Category Archives: Uncategorized

DOW on campus, Lyndon State College

Lyndon State Again Hosts Doppler on Wheels

Doppler on Wheels (DOW) returns to the Lyndon State College campus for a three-week stint beginning January 29. It’s rare for the DOW to make a return trip to a campus; this is the third visit in five years.

The DOW, containing a state-of-the-art weather radar system, will be used as an experiential learning tool by the students and faculty in the college’s Atmospheric Sciences (ATM) department. Students in the Remote Sensing class will receive hands-on training in the theory, interpretation, and collection of Doppler radar data including how weather radar works, how to collect good data, and how to find the ideal site for measuring precipitation. Students will be responsible for deploying the radar during significant winter events and analyzing its data. A National Science Foundation (NSF) grant funds the department’s use of the DOW.

DOW’s are used extensively in storm chasing, observing more than 100 tornadoes at close range, and have intercepted the eyes of many hurricanes. Their mobility also allows them to move to locations free from ground clutter for clearer readings than stationary radars can provide. The DOW fleet has been featured on TV, including Discovery Channel’s reality series “Storm Chasers,” National Geographic Channel’s specials “Tornado Intercept” and “The True Face of Hurricanes,” and PBS’s Nova episode “The Hunt for the Supertwister.”

The Boulder, Colorado, based Center for Severe Weather Research (CSWR) operates the truck-mounted mobile radars with the funding largely provided by the National Science Foundation. The DOW fleet and its associated mobile mesonet and pod deployable weather stations support a wide variety of NSF-sponsored research.

On Tuesday, February 3, the public is invited to hear a technician from the CSWR discuss DOW-based tornado and hurricane research. The free hour-long presentation begins at 7 p.m. in the Moore Community Room/ASAC (Academic and Student Activity Center) room 100.

For more information on the DOW’s residency at Lyndon, please visit or contact LSC ATM professor Jason Shafer at 802 626-6225 or

Nolan Atkins

Nolan Atkins Named Interim Dean of Academics

Lyndon State College President Joe Bertolino has announced the appointment of LSC Professor of Atmospheric Sciences Nolan Atkins to the position of Interim Dean of Academic Affairs. Atkins began the position on January 19, 2015; he will serve for 18 months. He takes over from Kellie Bean who stepped down as Provost/Dean of Academic Affairs in December, 2014.

In this position, Atkins will guide all areas of academic affairs, including academic support, curriculum development, academic services and administration, the library/learning commons, the registrar’s office, and institutional research, among other areas.

Atkins received a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from the University of Minnesota; his doctorate in Atmospheric Sciences was earned at the University of California, Los Angeles. Atkins began teaching at Lyndon in 1997. A prolific writer, he has co-authored numerous research papers published in peer-reviewed publications. His particular interest is research in mesoscale meteorology.

Bertolino said, “Professor Atkins is a longtime member of the LSC community and brings a wealth of knowledge and skills to the position that will serve our students and faculty well. Most importantly, this knowledge and experience will allow him to hit the ground running as we look to further develop our curriculum and enhance our academic service areas. I am grateful to Nolan for his willingness to serve in this very important role.”

Electronic Journalism Arts Number 6 in Nation

Lyndon State Number 6 in Nationwide Poll

Lyndon’s Electronic Journalism Arts Department has been ranked sixth in an annual nationwide survey in NewsPro magazine. The 2014 poll was distributed on and to members of the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA), with 673 respondents participating.

The University of Missouri at Columbia’s School of Journalism handily claimed the top spot in the 2014 survey, trailed by second-place University of Georgia and third-place Northwestern University. Lyndon, with a total enrollment of 1,400, was the smallest school to make the list; Missouri boasts 2,250 students in the journalism department and a total enrollment of more than 34,000.

According to the NewsPro article, “The Electronic Journalism Arts department at 1,400-student Lyndon State College in Lyndonville, Vt., had a strong showing for the second straight year — and, like the Missouri School, was favored for its in-the-trenches approach to teaching.” Lyndon is one of a handful of colleges in the country that produce and broadcast a daily televised news program staffed entirely by students.

In addition to the News7 telecasts, students in the department produce content for web, mobile, and print-based media. Together, these real world experiences form Lyndon’s Vermont Center for Community Journalism (VCCJ), the capstone activity for the department’s majors. The program has won more than 80 regional and national awards in the last 10 years.

One news professional explained to NewsPro, “Lyndon State College is a small school made up of a very few students in the Broadcast Journalism Department. The students turn out a nightly, live broadcast of local news in the Northeast Kingdom and surrounding towns of Vermont (and New Hampshire). Not only has this journalism program taken home Emmy awards, they consistently turn out an amazing 5:30 broadcast on the backs of only the students!”

A statement from the department’s faculty noted, “The Electronic Journalism Arts department is extremely honored to see Lyndon State College in the top 6 list of leading graduate and undergraduate journalism education programs in the United States. The survey results verify that our graduates leave with the skills and work ethic needed to make a positive impression in the industry.”

College President Joe Bertolino added, “Hats off to all the hard working students, faculty, and staff for making this happen.”

Syracuse University and Columbia University tied for fourth place, while Arizona State University and the University of Oklahoma tied for fifth place. Rounding out the top 10 were Indiana University, Boston University, New York University, and the University of Florida.

A total of 607 of 673 respondents answered the question about their professional status; of those, 260 (42.8%) said they were news professionals. Additionally, 169 (27.8%) answered non-news professionals, 104 (17.1%) identified as students, and 74 (12.2%) said they were educators.

Joe Bertolino and Daren Houck

Lyndon State and Lyndon Institute Announce New “Learning Collaborative”

Lyndon State College President Joe Bertolino and Lyndon Institute Headmaster Daren Houck have announced the creation of the Lyndon Learning Collaborative, a new partnership between the schools to enhance dual enrollment and early college initiatives.

