I got a scholarship to come to the United States when I was 15, and I went to high school at St. Johnsbury Academy in Vermont. I decided on Champlain because I like the size of the school, and I heard they have a great accounting program. In Accounting, everything makes sense. To sit for the CPA exams, I added a Finance minor.
This summer I will have my third internship with one of the big four accounting firms in Boston and I've already started receiving my acceptance letters from graduate schools. Eventually I want to go home and help contribute to my country through the small businesses there.
Lawuo, Accounting majorGbarnga City, LiberiaDIVISON OF BUSINESS
"As a teacher, I am a lifelong learner and believe that education is power. One should never stop learning," says Jodi. Graduate work at Champlain is already paying dividends for her; she applies what she learns in the master's program in her classroom. "I have gained many ideas and have become more confident in my teaching," she says. "The master's courses have validated my love of play and have made me see the importance of play in the classroom and how much learning happens during this time."
The opportunity to study with stimulating professors such as Laurel Bongiorno, program director for the master's degree in Early Childhood Education, was a big factor in LeBrun's decision to pursue her graduate degree at Champlain. "The professors at Champlain were always willing to help when needed, granting extensions or offering some inspiring words, to get me through my undergrad degree. Laurel was one of my professors. When I saw her name attached to the master's program, I knew I had to look into it because she was such a wonderful professor before, and I wanted to work with her again," says Jodi. "After meeting with her and hearing how inspired and excited she was to have this graduate program at Champlain, I just had a feeling it was for me."
"Champlain is a school where you dive right into your major. They give you the right classes so you know if you really want to be doing your major for a living. They give you inspiration for your career. My teachers are always offering office hours. They encourage us to come see them whenever we need help. It definitely gets away from the stereotype of a large college where you're just a number. There's no distance between the students and faculty.""Burlington feels right. There are so many things to do outside of class, including events downtown that can be used in school. I can go to see a local band then write about it for a class in my major. Burlington has become where I live, not just where I go to school. I fell in love with the place. Champlain seems as if it were meant to be here. It has become part of the city."
Jude, Management of Creative Media majorWilliamstown, MADIVISON OF BUSINESS
"The Champlain MBA program is helping me develop skills for concepts that I didn't think I was good at - leadership, accepting full accountability for success or failure. Creating a vision for something to present to someone above me was not something I ever saw myself having the ability to do; I saw myself as the doer, the worker bee, the one who helps other people realize their vision.
"The further I've progressed through the program, the more I can see the steps to taking an idea of my own to completion, and I can see clearly how that can benefit my employer right now. In fact, everyone I know in the program talks about how happy their employers are about what they are learning at Champlain."
Corrinn, MBA student
Ariana is using her mix of traditional and emerging arts education along with cutting edge technology to build her graphic design masterpieces. "Studying traditional fine arts helps teach us about form, structure, shading techniques, color usage and even abstract theories, all aspects that are also applied to graphic design. Important as it is to learn the latest digital techniques, having a knowledgeable grasp on where the ideas behind such techniques come from is equally important. Having a better understanding of fine arts and how they apply to emerging arts has greatly helped me to improve overall as a graphic designer."
"The division offers a number of assets that I wouldn't be able to find anywhere else. From Day 1, I was taking actual design classes that were both interesting and useful for my career goals. Champlain also offers the latest and best technologies that students are able to take advantage of. Whether it's using the brand new computers and programs in the Perry Barn Studio or equipment like cameras and light kits, literally anything needed for generating the best-quality creative media is made available for free student use."
Her best masterpiece, however, is just that—herself.
Ariana, Graphic Design and Digital Media majorWest Chester, PADIVISON OF COMMUNICATION & CREATIVE MEDIA
My experience with the Champlain M.Ed has been amazing. The philosophy about what the program was about was very much in line with the education I that I was actually teaching, so it was a great fit. As a teacher and a new mother I needed something that worked at my pace, so I go in when I have a chance and sometimes that's at five o'clock on a Saturday morning and everything is available and ready for me, my professors get back to me in a timely manner.
The professors could not be any more invested in "Angie the teacher" and making sure that I know to the fullest extent what is developmentally appropriate for children. And they also making sure that I'm having fun with it. The assignments go anywhere from reading about theories to teaching an activity that involves Vygotsky's scaffolding method of education. You're not regurgitating theories. My professors are on speed dial and I can contact them at any time. I felt very welcomed from the first day and I continue to feel really welcome.
The residency in Orlando was the best experience I've had, I think second only to getting my own classroom, in all of my education years. Meeting all of the other candidates and my professor, meeting unbelievable experts in early childhood education, and just immersing myself in that culture for a week was hands down the best experience for me a teacher. I thought I would have liked it more if I was younger, but even ten years into teaching, I still got so much out of it, and brought back tons on information.
For Tevin, Champlain helped him break out of his shell and find his voice both literally and figuratively. "I've become more expressive. I'm better able to speak for myself and stand up for myself, and I've become more confident. I'm definitely more social now, and I've made a ton of new friends."
