United Academics

United Academics A A U P / A F T: The Faculty Union at the University of Vermont protecting academic quality  

United Academics Scholarships

Each year, United Academics awards scholarships to students pursuing social and economic justice. The application deadline for all awards is in early April. Winners are selected by the United Academics Scholarship Committee.

2014 Scholarship Recipients

David Shiman Award

Jamie jackson

Jamie is a senior Environmental Studies student with a concentration in Sustainable Communities and Justice. Her first year at UVM in 2009, Jamie stumbled upon the student organization Students Stand Up, which has become the heart of her time at UVM. Students Stand Up has been continuously committed to working with students, faculty and community members alike to fight for dignity and justice for workers rights in Vermont. Whether it is interning for the Vermont Workers Center, serving as program coordinator for a summer camp for high risk and homeless youth, or organizing with a group trying to stop the Vermont Gas Pipeline, Jamie strongly believes that the social, economic, and environmental issues our planet faces are all inextricably interconnected, and that we all have a personal responsibility to give back to our communities. Most recently, Jamie is in the process of becoming a labor doula and is working with other doulas in Vermont to provide free doula access and assistance to women in substance abuse recovery and to women incarcerated in Vermont. Jamie has worked as a residential counselor at the Lund Center for almost two years, and has just accepted a full time position that she will be starting upon graduation this spring.

Linda Backus Memorial Award

Catherine Alexander

(info coming soon)

Jeffrey Brace Awards

Hillary Danis

Hillary serves as the Acting Chair of the Board of Directors at Essex CHIPS and Teen Center, Inc., in Essex Junction, VT. Essex CHIPS is a non-profit that aims to form valuable youth-adult partnerships in the community. It hosts a drop-in Teen and Tween center after school. In addition, it works to promote health and wellness in the greater community, with a focus on youth drug, alcohol, and tobacco prevention initiatives. She has volunteered at Essex CHIPS for five years, as a trip leader for their Adventure Orientation Program hiking camp, on the Board of Directors, and in the Teen Center and with other volunteer initiatives. On the Board of Directors, she chairs the fundraising committee and manages the board communications, as well as facilitating the monthly board meetings. In addition, Hillary is a ski instructor for Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports. She teaches ski lessons to clients with physical, mental, and cognitive disabilities.

David Fernandez

David Fernandez is a senior Global Studies major with a minor in Environmental Studies, originally from New Jersey. He has been involved with several different organizations working on social justice, both student and otherwise, throughout his time at UVM, most recently with the statewide organizing around the Vermont Student Union. He is a member of the UVM group Students Stand Up (SSU), which organizes primarily around student-labor solidarity, as well as issues affecting higher education, such as privatization and student debt. The group has been involved recently in organizing student support for Sodexo workers facing cuts and striking CCTA drivers, among others. This year has seen the emergence of a state-wide student network, the Vermont Student Union, through which SSU hopes to organize more effectively with students across the state around our common struggles and issues with the current state of higher education. David has also been involved with the Vermont Workers Center, as a community organizing intern, and has been able to translate the skills learned there into organizing on campus. He plans to continue organizing around social justice post-graduation by becoming more involved with a local organizing committee of the Vermont Workers Center.

Francesca Hall

Francesca is a junior at UVM from Los Angeles, CA, pursuing a dual degree in Political Science and Environmental Studies. Over the past three years she has been involved in various environmental, social justice, and political campaigns on campus and in the state. She co-founded and serves as Co-Chair of the Vermont Student Climate Coalition, a network of college students across the state working on environmental, social and economic justice campaigns. She is also involved with UVM’s fossil-fuel divestment campaign, and has worked for VT Senator Philip Baruth and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders. She serves as a Senator on UVM’s Student Government Association. Next fall, as a part of her senior thesis, she will be co-teaching a Students-Teaching-Students course through the Environmental Studies Program, ENVS 197: Community Organizing and Environmental Activism. The course is designed to expose students to organizing and activism, to the history of struggles for social justice, and to instill in them the skills necessary to effect change through grassroots organizing.

Sophia Hoffacker

Sophia is a sophomore majoring in Environmental Studies and minoring in Political Science and Gender, Sexuality, & Women's Studies. On campus, she is a member of the Dewey House for Community Engagement, a leader of Student Climate Culture, a member of College Undergraduates Not Tolerating Sexism, and was recently elected as an SGA Senator serving on the Student Action Committee. She has been involved with the Sierra Student Coalition’s summer grassroots organizing training programs (known as SPROGs) since 2011 and is currently directing the 2014 New England SPROG program, which will take place in New Hampshire this June. She is currently serving a one-year term as Communications Coordinator on the Sierra Student Coalition’s national Executive Committee. Sophia is passionate about approaching organizing with an intersectional and anti-oppressive framework. She hopes to educate others about the intersections between systemic oppression, environmental degradation, racism, classism, and patriarchy and she strives to create safer spaces for activists in all of her circles.

Sarah Richardson

Sarah is a UVM junior pursuing a dual degree in Psychology and Social Work. Her freshmen year, she organized a winter clothing drive to benefit the Salvation Army. With the help of the UVM Catholic Center, this clothing drive has become an annual event. Since then Sarah has taken on many leadership positions at UVM. She is currently the director of the on-campus organization Volunteers in Action which oversees all of the community service groups at UVM. This past year she was a trip leader for Alternative Spring Break and will be taking on a new role next year as one of the directors of Alternative Spring Break. Sarah is also a member of DREAM, which is a mentoring program through UVM. Sarah hopes to continue with her passion for service and participate in a volunteer abroad program after she graduates.

Claire Wiggin

Claire is a sophomore Environmental Studies major at UVM. She is the current President for Vermont Students Towards Environmental Protection (VSTEP) as well as an organizer for the CCTA Student Solidarity Committee. Both organizations have direct connections to combating labor rights violations that are occurring in our humble city of Burlington, Vermont and beyond. The recent CCTA driver strike victory inspired her as an organizer, exemplifying the importance of student power and collective bargaining. Also, VSTEP was successful in urging the university to sign on to the Workers Rights Consortium, which will help to ensure that clothing in the university bookstore is more ethically and environmentally sourced. Claire looks forward to working alongside fellow students in labor, environmental, and student justice work in the future.

last updated May 03, 2014