Afternoon Presenters

Afternoon Presenters

Taborri Bruhl – The Exciting Future of Electric Vehicles
Red 28

Electric vehicles are amazing! Many are available today, and each year their capabilities just keep growing. But more importantly, in the future the entire transportation system will revolve around electric vehicles, and this will play a critical role in how humans will be able to live sustainably on the planet. Taborri Bruhl is an owner of two electric vehicles, and he is knowledgeable about electrical grids and sustainability issues—join him as he discusses how these three seemingly-unrelated things will all come together in the future to play a huge role in all of our lives. The presentation will include videos of electric vehicle manufacturing and performance today (come see clips of a Tesla P85-D in “Ludicrous” mode!).

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.

Victoria Quint – Hate Online
Red 11

This session will examine hate groups, like Identity Evropa, and anti-hate organizations, such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, to explore the issue of online hate in the United States. Confirmation bias and inherent bias in search engines will also be explored in order to understand the level of influence a particular source can wield in shaping one’s world view. Ms. Quint will also compare the laws, statutes, and policies regarding hate crime in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany.

Victoria Quint is a senior at Rutland High School who plans to major in International Relations and Russian at college next year. She has been involved in Global Studies and STEM throughout her time at RHS and enjoys reading and baking in her free time.

Ray Dube – What does your Recycling turn into?
Red 13 & 14

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 25 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 degree in Business, Finance and Economics as well as a certificate in Sustainability for the University of NH in 2014.

Abby Brodowski and Jennie Gartner – Conversations with Each Other
White 21 & 22

Matthew Prouty and RHS Project Vision – Breaking Down Silos: Project Vision
Red 12

How do we create relationships and partnerships with different organizations and agencies to minimize gaps and overlaps of services that address poverty, public safety, substance abuse, and strengthening neighborhoods in Rutland? This session will introduce participants to Project Vision, which has become an international model for community engagement and relationship building.

Commander Prouty is a 27 year police veteran, and was named Executive Director of Project VISION in Sept of 2017.

Stefanie DeSimone – Soup Bowls for Hunger
Creative Structure

Cathy Archer – Theatre for Social Change
Red 22

Through theatre games this session will explore Education and how it impacts a person’s ability to earn a living, be a part of the community, and develop as a human being. Participants will be guided to develop scenes, using techniques from theatre of the oppressed and Improvisation, which will tell the stories of people in their search for education. Students will leave the workshop with a framework or outline for a play that addresses the issue of the importance of Education.

Cathy Archer is a thirty-four-year veteran teacher of theatre in Vermont. She recently presented this workshop as a part of Vermont’s One Act Festival, The Northeastern Theatre Festival and at the New England Drama One Act Festival. She is committed to the idea that theatre can affect change through productions of plays that address issues concerning the human experience and the World. Rutland High School’s Encore Theatre has recently produced several plays that deal with censorship, discrimination and the power of kindness.

Emma Murphy – When the Body Attacks the Brain
White 13

James Ehlers – Pristine or Polluted?  How Adults are Failing to Protect Our Waters and What You Can Do About It.
Red 24

Life, as we know it, is not sustainable without safe, reliable drinking water. Does anyone have a right to deliberately pollute? Does the free market protect us against pollution or does the government have a role to play? Are our elected officials doing enough? What can you do to protect our swimmable, drinkable, fishable water resources against ever-present threats? Have you heard about the fish kills and about people getting sick on Vermont lakes? Are you aware that Rutland often leads the state in combined sewage overflows?

Join this session to learn about the issues affecting Vermont’s water, fish, and beaches – and what you can do about it.

Since 1999 James has served as the executive director of Lake Champlain International, a highly visible organization engaged in a region-wide effort to assert that clean water supports vibrant, sustainable economies and benefits people of all backgrounds. He has also served as a freelance columnist, a middle school science teacher, and has provided instruction for ecology and outdoor programs for the State of Vermont, local colleges, schools, and parks. James has been invited to the White House to consult with advisers on public policy and earned the prestigious EPA Environmental Merit Award.

Todd Kowalczyk – Home Sweet Home!
Red 25

We are living in a time where technology is advancing at a rapid pace.  From iPhones to genetic mapping to Artificial Intelligence, we are living in a vastly different world than our parents and grandparents.  And the pace of change and advancement shows no sign of slowing. Yet, most of us live in homes that were built decades ago well before the emergence of the computer age.

So, what will a typical home look like in the future?  How might the places and spaces that we live and work look different?  In an ever more crowded world, how will our homes be smarter and work to preserve our natural resources and environment?  This presentation will explore how new energy technologies and emerging trends will affect where we live and work.  We’ll look at how homes and buildings in the future will be smarter, improving the quality of our lives while restoring our connection with nature and the natural world.  We’ll explore through photos and discussion the big and little ways that spaces can be made happier, more inviting, and more efficient!

Todd is the Project Management Lead at Green Mountain Power in Rutland, VT and lives in Killington, VT with his wife and three daughters.  He is passionate about energy issues and making the world a better place!

