Former political science major Patrick Hardy ’09 recently joined the National Association of Manufacturers as Director, New Member Sales. Previously, Hardy worked as a vice president of Business Development with Keys to The Capitol, where he was responsible for acquiring new clients for the K Street Government Affairs firm. He has also worked as a Field Director for Frank Fannon for Alexandria (VA) City Council. Most recently, he served as a project coordinator for Alexandria Republican City Committee, where he coordinated all donations and fundraising efforts as well as developed contacts to increase organizational building potential.
Hey—finally—the snow is gone from this and other campus roofs. Gone, but surely not forgotten after such a long winter. If you think you know where this photo was taken, please stick your answer inside the hatband of a Montecristi Panama hat, size 7 3/4, and send it to Newsline, 120 Alumni Center, 229 Main St., Keene, NH 03435. Or use the “comments” link, below.
Judge Patricia Whalen has spent most of her professional life seeking justice for victims of those who abuse their power. Currently, she serves as a special advisor to the War Crimes Chamber at the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and from 2007 through 2012, she was an international judge of the country’s War Crimes Chamber—the busiest war crimes court in the world. This semester, she’s teaching a class in International Law and Genocide here at Keene State, and 24 fortunate students are learning from her vast experience and knowledge.
Her advocacy started back in the 1970s, when Judge Whalen, her husband, and baby moved to Vermont, where she befriended a neighbor with an abusive husband. When the neighbor became pregnant, her husband beat her so badly she lost the child. While Judge Whalen was with the neighbor at the hospital, the husband shot himself in the foot, and his wife got up from her bed to take care of him. “That one night taught me everything I needed to know about domestic violence,” Judge Whalen recalled.
Shortly after that incident, she entered Vermont Law School to gain the legal skills to fight domestic violence. When she graduated, she took a job at Vermont Legal Aid, though friends advised her that was a dead end for her fledgling career. Undaunted, she used her new position to help create a statewide domestic violence network that caught the attention of Governor Madeline Kunin, who in 1990 appointed her magistrate to Vermont’s new Family Court system, settling child-support disputes.
Soon after, Judge Whalen attended an organizational meeting of the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ). As an active member of that group, she spoke on family law at international conferences, and even organized the Afghan Women Judges Judicial Education Project to bring women jurists from Afghanistan to visit Vermont and Washington, D.C., so they can see firsthand the workings of an orderly, independent judicial system.
In 2002 she was asked to help draft The Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance, an international treaty. Judge Whalen immersed herself in international law and spent time in The Hague. By 2007, her visibility and mastery at bringing civil and adversarial systems of law into harmony had reached the point where she was selected as a justice for the war crimes court in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In 2012, Associate Professor of Sociology Brian Green took a group of Honors students to Bosnia and Herzegovina and arranged for them to visit the War Crimes Chamber. Usually only graduate students from law school or programs studying conflict dispute or court systems visit this court, but Judge Whalen was happy to meet this group of undergraduates from near her Vermont home. “They had visited a conflict-reconciliation program in northern Bosnia,” she recalled. “Because they had that experience, and had gotten to know people in the village, they understood how the war had affected the villagers, and they could see the problems that arise when people who were fighting need to live together again. … They were very sharp kids and I enjoyed them. I invited them back to my house for an evening. I was very impressed.” And at her home that evening Judge Whalen learned about Keene’s Holocaust and Genocide Studies program.
When she got back to the US, Dr. Green contacted her to ask if she’d be interested in teaching in the Holocaust and Genocide and Criminal Justice programs. She met the HGS faculty and found that the program could use someone who could clarify the legal issues around the issues they study.
As a result, Judge Whalen is teaching her course on International Law and Genocide this semester, bringing a new perspective to HGS. “I come from a completely different background than the other faculty members in HGS,” she explained. “The program primarily focuses on prevention and understanding why perpetrators do what they do. Judges, on the other hand, are concerned about fair trials, and prosecutors are concerned with stopping perpetrators. The law focuses on evidence, evidence, evidence and doesn’t really care about why. The fact that Hitler may have been a failed artist is irrelevant in the eyes of the law.”
