Plymouth State University Alumni Association Honors Seven For Excellence and Service

October 1st, 2012 by blyndes

Plymouth, N.H.–Seven Plymouth State University alumni were honored at a ceremony during the University’s annual Homecoming and Family Celebration September 28-30 on campus. In this annual recognition event, the Plymouth State University Alumni Association honors alumni, faculty, staff, students, and friends for outstanding service to the University, their communities and other alumni. PSU’s Director of Alumni Relations, Rodney Ekstrom, said the seven awardees have made a lasting, positive impression on the University.

The 2012 Plymouth State University Alumni Association award winners, left to right, Joan Tambling, Outstanding Graduate Alumni Award, Gerry Buteau, PSUAA Chairman, Bonnie Bechard, Faculty/Staff Award of Excellence, Ted Moccia, Alumni Achievement Award, Joan Cook, Distinguished Alumni Service Award, Don Sweet, Ut Prosim Award, Nicole Petrin, Graduating Senior Award of Excellence and PSU President Sara Jayne Steen.

“Their success makes them great role models for our current students and recent alums, and many of them also serve as mentors giving back to their alma mater in a very important way,” Ekstrom said. “The success of these alumni combined with their dedication to service makes us very proud to call them Plymouth State graduates.”

The 2012 PSU Alumni Association honorees include:

 The Distinguished Alumni Service Award was presented to Joan Cook ’69 of Kennebunk, Maine. The award recognizes a graduate who through unselfish devotion and loyalty has served Plymouth State University and/or The Plymouth State University Alumni Association (PSUAA).  Cook is a founding member of the President’s Council, a volunteer group charged with raising financial and capital resources. An attorney with a background in planned giving, she lends her expertise to the President’s Council in her role as the long-time chair of the Heritage Society, a group that works to promote the benefits of planned giving for donors.  Cook was also an active volunteer leader and an exceptional chair of the PSUAA Board of Directors.

The Alumni Achievement Award was presented to Ted Moccia ‘84, of Norway, Maine. The award recognizes alumni who exemplify the University motto, Ut prosim (That I may serve). The awardee  must demonstrate active participation in and contributions to the activities of the PSUAA, their chosen field, or the improvement of society in general. Moccia was recognized for his service in the field of education, and the impact his service has on his community.  As Principal of Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in Maine, Moccia has instituted innovative programs aimed at reaching kids not expected to succeed.  He works individually with these students, establishes benchmarks, provides assistance along the way and tracks their progress.  He has been recognized for his successful approach, most recently with the accolade of Principal of the Year in the State of Maine.

 Don Sweet ’75 is the 2012 recipient of the Ut Prosim Award.  The Award recognizes alumni whose exemplary community service and contributions in business, professional, civic, philanthropic, volunteer or similar activities have brought honor to PSU and exemplify the University motto, Ut prosim (That I may serve). Sweet is currently a principal of the Vital Growth Consulting Group in Portsmouth. His business acumen led him to rise from accountant, to plant manager, to chief financial officer, and eventually business owner.  His service includes the board of directors for Lutheran Social Services of New England, the Youth Exchange Officer for Rotary Club of York, Maine and a Trustee and Committee Chair for the Museums of Old York in Maine.

The Recent Alumni Award of Excellence was presented to Trevor Chandler ’09. The award goes to an alumna or alumnus who has graduated with the last 10 years, and recognizes professional excellence and outstanding service to the University, the PSUAA, the community or the nation. Chandler is currently a regional field organizer for the Human Rights Campaign in Minneapolis, Minn. His accomplishments include an ongoing commitment to equality and LGBT rights, his work as a community outreach representative for New Hampshire’s 2nd congressional district and assisting citizens with various federal programs including Social Security, Veteran’s Affairs, and foreclosure prevention.  Trevor recently represented New Hampshire as a delegate at the Democratic Nation Convention.

Bonnie Bechard was presented the Faculty/Staff Award of Excellence. Bechard, a Professor of Business in the PSU College of Business Administration, has developed two annual events in the College of Business Administration; the Delta Mu Delta Business Honors Society Fall Networking Dinner and Awards ceremony, and the PSU/Common Man Apprentice Challenge.  Both traditions integrate alumni and current students, and in fact, they have grown to become traditions that both alumni and students eagerly anticipate every year.

 Nicole Petrin ’12 was selected for the Graduating Senior Award of Excellence, which honors a member of the incoming alumni class who exhibits outstanding campus and community leadership while enhancing alumni activities. Petrin was an outstanding student leader at PSU, including President of the Social Work Club, a member of the Social Work Honor Society and she served as an Officer for the Class of 2012 raising funds with her peers for a scholarship in honor of her graduating class.  She now works with the NH Department of Children, Youth, and Families.

Joan Tambling ’83G received the Outstanding Graduate Alumni Award. The Award honors graduate alumni who by earning a graduate degree have been able to impact their profession, community or society in a positive and meaningful way. Tambling, who recently retired USNH director of human resources, dedicated her career to improving the work world for the thousands of faculty and staff of the University System of New Hampshire, leveraging her Plymouth State MBA in developing innovative programs like earned time, wellness, the Employee Assistance Program, creative health insurance initiatives and the Total Rewards program.  These programs contribute to the environment that has earned Plymouth State “Best College to Work For” accolades from the Chronicle of Higher Education and the “Top 5 Businesses to work for in New Hampshire” by New Hampshire Business Magazine.

Information about the PSUAA recognition awards is available from Rodney Ekstrom,

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775.