On Saturday November 5th, the 26th Annual Capstone Celebration and Luncheon took place on the Gorham campus of USM. There were four presentations by Hannah Bard, Terry Lawson, Rachel Morales and Amanda Willette. Participants included faculty, alumni, current students and even a new student. All four presentations had a common theme, making education accessible.
To begin, Hannah presented about The Two-Generation Approach in Adult Education. In her study she looked at education from a family viewpoint and by creating strategies to support families and their communities. The two-generation model focuses on the entire family and not on an individual family member. Hannah is implementing the two-generation model in her community of Waterville, Maine.
Next, Terry Lawson presented her capstone project, Communiversity: Creating Sustainable RElationships Between Leaders, Communities & Educational Institutions. As Terry wrote in her Advance Learning Organizer for her capstone project, "Forming a Communiversity is one strategy to bridge people and place together through communication, collaboration, development and implementation of sustainable relationships between learner, communities and educational institutions". By having community leaders help create programs and curriculum they are helping to education community members that will give back.
Our third presenter, Rachel Morales, presented on the theme Access and Success for Non-traditional Students in Higher Education. Having worked in Admissions for many years, Rachel provided first-hand insight into the demographics of USM's incoming students. She reported that one of every three incoming students is over the age of 25 and present different issues and obstacles than the traditional-aged first year student.
Our final presentation was given by Amanda Willette who shared her capstone, The Value of Peer Mentoring in Academia. Amanda shared her experiences of peer mentoring in her dental health program at University of Maine at Augusta. A natural relationship with a mentor provides for the best outcome. Examples were given on how to make a peer mentoring program more successful.
To conclude our day we enjoyed a wonderful lunch and conversation. It was nice to put names with faces that we often see in the online world, both faculty and students alike. As well is was nice to catch up with classmates and meet new students.