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Plymouth State student awarded grant to study water quality

PLYMOUTH — A Plymouth State University graduate student has received a prestigious grant to study water quality in New Hampshire's Ossippee and Squam Lakes.

Melanie Perello, a second-year student in PSU's Environmental Science and Policy program, is the inaugural recipient of the International Phycological Society's (IPC) Paul C. Silva grant. This award for student-led research on algae supports Perello's Master of Science thesis, a collaborative project with the Center for the Environment, the Squam Lakes Association and the Green Mountain Conservation Group, to monitor various indicators of water quality, including diatoms (algae), in the two lakes.

"Specifically, I am looking at diatom fossils preserved in the sediments of Ossipee and Squam Lakes," said Perello. "Both of these lakes are important resources for drinking water and recreation, as well as vital habitat for sensitive wildlife. The quality of these lakes is continually threatened by changing climate, nutrient pollution, and shoreline development. Diatoms can be used as an indicator of lake water quality and the fossils allow us to infer past water quality and climate, providing a long-term record for each lake."

Perello's research expands upon historical and current data gathered by lake water quality assessment volunteers in New Hampshire by combining it with new, year-round water quality monitoring and lake sediment archives analyses.

"Melanie is targeting two regions within New Hampshire that have very active volunteer monitoring programs and whose lake associations are concerned about future influences on water quality by land-use and climate change," said PSU Assistant Professor of Environmental Science Lisa Doner, who also serves as Perello's advisor. "The support from the International Phycological Society will assist Melanie in meeting her research goals and also support the region through applied environmental science."

"We will be able to tell residents the history of water quality in those two lakes,

the changes that have occurred and what those changes are related to," added Perello.

Perello is a native of Poland, Ohio, and earned her undergraduate degree at Westminster College.

The IPC is dedicated to the development of phycology (the study of algae), the distribution of phycological information and international cooperation among phycologists and phycological organizations. Dr. Paul Claude Silva (1922-2014) helped organize the IPC in 1960 and is regarded as a leader in the field of algae study. He spent most of his working life at the University of California-Berkeley and the Jepson Herbarium. The grant includes funding for travel to meetings and workshops in which the student is presenting work on algae research projects.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 February 2015 11:42

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Barbershop concert to benefit youth program


WOLFEBORO — An evening of barbershop harmony with the Coastal Harmony A Cappella Group to benefit the Appalachian Mountain Teen Project will be held at All Saints' Church on Saturday March 14 at 7:30 p.m. Cost is $10 and kids are free.

Attendees will enjoy an evening of barbershop harmony and storytelling by the talented Seacoast Men of Harmony and the Lakes Region Chorus. These groups are known for charming audiences with their classic American-style of a cappella harmony that combines love songs, up tunes, patriotic songs, and ballads.

All proceeds will benefit AMTP's activity-based mentoring program, the Teen Project, which supports teens in building confidence, transcending the challenges of adolescence, and exploring future options for their post-high school years.

Doors open at 7 p.m. and the music starts at 7:30 p.m. During intermission, audience members will have the chance to meet AMTP staff, board members, parents, and participants, while enjoying light refreshments and snacks.

Tickets are $10 at the door or contact the AMTP office to reserve tickets in advance.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 February 2015 11:33

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Streetcar Company preparing for spring production of ‘Barnum’

LACONIA — The cast and crew of The Streetcar Company's upcoming presentation of the circus musical "Barnum", have been hard at work preparing for opening night. "Barnum", a popular and long running musical both on Broadway and in London will be presented at Inter-Lakes High School Friday through Sunday, May 1-3rd.
After well attended auditions in January director J. Alward has assembled a cast of veterans and newcomers that include: Bo Guyer in the title role of Barnum (the same role he played 25 years ago), Lynn Dadian as Charity Barnum, Chris Fernandez as the Ringmaster, Karen Jordan as Jenny Lind, Patte Sarusky as Joice Heath, Ceci Zarella as the Blues Singer, and Abby Jutton as Tom Thumb. The ensemble is filled with talented local actors and singers who play the various people that come in and out of the life of Barnum, circus performers, and cool animal acts.
Providing the choreography and creating the circus acts will be long time Streetcar regular Erin Lovett Sherman. Another Streetcar regular Johan Anderson will provide the vocal instruction and Phil Bretton will be playing the piano and creating the other musical sounds.
Director Alward and producer Raelyn Cottrell are working with the production staff to fine tune the behind the scenes arrangements that help pull the show together. Some of those heading up the various positions include Aaron Witham designing the set, Peter Ayer will be collecting the props, and Yvette Lazdowski will be designing and making the costumes.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 February 2015 11:25

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PSU launching 5-year, 2-degree accounting program


PLYMOUTH — Accounting students now have an opportunity to put their careers on a fast track through Plymouth State University's five-year accounting program. Students can earn both a bachelor's and a master's degree in accounting through the five-year program, in addition to being well-prepared for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examinations. PSU's College of Business Administration Dean Trent Boggess said the program reflects the needs of students and the financial services industry.

"Accounting is a growing field and there is an incredible demand for accountants, but becoming one is not an easy task," Boggess said. "Our motivation for adding the Master of Science in Accounting degree is to create a five-year program that better meets the needs of our students and the state of New Hampshire."

New Hampshire recently increased the licensing requirements for new CPAs; they are now required to have 150 credit hours in addition to passing all four parts of the CPA exam, and need one year of professional accounting experience prior to being certified. Tom Guarino, an accounting professor at PSU and CPA, noted that the five-year program prepares students both academically and for the rigorous exam process.

"The fifth year, which is a 30-credit master's of science in accounting program, not only increases a student's knowledge but also prepares them for the CPA exam," Guarino said. "The goal is that students will be able to start taking and passing the CPA exam within their fifth year. Adding another year to their education at PSU is a "win-win" for students because it solves the need to get the additional credits now required for a CPA and a master's degree in accounting, which really puts them ahead of other graduates trying to find jobs in accounting."

Furthermore, the fifth year can be taken online, which is crucial to those already working in the field.

"Having the fifth year available online provides students with the flexibility to work a full-time job while attending school," added Guarino.

Becoming a CPA is an arduous task, but the field is a lucrative one. According to Robert Half Management Resources, a financial industry staffing services leader, an entry-level CPA generally earns between $45,000 to $55,000 annually.

"What everybody wants to know is, is getting my degree worth it? The answer is yes, particularly in accounting," asserts Boggess. "You have to work hard, but you will have a direct path to a good job. Our graduates, because they emerge so well trained, are avidly sought after by accounting firms. Our best students start getting job offers in the fall of their senior year, and virtually all of our accounting graduates get jobs shortly after they graduate."

Graduates of Plymouth State's accounting program have a sterling record of success. Larry Haynes '86 is the president and CEO of the Grappone Automotive Group, one of New Hampshire's largest automotive retailing groups. Prior to joining Grappone, he worked for Deloitte & Touche, First NH Bank and the MEG Companies in various financial and accounting positions. Jane Poulin '84, Associate Chief Accountant, US Securities and Exchange Commission, is an executive with 27 years of experience in finance, accounting, internal controls and processes, audit, regulation and corporate governance involving international public companies.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 February 2015 11:19

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