The biographies of our 2022 distinguished featured guests appear below. We invite you to learn more about them.
DR. KAREN GAINES
Provost & Dean of the Faculty, Norwich University
Dr. Karen Gaines has served as the Provost and Dean of the Faculty at Norwich University since 2022, where she oversees academic affairs and the internal operations thereof. Dr. Gaines’ PhD is in Environmental Toxicology from the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health. She is internationally recognized for her expertise in environmental and human toxicological risk assessment and worked for the Department of Energy prior to entering academia. Dr. Gaines is also a Certified Wildlife Biologist and has consulted for the USEPA, USFWS, USDA, NASA as well as the US Department of Defense and continues to serve these agencies in various capacities.
President and CEO, Vermont Council on World Affairs
Patricia Preston is the president and chief executive officer at the Vermont Council on World Affairs, a nonpartisan, statewide organization. For nearly the last decade, Patricia has promoted cultural awareness and understanding of the world and its people, places, and cultures through education, engagement. This is achieved through exchanges between Vermonters and leaders from across the world as they engage in civil discourse strengthening communities across Vermont, from addressing climate change to workforce development. Before leading the Vermont Council on World Affairs, Patricia received her Master’s in International Education at New York University’s Steinhardt School and has held various nonprofit and public sector roles where she developed curriculum, furthered public health initiatives, and served vulnerable communities.
INTERACTIVE KEYNOTE DISCUSSION
Co-Founder & Manager, People’s Solar Energy Fund
Lynn Benander is a community entrepreneur, a cooperative developer, a renewable energy finance expert, and a community organizer. She loves facilitating groups of people who want to learn together and build sharing economies. She has been facilitating Offers and Needs sessions following her facilitation training with the Post Growth Institute for diverse groups around the United States. For the last 30 years, she has been part of an inspiring grassroots movement in the United States, working to shift away from our extractive economy to a resilient, just, sharing economy. She works nationally for the People's Solar Energy Fund supporting the development of community-led, community-owned solar, and the jobs, power and money that it generates for local communities. The People's Solar Energy Fund is a national cooperative loan fund focused on racial justice, climate justice, and low income community ownership of solar. Lynn helped found and managed Co-op Power for 20 years before joining the fund. Co-op Power is a decentralized network of community energy cooperatives in the Northeastern United States, working for a just and sustainable future.
Executive Director, Windham Regional Commission, Brattleboro
Chris Campany is executive director of the Brattleboro, Vermont-based Windham Regional Commission, which serves 27 towns in Southeastern Vermont. Previously, he served on the faculty of Mississippi State University, as deputy director of planning and zoning for Calvert County, Maryland, deputy commissioner of planning for Orange County, New York, federal policy coordinator for the National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture, founder and executive director of the Baton Rouge Economic and Agricultural Development Alliance, and a presidential management intern with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science and a Master of Public Policy and Administration from Mississippi State University and a Master of Landscape Architecture from Louisiana State University.
Executive Director, Energy Action Network
Jared Duval has served as Energy Action Network’s executive director since March 2017. Before leading the network, Jared was economic development director at the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, where he was provided business support to working lands and green economy businesses across the state and helped to guide millions of dollars of state and federal investments in sustainable economic development via the Northern Border Regional Commission, the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative, and the Clean Energy Development Fund. Duval, a ninth-generation Vermonter, grew up in the Upper Connecticut River Valley and now lives with his family in Montpelier. He holds degrees from Princeton University (Master of Public Affairs in domestic policy, 2014), University of Cambridge (Master of Philosophy, modern society and global transformations, 2012), and Wheaton College, Massachusetts (Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude – economics and political science, 2005).
KESHA RAM HINSDALE
Vermont State Senator
Kesha Ram Hinsdale is the first woman of color to serve in the Vermont State Senate, where she champions legislation that unapologetically challenges the status quo. She previously served in the Vermont House of Representatives for eight years, during which time she served to local boards, preschool education, legal advocacy for victims of domestic violence, and city government. She is a co-founder of Emerge Vermont and Bright Leadership Institute, which work to support women and people of color running for office, and has served on the boards of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, the Center for Whole Communities and the Vermont Natural Resources Council.