“She brings a very different lens to the study of genocide,” said Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies Paul Vincent. “We agonize over what leads people to commit atrocity, but she doesn’t concern herself with why a perpetrator did what he or she did—the judicial system just cares about whether they can be prosecuted under the law.”
“We’re very fortunate to have her here; you’d expect someone with her background to be teaching a course in international law at Harvard or Yale,” noted Cohen Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies James Waller.
Her students are finding her enthusiasm and her fresh approach very engaging. “Each week, Judge Whalen has students post news articles online, and then we discuss how they relate to the field of international law,” said senior and HGS major Chloe Nixon. “This is helping us understand how the law affects far more than we see, and it gives us an opportunity to use the terms and statutes she is teaching us. This is a skill that is helping me see the world in a new way. … The best part of her class is how she is able to enhance concepts or legal definitions with real-life examples from her work as a judge.”
“Judge Whalen’s course has been an amazing experience,” explained senior and HGS major Johanna DeBari. “She has so much experience she is willing to share with us. … She is clever, and funny, which makes the classroom experience all the more enjoyable. I am doing a research project on the implications of a case coming out of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda for the prosecution of rape as a tool of genocide, and she allowed me the opportunity to present my research to my class as a part of our curriculum. She makes this course a beneficial experience for all of us.”
The legal issues in genocide and war crimes prosecution are involved and convoluted, as are the reasons why some people are brought to justice and some are not. “My students need to understand how complex the issues are,” explained Judge Whalen. “A lot of people react by simply asking, ‘Why doesn’t the law do something about this?’ But now the students are learning that there are no simple solutions—it’s very complicated.”
“Her class is certainly broadening my perspective of the legal world; I’ve never been exposed to international law in so much depth,” said DeBari. “The assignments require us to form thoughtful opinions, so we are increasing our skills as critical learners.”
“This has been my first exposure to law, and I am finding it really interesting and exciting,” Nixon said. “Judge Whalen has shown us that law is always changing and that international law in particular is a fast-growing and fast-paced field. Because of her passion and interest, I am developing an interest in a career in law.”
And stimulating her students’ interest in the law should have an impact on curbing genocide and mass atrocity in the future. “International law is something that tomorrow’s legal professionals will have to develop,” Judge Whalen explained. “It’s just in the toddler stage now, if you think of the Nuremberg trials as giving birth to something. These current students are the ones who are going to see it through to a more developed stage. … The 21st century already is starting out as a very aggressive and unsettled time. And the world is smaller; its citizens—at least theoretically—are looking at global solutions to everything, from telephones to law. So [our current students] will be on the cutting edge of all of this.”
And Judge Whalen is certainly preparing her students for that cutting edge. “I want them to understand that you really can fight mass atrocity, and that there are a lot of ways of doing that.”
This February, 16 dance majors from the Keene State College Theatre and Dance Department joined 500 students from 30 colleges attending this year’s American College Dance Association New England Conference at Boston University. The KSC dancers received significant recognition and each returned to campus inspired and invigorated. Gabriella Pacheco (’14) and Alexander Davis (’14) each presented their choreography in concerts that were adjudicated by three nationally recognized choreographers. Pacheco, Davis, and their dancers received valuable critical assessment and much praise from the three adjudicators.
Davis’ dance “Slight Displacement,” performed by Gabby Pacheco, Kendall Platenyk (’14), Meghan Quinn (’13), and Samantha Sampaio (’13), was selected from 45 adjudicated pieces to be produced in the conference’s closing Gala Concert—a significant recognition of the talent of the performers and the choreographer. This dance also received Honorable Mention as an alternate selection for the 2014 National Dance Festival to be held at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
“The most memorable moment from my time at this year’s ACDFA New England Conference was having the opportunity to present a fully produced dance work to a group of fellow dance students and professionals,” Davis said. “Being able to generate discussion and receive feedback regarding my choreography and the work of others provided moments of helpful constructive commentary. I look forward to continuing making work and applying the feedback I received.”
