Meet Our Faculty

Core Faculty Members are Passionate

It's a given that all members of the Core faculty are passionate about teaching, but we thought it would be illuminating to see what else might be near and dear to their hearts. Here some faculty members tell us a little bit about their own objects of affection.

Betsy Allen-PennebakerBetsy Allen-PennebakerMy impact driver is a butt-kicking power tool that helps me keep up with the guys when I renovate apartments for our property management business. It was a birthday present from my dad, a retired physicist who has taught me everything I know about construction. By example, he's imparted an even more important lesson: If you work a lot with your head, then you need to work with your hands, too. It keeps you humble and grounded. My impact driver reminds me of the patience and love with which my dad teaches me. I try to do the same for my students! It also reminds me that when you give someone the right tools, all sorts of possibilities open up.
Charles Bashaw Charles Bashaw The Coke can symbolizes the "Nature of Things" — unique and alone in its individuality, yet identical to all others of its kind and One with the Cosmos.
Betsy BeaulieuBetsy Beaulieu, Dean Wrapped in my Irish wool cape, which I purchased on a trip in 2005, I am transported to the streets and shops of Dublin, the music-filled pubs of Galway, the wind-whipped coast of Connemara, and I'm connected to generations of my Irish ancestors. Slainte!
Cyndi Brandenburg Cyndi BrandenburgI love food — who doesn't? Cooking is one of my passions, and sharing food with the people I love is a big part of who I am. I think food is so central in my life because it represents a universally common experience, yet it connects me intimately with my family, my friends, my community and my culture. Bon Appetit!
Hadley BuntingHadley Bunting Growing up in Colorado, I was a competitive freestyle skier and thought I would see how far my ski career would take me before college. Two knee surgeries later, I was glad I'd hit the books as well as the slopes. When I teach incoming freshmen, I'm reminded of the endless possibilities and sometimes overwhelming choices in their lives. It's a powerful time, ripe for asking questions. (The mini-beetle in the photo was the first car I ever bought, and she carried all my possessions from San Francisco to Boston for grad school. It's always fun to watch people punch one another when they see you.)
Alfonso CaponeAlfonso Capone Baseball is a lot like life. There is always something exciting to see, but you need to know where to look.
Erik Esckilsen Erik EsckilsenThe kid who bought this guitar, with money earned flipping burgers in town, wasn't sure he could or would go to college. Now this artifact from the distant past reminds me never to take for granted any opportunity to learn. That's why I teach.
Joanne Farrell Joanne Farrell My tattoo is, literally, a part of me. While the shamrock symbolizes my cultural heritage, each leaf represents one of the four interrelated domains that make up my life: family, friends, place, work.
Linda Goodrum Linda Goodrum (Operations Manager) My diamond engagement ring was passed down through generations in my husband's family, including his great aunt, Stella, and his mother, Gussie. No matter how many times I put this ring on, it reminds me of two wonderful women that I was so fortunate to know and love. I wear it with joy, great pride and love in my heart.
Jenny Grosvenor Jenny Grosvenor Ringing true to my core being is the jingle of four charms together with a gold heart dangling on my wrist, a loving reminder of my own now college-bound children — the hours of labor, lifetimes, and stories yet to be written held in the palm of my hand.
Miriam Horne Miriam HorneWhether it's used for celebration or comfort, frustration or fun, like language, chocolate can be adapted for any situation. And just like the world can't function without language, I can't function without chocolate! With its power to celebrate and soothe, delight and fulfill, it is perfectly adaptable and represents the balance I strive for.
Mike Kelly Mike KellyThis coaxial cable represents the connectivity between people and ideas that makes teaching an ideal profession. In my classes, I try to bring the ideas and experiences students have had together with a wide-range of outside voices that will inform and accentuate these experiences. The metaphor also works well to explain the ways of thinking that are valued in the Core Division — good thinking that is always deeply layered, much like the strands of copper and wire bound together to make the cable useful.
David KiteDavid Kite I grew up near the ocean in Gloucester, Massachusetts, but after college and grad school down south, I came back to New England. I have been teaching at Champlain College for about ten years now. When I am not busy teaching Philosophy or Core courses, I like woodworking, gardening, and playing squash.
Mike LangeMike Lange You'll find me posing with an orange chair. It's a replica (not full size) of the distinctive chairs from the Union Terrace at the University of Wisconsin. I spent many a summer day with my teachers, my students and my friends sitting on those chairs, eating bratwurst and watching sailboats glide across Lake Mendota. Good times, good times.
