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Billie Jean King sends off class of 2011 at UVM’s 207th commencement

first_imgUniversity of Vermont,Tennis legend Billie Jean King served up three pieces of advice to grads at Sunday’s commencement ceremony: No. 1: Learn how to learn. No. 2: Relationships are everything. No. 3: Be a problem solver.”Study history,” King said, elaborating on her first point. “The more you know about history, the more you know yourself.” One of Life magazine’s 100 most important Americans in the 20th century, King changed history when, in 1973, she beat former champion Bobby Riggs in The Battle of the Sexes, sending a strong message for gender equality at a time when, King noted on Sunday, women couldn’t get their own credit cards.On her second point — relationships are everything — King told graduates, “You’ll never know how you’ll touch another person’s life or how they’ll touch yours.” As an example, she told the story of meeting Elton John. Although both were initially too shy to say hello (a fact that seemed impossible to King, who idolized the musician), they were introduced when they attended the same party weeks before King’s fateful match against Riggs and became close friends, remaining so today.Celebrities and stars aside, King said, everyone needs “she-roes and heroes,” adding that professors, parents, siblings and coaches are among the most important people in our lives.  Toward the end of her remarks, King cited Nelson Mandela as an example of how to live life as a problem solver. Visiting his cell on Robben Island, said King, who has herself worked on behalf of social change and equality for women and those in the LGBT community, was among the most profound experiences of her life.Closing out her time at the podium, King pulled out a racket, and with Elton John’s “Philadelphia Freedom” playing on the speakers — a song he dedicated to her — she lobbed more than a dozen tennis balls to the crowd.Approximately 8,000 people gathered to celebrate this year’s commencement, the 207th in the university’s history. Originally scheduled to take place on the University Green, the ceremony was moved inside to the Multipurpose Facility in the Athletic Complex — not, as board chair Robert Cioffi quipped in his opening remarks, to make King feel more at home on the indoor tennis courts, but because record rainfall this spring had left the Green too soggy to accommodate the event.In his comments, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin noted this year’s extreme weather in Vermont — from a long, cold winter to this spring’s historic flooding of Lake Champlain — as a palpable reminder to students of the “responsibility and obligation of dealing with climate change.”President Daniel Mark Fogel’s remarks celebrated the student efforts that have made UVM what it is today, from a fledgling recycling program 20 years ago to student activism that “pushed the campus toward levels of diversity that some would have never thought possible.””Hold on,” Fogel said, “to what you feel now — the optimism and energy, the open mind and sense of possibility of a new college graduate.”At this year’s ceremonies, approximately 3,097 graduates received diplomas, including 2,475 bachelor’s, 392 master’s, 97 doctoral and 111 M.D. degree recipients, in addition to 22 post-baccalaureate certificates. Degree recipients hail from an estimated 43 states and 19 countries. Approximately 1,235 graduates are from Vermont. The graduating class includes an expected 229 African, Latino/a, Asian and Native American (ALANA) and bi/multi-racial students.In addition to King, the university conferred honorary degrees on seven other individuals who have had a positive impact on the state, university and nation: Letitia C. Biddle, Major General Michael D. Dubie, Bruce Lisman, Keith M. Miser, Dr. Thomas J. Sullivan, Professor Emerita Marion Brown Thorpe, and Simon Pearce. Read full bios of each of the degree recipients.During the ceremony, the UVM Alumni Association presented the annual George V. Kidder Outstanding Faculty Award for excellence in teaching to Stephanie Kaza, professor of environmental studies. Kaza, who has been actively engaged in campus sustainability initiatives to reduce waste, conserve energy and promote environmental values, teaches courses with a focus in the environmental humanities.Three faculty members were added to the ranks of University Distinguished Professor: Jerold Lucey, professor of pediatrics; Brooke Mossman, professor of pathology; and Susan Wallace, professor and chair of the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. The distinction, begun in 2009, carries with it rights to use the title for the duration of their careers at UVM; an annual stipend for scholarly pursuits; and service as an informal advisory board to the university administration.Eight students were honored with five university awards. Claire Chevrier won the Mary Jean Simpson Award, honoring the senior woman who exhibits the highest qualities of leadership, academic competence and character; Bryce Jones won the F.T. Kidder Medal, honoring the senior man ranking first in character, leadership and scholarship; Jason DePatie and Kimberley Davy won the Class of 1967 Award, presented to seniors who best exhibit leadership, academic competence and character, and who have earned the respect of faculty and fellow students; Briana Martin and Kofi Mensah won the Keith M. Miser Leadership Award, recognizing outstanding service to the university; and Gregory Herman and Haylley Johnson won the Elmer Nicholson Achievement Prize, recognizing the greatness of the students’ UVM experiences and the expectation that they will make a major contributions in their fields of interest. Source: UVM. 5.23.2011last_img read more

