Ecologist & Activist Dr. Vandana Shiva to Deliver Sterling College Commencement Address & Offer Public Workshop

Named an environmental ‘hero’ by Time Magazine and winner of the Right Livelihood Award, the “Alternative Nobel Prize,” Dr. Shiva is recognized as a leader in the international movement for biodiversity & farmers’ rights.


Ashley Kidd stands with Dr. Vandana Shiva. Ashley is on the Sterling College Board of Advisors and is program director of Grants and Research at the Endeavor Foundation. Dr. Shiva is internationally renowned for her work around regenerative agriculture and seed saving.

Craftsbury Common, Vt.March 7, 2019Dr. Vandana Shiva, internationally-renowned ecologist, activist and author, will deliver the commencement address at Sterling College’s 20th baccalaureate commencement ceremony on May 4, 2019. Dr. Shiva will also lead an all-day public workshop on May 5, through Sterling’s School of the New American Farmstead, exploring strategies for environmental and social justice.

“We are deeply honored to have Vandana Shiva serve as Sterling’s commencement speaker,” said President Matthew Derr. “Her work and vision inspire so much of what we believe and do here. She has spent over four decades working in support of biodiversity, indigenous knowledge and sustainable agriculture, and is an example for our students of someone living a life devoted to environmental stewardship.”

A trained physicist, Dr. Shiva has an impressive international record of leadership in environmental, agricultural and social activism, earning her numerous honors over the years, including The Right Livelihood Award (known as “The Alternative Nobel Prize”), The Sydney Peace Prize, The Fukuoka Prize and the Lennon-Ono Peace Prize. She is also the author of over 20 books, and teaches and lectures all over the world.

“Ecology is a foundational component of a Sterling student’s educational experience, and Dr. Shiva’s research and activism informs our students’ work,” said Dr. Laura Spence, Dean of Academics. “Her visit will lend relevant and valuable perspective to our faculty, staff, students and community as her work intersects so significantly with Sterling’s approach toward environmental stewardship.”

Named an environmental ‘hero’ by Time Magazine in 2003, Dr. Shiva is the founder & director of the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology, which led to the creation of Navdanya in India. Navdanya is a network of seed keepers and organic producers throughout India. Navdanya has helped set up 122 community seed banks across the country, trained over 900,000 farmers in seed sovereignty, food sovereignty and sustainable agriculture over the past two decades, and helped set up the largest direct marketing, fair trade organic network in the country. Navdanya has also established a School of the Seed / Earth University learning center on its biodiversity conservation and organic farm in northern India.

Sterling’s School of the New American Farmstead will be offering an all-day workshop on Sunday, May 5, with Dr. Shiva and Neha Singh titled “Strategies for Social & Environmental Justice: Insights from India.” The workshop will explore Navdanya’s impact across India, strategies for success for local and global justice initiatives, and steps toward a collaborative future.

Sterling College and Navdanya have a shared passion for environmental wellbeing, community resiliency and social change,” Derr said. “This workshop will serve as a launching pad for further collaboration between our organizations. I look forward to the work we will do together to address the critical issues facing climate, our water, our soil, our sources of energy and the accompanying social conflicts and injustices that result in our degradation of the natural world.”

To register for this workshop, please visit:

Sterling’s commencement ceremony will be held at the College’s Houston House Gardens on Saturday, May 4 at 1:00 p.m. The College will also host an alumni reunion that weekend to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its baccalaureate program.




Sterling College inspires lifelong environmental stewardship through experiential liberal arts education that prepares students to become knowledgeable, skilled, and responsible leaders in the communities in which they live. The College was among the first colleges in the United States to focus on sustainability through academic majors in Ecology, Environmental Humanities, Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems, and Outdoor Education. Sterling is home to the School of the New American Farmstead and the Wendell Berry Farming Program, is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education, and is one of only nine federally recognized Work Colleges in the nation.


The School of the New American Farmstead offers leading-edge short courses that inspire lifelong environmental stewardship for residential and non-residential adult students of all ages.

MEDIA CONTACT Katie Lavin, Director of Media Relations, Sterling College 802.586.7711 x120 • [email protected]

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