“Hey, Martha!”

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.

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

One of those is our feature on the forensic anthropology courses and lab run by Assistant Professor Amy Michael (page 30). It started off as a story simply about a cool course for undergrads about cold cases and forensics — real true-crime stuff. I soon learned this wasn’t just textbook learning; this was actual doing — students and Michael herself are giving back to the state, working with law enforcement and the medical examiner’s office by identifying human remains and assisting on investigations to help solve real crimes. It’s a win-win: the state benefits, students get hands-on experience, and real-life mysteries get solved.

A trio of alumni profiles (starting on page 41) shows the breadth of our alumni success: Stephanie, fostering social justice and DEI awareness; Scott, heading into outer space; Dane, building a Hollywood career one monster at a time.

On page 50, check out a great class note from Kurt Danis ’87 about how he made his own mittens and ruined his mother’s sewing machine in the process. What really caught my eye was the fact that he shared the memory with Joan Boodey Lamson, class secretary for the class of 1949, who inspired him by sharing her own nostalgic anecdote previously. Stories shared between generations of Wildcats — my favorite kind!

The biggest gem of all is a thread we’ve started here and that we’ll continue in the next edition: mentors. We are asking alumni, faculty, staff and students to share stories centered on one question: who got you through? I’ve been squirreling away some heartwarming tales about meaningful mentors sent in so far, and you can see some examples on page 15. I hope you’ll share your own mentor story with me in time for the next edition (deadline is April 10).

Just a few of the highlights to highlight; I hope you’ll enjoy everything we’ve gathered for you — happy reading!

Editor-in-Chief, UNH Magazine