IN SEARCH OF ACADEMIC QUALITY The Never Ending Journey of Admissions From Unity to the World Being Green Isn’t Easy...But It’s Worth It UC Makes the Grade
From the President The sun is rising over downtown Denver. I’m on the 21st floor of the Sheraton gazing longingly at the Rocky Mountains in the distance. I won’t be getting there this trip as I’ll be too busy speaking, presenting, and networking at two major conferences. The AASHE conference (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education) is a sold out gathering of 2,000 sustainability advocates and practitioners. The ACUPCC summit (American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment) is a meeting to continue our momentum in moving college campuses towards climate neutrality. Meanwhile the next issue of the Journal of Sustainability will be released at the conference and it features a wonderful spread about Unity College. I’m very excited that Jesse Pyles, our sustainability coordinator, will receive an award at the ACUPCC meeting for his role in advancing climate action. This culminates a remarkable month of accomplishments for Unity College. We were listed in the Princeton Review as among the greenest colleges in America. We received a very high ranking from Washington Monthly magazine for our emphasis on service learning and In this remote corner of Maine, we are preparing a community orientation. new generation of environmental leaders who combine But the best story of all was the solar road trip in September. When Bill McKibben (a wellservice, stewardship, sustainability, and science. known environmental activist) sent me an e-mail asking if he could take one of the Jimmy Carter Solar Panels and offer it to the White House, I quickly agreed. I suggested that he take some of our students with him. Little did I know just how much press attention this would receive. Most importantly, the Unity students, Jean Altomare ’11, Amanda Nelson ’11, and Jamie Nemecek ’11, served as eloquent and impassioned spokeswomen for climate action. It pleases me to see Unity College get this recognition because our students, staff, and faculty are so deserving of it. In this remote corner of rural Maine, we are preparing a new generation of environmental leaders who combine service, stewardship, sustainability, and science. Our community wishes to make a difference in the world and to do so through academic quality and civic participation. When we are recognized for our efforts it inspires confidence and it also gains us attention. As our good work grows, so will the spotlight shine on Unity. It’s crucial that we understand that our voice contributes to a global process of sustainability action and ecological awareness. It gives our work meaning. As our voice is heard and our contributions evoke interest, the stature of Unity will ascend, but only if we rise to the challenge and emphasize the quality and motivation that is the source of these accomplishments.
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Mitchell Thomashow President, Unity College
america’s environmental college WINTER 2010
Features 12 A History of Quality Steady Progress Marks Who We Are Becoming
Studying the Forest Ecosystem A Meaningful Scientific Investigation
What is Unity Becoming? Past and Present Lend Perspective on Change
Writing to a More Sustainable World Revelations Through the Written Word
Perspectives Unity Makes “Top” Lists Taking Notice of Quality
Solar Panels Go Global An Eclectic Group Enjoys Success
Passive House is Anything But Rethinking Campus Construction
In Our Element Letting it Fly Frisbee Golf Takes Hold
A Welcome to College Life Getting Into the Flow
32 The Road to Enlightenment Journeys Spark Growth
Welcome to Unity’s Future
Alumni Profiles 40 Andrew Fleming ’08 46 Erika Verrier ’06
On the Cover
Students in a math class taught by Assistant Professor Carrie Eaton enjoy the warm weather as they work through exercises. Photo by Mark Tardif
From the Editor
Unity Magazine Volume 24, No. 2 Managing Editor Mark Tardif
In Search of Academic Quality It seems redundant or even odd to say it, but colleges are about educating individuals. How well that gets done relates to academic quality. Who has it, why, and how they know is the most difficult part of addressing academic quality. There aren’t tests to gauge it, though academic rankings and the accreditation process have specific approaches aimed at giving the quantification of academic quality a stab. Depending on who you speak with the results are usually more art and preference, than objective quantification. Muddying the waters is the fact that too often, colleges and universities seem to be known as much for qualities that are tangential to academics, such as athletics or amenities. Regardless of how education is delivered, in a classroom, lab, at a bog or during an activist oriented trip to the White House (see solar road trip story), the central premise of this issue is that Unity is undergoing something of a transformation, becoming different and better. This issue explores academic quality at Unity in a number of ways. Some of the articles explore this subject by examining student experiences and outcomes. Other articles illuminate the ways in which the College is changing, attracting better prepared students who in turn, are raising the bar of the overall academic experience. Some articles, such as the article about the EPSCoR research grant by Professor Amy Arnett, point to the quality of research opportunities present for both faculty and students. Such opportunities are aimed at achieving positive, real world problem solving outcomes. An article by Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Amy Knisley explores the ways in which one might identify and think about academic quality. Unity’s growing reputation is explored through the opportunities it generates to connect with the larger world of environmental affairs and sustainability. There are few boundaries present, as was seen over the summer with a visit to Unity by Huang Ming, Chairman of China Himin Solar Co., Ltd., located in Dezhou City, Shandong Province, China. He received a solar panel from Unity that was formerly atop the White House during the Carter administration. This panel has since become a permanent part of Himin’s solar museum. In September, President Thomashow and his wife, Cindy, attended an international solar conference at China’s solar city. Clearly, Unity is transitioning from a small, regional college to one capable of attaining a global reach. We hope you will enjoy this issue and decide for yourself what Unity is becoming.
Mark Tardif Managing Editor
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Assistant Editor Kate Grenier Student Editor Lindsay Certain ’12 Designer Camden Design Group Class Notes Editors Kate Grenier, Dot Quimby Editorial Assistants Reeta Benedict, Robert Constantine, Cynthia Schaub Contributing Writers Dr. Amy Arnett, Reeta Benedict, Robert Constantine, Dr. Emma Creaser, Dr. Doug Fox, Kate Grenier, Angela Hardy, Dr. Amy Knisley, Diane Laliberte, Dr. Kate Miles, Dr. Diane Murphy, Melora Norman, Dot Quimby, Marissa Smith ’12, Mark Tardif, Cindy Thomashow, Sara Trunzo ’08. Contributing Photographers Arielle Arsenault Dr. Emma Creaser Jasmine Greer Juliana Jakubson ’12 Chris Kein Dr. Kevin Spigel Mark Tardif Cindy Thomashow Board of Trustees Mr. William Glidden, Chair; Mrs. Martha Dolben, Vice Chair; Mr. Donald Foster, Treasurer; Ms. Juliet Browne, Secretary; Ms. Sharon Bloome; Mr. Pete Didisheim; Mrs. Margot Kelley; Mr. Frederic McCabe; Mrs. Nadine Mort; Mr. Robert Pollis; Mrs. Arlene Schaefer; Ms. Gloria Sosa’83; Dr. Mitchell Thomashow; Mr. Robert Tonge; Mr. C. Jeffrey Wahlstrom; Mr. Kenneth Winters; Mr. William Zoellick; Mr. James Horan, Faculty; Ms. Hannia Candelario’11, Student. We want to hear from you.
Letters to the editor, story ideas, or address changes may be sent to: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Mail: Letters, Unity Magazine 90 Quaker Hill Road Unity, Maine 04988 Web: www.unity.edu We reserve the right to edit submissions for length, clarity, and style. Submissions should be no longer than 250 words. Unity Magazine is printed by Franklin Printing, Farmington, Maine, an FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified printer and printed on Rolland Enviro 100, a 100% post-consumer paper manufactured using biogas energy.
Unity College Named to Washington Monthly Top 30, Highest Ranking for a Maine College In August, Unity College received the good news that for the first time in its history, it was included in the top 30 colleges and universities on the ‘Washington Monthly 2010 College Rankings’, the highest placement for a Maine college on the baccalaureate colleges list of the rankings. Unity College was the 16th-best baccalaureate college by The Washington Monthly’s measurements. “When I reviewed The Washington Monthly approach, I was impressed by their approach—they wanted to ‘measure how well individual colleges and universities were meeting their public obligations in the areas of research, service, and social mobility,’” noted Amy Knisley, Unity College senior vice president for academic affairs. “I am very pleased to have attained recognition by these measures, given our commitment to providing an affordable education that prepares students to serve in solving some of the world’s most pressing problems.”
Kay Fiedler, director of Admissions at Unity College, saw the high national ranking as another step in a growth and maturation process for the College founded by Unity area residents in 1965. “It is great to see Unity College being recognized as a leader in the environmental movement,” said Fiedler. “It is our mission to prepare a new generation of leaders equipped to address the pressing environmental challenges of our time. We are always seeking bright, engaged young people who have the passion to learn and the academic ability to succeed and this type of recognition helps get the word out there about America’s Environmental College.”
Unity College Named Among “Greenest” in United States by The Princeton Review During the fall semester Unity College learned that it was among 18 Eighteen colleges and universities were selected to the green U.S. colleges and universities named to The Princeton Review’s 2011 rating honor roll based on their commitment to sustainability. Green Rating Honor Roll. These institutions received the highest Green Rating of 99 out of a For three consecutive years, The Princeton Review has been repossible 100 points. The colleges and universities on the list are: searching issues of sustainability as they pertain to colleges and universities. It was Unity’s significant commitment to sustainability that prompted it to be named. This is the first time that Unity has made mpe University, Te Arizona State the list. • arbor, Maine tlantic, Bar H A e th of ge le “Our increased national reputation is closely linked to our sustain• Col mpia, Wash. e College, Oly at St n ee gr er a ability focus,” said Sustainability Coordinator Jesse Pyles. He noted • The Ev nology, Atlant stitute of Tech In ia rg eo G that Unity has added two new sustainability majors: food, agriculture, s. • , Mas ge, Cambridge Har vard Colle and sustainability; and sustainable design and technology. • ton, Mass. os B University, n er st ea th or • N , Wisc. lege, Ashland (Left to right) niversity Nor thland Col • inghamton U New York - B Kelsey Ericson ’14, of ity rs ve ni • State U aine Jesse Pyles, lege, Unity, M • Unity Col Jeremy Braley, keley California, Ber University of Rory Dwyer ’12, • nta Barbara California, Sa Sarah Ingalls ’12, University of • nta Cruz California, Sa Ryan Morrison ’14, University of • s and Frank Reske Georgia, Athen University of • no ’13. of Maine, Oro • University lege Park Mar yland, Col University of • ille, NC College, Ashev Warren Wilson • , Morgantown inia University rg Vi t es W • Conn. , New Haven, UNITY Winter 2010 | 3 Yale University •
From Unity to the White House and China, Solar Panels Have Star Appeal By Mark Tardif, Associate Director of College Communications In 1991 when Unity College obtained the array of solar panels formerly atop the White House during the Carter administration, it is a safe bet that the long-term aspirations for their future did not involve a sitting president, international media exposure, and a manufacturing titan from China. From July to early October of 2010, that is precisely what happened. The chain of remarkable events began when author, educator, and environmental activist Bill McKibben placed a call to Unity College President Mitchell Thomashow. McKibbenâ€™s grass roots climate action organization 350.org had long been involved in trying to attract attention to the potential of solar power and alternative energy for mitigating climate change. McKibbenâ€™s idea was to organize a solar road trip from Unity College to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., in an effort to prompt President Barack Obama to reinstall a solar array atop the White House. The road trip would involve Unity students, a Unity staff member and alum, and McKibben bringing a solar panel formerly atop the White House directly to the President. On September 7, a kickoff rally was held outside Unity House, the solar powered, carbon neutral home of Thomashow and his wife, Cindy. At the rally, McKibben characterized the panel that would make the
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(clockwise from below) The solar road trip group in front of the White House are (left to right facing) Jean Altomare ’11, Jason Reynolds ’05, Amanda Nelson ’11, Jesse Pyles, Jamie Nemecek ’11, Bill McKibben; Solar panels gifted by Unity College to Mr. Huang Ming of Himin Solar Energy Group; Bill McKibben waits to help move the panel to the biodiesel van for transport to Washington, D.C.; (facing page) Bill McKibben offers thoughts on the project to well wishers before leaving. A Unity student shows her enthusiasm for solar.
McKibben’s grass roots climate action organization 350.org had long been involved in trying to attract attention to the potential of solar power and alternative energy for mitigating climate change. journey as a piece of American history that would be returning home. After well wishers indicated their support by signing the panel that would make the trip with the solar road trippers (McKibben; Jason Reynolds ’05; Sustainability Coordinator Jesse Pyles; Jamie Nemecek ’11; Jean Altomare ’11; and Amanda Nelson ’11), it was secured to a Unity College biodiesel van. Cheers rang out as the van made its way down Quaker Hill for its fateful journey. It was a journey that seemed to end in disappointment. “The White house refused the panel and we left heartbroken,” said Altomare. They returned home disappointed but hopeful that somehow, some way, their
message would eventually find its mark. On October 5, the Obama administration announced that solar panels would be installed atop the family residence at the White House. The trip left Altomare determined to pursue a career as an environmental activist and “fight for future generations.” At about the time that McKibben and the solar road trippers were approaching Washington, D.C., a second panel formerly atop the White House was being readied for permanent display at the Solar Science and Technology Museum in China. In August, Huang Ming, Chairman of Himin Solar Energy Group in China, the largest manufacturer of solar water
heaters in the world, arrived at the Unity College campus to forge friendships and accept a special gift. The gift of a solar panel formerly atop the White House came after several months of dialogue between Ming, Unity officials and Julian Chen, a physics professor at Columbia University. After signing an agreement transferring ownership of a panel from the College to Himin, Ming spoke in fluent English and offered a power point presentation about China’s Solar Valley, home to Himin’s headquarters. Following the presentation, Thomashow said he was impressed with Ming’s vision of a world focused on sustainability. UNITY Winter 2010 |
A Place of His Own, Tim Godaire Connects to Find Unity When Tim Godaire ’12, an environmental analysis major from Chaplin, Conn., scanned the schedule of events for New Student Orientation at the outset of his first year, he made a mental note to attend the bike ride with President Mitchell Thomashow and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Amy Knisley. He never expected to form a lasting relationship with President Thomashow. An avid athlete and outdoor adventure enthusiast, Godaire arrived on campus with academic credentials to match his athletic profile. A Presidential Scholarship recipient, Godaire was and remains someone for whom each day is a dizzying whirl of activities. During that first ride with Thomashow, Godaire found a kindred spirit and role model. He also found the type of engaging, adventurous community he had been seeking during his college search. Each year since that first ride, Godaire has participated in the annual new student orientation ride with Thomashow and Knisley, including this year’s event. He also regularly speaks with Thomashow, has taken a seminar that Thomashow teaches, and ac-
cepted invitations to ride along with Thomashow’s regular bike riding group which in addition to Knisley often includes Dean for Student Affairs Gary Zane and Director of Athletics Chris Kein, among others. Godaire long since learned that the rides transcend mere fitness, they are opportunities to participate in personal exploration, shared experience, communion with nature, and an approach to achieving balance in one’s life. In a way, the rides are one among many ways that being a Unity College student is a transformative, life affirming experience. With a host of acceptance letters from colleges and one major university, Godaire chose Unity for reasons that one often hears students cite: small size, personal attention, and academic flexibility. The latter concept has allowed Godaire to delve deeply into research, gaining skills that will serve him well, should he choose to pursue graduate studies, his likely destination after Unity. Though he has pursued a variety of academic projects with input from faculty, Godaire has conducted in-depth research
with Professor of Chemistry Lois Ongley. One discovery by Godaire led to a change in the way Ongley’s classes study concentrations of arsenic in water. Godaire’s analysis of the previous method, which was proving to be problematic and unreliable on occasion, led Ongley to create a new method using an Arsenator. An Arsenator is a hand-held device used to detect arsenic concentrations in water samples. It is but one example of a college career that has been deliberate, robust, and fulfilling. Tim Godaire ’12
Nemecek ’11 Praises Experiential Learning Opportunities Few college students may lay claim to influencing the leader of the free world. Jamie Nemecek ’12, a sustainability design and technology major from Brookline, New Hampshire, holds this distinction. In September, Nemecek and several other Unity students participated in a solar road trip from campus to the White House in an effort to convince President Barack Obama to put solar panels atop the White House. Their efforts eventually paid off. Though Nemecek and her fellow solar road trippers (Amanda Nelson ’11, Jean Altomare ’11, Jason Reynolds ’05, Sustainability Coordinator Jesse Pyles, and world renowned climate activist Bill McKibben) made the trip with one panel formerly atop the White House during the Carter Administration, with stops along the way to generate
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public support, they did not receive a warm embrace from administration officials. Nemecek and her companions met with administration officials in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building adjacent to the White House. They made their base case. It wasn’t until October that the administration announced plans to put solar panels back up atop the White House. She took the good news in stride, focusing on ‘what’s next.’ She credits Unity College with challenging her academically and giving her outstanding experiential opportunities, such as the solar road trip to the White House and opportunity to study at the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales, U.K. “Unity’s greatest strength is the handson learning experiences that it offers,” said
Nemecek. “The variety of experiential learning opportunities that Unity students enjoy is what makes being a student here special.” Jamie Nemecek ’11
STUDENT AFFAIRS Perspectives
Passive House: Students Participate in Transformative Effort By Mark Tardif, Associate Director of College Communications Over a dozen Unity College students will participate in every phase of the design and construction of a new “green” residence hall set for completion in 2011. Additional students will weigh-in on the project as the various phases unfold during the 2010-2011 academic year. GO Logic Homes of Belfast, Maine, will design the residence hall to the passive house standard, working collaboratively with students. A committee of faculty and staff working on the project led by President Mitchell Thomashow began meeting in September. The first design charrette involving students was held on October 14. If the construction achieves the standard, it will be the first passive house residence hall constructed on a college or university campus in the United States, confirm officials at the Passive House Institute US of Urbana, Illinois. In June, Unity College was awarded a grant from The Kendeda Fund to construct a “cottage style” residence based on principles
of passive house design. The project entails an educational component involving Unity College students in the design, construction, and monitoring of the facility through curricular and co-curricular activities. The passive house residence hall will use sunlight to generate energy with using little or no active mechanical systems. Sunlight will be converted into usable heat. “It is great to be working with Unity College, a widely recognized leader in environmental stewardship,” noted Matthew O’Malia, GO Logic Architect and two time New England American Institute of Architects Design Excellence Award winner. “Designing and building a college residence hall to the passive house standard is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate what is now possible in energy efficient design and construction.” O’Malia added that the project will create a template for other colleges and universities to follow. “Not only is the passive house standard at the very leading edge of the ‘what’s next’
for college and university campus construction, but this project is taking the concept one step further by involving students in all aspects of the project,” O’Malia added. Ann Kearsley, Owner and Principal of Ann Kearsley Design of Portland, Maine, will serve as the landscape architect for the project.
