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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

Bonnie Bechard

Jon Gilbert Fox photo.

Distinguished Graduate Teaching Award

Professor of Business

Bonnie Bechard started her higher education teaching career at age 20, fresh out of college. “I had planned to teach high school business, but an opportunity came along to teach at Albany Business College,” she recalls. “It was there that I learned that I loved teaching at the college level.”

After five years at Albany Business College, during which time she earned her master’s degree, Bechard was ready to explore other opportunities. She pursued her doctorate at Arizona State University and, she notes, “accepted a position at Plymouth State before completing my dissertation.”

Her achievements since joining the business faculty here are numerous and impressive. She has taught courses in business ethics, international management, organizational behavior, organizational communication, and training and development. Not long into her tenure, she collaborated with administrators on a strategic plan for the institution. In 1987, she began adding graduate courses to her teaching responsibilities. In 1996, she created and taught the first online MBA course. Her interest in international business led her to help establish PSU’s educational partnership with Babeş-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. In 2005, she was the first business faculty member to offer a business travel study course for PSU students at BBU.

Beyond her contributions as a faculty member, Bechard has served in various administrative roles, including program director, internship coordinator, and executive director of the business department. She has also conducted numerous training workshops and conference presentations on innovative teaching practices, faculty development, and business supervision, and her professional development activities focus on integrating globalization into the business curriculum. “I choose topics that excite me, learn more about them, and then share them with my colleagues,” she says. “To me, that’s the best aspect of scholarship, sharing experience and knowledge with others.”

Bechard was surprised and delighted by being selected for the Distinguished Graduate Teaching Award and maintains that it’s her students who make teaching at the graduate level so gratifying. “Graduate students have a great desire to learn, and they readily see the value of the learning experience to their lives and careers,” she says. “They also bring a level of maturity and depth of experience that enhances the teaching and learning experience.”

Bechard credits PSU’s supportive environment with keeping her engaged in and passionate about her work throughout her twenty-plus year career. “It’s the students, the faculty, and the administration, who together encourage and inspire me to do what I love and do it well.”

Barbra Alan

Marcel Lebrun

“I approach my research as problem solving. I think, ‘How can I create assessment tools so parents and teachers can recognize the warning signs and address them before the student resorts to violence?’”

“I approach my research as problem solving. I think, ‘How can I create assessment tools so parents and teachers can recognize the warning signs and address them before the student resorts to violence?’”

Distinguished Graduate Teaching Award

Associate Professor of Education and Special Education
World traveler/High achiever/Adventurer

Marcel Lebrun is the first to admit he has way too much energy. Fortunately, none of it goes to waste.

Lebrun arrived at PSU in 2002 with a résumé that included two bachelor’s degrees, a master’s degree, a doctorate, 23 years of classroom teaching, and a decade of counseling experience. In the years since, he has developed three new certificate programs in the College of Graduate Studies—in positive behavior inter­ventions and supports, learning disabilities, and emotional behavior disorders—as well as a fifth-year master’s program in special education. Then there’s his prolific research, which focuses on the link between adolescent depression and violence and has yielded three books, with two others slated for publication in late 2008 and in 2009. As if this weren’t enough, he also teaches a full course load each semester.

It’s a demanding schedule, but you won’t hear Lebrun complain. “I love what I do,” he says. And while some may see his chosen field of research as depressing or discouraging, Lebrun accentuates the positive.“I approach my research as problem solving,” he says. “I think, ‘How can I create assessment tools so parents and teachers can recognize the warning signs and address them before the student resorts to violence?’”

Lebrun’s boundless energy and passion for his work are evident in his teaching. In the class­room, he notes, “I get to perform and inspire.” Whether it’s through his storytelling—drawn from his own wealth of experience teaching throughout the world—or role-playing exercises, Lebrun strives to prepare his students for the real world. For one student in particular, Lebrun’s lessons may have saved a life.“One of my former students was confronted by a kid with a gun during the first week of school,” he explains. “He knew what to do because we had practiced how to deal with kids who have weapons or who are physically aggres­sive. He had a set of skills and knowledge because of what we had done. That’s pretty powerful.”

For Lebrun, teaching skills and sharing knowledge is only part of what he enjoys about his job.“I love the fact that I know all of my students,” he says. Lebrun credits the small size of PSU for this.“They drop by [my office], we’ll chat after class, we’ll go for coffee … When I taught at the University of Manitoba, there were 28,000 stu­dents. I didn’t have the same kind of relationship with my students there as I do at Plymouth.”

Perhaps the greatest reward of teaching for Lebrun is the fact that he is able to help his students launch their own fulfilling careers in education. “I’ve had great opportunities, and as a teacher, I get to pay it forward to a lot of people,” he says. “And that’s incredibly gratifying.”

Gary Goodnough

"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.”