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KSC Honors Distinguished Teacher, Parent, Granite State Recipients

KEENE, N.H. 10/5/02 - Keene State Colleges distinguished teacher for the year 2002, the parent of the year, two Granite State Award winners, and the new community service award winner all will be honored at KSCs Fall Honors Convocation, on Sunday, Oct. 20. The annual event, a highlight of Parent and Family Weekend, also honors deans list students and features a concert by the KSC Concert Band. The concert begins at 12:20 p.m. in Spaulding Gymnasium, with the honors ceremony beginning at 1 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

The winner of the Distinguished Teacher Award is Dr. Ockle Johnson, professor of mathematics at KSC. Granite State Awards will be presented to Wendy Dwyer of Dublin and the Friends of the Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery at Keene State. Receiving the Parent of the Year citation will be Monetta Shea of Chichester, N.H. The new KSC Community Service Award will be presented to Thomas Dustin, associate professor of economics.

Dr. Ockle Johnson will receive the Distinguished Teacher Award from the KSC Alumni Association. Colleagues and students who nominated him described his willingness to share his time and knowledge with students and wrote of his ability to explain the most complex ideas of mathematics in a way that a non- math person would understand.

Dr. Johnson came to KSC in 1992 from St. Olaf College. He earned his bachelors degree at Siena College, a masters in mathematics from the University of Georgia, a masters of theology from Washington Theological Union, and his Ph.D. at Brown University.

The Distinguished Teacher Award is based on four criteria excellence in the classroom, encouragement of independent thinking, rapport with students both in and out of the classroom, and effective student advising.

Two Granite State Awards, presented by Keene State College and the University System of New Hampshire, honor outstanding achievements by community members.

Each year, Wendy Dwyer, artistic director of the New Hampshire Dance Institute, organizes a program that involves 250 children from eight area middle schools in dance and music. Ms. Dwyer, who has served at the NHDI for 15 years, writes original lyrics for shows, choreographs dances, and oversees set and costume design. Each years work ends with the Event of the Year, an original musical theatre production staged at the Redfern Arts Center on Brickyard Pond at Keene State.

Ms. Dwyer, who holds a degree in Russian literature from the University of Rochester and an M.F.A. in dance from Sarah Lawrence College, trained in both classical ballet and contemporary dance in London. In addition to conceiving, writing, and directing the NHDI shows, Ms. Dwyer teaches at The Well and South Meadow School and is an assistant professor of dance at Franklin Pierce College. She has been named to the board of the American College Dance Festival Association.

The recipient of the second Granite State award will be the Friends of the Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery, which is located on the Keene State campus. Since 1966, this group has worked to make the visual arts accessible and appreciated in the Monadnock region. One of the Friends most successful programs is the Famous Artists Come to School, or FACTS program, which brings volunteers to K-12 classrooms to discuss art and artists. In 2001, more than 1,600 students participated in the FACTS program. The Friends are also involved in organizing public lectures, exhibitions, and purchasing artwork for the Gallery. Scheduled to accept the award will be the groups president, Susan Landers Gilbert.

The Le Vine Mellion Parent Award for 2002 also will be presented at the Honors Convocation. This years winner, Monetta Shea, was nominated by her daughter, Emily Shea.

In her nomination essay, Emily thanked her mother, a single parent, for supporting her dream of going to college. Shes given up so much, especially financially, to help me get to Keene and make my dream of being a teacher come true.

The Le Vine Mellion Parent Award was established in 1982 by the four children of Dr. and Mrs. Gilbert LeVine Mellion, three of whom were Keene State graduates. It is presented annually to a parent or parents of a Keene State student in recognition of support given in the spirit of love, commitment, and encouragement toward the students education.

Dr. Tom Duston, associate professor of economics will receive the new Community Service Award, which acknowledges a Keene State staff or faculty members community service and that individuals role in enhancing the quality of life within his or her home community.

Dr. Duston has served for years in a central role for conserving and maintaining large areas of land in the region. He has been involved in creating greenways and building trails, developing land use plans and recycling programs. In 1990, Dr. Duston came up with the idea of connecting Mount Monadnock and the Connecticut River via a greenway and a series of trails. That project is now known as the Wantastiquet-Monadnock Trail. Since 1995 he has been a member of the Town of Chesterfield Conservation Commission, for which he now serves as chair.

Dr. Duston earned his bachelors degree from the University of Maine-Orono, his masters from the State University of New York-Binghamton, and his Ph.D. from Brown University. He came to KSC in 1983, having taught on the faculties of Plymouth State College and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

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