Ruth Fish

former site office manager, Rutland Academic Center

I first started in the Rutland CCV office which was located on the fourth floor of the Service Building in the heart of downtown Rutland across from the present WalMart.  The year was about 1987.  Looking for part time employment, I read an advertisement in the Rutland Herald for part time office work in a growing educational environment.

ruthF2I had never heard of CCV and was unaware of their presence in the community or state. But I applied and met Alice Fee, Office Manager, and Michael Kolesnik, Advisor, took the office test, and met with Betty Matkowski, the Regional Director.  I was hired, and when Alice Fee retired about a year later I became the Office Manager which was a job I held until I retired in 2000.

The Service Building was a step up for the Rutland CCV as their previous facility was the old jail on Center Street.

CCV shared an office with Castleton State College’s evening program in Rutland.  We shared office space and classrooms on the fourth and fifth floor.  At the time CCV had approximately 200 – 250 course placements a semester, and most of the students were taking one maybe two classes.   Almost all the students were adult learners, as CCV had not developed a following of traditional-aged students.

In those days there was little testing to determine the preparedness of students wishing to enroll, and there was no financial aid advisor on site.

Registrations were done by hand with multiple carbon copies going to different offices in Waterbury–business, financial aid, plus the site’s copy and the student’s copy.  I cannot imagine having to do that with today’s large number of students enrolling each semester.

True to what was touted in the want ad, the Rutland CCV did grow and prosper to the point that we were outgrowing our ability to handle classes and serve the students.  It was time to find a new location in Rutland.

Betty led a group looking for a facility that could support our burgeoning site.  We looked at about three or four locations and finally settled on the Howe Center on Strongs Avenue just down the street from the Service Building.  The Howe Center was at one time the home of the Howe Scale and Foundry business.  It had closed and the massive property was purchased by Joe Giancola, who was transforming the many buildings to suit businesses looking for a home.  When we first looked at the space he was offering us on the third floor, we could look through the building and see the mountains to the west of Rutland.  The space needed A LOT OF WORK, but Joe was willing to work with the college and their architect to set up office and classroom space to meet our needs as well as much needed parking space for our growing number of students.

We hired a moving company to transport us down the street.  Tim Donovan, the then computer specialist, came to Rutland with several of his computer people to move our lab to the new facility.  We moved on Friday and were open for classes that Monday

The one unanticipated hitch was the fact that the railroad tracks ran between our building and the parking lot.  At times about 8:30 p.m. a 25 to 30-car freight train would park in front of our facility.  Students and faculty had to walk to the front of the train or cross between cars (which was a no-no) to reach their vehicles.  Joe often promised to have school buses available to transport people to their cars.  He did come through on that promise one time when CCV, Castleton, and St. Michael’s College were having a Chamber of Commerce mixer at the site and the Castleton President decided it was time to leave; but the train was between her and her car. I don’t know where he got the school bus, but than Joe is an institution in Rutland.

Somewhere in this time frame Apple computers and e-mail arrived.  Any time there is new technology there is a learning period; but as we adjusted to the new way of doing business, it gave us the ability to reinvent our procedures.  By this time we had about three student advisors, a financial aid counselor, and a full-time secretary; and the site continued to grow.  Each year we would see enrollment increase and our summer enrollment would be equal to what we once had during the regular semester.

Our evening enrollment was increasing as well, and we were still sharing classroom space with Castleton although their program was on the decline at this point.  Some of our evening classes were now being held at the local high schools.  It is hard to develop a feeling of belonging to CCV when a class is off campus.  Both teachers and students are not happy.

As we continued to grow, it became obvious we needed more space, and that was when we moved to Evelyn Street–still in the heart of Rutland.  Mark Foley, had purchased a building which he totaled gutted and rebuilt into a two-story facility complete with large computer lab, and science lab.  The staff had an opportunity to have input into the design, and again the architect worked with the school and Mark to come up with space for the staff as well as students.  We were now beginning to see a shift in the student demographics.  We had five advisors, a financial aid advisor and two secretaries.  Students were screened and not allowed to take advanced classes if they could not meet minimum requirements in English and math.  This was helping students to succeed and helping to reduce drop out rates.  We wanted our students to succeed.

I retired in September 2000, just after fall registration.  That semester Rutland reached the magic 1,000 course placements.  Tim Donovan complete with champagne and some of the Waterbury people came to help us celebrate and gave me a grand sendoff.

I was always proud to be associated with CCV.  So many students came through the doors, and it was always wonderful to watch them grow and leave a different person with a new perspective on life.  I was also amazed at the quality of student work.  Many of our teachers were able to bring out the best in their students.  Over the years in talking with many instructors they indicated that they enjoyed teaching at CCV because they found students to be responsive.  Having instructors who enjoy their students and work with them is beneficial for both parties, and is a recipe for success.

Rutland CCV now has its own new imposing building in the city, and it is an important part of the downtown community.

Janice Couture

One Family – The Couture Family’s Connection to CCV

Please take a few minutes to visit Room 406 the next time you are in Winooski at CCV’s Academic Center.  This classroom was the first one at CCV Winooski to be dedicated.  An engraved photo of Alfred V Couture and his wife Marguerite M Couture memorializes this Burlington couple.  Alfred and Marguerite were both born in 1910.  The photo identifying the classroom was taken on their 48th wedding anniversary in 1980 and was chosen by their children who sponsored the room.  Alfred was a hardworking family man who generously served his Church, the City of Burlington as an Alderman, and the State of Vermont as a State Representative.  Marguerite was a woman of faith, a devoted housewife, and a caring mother of nine who always found the time to serve others.

janiceAlthough Alfred and Marguerite were not directly connected to CCV, many of their children, in-laws, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren have innumerable connections with the Community College of Vermont.  Strong and long-lasting relationships between the Couture family and CCV have been established on many levels.  Joyce Judy and Susan Henry were the positive forces in solidifying these connections.

