Award for Excellence in Faculty Service
Professor of Psychology; Co-Directory, Frost Faculty Center
Ut Prosim, That I May Serve. It’s Plymouth State University’s motto and words that Professor of Psychology Wendy Palmquist lives by, both in her professional and her personal life.
Palmquist was born into a family that emphasized service to others. Her grandmother worked with the Seattle Human Society, her mother was a Cub Scout den mother. Her father, an engineer, served for years as a mentor to students aspiring to careers in engineering.
Growing up in California, Palmquist was a Girl Scout who volunteered for service projects ranging from planting trees in burn zones left by wild fires to visiting elderly patients at the L.A. County General Hospital. Between college and graduate school she served in VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America), working in the inner city of Kansas City, Missouri, an experience that gave rise to her belief that some of the best things one can give others are skills and time.
In her 26 years at Plymouth, Palmquist has enriched the University environment for students, staff, and faculty in a variety of ways. She has served as chair of the psychology department and faculty speaker; participated on significant committees; coordinated academic programs for first-year students; and made important contributions to the Curriculum Committee and the Athletic Council. She was a founding member of the women’s studies program, supported Title IX sports programs for women, and has been and advocate for both women and men on campus through the Safe Zone Program, which promotes awareness and non-judgement treatment of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people. She received the 1991 Hogan Award for support of athletics, and the 2006 Kalikow Award for contributing to the advancement of women’s issues at PSU.
Perhaps the most near and dear to her heart is the time she spends with her students, not only as an instructor but also as a mentor and an advisor. “Teaching is what defines her” noted one nominator about Palmquist, who was honored in 2006 with the Distinguished Undergraduate Teacher award. “She genuinely cares about her students.”
Palmquist also cares about her community, serving it in a variety of ways, from pounding nails for Habitat for Humanity to serving on the board of what is now Genesis Behavioral Health, to participating as a board member of the New Hampshire Humane Society.
To Palmquist, serving others isn’t’ a sacrifice; rather, it’s a natural continuation of the values that her parents instilled and her own volunteering experiences have reinforced. As she says, “Service is a part of me, so I make the time to do it.”