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Commencement 2014

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Valedictorian and Salutatorian

Class of 2014 Valedictorian

Sierra J. Ventura
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Bachelor of Music in Music Education

Sierra J. Ventura of Belfast, Maine, majored in music education. Her honors include membership in Phi Beta Kappa. Throughout her undergraduate career, she was active in UMaine’s chapter of the National Association of Music Education, including two years as treasurer. Her leadership roles on campus include serving as assistant conductor of the University of Maine Singers and of Euphony, the Orono-based chamber choir, both in 2013–14. The previous year, Ms. Ventura was the assistant accompanist of Collegiate Chorale. Ms. Ventura also was a member of other musical ensembles in the UMaine School of Performing Arts, including Opera Workshop, Concert Band and Athena Consort, and she worked on the technical and events crews. Since 2009, she has had her own business, S.J. Ventura Music Instruction, teaching 35 students in piano, voice, flute, clarinet and saxophone. Ms. Ventura plans to pursue a graduate degree in music education at the University of Maine.

Class of 2014 Salutatorian

Jennifer P. Chalmers
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Honors College
Bachelor of Arts in English
Bachelor of Arts in History

Jennifer P. Chalmers of Foxborough, Mass., majored in English and history, with minors in education and Spanish. She received highest honors for her honors thesis, a historical and literary research project, titled “Teaching Literature in America: Demonstrating Relevance in the Early Cold War (1945–1963).” Ms. Chalmers is a member of multiple honor societies, including All Maine Women, Sophomore Eagles and Phi Beta Kappa. A UMaine Presidential Scholars Award recipient, Ms. Chalmers also received Roger B. Hill Scholarships in both history and English, and the Ellis Prize in English. She has accepted a position with Teach for America. For the next two years, she will teach secondary special education English in southern New Jersey and then will pursue graduate school. While at UMaine, Ms. Chalmers had two internships that advanced her professional writing skills. She was a human resources intern with the Massachusetts State Police in Framingham, Mass. and an English editorial intern with Pearson Higher Education in Boston, Mass. At UMaine, Ms. Chalmers received a College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research Fellowship. She was a journalist for the Maine Journal and a tutor for UMaine’s Writing Center. Ms. Chalmers was a student supervisor for Black Bear Dining concessions, and a clarinetist in the UMaine Symphonic and Pep bands. Her community service activities included volunteering, serving as a note taker for UMaine Disability Support Services, and being involved in Autism at UMaine and the History Club.

Image Description: Sierra Ventura

Image Description: Jennifer Chalmers


Contact Information

Commencement 2014
Phone: 207.581.1516E-mail:
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
A Member of the University of Maine System