March 2013

March 15th, 2013 by gbeckwith

March 2012

March 6th, 2012 by gbeckwith

March 2011

June 29th, 2011 by gbeckwith

Monthly Report to the Faculty
Provost Julie Bernier
March 2011




Because I sent out my February report on a snow day, I will repeat some of the important messages from that report here.  My apologies to those of you that have already read these.


President Steen, in her report last month shared with you that we have revised the list of comparators. This summer and fall we reviewed the comparator list and removed those that no longer made sense in terms of size, type of institution, location, Carnegie classification or other variables.  A number of institutions on our previous list remain as they are still strong comparators.  Some have been removed and others added.   Below is a report on the process and final outcome.

Comparator Institution Cohort Selection Methodology

To arrive at a list of comparators, Plymouth State gathered data from Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) at the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Initial comparator institution selections were based on the following criteria:

  • Public
  • Regional comprehensive
  • Carnegie Classification
  • Total student full time equivalent approximately 5,000 – 12,000
  • A portion of the cohort is part of a system
  • Similar climate

A data mining Cluster Analysis was used to examine relationships between 85 IPEDS variables and reduced the initial comparator list to a pool of 28.  Institutional variables were organized into meaningful structures and a taxonomy developed to determine which institutions would be included in PSU’s comparator list. Further analysis of the pool included graduate student enrollment, undergraduate retention and graduation rates, total price, ratio of students to full time faculty, highest degrees offered, degree of urbanization, and athletic league membership to produce the final list of comparators.

General Descriptors- the following information is from IPEDS 2008 and from the NCAA.

Institution (in alphabetical order)
Highest Degree offered
Degree of urbanization
Carnegie Classification
Athletic membership
Bridgewater State University
Post Master
Suburb: Large
Frostburg State University
Town: Remote
Millersville University of Pennsylvania
Post Master
Suburb: Large
Plymouth State University
Town: Remote
Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania
Post Master
Town: Distant
SUNY College at New Paltz
Post Master
Town: Fringe
SUNY College at Plattsburgh
Post Master
Town: Distant
The College of New Jersey
Post Master
City: Small
University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth
Suburb: Midsize
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Town: Distant
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
Town: Distant
Western Connecticut State University
City: Small
Westfield State University
Post Master
Suburb: Large

Throughout the process, there was a desire to include institutions within PSU’s list recognized as being “best” regional comprehensives selected because of the components of distinctiveness or practices for which PSU displays or aspires.  To accomplish this, PSU utilized the following criteria:

  • All institutions realize the benefits to students of a smaller institution with reasonable student to faculty ratio.
  • Each demonstrated governance, administrative structures, mission statements, and academic goals appropriate to a regional comprehensive institution.
  • Each demonstrated commitment to teaching, research, scholarship, academic inquiry and service to the community.

The final group of 12 comparators listed alphabetically above, includes both peer and aspirational institutions.

Headcount and annual FTE data are from IPEDS 2009.

Annual Headcount Total FTE
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater 12,825 University of Wisconsin-Whitewater 10,080
Bridgewater State University 12,588 Bridgewater State University 8,730
Millersville University of Pennsylvania 11,272 University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth 8,726
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point 10,709 University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point 8,446
University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth 10,582 Millersville University of Pennsylvania 7,907
SUNY College at New Paltz 9,728 Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania 7,283
Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania 9,222 SUNY College at New Paltz 7,250
The College of New Jersey 7,999 The College of New Jersey 6,772
Western Connecticut State University 7,669 SUNY College at Plattsburgh 6,195
Plymouth State University 7,477 Western Connecticut State University 5,355
SUNY College at Plattsburgh 7,462 Plymouth State University 5,166
Westfield State University 6,557 Westfield State University 5,044
Frostburg State University 5,893 Frostburg State University 4,750


Graduate credit hours generated data are from IPEDS 2009.

Graduate credits as a percent of total credits earned %
Plymouth State University 13%
SUNY College at New Paltz 12%
Millersville University of Pennsylvania 10%
Bridgewater State University 10%
Shippensburg Univ of Pennsylvania 8%
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater 7%
Frostburg State University 7%
SUNY College at Plattsburgh 7%
Univ Massachusetts-Dartmouth 6%
Western Connecticut State University 6%
The College of New Jersey 6%
Westfield State University 6%
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point 3%



Graduation and Retention Rate- Graduation rate (6-yr) and full-time, first-time retention data are from IPEDS 2008

Graduation Rate % Retention Rate %
The College of New Jersey 85 The College of New Jersey 95
SUNY College at New Paltz 71 SUNY College at New Paltz 84
Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania 64 Millersville University of Pennsylvania 81
Millersville University of Pennsylvania 62 Bridgewater State University 80
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point 59 SUNY College at Plattsburgh 79
Westfield State University 59 Plymouth State University 78
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater 56 University of Wisconsin-Whitewater 76
SUNY College at Plattsburgh 54 University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point 75
Plymouth State University 52 Westfield State University 75
Bridgewater State University 51 Frostburg State University 74
Frostburg State University 48 University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth 74
University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth 46 Western Connecticut State University 74
Western Connecticut State University 40 Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania 72
Median 56 Median 76


Academic Affairs Organization

Bridgewater State University 4 College of Humanities and Social Science, Science and Mathematics, Education and Allied Studies, Business, Graduate Studies
Frostburg State University 3 College of Business, Education, Liberal Arts & Sciences
Westfield State University 0
Millersville University of Pennsylvania 4 School of Education, School of Humanities & Social Science, School of Science & Mathematics, Graduate School
Plymouth State University 3 Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, Education, Health and Human Services, Graduate Studies
Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania 3 College of Arts & Sciences, Business, Ed & Human Services
SUNY College at New Paltz 5 College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, School of Business, School of Education, School of Fine & Performing Arts, School of Science & Engineering
SUNY College at Plattsburgh 3 College of Arts & Science, Business & Econ, EHHS
The College of New Jersey 8 School of Arts & Communication, School of Business, School of Culture & Society, School of Education, School of Engineering, School of Nursing, Health & Exercise Science, School of Science
University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth 8 College of Arts and Sciences, Charlton College of Business, College of Engineering, College of Nursing, School of Law, School for Marine Science and Technology, School of Education, Public Policy and Civic Engagement
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point 4 College of Fine Arts & Communication, Professional Studies, Natural Resources, Letters & Science, Graduate Studies
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater 4 College of Arts & Communication, Business & Economics, Education, Letters & Sciences, Graduate Studies
Western Connecticut State University 4 School of Business, School of Arts & Sciences, School of Professional Studies, School of Visual & Performing Arts

During the process, it was observed that PSU has several components that place it among the best regional comprehensives in the country. Most notably:

  • Externally evaluated as an excellent place to work and live for both students and employees.
  • Incorporating sustainability/green initiatives into the substrate of all aspects of the campus and campus life.
  • A commitment to service and outreach.


Best Colleges to Work For President’s Climate Commitment President’s Service Honor Roll (2010) Carnegie Classification Engaged Institution
Plymouth State University X X X X
University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth X X X
Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania X
SUNY College at Plattsburgh X
Bridgewater State University X
Frostburg State University X
SUNY College at New Paltz X
The College of New Jersey X
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point X
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater X
Western Connecticut State University X
Westfield State University X
Millersville University of Pennsylvania


Salary–  here we provide for comparison purposes, information regarding the old comparator list and the new list.  You’ll note that the new list puts PSU faculty salaries further behind.  More information will be forthcoming from the faculty Welfare committee regarding salary.


Old Comparators
2009-10 2009-10 2009-10
Faculty Salaries Professors Assoc Prof Asst. Prof
167987 University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth $107,803 $83,056 $70,491
214041 Millersville University of Pennsylvania $100,476 $80,226 $61,685
216010 Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania $99,756 $79,254 $62,808
130776 Western Connecticut State University $95,444 $75,188 $62,335
110486 California State University-Bakersfield $95,291 $73,441 $66,782
129215 Eastern Connecticut State University $91,444 $70,920 $57,325
196167 SUNY at Geneseo $86,435 $69,753 $57,659
196158 SUNY at Fredonia $86,388 $64,650 $56,098
183062 Keene State College $86,146 $72,355 $58,078
162584 Frostburg State University $84,643 $68,540 $60,078
183080 Plymouth State University $83,831 $67,561 $57,868
165024 Bridgewater State University $80,629 $66,023 $58,082
168263 Westfield State University $79,266 $65,104 $53,615
181215 University of Nebraska at Kearney $78,561 $63,403 $53,325
240329 University of Wisconsin-La Crosse $77,317 $59,304 $55,707
218964 Winthrop University $77,309 $66,189 $55,013
232566 Longwood University $74,310 $63,104 $52,504
161226 University of Maine at Farmington $72,859 $55,811 $48,022


Professors Assoc Prof Asst. Prof
Old Comparators  AVG. $86,710 $69,195 $58,212
183080 Plymouth State University $83,831 $67,561 $57,868
-3.4% -2.4% -0.6%


New Comparators
2009-10 2009-10 2009-10
Faculty Salaries Professors Assoc Prof Asst. Prof
187134 The College of New Jersey $109,510 $87,600 $72,007
167987 University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth $107,803 $83,056 $70,491
214041 Millersville University of Pennsylvania $100,476 $80,226 $61,685
216010 Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania $99,756 $79,254 $62,808
130776 Western Connecticut State University $95,444 $75,188 $62,335
196176 SUNY College at New Paltz $93,019 $72,650 $55,409
196246 SUNY College at Plattsburgh $85,009 $67,679 $56,242
162584 Frostburg State University $84,643 $68,540 $60,078
183080 Plymouth State University $83,831 $67,561 $57,868
165024 Bridgewater State University $80,629 $66,023 $58,082
168263 Westfield State University $79,266 $65,104 $53,615
240189 University of Wisconsin-Whitewater $74,468 $63,688 $58,155
240480 University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point $69,431 $57,654 $52,142
Professors Assoc. Prof Asst. Prof
New Comparators  AVG. $89,955 $72,222 $60,254
183080 Plymouth State University $83,831 $67,561 $57,868
-7.3% -6.9% -4.1%


Update on Academic Affairs reorganization

At the end of the semester, I was pleased to announce the names of the Founding Deans of our two newest colleges.  I’d like to offer thanks to the search committees for their work during a very busy time of the semester and also to all of you for your participation in the search process.  Dr. Gail Mears has been named Dean of the College of Education, Health, and Human Services, and Dr. Cynthia Vascak, the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.  This semester will be a transition period for both Deans as they continue to serve in their current roles and begin to prepare to take the leadership position on July 1st.

The Council of Chairs will pilot a new meeting schedule this Spring.  The “University Council of Chairs”  (i.e. all Chairs) will meet on the 2nd Wednesday of each month.  On the 4th Wednesday of each month, the “College Council of Chairs”  (Chairs within each College) will meet with their respective Dean.   In case you missed the announcements, I’ve attached for you at the end of this report, the press releases on the Dean appointments.



Open House

The recruitment season is upon us and your participation is vital to the success of our admission process.  Over the next couple of months you will hear from Admissions staff asking for your participation in our Admitted Student Open Houses.  Please consider opening your classroom for observation and participating in other ways as requested.  The Open Houses will take place on: Mondays, February 21, March 14, April 11, and, April 18.  Thank you in advance for your participation in this very important admissions activity.  We know that the time the prospective student spends on our campus is among the most important activity in the decision-making process.

Faculty Calling Program

On Monday, February 7th at 5:00 pm there will be a kick-off/training and dinner provided for all new faculty callers and any faculty caller that wants to have a refresher (or just wants to socialize and have dinner with your colleagues).  All faculty participating in the program are invited to hear Bob Nadeau (CoBA) and the Admissions staff discuss best practices for making phone calls to our admitted students. There will be a second session on Thursday, February 10th at 9:30.

Those of you that participated last year may have advice and/or insights to share with new callers.  So, please feel free to attend either of these training sessions.  The location for both events is Frost Commons.

