April 2009

April 3rd, 2009 by Noelle

Monthly Report to the Faculty
Provost Julie Bernier
April 1, 2009

A Promotion, Tenure and Evaluation Advisory Council named

Mary Cornish, Cathie Leblanc, David Mackey, Gail Mears, and Daniel Moore have agreed to serve on this council. The PT&E Council will serve in an advisory role in response to the requests of the faculty Welfare Committee and the Promotion and Tenure Task Force report. Their main charge will be to make recommendations relative to the Promotion and Tenure process and faculty evaluation. The first order of business is to review the draft “Workplan” and “Workload Policy,” develop criteria, answer questions about the policy and the process and to develop a document that could be used in a pilot next year.

Curricular revision

Many departments have made curricular revisions that reduce their degrees to 120 credits, reduce the size of their major, remove unnecessary barriers (pre-requisites), and provide additional electives for programs that were tight. All of these changes will greatly benefit students and improve time to degree. Additionally, some departments have made decisions to remove highly specialized low enrolled courses or have made plans to offer such courses on a rotating basis. They are finding ways to offer their curriculum in a more efficient manner and therefore are beginning to move to a 3/3 or 3/4 teaching load. The revision process is expected to continue through next year.
Departments that did not make the catalog deadline, but who move to 120 credits this spring or next fall, may provide a “blanket request” to the Office of Undergraduate Studies so that current students may benefit from the 120 credit requirement.

Policies that promote “Life Balance and Career Flexibility”

In the Spring of 2008, PSU was the recipient of an Award for “Innovative Practice” from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for policies that support family and work/life balance. The award was sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and conducted by the American Council on Education (ACE) with support from the Families and Work Institute and is based on policies and practices that support career flexibility for tenured and tenure-track faculty. The work of the Sloan Foundation and ACE on this topic was in response to the unique demands placed on faculty members working toward tenure and/or promotion and how “life events” can sometimes make it impossible to achieve either. Specifically, they look at policies that create career flexibility to address:

  • Tenure clock extensions or modified duties when “life events” occur
  • Leave policies
  • Phased retirement
  • Flexibility of workload

Vice Provost Moore, Carol Kuzdeba and I have spent the academic year participating with a cohort of 6 institutions all working on such policies and examining our own to make recommendations for possible changes. We are working with Faculty Welfare and should have a report to share with you at the May or September 2009 meeting.

Nominations for Distinguished Teaching Awards

The time to submit nominations for the Distinguished Teaching Award, the Distinguished Adjunct Teaching Award, and the Distinguished Graduate Teaching Award is running out. today, April 1st, is the deadline, but it’s not too late!
For the Distinguished Teaching Award:
For the Distinguished Adjunct Teaching Award:
For the Distinguished Graduate Teaching Award:
Using the new online form for nomination submission has generated a nice increase in nominations. We look forward to receiving yours.

Nominations for the Award for Distinguished Scholarship and the Excellence in Service Award

The Plymouth State University Award for Distinguished Scholarship is presented annually to a member of the faculty whose body of creative and scholarly works is recognized for its rigor, originality, and expressiveness. The award recognizes that scholarly pursuits support and enrich the faculty’s commitment to excellence in honoring our educational mission and values. Nominated faculty must demonstrate exceptional research, creativity or scholarly work. Important factors include quality, originality, the impact on one’s field, reputation of the scholar and his/her scholarly works, and the ability to generate and successfully disseminate the scholarly or creative works. The successful candidate will demonstrate and document the following: Scholarly work that has received positive external acceptance and/or peer review regionally, nationally and/or internationally, such as published or professionally accepted works, books/chapters and/or other artistic forms, and work of high quality, sustained over time, including recent work (within approximately five years) that enhances academic recognition for PSU. Voting members of the faculty with five or more years of service at PSU are eligible. Faculty may self-nominate.
To submit a nomination for this award, use this link to submit your online nomination no later than Friday, April 24: http://www.plymouth.edu/webapp/survey/fillsurvey.php?sid=185
Plymouth State University’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service is awarded to the faculty member who best exemplifies the goal of balanced and sustained service that has had a quality impact on the campus and/or the broader community. To be nominated, a faculty member must demonstrate evidence of short- and/or long-term impact of his or her service. There must be evidence of continuing service to the University and/or the broader community. Service must exceed the work generally considered to be part of a faculty member’s basic professional obligations. The scope of the service must extend over several years and must be geared toward affecting positive change. The nominees must be tenured and have at least five years of service at Plymouth State. Faculty may not nominate his or her self.
To nominate a colleague for this award, use this link to submit your online nomination no later than Friday, April 24: http://www.plymouth.edu/webapp/survey/fillsurvey.php?sid=189.
I thank you for your thoughtful nominations for these important recognitions of the excellence of our faculty.

