of this title are recognized as not only having achieved international eminence within their respective fields of study but for the truly transformative nature of their contributions to the advancement of knowledge.

These faculty, whose names, titles and photographs appear on the new display, currently include:

Ralph Budd
University Distinguished Professor
Director of the Vermont Center for Immunology and Infectious Diseases

Rex L. Forehand
Heinz and Rowena Ansbacher Professor of Psychology and
University Distinguished Professor
Director of Clinical Training

Major Jackson
Richard Dennis Green and Gold Professor of English and
University Distinguished Professor of English

Jerold F. Lucey
University Distinguished Professor
of Pediatrics

Wolfgang Mieder
University Distinguished Professor
of German and Folklore

Brooke T. Mossman
University Distinguished Professor
of Pathology

Mark T. Nelson
Chairman and University Distinguished Professor
of Pharmacology

Judith L. Van Houten
George H. Perkins Professor of Biology and
University Distinguished Professor

Susan S. Wallace
University Distinguished Professor
of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

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NSF EPSCoR Outreach Procedure

Wed, 10/05/2016 - 14:09
Outreach is an essential component of NSF EPSCoR's investment strategies which seeks to strengthen the academic research competitiveness of EPSCoR institutions by informing the EPSCoR community of NSF strategic priorities, policies, and funding opportunities. Outreach also acquaints NSF staff of the science, engineering and education accomplishments resulting from EPSCoR funded projects.

In FY17, the NSF EPSCoR Outreach Coordinator is Elizabeth (Liz) Lawrence. The below link provides the NSF EPSCoR Outreach procedure with the contacted information for Liz Lawrence. Please submit requests, consistent with the procedures, to Liz with a copy to your cognizant Program Officer.
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Highlights of the visit to Universidad Metropolitana and Universidad del Turabo of Dr. Veronica Sosa from University of Vermont

Wed, 10/05/2016 - 14:09
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NSF announces $55 million toward national research priorities

Mon, 10/03/2016 - 13:19
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has made 11 awards totaling $55 million aimed at building research capacity to address fundamental questions about the brain and develop new innovations at the intersection of food, energy and water systems.

The cooperative agreements are through NSF's Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) as part of its Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) Track-2 investment strategy. RII Track-2 builds national research strength by initiating collaborations across institutions in two or more EPSCoR jurisdictions. These four-year awards support 27 institutions in 18 eligible jurisdictions.

"These awards represent a tremendous value for the scientific community, as they foster research into some of the most pressing issues facing U.S. society while simultaneously supporting collaborative research programs and workforce development," said Denise Barnes, head of NSF EPSCoR. "Whether by expanding our knowledge of the brain, or by improving how our water, food and energy systems work efficiently together, these projects hold the promise of transforming our daily lives."

The RII Track-2 awards support research while also requiring award recipients to invest in developing a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce -- particularly of early-career faculty researchers.
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Grant Writing "Brown Bag" seminar series.

Mon, 10/03/2016 - 09:09
This monthly forum is designed for a wide range of UVM faculty and staff interested in discussing grant writing best practices. We will cover topics ranging from the procedural aspects of submitting a grant, to tips for finding funding, and practical approaches for improving the clarity of your writing.

The main focus of the series content will be on improving the narrative/text components of a grant proposal. If you are involved in pre-award grant preparation, please consider joining in the conversation. A variety of perspectives and experiences will enrich the discussion.

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Daniel Cliché Receives STEM Scholarship - Caledonian Record

Mon, 10/03/2016 - 09:09

Caledonian Record

Daniel Cliché Receives STEM Scholarship
Caledonian Record
Daniel Cliché, of Gilman, was recently chosen to receive a First-Generation Scholarship from the VT EPSCoR Center for Workforce Development and Diversity (CWDD) at Saint Michael's College. Cliché is a recent graduate of Lyndon Institute and is pursuing ...

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The Outside Story: Dry run - Bennington Banner (subscription)

Thu, 09/29/2016 - 12:41

The Outside Story: Dry run
Bennington Banner (subscription)
According to Lesley-Ann Dupigny-Giroux, a University of Vermont professor and state climatologist, persistence is the difference between drought and other weather conditions. "Even if we got five inches of rain, it wouldn't take us out of drought ...

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Expect the Unexpected: Climatologist Alan Betts explains how climate variability will affect winters across the world - Backcountry

Thu, 09/29/2016 - 11:00


Expect the Unexpected: Climatologist Alan Betts explains how climate variability will affect winters across the world
In the October issue of Backcountry Magazine, atmospheric scientist Alan Betts talks about the implications of climate change on wintertime precipitation in Japan. And while the status of Japan's snow is important, it's part of a larger global-climate ...

