Johnson State College staff, faculty, alumni and students have been busy lately. This is an overview of some notable accomplishments over the past several months:
Kathleen Brinegar (Education) will present at the Association of Middle Level Education annual meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, November 6. Her presentation on “Learning to partner with adolescent learners” will focus on the value of inviting middle grades learners to participate as experts in pre-service and in-service coursework and professional development. Such arrangements foster collaboration between teachers and students and help break down barriers that often stifle learning.
“Becoming a literate being: Preservice teachers using digital storytelling to reflect on personal narratives” is the title of the chapter Kathleen wrote for the peer-reviewed Handbook of Research in Middle Level Education, Volume 10, available this winter.
In July 2014 Robert Schulze (Education) served as a reader and reviewer of proposals for the 2015 Council for Exceptional Children convention. Rob was also accepted as a presenter for the upcoming meeting. He will present research on “New insights into special education leadership” during the April 9-12 convention in San Diego, California.
Kaja Tretjak (Behavioral Sciences) will attend the annual American Anthropological Association meeting in Washington, D.C., December 2-7. There she will be presenting as part of a panel entitled “Writing the Right.” Kaja, whose paper is “Breaking from the right: Millennial libertarians and the transformation of U.S. political culture,” will be joined on the panel by presenters from the Universities of Washington, Arizona, and California-Santa Barbara, among others.
In July Gina Mireault (Behavioral Sciences) was in the United Kingdom at the University of Portsmouth, where she was writing an invited article with a colleague for Current Biology and also gave a lecture to her department. She also presented lectures at the University of Sheffield. Following her European jaunt, Gina was off to California to speak at the BlogHer conference on behalf of a toy company about the importance of laughter and play to infant development.
Bill Doyle (Humanities) brought singer and researcher Linda Radtke, joined by pianist Arthur Zorn, to campus on September 30, in an event sponsored by the Vermont Humanities Council and hosted by Johnson State College. Dressed in period costume, Ms. Radtke took listeners through state history, using the songs in the Vermont Historical Society’s collection that Vermonters published in their local communities.
In September Leslie Kanat (Environmental and Health Sciences) served as an external reviewer for an InTeGrate curriculum module. The curriculum is expected to help develop a citizenry and workforce that can address environmental and resource issues facing our society. The work is supported by the Science Education Resource Center (at Carleton College) and the National Science Foundation.
On May 30-31, JSC’s Department of Mathematics hosted the Northeastern Section of the Mathematical Association of America’s spring meeting. There were seven invited speakers from Vermont, New Hampshire, and Connecticut, as well as several contributed paper and student paper sessions. The meeting brought about 45 attendees from all over New England. Everyone who attended had very positive comments about the campus and its staff.
The article on the Elaine Race Massacre published (February 27, 2013) by JSC’s Green Mountains Review was the subject of a symposium September 20 at Trinity Wall Street in NYC. Trinity’s Task Force Against Racism sponsored an exploration of the 1919 Arkansas race massacre that spurred a Supreme Court case that laid the legal groundwork for the Civil Rights Movement. Elizabeth Powell (Writing and Literature) represented GMR and JSC in New York.
Henrique Cezar (Business and Economics), in his capacity as vice president of CFA Society of Vermont, attended a late-August professional conference in London, representing Vermont in an event that brought together financial analysts from all over the world.
In an October 17 performance at Dibden Center for the Arts, Steve Blair (Fine and Performing Arts) premiered his just-released CD, Ostinato, to an enthusiastic audience of JSC students, faculty and staff as well as community members. The Steve Blair Septet rocked out on eight tunes composed by Steve during a recent sabbatical. Seven Days reviewer Dan Bolles calls Blair “one of the most accomplished and well-respected jazz guitarists in Vermont… [and] in no uncertain terms, a monster player.” His jazz-rock fusion song-writing and the band’s playing earn high marks, too, in the favorable review. Support from the President’s Fund for Excellence in Teaching and Learning helped produce the CD and bring it to life on the Dibden stage.
Maris Wolff (Fine and Performing Arts) was invited to perform in late October at Jordan Hall at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston and also teach some master classes and give a lecture demonstration.
On October 24 Amy May (Fine and Performing Arts) turned the Ceramic Arts Studio of JSC’s Visual Arts Center into the venue for the 20th Annual Throw-A-Thon to benefit Operation Smile. For a small donation participants created hand crafted and/or wheel-thrown ceramic forms. All ceramic art work made during the Throw-A-Thon is donated and sold during the college’s Holiday Ceramic Sale in November. Proceeds benefit Operation Smile, a non-profit which provides reconstructive surgery and related health care to indigent children and young adults in developing countries and the United States.
