Alumni Association Board Elections
Voting will end April 15, 2023
USNH (University System of New Hampshire)
Alumni Trustee Candidates
Every four years, Keene State College alumni elect a member from its membership (now grown to over 30,000) to represent the College as a trustee for the University System of New Hampshire board.
The main purpose of the USNH trustees is to provide a well coordinated system of public higher education; offering liberal undergraduate education that encompasses the major branches of learning. With emphasis on our cultural heritage, cultivating the skills of reasoning, and communication. Most importantly, to serve the higher educational needs of the people of New Hampshire. For more information on the USNH trustees, see their website here.
ONE alumnus/a will be elected to serve a four-year term on the USNH Board of Trustees.
Jason Beckta ’08
A Keene native, Jason enrolled at Keene State fresh from high school without a real plan for life. The College’s faculty and staff were able to provide Jason with the education needed to pursue a career in medicine, one that had seemed impossible to him before their mentorship. The support and guidance he received from his time at Keene State enabled him to excel and achieve at the same level as his colleagues from elite pedigrees with career plans carefully designed from birth.
After graduation, he moved to Virginia for a decade while completing a dual-doctorate program in both medicine and Molecular Radiobiology. He then traveled to Yale for residency and postdoctoral training before practicing medicine in upstate New York. He later joined the faculty at the University of Vermont where he currently staffs Rutland Regional Medical Center as the medical director of Radiation Oncology. His interest in joining the Board is driven by knowing how many “aimless teenagers” finish high school each year, and his deep desire to “pay it forward” by protecting and growing the university system that gave him every opportunity to succeed.
Allison Bedell ’14
Allison Bedell is an alumna with many sustained contributions to Keene State over the course of her career. In 2012-2013 she served as the USNH Student Board Representative and as the Student Trustee in 2013-2014. During her years on the Student Board, Keene State College restructured its leadership and dealt with rising education costs. She was passionately involved in these conversations and emphasized the balance between being fiscally responsible and providing high-quality service-learning opportunities.
Now living in Washington, DC, Allison continues to be an engaged member of the Keene State community and regularly makes financial contributions to the College. She regularly participates in lectures and other programming from the Cohen Center and joined a focus group to help the new director shape the Center’s commitments to the Keene community. She prioritizes the value of service-learning and would be grateful to serve on the USNH Board of Trustees once again to help ensure that it remains available to students in the future.
Dave Westover ’72 (Incumbent)
Hailing from Walpole, New Hampshire, Dave Westover is running for his second term, representing Keene State College on the University System of New Hampshire Board of Trustees. He has represented Keene State in several capacities: USNH Trustee, USNH Governance Committee, University System Student Board Mentor, Keene State College Volunteer Track Coach, and a volunteer at Admitted Student Day, Orientation, Move-In Day, and Resumania. It is important for him to keep in touch with the students, faculty, and staff at Keene State.
Outside of his business background, as the retired owner and president of several local businesses, staying connected to students is something that Dave has made a priority. He has been on campus over 200 times in the past four years in a volunteer capacity and has had perfect attendance as the current USNH trustee (even in Oregon when he was attending the World Game Track & Field Trials in Eugene, Oregon). He spent 40 years in business working in downtown Keene and over ten years as an adjunct professor at Keene State.
KSCAA Board of Directors Candidates
Every year, Keene State College alumni elect members from its membership to represent the alumni on the Alumni Association Board of Directors. The KSCAA is a 15-member governing body whose purpose is to lead programmatic and outreach efforts that promote the welfare of the College and its alumni. Each volunteer member serves on committees that strive to create, plan, and execute programs and events that bring alumni and students together, build institutional awareness and pride, and create valued connections. Learn more about the Alumni Association, ways to benefit from the Association, and how to volunteer and stay connected at the Alumni Association here .
SIX alumni will be elected to serve a three-year term on the Keene State College Alumni Association Board of Directors. They will join nine other alumni representing classes from 1967-2018. Your voice and your choice will influence the Alumni Association and Keene State College in the years to come.
Colin Barnett ’11
Keene State College has been an important part of Colin Barnett’s life. He is now running for the Alumni Association to give back to the organization that made him who he is today. Since graduating, he’s headed the Keene State College Men’s Lacrosse Alumni foundation, running many successful events, building multiple scholarships and running many successful events over the last 13 years with record turnouts. Serving on the board of directors will provide him the opportunity and voice to take Keene State College to the next level in every phase.
After graduation, he moved to New York City where he began a sales career. Over the last 13 years, he’s grown into a sales leader specializing in bringing startup companies public. Six years ago, he moved to Newport, Rhode Island with his family. Alongside leadership positions in tech sales, he is also a partner in a property investment group in Newport with other Keene State College alumni.
Jen English ’02
Jen English has remained a key part of Keene State College during her life, from student to supporting marketing work in the Safety department and beyond. In her sophomore year, she gained experience from an internship, cultivating a diverse book of clients. By her senior year, she was a full-time account manager before graduating with a Communications degree. In 2003 she married her Keene State boyfriend, Josh (’01), and moved to the Keene area.
Jen was the Director of Communication at Clarke Distributors for ten years until she decided to start consulting to have more time to raise her young children. She and her family reside in Keene, she is thrilled to be back at Keene State as an employee.
