Tuesday, August 28, 2012

RA Breakfast at Unity House

It was a glorious morning at Unity House on August 24 when the 2012-2013 Resident Advisors visited us for breakfast.  They stormed in yelling "Orange juice!" and "Coffee!" as if they had been living in the woods all summer, far away from the civilization of the Edwards Shop 'n' Save and Wyman Commons.   And knowing Unity students, maybe they were!
New faces and familiar faces sat around the table together. At right is new RA Austin Calvert, Veteran RA Eve Dietrich, and New RA Elizabeth Whitney.
And on the left, facing the camera, it's veterans Ryan Morrison and Eli Walker, newbie Rose Zoller (under a quilt made by my sister Lisa Swift), and Rob Eckelbecker, who has the coolest last name in the world.  Eckelbecker!
Unity RAs are well-known for their generous spirits. They share that spirit in creating nurturing communities in the residence halls. They share their time and talents on campus and in community events like Arts for Hunger.  Here, Matt Dyer goes a step further and shares his cranberry-walnut muffin with Keeper.

Heather was a bit overwhelmed with all the excitement, but she made time to demonstrate how well she matches the Unity House floor.
Our breakfast concluded with a group photo shot.  Say hello to your RAs, folks!  In the front row left, it's new RA Alex Bach next to "Boss Lady" Cassandra Thayer,  returning RA Rebecca Zerlin (official Keepie holder of Unity House.  It's a tough job, but someone has to do it!) Jen Moran, Elizabeth and Eve.  In the back row left (the tall people),. it's new RAs Derrick Maltman and Austin, veteran Molly Cronin, Eckelbecker, Eli, that Stephen dude, Matt, Director of Residence Life/Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Steve Nason, and Ryan. Welcome back, everyone!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Unity House Welcomes New Board Members

On August 16, Stephen and I welcomed new members of the Board of Trustees to an orientation at Unity House. Pictured here, from left to right, are Linda Povey, Andy Hamilton, and Hallie Flint Gilman. Linda is Vice President of Strategy at the Natural Marketing Institute. Andy is an attorney at the Bangor office of the Eaton Peabody law firm. Hallie is Assistant General Counsel at First Wind, an independent wind energy company located in Portland, Maine.  Not pictured is Sarah Ruef-Lindquist, an attorney who also serves as Chief Executive Officer of The Maine Women's Fund.

Like all of Unity's trustees, these talented folks are volunteers, giving generously of their time, expertise, and and funds to nurture our mission as America's Environmental College. Please thank them for this essential service when you see them!

Organized by Chris Melanson, Secretary to the Board and Executive Assistant to the President , the orientation was an opportunity for the new trustees to meet each other as well as some of the folks in administration. We heard brief presentations on structure and strategy from Bill Trumble, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Gary Zane, Dean of Students, Alisa Johnson, Dean of Enrollment, Debbie Cronin, Vice President for Financial Affairs, Bob Fitzpatrick, Director of Marketing, and Joe Galli, Interim Vice President for Development.

Some of our more experienced trustees also attended to share their wisdom with the newbies.  Rob Kelley, Margot Kelley, Nadine Mort and Martha Dolben were on hand to answer questions and to offer their services as mentors. Jeffrey Davidson, sophomore, blogger, and Admissions Office summer work study, led a tour of the campus after lunch.

Our tasty menu for lunch and snacks was created by Unity's own Campus Dining magician, Lorey Duprey, and her talented staff. Charlie Krause and Amber Kett from the Student Center were also part of the team.

Amber, evening shift supervisor at the Student Center, made a luscious parfait style dessert from a ginger-glazed lemon pound cake, whipped cream, and raspberries. It was one of the best desserts I've ever tasted -- and yes, as an avid follower of The Sugar Diet (I made that up), I've tasted many desserts.  Amber very graciously shares the recipe here:

Fresh Blackberries
Favorite Pound Cake
1 pint heavy/whipping cream
1 cup sugar+some sugar to taste for whipped cream
1 cup water
2 about 2" fingers fresh ginger root

-Peel and chop ginger root. Combine water and 1 cup sugar with chopped ginger. Bring to a light boil and remove from heat. Allow ginger root to steep for at least ten minutes.
-Cut pound cake in half running the length to create two thin cakes. Once ginger syrup has cooled and steeped, remove ginger and coat pound cake using a pastry brush. Allow to set.
-Whip cream to light peaks by hand or on medium speed in a mixer. Add sugar to personal taste. Some people prefer to omit sugar completely. The tartness or sweetness of your blackberries should be considered when deciding this.
-Cut pound cakes into bite sized cubes. In a glass, layer pound cake, blackberries and whipped cream. Repeat two to three times until glass is full. Allow dessert to sit in fridge for a half hour to allow all the flavors to infuse together. Top with a fresh blackberry for presentation if desired and serve.