The Collaborative’s early college program will provide Lyndon Institute (LI) students in their senior year with a rigorous high school experience that gives them credit toward their freshman year at Lyndon State College (LSC) at no additional cost to the student or the taxpayer. The program is slated to begin in fall of 2015; twenty-five students are expected to participate.

Under the terms of the Collaborative, LI seniors may attend LSC for free; the last year of high school and first year of college is a “joint” year, completed simultaneously; and all classes are to be taught at LI. The program’s college credits are free for students who stay through their sophomore (second) year at LSC; otherwise they pay a per-credit fee to award and transfer the credits to another college.

Bertolino said, “The partnership makes sense on so many levels and I’m excited about it. Our proximity is an advantage, our shared faculty, resources, and facilities allow us to be more productive and fiscally responsible. Our similar missions have a focus on student preparedness for future success. And this program is a terrific way to make college affordable.”

Houck added, “We are committed to creating new pathways for our students so they may secure a successful future if they decide to settle here in the NEK. I hope this partnership is the first of many as we continue to target new business and economic development initiatives that provide sustainable and cutting-edge opportunities for our students.”

“On a personal level, Dr. Bertolino and I are proud of the world-class education we provide our students,” Houck said. “Our love, support, and belief in Lyndon and the Northeast Kingdom led us to create this unique opportunity for local residents to afford an outstanding high school and college that not only provides excellent academic preparation for their students, but also cares and believes in them.”

Bertolino also noted, “This program dovetails nicely with national trends discussed at recent American Association of State College and Universities meetings. The conversations centered on ‘core liberal arts plus experiential learning equal jobs.’  That’s what we’re already doing here at LSC and now in cooperation with LI – – turning passions into professions.”

Over the next several months, LI Assistant Head for Academics Adam Norwood will be working with the College to finalize details of the agreement.

Holiday Concert

Three Holiday Events at Lyndon State College

The Alexander Twilight Theatre on the Lyndon State College campus will be the hub of holiday activities for three days in early December. Lyndon’s performing and interpretive arts group, the Twilight Players, begin the festivities with a show on December 6; the Northeast Kingdom Community Orchestra performs the next afternoon; and the Lyndon State College Community Chorus will give a concert the evening of December 8.

The Twilight Players, one of Lyndon’s longest established student groups, are again presenting an original “Holiday Spectacular.” This year’s performance, written and directed by LSC senior Haley Marckres, is modeled after a 1970’s holiday-themed variety show. The show is at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 6. In lieu of admission, the students ask that audience members bring in a non-perishable food item or a new unwrapped toy for local charities.

On Sunday, December 7 at 3 p.m., the Northeast Kingdom Community Orchestra, under the direction of Janet Edmondson, will present a program entitled “It’s About Time!” The first half of the program features composers of the Classical period beginning with Hertel’s “Concerto in E-flat for Oboe and Trumpet.” This piece features St. Johnsbury Academy seniors (and longtime Community Orchestra members) Peter and Martin Gilmartin as soloists. The program continues with Haydn’s “Symphony No. 101 in D,” also known as the “Clock Symphony.”

The program’s second half opens with Leroy Anderson’s “Syncopated Clock” then turns to times of the year with Brian Balmages’ “Summer Dances.” This is followed by a “trio of troikas” by Tchaikovsky (the “November” movement of his “Seasons”), Mozart’s “Sleigh Ride” (from “Six German Dances”), and closing with Anderson’s beloved “Sleigh Ride.” The concert promises to be entertaining for young and old and in-between, with a variety of music styles ranging from classical to contemporary, including some familiar favorites.

The concert will be held in the Alexander Twilight Theater on the LSC campus, admission is by donation which will be gratefully accepted at the door; a reception will follow. The audience will have an opportunity to vote for their favorite orchestra pieces from past programs and hear them performed during the spring concert with the theme “Fan Favorite.”

On Monday, December 8 at 7 p.m., the LSC Community Chorus will present its annual winter concert, “A Celebration of Seasons and Song,” under the direction of Janet Edmondson. The group—comprised of college students and community members—will perform songs to reflect seasons and times. This includes “For Everything There is a Season” also familiar as “Turn, Turn, Turn;” a lush jazz setting of “Autumn Leaves;” contemporary winter pieces, “The Hush of Falling Snow” and “How Like a Winter,” the latter of which is based on a Shakespearian sonnet; and festive madrigals with a brass choir. Chorus director Edmondson promises, “An uplifting program for all ages.” The concert ends with an audience sing-along of the seasonal favorite “Winter Wonderland.”

The concert is in the Alexander Twilight Theater on the LSC campus. Admission is by donation which will be gratefully accepted at the door; a reception will follow.

This trio of holiday performances is part of Lyndon State College’s Lecture and Arts Series. The series is sponsored by Hayes Ford and Vermont Broadcast Associates, and made possible in part by the Harriett M. Sherman Lecture Fund.

Mt Asgard, The Asgard Project

Adventure Film Series: The Asgard Project

Lyndon State College Adventure Films series continues with the Wednesday, November 19 presentation of The Asgard Project. The 2010 film, from Posing Productions, has won 22 international awards. The Asgard Project follows the U.K.’s Leo Houlding’s ambitious project in August 2009 to make a first free ascent on the North Tower of Mount Asgard. The mountain is deep in the Arctic—in the Auyuittuq National Park, on the Cumberland Peninsula of Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada.

Houlding teams up with fellow “big wall” climber American Stanley (Sean) Leary for the ascent and the duo hope to make a wingsuit descent from the summit. The film first documents their arrival to Mount Asgard with spectacular skydiving footage. However, the two have arrived at the mountain late in the season and the trip soon begins to go wrong. Conditions turn against the team and merely reaching the base of the climb becomes a massive challenge. The film produced by multi-award winner, Alastair Lee, is a cutting edge adventure with all its twists and turns.

The film will be shown on Wednesday, November 19 at 7 p.m. in the Alexander Twilight Theatre on Lyndon’s campus. It is free and open to the public. This film series is sponsored by Lyndon’s Adventure Program and the Lecture and Arts Series.

