Publication Year

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Fisher Cats president will speak at PSU commencement

April 20th, 2015 by Heather

    PLYMOUTH — Rick Brenner, president of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, will receive Plymouth State University’s 2015 Granite State Award at the university’s 144th Commencement ceremony on May 16 and will also give the commencement address.

    Brenner, who earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education from Plymouth State in 1994, returns to campus frequently to speak with students about the importance of setting and achieving goals, said university officials, who said they will honor Brenner “for his exceptional contributions to the state of New Hampshire and its citizens.”

    “Brenner has made community service a hallmark of the Fisher Cats brand. Under his direction, the Fisher Cats Foundation has made nearly $4 million in financial and in-kind donations to thousands of nonprofits in New Hampshire and Northern Massachusetts since 2006,” the university said in a press release.

    Brenner said he was thankful.

    “There are many people in New Hampshire who work hard to make this the great state that it is,” Brenner said in the release. “To be recognized by my alma mater is truly an honor.”

    It was also announced that John Garnsey, president of Global Mountain Development for Vail Resorts, who earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Plymouth State in 1973, will be award an honorary Doctor of Business degree at the ceremony.

    A concert of Scandinavian music by PSU Symphonic Band April 26 at the Silver Center

    April 16th, 2015 by Heather

      PLYMOUTH—The Plymouth State University Symphonic Band, directed by Professor Mark Stickney, will celebrate the wind music of Scandinavia at a 3 p.m. concert Sunday, April 26 in Hanaway Theatre at the Silver Center.

      The concert, the band’s second this year featuring Scandinavian works, features a performance of the first movement of Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor, with Carleen Graff on piano. Dr. Graff is professor of music at Plymouth State, where she teaches piano performance, class piano and piano pedagogy. A frequent adjudicator for competitions and evaluations throughout the United States and Canada, she has performed solo and chamber recitals in New England, the Midwest and Germany, and her students have received numerous awards for their performances and studies.

      Also on the program, PSU senior music education major Christopher Alberi of Otisfield, Maine, will conduct Grieg’s March of the Troll’s from Lyric Pieces, Op. 54. Trolls are a constant theme in Norwegian folklore.

      Completing the program are Serge Prokofiev’s Summer Day Suite, arranged for band by Swedish American Erik Leidzén; Lagmansboda-Suite by Swedish composer Owe Green and Wind Layers, by Rolf Martinsson.

      Mark Stickney is assistant professor of music and director of bands at PSU. He has served on the brass faculties of Salve Regina University and the Community College of Rhode Island, where he taught trombone, euphonium and tuba. He guest conducted the Rutgers Wind Ensemble at their Carnegie Hall debut in 2005. He has performed widely and has premiered a number of works as conductor. An active clinician, Stickney has worked with bands in New England, California, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Kansas, Rhode Island, Texas and Utah and has performed at the Newport Music Festival and throughout Southern New England as a soloist and chamber musician.

      Tickets are $8 for adults and youth and $6 for seniors at the Silver Center Box Office, 535-2787 or (800) 779-3869. Tickets are also available online at silver.plymouth.edu.

      General information about events at Plymouth State University is online at ThisWeek@PSU, http://thisweek.blogs.plymouth.edu.

      Art from Environmental Data exhibition April 4 – June 26 at Lamson Learning Commons

      April 16th, 2015 by Heather

        PLYMOUTH — Students, staff and faculty from Plymouth State University’s Center for the Environment (CFE) have developed an exhibition featuring visualizations of environmental data. The exhibit is presented in collaboration with the Lamson Learning Commons. Jennifer Green, Lamson digital projects librarian, curated the exhibition.

        Professor Mark Green says, “As scientists, we produce and process data that helps us interpret and quantify the world around us. At times we realize that the data visualizations we produce might be interesting to non-scientists. By embracing these opportunities and sharing our work publicly, we can improve our skill at engaging and informing the general public in scientific discovery.”

        The exhibition displays images that arise during environmental research, and some are attempts to emphasize the artistic aspect of the data. The exhibit shares the artistic perspective of scientists and provides an opportunity to show the aesthetics that come from, or can be produced from, the scientific process.