The latest exhibit of portraits and other paintings by Carolyn Mecklosky (Fine and Performing Arts) is up September 15-November 9 in Hardwick at the 3rd Floor Gallery of the Hardwick Inn.
From August 1-14, paintings by Joe Salerno (Fine and Performing Arts) were exhibited at the Julie Heller East Gallery in Provincetown, MA.
Clyde Stats (Academic Support Services) continues to perform widely on his upright bass, most recently as a member of the Will Patton Ensemble for an October 10 show at the Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center.
Rich Simmons (Academic Support Services) attended the Post -Secondary Disability Conference in Philadelphia from June 4 -9, which focused on assistive technology and autism spectrum disorders. He also presented a workshop (along with other area college disability coordinators) on proper documentation for students transitioning to college at SAC/VocRehab’s Postsecondary Support Services for Students with Disabilities conference at VTC.
Karen Madden (Academic Support Services) attended the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE) annual conference in Washington, D.C. on September 6-10 and presented a workshop on “Collaborating with faculty to assure student success.”
The staff members of the Willey Library remain active professionally and in their communities. Linda Kramer was the driving force behind Governor Shumlin’s recent proclamation declaring October “Information Literacy Month” in the State of Vermont. Working with Joe Farara (Willey Library), State Librarian Marty Reid, and members of the public, school, and academic library communities, Linda drafted the proclamation, press releases, and radio spots. She also arranged for Rusty DeWees to create a series of public service announcements that are currently in rotation on radio stations across the state.
In addition to her efforts expanding reference services to students and faculty in the External Degree Program, Lisa Kent (Library) has been busy with the launch of her well-received first novel, Peace Cottage. Her second, Vinehart Farm, is scheduled for release early next year.
Alice Godin (Library) attended the New Hampshire-Vermont Academic Resource Sharing meeting on June 18, 2014 at Plymouth State University in Plymouth, NH, where she gave a presentation to the group, “Using Adobe Acrobat PRO in resource sharing.”
In her hometown of Waterville, Alice worked the Vermont Digital Economy project and successfully procured a grant to set up the Waterville Connection, an open access WiFi zone that stretches from the Waterville Town Hall to the Waterville Public Library. Given the town’s limited cell phone coverage, this zone provides townspeople with internet access, which is particularly important in cases of emergency. Alice also successfully obtained a grant from the Snelling Center of Vermont to build a website for the Town of Waterville. She worked with Tess Gauthier of the Snelling Center and Nancy LaRose, Waterville Town Clerk, on this project.
Since assuming the management of WJSC-FM, Jeff Angione (Library) has added a wide range of programming provided by community members, which has boosted listenership and deepened the college’s connections to Lamoille County. As a result, WJSC was nominated for a Seven Days Daisy Award for Best College Radio Station. Jeff continues to host a popular Saturday morning radio show (“RFD”) on WLVB-FM, while coaching youth soccer and baseball in Morrisville.
Ray Brior (Library) began his fourth consecutive term as Chair of the Vermont Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Committee. Ray is responsible for coordinating events across Vermont for the American Library Association’s “Banned Books Month.”
Faculty Librarian Joe Farara is Secretary for the Vermont Consortium of Academic Libraries, where he is also a member of the Executive Board.
Elaine Harvey, Assistant Director of Athletics for Communications, has been appointed to the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) Division III Strategic Alliance Matching Grant (SAMG) Selection Committee.
Assistant Director of Residence Life Jeff Bickford is serving on the Executive Board of the Northeast Association of College and University Housing Officers (NEACUHO) as chair of the Media and Publications Committee.
Dean of Student Life & College Relations Dave Bergh was elected Chair of the Board of Directors of the Lamoille County Planning Commission (LCPC). Bergh also recently served, for the second year, as the facilitator of the Vermont Department of Health’s Annual College Symposium. This year’s theme was “Creating a Campus Commitment to Alcohol Prevention.”
Beth Walsh, Coordinator of Career Development, delivered a presentation titled “Career Development Support for Job Seeking and Career Changing Adults” at the annual conference of the Vermont Educational Opportunity Programs (VEOP).
STUDENT and ALUMNI ACTIVITIES & ACHIEVEMENTS
The directors of the Vermont Youth Dancers sent a letter to director Jan Herder (Dibden), thanking them, on behalf of the troupe, for the opportunity to experience the performance space at Dibden Center for the Arts. Calling Dibden “an incredible asset to our Vermont community,” the directors wrote, “The insight and artistic contributions by the talented staff at Dibden were beyond what we could have expected…[E]very single crew member provided us with support, respect, and assistance that we will always remember.”
