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Outstanding Women of NH Awards, 2022

President's Annual Outstanding Women of NH Awards

The 2022 Award Ceremony took place on Thursday, March 24, 2022, at 6 p.m. in the Mabel Brown Room, Lloyd P. Young Student Center and as a streamed event.

Keene State College announces the honorees for its 32nd annual President’s Outstanding Women of New Hampshire awards. This year’s theme during Women’s History Month is Women Providing Healing/Promoting Hope. The college is celebrating women from the region, the state and from the college who have made outstanding contributions that positively impact the lives and well-being of people in their communities.

This year, that includes women who have served as tireless caregivers and frontline workers during the pandemic and before, therefore helping to enhance the health and well-being of our community.

The President’s Award, given annually to a staff member for distinguished service, will also be presented as a part of this gala.

The following women will be recognized:

State of New Hampshire Awardee: Kirsten Durzy, MPH

Durzy’s skill and talent have been most evident since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the equity subject matter expert for the NH COVID-19 response, she has championed the needs of disproportionately affected and historically marginalized groups. As director for the Vaccine Equity Branch, Durzy worked hard to provide New Hampshire’s most at-risk residents with equal opportunity to receive the COVID vaccine, and she ensured that vulnerable populations were remembered at every step of the vaccine roll-out. She has provided expertise in strategy, governance, community engagement, and facilitation in various public-private collaborations and coalitions across the state. Her leadership has also, for more than a year, brought to life the “mental, emotional, and social health and healing in the community” through the OurStoryNH project.

Monadnock Region Co-Awardees:

Mary E. Curtin Pierce, BSN,RN

Curtin Pierce is an infection preventionist at Cheshire Medical, a Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health affiliate. In this capacity, she works to protect patients and staff from hospital-acquired infections and serves as a facility resource in antimicrobial stewardship, data analytics, and process improvement. During the past two years, she has played a key role in ensuring the hospital’s readiness to tackle COVID-19. Curtin Pierce was new to Cheshire Medical when the first COVID-positive patient in New Hampshire was announced in early 2020. But she played a pivotal role in guiding the organization through unprecedented challenges, using her data and analytic skills to assist colleagues. Working alongside Dr. Aalok Khole, an infectious disease specialist, Curtin Pierce used a three-pronged approach to infection prevention during the pandemic: limiting the entry of COVID within the hospital setting, developing tactics to contain and limit spread if it does enter, and establishing how best to treat patients with COVID while keeping employees safe. Curtin Pierce is a recipient of Cheshire’s RISE (Resolve, Integrity, Sacrifice, Exceptional Service) to the Occasion Award. Her service and initiative-taking approaches amid the turbulence protected Cheshire’s staff, patients, and the greater community.

Ms. Tricia J. Zahn, MPH

A public health professional by training, Zahn worked in other parts of the country before moving back to southwestern New Hampshire. She is now the Director of Community Strategic Partnerships at Center for Population Health at Cheshire Medical Center, a Dartmouth-Hitchcock affiliate. She has also served as the lead for vaccination efforts in the region. This ambitious undertaking was organized by Zahn in collaboration with the Greater Monadnock Public Health Network.

For Zahn, the COVID-19 vaccine distribution work in the region was a culmination of a series of preparedness efforts. It is to an end like this that she has worked over the years — building relationships, recruiting, vetting, and training volunteers.

Zahn recently received the RISE (Resolve, Integrity, Sacrifice, Exceptional Service) to the Occasion Award from Cheshire. The award recognizes an individual who has stepped up in an extraordinary way during a crisis or challenging period, making it possible for Cheshire to achieve its mission despite adversity. She has also been celebrated by the Union Leader, a statewide daily newspaper, in its “40 Under 40” recognition of young professional age 40 and under doing difference-making work where they live.

Keene State College Faculty/Staff Awardee: Dr. Jeanelle Boyer

Dr. Boyer is Associate Professor of Public Health at Keene State. Her work as co-chair of KSC’s COVID Leadership Team directly helped to reduce the risk of spread of the virus in the community. Her work included using wastewater testing to evaluate the levels of COVID on campus and in Cheshire County. This innovative practice helped assess the risk that COVID had in the community before cases were confirmed on or off campus.

