Afternoon Presenters

Randall Dapron  Vermont Universal Recycling Law Act 148

Lab 4

Participants will learn about the laws that are changing the way consumers and business operate when it comes to handling Solid Waste and Recycling.  Vermont’s ACT 148 law has a specific timeline and requirements for residents and business to comply with the law.  The level of participation phases in gradually over time with new levels of regulations of compliance  every July 1st; starting  this summer  (2015) and ending with full implication of the law in July of 2020. How will it work and are Vermonters aware of the proposed new rules and regulations?

Randall is the Market Area Manager for Casella Waste Management.  His responsibilities includes waste operations for Rutland, Bennington and Addison County and the surrounding areas.  He has worked for Casella for over nineteen years.


Phoebe Sargeant and Anna Smiechowski  Project Vision

White 17

This session will include an overview of Project Vision–A community based effort to illuminate drug problems, crime and poverty.   Project Vision brings together experts in the fields of health care,  community-building and law enforcement to offer support. What can the general public do? In this presentation we will discuss both the needs in the community and the tremendous influence that people can have over making difference. The presentation will especially focus on the power, energy and enthusiasm that youth can bring to the cause.


Gail H Johnson – How to make your contribution to Peacekeeping and Conflict Resolution

White 16

In this session you  will begin to see the Big Picture of problems and help to frame problems into manageable snapshots into which you might imagine yourself entering in order to improve the picture.

Gail is an educator, peace building specialist, and community organizer, and  is well known in academic, political, and community circles. She has practiced, taught, and researched in the barangays of central Philippines to numerous cities and towns in the United States. She continues to serve on local and state boards and commissions and has held numerous leadership positions, including a Presidential appointment to the National Advisory Council on Voluntarism where she served under two presidents. She earned a B.S. in Business from the University of Louisville; a Masters in Education from the U.S. Navy Supply Corps School; a M.Ed. from Georgia State Univ.;and a M.S. in Peace Operations at the School of International Affairs at George Mason University.  Gail is certified in advanced skills from the GMU School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution. She resides in Rutland, VT where her business is Work Strategies.


Laura MacLachlan – Smart Tech and your Climate Change

Red 15

How can new technologies in electrical metering reduce electrical usage and subsequently reduce CO2 emission? This is the question that students are guided to explore in Smart Technology and Climate Change, VEEP’s new in-class workshop/presentation designed specifically for high school students.

Participants will measure power and calculate electrical energy usage of a variety of small appliances and create connections between electrical usage, electrical generation, and related carbon dioxide emissions. They will be  introduced to the newest technology in electrical metering and will be given the opportunity to examine the applications and implications of this new technology.

Laura MacLachlan is an Outreach Educator for the Vermont Energy Education Program. VEEP is a non profit organization committed to supporting teachers who want to incorporate energy-related curricula into their teaching through in-class workshops, trainings and curriculum kits. Engaging students and communities in our Hands-On Minds-On approach, VEEP works to help create an energy literate society.


Katy Davis – Envisioning a Hunger-free Vermont 

White 13

This session will address global and local food (in)security and will identify some of the structural conditions that contribute to and exacerbate hunger for Vermonters.  Participants will explore they roles that we can play in ensuring that all people have the capacity to feed themselves with dignity.

Katy comes to her work at Hunger Free Vermont with a cornucopia of personal and professional experiences that reflect her passion for a wide variety social and environmental issues on both the domestic and international levels. She has served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in both Cote d’Ivoire and Nepal, taught hands on environmental education at Ferry Beach Ecology School in Maine and worked with a variety of grassroots and policy non-profit organizations.

Katy received her Masters in International Development with a concentration in Environmental Economics from the University of Denver’s Korbel School of International Studies in 2008.


Jillian Zavistaski – The culture of Disease &

Rachel Cruise – Ebola’s Effects on the Body and the Economy

White 21

Rachel is a senior at Rutland High School. She will be attending UVM next year and majoring in microbiology.


Claire Olsen – The Fault in our Fashion: the Fashion Industry’s Practice of Corporate Citizenship &

Shannon Adams – The Effects of micro-plastic and micro- beads on the Marine Environment

White 22

This shared session will showcase the Capstone research of these two RHS seniors. Claire’s presentation will focus on the use of sweatshops and the unfair labor practices in the fashion industry. She hopes that after being exposed to the severity of the issue, participants in this session will be be able to make better-informed, conscientious decisions about fashion purchases.

Shannon’s presentation will focus on the negative effects that plastic in general and micro-plastics in particular have on the marine environment.These products are often dumped in the ocean as the solution to their disposal and are consumed by marine life that mistake these plastics for  food.  Beyond raising awareness, Shannon will offer suggestions about how to stem this flow of waste into our ecosystem.


Eva Evans – Human Trafficking

Red 26

Capstone presentation with excerpts from the film  Not My Life


Marsha Cassel – Conflict Awareness

White 27

This session will surface some of the underlying factors that contribute to conflict and will explain the different conflict styles that people typically choose when they find themselves in conflict.

