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Plymouth State Goes Test-Optional on Admissions

August 25th, 2014 by Lynn

    Plymouth State University, in New Hampshire, has ended a requirement that applicants submit SAT or ACT scores. A statement from the university said that it will continue to place the most emphasis on applicants’ high school performance.

    PSU president to step down in 2015

    August 22nd, 2014 by Lynn

      PLYMOUTH — Plymouth State University President Sara Jayne Steen announced Thursday that she will step down as president on 30 June 2015, after nine years as president.

      “It has been my honor to serve as president of Plymouth State University,” Steen said. “I am proud of this vibrant University that is transforming students’ lives and making a difference.”

      Chair of the University System Board of Trustees Pamela Diamantis praised Steen’s leadership, saying, “President Steen has provided nearly a decade of passionate leadership for Plymouth State University and has achieved numerous successes that will have a lasting impact on the University, the North Country, and the State. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I offer our sincerest thanks to President Steen for her tireless service and many contributions.” The University System Board will begin a national search for her successor this autumn.

      Steen said the timing was appropriate.

      “Significant milestones have been achieved. PSU’s new strategic plan, Focus 2020, will advance student success. ALLWell North, which will provide wonderful space for teaching, research, and recreation and athletics, is under construction. We soon will complete our current fundraising campaign, Imagine A Way.”

      During Steen’s presidency, PSU has been recognized for teaching innovation and strong mentorship of students, for globalization and environmental sustainability, and for genuine partnership with New Hampshire, especially the Lakes Region and North Country.

      Steen credits PSU’s community.

      “Initiatives succeed when dedicated people do exciting work, and the people at PSU are innovative and energetic. Finally, it is all about the people and for the students,” she said.

      Accomplishments during Steen’s tenure have included strong academic and facilities plans that are reshaping the campus’s living and learning environment.

      · Opening in 2015, ALLWell (Active Living, Learning, and Wellness) North is a $32 million facility that will provide space for Health and Human Performance and other programs, as well as a field house and indoor track.

      · Plans are underway for a Health Sciences building to increase preparation of health care professionals.

      · The Savage Welcome Center and Hanaway Ice Rink is a venue for classes and recreation and a home for the men’s and women’s ice hockey teams.

      · Highland Hall hosts graduate study and technology, and PSU-Concord was developed as a site for education, business, and now criminal justice.

      · Samuel Read Hall is being remodeled to expand capacity for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) programs, and the Hartman Union Building to enhance technology and gathering and dining spaces.

      New academic programs, student support, and innovative technology have expanded PSU’s academic profile and reputation.

      · PSU in 2008 received doctoral authority and added a Doctor of Education program, enhancing the work of educators in New Hampshire’s and New England’s schools. A Doctor of Physical Therapy program will begin in 2015-16.

      · Among undergraduate and graduate programs developed since 2006 are nursing, historic preservation, environmental science, tourism management, sports management, and professional sales leadership.

      · Undergraduate programs in communications, business, nursing, and criminal justice have been made available online, and the Lamson Learning Commons, a collaboration of technology and research, has moved the idea of “library” into a new age, with impressive online resources available to the community.

      · PSU has been honored by the New Hampshire Guard and Reserve with the “Above and Beyond” award for support of military members.

      · The National Survey of Student Engagement has placed PSU above its national peers in academic challenge, active and collaborative learning, student-faculty interaction, and supportive campus environment.

      Steen was among the first of the nation’s presidents to sign the President’s Climate Commitment, pledging PSU to a sustainable future.

      · The campus created a Climate Action Plan for carbon neutrality and an Office of Environmental Sustainability for enhanced programming.

      · An innovative EcoHouse was developed as a student living and learning laboratory for sustainability and historic preservation.

      · Langdon Woods Residential Complex and the remodeled Mary Lyon Residence Hall have received awards for design and sustainable construction.

      · Business NH Magazine awarded the Savage Welcome Center and Hanaway Rink its Lean and Green Building Award for cost containment and sustainability.

      · PSU has been regularly recognized by groups such as The Princeton Review as among North America’s most environmentally responsible higher education institutions.

      As PSU prepares students to succeed in the international arena, global initiatives have increased.

      · Dozens of international partnerships in Europe, Asia, and South America have been added, including an office in China, and PSU has expanded opportunities for international research and service learning.

