Svetlana Peshkova

Svetlana Peshkova
Award for Excellence in Public Service, 2019

Professor Peshkova has established herself as a deft facilitator of relationships with local Native American communities and a strong advocate for public education about Native American history. With local Abenaki leaders, her anthropology students, UNH colleagues and staff and interested local community members, several years ago she founded a group called the Indigenous New Hampshire Collaborative Collective that, among other things, has created a sophisticated ARCGIS Story Map that balances indigenous and non-indigenous versions of key places and historical events around the Granite State. They have a blog that covers historic and current events and topics; they also have a podcast, YouTube channel, Facebook and Twitter accounts. The collective has been showing up all over campus and beyond — at the Waysmeet Center during MLK celebrations; in the MUB for public lectures; in Concord during legislative hearings around establishing a state Indigenous Peoples Day.

This work is not only time-consuming, it is also politically fraught. But Professor Peshkova has been able to navigate the complexities thanks to her deep understanding of colonialism, her incredible devotion and her good humor. It is no exaggeration to say that under Professor Peshkova’s guidance, the Indigenous New Hampshire Collaborative Collective is having a meaningful impact on New Hampshire’s understanding of Native American history — and continued presence.

About This Award

This award recognizes and honors exceptional achievements in the area of public service. Individuals who receive this award have engaged in outstanding service activities that are dependent on their academic expertise and that support the mission of the university. The types of activities to be honored should be related to a candidate's academic field and may include exceptional service to local, state or federal governments, to non-profit organizations or agencies, to business or industry, and to the university. UNH benefits-eligible faculty members are eligible, except those who have received this award within the last five years.