The target weeks for calling are:

February 14-16

March 7-9

April 4-6




Atmospheric Sciences and Chemistry

  • Dennis Machnik presented programs at Matunuck Elementary School in Wakefield RI, and at Stone Hill Elementary and Barrows Elementary, both in Cranston RI.  In 3 days he did a total of 17 programs to a total of 750 children.  His visit to the Matunuck School was nicely covered on the front page of the Narragansett Times newspaper.
  • Jim Koermer has been appointed by the American Meteorological Society to be the next chair of the AMS Surface Transportation Committee. Jim will work with the current chair during the remainder of this year and take over the chairmanship next January at the next Annual AMS Meeting in New Orleans. Jim has been a member of the committee for the past two years.
  • Jim Koermer presented a paper, “NASA Space Grant Successes with Meteorology Students at Plymouth State University,” at the recent 20th Conference on Education at the American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting, which was held in Seattle.  Jim and his co-author, William Roeder, from the 45th Weather Squadron in Florida, highlighted the successful use of Space Grant-funding to keep undergraduate and graduate students in the program and have them earn degrees through small scholarships, partial fellowships and summer research opportunities. The main focus of the research over the past 6 years has been on strong winds associated with thunderstorms in the Cape Canaveral area. Work done by PSU students is being used by the Air Force for forecaster training and for making operational decisions. Several new automated forecasting techniques, developed recently by students Jared Rennie and Mitch McCue as part of their thesis research, are scheduled to be phased into operations over the next year.
  • Lourdes Avilés chaired a session on University Initiatives as part of the 20th Symposium on Education during the 91st Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society in Seattle, WA. She is also part of the planning committee for the 21st Symposium on Education which will be held next year in New Orleans, LA.

Biological Sciences

  • Len Reitsma co-authored two papers in the January 2011 issue of The Auk with two collaborators. Dr. Joseph Smith worked on this project for his doctoral thesis at George Mason University and Dr. Peter Marra from the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (National Zoological Park) was his advisor. Reitsma helped organize the field seasons, secure funding, and write the papers. The two papers are:  1)The influence of moisture and food supply on the movement dynamics of a non-breeding migratory bird (Parkesia noveboracensis) in a seasonal landscape, and 2) Multiple space use strategies and their divergent consequences in a non-breeding migratory bird (Parkesia noveboracensis).

Center for Rural Partnerships

  • The Center for Rural Partnerships has been selected to host the higher education working group at the Summit for the Northern Forest in May.  Thaddeus Guldbrandsen will chair the meeting of higher education representatives from across New York, Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire.  If you would like to be involved in the meeting, please contact Thad.
  • The Center for Rural Partnerships, working in collaboration with the Museum of the White Mountains and several off-campus partners, launched a new web page ( devoted to the history of the Weeks Act.  The page is hosted by New Hampshire Public Television.
  • Ben Amsden had two articles published. The first, entitled “Agrileisure: Re-imagining the relationship between agriculture, leisure, and social change” (co-authored with Jesse McEntee of Cardiff University) appears in the recent edition of the journal Leisure/Loisir: The Journal of the Canadian Association of Leisure Studies. The second, entitled “Tools for managing risk in farm and forest tourism” (co-authored with Lisa Chase of UVM Extension) appears in this month’s Tree Farmer magazine.
  • Ben Amsden facilitated a workshop on food safety and agritourism at the New Hampshire Farm and Forest Expo in Manchester. This workshop is part of a grant-funded program of education for agritourism producers which partners Plymouth State and UVM Extension with a host of farmers and risk management experts throughout Vermont, New Hampshire, and the Northeast.  Ben also was co-author of a research presentation (with Linda Kruger of the U.S. Forest Service and Rich Stedman of Cornell University) entitled “Volunteering and sense of place” that was presented at the Healthy Parks, Healthy People International Congress in Melbourne, Australia.
  • Fran Belcher has been named to the Oversight Committee for the Rural Health Workforce Development Training Program, convened by the North Country Health Consortium.  The Rural Health Workforce project is one of just 20 projects funded nationally by the U.S. Office of Rural Health Policy of the Health Resources and Services Administration.  This collaborative effort between academic institutions, clinical health care providers and community-based organizations will develop an integrated plan to recruit and train health professions students, create community service opportunities and coordinate clinical preceptorships in Northern Grafton and Coös Counties.  Plymouth State University is joined in this effort by Franklin Pierce Physician Assistant Program, Dartmouth Medical School and White Mountains Community College.
  • Thaddeus Guldbrandsen was appointed to the Board of Trustees of Sterling College in Craftsbury Commons, Vermont.  He will serve on subcommittees for Academics and Student Life.  Sterling college is a small, progressive college in Northern Vermont.  It is one of seven work-learning-service colleges in the United States.  The college has a strong emphasis in sustainability, local food, and rural life.
  • Thaddeus Guldbrandsen, Linda Upham-Bornstein, Kelly Rice (student assistant), Nicole DeGrandpre (student assistant), and Lindsay Burke (Museum of the White Mountains) hosted a multi-faceted exhibition on the Weeks Act and the history of New Hampshire Forests at the annual New Hampshire Farm and Forest Expo.

College of Graduate Studies

  • Bring your lunch and join the College of Graduate Studies at their last two brown bag luncheons of the academic year. On Tuesday, March 8, Associate Professor of Education Marcel Lebrun will discuss, “Children in Crisis: Violence, Victims and Victories,” from noon to 1 p.m. in HUB 109. On Tuesday, April 12, the featured speaker will be Mark Okrant, PSU professor of geography and tourism development and director of the Institute of New Hampshire Studies. The April brown bag will be held at noon in Frost Commons.
  • Join the CoGS at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 15, for the film, Pushing the Elephant, and following discussion at 2 Pillsbury Street in Concord. The movie focuses on one woman’s mission for peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo where ethnic violence has created seemingly irreparable rifts among Tutsis, Hutus and other Congolese. The film is airing as part of the Community Cinema program that CoGS and New Hampshire Public Television have partnered to present.
  • Cheryl Baker, director of graduate recruitment and outreach at CoGS, visited Shanghai, China, from February 9-22 to teach one of PSU’s graduate courses at the Shanghai American School (SAS), advise PSU’s graduate students, and strengthen the partnership between PSU and the school. This partnership was created in 2007 and enables SAS to offer their faculty and staff the opportunity to earn a master’s degree from an American institution. As the result of this partnership, PSU has alumni/ae throughout the world. The current class includes people from Australia, Canada, China, the Philippines, Scotland, South Africa and New Zealand. The first cohort of 14 graduates from Shanghai American School completed their PSU program in 2009. Many of these alumni/ae have remained at SAS and are providing leadership in all areas of the school. SAS is a private school that provides American-style education to expatriate and Chinese children living in the city. The school’s goal is to educate its students to become global citizens. All students learn Chinese as a second language and Chinese students have the opportunity to strengthen their English language skills.
  • James Kuras, the graduate certification coordinator at CoGS, was recently confirmed to serve on the New Hampshire Board of Nursing. The board is empowered to establish standards for nursing practice, approve nursing education programs and oversee the licensing of nurses, among other responsibilities.
  • Ten prospective graduate students attended the MBA open house on February 4 at Keene State College. The PSU event was held in cooperation with the Keene Young Professionals Network and the Keene Chamber of Commerce. Craig Zamzow, director of PSU graduate business programs, notes that there was particular interest among attendees in PSU offering a possible certificate program in non-profit management. Zamzow and KSC Management Professor John Pappalardo, who is the MBA advisor in Keene, were on hand at the event to answer questions and gather suggestions on the possible new certificate program. Plymouth State has had a long-standing relationship with KSC, where the University has offered the MBA program for more than 20 years.

Communication and Media Studies

  • Annette Holba was invited to Arizona State University, Barrett Honors College, as Visiting Scholar (February 16-20) to present a paper as scholar-in-residence. Her paper was entitled, “Paradox of Plenty: Reflections on Philosophical Leisure and Food.”  While there she met with students, discussed her book on Philosophical Leisure informally with students reading her work, presented her paper, had a book signing, and attended a reception with ASU faculty and students.  A class from Northern Arizona University came to attend her events after having used her book in their class.
  • While on sabbatical in Europe this fall, Warren Mason, was approached in Paris by a representative of PubFiction advertising agency to record English voice-overs for their promotional film, “Agility 2.” The voice-overs were recorded at SlashDotCom Studios at their Right Bank facility. The English translations will be used as part of their promotional campaign to generate interest in the film. Additionally, Mason interviewed numerous business practitioners about their uses of social media for promotional purposes during his travels in The Netherlands, Belgium, France, and Greece.

Counselor Education and School Psychology

  • Leo Sandy reviewed a new text, “The Theory and Practice of Counseling Assessment,” published by Pearson.


  • The 11th edition of the textbook, “Development Through Life: A Psychosocial Approach,” was recently published by Cengage Learning. The supplemental instructional components, all authored by Clarissa Uttley, include a student study guide, Power Lecture multimedia CD, and the Instructor’s Manual with Test Bank. This text, along with the supplements, is used internationally in university courses on human development and lifespan psychology.
  • Dr. Uttley recently served as a Panel Reviewer for the 2011 AmeriCorps State and National External Review. As a member of the review process, she collaborated with a nationwide team to review and recommend projects, from a variety of states, to employ AmeriCorps members in projects to effect environmental and educational change in their communities.
  • Dr. Uttley has also been appointed to a 3-year term as a conference proposal reviewer for the National Association for the Education of Young Children. The annual conference is held every November and offers early childhood educators the opportunity to experience a variety of workshops and presentations on topics such as classroom curriculum, child development, and research in early childhood. In this role, Dr. Uttley will review and recommend conference proposals for inclusion in the annual conference
  • Marcel Lebrun presented “Universal Interventions in Positive Behavior and Response to Intervention Systems” to the faculty of the Conway School District on February 17th. The session was attended by faculty, administrators and para-educators.


  • Liz Ahl discussed working with students on book-making and letterpress projects at her panel, “Hands On: DIY and Handcraft in a Digital Culture,” at the annual Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) Conference in Washington, D.C. in February. Panelists included writers, publishers, book artists and teachers from The Rose O’Neill Literary House at Washington College, Pilot Books, Octopus Books, Prairie Schooner/The Omaha Lit Fest, and Tuesday; an Art Project.
  • Robin DeRosa has been nominated to the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, a non-profit educational foundation with a maximum membership of two-hundred scholars and historians.  The foundation is designed to promote the study of New England history from earliest settlement through the first decades of the nineteenth century.

Frost School

  • Linda Hammond presented a professional development program for the Bedford, NH School District’s fourth grade teachers on February 9 using Lego Simple and Motorized Machine kits to teach basic physics and simple machines. Linda will be in Bedford for the month of March, teaching in each of the District’s eighteen fourth grade classrooms. She will be modeling her technique for this hands-on experience to help students transition their learning to real life understanding. This program is the result of a pilot Linda did with Memorial School in Bedford, NH. The pilot program was the result of a Bedford teacher hearing about our Lego summer camps here at PSU.

Global Education Office (GEO)

  • GEO will partner with the U.S. Department of State to host a community passport processing day Saturday, April 2 from 10:00 am-2:00 pm at the Savage Welcome Center.  For more information visit

Health and Human Performance

  • Linda Levy and 4 students (Alicia Edwards, MS’11; Kevin Silva, ’11; Austri Silver, ’11; Josselyn DeLemos, ’11) gave a presentation to the Alumni Association Board on February 12 on Athletic Training.  The Board was introduced and had the opportunity to practice key concepts in core stability, active release manual therapy, concussion testing and therapeutic modalities.
  • Cheryl Coker co-presented, “Five Tips for Improving Anticipatory Skills,” at the Eastern District Association of the American Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance conference.

History and Philosophy

  • The exhibit, “As Time Passes over the Land,” will be at the Drerup Gallery from February 8 – April 11.  The Project Director was Catherine S. Amidon (Museum of the White Mountains), Curator was Marcia Schmidt Blaine (History & Philosophy), and the catalogue text was written by Marcia Schmidt Blaine and Mark Green (Center for the Environment).
  • Whitney Howarth has been elected to the Executive Council of the New Hampshire Council for the Social Studies which is dedicated to developing an active and informed citizenry by strengthening and supporting social studies education in New Hampshire through all parts of the social studies.

