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Winter 2009- 2010 I am continually amazed by all the teaching, research, and service accomplished in our department and by our amazing alumni who remain in Vermont or move to work and contribute to places far from our state. As the semester begins, 18 UVM students are settling into life and learning in Belize as part of the department’s Semester Abroad Program in Sustainable Development. In addition, students are returning from service-learning in St. Lucia and preparing for service-learning in Dominica and Honduras. Because many of the contributions of this department to the communities of Vermont normally flies under the radar, we focus this edition to shedding light on our more local initiatives. - Jane Kolodinsky, January 22, 2010

Taking the Initiative

Contributing in VT’s Mad River Valley

Photo: Chip Sawyer

CDAE’s faculty and students are not your typical academics- they keep one foot firmly grounded in the real world. Center for Rural Studies Project Manager and CDAE Lecturer Chip Sawyer and his students are no exception. Last semester, the 14 undergraduate and graduate students in Sawyer’s CDAE 295: SL Local Community Initiatives course worked with organizations in Vermont’s Mad River Valley to learn from and contribute to grassroots efforts to envision and create a sustainable future for Valley communities. Ginny McGinn, deputy director of the Center for Whole Communities, with students on September 16, 2009.

What unfolded over the course of the semester has left students and community partners satisfied with the effort and the outcomes. “All the stars aligned for this class. Students and our community partners were motivated and open to this partnership throughout the semester,” says Sawyer. continued on page 4...

Community Development and Applied Economics Department at the University of Vermont | 802.656.2001 |

Photo: Anna Masozera

A Window into Service-Learning

Sarah Weintraub ‘08, Shaun Gilpin ‘09, and Logan Zingus ‘09 staff the Mobile Home Project of the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity and now professionally partner with courses in which themselves were very recently students.

From the S-L Classroom to Career Community and International Development (CID) major and minor alumni are sprinkled throughout Vermont’s state agencies and non-profit organizations. Mere months after graduation, they impress their employers with their depth of knowledge of the challenges and opportunities that face Vermont communities. Take housing for example. There are currently five recent CID alumni working at the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity and another working at the Housing Resource Center, just to name a few close by. “I never thought I would be spending all of my time thinking and working on mobile homes,” reflects Sarah Weintraub (CID ‘08), now Director of the CVOEO Mobile Home Project in which all three current employees are CID alumni. “There are 250 mobile home communities in Vermont and they are an important part of affordable rural housing in this state.” Shaun Gilpin (CID ‘09), shares Weintraub’s enthusiasm for his position as . “The small size of Vermont makes it a great place to get involved. I’ve worked both at the Statehouse with lawmakers and with residents in mobile home communities,” Gilpin says. Four years wouldn’t seem like much time to integrate oneself fully into a new geographic, social and political area, but CID students don’t see this as a barrier to getting out there. Logan Zingus (CID ‘09), originally from Australia and now Energy Efficiency Coordinator with the Mobile Home Project, doesn’t see it as a barrier. “CID courses seemed general and broad, but we were learning tools and skills that are really valuable in the field,” Zingus says. “I didn’t know it at the time, but I was learning skills like public speaking that I use all the time now.” Weintraub, Gilpin, and Zingus didn’t end up interested in and working on mobile homes by coincidence. In fact, it’s something they started doing together while they were still students. Last fall, CDAE 251 SL: Contemporary Policy Issues & Community Development was the third course to participate in the a multi-year communitybased action research project in the town of Starksboro’s three mobile home park communities. And now Weintraub, Gilpin, and Zingus represent one of the community partners for that course and the complementary course CDAE 273 SL: Project Development & Planning, taught alternately with CDAE 251. “It’s interesting that this time last year I was in that class. This year, it’s really cool to see when the cylinders are firing and sparks are flying for students. They’re really learning,” reflects Gilpin. The CVOEO Mobile Home Project is the primary community partner, and continued on next page...

additional partners include the Brookside Resident Association, Town of Starksboro Planning Commission, Starksboro Art and Soul Planning Committee, Hinesburg Affordable Housing Task Force, and Housing Foundation, Inc. Students are working on many aspects of community development in mobile home park communities ranging from conducting a park community survey in Hinesburg to creating a community plan for a mobile home park in Starksboro. “Partnering with these courses allows us to do deeper work with communities,” Weintraub says. The partnership is roughly on a three-year plan. The first fall, students in CDAE 273 plan and conduct community surveys in a mobile home park. The following fall in CDAE 251, students turn the survey results into a mobile home park profile and hold a community meeting to discuss it. The following year, students in CDAE 251 work to put the survey and additional community input into a detailed community plan. “One of the exciting parts to this collaboration is that through this process resident associations have been formed that then become the primary partner for the classes. The positive ripple effect of coordinated long-term course involvement is evident in those that have come before and those that are yet to take CDAE 251 and 273 and an approach that the larger CDAE department is adopting in curriculum beyond the Community and International Development major.