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Three Ways of Looking at the Lake: Teams of UVM Researchers Work to Diagnose and Improve Conditions in Lake Champlain

Tue, 09/27/2016 - 22:15
In Willsboro Bay, about nine miles out from Burlington Harbor,
Tori Pinheiro hangs over the gunwale of the UVM research
vessel Melosira and stares down into black water. Like the huge
gray eye of a sea monster, a round concrete weight appears out of
the depths. The steel cable from the boat's trawling winch keeps
turning and the hundred-pound weight emerges into morning
sunshine, dripping. From its underbelly, another line still dangles
into the water. Pinheiro, a research technician, hauls the line, and
pulls onto the deck a slimy-looking black canister the size of a large
water bottle. "This is it," she says, as she turns to a laptop computer
sitting on a fish-dissecting table in the middle of the deck, "one of
our twenty-seven receivers. There's months of data in there."
Categories: Latest News

Donna Rizzo Inducted into the Vermont Academy of Arts and Sciences

Tue, 09/20/2016 - 13:48

Professor and Vermont EPSCoR researcher earns recognition for service in the field of arts and science.

September 20, 2016

Donna Rizzo, PhD, a Professor at the University of Vermont (UVM) and faculty researcher with Vermont EPSCoR, was inducted into the Vermont Academy of Arts and Sciences (VAAS) on Saturday, September 17th.

VAAS reported that "Dr. Rizzo was nominated because of the quality of her teaching and service as evidenced by all of the awards she has received at UVM. The Trustees were also excited to hear about her research, particularly her work on the problem of pollution in ground water. Her nominator mentioned that she is "...a superb teacher and mentor, inspiring many students, especially women, to carry on careers in engineering" and that "[she is] a critical part of Vermont EPSCoR that is focusing its attention on the health of Lake Champlain."

Dr. Rizzo has performed research focused on the development of new computational tools that are designed to help understand the full impact of human-induced climate change on Vermont's natural systems. She has served as a faculty member in the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (CEMS) at UVM since 2002, where she has worked on a number of different computational approaches to environmental problems.

Created in 1965, the VAAS is designed to foster a greater participation in both the arts and the world of science in the state of Vermont. Prior to her appointment at UVM, Dr. Rizzo taught English to children in Germany and received her Masters of Fine Art in Studio Art at the University of Florence in Italy. On the science side of things, she received a BS in civil engineering and a Master's degree in the field before becoming the first graduate of the Civil & Environmental Engineering PhD program at UVM.

Several distinguished members of the UVM community were also present for Dr. Rizzo's induction, including Lesley-Ann Dupigny-Giroux, PhD, the Chair of the Department of Geography and Judith Van Houten, VT State EPSCoR Director and University Distinguished Professor. Dr. Dupigny-Giroux introduced Susan Wallace, PhD, the Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at UVM, who was also inducted into VAAS.

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2017 - 2018 Vermont EPSCoR SBIR/STTR Phase (0) Awards

Tue, 09/20/2016 - 13:48
Vermont EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) has supported research at Vermont's colleges and universities with funds from the National Science Foundation and local sources since 1986. The impact of the EPSCoR program also includes the private sector - particularly small, technology-based businesses.

Vermont EPSCoR will once again provide the opportunity for Vermont small businesses to compete for awards to foster research and development projects which will lead to applications to federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

Program Overview
The main goal of the Vermont EPSCoR Phase (0) solicitation is to identify proposals that show promise for success in federal SBIR/STTR competitions and that would benefit from financial support and reviewer comments. As such, each proposal should identify at least one federal SBIR/STTR program to which the work is targeted.

* Business must be registered in Vermont.

* The maximum amount of each SBIR/STTR Phase (0) award is 15,000.

* Funding may not be used to support Masters Students' salaries.

* Multiple-year Vermont EPSCoR Phase (0) awardees must take a 1 year break from submission after their third consecutive successful award.

* Awards contingent upon NSF funding for Vermont EPSCoR.

* One award will also be made in areas of interest to NASA using NASA-EPSCoR funds. To show that an area is of interest to NASA, the PI should identify their proposed project with a new or continuing NASA research priority or technology need. This can be done by reference to a URL on a NASA website or by including an email of support from a NASA contact. The project has to include a full-time faculty researcher at a Vermont college or university as a collaborator. Only NASA projects carry this requirement.

VAAS Fellows must have made an extraordinary contribution to the arts, humanities, science, or teaching, per the organization's guidelines. These contributions must have a demonstrable impact on life within the state of Vermont.

For more information about VAAS, please visit
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Mike Winslow named Coordinator, VT EPSCoR Center for Workforce Development & Diversity at Saint Michael's College

Tue, 09/20/2016 - 13:48
VT EPSCoR is very happy to welcome Mike Winslow as the Coordinator of the VT EPSCoR Center for Workforce Development & Diversity at Saint Michael's College(CWDD).

Mike has an outstanding career in environmental advocacy, research and teaching. For the past 15 years, he worked as a staff scientist for the Lake Champlain Committee and authored Lake Champlain: A Natural History.

