THE DIVESTMENT ISSUE Bill McKibben Starts a Revolution Divestment Makes Sense A Community Rallies for Change
From the President
Unity College is now fully engaged in strategic change. There is no doubt that the landscape for higher education is undergoing major transformation and all colleges and universities are responding. I am proud of how our community has stepped up these challenges, and it is clear that we are making excellent progress. Over the last year we have made major strides in supporting our academic programs. We have invested in new facilities and we are in the midst of hiring additional faculty. We have almost completely restructured the upper administration, substantially enhanced our marketing, and restructured how we manage enrollment. The College has received national attention for our choice to divest our endowment from investments in fossil fuels. The decision to divest did not happen overnight. It was the outcome of a great deal of hard work by a variety of individuals, especially our highly engaged, talented, and committed Board of Trustees; Vice President for Finance and Administration Deborah Cronin; and our investment advisors, Spinnaker Trust of Portland. The stunning media notice that Unity College received as a result of being the first college to respond to the call from 350.org to divest was incidental to our intentions. We were simply doing the right, ethical thing. In the coming months the College will continue with major transformation through substantial yet incremental changes in a variety of sectors. First and foremost we must hold true to our strategic decision to adopt sustainability science as a frame- Unity College has a leadership work for our academic programming. This means continuing to hire new to play on the national stage. faculty to provide the resources necessary to train the next generation of environmental problem solvers. We will be proposing a number of new administrative personnel that are necessary to ensure that Unity College becomes a national brand within the next five years. Additionally the College must develop its own version of distance programming that is specific to our mission and a clientele that desires this service. Throughout all of these transformations we will pay close attention to our financial bottom line. We expect significant return on investment by the third year following implementation of these strategic initiatives. Beyond this next installment of strategic changes, it is clear that we also must invest in new facilities. In order to fulfill our mission, we need more classrooms, labs, faculty offices, and student amenities. I anticipate beginning discussions this summer with the faculty and staff about the purpose and function of a new building. An initial review of financing suggests that such a facility is in reach within the next few years. Overall the future for our students and for Unity College is very bright. We should never forget that we have a focused mission and clearly defined market for our services. This gives us an enormous advantage in a marketplace in which most liberal arts colleges are struggling to define themselves. Our relevance is assured, and thus in a very real sense, all that remains to ensure our success is for us to effectively execute our mission and deliver on the promise of the value of a Unity College degree.
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Stephen Mulkey President, Unity College
Special Divestment Issue FALL 2013
Features Big Dividends for Truth Breaking Trends Shocks Establishment 14
Praise from a Visionary Bill McKibben Outlines Revolution
Numbers and Cents Divestment is Good for the Bottom Line
Manifestos for this Era Drawing a Line in the Sand With Confidence
Perspectives Making an International Statement President Presents in India
Tribute to a Friend Remembering Professor Dave Purdy
Marking a Milestone Looking Forward to the 50th
Through Valleys and Forests Study Tracks Bears in Surprising Ways
In Our Element
31 The Wild Blue Adventure Sports Push Boundaries
41 Change With Confidence Neil Ward Shifts Gears
Expressing a Community Nova Video Helps Unity Shine
A Delicious Association MOOMilk Finds Receptive Campus
42 Class Notes Alumni Profiles 44 Jamie Nemecek â€™11 45 Graham Buck â€™87
On the Cover
A planet in crisis will not heal through denial. Getty Images and Anneli Skaar
From the Editor
Unity Magazine Volume 27, No. 2 Managing Editor Mark Tardif
Project Manager Kate Gilbert
Heather Johnson ’16
Skaar Design/Anneli Skaar
Ethics Matter and Pay Dividends “Friends don’t let friends deny climate change.” This t-shirt worthy phrase was uttered by President Mulkey as he considered the events that propelled Unity College into the national spotlight. If one theme has emerged in recent years, it is that there is nothing small about this College: not its aspirations; not its reach; not its leadership; and certainly not its self-image. The enormous media attention garnered by the College over the past 12 months has been positive, but it is an aside to the vista, just one brush stroke applied to a sizeable canvas depicting the development of this institution. Make no mistake; nothing quickens the pulse like a good story. An environmental college with fewer than 600 full-time students calling out big oil and taking higher education to task for its lack of an overall response to climate change certainly qualifies. Not only did Unity offer much of what many in the national media seek from good stories, it augmented the reach of these stories by becoming affiliated with a worldwide environmental celebrity; Bill McKibben, author, activist, educator, and founder of 350. org. You may have noticed that McKibben has written an article for this issue, proving by his choice of association that he likes what Unity is about and where it is going. At its core, the decision to divest was less about generating awareness for the College and more about doing what is right and encouraging others in higher education to do the same. What Unity College has done is step forward to engage the world. This act of chutzpah has been received well in some quarters, poorly in others. No matter the judgment rendered by persons outside the Unity community about the value of statements like divesting from investments in fossil fuels, objective feedback indicates that the message hit the mark. The point was not to generate “publicity” for its own sake, but to step forward to make the statement that needed to be made in service to Unity’s ideals and mission. That others appear unwilling to do so merely frames what is best and worthwhile about Unity College. Now that was the point.
Mark Tardif Managing Editor
Jean Altomare ’11, Dan Apfel, Reeta Benedict, Brenda Bonneville, Christian Carlson, Nicole Collins ’00, Kate Gilbert, Michele Leavitt, Sam Longo ’13, Bill McKibben, Dr. Stephen Mulkey, Debora Noone, Martha Nordstrom, Jesse Pyles, Mark Tardif, Dot Quimby, Eli Walker ’13
Brenda Bonneville, Robert Fitzpatrick, Kate Gilbert, Mark Tardif
Alumni/Development Editors and Proofreaders
Reeta Benedict, Brenda Bonneville, Robert Fitzpatrick, Kate Gilbert, Debora Noone, Dot Quimby, Cynthia Schaub
Deborah Anderson ’13, Brenda Bonneville, Matt Dyer ’14, Getty Images, Kate Gilbert, John McKeith, Lauren Metts ’14, Jeanmarie Mitchell, Paris Leaf, Samantha Longo ’15, Jessica Steele, Mark Tardif, Sara Trunzo ’08, Greg Zdepski
Board of Trustees
Mr. William Zoellick, chair; Ms. Margot Kelley, vice chair; Mr. Bruce Nickerson, treasurer; Mr. C. Jeffery Wahlstrom, secretary; Dr. Stephen Mulkey, president; Mrs. Martha Dolben; Mr. Robert Kelley; Mr. Pete Didisheim; Ms. Hallie Flint Gilman; Mr. William Hafford ’08; Mr. Andrew Hamilton; Ms. Sarah Jeffords; Ms. Melissa Merritt ’13, student board member; Mr. Jeffrey McCabe ’00; Ms. Nadine Mort; Mr. John Newlin; Mr. Benjamin Potter, faculty board member; Ms. Linda Povey; Mrs. Arlene Schaefer; Ms. Gloria Sosa ’80; Ms. Sarah Ruef-Lindquist; Dr. Travis Wagner ’83.
We want to hear from you.
Letters to the editor, story ideas, or address changes may be sent to: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Mail: Letters, Unity Magazine 90 Quaker Hill Road Unity, Maine 04988 Web: www.unity.edu We reserve the right to edit submissions for length, clarity, and style. Submissions should be no longer than 250 words.
Unity Magazine is printed by Franklin Printing, Farmington, Maine, an FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified printer and printed on Rolland Enviro, a post-consumer paper manufactured using biomass energy.
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Dr. Mulkey Addresses International Audience in India Visionary Unity College President Stephen Mulkey joined the ranks of luminaries such as Thomas Friedman, Pulitzer Prize winning author and New York Times Columnist; former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev; and a variety of heads of state who participated in one of the most heralded conferences in the developing world. In January 2013, Mulkey served as a presenter at the 13th Delhi Sustainable Development Summit. The summit addressed the global challenge of resource-efficient and low carbon development and took place from January 31 â€“ February 2 at the Taj Palace Hotel in New Delhi, India. The event also explored the diverse dimensions of promoting resource-efficient development and attempted to strengthen the global momentum for green growth as raised at the Rio+20 Conference. Mulkeyâ€™s presentation appeared on day three of the conference, February 2, when he served on a panel considering sustainable development and a new knowledge economy. The panel considered the reality that rapid developments in telecommunications, and various applications of electronics, as well as the development and use of new material and new sources of energy, require unprecedented levels of energy and innovation. Mulkey and his fellow panelists considered how the world may create knowledge and innovation to ensure efficient use of resources and develop a pattern of sustainable development for the global society as a whole. Since his installation in July 2011, Mulkey has been a high profile figure in national and international circles, sharing the strengths of Unity College with diverse audiences. Many of his presentations, such as the one in India, share specifics of key Unity initiatives, most prominently its divestment from investment in fossil fuels. At the vanguard of leaders in higher education who are calling attention to the crisis of global climate change, Mulkey announced that Unity College, an environmental college in Maine with a focus on sustainability science, divested from investments in fossil fuels. It was the first college in the United States to take the unprecedented step, which took place upon a unanimous vote by its Board of Trustees. Mulkey has joined with others locked in the struggle for true solutions to climate change like author and educator Bill McKibben, founder of the climate change organization 350.org, to build a vibrant coalition to encourage action at the highest levels. Mulkey has participated in rallies resisting ill-advised actions such as the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, and offers public presentations on climate change. UNITY FALL 2013 |
Above: David Purdy and Senior Associate Director of Admissions Joe Saltalamachia ’95 at an alumni event. Right to left facing: David Purdy, Dot Quimby, Trustee Arlene and husband, Charlie Schaefer tour the completed Unity Rocks!
Unity College Community Mourned the Passing of Professor Purdy During the 2013 fall semester the Unity College community mourned the passing of Professor Emeritus David Purdy (19312012). Purdy began his esteemed service to Unity College in the fall of 1976, serving as an associate professor housed in the social and behavioral sciences center. He eventually chaired that center and was promoted to full professor. Over the years, Purdy served in a variety of capacities including as faculty representative to the board of trustees from 1979-1982. He taught environmental politics, world politics, political science, and government until his retirement in June 2001. He would return to teach as an adjunct instructor from January 2001 through the spring semester of 2003. A Massachusetts native, Purdy earned a bachelor of arts degree from Bates College, a master of arts from George Washington University, and a doctorate from the University of California at Berkley. He served in the United States Marine Corps from 19531955, attaining the ranks of second and first lieutenant. In retirement Purdy remained an active member of the Unity College community. A significant philanthropic supporter of Unity, he created the David M. Purdy Scholarship Fund. The fund supports the environmental career aspirations of students in perpetuity. Many of his significant philanthropic gifts to Unity were unknown to the College community, but positively affected the entire community. Vice President for Student Affairs Gary Zane began working 4
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for Unity College in 1984 and made the acquaintance of Purdy. He quickly grew to respect his professionalism, developed an affinity for his warm personality, and valued his friendship. “Dave was a pillar of Unity College,” Zane said. “Everything the College has stood for from its origin relates to who he was as an individual. He had as much positive impact on Unity College as anyone who has worked here. He was a brilliant scholar with a humanistic approach who radiated caring for his students. Dave conveyed a personal passion borne of his experiences in the turbulent ’60s for the importance of politics. He conveyed that to his students and they understood why it is important to be politically active.” Gloria Sosa ’80, Unity College trustee and project manager in the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Region II Emergency and Remedial Response Division (Superfund) in New York City, has fond memories of Purdy. “David Purdy loved his students and he loved Unity College,” said Sosa. “Dave engaged us fully in political science class by encouraging complex heated discussions on Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations, capitalism and socialism. In addition, he invited us into his home for dinner parties where we discussed all manners of political and economic issues. I loved Dave and will honor his memory forever.” A celebration of Purdy’s life will take place on Alumni Weekend, September 21, 2013. We would love to have you share your thoughts and suggestions for the celebration, as well as your personal memories at email@example.com.
Planning for Events to Remember
WE NEED YOUR STORIES
Envisioning a Celebration Worthy of 50 Years
Those of you who remember me know I love a good story. The upcoming 50th anniversary celebration will be a time for us to share the important stories about Unity’s history. But first, we have to collect them. The formation of Unity’s identity as an environmental college in the 21st century was nothing short of brilliant – but it grew out of our formative years. Please send your stories, notes, photos, and other memorabilia to me in care of Michele Leavitt, Co-Chair, 50th Anniversary Committee, Unity College, 90 Quaker Hill Road, Unity, ME 04988. You can also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re looking forward to remembering with you. George Fowler
By Michele Leavitt, Adjunct Instructor/ Special Assistant for College Outreach Almost 50 years have passed since the founding of Unity College on September 7, 1965. It’s time to plan the celebration of Unity’s people: their history, their accomplishments, their contributions to this unique community, and their contributions to the wider human community. President Stephen Mulkey and I have only been here since 2011, so we have sought out faculty, staff, and alumni from the early days of the College to learn about how Unity began, and about how it began to thrive. We’ve listened to stories from people like Librarian Dot Quimby, Campus Chaplain and Associate Professor George Fowler, Unity’s first four-year graduate Mark Alter, the first two-year forestry graduates, and many others. These stories have opened our eyes and our hearts to the deep emotional bonds cemented during the formative years when Unity was taking its first steps toward becoming a leader in experiential, environmental education. To use Alter’s phrase, “the College itself and everyone at Unity were growing up together.” It was an exciting time, full of possibilities and the promise of new beginnings for both the institution and the people of Unity. In those formative years, our first students, faculty, and staff followed a vision, even when they weren’t sure where it led. They pulled together to create what is still today a remarkably supportive community of learners. Unity is now in the first pages of a new chapter in its story – the part when the little college that could steps onto the national stage. The willingness of today’s students, faculty, staff, and trustees to take a stand on critical environmental issues is grounded in the work of all members of the community, past and present. All who contributed to this community can be proud of how the College has matured. The time to celebrate a milestone in Unity’s history – our 50th anniversary – is on the horizon. Stephen and I hope you will share your stories, and your thoughts on planning, to help make the celebration a memorable one.
Campus Chaplain and Associate Professor of Psychology, 1966 – 1982
ALL ABOUT ALUMNI An upcoming issue of the magazine will focus on alumni. We want to know your stories, your experiences, and your successes. In particular, if you are or if you know of alumni who are doing interesting things that are making a difference, please send us your stories at email@example.com. UNITY FALL 2013 |
Finding the Nexus of Personal Interest and Professional Preparation, Unity Students Prepare for “What’s Next” by Brenda Bonneville, Web Content Developer Shayne VanLeer ’13, agriculture food and sustainability major Shayne Van Leer grew up in Berlin, N.J. and became interested in agriculture when he started his first backyard garden of tomatoes, beans, and corn while a freshman in high school. Van Leer eventually added guinea hens and chickens, jumpstarting his interest in poultry farming. Eventually, Van Leer plans on owning a diversified farm with a mixed livestock/vegetable operation. However that plan will have to wait at least two years, as Van Leer will be starting the Peace Corps in September. Through the Peace Corps’ applied agricultural science program, Van Leer
Clark Crawford ’15, sustainable energy management major Clark Crawford ’15 came to Unity College already knowing the degree he wanted to pursue. He learned of the College through a brochure that he received in the mail, and what initially attracted the sustainable energy management major to the campus was that Unity is a college with focused and in-depth programs. Since he has been at Unity, Crawford says that he has already had a lot of hands-on experience and been given many opportunities that correlate to his interests. He spends a fair amount of time volunteering in the Sustainability Office, working to track carbon emissions. On his own accord, Crawford took a “crash course” in carbon accounting, integrating campus energy tracking data
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will work with local farmers to introduce organic farming techniques, better farm management, and promote development of small agriculture business projects. The focus will be on sustainable crop production. “I am looking forward to taking my combined experience with the FFA chapter at Unity and during my internship, and applying what I learned when I go into the Peace Corps program,” says Van Leer. Last spring, the FFA chapter at Unity College received a grant to grow chickens in partnership with the Waldo County Technical Center, with the meat being donated to two local food pantries. Van Leer took his FFA experience and applied it to his internship last summer at a small farm where he initiated a small broiler
operation. The program at the farm was successful and the 100 birds raised were sold out at the local farmers market within the month. All of this combined experience will surely benefit Van Leer with his plans to own and operate a small agricultural enterprise. “Unity has provided me with the opportunity to practice operations that I will be able to transfer over to my own farm one day,” says Van Leer.
into industry standard greenhouse gas emissions calculators. After familiarizing himself with Unity’s Climate Action Plan and related emissions inventories, he is now piloting a study of web-based carbon calculators to advise the Sustainability Office on the variety of tools available. “Once I leave Unity, my career focus is going to be working by using renewable energy to making facilities and buildings sustainable by using wind, solar and weatherization,” says Crawford. According to Unity College Sustainability Director Jesse Pyles, more than any other student on campus, Crawford knows more about the function of Unity’s greenhouse gas inventory and the College’s commitment to the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) which states that “colleges and universities must exercise leadership in their communities and throughout society by modeling ways to minimize global warming emissions,
and by providing the knowledge and the educated graduates to achieve climate neutrality.” During the summer of 2013, Crawford worked at a scrap metal brokerage, ferrous and nonferrous metal recycling and transportation services company in Cincinnati, Ohio, tracking carbon emissions.
STUDENT Perspectives Kalani Thorpe ’15, sustainable agriculture major Kalani Thorpe ’15 is a non-traditional student from Media, Pa., who before coming to Unity College, was a veterinary technician for 10 years, and moved to Maine on the good advice of a friend. Her friend knew that the Unity College would appeal to Thorpe given her interest in animal care and sustainability. Her affinity for the natural beauty of Maine was a bonus. When she visited campus, Thorpe knew right away that Unity was exactly where she wanted to be. “The moment I toured the campus, I knew that I belonged here,” says Thorpe. “I love that the focus is on sustainability, the students have the opportunity to get our hands into everything, and that the College fosters our being community-
minded.” Thorpe says she tries to use positive environmental examples and live her own life by putting those good examples into practice whenever she can. After she leaves Unity, Thorpe is planning on pursuing a career in veterinary medicine. An example that Thorpe looks to as inspiration is that of the “Transition Towns” movement, a brand of worldwide environmental and social movements with one of the central principles being that a life without oil could be far more enjoyable and fulfilling. The movement also focuses on helping communities educate their citizens about fossil fuels and how to avoid using them, and how to transition into utilizing other choices for sources of energy. “I am interested in looking at ways for people to be able to live closer to their communities, using resources that are more readily available and not harmful to the environment,” says Thorpe. “I am
so proud to be part of Unity College, first in the country to divest from fossil fuels and know from other institutions following Unity’s lead, we are heading in the right direction.”