News from Academic Affairs


  • Five Senior BFA students in the Studio Option have been invited to exhibit their works in The New Hampshire Art Association’s 2009 College Invitational. This exhibit celebrates outstanding work from our university students studying the visual arts. Department Chair Cynthia Vascak takes great pleasure in sharing with the PSU community who those participating artists are: Tracy Brigham, Michelle Dupere, Annie Gauthier, Sarah Murchie and Tonya White. The opening reception was March 6th at the Robert Lincoln Levy Gallery in Portsmouth.
  • Terry Downs represented the PSU Art Department and the NH Art Community at the NH Ways and Means, Finance Committee hearing addressing funding for NH State Council for the Arts budget on March 16.
  • Cynthia Vascak was the keynote speaker for the NH Art Education Association annual Belknap Mill Conference addressing the theme, “The Art of Teaching: Cultivating Multiple Literacies and Communities of Care.”

Atmospheric Science and Chemistry

  • Dennis Machnik spent spring break in Rhode Island with the portable planetarium. In five days he did thirty-eight presentations to three schools: the Curtis Corner Elementary School in Wakefield, the Eden Park Elementary School in Cranston, and the Bain Middle School, also in Cranston. Over 1000 children from preschool to 8th grade attended these presentations which used the Digitalis Alpha 1 LCD projector with Stellarium software in the Starlab inflatable dome. The attendance ranged from a few students preparing for the Science Olympiad to over fifty. (Incidentally, fifty extremely excited second graders in a small enclosed space is an interesting experience. Next year Dennis is planning on bringing a sound level meter!) This program has been going on for about five years. This was the first time presentations took place for longer than two days.
  • Four meteorology faculty and staff: Lourdes Aviles, Eric Hoffman, Brendon Hoch, and Sam Miller, along with 49 undergraduate and graduate meteorology students attended the 34th annual Northeastern Storm Conference in Springfield, MA, March 6-8. Several students and faculty gave presentations of their research projects:
    • Graduate Student Oral Presentations: Mitch McCue: “Intense Mesoscale Precipitation Bands: A Case Study of the Valentine’s Day 2007 Storm,” Jennifer Q. Belge and Eric G.
    • Hoffman: “Preferred Regions of Convective Development over Northern New England
    • as a Function of Flow Regime: Southwesterly Flow Case Study,” and David R. Roache,
    • MS (’08): “The Impact of ENSO Neutral Conditions on Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Activity.”
    • Undergraduate Student Oral Presentations: Christopher J. Ander, Adam J. Frumkin,
    • James P. Koermer, and W. P. Roeder: “Study of sea-breeze interactions which can
    • produce strong warm-season convective winds in the Cape Canaveral area,” (also a
    • poster presentation), and John W. Sears, Christopher J. Ander, and Adam J. Fumkin:
    • “Cold Air Damming in Plymouth, New Hampshire.”
  • Lisa Doner co-chaired and presented a paper, “Lagged lake-temperature responses to deglacial and early Holocene environmental changes at Big Pea Porridge Pond, Madison, New Hampshire,” co-authored another paper “Madison Hills Paleoecology Project (MPEP): citizen science and a novel approach to funding a lake sediment study in New Hampshire,” and a poster “Preliminary analyses of sub-fossil midge remains (Diptera:Chironomidae) in sediments from Big Pea Porridge Pond, east- central New Hampshire” in the Lakes and Environmental Change Session at the 44th Annual Meeting, Northeastern Section Geological Society of America Meeting, Portland, ME. At the same Meeting, in the Modern Glacial Processes and the Glacial Sedimentary Record: in Honor of Joe Hartshorn session , she also co-authored another paper “Basal radiocarbon age from Big Pea Porridge Pond, Madison, Carroll County, New Hampshire, and its relationship to the regional deglacial chronology.”
  • Brendon Hoch has received a grant from the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) to integrate four weather stations in Rumney, Bristol, Wentworth, and Enfield into the existing road weather information systems infrastructure. This will allow the public to have access to weather data from these sites via the state 511 system (online at http://www.nh.gov/dot/511/). Data will be available to the National Weather Service which will eventually improve forecasts for the region. Observations will also be available to meteorology students via the Plymouth State University Weather Center for research. The project will ultimately allow NHDOT to more efficiently calculate when to apply and remove spring load restrictions on secondary state highways. Project funding also provides a 3 credit tuition waiver and $1250 stipend for a graduate student.
  • Anil Waghe presided over a session on “Analogical Approach to General Chemistry Teaching” at the NSTA 2009 National Conference on Science Education in New Orleans, LA in March. This is the third consecutive year Dr. Waghe was invited to preside over a chemistry session at the NSTA national meeting. Previously he has presided over the Boston and St. Louis NSTA national meetings.

