International Rock Star Jimmy Chin, a.k.a., Dr. James Kuo-Wei Chin gave the Unity College 2017 Commencement Address and was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Sustainability Science. Photo: Jimmy Chin Collection
Letter from the president Friends and Family of Unity College, I hope you find this edition of the Unity Magazine to be a little different. When we chose different as the theme for the magazine we were thinking of things like making a difference, celebrating difference, negotiating the differences between us, and the little things we do for each other that make all the difference in the world. Speaking of the world... The world is changing and students are changing with it. The fastest growing college-going population in the U.S. is Hispanic. The number of older students is increasing. All these students expect more flexibility in how, when, and where they attend. The article on page 12 shows just how much and how quickly the student profile is changing. Unity College will need a different approach to reach and serve these new kinds of students. Every college worries about “differentiating” their college from all the other small, private colleges that are out there in the world. It’s not a simple thing. Every college claims to be hands-on, to give personalized attention, to be preparing the leaders the world needs most, et cetera, et cetera. Check out the article “Diving Deep into Enterprise Education,” on page 18 to see how our strategic branding research gives direction for how to match our core Unity College strengths and mission to the emerging needs of changing students while addressing the needs of employers and graduate schools. Of course “different” also means differences in people. Research shows that students are more successful who have role models with whom they identify, and if we are going to live up to the mission of America’s Environmental College we will need to serve the nation’s and the world’s changing demography. Page 40 shows how our faculty and staff continue to evolve to better reflect America’s Environmental College. The overwhelming community response is that Dr. James Kuo-Wei “Jimmy” Chin’s talk will be remembered as one of the most heartfelt, student-centered addresses ever (page 16). I think it’s safe to say that Unity College has both a new alum and a new fan in Dr. Chin. But one thing doesn’t change. It is a great honor to serve as Unity College President. I appreciate that, in asking me to serve, this community took a chance on someone a little different, and I continue to be grateful. In Unity!
Dr. Melik Peter Khoury President, Unity College
INDICE 6 Sustainability and entrepreneurship 8 Distance Education : New DEGREES 12 THE CHANGING DEMOGRAPHICS OF HIGHER ED 18 ENTERPRISE EDUCATION 24 CIVILITY 26 ALUMNI PROFILES 34 unity in the news 40 Diversity and Inclusion UNITY MAGAZINE SUMMER 2017
Unity Magazine Volume 32 No. 1 President Dr. Melik Peter Khoury Unity Magazine Team Micky Bedell Erica Hutchinson Laura Reed Alecia Sudmeyer Chris Vigezzi Dr. John Zavodny Printer Franklin Printing Photography Micky Bedell Jimmy Chin / Barcroft Images John McKeith Laura Reed Cover Photo Jimmy Chin Collection The Unity College Mission Through the framework of sustainability science, Unity College provides a liberal arts education that emphasizes the environment and natural resources. Through experiential and collaborative learning, our graduates emerge as responsible citizens, environmental stewards, and visionary leaders.
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Photo credit: Jimmy Chin / Barcroft Images
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Sustainability and entrepreneurship come together in Unity COLLEGE INTRODUCES A MASTER’S AND A BACHELOR’S I N S U S TA I N A B LE BUSINESS As sustainability continues to positively impact business and the economy, Unity College is expanding its efforts to revolutionize how entrepreneurs interact with businesses, nonprofits, government institutions, and the world around them. With the introduction of two new business-focused programs, Unity will expand its constituency and align its history as a lively, entrepreneurial business entity with existing graduates’ career and graduate school choices. The new B.S. in Sustainable Business Enterprise and Sustainable Master’s of Business Administration will expose students to the business world through the school’s distinct sustainability science framework. Graduates will get the skills necessary to be effective sustainability innovators, work collaboratively in teams with
diverse stakeholders, and view environmental issues critically to identify and address challenges at the intersection of economy, society, and environment. “Sustainability and business do not have to be at odds with each other,” said President Dr. Melik Peter Khoury. “Our goal is to prepare innovative business leaders and managers who can effectively steward natural resources, and create enterprises that have a positive impact on society while also achieving a solid bottom line. A course or two is insufficient to truly address the issue at hand -- our students must be able to recreate and reimagine the processes, products and services of the industries they become involved with. These immersive, environmentally-focused programs will prepare them to do that.” Students wishing to launch careers in sustainability are increasingly looking to the ability of organizations to protect the environment and foster social responsibility. These two programs support the mission of Unity College by giving students more options in furthering their careers in sustainability science. They will gain key business administration skills to successfully implement sustainability initiatives in a variety
of organizations, or the entrepreneurial skills to start environmentally-minded businesses. “The business industry must be revolutionized from the inside,” said Dr. Janis Balda, an Associate Professor of Sustainable Enterprise at Unity College who will be serving as point person for the new bachelor of science program. “Our graduates will have the skills to not only translate sustainability science into a language that businesspeople and consumers can understand, but also to impact choices that are being made at those businesses in the dayto-day.” “Of the world’s top 100 economies in 2016, 31 were countries and 69 were corporations. We need to keep that in mind when considering how to address problems of rising inequality and climate change.” Unity College is no stranger to entrepreneurship. Founded in 1965 as the Unity Institute of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the college initially boasted a faculty of 15 and a student body of 39. The founders, a group of local business people, were looking for ways to counter economic decline in the adjacent town of Unity. Now the school is one of the fastest growing private four-year liberal arts colleges in Maine, shattering
Students in the new Sustainable Business Enterprise program will benefit from Dr. Janis Balda’s background in Appreciative Inquiry and Leadership. 6
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Program Highlights + Regional, national, and international travel experience + An accommodating 2+2 track for transfer students + Engaging core courses, including Sustainability Management and Leadership, Entrepreneur Engagement, and Entrepreneurship for a Better World + Alignment with career and graduate school outcomes
previous enrollment records with 705 full-time-equivalent students in Fall 2016. The Unity College Board of Trustees made history when it voted unanimously to divest its portfolio from investments in the Top 200 fossil fuel companies during fall semester 2012. We then went on to build the first college residence hall in the U.S. to follow Passive House standards, TerraHaus, and retain the first president’s home to be certified LEED Platinum by the U.S. Green Building Council. To support the increased enrollment, the college has completed more than $20 million in physical plant improvements over the last four years. “We walk the talk when it comes to creating a sustainable path for society,” Board of Trustees Chair John Newlin said. “We have a vision for a sustainable society that transcends preconceived notions of business. The Unity College way is helping our students to learn from the process as we do the right thing.”
Undergraduate students within the Sustainable Business Enterprise program will travel to and work with regional, national, and international real-world institutions throughout the course of the curriculum, taking advantage of Unity College’s position at the nexus of a large network of successful sustainable business and social organizations. New course options will feature titles such as “Entrepreneurship for a Better World,” “Resolving Environmental Challenges,” “Sustainability, Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility,” and “Sustainable Finance.” Bachelor’s degree candidates will also specify one of four tracks: International Sustainable Development, Sustainable Energy Management, Sustainable Agriculture, or Sustainable Tourism. The program will be first-year, double-major, and transfer friendly, facilitated by specific agreements with other higher education institutions where students complete their associate’s degree and then come to Unity College -- often referred to as a two-plus-two option.
Master’s of Business Administration students will benefit from small classes, world-class teachers, and flexible class schedules, creating a dynamic and personalized learning community. The program will examine the triple bottom line -- people, planet, and profit -- and MBA candidates will learn to work collaboratively to implement sustainability initiatives. Students will gain an understanding of tools specific to environmental business practices, such as sustainability reporting, corporate social responsibility, life cycle analysis, cradle-to-cradle design, environmental accounting, and ecological footprint. All within a program that can be completed in 14 months. Information about a new Sustainable Business Enterprise Bachelor of Science will be featured in Unity College coursebooks this year, preparing for a Fall 2018 launch of the new program. The Sustainable Master’s of Business Administration will be launched pending commission approval.
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Con Law, GIScience make their debut on the Master’s stage TWO NEW MASTER’S IN PROFESSIONAL SCIENCE TR ACK S E X PA N D STRONG UNITY PROGRAMS FROM U N D E R G R A D UAT E TO G R A D UAT E LE A R N E R S Unity’s burgeoning distance education initiative continues to expand its offerings with two new tracks of study within the Master’s in Professional Science: Conservation Law Enforcement and Environmental Geographic Information Sciences. The specializations both offer an advanced version of two strong initiatives within Unity’s unique sustainability science curriculum in an affordable, flexible format for professionals seeking to advance their careers while working full-time or at a distance from the residential campus in Maine. “These new tracks really allow us to take what we’re decidedly good at, what the college is known for, and expand it to adult learners,” Chief Distance Education Officer Dr. Amy Arnett said. “We’re expanding our sustainability science mission to a broader audience.” For over 40 years, Unity College has played a key role in developing and educating conservation officers working all over the United States. As officers progress in their careers, or want to gain extra experience for management positions, a Master’s degree from Unity College will help them get the educational
insight they need to be successful administrators. While each course within the Conservation Law Enforcement track has a general focus that you may find in other management and leadership courses or criminal justice graduate degrees -- organizational structure, public policy, ethics -Unity’s coursework was specifically developed by experienced conservation law professionals and vetted against the scope of work of senior management officials in conservation enforcement agencies. At Unity we recognize that conservation enforcement is unique when compared to other enforcement agencies as it requires all the skills of law enforcement in addition to the skills needed to carry out these duties in the fields, forests, and on the waters of the United States of America. In recent years, geospatial information via our phones, cars, cameras and watches such as GPS data, LIDAR, satellite imagery, and aerial photography has completely transformed the way we view the world, make assessments and decisions, and conduct business -- including all realms of environmental research. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing are both powerful tools for gathering and analyzing spatial data, which every field that examines the environment and nature-environment interactions is becoming increasingly dependent on.
