The Green Mountain College Alumni Advisory Board honors alumni each year whose outstanding professional accomplishments and volunteer service have contributed to the success and reputation of the College. On behalf of Green Mountain College, congratulations to this year’s winners: Christina-Alexa Liakos ’09, Karen Rohdin ’63, and Jason Jonza ’03. Christina received her award at the Rogue Reunion; Karen and Jason were honored at the Alumni Banquet held at the 2018 GMC Reunion.
Young Alumni Award: Christina-Alexa Liakos ‘09
Christina-Alexa Liakos is a graduate of GMC’s Progressive Program, an innovative educational program designed to allow students to chart their own academic program of study. Christina committed to Environmental Advocacy & Community Organizing and has spent her entire career dedicated to that work. She has served as a climate justice community organizer, facilitator, and trainer, working in the field from Alaska to Appalachia. On the front lines of some of our most-pressing climate-related issues, she has applied her skills in non-violent direct action to issues ranging from the Keystone XL Pipeline to drilling in the Arctic. Christina’s work has and will continue to bring inspiration to GMC students, staff, faculty, and the alumni community.
Distinguished Alumni Award: Karen Rhodin ‘63
The Distinguished Alumni Award is given to an individual who has provided outstanding service to Green Mountain College through leadership, commitment, and influence in programs and activities of the College. Karen Rohdin’s influence on Green Mountain College is undeniable. Nearly from the day she received her diploma, Karen has worked is service to GMC. She has served the school as an employee, a parent, an Alumni Board director, a philanthropist, a class reunion volunteer, and a College Trustee.
Karen first began working for GMC as an Admissions Counselor, two days a week, while attending Boston University’s College of Business. She did not apply for the position; she was asked and accepted the call to service. Upon graduating from BU, Karen returned to Poultney to serve as Associate Director of Admissions, and later as Director of Student Activities. Among the students she recruited to attend GMC are her son Brian Rohdin Carroll ’01 and nephew Andrew Dearborn ’04.
Though her career eventually led her away from GMC, Karen’s loyal service to her alma mater continued to grow with each passing year. She served on the Alumni Board, which eventually led to being asked to join the Board of Trustees, a position she held for four terms for a total of 12 years. Karen had an excellent example to follow; her father, Howard A. Rohdin, also served as a member of the GMC Board of Trustees.
Karen’s contributions as a fund-raiser and “friend-raiser” also brought many improvements to GMC, particularly for projects that benefit GMC students and enhance the student experience. Her gifts and gifts from other supporters helped improve Griswold Library, restore the Ames tower chimes, upgrade the conference room in Richardson Alumni House, and establish the John F. and Dianne Brennan Professorship. Karen and her late husband Geoff additionally established the Robert Marsh Memorial Prize, in honor of faculty member Robert Marsh.
Her days as a student Green Key Ambassador, an honor society with official hosting responsibilities, also helped guide her future volunteer efforts. Karen has continually opened her home to prospective students and for alumni gatherings, and she has hosted numerous events such as the most recent annual gathering of alumni and friends on Cape Cod.
Many thanks to you, Karen, for all that you do and all that you are.
Athletic Hall of Fame: Jason Jonza ‘03
Jason Jonza was a four-year member and three-year captain of the men’s lacrosse team from 2000-2003 at GMC and one of the lacrosse program’s all-time leading scorers with 115 goals and 74 assists. More than that, Jason provided tremendous leadership to his team during his tenure, both on and off the field, guiding the team to an overall mark of 26-15 (.634 %).
Jason’s skills were recognized nationally leading up to the 2002 and 2003 seasons, with an honorable mention in Inside Lacrosse Magazine’s Preseason NCAA Division II All-American preview. On campus, Jason earned the GMC Most Valuable Player Award, the GMC Eagle Award and the James M. Pollock Male Athlete of the Year in 2003 for his accomplishments on the lacrosse field. The James M. Pollock award is the highest recognition a student-athlete can achieve at GMC and is a recognition saved not just for GMC’s best athletes, but at the same time honors its finest leaders and contributors. Jason’s Pollock award honor was certainly well-deserved and encapsulates the reason he is now a member of the GMC Athletic Hall of Fame.
Jason was also a three-year member of the cross country program from 1999-2001 and earned the Green Mountain Cross Country Coaches Award in 1999 and 2001 and Green Mountain’s Cross-Country Most Improved in 2000.
The Athletic Hall of Fame was pleased to honor Jason, who has shown outstanding success, outstanding leadership and outstanding support of the GMC community.