The Killington Mountain Resort–the “Beast of the East”–was at the epicenter of international ski competition over Thanksgiving weekend. The resort hosted the Audi FIS Ski World Cup November 26-27. With thousands of spectators urging hometown favorite Mikaela Shiffrin on to victory, students and alumni from GMC‘s Killington School of Resort Management helped make the event happen. Jason Ruben ’17 and Will Conroy ’11 talked with WCAX-TV reporter Taylor Young about how the Resort Hospitality Management Program at GMC’s Killington School of Resort Management helps prepare students for rewarding careers in the hospitality industry. See the story here.
Archives for November 2016
Tom Fredericks ‘19 is working with prof. Jim Harding (Dean of Faculty, natural resource management), on an independent study related to investment strategies—principally on stocks and stock options. As part of his investigation, Tom and a GMC team competed in the “Think or Swim Investment Challenge” sponsored by TD Ameritrade. This is a month-long competition in which 3-4 person teams, made up entirely of college students, are each given $500,000 in a virtual brokerage account. Over the following four weeks, teams invested in stocks, bonds, and options and tried to increase the value of the account. The competition began on Monday, Oct. 10 and concluded on Friday, Nov. 4. This is the second year that a team from Green Mountain College has competed in this challenge—last year, the GMC team led by Swe Oo ’16 finished 33rd out of 641 teams. This year, Tom’s team (GreenMtn Investing), including Marjuk Ahmed ‘17 and Ben Webb ‘19, was one of 726 from all across the United States. At the end of the competition, GreenMtn Investing finished 13th (in the top 2% of all teams), turning the $500,000 investment into $633,874.75 for a monthly return of 26.77%. “It is a credit to Tom to lead his team to 13th place finish against teams from some of the largest universities in the country,” Jim Harding said.
The lobby of the Waldron Athletic Center reflects a long and storied athletic tradition at GMC — trophies dating back to a century ago populate the large, glassed-in display case, and plaques honoring members of the GMC Athletic Hall of Fame are mounted in neat rows on the walls.
James Thivierge, GMC’s sports information director, walks down these hallways every workday. He sees the recent renovations to Waldron’s men’s and women’s locker room and bathroom facilities, made possible by a $200,000 donation from an anonymous donor, as representing respect for the College’s athletic history and a promise to current students.
James was deeply involved during the spring 2016 semester in planning for the renovations, which include upgrades to the faculty/staff locker room and improvements to the Waldron lobby entrance. Among other advantages, the renovations provide two separate locker rooms for both men’s and women’s teams.
“Our old locker rooms had to accommodate multiple teams — for instance, men’s track and lacrosse teams had to share the same locker room in the spring,” James said. “Now we can accommodate multiple teams for men’s and women’s sports.” Athletes will be assigned to new lockers, complete with name placards that, to James’ way of thinking, provide a sense of pride and ownership. “Student athletes spend a lot of time in Waldron, practicing and preparing for games. The new locker rooms will be places they can be proud of, places they can call home.”
Caption: Sports information director James Thivierge shows off ball skills with Ethan Cooper ’17 (left) and Mercedes Rideout ’17 (right) in one of the revamped locker rooms in the Waldron Athletic Center.
American School and University magazine recently cited Green Mountain College for its top ranking among baccalaureate colleges by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). AASHE also awarded Green Mountain College the #1 spot in sustainability-based curriculum.
AASHE measured the performance of colleges and universities in 17 aspects of sustainability through its Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS), a self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure sustainability performance.
“The institutions and initiatives featured in this year’s Sustainable Campus Index showcase the great work that higher education institutions are doing to lead the global sustainability transformation,” says AASHE’s Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser.
Read the full story here.
