Tumbling away

Hello, all! We are moving away from Tumblr and using our Facebook and Twitter feeds more. Feel free to follow us on www.facebook.com/SterlingCollegeVT and on www.twitter.com/sterlingcollege. Thanks so much!

A lovely winter day in Craftsbury Common.

A lovely winter day in Craftsbury Common.

A snowy December day in Craftsbury.

A snowy December day in Craftsbury.


Samadhi Cushions for Meditation Practice

Samadhi Cushions is a local business (located in Barnet, VT), which makes beautiful hand-made meditation cushions sold all over the world. They recently donated 10 meditation cushion sets to Sterling College (valued at over $1,000) so that students could start their own meditation group. These cushions help practitioners of meditation be comfortable so they can relax and retain good, awakened posture at the same time.

Because of the generosity of Samadhi Cushions we were able to hold two introductory classes of meditation at Sterling: one in the Zen tradition and one in the Shambhala tradition. Experienced meditation instructors came from both Shao Shan Temple in Calais and Karme Choling in Barnet to teach students and teachers techniques they can use to start a regular sitting practice of their own.

These techniques include maintaining a good posture, paying attention to your breathing, and working with the mind in a gentle and loving way. This kind of practice is nonreligious, for anyone of any faith, and is very helpful to maintain joyfulness and relieve stress.

Thanks to Samadhi Cushions there is now a core group of students and teachers planning on holding a meditation group every week. The cushions live in the library and are entrusted to the students so they can use them for individual practice as well.

Thank you Samadhi Cushions for bringing the gift of comfort and good posture to our practice!

- Ira Powsner ‘12 and the Sterling College meditation group

Winter Expedition 2012 enjoyed beautiful weather for most of their 4-day trek. This photo was taken just south of the summit of Mt. Bigelow, the highest peak in the Lowell Range.
We’re so proud of all students who took on the challenge!
Photo by David Stevens.

Winter Expedition 2012 enjoyed beautiful weather for most of their 4-day trek. This photo was taken just south of the summit of Mt. Bigelow, the highest peak in the Lowell Range.

We’re so proud of all students who took on the challenge!

Photo by David Stevens.

Congratulations to December Graduates!

Twelve Sterling students graduated this semester, and were honored in a December commencement ceremony. We wish them the best as they go out into the world as problem solvers and environmental stewards, and we know that they will enrich their communities as they have enriched ours.


William graduated with a major in Natural History. His senior project was comparative ecological study of the Pacific Northwest and the Northeast Kingdom.


Eric graduated with a major in Sustainable Agriculture. His Senior Applied Research Project is titled, Craft Cider: Business viability measured by the triple bottom line and regulatory compliance


Amanda graduated with a major in Outdoor Education and Leadership

Her senior project was focused on Ecopsychology and Ecotherapy. Amanda spent time researching her topic through reading books, articles, visiting nature programs in the area and leading nature activities with high school students from Buffalo Mountain School in Hardwick.


Jonathan graduated with a major in Sustainable Agriculture

During his senior year, he has balanced a developing career in value added food product processing with coursework in Animal Science.


Shannon graduated with a major in Conservation Ecology. Her Senior Applied Research Project is titled, Bumble Bee Biogeography of Craftsbury, Vermont and the surrounding area


Natasha graduated with a major in Sustainable Agriculture

Her Senior Project explored the Viability of Growing and Selling Fresh Cut Organic Flowers in Northern Vermont.


Ira graduated with a major in Conservation Ecology

His Senior Applied Research Project is titled, Activism and Organizing – Where Energy and the Environment Meet Environmental Justice


Maegan graduated with a major in Sustainable Vegetable and Fruit Crop Production

Her Senior Project is titled, Bread and Roses –Edible landscaping using production oriented and aesthetic principles. Maegan chose to focus on promoting consciousness through experience and weave together the ideational threads from her many courses into her own unique tapestry.

9) TREVOR RING (Was not be in attendance)

Trevor graduated with a major in Cross-Cultural Food Studies Trevor could not join us today, but he sends his best wishes to all from India. His senior year has combined the study of  Culinary Arts, Food Systems, Agriculture and Global Studies.


Colin graduated with a major in Livestock Production and Management

His Senior Project is a study in livestock marketing, accessing funding through grant writing and the development of a breeding and genetics plan for a cattle operation.


Ryan graduated with a major in Sustainable Livestock Production

His Senior Project explores issues related to irrigating the American West and water conservation systems


Paige graduated with a major in Community-Based Nonprofit Management

Paige has been a program Intern at The Center for an Agriculture Economy, and her senior project was to assist with the Renaissance of the Hardwick Community Gardens

Wood Show and Community Dinner

For the past 35 years Sterling College has hosted an exhibit of Sterling student wood projects at the Annual Wood Show. A long-time Sterling tradition, the Wood Show provides an opportunity for the public to view projects completed by students in the “Reverence for Wood” class.

