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5 Favorite UVM Stories from 2015

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UVM Outreach published more than 150 blog posts in 2015—many of them featuring profiles of students, faculty, and alumni.

To start the new year right, we’re highlighting five of our most compelling stories of 2015. We hope you enjoy.

UVM Radiologist Delivers Ultrasound Technology to Remote Regions

A college travel-study trip to Liberia changed everything for Dr. Kristen DeStigter.

While an undergrad premed student in the 1980s at Calvin College, DeStigter traveled to Africa for a semester-abroad program. For DeStigter, who grew up near Cleveland, it was her first time outside of the country.

On the trip, DeStigter traveled to Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, to attend a medical lecture. While in the capital city, she visited a government-run hospital with a room for newborn babies whose mothers had died in childbirth. DeStigter recalls there being no resources to care for the babies.

That experience would play a part in helping her launch Imaging the World, an organization she cofounded that integrates medical imaging in remote regions of the globe.

Read more.

Getting a Second Chance at College Through UVM GAP

During her senior year at Burlington High School, Deniz Sehovic applied to UVM. She was wait-listed and later denied admission. College, it seemed, was out of reach.

But Sehovic was fiercely determined and refused to give up. Her perseverance and optimism paid off, and she was later admitted to UVM through the University’s Guaranteed Admission Program.

“To get into UVM was the biggest struggle of my life,” says Sehovic, who graduated from UVM in May 2015 in the top 10% of her class.

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Closing the Gender Gap for Women in Technology

A few weeks before graduating from UVM last May, Emily Bates wrote about heading out to California to work for Google in technology, a male-dominated industry. According to the National Center for Women and Information Technology, only 26% of the American computing workforce is female. Despite the fact that women are more likely to enroll in university than men, technical majors are still facing staggering levels of gender inequality.

Read more.

UVM Oaxaca Program Sparks Alumna’s Interests in Immigration Law

Traveling to Oaxaca forced Amber Attalla to question her confidence in governmental policies and the media. It also changed her life. What troubled her the most was how attorneys for the US Department of Homeland Security had portrayed the detainees—women and children—as terrorists.

We talked to the 25-year-old law student about how the UVM Oaxaca Semester Abroad Program helped shape her views on immigration law and why immigration policy is one of the most serious human and civil rights issues of our time.

Read more.

Pursuing Medicine After Life-Changing Accident

In August 2013, then-musician Roman Pettigrew was in a devastating biking accident in New York when another cyclist collided with him head-on. While recovering in the intensive care unit, he decided he wanted to study to become a physician.

Before the accident, he was a guitarist in Team Spirit, a New York City–based rock band signed with Warner Brothers and Vice Music. Pettigrew, who grew up in London, toured the country with his three bandmates before the group disbanded. After the accident and his recovery, Pettigrew enrolled in UVM’s Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Program.

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