LSC Professor John DeLeo

Professor John DeLeo to Speak About Decades-long Experiences

Professor John DeLeo has spent the last 38 years as a faculty member in Lyndon State College’s Mountain Recreation Department. DeLeo will give a talk on November 10 about his campus experiences and the changes in Lyndon State and education over the past three decades. The 7 p.m. presentation will be in the Rita Bole Community Room on the Lyndon campus; the lecture is free and open to the public.

DeLeo will be discussing the changes in campus life for students and the evolution of his academic department—from Recreation Resource to Mountain Recreation Management. He will also discuss the arc of his career from adventure coordinator to full professor and how his personal and “home life” have progressed into include more sustainable living. DeLeo said, “I am thinking that I might have a few slides, which was the medium of teaching back in the day.”

Current students elected members of the faculty to give informal lectures; DeLeo’s presentation is the second of this semester. The talk, part of Lyndon State College’s Fall 2014 Lecture and Arts Series, is sponsored by Hayes Ford and Vermont Broadcast Associates. The Series is made possible in part by the Harriett M. Sherman Lecture Fund.

Alexandre Strokanov in Russia

LSC’s Alexandre Strokanov is “World’s Best”

Lyndon State College History Professor Alexandre Strokanov was named the winner of this year’s “Best Teacher of Russian Humanities Abroad” contest. The Pushkin Institute, the foremost school for Russian language studies, along with a host of Russian governmental agencies including the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, of Culture, and of Education, sponsored the Moscow-based contest.

More than 500 contestants from more than 50 countries took part in the initial three-part online test held earlier this summer designed to whittle the contestants down to fifteen. These fifteen finalists represented fourteen countries; Strokanov finished first and was the only contestant from the United States. The contest final, held in Moscow’s Solzhenitsyn Centre on October 22 and 23, pitted the remaining contestants against one another in a series of three performance and knowledge-oriented tasks.

Each contestant was required to deliver two prepared six-minute interactive PowerPoint presentations to a jury of Russian professors of literature, humanities, and culture: one to explain a personal “principles of teaching” philosophy and the other to demonstrate the ability to deliver knowledge of Russian culture effectively.

Strokanov was the lone history teacher in the final fifteen contestants and his focus for both presentations was cultural rather than linguistic. Strokanov found speaking before the “stern-faced” jury members daunting but found help in his “inner actor” as he told a Russian television station, “professor, teacher and actor—it’s all very similar.” The final task was an impromptu declamatory linguistic and contextual poetry analysis.

Alexandre was announced the winner during a banquet held the evening of October 24 in St. George Hall of the Catherine Palace. Strokanov was elated by his victory and found only one drawback to the entire evening: “I was giving interviews to all the TV stations and newspapers. It went on until midnight. Everyone else at the table had time to talk and dance and party for two hours. I didn’t even have time to eat.” According to Strokanov, his win allows two students to attend Moscow’s Pushkin Institute free of charge for an entire degree program—whether bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate.

Elena Strokanova was named one of the “Laureates of the Contest” after the first round. Strokanova teaches part-time at Lyndon State and Lyndon Institute and is Strokanov’s spouse.

This is the contest’s second year—though the first year the event was open to contestants from across the globe. Last year’s challenge was limited to teachers within the Commonwealth of Independent States , the former Soviet republics that are now independent countries.

Freedom Summer

“Freedom Summer” Screening Continues Year of Social Justice

The film Freedom Summer will be screened at Lyndon State College on Monday, October 20 at 6 p.m. The film, presented as part of Lyndon’s Year of Social Justice activities, is being shown in collaboration with Vermont Public Television and is free and open to the public. A discussion will follow with panelists Penny Patch, Chris Williams, and Gail Falk—local residents who were all involved with Freedom Summer.

The film recounts the 10 memorable weeks in the summer of 1964, when more than 700 student volunteers from around the country joined organizers and local African Americans in an historic effort to shatter the foundations of white supremacy in what was one of the nation’s most viciously racist, segregated states—Mississippi.

The students, black and white, helped black citizens register to vote as well as combat other forms of discrimination, such as inadequate schools and lack of legal aid. Organized by the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), civil rights activists hoped that the participation of well-educated, middle-class students, many from prestigious universities, would not only bring results but draw the attention of the nation to the miserable standard of living suffered by blacks in Mississippi.

In many rural counties, African Americans made up the majority of the population. The segregationist white establishment was prepared to use any means necessary to keep them away from the polls and out of elected office. Bruce Watson is the author who wrote the novel on which the film is based. He said, “Mississippi really stood like an island of resistance. There were only 6.7 percent of blacks were registered to vote prior to Freedom Summer compared to 50, 60, or 70 percent in other southern states. Most of the rest of America didn’t seem to care, and that’s what Freedom Summer was about. If we bring white students and black students from all over the country, then everyone will pay attention in Mississippi. We’ll bring America to Mississippi because America is not paying attention to Mississippi.”

The film will be shown on October 20, at 6 p.m. in the Rita Bole Conference Room on the Lyndon State campus. It is free and open to the public. Complete information about the Year of Social Justice, including a glimpse at spring 2015 events, can be found at:

Matthew Shepard, Laramie Project

Twilight Players to Stage The Laramie Project

Lyndon State College’s Twilight Players (TWP) will present a staged reading of The Laramie Project on Friday, October 17 at 7:30 p.m. It is presented in partnership with Lyndon FAIR (Promoting Fairness, Awareness, Inclusion, and Relationships in our community) as part of Lyndon State’s on-going Year of Social Justice events and is free and open to the public. Laramie is directed by TWP alumni Dan Haycook ‘13 and features performances by the Twilight Players, TWP alumni, and others in the area’s theater community.

In October 1998, a twenty-one-year-old student at the University of Wyoming was kidnapped, severely beaten and left to die, tied to a fence in the middle of the prairie outside Laramie, Wyoming. His bloody, bruised and battered body was not discovered until the next day, and he died several days later in an area hospital. His name was Matthew Shepard. He was the victim of this assault because he was gay.

