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Keene State College's Twenty-Second Annual Outstanding Women of New Hampshire Awards to Celebrate Four New Awardees

Keene, NH, March 21, 2012: Keene State College’s twenty-second annual Outstanding Women of New Hampshire awards will celebrate four new awardees. The awards, which are given during National Women’s History Month to honor New Hampshire women’s accomplishments and creativity, will recognize Melinda Feola-Mahar, executive director of two Monadnock region social service agencies; Nona Fienberg, dean of the School of Arts and Humanities at Keene State and a noted teacher and scholar; Mary Ellen Jackson, a respected leader and current executive director of New Hampshire Center for Nonprofits; and Dorian Petranech, a Keene State student who has overcome incredible odds to turn her life around.

Melinda Feola-Mahar, executive director of two social service agencies in the Monadnock region - Pilot Health LLC and the Monadnock Collaborative - has served our community for more than 19 years.

Nona Fienberg has served Keene State for the last nine years as dean of the School of Arts and Humanities, and before that for more than 10 years as professor of English (chairing the department for eight of those years) and Women’s Studies. Although she is retiring as dean this spring, she will return to full-time teaching in Holocaust and Genocide Studies next year.

Mary Ellen Jackson is the executive director of New Hampshire Center for Nonprofits in Concord, which provides leadership development, management tools, programs, and advocacy to nonprofit organizations. She is a big-picture thinker in a small state, a clear voice calling for fairness in a field traditionally dominated by underpaid - or unpaid - women.

Dorian Petranech will soon graduate with honors, having earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and an associate’s degree in chemical dependency. At age 30 she is considered to be a nontraditional student, yet her life story defies all labels. Dorian left home at age 17 after being kicked out of high school, she lived on the street, and now has turned her future around.

Where and when:

Mabel Brown Room, Lloyd P. Young Student Center, Keene State College

Wednesday, March 28, 2012, 7 p.m.

A reception will follow the awards program. This event is free and open to the public.

The Outstanding Women of New Hampshire event is sponsored by the Campus Commission on the Status of Women.

About Keene State College

Keene State College is a preeminent public liberal arts college that ensures student access to world-class academic programs. Integrating academics with real-world application and active community and civic engagement, Keene State College prepares graduates to meet society’s challenges by thinking critically, acting creatively, and serving the greater good. To learn more about Keene State College, visit

Keene State College: Wisdom to make a difference.

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Contact Keene State College

229 Main Street
Keene, New Hampshire 03435