This fall, Chartwells took on a major initiative to source more local and sustainably raised foods for the dining hall. Attend a meeting tonight in the Coffee House to learn more!

Bon Appétit’s Helene York is Visiting Scholar for Graduate Program
Green Mountain College is pleased to announce that Helene York, director of purchasing strategy for Bon Appétit Management and director of the Bon Appétit Management Company Foundation, will be a visiting scholar for the College’s M.S. in Sustainable Food Systems (MSFS) program.

Bon Appétit Management Company provides café and catering services to corporations, colleges and universities, with over 400 locations in 32 states.

“Helene and the Bon Appétit Company share many of the same goals and values as GMC,” said Philip Ackerman-Leist, MSFS program director. “She is a strong advocate for combining culinary expertise with a commitment to socially and environmentally responsible purchasing practices. Her background in weaving sophisticated sustainability practices into the fabric of what is arguably the most progressive food service corporation in the country will help our students understand leverage points for change in the corporate sectors of our food system.”

York will attend the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT) Winter Conference with GMC undergraduate and graduate students February 16-17, and she will then visit the GMC campus February 18-21, the residency period for 41 students in the MSFS program. The four-day residency will include lectures, discussions, informal conversations and at least one public presentation.

York earned an undergraduate degree at Harvard and a master’s degree at Yale. As director of purchasing strategy at Bon Appétit, she is responsible for identifying new products, managing supply chains, and performing supplier relations for the company’s Farm to Fork program. As director of the Bon Appétit Management Company Foundation, she educates chefs and consumers about how food choices affect the global environment.

Since 2009 York has been a regular contributor to the Atlantic Monthly online. York recently led Bon Appétit’s commitment to ensure that all the company’s pork will be sourced from farms that don’t use gestation stalls (densely packed metal cages that imprison sows in spaces so tight they can’t turn around) by 2015.

“Good animal welfare isn’t just about the animals,” York wrote in a recent column that appeared in Civil Eats. “It’s about starting to dismantle a system that has enormous costs for our society, including the loss of medically important antibiotics, the pollution of our air and water from animal waste, and horrible working conditions in factory farms.”

Green Mountain College recently announced its intention to become the first higher education institution in the U.S. contracted with a major dining services provider to purchase all animal products from humanely managed sources.

Green Mountain College’s MSFS degree program prepares future leaders in the burgeoning local food movement with an interdisciplinary understanding of sustainable agricultural production and a deep knowledge of economic, ecological and social forces driving food systems. The MSFS is the nation’s first distance-learning graduate program focused on sustainable food systems, and the program’s first MSFS cohort will graduate in December 2013.

Student Speaks at United Nations Climate Talks in Qatar
Scott Chernoff ’14 has been fighting climate change and dirty energy extraction throughout his college career. As part of a 15-student delegation of young American environmental leaders to the United Nations Climate Talks, in Doha, Qatar, Chernoff delivered a speech on Nov. 29 to the 18th annual meeting on the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

"Tropical Storm Irene devastated Vermont from the flooding that occurred throughout the state,” Chernoff said. “Rivers flooded and swept through towns and cities, taking people’s homes, farms, businesses, and way of life . . . Tropical Storm Irene along with other recent extreme weather events are indicative of climate change, and demonstrate the need for meaningful climate action domestically and internationally."

UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) brings together 194 countries to negotiate reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in the hopes of keeping global temperature rises within two degrees Celsius, a threshold that scientists see as critical for containing damage to communities and ecosystems.

In 1997, the UNFCCC brokered an agreement called the Kyoto Protocol which ultimately failed due to the US Congress refusing to ratify the document. In 2009 many had high hopes that world leaders would come to a new agreement in Copenhagen, Denmark but talks ultimately collapsed in the face of tensions between the US, China, and India. This year’s conference is expected to build groundwork for a binding deal in 2015.

Green Mountain College Theater Program Presents Proof
The 2001 Pulitzer Prize Winner of Drama is an intimate play with a small cast focusing on the emotional upheavals of loss and self-discovery. The play also won a Tony Award for Best Play and was adapted into a movie in 2005.

The play centers on Catherine (played by first year student Emma Jeanne Page) after the death of her father Robert (played by Jack Sinclair) who was a brilliant mathematician and University of Chicago professor who suffered from mental instability later in his life. Soon after his death, Hal (played by Ernie Klepeis), a former student of Robert and Catherine’s boyfriend, finds a mathematical proof that he assumes was Robert’s work. Catherine declares that it was her work, having inherited some of her father’s genius herself, but is not believed by Hal or her sister Claire due to Catherine’s own instability.

Throughout the play, Catherine struggles with the fear and possibility of following her father’s footsteps in career and mental illness while trying to pave a life of her own, separate from the presence of her father that pervaded her whole life.

The play is being directed by Ben Jankowski and co-directed by student Molly Miller-White. Proof plays in Ackley Theater Friday, December 7 and 8 at 7 p.m., and Sunday, December 9th at 2 p.m.

