Delicate Balance Project Abstract Archive

This database stores some detail about delicate balance projects over the years.


        
 
Student's Name: [[Student's Name]]
Professor:
Year and Term:
Project Title:
Project Abstract:
Author first name:
Author surname:

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Student's Name: Violet Floros and Charlotte Wright
Professor: Karen Fleming
Year and Term: F12
Project Title: Etsy craft collective
Project Abstract:

The Green Mountain College Craft Collective

Violet Floros & Charlotte Wright

 

 

ABSTRACT

Our project seeks to bring together creative students at Green Mountain College in an effort to share skills of crafting and promote a local, handmade market. Our project actions included starting an Etsy collective and Facebook page to spread awareness of individual’s handmade items and promote their sales. To build interest, an initial informative meeting was held to share ideas and gain feedback from potential members of the collective. Also, a crafting social was held to promote skill share and a tight-knit community among crafters on campus. The way in which the websites have been established will encourage longevity of the project and allow the project to be passed on and maintained by other individuals interested at Green Mountain College after we have graduated. This project seeks to benefit the local community by promoting sustainable, handmade and local purchases, highlighting the talents of community members.

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Student's Name: Alexandra Hilliard
Professor: Heather Keith
Year and Term: F12
Project Title: Building a Brain on Campus
Project Abstract:

The goal of this project was to create the framework for a potential neuroscience major. I was able to research four institutions; Hamilton, Ohio Wesleyan, Drew, and Earlham – 4 year institutions, private, and with fewer than 2000 students – as well as Middlebury as a potential option for study abroad. These five schools were analyzed and their basic information as well as neuroscience course curricula was examined. Information gleaned from this research was used to create a potential curriculum for a major at Green Mountain College. Additionally, current students were polled in regards to their interest in studying neuroscience at the college.

Future steps:

  1. Poll all current studies about interest in neuroscience
  2. Poll prospective students
  3. Poll alumni
  4. Research more institutions to gain more representative data when creating a curriculum
  5. Create a cost-benefit analysis
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Student's Name: Binh Bui
Professor: Heather Keith
Year and Term: F12
Project Title: Improvement for Free Store
Project Abstract:

The Free Store is an existing project which is run by the Eco-Rep program on campus. It collects donated or unused things, and stores them in the Withey basement where everybody can come from 8am to 5pm every day to take things they need for free. This project aims to improve the current Free Store, to promote small, locally-owned businesses, and to create a new way of consumption: “Buy Less, Share More.” According to many scholars and economists, small, locally-owned firms benefit the local economy, and provide an effective corporate social responsibility (CSR). They also contribute in building a friendly community, with people sharing and exchanging things with each other while reducing waste. 

 

What the project achieved

Tasks

Status

"Switch-A-Roo" - Switch free boxes among dorms.

Weekly

Organized the Reuse Day (Nov 7).

Done

Created GMC Eco-Reps Facebook page (Oct 9) (http://www.facebook.com/greenmtn.ecoreps).

61 likes

"Free Item of the Week" – Took pictures of very valuable things found in the Free Store, and posted them on the Eco-Rep Facebook page.

Weekly

Collaborate with the Freepo.

Future Plan

 

Advices

If you consider continuing this project, please keep in mind that the Eco-Rep members play a huge, crucial role in your project’s success. They are your arms. They assist you in many tasks and help put your plans into practices. Hence, please communicate and collaborate with them. Good luck!  

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Student's Name: Christian Pezzino
Professor: Mary Jane Maxwell
Year and Term: F12
Project Title: Subversion of Society: Skateboarding as a Transformation of Architecture and Social Norms
Project Abstract:

