Here at Granite State College - Connecticut Valley Region, we are thrilled to share the news that another of our talented faculty members has recently published a book.
Sara Poisson, who is a mental health and substance abuse clinician for a half-way house, authored Silent Voices of the Past: A Chronicle of the Almshouse of Sullivan County.
"I noticed a small cemetery on the grounds at the county jail where I work ... The reason it caught my eye was because each of the stones in the back half of it were uniform in size and not buried according to family but by chronology. This became the beginning of a research project that lasted about 18 months. [It] was a joint project between the inmates at the jail and myself to find out who these people were and why they were buried here. What we learned was this spot was the location of the almshouse for the county. We discovered who was here, why and how the institution evolved and ended. There is a strong parallel between the throw away members of society during the almshouse era and the inmates in the county jail today. The challenges are greater, the stigma more negative and the stakes higher for both populations. My plan was to impart a sense of self-worth for the inmates by seeing that the almshouse population mattered. It matters who is buried here and why. They are entitled to the same dignity as any other member of the society. The same is true for the inmates. If they don't understand that, if they don't respect themselves, they are doomed to repeat their mistakes. I have long since been a champion for the underdog. My career has been working with underprivileged children and families, domestic violence survivors and the incarcerated population. My husband and I have a rescue center for abandoned and abused farm animals."
Poisson will be teaching Theories of Personality at GSC's Claremont NH College Campus and Abnormal Psychology at GSC's Lebanon NH College Campus this Winter Term.