Turning Our Oceans Into Landfills

Judith Enck, former Regional Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, describes her experience working with Bennington students during the PFOA crisis, and the class she is teaching this year. 

"I worked with various professors and students on the Hoosick Falls drinking water crisis and was extremely impressed with how Bennington College served as an invaluable resource for the community.  Professor David Bond and others at CAPA went the extra mile during a very difficult time for local communities. I am also impressed with the self-directed nature of the academic experience.

I am teaching a course on plastic pollution - the only one in the nation. It will also be offered next semester, along with a more advanced version of the class. I have spent my career working inside and outside of government, working to protect the environment and public health. I am excited to enter a new phase of my career, working closely with college students on plastic pollution. I have a lot to learn from students, and vice versa."

Get Out The Vote: November 6th

What's at stake? Where's my polling place?
  • Registered to vote in VT: Bennington Fire House (130 River Street, Bennington, VT)
  • Vote-by-mail: You will receive your ballot at the address you gave on your voter registration form.
  • I still need to register: Register online at
How can I be a more informed voter?
Visit the CAPA Website
Thinking of Advanced Work in CAPA? 
The final deadline for proposals is November 28th at registration! A detailed description of the requirements and instructions for submitting your proposal can be found here.
John Hultgren: Consortium on Forced Migration

The Consortium on Forced Migration, Displacement and Education, started by Bennington, Vassar, Bard, and Sarah Lawrence, received a $2.5-million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to continue working on projects and classes that study the issues of the global refugee crisis.

Profesor John Hultgren has worked on building out the events offered by the consortium and hopes the grant will continue to expand the opportunities for students to get involved. 

"First, the grant will give our students access to some of the programs and projects that other schools in the consortium are working on, including opportunities abroad. Second, the grant will allow us to help refugee scholars come to Bennington and our partner schools. Third, the grant provides funding for two really innovative projects that Bennington students and faculty have started: Bennington Translates and GANAS," he said. "The grant ensures that students will have a larger selection of classes and co-curricular opportunities in the coming years.  Starting next term, we'll have a 2000-level class called Lexicon of Forced Migration. Eventually, we'll also have an annual senior seminar on forced migration and displacement."

John has been involved with immigration issues since he began his PhD. Upon completion of the program, he worked with a grassroots campaign in Arizona, which he feels was instrumental in his ideas about immigration. 

"This is where I really saw the practical, day-to-day impacts that US immigration policy has on working class communities: massive wage theft, undocumented people being harassed by local police, families being torn apart, people who have lived almost their entire lives in the US being deported. I had known about these things intellectually for a long time, but meeting and working with the community members gave me an entirely different perspective and really radicalized me on the issue -- I started to realize just how broken and cruel our current immigration system is, and how minor reforms aren't going to fix it," he said. 

With the new consortium, John hopes that students will have opportunities to engage with migrant populations and understand more intimately the situation they face. 

"I'm really hopeful that the consortium will provide a similar opportunity for students to interact and engage with migrant and refugee populations, and those working on the front lines of the struggle," he said. "It's important to examine these issues in a traditional academic way -- to learn the history and the theories and concepts that scholars use to study migration. It's equally important, though, to hear the perspectives of migrants themselves."
The CAPA Newsletter is a student-run project with the mission of developing the CAPA community.

We want to share the amazing work that our friends and coworkers are producing. Each issue will include features on students and faculty members with inspiring projects, CAPA classes tackling important issues, and upcoming events and opportunities.

We want your feedback! If you have any suggestions to make this newsletter something that's truly beneficial to you
let us know.
EM '20, KN '20, CW 20' & GY 19'
Bennington College
Center for the Advancement of Public Action

1 College Drive
Bennington, VT 05201

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