A welcome summer tradition of recent years before the pandemic has been near-weekly gatherings down on the Farm at Saint Michael's for "Salad Days." All members of the campus community are welcome, typically on Wednesdays, for these occasions to showcase fresh produce that the Farm and its student workers produce, all while building community over salad and bread. A typical crowd might be 15 to 30 visitors. At right wearing red and sunglasses in the right-hand photo is Kristyn Achilich '05, M’21, director of the Center for the Environment, while Farm & Food Assistant Manager, Christine Gall, is at the back table also in red shirt and sunglasses. This week’s was the first Salad Days for 2022. “We brought it back in 2021 after a hiatus the first summer of COVID in 2020,” said Achilich. “It was a welcome sight of community last summer so we were so eager to host again this year.” As to the menu for these lunches: “The farm leads the way! “ she said. “We innovate based on what’s harvestable that week. This year we are trying hard to see our menu through the lens of equity and diversity too – a slight shift in greens and spices can take what one group might call pesto and make it a chimichurri. We want all of our campus community to see themselves in the land and food we grow. Plus, this year, we added S’Mores to the menu and a little fire! The next one will have lawn games too!” This is the 7th summer of salad days on the Farm, though “when the garden existed from 2008-2014 down by the Natural Area, we had a few over those years too," Achilich said.
Photos by Lauren Read
SAINT MICHAEL'S NEWS
Summer mentored student research delves into pandemic impacts upon society and individuals
As only a few examples of the approximately 25 summer research projects to be conducted on campus this summer, student-researchers Swapnil Jhajharia ‘24 (bottom left photo), Mia Cooper ‘24 (center), and Greg Hurter ‘24 (right) will study the social and mental effects of the Covid-19 pandemic alongside their faculty mentors in the psychology, public health, and political science departments, respectively. Jhajharia, a psychology and statistics double major, first began working with his faculty mentor, Professor Sarah Nosek, when he shadowed her during the summer of 2021. Through this experience, he gained valuable insights into the research process in general, in addition to more specific skills such as grant writing and different methods of statistical analyses, and the circumstances in which to utilize them.
At present, building from his experience last summer, Jhajharia will write a supplementary paper based on a previous paper of Nosek's from 2020 about the stigmatization and discrimination that college-age students may experience after contracting COVID-19. Along a similar vein, Cooper is working with Saint Michel’s psychology Professor Ari Kirshenbaum to examine the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of college students. She first began working in Kirshenbaum’s lab during the fall of her first year at Saint Michael’s before ultimately approaching him during the fall of 2021 with a new question. Rounding out the three COVID-19-related research projects on campus this summer, Hurter, a public health and equity studies double major with a minor in biology, will study the social and political reasoning behind vaccine hesitancy among college students throughout Vermont.
Poetry collaborators eye possible book from summer work with Greg Delanty
Although the majority of research at Saint Michael’s College is in the natural and social sciences, this summer Faith Morgan ‘23 (bottom right magenta hued photo) and Rosemary Marr ‘23 (top at right) will work alongside Professor Greg Delanty (bottom left) in the English Department to both study and write poetry.Marr, an English major with a philosophy and creative writing double minor from Bedford, NH, and Morgan, a business administration major with a creative writing and literature double minor from Litchfield, CT, first began working together after taking the same poetry workshop with Professor Delanty. Brought together by their love of poetry, the pair began sending their work to each other for help and feedback, ultimately inspiring their research this summer. Different from the other research projects on campus this summer, Marr and Morgan’s work will not have a hypothesis nor an overarching research question that they are probing. Instead, their work will encompass two major components: research and writing. After their preliminary research is complete, Marr and Morgan will begin writing poetry of their own with hopes to eventually be published in a book together.
Jocelyn Savard ’24 adding adventure sports credential this summer to boost resume
A jack-of-all-trades, Jocelyn Savard ’24 is casting a wide net both in the professional and extracurricular worlds as she spends this summer on campus training with the Adventure Sports Center to gain her Undergraduate Professional Endorsement for adventure sports coaching. Her criminology and religious studies majors were born from a combination of impactful professors at Saint Michael’s as well as an inclination to make the world a better place. “I chose to become a religious studies major after taking a very interesting class with Professor Ray Patterson,” said Savard, from Wilmington, NC, who also has a minor in psychology. “I wanted to continue to have classes like that with such fascinating material.” Savard said she knew that she wanted to go to school in New England, and after looking into Saint Michael’s, she “fell in love with it.” Since arriving on campus, she has made the most of the College’s many distinguishing opportunities such as the new UPE program and adventure sports. Undergraduate Professional Endorsements are degree enhancements for Saint Michael’s students that allow them to receive credentials in various areas of the professional world.
Purpose from place and mentorship: Byrne '24 loves Saint Michael’s Farm
The Farm in its present, intentionally educational form was not a major aspect of Saint Michael’s College when the institution began in 1904, even though a farm in some form helped sustain the campus community with staples through much of its early history. However, since formal establishment of a campus organic garden in 2008 followed by a more expansive farm, student-centered agriculture and horticulture has become a fundamental part of the College’s culture of green living and learning, Edmundite tradition, and the most popular program within the Center for the Environment. Eliza Byrne ’24 (photo at right) of Hebron, CT, is an environmental studies major and a summer Farm employee at Saint Michael’s College. Alongside Byrne’s work on the Farm, she is a Natural Area steward through the Center for the Environment during the academic year. She is currently staying on Saint Michael’s campus over the summer while she works full-time on the Farm.
