Commencement

2018 Featured Graduates

There are many great stories to be told from the Class of 2018, and we'd like to share just a few of them here. Watch as several of our featured graduating students share how they have made the most out of their time here at USM. Not only have they excelled in their classrooms, but they have also achieved success by engaging in their campus and their surrounding communities.

Congratulations to all members of the Class of 2018!

Watch a compilation video featuring all of our featured graduates.


Auma AliardoFlorence Auma Aliardo 

A a native of South Sudan, Florence Auma Aliardo will graduate with her bachelor’s degree in social work. One day, she hopes to work for the United Nations, assisting those fleeing from war, as she did at age 17. More.

 

 

 

 


Bryan Waring

During his time at the University of Southern Maine, Bryan Waring had the chance to spend summers working with professional movie scorers in San Diego, California and Glasgow, Scotland. However, his work in the unique, 2017 USM production of “Molded By the Flow,” that most stands out. More.

 

 

 


Stacey Henson-Drake

“I feel as though USM has done an amazing job at offering opportunities to students that will help pave the way to a successful career after graduation,” said Stacey Henson-Drake, who completed nearly 20 years of off-and-on study. She plans to work in healthcare administration after graduation and work towards a Master’s in in Public Health from the Muskie School of Public Service at USM. More.

 

 


Tiia Kand

Kand has made the most of her time at USM. She competed as a three-season athlete in Track & Field and Soccer, served as a resident assistant on the Gorham Campus, worked various off-campus jobs and concluded her work as a Mitchell Institute Scholar. More.

 

 

 


 

Hana McNally

After graduation, Hana McNally hopes to work with children on the autism spectrum. She began the work as an intern in a South Portland school. "I think they show love in ways that we don’t always think of. I know this is cliche, but they teach me something every day. It’s about making every moment teachable." More.

 

 

 

 

 


Thomas Henley 

“I’ve loved math and science since i was a really little kid," said Thomas Henley, a 2018 Featured Graduate. As soon as I learned what engineering was, I knew that was for me. It’s math and science but with more hands-on experience.” More.

 

 

 


 

Melissa Cunningham

As a student, Melissa Cunningham cared for people who are poor, homeless, dealing with addiction or coping with mental illness. Through the University of Southern Maine, she worked on a Bayside homeless project and spent a summer in an internship at Preble Street. More.

 

 

 


Katie TomerKatie Tomer

Katie Tomer, a Native American graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Health Science, has worked for three years with Maine-Wabanaki REACH to go into the state’s prisons. She has facilitated healing circles for over 60 inmates. More.

 

 

 

 


JNiffy and Ian Allenennifer "Niffy" Allen and Ian Allen

Mother and son graduates Jennifer "Niffy" Allen and Ian Allen marched together during the 2018 Commencement Ceremony. Jennifer graduated with a master’s degree in Adult and Higher Education. A USM employee, she serves as the assistant coordinator of recreation and fitness with the Sullivan Recreation and Fitness complex on the Portland Campus. Her son, Ian Allen, graduated with a bachelor's in Communication. This year's Commencement Ceremony ended Ian's stellar five-year run as USM's Husky mascot, “Champ.” More.