Matthew Schwartz

Contributing Writer



A Keene State College student returned to campus after the 2011 spring break with her laundry, books, and a gold trophy with the words engraved: Keene State College- School of the Year.

Junior Kate Chimienti wrote a 30-page bid for the School of the Year award that she presented to NEACURH. According to, The North East Affiliate of College and University Residence Halls (NEACURH) is an organization comprised of students involved in residential life on college campuses across the northeast region.

At each NEACURH conference, colleges are awarded several titles such as Program of the Year, Student of the Year, and School of the Year.

“Residence Hall Organization (RHO) was on the fast track to being involved on the regional and national level so we decided as a group in August that it would be in our best interest to bid for School of the Year. I was the first one to express interest in writing the bid,” Chimienti said.

“School of the Year is the highest honor that a school can be awarded at a conference. The award gave us recognition on a regional and national level,” Chimienti noted.

Chimienti was Vice President of RHO during the School of the Year bid and is President for the 2011-2012 academic year.

“When the School of the Year winner was announced I was at a loss for words. All of those hours of work paid off. It felt like winning a championship,” Chimienti said.

“I want to make it clear that this isn’t just RHO’s award, but Keene State’s award.

Everyone should be proud that our school has been showcased regionally and nationally,” Chimienti stated.

Senior Aly Gilhooly who helped Kate write and edit the bid said, “Kate consistently motivated the entire organization to get involved with the bid.

She also coordinated with all RHO members involved the different parts that needed to be completed.

When the different sections were all written, she took it upon herself to put it together and make sure it accurately portrayed how incredible our organization and our school really is.”

“Kate is an incredible influence on this campus. She has held different jobs on campus along with leadership positions that have contributed to RHO and Keene State College’s success and development.

She consistently motivates people to succeed at their best and encourages her peers to take advantage of the opportunities that are all around our college,” Gilhooly added.

National Communications Coordinator for RHO Sean O’Toole said, “Kate has been an integral part of RHO as an organization and an amazing friend for the past few years.

This organization has grown and done great things the past couple of years and none of it could have happened without Kate.  Kate is a dedicated person who strives to do the best job possible in anything.”

President Helen Giles-Gee, the Board of Trustees, Student Affairs, and other administration officials recognized Residence Hall Organization for the award.

Keene State College has the School of the Year title until March 2012 when the next school recipient is announced.


Matthew Schwartz can be contacted at

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