Champlain College a key business resource

By John Burton

As the president of NPI, a South Burlington-based managed IT services firm, I am an enthusiastic supporter of Champlain College's technical programs. Our first hire 25 years ago was a Champlain graduate who majored in chip production, but ended up being interested in servicing computer networks.

My business partner Eric Hart and I are continually amazed at the caliber of applicants we see from Champlain. They consistently display an impressive balance of theoretical and practical knowledge. This is vital to our business, because we are tasked with the monitoring and proactive maintenance of networking infrastructures.

Two years ago we hired Spencer Goddard, class of 2013, as an intern. He worked full-time for two summers and once a week during the school year on extensive research projects, as well as the implementation of key business software. Just last month he was awarded the Outstanding Computer Networking & Information Security Student Award at an annual honors event. We are very pleased to welcome him as a full-time employee, starting in June.

Recently we hired another Champlain graduate, Michelle Loveday, who graduated in 2010. She worked at a local firm and found us by connecting with the Champlain career center. Her degree in digital forensics makes her a great asset to our team.

We look forward over the next year to working with Champlain College Associate Professor Jim Hoag, who will be on a sabbatical from his usual technology instruction. Part of his time will be spent at NPI, observing workflow procedures and applying his experiences to curriculum development and to enhance his student project mentoring.

Over the years I have taught several IT courses at Champlain and Eric has been a guest speaker on many occasions. NPI has donated to Champlain development projects and views Champlain College as a key resource that has contributed to the success of many local Vermont businesses.

John Burton is president of NPI in South Burlington.

Originally printed in the Burlington Free Press, May 9, 2013

Since 1878, Champlain College has provided career-focused education to students from its hilltop campus in Burlington, Vt. Champlain's distinctive educational approach embodies the notion that true learning only occurs when information and experience come together to create knowledge. Champlain offers traditional undergraduate and online undergraduate courses, along with online certificate and degree programs and 11 master's degree programs. Champlain offers study abroad programs at its campuses in Montreal, Quebec and Dublin, Ireland. Champlain College is included in the Princeton Review's The Best 379 Colleges: 2015 Edition. Champlain was named a "Top-Up-and-Coming School" by U.S. News & World Report's America's Best Colleges and is ranked in the top tier of 2014 Regional Colleges in the North. For more information, visit

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