Bagley Center

  • This year, 78 students participated in study abroad in the following locations around the world: Argentina, Australia, England, Florence, Italy, France, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, and Spain. Additionally, three students participated in “Semester at Sea.”

Center for Rural Partnerships

  • Thad Guldbrandsen presented a paper, “Beyond Sustainability,” at the annual conference of the Society for Applied Anthropology, in Santa Fe, NM.
  • Ben Amsden presented a “projected challenge” to the Tillotson Learning Community (TLC). The TLC provides a forum for recipients of funds from the Neil and Louis Tillotson Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation to support and learn from each other during quarterly meetings. Participants are invited to bring real-world challenges to the group for brainstorming and shared learning in this unique forum. By participating, recipients support that broader work of the funders and build a network of meaningful relationships with partners they might not have encountered otherwise.
  • Dan Perkins and the Hanover Chamber Orchestra (HCO) completed their Coös County Outreach Initiative Seed Grant project. Dan and principal musicians from the HCO traveled to a Coös County elementary school for a day-long musical workshop. Teachers received a companion resource guide—designed by a PSU graduate student—to prepare the children for the event, complete with a host of fun, multi-sensory participatory projects and games. A few weeks later, Dan and the full orchestra traveled to Whitefield High School for a nearly sold out performance of their “Night Music” program. There is a strong desire from all involved to have this become a repeating event!
  • Ben Amsden staffed a resource table at the Northern Organic Food Association (NOFA) winter conference to share information about Agritourism, including the upcoming collaborative workshop with the Women’s Rural Entrepreneurship Network (WREN.)
  • Fran Belcher met with members of U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s New Hampshire office at the State of New Hampshire Division of Economic Development. The focus of the meeting was to meet the team and to discuss federal allocations for rural economic development in NH.
  • The Center for Rural Partnerships has secured renewed funding that enables us to continue to offer seed grants to PSU faculty and staff. Anyone who has a terrific idea and is interested in collaborating with off-campus partners for the benefit of rural communities in NH (from the Lakes Region to Coös County) is encouraged to contact Ben Amsden.

College of University Studies

  • On March 12, Patrick Cate, Interim Director, presented, “Addicted to Undeclared: A New Way to Approach Undecided Students,” at the NACADA Region One annual conference held in Saratoga Springs, NY. The topic covered a new developmental methodology and theoretical foundation for advising “deciding students,” using Prochaska’s Transtheoretical Model combined with current accepted practices. It is a concept familiar to Patrick since he has used it in his own counseling with Frost students and plans it to be part of University Studies methodology in the fall. His presentation won “Best of Region” and Patrick was invited to present at the NACADA national conference in San Antonio, TX in October.

