NEW Leadership program to be held June 1–6

Maine NEW (National Education for Women) Leadership will run Thursday through Tuesday, June 1–6 at the Orono campus with trips to Augusta and Skowhegan. The Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center hosts this annual six-day undergraduate student leadership program for women to educate, engage and empower young leaders. Danielle Conway, dean and professor of law at the University of Maine School of Law, is scheduled to deliver the keynote address at the networking and reception dinner Friday, June 2 at Wells Conference Center.

A group of 28 college students with a variety of majors from 14 institutions around the state, including UMaine, will take part in the ninth residential conference that aims to strengthen political skills and build civic engagement. Throughout the program, students will participate in workshops hosted by women leaders from politics, business and education. The students will learn skills including public speaking, networking and how to advocate for a cause and run for public office.

Scheduled speakers include Meredith Strang Burgess and Jane Knapp Sexton, former legislators and UMaine alumnae; Maulian Dana Smith, a member of the Penobscot Nation Tribal Council and former Margaret Chase Smith Policy Scholar at UMaine; Jeanne Hulit, former acting administrator and regional administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration; and Emily Haddad, dean of the UMaine College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

As part of the program, students develop a political action project surrounding topics presented before the Maine Legislature. Participants are given a bill to research before holding mock opposing press conferences and a legislative committee hearing. This year’s project will focus on LD 49, An Act to Improve Science and Engineering Education for Maine Students.

During the program, participants will travel to the State House in Augusta, where they will observe the Senate and House in session, as well as meet State Treasurer Terry Hayes and legislative leaders. They will visit the Margaret Chase Smith Library in Skowhegan for a tour of Smith’s home and an informal dinner with higher education leaders from their campuses.

Maine NEW Leadership was developed to address the under-representation of women in politics and is designed to provide students with skills to help them become the next generation of effective civic and political leaders. It is Maine’s only statewide leadership program for undergraduate women.

More information about Maine NEW Leadership is available online at or by contacting Mary Cathcart at 581.1539,; or Susan D’Angelo at 581.1648,