Moisés Kaufman and fellow members of the Tectonic Theater Project made six trips to Laramie over the course of a year and a half in the aftermath of the beating and during the trial of the two young men accused of killing Shepard. They conducted more than 200 interviews with the people of the town—some directly connected to the case, others just citizens of Laramie—and the breadth of their reactions to the crime is fascinating. Kaufman and Tectonic Theater members constructed a deeply moving theatrical experience from these interviews and their own experiences. The Laramie Project is a breathtaking theatrical collage that explores the depths to which humanity can sink and the heights of compassion of which we are capable.

The performance will be on Friday, October 17 at 7:30 p.m. in the College’s Alexander Twilight Theatre and is free and open to the public. There will be a question and answer session with the director and the cast following the performance. Laramie will be the first of four staged readings that will take place throughout the academic year. (In staged readings, actors perform with scripts and with minimal staging and costuming.) The additional plays in the series, Seven, Trouble in Mind, and A Peasant of El Salvador will be presented during the spring 2015 semester.

Lyndon State College President Joe Bertolino has designated the 2014-15 academic year as the college’s Year of Social Justice. Additional events this fall include a film screening of Freedom Summer on Monday, October 20 at 6 p.m.; and Cognizant (Views on Social Justice), the 2014 Faculty Art Exhibit, which will run from December 5 through January 3 in the Quimby Art Gallery. These events are free and open to the public. Complete information, including a look ahead to spring 2015 events, can be found at

The Laramie Project is presented as part of Lyndon State’s Lecture and Arts Series which is sponsored by Hayes Ford and Vermont Broadcast Associates. The series is made possible in part by the Harriet M. Sherman Lecture Fund.

Majka Burhardt

Author, Climber Majka Burhardt on “Additive Adventure”

An author, professional climber, filmmaker, and entrepreneur, Majka Burhardt has spent two decades exploring the globe—usually by hand and foot—and her stories of challenge, humanity, and the fine line between extreme and acceptable risk continue to inspire audiences around the world. Burhardt will speak at Lyndon State College on Thursday, October 16 about “Additive Adventure”—when adventure goes beyond exploration to cultural and environmental connections that create a larger conversation of singular and collective human meaning. Her lecture is part of LSC’s Adventure Speaker Series which continues this academic year and is free and open to the public.

Burhardt has 16 years of experience producing multi-stage international ventures focused on current issues of cultural and global significance. Her first book, Vertical Ethiopia: Climbing Toward Possibility in the Horn of Africa, was short‑listed for the 2008 Banff Book Award. Her 2010 film, Waypoint Namibia, was featured at international film festivals and shown on NBC’s Universal Sports. She is the founder and director of “The Lost Mountain Project,” a 2014 pioneering biological study of the cliff-side habitat on Mt. Namuli, Mozambique’s second highest mountain and a critical target for conservation in southeast Africa.

Her work and projects have been featured in The Economist and on The Weather Channel and NPR; her articles have appeared in publications including Afar, Men’s Health, Skiing Magazine, Backpacker, Patagonia, Alpinist, Women’s Adventure, The Explorers Journal, and Climbing, where her column “Whipped,” ran for six years.

Burhardt is an AMGA Certified Rock Guide and is an ambassador/athlete for Patagonia, Osprey Packs, Positive Tracks, Petzl, Scarpa, and Julbo. She has an Anthropology degree from Princeton University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers.

Burhardt’s lecture is part of the on-going Adventure Speaker Series at Lyndon State College. The series is sponsored by the LSC Lecture and Arts Series; Kingdom Adventures Mountain Guides, LLC; and the American Alpine Club. Her talk will be on Thursday, October 16 in the Moore Community Room/Academic Student and Activity Center (ASAC) Room 100 at 6 p.m. The lecture is free and open to the public.

On Wednesday, October 22, the Adventure Series continues with the film Arrival. The mountain cycling “actu-mentary” is a raw look at the talents of the next wave of mountain bike film makers, and photographers. They built, rode, shot, and edited almost everything in the movie—and that’s what makes it so special. It’s a film by riders, for riders. The film is at 7 p.m. in the Alexander Twilight Theatre and is free and open to the public.

Wood and Belsher

Wood and Belsher in Concert

When acclaimed fiddler and guitarist Richard Wood and Gordon Belsher perform at Lyndon State College on Saturday, October 18, the audience will be treated to an evening of jigs and reels, strathspeys and hornpipes, and beautiful airs.

The awarding-winning and fiery Wood has been wooing audiences for more than two decades and has lit up stages across the globe. He has won championships as a step dancer and a fiddler; his performances are a combination of “fiddling virtuosity and stunning showmanship…with an innovative approach to traditional Celtic [music].” He has performed for Queen Elizabeth II, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Canada’s Prime Minister, and the Emperor of Japan in Tokyo. Wood has played Carnegie Hall with Irish legends The Chieftains, made TV guest appearances with Shania Twain on “David Letterman” and “Good Morning America,” and appeared with Jean Butler of Riverdance on “Celtic Electric.”

Gordon Belsher has been performing for almost thirty years, has the versatility to play a number of instruments, and brings a gentle charm to the stage. As a soloist, he performs at concerts, ceilidhs, conventions, and pubs. His solo CD, “Call up the Neighbours,” was nominated for the 2008 East Coast Music Awards roots/traditional solo recording of the year. As accompanist and featured vocalist with Wood, Belsher has toured extensively through the world.

The concert is at 7:30 p.m. in the Alexander Twilight Theatre on the LSC campus. Tickets: Adults $10; students $5; children under 8 and LSC students are free; LSC faculty and staff by donation. Cosponsored by the LSC Faculty/Staff Student Scholarship Committee. All proceeds benefit Lyndon State College student scholarships. Tickets are available at or 802 748-2600.

