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Math Science Summer Program - Summer Staff 2014

2014 Summer Academic & Residential Staff

Group Facilitators: 

Mathematics Instructors: 

  • Bill Babbitt – (Algebra II/Trigonometry with focus on SAT Prep)
  • Matt Dube – (Calculus, Bridge Math Elective, Statistics)
  • Ryan Garbe – (Residence Life Counselor serving as Math Tutor)

English 101 Instructor: 

Scientific Writing Instructor: 

  • Jeremy Swist – (Candidate for M.A. Classics; M.A. University of Iowa; B.A. Latin and B.A. European History, UMaine)

Individual Project Coordinator: 

Individual Project Mentors: 

Residence Life Counselors: 

  • Hanna Backus – Female RC (Environmental Science)
  • Julia Kusiak-Carey – Bridge RC (Hispanic Studies and Secondary Education)
  • Nikita Gagain – Female RC and Program Counselor (Social Work)
  • Ryan Garbe - Male RC (Mathematics Education)
  • Patrick Stewart – Residence Hall Manager (Economics, Environmental Science)

Full-Time Staff

 Office Assistant

Resident Cook:

Resident Nurse:

Summer Staff 2014 Biographies


Seanna Annis

  • Individual Project Mentor (Microbiology of Fungal Growth – Mycology) 

About Seanna:

Hannah BackusHanna Backus  

  • Residence Life Counselor – Female RC (Environmental Science)

About Hannah: My name is Hanna Backus, I’m a senior in the Environtmental Science program at Husson University. This summer I am the female RC and a watch group co-faculitator.I graduated from Penquis Valley High School. I’m from Brownville Junction,ME. I am also a graduate of the University of Maine Classic Program.   Bill Babbitt

Bill Babbitt

Mathematics Instructor (Algebra II/Trigonometry with a focus on SAT Prep)

Individual Project Mentor (Mathematics)

About Bill: I am the Alg II/Trig teacher for the summer as well as an individual project mentor. I was a student at Upward Bound from 2003-2005 and have been staff since 2008, although this is my first summer in Math Science. I graduated from Mattanawcook Academy in 2005 and University of Maine in 2010 with a B.S. in Secondary Education. During the school year, I am a half-time math teacher at Brewer High School.

James Brophy*

James Brophy

  • English 101 Instructor (English, Latin and History)

About James: This summer I’ll be teaching English 101 to the bridge students. We’ll be reading and writing, but most of all focusing on what a “discursive community” is; how we all are constantly participating in them all the time whether we realize, or like it, or not; and how understanding and mediating that participation will make one a better reader, writer, professional, student, scientist, and so on.

I studied history and classical languages at UMaine, and graduated in 2010. My experience in the Honors College pushed me toward an interest in contemporary literature, and so I transitioned into Maine’s MA program in English, and graduated in 2012. Since then, I’ve taught courses in composition, Latin, and classical literature in translation at UMaine. I also teach college composition and professional communications at Husson University. I’m currently in the process of applying to PhD programs in English, in order to continue developing as a scholar, teacher and writer.

My academic areas are pretty varied, but my writing so far has focused a lot around comparisons between the Modernist world (early 20th century) and Classical Roman world, and tend toward exploring intersections between authors and politics. An article of mine due to be published next year, for example, focuses on the work of two poets driven into political exile in fascistic regimes: the Roman poet Ovid by the Emperor Augustus, and the Russian poet Osip Mandelshtam, by Joseph Stalin.

Crystal-Lynn Cloutier*

Crystal-Lynn Cloutier

  • Individual Project Coordinator (B.A., Elementary Education, UMaine)

About Crystal:  Hello! I graduated from the University of Maine Orono in December with an Elementary Education degree. I love science! I am striving to become a middle school science teacher. When I am not the Individual Project Coordinator for UBMS I am hanging out with friends playing games, exercising, listening to music, reading a book or just relaxing. While I was in college I spent a lot of my free time volunteering with my sisters of Gamma Sigma Sigma. I have worked with dozens of organizations across the campus and the nation to help raise money and awareness to important causes. I am so excited to get to know each and every one of you this summer!