Master of science in sustainable food systems (MSFS) student Sonia Kendrick reminds us that in the midst of abundance, many people are “food insecure” — they cannot count on access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. Sonia served in Afghanistan from 2003-2004 as part of the Iowa National Guard. She channeled her post-war trauma into a successful non-profit Feed Iowa First that grows healthy food in her hometown of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Her organization also trains beginner farmers, something needed on a large scale to succeed the current aging agricultural workforce. Read more about Sonia’s work in this Union of Concerned Scientists blog post by Andrea Basche.
With the December holidays approaching, the Green Mountain College Wellness Center is hosting a public nutrition workshop titled “Avoiding the Freshman 15 and Holiday Weight Gain: Eating for Health” on Thursday, Dec. 15 from 4-6 p.m. The workshop will be led by Nutritional Life Coach Kacie Winston-Shelvey. The program begins at 4 p.m. in the Booth Lounge (Withey Hall) for an informational lecture. At 5 p.m. we will move to the GMC dining hall where Kacie will help us put together a nutritious and calorie appropriate meal from the offerings for dinner that evening. The workshop is open to all GMC students/faculty/staff and to the public. For the public the lecture is free, the cost of joining the group for dinner in the dining hall will be $8.25. Contact the GMC Wellness Center at (802) 287-8376 with any questions
Shannon Westlake, a student in GMC‘s Master of Science in Environmental Studies program, has accepted a Ph.D. Fellowship through Mississippi State University in Human Dimensions of Fisheries and Wildlife. In this position she will support ongoing studies, including one funded by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, and concurrently develop her own research into the human dimensions of wildlife and environmental conservation. This fellowship will allow her to continue the work she started at GMC for her master’s thesis project, aptly named Project Pollinator. This project focused on connecting citizens and the environment by increasing awareness of the link between pollinator species and healthy food sources. The project fostered collaboration between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, non-profit organizations, and local citizens within an urban community in order to build awareness and encourage involvement for pollinator conservation. Instructors Teresa Coker and Dianna Gielstra have guided Shannon in her research work at GMC.
Green Mountain College’s holistic approach to sustainability education was the focus of a paper recently published in the International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education (Volume 17, Issue 6). Titled “When the informal is the formal, the implicit is the explicit,” the peer-reviewed paper was authored by a team of researchers from Texas State, Oklahoma State, and Kansas State and documents the power of a GMC education. The paper was based on a qualitative study conducted at GMC involving 55 students who participated in focus group interviews. The study findings include: “Students articulate that the most valuable gains that manifest at GMC are a variety of new capacities for science literacy, anthropological appreciation, the triple bottom line, a sense of place, systems, empathic decision-making and reasoning, interdisciplinary collaboration, and practical techniques supporting self-sufficiency.”
As the temperature drops, GMC students grab their winter gear and get out outside! Once again, GMC has been identified as one of the best colleges in the nation for outdoor enthusiasts. And we wholeheartedly agree! “One of the most environmentally-minded schools in the nation, Green Mountain College—whose motto is ‘First in Sustainability’—is true to its word and puts its money where its mouth is,” says the outdoor apparel company Marmot. “Case in point: it has pledged to reach complete carbon neutrality by 2020, already installing solar panels and a wind turbine on campus. Between the Adirondacks and Green Mountains (hence its name), the college is founded on earth-minded ideals, offering degrees in environmental studies, natural resource management and sustainable food systems. Its student clubs include a bike and ski shop, an equestrian club, a farm crew, an outdoor recreation alliance, a rowing crew, a skate club, an ultimate rugby group and quidditch, because why not?” GMC takes 9th place in this national ranking.
Green Mountain College’s newly chartered student chapter of The Wildlife Society headed to Raleigh, N.C. to The Wildlife Society Annual Meeting October 15-19. Here, Doug Bishop ’17, Sara Lucas ’17, Paola Fernandez ’17, Tynazha Jones ’17, and Ashley Leemans ’18 participated in a number of student activities, including the annual Quiz Bowl, going up against 26 national colleges and universities. The students participated in several field trips, workshops and networking events.