Samantha Longo ’15, environmental policy, law, and society major
Unity College’s Marine Biology club. As to her community—it’s what motivates president, she helped initiate the College her. Outreach for Ocean Literacy in Maine, or C.O.O.L. ME, program in partnership with the Maine State Aquarium for teaching Notes to Anneli: literacy in Maine. Samantha “Sam” Longo, a natural ocean There are 4 profiles that need to go onto pages 6-7. The “What great about C.O.O.L. ME is order works leader looking towards a career in profiles can goison either page, in whatever best.that we get to give young students the government, is pragmatic and likes to get things done. Since she applied two years opportunity to learn about a subject that Please do one by-line and one title for all 4 profiles at they might not otherwise study,” said a name and ago, Longo says that she has had many beginning of section. Each profile will have theirLongo. major as a “subtitle”. opportunities through Unity to help out, The club is comprised of 12 trained get involved and make a difference. ONE Title for All Four Profiles: Unity students, all Personal with various majors An environmental policy, law, and Finding the Nexus of Interest and Professional Preparation, Unity Students Prepare for from marine biology to captive wildlife to “What’s Next” society major, Longo is involved with many by Brenda Bonneville, Web Content Developer campus groups and organizations, from secondary education. The group travels student government to the herpetology to inland Maine elementary schools to teach the students about marine biology. club to the diversity committee. “I like that I come from Unity where Unity’s centralized focus on sustainability makes the College the learning is very hands on, and that I get to perfect fit for Longo’s vision of using pass along the same kind of experience sustainability as a practice in giving back to the students in the Ocean Literacy program.” to the community. Going forward, Longo will most One group that the Freeport, N.Y. native is especially involved with is certainly continue to focus on giving back
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Green Job Market Stats
Number of jobs that would be created by 2015 if significant investment was made in the renewable energy segment
Projected number of jobs expected to grow between 2008 and 2018 in the environmental science and protection technician fields, an increase of 29 percent
Percentage of firms that employ three or more sustainable practices according to a 2009 study
Number of occupational categories that fall under into the green economy according to O*NET online, “the nation’s primary source of occupational information”
Number of job announcements posted by Unity College Career Services staff during the first month of the spring 2013 semester
National median wage of energy auditors according to O*NET online
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Green Jobs Market
A World in Need of What Unity Offers Despite the challenges of a recessive economy on the mend, one need not look far to find cause for optimism. The green job market is a growing industry and Unity graduates are poised for success. Not only has the green economy moved into pre-existing sectors like transportation, but many new fields are emerging daily. Some of these new fields such as sustainability coordinators and energy auditors did not exist 10 years ago. These fields now employ thousands of workers in industries previously inaccessible to environmental professionals. At this place in time, businesses, agencies, and organizations have sustainability at the forefront of their practices. Being green used to be popular only among certain micro-pockets (mostly left over from the ’60s), but has now infiltrated nearly every industry. Thinking, working, and living sustainably is a mainstream part of both corporate America and American life, driven by scientific evidence and value-conscious consumers. “Concerns about corporate impact on the environment and local and global communities are being incorporated into strategic business decisions. Sustainability is becoming part of how companies do business in the United States, rather than being viewed as a cost.” (www.bls.gov/green/sustainability/sustainability.htm) Most federal agencies are assessing how global climate change will affect natural resources over the next 10 - 20 years. There is an urgency to understand technical scientific research as well as a need to translate that information to the general public. Green employers are looking for workers who understand environmental science, human ecological and economic impact, and utilize essential skills (communication, problem solving, critical thinking, writing); all skills afforded by a liberal arts education. The framework of sustainability science and liberal arts education which is tied into all majors at Unity College, prepares students for the challenges of navigating new and emerging fields by applying critical thinking, communication, and scientific inquiry to the known environmental problems of today and the unknown problems of the future. Whether students go on to become game wardens, scientists, educators, or artists, they are most often motivated by a desire to address the most significant ecological problems of the 21st century. Unity graduates become leaders and advocates who are unwilling to accept the status quo. For more information on the growing green job market or services available through Unity College please contact Career Service at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unity College Career Services: top green job resources Unity College Job Board: www.collegecentral.com/unity/ (Open to students, alumni and guests- request access through email@example.com) Unity College Job Resource List: www.unity.edu/academics/support/career_services/ job_search_resources Federal Job: www.usajobs.gov Leading Green Job Boards: www.greendreamjobs.com, www.greenjobs.net, jobs.cleanedge.com, jobs.greenbiz.com, jobs.grist.org, www.renewableenergyjobs.com, and jobs.treehugger.com. Non-profit Job listings: www.idealist.org and www.nonprofitmaine.org/
Unity College students in the field
Unity College Pursues Collaborative Bear Study During the spring semester 2013, Unity College began a multi-year Maine black bear study involving both faculty and students. It includes the tagging, tracking, and in at least one case, attachment of a video camera to Maine black bears. Professor George Matula said that the Unity program is in cooperation with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW), and is collecting data similar to what the three MDIFW studies maintain. “They have been studying Maine black bears dating back to 1975,” Matula said. “This initiative will provide opportunities for students to get involved in real-life large mammal research and management that is unique for undergraduate students.” Trapping of bears began in May, with Matula and Lisa Bates ’08, a MDIFW wildlife biologist contractor, leading students to wildlife management district 23 in the Dixmont, Troy and Benton areas. They placed GPS/satellite collars on up to five adult female Maine bears. One of the collars was equipped with a video camera. The collars will provide information on the home range size of the bears, seeing whether or not they suddenly move to an area far afield from their normal range. Information on time of denning will also be gathered. “We will determine whether there are differences between our study and the other three MDIFW studies,” said Matula. “The differences may include the home range of the bears,
birth and mortality rates, and dispersal of offspring.” During the winter months, Unity study participants will go to the dens of the collared females to determine if they had cubs and if so how many, and collect biological data that will reveal their general health. The video cam placed on one of the bears will be removed after the study and sent to the manufacturer for retrieval of the footage. Student researchers will download and analyze that data. Matula says that student research teams have been created to work on specific aspects of the study such as planning, hair snares, DNA analysis of bear hairs, blood analysis, and pre-baiting. Six summer interns served full-time for six weeks doing trapping from mid-May to the end of June. In service to Unity’s transdisciplinary approach to ecological problem solving, students participating in the study are working with other classes. For instance, some students will incorporate their GIS analysis into an applied GIS course with Instructor Kathleen Dunkle. Assistant Professor Brent Bibles is designing the hair snare protocols and setting them out, and helping to collect data for another course. Professor Tom Mullin will incorporate some of the bear study analysis into developing a website and outreach materials to the general public in the area advising on co-existence with bears. UNITY FALL 2013 |
Walker Sees Divestment in Broad Strokes by Eli H. Walker â€™13, wildlife biology/captive wildlife care and education major Growing up, my parents instilled in me a true appreciation and love for the natural world and all it holds. From camping and hiking to hunting and fishing, they taught me the value of nature and about the respect it inherently deserves. This upbringing sparked my interest in studying wildlife science, and in the search for the best school to suit my interests, I found Unity College. I was looking for something unique; something specialized offering an experience that sets students apart from all others. Unity is just that. Our classes are small and highly focused, we get a lot of one-on-one time with professors (a concept that most undergraduate students would find foreign), and we establish relationships with faculty and staff that would not be possible at most other schools. We are smaller than most colleges, but Unity is becoming a name that more and more people from around the world know and recognize. Recently, Unity Collegeâ€™s Board of Trustees unanimously voted to divest our endowment portfolio from fossil fuels, the first to have ever done so in America. As one of Americaâ€™s leading environmental colleges, this is a huge step forward in combating the environmental challenges we currently face, most notably, of course, being climate change. Though still hotly debated, climate change is ineluctably real. A common opinion, the one I once held, is that climate change is nothing but the product of political extremism based on shoddy observation of natural cycles with the sole purpose of undermining any forward economic progress. This, unfortunately, is not the case. After finally seeing the evidence for myself, I now know that climate change has firm grounding in first class science and those who think rationally on scientific issues all agree that it is the greatest environmental challenge that humanity has ever faced. We, as humans, are killing the planet we call home. Our 10
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actions over the last century have thrown perfectly balanced natural systems into chaos and disarray and ironically, the only fix is human action.
We are shouting to the world that there is a better, more economical way of living that is within our grasp.
This is why the Unity College divestment is such a monumental step in the battle forward for a global generation of environmentally conscious leaders who can clear a path to a sustainable future, ensuring our own survival and that of the wild world that makes this planet such an awesome place to call home. We are shouting to the world that there is a better, more economical way of living that is within our grasp. Big things are happening here and Unity serves as a model for the positive change humanity must see worldwide; and therefore, I think it is safe to say that I speak for all Unity students when I say, we are proud to call ourselves Unity.
Unity Divestment Unveiled at Sold Out 350.org Event It might have been the opening for the first leg of legendary jam band Phish’s latest rarity, a tour of small venues in the Northeast. Outside the sold out State Theatre in Portland, Maine, throngs braced against a chill breeze off the nearby harbor. There was singing, joking, busses double-parked, people signing up to become active in a variety of environmental causes. Though there would be music, the headliner of the night on November 13, 2012, was author, educator, and environmental activist Bill McKibben, founder of the climate change focused grass-roots organization 350.org. The stop was part of 350. org’s Do The Math fall tour across the United States featuring speakers, local environmental leaders, music, and headliner McKibben. As the event reached a crescendo, McKibben spoke about Unity College and its recently announced divestment from investments in fossil fuels. “I went to Harvard but tonight, I wish I had been a student at Unity College,” McKibben said, the crowd erupting in cheers. To more cheers, McKibben introduced Unity College President Stephen Mulkey and after a warm embrace, praised Unity College for its leadership as the first institution of higher learning to divest. Mulkey spent several minutes offering details about Unity’s divestment, paying special tribute to the Board of Trustees that unanimously voted to divest. In the weeks and months to come, as McKibben travelled the country on the Do the Math Tour, he consistently praised Unity College and its decision to divest, suggesting it was the epicenter for a larger movement to come.
(Clockwise, top) President Stephen Mulkey leads the 350.org audience in Portland, Maine, in a cheer pledging resistance to the ecologically devastating business model of the fossil fuel industry. Jesse Pyles at DC protest. The Unity College contingent is joined after the event by Bill McKibben (back row far left facing)
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Neil Ward ’00 Embraces Change with Confidence by Reeta Benedict, Associate Director of Annual Giving After 19 years in the shoe making industry, Neil Ward ’00 found himself at a crossroads. Due to factories closing in the Lewiston/Auburn area jobs were in decline. Ward knew a high school diploma was no longer enough. “The writing was on the wall. The industry was going under and I needed a college education.” Ward knew enrolling at Unity College would change his life, what he did not anticipate was that his experience as a nontraditional student would inspire him to help others down the road. Juggling life and studies as a non-traditional student was an exercise in stamina for Ward. “Transportation costs, mortgage payments, groceries, and making ends meet with one paycheck are usually not high on the average student’s ‘worry’ list,” Ward said. “I never expected to have to make a choice between groceries and school books.” Although Ward faced challenges, he did have advantages over traditional students. He had experience. He had a very supportive and encouraging wife and family. And, he knew exactly what he wanted to study. Having served on the local planning board and chairing the Leeds, Maine comprehensive plan committee, Ward knew his path. “I considered what I was passionate about and translated that to a goal,” said Ward. Dr. David Purdy was instrumental in getting Ward on track to receive a degree in environmental policy. “My morning ritual included coffee and discussion with Dave,” said Ward. “He had a wealth of knowledge and insight that enriched my education.” Ward got through his first semester with the support of faculty and friends. “When I couldn’t afford books, my professors and my classmates made sure I had the material,” said Ward. “The gratification of good first semester grades was what I needed to continue with my education.” It was in Ward’s third year that he got a break. Due to the shoe industry crash in Maine, the Maine Unemployment Bureau began contacting all past industry laborers. “They informed me that a re-training program would pay for the remainder of my education. Books, tuition, travel, everything,” said Ward. This good fortune triggered Ward’s desire to help other non-traditional students financially. Ward began his efforts by establishing the Non-Traditional Student Community Service Scholarship. With a matching donation from Dave Purdy, Ward’s fund, through Unity College, gave the first $1,000 scholarship to a non-traditional student in 2001.
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“The writing was on the wall. The industry was going under and I needed a college education.” Ward’s compassion for students in a situation so close to his own drove him to research additional funding opportunities for nontraditional students. With Ward’s help, Unity submitted its first grant application to the Bernard Osher Foundation in 2006 and was awarded scholarship funding for non-traditional students. Since this award, Unity has received a $100,000 endowed scholarship from the Foundation with a first priority to non-traditional students. “This is great news,” said Ward. “Non-traditional students need all the help they can find, particularly now during these tough economic times. This is very exciting.” Since graduating from Unity College, Neil has become the director of the Androscoggin River Alliance in Lewiston. Becoming a non-traditional student means taking a risk, but according to Ward, a risk worth taking. “Life is uncertain, but I will always have my Unity College degree.”
Neil Ward discusses campus improvements with Professor David Purdy (1931-2012).
Lynne McKee: A Committed Friend of College Community by Martha Nordstrom, Director of Development Lynne McKee grew up surrounded by the excitement, energy, passion and adventure of the visual arts. Her father, the late A.A. (Gus) D’Amico of Bangor, began collecting art in the 1950s and said that through his appreciation of art, “I have developed a tolerance and respect for the ideas, philosophies, religions and sensibilities of many people.” Like her father, McKee developed a compelling, personal relationship with the collection. Each piece has its own story, each piece is a friend. When it came time to relocate to smaller quarters and divest herself of some of her most beloved possessions, McKee chose to gift a portion of this collection to Unity College. Why Unity? It turns out that both McKee and her father have had their eyes on Unity for a long time. At one point D’Amico visited the campus. It made enough of an impression on him that he shared his experience with his daughter. They liked what they learned about our students who strive to change the world. For having never visited campus, McKee has kept up with Unity by reading the College’s magazine. Every year for the past 25 years she has made a gift to Unity. Based on the pieces she gifted to the College, it’s clear that she understands Unity’s culture. The pieces are vibrant and expressive—a piece of Inuit art, two small wood sculptures by Maine artist William Muir and a lovely Leonard Baskin print comprise just part of her gift. It’s the kind of bold and engaging art our students will appreciate. And it does double duty as a way to learn the tolerance and respect that Gus and his daughter Lynne held dear.
“I have developed a tolerance and respect for the ideas, philosophies, religions and sensibilities of many people.”
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“We know the science on climate change is very compelling and urgent.” President Stephen Mulkey
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Divestment Was Right Thing to Do As Window for Addressing Climate Change Closes, Some Consider History and Seek Answers By Mark Tardif, Associate Director for College Communications With a unanimous vote by the Board of Trustees in November 2012, Unity College became the first institution of higher learning to divest from investments in fossil fuels. It did not take long for news to spread throughout the College community. In the months since, the divestment announcement has taken on a life of its own, propelling Unity College to a level of national awareness never seen before in its short history. The larger implications and opportunities -- both good and bad -- of being at the epicenter for a growing divestment movement in higher education, with its parallels to the role that higher education played to end apartheid (a system of racial segregation enforced through legislation in South Africa) back in 1994, are still coming into focus. Beyond the many media stories relating directly to the divestment initiative is the issue of Unity’s focus on sustainability science. The divestment announcement handed Unity College a golden opportunity to position itself as the first college to adopt sustainability science as its central framework. Unity’s bold stand has clearly generated much pride within the community.
Pride, Leadership and Unity’s Place on the National Stage “Unity maintains a leadership role in higher education,” stated Sustainability Director Jesse Pyles. “Because of our unique focus, our size, and our commitment, we can model approaches to sustainability that influence other institutions and other sectors. We’ve demonstrated that leadership in academics, operations, and administration. Divestment is indeed a strong statement, but it’s not just a statement, it’s another expression of our core values in a way that advances the sustainability conversation.” Professor Mick Womersley spends much of his professional life carefully considering the complexities of energy production and sustainability in all of its forms. He agrees with both the
act of divesting from investments in fossil fuels and President Mulkey’s statements about the dangers of climate change. Womersley points out that a dangerous tipping point will be reached soon. “By 2050 the CO2 will have doubled from pre-industrial times, and that’s a very dangerous situation,” noted Womersley. “Someone has to show leadership and clearly, Congress is not, the President of the United States is showing a little bit of leadership, but not as much as he needs to and someone else has to step up to the plate.”
“Someone has to show leadership and clearly, Congress is not, the President of the United States is showing a little bit of leadership, but not as much as he needs to and someone else has to step up to the plate.” Both activists in organizations like 350.org and Unity College are providing leadership, which is both good and necessary. He feels that even though Unity has a small endowment and some may characterize the act of divesting as largely symbolic, the statement and leadership role the College assumed were important. UNITY FALL 2013 |
“I am very proud of Unity’s leadership regarding divestment. When I talk about Unity to my family and friends back home I always mention and brag that my college was the first to divest from fossil fuels.” Shayne Van Leer ’13
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Former Unity staff member Heidi Brugger of 350 Maine (center) is joined by President Mulkey (left) and Unity College Marketing Director Bob Fitzpatrick at the 350.org event in Portland, Maine.
Within a short time of the divestment announcement, members of the College community were voicing pride in the decision. Trustee Will Hafford ’08, took part in the unanimous vote to divest. “Value happens on several levels,” said Hafford. “For students (divestment) is an affirmation that Unity is willing to put its money where its mouth is.” Hafford says that divesting aligned Unity’s business affairs with its convictions and beliefs, resonating not just with current students but alumni as well. “I have heard from a number of our alumni that they were pleased to hear about our divestment,” noted Hafford. “This puts Unity into a leadership role and allows the College to take the next important step in moving forward with this.” Though he knew that the divestment position Unity had taken would generate attention, he had no idea exactly how much. In the weeks following the divestment announcement, Hafford was pleasantly surprised to see positive exposure for Unity College in such high profile publications as the New York Times, Boston Globe, Rolling Stone, and The Chronicle of Higher Education, as well as dozens of environmental oriented publications and web sites. For Hafford it is important that the College leverage this positive exposure wisely. “I will be interested to see how this (divestment) is utilized to solicit new students, in particular transfer students,” Hafford said. Admission staff members have been referencing articles about Unity’s divestment in various outreaches. Time will tell whether it resonates with prospective students. The decision by the Board of Trustees to divest came on the heels of another significant – and related – decision, a vote to
support sustainability science (a 21st century transdisciplinary science-based approach to environmental problem solving, including global climate change) as a central framework touching all aspects of the College. Just as Unity’s position to divest has placed the College on the leading-edge of a growing national movement in higher education, so too did focusing on sustainability science position the College to flourish. “I certainly think it is a great initiative to shift all educational programs to include or address sustainability science,” said Hafford. “That makes sense and was happening to a large degree already (with Unity’s focus on sustainability). It was a good area to highlight.” Working on the mitigation of global climate change poses a variety of difficult problems, says Hafford. Without question, he says, Unity College is proving that it has an important role to play in ensuring a sustainable planet. He feels that Unity is a place where the skills and ideas of environmental leaders are being formed and are coalescing, helping them to make the most of exceptional career opportunities.
“Unity can help bring about a new generation that will be our Aldo Leopold (an American author, scientist, ecologist, forester, and environmentalist),” noted Hafford. Alumni will be environmental leaders in every major sector, from serving in the corporate sector as sustainability officers to conducting research in the university setting, they will be champions for the environment, says Hafford.
An Education for the Future Assistant Professor / Director of Writing Stephanie Wade felt a swell of pride upon hearing of Unity’s divestment. She felt that the effort was right and was reminded of her own positive experiences as an undergraduate at Wesleyan University, fighting to force that university to divest from investments that benefited South Africa’s apartheid regime. The parallels between the fight to end apartheid and the struggle to address global climate change are striking, right down to the arguments for inaction being offered by individuals in positions of power. In the 1980s, some college officials argued that divestment
“Without question Unity College is proving that it has an important role to play in ensuring a sustainable planet.”
