Message from the President

March, 2011

John Hession photo.WELCOME TO THE SPRING ISSUE of Plymouth Magazine.

I am honored to be part of a Plymouth State University community that is committed to our students, our region, and each other. Over the past two days I have received several moving letters. Read More

PSU Earns Carnegie Foundation’s Community Engagement Classification

March, 2011

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has given PSU its Community Engagement Classification in recognition of the University’s demonstrated commitment to community partnerships, educational outreach, and service learning. According to Carnegie, PSU was honored for “excellent alignment of mission, culture, leadership, resources, and practices that support dynamic and noteworthy community engagement.”

President Sara Jayne Steen says the Carnegie recognition underscores PSU’s longtime emphasis on volunteerism and commitment to community support. “The classification indicates that teaching, learning, and research are done in collaboration with communities and enhance the well-being of the region through, for example, application of knowledge to economic development. I am grateful for the many people at PSU who are bringing higher education to bear on behalf of New Hampshire’s people, culture, environment, economy, and communities, and for those who partner with us. This is what it means to live the mission of a regional comprehensive university.”

Stover Gift Supports Welcome Center and Ice Arena

March, 2011

Seeking to ensure the legacy of the late Sheldon Dow and the Dow Oil Company of Laconia, NH, Joni Ballard Stover ’82G, a former adjunct faculty member in English, has named the reception desk in the Savage Welcome Center in their honor.

Dow was Stover’s first husband, the grandfather of Lindsey Daniels ’09, and the great-grandson of John H. Dow, who started Dow Oil in 1873. Sheldon Dow passed away in 1972 and the business was sold to Irving Oil in 1987.

Stover said the Dow family always stressed the value of education and involvement in athletics, making her support of the welcome center and ice arena a natural way to memorialize the family and their work in the Lakes Region.

McGarry and Students Help Explain Meteorite Impacts

March, 2011

Professor Mary Ann McGarry and Plymouth State graduate students Dan Straffon and Chuck Patterson will publish a feature article in an upcoming issue of Science Scope to help explain theories about the consequences of meteorites striking Earth. Straffon and Patterson first developed and piloted lessons in classrooms. McGarry then created a website to accompany the article that includes videos and other resources related to the topic of impacts and extinctions.  McGarry said the website intends to bring the nature of science to life for middle school students by drawing on interdisciplinary scientific research about a theory related to past climate change and extinctions that occurred at the end of the last ice age. Hands-on activities from a variety of sources, to further enhance the lesson and engage students, can also be found on the website. Learning objectives for activities on the website are aligned with different educational standards, like the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) benchmarks. The material is intended to give one pause in considering the risk of future impacts and the potential for technological solutions.

“The evolution of science is seldom about solitary individuals busy at work in labs making discoveries, especially not in the Earth sciences, where time-intensive field work is usually required,” McGarry said. “Could a meteor entering the Earth’s atmosphere around 12,900 years ago be responsible for the mass extinction of the megafauna of North America—the large sloths, mastodons, woolly mammoths, and saber tooth cats found in the fossil record? This is the case with the new ‘airburst’ theory put forth by a large team of interdisciplinary scientists including geologists, chemists, and anthropologists, to help explain several mysteries involving climate change and extinctions.”

PSU One of the Five Best Companies to Work for in New Hampshire

March, 2011

Business NH Magazine recently selected PSU as one of the five best large companies to work for in New Hampshire, making it the first educational institution to be included in the ranking. The criteria included employee satisfaction within the workplace, innovative workplace programs, and benefits. President Sara Jayne Steen said the ranking is a significant achievement. “The selection matters because it is public recognition of the high quality of our community, of our commitment to our students and our region, and of our commitment to each other. People here work actively to make PSU a good place to live and learn, and I’m pleased that their good work is being acknowledged.”

PSU American Marketing Association Honors Alumni

March, 2011

Two of Plymouth State’s successful business degree graduates have been inducted into PSU’s chapter of the American Marketing Association Alumni Hall of Fame: Joe Dudek, ’87, and Jane Poulin, ’84.