Vigorous, expressionistic, and creative, skateboarding has become an increasingly popular activity worldwide. As more and more people begin to skateboard, their presence in urban centers has become more notable, and according to city officials, police, and business owners, more intrusive. A clue to why authority perceives skateboarding as a disruption to society lies within the physical designs and constructs of modern metropolis—symbolism through architecture. Architects and urban planners embrace the dominant cultural and political hegemony of capitalist society in their designs. Skateboarders perceive these objects differently, intentionally using these spaces in an alternative, contradictory way, undermining the social, political, and economic foundation of society. Central to this idea, skateboarders literally re-imagine and re-invent urbanity, transgressing society's idea of the 'appropriate' use of public space, or as social theorist Henri Lefebvre terms, the “production of space,” an economic idea which states that architecture's main goal is to affirm the economic functioning of capitalism by creating an environment which foster production-exchange-consumption activities, an idea cemented at capitalism's core. The transgression of such invisible social/political values has entirely visible consequences in the form of social and political repression. In order to understand how skateboarders engage in their activity in the public realm, the analysis begins with a brief foray into the history and subsequent progression of skateboarding from the “sidewalk surfing” of the '50s and '60s up through modern day street skating, in which the main focus of this paper lies. In order to fully grasp how and why skateboarding conflicts with dominant cultural norms, the skateboarder him/herself need to be understood. Therefore, subculture, its effects on identity, values, and its place within the context of larger culture is also explored.

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Student's Name: David Frank
Professor: Karen Fleming
Year and Term: F12
Project Title: River Cleanup Project
Project Abstract:

The Poultney River is currently suffering from mistreatment. Beer cans, bottles and other forms of debris have been found in increasingly large numbers at the Poultney river. The debris at the river has caused controversy amongst the GMC community. This project will focus on ideas which will help ensure that the river stays clean. The goal of this project is to encourage GMC students to clean their garbage from the river by working together as a community.

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Student's Name: Francis Kopp and Matt Eule
Professor: Thayer Raines
Year and Term: F12
Project Title: Meditation
Project Abstract:

Our project was to provide an area in which students within the Green Mountain community can come and use for meditative purposes. We sustainably created this project by using slate around campus that had been deemed unusable by maintenance. After our project was approved by the land committee we had the red and green slate pile transported over to the side of the wellness center.

      After receiving the slate at the wellness center we rearranged the slate using the different red and green colors to form a yin yang shaped patter. This yin yang is about eight feet in diameter and contains two large slate pieces that provide the most comfortable areas in order to sit.

      In the spring we intend to add sunflowers around a section of the perimeter in order to give a more aesthetically pleasing environment. We intend to do this while working with the herbal tribe because they have a garden next to the meditation area and we can work in conjunction with their garden. This will create a higher feeling of peacefulness when entering the area around the wellness center. This will also make the wellness center look more inviting and possibly provide that extra push a person may need in order to get help when they need it.

      One of the biggest challenges for this project was working with different staff members of the school in order to get our project approved. At the beginning of the semester we were under the impression that the land committee had perished and we needed to get our approval by the maintenance workers for Green Mountain. However, from maintenance we were sent to another staff member under whom our wild goose chase had begun.

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Student's Name: Katie Emerson
Professor: Heather Keith
Year and Term: F12
Project Title: Off Campus Energy
Project Abstract:

Delicate Balance Archives: Energy Audit of the Wellness Center

 

My project addressed the lack of attention given to the energy consumption of off campus buildings like the Wellness Center.  I worked with Aaron Witham, the sustainability coordinator, Cathy Renoylds from Efficiency Vermont and Heidie Vazquez-Garcia, the director of the Wellness Center. I analyzed the electricity records from the utility bills and I conducted a walk through audit with Cathy on November 2, 2012. We began by talking with Heidie about the energy habits of the occupants. We then walked through each of the rooms noting the number of lights and if they were incandescent or compact florescent bulbs as well as the computers and other appliances or electronics. We also went into the basement to examine the insulation and the hot water heater. I wrote a report (with much input from Cathy) about how the Wellness Center uses energy (all electric including heat) and opportunities for improvement.

            The Solar Harvest Center and the Two Editors Inn are two other buildings that have not been audited for energy efficiency and represent an additional opportunity to learn more about the auditing process and to save the school energy. My research paper focused on the economic benefits of energy audits and the resulting improvements and barriers that keep people from getting audits.  But more could be done about the environmental benefits of improving efficiency or the elements of behavioral change necessary to reduce energy consumption.