Professor Mick Womersley explains the sustainability features of Unity House to a television news reporter. UNITY FALL 2013 |
The Unity College campus is poised to model a new paradigm for higher education.
from South African holdings would harm endowments, limiting the amount of student financial aid available. Others argued that harming investments in South Africa would only hurt Africans. Similarly, students involved in the growing fossil free campus movement organized by 350.org are frequently being told that divesting from investments will harm endowments, limit financial aid, and harm the career aspirations of students training to pursue environmental or related careers. Wade has been contacted by friends who heard the news about Unity’s divestment announcement. “They said ‘wow, you work at a really cool place that is doing things’,” Wade noted. “That’s very exciting. I feel like that divestment gives us the opportunity to invest in the future we want to see.” The College has become a “go-to” place for students, faculty, administrators, and staff from other colleges and universities, members of environmental organizations, and members of the general public who are seeking information about divestment. Many students from other institutions, like Christina Wilson, a leadership major at the University of New Brunswick, contacted Unity for guidance in approaching her own administration about divesting. Wilson and a group of fellow students learned about Unity College’s divestment leadership when they joined 350.org’s Fossil Free campaign.
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The Financial Rewards of Ethical Decision Making Vice President for Finance and Administration Deborah Cronin, an instrumental player in the divestment movement at Unity, helped Wilson as she prepared for a meeting with the management committee of the University of New Brunswick. A central point that Wilson wanted to address was the issue of whether Unity’s endowment had suffered due to the divestment, a concern raised by the management committee. Cronin e-mailed Wilson specifics on Unity’s endowment returns. The message was loud and clear, divesting from investments in fossil fuels has not harmed Unity’s portfolio. The movement to divest at the University of New Brunswick is strong and growing, says Wilson. Failure is not an option. “Everyone should be involved in this (divestment) movement,” Wilson said. “Climate change affects everyone.” Unity has also been contacted by other students seeking guidance or specifics about the divestment particulars, often to build a case for their own institutions to divest. A common thread developing is that some of the arguments against divesting are falling, one-by-one, in the face of hard feedback from the markets. It would appear that investments in fossil fuels are not the “be-all, end-all,” of market productivity that some suggest. There can be a financial gain associated with doing the right thing, and there are philanthropic minded individuals who are willing to reward institutions like Unity College for taking the ethical stand and divesting.
“We received a generous unsolicited gift based on our decision to divest,” said Director of Development Martha Nordstrom. The individual who donated the money had no prior connection to Unity. During the spring semester it was announced that the donation would support a new scholarship within the Center for Sustainability and Global Change. Like Wade, Nordstrom felt pride upon learning of Unity’s divestment. As the wave of stories about divestment swelled, Unity was frequently associated with Hampshire College in Massachusetts. Though Hampshire had not declared that it had divested, it had been pursuing a policy of socially responsible investing that slowly decreased its exposure to investments in fossil fuels. Still, Unity College sprinted across the finish line to become the first college to divest and announced that it had done so. Both Hampshire College and Unity were founded in 1965, though under very different circumstances. There are stark cultural and socio-economic differences that separate Hampshire from Unity. Nordstrom says that Unity had a much more humble beginning than Hampshire. “Unity College started without all of the fanfare and without the big vision,” said Nordstrom. “It has grown into its big vision.” At its founding by area townspeople, Unity College was rather more like an experiment than following the traditional blueprint for building a liberal arts college.
That “big vision” now is forever tied to its first-in-thenation to divest status, its focus on sustainability science, and humble but energetic, grass-roots nature. Part of why Unity College was able to transform from the liberal arts college of its founding into an environmental college with a leading-edge focus on the “what’s next” of 21st century transdisciplinary environmental problem solving, sustainability science, is due to the nature of its culture.
Blazing a Trail Means Getting Dirty, Making Tough Decisions “It is interesting to see the changes for the better at Unity,” said Nordstrom, who returned in 2012 for a second stint as director of Development (she previously served from 2002 – 2006). Nordstrom is very familiar with Unity’s history. Returning to Unity after an absence has also highlighted how far the College has progressed in a short time, from a primarily regional concern to a college that aspires to attain a legitimate place alongside the very best environmental colleges in the United States. Such progression and series of achievements, from its ever expanding focus on sustainability to the building of TerraHaus, the first college residence hall built to the Passive House standard, high profile successes, provided the momentum leading to Unity’s divestment. “We’re going to see a lot of other institutions follow Unity’s lead (by divesting),” said Nordstrom. “More and more students UNITY FALL 2013 |
Aaron Liberty ’01, Praises Divestment During the spring semester Aaron Liberty ’01, responded to an article in the Bangor Daily News about Unity’s focus on sustainability science and its ties to the mitigation of global climate change with an e-mail to President Stephen Mulkey. He wrote: As a graduate of Unity College, I was very pleased to see the recent article in the Bangor Daily News discussing Unity’s commitment to incorporating climate change throughout its curriculum. I am currently employed as a Fish Biologist/Project Manager at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Washington, DC and can say with absolute certainty that this is an issue which will have huge implications for future graduates of Unity. To illustrate just how important of a topic climate change has become at my own agency, earlier this month I attended a week-long course entitled Addressing Climate-related Uncertainty for Natural Resource Management, which was attended by numerous representatives from other federal agencies, who like myself, are required to make long-term decisions (e.g., listing species under the Endangered Species Act) in the face of climate change. At the end of the training, I realized that although tools are currently available to incorporate climate change into the decision making process, very few professionals know where to begin or how to make use of the available science. Unity College has made quite a name for itself in recent years by being ahead of the curve on topical environmental issues such as this. I applaud your efforts and those of your colleagues at Unity for leading the way to make climate change a part of the curriculum. In my opinion, future graduates of Unity will have a very marketable skill, which as far as I can tell, very few others in today's workforce currently possess.
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“We talk about Unity changing but if you look back to its earliest classes, why it became an environmental college with a hands-on approach, all of these things are still very true about Unity.” are putting pressure on their institutions to make this decision. We will always be the first. That will always be the position that we will have and I don’t see it dismaying donors, I see it engaging them.” “Unity has organically grown into its big vision,” said Nordstrom. The lack of adherence to many of the stereotypical aspects of a liberal arts college may have been a great advantage for Unity, allowing it to change and adapt while similar sized colleges with far more rigid cultures stumbled and closed. This flexibility may have also helped the College to see the possibilities associated with divestment where others might see darkness. While the arc of development, from campus improvements to the geographic range of its student body, has pointed to enormous positive “change,” Nordstrom sees such change as a normal outcome of a consistent culture that has always embraced progress. “We talk about Unity changing but if you look back to its earliest classes, why it became an environmental college with a hands-on approach, all of these things are still very true about Unity,” Nordstrom said. “We have always had an organic process and will always continue that. We change but in the way that things in nature change.” The internal culture and educational opportunities that attracted students during its first decade to study at Unity College remain the same, says Nordstrom. Just as Unity faced every challenge with creativity and a “can-do” spirit, so too has it successfully framed its focus to include a vision for how it may provide a measure of broad environmental leadership to all of higher education. “Our divestment and the national campaign for divestment reinforce a more holistic approach to institutional sustainability,” said Pyles. “That is to say, campus sustainability isn’t just about the physical campus, but must necessarily also include education and administration. If the conversation about sustainability stops at recycling rates and energy use, then we haven’t done enough.” He feels that Unity’s divestment expresses its commitment to sustainability in a new way. “It demonstrates the importance of sustainability in the board room as well in the classroom,” Pyles stated. The leadership position brought on by Unity’s focus on sustainability, sustainability science, and divestment is undeniable. These and many other new initiatives are in-keeping with the courage and bold decision of Unity area residents to found a college fewer than five decades ago.
Bill McKibben addresses climate change in front of a depiction of former President Jimmy Carter’s speech upon the installation of solar panels on the White House in 1979. The panels were removed during the Reagan administration and retrieved by Unity College from government storage. They heated water in the cafeteria on campus for over a decade.
For a small college in Maine, Unity certainly knows how to create some ripples. This past fall (2012), our international climate campaign 350.org launched a new effort to encourage colleges and universities to divest their holdings from the fossil fuel industry. We weren’t entirely sure if the movement would be successful. Divestment had worked in the past, most notably in the fight against apartheid South Africa in the 1980s when 155 colleges divested from the regime. But we’d heard that today’s college students were “apathetic” and that university administrators would be unwilling to discuss anything regarding the endowment. To help kick-start the campaign, 350.org organized a 21-city “Do The Math” tour to connect the dots between extreme weather, climate change and the fossil fuel industry. The tour started in Seattle, where the mayor came on stage and committed on the spot to look into how divesting the city from the fossil fuel industry. But things really heated up when we arrived in Portland, ME. That night, President Stephen Mulkey came on stage and made a historic announcement: Unity would become the first college in the country to fully divest itself from the fossil fuel industry. The announcement provided just the jolt of energy our fledgling effort needed to get off the ground. In the coming weeks, over 300 colleges and universities would join the new divestment effort. The Nation soon described it as “the fastest growing student movement in a generation.” The New York Times featured the campaign on the front page of its
business section and CBS ran a segment on the evening news. And on campuses all across the country, students walked into boardrooms and told skeptical trustees, “Divestment is possible. Just look at Unity.” When President Mulkey committed to divest Unity, he wrote in a blog statement posted on the college website, “Higher education is the crown jewel of the United States system of education, and it remains the envy of the world. Higher education has always been dedicated to the highest standards of honesty and integrity. If our nation’s colleges and universities will not take a stand now, who will?” That’s exactly right. Divestment is above all a moral necessity: if it’s wrong to wreck the planet, than it’s also wrong to profit from that wreckage. We shouldn’t be funding a college education by investing in companies that are wrecking the planet our students are going to enact their education upon. As the Nobel Peace prize winner, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, told us, “The divestment movement played a key role in helping liberate South Africa. The corporations understood the logics of money even when they weren’t swayed by the dictates of morality. Climate change is a deeply moral issue too, of course…Once again, we can join together as a world and put pressure where it counts.” Furthermore, at colleges and universities concerned about the environment, divestment is the only logically consistent position to hold. Greening the campus is a good first step, but it makes little difference if you don’t also green the portfolio. The carbon emissions from a new major fossil fuel project UNITY FALL 2013 |
“Greening the campus is a good first step, but it makes little difference if you don’t also green the portfolio.’ like the Keystone XL pipeline would effectively wipe out any small efficiency gains we can make on campus. That isn’t any reason to stop double-glazing the windows, but a reminder that there is larger work to be done off-campus. There’s no guarantee that this new divestment effort will work, but then again, change often happens in mysterious ways. A couple of years ago, I embarked a road trip with a group of Unity College students, Amanda Nelson ’11, Jamie Nemecek ’11, Jean Altomare ’11, and (now a 350.org employee), recent graduate Jason Reynolds ’06, Unity Sustainability Director Jesse Pyles. We were traveling from Maine down to the White House to return a Jimmy Carter era solar panel that had been gracing Unity’s cafeteria roof. Carter had installed the panels in 1979 only to see them removed by President Reagan a few years later. When we brought the panel back to the Obama administration, they refused to install a new pair on the White House roof, but lo and behold, a couple of months later they reversed course and agreed to an installation (we’re still waiting for the actual panels to go up on the roof ). Unlike those solar panels, divestment is something that we can do ourselves -and now, Unity has shown us the way. The ripples of the college’s commitment have already spread out around the country. Soon, as we take this divestment campaign to Europe and Australia, those ripples will spread around the world. In his statement celebrating the divestment announcement, President Mulkey wrote, “Our college community will lead by fearless action.” That leadership is already making a big difference.
Bill McKibben speaks on the Unity College campus.
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Unity: Changing the Investment Climate By Dan Apfel, Executive Director of Responsible Endowments Coalition
Colleges and universities around the country understand the urgency of climate change. Their professors are researching and describing the problem—they are even the ones analyzing the increase speed of climate change. They also have plans targeting carbon-neutrality and are spending millions each year in energy efficiency retrofits and campus-based renewable energy. Yet students have for years understood that campus carbon neutrality is not enough: in order to prevent climate catastrophe, colleges and universities must stand up and take immediate and major action for sustainable campuses, communities, and a sustainable world. In 2011, students from Swarthmore College and a diverse array of organizations, including the Responsible Endowments Coalition and the Energy Action Coalition saw this opportunity and began to call on institutions of higher education to divest from coal and other fossil fuels and invest in a sustainable future. With $400 billion in endowments, colleges have substantial capital to use towards creating this new, healthy, sustainable world. That money is there for the benefit of future generations of students. Those students and the organizations they work
with have real power to influence those investments. That change can be powerful: through their investments, colleges can challenge the fossil fuel industry, connect with communities impacted by mining, drilling, pollution and the effects of climate change, and drive capital to support clean technology and a sustainable future. Students cannot make this happen alone. Colleges follow each other, so peer leadership is also immensely important. That is where Unity College comes in. While Unity College may only have $13 million in its endowment, this movement needs institutional leaders. Students and other colleges need examples of what is possible— and a school to point to where this has been done. Whether it is $13 million from Unity, or $31 billion from Harvard University, divestment is the most powerful statement an institution can make with its money. When Unity College became the first to stand up and make a real statement with its endowment, it expanded the realm of possibility. Now that Unity has shown that divestment and sustainable investment is possible, it’s time to expand the call for real sustainable investing to all of our colleges and universities.
“Students cannot make this happen alone. That is where Unity College comes in.”
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A Primer on Divestment from Investments in Fossil Fuels There are two key facts that have emerged from Unity College becoming the first institution of higher learning to divest from investments in fossil fuels. The first is that Unity’s portfolio has not suffered as a result of divesting. Quite the opposite is true. Second, divesting should not affect an institution’s ability to provide competitive salaries and strong financial aid. Divestment did not happen overnight. In early 2008 the Investment Committee of the Board of Trustees asked Spinnaker Trust of Portland, Maine, Unity’s endowment manager, to decrease exposure to large energy companies and to move toward clean energy. When it announced that it was divesting in November 2012, Unity was at 3 percent exposure. The timeline allowed Unity’s investment manager to prudently shift investments, including fixed income bonds, over a five year horizon. Back when Unity began the process in 2008 its exposure to big energy was at approximately 10 percent of total endowment, says Deborah Cronin, Vice President of Finance & Administration. “The strategy has been to shift investments in developed international countries to non-energy sectors,” Cronin explained. “Investments in emerging international countries cannot be moved specifically out of fossil fuels, as there are no sector specific Exchange Traded Funds at this time. Thus, the endowment target is less than 1 percent in, not 0, as the emerging international sector needs some fossil fuel tolerance.” Unity’s endowment is diversified both by asset class (equities, bonds, and cash equivalents) and within asset class (within equities by economic sectors, industry, and size). The portfolio is invested in US Equities (37 percent), International Equities (20 percent), Fixed Income (35 percent), Other (3 percent), and Cash Equivalents (5 percent). Exchange Traded Funds are the investment vehicle most commonly used. Will this move reduce Unity’s investment earnings? “It is possible that in any given year the answer may be ‘yes,’ but over time investment performance should not be negatively impacted by this strategy,” said Cronin. “In fact, over the past five years the portfolio has met or exceeded market benchmarks despite the shift away from fossil fuel holdings. The College’s endowment is managed for the long-term benefit of the College, and it is anticipated that investment earnings will meet long-term market performance benchmarks.”
Residents of TerraHaus monitor energy use on a daily basis.
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Divestment Shines National Spotlight on Unity College Within days of Unity’s divestment announcement, dozens of media outlets across the United States were referencing it in a variety of stories. Story angles initially focused on Bill McKibben’s tour across the United States to raise public awareness of global climate change and need for significant, broad mitigation efforts. However, other stories delved more deeply into Unity College. One story in the Bangor Daily News outlined in broad strokes Unity’s focus on sustainability science, the vanguard of 21st century transdisciplinary environmental problem solving including the mitigation of climate change. On the eve of the 350.org tour stop in Portland, Maine, November 13, 2012, the Bangor Daily News (BDN) online posted an article by Seth Koenig entitled “Top Environmental Writer Takes Climate Change Crusade to Portland, Says Schools Must Fight Global Warming Through Investments,” characterized McKibben as “one of the country’s foremost global warming experts.” The BDN article also referenced Unity’s divestment, which was mentioned by McKibben. Koening quoted McKibben as saying several hours before taking the stage in Portland that the Do The Math tour had “been playing to huge, sold out crowds all across the country. Which is odd, because what we’re talking about is difficult and actually somewhat depressing, which is the new math of climate change.” On December 4, 2012, in a New York Times (NYT) article by Justin Gillis entitled “To Stop Climate Change, Students Aim at College Portfolios” President Stephen Mulkey’s open letter to college administrators, which was published in a variety of environmental and mainstream news publications across the United States, was cited. “In the near future, the political tide will turn and the public will demand action on climate change,” Mulkey was quoted in the NYT
article, which referenced his open letter. “Our students are already demanding action, and we must not ignore them.” When McKibben left Portland, his next tour stop was in Boston, Massachusetts. In a November 16, 2012, Boston Globe Green Blog entry by environmental reporter Beth Daley, McKibben’s tour was lauded and, once again, Unity College was praised in glowing terms. “In Portland, Maine, the President of Unity College told the crowd that the college’s trustees had voted to divest all funds from fossil fuels,” McKibben said. “I don’t think they’ll be the last college do to that. In Seattle, the mayor told us that he was going to look at the books and see how they could divest fossil fuel stock and funds. We also have a show tomorrow in New York City. It’s going to be pretty emotional, with Hurricane Sandy just having happened.” The stories referencing Unity’s divestment has continued to date. The impact is hard to accurately measure. From November 2012 through the end of February 2013, a statistical analysis by Meltwater Press of media stories posted to the world wide web indicated that divestment stories referencing Unity College reached over 590 million potential viewers.
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Divestment Commentary by President Stephen Mulkey After the divestment announcement President Mulkey released several commentaries, one of which accurately framed the states of inaction on climate change. These two commentaries, also known as manifestos, were sent and featured in numerous newspaper outlets across the United States. Released November 13, 2012 An Open Letter to College and University Presidents About Divestment from Fossil Fuels
SMANIFESTOS Dear Colleagues,
On the 5th of November 2012, the Unity College Board of Trustees unanimously voted to divest our endowment from fossil fuel industries. While one might think that this was logical for a college where sustainability science structures the academic program, it was not easy. Indeed, the Board’s committee on investment carefully reviewed the potential fiduciary impact of this action. Some members of the Board were uncomfortable with the choice to close off this source of revenue at a time when the College needs every penny. In the end, the Board embraced our ethical obligation to stop supporting an industry that has repeatedly demonstrated a lack of commitment to future generations. I write this letter to urge you to raise this crucially important issue with your governing body. Why should colleges and universities divest? It is increasingly clear that climate change will be the defining environmental factor of what will come to be seen as the environmental century. Recent work at the National Center for Atmospheric Research indicates that our current rate of emissions will carry us beyond 7°F average global warming by 2100. Other studies show that warming may be more than 9°F. Either way, this level of warming is catastrophic. The current generation of college students will experience a dangerously disrupted climate by mid-century. We must provide strong incentives for fossil fuel industries to invest their gargantuan profits in alternative and renewable energy rather than in the development of new and increasingly marginal sources of fossil fuels. Your institution must not be on the wrong side of this issue. Given the recent decade of extreme temperatures and catastrophic weather, America is waking up. In the near future, the political tide will turn and the public will demand action on climate change. Our students are already demanding action, and we must not ignore them. As college presidents, we are committed to the highest standards of honesty and integrity. Failure to provide ethical leadership on an issue that has the
potential to be the most profoundly negative factor in the lives of our students is unacceptable. Financial managers may complain that divestment will be complicated and insurmountably onerous. However, it takes no more effort to manage a portfolio for minimum exposure to fossil fuels than it does to manage for maximum market return – and these two goals can coexist. Admittedly, markets are more complex today than in the time of divestment from companies associated with apartheid. Depending on your particular mix of investment tools, achieving an absolute zero fossil fuel return may be difficult. Unity College has chosen to strongly bias its UNITY FALL 2013 |
MANIFESTOS portfolio away from such investments, and we are confident that we can achieve a negligible exposure to fossil fuels. We also believe that under current market conditions our overall portfolio will generally not perform more poorly than the market average while holding true to our promise to divest. All board members are acutely aware of their fiduciary responsibilities to the institution, and they will want assurances that investment practices bring an appropriate return. While endowments must be managed to insure growth, we must turn away from the embedded acceptance of the notion of profits at any price. Regardless of financial considerations, we must demand the highest ethical standards from our universities and colleges. It is ethically indefensible that an institution dedicated to the proposition of the renewal of civilization would simultaneously invest in its destruction. In this respect, divestment is not optional. As presidents, you do not control your institution’s investment policy, but you do have great influence. Urge your board to take a stand and make it possible for your institution to speak from a position of integrity. Stephen Mulkey President, Unity College
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Unity’s position on divestment has attracted widespread media attention and a variety of story angles, from localized stories about how Unity is providing leadership in sustainability to commentaries written by pundits in the national press, the leadership position taken by Unity has unquestionably captured a share of the American consciousness. During the Fall Semester Sustainability Director Jesse Pyles was interviewed for a television story about divestment and what it means for the College.
