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Heather Huckins

Distinguished PAT (Professional, Administrative, and Technical Staff) Award

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Patricia Cantor

Award for Excellence in Faculty Service

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Bonnie Bechard

Distinguished Graduate Teaching Award

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Mary Campbell

Patricia Storer PAT (Professional, Administrative, and Technical Staff) Award

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Jennifer Frank

Distinguished Operating Staff Award

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Janis Bass

Distinguished Adjunct Teaching Award

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Warren Tomkiewicz

Distinguished Teaching Award

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Naomi Kline

Award for Distinguished Scholarship

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Terri Johnson

Sara Jayne Steen Operating Staff Service Award

Kylo-Patrick Hart

February 12th, 2010 by Bridget
Hart enjoys the fact that his scholarly pursuits create opportunities to collaborate with students and departmental colleagues.

Hart enjoys the fact that his scholarly pursuits create opportunities to collaborate with students and departmental colleagues.

Award for Distinguished Scholar

Department Chair, Associate Professor of Communication and Media Studies

It has often been said that the best teachers are the ones who never stop learning. Indeed, a teacher’s passion for expanding his or her own knowledge base enriches the education he or she provides.  This is certainly the case for Kylo-Patrick Hart, whose love for teaching is matched only by his love for learning and discovery.

Hart, who joined Plymouth State University’s Department of Communication and Media Studies faculty in 2002 and currently serves as chair of the department has three graduate/professional certificates, three master’s degrees (with a fourth on its way), and a doctorate—from schools such as the University of Michigan, the University of Southern California, and Dartmouth College.

In addition to teaching, chairing a department, and pursuing his own educational aspirations , Hart maintains an internationally recognized research program.  Among his research interests are media portrayals of gay men and people living with AIDS and the impact of those portrayals.  He is an author or editor of three books in addition to nearly 100 articles, essays, and papers, and his work is required reading at universities across the country.  One reviewer describes Hart’s work as of interest “to all readers with a general interest in film history and the effects of the cinema on individuals.”

Hart enjoys the fact that his scholarly pursuits create opportunities to collaborate with students and departmental colleagues. For example, a number of his undergraduate students have worked on a television-based content-analytic study; a colleague of his joined him in co-authoring academic essays an conference papers, and another colleague has collaborated with him in co-editing a media-based anthology.  It is collaborations such as these that make Hart appreciate the community feel of PSU.  “There’s an openness here that you just don’t have at larger institutions,” he says.

Since 2004, he has organized and hosted six international media studies conferences at PSU that have drawn presenters from colleges and universities from all over the world.  Hart has also assisted more than 70 PSU undergraduates in preparing and presenting their own research findings at these conferences alongside graduate students and professors, encouraging students to continue learning and discovering.

Wendy Palmquist

February 12th, 2010 by Bridget
"Service is a part of me, so I make the time to do it."

"Service is a part of me, so I make the time to do it."

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.”

Roberta Mayhew

February 12th, 2010 by Bridget
For Mayhew, one of the biggest rewards of both working and being a student at Plymouth is the interaction she has with other students, for whom she has a great deal of respect.

For Mayhew, one of the biggest rewards of both working and being a student at Plymouth is the interaction she has with other students, for whom she has a great deal of respect.

Distinguished Operating Staff Award

Groundskeeper, Facilities Services

Roberta Mayhew loves her job. As a groundskeeper with Plymouth State University’s Facilities Services, she enjoys working to maintain the beauty of the campus.  Her responsibilities encompass snow and ice removal, mowing the lawns, ensuring that the lawns and sidewalks are clean and clear, and more.  And while to many it may sound like a grueling task, Mayhew embraces the fact that, for her, a day at the “office” means breathing fresh air, being surrounded by nature, and interacting with a wide variety of people including students, parents, faculty, and fellow staff members.

“I love being outdoors, no matter what the season,” Mayhew explains.  “I love hearing the birds, seeing the animals, and being able to talk with people.  I never know who I’m going to see.”

Over the past five years that she has been at PSU, Mayhew has integrated herself into the University community in a variety of ways.  She is a member of the Campus Parking Committee, a group composed of students, faculty and staff, that recommends changes in parking policy and rules to the administration as well as the Operating Staff Senate, an organization that gives PSU operating staff a voice in the governance of the University.  Mayhew also volunteers at the Silver Center for the Arts, where you will find her running the concession stand or working as an usher.  In addition, she is a business management major at PSU, taking courses in the evening and online.

For Mayhew, one of the biggest rewards of both working and being a student at Plymouth is the interaction she has with other students, for whom she has a great deal of respect.  “We have students who help out with the grounds, and they really work hard and do a great job,” she says, “And it’s nice to have my classmates come up and say hello when I am working.”

“Roberta has done a terrific job of maintaining the grounds here at PSU,” notes one nominator. “Her hard work, focus on good customer service, and friendly attitude to all she meets make her an excellent representative of Grounds and Physical Plant.”

