I grew up near Middlebury, Vermont, with a different kind of family connection to the college – we produced the milk that generations of students thrived on! From the small farm my grandparents started, the fourth generation of my family continues to produce and distribute dairy products throughout western Vermont. I am so proud of growing up in a community where people were expected to notice when others needed help and to roll up their sleeves and pitch in. It’s the approach I take to this day! I listen to people and solve problems!
As a high school exchange student living with a family in the Netherlands, my eyes were opened to a global world and a perspective of the United States through others’ eyes. Post-graduation from Cornell, an internship in Haifa, Israel further exposed me to diverse customs, languages, and Middle East issues.
Marriage to a wildlife biologist, Alex Hoar, eventually brought us to Amherst in 1992 for our jobs with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Renting a home in North Amherst for seven years meant that we and our two children were part of the legendary Marks Meadow Elementary School community, a treasure! We were active members of it and served in many capacities. In 1999, we finally bought a house on Cottage Street where our children walked to school, and our Amherst roots and our gardens could flourish.