Special Collections

Catalyst Award Winners

Past Winners of the Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine's Catalyst for Change Award

2007 Catalyst Award Winner

Rabbi Harry Z. Sky

Rabbi Sky has been described as “a teacher, a learner, a lightning rod,” and he carries with him the visionand passion for human change and renewal that symbolize the major concerns of the 21st century.

Rabbi Sky
Dale McCormick

2008 Catalyst Award Winner

Dale McCormick

Dale’s dedication to enhancing the public good, especially the lives of the economically disadvantaged and the politically vulnerable, arises from the belief that improving the lives of some of us benefits us all.  In 1984, following the murder of Charlie Howard, an openly gay man, Dale helped found and served as president of the Maine Lesbian/Gay Political Alliance, now EqualityMaine.

Biography

 

2009 Catalyst Award Winner

Sallie Chandler

Her first step into public life was as president of the NAACP Bangor chapter.She was chosen because of her penchant for “telling it like it is.”  In 2008, Governor John Baldacci appointed Sallie to the Maine Human Rights Commission.

Biography

 Sallie Chandler

 

 Allen Sockabasin

 2010 Catalyst Award Winner

Allen J. Sockabasin


Allen J. Sockabasin, a Passamaquoddy leader noted for his efforts to preserve the tribe's native language,  has worked for decades to gain recognition of and fair treatment for his people.  He also was involved in the landmark legal case that brought about the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act.

Award Dinner Photos

Speech

Biography

2011 Catalyst Award Winner

Howard M. Solomon

In Maine, as historian and scholar Howard Solomon uses his knowledge and skills to advocate for the equal rights of the LGBT community and the marginalized. His work as Scholar-in-Residence of the LGBT Collection has helped to establish the historical value of Maine's LGBT community for all of Maine, and allowed the community to reflect on its own importance.

Award Dinner Photos

Speech

Biography

 Howard Solomon

 Rita Kissen

2012 Catalyst Award Winner

Rita Kissen

Rita M. Kissen's 35-year career in education includes teaching in high school and coIlege, conducting powerful justice-related research and authoring two groundbreaking and silence-breaking books on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender issues in the classroom.  She has specialized in multicultural education, supervising a program in classroom diversity for USM's student teachers.  Kissen also founded chapters of GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) and PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays).  Rita has changed the lives and vision of thousands of high school youth and teacher candidates.

Award Dinner Photos

Speech

Biography

Digital Commons@USM

Umpire 1967 Yearbook Cover University of Maine in Portland

Special Collections is now part of Digital Commons@ USM! Explore the complete yearbook collection from the University Archives of USM and all its predecessor institutions going back to 1919 and see more from our collections.

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