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Let’s Celebrate Your Success!

Group of men and women dressed nicely against a brown backdrop smiling at the camera while holding awards.

Each year Johnson and Lyndon graduating seniors, alumni, faculty, staff, and volunteers are honored with awards.

Is there someone you think deserves special recognition?

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Johnson Awards

President’s Outstanding Alumni Award

This award is presented by the president to alumni who best exemplify and apply Johnson values and ideals in their careers and personal lives, have made significant contributions to their communities, and are an inspiration to current students

Rising Star Award

This award is presented to alumni who have graduated within the last ten years and who are advancing rapidly in their careers, have made contributions to their communities, and are an inspiration to current students.

Distinguished Alumni Award

This award is presented by the Johnson Alumni Council to recognize and honor alumni who have made significant contributions to the institution and their communities.

Distinguished Faculty Award

This award is presented by the Johnson Alumni Council to recognize and honor outstanding faculty members for their teaching, service, scholarship, and dedication to the students of Johnson.

Distinguished Staff Award

This award is presented by the Johnson Alumni Council to recognize and honor staff members who best exemplify and apply Johnson values and ideals in their careers and personal lives.

Athletics Hall of Fame Induction

Members are inducted on a biennial basis in recognition of their contributions to the field of athletics, outstanding individual professional/career achievements, community service, and citizenship.

Regular Membership

  • Individuals must have graduated from Johnson or another accredited college or university (and must have attended Johnson for no less than two years) and have clearly established themselves as one of the institution’s elite athletes
  • Distinguished themselves by their exceptional athletic participation (All-American, All-New England, NCAA/NAIA All Star, North Atlantic Conference, Conference MVP/All-Star, Record Holder, Leading Scorer, etc.)
  • Contributed to the success of the team and institution by demonstrating positive citizenship and teamwork which acts as a role model for other student athletes
  • Continued after graduation to distinguish themselves to their organizations through outstanding professional/career achievements, community service and citizenship
  • Serve as examples of outstanding character, courage and leadership which the institution seeks to develop in its athletic program

Honorary Membership

  • Coaches, administrators and friends of the institution who have made outstanding contributions to the athletic program; for a period of not less than five years
  • Individuals who have significantly contributed to the development of student-athletes who qualify for regular membership; for a period of not less than five years

Team Membership

  • Teams which have distinguished themselves on the playing field (outstanding win- loss record, league championship, NCAA/NAIA tournament participation)
  • Teams which have brought honor to the institution
  • Teams which have exemplified leadership, character, courage and positive citizenship
  • The induction of a team shall not preclude the separate induction of one or more of its members

Lyndon Awards

Distinguished Alumni Award

This award recognizes an alumnus/a who has achieved excellence in his or her profession and who has served his/her state and community.

Outstanding Young Alumni Award

This award is designed to highlight alumni who have completed their degree within the past ten years, and who have distinguished themselves professionally in their field of study.

Faculty and Staff Recognition Award

This award was established in 1998 by the Lyndon Alumni Council to honor a current or past faculty or staff member who has made a significant impact on the lives of alumni.

Loyalty Award

This award is a prestigious honor presented to Lyndon alumni and volunteers in recognition of their exceptional loyalty and faithful service to Lyndon.

Award of Special Merit

This award is presented to Lyndon alumni, who are or have been employed by the university, in recognition of their deep interest in, faithful service, and unusual devotion to the institution.

Athletics Hall of Fame Induction

Members are inducted annually in recognition of their contributions to the field of athletics, outstanding individual professional/career achievements, community service, and citizenship.

Traditional Member (must fulfill all four items below):

  • Graduated from Lyndon Normal School, Lyndon Teachers College, Lyndon State College, or Northern Vermont University-Lyndon.
  • Participated in at least two years as a varsity athlete while enrolled at Lyndon.
  • Made an outstanding contribution to the intercollegiate athletic program at Lyndon.
  • Graduated at least five years prior to induction.

For consideration:

  • Demonstrated an ongoing commitment to Lyndon and/or its athletic program.
  • Consideration is also given to the individual’s professional/career achievements, community service, and citizenship. 

Honorary Member (must fulfill at least one of the below listed items):

  • A person who has contributed greatly to Lyndon Athletics.
  • An alumnus/a who has contributed greatly to the field of Athletics after graduation from Lyndon.

Honoring Teams: 

  • Lyndon Varsity Team
  • Brought outstanding distinction and honor to the university for their performance on and off the court/field.
  • Significant achievements in community service.

Johnson Alumni Awards

Distinguished Alumni Award

I dark haired man with glasses smiling at the camera. The picture is taken from the shoulders up.Eric Page ’94

Eric graduated from Johnston State College in 1994 and began his career in Information Technology in September of 1995 with a company called Cabletron Systems which was a pioneer in the Local Area Networking (LAN) space. After a move to Philadelphia and reconnecting with Lori-Ann Freda (the love of his life whom he met in 1993 at Johnson State College) an opportunity presented itself to move to EMC Corporation which would bring them back to home to northern New England. After spending 7 years on Strategic Teams at EMC another opportunity presented itself to start a storage practice at a small company in Portsmouth, NH, called Adaptive Communications. As the company expanded, so did Eric’s roles and responsibilities, who, in addition to managing the storage practice across the entire organization, had five Account Managers with full portfolio responsibilities reporting to him.

In June of 2016 Adaptive was acquired by Optiv Security, a $2.6 Billion organization solely focused on Cyber Security. In 2017 Eric was promoted to be the Regional Director of the Patriot Region in New England responsible for managing 11 Client Managers producing $70+ Million annually and in February of 2020 he was asked to run the new Commercial – East team comprised of 17 Client Managers.

Eric has been an involved Johnson alumnus, having participated in several “Dinner with Boss” events over the years and volunteering to speak to student-athletes about marketing themselves to employers using their student-athlete experience to differentiate themselves from other candidates. Eric and Lori have been married for 19 years and reside in Kittery, Maine. They have been blessed with 3 children, Tegan (16), Page (16), Aaron (13) and Picabo who is a flat-coated retriever named after the famous downhill skier, Picabo Street. The family enjoys spending time in the Western Maine Mountains and supporting each other at soccer and basketball games.

