Midwest & Chicago,IL | born & raised

Avery Cisne ‘21 is a baker and social justice advocate who is passionate about racial equity, people power, bread, laughing and Chicago.

The path to Sterling

Before attending Sterling, Avery worked as the baker in an Uptown neighborhood bakery in Chicago and in fine and casual dining for a few of Chicago’s best chefs. His friend attended Sterling and Avery found out about the College through him. When asked what attracted him to Sterling, he said, “Being a city kid, I was intrigued by the scale. As an older student, I’ve spent a fair amount of time in my chosen industry already, and so the Work Program was important to me for reasons both financial and community based.”

Getting involved

Avery has been inspired by many of the opportunities available to him as a Sterling College student. “I’ve been lucky enough to attend conferences and workshops on queer identity and community, ‘Building Racial Empathy’ workshop series, community organizing and climate change, indigenous community building through food, art, and education and speaking up against racism,” he shared. “Driving down to Massachusetts with a group of students to attend National Day of Mourning in Fall 2018 to volunteer and hear the speakers was definitely a highlight.”

Faculty connections

Avery said that he has been particularly encouraged by the classes that he’s had with faculty members Tony VanWinkle and Anne Morse. “They’ve inspired deeper interest in subjects I am already passionate about such as autonomy for indigenous groups, community building and organizing, alternative systems and manifestations of economies,” he said. “Plus, they’re both incredibly patient, giving with their time and expertise and work hard both on campus and elsewhere.”

Work Program opportunities

Through the Work Program, Avery has been the Marketing Assistant and Kitchen Work Supervisor, and currently serves as the Houston Kitchen Manager. “Marketing was cool because I got to work with Lou (Director of Marketing) and take photos and talk about social media as a tool.”

On being an environmental steward

“Environmental stewardship to me is being aware,” Avery reflected. “Being aware of our impact on the land, but also on each other. Being aware of the voices which aren’t usually heard. Being aware of natural systems and acting with intent in regards to anthropogenic systems.”

What’s next?

This summer, Avery is working at Sterling as the Course Assistant for the School of the New American Farmstead. You will also be able to find him on Saturday mornings on the Common, selling his freshly baked bread and art at the Craftsbury Farmers’ Market.


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