Winter 2012 Of Note

January, 2012

New Colleges Announced

Earlier this year, PSU announced the creation of two new colleges: the College of Arts and Sciences, led by founding dean Cynthia Vascak, and the College of Education, Health, and Human Services, led by founding dean Gail Mears ’76.

The College of Arts and Sciences is home to PSU arts, humanities, mathematics, and the natural, physical, social, behavioral, and computer sciences.

Dean Cynthia Vascak is a nationally recognized art educator, scholar, and administrator. A PSU faculty member since 1991, Vascak has served as chair of the Department of Art and as coordinator of the art education program. She has led initiatives such as the creation of the Master of Art in Teaching (MAT) degree, chairs the education subcommittee of the President’s Commission on Environmental Sustainability, and is a member of the Research Advisory Council. Off campus, she has engaged community partners in developing large-scale projects, most notably a four-year Federal Department of Education grant that involved 25 educators in three school districts, for which she served as director. In 2009, she was honored with PSU’s Distinguished Teaching Award.

The College of Education, Health, and Human Services is home to programs in education, human services, criminal justice, health and human performance, and nursing. A major initiative for the college over the next several years will be the development of the Active Living, Learning, and Wellness (ALLWell) Center, a multi-phased, multi-year project intended to integrate academics, athletics, and recreation in one location and provide state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories.

Dean Gail Mears is a teacher, researcher, and administrator nationally renowned for her work in mental health counseling. A member of the PSU faculty since 1999, Mears is a licensed clinical mental health counselor with over 30 years’ experience in the mental health field. She has worked in community mental health, family services, and private practice, and has provided counseling services to university students through the Counseling and Human Relations Center. Mears has received numerous awards both on and off campus for her service, leadership, and teaching. In 2009, Mears was the PSU Distinguished Graduate Teaching Award recipient.

The colleges join the College of Business Administration, which was formed in 2009 and is led by Dean Trent Boggess. CoBA offers a full range of programs at both the undergraduate and graduate degree levels with a focus on applied and practical business and managerial skills. Its faculty includes members with international academic reputations as well as successful former CEOs, CFOs, and managers who are dedicated to preparing students for rewarding careers in business.

Dean Trent Boggess is a professor of economics who joined the Plymouth State University faculty in 1983. He served as director, assistant chair and chair of the business department since 1992. Under his leadership, both graduate and undergraduate business programs have flourished. He has forged partnerships from Romania to Antigua and, working with faculty in the college, has developed programs in small business entrepreneurship, sales leadership, created international business and healthcare administration certificate programs for MBA students, and in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Performance, created a new degree in sports management.

Boucher Awarded Wixson Professorship

Statistics professor Thomas Boucher (right) has been selected as the recipient of the Ed and Marilyn Wixson Endowed Professorship of Mathematics.

A faculty member in the Department of Mathematics since 2005, Professor Boucher has created and taught statistics courses of all levels, and helped establish and currently directs the Statistical Consulting Center, which supports faculty and graduate research throughout Plymouth State University and beyond. The professorship, says Boucher, “will help me improve and extend the services I can offer to the University and its partners.”

Established in 2009 by retired PSU math faculty members Ed and Marilyn Wixson, the Wixson Endowed Professorship of Mathematics celebrates and recognizes faculty in the Department of Mathematics who are exemplary models of teaching, scholarship, and service, or who show strong promise in these areas. As the Wixson endowed professor, Boucher will receive an annual financial award for three years and will give an inaugural public lecture on April 16, 2012.

New Nursing Program

PSU has recently launched a nursing degree program to help fill a vital need for nursing professionals in the region. According to the New Hampshire Economic and Labor Market Information Bureau, registered nurses are among the top occupations with the most projected openings. As of 2010, there were 613 openings annually in New Hampshire with a 31 percent increase projected over the 10-year period between 2006 and 2016. With 12,489 nurses currently employed in the state, that represents a need for an additional 4,000 nurses by 2016.

Plymouth State University’s nursing program offers two options for students to obtain a baccalaureate degree in nursing: a four-year pre-licensure track for undergraduates who do not hold an RN license, and an RN completion track for students who hold an associate degree in nursing from a community college and have a current RN license.

According to Mary Bantell, director of the PSU Department of Nursing, students graduating from the program “will provide communities with competent, quality nursing care in numerous patient care settings such as acute and intensive care, long term care, maternal and child health, mental health, and community health/home health.”

PSU Honored by Grafton County Economic Development Council

PSU’s role in supporting business in the region was recently recognized by the Grafton County Economic Development Council (GCEDC) as Partner of the Year for its work on the Enterprise Center at Plymouth, which will serve as an incubator for area businesses.

As part of its partnership with PSU, the GCEDC will purchase the building at 149 North Main Street in Plymouth and renovate it for new entrepreneurial companies. PSU will provide staff and programs to assist the companies’ development.

Trent Boggess, dean of PSU’s
College of Business Administra-tion, said the University will provide hands-on expertise in creating jobs in the area. “Plymouth State students and faculty will have a major presence here. We will be offering marketing and graphic design services, as well as sales consulting. … Our goal is to make this incubator a business growth center for the region.”

Amidon Named Museum Director

Catherine Amidon has been named director of the Museum of the White Mountains at Plymouth State University.

A New England native, Amidon earned her doctorate from the University of Paris 1, Panthéon-Sorbonne, and worked in research and education for the Museum of Modern Art in Paris. She was named director of Plymouth State University’s Karl Drerup Art Gallery and Exhibitions Program in 1999. As director, she oversaw eight to twelve exhibitions each year, quadrupled the number of visitors to the gallery by cultivating on- and off-campus partnerships, and more recently promoted eco-art exhibitions that link environmental issues and visual communication.

Amidon has lectured extensively, published numerous articles, and curated more than 30 exhibitions, including three that toured nationally. She is the recipient of two Fulbright scholarships, one in 1994 for research in the Baltic States and Russia, and the other in 2007 for teaching and research at the National Gallery of Art in Kingston, Jamaica.

One of Amidon’s most recent projects was a collaboration with curator Peter Crane of the Mount Washington Observatory’s Gladys Brooks Memorial Library on an exhibition of photographs by the late White Mountains photographer Guy Shorey. Titled Guy Shorey: Among the White Hills, the exhibition reflects the photographer’s love of and commitment to the White Mountains. Amidon says the exhibition serves as an appropriate preface to the 2012 opening of the Museum of the White Mountains, which will preserve and promote the unique history, culture, and environmental legacy of the region.
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