Secretary, Vermont Agency of Natural Resources
Julie Moore is the secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, the state agency responsible for protecting and sustaining Vermont’s environment, natural resources, wildlife and forests, and for maintaining Vermont’s beloved state parks. Moore was named to that position by Gov. Phil Scott in January 2017. As Agency of Natural Resources secretary, Moore shapes Vermont’s environmental agenda, focusing on water quality, the forest economy, and the importance of conservation. She serves on the boards of the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board and the Vermont Council on Rural Development and ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center.
Before her appointment, Moore worked as the water resources group leader at Stone Environmental, an environmental consulting firm headquartered in Montpelier, Vermont. She led a variety of watershed planning and assessment projects and has a deep understanding of water-quality concerns associated with runoff from developed land and agricultural areas, as well as stream-channel processes and flooding. Moore has diverse experience engaging the public in watershed management programs and activities. Before joining Stone in 2011, Moore spent seven years at ANR where she led the state’s efforts to reduce phosphorus pollution in Lake Champlain. In that role, she coordinated a multimillion-dollar budget and grant allocations and served as the primary agency liaison to related programs at the agencies of Agriculture, Food & Markets and Transportation. During her years outside of state service, Moore volunteered for several organizations dedicated to improving Vermont’s water resources, including Friends of Northern Lake Champlain Advisory Council (chair), Friends of the Winooski River and Watersheds United (board of directors), Winooski Natural Resources Conservation District (associate supervisor), and the Rumney Memorial School Board (chair). She also served two three-year terms on the Citizens Advisory Committee on the Future of Lake Champlain, including two years as chair.
Moore earned a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering, cum laude, from the University at Buffalo and a Master of Science in environmental science and policy from the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University. She is a registered professional engineer in Vermont and New Hampshire.
ENERGY & CLIMATE TRACK
Executive Director, Vermont Housing Finance Agency
Maura Collins became executive director of the Vermont Housing Finance Agency in January 2019, although has worked at the Agency for 20 years. Eight months into the pandemic, Neale Lunderville called her to ask whether VHFA could help finance the weatherization of 120,000 homes in the state and since there was nothing else happening with housing at the time, she said, “Sign us up.” Collins has her Master’s in Public Administration from UVM and taught housing policy to graduate students there for a decade. She serves on nine boards and commissions, including being one of Vermont Low Income Trust for Electricity’s appointees to the Vermoint Electric Co. board.
Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Norwich University
Dr. Michael Cross teaches classes in circuits, electronics, energy systems and engineering design. Cross received degrees from the Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of Vermont and began his academic career at UVM, where he taught courses in the areas of analog and digital circuits, electronics, semiconductor physics, power electronics, and engineering design. His doctoral and postdoctoral research at the University of Vermont explored the electrical, structural, optical, and electro-chemical properties of thin films and energetic nanomaterials. His professional experience includes working as a development engineer at IBM Microelectronics in Essex Junction, Vermont, where he was involved in the development of state-of-the-art photomasks. His professional and scholarly work has been published both nationally and internationally.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Encore Renewable Energy
Chad Farrell is the founder and chief executive officer of Encore Renewable Energy, a leader in community-scale renewable energy project development services. He has led innovative and collaborative efforts to originate, design, permit, finance and construct over 80 different commercial-scale solar photovoltaic projects, representing more than $100 million in total investment value, while currently managing an active pipeline valued at greater than $250 million. Many of these projects involve reclaiming undervalued, contaminated real estate for clean energy generation and storage, helping to revitalize communities and creating a cleaner, brighter future for all. He holds a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from Bucknell University and a Master of Science in environmental engineering from the University of Vermont. He serves on the board of directors of the Vermont Natural Resources Council and is also a member of the board of directors for Renewable Energy Vermont. Following appointment by the Vermont Senate to represent the clean energy sector, he is currently serving on the Vermont Climate Council.
