MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - Two Middlebury College students have been selected by the Middlebury Compton Fellowship Selection Committee to compete nationally for the Compton Mentor Fellowship Program. Nominated seniors Emily Adler and Emily Peterson will be flown by the Compton Foundation to San Francisco on April 13 for further interviews by the national selection committee.

The Compton Foundation created the Mentor Fellowship Program to support the creativity and commitment of graduating seniors as they move beyond academic focus and into the world. The Fellowship is intended for one year, with a stipend of $36,000, beginning and ending at the annual mid-June gathering of Fellows held in the San Francisco area.

“Middlebury was selected to participate because of its impressive reputation and commitment to environmental sustainability,” said Compton Foundation Executive Director Edith Eddie, “and in recognition of the fact that the campus community is engaged in developing exceptionally innovative solutions to the crisis of global climate change.”

Middlebury College is one of 10 schools participating in the Compton Foundation’s Mentor Fellowships for graduating seniors, along with Berea College, Clark University, Furman University, Lewis and Clark College, Morehouse College, Oberlin College, Princeton University, Tufts University and Vassar College. Participating institutions reviewed applications, conducted interviews and advanced up to two candidates for national consideration.

“It is an institutional goal to make innovation and creative problem solving second nature to Middlebury students so it will serve them throughout their lives,” said Middlebury College President Ronald D. Liebowitz. “This fellowship is a special opportunity for our graduating seniors and I wish both Emily Adler and Emily Peterson the best of luck in San Francisco next month.”

Adler’s proposal is to spend a year at the Global Citizen Center in San Francisco, assisting in their efforts to develop a new youth education and leadership ‘green workforce’ program aimed at training diverse, low-income youth in green community development. She hopes to provide them with a secure career track in life, and also possibly connect them to college scholarship opportunities at schools with strong environmental programs. According to comments made by the Middlebury selection committee, Adler’s well-developed and convincing application, together with her strong academic background in teacher education, her energy conservation activities, and the identification of a mentor with impressive credentials in green economic development, make her an outstanding national candidate.

Peterson hopes to work with the newly formed nonprofit, Make It Right - a start-up organization that has refined architectural design of energy-efficient homes in order to make them widely available at an affordable price. The plan to construct 150 green-design homes in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans has major potential for duplication elsewhere around the world. Peterson would be involved in the planning, management and financial viability of making this monumental project go forward. According to the committee, her sincere and powerful advocacy for the displaced residents of the underserved community, along with a strong record in the environmental field prove that she will devote herself tirelessly to accomplish the goals of her fellowship year.

“The selection committee was excited to receive such a competitive pool of applicants with viable and compelling project proposals that address issues of climate change,” said committee member and Director of Student Fellowships Arlinda A. Wickland. “The two nominees are exceptionally qualified to serve as representatives for Middlebury in our inaugural year as part of the Compton Mentor Fellowship Program.”

“Both Emily Adler and Emily Peterson are passionate about effecting change, which is what the Compton Mentor Fellowships are all about,” added Dean of Environmental Affairs Nan Jenks-Jay.

Middlebury’s selection committee included Campus Sustainability Coordinator Jack Byrne; Assistant Director of Career Services Tracy Himmel-Isham; Associate Professor of Biology Andrea Lloyd; Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies Steven Trombulak; and Wickland.

For more information about the Compton Foundation Mentor Fellowship Program, visit http://www.comptonmentorfellowship.org/.