From the President’s Council

July, 2013

Aiming High for ALLWell
“The ALLWell Center is the University’s highest capital priority,” said President’s Council member and chair of the ALLWell II Committee Eric Huttner, father of Jared ’06. The Active Living, Learning, and Wellness (ALLWell) Center is a multifaceted academic and athletic complex that will transform Plymouth State University through expanded academic programs and new opportunities for research, enhanced athletic and recreational activities, and additional ways to engage in community partnerships.

Huttner and 10 other members of the President’s Council created the ALLWell II Committee to partner with University Advancement’s major gifts team to raise the $2.5 million in gifts needed for the second phase that includes an expansive field house, classrooms, and laboratories.

“It’s an exciting opportunity for donors who want to have a big impact on the future at PSU,” said Huttner.

The President’s Council has played an important role in securing private support for the ALLWell Center’s first phase, the PSU Ice Arena and Savage Welcome Center, from individuals and businesses. “President’s Council members can be proud to see how their own gifts and their work with donors have resulted in the arena’s transformative impact on the University and the community,” said Vice President for University Advancement Sally Holland. “The ALLWell II Committee members are engaging with alumni, friends, and other donors who understand the need to replace the PE Center with facilities that reflect changing academic requirements and expanded enrollments.”

University System of New Hampshire alumni trustee and founding member of the President’s Council Wally Stevens observed, “The Board of Trustees recognizes the huge impact ALLWell will have on Plymouth State’s academic programs, especially in health and human performance, its third largest major. Those students go on to pursue careers in the health professions, which are critically important to New Hampshire. The state is experiencing a steady and rapid increase in demand for highly qualified practitioners in the health and wellness fields.”

Stevens continued, “As PSU has developed this project over the last several years, the trustees repeatedly have affirmed the ALLWell Center as the University System’s highest priority for construction projects.”

Huttner added, “With the efforts of the volunteers and the generosity of alumni, parents, and friends we’ll reach 100 percent of our goal.”

For more information about the ALLWell Center and how you can be a part of the University’s vision for the future, contact John Scheinman at or (603) 535-2805.

ALLWell II Committee Members

Patti (Ryan) Biederman ’76
Suzanne Fitzgerald ’95
Allan Fulkerson
Larry Haynes ’86
Eric Huttner, chair
Mike Long ’75
Ken Moulton ’73
Dave Poulin ’85
Jane Poulin ’84
Wally Stevens ’62
Bill Webb

Bringing His Talents Home: Dave Poulin ’85 Joins President’s Council

July, 2013

“The direction in which Plymouth State is moving … the initiatives for the future … that feeling I get when I’m back on campus.” This is what motivated David Poulin ’85 to become more deeply involved with his alma mater. As the newest member of the President’s Council, Poulin brings enthusiasm, energy, and commitment to the 22-member volunteer organization that works to advance the University’s mission by advocating for its future and securing private support.

Poulin, a physical education major and four-year player on Plymouth State’s football team, is now a senior vice president and senior investment management consultant with the Bay Colony Group at Morgan Stanley. He and his wife, Monica, live in Wayland, MA, with their three children. His commitment to athletics and fitness are evident in his community service involvements: youth sports like Pop Warner Football, baseball, softball, the Pan Mass Challenge bike ride to raise funds for the Jimmy Fund and Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and Friends of Plymouth State Football.

Q: How has your relationship to Plymouth State evolved in the 28 years since you graduated?

A: I’ve always loved this place. The close-knit PE department [now expanded as the Department of Health and Human Performance with 15 different undergraduate and graduate degree programs] gave me a solid start. My college friends and teammates have turned out to be my best friends—we have been together more than 30 years. We used to come back for football games, but then our priorities shifted with growing responsibilities to family and career. Two years ago, I connected with John Scheinman from University Advancement and began to see the positive initiatives the University was undertaking. John recognized in me a desire to help, especially with the ALLWell Center, and put me in touch with President Steen and [Council Chair] Larry Haynes. Serving on the President’s Council was the next right step in my lifelong relationship with PSU.

Q: Why is the replacement of the PE Center with the new ALLWell Center a project that matters to you and to PSU?