Designing and building a college residence hall to the passive house standard is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate what is now possible in energy efficient design and construction
Unity students participated in a Student Passive House charrette in October at Unity House, the Collegeowned, LEED Platinum residence of President Mitchell Thomashow and his wife, Cindy. At left, participants are responding to a visual preference survey. UNITY Winter 2010 |
IN SEARCH OF ARTISTIC MEANING
By Cindy Thomashow, Executive Director, Center for Environmental Education In November of 2009, I flew out to Matinicus Island to begin planning an environmental citizen class for Unity College. I wanted to develop a course that would challenge Unity students to use art as a venue for public education. Our goal would be to create an art exhibit for Julia’s Gallery at the Farnsworth Museum. This course reflects a strong belief of mine that art has the potential to communicate the urgency and complexity of environmental issues in provocative and surprising ways. The End of the World Matinicus Island is a small, exposed and remote setting 23 miles off the coast of Maine. It serves as an essential ‘resting place’ for birds during the fall and spring migration. Migration heralds a change of seasons for the 40 year-round island residents. The seven children attending the one-room schoolhouse celebrate each spring when the tired warblers fill the island spruce forest. Their arrival marks the end of the long, cold and isolating winter. The island’s teacher, Heather Wells, used migrating birds as the heart of the school’s science program after watching the children whoop and dance at the appearance of the first warbler in the spring of 2009. The seven students photo-documented the fall songbird migration with Brian Benedict of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Adrienne Leppold of the University of Maine. Under the guidance of mentor photographer Charlotte Dixon of Maine Media Workshops, the students captured the scientific process and learned about migration in the field. In the weeks to follow, the elementary and middle school students from the one-room schoolhouse photographed songbird habitat, food sources and a bird skeleton found on Matinicus Island, capturing bugs, berries, brush, and bones in digital format.
Creating Experience, Finding Art I attended an art opening at the Farnsworth Museum featuring the photography produced during that year of study. The photographs and spirited enthusiasm of the Matinicus students served as the catalyst for the program’s expansion in January, 2010. Nine high school students from Julia’s Gallery and 20 students from Unity College signed on to participate. The College students worked on the project for academic credit through an environmental citizen class, The Art of Exhibits. In workshops, classroom settings and field trips over a four month period, the 35 students from kindergarten to college collaborated with mentor artists and scientists to learn about and 8
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The Art of Exhibits project incorporated many perspectives into the final display.
creatively respond to six local bird species, their local habitats, their migration patterns and destinations, and global environmental impacts on bird behavior.
The Perfect Vista Bird migration, it turns out, is a perfect venue for understanding the threats of climate change. The travails of migrating bird species increase as the climate destabilizes. Birds suffer from declining food sources, rising coastal waters, habitat loss, and strong storms. It is easy to like birds and their vulnerability stirs our compassion. The Unity students dove into the project localizing their research about climate change to the coast of Maine and the migrating bird species. Tensions rose as the Unity students struggled to interpret the science of climate change through art. ”I am a scientist, not an artist!” Tim Stephenson ’12 insisted. “I want you to be an educator who uses art as a medium for translating science for the public,” I responded. The class stretched like a rubber band as they struggled to transform scientific research into art forms.
ART Perspectives Enthusiasm Meets Opportunity Many of the students, however, embraced the challenge with vigor, “This is so exciting,” enthused Abie Sullivan ’11, an environmental science major. “We’re combining everything from crazy, abstract birds to fairly complex scientific information about rising sea levels and how the science and art complement each other.” The knowledge of climate change was slowly transformed into a set of evocative and compelling art exhibits. Shyra Lancey ’12, who created a neon pink, green and orange version of Gore’s famous climate change graph stated, “I have heard lectures on climate change before, but having to make an art project that presented the relationship of carbon emissions to the rising temperature of the earth demanded that I understand it more deeply than I ever have before.”
A Bird’s Eye View: Journeying through 21st Century Climate Change, drew hundreds of visitors over the summer months. It was a probing exhibit that successfully expanded the public’s awareness of climate change by using the arts to inspire, provoke and inform. “I hope that visitors leave A Bird’s Eye View with more questions than they had upon entering. The planet needs as many educated individuals as possible, but even more so, it needs people who are willing to take action,” said Tessa Isis-Bahoosh, a Julia’s Gallery student artist. The public’s response to the exhibit was very strong. A visitor to the museum wrote, “I am usually overwhelmed by scientific articles about climate change. This exhibit gave me a wonderful way to engage in a complex scientific issue and feel some hope that we can change our ways before it’s too late.”
Individual pieces came together to form an eclectic mix of ideas that framed a collaborative, creative response to six local bird species.
“This is so exciting,” enthused Abie Sullivan ’11, an environmental science major. “We’re combining everything from crazy, abstract birds to fairly complex scientific information about rising sea levels and how the science and art complement each other.” UNITY Winter 2010 |
Jessica Steele: Adventure and Challenge Define Her Anyone who has pursued serious outdoor adventure activities knows that you can tell a lot about a person by their reaction, especially to adversity in the desert. Director of the Outdoor Adventure Center Jessica Steele fondly remembers long backpacking trips in the Arizona desert. On occasion during extended hikes the group would arrive at a water hole only to find out that it had gone dry. She and her fellow hikers from alma mater, Prescott College, would pull their packs back on and continue to the next location which would be miles away. Such experiences in the outdoors taught Steele life lessons which she now seeks to impart to Unity College students. They are lessons about determination, the value of careful planning, and perseverance. “Multiple experiences in the wilderness have given me insight to make sound decisions in program development and planning,” said Steele. “Without these experiences the
programs that are developed would not be as rich.” Successful adventures are most often the outcome of planning, awareness, adaptation, and knowledge. “We learn through our journey, and our journey is never ending,” said Steele. A native of Ithaca, New York, Steele is just as familiar with the particular challenges of adventures in Maine as she is with those common to the American Southwest. It did not take Steele long to make a positive impact at Unity College. Her immediate goals related to building upon a highly successful outdoor orientation program that serves all incoming first year and transfer students. In addition to managing the Outdoor Adventure Center (OAC) and managing the Willard Climbing Wall, Steele has been working closely with faculty to expand the range of outdoor adventure resources available to support coursework.
Growth Through Adventure, Unity’s NOVA Program
One of the most positive aspects of the program are the friendships formed among new students. NOVA trips are designed to support the transition to college life at Unity by emphasizing personal growth, building social connections, and promoting environmental stewardship. Students are actively involved with all aspects of the trip including planning, cooking and other camp related responsibilities. They are also involved in decision making and risk management. All new students are required to participate in NOVA because it fosters significant growth and makes for a smooth transition into life at Unity College. Jessica Steele, director of the Outdoor Adventure Center, believes that one of the premier strengths of the program is its focus on community service and environmental stewardship. “We devote a day of service on each NOVA trip,” Steele said. “The projects vary from building bog bridges, constructing buildings, painting or staining, or even event support staff. Comments from students of-
For most first year and transfer students, the NOVA Wilderness Orientation Program is the first impression they have of what it means to be a Unity student. Before they set foot in a classroom, they learn to deploy a tent, load a canoe onto a trailer, and work as part of a team. Personal reflection in nature is always available during NOVA trips.
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“Jessica has certainly hit the ground running in her new position,” said Gary Zane, dean for Student Affairs. “Our NOVA Orientation Program is already reflecting some of her ideas and ingenuity. She brings a breadth of creativity and energy to this position that is inspiring to students and staff alike.” Jessica Steele sees outdoor adventure as a means to achieve personal growth.
ten state that their service was the highlight of the week.” Steele shared anonymous quotes from 2010 trip evaluations. A sampling of quotes includes: “It was a very important experience (especially) meeting other freshmen…” “The climb was hard but the view was spectacular. Nothing beat the feeling of reaching the top!” “I honestly did not expect to like it so I had no expectations. However, I found it to be a very positive experience and I made new friends.” “I loved the rapids and (the experience) taught me to be a better paddler.” A healthy dose of challenge is part of every trip. “The NOVA program focuses on engaging the participant in personal development and team building,” noted Steele. She added that the trips place students in unfamiliar situations and settings which challenge them emotionally, mentally, and physically.
Marine Biology Sees Rising Tide of Interest By Emma Creaser, Associate Professor Oceans cover far more of the earthâ€™s surface than land, they contain many curious and interesting animals, and they play a profound role in regulating the earthâ€™s climate. These features grew a large student demand for a major in Marine Biology here at Unity College. When we began designing our new major, we started by analyzing the best established marine biology majors in America. From these programs, we identified the essential core components common in all of the quality marine biology programs. Then, taking advantage of our existing focus, we purposely designed our program to focus on the process of research. Nowhere is this more evident than in the capstone course: marine ecology. We designed this course to have students transfer all they have learned about the Maine intertidal zone to a novel and different marine intertidal zone e.g. Costa Rica. This unique and valuable twist has proved very successful, attracting students from throughout the United States, including states as far afield as Florida, Ohio, and Texas. Our initial entering class was in 2007 with six students. The major has now grown to 42 students in 2009, and continues to grow.
The Marine Biology program at Unity College features ample opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience. â€ŻWhether pursuing a laboratory experience on a Maine beach or conducting research in the coastal regions of Costa Rica, the program bridges the gap between classroom instruction and practical experience.
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FACING FORWARD: A History of Quality at Unity By Amy Kinsley, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
In fall 2012, Unity College will complete rolling out changes in its curriculum and academic organization that we’re calling the “Academic Master Plan,” or “AMP” for short. To sum it up: we aim for our graduates to be as ready as we can make them to understand and solve 21st century environmental problems, and this required a little housekeeping on our part. We weren’t entirely satisfied with how we’d organized ourselves internally—faculty needed a structure to align them and their work with clearly-scoped environmental challenges. We wanted to refresh our understanding of liberal education, Unity-style. We needed to ascertain the right mix of majors. We wanted more flexibility in how teaching and learning happens through the curriculum. We began with a research project, to better understand the landscape of current and emergent environmental issues and employment trends. Against that backdrop, through reflection and dialog, we knit considerations of our own strengths, weaknesses, and aspirations into recommendations for curricular change. Those recommendations are now wending their way into the homestretch. We sought quality in two senses. The quality—the currency, depth and rigor—of our curriculum was to be increased. And the quality—the feeling and vitality—of our College as a learning community was to be maintained, renewed, and revitalized. In the midst of all this facing forward, we glanced behind,
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noting the 2006-2010 Unity College Strategic Plan specified such things as a program review process, greater flexibility in instruction, and a “system for long-term strategic curricular planning” grounded in current demographics, job trends, and understanding of our environmental mission. Cue the AMP process. And the Strategic Plan itself, began in 2005 with reflection, looking backwards and forwards. Long-reaching threads of the college’s identity—its conception of academic quality, its sense of community—were teased out and knotted to an aspirational vision of Unity in 2010. That college would among other things make “the well being of the students the highest priority,” feature “participatory decision-making,” and support a diverse, engaged community. These notions were not new to Unity in 2005. In defining the quality to which we aspire, we root more deeply in what it has been.
“Unity College has not yet any ivied walls, and certainly no ivory towers. Its past is short; it looks to the future.” Unity College Catalog, 1970 Ex Nihilo, Nihil Fit From nothing, nothing comes, as Parmenides famously argued in the early 5th century. Put another way: everything comes from something; nothing is “brand new.” Pressing the point (a bit too far perhaps) two or three centuries later, we find the speaker in Ecclesiastes concluding that “[w]hat has happened will happen again, and what has been done will be done again, and there is nothing new under the sun.” A negation of novelty? A death sentence upon growth? No, a bit of practical wisdom. In looking ahead, we always look from somewhere. Understanding the provenance of one’s current vantage point better equips one to chart a course from there.
The College cares about the academic record of its prospective and eventual students, but cares as much or more about a student’s “ambitions for the future, and his willingness to face himself.”
Quimby Library: Supporting Academic Aspirations By Melora Norman, Librarian
In the first edition of its Catalog, from fall of 1966, the Unity Institute of Liberal Arts and Sciences declared itself to be “frankly idealistic.” Idealistic? Really? Our down-to-earth (literally), hands-on (dirt, entrails, and all), practical college, a haven of idealism? Yes, really. Consider the ideals announced in that inaugural publication. Unity instructors, “men and women of good-will,” know that “teaching is an art,” and that there is “more to education than what goes on in the classroom.” The College cares about the academic record of its prospective and eventual students, but cares as much or more about a student’s “ambitions for the future, and his willingness to face himself.” The work of the College orients around the growth and learning of each student—individual tutorials in which “[n]o subject, either academic or personal, is taboo” were built into faculty workloads; “our students shall always be people, not statistics.” And while this personal approach draws both student and instructor inward, into the depths of a student’s personality, it intends also to reach outward, and to create community: “just as Unity is dedicated to the student, we hope that the student will be dedicated to Unity.” From the start, we were an unpretentious college; focused on each
Ask Stephanie Meyer ’12 how Quimby Library helps her in her studies and the first thing she mentions is “its coziness and home-like appeal.” She and her friends find the library to be a welcome refuge from the business of residence hall life. “Quimby is a place where students can easily get the relaxing feeling of sitting in a chair by the fire, while being able to remain focused on the task at hand,” Meyer said. Even quieter spaces are available, some tucked away between the book stacks. Meyer shares that the Library Conference Room also provides a much-needed space for group study or projects. Books are still important to students like Meyer. “I love browsing through our stacks and discovering just how large of a variety of subjects Quimby Library offers students,” Meyer noted. “I’m also especially fond of the fact that we have such a large range of books that lean towards the subjects taught at our school. It makes it incredibly easier when writing research essays and reports. Sometimes they’re also just enjoyable to read.” Fellow student Anthony Ryan ’12 is also enthusiastic about the library. Ryan considers his success as a researcher and future scientist directly related to the skills he acquires with the help of Library staff. “I count myself lucky to have access to such a wonderful resource as Quimby Library,” Ryan said. He went on to praise the collaborative relationship between faculty and library staff, enlivening courses and enhancing Unity’s well documented ‘hands-on’ approach to learning.