"Something I discovered while attending Champlain that I'd really like to do, now that I've started coming out of my shell a bit, is voice-acting. That's acting out the role of a character in speech only as opposed to playing them physically. I voice-acted for a computer game called You Dunnit that a group of seniors created. That's definitely something I'd like to look into when I get out of college. Maybe I can get a job at a game studio."
Tevin, Creative Media majorBranford, CTDIVISON OF COMMUNICATION & CREATIVE MEDIA
For Kelly, the answer to the "where" question quickly pointed to Champlain College. "I knew it was a good school. Plus, the daytime commitment of Master's programs elsewhere simply would not have worked," she says.
"It's really different when you're managing versus doing. To lead in technology, you need to know what's coming upstream - and where it's going downstream."
As for the Champlain Master's program, Kelly summarizes things this way: "It has really helped to round out my career. As I constantly tell all my nieces and nephews, technology is not going anywhere but up. It's always going to be with us. And there are good jobs in technology, right here in Vermont."
Kelly, MBA student
Ariel chose to major in psychology because she loves helping people. She's completed internships at Fletcher-Allen Hospital and at the Sustainability Academy, which serves children from the refugee resettlement community. "These experiences really helped me gain a broader entrance into helping a variety of people," she says.
Ariel is excited about the possibility of giving back what she feels she's been given. "I'd love to work with college students someday; they always have a fiery passion for what they're doing. I've received such great assistance from Champlain's faculty and staff. My education here has really opened up my world. I'd like to help other students have the same experience and help them achieve the goals that they have for their lives. I think there is something invaluable in that."
Ariel, Psychology majorArlington, VTDIVISON OF EDUCATION & HUMAN STUDIES
Megan completed her first internship working for the Vermont Department of State's Attorney's Office just after her freshman year. She went on to complete three additional internships at the Maine State Computer Crimes Unit, TASC Inc., and the Leahy Center for Digital Investigation between her freshman and senior years. She performed groundbreaking research in digital forensics and has had her work published. She completed two service trips and was a peer advisor, student ambassador and tutor. She was also student speaker for U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy and was voted Student of the Year for Computer & Digital Forensics for two consecutive years. She was offered a full-time, high-paying job months before her graduation date. She's currently pursuing her Master's degree in Digital Forensic Science at Champlain.
For Megan, success began on Day 1 at Champlain College and didn't stop after her graduation.
Megan '12, Cyber Security Forensic Analyst, TASC, Inc.M.S. Candidate, Digital Forensic Science, Champlain CollegeB.S. in Computer and Digital Forensics, Champlain CollegeWashington, D.C.
Laurel knows her role goes beyond the classroom. "I traveled to Europe, worked for a professor, served as a resident assistant and taught school in two countries. I am more than just an education student."
"Champlain has made me more confident. I gained a lot of good skills to market myself. I learned to write well and am proficient in several software programs. In the schools where I train, the teachers like the Champlain students and know that we are on top of things. Other college students usually intern in their senior year for only one semester, so they lack long-term contact and experience."
"After graduation, I do plan to teach, perhaps overseas. I like being out of my comfort zone. That's something I would not have known if I had not come to Champlain. I feel I'm ready to do many things."
Laurel, Middle School Teacher Education majorIpswich, MADIVISON OF EDUCATION & HUMAN STUDIES
"The best resource I've found in terms of preparing for a career is the school's Career Services Office. My career adviser does a great job helping you prepare your resume and look for internships. He sends out emails about prospective employers and is there for anything else you might need. The Career Services department here is really, really good. They cannot get enough credit."
"Academically, the technical courses here are taught by people who really know their stuff. They're not afraid to challenge you."
Patrick, Computer Networking & Information Security majorAverill Park, NYDIVISON OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & SCIENCES
Russell came to Champlain with a dream in mind. The Upside-Down Curriculum let him jump into graphic design classes right away, and he took advantage of Champlain's BYOBiz program to launch his own apparel imprint business, Imag3. He collaborated with students to create a business plan and teamed up with gaming students who studied at Champlain's Montreal campus to retool his web site for ecommerce. During his senior year, he worked with international business students to print apparel for the Slam for Sudan, a basketball contest raising money to help new American Sudanese refugees.
"It's a lot of work and sometimes stressful," he admits, but also "a lot of fun." Russell is getting involved with area artists because "t-shirts are a moving canvas and a perfect showcase for local talent." His business niche? "Creating threads that support all types of riding, on wheels, snow or water."
Russell '09, Owner and Creative Director, Imag3 B.S. in Multimedia & Graphic DesignBurlington, VT
Core curriculum was one of the main reasons Allison came to Champlain. "I really like my Core classes because I can apply my knowledge and see how things connect in a variety of fields. Being able to think from different perspectives is a great learning opportunity. It gives you a tool set you can apply to any field."
"I went to Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Spain and Switzerland. Traveling made me realize how similar places can be. We may speak different languages, but we're not all that different. It was nice to learn that I can travel anywhere in the world and feel I can communicate with the people there."