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Professionals already working in or intending to work in the environmental sciences will be able to meld the two technologies in Unity’s online Master’s in Professional Science Environmental GI Sciences track. Hands-on experience through online projects and research will engage students in course activities and allow for increased comprehension of the science, concepts, and skills they need to become leaders in their chosen environmental fields. At the culmination of the GI Sciences program, students will produce a professional portfolio for current or potential employers, demonstrating an ability to write a project proposal, create a project budget, and conduct research to solve realworld environmental problems. Both online master’s programs are unique to Unity, and directly incomparable to other programs across the country. The Master’s of Science in Conservation Law Enforcement stands apart with its primary focus on working conservation officers looking to advance their careers. Master’s in GIS programs are already few and far in between, and Unity’s Master’s in GI Sciences will be the first in the nation to be based entirely online. “A world with more Unity College graduates is a world on track for environmental innovation,” President Melik Peter Khoury said. “We remain committed to bringing our curriculum to those who seek it -- no matter their location, schedule or occupation.”
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Unity’s Online Distance Education program continues to grow “ YO U N O L O N G E R H AV E T O M OV E T O U N I T Y, M A I N E , T O G E T A U N I T Y CO LLE G E E D U C AT I O N .“ As part of its comprehensive distance education initiative, Unity College offers an M.S. of Professional Science degree online since October of last year -- the first graduate degree ever offered at America’s Environmental College, and the first degree it’s ever offered completely online. Nine months into the program, Chief Distance Education Officer Dr. Amy Arnett said they are forging ahead with about 22 dedicated students from all over the country, from Texas to California, ranging between ages 24 to 65 years old. The first master’s graduates are currently on track to finish their degrees this upcoming fall. “It’s been great. I’ve been able to hire instructors both from Unity College and across the country -- and our retention is really high,” Arnett said about the program. “We’re able to recruit more diverse students and faculty because of this online environment. You no longer have to move to little Unity, Maine, to get a Unity College education. It really allows us to take our sustainability science mission to a broader audience.” Adjunct Professor Shaik Hossain, for example, would have never been able to teach at Unity College if it weren’t for the accessibility of the online master’s program. An ecologist by training, Hossain’s particular research is focused on quantitative plant ecology, and he was working at the time of his last course as a research scientist in Austin, Texas.
Hossain said he chose Unity because the idea of working for America’s Environmental College sat perfectly with his research and world views. His March 2017 course in Landscape Ecology also offered him the opportunity to continue teaching, his “deepest passion,” with the convenience of doing so outside the hours of his full-time job.
FROM TEXAS TO CALIFORNIA, FROM 24 to 65 years OLD “The good side is that students can learn and interact with their professor and colleagues online at convenient times. And the class size was very manageable for me and my students,” he said. “But during an in-class course you can sit with a student and address their concerns face-to-face -- it’s a very different dynamic. Both modes of teaching have their up and down sides. I found it very interesting, teaching online, and I was very happy to have
the opportunity.” Arnett concedes that online learning isn’t for everyone. Working in forums and through e-mail means that learning is much more student driven than a residential-style, instructor-driven undergraduate course. With no set class times, students have the opportunity to work on a course when it best suits them, and deadlines for assignments and class discussion are much more flexible, meaning instructors don’t have obvious opportunities to prompt students into action. There are some real benefits to the delay, however, Arnett explained. Discussions in online courses are “much more advanced” than those generally had in real-time courses, as students have more time to formulate and think about their responses. The relative privacy of a computer screen also takes much of the timidity out of class participation, and a diversity of backgrounds and locations bring different life experiences to the table. “Our main focus now is getting the word out about the programs. How do we keep moving forward and get known for them? Get our name out there? Master’s is the new undergrad -- more and more people are looking for this education,” Arnett said. “We’re very happy with how much we’ve grown when we’ve only been active for such a short period. It’s exciting to think about what the future holds.”
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THE CHANGING DEMOGRAPHICS of higher educatioN FOR YEARS FOR YEARS E D U C AT O R S H AV E T AOT RT S KEND OU WC N A TH O DAY ’ S “H TY ” N C OOL W LEG APVI CEA LK NE S T U D E N T I S N OT AT T H AT T O DAY ’ S ALL TYPICAL.
“ T Y P I C A L” C Ogone L L are EG Long theEdays of young, likely males S T white, UDE N Texclusively IS reading the classics under N O T oak A TtreesAonL the L spreading campuses T Y P I of C private, A L . four-year
institutions just after graduating from high school. We live in an Long gone47 arepercent the days young, age where of of college likely white, males exclusively students are over the age of 21, 56 traipsingare about the and greenery percent female, 42 percent are of a non-white ethnicity. A of private, four-year institutions world where aafter majority -- 62 immediately graduating percent -- of today’s from high school. Westudents live in anwork, either part-time or full, of and 49 age where 47 percent college percent campus. Where studentslive areoff over the age of 21,27 56 percent of students take some or percent are female, and 42 percent all of their classes online. are of a non-white ethnicity. A world wherethat a majority -- 62 It’s obvious higher education percent -of today’s students has come a long way from thework, either part-time or full, and 49 but exclusivity of ivy-covered walls, percent live off campus. Where 27 many would say there’s still a long way to goof--students especially considering percent take some or the projected demographics of all of their classes online. college applicants are predicted to world in It’schange obviousfrom thattoday’s higher education unique ways in coming years. has come a long way from the exclusivity of ivy-lined walls, but Projections from the Western many would say there’sfor stillHigher a long Interstate Commission way to go -especially considering Education (WICHE) indicate that the projected demographics of after steady increases in the overall college applicants are predicted number of high school graduates to change from today’sthe world over the last 15 years, U.S.inis headed into ainperiod of years. stagnation. unique ways coming The pending national plateau is largely fueled by athe decline in the Projections from Western white student population Interstate Commission forand Higher counterbalanced by indicate growth in the Education (WICHE) that after steady increases in the
numbernumber of highofschool graduates overall high school of color -- over or, technically graduates the last 15speaking, years, non-white public school the U.S. is headed into a graduates. period of stagnation. The pending By 2030, the WICHE predicts the national plateau is largely fueled number of white public school by a declinetoindecrease the whiteby student graduates 14 population and counterbalanced percent compared to 2013, with by growth in the number of high non-white public high school school graduates of color -- or, graduates projected to replace technically speaking, non-white them to a varying extent until for every 100 graduates. white high school public school graduates “lost” in 2024 through 2028, there be anpredicts increase By 2030, thewill WICHE the of 150 non-white high school number of white public school graduates.to decrease by 14 graduates percent compared to 2013, with In spite of this plateau, enrollment non-white public high school in degree-granting postsecondary graduates projected to institutions is projectedreplace to increase them a varying extent fall until by 15to percent between 2014 for every 100 white high school and fall 2025, according to the graduates “lost” in through National Center for2024 Education Statistics (NCES). 2028, there will beEnrollment an increaserates are150 expected to increase far more of non-white high school for students of color than white graduates. students between 2013 and 2024 with 7 percent growthenrollment for students In spite of this plateau who are white, 28 percent for in degree-granting postsecondary students who are black, 25 percent institutions is who projected to increase for students are hispanic, 10 by 15 percent between fall 2014 percent for students who are asian/ and fall islander, 2025, according to the for pacific and 13 percent National Center for Education students who are of two or more Statistics races. (NCES). Enrollment rates are expected to increase far more While total enrollment across for students of color than white the U.S. may have been slowly students: projected increases declining2013 over and the past between 2024four are 7years, NCES projects enrollment rates to percent for students who are pick back up, with 2018 enrollment white, 28 percent for students on track to surpass the nation’s who percentinfor2010, peakare 21 black, million25 students students who are hispanic, 10that and 2025 projected to blow percent for students who are total out of the water at overasian/ 23 pacific 13 percent for million islander, enrolledand students. students who are of two or more races.
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topit itoff, off, the NCES predicts ToTotop the NCES predicts therewill willbebemore more students over there students over theage ageofof2525enrolled enrolledinindegreedegreethe grantingpostsecondary postsecondary institutions granting institutions by 2025 than students under by 2025 than students under the age of 21. How’s that for the age of 21.the How’s that for overcoming typical? overcoming the typical? There is no doubt the overall There is no the overall change in doubt demographics will change inchallenges demographics will present for higher educational institutions, especially present challenges for higher if they do not make moves to educational institutions, especially NCES, if adapt. they doAccording not make to moves to minority childrentoare significantly adapt. According NCES, more likely to be first-generation minority children are significantly college students, who in turn are more likely to be first-generation significantly more likely to drop college students, who inparents turn are out than those whose significantly more likely to drop have college degrees. Plus, both out than those whose parents minority students and older have college Plus, both students aredegrees. more than twice minority and older as as likelystudents to be low-income “traditional” students, bringing students are more than twice financial challenges to aseven likelygreater to be low-income as the equation, even asbringing tuition costs “traditional” students, across the nation continue to go up even greater financial challenges and up and up. to the equation, even as tuition costs across the nation continue to It’s more important than ever that go up and up and up. to innovate Unity College continue
and prepare for the future. “If we as an institution can be ready and to can all kinds “If we as welcoming an institution be ofready students be better off,” and we’ll welcoming to all kinds of students we’llDr. beMelik betterPeter off,” college President collegesaid. President Dr. Melik Khoury “Recently, Unity Peter Khoury said. “We need to really took a step forward in laying the look at how become America’s framework forto this evolving class College every ofEnvironmental potential applicants byinhiring sense of the word, with a campus Dr. Rana Johnson as our Chief that reflects all the people of Diversity andSustainability Inclusion Officer. She our nation. science will help us really look at how to education is critical to the overall become America’s Environmental health of our world, and whoever College in every sense of the word, wants to join our community should with a campus that reflects all the have every opportunity.” people of our nation.”
