A Note of Thanks
Welcome to Plymouth Magazine’s annual donor issue, the one in which we say thank you once again to those who, through their gifts, help PSU to excel. Philanthropy is personal. Although we cannot easily capture them here, giving begins with individual stories, those of donors and recipients, of people being honored, of memories and successes.
The students who are featured in the pages that follow are engaging and engaged; and all of us do what we do for PSU—for students—because we want to be part of something that matters and because we believe that education transforms lives. Some of us are living evidence of that. Read More
In the midst of their six-year population study of the Canada Warbler, Professor of Zoology Leonard Reitsma and his student research team have discovered the ideal conditions in which these birds—whose population has been declining over the past 40 years—can thrive.
Results of the study, which is being conducted in the Canaan, NH town forest and the adjacent Bear Pond Natural Area, indicate that this population is reproducing very well in both red maple swamps and early-succession forests.
“The findings demonstrate that suitable habitats for the species can be created through specific harvest strategies,” says Reitsma. “Such timber management strategies may help to reverse the significant decline the species has experienced over the past 40 years in the northeastern United States.
“The results also suggest that both red maple swamps and post-harvest forests with thick subcanopy vegetation and emergent trees provide a high quality habitat for breeding Canada Warblers,” he says.
While Reitsma and his team published their findings last October in one of the foremost ornithology journals, The Auk, as well as in The Wilson Journal of Ornithology, Reitsma notes that their work is far from done. “This project is ongoing and continues to involve PSU students,” he says.
Roderick MacLeish, a former Boston defense attorney now teaching criminal justice courses at Plymouth State University, has been honored with the Frank Carrington Champion of Civil Justice Award from the National Crime Victims Bar Association (NCVBA) in recognition of his longtime work advocating for crime victims.
As one of New England’s top trial lawyers, MacLeish has won many high-profile cases, including the sexual abuse case against Boston’s Catholic archdiocese that drew world-wide attention.
“It was an incredible honor to be recognized by my peers for representing so many victims of violent crimes, particularly sexual abuse,” says MacLeish of the award.
The NCVBA also cited MacLeish’s work in creating the Massachusetts 9/11 Fund, which has raised millions of dollars for family members of the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Director of Residential Life Frank Cocchiarella is the first recipient of the Patricia Storer PAT (Professional, Administrative, and Technical Staff) Award for his dedication to improving quality of life in the local community and at Plymouth State University.
“I’m proud to be a member of PSU and the community and feel blessed by the opportunities I’ve been given,” says Cocchiarella, whose record of service includes advising various PSU student groups and intramural sports teams as well as volunteering with the Plymouth Area Little League, serving as president of the local Habitat for Humanity chapter, and serving on the board of the Waterville Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce.
The Patricia Storer PAT Award was created to honor Patricia Storer ’48, a longtime Plymouth State employee who, during her career, served in a variety of roles, including faculty member in the education department, dean of women students, associate dean of academic affairs, and registrar. For Storer, having a PSU award named in her honor is deeply meaningful. “Plymouth State was good to me and still is,” Storer says. “I’m proud to say Plymouth State was my college.”
Storer is pictured at left, with Cocchiarella, the first recipient of the award named in her honor.
Editor’s note: We at PSU were saddened to learn of Pat Storer’s passing on January 14, 2009.
National Geographic Adventure magazine has named Plymouth one of the 50 next great adventure towns in the United States.
“Life in Plymouth is like a master class in recreation,” writes National Geographic Adventure journalist Sarah Tuff. “Wedged between Mount Washington Valley and the Granite State’s glittering Lakes Region, this college-meets-covered-bridge depot is home to the new White Mountain Exploration center, with instruction in ski touring, ice climbing, mountain biking, and rock climbing all run by Eastern Mountain Sports.”
Tuff goes on to write, “When classes aren’t in session, recess means kayaking the Pemigewasset River and exploring the 798,562-acre White Mountain National Forest.”
“Plymouth stood out because of its stunning location in New Hampshire,” says Tuff of Plymouth’s inclusion on the list. “We sought towns that not only have premier access to outdoor recreation and resources, but also forward momentum. New initiatives such as bike paths, outdoor centers, eco-friendly measures, and more all played a role in helping us determine the 50 best places to live and play for National Geographic Adventure readers.”
As part of the celebration of a century of women’s athletics at Plymouth State University, a new award has been created honoring Professor Emerita of Physical Education Dorothy “Dot” Diehl. in recognition of her numerous contributions to women’s sports and physical education at PSU.
Over the course of her 30-year career at Plymouth State, Diehl has served as department chair, faculty speaker, and field hockey coach. During her 16-year tenure as field hockey coach, Plymouth State field hockey made eight straight postseason appearances from 1980 to 1987, including an ECAC championship in 1984.
“Watching Dot, I learned the meaning of the word integrity,” Provost Julie Bernier says. “Dot showed what it meant to be a mentor to others, how to influence change, how to manage conflict, and how to lead, but give others credit.”
The Dorothy “Dot” Diehl Award will be presented annually to a female student athlete who exhibits leadership for the advancement of women’s equality in sports and physical education, strength of character, and a sense of responsibility to others.
In Lizzie Borden Took an Axe, Professor of Communication Studies Annette Holba reexamines the grisly and sensationalized murders of Andrew Jackson Borden and Abby Durfee Borden. Through various essays, Holba shatters myths, provides new perspectives, and explores intriguing questions about Lizzie Borden and the Borden murders that have remained unanswered for over a century.
New York Times bestselling author Luanne Rice and PSU Professor of English Joseph Monninger combine their talents in The Letters, the story of Sam and Hadley West, an estranged couple grieving over the death of their son in very different ways. Sam is compelled to make a trek to Alaska to the site of their son’s death, while Hadley is equally compelled to distance herself from the tragedy by moving to an island off the coast of Maine. Through their letters to each other, readers learn about the couple’s lives before and after the tragedy.
In Hippie Chick, Professor of English Joseph Monninger introduces readers to Lolly Emmerson, an independent 15-year-old who sets out for an ill-fated evening sail. When her boat hits an underwater wreckage, she’s thrown overboard with only her life vest for support. After hours of struggling in the water, Lolly encounters her unlikely rescuers: three manatees, one of which she clings to as they make their way to safety.
Monninger focuses on the mysterious, sensitive side of nature and the aftereffects of Lolly’s emotional, life-changing experience in this story aimed at young adults.
Editor’s note: Hippie Chick was recently chosen as one of 2008’s most distinguished books by the Center for Children’s Books’ Bulletin, published monthly by the Johns Hopkins University Press.