UNH The Magazine of the University of New Hampshire | Winter 2023

UNH Magazine logo Winter 2023
Searching for Answers: Students Work to Help Solve Case
Paleontology instruments and bones laid out in an orderly grid
Winter 2023
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UNH Magazine logo Winter 2023


From hats for service members to giving away $1 million this year, Operation Hat Trick began at UNH but its impact is felt around the country.
The origin story of the Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research begins with the idea that an academic passion is worth pursuing.
“Ideas, and turning those ideas into progress, is the fuel of life.” That’s how John Shaw and brother David Shaw ’73 explain why they launched the Shaw Innovation Explorers Program.
A forensic lab’s students and professor are giving back to the state by helping to crack real-life cold cases.
Samuel Comeau ’23, a marine, estuarine and freshwater biology major, works on his shallow water baitfish assemblages project in Great Bay as part of his Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research-supported study.
UNH Magazine logo Winter 2023


President’s Letter: James W. Dean Jr.

’Round the Granite State

The UNH cohort tours downtown Rochester with city officials.

PEOPLE THE WORLD OVER KNOW New Hampshire for its beautiful mountains, lakes and forests, charming small towns and vibrant cities and a robust economy, which consistently place it at the top of national rankings for quality of life. So, it’s not too surprising that 12.8 million visitors came to New Hampshire in 2021 — more than nine times our state’s population — and spent more than $5.5 billion.

But on a two-day tour of the state with other UNH leaders last fall, what stood out most for me is how resourceful, innovative and hard-working Granite Staters are — not only at solving the biggest challenges in their regions, but also at creating new opportunities that are improving local lives and economies.

In early November, we set out on a 300-mile road trip, with nine stops in eight communities, from the Seacoast and Lakes Region to the North Country and central New Hampshire. Along the way, we met more than 100 Granite Staters from all walks of life and an almost dizzying array of businesses, state and federal agencies and community organizations.

Our trip reflected UNH’s focus on “Embrace New Hampshire” — one of four strategic priorities that drive our major initiatives across the university. While our founding mission has always been rooted in the state of New Hampshire, this commits us to redoubling our efforts to make everyone in New Hampshire incredibly proud of their flagship public university. Funding for the trip came from former USNH trustee John Small ’76, who says his passion is to have residents here “better understand just what a gem we have in UNH.”

UNH logo

Michelle Morrissey ’97

Larry Clow ’12G
Jim Graham
Karen Hammond ’64
Crystal Kent ’78
Michelle Morrissey ’97
Steve Scott ’82

Deb Cram
Jeremy Gasowski
Perry Smith

Copy Editing
Joni Aveni
Monica Hamilton

Content Contributors
Susan Dumais
Allan Lessels
Erika Mantz
Steffen Poltak
Robbin Ray
Keith Testa
Rhi Watkins ’22
China Wong ’18

Lilly Pereira / aldeia.design

Mailing Address:
UNH Magazine
c/o Michelle Morrissey ’97
Elliott Alumni Center
9 Edgewood Road,
Durham, NH 03824

Publication Board of Directors
James W. Dean Jr.
President, University of New Hampshire

Debbie Dutton
Vice President, Advancement

Susan Entz ’08G
Associate Vice President,
Alumni Association

Bridget Stewart ’96
President, UNH Alumni Association

On the Cover: The tools of the trade are many in the FAIR Lab at UNH, where students are working on real-world cold cases and helping to identify human remains. See story page 30.

COVER PHOTO BY Jeremy Gasowski

UNH Magazine is published twice a year by the University of New Hampshire’s Advancement Office and the Office of the President.

© 2023, University of New Hampshire. Readers may send feedback, news items and email address changes to alumni.editor@unh.edu.

“Hey, Martha!”

cartoon headshot of Michelle Morrissey, UNH Magazine Editor-in-Chief

TODAY I’m bringing you some highlights of what you’ll find in this magazine, which, in itself is one big highlight of all the amazing things happening at the University of New Hampshire. Since I have taken over as editorial director and editor-in-chief, it has been a challenge to fit everything that deserves to be in the magazine in here, so sometimes being editor means being chief curator of the good news of UNH, too!

One caveat: I share these gems with no slight to the rest of the stories here. Something about this edition makes me think of my newspaper days, when we’d talk about a real “Hey, Martha!” story — a story that was so captivating or interesting that it would make someone shout out to a person across the room (the proverbial Martha) that they just had to read it. As I pulled this collection of content together and got to know some of the stories more deeply, I found myself having a “Hey, Martha” reaction to much of what I learned about the people who make up our vast and varied UNH community — lots of stories I’d shout across a room about.



Students check out goods at the Trash 2 Treasure event, held every August. The student-run swap was founded by Alex Freid ’13, this year’s Social Innovator of the Year.
See story, page 13.

Discovery in an undersea barrel

An unlikely scientific vessel and adventurous students made marine science history 50 years ago
the cramped quarters aboard the<br />
Engineering Design and Analysis Laboratory<br />
Habitat (EDALHAB)
“We didn’t sleep for more than 90 minutes for the whole four days,” says Erick Sawtelle of the cramped quarters aboard the Engineering Design and Analysis Laboratory Habitat (EDALHAB).

Photo: Rhianwhen Watkins ’22
The course catalog listing seemed innocuous: “Zoology-Special Projects.” Whatever the project entailed, Tom Glennon ’71 and Erick Sawtelle ’72, both zoology majors in their last semester at UNH, thought it would be a low-pressure way to wrap up their undergraduate careers. But there turned out to be a lot of pressure — almost 37 pounds per square inch, in fact — and the course took them from Durham to 50 feet below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean for four days. Along the way, they made history — in a salvaged storage tank tossed into the briny deep.