Port Washington Caregiver Accused of $10K Theft

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A former personal care assistant at an assisted living facility in Port Washington has been accused of trying to steal more than $10,000 from an 88-year-old woman in her care.Stephanie Benodin was charged Wednesday with criminal possession of a forged instrument and attempted grand larceny from a resident of Tuttle Center, a part of The Amsterdam at Harborside.Prosecutors from the New York State attorney general’s office said the 25-year-old suspect waited until the victim was admitted to North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset to deposit a forged check that Benodin allegedly stole from the victim’s home.The check was made out to Benodin’s mother and was deposited at a Capital One Bank branch in Queens Village into Benodin’s mother’s account, authorities said.Port Washington village police began the investigation after the victim’s daughter uncovered the alleged theft.Bail for Benodin was set at $10,000. She is due back in court Friday and faces up to seven years in prison.last_img read more

$2M Hicksville Armored Car Co. Heist Busted, Cops Say

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York One of up to five suspects was allegedly caught in the act of stealing nearly $2 million from an armored car company’s vault in Hicksville last week, Nassau County police said.Edgar Medina, who authorities described as a career criminal currently on parole, was arrested in New Cassel after leading police on a chase from the scene of the heist at the Alpha Plaza office of Loomis at 10:20 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 16, police said.“This was an extremely sophisticated crew of burglars,” Thomas Krumpter, the acting Nassau County police commissioner, told reporters Thursday during a news conference. “I don’t recall a burglary of this size and magnitude.”Krumpter credited a keen-eyed police officer with spotting Medina, 53, of Hicksville, allegedly acting suspiciously outside the company’s nondescript building on a dead end abutting a freight train yard. Upon noticing the officer, Medina allegedly put something in his trunk and fled in a Volkswagen, he added. When the officer apprehended Medina, $1.8 million in money bags was found in the trunk, according to the commissioner.Investigators released photos of tools—including a sledge hammer, vehicle jack, crowbars and a cart—they said the crew used to penetrate the hardened facility, which authorities said had $20 million in its safe at the time of the break-in.The burglars had to break through a concrete wall to reach the safe, although Krumpter declined to go into further detail about how the crime was committed. He said the masked crew was caught on surveillance video and “did everything they could to foil the recovery of any evidence.”Police neither have a description of the other suspects nor do they know how the burglars fled. The one suspect in custody doesn’t have any ties to the company, but when asked if Major Case Bureau detectives probing the case believe it was an inside job, Krumpter would only say that the investigation is continuing.The commissioner suspected that the burglars intended to steal as much of the $20 million as they could. If they were successful, it would have eclipsed the infamous Lufthansa heist in which mobsters allegedly stole about $6 million in cash and jewels from a terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport in 1978, one of the biggest heists in American history. That case, which was planned in Bellmore, resulted in arrests just last year—35 years later.“It’s clear this burglary was interrupted,” Krumpter said. “This burglary was ongoing when police interrupted the commission of this crime. I would image they were going to try and get as much of the money as they could.”Medina was charged with burglary, grand larceny and possession of burglars tools. His bail was set at $150,000 cash or $300,000 bond. He is due back in Nassau County court on Sept. 4.The reward for information leading to the arrest of the other suspects in this case was increased to $25,000 from the usual $5,000 that Crime Stoppers typically offers. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS (8477). All callers will remain confidential.last_img read more

Injection of Bolt good for Formula One – Lewis Hamilton

first_imgLEWIS Hamilton, Formula One champion elect, believes the star-studded cast that filtered throughout the United States Grand Prix last Sunday in Austin, Texas is something the sport needs.Hamilton played his part in the fanfare after driving, retired track legend Usain Bolt, around the track for a taste of the Formula One experience.Bolt also did interviews with the drivers on the podium, while former US president, Bill Clinton, presented the winner’s trophy.There was also more fanfare as well, as Hollywood actors appeared on the starting grid, Bolt sent the starters off for their formation lap and Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders performed in front of the grandstand.“I think it’s great. The Americans are way better than us Europeans in putting shows on. You look at the Super Bowl, the NFL games, the NBA games. They are way more fun than other sporting events in Europe,” said Hamilton.“They are more showy and its more of an atmosphere and I like that its starting to spill over into this. I think that’s the best start of a grand prix that I’ve seen,” he added.According to Hamilton, there could be more to Formula One than just the driving.“If we can bring that more into Formula One culture I think it’s just going to be more exciting … the sex appeal was there. That’s what motor racing has been missing for a long time, I think,” he said.Other drivers like Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull team boss, Christian Horner believed the fanfare more appropriate for certain audiences.Hornier did say, however, that Formula One needed to try new things.Caption.Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, of Britain, holds his running shoes that was presented to him by legendary Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt after the Brit won the Formula One U.S. Grand Prix auto race at the Circuit of the Americas, last Sunday in Austin, Texas.last_img read more