July 25: UM press release on NEW Leadership Program

July 25, 2008 – MaineNEW Leadership, a new initiative in the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center, will bring up to 40 college-age women from Maine to campus beginning in 2009 for a weeklong intensive residential training program targeting the next generation of leaders.

The program began in 1991 at the Center for American Women in Politics at Rutgers University in New Jersey with UMaine as the newest partner in NEW Leadership’s 17-member national network.  MCSPC staff Mary Cathcart , Rebekah Smith, Eva McLaughlin and Glenn Beamer began working on Maine’s proposal last summer. Since then, U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe and state legislators Emily Cain, Carol Weston, Hannah Pingree, and Libby Mitchell have pledged support.

The week-long program in Maine will include sessions on leadership development, networking, diversity training and the realities of holding public office. The young women will travel to Augusta for a State House visit then stop in Skowhegan for a tour of  the home and library of Margaret Chase Smith, the first woman in the nation’s history to serve in both houses of the U.S. Congress and the first to be elected to the U.S. Senate in her own right.

Cathcart and her colleagues are in the process of raising nearly $70,000 to ensure the NEW Leadership program is open to all Maine college women at no cost to the participants. Application materials will be available in early 2009.

For more information, contact Mary Cathcart (207) 581-1539,