        Multiple scientific fields are represented in this exhibit, including ecological economics, hydrology, soil science, water chemistry and geospatial science.

        First-year CFE graduate student Carolyn Ellis from Campton says, “My abstract art piece was created from White Mountain National Forest streamwater chemistry data. Not only is it cool to see art derived from science, but it is an added bonus to have that art reflect the research that occurs locally.”

        Her colleague, second-year CFE graduate student Chelsea Berg from Rickman, Tenn., agrees.

        She says, “I have spent much time and energy learning a tool that models ecosystem services for my thesis work. Thus, my piece in the exhibit depicts experiencing a learning curve. I hope visitors will connect with the iteration of failures and the power of perseverance.”

        The CFE will host a reception and gallery talks by participants in the exhibit from 4–6 p.m. Tuesday, April 21, on the main level of the Learning Commons.

        Learning Commons are online at library.plymouth.edu/hours.

        Information about the Center for the Environment is online at plymouth.edu/center-for-the-environment/

        General information about events at Plymouth State University is online at ThisWeek@PSU, http://thisweek.blogs.plymouth.edu.

        Building a future through the past

        April 15th, 2015 by Heather

          What do the American Red Cross, Catherine the Great and Eddie Van Halen have in common?

          Maybe nothing except that those were among the research projects undertaken by students from Merrimack High School as part of the annual National History Day competition.

          National History Day, for the uninitiated, is “an educational program designed to encourage middle and high school students to engage with history by designing and completing original research on a topic of interest,” according to the Facebook page set up to promote the event in New Hampshire.

          Students research a topic of their own choosing related to the theme, then create a documentary, website, exhibit, paper or performance and present it to a panel of judges. The theme of this year’s competition is Leadership and Legacy in History, with more than half a million students participating nationwide.

          “It’s really a valuable program, it gives students the opportunity to defend research in front of a panel of historians and professors. It really prepares them for college,” said Merrimack social studies teacher Lindsey Bates.

          Twenty four Merrimack students took part in the state competition at Plymouth State University last month, and a dozen of them earned the right to compete on a national stage in Washington, D.C., in June. Besides the topics mentioned above, students researched the legacy of New Hampshire astronaut Christa McAullife, the early homophile movement in the U.S., and the legacy of the Marshall Plan that rebuilt Europe after World War II.

          Knowing that young people care about and are learning from the past is the kind of thing that can give one hope for the future.

          Merrimack students make DC

          April 14th, 2015 by Heather

            After impressive showing at Plymouth, 12 history students headed to nationals 

            MERRIMACK – A dozen Merrimack High School students earned a place at the National History Day competition in Washington, D.C., the final round of an annual program designed to promote creative research and study of history.

            New Hampshire students participated in the state competition at Plymouth State University in March.

            “Merrimack did very well. We had 12 students win and go on to nationals,” said Merrimack High School social studies teacher Lindsey Seibert.

            The students will in Washington, D.C, June 14-18.

            The theme of this year’s competition is Leadership and Legacy in History, with more than half a million students participating over the course of the 2015 program. The theme can apply to history on a state, national or international level.

            Seibert said Merrimack students created projects on the American Red Cross, Catherine the Great and Eddie Van Halen.

            “We were all over the place,” she said.

             

            “At the high school, we’ve actually incorporated National History Day into the honors curriculum,” said Merrimack social studies teacher Lindsey Bates. “What they do is extensively research any historical event that relates to the National History Day theme.”

             

            Students compete based on how they decide to present their research, Bates said, by creating a documentary, website, exhibit, paper or performance.

             

            About 160 students participated in the first round of the competition at the school in February, with judges from Plymouth State University evaluating the projects, said Bates.

             

            Merrimack had 24 students compete at states with 12 moving on to nationals. Students present the same project through each round.

             

            The national competition kicks off with a procession of students from each state.

             

            “They have an opening ceremony, so it’s a little bit like the Olympics,” said Seibert.

             

            The students then have the chance to mingle with teams from other states, she said.

             

            A panel of three to four judges comprised of historians and professors evaluates the work.

             

            “It’s really a valuable program, it gives students the opportunity to defend research in front of a panel of historians and professors. It really prepares them for college,” said Bates.

