UMF Alumni in the News

Look here for links to media stories published since February 2019 that feature UMF alumni. Know of a UMF graduate in the news? Send us the graduate’s name and the link to the media story: umfalumni@maine.edu


Dolloff ’87 named 2021 Maine Superintendent of the Year (November 2020)

A 33-year career in education has prepared Dr. Andrew Dolloff ’87 for just about anything, “He is leading his district through Covid-19 with strength, courage, and exceptional communication skills,” says a member of his board in this Portland Press Herald article.

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Carrier ’07 wins the Roger Renfrew Award for Individual Commitment to Public Health (October 2020)

Chelsey Carrier ’07 connects with Skowhegan’s SAD59 and local businesses and organizations to feed families throughout the pandemic.

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Hamilton ’06 on Business as Usual for Maine Virtual Academy (September 2020)

News Center Maine speaks with Maine Virtual Academy leadership, including Carla Hamilton ’06, who has been teaching online for 8 years, on successes in the shift to online learning for brick and mortar schools.

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Landry ’10 chosen for National History Day program (August 2020)

Logan Landry ’10 was one of 98 nationally-selected teachers to take a summer course focused on online Library of Congress research, according to the Sun Journal.

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Talarico ’16 to lead Lewiston’s field hockey team (May 2020)

Jenessa Talarico ’16 is promoted to head coach for Lewiston High School’s field hockey team. She hopes to bring her experienced team to the finals again this year, and boost community excitement for the sport, says the Sun Journal.

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Leal ’14 named head coach of Men’s Basketball at home at UMF (April 2020)

Sam Leal ’14 returns to Dearborn Gymnasium, bringing with him “the knowledge, leadership ability, and work ethic to be an outstanding coach,” according to Dick Meader ’68, UMF’s recently retired and long-time basketball coach in this article by the Sun Journal.

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Deetjen ’05 to be new director of Mid-Coast School of Technology (April 2020)

Bobby Deetjen ’05 believes every student should have the opportunity to take advantage of everything Career and Technical Education has to offer, reports the Knox County Village Soup. Mid-Coast School of Technology serves over 350 students within 21 regions to support education in modern, hands-on training in technical programs.

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Bubier ’97 receives a 3.3 million dollar grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse investigating the genetic variation in opioid-induced respiratory depression in mice (April 2020)

Jason Bubier ’97 at Jackson Laboratory explores what happens when Narcan, a common treatment for Opioid overdose, is administered, and how to safely treat the rapid withdrawal symptoms that follow.

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Pinkham ’69 retires, leaving Boothbay to search for new boys’ basketball coach for first time in 44 years (April 2020)

After an impressive 48 seasons, 43 on the court at Boothbay Region High School, Irving (IJ) Pinkham ’69 retires from coaching boy’s varsity basketball. He led Boothbay to over 650 wins and a 1 state title, the Boothbay Register reports.

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Meader ’68 to receive National Association of Basketball Coaches honor at NCAA Final Four in Atlanta (Feb. 2020)

The Bangor Daily News reports that UMF men’s head basketball coach Dick Meader ’68 will be presented with the Division III Outstanding Service Award from the National Association of Basketball Coaches on April 3 during the NCAA Division I Men’s Final Four in Atlanta. The award honors individuals who have contributed significantly “inside and outside the lines” of coaching as distinguished members of their communities.

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Towns ’00 selected to participate in study of polar ecosystems this summer (Feb. 2020)

The Sun Journal reports that Edward Little High School social studies teacher Erin Towns ’00 is among 11 educators nationwide selected to study polar ecosystems by PolarTREC, an education research program that pairs educators with internationally renowned climate scientists to improve science education. Towns will travel to Ilulissat, a coastal town in western Greenland, for two weeks this coming August to study how increases in surface runoff affect ice flow and loss of water from the ice sheet to the oceans.

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Hall ’05 named to New Hampshire Union Leader’s “40 Under 40” list (Jan. 2020)

Justin Hall ’05, a financial advisor and managing partner with Rise Private Wealth Management, has been named to the New Hampshire Union Leader’s “40 Under 40” list for making a difference in his community and profession.