Interim Provost & Dean of Faculty, Norwich University
Dr. Stephen Fitzhugh retired in June 2020 as a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Director of the David Crawford School of Engineering at Norwich University. He has returned to NU in 2021 to serve as the interim provost and dean of the faculty. His research interests are in electric power systems distribution automation through the implementation of smart grid technologies, electric grid cyber-security, and integration of renewable and sustainable energy resources into the existing electric power grid. He worked with Vermont electric utilities on the Energy Department Smart Grid Investment Grant, and serves on the board of directors of the Vermont Public Power Supply Authority. He was the acting Village Manager in Northfield from July 2013 to June 2014, and currently serves as an Electric Utility Commissioner for the Northfield Electric Department. Before teaching at Norwich, he worked for over 25 years in the electric power industry at Combustion Engineering, General Electric, and in his own business. He is a life senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and is registered as a Professional Engineer (Electrical) in Vermont. He has a doctorate in electrical engineering from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
DR. KAREN HINKLE
Associate Provost for Research and Chief Research Officer, Norwich University
Dr. Karen Hinkle is the Associate Provost for Research and Chief Research Officer and Dana Professor of Biology at Norwich University. She received her B.S. in Physiology and Neuroscience at UC San Diego in 1995 and her Ph.D. in Physiology from the University of Michigan in 2002. As Associate Provost for Research, Dr. Hinkle leads the Office of Academic Research which supports the entire scholarship enterprise at Norwich University. Norwich's Research Centers (Center for Global Resilience and Security, Peace and War Center, and Center for Cybersecurity and Forensics Education and Research) are housed within the Office of Academic Research.
NEALE F. LUNDERVILLE
President & CEO, Vermont Gas
Neale F. Lunderville is the president and CEO of Vermont Gas (VGS). He recently served as general manager of the Burlington Electric Department, and, prior to that, as co-founder and CEO of NG Advantage LLC. In 2011, he was appointed by Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin to lead recovery efforts in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene. He also served in two top cabinet posts, secretary of administration and secretary of transportation, for Vermont Governor Jim Douglas. He serves on the boards of Preservation Trust of Vermont, Vermont Journalism Trust, Champlain College, Energy Action Network (EAN), and Bolton Valley Resort, and co-chairs the EAN Weatherization at Scale Network Action Team. He graduated from American University, and received the institution’s 2012 Alumni Achievement Award.
DR. TARA KULKARNI
Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Director, Center for Global Resilience & Security, Norwich University
Tara Kulkarni is the Director of the Center for Global Resilience and Security (CGRS) at Norwich University and an Associate Professor and Chair in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, and Construction Management. She has a PhD in Civil Engineering from Florida State University and is a licensed professional engineer. Tara’s experience spans state government, management consulting, and academia. Tara is CGRS’s founding director and has built multiple funded initiatives including the Dog River Conservancy, energy resilience curriculum for the US Department of Army, Resilient Vermont Network activities, and environmental security conference sessions. Tara also co-directs the Norwich Humanities Initiative.
Vice President, Sustainable Supply & Resilient Systems
Liz Miller works at Green Mountain Power as vice president of Sustainable Supply & Resilient Systems and chief legal counsel. Before joining Green Mountain Power, she spent many years as a businessperson and lawyer in Burlington, Vermont. She is passionate about the environment and deploying energy policy to make Vermont more resilient and to combat climate change. She served Vermont as commissioner of the Public Service department during the response to Tropical Storm Irene, and later as chief of staff to Gov. Peter Shumlin. She is a House-appointed member of the Climate Council.
Deputy Director & Network Manager, Energy Action Network
Cara Robechek is the Deputy Director and Network Manager for EAN, working with our network members and partners to expand our collective impact on clean energy action and emissions reduction in Vermont. Cara came to EAN from Vermont Energy Education Program (VEEP) where she was the Executive Director from 2014 – 2021. Prior to her work at VEEP, she spent eight years teaching courses such as Environmental Communication, Environmental Economics, Current Environmental Issues, and Children, Health and Environment for Community College of Vermont, Johnson State College, and the University of Vermont. Cara has served on the board of Planting Hope, as an elected Parks Commissioner for the City of Montpelier, and as a member of the Montpelier Energy Advisory Committee. Cara has a BA in Environmental Studies from Dartmouth College, and an MS in Renewable Natural Resources and Development from the University of East Anglia. She lives in Montpelier with her husband and two children, and enjoys playing on or in water, walking and cross-country skiing in the woods, and listening to her children playing music.
Director, Consulting, Vermont Energy Investment Corp.
