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.
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.
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.
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.
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.