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Granite State College Celebrates the 2014 Graduation, Academic Honors, and Presents Honorary Degree and Awards at Commencement Ceremony
On Sunday, June 8, 2014, Granite State College (GSC) will celebrate the graduation of more than 400 students from its associate, bachelor’s, and master’s programs at the Bank of NH Pavilion at Meadowbrook in Gilford, NH. In addition to these degrees, an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters will be presented to Jeremy Hitchcock, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Dyn, and other awards will be celebrated
Honorary Doctorate 2014
For more than 10 years, New Hampshire’s education community and the greater Manchester region have benefited from Jeremy Hitchcock’s creative and energetic leadership. As the CEO of Dyn and through his various leadership roles with nonprofit organizations, Hitchcock’s impact has touched the lives of countless students and citizens in New Hampshire and beyond. Dyn is an internet performance solutions company headquartered in Manchester, New Hampshire. Hitchcock leads the senior management team by setting the company’s strategic direction and driving the product vision.
Throughout his career, Hitchcock has developed the ability to identify the most pressing challenges that exist in his community and worked hard to be part of the solution. Hitchcock’s track record shows a history of developing innovative business and industry partnerships that provide practical and relevant education pathways for students that lead to reliable career opportunities among New Hampshire employers.
Hitchcock is an angel investor and avid supporter of modern education. He currently sits on the Board of Trustees for the Community College System of New Hampshire and Southern New Hampshire University. Hitchcock was a leading voice behind the pioneering STEAM Ahead NH initiative that is modernizing public education in New Hampshire. He is also founder of the Dyn Hackademy, educating the next generation of tech entrepreneurs.
Hitchcock has written extensively on building ecosystems, running a bootstrapped and hyper-growth company, and education for publications like the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, VentureBeat, and the Boston Globe.
Hitchcock graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute with a B.S. in Management Information Systems and lives in Manchester, NH, with wife, Liz, and their three children, Matthew, Catherine, and Benjamin.
With a personal and professional mission that puts students at the center, Jeremy Hitchcock embodies the spirit of Granite State College and the institution is proud to present him with the 2014 Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters.
Francis Sullivan has been selected to address the graduates and guests on behalf of the Class of 2014. Sullivan serves as a Lieutenant for the Nashua Police Department overseeing the Special Investigations Division. Sullivan is graduating summa cum laude and is a member of the prestigious honor society, Alpha Sigma Lambda. Sullivan is the first person in his family to achieve this level of education and he aspires to continue his education into a master’s degree program, using his degrees to provide advanced levels of leadership in law enforcement.
Each year, four Class Marshals are selected for each undergraduate degree program to lead the graduate processional. These individuals have earned the highest grade point average (GPA) of all the students seeking that degree. The Class of 2014 Marshals include: Joy Noyes of Albany, NH, representing Bachelor of Arts; Kelsie Lord of Derry, NH, representing Bachelor of Science; Heidi Goyette of Thornton, NH, representing Associate of Arts; and Jedediah Jackson of Dover, NH, representing Associate of Science.
Granite State Award 2014
This year’s Granite State Award was presented to HYPE (Hosting Young Philosophy Enthusiasts), a program launched by the Souhegan High School Ethics Forum.
The Souhegan High School Ethics Forum, a student-lead, extra-curricular program connected with the Senior Seminar Ethics course, was created as a result of students’ growing enthusiasm for ethical and philosophical discussion and their desire to convert discussion to action. While the Forum works on many projects throughout the year, one of the most important is HYPE (Hosting Young Philosophy Enthusiasts).
HYPE has inspired students for the past five years, allowing them to participate in Socratic seminars that promote philosophical inquiry and discussion among high school students across New Hampshire. HYPE’s mission is to further philosophical education for students in the state and provide a gateway for collaboration among high school youth.
Through its dedication to creating an academically rich environment for New Hampshire students to connect through philosophical discussions, HYPE embodies the spirit of the Granite State Award.
Granite State College celebrates the Ethics Forum’s community approach to leadership and is proud to present them with the 2014 Granite State Award.
Distinguished Faculty Award 2014
Mary Beth McNicholas of Hopkington, NH. Faculty, Graduate Studies.
As a faculty member in the Master of Science in Project Management program, Mary Beth McNicholas is an outstanding role model for her colleagues and students. McNicholas is an innovative, dedicated educator who maintains high standards while being supportive and nurturing.
