Dean of Students

Senior Salute

Lauren Lessard

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Hometown: Lewiston, ME

Degree Completed: BS in Exercise Science

My USM Experience:

Within my four years at USM, I played ice hockey my freshman year and Women's Lacrosse for four years. For three out of the four years I served as the Women's Lacrosse captain and earned LEC Offensive player of the week as well as 2nd team All-Conference. I spent a year as a Resident Assistant (RA) where I received the "FISH Philosophy" award that highlights the positivity and leadership of an individual. I was on the board for the Exercise Science Student Association (ESSA) as a Co-President and Secretary. I also served at the NEACSM representative at conferences. Along with ESSA, I also was the Co-President of SAAC - Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. This specific group advocated for many student-athlete rights at the Division III level and contributed in student service in the community. In my four years, I worked countless jobs as a chemistry tutor/Teacher's Assistant, Fitness Center Manager, and taught various group exercise classes. In my senior year, I was honored to receive the "Most Outstanding Exercise Science Student" award, as well as the Paula Hodgdon award, and the 2017 Senior Husky Achievement award. 

When sharing my experience at USM with others, I always think back to the first few nights I stayed on campus. I was a complete mess. I didn't know my class schedule, I had hardly met anyone, and I missed my family like crazy. Little did I know, four years later, the faculty, advisors, coaches, administration, maintenance staff, and cooks in the cafeteria, would soon be MY family.



Michael Prescott

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Degree Completed: Masters in Music Education

My USM Experience:

I completed my undergraduate education in Classical Guitar and Music Education at the USM School of Music in 1999. Over the years, I have used the knowledge and guidance gained through his studies to pursue a variety of musical opportunities such as professional music, music retail management, private-instruction (through the National Music Workshop) and secondary music education. My connection is strong with the USM School of Music community, and I hold an immense sense of gratitude to my instructors and to the curriculum of this institution, both of which continue to guide my musical mission. I maintain lasting relationships with many of the peers that I have worked with since the mid 1990’s. This is a testament to the strong educational and professional environment that the USM School of Music provides to all students.

I have been instructing music in RSU 10 for 15 years. After years of work and the format that USM offers to those who are employed full-time, I completed my Masters in Music Education in May, 2017. For me, these graduate studies will serve as a catalyst for future growth. Not only in conservatory-based practices, but technology and the many evolutionary aspects that music education will continue to encounter.



Joshua Gauthier

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Degree Complete: MFA in Creative Writing

My USM Experience:

I received a BA in Arts and Humanities from USM in 2015. In July 2017, I will earn my MFA in creative writing with a concentration in popular fiction through USM’s Stonecoast MFA program. I have also worked as a writing assistant in the Writing Center at USM’s Lewiston Auburn Campus since 2012.

At Stonecoast, I found a writing community even more vibrant, supportive, and exciting than I could have imagined. I learned so much during the past two years, but I also formed connections that will last far beyond my time in the program. It’s been an exciting time, and I look forward to seeing what the next chapter brings.

I can’t speak highly enough of the program and my experience here. I found an environment full of talented writers who are not only highly accomplished, but who genuinely want to help each other succeed. Stonecoast and USM provided me with a safe place to share what I was doing, experiment with new ideas, and benefit from the insight and support from people pursuing similar goals. Not only has Stonecoast helped me develop my own abilities as a writer, my time in the program has inspired me. Our future needs people who are passionately connected to their work and their communities. At USM, I found a community of such people. As I end my time in the program, I look forward to seeing what will be achieved by those I have met in the program, and what comes next for me as well. There are exciting things to come.



Alexis Handy

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Degree Completed: Masters in Special Education

My USM Experience:

Previously at USM, I earned my Bachelors in Musical Theatre with a minor in theatre. This year, I graduated with a 3.8 and was awarded the Fellows Scholarship during my internship year.  My time as graduate student was beneficial as I pursued a career in Special Education. As an ed tech, and now Special Education teacher at Margaret Murphy Center for Children, the coursework at USM correlated specifically with my job. Without USM and the support of professor Pat Red, I wouldn't be as prepared to take on a job as a Special Education teacher. Future students should consider all that USM has to offer.