Languages and Linguistics

  • James Whiting was invited to serve again on the Fulbright Scholarship National Screening Committee for English Language Teaching Assistantships. Whiting and other members of the Committee reviewed applications and then met at the Institute of International Education in New York City in December to finalize the award recipients.

Library and Academic Support Services

  • Robert Fitzpatrick, Emerging Technologies Librarian, and Michael Davidson, Library Technologist, were among the invited presenters at a Northeast Regional Computing Program (NERCOMP) workshop held on January 20th at the Southbridge (Mass.) Hotel and Conference Center.  The subject was qualitative research in assessment.  The one-day workshop, organized by David Wedaman of Brandeis University and Bradd Lee of Mercy College, also included Brandeis University anthropologists, librarians, and information technologists, as well as ERIAL Lead Research Anthropologist (CLIR Scholarly Communications Fellow) Andrew Asher.  Presenters examined the understanding of organizations from the users’ perspective, using methods adopted by anthropologists to supplement surveys, user feedback, and usage metrics.
  • Sixty 8th grade students and teachers from Plymouth Elementary School visited Lamson to complete individual research for a science project on growing pumpkins, peas and sunflowers.  Anne Lebreche provided introductory library instruction two days before the visit and followed up with more instruction two weeks later.  Now in its 3rd year, this project exposes middle school students to a larger library and gives Lamson librarians the opportunity to work with future students in higher education.

Music, Theatre and Dance

  • Dan Perkins and his Veritas Quintet performed and presented workshops for high schools and arts councils in NH and ME, and at PSU February 11-13.
  • On January 25th Music Education Program Coordinator Holly Oliver, accompanied by music education majors Eben Brown, Kara Kirby, Rachel Carlson, Luca Giordano, and Jeff Thibaudeau, attended the NH House Bill 39 Congressional hearing. The House bill proposes to exclude the following from the definition of an adequate education: Technology Education, Health Education, Arts Education, and World Languages. An overwhelming majority of testimonies was opposed to the bill and it is their hope that the presence of so many in opposition will send a strong message to the State Education Committee.
  • Kathleen Arecchi was the Art Song and Aria Festival Chair for NATS-Boston Chapter, February 5/6 at Boston University in which 30 voice teachers entered 130 singers.  PSU Senior, Dan Brevik, was sponsored in this competition by his teacher Kathleen Arecchi, and was the 1st Place winner in his age group (21-23).  He was also awarded the Oratorio Prize for the strongest performance of an oratorio aria in the Finals on Sunday evening.
  • Carleen Graff recently gave a master class at the Concord Community Music School to Middle School and High School students.  She also talked with the students about expectations and preparation to become a piano major prior to college.
  • Aaron Tolson’s New England Tap Ensemble performed “Inspired” at the Palace Theater in Manchester, NH in early February. Tolson was also featured on New Hampshire News “Chronicle” earlier in the month.
  • Lisa Travis was nominated for “Best Choreographer” by the New Hampshire Professional Theatre Association for her work on “Spelling Bee” for the Papermill Theatre.
  • Gary Corcoran served as a guest conductor at the Kansas State University Concert Band Clinic in Manhattan, KS, where he also presented a workshop for 50 highs school band directors. Dr. Corcoran was also the guest conductor for the Belknap Invitational Band Festival at Gilford High School. He is currently serving on the Legion of Honor Committee for the John Philip Sousa Foundation, a national association that recognizes excellence in teaching in American public schools and universities.

Pakistani Educational Leadership Project

The project is currently in a dual phase in Pakistan.  Last summer’s delegates are completing master action plans designed and developed during the 2010 institute.  Project director Blake Allen will return soon to Pakistan to meet with them for a project review. Conditions permitting, she will be joined by U.S. educators who have been involved with the institute component.

The trip will provide meaningful opportunities to work with the delegates, alumni of previous institutes, senior government officials from the remote areas, and project stakeholders.  Visits to alumni schools are also on the agenda.  An examination of best practices with applicability to in-country ground realities will provide a framework for discourse. It also will contribute to strategic planning in consultation with officials at the U.S. Embassy, Islamabad, and U.S. Consulate, Lahore.

Blake and the Islamabad team have been focusing on preparations for the 2011 institute. The nomination and selection process has begun in Pakistan.  The next delegation of 40 Pakistani educators will be predominately female, with the majority from rural and remote areas.  Institute training will be aligned with PSU’s role as a vibrant regional hub. Site visits to educational and community initiatives will be incorporated into curricula.

Social Sciences

  • Krisan Evenson reports that the work of her students from Winterim 2010 arrived just this month in Afghanistan!  Evenson’s course covers citizen-to-citizen diplomacy, and her students have been modeling this process by making afghans, vests, sweaters and hats for the children of Afghanistan through the Afghans for Afghans program.  The usual voyage of these goods takes about 10-12 months depending on travel conditions, security issues, and willing organizations.  Facebook features a video of the delivery which also shows what the children are wearing for ‘winter gear.’  (See ) Afghans for Afghans reports that the delivery was beautifully timed, in that a winter ice/snowstorm hit right after delivery.  Many, many thanks to the faculty and PSU community members who donated that yarn–additional deliveries most welcome at MSC #39!
  • Four PSU faculty just returned from the Council for Undergraduate Research in Tampa, FL, Feb 18-20, where they discovered ways to integrate undergraduate research into their courses and majors and how to encourage more research.  Participants include: Angela Kilb (Psychology), Katherine Donahue (Anthropology), David Beronä (Dean of the Library), and Bryon Middlekauff (Geography).

Their group developed a strategy to bring back to PSU and David presented it to the other conference attendees.

Social Work

  • Steve Gorin was a panelist at a Congressional Briefing on “The Implications of Healthcare Reform for the Social Work Professional,” sponsored by NY 10th District Representative Edolphus “Ed” Towns on February 16th at the Rayburn House Office Building.
  • Stephen Gorin conducted a national Webinar as part of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Lunchtime Series for CEUs; the presentation was “Health Care Reform and Beyond: Limits and Possibilities of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)” and almost 400 practitioners called in to participate. He published “Repealing and Replacing the ACA: Prospects and Limitations” in Health & Social Work, February 2011, Vol. 36(1). Steve also did a presentation on Social Security reform issues at the February meeting of the State Committee on Aging (SCOA).
  • Scott Meyer presented “Disturbing the Classroom Peace”(co-authored with Leo Sandy) at the American Association of Behavioral and Social Sciences in Las Vegas. He also provided testimony at a hearing of the state legislative committee considering reinstatement of the NH Commission on the Status of Men.

Dr. Gail Mears Named Founding Dean of PSU’s College of Education, Health, and Human Services

Dr. Gail Mears, a teacher, researcher, and administrator nationally renowned for her work in the field of mental health counseling, has been named the founding dean of Plymouth State University’s College of Education, Health, and Human Services.


Mears has been a member of the PSU faculty since 1999, and she is currently the chair of the Counselor Education and School Psychology department. Mears is a licensed clinical mental health counselor with over 30 years’ experience in the mental health field. She has worked in community mental health, family services, and private practice, and has provided counseling services to university students through the Counseling and Human Relations Center. PSU’s Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Julie Bernier said Mears is well poised to take on the new challenge.

“I have had the pleasure of working with Dr. Mears on a number of recent initiatives and have found her to be a strong leader,” said Bernier. “Mears’ experiences as department chair and in national leadership roles in professional organizations will serve the new college well.”

As an active member of professional organizations, Mears is a past president of the American Mental Health Counselors Association, the New Hampshire Mental Health Counselors Association, and the Northern New England Association for Counselor Education and Supervision. She also serves as the Mental Health Counseling representative to the New Hampshire Board of Mental Health Practice. On campus, Mears is seen as a collaborative leader. She currently serves on the Provost’s Promotion, Tenure and Evaluation Advisory Council and on the University Planning and Budgeting Leadership Group. Both of these have been opportunities for Mears to affect University goals and initiatives. Mears said she is excited about the new opportunity.

“I hope that the development of the College of Education, Health and Human Services will provide greater opportunities for inter-disciplinary collaboration, resulting in innovative curriculum development, enhanced community engagement and increased funding for research, scholarships, and internships,” said Mears.

Mears’ research is focused on relational aspects of clinical supervision, counselor intentionality, and promoting case conceptualization skills in trainees. She has published many journal articles and book chapters, and she regularly speaks to regional and national audiences. Mears is well regarded both on and off campus, having received numerous awards for her service, leadership and teaching. In 2010, she was awarded the Presidential Service Award for the North Atlantic Region Association for Counselor Education and Supervision and the 2010 Presidential Service Award by the American Mental Health Counselors Association. In 2009, Mears was the PSU Distinguished Graduate Teaching Award recipient. She was the 2008 recipient of the Dr. Peter Harris Community Service Award: Genesis Behavioral Health, and in 2003 she received the Outstanding Counselor Educator of the Year award (2003) from the American Mental Health Counselors Association.

Dr. Mears earned a clinical doctorate in psychology from Antioch New England, a certificate of advanced graduate study and master’s degree in counseling from the University of New Hampshire, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Plymouth State.

The creation of the College of Education, Health and Human Services comes at an opportune time as PSU has exciting initiatives in Education and is expanding its offerings in healthcare with a new nursing program. Additionally, PSU is beginning planning on phase II of the Active Living, Learning, and Wellness (ALLWell) Center, a project that integrates teaching, research, athletics and recreation, and community programming in wellness. The Dean will play an important role in shaping the new college and its strategic directions.




Dr. Cynthia Vascak Named Founding Dean of PSU’s College of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Cynthia Vascak, a nationally recognized art educator, scholar, and administrator has been named the founding Dean of Plymouth State University’s College of Arts and Sciences. A long-term PSU faculty member, Vascak has served as chair of the Art Department at PSU and as coordinator of the Art Education program. She has experience with program development, having led initiatives such as the creation of the Master of Art in Teaching (MAT) degree, and received federal funding for arts projects in New Hampshire schools. In 2009 she was honored with PSU’s Distinguished Teaching Award.


Julie Bernier, PSU’s Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, said Vascak’s experience makes her an ideal leader for PSU’s new College of Arts and Sciences.

“Her experience in program development and collaborative initiatives at both the undergraduate and graduate levels will be important as we work to establish the interdisciplinary college,” said Bernier. Vascak has significant experience in higher education and accreditation, having served as a reviewer for the NH Department of Education and as a member of the 2003 accreditation team at PSU. Most recently, Dr. Vascak was selected to participate in a yearlong think tank where New England academic leaders came together to discuss issues of importance. Vascak said the creation of the College of Arts and Sciences is a natural progression for the University, and the College will play an important role.

“As we continue our journey into the 21st Century, we face increasingly complex and interrelated challenges from local to global that impact our health and well being, careers, workplaces, families and the very future of our planet,” said Vascak. “These challenges are escalating – not diminishing – and they demand responses from researchers, citizens, and educators. The College of Arts and Sciences will be in a pivotal position to take a leadership role in navigating this journey.”

Vascak is a leader who works across academic fields and has developed innovative partnerships across the state. On campus she chairs the Education subcommittee of the President’s Commission on Environmental Sustainability and is a member of the Research Advisory Council. She has engaged community partners in developing large-scale projects, most notably a four-year Federal Department of Education grant that involved 25 educators in three school districts, for which she served as director.

Vascak earned a bachelor’s degree in literature and studio art from Pan American University, a master of fine arts from Boston University, and a doctorate from the University of New Hampshire. In addition, she has studied fine arts at the Boston Museum School, Concordia University, the University of Quebec, and the Escuela Belles Artes in San Miguel d’Allende, Mexico. She is a member of the Cape Cod Printmakers, Monotype Guild of New England, Women’s Caucus for Art, and Society of Egg Tempera Painters. She currently works in the printing processes of monotype, relief, and drypoint; in the drawing media of charcoal, ink, and silverpoint; and in the media of egg tempera. She has won national awards for her prints, and her works are held in numerous private collections. In addition to her work as a studio artist and art educator, Vascak’s scholarship involves interdisciplinary curriculum design and implementation, action agency and service learning, and transformational leadership.

