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.
Four sustainability leaders in Vermont were recognized last month at the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2015 Environmental Merit Awards ceremony in Boston. Prof. Jacob Park (business) was presented with the individual merit award from Vermont.
Jacob, who serves as a director of Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility, was nominated in particular for his work on climate change education. In the spring of 2014, he served as project director and core faculty member on a student project exploring flood resiliency as a community development priority for Rutland County three years after Hurricane Irene. Working with scientists, city planners, government officials and other leaders, Jacob, in conjunction with other GMC faculty members and students, unveiled four key steps to institutionalize local flood resiliency in Vermont. That summer, in recognition of his leadership in this area, Jacob was also awarded the Community Climate Change Fellowship Award by EECapacity, a national environmental education training program led by Cornell University. He used the fellowship to work with farmers and agricultural groups on the growing impact of climate change on Vermont food and agricultural issues.
Each year EPA New England recognizes individuals and groups in the six New England states who have worked to protect or improve the region’s environment in distinct ways. The merit awards, given out since 1970, honor individuals and groups who have shown particular ingenuity and commitment in their efforts.
Prof. Kevin Bubriski first visited Nepal in 1975 as a 20-year-old Peace Corps volunteer. He came with a deep curiosity about the place and a Leica M3 camera in hand. He began taking photos of the people he met and the landscapes he saw—and he has never stopped. Kevin formed many close relationships over many visits to Nepal. When he awoke to a flurry of emails about the recent earthquake, he immediately took to Facebook. To his relief, he saw messages from friends in Kathmandu indicating they were safe. But there is still uncertainty about the fate of many Nepalese located in remote part of the country. Hear the story and view Kevin’s images from Nepal at this NPR story.
To find out more about relief efforts and how you can help, read this letter from Kevin to the GMC community.
Jude Chisom Erondu ’15 was named by Campus Compact as winner of a national 2015 Newman Civic Fellow Award. The Newman Civic Fellows Award is generously sponsored by the KPMG Foundation. Through service, research, and advocacy, Fellows are recognized for making the most of their college experiences to better understand themselves, the root causes of social issues, and effective mechanisms for creating lasting change.
For the past two and half years, Erondu, a native of Nigeria, held a variety of student leadership positions at Green Mountain College including president of the Student Senate and director of civic engagement in the Student Senate. He also worked as a junior director of undergraduate admissions. Outside the College, Erondu has been active in a wide range of community development activities. He collaborated with the Poultney United Methodist Church and GMC on a food drive effort that resulted in nearly 350 pounds of food items being donated to a local food pantry. He also worked with the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church’s annual Rutland Meals Challenge in providing more than 40,000 ready-to-cook meals for distribution to food shelves throughout Vermont.
“As a GMC student majoring in sustainable business (honors), with a minor in environmental policy, I plan to return to Nigeria after graduation to continue community-based social and environmental activities in my home country,” said Erondu.
Adventure Ed Programs Repairs Trails at the Deane
Faculty and students in the adventure education program completed 50 hours of community service through a variety of trail maintenance projects at the 85-acre Lewis Deane Nature Preserve on April 29. Over the preceding winter, numerous hemlock, white pine, and deciduous trees collapsed under the weight of early season ice and snowstorms. Nature preserve users were creating multiple side trails around debris as several trail sections were completely impassable. To prevent multiple trailing and control erosion, prof. Andrew G. Bentley and GreenMAP director Kelly McFadden brought two sections of the course, ADE 1041 Outdoor Living Skills, to the Deane Preserve to cut away fallen trees and limbs, clear water bars, and to rake trail surfaces. This project received generous support from the biology program and prof. Bruce Saxman. The 22 individuals attending the event are pictured (back row, left to right: David Warnez, Henry Dobell, Jeffrey Eckhardt, Michael Preminger, Samuel Brady, Cullen MacAndrew, Chloe Bertera, teaching assistant Alex Howard, Miranda Bailey-Russomano, Erica Freed, Bailey Aaron, Cecile Walsh, Matthew Giuliano, and professor Kelly McFadden; Front row, left to right: professor Andrew G. Bentley, Jack Olsen, Molly McKenna, Amanda Silversmith, and James Rendina). Not pictured: Jacqueline Kelsey, Lucille Goff, and teaching assistant, Nick Parsons.