Outside her PSU activities, the Plymouth resident also lends her time and support to community organizations such as Keeping You, Me, and Memories Alive, a Plymouth-based non-profit dedicated to raising funds to fight cancer and help those living with cancer.  Mayhew has been among the top individual fundraisers for the group’s annual Walk to Fight Cancer for the past two years.

Gary Goodnough

February 12th, 2010 by Bridget
"I get a great deal of satisfaction helping my students become more self-aware as human beings and more skilled as counselors and leaders."

"I get a great deal of satisfaction helping my students become more self-aware as human beings and more skilled as counselors and leaders."

Distinguished Graduate Teaching Award

Chair, Counselor Education and School Psychology Program; Professor Counselor Education

Gary Goodnough started his career teaching third and fourth grade in public elementary school.  And while he loved teaching, he felt drawn to another calling:  counseling.  “I just wanted to help kids in a different way,” Goodnough says.  After earning his master’s degree in school guidance counseling, he embarked on a new career as a school counselor and director of guidance.  Within a few years, he enrolled at the University of Virginia to pursue his doctorate in counselor education.

In 1995, Goodnough’s dual passions for teaching and counseling converged when he joined the faculty at Plymouth State University fresh from earning his doctorate.  Since then, he has not only prepared hundreds of students for fulfilling careers in school counseling, he has also helped develop PSU’s Counselor Education program.  As chair of the program, Goodnough spearheaded the effort that resulted in the recent accreditation of the University’s Master of Education in Counselor Education, School Counseling and Mental Health Counseling, making it the only nationally-accredited counseling program in New Hampshire.

But Goodnough’s contributions to the University go beyond his work in the Counselor Education and School Psychology Program.  He has served on numerous committees throughout his career at PSU, including recently co-chairing the University Planning committee.  Along with PSU faculty members Trish Lindberg and Gail Mears, Goodnough is founder of TIGER (Theatre, Integrating Guidance, Education and Responsibility), a professional theatre company designed to help children, schools, parents and communities deal proactively and positively with social issues and concerns.  TIGER has reached over 130,000 students.

While he enjoys his many roles and responsibilities at PSU, Goodnough’s true passion is working with students.  “Gary supports students both academically and personally,” says one student. “He’s available after class, during vacations, and…travels to student internship sites to build relationships and ensure our success.”

“I get a great deal of satisfaction helping my students become more self-aware as human beings and more skilled as counselors and leaders,” he says. “And practicing the craft of counseling is very meaningful to me.  I’m fortunate that I’ve been able to both since I’ve come here.”

Just as fortunate are the many students whose lives and careers have been and continue to be guided by Goodnough. “It’s the best work someone can do, teaching people how to help others,” he says of his career. “I can’t think of anything more important or fulfilling that I’d like to do with my life.”

John “Jack” Barry

February 12th, 2010 by Bridget
"Dr. Barry's passion for math is contagious," notes one student. "He's always available for help, questions, and just to talk about math.  I hope to be as good a teacher as he is."

"Dr. Barry's passion for math is contagious," notes one student. "He's always available for help, questions, and just to talk about math. I hope to be as good a teacher as he is."

Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award-Adjunct Faculty

Adjunct Faculty, Department of Mathematics

Focus, confidence, and relaxation—according to Jack Barry, these are the keys to success in both mathematics and in golf.  As an instructor of mathematics as Plymouth State University and a golf enthusiast, Barry should know.

In addition to being an instructor at PSU, Barry is an alumnus, with no less than three PSU degrees to his credit, a bachelor’s degree in mathematics education, a master’s degree—also in mathematics education—and a certificate of advanced graduate studies in curriculum and instruction.

For nearly two decades, Barry has enriched the educational experience of thousands of students at PSU.  Prior to this, Barry taught high school mathematics in Wolfeboro and Weare. Throughout his career, he has striven to connect with all of his students, especially those who may lack confidence in their mathematical ability, or are anxious based on their past experience in math classes. “Given the time and the opportunity, these things can be fixed and repaired,” says Barry.  “Everybody has a mathematical part of their brain, and everyone has the ability.”

In addition to his teaching, one of Barry’s most notable contributions to mathematics at PSU is the founding and leadership of the Math Activities Center, where students experiencing difficulty in their math studies can receive peer tutoring from mathematics education majors.  It was his own experience as a PSU undergraduate that inspired the creation of the Center.  At that time, the math department had only a few student tutors available, and when major tests or finals came around, they were in heavy demand.

At the Math Activities Center, everyone benefits; not only the students who require assistance, but also the mathematics education majors who get valuable teaching experience.  Barry is pleased that the Center has taken off over the years.  “Students come and get help, so it has been a good endeavor,” he says.

The Center’s success is a testament to Barry’s dedication to his students regardless of their academic interests or strengths.  As Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Julie Bernier notes, “Jack thoughtfully employs a variety of student-centered and activity-based teaching strategies to engage a diversity of learners, honing their individuality and supporting their success.”

Rodney Ekstrom

February 12th, 2010 by Bridget
"We want the students to be independent thinkers with a skill set to make their own mark on the world."

"We want the students to be independent thinkers with a skill set to make their own mark on the world."

