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Maine Community College System

News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, April 22, 2004
CONTACT: Alice Kirkpatrick
Tel: (207) 767-0116, ext. 3

AUGUSTA, Maine — Seven Community College students will be honored for their academic and personal achievements and service to their communities at a ceremony hosted by the Maine Community College System (MCCS) Board of Trustees next week.

The 2004 "Students of the Year" Awards Ceremony will be held Wednesday, April 28th at the Senator Inn in Augusta. The event will start with the award ceremony at 10:30 a.m., followed by a luncheon. Joanna Jones, Chair of the MCCS Board of Trustees, will give brief remarks. MCCS President John Fitzsimmons and Trustee Jana Lapoint will present the awards.

The 2004 award winners are: Rachael Begin of Jay (CMCC), Jessica Trundy of Brooks (EMCC), Amanda Bubar of St. Albans (KVCC), Cherie Black of Monticello (NMCC), Trisha May of South Portland (SMCC), Eric Voelker of Hampden (WCCC), and Nicole Merryman of Waterboro (YCCC). (See full student bios below) The award winners were selected by college faculty and staff.

Each of the students will be awarded a John H. Lapoint, Jr. Leadership Award in the amount of $1,000. Mr. Lapoint was president of UF Strainrite in Lewiston and a trustee of the (former) Technical College System when he passed away in 1995. Mr. Lapoint's widow, Jana Lapoint, currently serves on the Board and helped establish the fund for the annual awards.


The MCCS Board of Trustees will hold a meeting prior to the awards ceremony, at 9:45 a.m. at the System Office at 323 State Street in Augusta. The meeting is expected to be brief. Click on the linked text for a copy of the Board Agenda.

(If special accommodations are needed to attend, please contact Ellyn Chase at 629-4007.)

Maine Community College 2004 Students of the Year

  • Rachael Begin, Central Maine Community College, Auburn
    Rachael Begin, 22, of Jay, is a student in CMCC's Architectural & Civil Engineering Technology program. She serves as President of Women in Technology, a group that encourages and supports women pursuing non-traditional occupations. She served as a Student Senate Representative, staff member of the student publication Mixed Nuts, and was a key volunteer in the college's Alcohol Awareness Week project. She plans to transfer to the University of North Carolina this fall.
  • Jessica Trundy, Eastern Maine Community College, Bangor
    Jessica Trundy, 21, of Brooks, is a student in EMCC's Computer Aided Drafting & Design and Business Management programs. She has participated in Phi Theta Kappa and Student Senate. She has served as a resident assistant, worked as a peer tutor, and is the student member of the college's Alcohol and Other Drug Coalition. She helped raise the women's basketball team at EMCC from a club sport to an intercollegiate team sport and served as co-captain, and was co-captain of the college's co-ed soccer team. She was recognized by the United States Collegiate Athletic Association and named to its All-Academic Team for basketball, and was named to the Maine Small College Conference's All-Academic Team and All-Star Team. Her volunteer work includes reading visits at the Downeast Elementary School, activities at the Freese's Assisted Living Center, and work with Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
  • Amanda Bubar, Kennebec Valley Community College, Fairfield
    Amanda Bubar, 22, of St, Albans, is a student in KVCC's nursing program. She is President of the Student Senate, a peer tutor, and student representative on the Leadership Team. Amanda also serves as an Orientation Leader, and a Maine Campus Compact Leader. Her volunteer work includes services to the 4-H Club, Cub Scouts, soup kitchens, the Multiple Sclerosis Society, the American Red Cross, and Big Brothers/Big Sisters. She has chaired food and blood drives, participated in WCCC's annual polar bear dip, and promoted health and fitness on campus.
  • Cherie Black, Northern Maine Community College, Presque Isle
    Cherie Black, 21, of Monticello, is a student in NMCC's Liberal Studies program. She was a home schooled student who has a long history of community service. Through her church she has participated in church groups, Bible school, Mother-Daughter play and banquet, and the Doctorate of Ministry team, and has served as church secretary. At the college, she was a member of the women's basketball team, a peer tutor, and a resident assistant. She plans to transfer into the University of Maine at Presque Isle's Secondary Teacher Education Program with a concentration in English.
  • Trisha May, Southern Maine Community College, South Portland
    Trisha May, 24, of South Portland, is a student in SMCC's Business Administration program. She works 35 to 40 hours a week and holds a number of leadership positions on campus. She has been active in Phi Theta Kappa and won the Outstanding First Year Student Award from the college's Business Administration program. She has been placed on the National Dean's List and selected a Phi Theta Kappa distinguished chapter officer. She plans to transfer this fall to the University of Cincinnati to major in finance with a management focus.
  • Eric Voelker, Washington County Community College, Calais
    Eric Voelker, 39, of Hampden, is a student in WCCC's Residential and Commercial Electricity program. A former Marine Corporal, Eric worked at a paper mill for 13 years before enrolling at the college. A husband and father, he volunteers his time at his son's preschool, is a member of the Student Senate, and is a peer tutor. He plans to use his scholarship from the Student of the Year Award to finish his degree in Pulp and Paper Management, which he had started years earlier while still employed.
  • Nicole Merryman, York County Community College, Wells
    Nicole Merryman, 20, of Waterboro, is a student in YCCC's Business Administration program. She works part time in the college's finance office. She is a member of the Student Senate, Food Committee, Strategic Planning Committee, and the Governance Committee. She has helped raise funds for a number of causes, including breast cancer awareness and Rotoplast. She was one of 25 students statewide who received a Civic Fellow grant and was honored by the Maine Campus Compact with an Honorable Mention in the Heart and Soul Awards.