The concert, part of Lyndon State College’s Fall 2014 Lecture and Arts Series, is sponsored by Hayes Ford and Vermont Broadcast Associates. The Series is made possible in part by the Harriett M. Sherman Lecture Fund.


LSC’s Vt. Institute of Applied Meteorology Receives $200,000 from VLITE

Lyndon State College’s Atmospheric Sciences Department and its Vermont Institute of Applied Meteorology (VIAM) were awarded $200,000 from VLITE (Vermont Low Income Trust for Electricity), a public benefit and nonprofit corporation. The support allows VIAM to conduct a three-year applied research project along with Vermont Electric Power Company (Velco) and IBM’s “Deep Thunder” project. The research aim is to better understand how adverse weather affects Vermont’s electric infrastructure and integration of renewable energy into the grid.

The project benefits are two-fold: to improve weather-driven power outage forecasting across Vermont’s complex terrain and to conduct a survey of how Vermont’s changing climate may impact utility infrastructure and future renewable energy production. Atmospheric Sciences Associate Professor Jason Shafer, who is managing the project at Lyndon, said, “These activities will engage our students in real-world learning, and position the VIAM to become a regional leader in cutting-edge applied weather forecasting research.” VIAM will conduct research that will help the weather analysts at Velco’s Weather Analytics Center and the “Deep Thunder” team to produce more accurate weather forecasts.

Deep Thunder was born in 1996, when IBM began exploring the “business of weather,” hyper-local, short-term forecasting and customized weather modeling for clients. The goal of the project was to enable reliable, affordable, high-resolution numerical weather prediction for a variety of applications.

With the right combination of precision weather prediction and business analytics insights, a utility company can better prepare for the after effects of a major storm. The team could record what kind of damage was caused to power lines or telephone poles, and why. By coupling that with a hyper-local forecast, utility companies can plan for how many repair crews would be needed, and where.

There are multiple benefits resulting from the VIAM research project. Shafer said, “The data will help anticipate vulnerabilities by location and type of weather event leading to a more accurate severe weather prediction and shorter wait time for consumers for service restoration after a weather-driven outage. We can also increase our understanding of how climate change affects long-term renewable energy production and strengthen expertise within Vermont on extreme weather and climate connections.”

“We can also develop datasets with knowledge transferrable to other weather-and climate-sensitive economic activities like agriculture, tourism, and winter sports areas. Local and state services such as winter road maintenance could be deployed more efficiently with detailed information about precisely when and where snow and/or ice will occur.”

“This positions VIAM to play a larger role relating Vermont’s economic activity to weather and climate variability.”

VIAM engages Atmospheric Sciences students at Lyndon State in experiential learning opportunities, through weather forecasting, applied research integrating weather variability, and climatological studies. These opportunities put students in faculty-supervised positions where they produce unique weather products and then communicate them to clients.

2014 Alumni Award Winners

Annual Alumni Awards Announced

Lyndon State College’s Alumni Council has released the names of the 2014 Alumni Awards recipients. The crystal awards will be presented to the recipients on September 27 during Lyndon’s Homecoming and Family Weekend 2014.

T. Michael Flynn ’70 will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award. The award, given annually since 1973, requires winners to be recognized as an excellent professional on a continuous basis; to participate in professional organizations at the local, state, or national level; to demonstrate leadership by holding office; and to be a leader in community activities. The award also takes into consideration years of professional service as well as positions attained, advancement, and personal development through additional course work.

Flynn enlisted in the U.S. Navy after his high school graduation. After being honorably discharged, he enrolled at Lyndon in 1967 and received his Bachelor of Arts in History in 1970. After working at Burke Mountain Resort as a ski instructor and coach, Flynn joined the teaching and coaching staff at Lyndon Institute in 1973. He retired in 2005 after more than 30 years. He is still actively involved at Lyndon Institute as a member of the Board of Trustees. Flynn was also a long-time member of the LSC Alumni Council and served as its president from 1990 to 1992. He now serves as a member of the LSC Foundation and is on its executive board.

This year’s Faculty and Staff Recognition Award recipient is Hannah Nelson Manley ’97. The award is presented to a current or past faculty or staff member who has made a significant impact on the lives of alumni. Consideration is given to the candidate’s years of service, participation in organizations related to his or her profession, and participation or leadership in the Lyndon community. Manley was Lyndon’s director of alumni relations and development from August 2005 until December 2013.

Shirley Jenks Kent ’56 is the winner of the Loyalty Award. This award recognizes LSC alumni volunteers for their exceptional loyalty and faithful service to Lyndon State College. Kent is the chair of Lyndon’s Manor Vail Society Committee, whose mission is to research, collect, record, commemorate, and publicize the history of the Manor Vail from 1951 to its demolition in 1974.

The Award of Special Merit goes to Vincent Maloney ’02. This award is presented to LSC Alumni who are or have been employed by the College and are recognized for their deep interest in, and faithful service and unusual devotion to, Lyndon State College. Maloney has been employed by Lyndon since 2003. He is the director of admissions and the women’s basketball coach.

All four of these awards will be given during the Alumni Awards and Roll Call Brunch on Saturday, September 27, 2014, starting at 9:30 a.m. Registration is required: To purchase tickets, please contact Victoria Rouleau at 802-626-6482; or; or visit The cost is $15 per person.

Vail Museum Exhibit

New Exhibit in Vail Museum Features Original Balcony Railings

Shirley Jenks Kent (class of ’56) and Michael Thurston ’74, members of the college’s Manor Vail Society, will be the guests on Across the Fence, a television broadcast produced by the University of Vermont’s Extension Service. The episode will air on WCAX-TV, Channel 3, on Monday, September 22 at 12:15 p.m.; WCAX reporter Judy Simpson will host the program.

Kent and Thurston will be joined on the program by Steve Tillotson, an architectural salvage and antiques broker, to discuss the recovery of the mahogany arcaded balustrade—the balcony railings—from the north tower library in T.N. Vail’s mansion. The LSC campus sits on the former site of Vail’s summer estate in Lyndonville, Vt., which became home to the college in 1951. Vail was the founder and first president of AT&T.