Counselor Education and School Psychology

  • Gail Mears was appointed as the American Mental Health Counseling Representative to the American Association of State Counseling Boards.
  • Gary Goodnough had a co-authored article published: Group counseling in the schools, Rachelle Pérusse, Gary E. Goodnough, and Vivian V. Lee in “Psychology in the Schools,” Volume 46, Issue 3 , Pages 225 – 231

Criminal Justice

  • The Integral Life website published a conversation between the Integral Institute’s CEO Robb Smith and Mark Fischler on “the rise of legal consciousness” in March.
  • Stephanie Halter presented “The Police Response to Juveniles’ Involvement in Prostitution: Findings from 6 Metropolitan Agencies in the U.S.” at the Academy of Criminal Justice Science’s annual meeting in Boston, MA in March.
  • David Mackey and Christopher Remillard (Criminal Justice major) recently completed the Dunbarton Police Department Community Satisfaction Survey.
  • David Mackey and Michael Smith (Saint Anselm College) presented “Should a ‘bad guy’ be afforded the same expectation of privacy as Joe Six Pack: An examination of the intrusiveness and reasonableness of searches” at the annual meeting of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences held in Boston, MA. David also published five entries (Whren v. United States, Terry v. Ohio, Powell v. Alabama, Bernard Goetz, and the Willie Bosket Law) in the Encyclopedia of Race and Crime edited by Helen Greene and Shaun Gabbidon, published by Sage Publications.
  • In March 2009 an article that Francis Williams wrote, “The Problem of Sexual Offenders,” was published as a chapter in an edited book, Sex Offender Laws: Failed Policies, New Directions (Springer Publishers) edited by Richard G. Wright. The article/chapter provides an overview of the current state of sexual assault including prevalence, victimization, perpetrators, recidivism, and treatment.


  • The ETC’s January production of “The Wizard of Oz” was awarded the “Best Live Performance in the State of NH” by the Hippo newspaper.
  • Royce Robertson attended the National Science Teachers Association Annual Conference in New Orleans, LA, in March. He also presented a Share-a-Thon session titled “Real Time Data Websites for K-12 Science Instruction.”
  • Gerry Buteau and Marianne True presented in March at the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development International Conference held in Orlando, Florida. Their presentation, “Engaging the English Language Learner: Strategies for Success” focused on practical strategies for engaging all children, with special emphasis on how to successfully engage children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
  • Gerry Buteau and Marianne True recently presented at the CALTASH conference in Manhattan Beach, California. Their presentation, “A Comprehensive Approach to Inclusive Early Childhood Education,” focused on practical strategies for sustaining parental involvement while ensuring all learners are engaged, supported and challenged.
  • Lisa Spradley traveled as the faculty advisor with an ASB group to the outer banks of North Carolina. The trip was exciting, informative and rewarding. The 7 PSU students served as Pine Knoll Shores Aquarium employees for 4 days, learning about and caring for Loggerhead turtles, sharks, octopus, otters, rays and other animals living at the aquarium. Throughout the course of the week, the students also participated in oyster research, built a compost fence, moved oyster bags across a bay to where they will be used to build an oyster reef, and blazed a trail on an island where wild horses still roam. The hard work provided a sense of accomplishment and new memories were carried home from the trip of a lifetime.

Lamson Library

  • David Beronä’s book, “Wordless Books: The Original Graphic Novels,” won First Place in the category of Special Trade/Adult Graphic Novel at the 23rd Annual New York Book Show, sponsored by the Bookbinders’ Guild of New York, in March. The Award Show, which was, by his account, “…a really festive event,” is the Guild’s way of encouraging, recognizing, honoring and celebrating excellence in book production and design. See: http://www.nybookshow.org/specialtrade.html.
  • “Wordless Books,” a slide show on early wordless books was presented by David at the Pease Public Library in March.