“We had no idea what we were in for when we signed up,” Glennon says, laughing.

In April 1971, Glennon and Sawtelle were tasked with monitoring how the Dungeness crab, a West Coast species, interacted with native species like lobster and wolffish in the Gulf of Maine. But the star of the show was EDALHAB, a portable underwater habitat that was constructed, in the words of former New Hampshire Congressman Louis C. Wyman, “by means of Yankee thrift and ingenuity.” A half-century later, it’s hard to believe that an 8-by-12 cramped metal tube stuffed with a set of bunk beds, two folding chairs and three exhausted students kicked off a marine science revolution.

“We were flying by the seat of our pants,” Sawtelle says. “But it had a big impact and it really put UNH on the map.”

street signs facing all directions
Photography by Jeremy Gasowski


Renaming honors Indigenous history of Durham campus
Four trails and five bridges in the College Brook Ravine area behind Hamilton Smith Hall and Dimond Library on the Durham campus have been named following traditional Abenaki naming conventions to honor the Indigenous people who first occupied the land on which UNH stands.

The trails were selected for the project because they feature several significant landscape features that are important to the Abenaki people, past and present — waterways are revered in tribal cultures, so the brook was a natural draw, as were the surrounding wetlands (referred to as medicine gardens in Abenaki culture).

“Naming is such an important part of places at UNH. So many buildings and streets and even benches have been named after people. We thought why not bring some recognition to the original inhabitants of this landscape and honor them … as stewards of the land,” said Alexandra Martin, faculty fellow in anthropology, coordinator of UNH’s Native American and Indigenous studies minor and a member of the Indigenous New Hampshire Collaborative Collective.

Learn more about the signage and the meaning behind the new names:

Robots as caregivers?

Thanks to a $2.8 million federal grant, Sajay Arthanat, professor of occupational therapy, and Momotaz Begum, assistant professor of computer science, are studying a new way to help families caring for loved ones with dementia: with robots.

If it sounds cold or uncaring to consider a robot being part of a caregiving team, it’s anything but. Says Arthanat: “The ultimate goal of this research is to help support caregivers while keeping their family member healthy and active at home.” The idea is that socially assistive robots could track a person’s physical activity and vital signs, monitor their medication intake to remind them if they’ve missed a dose and notify caregivers if something goes awry.

Watch a video showing how the professors say it could work: unh.me/shsar

Sajay and Momotaz standing next to robot prototype
Sajay Arthanat, professor of occupational therapy (left) and Momotaz Begum, assistant professor of computer science (right), co-principal investigators, pose with their prototype of a robot for aging patients with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia.

Photography by Jeremy Gasowski
Headshot photo of Yashwant Prakash Vyas

Yashwant Prakash Vyas

What kind of resource do you hope the Beauregard Center will become on campus?
We are in the process of re-envisioning and strengthening the scope of work for the Beauregard Center. Our goal is to ensure that the center thrives in the areas of student support and development, retention and success initiatives, diversity education and development, programming and engagement, and community engagement.

What are some of our biggest challenges at UNH?
I do not see challenges — I envision tremendous potential in every direction. This potential for growth and positive change was part of my decision to accept the job and join the UNH community.

With all of your experience, what’s something you wish more people knew about this type of work? Two things. One, fostering a climate of equity and inclusion, cultivating a sense of belonging and supporting student success is everyone’s responsibility; this work cannot happen in isolation. Two, growth and positive change require resources. Many members of the greater UNH community have already stepped up to show their support; I hope to share more of our story to encourage more of that philanthropy to support positive change.

Headshot photo of Yashwant Prakash Vyas
Director, UNH’s Aulbani J. Beauregard Center for Equity, Justice, and Freedom

Came to UNH from the University of Mississippi, where he was the inaugural diversity education and strategic initiatives director; held similar gigs at University of Iowa and Texas A&M

Inspired to work in equity in education by his own experience growing up in rural India

Bachelor’s, master’s degrees in public administration and two graduate certificates from Texas A&M; graduate certificate from Penn State


“All that hardship we went through last year, losing eight games in a row. Everybody in the country wrote you off … who’s laughing now? Hey, Joey D., let’s see that trophy!”
— An animated and excited Head UNH Football Coach Rick Santos ’07, after the Wildcats clinched the Colonial Athletic Association championship for the first time since 2014, bringing the coveted Brice-Cowell Musket back to Durham. (Joey D., by the way, is CAA Commissioner Joe D’Antonio, who presented the team with the trophy.)
coach Robin center of group of her athletes

300 Wins

Robin Balducci talks about her coaching milestone
The moment: “I didn’t know the Oct. 2 game against Dartmouth was the day [we would hit 300 wins]; a friend texted me the night before saying she was bringing her granddaughter to that game to see the 300th win … I am very proud of my career of 30+ years here at UNH, so any personal or professional accomplishments mean a great deal to me.”

Coaching today: “The athletes are different yet they aren’t different all at the same time than they were 30 years ago; they love the camaraderie and winning just as much today as when I started. They now live in a much faster, ever-changing environment — it’s a world of immediate everything, so coaching and training sessions have to be more engaging, shorter and faster-paced.”

Advice for future coaches: “Coaching is the greatest job in the world, but be prepared for an emotional rollercoaster every day. Embrace the challenges of working with kids or young adults and love what you are doing. Keep it all in perspective. Enjoy the sport and competition, which is something I think I do a better job at now — enjoying each season, each year and each team.”

Remember When

25 years ago
Karyn Bye ’93, Colleen Coyne ’00, Tricia Dunn ’00 and Sue Merz ’94 win a gold medal at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano as members of Team USA’s women’s ice hockey team, beating Canada 3-1. A month later, UNH’s women’s ice hockey team wins a national championship at Boston’s Fleet Center (now known as TD Garden) 4-1 over Brown University.

