Student Matthias Baudinet (left) and Salima Mahamoudou (in blue sweater) greet alumni and other visitors for a tour of the renovated Bentley House Saturday afternoon. After much careful and thoughtful work, made possible with funding from federal grants, individual donors and the College, this rehabilitated c.1900 Queen Anne-Colonial style house (historically known as the C.W. Humphrey House) will reopen as a community meeting and events center for the College and the town. The tour was part of the Alumni and Family Weekend activities.
Robin Currey Rescues Heirloom Apples
As Vermonters harvest a new apple crop, Robin Currey, a new Green Mountain College faculty member in sustainable food systems, is keeping an eye on apple cultivation half a world away in the Central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan. Robin serves on the board of directors for Kompanion Financial Group CJSC, a Community Development Financial Institution specializing in microfinance (a method of providing loans to entrepreneurs, primarily women, who lack access to traditional banks). Kompanion was founded by Mercy Corps, a leading global economic development and aid organization, based in Portland, Ore.
“I wore many hats, including deputy country director of Mercy Corps Kyrgyzstan and then country director, Mercy Corps Kyrgyzstan while serving on the board,” Robin said. When the Apple Festival was founded eight years ago, Robin was researching home gardens and their role in agrobiodiversity conservation in the Issyk-kul region of the Kyrgyz Republic. She found that home gardeners were removing many varieties of apples from their gardens because of income pressures—they needed to sell their apples to make ends meet and buyers were not interested in varietal diversity (buyers only seemed to want aport and red delicious varieties). Also, a lack of market access for the small-holder farmers meant lost income. Their apples were rotting with no buyers.
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College Garners Energy Leadership Award
Last week, Green Mountain College chalked up another accolade for energy efficiency measures adopted on campus. On behalf of GMC, Sustainability Coordinator Aaron Witham accepted an Energy Leadership Award from Efficiency Vermont presented by Vermont Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott at an awards ceremony last Thursday in Springfield, Vt. Efficiency Vermont challenged the business community in the state to achieve 7.5% energy savings between July, 2011 and June, 2013. Sixty-nine large businesses took up the Energy Leadership Challenge. Efficiency Vermont helped participating businesses create a comprehensive, long-term energy savings plan and provided technical and financial resources to help participants meet their goals. Only 31 of the participants, and just two colleges including GMC, achieved the 7.5% goal. "Three projects in particular yielded significant energy savings on campus: replacing all 80 outdoor lampposts with LED lights, adjusting air controller settings, and completing a steam pressure reducing valve upgrade to steam pipes in the residence halls,” said Aaron. Aaron is shown here receiving the award from Lieutenant Governor Scott.
Janisse Ray to Visit GMC
Green Mountain College welcomes acclaimed writer, naturalist and activist Janisse Ray who will be visiting campus Thursday, October 10. At 9:30 a.m. she will present "Tipping the Balance Toward Liveable Landscapes" in Ackley Auditorium. Ray will also present an evening talk at 7 p.m. in the East Room titled "The Seed Underground: Agrodiversity, Genetic Stability & the Future of Food." Ray is the author of five books of literary nonfiction and a collection of nature poetry. Anne Raver of The New York Times likened Ray to the "southern Rachel Carson." Her most recent book, The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food, is a look at what’s happening to seeds, which is to say, the future of food. The book has won the American Society of Journalists Award and the Authors’ Arlene Eisenberg Award for Writing that Makes a Difference. Currently Ray is on the faculty of Chatham University’s low-residency MFA program. She holds an MFA from the University of Montana.
Ruth Larkin '10 is AmeriCorps Native Plants Land Manager
Green Mountain College is pleased to welcome Ruth Larkin as the AmeriCorps native plant land manager. Throughout her year of service, Ruth will join the GMC community in monitoring, maintaining and improving natural areas on campus. Controlling glossy buckthorn, an invasive shrub found primarily in the fields north and west of the soccer field, is one of the first projects Ruth will engage in with student groups and other campus community members. Ruth graduated from GMC in 2010 with a self-designed B.A. in ecology and sustainability and a minor in biology. This new position has been created through a partnership between the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB) and GMC. VHCB is a non-profit, state-supported, funding agency with a dual goal of encouraging smart growth and affordable housing while conserving the natural and working landscape.
When not working in the field, Ruth can be found in Ackley 337, Mondays and Fridays from 7am to 3:30pm and Wednesdays from 7am to 11am. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at ext. 8302.
Career Corner: Annual Graduate School Fair Tomorrow
The Office of Career Services will be hosting its annual Graduate School Fair, Tuesday, Oct. 1st from 4:30-6:30 p.m. in Withey Lobby. Eighteen different schools will be attending, representing over 100 programs! If you are confused about who should write your recommendation letters, what schools look for in the personal statement, graduate assistantships opportunities, or other requirements, these are the people to ask. Click here to see a list of attendees, their programs, as well as a reference sheet on how to prepare.
Contact Maia at email@example.com in Career Services for additional information.
Auditions for "Short, Dark, and Funny" Tonight
Auditions for senior Molly Miller-White's theater minor capstone "Short, Dark, and Funny" will be held this evening at 7:30 p.m. in Ackley Chapel. Performances will be on Thursday through Saturday, Dec 12-14.
STUDENT AND FACULTY NOTES
Prof. Rommy Fuller (education) is not just an expert multitasker who juggles teaching, advising and research at GMC. She’s also an accomplished athlete, excelling in a grueling event that combines fitness, strength and determination. Two weekends ago Rommy competed in the Spartan World Championships at Killington, finishing 17th among women overall and third in her age group. “Spartan races are endurance races that pretty much test the physical and mental limits of athletes,” Rommy explained. The race includes swimming through ponds, climbing ropes, jumping over fire pits, crawling through mud under strands of barbed wire—well you get the picture. For the past several years she’s been running road races, and recently she’s competed in strength competitions. “I figured I'd give the Spartan race a shot because ultimately it combines both activities,” she said. Rommy finished in the top 1% of all competitors--men and women included. Not bad for her first event. She’s now training for another Spartan race this November in Boston. What can we say except: "You go Rommy!”
On September 24th prof. Kevin Bubriski (fine art) met with seminar class "The Himalayan Collection," presented new photographic work and discussed several of his works held in the collection at the Yale University Art Gallery's Department of Prints, Drawings and Photographs. He also presented "Nepal: A Photographer's Journal 1975-2011," a campus-wide lecture for the Yale Himalaya Fall 2013
Seminar Series. Kevin uses documentary photography to create bridges
of understanding between people and places. He first traveled to Nepal
at the age of 20 as a Peace Corps volunteer and stayed for five years,
working in remote regions of the country. He is the author of Portrait
of Nepal, a book consisting of images taken in the 1980s.
Education prof. Theresa Coker's EDU 3012 Environmental Interpretation and Communications class took a field trip to the Wild Center in Tupper Lake, N.Y. last Wednesday. The class is examining effective interpretation practices, and the trip provided an opportunity to examine a relatively new, state-of-the-art facility that's mission is "to ignite an enduring passion for the Adirondacks where people and nature can thrive together and set an example for the world." Theresa's Images of Nature class also made an excursion to the Zen Garden in Hubbardton, Vt. last Thursday. The class has been examining the role religion has potentially played historically in the ecological crisis. "The trip to the Zen Garden in Hubbardton provided a unique opportunity to experientially expand our discussion beyond Christianity to Buddhism, Zen, and their beliefs about nature," Theresa said. Photo: Student Brenda Swingle at the Zen Garden site.