Kevin Bois: Engaged leadership

Leadership has long been part of the student experience for University of Maine senior Kevin Bois. At Westbrook High School, Bois was involved in student government and Key Club.

At UMaine, he took his leadership to another level.

For the past four years, Bois has served in University of Maine Student Government. And for the past year and a half, he has been Student Government president, working with his peers and collaborating with UMaine leaders to help student groups grow and thrive as part of an engaged UMaine experience for all.

“We have a great team of students and staff in Student Government who really enjoy working with the student groups and administrations,” Bois says. “This has really taught me the importance of a community and I appreciate how much UMaine values its students’ input.”

As a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon, Bois has been actively involved in community service initiatives and intramurals. He is an avid fan of Black Bear athletics and a student ambassador for the College of Engineering.

His many academic honors include the 2017 Frank J. Ruck Leadership Award from Sigma Phi Epsilon; UMaine’s 2015 Distinguished Campus Leader Award; and the 2013 Good Citizen Award from Daughters of the American Revolution.

As a mechanical engineering major with a minor in business administration, Bois did three internships with Sappi North America in Skowhegan. In the fall of his senior year at UMaine, he had three job offers.

Following graduation in May 2017, Bois will join Pratt & Whitney in North Berwick as an associate engineer.

Bois shared other perspectives on his UMaine experience:

Tell us about the research, internships or scholarly pursuits you were involved in as a student.
I was a project engineer intern (2014, 2016) and maintenance and reliability intern (2015) with Sappi North America in Skowhegan. The first summer I aided projects by creating 2-D CAD models, participated in the selection of mechanical equipment and supported installation of capital projects. The second summer was spent in maintenance and reliability engineering. I added new rebuild procedures to the company’s database, became familiar with the use of visual, infrared, vibration and other nondestructive testing/maintenance measures, participated in a root-cause failure analysis of a piece of equipment on site, and helped in a two-week inspection of the power generation system. The third summer, I was involved in a large capital investment project. I was able to see the business end of a project which included learning about the approval process and business factors that affected decision-making.

What difference has UMaine made in your life and in helping you reach your goals?
UMaine has provided me an environment where I have been able to grow and develop both in and out of the classroom. In the classroom, I have gained the foundation of knowledge necessary to become an engineer. The professors here at UMaine genuinely care about the progress of students and the classes are small enough that you are able to have a genuine relationship with your professors. Outside of the classroom, UMaine has provided me with the opportunities to test and refine leadership skills, build relationships and make an impact in my community. My internships and job after college are also a direct result of attending UMaine. The combination of studying, fun and extracurricular activities has led me to have a balance in my college career that I hope to continue to incorporate into my life.

Why UMaine?
I love the University of Maine because it is a tight-knit community. Orono is a true college town filled with rich university history on and off campus. UMaine’s size makes it just large enough to have the “big campus” feel and resources, yet is a size that you can see several familiar faces on the walk to class each day.

How would you define the opportunities for student success at UMaine?
The opportunities for student success at UMaine are huge. I regret that I was never able to fully capture these opportunities on campus, but I have several colleagues in related fields of studies that have research assistant opportunities with the faculty, part-time positions at the Advanced Manufacturing Center and Advanced Composites Center on campus, or even work in one of the many on campus tutoring spaces. My senior capstone project has really helped solidify my education. This two-semester project combines several fields of study in engineering to design, test and fabricate an autonomous land drone. This also ties in well with the goal of entering a project-oriented job after school.

What advice do you have for incoming students to help them get off to the best start academically?
My advice would be to spend the first weeks on campus exploring the opportunities our campus has: the clubs, Greek organizations, intramurals, on-campus positions, and find one thing that you can really commit to. That thing will be your motivator, the place where you have relationships that will define your college career — a positive place where you can focus your energy when you’re not in class or studying. Being involved — but not too much — I believe is a huge part of a successful academic career outside of the traditional good study habits: reading your text, going to class and getting to know your professors.

Contact: Margaret Nagle, 20.581.3745