“The current generation of college students will experience a dangerously disrupted climate by mid-century. We must provide strong incentives for fossil fuel industries to invest their gargantuan profits in alternative and renewable energy rather than in the development of new and increasingly marginal sources of fossil fuels.”
“Financial managers may complain that divestment will be complicated and insurmountably onerous. However, it takes no more effort to manage a portfolio for minimum exposure to fossil fuels than it does to manage for maximum market return, and these two goals can coexist.”
Released November 5, 2012 Time for higher education to take a stand on climate We are running out of time. While our public policy makers equivocate and avoid the topic of climate change, the window of opportunity for salvaging a livable planet for our children and grandchildren is rapidly closing. The way forward is clear, though for many confrontationaverse academics the path seems impassable. It requires action that is unnatural to the scientifically initiated: to fight to regain the territory illegitimately occupied by the climate change deniers. Every day that we avoid taking action represents additional emissions, and additional infrastructure that is dependent on our fossil fuel based economy. In our zeal to be collegial, we engage with those who are paid by vested interests to argue that our Earth is not in crisis. When these individuals demonize public investment in alternative energy, we fail to point out how the oil industry benefited from significant taxpayer support in its infancy and continues to receive government subsidies today. We also sidestep the thorny issue of how oil and coal, in particular, fund large-scale organized opposition efforts to deny legitimate science, winning the battle for climate change public opinion with slogans, junk science, and money. While there is much uncertainty about how climate change will play out with respect to specific regions and weather patterns, one thing is very clear: our current emissions trajectory will carry us beyond 5oC average global warming by 2100. This will be a planet that is not consistent with our civilization and science shows us that the impact will be largely irreversible for a millennium. I don’t know how the stakes could get any higher. Higher education is positioned to determine the future by training a generation of problem solvers. As educators, we have an obligation to do so. Unlike any time in the history of higher education, we must now produce leading-edge professionals who are able to integrate knowledge from multiple disciplines, and understand social, economic, and resource tradeoffs among possible solutions. Imagine being a college president and looking in the mirror twenty years from now. What would you see? Would you be looking at a professional who did his or her best to avert catastrophe? For me, the alternative is unacceptable. Those within higher education must now do something they have largely avoided at all costs: confront the policy makers who refuse to accept scientific reality. We must be willing
Through its focus on sustainability science and transdisciplinary (collaborative) problem solving, Unity is training students to address 21st century environmental problems including the mitigation of global climate change. (Photo) Assistant Professor Cheryl Frederick explains a concept to students in the animal laboratory.
to lead by example. Like the colleges and universities of the 1980’s that disinvested from apartheid South African interests – and successfully pressured the South African government to dismantle the apartheid system – we must be willing to exclude fossil fuels from our investment portfolios. We must divest. The colleges and universities of this nation have billions invested in fossil fuels. Like the funding of public campaigns to deny climate change, such investments are fundamentally unethical. The Terrifying Math of the 350.org campaign is based on realistic, reviewed science. Moreover, in our country it is clear that economic pressure gets results where other means fail. If we are to honor our commitment to the future, divestment is not optional. This is especially true for Unity College, where sustainability science, as developed by the U.S. National Academy of Science, guides our academic mission. I am proud to be a part of the 350.org program of divestment, and I am especially proud of the Unity College Board of Trustees for their willingness to make this affiliation. Indeed, the Trustees have been on the path of divestment for over five years. The Trustees have looked at the College’s finances in the UNITY FALL 2013 |
MANIFESTOS context of our ethical obligation to our students, and they have chosen to make a stand. I can think of no stronger statement about the mission of Unity College. Our college community will lead by fearless action. We will confront policy makers who continue to deny the existence of climate change. We will encourage those who work in higher education to bravely step out from behind manicured, taxpayer funded hedges, and do what needs to be done. We will not equivocate, and we will meet those who have been misled by climate change denial in their communities. The time is long overdue for all investors to take a hard look at the consequences of supporting an industry that persists in employing a destructive business model. Because
of its infrastructure and enormous economic clout, fossil fuel corporations could pump trillions into the development of alternative energy. Government subsidies and stockholder shares could be used constructively to move these corporations to behave responsibly. Higher education is the crown jewel of the United States system of education, and it remains the envy of the world. Higher education has always been dedicated to the highest standards of honesty and integrity. If our nation’s colleges and universities will not take a stand now, who will? Stephen Mulkey President, Unity College
“Regardless of financial considerations, we must demand the highest ethical standards from our universities and colleges. It is ethically indefensible that an institution dedicated to the proposition of the renewal of civilization would simultaneously invest in its destruction.”
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Adventure Sports an Important Part of Unity Experience Many colleges and universities point to their sports facilities, success of their athletic teams, and range of recreational programs as sources of pride for the campus culture. Some institutions of higher learning require students to pursue multi-day orientation trips in nature. Few take “adventure” to the level it is offered at Unity College. Getting to feel comfortable in nature is an important value, in part because of the College’s focus on sustainability, defined as a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged. Sustainability is so important to Unity College and its culture that Unity recently became the first college in the United States to divest its portfolio from investments in fossil fuels. All entering students are enrolled in the Unity Experience Course that starts with Nova, an adventure-based orientation trip. When the Nova trip becomes a memory, few Unity students put away their hiking boots, cross country skis, snow shoes, climbing gear, and paddles. In fact, with majors like conservation law enforcement and adventure leadership education, a great many students spend their undergraduate years becoming outdoor experts with credentials directly tied to their career aspirations. Jessica Steele is the director of the Outdoor Adventure Center at Unity College. She makes sure that every student is both safe and satisfied when it comes to the range of outdoor opportunities that are available. “Adventure activities are exciting, and distinct experiences that range from team building games in the classroom to backpacking in the Bigelow Mountains,” Steele explained. She says that adventure-based activities allow students to understand the experience holistically. Participants in these activities are encouraged not only to develop a set of physical skills, but also to place themselves in a much broader environmental context. “The participant is encouraged to explore that activity with all senses including mind, heart, and soul,” Steele said. Former Visiting Instructor of Adventure Therapy Jeremy Cass ’03 says that worthwhile adventure activities achieve three things: they get people outdoors, challenge one’s physical and mental capabilities, and offer a story that can be brought back. Frequently the context of pursuing these activities on a grand scale like climbing Mt. Katahdin is, for Unity students, communing with the very essence of what drew them to the College in the first place. “Unity students who participate in adventure first and foremost care about the environment and sustainability,” Cass said. “They are also looking to be personally challenged and enjoy working in a group with their peers and instructors.”
When people run across Unity students who seem to be “playing in the woods,” they should understand that those students are developing a marketable skill set, Cass says. “They are the sustainability and education leaders of the future,” he added. “Adventure is what drove humans to fly and eventually reach the moon. Likewise, the physical sciences, understanding sustainability practices in the 21st century, and the ability to lead others through those processes is really what we are doing here with adventure.”
“Adventure is what drove humans to fly and eventually reach the moon. Likewise, the physical sciences, understanding sustainability practices in the 21st century, and the ability to lead others through those processes is really what we are doing here with adventure.” UNITY FALL 2013 |
in our element campus news
Student Clubs Add to Unity’s Curriculum Offerings By Debora Noone, Alumni and Parent Relations Coordinator Belonging to a Unity College student club is more than forging friendships among students with common interests. It is about extending learning experiences beyond the classroom. Deborah Anderson ’13 became involved in the Sugarmakers club because she loves the outdoors and making maple syrup seemed like an interesting pastime. “I really fell in love with learning more about the trees, how the weather changes the sap flow, and the general process of turning sap into syrup,” says Anderson. “All the hard work is rewarding when you see the finished product.” The Sugarmaker’s mission is “to educate the campus body and the public on the time honored tradition of turning sugar maple sap into maple syrup.” Club members spend long hours in the spring collecting sap from the Unity woodlot. On Saturdays in late spring, they spend days enjoying the camaraderie of club members, roasting marshmallows, and playing games as they tend the fire and watch the sap boil down. They use the syrup at the annual pancake breakfast held at the Student Center. “Clubs allow students to explore new interests or follow their passions,” said Rebecca Neville, assistant director of residence life. “Students practice a broad range of leadership skills through budgeting, public speaking, community service, fundraising, and organizing activities, and expand knowledge learned through the formal educational process.” “Being involved in Sugarmakers taught me the value of hard work, as well as planning ahead, being active and present in my community, and being able to think on my feet to make prompt decisions,” noted Anderson. The Herpetology club officially launched during the 2012 fall semester. Jonah Gula ’15, the club’s founder, had to submit a statement of purpose and the names of an advisor and eight students to start the club. The mission is “to provide a place for students interested in reptiles and amphibians to learn and share their knowledge with one another.” The club invites experts to speak. Last fall they toured the Montreal Bio Dome, a natural museum showcasing live habitats. In the spring they visited a Maine fish and game warden confiscation facility to learn about illegally kept animals and confiscation methods. “As president, I’ve realized how much responsibility is required to deal with such logistics as recruiting speakers or generating ideas for trips and activities,” said Gula. “Soon we will conduct a survey of amphibians in the campus woodlot to collect population data to help the state.” “Club participation is not only fun, but helps students expand their personal and professional networks,” said Neville; a win-win for Unity students. Jonah Gula ’15 marks turtle shells for identification in order to monitor the population on Clinton Pond, a research project that has gone on for years.
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Spring tapping occurs in late February. Allison Perna ’14 taps a tree for sugaring in the Unity College woodlot.
campus news in our element
Susan Morse Named Environmental Leadership Award Winner, Tway ’13 and Wiacek ’13 Honored In April 2013, one of the most highly regarded wildlife trackers in North America received the Women’s Environmental Leadership Program (WE Lead) award for environmental leadership. Susan C. Morse of Jericho, Vermont, a nationally known tracker and expert on wildlife habitat, was presented with Unity College’s Environmental Leader Award on April 9. Student award recipients were Jennifer Wiacek ’13, a wildlife biology major with an ecology minor from Gorham, Maine; and Courtney Tway ’13, a marine biology and teaching and learning double major. Each year the WE Lead program recognizes a professional woman who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in an environmental field and serves as a role model for future generations of women environmental leaders. On the day she received the award, Morse offered a presentation on campus based on her field experience entitled “Animals of the North; What Will Global Climate Change Mean for Them?” President Stephen Mulkey attended the award ceremony at the Unity College Center for the Performing Arts and praised Morse for both her
commitment to the mitigation of global climate change and serving as a role model. In 1994 Morse founded Keeping Track®, a non-profit organization based in Huntington, Vermont, that trains professional biologists and citizen scientists in wildlife monitoring skills. Keeping Track®’s mission is to inspire and empower multiple stakeholders to detect, monitor and record the status of wildlife and wildlife habitat in their communities. Data collected by Keeping Track® teams has influenced the conservation and stewardship of over 40,000 acres of habitat in twelve states and Quebec.
Nancy Zane (center) and WE Lead award nominees at the April 9 ceremony.
The 7th annual Sportsmen’s Conference and Wild Game Dinner held in April was a significant success, raising $6,000 for three charities. The sold out event raised funds for Operation Game Thief; The Maine Warden Service Association; and Get Back Outdoors, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting veterans. In photo Unity College student Katrina Wert ’14 offers a platter of wild game hors d’oeuvres.
Award Winning Video Nova is the beginning of the Unity College adventure. It is an energetic experience that all who participate remember, but until recently has never been captured on video. During the summer of 2012, Nova finally got its due; a video about this important experience was filmed by Parisleaf, an award-winning multi-media film based company in Florida. All entering students are enrolled in the Unity Experience Course that starts with the Nova adventure-based orientation trip. These trips are designed to support the transition to college life at Unity by emphasizing personal growth, building social connections, and promoting environmental stewardship. The Parisleaf video captured the subtleties, personal growth, and magic of the experience. Filmmakers and photographers spent two weeks with the Nova groups gathering material, snapping photos and conducting interviews. The final video was unveiled and released to the general public in January 2013. The video, which can be viewed on the Unity College’s YouTube channel, recently won gold and silver AAF-ADDYs (American Advertising Federation-American Advertising Awards) at the Florida statewide level. The Nova video went up against 600 other submissions from Florida and the Caribbean, proof that when Unity’s story is told, the world listens.
A scene from the award-winning Nova video.
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in our element campus news
Coral Lab Provides Lessons in Ocean Viability By Christian Carlson, Coral Farm Manager, and Sam Longo ’15 Every year a new report is published concluding that the world’s coral reefs are under serious threat and that these important ecosystems have continued to decrease in size. Coral reefs have been in existence for millennia, yet in the last few decades these delicately balanced marine environments have been rapidly dying because of human activities such as over collection, land development, careless tourism, and pollution. Larger scale problems like climate change and ocean acidification add even greater pressure to reef longevity. Less than 40 percent of living shallow water coral reefs are considered stable and at low risk, with many of these in the vast undeveloped Pacific. The United States imports more than 80 percent of the live coral and more than half of the marine aquarium fish sold worldwide. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) reported that over 1.5 million individual corals were exported annually, mostly from the Indo-Pacific region, for the purpose of distribution within the aquarium trade. It is estimated that cultured coral absorbs less than 10 percent of the current market and that the demand is growing very rapidly. The gap between domestic demand for coral and the number of cultured species produced is enormous as evidenced by the increasing number of wild harvested coral entering the country each year. Increased awareness of the degradation of wild reefs has inspired many to take action - learning the science of propagating these species in a controlled environment. Until recently, methods of culture and propagation have not been publicized. These factors provide not only a daunting reality but a unique opportunity for Unity College to actively engage students in addressing urgent and current real-world environmental problems. One way students are involved is through work study opportunities. “It’s a great opportunity to use my work study time to work with something I’m interested in such as invertebrates and corals.” Joe Ramirez ’14 said. “It also gives me insight into the hidden field within Maine biology and I am able to see the new opportunities that are presented with coral farming and coral research”. The Unity College Coral Farm is working on new ways to propagate and colonize corals in a confined space, which is taking pressure off the oceans and making the system sustainable and green. This approach ties directly into the College’s mission of sustainability science through pedagogy and experiential learning. 34
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The coral lab is home to scientifically advanced and eye-catchingly colorful projects.
CAMPUS NEWS in our element
Unity College First To Offer MOOMilk in Dining Hall Organic milk has some new markets in Maine. Augusta based Maine’s Own Organic Milk (MOOMilk), an organic dairy company, has received widespread attention through a new documentary. It has also closed the deal on its first institutional account. The documentary entitled Betting the Farm chronicles the development of the company and conveys the struggles of small dairy farmers. “The documentary has been a perfect teaching tool for our agriculture students,” noted Sara Trunzo ’08, Unity College food and farm projects coordinator. “Students have gained more understanding of the hard work and risk involved with a career in agriculture. It’s easy to romanticize farming.” Unity College President Stephen Mulkey is both a strong supporter of MOOMilk and fan of the documentary. Trunzo says that the film was pivotal in building institutional buy-in for working to bring MOOMilk to Unity College. Trunzo says that initially Unity saw potential to have sustainable agriculture students work with MOOMilk’s unique business model. Through the educational collaboration with the company it became clear that the Unity, Maine based environmental college could be pilot institution to serve the product. Over the past several semesters Unity College has been using MOOMilk as an example of sustainable enterprise, and students have pursued a variety of projects with the company, including visiting family farms and pursuing marketing projects. Over the two years of the association between MOOMilk and Unity College, members of the college community have become strong advocates.
“Unity students are the best barometer of whether we are walking the talk (of being an environmental college), and they have really asked us to lead on the issue of local and sustainable foods in our dining services,” Trunzo noted. “Our dining services has a longstanding tradition of buying local and initiatives like this one are a significant step in that direction.” For Trunzo and many others at Unity, working with MOOMilk to make it available on campus has been both challenging and rewarding. “Because we’re the first institution
to offer MOOMilk, all parties needed to be flexible. Our dining services team, MOOMilk staff, and Oakhurst dairy have all been willing to think creatively to make this effort a success.” Trunzo hopes that other institutions will follow Unity’s lead. “Before our collaboration with MOOMilk, there really wasn’t a pathway for MOOMilk’s farmers to get their product into an institutional setting.”
“Before our collaboration with MOOMilk, there really wasn’t a pathway for MOOMilk’s farmers to get their product into an institutional setting.”
On April 18, The Washington Post featured a commentary by columnist Barbara Damrosch that focused about the future of organic foods. The column was based on an interview with Sara Trunzo ’08, food and farm projects coordinator, Professor Doug Fox, and a number of Unity College students. The column featured two photos of Trunzo, one of which is right. The captain read: Photo by Mark Tardif - Sara Tunzo, a former student at Unity College in Maine, is the Food and Farm projects coordinator. Tunzo cares for a young calf in the campus barn.
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in our element nEW FACES
Dr. Michael Evans Michael Evans began as provost and vice president for academic affairs during the summer of 2013. A Fulbright Fellowship winner, he most recently served as served as interim dean of the Indiana University (IU) School of Journalism at Bloomington and Indianapolis, Indiana. Evans assumed his post at an important time in the history and development of Unity College. The College has expressed aspirations to attain a place on the national stage, weighing in on the most fundamentally important environmental issues facing the planet. He is a 2004 and 2010 winner of the Gretchen Kemp Award, the top teaching award given within the IU School of Journalism; the Trustees Teaching Award for excellence in teaching; a three time teaching excellence recognition award recipient from the IU School of Journalism and one from the IU Folklore Institute, among other awards. An avid writer, Evans is author of The Layers of Magazine Editing, a textbook on magazine editing published in 2004 by Columbia University Press. He is also the author of Island Wars, published by Down East Press and serialized on the downeast.com website in the summer of 2011; and 68 Knots, published by Tanglewood Press in 2008 and released in paperback in 2009. His scholarly work is far-ranging and diverse, including published papers, book chapters and reviews, video and museum reviews, articles on a variety of subjects, and conference presentations.
