Olivia DeJohn '13
Advocate and Change Agent
Olivia can find fun in everything she does, whether it tossing a frisbee or advocating for local food. She does everything she can to get involved in the community while also having the best time doing it.
Olivia is a very active member of the Ultimate Frisbee team and takes every opportunity she can to play. Last summer, she even took a trip to the San Francisco Bay area and taught children at a camp how to play. While attending Northland College in Wisconsin for a semester as part of the EcoLeague exchange program, she was the only female player on the Ultimate Frisbee team.
Olivia is a co-president of the Slow Foods Club, and emphasizes the importance of eating fresh organic foods. When she is not eating in Chartwells, the College’s dining hall, she makes almost all of her own food. And because of this passion, Olivia is known on campus for her extensive food knowledge, like how to make ice cream with ice cubes and a couple plastic bags as sole equipment. She is also very interested in food processing and marketing, specifically the products that come out of the certified kitchen in the Solar Harvest Center.
Olivia is an advocate for fresh local food in her own kitchen and believes in bringing it to the plates of the student body. In the Food Forum (which was a collective of students and Chartwells management that discussed desired change there) Olivia and many other students voiced their opinions and were heard. You need only walk into Chartwells to see the impact they have made.
Olivia recalls the first time she saw she made an actual change here. In her sophomore year, she noticed the disposable salt and pepper shakers in Chartwells and realized how much plastic that must waste a year. With the suggestion made, the dining hall moved to glass shakers.
This ability to create tangible change is one of Olivia’s favorite parts of Green Mountain.
“GMC is the kind of place where you can look around and point and say, ‘I did that,’” she said.
Along with advocating for local food, Olivia and then-student Simon Winchell-Manning were responsible for the condom dispensers around campus, a project they fulfilled for their Delicate Balance class.
For someone who wasn’t sure she would even go to college until she visited GMC, Olivia has certainly made the most of her time here. She has taken on the challenge of sustainable business through a self-designed major so that she will always see the effects of her work.
She says, “I figure business is what started the problem and so it can be the way to fix it.”
Olivia likes doing various things that will make a change for good. Over one summer she was a field manager in a campaign against hydrofracking (the process of natural gas extraction which has been found to contaminate drinking water) in New York, her home state. After graduation, she plans to join AmeriCorp and work with them for a year, particularly the Vista program that deals with helping rebuild impoverished communities.
The epitome of a people person, Olivia not only loves getting involved with things herself but loves getting other people involved as well. She says, “Things are more fun when more people do them!” She put that trait to good use as an Orientation Leader this fall.
Olivia will use her vibrant enthusiasm in everything she does in order to achieve her goals and be a voice and doer for change.
By Sara Bishop '16