newsletter Archives

Chair’s News

June 24th, 2010 by Nikki-Ann

Peng-Khuan Chong

Congratulations to the Class of 2008. And to the alumni and alumnae, the Social Science Department sends you best wishes and success in your careers.

As in the past, the Department is blessed with a dedicated and scholarly faculty, which is in turn capably assisted by Professor Emeriti, Visiting Professors, Adjunct Faculty, Operating Staff and Student assistants.

Our Faculty News reveals the breadth and scope of the Department members’ highly intellectual, scholarly and community-enhancing endeavors. And the Department and Staff News show the excellent cooperation which enables the Department to be one of the best in the University.

Again, the Department is thankful to everyone who has contributed to/and continue to support our student scholarships and stipends. Many of our students have been honored by the established William L. Taylor Scholarship Fund, the James J. Hogan Memorial Fund, the Catherine and Kirk Middlekauff Fund, the John F. Ozog Memorial Fund, the John L. Daly Scholarship Fund and the Switzer History Prize. Our outstanding students deserve such scholarships and if you wish to enhance any of the funds or to establish new ones, please contact me or the Office of Institutional Advancement at (603) 535-2589.

Visit PSU as soon as you can, and do keep in touch wherever you are.

To all of you, my very best wishes,
Peng-Khuan Chong, (Chair)

Katherine Donahue, Anthropology

June 24th, 2010 by Nikki-Ann

Katherine Donahue

Katherine Donahue has in press an encyclopedia piece on the Anthropology of Religion. It is to be published in the online Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems, or EOLSS, which was developed in partnership with the UNESCO Division for Science Policy and Sustainable Development. She also published “The Religious Trajectories of the Moussaoui Family” in the ISIM Review 21:18. (Published by the Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World, Leiden). She is looking forward to team-teaching a course on Sustainability in Residences at the new Plymouth State Eco-House this fall with Brian Eisenhauer, and the Illness, Wellness course with Bob Heiner.

Brian Eisenhauer, Sociology

June 24th, 2010 by Nikki-Ann

Brian Eisenhauer

In the last year Brian Eisenhauer has had the good fortune to be very busy working with students and my colleagues on a number of important endeavors. Involving students actively in research is an important component of my work at PSU, and he is happy to share that we have worked on a number of interesting projects serving communities and other constituencies in our region. We look forward to the coming year and continuing the good work!

Some of the recent activities in the last year have included project reports, scholarly publications, presentations, and attempting to obtain grant funding to support our efforts. We have been busy! A few examples of our work are below:


  • Wulfhorst, J.D., B. Eisenhauer, S. Gripne, and J. Ward. 2008. Core Criteria and Assessment Challenges for Participatory Action Research. In Partnerships for Empowerment, eds. C. Wilmsen , W. Elmendorf , L. Fisher, J. Ross, B. Sarathy, G. Wells, 23-46. Sterling, VA: Earthscan.
  • Eisenhauer, B. and J. Brehm. 2008. Motivations for Participating in Community-Supported Agriculture and Their Relationship with Community Attachment and Social Capital. Southern Rural Sociological Society 23(1):94-115.
  • Eisenhauer, B. and B. Nicholson. 2007. Do You See What I See? The Importance of Diverse Perspectives in Environmental Communications. Frontiers in Ecology 5(3): 161-163.
  • Changing Homeowner’s Lawn Care Behavior to Reduce Nutrient Losses in New England’s Urbanizing Watersheds: USDA Lawn Project Social Science Research Stage 1 Final Report. 2008. B. Eisenhauer, B. Gagnon, W. Hopkins, D. Ross.
  • Descriptive Analysis and Needs Assessment: River and Watershed Organizations in the New Hampshire Coastal Watershed (NH DES). 2008. B. Eisenhauer, D. Ross, and W. Hopkins. Understanding the Views of Residents to Guide the Creation of Every Acres Counts: The Newfound Watershed Master Plan Findings from a Watershed Community Survey (NH DES). 2008. B. Eisenhauer, D. Ross, J. Hill, M. Rodier, B. Gagnon, and W. Hopkins.
  • Information for Planning in the Sandwich Historic District: Results from a Survey of Community Residents. 2008. B. Eisenhauer, D. Ross, J. Hill, M. Rodier, and W. Hopkins.
  • The Opinions of Residents: A Survey to Aid in the Creation of The Berlin Master Plan – Final Report from the Community Survey. 2008. B. Eisenhauer, D. Ross, J. Hill, M. Rodier, and W. Hopkins.
  • A Web-Based Marketplace. 2007. Eisenhauer, B. Orion 26(4):13.
  • Results of the Workgroup Interviews For the I-93 Salt Reduction Workgroup (NH DES). 2007. B. Eisenhauer, S. Whitman, D. Ross, and W. Hopkins.
  • NH SeaGrant: The future of MPAs in New England Final Report. 2007. K. Donahue, B. Eisenhauer, and B. Gagnon.


