Maine Policy Scholars Program

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The Maine Policy Scholars program is a year-long research scholarship in which a student from each of the seven University of Maine System campuses, working closely with a faculty advisor, examines an issue of public policy relevance to Maine and delivers a final report and presentation. The Maine Policy Scholars program is a collaboration between the Center and the Maine Community Foundation. The program was conceived by the late Peter Cox as a means of engaging students in the public policy process.

Scholarship funding: $1500 toward tuition, $1000 travel expense reimbursement

Applications: due in October, Program runs January – November

After conducting research—which can be from the literature, data analysis, or interviews (or all three)—the scholar produces a final policy memo which outlines the problem, the data, and recommended solutions. Topics can be of local or statewide significance, should be well-defined, subject to research, and of real concern to Maine or a segment of its people.

Faculty advisors meet regularly with the student throughout the year-long program. All scholars and academic advisors convene on at least three occasions. Scholars identify community practitioners who serve as mentors and as a “reality check” on the scholars’ work.


Peggy McKee

2020 Scholars and Topics:

  • Celena Zacchai, University of Maine at Augusta
    “Increasing Access to Affordable Housing Options for Maine Seniors Through Comprehensive Navigation Services”
  • Ines Ngoga, University of Maine at Presque Isle
    “Improving University of Maine System Non-discrimination Policy and Practices”
  • Saja Indigo Hicks, University of Maine at Fort Kent
    “Reducing the Use of Insecticide in the Relationship of Potatoes and Aphids”
  • Emma McPhail, University of Maine at Machias
    “Effectiveness of Maine’s Needle Exchange Program Compared to Other States”
  • Dominique DiSpirito, University of Maine
    “Cultivating Community in the Commons: A call for natural resource management focused on community partnerships”