BURLINGTON, Vt.–Champlain College, a career-oriented, private college in Burlington, Vt., has named five new members to its Board of Trustees.Dawn Bugbee, CPA, of Colchester, Vt., is chief financial officer at Northwestern Medical Center in St. Albans. Shes a member of the Vermont Association of Hospitals and Healthcare, as well as a Vermont board member of the Healthcare Financial Management Association. Shes also a member of Rotary International.As a volunteer, Bugbee serves on the board of directors of the Vermont Education and Health Buildings Financing Agency and the Nordic Spirit Soccer Association, and she coaches girls soccer teams. She earned a bachelors degree at Castleton State College and her CPA license in Vermont.Susan Willey Lamaster of South Burlington, Vt., a 1988 Champlain College graduate, is the vice president and chief financial officer of Systems & Software, Inc. in Colchester, Vt. Systems & Software is a leading national provider of integrated information management systems for both single and multi-service utilities.Lamasters volunteer activities include working with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Vermont Special Olympics and Champlain Vocational Services.Mary McLaughlin of Stowe, Vt., is area vice president, Northern New England, for Adelphia Communications in South Burlington. She is a member of the Vermont Business Roundtable, as well as a member of the Women in Cable and Telecommunications and the New England Cable and Telecommunications Associations.McLaughlin also serves on the advisory board of BELL-Boston (Building Educated Leaders for Life), and the national board of Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD). She earned an undergraduate degree at Bridgewater State College and a law degree at Suffolk University.Ambassador John OKeefe, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Human Resources at the US Department of State, is a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister Counselor. OKeefe, a resident of Vienna, Va., has headed the Office of Career Development and Assignments and he served as U.S. Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan from August 2000 to July 2003.Previous posts included serving as Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary for Management, Management Minister-Counselor in Moscow, Deputy Executive Director of the Bureau of European Affairs, and Management Counselor in Belgrade.OKeefe has served as the Treasurer, International School of Belgrade, Vice President of the Board, International School of Manila, and Chairman of the Board, Anglo-American School of Moscow. He has a bachelors degree from Loyola College and a masters degree in public administration from Harvard University.Dr. Peter Stern of Shelburne, Vt., is a retired anesthesiologist and an investor. Hes a board member of Partners in Adventure, board member of the Bernice and Milton Stern Foundation, and honorary board member of the Stern Center for Language and Learning. Stern earned undergraduate and medical degrees at the University of Vermont and a MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.Founded in 1878, Champlain College in Vermont offers professional certificates, associates, bachelors and masters degrees in 26 fields. Champlain is known for its innovative business, technology and human services programs. The College also offers its programs online and overseas at campuses in India and the United Arab Emirates.
On Thursday, physicists in China reported the latest result in the search for particles of dark matter, the mysterious stuff whose gravity holds the galaxies together. Researchers with the Particle and Astrophysical Xenon (PandaX) detector spotted no sign of their quarry, which isn’t surprising because PandaX isn’t yet as sensitive as a detector already running in the United States that hasn’t seen anything either. Still, the finding is notable because the PandaX detector features a clever design that might enable it to vie for the sensitivity lead in the next year or so.The new work “is very credible,” says Richard Gaitskell, a physicist at Brown University and a member of the team working with the Large Underground Xenon (LUX) detector at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead, South Dakota, the current leader in sensitivity. Rafael Lang, a physicist at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, and a member of the collaboration building an even more sensitive detector known as XENON1T in Italy’s subterranean Gran Sasso National Laboratory, agrees. PandaX researchers “are doing a great job in [catching up] and making extremely fast progress,” he says.These detectors stalk hypothetical weakly interacting massive particles, or WIMPs. Weighing a few to hundreds of times as much as a proton, such particles would interact with ordinary matter only through their gravity and the extremely feeble weak nuclear force, making them ideal candidates for dark matter. Our galaxy could be floating in a vast cloud of WIMPs. 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But those signals have generally not agreed on the precise mass of the WIMPs or the strength with which they interact with ordinary matter. And LUX and XENON100, the predecessor to XENON1T, claim to have ruled out those signals.So do the new data from PandaX. Like LUX and the XENON detectors, PandaX consists of a tank of frigid liquid xenon. Were a WIMP to crash into a xenon nucleus, it would send the nucleus flying, producing an immediate flash of light that could be pinpointed by photodetectors on the top and bottom of the tank. The collision would also liberate the electrons from the xenon atom. They would float to the top of the tank and out into the gaseous xenon at the top, where they would produce a second, confirmatory flash of light. In 17 days of data taking, PandaX researchers spotted no WIMPs in their detector, which contained 120 kilograms of liquid xenon, 37 of which served as the target “fiducial” mass, as the team reports in a paper in press at Science China Physics, Mechanics & Astronomy.It would have been more surprising had PandaX seen a signal. That’s because LUX, which contains 370 kilograms of xenon with a fiducial mass of 118 kilograms, already ruled out low-mass WIMPs last October. Still, the result is intriguing because it shows that the PandaX team is quickly catching up to the rest of the world. The collaboration, which now numbers roughly 40 members, started in 2010, when XENON100 was already running and LUX was under development. “We started off basically from nothing,” says Xiangdong Ji, a physicist at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China and the University of Maryland, College Park. “We didn’t have a group, we didn’t have equipment, we didn’t have anything.”One thing they did have, however, was the world’s deepest underground laboratory. The 2400-meter-deep China JinPing underground Laboratory was built in just 18 months in 2009 and 2010, next to highway and water tunnels through a mountain with the help of the Ertan Hydropower Development Company Ltd.The first PandaX results better those of XENON100 in terms of sensitivity, Ji says. And PandaX researchers aim to take a stab at the lead in the race to discover WIMPs. Their detector was designed so that to make it bigger, they need only raise the lid of their cylindrical tank and pour in more liquid xenon, Ji explains. So researchers hope to have it up and running with a total mass of 500 kilograms and a fiducial mass of 200 kilograms early next year. That might just give the PandaX team a shot at catching up to LUX in sensitivity. And it could enable it to get a result out before the first result from XENON1T, which will have a total mass of 3200 kilograms and a fiducial mass of 1000 kilograms. “We have a window of about a year,” Ji estimates.Lang says he’s skeptical that PandaX will really take the lead. But Gaitskell says he thinks PandaX can be a player—if researchers can show that they’ve adequately calibrated their detector and can run it stably for hundreds of days. “If they’re going to leave the peloton for the breakaway, they’re going to have to demonstrate that they can pedal for more than 17 days.”