During your visit to Room 406 in Winooski you will enjoy the 3 original paintings which decorate the room with much grace and poise.  The beautiful oil painting of rhododendrons was painted by Kathleen Couture who is sister-in-law to Alfred and Marguerite.  Kathleen is an accomplished artist who raised 8 children; she completed high school at the age of 50 and then began her Liberal Studies Degree at CCV in the 80’s.  Although she did not complete her degree Kathleen still speaks of CCV with pride.  At the age of 85 she continues to speak of her CCV experience.

The floral watercolor painting was donated to CCV by Deanna Couture, wife of Paul who is the oldest son of Alfred and Marguerite.  Deanna is a retired Mater Christi Elementary School art teacher and an accomplished artist.  During the summer of 2006 she took a Landscape in Art class with Robert Huntoon.  Two other family members in the class were Rachelle Couture, granddaughter of Alfred and Marguerite and Janice Couture, daughter of Alfred and Marguerite.  Janice’s oil painting of the tulips is the third painting in the classroom.

Among the nine Couture siblings five of us were/are among the CCV faculty in Burlington/Winooski.  Paul Couture, the eldest son of Alfred and Marguerite was an electrician by trade.  He accepted to teach a course in Industrial Electricity while working with CCV students who needed to complete the course for their Technology Degree.

Bernard is the fourth son of Alfred and Marguerite.  He was a high school teacher who taught 3 generations at Winooski High School during a 30 year period.  He taught Basic Math at CCV usually as a substitute faculty member.

James is the sixth child of Alfred and Marguerite (the fifth son).  He had a career in the US Air Force as a pilot; he also taught at the Air Force Academy in Colorado.  At CCV he taught Basic Algebra for several years.   His daughter, Kimberly is Math Curriculum Coordinator for the South Burlington School District who taught Calculus at CCV in Winooski.  On several occasions her Dad Jim, substituted for her in class.

Gerald, Alfred and Marguerite’s sixth son, retired from National Life Insurance.  He has been teaching Basic Algebra to CCV students for more than 17 years and wishes to continue for many more.

And I, Janice am the fifth child and the first daughter of Alfred and Marguerite.  I began to work for CCV-Burlington in 2001 as a Coordinator of Academic Services.  My science background provided me with the skills required to oversee the Tech Degrees, The Massage Program, and the Science courses.  From my first few days on the job I developed a strong attachment to CCV.  I love the people with whom I worked.  They are open-minded, respectful, caring.  They are committed to the students, and to the work.  Their work ethic is professional and exemplary.  Team work is exceptional.  Team spirit is life-giving, supportive, empowering.  This Team IS the CCV to which we are attached.

Among the team members with whom I worked are Dee Steffan who at the time was our Lead Coordinator.  Dianne Maccario, Sharon Hopper, and Mica DeAngelis were College Elders whose wisdom enlightened group decisions.  Anita Long, Marianne DiMascio, and Amy Stuart brought creativity and innovation to a dynamic team.  Melissa DeBlois and Katie Mobley lived generous energy and high level organizational and efficiency skills.  Jody Albright and Gail Albert were inspiring as they worked with high school students.  John Devino and Rick Leete brought their personal experience with skill and commitment to the students.  During my 10 years as a Coordinator the Team has grown to include the added talents of Angie Albeck, Ian Boyd, Jen Garrett-Ostermiller, Dana Lee,  Aimee Loiter, Tuipate Mubiay, Erin Meenan and Shelley Jurkiewicz.  Relationships continue to grow between Team members and the Couture family.

CCV’s Mission was my own life-mission:  to respect, to care for, and to serve others, especially those most in need.  My siblings and I are the recipients of excellent formal educations which provided us with many opportunities in life.  I quickly understood and wanted to contribute to CCV’s Mission of access to education for all Vermonters.  I embraced CCV and all that it represented.  I wanted to spread the “good news” and I took every opportunity to make CCV known.

During my 10 years of service at CCV I encouraged everyone I knew to take classes at CCV.  I spoke of my large family; they were often the first targets of my enthusiasm.  Among my nieces, Renee and Christine Couture (daughters of Paul and Deanna) completed Associate Degrees at CCV.  For Renee it was a post-bachelor degree.  Christine enjoyed her experience at CCV and sent her two daughters, Gina and Mia Franzoni (great-grandchildren of Alfred and Marguerite) who also completed Associate Degrees.  Gina then completed an EDP degree at JSC; Mia still has a couple of courses in EDP.

In addition to the above mentioned nieces, Rachelle and Rebecca Couture (Gerald’s daughters), Ashley Durand, and Michelle Murray took courses to transfer credits to other colleges.  Kylie Drouin took a required psychology course for admission to the Doctorate Program in Psychology/Forensics in D.C.  Another great-granddaughter Kaitlin Letourneau completed a post-bachelor certificate while her sister Emile Letourneau transferred class credits for her bachelor degree.  Bailey Devoid continues the family tradition by her dual enrollment during the fall 2013 semester after she completes Intro to College Studies this summer of 2013.

A large family also means a large pool of friends and acquaintances.  Many, many are the persons who came to CCV because of contacts and personal invitations by me or by other family members.

