Adjunct professor of painting John Recco’s elephants have arrived at the College’s Feick Fine Arts Center. His eight large canvasses (each piece is 96″ by 74″) will be on display at the Feick through Dec. 1. The Feick is open to the public 1-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Recco is a native of Lowell, Mass., and received his BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and an MFA from Columbia University. He has taught widely throughout New England and his work has appeared in group or solo shows and galleries and museums across the country.
Students, staff, and faculty are invited to join the College Programming Board and the Sustainability Office in a planning session for Martin Luther King Day activities at Green Mountain College. The planning session will take place on Thursday, November 19 from noon-1p.m. in the back of the dining hall. Students not on the meal plan who would like to attend, or people interested in being involved but not available to meet on Thursday, should contact Ryan Ihrke in the Sustainability Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the clock struck midnight Friday night, the annual Do it in the Dark dorm versus dorm energy reduction competition came to a close. Our resident assistants banned together with the Sustainability Office to get their buildings at the top of the chart and their coworkers crashing to the bottom. As the week came to a close the numbers began to indicate a clear winner. Cree took on the challenge to Do it in the Dark and defeated the competition for 2015. We pride our champions in their efforts to reduce energy and join floor and building-mates alike in order to claim the victory. As always at the Sustainability Office, we ask you to be mindful with your energy consumption and consider alternatives for energy efficient practices. A great thanks to all those who did it in the dark for another year and we can’t wait to see who will take the title of Do it in the Dark champions next year.
Erondu Jude Chisom ’16 has received an internship at the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network – Youth as Campus Ambassador, an organization dedicated to empowering youth from around the world to create sustainable solutions to global development and environmental challenges. Launched by the United Nations in 2012, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) mobilizes scientific and technical expertise from academia, civil society, and the private sector in support of sustainable development problem-solving at local, national, and global scales.
Erondu’s internship lasts for two months through December 27, after which he is eligible for a 12-month position on the Assembly. Erondu is studying sustainable business with a minor in environmental policy. The first member of his family and his community in Nigeria to attend college, Erondu has held several leadership positions at GMC. He was a member of the judicial review board between 2013 and 2014, director of civic engagement on the Student Senate, and student body president last year. He is also a member of the Green Mountain College Model United Nations, representing China and Togo in the Security Council at the National Model United Nations Conferences in New York in 2013 and 2014. According to the SDSN announcement, “Erondu is passionate to be a member of SDSN-Youth so that he can develop necessary skills needed in his career pursuit in foreign policy and sustainable development and promote global education which he sees as a tool for the eradication of global hunger and poverty.” Read more on the SDSN website.
In his letter published by the Chronicle of higher Education, prof. Steve Fesmire (philosophy) warns against the long-term dangers to society of commodifying higher education. “It would be a tragedy that trivializes all of our successes if U.S. educational politics and policy continues down a path in which colleges and universities — or industries, for that matter! — gain economic efficiency and increase productivity by frustrating human growth, imagination, and fulfillment.” Read the full text here.
Green Mountain College has been recognized as a national sustainability leader in the 2015 Sustainable Campus Index released yesterday by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). GMC achieved the top spot for curriculum and air quality achievements, and the school was ranked #2 in the area of socially responsible investment strategies. The 2015 Sustainable Campus Index highlights top-performing colleges and universities in 17 areas, as measured by the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) developed by AASHE.
Green Mountain, which received a “gold” designation by AASHE in 2014, ranked first in the curriculum category, which recognizes institutions with education programs and courses that address sustainability. GMC declared its environmental mission in 1995 and has built its curriculum and campus culture around sustainability.
GMC shared the number one ranking with Colby College in the area of air quality. The STARS air and climate subcategory recognizes institutions that are measuring and reducing their greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions. Five years ago, GMC opened a new $5.8 million biomass plant, which now generates 85% of the school’s annual heating needs. The facility replaced number six fuel oil with locally harvested woodchips to provide heat in cold months. The biomass plant and a host of other initiatives have resulted in a 41% reduction in greenhouse gasses across campus since 2007.
“Green Mountain College’s participation in STARS and strong performance demonstrates significant leadership and commitment to advancing sustainability,” said AASHE’s Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser. “We are pleased to recognize GMC for working to secure a brighter future by incorporating sustainability into campus operations, academics, administration and engagement.”
