FARMINGTON, ME (December 7, 2023)—The University of Maine at Farmington is pleased to announce the Fall 2023 Michael Wilson Scholars and Fellows and their research projects. Undergraduate research helps students develop professionally with in-depth, career-focused examination and analysis. Farmington’s prestigious Wilson program provides top UMF student scholars with faculty mentorship and project funding to help them pursue the highest level of academic inquiry.
UMF 2023-24 Wilson Scholars and Fellow (Left to right) Front row: Rain Smith, Katherine Berube, Sean Tenney and Shaina Fusco. Back row: Gillean Hamilton, Julia Anise, Sadie Gray and Riley Boucher.
Awardees are named twice a year and include single-semester scholars and year-long fellows. They will be presenting their research at the annual spring university-wide Symposium day in April.
This semester’s outstanding student researchers includes Katherine Berube from Houlton; Riley Boucher from Williston, Ver.; Shaina Fusco from Reading, Mass.; Sadie Gray from Saco; Gillean Hamilton from Euclid, Ohio; Julia Anise; Rain Smith from Eliot and Sean Tenney from Augusta.
2023-24 Wilson Fellow
Sadie Gray – Saco
A senior majoring in Earth & Environmental Sciences with a minor in Environmental Policy & Planning, Gray is researching zooplankton sensitivity to climate-driven conditions in high-elevation lakes. Rachel Hovel, associate professor of biology, is the faculty sponsor.
Fall 2023 Wilson Scholars
Katherine Berube – Houlton
A senior majoring in creative writing and English with a minor in editing & publishing, Berube’s project is the “Rise of the Wolf Queen: An Academic and Creative Exploration of the Monstrous Feminine in Contemporary Speculative Fiction.” Noelle Dubay, Upward Bound student services coordinator, is the sponsor.
Riley Boucher – Williston, Ver.
A senior majoring in Earth & Environmental Science, Boucher is researchingusing eDNA to assess the distribution of the smallmouth bass, an invasive species, in Maine. Donelle Schwalm, assistant professor of environmental biology, is the faculty sponsor.
Shaina Fusco – Reading, Mass.
A junior majoring in psychology and performing arts, Fusco’s project is “Adventures in Signification: An Exploration of Graphic Musical Notation.” Aaron Wyanski, assistant professor of music composition, is the faculty sponsor.
Gillean Hamilton – Euclid, Ohio
A senior majoring in Earth & Environmental Science with an emphasis on Geology, Hamilton is exploring the continuation of stream geochemical analysis near the Plumbago North lithium deposit in West-Central Maine. Doug Reusch, professor of geology, is the faculty sponsor.
She is creating a collection of lullabies. Aaron Wyanski, assistant professor of music composition, is the faculty sponsor.
Rain Smith – Eliot
A junior majoring in anthropology, Smith is exploring “Persephone and Hades Through a Modern Lens.” Noelle Dubay, Upward Bound student services coordinator, is the sponsor.
Sean Tenney – Augusta
A senior majoring in psychology, Tenney is exploring “Art, Artist and Audience: An Interdisciplinary Investigation.” Steven Quackenbush, associate provost and dean of Arts & Science, and Dawn Nye, professor of art and new media, are the faculty sponsors.
Sadie Gray, this year’s full-year Wilson Fellow, is devoting her project to calculating how climate change is impacting essential organisms in the food chain in higher elevation Maine ponds. UMF Geology and Biology professors Julia Daly and Rachel Hovel have been conducting long-term research monitoring conditions and organisms in nine high-elevation ponds in Alpine zones in nine Maine mountains, including Bigelow, Saddleback and Tumbledown.
Gray served as Hovel’s summer intern several years ago and is now conducting her own independent research project on how zooplankton—microscopic living organisms—are affected by temperature and water quality changes due to climate change.
This academic year’s UMF Wilson Fellow, Sadie Gray, is researching zooplankton sensitivity to climate-driven conditions in high-elevation lakes in Maine.
“Anything that affects the food chain in high-elevation ponds affects the fish population and intricate relationships in other ecosystems,” said Gray. “My project will help determine how the zooplankton is being affected. It’s such a wonderful opportunity to pursue my interest in aquatic biology and add to the body of research that Farmington faculty are providing on the study of climate change.”
Student researchers are individually sponsored by faculty and supported at every stage of their research. These faculty mentors assist with proposal development, research methodology, project presentation and continuing follow-up on pre-professional and post-graduate opportunities.
For more information, contact Stephen Grandchamp, assistant professor of literature and digital humanities, at email@example.com.
More on University of Maine at Farmington
A nationally-recognized public liberal arts college known for its commitment to teacher preparation and student success, UMF provides a challenging yet supportive environment to prepare students for both careers and further study. Rooted in a tradition of teacher preparation, UMF offers top quality programs in the arts and sciences, teacher preparation, and pre-professional studies. Located in the heart of Maine’s four-season outdoor recreational region, UMF is a welcoming, close-knit academic community that prepares students for enriching professional careers, engaged citizenship and an enduring love of learning.
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Photo Caption: UMF 2023-24 Wilson Scholars and Fellow (Left to right) Front row: Rain Smith, Katherine Berube, Sean Tenney and Shaina Fusco. Back row: Gillean Hamilton, Julia Anise, Sadie Gray and Riley Boucher.
Photo Credit: UMF Image
Photo Caption: This academic year’s UMF Wilson Fellow, Sadie Gray, is researching zooplankton sensitivity to climate-driven conditions in high-elevation lakes in Maine.
Photo Credit: UMF Image