Commencement Speaker

Undergraduate Commencement Speaker - 2014

Fern Tavalin, Ed.D.

Fern Tavalin is a nationally renowned creative educator and project director. Her work is recognized for technology innovation, using multimedia and telecommunication to improve student learning in the arts and humanities.

Tavalin has spoken widely about topics including arts assessment, technology innovation, project-based learning, and the development of digital portfolios.

From 1995-2005, she originated and led The WEB Project, an award winning initiative that created collaborative online processes for reflection and critique of student work in visual art, music composition, civic discourse, shared literature, and cultural exchange. Most recently, she has maintained consulting contracts with the School District of Sarasota County to evaluate their NEA-funded integrated arts initiative and with the Arts and Cultural Alliance to manage their grant-making program to arts and cultural organizations.

Tavalin holds an Ed.D. from UMASS Amherst with a concentration in creativity, an M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction from University of Vermont, and a B.A. in economics from Franklin and Marshall College. For the past six years, she has actively shown her photographs in juried shows in Sarasota, Florida and Savannah, Georgia and in the Beijing art district of Cao Chang Dl. (from Maine College of Art)

Today, she  serves as the chair of a newly established Master of Arts in Teaching at Maine College of Art in Portland, telecommuting during the fall and spring semesters and teaching in residence during the summer.

Previously, Tavalin served as the director of the Vermont Arts Assessment Project and helped to develop the Vermont Framework of Standards and Learning Opportunities. (Center for Digital Art in Brattelboro, Vermont)

Graduate Commencement Speaker - 2014

Janine M. Allo, Ed.D.

Janine is an accomplished leader-director, counselor-advisor and teacher-learner. A self-described "Organizational Alchemist" Janine uses her expertise in collaborative leadership, organizational development, communication and group dynamics and strategic planning to effect individual, organizational and societal transformational change toward more simple, beautiful, sustainable, joyful, just and compassionate living.

Currently Janine is the Chief People Officer for the Wildflower Bread Company ( based in Scottsdale, AZ, a growing restaurant company in the Top 10 of the Fast Casual category nationwide. Prior to her move out west, she was President of Kelliher Samets Volk ( ), a full-service marketing and communications company in Burlington VT, NY and Boston, that focused on building brands that connect to the "passionate networks of believers."

As an independent leadership and organizational development consultant and executive coach for more than ten years, Janine specialized in working with small and large organizations, private for-profit and non-profit agencies and community based collaborations to help them meet their business objectives. She also proudly served as the Vice-President of the Board of Directors for Spectrum (, a local Vermont organization that helps teens and families transform their lives.

Many Champlainers will recognize Janine from the latest transitional period of her career where she became deeply connected to many students and faculty at Champlain as a Counselor and as a Faculty Member in the MBA program for the past 5 years. She is profoundly grateful to have been able to engage with her students to become successful leaders who use their talents to courageously live their dreams. 

Janine has a B.S. from Cornell University and a M.Ed. in Counseling & Consulting Psychology from Harvard. She earned her Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Vermont where she focused on relational leadership.

Janine currently lives in Scottsdale AZ at the base of Saddle Mountain in the McDowell Mountain Range with favorite hiking trail directly behind her house. She is very proud mom to her 16 year old daughter Maia, an aspiring artist and son Leif, a junior at Champlain in video game programming. Janine loves running, practices mindfulness and seeks to inspire others in their ongoing journey to deepen self-awareness, find their purpose and engage their passion. Connect with Janine on Twitter @AZBrandCoach and at Linked In

Undergraduate Commencement Speaker - 2013 - Chris Bohjalian

Graduate Commencement Speaker - 2013 - Madeleine May Kunin

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