  • Working with People: Applying Social Science Research in Conservation and Outreach Efforts. Invited Plenary address, the 32nd Annual Meeting of the New England Association of Environmental Biologists. Bartlett, NH. 2008.
  • Human Dimensions of Marine Protected Areas in and near New Hampshire Waters. With K. Donahue and B. Gagnon. International Symposium on Society and Resource Management. Burlington, VT. 2008.
  • Newfound Lakes Region Association Annual Meeting Keynote Address: Watershed Plan Project Progress Report: Social Science Findings. Bridgewater, NH. 2008.
  • The Nexus of Place Attachment, Behavior, and Ecological Integrity. With J. Brehm and R. Stedman. International Symposium on Society and Resource Management. Burlington, VT. 2008.
  • From Student-Centered to Student Led: Teaching about Social Aspects of Environmental Issues. Workshop developed and delivered at the International Symposium on Society and Resource Management. Burlington, VT. 2008.
  • The Social Dynamics of Efforts to Reduce Road Salt Loading. With S. Whitman. Invited Presentation at the 2008 Lakes Conference, New Hampshire Lakes Association, Meredith, NH. 2008.
  • Positive Environmentalism: Fostering Environmentally Responsible Behaviors. Plenary Speaker at Green/Blue Summit: Water, Earth and People. Philadelphia, PA. 2007

Recently obtained and on-going grant funded projects:

  • Changing Homeowner’s Lawn Care Behavior to Reduce Nutrient Losses in New England’s Urbanizing Watersheds (USDA CSREES) – $486,000 (2006-2009).
  • Descriptive Analysis and Needs Assessment: River and Watershed Organizations in the New Hampshire Coastal Watershed (NH DES) – $12,500 (2007-2008).
  • Facilitation and Research Services for the I-93 Salt Reduction Workgroup (NH DES, NH DOT, EPA) – $90,000 (2007-2008).
  • Newfound Lake Watershed Master Plan Development (NH DES, EPA)- $346,000 (2006-2009).
  • Social, Economic, and Ecological Effects of Second Home Development in the Northern Forest Region (2007 Northeastern States Research Cooperative: Research for the Northern Forest) – $121,000 (2008-2010).
  • Create “PSU Eco-House” to be used as a Laboratory for Demonstrating “Green Living” as a Student Centered Demonstration Project (ICE Grant, written in cooperation with Dr. Julie Bernier, Provost, PSU) – $66,800 (ICE funding), $114,000 (PSU match), $180,800 total (2008-2009).

In addition, teaching both graduate and undergraduate students continues to be an exciting challenge, and we look forward to continued engagement in the coming year.

Grace Fraser, Anthropology

June 24th, 2010 by Nikki-Ann

Grace Fraser

Grace Fraser continues to serve on the Board of Trustees at the Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum and Educational Center where an important collection was acquired this year. She also prepares and serves Native foods for hundreds at the annual Harvest Moon Festival. The proceeds from her cookbook on Native feasts, published last year, support the educational mission of the Museum. She spearheaded a membership drive for a local historical society. The number of members increased twelve-fold and this puts the organization in the running for a large(25k)private grant. The Food Issues course is still very popular and the Bread Lab (all students make bread from scratch) has taken on a life of its own.