Marsha earned a Masters degree in Mediation and Applied Conflict Resolution from the Woodbury Institute at Champlain College.  Since then she has worked in small claims court and assists in the Family Mediators practice in Rutland, VT.  She also co-facilitates the four-hour,  monthly Coping with Separation and DIvorce class held in conjunction with the Vermont Family Court and the UVM Extension Service for parents who are ‘uncoupling’ yet desire to be good co-parents. Marsha teaches French at Rutland High School and is one of the mentors of the Global Studies Program.


Baha’ Hamadna – The Israeli Occupation of Palestine from a Palestinian Perspective

White 14

Baha’ Hamadna is an exchange student from Palestine attending Mount Anthony Union High School in Bennington, VT  who will present what he believes is the under-represented Palestinian point of view about the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Through speech and video clips this presentation will include some of the history of the occupation, some of the consequences for the Palestinians and it will examine the role that the United States plays in the region for better or for worse. There will also be time for discussion and for questions.


Molly Engels, Gabriella Elnicki, Alexis Parker, Krisha Sachdev, and Emily Keeler – The Power and Pitfalls of Social Media

Lab 1

This session will examine how has social media affected youth culture and facilitated cyberbullying to grow.  What exactly cyberbullying is will be defined.  Popular social media sites will be discussed with particular focus on how they handle privacy and bullying within their site. How the Cyber You Club at Rutland High School recently combated cyberbullying will be mentioned as an example of how student voices can make an impact within schools and a community.

Molly, Gabriella, Krisha, Emily, and Alexis are active in the Cyber You, a twenty-some member RHS club that resulted as an action-plan extension of a 2014 Global Studies Capstone Research project. The mission of Cyber You is to raise awareness of the harm that social media can cause if not used responsibly.


Dr. Andy Vermilyea  Global Energy Choices and Our Changing Climate

White 15

Regional energy choices can have profound impacts on water and air quality hundreds and thousands of miles away from their sources and have an impact on our changing global climate. This presentation will explore climate change and how it is affecting specific landscapes.  It will also examine how byproducts of energy production can influence ecosystems thousand of miles away.

Andy is a graduate of Hamilton College where he majored in Chemistry and minored in Geology. During his graduate studies at Colorado School of Mines, he studied contaminate photochemical degradation.  Andy’s post-doctorate work at the University of Alaska Southeast expanded his research to include much larger scale systems, such as how landscapes influenced the total export of nutrients from watersheds to a very productive coastal ecosystem like the Gulf of Alaska. He is currently collaborating with the University of Vermont to study nutrient export from our Vermont landscapes and the resulting impact on Lake Champlain.


James Ehlers – Swimmable, Drinkable, and Fishable Vermont Waters

Red 21 and 22

This session will examine the threats to our waters, fish, and wildlife that are present as a result of generations of poor choices as well as the solutions and ways to make a positive difference.

James’ work  focuses on the merits of communities, states, and the Nation investing in a Clean Water Economy, an economy where sound public policy in energy, agriculture, urban and suburban development, and jobs is reflected in swimmable, drinkable, and fishable waters.  A past recipient of the U.S. EPA Regional Merit Award for his founding of an innovative approach to solving stormwater pollution, James shares his communication skills gleaned from a decade in publishing and broadcast media and his leadership skills honed as a Naval Officer with several organizations and elected officials.  He serves on Senator Sanders’ Environmental Advisory Council, advises the Governor and Legislature of Vermont on matters of public policy impacting the Lake Champlain Basin as chairman of the Citizens Advisory Committee, and represents on the State of Vermont as a commissioner to the congressionally-authorized seven-state collaborative on northeast water issues: New England Interstate Water Pollution Commission.  In addition, he serves on the government affairs committees for the American Sportfishing Association, New England Water Environment Association, and Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility.   For the last 16 years, James has had the privilege to serve as the executive director of Lake Champlain International, a highly visible and very active 501(c)3 organization engaged in the region-wide effort to demonstrate that is not necessary for citizens to pit the economy against the environment, but rather demonstrating that a clean river runs through every vibrant, sustainable economy and benefits people of all backgrounds.


Debra Gardner-Baasch – The Ripple Effect of Service Learning: From Vermont to Zimbabwe

Red 23

Over the past fifteen years, David and Debra Baasch have taken multiple trips with students from Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire to volunteer at the Newstart Children’s Home in Harare, Zimbabwe.  This presentation will include an overview of the Zimbabwe Orphanage Project, the Day in the Life collaborative project with Mill River Union High School students, a wide variety of Vermont community connections and the effects of volunteering on participants.  Questions will include: What are the effects of short-term humanitarian trips? What role can social media play in developing global connections?

Debra  is a teacher at Mill River Union High School.  In addition to teaching Literacy classes, she also created a course called Social Media in Action to explore the many ways that students can use social media to raise awareness of the AIDS pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa, global poverty and the value of education.


Will Stevens – Vermont Agriculture: It’s Not Just for Farmers!