Dr. Melik Peter Khoury Dr. Melik Peter Khoury began his new post as senior vice president for external affairs during the spring semester 2013. In this newly created position, Khoury leads the Office of External Affairs, which oversees the departments of Development, Enrollment, and Marketing. Khoury is developing, supporting, and evaluating short, mid, and long-term externally oriented strategic goals in service to Unity College’s environmental mission. Throughout his career Khoury has guided colleges and universities through complex restructuring, international expansion, master planning, and capital campaigns. He has also streamlined operations to drive growth, implemented system-wide technology, and addressed issues relating to student enrollment, University-wide marketing, and business processes redesign. Khoury possesses extensive senior-level higher education experience including most recently serving as the senior vice president for strategic positioning at Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa. He has also served as vice president for enrollment management and college marketing at Culver Stockton College in Canton, Missouri; vice president for enrollment management at Paul Smith’s College in New York; and director of admissions at the University of Maine at Fort Kent, where he also served concurrently as an adjunct business faculty member, head men’s soccer coach, and assistant women’s soccer coach. Khoury brings a strong international perspective with a focus on diversity and financial management skills within higher education to his position. He holds a doctorate in business administration from the University of Phoenix, a master of business administration from the University of Maine, and a bachelor of science in business management from the University of Maine at Fort Kent.
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NEW FACES in our element
Sarah Conroy Sarah Conroy began her new role as human resource director during the spring semester 2013. Conroy has more than 25 years of HR experience in organizations of various sizes, including HR director positions at Penobscot Bay Media and the State of Maine DAFS Corrections Service Center, HR consulting work with Gaudet Associates, and HR Analyst positions with Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston University, and the University of California. Her specialties include employee relations, compensation and benefits design and delivery, compliance, communications and strategic planning. Conroy is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire and holds both the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS) designations. Throughout her career, she has written broadly about HR issues and has delivered solutions across the HR spectrum.
Martha Nordstrom Martha Nordstrom began duties as director of college development during the fall 2012 semester. Nordstrom leads Unity’s fundraising and giving programs as well as Alumni Relations. She had previously served in this position from 20022006 prior to pursuing other opportunities in the Ellsworth area. Nordstrom is credited with developing the foundation of a sophisticated giving structure to serve the needs of a college that aspires to national prominence. She is a key member of the senior vice president for external affairs team and is developing a strategy to create programs and oversee the implementation for all donorrelated initiatives. Nordstrom is supporting the entire College community in expanding the vision to develop sustainable solutions to environmental problems. Most recently Nordstrom served as the director of philanthropy and public affairs for Mount Desert Island Hospital (MDI). In four years at MDI Hospital she raised more than $10 million in restricted and unrestricted cash and pledges. She earned a bachelor of arts degree from The New School for Social Research in New York, New York. She pursued additional undergraduate study at College Year in Athens, Greece, and St. John’s College, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
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in our element NEW FACES
Roscoe Hicks began work for the Dining Services as the dish machine operator during the spring semester 2013. Hicks was self-employed for years, owned his own beef processing company, and worked as a retail meat cutter. He graduated from the Veazie Meat Cutting program and leased and operated “Detroit Beef Company.” Hicks also founded “The Cedar Shed” where he produced cedar shingles from 1978 to 2012. He is a licensed wood scaler for the State of Maine and started Dirigo Fencing where he supplied and installed fence materials.
Gardiner Moody joined the maintenance department during the spring semester 2013 as a full-time custodian. Moody lives locally. He most recently worked at The Home Depot. A native of Belfast, Maine, he is an avid musician who plays guitar, drums, and writes original songs. His grandparents own and run the well-known Bryant Stove Shop and Museum in Thorndike. A self-described “nerd,” Moody enjoys technology.
Sharon Picard has been named the administrative assistant to the senior vice president of external affairs. Picard has previously been a senior outpatient support specialist at Acadia Hospital and the executive secretary for Town & Country Realtors in Unity, Maine. She began during the spring semester 2013.
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ALUMNI FACULTY AND STAFF NEWS
Faculty and Staff News Professor Amy Arnett, along with Erika Latty, Alysa Remsburg, Kathleen Dunckel, and Brent Bibles submitted a proposal this fall to Maine EPSCoR for support for the fourth year of their hemlock-forest study. Instructor Amanda Baker along with H. Jezorek and P. Stiling, published “Effects of Cactoblastic cactorum on the survival and growth of North American Opuntia” in the journal Biological Invasions. Associate Professor Emma Creaser isolated over 250 tardigrades and to date Creaser and her colleagues have found one prospective new species and another new species that is also a new genus. Assistant Professor Sarah Cunningham has joined the permanent faculty of Unity and has taken on the new position of director of general education. In that role she has organized professional
development for instructor groups for the new transdisciplinary keystone classes. Instructor Kathleen Dunckel was awarded the Donald Harward Faculty Award for Service-Learning Excellence by the Maine Campus Compact. Assistant Professor Carrie Diaz Eaton was named a Mathematical Association of America Project NExT Fellow for 20122013. Project NExT (New Experiences in Teaching) is a professional development program for new or recent doctorates in the mathematical sciences and addresses all aspects of an academic career. Adjunct Instructor Jean English coordinated a fall 2012 environmental citizen class that, with members of the Waldo Country Trails Coalition, made four additional miles of hiking trails in Unity. These new trails connect Unity College with MOFGA.
Professor Jim Horan used his sabbatical leave to conduct a review of the issues attendant to “Autism in Higher Education.” Using his research Horan wrote a guide for small colleges titled “Supporting Students with Asperger Syndrome on Small Campuses.” Student Center Manager/Catering Chef Charlie Krause will have a writing piece included in Facing the Change by Stephen Pavlos Holmes. The piece was originally submitted as part of a Writing Center campus wide project, soliciting the longest grammatically correct sentence. Associate Professor of Botany Erika Latty continues to work on the Hemlock Ecosystem Management Study (HEMS). Using the findings from the HEMS study, she co-authored a paper with other faculty from Unity College and the University of Maine that was published in the Maine Policy Review.
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alumni FACULTY AND STAFF NEWS ALUMNI Adjunct Instructor and Special Assistant for College Outreach Michele Leavitt was elected to the board of the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance and elected as president of the Maine Film Center. Professor Don Lynch was recently featured Forbes.com, Long Island Business News, Field & Stream Heroes of Conservation video, contributed to a story published by The Providence Journal, and published in Campus News. Adjunct Instructor Lisa Martin, exhibited “Dreamscapes,” a series of photographs, in March, 2013 at the Kahbang Arts Gallery in Bangor. Associate Professor George Matula and Assistant Professor Brent Bibles were awarded funding from the College to initiate a pilot black bear study in Unity Township and surrounding areas. It is designed to incorporate student involvement in all aspects of the study, and equip five adult female bears with GPS/ satellite collars, one of which will also be fitted with a video camera. Professor Kathryn Miles recently published articles and essays in Meatpaper, Alimentum, and Outside Magazine. Her new book, All Standing: the Remarkable Story of the Jeanie Johnston, the Legendary Irish Famine Ship, was published in January, and an excerpt of the book appeared in the most recent issue of History Magazine. Associate Professor Tom Mullin was elected to a three-year term as a Member at Large of the National Association for Interpretation and continues to serve as the Northeast Region Director of the association as well. Library Director Melora Ranney Norman presented at the 2012 Spring Maine Library Association Conference in Orono, and the 2012 Fall New En40
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gland Library Association with a presentation entitled “The Library Bill of Rights 2012.” Professor Lois Ongley is leading a worldwide team of chemists working to develop a “chem-lab-kit-in-a-baggie” to provide curricular change in Sierra Leone. Ongley expects to go to Sierra Leone in June and lead a teacher workshop there in spring 2014. Associate Professor of Conservation Law Tim Peabody attended the Northeast Conservation Law Enforcement Chiefs fall workshop in Johnsonburg, N.J. He also attended the Northeast Fish and Wildlife Conference in Saratoga, N.Y. with two students. Associate Professor Aimee Phillippi presented summary of her continuing research on the impacts of rockweed harvesting for a hearing in January 2013 at the Maine Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Marine Resources. She also presented some of her findings at the 2013 Benthic Ecology Meeting in March in Savannah, GA. Professor Ben Potter received a Good Idea Grant from the Maine Arts Commission to explore sculptural processes. Work supported in part by this grant and a Unity Faculty Research Grant was selected for the 2012 Biennial at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, where he was one of 17 artists selected. Professor Dave Potter continues as state coordinator for the Maine Owl Monitoring Project, a citizen science project to determine owl density and owl distribution across Maine. Instructor Janet Preston published a short article entitled “The Slope Link” in the February 2013 issue of The Mathematics Teacher.
Associate Director of College Communications Mark Tardif and Food and Farms Project Coordinator Sara Trunzo ’08, participated in a PR Newswire webinar with Wall Street Journal reporter Charles Passey during the fall semester 2012. The webinar explored ways in which small colleges may obtain extraordinary public relations results placing stories with national media outlets. During the 2012-13 academic year, Trunzo appeared in stories published by The Wall Street Journal, Maine Today Media, Huffington Post, Washington Post, Reuters, the Associated Press, among other media. Professor Gerry Saunders worked with Unity College students to make two presentations at the Maine Science Teacher Association’s annual conference. Associate Professor Kevin M. Spigel and the students in his surface and groundwater hydrology class completed a hydrogeology project working for the Unity Utilities District on the site of Unity’s wastewater lagoons. Professor Mick Womersley received an extension to his USDA/DoE wind assessment research grant until September 2013. The extension will allow him to further explore the question of whether Maine wind shear factors are unexpectedly high. Professor Barry Woods presented his Normal Probability Plots work at the New England Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges meeting in Concord, N.H. in March 2012. Professor John Zavodny has been focused on developing academic partnerships and leveraging them to create authentic learning environments for students and highlight Unity’s sustainability science commitment.
CLASS NOTES alumni
Alumni: An Important Part of the Whole Unity Experience By Debora Noone, Alumni and Parent Relations Coordinator Every day brings something new to Unity College. Whether it is our faculty designing new programming or pursing research within their fields, or our students doing amazing things during their course of study, adventuring out into fascinating internships, or gaining that extra real-life experience by participating in Unity student clubs, there are endless stories. I hope you enjoy reading about the Unity experience. Our alumni continue to be part of the Unity story. I encourage all of you to keep in touch, send us your news, and drop by for a visit anytime.
All About Alumni We all have a Unity story to tell. If you are or if you know of alumni who are doing interesting things that are making a difference, please let us know. Also, Unity’s 50th anniversary is just around the corner. You can help us celebrate by telling us your story about Unity. We’d love to hear it and pass it on. Please send us stories, story opportunities, or ideas by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1970 Tom Goodspeed is a master gardener program coordinator and a home horticulture coordinator in Skowhegan for the University of Maine. Ed Reville is a certified building sciences thermographer, and works as an energy consultant with Next Step Living in Boston. He recently presented “An Introduction to Infrared Roof Surveying” at the InfraMation conference in Orlando, Fla., and was content provider at the Roof Survey Training course in Nashua, N.H.
1971 John Ehrentreu and his wife Cheryl continue on in their professions. Their daughter Erica teaches. Bill Ross is retired from the Air National Guard and from his position as postmaster in Casco, Maine. He spends time volunteering for various veteran programs, including the Wounded Warrior Project. Bill attended the Portland alumni reception and showing of Chasing Ice in January. He represented the Boy Scouts of America at the Unity Environmental Career Fair in February 2013.
John Blenis retired after 40 years with the New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources. He and his wife Jane welcomed their first grandson in July 2012. They have two daughters, Sarah and Jessica. Bill Cherry is the forester / steward for the Machias River Easement, a contract position with the Maine Department of Marine Resources. He also writes forestry management plans for clients. He and his wife Gretchen have two granddaughters.
Greg Miles works in the medical x-ray field in distribution, sales, and service. He plans to retire in several years. He has a son and two grandsons.
Bill Hearn is senior biologist with the National Marine Fisheries Service in Santa Rosa, Calif. He has moved into a non-supervisory position, now charged with management of large projects.
Rick James retired after 20 years teaching second and third grades in Wisconsin. He and his wife Ada moved to Greeley, Colo. They have two sons and three grandchildren. Rick and Ada are involved in the Baha’i Faith. Rick volunteers at the local school and is a semi-professional children’s storyteller and a forthcoming author.
Ilan Leibowitz works in the export department of Afikim Dairy Management Systems in Israel. He has a grandson who was born in November 2011.
Paula Cates is a technician. Additionally, she works the front desk at the Forest Avenue Veterinary Hospital in Portland.
Bill McAvoy is coaching the boys’ basketball team at Southern Aroostook High School. He coached for 28 years at Central Aroostook and Katahdin High Schools. Ardina (Still) Boynton is a planning and research assistant at the Maine State Office of Substance Abuse, and husband, Duane, is a state accountant. They have three children. Ted Webb is director of intelligence and security for the Mission Security at Fort Drum. He and Debbie have been married 40 years, and have five grandchildren. Both are active in the Boy Scouts.
Patten Williams retired from his job as a program specialist with the Maine Office of Rehabilitation Services. He continues to stay in touch with Lennie Freedenberg, Doug Isaacson, and Steve Silver.
John Chapman is a millwright machinist at Madison Paper Company, serves as the state identifier of exotic reptiles, and is the chairperson of the state “Adopt a Fish Hatchery” program. In September 2012, John received the Distinguished Alumni Award during reunion weekend. His wife, Linda (Clavette) is retired as the postmaster in Athens.
1973 Marc Bane owns Bane Marketing & Communications, which specializes in alternative energy and clean technology. He has two daughters, Victoria and Olivia. Olivia attended two summers at the Maine Arts Camp held on the Unity campus. Marc and Steve Silver, Bob Portner, Steve Bajardi, and Doug Isaacson get together several times a year.
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alumni class notes George Cozzi retired and moved to Florida and enjoys playing golf. Lois (Brown) works as a quality assurance engineer. Robert Gottesman is a NeuroDevelopmentalist with an internet radio show, “Brain Matters.” He received a bachelor’s from SUNY/Empire State, and a master’s and doctorate of education from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Ariz. He and his wife, Helen, have a 19 year old son, Adir.
1975 Dana LaJoie is chief of police in South Berwick. He and Elaine have been married for 36 years and have a son, Jamie, and a daughter, Jennifer. He enjoys the home they built in 2009, with a finished man-cave in the basement. Jay Lippert retired as chief ranger at the National Park Service at Fire Island National Seashore in January 2011. He teaches firearms courses at seasonal ranger academies and is the lead firearms instructor at programs at Temple University and University of Massachusetts, Amherst. In November he worked tirelessly on Hurricane Sandy clean-up. Luke DeDominic ’04 and Claire Formanski ’08 worked with him.
1976 Michael Romauld is manager of a technology center at Brown University and president of CompuNett, a company he founded in 1987. He and his wife Karen have three children, Brandon, Alex, and Alexis.
1977 Ken Parr works with threatened and endangered fish species such as Lahontan cutthroat trout and cui-ui sucker in the Truckee River Basin of California and Nevada. His position is area manager of the Lahontan Basin Area office in Carson City, Nev. for the Bureau of Reclamation. Alex Toles received his bachelor of science in environmental resource management from Penn State in 1981, and conducted research for the U.S. Forest Service and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). In 1983, he helped start MicroGeneSys, which evolved from research in biological pesticides in agriculture to vaccine research for the pharmaceutical industry. The company changed its name to Protein Sciences Corporation and Alex served as vice president of production. Since 2000 he has operated his own business supplying contract services to the pharmaceutical industry. He is married and has two teenage children. Chris Schoppmeyer is special agent, law enforcement for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries. He represented NOAA at the Unity Environmental Career Fair in February. On February 5, 2013, his photo appeared on the front page of the New York Times as he testified on pending gun law legislation in Washington, D.C.
1978 Nick Caras is pricing and promotion analyst for Hannaford. He and Laurie, a forecast analyst at Hannaford, have two sons, Ben and Will. Rich Nealley is a security representative for Fidelity Investments. He plans a second career in wildlife photography when he retires. Via Skype he stays in touch with Holly Hensel in Florida.
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1979 Sybil Blazej-Yee, a lifelong vegetarian and artist, has painted eight illustrations for Nancy Van Iderstine’s Vegan-Gluten-free Recipes to LIVE for: Comfort Food that Comforts. The watercolors were created from photographs by Nancy as she experimented,tested, and wrote her cookbook. Sybil has known Nancy since high school in Vermont. Diane Byers is an associate professor of biological sciences at Illinois State University. She spent part of her sabbatical in St. Andrews, Scotland. Her husband, Charles, joined her for part of the sabbatical. Keith Chadbourne worked in the photography lab business in California, Maine, and New Mexico. He is a courtesy clerk at a Safeway grocery chain, and spends his spare time taking photos. Bill DeMur is a golf course superintendent in Enfield, Conn. He and Cynthia have been married 33 years and have a son and a daughter. Bill stays in touch with his college roommate, Alan Pryzbilski. Marie (Gendreau) Pelletier and her husband Gary have owned an auto repair business in Hartford, Conn. for 27 years. They have a daughter, Lindsey, and became grandparents in July 2012. Tom “TBone” Landry has worked with the mentally ill at ShelterCare Inc. in Eugene, Ore. for 17 years. He and his wife April have a daughter, Delaney. Peter Leishman was elected to his seventh term in the New Hampshire House of Representatives. His Milford-Bennington Railroad company hauls stone during the construction months and shuts down during the winter. He and Cheryl have two children, Jordan and Abby. Charlie Reade is assisting with the second start-up of Hurricane Island Outward Bound School, conducting outreach, re-building student scholarship relationships, fundraising, and working on special projects. He manages several properties. He and Patty have three children, Matt, Jessica, and Chaz. Michael Robinson is postmaster at Port Richey, Fla. He and Laurie have three children, Michael, Chris, and Alyssa.
1980 Linda (Parker) Adam announced her first grandchild was born in August. Ron Desrosiers is a national training specialist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Dave Somers is an information technology specialist with the National Park Service and serves as head of the Seattle office. He had been at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park where his wife Casey also worked. While she continued work in Hawaii, he lived in a houseboat in Puget Sound. Currently, they live in Seattle.
1981 Jani (Lewis) Estell owns a yarn business, Star Croft Fiber, in Columbia, Maine. Grant is building their home. They have three grown children, Leah, Emily, and Eben. Art Sevigny retired from the Air Force in 1995. He ran a non-profit Rails-to-Trails group in Klamath Falls, Ore. from 1996-2008. He worked with the state parks to develop a 100 mile trail. In 2001, he became the historian for his old unit’s veterans group. He is now a USAF civil servant and serves as historian for the 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, S.C. He spent the 2010 summer in Iraq. Art has bicycled across the country twice.
1982 Dave Caldwell is recreation supervisor for Portland Parks and Recreation. He attended the alumni reception and documentary showing of Chasing Ice in Portland in January. Bruce Desmond is a sales and marketing representative for Servpro. The franchise where he works received the best overall Servpro franchise rating in the East. Mike Roosa is a real estate agent in Metuchen, N.J. His has a son, Gavin. Rand “Headly” Ruehl owns Rainforest Renovation in Alaska. He works in St. Michael, a tiny island in western Alaska. Harvey Schademan owns Harvey’s BBQ in Marietta, Penn. Peter Tinkham is fire inspector at Tyco Integrated Security in Wallingford, Conn.
1983 David Dahl is a carpenter and woodworker in New Jersey. He and his three sons are very active in rescuing and releasing wild animals. They have nursed and released three small owls, a red tailed hawk, a snowy owl, and many mammals. Mike Duni is chef at the Nautilus in Belfast. He is a registered Maine guide.