A: It’s important because it’s the only option! New facilities will make us competitive—for students, for great athletes, and especially in the health and human performance disciplines. The ALLWell Center truly benefits the entire University community. The ice arena and welcome center, the first phase of the plan, has already changed the social dynamics of the campus and the community. I’m excited about it and feel this is something alumni can get behind. It’s an opportunity we have to change the University for the next 50 years. As a member of the President’s Council, I want to help bring alumni together for a common cause that positively impacts the future PSU.

Q: Have you identified any common threads in the alumni and donor population of your generation?

A: I see a yearning of my generation to get back together, to get back to PSU, to reconnect. That’s where the idea for the new Boston Business Forum came from. We reached out to alumni who work in business and live in the Boston area, putting them in touch with the great things happening at the University like the new Enterprise Center, and reconnecting them with people they used to know and others they need to know—all through Plymouth State. People from PSU want to do business with others from PSU. If we can ignite pockets of alumni like this, we will be able to change lives like ours were changed when we first walked on campus many years ago.

Sam Wisel Joins Alma Mater as Annual Fund Coordinator

July, 2013

“Plymouth State has given me many opportunities to grow, as well as a wonderful education,” says Sam Wisel ’12, the University’s new Annual Fund coordinator.

Kaleb Hart '11 photo.

Throughout his four-year experience at Plymouth State, Wisel was no stranger to philanthropy or to giving back to the community. He served on the boards of Pemi-Valley Habitat for Humanity and the Student Support Foundation, traveled to the southern US with Alternative Spring Break, and went to Bolivia with the International Service Trip in 2012. Read More

The NBA’s Newest Film Star

July, 2013

Dan Craig '03 working out the Heat's Norris Cole at the American Airlines Arena in Miami. Isaac Baldizon, NBA Photos.

Surrounded by computer servers and Apple laptops in a red-carpeted lab between the players’ locker room and the court, Dan Craig ’03 represents one of the emerging twenty-first-century power centers in professional basketball: he’s the video coordinator and assistant coach for the defending champion Miami Heat. Utilizing multiple camera angles and sophisticated editing software, he creates fast, bite-sized visual narratives out of players’ tendencies and strengths and weaknesses—on-demand scouting and coaching tools that take the limited perspective of the bench to another dimension. Read More

Alumni Mentors: Building Connections and Benefitting Students

July, 2013

“Bringing students and alumni together allows for real and meaningful connections,” says Jim Kuras, Plymouth State’s new career services manager. With more than 20 years of career services experience, Kuras has seen significant changes in the way career services are delivered on college campuses, especially with the rise of social media.

One common method in the field is to bring together current students with alumni mentors, a natural source of advice and experience since alumni share a strong common bond with students. Kuras says, “In addition to helping students move forward in their career exploration, an alumni mentor enhances his or her own leadership and coaching skills and connects with what’s happening at Plymouth State.”

Kuras teaches a section of Professional Employment for PSU’s College of Business Administration, a course designed to help students develop the skills needed to succeed in the workplace, such as professional behavior, networking, and the job search. He quickly realized that the class would be the perfect opportunity to explore the possibilities of pairing undergraduate students with alumni mentors at Plymouth State.

This spring, Kuras put the idea into motion with a small pilot group. “During their degree programs, students develop leadership, relationship building, critical thinking, communication, and other skills,” says Kuras. “Alumni mentors can help students understand how portable those skills are, and how they can leverage what they’ve learned at Plymouth State throughout their careers.” Students and alumni mentors meet virtually or in-person, depending on the alumni mentor’s location, three or four times throughout the semester.

For the fall, Kuras is recruiting 15 more alumni mentors to pair with students. “We’re looking for professionals from a variety of fields who understand what it takes for recent graduates to be successful in any employment situation,” he notes. Director of Alumni Relations Rodney Ekstrom ’09G adds, “Working across the country and in nearly every career field, alumni have so much to offer our current students. We’re excited to partner with Career Services on this opportunity. Alumni-student interactions such as this are so important, as it allows alumni to serve by sharing their expertise to support students, regardless of career path.”—Heidi Pettigrew

Consider getting more involved with Plymouth State students as an alumni mentor.

Learn more from Jim about career services at Plymouth State and opportunities for alumni to volunteer.