By Bruce Edwards
BRANDON – Tegan Donnelly never considered herself outspoken. But that changed during her junior year at Plymouth State University when she took up the cause of women’s issues.
Her advocacy on the part of women didn’t go unnoticed by the school, which honored Donnelly this month with its annual Powerful Outstanding Women’s Advocate award.
“It was actually a great surprise,” said Donnelly, a 2010 graduate of Otter Valley Union High School. “I didn’t realize that it was an award at all until my boss told me and then I went to the ceremony and didn’t realize how much of an honor it was.”
In her remarks, PSU President Sara Jayne Steen said Donnelly “has been one to stand up for women, to speak out against sexism and misogyny and to help educate people on women’s issues, and she has done so with tact and respect.”
Donnelly is currently a legislative intern at Planned Parenthood of Northern New England and a volunteer at NARAL Pro-Choice in Concord, N.H.
Donnelly said she became passionately involved in women’s issues after returning last year from the National Young Feminists Leadership Conference in Washington.
Angela Ricciardi, a tutor coordinator and a member of the college’s Women’s Studies Council, was one of four people who nominated Donnelly for the award.
Ricciardi said Donnelly exhibited an unwavering commitment to promoting issues important to women.
“She genuinely cares about women’s issues in the classroom and outside,” Ricciardi said. “She’s not afraid to have uncomfortable conversations, but she’s very tactful, very respectful of other people’s beliefs.”
She said for Donnelly to have those qualities is “pretty rare for someone her age.”
There are a number of issues of concern to women, including equal pay for equal work.
“I think if I do the same task as a man, if I have the same experience as a man, I should be paid just the same,” Donnelly said. “Why should my reproductive organs keep me from that.”
Donnelly will graduate next month with a bachelor’s degree in history with a double minor in women’s studies and creative writing.
After graduation, she’ll continue her work promoting women’s issues as the volunteer coordinator for NARAL Pro-Choice New Hampshire.
Donnelly’s guardians are Beth and Tim Rand of Brandon.
PLYMOUTH, N.H.— More than 100 scholars will present their latest research on many aspects of medieval and Renaissance culture at the 35th annual Medieval and Renaissance Forum, April 25 and 26 at Plymouth State University. Plymouth State’s forum is the oldest conference of its type in New England.
The theme of this year’s event is “Authors, Artists, Audiences.” Registration and coffee begins at 8 a.m. Friday at Lamson Library and Learning Commons on Highland Street.
The Forum officially opens at 8:45 a.m. following a procession from Rounds Hall to the Hartman Union Building Fireplace Lounge. The traditional opening ceremony will include music by the Plymouth State University Chamber Singers, just back from Carnegie Hall; a welcome by forum Director Karolyn Kinane, an opening poem by Festival Poet Laureate Phil O’Mara with Kinane, and an audience singing of Gaudeamus Igitur.
Public concurrent sessions are held in Boyd Hall, Lamson Learning Commons and Rounds Hall throughout the day Friday and Saturday on topics such as “Orality and Historiography: The Power of the Spoken Word in the Middle Ages,” “Women Empowered by God,” “Early Medieval Aesthetics,” “Understanding The Canterbury Tales,” “Sacred Art” and “Early Medieval France.” Several undergraduate student panels are also scheduled.
Friday morning sessions are 9:30–10:50 a.m. and 11:05 a.m.–12:25 p.m. and a chainmail workshop by the student Medieval Society is scheduled from 1:15–2:15 p.m. at a location to be announced.
Friday lunch will be held from 12:30-1:30 p.m. at Frost Commons off School Street, followed by additional concurrent sessions from 2:25–3:45 p.m.
This years Forum Keynote Speaker is Rebecca Krug, associate professor of English at the University of Minnesota, who specializes in late medieval English literature and culture. She will speak on “Margery Kemp and the Lonely Reader” at 4 p.m. Friday, in the Hage Room on the second floor of the Hartman Union Building.
Krug is the author of Reading Families: Women’s Literate Practice in Late Medieval England, and a number of essays including pieces in The Cambridge Companion to Medieval English Culture and A Cultural History of Gardens in the Medieval Age. She is currently writing an essay about lunar gardening in the medieval and modern worlds and completing a book about Margery Kemp.
A reception follows from 5-6:15 p.m. at the same location. Dinner, for which tickets are required, will be at 6:30 p.m. in Frost Commons.
Saturday registration and coffee begin at 8:30 a.m. at Lamson Library and Learning Commons, followed by concurrent sessions from 9 a.m. –10:20 a.m. and 10:35–11:55 a.m. Lunch will be held in Frost Commons from noon–1:15 p.m. Afternoon sessions run from 1:30–2:50 p.m. and 3-4:20 p.m.
