Priority 4.2

Increase opportunities for student research, volunteerism, community service, community outreach, and economic development and support, especially within the local community.

Economic Development and Support

PSU graduate students provide professional-level analysis and advice for local small business owners.

PSU graduate students provide professional-level analysis and advice for local small business owners.

For more than three decades, PSU’s Small Business Institute has offered consulting services to community businesses. Teams comprising MBA candidates work closely with small business owners and managers to address their needs, including increasing revenue, expanding market share, improving infrastructure, and more. SBI offers students a tremendous hands-on learning experience, and local businesses a high-quality consultation. In 2009, Small Business Institute students and staff met with Senator Jeanne Shaheen and area economic development professionals to help foster economic growth in the region.

Volunteerism and Community Service

Incoming students have a chance to contribute to local non-profits during Community Service Orientation.

Incoming students have a chance to contribute to local non-profits during Community Service Orientation.

The Community Service Center at PSU sponsors a variety of service projects to meet the needs of the community and volunteers. The CSC also partners with national and international organizations on special initiatives.

Building on its longstanding commitment to serving the community, PSU has recently established a service learning committee to develop and oversee service learning opportunities in the curriculum. The service learning initiative explores ways in which academic courses can include a service component that complements learning in the classroom.

Community Outreach

The student chapter of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) worked with the Pemi Youth Center on Main Street to create a homework café, complete with computers and, in partnership with teachers in Plymouth schools, academic support and tutoring.

PSU’s International Education Week showcases and highlights the wide variety of internationally-oriented programming, activities, departments, and student organizations that are involved in internationalization efforts on campus and abroad. The week features student organization activities, open language classes, social responsibility activities, and a Food and Music Festival attended by international high school students and PSU students, faculty, and staff. A joint initiative by the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Education, IEW is a chance for schools across the country to showcase international education.

Students work on a wide variety of community-based research projects.

Students work on a wide variety of community-based research projects.

The Newfound Watershed Plan, a collaboration between PSU’s Center for the Environment and the Newfound Lake Region Association that was completed in summer 2009, provided a comprehensive analysis of the Newfound Lake Region environment; presented citizen opinions about issues in the watershed and their desires for the future; benchmarked local master plans, policies and regulations; and provided a “tool kit” of methods to maintain and improve environmental quality for the long term. Other participants include Newfound Area School District, Newfound Lake Region Association, UNH’s Center for Freshwater Biology, and Jeffrey H. Taylor & Associates. The project is underwritten by the Environmental Protection Agency with funds distributed by the N.H. Department of Environmental Services.

PSU has a special commitment to serving not only the Lakes Region, but also the North Country. Funds from the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation enabled PSU’s Center for Rural Partnerships to create the Coos County Outreach Initiative (CCOI), a program that supports PSU faculty, student, and staff projects that enhance the North Country’s economy and quality of life.

Students Ty Vaughn and Marc McGinnis, both from the class of 2009, worked with Professor Mark Okrant and CfRP Director Thad Guldbrandsen to prepare an environmental/economic/social impact assessment for the possible breach of a dam on Spectacle Pond in Hebron and Groton. Their public presentation and report helped ameliorate community conflict and move toward positive solutions for a complicated set of problems.

For more on PSU’s service, outreach, and support endeavors, check out our Making a Difference video.

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