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Degroat ’19 and Judd ’05 honored by Maine Educational Opportunity Association (Jan. 2020)

The Daily Bulldog reports that the Maine Educational Opportunity Association has honored Aimee Degroat ’19, an Upward Bound alumna from Carrabec High School, with its 2020 Rising Star Award and Jason Judd ’05, an Upward Bound alumnus from Madison High School, with its 2020 Achiever Award. Degroat was recognized for striving toward the highest levels of personal and professional accomplishment, excelling in her chosen field, devoting time and energy to her community, and serving as a role model for other economically disadvantaged, first-generation college-bound students. Judd’s award recognizes professionals who are graduates of TRIO programs and persons of high stature within their profession; make significant civic, community, or professional contributions; and pursued higher education beyond a bachelor’s degree.

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Ochira ’14 named program officer by Maine Community Foundation (Jan. 2020)

The Sun Journal reports that the Maine Community Foundation has appointed John Ochira ’14 as a program officer managing the Androscoggin and Cumberland county committees and grant programs that serve Greater Portland.

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Milliken ’75 receives Education at Work for Maine Award from the Finance Authority of Maine (Nov. 2019)

The Portland Press Herald reports that Ron Milliken ’75, the University’s longtime director of financial aid, recieved an Education at Work for Maine Award from the Finance Authority of Maine for his help with founding a financial literacy peer education program that champions financial literacy and responsible borrowing among Maine students.

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Doughty ’74 leads Skowhegan field hockey to 16th Class A state championship in the last 19 years (Nov. 2019)

The Bangor Daily News reports that Paula Doughty ’74, the longtime head coach of field hockey at Skowhegan Area H.S., led the team to its 16th Class A state championship in the last 19 years and an undefeated 18-0 season, following a 3-0 win over Biddeford on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019.

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Shanaman ’94 and Noonkester ’15 are getting their mountains ready for another season of skiing and riding (Nov. 2019)

The Sun Journal reports that Scott Shanaman ’94, owner and operator of Lost Valley ski resort in Auburn, and Seth Noonkester ’15, general manager of Titcomb Mountain in Farmington, have been busy preparing for their mid-December openings.

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Gadberry ’12 debuts documentary film Sisters of Skimo in Frisco, Colo. (Nov. 2019)

The Summit Daily reports that Vail, Colo.-based documentary filmmaker Ben Gadberry ’12 premiered Sisters of Skimo, chronicaling the story of three ski mountaineers striving to represent America at March’s International Ski Mountaineering Federation World Championships in Switzerland. Watch Trailer 1, Trailer 2 and Trailer 3.

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Farmington Optometrist Norton ’96 has a vision for coaching Mt. Blue boys basketball (Nov. 2019)

The Sun Journal reports that Farmington-based doctor of optometry and former UMF and Mt. Blue standout basketball player Troy Norton ’96 is clear-eyed about his first season of coaching the Cougars.

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Ryder ’98 provides equal parts makerspace and academic success center at Mt. Blue High School (Nov. 2019)

The Franklin Journal reports that at Mt. Blue High School’s Success and Innovation Center, Dan Ryder ’98 provides students with a “compass and a canvas. The compass is the direction. The canvas is the place and supplies needed to create.”

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Breidenbach ’83 and Ball ’14 inducted into Maine Ski Hall of Fame (Nov. 2019)

The Daily Bulldog reports that Leigh Breidenbach ’83, retired director of the University’s former Ski Industries program, and Lindsay Ball ’14, a Paralympian and vice president of the Maine Organization of Blind Athletic and Leadership Education, were inducted into the Maine Ski Hall of Fame on Oct. 19.

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Bartholomew ’02 named senior vice president at Camden National Bank (Oct. 2019)

The Sun Journal reports that current University of Maine System Trustee Sven Bartholomew ’02 has been named senior vice president, business banking segment leader at Camden National Bank. In his new role, he will “lead a team which supports and advises business customers across the bank’s footprint.”

