2018 Maine Policy Scholars Honored

The 2018 class of Maine Policy Scholars (MPS) was recently honored during a special graduation ceremony on the University of Maine campus in Orono.

One student from six of the seven campuses of the University of Maine System pursued a yearlong program of applied research in an area relevant to Maine public policy. Issues addressed included care of mentally ill inmates in Maine prisons; how public policy can support literacy promotion for school-aged youth; recommended tree species for forest regeneration; food insecurity on college campuses; integrating the arts in public high schools; and increasing recycling in rural Maine.

The 2018 scholars are Allison Bernier, University of Maine at Farmington; Valentina Annunziata, University of Maine at Presque Isle; Alex Gillis, University of Maine at Fort Kent; Erik Squire, University of Southern Maine; Liz Whittaker, University of Maine at Machias; and Corey Claflin, University of Maine.

The scholars presented their policy recommendations to a panel that included Rebecca Wyke, President, University of Maine at Augusta; Joe Perry, Bangor City Councilor; Rhiannon Hampson, Maine Policy Scholar alumnus; and Tony Cox, business owner and son of program founder Peter Cox. Panelists posed questions to the scholars as well as offering policy advice.

During the academic year, the scholars work with faculty advisors to research a policy issue facing Maine. They produce a report, in the form of a memo to the governor or appropriate policymaker, which outlines the issue and offers policy solutions. The memos are available online at www.mainecf.org/InitiativesImpact/AnEducatedWorkforce/MainePolicyScholars.aspx

The Maine Policy Scholars program is managed by the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center in partnership with the Maine Community Foundation.