Thirteen high school graduates from throughout Maine have been selected as members of the University of Southern Maine Pioneer Program Class of 2016. The Pioneer Program, the state’s first collegiate honors program for students studying science, technology, engineering or math, launched last year with eight students.
Students accepted into Pioneers receive a full tuition scholarship for four years, paid internships, and a notebook computer. They also have opportunities to work directly with USM faculty on research projects designed to expand their knowledge in their chosen fields and prepare them for careers after graduation.
USM announced Pioneers in 2010, recognizing that competition for students of this calibre nationwide is fierce. It is a step toward keeping Maine’s brightest high school graduates in Maine where they can assist in driving the economy of the 21st century.
This year, 72 Maine high school students applied for entry to the program with 32 selected for interviews with a panel of faculty and administrators. Those 32 averaged comprehensive reading and math SAT scores of 614 and 690 respectively.
The USM Pioneer students for 2012 are:
Dustin Boucher of Caribou plans to major in computer science. He is a graduate of Caribou High School.
Christopher Dunn of Kennebunk plans to major in mechanical engineering. He is a graduate of Kennebunk High School.
Christopher Fitzgerald of Scarborough plans to major in biology. He is a graduate of Scarborough High School.
Nathan Goodrich of Gorham plans to major in mechanical engineering. He is a graduate of Gorham High School.
Nicholas Hamel of Rumford plans to major in mathematics. He is a graduate of Mountain Valley High School.
Megan Maguire of South Berwick plans to major in mathematics. She is a graduate of Marshwood High School.
Joseph Murphy III of Lewiston plans to major in mechanical engineering. He is a graduate of Lewiston High School.
Ryan W. Pulver of Vassalboro plans to major in mechanical engineering. He is a graduate of Erskine Academy.
Mackenzie Sullivan of Lewiston plans to major in biology. She is a graduate of Lewiston High School.
Christopher Walker of Saco plans to major in mathematics. He is a graduate of Thornton Academy.
Joseph Walter of Brunswick plans to major in biology. He is a graduate of Brunswick High School.
Allison Ward of Rockland plans to major in mathematics. She is a graduate of Oceanside High School.
Nicolas Williams of Mexico plans to major in engineering. He is a graduate of Mountain Valley High School.
USM’s Pioneers Program is made possible through a start-up grant from the University of Maine System’s Strategic Investment Fund (SIF), which was created to support new curricular developments that align academic programs with Maine’s changing economy. In addition, USM is raising private sector, foundation, and federal funding to sustain the program.