Monthly Archives: April 2013

Dana Student Worker Honored for His Poetry

From the tales of his ancestors, award-winning student poet lays the Armenian Genocide bare

Senior George Krikorian has stories, the kind, he says, that don’t lose their impact with retelling from one generation to the next. At the urging of his adviser, Major Jackson, Richard Dennis Green and Gold Professor of English and recipient of a 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship, Krikorian has been recording and transcribing hours of oral history from his grandmother, a first-generation American whose parents survived the Armenian Genocide.

“It was a brutal slaughtering of people,” Krikorian says. “You can still feel all of the emotion and pain.” Yet, he explains, it requires a level of emotional removal to craft the details into the kind of poems that won him this year’s Benjamin B. Wainwright Prize for poetry. “Krikorian’s work has a certain level of gravitas,” Jackson says. “It is some of the best writing that I have encountered since I started teaching here at UVM.”

April 24 commemorates the night in 1915 that ushered in the Armenian Genocide by the Turkish government. The following work by Krikorian puts the images that live within the lives of families into words:

Hazel Remembers the Massacres

1.

Oh, it was awful I guess.

Throats cut, sons beheaded—

Boys were butchered like lambs

for kebab, the unborn held high on a sword,

pulled from the belly of the mother.

That’s the easy part though, the rest looms

like a fever in the cold.

 

Women were lined like a slaver’s bazaar

single-file, naked with nothing but coins

in their uterus. That should have been enough,

but the Turks needed more,

they danced them like dervishes

set wild aflame, or like Araxi to Zorab

she’d become their whore,

so long as she was alone in the world.

 

2.

There are a lot of underground places in Armenia

where the people could speak

in their native tongue. It was forbidden

so they hid beneath their homes

to share secrets

as though they were still alive.

 

Cousin Baidzar, sweet quidg, awoke

to mordant blindness like she was tied

in an ungovan blanket. Bodies tumbled

like a gourd pile all around her, the sun

a broker of sight on her mother’s last embrace.

She walked away like a whisper of the dead,

her earlobes cut wet for their gold.

 

3.

Past the Turkish border was a promise

like the Holy Land that curdled in the stomach

and browned. Forty years were never so cruel

as the caravan of lies left drying

like figs in the Syrian desert.

 

They were torn from their mountain like skin from bone,

ever marching to a place that was nothing

to end like dogs starving on their own wails.

After a hundred years, words

are all that’s left.

Boston First Responders

Dana Medical Library is grateful for the trained health care professionals who responded professionally and humanely to the recent tragic bombing in Boston. The following resources analyze the successes of the coordinated response among Boston hospitals, and highlight the importance of disaster planning exercises and emergency preparedness.

Wall Street Journal, Boston Hospitals Mobilize
The Boston Globe, Hospital scene was like a battle zone
New York Times, Surgeons Saved Lives, if Not Legs, After Boston Blasts
MedpageToday, Boston Bombing a Lesson in Prep for Hospitals

Books in the Dana Medical Library Collection

Disaster medicine / editors, David E. Hogan, Jonathan L. Burstein, 2nd ed., Philadelphia : Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2007; WB 105 D6108 2007

Major incident medical management and support : the practical approach in the hospital /  by Simon Carley, Kevin Mackway-Jones, Malden, Mass. : Blackwell Pub., 2005; WX 185 C2815m 2005

Public health management of disasters : the practice guide / Linda Young Landesman, 3rd ed., Washington, DC : American Public Health Association, 2012; WA 295 L256p 2012

Nursing Student Wins Competitive National Award

04-10-2013
By University Communications

Nursing major Jeanelle Achee, a UVM junior, has been named a 2013 Harry S. Truman Scholar. She is one of 62 students this year to win the highly competitive national award, which recognizes those who want to make a difference in public service and “provide them with financial support for graduate study, leadership training, and fellowship with other students who are committed to making a difference through public service.”

A Rochester, Vt. native, Achee enrolled at UVM dedicated to begin her training as a nurse as well as to develop an expertise in how to help women around the world, especially around issues of sexual violence. As a survivor of sexual violence, Achee has worked with communities throughout Vermont to advocate for women’s empowerment in areas of our society where it is needed most. She created a leadership weekend for the Girl Scouts Beyond Bars; an empowerment event for young girls who have a parent in prison. Her work with the organization introduced children to positive role models, strategies for living a healthy lifestyle, and how to foster self-efficacy.

Two other UVM students were chosen as finalists for this year’s Truman award: Tad Cooke ’14, an ecological food and energy systems major from Williston, Vt., and Hillary Laggis ’14, a public communications major from Hardwick, Vt.

The Truman Foundation, a federal agency that seeks to identify and support college juniors who are on track to be future public servants and change agents, issues the Truman Scholarship. Each year, universities across the country submit up to four nominees through a rigorous application review and interview process (in total, 629 students were nominated in 2013). At UVM, the Office of Fellowships Advising oversees this process.

“We are thrilled that Jeanelle has been recognized in this way — she is a truly inspiring person,” said Lisa Schnell, associate dean of the Honors College, who supervises the Office of Fellowships Advising. “Indeed, all four Truman nominees this year were stellar candidates for the award, and of the three Vermonters who were finalists — Jeanelle, Tad, and Hillary — UVM has every right to be proud. Their success is all theirs, but I know that they would want me to mention that behind them all the way was Brit Chase, UVM’s fellowships adviser, who spent countless hours helping them prepare for the competition, as well as a faculty committee and individual UVM faculty mentors who have been extremely generous in the support and mentoring of all the nominees.”

In addition to her work with Girl Scouts Beyond Bars, Achee, a certified crisis counselor, has dedicated thousands of hours to counseling victims at Hope Works, Chittenden County’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to supporting people who have experienced the trauma of sexual violence. She has also been an active volunteer in statewide campaigns for presidential candidates John Kerry and Barack Obama. She’s volunteered for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ re-election. She co-founded the Vermont Student Summit for Building Peace in Iraq, a foundation for a statewide student-led peace group. She’s received state and national recognition for her service to her community, including the Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award, the Miss America Community Service Award, and the Vermont Governor’s Award for Outstanding Community Service. A global studies minor, she is also a member of Mortar Board, and is a former member of the Dewey House for Civic Engagement, UVM’s residential learning community for students who are dedicated to becoming engaged and active members in the community through public service.

“Jeanelle Achee is an exceptional young woman who represents all that we hope for in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences — someone who really does make a difference for the health and wellbeing of others,” says Dean Patricia Prelock.

“As a student here, Jeanelle has made a huge impact not just on her fellow students’ lives — counseling individuals through crises, advising on writing papers, organizing service activities, for instance — but also faculty,” says Luis Vivanco, director of the Global and Regional Studies Program. “Her combination of humility, dedication and insightfulness about people is amazing. While the Truman is an excellent reflection on her qualities and commitment, she’s an excellent reflection on the Truman program.”

Achee is the fourth UVM student to win the award. Brent Reader ’13, a social work major, received the award in 2012. Alumna Kesha Ram, now a Vermont state representative, was a winner in 2007, and William F. Steinman was a winner in 1988.