He holds a MS in Botany from the University of Vermont and a BS from St. Lawrence University in Biology/Environmental Studies.

Mike has served on numerous community area committees, and prior to his work with the Lake Champlain Committee, Mike worked for many years in the field of education as a classroom science teacher.

Dr. Judith Van Houten, VT State EPSCoR Director, is pleased to welcome Mike to his new position. "We are thrilled that Mike has joined our efforts and look forward to the perspective that he will bring to the program."

Mike can be reached at

Please join in welcoming Mike Winslow to VT EPSCoR!
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UVM Spinoff Company Honored as One of Nation's Top Start-Ups at Washington, DC, Ceremony - UVM News

Tue, 09/20/2016 - 13:48

UVM Spinoff Company Honored as One of Nation's Top Start-Ups at Washington, DC, Ceremony
UVM News
GreenScale Ryan McDevitt, co-founder and lead R&D engineer for GreenScale Technologies of South Burlington, Vt., discusses an element of the miniaturized propulsion system for small satellites he developed in partnership with his former doctoral ...

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Eight Students Awarded VT EPSCoR Native American and First-Generation College Student Scholarships.

Mon, 09/19/2016 - 07:46

Students Receive a Total of $40,000 in Scholarships for STEM Scholarships

Eight Vermont college students received a total of $40,000 in VT EPSCoR Native American and First-Generation College Student Scholarships for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) at the Vermont State House.

Patricia Moulton, then Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, presented the students with their awards and encouraged them to consider a career in Vermont. The location in front of Vermont's capital city of Montpelier served as a reminder to students of the many career opportunities available to them in the state. Initiatives such as this scholarship program serve to help improve the quality of the STEM workforce in Vermont.

The VT EPSCoR Center for Workforce Development and Diversity (CWDD) at Saint Michael's College offers these scholarships on an annual basis as a way of encouraging a diverse range of students to pursue STEM careers. The competitive scholarships help to defray college expenses and enable young Vermonters to pursue degrees and careers focused on STEM fields.

Each of the students selected for a scholarship has shown an interest in pursuing a STEM career and is either of Native American ancestry or the first in their family to attend a four-year college. Individual recipients received a $5,000 award that ensures that these Vermont students will attend a Vermont college or university in the coming academic year, either as new attendees or returning undergraduates.

The scholarships are awarded based on academic standing, an essay written by the students, and letters of recommendation. For more information about this scholarship opportunity or to apply, visit .

2016 Scholarship Awardees:

Emily Cass is the recipient of a First-Generation Scholarship. A recent graduate of Randolph Union High School, she is currently pursuing a degree in mathematics at the University of Vermont.

Daniel Cliche was chosen to receive a First-Generation Scholarship. He is a graduate of Lyndon Institute and is pursuing a major in environmental engineering at the University of Vermont.

Joshua Dam received a First-Generation Scholarship. A graduate of Vergennes Union High School, he is currently attending the University of Vermont in pursuit of a degree in civil engineering.

Kyle Dash is the recipient of a First-Generation Scholarship and is a graduate of Harwood Union High School. He is currently attending Castleton College and plans to major in environmental science.

Steven Gilbeau was chosen for a First-Generation Scholarship. He is currently continuing his education at the Community College of Vermont and plans to pusure an associate's degree in STEM studies.

Ena Ibrisimovic is a recipient of a First-Generation Scholarship and is currently enrolled at the University of Vermont. A graduate of Burlington High School, she is currently seeking a chemistry major.

Bridget Kimsey received a Native American Scholarship. Having completed a Bachelor's in Fine Arts at New York University in 1997, she is not enrolled at the Community College of Vermont, which she plans to use as a springboard into conducting research in pathology.

Erikka Sherman is the recipient of a Native American Scholarship. She graduated from Missisquoi Valley Union High School and is a junior at Saint Michael's College, where she plans to major in mathematics and elementary education.

Applications for 2017 scholarship will open in November 2016. The deadline for applications is April 1, 2017. For more information, please contact:

The Vermont EPSCoR Center for Workforce Development and Diversity (CWDD)
One Winooski Park, Box 137
Saint Michael's College
Colchester, Vermont 05439

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Veronica Sosa-Gonzalez Discusses Internship Opportunities with Several Puerto Rico Universities

Mon, 09/12/2016 - 21:22

On September 6-9 Vermont EPSCoR's CWDD Outreach Team Leader Veronica Sosa-Gonzalez delivered talks to several universities in Puerto Rico. She talked to about 150 students at the University of Puerto Rico - Rio Piedras, 40 at Universidad del Este, 70 at Universidad Metropolitana and 20 at Universidad del Turabo.

Veronica discussed Vermont EPSCoR summer internship opportunities as well as her experiences as a graduate student. Each talk encouraged students to get a doctoral degree and to pursue a career in a STEM field.
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