  • Plymouth State University’s Mathematics Department was well represented at the New Hampshire Teachers of Mathematics 46th Annual Spring Conference in Keene in March. The following presentations were given by Mathematics Department faculty: “The Quantitative Literacy Project,” Brian Beaudrie and Emily Ricard; “Fun with Tangrams,” Barbara Boschmans; “Are You As Smart As An Eighth Grader?,” Donna Kelley; “The Five Minute Review to Start Class,” Richard Evans (Emeritus Faculty); “How long will it Bounce?,” Natalya Vinogradova and Larry Blaine; and Keynote, “Mathematical Literacy: It DOES take a village,” Fernand Prevost (NH-Impact Center – retired). Barbara Boschmans also worked on the exhibits as well as the conference web site.

Music, Theatre and Dance

  • Dan Perkins conducted performances of “Night Music” with the Hanover Chamber Orchestra March 12-15 at Plymouth State, the Lebanon Opera House, and White Mountains Regional High School. On March 6, he did a collaborative workshop with the Plymouth Regional High School Select Choir and the PSU Chamber Singers.
  • Kathleen Arecchi and Elizabeth Cox were casting consultants for the Papermill Theatre at the New England Theatre Conference annual auditions held in Boston in March.

Social Science

  • Mark Okrant (Tourism Management and Policy) spoke to students, faculty and administrators at the Universidad del Este’s International School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts, in Puerto Rico. The topic of his presentation was “Islands as Visitor Destinations.”
  • An article by Marcia Schmidt Blaine, titled “The Johnsons’ Plight: The Role of Captivity on Anglo-American Identity,” was published in History: A Journal of the History Association 94:1, No. 313 (January, 2009), 53-73. She also gave a paper titled “Fear and Settlement: Developing American Identity on the New England Frontier, 1744-1760” at the Conference for the Consortium of the Revolutionary Era in Savannah, Georgia in February.
  • Patrick May took Geography Club students to Washington DC during Spring break for tours of the monuments, museums, the Capital, and other historic sites. Students told him that they were going off in a couple of years to be social science teachers and they’d never been to the nation’s capital, and he said, “let’s go.” Students raised funds to help offset the costs.
  • The Geography Club is taking students to the Association of American Geographers meetings where students will attend paper sessions, attend the job and book fairs, and participate in a field trip of their own design to Zion National Park. One student, Meghan Rodier, will present a paper focusing upon her experience as a student in the EcoHouse class, Sustainability in Residences. Students raised funds for this event, as well.
  • Bryon Middlekauff will serve as a discussant in a session of papers focusing upon John Wesley Powell, explorer, geographer, and ethnographer. He has also organized the New England World Geography Bowl contest all-star team. Patrick May is also participating in that same conference.
  • The Geography Club has, and will, sponsor alumni talks this semester. Jon Albertini , ’02, and the Geographic Information Systems analyst for Hannaford Supermarkets talked about his job last week on campus. Linda Madorma, ‘05, will speak about her role at the Southern New Hampshire Planning Agency on April 5th, and Mike Ellis, ‘92, will speak about his participation in the Yukon Quest sled dog race.
  • Sheryl Shirley presented a paper and a poster at the 50th Annual Convention of the International Studies Association (ISA) in New York City, February 15th-18th. The paper, co-authored with Filiz Otucu, was titled ” Should Walls Be History?: A Comparative Study of the Israeli-Palestinian and the U.S.-Mexican Borders.” The poster focused on the U.S.-Mexican exclusion barriers and was presented at a session sponsored by ISA’s Human Rights Section.
  • Michelle Fistek and Bob Egbert co-authored “New Hampshire” for the Political Encyclopedia of U.S. States and Regions, Donald P. Haider-Markel, ed., CQ Press, 2008.

Social Work

  • Stephen Gorin and Cynthia Moniz were participants in an Authors Forum Roundtable held at the Baccalaureate SW Programs Directors Annual Conference held in Phoenix, AR. During the conference, they also participated in CSWE Gero-Ed and other meetings. Steve Gorin attended a quarterly meeting of the State Committee on Aging (SCOA).
  • Scott Meyer served as a panelist on Gero Mental Health at the Speare Hospital Eldercare 2009 Conference for Families and Older Adults. Scott also provided training in Concord on Action Planning for Project Sustainability for UNH Cooperative Extension and Community Partner staff involved in USDA Children, Youth & Families at Risk grant projects.

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