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All Maine Academic Team

The All-Maine Academic Team is part of the national Phi Theta Kappa program, an international honor society for two-year colleges. Students are nominated and selected for the team by their college based on outstanding academic achievement, leadership, and service. The All-Maine Academic Team program is co-sponsored by Bangor Daily News, Creative Awards of Scarborough, Phi Theta Kappa, and the MCCS.

2012 All-Maine Academic Team

Erika Derosier

Erika Derosier, Central Maine Community College, Auburn
Residence: Lewiston
Age: 25 GPA: 3.65
Major: Medical Assistant

Erika Derosier put herself through cosmetology school and worked in the field for a time before deciding she wanted a new career path. She enrolled at CMCC, where she found the support she needed. A single mother with a young child, she earned high grades, while managing a life and family outside of work. Described by one of her instructors as a hard worker, who "raises the bar for everyone in the classroom," Erika sees her education as key to her future success. She graduated in December 2011 and recently found employment as a medical assistant.


Kyle Forsythe

Kyle Forsythe, Central Maine Community College, Auburn
Residence: Harrison
Age: 21 GPA: 3.91
Major: Precision Machining Technology

When he graduated from high school, Kyle Forsythe was unsure what he wanted to do and was looking for an affordable way to explore his career options. He took his hobby of fixing cars and turned it into a degree in automotive technology from CMCC. While enrolled, he also began taking classes in precision machining technology and will graduate with his second associate degree in three years this spring. This fall, he plans to pursue a degree in engineering at the University of Maine.

Jessica Freeman

Jessica Freeman, Eastern Maine Community College, Bangor
Residence: Bangor
Age: 20 GPA: 3.89
Major: Education

A homeschooled student, Jessica Freeman earned her GED before enrolling at EMCC. Unsure if she was ready for college she first enrolled in liberal studies before choosing education as her career path. Her confidence grew, along with her long list of campus activities. She plans to continue her education after she graduates this spring with the goal of earning her master's degree and becoming a middle school teacher.

Morgan Talty

Morgan Talty, Eastern Maine Community College, Bangor
Residence: Orono
Age: 21 GPA: 3.9
Major: Liberal Studies

Growing up on the tiny Penobscot Nation Reservation, Morgan Talty was unsure if he had the grades or the confidence to go to college. At EMCC he began to believe in himself and in his future. He was a member of the basketball team, founded the college's Writer's Club and participated in two exchange programs. Morgan has been named Maine's New Century Scholar for having the highest All-USA Community College Academic Team application score in the state. He plans to continue his education at the University of Maine, to study Native American studies and English, and eventually earn a PhD. His goal: to become a college professor and/or a writer.


Melisa Berry

Melissa Berry, Kennebec Valley Community College, Fairfield
Residence: Troy
Age: 47 GPA: 3.73
Major: Medical Assisting

Looking to get back into the workforce quickly, Melissa Berry enrolled in KVCC's medical assisting program. After having been laid off from a job, she wanted a more secure future for herself and her family. KVCC's low cost and convenient location has allowed her to work toward her degree and spend quality time with her children and grandchildren. She plans to graduate this spring and re-enter the workforce as soon as possible.

Tammy Jones

Tammy Jones, Kennebec Valley Community College, Fairfield
Residence: Oakland
Age: 50 GPA: 3.88
Major: Occupational Therapy Assistant

Tammy Jones says she always wanted to go to college and earn a degree and recently discovered she just needed to "learn how to learn." After raising two children, and serving in the Navy, she found it was the "right time" and KVCC was the "right place" for her to succeed in finding her new profession. A part-time student, she is currently working toward her degree and looking forward to her new career when she graduates in 2013.

Michelle Longley

Michelle Longley, Northern Maine Community College, Presque Isle
Residence: Presque Isle
Age: 25 GPA: 3.89
Major: Medical Office Administration and Medical Coding

Living in a rural community, Michelle Longley wanted to expand the options available to her for employment. She currently works two part-time jobs while pursuing dual majors and excels academically. She was recently named a Phi Theta Kappa Guistwhite Scholar and a Coca-Cola All-State Community College Gold Scholar. When she graduates this spring she plans to continue her education at the University of Maine at Fort Kent and pursue a bachelor's degree in business management in healthcare administration.

Gene Martin

Gene Martin, Northern Maine Community College, Presque Isle
Residence: Mapleton
Age: 30 GPA: 3.79
Major: Business Administration

When he was laid off from his job as a supervisor at a company that closed due to the economy, Gene Martin wanted a career that would provide his family better financial security, and a better life. He enrolled at NMCC, where he has been able to balance a busy home life, which includes twin boys, with his active campus life. He plans to continue his education when he graduates in May and says his career goal is "to be a prominent business person who gives back to the community."

Truc Nguyen

Truc Nguyen, Southern Maine Community College, South Portland
Residence: South Portland
Age: 24 GPA: 3.71
Major: Integrated Manufacturing Technology

After completing two years at a university in his native Vietnam, Truc Nguyen came to the United States to further his education. He says he found the challenge "greater than he imagined" having to adjust to everything from a new language to the weather, and being separated from his family for four years. He says SMCC has offered a supportive environment as he learned how to make his own career decisions and recognize his own strengths. He plans to pursue his bachelor's degree in integrated manufacturing with the goal of becoming an engineer.

Danielle Swartz, Southern Maine Community College, South Portland
Residence: Biddeford
Age: 23 GPA: 3.94
Major: Dietetic Technology and Business Administration

Michelle Swartz was a single mom just getting back into the workforce when she began to think about earning her degree. Flexible scheduling options at SMCC gave her a place to start and she will graduate in May with two associate's degrees. Having delayed her own education, she plans to continue her studies to earn a master's degree in higher education with a certificate in college access, with the goal of helping others understand the importance of getting a college degree.

Deborah Kelly

Deborah J. Kelly, Washington County Community College, Calais
Residence: Calais
Age: 51 GPA: 3.82
Major: Medical Assisting

Deborah Kelly raised a family, owned a business and worked as a police dispatcher before she decided to return to school and earn her EMT license. After she was laid off from her full-time job, she decided to pursue her long-time interest in earning a degree in the medical field. Her desire to help others carried over into her campus activities, all the while balancing a full-time job as an EMT and family obligations. She plans to continue her education in a four-year laboratory technician program.

Jessica Kowalski

Jessica Kowalski, Washington County Community College, Calais
Residence: Calais
Age: 21 GPA: 3.5
Major: Adventure Recreation and Tourism

Raised in a military family, Jessica Kowalski says while the constant moving helped broaden her view of the world, it left her withdrawn in high school. She credits her experiences in Adventure Recreation for helping her regain her self-confidence. Initially she enrolled in WCCC's Liberal Studies program because it was close to home and she could try out different courses of study until she decided what she wanted to do. So far she has earned certificates in canoeing, rock climbing and wilderness first responder, among others. Her goal is to become a wilderness EMT or a Life Flight Nurse.

Wayne Williams

Wayne "Colby" Williams, York County Community College, Wells
Residence: Kennebunk
Age: 33 GPA: 4.0
Major: Liberal Studies

At the age of 32, Wayne "Colby" Williams said the time was finally right to start pursuing his college degree. He was already a husband, father, yoga instructor, massage therapist, instructor, manager and coach, but he always intended to pursue a career helping others. YCCC offered the diversity, location, and low cost he needed to get started. He was named a Coca-Cola All-State Community College Gold Scholar. After he graduates this spring he plans to continue his education as a psychology major with the goals of becoming a counselor or school psychologist.