On April 17, Richard Linnehan ’80 begins a 16-day spaceflight aboard Space Shuttle Columbia’s STS-90 Neurolab mission. He and six crewmates were both experimental subjects and performers of 26 different life science experiments focused on the effects of microgravity on central and peripheral nervous systems.

50 years ago
The Feb. 20 edition of The New Hampshire student newspaper’s top stories were: Meldrim Thomson’s state budget (including a mention of $855 for tuition), the “men behind the badge” aka campus police and a column on the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision on Roe v. Wade a month prior that made abortion legal.

The Franklin Pierce Law Center is founded by renowned intellectual property lawyer Robert Rines. It operated independently for 37 years before becoming part of UNH.

100 Years Ago
Thirty years after its first freshman class of just 51 students, the school previously known as the New Hampshire College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts, New Hampshire State College and the New Hampshire College, is officially renamed the University of New Hampshire, thanks to a bill signed by then-Gov. Fred H. Brown.
A cartoon image of coins stacked on top of each other with the letter B on it
Good to Know:


Confused by cryptocurrency, or curious where blockchain technology is headed? You’re in luck — two UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law instructors and crypto experts George Pullen and Samson Williams spoke on a recent panel, discussing the future of finance. Joined by Chris Rice ’91, managing director, head of digital asset markets for Credit Suisse, Ryan Zarick ’09 ’11G, co-founder and CTO at LayerZero Labs and Paul College’s Wenjuan Xie, associate professor of finance, they demystified crypto and shared their expertise about its future. In addition to teaching courses at the law school, Samson and Pullen are co-authors of the book “Blockchain and the Space Economy.”

These types of currencies exploded in popularity — with crypto reaching a high value of nearly $3 trillion in 2021. Watch the webinar to learn more about crypto’s history, the opportunities it created and how the FTX collapse has changed things.

You can find the recording of the webinar here: unh.me/alumnirelations

Lasting resource

Faculty member’s papers will reside in University Archives
black and white photo of Mark Smith
In April 1968, with a novel rejected by two publishers, writer Mark Smith reached out to his book agent with an idea. He had been thinking about reviving an old piece — a detective story set in Chicago — for his next work. “I discovered I’m right and ripe for the book,” he wrote. “The momentum is there, and the book will write me. I want to write about Chicago with something like desperation.”

That desperation would prove literary gold. Published in 1974, “The Death of the Detective” was a New York Times paperback bestseller that one Times reviewer called “remarkable for both its ambition and its accomplishment.” It was a finalist for a National Book Award in 1975.

Smith, an American novelist and poet and UNH faculty emeritus known for designing the department’s M.A.-in-Writing program (now the M.F.A.), passed away July 28, 2022, at the age of 86. He lived an interesting life of literature, travel, music and experiences — he worked as a mucker extending the Chicago subway, was married three times and resided for months at a time in Ireland, France, Portugal, Spain and Great Britain. He studied at Northwestern with poet John Crowe Ransom and lived for a time at the New Mexico home of poet Robert Creeley. At UNH he taught fiction writing and theory for 33 years and counted among his peers well-known writers like Donald Hall, Thomas Williams, John Yount and Theodore Weesner, the journalist and composition authority Donald Murray and U.S. poet laureate Charles Simic.

A quarter-century of positive change

UNH’s Sustainability Institute marks a milestone and looks ahead to the next 25 years
graphic of earth and sustainable resources
It’s late — but the tide is turning.

That’s the message shared by Sustainability Institute founding director Tom Kelly at the institute’s 25th anniversary celebration, held to mark the progress in the vast field of sustainability that has been made to date.

“As we pivot into the next 25 years and we think about where we’ll be in 2047, we have our work cut out for us,” Kelly told the crowd that had gathered on DeMerritt Hall lawn to enjoy local food and hear more about what sustainability means at UNH.

“Fortunately, we have a new generation of activists, demanding and driving change even in the face of active resistance by powerful political and economic actors.”

UNH has long lived out the belief that sustainability is about much more than being environmentally friendly. “We follow the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals that there is no true sustainability without equity — that ecologic health is inextricably linked to human well-being and vice versa,” explains Fiona Wilson, deputy chief sustainability officer and director of the Sustainability Institute. “A sustainable world is also an equitable and just world, so sustainability really puts front and center access to education, basic healthcare for everyone and reduced inequalities of all kinds.”

Turning Trash Into Treasures

Social Innovator of the Year Alex Freid ’13
Alex Freid

As an undergraduate, Alex Freid ’13 was saddened to see the waste that accumulated near the Dumpsters outside dorms and apartments on campus at the end of each semester. Not the bags of rubbish, but the still-usable couches and other pieces of furniture students were discarding.

He created a way to make better use of those discarded goods, and now, 10 years later, has grown his UNH project into a national organization.

Freid, who graduated with degrees in political science and philosophy, was named the 2022 UNH Social Innovator of the Year — 10 years after he won first place in the student track at the inaugural Social Venture Innovation Challenge.

Challenges tackled

Social Venture Innovation Challenge highlights students’ bright ideas as part of anniversary celebration of Sustainability Institute

An edible supplement made from seaweed to reduce methane production in cows, a device that can detect the presence of date rape drugs in drinks and a process to produce renewable jet fuel were some of the student-generated entrepreneurial ideas that took center stage at UNH’s annual NH Social Venture Innovation Challenge (SVIC) on Dec. 1.

Ten awards were given out in a combination of judge- and audience-choice categories, each of which carries a cash prize, as students presented their ideas on how to solve some of the most pressing sustainability problems facing society at the state, national or global level.