One of my sisters-in-law, Annette was among the first CCV students when she took a French course at the Mill in Winooski.  Another sister-in-law, Doreen Couture took a watercolor class with Jean Cannon.  Among the courses I have taken at CCV are Landscape in Art, Drawing, Multi-Media Applications, Digital Photography, and my most recent Class Piano.  I expect that there will be others!

Gail Tisseur is a family member by association.  She shares in my admiration and commitment to CCV both inside and outside the classroom.  Gail teaches Basic Math in Winooski and St. Alban’s.   Since I left my full time position as Coordinator I have joined Gail and my brother Gerald as faculty.  I continue to teach a class in Human Biology in Winooski.

In this Spirit of Gratitude to our parents, Alfred and Marguerite Couture, and in solidarity with one another we decided to express our connections to CCV by sponsoring a classroom in the new CCV building in Winooski, Room 406.  When you realize the number of Coutures and other family members with direct and positive contact to CCV it becomes evident that the attachment is deep and intertwined.   It is our commitment to family and our commitment to CCV that we want to share with others in a concrete and visible manner.  We want to help others earn an education.

I think it was during our first family visit to the new building in Winooski that my then 96 year old aunt, Sister Beatrice Couture (sister to my Dad, Alfred) became convinced that I was president of CCV and did all the work that made CCV operate.  I tried to convince her that a Coordinator’s role is one of many and not a position of such responsibilities.  Joyce was not threatened!   Aunt Bea witnessed my commitment and dedication to CCV.  At 99 years old, Aunt Bea remains interested and continues to read the CCV Newsletter.  She now realizes that I am retired and not President of the College.

We, family and CCV friends celebrate our connections to CCV with an annual “Bove’s Spaghetti Supper” at CCV Winooski.  Four generations of Coutures and CCV personnel celebrate family, friendship, education, service, and gratitude.  Approximately 40-50 persons from family and from CCV enjoy an evening supper together.  We share life events and happenings.  We remember our parents, Alfred and Marguerite Couture.  In a spirit of enthusiasm we remember one another; we remember CCV and its Mission of Service and Access.

August 10, 2013

The ARB Chronicles: 1983 to the early 90s

When is linking statement not a linking statement?
David Buchdahl

I had been at CCV two years in 1985 when I was invited to be one of two Coordinators of Advising and Instruction who sat on the Academic Review Board, or the A-R-B,  or sometimes just the “arb”. The ARB was the precursor to the present-day Academic Council; and in those early years of the college, it was a small, seemingly select group.  There were just seven members: two regional directors, the director of student services, the registrar, a clerk and two coordinators who rotated on and off with two-year terms.  We had two primary responsibilities – (1) to review and develop all needed academic policies and degree program requirements and (2) to review students’ degree plans. The ARB met on the first Thursday of each month to handle its first assignment, and the third Thursday of each month to review degree plans, which always seemed to me its main business.  In February and March, and sometimes April and May too, both meetings were devoted to degree plan review. We even had what we called degree plan review marathons, which could last twelve hours a day with pizzas delivered  to keep us all going.  In those days, by the way, the President’s Council only met once a month.  How this reversal took place is, of course, another story.

In those years, Nancy Chard, director of the old southern region, was chair of the ARB and ruled meetings mostly with an iron fist.  If you disagreed strongly with Nancy, you did so at your own peril- subjecting yourself to public abuse and private revenge.  Yet everyone respected Nancy’s bed-rock dedication to the mission of the college, and coordinators, at least, were cowed enough by her to not even think about disagreeing.  Roger Cranse, on the other hand, the man who gave the college Dimensions of Learning and the ARB an air of erudition, loved to disagree with Nancy at every opportunity, so that ARB meetings often became an amusing test of will between these two titans.  At least that’s how I perceived things as an innocent newcomer when I joined ARB.

Before there was an ARB, degree plans were reviewed by local degree plan review boards, so it was a big deal when this critical function was centralized and the ARB came into being. In those days, all degree plans were “individualized,” which meant that students could take pretty much any courses they wanted to, as long as they could show how their learning provided competence in ten different areas – which included such things as aesthetic awareness, interpersonal relationships, manual and physical competence, self-awareness, communications, cultural awareness, community relationships, creative competence, relationship with the environment, analytical competence.  Of course there were many standard choices that students employed to demonstrate competence in the different areas. One of my personal favorites was the use of Introduction to Computers to satisfy mechanical competence – presumably because you could insert and eject 5 – 1/4’   floppy discs into the old desktops, or, later, prove your skill with a mouse.

A key job of the coordinators in those days was to teach a one-credit course called, what else, “Degree Planning Seminar,” where students learned about the competence areas and how various courses could be employed to demonstrate learning in each one.  Students would then develop a “preliminary” degree plan that would be reviewed by the ARB.  One of the things the ARB struggled with constantly was setting deadlines for the submission of both preliminary and final plans and what to do with all the students who every year missed the deadlines.  Oh how we agonized over such matters!  Plans were reviewed by a pair of ARB members prior to meetings (delivered before computers—b.c.—by pony express in large manila envelopes), then presented with evaluative comments to the whole ARB at the meetings.  Stacks of degree plans were piled everywhere around the room – (you could actually hide behind a stack of them if you wanted); and we dutifully proceeded to review each one and pass judgment.  Oh, the horror!

