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December 8, 2011

New Beginnings CCV-Rutland

On a recent November afternoon construction workers prepared openings for two 17-foot wide windows on the West Street side of CCV-Rutland’s new 32,000 square foot academic center. In January, these windows will be filled with the activity of students starting the winter semester in the three-story building, which is owned by Williston developer DEW and leased to the College. The center’s move from Evelyn Street will double the size of CCV’s fastest growing academic center. “This building represents ten years of steady growth in Rutland,” says Academic Center Executive Director Tapp Barnhill. “It showcases the excitement of the arts and sciences with multiple modern labs and studios, houses four computer centers, and has a total of twenty-four contemporary and technologically endowed classrooms. Best of all, it was built to facilitate student interaction and collaboration, presenting students with a variety of casual learning and studying spaces to enhance their experiences and help build community.” Staff will start moving offices in December to be ready for the beginning of the new semester. A Grand Opening celebration will be at 3 p.m. on February 2, 2011.

CCV-Montpelier

A large hole north of CCV-Montpelier’s Elm Street building marks the start of a two story, 12,000 square foot addition that will house the academic center currently leased in downtown Montpelier. This new space will have modern science and computer labs, an improved art room, and expanded gathering spots for CCV-Montpelier’s 700 students. In true Vermont fashion, adapting existing materials to new uses has been a part of this landscape for years. Montpelier’s poor farm stood here until it burned years ago. That building’s barn was renovated in 1986 to house Woodbury College, and they added a 13,500 square foot extension in 2000. This newest addition will combine CCV-Montpelier’s academic and administrative functions into one college-owned center. In November huge tree spades carefully removed 38 oak and crab apple trees that lined the parking lot and took them to winter a few miles up Elm Street. These trees will return in the summer and will be ready to welcome students arriving for fall semester classes. 38 trees moved from CCV-Montpelier will return to the center in the spring. Photos: Lyndsay Deery

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30 Years of Caring and Connecting When Maryellen Lowe came to CCV in 1981 her initial mission wasn’t to help veterans transition into college life, but when questions from veterans came up she found the answers. “My father served in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam,” she says simply “I understand the culture.”

Photo: Lyndsay Deery

Still, when she retires at the end of December, Lowe will probably be remembered most for the impact she has had on the many veterans she’s helped in her 30 years as office manager and assistant registrar.

Maryellen Lowe

Veterans responding to a survey of military-connected students this summer often specifically mentioned her help and support: “Mel is the best,” “That woman was one of the reasons I graduated.” Student Resources Advisor for Veterans Chara Vincelette-Perocchi said that a certifying official at another Vermont college recently told her “If you don’t know what to do, you call Mel.”

All veterans who come to CCV start in Lowe’s office: she helps them determine which courses qualify for VA benefits, walks them through the registration process, and certifies their eligible courses. She also often tracks their progress through the semester and finds a way to quietly check in if it looks like they need help. When she started Lowe worked with about 110 vets. This past semester she worked with 350 military-connected students. Vets have always struggled with one issue in college — military life reinforces doing, and college is all about thinking — and Lowe stresses not all vets come home with problems. But she says the ones who do seem to struggle more now: with post traumatic stress syndrome, no jobs, and even homelessness. Lowe’s greatest gift to the students she works with may be her awareness of stresses that have nothing to do with course certification. “I watched how vets were treated when my dad came back from Vietnam,” she says. That experience may have shaped her as much as her military family, and helped to develop a perfect combination of compassion, humor, and patience that transitioning vets need. Lowe makes light of her reputation for caring attention: “I just get to troubleshoot when the system doesn’t work right,” she says. But when pressed she’ll admit there is more to it than that. “I’ve loved working with veterans. You really can see it — when there’s a personal connection, everything shifts.”

Leland Ryea III ’11

Leland Ryea joined the marines right out of high school and served in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay. He graduated from CCV in 2011 with an Associate in Criminal Justice degree and is currently an Immigrations Officer with the Department of Homeland Security.

Photo: Lyndsay Deery

“Maryellen has and will continue to be one of the highlights of my college career. She has advocated for me and countless veterans who have attended CCV. Her amazing dedication will be greatly missed.”

Leland Ryea III

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Photo: Lyndsay Deery

Courtney Beaulieu ’11

Courtney Beaulieu

“Maryellen was one of the first people I met at CCV. When I went to her to ask for help with veterans benefits, she was welcoming, warm, and knew what she was talking about. She really cares about veterans, and she puts their needs first. She is a member of the CCV staff that I will certainly miss.” Courtney Beaulieu, a mechanic with the Vermont Army National Guard, returned to school in 2010 after a year in Afghanistan. She graduated from CCV in 2011 with an Associate in Liberal Arts degree and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree at Johnson State College.

