Follow Your Interests to Find the Right College, a recent college guide co-authored by Janet and Paul Marthers, helps students and their families better understand the vast amount of options available for college based on a student’s interests. GMC appears in a section devoted to environmentally-oriented colleges and programs. The guide provides students, parents, and college advisers with well-researched, thoughtful chapters on almost every academic or social area as well as advice on broader college-related topics, such as financing college and advice for home-schooled students. “Follow Your Interests to Find the Right College truly moves the needle in terms of college guides,” said Richard Hazelton, director of college advising at the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Conn. “While many guides aim for breadth, this guide perfects the art of ‘drilling down’ by providing granular, substantive detail about the academic programs that are attractive to today’s students.”
Archives for February 2016
Sally and Tucker tend to draw a crowd when they come to GMC, which this semester is each Tuesday from noon to 1 p.m. in Withey Hall, just outside the dining hall entrance. Sally is Sally Achey, a retired statistics analyst from Middletown Springs, and Tucker, or “Tuck” for short, is her 10-year-old Australian Shepard.
“Tuck is naturally a very active dog. We’ve done a lot of agility work, we’ve done a lot of herding, which is a natural instinct,” Sally explains. (During our interview, she takes care to spell out the word F-R-I-S-B-E-E—she hasn’t brought one with her and Tuck gets excited when he hears the word).
But Tuck is not an ordinary dog—he’s been trained by Sally as a Pet Partners dog. Pet Partners is the largest national nonprofit organization evaluating multiple species for field work. Among other skills, Tucker has learned to greet strangers; work in crowded, often noisy environments; and to accept petting. Tuck and Sally are a team—when Tuck is “working” Sally is there too, not so much to manage the dog’s behavior, but because the relationship between pet and owner is an important dynamic when interacting with others.
The pair began training when a West Rutland librarian told Sally about a “read to a dog” therapy program. The dogs serve as relaxed and non-judgmental listeners to children who have difficulty reading out loud.
Tucker has another job as a live demonstration subject for animal CPR classes that Sally teaches. “With CPR you can use a ‘dummy’ dog, but they don’t have pulses and they don’t move when you bandage a leg. A live subject is really preferable.”
While doing some training with Tucker for the Pet Partners program evaluation, Sally met prof. Sam Edwards, director of the College’s new animal studies program. “Sam and I got to talking about the potential for having us work with students at GMC, and I began working with the Wellness Center to schedule visits.”
Since then, Tucker and Sally have made lots of friends.
“There is more and more research being done on the effects animals have on people in high-stress situations,” Sally says. “You’ll see therapy animals in dental offices or medical waiting rooms. People tend to experience lower blood pressure and less stress when they are interacting with animals. And the animal benefits from the socialization as well.”
Look out for Sally and Tuck Tuesdays in Withey. Just don’t shout out the word “frisbee!”
Prof. Laird Christensen (English and environmental studies), has published a feature essay in Edge Effects, the online journal of the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Culture, History, and the Environment. This article, “Notes from the Great Transition,” reflects on balancing his hopes as the father of a young son with the challenges of preparing adults for the uncertainties of a changing world through GMC’s new graduate program in Resilient and Sustainable Communities. “Notes from the Great Transition” is available here.
Prof. Sam Edwards (environmental studies) just had his chapter “The Right to Privacy Is Dying: Technology Is Killing It and We Are Letting It Happen,” published in Ethical Issues and Citizen Rights in the Era of Digital Government Surveillance (February 2016). This chapter explores the erosion of the right to privacy through the advances in technology. The chapter concludes with predictions about possible paths the United States can take to rectify the imbalance created by this erosion of privacy.
Last week, Green Mountain College announced a new partnership with the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC) that offers discounted GMC tuition for VYCC volunteers. Today the College is announcing the launch of a new Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program that will provide scholarships to returned Peace Corps volunteers for GMC’s M.S. in Environmental Studies program.
“We are delighted to partner with Green Mountain College to support our returned volunteers as they pursue higher education and continue their commitment to service,” Peace Corps director Carrie Hessler-Radelet said. “Communities are moved forward by the selflessness of volunteers, and returned Peace Corps volunteers have unique skills and experiences to offer their local communities.”
Fellows accepted to a GMC graduate program will receive a 50% tuition discount and up to $1000 in travel awards for two years to attend the annual graduate residency on campus.
“Environmental sustainability and public service are part of the bedrock of Green Mountain College’s curriculum and culture, and we have many faculty and alumni who have participated in Peace Corps volunteer programs,” said Mark Fazioli, associate dean of graduate and online programs at GMC. “We are excited to partner with the Peace Corps and work with Peace Corps alumni to continue their education by pursuing our M.S. in Environmental Studies program.”
The Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program began in 1985 at Teachers College, Columbia University and is specifically reserved for students who have already completed their Peace Corps service abroad.
The electric power industry is in the midst of revolutionary change being driven by disruptive technologies and the policy imperative to address climate change. Drawing from two decades of experience in the energy sector, prof. Steven Letendre (environmental studies) will explore the technology and policy trends that are shaping the future of the electric power industry in his presentation “Utility 2.0: Making the Transition to a Sustainable Distributed Energy Future,” on Wednesday, February 17 at noon in Terrace 124. A light lunch will be served. Steve’s presentation will also address the regulatory changes needed to promote a more sustainable and distributed electric power system. His presentation is free and open to the GMC community as part of the GMC Faculty Colloquium Series.