By far most intriguing or ridiculous thing about degree plans, depending on your perspective, was what we called “linking statements.”  Linking statements were short two or three sentence paragraphs intended to explain how a student understood the connection – the link – between the courses in their plan and a particular competence area.  Every degree plan began with a goal statement, followed by ten pages, each one with a linking statement at the top and a list of the courses selected by the student to develop competence in that areas.   I wish someone had a tape of ARB reviewing degree plans and debating how or if, or to what degree a linking statement actually demonstrated a link between courses and competence areas. Mind you, many of these linking statements had already been rewritten and improved by coordinators who understood the hurdles that students faced in getting plans approved by the ARB. They knew all too well that it was not usually the courses listed on the page that made the difference between approval or rejection, but the quality of these trifling linking statements.  Sometimes, in desperation, ARB members would edit a statement right there in a meeting, then return it to student and coordinator with a note that said, effectively, “Here, write it this way.”

I served on the ARB continually from 1985 until 2007 when I transitioned from an eleven-year stint as academic dean (Nancy Chard was actually the first person at CCV to have that title) to be the college’s first director of institutional research, a position I held for six years before my retirement in 2013.  I’m can’t remember exactly when during those intervening years we did away with degree plans and their cursed linking statements, but I can assure you no one was the least bit sorry to see them go.

John Sweeney

johnsweeneyCCV/AD & Utility Fielder

CCV Recollections

I was hired in early 1989 by Brent Sargent in the Office of External Programs.   As I recall in those early days, Beth Chiquoine, Judy Fitch and Steve Gerard were the mainstays with Laura Lind-Blum coming along shortly after.   At the time, OEP hosted the Training Opportunities Program (TOP) and  Assessment of Prior Learning (APL).

My position was Grant funded under a U.S. Dept of Education program called School, Colleges & Universities Program (SCUP).   The challenge was to create a dropout prevention program for at risk 9th & 10th grade high school students that included a summer camp component.   Rebecca Kaiser assisted me with this effort as we created the Vermont Partners in Education Program (VPIE).   For several years I ran a VPIE1 license plate on my old Volvo and recall certain parties at IBM a little miffed at our choice of moniker since they had their own “PIE” program (unbeknownst to us at the time of our naming).  While the program met most objectives, we were not able to achieve self funding and it morphed to the Vermont Education Partnership Program (VEPP).

In order to meet a new federal mandate for commercial drivers,  I was assigned to develop a  statewide training program for all drivers who needed or already had a commercial driver’s license.  We developed curricula,  hired experienced commercial drivers from all over the State, trained them as instructors and then set up workshops Statewide.  The program was completed in 19 months with over  5000 drivers passing the required examination.  Then came an assignment  monitoring Vermont’s GED and Adult Diploma programs after the results of a financial audit suggested that someone outside the Vermont Department of Education temporarily administer the programs.  Claire Daniels and Jessie Baker provided invaluable assistance in that task.

Several of us, now in Training Support Services (TSS), completed Zenger Miller instructor training and together we attempted to provide employee development workshops to various Vermont Businesses in the late 1990s.  Unfortunately, the CCV administration at the time concluded that we needed to bring in more $$ in order for this to be a cost effective effort.  In the end, TOP (or TSS) was essentially gutted and I moved on to a roughly 6 year stint in the CCV financial aid world.  In that effort, I survived Anne Dodge’s concept of ” Pile Management” — that being multiple stacks of financial aid applications that covered every level surface in her office including the floor and Maria Calamia’s Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) chaos which only she could decipher.

To break some of the tedious nature of FA work, I created the fictitious position of CCV Athletic Director which was wholly supported by then President Tim Donovan.  On retirement in 2006, Pam Chisholm presented me with a baseball cap with a CCV AD logo which I wear proudly to this day.

Jack Anderson

Former CCV Assistant Academic Dean for Student Services 1989 – 1994
Presently, CCV Faculty member at the Morrisville Academic Center, 2006 – 2013

I started working full time at CCV in August, 1989 as the Director of the Student Support Services Program (TRIO) and was hired because I had written a number of TRIO grants before and the CCV grant was due soon.

What a wonderfully welcoming place to work, I had my best ever supervisor, Barbara Murphy,  Academic Dean and 12 outstanding Coordinators of Student Support who would be working with me from all 12 sites.

The grant writing process began immediately, that’s fine, now who is my secretary who will be typing the grant for me?  We don’t have secretaries and most everyone types their own work, and here is a shared laptop that you an work on.  It was loaded with DOS.  What is DOS I asked?  Are you familiar with computers and have you used them before?  No I have not.  That’s OK because we have a computer class in Montpelier that starts tomorrow.  So how did the computer class go?  Hmmmm, I don’t get it.  That’s OK, because there is another class tomorrow.  This time I got it, and I was able to use the laptop and a wonderful woman, Marion, who worked at the other end of the hall, volunteered to type and edit my work electronically.  Whew, what great support for a new employee!

1989 was mot my first employ with CCV, I taught a class in 1972, Creative Approaches to Education.  At that time the tuition was optional and there was no pay for faculty.  AT that time I was an administrator at Johnson State and the class took place in my office.  What I did receive from that experience was a class of six who were very much interested in education, and especially one student, who became a full time teacher at BFA in Fairfax, Shirley Opstrup.  She was later recognized as the Vermont Teacher of the Year, which was super for her, however the best part for me was, we, and our families have been the best of friends for over 40 years.

Working at Wasson Hall, CCV’s “corporate headquarters”, in Waterbury was interesting because many of the college-wide meetings took place there, so I got to meet many people right down the hall from my office.  Another very pleasant ritual that happen once a month at Wasson was a “potluck birthday party” for everyone who’s birthday was in that month.  This certainly did a lot to develop strong esprit d’corp among the staff.

