Innovator of the Week: Sharyn Potter

February 6, 2017

Sharyn Potter

Sharyn Potter, associate professor of sociology and executive director of research for Prevention Innovations Research Center, was recently featured as Innovator of the Week on the Live Free and Start website.

Live Free and Start is a joint initiative of the N.H. Governor’s Office, the Business Finance Authority and the Department of Resources and Economic Development aimed at creating jobs and making New Hampshire the place for innovative businesses to start, grow and succeed.

Potter was highlighted for her leadership in developing the innovative uSafeNH free smartphone application (app), which launched this past fall. The app was created to prevent sexual assault on New Hampshire campuses by providing victims and their allies with access to immediate assistance and resources. It is available to students at 26 of the state’s colleges and universities.

Several organizations partnered to create the uSafeNH app: Prevention Innovations Research Center, the STEM Discovery Lab at UNH Manchester, N.H. Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, NH Violence Against Women Campus Consortium, and N.H. SART Project at the Attorney General’s Office. The effort won a $25,000 prize from the N.H. Charitable Foundation’s Entrepreneurs’ Fund that helped the team complete development and testing of the app.

In August 2017, the uSafeUS app will launch, expanding the app’s reach to campuses up and down the East Coast. uSafeUS won third prize at the UNH Social Venture Innovation Challenge in December 2016. An anonymous donor matched the third prize money, enabling Potter and the team to market uSafeUS.

“The mobile app developed by faculty researchers and community practitioners from around the state is an example of how UNH continues to meet their land grant commitment by collaboratively developing solutions for societal problems,” says Potter.

Learn more at Live Free and Start website.


UNH Classics Professor Awarded Research Fellowship in Germany

February 3, 2017

Harriet Fertik

Harriet Fertik, assistant professor of classics, has been awarded a research fellowship for postdoctoral researchers from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. She will spend the academic year 2017-2018 at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation enables highly-qualified scientists and scholars from abroad who are just embarking on their academic careers and who completed their doctorates less than four years ago to spend extended periods of research in Germany.

During her fellowship, Fertik will work on a new book project, “Outside the Ideal Community: Spaces for Education and Politics in Greco-Roman Antiquity and the Works of W. E. B. Du Bois.” She will investigate education in political communities that do not value the equal participation of its citizens in public discourse and action.

“While much work at the intersection of political and educational philosophy in classical studies focuses on the formation of the ideal community and how to educate its members,” says Fertik, “I investigate how, where and why education takes place when these ideals cannot be realized. I will use W. E. B. Du Bois’ discussions of classical training for African Americans to frame my study of education and politics in the ancient world.”

While recent scholarship has paid greater attention to the influence of Du Bois’ classical training in his thinking about politics, education and race, says Fertik, no one has yet examined the potential of Du Bois’ work to shed light on key issues in classical antiquity.

Humboldt-Universität has an active program in African-American studies, and Du Bois himself was a doctoral student there in the late 19th century.

“The Humboldt fellowship will give me the time necessary to make significant progress in researching and writing this book,” says Fertik.

Fertik has also received a faculty fellowship from the UNH Center for the Humanities to support this project.


UNH Research Finds Trump Voters Stand Apart on Renewable Energy and Climate

February 2, 2017

key findings chart

Only 25 percent of those who say they voted for Donald Trump agree with the scientific consensus that human activities are changing Earth’s climate, according to new survey research at UNH. In contrast, large majorities of Clinton voters as well as third-party voters and nonvoters believe humans are causing climate change and want to see renewable energy development be a priority.

Climate change received little media attention during the 2016 presidential campaign, but recent surveys indicate that climate change and related energy issues are taken seriously by a growing majority of the public. Almost three-fourths of Americans surveyed after the election said that renewable energy should be a higher national priority than more drilling for oil and about two-thirds agree with the scientific consensus that humans are changing Earth’s climate.

“We saw a common theme when talking about what actions those surveyed wanted to see to reduce the risks of climate change,” said Larry Hamilton, professor of sociology and a senior Carsey fellow. “While renewable energy and lifestyle changes were popular, cap-and-trade and carbon tax were not. Overall, Trump voters are much less likely than other voter groups to support any action to reduce the risks of climate change.”

“Although public recognition and a sense of urgency lag behind science, they are measurably rising,” Hamilton added. “Given the outcome of the 2016 election and the belief patterns seen in these surveys, the willingness of the U.S. to respond is in question.”

The full report can be found here: https://carsey.unh.edu/publication/energy-climate-trump.


