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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, Ph.D., 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.