Meet the Appreciative Inquiry Team

Faculty & Staff

Lindsey GodwinLindsey N. Godwin, Ph.D.

Academic Director

Lindsey is the Robert P. Stiller Endowed Chair of Management at the Robert P. Stiller School of Business. She holds an MS in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University and a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, where she studied with David Cooperrider and Ron Fry, the thought leaders in Appreciative Inquiry.

Before coming to Champlain, Lindsey served as a research associate for the Center for Business as Agent of World Benefit (B.A.W.B.) at Case Western Reserve University (now the Fowler Center for Sustainable Value) and remains a creative contributor to the Fowler Center today. Her work has been published in a variety of journals and books, such as the Oxford Handbook of Positive Organizational Scholarship. Lindsey was recently a Journal of Business Ethics guest editor for a special issue on positive organizational ethics; she also served as guest editor for a special issue on advances in the AI Summit for the AI Practitioner Journal. Lindsey is an editor and contributor for the fourth volume in the research book series Advances in Appreciative Inquiry.

Lindsey has presented at national and international conferences, including the Annual Academy of Management Meetings. She has served as co-chair for past World Appreciative Inquiry Conferences held in Orlando, Florida and Kathmandu, Nepal and on the Advisory Board for the conference in Ghent, Belgium as well as a 2015 conference in South Africa. With a passion for helping organizations leverage their potential through strengths-based change, Lindsey has consulted with organizations including Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, the Vermont Federal Executive Association (VTFEA), World Vision, the Houston Independent School District, the California Teachers Association, Imagine Nepal, the United Nations, the American Society of Association Executives and the Leahy Center for Lake Champlain.


AnneMarie DeFreest, Managing DirectorAnneMarie DeFreest

Managing Director

My career as a serial entrepreneur was not planned, nor was it intended to be traveled in a straight line. It started with a love… a love for life, a love for adventure, and a love for people who had soul.

I graduated from Emerson College in Boston with a major in broadcast journalism and fully intended to be a “beat reporter” focused on business and politics. In May of 1987, my family purchased an old dairy farm in Waitsfield, Vermont, and I traded being in front of a camera and in the spotlight for a chance to envision, build, create and re-create what would quickly become one of the most well respected hospitality businesses in New England.

After selling my company in 2014 and taking some time to find clarity about what was next, I enrolled in and completed the Champlain College Positive Organizational Masters Certificate program. The program put factual context behind principles that I inherently practiced while building my multi-million dollar company.

I have continued to satisfy my passion for event planning by working for the Artist Association of Nantucket, California Vacation Rentals and a handful of other clients.

I am passionate about healthcare and I am a continuous learner. I am an active volunteer at the University of Vermont Medical Center as a Patient and Family Centered Care Advisor. My focus, specifically, is the difference between curing and healing individuals and the role that positivity plays throughout the process.

I feel ice cream should officially be declared a food group and I truly believe that there is nothing a freshly baked cookie can’t solve.


Jessica BlackmanJessica Blackman

Applied Practice Manager

As the Applied Practice Manager, Jessica Blackman brings to the Cooperrider Center a passion for bringing positive possibilities to life through research, listening, and clear communications. She has worked extensively as a researcher, analyst, and writer, first at the Federal Reserve Bank, then in economic consulting, and upon moving to Vermont, with the Governor's office on a report on financing high quality affordable childcare. Her work at the Cooperrider Center began with the World Positive Education Accelerator and has morphed into helping the Center connect people and organizations interested in Appreciative Inquiry with the Center's knowledge, networks, and resources. She loves music, has sung across the nation, and has a keen knack for whistling. She lives with her husband and 2 children in Burlington, VT and embraces the joyful noise of life!


 Alyssa Doyle, Sr Operations and Communications CoordinatorAlyssa Labare

Senior Operations and Communications Coordinator

Alyssa was born and raised in New Hampshire. She attended Keene State College in her home state and graduated in 2010 with a BA in Journalism. After graduating, Alyssa worked as a communications assistant at Dartmouth College's Institute for Lifelong Education, where she happily worked for two years. She left Dartmouth for the city to chase her dream of graduate school. In May 2014, she graduated from Emerson College in Boston with a master's degree in Communication Management, focusing on public relations. Throughout her time at Emerson, Alyssa was active on various civic engagement initiatives and nation-branding projects. She was one of three graduate students to pioneer the Emerson/Bird Street Civic Engagement Project, which mentors at-risk youth in Dorchester. The project provides education about using communication as an alternative to violence and mentors students through various activities such as the making of non-violence/anti-bullying Public Service Announcements.

In the fall of 2014, Alyssa, her fiancé and their puppy relocated to Burlington. She joined the David L. Cooperrider Center for Appreciative Inquiry family in January 2015, just two months after the Center's dedication. She feels very fortunate to be a member of such a wonderful team and enjoys being a part of the Center's growth. Her interests include art, reading/writing, photography, event planning, hiking and being a mom to her puppy. 


Our Student Interns


Madison Kopeck, student employee Madison Kopeck

Marketing and Communications Intern

Madison is a sophomore studying International Business with a minor in Organizational Innovation. After college, she hopes to go into the field of international relief and development, with the ultimate goal of changing lives. While at Champlain, she is trying to soak up as much information and experience as she can. Madison has a passion for learning and hopes to use it to do some good in the world.


 Michael Veneziale, student employeeMichael Veneziale

AI Operations Technical Architect

Michael is a Computer and Digital Forensics major, currently in his first year. He is from North Carolina and chose Champlain because it is one of the best schools with his desired major, and seemed like a great college overall. In high school, he attended an early college program where he obtained an associate degree. In the future, he hopes to gain a position in law enforcement.