Heather Huckins

Distinguished PAT (Professional, Administrative, and Technical Staff) Award

Manager, Purchasing and Contract Services

Jon Gilbert Fox photo.

A framed, handwritten page on a table in Heather Huckins’ office ends with the sentence, “Let our lives not be measured so much by what we did for others, but by what we helped people do for themselves.”

“That’s kind of my motto,” Huckins says. “That’s how I work with people here, and how I deal with my son. People may ask you to ‘just do something’ for them, but in the long run, it’s better for them to learn the skills themselves.”

Huckins has had ample opportunity to follow that philosophy in her 14 years as manager of Purchasing and Contract Services at Plymouth State. “I see almost all of the contracts on campus,” she says. With IRS regulations, state laws, and University System of New Hampshire and PSU policies to follow, contracts and purchasing can be complex. “I try to do a lot of educating, and offer myself as a resource if people have questions.”

Knowing she would be working with a wide range of people from across campus, Huckins decided early on to get involved in a variety of committees and activities, from the Bookstore Advisory Group and Campus Environmental Committee to “Yellow Jacket” Spring Fling volunteering. “It’s helpful to meet people I don’t normally interact with, like faculty and students, and it’s good to get a feel for the pressures other people are under and what they’re dealing with,” she says. “Also, I just like people, and I like to know what’s going on in their part of Plymouth State.”

Huckins also has been a Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) instructor since 1998, teaching basic self-defense to hundreds of women over the years. “I like helping people be stronger,” she says. “It ties into my philosophy about helping people through education—gaining strength can affect every part of your life.”

An active, outdoors-oriented person, Huckins is a director of the Slim Baker Foundation for Outdoor Education, and spends her free time hiking, biking, snowshoeing—anything outdoors. “That’s my release,” she says, and living near Plymouth, in Bridgewater, NH, allows ample opportunity to play. “I just don’t want to live anywhere else.”

After graduating from Plymouth State in 1987 with a degree in accounting, “I always wanted to get back,” Huckins says. She was an auditor for the State of New Hampshire, then with USNH. “Whenever I came to Plymouth to audit, I really admired the way everyone here worked together and respected each other. So when this job opened up, I jumped at the chance to apply, and I got it!

“It’s like a big family here. I felt like I finally came home.”

Jennifer Philion