SVC Lecture Series for 2008-2009


The lecture series for academic year 2008-2009 is an opportunity for Southern Vermont College and communities to think about educating the leaders of tomorrow--in business, in criminal justice, in healthcare, in social service and in the creative arts. All lectures are free and open to the public. Below is the schedule:

Monday, Sept. 8, 2008
4:30 p.m., Everett Theatre

“The Crucible of Leadership”

Axioms, anecdotes and gems of wisdom from 30 years of a successful business leadership career.

Robert E. Camp, former CEO/COO, Pier 1 Imports

Robert Camp’s rise to the executive leadership of the 350-store Pier 1 Imports chain is a classic Horatio Alger story. After graduating from the University of Washington in 1967 with a degree in marketing, he took a job in a Pier 1 store. He quickly rose to become assistant manager. At the time, Pier 1 had 19 outlets, but through Camp’s management, his store, which had been a mid-ranked performer, became the company’s top producer of sales and profits.

In 1971, he moved to Montreal, Canada, where he co-founded Import Bazaar Ltd, which in nine years became a national 20-store retail import chain. He sold his interest to Pier 1, and returned to Pier 1 as VP/COO. The Canadian stores are today a 90-store division of Pier 1.

At age 40, he became President/CEO of Pier 1, where he directed a national turnaround strategy. During his six-year tenure, he reversed Pier 1’s stagnating sales and profits, set the all-time company record for share price increase.

After he left Pier 1, he founded Westminster Lace, a national upscale special retail concept. In 1993, he created Hero’s Welcome in North Hero, Vt. Hero’s Welcome is a general store, marina, bakery and café which attracts 40,000 visitors per month during the tourist season.

Camp lives on the Lake Champlain Islands in Vermont. He is married to a Canadian, Beverley Elizabeth Camp, and has four grown children. His interests include architecture, home restoration, biking and orchard management. 

Thursday, October 2, 2008
2:30 p.m., Everett Theatre

"The University President’s Spouse"

She was a graduate student; he was the dean. She went from student to administrator’s wife. That was 37 years ago. Now she reflects on the changing role of spouses of professionals.  

Francine Zorn Trachtenberg, Senior Vice President, Strategic Projects and Vice President of Educational Services (retired), WETA Public Broadcasting, Washington, D.C.

In 2002 Francine Zorn Trachtenberg retired from WETA, Washington’s public broadcasting station, having served as Senior Vice President, Strategic Projects and Vice President of Educational Services and Outreach. During the 11 years she was with the station, Trachtenberg developed ancillary educational materials to accompany national television broadcasts; produced the Web site; oversaw local governmental relations; and relocated the station’s administrative headquarters and broadcast facilities to new facilities in Arlington, VA. 

Trachtenberg was an adjunct member of the George Washington University’s art history department, teaching the history of photography, and has been a visiting curator at the university’s Luther Brady Art Gallery.

In the 1980s, Trachtenberg served as Director of Capital Projects at the University of Hartford, overseeing major construction projects on the campus. She was adjunct curator of photography at the Wadsworth Atheneum and was a lecturer in the history of photography at the university.

Trachtenberg received her undergraduate and master’s degrees in Art History from Boston University, with a concentration in the history of American photography. She also has a CAS in Educational Administration and Social Policy from Harvard University.

She has lectured on both the history of photography and the use of technology in education at various venues in the US and overseas; and has written for Crystal City Magazine. Trachtenberg and her husband, Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, have lived in Washington, D.C. for the past 20 years. 


Thursday, October 2, 2008
5:00 p.m., Everett Theatre

“Sex, Power and Money”
A university administrator, college professor and university president reveals all from a 38-year career of academic leadership.

Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, President Emeritus and University Professor of Public Service, George Washington University 

Trachtenberg has just completed 38 years as a university administrator and three decades as a president. He intends to reveal all. In June, he published “Big Man on Campus: A University President Speaks Out on Higher Education,” published by Simon and Schuster’s Touchstone Press. In July, he released his most recent book “Letters to the Next President of the United States on Higher Education.” The book is available now for download on the Korn/Ferry website:

Trachtenberg served as GW’s 15th president for two decades, from 1988-2007. He came to GW from the University of Hartford, where he had been president for 11 years. He also held positions as vice president for academic services and academic dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Boston University, and served as the special assistant to the U.S. Education Commissioner, Department of Health, Education and Welfare.