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The 1977 Catalog warned that “Unity is not for confirmed urbanites or hothouse types who don’t like snow and rain. … Unity is not for the elitist… [and not for] the non-participant…who wants to be served, directed, and programmed.” student as individual; dedicated, through artful teaching, to each student’s growth as a whole person; and actively conscious of the lively interplay between, and integration of, individual and community. Concern for this dynamic integration is announced by the Yin-Yang symbol, featured on nearly every Unity College Catalog cover between 1966 and 1980. By the 1973 edition, President Allan B. Karstetter is weaving Unity’s emergent environmental mission into its core identity, through commentary on the sym-
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bol: “This college’s view of itself is best expressed in its name and its chosen symbol. … The…Yin-Yang symbol…symbolizes the opposing forces which operate to stabilize the universe. Man in Nature and Nature in Man are in harmony when the two forces are equally distributed. The name of the college is Unity, and that says in today’s idiom ‘Get it all together.’ … The pine trees superimposed on the symbol say that Unity College has a special commitment to the study of our environment…. The theme underlying Unity’s programs is Human Ecology;
the ethic is getting man right with Nature.” (Unity College Catalog 1973-1975 (5)) Our rural location, and attraction of students who perhaps didn’t quite fit in elsewhere, segued naturally into an environmental mission. The 1977 Catalog warned that “Unity is not for confirmed urbanites or hot-house types who don’t like snow and rain. … Unity is not for the elitist…[and not for] the non-participant…who wants to be served, directed, and programmed.” We see these ready individuals united within a wheeling, fourseasoned landscape, finding common cause with each other and the earth. By this time, programs in forestry, conservation law, and outdoor recreation were well underway, staking Unity’s claim to forward-looking environmental education. As early as 1970, the Division of Natural Sciences hailed “Survival For The 21st Century” as its theme, and declared the faculty’s “deep and abiding faith that the small college has made and can continue to make significant contributions to solving the major problems facing mankind.”
An Organic Approach to Academic Quality By Professor Doug Fox
enhances the life of the other areas. Learning outcomes, for example, have little function on their own; they must facilitate curriculum development and at the same time, support an assessment program. At our best, we have at Unity College developed each of these areas organically, preserving academic quality as a whole throughout the process. By adopting this method even more conscientiously, we can further bring life to our academic program.
An academic program suitable for living organisms - fertile, responsive, full of life - should develop like an organism rather than like a typical construction project. The construction model—linear and additive—is too rigid and unresponsive to ever changing academic environments. An organism, on the other hand, uses what designer Christopher Alexander calls a “generative process of unfolding.” Consider the development of a leaf. At any point in the growth of the leaf, the sense of wholeness is preserved. The leaf may become bigger and more differentiated as it grows but at no point does it seem half finished. The key is that each cell shapes and is shaped by the rest of the cells and its environment. As a result of the mutual, real-time adaptation to its internal and external environment, a living, dynamic structure is produced Learning outcomes, curriculum, assessment, delivery morphology, academic challenge—all of these centers of academic life form the organism called academic quality and are suitable for organic development. The quality of each of these must be judged by how it
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Terms like “living laboratory ” and “ecological citizenry” burnish, sharpen, and enliven that quality of learning community we have heralded from the start, when as a frankly idealistic college we set out to admit students willing to face themselves, and graduate them ready to face their world as capable, responsible citizens. Plus Ca Change, Plus C’est La Même Chose Generally attributed to 19th century French writer and critic Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, “the more things change the more they stay the same” was at the time intended as a sharp criticism of French politics. And the feeling that we’ve been through this before can indeed depress and dispirit a community’s efforts at renewal. Why bother? We’ve been around this block before. And this was among the criticisms of the AMP process, at its outset. But viewed from another angle, nothing is lost and much might be gained from a renewal process that leaves a college as it was, only more so, better so, more capably so. During the summer and fall of 2009, in the midst of the AMP work, college leadership and the community were led through a discussion intended, not as a change initiative, but as a way to tell the tale of our changing college. We sought the key “indicators” we’d all have in mind, marking our course as we race forward. The Unity Indicators Project identified such things as vibrant academic centers of learning responsive to contemporary environmental challenges; a campus that is a living laboratory for sustainability; and a place where everyone’s—every student’s, every employee’s—agency for ecological citizenship is valued and cultivated. Terms like “living laboratory ” and “ecological citizenry” burnish, sharpen, and enliven that quality of learning community we have heralded from the start, when as a frankly idealistic college we set out to admit students willing to face themselves, and graduate them ready to face their world as capable, responsible citizens. And they align powerfully with the aims of our AMP process, oriented as it is toward cultivating the will and capacity to take on 21st century environmental challenges. Idealistic? You bet. And, as ever, idealistic Unity-style: feet on the ground, arms linked, face forward, walking steadily into the next (undoubtedly best-yet) version of our self-same little college, rooted in the slopes of Maine.
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A QUALITY SCIENCE EXPERIMENT:
Studying the Forest Ecosystem By Amy Arnett, Professor
The research conducted during the summer of 2010 will help scientists gain a better understanding of ways to address the spread of the hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae) into central Maine.
On a beautiful day in July, nine students were in a classroom, diligently sorting and weighing tiny twigs and leaves. Dust was in the air, music playing, and every face smiling. If you looked beyond the joking - and slight complaining - it was clear that the students were invested and proud of what they were doing. In the fall of 2009, four Unity College faculty members received grant funding through the University of Maine NSF-EPSCoR program designed to support sustainability research and innovations throughout the state. Unity College received approximately $100,000 to support the first year of a multi-year study investigating the relationship between biodiversity and forest management in hemlock ecosystems. A primary objective of the first year of this study was to design and implement a summer undergraduate research program. A summer research experience is one example of the type of activities that support academic quality in the sciences at Unity College.
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A Priority on Research At Unity, each area of science is supported by faculty that are avid researchers, contributors to their discipline, who are thoughtfully bringing these experiences to the classroom. For example, the summer student researchers, hired through a national search, worked closely with Unity biology faculty that had expertise in forest ecology, invertebrate biodiversity, landscape ecology, evolution, and population ecology. This summer’s students were wide ranging in their backgrounds and academic experiences and represented four institutions: Unity College, Boston College, Sacramento State, and Northland College in Minnesota. Throughout the summer these students collected plant and invertebrate biodiversity data, learned protocols for collecting various environmental data, discussed and implemented experimental design, and studied the impact of invasive species on biodiversity all through the mentoring of Unity faculty.
Keeping Pace With Change But, academic quality in science is also a moving target. Science is always changing and fields are growing. A curriculum challenge in college science is in deciding what content to retain, what to drop, and, of course, how to present the material in a meaningful, assessable and engaging way. However, the accumulation of facts can be daunting to students and educators alike. How do we meet the challenge of educating the student population to understand the role of science in our lives? Too often, students are presented with a long list of disconnected facts and ideas, leaving them with no sense of what is most important and ultimately a poor understanding of the overall principles of science.
Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives. - William A. Foster At Unity, we aim for an education in which all students demonstrate high levels of performance. Instructors are empowered to make the decisions essential for effective learning; communities of teachers and students are focused on learning science, recognizing that a student’s knowledge and experience influence science understanding, and, most importantly, that students learn science by actively engaging in science. We work to keep our science programs current, assessable, and ready for the 21st century. The most recent effort along these lines is an on-going academic master planning process that is evaluating feedback loops, connections, and support for scientific literacy across campus.
No Substitute for Quality Science Education Why is a quality science education so important? The future of humankind depends upon implementing science and technology in ways that can sustain a human population rapidly approaching 7 billion people. As we become more informed about the challenges of providing clean water, adequate food, energy, health, education and employment, during a period of declining biodiversity and climate change, we need to ensure that the next generation of scientists is ready for this challenge.
Assessing Quality in Experiential Approach No Easy Feat By Angela Hardy, Co-Director of Teacher Education/Director of the Center for Experiential and Environmental Education Any high school student shopping for a college has an idea what ‘hands-on’ learning is, but at Unity College, it isn’t part of a fad or change, it is an approach that is ingrained into the culture. Learning happens most powerfully when effective people are deeply involved with the natural world, their communities, and with each other. Students have opportunities to explore their chosen field through their courses and field experiences, and connect theory to practical applications. In order to maintain rigorous and high quality experiential programming, it is essential to assess the quality and effectiveness related to the mission of the College and desired outcomes. The experience should allow a student to apply knowledge from the classroom and gain skills that will transfer to the professional realm. By integrating authentic learning experiences, students will have a more diverse and realistic perspective from which to draw. Brandon Webber ’10, a wildlife major, recently illustrated this exact point. “Much of what I learned in freshwater ecology, I did not think I would be using again, but to my surprise, I was digging in stream beds looking for critters to give the landowner an idea of the quality of their water,” Webber said. “I have also been making suggestions to help with macro invertebrate habitat for their fish ponds.” This student may have not had a complete view of the process without the experiential component embedded in limnology. These authentic opportunities personalize the classroom experiences and make learning meaningful. … And that, is what it’s all about.
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However, we will also need to make some dramatic changes in the way we utilize natural resources, and that means that people, businesses, countries, and international organizations will need to reach consensus on appropriate sustainable and equitable policies. Lay people will need to understand the scientific and technical issues well enough to support appropriate policy, and lawmakers will need to think far beyond the next election. That is why I believe a quality education in the sciences is essential â€“ it is essential that our society achieves a basic scientific literacy.
Positive Strides in Sciences Continue During my 11 years at Unity College, I have seen distinct positive strides in the sciences. Facilities are continuing to improve, new faculty are bringing exciting opportunities, teaching styles and ideas. The Hemlock ecosystem study funded through EPSCoR has already brought new equipment, provided research experience for students, and driven curriculum design in courses. We also hope the findings will provide interesting information about ecosystem health to forest practitioners, landowners, and ecologists. But this project is just one example, a microcosm of the type of programs at Unity that are contributing the overall science literacy of our students. During the academic year students also work closely and experientially with science faculty to study ant biodiversity and community dynamics, conduct dragonfly surveys, study soil cores, fish populations, turtle biology, water quality, and M-12 science teaching, among others. But we are just getting started. UNITY Winter 2010 |
Unity’s Role in the Big Picture As a young college focused on environmental issues, the role we play in creating scientifically literate graduates is critical. Our challenge is to continue to strive for excellence, continue to provide opportunities for learning, collaboration, and growth. As some of the students in the dusty classroom turn up the pop music and continue to sort leaves, others are grabbing backpacks, walkie-talkies, and vials for collecting invertebrates as they head to research plots. Despite the hard work, I know that they will not forget this experience. I know that this immersive field experience, plus the broader science curriculum will help them achieve a career in biology; and, regardless of what they end up doing, they will all be more discerning about the role of science in their lives and the process of science –which, hopefully, will lead to an educated, scientifically-literate, person – the entire purpose of a quality science program.
Research interns return from a site in Waldo where they gathered worms for laboratory analysis.
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Kelly Barber ’12 Develops Research Portfolio In just two summers, Kelly Barber ’12, has developed research experience that is bridging the gap between classroom theory and practice. There’s no substitute for experience. During the summer of 2010, Barber began her time with the EPSCoR project having already spent six weeks the previous summer as a research assistant in the jungles of Honduras, a maritime republic in Central America. She had worked with Operation Wallacea, an international conservation organization based in the United Kingdom that pursues ecological and conservation research at sites spanning the globe. A double major in environmental analysis and ecology from Lansdale, Pennsylvania, Barber applied to be a summer EPSCoR research assistant in order to gain additional field experience. Barber worked from early June to mid-August gathering data that will be used as a baseline in the fight against the hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae), an introduced insect pest found in Japan that is now located in parts of the United States, including Southern Maine. “Eventually hemlock woolly adelgid will make its way to central Maine,” Barber said. “Probably within five years.” She collected data that will help researchers to gain a better understanding of the ways in which the hemlock woolly adelgid is affecting the ecosystem as it moves into new areas. Aside from learning research gathering techniques, Barber learned the patience and perseverance necessary when pursuing scientific research. “You can’t lose focus, if you lose focus you won’t get really accurate data,” she explained. Upon graduation Barber plans to take a year off to assess which field to pursue, then attend graduate school.
WHAT IS UNITY BECOMING? A Vibrant Past and Dynamic Present Underscore Ongoing Change
By Diane Laliberte, Assistant Director of Admissions UNITY Winter 2010 |
To gain a comprehensive understanding of the ways in which Unity College is changing requires an understanding of its past. Founded in 1965 and therefore an infant in the grand scheme of American college histories, Unity carved its identity by serving primarily first generation college students.
The Never Ending Journey of Admissions Staffers Each year the Admissions Office welcomes a new class and begins the long journey once again. Presenting all that Unity College has to offer to smart, accomplished, engaged, and talented potential students, who pos sess a love of nature and commitment to sustainability. Admission representatives make numerous contacts with prospe ctive students, generating intriguing numbers such as these: 63,829 Pieces of outgoing ma il 10,329 Calls completed 7,468 Inquiries for Fall 2010 5,500 Miles driven to represent Unity College 995 Visitors to Admissions 592 Completed applications 461 Students accepted 179 Incoming students enrolle d 45 Incoming students declare d captive wildlife care & ed ma jor 38 Incoming students declare d conservation law enforcement major 28 States represented 7 Admissions representatives 1 Ver y busy Admissions team Number of parents joyously beginning a more worry free life … countless 22
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Unity developed into a full-blown environmental college not by a masterstroke of administrative insight, but through the nuts-and-bolts of daily, monthly, and yearly choices. From its founding, a large group of Unity students were focused on gaining skills to pursue careers related to the environment. As the years passed the curriculum organically developed in service to this outdoor career and environmental focus, adding and adapting to address real world market needs.
Understanding the Past, Glimpsing the Future Just as it developed into an environmental college from its founding as a liberal arts institution, recent years have brought significant change to Unity. Changes include the addition of captive wildlife care and education and several sustainability related majors. Not only has Unity attracted more female students, who tend to complete their degrees at a higher rate than males, but the academic profile of Unity has changed as well. The class of 2014 is academically wellrounded, with many students choosing Unity over other colleges to which they were accepted. In some cases, the colleges rejected by students in favor of Unity possess marketable academic prestige. Though the word “organic” seems appropriate when discussing Unity, changes in recent years relate less to the natural outcomes of an environmental focus – how Unity became an environmental college -, and more to deliberate, community-wide focus and decision making.
Structural Changes Create Opportunities Over the past five years, devising and adapting to newer methods of operating this growing, small environmental college became necessary. A network of vice presidents and a dean’s position was created to oversee academic, financial, and develop-
mental areas of the college. With the advent of increasing inquiry and enrollment numbers, a dean of enrollment management was created in 2008. For several years now Alisa Johnson, dean for enrollment management, has overseen the Admissions and Financial Aid offices. “Our goal in Admissions is to be able to attract more academically prepared students while balancing our gender ratio and geographic diversity,” Johnson said. “This will have multiple positive consequences not only for future students, but current students and alumni. Academically prepared students allow Unity to provide better quality and greater academic challenges to students, thus ensuring their success.”
Change Creates Different Needs and Approaches Jim Horan, director of the Learning Resource Center (LRC) and professor of developmental studies, has seen the needs of students change with the changing student body. “There have definitely been changes, both in how we assist students and in the number of students who seek additional support for their learning,” Horan stated. “In the past, we offered a summer institute to help prepare students for the rigors of college learning. We’ve shifted that focus to more in-semester supports.” Horan’s vision of Unity’s future is positive based on its current direction. He feels students are not only committed to environmental concerns and activism, but to their overall education. They are trending to be active participants in their own education, seeking extra help when needed, and working as partners with faculty members. Professor of ecology Amy Arnett has also observed a change in the profile of Unity College students. “Today’s students show a broader range of ability in the classroom,” Arnett said.
Serving Maine Lobsters: A Delicious Way to Make Friends
Sara Trunzo ’08 and Kayla Bubar ’10 at work in the Sustainability Office. (Above) Instructor Kathleen Dunckle leads students through a Geographic Information System (GIS) exercise in the computer lab at Koons Hall.
