Community College of Vermont to hold 49th Commencement on June 4 in Northfield

The Community College of Vermont (CCV) will hold its 49th commencement ceremony at Norwich University's Shapiro Field House in Northfield on June 4 at 2 p.m.

According to a news release, more than 500 students from across the state will be awarded associate degrees. Students representing all 14 Vermont counties will graduate, along with students from 12 other states and 18 countries. Among the graduates are 41 veterans and active-duty military. The youngest graduate is 17 and the oldest is 66.

Mark Redmond, executive director of Spectrum Youth and Family Services will deliver the commencement address.

Since 2003, Redmond has led Spectrum, which works to empower teenagers, young adults, and their families to make and sustain positive changes through prevention, intervention, and life-skills services. In addition to his work at Spectrum, Redmond is a storyteller, a writer for The Huffington Post, and the author of “The Goodness Within: Reaching out to Troubled Teens with Love and Compassion.”

The student speaker is CCV-Upper Valley student Ashley M. Andreas.

Andreas grew up in Pennsylvania and attended Milton Hershey School and Millersville University. After traveling and having her daughter Daliah, she returned to school at CCV to gain leadership skills. Andreas has become an active member of the Community of Student Representatives and a work-study program, and earned the 2015 Leadership Scholarship for the Upper Valley center.

Passionate about politics, she is on the executive committee of a political group that helps young people participate in local government and organizes voter registration drives for students. She is currently running for House of Representatives in White River Junction. Andreas is graduating with an A.S. in Business and plans to finish her second A.S. in Environmental Science at CCV in Spring 2017.

Tom Stearns of Wolcott will receive the 2016 Community Service Award. Stearns is passionate about Vermont's agricultural community. He is the founder and head seedsman of High Mowing Organic Seeds and is also involved with the Center for an Agricultural Economy and Slow Money Vermont. Stearns recently won the Vermont Small Business Person of the Year award from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Brad Houk of Bellows Falls will receive the 2016 Faculty Community Service Award. Houk has many fascinating experiences to his credit, including writing a thesis based on a bicycle journey through China, living in the Navajo nation, performing with a mime theater company, and founding a wrestling magazine.

Houk currently teaches at Green Mountain Union High School, Riverside Middle School, and CCV, where he uses mapping to integrate place-based experiential learning with community engagement and service learning to inspire students, improve student retention, and change public policy.

CCV President Joyce Judy will officiate the event and members of the Vermont State Colleges Board of Trustees will be in attendance.

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