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Women to be Honored at KSC Awards Banquet

KEENE, N.H. 3/17/03 - Five women will be recognized at the 2003 President’s Outstanding Women of New Hampshire awards ceremony on Thursday, March 27, at the 13th annual Women’s History Month Banquet at Keene State College. KSC President Stanley J. Yarosewick will present awards to women representing the Keene State student body, the Keene State faculty, the Monadnock region, and the state of New Hampshire.

The theme for this year’s event, which begins at 6 p.m. in the Mabel Brown Room of the Student Center, is "Women Pioneering the Future." Tickets for the banquet are $15. Reservations are required. For additional information and reservations, call 603-358-2642.

The President’s Outstanding Women of New Hampshire Awards are based on outstanding service and leadership, especially in the area of equality for women. This year’s recipients:

Renee Pedersen will receive the award given to a KSC student. Pedersen, a senior, is pursuing a major in English and a minor in women’s studies. She started Babysitter’s Corner, a free child-care service in the state’s Step by Step Career Guidance Program, to give single mothers the time they need to seek educational and employment opportunities, and is the statewide coordinator for Smart Steps, a walking program to promote fitness among people with limited incomes. She is a member of the Keene State Feminist Collective.

Dr. Beverly Ferrucci, professor of mathematics, will receive the award given to a College faculty or staff member. Dr. Ferrucci began working at Keene State in 1987. Since that time, she has contributed many articles to journals, encyclopedias, and N.H. Department of Education publications. She has also given 44 presentations at conferences in 13 countries and served in 24 positions on professional boards. Dr. Ferrucci is a driving force behind training mathematics teachers at Keene State. She organizes student trips to conferences, including the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics regional meeting in Boston last fall, and helps students apply for undergraduate research grants and submit proposals to conferences. Dr. Ferrucci earned her Ed. D. from Boston University and her Ph.D. from Boston College.

Jane Shapiro, community health coordinator at Cheshire Medical Center, will receive the award for a woman from the Monadnock region. She cochaired the Dental Public Health Task Force, which created a community fund for dental care for the uninsured and underinsured, and she won funding for and created Dental Health Works, a practice that treats low-income mothers and children and other people who can’t afford care. Among the nearly 20 community groups Shapiro has founded or helped organize are the Cheshire Walkers; SNAP (School Nurses and Physicians); Cheshire Coalition for Tobacco-Free Youth; Senior Passport, which invites elders to the hospital for low-cost meals, socialization, health education, and Web training; and One by One, a group of people who each publicly make a commitment to one person, place, or thing in the community. Shapiro also started Hats Off, the support group for women with breast cancer, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997.

Nancy Frankel, former director of the Swift Water Girl Scouts’ Camp Farnsworth, will receive the award for a woman representing the State of New Hampshire. Frankel was director at Camp Farnsworth for 26 years, during which time she taught outdoor and social skills to more than 29,000 girls. Frankel, who has a master’s degree in recreation administration, ran the camping and outdoor education programs and handled all the administrative work of running the camp.

A special award will be made to Christine M. Sweeney, professor emeritus of education at Keene State. Professor Sweeney taught at KSC from 1969 to 1992. Professor Sweeney received tenure at KSC in 1972 and was promoted to full professor in 1976, after her two previous requests for promotion were turned down. She filed and won a sex discrimination lawsuit against the University System of New Hampshire. The ruling found sexual bias in the promotion process and resulted in the backdating of her promotion. She earned her baccalaureate degree in education from Keene Teachers College in 1943 and taught at the primary and secondary levels before completing her master’s and doctorate degrees at Catholic University of America in 1956 and 1962.

During the ceremony, a quilt made by students of the Women’s Studies 201 class will be presented to the College. Last fall, Gladys Johnsen, professor of music, asked her women’s studies students to create a quilt that expressed their interpretations of issues related to the oppression of women. The project was designed to be a counterbalance to the emotionally charged topics and assignments of the course. The students worked with women from Anne McCune’s Cheshire Quilt Guild on the project.

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Keene, New Hampshire 03435