73% CLASSROOM ONLY 13% ONLINE ONLY 14% BLENDED LEARNING
56% FEMALE 44% MALE
53% 17-21 27% 22-29 11% 30-39 9% 40+
H AV E CHILDREN 28% YES 72% NO
TYPE OF SCHOOL
49% OTHER 10% PARENTS 41% CAMPUS
40% 2 YEAR 60% 4 YEAR
39% NO PELL 61% RECEIVE PELL
EMPLOYMENT 38% NOT EMPLOYED 26% FULL-TIME 36% PART-TIME
ENROLLMENT 63% FULL-TIME 37% PART-TIME
58% WHITE 17% HISPANIC 15% BLACK 7% ASIAN / PACIFIC ISLANDER 1% AMERICAN INDIAN / ALASKAN NATIVE 3% TWO OR MORE RACES
SO U R CE : T H E G ATE S FO U N DAT I O N
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THE CHANGING DEMOGRAPHICS of higher education PROJECTED PE R C E N TAG E CHANGES IN PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL G R A D UAT E S 2 016 /2 017 TO 2022/2023 B Y S TAT E . OVER 70% OF UNIT Y COLLEGE STUDENTS ARE FROM OUTSIDE MAINE.
2 0.9 4.0 2.1
4 .1 - 9. 9 1-4
0 -.9 DECLINE
0 -.9 1-4
4 .1+ 12
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SOU RCE: U. S . D E PA R T
10.3 4.6 6 9.3
-3 -4 0.4 0.2 4.6 2.2 0.5 3.3 2.9 4.6 0.3 -1.9 -4.4 2.8 3.7
1 -8.7 -2.2 7.4 -5.9 -4.1 9.5 5.4
T M E N T O F E D U C AT I O N , P R O J E C T I O N O F E D U C AT I O N S TAT I S T I C S T O 2 0 2 2 , P. 5 2 UNITY MAGAZINE SUMMER 2017 13
ON BEing FEARLESS J I M M Y C H I N G AV E T H E 2 0 17 M AY C O M M E N C E M E N T A D D R E S S . “You might not think someone that has spent the last 20 years climbing in the Himalayas, hanging from high altitude alpine walls and skiing first descents in no fall zones around the world would lose any sleep over speaking to a few college students. But for the record, I’ve spent quite a few nights over the last few months lying in bed, sweating it out, wondering what the hell I was going to say to you all.” “My parents were Chinese immigrants. They were very traditional and conservative. For most of my childhood and adolescence, as far as I knew, there were only 4 career paths – doctor, lawyer, professor and investment banker… When I finished college I was under a lot of pressure to pick a traditional career path. I don’t blame them -- I knew they only wanted the best life possible for me and I appreciated that. But that path wasn’t me. So I told them I was going to move west and live out of my car and climb and ski full time. They were horrified. They would say things like, ‘Of course we’re worried. There is no word in Chinese for what you do.’ I would call my sister and ask, ‘How are mom and dad?’ And she would say, ‘They are a bit worried. They think you’re a homeless person.’” “I struggled with a deep sense of doubt and guilt everyday -particularly when I was living as a vagabond climbing bum, dumpster diving for food behind grocery stores. But I continued to fight for the life I wanted… People often assume I knew what I was doing. That the path was clear to me. Hell
no! I had no idea what I was doing. I just knew I wanted meaning and purpose in my life and I set out to find it by following my heart. And, by the way, people always talk about following your heart as if it is easy. ‘Oh, follow your heart!’ Well, sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s not that easy. It’s not always clear what your heart is telling you. You have to examine your intentions endlessly. What are you passionate about? Who is it you want to be? What do you want to do? And most importantly, why? These are big questions and these are questions I still ask myself everyday.” “When I first looked up at Everest to try and ski it, and the first time I gazed up at the icy flanks of Meru, both times I almost turned around and walked away. They seemed too big and too outrageous to comprehend. I was convinced that I would fail. But I stayed and I tried -- and I failed spectacularly on both of them. Through those failures, I learned it was okay to be scared. Even good to be scared.... In essence, those failures gave me the confidence to fail more and in turn to seek bigger goals and objectives in climbing but also in other aspects of my life as well -- like in filmmaking. I learned not to let the big objectives overwhelm me and that just like in climbing big mountains, it’s about the three feet ahead of you, putting one foot in front of the other… I often think the greatest failure in life could very well be never having failed. It means you never dared to dream big, never tried something extraordinary, never stuck it out there and never took the risks.”
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“We live in a time with more forms of communication than any other time in history, yet our country and our politics are more divided than ever. I truly believe that without compassion, empathy and respect, there is no ability to have true discourse. You will not be able to hear others and, in turn, you will not be heard. Remember, we are all in this together, regardless of color, race, sexual orientation and religion. We are all trying to make sense of the world, struggling to find meaning and purpose and to get through our own existential crises…How will you use your voice? How will you use your education to find solutions to the environmental issues we face today? Frankly put, if you can’t depoliticize the discussion and facilitate intelligent and meaningful discourse about protecting our environment, we’re screwed.” “I encourage you to think big when you go forward, becoming the person you want to be. The one great privilege you have is the privilege of creating a meaningful life for yourself. And when I say a meaningful life, don’t sell yourself short. Go big! Never stop reminding yourself that every day that passes is one less day you have to live, so get out there, take risks, fail spectacularly, be compassionate, empathetic, respectful, be patient with yourself, put one foot in front of the other, create the life you dream of and become the person you want to be. You have no one to do it for you but yourself.” More at unity.edu/chin
Jimmy Chin: “[My parents] were horrified. They would say things like, ‘Of course we’re worried. There is no word in Chinese for what you do.’”
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DIVING DEEP INTO ENTERPRISE EDUCATION 16
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On one of the first fine spring days of 2017, Dr. Melik Peter Khoury stood before an eager faculty and staff at the Unity College Center for the Arts and shared the much-anticipated results of the Strategic Branding Initiative. Known colloquially as the “Deep Dive,” the Strategic Branding Initiative was a four-year, $450,000 project funded largely through the gift of an anonymous donor.
Building a Beacon: Unity College Brand Strategy is the culminating strategy document of the Deep Dive as developed from the combination of Deep Dive research with support from marketing firm Brand Alchemy. Building a Beacon was endorsed by the Board of Trustees on May 12, 2017 and provided the substance for Dr.
“Some of you asked me: you’ve been president for some time now, how come you haven’t laid a claim for where we should go?” Khoury said. “I felt it would be premature to do that on my first day. It would be premature to do that in my first month. I had some hunches, but I wanted the data to come in.” And now the
data is in. Lots of it. Thousands of pages of data generated by dozens of experts; upwards of 100 college faculty, staff, and students; hundreds of prospective students; and hundreds of hours of research by twenty marketing professionals across four different firms. In the end, the Deep Dive came down to one question: How can Unity College redefine higher education to create the future leaders of the sustainability century? As Khoury put it on that day in May, “The question we needed to ask is not just about the survival of Unity College, but the survival of our brand of education.” The breadth and stakes of the question might worry other leadership teams, but as President Khoury announced earlier in the day, this college is intrepid.
Why not learn by doing through an ENTERPRISE MODEL? According to research by the Stamats marketing firm, students highly value co-ops, internships, and work experience. No surprise. Many of us find that we learn best by doing and, although the conversation continues about exactly what “learning by doing” means, experts agree that applying knowledge helps us learn and retain that knowledge. A 2015 study in Psychological Science finds that learning by doing helps students perform better in science. More generally, the Non-Destructive Testing Resource Center, a National Science Foundation
Khoury’s remarks on May 16, 2017. Deep Dive research identified several, often contradictory forces at work in a higher education industry in extreme flux. For example, the need for colleges to increase revenue seems to run counter to students’ need to keep college costs down and employers’ desires for new employees who are well prepared and can focus on work and not on their debt. How to address this historically epic collision of college, marketplace, and student forces? How to offer a new way forward for small, private higher education? Good questions.
Why not Enterprise Education?
supported initiative, reports that the only learning activity with better information retention than “Practice by doing,” at 75% retention, is “Teach others / immediate use of learning,” which shows a 90% information retention percentage. By comparison, lecture-based learning shows merely 5% retention. “You know, I hate the saying those who can’t do, teach. I hate it. At Unity College we know that our faculty do and teach,” President Khoury is fond of saying. As part of the Deep Dive, Unity College asked lots of “what ifs.” What if we took our students learning and financial needs seriously? And what if we leveraged our faculty capacity for professional practice and academic research to meet those student learning needs? And what if our students, faculty, and staff did the work of learning in the very places where
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the learning will need to be applied? And what if the revenue helped defray tuition costs? Why wouldn’t we? What if we did? For example, instead of a sustainable agriculture program having a demonstration plot just outside the classroom, Unity College leaders are asking why wouldn’t we teach students to run our farm? An actual farm. McKay Farm. A farm that could grow student jobs and produce. A farm that raises greens as well as revenue. Why wouldn’t we?” Why wouldn’t we teach students to run a meat rabbit business out of our Animal Barn? Or run a non-profit
focused on ending meat rabbits? Or what if our students run for-profit events in our events center? Or develop a new farm-to-table restaurant? And why wouldn’t we support student learning situationally, when students feel the need and are most ready to learn, through online or onsite project management, communication, or math certifications? And, for goodness sakes, why wouldn’t we use the revenue from these sustainable enterprises to help keep tuition at bay? Why not? After conversations with the New England Association Schools and Colleges (Unity College’s accrediting agency), research into the latest learning and student development theory, and the receipt of the results from all facets of the Deep Dive, Unity College leadership, board of trustees members, and president have decided that there is no reason why not. There is
no market, learning, service, or mission reason not to involve students in the development and management of real-life enterprises. There is no reason not to engage students in development and management of social enterprises, business enterprises, revenuegenerating enterprises, and not-forprofit enterprises. No reason at all. Building a Beacon: Unity College Brand Strategy refers to this sort of learning-by-doing through engagement in real-world social and economic entrepreneurship as “Enterprise Education.” “Enterprise Education is the real life, revenue generating manifestation of our curriculum.” Why not Enterprise Education?
