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By the Way - Fall 2002 By the Way Header

Janet Gross KSC Appoints New Vice President for Academic Affairs
Dr. Janet Gross began her new appointment as vice president for academic affairs at Keene State on July 1. She replaced Dr. Robert Golden, who took up the position of provost and vice president of academic affairs at Plattsburgh State University of New York. Dr. Gross was formerly dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Gross has an extensive background in university administration and teaching. Prior to taking on her role at Shippensburg in 1996, she held a similar position at Lock Haven University (1989-96). She was previously assistant professor of languages and literature at the University of Delaware, where she also held the position of assistant provost for special sessions. Additionally, she has taught at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she earned her Ph.D. in English and Latin. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Goucher College.

Farewell to Retiring Faculty Members
Keene State bade farewell to these retirees this past May – Stephanie Blecharczyk, professor of education; Heleen Kurk, assistant professor of education and teacher at Wheelock School; John (Jack) Marshall, professor of art; and Roger Martin, associate professor of management.

Stephanie Blecharczyk began working at Keene State in 1975 as a lecturer in home economics. During her career at KSC, she was involved in the creation of the Human Development course in the teacher education curriculum and published and presented on a wide range of curriculum development topics.

Heleen Kurk began teaching at Wheelock School in 1983. A dedicated education professional, she taught third and first grade classes at Wheelock, where she was regarded by colleagues as an ethical, compassionate, and family-centered teacher. Previously, she worked in several schools in New Hampshire, where she specialized in teaching children with reading and learning disorders.

Jack Marshall came to Keene State in 1973. A widely recognized artist, he taught courses in sculpture at KSC. His work has been exhibited in the United States and Italy.

Roger Martin began working for Keene State in 1987. An accountant with more than 20 years of professional experience, Dr. Martin taught classes in accounting, management, finance, and economics.

Illness Claims Former President Zorn
Roman J. Zorn, president of Keene State from 1964 to 1969, died in August after a period of ill health. Dr. Zorn was KSC’s first president after legislation was passed changing Keene Teachers College into Keene State College, and the fourth president of the institution. Dr. Zorn served Keene State during time of swift campus growth. He built up five liberal arts and sciences majors - English, history, mathematics, psychology, and biology - and attracted talented faculty members to the College.

The physical campus also expanded rapidly, with the Dining Commons, Mason Library, Science Center, Spaulding Gymnasium, Adams Technology Building, and several residence halls all being constructed during this time. The dining commons was dedicated in his name in 1996.

Before coming to Keene State, Dr. Zorn was dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Rhode Island. He left Keene State to become president of the University of Nevada- Las Vegas.

Alumni Board and Officers Elected
Five Keene State alumni were recently elected to serve three-year terms on the 15-member KSC Alumni Association Board of Directors, and three Board members were elected as officers.

Elected for their first terms on the board of directors were: Jack Griffin ’72 of Concord, N.H. Peter Ramsey ’76 of Manchester, N.H. Francoise Robert Elise ’77 of Manchester, N.H. Debora Murray ’99 of Keene, N.H. Bobby Rodrigue ’00 of Keene, N.H.

The Alumni Association also chose new officers. Elected for a first term was Jody O’Brien ’82 of Surry, president; Deborah Murray ’99 of Keene, first vice president; and Mary Lou Bolduc ’85 of Newton Junction, second vice president.

Alumni Awards Announced at Reunion Weekend
An alumni officer, an author, and a Keene State College administrative assistant were honored at the June 2 KSC Alumni Awards Luncheon during Reunion Weekend.

Receiving the Sprague W. Drenan Award, for support of alumni programs, was David Gagne ’73, of Amherst, N.H. David has represented the College as a student leader, a staff member, a volunteer, and a leader in the Alumni Association, including serving four years as KSC Alumni Trustee on the USNH Board of Trustees.

Gretchen Kuhn ’88, of Rockland, Maine, received the Alumni Inspiration Award. Since graduating, she has been an instructor at Hurricane Island Outward Bound School in Maine. Her citation reads in part, “She has dedicated herself to working with people of all ages, leading them on wilderness and other expeditions in the United States and abroad.”

Pauline Dionne, of Keene, senior administrative assistant to the vice president for academic affairs at KSC, was presented with the 2002 Outstanding Service Award for her 35 years of service to the College. During her tenure at KSC, Pauline worked in the Student Teaching Office and the Division of Professional Studies before moving to her present position. For the past 15 years, she has organized the College’s Commencement Ceremony.

Alumni Honorees

Machines Turn to Vegetables for Power
The 500-gallon tank that used to supply Keene State College’s fleet of maintenance vehicles with diesel now contains biodiesel, an alternative fuel derived from vegetable oils.

Since early summer, says Bud Winsor, assistant director of physical plant/grounds, the KSC grounds staff has been filling the tanks of their mowers and trucks with biodiesel, with no loss in performance and no pollution. So far, Bud says, he can’t see any reason for Keene State to be totally dependent on diesel in the future.

“The environmental and health benefits of using biodiesel are enormous for Keene State,” Bud says. According to EPA research findings, biodiesel emissions show no increased risk to human health at any exposure level. Biodiesel is less toxic than table salt and biodegrades faster than sugar, meaning that exhaust emissions or a spill of the substance pose no risks to the surrounding environment.

“Medical studies have shown that college students are susceptible to respiratory problems caused by emissions from campus equipment,” Bud explains. “We believe that using biodiesel will help improve the health of the students at Keene State.”

Four mower/snowplows, a loader, and the trash truck are now running on biodiesel. Keene State is the first college in New Hampshire to use the fuel. Costwise, biodiesel is a desirable option, Bud explains, because of the negligible startup expenses of using the fuel.

“Diesel engines can run on biodiesel without any conversions,” he says, “so we didn’t incur any costs making the switch, from a mechanical point of view.”

According to Mike Fuller, a mechanic with the grounds department, biodiesel has no adverse effect on engines. “In fact,” explains Mike, “it helps clean the fuel system of dirt and other particles.”

The only problem Mike foresees is its use during winter. “Biodiesel freezes at a higher temperature than diesel,” says Mike, “so we will need to mix it with diesel when we convert the mowers into snowplows.”

The switch to using biodiesel is the latest in a series of environmentally sustainable decisions that Keene State has made in recent years. Grounds staff use organic compost to fertilize campus gardens and sports fields and, with the assistance of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, have restored a wetland and meadow area beside the College’s sports complex on Krif Road. The College has an extensive recycling program and an active President’s Council for a Sustainable Future.

Athletics Has a New Face on the Web
Be sure to visit, which is richer than ever with the latest scores, photos, statistics, coach and player bios, and game reports.