On December 1, Daniel Barton assumed a new role as USM's first Promise Scholar Coordinator. He will manage all aspects of the new program, which began this fall when the inaugural cohort of Promise Scholarship recipients arrived on campus.These 18 determined, highly motivated, students are trail blazers: often the first in their families to attend college and the first to participate in USM’s new Promise Scholarship program.
An essential success factor built into the program is the enhanced level of academic and personal support provided to the scholars. Mentoring, frequent check-ins, one-on-one advising, pre-orientation programs, and special peer networking events are all part of an effort to help students complete their degrees and graduate in four years. Daniel brings exceptional personal and professional experience to the role of program coordinator.
“As a first-generation college student, I experienced barriers that challenged my pursuit of a degree,” said Daniel. “However, I was fortunate to have supportive mentors and discovered campus programs that provided a sense a belonging, connectedness and motivation to persist beyond those challenges. I am honored to be the inaugural Coordinator and look forward to building upon the established momentum and rooting the Promise Scholars Program as an extraordinary resource for USM students.”
In addition to the day-to-day management of the Promise Scholars Program, Daniel will be responsible for direct student advising, in collaboration with other staff in USM’s Office of Advising. He will also work closely with the youth development organizations who partner with USM and provide mentoring and student referrals for scholarships.
Describing the program, Daniel said, “The Promise Scholars Program aims to provide holistic support to students who are among the first in their families to attend college and/or have been served by a local youth development organization. Not only are students awarded a scholarship to reduce their unmet need or student loan debt, Promise Scholars will also have the opportunity to engage in a community committed to: supporting each other's academic and career goals, building leadership skills, overcoming challenges, and giving back to community.”
Before taking on the role of Promise Coordinator, Daniel served for three years as a member of USM’s academic advising team, advising and monitoring the progress of 350+ students toward their educational and career goals. He began his USM career in 2011 as a TRIO Upward Advisor, where he worked with low-income, first-generation high school students on the college preparatory process. Prior to joining USM, he served in student affairs roles at Salem State University and University of New Hampshire. Daniel holds a bachelor’s degree from UNH and a master’s from Ithaca College.
The Promise Scholar Coordinator position is made possible thanks to generous seed funding from a number of local and regional foundations. We are grateful for their support.