Jeanne Lieberman Jeanne LiebermanAn IHL book and my katana. The intellectual and the physical. The contemplative and the warrior. The dragon. Portals into infinite discrete and combined depths of power, wisdom, imagination, paths of creative spirit taken by the ancestors, still there for discovery. Fighting the good fight. Knowledge and compassion. And always on this journey: animal companions.
Bob MayerBob Mayer Melville's Moby Dick is not only a great interdisciplinary romp through 19th century American minds; it's also, um, a whale of a tale. As a historian I appreciate the book's evocation of another time and place. As a teacher I love its breadth, its humanity and its sense of wonder. Oh, and it has big fish.
David MillsDavid Mills My grandfather was an amateur rockhound. His collection included the geode I'm holding here. I can remember being amazed, as a kid, that the boring-looking rocks and minerals lying on the bench in his workshop could be transformed into the colorful and interesting specimens displayed on the shelves. That possibility for transformation is why I find this geode an apt image for my passions, some of which I no doubt inherited from my grandfather. His curiosity, patience, attention and effort revealed a fascinating beauty hidden within apparently dull and ordinary-looking rocks. I love moments of revelatory transformation, whether in the classroom, in my creation and enjoyment of art, or in my volunteer work as a community organizer in impoverished neighborhoods. In these pursuits, a rockhound's curiosity, attentiveness, patience and effort yield rewards that outshine the crystals of this geode.
Rowshan NemazeeRowshan Nemazee There is something about myths and stories of the past that I find thoroughly intriguing. As Persian legend has it, tear catchers were used by women — abandoned damsels, widows and concubines — to capture the evidence of their grief. My mother left Iran during the revolution with this one carefully tucked away in her luggage. Silence and stillness may permeate its graceful shape and blueness, yet it offers up so many layers of meaning, including the multitude of emotions that define our humanity. After all, tears are not simply spilled during moments of sadness, but in times of joy, tenderness, awe, and compassion.
Kerry NoonanKerry Noonan My friend, Therese, in Los Angeles made this gourd rattle for me several years ago. She never used to think she was an artist, much to my surprise. When I look at it, I see not only its beauty — it also reminds me of the importance of good friends in my life, and the amazing creativity of ordinary people.
Kristin Novotny Kristin Novotny The mediator Kenneth Cloke writes that "Transformation and learning require awareness and listening." This picture, which hangs on my office wall, reminds me that listening is the bedrock of everything I do as a mother, daughter, friend, teacher and citizen.
Rochelle Parker Rochelle Parker I love newspapers. While I am an avid consumer of online news, I appreciate flipping through the pages of the latest New York Times, getting newsprint on your fingers as you peruse the headlines. As a reporter for my college newspaper, I learned that there are stories all around you — look for them! Be observant. Put two and two together. Be persistent. Ask questions, good questions. And above all, write or, as my old adviser used to say, "go out and commit some journalism."
Craig PepinCraig Pepin After a decade away from snow while in graduate school, returning to my native New England allowed me to reconnect with one of my abiding passions. Whether testing my limits in races, exploring deep back country woods, or kicking around meadows with wife and sons, cross country skiing connects me to my Norwegian heritage, the natural world around us all and my friends and family.
Adam Rosenblatt Adam RosenblattWhen this book appeared, celebrating Winsor McKay's "Little Nemo in Slumberland" comic strip with beautiful full-size reprints, it was a wake-up call to me and many other comics fans: nearly a century before anyone used the term "graphic novel" or made any grimly "mature" Batman movies, pioneering cartoonists were doing enchanting, sophisticated work that rewrote the rules of the printed page. Opening up a newspaper to these giant spreads in 1905 must have been a dizzying experience, the sense of a new world opening up before you — a sense I still get when I look at them now. This book was a gift from the first group of college students I ever taught. I keep it in my office to remind me that teaching is not only about conveying information. It's about sharing wonder.
Gary Scudder Gary ScudderEight centuries ago, the Chinese philosopher Zhu Xi proposed that "if one makes no progress in his study, it is simply because he lacks courage." I would argue that his words are just as valid today. Further, I believe that one of the most important goals of any professor should be to inspire that courage in our students, and to do that we need to model that courage ourselves. We have to leave our comfortable world behind (whether it is physical or intellectual), and explore a much larger, complicated and sometimes scary one. So what better meaningful object could I pick than my one possession that I would enter a burning building to rescue: the walking stick that my grandfather made me. It reminds me of home and family, certainly, but it also represents the desire to travel further afield. He made it for me so that I could hike a portion of the Appalachian Trail with my father, and it was one of my earliest challenges. Whether I am tramping around San'a or Zanzibar or Kasgar — or tackling the intricacies of psychology or neuroscience or Persian poetry — I've always welcomed the challenge, and happily shared the journey with my students.