A sampling of winning ideas:

CRRS biofuel is a company aimed at outsourcing oyster mushrooms to produce a more sustainable transportation fuel.

The New Hampshire Aquaponic Initiative is a proposed project to implement aquaponics — the process of raising fish and organic vegetables in tandem — at the state’s fish hatcheries.

Coweed is an aquaculture venture that will produce a bovine-edible supplement made from THM-rich seaweed, which will reduce methane production in cows.

Closed Loop creates a more sustainable future for the aerospace industry by collecting carbon dioxide emissions to produce renewable jet fuel.

Halo is a date rape drug detector in the form of a smart ring that can sample the drink and log the data collected.

Enersave utilizes smart home technologies to lower residential energy demand during peak load events, reducing emission and saving ratepayers money.

The EV SCOUP is a reinvention of the sunshade that provides a supplementary charge to vehicles by utilizing the rays that hit it instead of reflecting them, all while keeping the vehicle cool.

SVIC judge and UNH Sustainability Advisory Board member Ed Farrington ’93 of Impax Asset Management, Alice House ’24, Anna Gombas ’23 and SVIC judge Doug Smith ’04 of Kennebunk Savings Bank

From left, SVIC judge and UNH Sustainability Advisory Board member Ed Farrington ’93 of Impax Asset Management, Alice House ’24, Anna Gombas ’23 and SVIC judge Doug Smith ’04 of Kennebunk Savings Bank

Illustrations of teachers holding different colored books
Left large quote mark

Postal Mail
UNH Magazine
Attn: Michelle Morrissey, Editor-in-Chief
9 Edgewood Road
Durham, NH 03824

(603) 862-0527


Who Got You Through?

Of all the experiences that UNH students have, finding a mentor — someone who supports you, acts as your sounding board and cheers you on — is one of the most meaningful and lasting connections they carry with them, long after they graduate. UNH Magazine is working on a story on mentors and mentorship we’re calling “Who got you through?” — who was the person who served as your mentor, guiding you along your UNH journey? Who picked you up when you made a mistake, or introduced you to new interests, new areas of study or a new career path? Or what was the group, the experience, the place that helped center you and made you feel like you could achieve your goals? Write us an anecdote about your mentor experience, and we may include it in the next issue of UNH Magazine.

Be sure to share your story by April 10!

David Hebert (professor emeritus of education who passed away on Oct. 15, 2022) was by far the best and most memorable of all my UNH professors. He always said he made sure we got our money’s worth, and we certainly did. He was a model for teaching and how to conduct ourselves as counseling professionals. Dave ran a no-nonsense, fair and challenging program. It was a privilege to learn from the best and to be counseled by his rock-solid integrity and ethics. I wish I’d had an opportunity to see him one more time and make sure he knew how highly respected he was, even after all this time. What a legacy!

[My mentors include] College of Health and Human Services faculty members Tyler Jamison and Erin Sharp. At the time of my injury, they were so helpful, and those conversations we had were so encouraging. They showed that they saw something in me that I didn’t see within myself. My only mission and goal had been to be an athlete, but the way they would talk to me showed me something more about who I was.

I was in the Jazz and Tap Company with dance professor Gay Nardone and was a Theatre and Dance minor, so I spent a lot of time with Gay and in her classes, rehearsals, etc. She helped all of us dancers feel like a big family. She pushed us to work hard but also used her positive energy and sense of humor to make us feel comfortable, important and loved. She reached out to us during holidays, especially those of us who were far from home like me and included us in her family celebrations to make us feel supported. I grew so much as a dancer and an individual under Gay’s direction: She helped me to find my voice, tap into my creative side and be confident on the stage and in the world. Thank you, Gay!

When I was a junior at UNH my mentor, Dr. Mike Gass, and my advisor, Dr. Tony Nevin, invited the whole class to their homes for an end-of-the-semester holiday party. It left a positive impression on me. I enjoyed how we were being treated like colleagues and respected as adults. Since becoming a professor at UNH, I have paid the tradition forward by always having an end-of-the-year gathering at my home where students share their final thoughts for the semester. I try to emulate my mentors in the way they respected their students, shared themselves and promoted positive traditions.

Right large quote
My time in Student Senate, editor of Main Street Magazine and writing for The New Hampshire were fantastic early preparation for my responsibilities, as was the guidance and mentorship of professors in the Political Science Department like Ben Trout and Col. Lionel Ingram.

Send your submissions by April 10.
Operation Hat Trick typographic title

Operation Hat Trick

Dot Sheehan’s idea began as a simple way to support veterans; it’s grown into a far-reaching success — all the while staying true to its mission
Michelle Morrissey

portrait by
Perry Smith

DOT SHEEHAN ’71 remembers her first visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in 2009. She had wanted to see exactly the type of people she would be helping with her relatively new organization that was meant to support veterans — and she wanted to hand out a few baseball caps, a nice gesture.

But she wasn’t prepared to see the extent of injuries in the young men and women there. And the mental and emotional wounds, while invisible, were still evident during the visit.

headshot of Dot Sheehan with dyed blue and purple hair

Demetrius A. Phofolos ’22, a neuroscience and behavior major, conducts research for a SURF grant through the Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research in the salt marshes in Rowley, Massachusetts.

Research Rewind

Michelle Morrissey

Photos by
Scott Ripley and Jeremy Gasowski

Research typography
Rewind typography

Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research celebrates more than three decades of student inquiry

As college undergrads, UNH students have the opportunity to conduct meaningful research that could lead to curative treatments for cancer, provide real-world solutions to the climate crisis or help create common understanding of the political dynamics that play a part in global pandemics.

