Many colleges observe Earth Day, scheduled for Wednesday, April 22. “Green Mountain College traditionally celebrates Earth Week,” said GMC sustainability director Aaron Witham. “Sustainability plays such a big role in our curriculum and in our campus culture that we believe it’s important to be mindful of the earth every day.” The Princeton Review recognized Green Mountain College’s exceptional commitment to sustainability on September 2, 2015, in its sixth annual guide to the most environmentally responsible “green” colleges: GMC was ranked second in the nation, just behind Lewis and Clark College in Oregon. The news received wide media attention, including in the Huffington Post.
Green Mountain College’s 178th commencement ceremony will be held this Saturday at 10 a.m. on the Griswold Library Lawn. If you can’t join us in Poultney, watch the ceremony through this live video link. The 2015 commencement speaker is environmental leader Mindy Lubber. Read more below.
Green Mountain College’s 178th commencement ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 16 at 10 a.m. on the Griswold Library Lawn. The 2015 commencement speaker is Mindy S. Lubber, one of the world’s most influential leaders in harnessing capitalism for positive environmental outcomes. She will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree from the College. Lubber is the president of Ceres, the leading U.S. coalition of investors and environmental leaders working to improve corporate environmental, social and governance practices. Ceres has succeeded in persuading more than 1000 companies to sign its “Climate Declaration” urging Congress to adopt new laws to combat global warming. She also directs the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), an alliance of more than 100 institutional investors representing over $10 trillion in assets. In 2010, she was honored by the United Nations and the Foundation for Social Change as one of the “World’s Top Leaders of Change.”
The student speaker will be Peyton Jones, an environmental studies major concentrating in policy from Asheville, North Carolina. After graduation, Peyton will be continuing her work with the Intentional Endowment Network (IEN) while living in Ecuador. IEN supports colleges, universities, and other mission-driven tax-exempt organizations in aligning their endowment investment practices with their mission, values, and sustainability goals without sacrificing financial returns.
The ceremony is open to the public. For those who cannot attend, commencement will be broadcasted live at this link: https://youtu.be/YBK9Y6rxnY8
For more information about commencement activities, please visit greenmtn.edu/commencement
Last week Erondu Jude Chisom ’15 was selected as a member of the Pearson Student Advisory Board. Pearson is the world’s leading learning company, with 40,000 employees in more than 80 countries providing education products and services to institutions, governments and individual learners. Student board members work with Pearson executives and product development teams to revise products and services to affect student success. Examples include evaluating the use of mobile devices in the classroom and developing games as learning tools. Erondu will join a stellar group of 13 students from all over North America to work with Pearson executives on mission critical initiatives to advance learning and education. He will participate in the Pearson Leadership Summit in San Francisco July 23-26.
Spring Bulletin Published
The spring issue of the Green Mountain College’s alumni magazine the Bulletin was in the mail last week. See the online version by clicking the icon at right. This issue focuses on GMC as an “early adapter” by providing undergraduate and graduate programs relevant to a changing world. There are in-depth features on the College’s agricultural programs and some extraordinary and generous gifts recently received by GMC.
Commencement Choir Concert
Friday at 8 p.m. the college choir will present their commencement concert, which is free and open to the public in the Clara Hitchcock Fitzpatrick Jones Concert Hall (Ackley Hall).
2015 Reverie is Online
As of Thursday, May 7th, Green Mountain College’s literary and visual arts journal The Reverie, is officially launched for spring 2015. The “seamstress” group of undergraduates who threaded this issue together over the past two semesters is excited to be reaching a wider readership in this new volume (21) for three reasons.
Reason one to be thrilled: This year’s publication was open for submissions from not only current students, but also accepted contributions from faculty, staff, and alumni. The Reverie hopes to receive even more variety in submissions for next year’s volume.
Reason two for a required ruffling of feathers: What has traditionally only been an annual print publication now has an additional presence – online. This year’s editor, Bianca Zanella ‘15, envisions the new website, greenmtnreverie.com, to become a digital database for GMC’s art. Soon there will be more spoken word video recordings on the site, as well as occasional blog posts from editors, and new work! Zanella says, “The launch of an online accompaniment to the annual issue will hopefully curb our readers in the lull between print publications, and give more people the opportunity to get published, to have their voice heard.”
Reason three for eager enthusiasm: You can own your very own print copy of the magazine for free. All you have to do is stop by the display at the front entrance of Griswold Library to pick one up, or email email@example.com if none are available. Pick one up today, and absorb the stories, just like Aaron Witham, GMC’s sustainability director and contributor to this year’s journal, who said, “I really enjoyed reading it! The layout is nice, the selection is great, the art is stunning – just overall great job!”