Why not account for learning through a NEW CURRICULAR CURRENCY? So Unity is in the process of reimagining the relationship between the classroom, the teacher, and the material. What hasn’t changed much to this point is the basic educational accounting formula of time on task resulting in credit generation and eventually a diploma. Many colleges are trying to rethink even that. According to research by NowWhat, the marketing research firm engaged toward the beginning of Deep Dive in order to conduct market and social environment assessment, at least 600 postsecondary institutions are exploring or developing alternative ways of accounting for student learning through competency-based models. A competency model for assessing learning and assigning credit, focuses
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more on results — the learning students achieve — than on the tactics faculty use for teaching. More on outcomes than inputs. More on growth than on seat time, number of pages written, or number of quizzes aced. Advocates for results-oriented assessment argue that it provides a more realistic measure of student achievement. When executed precisely, a results-system can also be the basis for assigning students credit for prior learning (think of giving credit to a member of the armed forces who goes back to school with real world skills). Results-based academic accounting can also be an effective means of
communicating actual skills and preparedness to potential employers and graduate schools. As part of the Unity College brand strategy, as imagined in Building a Beacon, Unity College should help higher education rethink its current factory model and help students get off the credit accumulation conveyor belt by developing a “new currency” for academic credits and explore a results-oriented model for academic accounting. Why not provide borderless and seamless education on THE ROAD TO UNITY? Under a projected banner reading, “THE ROAD TO UNITY,” President Khoury declared, “While Unity College in Maine will remain home base, a host of other locations will be actively targeted, including partnerships with community colleges and other
institutions, making Unity more inclusive, accessible and available.” “Unity College is like Air Force One. Whenever the President of the United States flies, no matter in what plane, that is Air Force One. Unity College is like that,” President Khoury explains. In his commencement address three days before the campus-wide unveiling of Building a Beacon: Unity College Brand Strategy, Dr. Khoury addressed the issue this way with Unity’s newest alumni: We love you graduates, but we cannot continue to call ourselves America’s Environmental College if the Unity experience is available only
strategy in Building a Beacon, Unity College has a responsibility to expand its reach by providing Enterprise Education “Seamlessly and borderlessly. Online and offline. Onsite and offsite.”
One Fine Day in May “I think we have achieved a nice compromise here where we are allowing the residential and those who believe in it to stay, but we are free to roam around Maine, the country, and hopefully, the world,” Khoury explained to the crowd gathered at the Unity College Center for the Performing Arts.
“Questions? You’ve been waiting for my answer for what do we do. There it is,” Khoury finished. The first question was from Dr. Kevin Spigel, Professor of Geology, “So, as a small private [college], we can either get busy living or get busy dying?” “Yes,” said Khoury “You’ve outlined a bunch of ideas and strategies about moving forward. How? What’s next?” asked Spigel. We’re glad you asked, Dr. Spigel. We’re glad you asked.
to a small sampling of those who need our brand of education. If Unity College demonstrates the courage of our convictions, if we really begin to achieve the mission of America’s Environmental College, we will bring the Unity experience to the places where we are needed most. Adult learners should not be expected to uproot their families and quit their jobs. Sustainability leaders should not be forced to leave the cities, countries, and villages that need them most to get the education that will help them serve. And, although four years here, at the small Unity College Flagship, will remain the cornerstone of our educational offerings, young people should not be required to put their lives on hold while they attend college.
“This is what I hope you are excited about as we fulfill our mission... Our unique and disruptive strategy addresses all forces; those of the college, the student and the marketplace. That is what will differentiate us... And that is what we will brand as Enterprise Education as America’s Environmental College. That is what I believe is our future...”
As part of the Unity College brand
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Academic Research at Unity College Dr. Jennifer Clarke, Professor of Wildlife Biology Professor of Wildlife Biology Dr. Jennifer Clarke has had a multitude of research papers published in several journals in recent years, from work on the barks and howls of dingoes to the vocalisations of captive Sumatran tigers, her most recently published work. Three of Dr. Clarke’s recently published papers were the result of a project she supervised at the Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, on Dingo vocal communication. Dr. Clarke and her team tested whether acoustic surveys could be an effective, alternative tool to current costly, invasive practices to monitor wild dingo populations. In her most recent paper, Dr. Clarke worked with colleagues from Macquarie University and the University of New South Wales in Australia to measure the acoustic characteristics of multiple, distinctly different tiger sounds and linked those sounds to behavioural contexts.
Dr. James T. Spartz, Assistant Professor of Environmental Communication “YouTube, Social Norms and Perceived Salience of Climate Change in the American Mind,” a study by Assistant Professor of Environmental Communication Dr. James T. Spartz in the journal Environmental Communication, links the number of views listed under YouTube videos about climate change to perceptions of how “others” feel about the climate issue. Participants in an experiment conducted with the help of colleagues at University of Wisconsin Madison and Marquette University were exposed to a YouTube video about climate change using two experimental conditions: one providing a small number of views under the video and the second listing a large number of views. Results suggest that the “number of views” influenced participant perceptions of the importance assigned by other Americans to the issue of climate change.
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Dr. John Hopkins, Assistant Professor of Wildlife Biology As climate change continues to alter the environment in Yellowstone National Park and its surrounding region, Unity College’s Dr. John Hopkins is studying impacts on the diets of the region’s iconic, threatened grizzly bears. In “Selecting the best stable isotope mixing model to estimate grizzly bear diets in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem,” a study published May 11 in PLOS ONE, lead author Dr. Hopkins and his team found that whitebark pine seeds and other plant foods are more important than meat to grizzly bears sampled within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, and they continued to forage for the seed despite the tree’s decline. No previous research had ever reliably estimated the contribution of whitebark pine seeds to the diets of grizzlies through time.
Love Maine Radio An interview with president Khoury Maine Magazine’s podcast Love Maine Radio featured an interview with President Dr. Melik Peter Khoury in midMarch. Host Lisa Belisle asked some hard-hitting questions about Unity and the state of higher education as a whole. Below are some excerpts from the transcript. Lisa Belisle: Unity is a very unique place. It’s a very unique college. You have really quite the diversity of things that you offer students for such a small place. Melik Peter Khoury: We are
that no matter what you’re going to do in life, there is nothing, no job that you are going to take, no career that you are going to have, that does not interact with our natural resources. Our job is to make sure that these students grow up to be -- I love saying this -- global citizens. And that’s our mission in life. Lisa Belisle: Have you noticed over the time that you’ve been in higher education that families are expecting more, that their children will come out and be able to get a job and have this investment that they’ve made in their children’s education pay off? Melik Peter Khoury: With the
Dr. Belisle and Dr. Khoury discuss Hawkeye Pierce, Educationland, and Maine’s 3 climate zones.
America’s Environmental College. Our entire curriculum is based on the very concept of sustainability science, which means that everything we do is designed to be relevant in the green economy. We understand
family that you don’t have to choose between a career and being a wellrounded student. The way we teach students really gives them a sense of what they’re going to be doing, and families really respond to that because they’re not just sending their students to Unity College so ‘whatever happens after that happens,’ but really with a focus on, “What is my daughter, my son, going to do after they graduate?” We’re highly experiential. We’re highly immersive. We really believe that our students need to not just learn from a textbook with the hard sciences, but apply that within the field. Lisa Belisle: You’ve talked about developing Maine as Education Land. What does that mean? Melik Peter Khoury: As an individual who is a first generation American and living in Vacation Land, it’s really interesting to me that Maine has three climate zones. Our natural resources are abundant. From the coast, to the northern Maine woods, to the urban lifestyle of Portland, we have such a beautiful landscape. So why isn’t Maine the center of natural resource education across the world? If you look at what we have to offer as a state, I don’t think any state should be able to compete with us. We are resourcerich, Mainers are hard-working, and we have wonderful colleges here. In my mind, as much as I love Maine being Vacation Land, I think that if Maine could become Education Land, we would jump start another economy.
changing demographics in the United States, the very value of To hear the whole interview go to what it means to go to college is unity.edu/lovemaine changing. One of the things I think that Unity College has been able to do over the last ten years is show a UNITY MAGAZINE SUMMER 2017 21
U N I T Y I N N O VAT E S S T R U C T U R E
After all, unity Few would disagree that this past election year in America was a polarizing one. Poll after poll has shown that there are strong opinions on all sides — and the tension has continued into the first few months of this year. Amongst it all, Unity College President Dr. Melik Peter Khoury has implored students, faculty, and staff to stay open-minded, respectful, and civil. “As America’s Environmental College, we have a special responsibility and opportunity. As an academic institution, we have a responsibility to provide a safe and welcoming space for expressions of intellectual, political, identity, and philosophical difference. As Unity College we have a special opportunity to do so with grace,” he wrote in early November. “What this election has put before us is an opportunity to be a model community — an opportunity to bridge the gap and find common ground with people who feel differently than we do.” President Khoury then demonstrated these words through actions, both big and small.
SPORTS | C1
LIVING | E1
Kentucky ends Bama’s SEC Tournament run
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THE INDEPENDENT VOICE OF THE TENNESSEE VALLEY SINCE 1912 Sunday, March 12, 2017
It was the small, however, that brought the college national attention. He followed the commission announcement with a more personal note to the Unity Community urging all of us to “break bread” together. “In the spirit of Unity, my simple offer to all Unity College employees is this: spend time between now and Thanksgiving getting to know a Unity student you don’t usually get to spend time with over a cup or a meal and I will pick up the tab,” he wrote. “Just pay then bring your receipt to the President’s Office with the name or names of the student(s) you got to know a little better.”
