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UMFK Alumni Association to honor three at banquet

September 2, 2011


The University of Maine at Fort Kent Alumni Association will honor three individuals who have made an impact on the campus community and society, at its annual Alumni and Friends Banquet to be held this year on Saturday, September 17 in Nowland Hall.

Ronald A. Berube, a 1973 graduate of UMFK will be presented with the 2011 Outstanding Alumni award; Betty Skoke Burns, a 2001 graduate, will be presented with the Outstanding Young Alumni award; and Stephanie Chick, who will graduate next May, will be presented with the Outstanding Future Alumni award.

Berube was a member of the Presidential Helicopter Squadron HMX-1. His assignments included Operational Test and Evaluation Leader; Executive Flight Detachment Program Coordinator for the VH-3 Helicopter; Executive Flight Detachment Assistance Aircraft Maintenance Officer; and, Maintenance Officer.

Was Commanding Officer of Marine Heavy Helicopter HMH-466 and Presidential Helicopter Squadron One HMX-1. While assigned to the Presidential Helicopter Squadron One, he flew Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton.

Berube was commissioned a Marine Second Lieutenant in August 1973. He attended Naval Flight Training at Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida, and was designated a Naval Aviator in September 1974.

His military assignments have included: Operations Duty Officer; NBC Officer and Basic Training Officer; Assistant Officer in Charge for Training Management Element 22; the Assistant Operations Officer; Operations Officer; Squadron Executive Officer; and, Executive Officer of Marine Aircraft Group Sixteen.

Colonel Berube attended several military schools, including the Amphibious Warfare School; Marine Corps Command and Staff College; The Army War College; and, the Defense Systems Management College.

Berube received a Bachelor of Science degree from the UMFK in 1973. He later earned a Bachelor's degree in Professional Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle University, and received a Master's degree in Management from Salve Regina University.

Berube retired from the Marine Corps in January 2000 after serving 27 years and accumulating over 6,000 flight hours in rotary-wing and fixed-wing aircraft.

Berube is married to Sally Nadeau of Fort Kent. They have two children and three grandchildren.

He currently is assigned as the Lockheed Senior Manager for Marine Corps Programs in Stafford, Virginia.

Outstanding Young Alumni Betty Skoke Burns is a leader, a teacher, and a learner. In 2008, Betty was a Yukon delegate at the Pan-Canadian Interactive Literacy Forum held in Whitehorse. In January 2009, she was then selected as a Yukon delegate at the International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement.

In 2003 to 2004, she was selected by the Yukon Department of Education to participate in the Mathematics Leadership Program. She was trained to be a school leader in Mathematics, with an emphasis on the constructivist approach to teaching Mathematics. She continued to support her colleagues at school as the staff facilitator as she promoted a successful “hands-on” approach to teaching.

Betty graduated from UMFK in 2001 with a Bachelor of University Studies degree. In 2008, she completed her Master’s of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, through distance learning.

Betty is a grade three teacher at Christ the King Elementary School, a part-time instructor at the Yukon College and owner of Angellina's Toy & Children's Boutique, which was featured in the March issue of UpHere Business. Recently, Betty was awarded the Young Entrepreneur Award from the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce.

Betty and her husband, Damien, have three children, Angellina (17), Ave Maria (4) and Stella Maris (Age 1) and reside in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada.

Stephanie Chick is this year’s Outstanding Future Alumni. The honor was given in recognition of her exemplary service to the campus community and her distinguished career as a student at UMFK.

Chick is president of the Ecology Committee and the senior class. She is an active member in Student Senate and in 2009 -2011 served as president. She planned and organized many student activities.

She has served on the UMFK President’s Cabinet, the UMFK Presidential Search Committee, the Scholar Symposium Committee, EMPAC Committee, and the University of Maine System’s Board of Trustees’ Representative Search. Chick also worked on campus as a tour guide with the Admissions office.

Chick also is on the UMFK Bengal Dance Team and currently is working on a UMFK Greenhouse that took shape this past summer. The greenhouse will soon produce organic vegetables, which will be purchased by food service on the University. She has been working on a project to determine the heartiness of vegetables in an unheated environment in northern Maine.

In June 2011, she was accepted to the Maine NEW Leadership program that was hosted by the University of Maine in Orono.

Chick is working completing a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies with a concentration in social policy and political activism in May of 2012.

Chick is from Lisbon, Maine and her parents are Scott and Maureen. She has one sister, Jennifer, who also is in college at the University of Maine at Farmington.

Tickets to the Alumni and Friends Banquet are $20 each. They may be purchased through the UMFK University Relations and Alumni Affairs office by calling (207) 834-7557.