Yes, that’s undergraduates. While many think such high-level research might be reserved for those pursuing master’s or doctoral degrees, at UNH it’s been a regular part of the freshman-through-senior-year experience for more than three decades, through the Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research (HCUR).

Founded in 1987 as the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), the center provides fellowships and grants to students who, working with a faculty mentor, design and carry out research, as well as scholarly or creative projects. They also take part in the Undergraduate Research Conference (URC), which features more than 20 events each April and May in a campus-wide showcase for undergraduate scholarship. Open to the public, the URC invites attendees to peruse a roomful of research, with students presenting their findings and how they reached their conclusions.

Research Rewind

Demetrius A. Phofolos ’22 leaps over a stream holding a clipboard and materials and wearing a backpack while doing research in the salt marshes in Rowley, Massachusetts

Demetrius A. Phofolos ’22, a neuroscience and behavior major, conducts research for a SURF grant through the Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research in the salt marshes in Rowley, Massachusetts.

Research Rewind

Research typography
Rewind typography

Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research celebrates more than three decades of student inquiry

Michelle Morrissey

Photos by
Scott Ripley and Jeremy Gasowski

As college undergrads, UNH students have the opportunity to conduct meaningful research that could lead to curative treatments for cancer, provide real-world solutions to the climate crisis or help create common understanding of the political dynamics that play a part in global pandemics.

Yes, that’s undergraduates. While many think such high-level research might be reserved for those pursuing master’s or doctoral degrees, at UNH it’s been a regular part of the freshman-through-senior-year experience for more than three decades, through the Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research (HCUR).

Founded in 1987 as the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), the center provides fellowships and grants to students who, working with a faculty mentor, design and carry out research, as well as scholarly or creative projects. They also take part in the Undergraduate Research Conference (URC), which features more than 20 events each April and May in a campus-wide showcase for undergraduate scholarship. Open to the public, the URC invites attendees to peruse a roomful of research, with students presenting their findings and how they reached their conclusions.

Story and photos by Jim Graham
Shaw Innovation Explorers
take learning beyond
the classroom with
entrepreneurial curiosity.

The Age of Exploration

The Age of Exploration
Story and photos by Jim Graham
Shaw Innovation Explorers take learning beyond the classroom with entrepreneurial curiosity.

The Age of Exploration

The Age of Exploration
Being a Shaw Innovation Explorer isn’t always fun and games.
letter s
ure, there’s the three-day trip to northern Maine, with whitewater rafting, a ropes course challenge and a beautiful rustic lodge. There’s the crazy “ShoeGolf” tournament, when they toss shoes into goals outside Paul College. And they meet with leading entrepreneurs and industry pioneers to brainstorm ideas and develop their own career networks.

But then, there are fish guts: tails, heads and other pungent parts piled high in plastic barrels in the bait room of the Yankee Fishermen’s Cooperative in Seabrook. It’s a key stop on a tour of the member-owner co-op, which works closely with UNH Sea Grant on fisheries and ocean research.

The students’ universal reaction: “Ewww …”

But the scholars soon learn that a lobster boat can’t leave port without a ready supply of bait, ice and fuel — along with a costly and sophisticated array of traps, special ropes, safety equipment and other gear that must comply with an increasingly complex web of state and federal regulations. By the time the students head back to Durham, the price of lobster will seem like a bargain.

Searching for Answers

Searching for Answers
STORY By Michelle Morrissey / photos by Jeremy Gasowski
On July 26, 1978, Alberta Leeman left her home in Gorham, New Hampshire, in her blue Pontiac sedan. She wasn’t planning to be gone for long, presumably — she left her purse at home, and even left a cup of coffee sitting on the kitchen table.

But the 63-year-old mother and grandmother was never seen again. For more than four decades, her family never knew what happened to her. She wouldn’t have walked out on her life; her family recalled her being in good spirits that rainy July day. Was she the victim of a crime in this quiet northern New Hampshire town where she had grown up?

The questions lingered until, some 43 years later and 12 feet down into the Connecticut River, a UNH professor and her students were part of the team that finally solved the mystery and brought peace to Leeman’s family.

Searching for Answers
STORY By Michelle Morrissey / photos by Jeremy Gasowski
“We’re inserting ourselves because we have the ability to connect the threads that are all there into some meaningful resolution.”
Amy Michael, assistant professor of anthropology in the College of Liberal Arts, runs the FAIR Lab at UNH.
Framed portrait of Ann Manchester Kelley

Lasting Impact

Ann Manchester Kelley celebrated for mentoring, supporting generations of nurses
Framed portrait of Ann Manchester Kelley
Barbara “Ann” Manchester Kelley came to UNH in 1964 to help establish a department of nursing, seeking to apply her knowledge from her own nursing education and her experience working in the field.

Her husband of more than 50 years says teaching the next generation of nurses was his wife’s passion.

“Ann had accumulated valuable knowledge, and her aim was to pass it along. A student puts trust in a teacher who is always straightforward and well educated, and that was Ann,” says Roland “Sam” Kelley of his wife, who passed away in March 2020 at the age of 85. “She gravitated to nursing and teaching simply because she loved the work.”

To honor her legacy at UNH, and for the generations of nurses now working near and far on the frontlines of medicine, two scholarships have been created in Ann’s name: the Ann M. Kelley Scholarship for Nursing and the Ann Kelley Great Nurses Scholarship. Both were results of Ann’s wishes to continue to support future generations of nurses.

Jocelyn Therrien ’25 holding a frog in a cranberry bog
Jocelyn Therrien ’25 finds a froggy friend while touring the Ocean Spray cranberry bogs as part of a tour of the company’s headquarters.