Dr. Fraser enjoys hearing from former students like Nikki Morin Weisberg, Liz Wirkkala, Katlyn Williams, Ben Gerber and Stefanie Hynds.

Robert Heiner, Sociology

June 24th, 2010 by Nikki-Ann

Robert Heiner

Bob Heiner will have a third edition of his book, Social Problems: An Introduction to Critical Constructionism, published by Oxford University Press this coming year. With a little luck, he will finish an edited volume, Readings in Social Problems and Inequality, in time for it to be published simultaneously. In the spring, he will be on sabbatical and making his way to Canada. He has a grant to study Canadian incarceration philosophy that will take him to Vancouver, Ottawa, and Montreal. He continues his service to the Social Science Department as Assistant Chair and is serving the last year of his term on the Holderness Central School Board. He sends his greetings to former advisees and alum

David Starbuck, Anthropology

June 24th, 2010 by Nikki-Ann

David Starbuck

David Starbuck has been excavating a French & Indian War Sutlers’ Camp since 2001, and the project is nearing completion. Sutlers were merchants, private citizens under contract to the army, who supplied goods to the soldiers and officers who otherwise would have had little to relieve the tedium of camp life. From the sutlers living alongside British camps during the French and Indian War, to contractors such as Halliburton that operate in Iraq today, there is money to be made by those who are willing to transport the alcohol, tobacco, articles of clothing, dishes and foodstuffs to the faraway camps. Starbuck has been assisted by Betty Hall and a team of students and volunteers, and they have been unearthing the filled-in cellar hole of a late-1750s sutling house that supplied goods to the military camp in Fort Edward, New York, once the largest British fort and military encampment of the French and Indian War. For a several-year period, goods were transported up the Hudson River from Albany to the waiting army in Fort Edward, unloaded into sutlers’ houses or warehouses on the east bank of the river, and the supplies were no doubt sold to soldiers and officers at the next payday.

Excavations in 2008 have revealed burned timbers and boards that lay scattered two meters down across what was once the cellar floor. The main sutling house measured 20’ x 14’, but there was also a 20’ x 10’ addition at its southern end, and the entire 40’-foot-long structure was underlain by a full cellar. The house was consumed by a fire at the end of the 1750s, and much merchandise still lay inside, including fragments of drinking glasses and numerous bowls and plates of tin-glazed earthenware (delft), suggesting that the sutling house had doubled as a tavern for thirsty and hungry soldiers.

The most unexpected finds have been two burned staircases that both ran from what was once the outside of the building down to the cellar floor. The main staircase at the northeast corner of the house still has intact steps, stringers, and risers. Artifacts were found scattered along its steps, perhaps suggesting an escape route for the sutlers as they abandoned a burning building. In a semi-circle just outside where the upper door had been, there were many clothing hooks and eyes, as well as numerous British and Spanish coins.

In the cellar, Starbuck’s team has discovered the hoops from barrels that had once stood on the cellar floor, as well as a great many broken wine bottles. Fragments of tobacco pipes were almost as common, and the pipes had flattened onto the cellar floor when the building collapsed. Other finds in the cellar included several sets of hinges, a spade, many fragments of knives and two-tined forks, much delft, and undecorated cups and saucers of white salt-glazed stoneware. Butchered animal bones were everywhere inside and outside the building, suggesting that soldiers or officers were able to eat fresh beef, pork and mutton at the sutling house.

As demonstrated by its full cellar, massive brick fireplaces, abundant window glass, and the two staircases that lead to storage areas in the cellar, this sutling house was a better-built structure than any of the military huts and tents that Starbuck has excavated in Fort Edward over the past eighteen years. This building was clearly part of a very lucrative business. This is the first time anywhere in the United States that archaeologists have dug up a “sutling house.”

