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Salem State University in the Media

Thursday, June 8, 2017 10:36am


The Salem News: New Salem State president eyes science building, diversity

Thousands of students will flock to Salem State University next week for the start of another year. But the guy on campus with perhaps the biggest learning curve has already gotten a head start. John Keenan officially began as Salem State's new president on Aug. 6, taking over for the retired Patricia Meservey.


Wicked Local Salem: At Salem State, dozens pack Collins Observatory for solar eclipse

The opportunity to witness the first total eclipse of the sun in 38 years at Salem State University’s Collins Observatory was too much to pass up for many area residents Monday.



Gene Labonte, chief of police at Salem State University, joined the school five years ago after serving as a lieutenant colonel in the Connecticut State Police. When he arrived, the campus police force had been armed since 2004. “It was the norm when I got here,” he said. “We have had no incidents where officers discharged their firearms to any hostile acts toward the school community. There have been reports of gunfire in the city proper, but nothing on campus.” Labonte said while he wants his 31 officers to be seen on the school’s four campuses, he does not want to create the appearance of a police state.



(Features Prof. Luke Conlin)

The last time a total solar eclipse occurred in the U.S. was in 1979, when Nahant’s Luke Conlin was only a year old. “Maybe that’s why I enjoy space so much,” he said. The Salem State University Physics professor will be hosting an eclipse viewing, open to the public, on top of Meier Hall on Monday when the solar eclipse is set to begin. “An eclipse takes place when one heavenly body such as a moon or planet moves into the shadow of another heavenly body. There are two types of eclipses on Earth: an eclipse of the moon and an eclipse of the sun,” as defined by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).


The Salem News: North Shore residents readying for Monday's solar eclipse

(Salem State Professor Luke Conlin is quoted).

At Salem State University, a viewing party is planned at the Collins Observatory. There will be multiple angles to look at the eclipse, and visitors can build their own viewing station.


Salem News/Gloucester Times op-ed: A warning from Charlottesville

(Written by Prof. Christopher Mauriello)

On the evening of Aug. 11, 2017, an eclectic group of white supremacists and nationalists marched through the historical campus of the University of Virginia (UVA) in Charlottesville. They carried their torchlights to protest the removal of the statue of the Confederate general Robert E. Lee from recently renamed Emancipation Park. But like 1933, their torchlight parade was intended as both a triumph and a warning. Triumph in that these marginal political groups felt confident there were enough Americans willing to listen to their message and a warning that America needed to be cleared of its contemporary “asocials” of Jews, African Americans, LGBTQ+ community, immigrants and their proxy white “liberal apologists.”


WCVB’s “Chronicle”: Cutting Edge: PABI, Hearing Recovery, and Cooling Necklaces

This segment features the PABI (Penguin for Autism Behavioral Intervention) – the work of Salem State Professor Laurie Dickstein-Fischer. The PABI is mechanical penguin that simulates social responses and can potentially diagnose, measure, and improve a child’s understanding and use of social cues. 


The Salem News: Nate Bryant named chief of staff to Salem State president

Nate Bryant of Salem has been named chief of staff to Salem State University President John Keenan.


Inside Higher Ed: The Merger Vortex

(Features Vice President Karen House)

Mounting fiscal pressures on higher education institutions would seem to have created a ripe environment for mergers between colleges and universities, yet many administrators remain unconvinced such deals will actually happen … Salem State University made the decision to walk away from a merger it had been exploring with Montserrat College of Art in 2015. Leaders said at the time that the numbers “just didn't work.” Karen House, the vice president for finance and business at Salem State, did not elaborate Monday on the public university's reasons for not acquiring the private art college.


Wicked Local North of Boston: Swampscott resident Anne Driscoll helps spotlight plight of exonerees

In the conclusion to the film “The Exonerated,” Sunny Jacobs makes an appearance and says that after she was released from prison, her grandchildren told her she had gotten lost. “I told them, yes I was, but I’ll never be lost again,” she proclaims … The event, the final installment of the inaugural Summer at Salem State (University) Social Justice Institute Series, was moderated by award-winning journalist, author and activist Anne Driscoll. The Swampscott resident received the 2016 Salem Award for her commitment to social justice and human rights.


JULY 2017

WBUR: How Profits From Opium Shaped 19th-Century Boston

(Professor Dane Morrison is featured)

Perkins and Co. was among the first -- if not the first -- American companies to establish a permanent trading office in Canton. With employees on the scene year-round, the firm can optimize profits on the drug — which is still legal in the United States, but illegal in China … "That money changes the face of Boston and makes it possible for Boston to develop a reputation as one of the world's true civic cities," said Salem State University historian Dane Morrison.


The Salem News: Salem State grads carry on search for next antibiotic

(Two SSU alumni are featured)

Two former Salem State University chemistry majors could wind up discovering the first class of new antibiotics in 30 years. Jake Cotter and Dakota Hamill are the founders of Prospective Research Inc., an antibiotic drug discovery company working out of an Endicott College lab.  



