Historian Jeff Bolster Named 2015 Lindberg Award Winner

February 27, 2015

Jeff Bolster

Dean Kenneth Fuld is delighted to announce that W. Jeffrey Bolster, Professor of History, has been selected as the 2015 recipient of the Lindberg Award, given annually to the outstanding teacher-scholar in the College of Liberal Arts.

Professor Bolster earned his undergraduate degree at Trinity College (Hartford), his M.A. from Brown, and his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins. He was appointed to the UNH faculty in 1991. His research encompasses maritime history, African-American history, environmental history, and Atlantic history. He not only reads and writes about oceans, but also sails them. He spent a decade as master and mate of sailing school-ships and research vessels in the Atlantic, and he’s currently licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard as both master and mate of a variety of sailing vessels.

Professor Bolster has written four books on maritime history that have garnered some of the most prestigious awards the field has to offer. His most recent book, The Mortal Sea: Fishing the Atlantic in the Age of Sail (Harvard UP, 2012), won the 2013 Bancroft Prize, the North American Society for Oceanic History’s John Lyman Book Award for the best book in U.S. Maritime History, the American Historical Association’s 2013 Albert J. Beveridge Prize, and the American Historical Association’s 2013 James Rawley Prize in Atlantic History. His 1997 book, Black Jacks: African American Seamen in the Age of Sail (Harvard UP), won The New York Times Book Review notable book of the year, the Wesley-Logan Prize of the American Historical Association, and the Association of American Publishers Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division Best Book in History.

Recognition of Professor Bolster’s work extends to the popular press. The Mortal Sea was reviewed by major national and international outlets, and, just last month, Professor Bolster was commissioned by The New York Times to write a related editorial. He’s served as public intellectual in film and television, appearing on PBS’s Columbus and the Age of Discovery, BBC’s Horizon, NBC’s Revenge of the Whale, and Discovery Channel’s Slave Ship, as well as twice providing coverage of the Tall Ships in Boston event for New England Cable Network. Black Jacks sold briskly in commercial bookstores and had a major impact on a former Virginia prison inmate who credits the book with turning his life around—the subject of both a Washington Post article and an NEH short film. Professor and Chair of History Eliga Gould notes, “Most historians can only dream of having that kind of impact on readers.”

His UNH students register the positive impact Professor Bolster makes in the classroom. Many doctoral students he mentored have gone on to build highly successful careers in history. One notes that Professor Bolster offered him extraordinary opportunities during which he made some of his most important professional connections and produced some of his best publications: “[Professor Bolster] consistently created situations where I could work on my own scholarship to produce the best results.” Undergraduate students, too, have high praise for Professor Bolster, who teaches a number of 400-level surveys as well as advanced courses in maritime and environmental history. A physics major in a Discovery course said, “I was encouraged to do good work not only for a grade, but to hear his feedback . . . Professor Bolster always displayed a personal interest in the progress of each student.”

Professor Bolster has demonstrated that he possesses the highest qualities of scholarship and teaching and is most deserving of the Lindberg Award.

The annual Gary Lindberg Award was established by the College of Liberal Arts in 1986 in memory of Professor Gary Lindberg of the Department of English. Professor Lindberg was an exceptional scholar and outstanding teacher whose dedication and service to the University of New Hampshire as well as the wider community exemplified the highest academic standards and ideals. In memory of Professor Lindberg and as a means of publicly supporting superior faculty accomplishment, the College of Liberal Arts annually recognizes one truly outstanding scholar and teacher within the College.

Reserve Your Spot for UNH’s Free Online Class on the Presidential Primary

February 17, 2015

Andrew Smith and Dante Scala

Reserve a front row seat to the phenomenon that is New Hampshire’s presidential primary in the University of New Hampshire’s first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) this fall. The six-week course, FIRST! Understanding New Hampshire’s Presidential Primary, is free and open to anyone, anywhere, leading up to the primaries in early 2016.

Political science professors Dante Scala and Andrew Smith will teach the class that looks at the primary as it unfolds, and explores the unique qualities of New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation status and the process of campaigning. It will combine video lectures, online discussions, and interactive activities. Those who enroll will have the flexibility to participate in each week’s online discussions, and to complete assignments and readings at times most convenient for them. Students will move as a cohort from week to week. This course does not carry credits. The class begins Oct. 19, 2015, and ends in late November 2015.