      · PSU’s Global Education Office was recognized by the national Center for International Studies with their first Going Places! Award, citing PSU for “innovative work in education abroad.”

      · In 2012, PSU opened a Center for Global Engagement to better serve PSU’s international students and help all students develop stronger global understanding.

      · In 2011, Steen was honored by New Hampshire Magazine as one of New Hampshire’s “Seven Remarkable Women of the World” for her leadership on PSU’s global course.

      PSU has emphasized community engagement and commitment to making central and northern New Hampshire stronger through partnership.

      · PSU’s Centers for Active Living and Healthy Communities, for the Environment, and for Rural Partnerships have supported healthy people, healthy places, and healthy communities through increased faculty and student research.

      · PSU has been a leader in the Coos County Early Childhood Development Initiative to improve the lives of young children and their families.

      · PSU has collaborated closely with host communities of Plymouth and Holderness on projects such as the Pemi-Livermore Falls renewal and Plymouth’s 250th anniversary.

      · Award-winning programs in the performing arts have extended PSU’s cultural outreach across the region.

      · In February 2013, PSU opened the Museum of the White Mountains to preserve and promote the history, culture, and environmental legacy of the region, attracting thousands of visitors and schoolchildren.

      · Last October, in partnership with the Grafton County Economic Development Council, PSU opened the Enterprise Center at Plymouth, a small business incubator and accelerator. Since then, hundreds of business leaders have worked with students and faculty, and businesses are creating jobs.

      That commitment to the region has been acknowledged.

      · PSU has been recognized as one of the nation’s top schools for encouraging community service among students by being named to the President’s Community Service Honor Roll every year since 2008.

      · In 2011 PSU earned the Carnegie Classification for Community Engagement, indicating that teaching, learning, and research are done in collaboration with the region and genuinely enhance its wellbeing. Of the thousands of higher education institutions across the country, only 311 have achieved this recognition.

      Steen developed the University’s Advancement division. The University soon will conclude a fundraising campaign, Imagine A Way that has raised nearly $20 million dollars. PSU’s friends, alumni, and supporters have increased scholarships that matter for students’ futures, created the University’s first three endowed professorships, and supported new awards for staff and faculty excellence and campus priorities for programs and buildings.

      PSU also has been recognized as an excellent place to work.

      · PSU twice has been named by the Chronicle of Higher Education one of the nation’s Great Colleges to Work For, in categories such as teaching environment, which includes innovation and commitment to student success.

      · In 2010, Business NH Magazine featured PSU as one of the state’s five best large employers, the first time an educational institution had been honored.

      Steen is vice chair of the NH Higher Education Commission and on the executive committee of the NH College and University Council and of Campus Compact. She is an incorporator of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, chaired the council of presidents of the Little East Athletic Conference, and has served on numerous non-profit boards associated with the arts, environment, and economic development. At the national level, she served on the American Council of Education’s Commission on Effective Leadership and is a member of American Association of State Colleges and Universities Committee on Policies and Purposes, its public policy board. She is a member of the Plymouth Rotary.

      Also a professor of English, Steen earned awards from Montana State University for outstanding teaching and research and was named a distinguished alumna of the College of Graduate Studies at Bowling Green State University. She was selected an American Council of Education Fellow and is the author of five books. Steen holds a master’s degree from the Ohio State University and a doctorate from Bowling Green State University.








      PSU hosts N.H. EPSCoR Summer Teacher Conference

      August 21st, 2014 by Lynn

        Belmont High School science teacher Adrien DeShaies prepares to release a weather balloon at Plymouth State University as part of a New Hampshire EPSCoR Summer Teacher Conference.

        PLYMOUTH — Belmont High School science teacher Adrien DeShaies, a Plymouth State ’09,’11G alumnus, stands on a field just off the campus at Plymouth State University, holding a three-foot wide balloon. As he slowly releases it into the air, a small crowd of onlookers watches it rise, as a light breeze catches it and it bobs in the evening sky. The gathering is a scientific experiment about temperature inversions, and is part of an Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) Summer Teacher Conference at PSU.

        “It’s an experiment that relates to air pollution, measuring particulate matter,” said Deshaies, who earned a Bachelor’s in meteorology in 2009 from PSU and a Master’s in science education in 2011. “I will present these results to my students and have them try a similar experiment, to see if the same thing occurs in Belmont.”