As lead of Vermont Energy Investment Corp’s clean transportation team, Jennifer Wallace-Brodeur sets the organization’s strategic direction for transportation work, oversees a staff of consulting professionals and leads clean transportation policy development. For more than 30 years, she has successfully led teams to advance program and policy solutions on a range of issues at the national, state and local level. At VEIC, her work focuses on transportation electrification, including strategies to accelerate adoption of electric cars, school buses and transit buses. Before joining VEIC, Wallace-Brodeur led AARP’s national livable communities program, setting organizational strategy, executing programming in states and communities and developing resources to educate and support local officials to develop age-friendly programs and policies.
Chair, Northfield Energy Committee, Communications Consultant
Sarah Wolfe has worked in communications and public affairs in the energy space for 10 years. Her work has strengthened climate and clean energy policies and programs in Vermont and nationally. She was the senior manager of national campaigns for Sunrun, a residential solar company, advocating for net metering policies across the country. She brought her national experience to Vermont to lead legislative and regulatory clean energy work for Vermont Public Interest Group as the clean energy advocate. She turned to a broader statewide energy focus as the network director for the Energy Action Network, leading the development of the Annual Progress Report and facilitating network strategy sessions. For the last several years, she has worked as the communications maanager at Vermont Energy Invesmtent Corp, leading internal and external communication efforts for Efficiency Vermont. In her personal capacity, she helps organizations and individuals develop and deliver key messages. She also chairs the Northfield Energy Committee. She lives in Northfield, Vermont, with her husband, new son and faithful hound.
FOOD & WATER TRACK
Owner and Land Planner, Whole Systems Design
Ben Falk developed Whole Systems Design LLC as a land-based response to biological and cultural extinction and the increasing separation between people and elemental things. His home landscape and the Whole Systems Design studio site in Vermont's Mad River Valley serve as a proving ground for the regenerative land developments featured in the projects of Whole Systems Design. Falk holds a master’s degree in land-use planning and design. He has conducted site development and land inspection consultations across the United States and abroad, and has facilitated courses on property selection, permaculture design, and resilient systems. Falk authored the award-winning book “The Resilient Farm and Homestead” (Chelsea Green, 2013) and serves as an advisory councilor for the international regeneration group Ecosystem Restoration Camps.
Food Education and Programs Manager, Burlington School Food Project
In her ever-evolving role, Sarah Heusner helps district students develop healthy and wholesome relationships with their lunch trays. She oversees farm-to-school initiatives for the district, working collaboratively with schools and the broader community to develop innovative food ventures. In addition, Huesner procures local ingredients for Burlington School District’s nine cafeterias, acts as steward to the district’s two large-scale gardens, and manages the Fork in the Road student-run food truck with infectious energy and inspiration.
Independent Historic and Cultural Researcher, Elnu Abenaki
Rich Holschuh is a resident of Wantastegok (Brattleboro, Vermont) and an independent historic and cultural researcher. He has served on the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs and is a public liaison and tribal historic preservation officer for the Elnu Abenaki, members of the contemporary Indigenous community. Rich is founder of the Atowi Project. His work draws upon indigenous history, linguistics, geography and culture to share beneficial ways of seeing and being in relationship with place.
Executive Director, Vermont River Conservancy
Steven Libby, who arrived in Vermont in 1972 for college and never left, lives in Lincoln. He taught land conservation at the University of Vermont, works on historic barn restorations and tries to find enough time to use the three canoes/kayaks hanging in his barn. He believes that rivers create a common landscape language for the people of Vermont and deserve our highest regard and protection. He served as the Vermont River Conservancy board chair from 1997 through 2002.
State Hazard Mitigation Planner at Vermont Emergency Management
Caroline Massa provides technical assistance on, and reviews Local Hazard Mitigation Plans for Federal Emergency Management Agency-approval. She is now updating the State Hazard Mitigation Plan. Caroline previously worked for a Regional Planning Commission on hazard mitigation plans and climate change mitigation and adaptation planning. She was with FEMA since Hurricane Sandy working in New York and then Puerto Rico after Hurricanes Irma and Maria within Federal Disaster Recovery Coordination, and Environmental and Historic Preservation. She attended the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry for Environmental Studies, and the graduate program in Urban Planning at Columbia University.