The New Hampshire Presidential Primary has been the first in the nation since 1920, but it wasn’t until 1952 that citizens had the right to vote directly for a presidential candidate, not just delegates. Explore the unique qualities of the First-in-the-Nation presidential primary and its impact on how the United States chooses its presidents.


UNH Education Department Receives National Award from Accrediting Agency

February 16, 2015

The UNH Department of Education will receive the Frank B. Murray Award for Innovation and Excellence in Program Self-Study from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

The Frank B. Murray Award is presented annually to an educator preparation program selected from the set of cases granted accreditation, originally by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC), and subsequently by the Inquiry Brief Commission of CAEP, during the previous year. The award recognizes excellence in the investigation of or inquiry into the performance of the program’s candidates and completers and in the capacity of the program’s quality control system to support programmatic improvement and excellence.

Associate Professor and Chair of Education Leslie Couse will accept the award on behalf of the Department at the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education annual meeting in Atlanta, GA, on February 26, 2015.

In 2013, UNH was selected to pilot the new CAEP self-study process being developed as a result of the merger of TEAC and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.  As a result, UNH’s five-year and post baccalaureate teacher education program was granted national accreditation by both CAEP and TEAC in 2014.

“This national award is the culmination of that rigorous accreditation process led by Tom Schram, Mike Middleton, and Liz Arcieri to which all our faculty contributed,” says Couse. “UNH’s leadership in the pilot is also paving the way for the new national accreditation standards soon to be released by CAEP in 2015.”

My Mayan Valentine: Anthropologist Examines the Roots of Chocolate in Mesoamerica

February 13, 2015

cacao bean heart
In a Smithsonian Magazine article published this month, associate professor of anthropology Eleanor Harrison-Buck discusses her current research on cacao and the ancient Maya, a project she is working on with Serita Frey, a UNH soil scientist in the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment.

A Spanish account from 1618 describes the Belize River town of Lucu: “[It had] much thick cacao that turns reddish-brown and tastes good by itself.” Harrison-Buck contends that cacao was a staple in ritual feasts for many Mesoamerican cultures for thousands of years and is thus particularly important to study and understand. But because the remains of this crop do not preserve well in soil, archaeologists know little about the ancient methods of cacao bean production. Harrison-Buck and Frey are working in Belize and elsewhere, collecting soil samples and analyzing them to see if cacao orchards leave a distinct biological footprint. Eventually, they hope to determine where cacao was produced in the Belize Valley in historic or prehistoric times.

Read the full article in Smithsonian Magazine.

Barbara A. White Social Justice Leadership Scholarship Established

February 10, 2015

The UNH Women’s Studies Program is pleased to announce a new scholarship for women’s studies majors who have demonstrated feminist and social justice leadership. The scholarship honors Women’s Studies Program co-founder Barbara A. White, who passed away in 2014. The award is made possible by generous donations made on behalf of Dr. White. $500 awards will be made to two students with financial need. Those interested in applying for the scholarship may submit the application to Womens.Studies@unh.edu by March 1 annually. Students must has a FAFSA on file. Applicants cannot be graduating seniors and must be women’s studies first or second majors who have demonstrated feminist and social justice leadership while at UNH.

Film Screening: Documentary on Clark Terry Plays at Music Hall Feb 14 and 19

February 6, 2015


The documentary about music legend Clark Terry, “Keep On Keepin’ On,” will screen at The Music Hall in Portsmouth, NH on February 14 and 19, 2015 at 7 p.m. The film is Alan Hicks’s look at the relationship between the trumpeter Terry and the young pianist Justin Kauflin. Clark Terry is an affiliate professor of music at the University of New Hampshire, where he was awarded an honorary doctorate, his first, in 1978, and the Pettee Medal in 2002.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit The Music Hall website.

Read a movie review in the New York Times by A.O. Scott.

Celebrate Dave Seiler’s Retirement

February 5, 2015

photos of Dave Seiler

David Seiler, professor of music and director of jazz studies, will retire in May 2015. The April 20 UNH Jazz Bands Concert will be his last. Professor Seiler has spent 43 years at UNH and a total of 52 years teaching music at the college level. During this time he has given his all to his students, the public, and jazz education worldwide. Please come join us as we honor and celebrate his career. There will be a reception to follow the concert. All are welcome to join.

Click here to register!

The UNH Jazz Bands Concert will commence at 8 p.m. in the Johnson Theatre. The reception will follow the concert, in the Bratton Recital Hall. Both venues are located in the Paul Creative Arts Center.

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