        PSU Research Assistant Professor Doug Earick, the conference organizer, said more than 40 Granite State middle, high school and college science teachers are honing their classroom skills with a series of mid-August workshops and hands-on training in using large amounts of data.

        “This is a different way of doing science,” Earick said. “Science is moving in a different direction; the focus is on data literacy, how to collect large amounts of data, analyze it using computer software and ask the question, ‘what does that data mean?’ Does it lead to other questions? That’s what scientists have to do and that’s how we want students to start thinking.”

        The teacher training conference is part of NH EPSCoR, which seeks to advance New Hampshire’s competitiveness in science and engineering by strategically investing in research infrastructure; promoting education in STEM; and partnering with businesses that enhance job creation and economic development.

        Deshaies, who is researching temperature inversions in other areas of the state through a National Science Foundation grant, said his students have an opportunity to study science in a way that that was unheard of a generation ago.

        “My students will be given the same equipment, and they will have to come up with a way to collect the data by doing a similar experiment,” he said.

        Which is exactly what Earick says EPSCoR project goals are.

        “We hope the teachers here can take this data back to their classrooms and have their students to work with it; we’re hoping the students start to ask questions about what the data means,” Earick added.

        Congressional candidate Marilinda Garcia tours ECP

        August 21st, 2014 by Lynn

          Second Congressional District candidate Marilinda Garcia toured the Enterprise Center at Plymouth, Friday, Aug. 1.

          PLYMOUTH — Second Congressional District candidate Marilinda Garcia toured the Enterprise Center at Plymouth, Friday, Aug. 1.

          The ECP is a business incubator space, providing a “one stop shop” for businesses throughout the region seeking advice and counseling, services, leased space, mentoring, and networking. The Grafton County Economic Development Corporation (GCEDC) constructed the building using $2 million in federal, state and corporate funding; Plymouth State University provides staffing, campus-wide business services and intellectual capital. Garcia said she was impressed with the facility’s success.

          “This is fantastic,” Garcia said. “This is a perfect example of economic vitality that we’re trying to create; not only in our state as a whole, but specifically in this part of the state because it is really needed, so it’s really exciting to see.”

          Garcia, a Salem Republican, has served four terms in the New Hampshire General Court; she was first elected in 2006 at the age of 23. She was the prime sponsor of the New Hampshire Innovation Job Growth Program bill, which enables the New Hampshire Business Finance Authority to facilitate the acquisition of early stage seed capital for New Hampshire entrepreneurs. In photo, Garcia, right, listens to ECP Director Michael Tentnowski explaining the continued growth and success of the facility.

          U.S. Senate candidate Scott Brown tours ECP

          August 21st, 2014 by Lynn

            PSU President Sara Jayne Steen details the success of the Enterprise Center at Plymouth (ECP) to Scott Brown, N.H. Republican U.S. Senate candidate. Brown toured the ECP Aug. 15.

            PLYMOUTH — New Hampshire Republican U.S. Senate candidate Scott Brown toured the Enterprise Center at Plymouth Aug. 15.

            The ECP is a business incubator space, providing a “one stop shop” for businesses throughout the region seeking advice and counseling, services, leased space, mentoring, and networking. The Grafton County Economic Development Corporation (GCEDC) constructed the building using $2 million in federal, state and corporate funding; Plymouth State University provides staffing, campus-wide business services and intellectual capital. Since the ECP opened last fall, 21 PSU students have interned at ECP and five have turned those internships into full-time jobs. Brown said he was impressed.

            “There is a lot of good opportunity here,” said Brown. “The progress being made here is due to the involvement of the University and local business; that’s the way it should be done.”

            PSU President Sara Jayne Steen noted the ECP is becoming a great economic development resource not only for Plymouth, but for the region, too.

            “I’m very pleased to have an opportunity to talk to him about the exciting things that are being done here on behalf of northern and central New Hampshire,” Steen said.

            Michael Tentnowski, the ECP Director, said Brown, a former real estate attorney, understands the value in the business incubator model.

            “We’re always happy to show off this facility, there are a lot of good things happening here, said Tentnowski.”

            Brown, a former senator from Massachusetts who now lives in Rye, is in a primary contest with former U.S. Sen. Bob Smith and former state Sen. Jim Rubens. The winner takes on incumbent Democrat Jeanne Shaheen in November.

