Charter Oak State College Alumni Spotlight
Hello Charter Oak State College Alum --

We're sending along another interesting profile that focuses on the endeavors and achievements of a fellow Charter Oak graduate.  We hope you enjoy Lisa Vincent's story!

Lisa Vincent and her daughter

Lisa Vincent '08

As a recently-divorced mother, Lisa Vincent knew she had to earn her degree to provide a good life for herself and her children. In addition, her experiences as a foster and adoptive parent inspired a passionate commitment to child welfare, and she wanted a career that reflected that passion.

Now Lisa is an attorney with her own practice in Torrington, CT, having earned her juris doctor degree, cum laude, from Qunnipiac University School of Law last May and admitted to the Connecticut Bar in November.  She specializes in special education law, school discipline, and bullying.

Lisa chose Charter Oak State College for its reputation as a well-respected, accredited institution and the opportunity to gain credit for the life and career experiences she had had thus far. Online courses were crucial because she could not leave her children at home to attend class. “I certainly feel I worked hard to earn my degree, but being able to do most of that work at home on my own time was extremely valuable,” said Lisa, who earned her Associate degree from Northwestern Connecticut Community College in 1995. “Without that opportunity I would not be where I am today.”

As a full-time traditional student for the first time since high school, Lisa found law school to be challenging in more ways than one. She had two pre-teen children at home, and her mother was diagnosed with cancer, and passed away shortly after. Even with those additional stressors, she stuck to her goals and immersed herself in law school life, joining various clubs and groups. She represented Quinnipiac in several national competitions for law students.

“I loved law school,” said Lisa, who was named a Faculty Fellow Scholar at Quinnipiac. “It was most certainly an academic challenge, but I made a decision to do it all the way or not at all. And I studied, often early in the morning and late into the night. Law school is not for the faint of heart.”

Her hard work paid off. She was named the 2011 National Association of Women Lawyers Outstanding Law Student of the Year in 2011, and also received awards for excellence in clinical work, excellence in oral advocacy, and service to the community.

Opening her own practice suited her entrepreneurial spirit, and allows her to commit her career to making a difference in the lives of children.

“I have a child who has a learning disability, and I have devoted my life to working with people with disabilities of all types. So special education felt like a good fit,” she said. “As for bullying and school discipline, I learned about these things while working for Connecticut Legal Services as an intern. I saw some sad cases come through those doors and there are parents who really don’t know how to get their child the help they need. If I can help a parent get needed help for their child, I feel good about that.”

Lisa believes that her experience at Charter Oak was critical in helping her achieve her career goal. “Charter Oak proved to be an outstanding choice,” she said. “The courses were taught by highly-qualified professionals who held students to high academic standards.

“There are many people who are capable of earning a degree who do not have the ability to enroll in a traditional college or university program for one reason or another. Without Charter Oak, those people would be out of luck or stuck with a non-accredited program. I would have been one of those people. I am thankful Charter Oak was there for me.”
 (NOTE: If you are interested in sharing your success story with us, please contact Amanda Guay at the College. She can be reached via e-mail: We'd love to hear from you!)

A reminder that membership in the Charter Oak Alumni Association brings with it a variety of benefits. If you are interested in working with the Association’s board and/or committees, contact Nancy Taylor. Her e-mail address is

The Charter Oak State College Foundation provides important scholarship assistance to students in need. Please support the Foundation’s efforts to the extent of which you’re able through a tax-deductible contribution.

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