Example Image

Heather Huckins

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

Example Image

Patricia Cantor

Award for Excellence in Faculty Service

Example Image

Bonnie Bechard

Distinguished Graduate Teaching Award

Example Image

Mary Campbell

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

Example Image

Jennifer Frank

Distinguished Operating Staff Award

Example Image

Janis Bass

Distinguished Adjunct Teaching Award

Example Image

Warren Tomkiewicz

Distinguished Teaching Award

Example Image

Naomi Kline

Award for Distinguished Scholarship

Example Image

Terri Johnson

Sara Jayne Steen Operating Staff Service Award

Jennifer Frank

Jon Gilbert Fox photo.

Distinguished Operating Staff Award

Special Investigator, PSU Police Department

“There’s something special about being a campus cop,” says Officer Jennifer Frank, special investigator with the PSU Police Department. “You have an opportunity to build relationships and mentor people that you may not otherwise have in a municipal police department. Municipal officers may have an interaction with someone and never see that person again. I have a chance to see our students many times throughout their college careers, so it’s really important to build relationships.”

Relationship building with students is chief among Frank’s goals, and she finds many ways of making those connections. While she specializes in crimes against women, and works with victims of such crimes, her work also focuses on crime prevention and education. She maintains a high profile on campus by regularly offering self-defense classes, workshops on Internet safety, and programs on violence prevention. She is also a member of several campus organizations, including the Chemical Health Advisory Team (CHAT), the Whole Health Team, and the Safety Committee. Along with her colleague Sergeant Amanda Hutchins, Frank co-advises the student officer program, in which PSU students interested in law enforcement work in the University Police Department. And she is even an advisor to the Delta Zeta sorority—“a great group of women,” she says, many of whom she remains in contact with after graduation.

Outside of her work, Frank makes a point of interacting with students, whether it’s by joining in on a game of ultimate Frisbee or hacky sack, or simply striking up a conversation. “I love interacting with students and talking with them,” she says. “And if just one student feels a little more comfortable with coming to me about an issue, or in recommending me to a friend, it’s worth it.”

Serving the broader community is also a priority for Frank. In schools and organizations throughout the community, she has given presentations on Internet safety, taught self-defense classes, and given workshops on such topics as medication safety and identity theft. She also actively supports a variety of causes, including the Special Olympics and Voices Against Violence.

Frank has received many community and state awards for her efforts, including the 2009 Hero for Justice Award, the 2008 Hometown Hero Award, the Beverly B. Seavey Community Service Award, and a Citation of Bravery from the governor of New Hampshire. She was most recently named to the Union Leader’s 40 under Forty list as one of the young professionals shaping the future of the Granite State.

Frank, who joined the staff at PSU in 2005 after five years of teaching high school social studies, sees important parallels between her current and former professions. “They are both about educating people, helping them make good decisions, and occasionally redirecting them when they don’t make good decisions,” she says.

Known for her unflappable demeanor, Frank was taken aback at being named for the Distinguished Operating Staff Award. “To be chosen by my fellow staff, to know that they felt I met the criteria, means so much to me,” she says. “They are an amazing group of people.”

Barbra Alan

Kathryn Melanson

"My life has come full circle—I started kindergarten here, and here I am now. It was just meant to be.”

"My life has come full circle—I started kindergarten here, and here I am now. It was just meant to be.”

Distinguished Operating Staff Award

Administrative Assistant, Department of Social Science
Plymouth native/Bruins fan/”Mammy” of four

Kathryn Melanson remembers running around the Plymouth State campus as a kinder­gartener. “I went to Plymouth Elementary School, in the Speare building,” she explains. “The Green was my playground.”

Melanson has lived in the Plymouth area all of her life, except for her first—and only—year at Champlain College in Burlington, VT. “I liked Burlington, but I didn’t feel like I fit into the traditional college student mold,” she says. After leaving Burlington, she returned to her home­town, and shortly thereafter married and settled down in Holderness.

She started her professional career in banking before embarking on an 11-year stint as a legal secretary. In 1995, Melanson returned to the Plymouth State campus as an adminis­trative assistant in the Department of Social Science, a post she has held ever since. Among her responsibilities are managing the department’s budget and course scheduling. “We have such a large department, so scheduling the courses and finding the right times and the right rooms for everyone can be difficult,” Melanson says. “There’s some creative juggling involved to keep everyone happy.”

Melanson has proven herself to be a capable juggler, both on the job and in her personal life. For four years, she took courses part-time while working full-time and raising her two children. Her hard work paid off when, in 2000, she earned her associate’s degree.

Among her favorite aspects of her position are the people with whom she works. Melanson recalls the time when her department, upon learning that her sister who was living in Florida had been diagnosed with cancer, chipped in and purchased phone cards for her. “They were a great support system,” she said.“They’re really kind, considerate people.”

Losing her sister to cancer was a defining moment in Melanson’s life, one that ultimately inspired her to volunteer for Keeping You, Me, and Memories Alive, a Plymouth-based nonprofit organization that raises funds for people with cancer and their families living in the Plymouth area.“Volunteering started out as a way for me to work through my grief,” says Melanson, who has been president of the organization since 2006. “Now, it’s just part of me.”

Another important part of Melanson is family, including her husband of 27 years, their two children, and their four grandchildren, whom she sees nearly every day. “Being with them is so refreshing,” she says. “We have a lot of fun together.”

When she considers her life and her career thus far, Melanson feels a great sense of satisfac­tion. She particularly enjoys the fact that she is working on a campus that meant so much to her as a child. “My life has come full circle—I started kindergarten here, and here I am now,” she says. “It was just meant to be.”

Roberta Mayhew

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.