Under the guidance of woodworking teacher Nathan Skorstad, the “Reverence for Wood” class gives students of all woodworking abilities the skills to create a final wood project of their choosing. Students create strong and unique wood work, including ornate blanket chests, benches, musical instruments, and spinning wheels.

The Reverence for Wood class will take place over the spring semester, and the 2013 Wood Show is scheduled for 6:30 pm on Thursday, April 18th, following a free community dinner at 5:30 pm in Dunbar Dining Hall.

Winter Expedition Returns!

Winter Expedition 2012 has returned to Craftsbury Common. Enjoy the hot showers, everyone!

Warblers and Wildflowers Weekend


The Natural History Network and Sterling College have announced that the 2013 Northeast Regional Naturalist Gathering will be held in Craftsbury Common.

The theme for the gathering is “Warblers and Wildflowers Weekend.”

"We are all very excited to have a regional gathering here in Vermont," says David Gilligan, faculty member in natural history at Sterling.  "This event will provide a precious opportunity for professional naturalists, educators and enthusiasts to spend time together and celebrate natural history."

 The gathering will be May 17-19, 2013. Registration begins February 15, 2013. Activities planned so far are field walks with emphasis on flowers, birds, forest ecology, and other themes, led by leading naturalists, and evening talks on the history, philosophy, and relevance of natural history.

For more information, please contact David S. Gilligan at dgilligan@sterlingcollege.edu.

Senior Symposium

Please join us on Saturday, December 8th, for the end of semester Senior Symposium, an opportunity for the community to celebrate the hard work of students completing their Senior Projects and Senior Applied Research Projects.  All presentations will be held in Simpson Hall.

The students presenting at the Symposium are:

9:00 Jaci Slattery, Developing a Summer Adult Agriculture Program on Martha’s Vineyard

9:35 Ira Powsner, Community Solar In Vermont: Blazing A Trail In The Green Mountain State

10:10 Lindsay Blyth, An Urban Experience

10:45 Rianna Clark, A Journey in Bioregionalism and Food Sheds

11:20 Eric Dube, Craft Cider: Business Viability Measured by the Triple Bottom Line and Regulatory Compliance

12:00-12:45 Lunch Break

1:00 Shannon Maes, Bumble Bee Biogeography of Craftsbury and the Surrounding Area

1:35 Paige Wierikko, Hardwick Community Garden Renaissance

2:00 Maegan Reichle, Bread and Roses

Student Art Reception, 12/11

Please join us on Tuesday, December 11th, at 4 pm, for an opening of student artwork in the Brown Library. Original work from the fiber arts class will be on display, and the student artists will be available to discuss their work.

Refreshments will be served - we hope to see you there!

Remembering Greg Clark ‘66

The Sterling Community is saddened by the loss of Greg Clark ‘66, a Vermont State Legislator and longtime educator who passed away this morning after being struck by a car.

Gov. Peter Shumlin released the following statement mourning Clark’s death.

“I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing this morning of Rep. Greg Clark, and my heart goes out to his wife, Eileen, and their children. Greg always put the needs of his constituents first in his State House work, and was committed to improving schools for Vermont’s children as a teacher and member of the House Education Committee. More than anything, I will miss Greg’s smile, his sense of humor and his friendship at the State House.”

Greg enjoyed his time at Sterling, and once said “It was the best education I ever got.” He will be greatly missed.

Contra Dance, December 2nd

Electrifying contra band Crowfoot will be coming to the area to play a concert at Sterling College.

Crowfoot weaves musical influences from England, Ireland, Quebec, and the Appalachian Mountains into a captivating fusion that delights dancers and listeners alike. On the concert stage, rich vocal harmonies, haunting songs, and finely crafted instrumental arrangements compliment their infectious dance energy. Caller Nils Fredland has been making music, leading dances, and bringing people together for twenty years.

The concert will be held at Dunbar Hall on Sterling College’s campus on Sunday, December 2nd, starting at 7:30 p.m. There is a charge of $10 for adults; kids get in free.

For more information, please contact Allyson Makuch at amakuch@sterlingcollege.edu.

Eric Ellison ‘10 Published in Scientific Journal

Photo: Eric Ellison (left) and Professor Farley Brown.

As a senior at Sterling College, Eric Ellison researched the nuisance algae Didymo for his senior applied research project (SARP). Last week, his work was included in a peer-reviewed article published online in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.

Eric explains:

This paper was formulated as a response to a previous paper by another group that argued that dissolved iron explained much of the bloom behavior we observe in Didymo, which was incompatible with my results and many other observations. This has evolved into a somewhat heated argument and this article is unlikely to be the last word on the controversy.

Read More