In October 2012, Stephen Puibello received the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Voice Award for his volunteer work and his bipolar website. In February 2013 SAMHSA launched a Voice Awards Fellowship Program. Puibello is one of eight from around the country to be given this honor. According to a press release from SAMHA, together the eight behavioral health advocates will make up a pilot project team to “give consumer / peer leaders in the behavioral health community the skills they need to shape public perceptions of mental health and substance use recovery through storytelling.” Stephen plans to talk to groups all over the country, and share his story of “recovery and resilience using a variety of communications vehicles … to demonstrate that recovery is real, possible, and commonplace.” (SAMHA Press Release, February 1, 2013). Stephen will be in Unity during the September alumni reunion weekend. For more on what Stephen is doing, check out his blog at www.p2pyouarenotalone.blogspot.com.
class notes alumni Dan Doyle is a carpenter. He helped Dave Smith ’86 and Deb Dutton frame up their new home in Unity during the summer of 2012. Dan and Carol had their 25th anniversary in September and have two daughters, Maya and Jennifer.
Bill Diesinger works for L. L. Bean as a product support specialist and customer service representative. He lives in North Pomfret, Vt. at Thistle Hill Farm where one of the world’s finest organic artisan cheeses “Tarentaise” is made.
Ingrid (Noss) Caira is central scheduling supervisor at Newton Wellesley Hospital where she has worked for 13 years. She earned a bachelor of arts in psychology from Ashford University in 2010. Ingrid has three children and three grandchildren.
Mark Shepard owns and operates New Forest Farms, Forest Agriculture Enterprises, and Shepard’s Hard Cyder. He has taught and worked on permaculture and agroforestry in Haiti and Tanzania. In December 2012, his book Restoration Agriculture was published by Acres USA.
Linda Ouderkirk-Rempe was a professional gardener. She now volunteers at the Last Chance Animal Rescue which rescues local dogs and dogs from high kill shelters in the south. A 100 percent volunteer-driven organization, volunteers foster the dogs in their homes until they are adopted. Linda and Stephen foster dogs and conduct adoption events every weekend. Julie Theroux is headquarters environmental specialist in the Sustainability / Environmental Department of the U.S. Postal Service. Her Alaskan malamute, Nikolai, is a rescued dog. Julie serves as national conservation chair for the national Daughters of American (DAR), state regent for the DAR Colonists, and vice-regent of the Wayside Inn Chapter DAR. She also volunteers with the Sudbury Valley Trustees to map and remove invasive plant species on their land. Travis Wagner, associate professor of environmental science and policy at the University of Southern Maine, and his wife, Amelia, attended the Portland alumni event showing of the documentary Chasing Ice in January. Travis serves on the Unity College Board of Trustees.
1984 Ann (Lewis) Timmis is a medical coder at an Albany, N.Y. hospital and husband, Andy is a senior account executive. They have two sons, Alex and Drew. Stephen Marcoulier owns Colony Glass Construction. He has two sons, Jason and Jake. Tim Shaak is a realtor, a town councilman, and captain of his local EMS squad. His town, Brielle, N.J. was hard hit by Hurricane Sandy in November. The EMS squad responded to emergencies and staffed a shelter where people could obtain a hot meal, charge their cell phones, and receive information on clean-up efforts.
1985 Karen Heath retired from her position as speech therapist in the Farmington schools and enjoys gardening and cooking. Peter Smith ’80 is regional land manager for the Maine Bureau of Public Lands. They have two children, Sarah and Nathan. Tom Hodgman is nongame bird biologist for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Lindsay Hall ’86 was recently promoted to assistant state soil scientist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. They have a daughter, Natalie. They raise a flock of 30 Katahdin ewes, which their daughter shows at 4-H fairs.
1986 Cathie Buscaglia has spent six years as the director of children and family services at Howard Community Services in Burlington, Vt. She and her husband Bob have two children, Jackson and Emma. They all enjoy skiing, hiking, mountain biking, camping, and boating.
1987 Carolyn Jo (Bowker) Meserve and John ’82 attended the alumni event and showing of Chasing Ice in Portland in January. They run a farm and Carolyn started an internet bartering business. Graham Buck ’87 has been with Guiding Eyes for the Blind for 24 years, as assistant director of training. He enjoys the beach, running and cycling. During the summer of 2012, he participated in the Harbor to the Bay ride, cycling 125 miles from Boston to Provincetown. He stays in touch with Caroyln (Bowker) Meserve and works with Melinda Angstrom ’89. Greg Burr is regional fisheries biologist (Down East and Acadia) for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. He and Susan have three children. Their youngest child plans to attend Unity College next year. Dawn (Zacek) Murdock works at the Goffstown, N.H. Post Office. She has a seven-year old son, Samuel.
1988 Kevin Adam is a lieutenant in the Maine Warden Service and is stationed in Greenville. He and Bobbie have two daughters, Gabrielle and Isabella. Michele Beucler is in her 18 year as biologist with Idaho Fish and Game, but Ed retired in October. Their have a son, Oliver. Michele teaches her Nia classes, a mind-body movement technique using martial arts, dancing and healing arts. She presented workshops in California in December 2012. th
Hector Bouchard is hatchery manager for the Dwight D. Eisenhower Fish Hatchery in Vermont and the Berkshire Trout Hatchery in Massachusetts. He and Kirsten (Heitmann) ’88 have two daughters, Renee and Eleise. Dave Buchholz is director of the Lobo League, a recreational volleyball league for the Albuquerque area and the fundraising arm of the University of New Mexico volleyball team. There are 180 teams who play every Saturday and Sunday night. Dave and his wife Anita have two daughters, Isabella and Sophia. Jeff Denson, a surveyor for Bath Iron Works, attended the Portland alumni event and showing of the movie Chasing Ice in January. Bernice Gawron is a teacher’s assistant in earth science in the Stephentown, N.Y. schools. She has three sons, Dustin, Garrett, and Kyle. John Letendre has finished his apprenticeship in automotive damage appraising, passing the state exam to become a certified appraiser. He recently had spinal fusion back surgery. He and his wife Heather have been married for 15 years.
1989 Marian (Alberici) Miller is a preschool camp director for the Main Line YMCA. She and David, a certified arborist, have a daughter, Jessica. They also have two black labs, one turtle, and fish. Peter Blanchard is an oil and hazardous materials responder for the Maine Department of Environmental Protection in Augusta. He works with Glen Wall ’82 and Jason Fish ’98. Peter and his wife April live in an old farmhouse in Winthrop. Peter cut his own lumber with a portable sawmill. They have son and daughter. Robin Farrin owns Farrin Photography in Portland. She attended the alumni event and documentary showing of Chasing Ice in Portland in January. She was the photographer charged to document the 350. org rally in Portland on January 26, 2013. Barbara (Kukel) Hallock works at Cornucopia Catering in Exton, Penn. She has a son, Mike, and a daughter, Kayla. In May 2013, she is planning a get-together south of the Outer Banks with Pat Foley ’89, Kelly Richards ’90, and Jean Santarsiero ’90. Ted Larson is assistant recycling coordinator for the town of Cornwall, Conn. He has a family farm. He and Donna have three children, Malissa, Zachary, and Abigail. Susan Toy works at the Yorkshire Animal Hospital in York, Penn. She has had numerous back surgeries.
1990 Renee Benjamin works as a FedEx courier and part time as a biller in a medical office. She earned an associates degree in medical coding and billing from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. She has a daughter, Abbey. Randy Consla is in a new position as office manager for the American Academy of Optometry in Orlando, Fla. His wife Jana works in the same office. Someday, they hope to return to New England. Jim Dehner is director of stewardship at the Northeast Wilderness Trust in Duxbury, Mass. In 1998, he earned a master’s in natural resources management from Antioch, and is now working on a master’s in leadership programs from Northeastern. Jim and Vickie have been married for 18 years and have two sons, Jay and Patrick. Jim Dowd is associate planning director at Conover Tuttle Pace, working with clients on communication strategy. They have a daughter, Rebecca, and a new border collie. Jim Gardner is a carpenter in New Jersey. He hopes to move back to Maine. Maura “Mo” (Sheehan) Chance has worked as a pet groomer for 10 years, and is in the seventh year of operation with her mobile groomer service, Mo’s Groomobile. Andy Wendell is senior chemist at Clear Water Lab in Newport. He represented his job at the Unity Environmental Career Fair in February. He and Annie continue to produce their radio variety show and have started a vintage western band “Merry-Go-Round”.
1991 Ernie Hall is launching a photography business in Dryden, Maine. He is also cleaning out his grandfather’s house and law practice. UNITY FALL 2013 |
alumni class notes
Extra-curricular an Added Bonus in the Job Search By Debora Noone, Alumni and Parent Relations Coordinator Extra-curricular activities that a student engages in are an extension of the Unity education. So it’s not surprising to have a grad say they aced an interview because of their out-ofclassroom experiences. The attorneys at the law firm where Jamie Nemecek ’11 works as a paralegal were impressed with her involvement in the Put Solar on It campaign and her internships through the Unity Energy Committee and Sustain Mid-Maine, saying her involvement demonstrated she could conduct herself professionally. Nemecek majored in sustainable design and technology, and went on to get certification as a paralegal. After learning about environmental policy for renewables and energy efficiency at Unity, Nemecek decided public policy or politics wasn’t the career direction she wanted to take. Now in the legal field, she is sure her interest in environmental law will someday lead her to make an impact. Nemecek credits her success in the paralegal field to the analytic skills she learned at Unity. “Asking questions, determining the best way to find answers, and then reanalyzing the outcome to make sure you answered your original question, is extremely important as a paralegal.” She’s had little time to pursue her environmental interests as a volunteer, but knows one day she will find the perfect fit for the interests she honed at Unity. “The faculty, staff, and students created a safety net for me to feel comfortable to grow, take chances, and even make mistakes,” says Nemecek. “This allowed me to grow emotionally, personally, and most importantly professionally.”
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Lars Knakkergaard is a full-time job coach for adults with developmental disabilities through the Price Center in Newton, Mass., where he coaches individuals at their job sites. Lars is a photographer, plays in the Goodtime Larsy’s band, and is a trading assistant on EBay, assisting people with sales.
Wayne Stump is chief executive officer at the Schuylkill YMCA, a renovated 100 year old armory that provides many services including a state of the art wellness center, a youth / teen center and a pre-school program. Wayne, his wife Rosemarie, and stepson Robbie have two dogs, Stewie and Archer.
Wayne Andreychik is a dealer at the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Penn. He and Lorraine have been married 14 years and have a daughter, Ava Rose.
Ellen Andrews is a stay-at-home mom with daughter Leah, and son Aaron. Ryan Annis is an environmental compliance coordinator for the environmental office of the Maine Department of Transportation. He and Hannah (Smith) ’97, a marine scientist for Maine Department of Marine Fisheries, have a daughter Laura. Chris Dyer has been a Maine game warden for 13 years, currently serving in the Belfast Patrol. He represented the Warden Service at the Unity Environmental Career Fair in February. Robin (Brown) has worked for the USDA Wildlife Services for 16 years and is now district supervisor. They have a daughter, Brooke.
Etsuko Tanaka in Japan with Unity classmates Steve Pate is a financial advisor for Edward Jones Company. In his spare time, he is learning outdoor time lapse photography. In February 2013, he took a trip to Fiji. Steve and his wife Gina have a 15 year old daughter who appeared in the Portland Ballet Company’s Nutcracker production in December 2012. Rob “Deuce” Payne has traveled to 27 countries and all the continents, including Antarctica by way of Tierra del Fuego.
1993 Dana Boynton started a position as a child protective service specialist in Seward, Alaska. He will serve native communities located in the Bering Sea. Dana is a grandfather for the second time. His daughter and grandchildren live in his home in Troy. Michelle (Belanger) Merrifield, of the Maine Warden Service, received a promotion to game warden corporal and will assume an additional role of K9 team leader. For almost 19 years, she has served the state in canine law enforcement and search and rescue. Michelle and her dog conducted a demonstration on canine search and rescue for the Unity WE Lead (Women in Leadership) HerStory lecture series during fall 2012. Joe Davis is arborist representative and local manager for Bartlett Tree Experts in Hookset, N.H., and he represented the company at the Unity Environmental Career Fair in February. He and Robin have two miniature donkeys named Willie and Waylon. Anna Hagigeorgiou-DeChevalier and Alexandre have a son Thomas. Anna earned her degree in elementary education biology from SUNY New Paltz in 1995. Yvette (Hovey) Herrera works in delivery for a contract mail delivery company. She is married and has two sons. John Stevens is director of conservation services at the Northwoods Stewardship Center in East Charleston, Vt., and represented his company at the Unity Environmental Career Fair in February.
Joyce (Rutledge) Smith and her husband Rick have sold their home in Florida and have become fulltime RVers. As “Workampers”, they recently completed a commitment with the Army Corps of Engineers at Beech Fork Lake in W.Va. Joyce has a daughter, Erin. Heather (Trillium) Toulmin owns Seasons Promise, a mental health counseling practice in Lyme, N.H. She and her husband Steve, a teacher, have two sons, Jake and Seth. Last summer they spent five weeks in Brooklin. Michael Valentin is flight chief for the Hem-Onc / Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at the San Antonio Military Medical Center at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, where he has worked for 7 ½ years. He and Lorie have three children, Tyler, and twins, Bryan and Abigail.
Lynn Campbell works at Perennial Point of View, a landscaping farm in Bridgton, Maine. She has two daughters, Grace and Robyn. Kelly Canney graduated in 2012 from the Nevada School of Massage Therapy, and is a massage therapist in Henderson, Nev. She has one daughter, Megan. Tess (Fairbanks) Woods left her position as executive director of the Unity Barn Raisers after 11 years, and moved to Bethlehem, N.H. with Rob Constantine, her daughter Veronica, and their son, Miles. Bill Robinson is a registered Maine guide and owns Dennys River Guide Service in Edmunds Township, where he serves approximately 50 clients annually. He was featured in a story about his experience fending off a coyote attack while turkey hunting in the Dec / Jan issue of Field & Stream. He is a Boy Scout den leader. Bill and his wife, Teresa, have two sons, Logan and Dylan. Jeffrey Thompson is a firefighter in Portland, Maine. He and his son, Austin, recently moved to New Gloucester, where they are surrounded by wildlife. Matthew Tufts is a deputy sheriff, a K-9 officer with partner Rocky, and assistant team leader for their tactical team for the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department. He and his wife Kate own Queen’s Land Farm Alpacas. They have twins, Lauren and Lindsay.
class notes alumni Cristal (Voisine) Farnsworth teaches math and science at Bellows Falls Middle School. Ross ’92 is a trainer for the Vermont Bureau of Corrections. They have a daughter, Lily. Jonathan Walton is earning a doctorate in physical therapy at Franklin Pierce University, and will graduate in 2015. He worked in Madison, Wis. for 10 years as a massage therapist, a clinical instructor at Blue Sky School of Massage, a captain for Ironman Wisconsin, and a therapist for the University of Wisconsin’s football and soccer teams. He was an audio engineer at WORT FM station. Jonathan has two sons, Jameson and Benjamin.
1996 Joy Braunstein, Mark Milmaster, and brother Jordan welcomed Nomi Mira, born on February 24, 2013. Nomi Mira, daughter of Joy Braunstein.
1997 Heidi Cornell works as a paramedic in emergency service, and has re-launched her cat boarding business. Stephanie Jannenga has just accepted a year round teaching position at the new charter school, Maine Academy of Natural Sciences in Hinckley, Maine. The school focuses on agriculture and forestry fields. She has a daughter Sam. Shawn Jyawook is chief executive officer for Jyco Sealing Technologies, a company he founded 13 years ago. Nobuko (Tawara) teaches full time at High Point School. They have three children, Samuel, Spencer, Hannah, who are fluent in Japanese and attend a Japanese school. The family traveled to New Zealand last fall for the Age Group Triathlon World Championships. Shawn is co-owner of a triathlon store in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Meghan (Moriarty) Archibald works for Agrivida, an agricultural biotech company, and Rob ’01 is an operating room registered nurse. They have two boys. Howie Powell is a gamekeeper at the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray. He and his wife Joelle have two daughters, Lily and LiSha. Dan and Andrea (Iverson) Reny have rebuilt Muscongus Bay Lobster into a restaurant with a full menu. They have a new puppy named June.
Wayne Cattabriga is a chemist for Industrial Service Group, traveling much of the year. He spent last summer in Detroit, and will travel to California and Texas during spring 2013. Mike Chavez was promoted to detective in the major crimes unit of the Maine State Police. He and Su-Ying have a son, Alexander. Chet Gibson and Siobhan Ford married on August 25, 2012. Chet works for the Connecticut state parks. Jim Gill and his wife, Beigette, own Fernwood Cove Camp for girls in Harrison. Beigette was paralyzed after a biking injury. After months of rehabilitation at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, she has returned to work as co-director with Jim. Art Grindle is GIS specialist and field staff for Kennebec Soil and Water Conservation District in Augusta, Maine. He has two children, Tabitha and Connor. Michael Hodges owns Westside Landscaping in East Hartford, Conn, a company that specializes in commercial ground maintenance. He and his wife, Aynsley, have a daughter, Sydney. Beckie (Howe) Warger substitutes for various Kennebec Valley Community Action Program (KVCAP) childcare programs and at the Skowhegan Nursery School, while taking online courses towards a bachelor degree in early childhood education. She and her husband Paul have two children, Sadie and Ben. Bret Lash is semi-retired, and restores and sells motorcycles in Patten. He is married to Christine and has a grown step-son. Karou Kay Miyashita is a cook in a small restaurant in Nagano, Japan. He is married and has a son. He hopes to return to America to visit friends. Paul Sannicandro is trails supervisor at Baxter State Park, and represented them at the Unity Environmental Career Fair in February.
Joanne Scanlon is an incident manager at Hewlett Packard. She ran / walked her first half marathon in Florida and had a great trip to St. Martin. Joanne has a daughter.
1998 Sonia Antunes is an administrative specialist for the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. This year she raised and butchered her own pig. Phil Barrett is animal cruelty investigator for the SPCA of Cattaraugus County in New York, and an independent consultant for Ambit Energy. Lt. Michael Eastman of Gilford was recently tapped as the new District Chief for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s Law Enforcement seacoast area district (District 6). Michael presently resides in Gilford with his wife Serene and children Madison, Sydney, and Morgan. Bernard “Bub” Fournier is a code enforcement officer for the City of Bangor. He and Megan, his wife and manager of the Unity College Center for the Performing Arts, have a son, Reuben born in August, 2012. They attended the Portland alumni event and showing of Chasing Ice in January. Ryan Harmick has given up the ownership of the family restaurant and bar to his sister and now works for Cameron International in the oil and natural gas industry. He travels for most of the year, and is building a new house in Dubois, Penn. Jeff and Christine (Smith) ’99 Ingemi are helping with the start-up of a new youth ministry in East Machias. The Ramp is a program for skateboarders and boxers to help keep youth off the street and away from drugs and alcohol. Jeff is a State Police sergeant and a selectman for the town of Marshfield.
Unity Inspires Taking Risks Through Learning By Debora Noone, Alumni and Parent Relations Coordinator “There will always be a piece of Unity that I carry with me,” says Graham Buck ’87. “I found Unity, but Unity really found me.”
Unity was a place where teachers facilitated and empowered, by not restricting a student’s curiosity and drive—just what Buck needed at that time in his life. As assistant director of training with Guiding Eyes for the Blind in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., his career has taken him to places he never imagined. He monitors dogs and their matched clients as they train. He’s part of a reciprocal training between Portugal and his school. Buck credits Unity for teaching positive work and study habits and encouraging self-motivation, all attributes he’s carried into his career. Unity had a diverse population which taught its students to be “open-minded, understand and celebrate differences, and show empathy,” says Buck. “Students had to rely on each other and the environment to make their own fun, an opportunity for an interactive education.” To get out of his comfort zone as a wildlife major Buck enrolled in outdoor recreation courses in backpacking, ice climbing, and rock climbing. “This hands-on experience helped me push myself and be open to learning new things without fear.” In 24 years working with the visually impaired and blind, Buck has given his clients a taste of what he learned at Unity—self motivation, thirst for learning, and the courage to take a risk.
