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Colby-Sawyer Professor is N.H. Environmental Educator of the Year

Associate Professor and Chair of Environmental Studies Laura Alexander has been named the New Hampshire Environmental Educator of the Year in the Higher Education/Non-formal category by New Hampshire Environmental Educators (NHEE). Professor Alexander received the award at the NHEE Annual Conference held at the AMC Highland Center in Crawford Notch, N.H., on Friday, April 11. NHEE is the state's professional organization for those working and/or interested in environmental education.

“I feel honored and humbled to receive this award because there are so many terrific environmental educators in the state,” said Professor Alexander. “I was surprised to have been nominated and chosen.”

The honor is no surprise to those who know her, though – several former students have contacted Professor Alexander over the years to thank her for her advice and wisdom. “The opportunity to help shape someone's life is the greatest gift of teaching,” said Professor Alexander. “I look for ways to make learning relevant and to entice students to care about places because I believe we are good stewards of places we care about.”

Professor Alexander joined the Colby-Sawyer faculty in 2001; her courses include Environmental Issues, Exploring Nature, Desert Communities and White Mountain History. Her areas of expertise encompass sense of place, native flora, New Hampshire's White Mountains and North Country, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

A consummate outdoorswoman, Professor Alexander shares her love and extensive knowledge of the natural environment with her students through walks on and near campus, and hiking in New Hampshire's alpine environments. The best teaching experiences, Professor Alexander said, “usually happen in the field environment, the 'outdoor classroom,' when a student makes the connection between something we have read or talked about and something they can see or touch. [It is] the moment when it becomes 'real' for them.”

Professor Alexander earned a B.S. at Colby-Sawyer College and holds an M.S. and Ph.D. in Environmental Studies from Antioch University New England. She was the 2009 recipient of the Jack Jensen Award for Excellence in Teaching, Colby-Sawyer's highest recognition for faculty.

- Anurup Upadhyay '15

Anurup Upadhyay is a Business major at Colby-Sawyer College and a student writer for College Communications.

Colby-Sawyer College is a comprehensive college that integrates the liberal arts and sciences with professional preparation. Founded in 1837, Colby-Sawyer is located in the scenic Lake Sunapee Region of central New Hampshire. Learn more about the college's vibrant teaching and learning community at

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