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Staff Excellence Profile: Richard Haynes Honored with Social Justice and Diversity Award

November 5, 2008

Richard Haynes in his office, "the most comfortable place away from home." Haynes is the associate director for Diversity in Admissions.

For Richard Haynes, promoting social justice and advancing diversity begin with these key words: message, insight, passion, and mentor.

The message is for all students: higher education is a must.

Haynes shares his message by becoming a mentor to the students he meets. His ability to connect with students and the UNH community alike is unmatched, and his insight has touched many.

One colleague, Vilmarie Sanchez, said, “Last January I visited Health Careers Academy, a high school on the campus of Northeastern University, and heard firsthand from students and the guidance counselor about the impact of Richard Haynes.”

During high school visits, Haynes speaks with the entire student body and Sanchez witnessed the impression left by Haynes’ passion.

“I spoke with some very excited young students, waiting to hear about their acceptance to UNH. The connection was Richard. I found myself thinking, these students are building for their future and the world’s future and here they are inspired by the very same man who touched my soul. That is not coincidence—that is serendipity.”

Haynes credits his own early mentors with much of his success. Miriam H. Powers, Haynes’ middle school teacher, cultivated his artistic ability and stressed the importance of a college education. After graduating from the High School of Art and Design in New York, Haynes was drafted into the Army but, instead, enlisted into the Air Force during the Vietnam War. 

At the end of Haynes’ service, Mrs. Powers was there. “She said, ‘Are you ready now to complete your college education?’” Haynes remembers. “She saw something in me that I could not see in myself; she never gave up on me. I attempt to do the same for everyone I meet.”

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