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Women to Be Honored at KSC Awards Banquet

KEENE, N.H., 3/23/07 - In honor of Women’s History Month, Keene State College President Giles-Gee will host the annual presentation of the President’s Outstanding Women of New Hampshire Awards on Thursday, March 29, at 7 p.m. in the Mountain View Room of the Student Center. The program will be followed by a dessert reception and is free and open to the public. For additional information and reservations, call 603-358-2111.

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

Karol A. LaCroix, president of Granite State College since 2004, will receive the award for a woman representing the state of New Hampshire. After graduating from the University of New Hampshire (UNH) in 1967 with a degree in medical technology, Karol began teaching at the university in 1975 and was most recently a professor in the department of Medical Laboratory Science. Along the way, she earned master’s degrees in Occupational Education and Medical Laboratory Science and was awarded her Ph.D. in Biomedical Science from Northeastern University in 1988.

Karol has also been active on the administrative side, serving as associate dean of UNH’s School of Health and Human Services and later as the Graduate School’s interim dean. She was appointed dean of UNH-Manchester in 1996 and was responsible for managing all aspects of the newly-founded institution. During her eight-year tenure, Karol was successful in “nesting” the school within the greater Manchester community to make the urban campus a true partner with the city.

Since arriving at Granite State College, Karol has led a complete restructuring of the former College for Lifelong Learning, including the development of new organizational, academic, and business plans. She has been the leading light for Project Access, typically logging 70,000 miles annually on her car traveling to all corners of the state in support of this higher education initiative.

Susan Hay, a founding member of Mothers & Others Uniting to Create a Non-Violent & Just World for ALL Children, will receive the award for a woman from the Monadnock region. Since 2003, this organization has been dedicated to bringing about a peaceful world in which children may grow and thrive. MothersUniting (MU) reaches out to mothers, helping them move from concern to committed action, to “speak our minds, even when our voices shake.”

Sue and MU have led marches, brought speakers to the region, cosponsored community forums around bullying and other issues, and held Days of Waging Peace. She has also worked on national initiatives to establish a cabinet- level Department of Peace.

Karen Jennings, assistant professor in the department of Psychology, will receive the award given to a Keene State College faculty or staff member. Karen, who joined the College in 2003, has become a popular professor and an inspiring mentor to psychology students, most of whom are women. Karen is a graduate of Boston University and earned her master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Rhode Island.

In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Karen serves as a member of the Campus Commission on Diversity and Multiculturalism, the Integrative Studies Program Committee, the Institutional Review Board, and served on the Provost Search Committee. At the state level, she was appointed by the governor to the Board of Mental Health Practice, serving as an investigator and prosecutor while also helping issue licenses to practice in the various mental health professions.

Darya A. Bushmakin, a Dean’s List student pursuing a double major in elementary education and economics with a minor in communications, will receive an award given to a KSC student. Darya is a volunteer, activist, and organizer extraordinaire. She tutors in astronomy and psychology and works in the Campus Safety Office and the Multicultural Office.

As a volunteer co-coordinator of KSC Reads, Darya planned and coordinated Dr. Seuss Day. She is a resident in the Keddy Leadership Learning Community, serves on the Sustainability Council and on the New Hampshire Higher Education Assistance Foundation’s steering committee, and is active in the Campus Ecology Club, Outing Club, and Eta Gamma Chi sorority. Last summer, Darya was a counselor for Kids on Campus and was on staff at the Bement Camp in Charlton, Massachusetts.

As president of Common Ground, Darya is a tireless organizer of programming for diversity and multiculturalism. For Women’s International Month she is organizing a film series; a speak-out against sexual assault; programs focusing on women’s health issues such as sexually transmitted diseases, fitness, and nutrition; and programming for lesbian and bisexual women. Last year, she was a research assistant for RightRides for Women’s Safety, Inc., a New York-based volunteer organization offering safe transportation in response to an increase in assaults on women walking home by themselves.

Jenessa Cadorette, a President’s Scholarship recipient and Dean’s List student graduating this year earning degrees in elementary education and psychology, will receive an award given to a KSC student.

Upon arriving on campus as a freshman in the fall of 2003, Jenessa immediately became involved in student life outside the classroom by volunteering as a notetaker for students with disabilities through the Office of Disability Services. She has been active in student government, having been elected treasurer of her sophomore class and secretary of both her junior and senior classes.

She is also a member of the Judicial Hearing Committee, is the copresident of Kappa Delta Pi Education Honor Society, and has served as an Elementary/Special Education/Early Childhood teacher’s associate and literacy partner for a fourth-grader at Wheelock Elementary School. As the college’s Student Leadership chairperson, Jenessa has been instrumental in implementing new events and revitalizing old programs, including the All President’s Council, Advisor and Executive Board Luncheons, Leadership Awards Banquet, and Welcome Back Leadership Institute. She is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, an honors organization recognizing outstanding academic achievement that encourages community service and leadership development.

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Keene, New Hampshire 03435