Desrochers, DeRosa and GCEDC honored for local civic efforts
A Plymouth State University student, an English professor and the region’s economic development agency were chosen by Plymouth State University to be honored by the Campus Compact for New Hampshire at its annual Presidents’ Awards presentation in Bedford.
CCNH is a statewide consortium of college and university presidents dedicated to advancing the civic purposes of higher education. PSU president Sara Jayne Steen said that such engagement characterizes PSU.
“Each of these awards represents people who are a force for good in our region, people of whom we are proud,” Steen said.
Chelsea Desrochers was honored with the President’s Leadership Award, which recognizes students or student groups who have made outstanding contributions to civic engagement.
Desrochers is the President of PSU’s Habitat for Humanity chapter, oversaw student volunteers in PSU’s Alternative Spring Break, has served in the US and in countries such as Nicaragua, and is vice president of the Student Support Foundation.
She was also named a 2013 Newman Civic Fellows Award winner, a recognition bestowed on college students who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country. As such, she is considered to be among the next generation of the nation’s civic leaders.
“I was speechless when I first found out that I won. It means so much to me to receive such a prestigious award,” said Desrochers. “There are many students on campus that are involved in the community and have a passion for service, so I know it must have been a tough decision. I am proud of all that I have accomplished here at PSU and will continue my commitment to service from here on out.”
Robin DeRosa, a PSU English professor and trusted student advisor, received The Good Steward Award, which recognizes faculty or staff members who contribute professional expertise in service to the wider community.
She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Voices Against Violence, a regional domestic violence counseling organization which provides information and support regarding all aspects of domestic and sexual violence and serves fourteen towns in our region.
“This award is very special, since I really think of my job as a professor as being deeply connected to my role as an activist in our community,” DeRosa said. “I think that, at best, professors can be public intellectuals, working to use our academic expertise to help organizations that are working for the greater good. I am so happy to feel that PSU is a partner with me in this, and that my home institution supports the service work that I do and understands it to be connected to my job here at the university. I am very grateful.”
DeRosa received PSU’s Faculty Advising Award in 2011, is a distinguished and widely published scholar in her field, and was the Theo Kalikow Award winner in 2008 for her service to women’s issues. She earned her doctorate from Tufts University and has taught at Plymouth State since 2000.
The Grafton County Economic Development Council received the President’s Community Partner Award, which is presented to a non-profit organization that has enhanced the quality of life in the community in meaningful and measurable ways and engaged in the development of sustained, reciprocal partnerships with a college or university.
GCEDC Director Mark Scarano said he was thrilled the organization was recognized, and noted PSU is a valuable partner in achieving their goals of business and job growth.
“Because PSU works with many community groups and organizations throughout northern New Hampshire, we’re overjoyed that President Steen chose to recognize our partnership for this award. We’re very honored to receive this,” said Scarano.
Plymouth State University’s Linda Corriveau, Community Services Program Advisor, said the award recipients illustrate a strong campus-community connection.
“The recognition what of these award winners are doing encourages other people to also become engaged with volunteer opportunities, and we look forward to continuing the relationships we have built with our partners,” Corriveau said.
Annually, more than 23,000 student volunteers from CCNH’s member campuses serve some six million hours in local communities through initiatives run or supported by their institutions, providing millions of dollars in services.