40 Under Forty Inducts Three Alumni

February 5, 2019

By Haley Johnson '19

Three Saint Anselm College alumni are 2019 honorees in the New Hampshire Union Leader's annual "40 Under Forty," which annually recognizes young New Hampshire citizens for their talent and service to the state.

This year, Bethany Cottrell ’06, Jane Hirsch ’04 MPA, and Renee Plodzik ’01 APRN were recognized for their professional and volunteer accomplishments.

Bethany Cottrell was recognized for her professional work with victims of abuse as well as her founding of Brigid’s House of Hope, the first safe house for victims of human trafficking in New Hampshire. As Executive Director at Merrimack County Advocacy Center, Cottrell helps victims of abuse have a voice as well as heal and find justice. She is passionate about working with dedicated professionals to properly support victims, as well as educating the community on how to decrease cycles of violence. Through Brigid’s House, she is expanding that support to include another vulnerable population in New Hampshire.

Cottrell, who earned her bachelor’s in psychology from Saint Anselm, also volunteers in the community at Front Door Agency’s Santa Fund as a Christmas Shopper and is a board member for Brigid’s House.  

Jane Hirsch is the director of scheduling and special assistant to Governor Chris Sununu on military and veteran affairs. As a daughter and granddaughter of a veterans, Hirsch is passionate in her mission to provide the best treatment and care for those who serve their country. She also sits on the advisory board of the Children of the Fallen Patriots Foundation, which provides college scholarships and educational counseling to military children who have lost a parent in the line of duty.

Hirsch earned her bachelor’s in politics from Saint Anselm and her master’s in public administration from the University of New Hampshire.

Renee Plodzik is a primary care nurse practitioner for Concord Hospital Internal Medicine in Concord, N.H., who has founded multiple programs dedicated to helping cancer patients and survivors lead healthy lives. She graduated from Saint Anselm with her bachelor’s in nursing and earned her master’s in nursing from Boston College. As a wife, mom of three young children, two-time cancer survivor, and a nurse practitioner in a variety of clinic settings, Plodzik says she juggles her family life, profession and volunteer work for one good reason—to provide patients with the same support and kindness she received throughout her battle with cancer.

Three years ago, Plodzik started Fit4acause, a donation-only fitness program that benefits patients with cancer. In the summer of 2018, Renee organized the first annual Fit4acause Triple Challenge, a five-mile bike, 5K and five-circuit boot camp, which raised close to $10,000 to benefit cancer survivors. More recently, she started the Cancer Survivorship Clinic at the Payson Center at Concord Hospital, which focuses on helping survivors live healthily after cancer treatment.

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