“They are more capable of doing higher level work, more focused on serious science, better at grasping abstract concepts, and less math-phobic than ever before.”
Recruiting from a Position of Strength Never in its history has Unity enjoyed such strong recruiting, gender equity, well-rounded applicants who are academically prepared, growing diversity, and geographic diversity. Joe “Salty” Saltalamachia ’94, associate director or admissions, also sees the changing face of prospective students every day. “As an Admissions team, we are much more confident in our ability to attract students,” noted Saltalamachia. “There are more opportunities for students here to work on faculty research projects than ever before.” Such opportunities become a part of the Admissions outreach, enticing top high school students to take a closer look. Saltalamachia looks for bright students who are willing to work but who also possess a passion for the outdoors. He attributes record retention rates of 80 percent or better during recent years to faculty, whom he says “are delivering on the promises we’re making in Admissions.” A wait-list for Admissions in 2009 and 2010, as well as a cap on the number of students able to enroll in the captive wildlife care and education major, are testament to the success of enrollment goals. Across the board, administration, faculty, and Admissions personnel agree that increasing standards for admission to Unity College is paying dividends that will continue to bear fruit well into the future.
Each summer as members of the Unity community climb mountains, dive off the coast of South Africa, or pursue research in the forests of Maine, the Admissions Office is busy ensuring that a robust incoming class will arrive for the new academic year. One of the ways in which Admissions ensures a good turnout of students is by consistently forging ties with guidance counselors at high schools across the Northeast and well beyond. In addition to personally visiting a legion of guidance counselors each year, every summer the entire Admissions staff welcomes guidance counselors to a weekend of campus tours, meet-and-greets with faculty and President Mitchell Thomashow, and the ever popular Maine lobster bake. This year guidance counselors from Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Connecticut attended the lobster bake with its related activities. “People tend to really enjoy this event,” noted Kristina Williams, admissions counselor / events coordinator. “It’s relatively laid back and low key. Counselors like to visit Maine, learn about the area and the College, and make new connections with each other.” Some of the feedback from counselors who attended this year included praise for Unity’s experiential learning, sustainability efforts, along with the friendliness of the campus community. The knowledge gained proves to be an asset for the counselors. “They return to their high schools with more knowledge about our state and Unity College,” Williams said. “Counselors pass this knowledge along to students who may be interested in environmental studies.”
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Fostering a Sustainable World Through t he Writ ten Word By Kathryn Miles, Associate Professor / Director of Writing When the United States Congress announced a divisive plan to dam a valley in Yosemite National Park known as Hetch Hetchy, writer and naturalist John Muir responded by penning a lyric tribute to the site. When Terry Tempest Williams realized that her beloved red rock desert was in peril, she published a collection of poems and stories that urged citizens from her region and beyond to take action. When no longer able to abide U.S. military involvement in Mexico, Henry David Thoreau refused to pay his taxes and thus found himself in jail. We know about his legendary act – as well as his call for civil disobedience in the face of unjust governmental action – only because he published an essay on this very subject.
Tapping Into The Eternal Muir, Williams, and Thoreau represent different epochs and backgrounds, and yet their stories are united by a shared commitment to the power of the written word. As such they join a long history of people who insist, as the 19th century poet Percy Bysshe Shelley once famously claimed, that “poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.” What Shelley meant by this dictum– and what writers like Muir, Williams, and Thoreau have proven to be true – is that writing can effect real change. From persuasively drafted arguments and appeals, to the timeless power of poetry and story, writing offers us a venue with which to raise awareness, prompt an ethic of care, and incite action in others. Nowhere is that more important than in the natural environment. And at no time has our need to do so been more urgent than it is now. You don’t have to go far to see that our world is in a state of profound crisis, made all the more potent by the seemingly inextricable web of interrelated problems creating that predicament: a dependency on oil has created not only dangerous levels of carbon in the atmosphere, but also resource hoarding, economic peril for those in developing countries, and war in a region already marred by ethnic turmoil. Our misuse of re24
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sources has reshaped the lived geography of this planet, prompting natural disaster, human rights atrocities, and the promise of global megaextinction. We cannot continue in this vein, not if we value our lives, the lives of our children, and the ecosystem that sustains us. We need a paradigm shift – a revolutionary new way of thinking and being.
The Written Word: A Universe Revealed Here at Unity College, we believe there is no better way to prompt that shift than through the written word. The College’s mission of environmental sustainability emphasizes lifelong learning, leadership, and a strong sense of stewardship. These are lofty goals, and ones that require not only expertise in a discipline or field, but also the ability to articulate that expertise to a variety of different audiences – and to do so in a way that is both compelling and meaningful. For many students at Unity College, their identities as writers create that sense of meaning. “Writing is my clarity,” says Hannah Kreitzer ’12. “It is a winnowing of all the good and bad and half-seen things tumbling around my head: a pen to paper sorts them out and sets
them down and never fails to surprise me with the bare truth that’s left over.” Like many writers, Kreitzer sees the very act of putting pen to paper – of codifying a moment through description and impression – as a way to glean what is real and what is worth valuing. “I will not be able to settle for anything less than a worthwhile life, and I want to be able to tell people why I find it worthwhile. There is always something to see, and something to say, and it’s so easy to let it go unwritten. Whenever I do remember to write it down, I am amazed at how much value I can mine from even a moment.”
“Writing is my clarity. It is a winnowing of all the good and bad and half-seen things tumbling around my head: a pen to paper sorts them out and sets them down and never fails to surprise me with the bare truth that’s left over.” Thinking Like A Writer As an environmental writing major, Kreitzer takes a variety of writing courses focusing on topics that range from short fiction to personal narrative to journalism and science writing. As she and other writing students progress in their schooling, they have the opportunity to build upon this broad-based education by focusing on an area of writing and publishing that most appeals to them. For some, that might mean an internship at a magazine like Wooden Boat or Orion; for others, it is the chance to work for a publishing house or nonprofit organization. This opportunity for hands-on experience appeals greatly to Molly McCarthy ’12. “Unity College has fantastic writing connections and opportunities for those in the major, such as students editing the Unity-based publication, Hawk & Handsaw: The Journal of Creative Sustainability, or working on the College newspaper. It is also awesome that our writing faculty publish their own work, which shows that we really have great teachers that know how to succeed in writing, making them better role models for all of us students.” While the subjects taught by faculty vary from semester to semester, what they share is a commitment to active learning and fostering the authorial voices of our students. In each class, participants are encouraged to explore a variety of written applications, to become proficient with the workshop model, and to learn about the process of composition. Perhaps most importantly, they also learn to develop their own identities as authors and editors. Like Molly McCarthy, Kreitzer says that Unity’s unique approach to writing instruction has been a valuable tool in shaping
Artists Trancend Boundaries, Take Cues from Nature By Marissa Smith’12, Environmental Writing Major People living on Unity’s campus see displayed artwork. How could they avoid it? Someone has pinned a giant, shadowy monster painting just outside the cafeteria door. Enormous bird woodcuts loom over a walkway. No doubt some people find the artists on campus a little odd. Big monsters? Giant birds? Bizarre messages offered under seats and in stairwells? What’s the deal? To understand the art, one must understand the inspiration. When Ursula Balmer ’11, draws her love of sea life she doesn’t just focus on stereotypical beauty. Quaint paintings of lighthouses aren’t her style. Instead, many of her creations seem to draw inspiration from Salvador Dali. Her works feature horrific, ghostlike liquid fish with mouths full of fangs and cold, intelligent eyes. These are the eyes that have inspired countless horror movies. At the same time, Balmer also creates elegant, flowing art with intricate spirals and designs. These designs twist and fold over each other like seaweed swaying in the current or inhumanly flexible, spineless animals in a dance with meaning beyond rationality. Balmer sees what every environmental artist should see … the grim, the beautiful, and the unfathomable of nature. The artists of Unity reflect the same duality that is in the Yin-Yang symbol, meant to embody how contradictory forces are related and interdependent in the natural world. These are the scenes of Unity, where nothing is as it seems and everything is exactly as it should be.
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her as an author. “Writing at Unity has helped me strengthen my voice to a depth that I think would be impossible in a larger program,” says Kreitzer. “The close-knit community that comes along with this school brings out the edges and angles of everyone here, and the opportunity to write with that concentration is a gift.”
An Egalitarian Gift for Lifelong Growth These opportunities to hone one’s skills are not limited to those in the environmental writing major. Indeed, all students at Unity College have myriad opportunities to exercise their writerly lives, to explore the world of creative expression, and to speak on behalf of those environmental issues they hold most dear. In one of Professor John Zavodny’s Unity Experience courses, for instance, they might write and perform a play about land development in some of Maine’s most cherished places. In Pro-
One Special Cat By Kate Grenier, Alumni Relations and Events Coordinator Sybil Blazej-Yee’s ’79 love of animals and writing led her to combine her talent and passions. The result is her first children’s book, The Honey Boy Story. It is based on a true story and begins when a lost kitten enters a library. He soon finds a loving home with two people, and eventually finds lasting happiness when another rescued cat joins his daily adventures. As an animal advocate, Blazej-Yee frequently dwells upon a host of issues related to pet care and rescue. It is no surprise that the plots of her novels often involve animal rescue organizations, and pets in their care. Blazej-Yee wrote The Honey Boy Story for her niece, Amy, who provided some of the book’s illustration. The book became a true family affair when her husband, Tally Yee, started taking photos of their cats for her book. The book is available for purchase on Amazon.com. A longtime resident of Los Angeles, California, Blazej-Yee attended Unity College and later received her bachelor’s in fine arts, and a master’s in library science and clinical psychology from UCLA. She works as a librarian at the Los Angeles Public Library. Copies of The Honey Boy Story are donated monthly to a local pet adoption group which places them in the care package that goes home with each adopted cat or kitten. Blazej-Yee is currently working on four more stories all revolving around pet rescue. You can find updates and more of Yee’s photos on www.nose2nose. net, dedicated to The Honey Boy Story.
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fessor Nancy Ross’s professional and technical writing course, students are encouraged to write and submit grants for local nonprofit organizations or for initiatives of their own creation. And our science students learn from their very first biology course that writing is deeply tied to their lives as researchers and practitioners as well. As far as Unity alum Stephenie MacLagan ’06 that realization is crucial for anyone considering a career in an environmental field. “Sometimes we know a subject so personally, we don’t know how to express it to others,” says MacLagan, who graduated from Unity College with a degree in environmental policy. Writing courses, she says, foster that expression, along with the ability to communicate effectively. While at Unity, MacLagan took a variety of courses ranging from college composition to journalism and grant writing to creative writing. Each one, she says, offered important skills for her life beyond college. “These courses taught me ways to relax my mind and dig into my emotions, rather than my head, for the words needed to share ideas. Environmentalists, and particularly scientists, often fear using emotions when conveying information, but sometimes it’s the best way to have the information reach the audience. Creative writing helped me bring out the human side of myself to balance the scientist I already knew well.” It is that very sense of balance between scientific rigor and personal expression that motivates Associate Professor of Marine Biology, Emma Creaser. Writing figures as an important part of all of her courses, and she says that her decision to do so stems in part from a quotation by Sir Francis Darwin: “In science the credit goes to the man who convinces the world, not to the man to whom the idea first occurs.” According to Creaser, it is that moment of reportage – of telling the world what you know and what you have learned – that best advances scientific discourse and engages the public. “Being a scientist involves many things: creatively thinking of questions and how we might investigate these; breaking the overarching question into small investigable hypotheses, that can be addressed by careful experimental design; and objectively analyzing the data to determine if the hypothesis is supported or not.” “However,” she adds, “no one is a scientist if they do not communicate their results to other people. Moreover, a scientist has to write in a manner that anyone in any country can understand. Hence, our challenge is to write in a manner convincing enough that others understand and believe our conclusions, without confusing anyone.”
Writing Without Boundaries To this end, Creaser asks her students to write for a variety of audiences in her biology courses. By composing traditional lab reports and scholarly presentations, her students can engage other scholars in the field. By publishing anthologies and creating textbooks based on their work, they can engage the larger public as well.
“Writing at Unity has helped me strengthen my voice to a depth that I think would be impossible in a larger program,” says Kreitzer. “The close-knit community that comes along with this school brings out the edges and angles of everyone here, and the opportunity to write with that concentration is a gift.” UNITY Winter 2010 |
Writing students are encouraged to discuss and think critically about their assumptions and consider multiple perspectives.
Molly McCarthy, who is double majoring in fisheries and environmental writing, believes deeply in this approach. Through her training in fish pathology and creative nonfiction, she hopes to raise awareness about the management of aquatic life – particularly threatened species like the cutthroat trout. As far as McCarthy is concerned, doing so is as natural as it is essential. “Since I am so passionate about writing and have a topic I love to write about, it’s easy to make a commitment to writing,” she says. “I plan to hopefully publish articles in magazines and even journals about my subject of choice. I would love to also write a book someday. But even if I don’t accomplish these things, writing will help me daily.” For many Unity students and faculty, a passion for the written word comes from the understanding that writing forges connection. The printed page becomes a conduit between author and audience: a place where they can meet and, at least for a brief moment, share in an idea. And if writers are good at what they do, that brief moment will develop into a lasting idea, a spirited dialogue, or the inspiration to effect change on scales both large and small. Sometimes, that may be as simple as connecting with a family member or friend. Other times, it may be as momentous as changing the hearts and minds of the voting public. And, says environmental writing major Marissa Smith ’12, the ability to do either is not to be taken lightly. “You can make people feel with writing,” she explains. “You can make them sad or angry or shake up their world so badly that they aren’t sure how to deal with it. You can use dreams to create entire worlds: utopias and dystopias and everything in between. I might write a short story about a wolf trying to survive in the middle of Philadelphia, and people would come up with 28
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hundreds of different interpretations. They see what they want to see, but at the same time, you’re still the ring leader.” That’s an important skill for any environmental leader to have. And, as MacLagan has found, a background in writing at Unity College has myriad applications beyond campus.
The Writing Life “I think writing creeps into just about every environmental job, regardless of the actual job title. Certainly the writing skills I gained at Unity have been used in every internship and job. I was certainly one of the skeptical students who wasn’t sure an introduction to writing was necessary, but I was very pleasantly surprised how many connections my professors showed me between our interests in other classes and our writing courses. The creative nature of these courses gave me the opportunity to approach the task of writing in very different ways.” That education has served her well in her career with Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection. “In my current job, I write the program’s newsletter. Because of what I learned at Unity, I am able to ask the questions needed and in such a way I don’t have to involve the time of another staffer. I am able to navigate Publisher to bring it all together. I even take techniques from that first composition class, describing the purposes behind article topics, grabbing the reader’s attention. We’ve gotten more complements and involvement with the newsletter since I’ve changed the writing style.” With these accolades, says MacLagan, has come greater exposure and a larger reading public. And with each new reader, of course, comes the opportunity to legislate a better, more sustainable world. That’s real power.
campus news in our element
Big Worm Ultimate is Serious By Reeta Benedict, Annual Giving Officer “Unit-Y, Unit-Y!” This timeless chant is often heard on the Unity College campus. It is heard at athletic games, during community building events, even at commencement. In a word it shouts “Spirit!” One of the most intense and committed intramural clubs that might just hold the franchise on the Unity cheer whenever it competes is Big Worm Ultimate, Unity’s ultimate Frisbee team. Just what is the attraction to a sport that at times closely resembles intercollegiate football with violent collisions, contests played in all types of weather, and few public accolades? “Ultimate is all about spirit,” explained Bri Rudinsky ’12, a wildlife major. “There’s a lot of teamwork and camaraderie. At the end of the game we all make up cheers for each other.” Though ultimate Frisbee is supposed to be a limited contact team sport played with a flying disc, the intensity of competition seems to frequently make the ‘limited contact’ part optional, or at the very least a quaint, if unrealistic objective.
“This game is a lot of fun and full of energy,” Rudinsky enthused. “It’s not just passing the Frisbee back and forth. It’s constant running, stopping short, passing, and pivoting. It’s really rough out there!” Rough but she and her teammates wouldn’t have it any other way.
Ultimate Frisbee is far more complex than the uninitiated might ever guess. The sport involves a healthy dose of strategy that takes few cues from football except for the discipline required to properly develop and successfully execute a game plan.
“It’s not just passing the Frisbee back and forth. It’s constant running, stopping short, passing, and pivoting. It’s really rough out there!”