Doors open for the traditional Medieval Feast (tickets required) at 5:30 p.m. in Heritage Hall in Samuel Read Hall Building on Highland Street. Contact the forum director at PSUForum@gmail.com for tickets.
Information about the Forum is online at Plymouth.edu/medieval and on Facebook at Plymouth State University Medieval and Renaissance Forum.
General information about events at Plymouth State University is online at ThisWeek@PSU, http://thisweek.blogs.plymouth.edu.
PLYMOUTH State University’s Associate Athletic Director and former ski racing coach Kim Bownes has been named the 2014 Theo Kalikow Award winner for her efforts in advancing women’s issues.
Bownes has been an administrator in the athletics department since 2008 and served as the men’s and women’s varsity ski coach for 21 years. She is the past recipient of the Eastern Collegiate Ski Conference MacConnell Division Coach of the Year award and the Walter Smith Coaches Award. She earned a bachelor’s from McGill University and a master’s from Plymouth State.
Plymouth State President Sara Jayne Steen presented the award to Bownes at an April 10 ceremony.
The Theo Kalikow Award is named after a former PSU administrator who has been an effective advocate for improving the status of women. The award honors a faculty or staff member who has significantly contributed to the advancement of women’s issues and is presented annually by the PSU President’s Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW).
“College Notebook” is compiled by the staff of the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News. Submissions may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As spring attempts to make its way into the Plymouth area, Sunday afternoon saw more than 30 people taking to the ice of the Hanaway Rink at the Plymouth State University Ice Arena.
Many meeting for the first time that day, the folks were coming from various portions of the community to open up a Sunday afternoon curling league.
This group joined another league playing from 6 to 8 p.m., as well as leagues running on Monday and Tuesday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m.
“It’s been bigger than I ever could’ve imagined,” said arena manager Dave Gyger. “We’re opening up more practice day because people want it.”
Amazingly enough, curling at the PSU arena started just eight weeks ago, but buoyed by the televised matches from the Sochi Winter Olympic Games in February, the program has burgeoned and has become a huge hit at the arena.
Gyger was working in Waterville Valley about 10 years ago when they hosted Scottish Games. The Belfast Curling Club came to do a demonstration and Gyger was determined that he would get a club going locally at some point.
“Ever since, it’s always been in my head, if I got to a place where I could, this was something I wanted to do,” he said.
The arena held an intro to curling class and more than 230 people showed up for the class.
About 60 percent of those people signed up to continue on with league play and there is currently more than 100 participants in the league play.
“For the first year, this is unbelievable,” Gyger said as he looked across the ice at the 32 people with smiles on their face enjoying the afternoon. “It’s an absolute roaring success.”
Gyger noted that none of the success the program has seen would be possible without the support of the university and the Mount Washington Valley Curling Club, based out of the Ham Arena in Conway. That club started a few years ago and has been moving along nicely.
Gyger noted that the MWV group was instrumental in helping to teach the PSU arena staff how to teach the game and lots of the basics. Some of the MWV members were in attendance on Sunday afternoon participating in league play.
“They’ve really helped us along,” Gyger said. “MWV has been unbelievable.”
The university purchased the four sets of stones needed to hold four matches at one time on the ice surface. Each match includes 16 stones (eight for each team), so a total of 64 stones were purchased, the largest expense of starting the club.
“This wouldn’t be possible without the support of the university,” Gyger said. “We’re very fortunate for their support.”
Making ice for the curling is also a bit different than normal. The zamboni runs a dry run over the ice, not putting down water, but just scraping up the “snow” left from whatever activity was on the ice previously. Staff members then take out backpacks full of water and essentially spray water drops onto the surface. Curling requires a surface loaded with tiny bumps and the water droplets freeze and provide that surface.
Gyger also pointed out that the curling program is just another way to get people into the arena, and that’s always the goal.
“The community outreach that we are able to get with this has been great,” Gyger continued. “It’s bringing people into the facility, they get to experience the building and hopefully they come back.”
And Gyger notes that there have been a lot of great moments in the first few weeks of the program.
He recounts a group from the Beckett School that plays on Tuesday night. The group includes people dealing with disabilities and he said the excitement on their faces as they played a great match just a week earlier was fantastic.
But perhaps Gyger’s favorite story helped to hammer home that the curling program he brought to the arena was a sure-fire success.
He relays a story of a gentleman coming off the ice, someone he hadn’t met and who didn’t know who he was. Gyger asked him what he thought of the program.
“He said, ‘I have not seen so many people smile for such a long period,’” Gyger relayed. “That was a nice compliment to get from a perfect stranger.”
The PSU arena can be reached at 535-2758. For those who missed the intro to curling classes, the arena will be offering drop-in curling on Thursday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 to 11 a.m.