Vermont Press Releases

Governor’s Institutes to launch two new topical institutes

News Release — Governor’s Institutes
Jan. 21, 2016

Karen Taylor Mitchell, Executive Director, 802-865-4448

Acclaimed Learning Organization Aims to Double the Number of Talented VT Teens Served

Bennington/ Peacham/ South Burlington – The Governor’s Institutes of Vermont (GIV) is launching two new Governor’s Institutes this summer, and Bennington College will host the first. The new Governor’s Institute for Young Writers will give aspiring authors ages 14-19 a full week of immersion into the craft and creativity of a writer’s lifestyle, says GIV Executive Director Karen Taylor Mitchell.

“Bennington custom-built this program to parallel their famous Masters in Fine Arts program for the Governor’s Institutes, and we’re just thrilled that Vermont’s young writers will have this affordable, world-class opportunity right on their doorstep,” says Taylor Mitchell.

“We are honored to have been selected to host a Governor’s Institute,” says Bennington College President Mariko Silver. “Bennington has long been a destination for writers, from high school participants in our Young Writers’ Award, to undergraduate and MFA students, to the master writers that come here to teach. We are deeply committed to helping emerging writers to develop, and we welcome the opportunity to help talented young people from Vermont in particular.”

Also new this year will be the first Governor’s Institute on Astronomy, to be held in partnership with the Northeast Kingdom Astronomy Foundation. Students will spend a week plumbing the mysteries of universe, using cutting edge equipment at the Northern Skies Observatory and advancing their mathematics and scientific skills.

“Astronomy has been one of our most popular topics for the last three years running at our February Winter intensives, so we leapt at this chance to offer a weeklong opportunity to Vermont’s teenagers who have a strong interest in the topic,” notes GIV Executive Director Karen Taylor Mitchell. The Institute will receive support from VT-NASA and VT-EPSCOR as well as the Agency of Education.

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At 33 years old, the Governor’s Institutes of Vermont is best known for its longest running Institutes focusing on Arts, Current Issues, and several STEM topics. Noteworthy alumni include Grace Potter, who recently told a local audience, “The Governor’s Institute on the Arts changed my life.”

The organization’s commitment to offering accelerated learning opportunities to all talented Vermont teens, especially those from rural and economically disadvantaged backgrounds, includes on-site accommodations and a sliding scale tuition that goes as low as $10.

The full stable of Governor’s Institutes encompasses Arts (visual and performing), Asian Cultures, Current Issues and Youth Activism, Entrepreneurship, Environmental Science and Technology, Information Technology and Digital Media, Mathematical Sciences, and Engineering. Host colleges include UVM, Champlain College, Castleton State University, Vermont Technical College, and the School for International Training. Students apply to be nominated for participation by their schools.

The application period for all ten summer Institutes begins February 1st. More information is available at or by calling (802) 865-4GIV.

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