The Green Mountain College athletic department hosted its annual Athletic Awards Ceremony last Tuesday night. Faculty athletic representative Rommy Fuller helped distribute the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll certificates and the scholar-athlete awards. Award winners included: Nate Laymon (men’s soccer/men’s lacrosse), Ethan Cooper (men’s soccer/men’s track), Matthias Baudinet (men’s soccer), Martha Howe (women’s soccer), Alex Stephanson (men’s cross country), Peyton Jones and Katie Best (women’s cross country), Luz Guel and Megan Roy (women’s volleyball), George Gera (men’s basketball), Amber Heath and Keelin Banks (women’s basketball), Brett Baldwin (men’s lacrosse), Catie Brewster and Hannah Davis (women’s lacrosse), Jack Hepburn and Connor Braden (men’s tennis), Chris Weslosky (men’s track), Casiana Arroyo (women’s track) and Kathleen Chappelear, Swe Zaw Oo and Alex Reedy (women’s tennis).
The Individual Sport Eagle Award which was given to individuals who best exemplify a team player through their performance, leadership, and involvement. The winners were: Ryan Crozier (men’s soccer), Kim Simonetti (women’s soccer), Corey Fletcher (men’s cross country), Peyton Jones (women’s cross country), Madison Wage (women’s volleyball), Billy Brink (men’s basketball), Allison Wadsworth (women’s basketball), Dan Steele (men’s Lacrosse), Rebecca Girouard (women’s lacrosse), Connor Braden (men’s tennis), Kathleen Chappelear (women’s tennis) and Jesse Thompson (men’s track).
The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) handed out Senior Student-Athlete Awards to Peyton Jones and Matthias Baudinet.
Martha Howe and Nate Laymon were awarded the Student-Athlete Service Award. The award is given annually to a senior or junior woman and man who have demonstrated superior citizenship and ethical conduct on and off the field.
The Director’s Award was presented to the College’s group of workers employed by DTZ. The distinction was thoroughly deserved for the group’s commitment to maintaining athletics grounds and facilities.
Four-Year Athlete Awards were also given to a select group of student-athletes who dedicated themselves to a single sport program for their entire four-year career at GMC: men’s soccer – Matt Kukola; women’s volleyball – Madison Wage; men’s basketball – Billy Brink.
The presentation of awards was capped off with the Male and Female James M. Pollock “Eagle” Awards. Billy Brink was named this year’s male recipient for his commitment and dedication to the basketball program. Madison Wage earned the distinction as this year’s female recipient.
Three Green Mountain College students enrolled in Kevin Bubriski’s documentary studies course this semester explored the issues their peers face every day through the medium of portrait photography. Martha Howe, Luz Guel and Rosemary Connelli had no idea their class project “Diversity: Overcoming Stereotypes” would lead to campus-wide discussions. “We came up with the idea that in the school we face a lot of stereotypes and the best way to bring about discussion is to kind of have these stereotypes in our hands and talk to different people about them,” explained Luz. Their story was featured on WCAX-TV last week.
Prof. Lucas Brown (REED) and students at Ball State University won a merit award for a new building with a construction cost less than $5 million from the American Institute of Architects Indianapolis chapter. Lucas, associate Tim Gray, and his students designed and built “GRID Farm: In Support of Urban Farming and Community Education” in conjunction with the Ball State University Department of Architecture. According to the citation: “The end design was unique, well-thought out with careful attention to details and constructability. The involvement of students is key to the project’s success in being an educational model and site for continued learning. The goal of the project is key toward food security, climate action, and community building for the underserved.” Lucas is on sabbatical from GMC for the 2014-15 academic year. See a photo of the project here.
Last month 15 GMC students spent the week in New York City for the 2015 Model United Nations. Along with roughly 5,000 other young delegates from other colleges, the students woke up early and worked hard as diplomats and world citizens representing the African country Kenya. Making speeches, attending meetings and networking with their peers, the GMC delegation received an Honorable Mention award! Head delegate Salima Mahamadou ’15 won the Outstanding Delegate award. This photo was taken of the group in front of UN Headquarters.
Green Mountain College is a signatory of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), a national organization that challenges presidents to pledge that their institutions will be responsible for reducing more greenhouse gas emissions than they are emitting. GMC has been a signatory since 2007 and became only the second college in the country to achieve neutrality in 2011 after reducing on-site emissions by 30%.
This year, the College is due for a carbon inventory and at that time, any emissions that were not reduced over the last two years should be covered by offsets that result in emissions reductions somewhere else. Picking a carbon offset provider has been a year-long process, involving over 50 students from five different classes, including Teresa Coker’s Voices, Sarah Mittlefehldt’s Forest Policy and Management, Sam Edwards’ Environmental Senior Seminar, Steve Letendre’s Renewable Energy and Society, and Bill Throop’s Delicate Balance. Students researched over six options, and the Sustainability Office narrowed the list to three which had the most student support. Brooke Hallock ’16 and Peyton Jones ’15 led the effort to verify project alignment with ACUPCC.
The three finalists were provided to Teresa Coker’s Voices class early this spring, and the class designed and implemented an educational vetting process aimed at ranking the three choices. 169 people voted and the results favored Native Energy’s landfill gas project in upstate New York, followed by CO2 Balance’s stove project in Kenya. Third place went to the Conservation Fund’s forest sequestration project in California.
The Campus Sustainability Council voted to endorse the top choice, Native Energy. The CSC’s recommendation will be passed to Cabinet, which will have final say over the purchase. The top two reasons respondents chose Native Energy were location and method.