At this year’s Commencement, we celebrated the courage and persistence of some of our graduates. Tiffany Dunn (top left) earned her degree in social work six weeks after receiving a new heart. Peter Paolucci (top middle), an artist with autism, pursued a new love of art after enrolling in computer science. Graham Botto (top right) transitioned from chef to social worker, so he can help under-served communities access mental health care.
Julia Gustafson ’20 (shown), a Geography-Anthropology alum, is one of 80 students (out of 6,000 applicants) to win the Gates Cambridge Scholarship. Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the scholarship will pay her tuition and expenses as she earns her doctorate in archeology at the University of Cambridge. Julia credits USM faculty for their continued support and encouragement.
McKellen Spiller ’21 (shown) graduated from the Air Force ROTC program this spring with a Bachelor’s in Criminology and a commission as an Air Force Intelligence Officer. She reports for Intelligence training this summer and eventually wants to join the FBI or CIA. McKellen is grateful to USM and the state of Maine for their “incredible resources for veterans.”
Grace Muheto ’21 (shown) gave the student address at our 2021 Commencement ceremony. A refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Grace arrived in Maine at age 14 — painfully shy and just learning to speak English. Now, Grace, a Human Biology major with minors in Biochemistry and Psychology, plans to pursue a career in health care and hopes to encourage others by sharing her story.
USM's 2021 virtual Commencement aired at 9 a.m. on May 8. The YouTube-hosted video features individual recognition of each USM graduate and remarks from keynote speaker Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, student speaker USM Grace Muheto, and USM’s four honorary degree recipients: Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia Inc.; Timothy P. Wilson, senior advisor and director of the Maine Seeds Programs; and Beverly and David Worthington, co-founders of the Worthington Scholarship Foundation.
Join us in celebrating the launch of the Portland Campus Development Project by watching our Virtual Groundbreaking program, featuring remarks from several of our highly accomplished student groundbreakers.
While our in-person visits and campus tours are limited, there are still many dynamic opportunities for you to learn about our thriving academic community from home. Attend an informational webinar about our university or a specific academic program, schedule a one-on-one video chat with a current student or an admissions counselor, and more. We’re excited to connect with you!
USM's African American Collection unveils exhibit on Maine’s Black families
We invite you to experience the just-opened digital exhibition, "We Exist: Evidence of Maine's Black Families from 1800 to the 20th Century." Hosted by the USM Digital Commons, "We Exist" tells the stories of Maine's Black families through photos and interviews, and is the first of six digital exhibitions at USM focused on Black Mainers. The digital exhibit is curated by Dr. Lance Gibbs, Lecturer in Race and Ethnic Studies, Director of USM’s Race and Ethnics Studies program, and the Talbot Fellow for the Gerald E. Talbot and African American Collections.
USM researcher Heather Shattuck-Heidorn works to understand gender and race difference among COVID-19 deaths
Researchers at the University of Southern Maine and Harvard University have released a new report examining COVID-19 deaths and their discovery that African-American women are dying at rates higher than men in other racial and ethnic groups. Heather Shattuck-Heidorn, an assistant professor of Women and Gender Studies at USM, served as the senior author of the article, just published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.
The U.S. News & World Report college rankings for 2021 are here! Out of 4,000 colleges and universities in the country — 1,500 in the northeast — the University of Southern Maine (USM) ranked as a top university for social mobility in the northern U.S. The strength of our undergraduate engineering program also earned recognition.