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Fall Honorees – Winter 2004

Fall Honorees

2003 Community Service Award – Dr. Steve Stepenuck

Stephen Stepenuck photoDr. Stephen Stepenuck will be forever linked with the preservation and protection of the Ashuelot River. A habitat for many species and a source of recreation for local citizens, the river is also a vital indicator of the environmental health of the river valley. For nearly 20 years, the river, the animals that depend on it for survival, and the people who live along its shores have benefited from the scientific approach Dr. Stepenuck has brought to its preservation.

Long a champion of the environment, Dr. Stepenuck has dedicated much of his professional life to using chemistry to analyze the health of ecosystems. He began working at Keene State as a professor of chemistry in 1970. Two years later, he started teaching a course called “Chemical Analysis of the Environment,” one of few such courses to be taught at the college level at that time. In the course, Dr. Stepenuck showed his students how to avoid errors in analyzing water or air samples. He was a driving force behind the establishment of Keene State’s environmental studies major.A colleague noted that Dr. Stepenuck “strongly believed that what we teach in the classroom should somehow be ultimately relevant to our communities.” He was a driving force behind the establishment of Keene State’s environmental studies major.

From his home in West Swanzey, Dr. Stepenuck has poured his energy into being a steward of the Ashuelot River, serving on numerous environmental groups and lobbying for the river to be safeguarded under the N.H. River Management and Protection Program. He also volunteered for the N.H. Fish and Game Department, for which he taught hunter safety classes.

A graduate of Merrimack College, Steve Stepenuck received his master’s degree from the College of the Holy Cross and his doctorate from the University of New Hampshire. He retired from the KSC faculty after the spring 2003 semester.

Parent of the Year – Daniel Kalloger

Parent of the year photoThe winner of the 2003 Le Vine Mellion Parent Award, announced during the Fall Honors Convocation, was Daniel Kalloger of Manchester, N.H.

When Mr. Kalloger married Lisa Hirtz's mother, Linda, 10 years ago, he suddenly became a parent to an eleven-year-old who was struggling in one academic area. "Lisa really did have very little faith in her own math ability, and I didn't want to let her down," recalls this year's awardee.

"Danny was currently attending New Hampshire College to obtain a B.A. degree in education and mathematics, which happened to be my least favorite subject," Lisa wrote in a letter nominating her "instant parent" for Parent of the Year. "As I attended high school, I remember sitting at the kitchen table for countless hours with Danny, who would not let me leave until all of my math homework was finished."

Danny... would not let me leave until all of my math homework was finished.As Lisa's high school years advanced, an F on a 10th-grade report card gradually became an A by senior year. "Without the help of Danny, pushing me, because he believed in me," Lisa wrote, "I would not believe in myself."

Lisa's transition to KSC went smoothly, but with a few bumps, including a difficult political science course she wanted to drop "But Danny said no," writes Lisa. "Of course he wanted me to give it a shot, and he told me that he knew I could do it." After an A on the first exam, Lisa was on her way to a successful career at KSC, where she expects to earn a degree in clinical and counseling psychology before graduate school and a degree in psychiatric nursing.

Daniel Kalloger, who grew up in Lynn, Mass., left a career in engineering to step into the role of high school mathematics teacher. He's now in his fifth year at Goffstown Area High School. Lisa's mother, Linda, shares her husband's profession, teaching social studies at Wilton-Lyndeboro Middle School.

2003 Distinguished Teacher –Dr. Jan Youga

Jan Youga photoDr. Jan Youga, professor of English, received the Distinguished Teacher Award from the KSC Alumni Association at the Fall Honors Convocation in October. Known as the heart of the writing program for many years, Dr. Youga has led the Writing Task Force, served as director of writing, and co-authored, with Phyllis Benay, the KSC Guide to Writing. A noted authority on writing pedagogy, she is the co-author of the book Readings Are Writings: A Guide to Reading and Writing Well, among her many publications.

As much as Dr. Youga has shown a commitment to Keene State's English 101 curriculum, she also helps students explore writing on the highest levels. In describing Dr. Youga's seminar on classical rhetoric, one colleague noted, "She was especially thrilled that there was a new edition of Cicero for her students. It is not just anyone who will rejoice in a new, better Cicero for students!… She invites her students to stretch for Cicero, for Plato, for Quintilian, and for Aristotle. We are constantly amazed, as we visit her classes, by the imaginative and creative ways she makes these difficult texts available to students."

She invites her students to stretch for Cicero, for Plato, for Quintilian, and for Aristotle.Enthusiastic support for her nomination also came from colleagues and students in teacher education. "I have never seen another professor get such consistently rave evaluations who also holds such high standards and demands so much of her students," wrote a professor of education.

Recalling the atmosphere of Dr. Youga's classes, one alumna wrote, "She's also a fabulous cook. I know because she prepared a meal for my eleven classmates and me at her home, where we held our last Methods class."

Jan Youga graduated from Northern Illinois University. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Iowa and arrived at KSC in 1992. She was a 2002 recipient of the College's Outstanding Women of New Hampshire Award.

2003 Granite State Awards

Granite State Awards are presented each year at Fall Honors Convocation during Parent/Family Weekend by Keene State College and the University System of New Hampshire to honor outstanding achievements by community members.

Marcia Ammann photoMarcia Ammann '69 was presented the Granite State Award for a lifetime of service to her hometown of Winchester, N.H., as a teacher, member of the school board, and community organizer.

Following years of teaching middle school and high school, her recent roles in the Winchester schools have included a variety of grant-funded positions, such as school improvement coordinator. She is known in the community for helping organize the Winchester Learning Center, a community preschool program, and Welcome Babies, which provides outreach to teenage mothers. Among other activities for which she was cited were her service on the school board and her co-founding and editing of The Winchester Star, an all-volunteer community newspaper.

Currently Ms. Ammann is the facilitator of Community and Schools Together (CAST), a Winchester community organization that leverages support for local schools. She also serves as literacy coordinator for grades 3-8 and teaches writing in those grades.

The recipients of the second Granite State award were Timken Super Precision and the Timken Foundation. Based in Keene and a division of the Timken Company of Canton, Ohio, Timken Super Precision manufactures bearings for the aerospace, semiconductor, and dental-instrument industries. Timken Super Precision and the Timken Foundation received the award for many years of support for the College in such areas as computer science, safety studies, and the arts.

The Foundation's contributions to the College have included a major gift for the construction of the Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery and a substantial contribution to what is now the Timken Safety Studies Classroom. Timken employees have served in a variety of capacities as advisors for the KSC technology and safety programs.

The College has received direct corporate support from Timken for a wide range of programs, including IBM Partners-in-Education at Keene State College, the College's World Affairs Symposium, the Appian Gateway Project, and the KSC Golf Classic.

The award also recognized a range of Timken contributions to other programs in the region, including the Colonial Theatre renovation, the Monadnock Humane Society, Center Stage, and the Monadnock United Way.