Champlain College Announces Leadership Changes

Champlain College

BURLINGTON, Vt. -- Champlain College President Donald J. Laackman is pleased to announce the following leadership changes at the campus this fall.

Dr. Angela Batista will serve as the College's Vice President for Student Life and continue to serve as Special Adviser to the President for Diversity and Inclusion. Batista served as Champlain's inaugural Diversity and Inclusion senior director from 2007-2010. Prior to returning to Champlain, she was Interim Chief Diversity Officer at Oregon State University, where she also served as Associate Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Dean of Student Life since 2015. She has also served as Dean of Students at the University of Southern Indiana. Batista will work with the team in Student Life to strengthen the College's commitment to student success and further develop a positive Champlain experience for all students. She will also continue to lead and guide institutional Diversity and Inclusion strategy.

Katie Hawley, serving as Vice President for Strategic Communications since 2015, will now add responsibility for the College's human resources and organizational development functions to her portfolio as the Vice President for People, Strategic Communications and External Relations. During her 20-plus years with the College, Hawley has led a variety of units and functions including management of the College's Board of Trustees, President's Office, Registrar's Office, new student orientation, academic advising, financial aid and Institutional Advancement. Hawley earned her B.A. in Communications/Journalism from Shippensburg University and received her M.Ed. from the University of Vermont. She currently serves as a board member of the Greater Burlington YMCA and Wake Robin.

Katherine Birrow, Special Assistant to the President, has been named Chief of Staff for President Donald J. Laackman and will serve as a member of the President's Cabinet. Birrow will continue to coordinate the operations of the President's Office, serve as liaison to the Board of Trustees and oversee Commencement and Convocation. Prior to joining Champlain, Birrow was Assistant to the President for Development and Assistant Secretary of the University at Georgetown where she was responsible for supporting and managing the President's engagement with donors, alumni, trustees and other key constituents.

Robert Caldwell, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, will add the College's Career Collaborative, Champlain's career center, to his portfolio of responsibilities. The change allows the College to build on the great working relationship between the career and advancement teams. Caldwell joined Champlain in January 2017 from The Holderness School in Plymouth, NH where he worked as the Assistant Head of School and the Chief Advancement Officer. He is a graduate of St. Lawrence University.

l-r Angela Batista, Katie Hawley, Katherine Birrow and Robert Caldwell. 


Founded in 1878, Champlain College is a small, not-for-profit, private college in Burlington, Vermont, with additional campuses in Montreal, Canada, and Dublin, Ireland. Champlain offers a traditional undergraduate experience from its beautiful campus overlooking Lake Champlain and over 90 residential undergraduate and online undergraduate and graduate degree programs and certificates. Champlain's distinctive career-driven approach to higher education embodies the notion that true learning occurs when information and experience come together to create knowledge. Champlain College is included in the Princeton Review's The Best 384 Colleges: 2019 Edition. For the fourth year in a row, Champlain was named a "Most Innovative School" in the North by U.S. News & World Report's 2019 "America's Best Colleges,” and a “Best Value School” and is ranked in the top 100 “Regional Universities of the North” and in the top 25 for “Best Undergraduate Teaching.” Champlain is also featured in the Fiske Guide to Colleges for 2019 as one of the "best and most interesting schools" in the United States, Canada and Great Britain and is a 2019 College of Distinction. For more information, visit champlain.edu.