Class of 1997 Summer 2020 Class Note

Yolanda Sly Kozuha

Hello, Class of ’97!
I truly hope this finds you and yours well. My column was later than usual so at the time this was written, we were all navigating COVID-19. Some were doing the important work on the front lines as medical professionals, first responders, and helpers in the community. Others were facing the challenges and tough decisions as business owners, in addition to all of us navigating new home life.

After time and distance scattered us, it was comforting that our time spent in Orono tied us together. I’m sure I’m not alone in being happy to hear from folks we may not have spoken to in quite a while or heard from outside of the “Happy Birthday” post. Personally, and on Facebook, Black Bears have connected with words of encouragement, updates, support of business with social media shares, or patronage in some fashion.

One question I kept seeing was along the lines of what people hoped would be a result after all this? I don’t have the answer to what happens. But I hope we continue improving and rekindling connections. Be well. Any updates? You can email me at or via Facebook under Yolanda Sly Kozuha.

Congratulations to UMaine scientist Walt Golet, who is heading the Pelagic Ecosystem Research Consortium. The new consortium focuses on the sustainability of highly migratory fish species such as tuna and sharks. This includes reducing the accidental catch of highly migratory fish and increasing the understanding of their life histories. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is providing $1.6 million to support the effort. Walt says the study of fish, which include economically valuable species such as swordfish, can improve their conservation.