(Feature story with two Salem State alumni)

A local pair of artists is changing the landscape on the same streets they walked as kids. After installing their mural of a giant sasquatch bearing the word “Believe,” Lynn’s Chris “Tallboy” Coulon and Swampscott native Brian Denahy, are ready for their artwork to become a landmark.


The Smithsonian: The Site of the Salem Witch Trial Hangings Finally Has a Memorial

(Professor Emerson “Tad” Baker is mentioned and quoted)

In a town that has long profited from witchcraft-seekers and Halloween revelers alike, a new memorial strikes a different tone … The Salem witch trials were “the largest and most lethal witch hunt in American history,” wrote historian Emerson “Tad” Baker, a professor at Salem State University in his 2015 book A Storm of Witchcraft: The Salem Trials and the American Experience. In a June symposium about the trials, Baker spoke about the volatile political and social climate in Salem in the 1790s.


The Marblehead Reporter: Marblehead interns make a difference

(SSU Professor Julie Kiernan is mentioned)

Marblehead resident and assistant professor at Salem State University, Julie Kiernan with her husband of 20 years, Robert Goodwin, went to the United Nations meeting in New York City with three Marblehead High School interns. 


JUNE 2017 

Salem News: South Salem train station, diversity on Keenan's priority list

John Keenan sits amid silver-clad shovels and multi-million dollar plans tacked to the wall in his Salem State University office. It's his old office. 


The Boston Globe: Student loans? I’ve decided to pass

(Written by Salem State graduate student Marianne Curcio)

When I made the decision to go to graduate school, I was certain of only one thing; under no circumstances would I take out any more student loans to fund my education.


The Salem News: Future of Work survey shows disconnect between jobs, young people

Employers on the North Shore covet workers who above all show an ability and willingness to learn, a new workforce survey released Thursday morning shows … A packed audience heard the survey's findings Thursday at Salem State University.


The Salem News:  Keenan confirmed as Salem State president

John Keenan, a self-described "proud son of Salem" who was among the first in his family to go to college, was officially named on Tuesday as the 14th president of Salem State University.


The Boston Globe: Former lawmaker John Keenan named Salem State president

State officials Tuesday unanimously approved a white male former state representative to serve as president of Salem State University, but they said they want to ensure that a diverse array of candidates without political connections are given more consideration in the future.


The Salem News Column: Celebrating immigrant entrepreneurs

(Mentions the Enterprise Center at Salem State)

As part of the MGCC grant, North Shore CDC has surveyed 12 immigrant-owned businesses, will be hosting three pop-up events, and selected seven owners to be part of an Immigrant Entrepreneurs Highlight … We are working with the Enterprise Center at Salem State University to connect the entrepreneurs we are working with to quality programming to support their businesses.


Patch: Salem State Names Executive Director Of Frederick E. Berry Library

Elizabeth McKeigue, M.S.L.S., of Salem, has been named executive director of the Frederick E. Berry Library and Learning Commons at Salem State University, a resource for students, faculty and staff, and for residents of Salem and surrounding communities. McKeigue began serving in this role in May and is responsible for the development and management of library staff, collections and programming. 


Wicked Local North of Boston: Salem Award Foundation turns 25 years old

(President Meservey and Vice President John Keenan are mentioned and pictured)

The Salem Award Foundation for Human Rights and Social Justice turns 25 years old in 2017, and the nonprofit celebrated the milestone Sunday afternoon with a celebration near the Salem Witch Trials Memorial … The crowd also heard remarks from Pat Meservey, outgoing Salem State University president, Elizabeth Lahikainen and John Keenan, Bruce Michaud, owner of the Salem Witch Museum.


The Boston Globe North: Like father, like volunteer

(Front page of Sunday Globe North section; Ben Szalewicz, Assistant Vice President of Capital Planning and Facilities Management, is mentioned)

Ben Szalewicz, 44, and daughter Clara, 14, do their volunteer work at Appleton Farms, a holding of the Trustees of Reservations, because they want to help and, he said, because “Clara was one of our four kids who really loves animals.”


The Salem News: DeLeo honors Meservey as 'an invaluable partner'

Retiring Salem State University President Patricia Meservey received the chamber's North Shore Distinguished Leader Award at Wednesday's North Shore Chamber of Commerce breakfast. Five Salem State trustees, including Chairman Paul Mattera, were in attendance. 


Boston Business Journal: Best of Mass. commencement speakers' 2017 speeches

“Never forget that what you do is important, but how you do it is also important. An ‘A’ plan with a ‘C’ execution is still a ‘C’ plan.”  Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, Salem State University


The Boston Globe: Salem State giving students a worldly view

Before Abraham Lincoln was president, the Salem Normal School was training young women to become teachers for local children. A few name changes and 163 years later, Salem State University’s mission has extended worldwide, sending students abroad while welcoming those from foreign lands to its North Shore campus. Students, faculty, and administrators increasingly interact with their peers in China, Indonesia, the Middle East, Europe, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. 

Kimberly Burnett
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