Steven Letendre Op-Ed. Published
in Today's Christian Science Monitor
Prof. Steven Letendre (Management and Environmental Studies) co-authored an op-ed column that appears in the February 12 issue of the Christian Science Monitor. The article discusses the need for public utilities and auto manufacturers to collaborate in order to build the success of a plug-in hybrid car technology that can reduce the nation’s dependence on oil. Letendre is one of a team of researchers who have been exploring the feasibility of plug-in hybrids (Vehicle to Grid Technology) for several years. Letendre is currently on sabbatical researching the technology through Department of Energy funding. For the full text of the article, click here.
Religious Studies Minor Approved
Provost Bill Throop has announced that a new minor in Religious Studies has been approved by President Jack Brennan and will go into effect in the fall of 2007. The program will be directed by Prof. Heather Keith, who says this is an excellent step forward in meeting growing student demand for religious studies offerings. "Many students have requested either a major or a minor in religious studies in recent years," says Keith. "Our world is changing quickly and an understanding of world religions is essential to understanding human culture, politics, and values."
The new 18-credit minor has both cross-cultural and interdenominational strengths. College Chaplain, Shirley Oskamp, teaches very popular courses in World Religions and Stories of the Spirit. Both have an international focus and ask students to think about religious beliefs outside of the context of beliefs they might already hold. Prof. Roger Ireson teaches courses in the history of the Judeo-Christian tradition (including philosophies from Hebrew, Greek and early Christian traditions). And Keith teaches Asian Philosophies regularly, which surveys the major traditions of Asia.
"Our students, like many, really care about finding meaning in their lives," says Keith, "and this program will give them a great opportunity to do so."
Sandra Wright to Perform for Black History Month
Popular jazz & blues singer Sandra Wright will give a free performance in celebration of Black History Month at Green Mountain College on Sunday evening, February 18 at 7 p.m. in the Gorge of Withey Hall. The Performance is sponsored by the GMC African American Culture Club and the Department of Visual and Performing Arts.
Sandra Wright has lived in Vermont since 1992, when she decided to slow the pace of her concert touring. She was asked by the State Legislature to sing in the Vermont State House, performing all the songs that were proposed for the new state song a few years ago. In southern Vermont she has performed at the Paramount and on the Green in Rutland, at Castleton College, and has been invited to perform on the TV program “Girls’ Night Out” three times.
Born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, Sandra’s first cousin was Blues legend Memphis Slim and while still in college she was encouraged to pursue rhythm and blues by none other than “Sweet” Charles Sherrelle, James Brown’s band leader. For many years she sang at the New Modern Era club in Nashville and she has three albums out. For more information, contact Prof. John Nassivera at 802-287-8290.
New Coordinator Hired
at Feick Arts Center
Jeanne Arsennault, of Middletown Springs has been hired as Coordinator for the Feick Arts Center. Arsenault will be responsible for monitoring the gallery during regular hours as well as procuring new exhibits, artist relations, and special events. Arsennault is a potter and pottery instructor. She has exhibited work at the Frog Hollow Craft Center in Manchester, the Kirkorian Gallery in Worcester, MA, and the Artists Well in Worcester.
Prof. Steven Fesmire (philosophy & environmental studies) traveled to Unity, Maine on January 24 to give the keynote address for Unity College's Inspired Speaker Series. To a backdrop of photographs of GMC’s Cerridwen Farm and sustainable dining initiative, Fesmire spoke on the topic of “Ecological Imagination.” He defined this as our capacity to perceive, in light of possibilities, the relationships that constitute any focus. “We cannot respond to what we do not perceive,” he observed. He urged cultivation of ecological imagination to respond to (a) the global scene of human impact on the natural environment, and (b) our novocain-like disconnection from the mosaic of natural and social relationships in which we dwell.
Provist Bill Throop was invited to join a dozen environmental philosophers from around the nation for a two-day meeting (February 9 and 10) on "The Future of Environmental Philosophy." The University of North Texas, which offers the only Ph.D. in environmental philosophy in the country, hosted the meeting. Holmes Rolston, Baird Callicott, Bryan Norton and Dale Jamieson were among those who wrestled with questions about how to strengthen this relatively new field of philosophy and about which new directions for graduate education and research were warranted by our global environmental challenges.