KSC hosted this annual dance conference in 1988 and again in 2011. The American College Dance Association (ACDA, formerly ACDFA) was formed in 1971 to support and promote excellence in college dance. These conferences give college dancers an opportunity to have their works adjudicated and critiqued by established professionals; share scholarship; provide professional classes, workshops, and performing experiences as well as other opportunities for interaction among all participants; provide students the opportunity to perform outside their own academic setting and be exposed to the diversity of the national college dance world; and build a network of communication within the college dance community and between the college and the professional dance world. The conference also provides regional and national visibility for college-trained choreographers and performers.
“ACDFA is an opportunity for me to have as many new dance experiences as possible,” Platnyk explained. “It is a wonderful thing to be grouped together with dancers from all around New England and take such dance classes as Musical Theater and Haitian that are usually not an option in my everyday life. I especially enjoyed having another chance to perform with a new audience and hearing useful feedback that can help me as a performer.”
Earlier this month, Erin Fehlau, the producer for WMUR Channel 9′s New Hampshire Chronicle, and Chris Shepherd, the show’s videographer, spent four hours with one of the KSC’s greatest treasures, the Children’s Literature Festival Gallery Collection in Rhodes Hall, preparing a segment for the show. Of course, Festival and Gallery founder Dr. David E. White, showed them around, and they spent an hour talking to author, illustrator, and gallery contributor Lita Judge, who lives in Peterborough. Lita talked about our collection, why it is significant, why she wanted to be represented, the significance of illustrations in children’s books, and about several of her books. Lita was also filmed giving David a donation from her book How Big Were Dinosaurs? This segment will be aired March 18—make sure you tune in! And if you miss it, the segment will be available online. And check out the Children’s Literature Festival and Gallery’s Facebook page.
Keene State College Assistant Professor of Computer Science Dr. Wei Lu and Dan Garant ’13 have been recognized by the IEEE Computer Society for their research on botnets, malicious applications that hackers use to take over networks through spam email or fake websites. Dr. Lu and Garant use a web application called Weasel to simulate botnet behaviors in order to learn how hackers infect networks. The research project is an international collaborative effort that began in Canada at the University of New Brunswick, the University of Victoria, and the Technological Crime Unit of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. It’s now being researched at Keene State College.
“Threats to internet security are at an all-time high, which makes this research critical to protecting individuals and businesses who rely on the internet as a trusted tool,” said Dr. Lu. “Our ultimate goal is to gather information that will help security software address these threats as effectively as possible. With the help of Dan Garant, we are taking an important first step toward reaching this goal.”
Dr. Lu completed his PhD at the University of Victoria in Canada where he originally began his research with this type of program. Immediately after graduation in engineering, he moved to Germany and worked for the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence. In 2007, he returned to Canada and joined the University of New Brunswick where he received his Professional Engineer certificate and Diploma in Undergraduate Teaching. He then worked for a start-up company that was bought by IBM and worked with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in efforts to stop hackers. In 2010, Dr. Lu started research at Keene State.
Dan Garant is currently earning his PhD in Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Dr. Lu and Garant presented their research in 2013 at the 27th IEEE International Conference on Advanced Information Networking and Applications in Barcelona, Spain.
Molly Brewer ’11’s excellence in her classroom has earned her the New England League of Middle Schools’ designation as a Promising Practitioner. Brewer, who teaches Spanish at the Medomak Middle School in Waldoboro, Me. will be honored at the Leagues’ 33rd Annual Conference in Providence, R.I., March 31–April 1. This annual award is based on the recommendations of teachers, parents, and administrators and is designed to “honor excellent teachers who are beginning their teaching careers and who are effective middle-level educators that provide powerful learning for their young adolescent students.”
Brewer came to Medomak Middle School in the summer of 2012 as the new Spanish teacher. “I walked into my classroom to find nothing in front of me but a couple of Sharpies, which happened to have been left in my desk, and four tables with folding chairs,” she recalled. “I had to create my entire curriculum from scratch, and with very little materials. In some ways, this was a blessing. I did not have to try and follow in a previous teacher’s footsteps, or try and tweak textbook lessons to make them my own. Needless to say, it was a very long first trimester, but I wouldn’t have changed it for anything.”