UNITY Winter 2010 |
in our element campus news
New Student Experience Offers Insights By Kristina Williams, Admissions Counselor / Events Coordinator On Saturday, April 24, Unity College hosted its annual New Student Experience Day, an event for accepted students considering matriculation for the upcoming fall semester. The morning kicked off with a pancake breakfast hosted by the Unity College Sugar Makers club (yes, they boil down sap into the sweet stuff ), interpretive tours through the Unity forest and various other activities for student interaction. After the welcome speech from Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Amy Knisley, students separated from their parents and set off to experience life as a Unity College student. They met others through team-building activities, attended residence hall sessions with resident assistants (RA’s), and enjoyed brunch in the dining hall. The afternoon explored the theme entitled “Experience Your Major” with participation in experiential learning opportunities based on the intended major of each participant. Students in the Center for Natural Resource Management and Protection practiced with dart and blow guns, learning about remote delivery systems used for chemical restraint of large mammals, and then investigated a mock crime scene set up in the Unity forest. Students in the Center for Experiential and Environmental Education learned about animal enrichment and behavior, using clicker training and creating toys for
their own pets at home. Meanwhile, the Center for Sustainability and Global Change and the Center for Biodiversity students calculated the amounts of various soil amendments they could add to a garden plot to optimize fertility, all the while discussing chemistry and environmental problems. Ryan Green, a transfer agriculture, food & sustainability major, enjoyed the exercise and interaction with faculty. “It really affirmed my choice of attending Unity and dissolved any doubts that I had,” Green said. Resident Assistants lead new students and their family members in a colorful cheer during new student orientation weekend.
Veggies For All Provides Hunger Relief Sara Trunzo ’08, Food and Farm Projects Coordinator
The quarter acre garden adjacent to Quimby Library produced cabbage and carrots. Two campus gardens and two off campus gardens produced over 15,000 lbs. of vegetables during the 2010 growing season.
Veggies For All, an agricultural project of the Unity Barn Raisers, took root on the Unity College campus this growing season with great gusto. The goal of the project is to assist area hunger relief organizations by growing vegetables for at-risk (food vulnerable) populations. The Veggies For All crew wrapped up production this year with roughly 12,000 pounds of produce grown. The Volun30
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teer Regional Food Pantry in Unity distributed the majority of the produce to roughly 700 food insecure folks locally. Six other agencies, including the Belfast Soup Kitchen, received vegetables from the program. A bountiful season, in conjunction with increasing connections to neighboring hunger relief agencies, allowed Veggies For All produce to reach approximately 1,000 individuals. “This season was all that we could have hoped for, both in terms of yields and project organization,” said Tim Libby, Veggies For All project manager. By establishing a permanent home-base at Unity College the project receives administrative and operational assistance from the Office of Sustainability, and hopes to share infrastructure with on-site gardens that serve our Dining Service Department. Veggies For All maintains a half-acre of vegetables right on campus- in addition to fields leased nearby. “Student energy and interest is a major perk of partnering with the College,” said Libby, who has utilized student volunteers and classes to assist in major harvests and other fieldwork. With the success of the 2010 growing season under its belt, Veggies For All leadership looks forward to future seasons of collaboration with Unity College.
campus news in our element
Mike Davis Delights Community In his six years at Unity College Mike Davis, Unity’s recently departed director of student activities, was a fixture at College and community events. His departure at the end of the 2009-2010 academic year saddened many, though they were glad that he was leaving to expand his longtime second job, owner of Mike Davis Entertainment. In July, Davis expanded his entertainment company by opening Mike Davis Entertainment and Music Shop at 1 Post Office Square on Main Street in Waterville, Maine. He has since returned to campus for a variety of events, contracted by the College to handle everything from Karaoke night, to assembly and management of the Roots of Creation concert sound system (during Alumni Weekend in October). Gary Zane, dean for Student Affairs, is very pleased that Davis has continued to serve the Unity student community as a private contractor. “Mike was an extremely dedicated employee who truly put students first,” Zane stated. “He spent more time on campus than any employee I have known. He was action-oriented and took pride in getting things ‘up and moving.’”
Zane pointed to the intangibles that made Davis a special employee. “He would create a great atmosphere in the Student Center whether it was for the beach party, bingo, or Halloween,” Zane said. “He supervised our alternative spring break program that allowed our students to perform incredible service projects throughout the state of Maine. And of course the ‘Unity Grill’ (with Davis as cook) became legendary at most of our outside events.” Mike Davis tends the grill during one of the many events he planned and hosted each year.
Students Returning to Campus Popularity of Campus Living Soars In his nearly 16 years as director of residence life, Stephen Nason has never seen the popularity of on campus living soar to its current extent. “We had a greater number of students returning to live on campus this year than probably any year in the history of the College,” Nason said. The reasons are varied and include a generational need for belonging to a campus culture that is particular to college aged students at this time, along with a hands-on preference for social activities planned by student groups and the College itself. “More students are involved in the campus culture,” Nason said. “The campus is a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week campus with activities to support that lifestyle.” It is not uncommon to find students striding across campus to participate in an 11 p.m. dodgeball game as part of the Dean’s Cup competitions. (Each year campus residential communities form teams and compete for the title of champion, and gain immortality with inclusion on the Dean’s Cup trophy.) The student affairs staff is pro-active in its programming, regularly soliciting feedback on student preferences and in turn using this information to create student activities based on stated preferences. Resident assistants are also trained to conduct programming in residence halls that foster a sense of community and inclusion. “Students enjoy the convenience of living on campus,” noted Nason. “In addition to feeling connected to campus
life at all hours, students who live on campus have more available time since they don’t have to commute, cook, clean, and buy groceries.” New and returning students enjoyed a concert and meal on the lawn at the amphitheatre during new student orientation weekend. Texas-based bluesman Andrew “Jr. Boy” Jones delivered a memorable performance.
UNITY Winter 2010 |
in our element campus news
Learning on the Road: Travel Can Spark Academic Growth Diane Murphy, Professor Unity students expand their college experiences with hands-on
One of the students who traveled abroad is Joy Sheehan, whose
learning that takes them all over the United States and even beyond
internship brought her to a wildlife sanctuary in Costa Rica. While
our borders. There are lots of opportunities for travel throughout
there, she perfected techniques that allowed her to care for baby
the academic year, but here are just a few of the highlights from
howler monkeys suffering from internal organ damage and burn
the summer of 2010.
marks caused by contact with electric wires.
Crystal Reinhart worked for the US Forest Service in Michigan,
Perhaps the student who logged the most miles is Jess Cote,
where she took a firearms course. She also traveled to Wisconsin
who participated in a study abroad course in South Africa. Among
for forest protection officer training, as well as to New Mexico for
the highlights was a lesson in which Professor Wouter Van Hoven
orientation sessions on working for the federal government.
explained methods of elephant management and “green hunting”,
Catherine Van Amburgh spent her summer in Alaska, with the help of a program called World-Wide Opportunities on Organic
which encourages trophy hunters to tranquilize a game animal with darts rather than killing it.
Farms. She learned how to milk a goat, use a chainsaw, drive a
Travel in itself can be an eye-opener, but combine it with mean-
tractor, and build raised beds for a garden. She wrote, “I was so
ingful work that can lead to employment in your chosen field and
inspired by the way Kim (the farm’s owner) lived her life, I declared
the result can change your life. We’d love to hear about your sto-
my minor in sustainable design, in the hopes of living on my own
sustainable farm one day.”
Student Conference Showcases Research, Creativity and Achievement By Melora Norman, Librarian
UNITY STUDENTS IN THE LIMELIGHT
By Jesse Pyles, Sustainability Coordinator
While some are busy examining student artwork or perusing student
Unity College students were recognized for their
posters in the Unity College Centre for the Performing Arts (UCCPA), a voice
involvement in sustainability at the “In the Limelight”
in the auditorium announces that group presentations are to begin and the
annual meeting of the Maine chapter of the US Green
lights suddenly flick off.
Building Council held in November at Bowdoin College
The scene is repeated for hours and each time it does, those gathered are appraised with the details of an impressive array of student projects. Twice a year, at the end of each semester, the Unity College community gathers at the UCCPA to take stock of what has been learned and created.
in Brunswick, Maine. This year organizers chose to highlight “green stories” from colleges and universities around Maine and recognized four different schools for their submissions: one for a public institution (Uni-
During the spring 2010 Student Conference Deirde Ousterhout ’10, of-
versity of Maine, Orono), one for a private (Bowdoin
fered a presentation entitled ‘Maine’s Endangered Animal Species.’ It was
College), one for transformative action (St. Joseph’s
an Indie film that reviewed Maine’s 12 endangered animal species in a fun,
College), and one for student involvement (Unity Col-
Another video by Lacie Scheuer ’11, Jill Easterday ’11 and Jess Curtis
At the annual meeting pro-
’10, was a 10 minute documentary on the dangers that free ranging pet cats
ceeds from the raffle went to
and feral cats pose to wildlife.
Unity College. Unity students
Other presentations explored far ranging topics including the effects of
are discussing how best to dis-
tannin leaching methods on nutritional quality of Quercus Rubra Acorn Flour
perse those funds to support
for Human Consumption, and a crowd favorite (and award winner) by Erik
student sustainability efforts in
Larson ’10 entitled Paleoenvironmental Change of Unity Pond.
There is no question that Unity College is pursuing both serious art and science.
Amanda Nelson’11, Amy Kennedy ’12, and Kayla Bubar ’10 receive the award.
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NEWS & NOTEWORTHY in our element
New Faculty and Staff for 2010-2011 Academic Year FACULTY
Amanda Baker, Instructor of Biology. She holds a bachelor of science in ecology from Unity College, and a master of science in ecology from the University of South Florida.
Carrie Eaton, Assistant Professor of Mathematics. She holds a bachelor of arts and master of arts in mathematics from the University of Maine, Orono, and is nearing completion of a doctorate in mathematics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Cheryl Frederick, Assistant Professor of Captive Wildlife Care and Education. She holds bachelor of science in psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, an master of science in biology from the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and doctorate in psychology from the University of Washington, Seattle.
STAFF Jeremy Braley
sistant in the Admis-
works with the cus-
ager. He holds an
She brings cus-
on the implementa-
tomer service skills
from the Culinary
tion of sustainability plans and day-to-day
gained in several positions at T Mobile.
Institute of America.
recycling collection. Rebecca Neville
Director of the
He has worked in
sistant Director of
Center. She holds
a variety of food
Residence Life. She
a bachelor of arts
holds a bachelor
degree in ecops-
of arts in French from the University of
chology / outdoor education from Prescott
Rochester and a master of arts in higher
College and an master of education in
education administration from Boston
adventure learning from Plymouth State
University. UNITY Winter 2010 |
in our element NEWS & NOTEWORTHY
Field of Dreams / UCCPA Make Lists of Top Places to Go in Maine Whenever an individual uses the phrase ‘best kept secret,’ the natural response is to wonder if the subject is: a) a military installation b) an exclusive members only club, or c) someone’s bungled marketing disaster. When considering the phrase as it might be applied to The Unity College Centre for the Performing Arts (UCCPA) and Field of Dreams, it turns out there is another choice d): a treasured performance venue and recreation complex on the shores of Unity Pond that are each enjoying a growing reputation. In the past year, The Bangor Daily News (BDN), honored the UCCPA naming it among Maine’s best performance venues. The newspaper also named the Field of Dreams as among Maine’s “favorite places.” As for the latter listing, the BDN writer, Dana Wilde, wrote in glowing terms about the different aspects of the Field of Dreams, including its 1-mile walking track, basketball courts, soccer field, and idyllic setting on Unity Pond which affords visitors the opportunity to observe wildlife like bald eagles and ospreys.
The BDN praised the UCCPA atmosphere and quality of performers. “One of the great feelings is to expand the community of people coming to the shows,” said John Sullivan, director of the UCCPA. “Our programming is drawing people from all over Central Maine with a mix of regional, national and international performers.” In the month of October 2010 alone, the UCCPA sold out a performance by blues legend Shemekia Copeland, hosted an Arts for Hunger fundraiser concert featuring The Toughcats, and presented a performance by Swiss guitar virtuoso Attila Vural.
Dog Wants Out (below, top), a band from central Maine, performs at the Field of Dreams. The field is a popular spot for everything from concerts to soccer games. Vermont based Rubblebucket performed at the Unity College Centre for the Performing Arts in November.
Fundraising Totals Jump The fiscal year that ended June 30, 2010 marked a very successful year for Unity College’s fundraising efforts. Direct gifts and grants totaled just over $680,000 in new cash, a significant increase over past years. The College also received federal support that totaled over $100,000 and $200,000 was gifted to the Maine Community Foundation to establish a fund to provide scholarship support to Unity College students. Add it all up, and you get nearly $1 million in external financial support for the college! “These are very exciting numbers for 34
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Unity College,” stated Vice President for College Advancement Rob Constantine. “Gifts represent an investment and vote of confidence on the part of our donors in all the great work our faculty and students are doing.” Constantine did note that annual fund support remains an area for improvement at Unity College. “The annual fund is the lifeblood of the college and all of our fundraising efforts. While large capital gifts often capture people’s attention, the Unity Fund is essential to sustaining the college day in and day out.” Gifts to the
Unity Fund totaled about $175,000 for the year. Constantine added, “In many ways, the new facilities we build and the students we support through scholarships only increase the College’s need for the annual operating support that the Unity Fund provides.”
“Gifts represent an investment and vote of confidence on the part of our donors in all the great work our faculty and students are doing.”
NEWS & NOTEWORTHY in our element
Jesse Pyles Recognized for Climate Leadership On the job less than a year as Unity’s first full-time sustainability coordinator, Jesse Pyles has quietly led a revolution. Not only has he developed a constituency for sustainability in all of its forms among faculty, staff, and students, but he has helped Unity to advance its quest for broader recognition and involvement beyond Maine. Ultimately, Unity College aspires to attain a national profile that gives it the ability to substantively weigh-in on and positively influence the greatest environmental challenges facing humanity. While that seems ‘Wizard of Oz’ level dreaming for a college with fewer than 600 students, consider that in just a single day in September of 2010, Unity College was in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe,
Guardian (of London, U.K.), and on the ABC News web site, among others, about the solar road trip (see related story), which Pyles helped to organize and went on as a participant. Pyles leadership is a perfect match for Unity’s outsized goals. In October, Pyles was awarded the Second Nature 1st Annual Climate Leadership Award for Outstanding Individual Climate Leadership. He received the award during the 4th Annual American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment Summit in Denver, Colorado. Pyles was recognized for mobilizing student sustainability efforts on campus and coordinating Unity’s climate action planning process. The award also cited Pyles organization and oversight of the
campus waste, food-growing, and energy assessment work as an exemplary model for what campus sustainability programs should strive to achieve. Anthony Cortese, President of Second Nature, presented the award for individual climate leadership to Jesse Pyles during the ACUPCC Climate Summit held on October 12-13, 2010 in Denver, Colorado.
Campus Improvements Continue, Add Flexibility to Long Term Options Waiting for a meeting to start, Director of Facilities and Public Safety Roger Duval mused about the changes he has seen to the campus and its infrastructure in recent years. No one in the Unity community knows firsthand the arc of campus improvements like Duval. “I would say the changes are amazing,” Duval said. “They have been like night and day (compared to the early part of this decade).” Some of the changes that Duval considers major go largely unnoticed. Recently completed projects include significant repairs to the Outdoor Activities Center; replacement of the roof on Wood Hall; South Coop office renovation; remodeled offices, labs, and new safety code compliant exits in Koons Hall; repairs to grounds and fences at the field of dreams; creation of two new wild flower gardens (alleviating the need for mowing those areas and thus cutting greenhouse gas emissions); planted 60 junipers to decrease the mowing of slopes; and insulated the college owned home of Director of Residence Life / Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Stephen Nason and his wife, Administrative Assistant to Quimby Library, Lisa Nason. The campus and how the College builds on it is important to environmentally conscious Unity students.
“It’s important to me that Unity is building green buildings,” said Katie Schober ’14, a captive wildlife care and education major from DeKalb Junction, New York. “It helps the environment and since we’re an environmental college, we should practice what we preach.” Roger Duval reviewed the site plan for the Student Passive House with landscape architect Ann Kearsley.