Supporting and Celebrating CCV’s Veterans Veterans Day 2011 marked the one-year anniversary of the return of many Vermont National Guard troops from Afghanistan and Iraq. CCV Student Resources Advisor for Veterans Chara VincelettePerocchi, who is also a Vermont National Guard commander, says military organizations nationwide generally increase their focus on support efforts for veterans around the one-year mark. “At six months, we check in for symptoms of PTSD,” she says. “At the year marker, other stresses can start to mount, like financial resources running out, or finding work.” More than 350 military-connected students (current active duty and guard service members, spouses, and dependents) enrolled in CCV classes during the fall semester, more than double the number enrolled last year. Vincelette-Perocchi proudly notes that CCV has been named a “Military Friendly School” by GI-Jobs, a group that has selected 1000 schools (from 7000 nationwide) that offer veterans the best education, value, and welcome (http://www.militaryfriendlyschools.com). To expand support this fall, Vincelette-Perocchi helped organize a series “Student Veteran Meet and Greets” and information sessions – in St. Albans, Montpelier, and Rutland – where CCV veterans could meet each other, share experiences, and offer suggestions to staff. In St. Albans, which has the second largest number of enrolled military-connected students, students are already registering for the new Combat to Classroom seminar. CCV-Winooski organized a special “Veteran’s Appreciation Week” that included a Veteran’s Appreciation Reception on November 7. Speakers at the reception included John Tacy, state director for Senator Leahy; Ken Floyd, veterans representative with the Department of Labor, David Beaulieu, Vermont Veteran’s Family and Outreach Program, and CCV Executive Dean Susan Henry. On Tuesday, November 8, students in Thomas Ware’s Constitution class hosted a discussion comparing Congress’ power to declare war and the president’s power as commander in chief to deploy the military without a declaration of war.

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Mary Lothrop to Direct C3T Grant Program Mary Lothrop, coordinator of academic services at CCV-Winooski and a cochair of the Science and Allied Health curriculum committee, has been named director of CCV’s recently awarded U.S. Department of Labor Community College Career Training (C3T) grant program.

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“The C3T grant is providing CCV with a unique and exciting opportunity to establish programs that better prepare students for immediate employment,” said Lothrop.”Our hope is that by providing targeted training and quicker degree completion in high-growth fields, we will enable unemployed or underemployed Vermonters to realize their learning, life, and career goals.”

Mary Lothrop Specifically designed to help trade-impacted workers throughout the country, the C3T grant is the largest in CCV’s history. It will allow the College to quickly ready three programs already in development – medical assisting, digital marketing, and contemporary business practices – and to incorporate more sophisticated equipment and resources into degree programs that prepare students for careers in fields Vermont employers have identified as being in high demand. Lothrop started teaching at CCV in 2008 and became a coordinator in Burlington in 2009. She oversees science courses in Winooski; online anatomy and physiology, and nutrition courses; advises students; leads the Science and Allied curriculum; and co-leads the college’s Health Information Technology (HIT) grant. Before coming to CCV Mary taught at Champlain College and at the Vermont Commons School. She holds a Master of Science degree in chemistry from Dartmouth College along with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry with a minor in science and society from Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

Bennington’s Customized CRC Class This fall CCV-Bennington offered a customized Governor’s Career Ready Certificate program (CRC) for employees of three local companies: Plasan North America, Plasan Carbon Compositions, and Vermont Composites. Graduates of the six-week session (part of the CRC program offered statewide through a partnership between CCV and the Vermont Department of Labor), attended a special accelerated class designed specifically for manufacturing composites, light-weight carbon composite materials used in medical, aeronautics, and military equipment.

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The class incorporated simulated workplace examples and projects to teach mathematics, reading, computer skills, data analysis, project management, and teamwork skills. CCV President Joyce Judy attended the final project presentations of sample “glass walls” – graphs, tables, and charts that manufacturing department teams create to show their progress and current status while at work.

(from left to right): Matt Dwyer, CCV-President Joyce Judy, Ken Morris, Chris Ketcham, Brian Griffin, John Cross, Kevin Schnoop, Tricia Gardner, Becky Pratt, Wendy Klein. Front Row: Wendy Morse, Tiffany Keune, and Janet Phillips

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Faculty Share Dimensions Teaching Tips Photo: Lyndsay Deery