Market Manager, Northfield Farmers Market
Cassie Morse is a farm wife and international corporate communications consultant who lives at the end of a dirt road on top of a hill in Northfield, Vermont, where she manages the local farmers market and is the town moderator. Morse and her husband, Charlie, operate a small farm, raising pigs, chickens and vegetables, with their dog Lincoln and puppycats Tango and Mayhem. Before living her dream in Vermont, Morse served in the U.S. Navy, then built a career as a branding, marketing and communications professional in corporate America, primarily in the commercial nuclear power sector. She finished her career at Westinghouse Electric Co., where she was the senior vice president of corporate communications worldwide. Since moving to Vermont in 2016, she has managed projects for the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, Austria, and the Washington County Substance Abuse Regional Partnership at Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin, Vermont.
Staff Attorney, Conservation Law Foundation Vermont
Mason Overstreet is a Staff Attorney for CLF Vermont, where he works in the Clean Air & Water and Healthy & Resilient Communities Programs. Before joining CLF, Mason was a staff attorney and professor at Vermont Law School’s Environmental Advocacy Clinic (EAC). While there, he worked on a range of issues involving water, pesticides, toxics, endangered species, climate change, and public lands. Prior to the EAC, he taught Environmental Law and Policy at Colby-Sawyer College and performed contract work for American Rivers.
Associate Professor of Biology, Norwich University
Dr. Simon Pearish studies the behavior of fishes and uses ecological thinking to look for solutions to the eutrophication of our lakes and streams. He completed his undergraduate degrees in biology and psychology at Indiana University and earned his doctorate from the University of Illinois, Urbana. Pearish studies the evolution and ecology of personality. His research animals-of-choice are small fishes of the family Gasterosteidae, especially three-spined sticklebacks and, in Vermont, brook sticklebacks. Sticklebacks are small fish that are distributed in marine and freshwater habitats throughout the northern hemisphere. The ancient colonization of freshwater habitats by three-spined sticklebacks remains one of evolutionary biology’s best “natural experiments.” Brook sticklebacks are abundant in the Dog River and surrounding wetlands that run through the Norwich campus. When the weather allows, Pearish and his students spend their days wading in beaver ponds or snorkeling in the Dog River in search of the answer to why personality exists and how it shapes the way animals live.
CEO, Vermont Foodbank
John Sayles joined the Vermont Foodbank as CEO in March of 2009 after serving 10 years in senior appointed positions with the State of Vermont at the Agency of Natural Resources, and before that at the Department of Public Service. He is active with Feeding America, serving as a member of its national board and on numerous committees and task forces. He was presented the 2012 Dick Goebel Public Service Award by Feeding America for contributions in public policy development. He also serves on the boards of One Care Vermont, the Vermont Health Foundation and the Vermont Business Roundtable.
HUMAN & RESILIENCE TRACK
New Hampshire-based cartoonist, musician and educator, Marek Bennett leads discovery-based comics workshops for all ages throughout New England and the world beyond. His comics work includes the graphic novel series, “The Civil War Diary of Freeman Colby,” as well as drawing, translating and editing for “The Most Costly Journey” (2021) with the bilingual El Viaje Project. His crowd-funded cartoon travel memoirs include “Sharjah Sketchbook” (2020) and SLOVAKIA: “Fall in the Heart of Europe” (2013). He received the 2021 New Hampshire Governor’s Arts Award for Art Education.
Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Norwich University
Dr. Julia M. Bernard is the first Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion of Norwich University. She has a doctorate, Master of Science, and bachelor’s degree from Purdue University. She has a certificate in Leading for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Higher Education from the University of Michigan. She also has a certificate in Ecopsychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute. She has published on sibling relationships, ethics, poverty, resilience, diversity, race, and Trauma-Informed Care. She is a Certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, a Clinical Fellow in the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, a Certified Family Life Educator, a Trauma-Informed Care Trainer, and a Leave No Trace Master Educator. She serves on the Executive Board as the secretary on the Council for Standards in Human Service Education.
