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12 communities selected to pilot e-Vermont project

first_imgA dozen rural communities across the state will receive digital tools and in-depth training as the initial participants in the new e-Vermont Community Broadband Project. The twelve will benefit from the expertise and resources of e-Vermont’s statewide partners as the local groups develop ways to take full advantage of the Internet for job creation, school innovation, providing social services, and increasing civic involvement. e-Vermont is a new, $3.8 million initiative to help rural Vermont towns take full advantage of the Internet and advance a wide variety of local needs including economic development, school innovation, job creation, downtown marketing, community engagement, and e-commerce.The 2010 communities (selected from over 40 applicants) are Brighton, Bristol, Canaan, Cambridge, Grand Isle County, Ludlow, Middlesex, Newport, Poultney, Pownal, Sunderland, and West Rutland. [1]“Vermonters have a long history of innovation and finding creative ways to meet our goals,” notes Project Director Helen Jordan. “e-Vermont will continue that tradition by bringing 21st century tools to these communities and nurturing the local development of model solutions we can adapt statewide.”e-Vermont is not stringing cable or fiber, but is working to make better use of broadband where it is available. An unprecedented network of partnerships will contribute to this two-year project.Each community will become part of the Front Porch Forum network, helping link neighbors to each other and local services.Digital Wish will bring technology into the classrooms (including a limited number of Netbook computers) and provide essential training for students, teachers, and parents.The Vermont Department of Libraries will work with local libraries to upgrade computer equipment and enhance e-servicesStudents in the Vermont State College system will offer classes and workshops in both public and home settingsThe Vermont Small Business Development Center will mentor businesses to help them increase efficiency and grow their market share through e-commerce.Best practices that come from these communities will be shared through statewide symposia, on-line applications, and conferences organized by The Snelling Center for Government. The Vermont Council on Rural Development is overseeing e-Vermont, and will bring its expertise in community organizing to help each town connect its schools, government, businesses, and nonprofit providers in new and exciting ways.e-Vermont updates are posted at www.vtrural.org(link is external). Contact e-Vermont with any questions at 802-223-6091 or eVermont@vtrural.org(link sends e-mail).[1] Though some applications were submitted on behalf of adjoining towns, this list of the 2010 communities is based on the town of the lead organization. Source: Vermont Council on Rural Development. 5.14.2010last_img read more

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Universities try to make the grade

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Middle blocker Thompson leads defensive attack for UW volleyball

first_imgThe middle blocker is one of the most difficult positions to play in volleyball, but redshirt senior Dominique Thompson has manned that position for Wisconsin the last four seasons.Those who play the position must be tall yet agile to cover a lot of the court and transition quickly along the net. The team’s defense relies on the middle blocker to get some kind of a touch or block on the ball while it’s being cranked to its side of the court.It’s tough to talk about the Badger defense without talking about the senior middle blocker. Thompson is one of the smaller middle blockers in the Big Ten. She stands at only 5-foot-11, while most middle blockers tower over 6 feet tall. But Thompson’s height is deceptive compared to the dexterity of her play. She leads the team’s defensive net play with 33 blocks. On the offensive end, Thompson averages 2.34 kills per set and has a total of 82 kills so far this season.Off the court, Thompson spent a week and a half in Minneapolis training with the U.S. Collegiate National team, where she won a silver medal during the competitive round-robin matches.After Thompson redshirted during the 2012-2013 season, her statistics significantly improved the following year as a junior. Head coach Kelly Sheffield said Thompson is one of his hardest working players, who seems to have it all figured out.“She’s an active learner,” Sheffield said. “She wants to get better, and when you’re in this profession, you want to be around people who really want to get better.”As a senior on the team, Thompson has showed a great amount of leadership and encouragement towards her younger teammates, especially those also playing middle blocker, Sheffield said.“We’ve got two younger ones, Tori [Blake] and Haleigh [Nelson], and she does a great job of helping them and teaching them and mentoring them,” Sheffield said. “You can tell that’s very important to her as well.”Athleticism is in Thompson’s blood. Her mother and father are both successful athletes. Her father played football from 1986-1989 at the University of Minnesota and went on to become the first-round draft pick for the Green Bay Packers in 1990, playing there professionally for five years. But volleyball is a particularly genetic trait for Thompson. Her grandpa, uncle, aunt and mother have all played competitive volleyball. Even Thompson’s sister, Indigo, is currently a setter at Virginia Commonwealth University.Thompson attributes her persistence and success in volleyball to her family, saying they’ve always pushed her to perform to the best of her ability, even when she was a little kid playing outside in her backyard.It’s easy to assume that someone who is so talented at something has loved it from the very beginning, but that’s not the case for Thompson. A surplus of volleyball players in the family caused her to turn away from the sport and focus on basketball from an early age. During her first year of high school, Thompson began to change her mind on which sport she wanted to pursue.“When I was younger, I did not want to play volleyball because there was so much volleyball in my family,” Thompson said. “But I started my freshman year, and it just clicked for me. My coaches gave me little bits of information at a time, and I kept absorbing it, and I realized that what I wanted to do was play the sport of volleyball.”Thompson plans to graduate from UW in the spring with a degree in community and non-profit leadership. She says she may move back to her home state of Minnesota and work for a non-profit organization there after graduating but still stay involved with volleyball in some way.“I will somehow stay connected with volleyball,” Thompson said. “I love volleyball. It’s something that I really know.”Wherever the future may take her, Thompson said she’s enjoyed her time playing Division I volleyball at Wisconsin and will carry the memories she’s made with her for the rest of her life.“I think that Wisconsin is the ultimate college sports town,” Thomson said. “It’s amazing to be able to play for these people who love this college so much. Division I, it’s the best. I love it.  I’ve loved it all four years.”Not only has Thompson helped her team to a national championship game, but off the court, she presents herself as a leader and teacher that her teammates and coaches look up to.“You like to be around really good people, good character people,” Sheffield said about Thompson. “Before even being on the court, you know that you’re around somebody who you have a lot of respect for as a human being.”last_img read more

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