Anesu Masube – Plan USA Youth Leadership Academy on the Sustainable Development Goals
Red 21

Are you interested in developing your leadership skills?  While working with other passionate students from across the country?  And getting a taste of college life?  Then check out this session about Plan USA’s Youth Leadership Academy, hosted at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, July 23-27, 2018!  The Academy will help develop your leadership style, guide your understanding of the Sustainable Development Goals, gain expertise in designing and implementing your own projects, and allow you to network with the international Plan community.  For more information and to apply, visit

Zachary Lane – Freedom of Speech on College Campuses
Lab 3

Ron Eisenman – Pictures from Under the Mushroom Cloud

What are the human realities of nuclear war? How did the residents of Hiroshima and Nagasaki experience the atomic bombs of WWII?

This gallery talk, annotating an exhibit of photographs taken in Hiroshima and Nagasaki shortly after the atomic bombs were dropped, will speak to the consequences of nuclear detonations. The session will include a description of the historical atmosphere leading up to the decision to drop the bomb and will sample some of the impacts experienced on the ground by Japanese citizens—at the time of the events and some which continue into the present. The presentation will include a message from the atomic bomb survivors.

Ron has been a social studies teacher at RHS since 2006. He speaks Japanese and has traveled and worked in Japan.

Jamin Gelder – A School Without Water: Pure Water for the World
White 27

What does a school without water or sanitation look like? How can education thrive in a school lacking basic human needs? How can students in Vermont impact the lives of kids in rural developing nations?

Many children in rural Honduras attend school without access to safe water, safe sanitation facilities, and their teachers lack the tools to relay proper hygiene messages. Pure Water for the World works with teachers and communities to improve water and sanitation in schools while also providing the hygiene training to teachers and students. By addressing all aspects of water and sanitation, and including hygiene education, Pure Water for the Worlds is able to implement a sustainable water project. Find out how you can contribute to a better world for all students, everywhere.

Jamin Gelder is the program manager for Pure Water for the World, which is headquartered in Rutland, VT.

José Guerror Coronado – Working with Refugees: Challenges, Relationships, and the Future
White 26

What can we do to help refugees? What are the most effective ways to help them adapt to living in the US?

This presentation will talk about efforts in Portland, Oregon to support the needs of refugees from more than 20 countries. The session will address the major issues and problems refugees face, their lives in the US, the role of non-profits, and the political climate of the US. It will also explain and give information about what to expect if you want to work or volunteer in programs that help refugees.

José Guerrero Coronado is an economics major at Whitman College. He began participating in community service movements in his hometown Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. In Puerto Vallarta, José volunteered for the Nuevo Vallarta Turtle Camp and the Manos de Amor Orphanage. In the United States, José was an intern for Catholic Charities in Portland, OR, where he was coordinator of a summer school program for refugee kids. He was also program assistant for 4 Worlds United, an organization that gives free soccer classes for low income kids in the Portland metro area. José wants to work in immigration services and later in his life establish a soccer academy for kids of unprivileged backgrounds.

Krisha Sachdev – The Truth About Foreignizing Birth Control in India
White 14

India is frequently held up as an example of a country struggling with overpopulation. This presentation examines the kinds of birth control that are readily available to women in India as well as some of the constraints they face in using them.

Krisha Sachdev is a senior at Rutland High School. Her Capstone project has helped her come to terms with her identity as a young woman of Indian decent living in America, incorporating the richness and challenges of both cultures.

Aidan Lodge, James Baroz, Katherine Koehler, and Nanja Horning – Leftovers: Examining Food Waste and Food Insecurity
White 15

What factors contribute to food waste and food insecurity? How can we shift consumer mindsets to reduce both food waste and food insecurity? Can we re-purpose food waste to help those in need? This presentation will include clips from an in-progress short subject film and will include an interactive discussion. The goal of the presentation is to increase awareness about the need for sustainable food production and reflections on consumption habits.

Aidan, James, Katherine, and Nanja are representatives from “What’s the Story, VT”, a collaborative learning experience focused on social action. Katherine and James are seniors at Middlebury Union High School (MUHS), Nanja is a junior at MUHS, and Aidan is a junior at Peoples Acadamy.

Shannon Watelet – Ocean Acidification and Pollution
Lab 8

Austin Roussel – The Future of Electricity: Renewables and the Microgrid
Lab 7

Theo Wells-Spackman and Emily Pecsok – Smashing Sexism
Red 26

Sophie Tanen – Confederate Statues: The Morality of These Monuments
Red 16

Kendall Sheean – Why Act 77 is Beneficial
Lab 6

What is Act 77? What does this act even do? Who does it affect? How many people have a clear idea of one of the most current education standards that affects all children in Vermont? These questions can be answered. This presentation is about everything that influenced the creation and implantation of Act 77. This will go over influential educators who were ahead of their time and changed education as we know it, some of the most important acts in Vermont, federal education standards, and more.

End Addiction
White 23

Clai Lasher-Sommers – GunSenseVT
White 25

Adam Chill – Coffee in the World
Lab 4