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Melissa "Kate" Thomas '10

And Justice For All

Mired in a work-a-day battle for balance between what she was doing and why she was doing it, Kate Thomas felt a tug. "If I'm just out there working at a job that pays my bills, I'm only living for my own sake, and that doesn't feel right to me," she says.

The Ohio native decided to leave her career and debt-free existence behind to return to school full-time and “pay money out while not making any.” For Kate, it came down to the satisfaction of purpose. “All these things that are supposed to make one satisfied were not. I was getting more and more bitter,” she says. “I had this need to do something that helps create the kind of reality that we should have. To connect between how things could be and how things are.”

Buoyed by a desire for justice and a deep curiosity streak, Kate committed to studying philosophy, practicing law, and eventually making it back to Green Mountain College to teach. “I think that this school is on the right track as far as its mission and the environmental curriculum. I would like to help uphold this and make it a good place to come to school.”

Kate’s commitment to service has led to her involvement in many Vermont communities. She has worked with Vermont Freedom to Marry; she registers people to vote, and she works with the Healthcare is a Human Right campaign, recently speaking at a forum where she made the argument for a universal single payer healthcare system in Vermont. “You’re human and you have inherent worth,” she says. “That’s what it boils down to.”

Kate is adamant about getting involved. "If you direct your energy in a certain place, and a lot of other people do the same, then that is how reality will manifest," she says, marveling. “I think of that John Lennon song, ‘you may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.’”

By Ryan Dixon '11

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