UNITY Winter 2010 |
in our element FACULTY NOTES
Professor Amy Arnett
Professor Doug Fox
Professor Don Lynch
Professor Amy Arnett attended the Ecological Society of America national meeting in Pittsburgh, PA., in August, 2010. She served as a symposium speaker in a session titled, “Where’s the carbon? - Increasing public understanding of global warming with improved college science education.” She also presented results from her research looking at the link between education and belief in climate change.
Professor Doug Fox is serving as chair of the Unity Energy Committee, which in 2010 received a large community block grant to encourage energy audits and retrofits in Unity, Maine. This effort is an outgrowth of the highly successful Neighbor Warming Neighbor home weatherization program that has become a statewide model. During the summer 2010, Fox drafted the final chapter of his book, The Theory and Practice of Sustainable Landscape Horticulture. He is seeking to find a publisher.
Professor Don Lynch presented a workshop at the Maine Counseling Association’s Annual Conference in Rockport on “The Typology and Subtypes of Sexual Offenders” on October 17. He also travelled to Kansas City, MO where he helped to score AP Psychology examinations with 440 other psychology professors and teachers from around the United States and the world. Lynch taught a graduate course entitled, Adventure Therapy within Clinical Counseling with Mac McInnes at the University of Maine in Orono.
Assistant Professor Carrie Diaz Eaton Assistant Professor Carrie Diaz Eaton continued the collaboration of studying graduate pedagogy and mentoring programs with Dr. Charles Collins and Eleanor Abernethy of the University of Tennessee. She also presented Integrating Science and Mathematics Education Research into Teaching, “Implementing a pedagogy and mentoring program for graduate students in a STEM department,” at the University of Maine in June, 2010. At that time she delivered a second presentation on transforming research in undergraduate STEM education. 36
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Professor Jim Horan Professor Jim Horan led service trips with Unity College first-year students in a class entitled Unity Experience, offering volunteer assistance to the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association and its annual Common Ground Country Fair, held in Unity in October, 2010.
Associate Professor Kathryn Miles Associate Professor Kate Miles has been named to the editorial board of Terrain.org. She was also been awarded the 2010 writer-in-residence for the Andrews Forest Spring Creek Project, a long-term ecological project that studies the relationship of people and forests changing together over time. During the fall 2010 semester, she is serving as a visiting writer at the Chatham University MFA program. Her essay
FACULTY NOTES in our element
Mt.View Middle School (MS) field day
“Killing Laughter” recently appeared in the journal Flyway, and North American rights to her forthcoming book, All Standing, have been purchased by Simon & Schuster for publication in 2012.
Professor Nancy Ross
Associate Professor Tom Mullin Associate Professor Tom Mullin was a judge for the 2010 National Outdoor Book Awards in the Environmental Literature, Natural History Literature and Natural History Guides categories. He was also a judge for the 2010 National Interpretive Media Awards program, Video and DVD Category. He served as a consultant for the Maine Congress of Lake Associations educational outreach program. Development of the educational component for the Colby College Belgrade Lakes Watershed EPSCoR grant is the project of primary work.
Professor Dave Potter Professor Dave Potter coordinated the Maine Summer Nightbird Survey in May, June, and early July 2010 with participants across Maine. He will coordinate the Maine Owl Monitoring Program in late winter 2010 and early spring 2011.
Professor Nancy Ross taught an Advocacy, Ethics and the Environment class in the spring 2010 semester, which in cooperation with the Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine, planned and is carrying out a campaign to provide Unity students with information about, and alternatives (including locally grown popcorn) to toxics in food packaging. The class is also organizing advocacy on campus for national toxics policy reform. She gave presentations on the class’s campaign to the Alliance Steering Committee and at the 2010 Common Ground Country Fair Public Policy Teach In.
Professors Gerry Saunders and Lois Ongley, Assistant Professor Beth Arnold, and Emily Mouchon ’11 Professors Gerry Saunders and Lois Ongley, Assistant Professor Beth Arnold, and Emily Mouchon ’11, presented at the Maine Science Teachers Association annual conference on November 12 at Gardiner High School in Gardiner, Maine. Ongley’s presentation focused on work that she and her students did examining arsenic levels in Unity area water supplies. Saunders and Mouchon presented on uses of plants in the classroom. Arnold and Saunders presented on building a positive community in the classroom. On October 1, over 20 Unity students participated in the Unity College /
Associate Professor Mick Wormsley Assocate Professor Mick Womersley began teaching a new course at Unity College entitled Global Change. It focuses on climate change and includes working on mathematical and modeling examples of climate data analysis using real data from NASA and other sources.
UNITY Winter 2010 |
alumni CLASS NOTES
Welcome from Alumni Officer Kate Grenier
Role of Alumni Critical to Unity’s Future
A college has no greater resource than its alumni. They are the people who best understand how the college prepared them for life and work. A committed and robust alumni body is essential to the future of any college. Over the past six years I have come to understand that there is a bond shared between alumni and current students. Students look to alumni for help, guidance, and support. By sharing your stories with us, you in turn inspire future alumni. So we ask you to tell us what you are doing and let us share your good work. From cleaning up the gulf oil spill to working with Atlantic salmon for the Maine Department of Marine Resources, Unity College graduates know what it is like to change the world. Unity alumni also know that adaptation and change is necessary. In recent years Unity has changed in a variety of ways. We believe these changes are necessary and build upon the traditional strengths that have made the College successful. Unity College is currently discovering and modeling ways in which the world may live more sustainably. Remember, small venues often produce the most significant innovations (think Microsoft starting in a garage). Unity is also undergoing a renaissance of academic, recruitment, and infrastructure changes deemed necessary to ensure that the College responds appropriately to an ever changing (and demanding) world. The involvement of alumni is essential at this critical moment in Unity’s history. Your good efforts and best work will move this College forward and become your legacy. We continue to ask for your advice, your interest, and your best ideas as to how to plan for a resilient, exciting, and enduring vision for Unity College’s future. So, how can you help? We need you to recruit for us, to provide students with internships and other opportunities, to mentor our students and graduates, and to become active in the life of the College. Unity also needs your financial support but not only for the enhancement of programs, facilities, and scholarships. Your success buoys the College, just as the College’s success buoys your degree. Kate Grenier Alumni Relations and Events Coordinator
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Al Ghene retired in 2003. He now lives in Rochester, N.Y. and is a cook at a college.
Bob Dineen retired from his position as project engineer at Cianbro Corporation. He and his wife Christina have three children and five grandchildren. Bob Eldridge retired in June after 40 years of teaching. He and his wife, Sarah, have three girls. Steve Ginensky and his wife Ronnie are CPA’s at their firm Ginensky & Ginensky in Edison, N.J. Steve also consults and is the CFO for Therapeutic Sleep Products, Inc. in North Brunswick. They have a son David. Jerry Rascoll retired five years ago. He and his wife Chris have been married for 35 years. They have three children: Jessica, 30; Gerard, 29; and Andrew, 24. Jerry and Chris recently visited their newest grandchild in London, U.K. Vic Thomas retired after 25 years with New Jersey’s Division of Developmental Disabilities. Vic founded the Thomas Group which provides consulting services to agencies and families on disability issues. He and his wife Anna have a daughter Alycia. 71
Mary Pillsbury- Bailey is a registered nurse. She has two children and two grandchildren: Kobe, 9; and Justin, 10. Nick Fenton has been in retail management in the jewelry and watch industry for 35 years. Peter Hayes is retired and keeps in shape by skiing, snowshoeing, mountain biking and kayaking. Jack Levy is a physical therapist, and working on obtaining a doctorate. He has a 13-yearold daughter. Eddy Stein is semi-retired, and hopes to find a job in the animal health field. Eddie and Sherry have been married for 34 years and have a daughter Rachel, 23. Rick Wirth has recently been elected as commissioner of public safety in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
class notes alumni 72
Duane and Ardina (Still) Boynton work for the State of Maine. Duane works for Conservation in the accounting department. Ardina works in the library for the Office of Substance Abuse. They have three children: Audra, Kari, and Dustin. Rick Ceballos is a musician and is the artistic director of the Champlain Valley Folk Festival in Vermont. He also runs a small cleaning and maintenance business. He is married and has two sons. Bill Cherry has been semi-retired since 2001. He is now an independent contractor of Bill Cherry Forestry Services. He and his wife Gretchen have been married for 18 years and have two sons and two granddaughters. Ilan Leibowitz works for Afikim Computerized Dairy Management Systems in Israel. He and his wife Maya have two daughters: Hamutal and Maor. Greg Miles and his wife have a son and two grandsons. They live in Pittsfield, Maine. Gary Mueller is a manufacturer’s representative in Florida. He is a grandfather. Steve Sotiriadis is in the music business in Nashville, Tenn. He and Pamela have been married for 32 years. They expect to be grandparents soon. Ted Webb is director of intelligence for the Mission Support Element, Tenth Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y. They are America’s most deployed division. Ted and Debbie have been married 37 years. They have three children, and three grandchildren. 73
Larry Abele recently retired. He is an adaptive ski instructor for differently abled children. He has three grown children. Louie Abramson has been teaching pre-k to eighth grade physical education in Bayonne, N.J. for 35 years. He also teaches fencing. Steve and Vicki (Dugais) Goodwin have new twin grandsons born to daughter Barrett and her husband. Big brother Aiden is 5. Steve has a new job at Nestlé’s Poland Spring Water in Hollis, Maine. Vicky is a teaching assistant in the Biddeford schools.
Bill Hearn is a fisheries biologist and the supervisor for the North Coast Branch of the National Marine Fisheries Service in Santa Rosa, Calif. Howard “Chuck” Johnson is vice president of total rewards for Pitney Bowes in Stamford, CT. He and his wife Gail have two children: Nichole and Zeke.
Paul Tamburro teaches sociology and anthropology at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, British Columbia. His focus is on aboriginal (Indian, Metis, and Inuit) people. He has three grandchildren.
Don Sasseville retired in 2005 and works part-time for Horizon Air as a customer service agent.
Nancy Tracy teaches English as a second language and will graduate in May with her master’s in TESOL. Nancy and her family had tragedy strike with the death of her son in 2004 and John’s death in 2007. Nancy has three other children, Sara, Matt, and Danny.
Larry Gulmi after 35 years, he still loves running his own landscaping business in Hillside, N.J.
Gary Nelson moved to New Mexico 13 years ago where he has a construction company. He and his wife Tara have seven children.
Rosalee (Ranquist) Berglund has worked for the Maine State Department of Labor, Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation for the past five years. John is a self-employed builder who works exclusively in Tenants Harbor. They have two children: Katie, 29; and Quincy, 23.
Bob Berongi is a regional sales manager for Lyndex Nikken in North Carolina. He has a son, 29. Brian Hilton has 30 years of service as a fisheries biologist in the Regional Office of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. He helped establish a peacock bass fishery in south Florida. Brian and Gina, have been married 31 years. They have two daughters: Bridgette, 27; and Lynsey, 24. Dana Lajoie is in his 24th year as chief of police in South Berwick, Maine. He and his wife have a son and daughter. Jay Lippert will retire on January 2, 2011 from his position as chief ranger at Fire Island National Seashore after nearly 35 years of National Park Service. He and Dawn, a teacher, have been married 30 years and have two children: Marcie, 29; and Josh, 25. Rick Rumba is the environmental health program administrator for the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. Lynne is still school nurse at Emerson Elementary School in Fitzwilliam, N.H. Their son Dennis ’02 is project manager for ReVision Energy in Liberty, Maine, and daughter Jill was married in September 2008.
Alan Button has published a novel Mystery of the Dancing Firewalker which is book one in the start of a series. Jon Carman manages his business, JMC Wastewater Services, with plants from Portland to Lubec, Maine. His and Robin (Finney) Carman’s ’81 daughter Meagen was married August 1, 2009. Jon also has a son Chris, 25. Dominic Carter works for SAPPI in Fairfield, Maine, and has worked in the pulp and paper industry for 31 years. He is married and has two children: a son, 33 and a daughter, 30. Todd Collard has been doing morning radio in Salt Lake City since 1986. He is married and has twin sons, 10. Ken Parr is area manager for the Bureau of Reclamation in Carson City, Nev. Ken and his wife Callie have been married 20 years. They have a daughter Cassie. Louie St. John works at a recycled paper mill in Vermont making boxboard. He has a daughter, a step-son, and five grandchildren. 78
Chuck Cabaniss has launched Fox Investigations and Security Services. He has also obtained his NRA certification and is offering firearms instruction. He still has his photography business. John Griffiths has been grounds supervisor at Bates College for 16 years. He and Joy have three children: Mike, Paige, and Kyle, who will graduate from Unity College next May.
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alumni CLASS NOTES
Andrew Fleming ’08
Suzanne Layne is a transportation engineering technician for the US Forest Service in Colorado.
Barbara Cuomo-Nichols is director of school nutrition for the Augusta, Maine school district. She has two daughters and a son.
Mike Robinson lives in Florida. He got his alligator permit and has been hunting several times.
Dave Somers is now the information technology specialist for the Pacific West Regional Office of the National Park Service in Seattle, Wash. Casey works at Hawaii Volcanoes.
Don Young is a resident services manager for a real estate development and management firm. 79
Before learning about Unity College, Andrew Fleming ’08 knew he wanted to be a biologist. Combine that with a love of the environment and an interest in nature studies and Unity became the perfect choice as a means of realizing his dream. “Because I grew up outside of D.C. (District of Columbia), the change (to living at Unity College) was welcome and there’s more nature to observe and enjoy in the country,” Fleming said. He also liked the fact that Unity is small with a positive, close-knit student culture. “Unity is such an intimate college,” noted Fleming. “I became familiar with everyone quickly and the intimidation level of beginning a college life was not as overwhelming as it would have been if I had attended a larger institution.” The small class sizes and teacher to student ratio have made it easy to approach classmates and professors alike. As a result, Fleming was never afraid to ask for help, clarification, or advice. Currently attending Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Fleming expects to receive a masters in geography and environmental resources in the spring semester of 2011. He works part-time for the US Fish and Wildlife Service as a GIS intern. Once he has completed his degree, he hopes to land a job in the GIS field or as a biologist. With the end zone in sight, Fleming is wistful about his time at Unity. “Everyone at Unity was knowledgeable and willing to help,” he noted. “That was a wonderful thing.”
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Camille (Burns) Boisvert is a project manager at Wolf Colorprint in Conn. and has her own studio where she paints and makes jewelry. John Chaplinski is a landscape designer with his own business. He earned his degree at Cook College of Rutgers University in 1986.
Classmates Scott Ramsay ’79, Peter Hryb ’77, Chapman Cole ’77, Ernie Tarbox ’77, and Brett Hardacker ’79 reunite every August for family gatherings.
Tim Mercer is plant operator for the Kennebec Sanitary Treatment District in Waterville, Maine. He and his wife Carol have been married for 24 years and have an 18-year-old daughter, Kendra.
Keith Chadbourne is volunteering at the San Francisco Zoo. He revamped their training handbook using his own photos and is now in the process of creating a plant guide for them. Cheryl (Chatterton) Fitzgerald and Tom have been married for 31 years, and have two daughters and a grandson, Emerson. Cheryl is the owner and groomer of Precious Furs Grooming Salon in Fairfield, Maine. Ellen Cook-Kinsella is an adult mental rehabilitation case manager for ESM in Lewiston, Maine. She has two sons: Charles and Seth. Tom “Tbone” Landry is the head cook at the Shelter Care Mental Crisis Unit in Eugene, Oregon. He lives with April, his companion of nine years, and her daughter Delaney. Paula Meiers recently went on a two-week trip to Cambodia, where her niece was teaching English. Dawn Perry is a phlebotomist for the American Red Cross in Hendersonville, N.C. She and John have been married for 23 years. Robin (Walker) Suss and her husband Mike have two daughters Amanda, 30; and Samantha, 27; and a granddaughter. Robin works in a small family-owned plumbing and heating company.