Applied Recital Tonight on Ackley Stage at 7 p.m.
The Green Mountain College Jazz Band will perform classic jazz favorites such as Summertime, Autumn Leaves, and St. James Infirmary. Directed by Gary Schmidt, the ensemble is a unique and talented group of students. The band will also be joined by guest artist Dave McKenzie on trumpet. The concert is free and open to the public.
Sarah Rogers Hosts Senior Show
Sarah Rogers’ 15 will hold a reception for her senior show titled “Chrysalis” on Friday, May 8 from 6-8 p.m. at the William Feick Arts Center. Her work will be on display May 6-16. The community is invited!
Shuttle Schedule Posted
The end-of-year GMC Shuttle Service schedule, with transport to Albany Airport and the Castleton Train Station, has been posted here. The service is available to all GMC students, faculty and staff.
Emma Robinson Presents Capstone This Evening
Emma Robinson ’15 will discuss the importance of “civic agriculture” in food systems reform today at 6:30 p.m. in Terrace 121E. She will describe an approach that recognizes direct engagement in agriculture as a means to achieve social, economic, and environmental sustainability within local communities. A “civic” food system uses a grass-roots strategy for change, responsive to the current trends in alternative movements to uphold certain forms of racial and socioeconomic discrimination. The talk will highlight the significance of civic agriculture in supporting community-oriented and socially responsible development and explore how civic agriculture can be practiced to achieve these goals. All majors and community members are welcome!
CPB Presents: Rumbafrica on Wednesday
Celebrate the last day of classes with the African dance and music group, Rumbafrica at 6 p.m. on Wednesday on the Library Lawn (rain location will be the Gorge). Rumbafrica was founded in 1992 by Tshibangu Kadima, who was born in Lubumbashi in Congo. Kadima came to the U.S. originally to study computer engineering and graduated from Northeastern University. He introduced New England to SOUKOUS music. The Boston-based group performs music and dance combining rhythms of traditional Congolese rumba (a variant of the Cuban rumba) with the modern non-stop soukous beat. The performance is brought to GMC courtesy of Green Mountain College’s Programming Board and Intercultural Center.
GMC Athletes Win Conference Awards, Set Personal Bests in Track
Junior midfielder and two-year captain Nick Parsons was named to the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) men’s lacrosse All-Conference second team last week. The award for Parsons is icing on the cake for the Eagles after their historic run within NAC play this season, posting a program best for wins in a season and making their first-ever postseason experience. On the track, GMC received nine podium finishes, including three wins, en route to a second place finish during the NAC Men’s Outdoor Track and Field Invitational at Colby-Sawyer College. Jesse Thompson ’17 won the high jump and javelin events, setting a personal best mark in the high jump at 1.69 meters. GMC’s Ellijah Williams ’18 won second- place in the high jump with a leap of 1.64 meters. Corey Fletcher ’16 took home the remaining first place finish by winning the long jump event, soaring to a personal best of 6.01 meters. Ryan Crozier ’17 contributed to the Eagles’ strong showing with second place finishes in the 110 and 400 meter hurdles, setting a personal best in the latter event. Ethan Cooper ’17 finished directly behind Crozier in the 400 meter hurdles, posting a personal best time. The men’s 4×100 and 4×400 relay teams finished second and third respectively. Meanwhile Billy Brink ’15 set personal bests in the hammer throw and the discus. Darnell Davis ’18 reached a personal best in the hammer throw with a toss of 15.74 meters.
Students, Faculty and Staff Recognized at Honors Tea
On Sunday, May 3, Green Mountain College held its annual Honors Tea to recognize outstanding achievements. Students earned awards and scholarships for academic work as well as for service work and student life activities. The keynote speaker was Beth Clarke, from the Renewable Energy Leadership Program, GE Power & Water. Beth graduated cum laude from Green Mountain College in 2007 with a B.A. in environmental studies.
“Your Green Mountain College education is something special,” Beth said in her remarks. “If you choose a career path that is very much in line with your major, you will find that your course work has prepared exceptionally well to succeed. But your GMC education gives you an additional set of skills that will allow you do and excel in things you haven’t even dreamed about doing yet. This is an incredible gift. A gift you can look forward to utilizing in the future. For now, enjoy your GMC experience – it goes by quickly, but stays with you.” Download a list of award recipients here.