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KSC Announces Honorees of 31st Annual President’s Outstanding Women of NH Awards

Story By:
Kelly Ricaurte | Communications Director
OWNH awardees 2021
This year's honorees, from left to right: Lisa Beaudoin, Dr. Denise Burchsted, Emma Manderville and Demitria Kirby with President Treadwell

Keene State College is pleased to share the honorees for the 31st annual President’s Outstanding Women of New Hampshire awards. This year’s theme during Women’s History Month is Courageous Women: I Will Be Heard. The college is celebrating incredible women on the state, region, and college levels who have made outstanding contributions that positively impact the lives and well-being of people in their communities.

The award ceremony is free and open to the public. It will be held on Wednesday, March 24, 2021, at 6 p.m., via Zoom webinar. To register for the event, visit https://www.keene.edu/campus/diversity/women/.

The college is delighted to announce that the following women will be recognized:

State of New Hampshire Awardee: Ms. Lisa Beaudoin
Ms. Beaudoin is the executive director of ABLE NH, the Granite State’s only disability justice organization free of public funds. Ms. Beaudoin is known to be a passionate and committed woman who inspires and equips others to advocate for the civil and human rights of children and adults with disabilities. Under Ms. Beaudoin’s leadership, ABLE NH is an independent, donor-funded non-profit that strives to ensure that families and individuals impacted by disability work alongside policymakers and other decision makers to drive positive systems change at the local, regional, and state levels. This work includes promoting and supporting high-quality inclusive educational practices by fostering trusted relationships and working with school administrators, teachers, parents, and others in Manchester and other school districts. ABLE NH led the charge in changing Medicaid oral health policy by calling on the NH Legislature to pass legislation allowing the NH Department of Health and Human Services to provide a Medicaid oral health benefit for adults with disabilities and all Medicaid recipients. In July 2019, Governor Sununu signed HB 4 into law! Unfortunately, she was hit by a distracted driver in December 2018, Lisa went from being a parent of a person with a disability to now experiencing life with a disability. She went through eight lifesaving surgeries and had to relearn how to walk. In September 2019, after nine months of recovery, Ms. Beaudoin reached out to State Sen. Shannon Chandley, who authored Senate Bill 436, which proposed enhanced penalties for people who cause a car crash that results in serious injury or death while using an electronic device. Ms. Beaudoin is a true advocate on behalf of New Hampshire citizens.

Monadnock Region Awardee: Ms. Demitria Kirby
Ms. Kirby is a mother, public servant, student, and is truly an engaged and active citizen of the Monadnock Region. Currently, she is the youth services manager for the City of Keene, and she serves as the coordinator of the Juvenile Court Diversion Program. The program has grown from 13 cases per year when she started, to an average of 33 cases per year. She is passionate about prevention and intervention for high-risk youth and providing parents and the community with opportunities to improve. A colleague of hers said, “Demi has taken this program to a new level and continues to look for ways daily to improve the life of our youth in this area.” In addition working for the City, Ms. Kirby advocates for youth, to ensure they have a voice as a volunteer. She is a volunteer with the YMCA’s Monadnock Youth Coalition along with several other community clubs and organizations. She is an extremely dedicated, involved supporter of our community.

Keene State College Faculty/Staff Awardee: Dr. Denise Burchsted
Dr. Burchsted is a fluvial geomorphologist, water resources engineer, and associate professor in the Environmental Studies, Geography, and Sustainability Department at Keene State College. She serves our community at the intersection of people and environment with her research, advocacy, and dedication to equity initiatives. Dr. Burchsted has dedicated her time to the journey of decolonizing environmental studies. She continues to explore the question, “Why is environmental studies so white?” with multiple audiences to inspire conversation and action. She was fundamental to Keene State College’s and the City’s adoption and celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day. She continues to work on multiple efforts to address societal and cultural inequity. Finally, in addition to her academic research and equity efforts, she works as a consultant and environmental advocate. In these roles, she has designed dam removals and other fish passage projects, designed salt marsh and freshwater wetland restoration projects, evaluated restoration alternatives in the Everglades, and led non-profit watershed conservation planning efforts. Dr. Burchsted’s community impact is far-reaching and multifaceted.

Keene State College Student Awardee: Ms. Emma Manderville
Ms. Manderville received several nominations, all of which spoke to her energy, dedication, and leadership skills. She serves the community in many ways from tutoring to working to keep our community healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ms. Manderville is an advocate for sexual violence prevention as a member of the Sexual Assault and Violence Education Committee, and an Advisory Board Member for Mentors in Violence Prevention. She is also president of the Keene State Public Health Club, and a student ambassador for the Public Health Department. She provides strong leadership for the Public Health Club, which does advocacy, outreach, and service work on campus and in the community. The Club has grown significantly under Ms. Manderville’s leadership. Also, under her leadership, the Public Health Club won the 2020 Keene State Outstanding Academic Organization Award. In addition to this work, she serves as a contact tracer for COVID-19 cases at the college. She completed a contact tracing certification course and then served as a contact tracer for the entire fall 2020 semester with plans to continue into the spring. Ms. Manderville’s leadership, dedication to the wellness and health of our community, and her active contributions to a variety of important initiatives across the college are admired and deeply appreciated.

Congratulations to this year’s President’s Outstanding Women of New Hampshire honorees!

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Keene, New Hampshire 03435