College of Education and Social Services
Campus scene with students walking on UVM Green near Waterman Building surrounded by fall foliage colors and Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains in the background.
CESS Newsletter: Fall 2022

Ella McCarthy Honored as VTAEYC Early Childhood Education Student of the Year

Ella McCarthy teaching student during internship at Essex Elementary School

Ella McCarthy says the most rewarding aspect of her time as a student is having the chance to give time back to the community while still learning. “The Early Childhood Education program puts a strong emphasis on family-centered learning," says the UVM senior from Barre, Vermont recently honored as the 2022 Early Childhood Education Student of the Year by the Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children.

"Professors and mentor teachers have made this experience the most fulfilling journey," she says. "They all truly want to prepare us for life in the field and honor who we are as individuals. I have been lucky to attend a small program because my relationships with faculty and students are so meaningful and real.”

When she graduates in December, McCarthy’s resume will a range of experiences in several community settings at the preschool, infant/toddler, and grade K-3 levels. “I feel passionate about entering the classroom and cannot wait to begin teaching full-time,” she says. “Ultimately, a dream of mine is to open a preschool center somewhere in Vermont and serve families of all backgrounds."

Full story


Outstanding Young Alumni Award Honoree Sarah Robinson Leads Anti-Violence Work in Vermont

Sarah Robinson speaking at UVM Alumni Awards Ceremony

"The idea of helping to create a violence-free world is really the thing that inspires me on a day-to-day basis," says Sarah Robinson, who serves as the Deputy Director of Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. "And the thing that keeps me going is the bravery and stories and activism of survivors who use their voice to tell their stories and make change in the world."

A 2012 graduate of UVM's Master of Social Work (MSW) program, Robinson strives to advance legislation and policy to address issues related to domestic and sexual violence. She also enjoys her role a field instructor working with emerging social workers as they're moving through their education and getting their training. 

2022 Outstanding Young Alumni Award: Sarah Robinson (Video)


Human Development and Family Science Program Welcomes New Scholars

Christine Proulx and Jaz Routon

Students interested in developing a deep interdisciplinary understanding of human development and how it informs skilled and ethical professional practice can pursue a Bachelor of Science or an 18-credit minor in the Human Development and Family Science program at UVM. 

We are pleased to welcome Dr. Chistine Proulx and Dr. Jaz Routon, who bring their unique backgrounds and nationally recognized scholarship to enhance the teaching, research, and service collaborations of the program. 

As a Gerontological Society of America Fellow with expertise on middle-aged and older adults, Proulx believes her research on aging, caregiving, relationships, and health can positively impact the residents of Vermont and surrounding states which have some of the oldest populations in the country. 

Routon's research focuses on deconstructing systems of oppression through capacity building strategies. They are passionate about combating social stigma against LGBTQ+ individuals and families to promote affirming stances.

Full story


Challenging Bias, Inequity, and Classism in Education

Brittany (Brit) Williams

"Beyond my interpersonal connections, UVM HESA and The Vermont Connection have strong national and international reputations, graduates who are doing field-altering and meaningful work, and a strong commitment to equity and justice,” says Dr. Brittany (Brit) M. Williams about what influenced her decision to relocate to Vermont and join the Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration program.

Williams' research provides insights and offers solutions for predominately white institutions to attract, recruit and retain students, faculty and staff of color.

As a 2022 National Academy of Education (NAEd)/ Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow, Williams studies Black college women and HIV/AIDS. Her advocacy work has appeared across the national stage in AIDS United, National Public Radio, Teach for America, the National Black Women’s Health Imperative, and the National Minority Aids Council.

Full story


Social Work Professor Leads Research on Prevention and Treatment of Substance Use Disorders

Jen Putney

The Department of Social Work is excited to welcome new full-time faculty member Dr. Jen Putney, whose expertise centers around two separate but related strains. “The first is the behavioral health risks and resilience among people of diverse sexualities and gender identities,” she explains, “and the second is substance use disorder prevention and treatment.”

Putney has received $5 million in external grant funding to support her work, and currently serves as Principal Investigator on the Simmons Opioid Workforce Expansion Project (OWEP) funded by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration. Her teaching practice prepares social work students to provide harm reduction services for people with substance use disorders. Given the opioid crisis, her aim is to help students develop the critical knowledge and skills for this important work, and in turn, increase access to care.

“I'm really looking forward to getting to know my students and colleagues here at UVM, and a rich exchange of ideas in which innovations in social work education and practice can flourish,” she says.

Full story


Counseling Program Welcomes Addition of New Faculty

Aishwarya Joshi and Nancy Thacker Darrow

Two prominent scholars will enhance the nationally accredited Counseling program's teaching, research, and service collaborations striving to improve the health and wellbeing of communities throughout Vermont. 

Dr. Aishwarya Joshi's expertise includes trauma-informed counseling practices, interdisciplinary integration of mental health services in public policies, and the globalization of the field of counseling and counselor education. 

Dr. Nancy Thacker Darrow specializes in grief and loss, LGBTQ+ persons’ mental health and development issues, affirming counseling methods, and equity practices in counseling and higher education.

"What piqued my interest and decision to join UVM was the Counseling program’s interdisciplinary approach to mental health education and its participatory action research initiatives supporting mental health access to diverse and marginalized populations in Vermont," Joshi says.

Full story


Teaching for Justice

Student and faculty in UVM's Teach for Justice Lab

“Young adolescents are developing a sense of self, autonomy, and empowerment, and they have an incredible ability to take action on issues that they see as socially unjust,” says Associate Professor Jessica DeMink-Carthew, who is passionate about social justice education and disrupting oppression in school systems.

Recently she launched UVM's Teach for Justice Lab with her Middle Level Education colleague, Dr. Kathleen Brinegar, to support social justice education in Vermont through curriculum development, advocacy, and scholarship. The lab a collective of UVM students, faculty, and partners who collaborate on social justice initiatives in local K-12 schools and organizations that serve youth. 

DeMink-Carthew also led the formation of a new professional development and research group called Teachers Disrupting for Equity that includes practicing educators around the country who engage in initiatives that aim to disrupt oppression in their school.

Full story


UVM Autism Collaborative Receives Funding for Rural Autism Outreach

Adulting helping a child on playground

“There needs to be a shift where autistic youth and adults guide how to best support them in being healthy and full members of society," says Liliane Savard, co-chair of the UVM Autism Collaborative. "Vermont will be a healthier community for all when we embrace diverse ways of being and thinking in addressing our societal challenges.”

The UVM Autism Collaborative is a joint project of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, UVM Center on Disability and Community Inclusion (CDCI) in the College of Education and Social Services, and the University of Vermont Medical Center.

Full story


College of Education and Social Services
309 Waterman Building 85 South Prospect Street
Burlington, VT 05401 USA

You received this email because you are subscribed to CESS Newsletter from College of Education and Social Services.

Update your email preferences to choose the types of emails you receive. Unsubscribe from all future emails

facebook facebook facebook facebook