Red 24

This session will engage participants in a discussion about Vermont’s Food System: What is production; distribution; manufacturing and consumption? What are organic and “conventional” practices? Who are the stakeholders in our food supply and what are their roles? Participants will be invited to share their questions and interests in an effort to collectively design positive steps to take to support a more food-secure Vermont.

Will and his wife, Judy, have been growing organic vegetables commercially since 1982.  They co-own Golden Russet Farm in Shoreham.  Will was the president of Vermont Organic Farmers for four years and has been active on Shoreham’s planning, zoning and select boards. He has also served as the Town’s Moderator for over a decade.  On the State level, Will represented the Addison-Rutland District in the Vermont Legislature from 2007-14 and served for four years as the Ranking Member of the House Agriculture and Forest Products Committee.


Ray Dube – What does your Recycling turn into?

White 25 and 26

This session will highlight the materials that the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England recycles on a day-to-day basis and will explore how local businesses use those recycled commodities by showing examples of products made from them.  A discussion of recycled household products will reveal what they can turn into as well.

Ray has spent the last 24 years working for a franchise bottler of Coca-Cola doing everything from loading and driving trucks to working in sales and in the financial department.  Most recently he has served as the company’s Sustainability Manager, overseeing commodity sales, recycling and education to schools and to the general  public.  Ray graduated from NH College in 2000 with a Bachelors degree in Business, Finance and Economics as well as a certificate in Sustainability for the University of NH in 2014.


Cathy Archer – Theater of the Oppressed: Theater as an agent of Change

Red 25

Theater of the Oppressed uses games to engage an audience and to create “scenes” about subjects that the audience chooses. The scenes are generally about an issue that the audience wants to understand better or to change. The audience becomes involved and may even participate as actors, modifying  the scene as the problem becomes better understood. During this session participants will play games, watch some videos of the Theater of the Oppressed productions and brainstorm ideas for future projects.

Cathy is a thirty-year veteran theater teacher in Vermont. She has presented workshops at festivals in Connecticut, Maine, Nebraska and Vermont. She is committed to the idea that theater can affect change through plays that address issues concerning the human experience and the world.


Carolyn Crowley Meub – Clean Water is Medicine

Red 13 and 14

The consequences of the global water crisis are brutal. One child dies every minute due to  consuming unsafe water. These deaths need not occur as the technology exists to provide everyone with clean, safe drinking water and good hygiene education.  This presentation will discuss some of the solutions available to eliminate waterborne diseases in rural communities in developing countries.

Carolyn has made a successful career in public relations as well as in events and organizational management. Her work has also included special events planning,  managing political campaigns and fundraising. She currently serves as the Executive Director of Pure Water for the World, Inc., a not-for-profit organization, started by the Brattleboro, Vermont Rotary Club in 1999. Under her leadership, Pure Water for the World has grown from a Rotary Club project to an effective non-governmental organization working in Haiti and in Central America. It is no surprise that Carolyn was recognized by the White House in 2012 as one of ten Rotary Champions of Change as a result of her contributions.


Steve Costello – Tackling global warming right here at home

Lab 2

The presentation will begin with a simple look at the impact we each have on C02 emissions based on the choices we make every day about transportation, heating and electricity consumption.  Through different choices as individuals and as a community, we can demonstrate a much more sustainable and resilient energy system right here in Vermont.  Green Mountain Power’s ‘Energy City of the Future’, which is becoming a national model, will be also be described.

Steve Costello has served as a vice president at Green Mountain Power since 2012, where he has focused on energy innovation, customer service and community and economic development. He was previously director of public affairs at Central Vermont Public Service, where he started in 1996 after a decade-long journalism career. Steve is active on numerous boards of directors, including the Rutland Economic Development Corp., Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce, and Neighborworks of Western Vermont. He is one of the organizers of numerous annual Rutland community service projects, including the Pack the Paramount Food Drive, Corporate Challenge Food Drive, and Gift-of-Life Marathon Blood Drive, which collected 2,350 pints of blood in one day in 2013, setting a national record.


Taborri Bruhl – Electric Vehicles: Beyond the Basics

Red 28

Taborri will discuss “the basics” of Electric Vehicles (EV’s), but will also discuss charging systems infrastructure, battery developments, longevity and recycling of EV components, net-zero transportation, the integration of EVs into smart grids, and advances in autonomous capabilities (driverless cars).

Taborri Bruhl lives in rural New Haven, Vermont, with his wife, three children, and two dogs in a net-zero house powered by solar and wind. Taborri is a former Marine Corps officer, and holds a bachelors degree in history and journalism from Texas A&M University and a masters degree in history from California State University. He teaches history, economics, and government at the high school level, and is on the board of directors for the Acorn Renewable Energy Co-op in Addison County, VT.


Makerspace Zone

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Physical learning meets team-building meets repurposed materials at our version of a Makerspace.   While the Makerspace movement often focuses on technology, this workshop gives a retro spin on “software” and is accessible to all. Join us to make a boxboard wallet using our instructions and your ima-GIN-antion. Grow your creativity and take away a memento of the conference while enjoying the company of fellow designers. Materials provided.