Obviously, she arose to the challenge—but she was well trained. “Keene State College prepared me exceptionally well for my position. I was exposed to different grade levels throughout my methods and student teaching, which taught me how to deal with and respond to many different types of situations. The experience I gained from writing hundreds of lengthy lesson plans and creating units from scratch definitely came to use when I was given the task of creating the Spanish curriculum for my school.”
Congratulations, Molly. Well done!
Honors student, senior, and Holocaust and Genocide Studies major Johanna DeBari recently received funding from the Student Conference Fund to attend a conference at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. The conference, entitled Rwanda 20 Years After: Memory, Justice and Recovery in the Shadow of Genocide, will take place on March 28–29, and DeBari has been invited to present her research on rape as a tool of genocide and the impact of the case Prosecutor v. Akayesu. She is the only undergraduate to be accepted as a presenter.
During the summer of 2011 DeBari took Professor of Sociology and Anthropology Therese Siebert’s course, Rwanda: Then and Now, which included a trip to Rwanda. “I was hooked on anything Rwandan and inspired by the people, the culture … everything,” DeBari recalled. “So, I came back and dedicated every free second I had to doing research on Rwanda. I did one independent research project that resulted in a publication in Metamorphosis (COPLAC’s undergraduate journal) and was still hungry for more. I found out about the undergraduate research fellowships at KSC and decided to apply, combining my love of Rwandan history and culture with the horrors I had learned had taken place in the rape camps of Bosnia-Herzegovina. I chose to take on a research project in which I studied rape as a tool of genocide and its implications within international law.
“I combed through cases in the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, searching for people who had been charged and convicted of rape during genocide; but only one name came up: Jean-Paul Akayesu. I then focused my research on the implications of his specific case and how the tribunal found the rape he instigated, aided, and abetted amongst genocide perpetrators constituted the same genocidal intent to destroy the Tutsi ethnic group as did the killings. The main idea behind my research is discussing how the case against Akayesu has impacted international law, and how it will be prosecuted in future conflicts or cases where rape is used as a systematic tool of war and genocide. Rape and sex are two very taboo things in society, including within the context of war and genocide: My goal with my research project is to start conversations about a topic few people want to face.”
This is a wonderful opportunity for DeBari, but she’s obviously well prepared. “Really, this opportunity feels like its a dream,” she said. “I never thought I would be presenting at a professional conference where I was the only person without the letters ‘PhD’ after my name … I haven’t even finished my BA!” Her goal is to become a professor, and this achievement will certainly be a big step towards that. “I am so excited to do this presentation, I can’t even explain. I am going to be doing what I love, with other people who love what they do too. It should be an amazing weekend where I am able to learn so much from others as well as engage in wonderfully intellectually stimulating conversations about my passions.”
Honors student, junior, and American Studies and and Women and Gender Studies dual major Hersh Rothmel recently won the Fred Fosher Excellence in Writing Award and the Robin Dizard American Studies Award. The Fred Fosher Award recognizes the critical role that writing plays across the curriculum, and the inspired work of students who rise to the formidable intellectual challenge of writing clear, purposeful, and persuasive prose. The Robin Dizard Award recognizes an outstanding American Studies major.
To earn the Fred Fosher Award, Rothmel submitted a cover letter explaining his growth as a writer at Keene, a letter of recommendation from a faculty member, and at three pieces of writing totaling 20 pages. “I don’t really know why I won, but I think it is because I’ve embraced interdisciplinary thinking and responded to my professors’ encouragement to rethink my own assumptions. I also think the combination of my American Studies and Women and Gender Studies majors have opened me to lot of radical paradigms, discourses, and authors that have enabled me to deconstruct and delve deeply into anything that I am researching. Reading and writing so much has given depth to my vocabulary, and has given me the language to express myself eloquently.”
The American Studies faculty voted unanimously to give Rothmel the Robin Dizard award. “I think that the American Studies program at Keene State is amazing and has really helped me find myself as a scholar,” Rothmel explained. “I have grown as a writer and thinker throughout my two years in the American Studies program, and the support from the faculty has played an integral part in my development. … These awards are starting points for even deeper research in my future.”
