Granite State College Celebrates the Class of 2018 and Awards Leaders Across New Hampshire and Beyond

Commencement 2018

Concord, NH – On Sunday, June 10, 2018, Granite State College will celebrate the graduation of more than 500 students from its associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs at the AllWell North Complex in Plymouth, New Hampshire, with a live stream broadcast available at

On behalf of the students, Tami Provost of Rochester, NH, will deliver remarks. “There are many who didn’t understand my desire to return to school at the age of 49,” shares Provost. She adds: “…But, like many of you, I focused on my goal of creating a new legacy for my family.”

As the 2018 Honorary Doctorate recipient, Dr. Wildolfo Arvelo, Director of the Division of Economic Development for New Hampshire, will serve as the Commencement speaker. In addition, the College will honor valued community partners, alumni, and faculty with prestigious awards, including the Manchester Fire Department and alumna Lyndele von Schill ’15 of Charlottesville, Virginia, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, National Radio Astronomy Observatory.

2018 Granite State College Graduates

Class of 2018 (PDF)
Sorted alphabetically by City with New Hampshire communities listed first, followed by other states.

Honorary Doctorate 2018

Dr. Wildolfo Arvelo, Director of the Division of Economic Development for the State of New Hampshire

For more than three decades, New Hampshire has benefitted from Dr. Wildolfo Arvelo’s innovative approach to aligning higher education with workforce development priorities. During his 11-year tenure as president of Great Bay Community College (GBCC), the institution saw a tremendous period of growth.

Dr. Arvelo recognizes that an educated workforce is the best hope for economic development and New Hampshire’s future. Between 2011-2015, Dr. Arvelo was principal investigator for the $20 million U.S. Department of Labor TAACCCT Grant for capacity building in advance manufacturing education for New Hampshire. He also worked to enhance science, technology, engineering, and math education at the College and to build articulation pathways with New Hampshire’s four-year colleges and universities, including a valuable relationship with Granite State College.

Dr. Arvelo has served on numerous regional and state-wide boards. In 2012, the City of Portsmouth Business Chamber selected him the Citizen of the Year, citing his strong support of business.

With a personal and professional mission that puts opportunities for New Hampshire residents at the center of his work, Dr. Arvelo embodies the spirit of Granite State College and the institution is proud to present him with the 2018 Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters.

Granite State Award 2018

City of Manchester Fire Department

From the opioid epidemic to hazmat incident management, as well as the unpredictable range of threats that seem all too common in today’s society, fire departments across the nation are challenged daily to manage and prepare for these increasingly complex incidents in a world that’s highly connected and always looking for answers. The City of Manchester, and surrounding communities across the State, are fortunate to have the leadership of the 225 member Manchester Fire Department who demonstrate a level of public service leadership that garners national attention and makes New Hampshire residents proud.

With a mission to provide superior customer service and integrated emergency response to any situation that threatens the life, safety, and well-being of the City’s people and property, the Manchester Fire Department has earned a reputation for going above and beyond. In 2016, the introduction of the “Safe Station” program gave anyone suffering from a substance misuse disorder access to a safe environment to get medical support and assistance seeking treatment. In less than a year, the department saw more than 1,500 requests for Safe Station services and took over 1,300 participants to local recovery centers. Since the genesis of these efforts, the City of Manchester Fire Department has been highlighted in national media outlets and hosted dignitaries in recognition of this important work. More importantly, these efforts instilled hope throughout the community that help is available for loved ones battling addiction.

Outside of their direct service, fire fighters are required to engage in continuing education and training to hone their tactical expertise; however, the City of Manchester goes above and beyond the requirements with many members pursuing bachelor’s and master’s degrees to develop as stronger, more capable leaders who can strategize to meet the demands of tomorrow’s challenges with honor, courage, and compassion.

We commend the Manchester Fire Department for their profound dedication and demonstrated ability to find innovative solutions to make Manchester a safer, healthier, and more vibrant community.

Distinguished Faculty Award 2018

Elizabeth Gauffreau, M.A. Senior Lecturer: Undergraduate Studies.

Elizabeth Gauffreau has been dedicated to student success through her teaching in undergraduate studies at Granite State College since 2003. She holds a Master of Arts and has a strong liberal arts, humanities, and critical inquiry background. Elizabeth demonstrates active engagement in her courses while providing appropriate and timely feedback. She has adopted a reflective approach to her teaching, and when she identifies an instructional challenge, she actively seeks out a solution, often in collaboration with her colleagues. Elizabeth not only demonstrates exceptional teaching in her own practice, but she also actively models and encourages this practice in others. In addition to her teaching, she serves as the Director of Liberal Arts programs at the College. She has been a significant contributor to the College’s assessment initiatives, and is a valuable resource for other faculty as she keeps students at the heart of her work at Granite State College.

Michael Zaino, J.D. Lecturer: Undergraduate Studies.