JSC students have been very active on the community theater scene throughout Vermont. Last spring Vanessa Cousins and recent graduate Abby Maurice played prominent roles in Les Miserables at the Flynn in Burlington. The visibility of JSC theater and musical theater students continued during the summer and fall. Featured in Damn Yankees at Hyde Park Opera House were Danielle Godjikian and Taylor Brown, along with Taylor Cammer. Abby Maurice took over Bob Fosse’s choreographic chores for this classic musical. On the Town, a Leonard Bernstein musical produced by Stowe Theater Guild, featured Vanessa Cousins in a role that, although written 70 years ago, seemed to be written for her.
The Flynn Theater and UVM are collaborating on the first Vermont College Dance Festival. They have invited JSC students to perform and attend workshops. Maris Wolff (Fine and Performing Arts) will lead the student group and help them choreograph a piece to show at the event. On November 11 there will be technical rehearsals during the day and then a warm-up and performance (including JSC students) at the Flynn Space in the evening. On November 12 there will be morning workshops and then, after lunch, an opportunity for students to share works-in-progress and receive direct feedback from their peers.
TRiO student Samantha Gorton was profiled in the Fall 2014 issue of Best of Central Vermont, a magazine that spotlights innovative individuals, businesses, and projects in the central Vermont area. Sammie was the inaugural beneficiary of the “emBrace Project,” the brainchild of husband and wife team Drs. John F. Steinman and Lynne J. Addiego, owners of All Smiles Family Dental Center in Barre, who wanted to give back to their community directly through their work. Their idea was to donate dental care to someone who regularly volunteered to help others, needed orthodontic dental work, and was unable to afford it, and Sammie fit all three requirements. She founded the Overcoming Adversity group at JSC (a support group for students from impoverished backgrounds), captained the top fund-raising team for the JSC Relay for Life, volunteered at the Stampede for Cystic Fibrosis, and worked with the Smugglers’ Notch summer adaptive program. At the most recent Honors Convocation, Sammie was awarded the Presidential Leadership Scholarship by JSC President Barbara Murphy. Sammie was nominated for the emBrace Project by Rich Simmons (Academic Support Services).
Amber Fitzgerald, majoring in secondary education, received the Vermont Space Grant Native American Undergraduate Award from the VSGC and NASA EPSCoR. She was honored at UVM this fall for winning a grant. Since high school, Amber has been working with fellow Abenaki people and those with a close affiliation on a series of projects for Abenkai adolescents. The main objective has been to promote the importance of education to Abenaki students and erase remaining cultural stigmas. Kathleen Brinegar was Amber’s faculty sponsor on the grant.
Tia Drake (2015, Business) has been appointed executive director of the Vermont chapter of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). With her careful planning, internship credits and the close guidance of faculty, she will graduate in three years. During her time at JSC, Tia has worked as a research assistant for Jim Black (Business and Economics); interned in the marketing department at Community National Bank; and, as a work-study student, tutored students through Academic Support Services. She also developed a website and helped organize Vermont Entrepreneurship Week in February 2014, when she was recognized as one of four Amazing Young Vermont Entrepreneurs. Tia has been involved with FBLA since she was a student at North Country Union High School and North Country Career Center in Newport; she served as a state officer in 2011-2012. A nonprofit organization of students preparing for careers in business and business-related fields, FBLA has chapters at 10 high schools in Vermont. During her tenure as the organization’s main point person in Vermont, Drake plans to make FBLA more prominent in the state and to develop a Vermont FBLA division for college students called Phi Beta Lambda (PBL). In addition, with the help of Vermont FBLA-PBL students and advisers, she plans to develop the professional division so that more adults in Vermont can mentor and guide students in the organization.
Five undergraduate students from JSC and one from CCV worked as part of a research team organized by Robert Genter (Environmental and Health Science) in the summer of 2014. From JSC were Kateri Bisceglio, Chelsea Cole, Dalton Gomez, Joshua Hunt, and Todd Lantery, and from CCV was Laura Orvis. They studied water quality with respect to phosphorus and E. coli pollution at 19 stream sites throughout the Lamoille River basin. This research was supported by Vermont EPSCoR.
The JSC Pride Alliance participated in the Vermont Pride Festival parade on September 15 in Burlington. Participation in the event not only started off the new school year, it also kick-started the new JSC club. At the festival, Chris Austin, as Aurora Risay, performed her drag routine. The group’s enthusiasm both during the march and at the festival earned them the festival’s Spirit Award.
In August alumna Christie Leone (MA, Education) accepted the position of development director at the Lamoille Family Center. She previously worked at JSC for eight years in the Advising & Career Center as advisor, coordinator and co-director. Christie left JSC to start Round Hill Kids, a licensed childcare center, which she ran as owner/director for six years.
Miles Smith Jr., admissions counselor and head basketball coach at Wilson College (Chambersburg, PA), built an entire roster of 12 basketball players for the college’s first year of competitive play this academic year. Miles won the “James McKeever Promising Professional Award” for his exceptional commitment to education.