Each spring, the University recognizes some of the many talented, creative, and dedicated professionals who have distinguished themselves in their disciplines and in their work. This year’s cohort reflects the full spectrum of PSU’s mission, from excellence in teaching and service to innovation in research and the arts. Visit the Excellence Web site to learn more about the 2008 distinguished faculty and staff.
by Bill Laforme
“This is who I am, this is what I do.”
These words sum up Diane Tiffany’s approach to public service. Tiffany, a gift processor in the Advancement Office since 1997, loves how volunteering allows her to meet people on campus, especially students. Over the years, her longtime personal philosophy of “do no harm” has evolved into one of actively serving her community.
While growing up in Concord, NH, Tiffany’s parents were strong public service role models. Her mother, Nell Thompson Tillotson ’46, was a Brownie and Girl Scout leader and her father did frequent service work as a member of the Masons. Tiffany was active in her church, in Girl Scouts, and in the Order of the Rainbow for Girls, a service organization for daughters of Masonic lodge members Read More
by Barbra Alan
If you mistake Amanda Whitworth for a student, no one could blame you. Beyond her youthful appearance is a boundless energy, vivacious personality, and eagerness to change the world—all qualities that will serve her well in her new role as director of– PSU’s dance program.
It’s a role not altogether unfamiliar to Whitworth, who has served as interim director of dance for the past year during founding director Joan Wiegers’ sabbatical. During what she characterizes as a “crazy but wonderful year,” Whitworth introduced several innovations and collaborations that have enhanced the dance program. Read More
Joan Wiegers looks back on the program she created and ahead to new challenges.
by Barbra Alan
According to Joan Wiegers, founding director of the dance program at Plymouth State University, dance “was something that was in my soul—I was born with this desire [to dance].” While she took dance classes off and on throughout her childhood and adolescence, she deferred her dream of pursuing dance full time in favor of earning a college degree. “I came from a family where you had to get a degree before you did something ‘frivolous’ like dance,” Wiegers notes. Read More
by Stacey G. Yap
Almost every year my family and I take turns choosing summer vacation destinations to explore while visiting relatives in Asia. This year it was my turn. Because Asia’s rapid economic development has changed or, in some cases, totally wiped out the places I used to visit (like Malaysia’s Rantau Abang beach, where I once watched large numbers of leatherback turtles coming ashore to lay eggs before sunrise), I try to visit cultural and natural sites before economic development alters them.
While some people refer to Patricia Schultz’s book 1,000 Places to See Before You Die when deciding on their next vacation spot, I look to UNESCO’s (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage List as my travel guide. The list comprises more than 800 sites of cultural or natural significance in 145 countries around the world. This year, I chose to visit two of Vietnam’s UNESCO world heritage sites: the old imperial capital Hué, which was inscribed on the list in 1993, and the ancient town of Hoi An, a well-preserved traditional Asian trading port, inscribed in 1999 Read More