Allison, Computer Science and Innovation majorBrookline, NHDIVISON OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & SCIENCES
In his teens, Daniel wrote the program and designed the interface for a simple game based on the board game Mastermind. "That's when I decided that I wanted to pursue a career in game development," he says.
Daniel was offered several tuition-free opportunities at well-known schools, but "turned them down in a heartbeat because they didn't have the top-down, Upside-Down [Curriculum] model for teaching," he explains. "At Champlain, I was able to go right into a major that just doesn't exist other places."
Daniel took advantage of the opportunities offered by the Emergent Media Center,working on a project to teach information literacy and on a virtual worlds business management tool for IBM. Less than a month after he graduated, Daniel started as a technical game designer at Gameloft, a leading global publisher of digital and social games located in Montreal, Canada.
Daniel '11, Game Designer, GameloftB.S. in Electronic Game and Interactive Development (Design)Certificate in Business ManagementMontreal, Quebec, Canada
Ryan completed his first internship with IBM's Lotus Software Groups before graduating from high school. Once at Champlain, he was able to work remotely from his dorm room and spend his summers in various software labs. He completed three different internships with IBM between his first and third years at Champlain. "I was starting to see what it was really like to be in this sort of industry."
Ryan went on to join MITRE, a not-for-profit research company that serves a variety of government divisions. "MITRE offered me the chance to work with Google's latest Android operating system for mobile phones in one of their research projects," Ryan explains. In his senior year, MITRE sent Ryan to Google I/O, a conference for developers involved in Google software. Shortly after, Ryan was offered a full time software engineering position at MITRE. "It's amazing to me that I will be employed as an official Software Engineer after I graduate. Life is just getting started, and I strive to keep reaching and attaining my goals. "
Ryan '13, Software Engineer, MITREB.S. in Software Engineering for Emerging TechnologiesTyngsborough, MA
Cullen completed his first internship the summer after his freshman year. "I was one of five Champlain students hired at that time for paid software-engineering internships at GE Healthcare," he says. He recommends that students get an internship early in their academic careers. "At Champlain you have the opportunity to take classes that give you an introduction to the skills of your profession in your first years; take these classes as early as possible so you can get started on an internship. Squeeze in as much as you can as early as you can."
GE Healthcare offered Cullen three different full-time positions, and he accepted the GE Healthcare Software Development Program in Barrington, Illinois. Cullen is paid to work 32 hours per week while attending school full time. "I work on different assignments six to 12 months in length and getting my Master's degree at the same time. It's the fast track to the highly technical, executive career path at GE."
Cullen '10, Software Engineer, GE HealthcareB.S. in Software Engineering, Champlain CollegeBarrington, IL
"My experience at Champlain has been awesome, it's great to being people together on my professional level. The discussions have been rich, and I appreciate how it's really international. One of the students in my cohort is in Germany, there's somebody in North Carolina, somebody in Georgia, etc. It's really inspiring to remember that the work we're doing ultimately affects the nationwide system, and it's neat to hear how the other systems operate and learn from everybody's strengths and challenges.
"The faculty have been fabulous. I'm I'm really impressed with the people Laurel has pooled together to be a part of this program. She's picking from a pool of people who are dedicated professionals, and passionate about the field, and very clearly educated in their field. They are very mission driven, very inspiring. It's pretty incredible. The class work is immediately applicable to my full time work. It's neat to learn something, take it to the classroom that day, then come back and be able to discuss with your teacher and classmates what worked, what didn't work. I really appreciate seeing the challenges of academia and best practices, and trying to put it into practice, and see where those gaps are.
I love the online format because I'm so busy and I'm able to do my homework at midnight if need be, or before the kids are up. The flexibility is really great. Online learning in the field of teaching is new, and I think that the faculty have done an incredible job in creating a dynamic that feels natural, and feels like we have a lot of control over the learning environment. There's a great balance.
The Orlando residency was awesome, it was really neat to connect with people with who you've been having deep and meaningful conversations. I took a lot of photos down there, and I still revisit them and laugh. It's really important to touch base. We get to know each other so well during the discussions because we tap into meaningful and deep rooted beliefs within ourselves as educators.
Marguerite Dibble wasn't one to wait until after graduation to find her dream job. With assistance from her professors and a great deal of vision and hard work, she founded Birnam Wood Games while still a senior at Champlain College. Staffed entirely by Champlain students, Birnam Wood released its first game to the public months before Marguerite graduated.
"The Bring Your Own Business (BYOBiz) program was always there for advice and making connections. Every faculty member I know constantly asked, 'How can I help?' I participated in Champlain's annual Elevator Pitch contest in 2011 and won first place, which came with a $500 prize that I spent on business expenses." "I really liked the attitude of Champlain, that it's all about developing professionally. I applied for early admission and got in. It's exactly what I wanted. I only really wanted to go to Champlain. I loved the team dynamic. I felt like I was actually working in a game studio when I came to school every day."
Marguerite, Game Art & Animation majorLandgrove, VTDIVISON OF COMMUNICATION & CREATIVE MEDIA