By Jim Graves, Internship Coordinator

Criminal justice is Norwich’s most popular major, so it is not surprising that it is also our most popular field for internships. Norwich Career and Internship Center data show that criminal justice students make up approximately 20% of all recorded internships each semester. In 2015, 22 criminal justice students completed internships. Many students choose to take CJ 405, the criminal justice internship course, which let them make real contributions to their host organizations.

Professor Stan Shernock, director of the School of Justice Studies and Sociology and a CJ 405 instructor, the purpose of the course is to provide a structured learning experience in a criminal justice agency. This includes law enforcement, courts and legal services, corrections, human service, and other justice-related agencies.

CJ 405 has six students enrolled and interning at the following organizations: The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Barre Probation and Parole, the Vermont Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, the federal Public Defender’s Office for the District of Vermont and the Barre City Police Department.

Criminal justice internships are open only to criminal justice majors of junior or senior standing and to criminal justice minors (with the instructor’s permission). Students work on real projects that benefit their organization.

Nick Leapley ’18, for example, is interning with the DEA’s Williston, Vermont, office. His project will be to improve the organization’s method for storing nondrug evidence such as like cellphones, cash and case documents. Leapley will organize these items, which are often simply left in a storage room, in relation to Homeland Security cases.

At the Vermont Public Safety Department, Danielle Hamilton ’18 will create the training schedule for all emergency responders throughout the state and oversee the training database. Her supervisor, Vermont Homeland Security Training Coordinator Kimmie Cruickshank, said Hamilton has been invaluable to the office’s mission and Vermont’s training exercises.

The Vermont Federal Public Defender’s Office in Burlington, Vermont, represents people facing charges in federal court. As their intern this fall, Sophia Buono ’17 has accompanied their investigator to meet with a bank robbery suspect at the Swanton Corrections Facility. She has accompanied him to defendants’ homes. Kevin Ridgely, federal investigator for the Federal Public Defender’s Office, said Buono often summarizes police testimony in court for him when he can’t attend himself.

Her primary project will be researching the accuracy of the state’s police dogs to rate their credibility in court.

Barre City Police has two students working on a community resources project. Under the supervision of Barre City Police Chief Tim Bombardier, criminal justice students Anthony Bue ’17 and Jacob Boylan ’17 are designing a survey to send to community service organizations. Survey results will be complemented by in-person interviews with the agencies. The goal is to create a document at the department that people seeking services within their community can tap.

Besides completing at least 120 hours of work at their internship sites (about 10 hours per week in the typical semester), the students in this three-credit internship course meet as a group four times during the semester to share their experiences with their classmates. Students are required to write a learning contract during the semester’s first two weeks that outlines their goals. This student signs this contract along with the site host and the instructor.

Shernock has advised CJ 405 for the last 15 years. Before him, Professors Max Schlueter and William Clements oversaw it. For the last four years, Norwich’s internship coordinator, Jim Graves, has worked with Shernock, attending the class meetings and going to the internship sites and meeting in person midway through the semester with the students and their supervisors.

Although students are encouraged to complete a project that directly benefits their organizations, they may also choose an alternative assignment that could involve task environment analysis or values and ethics. The course requires students to apply their accrued criminal justice system knowledge through supervised experiences. Studying and understanding criminal justice practice’s psychological, organizational, ethical, political and policy dimensions are emphasized.

By Lisa Hardy, Lecturer, School of Nursing


Senior Norwich Nursing students in NR 431 End-of-life Care participated in an assignment designed to address “compassion fatigue” in new nurses. While the course itself examined nursing care of patients with both chronic conditions and at end-of-life, Lecturer Lisa Hardy felt it was the perfect venue to address nursing self-care. Using a variety of pedagogical inspirations, she developed the original assignment of creating a “self-care toolbox.” The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Competencies and Recommendations for Preparing Undergraduate Nurses objective: “Implement self-care strategies to support coping with suffering, loss, moral distress and compassion fatigue” (AACN, 2016), in particular, informed the “tool-box” assignment.


