Sam Gale Rosen

Vermont Edition Managing Editor

Sam Gale Rosen is managing editor for Vermont Edition. He joined VPR in 2015 after working for six years at WBUR Boston as a producer for On Point.

Sam studied history and literature at Harvard University and was born and raised in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

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This weekend, Miss Vermont decided to forgo dance shoes and sheet music during the talent portion of Miss America 2016 for more unconventional props: beakers, protective goggles and a lab coat.

Armandn / iStock

Vermont is known for many things; racial diversity is not one of them. The state has one of the whitest populations in the country. As the U.S. navigates hard discussions of race and racism, it's worth asking: how exactly do we define what it means to be white? We’re looking at white identity, what it means, and why it's worth examining.

courtesy of Mark LeFrancois, via Bill Ladabouche

If you thrill to the sound of the roar of engines at the speedway, you may already know just how extensive Vermont's auto racing pedigree is. Now mostly shuttered, there were once tracks all across the state - Northeastern Speedway, Catamount Stadium, Malletts Bay Speedway, to name just a few.

Doug Kerr / Flickr

Vermont highway safety officials are concerned about the number of people driving on the interstate well beyond the speed limit. In just the last month a number of drivers have been clocked at over a hundred miles per hour.

Earlier this month, master SCUBA diver Annette Spaulding of Rockingham found a mysterious rock carving beneath the Connecticut River that she had been searching for since 1979.

TIburon Studios / iStock

Last week, Vermont was recognized by the USDA for the state's programs to support and promote breastfeeding. At the same time, the issue of a mother's decision to breastfeed - or not to - can lead to particularly charged conversations amongst parents. What is it about this aspect of parenting that can lead to such intense emotions and potential judgment?

Ken Teegardin /

How do you think Vermont's economy is doing?

Different economic indicators can tell different stories: from unemployment, to wages, to inequality, to the Main Street in your city or town. What are your the indicators you see that make a difference in your own economic life? What do you think of the state's economic outlook in the short and long terms?

Charles Krupa / AP

School lunches now have more fruits and vegetables, but a new study shows that doesn't mean that kids are necessarily eating more healthy foods — at least in the short run.

Alison Redlich / AP

The gubernatorial election is more than a year away, but the list of potential candidates is already long. So far, only one person has made a formal announcement, House Speaker Shap Smith. We're talking to Speaker Smith about the race, his platform, and why he's running.

Also on the program, former governor - and presidential candidate - Howard Dean on the 2016 presidential race.

And, a visit to the Cooperman Company of Saxtons River, which keep Revolutionary War re-enactors supplied with fifes and drums.

Toby Talbot / AP

Earlier this month, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Vermont state government released new targets for reducing pollution in Lake Champlain and a detailed plan for how the state would reach those targets. But the plan is already attracting some criticism.

State officials hope that Clean Water Week, which starts on Aug. 21, will celebrate Vermont waterways and the efforts underway to clean them up.
Ric Cengeri / VPR/file

The state of Vermont and the EPA are collaborating on a 20-year plan to reduce the phosphorus running into Lake Champlain by more thirty percent. That includes federal lake pollution targets and the state's plan for how to get to those goals.

We're looking at the new targets, the plan to hit them, and whether it will all be enough to keep the lake clean for coming generations.

Headshot of Vermont Education Secretary Rebecca Holcome pictured in 2014.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR File

On Monday, the Agency of Education released the results of a new standardized test that Vermont students took earlier this year. Officials say they need more data to fully assess the results.


Earlier this year, Vermont students took the new "Smarter Balanced" standardized test, or SBAC. The results of that test are being released to the public on Monday, Aug. 24.


Blas Guigni is a UVM graduate student who ran an acute care clinic in Iraq. He is now studying muscle conditions at the level of a single muscle fiber - and looking for cures to conditions he himself may someday face. His work involves looking at muscle function at the cellular level.

He joined us to discuss the research he is conducting under UVM professor Michael Toth.

Earlier this month, it was announced that Vermont will receive a $3 million federal grant to expand treatment for opioid dependency in the state.

Chris Potter /

Are we holding back our kids by never letting them fail?

Our guest today argues that kids need to have the freedom to fall short, to try things that don't quite work, as they're being educated, so that they can develop the skills to succeed later on in life. Failure isn't just an occasional fly in the ointment of a good education, she argues, you need to fail. It's baked into the way that schools work and prepare kids for real life. 

Toby Talbot / AP

The Wabanaki Confederacy is an alliance of native American nations that first came together centuries ago. They meet regularly to renew ties of friendship and discuss issues facing the native peoples of a wide geographical region.

Jane Lindholm / VPR

Since the 1920s, the Springfield Telescope Makers have been hosting the annual Stellafane Convention. This year's convention will run from August 13-16.

We're looking at the long history of Stellafane, and how Springfield became a center for amateur astronomy and a pilgrimage site for telescope-makers and stargazers of every stripe.

AP / Wilson Ring

In the wake of the tragic killings in Barre and Berlin, apparently stemming from a custody dispute, attention has focused in on the unique issues - and dangers - inherent in the field of social work, and particularly the charged issues around work in public child welfare.

ziggy7 /

In December of 2014, Vermont Edition spoke Francois Simard of Protec-Style, Inc. in Quebec about the many uses for milkweed. Native to Vermont, the milkweed plant has found use in both industrial and native settings; it can absorb oil spills, provide warm insulation for clothing and habitat for monarchs.

Robert Lehmert, the managing director of Monark Cooperative Vermont, heard this program and was inspired to start his own milkweed business, ENCORE 3 Industries, in order to partner with Protec-Style.