Contributed by Dr. Sandra Howard and Kaitlin Hart
As part of the Spring 2014 semester, members of the KSC Chamber Singers embarked on their 3rd annual spring tour. In February, the tour included eight performances during a two-day tour of high schools and retirement communities in southwestern New Hampshire. The singers began in Peterborough with a visit to ConVal High School and the Summerhill Retirement Community, and then gave an impromptu performance at a luncheon at 12 Pine Restaurant & Gourmet Marketplace. That afternoon, the singers traveled to Milford High School to perform and participate in the Tri-City Choral Festival with a choir comprised of high school singers from Milford, Hollis, and Brookline (New Hampshire).
On the second day, the tour included collaborations with Hillsboro-Deering High School’s choir and New Hampshire’s 2012 Teacher of the Year Heidi Welch ’96, followed by a choral exchange at Stevens High School in Claremont. The singers then headed south for a quick coffee break at Burdick’s in Walpole and then back to Keene for performances at Cedarcrest School and Bentley Commons.
The Chamber Singers performed a cappella selections by Bruckner, Mendelssohn, and Clements. In addition, the ensemble split into two choirs to present two spiritual arrangements led by student conductors Kirk Bobkowski (BM Music Performance & BM Music Education, 2014) and Kaitlin Hart (BM Music Education, 2015). These visits also included performances by the host high school choirs, choral clinics with Assistant Professor of Music Sandra Howard (conductor of the Chamber Singers), shared rehearsals, and discussions among high school and college students about college life and opportunities to continue making music beyond the high school years.
“We all love the chamber singers tour!” said Kaitlin Hart. “I think It is really important to go around to schools and show the students where music can take them if they stick with it, even if they just continue participating in music as a hobby and not a career. A lot of schools don’t get the opportunity to see performances by college groups, and if they do get to see them, they rarely get to talk to the group and ask questions afterwards. While singing on tour I can see on the kid’s faces that they are really excited to hear this type of performance. I really love looking out and watching students’ reactions to us—its almost like they didn’t know choirs could sound like we do, and I can tell a lot of them want to try to sound like that too.”
“On this tour we stopped at a few nursing homes, which was different but really cool,” Kaitlin continued. “The residents appreciated us in a different way, sort of nostalgic and appreciative rather than amazed like the high schoolers sometimes are. It was really nice to be able to give back to those people and brighten their days.”
Members of the Chamber Singers are declared as music majors and minors with focus areas in vocal performance, music education, and composition. They are supported by the ensemble’s collaborative pianist, Lecturer Cheryl Sharrock, and funded by the Department of Music and generous grants from the School of Arts & Humanities Performing Arts Student Travel Fund and the campus-wide Field Experience Engagement Fund. The ensemble is open for audition to any KSC student during the first week of the fall semester.
Additional projects this semester include a choral exchange with the Jaffrey-Rindge Middle School Chorus on March 13th, a performance to celebrate President Anne Huot’s inauguration as Keene State’s 10th president on April 4th, and a collaborative concert including KSC Concert Choir and community-based ensemble The Keene Chorale in the Redfern Arts Center Main Theatre on April 6th at 4 p.m.
Yasha Nazier Butt, a student from Pakistan, is studying chemistry here on campus this semester, thanks to a $10,892 grant that Skye Stephenson, director of the Global Education Office (GEO), secured from the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (administered by IREX). Over 5,000 applicants applied for this opportunity, but only 140 were chosen.
“The program is very interesting in many ways, because it is an opportunity for cross-cultural experience,” Yasha explained.
“The idea of the program is to promote understanding and friendship between Pakistan and US youth,” said Dr. Stephenson. “We thought it would be great to expand the international outreach and bring Yasha to campus, so other people can have more contact with folks from her country.”
Yasha wanted to take part in this program to see how students study biotechnology in the US. She sees it as an opportunity to visit different labs and see the kinds of experiments other students are working on. “Biotechnology is a subject in which you carry out your own research, but in order to gain more knowledge, you need to communicate with other researchers,” she said.