             

            Aside from placing well at states, Seibert said several students were recognized for their extraordinary level of research with a National Archives Research Award. Winners include Sam Cho, Owen Bailey, Abby Kautz, Megan Murphy, Annaliese Aarthun and Shravani Balaji.

            Students, staff and faculty from Plymouth State University’s Center for the Environment (CFE) have developed an exhibition featuring visualizations of environmental data

            April 13th, 2015 by Heather

              Students, staff and faculty from Plymouth State University’s Center for the Environment (CFE) have developed an exhibition featuring visualizations of environmental data, which will feature a reception and gallery talks by participants in the exhibit on Tuesday, April 21 from 4-6 p.m. on the main level of the Learning Commons.

              The exhibit is presented in collaboration with the Lamson Learning Commons. Jennifer Green, Lamson digital projects librarian, curated the exhibition.

              Professor Mark Green says, “As scientists, we produce and process data that helps us interpret and quantify the world around us. At times we realize that the data visualizations we produce might be interesting to non-scientists. By embracing these opportunities and sharing our work publicly, we can improve our skill at engaging and informing the general public in scientific discovery.”

              The exhibition displays images that arise during environmental research, and some are attempts to emphasize the artistic aspect of the data. The exhibit shares the artistic perspective of scientists and provides an opportunity to show the aesthetics that come from, or can be produced from, the scientific process.

              Multiple scientific fields are represented in this exhibit, including ecological economics, hydrology, soil science, water chemistry and geospatial science. First-year CFE graduate student Carolyn Ellis from Campton says, “My abstract art piece was created from White Mountain National Forest streamwater chemistry data. Not only is it cool to see art derived from science, but it is an added bonus to have that art reflect the research that occurs locally.” Her colleague, second-year CFE graduate student Chelsea Berg from Rickman, Tenn., agrees. She says, “I have spent much time and energy learning a tool that models ecosystem services for my thesis work. Thus, my piece in the exhibit depicts experiencing a learning curve. I hope visitors will connect with the iteration of failures and the power of perseverance.”

              Easy like Sunday morning

              April 4th, 2015 by Heather

                PLYMOUTH — Plymouth State University graduate Katie Comeau recalls the first time she did yoga about a dozen years ago, saying she remembers the funny positions and finding it hard not to laugh. Now she is running her own yoga class called “Easy Like Sunday Morning,” which she says is exactly how it sounds.

                “This is open to all ability levels,” said Comeau. “Whether you have never done yoga before or can kick up and do a handstand like it is nothing, it will be good for you. The name says it all. It’s a very laid back class and geared toward slowing down your mind, learning to turn down the chatter a bit and practice being present in your body with your breath in the current moment.”

                Comeau graduated from PSU in 2008 and she has been doing yoga for many years. She said in this class she will start by asking the class to allow themselves to slow down and rejuvenate through the day. She said they will be holding poses for a long time, which is different from some yoga classes and can be intimidating at first. However, she said it gets people deep into the muscles and relaxed in the poses.

                Comeau said they use props like holsters, straps and big pillows to assist people in getting optimal stretching. She said those who come to the class will be invigorated.

                “We have a little inside joke and say it is kind of like a spa day,” said Comeau. “You are taking good care of yourself.”

                Comeau has been teaching yoga for the past three years at Yoga Studio 8 for the past three years. She teaches there six days a week, but has also been teaching PSU faculty and staff as well as the Franconia Ski Club. She also teaches private classes.

                She said when she first did yoga, she remembers looking around at people with their backsides in the air and asking “what did I get myself into.” However, even since then yoga has popped into her life. She met Karen Price, owner of Yoga Studio 8, who Comeau said was a major impact.

                “Her teachings really resonated with me,” said Comeau.

                Comeau said she was working as a bar tender and noticed little things about how strong she was getting from doing yoga. She said she would carry trays differently and was overall much calmer and enjoyed working, and living, more.

                “I just enjoyed life more,” Comeau. “It kind of hit me. Any time I was having an issue, or something was on my mind, the answer would come to me when I was stretching.”

                She said what started as a one-day-a-week activity built up over time to an activity that became a part of her daily routine.

