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September 22, 2009



Shown here following the University of Maine at Fort Kent Alumni and Friends Banquet award ceremony are: (L to R) are: William B. Wark ('64), 2009 Outstanding Alumnus; UMFK President, Dr. Richard W. Cost; Heather DeCotes ('10), 2009 Outstanding Future Alumna; and, Beurmond Banville ('70), UMFK Alumni Association president.  Missing from the photo is Andrew Stickings ('94), 2009 Outstanding Young Alumnus.


The University of Maine at Fort Kent Alumni Association paid tribute to three individuals whose lives have been touched by UMFK and who have, in turn, made an impact on the campus community at the annual Alumni and Friends Banquet held last Saturday evening in Nowland Hall on the Fort Kent campus.  

WILLIAM B. WARK a 1964 graduate of UMFK was presented with the 2009 Outstanding Alumni award; ANDREW STICKINGS a graduate from the class of 1994 received the Outstanding Young Alumni award in absentia, and HEATHER DECOTES, who will graduate later this year, was presented with the Outstanding Future Alumni award.       

Wark received a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from UMFK in 1964. He later earned a Master’s in Public Administration at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.  He is a graduate of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, located on the National Defense University Campus at Fort McNair in southwest Washington, D.C.  

William B. Wark is a native of Caribou, Maine.  He was appointed by former President George W. Bush to the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) in September 2006.       

The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating industrial chemical accidents. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the agency’s board members are appointed by the President and confirmed by the United States Senate.       

From 2003 until his appointment to the Chemical Safety Board, Wark provided emergency management consultant services to a number of companies and frequently was a featured speaker at international symposia on managing the consequences of terrorism. 

From 2001 to 2003 Wark served as the director of the Emergency Management Practice at the Marasco Newton Group consulting firm. Prior to that, Wark served in several different positions at the Federal Emergency Management Agency from 1985 to 2001, including as deputy director of the Technological Hazards Division from 1999 until 2001.        

He served at the U.S. Department of Justice in the area of national internal security from 1970 to 1984. During this time he served on the staff of a White House board on national emergency mobilization preparedness. 

From 1964 to 1970, Mr. Wark served as a Lieutenant in the United States Navy, including two years with the Naval Investigative Service and a command tour of duty in Vietnam. While in the Navy, Wark received several awards including the Vietnam Service and Campaign ribbons. 

He resides in northern Virginia.       

Andrew Stickings, the Outstanding Young Alumnus, grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia and has taught in the area for 15 years since graduating from UMFK in 1994.        

Andrew currently is a fifth grade teacher at Ecole Grosvenor Wentworth Park School.       

Teaching ran in Andrew’s family.  His dad was the principal of Queen Elizabeth High and his brother, Tim, also is a teacher and is a UMFK alumnus, himself.        

Andrew has taught with compassion and creativity.  He motivates his students through various teaching strategies and approaches. His most popular and rewarding to date being through the use of file making and the production of high quality movies.

Through his guidance and encouragement, students have created various films on history and the environment and have even gone so far as to win national awards for their work. Andrew loves to travel and learns as much as he can about various places and people, happily sharing his love of travel with his students.   

Andrew toured the Battlefields of France with a group of teachers in 2007 and enjoyed sharing that experience with his students. He has been a hockey and soccer coach through the years.       

Andrew and his wife, Alison, a librarian, have two children, Ainslie (4 yrs), and Oliver (2).        

Heather DeCotes, the Outstanding Future Alumna, is a senior at UMFK- pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Studies.  Heather will graduate from UMFK in December 2009.  She has made the UMFK’s Dean List since transferring to UMFK in 2007.         

Heather has been an active member of the campus Environmental Studies Program.  She was the coordinator and organizer of the week-long campus Earth Day event, which took place this past spring.               

She is the president of the Ecology committee and has been asked to attend a variety of campus environmental meetings to share her knowledge with campus officials and other interested parties.   

Heather was directly involved with helping to get Mark Dixon, originator and co-founder of YERT (Your Environmental Road Trip) to campus.  She has worked on a campus carbon foot print project and is committed to the environment and recycling.              

Heather is the recipient of the 2009 Dean's Award, which is awarded to a junior or senior student with a high grade point average and who demonstrates scholarly attributes.  She also is the recipient of The Associated Faculties of the University of Maine, Fort Kent Chapter scholarship.               

She participated in the Maine National Education for Women Leadership Summer Institute “Public Leadership Education for College Women” that was held at the University of Maine in June.            

This summer, as part of her senior project, Heather did research under the direction of Professor Kim Borges.  She is doing water tests to check if specific types of bacteria are present in our local brooks and streams.              

Heather is an active in the community as a member of Fort Kent PAWS; she has visited first-graders from local elementary schools and taught them how to compost; and volunteered her time at Fort Kent Rotary’s “Earth Day” event to introduce composting to the community members.                

Heather is from Albany, New York.           ###