Media cover UMaine’s 217th Commencement

The Bangor Daily NewsWABI (Channel 5) and WVII (Channel 7) covered the University of Maine’s 217th Commencement ceremonies on May 11.  The event was Joan Ferrini-Mundy’s first commencement as UMaine president, the BDN reported. Bridget Ziegelaar, operations manager for NASA’s International Space Station Research Integration Office, Old Town native and UMaine alumna, gave the commencement address at the 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. ceremonies in Alfond Arena. “Teamwork is what will help you succeed,” Ziegelaar told the more than 1,700 undergraduate and graduate students, including upward of 40 doctoral degree candidates, receiving degrees. Sandra Caron, UMaine professor of family relations and human sexuality and the 2019 Distinguished Maine Professor, talked about the impact of faculty on the lives of students, the BDN reported. “That’s what faculty members do: encourage students to follow their dreams, and provide a path to it. It’s personal. It’s those one-on-one interactions that can affect positive change in the world,” said Caron. Drew Brooks, Class of 2019 valedictorian and recipient of a double degree in microbiology and music, said, “I think engaging different parts of your mind is how you’re able to think differently and look at things in a new way. I think balance is everything. Work hard, study hard, play hard. Doing a dual degree has been really helpful in getting into medical school, and so that is the next step for me. I think that the University of Maine really set me up to achieve my goals and get me to where I needed to be.” Ana Eliza Souza Cunha, Class of 2019 salutatorian and recipient of a degree in biology, said, “The University of Maine had so much research potential. They gave me so many different experiences that set me up to work at Boston Children’s Hospital in clinical research now. So, that’s where I am headed and I am so excited for it.” The BDN, News Center Maine and Z107.3 also posted links to the livestream for the Commencement ceremonies, and the BDN published a gallery of photos from the morning ceremony.