In October, fifty-three teachers of CCV’s first semester seminar course gathered in Montpelier to share tips, resources, and insights at a day-long faculty training session. All of the participants teach either Dimensions of Freedom or Dimensions of Work, required first-semester seminars designed to help students build information literacy, critical thinking, online learning, and academic success Dimensions faculty share teaching resources. skills. The first semester seminar courses have contributed to an increase in retention rates among students. Data collected from 2008 and 2009 fall semesters show that of all new degree-seeking students, 65 percent returned the following semester; among those students who took Dimensions in the fall, 77 percent were retained. This improvement was cited when CCV was named an Achieving the Dream Leader College this fall. In addition to focusing on essential 21st century learning skills, each Dimensions class shares five curricular elements: exploring the self (through memoirs, journals, and first person accounts); developing interpretive and contextualized understanding of topics (through works of fiction and non-fiction); using Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” as a framework for thinking about aspects of the human condition; analyzing complex case studies, problems, and social issues; and articulating a commitment to one’s own role as a learner and citizen. Unlike standard English composition courses, which teach the mechanics of writing, Dimensions classes focus on the link between good writing, persistence, and critical thinking skills. “The Dimensions course is enriched in some way by every person who takes it or teaches it,” Dean of Students Debby Stewart told the group. “It is a humbling experience to teach a course that’s been around for more than 30 years and is still evolving, but it also keeps us grounded in the process of learning.”

Tim O’Connor

Photo: Lyndsay Deery

“I truly love teaching this course,” says Tim O’Connor, a CCV-Rutland faculty member. “There is a lot of freedom built into the framework of the course, and there are so many strands you can pursue.”

CCV-Rutland Dimensions faculty Tim O’Connor

O’Connor says he is always moved by his students’ journeys as they identify personal voice, gain the perspective of a broader context, and then – after Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” – see things in new ways and focus on larger issues. “For me the important piece is that in this course we ask students to make a commitment: ‘What are you going to do now that you have stepped out of yourself and change how you see things? How can you make a difference?’”

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CCV in the Community NEK Resident Shares Unique Understanding of Arab Spring

Twetten, who now lives in the Northeast Kingdom, worked with the Central Intelligence Agency for more than thirty years. He was emissary to Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq, a strategist in early guerrilla war efforts in Afghanistan, and worked in Benghazi, Libya; Accra, Ghana; New Delhi, India; and Amman, Jordan. Tom Twetten

The lecture topic was selected to coordinate with a CCV class “Peace and Turmoil in the Modern World,” taught at the Newport center by David Warren. The class considers the cultural environment of various wars and studies the roles individuals, organizations, and nations play in creating conditions for war and peace. “CCV-Newport’s first fall seminar series worked well because we tied each event to an ongoing course” said academic coordinator Perry Thomas. “One aspect of the series that I didn’t anticipate was that each event also became a celebration of the presenter. By inviting Vermonters to talk about their work, we honored them and their accomplishments.”

CCV Students Clean up Vermont on October 22nd Governor Shumlin declared October 22, 2011 “Vermont Clean up Day,” and classes at two of CCV’s academic centers joined the statewide effort to clear Irene-related debris from their communities. Ten students and six staff members from the Montpelier centers picked up debris along the river in Waitsfield. Ten students in April Hayden’s Dimensions of Freedom class at CCV-Rutland spent the day shoveling mud and debris from the yard of one student’s elderly neighbor. They then raked and planted the lawn with 50 lbs of grass seed that was donated to the group. CCV-Rutland students “We contributed to our community, but it also was a team-building experience for the class,” said Hayden. “The organizing student even baked muffins for us!”

CCV Faculty Featured in Montpelier Library Lecture Series The Kellogg-Hubbard Library November lecture series featured four CCV-Montpelier faculty: • Jean Olson presented “The Educational Experience of Some of Vermont’s High-Performing Adolescents: In Their Own Words.” • Donald De Voil presented “The Camera Never Lies: How Photographic Images Shape Our Understanding of World Issues.” • Eva Zimet presented “Unmixing Our Messages: How do I Misunderstand Thee? Let Me Count the Ways.” • Kathleen Moore and Suzanne Rexford-Winston presented “Using Art and Creativity to Unlock Imaginative Solutions to Everyday Problems.”

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In October community members, staff, and students heard an insider’s view of recent events in the Middle East when former CIA Deputy Director for Covert Operations Tom Twetten presented “Understanding the Arab Spring” as part of CCV-Newport’s Fall 2011 Seminar Series.


CCV’s 12th Annual Harvest for Hunger

Photos: Chris Ryan

“Last year the CCV community donated over 10,000 food items to local food shelves plus 70,000 grains of rice to a world food organization as part of the Harvest for Hunger drive,” said Heather Weinstein, director of Student Support Services. “Because of the economy, the floods, and the devastation so many Vermonters have had to endure, this year’s Harvest for Hunger has deeper meaning for many students, faculty and staff.”

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This fall CCV academic centers throughout the state participated in the 12th Harvest for Hunger event. Since 1999, CCV students have organized community events to bring attention to issues of hunger and food security, faculty have built hunger-related themes into their classes, and staff have solicited donations and provided organizational support.

