These awards are presented to alumni of whom the college is particularly proud, who have made outstanding accomplishments in their careers and lives, whether in social service, business, or community service, with service to the college one of the many factors considered. Alumni under consideration for this award must have graduated a minimum of ten years ago. Nominations come from faculty, staff, and alumni. Selection is made by the president of the college.
Tim Halvorson, Class of 1983
Tim readily admits, “I’m not really one to seek the limelight; I always wanted to be vice president.” But that doesn’t stop him from being mightily involved in his town and workplace. Currently serving as chair of the Church Street Marketplace Commission in downtown Burlington, Tim is a strong advocate for the community. Having served on the board of the Burlington Business Association for a nearly a decade, Tim is a “go-to” guy. Marketing Consultant Becky Cassidy says, “He’s never met a cause he’s ignored. He’s helped hundreds of people in need that nobody knows about.” (Case in point: Until recently, he served on the board of the Committee on Temporary Shelter, which helps homeless and marginally housed families and individuals in Vermont.) “He’s not about ‘Tim’ — he’s about what’s good for all of us downtown,” Becky continues. “He’s just a good human being.”
Tim is the owner of Halvorson’s Upstreet Café and Church Street Wine Cellars, both located on the top block of Church Street. Tim and his wife, Kristin, and their three children reside in Charlotte. Here’s a Tim tip: “Sometimes you make money and sometimes you make friends. Friends will serve you better in the long run.”
Matthew Nadeau, Class of 1989 and Renee (Brunault) Nadeau, Class of 1989
Giving back to the community is part of a successful business plan and is valued by both Matt and Renee. Each month a different charity is chosen to receive the profits from their weekly beer tastings at their business, Rock Art Brewery in Morrisville. The focus is on providing a quality product and utilizing local companies, coupled with well-paced, steady, managed growth. Matt writes, “I value my education at Johnson and feel that the experience really helped me to excel after graduation.” Returning to Vermont from Colorado in the mid-’90s, Matt says, “Who would have ever known that five years after graduation we would buy a home in Johnson and start a successful business! We fell in love at JSC, got married, and started a business and family just miles from where it all began.” Renee is active in the Johnson PTA and helped organize and run the Johnson Elementary School “garden of life.” Her degree and experience have made her an integral part of the team at Rock Art, allowing the company to focus on creating a tremendously successful and financially strong business that keeps community at the forefront.
Sharon Sousa, Class of 1974
Sharon Sousa is an Associate Dean at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, teaching Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, with special expertise in Web-based teaching. Sharon is a recognized leader in the field of mental health, specifically schizophrenia and bipolar disorders, and has publishing numerous articles and received grants for research on those topics. She has been a presenter at the American Psychiatric Nurses Association annual convention in Minneapolis and at the International Congress on Schizophrenia Research, where she spoke on “A Nursing Tool for Insight and Adherence in Psychosis.” Sharon received her RN in 1967. She completed her BS in Psychology in 1974 and then her master’s in Education from UVM in 1975. She received her Doctorate in Counseling Psychology from Boston University in 1983, and in 1997 she received her Master of Science degree with a specialization in Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing from Northeastern University. Sharon has received numerous honors throughout her career and most recently received the 2008 Honorary Golden Key Award from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, where she presented the keynote address at the induction ceremonies.