L to R: Bob Maietta ’81, Kim Larrabee ’81, Randy Ruehl ’82 and Amy Kesten ’83 recently enjoyed moose burgers and great company. 83
Mark Bessette is part owner and investor of The Legends Group, a project management company based in Huntersville, N.C. They focus primarily on the food service industry. Mark recently became LEED certified. He and Carolyn have been married for 12 years. Alan Desrosiers is an environmental manager for Ted Ondrick Co. in Chicopee, the largest petroleum contaminated soil recycler in Mass. Amy Kesten is a special education teacher in Douglas, Alaska. She has a daughter Jenna, 19. Dan Lowell is a furniture and cabinet maker in Utah. He and his wife Ellen, have two sons: Peter and Ian.
class notes alumni 84
Peter Butryn has been a chemist at Fortitech Inc, in Schenectady, N.Y. for 14 years. In January he traveled to Malaysia, India and Thailand in his work. He and Catherine have been married 17 years. They have two sons, Ben and Andrew. John Crane works part-time for the Massachusetts State Heritage Program, on red bellied turtles. He also works part-time at Dick’s Sporting Goods. He has a son Connor, 9. Bruce Fitzpatrick has worked for Verizon South in Tampa, Fla. since 1997. He has been with his companion, William Ledo, for 12 years. Roy Kitchener is the chief of staff at US Third Fleet in San Diego, Calif. In July, he was in Hawaii running a multi-national exercise. He and Sharon have four children: Kimberly, Cody, Jake, and Gordon. Grant Lockwood has an online website entitled Outdoor Gift Supply. He and his wife Janet live in the Catskill Mountains and have a son Chris; a grandson Tyler; and a granddaughter Amaya. Tim Shaak graduated from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University with a bachelor in management in 1989. He is a realtor for the Folk Agency, a certified EMT, a member of the Brielle, N.J. Fire Company, and councilman and president of the Borough of Brielle. Tim and his wife Cheryl have a daughter Alexis. Gary White owns Brickyard Books in North Yarmouth, Maine, selling books online. Audrey Lesko is working in the Admissions Office at Bowdoin College. She has a daughter Sara and Gary has a daughter Ansley, and a son, Ryder. 85
Karen Heath is now a happy full-time gardener, chauffeur, and volunteer. She received her bachelor of science in speech therapy from UMaine Farmington in 1986. She and her husband, Peter Smith ’80 have two children: Sarah, 18; and Nathan, 11. Jessica (Johnson) Whitney is a project controls specialist for M+W US, a construction management firm. She works on finances, supervises a staff on 13 construction projects in New York. Jessica received her master’s in finance from Assumption College in 2003. She and her husband Richard have two children.
John Jurczynski has co-managed RockywoldDeephaven camps in Holderness, N.H. for over 20 years with Kathy (Wheeler) Jurczynski ’88. John and Kathy have a daughter, Jennifer. John has been doing long-distance bicycle racing and won the 50+ division of the Race Across America in 2007. Gerry Madden retired in April after 26 years in the Maine State Police. He was a two-time recipient of a State Police Bravery Award. Gerry plans to do investigative work for a private company. David Wood is a special education teacher in Brunswick, Ohio. He earned his master’s in special education from Kent State University in 1993, where he met his wife Suzan. 86
Barbara Drury has opened a dog boarding facility for overnight stays at her Manilow’s Canine Playground in Leominster, Mass. Loren Raymond works for Packaging Corporation of America in New York. He has two daughters.
Jon Woodard is an oil and hazardous materials specialist 3 at the Department of Environmental Protection in Portland, Maine. He and his wife, Cheryl, have two children: Alli, 13; and Cameron, 10. Jon, Peter Blanchard ’89, Glen Wall ’82, Jason Fish ’98, Nathan Thompson ’91, Lou Pizzuti ’90 and Franki (Dalton) Delaney ’08 worked as spill responders in the Gulf of Mexico. 89
Bryan Chikotas is a fisheries biologist with the Penn. Fish and Boat Commission. He and Ann have been married 14 years and have two children: Elizabeth, 14; and Andres, 8. Anthony Cocchiola is a maintenance technician on condo units in North Myrtle Beach, Florida. He has two children: ages 13 and 11. Barbara (Kukel) Mullin works in inventory control for Communication Distribution Technology, a computer company in West Chester, Pa. Son Mikey is 19; and daughter Kayla, is 15. 90
Mike Kester is a captain in the Harlingen, Texas Police Department, in charge of the Patrol Division of 62 police officers and supervisors. He and Debi have been married for 20 years and have four children and seven grandchildren. 88
April Baxter is office administrator for the Unitarian Universalist Meeting House n Provincetown, Mass. Husband, Brad works at the Provincetown Monument and Museum. Bernice Gawron is a teacher’s assistant in earth science for the special education department of the local high school. She has three boys. Kevin Sheridan is an environmental lab technician for Long Island Analytical Laboratories. He and his wife, Marian have been married 19 years and have two sons: Kyle, 15; and Brenan, 11. Eric Swindell and Beth have been married since 1988 and have three children. Wendy Vorwerk has been working for the Ohio EPA for 18 years as a site investigator. She recently went back to school to get another bachelor’s degree, and become a registered veterinary technician.
Patrick Brasington is a chief ranger for Bureau of Land Management in Phoenix, Ariz. He protects 3.5 million acres, 11 wilderness areas, two National Monuments, and has a staff of eight. He and Jenni have a 9-year-old son, Hudson. Christopher Foster works at a ski mountain in the winter, and at his wife’s uncle’s strawberry farm the rest of the year. Eric Holmes, US Fish & Wildlife special agent, was awarded a Special Recognition Award by the Maine Warden Service. Penny (Picard) Sampson has been an information development specialist for the Bank of America in Belfast for 14 years. She and Dan were married at the start and finish line at Unity Raceway in 2008. Jean (Santarsiero) Costanzi is an operations and safety specialist for Waste Management in Penn. She has two children: Paige and Tyler. 91
Paul Cabone is a system technician for Carter Communications Holding Company in Conn. He has a daughter, Sage.
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alumni CLASS NOTES Rich Fritz and his wife adopted Emily Marie McKenna Fritz, 2. Sons Jordan and Ethan are 9 and 7. Rich is a recreational therapist for Fletcher Allen HealthCare in Burlington, Vt.
Richard Fritz ’91, Kristin, Jordan and Ethan welcome Emily to their family. Ernie Hall is moving back to the family farm in Jay, Maine. He plans to set up a photo business in wildlife photography, freelancing and teaching. Lars Knakkergaard had three of his photos at a show, James Gate, in Jamaica Plain, Mass. in February. 92
Jeff Bagley is assistant regional fisheries biologist for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife in Greenville, Maine. He and his wife Roxann have two sons: Adam, 10; and Kyle, 7. Chris Borg held another very successful birding challenge in which he made a donation to Unity College for every bird he saw on April 18, at St. Mark’s National Wildlife Refuge. This year he saw 105 species. He challenged other alumni to make a financial pledge as well. Chris is field biologist and GIS specialist at the Red Hills Conservation Program and Tall Timbers in Tallahassee, Fla. Ross and Cristal (Voisine) ’95 Farnsworth have moved to Springfield, Vt. Ross is a training coordinator for the Department of Corrections in Waterbury, Vt. and Cristal teaches math and science at Bellows Falls Middle School. She is working on her master’s of education degree from the University of Vermont. They have a daughter Lily, 4. Nate Gray was pictured in the Bangor Daily News holding a sockeye salmon. He is a project leader and scientist for the Maine Department of Marine Resources, Bureau of Sea-run Fisheries and Habitat.
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Matt Bruce is a US Army Military police officer stationed in Germany. He and his wife Mary have three children: Emmaline, Ethan, and Evelyn.
Aimee (Campbell) Lee is a data services and research manager at Celebrity and Access in Conn. She and her husband Robert have one son Ryne, 8.
Tim Geremia is a teacher’s assistant in an Alternative Learning Program for eighth graders in Warwick, R.I. He and Pam have been married 17 years and they have three children: Ashley, 23; Tim, 14; and Zachary, 12.
Tammey Chase is office and shop manager, and locksmith assistant of Sargent Lock and Safe Inc., a small locksmith company in Rockland.
Charlene “Sunshine” Hood is a park manager at Warren Island State Park in Lincolnville, Maine. Eric Kormann teaches in the special education department at Camden Regional High School. He finished his second master’s last summer. Bruce McNicholas works in the Biotech and Pharmaceutical industry in Seattle, Wash. Bruce and Kora and their two dogs now live in Seattle. Greg Pond is an aquatic biologist studying the effects of mountain top coal mining for the US EPA in Wheeling, W.Va. Sherri (Ells) works at a local nature center. They have two children: Woody, 15; and Julianna, 11. Kristel (Price) McClenahan finished one year of vet school where she met her husband, Dave. Dave is an assistant professor at the University of Northern Iowa. Kristel has two parttime jobs and is looking for full-time job. 94
Russ Johnson is a property manager for NAI Hiffman in Chicago, Il. Kimberly (Janes) Sawyer is a Maine State trooper. She and Gregory were married in 2009. Tom Kostovick is a property manager in Falmouth, Maine. He and his wife, Allison, have two sons, Jackson, 7; and Boyd, 5. Joyce-Ella (Rutledge) Smith and her husband Rick, are members of the Christian Motorcyclists Association. She received her master’s of arts in counseling from Webster University in 1998. Joyce has a daughter Erin and two grandchildren. Mike Scurka is a field engineer for Waterman Associates in Cumberland, R.I. He and his wife Joyce have two children: Stephanie, 17; and Mikey, 15.
Tess (Fairbanks) Woods and Rob Constantine have a son, Miles Fairbanks Constantine, born July 9, 2010. Tess is executive director at Unity Barn Raisers, and Rob is vice president for College Advancement at Unity College. Phil Farren is a truck driver for Eastern Plumbing and Heating. He is also a basketball official. He is engaged to Melissa Mallock, who is the clinical coordinator at Lubec Medical Center. They have three children: Nancy, 15; Heather, 13; and Braden, 5. Chris Fournier and Kristine have a daughter, Sara born April 12, 2010, and two sons: Nicholas, 6 and Ian, 4. Chris is an environmental specialist with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection in Augusta. Denyce Gagne is a habitat management technician with the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. She completed her master’s in environmental science and policy at Plymouth State University. Ruth “Hefty” Thornton is the conservation information manager for the Nature Conservancy of West Virginia. Jim Riggs is a scientist for an environmental consulting company, Hillman Group based in Alexandria, Va. He earned a master’s in environmental management from the University of Maryland in 2002. He has been married for 13 years and has a daughter, Aubrey, 3. Jeff Thompson is a fireman for the City of Portland, Maine. He has a son, Austin, 13. 96
Kevin Anderson was honored at the Maine Game Warden Service annual meeting this spring with an Exemplary Service Award. Steve Couture and his wife Melissa have their own computer business, XtremePC Consulting in Benton, Maine. He is also a game warden.
class notes alumni
Quiet but Powerful: The Importance of Annual Giving By Rob Constantine, Vice President for College Advancement Glen ’82 and Toni ’82 Wall made their first gift to Unity College back in 1990, at a time when the College was struggling financially. Professor of Oral Communication Pat Clark also made her first gift, $100, in 1996. Glen, Toni, and Pat have been loyal donors to the Unity Fund since. While their individual annual gifts have been modest, they have totaled thousands of dollars over the years. Their support has had a direct impact on Unity students and faculty and been an important part of the changes Unity College has undergone since they began giving. Gifts to the Unity Fund provide critical support for all of Unity’s curricular and co-curricular activities. Steady gifts of all sizes from alumni, parents, employees, and friends add up and help fund scholarships, student programs and athletics, lab supplies, student research, and other priorities. “Not every donor can make a large gift, but we count on the annual support of donors like Glen and Toni and Pat,” says Rob Constantine, Unity’s vice president for college advancement. “While large gifts from foundations and significant philanthro-
Jenna Garvey is the library and technology assistant at Eagle Hill School in Mass. She is married to Chris Buelow, who works for the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife as a restoration ecologist for the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program. Jenna and Chris have a daughter, Vladia. Ian Leith has his own sound engineering company and freelances for sports television and entertainment events. Becky (Robbins) Foster is a professional artist (www.beckyfoster.com). She and Glenn have two children: a daughter River, 7; and a son Konnor, 9. Tom Truman is a Wisconsin conservation warden stationed out of Winneconne, Wis. He and Lisa have been married 13 years and have two sons: Brayden, 8; and Brennan, 5. Kevin Welch is a heavy equipment operator in Gilbertsville, Pa. He is a member of the New Hanover Township Environmental Advisory Board. 97
Jeff Davis is an equipment operator for the US Forest Service in Whitmire, S.C. He and his wife Terra have a daughter Isa, 7.
pists tend to get a lot of media attention, the vast majority of our donors make much more moderate gifts. These donors have no idea how powerful their quiet support becomes-they truly are the lifeblood of the college.” Pat Clark, Professor
Andy LeBlanc is a sound engineer at Down Home Music in Fairfield, Maine. He has two children: Aaron, 12; and Abby, 10. Eli Murdock is an assistant superintendent at Glen Kernan Country Club in Atlantic Beach, Fla. He has two sons: Peyton, 6; and Matthew, 5. 98
Jeff Burke is a special agent for the US Environmental Protection Agency Criminal Investigation Division, working out of San Francisco, Calif. Matt Curtis and his wife Kati Ann have a son, Thomas, born March 2009. Matt is a detective with the Waldo County Sheriff ’s Department in Belfast, Maine. Paul Farrington and Koda received the K-9 conservation Case of the Year Award at the Maine Game Warden Service, for their recovery of key evidence in a deer poaching case. John Guarnieri is a police officer for the Plymouth State University Police Department in New Hampshire. He has been married 12 years, and has a daughter Lillian, 3.
David Hunter has been a fireman in the Brunswick Fire Department for 12 years. He received a degree in fire science from Southern Maine Community College. He owns and operates a small landscape company. He and his wife Kristi have two daughters: Breanne, 7; and Allie Jo, 4. Kevin Smith is a sixth grade special education teacher in Acton, Mass. He’s working on a master’s in teaching English as a second language at Boston University, and has been teaching English for three years in Korea. Gabriel Spence will be working this summer as a technician on a beaver relocation project for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. He and his wife, Sandi own and run Methow Wilderness School in the Methow Valley. Gabe and Sandi have a daughter Pearl, 2. Jennifer Stone lives in Waldoboro, Maine, with her companion, Charles and their son Asa, 3. Amy Therrien is a public safety dispatcher for the Bristol Conn., Police Department.
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alumni CLASS NOTES Clint Thompson is a marine patrol officer for the Maine Department of Marine Resources. Jennifer (Fowler) ’97 is a lab assistant and EKG tech at Midcoast hospital in Brunswick. They have two children; Kaleb, 6; and Collin, 4. Sandra (Yaffe) White married Josh in October 2006 and they are expecting a baby. Sandi has been a lab tech for 10 years at the Greater Lawrence Sanitary District in North Andover, Mass. Josh is the work force development and education director of Bridge Over Troubled Waters in Boston. Melissa Zanvettor is a nurse at the VA Medical Center in Northampton. She has two daughters: Samantha, 5; and Emily, 4. 99
Sergeant Kevin Furlong of the Milford New Hampshire Police Department was honored by the police chiefs as a hero for his part in saving a severely injured little girl in a home invasion. Kevin is married to Donna (Hyslop) Furlong. Chrissy (Hayward) Bouschor’s husband, Jeff has a new job with the Forest Service. They have four children: Jeffrey, 8; Morgan, 6; and Elias and Zachary, 3. Kristina “Stina” Johnson-Maksimowicz is a children’s case manager for the Tri-County Mental Health Services in Norway, Maine. She recently was married to Mark Maksimowicz, and has a daughter, Sadie Tallulah, 7.
Korah Soll received a Commissioner’s Recognition Award at the Blaine House in May. She is director of the Zenith Alternative Education Program in Camden, Maine. 00
Joe Bonan works with children at risk for Wediko Children’s Services in Windsor, N.H. Lisa (Bunch) Martin teaches black and white photo and topics in art history at Unity College. She received her master’s from Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2009. She and Jeremy have daughter Abigail. Ross Conover has accepted a tenure-track position as an assistant professor of biology at Glenville State College in West Virginia. Ross earned his master’s of science in biology from Mississippi State in 2005, and his doctorate in animal ecology from Iowa State in 2009. Peter and Lee Anne (Ouellette) Deane just bought a house in Middlesex, Vt. Pete works for US Customs and Border Protection in Williston, and Lee Anne works for TD Bank in Waitsfield. Steve Fenderson is a manifest specialist in shipping at L.L. Bean, where his wife Sandra also works. They have a daughter Isabelle, born February 14, 2008. Robert Giolito is a Vermont State trooper assigned to the Rutland Barracks as Senior Trooper with a K9 partner named Mitch.
