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December 12, 2011


TRiO students enrolled at the University of Maine at Fort Kent are excelling in their academic studies, but also are making marks in their chosen fields of study long before they have completed their degrees.

TRiO programs are federal outreach and student service programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds.

TRiO includes eight programs targeted to serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post-baccalaureate programs.

“Our TRiO students are hard-working students and our program is focused on supporting them to reach their academic and career goals,” say Lena Michaud, TRiO program director.

Here is what a few TRiO students at UMFK have accomplished:

Owen Cunnane (Alfred, Maine) is a senior in UMFK's Environmental Science program has been selected to present his work on the use of gardens in grades K-16 at this year's Maine Policy Scholars program. One student from each of the University of Maine campuses, working with a faculty advisor, tackles a real-life policy issue facing the state. After conducting extensive research, the scholar produces a final report for the Governor or appropriate policy maker. Final presentations are made to a panel of policy practitioners.

Patrick Aldrich (Springfield, Maine) and Andrew Pelletier (Fort Kent, Maine) recently were featured on Bill Green's Maine television program. This past summer, Patrick and Andrew had an opportunity to work at Baxter State Park as Geographic Information Systems interns. Their GIS experience, gained through UMFK's Forestry program, allowed them to combine their computer and conservation skills for a new management application for the park. By the end of the summer, they were able to take all of the information they gathered and build databases and maps that the park can use and update. The park will be able to use the databases and maps for a long time to make better management decisions and optimize resources for the trail division.

Cory Cavanagh (Calais, Maine) has been recognized for his work co-authoring a peer-reviewed paper with UMFK professor, and his academic advisor, Dr. Raymond T. Albert. Cory is a senior majoring in computer applications.

Cory and Dr. Albert published their work and presented it this past summer at the WORLDCOMP'11, the 2011 World Congress in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, and Applied Computing in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Student Support Services TRiO program at UMFK serves 160 students as they pursue their academic, personal, and career goals.

The Student Support Services TRiO program joined the University of Maine in Fort Kent community in 1983. Funded by the Department of Education, the program is designed to improve academic performance, increase student motivation, and increase persistence and retention rates.