Awards recognize commitment to serving the campus and greater community
Molly Cassidy, Suzanne Gaulocher, Ph.D., and Project EXTRA of Laconia, NH, have been honored by Plymouth State University (PSU) with Campus Compact for New Hampshire’s (CCNH) annual Presidents’ Awards. The awardees were celebrated online earlier this month rather than with a traditional ceremony due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
CCNH is a statewide consortium of college and university presidents that is dedicated to advancing the civic purposes of higher education. PSU President Donald Birx and members of the PSU community nominated the individuals and groups for their commitment to serving the campus and Plymouth-area communities.
“The recipients of this year’s Campus Compact Awards are committed to making Plymouth State University, our community, our region and our state stronger,” said Birx. “We are extremely proud of each of them and truly appreciate their dedication and service.”
Molly Cassidy, a senior sociology major, was honored with the Presidents’ Leadership Award, which recognizes students or student groups who have made outstanding contributions to civic engagement. Cassidy is a student leader who has been involved in many service and community initiatives and she was recognized as a Newman Civic Fellow through Campus Compact in 2019. She has had a significant impact on PSU and the broader community through a variety of initiatives, including the Angel Tree Project, the Give It Forward Program, blood drives, Project Linus and the Bridge House Community Dinners program, as well as two social action service trips.
Dr. Suzanne Gaulocher, Assistant Professor in Public Health and Associate Director of the Center for Healthy Communities, was honored with the Good Steward Award, given to a faculty, administration or staff member who has contributed his or her professional expertise in service to the wider community and who has significantly advanced public service on his or her campus. In addition to her substantial academic contributions, Gaulocher has fostered partnerships with local non-profit community organizations, such as the Communities for Alcohol and Drug Free Youth (CADY) and the Pemi Youth Center. These collaborations help to engage students and better the PSU community by spearheading innovative solutions to public health issues.
PSU recognized the Laconia School District’s Project EXTRA program with the Community Partner Award, which is given to a non-profit organization that has enhanced the quality of life in the community and engaged in the development of sustained, reciprocal partnerships with a college or university. Project EXTRA has hosted numerous PSU students from the Youth Development and Education (YDE) Program over the years. The organization provides excellent supervisors who contribute between 10 to 360 hours annually of mentorship and support. Project EXTRA staff regularly accept PSU students as observers for early field experiences and course projects, and work with practicum students who are completing 70- to 80-hour direct-service experiences.
CCNH’s programs and resources include training, advocacy, funding, legislative outreach and recognition for community-based work that both enhances student learning and provides needed public services. Annually, more than 23,000 student volunteers from CCNH’s member campuses serve some 6 million hours in local communities through initiatives run or supported by their institutions, providing millions of dollars in services.
“Each of this year’s awardees exemplifies Plymouth State University’s culture of service, and are leaders and role models for our community,” Birx said.