Distinguished Faculty Award

A balding man with glasses and a while beard smiling at the camera. He is wearing a blue button up shirt.Tyrone Shaw

Professor of Writing and Literature Tyrone Shaw, who joined the faculty at Johnson State College in 1993, teaches a wide variety of courses from Introduction to Journalism to Literature of the Grotesque. Prior to coming to Johnson, he worked as a dishwasher, waiter, journalist and professional musician. He has been teaching a first-year seminar since the inception of that program and is advisor to the student-run community newspaper, Basement Medicine. Tyrone has taught overseas in Serbia, Republic of Moldova, Romania, and Latvia, sometimes as a Fulbright Specialist. Along with his artist wife Nance and evil twin, Professor of Fine Arts Ken Leslie, initiated the interdisciplinary travel course Art and Culture of Cuba, which they have offered four times since 2013 –now on temporary hold due to COVID. He is affiliated with the Journalism and Communications Faculty at Riga Stradins University, in Riga, Latvia, where he hopes to resume his yearly 10-day visits this spring.

He received the Excellence in Advising Award in 2008, was named a Faculty Fellow by the VSCS board of trustees in 2015, and was the first recipient of the Faculty Service award in 2020. He has published essays in several journals, numerous op-ed pieces, and is the author of Bastard Republic: Encounters Along the Tattered Edge of Fallen Empire, which received a Next Generation Indie Finalist Book Award in 2019. His research specialty is the frozen conflict-zones of the former Soviet Union.

Tyrone has also been active in his own community, serving on the board of directors of the Fairfield Community Center, and along with Nance is part of the Meeting House on the Green Preservation Project, which produces a summer concert series (in its 8th year) to support ongoing restoration work on a classic 1867 former church, now transformed into a concert venue beautifully situated on East Fairfield’s village green.

Distinguished Staff Award

A man with gray hair smiling at the camera with his arms crossed over his chest. His shirt is a gray polo.Toby Stewart

Toby Stewart began working for Johnson State College in November 2007 as the College’s Controller, with a focus on accounting, budgeting, auditing and supervisory responsibility for student billing and the mailroom. Over the years, he served on many teams highlighted by the President’s Leadership Council, the Crisis Response Team, and several groups such as the Advisory Committee and Transition Team supporting the unification of Johnson and Lyndon State Colleges. During his second year, Toby was selected to participate with emerging leaders in the VSC Leadership Series training. Subsequently, he filled leadership roles through added organizational responsibilities, such as physical plant and various committee assignments, such as co-leading the Economic Viability Team supporting NVU’s most recent Strategic Plan. From a student perspective, Toby participated in a student mentoring program at Johnson that involved both attending classes and one-to-one mentoring. Additionally, he was recognized by Johnson’s Student Government Association for his outstanding service to the Johnson Community in 2018. Toby’s most recent role with Northern Vermont University was Dean of Administration, joining NVU’s Executive Leadership Team in July 2020. Last month, he returned to the roles of Controller, serving the Vermont State Colleges as the System Controller.

His professional career began in Vergennes, VT working for the Goodrich Corporation, a Fortune 500 Aerospace Company. Toby was recruited into a financial rotational program and served as controller for 7 of his 14 years. He became a Certified Lean Practitioner and pursued other training and education in areas of process improvement. One of his most memorable experiences was joining a volunteer partnership between Goodrich and Vergennes High School that brought individuals from industry into the classroom to reinforce the relevance of the students’ high school education. Through this program, Toby was a regular guest presenter for subjects such as Consumer Math and tutored at Vergennes High School.

Toby grew up in the small town of Bridgton, Maine and attended Babson College earning a B.S. in Accounting. He is married to Gerry Stewart, who instructs for NVU Online and previously taught several semesters of Business Law for Johnson’s campus based students. Toby and Gerry have three children. The youth are at the heart of Toby’s volunteer interest, having supported the community as a youth sports coach (baseball and basketball), director of a church youth group, and serving on several boards, including Essex Junction Little League and Friends of Essex Youth Wrestling. Toby enjoys spending time with his family and all things outdoors, including fishing, camping, and biking.

Lyndon Alumni Awards

Distinguished Alumni Award

This award recognizes an alumnus/a who has achieved excellence in his or her profession and who has served his/her state and community.

A dark haired woman close to the camera smiling and squinting into the sun.Susan Teske Russell ’84

Susan graduated from Lyndon State College with a bachelor of science in behavioral science. She was born and raised in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, leaving briefly for time in Massachusetts and Maine, but returning to attend Lyndon and make her home.

Since graduating from Lyndon, Sue has worked in a variety of human services roles – a social worker, childcare eligibility specialist, Reach Up case manager, and vocational rehabilitation counselor. She has also been an adjunct faculty member in Lyndon’s Psychology and Human Services Department. Since 2015, Sue has been the reentry program and community development coordinator for Community Restorative Justice Center in St. Johnsbury, Vt. In this role, Sue works with the Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA) program.

CoSA is a volunteer-driven and community-based model for enhancing community safety though supporting high-risk offenders that are returning home to their communities after a period of incarceration while holding them accountable to pro-social community expectations. Sue’s work was featured prominently in Bess O’Brien’s documentary Coming Home, which provides an in-depth look at the CoSAs in Vermont.

Sue also is an active community member. She has served as coordinator for the Youth Advisory Council, as a state commissioner for Babe Ruth baseball, as a town service officer for Lyndonville, as a youth town meeting conference chair, and as an instructor for anti-bias curriculum with youth in schools and community settings. Sue has also been on the board of directors for Lyndon Outing Club since 2006, serving as president from 2011-2019, and currently as the fundraising chair and lift operator supervisor.

Sue has received numerous awards, including the 2003 Substance Abuse Prevention Award for leadership in substance abuse prevention, 2005 Agency of Human Services Secretary’s Community Award for leadership with the Youth Advisory Council, 2005 Unsung Heroes Award for excellence in community services, and the first annual statewide Working with Youth Award in 2008.