Photograph by John Hession.Joe Dudek graduated with a degree in business management and is the vice president and general manager of the century division for Southern Wine & Spirits of New England, the largest wine and spirits distributor in the United States. While at Plymouth State, he was a four-year starting running back for the football team and was a candidate for the 1985 Heisman Trophy. In 2009, Dudek was named vice chair of the PSU President’s Council, a volunteer advisory council charged with developing resources to advance the mission and vision of Plymouth State University.

Photograph by John Anderson.Jane Poulin graduated with a degree in accounting. She serves as the associate chief accountant at the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), where she works on policy, standards setting, and the convergence of global accounting, auditing, and ethics standards. Last year, Poulin returned to campus to talk with students and faculty in the College of Business Administration about her career and her work with the SEC, and fielded questions from students about her time at PSU. Most recently, she was appointed to the PSU President’s Council.

According to Brad Allen, professor of management and PSU AMA faculty advisor, Dudek and Poulin “represent what is possible [from] studying at Plymouth State University in the College of Business Administration.”

Top photograph by John Hession.  Bottom photograph by John Anderson.

Writing with Class

March, 2011

Sally L. Wright ’86 et al.

Writing with Class is an anthology from seven New Hampshire writers, including PSU alumna and freelance writer Sally L. Wright. “Deb McKew, our editor, introduced us to each other in her Words in Play class,” explains Wright, whose work has been featured in area magazines including Upper Valley Life, Kearsarge Magazine, and Kids Stuff. “Since meeting, we have become a critique group, helping each other with our projects. The genres include poetry, fiction, memoir, and essay. My contribution is an excerpt from my novel-in-progress, Gracie’s Garden. I greatly enjoy the creative process, and look forward to what my characters will say and do.”

101 Glimpses of the Old Man of the Mountain

March, 2011

Bruce Heald, adjunct faculty, history

Veteran historian Bruce Heald and the last caretaker of the Old Man, David Nielsen, have gathered 101 images from the profile’s long history. These one-of-a-kind photos from Nielsen’s private collection depict four decades of preservation work, seismic testing by national experts, visits from dignitaries, and rare memorabilia. With Nielsen’s personal reflections on his life’s work and Heald’s notes on the history of the Old Man, this volume recaptures the wonder of New Hampshire’s great stone face. (Text from the book’s back cover.)

Media, Health Risk, and Public Perception: Agenda Setting in West Nile Virus Outbreak

March, 2011

Eun-Ho Yeo, professor of communication studies

How do media depict health risk issues? How do media’s depictions of health risk issues influence our perceptions? Media and health risk researchers have been eager to find answers to these questions. By analyzing media’s depictions of the West Nile Virus issue, and by comparing word association patterns in the media with those in people’s perceptions, the author provides an insight into the relationship between media and our perception concerning health risk issues.

Author Yeo was a doctoral student studying communication theories at Cornell University during the 1999 West Nile Virus outbreak in the New York area. “It caught my attention immediately because it provided a wonderful opportunity to examine how media lead or structure our perceptions of something that we are unfamiliar with,” he says. “I hope readers will find [it] an interesting example, or empirical evidence, of how media and our perceptions are connected.” (Text from the book’s back cover.)


March, 2011

Joseph Monninger, professor of English

When a wish foundation sends 11-year-old Tommy, who has cystic fibrosis, on his dream trip to swim with great white sharks, his devoted 15-year-old sister, Bee, is determined to make it an unforgettable memory. Little does she expect to discover along the way that she has a few secret wishes of her own …

“When I was in eighth grade,” says Monninger, “I came across a book about a series of shark attacks that took place off the New Jersey coastline not far from where I grew up, and I have been a lover of shark tales ever since. Unfortunately, the overwhelming popularity of Jaws just about killed the chance of anyone writing a new story about sharks, so I had to figure out a way to write about sharks while also braiding in a second story line. That’s what I’ve attempted to do in Wish.”