Two years ago, members of the Manor Vail Society (MVS) appeared on Across the Fence to announce the ribbon cutting and grand opening of the Vail Museum at LSC. During that broadcast, members of the MVS asked viewers to contact them if they had any artifacts, photographs, home movies, documents and ephemera relating to the mansion, the Vail era at Lyndon State College (1951-1974), or materials relating to the history of the college.

Steve Tillotson of East Corinth, Vt., was watching that day, and immediately thought of a quantity of unusual architectural salvage he had purchased just a few weeks earlier in Lyndonville. Among that salvage were some unusual, curved railings with uprights and arched tops made of mahogany.

Could those railings have been a part of Manor Vail?

Steve called the LSC alumni office, the MVS was alerted, and they verified that indeed, these were the railings from T.N. Vail’s personal library.

The MVS acquired the railings from Tillotson and a portion has been installed in the Vail Museum in an exhibit that will debut September 27 as part of LSC’s Homecoming and Family Weekend celebrations.

Kent and Thurston will also discuss the publication of The Destruction of Vail: End of an Era at Lyndon State College on Across the Fence. The book presents a large number of photographs that document the demolition of the mansion. These photographs were unknown to MVS until 2012, when LSC alumnus Russell Bailas ’74 approached them with color slides he had taken in the fall of 1974 when the mansion had to be torn down. The book launch will be held as part of LSC’s September 27th alumni events.

The T.N. Vail Museum is on the third floor of LSC’s Vail Center, next to the Admissions Office. For more information, visit, or call the LSC alumni office at 802 626-6426.


Tim Wise Speaks at Lyndon State College

Nationally Known Author Tim Wise to Speak at LSC

Renowned anti-racism author and educator Tim Wise will speak at Lyndon State College on Wednesday, October 1. Wise’s lecture, “Resurrecting Apartheid: Racism, Inequality and the Collapse of the Post-Racial Myth,” is one of the college’s many Year of Social Justice activities. The lecture begins at 7 p.m. in the Alexander Twilight Theatre and is free and open to the public.

Utne Reader named Wise one of “25 Visionaries Who are Changing Your World.” Wise has spoken in all 50 states, on more than 800 college and high school campuses, and to community groups across the nation. He has also lectured internationally on issues of comparative racism, race and education, racism and religion, and racism in the labor market.

He is the author of six books, including Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority, his latest, and the highly acclaimed memoir, White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son. His forthcoming book, The Culture of Cruelty: How America’s Elite Demonize the Poor, Valorize the Rich and Jeopardize the Future, will be released this year.

Wise has provided anti-racism training to teachers nationwide, and has conducted trainings with physicians and medical industry professionals on how to combat racial inequities in health care. He has also trained corporate, government, entertainment, military and law enforcement officials on methods for dismantling racism in their institutions.

He co-wrote and co-produced the 2013 documentary, White Like Me: Race, Racism and White Privilege in America. He and legendary scholar and activist Angela Davis appeared in the 2011 documentary Vocabulary of Change, discussing the connections between issues of race, class, gender, sexuality and militarism, as well as inter-generational movement building and the prospects for social change.

Wise has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs, is a regular contributor to discussions about race on CNN, and has been featured on ABC’s 20/20.

Lyndon State College President Joe Bertolino has designated the 2014-15 academic year as the college’s Year of Social Justice. “The hallmarks of social justice are treating others with equity, respect, and compassion,” Bertolino says. “We pride ourselves on our ethic of care. This year, we will continue to celebrate difference and emphasize creating a welcoming community.”

Additional Year of Social Justice events this fall include a staged reading of The Laramie Project at 7:30 p.m., Friday, October 17; a film screening of Freedom Summer on Monday, October 20 at 6 p.m.; and Cognizant (Views on Social Justice), the 2014 Faculty Art Exhibit, which will run from December 5 through January 3 in the Quimby Art Gallery. These events are free and open to the public. Complete information, including a look ahead to spring 2015 events, can be found at

Kevin McGee as Clarence Darrow

Twilight Players Alumni Present “Clarence Darrow”

The Lyndon State College Twilight Players Alumni are presenting the one-man show, Clarence Darrow, Saturday, September 27 at 7:30 p.m. The play, by David Rintels, is based on Irving Stone’s 1971 biography Clarence Darrow for the Defense.

Kevin McGee (LSC ’81) plays the role of pioneering lawyer Clarence Darrow, J. Michele Laberge ’80 is the director, and George Babcock ’79 is assistant director and stage manager. The show is part of Lyndon’s 2014 Homecoming and Family Weekend and the college’s Year of Social Justice.

Although the play recounts Darrow’s career as one of America’s leading legal crusaders, the play is less about Darrow and more about what he stood for: decency, tolerance, and respect for others. Darrow, as a labor lawyer, a criminal defense lawyer, and as a humanitarian and advocate for social justice, did much to raise the consciousness of people as to the plight of the common man during the Great Depression. Darrow’s life leads to an understanding of how social consciousness is applicable to the current political, social, and economic climate in the US.

With legendary wit and wisdom, Darrow relives some of his pivotal experiences, including the “Thrill Killers” and Scopes “Monkey” trials, which established his reputation as a courtroom giant and civil rights hero. Over his 50-year career he saved 102 people from the death penalty, fought against intolerance and racism, and never lost sight of the connection between crime and poverty.

In her program notes Laberge writes, “This show has given us the chance to really delve into the life of a great man in a manner larger productions don’t allow. Kevin [McGee] began immersing himself in the script many months ago, reading scads of material about Darrow. This morphed into jetting off to London to see Kevin Spacey perform the role at the Old Vic Theater. Kevin was able to meet with [Spacey] to discuss both shows—a truly exciting experience.”

