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Who Are You and What Do You Do?

Lindsay Taflas
Lindsay Taflas

In this issue of “Who Are You and What Do You Do?” we talk to Lindsay Taflas, Nate Gordon, Liz Pacilio, Patrick Dolenc, Marjorie Droppa, and Cathy Turrentine.

I work with our young alumni population, connecting them back to campus and engaging them in a lifelong relationship with KSC. I also work with the Director of Annual Giving to coordinate specific Development campaigns on and off campus.

  • What else do you do? I live in Dublin with my boyfriend and sister, and I can often be found at Dublin Lake, swimming, canoeing and sunbathing. I’m a yoga teacher, and currently I’m teaching at the Rec center. I also love tending to my garden, even when I’m not so successful at actually growing much.
  • How long have you been here? After graduating in 2009, I worked in different departments on campus. I was hired in 2010 part-time to run the Phonathon program, and then in August 2011 I became a full-time staff member. If you count my student years, I’ve been here a while.
  • If you could trade places with anyone on campus, who would it be and why? I would trade places with the talented campus gardener, Joe Britton, so I could acquire and absorb all his knowledge about growing such beautiful plants.


  • Who are you? Nate Gordon
  • What do you do? Coordinator of the First-Year Residential Experience, Residential Life and Housing Services
  • _What do you really do?_ Oversee the staff and programs in the first-year residence halls
  • What else do you do? I’m a traveler and a runner
  • How long have you been here? Six years at KSC, five of them as a Residence Director
  • What are your favorite Keene State memories? The Centennial Celebration, culminating with fireworks on campus, and being the first Residence Director for Pondside 3.
  • If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why? I would love to be able to fly.


  • Who are you? Liz Pacilio

  • _What do you do? _Adjunct Lecturer in Women’s and Gender Studies, Philosophy, and Integrative Studies

  • _What do you really do? _When I’m teaching, what I really try and do is remind my students that they’re greater than the sum of their parts, and I invite them to become familiar with that “greater part.” When I’m being a mom I do the same thing. I have a nearly twelve year old son, Atticus, and will soon have another child—my husband and I are adopting a baby from Jamaica.

  • What else do you do? My favorite thing is being a parent, picking wildflowers, puttering in the kitchen and garden, taking long walks and hikes, writing, and traveling. My family was in Peru for a month last year, and soon Jamaica will become a regular destination! I’m hoping to explore the central west coast of Africa with my family as well.
    In terms of volunteer work, in the past I have provided legal guidance and emotional support in the area of child protection and/or custody issues to women who would otherwise not have access to such support. I am also hoping to serve our local jail in Marlborough by creating a program for the female inmate population, the aim of which would be to contribute to their “bridge building,” with an emphasis on personal healing.

  • _How long have you been here? _I have been teaching at KSC since the fall of 1998.

  • What’s your favorite Keene State memory? When my husband proposed to me in front of an especially beloved group of women’s studies students. He and Atticus surprised me by showing up to the last class of the semester. After the proposal, we all watched Thelma and Louise (except Atticus—he went to his grandma’s house and ate pizza).

  • If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why? Christ/Buddha Consciousness, so that I’d consistently love well. (And I’d love to fly at a whim, because when it happens in my dreams, I am the most free I could ever imagine, and I want to be free.)

  • _What song or movie title do you feel sums up your life or personality? _The song “Zion” by Lauryn Hill; the song “First Day of My Life” by Bright Eyes (check it out on you tube—the video is beautiful); and the movie The Mission.

  • Who are you? Patrick Dolenc

  • What do you do? Professor of Economics

  • _What do you really do? _Teach economics and ISP courses. My recent college-wide service includes three years as president of the KSCEA (faculty union), two years on the Senate Executive Committee, and participation on American Democracy Project Steering Committee. My scholarly interests currently focus on the intersection of public policy and the political economy of crises.

  • What else do you do? I participate in the Appian Way Fantasy Baseball league. I have two little boys at home who keep me pretty busy when I’m not on campus (and sometimes when I am!).

  • How long have you been here? I just completed my 21st year at the college.

  • What’s your favorite Keene State memory? I discovered very early in my KSC career that the first-in-the-nation primary is a wonderful tradition for NH and for Keene. I will always remember meeting a very charismatic woman in the President’s home my first semester during a holiday open house (it was December 1991). She introduced herself as Hillary Clinton and told me her husband was running for president. I confess that I was much more impressed with my conversation with her than I was when Bill Clinton visited campus a few weeks later.

  • What else do you want other faculty and staff to know about you? I was born on Saint Patrick’s Day and spent the first handful of years of my life believing that the day was named after me instead of the other way around….

  • Who are you? Marjorie Droppa

  • _What do you do? _Assistant Professor, Health Science

  • _What do you really do? _I teach fulltime as well as perform research and community service.

  • _What else do you do?
    _Other work: I was recently elected to the school board for the Keene School District.
    Family: 3 sons, ages 10, 15, and 17 and a spoiled ginger cat called Simba
    Hobbies: Fitness (I teach yoga, Pilates, and indoor cycling); hiking; swimming (especially in lakes); and mowing the yard!

  • _How long have you been here? _2 years

  • If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why? The ability to see out of the back of my head (so I could keep an eye on my sons!).

  • _What else do you want other faculty and staff to know about you? _I’m a UK-U.S. citizen, was born in Liverpool, England, and have lived and/or worked in 9 different countries. In my “previous life”, I was a crime reporter for a variety of newspapers.

  • Who are you? Cathy Turrentine

  • What do you do? Director of Institutional Research

  • _What do you really do?_ IR does all the official reporting that keeps KSC in good standing with the US Department of Education, the state, the trustees, etc., and we respond to all those surveys from publications like US News and World Report on which the college’s reputation is based. IR also produces the KSC Factbook and faculty workload reports, and we manage the major surveys of students each year, such as the National Survey of Student Engagement. My colleagues Vicki Warzecha and Colleen Pascu do most of this work, and they do it very well. My own work is usually about answering broad institutional questions: What is the campus climate like for students and employees? or What are the predictors of student success? or How big is our freshman cohort likely to be next fall, after all is said and done?

  • _What else do you do? _These days I mostly drive back and forth between Keene and Raynham, MA, where my husband Dave Ostroth and I live. My husband is retiring this summer and we will be moving to Keene, and I will be able to sleep past 4:30 in the morning. I enjoy reading trashy murder mysteries. I am happiest when our kids and grandchildren visit at the holidays so I can burden them with food.

  • _How long have you been here? _Since August 1, 2011.

  • _What else do you want other faculty and staff to know about you? _People frequently ask where my accent comes from. Or what part of the South I’m from. I grew up in Texas, spent about 20 years in Mississippi, 10 years in Virginia, then 8 years in Massachusetts. I’ve been moving relentlessly to the northeast ever since I grew up.
    I came up through student affairs at Mississippi State University and Virginia Tech. I was once the dean of students at Virginia Tech, but we were already in Massachusetts when the shootings occurred.
    My education is a motley collection of degrees in wholly unrelated disciplines: BA in German from U Texas, MSS in Latin American History from Mississippi State, Ph.D. in Education also from Mississippi State, and M.Div. from Boston University School of Theology. I was a pastor of a small church for a while before returning to higher ed full-time.

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