Become a STEM Teacher in Rural N.H. Schools

December 19, 2016

students in classroom

Ever thought about becoming a teacher? UNH is recruiting individuals interested in teaching in rural N.H. schools with a background in math or science but who do not yet have a teaching credential for the new Teacher Residency for Rural Education Program (TRRE).

TRRE is a 15-month teacher residency program that prepares high quality teachers in either elementary or secondary education math or science. During their first summer, residents will take graduate coursework, observe in schools, and complete a community-based internship to learn about the resources of the communities in which they will teach. During the academic year, residents will complete a yearlong “residency” alongside an experienced master teacher in an elementary, middle, or high school classroom.

Residents receive a living wage to support their learning while earning a master’s degree and teacher certification. In addition, during the first two years as a new teacher, Residents receive ongoing support and professional development. Residents commit to teach in rural high need N.H. schools for three years following graduation.

The first cohort begins May 2017. An undergraduate degree in either a math or science discipline is recommended but not required. Those with related backgrounds may still be eligible. Students who plan to earn their bachelor’s degrees in May ’17 are eligible.

Interested individuals should contact Leslie Couse (Leslie.Couse@unh.edu) for further information.


Towering Sounds

December 16, 2016

photo of Peter Urquhart at carillon

When it comes to campus traditions, there are few more familiar than the songs that toll from the Thompson Hall tower every morning at 11. Listen for a moment and you might hear a familiar tune — the theme from “Harry Potter,” perhaps, or, during the holiday season, a Christmas carol. This week, though, you may want to listen a little more closely as you walk through campus. That’s because 10 new student and staff compositions will make a ringing debut on the carillon.

Peter Urquhart, associate professor of music, has been the UNH carilloneur since 2000. Earlier this year, Urquhart began seeking submissions for the university’s second carillon composition contest. It was a way to make the instrument part of UNH’s sesquicentennial celebrations, as well as a way to draw attention to it.

He received submissions from undergraduates, graduate students and even staff members. Urquhart’s Music Theory II class chose the top 10 submissions, and the winning compositions began chiming across campus on Dec. 9.

One of the winners is Nate Faro ’15 ’16G, whose composition is based partly on a piece he’s writing for the UNH Wind Symphony. The symphony references UNH songs like “The Alma Mater” and “The New Hampshire Hymn,” and Faro had written a part for orchestral bells that he eventually scrapped.

“I feel like I’ve made a bit of a mark on the university,” he says. “It’s a really nice feeling when you have your own composition played, especially when you hear it ringing across campus.”

edited from a story by Larry Clow

Read the full story in UNH Today.

Watch Video: Behind the Music


Passing: Professor Emeritus John Shotter

December 12, 2016

photo of John Shotter

Remembrance by John Lannamann, associate professor of communication:

We received the sad news that our former colleague and good friend John Shotter died at his home in Whittlesford, England. John came to the Communication Department in 1991 and served as chair of the department from 1999 until 2001. He retired from UNH in 2004.

John was a prolific scholar and an extremely humble person. Although hired as a full professor, we were obliged to wait out the mandatory two-year period before presenting his case for tenure. One of his letter writers, Jerome Bruner, was incredulous that we would put someone with John’s record through such a process. He was right, but John would be the last to remind us of that fact. At the time, John had well over 100 publications appearing in a broad range of journals spanning many disciplines. Without the benefit of an institutionally mandated C.V., we’ve now lost count of his publication record since leaving UNH, but we know from following his work that the pace has kept up. Just last month, he published his most recent book, “Speaking, Actually: Towards a New ‘Fluid’ Common-Sense Understanding of Relational Becomings.” That book completes a life-long project that began with “Images of Man in Psychological Research” in 1975. In each of his nine subsequent books, he continued to upset our standard assumptions about how to study humans.

We’ll miss John. He was a good friend and a generous colleague who was at home in the Communication Department but kept ties with his original discipline of psychology while reaching out to kindred spirits in philosophy, sociology, anthropology and education. The College of Liberal Arts was fortunate to have him with us.

Professor Shotter was professor emeritus of communication. He passed away on December 8, 2016.


Feed 150!

December 9, 2016

boxing up food

As part of Celebrate 150: The Campaign for UNH, the College of Liberal Arts collected food and grocery story gift card donations from College faculty, staff and students to feed 150 people in need this holiday season. The College is working with Waysmeet UNH, home to the Cornucopia Food Pantry, to make the gifts available to individuals and families.

boxes ready to go


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