Laberge adds, “The performance is dedicated to former LSC Theater Professors Phil Anderson, Kathy Anderson Kaufman, Cynthia Baldwin, and Dick Portner; and presented in remembrance of departed Twilight Players Larry Carter, Paul Hopkins, Steve Keith, Judd Mason, and Jonathon Sibley.”

The show is at 7:30 p.m. in the Alexander Twilight Theatre on the Lyndon State Campus. Tickets are $10; free to LSC students with I.D. Tickets are available in advance at or at the door the night of the performance. All proceeds benefit The Richard and Terry Portner Fine and Performing Arts Prize. The show is sponsored by FLEK, Inc., The Manor Vail Society, Vermont State Senator Joe Benning ‘79, and Wheeler Building Materials. Vermont Broadcast Associates is the media sponsor. Furniture is being provided by The Manor Vail Society, Peggy Bristol, and John Hale/Saranac Street Antiques, Littleton, N.H. Clarence Darrow is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

Lyndon State College Class of 2018

Lyndon Kicks Off 2014-15 Academic Year

Lyndon State College kicked off its 103rd year with 400 new students, bringing the total enrollment to about 1,300. Classes began August 25.

In LSC President Joe Bertolino’s August 28 convocation speech, he urged incoming students to get involved in their new community. In keeping with LSC’s “Year of Social Justice,” he asked students to put “people before process” and to be “intentionally kind.” Convocation is held every fall to celebrate the official opening of the academic year. This year’s ceremony was preceded by the annual group photo of new students. Students, faculty, and staff were treated to dessert afterwards.

Fall 2014 ushers in numerous changes in programs, staff, and facilities.

Academic Programs:

Students in the Music Business and Industry program can now choose a concentration in electronic music (e-music) composition. This concentration will allow students to explore and develop their creative talents as they compose new music in an online environment. New courses are available in Music Technology and Audio Engineering.

New to the Social Sciences Department is a concentration in anthropology and sociology. Combining the two areas of study allows students to examine the “big picture” of human behavior, including the nature of human nature and the way society influences people’s lives.

The Visual Arts Department has added a two-year Associate of Science in Photography. This degree program builds on a foundation of courses in Visual Arts with courses in traditional black and white photography, advanced traditional and digital photography, and commercial photography.

Special Programs:

LSC President Joe Bertolino has designated the 2014-15 academic year as “The Year of Social Justice.” A socially-just community is one in which all members are given the opportunities and support they need to succeed. Social justice is reflected in racial, gender, and economic justice; violence prevention; religious tolerance; and elder abuse/anti-ageism prevention. Fall events include a one-man play about the life of civil liberties advocate Clarence Darrow (September 27), a lecture by noted author Tim Wise (October 1), and a staged reading of “The Laramie Project” (October 17).

Complementing LSC’s long-running Adventure Speaker Series, this fall marks the debut of a new, ongoing Adventure Film Series. This semester, LSC’s Adventure Coordinator Jamie Struck will be presenting five films, all free and open to the public.

Looking ahead to next year, the College has signed on to a significant a new partnership with Education First, a company that will recruit international students to an intensive college transition program to be housed on campus. Upon completion of the program, a large percentage of these international students are expected to complete their degrees at Lyndon. The first cohort of international students are expected to arrive in summer 2015.

New Faculty:

Lyndon welcomes five new full-time, tenure-track faculty members for fall 2014.

The Education Department made two hires to replace retirements. Assistant Professor Ai Kamei, Ph.D., is joining the Education Department to teach special education. She holds a doctorate from the University of North Carolina; she is also licensed to teach in Japan.

Assistant Professor Eden Haywood-Bird, Ph.D., joins the faculty to teach early childhood education. She has a doctorate from Colorado State University where her dissertation examined how childhood “power” and “powerlessness” are expressed in the outdoor classroom.

Zane Pfefferle, Ph.D., joins the Exercise Science Department as an assistant professor of exercise physiology. He formerly worked for the University of Delaware helping in strength and conditioning for football and men’s and women’s basketball.

Alexandria Evans also joins the Exercise Science department as an assistant professor of strength and conditioning. She is the former assistant athletic director and athletic/academic coordinator at Lyndon State.

Assistant Professor Robby Gilbert joins the Visual Arts faculty to teach animation and illustration. He has extensive practical experience, having worked on Ranger Rick, MTV and Disney Interactive among other projects.

New Senior Administrators:

Jenny Kempton Harris ’79 has been appointed as the executive director of development and alumni affairs. Harris, formerly Lyndon’s director of development, will supervise the day-to-day operations and functions of the Institutional Advancement office.

Heather Bouchey, Ph.D., was named the associate provost of enrollment management and institutional research. The office of Institutional Research will play a central role in the effort to improve retention and graduation and to understand trends within majors.

Thomas Anderson, M.S., is the new associate provost of academic programs and faculty. His role is to provide leadership for faculty development and support, and to collaborate with Provost/Academic Dean Kellie Bean to foster a climate of academic excellence.

New Facilities:

The LSC Learning Commons renovation and implementation is complete. The Commons unifies various academic services and support for students in one area on campus, grouped around the third floor of the Library and Academic Center. The Commons includes the Samuel Read Hall Library, academic support and counseling offices (Advising and Academic Support, Career Counseling, and the Writing Center), the Leahy Center for Rural Students, a 24/7 computer lab, study rooms and work areas, the IT help desk, and a new larger Veterans’ Center.

The hub of the campus—the Alexander Twilight Theatre lobby—was renovated over the summer. The lobby is the three-way intersection of academic buildings, the Learning Commons, and the sports facilities. Most students cross that hallway at least once a day.

The Music Business and Industry program has a new lab with 16 iMac computers (plus an instructor’s station) outfitted with Pro Tools, Logic Pro X, Reason, Ableton Live Lite, and Finale music development software. Four more fully equipped iMacs—available to students round the clock—are installed in an annex. A new suite of faculty offices, the student annex, the lab, and an MBI student gathering space are now in a shared area.

