THE KEENE STATE COLLEGE MAGAZINE FOR ALUMNI AND FRIENDS VOLUME XXI NUMBER 2 Winter 2006
  
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Annual Convocation Honors Teacher, Parents, Achievements

Annual Convocation Honors
Teacher, Parents, Achievements

The Fall Honors Convocation in October paid tribute to scholarship, teaching, the role of parents in student success, and outstanding community service. In addition to the many students honored for academic achievement, the following people received awards from the College.


Community Service Award
Photo: Thomas J. Bassarear Dr. Thomas J. Bassarear, professor of education at Keene State, received the Community Service Award. Among his many contributions to the Keene community, Dr. Bassarear founded the Monadnock Mindfulness Practice Center, has given numerous workshops for adult literacy tutors in Keene and throughout the state, coached Bambino baseball, serves as treasurer of the Keene High School football boosters club, and established a local support group for parents of teenagers. At the request of parents at Fuller Elementary School in Keene, Dr. Bassarear developed and taught a mathematics enrichment program for fifth graders, which has since grown to encompass all the elementary schools in Keene and is now taught by Keene State students. Since 1998, Dr. Bassarear has volunteered for Home Healthcare, Hospice and Community Services, providing end-of-life care for patients and their families.


Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award
Photo: Gregory Knouff The Distinguished Teacher of the Year award went to Dr. Gregory Knouff (above left), associate professor of history and chair of the department, who joined Keene State in 1998 after serving as adjunct assistant professor of history at Rider University and lecturer of history at Princeton. Colleagues and students who nominated Dr. Knouff for this award spoke of the qualities he brings to the classroom: energy, respect, expertise, and inspiration. They described the camaraderie he encourages among class members and the way he shares his passion for early North American history. One of his former students, now in graduate school, wrote, "There is no person more capable of inspiring a community of scholars than Dr. Knouff." In addition to chairing the history department, Dr. Knouff has served on many faculty committees, advises the History Club, and chairs the Four-Credit Task Force.


Granite State Award
Photo: Jane A. Difley The Granite State Award, presented by the Board of Trustees of the University System of New Hampshire and Keene State College, honored Jane A. Difley, president and forester of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests (SPNHF) since 1996. Since 1996, Ms. Difley has served in her current role at the SPNHF, a 10,000-member nonprofit organization founded in 1901 to protect New Hampshire forests from the clear-cutting then practiced. Over the years, the SPNHF has protected New Hampshire's most iconic places: Mount Kearsarge, Mount Monadnock, Crawford Notch, Franconia Notch, Sandwich Notch, and the Hampton salt marshes.


LeVine Mellion Parents Award
The winners of the LeVine Mellion Parents Award for 2005 were Keith and Elisabeth Ward of Sutton, Vermont. Their daughter, Shannon, a freshman majoring in vocal music education, nominated them. Shannon described her parents as "a team, a powerful and constant force, strong together and strong apart." Her father, Master Sergeant Keith Ward, has been deployed with the Vermont National Guard on a security mission in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. While he is away from the family, Shannon's mother manages the family home and finances, works part-time, is active in the National Guard Family Readiness program, raises Shannon's younger brother and sister, and talks to her elder daughter every day.