Sue believes that family comes first, followed closely by friends and community. She enjoys the beauty of the mountains, time spent in her garden, volunteering at the Lyndon Outing Club, learning something new every day, and listening to stories of other humans.

Outstanding Young Alumni Award

This award is designed to highlight alumni who have completed their degree within the past 10 years, and who have distinguished themselves professionally in their field of study.

A young man with glasses wearing a suit and smiling at the camera.John Kleinhans ’12

John graduated from Lyndon State College with a bachelor of art in liberal studies in May 2012. During his time at Lyndon, John was active on campus as a resident assistant and elected Student Government Association (SGA) president. He also served as a Vermont State Colleges System (VSCS) student trustee, leading the effort for equitable education funding for the VSCS.

John is the vice president of Strategy and Public Affairs of ImageWorks LLC, an award-winning digital marketing agency located in Connecticut. In this role, John oversees and provides strategic counsel to dozens of corporate, nonprofit and political accounts across the northeast.

John has committed much of his time and energy to public service in a variety of roles on boards and commissions. This passion was formed during his years at Lyndon State College when he served as SGA president and as a member of the VSCS Board of Trustees. He has been an elected member of the East Lyme Board of Education since 2015 and has served on the Academics and Athletics Committee as well as the Finance and Facilities Committee. During his time on the Board of Education, he has supported key initiatives such as rebuilding all three of the town’s elementary schools, increasing access to technology for all students, as well as making significant investments in mental health services.

He has also served on the Board of Directors for the Greater Connecticut and Western Massachusetts Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation since 2017. John currently serves as advocacy chairperson for the chapter and successfully led the fight for affordable insulin legislation, which resulted in Connecticut enacting the most comprehensive and progressive reform in the entire country.

Most recently, John was tapped to serve on the Board of Directors of the Brian Dagle Foundation, a mental health awareness and suicide prevention organization. In this role, he works with state legislators and local officials to secure more funding for and increased access to critical mental health services.

He holds a master of public administration with a concentration in organizational management from Norwich University and is currently completing a graduate certificate from the University of Connecticut in public financial management.

John resides in Niantic, Conn., with his girlfriend, Brooke, and their two dogs, Shelly and Rooney.

Faculty and Staff Recognition Award

This award was established in 1998 by the Alumni Council to honor a current or past faculty or staff member who has made a significant impact of the lives of alumni.

A bald man with a blond goatee smiles at the camera. He is wearing a tan suit with a badge. Charles Forrest

Charlie grew up in Newark, Vermont, and moved to Lyndonville in 1982. He attended high school at Lyndon Institute and completed several years of college at Lyndon State College. In 1991, Charlie enlisted in the Army as a cavalry scout serving in Korea for a year. After returning to the United States, he finished three years of active duty at Fort Knox in Kentucky before moving back to Lyndonville and enlisting in the Army National Guard. A few years after that, he moved to St. Albans and transferred to the Swanton unit as an infantryman. In 2005, he was deployed to Ar Ramadi, Iraq. When he returned from Iraq in 2006, he transferred back to the Lyndonville unit. Charlie was deployed again in 2009 to Afghanistan for a year. After returning home, he trained soldiers until his retirement from the military in 2014.

Charlie started working at Lyndon as a public safety officer in 2004 after five years as a corrections officer for the Department of Corrections. He is a staff member who works hard behind the scenes, but isn’t seen by  many staff or faculty because he does not work the standard day shift, but he is someone that many students interact with regularly. Charlie is in charge of the fleet driving tests, regularly encounters students in the residence halls in the evenings, and is a valued, reliable member of the public safety team. He always has a smile on his face and his passion for Lyndon in evident in his work.

In his free time, Charlie enjoys cooking, woodworking, and spending time with his wife, Erin, and their five children Harper, Jesse, Andrew, Bailey, and Taylor.

A woman with long curly gray hair wearing glasses smiling at the camera with her arms crossed. She is wearing a pink long sleeve shirt.Alison Lathrop

Alison grew up in upstate New York, largely outdoors. She was not particularly fascinated with rocks, but devoured science fiction and became fascinated with how much time there appeared to have been to form the universe. She also played just about any instrument she could find. Alison enjoyed school and expected to go off to college, but had no clue what she wanted to do. Ultimately, she headed off to the University of Hawaii for her first experience with an over-enrolled university: plans for pre-med or marine biology became classes in Japanese language and literature, political science, history, and more calculus. That, plus being eighteen on her own for the first time and 5,000 miles from home, led her to major in scuba diving instead, leaving school, and discovering that she missed snow far too much to live in the tropics year-round (which is still true).

Alison returned home, joined the Navy, married, and moved to Maine to take up a very rural life. A flock of sheep, two sons, and a monstrous garden later, she found herself in a college setting for a music workshop and quite at home. Alison became one of two non-traditional students at Bates College in Maine, majoring in music, which swiftly became a double major with geology after she took a general education class and realized that geology was all about the passage of vast amounts of time. When graduate school loomed, she chose science over music given that she could always play on her own, but it would be hard to be an active geologist without more credentials. That led to Dartmouth where Alison became an isotope geochemist, which means that she spent three weeks in the field collecting the samples she would need followed by four and a half years in a positive pressure clean lab and various mass spectrometry labs collecting and analyzing data from those samples.

Alison left Dartmouth vastly preferring the field to the lab, so she embraced undergraduate teaching. First at Millersville University in the Pennsylvania State system, then at Lyndon. Millersville was lovely Amish country with some of the thickest, most fertile soils in the country, but was also nearly devoid of rocks. Alison wasn’t actively searching for another job, but when she learned that long-time Geology professor Bud Ebbett was retiring from Lyndon, she applied immediately – northeastern Vermont was colder, definitely rockier, and only a couple of hours from the Whites and the Greens – just what Alison wanted.

