CALS New Hires-June 2023

Virginia Jaquish, Extension Human Resources Administrator

Virginia JaquishJaquish grew up in the northern foothills of the Adirondacks. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from SUNY Potsdam and a Master of Fine Arts from Ohio University.

After college, Jaquish returned to the Northeast Kingdom, where she had spent summers as a kid. In 2016, as she took over the 350-acre property where her great grandparents once raised Jersey cows, Jaquish joined UVM Extension in hopes of learning more about sustainable agriculture. In her role as administrative assistant, she had the ability to support multiple Extension programs including, NECAFS, 4-H, Town Officers Education Conference, COPE and Urban and Community Forestry.

Currently, Jaquish is a sugar maker, beekeeper, and is working to perfect her grafting skills. She also teaches in the Design and Media Studies Program at the Community College of Vermont, and enjoys collaborating on art projects with her 9-month old son Wyatt.

Prior to joining UVM, Jaquish worked in banking and insurance, and credits a summer employed in the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles with helping her to prepare for the mine field of human resources. After two years of working as an human resources specialist under Celia Rainville, she recently moved into the role of CALS Extension human resources administrator and is delighted to return to focusing her attention on Extension.

Amber Hunt, Extension Administrative Assistant, Brattleboro Office

Amber HuntBefore coming to UVM Extension, Hunt primarily worked as an academic and public librarian, but also dabbled as a baking assistant at a gluten-free/vegan bakery. While employed at Marlboro College, she worked closely with the librarians at UVM’s Silver Special Collections Library to arrange the transfer of the college’s archives and special collections when Marlboro College closed.

Hunt grew up in Iowa and has a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Northern Iowa, a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Iowa, and a Master of Music in Music Performance (French Horn) from Central Washington University. She lives in Guilford, VT, with her husband and two young kiddos. She enjoys gardening, preserving, baking, eating, canoeing, and bike riding.

Sydney Miller, Lead Research Technician and Coordinator, Vermont Bee Lab

Sydney MillerMiller earned a Bachelor of Science in Ecological Agriculture from the University of Vermont in May 2023, with a special interest in pollinator protection.

Since 2021, she has served as a research technician for the Vermont Bee Lab, working alongside the Vermont beekeeping community and engaging in research, education, and outreach. She is proud to be hired as the Vermont Bee Lab’s first full-time employee.

Working with Dr. Samantha Alger at the Vermont Bee Lab, Miller’s work ranges from managing their honey bee diagnostic lab, supporting Vermont honey bee breeders to increase the quality and availability of locally adapted, pest and disease resistant honey bee stock in the Northeast, and researching bees’ role in moss and fern spore dispersal. Her most recent funding has been directed towards understanding hygienic behavior in honey bees using Unhealthy Brood Odor assays (UBeeO) and its interaction with nosemosis, an adult bee disease caused by the microsporidian parasites, Vairimorpha spp. (Nosema).

More June New Hires:

  • Katie Abbot – CALS Human Resources Administrator.
  • Lauren Hunt – Postdoctoral Associate, Nutrition & Food Sciences.
  • Terrence Bradshaw – Interim Chairperson, Plant & Soil Science.
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