In my days at CCV it was common for various groups and committees to meet once a month, and these meetings would usually last from 9:00 AM to about 3:00PM.  These long meetings were intended to lessen travel for all and to allow time for planning and organizing what that committee was charged with.  Well organized meetings were productive and any that were not, got the word.  “If I am going to drive up to Waterbury  from Bennington and not get anything done, you can count me out.”  Needless to say any of us who planned and conducted these meetings, always had this in mind as we plan what the meeting was to accomplish and who was responsible for what.

Early on I realized that  CCV people were very committed to the college’s mission and to one another in a supportive team mentality.  I observed that the most successful people at CCV were highly work centered, and the focus was on supporting our students and making the college a successful place, and that reputation was “out there” in all of the 12 communities the college served.  Then, and now the commitment to student learning and support are the key ingredients that keep new students enrolling with successful conclusions, whether they graduate or transfer.  CCV’s ever increasing enrollment and graduating classes is a tribute to the quality of education CCV gives it’s students and is indeed the “word on the street” that… “keeps ‘em comin’”.

When I retired from Vermont Tech in 2006, I started teaching classes at Academic Center in Morrisville, and over this short time I could cite many success stories that would be interesting and could easily document students change and growth.  But the one story that I like the best is about Nate, an Iraq veteran who came to my Dimensions class with some PTSD and certainly a no-nonsense outspoken and fairly entrenched approach to everything.  Nate laid it all out and in language that was more fitting for an angry pirate.  It even encouraged some of the other male students to think they could get away with it too, despite my constant reminder that such language was not appropriate anywhere and especially in college classrooms.  Nate got better, but still needed reminding about his choice of adjectives.

Nate showed up in my class the next semester and I was glad of it.  We spoke at the beginning of the class about using appropriate language in class, and he said he’d give it his best try. He made it through the entire class without one swear word.  On the last day, we had a potluck lunch and enjoyed the last opportunity to socialize as a class, and Nate hung back to help clean up.  He said after we cleaned up, “Did you notice that I didn’t fucking swear once during your class?”  I responded, “Yes, I did and that is just one example of your growth here.”  The last I heard about Nate was he enrolled in the nursing program at Norwich University.  It is my observation about students, if you can visibly see some growth in them, you know they are open minded enough to learning new and even complicated things.

David Buchdahl

Former Coordinator of Instruction and Advisement, Regional Director, Academic Dean,
Director of Institutional Research and Planning

There were no computers.  There were also no deans, no financial aid counselors, and no site office managers.  It was 1983, and I was starting a new job as a Coordinator of Instruction and Advisement (yes, CIA) in St. Albans.  Like all ten other CCV sites (Rutland hadn’t opened yet and Winooski was brand new), we had a secretary (the now legendary Maryellen Lowe) and two other coordinators who taught me everything I needed to know about my new job – Pixley Tyler Hill who was the first coordinator hired in St. Albans and Joan Kaye, one of five Student Service Coordinators hired to teach the first Dimensions of Learning classes which had been created just a couple of years earlier as a special course for CCV’s adult students, then about 90% of our student population.  Plato’s “Republic” was already part of the standard reading in Dimensions, and Joan’s classroom, a dark-paneled windowless room in the back of our site was aptly called “the cave”.    It was one of two classrooms in the site — the other an open space, also with no windows, was where we taught Degree Planning Seminar, a one-credit course where students were asked to demonstrate how their CCV learning contributed to competence in ten different areas, including self-awareness, mechanical competence, and moral david12 copyreasoning.  Ah, those were the days!

The site itself had most recently been a women’s clothing store, so the only windows were in the large lobby, formerly the “showroom.”  My office, separated from Pixley’s by pieces of particle board nailed to 2-by-4s, had been a changing room.  It was four by six, and it was there, that I began to learn how much students needed and desired what CCV had to offer – local, affordable, accessible higher education.  We take it for granted now, then it still seemed like a miracle!

It was a simpler organization in those days.  As I said, no computers and many fewer positions than exist today.  Sites had a secretary and one, two or three coordinators, and there were about a dozen other people who worked in the central office on the second floor of a bank building in Montpelier before we moved to Wasson Hall in Waterbury where we stayed for nearly 30 years.   When we registered someone, we filled in the information on those old multipage carbon forms – with a white one for the student’s file, a green one for the business office, a yellow for financial aid, orange for the registrar and pink for the student.   If you could remember which color went where, you were qualified to be a coordinator!  We coordinators wrote down the cost of all the courses – about $30 per course, added the $10 registration fee and told the student to go pay at the front desk.   I’m sure there was financial aid available, but I have no recollection of how students went about getting it.   Seemed to me most students scraped together the $50-$100 they needed for the semester, but no doubt my memory is faulty.  My first week on the job (January during registration – yes, the practice of CCV starting new employees during registration is an old one) – I got caught in a snow bank delivering course lists to stores up and down Routet 7 from Milton to Swanton and back to St. Albans.  I don’t think we mailed course lists in those days – it seemed easier to have new employees who didn’t know how to do anything else go and deliver them.  And I got to sell books, too.  I drove down to Milton High School where we offered some of our classes. (There were almost no classrooms in CCV buildings in those days.  We thought it was a virtue to save taxpayers and the state of Vermont money by utilizing public school classrooms in the evening when they were not in use.  It severely limited our ability to offer daytime classes, but that didn’t seem like a problem at the time, and there was nothing we could do about it anyway. )  So I sat in the lobby of Milton HS with boxes of books that I lugged in from my car, and as students came in looking for their class I intercepted them, told them I could sell them the books they needed and where there classroom was.  It all seemed to work fine, except when I couldn’t make change.   Then I’d arrange to meet the students during their first break, having run in the meantime to the closest convenience store to get the change I needed.  Nothing to it.