Mark Roche is a fish culture technician for the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife. He and his wife Kristi have a daughter, Mabel, and a son, Jeffrey Alexander, born on February 9, 2013. UNITY FALL 2013 |
alumni class notes Isabel Streichhahn-Demers completed her master’s in acupuncture and oriental medicine and is licensed in Maine and New Hampshire. She has a private practice in Dover, N.H. and York, Maine. Chris Witkus is a wildland firefighter and squad boss of the Cherokee Hotshots, for the U.S. Forest Service in North Carolina. He and his wife, Meagan, have a daughter, Rylie. They spend time mountain camping, boating, and winter traveling in Central and South America.
Alva Maloney is owner of Maine Kayak in Unity, and represented his company at the Unity Environmental Career Fair in February. Jeff McCabe received the Distinguished Alumni Award during reunion weekend in September 2012 for his service to community through his work in natural resources and as a sensible, balanced legislator.
Gina Condo is a lab technician at a pharmaceutical microbiology lab. v
Shawn Oshman is founder and CEO of ISupportU, local IT professionals based in Boulder, Colo. Shaun Oshman.
Sarah (Fowler) Rowe is office manager at the Bath Animal Hospital. She and her husband Lonny have three sons, Wyatt, Cash, and Boyd. Paula (McKinney) Letiecq is working on a master’s in education, while teaching at Pineland Farms in Maine, and seasonally working ski patrol at Shawnee Peak. Brian ’00 is an environmental technician for Sevee & Mahar Engineers and travels all over the United States taking soil and water samples.
2000 Dan Bowker is environmental coordinator at Cherryfield Foods, and represented the company at the Unity Environmental Career Fair in February. He and Rose married in September 2012. Michael Colvin is a post doctoral scholar at Oregon State University, teaching and studying pre-spawn mortality of spring Chinook salmon in the Willamette River. He received his doctorate from Iowa State University in June 2012. Ross Conover is an assistant professor of biology at Glenville State College in Glenville, W.Va. During the summer of 2013, he will teach research techniques in wildlife biology at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Gothic, Colo.
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Mandy Baker has worked as an adjunct instructor in biology at Unity since 2009. She participates in roller derby with the Rock Coast Rollers in Rockland, and farms vegetables in the summer.
Blair Bulluck sold his nuisance animal control business. He earned a degree as a registered nurse from SUNY Jefferson, and works at the Lewis County General Hospital. He hopes to work in the pediatrics unit.
Cristin Bailey is trails manager for the U.S. Forest Service at the White Mountain National Forest, and represented them at the Unity Environmental Career Fair in February. She has a daughter, Ruby Rain.
Joe DeCrescenzo and his wife Krista have twins, Joey Douglas and Kyla Angeline born November 1, 2011. Joe is a microbiologist for the Connecticut Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Aquaculture.
Margreth Bostwick and Nathan Patenaude have two children, Liam and Harper. They plan a September 2013 wedding. She works as an interior painter and construction worker.
Jamie Wright is detective trooper for the Vermont State Police and a member of the search and rescue team handling human remains detector K9s.
Budd Veverka ’99 (left) and Jeff Duguay, '92, at the 2013 Eastern Management Unit Dove Technical Committee meeting in Ohio. Budd represents the Indiana Division of Fish and Wildlife, while Jeff represents the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries. They met up again three weeks later in Indiana for the 2013 Woodcock Wingbee.
Emily (Walsh) Rowe married Justin in November. She practices law in Portland and manages a general contracting company, Citywide Contracting.
Michael Pratt is a sergeant first class in the Army, stationed in eastern Germany. He and Jessica plan to return to the U.S. when his tour is up in two years. Stacey and Katie (Terwilliger) Roberts live in their cabin in the woods of Bridgewater, Vt., with their daughter, Willow, and son, Hunter. Stacey works in Quality Control for Timken Aerospace and Katie is a research analyst for Mascoma Biofuels. Jason Saucier has a new position as microbiologist / quality assurance for Poland Spring / Nestle Waters in Kingfield. Recently he was the water laboratory director at NSF Surefish, a private seafood quality laboratory in Dutch Harbor, Ark. Justin Sharpe is a fire planner for the U.S. Forest Service at Mt. Hood and Gifford Pinchot National Forests in Oregon. He still has his dog Newt. Mike Trask is employed at the Tracy Fish Collection Facility in Byron, Calif. Since graduation, he has worked in Alaska with pink salmon, in Alabama with sport fish and research on catfish, and in South Carolina on oyster restoration. Andy Willey is a U.S. forest service forestry technician in vegetation management at the White Mountain National Forest. He and his wife, Amy Harris, have a son, Alex Andrew born in 2012.
2001 Leana Downs is studying to be a doctor at Flinders University in Australia. Ryan Hafer works for Lug-all, a company that makes hoists (come-a-longs). They were extremely busy during hurricane Sandy. He and Amy (Thibodeau) have a son, Avery. Matt Shove is owner / operator of Ragged Mountain Guides in Manchester, Conn. He taught an American Mountain Guides Association three-day SPI (single pitch instructor) training course at Unity. He and his wife Stacy have two children, a daughter, Riley, and son, Ryan.
Glenn Durham is shop supervisor at the Sears Auto Center in Springfield, Mass. He and his wife Katie have a daughter Emily. Sherry (Hart) Harmon and Trave have a son, Corbin Jace, born July 24, 2012 in a home water birth. Jesse Hartson is grounds foreman at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Gardens in Seal Harbor. He and Tara have a son, Jacob Alfred. Nicole (Smith) Irwin married Mike Irwin in February 2012 Their daughter was born in May. She is a licensed vet tech at Animal Medical Clinic in Skowhegan, Maine. Melanie (Tuley) Cole crochets hats, scarfs, dish cloths, and placemats for sale, as she recovers from an injury. Matt Wagner and Caitlin have a son, John William, born on May 2, 2012. Matt is thermal project manager at ReVision Energy, the company who installed solar panels on both the Unity student residence hall, TerraHaus, and the Quimby Library.
2003 Steve and Erin (Twombley) ’04 Agius have a daughter, Waverly Grace, born October 9, 2012. Steve is a wildlife refuge manager for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service at Aroostook and Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuges. Erin is taking a break from teaching high school biology to stay home with Waverly. Jedediah Blum-Evitts works in Alaska as a behavioral health associate and as a librarian. Jeremy Cass, a visiting instructor of adventure therapy at Unity, is featured in a whitewater kayaking film as an athlete and cinematographer in the short “Mainely Boating” which premiered at the first Maine Outdoor Film Festival. He wrote an article, in the August 2012 issue of No Umbrella magazine, highlighting the first extreme whitewater kayak races in Maine. Josh Chambers is a paramedic EMT for the Greenville, S.C. County EMS. He and his wife Shanna have two daughters, Rya and Mckayla. Michele (Fafara) married Chris Brison ’04 on September 15, 2012. Michele works for Great American Dining as a mentor on their wait staff, and Chris is a conservation officer for New Hampshire Fish and Game.
class notes alumni Samantha Gagne is pursuing a doctorate of pharmacy at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy. When she is finished, she will be a pharmacist. She is engaged and plans an August 2013 wedding. Jasmine (Redlevske) Hammond has spent nine years as a Maine forest ranger. Recently she fought the Little Bear wildfire in New Mexico. She and her husband, Darin, are remodeling a house in Harrington that has been in his family for three generations. Becky Traylor and Dennis Rumba ’02 have a son, Cassidy Guthrie Rumba, born August 15, 2012. Becky is assistant farm manager at Johnny’s Selected Seeds and Dennis works as a solar energy installer for ReVision Energy.
Brett Bowser, a federal wildlife officer at Fort Niobrara/Valentine National Wildlife Refuge married Jessica Battershaw of Valentine, Nebraska on June 1, 2012. They got married in Jackson Hole, Wyo. and honeymooned in Yellowstone National Park. They live in Nebraska on the Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge. Brett Bowser and Jessica Battershaw on their wedding day, June 1, 2012, in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Chris West is an adjunct instructor in forestry at Unity, teaching silviculture and chain saw safety and maintenance.
2004 Luke DeDominici is lead law enforcement ranger with the National Park Service at Fire Island National Seashore. He graduated from the land management police training at Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in October 2011 and completed his field training in Valley Forge, Penn. He is married to Elsy. Mike and Janine (McNamara) ’05 Eddy both teach for the alternative program at Colebrook Academy in New Hampshire. Nate Gould is a wood scaler at Sappi Fine Paper in Westbrook. He is enrolled in the master’s of business administration program at Thomas College. He and Tracey have a son Brody, and Lylah Grace Gould arrived on December 27, 2012, and is healthy and well
Patty (Marcum) and Ed Christinat were married September 1, 2012 in Norwalk, Conn. at an outdoor wedding attended by many Unity alums. Among the guests were Marcia (Lapan) ’02 and Cory Goodrich ’02, Emily (Jones) ’04 and Kris MacCabe, Ian Gereg ’04, Chris St. Pierre ’05, Mark Savage ’05, Aubrey Gates ’05, Josh and Shana Hanna ’05, Mike and Lauren Bjork ’07, Jason and Stephanie Branning ’08, and Pat Clark, Unity professor of oral communication. Rick Gray is an associate wildlife biologist in the Raptor Program at BioDiversity Research Institute. He and Carrie Osborne were married in September 2012.
Jon Hewitt is a Cumberland County deputy and the local union president of the National Corrections Employees Union at the County jail. Margaret (Reinert) ‘05 works in research and development at IDEXX in Westbrook. She earned her master’s in resource management and conservation at Antioch New England in 2010. Jon represented the Sheriff’s Department at the Unity Environmental Career Fair in February.
Connie (Schuler) and Ben Bond have a son, Leo born on February 4, 2013 and big brother, Benjamin.
Samara Jennings is a nanny for two sweet babies in Seattle, Wa.
Lyndsey Smith is classroom coordinator at Bryant Pond 4-H Learning Center, and represented them at the Unity Environmental Career Fair in February. She and Bryon Harris ‘06 built a house on their 200 acres in Bryant Pond, and he completed an eighteen-hole disc golf course on their property.
Noah Schneider and Torey have a son, Harper, born April 4, 2012. Noah played in the alumni basketball game in January.
2005 Kristin (Arris) Vicere works as an instructional assistant in the Springfield, Vt. School district. She and Ben have a daughter Madison Isabell born October 15, 2010, and are expecting a second child in August 2013. Tasha Benoit was in the Air Force from 2005 to March 2012. She has a daughter, Zoey Lorraine Lizotte, born on August 22, 2012. Gayle (Bowness) Bodge earned a master’s in ecological teaching and learning from Lesley in January. Kim Scantlebury ’09 graduated in the same class. Gayle organized a family nature group in Richmond, Maine, called “Growing up ME.” Gayle, who works for the Gulf of Maine Research Institute and Nate ’04, who works for the Bath Water District, own a firewood business. They have two children, Grace and Brody.
Kailyn (Medeiros) Shippee and Ian have a daughter, Matilda Piper, born November 14, 2012. Kailyn is summer programs coordinator at the W. Alton Jones Camps of the University of Rhode Island. Mark Savage is rural property manager for Rural Resources in Stowe, Vt.
2006 Elisabeth (Ayers) Clements is a stay-at-home mom with nine month old William. She is expecting another baby. Stan Besancon has been warehouse manager at Unity Area Regional Recycling Center for four years. David Blanchette is working on his master’s in sustainable systems specialization fisheries at the University of Rhode Island. Matt Brown is sales manager at Morong VW in Brunswick. He has three children, Haley, Matt Jr., and Madison. Cara (Butterly) and Ben Gauthier ’04 were married at their home in Northfield, Vt. on September 8, 2012. Ben works for the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation and Cara works at Norwich University. Jeff Hunter is a law enforcement ranger for the National Park Service. In November, he will move to Virginia to work at the Blue Ridge Parkway National Park with Jim Lyon ’08. Paul Korenkiewicz is a security officer at the Maine Medical Center in Portland. Zak Lehmann is an ecologist and GIS specialist at Great Ecology in New York City. Casey Mealey is senior naturalist at the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Maine Wilderness Lodges in Greenville. He was at the Unity Environmental Career Fair in February 2013. Eric Page is a wildlife specialist with the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in Arundel. He married Kelly in September 2011. Kevin Rogers is a biological technician for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife at the Rhode Island Wildlife Refuge Complex. He does everything from banding birds to operating boat to maintaining tractors. Kevin and Laura Craver ’08 were married on September 22, 2012. Jared Smith is an arborist representative for Bartlett Tree Experts in Hookset, N.H., and represented them at the Unity Environmental Career Fair in February 2013. He and his wife Amber have three children: Aspen, Jameson, and Zeke. They built a home on 20 acres in New Durham, N.H. David Williams has worked as a corrections officer at the Maine Correctional Center in Windham for four years. He is a field training officer.
Steve Sutton was selected as the Officer of the Year for 2012 in N.J. He was also promoted to lieutenant in the Northern Region, District 1.
Jen (Viano) Goff owns and runs Wise Raven Herbs, a company that makes natural remedies. Jim ’04 is a farmer at a resort outside of Moab, Utah running a farm-to-plate program that grows organically grown vegetables for a gourmet restaurant. They live in a tent on their five acres in Castle Valley while working on their farm.
Adam Brown is a production technician at NextEra Energy in Waterville, Maine. He and Mary Beth have a son Noah Christopher, who was born on May 28, 2012.
Levi Wark is farming his own land at Center Pond Farm in Phippsburg, Maine, and also guides sea kayak tours. He and Amanda have two children, Amelia and Anda.
Brenda Abel is training at the Animal Behavior College in Santa Clarita, Cali. to become a certified dog trainer.
Allison Clearwater will graduate from Antioch New England in May with a master’s of science in environmental studies and a middle level (grades five-nine) science teacher certification. Sean Coty and his wife Wendy have a daughter, Lauren, born on May 14, 2012. They have a son Daniel. Sean is a lineman apprentice.
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alumni class notes Catherine “KT” Haase is a graduate assistant working on her doctorate in wildlife ecology and conservation at the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Florida in Gainesville. She will be studying manatee movement and habitat selection in the Gulf of Mexico with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Southeast Ecological Science Center. Her research on wolves in Yellowstone Park in Montana was featured on a three-page spread and the cover photo of Scholastic’s October 2012 magazine issue of Science World. Amanda Hardaswick is a federal law enforcement officer for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, which she represented at the Unity Environmental Career Fair in February 2013.
Nicole Monkiewicz appeared with Dave Mizejewski, spokesman for The National WildlifeFederation, on The Today Show and New York Live.
Justin Hart is a professional marlin fisherman and won a big tournament last July. He is a waterfowl guide. He and Lyndsey Russell will be married in October 2013.
Hannah Bryzcki received her master’s in business from Husson University in 2009 and is a landscaper in Arundel. She attended the Portland alumni event and showing of Chasing Ice in January.
Meredith Kellogg and Nick Josselyn ’07 were married September 30, 2012. Meredith is an education outreach coordinator for the Maine Wolf Coalition.
Sue Coolbeth owns Suecakes!, vegan sweets that sell in food co-ops, restaurants, and markets from Belfast to Unity to Rockport, Maine. She appeared at the Unity Community Center kitchen for an afternoon of baking demonstrations.
Glen Lucas is a New Hampshire game warden. He married his high school classmate, Charelle Gilbert, on August 6, 2011. They enjoy hunting, fly fishing and hiking. Glen hunts with Chris ’04 and Michele (Fafara) Brison ’03 and connects frequently with Eric Fluette ’09, Josh Towne ’08, and James Benvenutti ’11. Justin Merrill is GIS/GPS specialist at Cherryfield Foods, and represented them at the Unity Environmental Career Fair in February 2013. He is a writer for the Northland Sporting Journal and is the author of “Wild Maine Outdoors: Hunting Tactics, Tricks, and Secrets.” He and his wife expect a son in May 2013. Benjamin Smith is a forestry tech and a forest protection officer for the U.S. Forest Service at the White Mountain National Forest. In the winter he works in customer service at Hannaford Supermarket in Conway, N.H. Ben Stochmal is in the Army deployed to Afghanistan. He will end his tour in May 2013. He plans to apply for a police department job in Anchorage, Alaska. Allison Wilson is senior head technician at Healing Hands Animal Hospital in Salisbury, Md. She has a dog and a cat. In her spare time she participates in roller derby.
2008 Charlie Alves works for the Massachusetts Department of Corrections in Norfolk, Mass. Rachel Bahre is development assistant for the Larimer County Conservation Corps in Fort Collins, Colo. Andrew Brady graduated from Federal Law Enforcement Training Center’s land management police training program, and will be working as a National Park service ranger at Jean Lafitte National Park in Louisiana. Eric Bragg is an arborist representative for Bartlett Tree Experts in Simsbury, Conn., and represented them at the Unity Environmental Career Fair in February 2013. He and Elsie will marry on September 14, 2013.
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Laura Craver-Rogers married Kevin Rogers ’06 on September 22, 2012. She is an educator / animal curator for the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center in Mystic, Conn. Ryan Dinsmore graduated from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in May. He is a police officer in Skowhegan. Gordon MacKay is working on a business degree at the University of Maine. Nicole Monkiewicz is curator of animals at The W.I.L.D. Center and Zoological Park of New England in Rochester, N.H. She appeared on CNBC Squawk Box with Animal Planets’ Dave Salmoni and David Zaslav, President & CEO of Discovery Communications. She also handled animals with Dave Salmoni on Live with Kelly and Michael. Gerald Pound plans to attend graduate school at the University of Southern Maine. He attended the alumni event and showing of Chasing Ice in Portland in January 2013. Josiah Towne is a conservation officer at the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, covering New Hampshire’s coastline. Jenny Smiechowski is a writer / editor at Editors, Inc. in Lisle, Ill. Sarah (Williams) Andrews works at St. Michael School. She and Brandon have two sons, Joshua and Braydon. Sarah Woodward spent the summer with the U.S. Geological Survey as a biological science technician, working with piping plovers and least terns on the Missouri River in North Dakota. She currently works for the Connecticut DEP assisting with a ruffed grouse project.
2009 Darrick Adams is a cashier at Home Depot. Deborah Black attended the Portland alumni event and showing of Chasing Ice in January. She works at the Portland YMCA.
