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Jan Nisbet, Director Of Institute On Disability, Receives Alumni Association's Highest Honor

By Kelly Calhoun, Alumni Association
October 17, 2007

Jan Nisbet, director of the Institute on Disability. Lisa Nugent, Photo Services.

The UNH Alumni Association will present its most prestigious award — the Pettee Medal — for extraordinary achievement and distinguished service to the state, the nation, and the world, to Jan Nisbet, director of the UNH Institute on Disability, on Thursday, Nov. 1, at 1:30 p.m. in the 5th floor Reading Room in Dimond Library. A reception will follow.

Nisbet was chosen to receive the Pettee Medal as a result of her commitment, achievement and leadership in the field of disability services. The Institute on Disability’s projects span an immense spectrum, from autism to inclusive education, community living for adults to technology, health care and public policy to leadership training. Under Nisbet’s guidance, the institute has set as its vision a world where all people, including those living with disabilities, are fully engaged members of their communities and where support is available to help individuals and families achieve independence, productivity and a satisfying quality of life.

In addition to her position as director of the Institute on Disability, Nisbet is a tenured associate professor in the education department. She has conducted research and writing for the past 20 years on topics related to school restructuring and reform, transition from school to adult life, supported employment, self-determination, inclusive adult lives and aging.

Nisbet also is past president of the executive board of directors of The Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps (TASH), a national organization focused on improving the lives of persons with severe disabilities and their families through research, training, and advocacy. She has published extensively in the field of severe disabilities, serves on numerous editorial advisory boards, and presents nationally and internationally. She is principal investigator on numerous state and nationally funded projects related to the community integration of children and adults with severe disabilities.

The Pettee Medal was established by the Alumni Association in 1940 to recognize individuals who exhibit the rare devotion to service expressed by the life of the Charles Holmes Pettee, who served the university for 62 years as professor and dean until his death in 1938.

To attend the 2007 Pettee Medal Award ceremony, RSVP no later than October 19 by contacting the Alumni Association at 862.2040 or 800.891.1195 or by e-mail at alumni@unh.edu.

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