Distinguished Professional, Administrative, and Technical Staff Award

Assistant Director, Student Activities

At Plymouth State University, student activities provide leadership experience, opportunities to explore and purse academic interests outside of the classroom, and avenues to serve the University as well as the surrounding community.

As assistant director for Student Activities at PSU, Rodney Ekstrom strives to make the student experience as enriching and fulfilling as possible by highlighting the many opportunities available to students, regardless of their interests.  His “the sky’s the limit” attitude serves him well; in 2006 he was named the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators Outstanding New Professional for New Hampshire and New England. “If we don’t have a group formed around a student’s particular passion I say, ‘Hey, you can take the lead and get it going.  Here’s an opportunity for you’”, he says.

Ekstrom advises a wide variety of student organizations, including PACE (Programming Activities in a Campus Environment), the student programming board; the Spring Fling Committee, the Conning Tower Yearbook Committee; and the Outing Club.

“He has definitely helped shape me into the leader I will become after I graduate, ” one student says. “He listens, acts as a mediator, and sometimes plays an essential role in making an organization more cohesive.”

In addition to working with students and student organizations, Ekstrom has participated on the President’s Commission on Diversity; the University Environmental Committee; the Brennan Hart Scholarship Selection Committee, and the Plymouth Holiday Parade Committee.  He was recently chosen to serve as the speaker-elect of the Professional, Administrative, and Technical Staff Senate and was appointed to serve on the newly-formed President’s Commission on Environmental Sustainability at PSU, a group charged with leading the campus to carbon neutrality.

Ekstrom combines his love of the outdoors and his talent for leadership into much of what he does, both professionally and personally.  He has taught technical and skill courses in canoeing, rock climbing, winter backcountry travel and challenge course fundamentals and holds certification in many related fields.  Off campus, Ekstrom has served the town of Rumney, NH as an officer of the Community Profile Steering Committee and a fire department volunteer.  He has also worked with the Plymouth District Drug Court, serving at-risk and court-referred youth.

With his wide variety of interests and commitment to serving PSU and his community, Ekstrom is a strong role model for students looking for a well-rounded college experience.  “We want the students to be independent thinkers with a skill set to make their own mark on the world,” Ekstrom notes, adding, “If I have done my job, they need me less and less.”

Christopher Chabot

February 12th, 2010 by Bridget
"Dr. Chabot leads by example," writes one nominator. "He puts in the same amount of time and effort that he expects from his students, and that is the type of dedication that leads to his students' success."

"Dr. Chabot leads by example," writes one nominator. "He puts in the same amount of time and effort that he expects from his students, and that is the type of dedication that leads to his students' success."

Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award

Professor of Biology

Since coming to Plymouth State University in 1992, biology professor Christopher Chabot has evolved from a science teacher to a teaching scientist.  By incorporating research into his classes, Chabot gives his students the opportunity to learn science by actively engaging in research and conducting experiments that illustrate the fundamental principles of biology.

In his upper level courses, students not only conduct experiments, but are empowered to decide upon appropriate follow-up experiments, with the ultimate goal of presenting their findings at national or international conferences.  While creating these presentations requires students to put in extra time, including nights and weekends, Chabot notes, “They do it with a smile and a sense of satisfaction with the final project.”

In addition to infusing research into his classes, Chabot maintains his own active research program which continues to attract the interest of his students.  His research focuses on the physiological control of circadian rhythms—or biological clocks—in animals, in particular the Limulus polyphemus, the American Horse Shoe crab.  Together, Chabot and his students conduct laboratory and field studies of the horseshoe crab behavior to better understand how the animal’s internal clocks affect its behavior.  Their studies just may lead to a better understanding and treatment of human health issues such as seasonal depression and jet lag.

“I truly believe that, without the opportunities Dr. Chabot’s research and courses have presented to me, I would not appreciate my undergraduate degree as much as I do,” another student notes.  “He has been an important factor in my decision to apply to graduate school.”

Whether he’s teaching in the classroom, in the lab, or out in the field, there’s no question that Chabot enjoys fostering the intellectual curiosity of his students.  “The best feedback I get is looking at my students and seeing the dawning of understanding flash on their faces,” says Chabot.  “I just love that.”

In Plymouth Magazine

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Faculty Forum: Irene Cucina

Professor Irene Cucina has been teaching in the Department of Health and Human Performance since 1998. Prior to coming to Plymouth State, she had a rewarding career as a high school health and physical education teacher and coach in Newton, MA. Her commitment to students and learning has been recognized by her peers through a [...]

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Teaming Up for Service

There’s more to PSU’s student-athletes than excellent grades and athletic prowess. There’s a desire to make a difference in the world. Plymouth State men’s hockey coach Craig Russell ’09 encourages his team to serve as often as possible. Through the nonprofit organization Team IMPACT, which pairs children with life-threatening or chronic illness with local college [...]

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Remembering Gene Savage ’58

On May 14, 2012, New Hampshire lost a gifted educator, respected leader, and devoted friend. From his earliest days in education as a high school teacher, coach, and director of guidance, through his post as director of admissions at the University of New Hampshire, and later through his various administrative positions within the University System [...]