This year the Muskie School is welcoming two new faces to its Board of Visitors, Mary-Elizabeth Simms and Patrick Cunningham. Both alums of The University of Southern Maine they bring fresh faces and insights to the board.
Mary-Elizabeth has been a part of the University of Southern Maine community for some time, having completed a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and dual master’s degrees in Public Health and Business Administration at USM. She is also the co-founder of the Muskie Alumni Association. Her appointment to this board continues a long tradition of involvement with and dedication to USM and the Muskie School.
She currently works as the Medicare Program Manager at Martin’s Point Health Care. Utilizing the skills, she learned with her Public Health and Business Administration degrees, she leads and supports care throughout Maine and New Hampshire through the use of initiatives that focus on social determinants and equal access to care. Ms. Simms currently lives in Portland with her fiancé and dog Theo. She enjoys exploring Portland, particularly its robust trail network, during her free time.
Patrick comes to the board with years of experience in operations management, software development, marketing, sales, consulting, and project management. He is currently the president and CEO of Blue Marble Geographics, which focuses on business-to-business geographic software solutions.
Patrick has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from USM and a master’s degree in sociology from The University of New Hampshire. He currently lives in Hallowell, Maine and is a dedicated member of the Maine geographic community. He is a GIS certified professional, the Outgoing-Chair of the Maine GIS User Group, a state appointed member of the Maine Geolibrary, and volunteers as a consultant to the Harlow Gallery in Hallowell.
These two individuals join the board on the heels of the establishment of four standing committees: Academic Affairs, Student Activities, Communications, and Program. The Academic Affairs Committee will link program advisory activities with The Board of Visitors and aid the board in assisting in the search for new faculty and a successor to President Cummings. The student activities committee will work jointly with the Muskie Student Organization to plan student programming.
The Communications Committee will work jointly with USM Marketing and Public Affairs to broadcast more fully Muskie activities and reach potential new students. The Program Committee is tasked with planning a 25th anniversary celebration for the establishment of the Muskie school in 2022, which happens to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the passage of The Clean Water Act, a piece of legislation written and sponsored by Senator Muskie.
These committees will allow board members to channel their particular experience and talents to more effectively advocate for the school. Both new board members bring important experience and knowledge to the board and these committees. Patrick will serve as a member of the Academic Affairs Committee and Mary-Elizabeth will co-chair the Student Affairs Committee.