The Thaddeus Fairbanks Science Wing has all-new chemistry and geology labs, a new science classroom, and numerous upgrades in all other lab spaces. The fourth floor of the Vail Building was renovated to include two smart classrooms and ample student seating.

A part of Lyndon’s ongoing development of on-campus recreational facilities, two miles of new mountain bike trails and a 40 ft. long bridge were completed this summer.

Installation of solar panels to heat the campus pool will be a joint student/faculty/facilities staff project over the academic year.


Kingdom Career Connects for Middle School Students in the NEK

Grant Secured to Help Middle School Students’ Career Explorations

Lyndon State College Foundation has received a grant from the J. Warren and Lois McClure Foundation for the 2014-2015 academic year. The $29,650 grant will help fund Kingdom Career Connect (KCC)—an interactive, year-round, career-education program for 8th graders developed by Lyndon’s Center for Rural Entrepreneurship (CRE).

The goal of KCC is to heighten the middle school student’s awareness of existing and emerging careers in the NEK region and to help understand the paths available or necessary to enter those careers. The students are supplied with career awareness toolkits and are provided experiential activities in preparation for the program’s culmination in spring—a career “fair” held at Lyndon State. Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC) will help the CRE create the toolkits; Navicate will aid by providing the experiential activities.

The initial KCC program ran in the 2013- 2014 academic year. The culminating career fair was in April 2014 when more than 300 students from 18 schools came to Lyndon State to examine careers in advanced manufacturing, agriculture, entrepreneurship, and healthcare. They attended their choice of 16 hands-on workshops facilitated by local business representatives and college faculty members. Students learned about emerging jobs in the NEK and were able to see how their academic studies are applied in the workplace, stressing the importance of math, science, communication, and technology.

Lyndon State’s Executive Director of Development Jenny Kempton Harris said, “We are very grateful to the McClure Foundation. We are the college for the NEK and we’d like to help NEK youngsters achieve their goal—particularly when that life-plan involves higher education. It’s also important for these students to understand that concepts learned in their current math and science classes can be directly applied to their profession later in life. Thanks to the McClure Foundation, we can continue to assist NEK students in their plans for their futures.”

Lyndon is known as a significant driver of the economy in the NEK and takes a leadership role in serving first-generation, low income students through efforts partly run by the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship (CRE). The CRE focuses workforce education efforts from pre-Kindergarten through Grade 16 around the industry clusters with the greatest potential to keep and create jobs in the NEK that require postsecondary credentials and degrees. Based on a study undertaken by Northeastern Vermont Development Association (NVDA), the CRE concentrates on the manufacturing, tourism, agriculture/working landscape, and biomedical clusters.

Ann Nygard is the director of the CRE. She said, “The Kingdom Career Connect program is a key element in raising our local middle school student’s aspirations vis-à-vis their post-secondary education. The McClure Foundation is now a strong partner in this effort and we anticipate another success with our program for 2014-15.”

The J. Warren and Lois McClure Foundation collaborates with educators, organizations, and philanthropists to improve and promote postsecondary and career education opportunities within the state with the conviction that through this work Vermont’s most important resource—its people—will become more fully empowered. The McClure Foundation is a supporting organization of the Vermont Community Foundation.

The Vermont Community Foundation is a family of hundreds of funds and foundations established by Vermonters to serve their charitable goals. It provides the advice, investment vehicles, and back-office expertise to make giving easy and effective. The Foundation also provides leadership in giving by responding to community needs, mobilizing, and connecting philanthropists to multiply their impact, and by keeping Vermont’s nonprofit sector vital with grants and other investments in the community.

Jenny Kempton Harris

Jenny Kempton Harris is New Executive Director of Development and Alumni Affairs

Lyndon State College has announced administrative changes in the departments of Alumni Affairs and Institutional Advancement. Jenny Kempton Harris ’79 has been appointed as the new executive director of development and alumni affairs by Lyndon’s President Joe Bertolino. Harris, formerly Lyndon’s director of development, will supervise the day-to-day operations and functions of the institutional advancement office. “She is also the point person for alumni affairs,” said Bertolino.

Harris grew up in Peacham on her family’s dairy farm and graduated from Lyndon with a degree in Theater. She has held administrative positions for a variety of companies from Vermont to Colorado to Australia. Harris has served on many boards and committees including the “Peace with Justice” and “Social Concerns” Committees at Father Dyer Methodist Church, the Breckenridge Ski Resort Support Group, and the Peacham Historical Association board. Harris currently serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for the Planned Giving Council of NH & VT and is working toward a degree in Business Administration at Lyndon.

As executive director, Harris will now coordinate, provide and direct a full range of support to annual and long-range fundraising and development efforts of the College. The director is also the major gifts and planned giving officer with responsibility for cultivating and stewarding donor relationships with alumni, friends, parents, businesses, and foundations. Harris will also act as college liaison with alumni of Lyndon State.

Bertolino also announced that Bill Laramee will provide consultation to the office of institutional advancement and assist in the development of an institutional advancement strategic plan. Laramee came to Lyndon in 1978 as dean of students, left in 1999 as dean of institutional advancement, and retired as vice president emeritus for Alumni and College Relations at Kentucky’s Berea College. He has been honored by the state of Vermont with the Martha H. O’Connor Award for Private Citizen Contribution to Public Education.

The changes were precipitated by two events: LSC’s Dean of Institutional Advancement Bob Whittaker’s departure to pursue a doctorate degree on July 1, and the resignation of Hannah Manley, director of alumni relations and development in January 2014. According to Bertolino, “The departure of both Bob and Hannah presented an opportunity to restructure and rethink the operation of the office of institutional advancement as well as create a new strategic plan for development and alumni affairs.” Bertolino has assumed the role and function of the dean of institutional advancement for the coming academic year.

Bertolino added that the College’s fund raising efforts will focus on securing financial aid and scholarship monies, annual fund contributions, and unrestricted gifts.