Becky Becky Colannino Director/Residence Life Coordinator
About Becky: Becky’s first summer at UB was in 1989! She has been in several roles, from Academic Counselor, Co-Director and now Director of UBMS. In the summers, Becky has worked with Community Service, and now can be found organizing the Residence Life Team, coordinating with our new Chef, working with our Counselor and Hall Manager, as well as cleaning and painting Theta Chi in preparation for summer program. She also does all kinds of administrative tasks! She is a busy lady! In her time not at UBMS, Becky has two children, and spends hundreds of hours with them in ice hockey arenas all over New England and Canada.   Cathy Conn

  • Chef Extraordinaire


Jessie Darkis

  • Group Facilitator & Individual Project Mentor (Counselor Education, Animal Science, Psychology)

About Jessie: Hi, I’m Jessie!  I am the current graduate assistant for UBMS, and 2014 will mark my second year as staff in the summer program.  During the school year, I work as an UBMS academic counselor, visiting Central High School, Foxcroft Academy, Mattanawcook Academy, and Nokomis Regional High School.  I really enjoyed my first summer with UBMS last year, and am looking forward to working with everyone this summer.

Currently I am a graduate student in the Counselor Education program here at UMaine, focusing on Clinical Mental Health Counseling.  My special interests include play therapy and animal-assisted therapy– more specifically, equine-assisted therapy.  I really love this program of study, as I greatly enjoy helping others find personal clarity. My undergraduate background is in Animal Science and Psychology, and I am very interested in both animal and human behavior alike.
My major passion is dressage– a type of horseback riding discipline.  When I am not working for UBMS or focusing on graduate school, you can find me riding my horse, Riley.  I enjoy participating in competitions each month, but also love just going out for a nice gallop.  My time at the barn is sacred, and how I recharge and energize myself.  I strongly believe that everyone should have some sort of interest or passion that they can lose themselves in, and for me, that is my time with horses.
Other things I greatly enjoy, in no particular order: animals of all types, coffee, biking, making music, hiking, exploring, and spending time with friends and family.  My musical tastes vary from classical to metal, but currently I’m listening to: Led Zeppelin, Lykke Li, Incubus, 5sos, Deftones, and various other random artists. Favorite movies and tv shows include the Big Lebowski, True Detective, Orange is the New Black, The Shining, The Silence of the Lambs, and American Werewolf in London, just to name a few.

Matt Dube*

Matt Dube

  • Group Facilitator & Individual Project Mentor (Spatial Information Science and Engineering & Statistics)
  • Mathematics Instructor (Calculus, Bridge Math Elective, Statistics)

About Matt: I am a 3rd year staff member of Upward Bound Math Science and I focus on all math related things with the program.  You will find me teaching calculus, research statistics, and the Bridge math elective course.  You will also find me as an individual project mentor for math-based projects and as a group project facilitator.  As far as math education goes, I tend to be sort of an innovator.  I believe that there are many ways to demonstrate knowledge and mastery of concepts.

As far as academics go, I did my undergraduate studies at UMaine in Mathematics and Statistics (hence why I am one of your math faculty).  I did my masters degree and am currently working on my PhD here in the Spatial Information Science and Engineering department doing what amounts to applied mathematics as it pertains to spatial reasoning and spatial database queries.

As you will find from any of the students around program who know me, I am what you would call a jack-of-all-trades.  I was a three-sport high school athlete, I act, I sing, I umpire baseball pretty much whenever I am not with you guys, I facilitate leadership development workshops, I partner dance, I volunteer for the special olympics as a coach for soccer and basketball, I cook a lot, etc.

I have something in common with almost every single one of you.  For some of you, you already know what that is as we have explored it, but for those of you who don’t, I am fully ready to explore that.  If you have any questions about applying for college, what math degrees entail, math questions in general, or anything, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

To keep this a little more light, here are a few fun facts:

1.  I have played in a kazorchestra – that is an orchestra of kazoos 2.  I can do many vocal impressions (I may or may not use that to my advantage teaching from time to time) 3.  I have studied in Belgium 4.  My roommates are international students (China, India, South Korea)

Nikita Gagain

About Nikita: 

Ryan Garbe*

Ryan Garbe

  • Residence Life Counselor – Male RC
  • Math Tutor

About Ryan: I am excited to share this Upward Bound experience as a residence counselor this summer. My plan is to graduate in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a minor in education at the University of Maine in Orono. I hope to be a high school teacher after I receive a masters degree in secondary education.