Erik ShonstromErik Shonstrom This backpack— which my wife has affectionately dubbed "the biohazard"—has been through a lot. An echo of my roots as an Outward Bound instructor; it bears the scars of time spent in the mountains, deserts and wild places of this country. It also symbolizes what is most important to me: time spent with my family, exploring Vermont and world. It's carried headlamps and maps for adventures in the Greens and 'Dacks, as well as smooshed PBJs and Marvel comics during trips back and forth to the library. Right now it contains a water-stained copy of Middlemarch, a reminder of my other abiding love; teaching students about reading and writing. This old pack reminds me —in the words of Huck Finn — that if things get too "sivilised," I can just toss in a few apples and something warm and "light out for the Territory" to be free. 
Patricia Suozzi Running is a simple sport. It doesn’t involve a lot of equipment or rules but that doesn’t mean it is always easy to do. Sometimes running flows effortlessly and sometimes that last mile seems nearly impossible. But no matter whether it is an easy day or a hard one, whether running just for fun or in a race, each run is a chance to challenge self-imposed limits, to overcome obstacles, and to test endurance.
Kelly Thomas Kelly Thomas I begin class by ringing the singing bowl. It calls us to be mindful and offers a respite in our often overwhelming schedules, a moment to listen, to breathe. Then we begin, ready to wonder together.
Jen Vincent Jen Vincent I threw this bowl after taking a pottery class. To me, it represents my endless quest to try, learn and experience new things. I've tried my hand at many crafts from quilting to coaching, from photography to skydiving. I find seeking out new things doesn't just satisfy my curiosity about the world, but it also gives me an appreciation for what talents we each possess. I believe in constantly exploring who you are and how you're contributing to the world around you.
Ken Wade Ken WadeI've been teaching at Champlain College since 1990, and I have never had a better job nor have I ever worked with finer people. Nevertheless, I leave the country whenever I can. I truly love my family, my well-used passport and all media which open windows to the world. I embrace the classic Germanic values of Familie, Fahren und Fernsehen.
Cameron Webster Cameron Webster I enjoy creating piles. Whether the piles are of wood, which is cut with chainsaws and then split by swinging a maul, or lists of mountains climbed, bottles of maple syrup made in my sugarhouse, books read, poems published, places traveled or friends made, I have a passion for collecting and building. It's nice to be able to see those accomplishments even though some may only be temporary or not stack just right.
Janice Gohm Webster Janice Gohn WebsterTraveling with my family, both across the U.S. and abroad, is a source of joy in my life. Whether taking a cross-country camping trip or vacationing overseas, part of every summer includes visiting gorgeous sites and making new friends from around the world. Once we've completed a trip, I'm ready to start planning the next one!
Steve Wehmeyer Steve Wehmeyer"In the beginning was Noise. And Noise begat Rhythm. And Rhythm begat everything else." — Mickey Hart, percussionist for the Grateful Dead. The bodhrán, this bizarre little goatskin drum, has been my passport to some of the most eye-opening, world-shaking experiences I've had. It reminds me never to take any object for granted no matter how humble, odd or out of place. For me, teaching and learning are a great deal like drumming. You learn to pick a pattern out of the chaos, a rhythm out of the "noise." Then grab that thread of meaning — that idea, that groove — hold onto it for dear life and follow wherever it goes!
Rob Williams Rob Williams I love teaching, travel, history, writing and music. Performing "folkgospel grassicana" music as part of a Vermont-based musical trio called the Phineas Gage Project allows me to satisfy all of these passions. Who was Phineas Gage, you ask? He was that 19th century Vermont railroad engineer who accidentally dynamited a tamping iron through his skull and lived to tell the tale. We play "music for happy brains" to creatively honor his legacy and to have phun.
Kristin Wolf Kristin Wolf As this tattered atlas will attest, I love road trips. This map has taken me places that could make a monotonic GPS device sing — as an active participant in the journey rather than a blind follower to the destination. It's funny how you can hit the road and get lost in some tucked away place and somehow find yourself.
Katheryn Wright Katherine Wright I have a complicated relationship with my iPhone. It makes me feel safe when I'm in a strange place, but distances me from my surroundings. My iPhone helps me find restaurants, organize to-do lists, and make movies. I constantly worry about where it is and if the ringer is turned off. It records my life, but keeps a record of my life. For better or worse, my iPhone changes the way I encounter the world.
Sandy Zale Sandy Zale Animals have emotions, argued David Hume, and Hume, in this as in most things, was correct. This cat is named Bacon. This cat is affectionate; this cat is prudent; this cat is wise; this is an excellent cat. My cat is always happy to see me, and I am always happy to see my cat.