GMC ranked second in the nation in the “investment” category, as a result of the College’s recent move to divest from 200 publicly traded companies, which hold most of the world’s known coal, oil and gas reserves. Finally the College was named a “top performer” in the STARS coordination and planning metrics. This recognizes institutions that are dedicating resources to sustainability coordination, developing plans to move towardsustainability, and engaging the campus community in governance. Green Mountain College’s strategic plan, Sustainability 2020, sets the goal of complete energy independence on campus by the end of the decade.
“The consistently high rating the College continually receives is a testament to the hard work of the entire campus community,” said GMC sustainability director Ryan Ihrke. “Many of the best ideas, like the biomass plant, come from students who are challenged in their classes to bridge the gap between the purely theoretical and the practical. They learn how to make positive change in their community and see the results of their work.”
The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. For more information on Green Mountain College’s sustainability site, visit here.
For more information 2015 Sustainable Campus Index data, visit stars.aashe.org.
In 2007, Jack Brennan, then the president of Green Mountain College, became one of the first signatories of the American College & University President’s Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), a signature program of Second Nature. At the time the world was experiencing the second highest global temperature readings for any year on record.
On October 5, amidst what might shape up as the warmest year since temperature records have been recorded, GMC’s current president, Paul Fonteyn, signed Second Nature’s Climate Commitment. He was among 45 university presidents to sign the document during a ceremony in Decatur, Georgia, on the campus of Agnes Scott College.
Second Nature, whose program constitutes the largest university-based climate alliance, introduced this expansion in its efforts to mitigate and prepare for climate change among its network of over 650 colleges and universities. Based in Boston, Second Nature has expanded the ACUPCC beyond carbon reduction to now include climate resilience.
The Commitment asserts that effects of climate change will become more severe and damaging. The signers recognize that mitigation and adaptation are complimentary strategies for managing the risks, and taking advantage of new opportunities created by a changing climate
“As president of an academic community shaping the lives of future leaders, I can’t think of a single issue more important than addressing carbon outputs and adjusting to the realities of climate change that we are already experiencing,” said Fonteyn.
As a signatory of the ACUPCC, Green Mountain College committed itself to creating a comprehensive plan to achieve climate neutrality. In 2011 GMC became the second college in the nation to reach that goal, and the first to do so through a significant reduction in on-site emissions through efficiency, adoption of clean energy, and purchase of quantifiable local carbon offsets.
Tim Carter, who took over Second Nature a year ago, said that it was “not only good but necessary” for the higher education community to lead on a “bold, innovative” initiative that is so critical to future generations.
“We have worked closely with our presidential leadership to ensure this expansion would empower the network to continue to push what is possible in climate leadership,” said Carter. “College and University leaders hold a special place in our society, and they are in a unique position to lead on climate issues.”
To join the Climate Leadership Network, the president or chancellor of a college or university is required to sign one of the three Climate Leadership Commitments: Carbon, Resilience, or Climate. The Climate Commitment, the most holistic climate leadership commitment to date, combines the Carbon and resilience commitments.
“In addition to a 99 percent job placement rate, Frank Pauze said the benefits of the KSRM program include gaining an excellent work ethic, paid winter internships, three years of college costs instead of four, and entering the workforce a year earlier.” Those are some of the takeaways in a recent Mountain Times article by Karen D. Lorentz about Green Mountain College’s Killington School of Resort Management. Frank Pauze is director of KRSM, the nation’s only resort and hospitality management program to award a bachelor’s degree in three years. Find out more about the history of the program, and what graduates have such high job placement rates after graduating.
Last week the National Wildlife Federation released The Campus Wild: How College and University Green Landscapes Provide Havens for Wildlife and “Lands-on” Experiences for Students. This richly detailed guide highlights how colleges and universities are playing a dynamic role protecting wildlife and restoring habitats in campus green spaces. A story on Green Mountain College features our shift to landscaping practices to gardens and beds that host native plants, as well as the school’s Invasive Species Control Policy. To read more about Green Mountain College’s accomplishments in sustainable land management, see page 16 of the document here.
We’ve known it all along, but College Ranker just named Green Mountain College as having one of the best college farms in the country. The “top 40” include colleges that best incorporate hands-on experiences, student involvement, community outreach programs, volunteering opportunities and degree plan options.