2015 Maryann Hartman Award Recipients Announced

Three Maine women and a teen who are leaders in social justice, community advocacy and cultural preservation will be honored at the 29th annual Maryann Hartman Awards on March 24 at the University of Maine.

This year’s Maryann Hartman Award recipients are Maria Girouard of Orono for her advocacy for the preservation of the cultural heritage and rights of the Penobscot Nation; Deborah Thompson of Bangor for her work on recognizing and preserving the rich architectural history of Bangor; and Florence Reed of Surry, for her initiative in creating Sustainable Harvest International, connecting Maine to the global community.

Girouard, Thompson and Reed join 88 distinguished Maine women who have been honored with Maryann Hartman Awards, named for the late UMaine associate professor of speech communication who was a renowned educator, feminist, scholar and humanist. Hartman Awards are given by UMaine’s Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program to recognize Maine women for their inspirational achievements in the arts, politics, business, education, healthcare and community service.

High school senior Nicole Maines of Portland will receive the Young Women’s Social Justice Award. She is the 17th recipient of the award, begun in 2001 to recognize young women who have distinguished themselves through their dedication and contributions to justice and social change.

The Maryann Hartman Awards Ceremony will be held 5:30–7:30 p.m., March 24 in UMaine’s Buchanan Alumni House. This year, the free public event is part of Women’s Leadership Week, a University of Maine 150th anniversary observance. For more information or to request a disability accommodation, call 207.581.1228.

Short biographies of this year’s award winners follow:

Maria Girouard
Maria Girouard, member of the Penobscot Nation, is an historian and environmental activist. She is the health and wellness coordinator for Wabanaki Health and Wellness, which serves all tribally enrolled Native Americans in Penobscot, Washington and Aroostook counties. Girouard also serves as a community organizer for the Penobscot Nation in the Maine-Wabanaki REACH, which is investigating and reporting on Wabanaki experiences with the Maine child welfare services. She is the former director of the Penobscot Nation’s Department of Cultural and Historic Preservation. Girouard’s activism work centers on water quality.

Deborah Thompson
Deborah Thompson has been a major force in the historic preservation movement in Maine for nearly 40 years. She was largely responsible for Bangor’s Historic Preservation ordinance, which was the first in Maine. In the 1970s and 1980s, she conducted an extensive preservation survey of Bangor that still informs local and state preservation commissions. She has since conducted several other surveys throughout the state. She is the author of Bangor, Maine, 1769–1914: An Architectural History and edited Maine Forms of American. She is currently at work on a book about Bangor architect Wilfred Mansur with co-author Earl G. Shettleworth Jr., director of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission.

Florence Reed
Florence Reed is the founder of Sustainable Harvest International (SHI). In the early ’90s, Reed worked in environmental conservation and sustainable agriculture as a Peace Corps volunteer in Panama, and launched SHI in 1997 in the basement of her parents’ home. Today, the successful nonprofit dedicated to environmental conservation and alleviating poverty is found in three Central American countries. SHI provides farming families in Central America with the tools and resources to overcome poverty, and focuses on efforts to preserve tropical forests.

Nicole Maines
Nicole Maines of Portland has been actively involved in challenging gender norms in Maine and nationwide. Maines advocates for the equal rights of all members of the LBGT community. At age 13, she was instrumental in helping defeat a bill in Maine that would have limited transgender rights. She has also set legal precedent in protecting the rights of transgender people’s use of public bathrooms and access to all school facilities, programs and extracurricular activities in a way that is consistent with their gender identity. Maines speaks nationwide about her personal experiences, and continues to advocate on behalf of transgender children and adults.

Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745