            International relations leader to receive honorary doctorate at PSU

            August 21st, 2014 by Lynn

              Joseph Nye, Jr. Courtesy

              PLYMOUTH — A renowned foreign policy expert will be honored by Plymouth State University at the school’s Fall Convocation ceremony Sept. 2.

              Joseph S. Nye, Jr., will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters. PSU President Sara Jayne Steen said Nye was chosen to receive the honorary degree because of his expertise in international relations.

              “He is one of the most significant figures in international relations of recent decades,” said Steen. “His analyses of power have shaped US actions and history.”

              In 2005, Nye was voted one of the ten most influential scholars of international relations in the United States, and in 2011, Foreign Policy magazine named him to its list of “top global thinkers” with this assessment: “All roads to understanding American foreign policy run through Joe Nye.”

              Nye, who maintains a residence in Sandwich, said he is looking forward to accepting the honor.

              “I am flattered to be named a recipient of an honorary degree at Plymouth State,” said Nye. “My last degree was from Shandong University in China, and people often joke that it is easier to gain recognition the further you are from home. It is nice to be recognized near my New Hampshire home.”

              Nye noted his advice to young people would be to study and understand history with the many avenues of information available today, to avoid making the same mistakes that create unrest and violence across the world.

              “We are living in a global information age that produces both opportunities and turmoil,” Nye said. “A good understanding of history and an appreciation of other cultures helps to put this into perspective, and allows students to cope with inevitable change.”

              Nye currently serves as a Distinguished Service Professor at Harvard, and formerly served as Dean of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He received his Bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from Princeton University, did postgraduate work at Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship, and earned a doctorate in political science from Harvard. He has served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, Chair of the National Intelligence Council, and Deputy Under Secretary of State for Security Assistance, Science and Technology.

              His most recent books include “The Power to Lead,” “The Future of Power,” and “Presidential Leadership and the Creation of the American Era.” Nye also is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the British Academy, and the American Academy of Diplomacy.

              Convocation is the assembly of the University’s community and incoming students, and it marks the formal start of a new academic year.

              PSU president to step down after nine years

              August 21st, 2014 by Lynn

                DAN SEUFERT
                Union Leader Correspondent


                PLYMOUTH — Plymouth State University President Sara Jayne Steen announced Thursday that she will be stepping down next summer after serving the university for nine years.

                “My husband and I just felt like it was a good time to move on,” said Steen, 64, adding that she has no plans for the future, and doesn’t have plans to leave the area.

                The university, which will begin looking for a new president in the fall, will be losing one of the most popular and successful presidents in its history, according to school officials.

                And according to the local chamber of commerce, the town will lose one of the best university partners it’s ever had.

                “She set totally new standards in how a university and community interact,” said Scott Stephens, executive director of the Plymouth Regional Chamber of Commerce.

                “She encouraged all of the people at the university to get engaged with the town, and now there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t work with someone from campus,” he said. “We’re losing an extremely valuable mentor and partner.”

                Steen said she is humbled by the praise.

                “It has been my honor to serve as president of Plymouth State University,” Steen said. “I am proud of this vibrant university that is transforming students’ lives and making a difference.”

                Steen said the timing for her departure is appropriate, saying “significant milestones have been achieved.”

                PSU’s new strategic plan, Focus 2020, is in place to advance students through their college careers and after.

                A new $32 million building, ALLWell North, is under construction, having been paid for in great part through fundraising.

                “It will provide space for teaching, research, and recreation and athletics, all in one building,” she said.

                The university’s current $20 million fundraising campaign, titled “Imagine A Way,” will soon be completed. Steen is credited with development of the university’s advancement division, university officials said.

                Steen, who has a lengthy list of accomplishments as the university’s leader, said she will remember her time at Plymouth fondly.

                “It’s been my honor to work there, and we got a lot done,” she said.




                Plymouth State president to step down in 2015

                August 21st, 2014 by Lynn

                  PLYMOUTH, N.H. (AP) — Plymouth State University President Sara Jayne Steen says she’s planning to step down as president at the end of June 2015 after nine years at the post.

                  Steen said Thursday the timing was appropriate, saying significant milestones have been achieved during her tenure, such as a $32 million facility that will provide space for Health and Human Performance and other programs, as well as a field house and indoor track; and a new strategic plan underway.

                  Chair of the University System Board of Trustees Pamela Diamantis praised Steen’s leadership.

                  The University System Board will begin a national search for her successor this fall.

