Early Learning NH Honors PSU’s Steve Barba and Dr. Pat Cantor

January 5th, 2012 by blyndes

Plymouth, N.H.–A statewide early childhood learning advocacy group has honored two Plymouth State University professionals with awards for their support of young children’s care and education. Early Learning NH recognized Education Department Professor Dr. Patricia Cantor and Executive Director of University Relations Steve Barba with 2011 Champion Awards at the annual Excellence in Child Care ceremony in Concord.

Early Learning NH is a non-profit organization committed to ensuring that all New Hampshire children have the opportunity to reach their full potential by expanding access to affordable quality child care and early education; supporting the child care industry; building public-private partnerships; and helping families balance work and family. Executive Director Jackie Cowell said both Cantor and Barba have provided important support in ensuring young children have access to high-quality early care and education.

Dr. Patricia Cantor

“Early Learning NH is pleased to honor Steve Barba and Pat Cantor as two of our 2011 Early Learning Champions,” said Cowell. “Steve leant his time and his extraordinary voice to promoting the importance to the Granite State of investing in young children.  Pat, as Chair of the legislatively-mandated New Hampshire Child Care Advisory Council, is a stellar example of how to lead an organization to be an effective partner working towards better outcomes for young children.”

Patricia A. Cantor is the Coordinator of the Early Childhood Studies program and teaches numerous early childhood courses in PSU’s award-winning Education Department, including a course on Leadership, Policy, and Advocacy in Early Childhood. With her colleague Mary Cornish, she is involved in the Coos County Early Childhood Development Initiative, a major early childhood initiative sponsored by the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund of the NH Charitable Foundation.  Cantor received the 2011 Champion Award on behalf of the NH Child Care Advisory Council, of which she has served as Chair since 2008.  The Child Care Advisory Council, which is a legislatively ordained advisory council, was honored for its ongoing collaborations with public and private sector organizations on issues related to child care in NH.

“It was a great honor to accept this award on behalf of the many committed members of the Child Care Advisory Council,” Cantor said. “The Council has been working since 1965 to increase the availability and quality of child care in NH, and this is a wonderful recognition of our collaborative efforts.”

Cantor is also a board member of the NH Children’s Alliance. Dr. Cantor joined the Plymouth State faculty in 1990 and served as director of the Center for Young Children and Families for six years and as Education Department Chair for nine years.

Steve Barba

Steve Barba worked for 48 years at The BALSAMS Grand Resort Hotel in Dixville Notch, starting in 1959, eventually ascending to president and managing partner of the resort in 1971.  His continuous management spanned 35 years until his retirement in 2005; he had led PSU’s University Relations division since 2006. Barba has a long history of serving organizations that provide early childhood educational opportunities.  He serves as a Special Trustee of the Neil Tillotson Trust, which has funded an early childhood initiative in Coos County, as a Director of the Pemi Youth Center Board, and previously served as Director and Vice-chair of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation Board.

“I am convinced that investing in early childhood,” Barba said, “is the most efficient and effective means our society has to ensure the future productivity of the workforce and the quality of our New Hampshire citizenry 20 years later.”

Barba has also has received New Hampshire Business Excellence Hall of Fame Award (2006), the Distinguished Citizen Award – Boy Scouts of America (2006), Lifetime of Service Award of the Northern New Hampshire Foundation (2005), New Hampshire Business Leader of the Year (2003), and Lifetime Achievement Award of the Business and Industry Association of NH (2001).

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU News Services Mgr., or call (603) 535-2775.

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