Here at Keene State Yasha serves as a cultural ambassador. “I want to give people the true depiction of Pakistan,” she said. Her experiences at Keene State have taught her the value of community service, and she wants to creating service organizations to benefit the people in her country.
She expected to undergo considerable culture shock when she arrived in America, but she has found everyone to be very kind and compassionate. The professors are always willing to help and their guide students, she reports.
The Keene State community is deeply saddened by the loss of Kay MacLean H’04, the former assistant director for Alumni and Parent Relations, who passed away Friday night, March 7. Kay came to work at Keene State in February 1995 and continued until her medical issues prompted her retirement in April 2013. She had a colorful career prior to joining KSC and served as a paralegal, a surgical nurse, and a researcher. She had earned her nursing credentials from Muskegon Community College in Michigan and a BS in Business Administration from Trinity College in Burlington, Vt.
“Kay was an important member of the Alumni and Parent Relations team for more than 15 years,” said Patty Farmer, director of Alumni and Parent Relations. “She is loved and admired by hundreds of alumni for her strong ties to the Golden Circle Society membership, Board leadership, and volunteers. She is also well known for her Reunion Weekend leadership and panache with special events. She and her husband, adjunct faculty member and Keene City Manager John MacLean, have shown their devotion as members of the KSC community in many ways.”
Kay took great pride in the events she coordinated and in the connections she made with alums. She was a fierce friend, a strong advocate, a tireless worker for alumni interests, and a great representative of Keene State College.
Adam Wade ’98 has been nominated for Best Lead Actor in a Short Film at the the 2014 Madrid International Film Festival Awards for his role as Chester in Shonali Bhowmik ‘s Sardines Out Of A Can, which has been nominated for Best Short Film.
Here’s Adam in a clip from the film:
Business Monadnock, The Keene Sentinel, and the Keene Young Professionals Network have chosen six members of the Keene State community for their 2014 Trendsetter Awards: Julio DelSesto ’07, assistant professor of Journalism; Richard Grogan, regional director of the Small Business Development Center; Caitlin Caserta ’01 of Walpole Valley Farm; Tim Pipp ’11 of Beeze Tees; Dominic Perkins ’06 of Savings Bank of Walpole; and Eric Gagne ’02 of the Toadstool Bookstore. The Trendsetter Award is given to the 20 up-and-coming business leaders in the greater Keene and Peterborough areas.
We’ve been gathering members of the Keene State College community near and far this past year. KSC Connections events are a great way to casually connect with your fellow alumni, parents, and friends of KSC.
Email Lori or call 603-358-2304 to let us know you plan to attend.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Jeremy Schilling ’07 invites you to join him at the
Tap 42 Bar & Kitchen
1411 South Andrews Ave
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
Hearty appetizers are included and a cash bar is available – with local drafts for $5.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
The Canopy Rooftop Lounge
340 Beach Dr., NE
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Parking is available at the Plaza Tower Parking
Garage on 1st St. N between 2nd and 3rd Ave.,
a block and a half from The Canopy.
Hearty appetizers are included and a cash
bar is available. Guests welcome!
Hoot & Root for our Owl Softball and Lacrosse Teams!
Thursday, March 20, 2014
9 a.m.—KSC softball vs. Ramapo
11 a.m.—KSC softball vs. Wesleyan University
Minneola Athletic Complex
1300 Fosgate Rd., Minneola, FL 34715
2 p.m.—Join us for lunch after the games
Fairfield Inn and Suites conference room
1750 Hunt Trace Blvd., Clermont, FL 34711
Friday, March 21, 2014
4 p.m.—KSC men’s lacrosse vs. Wesleyan University
Northeast Regional Park
50901 U.S. 27, Davenport, FL 33897
6:30–8:30 p.m.—Join us after the game for hearty appetizers and a cash bar.
Miller’s Ale House
8123 W Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy
Kissimmee, FL 34747
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Sandy (Rotvig) Morander ’84 invites you to join her at the
Two Step Restaurant and Cantina
9840 West Loop 1604 N
San Antonio, TX 78254
Hearty appetizers are included and a cash bar is available. Guests welcome!