The College of Arts and Sciences will be home to the arts, the humanities, mathematics, and the natural, physical, social, behavioral, and computer sciences. As dean, Vascak will encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration and support students and faculty in their outreach and research efforts and in development of partnerships with the wider community and state.



March 2010

March 28th, 2010 by Noelle

Monthly Report to the Faculty
Provost Julie Bernier
March 3, 2010

Spotlight on Faculty using Technology

On March 31st from 3:15 pm – 6:00 pm there will be a series of presentations by faculty who are using technology in innovative ways. Eight faculty members are currently scheduled to make presentations and there is room for a few more. If you are interested, please contact Ellen Murphy, Director of Online Education ( ). Presentations are approximately 10-15 minutes.

Distinguished Awards Nominations

This year’s Distinguished Teaching Awards nomination process has begun! As you know, we have two undergraduate distinguished awards: The Distinguished Teaching Award (for full-time faculty teaching in the undergraduate program) and The Distinguished Adjunct Teaching Award (for part-time faculty teaching in the undergraduate program), and the Distinguished Graduate Teaching Award (for faculty teaching in the graduate programs).

I encourage you to be a part of this year’s selection process by nominating worthy individuals. The links below will take you to the 3 nomination forms:

Nominations must be submitted electronically no later than 4:30 p.m. on Monday, March 15th, 2010.

Conference Opportunity

Funding is available for up to five faculty members to attend the Conference on Instructional Technologies (CIT) will be held from Tuesday, May 25, 2010 to Friday, May 28, 2010 at SUNY Plattsburg. What conference attendees are saying: “year after year, this is the most valuable conference I attend, and the least expensive. What I particularly like about this conference is the focus on teaching and learning.” The cost is $250 for conference registration and includes meals, and $40 night for a room (on campus).

This year’s conference is offering six tracks:

  • Health Education
  • Learning Spaces
  • Global and Mobile
  • Open Everything
  • Balancing Pedagogy and Technology
  • K-16 Pipeline: Plugging the Leaks

Please contact my office if you are interested in attending. Support for five individuals is available on a first come first serve basis.

Conference registration information is here:

News from Academic Affairs

Center for Rural Partnerships

  • Tom Wagner, the White Mountain National Forest Supervisor, presented “100 Years of Public Land Management,” as part of the Weeks Act Centennial Lecture Series.
  • The NFHERN (The Northern Forest Higher Education Resource Network) Steering Committee announced their second annual meeting will be held at Mountain View Grand Resort Hotel in Whitefield, NH on June 1 & 2, 2010. The theme of the meeting will be “Higher Education’s Role in the Northern Forest’s Sustainable Future. PSU faculty, staff, and students are invited to attend. Stay tuned for further announcements from Fran Belcher.
  • Tom Evans (Graduate Assistant) submitted a report on community-scale biomass resources to the Biomass District Heating Working Group.
  • Ben Amsden, in partnership with UVM Extension, organized and facilitated two workshops on “Risk Management in Agritourism.” These workshops, held at the Farm and Forest Expo in Manchester and the VT Farms Association annual meeting in Woodstock, Vermont, were designed to help farmers navigate the issues of insurance, liability and risk that arise from farm-based agritourism activities. Over 60 farmers representing nearly all facets of regional agritourism attended the workshops.
  • Thad Guldbrandsen was a panelist in the Forum for the Future discussion on “A Candid Analysis of NH’s Future by Its Emerging Young Leaders,” in Bedford.

College of University Studies

  • Patrick Cate gave a presentation and training for the academic services staff at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island on using the targeted academic advising model (developed here at PSU). The training consisted of a 2-hour class followed by a 2-hour practice/case study session. He has been invited back to be one of their faculty week speakers in August in order to train their faculty on how to use this advising technique.

Counselor Education and School Psychology

  • Gail Mears represented the American Mental Health Counselors Association at the annual conference for the American Association of State Counseling Boards.

Criminal Justice

  • Francis Williams presented and chaired a session on “What we have learned about online learning in Criminal Justice and Criminology.” His presentation was titled “Student Perceptions of Online Criminal Justice Courses.” This mixed methods study investigated how certain features of online Criminal Justice courses contributed to learning in an asynchronous online learning environment based in student perceptions.

Frost School of Continuing and Professional Studies

  • Linda Hammond presented at the NH School Administrators Association Best Practices Conference on Education for All Children, using Lego elements as a professional development tool in October.

Global Education Office

  • Twenty-eight PSU students began their spring semester studying abroad in Austria, Australia, England, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Portugal, and Spain. One student will be studying shipboard with the Semester at Sea program stopping at ports in Japan, China, Viet Nam, India, Mauritius, South Africa, Ghana and Brazil.
  • The workshop series, “Job Search Strategies in a Tough Economy” developed by Ruth DeCotis was published in “Campus Career Counselor,” a publication journal for college and university career services professionals.

Health and Human Performance

  • Plymouth State University’s Health and Human Performance Department was well represented at the recent Eastern District Association of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Convention in Rye, NY. The following faculty and students were recognized during the convention:
    • Irene Cucina was awarded the Presidential Medallion for her service and assistance to the Eastern District President.
    • Cheryl Coker was selected as the Margaret Paulding Lecturer and gave the following lecture: “Long Term Female Athlete Development – From Playground to Podium.” Cheryl also received an EDA Acknowledgment Award. She also presented, “Skill Analysis: More Than Meets the Eye.”
    • Louise McCormack received an EDA Acknowledgment Award.
    • Morgan O’Connell ’10 received the Robert M. Pate Scholarship, and was one of two recipients from New Hampshire for the Outstanding Future Professional Award and completed her term as the Student Representative on the EDA Executive Board. Morgan should be commended for her service to Eastern District and her accomplishments as a student and young professional.
    • Morgan and Adam Durkee ’10 presented “Reduce your Budget, Reuse Your Unwanted, Recyele and Go Green in PE.”
    • In addition to the awards, the following faculty are on the Executive Board of the Eastern District for 2010-2011: Lynn Johnson completed her term as President of Eastern District and is now the Past-President; Irene Cucina is the EDA Representative to the AAHPERD Board of Governors; and Barbara McCahan is the Vice President of Physical Activity and Recreation.
  • Mardie Burckes-Miller and the Health Education majors and students in the Health and Wellness Club implemented PSU’s 13th Love Your Body Week as part of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week on Feb. 22- Feb. 27. Burckes-Miller presented “Balancing the Teeter Totter: Eating Disorders and Obesity Prevention” at the Eastern District Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. She also presented “Balancing Obesity Prevention and Eating Disorders for Youth at Risk at the National Youth at Risk Conference in Savannah Georgia.

Languages and Linguistics

  • James Whiting was invited to serve on the Fulbright Scholarship National Screening Committee for English Language Teaching Assistantships. Whiting and other members of the committee reviewed applications and then met at the Institute of International Education in New York City in December to finalize the award recipients.


  • Dana Ernst gave a presentation on January 15th, “On the cyclically fully commutative elements of Coxeter groups,” at the session on Discrete Mathematics at the Joint Mathematics Meetings 2010 in San Francisco, CA
  • John Donovan is collaborating with Mrs. Cathy Crane, 5th grade teacher at PES (Plymouth Elementary School), to plan a project for the 2nd Math Masters program at PES. Math Masters is an innovative collaboration that brings students from different grades together as investigation teams. Teachers devise and supervise the investigative projects with the support of parent volunteers and administrators. Teams pursue their investigations in six one-hour blocks over the course of 6 weeks.
  • Math Department faculty have had the following publications and presentation:
    • Beaudrie, B., Ricard, E., et. al. (2009) The Numeracy Action Plan: The Case for Quantitative Literacy in the State of New Hampshire. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education and the New Hampshire Department of Education, 168 pages.
    • Beaudrie, Brian, and Boschmans, Barbara. Developing Quantitative Literacy. AMATYC (American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges) National Conference, Las Vegas NV November 2009.
    • Boschmans, Barbara and Beaudrie, Brian. Learning with Geoboards. NCTM (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics) Regional, Minneapolis MN, November 2009.
    • Beaudrie, Brian. New Hampshire’s Numeracy Action Plan: The Case for Quantitative Literacy. 12th Annual Best Practices Conferences on Education for All Children, Concord NH, October 2009.
    • Beaudrie, Brian. Developing Quantitative Literacy in grades K-8. Plymouth Elementary School Professional Development Workshop, Plymouth NH, October 2009.
    • Boschmans, Barbara and Beaudrie, Brian. Exploring Mathematics on a Geoboard. NCTM Regional, Boston MA, October 2009.
    • Beaudrie, Brian, Boschmans, Barbara, and Ricard, Emily. Developing a Plan for Quantitative Literacy. NCTM Regional, Boston MA, October 2009.
    • Beaudrie, Brian. Developing Quantitative Literacy. NCPDD (North Country Professional Development Day), Whitefield NH, October 2009.
    • Beaudrie, Brian. The History of the Transition Project. Topics in Applied College (TAC) Mathematics Workshop, Concord NH, August 2009.

Music, Theatre and Dance

  • Gary Corcoran was the guest conductor of the high school Honor Band at the Green Mountain Music Festival held February 5, in Rutland VT.
  • On Saturday, February 27th, Holly Oliver, music education program coordinator, along with the assistance of the PSU Collegiate chapter of the Music Educators National Conference, sponsored a professional development day for music education majors and area music teachers. Sessions were presented to approximately 60 people on topics including Starting a Guitar Program, World Music Drumming, Integrating Academics into Elementary General Music, A New Approach to Rhythm Reading, The Work of Edwin Gordon, and Planning and Preparation for a High School Musical.
  • Beth Cox was the host and Coordinator of the NH Professional Theatre Association Auditions and Job Fair on February 20, 2010 held in Silver. This marks the third year PSU has hosted this day-long event which was developed through a partnership with the NH Department of Cultural Resources, the NH Professional Theatre Association and PSU. Sixteen (16) theatre companies auditioned 81 performers and interviewed 33 individuals for summer and full-time work. Matt Kizer developed the website materials; Amanda Whitworth Andrew Morrissey, a PSU alum, served as the audition accompanist; Kathleen Arecchi represented an NHPTA member, North Country Center for the Arts, as a casting consultant.
  • Carleen Graff gave a piano master class at the Nashua Community Music School on February 20. One of the teachers who had students performing was Angela Olszta ‘05.
  • Dan Perkins accompanied 4 students to the American Choral Directors Association convention in Philadelphia. His chamber ensemble, Trio Veritas, performed three concerts in Maine and New Hampshire.


  • Brian Healy has a new publication ‘’ The Effect of Attentional Control and Heart-Period Variability on Negative Affect and Trait Anxiety” that will appear in the Journal of General Psychology, Vol. 137 (2) pp 1-11.

Social Science

  • Katherine Donahue, Anthropology, was co-organizer and chair of a panel which honored the recently deceased French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss. The panel, titled “Lévi-Strauss, Europe, and the Ends of Anthropology,” was selected as a Presidential Session, and was part of the American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, in December, 2009.
  • Stacey G. H. Yap gave a talk on February 17th to 29 third graders at Plymouth Elementary School on “Chinese New Year Customs and Traditions.” This talk coincides with the Chinese New Year which starts on Feb. 14th this year (to Feb. 28th). The 3rd graders celebrated with readings of Chinese culture, food and art projects and were eager to share what they have done with Stacey. She has also completed a book review for the Journal of Women, Politics and Policy. The book she reviewed is titled Empowering Migrant Women. Why Agency and Rights are not Enough by Leah Brionnes (Ashgate, 2009).
  • Krisan Evenson, adjunct faculty member in the Social Sciences Department, would like to extend her thanks to the PSU community members who generously donated wool yarn for the benefit of students in her winterim course on citizen-to-citizen diplomacy, called “Piecework for Peacework.” The second crate of handmade goods has just left the building! The course centered on Afghanistan; beyond meeting academic requirements, students (several for the first time) crocheted vests, hats and afghans for donation to the Afghan people, in a hands-on, international service learning experience.