Lunch together. Coffee together. A seemingly simple solution to a larger issue. And one that Associated Press reporter Matt Sedensky saw as joining colleges across the U.S. in “fighting back… to restore some semblance of decorum.” President Khoury “broke bread” with at least one Trump supporter wanting to make sure the campus listens to our conservative students; he did the same with Hillary and Bernie voters, who met with him to express misgivings over the direction of U.S. environmental policy going forward, especially regarding employment opportunities in the land agencies and Cabinet nominees who deny the scientific reality of climate change. The president has always been clear in his communications to students: We are a diverse, free-speech campus. Our work in the classroom will continue to be based solely on evidence, facts and science -- and outside the classroom, we will avoid discussions not based in fact or designed solely to arouse conflict. “We cannot stop talking,” President Khoury said in the article. “We cannot be disunited.” We are, after all, Unity.
“It’s hard to get the big things right if we don’t get the small things right.”
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HARTSELLE MEDICAL CENTER
Minister backs veterans home Henderson: Turning hospital into nursing facility could ease waits
Complete forecast, A2
By Bayne Hughes Staff Writer
HARTSELLE — A Priceville minister wants the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs to turn the now-shuttered Hartselle Medical Center into a nursing home for veterans. The Rev. James Henderson believes the Hartselle hospital site could reduce or eliminate the waiting lists at the state’s
Did you remember to adjust your clocks? Daylight Saving Time started at 2 a.m. today. Make sure your clocks have been moved ahead an hour.
Henderson, representatives of Reps. Robert Aderholt and Mo Brooks, Hartselle Mayor Randy Garrison and Director of Development Jeff Johnson toured the Sparkman Street facility with Decatur Morgan Hospital officials Friday. Huntsville Hospital owns the Decatur and Hartselle hospitals. It bought Hartselle The Rev. James Henderson, of PricevMedical Center after Capella ille, talks Friday about turning Hartselle Healthcare closed it in 2012. Medical Center into a nursing home The Hartselle hospital is empty for veterans. [CRYSTAL VANDER WEIT/ but is maintained at a minimum DECATUR DAILY] level. While a musty smell lingers four veterans nursing homes, throughout the building, most of especially the Floyd E. Tut Fann it is dry . The only major visible problem is a roof leak that left home in Huntsville.
A Morgan County woman is raising alarm that a large carnivore, possibly a mountain lion, killed a horse and a dog on her property. If true, it would be the ﬁrst conﬁrmation of a mountain lion in Alabama in decades. But local wildlife ofﬁcials said a mountain lion attack was possible but improbable. B1
Headlines We lost count on how many print newspapers ran the civility story on their front page. At least 15. By Michael Wetzel and Mary Sell Staff Writers
ABOVE: Peach trees are blooming earlier than normal at Reeves Peach Farm. BELOW: David Reeves, center, and Jackson Reeves, left, prune peach trees at Reeves Peach Farm on Thursday. The thinning practice helps the trees produce better quality fruit. [EVAN BELANGER PHOTOS/DECATUR DAILY]
Get your guide to NCAA tourney Get prepared to ﬁll out your NCAA basketball tournament bracket. The Daily will have a bracket, as well as additional pages ﬁlled with nuggets on the teams selected for March Madness.
Evie Brooks, Moulton Edna Carter, Decatur Harold Daniel, Elkmont Flora Morris, Hartselle Barbara Owensby, Decatur Joyce Weaver, Decatur Veronica Smith, Nebraska Death notices, obits, C8 Living ............... E1 Lotteries .......... C3 Obituaries ........ C8 Riverfront ........ B1 Sports .............. C1 Weather ........... A2
SEE MINISTER, A6
Bussman ready to advertise HB24 repeal bill
Mountain lions in Morgan County?
water standing in the kitchen. Johnson said the center’s utilities and safety systems would have to be brought up to city and state code to reopen. Henderson said he inquired with Huntsville Hospital about the possibility of the state buying the 90,000-square-foot, fourstory facility that was previously licensed for 120 beds, but a hospital official offered to give the center to the state. “When he started talking about giving us this property, I was almost in tears,” Henderson said.
Abby ................ E4 Books ............... E3 Business ........... D1 Classiﬁed ......... F1 Crossword ........ E4 Editorials ......... A4 Horoscopes ...... E4
For a larger, longer impact, he announced The Unity Commission on Community Standards & Inclusivity, a presidential initiative designed to provide Unity College students and community members with a natural, comfortable, and effective pathway to communicate and resolve concerns with a cross-functional body of Unity College professionals whose sole charge is to hear college community concerns, represent those matters to the Unity College President, ensure appropriate and timely resolution, maintain communication with the concerned party or parties, and provide information to the larger community as appropriate.
Warm weather a concern for peach growers Morgan County, some varieties are blooming weeks earlier than normal, placing An unusually mild winter them at risk of frost damage if and early arrival of springlike the warm temperatures don’t temperatures may be wel- hold. comed by north Alabamians, Owner Mike Reeves said, buttheyareacauseforconcern depending on the variety, for some area peach growers. that most peaches typically At Reeves Peach Farm in don’t bloom until mid- to By Evan Belanger Staff Writer
late-March or early April. At his farm, many varieties were well into blooming, and some trees already had leaves sprouting Thursday. That could mean an earlier crop of peaches and strawberries for the farm.
MOULTON — L awrence County’s schools, hospital and municipalitiesarelookingtoMontgomery legislators to repeal local legislation that is costing them hundreds of thousands of dollars. The County Commission, meanwhile, is hoping an attempt to overturn the measure fails. In August, the governor signed into law a major change in the funding process of the Lawrence County Revenue Commissioner Office’sbudget.Beforethemeasure became law, the $652,000-peryear Revenue Commissioner’s Office budget was paid by the County Commission. If the law is repealed, the school system will be relieved of paying 31.47 percent of that amount in fiscal 2017, a savings of about $220,000. If the measure is not repealed, the commission will have about $440,000 more with which to pay its bills. Without a repeal, Lawrence Medical Center is on the hook to pay about $70,000. Sen. Paul Bussman said late last week he has a bill Bussman to repeal House Bill 24, and also replace the funds taken from the hospital and school system, ready to advertise. “I know Rep. Johnson (Ken) Johnson
UNITY MAGAZINE SUMMER 2017 SEE BLOOM, A3
Many working to combat incivility Americans alarmed and dis- Democracy Project for Civil heartened by a coarsened Learning at Middle Tennessee culture and incivility in politics State University. That’s where N E W Y O R K — I n s t a t e — especially following a brutal students have staged classroom capitals, lawmakers attend presidential campaign season role-plays of compromises from workshops on how to avoid that bared new lows in both — are the 1787 Constitutional Con-
By Matt Sedensky
The Associated Press
WE ARE, AFTER ALL, UNITY. UNITY MAGAZINE SUMMER 2017
Shaun Oshman ‘00
FOUNDER AND OWNER OF ISUPPORTU
Shaun Oshman has spent the last eight years of his life as a “dolphin in a shark costume.” Or, to put it more simply, an environmentalist in a nice suit. Over the better part of the last decade, Oshman built a thriving technology support business, iSupportU, in Boulder, Colo. Throughout its evolution he’s made a point of blending his deep value of environmentalism with smart, savvy business practices, spurring his company to grow from a guy on a bike stopping by your house to fix your computer to a company bringing in over a million dollars in sales each year, based out of its own commercial business space in town.
humans feel is really the most important thing.” Oshman firmly believes that you have to approach both customers and other businessmen from a direction they recognize and understand. Instead of leading with sustainability, he focuses on informing people about how sustainable practices are intelligent business decisions first
He also sees the base idea of fixing a computer, repairing what’s broken as opposed to throwing it away, as an environmentally sustainable practice. “You have to understand that computers are disposable commodities. Yet inside every computer are very rare minerals that need to be mined from the earth through really harmful processes,” he said. “We’ve always tried to keep things running here, making sure people use their computers as long as they can. Your computer is the most toxic thing you own, and in the end it’s going to have the biggest impact on the earth out of probably everything you do.”
“The pitch can’t always be ‘saving the environment.’”
All for the good of the planet -- although you might not know it at first glance. “After I had a couple decades to reflect on Unity’s lessons, I realized that the idea of saving the earth is all well and good but it has to start with saving people from themselves,” said Oshman. “People don’t want their minds changed. The pitch can’t always be ‘saving the environment.’ You’ve got to meet people where they’re at and give them a reason relevant to them to change. I used to be such an idealistic environmentalist; I thought I could change people’s minds if I just told them about the world. But now I’m a humanist, and how 24
the customer to focus on what’s really near and dear to his heart: reducing their carbon footprint.
and environmentally beneficial second -- if he mentions that at all. He speaks their language and garners their respect on their own terms. Oshman used iSupportU’s push to move companies over to cloud services as an example of framing a potential environmental issue in a way that appeals to the customer. According to Oshman, companies that have in-house servers often use 800 watt power supplies that are always running, which is “crazy inefficient.” So he pushes cloud-based solutions as a way for them to save on power bills, without actively pushing
UNITY MAGAZINE SUMMER 2017
Besides pushing quiet environmentalism in iSupportU’s core practices, the company’s commercial office space runs entirely on wind power, and Oshman has made a point of installing charging stations for electric cars in the building’s parking area. The business also became B Corp certified in 2015 -- what the organization calls the business version of food’s “Fair Trade” or “Organic” certifications. Oshman said that B Corp is all about returning businesses to their historical roots
Shaun Oshman “I didn’t really come into myself until I got to Unity College because it was finally safe to be who I was. [Unity] was almost like an incubator developing my character.”
as members of a community by “making businesses a place where people can pursue their passions in a safe environment around other people who care. It involves everything from environmental sustainability to gender equality.” Oshman sees Unity as the place that helped him “refine how I felt about my relationship with
the planet.” Growing up in New Jersey, he always felt like a “bit of an outsider” when it came to his love of nature. “I didn’t really come into myself until I got to Unity College because it was finally safe to be who I was. It was almost like an incubator developing my character. Who I am,” he said. “I know how to listen to people,
and meet new people while having fun and being who I am, and all that stuff definitely came from Unity. It’s all about learning life skills.” “The real key to success is just learning how to learn. And if Unity can keep doing a good job of teaching kids that, it doesn’t matter the curves life brings to a person: they’ll be able to deal.”
