UMaine nursing major Corey Conner’s favorite academic experiences have come at the local level, where she is able to pursue her studies hands-on working alongside her professors in one of the area hospitals.
Outside of academics, however, Conner is making an impact at an international level. A junior on the UMaine cross country and track and field teams, Conner is a premier long-distance runner. Earlier this season her time of 16 minutes, 6.18 seconds in the 5,000-meter run stood for one week as the best time in the world so far this year. Although her world-best time was surpassed earlier this month, Conner is among the top NCAA Division I women in the 5,000 meters and holds the UMaine record in that event. She also placed 42nd in the 2010 NCAA Cross Country Championships.
Conner has also reached regional and national levels when it comes to academic awards. She has been named to all-academic teams by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, ESPN The Magazine/College Sports Information Directors of America, and the America East conference. She recently won the “M” Club’s Dean Smith Award, the highest academic honor given out by UMaine to a student-athlete.
Name: Corey Conner
Hometown: Townsend, Mass.
I came to UMaine while I was in high school to visit my older sister Allie, who is also a student here. I really enjoyed my visits and I thought the UMaine community was pretty unique. I am very close with my sister and ultimately decided on attending UMaine for both the school’s offerings and the ability to be close to my sister.
How would you describe the academic atmosphere at UMaine?
I think UMaine has a great academic atmosphere. It’s warm and inviting in that you are able to really speak freely and not feel scrutinized. I think UMaine offers a wide variety of different areas to study and learn from, which is important for the students so they can delve into whatever interests them.
Have you worked closely with a mentor, professor or role model who has made your UMaine experience better, and if so, who and how?
Although I am not able to individually choose one individually, I can definitely say that almost all my professors have influenced me in one way or another. Each one is so different and they bring different things to the table, but I think I have learned some important concepts from each one.
Have you had an experience at UMaine — either academically or socially — that has changed or shaped the way you see the world?
I would say that just being a part of the UMaine academic and social community has changed me somewhat. I do strongly feel like I am a different person then I was before I stepped onto the campus freshman year. Whether indirectly or directly, I think being a part of this university has help to change some of my views of both myself and the world around me.
What role has athletics played in your time at UMaine so far?
I think being a part of athletics here has helped me to remain focused on my ultimate goals in life. Being a part of a team is amazing and having friends who are also teammates is a blessing. I am lucky to be on a team that supports me in all aspects of my life. Athletics require discipline, both mental and physical, and require that you dedicate yourself and remain focused. For me, athletics has been a great outlet for the stress of school and life in general. I have made great friends, met some great people, and grown as a person just from being a part of an athletic team here at UMaine.
Describe UMaine in one word.
I think UMaine community that allows individuals to express themselves and their ideas in a respectful and open way.
What is your most memorable UMaine moment?
I don’t really have one moment that stands out amongst the others in my mind, but I always tend to think back on the first day/night living on campus my freshman year, and how different I felt back then compared to now.
What do you hope to do after graduation and how has UMaine helped you reach those goals?
I hope to become a registered nurse and I am currently in the UMaine nursing program working towards that goal. UMaine and the School of Nursing have helped introduce and prepare me for a future in the nursing profession.
What is the most interesting, engaging or helpful class you’ve taken at UMaine? How have those classes translated to the real world?
The clinical courses in the nursing program are very engaging in that we are able to be involved in the healthcare system directly. We get to experience what it is like to be a registered nurse in a variety of settings, and we get to practice the nursing skills we learn in the classroom. It is great to be able to work in hospitals alongside our professors, instructors and real-life professionals, knowing one day we’ll be doing the same kind of work as they are now.
What difference has UMaine made in your life?
I think UMaine has opened my eyes quite a bit. It’s exposed me to new people, new ideas, and a different lifestyle.
Image Description: Corey Connor