Founding Principal, DBornsteinSolutions, LLC
Daniel B. Bornstein is the founding principal at DBornsteinSolutions LLC, which operates at the unique intersection of fitness, health and national security. Bornstein has over 20 years of experience as a researcher, professor and industry leader. He served as a tenured faculty member and administrator at The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, from 2012 through 2021, where he was the founding director of the Center for Performance, Readiness, Resiliency and Recovery (CPR3). The CPR3 was the realization of Bornstein’s vision to establish a multidisciplinary, collaborative center with academic, research and community engagement programs, all focused on improving the holistic fitness and health of service members, veterans, first responders and members of the community. Bornstein actively publishes in leading scientific journals and presents regularly at national and international scientific conferences. His research has been featured in over 130 media outlets worldwide, including USA Today; Newsweek; Stars and Stripes; and NPR. Bornstein has provided numerous briefings to senior military personnel and lawmakers, including briefings at the Pentagon and Capitol Hill. He holds and has held several national leadership positions. Currently, he chairs the Military Sector for the U.S. National Physical Activity Plan.
Associate Professor, Department of Geography at the University of Vermont
Pablo Bose is a migration and urban studies scholar, and an associate professor in the Department of Geography and director of Global and Regional Studies at the University of Vermont. His three main research projects focus on refugee resettlement in North America and Europe, on environmentally induced displacement worldwide, and on cities of the global south. His most recent books, which concern migration and cities, are Urban Development in India: Global Indians in the Remaking of Kolkata (Routledge, 2015) and Refugees in New Destinations and Small Towns: Resettlement in Vermont (Palgrave MacMillan, 2020). His articles have appeared in Urban Geography, Annals of the American Association of Geographers, Refuge, Geopolitics and Area.
RN, Outreach Nurse and Nurse Case Manager, Open Door Clinic
Julia Doucet is a case manager and outreach nurse at the Open Door Clinic. She has worked with Latinx migrant farmworkers in healthcare for over a decade, spearheading many innovative projects to increase access to health. Doucet, a University of Vermont graduate with an environmental science degree, is fluent in Spanish and has lived and worked in Mexico and Central America.
Migrant Education Specialist, Maine Migrant Education Program
Matt Flaherty is a Migrant Education Program (MEP) specialist at the Maine Department of Education. A graduate of Norwich University with a Spanish degree, he began working with the Migrant Education Program several years ago and is completing coursework for a Master of Education at the University of Maine, Orono. He began his Migrant Education Program career as an outreach and enrollment staff member with the Maine government summer internship program in 2016 and has worked with the migrant farmworker population in various states and roles since then.
Associate Director and Archivist, Vermont Folklife Center
Andy Kolovos is associate director and archivist for the Vermont Folklife Center. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in literature from Bennington College, and holds a doctorate in folklore and ethnomusicology and an MLS, both from Indiana University. His research interests include graphic ethnography/ethnographic cartooning, audio field recording, audio preservation and theory and practice in folklore and folklife archives. He is co-coordinator of the National Folklore Archives Initiative project of the American Folklore Society. And, he maintains the Vermont Folklife Center’s Audio Field Recording Equipment Guide, and blogs semiregularly on ethnographic cartooning at ethnographix.org.
Program Director, Exercise Science, Norwich University
Rachele Pojednic is an assistant professor and director of the Exercise Science Program in the Department of Health and Human Performance at Norwich University. She also serves as a research associate at the Institute of Lifestyle Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Her current work examines lifestyle education for healthcare and fitness professionals, and nutrition, supplementation and physical activity interventions on muscle physiology and performance as well as muscle-related chronic disease. Pojednic serves as co-chair of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Exercise Is Medicine® education committee, was the interim executive director for the Prescription for Activity Task Force, and serves on the American Council on Exercise (ACE) Industry Advisory Panel. Pojednic and her research have been featured on NPR, and in Time, Popular Science, Self, Forbes and Boston magazines.
DR. AMY WOODBURY TEASE
Associate Professor of English and Chair of the Department of Global Humanities, Norwich University
Dr. Amy Woodbury Tease is associate professor of English and chair of the Global Humanities Department at Norwich. She is also co-Director of the Norwich Humanities Initiative, a program dedicated to interdisciplinary teaching and experiential learning funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Davis Educational Foundation. Nationally, Woodbury Tease serves as councilor in the Arts & Humanities Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research, which advocates for advancing and funding of undergraduate research across the United States. Her current research explores the relationship between art, politics and the rise of postwar surveillance.