Alison joined Lyndon’s faculty in 1999. On campus, she has served as department chair, as the chair of Academic Standards, and was instrumental in revamping Lyndon’s INT-1020 course, Entering an Academic Community, and the general education courses. In 2012, Alison agreed to serve as the interim dean of academic affairs beginning in January 2013. In July of the same year, she was appointed the acting and associate provost and dean of the faculty. Alison shares, “I have had the best job possible at Lyndon. The students with whom I’ve worked have been extraordinary, and it’s been a privilege to be a part of their college world.”

Loyalty Award

This award is a prestigious honor presented to Lyndon alumni and volunteers in recognition of their exceptional loyalty and faithful service to the college/university.

A close up of a man's face. He is bald with a graying mustache and he has a very large smile on his face.Steve Cormier ’82

Steve graduated from Lyndon State College in 1982 with a bachelor of science in communications arts and sciences. While at Lyndon he was general manager, program director, and DJ for the college radio station WWLR. He was also a resident assistant and head resident from 1980-1982. He was a member of the Twilight Players theatre group, commander-in-chief of Bag Brothers, and intramural participant. Steve played on the varsity baseball team, served in student government, was a reporter for the student newspaper, The Critic, and co-anchor for the first live broadcast of the Linc Project in the summer of 1980.

Although best known for his popular morning show “Corm and the Coach,” Steve has a long career in radio. After graduating from Lyndon, his journey has taken him from Claremont, New Hampshire and Hartford, Connecticut to Burlington, Vermont. Steve began his radio career doing an overnight shift. He worked his way up to mornings, to music and program director. Steve was the operation manager for Clear Channel’s Northern Vermont properties Star 92.9, Champ 101.3, and 96.7 The Zone all while holding down a morning show.

Steve spent time in Brattleboro, Vermont as the station manager of his friend’s radio stations WTSA FM and AM. He returned north in the spring of 2015 to take on the director of sales position for Ken Squier’s Radio Vermont Group. He was appointed the general manager of Radio Vermont Group in 2017, while being named the prospective buyer of the group that includes the legendary WDEV FM and AM, 101 The One, WCVT Stowe, WEXP Rutland, and WLVB in Morrisville, Vermont.

Steve also volunteers in the communities he lives and works in. He has served as vice president of the Brattleboro Chamber of Commerce, board member of the Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce, and board member of the Vermont Association of Broadcasters. He serves as chair of the Fairfax Selectboard and is a member of the Little Fenway Hall of Fame.

Steve has also been a long-time supporter of NVU-Lyndon. He has served multiple terms on the NVU-Lyndon Alumni Council, filling both regular full-terms and vacancies, from 2011-2016 and 2017-2021. He was Alumni Council President from 2018-2020.

Steve lives in Fairfax, Vt., with his college sweetheart and wife, Janet Morris Cormier ’83. They have three sons, two of which are alums of Lyndon, Steve’10, Chris, and Peter ’20.

Award of Special Merit

This award is presented to Lyndon alumni, who are or have been employed by the university, in recognition of their deep interest in, faithful service and unusual devotion to the institution.

A close up of a smiling woman's face. She has brown hair.Sara Duprey Lussier ’02

Sara graduated magna cum laude from Lyndon State College as a double major with bachelor of science degrees in accounting and business administration in May 2002. She was born and raised in the Northeast Kingdom, growing up in in St. Johnsbury, Vt. As a commuter student, she worked as a customer service representative, tour guide, and receptionist at Littleton Coin Company in nearby Littleton, N.H. At Lyndon, she worked in the Conference Services Office, was a PeerNet Mentor, and was the treasurer for the Business Club.

After graduating, Sara spent five years working in the accounting industry – first as a staff accountant for a public accounting firm and then as a senior accounting associate for a global leader in the transformer industry. She returned to Lyndon in August 2007 as the assistant for the dean of institutional advancement. At the time, Lyndon was embarking on its first comprehensive fundraising campaign, A New View: The Second Century Campaign, which raised over $10 million by the end of 2011.

In 2014, Sara transitioned to the role assistant director of annual giving, where she provided leadership to and managed the annual giving program, which included the coordination of campus fundraising and direct mail, online, and telephone fundraising. Soon after, she took on additional duties in the absence of an alumni director. These duties included overseeing and coordinating the publication of the alumni magazine, providing volunteer management and support to the Alumni Council, and overseeing and coordinating homecoming and family weekend, as well as other events. Since 2016, Sara has been the director of annual giving and alumni relations. She has served as supervisor and mentor to many who have worked in the Alumni Office as office assistants, museum hosts, and phonathon callers. She also gets to know Lyndon’s soon-to-be alumni by coordinating Senior Week activities and events in the weeks leading up to their graduation.

In her fourteen years at Lyndon, Sara has served on various committees, including the Health and Safety Committee, Fun and Spirit Committee, Wellness Committee, and Academic Ceremonies Advisory Committee. She is involved as a volunteer in the community as well. She has been a corporator for the Caledonia County Fair Association since 2001 and a past treasurer; served on the parent board for the former Lyndon Children’s Center; was a member of The Riverside School’s Parent Advisory Group and member and co-chair of their annual fundraising auction committee; and served as team manager and volunteer for Lyndon Youth Baseball and Softball. Sara is also a founding member and former treasurer of a local nonprofit childcare facility, Northeast Kingdom Preschool and Childcare, which opened in 2016. She recently joined the Lyndon Institute Booster Club.

Sara resides in Kirby, Vt., with her husband Toby and two sons, Trevor and Ethan. In her free time, she enjoys watching her sons play sports, being an auntie to her nieces and nephews, dabbling in photography, and camping.

2020 Alumni Award Recipients

Outstanding Alumni Award, Johnson

This award is presented to alumni who best exemplify and apply Johnson values and ideals in their careers and personal lives, have made significant contributions to their communities, and are an inspiration to current students.

Brian GodfreyBrian Godfrey ’03

Brian graduated from Johnson State College with a degree in physical education in 2003 and went on to receive his master of arts in educational leadership from the University of Vermont in 2010. Brian has been a teacher in Vermont for the past 17 years and is currently the physical education teacher at Richmond Elementary School.