Social Work

  • Stephen Gorin’s article, “Health Care Reform and Older Adults,” was published in Health & Social Work, 35 (1) February 2010.
  • Scott Meyer reviewed a newly published textbook by Routledge, “Human Behavior in the Social Environment 2/E,” by A. T. Rogers; an excerpt of his review was included in the cover.
  • Cynthia Moniz is a member of the Service Learning Task Force this semester. She has also been working on the development of a new service learning international travel course for next year.
  • Christine Rine has developed a new brochure for our Child Welfare (IV-E) Partnership with DCYF. As a result of her work as a member of the Academic Technology Advisory group (ATAG), she has piloted the use of Moodle vs. Blackboard for two spring courses and is reviewing the findings from focus groups re: MLS (Learning Management Systems). She is also exploring service learning opportunities for her courses.

March 2009

March 21st, 2009 by Noelle

Monthly Report to the Faculty
Provost Julie Bernier
March 4, 2009

Nominations for Distinguished Teaching Awards

It is my pleasure to provide information about this year’s Distinguished Teacher nomination process. We have three distinguished teaching awards: for full-time faculty, The Distinguished Teaching Award, for part-time faculty, The Distinguished Adjunct Teaching Award, and for graduate teaching, the Distinguished Graduate Teaching Award. I encourage you to be a part of this year’s selection process by nominating a worthy colleague. Links can be found below. Please note the April 1st deadlines.
For the Distinguished Teaching Award: deadline- no later than April 1st
For the Distinguished Adjunct Teaching Award: deadline- no later than April 1st
For the Distinguished Graduate Teaching Award: deadline- no later than April 1st
The PSU Distinguished Teaching Awards are our highest form of recognition for the excellent teaching that our faculty, both full- and part-time, provide for our students every day. I thank you for your thoughtful responses to this request for nominations.

Excellence in Service and Scholarship Awards

The call for nominations for the Excellence in Service and Distinguished Scholarship Awards will be announced shortly. Please be thinking about deserving nominees.

Dennise Maslakowski Graduate Scholarship

I am pleased to announce that the Dennise Maslakowski Graduate Scholarship has received over $20,000 in gifts and pledges. The first Scholarship, in the amount of $1000, will be awarded in April. The nomination form is available at

News from Academic Affairs

Center for the Environment

  • Patrick Bourgeron gave a presentation to Harvard Forest at Harvard University, “Dynamics of coupled natural and human systems in the Colorado Front wildland/urban interface.”

Center for Rural Partnerships

  • Frances Belcher & Thad Guldbrandsen have been collaborating with colleagues from U Maine Fort Kent, U Maine Farmington, White Mountains Community College, Lyndon State College, Sterling College, and Paul Smith’s College to establish the Northern Forest Higher Education Resource Network (NFHERN). Fran sent out NFHERN’s first newsletter on February 20, 2009.
  • Thad Guldbrandsen and June Hammond Rowan (Center for the Environment) facilitated the final public meeting for the Berlin Master Planning process on February 11, 2009.
  • Ben Amsden and Mark Okrant (Social Science) hosted an agritourism workshop at the annual Farm & Forest Expo on February 6, 2009. Attended by over 70 people, this workshop was one of the highlights of this year’s Farm & Forest Expo.
  • Ben Amsden was appointed to the Board of Directors of AHEAD (Affordable Housing Education and Development) a non-profit housing and community development organization located in Littleton.

    College of Graduate Studies

  • Leo Sandy published “Promoting Parent Involvement in Assessment: Putting Parents First,” in the Winter Issue of NHASP Protocol, the official publication of The New Hampshire Association of School Psychologists. He has also been designated as an associate editor for The International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations.
  • Starting Winter term, the College began using its enlarged space at 2 Pillsbury Street in Concord. Twenty-three courses were offered there in winter, and 39 will be offered in the spring term.
  • The Department of Counselor Education and School Psychology has announced the hire of a new faculty member, Karen Hall. Currently at University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Hall will join the department in September.
  • In March Prof. Trent Boggess, of the Business Department, will travel to the city of Cluj (Romania) to work with officials at University Babeş-Bolyai (UBB) on plans to enroll an international cohort of students into PSU’s MBA program. American and Romanian students will participate in online class work, with instruction provided by both PSU and UBB faculty members.
  • Kathleen Norris, Director of Admissions and Assessment for the College of graduate Studies, presented an invited talk entitled “Creating and Using Effective Formative Assessments” at the Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Conference, sponsored by the New Hampshire School Administrators Association and held at the Grappone Center in Concord.

    Computer Science and Technology Department

  • Zhizhang Shen had two papers published: Shen, Z., and Qiu, K., “An explicit formula of the surface area for the star graph and a Proof of its correctness,” Congressus Numerantium (Proc. of the Thirty-Ninth Southeastern International Conference On Combinatorics, Graph Theory and Computing (CGTC39), Boca Raton, FL, March 3-7, 2008), 192 (December 2008) 115-127; and Cheng, E., Qiu, K., and Shen, Z., “A short note on the surface area of star graphs,” Parallel Processing Letters, 19.1 (2009) 19-22.

    Education Department

  • In December Gerard Buteau and Marianne True presented at the TASH conference in Nashville, Tennessee. Their presentation, “Advocacy in Practice: Students and Chronic Illness,” focused on the role advocacy can play in positively influencing the student’s school experience and provided program participants with advocacy strategies for students who are chronically ill and their families so that they may participate in meaningful ways within the context of the school community.
  • In January Gerard Buteau shared his sabbatical experience with legislators as part of the New Hampshire Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development’s meeting with policymakers on school improvement. Dr. Buteau’s work with PSU graduates in their primary grade classrooms at Bakersville Elementary School in Manchester, New Hampshire, was lauded by Commissioner of Education Lyonel Tracy and Deputy Commissioner Mary Heath.
  • “Differentiating Instructional Strategies to Support English Language Learners,” an article written by Marianne True and Gerard Buteau, was recently published in the current journal of the New England Reading Association.

    Health and Human Performance Department

  • Liesl Lindley and Ali Serrani (’09) participated in the Athletic Training Hit the Hill Day in Washington, DC where they met with representatives of New Hampshire’s legislators (Paul Hodes, Carol Shea-Porter, Judd Gregg, and Jeanne Shaheen). Their charge was to help them understand and provide evidence to encourage their support of H.R. 1137, the Athletic Trainers’ Equal Access to Medicare Act of 2009. In preparation for this event, Ali attended the iLead Conference where she learned about leadership and the communication skills necessary to talk with our legislators.
  • At the most recent Eastern District Association of the American Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Convention in Lancaster, PA, February 3-7, 2009, the Health and Human Performance Department was very well represented. Louise McCormack received the Honor Award which is the highest honor bestowed by the Eastern District Association. Louise was recognized for her years of service and many contributions to the profession. Irene Cucina and Lynn Johnson are past recipients of the EDA Honor Award.
  • Also at the convention, Irene Cucina was reelected as the Eastern District Association Representative to American Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Board of Governors; Barbara McCahan was elected the Vice President Elect for Physical Activity and Recreation; and Lynn Johnson moved from President-Elect to President. As a result of these elections, Plymouth State University and the Health and Human Performance Department is the most represented University in the governance of the Eastern District.
  • Mardie Burckes-Miller, just finished coordinating the 11th Annual Love your Body Week for the campus and community.

    Lamson Library

    • Publications
      David A. Beronä:

      “Preface” to An Abraham Lincoln Tribute: featuring woodcuts by Charles Turzak. Dover Publication, 2009; “Introduction” to Lynd Ward’s Vertigo: A Novel in Woodcuts. Dover Publication, 2009; and A French edition of Wordless Books: The Original Graphic Novels (Roman Graphique. Des Origines aux Annees) was published by Editions de La Martiniere
    • Conference, Presentations, and Workshop Attendance
      David A. Beronä

      Judge for the 2009 Juried Print Show, Momenta III, running through March 31, 2009 at Two Rivers Printmaking Studio, White River Junction, Vermont.

    Mathematics Department

  • Dana Ernst presented a poster session: “A diagrammatic representation of an affine C Temperley–Lieb algebra” at Project NExT-Young Mathematicians Network Poster Session Joint Mathematics Meeting 2009 January 5, 2009. He also presented “On an open problem of the symmetric group” at the Keene State College Math Seminar, February 27, 2009.
  • John Donovan has been appointed by the President of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics to be the new editor of the Mathematics Teacher starting in June.
  • Brian Beaudrie is presenting “The Impact of Online Assessment on Grades in Distance Education Mathematics Courses” at the Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education conference in Charleston, SC on March 3rd 2009 and has a full paper with the same title published in the conference proceedings.
  • Barbara Boschmans and PSU graduate student Leal Rivanis are presenting “Preservice Elementary Teachers’ Experience with The Math Forum’s Virtual Fieldwork Sequence in a Mathematics Methods Course” at the Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education conference in Charleston, SC on March 5th 2009 and have a short paper with the same title published in the conference proceedings.

    Music, Theatre and Dance Department

  • Dr. Gary Corcoran was the guest conductor the 2009 Rhode Island Junior All-State Band in Providence, February 6-8.
  • Elizabeth Cox coordinated the New Hampshire Professional Theatre Association auditions held in the Silver Center on February 21, 2009. Eighteen theatre companies from around the state attended the day-long process seeing 94 individuals for auditions and interviews for summer stock and full-time work.
  • Carleen Graff just returned from a performance at Illinois State University where she gave a lecture/recital on George Crumb’s piano music. She performed several selections from “Makrokosmos” as well as a new work from 2002 “Eine kleine Mitternachtmusik”, based on Thelonius Monk’s “‘Round Midnight.” She also gave a master class for graduate and undergraduate students, and was interviewed on public radio from the University of Illinois. She will be giving a similar lecture/recital on March 7 for the PSU Contemporary Piano Festival.
  • Amanda McLaughlin Munton ’00, adjunct in music, is one of 12 young National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) voice teachers who have been selected from a nationwide applicant pool to participate in the prestigious NATS Intern Program to be held at Shorter College in June, all expenses paid. Interns will hone their voice teaching skills under the supervision of four master voice teachers for a period of two weeks.
  • Dan Perkins presented a series of workshops at public schools in Whitefield, NH with the Hanover Chamber Orchestra principals as part of an outreach project funded partially by the Center for Rural Partnerships. He also presented a workshop in the Silver Center for the Arts with the Lebanon, NH High School Chamber Singers.

    Psychology Department

  • Joel Funk gave a presentation, “Two Alternatives to Ken Wilber’s Transpersonal Model of Development,” at the semiannual Lifwynn Foundation for Social Research meeting in Vancouver, BC.

    Social Work Department

  • Stephen Gorin published “Long Time Coming: Are We on the Brink of Universal Health Care Coverage?” in Health & Social Work, (February 2009), 34(1). He is also a member of a newly formed Social Insurance Working Group (SIWG) consisting of leading national experts on social insurance and attended a founding meeting for the group in Washington, DC in January.
  • Stephen Gorin and Cynthia Moniz attended the Presidential Inaugural Ceremonies in January as guests of Senator Shaheen. They also participated in meetings and celebrations sponsored by SWIG and the Health Policy Advisory Committee and Doctors for Obama.
  • Scott Meyer conducted a field instructors’ workshop in January in preparation for our spring Social Work Practicum. Scott also served as Associate Editor for the current volume of the International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations.
  • Cynthia Moniz brought 15 students from 2 social work classes to the “Every Child Matters” one-day conference held in Concord on Feb. 17.Respectfully submitted,
    Julie N. Bernier, Provost/VPAA

March 2008

March 26th, 2008 by Noelle

Monthly Report to the Faculty
Provost Julie Bernier
March 5, 2008

As we wind down from a record-setting winter, it’s tough to imagine that Spring is just around the corner. Congratulations and thank you to our Physical Plant employees who have put forth herculean efforts to keep our stairs, walkways and parking lots accessible, not to mention our buildings open by shoveling off the roofs. I even saw Tammy Hill on a roof with a shovel. Thank you, Physical Plant! Spring break begins on Friday, March 14th at 3:20 p.m. I wish you all an enjoyable break, and safe travels for those leaving the area.

