The Green Mountain College Alumni Advisory Board honors alumni each year whose outstanding professional accomplishments and volunteer service have contributed to the success and reputation of the College. On behalf of Green Mountain College, congratulations to this year’s winners: Christina-Alexa Liakos ’09, Karen Rohdin ’63, and Jason Jonza ’03. Christina received her award at the Rogue Reunion; Karen and Jason were honored at the Alumni Banquet held at the 2018 GMC Reunion. [Read more…]
After 21 years of service to Green Mountain College (GMC), Professor Philip Ackerman-Leist is getting ready to transition to the next stage of his career. Effective January 1, 2019 he will enter into the ranks of academic administration as Dean of the School of the New American Farmstead at Sterling College. It is a leadership position that his time here at GMC has prepared him well for.
Professor Ackerman-Leist joined the GMC community in 1997 and in the same year established a ½ acre working farm on campus, Cerridwen Farm. Today, the farm encompasses 23 acres and is an integral part of GMC’s second largest major, Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems. The farm provides hands-on learning for students majoring in the program and valuable life skills for many GMC graduates. In 2010, he founded the Masters in Sustainable Food Systems (MSFS) and served as its director from 2010-2015. The MSFS program continues to grow and is now ranked just behind the Masters in Environmental Science in total enrollment. [Read more…]
For some of you, this question may bring to mind the Counting Crows’ 1996 song of that same title. We ask you this question, however, for two reasons. The first is we hope that you have been noticing the incremental updates we’ve been making to the Alumni webpages. Did you know, for example, that you can find a link to request your transcripts? If you live locally, did you know you can access the gym and pool, free-of-charge? These are just a few of the changes we’ve been making, with many more underway, to provide you with ease of access to increased services and volunteer opportunities. Find us at: www.greenmtn.edu/alumni/
The second reason for asking this question is we just launched a “Lost Alumni” project. Over the last year we’ve been working to identify where you, our alumni, live in order to offer you opportunities to get together at Regional Alumni Connect events. In doing so, and in sending out invitations, we realized we don’t necessarily know where to find you. Alumni we thought were living in New Jersey were actually living in Colorado. Alumni we thought were in New York are now residing in Asheville. And, in many cases, we don’t know where to find you or your former roommate, or favorite teammate – and we do want to be able to help keep you all connected. If you think you might be on the list, or you think you know of someone who is – and you know how to find them, be sure to check out our new “Lost Alumni” page >
We are pleased to announce that Kerri Munro has joined the College Advancement Office as our Director of Alumni Engagement. Kerri began working at Green Mountain College in February 2015 as the Special Projects Coordinator and Employer Relations Manager for the Office of Career and Personal Development and has been pivotal in the success of the Making a Difference & Making a Living Conferences during her tenure. She is maintaining those responsibilities as she takes on her new role in Alumni Relations.
Serena Eddy, Director of Career Services and Personal Development, and Laurie Martin, Vice President of College Advancement are both thrilled to have Kerri working in their respective offices. The natural synergy will enable expanded programming and services for alumni and current students.
Lian Kariuki ‘15 recently attended a special meeting in New York with United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. She was one of three Global Youth Ambassadors to deliver a petition signed by 1.5 million people calling for a new international funding plan for education through the launch of the International Finance Facility for Education (IFFEd), a Multilateral Development Bank (MDB) investment mechanism. The group, representing a network of 700 activists from more than 80 countries, advocated the IFFEd would help to address the needs of millions of young people worldwide that are significantly disadvantaged because they do not have access to education. The IFFEd would mobilize $10 billion or more in funding to help marginalized children to get into school – an estimated 20 million children in its initial stage alone. Following the presentation of the signatures, Lian had a joint radio interview with former British Prime Minister and UN education envoy Gordon Brown.
This issue is personal for Lian, who is currently working towards a Master’s in Public Administration at New York University and came to Green Mountain College as a Make a Difference (MAD) Scholar in 2011. Her success in life may not have been possible without this scholarship opportunity. [Read more…]
Please join us in thanking Melissa Markstrom ’09 and Ray Coderre ’04 for their dedicated service to the Alumni Advisory Board (AAB) and to Green Mountain College. Both Melissa and Ray served over the last year as “tri-chairs” in conjunction with Amanda Mehegan ‘09, who will be continuing on as Chair of the AAB.
The Green Mountain College Alumni Advisory Board (AAB) is seeking nominations for alumni willing to devote their time and talents to GMC. There are currently nine positions open, with preference given to alumni from classes of the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2010s and Master alumni. Alumni selected to fill these positions are representatives of the College and the alumni community.
The purpose of the AAB is to enhance the vibrancy of the College, sustaining among alumni the spirit of their shared experience, supporting the recruitment and retention of students, and assisting in fundraising and garnering financial support for GMC.
Green Mountain College community members are mourning the loss of Fuquan Ford, a member of the Green Mountain College Class of 2021.