Matthew Munson is data manager for the Black Rock Forest Consortium near West Point, N.Y. His job entails being an educator, research assistant, assistant to the forest manager and caretaker.
Jamie Selda is a certified Rock Guide with his own business in Squamish, British Columbia. He teaches rock climbing and avalanche courses. He and his wife Christine have a son, Jasper John, born May 12, 2010.
Chip Paone is operations manager at Outdoor World of New England in Hookset, N.H.
John ’99 and Nicole (Shell) Pecori are expecting twin girls. Nicole is a senior project coordinator for CHA in Syracuse. John is a sales rep for Batesville Casket Company.
Jim Piccuito is an environmental engineer and GIS analyst at Otis Air Base in Duxbury, Mass. He and his wife Elaine have two children: Dominic, 7; and Anna, 5. Barbie (Poirier) Wilmot has two children Brianna, 5 and Mikaella, 3 and works parttime at the Olive Garden. Her husband, Dwayne, is a football coach at the University of Maine. Deirdre Schneider received her juris doctorate degree from the University of Maine Law School in 2009. She is working for an engineering and environmental consulting firm.
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Andy Willey is a US Forest Service Forest ranger at the White Mountain National Forest in Conway, N.H. 01
Lisa Ferrisi-Guttman is attending Antioch University working towards a master’s in sustainable development. Aaron Liberty is a fish biologist for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Washington, D.C. He is engaged to Kate
Zengion, and plans to get married in the spring of 2011. Jennifer (Madigan) Reifler is a tour bus driver guide in Denali National Park in Alaska. She and her husband Mike have a 1-year-old daughter, Selena. Dave and Kachina Miller have a daughter, Aspen Elizabeth, born June 11, 2010. Dave is a carpenter and energy auditor for a green building company, GO Logic. Sara Redmond is at the University of Conn. working on a master’s in ecology. She works at the seaweed laboratory in Stamford, Conn. Ed Spaulding has begun his doctorate studies at Walden University in Clinical Health Psychology. He already has two master degrees in kinesiology and in clinical psychology. He founded Northland Adventure and Therapy Center in Jericho, Vt. Matt Shove was the subject of an article in the January Yankee Magazine. He is a certified rock instructor, CWI provider and SPA instructor for the Eastern Mountain Sports Climbing School, based out of West Hartford, Conn. He and his wife Stacy have a daughter Riley, 3 months. Colin Wheeler is a police officer in Farmington, N. H. Robyn ( Jacques) ’00 is an emergency vet tech. They have three children: Eliza, 4; Cameron, 2; and Abigail, 1. 02
Misty (Briggs) Charles and William Charles live in Monson, Maine. Misty is a lifeguard and swim instructor. Sherry (Hart) Harmon is house manager of The Learning Clinic, a residential school program and works part-time with wildlife rehabilitation. She and Trave, who is the CEO of Triton Technologies, were married May 23, 2009. Jesse Hartson works as a caretaker in Seal Harbor, Maine. He is married to Tara. Marcia (Lapan) and Corey Goodrich were married in May 2006 and live in Fort Ann, N.Y. Marcia works as a naturalist for Up Yonda Farm Environmental Education Center in Bolton Landing. N.Y. and Corey is a New York State corrections officer. Amy MacLeod and Gregg Shedd are living in Pinedale, Wyo. Amy is the violence prevention coordinator for the Sublette County
class notes alumni Sexual Assault and Family Violence (SAFV) Task Force and Gregg is a wildlife biologist at Wyoming Wildlife Consultants.
Emily Brodsky is in the master’s program in ecological planning at the University of Vermont.
Kyle Koch is a restoration technician for the Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group in Washington.
Jonica Martin is an embryologist at New England Genetics. She was married October 2, 2010.
Michael Curran transferred to Keene State. He recently received a four month contract with a healthcare company, Covidien.
Ross St. Clair is a high school teacher in Mill City, Ore. He received a master’s in teaching from Western Oregon University in 2008.
Craig King is working with Atlantic salmon for the Maine Department of Marine Resources.
Rick Kristoff is an environmental protection specialist for the US Army Corps of Engineers and is on a temporary assignment in Afghanistan. Rick has his master’s in environmental management from the University of Maryland.
Melanie (Tuley) Cole is studying to be a pharmacy technician.
Tobias Lake graduated from Vermont Law School in 2007 and is now practicing in the fields of land use/planning/zoning, and municipal and environmental law.
Megan (Bogi) McHatten received her nursing degree from Northern Maine Community College in 2009 and now works as an endoscopy nurse for a gastroenterologist. Jason Carrier is a fish biologist for the Fish and Game Department out of Keene, N.H. Jason Cuthbertson is a park ranger at Mount Blue State Park. He and his wife Shannon have a daughter Grace, 2. Jennifer (Nagy) is a cartographer technician for the Bureau of Land Management in Mont. Her husband Ted Frazer is a fuels crew leader for the US Forest Service.
Joe Link is a hiking guide for the Yosemite Mountaineering School. In the winter he works as a rigger in Las Vegas, Nev. Heather (Sirotnak) Manzi and Ed were married December 31, 2009 at the Basin in Franconia, N.H. Heather is a hydrologic technician for the US Geological Survey and the NH/ VT Water Science Center. Tori Strout is a licensed veterinary technician working in Sanford, Maine. She also works at the Animal Refuge League in Falmouth, Maine. Jodie Thompson is a teaching assistant at an elementary school, and applying for teaching jobs all over the country. Erin (Twombley) Agius is a high school biology and environmental science teacher. Steve ’03 works for the US Fish and Wildlife Service in the Gulf of Maine.
Jasmine Redlevske ’03 and Darin Hammond married June 12, 2010. Jasmine Redlevske and Darin Hammond married June 12, 2010 in Roque Bluffs, Maine. They currently reside in Addison. Jasmine is a forest ranger for the Maine Forest Service. Kevin and Jo (Giordano) Smith were married in 2004 and Brodie was born January 9, 2010. Kevin is a technology teacher in the Evergreen Community Charter School in Asheville, N.C. 04
Kristie (Barr) McNulty is a head veterinary technician and Anson ’02 has been promoted to assistant program director at Summit Achievement.
Rick Gray is an assistant wildlife biologist for BioDiversity Research Institute in Gorham, Maine. Levi Wark works as a cook at Freeport Cafe, and guides sea kayak tours during the summer. He has a daughter Amelia, 3. 06
Matt Brown is sales manager at Morong VW in Brunswick, Maine. He has a daughter Haley, 4, and son Matthew, 8 months. Albert Hall and Aubrie Barrett are engaged to be married in June. Albert is operations manager at the Full Service Landscaping Company in York, Maine. Aubrie graduated from the University of Montana with a degree in wildlife biology.
Sarah (McGregor) Zermani and her husband, Djamal both work at Grand Teton National Park. They were married a year and a half ago. Eric Page is a crew leader for Ducks Unlimited in North Dakota, and is also a duck hunting guide. Kevin Rogers works for the US Fish and Wildlife Service at the Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuge on a salt marsh sparrow study, and piping plover monitoring. Meg Sine is a cranery cohort for the Audubon Nature Institute in New Orleans, helping to manage a captive flock of Mississippi sandhill cranes and whooping cranes. 07
Mike Bjork is a seasonal laborer for the Department of Conservation and Recreation at Wells State Park in Sturbridge, Mass. He is getting married April 2011. Sara Blocker is a fish biologist with the US Fish and Wildlife Service in the New Mexico Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office. She received her master’s in biology from the University of the Pacific in 2009. Morgan Buckingham guides dog sledding tours for Pawsatch Snow Dogs and David Cocke is a ski instructor in the winter and a fly fishing guide in the summer. They live in Park City, Utah. Mike Chickering is an associate field biologist and Loon program field coordinator for BioDiversity Research Institute in Gorham, Maine. Ryan Howes is a rock climbing guide for the Atlantic Climbing School, in Bar Harbor, Maine. Michael Kinson is an engineering technician II at Fay, Spofford & Thorndike, consulting for the City of Boston’s Public Works Department. UNITY Winter 2010 |
alumni CLASS NOTES
Erika Verrier ’06
Audrey Laffley was married to Scott Tomlinson May 7, 2010. She is working in the horticultural department of the Elk Grove Park District.
Stephanie MacLagan ’07 DEP employee of the month enjoys a few moments on the water.
Growing up in nearby Albion, Maine, Erika (Roderick) Verrier ’06 learned about Unity College and what it had to offer. What Unity had to offer became a key to her present success. A love for the environment and the close proximity to Unity were characteristics that attracted Verrier, but it was the wealth of knowledge and experiences she gained that kept her coming back each semester. “I knew I wanted to do something environmental when I came to Unity,” said Verrier. “I chose ecology because it is a diverse field with the possibility of leading to other opportunities.” Her time spent as an intern for legendary Maine entrepreneur Roxanne Quimby, who founded the multi-national corporation Bert’s Bees, helped her develop a keen eye for detail. Her ability to see the “small things” during her wildlife inventory internship with Quimby contributed to Verrier’s success as the manager of integrated pest management (IPM) at Backyard Farms in Madison, Maine. “I love my job,” noted Verrier, whose job requires regular travel across the United States, Canada and Holland. “Unity set me on the right path through hands-on learning and internships. I was encouraged to step out of my comfort zone and really develop a well rounded set of skills.” As IPM manager at Backyard Farms, Erika is responsible for identifying all pests and diseases in 42 acres of hydroponic tomatoes. Once she has identified them, she then is responsible for preventing the pests and diseases through research and development. The education and experiences Verrier had while at Unity were enlightening and career oriented. “I feel my education and experiences at Unity College far outweighed the cost,” said Verrier. “I have begun a career that I can see myself growing in for years to come.”
| UNITY Winter 2010
Gerald Pound worked for the Maine Conservation Corps building new and restoring existing trails. He is planning to attend the University of Southern Maine for a degree in law, public policy and public administration.
Stephanie MacLagan was recognized in August by the Department of Environmental Protection as the state-wide Employee of the Month.
Jacklyn Slawson is a biological science technician for the Pacific Northwest Research Station.
Justin Merrill is the environmental assistant, GPS and GIS specialist, integrative pest management scout, and harvest crew leader for Cherryfield Foods in Maine. His first article on predator hunting was published in the September issue of Outdoors Magazine.
Karen Symes is attending the University College of Bangor, working towards a vet tech degree. She also works as an adoption counselor for the Kennebec Valley Humane Society in Augusta, Maine. Karen got married on September 4, 2010.
Eric Bragg is an operating room technician at the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, and continues to look for work in the fisheries field.
Meghan Fenton graduated from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in May. She is a fire fighter for Gray Fire and Rescue.
Robert Breton is a maintenance worker, interpreter and storekeeper at the New Hampshire Farm Museum in Rochester, N.H. Jessica Cole and Justin Prunier are married and living on his private trout farm Sumner Brook Fish Farm in Ossipee, N.H. Jess is working at a preschool. Franki (Dalton) Delaney is an oil and hazardous material specialist for the Maine Department of Environmental Protection in Portland. Franki was married in November 2009.
Beth Kellogg recently completed a two-month internship at the Gaston County, N.C. Museum. Anna Rodriguez is studying for certification as a vet tech. Mandie Roman is working at Mid Hudson Animal Hospital as a vet tech and receptionist. Brian Smith is a specialty gas technician for Maine Oxy in Auburn, Maine. Eleanor Stone is finishing her degree in wildlife biology at Murray State University in Kentucky. Amanda Walker will be working for the US Fish and Wildlife Service as a park interpreter intern in Necedah, Wis. this summer.
Jared Erskine ’08 recently enjoyed winter camping. Jared Erskine is the manager of Acadia Bike and Kayak in Bar Harbor, Maine. Amanda Gonzales and Tom Paine ’07 are planning to be married in June. Amanda received her vet tech degree in 2010 from Palo Alto College and will be working for Sea Turtle Inc. on South Padre Island.
Josh Youse is a field team leader in AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps in Iowa. He graduated in August.
class notes alumni Kristin Grivois runs the florist shop at Hart’s Greenhouse in Colchester, Conn. Joe Horn is doing a research experience undergraduate program through the Harvard Forest in field botany.
Recent graduates of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center Lisa Casagrande ’10 and Rebecca Hutton ’10. 10
Josh Beuth is a wildlife technician for the Rhode Island Department of Fish and Wildlife, working on waterfowl projects. Josh had an article entitled “Winter Duck Banding Fun” published in the summer 2010 issue of Wild Rhode Island. Devon Case is an animal care intern at the Omaha Zoo. Jonathan Cooper is a GS-5 seasonal park guide ranger with the National Park Service at Boston National Historic Park at Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston, Mass. Rebecca Cunfer is a seasonal environmental educator at a youth science camp in Montana. Jess Curtis will be an animal care intern at the Omaha Zoo starting in September. Tiffany “Shorty” Dorsey started the Appalachian Trail hike from Maine to Georgia on June 1.
Ashley Mae Kennedy is working in a pet shop in Springfield, Mass. Heidi Kowalski has been working as a medical transcriptionist at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester for six years, and is currently looking for a job in her field. Eric Larson is headed for Mississippi State University in the fall to work on a master’s in geology. This summer he was in Michigan with a joint appointment between the US Forest Service and the Geological Society of America, working on the Hiawatha National Forest. Ashley McCorkindale takes children on day trips for The Mountain Workshop, helping them to experience the outdoors in ways they normally would not. Henry Moncrief is in grad school at the University of New Haven, working towards a master’s in counter-terrorism and homeland security. Rebecca Peplau is enrolled in a vet tech certification program. She then hopes to enroll in some sort of humane law enforcement program.
Kelly Beth (Safford) and Jeremy Lavertu ’07 were married September 2009. Jeremy graduated from Husson with a master’s in business. KB and Jeremy were on a thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail and summited Kahtadin in September. John Vinci is in Hazel Green, Ala. working as a field tech territory mapping birds until late July. Brandon Webber is a biotech for the US Fish and Wildlife and Ducks Unlimited, working with landowners to restore wetlands and upland grasslands. He also checks bird boxes to see who is nesting and keeps tabs on clutches and broods in the refuge. NEWS OF FORMER FACULTY AND STAFF
Ron Barry teaches biology at Bates College and is also an editor for the Journal of Mammalogy, and an officer of the American Society of Mammalogists. He has two daughters and a grandson. Susan (Brown) Holland lives in Washington State with her husband Tony. She has two sons. Wilson Hess has been named president of the University of Maine at Fort Kent. Wilson and Ellie have a granddaughter, Addy Rose. Ed Raiola just finished a semester’s sabbatical from Warren Wilson College in Asheville, N.C. He and Susan went to New Zealand to see their daughter and her family.
IN MEMORIAM Mike Adam ’80 died in a house fire in Augusta on April 21, 2010. Mike was head of the dining service at Unity for many years, and was a chef in several area restaurants. He is survived by his his two sons, Jeremiah and Justin. There was a memorial service at the Performing Arts Center on June 19. Artist and long-time faculty member of Unity College Professor Emeritus Leonard Craig died April 13, 2010. Leonard was instrumental in bringing art to Unity College. He joined the faculty in 1972 and for 20 years taught classes, designed curriculum, organized exhibitions, and was the campus spokesperson for the importance of art in liberal and environmental learning. Professor Emeritus Ann Dailey, who served on the Unity College faculty as associate professor of developmental studies and learning disabilities
specialist from 1985 until her retirement in 2004, died April 7, 2010. Ann played a strong leadership role in designing and delivering the support services that enabled our students with learning differences to meet their full academic potential. Mike Holley ’83 died March 7, 2010. After receiving an associate’s degree from Unity, he earned his bachelor of science from the University of Maine in 1985. Former Unity College faculty member Robert Hunter died March 6, 2010. Mark Allen Wight ’78 of Newry, Maine, died May 13, 2010. He attended Unity College for two years, majoring in forestry.
UNITY Winter 2010 |
Alumni Weekend 2010
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