Among my most enjoyable memories from my earliest days at CCV were regional coordinator meetings, when coordinators from the northern region or the southern region would get together to discuss a variety of issues.  Remember there were no computers, so no e-mail, and no way to easily transmit information unless you wanted to rely on the US mail, which of course required that someone laboriously type a document, and have copies made and mailed to a site, where a circulation tab could be attached to it and then handed to the first person expected to read it and so on until it was read by everyone in the office.  As you can imagine, not much mail ever got sent.  So the way we were kept up on the things was to attend a regional meeting once a month where we would sit around a table and hear from our regional director about whatever we needed to know.  And because some of us were driving considerable distances to attend the meetings, they tended to last all day – beginning around 9:00 and ending around 3:00.

The atmosphere of those regional meetings when the college was still young and restless was an odd mixture of encounter sessions, laugh-ins and deep seriousness.  Most of us coordinators were relatively new to our jobs (the longest-serving was Kathi Rousselle who had started the CCV site in Newport in 1975) and we all had a very real sense that we were making everything up as we went along.  So we argued about everything, laughed constantly, trusted that we couldn’t fail, and had a sense of ourselves as continuing the revolution of the Sixties in the hills of Vermont.  We were the rebels tunneling under the walls and into the halls of the higher education establishment, filled with the promise of educating all the Ritas of the world for whom CCV offered liberation and enlightenment – out of the caves of illusion into the light of knowledge.  Ah, what a glorious mission we shared!  And if we had to drive through blizzards to attend these regional meetings, well, all the better to prove ourselves worthy of our great and noble cause. We’d stumble into the back rooms of local restaurants, shake off the snow, pull off our boots, and take up the business of creating a college that could change the world.   We would talk and talk and talk and then drive home still absorbed in the ongoing topics of conversation   There were no computers.

Tammy Consejo

Three Generations of the CCV Family:

My mother, Brenda Colburn, was an early gradutate of CCV. She also completed Credit for Life/Work Experience, and then went on to JSC

TammieC(day program) to complete a degree in Elementary Education. Married, with four children at home, she graduated with a 4.0, and at the top of her JSC class. Years later, she received an Honored CCV Alumnae award from Pres. Barbara Murphy. Now retired, she still hears from former students (sometimes two generations of the same family), that she was their favorite teacher.

My son, Joshua Larose, took courses at CCV & EDP in summers to lighten his course load during his college years. He now has a Master’s Degree, and is the only State Inspector in Vermont for energy audits.

My daughter, Sherry Larose, took one course at CCV to help her decide on a college major. She now has a Master’s Degree and is a Physician’s Assistant at Burlington Community Health Center. She is also the director of Spectrum Health Services for homeless teens. She has a special passion for her refugee and immigrant patients.

I came to CCV as a married mother of two, a college drop-out, working full-time at a minimum wage job. Knowing I was going to leave a dangerous marriage, I arrived on the doorstep of CCV with 15 transferrable credits, where I encountered Joan Kaye, Kathi Rouselle, Maryellen Lowe, Judy Comings, and Penny Ciaraldi. Despite the odds of being a poor single mother, still working full time, with support from my CCV team, I graduated with a 4.0 and was awarded an Alumni scholarship to attend the EDP Program. I graduated with a BA in Psychology, and then a JSC Master’s Degree in Counseling. From there, I earned a Basic Mediation Certificate from Woodbury College. I received a CCV Honored Alumnae award from Pres. Barbara Murphy. Later, I earned a Ph.D. in Education: Leadership for Higher Education. My career has been a combination of college teaching and administration (formally at CCV), and counseling. I’ve taught more than 1,000 students, on-ground and online, and have served too many counseling clients to count. I am currently in private practice in St.Albans and Enosburgh, Healthy Minds: Counseling, Consultation & Education.  CCV was, and always will be, my family.

Dona Welch

A Reflection on Time at CCV

I still remember the day I interviewed at CCV.  I was applying for the post of secretary to the Dean. The central office at that time was over the Howard Bank on the corner in downtown Montpelier, and the “lobby” was outside the elevator where a single chair and a little table with a coffee pot were stationed.  As I sat waiting, a tiny woman impeccably dressed in shades of grey came out and got a cup of coffee.  She sort of stared at me over her coffee cup and, I admit, I was kind of intimidated.

I interviewed first with Bill Stickney and a woman whose name I don’t remember.  After I spoke with them, the woman gave me a typing test.  I was surprised and amused.  I had many years of experience as an administrative assistant and private secretary.  It tickled me that they wanted to be sure I could type!  The other funny thing I remember from that day was that I never saw the woman who gave me the typing test again.  I’m not sure where she came from, but she wasn’t a regular employee in the office!

After my test, Bill came and got me and introduced me to Myrna Miller, the Dean of the College, and, of course, the woman in grey.  My heart sunk.  I was sure I would not get the job based on the look she had given me in the outer office!  We had a nice chat and I went home and told my husband there was no way I got the job.  We were just sitting down to supper when the phone rang and Bill Stickney asked me how soon I could come to work.  I guess I passed the typing test and Myrna thought I would be okay.

There are lots of early memories of being at CCV.  One of the first was that I remember on my first day Bill showed me my office and all it held was a bare desk, an older electric typewriter, and a chair.  I found out later that after my predecessor left everything in the office right down to the stapler had been appropriated by other people!

My office was across from Myrna’s and beside one being used by the “two Michaels,” both of whom were working on a “soft money” project.  One was Michael Rothschild and the other Michael Billingsley (not sure that’s his right last name; I can picture him but not his name).  I do remember the first thing he said to me:  “I’ll tell you my fantasies if you’ll tell me yours.”  I declined.