My current hobbies are fitness, serving the community, basketball, hiking, skiing, chess, ice skating, foreign languages, golf and traveling. I am a board member of the Ripple Effect Project, a non-profit corporation that assists an orphanage in Kisumu, Kenya, called the Korando Faith Widows and Orphans Group. One fun fact about my high school career is that my dad was my homeroom teacher freshman year!

Adria Gifford

Adria Gifford

  • Office Assistant

About Adria: I am a Junior at UMO studying Accounting. I enjoy math which is why I am studying Accounting. During the summer I like to go walks and bike rides. I also enjoy swimming and just being outside in general. During the winter I enjoy down hill skiing. I have been involved with Upward Bound since 2008. This will be my 5th summer with the program, my 2nd working. I will be working in the office this summer.

Dr. Heather Hamlin 

  • Individual Project Mentor (Aquaculture)

About Dr. Hamlin:

  IMG_3541Kelly Ilseman

  • Assistant Director/Academic Curriculum Coordinator

About Kelly: This is my 14th summer program! I started with UBMS as a Graduate Assistant (2000-2003) and have held several summer program roles, including Group Facilitator/Individual Project Mentor and Individual Project Coordinator, and in my current role since September 2005. You should come to see me during summer program if … You have questions about the schedule, academics, a conflict with your group or mentor, questions about the group project, individual projects, classes or the program in general. You learned something cool and want to tell me! You want to practice your presentation or need help editing your papers! You need more information about campus, getting financial aid or scholarships, exceptions from program, meal and dietary needs…and, just about anything else! I have three cats (Jerrymander, Sam-ka, and Jenny Girl, as they are affectionately called), and my favorite song is Eyes of the World by the Grateful Dead. To me, it sends a positive message about interconnectedness and each person’s place in the universe. I live in Orono and am finished my second Master’s degree this spring. I love novel foods — some of my favorites include brazil broccoli mash, cashew nut “cheese” and cacao almond smoothies! I will be President of the Maine Educational Opportunity Association (MEEOA) in the upcoming year. I value higher education and the opportunities it brings, and hope to continue my education in one of several different paths I have in mind. I love learning, am naturally curious, and encourage students to ask questions this summer — of each other, their mentors and themselves. I believe that we all have innate strengths, abilities, and talents that they can contribute to make the world a better place!

Kara Jacobacci


I will graduate this summer from the University of Maine with a Masters’ of Science in Earth & Climate Sciences. My undergraduate degree is from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst, where I spent my days hiking around the Pioneer Valley and Contra dancing. I enjoy reading & pursuing my dream of becoming a Pokemon Master. I hope to eventually work in environmental consulting and continue to grow my online eBay business.

Dr. Len Kass

  • Individual Project Mentor (Biology and Vision)

About Dr. Kass:

Julia Kusiak-Carey

Julia Kusiak-Carey

  • Residence Life Counselor – Bridge RC (Hispanic Studies and Secondary Education)

About Julia:  This summer I will be working in ResLife as Resident Director/Resident Counselor. I am from Fairfield, ME. This year I graduated from Wheaton College in Massachusetts with a major in Hispanic Studies and a minor in Secondary Education. At Wheaton I studied abroad in Chile and Spain and was a member of the swim team. I enjoy hiking, biking, and still like to swim. The last movie I watched was Wreck-It-Ralph and I am currently reading 36 Children by Herbert Kohl.

Amanda Kutz

I am a graduate student studying clinical psychology at UMaine. My research broadly focuses on how certain emotions (e.g., anxiety, depression) affect and are maintained by the way individuals behave and think. The overall goal of this work is to better understand why negative emotions are sustained in some individuals to shed light on areas where intervention may be possible and/or necessary. I will be supervising projects through the Sustainability Solutions Initiative (SSI), which is a cross-disciplinary collaborative research effort to generate solutions to ecological, social and economic challenges in and beyond Maine. I am able to supervise projects which examine the relationships between emotions (e.g., anxiety) and/or individual differences (e.g., motivation) and sustainability behaviors (e.g., recycling practices) and beliefs (e.g., “recycling is important”). Projects which address the importance of a sustainable approach in mental health would also be applicable (e.g., examinations of how interactions between individuals and their environment shape mental well-being).These projects could involve the use of questionnaires, laboratory-based tasks and/or observational methods.