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Student's Name: Sean McNamara and William Sargent
Professor: Thayer Raines
Year and Term: F12
Project Title: Increasing Aesthetics at Griswold Library
Project Abstract:

Our project aimed at increasing the aesthetics at Griswold Library. The purpose of this project was to create an atmosphere that would increase the thought process and creativity of students. Art increases brain functions like memory, senses, and emotions. These factors help the mind have a deeper understanding of certain ideas. We talked to Paul Millette, Griswold Library Director, to ask for his input on the project. He stated he wanted a piece of art that would be donated by a student, be permanent, and fit into the available locations. We found a painting that was created by Marijo Bineault ’13. She was excited to donate the painting permanently to the library, and they agreed to accept the donation. The painting will be put up in the library in the spring semester ’13. There will also be a plaque to describe our delicate project and pay thanks to Marijo’s gift. Future endeavors could put more student-made art work in the library or certain locations around campus.

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Student's Name: Yannick Gomes, Tony Mercadante and Emma Ryon
Professor: Karen Fleming
Year and Term: F12
Project Title: Killington Waste
Project Abstract:

 

     For our project we aimed to succeed in reducing the amount of material waste in the RHM lodge.  Using our research we were able identify three major areas that could be adjusted to produce less waste. Yannick researched commercial composting for his project.  Through his research he determined that the compostable “to go” containers used in the lodge were not truly reusable and replaced them with reusable food containers.

  Tony researched the effects and feasibility of recycling at large scale resorts.  Through his research he redesigned a better recycling program at the lodge.  Working with Cassella he was able to obtain recycling bins in all of the students rooms and throughout the lodge. Emma researched the effect of BPA on humans and the irreversible damage of plastic waste.  She worked with the food and beverage directors at the lodge to get rid of our disposable plastic cups and replaced them with reusable cups for the students.

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Student's Name: Angela Baglione
Professor: Heather Keith
Year and Term: F12
Project Title: Accessible Garden and Curriculum Design
Project Abstract:

For my project I set out to design an accessible garden space and accompanying curriculum for the students at the South Shore Educational Collaborative (SSEC) in Hingham, Massachusetts. I have been involved in this school, a day program for children and adults with multiple disabilities, for many years, and I have long been looking forward to putting their existing greenhouse to good use. Over the course of my project I have accomplished many of my goals, including writing an annual production plan and drawing up a garden design that accounts for accessibility concerns while maximizing the potential area of the garden. I have also outlined a complete budget and wish list for the project, with my total funding goal coming to about $1,000 before books and other classroom materials, which I hope to purchase through the school’s existing budget. Once my budget was complete, I applied to four grants: two through the National Gardening Association, one through Annie’s Homegrown, and one through Whole Foods. I have also written letters to other farmers and gardeners in the area, asking for donations of time or materials. This winter, as I continue my project, I hope to meet with some small businesses in the area to ask for donations as well. If my grants don’t come through, I plan to start a Kickstarter campaign online to fund my project.

            In addition to the garden plans, I did my research paper on the psychological and physical benefits of working outdoors, the recent history and present atmosphere of agriculture in the classroom, and how to write lesson plans and curriculum for agriculture and accessibility. I was able to outline about 25 lessons that I will flesh out and begin using this spring as the garden gets up and running. I will also be working with some other staff at the school to create a long-term curriculum for this subject area. My hope is that eventually the garden will be financially self-sustaining, with students selling produce either at local farmers’ markets or at a farm stand at the school itself.

            Some of the most helpful pieces of this project were having experience at the school, both with the students and staff and also with the space available, and having the school’s support from the very beginning. They have been able to answer questions and help me plan this project even at such a great distance from the school itself. One thing I would do differently is that I should have begun applying to grants earlier, because I missed the deadlines of a couple that were relevant to this project, and any opportunity for funding should not be missed. I’m looking forward to making these plans a reality this winter and spring for my Senior Study.

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