President Winthrop C. Libby/Reverend Pavlos T. Taiganides Award

Pictured is Dr. Taiganides [left] with the then associate dean of Agriculture Dr. Libby [right] and the then president of the University Hauck [middle]. Dr. Taiganides was very close with these men, he and the president would walk together cleaning up the campus on Maine Day. Dr. Libby ended his tenure at UMaine as president of the university.

The President Winthrop C. Libby/Reverend Pavlos T. Taiganides Award was established at the University of Maine in 1994 by Professor E. Paul Taiganides in memory of two of his mentors.  The award is given to the international student who has contributed the most in international relations on the campus and in the University community through participation in student activities, scholastic achievement and moral leadership.

In 1953 there were only seven UMaine students that were from abroad (excluding Canadians). Dr. E. Paul Taiganides was one of those foreign students, the only Greek, and he became very active on the UMaine campus during his time as an undergraduate student. Dr. Taiganides was elected VP of his class sophomore year, elected Winter Carnival King and Senior Skull, and was in the running for a watch award for the best student graduating.  His involvement in student life, sports and academics at UMaine continued throughout his international career and until today. He cherishes his four years in Orono and the Greek community in Bangor.

Dr. Taiganides established this award as a way to give back to his alma mater and those whose mentorship and friendship gave him a great start to his career and life.

2023-2024 Award Recipient

Ece Yeldan

Ece Yeldan with Turkey Flag at GraduationEce is from Turkey and recently graduated from the College of Environment, Health and Life Sciences and the Honors College with a degree in Wildlife Ecology. She served two terms as the International Student Association (ISA) president and one term as the ISA secretary. She is a strong leader and mentor and worked diligently to involve her fellow international students in campus life. In her sophomore year she was selected as a tutor for the Maine Learning Assistants program which allowed to hone her skills as an academic mentor for students enrolled in Chemistry 101. Her greatest joy was sharing the cultural traditions of her homeland with others.  During Culturefest and other campus festivals she prepared delicious Turkish traditional dishes and during the International Dance Festival she presented two dances from Turkey featuring students of all nationalities who she recruited to join the fun. In the fall she will be pursuing a Masters degree in Wildlife Ecology at the University of Glasgow in Scotland.



Vathana “Nara” Narith

Nara with Cambodian Flag at GraduationNara is from Cambodia and graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering. Throughout her time at UMaine she worked hard to develop her leadership skills serving as the Vice President and Treasurer of ISA. Being one of a very few students from Cambodia she also strived to share knowledge and understanding of her country’s cultural traditions with others. She enjoyed presenting information on Cambodia during the “Culture Feature” segment of our weekly Coffee Hour and she also prepared food and performances for our annual Culturefest and International Dance Festival events. Nara also served as a peer mentor in the classroom helping  students to successfully navigate core math and engineering courses. Nara plans to stay in the US to work for at least the next year in the Civil Engineering field.

Both Ece and Nara began their college careers at the beginning of  the COVID pandemic which presented many challenges to our student community, in particular our international students who were so far from home. We are especially proud of their accomplishments as their success required them to overcome many obstacles both academically and socially. Their outstanding leadership during this time is a testament to their strength, endurance and humanity. 



Previous Recipients

  • 2023 – Diprajit Biswas
  • 2022 – Betelhem “Betty” Abay, Saman Zare and Priyanshu Bhatta
  • 2021 – Abolaji Akinyemi, Karina Iskandarova and Abdelrahman “Bruce” Elbrolosy 
  • 2019 – Shweta Desai
  • 2018 – Aliya Uteuova
  • 2017 – Han Nguyen
  • 2016 – Dominika Trzilova
  • 2015 – Iva Jugovic
  • 2013 – Anin Maskay and many others

International Students Association Team '05-'06 Scholarship

The International Students Association (ISA) Team ’05-’06 Scholarship Fund was established in the University of Maine Foundation in 2006 for the benefit of the University of Maine, Orono, Maine, with gifts from the International Students Association (ISA) through the 2005-2006 officers, President Priyanth Chandrasekar, Vice-President Jessica Umel, Treasurer Marianne Schneider, and Secretary Rasika Somaneera, and their advisor, Sarah Joughin.

The scholarship is intended to be awarded for deserving students attending the University of Maine who have been active members of the ISA and who demonstrate academic merit.

The Director of the Office of International Programs, in consultation with the President of ISA and the ISA Advisor, shall make selection of the recipient(s). 

Phuoc “Jack” Le

Phuoc “Jack” LeJack recently graduated with a degree in Accounting and served as Treasurer for the International Student Association (ISA) in the Fall 2023 semester. Jack originally came to Maine from Vietnam to attend high school and then stayed on to pursue a degree at UMaine. From the moment he arrived on campus he worked hard to actively engage in campus life and to encourage others to do the same. Even before serving as ISA Treasurer he was an active member of the club and was always there to lend a helping hand at ISA events. As an Orientation Leader for the New International Student Orientation he was a welcoming and friendly mentor for new incoming students and shared his knowledge of Maine and the local community to help students acclimate to their new environment. Jack spent the Spring 2024 semester in Portland pursuing an internship but as a dedicated ISA member he still made time to attend the International Dance Festival and other spring ISA events. Jack plans to seek employment in the US in the coming year.




  • 2023 – Dariush Bodaghi
  • 2022 – Jinyoung Park
  • 2019 – Naveen Saladi
  • 2017 – Favour Akinador and Akbar Mahkdavi Shakib
  • 2016 – Chi Truong
  • 2015 – Danielle Runyambo and Yvane Ingabire