CDAE Students Carry On Burlington Winter Festival Tradition by Gabrielle Connelly, ‘10 public communication major

CDAE’s service-learning event planning class is held during winter session, providing students with hands on experience and giving them the opportunity to work closely with community partners. The festival will be held Saturday, Feb. 6. This year’s activities include the internationally sanctioned Snow Sculpting Competition, an Ice Walk, a snowman garden in City Hall Park, live music, and a rail jam downtown. Other activities include a Family Activity Fair at ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center, Kids VT Camp and School Fair at the Hilton, Special Olympics Vermont Penguin Plunge, and dog-sled rides at the Waterfront. Volunteers for the event are still being recruited. If you are interested in becoming a part of this community tradition, send an email to More info at

‘09-’10 CUPS Faculty Fellows Assistant Professor Tao Sun and Adjunct Lecturer Anna Masozera were accepted as CUPS Faculty Fellows for Service Learning for this academic year. Previous CUPS Faculty Fellows in CDAE include Drs. Asim Zia, Thomas Patterson, Joshua Farley, Daniel Baker, and Kathleen Liang.

Photo: Church Street Marketplace

Over the past few years, the Burlington Winter Festival has made a place for itself in the heart of CDAE. After city budget cuts posed a threat to the long-running festival in 2007, the department began coordinating the festival in partnership with the Burlington Parks and Recreation Department and the Church Street Marketplace. Again this year, the planning of the event has been put into the hands of the CDAE department.

Leunig’s Bistro’s sponsored Ice Sculpture from Burlington’s 2008 Winter Festival Ice Walk

Spring ‘10 SL Courses CDAE 106/295 SL: Renewable Energy Workshop (Dominica) CDAE 124 SL: Public Communication Media CDAE 171 SL: Community and International Economic Transformation (Honduras) CDAE 195/295 SL: Prep for Field Work in Honduras CDAE 195 SL: Application of Sustainable Development (Belize) CDAE 195 SL: Media Production for Social Change CDAE 195 SL: Writing for Social Change CDAE 195 SL: Migrant Hispanic Farm Workers in VT CDAE 291 SL: Community and International Development (Honduras) CDAE 295 SL: Public Communication Capstone CDAE 295 SL: Strategic Web Development for PCom CDAE 295 SL: Sustainable Development Policy

Specific community partners for last semester included the Valley Futures Network and the Mad River Valley Planning District. One student group was focused on an analysis of the organization and structure of the Valley Futures Network. Another group worked with the Mad River Path Association to examine membership, fundraising, and grant-writing efforts. Students in this group compared and contrasted similar initiatives throughout the US to gain insight into best practices associated with membership drives and member satisfaction and retention. A third group compiled a list of local renewable energy systems. “The renewable energy community in the Mad River Valley is active Students working on local renewable energy sources meet with and engaged,” stated Jay Taylor (UVM ‘10). “The Valley residents community members on September 16, 2009. that we have interacted with are all very enthusiastic about their renewable and alternative energy systems and they have been a pleasure to work with.” His groupmate, Joe Adams (UVM ‘11) added, “the Valley’s enthusiasm for renewable energy has made our project rewarding.”

Photo: Chip Sawyer

Continued from Page 1.

Students and Sawyer discussed the course and the partnership on the Mark Johnson Show in November (http://www. published on 11/30) and presented their findings to the larger community in December at the Warren School. Each group gave a presentation on their project, how they approached the work and their findings and results. The community partners were visibly impressed and enthusiastic. This was also used as an opportunity for the students to take partner questions and comments on their work. That input was incorporated into the final products and reports, which were delivered to the community partners a week later. In the end it was evident that the work of the students would contribute to the momentum of the community projects - the organizational discussion of the structure of the Valley Futures Network, the plans of the Mad River Path Association to bolster their membership, and the work of Mad River Valley Energy Committee to promote renewable energy in the valley. The students left with the feeling that they had made a substantial contribution to local community initiatives in the Mad River Valley. Community partners are eager to repeat the class next fall. And there are even more potential community partners showing interest, now that they have seen the class in action in the valley. Over the course of the spring and summer, Sawyer will be working with the Valley Futures Network, the Mad River Valley Planning District, and others to collect project ideas from the community and develop a list for new students in the class to choose from once again in the Fall of 2010.

This academic year brought a number of new Peace Corps Fellows to CDAE both in the Master of Science and Master of Public Administration programs. From Left: Mark McMillen (MPA), PCF Director Ned McMahon, Daniel DiFranco (MS), Jacob Evans (MS), Brandy Wood (MPA), Liz Ferris (MS), Amanda Goldstein (MS ‘09), Jeff Frank (MS), and Louise Sutton (MPA). Not pictured is Mark Weber (MPA).