The combination of McNicholas’ depth of knowledge and teaching style which blends theory and practice has made her an invaluable addition to the master’s program. She was an integral member of the team that developed the innovative Project Management curriculum which incorporates project based learning, ePortfolios, and competency based assessment. Currently, McNicholas is working on the Project Management Institute’s Global Accreditation which will bring world-wide recognition to the GSC master’s program.
Most importantly, McNicholas is widely revered by Granite State College students. McNicholas’ ability to earn the respect of students, along with that of her peers and colleagues across the institution and throughout New Hampshire are evidence of her extraordinary contributions and important impact in our community.
Granite State College is proud to work with a dynamic, forward-thinking professional like Mary Beth McNicholas and it is our honor to present her with the 2014 Distinguished Faculty Award.
Victor Montana Award
Ricardo Amesquita of Goffstown, NH. Alumnus, B.S. Behavioral Science, 2005
Ricardo Amesquita is greatly respected and admired within New Hampshire’s veteran’s services community for his support of veterans and his advocacy for lifelong learning. Amesquita earned his Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Sciences from Granite State College in 2005. He earned his master’s degree in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Massachusetts, Boston in 2008. Today Amesquita continues to advocate for lifelong learning among those he counsels.
Amesquita has spent almost his entire adult life in service to his country and community. Amesquita retired from the US navy in 1997 after twenty years of active duty. For over a decade his work in the community has allowed him to promote education. At the Big Brothers / Big Sisters of Greater Manchester, he matched children with program volunteers. As a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor for the N.H. Department of Education he provided guidance and counseling services to individuals in the Nashua and Manchester areas.
Currently, Amesquita is using his positive approach and respect for learning in his role as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor and Employment Coordinator at the Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Office in Manchester, New Hampshire. In his role, he’s provided guidance and counseling services to over 200 veterans, assisting them to obtain suitable and gainful employment support services and access to veteran’s education benefits.
Amesquita’s genuine support and compassion for the Veterans of our state is evident in his work and in the partnerships he has created with institutions of higher education. Through his own journey as an adult student, Amesquita has a deep understanding of the value of lifelong learning and he works to inspire these principles among the disabled veterans he serves.
In recognition of an alumnus who exemplifies the spirit of the award, Granite State College is honored to present the 2014 Victor Montana Award to Ricardo Amesquita.
Todd J. Leach Award for Innovative Leadership
Kathleen Mullin, Associate Vice Chancellor for Partnerships & Strategic Initiatives, University System of New Hampshire.
Kathi Mullin is a career educator with a comprehensive understanding of reform, innovation, and operations in teaching and learning institutions. A public-minded leader and seasoned manager, she is a visionary implementer of educational missions focused on access, affordability, workforce relevance, and data-driven quality.
During her recent tenure as Vice President for Administration at Granite State College, Mullin helped the GSC team execute the College’s strategic vision by advancing academic innovation and expanding access to affordable, quality education that allows students to increase their social mobility. Mullin leads by example, demonstrating an entrepreneurial spirit that demands agility, adaptation, and rapid response. Mullin’s leadership helped to maintain the College’s position as a leader in innovative programming.
Before beginning her higher education career at Northeastern University and then Granite State College, Mullin had a long and nationally-recognized career in K-12 education in the Boston Public Schools. As part of the senior administrative team responsible for the development and implementation of all district-wide high school reform initiatives, Mullin served in a top leadership role to address issues including student achievement, fluctuating enrollment, financial sustainability, school facility planning and operations, and internal and external governance. During her tenure in Boston, Mullin was known for her visionary leadership and ability to manage growth through thoughtful collaboration across a myriad of constituencies.
Mullin is the recipient of many awards and other national recognition, including the Innovations in Education Award presented by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino in 1993 and 2000, the Boston Private Industry Council Achievement Award in 1996, and the Henry L. Shattuck Award for Excellence in Public Service in 1992.
In celebration of her accomplishments, Granite State College is honored to present the inaugural Todd J. Leach Award for Innovative Leadership to Kathi Mullin.
Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society Inductees, 2013-2014
In a ceremony previously held, the following students were inducted into Alpha Sigma Lambda, the distinguished honor society that aims to recognize the special achievements of adults who accomplish academic excellence while facing competing interests of home and work.
*Following is a list of 2013-2014 inductees into the Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society, sorted by town/city. Note: this list only includes underclassmen; you may find the Alpha Sigma Lambda achievement for the Class of 2014 under the “honors” column of the 2014 Granite State College Graduates listing.
2014 Granite State College Graduates