100 Great Things About Keene State College
Your fondest mememories, funniest stories, biggest heroes, and more
KSC's Most Distinguished Athletes (So Far)
Two of our greatest athletes are also married (to each other). Inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame this centennial year, runners Mary Proulx '03 and Mark Miller '03 are the most honored athletes in Keene State history.
Proulx is a five-time national champion and a 15-time All-American. The record for the 10K (33:21:8) she set at the Penn Relays in 2003 is unbroken. "Mary is the finest athlete who's been at Keene State, regardless of sport or gender," said Peter Thomas, KSC track coach.
Mark Miller is a four-time national champion and 10-time All-American. And he met his wife right here at KSC. "We are so fortunate that we were able to become best friends and share all of those incredible adventures," Miller said.
Vice President for Finance and Planning Jay Kahn is a visionary. He has thrived in his role under three presidents.
He is the engine in the creation and fulfillment of much of the College's Master Plan, and his acumen with numbers has kept us in better financial shape in these tough times than many other institutions.
In addition, he has built and sustained the positive relationship that the College has with the local community – and puts his personal energy there too by serving on local boards, including the board of trustees of Cheshire Medical Center.
He is a distinguished person, and a regular guy. As the finishing touches were being put on One Butler Court, a painter accidentally spray-painted Jay from hardhat to wingtips, an incident Jay recounted with great good humor and his generous laugh. (His suit survived, too.)
If you've participated in or observed a graduation ceremony at KSC since 1988, you have Pauline Dionne to thank.
Pauline has been working at Keene State for more than 40 years, and for half that time has attended to every tiny detail of Commencement. Pauline's current title is senior administrative assistant in Alumni and Parent Relations, but she is so very much more: a dedicated Owl fan, touchstone for many retired and emeriti faculty members, and the source of a wealth of institutional knowledge.
One little thing you might not know about Pauline: One of her first jobs (while she was still in high school) was as a roller-skating carhop at Mackenzie's drive-in on Court Street in Keene.
“_Keene State has the orneriest faculty in New Hampshire. We were the first to choose collective bargaining in this 'Yankee' individualist state.”
– Chuck Weed,
Clarence DeMar was hired as a faculty member in 1929. President Wallace E. Mason hired DeMar as a printing teacher to help give Keene Normal School a more masculine image.
DeMar was an avid runner and seven-time winner of the Boston Marathon. In 1938, at age 50, he competed again and came in seventh, to greater applause than the first-place winner.
Every Thursday he would start running from KNS to Boston University (in his business suit) to work on his master's degree. Usually a friendly motorist would pick him up along the way.
(and All KSC Students Who Open Themselves to the Experience)
The story of Adam Skibek '07 is special and at the same time emblematic. It is the story we could tell about so many KSC students. It is a story of discovery.
Adam came to KSC to play basketball, but found mentors and connections with faculty, staff, teammates, and coaches. He got invested in the College and in his studies, participating in the Economics Honor Society and volunteering as one of our famous tour guides.
After graduation, he joined the College and Media Relations Office as the sports information publicity assistant. After two years working on campus, he's headed off to Springfield College for a master's degree (and a graduate fellowship) in sports management. Go forth, Adam!
Officially, he's the director of campus purchasing and contract services, and special projects manager, on the staff since 1986 and known for his resourcefulness and can-do spirit.
Unofficially and behind the scenes, a generation of students has known him as their "true north," a steadfast volunteer, mentor, and booster.
Jim, who played lacrosse when he was in college at U-Mass. Amherst (back in the day), started Keene State's first lacrosse club in 1987 and coached it into varsity status 10 years later.
With Bud Winsor, he advised the Interfraternity and Panhellenic councils for another 10 years, was the faithful advisor to Alpha Pi Tau for a decade, is still active in Greek life, and helps organize the annual Ashuelot River cleanup.
He's savvy, energetic, funny, and his interactions with hundreds of students inspire them to grow into their finest selves.
As an eighth-grade student in a school in rural Maine, Melinda Treadwell entered an essay contest and won a week helping her teacher with a research project in Boothbay Harbor for the Department of Marine Resources. The experience nourished two passions that continue to shape her life: a commitment to scientific research and a firm faith in the power of education.
After receiving a bachelor of science in industrial safety at Keene State in 1990, she worked as a researcher, health-risk analyst, and environmental safety and health coordinator, interpreting scientific research for corporations.
As she studied data to shape arguments relating to public safety policy, she began to question the limited focus of her approach. "I realized that you can be more powerful in policy making if you are actually doing the science," she said.
She entered graduate school (receiving a doctorate in pharmacology/toxicology at Dartmouth Medical School in 1995) and then returned to Keene State as a professor in the Technology, Design and Safety program.
In 2003, she headed a research project that was awarded a $1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.
Treadwell is currently the dean of Professional and Graduate Studies at Keene State. She continues her research and work on public policy issues, and she advocates strongly for a curriculum that encourages students to ask questions about their passions and engage in research that looks at the big picture.