WELCOME TO THE WINTER ISSUE of Plymouth Magazine.
As you read the pieces in this issue of Plymouth Magazine, you can see Plymouth State’s innovation as the University adapts to a rapidly changing world—the right now of PSU’s academic vibrance—and also recognize PSU’s long-term and ongoing commitment to student success, which is the core of who we are.
Faculty and staff members at PSU are developing programs that meet student, local, state, national, and international needs, from a professional sales leadership program and initiatives like the Business Enterprise Center (a small business incubator PSU is launching in conjunction with the Grafton County Economic Development Council) to nursing, the most recent addition to PSU’s array of health and wellness programs. Marcel Lebrun, chair of the education department, is internationally known for his leadership on behalf of children and their ability to achieve their potential, and our three academic deans have just returned from a trip to China, where they are creating opportunities for exciting international work.
Partnerships inform creativity, whether it’s computer science students working with area organizations or the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance selecting 12 PSU art students for its inaugural Young Preservationist list. That recognition is the result of a course developed and taught by PSU art faculty member Tom Driscoll in which students, working with cultural history experts, visited the Brown Company Research and Development Building in Berlin and developed 24 murals that eventually will become a permanent exhibition. It is no coincidence that Thad Guldbrandsen, interim coordinator of the White Mountains Institute, founding director of the Center for Rural Partnerships, and one of the people behind the unique alliance that resulted in the Berlin murals, has just been named the 2011 recipient of Business NH Magazine’s Young Professional of the Year award for his commitment to partnerships and the community.
Our history is one of caring for students, and that is our present as well. The recently acquired letters by poet Robert Frost, who taught at Plymouth in 1911, to former President Ernest Silver, are emblematic of this caring. Frost’s letters include questions about how students were doing and reminiscences of reading Yeats’s work to students in the parlor. Such caring and commitment to students continues today, as faculty and staff mentor a diverse group of students in and beyond class. One piece in this issue examines campus resources for our LGBTQ students.
Finally, the University is about academic excellence and students. Three who are featured in one piece here—John East, Brady Lynch, and Bryan Funk—share their experiences and dreams. Like their colleagues in this issue, whether students, faculty, staff, or alumni, they are among the faces and voices of Plymouth State University and they make us proud.
Sara Jayne Steen, President