Alexandra Brown has worked for the U.S. Forest Service for three years and is stationed at the put-in at the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness in Idaho. She owns a company that manufactures fishing tackle. Becky Clough is a marine ecology fellow at The Island School in Eleuthera Island, Bahamas. She teaches marine ecology, scuba diving, and applied scientific research to high school students who spend a semester at their sustainable campus. She worked for Outward Bound in Moab, Utah, instructing, directing, and proctoring 50 day college adventure education semesters. Last winter Becky was an alpine ski instructor in Colorado. She and friends rowed a boat down the Grand Canyon on a 27 day, 280 mile trip. Chris Colin is kayak program manager for Ace Adventure Resort in West Virginia. He is developing a leadership school to teach boat operations, swift water rescue, and climbing. He guides rafts on the New and Gauley Rivers. Aaron Cross is a Maine game warden corporal and represented the Maine Warden Service at the Unity Environmental Career Fair in February. He and Cassie have a daughter Charlotte. Bobby Curler and his wife, Genia, have a daughter, Colbie, who was born on November 11, 2011. He is an excavator for R&J Trucking in North Ferrisburg, Vt. Andrew Durgin is a corrections officer for the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department, and represented them at the Unity Environmental Career Fair in February. Greg Gallagher is a field technician for Clean Harbors Environmental in South Portland, Maine. Erica (Huber) Cressall married Jake Cressall on March 7, 2011. She owns ESC Photography in Rock Springs, Wyo., photographing portraits, landscapes, nature, wildlife, birds, and dogs. Beth Kellogg works at an independently owned bookstore. She spent three months researching the impact of residential development upon the Eastern box turtle in her town. Nate Kelly owns Kelly Lawn Care, a landscaping company. He played in the alumni basketball game in January. Mandie Roman is a surgical vet tech at the South Bay Veterinary Group in Boston. She and Stephen Lurvey ’07 are engaged. He is a study support associate at Novartis Institute for Biological Research in Cambridge.
class notes alumni Richard Russ works in drug and alcohol rehabilitation for male veterans, prisoners and the general public for NRI-Community Services, Wilson House Residential. Kim Scantlebury earned a master’s in ecological teaching and learning in January from Lesley University. She developed a place-based geology curriculum for her science classes at Massabesic High School. Brian Schaffer is a graduate research assistant in the Department of Wildlife & Fisheries Sciences at South Dakota State University. Brian Smith is a machine operator at Geiger Brothers in Lewiston. Zoe Turcotte was one of seven to receive a 2012 Martha’s Vineyard Vision Fellowship for her commitment to the island and to the ideals of sustainability. The fellowship, funded by the Philip Evans Scholarship Foundation, provides funding to study and work on projects. Zoe is directing a new afterschool environmental sustainability club for students in partnership with the Massachusetts Audubon. She continues to work on her master’s degree in education at Lesley University and teach industrial technology to grades 4-8 at the West Tisbury School.
Addison Edmunds is a technician at a Rite Aid Pharmacy in Warrington, Penn.
David Thomas is a stay-at-home dad with his son in Denver, Colo.
Kristin Grivois was promoted to office manager at Sprigs & Twigs, Inc., a leading landscape design, lawn care, and tree service provider in southeastern Connecticut. Kristin will be responsible for spearheading efforts to streamline office operations and procedures and to facilitate organizational effectiveness among the staff.
Jesica Todd-Brown graduated from University of Southern Maine with a master’s in mental health and psychiatric nursing. She currently lives in Monmouth and anticipates employment in Lewiston, Maine.
Nate Miller is an instructor with Hurricane Island Outward Bound. He will spend the winter in Key Largo, Fla. John Vinci is a fisheries technician I at the Kitoi Bay Fish Hatchery in Kodiak, Alaska. Scott Cunfer ’08 also works at the hatchery. Brandon Webber attends Northeast Technical Institute to earn a Class A commercial drivers license.
2011 Rosie Ayala is working toward an international master’s of business administration at Southern New Hampshire University. She is an admissions counselor at Unity. Jessica Brummel has a son, Alexander born October 26, 2012. She is a lab tech at the New England Animal Hospital in Waterville, Maine. Gavin Cummings is senior educator for the outdoor education program at the YMCA Camp Chingachgook on Lake George, N.Y. During the summer, he is unit leader, assistant ropes course director, and lifeguard at the Massachusetts Audubon Camp Wildwood in Rindge, N.H. where he did his college internship. Jonathan Deliesle is a game warden for New Hampshire Fish and Game and represented them at the Unity Environmental Career Fair in February.
Danielle (Warner) Cilley graduated from nursing school in November 2012.
Thomas Douglass runs R.A. Thomas Logging in Guilford, Maine.
Nate Williams is a recruiter for the Maine Army National Guard, and represented them at the Unity Environmental Career Fair in February. He and his wife Sarah expect a baby in April 2013.
Cody Floyd is a brewer for Smuttynose Brewing Company in Portsmouth, N.H.
2010 Josh Ascani is assistant manager for the Appalachian Mountain Club at Little Lyford Pond Cabins and Lodge. Charles Aznive is a seasonal National Park Service ranger working in Yellowstone National Park. Last year he worked at Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. Jonathan Cooper is a full time a visitor use assistant at the Boston Historic Park, with the National Park Service. Rebecca Cunfer is an environmental technician for the Carbon County Conservation District in Pennsylvania. She owns Evergrowing Inspirations, providing hands-on interactive learning to promote environmental awareness and stewardship through outdoor education and recreation. She and Robert Hunter plan to be married in September 2013. Amanda DiBiase is working toward a master’s in social work at the University of Southern Maine. She is a case worker for people experiencing poverty and homelessness. She attended the alumni event and showing of the movie Chasing Ice in Portland in January.
Richard Flynn works for a year round guide service, fishing, hunting, and white water rafting in Klamath Fall, Ore. Casey Jaroche teaches chemistry and environmental science at Tyngsborough High School and is earning a master’s in education at Fitchburg State University in Massachusetts. Jessica Malasics is a full-time vet tech/assistant at Englewood Animal Hospital and works one day at a kennel. She hopes to attend veterinary school. Paul Mason is a Maine game warden in the Chamberlain Lake District. Braden Moore works as a fisheries observer based out of Seattle, Wash. He spent three months on the Bering Sea on the Blue North, a catcher / processor fishing vessel, targeting Pacific cod and turbot. In September 2012 he started a new contract on the Blue Gattus, targeting cod. Leslie Van Niel writes: “Day 1 on NOVA, August 2007 is where I met Tim Dorsey. We were both new students about to embark on what turned out to be very successful careers at Unity College. I am very happy to say that on our five year anniversary last Sunday, we got engaged! Unity was a big part of all we have been through together.”
2012 Addie Annis works for a graduate student in Nebraska as a pheasant behavior technician. She worked as a pygmy rabbit crew technician in Idaho and as a biological science technician for the U.S. Geological Survey on the Sagebrush Steppe Treatment Evaluation Project. Sarah Austin inputs data and organizes telephoning for the Maine Peoples Alliance, an informational and activist organization working on current state political issues. She volunteers 15-20 hours a week with Mainer’s United. She plans to attend grad school in 2013. Amanda Ballway works at Yes Suri Alpacas in Tallmadge, Ohio. Ursula Balmer works for Washburn Island Oysters in Falmouth, Mass. Kelly Barber spent the summer working with Cook Inletkeeper in Homer, Alaska. In September she started a year-long position with AmeriCorps St. Louis on the emergency response team doing disaster relief, wildfire fighting, and trail maintenance. Caleb Blakeslee works for the Madison Police Department and has applied for jobs in the conservation law field. Candice Blodgett is enrolled in the pre-veterinarian certificate program at the University of Southern Maine. Chelsea Buehler works for the Plymouth, Mass. YMCA as a nature specialist at the day camp in the summer and as group leader for a.m. and p.m. schoolage care during the school year. Dan Cloutier is a field instructor for the academy at SOAR, a boarding school focusing on experiential education in Balsam, N.C. He facilitates backpacking, canoeing, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, caving, and academic work in the field. Alex Cote is a park ranger with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Ball Mountain, Townshend Lake, Jamaica, and Townshend, Vt. Rachel Crane will begin working on her master’s certification for scuba diving in February, as an intern at the Rainbow Reef Dive Center in the Florida Keys. Kathryn Downey is earning a master’s in marine biology at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Christopher Froehly is a field instructor for the Wilderness School, part of the Connecticut Department of Children and Families. Tim Godaire is earning a master’s in climate studies at the University of Maine. Dave Hammond is a park ranger with the Maine Bureau of Parks and Land. He and Kelsey Sullivan are engaged to be married in October 2013. Elisabeth Handler finished an internship conducting dolphin interaction programs at Sea Life Park Hawaii. Juliana Jakubson is working at the Mystic Aquarium. She and David Doggart married in September 29, 2012.
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alumni class notes
The Career Resource Center sponsored its annual Environmental Career Fair on Wednesday, February 6, 2013. This year brought in 55 vendors, many alums, and four virtual vendors from many career fields. This year there were popular new features, including animals brought by alum Nicole Monkiewics ’08. Back Row: Nick Josselyn ’07, John (Ross) Stevens ’93, Chuck Penney ’95, Paul Sannicandro, Hauns Bassett ’95, Dan Bowker ’00, Alva Maloney ’99, Joe “Salty” Saltalamachia ’94, Justin Merrill ’07, Amanda Hardaswick ’07, Andrew Durgin ’09, Jonathan Hewitt ’04, Aaron Cross ’07, Chris Dyer ’95, Jared Smith Front Row: Andy Wendell ’90, Casey Mealey ’06, Niki Collins ’00, Bri Rudinsky ’12, Nicole Monkiewics ’08, Eric Bragg ’08, Cristin Baily ’98, Jeff McCabe ’00, Joe Davis ’93 Katrina Karlsen works at Johnny’s Selected Seeds in Winslow. MacKenzie Kelsey works as an EMT for the Portland, Connecticut American Ambulance Service. She volunteers at the Portland Fire/Rescue and East Hampton Ambulance, and is applying to paramedic school. Eventually she wants to earn a master’s in emergency management. Sonja Kett is an accredited dog trainer at Pet Smart in Pittsfield. Hannah Kreitzer works internships with several nonprofit organizations, The Tributary Fund and Maine Farmland Trust, and writes articles for the Maine Organic Farmer & Gardeners Association. She worked on a farm this summer and sells her artwork in Bangor. Tyler Kruzel works APG Security at a Pepsi plant and is a firearms specialist at Gander Mountain. He and Kristie Smith live in Newport, Penn. Erika Labrie is an animal care technician at Earthplace, the Nature Discovery Center in Westport, Conn. David Lalancette delivers beer for National Distributors. Christine Lawson is an environmental educator for the Reedy Creek Nature Center and Preserve in Mecklenburg County, N.C. Valerie Leclerc is a natural resource specialist for the U.S .Army Corps of Engineers at the Raystone Lake Project in Hesston, Penn. Rhiannon Liddle was hired by the Maine Marine Patrol, and will attend the Criminal Justice Academy in January. She worked at Lotic, Inc. in Unity, sorting marine macroinvertebrates from benthic water sam-
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ples. In September, she spent a weekend in Caratunk with the adventure bound program sponsored by the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards program.
Crystal Reinhart is interning in Arizona for the Bureau of Land Management on a restoration project reclaiming land from drug smugglers.
Maggie May Macomber is a waitress at 99 Restaurant in Wareham, Mass. She and Mike Duratti will marry in the summer of 2013.
Melanie Renell is a field technician at the Vector Borne Disease Lab of Maine Medical Center in South Portland. She traps mosquitoes and ticks in southern Maine.
Luis Martin works seasonally conducting bird surveys for the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. Heather McGahagin is an animal technician for Merck Animal Health and an educator at the Salisbury Zoo. She lives with Paul Dapkis ’11. Rory McGuire works for Kennebec Lumber in Solon. Wiley McVety is in the Maine Army National Guard and is now in officer’s candidate school at Fort Benning, Georgia. He was chosen as Soldier of the Cycle for his company and received a high award for shooting during basic training at Fort Jackson in S.C. Jaclyn Mendana is a presenter at Monkey Jungle in Miami where she takes care of several primates.
Scott Rollins works at the Zion Adventure Company in Springdale, Utah. He enjoys canyoning and mountain biking. Bri Rudinsky works at the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge in Wells and represented them at the Unity Environmental Career Fair in February. Her article celebrating the 50th anniversary of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring was published in the fall 2012 issue of U.S. Fish & Wildlife News. Dan Saulnier is teaching environmental science and marine biology at Bishop Fenwick High School in Peabody, Mass.
Stephanie Meyer worked as a relief keeper at the Turtleback Zoo in West Orange, N.J. in July, 2012.
Rebekah Selmanie works in customer service for Time Warner Nex Linx and volunteers in an animal shelter. After graduation she went back to China, touring Hong Kong, Hangzhou, Beijing, Shenzhen and Hainan.
Chris Mitaly worked for the Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife last summer.
Ricky Skiba is a field teacher at the Bryant Pond 4-H Center.
Katie Papoulias is an animal care technician at the New Hampshire SPCA.
Kristie Smith worked as a reporter and a music teacher. In fall 2013, she started work as a naturalist at a Nature Center in Harrisburg, Penn.
Gareth Perkins is a long-tailed duck hunter surveyor for the Livingston Ripley Waterfowl Conservancy in Norwalk, Conn., gathering information from hunters on the number of ducks they shot, the duck’s age and sex, and the hunter’s opinion on the quality of hunting in the area, in order to determine the hunting effect on the ducks in the Norwalk Islands.
Tim Stephenson was promoted from on-call to fulltime security officer at St. Mary’s Hospital in Lewiston.
class notes alumni News of Former Faculty and Staff Heidi and Read Brugger are new grandparents. Son Jonah and his wife Tara have a son, Benjamin Logan Brugger, born September 27, 2012. Dr. Arlene Pierce, who taught chemistry in the 1960’s through the early 1970’s died January 16, 2012 at her home in Lubec. Dave Purdy, emeritus professor passed away on November 23, 2012. He taught environmental politics, world politics, political science, and government until his retirement in June 2001, and went on to serve as adjunct professor for several years after retirement. He served as faculty representative to the board of trustees from 1979-1982. A memorial celebration of his life will take place during alumni reunion weekend on September 21, 2013.
In January, alumni Greg Sands, David Clark, Noah Schneider, Jared Erskine, Nate Williams, Nate Kelly, Logan Morin, Joey Bearce, and honorary alumni coach Gary Zane took on the Unity College men’s basketball team. Kaley Sullenger is working on a master’s in biological science at Humboldt State University. Her thesis is on possible management implications of olfaction in host selection for common vampire bats, which spread rabies to livestock. Brian Thiebault works for Bartlett Tree Experts in Beverly, Mass. He earned a master’s in pesticide applicators license as well as his commercial driver’s license permit. He is a crash-rescue firefighter with the Army Reserves with specialties in urban search and rescue in contaminated environments. He and Kristen (Cowan) Thiebault ’10 married two years ago. She teaches a biology I lab at Simmons College in Boston. Jordan Thompson spent the summer as ropes course facilitator at Camp Shane in New York. In fall 2013, she started work with the NCCC branch of AmeriCorps in California.
Adam Zwick works for Sonoma County Energy in Santa Rosa, Calif. as both contractor and community outreach representative and manager for the Energy Efficiency Tool Lending Library, providing energy assessment tools to contractors and energy raters. He is working on a pilot program, Windsor Efficiency Pay As you Save (PAYS), to retrofit water intensive residential homes with energy efficient low-use water appliances and replace lawns with drought tolerant native landscaping. In July, he moves to Taos, N.M. to apprentice under Michael Reynolds to construct Earthships, zero net energy, off the grid, self-sustaining homes.
Judy Rock, a long time adjunct of English at Unity College and wife of former forestry professor, David Rock, died from liver cancer on December 17, 2012. There was a private burial on her farm, and a more public celebration of her life at the Unity College Center for Performing Arts on January 6, 2013. Pat Stevens is an adjunct professor at a small college near his home. He has contributed articles as a historian for the Sons of the American Revolution and for his Afro-American students during Black History month.
2013 Brian Morway is a team leader at a Vermont factory that is the largest chocolate supplier in the world. He has worked there for three years.
Alison Zukas worked on forest ecology research along the Missouri River for the University of South Dakota. She plans to hike the Appalachian Trail next summer.
Professor emeritus Dave Purdy and Ryan Howes ’07 in November 2012
DEATHS David Atwood ’74 died November 5, 2012. He was a Vietnam veteran, had worked for the U.S. Postal Service, and had a taxidermy and guide business. He is survived by three children and grandchildren.
Tamlin Quass ’70 died January 21, 2013. He was employed by several auto parts businesses in the Presque Isle / Mapleton area. He is survived by his partner, Vickie Tompkins, his father, and sister.
Charles Alton Jordan IV ’93. The Bangor Daily News reported that “Chuck” Jordan, of Island Falls, ME., died peacefully Monday, September 3, 2012, at a Bangor hospital. He was born April 12, 1957.
Randy Wildes ’80 died January 16, 2012. He had retired from the California Air National Guard as an aircraft maintenance specialist, and he survived by his wife, Beverly, two sons, and two grandsons.
Douglas Reed ’71 of Somerset, Mass., died December 27, 2010. Doug earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Unity College. He had owned and operated a painting company in Winthrop, Mass. for many years before moving to Somersworth, N.H. He is survived by a daughter, Geri, and a son, Nick.
Jeffrey M. Willis ’83, of Bridgewater, Massachusetts, formerly of Easton, died Sunday, February 10, 2013 at home. He was employed as a journeyman electrician in Long Island.
Ronald Sheffield ’93 died November 24, 2012. He was a professor at Louisiana State University in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering and the LSU AG Center. He is survived by his wife, Juliana, and two daughters, Rachel and Mary Anne.
Charles Scott Wingfield ’79, passed away at his home in New Sharon on January 4, 2013. He was born on November 3, 1954 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. After receiving his master’s degree in physical therapy from Simmons College in Boston, Mass. in 1998, he began working as a physical therapist at Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington, Maine.
UNITY FALL 2013 |
Jean Altomare ’11 Turns Dreams into Activist Reality By Jean Altomare ’11 I hopped on my first 350.org trip to bring Solar to the White House with Bill McKibben in 2010 back when I was a senior at Unity, and suddenly found myself in a whirl of climate campaigns. I joined 350.org full-time the fall after graduation. I am currently in the resources department and it feels great to go to work every day and know that I am working to help positively transform the future of the planet. I majored in wildlife while at Unity, and spent my summers during and after college as a park ranger and naturalist. I still expect to be a park ranger again, but for now, my work with 350.org is fulfilling, and where I wish to be. I won,t run down the list of threats the world is facing, or why the climate change fight matters so much, or even why I,ve chosen 350. Those are all widely known or easy enough to figure out. Instead, I would like to focus on just how crazy my job is…and how grateful I am to have gone to Unity College. Strictly speaking, I am not a climate activist, although I,ve chanted at our major rallies and signed all of our petitions. I’m 350.org’s internal staff support resource, helping our team to avoid exhaustion and get the resources they need to excel at their jobs. Fighting a problem of this 52
| UNITY FALL 2013
magnitude is exhausting, and having a strong support network is vital to maintaining our health. Finding ways for our international team to connect with each other, regardless of distance, is a great challenge but very rewarding. Today, a typically busy Friday, has become a day for doing a hodgepodge of tasks. I,m pushing vacations on staff that need to take them, mailing documents to Peru as fast as international mail can get them there, finding software licenses to streamline work of our web team, and helping managers prepare for evaluating their staff. All of these tasks are wrapped up in some pretty intense dance music and desk-refined dance moves. Somehow, in the past year and a half, I’ve become a reliable resource for an international team of climate change mitigation champions, even if I still struggle with
basic organizational skills. My experiences at Unity helped me to develop the passion (and skills) it takes to do my job effectively. Unity taught me that it was worthy to break out of your comfort zone in order to fight for the ecology you loved; something the school itself did when it declared that it was divesting from fossil fuels, and something I do every day when I head to my job. Seeing the “First to Divest” banner that Unity’s delegation carried around the February 17 rally at the national mall was a moment of great pride for me. Hearing about the school’s plans for expanding their climate change programs- often through other 350 staff members- runs the risk of making me smug. I am proud of my college.
The greatest gift you can give to Unity IS A
College graduates today face a world of converging environmental and economic crises. Unity prepares students to be leaders, innovators, and contributors in a world filled with environmental issues. Be part of the bigger solution.
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