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UMFK Alumni Association to present honors at Alumni and Friends Banquet

September 4, 2009


The University of Maine at Fort Kent Alumni Association will pay 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 on Saturday, September 19 in Nowland Hall.             

William B. Wark a 1964 graduate of UMFK will be presented with the 2009 Outstanding Alumni award;   Andrew Stickings a graduate from the class of 1994 will be presented with the Outstanding Young Alumni award and Heather Decotes, who will graduate in the winter of 2009, will be presented with the Outstanding Future Alumni award.           

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.           

The agency does not issue fines or citations, but makes recommendations to plants, regulatory agencies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), industry organizations, and labor groups.           

Congress designed the CSB to be non-regulatory and independent of other agencies so that its investigations might, where appropriate, review the effectiveness of regulations and regulatory enforcement.           

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. Wark served at the Federal Emergency Management Agency in several management positions 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.           

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. Wark also 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 resides in northern Virginia.   

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

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

Teaching ran in Andrews’ family.  His dad was the principal of Queen Elizabeth High and his brother Tim also is a teacher and UMFK alumni.            

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.             

The parents of the students he teaches have nothing but high praise for his style for encouraging, motivating and molding these young lives.           

With his guidance and encouragement, his 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 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 is married to Alison (a librarian) and they have two children, Ainslie (4 yrs), and Oliver (2).            

Heather DeCotes, the Outstanding Future Alumni recipient, 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 she came 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 Earth Day event, which took place on campus during the spring of 2009.             

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 was 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 and was the recipient of The Associated Faculties of the University of Maine, Fort Kent Chapter Scholarships in May.             

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 bacteria are present in our local brooks and streams.            

Heather is an active in the community as a member of Fort Kent PAWS, went to the first graders from the local elementary school and how to do composting,  volunteered her time at Fort Kent Rotary’s ‘Earth Day’ event to introduce how to do composting for the community members.              

Heather is from Albany, New York.           

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.                                                                                       ###