Emily Butterfield

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Degree Earned: MA in Leadership Studies

My USM Experience:

Over the last four years of my studies, I have learned leadership skills that help me in the many roles I currently hold and for many more to come in the future.  I currently am an Assistant Director of Admissions at Central Maine Community College (where I started my education), a Volunteer Firefighter for Turner, Maine and am involved with my fiancé’s Outfitting (hunting/fishing) businesses in Maine & Saskatchewan, Canada.  During my time as a student I juggled taking courses, working a full-time job and volunteering with the fire department. I received the 2016 YPLAA 40 under 40 ‘Emerging Leaders’ award, I was selected as the instructor chosen ‘Firefighter of the Year’ award from my class of about 30 graduating firefighters from the Firefighter I & II academy in 2016, I was selected as Firefighter of the Year 2016 within my department selected by my fellow firefighters, participated in the Androscoggin Leadership Development Institute in 2015 hosted by the Lewiston Auburn Metro Chamber, and earned an L/A Metro Chamber Adult Scholarship in 2016.  
My education at USM has taught me how to manage conflict, be more emotionally intelligent, deal tactfully with difficult people, and have strong communication and relationship building skills. It wasn’t easy as I endured an extremely difficult personal hardship during my graduate career but that makes it all the more an emotional and exciting time to complete my degree here at USM! Go Huskies! 



Laura Whittick

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Degree Earned: Bachelor of Arts in Sociology

My USM Experience:

I spent 5 years of my life at this amazing university as a student. I was blessed to be part of the Women’s Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field teams for 3 seasons where I earned The William B. Wise scholar athlete award twice. I was also a member of the Gorham Events Board for 2 years, lived on campus for 4 years and made lifelong friends who I can call family. Had it not been for the challenging nature of my experience here, not just in the classroom but in my personal life, I would not have walked across that stage. Also, being a first-generation college student, my family impacted me in all that I did. They believed in me and pushed me to keep going when I wanted to give up. Being at USM taught me to believe in myself, because I am worthy of so much of what this world has to offer. I learned to stand up for what I believe in and challenge not just myself, but others. And lastly, I learned that it is okay to ask for help, and that doing so shows strength, not weakness. Future USM students should remember this: step out of your comfort zone, try new things, take those challenging courses (even the ones with the silly titles), explore, dream, believe, and never lose sight of why you are doing what you are set to do.



Victor Ivarsson

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Hometown: Stockholm, Sweden

Degree Earned: Bachelor’s in International Business and Marketing

My  USM Experience:

As a young and aspiring hockey player at age five, I wanted nothing more than to play college hockey in the U.S. I left my family and friends behind at home in Stockholm, Sweden at age 15 and moved to the U.S. to continue my career and play junior hockey, where I won a national championship before coming to USM and putting on the Huskies jersey. Thanks to some transfer credits, I graduated in just three years with a Bachelor’s degree in both International Business and Marketing with Summa Cum Laude and Beta Gamma Sigma honors. After two years of representing USM hockey, I suffered a career-ending injury. Thankfully, the USM athletic community was welcoming and extremely supportive, which led me to join the Track & Field team. I was fortunate enough to be a part of an LEC and Alliance championship in 2017. The University of Southern Maine has guided me through my college career athletically, academically, and professionally, as its professors and coaches never failed to offer a helping hand. The business department at USM is an excellent representation of higher learning and I am honored to have received significant awards in the William B. Wise Scholar Athlete award each year, LEC (Track) and NEHC (Hockey) All-Academic Team, and a Certificate of Excellence in International Business. I cannot thank my professors enough for having inspired me with different areas of expertise and helped me in my preparation for establishing a significant role in the business community. My family, far or near, has made this all possible by believing in me.



Andrew Goodwin

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Degree Earned: Bachelor’s in Business Administration - General Management

My USM Experience:

I transferred to University of Southern Maine from Southern Maine Community College in the Fall of 2014. I was Originally a Sport Management Major but switched to General Management track in the Spring of 2015. I have enjoyed my time at USM and am proud to call myself a Husky Alumni! Seeing the University transform to a Metropolitan University was a great experience. I cannot thank the faculty and staff of the School of Business enough for giving me the ability to grow my self-esteem and go after my dreams. This August I will be doing an internship with the Walt Disney Company that could turn into a great career.

One thing I will leave behind USM is this quote for others to follow and take in.

“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”- Walt Disney