A microbiologist, Dr. Boyer has also conducted research in various areas of inquiry related to health. This includes, among other things, a study of Food Protein Induced Entercolitis Syndrome (FPIESD) in infants. The syndrome is a poorly understood, serious allergic condition that primarily impacts infants and children. There is no known cause or cure for the allergy.

As a registered yoga instructor, Dr. Boyer includes meditation in all her college classes and teaches workshops and classes on mindfulness, meditation, and yoga as effective tools for bolstering resiliency during challenging times.

Keene State College Student Awardee: Ms. Sara Getchell

Getchell, a senior from Merrimack, N.H., has been instrumental in organizing the regional Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement, a community event at Keene State. Choose Love strives to create safer schools and a safer world by teaching people how to use nurturing, healing love in any circumstance. It is based on the principle that practicing social and emotional learning skills improves culture and cultivates an environment that is welcoming, supportive, compassionate, and safe.

Getchell is the president of the Yoga Club, president of the Community Service Club, and vice president of Kappa Delta Pi- Education Honor Society. As president of the Yoga Club, she provides physical, mental, and emotional support for students of the Keene State community and works to recruit students, some of whom say they are looking to improve their social, and mental health. She also brought the Community Service Club back to life and has been instrumental in helping to keep it running.

Getchell has also been a leader and top student in her classes, assisting other students and serving as a teaching assistant for at least two classes. She is an elementary education major.

President’s Award for Distinguished Service: Ms. Donna L. Coty, BSN

(This award recognizes an individual or department that exemplifies service to the Keene State community. For a staff member, it is the highest honor consistent with the College’s mission and goals. The description below comes from the award citation based on comments from colleagues and family.)

Donna Coty devoted her professional life to improving the health and well-being of others, including during her tenure as coordinator of the simulation lab for the Keene State Nursing Program.

Coty passed in 2021; she was 60 years old. She left an indelible mark not only at the College, but through her distinguished career in home-care nursing. Coty focused students on the need to be skillful and compassionate. She routinely provided not only typical day-to-day experiences for her students, but she challenged them in detailed and elaborate simulated scenarios. Students were amazed at the realism of the environments she created and how they prepared them for real-life responses to such situations. She took on additional duties to improve the college’s response to COVID by working for the Rapid Response Team conducting outreach and contact tracing. She put her nursing and counseling skills to use by delivering tough news to students during this time and working with them to make sure they felt safe and supported while in isolation and quarantine. Most cherished are the imprints she left on her students. She genuinely cared for her students and their success. She was always willing to meet them where they were and help. It is impossible not to think about what could have been if she were still with us, all the students she would have continued to mentor and inspire, all the colleagues and projects she would have supported.