Believe it or not, Vermont is home to a species of rattlesnake. Doug Blodgett will discuss this reclusive but much maligned and misunderstood reptile, and its unique contribution to Vermont’s native wildlife community. Doug will reveal some interesting results of his research on this endangered species, and discuss the tough challenges it faces as well as the life history of this original Vermont native animal at the very northern end of its range in the continental US. The presentation is Thursday, March 3 at 6:30 p.m. in the East Room.
Mark your calendars for the second annual Making a Difference & Making a Living Conference on Friday, April 1. At the heart of this gathering is the essential question that many students at Green Mountain College ask: Can I pursue a career in which I make a positive difference in the world AND make a comfortable living? The College’s Office of Career and Personal Development has invited successful entrepreneurs and alumni from various professions to describe the personal journey they have taken toward engaging in satisfying and meaningful work.
The schedule of events:
2:30-3 p.m.: Registration (Withey Lobby)
3-4:45 p.m.: Six 10-minute TED-style talks presented by GMC alumni describing their personal paths to “making a difference while making a living” (Ackley Theater). Presenters include: Erin Fernandez ’95, director of Vermont Adaptive; Amy Hall MBA ’10, director of social consciousness for Eileen Fisher; Khanti Munro ’04, director of development and technical training at Same Sun; Phyllis Beloff Webb ’81, P’19, founder of the Magic Fluke Company; Jennifer Wilhelm ‘00, research associate with the NH Food Alliance at the University of New Hampshire Sustainability Institute; and J. Justin Woods ’00, land use and sustainable development scholar at the Land Use Law Center for Sustainable Development at Pace Law School.
4:45-5 p.m.: Break/Transition
5-6:15 p.m.: Parallel sessions featuring GMC alumni serving as moderators and guest panelists.
Alumni Panels Panel 1: Natural Resources, Environmental Services, and Sustainable Agriculture
Panel 2: Education and the Arts
Panel 3: Business and Entrepreneurship
Panel 4: Government, Healthcare, Social Services and Nonprofits
6:15-7:30 p.m.: Informal networking with appetizers and drinks (the Gorge, Lower Level)
Students will have an opportunity to learn about various career paths, gather information about their area of interest, and acquire critical networking skills. Alumni will enjoy reconnecting with each other and engaging with current students in a meaningful manner.
The business community will have ample opportunity to network with students, alumni, and other employers.
We hope you will take this opportunity to be inspired by these stories and make new connections within this community of purpose-driven leaders.
This year’s event is free and open to the public: registration required!
Green Mountain College welcomes Philip Howard, visiting scholar for the College’s M.S. in Sustainable Food Systems (MSFS) winter residency February 17-19. He will present a pair of free public programs: “Is Food Diversity an Illusion?” on Wednesday, February 17, at 7 p.m. in Ackley Hall; and “Concentration and Power in the Food System” at 7 p.m. Thursday, February 18 in The Gorge (Withey Hall).
“Students in this online program come from all over the country. They complete their studies online and in their own communities,” said Robin Currey, Director of the MSFS program. “The annual residency gives students a chance to have face-to-face time with and their faculty mentors. It’s also a great opportunity for our undergraduate students to learn from the graduate students and about trends in the discipline.”
In conjunction with the residency the College will also be offering its first GMC Sustainable Food Systems Research Symposium, which focuses on research MSFS students have produced in their coursework. A complete schedule of symposium presentations can be found at https://www.greenmtn.edu/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/MSFSResidency2016_10Feb.pdf
All programs are open to GMC faculty, staff and students, including a second presentation by Howard for the GMC Community at 7 p.m. in the Gorge, Thursday, Feb. 18, entitled “Concentration and Power in the Food System.”
Phil Howard is an associate professor in the Department of Community Sustainability at Michigan State University where he focuses on “mapping” trends that help illustrate the rapid evolution of food systems. His new book Concentration and Power in the Food System: Who Controls What We Eat?, explores howmergers and acquisitions in the industry have placed 40% or more of the market in the hands of four major companies. Howard demonstrates how a handful of companies dominating markets can drive up prices for consumers, reduce innovation and result in negative environmental and human health impacts.
Howard holds a PhD in Rural Sociology from the University of Missouri. His work has been featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Forbes, GOOD, The Ecologist, and Mother Earth News. He is president of the Agriculture, Food and Human Values Society from 2015 to 2016, and is a member of the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems.
The MSFS degree program prepares future leaders in the growing movement for sustainable, just, and local foods, through a two-year program that emphasizes an interdisciplinary understanding of sustainable agricultural production and knowledge of economic, ecological and social forces forming food systems.
Kristen Murray, public health analyst from the Vermont Department of Health, will speak on substance use, life experience and academic impact based on the results from the 2014 Vermont College Health survey.
Gwen Koenig, LCMHC, LADC, from The Wellness Center at Green Mountain College, will present on why college campuses should be concerned about student substance abuse. Tina Van Guilder, director of the Rutland Area Prevention Coalition, will make a presentation on E-Checkup. The event is Friday, February 26, from 4-5 p.m. in the East Room located upstairs in Withey. There will be time set aside for questions after the presentation. The Green Mountain College community is welcome to attend.