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Author Archives: Sara Putnam

About Sara Putnam

Sara is director of the College’s Office of Communications. She has a BA and an MA, both in English, from UConn. She is also assistant to the dean for human resources.

CLEAR receives Provost’s Award for Excellence in Public Engagement

Mike Dietz, left, and Dave Dickson, right, take Congressman Joe Courtney on a tour highlighting UConn's innovative storm water management practices.

Mike Dietz, left, and Dave Dickson, right, take Congressman Joe Courtney on a tour highlighting UConn’s innovative storm water management practices.

The College’s Center for Land Use Education and Research (CLEAR) received the 2016 Provost’s Award for Excellence in Public Engagement, Career Recognition for a Team. A reception was held at the William Benton Museum of Art on November 17, with awards presented by Provost Mun Choi and Carol Polifroni, director of the University’s Office of Public Engagement.

The Provost’s Awards recognize faculty, staff, students and alumni, for programs that engage the public and address social issues.

“We’re honored to be recognized,” said Chet Arnold, director of CLEAR . “This is an award for many different programs and projects that are all interwoven amongst a team that works very closely together. Every single person on this team deserves this award.”

Since 2002, CLEAR has developed award-winning programs designed to address issues related water management, land use planning, climate resiliency and geospatial technology. CLEAR is a partnership between the Department of Extension, the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment and Connecticut Sea Grant. (more…)

As Big E celebrates 100 years, partnerships with College still going strong

The Big E's Camp Vail Boys and Girls Club Work , 1926

The Big E’s Camp Vail Boys and Girls Club Work , 1926

Eastern States Exposition, or the Big E, as it is called, was established in 1916 in West Springfield, Massachusetts, with the goal of improving agriculture and highlighting the role it played in an increasingly industrializing world. J.L. Brooks, a Massachusetts businessman, founded the organization, which soon attracted support from all the New England states. In 1937, the Connecticut General Assembly allocated $35,000 for a building on the Avenue of New England States, which still stands as the Connecticut building. 4-H youth, leaders and 4-H agents who participated in myriad programs found overnight accommodations in the Moses Dormitory, which is still used during the operation of the exposition.

From the beginning, the Cooperative Extension System, faculty of the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources and thousands of young people and adult volunteers contributed to the success and authenticity of the Big E. Camp Vail was the name given to 4-H activities. Open to 4-H members regardless of their project, the program offered sleeping quarters and meals for exhibitors. Over time 4-H participation evolved and expanded, with extensive participation in exhibiting sheep, dairy goats, dogs, horses, beef and dairy cattle programs. 4-H clubs demonstrated their projects in the arts and crafts building, including dress revues, public speaking and Double Dutch, a lively program of competitive jump rope that attracted large crowds, eager to watch the athletic skill of the participants as well as the music and rhymes that characterized the performances. (more…)

New course sheds light on science and health implications of probiotics and prebiotics

ANSC_3318_5618_advt (002)Probiotics are touted as having many health benefits, from treating digestive woes to preventing allergies. A College faculty member is offering a new course that will shed light on the science and health implications of probiotics and prebiotics. Previously offered as a special topics course, the new three-credit course will begin this January and will be offered to both an undergraduate and graduate students. Mary Anne Amalaradjou, assistant professor in the Department of Animal Science, designed the course to fill an unmet need.

In addition to teaching, Amalaradjou is involved in multiple research projects involving probiotics. For one study, she is testing probiotics as a feed additive to eliminate Salmonella in chickens. In another study, she is researching probiotics that occur in cheese to identify a probiotic that may alleviate some of the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease.

The new course begins with the study of the gut microbiome. Amalaradjou uses short videos to explain basic concepts.

“In simplest terms, probiotics are good bacteria that keep us healthy and prebiotics are food that serve as nutrition for the probiotics. Probiotics help not only with the gut, but with every organ system.


Image of the week: Dean Weidemann will step down, Associate Dean Faustman to serve as interim dean

Left to right: Associate Dean Cameron Faustman, Gov. Dannel Malloy, Dean Gregory Weidemann. Students and volunteers from the College decorated the Governor's Residence on Sunday, November 27. Photo by Bonnie Burr.

Left to right: Associate Dean Cameron Faustman, Gov. Dannel Malloy, Dean Gregory Weidemann. Students and volunteers from the College decorated the Governor’s Residence on Sunday, November 27. Photo by Bonnie Burr.

After serving as dean of the College for two highly successful and productive terms, Dean Gregory J. Weidemann announced earlier this fall that he will step down as dean of the College, effective January 11, 2017.

In an email addressed to members of the College, Dean Weidemann wrote, “When I arrived in Storrs in July, 2008, I publicly stated that I would serve no longer than ten years as dean. While I am stepping aside a bit earlier than that, much of what I set out to accomplish has been done and those items outstanding cannot be realized over the next few years. While the timing is never perfect, I believe that the time is right to hand over the reins to new leadership.”

He continued, “To each and every member of our College family, it has been a pleasure serving you as dean. I am very proud of what you do for our students and every Connecticut citizen each and every day.  I have been blessed with an outstanding  leadership team and I am confident in a smooth transition to new leadership.”

Provost Mun Choi will honor Dean Weidemann for his leadership and service to the College at a reception on December 8.

On Wednesday, November 30, Provost Choi announced that Associate Dean Cameron Faustman will serve as interim dean. A professor in the Department of Animal Science, Faustman is currently the College’s associate dean for academic programs and research and director of the Ratcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture.

In his announcement, the provost stated that “Cameron has been honored with local and national awards in both teaching and research, including his selection as a UConn Teaching Fellow. He has also assumed many leadership and service roles at UConn and is widely respected as a colleague across campus. We are grateful that Cameron, a University Scholar alum of UConn, has agreed to assume this additional leadership role, for many reasons, including his knowledge and commitment to both the University and the College.”

Faustman’s appointment as interim dean will begin January 12, 2017.

Memorial award honors alumnus and provides professional experience for landscape architecture students

Welch works with Matt Cosma '15 (LA), landscape designer at S/L/A/M

Welch works with Matt Cosma ’15 (LA), landscape designer at S/L/A/M

Tristan Welch, a senior majoring in landscape architecture in the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, is the first recipient of the Kyle C. Slocum Memorial Award. The award grants an internship with the largest integrated design firm in the state, The S/L/A/M Collaborative, located in Glastonbury, Connecticut. Services include landscape architecture, architecture, structural engineering, interior design and construction services.

SLAM is a multi-disciplinary design firm headquartered in Glastonbury, Connecticut, with offices in Atlanta, Boston and Syracuse. The internship honors the contribution of UConn graduate Kyle Slocum, who is credited for growing the landscape architecture (LA) studio at SLAM. Slocum passed away in June of 2015, at the age of 50.