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September 23, 2010




Shawn Graham, a counselor in the University of Maine at Fort Kent Student Support Services’ TRiO office, and the accessibility coordinator for the campus, has been selected to participate in a year-long leadership institute run by the New England Educational Opportunity Association (NEOA). 

Graham was selected as one of 15 individuals from across New England to attend the 2010-11 leadership institute from among a record number of applicants. 
Graham is a 1996 graduate of UMFK, receiving a Bachelor of Science in Social Science. He currently is nearing completion of a Master’s of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling at the University of Southern Maine. 
As part of its mission to provide professional development opportunities for members of the TRiO and educational opportunity community in New England, the NEOA began offering a year-long leadership institute in 1998-99. 
This year’s leadership institute accepted people with varying years of experience in TRiO/EOP’s: mid-career professionals who have been with TRiO/EOP’s for a number of years and are looking for a reinvigorating professional development experience and emerging leaders who may be newer to the association’s programs, but have demonstrated their motivation and commitment through work within their state. 
In their applications to attend the institute, individuals were asked to indicate why they felt they were ready for a stimulating year of inquiry, rejuvenation and skill building. The selection committee was able to select a maximum of 15 participants. The combination of experienced and emerging professionals will provide for an exciting and challenging year-long institute.
NEOA’s leadership institute will convene three times over the next year and will provide participants the opportunity to develop greater expertise and skill as leaders in the field, and to enhance their ability to expand educational opportunities for the students with whom they work. The aim of the institute is to provide participants and the programs they serve with a strong and effective core of leadership theory and skills.
Student Support Services joined the University of Maine in Fort Kent campus community in 1983. The UMFK Student Support Services TRiO program provides supportive services to disadvantaged college students to enhance their potential for successfully completing the education program in which they are enrolled and to facilitate their transition to the next level of higher education. Currently, the Student Support Services program and staff provide services to 160 student participants on the UMFK campus.