Fuquan, of Albany, N.Y., had just completed his first year at Green Mountain and was a student in the farm intensive program this summer. The program incorporates guest professionals—including chefs, farmers and educators—in teaching a select group of students ecological farming and homesteading methods, culinary arts and food preservation, and how sustainable food systems are developed and maintained in Vermont.
For his final project as a part of the summer study program, Fuquan was in the process of finishing “GMC’s Finest Community Cookbook,” featuring recipes from the college community that showcased the cultural diversity of GMC through the foods they prepare, the abundance of locally-sourced ingredients available and food preparation techniques, according to a profile released by the Farm-to-Table intensive.
In addition to his agricultural pursuits, Ford was an active member of GMC’s Eagles basketball team and an activist in the Black Lives Matter chapter on campus. Fuquan will be remembered for his passion, smile, and willingness to step outside his comfort zone and learn new things.
Our thoughts are with Fuquan’s family and friends and everyone touched by this loss.
For those interested in supporting Fuquan Ford’s family, a GoFundMe page has been set up in honor of Fuquan to help as they deal with the tragic loss of their son and brother.
Emily Stollman, a senior who is majoring in education created a Social Sustainability poster campaign on campus. This project was an independent study that changed to Stollman’s delicate balance project. This campaign was created to help people learn about social sustainability and to create more awareness of it on campus. Social sustainability is a community that has qualities which include: health, inclusion diversity, development, and trust. She originally heard about the idea from Dre Roebuck, Director of Student Life, who has been working to raise awareness about social sustainability. When the campaign started over the summer of 2017, Stollman was approached to design the posters. A graphic art major at the time, she enthusiastically accepted the assignment. When she decided to change her major a few weeks after the campaign started, Stollman’s commitment and passion for this project continued and she saw the campaign through to completion as an education major.
To start this project, Stollman first met with Peg Gregory, Director of the Wellness Center, and Ryan Irke, Director of Sustainability. She was given the freedom to decide how to design do the posters and she chose to use photography as the focal point of each design. There are five aspects of social sustainability: health and well-being, diversity and inclusion, personal development and grit, trust and associations, and telling your story. She collaborated with other photographers on campus throughout the school year to collect images that would be used in the creation of three posters for each of the five aspects of social sustainability. She wrote a Student Campus Greening Fund grant, which allowed her to get the funding to print the posters.She later wrote another grant to provide funding for sustainable wooden frames to hang the posters in the buttery.
To put on the show Stollman first had to reach out to the Art Department about using the Surdam Art Gallery on campus, as well as to collaborate on a proposal. The show opened on April 6th. Individuals who attended the opening reception were encouraged to share the ways in which they participate in social sustainability by writing their ideas on sticky notes and affixing them on the walls. The show also featured a Polaroid photo booth; sustainable snacks; and live music by current students and alumni: Devin Balacer ‘18, Jens Hyberston ‘17, and Andrew Poirer ‘16.
Through this experience, Stollman learned many value skills including; how to delegate, balance work and time, and organization for projects. She also said, “The greatest lesson I learned from the project is just how wonderful and generous people can be on this campus and how rewarding such a collaborative effort can be.”
She got very positive feedback from students on campus. Many people enjoyed seeing recent pictures of the campus and of the community. The show attracted a diverse group of people, including many who don’t often attend art shows, and was very lively and full of positive energy.
Stollman is graduating from GMC in May and is planning to travel to Rouen, France to immerse herself in the culture and teach English at the secondary level as part of the Teaching Assistant Program in France. Stollman has studied French since middle school and studied abroad in Paris during the fall semester of her Junior year. She stated, “In the future, I hope to gain more experience teaching and ultimately help to reform the education system as well as continue my own education with a more advanced degree.”
“We know how stressful it is to live with something you feel you have no control over,” said Martel Catalano, a GMC grad who recently launched a nonprofit to help provide emotional support and educational resources for people with chronic illnesses and disabilities.
The nonprofit Beyond My Battle was started by Catalano and Nell Pritchard, who both live with different rare, incurable diseases. What started out as an online support group focusing on positivity and diversity has evolved into a nonprofit organization with big plans to address what they saw as a need for a network that isn’t focused on a particular disease or disability.
“We believe there is actually a lot still a lot within our control,” says Catalano. “It’s how we respond to our situation. So we’re focusing on a more positive, mindful approach that looks to reducing stress, building resilience, and cultivating mind-body wellbeing.”
Beyond My Battle looks to not only provide support and resources for people with medical conditions, but also their families, friends, and caretakers. “It can be difficult to understand the emotions of – and therefore support – a loved one who’s living with a chronic disease or disability.” Their resources will be accessible to anyone, anywhere, through their online platform.
Beyond My Battle will be launching a crowdfunding campaign on April 17th where they are happy to share a short video and proposal of their projects with you. They will have 35 days to reach their goal of $13,000. You can view the campaign and make a donation by following the link on the homepage of www.beyondmybattle.org