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The keys to a successful military career? Inclusivity, listening, and open mindedness, says Kitchener (left).
ROY KITCHENER ‘84
CO M M A N D E R O F T H E U. S . N AV Y
As the commander of the U.S. Navy’s Expeditionary Strike Group 2, Roy Kitchener, ‘84, is no stranger to the act of active listening. With 13 ships, 11 subordinate commanders, and 12,000 Sailors and Marines under his guidance, the ability to truly hear someone is a skill he values every day. It’s also a skill that is becoming harder and harder to come by in this world, according to Kitchener. He sees much of the divide between the world’s 26
people, many of whom actively label themselves as liberal or conservative, as a refusal to really listen to opposing ideas. To him it seems that people nowadays are more “caught up in the minutiae” of issues that should really be approached from the concept of the larger picture.
train of thought, really challenging us to think through different topics and be inclusive,” Kitchener explained. “I really enjoyed that about Unity. You’ve got to have that. I’ve run into it in a couple of other places, but never quite like it was there.”
But without his time at Unity, he could have been one and the same.
“Unity taught me to be open minded. Find your passion. And don’t be afraid -- just jump after it and see where you end up.”
“Back at Unity, professors exposed us to every different
For Kitchener, joining the Navy was one of those “just jump
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after it” experiences. Inspired by a calm, thoughtful group of veterans who attended Unity College alongside him, Kitchener applied for and got selected to enter the Navy. While he initially planned to serve for only four or so years and then move on to something else, life had other plans for him. “It’s funny how that turns out. Here I am, 32 years later,” Kitchener said. “I command ships, travel the world, and it all started back at Unity. The fundamentals I learned there, basic leadership stuff -- I just kind of built on it. It made me a good listener. Sometimes we don’t do that enough. Some people just like to transmit and I’m a receiver. I listen before I react.” Kitchener also believes that his science-based education gave him a unique perspective on problem solving, and the opportunities he had through Unity to intern for a full semester at the Washington Institute, and independently form a course schedule for his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, really kept him well-rounded and on par with
any other school in the country. “When I lived on 16th street in DC for my internship, there were
“Unity taught me don’t be afraid — just jump after it and see where you end up.” people from every school -- Yale, Harvard, Princeton. I learned then it’s not necessarily the school you go to but what you pull into it as
Roy Kitchener “Unity offered me just as good a quality education as anywhere else in the country.”
an individual,” he said. “Unity offered me just as good a quality education as anywhere else in the country. When I realized that I thought it was very profound.” Kitchener credits “a lot of who I am today” to Professor Emeritus David Purdy, who passed in late November 2012. A memory that still stands out from his time at Unity was an assignment Purdy gave on “a critique of a critique of Karl Marx.” “It was a really thoughtful, difficult thing to do. He was always having us do stuff like that,” Kitchener said. As a Unity College graduate, Kitchener’s association with the school follows him wherever he goes. He said he’s known people who went to read up about the college simply because they saw it next to his name. “The word’s out there. Whenever I go somewhere people ask about it,” he said. “You’ve just got to have the passion for stuff in life, and Unity set me up right. I’m proud to have gone there.”
“The dirt’s not red where I come from.” Sara Trunzo ‘08 imagines a country music with roots in the north.
SARA TRUNZO ‘08 SONGWRITER
WHEN PEOPLE ASK SARA TRUNZO, ‘08, WHERE SHE’S FROM, THERE ISN’T A QUESTION IN HER M I N D W H AT T H E A N S W E R I S : U N I T Y, MAINE. Despite growing up in New Jersey, Trunzo has spent the better part of her young life in Unity, serving in various roles on campus both before and after graduation before becoming the director of Veggies for All at Maine Farmland Trust, a Unity-based food bank farm that grows vegetables, works with local hunger relief agencies to distribute food, and provides produce to food insecure neighbors in central Maine. “I made it my home. I have much more resonance with that community than I ever did back in New Jersey,” she said. “It was the experience of living in a community where I really saw myself as someone who could make decisions about what happens there.” “At Unity I really learned how to get where you want to go when there’s not already a road map to where you’re going.” From 2009 to late 2016, Trunzo applied that self-starter attitude to her work with Veggies for All, growing “something very small into a fixture of the community.” In her time there she expanded productivity to the point where the organization was serving upwards of 1,500 people, turning what she qualifies as a “kind of crazy business model” of giving food to those in need into a thriving non-profit.
Working in hunger relief made it easy for Trunzo to fill her plate with “work, work, work.” Immediately helping the people in her community who had the most need and “changing the world for the better” made her feel there was nothing more important in life. But, Trunzo said, “after a while, it just stopped feeding me.” So when an upset in her personal life involving a 10-year relationship turned her world upside down, she took it as a moment to really step back and assess the direction of her life. Inspired by the people who relied on Veggies for All, and frustrated by the fact that their stories never seemed to make it into the public eye as often as she felt they deserved, Trunzo reassessed the creative writing skills evidenced by her environmental writing degree from Unity and eventually settled on alternative country music as an appropriate venue for their tales of rural, northern agriculture and extreme poverty. “I do know how crazy that sounds and it’s like, ‘Whoo, this person has lost it,’” she said. “But I think that Unity College is, like, so in my blood that there’s a little part of me that thought, ‘I come from this community that believed they could turn a chicken farm into America’s Environmental College.’ And they did it. So to me it doesn’t sound that crazy to turn a food system community organizer into a successful songwriter.” “There’s something in our lineage that is so completely about reinvention and innovation, and kind of the audacity to say: why not? Why not try to make the future we want
most of all instead of settling for the one that we just happened to end up with?” So in early January 2017, Trunzo packed her bags and headed down to Nashville, Tenn., to try her hand at a career in country music. She feels the genre currently over-romanticizes life on a farm, and really hopes to bring a deeper, grittier perspective to the music. During her experiences in Unity, Trunzo didn’t run into a lot of men who sat back and drank beer while driving their tractors. To her it was mostly women driving around with babies on their hips, often running a whole business singlehandedly. And as she likes to say, “The dirt’s not red where I come from.” Trunzo definitely recognizes the challenges of a music career and is trying to keep her goals more realistic. For her it’s more about spreading the stories of real rural people, and she has no interest in “being featured in a beer commercial” or “becoming the next Miranda Lambert.” That said, this new path certainly still has its challenges, and she knows she’s only at the very beginning of the journey. But she feels ready. “My education at Unity was about trying to find a way when you don’t know the way,” Trunzo said. “And those are skills that are transferrable. If the next thing I want to do is be an astronaut, I don’t know how to do that, but I know there must be a way. The answer is never that there’s no way to do it.” Trunzo’s debut EP will be available on July 1st, 2017. More information can be found at saratrunzo.com.
UNITY MAGAZINE SUMMER 2017
ALUMNus Profile “I don’t think I’d ever want to imagine my life without Unity,” says Mike Rossi ‘16 (center).
Michael Rossi, ‘16, has never been a stranger to the woods. A lifelong Boy Scout, Rossi spent his childhood exploring the forests, rivers, mountains and shores of Massachusetts, pitching tents among fallen leaves and enjoying the dance of camp fire light on warm summer nights. Rossi’s time scouting eventually became a solid basis for an interest in environmental affairs -- and then, during his senior year of high school, he watched a family member struggle and persevere during a run for state representative, ultimately defeating a 14-year incumbent. “Those two things really inspired me to find a program that linked the environment and public policy. And with the Environmental Policy, Law and Society major, Unity really had the whole package,” Rossi said. What Rossi found on arrival at Unity College was more than he could have ever dreamed. He reminisced about the success of Unity’s five-day adventure-based orientation trip, Nova, in setting a foundation for friendships and relationship-building across his entire class year. While he was at Unity, Rossi took advantage of every opportunity, becoming the vice president of student government association, working as the chairman of the Committee for Student Success, and even working in the marketing department, among other things. 30
MICHAEL ROSSI, ‘16
E N V I R O N M E N TA L LE AG U E O F MASSACHUSETTS ACTION FUND
“I did everything you could think of while I was there,” he said. “I fell in love with the community aspect and seeing how students from different majors and perspectives can come together on the basis of sustainability.” Unity also offered Rossi many opportunities for advocacy, such as when he joined a group of students traveling to the People’s Climate March in New York City. He also got to work with Maine legislature, at one point actually attending and speaking at a hearing with President Dr. Melik Peter Khoury. “There were lots of opportunities at Unity to take part in advocacy. I mean, we’re the leader on a lot of sustainability and environmental issues,” he said. “I think being part of an institution that took the lead on environmental issues helped me feel more comfortable transitioning to other, larger institutions. Unity really made me feel like I can make a difference.” “I don’t think I’d ever want to imagine my life without Unity. I feel like I had more opportunities to find myself there than I would have had elsewhere.” Even though he hasn’t been off Unity campus that long, Rossi is already putting his Environmental Policy, Law and Society degree to good use. Since graduating last
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December, Rossi has been working with the Environmental League of Massachusetts Action fund (ELM) to create a database of elected officials at every level of state government in every town across the state to help increase the political and advocacy activity of Massachusetts residents who care about the environment. Rossi is also helping the ELM specifically mobilize voters in Massachusetts Congressman William Keating’s district after Keating filed a bill involving a local land dispute between Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge and the town of Chatham. Once the fall comes and the leaves start to turn across New England, Rossi is heading to graduate school at the University of Massachusetts Amherst to start a Master’s in Sustainability Science. Unity was the main factor in deciding to go that route, he said. “You go through school around some of the best sustainability initiatives in the country, and see it worked into subjects like English and Math. This graduate program is really taking the next step for me to be able to work with nonprofits and government agencies in this industry,” Rossi said. “Ideally, someday I’d like to work with a nonprofit organization. Something like the Environmental League. An advocacy group in Massachusetts. That’s my dream job.”