In 2014, Brian was named Vermont’s Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year by the Vermont Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. In 2015, Brian was named the Elementary School Physical Education Teacher of the Year for the Eastern District of SHAPE America, and then went on to become one of four teachers in the country to be nominated for SHAPE America’s highly prestigious National Teacher of the Year.

Brian’s passion as an educator is to provide opportunities for youth to have access to lifetime sports. As such, he created the Snow Motion Program, which focuses on making skiing and snowboarding accessible to all kids by providing free skiing/snowboarding during the school day. Currently, over 800 kids in the Mount Mansfield Unified Union School District kindergarten to fourth grades are able to learn to ski/snowboard each winter, thanks to that program.

Brian worked with Burton Snowboards to write the physical education snowboarding curriculum and is assisting in introducing snowboarding to physical education classes around Vermont. He has developed afterschool and summer programs that promote outdoor learning, with a focus on swimming, hiking, skiing, and biking and created a program to get bicycles to local children. Brian is a strong believer in integrating technology into physical education classes and has one of the top physical education blogs according to Teach.com.

Brian, who enjoys spending his free time biking, hiking, and skiing with his wife and three young children, was nominated for this award by Dr. Karen Uhlendorf, who shared: “I am so proud of Brian’s accomplishments. He is one of the nicest people you could ever want to know and one of the most energetic and positive physical education teachers I’ve seen, as well as one who is innovative and on the cutting edge in our field. We have much to be proud of in Brian.”

Rising Star Alumni Award, Johnson

This award is presented to alumni who have graduated within the last ten years and who are advancing rapidly in their careers, have made contributions to their communities, and are an inspiration to current students.

Shayna BennettShayna Bennett ’17

Raised in Belvidere, Vt., Shayna attended Johnson State College as a first-generation student and graduated with a double major in environmental science and mathematics in 2017. While at Johnson, Shayna worked with Dr. Kevin Johnston on snow leopard conservation with ArcGIS, and with Dr. Elizabeth Dolci in the microbiology lab, looking at bacteria that grow in a local asbestos mine and the impact of human behavior on that community of bacteria.

In 2018, Shayna won the highly prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and is now a fourth year doctorate student in applied mathematics at the University of California Merced. Shayna continues to excel at UC Merced. This year alone, she was the runner-up of the GradSlam! Competition and won the Applied Mathematics Excellence in Service Award.

In her research, Shayna is using finite difference methods for partial differential equations to model spatial movement of organisms across heterogeneous landscapes, with a special focus on modeling spread of invasive species. Shayna was nominated for this award by Dr. Les Kanat, who shared, “Shayna Bennett represents the type of student that makes us all proud.”

Brady RainvilleBrady Rainville ’17

Born and raised in Danville, Vt., Brady graduated from Johnson State College in 2017 having studied psychology and business management. After graduation, Brady went on to earn his master of arts in general/experimental psychology at the State University of New York (SUNY) Stony Brook, where he excelled in a demanding, accelerated one-year graduate program. Since graduating from Johnson, Brady has co-authored three academic, peer-reviewed journal articles with Dr. Gina Mireault – which have been published in well-respected journals in the field of psychology.

After completing his graduate work, Brady returned in NVU-Johnson as the academic and study away advisor, where he has become a pillar of our campus community and a valuable resource for students as he works to increase student success and retention on our campus. In addition to his work in advising, Brady also serves as a part-time faculty member in the psychology department in both the on-campus and NVU-Online programs.

Outside of work, Brady is actively involved with the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) organization. He currently serves as the leadership seminar chairperson for HOBY Vermont, overseeing all aspects of a four-day leadership seminar for high school sophomores. In his 10 years with HOBY, he has volunteered over 750 hours and was awarded 2020 HOBY Vermont Volunteer of the Year.

Further demonstrating his commitment to young Vermonters, in the spring of 2020, Brady served as a faculty member for the Governor’s Institutes of Vermont Winter Weekend, where he co-facilitated a course on social psychology.

Brady was nominated for this award by Dr. Gina Mireault, Sara Kinerson, and Dr. Leslie Johnson, who shared, “When we reflect upon former students who exemplify the value of the educational experience offered here in our small and vibrant community, Brady Rainville is truly the best example.”

Distinguished Alumni Award, Lyndon

This award recognizes an alumnus who has achieved excellence in their profession and who has served their state and community.

Douglas AllenDouglas Allen ’81

Doug graduated from Lyndon State College in 1981 with a bachelor in science in communications arts and sciences. While at Lyndon, Doug was a four-year member of Lyndon State Rescue and worked with the security staff. He interned at the LINC Project as a reporter and traffic manager and volunteered with WWLR for two years.

After graduating, Doug continued his work in public safety. First in southern Vermont as a police officer before joining the Colchester Police Department in 1984. For the next 30 plus years, he held a variety of positions, including youth services officer, patrol sergeant, and division commander. In 2018, he was named Chief of Police for the Colchester Police Department.

As the youth services officer, Doug established the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program in Colchester and received a Distinguished Service Award for youth-related programs. As patrol sergeant, he established the Police Bicycle Patrol Unit and community service officers and was awarded a medal of valor.

Doug continued his emergency medical service work with Deerfield Valley Rescue until 1984 and then joined Colchester Rescue Squad when he relocated. After 20 years with Colchester Rescue, he was named a lifetime member in 2005. Doug continued to volunteer in his community with Colchester Youth Soccer, Vermont Children’s Theatre on Ice, and Champlain Valley Skating Club. He coached girls’ soccer for 12 years with Colchester Middle School. In 2015, he was the commencement speaker at the Colchester High School and spoke on the value of giving back to the community.

Doug was on the Board of Directors for the New England Community Police Partnership, and is a member of the Vermont Association of Chiefs of Police and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. He currently is a volunteer for Colchester High School Athletics, Champlain Valley Skating Club, and the Colchester/Milton Rotary Club.