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Pollard ’01 named director of Maine’s mental health and substance abuse services (Oct. 2019)

The Portland Press Herald reports that Jessica Pollard ’01, who holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from UConn and was a professor of psychiatry at Yale University’s School of Medicine, has been named director of Maine’s Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services.

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Cotta ’97 promoted to lieutenant colonel in Maine Army National Guard (Oct. 2019)

The Town Line reports that Shanon Cotta ’97 has been promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel at Joint Force Headquarters, Maine Army National Guard. Cotta serves as the garrison commander overseeing base operations at Camp Keyes in Augusta.

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Watson ’15 joins Norton Eye Care practice (Oct. 2019)

The Daily Bulldog reports that Marlie (Mochamer) Watson ’15, who majored in pre-med studies at UMF and is now a doctor of optometry, has joined Norton Eye Care of Farmington, Maine, led by Dr. Troy Norton ’96.

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Battiste ’71 named an honorary Officer of the Order of Canada (Sept. 2019)

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reports that Dr. Marie Battiste ’71, an academic, researcher, author, member of the Mi’kmaq Nation, treaty ally of the Queen and Canada, and a pioneer in indigenous education, has been named an Honorary Officer of the Order of Canada. The award acknowledges Battiste’s scholarly work and service that has elucidated the historical impact of European educational and intellectual hierarchies and revitalized traditional knowledge and languages. A full professor at the University of Saskatchewan, Battiste also has received a three-year prestigious fellowship from the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation in 2019.

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Scholl ’74 named Outstanding District Educator (Sept. 2019)

The Daily Bulldog reports that Maggie Scholl ’74, a longtime adult education instructor of English, has been named Outstanding District Educator by the staff of Franklin County Adult Education.

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Norton ’96 named head coach of boys basketball at Mt. Blue (Aug. 2019)

Mt. Blue High School Director of Athletics Chad Brackett ’99 announced that Farmington optometrist Dr. Troy Norton ’96 has been named head coach of the RSU No. 9 school’s boys basketball program. Norton was a standout player at Mt. Blue in the early ’90s under head coach Jim Bessey ’65. At UMF, the Athletics Hall of Fame inductee scored 1,295 career points, including 476 in the 1995–96 campaign, under head coach Dick Meader ’68.

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Burbank ’90 delivers author talk at Limerick Public Library (July 2019)

According to the Waterboro (Maine) Reporter, Shelley (Reed) Burbank ’90 gave an author talk at the Limerick Public Library on July 22 about her experience ghostwriting a memoir that was published in summer 2019 by Myers Education Press.

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Arrigoni ’17 wins $10,000 counseling fellowship from the National Board for Certified Counselors (Aug. 2019)

The National Board for Certified Counselors has selected Marissa Arrigoni ’17 for its Mental Health Counseling-Master’s Minority Fellowship Program. As an NBCC Fellow, Arrigoni will receive training and $10,000 in funding to support her education and facilitate her service to underserved minority populations.

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Health.com spotlights Ostheimer ’08 in its new “Misdiagnosed” series (July 2019)

In Health.com‘s new series, “Misdiagnosed,” featuring stories from women who have had their medical symptoms dismissed or wrongly diagnosed, Karissa Ostheimer ’08 explains how doctors finally — and correctly — diagnosed her symptoms as stemming from brain cancer.

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Charles ’95 and Charles ’96 among those who helped bring three 2020 high school Nordic ski championships to Titcomb Mtn. ski area (July 2019)

The Sun Journal reports that Farmington’s own Titcomb Mtn. ski area will play host to the Class A, B, and C boys and girls Nordic ski championships in February 2020, thanks to a hard-working committee of volunteers, including the husband-and-wife team of Nordic skiing enthusiasts Ann Charles ’96 and Ken Charles ’95.

