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Keene State College Honors New Hampshire's Outstanding Women

KEENE, N.H., 3/24/09 - Keene State College will host its 19th annual celebration of New Hampshire Women’s accomplishments and creativity, “Women Taking the Lead to Save Our Planet,” on Monday, March 30, at 7 p.m. in the Mabel Brown Room, Student Center. A dessert reception will follow the program, which is free and open to the public. Sponsored by the President’s Office and the Campus Commission on the Status of Women, this annual event recognizes women who have made extraordinary contributions to our college, regional, and state communities.

The President’s Outstanding Women of New Hampshire Awards are based on exceptional service and leadership, especially in the area of equality for women. 2009 award recipients are:

Bonnie Riley, Monadnock Region Community Award: Riley will be honored for her support of other women; for her work as a role model, organizer, motivator, and life-long educator; and for her community building for women locally. She has had an impressive career as a high school teacher and a post-retirement career as an educator at Westmoreland prison, the New England College LINEC program, the ConVal High School adult evening program, and Keene State. But the group that nominated her - the Tuesday Academy - was one she founded in 1981. The Tuesday Academy counts among its members women in their forties and in their nineties: doctors, lawyers, teachers, musicians, businesswomen, and homemakers. They meet weekly to study a range of topics in literature, science, and social sciences, as well as dance. It encourages its members to act on their convictions: Granny D’s now famous cross-country walk began as a Tuesday Academy discussion. Through the Tuesday Academy, Bonnie Riley has for decades inspired the women who inspire others throughout the region, and the Tuesday Academy has expanded to include a host of other adult-education offerings.

Rachel Rouillard, State of New Hampshire Award: Rouillard will be honored for her local, regional, and global contribution to the empowerment of women through training and leadership development. Rachel was the founding executive director of New Hampshire Land and Community Heritage Investment Program, which preserves and restores places of environmental and historic significance to the state. During her time there, she secured funds to conserve over 200,000 acres and 87 historic structures in New Hampshire. She is currently the director of the N.H. Women’s Policy Institute, doing work with N.H. lawmakers on women’s issues and developing the first comprehensive report on the status of women and girls in New Hampshire. She has volunteered with Girls Inc. and Dress for Success. Internationally, she was a Fellow of the Salzburg Global Seminar Session 433: “Women, Political Power and Next Generation Leadership,” which engaged women leaders from 60 countries.

Annelies Spykman, Keene State College Student Award: Spykman will be honored for her commitment to women and women’s interests locally and globally, and for her initiatives to support and empower women. She has built community and enhanced resources for young mothers both on campus and in the area, developing a support network to encourage a sizable but hard-to-reach segment of the local population. Beyond Keene, she traveled to Nicaragua last March, and, while there, developed relationships that enabled her to continue to pursue her interests. She returned to Nicaragua this winter with her son and assisted in a series of women’s leadership workshops. She continues to explore the possibilities for building connections among women across different backgrounds in New Hampshire.

Mary Jensen, Staff, Keene State College Award Mary Jensen will be honored for the depth and quality of her service to the campus and local community, for her service as a mentor and role model to women, and for her leadership. She is a founding incorporator for the Keene Community Kitchen, a member of the Keene “Cities for Climate Protection Committee,” an advisor to the Campus Ecology student group, and former chair of National College and University Recycling. She heads the President’s Council for a Sustainable Future and the Eco-Reps program, which involves students in educating their peers, and has contributed significantly to efforts to construct sustainable buildings at Keene State. And she mentors dozens of students, helping them to find and embrace their passions and their voices.

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229 Main Street
Keene, New Hampshire 03435