Photo: Anna Masozera

Peace Corps Fellows

Thinking about Peace Corps? CDAE hosts the Vermont Regional Office of the Peace Corps in 206 Morrill Hall. For more information about Peace Corps and to find open office hours, go to

Alumna Sets a Goal and Reaches It

Calling CDAE Alumni! What are you doing now and how did CDAE help? Send an email to

Photo Provided By: Celia Johnson

Last summer, Celia Grace Johnson (CID ‘09) and her fellow Vermont Youth Conservation Corps members at Elmore State Park had just one goal in mind. “We put up posters asking ‘What would Park of the Year do?’. That helped us perform each task to its fullest,” remembers Johnson. Johnson and fellow Corps members worked intense hours performing basic park duties and enhancing visitor programming. “CID helped me realize that you can’t just sit around. You have to make change happen,” says Johnson. It also gave her the project planning and communication tools to coordinate that change. “We weren’t satisfied if something didn’t work. We found out how to fix it.” This coming summer, Elmore State Park will display the coveted “Park of the Year” banner, recognizing the amazing efforts of this CID alumna and her colleagues. Johnson has since moved to Tahoe City, CA, and is trying her hand in active childcare in which she combines her energy and skills on the slopes to engage children in skiing and snowboarding. Celia Grace Johnson (CID ‘09) now calls California home, but not before she left her mark on Elmore State Park.

Dollar Enterprise as Text Students in Dr. Kathleen Liang’s CDAE 166 Introduction to Community Entrepreneurship now have a text to guide them through the innovative Dollar Enterprise component of their course. The text contains all the worksheets that guide students through the development and assessment of campus-based enterprises.

Dollar Enterprise: From Theory to Reality. 2009. Liang. 44 pages. Kendall Hunt Publishing.

Last fall, students raised over $3,200 through their self-designed enterprises. Student groups not only decided what type of enterprise to start, but also selected to which charity they will donate the money raised. Last fall, students supported Women Helping Battered Women, the Chittenden Food Shelf, Boys & Girls Club of Burlington, Chittenden Human Society, Vermont Food Bank, and the Northeast Organic Farming Association. Vegeburgers and second-hand clothing were the products that brought in the most amount of money, each earning over $800 dollars for their charity of choice.

Save the Date! CDAE activities and guest speakers!


The Growing Vermont store is pleased to announce that we’ve brought Higher Ground ticket sales back to the UVM campus. Stop by any weekday (10-4) at the store in the Davis Center to purchase your tickets for any upcoming Higher Ground show and be on the lookout this spring for special promotions, giveaways and surprise shows by Higher Ground acts at Brennan’s Pub. Growing Vermont is a student-run Vermont products store affiliated with CDAE.

CDAE in the World St. Lucia 2010 By graduate student Liz Ferris on behalf of the entire St. Lucia course

This year’s projects include: HIV/AIDS education, renewable energy, mangrove ecosystem management and rural transportation research. All Christina Lekas (below) was again in St. Lucia to continue an of the projects are developed in conjunction with partners in St. Lucia HIV/AIDS education project she worked on last year. from teachers and fishermen to government officials to ensure they address the needs of St. Lucians directly. These service-learning projects are also designed to focus on sustainable development and the Millennium Development Goals. Undergraduate student Christina Lekas is the only returning student from last year and this year will be leading a project. She will lead the HIV/AIDS education project she participated in last year. Christina and five group members have gone through training in the Grassroots Soccer to use in St. Lucia. The model incorporates soccer and fun games as a non-intrusive way of teaching elementary age children about HIV and AIDS. They will use Grassroots Soccer to teach children and also train St. Lucian partners in the model so they can use it throughout the year. Gary and the students are excited to travel and looking forward to seeing their efforts payoff. This is the sixth year UVM will be involved in sustainable development projects on St. Lucia.

Photos provided by: Gary Flomenhoft and Christina Lekas

A semester’s worth of preparation have culminated with two weeks abroad in St. Lucia for the students in Gary Flomenhoft’s Sustainable Development in Small Island States course. The 14 students, 2 graduate and 12 undergraduate, travelled to St. Lucia on January 2nd for two weeks to participate in 4 different service-learning projects.

About CDAE

The Community Development and Applied Economics Department (CDAE) is part of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the University of Vermont. CDAE supports sustainable local, regional, and international communities through interdisciplinary research, education, and outreach that serve the public interest. The department offers undergraduate students the following majors and minors: Community and International Development, Community Entrepreneurship, and Public Communication. Additional minors are also offered in Applied Design, Consumer Affairs, Consumer and Advertising, and Green Building and Community Design. Two graduate opportunities are available within the department: Master of Science in Community Development and Applied Economics and Master of Public Administration (more at: Both graduate programs participate in the Peace Corps Fellows Program (more at: ). 205 Morrill Hall, Burlington, VT 05405


The CDAE Compass is edited by Anna Masozera and Jane Kolodinsky. To suggest a story or feature for the next newsletter, send an email to Special thanks to contributors on this edition including Gabrielle Connelly, Liz Ferris, Kelly Hamshaw, Chip Sawyer, and Michael Moser.

CDAE Compass Winter '09-'10  

The CDAE Compass is the newsletter for the Department of Community Development and Applied Economics at the University of Vermont.