One of the best parts about being Champlain’s president is the opportunity to meet with students, alumni and employers and hear about their Champlain experiences. While April is always a busy month at Champlain, recent events were particularly meaningful for me. They demonstrate the breadth of the Champlain experience and the difference we are making in the world around us.
Last week, I had the opportunity to meet with four of our alumni in New York City over lunch. One was a graduate of our MBA program, making a mark in the financial services industry. The other three women were 2012 and 2013 graduates, working in public relations, in a start-up, and for a major print magazine. All were doing exciting work for their companies, building on their successful Champlain education. They also had great suggestions on how we can enhance the educational experience at Champlain to make future graduates even better prepared for life after college.
April also brings awards celebrations. I loved the Senior Dinner (complete with our Elevator Pitch of Pitches competition), the CCM, EHS, ITS and Stiller School events recognizing outstanding students, and the Core Celebration of Excellence and collaboration with the Champlain College Publishing Initiative. These celebrations give our Deans and Faculty the chance to recognize those students who contribute to the intellectual and professional vitality at Champlain. I also enjoyed the joint EHS and ITS capstone presentations in the IDX gym, showcasing the work of graduating seniors and demonstrating the interdisciplinary thinking that results from the integration of their professional education with the liberal Core education distinctive to Champlain.
This past week, I had the chance to attend a reception in Washington, D.C. with parents of current students, alumni, current truED students, and Champlain staff. The pride in the college was palpable, with strong advocacy of our distinctive approaches to education from all quarters.
The next morning, I had the privilege of joining Champlain’s Continuing Professional Studies team at the U.S. Federal Government’s Office of Personnel Management (OPM). OPM hosted learning leaders from across government at their headquarters in Washington for “Federal Workforce 2020: Turning Today’s Experience Into Tomorrow’s Talent.” It was an opportunity to celebrate the one year anniversary of our alliance with the federal government and the nearly 1,800 federal employees enrolled in our online truED programs.
As Acting OPM Director Cobert emphasized during her remarks, OPM is committed to making the federal government America’s model employer for the 21st century as it works to close mission-critical skills gaps in the fields of cybersecurity, human resources and more. I was thrilled to learn of the creative and strategic ways the higher education alliance with Champlain College is already helping to close the growing skills gap in emerging occupations and address the impending brain drain due to more than one-third of the federal workforce becoming eligible to retire by 2018.
During the OPM event, our Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy welcomed federal employees and thanked them for their service to the nation. He also stressed the importance of a cybersecurity education in protecting its citizens. We play a key role in helping to develop this skill set with cybersecurity being one of the top five degrees federal employees are pursuing at Champlain. An open house at U.S. Department of Homeland Security, also held earlier this week, drew more than 1,000 participants, with one in four interested in either a graduate or undergraduate program in cybersecurity.
My week ended with a joyful celebration of our Senior Game Show. This event allows our Senior Game students to share their work in front of prospective employers from the Game industry, their faculty, peers and friends. I was happy to see many proud parents in attendance. After the students showed their reels in Alumni Auditorium, we adjourned to the CCM Gallery, where the we could play the games. While all of the games were my favorites, you can find one of my favorites on the Apple App Store if you search for “Arco:The Journey”. The game promotes mindfulness. I have also included some choice pics from the event.
Another great month at Champlain College.