Green Revolving Loan Fund
This year Green Mountain College has decided to participate in the Billion Dollar Green Challenge, which encourages colleges, universities, and other non-profits to invest a combined total of one billion dollars in revolving funds that finance energy efficiency improvements. These green revolving funds loan money to specific energy efficient projects, which then repay the loan through savings achieved from the implementation of the project. Currently there are 44 schools from all over the country participating in the challenge with a total of $96 million in investment capital committed to date.

Green Mountain College’s Green Revolving Loan Fund totals $30,000 and is currently being invested in two energy efficiency projects: the replacement of all 80 outdoor lighting fixtures with LED light bulbs and the installation of a solar photovoltaic (PV) array that will generate electricity for the grid and provide an electric car charging station for the campus.

The installation of LED light bulbs, which use dramatically less energy then the current lightbulbs, in all of the college’s outdoor lighting fixtures will have an initial investment of $4,480, and with an annual electricity savings of $4,018 it will take a little over a year for the loan to repay itself and for the money to return to the fund. Overtime, the cumulative savings of the simple switch from mostly CFL light bulbs to LED light bulbs is astounding. In a time span of 15 years this one project will have reduced electricity use so much that it will have saved the college $80,365 off their electricity bill.

The PV array will be installed on campus beside Dunton Hall in the Spring of 2013 and will provide electricity for the grid as well as a charging station for plug-in electric vehicles. It is projected that the PV array will produce 658 kWh per month. Due to the application of a grant from Green Mountain Power and a rebate from the state the system will cost $16,534, leaving roughly $10,000 in the Green Revolving Loan Fund for other projects. It is expected that the project will be paid off in approximately 10 ½ years.

Animal Studies Minor Featured on ASI
Green Mountain College’s Animal Studies major and concentration was recently featured on the Animals and Society Institute’s “Scholars” page.

The Animals and Society Institute is a nonprofit, independent research and educational organization that advances the status of animals in public policy, and promotes the study of human-animal relationships. The ASI seeks to advance institutional change for animals by helping to establish the moral and legal rights fundamental to a just, compassionate and peaceful society. They are an independent think tank as well as a producer of educational resources, publications and events.

Learn more about the ASI here.


Career Corner
What are your weaknesses?

There’s nothing worse than being on the interviewer’s end of this question and upon asking, hearing nothing but dead silence. The interviewer is now either thinking A: Boy this person really thinks highly of himself or B: Wow, this person isn’t very self-reflective or prepared!

So how do you nail this question? First of all, expect it to be asked. This means you need to have an answer prepared. Practice on the car ride to the interview, in front of a mirror, anywhere—just make sure you have a clear and confident response.

As with most interview responses, it is helpful to relate your weakness to a short story or anecdote from your life and explain how you are striving to change and improve upon that weakness. Try to explain it in as positive of a light as you can. For example, a thoughtful response might be: I feel that sometimes I have so many great ideas running through my mind, that I become easily distracted and tend to jump around. For example, one of my tasks was to increase community awareness of a fundraiser we were organizing. I started by working on the visual design but then got distracted with promoting it through social media before my design was finished. I have been working on this though by strengthening my organizational skills. I now make lists of my ideas instead of bouncing back and forth between them. It’s allowing me to still be creative and track my thoughts, while at the same time, be much more efficient with my time.

Need help nailing other tough questions? Contact Maia Hanron-Sanford in Career Services to set up an appointment.

Center of the Plate Initiative
This fall, Chartwells took on a major initiative to source more local and sustainably raised foods for the dining hall. This initiative was largely driven by the Sustainable Purchasing Initiative adopted by the College in 2006. More information on that is available here.

The fall menu saw some major renovations and we’re gathering tonight to hear what you have to say. Please come to the Coffee House in the basement of Moses tonight, Monday December 3 at 7 p.m. to provide your feedback, concerns or questions about local food in the dining hall and to enjoy some local snacks and drinks!

Food, Energy & the Environment Film Series
Films will be shown every Tuesday through December at the Tiny Theatre on Main St. as part of the Food, Energy, and the Environment film series.

There is a $2 suggested donation for those who are not yet members of the Tiny Theatre.

This Tuesday, December 4 at 7 p.m., the Tiny Theatre will be hosting a double feature: Sun Come Up and Rising Waters.

Learn more about Sun Come Up here and Rising Waters here.

Abenaki Fiber Arts Workshops
This Wednesday, December 5 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. in the East Room, join Vera Longtoe Sheehan, a citizen of the Elnu Abenaki Tribe as she teaches an introductory workshop to twining a weft bag. The workshop will include a discussion of the history and archaeology of Vermont Abenaki fiber arts including: harvesting and processing of traditional materials. Materials are provided and you take your bag home. The class size is limited, so please email Violet Floros at to reserve a space.

Following the workshop, there will be a free film showing at the Tiny Theatre titled “The Dawn of Abenaki Recognition” at 7 p.m. The film was filmed and produced by Abenaki filmmaker Lina Longtoe of the Elnu Abenaki Tribe. Film will be followed by a Q&A session. See a trailer of the film here.

