ALL SMILES: University Day 2017 welcomed students, faculty and staff back to Durham for the academic year with a picnic and activities on Thompson Hall lawn on Sept. 12. The annual event, which is open to the community, featured music, UNH club displays — and Wild E. Cat. Videos and Photo Gallery
LEARNING AL FRESCO: On a warm fall morning, students in the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture’s natural resources program head into UNH’s largest classroom, 250-acre College Woods, for a living lab of sorts, measuring trees for a class on forest inventory and modeling.
AWARD-WINNING ENGAGEMENT: Since 2000, NH Listens, a civic engagement initiative of the Carsey School of Public Policy, has helped New Hampshire residents talk and collaborate to create communities that work for everyone. In October, the organization received an American Civic Collaboration award — a Civvy — for its efforts. The UNH initiative was selected from more than 50 nominations and accepted by NH Listens co-director Michele Holt-Shannon. “We accepted this award with great joy on behalf of our partners across the state, where rich and timely conversations have been taking place to strengthen New Hampshire communities,” she says. The Civvies are cosponsored by the Bridge Alliance and Big Tent Nation, organizations dedicated to bringing people together from across the political spectrum to address some of America’s greatest social challenges.
BY THE NUMBERS: Hailing from 37 states and 19 countries, 3,126 new students arrived in Durham and Manchester this fall to make up the Class of 2021. Just under half of these new undergrads — 1,327 — are New Hampshire residents, and nearly one-third of these matriculated to their state school as beneficiaries of UNH’s new Granite Guarantee program, which allows full-time, first-year New Hampshire students who are receiving federal Pell grants to attend the university tuition-free. With a range of intended majors from undeclared liberal arts to business administration to psychology to mechanical engineering, the class includes 35 new Hamel Scholars and another 35 Peter T. Paul Scholars, students who come in with the university’s highest academic distinctions. Want to greet one of these new UNHers personally? Your best bet is to try Emily or Matthew — the most common first names among the members of the class.
ON THE MAP: A team of UNH geography students won the World Geography Bowl contest at the annual conference of The New England-St. Lawrence Valley Geographical Society, held at Central Connecticut State University in October. Six teams of four students each competed in this year’s bowl. UNH’s team of Cara Buccini ’18, Evan Collins ’18, Stephen Geis ’20 and Drew Guilbault ’18 employed a strategy of complementary knowledge, with different members bringing expertise in different subfields, to take the regional title, their first in 10 years of competition. “We are one of the smaller geography programs in the region, and, as an undergraduate-only department, it is really exciting to get our first Geography Bowl win,” says Mary Stampone, department chair and Class of 1941 Associate Professor of Geography. As two of the highest-scoring individuals at the event, Collins and Buccini have been invited to join a regional team that will compete at the national conference in the spring. Article
PASS PERFECT: Talk about raising the bar. One hundred percent of UNH Law graduates who took the bar for the first time in Massachusetts in summer 2017 passed — higher than the first-time-taker pass rate at all law schools in Massachusetts except Harvard, which also earned a perfect score. UNH Law grads performed nearly as well on the New Hampshire bar, with 94.1 percent of first-time takers passing the notoriously rigorous exam. “Our graduates did an outstanding job on the July 2017 Massachusetts bar exam,” says UNH Law Dean Megan Carpenter. “UNH Law’s perfect first-time pass rate is a testament to the talent and drive of our alumni and a reflection of our school-wide commitment to integrating bar readiness into students’ experience.”