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The MPA appoints Benson ’79 as its first commissioner of officials (July 2019)

The Sun Journal and Press Herald report that Jeff Benson ’79, a retired athletic director and veteran referee, will oversee game officials in all sports for the Maine Principals’ Association, with an emphasis on recruiting and retention.

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Keene ’13 helps area girls basketball teams stay sharp in the off season (July 2019)

The Sun Journal reports that Zach Keene ’13, head coach of girls basketball at Spruce Mountain High School and lead organizer of the Spruce Mountain Summer League, is helping players from Carrabec, Mountain Valley, Mt. View, Leavitt, Winthrop, Mt. Blue, Kents Hill, Telstar, and Dirigo hone hoop skills by participating in the Thursday series.

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Brown ’99 appointed program director of Women’s Business Center (July 2019)

The Sun Journal reports that Lorri Brown ’99, former program director for the Health Community Coalition of Greater Franklin County, has joined Coastal Enterprises Inc. as the new Women’s Business Center program director and adviser.

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Wilkie ’06 excels in 11th season leading UMF Soccer Camp (June 2019)

The Sun Journal reports that in her 11th season leading the UMF Soccer Camp, Women’s Soccer Head Coach Molly Wilkie ’06 and her staff of 21 coaches offer “sun, fun and instruction for 140 participants.” The longstanding camp, says Wilkie, “is a great service for the youth here, who want to get better and also a good opportunity for my college players and some of the high school players to get some coaching experience.”

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Judd ’03 named executive director of Educate Maine (June 2019)

The Portland Press Herald reports that Jason Judd ’03, the former deputy executive director of Educate Maine, has been promoted to executive director of the nonprofit that focuses on advancing college and career readiness and increasing the educational attainment of Maine’s workforce.

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Fleck ’79 retires from 31 years of teaching in Auburn schools (June 2019)

The Sun Journal reports that Robin Fleck ’79, who helped start the Auburn School Department’s English language learner program from scratch in the 1980s — will retire from a 31-year teaching career in June.

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Adams ’75 retires from 45 years of teaching at Longley Elementary School (June 2019)

The Sun Journal reports that Lynne Adams ’75 — described by her assistant principal as “the heart of Longley” Elementary School — will retire from a 45-year teaching career in June. But the widely regarded “matriarch” of Longley plans to return to the Lewiston school in the fall as a substitute teacher. “I can’t stay away,” Adams said.

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Taylor ’89 leads Spruce Mountain Envirothon team to state championship (June 2019)

The Daily Bulldog reports that Spruce Mountain Middle-High School science educator Rob Taylor ’89 led three teams from the school’s Envirothon program to first-, second-, and fifth-place finishes at the Maine Envirothon State Championship held at the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine Nature Center in Augusta on Friday, May 31. Taylor, who advises the school’s Envirothon program, has also been named Franklin County Teacher of the Year by the Maine Department of Education.

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Hughes ’71 retires from 48 years of teaching 4th grade (June 2019)

The Kennebec Journal reports that Marcia Hughes ’71 is among three Farrington Elementary Schools educators — with nearly 150 years in teaching among them — who will retire together at the end of this school year.

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Five UMF alumni named 2019 County Teachers of the Year (May 2019)

The Maine Department of Education’s honor roll of 2019 County Teachers of the Year includes five UMF Alumni: Ethel Atkinson ’92, Katherine Bertini ’91, Thomas Gray (who earned a Gifted & Talented certificate in UMF’s Graduate Studies in Education Program in 2016), Ashley Reynolds ’06, and Rob Taylor ’89.

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Lajoie-Cameron ’81 retires from RSU4 principalship after 35-year career in education (May 2019)

The Sun Journal reports that Christine Lajoie-Cameron ’81 will retire from a 35-year career in education, including the last 10 as principal of RSU4’s Carrie Ricker School, at the end of the year.

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Magnusson ’06 named head coach of Maranacook boys basketball (May 2019)

The Kennebec Journal reports that former UMF men’s basketball standout Travis Magnusson ’06 has been named head coach of boys basketball at Maranacook High School in Readfield, Maine. Magnusson spent four seasons coaching at Livermore Falls before leading the Dirigo Cougars to a 118-29 record and a Class C state championship over seven seasons. In his 2018–19 campaign at Mount Blue, he led the Cougars from a 1-17 season to an 11-8 record and the third seed in the Class A North tournament.