Stacey G. H. Yap, Sociology

June 24th, 2010 by Nikki-Ann

Stacey G. H. Yap

Dr. Stacey G. H. Yap who had worked on the Certificate in Historic Preservation (under M.Ed. Heritage Studies) program for more than a year was so pleased that the first three graduate courses were launched in Spring of 2008. In conjunction with this launch, New Hampshire Preservation Alliance celebrated the debut of the Certificate by holding their two-day biannual conference at Plymouth State. President Steen kicked off the first day with a warm welcome to about 200 participants. Apart from launching the Certificate courses, Stacey took a three-week trip to Southeast Asia visiting Singapore, Malaysia and Central Vietnam. Her interest in historic preservation in Vietnam prompted her to write a short article, titled “Revising the Past” which will appear in PSU’s Alumni Magazine this Fall.

Marcia Schmidt Blaine, History

June 24th, 2010 by Nikki-Ann

Marcia Schmidt Blaine

Marcia Schmidt Blaine: In spring 2008, the Public and Local History class created an exhibit on Town-Gown Relations between Plymouth State and the town. Currently, it is on display in Lamson Library on the desks over the reference area. We hope you will have the opportunity to view it! Blaine has an article coming out soon in History: the Journal of the History Association (a British publication) titled “The Johnsons’ Plight: The Role of Captivity on Anglo-American Identity,” which explores the role of fear, insecurity, and adaptation on colonial captives and their governments. The possibility and reality of captivity was one of many parts of the American experience that added to the developing Anglo-American identity. Blaine is the new Coordinator of History. She urges all alumni history majors to stay in touch with her or a former advisor. We like to know what you are doing!

Whitney Howarth, History and Social Studies Education

June 24th, 2010 by Nikki-Ann

Whitney Howarth

Whitney Howarth spent two months of her summer (2007) teaching history at Scott College in south India, Howarth returned to PSU and presented a paper to her peers about her experience at the fall meeting of the Society for Scholarly Dialogue. The title of her talk “After the Tsunami: Politics, Privatization and Plight of the Poor in South India Today” focused on some of the research she did while in India and the conversations she had with tsunami-affected victims and aid workers in the region. Howarth was eager to incorporate new materials from her travel opportunities in her fall courses on The British Empire and India and the World. Also last fall, Howarth coordinated a social science student trip to Concord’s Red River Theatre to view the documentary film “DARFUR NOW.” She worked with the newly opened cinema’s public relations director and company manager to arrange this event (involving over 50 PSU students) and after the trip helped to put students in contact with divestment activists who continue to work towards ending the genocide in the Sudan.

In the Spring, Howarth, in her role as advisor of the PSU History Club, coordinated the Black History Month celebrations honoring human rights activist Nathaniel P. Rogers. Rogers, a 19th century abolitionist and Plymouth native, once lived in a home on the site of what is today the Silver Center for the Arts. Led by student Sarah Vendt, the club prepared a photo-history exhibit of their research on NPR, his life and times, at the event where the university President presided over the re-installation of the commemorative plaque outside Silver. The ceremony on February 14th was attended by many prominent members of the community, including former NH Supreme Court Justice William Batchelder, Harvard historian Timothy McCarthy and Rogers’ great granddaughter Sarah Kinter. Plymouth Elementary School’s third graders sang an original piece of music from the time period written by the pro-abolitionist Hutchinson Family and NH Representative Carol Estes (herself the a granddaughter of slaves) unveiled the portrait of this remarkable man, now installed in Silver Hall’s lobby.

In March, Howarth visited the North Carolina Center for South Asian Studies (NCCSAS) and spoke with a colloquium of scholars from Duke University, UNC Chapel Hill and North Carolina State about a paper in-progress titled “Rajadharma: Mediating Modernity in the Context of Hindu Kingship” based on a chapter from her doctoral dissertation. While visiting the Center, Howarth was invited by several Indian historians to attend their classes at Chapel Hill and NC State. It was a true pleasure!