Credit Model Discussion

If you’ve read the agenda, you’ll know that this week at the Faculty meeting we’ll be discussing a proposal from the Credit Model Taskforce whose members have been working diligently all year. I was extremely impressed by both the Majority and Minority Reports coming from that group. If you have not read them, I recommend you take some time prior to the faculty meeting to do so and please plan to attend and participate in this important discussion on Wednesday.

Merit Pay

Following up on the February Faculty Meeting discussion on merit pay, I am scheduled to meet with the Faculty Welfare Committee this month. This is an important decision and it deserves a thorough and complete discussion.

Voluntary Transition to Retirement for Faculty

A year ago we presented a plan to you for voluntary transition to retirement. Last year, five faculty members enrolled in this plan and are now working halftime. I am pleased to share with you again the Voluntary Retirement Transition Plan for Tenured Faculty and Faculty in Residence. This plan will allow eligible faculty members to transition to half-time loads for a maximum of 5 years, at which time they will complete the transition to full retirement.
There are a number of potential benefits to this plan. First and foremost it provides an avenue to keep our treasured faculty in the classroom, where our students will benefit from their skill, expertise, and passion for teaching. Second, it provides a means for us to “grow the faculty.” We will use the salary cost savings from faculty who have transitioned to half-time to create new faculty lines, thereby increasing the total number of full-time faculty lines.

The attached document outlines the specifics of the plan, including the eligibility criteria and terms and conditions of the plan. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you wish to discuss this plan in further detail. Additionally, Laura Alexander and Carol Kuzdeba are available to answer your questions.

Annual Performance Evaluations

Note to Department Chairs and Directors — Annual Performance Evaluations for PAT’s and OS are due to the Principle Administrators by the end of March.

NEASC Report

A group of faculty and staff, lead by Dean Fitzpatrick have been working this year on the 5th year report to NEASC. Drafts of the report can be found at If you have any comments or suggestions, please contact the author of the chapter or Bob Fitzpatrick directly.

Constitution Day 2008

Faculty — Are you interested in leading Constitution Day activities on campus? We are looking for a faculty leader for Fall 2008.
All … “educational institutions receiving Federal funding are required to hold an educational program pertaining to the United States Constitution on September 17 of each year.” (FR Doc 05-10355, [Federal Register: May 24, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 99)],[Notices],[Page 29727]

Constitution Day events 2006-2008

Faculty leaders have included John Krueckeberg (History), Mark Fischler (CJ), and Scott Coykendall (English). Here’s a sample of Constitution Day activities over the first three years of programming:

Year 1

  • Student Government got involved and distributed fact sheets about the Constitution and Student Rights in the Pawsway. A panel of speakers discussed the Constitution:
    • Marcia Blaine from the New England perspective of “who” signed the Constitution;
    • Bob Egbert on the Civil Liberties aspect of the Constitution;
    • Khuan Chong on the Constitution in a globally comparative perspective.
  • Students were invited to this public talk, in the fireplace lounge, and there was a question and answer period. Afterwards there was a patriotic cake and punch served.

Year 2

  • During lunch time at the HUB there were three presenters on the Constitution from 3 perspectives (political, historical, and practical). Cake and ice cream was served.
  • That evening we had a discussion on constitutional rights in a post 9/11 world with an ACLU lawyer and Assistant US Attorney in the multipurpose room.

Year 3

  • Focused specifically on the First Amendment.
  • Our student newspaper, The Clock, ran a special two-page spread that drew attention to press censorship.
  • Phil Lonergan’s sculpture students built towers to represent the five freedoms guaranteed in the First Amendment: religion, speech, press, assembly, & persuasion.
    • They also created a large sculpture of an anvil, representing the Patriot Act, squashing Uncle Sam.
  • Liz Ahl’s poetry workshop students not only printed broadsides of their constitution day poetry to be posted on the towers mentioned above, they read it in hallways and classrooms across the entire campus.
  • Students in two English classes composed essays, also posted on the towers, about the First Amendment and its value to them as college students.
  • The Student Senate hosted a table in the HUB at which students could “petition them for redress of grievances” and they also distributed pocket-sized copies of the U.S. Constitution
  • Finally, the Sidore Lecture Series hosted John Hutson, President of Franklin Pierce Law Center, to talk about, among other things, constitutional issues surrounding the U.S. “war on terror”.

If you are interested in leading Constitution Day activities for September 17, 2008 with a class or group of students, please contact me. I think it has been wonderful to see students from different disciplines taking on this project during each of the first three years (History, CJ, English).

New From Academic Affairs
Departments and Faculty

Art Department:

  • Franklin Pierce Law Center purchased a triptych of original prints titled “Enter By The Western Gate” by Annette Mitchell for their permanent art collection. The piece was selected from the “What’s New in New Hampshire Printmaking” Show in Concord, NH in February.

Department of Biological Sciences:

  • biologyProfessor Christopher Chabot traveled to Bridgewater State College in November 2007 with a number of his students to give presentations of PSU research at a Research Symposium. Cortney Cote, Jamie Holland, and Jeff Yelle presented “Pressure sensitivity in the American horseshoe crab, Limulus polyphemus“; Steve Crane and Lauren Moulis presented “Effects of melatonin on locomotor rhythms in the American Lobster, Homarus americanus”; and Amanda Blottiaux, Lu Ferraris, Ryan Flahive, Katie Grabek, and  Melinda Martin presented “Is the Circadian Clock Located in the Eyestalks of the American Lobster, Homarus americanus?”.

Business Department:

  • Small Business Institute (SBI) Director, Craig Zamzow is proud to announce that Plymouth State University SBI teams have set another record. For the tenth consecutive year our MBA students have placed in the top 3 places in the National Small Business Institute Case of the year Competition. Last year the winning teams took two first place awards in each category. No school had ever done that. This year there is a new category of competition for start-up business plans. Our students have placed in the top three positions in all three categories. No school has ever done that either! The exact positions in each category will be announced soon and awards presented at the National SBI Conference in March. Congratulations to these winning teams:
    • AeroSat Avionics, Inc. Team – Graduate Specialized Category
    • Dave Grose. Doriana Klumick, Bob Kingman. Matt Krause
    • Craig Zamzow, Faculty Advisor
    • Bradford Veneer and Paneling Team – Graduate Comprehensive Category
    • Samantha Stalnaker, James Dean, Bob McGeough
    • Craig Zamzow, Faculty Advisor
    • Portsmouth Social Club – Startup Business Plan Category
    • National Runner-up Award
    • Doriana Klumick
    • Duncan McDougall, Faculty Advisor
  • Warren Mason, member of the James Jones Society’s Board of Directors, recently attended their annual Writing Symposium in Robinson, Illinois. He was elected both Treasurer and Chair of the Finance & Development Committee.
  • Warren Mason visited the news studios of NBC and MSNBC television in Manchester during January’s New Hampshire Primary, and he spoke at length about New Hampshire Primary issues with Chris Matthews, the host of MSNBC’s “Hardball.”
  • Doriann Klumick’s (MBA student) plan for the Portsmouth Social Club received a National Runner-up Award in the SBI Competition in the new “Business Start-up Plan” category. Duncan McDougall was the advisor.
  • Duncan McDougall is serving on (and attended in February) the Board of Directors of the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs meeting.
  • Brad Allen recently completed a joint project with Keith Markley (PSU Business 1981), President and CEO of Liberty Aerospace in Melbourne, Florida, involving three Plymouth State business students. Liberty Aerospace is a small aircraft manufacturing firm producing a carbon fiber training aircraft named the XL-2 designed for flight schools. Liberty was seeking international marketing research to determine where to initiate manufacturing licensing agreements around the world based upon a variety of economic, cultural and industry criteria. Over three months, the three Plymouth State business students, Halen Ganley, Heather Parsons and Peter Greene, conducted research on over forty different international countries ranging from India to South Africa to determine a logical licensing strategy based upon industry criteria shared by the executive leadership team of Liberty Aerospace. The students utilized a number of market techniques taught in the PSU business programs such as the PESTEL and SWOT analysis. The completion of the project was a meeting to be held at the corporate headquarters in Melbourne where each student presented to the entire executive staff of Liberty Aerospace and to deliver the 90 page research report. The students and Professor Allen flew to Florida during Winterim on Thursday January 3rd and presented on Friday the 4th. Upon arriving at Liberty, Mr. Markley gave the students a one hour tour of the manufacturing facility where they were introduced to the full executive staff. The presentation took about ninety minutes including a  discussion among senior marketing, manufacturing, legal and sales executives about the findings of each student’s research and the merit of the conclusions.

Center for Rural Partnerships:

  • Thad Guldbrandsen was recently notified that his co-authored book, “Local Democracy Under Siege,” has been awarded the Delmos Jones and Jagna Sharff Memorial Prize for the Critical Study of North America by the Society for the Anthropology of North America (SANA). This prize is awarded every two years and honors a book that deals with “an important social issue to the discipline of anthropology that has broader implications for social change or justice, and that is accessible beyond the discipline of anthropology. In congratulating the authors of the book, one committee member commented, “we were particularly impressed with the way this study challenges not only definitions of activism and political involvement, it also provides a view of how citizens articulate their own relationships to government. Although broadly accessible to a wide audience of readers, this volume is also a meticulously rich and rigorous ethnography.” Thad and his co-authors have been invited to the SANA conference in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina in April where they will receive their award.

Communication and Media Studies

  • Kylo-Patrick Hart and Metasebia Woldemariam presented the paper “Alienation, Sexuality, and Subversion: Two Cinematic Perspectives” at the annual meeting of the Southwest/Texas Popular Culture and American Culture Association.

Education Department:

  • Michael Fischler presented a paper, “Prejudice and Discrimination: Time to See, Tell and Do,” for the February 14th Sidore Lecture Series.
  • Marcel Lebrun recently presented to the Franklin Elementary teachers on behavioral interventions for school improvement and to 10 schools at SERESC on positive behavioral universal interventions
  • Pat Cantor and Mary Cornish presented a half-day session, “Growing Great Toddler Teachers: Supporting Staff in Guiding and Disciplining Toddlers,” at the New Hampshire Association for the Education of Young Children/Vermont Association for the Education of Children Administrators’ Conference in Fairlee, Vermont.
  • Joss French presented his work on media literacy in a panel discussion entitled “The Politics of Containment: A Look at How Students and Teachers are Contained In and Out of the Classroom” at the American Educational Studies Association Conference in Cleveland, Ohio. At the New England Conference on Multicultural Education in Hartford, Connecticut, in a panel discussion he presented “Promoting Diversity in the Northeast: How Can We Help One Another.” Joss presented how reflective practice protocol could be used to address local community cultural issues.

Languages and Linguistics:

  • During the American Council of the Teaching of Foreign Languages conference last fall, a session on the Oral Proficiency Interview was offered. Interviews and tests are required. After successfully completing both, a qualifying faculty member can then apply to become an examiner in his/her language. PSU attendees Marie-Therese Gardner (French) and Heidi Burke (German) are becoming qualified examiners. In February, Marie-Therese successfully completed her interview and test, and has been rated as SUPERIOR. Heidi will be taking completing her interview at a later date.
  • Eric Cintron presented at the National Association of Hispanic and Latino Studies on February 11-16, 2008 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Music, Theatre and Dance Department:

  • Jonathan Santore’s composition “Kalevala Fragments” has been awarded second prize in the University of South Carolina Choral Composition Contest. It will be performed by the USC Concert Choir in a concert on April 11th, and after that will be featured in the choir’s repertoire during their Summer 2008 tour of China. Jonathan has been invited to the USC campus for the April 11th concert, and will give presentations to composition students at USC while there.
  • On February 21, Jonathan Santore gave a presentation on his music to the Concert Choir at Proctor Academy (directed by MTD adjunct faculty member Kris Johnson). On their upcoming tour, the Proctor Choir will be performing Santore’s music at sites including Walter Reed Army Hospital and the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, DC.
  • On February 1 at Moultonborough Academy, Dan Perkins and the Chamber Singers presented a workshop and performance about their experiences in Vietnam. On February 22, Perkins and the Chamber Singers hosted St. Michael’s College Chorale (VT) in a collaborative workshop and exchange concert.
  • The Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance hosted the 2008 NH Music Educator Solo & Ensemble Festival on Sat., Feb. 16th. This festival brought approximately 400 musicians (ages 9-18), their music teachers, and their parents to Plymouth State to perform for guest adjudicators. Music Education Program Coordinator, Holly Oliver, served as the host representative and was assisted by a team of 40 PSU music education majors. Guest adjudicators for the event included many PSU faculty members: Dr. Rik Pfenninger, Dr. Robert Swift, Dr. Gary Corcoran, Dr. Carleen Graff, Aubrie Dionne, Tim Gilmore, Kenda Corcoran, Debbie Gibson, and Peter Templeton.
  • Kathleen Arecchi was a judge at the NATS-Boston Art Song and Aria and Musical Theatre Singing competitions held at Boston University on two weekends in February. One of her PSU students, Brady Lynch ’11, placed 1st in the college division (ages 18-22) and received a $300 cash award.
  • Rik Pfenninger recently scored the music on a commercial for Squam River Condos. The commercial is scheduled to air in New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, and Massachusetts. Rik also presented a clinic/workshop for New Hampshire Jazz All State titled “Current Trends in Music Technology.