                For those who have never done yoga, Comeau said she would ask them to ask themselves that their hesitation is in the first place. A lot of times, she said, people simply don’t know what to expect and they feel there is a weird stigma around it.

                “I would tell people to drop all expectations out of it,” said Comeau. “The hardest part is just showing up, but once you are there it is all easy. It will help reduce stress and you can become more flexible both on and off the mat. A lot of things from yoga trickle down into your life.”

                Comeau said while some do it for a broad reason many do yoga to help them in specific ways. She said whatever the intention is, yoga will help.

                “Yoga complements every lifestyle,” she said. “Whatever it is you are into, it will help you become a more well-rounded, centered, or grounded person.”

                The classes take place at Yoga Studio 8 in Plymouth on Sundays at 10 a.m. and last for an hour-and-a-half. The “drop-in rate” is $15 but those who buy four consecutive classes will pay $52.

                To register for the class, contact Comeau at katiecomeau@yahoo.com and mention that you read about the class in The Citizen.

                Plymouth State University building for the future

                April 2nd, 2015 by Heather

                  President Sara Jayne Steen delivers Annual State of the University Address

                  PLYMOUTH — As­serting that “Plymouth State University is vi­brant and energetically moving forward,” Plym­outh State University President Sara Jayne Steen delivered a favor­able report in her annu­al State of the University address on March 25.

                  Citing continued success in experiential learning opportunities, an impressive recruitment and marketing effort, the culmination of a major fundraising campaign and campus capital improvements, Steen’s message high­lighted the University’s achievements before fac­ulty, staff, alumni and friends.

                  “I am grateful to the campus for your support and participa­tion,” Steen said. “You contribute your ideas, expertise and talent to keep the University both excellent in quality and financially solid. Be­cause of your work, the State of the University is strong.”

                  Steen emphasized PSU’s goal of preparing students for productive, meaningful careers through experiential learning, a principle Plymouth State has em­braced with continued success.

                  “PSU’s culture of ser­vice with engagement is key to the experiential learning environment,” Steen said. “We at PSU are fortunate to have rich, productive part­nerships with our host communities of Plym­outh and Holderness, and throughout the Lakes Region and North Country and across New Hampshire. They invite partners to engage with us in educating students at the same time that those students serve area schools, non-prof­its, businesses, and agencies.”

                  In the past year, the institution has expand­ed its recruitment and marketing efforts. Steen noted those efforts have been successful.

                  “PSU has received an all-time high number of inquiries and applica­tions for next fall,” Steen said. “PSU is positioning itself for the future.

                  That future, stated Steen, includes the ALL­Well North academic and athletic complex, slated to open this fall.

                  The facility will be the largest academic building on campus, providing new space for classes and research, and for programs in health and human performance, community wellness, athletics and recreation.

                  The University recently reopened the venerable Samuel Read Hall Building after a $4 million renovation. Hall Building is now home to the departments of counselor education and school psychology and of nursing. The Center for the Environment and Center for Rural Partnerships are also located in the facility. The modernization allows PSU to expand capacity in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math programs, including health disciplines, in Gov. Hassan’s proclaimed year of STEM.

                  Steen added that the University’s greatest challenges moving forward are reinforcing its financial footing and ongoing student recruitment.

                  “We must continue to work on enrollment, on diversifying revenues, on continuing to manage resources prudently and effectively and on reallocating as necessary to pay for strategic investments,” she said.

                  This year also marks the conclusion of Steen’s “Imagine a Way” fundraising campaign, which she launched in 2007 with a goal of raising $20 million in support. Her motivation, she said, was her own educational opportunity and success.

                  “Like many of you, I am a product of public higher education, as is my husband, and we live a better life than we once could have imagined,” she said. “We hope that for our students. The future does begin with imagination, as we, in my mother’s words, imagine a way.”

                  Steen announced earlier this year that she will be stepping away from the presidency in June, after leading the University since 2006. She thanked the faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends for all that has been accomplished in her tenure.

                  “I am honored to have served you for nine years as president,” Steen said. “I have no doubt about the positive value of public higher education. I have seen what this campus and its people are made of, and I will always love PSU.”