Bogs, Berries and Business

Students get lesson in all three thanks to Tom Hayes ’87
Nearly two dozen UNH students traveled to Ocean Spray headquarters in Massachusetts last semester to network, learn, and wade into cranberry bogs, thanks to an invite from Ocean Spray President and CEO and UNH Foundation Board member Tom Hayes ’87.

Students chatted with Rod Serres, senior manager of agricultural science for the company, during a tour of a cranberry bog, Iain Ward ’97, an Ocean Spray cranberry grower, and Alice Monteiro, human resources manager, who discussed the company’s internship program, with opportunities in the areas of data visualization, food regulatory affairs or operations/financial planning.

Emily Alberigo ’24, business administration/marketing major, was impressed with the collaborative feel and shared mission of the business, which operates on a co-op model.

Tom Putnam with Cory Schwartz holding framed ski race bib
Tom Putnam, left, with Cory Schwartz, ski team coach

Former ski captain pledges $2M to UNH team

A $2 million gift over five years from former University of New Hampshire ski team captain Tom Putnam will add to the endowment he established 15 years ago to support the team and launch fundraising for a ski facility at UNH.

Putnam will contribute $1 million to the endowment, which funds scholarships, coaches’ salaries, training camps and equipment for the team, and $1 million to a new facility that will have locker rooms and lounges for the men’s and women’s alpine and Nordic ski teams at the Field House as well as a waxing room and storage for equipment.

“I’ve enjoyed skiing my entire life,” said Putnam. “Skiing is New Hampshire’s sport, and I feel the state university should have a strong skiing program. That’s why I’ve always supported the team and why I’m making this investment in UNH skiing.”

Putnam skied for UNH in the mid-1960s and was captain of the freshman ski team before leaving the university to join the U.S. Army.

Support for next generation of engineers

After graduating from UNH with a degree in civil engineering, Robert Bussiere ’59 began what would be a 50-plus-year career in the steel industry, where he worked on projects from schools and skyscrapers to bridges and power plants.

He subsequently became a sought-after resource for work involving preservation and repurposing older structures for modern uses. Examples include the Simon Pearce Mill in Vermont, preserving the building that houses the Portsmouth Athenaeum and extensive work with developers as they transformed Manchester’s Millyard into a bustling multi-use community.

Now, a new scholarship in his name will help engineering students chart their own paths to success. The first recipient, Timothy Barrett ’24 of Hudson, is a mechanical engineering major who hopes to work in renewable energy.

Alumni News

Alumni News

“It’s human nature to want to know what’s out there. The research we do and the technology we develop in order to explore space directly benefit life on Earth. We solve problems that help the human condition,” says Scott Poteet ’96, seen here at left in zero-gravity training with his fellow crew members as they get ready for the next SpaceX mission.

Photography by Polaris Program / John Kraus

To the Stars

Scott Poteet ’96 piloting SpaceX Falcon 9 mission
Since graduating from UNH in 1996, Lt. Col. Scott “Kidd” Poteet (USAF Ret.) has patrolled the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea, flown combat missions over Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq, and even soared with the Thunderbirds, the Air Force’s elite precision team, executing breathtaking maneuvers above crowds of fans.

But when Poteet looks up at the sky these days, he sees it with different eyes.

In a short time, he will rocket into space and head closer to the moon than anyone has been since NASA’s Apollo missions of the 1970s. He is serving as mission pilot for Polaris Dawn, guiding SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket on a five-day mission.

Scott Poteet headshot
“Being an astronaut is the pinnacle of the pyramid when it comes to flight. Historically, astronauts exemplify the best and brightest in physical, mental and technical achievement,” he says, acknowledging that because NASA’s criteria are very strict, few are able to explore space through that traditional route. “If we are to truly explore and understand space, we need more dedicated people up there. Private exploration opens the door for those who have skills in key areas to help gather critical information. I was surprised and honored to find a door opening for me. I am keenly aware that I am standing on the shoulders of all the astronauts who’ve gone before.”

Stephanie Bramlett

As equity and inclusion director, UNH Graduate School alumna is making a difference
Stephanie Bramlett headshot
Bramlett gave a TEDxPortsmouth talk earlier this year, based on her experience of understanding racial identity shared with her mother, who left her all-Black high school to attend an all-white high school when schools were desegregated in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1955.
In her Babcock Hall dorm room in late August 2005, Stephanie Bramlett watched news footage of Hurricane Katrina ravaging the Gulf Coast. Seeing neighborhoods underwater and the region’s residents who didn’t evacuate — many of them Black and economically disadvantaged — waiting for rescue left her feeling helpless. But that feeling gave way to curiosity.

As the storm’s victims scrambled to find food and shelter, Bramlett wondered why the media called some “looters” while others were characterized as “scrappy survivors.” Why did some neighborhoods largely weather the storm while others were washed away? And how did she wind up in a dorm room asking these questions when so many others didn’t?

“I was thinking about the ways people were represented, who was given more grace than others,” Bramlett ’06G ’11G remembers. She had just arrived at UNH to begin a master’s program in political science, but Hurricane Katrina prompted her to take on an additional field of inquiry. “I kept asking, ‘Who’s studying this?’ and a few months later I applied to the sociology program.”

Lights, Camera, Action

Student performers shine during Arts on the Road event
Students from music, theatre and dance programs showcased their talents with performances for the public at the Music Hall in Portsmouth. Here, Marell Perry ’25 and his castmates from “Bye Bye Birdie” perform as part of the event. “This was my first time doing Arts on the Road, and it was so much fun to do a traveling performance in a neighboring town that is known for theater with some of my closest friends,” says the musical theatre major. Perry came to UNH a stage veteran; he was the director and choreographer for middle school programs at a musical theater in his hometown. The sophomore says the UNH Theatre and Dance department boasts a program that is “well guided by the faculty, but also a place where you can explore and play anything you want.”

