university of new hampshire

“The road goes ever on and on […] and I must follow, if I can” - J.R.R. Tolkien

It’s been an incredible journey pursuing higher education, and just one event in my life. Now it’s time to keep following that road, wherever it may lead, down from the door where it began, onwards to the next destination. 

I tried to design my cap to reflect that which is important to me - flowers for a general love of nature, bird feathers for ornithology, and bees for my passion for entomology and my thesis research on native pollinator conservation. Plus, a Lord of the Rings quote, because who has written more eloquently on life’s journeys than Tolkien? 

Happy 2017 Graduation UNH Alumni!

May 25, 1901

During a freak snowstorm in Cleveland, Ted Lewis becomes the first Boston Americans (Red Sox) pitcher to throw a shutout when he blanks the Tribe at League Park, 5-0. The 28-year-old right-hander from Wales will become better known later in life as the president of Massachusetts State College and the University of New Hampshire.


I can’t believe it’s been four whole years at this amazing university. The time really does fly when you’re getting a good education. It hasn’t really sunk in yet that come fall I won’t be moving my things back up to the res halls or walking into a new class to greet my professor and see which of my friends also registered for the course. I’m going to miss that beautiful campus and all its wildlife - I’ve come to know the individual trees and birds there and I tried to say goodbye to as many as I could! I will surely visit again, both to reconnect with the nature I love and also, hopefully, to continue to work with this university on world-renowned ecological research. I am proud to have had the opportunity to study here, and also to have made so many great friends and meet influential faculty which I will never forget. I am also honored to have been class marshal for the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture, and to be an Honors Program Presidential Scholar, having maintained a 4.0 GPA all four years. It’s been a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, but it’s been worth it. Congrats to all the 3500 UNH wildcats that graduated today (drawing a crowd of over 20,000 people!), or those who have already graduated at UNH Manchester. Be proud of yourself, it’s an incredible achievement, and good luck in all your endeavors! And remember… IT’S A GREAT DAY TO BE A WILDCAT! [EVERY DAY’S A GREAT DAY TO BE A WILDCAT!]

Image courtesy of the University of New Hampshire

The University of New Hampshire has announced that librarian Robert Morin, a longtime employee who died in March of 2015, left his entire estate to the school – a cool $4 million dollars.

As the Boston Globe reports, Morin wasn’t your ordinary frugal librarian:

“He would have some Fritos and a Coke for breakfast, a quick cheese sandwich at the library, and at home would have a frozen dinner because the only thing he had to work with was a microwave,” [longtime financial adviser Edward] Mullen said. “He was a very unusual gentleman.”

But wait, there’s more … according to a UNH news release, 

Morin also had a passion for watching movies, and from 1979 to 1997 he watched more than 22,000 videos. Following this feat, he switched his attention to books. He read, in chronological order, every book published in the U.S. from 1930 to 1940 — excluding children’s books, textbooks and books about cooking and technology. At the time of his death he had reached 1,938, the year of his birth.


– Petra

Watch on

The Five-Minute Linguist talks from the LSA are now online! These short, accessible lightning talks were a new feature of the annual meeting of 2017 and attracted a great crowd of people. 

The eight speakers and topics (not in order) were: 

  • Carina Bauman (New York University): Back GOAT in Asian American English
  • Rachel Steindel Burdin (University of New Hampshire): This you call a rise fall?
  • Rabia Ergin (Tufts University): Emergence of verb classes in a young village sign language
  • Jeff Good (University at Buffalo): Local dynamics to high level Patterns in Bantu
  • Heidi Harley (University of Arizona): Node sprouting and root suppletion in Korean
  • Kirk Hazen (West Virginia University): Southern vowels and shifting Appalachian identities
  • Carmel O'Shannessy (University of Michigan): What do children do in contact induced language change?
  • Gregory Scontras (Stanford University): Subjectivity predicts adjective ordering preferences

The emcee was John McWhorter, and the judges were myself, Ben Zimmer, Michael Erard, W.A. Brenner, and an audience poll. I’m not going to post the winner here, so you can watch and judge your favourite for yourself!