Other staff in the Montpelier office … as far as I can remember … were:  Tim Donovan, Bill Stickney, Tim’s secretary, Anne Dodge, Nancy Severance, Jodi Coyle, Dick Eisele, Sarah Carter, Roger Cranse, Dawn Anderson (?).  I think we had a receptionist, but can’t remember her name.  Not too long after I came to CCV, we hired Lois Hanna to be our receptionist.

I remember really enjoying working for Myrna, who was in my opinion, the most sophisticated woman I’d ever known.  Sometimes when she was speaking, she would lower her voice making whoever she was talking to lean in closer because you didn’t want to miss anything.  I think some people underestimated Myrna because she was so attractive and sophisticated, but underneath she was warm and incredibly smart and capable … clear, I’m sure from the positions she held after CCV.

Here’s another early memory that almost ended my CCV career in the first week.  One of the duties Myrna told me about was to be secretary to the Administrative Council.  At that time, the Administrative Council met once a month, as did the College Council and the Academic Review Board.  At the end of my first week, I think on Thursday, was the first Administrative Council meeting.  The members gathered in the big conference room at the front of the building.  As far as I can remember, the members were Myrna, chair of course; Peggy Williams, Northern Region Director; Nancy Chard, Southern Region Director; Tim Donovan, External Programs; maybe Roger Cranse; and Bill Stickney.  It seems like someone else was there, but I’m not sure who.

Every one was in the room and seated when Myrna and I walked in.  We took our seats, I took out my shorthand notebook, Myrna introduced me.  Nancy Chard said “First of all, I don’t want that ______ woman in the room taking notes.”  Silence fell.  I turned to Myrna and remember thinking whether I spent another day at CCV depended on how she responded.  Myrna told Nancy she didn’t care what she wanted because she was the Dean and she wanted minutes taken at meetings and that was that.  The meeting proceeded, they all went off to lunch together, and I went and bought myself a bunch of lingerie from the little shop across the street.  I figured I deserved it.

Nancy and I became close friends and mutual supporters and I felt she was one of the best people at CCV, but we certainly had a memorable first meeting.

My other duties included taking minutes for the Academic Review Board and the College Council.

The big project those first months was the first Title III grant application.  There were many people working on this project and this was in the days before computers so it involved hours and hours of retyping pages.  I discovered later that my office had a memory typewriter, but it went to OEP before I arrived.

I began at CCV in January.  In early April, Myrna and Bill came to me and told me that one of my duties was to organize the annual commencement ceremony … in June!  They told me I could form a committee, but with so little time I declined and put the event together myself … as a matter of fact, it was my own CCV graduation!  We held it at the Elks

Not too long after I started at CCV some visitors came to the office from other colleges.  I asked Myrna what they were doing and she said sometimes staff visited other colleges.  Not having any experience in higher ed, I accepted it, but for some reason it made me uneasy to have them there.  I found out not long afterwards that I was right to be uneasy.  Myrna had accepted a job as President of Monhegan Community College in CT.  I was pretty sad.  I really enjoyed working for Myrna and admired her.  We planned a great going-away party for her at TopNotch Resort in Stowe.  It was a memorable event and was the beginning of Bill Stickney’s last days at CCV.

I continued at CCV and the college undertook a national search for a President.  Chancellor Richard Bjork chaired the search committee and acted as president for the college until we filled the position, so I worked for him for a while.  I remember being a member of the search committee and helping to organize it.  One of the late arriving applications was from Ken Kalb and he became one of the finalists we invited to Montpelier to interview with the search committee.  It can still remember Ken’s interview.  He was very nervous and very sincere.  And, he turned out to be the very best choice we could have made for CCV’s first ever president.

I mentioned the Title III application above.  Thanks to the intervention of Senator Bob Stafford, CCV did receive the funding, which I think was for three years.  It enabled us to expand our operations around the state and, as everyone knows, we finally grew to 12 satellite offices in Bennington, Brattleboro, White River Junction, Rutland, Middlebury, Burlington, St. Albans, St. Johnsbury, Newport, Morrisville, Montpelier, Springfield.

Not long after Ken became president, we learned that we would be moving to Waterbury.  I was devastated; I had a small child and the last thing I wanted was to drive an extra half hour to and from work each day.  I thought long and hard and decided to give it a try.  I hated the drive, but I loved working at the College so much I made the sacrifice.

I was on the “move committee” for the Waterbury change, and I remember the first time we got a chance to look over our new space in Wasson Hall.  It was pretty awful with peeling walls and a generally dismal atmosphere.  We decided how to allocate space and what we would need.  Over the months it came together.  We would have for the first time our own Business Office with Stephanie O’Rourke leading the team.

Here’s a strange story about Wasson Hall that most people don’t know.  At some point, it had been a residence for nurses doing training at the State Mental Hospital.  I had a good friend who was an R.N. and had actually lived in Wasson during her training.  It turned out that the room that eventually became my office was her “dorm” room!

I have so many memories of CCV; most of them wonderful, some downright hilarious.  Among my favorites were the after graduation parties we used to have at Sarah Carter’s house.  The beer would flow and there was so much laughter and camaraderie.  Nancy Chard was always a merry prankster and some of our “adventures” are probably legendary at this point.  One time I remember we had an Academic Review Board meeting on St. Patrick’s Day and went to the Thrush Tavern for lunch.  The place was packed and the hostess asked us how many in our party when we arrived.  We told her and she said are you’re the “X” party (which we weren’t), but Nancy immediately said yes and we were seated.  Another time, Nancy and I were in the Grand Union in Montpelier for some reason and Nancy wrote a check for her purchase.  The clerk asked her for her GU card number and she rattled it off.  When we got outside I asked her why she had a Montpelier Grand Union card.  She said she didn’t, she just made up the number on the spot.  She was a force of nature, a wonderful friend, and I was devastated when I learned she had passed away and no one had let me know.  I miss her still.