The sheep are baaaaaack! Earlier this month, farmer Lewis Fox of Leicester, NY, (top photo from last year) delivered a herd of sheep to the Saint Michael’s College solar array behind St. Joseph’s Hall for the second year in a row. During their stay, the sheep will be hard at work clearing the unwanted weeds and grass surrounding the College’s solar panels. The solar array provides nice shade and shelter for visiting sheep (photo at right from last year) as they keep grass and other vegetation under control. For solar-site owner-operators, it is imperative to maintain the vegetation surrounding their solar panels because when it is left unkempt, it can grow to cover the panels. Given the necessity but also the inherent difficulty associated with the maintenance of solar array herbage, sheep have emerged as an ideal solution.
McCabe's hometown Irish paper profiles him; he also goes on radio to talk macroinvertebrates
While Declan McCabe of the Saint Michael's biology faculty gets a lot of ink as the author of his regular outdoors/nature column for regional magazines and newspapers, it is rare to get as up close and personal as did a former neighbor and reporter for his hometown newspaper in Ireland, the Westmeathth Independent from Athlone, in a nice feature that appeared in recent weeks when Declan was home for a visit. The story had several mentions of Saint Michael's College in the piece. Declan also was on the radio on June 13 as a guest on host Ric Cengeri's Vermont Viewpoint program on Waterbury radio station WDEV, talking about "the exciting world of Vermont's macroinvertebrates." The segment with Declan starts at about the 23 minute mark at the show link below.
Thursday's message this week on social media from the Saint Michael's Playhouse celebrated a joyful milestone moment that was an emblem of perseverance and faith after two years of canceled seasons due to the pandemic: "Into the Breeches! opens tonight, exactly 100 weeks after it was initially scheduled to in 2020. It may be an overused saying, but it truly takes a village to put on a show. The village for this show includes fourteen production staff, five designers, two stage managers, a director, eight actors, and twelve interns, each working tirelessly toward a singular goal. Join us in wishing this village congratulations on meeting their goal (and surpassing it)! Lastly, a special thank you to the patrons who have been by our side over the tumultuous last two years. Your patience and belief have kept our ghost light burning. Tonight, that light will dim, but the hope and joy of theatre will be more alive than ever. “Into the Breeches!” runs until July 9. Don’t miss it!"
The College is pleased to welcome back to campus this summer for a second year the faculty and students of the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival. Welcome sights and sounds for St. MIke's community members in coming weeks will be students carrying their instruments from place to place as here, and anyone roaming campus buildings might hear beautiful music from practice sessions in many rooms. Faculty and student concerts will be frequent, with many upcoming. Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival brings together young string musicians from around the U.S. and several other countries with professional string teachers from many conservatories and universities, to work together for a month in beautiful Vermont. Festival concerts during late June and most of July -- many at campus sites such as the McCarthy Arts Center and Elley-Long Music Center on North Campus -- offer a rich assortment of chamber music experiences to audience members. According to a piece by Amy Lilly in the Burlington weekly Seven Days last fall, "After an online-only summer in 2020, Burlington's Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival roared back to in-person operations" at St. Mike's in June 2021 as it moved operations here from previous Burlington-area locations of many years. That first year here went well, and now, happily, they're back under direction of a new festival leader. Lilly wrote of last year's Festival about "...the 170 students lived at Saint Michael's College in Colchester, performing and attending concerts there and at Elley-Long Music Center. Overall, the festival went off without COVID-19 outbreaks or other hitches." But, she notes, "the stress of putting on the event took a toll on its artistic director, violinist Kevin Lawrence, who founded the festival in 2005 ... Lawrence announced he was stepping down after 17 years during this summer's festival, which ended in late July ... By September, the board had chosen his replacement from several qualified applicants: violinist Elizabeth Chang, a festival faculty member since 2007." Lawrence continues on the Festival faculty. Upcoming programs include a faculty concert at Elley Long this evening at 7:30 p.m. (photo by Patrick Bohan).
Edmundites presenting Summer Reflection Series at St. Anne's Shrine up in the Islands
Many members of the Society of Saint Edmund in residence at Saint Michael's College will be presenting programs in a series at St. Anne's Shrine this summer in Isle La Motte in the Champlain Islands. Fr. Brian Cummings, S.S.E. '86, director of Edmundite Campus Ministry, is also director of the Shrine, which Edmundites have administered for many generations. Here is the schedule for the Summer Reflection Series at the Shrine on Wednesdays between July 6 and August 31. These presentations will follow the 11:15 Wednesday Mass. Lunch is available in the cafeteria after the
presentations, except for July 27 when you can bring your
own picnic lunch. Please call or email with any questions
at (802) 928.3362 or firstname.lastname@example.org. July 6: Rev. Michael Carter, S.S.E., Sainted Women of the Dark Ages July 13,14,15: Rev. Richard Myhalyk, S.S.E., The Gardens in Sacred Scripture. This is a three-part
presentation. We hope you can join us for one, two or
July 20: There will not be a presentation this week. July 27: Rev. David Theroux, S.S.E., The Corporal Works of Mercy: Faith in Action August 3: Rev. Richard Berube, S.S.E., Good News, Good Notes: The Gospel in Gospel Music August 10: Rev. David Cray, S.S.E., Topic coming soon! August 17: Rev. Michael Carter, S.S.E., Presidents and Piety: Catholic Schools in America August 24: Monsignor Peter Routhier, The Role of Saints in the Life of the Church August 31: Rev. Richard Myhalyk, S.S.E.,
How We See God: Our Spiritual Lens on Life