Social Science Department:

  • Katherine Donahue (Anthropology/Social Science) has had an article accepted for publication by the International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World (ISIM) Review. The article, titled “Islam in the Family of Zacarias Moussaoui”, is partially based on an interview Kate had with Aicha el-Wafi, the mother of Zacarias Moussaoui, in February, 2007.
  • Rebecca Noel gave a presentation at the Plymouth Historical Society on February 12, “Samuel Read Hall and Holmes Plymouth Academy: New Hampshire’s First Teacher Educator.” Her entry on “The Child’s Body” appears in the just-published book, Material Culture in America: Understanding Everyday Life, ed. Helen Sheumaker and Shirley Teresa Wajda (Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2008).
  • Mark Okrant did a presentation and signed copies of his most recent book, “I Knew You When,” at the Yale University Bookstore in New Haven, on February 2nd.
  • Marcia Schmidt Blaine presented “A Woman that Keeps Good Orders: Female Tavern Keepers in Provincial New Hampshire” for the New Hampshire Humanities Council at the Exeter Public  Library on Feb. 21. Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs


Date: March 4, 2008
To: All Tenured Faculty and Faculty in Residence
From: Julie Bernier, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
RE: Voluntary Retirement Transition Plan for Tenured Faculty and Faculty in Residence

A year ago we presented a plan to you for voluntary transition to retirement. Last year, five faculty members enrolled in this plan and are now working halftime. I am pleased to share with you again the Voluntary Retirement Transition Plan for Tenured Faculty and Faculty in Residence. This plan will allow eligible faculty members to transition to half-time loads for a maximum of 5 years, at which time they will complete the transition to full retirement.

There are a number of potential benefits to this plan. First and foremost it provides an avenue to keep our treasured faculty in the classroom, where our students will benefit from their skill, expertise, and passion for teaching. Second, it provides a means for us to “grow the faculty.” We will use the salary cost savings from faculty who have transitioned to half-time to create new faculty lines, thereby increasing the total number of full-time faculty lines.

The attached document outlines the specifics of the plan, including the eligibility criteria and terms and conditions of the plan. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you wish to discuss this plan in further detail. Additionally, Laura Alexander and Carol Kuzdeba are available to answer your questions.

The Voluntary Retirement Transition Plan
For Tenured Faculty and Faculty in Residence
March 2008
Plymouth State University

The Voluntary Retirement Transition Plan for Tenure Track Faculty and Faculty in Residence

Plymouth State University is offering a program for tenured faculty to voluntarily transition into retirement. This plan allows eligible benefited faculty to work half-time (12 credits per year) for up to five years prior to retirement. This program can begin as early as Spring Semester 2009 with an effective retirement transition date to begin no later than December 31, 2013. This election is irrevocable.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the Transition Plan, a benefits eligible faculty member must meet the following c onditions:

  • Be a tenured faculty member or Faculty in Residence and not be on Long-Term Disability or Workers’ Compensation.
  • Must have reached age 62 by departure date in order to attain USNH retiree status including eligibility for the Medicare Complimentary Plan, ARC minimum guarantee, and medical coverage bridge to age 65.
  • Must be a participant in a USNH approved retirement plan and have ten years of benefits eligible service from age 52 to 62 in order to attain USNH retiree status (see above bullet.)
    • A faculty member who meets the eligibility requirements and is accepted under the provisions of the plan will receive 50% of his/her pay for regularly budgeted work performance plus an additional increment to offset the cost of medical benefits.
    • Part-time status will not exceed twelve (12) credits per year (fall/spring) of graduate or undergraduate teaching.

“ The medical contribution required during the reduced appointment time is based on the percentage of the reduced appointment. This means a faculty member with a 50% to 74%appointment contributes the same as a 75% to 100% appointment faculty member plus 50% of the employer’ s contribution. A separate bonus payment (not to be included in the salary base) will be paid to the faculty member to offset the plus 50% of the employer’ s contribution which is required during the reduced appointment time. This amount will be recalculated annually to reflect changes in employee medical contribution rates. This bonus is taxable and is being received in recognition of services to PSU.”

  1. Contributions for Dental, Life and Long Term Disability benefits and Retirement contributions are based on regular budgeted earnings from the reduced percent time appointment. The Dental Basic Plan is the only option for 50% appointments, and 1.5-times-salary Life Insurance and 60% Long Term Disability are the only life and disability options. Since the Life Insurance and Long Term Disability benefits are based on age and salary, each faculty member’ s contribution for these benefits will differ depending on these two factors.
  2. The Tuition Waiver benefit will be based on the 50% time appointment. A faculty member is not eligible for the Tuition Waiver program for themselves, their spouse or eligible dependent children after the departure date. Courses currently enrolled in will be covered until the end of the semester.

2008 costs for Delta Basic Dental plan:

  • $5.65 bi-weekly for single coverage
  • $15.45 bi-weekly for two person coverage
  • $28.41 bi-weekly for family coverage

Terms and Conditions of the Plan

  1. A faculty member who is accepted for the Retirement Transition Plan will retain all rights and responsibilities of tenure, continue to be a voting faculty member, and retain office space during the transition period of 50% time teaching.
  2. The decision to elect the Retirement Transition Plan shall be irrevocable.
  3. Faculty who choose the Retirement Transition Plan shall retire following no more than 5 years (10 semesters) of teaching at 50% time.
  4. Faculty who choose the Retirement Transition Plan shall not be eligible for sabbatical.
  5. Faculty who retire under this Faculty Transition Plan cannot be rehired into a benefitseligible position within USNH. However, they can apply and may be considered for non status part-time employment at USNH institutions. Part-time shall consist of a maximum teaching load of twelve (12) credits per year.
  6. A faculty member who wishes to collect his/her retirement benefits while continuing to be employed in a status position may do so if employed in a 50% time position.

Application Process

In order to apply for the Retirement Transition Plan, a faculty member must complete the Plymouth State University Voluntary Transition to Retirement Application (found at the end of this document) and provide endorsement of his/her Department Chair. Application Deadline Effective Departure Date (Last Day Worked)
September 1 for Spring transition No later than 10 semesters from commencement of February 1 for Fall transition transition period The Voluntary Retirement Transition Plan for Tenured Faculty and Faculty in Residence For Plymouth State University


Name: _____
Position Title: _____
Age: Department: _____
Transition Date Elected:
My first semester at half time work will be ____________________________________ semester year
My last semester of half time work will be ____________________________________ semester year
I request to participate in the Plymouth State University’ s Transition Plan program. I have read and fully understand the terms and conditions of the Plan as specified in this document.

  • In return for accepting the Transition Plan for Faculty, s/he agrees to voluntarily retire no later than 10 semesters from commencement of transition period, including giving up any rights to his/her position, including tenure at time of retirement.
  • The decision to elect the Transition Plan for Faculty shall be irrevocable.
  • Faculty who retire under the Transition Plan for Faculty cannot be rehired into a benefits-eligible position within the USNH. However, they can apply and may be considered for non-status part-time employment at USNH institutions. Part-time shall consist of a maximum teaching load of twelve (12) credits per year (fall/spring).
  • Birth certificate must be provided to support birth date. I agree with the terms and conditions of the Plymouth State University Retirement Transition Plan for Faculty, and I hereby notify Plymouth State University of my intent on or before December 31, 2013, to voluntarily retire from my employment. I understand this decision is final.

___ I understand that the annual salary for my 50% position will be determined at the beginning of the transition period. My base annual salary will be recalculated on an annual basis.
___ I understand that the medical contribution required during the reduced appointment time is based on the percentage of the reduced appointment. This means an employee with a 50% to 74% appointment contributes the same as a 75% to 100% appointment employee plus 50% of the employer’ s contribution. A separate bonus payment (not to be included in my salary base) will be paid to me to offset the plus 50% of the employer’ s contribution which is required during the reduced appointment time. This amount will be recalculated annually to reflect changes in employee medical contribution rates. This bonus is taxable
and is being received in recognition of service to PSU.
__ The bonus to offset the additional cost of medical coverage does not apply to me. Either I am not enrolled in a USNH medical plan or I am covered as a dependent in a USNH medical plan. I also am not entitled to the medical waiver while on the transition plan. Policy USYV.A. is attached below.
7.2.9 Retirement Income. Retirement income benefits are subject to IRS regulations. Benefits may begin any time after the faculty/staff member fully retires or terminates his/her
employment or as described in USY V.A. A faculty/staff member age 59½ or older who wishes to begin payment from his/her regular USNH retirement income funds while continuing to be employed on a reduced basis in a status position may do so only with appropriate departmental dean/director and institutional approval under the conditions described below. Unless otherwise defined by campus policy, institutional approval shall mean approval by the appropriate Vice President (or equivalent) for the area. Benefit contributions during the reduced appointment time are based on the percentage of the reduced appointment. For appointments reduced below 75% time, see USY V.A.2.3 and 2.4. The faculty/staff member remains subject to USNH policies, including performance requirements and reduction in force policies. Campus policies may also apply. Reduction in service (of any amount) and selected retirement date up to two years in the future. A faculty/staff member may reduce his/her appointment to any percent time, for up to two and one-half years, and submit a retirement date no more than two and one-half years after the date of the reduced appointment. Reduction to 50% time or less service and selected retirement date up to five years in the future. A faculty/staff member who wishes to reduce his/her appointment to 50% time or less may submit a request for a retirement date no more than five years from the beginning date of the reduced appointment.
Faculty Member Signature Date
PSU Human Resource Authorization Date
PSU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Date
PSU Vice President for Financial Affairs Date
******To be Completed by Department Chair******
1. Indicate the arrangement which will be made for the courses and services for which the applicant is normally responsible, specifying in detail the reassignment or replacement personnel and cost.
Signature of Department Chair Date
Submit Competed Form to the Provost/ Vice President for Academic Affairs

March 2007

March 19th, 2007 by Noelle

Monthly Academic Affairs report
To the Faculty of PSU
From the Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
March 6, 2007

Spring is just around the corner, the mid-point of our semester is quickly approaching, and this year, the powers-that-be have decided to move our clocks ahead early – at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, March 11. All are signs that soon we will see students throwing frisbees and running about in shorts, despite the foot of snow remaining on the campus! The first sighting of students in shorts might be a more reliable mark of spring than the sighting of the first robin!

Graduate Program Accreditation

Congratulations to Gary Goodnough, the Counselor Education faculty, and the College of Graduate Studies on the recent accreditations received from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Two of the Counselor Education programs have been accredited: Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling, both part of the MEd degree. The Counselor Education program faculty were congratulated by CACREP “for the time, energy, and commitment that they have given throughout this accreditation

Presidential Investiture

I hope you have all marked your calendars for Thursday, April 12 for an important day in the history and tradition of Plymouth State University – the investiture of our 14th president, Sara Jayne Steen. More information will be forthcoming.