As a local Keene resident and Keene State employee, Jen runs into many alumni. This has led to her desire to work with and support them on the KSCAA Board of Directors. Currently the Assistant Program Director for Keene State College’s OSHA Training Institute Education Center, she’s spent the last two years supporting the College by helping maintain high standards of safety. She loved her experience at Keene State and is glad to now be supporting it as a staff member, and she’s grateful for the opportunity to join the Board of Directors and do so much more.
Chris Gray ’86
Chris Gray, despite being born in West Orange, New Jersey, still lives locally (Springfield, Vermont) but considers Keene his community. Over his long career working as an educator and manufacturer, Chris has gained many professional and personal contacts within the Keene State community including College faculty and staff in the Sustainable Product Design & Innovation (SPDI) Department. He wishes to repay his alma mater for allowing him to thrive in his chosen career path by joining the Board of Directors.
Chris Gray was a part-time and full-time faculty member in the SPDI program from 2010 through 2014. He also taught Keene Adult Education Apprenticeship classes in the SPDI lab for 10 years from 2010 through 2020. He comes from a family of Keene State graduates with his sister, brother, and wife all graduating from Keene State. That tradition continues as his daughter earned her master’s in Education from Keene State in 2015. He remains a prominent member of the alumni community, participating in several alumni weekends during the past 35+ years since graduation. Chris credits his professional successes as an educator to the outstanding training and guidance he received while obtaining both his associate’s and bachelor’s degrees from Keene State College.
Chris is a full-time instructor at the River Valley Technical Center in Springfield and is also an adjunct professor in the Mechanical Engineering Technology Department at Vermont State University’s Randolph campus (formally Vermont Technical College).
David Haberstroh ’87
David Haberstroh has come all the way from Conshohocken, Pennsylvania to reconnect with his alma mater and support as a member of the Keene State College Alumni Association’s Board of Directors. The tragic passing of a fraternity brother rekindled his connection to the College and he is now ready to assume a higher role of responsibility as an alumnus.
“I feel that I can offer a well-rounded view of life with my career background and my ability to coordinate people to get a job done and make a difference. I am truly connected to people, and I make sure that I leave every conversation with a sense of value and integrity.”
Matt Kocyba ’98
Matt Kocyba is a proud alumnus of Keene State College, excited at the opportunity to contribute his talents to the alumni board. Through his experiences in architecture, he has gained a vast amount of knowledge in coming up with creative solutions and problem-solving. He is passionate about helping the students of Keene State develop the skills necessary to become leaders in our ever-changing world.
Since graduating in 1998, he’s made a career out of architecture, working and consulting with a variety of the top firms and architects in Connecticut and New York City. After a few years of living in NYC, he and his family moved to Greenwich, Connecticut where he currently resides. He now runs the VAKOTA Architecture Greenwich office, doing projects all over the Tri-State and New England area. Matt intends to use the knowledge from his career to create meaningful connections between the College and its alumni and make a positive impact on the student experience.
Lydia Mardin ’22
Lydia Mardin is a proud first-generation alumna with a strong career of student involvement who cares deeply about Keene State College’s future and community. As a student, Lydia was involved in many leadership positions including numerous positions within the Class of 2022’s Executive Board, Speaker of Student Assembly, and was a University System Student Body Representative as well as service on the College Senate.
Regarding honor societies, she was the president of the Phi Alpha Theta History honors society; Zeta Chi Rho, the Holocaust and Genocide Studies honor society; and the Order of Omega Greek honor society. She also held many leadership roles in the Delta Xi Phi multicultural sorority.
Lydia also received numerous awards for her leadership including the Outstanding Member of Student Government Scholarship Award, the Outstanding President Award, and the President’s Award for Outstanding Student Leadership. Since graduating, Lydia has worked in higher education and hopes to aid prospective students at her work, taking her experience as a student at Keene State College and giving back to the higher education community of New Hampshire. She remains a passionate part of the College community and wants to support it with the same dedication she had as a student.
Katje Mickola ’97 M’05
Katje has been involved with Keene State College in many ways since graduation including coaching, fundraising, and teaching. Katje earned her master’s degree in Curriculum & Instruction from Keene State in 2005. Prior to becoming the most recent clinical instructor in Keene State’s Education Department, Katje also welcomed student teachers into her middle school science classroom from 2015-2022. While earning degrees in Elementary Education K-8 and History/Social Studies, Katje was a varsity softball athlete and Owl Female Athlete of the Year.
Katje is a champion relationship-builder; her positive energy and creative ways of finding solutions to classic problems are some of the most admirable qualities Katje possesses. She is loyal to Keene State College and is proud of her career and history as an Owl alumna. She has wanted to become more involved with the alumni aspect of Keene State, energizing a donation drive for softball alums to fund and install a new batting tunnel at the field was a $10,000 endeavor that our program was able to succeed in. Katje Mickola has described “making connections” as her “why”—joining the KSCAA board of directors would be a great next step as Katje’s engagement with the College.
Shane Norris ’13
Shane Norris opened an event space in Burlington, Vermont right after college before transitioning to a sales role with WB Mason Company. After multiple sales and management roles at WB for 7 years, he made a transition to personal and small business comprehensive financial planning. As a student, Shane graduated with a Business Management degree. He played on the basketball team for two years before a knee injury put him on the sideline. During his time off the court and out of the classroom, he worked at the Night Owl Café and with the student broadcasting team.
Throughout his professional experience he has learned the power of education and connections. While serving on the board of directors it will be his mission to positively impact as many people in the Keene State College family as he can. He will be a resource for the school, its staff, its students, and its alumni in any way possible.