(left to right) CCV-Montpelier student Lynn Foster, daughter Kalelyn Foster, and student Quincy Campbell with their “Haunting for Hunger Relief “loot.

CCV-Bennington collected 500 food items for the Harvest Ministries food kitchen, the new Gage Street food pantry, and the St. Francis Church food pantry. CCV-Brattleboro collected food for the Brattleboro Drop-In Center. CCV-Middlebury held a food drive, coin drop, and community supper and lunch. CCV-Montpelier launched the “Annual Haunting for Hunger Relief”(see photo), a door-to-door food drive that took place during trick or treat; displayed informational narratives and posters; and collected 345 food items for Community Action in Barre. CCV-Morrisville held a bake sale that raised $147 for the Lamoile United Way for flood relief, and collected 900 food items for the Lamoille County food shelf. CCV-Newport filled a shopping cart with food and brought it to the Hungerfest 2011 Trailer truck – all food goes to the regional food shelf at NEKCA. CCV-Rutland donated two carloads of food to the Community Cupboard and BROC. CCV-Springfield held a class competition for most food donations and the staff sold home-cooked meals; food and money were donated to the Springfield Family Center. CCV-St Albans donated 480 pounds of food to the St. Albans food shelf, held a raffle that raised $107 for Vermont Farm Disaster Relief Fund, and held a CCV soup kitchen (“to acknowledge hunger in our halls,” 32 students and staff served homemade soup). CCV-St. Johnsbury collected food for the local food shelf and held a bake sale to raise money for the Kingdom Animal Shelter. CCV-Upper Valley Introduction to Nutrition students created posters on healthy choices for display and a trunk full of food was delivered to the Upper Valley Haven. CCV-Winooski hosted the Second Annual CCV Winooski Empty Bowls dinner: Ceramics faculty and students created ceramic bowls, nutrition students prepared soup, and guests, who kept their handmade bowl as a reminder that there are empty bowls in the world, contributed a minimum donation of $5. More than $800 were donated to the Vermont Farmers Disaster Relief Fund. The Winooski Student Advisory Board and a Social Psychology class collected food for Winooski’s Little Green Pantry.

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CCV-Rutland’s Tammy (Howard) Davis and her marketing class students brought the Beverly Hillbillies back to life in a float that won “Most Original ” prize in the 52nd annual Rutland Halloween parade (which had more than 90 separate bands and entries). Director of Secondary Education Initiatives Natalie Searle, and Director of Secondary Education Initiatives Katie Mobley presented “What’s New in The field: An Overview of CCV-Rutland marketing students the Vermont Dual Enrollment Program” at the Vermont State house for the October 18 meeting of the Vermont Pre K-16 Council. Four hundred business, education, and government leaders gathered in Boston in November for “New England Works:” A Summit on Bridging Higher Education and the Workforce. CCV President Joyce Judy was one of five presenters on a panel at the conference, “Fast, Focused and Flexible: What Can All of Higher Education Learn from Community Colleges and Other Workforce Innovators?” CCV-Morrisville’s Amy Holibaugh and Michelle Robbins attended the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) 2011 National Convention in Portland, in October. The Vermont AMTA chapter received a Government Relations Activist Award (the only one awarded in the country this year). On October 21, 2011 Natalie Searle and Lynn Vera (guidance counselor from the Center for Technology at Essex) presented on dual enrollment at the New England College Council Best Practices Conference in Holyoke, Mass. Joyce Judy and Susan Henry also attended the event. Chara Vincelette-Perocchi is one of four women chosen to participate in a panel discussion that will conclude Senator Leahy’s “15th Annual Women’s Economic Opportunity Conference” on December 20, 2011 at Vermont Tech.

CCV in the Media “CCV and Council Bring in Child Care Apprenticeship,” an article about a CCV-Bennington/Vermont Child Care Industry and Careers Council course designed to increase the availability of high quality child care, appeared in the November 7 issue of the Bennington Banner. “CCV Program Prepares Composites Workers,” an article about employees in the Bennington area Composite Manufacturing Cluster who completed the Governor’s Career Ready Certificate program at CCV-Bennington appeared in the October 27, 2011 issue of the Bennington Banner. CCV alum Kerin Durfee was profiled in “Colchester Woman Embodies the Ups and Downs of Student Loan Debt,” an article in the October 28 issue of the Burlington Free Press. CCV Director of Academic Technology Eric Sakai was quoted in “Higher Ed Explores High-Tech Opportunity,” in the November 3, 2011 issue of the Addison Independent. CCV was profiled in ”The 2011 Achieving the Dream Leader Colleges,” in the October 31 issue of Community College Week.

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Staff News


Dec 2011 Trustees Report