Alum Creates First Public Virtual High School in N.H.

November 22, 2013
Steve Kossakoski

Steve Kossakoski, who earned a master’s degree in education and doctorate in education administration at UNH, founded New Hampshire’s only public online high school, the Virtual Learning Academy Charter School.

Education department alum Steve Kossakoski is giving public high school students an alternative to the in-person public high school model through New Hampshire’s first virtual public high school, the Virtual Learning Academy Charter School.

Read the fascinating story about how this high school works from the UNH Today story by Lori Wright.

Here are some excerpts:

A nonprofit, VLACS is publicly funded like traditional public K-12 schools and is administratively located in Exeter. Any New Hampshire resident under 21 can attend VLACS for free. Most of VLACS students are part-time students who attend a New Hampshire public school. The rest of the students are home-schooled students, private-school students, or students who dropped out of high school.

VLACS enrollment has skyrocketed from 350 students at its inception in 2007 to more than 10,000 today. It is the eighth largest virtual high school in the nation.

Students read traditional high school textbooks and spend a considerable amount of time outside of class working on projects to meet course competencies and having experiences that tie directly to their in-class learning. For example, for a government class, students might volunteer with a political campaign or work in a town office.

Learn more.


JFK: Remembering Nov. 22, 1963

November 13, 2013

JFKThe assassination of John F. Kennedy 50 years ago is still a vivid memory for those who lived through it. We invite the UNH community and alumni to share recollections of that day using the comment form below.

To read more recollections, visit The College Letter.


Returning to Bosnia

November 12, 2013
Jasmin Cesko in Mostar

Jasmin Cesko in Mostar, capital of Herzegovina, with Stari Most (Old Bridge) and the Neretva River in the background. Jasmin’s photo of this scene won first place in American Councils for International Education’s Spring 2013 Outbound Photo Contest.

Jasmin Cesko, a political science and international affairs dual major, spent last spring studying in Bosnia, the place of his birth. Cesko’s childhood was spent on the run, trying to out-maneuver Serbian soldiers. His father was imprisoned for a year in a Serbian concentration camp. Finally, his family left Bosnia and emigrated to the U.S. when Cesko was 10 years old. By that time, Sarajevo had changed and Cesko felt out of place and alienated.

A decade later, Cesko decided to study in Bosnia. “This was a chance to reconnect with my culture and identity so that I would no longer feel like a foreigner in my native land,” says Cesko, who devoted significant time outside his studies to reestablishing relationships with his extended family. After four months of immersion in the history and culture of Bosnia, Cesko found that, once again, he felt like a native Sarajevan.

Read the full story in International Educator, the newsletter of the UNH Center for International Education.


UNH Historian Wins More Accolades for The Mortal Sea

November 5, 2013

book cover for The Mortal Sea

W. Jeffrey Bolster, professor of history, has been selected as the winner of the American Historical Association’s 2013 Albert J. Beveridge Prize and 2013 James Rawley Prize in Atlantic History for his book The Mortal Sea: Fishing the Atlantic in the Age of Sail (Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2012). Earlier this year, Bolster and The Mortal Sea were recognized with a 2013 Bancroft Prize, considered one of the most distinguished academic awards in the field of history, and with the North American Society for Oceanic History’s John Lyman Book Award for the best book in U.S. Maritime History.

The annual Albert J. Beveridge Award honors a distinguished book in English on the history of the United States, Latin America, or Canada, from 1942 to the present. The James A. Rawley Prize is awarded annually in recognition of outstanding historical writing that explores aspects of integration of Atlantic worlds before the 20th century. Both prizes will be presented during a ceremony at the Association’s 128th Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, January 2-5, 2014.

Sarah M.S. Pearsall, the 2013 Rawley Prize committee chair noted, “The Mortal Sea hits readers with the saline smack of the ocean, providing the most Atlantic of Atlantic histories, at once fascinating and deeply troubling. Lucid, penetrating, relentless, this book trawls deep historical research to expose the history of Atlantic fishing and its consequences.” Paula Alonso, the Beveridge Prize committee chair added, “this is a sweeping and original history that connects the consumption of North Atlantic fish during Lent in Early Modern Europe, to industrialization’s demand for Menhaden fish oil in the 1870s, to lobster consumption today.”

The Albert J. Beveridge Award was initially established on a biennial basis in 1939, in honor of US Senator Albert J. Beveridge (Indiana, 1899-1911), a longtime member of the Association and an active supporter of history as both a lawyer and a senator. The James A. Rawley Prize in Atlantic History was created in 1998 in accordance with the terms of a gift from James A. Rawley, Carl Adolph Happold Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.

The American Historical Association is a nonprofit membership organization founded in 1884 and incorporated by Congress in 1889 for the promotion of historical studies. As the largest organization of historians in the United States, the AHA is comprised of over 14,000 members and serves historians representing every historical period and geographical area.


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