Students chose to either write a paper or create an actual box which would help them in times of stress. Nursing research demonstrates that unaddressed stress in the profession may lead to compassion fatigue and burn-out, particularly in end-of-life nursing. More than half of the 35 students chose to create an actual box. They placed items representing an evidence-based intervention for stress in a box and attached a tag describing the evidence for that intervention.


Student Aliza McCarthy said: “For an assignment of creating boxes, it really made you think ‘outside the box.’ Nursing is always so patient-centered, you have a tendency to forget yourself in the equation. Making the Self-Care Toolbox allowed for moments of reflection that you might not normally have in school, and it incorporates a nursing student’s more creative side, which they can incorporate into future practice.”


The students researched and wrote about a wide-variety of ways to address stress, some of them specifically designed for nurses, including: meditation, yoga, prayer, vacation, healthy food choices, companionship, pet therapy, creating a stress-free zone, essential oils, massage, and exercise. One student even ended up getting a puppy after learning about the stress-reducing effects of pets!


Research demonstrates that compassion fatigue not only affects nurses but also causes them to leave their practice prematurely.

“I wanted to familiarize the students with the existence of compassion fatigue and to help them discover tools available to prevent it,” Hardy said.

Norwich University Office of Communications

Susan Helser, who recently completed her doctorate in computer engineering, spent eight years working as a software developer before entering into academia as a professor in 2004. That means the visiting professor brings real-world experiences to her research, which focuses on digital forensics, specifically image processing, steganography and identity theft. Helser is also an expert in game-based learning. In January, Helser arrived at Norwich from her home state of Michigan to teach three sections of the programming language C++ this semester. Helser is no stranger to giving special speaking engagements on the topic of identity theft. She also counts among her accomplishments tutoring second-graders in the Flint, Michigan, public schools and other community outreach such as after school computer science programs and something called “Meeting of the Minds.”

Here is Susan Helser in her own words answering some pressing questions from the Office of Communications:

OC: So, which is colder: Michigan, or Vermont?

SH: The temperature in Vermont and in Michigan is about the same at this time of year.  However, from what I’ve learned winter can last six months in Vermont.  This is not the case in the “thumb” of Michigan where my home is located. Usually, it doesn’t get “cold” in there until late December or early January. By the end of March, crocuses are peeking out and the first of the fruit trees are blooming. Vermonters have indicated that snow is possible in June.


OC: If it wasn’t the weather, then what drew you to Norwich University?

SH: Cybersecurity is a serious concern. The need for highly qualified professionals cannot be understated.  The program at Iowa State University where I did my graduate study is strong.  I wanted to work professionally in a similar environment. Norwich students are serious and committed to their education. The curriculum at Norwich is robust and serves students well.  The opportunity to teach here was a great fit.


OC: What is the single most important trait that someone going into computer science should possess?

SH: The ability to solve problems is imperative. It requires creativity and tenacity. In technology unexpected issues occur on a regular basis. Documentation may not exist or if it does, it may be incomplete or erroneous.  Often, there is not “an answer.”  Successful individuals in the field of computer science must be willing to explore new directions and, if necessary, keep at it.


OC: How would you describe the current state of computer science, and where do you see it headed?

 SH: It’s an exciting time to be in computer science. Technology is advancing at an incredible rate.  Smaller and ever more powerful computing is possible. For example, developments in the medical field such as the new heart pump and state-of-the-art prosthetics improve the quality of people’s lives. In other areas, significant cost reductions have been possible due to 3D printers. If it can be imagined, it can be manufactured and in a reasonable amount of time. High-end graphics such as holograms and virtual reality have applications in education and entertainment. Voice authentication and activation span many fields. The future is an open book!


OC: What is your favorite part of teaching?

SH: I enjoy helping students to learn. I work hard in the classroom to be clear as well as with them one on one if they ask for additional assistance. Multiple approaches may be necessary to get a message across. It’s rewarding and feels good when students “get it.” I want to support their educational goals and interests.

Submitted by Massachusetts Department of Transportation

Norwich civil engineering student Renee Layton is literally constructing bridges to her future. In the process, she’s learning valuable technical and teamwork skills and proving the value of Norwich’s hands-on approach to an engineering education.