Distinguished Teaching Awards

I would like to remind everyone that nominations for Distinguished Teacher and Distinguished Adjunct Teacher are underway. Information and nomination forms are available
on the Academic Affairs website,

Annual Reports

The Annual Faculty Report form for the 2006-07 academic year is attached, and also available online in Word format on the Academic Affairs website: There are no changes to this year’s report format. You will again need to submit electronic versions to my office this year. Please send your electronic version to Alice O’Connor ( Please include an updated CV. You will still need to submit a copy of your report to your department chair. The deadline for submitting reports to department chairs and this office is Tuesday, May 1, 2007. The chairs’ deadline for submitting annual evaluations to this office is Friday, June 1, 2007.
If there are any questions, please contact Alice O’Connor, x. 2091.

EdD at PSU?

At the February 26, 2007 Graduate Council meeting, an official motion was made and unanimously approved to pursue doctoral authority and specifically explore a doctor of education (EdD) degree. A formal proposal and degree outline will be submitted to the Graduate Council and faculty later this spring.

New From Academic Affairs
Departments and Faculty

College of Graduate Studies:

  • Dr. Nancy Puglisi and the PATH (Paths and Approaches to Transformation and Healing) Institute faculty proposed a new certificate program which complements the current PATH certificate. OATH (Organizational Approaches to Transformation and Healing) program courses include: Full Spectrum Leadership, Social Justice at Work, Work as a Personal Journey, Women as Leaders and Creating Organizational Health.
  • Cheryl Baker is on the conference planning committee for the New Hampshire Staff Development Council’s May conference. Several adjunct faculty members are going to be presenting. Kathy McCabe will be the keynote speaker; Kathleen Norris, Shirley Ferguson and Ethel Gaides will be presenting. The topic of the conference is “Job embedded professional development.”
  • iGrad, the prospective graduate student portal ( will be formally launched in March. Currently, iGrad is in a beta testing mode and focus groups are being held to evaluate its functionality. This tool will allow prospective students to create a customized iGrad account based on their academic areas of interest.

Music, Theatre and Dance Department:

  • On Jan. 27 Carleen Graff gave presentations to teachers and middle school students at Darrell’s Music Hall in Nashua. She held two master classes with middle school students of teachers in the Nashua area. One teacher was a recent 2005 graduate, Angela Olszta. In addition she gave her Contemporary Piano lecture/performance on Eastern European Composers to the teachers, their students and the students’ parents. This lecture/performance will be given next on March 9 at PSU’s ninth Contemporary Piano Festival for high school students and their parents and teachers. She also recently judged for the New Hampshire Music Educators’ Association Solo and Ensemble Festival.
  • Rik Pfenninger’s music was recently used on three episodes of the television show “The Survival of the Rich and Famous,” which aired on the Warner Brothers Network in January 2007.
  • PSU Theatre is in the middle of The Greek Project, a joint project developed by PSU Director of Theatre Beth Cox in association with faculty members from Keene and UNH. In the works since 2002, this joint USNH project has received strong sponsorship and support from Chancellor Reno. The three plays proposed, from three different playwrights (Euripides, Aeschylus and Sophocles), follow the story of the Trojan War and its aftermath. The Trojan Women portrays the victims of the Trojan War finding the women of Troy accepting their fate and readying to leave their homeland to become the slaves of their Greek conquerors. Agammemnon follows the return of the military man to his homeland. Agamemnon is killed by his wife, Clytemnestra and her lover. In Electra, the daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra links up with her long-banished brother. PSU will be performing The Trojan Women at UNH on February 23 and at KSC on March 1. PSU will perform The trojan Women at PSU on March 7, 10 and 11. KSC will perform Agammemnon at PSU on March 8 and UNH will perform Electra on March 9. Tickets can be procured for two or all three productions at reduced ticket prices. Please contact the Silver Center Box office at (603) 535-2787.
  • Jonathan Santore’s composition House Song to the East was performed in January by the Austin-based professional choral ensemble Conspirare as part of an American Masterworks choral festival sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts. House Song to the East was originally commissioned by Dan Perkins and the PSU Chamber Singers.

Business Department:

  • Innovation and Creativity: Apprentice
    PSU III The Business Dept is launching a new episode of the C-Man “Apprentice” at PSU, lead by Dr. Bonnie Bechard. This time, each team will develop an ice cream flavor that they will bring to market with all sales being donated to a designated charity.
    The Common Man will give each team a budget of $250.00 to purchase cones, napkins, spoons, bowls, ice cream scoops–whatever they need to execute. They will track and account for their budget. Team performance will be judged on total project, ice cream uniqueness, flavor, popularity, total sales, and complete business/sales/marketing/budget presentation.
    The ice cream of the winning team will be featured at the “Frosty Shoppe” (the Common Man’s new ice cream stand built late last fall) in front of the Common Man Inn throughout this summer.
  • Business department to run two fundraisers for Habitat for Humanity:
    Eileen Bennett’s classes will be organizing and running two exciting events this spring with the Pemi-Valley Chapter of Habitat for Humanity receiving the proceeds. The first event, “Shreddin’ for Shelter,” will be held at Loon Mountain on Sunday, March 11. Teams of four will ski/snowboard in a 24-hour race to see which team can make the most runs during the time period – 10 p.m. -10 p.m.. Sign-ups are from 8-9:30 a.m. and 4-5:30 p.m. The Bunyan Room will be open all night, with a DJ, food, games, 50/50 raffle, and more. Tickets are $25/person, $15/person if you have a 3dom Pass. Don’t miss this opportunity for a great party and at the same time help the Habitat folks.
    The second event is called “Raise the Roof” and is based on the CBS hit television show “The Amazing Race.” Similar to the television show, our version will require teams of two to four people to race across campus and through downtown Plymouth deciphering clues and performing certain activities to be the team with the best time. The proceeds from the entry fee will go directly to Habitat for Humanity. In addition to the race, they will have food and activities at the finish line, which will hopefully attract the members of the community who are not racing. The proceeds from these activities will also be donated to Habitat.

Health and Human Performance Department:

  • Health Education classes and the Health and Wellness Club, under the coordination of Dr. Mardie Burckes-Miller, held the 9th annual Love Your Body Week at PSU, February 26-March 2. The week celebrated National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. Governor John Lynch recently signed a proclamation declaring this week NH Eating Disorders Awareness Week.
  • Dr. Lynn Johnson has just had a book released for publication: Potter, D.L., Johnson, L.V. (2007), Softball – 3rd Edition: Steps to Success. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Social Science Department:

  • Kate Donahue (Anthropology/Social Science) is back from sabbatical. She finished the manuscript for “Slave of Allah: Zacarias Moussaoui vs. the USA” for Pluto Press, London. This February she went to Narbonne, in southern France, to interview Aicha el-Wafe, the mother of Zacarias Moussaoui. Moussaoui was found guilty of conspiracy in the September 11th attacks and is serving a life sentence in the Supermax prison in Florence, CO.
  • Marcia Schmidt Blaine is now on the Board of the Plymouth Historical Society. She was also on “Human Ties,” an hour-long radio show produced by the NH Humanities Council on January 24. The show was archived and is available at Click on “Wednesday, January 24, 2007” and it should (after a pause to download) begin to air. Deborah Watrous, the director of the NH Humanities Council, interviewed Marcia about the work she does in NH history.
  • David Starbuck (Anthropology) chaired a symposium on Military Sites Archaeology at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology in mid-January at Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia; he also presented a paper on his current excavations at French& Indian War sites in northern New York State. David has also had a paper accepted for publication in Archaeology Magazine; entitled “America at War: Sutlers’ Provided Early American Soldiers with Much-Needed Relief” and it will appear in the May/June issue of Archaeology.

Psychology Department:

  • The Psychology Department recently accepted two students into their honors program, Chrissy Brown and Sarah Revels. Chrissy will conduct a study entitled “Assessing False Uniqueness for Nicknames,” while the title for Sarah’s study is “Writing: A Tool for Premature Group Consensus.”
  • David Zehr…
    • is a member of the Programming Committee for the first annual NEEPS Conference (Northeastern Evolutionary Psychology Society). The NEEPS conference will be held at Suny New Paltz, April 13-14.
    • has been invited to be a member of the steering committee for the sixth annual “Best Practices in Teaching Psychology” conference offered by the Society for the Teaching of Psychology (STP, Division 2 of APA). The 2007 conference will be entitled “Beginnings and Endings: Best Practices for Introducing and Bringing Closure to the Undergraduate Psychology Major.” The conference is scheduled for October 12-13 in Atlanta, GA.
    • has also been invited to join a panel on “Teaching the history of psychology course” to be held as a preconvention event on Thursday, May 24th at the Association for Psychological Science (APS) meetings in Washington, D.C.

Education Department:

  • On January 23rd, Pat Cantor and Mary Cornish presented a 3-hour workshop on “Mentoring and Evaluating Student Teachers” to over 50 PSU cooperating teachers and 15 student teacher supervisors at the HUB. This workshop was organized by the Office of Teacher Certification and offered under the auspices of a NH State Department of Education Professional Educator Preparation Program grant.
  • Pat Cantor and Mary Cornish presented a day-long seminar on “Mentoring, Supervising, and Evaluating Staff” at the New Hampshire and Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children Administrator’s Conference in Fairlee, Vermont, on February 9.
  • Marcel Lebrun…
    • co-chaired the PBIS Summit conference in Concord, January 25-26. Twentyfive schools attended, now making the PBIS Initiative a group of 145 schools statewide.
    • presented a training session on At Risk Assessments to Lakes Region schools on February 9th here at PSU.
    • has a new book which was released on January 28th: Student Depression: The silent crisis in our schools and communities.

Art Department:

  • Dr. Cynthia Vascak was the keynote speaker for the NH Art Educators’ “Arts Alive Conference” on February 12 held at the Belknap Mill in Laconia. Her presentation addressed “Creativity and the Art of Printmaking.” She also presented the Integrated Instructional Model Arts in Action: Be Our Guest: Looking at our students and curriculum through the Magic Mirror of Possibility at the PSU Integrated Arts Conference, January 27th.
  • Exhibition openings:
    • Student Juried Exhibition opens March 7th, 4-6 p.m.
    • “From the Center,” Tom Driscoll’s Paintings Exhibit opens March 28th, 4-6 p.m. in the Drerup Gallery.
  • Student Artists:
    • Andy Carey has landscape photographs being exhibited in Lamson Library and Anthony Cormier’s Kiosk Show was a hit – with very professional looking didactics.
    • Jimmy Russell, Laura Tripodi, Laura Utley, Jacinda Isabey and Amanda LaBrie are printmaking students who have works that have been accepted into the Boston Printmakers 2007 Fifth Arches Student Print Show, February 18-April 1, 2007, with an opening reception on Sunday, February 18 from 3-5 p.m. at the 808 Gallery, 808 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston.
    • Carla Blakely has been awarded a scholarship from the Women’s Caucus for ART, New Hampshire Chapter. She is presently working on her thesis at PSU for her BFA in Ceramics while also earning her MAT in Art Education.
  • Chehalis Hegner-Melloni’s image “Trophy” (from her series on “Photography and Healing”) has been selected for the cover of the current (Feb/Mar) issue of Art New England. This is the same image that was featured in the Boston globe article/review of the PRC/POV exhibition in Boston in November. The image was also selected by Popular Photography and American Photographer websites for “Photo Exhibitions in America to see in November/December.” The link for the cover and online version of the publication:
  • Elizabeth D’Amico has one of her prints featured in the current juried exhibition, “Bodies in Ink,” which is being held at Two Rivers Printmaking Studio in White River Junction, Vermont, through the month of March.

Social Work Department:

  • Cynthia Moniz attended a joint meeting of the NASW Executive Committee and the NASW Insurance Trust Board of Directors in February in Puerto Rico to participate in efforts to restructure the organization. She was appointed Chair of the NASW Annual National Awards Committee.
  • Stephen Gorin was appointed to the NASW Publications Committee, a committee of editors of the Association’s journals and the Encyclopedia of Social Work.
  • Scott Meyer conducted “Techniques to Empower Clients for Success” during January for the staff of Bridge House (the local homeless shelter) and, together with Stephanie Halter (Criminal Justice Department), is conducting an outcomes assessment of the 21st Century Learning Grant, NH Department of Education to expand after school program activities to grades K-3 in the Hillsboro-Deering School District.

Julie N. Bernier, EdD, ATC
Interim Provost and Vice President
for Academic Affairs

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