Doug resides in Colchester with his wife, Shelly Holt Allen ’80. They have two adult daughters who are both pursuing careers in engineering.

Faculty and Staff Recognition Award, Lyndon

This award was established by the Alumni Council to honor a current or past faculty or staff member who has made a significant impact on the lives of alumni.

Patricia ShinePatricia Shine

Pat is originally from Boston – and uses her Boston accent with pride! She graduated with a bachelor of art in speech pathology and audiology from Adelphi University and a master’s degree in social work from the Simmons School of Social Work. She also completed coursework in the doctoral program at the Simmons School of Social Work.

Pat worked as a clinical social worker for 16 years in the Greater Boston area before coming to Lyndon State College in 2003. She began her work as a staff social worker at Concord-Assabet Adolescent Services working with teens who had significant trauma histories. She then worked as program director at the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston for ten years. In this role, she supervised the clinical staff, developed and evaluated programs, and helped to increase the scope of mentoring services available to girls and teens in and around Boston.

Before relocating to Vermont, Pat served as the program support coordinator at the Boston Adult Technical Academy, an alternative high school program designed primarily for newcomers to the United States.

During her time in Boston, Pat also worked in private practice as a therapist and served as an adjunct faculty member at Salem State College, Wheelock College, and the Boston University’s Graduate Program in Social Work.

Since joining the faculty at Lyndon, Pat has been primarily responsible for the practice-oriented courses in the Psychology and Human Services Department. She has developed collaborations with most of the social service agencies and many of the schools in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. These collaborations have provided innumerable field placement and internship opportunities for students in the department.

One of Pat’s passion is social justice, particularly racial justice. She has chaired the NVU-Lyndon FAIR committee, a group which focuses on social justice, since 2012. In addition, she has facilitated trainings focusing on social and racial justice throughout New England for over 20 years. The other passion she has is for her students. They are her inspiration. She is honored and humbled by the trust they have placed in her. She is forever grateful to them for helping her to become a better teacher, and a better person, these past 18 years.

Pat lives in Concord, Vt., with her husband and best friend, Paul Marcus.

Loyalty Award, Lyndon

This prestigious honor is presented to alumni and volunteers in recognition of their exceptional loyalty and faithful service to Lyndon.

Dan DaleyDan Daley ’81

Dan is proud to claim that he was born and raised in Lyndon. He graduated from Lyndon State College in 1981 with a bachelor of science in mathematics and received his bachelor of science in meteorology in 1982. While a student, Dan participated in hockey and cross-country, worked at the college radio station WWLR, and was a member of the Sigma Zeta Math and Science Society. In 1993, he received his master’s in education in curriculum and instruction from Lyndon.

Dan’s 38 years – and counting – of working in the field of education included 26 years teaching math at Lyndon Institute and six years as the first learning specialist for Lyndon State College. In 2008, he joined the Lyndon State College faculty in the Math and Computer Science Department. He was granted tenure in 2014.

In addition to teaching, Dan has served numerous roles on campus, He has chaired the Liberal Studies Advisory and Curriculum Committees, served as advisor to WWLR for seven years, and has been Lyndon’s NCAA Faculty Athletic Representative since 2009. Dan has been the chair of the Math and Computer Science Department since 2012 and the Education Department since 2017. In the spring of 2019, Dan was elected by his faculty peers as the faculty assembly chair and is now in his second year in that role. In addition, Dan was also recently appointed as the lone faculty member on the Legislative Select Committee on the Future of Public Higher Education in Vermont.

Dan has also had an active role in his community, serving the Town of Lyndon as a member of the select board since April 2015, a justice of the peace since 2003, and a member of the planning commission from 2009 to 2015. He has coached hockey for close to 40 years and has been a member of the USA Hockey National Coaching Education Instruction staff since 1995. In 2018, Dan was awarded the Bob O’Connor Excellence in Coaching Award for service to the New England Hockey District. In July 2019, he was named the USA Hockey National Coach of the Month.

Dan still lives in Lyndon with his wife of 34 years Kathy Hubbard Daley ’80. He is the proud father to sons Connor and Cameron, father-in-law to-be to Taylor, and adoring grandfather to granddaughters Addyson and Willow. Dan and Kathy also have a one-year-old golden retriever who makes them laugh every day.

Award of Special Merit, Lyndon

This award is given to alumni who are or have been employed by the university and are recognized for their deep interest in and faithful service and unusual devotion to Lyndon.

Jenny HarrisJennifer Kempton Harris ’79

Jenny received her associate of arts in theater and interpretive arts from Lyndon State College in 1979 and her bachelor of science in business administration in 2017. She is also a Dale Carnegie Program graduate, Vail Resorts Management Development graduate, and a Vermont State Colleges Management Program graduate.

Jenny grew up in Peacham, Vt., on her family’s dairy farm. Although she began her college career at Lyndon pursuing nursing, a lead role in the Twilight Players production of Thieves Carnival during her first semester changed her trajectory. In keeping with her love for the outdoors, Jenny joined the women’s ski team where she met her future husband – the coach and an international student from Australia.

While raising her family in Sydney, Australia and Breckenridge, Colo., Jenny held various administrative positions in a variety of companies and industries. In 2006, when she moved back home to Vermont and accepted a position to work at her alma mater, she shared that she felt as if she had come home in every sense of the word. Jenny has worked in the Institutional Advancement and Alumni Relations Office at Lyndon for nearly 14 years and is currently the executive director of development and alumni affairs.

During her time at Lyndon, Jenny has built relationships with hundreds of Lyndon alumni and donors. She manages various volunteer groups, including the Lyndon State College Foundation, Manor Vail Society, and the Planned Giving Committee. Jenny was an integral team member for Lyndon’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign, A New View: The Second Century Campaign, which raised over $10 million between 2005 and 2011. She has helped grow the size of Lyndon’s endowment and doubled the number of planned gifts on record. Jenny is a member of the student conduct committee, served as a strategic planning committee co-lead, and led the Lyndon chapter of TOPS.

