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Student Commencement Speakers

Kate McKeownKate C. McKeown
College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture
Bachelor of Science in Microbiology

Kate C. McKeown of Turner, Maine, majored in microbiology and minored in chemistry and psychology. The Top Scholar Award winner is a member of All Maine Women and Alpha Lambda Delta. She received the E. Reeve Hitchner, Dr. Mary Rumpho-Kennedy and Servant Heart scholarships. In the laboratory of Associate Professor of Microbiology Dr. Robert Wheeler, Ms. McKeown did her capstone research on characterizing the effect of macrophages on the pathogenic fungus Candida albicans. She was a teaching assistant (TA) in the Microbiology Laboratory and the Microbiology for the Professional Nurse Laboratory, both in the Department of Molecular and Biomedical Sciences, and a TA in the Organic Chemistry Laboratory in the Department of Chemistry. She also was an EMT with the University Volunteer Ambulance Corps, a site leader with Alternative Breaks and a flutist in the Pep Band. After graduation, Ms. McKeown plans to apply to medical school, travel and work as an EMT.


Justin LewinJustin D. Lewin
College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture
Bachelor of Science in Biology

Justin D. Lewin of Castle Hill, Maine, majored in biology. He also began graduate work toward a Master of Science in Teaching. His numerous academic honors include an Armed Forces Communication & Electronics Association STEM Teachers for America’s Future Scholarship and Maine PSP Summer Undergraduate Research Assistant Fellowship, both in 2012, and a UMaine Center for Undergraduate Research Fellowship in spring 2013. This spring, with a grant from the Lloyd G. Balfour Foundation,

Mr. Lewin interned at The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine. His work in a reproductive biology lab there focused on better understanding spermatogenesis that may lead to potential targets for infertility treatment and/or male contraception. On campus, Mr. Lewin’s research in the School of Biology and Ecology included collaboration with Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences Michelle Smith, analyzing the effectiveness of clickers — personal response systems — in middle school science education classes. He also was a teaching partner at Leonard Middle School and a tutor at Stillwater Montessori School, both in Old Town, Maine. Mr. Lewin was active in UMaine’s Peer Tutor Program, served as president of the Community Governing Board and as a UMaine resident assistant. He also was an active community volunteer. He expects to complete his master’s degree in 2016 and hopes to be a public school teacher of life science or physical science.