Trachtenberg has published five books: Big Man on Campus: A University President Speaks Out on higher Education published by Simon and Schuster’s Touchstone Press; Write Me A Letter: The Wit and Wisdom of Stephen Joel Trachtenberg; Reflections on Higher Education; Thinking Out Loud: A Decade of Thoughts on Higher Education; and Speaking His Mind: Five Years of Commentary on Higher Education.. He is co-editor of two books: The Art of Hiring in America's Colleges & Universities and Letters to the Next President, published by The Korn/Ferry Institute

Trachtenberg earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia University, a Juris Doctor from Yale University, and a Master of Public Administration degree from Harvard University. In addition, he holds 16 honorary doctoral degrees, including a Doctor of Laws from his alma mater, Columbia University. Trachtenberg and his wife, Francine Zorn Trachtenberg, have two sons: Adam and Ben.  


Monday, November 3, 2008
4:30 p.m., Everett Theatre

“Success is the Garden You Grow”

Lenni B. Benson, Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Professional Development, New York Law School

Each of us has the ability to create success if we view ourselves as investors in the development of ourselves and our communities. How can we prepare and adapt for changing work environments? What will it take to thrive both personally and professionally? Associate Dean Benson will use examples from her work in private practice and academia. 

She has worked and written in the field of immigration law since 1983. Today, the population of foreign-born residents is growing in many regions of the nation. In the New York City region nearly 40 percent of the population was born abroad. Vermont’s foreign-born population is around 27,525 people, representing 4.4 percent of the total population of 623,908.  The Census Data shows a 32.5 percent increase in the foreign born between 1990 and 2000.  Associate Dean Benson will examine whether some of the attributes of immigrant populations reflect ways that we can learn to grow and change and can aid us in finding success.

Professor Benson is director of the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law Foundation, a national nonprofit involved in impact litigation on behalf of immigrants. She is also president-elect of Bar Association of the City of New York, and chair of the Bar’s Subcommittee on Immigration.

Lenni Benson earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from Arizona State University and her Juris Doctorate from the Arizona State University College of Law.

She is the author of numerous articles on immigration, including “Deportation Procedure and Due Process,” for the Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court and “You Can’t Get There from Here: Managing Judicial Review of Immigration Cases,” in the 2007 University of Chicago Legal Forum.


Tuesday, February 3, 2009
2:30 p.m., Everett Theatre

“Success Is Not a Game of Solitaire”

Frederic M. Poses, Chairman and CEO, American Standard (retired)

Achieving success requires leadership to create a compelling vision and agenda, to share that vision and agenda broadly, to enable an organization and people to execute it effectively and, finally, recognize and reward that success.

American Standard Companies was an $11 billion global company with 60,000 employees. In 2007 the company spun off to its shareowners the Vehicle Controls Business (WABCO) and sold its Bath & Kitchen business to private equity. The largest and remaining business, Trane – air conditioning, was acquired by Ingersoll Rand in June 2008. Upon completion of that acquisition, Poses retired.

Prior to joining American Standard in October 1999, Poses was president and chief operating officer of AlliedSignal Inc., which has since merged with Honeywell. He joined AlliedSignal as a financial analyst in 1969. He served in a series of leadership positions, and in October 1997, he was elected to the board of directors and named vice chairman of AlliedSignal Inc. He was appointed president and chief operating officer in June 1998.

Before joining AlliedSignal, Poses spent two years in Peru with the Peace Corps. He holds a B.B.A. from New York University.

Poses serves as the non-executive chairman of the board of Tyco Electronics and as a director for Centex Corporation and Raytheon Company. In addition, he is chairman of the board of the National Center for Learning Disabilities; a member of the board of visitors at Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering; and a trustee of the Eagle Hill School, 92nd Street Y, and Central Synagogue.