Photography by Deb Cram
Students from music, theatre and dance program showcased their talents with a performance for the public at the Music Hall in Portsmouth
Susan Yen ’15 and Alumni board member Keith Hinderlie ’88 stand together for an award photo

Susan Yen ’15, Alumni board member, with Keith Hinderlie ’88.


Well-deserved honors

Diversity Hall of Fame awards recognize alumni accomplishments, commitment to social justice

“You are doing more than overcoming. You are excelling.” That’s how one of the eight inductees into the UNH Diversity Hall of Fame last fall was lauded. Another recipient was complimented for his combination of grit and grace, and still another applauded for ensuring that those with the greatest needs no longer get the least amount of help.


Famed Boston journalist Natalie Jacobson pens memoir about her immigrant upbringing, idyllic UNH years and building a successful career and family
journalist Natalie Jacobson smiling, wearing a dark gray sweater and pink scarf
Photography by David Vogt
Natalie Jacobson ’65 had a long career as a Boston journalist on WCVB, the local ABC affiliate, sharing the city’s story in both the nightly and daytime news, before retiring in 2007.

So when she, like so many, found herself with time on her hands and not much to do during the COVID lockdown in 2020, she didn’t learn how to make sourdough bread, or adopt a puppy, or take up a new hobby. Instead she did what came most naturally to her — she told a story. But this time, the story she was telling would be her own: She decided the lockdown was a good time to write the memoir she had been thinking about for many years, but never had the time to sit down and start.

“I wasn’t trying to write a book; I just wrote stories as they came to mind,” she says. “I wrote about five hours a day for six or seven weeks, and I was done.” She says harder than writing the book was finding a publisher.

The final product is “Every Life a Story: Natalie Jacobson Reporting,” published last summer (available on Amazon and Audible). In the book, Jacobson writes about her professional life as a groundbreaking broadcast journalist in Boston for nearly 40 years, but also shares in-depth stories of her upbringing in a Serbian immigrant family, her years as a young coed at UNH and building her own family, which includes now-grown children and stepchildren.


Dane DiLiegro

From Durham to Italy to Hollywood
What do basketball, butchering, Anthony Bourdain and bad-guy movie monsters have to do with each other?

Admittedly, not much. But they are all connected if you are Dane DiLiegro ’11 and you’re on a career journey that has taken you from New England to Italy to Hollywood in a relatively short few years.

DiLiegro became a household name, if not a recognizable face, with last summer’s “Prey,” a prequel to the Predator series of action-horror movies first made famous by Arnold Schwarzenegger. DiLiegro played the Predator — a human-hunting, highly evolved alien who lands on Earth. The film was a hit with critics and audiences for its action sequences, its casting of Indigenous actors and the powerful cast performances, including DiLiegro’s.

“I just feel like I was super fortunate that all the pistons fired together and at the right time,” DiLiegro told UNH Magazine during an interview this summer amid the buzz about the movie.

Dane DiLiegro sitting in an all blue room where everything is shrunken down, pretending to sip from a tiny tea cup
Dane DiLiegro of “Prey” poses for a portrait for TV Guide Magazine on July 21, 2022, in San Diego, California.

Portrait by Maarten De Boer / Getty Images
Class Notes

Class Notes

Don’t see your class here? Send news to your class correspondent or submit directly to Class Notes Editor via email: Classnotes.editor@unh.edu, or by mail: UNH Magazine, 9 Edgewood Road, Durham, NH 03824.


Joan Boodey Lamson
51 Lamson Lane
New London, NH 03257
In the UNH Summer 2022 alumni magazine I told a true story about Don Lamson ’48 and hoped to entice you to send me a tale of a UNH escapade or, if you are an UNH oldster (80 and up), a funny or clever memory from the past. I only heard from two UNHers, but I was delighted to hear from them; and I’ll keep trying, by including one of my own true stories, while I was a co-ed at UNH. My sophomore year I was living in Congreve South. My boyfriend at that time devised a way of keeping in touch after hours. First, he would toss some pebbles at my second-floor window, which faced a dirt hill in back of my dorm. Then I would drop down a pint-size glass milk bottle, tied on a rope. He would put a note in the bottle, and I would pull it up, read it, laugh (always, it was funny) and send a funny answer back. Then, he’d climb up the steep hill, and we’d make gestures and faces at each other. (Co-eds had to sign-in at their dorms or sorority houses by 9 p.m. on weekdays in the ’40s and ’50s.)


Class Notes Editor

Vicki Burns ’74, daughter of Marilyn Follansbee from the class of 1952 writes that Marilyn had a great 90th birthday in June 2021, but had a stroke two months later, and is still working on regaining her speech. She is living at Langdon Place of Dover and enjoys reading emails at hmf2@comcast.net. She participated in the UNH summer program for speech PT students. Well wishes for a good recovery, Marilyn. Marilyn C. Waris Pike, also known as Pinky, has passed away, we heard from her son Dana Pike of Utah. “She majored in occupational therapy, and I often heard her say, ‘Not a day goes by when I don’t use something I learned in my OT program!’” says Dana. “Two weeks after her graduation, she married my father, Ronald M. Pike ’49. He passed away in 2019.” Condolences, Dana.

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Norris ‘Brownie’ Browne

A longtime supporter of all things UNH, Brownie loved his Wildcats
Durham’s Three Chimneys Inn on fall weekends when the University of New Hampshire football team was playing in town was Norris Browne’s home away from home.

Browne ’55 would drive up from his residence in Wilton, Conn., on Friday and make the rounds: stopping by the Field House, visiting the Jerry Azumah Performance Center to say hello, then heading to the field to check in on practice before he landed at Three Chimneys — which would then become UNH Football Central for the weekend.