Howarth is very excited to work with Patrick May this year on a grant they received from the Center for Rural Partnerships and the Neil & Louise Tillotson Fund of the NH Charitable Foundation. Their collaborative project aims to work with Berlin area educators and cultural organizations in order to promote, preserve and celebrate the international heritage of the Androscoggin Valley lumber industries of the 19th century. Through educational outreach and heritage tourism efforts, Howarth and May hope to bring resource materials and curriculum ideas to local high school teachers, NH university students and tourism professionals so all can better appreciate the unique character of the region and its environmental, economic and historic importance to our nation’s past.

Howarth continues to co-coordinate the Social Studies Teacher Certification program at Plymouth with Patrick May and is an active member of the National History Day team. She sits upon the Sally Boland Essay Prize judging panel for the Women’s Studies Council and works to internationalize the campus in her role as an appointed member of the President’s Commission on Diversity. Howarth looks forward to hearing from alums and especially staying in touch with recent graduates! Drop her an email!

John Krueckeberg, History

June 24th, 2010 by Nikki-Ann

Dr. K has had another busy year. The highlight of it has been the experience of fatherhood! John and Mary traveled to China in March where they met and adopted their daughter. The trip took them through three major cities, each of which they enjoyed immensely: from Beijing in the North, to Wuhan on the Yangtze River in the center of the country, to Guangzhou in the south – near Hong Kong. Fatherhood resulted in Dr. K going on parental leave, which allowed him to thoroughly enjoy being “Mr. Mom.”

In the fall before fatherhood, Dr. K taught the history major’s new course for the first time: Surveying Themes in US History. This class replaces the previous two-semester US surveys and is designed specifically for history majors and future history teachers in the SSTC program. It was a very intense class, as students will attest – but it was a success too. In the Spring, just before going on parental leave, Dr. K managed to do some administrative work around campus, including revamping the Interdisciplinary Studies curriculum guide and its accompanying student handbook. He also began the process for the history program’s self study which leads to a thorough review of the history program by an outside historian and the Provost. That should be completed this year – if you would like to comment upon your experience as a history major, minor, or concentrator (for those in the Teacher Certification program), we’d love to hear your thoughts about what was good about the program and what would have made it better given your career/life experiences. Tell us what you are doing now and share your reflections.

Dr. K has written some book reviews, reviewed a manuscript for The Journal of Urban History, managed the Gilder-Lehrman Institute for American History New Hampshire History Teacher of the Year Award, worked on National History Day with Patrick May and with the other historians, and won a research grant to be used during his sabbatical. Dr. K’s sabbatical is for the fall semester of 2008, which gives him the time to travel for research in various archives – especially in Washington, D.C. He continues to work on his historical biography of Raymond Swing.

So far this year Dr. K’s research has taken him to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s archives, where he examined papers relating to American efforts to rescue artists, intellectuals, and political thinkers targeted by the Nazis for imprisonment. Raymond Swing spearheaded the founding of the Emergency Rescue Committee, which assisted thousands of Europeans; through proving funds, forging documents, presenting US entry visa applications, and smuggling escapees. Some of the more notable who were rescued include: Heinrich Mann, Max Ernst, Hannah Arendt, Marc Chagall, Marcel Duchamp, Jacques Lipchitz, Henri Matisse, and Lion Feuchtwanger.

Dr. K is looking forward to returning to the classroom in the Spring semester! And in the meantime he’d love to hear feedback from you about the history program!

video popover: Archeological Dig at Holmes House

November 14th, 2013 by Eric

play video
Archeological dig
at Holmes House play video

Contact Us

Kathryn Melanson, Administrative Assistant
Office: Rounds Hall 110
Phone: 603-535-2335

Nikki-Ann Nunes, Administrative Assistant
Office: Memorial 110
Phone: 603-535-3071

Mailing Address
17 High Street
MSC #39
Plymouth, NH 03264

Fax: 603-535-2351

Department News

Selena Clarke presented a poster at the Student Showcase of Excellence

EcoHouse and the town of Plymouth were recently featured in an issue of the “Green Energy Times.”

Steve Whitman traveled with 14 PSU students to Southern Belize to study permaculture at Maya Mountain Research Farm