Event is sponsored by the GMC Speakers Bureau, Sociology/Anthropology program, Poultney Historical Society, and the Tiny Theatre.

Summer Farm Intensive Info Session
Interested in GMC’s unique summer “Field & Table” intensive semester? Please attend a brief information session this Wednesday, December 5 at 3 p.m. in the Dickgiesser Classroom (Griswold Library) with Kenneth Mulder, Eleanor Tison, and some of the past summer farm intensive alumni to find out more. Applications will be due soon. Contact Kenneth or Eleanor if you cannot make it, or have further questions.

Additional photos and details available here.

Photo blog by Will Aubrecht (a Sterling College student) who attended the program.

Faculty Colloquium: Karen Swyler
On Wednesday, December 5 at 12 p.m. in Terrace 124, prof. Karen Swyler (ceramics) will give a presentation titled "Shift: A new body of ceramic work influenced by the aesthetics and process of industry and a personal journey of change."

Holiday Craft Fair
GMC’s third annual Holiday Craft Fair will be taking place on December 7th from 11:30 to 1:30 in the Withey Hall Lobby, put on by the Staff Assembly and the Quality of Life Committee. Students, staff, and faculty will be selling a variety of craft goods in time for the holiday season. Anyone interested in being a vendor should contact Allison Cota ( to reserve a space.

Winter Parking Ban
A friendly reminder from the village of Poultney to all auto owners: the winter parking ban is now in effect. To insure snow removal crews can clear the roads properly, the village traffic ordinances prohibit parking a vehicle unattended within the right-of-way of any street or highway in Poultney or in a public parking lot from November 1 to April 1 between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. (The Right-of -Way includes the traveled portion of the highway and the area between the curb up to and including the sidewalk or 25 feet from the centerline of those highways without a curb or sidewalk). Cars violating this ordinance may be towed—vehicle owners are responsible for towing and costs.


  • Prof. Jessica Cuni (fine arts) has been chosen to be featured in the inaugural exhibit of a new gallery in Cos Cob, Conn. Cuni traveled to the Drawing Room Gallery for the opening reception on December 1 where twelve of her pieces are on display. The gallery is open to the public and the work will be on view through the end of January.

  • Chris Donovan '13 and Nicole Cardish '13, along with prof. Jacob Park (business), gave a presentation titled “Gaming, Sustainability, and Higher Education” at the 6th Annual International Business & Sustainability Conference organized by Portland State University Business School on November 9. At the same conference, Jacob also presented a paper on “Scaling Environmental Sustainability Through Investor-Driven Financial Market Governance”. The trip was sponsored with a grant from the SuperValu Community Foundation.
Helene York is MSFS Scholar
GMC in Qatar
Theater Presents "Proof"
Faculty/Student Notes

Men's Basketball
12/4, 7:30 p.m. vs. SUNY Cobleskill
12/7, 7:30 p.m. at Maine Maritime
12/8, 3 p.m. at Husson

Women's Basketball
12/4, 5:30 p.m. vs. Sage
12/7, 5:30 p.m. at Maine Maritime
12/8, 1 p.m. at Husson


Vinyasa Yoga
5:15 - 6:30 p.m.,
Bogue Movement Studio

Zazen Meditation
7 - 7:30 p.m.,
Ackley Chapel

Film Showing:
Sun Come Up and
Rising Water

7 p.m.,
Tiny Theatre

Applied Music Recital
7 p.m.,
Ackley Stage

12 p.m.,
Withey Lobby

Diversity Committee
Meeting: Looking for Reps

12:15 - 1 p.m.,
Withey Dining Hall

Tap Dancing
1 p.m.,
Bogue Movement Studio

Summer Farm Intensive
Info Session

3 p.m.,
Dickgiesser Classroom

Abenaki Fiber Arts Workshop
11 a.m.,
East Room

4:30 - 5:30 p.m.,
Bogue Movement Studio

Vinyasa Yoga
5:15 - 6:30 p.m.,
Ackley Chapel

Shakti Tribal Dance -

6 - 7:15 p.m.,
Bogue Movement Studio

Film Showing:
The Dawn of Abenaki Recognition

7 p.m.,
Tiny Theatre

Shakti Tribal Dance -

7:30 - 9:15 p.m.,
Bogue Movement Studio

Delicate Balance Poster Presentations
11 a.m.,
Withey Lobby

Social Sustainability Metrics Discussion
12 - 1 p.m.,
Withey Dining Hall

Annual Holiday Craft Fair
11:30 a.m.,
Withey Lobby

Street & Freestyle Dance Workshop
7 p.m.,
Bogue Movement Studio

Theater Production: "Proof"
7 p.m.,
Ackley Hall

Tae Kwon Do
12 - 1 p.m.,
Bogue Movement Studio

Theater Production: "Proof"
7 p.m.,
Ackley Hall

Theater Production: "Proof"
2 p.m.,
Ackley Hall