Gloria Sosa ‘80
E N V I R O N M E N TA L PR OT E C T I O N AG E N C Y UNIT Y COLLEGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES
classes. We had so much one-on-one attention from professors, and there was a real communal feel. Many students hung out together.”
“I expose myself to new things. And Unity was really a place where you could do that.” When Gloria Sosa, ‘80, first decided to leave New York City to attend a tiny environmental school in rural Maine she was driven by a dream of being a park ranger. She left Unity an axe-throwing, science-loving environmental researcher with a real drive to “just try it” who had spent the last several years traveling Maine, building lifelong relationships, and learning how to apply sustainability to every aspect of the world around her. “I think a lot of the hands-on, experiential learning I had at Unity was important because that’s really what I do now. You go out and figure things out with your team,” said Sosa, who has spent the last 30 years working within the Hazardous Waste branch of the Environmental Protection Agency. “What I liked most was the small nature of the
Sosa spent her time at Unity embracing that Maine community aspect by going wherever her feet could take her, explaining, “We were always somewhere!” She travelled with friends to the White Mountains of New Hampshire and the peaks and coasts of Acadia National Park. Classes took her across the state, from Schoodic Point to Katahdin Ironworks, while also sticking close to school in places such as Sandy Stream. Sosa even spent a three week mini-term studying tree species along James Bay, Ontario, Canada. There was a bit of culture-shock transitioning from the big city, sure, but Sosa approached the new experiences head on. “When I was at Unity I also joined the woodsmen team. It was a real eye opener. I learned how to canoe, crosscut saw, throw an ax -- I was very bad at that -- snowshoe, and light a fire with one match. That team really expanded my comfort zone,” Sosa said. “And that’s how I kind of lead my life now: you just have to try. I’m not a perfectionist in that I may not do something well, but I’ll make sure I do it. I expose myself to new things. And Unity was really a place where you could do that. I’d never lived in that kind of community before.” “I really enjoyed living there. I felt one with Unity. I fit in and it fit me.”
From small classes to big impact with the Hazardous Waste branch of the EPA.
UNITY MAGAZINE UNITY IN THE NEWS
Unity inthe News Alternative Revenue The McKay
Farm and Research Station.
WASHINGTON POST PINPOINTS UNITY AS REVENUE GENERATION INNOVATOR In May, Unity was featured in the Hechinger Report and the Washington Post for recent attempts to diversify the college’s revenue stream. McKay farm was featured front and center for selling produce, flowers and greenhouse space. Dining services’ catering efforts and their ketchup/hot sauce made from local tomatoes, the school’s summer programs, and the Performing Arts Center also garnered mention.
$291,000 GRANT RECEIVED FROM DAVIS EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION In May, Unity received a $291,000 grant from the Davis Educational Foundation to galvanize a vision described by Davis as “one of most comprehensive and ambitious ever received by the Foundation.” The funding is part of an ongoing, multi-year student success effort to design a transformative living and learning plan for the first two years of the residential undergraduate experience at a small college. The
“You can’t function as a school, state or private, thinking there’s an endless supply of money,” college president Melik Peter Khoury was quoted as saying. “This idea of incrementally increasing tuition to infinity is a fool’s errand. So we started to think about, okay, how do we supplement the revenue for those of us who don’t have a billion-dollar endowment?”
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project comes at a total approximate cost of $4 million over the course of three years, with a projected launch date in fall 2020. “The world needs graduates who do things rather than simply know things. This is an ambitious endeavor to blend real-world work, co-curricular activities, and other learning opportunities into a seamless transition for our students,” said Unity College President Dr. Melik Peter Khoury, who will help guide the project. “It is clear that higher education must innovate in order to thrive. This generous investment from the Davis Educational Foundation reaffirms our ongoing mission to reinvent and reimagine what a 21st century education needs to look like.”
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UNITY FEATURED AS GRADUATING STUDENTS INTO DESIRABLE CAREER FIELDS Harbor sealed with a kiss Training starts early at the Alaska Zoo for Elizabeth Chorpennig ‘17, who completed her internship in May.
In April, the Portland Press Herald featured Unity as a leader in the sustainability education movement, producing graduates who consistently find work in their respective fields. Captive Wildlife alum Kimy Chavez, ‘14, now general manager at Avian Haven in Freedom, explained the college’s focus on experiential learning, saying, “Myself and most classmates learn better with hands-on experience, so we didn’t just hear how to treat a goat, but were in a barn donning gloves and working.” The story talked about how sustainability has become a desired focus, especially within science, humanities and business fields. In early April, 57 sustainability jobs were listed on Indeed.com in Maine, ranging from scientists to financial analysts to educators and salespeople while LinkedIn listed a total of 27,100 sustainability jobs across the country.
Katahdin Lamb The media couldn’t get enough of these beauties this spring.
LOCAL MEDIA FLOCK TO LAMB TRIPLETS In March, four different local media outlets made their way to Unity’s Heritage Livestock Barn to greet the college’s newest arrivals: a rare set of Katahdin hair lamb triplets. Barn Manager Megan Anderson showed off the adorable newborns to a chorus of ‘Awww’s from reporters
and photographers across the state, who in turn found their coverage picked up by larger outlets outside of Maine. The lambs, all born between 7 a.m. and 7:30 a.m., were named after national parks and monuments: Mammoth, Mojave and McKinley. Most of the lambs born at Unity are purchased by other farmers to become part of their breeding stock for Katahdins. UNITY MAGAZINE SUMMER 2017
UNITY MAGAZINE UNITY IN THE NEWS
Unity College The first U.S. institution of higher learning to divest from fossil fuel.
92% of Unity alumni landed a job in their field or placement in a graduate program within one year of graduation.
UNITY STARTED INTERNATIONAL MOVEMENT WITH FOSSIL FUEL DIVESTMENT
Many ‘17 Unity College graduates already had jobs waiting
Unity College joins letter on climate action
Unity College’s newest alumni are already reaping the rewards of affiliation with their alma mater and their sustainability science education.
In late December, Unity College President Dr. Melik Peter Khoury joined presidents and chancellors from 170 colleges and universities nationwide to urge President-elect Trump and incoming congressional representatives to accelerate progress toward a clean energy future.
The Unity College Board of Trustees made history when it voted unanimously to divest its portfolio from investments in the Top 200 fossil fuel companies in 2012. As the first U.S. institution of higher learning to take that step, Unity College became the standard bearer for a national movement that now has exceeded $5.2 trillion in assets diverted from fossil fuel production, according to a new report by Arabella Advisors. The sum controlled by individuals and institutions committing to divest from fossil fuels has doubled over the past 15 months, Arabella said. “Our leadership and our board made this courageous decision after looking at the data on climate change and conducting due diligence on fiduciary responsibility,” said Unity College President Dr. Melik Peter Khoury.
Of the 103 students who graduated from Unity College in May 2017, 40 already had accepted positions in a variety of fields throughout North America. Dozens more were weighing their options. It’s an established trend -- a recent alumni poll showed 92% of Unity grads landed a job in their field or placement in a graduate program within one year of graduation. “When selecting a college, career resources, internships, career placement, and graduate school placement are increasingly important factors,” said Dean of Career Services Dr. Robert Scott. “Whether you’re a freshman looking for that first internship or an experienced alumnus, once in the Unity College family you have access to one-on-one professional advising and the power of the Unity College network.”
Through their open letter, organized by a diverse group of higher education institutions and the Boston-based nonprofit Second Nature, they call on elected officials to support participation in the Paris Agreement, climate research, and investment in a lowcarbon economy. The schools also expressed alignment with business and investment communities in supporting the science-based targets outlined in the Paris Climate Agreement.
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Dr. Melik Peter Khoury “You, the Unity College graduating class of 2017 will be leading right at the heart of the change.”
What if students could earn certificates in skills like animal rehabilitation as part of their degree? (Pictured: Gina Zadrozny ‘16)
Endeavor Foundation awards Unity College to spur small, private colleges toward new horizons Officials at Unity College are celebrating the receipt of an $80,000 grant from the Endeavor Foundation as part of the foundation’s initiative to explore and reward the unique benefits of small liberal arts colleges and their critical role in higher education. Unity College President Dr. Melik Peter Khoury said the grant will provide America’s Environmental College with the means to investigate “a new and replicable model of institutional structure” and “growth pathways for small private higher education.”
Investments paying off for Unity College and their students Propelled by student-centered investments in academics, personnel, facilities, and technology, Fall 2016 saw a record number 729 students arrive on campus when school began on Aug. 29. The Fall 2015 comparative headcount of 665 was the previous largest enrollment in college history, but Unity College is not quite ready to rest on its laurels. After adding five new faculty positions since 2011, Unity College is in the process of hiring two more faculty positions for the Fall of 2017 in an effort to maintain a faculty to student ratio of 14 to one. By adding full time faculty, Unity College has been able to reduce reliance on part time adjunct faculty to just 20%, an 11% decrease since 2011. According to a 2015 article by Forbes, the national average for reliance on adjuncts is 51%. Unity College’s 20% reliance on adjunct faculty puts America’s Environmental College an impressive 31% percent lower than the national average.
DR. MELIK PETER KHOURY JOINS MULTIPLE MAINE SERVICE COMMITTEES Dr. Melik Peter Khoury, President of Unity College, has been appointed to the Maine Department of Education Commission for Community Service by Governor Paul R. LePage and Acting Commissioner Robert G. Hasson, Jr. Founded in 1994, The Maine Commission for Community Service seeks to foster community service and volunteerism to meet human and environmental needs in the State of Maine. “I am honored to join the Maine Commission for Community Service,” said Khoury. “Effective global citizenship requires a disposition to engage in community as well as the tools to do so in a meaningful, culturally literate way. That’s what we teach at Unity College. That’s partly why I am excited to serve.”