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Gleason ’95 named MPA Elementary Principal of the Year (April 2019)

The Journal Tribune reports that Hollis Elementary School Principal Clay Gleason ’95 has been honored by the Maine Principal’s Association as the state’s elementary school principal of the year.

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At Bohndell Sails, Chace Payson ’08 expertly helms the family business (April 2019)

Maine Magazine reports on how Robin Chace Payson ’08, head of Bohndell Sails, has charted a course for success at the Rockport-based sail company.

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Dostie ’02 and her students among the last to see Cathedral of Notre Dame prior to fire (April 2019)

The Kennebec Journal reports that Gardiner Area High School history teacher Amber Dostie ’02 and a group of students and adults on a spring-break tour of Paris just missed visiting the Cathedral of Notre Dame on Sunday, April 14, before its 5 p.m. closing time. They are among the last groups to see the more-than-800-year-old cathedral before fire ravaged it the following day.

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Gower ’98 selected to attend national World War II teachers conference (April 2019)

The Kennebec Journal reports that Maranacook Community High School history teacher Shane Gower ’98 is among 50 educators from across the country selected to participate in the Friends of the National World War II Memorial Teachers Network and Conference in July. Gower will be the first teacher from Maine to participate in the Washington, D.C., conference hosted by the Friends of the National World War II Memorial.

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Lilly ’11 featured in Outdoor Biz Podcast (April 2019)

Ryan Lilly ’11 speaks with Outdoor Biz Podcast host Rick Saez about how he combined his Ski Industries education at UMF with real-world experience at Sugarloaf, Carrabassett Valley Academy, and K2 to become brand manager for Johnson Outdoors.

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Kane ’13 featured in 60 Minutes story on innovative prison rehabilitation program (March 2019)

Learn how Dan Kane ’13, director of athletics and head coach of men’s basketball at the University of Maine at Presque Isle, played a role in helping Shyquinn Dix transition from maximum security prison inmate to social work major and First Team All-Conference guard for the Owls.

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Breidenbach ’83 and Ball ’14 named to Maine Ski Hall of Fame (March 2019)

The Sun Journal reports that Leigh Breidenbach ’83, retired director of the University’s former Ski Industries program, and Lindsay Ball ’14, a Paralympian and vice president of the Maine Organization of Blind Athletic and Leadership Education, have been named to the Maine Ski Hall of Fame’s Class of 2019. Breidenbach and Ball are among eight honorees who will be inducted at the Maine Ski Hall of Fame’s annual banquet at Sugarloaf on Oct. 19.

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Chabot ’94 named superintendent of MSAD 75 schools (March 2019)

The Sun Journal and Times Record report that Shawn Chabot ’94, assistant superintendent for Lewiston Public Schools, has been named superintendent of MSAD 75 schools serving the towns of Bowdoin, Bowdoinham, Harpswell, and Topsham. He will begin his new post on July 1. Chabot’s 14 years in Lewiston schools include stints as an assistant elementary school principal, middle school principal, and high school principal — and a deployment to Afghanistan as an Army National Guard medic.

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McNair ’02 hosts annual Writer’s Hotel in New York City (March 2019)

The Portland Press Herald reports that New York City’s annual Writer’s Hotel, founded by Shanna McNair ’02, is a literary gathering like no other — a hybrid low-residency writing program and short-term conference, in which up-and-coming authors discuss their craft, pitch manuscripts, and read from their work.

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Ryder ’98 receives 2019 Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence (February 2019)

The Sun Journal reports that Mount Blue High School language arts teacher Dan Ryder ’98 was feted at the NEA Foundation Salute to Excellence in Education Gala in Washington, D.C., on February 8. He and four other educators received the foundation’s prestigious 2019 Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence and a $10,000 prize at the event.

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