Layton, a senior from Deerfield, N.H., served as an intern to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) in the summer and winter of 2015 and summer of 2016, working on a bridge design team for approximately 2 ½ months and also doing intermittent bridge inspections.

“Renee was a great asset to our MassDOT team on various bridge projects throughout Massachusetts. During her internship, Renee learned valuable technical and teamwork skills,” wrote officials at MassDOT, who noted “her advanced technical skills had a significant impact” on learning how to use advanced software on bridge design and rating and understanding bridge design code.

During her internships, she primarily worked on Route 213 bridges over the Spicket River in Methuen in planning bridge deck replacements. She also worked on designing and drafting traffic management plans using AutoCAD and contributed to contract drawings by drafting the bridge profiles and some abutment sections.

“Working on bridges sometimes takes years and it is important to take into consideration how traffic flows around these big projects” Layton said. “I also had to determine what signs needed to be put into place and where so that drivers can be safe near bridge projects.”

Among her duties while working on the bridge inspection team were reviewing plans and previous inspection reports, preparing equipment for inspections, setting up and monitoring safety controls, and working with the MassDOT main bridge inspector on close-up inspection, as well as drawing structural sketches for the bridge inspection report and assisting in writing the report.

“I did a lot of Auto CAD (computer aided design program) on repairs for bridges,” Layton said. “I worked on design and rating programs for one span bridges to see if the bridges can hold todays capacity of traffic. This program basically builds a model of the bridge with every component, and then does an analysis on the bridge to see if it is structurally deficient based on today’s traffic and new trucks. I had to do some hand calculations that I learned in school to check my answers I got from the computer.”

“Renee’s education at Norwich helped prepare her for this internship at MassDOT,” officials wrote, “leading her to success on numerous projects.” Her reports, sketches and use of MacDraft software highlighted where beam repairs were needed and developed a contract for repairs.

“Renee’s successful internship at MassDOT was fueled by her keen interest in all aspects of bridges, her ability to work as part of a team to accomplish a goal, and she encompassed all of MassDOT’s values, especially dedication, respect, and innovation in all that she did.”

“I want to become a structural engineer, and help the country’s infrastructure, mainly bridges. I don’t think we need any new bridges built, I think we need to fix what we have first,” Layton said. “In order for me to get my PE (Professional Engineer) license I need to take the FE (Fundamentals of Engineering exam), which I am taking in April. Following that I need about four years of experience working under a licensed PE at which time I can apply to take my PE exam and become a Professional Licensed Engineer in whatever state I decide to live in. I have a passion for bridges and structures. I know I will have fun doing it.”

January 30, 2017

Norwich University’s College of Graduate and Continuing Studies has launched its sixth online degree completion program, the Bachelor of Science in National Security Studies. The program is set to begin its first trimester in May, with applications due April 7.

The new national security studies program is designed for working professionals looking to complete their undergraduate degree and hone their knowledge and skills in order to advance or transition their career. The program focuses on preparing students for understanding national and global security issues, operations and investigations that affect the U.S. Students in the program also benefit from distinguished faculty, who bring a mix of academic and professional experience to the classroom.

“Norwich continues to seek new opportunities for helping today’s military, government and private sector personnel advance their education and careers,” Dean of the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies William Clements said. “Adding the national security studies program opens the pathway for more of our armed forces and support personnel, as well as law enforcement and intelligence professionals to effect positive change in their lives and places of work.”

Similar to other Norwich University online bachelor’s degree completion programs, the national security studies program can be completed in less than two years. The College of Graduate and Continuing Studies assesses each student’s prior learning and military/career training to determine how it may be applied towards their degree. The goal is to help students get the most out of their Norwich education, while accelerating their bachelor’s degree completion when possible.

“The interaction with staff during the application process set the tone for my wonderful experience. The academic advisors ensured that I was set up for success as I completed the degree requirements,” said Steve Gonzalez, a 2016 graduate. “A majority of the faculty are prior military and understand the demands that military life can place upon a student.”

Norwich has a nearly 200-year legacy of developing leaders in the government, military and private sector. The online bachelor’s, master’s and continuing education programs extend and build upon that pioneering legacy and prepare students for leadership roles in today’s most critical fields.

