Rachel is the Associate Director of Undergraduate Admission at the University of Southern Maine. Rachel has worked at USM for nearly 10 years, and also holds a degree in communications from the University.
Jeanne has spent her adult life in the field of education, working for 21 years as a high school teacher and serving as the principal of South Portland High School for 13 years. She is currently the assistant executive director of the Maine Principals’ Association. Jeanne also has two children, both of whom are in their twenties.
Jessica grew up in Fort Kent and graduated from the University of Maine (Orono) with a degree in public administration. She now works as a College Access Counselor for the Finance Authority of Maine, teaching young people and their families about the financial aid process, how to save for college, and how to make smart choices when taking out student loans.
- Find a focus when you start out at a community college
- A strong grasp of math promotes development of critical thinking skills
- Strong writing skills build colleagues’ confidence in her work
- Many factors can cause students to become disengaged in community college
- Professors and clubs can spark excitement for school
Don is the Executive Director of the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development, an organization that helps first-time entrepreneurs build their businesses. Previously Don worked as a telecommunications market analyst and a venture capitalist. He also founded and ran a business that distributed a cappella music around the globe.
Althea is the Vice President of Corporate Communications at Woodard & Curran, a Maine-based integrated engineering and consulting firm. Since she graduated with a degree in English from the University of Connecticut, Althea has built a career of writing in the business world. She enjoys her work and knows from experience the importance of strong writing skills in achieving career success.
Sol Garfunkel is the executive director of the Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications (COMAP), a non-profit organization that aims to improve math education for students of all ages. Garfunkel received his PhD in mathematical logic from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1967. He believes that math education in this country is in dire need of an update in order to help students be more successful in life and careers.
Angus King served two terms as the Governor of Maine from 1995 to 2003. Since leaving office, King has worked as a lecturer at Bowdoin College, as a consultant for a mergers and acquisitions advisory firm in Portland, and as a lawyer for a law firm in Portland. King grew up in Viriginia but has spent most of his adult life in Maine. He attended Dartmouth College and the University of Viriginia School of Law. King currently lives in Brunswick.
Lisa is the Director of Research at the Mitchell Institute, a Portland-based program that awards a scholarship each year to one graduating senior from every high school in the state of Maine. As the Director of Research, Lisa works to collect data on Mitchell Scholars and alumni, as well as to improve access to college in the state. Lisa grew up in Maine and graduated from South Portland High School before going on to study at the University of Massachusetts in Boston.
Nancy is a professor of English at the University of Southern Maine in Portland. In addition to teaching courses in modern English literature and poetry, Nancy also teaches a number of writing courses. She believes that a firm grasp of English grammar and syntax is essential for every student and is passionate about teaching these skills well.
Sarah moved around a great deal in high school, attending a different school each year – Orono, Bangor, then back to Orono – before graduating from Portland High School. As a teenager, Sarah dreamed of a career as an actress and pursued that for several years after graduation before deciding to go back to school to study math. Since then, Sarah has gone on to receive a master’s degree in financial planning and is now working to earn her PhD in psychology and financial planning at the University of Maine. Sarah is interested in finances and the ways that people deal with money as a result of her own difficulties growing up in a low-income family. She is the author of I Hate Money! Understanding Your Financial Attitude.
Mila grew up in Maine’s Washington County and attended the University of Maine. Before becoming a College Access Counselor with FAME, Mila worked for the state legislature as well as for University of Maine’s financial aid office. As a College Access Counselor, Mila helps middle and high school students and their families plan for college and how to pay for it.
- Different colleges have different priorities when it comes to admissions
- Increase chances for merit-based aid by applying yourself in school
- Begin exploring college options with middle school kids
- Helping her son through the college search and financial aid process
- Net price calculators a helpful tool, but use with caution
Chuck Lawton is the chief economist at Planning Decisions, Inc., a Portland-based planning firm. He has also worked in state government, private business, and as a professor of economics at the University of Maine at Farmington. He also writes a weekly column on Maine’s economy for the Maine Sunday Telegram. As an economist, Chuck is well versed in the challenges faced by today’s students as a result of the changing economy. In this interview, he speaks about how teens can move beyond these challenges and find career success in the future.
Bea grew up in Portland and has three decades of experience working in Maine schools. She is now an Educational Consultant for schools around the country and recently co-authored the book Inevitable: Mass Customized Learning, in which she describes the necessity of a move towards customized education and how to make such a transformation a reality.
Eric is a Doctor of Health Education with a master’s degree in psychology. He has had a long career as a counselor, with his particular focus being on career development. He is also listed on the website “asktheinternettherapist.com” for online counseling sessions. Eric has two children, a fourteen-year-old son and a six-year-old daughter.
As the Manager of Staffing and Recruiting at Maine Medical Center, Karen is oversees much of the hiring that takes place in the hospital. This includes recruiting not only nurses and clinical technicians, but also IT professionals, housekeeping staff, and human resources personnel. Karen grew up in Ellsworth, ME and received her degree in organizational leadership at UNE.
- Opportunities for high schoolers to learn about health care careers
- Make connections to find internship and job opportunities
- Many different types of jobs within the hospital setting
- Medical schools look for life experience as well as booksmarts
- Get involved in clubs and activities to bulk up your resume
John Gardner is the founder and president of the John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education, a California-based non-profit organization dedicated to improving the experience and success of college students, particularly those students who are in their first year of higher education. Gardner has authored numerous books about college success and has been involved in the creation of several programs designed to enhance the experience of first-year college students.
Tony Wagner is a former high school English teacher and the current Innovation Education Fellow at the Technology & Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard University. He is the author of several books, his most recent being the best-selling Global Achievement Gap: Why Even Our Best Schools Don’t Teach the New Survival Skills Our Children Need—and What We Can do About It. Tony is also a frequent speaker at conferences and events across the country.
Sonal grew up in India and earned her Ph.D in Organizational Development. Previously, she served as the Dean of Lebanon College in Lebanon, NH, and she is currently working as an Organizational Development Specialist at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.
Stephen Bowen is Maine’s Commissioner of Education. A Maine native, he grew up in Penobscot and graduated from George Stevens Academy. He went to college out-of-state and started his teaching career at a Virginia high school. When he moved back to Maine, he taught 8th grade at Camden-Rockport Middle School while serving in the legislature. He then went on to do research in education policy before joining Governor LePage’s staff.
Trisha is a College Access Counselor in western and southern Maine, providing information for students and families about preparing for and paying for college.