College of Education and Social Services
Tulips blossoming on the UVM Green
CESS Newsletter: Spring 2023

UVM Launches New PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision Program

Nancy Thacker Darrow, Aishwarya Joshi, Lance Smith, Jane Okech, and Julie Welkowitz

To address the nationwide shortage of clinical mental health counselors and school counselors, UVM is launching a new PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision. “We see the addition of our PhD program as an opportunity to help our field meet the mental health needs of our communities,” says Program Coordinator Nancy Thacker Darrow. 

Students will work alongside internationally accomplished faculty with expertise in a variety of research, clinical, and supervisory areas. The program includes built-in systems for mentorship, internships, and opportunities to collaborate on research and scholarship. An emphasis on equity and social justice will prepare students to meet the needs of underserved communities.

Core faculty joining Thacker Darrow to lead the new program are Drs. Aishwarya Joshi, Jane Okech, Lance Smith, and Julie Welkowitz. Scholars will also be supported by a network of collaborators across UVM and throughout the state.

Story: UVM Launches PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision


Teachers Inspire

Colin Hencke and Ben Stewart
Inspired by influential educators when they were growing up, Colin Henke and Ben Stewart are fulfilling their aspirations to teach as interns at Burlington High School. 
“What drew me here is the relationships our university has with the community, especially the connection between the local schools and CESS,” says Henke. "I have seen how vast the teaching field is and the many opportunities available.”
Stewart plans to teach at the secondary or post-secondary level and conduct research in history and education. Henke will utilize his teaching skills working with students on semester-at-sea programs. 

Story: Teachers Inspire


Paying It Forward

Franky Bahati

Throughout her youth, Franky Bahati frequently connected with UVM through her involvement in the DREAM Program“All roads led to being at our beautiful campus,” she says.

With help from the Catamount Commitment, Bahati's dream became reality. “Being the first to graduate college is the highest honor I could bring to my Burundi family,” says the social work major. 

Through her senior internship, Bahati provides support and inspiration for youth in the same school district she once attended. Serving as an AmeriCorps member of the DREAM Program, she also runs an after-school program that helps high school students learn how to become mentors for younger students.

Story: Paying It Forward


An Extraordinary Force of Goodness

Sarah Bassett

“Being there to provide that wraparound support for young children and families during some of the most transformative years of their lives is what makes early childhood education so special,” says Sarah Bassett about her field experiences in early childhood education over the past four years. “We get to know them, and we get to make an impact on them during years that really matter.”

The four-year Presidential Scholarship recipient credits each experience for supporting her growth as a teacher and helping her open doors in the field. Bassett received UVM's Student Leadership in Community-Engaged Learning Award, and she recently accepted a first-grade teaching position at Mater Christi School in Burlington.

"As someone who will be graduating soon, I think about my choice to come here, and it was hands down one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life," she says.

Story: An Extraordinary Force of Goodness


UVM Featured in Social Work Advocates Magazine

Jan Fook

The latest edition of Social Work Advocates features the work of faculty leading UVM's transformative social work programs. Highlighted in the article are initiatives connected with faculty members' international perspectives and their expertise in areas such as gerontology, mental health, substance use prevention, and trauma.

Department Chairperson Jan Fook says the focus on "transformative social work" is guided by critical social constructionism emphasizing social justice and social equity. Faculty prepare students for social work practice to address human service needs, particularly the needs of vulnerable populations, utilizing strengths-based practices and relational understandings that support human rights and human dignity.

Two faculty members in the department are co-editors of a new book titled Academic Practice in Transformative Social Work to be published by Columbia University Press. 

Full story in Social Work Advocates


From STEM Scholars to STEM Educators

Noyce Scholars

“Young people are curious and eager," says UVM Noyce Scholar Clarissa Gold. "It is invigorating to be around them. Students have all of these burning questions about the nature of science. They are constantly asking ‘why does this happen?’ These are the conversations I want to spend my life participating in throughout my career.” 

The National Science Foundation’s Robert Noyce Scholarship Program strives to address the shortage of highly qualified highly qualified science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) and computer science teachers in high need school districts.

Through UVM's Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program, students pursue one-year licensure pathways in Middle Level Education or Secondary Education. Teaching licensure options are based on a student's previous education/degree. Both pathways offer tuition scholarships and full-year teaching internships supported by nationally recognized faculty and local professionals. 

Story: From STEM Scholars to STEM Educators


Doctoral Scholarships Awarded to Vermont School Leaders

Monica Desroches and Andrew Conforti

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies doctoral students Monica Desrochers and Andrew Conforti received scholarships from UVM in recognition of their outstanding leadership in Vermont public schools.

As the Addison Northwest School District Recovery Coordinator for Equity and Inclusion, Desrochers facilitates student support and works to target and diminish exclusionary practices, which is also the focus of her research. 

As Principal of Colchester High School, Conforti focuses on amplifying student voices and deepening the school's commitment to social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Story: Vermont School Leaders Awarded Doctoral Scholarships


Students Showcase STEM Skills at Science Olympiad

Students competing in Vermont Science Olympiad events

High school students from across the state came to the UVM campus to compete in the 2023 Vermont Science Olympiad. The tournament included events across a variety of academic disciplines over a full day in the labs and classroom spaces of Discovery Hall and Innovation Hall.

“This year we expanded on that to include Science Sparks presenters during the tournament day to connect participants to the STEM work occurring here at UVM,” said UVM 4-H Teen and Leadership Specialist Lauren Traister. “I was profoundly grateful that graduate students and faculty across a variety of disciplines volunteered to share their work, show off their labs, and answer questions."

Organizers were excited to see additional schools enter this year's competition, and State Tournament Director Leon Walls believes that trend will continue with more schools getting involved in the years ahead. 

Story: Students Showcase STEM Skills at Vermont Science Olympiad


Human Development and Family Science Faculty Earn National Recognition 

Christine Proulx and Jaz Routon

The National Council on Family Relations recently honored two faculty members in UVM's Human Development and Family Science Program. Christine Proulx was recognized for excellence in mentoring students and colleagues. Jaz Routon received an award for their study examining how rural community characteristics impact stakeholder efforts to address the needs of unstably housed sexual and gender minority (SGM) individuals and families.  

Story: HDFS Faculty Honored by National Council on Family Relations



Special Education M.Ed. Coursework Now Available Fully Online 

Keegan Bliss

Coursework in UVM's nationally accredited Special Education Master's Degree Program is fully accessible online. Students are welcome to design an individualized plan aligned with their professional interests and career goals. The program features a rigorous curriculum and community-based internships supported by nationally recognized faculty and experienced professionals in the field.

Students can choose a licensure or non-licensure pathway. An accelerated master's pathway is available for current UVM undergraduates.

Reciprocity agreements allow graduates to gain licensure in states throughout the country. Graduate tuition scholarship opportunities are available for qualified candidates. 

Learn more about the Online Special Education M.Ed.


More News

UVM Alum Honored as National PE Teacher of the Year

Leon Walls Named as Gund Institute Catalyst Award Winner

UVM Launches PhD in Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Health and Inclusive Education (SHIE)n

Making a Difference Through Social Work

Doctoral Program Graduates Receive Prelock Online Teaching Awards

State Collaborates with UVM and VSAC on Loan Repayment Program

Registration is Open for CESS Summer Courses

Refer a Catamount Program

Center on Disability and Community Inclusion (CDCI) News & Events


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