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UVM’s student media gets PBS airtime as part of a ‘visionary’ college union

March 12, 2014

When PBS went looking for the nation’s most noteworthy college unions, producers quickly found their way to the University of Vermont’s Dudley H. Davis Center.

And, just as the offices of WRUV-FM and The Vermont Cynic sit at the center of the student center, our own radio station and newsroom sit at the center of  the show.

Well, actually, they sit at minute 8:28 and a little after. But you get the idea.

The Davis Center figures prominently in a PBS “Visionaries” documentary about college unions, released to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Association of College Unions International.

Hosted by actor Sam Waterston—who you might know as District Attorney Jack McCoy on the TV series “Law & Order”—the PBS series highlights stories of nonprofit organizations around the world that are working to make a positive difference in their communities and beyond.

The documentary features interviews with former Cynic editor-in-chief Natalie DiBlasio, now a reporter for USA Today, and former managing editor Devin Karambelas, an intern at “Vermont Edition” on Vermont Public Radio, each of whom spent untold hours working in the Cynic newsroom, which is located on the ground floor of the Davis Center.

Devin Karambelas, left, and Natalie DiBlasio in the Cynic newsroom as featured in the PBS "Visionaries" documentary

Devin Karambelas, left, and Natalie DiBlasio in the Cynic newsroom as featured in the PBS “Visionaries” documentary

“The incredible thing about campus is that, no matter where you go, students are doing things,” DiBlasio says in the documentary, “but having the Davis Center be here–in this magnificent building, with wonderful resources–it attracts people.”

Says Karambelas, “It’s so infectious, the energy that you get in here.”

The Davis Center was featured thanks to a recommendation from the international college unions group, in part because of the center’s environmental stewardship, celebrated when it was awarded the Gold standard for leadership in energy and environmental design from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The documentary features interviews with and footage of dozens of students and UVM employees for whom the Davis Center is a home away from home.

Karambelas, who speaks in the show of spending late nights in the Cynic newsroom to meet her newspaper’s deadlines, says, “In some sense, I don’t think I’d rather be anyplace else.”

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