Meet the New Hires Since March

We asked the folks who have joined the college team since we went remote to introduce themselves, since many of us have only had the opportunity to meet them virtually. We asked them to share three fun facts about themselves, as well as something they enjoy about their new (or not so new anymore) position at Champlain.

Brynn Ion Director of Student Success and Academic Advising, CCO
1. I moved to Vermont in March from Denver, Colorado.
2. I love wooden roller coasters (the older and rickety-er the better!) and impatiently await the day that amusement parks reopen. 
3. Popcorn is my hands-down favorite snack. We eat it several times a week in our house!
My CCO teammates! It is a pleasure showing up for work every day. Their hard work and student centered approach motivate me to work hard alongside them. Bonus: they just make work super fun and we laugh a lot!
Leigha Foy Phillips Rich Media Designer/Developer, CCO
1. I’m formally studying herbalism
2. I’m a big fan of New England folklore – and if anyone has any local stories to share, I’d love to hear them!
3. I think Deep Space Nine is the best Star Trek series 
I’m excited by the opportunities for growth and innovation that are available to my team!
Susan Edwards Assistant Director, Career Collaborative
1. I used to teach movie star’s kids how to rock climb and dance when I lived in NYC.
2. I’m a very messy eater because I eat most foods with my hands. If I use a utensil I prefer chopsticks, which cleans me up a bit.
3. When I worked in DC, I used to get gossip about President Obama from a secret service agent who I befriended through my work. No shock that he is/was super cool. (State secrets not included) 🙂
What I enjoy about my position at Champlain is working with multiple groups of people all in efforts to support career success for students. I love working with the faculty, staff, employers, alumni, students of course and my amazing Career Collaborative team. I also deeply enjoy engaging in social justice conversations with students as they have forward thinking ideas which propels Champlain College toward relevant education.
Brady  Mueller Academic Advisor, CCO
1. I love to play guitar and write songs.
2. I’m learning film photography and trying to fix old cameras.
3. I’m working on completing the ADK 46.
I enjoy welcoming new students to the CFDI and DFS programs. I get to learn about each of the students I work with and connect with them on a personal and professional level. 
Amanda Allen Integrated Marketing Communications Associate Director, CCO
1. I live and work remotely from outside Portland, ME. My favorite things about living here: the combination of scenery (mountains, oceans, lakes, etc.), and the fantastic food and beverage scene. 
-2. I have an 8 year old, black & white cardigan corgi named Dorian who occasionally makes his “big dog, small body” personality known on conference calls.
3. I am an avid knitter and crocheter and have at least 2-3 projects going on at any given time

I had been wanting to move my career into higher ed for a long time, so I’m really happy to have found a position in this industry, and be connected to a community that I feel connected to (I’m not a Champlain grad, but I did go to UVM, so Burlington and Vermont have special places in my heart). My position is agile and flexible, and it has allowed me to be involved in many different aspects of Champlain College Online in a relatively short amount of time. I’ve been here for about 5 months, but it truly feels like longer (in the best way!) due to the involvement I’ve had, and the way my team and others have welcomed me. 
Erika Brown  Compass Service Representative, Compass 
1. I am getting a golden puppy named Finnley.
2. I know all the words to Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire.”
3. I can whistle out of my nose.
I love being able to continue to help students and their families navigate college 🙂

Ryan Hicks Instructional Designer, CCO
1. I worked as a wedding DJ for two years during grad. school.
2. I like to make my own hot sauces.
3. As a kid, I had a pet duck named Tony. 
What I enjoy about my new job is the people I work with on the eLearning Team. Everyone is supportive and collaborative. I also really enjoy the creative aspects of my new position. 

Stephanie Meunier Director, People Services and Systems, The People Center
1. Lacrosse fan – Players, coach, and ref all in the family!
2. Former board member/facilitator of the Essex Community Justice Center
3. Have run – 14 half marathons  in last 11 years & still going…. 
Something I enjoy about my position at Champlain:  People who love to teach and share knowledge willingly!

Gail MacDonald Manager, Transfer Process Administration, CCO
1. At 19, University of Texas performed a play she wrote, she was declared a winner in The Texas Young Playwrights Festival contest, a contest which she never entered, but her teachers unknowingly entered her in. 
2. As a lost American in London, English Beefeaters took pity on her and let her into a private party for an English Parliament member’s Birthday celebration in the Parliament Catacombs.
What she most enjoys about her job, Reviewing Program Application Essays and getting a small window into the world of prospective student’s lives.

Shakeitra Simmons Academic Advisor, CCO Fun facts
1. I enjoy sewing.
2. My favorite TV show is Grey’s Anatomy.

3. I have 10 siblings.
What I enjoy most about my job is welcoming new students and hearing their excitement.
Oliver Brooks Academic Advisor, CCO
1. I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York
2. I scuba dived the Great Barrier Reef when I was in high school.
3. Keeping with the theme of Burlington, I am a huge Phish Phan and love attending Phish concerts with friends!

Since I started in July, I have grown to really appreciate the lengths that CCO and Champlain, as a whole, will go to to provide our students with top of the line support throughout their educational careers!
Emily Kokot CCO Coordinator, CCO
1. I love to snowboard as well as touring skis and boards
2. I play the bass guitar
3. Champlain College was my first choice when applying for schools

I worked in the People Center as a Graphic Designer when I was a student. One of the things I enjoyed was getting to work with so many awesome people. It’s the exact same thing with my current position as the new CCO Coordinator. 
John Fenney Accountant, Finance
1. I ski at Sugarbush.
2. I was born in England.
3. I was the captain of the Pole Vaulting team in high school.
I have enjoyed working with others that share the same goal: creating value for our students, and the college as a whole.  
Marguerite Leek VISTA Volunteer, Division of Student Affairs, Diversity and Inclusion
1. I am from Western North Carolina.
2. I roller skate for fun.
3. I once named a family cat after myself. 
I enjoy getting to interact with students and helping them connect with each other. 
Callan McNamara VISTA Volunteer, Division of Student Affairs, Diversity and Inclusion
I work in the Women’s and Gender Center and I have loved facilitating programs like the Coffee and Conversation and interacting with the students. I’m looking forward to continuing to create spaces to build community both in-person and virtually.
1. I am also a Graduate Student in UVM’s Higher Education and Student Affairs Program. 
2. My first job was a DJ at a roller rink!
3. I moved to Burlington, Vermont from Burlington, Wisconsin.