Marcelle Leahy, registered nurse and humanitarian, will address Champlain College on-campus undergraduate students, and Lynn Dohm, Executive Director of Women in CyberSecurity (WiCys), will address Champlain College Online undergraduate and graduate students during commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 11.

In addition to serving as commencement speakers during the ceremonies, Leahy and Dohm will receive honorary degrees, as will former Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT).

Commencement exercises will kick off on May 11 at the Champlain Valley Expo in Essex Junction at 10:00 AM for on-campus undergraduate students, and at 3:00 PM for Champlain College Online students receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees.

“Commencement is not just a ceremony; it’s a testament to the resilience and achievements of our graduates,”  said Champlain College President Alex Hernandez. “These graduates have dedicated themselves to being Champlain Ready: Ready for work, ready for life, and ready to make a difference. We are thrilled to welcome Marcelle Leahy and Lynn Dohm, who will share stories of their perseverance and dedication, showing our graduates what it means to be human in an increasingly digital world and build a better future for all.”

Marcelle Leahy

Marcelle Leahy will speak to the on-campus undergraduate community and will be joined by her husband, former Senator Patrick J. Leahy in receiving a Doctor of Public Service, Honoris Causa. Marcelle Leahy has served medical organizations in Vermont and across the nation. She has held board positions for the Vermont Nursing Initiatives and the Visiting Nurses Association among others, and currently serves on the board of the Cancer Research and Prevention Foundation.

As a melanoma survivor, Marcelle Leahy has long been recognized for her commitment to promoting the early detection of skin cancer. She has spent her life advocating for Vermonters alongside former Senator Patrick J. Leahy, championing initiatives to improve access to healthcare, economic opportunity, justice, and equal rights and has been applauded for her ability to bring people together across political boundaries.

Former Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT)

Lynn Dohm will address Champlain College Online undergraduate and graduate students and receive a Doctor of Science & Technology, Honoris Causa. Under Dohm’s leadership, WiCyS was established as a leading model of how a collaborative, multi-organizational approach can strengthen the cybersecurity workforce. Dohm has been recognized for her expertise and commitment to improving accessibility and opportunities in cybersecurity, enhancing the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women in the field.

Dohm has an extensive background in cybersecurity workforce enterprises and has held various roles in the field. She actively participates in grant-funding programs and nonprofits that aim to bridge critical cybersecurity workforce shortages. Before her involvement with WiCyS, Dohm was instrumental in launching the Community College Cyber Summit. She has also worked in various roles with the National CyberSecurity Training & Education Center, the Center for Systems Security and Information Assurance, and Cybersecurity Competition Federation, among others.

Lynn Dohm

In addition to the honorary degree recipients, student commencement speakers will address their fellow graduates in each of the two ceremonies. Annabel Kusnitz, representing on-campus undergraduate students, is graduating with a Professional Writing degree and is originally from Woodbridge, Connecticut.

Selebika Saniyo, representing Champlain College Online undergraduate and graduate students, is completing his MS in Information Security and is from the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.

For more information about Champlain College’s 2024 Commencement ceremonies, and to see a livestream of both ceremonies and bios of our commencement speakers, visit

Champlain Media

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