Jenny has served on many community boards, including the Father Dyer Methodist Church Peace with Justice Committee and Social Concerns Committee, the Breckenridge Ski Resort Support Group, the Peacham Historical Association Board, and as president of the Planned Giving Council of New Hampshire and Vermont. Currently, Jenny serves as a corporator at Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital.

Jenny resides in Peacham, Vt., with her dogs Bear and John Henry. She is the proud mother to son Christopher and daughter Hannah ’13. Her interests include skiing, biking, hiking, gardening, spending time with family, singing, reading, cooking, traveling, rafting, and visiting her three grandchildren in Alaska.

Outstanding Young Alumni Award, Lyndon

This award is presented to alumni who completed their degree within the past ten years, and who have distinguished themselves professionally in their field of study.

Michelle WillardMichelle Frizalone Willard ’11

Michelle graduated from Lyndon State College with a bachelor of science in broadcast news and marketing in 2011.

Michelle is the vice president of public relations and communications for the Greater Sacramento Economic Council. Through her extensive communications experience and previous work as a top-rated news anchor, she offers in-depth knowledge to help businesses make a transformational impact through public relations and communications.

Michelle has lived all over the nation, working in all realms of media communications throughout her career. She has worked for multiple nonprofits, a public relations firm, as well as a news anchor and reporter in different markets throughout the country. Michelle worked for for KTXS News in Abilene, Texas and also at WLTX-TV in Columbia, S.C. as a news anchor and reporter.

Her public relations and marketing work includes successfully rebranding nonprofits through creative and innovative marketing and communications strategies. Most recently, she led public relations and marketing for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Hawaii. Prior to that position, she was leading public relations and communications for Greater Sacramento. Through the development and execution of her communications strategy, she garnered global, national, and local media attention and held the largest press conference to-date on behalf of the business community for the leading tech giant, Amazon.

Her results speak for themselves landing media placements in Bloomberg, Forbes, LA Times, CNBC, Business Insider, American Way Magazine and The Wall Street Journal, among other media publications.

Michelle uses the skills she gained in television news to help organizations with unpredictable breaking news situations, navigating political shifts, and prepare for taped and live broadcast interviews. During her time in the news industry, she interviewed national and local business leaders and political figures. She is an expert in all social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

During her first year at the economic development group, she won an award from the California Association of Economic Development for a national digital media campaign with world-renowned performance painter David Garibaldi. In addition, she helped develop successful video collateral for the Greater Sacramento region.

Michelle and her family currently reside in the Sacramento, Calif. region. She is a proud mom to son Mason and a proud Air Force wife to a U-2, B-1, and T-38 pilot.

2020 Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees

Jason GrayJason Gray ’13

Jason graduated from Lyndon State College with a bachelor of science in small business management and entrepreneurship in 2013. During his time at Lyndon, Jason was a four year member of the men’s basketball and soccer teams.

In basketball, Jason earned North Atlantic Conference (NAC) honors in his final three seasons. His sophomore and junior years, he was named to the NAC All-Conference Second Team and his senior year, he was named First-Team. Jason scored a total of 1,345 points as a Hornet and had 836 rebounds, 145 assists, and 154 blocks. He led the NAC in blocks per game both as a freshman and as a senior. He was sixth in scoring as a junior and ninth as a senior. All four years, Jason was in the top six for rebounds per game, including ranking second his senior year. He was consistently one of the conference leaders in minutes played as well. Jason participated in the NAC post-season tournament his final three years, leading his team to its first NAC Championship appearance as a sophomore. He served as team captain for the 2012-2013 season.

Jason also played goalkeeper for the men’s soccer team. He was named to the NAC All-Conference Second Team as a goalkeeper. As a sophomore, he led his team to a NAC Championship game appearance and Eastern College Athletic Conference Tournament.

After graduating, Jason went on to coach his favorite sport – basketball. He spent 2014-2016 as the junior varsity head coach for his local high school, Thetford Academy. In 2016, he became the varsity head coach – a position he still holds. As head coach, Thetford Academy has won two back-to-back championships.

Jason’s career and professional activities have revolved around his passion for his family business, C.W. Gray & Sons, Inc. The family owned and operated business has been around for over 60 years and specializes in estate auctions, farm sales, and equipment auctions. In 2013, he started working full-time for C.W Gray & Sons. Inc. Jason went to auctioneer school and is now a licensed auctioneer in both Vermont and New Hampshire.

Jason built a new home with his wife, Katelyn, and currently lives in East Thetford, Vt., where they are raising their two daughters Alice (3) and Nora (1).

John LemieuxJohn Lemieux ’83

John graduated from Lyndon State College with a bachelor of science in physical education in 1983 and earned a master’s degree in adapted physical education from Indiana University in 1985. He also earned the certified financial planner™ designation in 2005, completed the certified investment management program from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania in 2008, and passed the certified investment management analyst™ examination the same year. In 2010, John earned the certified divorce financial analyst™ designation.

After transferring to Lyndon in January 1981 from Castleton State College, John was a two-year member of the men’s basketball team and a top runner on the cross country team. He was a basketball team captain along with fellow Athletic Hall of Fame members Bill Fitzgerald ’86 and Mike Whaley ’84. As a player, John was noted for two things: first his jumping ability – at 6’2” he had dunks in several games and often guarded opponents post players – and secondly his tenacity and work ethic. He knew early in his college career that he would be only as good as his training and preparation. He worked relentlessly to be in better shape than his opponents. He often says that the best thing he learned at Lyndon was “how to work hard, how to play hard, and how to tell the difference.”

After graduating, John was a basketball coach for ten years. At Indiana University, he served as a volunteer assistant with the women’s basketball team while completing his master’s degree before becoming an assistant women’s coach at Kent State University and the University of Pittsburgh. In 1987, he was named the head women’s basketball coach at Division II Keene State College. In his first year at Keene, his team won the Division II Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) championship while setting a school record for wins and leading the nation in three-point field goals made per game. He was named the New England Collegiate Conference coach-of-theyear in 1988. His team also won the ECAC Championship in 1989 and broke their own record for wins in a season. He has the highest winning percentage of any Keene State College coach.

