By Mary Penna/ECHO Cat Viglienzoni at ECHO's Champlain Sea tank. (Photo Jessie Forand/ECHO) From California to Vermont, she was ...

Faces of ECHO: Cat Viglienzoni

By Mary Penna/ECHO

Cat Viglienzoni at ECHO's Champlain Sea tank. (Photo Jessie Forand/ECHO)

From California to Vermont, she was forced to make a lot of adjustments (especially getting used to the snow). But one thing about Cat Viglienzoni has not changed – her love of science.

Viglienzoni is from Santa Cruz, CA, and first moved to the East Coast to attend Emerson College in Boston.

Shortly after graduation she moved to Burlington and started working at local TV station WCAX as a producer/reporter for The Weekend morning show and a Sunday science segment.

Science is something that Viglienzoni has always been passionate about and that runs her family. She grew up with a physical scientist mother and a mathematician father, her sister and brother are both biologists.

Knowing few people in Burlington, she needed something to do when not at work and started volunteering at ECHO to kill time and get involved in her new city.

“I started because I liked the idea of being active in the community,” she said, “My favorite place to go when I was growing up was the Monterey Bay Aquarium, so I was excited to volunteer at ECHO.”

Viglienzoni has been a part of the ECHO community for four years.

She loves the passion radiating from every volunteer, the impact the center has on guests, and the ecology education ECHO provides while offering new and different exhibits, programs, and events for kids.

Viglienzoni said this keeps volunteering interesting. Her favorite part about ECHO is the Champlain Sea tank, which "exposes people to creatures that are not in Vermont, that they wouldn’t otherwise get to experience” she said.

Though her new home state is much different than California, she likes the change. The winters were a hard adjustment but she said she loves Burlington's accessibility, the views, and the attitude.

“People tend to be conscious of the environment and where they live.” she said.

She loves the sense of community and how people genuinely care about each other’s well-being. For a small city, Burlington has a lot going on all the time which strongly enhances the city’s culture, she said.

When she’s not at ECHO or WCAX, Viglienzoni is likely dancing. She tries to do it twice a week, both taking lessons and attending social dances, and specializes in west coast swing, ballroom, and Latin dancing.

Dedicated volunteers like Viglienzoni are what help to keep ECHO running. Check back next week to meet volunteer, Judy Allard.

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