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KSC Honors Distinguished Teacher, Parent, Granite State Recipient

KEENE, N.H. 10/8/03 - Keene State College’s distinguished teacher for the year 2003, the parent of the year, two Granite State Award winners, and the community service award winner all will be honored at KSC’s Fall Honors Convocation, on Sunday, Oct. 19. The annual event, a highlight of Parent and Family Weekend, also honors dean’s 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. Jan Youga, professor of English at KSC. Granite State Awards will be presented to Marcia Ammann of Winchester and Timken Super Precision and the Timken Foundation of Keene. Receiving the Parent of the Year citation will be Daniel Kalloger of Manchester, N.H. The KSC Community Service Award will be presented to Dr. Stephen Stepenuck, recently retired professor of chemistry.

Dr. Jan Youga will receive the Distinguished Teacher Award from the KSC Alumni Association. Colleagues and students who nominated her described her as a warm but challenging professor, a tireless advisor, a committed colleague, and a visionary educator. Dr. Youga has led the Writing Task Force, served as director of writing, and co-authored, with Phyllis Benay, the KSC Guide to Writing. A noted authority on writing pedagogy, she is the co-author of the book Readings Are Writings: A Guide to Reading and Writing Well, among her many publications.

Dr. Youga came to KSC in 1994. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Northern Illinois University and her a master’s and Ph.D. at the University of Iowa.

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.

Marcia Ammann has contributed a lifetime of service to her hometown of Winchester, N.H., as a teacher, member of the school board, and community organizer. She is known in the community for helping organize the Winchester Learning Center, a community preschool program, and Welcome Babies, which provides outreach to teenage mothers. Currently, Ms. Ammann is the facilitator of Community and Schools Together (CAST), a Winchester community organization that leverages support for the Winchester schools. CAST is a partner in the Early College Awareness Program, which promotes early readiness for postsecondary education among disadvantaged middle school students in Winchester. She also serves as literacy coordinator for grades 3-8 and teaches writing in those grades.

The recipient of the second Granite State award will be Timken Super Precision and the Timken Foundation, which is located in Keene. Timken Super Precision manufactures bearings for the aerospace, semiconductor, and dental-instrument industries. For many years, the company has supported Keene State in such areas as computer science, safety studies, and the arts. In 1992, the Timken Foundation contributed $200,000 as a lead gift in the construction of KSC’s Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery, and in 1998, the Foundation contributed significantly to the College’s Safety Studies program. The company has also contributed to many other causes in the region, including the Colonial Theatre renovation, the Monadnock Humane Society, Center Stage, and the Monadnock United Way.

The Le Vine Mellion Parent Award for 2003 also will be presented at the Honors Convocation. This year’s winner, Daniel Kalloger, was nominated by his daughter, Lisa Hirtz.

In her nomination essay, Lisa thanked her father for pushing her "because he believed in me." According to Hirtz, Kalloger, a math teacher at Goffstown Area High School, spent many hours encouraging her to give her high school and college subjects her best shot and, in the process, helping her build a successful college career. 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 student’s education.

Dr. Stephen Stepenuck, professor emeritus of chemistry, will receive the Community Service Award, which acknowledges a Keene State staff or faculty member’s community service and that individual’s role in enhancing the quality of life within his or her home community.

Dr. Stepenuck has served for years in a central role in preserving the Ashuelot River, using chemistry to analyze the health of ecosystems. He has served on the Swanzey Conservation Commission, the Ashuelot River Monitoring Program, and the Ashuelot River Local Advisory Committee (ARLAC). He devised and continues to coordinate ARLAC’s ongoing river monitoring program. Additionally, Dr. Stepenuck successfully lobbied for the river to be safeguarded under the N.H. River Management and Protection Program and spent several summers collecting data about bacterial contamination of the river. He began working at Keene State College as a professor of chemistry in 1970. Two years later, he started teaching a course called "Chemical Analysis of the Environment," one of few such courses to be taught at the college level at that time.

A graduate of Merrimack College, Dr. Stepenuck received his master’s degree from the College of the Holy Cross and his doctorate from the University of New Hampshire. He retired from the KSC faculty after the spring 2003 semester.

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