DR. KAITLIN E. THOMAS
Assistant Professor, Spanish, Associate Director, Center for Global Resilience & Security, Norwich University
Kaitlin E. Thomas completed her doctorate in Hispanic studies at the University of Birmingham (U.K.). She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Hispanic studies from Washington College and an Master of Arts in Latin American and Spanish Language & Literature from New York University (Madrid). Thomas has also completed non-degree studies with the Council of International Education Exchange in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Sevilla, Spain: the Centro Panoamericano de Idiomas in Guanacaste, Costa Rica; the Universidad Antonio de Nebrija in Madrid, Spain, and the Universidad Centroamericana ‘José Simeón Cañas’ in La Libertad, El Salvador. At Norwich, she teaches the courses Spanish I and II, Intermediate Spanish I and II, Advanced Spanish I and II, Hispanic Literature, the special topics classes U.S. Latinas/os and the Border, Music and Politics in Latin America, Contemporary Cuba and La Hashtag nation.
DR. AMY S. WELCH
Professor & Chair, Department of Health & Human Performance, Norwich University
Dr. Amy S. Welch is professor and chair of the Department of Health and Human Performance at Norwich University. She has 20 years of research and teaching experience in the field of sport and exercise science, with primary expertise on motivation and performance optimization. Her current research activities focus on understanding psychophysiological responses to stress, and testing simple behavioral strategies that can mitigate the stress response and build resilience in the autonomic nervous system (e.g., biofeedback training, meditation, breath training, and physical activity). Much of Welch’s work involves studying heart rate variability (HRV) as a way to monitor stress and overtraining, including through wearable biometric devices. Her research has been published in a number of peer-reviewed scientific journals that focus on sport psychology and health psychology research. Welch has also provided performance psychology consultation for several individual and team athletes at the national and international level, and currently serves as the Vermont state representative for the New England chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine.
MALLORY DUTIL, ’20
Student Fellow for the Norwich University Center for Global Resilience & Security
Dutil was a Center for Global Resilience and Security Student Fellow for two years, performing environmental security research, mentoring more junior fellows in research on impacts of climate change and collaborating with the Association for Environmental Health and Science Foundation (AEHS) to plan plenary sessions at their annual conference. She continues to serve as a fellow as a graduate student in Norwich’s Master of Civil Engineering program with a focus on environmental/water resources engineering in the College of Continuing and Graduate Studies.
ALYSSA BRINK, ’23
Norwich University Honors Program
Alyssa Brink is a senior at Norwich University majoring in Architectural Studies with a minor in Construction Management. She was awarded the university's Summer Research Fellowship grant which she will use to study and analyze urban agriculture in Detroit in terms of vertical farming and rooftop gardens
DRUKSHAN FARHAD ’23
Student Fellow for the Norwich University Humanities Initiative
My name is Drukhshan Farhad, a rising senior, English major at Norwich University. English is my fifth language and overall I can speak fluently in six languages which are Persian, Pashto, Shughni, Wakhi, English, and Urdu. I am the first and only female student from Afghanistan at NU. In the past academic year, I have been fortunate to work for Norwich Humanities Initiative (NHI) as a fellow and acquire a position as a cultural liaison/interpreter in Central Vermont Refugee Action Network (CVRAN) to serve the new Afghan refugee families in Montpelier. Getting accepted at NU’s Summer Research Fellowship as a distinguished Weintz Research Scholar for my research on Afghan Women’s Education is another highlight of my academic journey. It is an absolute honor to be part of the Vermont Resilient Conference this summer.
RODION PEDYUK ’25
Norwich University Honors Program and Civic Scholar for the Norwich University Center for Civic Engagement
Rodion Pedyuk 20, born and raised in Kyiv, Ukraine. Rising sophomore, studying Cyber Security and Information Assurance in Norwich University Corp of Cadets, member of the regimental Drill Team. Rodion is a part of Civic Scholarship program and Student Government Association, where he serves as a Committee Chair.
VALERIA REYES MALDONADO ’25
Student Fellow for the Norwich University Center for Global Resilience & Security
Valeria Reyes is a sophomore at Norwich University. She is a Honduran foreign student. Valeria manages two languages, Spanish and English. She is pursuing a degree in civil and environmental engineering with the goal of working in environmental and water resources.
CAMRYN VELA ’25
Camryn Vela is a sophomore at Norwich University. She is a residential adviser for Norwich Residential Life. Her major is computer security and information assurance, with a minor in Spanish.