President’s All College Update: April ’19

05 Jun 2019

Welcome back from break week!  I hope you all are recharged and ready for the final push for the year to exams, senior projects and Commencement right around the corner!


On April 1st, The House gave final approval to its FY2020 budget, including a $3 million increase to the Vermont State Colleges System base appropriation. The budget now moves on to the Senate. The House removed the language requiring the colleges to freeze tuition, but the Governor’s original budget includes that stipulation. The bill does not increase the base appropriation for UVM or VSAC. This is two thirds of the way away from approval. Communication with home Senators seeking approval of the VSCS appropriation is appreciated!


Registration for the summer and fall 2019 semesters is now open! As a sign of their new collaborative work as the “one-stop” office for all student services, the team recently made changes to the Registrar and Registration web pages. Students and faculty are encouraged to view the website which includes functional, easy access to information regarding the Registration process.  The redesign makes the site a resource tool for both counselors and advisors when guiding students. Registration for current students is available until April 26th, so talk with your academic advisor soon.


“The founder of a global analytics firm, a nurse educator, a highly regarded chief of police, a public safety consultant, and an economic development specialist are all being honored by the Vermont State Colleges System as 2019 Hall of Fame inductees,” began the press release about the March 14, 2019 event. Our own Dr. Amanda Perkins was inducted at the Vermont Tech inductee for the example she sets as someone who changed majors to pursue nursing while working in the field, culminating with her doctorate. We are so proud of Amanda and welcome her to the short list of distinguished Vermont Tech Hall of Fame members. The event has raised over $100,000 each of the last three years for student scholarships and is expected to add to those fund again this year.


The Multicultural Club decided to take a trip for the first weekend of spring break to Niagara Falls (the American side). While there, the group explored Old Fort Niagara, the falls, and visited the Niagara Aerospace Museum. The Fort’s history extends back nearly 300 years that included active military encampment up until the 20th century. During their trip, Multicultural Club students saw live reenactments in living history programs. We understand that no student attempted to jump the falls either. It’s a wonderful opportunity to see more of the country and expand your education at the same time. I encourage all students to explore history and diversity to enrich their college experiences!


The Senior Project schedule is in full swing. The college community has received a few save-the-date emails already about final presentations in Architectural Engineering Technology, Computer and Electrical Engineering Technology, Electromechanical Engineering Technology, Computer Information Technology, and Computer Software Engineering. Marketing’s Savannah Simonds has been working with many teams again this year, and the marketing department has just launched a new web page in support of the capstone experience at Vermont Tech, called The Lab. My sincere thanks to all the faculty and students who are participating in these videos. This content is instrumental for helping future students to be able to see themselves here through these stories. Thanks too for Savannah’s hard work coordinating with all the faculty and project teams, videography, and editing too!


For the second time, coach of the men’s basketball team Alex Tyrrell has been name the YSCC Coach of the Year for 2018-19. According to the Athletic Department’s recent press release, Coach Tyrrell deflects his recognition on to his players by saying, “the guys have shown they are coachable, and together we have had success throughout the season.” I think that student-centeredness is one of the many reasons Alex continues to win this accolade from his peers. Congratulations, Alex!


Speaking of success in basketball, the men’s team really did have success throughout the regular season that helped them secure a national tournament bid and reach through several brackets to the semifinals. The team they ended up losing to, Penn State Wilkes-Barre, was the ultimate winner of the conference in the finals. Two team members received recognition from YSCC with Senior Tyrone Hilson being named to the All-Conference First team. Junior Jeremiah Shaw was named to the YSCC All-Conference Second team. Both men lead the Vermont Tech team in average points per game and had excellent shooting skills. The men’s and the women’s teams have accomplished much this year and we couldn’t be prouder of all they have achieved!


On Friday, February 22, Sarah Ferland and Schylar Corsones-Brown were recognized at the 2019 Engineer’s Week Banquet as the Student Engineer and Student Engineering Technician of the Year, respectively. The ceremony is part of E-Week, the national celebration of Engineering Professionals and their work. Several Vermont Tech students were nominated for these by program faculty for demonstrating academic excellence, student leadership, professionalism, and engineering-based analysis and problem solving. Nominees for awards this year include Jarek Hammerl, Skylar Corsones-Brown, Tyler Couture, TJ Derose, Brandon Hanley, Chandler Prue, Aaron Hogan, Justin D’Amour, James Kilgus, Sarah Ferland, and Kyle Celley. Congratulations to Sarah and Schylar, and the outstanding nominees!


We have been getting a steady stream of contributions on our Knights in the Know form, our electronic suggestion box with about 10 in the last four months. Most have been about cost savings or finding efficiencies with ideas about lowering the retirement age for the early retirement offers, adding “donate now” buttons to web pages of departments and offices that need it the most, examining the viability of the digester in the long term, and changes to healthcare options. The vast majority of the submissions have been anonymous, so we have not had the luxury of reaching individuals to close the loop with them on their ideas so we want to assure all of you that all ideas are welcome and encouraged. We consider all of the suggestions sincerely and appreciate the time folks are taking to share provide their input. Keep those ideas coming!


Hard to believe we are already talking about graduations, but it is never too early to commit to volunteering for these signature events. These ceremonies mark the milestone we work toward for all our students. The first round of ceremonies is the graduation event for our apprenticeship programs on April 27th. Please contact Carrie Wright to volunteer. Thanks in advance for your time.