                  Gov. Maggie Hassan and Live Free and Start Business Advisory Council Meet with ECP

                  August 14th, 2014 by Lynn

                  Gov. Maggie Hassan, center, presides over a meeting of the Live Free and Start advisory council. PSU President Sara Jayne Steen, left, welcomed the group to the Enterprise Center at Plymouth, where they discussed job creation strategies for high-tech firms. Jeff Rose, Commissioner of the Department of Resources and Economic Development, is at right. Courtesy Photo.

                  PLYMOUTH — New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan and members of the Live Free and Start business advisory group met Aug. 5 at the Enterprise Center at Plymouth (ECP) to learn about the ECP’s activities and to talk with local business leaders about how the state can partner with them on job creation strategies.

                  The Live Free and Start initiative was formed last month to help make it easier for high-tech companies to start up. The advisory council’s goal is to spur economic growth.

                  The ECP is a business incubator and accelerator, a partnership between the Grafton County Economic Development Council and Plymouth State University; it is home to start-up companies that will have created 18 jobs by September. Gov. Hassan said that he ECP is a great example of job creation, and creating high-tech startups is a goal everyone can support.

                  “I want to make sure we’re an attractive place to start businesses. I also want to make sure we’re an attractive place to stay and grow a business,” Hassan said. “Everybody knows the future of our state is with the entrepreneurial spirit of our people.”

                  Plymouth State University President Sara Jayne Steen said the success of the ECP partnership dovetails with the Live Free and Start objectives–to create good jobs in the region.

                  “Live Free and Start ties well with what we’re doing here,” said Steen. “We too want to make central and northern New Hampshire home for high-tech businesses. And if we want those businesses to locate here, we need to talk about innovation, and bringing government, education and private businesses together.”

                  Those attending the meeting suggested New Hampshire needs to improve its internet connectivity and cell phone service, particularly in rural areas, and create business-ready infrastructure, such as building space, to attract entrepreneurs. Leaders discussed the importance of education, bridge funding for businesses, and health care in rural communities.

                  The Live Free and Start Advisory Council is comprised of high-tech business leaders and entrepreneurs and includes representation from each of the state’s geographic regions.

                  Fall registration open for PSU graduate and undergraduate programs

                  August 14th, 2014 by Lynn

                    PLYMOUTH — Graduate business students at Plymouth State University have new programs to choose from this fall. The school has launched a Master of Science in Accounting, and has added to its Master’s of Business Administration with expanded programs in Healthcare Administration and International Business.

                    All three programs, says Director of Graduate Business Programs Jennifer Pinckney, can be completed through online instruction, though some individual courses are offered in Plymouth or at PSU’s Concord site.

                    The three new graduate programs are available starting with the fall, 2014, term, which begins Sept. 1. In addition, registrations for fall admission into PSU’s undergraduate degree programs are being accepted through Sept. 3. Some openings remain for undergraduate first-year and transfer students.

                    Pinckney says the MS in Accounting program offers specialized content to prepare students for licensing as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or certification as a Certified Management Accountant (CMA). She adds that PSU’s program starts at a time when New Hampshire has changed requirements for obtaining the CPA license. While 120 college credit hours are required to take the CPA exam, equal to most undergraduate programs, licensure requires an additional credit 30 hours, similar to a master’s degree.

                    “Given the change in state requirements for licensure, we wanted to provide professionals a unique program to explore accounting topics in more detail,” Pinckney said.

                    The programs in Healthcare Administration and International Business both grew out of PSU’s popular Masters of Business Administration program. Pinckney says the MBA in Healthcare Administration program is already the largest of PSU’s graduate programs. The program attracts students from throughout the United States and from around the world.

                    “We see hospital administrators, doctors, allied health professionals and careers changers all entering this program,” she says, to better understand the business side of health care. The convenience of online instruction is a draw but Pinckney adds students note courses in ethics, finance and management as especially valuable in launching or furthering their careers.

                    In the International Business program, students dig deep into topics such as global finance, multinational marketing, and managing operations on a global level. Pinckney says PSU is leveraging its current international experience – including faculty members from throughout the world – to help equip employees at New Hampshire and New England firms to better compete in the global marketplace.

                    For more information about PSU graduate programs, visit plymouth.edu/graduate. To learn about applying for admission to the PSU undergraduate programs, visit plymouth.edu/admissions.

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