                  Archaeology field school set for Holderness this summer

                  April 2nd, 2015 by Heather

                    HOLDERNESS — This June and July, the New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources’ annual archaeology field school will study an approximately 4,000-year-old Native American site near Squam Lake in Holderness.

                    One of the main objectives of the field school is to determine when Native Americans may have lived at the site and how they may have used it.

                    Coordinated through the Division of Historical Resources’ New Hampshire State Conservation and Rescue Archaeology Program (SCRAP), the field school will conform to archaeology standards set by the National Park Service. New Hampshire State Archaeologist Dr. Richard Boisvert will direct all fieldwork and instruction.

                    Field school participants will learn fundamental recovery and documentation techniques as well as basic artifact identification and field laboratory methods. Hands-on instruction in the field, background readings, and evening lectures by various affiliated scholars are all part of the experience.

                    Volunteer participants and those seeking graduate or undergraduate credit through Plymouth State University may register for any of the three two-week sessions: June 22–July 3, July 6–July 17 and July 20–July 31. Fieldwork will take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays.

                    Volunteers will receive the same instruction as credit students. There is no fee to participate as a volunteer, however, a $40 donation to defray the cost of supplies and instructional materials is suggested.

                    Advance registration is required. For more information and to register, visit http://www.nh.gov/nhdhr/SCRAP.htm and click on “Upcoming Events & Opportunities,” then “SCRAP Field School 2015” or contact the New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources at 271-6433.

                    New Hampshire’s Division of Historical Resources, the “State Historic Preservation Office,” was established in 1974. The historical, archeological, architectural, engineering and cultural resources of New Hampshire are among the most important environmental assets of the state. Historic preservation promotes the use, understanding and conservation of such resources for the education, inspiration, pleasure and enrichment of New Hampshire’s citizens. For more information, visit us online at www.nh.gov/nhdhr or by calling 271-3483.

                    PSU student Emily Spring earns top three ranking in national sales competition

                    April 2nd, 2015 by Heather

                      PLYMOUTH — Plymouth State University senior Emily Spring placed third in a national sales competition at the American Marketing Association’s (AMA) 37th Annual International Collegiate Conference held earlier this month in New Orleans.

                      Spring, a Pembroke native, is a member of PSU’s student marketing group, MAPS, which has a long track record of success in the conference competitions. Spring said she and 60 other competitors were provided a sales scenario and were then judged on product research and presentation skills.

                      “I was role-playing as a sales representative, so I had to know my product and how to approach the client,” Spring said. “My experience with Professor Bob Nadeau’s sales courses prepared me well.”

                      Nadeau is the director of PSU’s Professional Sales Program, a nationally renowned, award-winning program teaching marketing, sales and sales management. Students learn the marketing framework and sales cycle, along with processes and leadership methods to select, develop and lead a sales organization. The Professional Sales Program is recognized by many of the nation’s top employers and is rated one of the nation’s top seventy U.S. collegiate sales programs by the Sales Education Foundation.

                      Spring, a communications major with a business minor, was elated to place third.

                      “It was exciting and it feels great knowing that all my hard work paid off,” noted Spring. “This proves that MAPS and students in the sales program can compete successfully on a national level.”

                      Faculty advisor Brad Allen said Spring’s showing is impressive, but not surprising.

                      “Emily has proven to be one of the most outstanding national marketing students we have ever enjoyed,” Allen said. “Emily’s constant enthusiasm, professionalism and commitment to our MAPS chapter have benefited numerous students and regional organizations. Emily has left a lasting mark on the PSU MAPS chapter.”

                      Plymouth State ranked among the top 30 marketing schools nationwide when compared to the other schools participating in the conference. PSU’s 16 student attendees were invited to speak to more than 500 other business students about their fundraising successes, detailing their experiences with events such as Chuck-a-Puck, Rail Jam, and the PSU College of Business Administration Alumni Hall of Fame. The PSU contingent earned three major awards in fundraising, professional development and membership, competing in a field of more 400 national AMA collegiate chapters.

                      “Plymouth State students and MAPS continue to actively build their national reputation at the premier AMA marketing event,” Allen said.

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