TO THE WHITE AND BLUE: UNH rolled out the blue carpet for 2017 Homecoming and Family Weekend, Sept. 22–24, welcoming ‘Cats of all ages to campus for the annual alumni parade, a picnic on Thompson Hall lawn and the grand reopening of iconic Hamilton Smith Hall, hosted by President Mark Huddleston and College of Liberal Arts Dean Heidi Bostic. The football team capped off the festivities with a 28–14 victory over the University of Rhode Island. Photo Gallery
MORE LOCAL FLAVOR: Through the first 10 months of 2017, UNH donated almost 5,000 heads of lettuce and 1,100 pounds of fish grown in aquaponics systems maintained by the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture (COLSA) and the NH Agricultural Experiment Station (NHAES) to organizations around the state, including the Cornucopia Food Pantry at Durham’s Waysmeet Center, Exeter’s St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry and the NH Food Bank. Some food has also gone to UNH’s dining halls and the Dairy Bar. All of the food was grown as part of university research, much of which aims to develop nutritious, good-tasting food varieties that are ideal for the state’s growing conditions. It’s a win for all involved. “Donating the fresh food outputs from our research to our state’s food pantries allows us to not only provide nutritious vegetables and fish to those in need, but to not compete with our producers,” says Jon Wraith, COLSA dean and director of NHAES. Article and Photo Gallery
SEEDS OF SUCCESS: Over the 50 years of his UNH career, plant geneticist J. Brent Loy has developed more than 60 new varieties of squash, pumpkins, gourds and melons sold in seed catalogs around the world — the fruits of the longest continuous squash and pumpkin breeding program in North America. Loy’s work was recognized in October at a special twilight celebration at Kingman Farm, where he was joined by dozens of colleagues and former students as well as the outgoing state commissioner of agriculture, markets and food, Lorraine Merrill ’73. Loy’s success doesn’t end in the field; his commercial seed lines are responsible for a remarkable 29 percent of UNH’s cumulative royalties earned since 1999. Article
SUPPORT FOR VETERANS: Northeast Passage’s adaptive sports programs for military veterans will soon get a boost, thanks to the advocacy of New Hampshire congresswomen Carol Shea-Porter ’75, ’79G and Ann McLane Kuster. Earlier this year, the two congresswomen submitted a request for increased funding for the Adaptive Sports Grant program, which resulted in a grant of nearly $173,000 from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to support adaptive sports opportunities for veterans and servicemembers with disabilities. “We are very pleased that the VA has once again recognized Northeast Passage as a leader in providing adaptive sports opportunities for veterans and servicemembers with disabilities,” says Northeast Passage director Jill Gravink ’86, ’07G. “Our programs enable veterans to come together and share their experiences with people with similar interests, building social networks where veterans and servicemembers can connect with each other and enjoy recreation with the same independence as their non-disabled peers.” Article
OCEAN OUTREACH: There were touch tanks, project demonstrations and even seafood cooking competitions at UNH’s sixth annual Ocean Discovery Day in October. Hosted by the Chase Ocean Engineering Laboratory in collaboration with the School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering, the two-day event drew families and school groups from around the region to take part in educational activities highlighting the university’s marine science and ocean engineering programs. Some 1,500 elementary-through high school-aged students took part in the Oct. 13 “Student Day” program, which offered an opportunity for prospective UNHers to speak with scientists from the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping and get a peek at disciplines as diverse as ocean acoustics and virtual reality ocean mapping.
WELCOME TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD: During the summer, Facilities and Campus Planning launched the first phase of a multiyear Durham campus signage upgrade project to help visitors better navigate the university. The program features new pedestrian wayfinding signage in key visitor areas, several new campus maps, large banner signage outside of the Paul Creative Arts Center and a new gateway sign on the east end of campus. Phase one introduced the Campus Crossing neighborhood, the new name for the area that encompasses the MUB, Holloway Commons and Huddleston Hall.
TOP HONOR: Former cross country and track & field standout Laura Rose Donegan ’16, ’17G added another accolade to her already long list in September, when she was named a top-30 finalist for the NCAA’s annual Woman of the Year award. A three-time All-American, Donegan closed out her career in May with an appearance at the NCAA East preliminary round for the 3,000-meter steeplechase. An academic all-star who maintained a 4.0 grade point average as both an undergrad and a graduate student, Donegan won the NCAA’s Elite 90 Award for cross country in 2015 and was named America East Woman of the Year in June, among a raft of other honors. One of 534 student-athletes nominated for the national award, she’s the first Wildcat to crack the top 30 list, which includes the top 10 candidates from each of the NCAA’s three divisions.
Originally published in UNH Magazine Winter 2018 Issue