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Maine Technical College System

News Release

For Immediate Release: Monday, April 28, 2003
CONTACT: Alice Kirkpatrick
Tel: (207) 767-0116, ext. 3

AUGUSTA, ME -- Seven students, one from each of Maine's Technical Colleges, were honored today at the Senator Inn by the Maine Technical College System Board of Trustees as the 2003 Students of the Year. They were joined by family, friends, faculty and other members of their college community.

This year's Students of the Year are: Caroline Ward of Winthrop (CMTC), Thomas H. Maynard of Bangor (EMTC), Michelle Tinkham of Fairfield (KVTC), Kassandra Dominique of Blaine (NMTC), Chris Cole of Windham (SMTC), William Cody of Calais (WCTC), and Crystal Silva of Sanford (YCTC). (Please see information on award winners at end of release).

"I am in awe of what these students have achieved," said Jana Lapoint, Chair of the Maine Technical College System's Board of Trustees. "They have worked hard to pursue their educational and personal goals and in doing so have improved their own lives as well as those around them."

Speaker of the House Patrick Colwell was guest speaker at the awards ceremony. "When I read about each of the students here today, I was struck that so many of them are returning to their studies after being out of school for quite some time. I think that takes extraordinary courage and commitment, and proves that it's never too late to learn new skills," said Colwell.

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 was 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 Technical College System when he passed away in 1995. Mr. Lapoint's widow, Jana Lapoint, helped establish the fund for the annual awards. The Lapoints' son, John Lapoint, was at the ceremony to help present the awards.

Maine Technical College System 2003 Students of the Year

  • Caroline Ward, Central Maine Technical College, Auburn
    Caroline Ward, 20, of Winthrop, is a student in CMTC's Liberal Studies program. She was a home-schooled student who maintains a 4.0 GPA. In addition to her impressive academic work, she is a member of the Student Senate, Phi Theta Kappa, and a staff member of the student publication Mixed Nuts. She serves as an executive assistant and ambassador for the college, providing tours for prospective students. She plans to transfer to Smith College this fall.
  • Thomas H. Maynard, Eastern Maine Technical College, Bangor
    Thomas H. Maynard, 35, of Bangor, is a student in EMTC's Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating program. He maintains a 3.97 GPA and is cited for the contributions and support he provides to his college, family and friends. He is a member of the Student Senate and Phi Theta Kappa. He was a student speaker at the college's annual Reception for Business Partners and Legislators. He also volunteers at the Manna Food Kitchen, often volunteering his expertise to fix equipment at the facility. He is active in his local church and is a work-study student.
  • Michelle Tinkham, Kennebec Valley Technical College, Fairfield
    Michelle Tinkham, 19, of Fairfield, is a student in KVTC's Liberal Studies program. Michelle enrolled at KVTC after earning her GED and deciding she wanted to go to college. She is a peer tutor and a member of the Student Senate and Phi Theta Kappa. She is a Civic Advocate with the Maine Campus Compact and organized a workshop on how to navigate the Legislature. She is a mentor at the Waterville Boys/Girls Club, a volunteer at soup kitchens, an actress in the Renaissance Medieval Faire, and is active in local fundraisers. She traveled to Washington, DC on her spring break to learn about issues of hunger and homelessness and then met with Maine's Congressional Delegation.
  • Kassandra Dominique, Northern Maine Technical College, Presque Isle Kassandra Dominique, 29, of Blaine, is a student in NMTC's Nursing program. Despite her demanding academic schedule, she manages to volunteer at her children's school and is an active volunteer at the college. She is President of NMTC's Student Nurses Association, Treasurer of Phi Theta Kappa, a member of the Student Senate, and a member of the Maine State Nurses Association. Among other events, she has donated her time at free public blood pressure screening and flu shot clinics, and recently organized a "Boo Boo" clinic for children.
  • Chris Cole, Southern Maine Technical College, South Portland
    Chris Cole, 36, of Windham, is a student in SMTC's Business Administration program. She has helped others by creating opportunities for them to help themselves. This includes her work in creating Stone Soup, a local business run by clients of the Preble Street Resource Center, a Portland shelter. She created a training program, wrote a business plan and operations manual, hired staff and opened the business located at the Portland Public Market. She previously earned a degree in Culinary Arts at SMTC. She is a member of Phi Theta Kappa and has been involved in a number of volunteer activities.
  • William Cody, Washington County Technical College, Calais
    William Cody, 39, of Calais, is a student in WCTC's Computer Networking Technology. When he graduated from high school he enrolled in the college's Plumbing and Heating Technology program and later joined the U.S. Army where he served as a radio operator. He returned to Calais and eventually worked for several saw mills, starting college while working full time. Among other things, he is a member of the Student Senate, helped create a new commuter student lounge, and helped make the college's Annual Polar Dip a success.
  • Crystal Silva, York County Technical College, Wells
    Crystal Silva, 25, of Sanford, is a student in YCTC's Culinary Arts program. She has been an active volunteer at the college and managed to stay in school after the birth of her daughter in February. She was one of 400 national recipients of the Coca Cola community service scholarship and is one of 23 students who will be the first to be inducted into the college's Phi Theta Kappa chapter. She is a member of the Student Senate, a volunteer for a local safe house program and helped host the last Technical College Student Leadership Summit.