Daryl Lam

_I earned a Ph.D. from the University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL) and completed postdoctoral training at Ohio University (Athens, OH) working on the National Science Foundation’s “Tree of Life” project.  My research interests are in evolutionary biology.  In order to study evolution, my research involves molecular biology methods (DNA extraction, PCR, gel electrophoresis, and DNA sequencing) in combination with computational analyses (bioinformatics).  Additionally, I have been trained in marine biology and freshwater ecology.  I have conducted field-based experiments in many geographic locations which include: California, Hawaii, Maine (Appledore Island), Florida Keys, the Panama Canal, Suriname, French Guyana, and the Gulf of Mexico.

This is my first time working with the Upward Bound program and I am very excited to mentor early-career scientists in the beautiful state of Maine.  Throughout graduate school, I taught introductory biology courses and have mentored undergraduate research projects.  If you are interested in the biological sciences, please contact me if you have any questions.  Biology is a difficult major with many potential pitfalls and hurdles.  That being said, I wish to provide Upward Bound students the necessary preparation and training to achieve their future career goals.

For more information about me, please go to “”.

Nurse Leslie*

Leslie Peterson

UBMS Nurse

About Leslie:  ~ RN 30 years ~ Master’s Public Health 2012 ~ work in prevention-health & wellness- in workplace ~ work as RN for UB for ~ 15 years ~ Goal : support students in summer program towards optimal health, lifestyles and greatest potential & productivity. I look forward to working with you all. Leslie P. RN MPH

Dr. Finley Richmond

Finley 2014I am originally from Haiti, and I grew up in the small town of Gros-Morne; growing crops on a farm with his parents and several brothers and sisters. I appreciate a lot of activities, but I like anything that can connect me with nature and people. Along my journey, I have earned a Master of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Widener University in Chester, PA, I am currently involved in research program at the University of Maine, and I serve as President of The Water Project ThreeFold Foundation.

Dr. Alan Rosenwasser 

  • Individual Project Mentor (Psychology and Animal Behavior – Mice/Rats, Light/Dark Cycles)

About Dr. Rosenwasser:

Patrick Stewart 


  • Residence Life Counselor – Residence Hall Manager (Economics, Environmental Science)

About Patrick: I am from Bangor, Maine and am currently a student at Colby College. At Colby, I am majoring in economics and education, with the hope of being a teacher and/or coach when I graduate in 2016. I am a member of the men’s basketball team at Colby, as well as community advisor, and research assistant for education professor Adam Howard. I enjoy traveling and am passionate about giving everyone an opportunity to have clean drinking water around the world. I also enjoy playing golf and tennis, and spending time with my family. I am excited about returning for my second summer at Upward Bound!

Jeremy Swist*

Jeremy Swist

  • Scientific Writing Instructor (candidate for M.A. Classics; M.A. University of Iowa, B.A. Latin and B.A. European History, UMaine)

About Jeremy: Jeremy Swist graduated from UMaine Orono in 2011 with a dual degree in Latin and European History, and received his MA in Classics this spring from the University of Iowa. He is now a PhD. candidate in Classics at the University of Iowa. This is his third summer with UBMS teaching Latin & Greek, and his second teaching Scientific Writing. While his personal academic focus is on the history and philosophy of the later ancient world, Jeremy delights in trivia games, juggling, heavy metal and all things Doctor Who.

Troy Whitaker

Troy Whitaker - Bio Picture

Hello, my name is Troy. This is my first summer working with Upward Bound. I am from Millinocket, Maine and graduated from Stearns High School. After graduation I attended Worcester Polytechnic Institute to study Molecular Biology. After a few years I changed course and transferred to UMaine to study Political Science and in 2010 I received a BA. In 2012 I returned to UMaine to work on a second undergraduate degree, coming full circle, and once again majoring in Molecular and Cellular Biology. Upon completion of this program I would like to enter a MS program in STEM education and then a PhD program in Molecular Biology with the end goal of being a research professor.

Around campus I have been a Resident Assistant for the last two years and will be entering my third year as an RA in the fall. This summer I am a RA in Hancock Hall in addition to my responsibilities with Upward Bound. I am active with the Non-Traditional Student Association and in the past was active with the Maine Society of Microbiology and Medical Sciences.

In my free time I like to play PC games, primarily MMOs and RPGs. I like to read Clancy, Crichton, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy books. I also enjoy Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Superhero movies as well as TV shows. When I was in high school, and at WPI, I played the trumpet in Jazz Band but have not played since

I am looking forward to working with you all this summer!

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