PSU Undergrad Commencement–The Stories Behind The Story

May 15th, 2008 by Adam

PLYMOUTH, NH– When more than 800 students graduate from Plymouth State University May 17, several will have overcome unique and sometimes difficult circumstances to earn their degrees.

Will Hopkins–engaged veteran

Will Hopkins has lived in Plymouth most of his life, and is a decorated veteran of the Iraq War as an infantryman for six years with Co 3-172nd Infantry (Mountain), New Hampshire National Guard. He is very active in the peace movement, especially with Veterans for Peace. Hopkins is a Magna Cum Laude Graduate of Plymouth State University, and is currently completing his MBA at PSU. He works for Plymouth State’s Center for the Environment as a research assistant. Hopkins said going to a University in his home town and working on local projects was nice. “It made coming home [from the military] all the more literal.”

Contact: William Hopkins whhopkins@mail.plymouth.edu.
Also, Asst. Professor Brian Eisenhauer: bweisenhauer@plymouth.edu

“I have worked on six major projects with Dr. Eisenhauer with sample sizes between 150 and over 2000. Most of them have focussed on impacts and regulations with respect to watershed management.”

Q: What has it been like going to school in your hometown, after your time away in the military?

WH: Nice actually, I always loved living in Plymouth, and finishing my undergrad, and doing my MBA here has meant that I didn’t have to learn my way around a new area, and I already had friends and work connections. It made coming home all the more literal.

Q: Do you think you bring a different perspective to the classroom and your peers post-military?

WH: In some cases. Certainly when discussion turns to Iraq or military issues. Most of the time I feel like any other student.

Sample projects:

* Every Acre Counts: the Newfound Watershed Master Plan is a project that will create a plan to manage the Newfound Lake watershed for the long-term benefit of residents and visitors as it moves through a watershed. The Newfound Lake watershed is 63,150 acres and includes portions of Bristol, Bridgewater, Dorchester, Hebron, Alexandria, Groton, Orange, Danbury, and Plymouth.

* Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) studies of chlorides in four impaired watersheds.The expansion of I-93 is expected to accelerate population growth in southern New Hampshire. This growth will increase road salt usage in the area which may cause other watersheds to be impaired for chlorides. Increasing chloride concentrations are a regional and national issue.

* Information for Planning in the Sandwich Historic District: Results from a Survey of Community Residents. The Sandwich Historic District Commission (HDC) provides a public service to the Town of Sandwich through its efforts to manage the official historic district in accordance with the policies adopted by the Town. To best balance the requirements of the historic district guidelines with the desires and needs of residents, the HDC, and the larger community public input is needed to inform and guide decision making.

* Developing a Master Plan for Berlin, NH Using Citizen Input:The Role of a Community Survey. Jeffery Taylor and Associates will collaborate with the Center for the Environment at Plymouth State University, who will lead a team of researchers to design and conduct a scientifically valid random sample survey of residents of Berlin, N.H.


Vanessa Pellegrino and Kayi Teko are first generation immigrant students in business administration and psychology respectively.

Contact: vcpellegrino@plymouth.edu; kateko@plymouth.edu

Also: Associate Professor of Language Wilson Garcia, wagarcia@plymouth.edu and faculty advisor Professor Bonnie Bechard, Business, bbechard@plymouth.edu


Jamal Luttamaguzi (B.S. Marketing) was born in Africa, grew up in Sweden, and lived for a time in Saudi Arabia. In addition to his studies he has been a four-year standout in men’s soccer and has worked as the Sports Information Office fellow.

Contact: fjluttamaguzi@plymouth.edu
Also, Kent Cherrington, Director of Sports information kcherrin@plymouth.edu

For mor information or to arrange interviews contact Christopher M. Williams, director of public relations at cwilliams@plymouth.edu or (603) 535-2476.

In the News

Example Image

Five Teaching Artists Join the NH State Arts Council’s Arts in Education Roster

Hopkinton, Portsmouth, other artists to be featured   The N.H. State Council on the Arts is pleased to announce that five new teaching artists who represent a variety of artistic disciplines and backgrounds have been added to the Arts in Education (AIE) roster. The AIE roster is a resource of professional artists who bring new […]

Example Image

PSU honors retirees, longtime employees

PLYMOUTH STATE University retirees pose with President Sara Jayne Steen at a Nov.13 ceremony. From left: Diane Newberry, Susan Lafreniere, Shaughn Bolton, Nancy Aldrich, Judith Landry, Mary-Ellen Godville, PSU President Sara Jayne Steen, Tim Keefe, Susan Keefe and Nancy Betchart. Plymouth — Plymouth State University President Sara Jayne Steen recognized nearly 120 University employees and retirees […]

Example Image

Program gives support, guidance to New Hampshire college applicants

Concord High School senior Irene Ireme grabbed the confirmation letter off the printer and flashed a wide smile. She had just applied to the University of Connecticut. By day’s end, Ireme expected to submit applications to Keene State College and Plymouth State University, with the help of an admissions counselor from Franklin Pierce University. She […]