In 1989, John was named the inaugural men’s basketball coach and assistant athletic director at Colby-Sawyer College, an all-women’s college that was soon to admit men. In his first year of competition, playing an NCAA D-III varsity schedule with all freshmen, his team went 13-12. Since 2002, John has served as a special assistant to one of his former Colby-Sawyer players at Southern Maine Community College. As a player and coach, he has spent 34 seasons in college basketball.

John left coaching as a full-time profession in 1993 and began to work in the investment business. In 2009, he co-founded Anton LeMieux Financial Group with offices in Maine and Florida.

After losing his left leg to cancer in 2012, John founded the Amputee Association of Maine, a 501(c)3 organization to serve amputees and their families and became very involved as a competitor in amputee golf tournaments. He is a life member of the Eastern Amputee Golf Association and, as of this writing, is the number 71 ranked amputee golfer in the country and the number 15 ranked above-knee amputee golfer. He also founded and hosts the Gorham Savings Bank Maine Amputee Open – a 36- hole tournament along with an adapted golf clinic and a corporate scramble, which is held over four days.

John and his wife, Cindy, live in Portland, Maine and Naples, Fla.

Natalia ShamsNatalia Shams McNeill ’11

Originally, from Swampscott, Mass., Natalia graduated from Lyndon State College in 2011 with a bachelor of arts in sociology and global studies. She was inducted into the Arthur B. Elliott Honor Society. In 2013, Natalia received her master’s degree in diplomacy, Sigma Iota Rho, from Norwich University.

Natalia was recruited to play softball by former Lyndon head women’s softball coach and Athletic Hall of Fame member, Jennifer Kirchoff Layn ’06. In high school, she was a two-year captain, received the coaches’ award in 2004 and 2006, was named team MVP in 2005 and 2007, and was selected as a Salem News All-Star, North East All Conference All-Star, Agganis All-Star Classic Athlete, and Boston Global All-Scholastic Athlete her senior year, 2007. She was also a member of the junior Olympic travel softball team, New England Storm.

On the Lyndon softball field, Natalia was a four-year starter and two-year team captain. She received numerous honors including being named team MVP in 2009 and 2010, selected to the North Atlantic Conference All-Conference Second Team in 2011, and was an honorable mention in 2009.

In her 2010 season, Natalia ranked third in the conference for triples, fifth in on-base percentage (.474), and 11th in batting average (.377). She led the team in doubles, runs-batted-in, and slugging percentage (.574). In her senior season, Natalia ranked seventh in the conference for stolen bases and eighth in the conference for on-base percentage (.470). She also ranked first in the conference and sixth in the nation, NCAA Division III for most walks in the season (22).

Natalia was part of the 2008 team that reached the USCAA Women’s Softball Championship in Decatur, Ill., and is currently the only player in Lyndon softball history to start a game at every position within her career.

In the two full seasons Natalia played soccer, she recorded 192 saves in 31 games. She also ranked second in the conference for save percentage and received the coaches’ award in 2008. She was nominated for the prestigious NCAA Woman of the Year Award representing Lyndon and was awarded the Athletic Department’s Champion of Character Award in 2011.

Natalia was active in the Lyndon campus community and served as a resident assistant for Student Life from 2008-2011. She was a member of the Resident Hall Association in 2010-2011; Resident Assistant Advisory Board in 2010-2011; and Student Athletic Advisory Committee from 2009-2011 – serving as secretary, 2010-2011. She was also a member of the Track & Field Club prior to it becoming a varsity sport. Natalia was recognized for her on-campus community efforts and awarded with the Department of Resident Life Promise Award in 2011.

Natalia is currently a website administrator and data analyst for Cherry Bekaert LLP, one of the nation’s largest certified public accounting firms. She and her husband, Stephen McNeill, and their rescue dog, George, reside in Richmond, Va. They are expecting their first child in January 2021.

Tyler ScheibenpflugTyler Scheibenpflug ’15

Tyler graduated from Lyndon State College with a bachelor of science in atmospheric sciences in 2015. As a one-season student athlete, he was able to focus all of his athletic attention toward the sport of cross country for four years, earning multiple awards and records.

As a freshman during the 2011 season, Tyler had standout performances throughout the season. The North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Championship took place at home on the Lyndon State Course. Tyler was able to run well with a fifth-place finish, earning All-Conference honors.

The following season, Tyler was once again able to earn All-Conference honors as well as assist the team in a NAC Conference Championship title. His finish at the New England Regional Championship improved to 65th place.

Tyler’s junior season started with multiple injuries. Thanks to Lyndon’s incredible team of trainers, he was able to build back his strength and have a successful season. A strong showing at the 2013 NAC Championship earned him his third first-team All-Conference honor as well as another title for the team. The following few weeks were a whirlwind as his 23rd place finish at the New England Regional Championship would be enough to earn him a place in the NCAA National Championship race in Indiana, along with his teammate Kyle Powers. His race result was not great, but the experience was everything he had dreamed it would be.

The 2014 season would see Tyler take the position as team captain. He started the season with a strong showing during the Open New England race on the legendary Franklin Park course with a 23rd place finish, competing against schools from all NCAA divisions. His first and only collegiate win would come during the NAC Championship, setting a course record, and leading the team to a third straight victory. Then a 16th place finish at the New England Regional Championship would earn him another ticket to the national championship in Mason, Ohio. This time the race went very well, crossing the finish line in 42nd place, the best ever finish of any Lyndon or NAC runner, in a time of 24:46.8 setting a new Lyndon and NAC record. Tyler was named NAC Runner of the Year.

Tyler credits his accomplishments to the support of his coach, Chris Ummer, who would work tirelessly to ensure his training was executed perfectly and kept his race day mentality in check.

Tyler currently resides in Pocatello, Idaho, where he worked as a wildland firefighter on a hotshot crew and recently started a new career as a land surveyor for a private firm. He is also working to create a non-profit for local trail advocacy, while still trying to run as much as he can.