Norwich’s online bachelor’s degree completion programs offer three start dates throughout the year: January, May and September. For more information, please visit

January 5, 2017

Norwich University’s tiny house, the CASA802, has earned the 2016 People’s Choice Award from the Vermont Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIAVT).

Named “Creating Affordable Sustainable Architecture” (CASA)802, the 324-square-foot micro home was designed and built by students and faculty members in the School of Architecture + Art and the David Crawford School of Engineering over the 2015-16 academic year.

The project was funded largely by a grant from TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, which awarded Norwich $20,000 in February 2015. The CASA Initiative focuses on research and development of affordable and well-designed housing for low-income families in Vermont.

The house was sold to a low-income Vermonter at cost and was moved to its permanent location in Shelburne, Vt., in November.

“I have had the dream of living small and energy-efficient for years,” CASA802’s new owner, Kym Marie Glynn, said. “I am so grateful to be a part of the movement towards a more harmonious earth, which I believe the tiny house movement is a huge part of.”

The CASA802 incorporates sustainability through the use of locally sourced formaldehyde-free birch plywood, low voltage LED lighting, locally harvested and milled white cedar siding and pine flooring. High efficiency windows and doors are used throughout the house, as well as dense pack sustainable cellulose insulated walls, a high efficiency heat pump, ventilation system and hot water heater, and high energy star appliances. Additional sustainable features include: low flow shower fixture, zero VOC paint, Vermont Natural Coatings low VOC finishes and a reclaimed sap bucket for the bathroom sink.

“The goals of this project are two-fold. Beyond providing a similar price-point, sustainable and beautiful alternative to the trailer, CASA802 encourages experiential learning,” said Associate Professor of Architecture Tolya Stonorov.

The award was announced at AIAVT’s 2016 Annual Meeting & Design Awards on Thursday, Dec. 15 at ArtsRiot in Burlington, Vt. The jury highlighted the role of students in its remarks: “The budding work of students, whether it is high school, undergrad or graduate, is vital to the future of our evolving and complex profession.”

January 13, 2017

The Norwich University Regimental Band and Drill Team, will represent the State of Vermont and perform in the 58th Presidential Inauguration, to be held on Friday, Jan. 20, in Washington, D.C., for Donald J. Trump.

“The Norwich University Regimental Band and Drill Team is proud to represent the university and the state of Vermont,” Assistant Commandant and Director of Bands Todd P. Edwards said.

As the oldest collegiate band in the country, the Regimental Band carries on a long tradition of excellence musically, academically and militarily. Founded in 1820, the Band’s motto is “Semper Zoo.”

The Regimental Drill Team “Shock Platoon” was formed in 1937. The talent of Drill Team is considered a showpiece of the university. The team is a perennial powerhouse in U.S. college and university drill competitions, with a motto of: “Fierce Pride.”

Music at Norwich has been a significant part of the curriculum since its founding in 1819. With the arrival of William W. Baylay, the first professor of instrumental music, in 1823, the Regimental Band became an all-brass band and an integral part of the daily life of cadets at Norwich.

Today, the band is a full instrumentation band—woodwinds, brass, and percussion—and it continues to perform in support of the Corps of Cadets at all formations, reviews and special parades. The Regimental Band has performed for the inauguration of several United States presidents, as well as for parades and concerts throughout Vermont and New England.

The Norwich University Regimental Band has been invited to these previous Inauguration ceremonies:

21, 1961: Band and 90-man unit march for John F. Kennedy
20, 1969: Band and unit march for Richard Nixon
20, 1977: Band, color guard, regimental staff, drill team and banner carriers (100 total) march for Jimmy Carter
21, 1985: Band and unit invited to march for Ronald Reagan (parade canceled by subzero cold)
20, 1989: Band, regimental staff and color guard march for George H.W. Bush
20, 2005: Band marches for George W. Bush
21, 2013: Band marches for Barack H. Obama

Jan. 11, 2017

Norwich University now offers graduate-level certificates in subjects including public administration and information security & assurance.