Game after game, year after year, Browne’s friends and family members gathered to talk about their beloved Wildcats, watch their beloved Wildcats (Norris preferred to walk the sidelines during the game) and then talk more about their beloved Wildcats after the game.

“I’ve got to say for years at every Homecoming, he’s been like the ringleader for a gang of us, a gang of us that has been shrinking like crazy,” said Len Willey ’55, a longtime UNH friend. “It was Brownie that got us going, would tell us what we were going to do. He was a fun guy, an intelligent guy and he loved UNH, that’s for sure. … We are sure going to miss him.”

A two image collage structure (left and right side) in which the tallest, portrait (left side) black and white photograph shows Norris Browne '55 in a downward crouched position getting ready to hike the football as a center for the UNH team and the shorter, smaller (right side) landscape photograph shows Norris Browne in Sept. 2021 being honored as Donor of the Game for his steadfast support of both athletics and academics at his alma mater smiling and posing for a picture with a picture frame in his hands next to the UNH football team mascot
Norris Browne ’55 played football and lacrosse as an undergrad. In Sept. 2021, he was honored as Donor of the Game for his steadfast support of both athletics and academics at his alma mater.
Professor John C. Rouman with friends and UNH leaders at banquet
Professor John C. Rouman gathered with friends and UNH leaders ahead of the 2021 lecture series created in his name. Pictured here are (from left): UNH Foundation staff member Aaron Peters, College of Liberal Arts Dean Michele Dillon, Stratos Efthymiou (Consul General of Greece, Boston), Dr. James Rouman, UNH President Jim Dean, Bill Gatzoulis, Nina Gatzoulis, Christos Papoutsy and Mary Papoutsy. Seated (in front): Professors Rouman and Richard Clairmont.

John C. Rouman

Devoted to the classics, he shared his expertise with several generations of UNH students
When 96-year-old John C. Rouman died on August 4, 2022, in Durham, he left a legacy of teaching, mentoring and scholarship that extended more than eight decades. He spent 34 of those years at UNH as a professor, but his interest in teaching Greek and sharing his love of Greece and its traditions began in his early childhood.

“From the moment he was aware of who he was as a child of Greek immigrant parents, he took a great interest in learning about Greek life, ancient Greek history and the glory that once was Greece,” says his brother, Dr. James Rouman. Having learned to read and write in Greek at an early age, John quickly demonstrated that he was born to become a teacher. “He organized a Greek school to which he assembled all the neighborhood kids and tried to teach them Greek, when at the time he was no more than 11 or 12,” says James. “Even as a child, he was proud of who he was and was determined to convey his knowledge of Greek to others.”

Bright Shall Thy Mem’ry Be: In Memoriam

Faculty & Staff
  • Rose T. Antosiewicz
    Faculty Emeritus
    September 13, 2022
  • Thomas R. Barstow
    Faculty Emeritus
    July 25, 2022
  • Martha B. Burton
    Former Staff Member
    April 17, 2022
  • Michaele L. Canfield
    Former Staff Member
    May 31, 2022
  • Spiro A. Anastos ’49
    September 29, 2022
  • Roland M. Avery Jr. ’48
    April 27, 2021
  • Shirley Grant Berlind ’48
    May 11, 2022
  • Anne R. Wiesen Brown ’48
    August 2, 2022
  • James S. Allen ’61
    May 8, 2022
  • Robert E. Andrews ’61
    June 3, 2022
  • George J. Andrzejewski ’65G
    September 4, 2022
  • Russell A. Armstrong ’69 ’71G
    July 12, 2022
  • Clifford E. Bane ’73
    May 4, 2022
  • William R. Baran ’70
    March 7, 2022
  • Eleanor Healy Barnes ’73G
    May 18, 2022
  • Thomas M. Batch Jr. ’76
    May 29, 2022
  • Mary E. Hurd Aram ’82
    April 20, 2022
  • Jillian Harvey Asquith ’80
    September 10, 2022
  • Loretta G. Poole Buchanan ’82 ’88G
    October 10, 2021
  • Kirsten L. Lavery Butler ’85
    June 21, 2022
  • Stephen T. Allard ’97 ’98G
    September 16, 2022
  • William D. Bedor III ’90
    June 30, 2022
  • Kenneth E. Bell ’98G ’02PhD
    May 16, 2022
  • Dana A. Blake ’90
    August 6, 2022
  • Aimee M. Pike Aruda ’03
    July 1, 2022
  • Doreen J. Brado ’02
    September 24, 2022
  • Joshua J. Ciocco ’07 ’10G
    October 4, 2022
  • Pamela L. Danielson ’01
    July 12, 2022
  • Susan E. Barker ’14
    September 29, 2022
  • Nichole M. Zirpola Cavanaugh ’11
    June 4, 2022
  • John R. Coon ’12PhD
    August 22, 2022
  • Susan M. Wall Corcoran ’19G
    September 16, 2022

My View

Steve Scott headshot

Dear Professor Schlesinger:
I’m Sorry

I was just driving back from my mother’s home and realized that I have been holding on to a grudge for the past 44 years — and that I owe a professor an apology.

I graduated from UNH in 1982 and am 62 years of age, and I’m not too proud to say that I made a mistake by holding on to that grudge.

If you do the math, the grudge started my freshman year at UNH. I was a hotel admin major at WSBE (now Paul College). I was taking organizational behavior, and the professor was Phyllis Schlesinger. To be honest, I remember only one assignment that she gave us — because it shaped me. At the time that I’d completed the assignment and gotten comments back from her, my perspective was completely different, but we’ll get to that.

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Maeve Kelley ’22, wildlife and conservation biology major, does field work for her research on the endangered Blanding’s turtle through the Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research.
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