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Maine Technical College System

News Release
DISLOCATED SHOE WORKER, GRANDMOTHER, NATIVE OF VIETNAM AMONG THOSE CHOSEN 2001 "STUDENTS OF THE YEAR"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, April 24, 2001
CONTACT: Alice Kirkpatrick
Tel: (207) 767-0116, ext. 3
Email: akirkpatrick@mccs.me.edu

Augusta, ME — Seven students, one from each of Maine's Technical Colleges, were honored Tuesday at the Senator Inn by the Maine Technical College System Board of Trustees as the 2001 Students of the Year. They were joined by family, friends, faculty and other members of their college community.

"Each year I hear our students' stories and I am in awe at what they have accomplished," said Maine Technical College System President John Fitzsimmons. "Their determination to go to college — whether it is to better their career prospects or pursue a life-long dream — is truly an inspiration to all of us," said Fitzsimmons.

Nominated by faculty, staff and administration at their colleges, the award winners are selected for their academic success, campus and community involvement and, in some cases, for their ability to achieve in the face of adversity.

Each of the students were awarded a John H. Lapoint, Jr. Leadership Award in the amount of $1,000. Mr. Lapoint was president of UF Strainrite in Lewiston and an MTCS trustee who passed away in 1995. Mr. Lapoint's widow, Jana

Lapoint, who is currently serving as Vice Chair of the Board, helped establish the fund for the annual awards.

2001 Maine Technical College System Students of the Year

  • Tommy Ngo, Central Maine Technical College, Auburn
    Tommy Ngo, 24, of Lewiston, is a student in CMTC's computer technology program. A native of Vietnam, he moved to Los Angeles when he was 10, eventually moving to Maine after high school. After working his way up to manager of a Maine restaurant, and determined to achieve more, he set his sights on college and enrolled at CMTC. He maintains a 3.66 GPA and is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society. When he graduates this May he will be the first in his family to earn a college degree. He hopes to work in the computer field and combine his computer and language skills to work with companies seeking opportunities in global markets.
  • Laura A. Manson, Eastern Maine Technical College, Bangor
    Laura Manson, 36, of Corrina, is a student in EMTC's business management program. She enrolled at EMTC in hopes of finding a new career after she was laid off from her job as a shoe worker. Laura now maintains a 3.94 GPA, has been on the President's List twice (for achieving a 4.0 GPA) and was recognized as an All-Maine Academic Scholar by Phi Theta Kappa. She is president of EMTCís Student Senate and is co-editor of the student newspaper. She plans to pursue her bachelors degree in business and technical education at Husson College, and eventually become a teacher.
  • Colleen Adams, Kennebec Valley Technical College, Fairfield
    Colleen Adams, 42, of Brewer, is a student in KVTC's occupational therapy assistant program. Despite struggling with a physical illness her first year in college, she persevered and missed very few days. She now maintains a 3.93 GPA, and is recognized by her peers and faculty for her high ethical standards, thoughtfulness and leadership skills. She is married and has two children.
  • Jill A. McGlaughlin, Northern Maine Technical College, Presque Isle
    Jill McGlaughlin, 22, of St. Agatha, is a student in NMTC's nursing program. She previously earned a bachelors degree in psychology, sociology and anthropology before deciding she wanted a career helping those less fortunate and choosing the nursing profession. In addition to achieving academic distinction as one of this year's Phi Theta Kappa All-Maine Academic Scholars, she volunteers for many charity activities and has been actively involved in state and national nurses associations. She is also an accomplished athlete and worked hard to recruit enough students for the college to have a women's basketball team for the first time in a decade.
  • Gael Jackson, Southern Maine Technical College, South Portland
    Gael Jackson, 46, of South Portland, is a student in SMTC's nursing program. She is raising two children, one with special needs, and works part time as a certified nurse's aid all while maintaining a 3.5 GPA. She volunteers in her community and has become a leader on campus in the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) honor society, helping to organize numerous charity activities such as the United Way Fund Drive, AIDS Awareness Education, and a beach clean-up project, among others. She was selected Phi Theta Kappa's Outstanding Regional President.
  • Damar Dore, Washington County Technical College, Calais
    Damar Dore, 33, of Perry, is a student in WCTC's computer technology program. The youngest in a family of 12 children, he is now married and has four children of his own. He served in the US Navy as an air traffic controller and served in operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield. Deciding he wanted to live and work in Washington County, he enrolled at WCTC where he is pursuing a dual major in computer networking and programming. He earned a prior degree from then-WCVTI in diesel technology, is a graduate of the Maine Criminal Justice Academy, is a certified rescue and recovery diver and a member of the Passamaquoddy Tribe.
  • Mary Potter, York County Technical College, Wells
    Mary Potter, 48, is a student in YCTC's culinary arts program. She worked in the smoked fish industry before being displaced and becoming eligible for retraining. She has two grown sons who both attend a technical college, and is also a grandmother. She volunteers in her community and at the college, helping to organize a blood drive and health fair, and the holiday Giving Tree for a local domestic abuse shelter, among others. Along with her Student Senate peers, she helped raise over $800 to fund two medical procedures to correct cleft palette syndrome in children in Cumina, Venezuela.

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