INVESTING IN SUCCESS: NEW FACES & ROLES
ACADEMIC SUCCESS Dr. Erika Latty
Chief Academic Officer The CAO at Unity College serves as first among equals in academic and curricular matters overseeing faculty, curriculum, academic policy, and delivery of academic programs. Dr. Erika Latty, Professor of Botany, is a forest ecologist who specializes in the effects of introduced tree disease on forest structure. Erika previously served as Dean of the School of Environmental Citizenship. Prior to serving as Dean, Erika was a Unity College center director and faculty leader. She personifies grounded leadership, understands the mission of a truly transdisciplinary environmental education, and has earned the trust and respect of colleagues and students alike.
Dr. Pamela MacRae
Dean of the School of Biodiversity Conservation No stranger to Unity College, Pamela is an ecologist whose research explores links between fish and their environments. As an Associate Professor of Sustainable Fisheries Management, she has led and worked on countless faculty academic committees, including the Institutional Program Review Committee, Academic Regulations Committee, strategic Academic Leadership Team, College Policy and Planning Committee, and many more. She has also previously worked as the Honors Program Director at Unity, and was primarily responsible for overseeing co-curricular components of program and supporting the management of the technical and academic requirements of the Honors Program.
Dr. Pieter deHart
Dean of the School of Environmental Citizenship Pieter is a Conservation Biologist addressing questions related to foraging ecology and population dynamics of organisms across multiple scales and habitats who has been working at Unity as a Visiting Associate Professor of Ecology since last summer. Over the past decade he has taught Biology at Unity, been program director of Science and Math at Mount Ida College, and served as an Associate Professor of Biology and Director of Undergraduate Research at Virginia Military Institute. Through all his research endeavors, Pieter has worked and published with undergraduates.
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Student Success Raymond Phinney
Dean of Students Dean Phinney is focused on working with all campus constituencies to create a welcoming, supportive, and safe environment for students at Unity College’s flagship residential experience. In addition to leading our student leadership development efforts, the Dean of Students is Unity College’s Title IX Coordinator and oversees residential life, student activities, and the college conduct review process. Ray comes to Unity from University of Maine, Ft. Kent, where he was Associate Dean of Student Life and Development.
Director of Wellness and Athletics This new position oversees the Harrison Aldrich Wellness Center, our intercollegiate athletics programs, and the Outdoor Adventure Center, bringing together all of our efforts to help students (and the rest of us) stay healthy, get active, and find fun challenges to overcome. Tim has served most recently as the Chief Operating Officer for the Alfond Youth Center in Waterville, where he oversaw extensive facilities, a multimillion dollar budget, and programming for over 3,500 community members.
Dean of Academic Support This new position involves training our tutors and writing consultants, building more peer mentorship opportunities, helping develop more skill-building workshops for all students, and working with faculty to find creative ways to accommodate student needs at the Collaborative Learning Center. Bobbi also manages Unity’s academic advising program, working with students to help keep them on track. She brings decades of experience in student success and student services to the position, most recently as Assoc. Academic VP for Advising and Student Success at Southwestern College in Kansas.
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Dr. Rana Johnson
UNITY COLLEGE ADDS SEASONED LEADER TO DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION LEADERSHIP POST Unity College’s first-ever Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Dr. Rana Johnson, brings a lifetime of experience in and love for higher education to the new position, created to inculturate what it truly means to be a global citizen at Unity College. The office is expected to pioneer new collaborative efforts among campus entities, while also working on Unity’s existing diversity initiatives, according to President Dr. Melik Peter Khoury. One of Johnson’s first tasks is to spend time listening to individuals in the campus community to assess the college’s current readiness for students
from diverse backgrounds. He believes Johnson’s depth of experience in diversity and inclusion administration, policy, training, research, and student engagement are second-to-none, making her the perfect choice for this important new position that affects every student, faculty, and staff member at Unity College. “There are many institutions that make the mistake that diversity and inclusion is somehow an isolated department that only works with multicultural students. That is a fatal preconception,” President Khoury said. “What Dr. Johnson brings to the table is the idea that every student at Unity College, every faculty member at Unity College, every staff member, has to be part of this programming. This office will become integral to graduating global citizens, whether you are from Aroostook County or you are from Chicago, regardless of our backgrounds.” Johnson estimates that she knew she needed to pursue a college degree at an early age. Her mother, who completed the 10th grade, taught her to read and write at the age of 3 or 4. She said her mom is the strongest woman she’s ever known, and was “very intentional about introducing me to education, and encouraging me to acquire as much education as possible.” The written worlds of poetry and literature were also some of Johnson’s earliest teachers. From a very early age, she never stopped reading, and still tries to find time to read as much as possible when she is not working. One of her favorite adult authors has been Maya Angelou. While a few of Johnson’s siblings had the opportunity to attend college, she was the first in her family to complete a postsecondary degree, securing a bachelor’s at Spalding University in her hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. While she’s had mentors over the years, Johnson said it was really her family who supported her through it all: her accomplishments were their accomplishments. She now has nieces and nephews who have enrolled in
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postsecondary education -- two nieces have earned bachelor degrees, one has earned a master’s degree, and another is currently completing her master’s at Pennsylvania State University. “It only takes one person to step outside of the circle to change their family circumstances by furthering their education. It’s important to reach back and offer direction, encouragement and support to family members, as well as members in our local communities,” Johnson said. “I understood that my degree was not simply for myself. I knew that I had an obligation and responsibility to be part of a bigger picture -- to make higher education available for individuals that are not often invited to occupy a space at the table of opportunity.” The pursuit of her doctorate took Johnson to the University of Kentucky, where her dissertation research focused on adaptation strategies to retain and graduate diverse students from traditionally white institutions, inspired by the campus environmental struggles of the school’s diverse doctoral students. Johnson now comes to Unity College from The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, where she has spent almost 20 years helping to guide efforts to ensure the success of students that have been historically underrepresented in undergraduate and graduate education. “I love the United States, and higher education, because this is the only place in the world where you can grow up in an impoverished or financially challenged home but, through hard work and higher education, change your circumstances and offer hope to a whole community of individuals,” Johnson said. “I find myself in a unique position to be a voice for those that are voiceless, and to give hope and encouragement to those that don’t understand or know how to access the higher educational system. I am honored and delighted to be a part of the Unity College family and to embrace the goals and objectives of my colleagues and its student body.”
diversity and inclusion “If we are truly going to be America’s Environmental College, our employees need to look like America. We must have an employee base that is culturally competent as well as geographically and ethnically distinct so we can provide diverse role models for our students.” - Dr. Melik Peter Khoury
Prabh Jot (PJ) Singh Accra, Ghana Assistant Director of Admissions
Zsakiyah (Ziggy) Brown Uniondale, New York Athletics Student Success Coach
Justin Miller Birmingham, Alabama Controller
Raymond Phinney Murry Corner, New Brunswick, Canada Dean Of Students
Maria (Jaja) Pease Philippines Prep Cook
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THE NICHOLAS HOLT SCHOLARSHIP in support of experiential learning experiences Established at Unity College in 2010, the Nicholas Holt Challenge Scholarship Fund supports juniors and seniors in challenging, experiential learning projects that are self-initiated, curriculum-based, and approved by an academic advisor. The fund is made possible by a gift from the Holt family Unity College was a major interest in Nick Holt’s life since 1973 until his
death in 2006; he spent more than 20 years working toward accreditation of its strong environmental teaching program. Holt was an architect, family man, befriender of strangers, Army veteran, marcher on Washington, gunkholer and sailor, and a lover of color, trees and light. His family is pleased to honor his passion and commitment to Unity with this scholarship.
• John Grant, ‘19, a Captive Wildlife Care and Education major from Hanover, Mass. will take an animal care internship with the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston, Mass. • Laurel Sullivan, ‘18, a Captive Wildlife Care and Education major from Felton, DE, will study location and abundance of baleen whales in relation to tidal changes and upwelling in the Bay of Fundy,
Canada. • Edina Jacox, ‘17, a Captive Wildlife Care and Education major from Chicago, IL, will serve an animal care internship with PAWS of Greater Chicago. • Melanie Jackson, ‘17, a Wildlife Biology major from Keene, NH, will study the relationship between body condition (health) and stable isotope values derived from the hair of bears.
Four Unity College undergraduates were awarded Nicholas Holt Candidates are chosen by a panel Challenge Scholarships this year based on criteria that includes and will receive $10,000 of shared a demonstrated commitment funding to undertake a wide range of to academic excellence; the research and internship opportunities: 40 UNITY MAGAZINE SUMMER 2017
presentation of a project that is distinctive and bears a meaningful relationship to the student’s postgraduation career and service aspirations; growth and learning experience unlikely to be available to the recipient without the support of the award; a demonstrated commitment to service; and strong record of productive involvement in the Unity College community.
Unity College President Dr. Melik Peter Khoury lauded the Holt family who donated the funds for the scholarships, saying it is an example of partnerships that work to educate Unity College students in the sustainability sciences. “Holt scholarships help students get firsthand experience in research beyond the classroom,” Khoury said. “But the partnership works both ways: Institutions get bright, inquisitive minds for a season to help them attain their own program goals. It’s research and theory, applied to the real world.”
WHAT Happened to the ALumni Notes?
Alumni notes are now online! Always available for you to update your information and check out what is happening with your classmates. Go to:
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$uPPORT donate online
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Call the Development Office at 207-509-7145
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Your support gives students the opportunity to be educated at Unity College by providing scholarships.
Your support ensures that our world will have optimistic, educated individuals committed to solving the worldâ€™s most pressing environmental problems.
Your support helps fund student research experiences in the field and in the lab.
BE THE SOLUTION 42
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savethedates Alumni BBQ - July 22 Community Weekend - September 22-24
Join us as Unity College celebrates the Alumni BBQ and Community Weekend. More at: unity.edu/alumni-events
+ Share your stories + Reconnect with old friends + Tour the campus + Celebrate Unity pride
90 Quaker Hill Road Unity, Maine 04988
Partner with Americaâ€™s Environmental College today.
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Unity College Magazine - Summer 2017