Past Recipients

  • Ms. Kirsten Durzy, 2022
  • Ms. Mary E. Curtin Pierce, 2022
  • Dr. Jeanelle Boyer, 2022
  • Ms. Sara Getchell, 2022
  • Ms. Tricia J. Zahn, 2022
  • Ms. Lisa Beaudoin, 2021 
  • Dr. Denise Burchsted, 2021
  • Ms. Demitria Kirby, 2021
  • Ms. Emma Manderville, 2021
  • Victoria Bergstrom, 2020
  • Judy Reed, 2020
  • Patty Little, 2020
  • Liz Tentarelli, 2020
  • Briae Robillard, 2019
  • Therese Seibert, 2019
  • Sandra Wallace, 2019
  • Eva Castillo, 2019
  • Puja Thapa, 2018
  • Benajil Rai, 2018
  • US Representative Ann McLane Kuster, 2018
  • Patricia Pedroza Gonzalez, 2018
  • Jill Bassett, 2018
  • Marisa Benson, 2017
  • Barbara Couch, 2017
  • Ellen Moynihan, 2017
  • Katie Schwerin, 2017
  • Alyssa DeMarco, 2016
  • Kya Roumimper, 2016
  • Renate Gebauer, 2016
  • Kathy Harrington, 2016
  • Kerrianne Thomas, 2015
  • PeggyRae Johnson, 2015
  • Sarah MacKenzie Hoskins, 2015
  • Terie Norelli, 2015
  • Marty Sink, 2014
  • Johanna DeBari, 2014
  • Mary Kelly, 2014
  • Mary Ellen Fleeger, 2014 
  • Deena Snoke, 2013
  • Loren Launen, 2013
  • Yvonne Goldsberry, 2013
  • Trinidad Tellez, 2013 
  • Melinda Feola-Mahar, 2012
  • Nona Fienberg, 2012
  • Dorian Petranech, 2012
  • Mary Ellen Jackson, 2012 
  • Jaime Contois, 2011
  • Kristin Mehalik, 2011
  • Norma W. Walker, 2011
  • Jean Whitcomb, 2011 
  • Suzette Borden, 2010
  • Jane Difley, 2010
  • Susan Margraf, 2010
  • Jaclyn Vehlies, 2010 
  • Mary Jensen, 2009
  • Bonnie Riley, 2009
  • Rachel Rouillard, 2009
  • Annelies Spykman, 2009 
  • Jan Cohen, 2008
  • Juliana Eades, 2008
  • Jahel Ghanbari, 2008
  • Dottie Morris, 2008 
  • Darya A. Bushmakin, 2007
  • Jessica Cadorette, 2007
  • Susan Hay, 2007
  • Karen Jennings, 2007
  • Karol A. LaCroix, 2007 
  • JoAnn C. Fenton, 2006
  • Kristin Iodice, 2006
  • Rebecca Lawrence, 2006
  • Janaki N. Tschannerl, 2006 
  • Roberta Barry, 2005
  • Mary Maysark-Stavely, 2005
  • Valerie Nettleton, 2005
  • Susan B. Newcomer, 2005 
  • Valerie Cunningham, 2004
  • Maria Dintino, 2004
  • Ruth Ewing, 2004
  • Eliza Sieswerda, 2004 
  • Beverly Ferrucci, 2003
  • Nancy Frankel, 2003
  • Renee Pederson, 2003
  • Jane Shapiro, 2003 
  • Jean Nelson, 2002 
  • Celena Chickering, 2002 
  • Jan Youga, 2002 
  • Linda Baker, 2001 
  • Deborah Croteau, 2001 
  • Kathy Eneguess, 2001 
  • Jessie Gannett, 2001 
  • Delina R. Hickey, 2000 
  • Nancy Lory, 2000 
  • Michelle Scott, 2000 
  • Eileen Sylvia, 2000 
  • Mary Elizabeth Alther, 1999 
  • Anne Meyers, 1999 
  • Susan Whittemore, 1999 
  • Tamara Zimmerman, 1998
  • Carrye Sculthorpe, 1998 
  • Sandra Jean Whippie, 1998 
  • Dorothy A. Bauer, 1997 
  • Jessica Lewis, 1997 
  • Maureen O’Brien, 1997 
  • Nancy Ryan, 1997 
  • Darcie Boyer, 1996 
  • Cotton M. Cleveland, 1996
  • Katherine McLaughlin, 1996 
  • Judith Perry, 1996 
  • Beth DeAnna, 1995 
  • Patricia Rich, 1995 
  • Jeanne Shaheen, 1995 
  • Karen Wagner, 1995 
  • Rebecca D. Brown, 1994 
  • Dawn M. Henry, 1994 
  • Dorothy F. Kingsbury, 1994 
  • Anne-Marie Mallon, 1994 
  • Margaret Clemons, 1993 
  • Mary Louise Hancock, 1993 
  • Theresa Riddle, 1993 
  • Kim Schmidl-Gagne, 1993 
  • Anne Williams Sprague, 1993 
  • Patricia Gallup, 1993 
  • Mildred M. Horton, 1992 
  • Roxanne Kreyling, 1992 
  • Leslie Loberant, 1992 
  • Mona Norfleet, 1992 
  • Gertrude Pearson, 1992 
  • Alice Irwin, 1991 
  • Merle Larracey, 1991 
  • Cricket LaStrada, 1991 
  • Erin Nugent, 1991 
  • Rosamond Putnam, 1991

Contact Diversity & Multiculturalism

Dottie Morris
Associate Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion
dmorris@keene.edu
☎ 603-358-2206
Hale Building 103A
Mailstop: M/S 1501