It’s impossible for me to write anything about CCV without reflecting on the many roles and responsibilities I had while employed there.  I grew as a person and as a professional over my 11 years and took on duties as varied as forming the first alumni group with Maryellen Lowe, doing the first non-grant related fund-raising for scholarships and books, doing all the advertising for the twelve sites, working on all the publications, serving on the Gender Equity Committee, planning many graduations, being Clerk to the Academic Review Board, serving on experiential learning assessment committees, to name a few.  It was demanding and I loved it.

As I am writing this I’ve realized something.  CCV was more to me than a job.  Of course it got me started on my academic career with my Associate Degree, which lead to my Bachelor’s degree from Johnson State College, and my Master of Arts degree from Norwich University.  All along the way, I felt enriched and empowered and vastly supported by my colleagues at CCV.  Their encouragement and their love and respect were priceless.  If my personal life hadn’t taken such a turn, I probably would have ended up retiring from the College; but I had to leave Vermont for my personal emotional survival.  I can assure you nothing I found in terms of a workplace ever lived up to my wonderful CCV experiences.

Before I finish this, I want to take the opportunity to mention some particular people because, for me, CCV was all about the people.

I’ve spoken about Myrna Miller.  She was more than my boss; she was a cheerleader and a wonderful source of encouragement and inspiration.

Dick Eisele was a great friend and we would spend way too much time talking about personal and intellectual development.  He was a great help to me when I was working on my BA from Johnson’s EDP, and I don’t know if I ever thanked him enough.

Jean Coletti started at CCV as the receptionist and grew unbelievably while she was there, eventually becoming responsible for the annual commencement ceremony.  I became very close to her and hope I helped her along the way as so many helped me.

Ken Kalb was a great boss and a great friend.  I’m sorry we’ve sort of lost touch over the years.  He was a source of wonderful support and encouragement for me and told me I could do anything; not only told me but made me believe it.

Michael Sawdey was another special person.  He was another who encouraged me and I could always feel was on my side.  I was so sad when he left.

There are many, many others who will always stick in my mind for the truly great colleagues and friends they were over the years:  Pixley Tyler, Kathi Rousselle, Jan Young, Rhonda Barr, May Bottomley, Maryellen Lowe, Bette Matkowski, Sarah Carter, Anne Dodge, Diane Maccarrio, Joan Kaye, Eric Sakai, David Buchdahl, Nancy Severance, Liz Patch.  I know there are lots more, and I apologize if I’ve left someone out.

What I’m trying to say is what everyone knows.  CCV is more than a College, more than a business, more than an “institution of higher learning.”  For those of us who have been privileged to work there, it has been a family in the best sense of the word.  We had our ups and downs but the ups far outweighed the downs.  It was an exciting time.  It was an honor to be a part of it.  Thank you, CCV.

Eric Sakai

Director of Learning Technologies

Reflections on Online Learning at CCV

It was around 1995 that CCV’s President’s Council found itself glumly acknowledging that we could not deliver all of our eric2academic programs to students at all twelve of our academic centers (then called “site offices”). Access has been the cornerstone of CCV’s mission since our founding in 1970 and the primary reason why we chose to bring the college to communities around the state, rather than requiring students to travel to a central campus. But the reality was that several of our academic centers lacked student populations large enough to support course offerings in all programs. It appeared that we would have to warn students of the need to limit their aspirations to certain degree studies or plan on driving long distances to a larger center.

Fortunately, at about the same time, CCV’s Emerging Technologies Committee (ETC) was exploring a new approach to course delivery. Emboldened by the success of the 1992 Virtual Campus project, which brought the transformative communication medium of email to our far-flung college, the ETC decided that it was time to test the waters in the new field of distance education. Honestly, we had little expertise in academic technology, but at the urging of then-Dean of Administration Tim Donovan, the ETC decided to venture a single online course for the spring 1996 semester.

At the time, there were few models to emulate. Blackboard and Moodle didn’t exist as what are now known as learning management systems, and only a handful of colleges and universities had begun to deliver course materials and instruction online. We ended up cobbling together an online course using electronic bulletin board software and a Web page hand built by a tech-savvy CCV office manager named Megan Tucker.

CCV’s first online course was Introduction to Political Science, taught by the late Bill MacLeay. Because we were launching an untried delivery system, we decided to offer the course free to twenty-five pioneering CCV students, supported in the course by CCV academic coordinator and ETC member Dianne Maccario. We were pleasantly surprised by the success of the course, which included a rather daring experiment with a guest “speaker,” Senator Patrick Leahy, who participated in an online chat session with students.

ericWe took the summer of 1996 to evaluate our experiment and plan three new online courses for the fall semester. In addition to a second offering of MacLeay’s Introduction to Political Science, we added an online section of The Constitution, taught by Anne Buttimer, and a section of Science Fiction Literature, taught by CCV academic coordinator John Christensen. Both Anne and John have been teaching CCV online courses ever since—Anne in criminal justice and John in history. In partnership with Megan Tucker, John has been the guiding light of online learning, growing the program from those three initial offerings to what is now the largest provider of undergraduate online courses in the state of Vermont.