The College of Graduate and Continuing Studies (CGCS) has added graduate certificate programs to its portfolio of online offerings. This expansion of its online portfolio includes nine public administration certificates and four information security & assurance, with classes available in March 2017.

Certificates, considered one of the fastest-growing postsecondary credentials, are designed to help professionals and lifelong learnings looking to enhance their skills, or develop specialized knowledge in a specific area. Through the completion of one of Norwich’s online graduate certificate programs, students will receive 12 graduate-level credits. This opens the pathway to enter Norwich’s online Master of Public Administration or Master of Science in Information Security & Assurance program, helping students earn a master’s degree in as little as one year.

“The certificate programs expand our online portfolio to meet the growing need for professional development in key industries as well as provide more continuing education opportunities for our alumni. The certificates help adult learners enhance their knowledge and skills to meet their next career goal,” Vice President and Dean of the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies William Clements said.

Within Public Administration, students can complete a certificate in:

  • International Development and Influence
  • Public Administration Leadership and Crisis Management
  • Fiscal Management
  • Rural Municipal Governance
  • Urban Municipal Governance
  • Effective Nonprofit Management
  • Nonprofit Human Resource Management
  • Nonprofit Healthcare Management
  • Nonprofit Resource Development

Within Information Security & Assurance, students can complete a certificate in:

  • Computer Forensics Investigation/Incident Response Team Management
  • Vulnerability Management
  • Critical Infrastructure Protection & Cyber Crime
  • Cyber Law & International Perspectives on Cyberspace

With the addition of these 13 certificate programs, Norwich has expanded its online offerings to include 12 master’s degree programs, six bachelor’s degree completion programs and 14 graduate certificates, along with additional continuing education opportunities. Similar to the master’s programs, enrollment for the certificate programs will be offered four times throughout the year (March, June, September and December).

For more information about Norwich’s online graduate certificate programs, visit

December 20, 2016

NORTHFIELD, Vt. – Norwich University has been named Organization of the Year by Special Olympics Vermont. The university was recognized at an annual awards luncheon held on Sunday, Dec. 11, at the Killington Resort.

“Norwich University has been an important partner of Special Olympics Vermont for many years, hosting two annual sports events and providing volunteer support at numerous other events including the well-known Penguin Plunge,” said Lisa DeNatale, President and CEO of Special Olympics Vermont. “The support that faculty, staff and students at Norwich University provide advances our mission by enhancing the lives of Special Olympics athletes all across the state.”

Norwich University has been partnering with Special Olympics Vermont since the university began facilitating a soccer event at nearby U-32 Middle and High School in 1986, until the event moved to Norwich in 1989, where it has continued. Norwich has hosted Special Olympics Vermont’s Annual Basketball Tournament for 15 years, and the Young Athletes Program over the past 10 years. This year, Norwich’s partnership with the athletes grew to include hosting the Unified Schools Soccer Tournament and the inaugural Fall Games. Between those events and the annual Penguin Plunge, approximately 100-200 Norwich students work with Special Olympics Vermont athletes and programs annually.

New this year, Norwich University’s Center for Civic Engagement oversees a student-run organization dedicated to partnering with Special Olympics Vermont called Unify, which meets weekly with local athletes and allies to train and build skills around various sports and general physical fitness and wellness.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to work with the administrators, volunteers, and athletes at the Vermont Special Olympics,” Norwich Professor of Physical Education Thomas Roberge said. “Our partnership with the Vermont Special Olympics has been tremendous for our campus, students, and student-athletes and has benefitted each in many ways.”

Special Olympics Vermont recognizes outstanding athletes, volunteers, and partners at its annual awards banquet. An Organization of the Year has been recognized by Special Olympics Vermont since 2004. Past recipients include Waitsfield Telecom,, and various Rotary clubs and civic groups around the state.

Special Olympics Vermont is part of a global movement that works year round to foster acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities by using the power of sport to showcase their gifts and abilities. In 2016, 1,126 athletes and Unified partners competed with Special Olympics Vermont in 12 Olympic-type sports. Training and competition opportunities are available in all 14 counties and 64 Unified Champion Schools in Vermont.

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