As a faculty member in undergraduate studies since 2012, Michael Zaino brings passion and strong communication skills to the classes he teaches. He holds a master’s degree in political science as well as a Juris Doctorate degree. Michael has helped numerous students improve their skills, which prepares them for academic as well as employment success. As a practitioner who served as a prosecutor in the Rockingham and Hillsboro County Attorney Offices, he possesses and shares his expertise and real-world experience, which students seek and appreciate. Michael is currently in private practice counseling clients and actively litigating matters. In addition to teaching courses in law, politics, communications and critical thinking, he has enthusiastically worked as a lead faculty member, which is critical in the course review process. Michael’s dedication to students and their education is consistently reflected in peer as well as student evaluations.

Victor Montana Award 2018

Lyndele von Schill, Class of 2015

Director of Diversity and Inclusion, National Radio Astronomy Observatory
Adjunct Faculty, Granite State College

Lyndele von Schill has had a lifelong interest in issues related to diversity; first as 5-year old seeing “Whites only” water fountains in her hometown of Jacksonville, FL, and over the years through the Civil Rights movements for racial, gender, and sexual orientation equality. When Lyndele discovered that she could design an Individualized Studies program at Granite State College that purely focused on these issues, she knew she had found the right college fit. As a student, Lyndele’s mentor, Liz Gauffreau, proved to be an enthusiastic and supportive advocate for her coursework.

Everything about Lyndele’s experience with Granite State College was opportune. One of the most serendipitous moments; however, came in 2015, just after completing her bachelor’s degree. Lyndele was hired by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory to serve as the Director of the Observatory’s newly created Office of Diversity and Inclusion. This represented a significant career move from her administrative assistant position. Lyndele is thrilled to be working in her dream job and grateful for the doors that Granite State College opened to lifelong learning and a meaningful new career.

Lyndele’s engagement in Granite State’s Alumni Advisory Board has helped the College amplify its connection to alumni. Inspired by a deep love of learning, a talent for teaching, and a powerful ethic of service, Lyndele most recently joined Granite State as an adjunct faculty member; teaching a class with deep roots in her undergraduate coursework.

Lyndele’s tenacity, ingenuity, and drive represent a commitment to lifelong learning that serves as an example to the entire Granite State College community and the College is pleased to honor her with the 2018 Victor Montana Award.

Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society Inductees, 2017-2018

In a ceremony previously held, the following students were inducted into Alpha Sigma Lambda, the distinguished honor society that aims to recognize the special achievements of adults who accomplish academic excellence while facing competing interests of home and work.

Amber Armstrong of Triadelphia, WV
Felicia Aubut of Berlin, NH
Alexander Bandouveres of Rollinsford, NH
Richard Booker of Pembroke, NH
Louise Brassard of Strafford, NH
Peter Braudis of Groton, MA
Ashley Brightman of Plaistow, NH
Brendan Browne of Londonderry, NH
Gary Burke of Northfield, NH
Keith Carbajal of Rye, NH
Natalie D’Angelo of Hooksett, NH
Andrew Davis of Unity, NH
Mark Desjardins of Nashua, NH
Denee Fioravanti of Lebanon, NH
Robert Fishwick of Concord, NH
Joseph Gaudreau of Swanzey, NH
Nicole Gonyea of Merrimack, NH
Justin Grotton of Keene, NH
Brian Guilmette of Somersworth, NH
David Havron of Merrimack, NH
Cheryl Heyns of Harare, Zimbabwe
Robert Holt of Rochester, NH
Tiffany Honeycutt of Ridgefield, WA
Steven Howell of Rochester, NH
Leanndra Kittle of Candia, NH
William Leathers of Meredith, NH
Charles Lewis of Goshen, NH
Dana Littlefield of Tamworth, NH
Michael MacFadzen of Laconia, NH
James Norris of Strafford, NH
Brogan O’Hara of Watertown, MA
Alexandra Potter of Farmington, NH
Roberta Royce of Winchester, NH
Jennifer Schaffner of Laconia, NH
Susan Spearin of Lancaster, NH
Richard Stanton of Enfield, NH
Jon Surette of Sanbornville, NH
Shaylan Swanson of Gansevoort, NY
Stephanie Tamn of Flemington, NJ
Cassandra Threlfall of Cumberland Foreside, ME
Ericka Uribe of Hooksett, NH


506 degrees conferred

206 participating in Commencement
September 2017 – June 2018

  • 463 Undergraduate Students
  • 43 Graduate Students
  • ~85% graduating with Honors
  • ~78% in New Hampshire
  • ~13% New England
  • ~10% other states

Note: Figures are approximate pending the conferral of graduates completing their degree program on June 30, 2018.

Granite State College Demographics
Average Age
  • 34 (undergrad)
  • 39 (graduate)
    *Traditional-age students (18-24) make up 27% of undergraduate student body
  • Female: 69% (undergrad), 64% (graduate)
  • Male: 31% (undergrad), 36% (graduate)
Full-time Students
  • 23% (undergrad)
  • 12% (graduate)
Part-time Students
  • 77% (undergrad)
  • 88% (graduate)
Online Studies

Nearly every student enrolls in multiple online courses during their tenure at Granite State College and all undergraduate and graduate programs are available 100% online. Students may register for online and on-campus courses based on their availability and personal schedule.

  • 81% courses are offered online