Office of Public Affairs

USM Grads with Unique Stories

Anna Chiu Wins Student Commencement Speaker Competition:

Anna Chiu of Portland graduates from USM with a Bachelor of Science in health science and a minor in biology.  She attended Portland High School, and upon graduating she travelled to Africa where she lived at an animal sanctuary for six months. Chiu has a passion for neuroscience and mental health, and hopes to work with a team of neuroscientists to develop better treatments for diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Chiu has been a member of the Free Press staff, where she was the sports editor and health and fitness columnist. After graduating she plans to take a year off and travel the world, looking forward to visiting China for the first time to explore her family history before attending graduate school. 

Kelsea Dunham Presented Senior Husky Achievement Award:

Kelsea Dunham of Portland graduates from USM with a B.S. in marketing, a B.A. in women and gender studies, and a minor in English. She is the recipient of USM’s 2014 Senior Husky Achievement Award, the highest honor accorded a graduating senior. Dunham, a mother of a young son, has been actively involved in many campus organizations and has made a name for herself as passionate leader and student advocate.  She served as the 10th student body president and was the only student representative to the USM Direction Package Committee.  Her campus activities include the Genocide Awareness Project, the Queer Straight Alliance and the Gender Studies Student Organization.  She also held several internships including an events internship that resulted in the most successful Royal Majesty Drag Show to date, an innovative Student Leadership Brunch, and the Civility in Woodbury workshop. 

Richard Chipman — The Oldest NCAA All-American Wrestler:

Richard Chipman of Bath, a grandfather who returned to school at the age of 40, graduates with a degree in political science.  Richard attended Mt. Ararat High School and now has a family and a successful career as a firefighter.  Upon returning to college, Chipman quickly became a part of the USM athletic community when he joined the varsity wrestling team. Now 44, he gained fame as one of the oldest NCAA All-American wrestlers and quickly developed a leadership role among his teammates. He has been the Wrestling Academic Team captain for three years and is a three-time William B. Wise Award recipient. 

Off the mat, Chipman’s accomplishments include membership in Pi Sigma Alpha National Political Science Honor Society and the Golden Key National Honor Society. Richard plans to study at the University of Maine School of Law in the fall. 

Fatoumata Issifi Hidjo Will Be a Global Leader:

Fatoumata Issifi Hidjo of Niger, Africa graduates with a degree in international business. Hidjo came from a very different restricted society where a woman’s status and self-esteem depend entirely on her marriage and ability to bear children. Feeling there was more to life, Hidjo left her family in Niger believing education is the key to success in today’s global village. She is the first woman in her family to attend college.

Hidjo won an International Merit Scholarship to come to USM, and has earned Dean’s List recognition for her entire academic career.  She was an active member of ENACTUS, served as vice-president of the Golden Key International Honour Society and was elected senator of the USM’s Student Government Association.  Hidjo also was an intern in the Future Global Leaders Program at the Maine International Trade Center. 

Hidjo speaks fluent French, English, Hausa, and other African languages. Her experiences living and working in different cultures have led to a strong interest in the influence of culture, social norms, and gender on the patterns of globalization. She hopes to be accepted into the Stanford University Africa Fellowship Program.