Class of 2018 Summer 2023 Class Note

Hello, Class of 2018!

I invite all of you to send me any information about yourselves and what exciting things have taken place for you since graduation. Feel free to also send me any high res photos you may want to have published in the alumni magazine. Any little bit of news is newsworthy! Your classmates do want to hear from you and what you are doing.

Ryan M. Stovall of Phillips, ME, a former Green Beret, has written a new book of poems, Black Snowflakes Smothering a Torch. Ryan grew up in Montana hunting, fishing, hiking, and camping. He was enrolled at the University of Montana when the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, happened. In 2003 he joined the Army at just 21 years of age. He signed up for the Army’s Special Forces Green Berets and trained as a medic.

In July of 2009, Ryan and others from his unit were ambushed outside of Kabul, Afghanistan, and he was wounded in the gunfire. His unit’s intelligence officer was seriously injured with a bullet ripping through his lower back exiting his chest. Ryan had to act fast, making a makeshift IV and inserting a tube down his trachea to help him breathe. Meanwhile, the fight continued. The soldier was finally transported via helicopter to a medical facility, but unfortunately, he died.

This particular incident inspired Stovall to write the poem “Death on an ODA (Operational Detachment Alpha). Being a medic in combat is a difficult role for anyone to understand who hasn’t done it. He noted that “some of the poems come out of me having medic guilt, having teammates die and having that feeling always with you.”

Ryan got out of the Army in 2010, returned to Montana, and married his wife, Kathy, whom he met while stationed in Germany. They decided to come to Maine, where he finished his degree in English at the University of Maine, and then enrolled in an MFA writing program at Fairfield University in Connecticut. 

Kimberly Miner Ph.D. has been listed as one of the “Green Queens” — six female scientists making the world more sustainable. The article supported her work in rewilding as a potential climate solution and her arduous work to support developing more nature preserves and introducing more native plants. In addition to her Arctic research that highlights the ever-increasing risk of thawing permafrost as a result of climate change, she has been listed alongside Jane Goodall, Sylvia Earle, Katherine Hayhoe, Paola Arias, and Sunita Narain.

When Kimberly isn’t climbing Everest or hunkering down at the Arctic, she is a fierce champion for women and girls in STEM. Having herself received supportive mentorship early in her education and career, she is keen to pay it forward by breaking down gender stereotypes in the scientific community.

Samuel B. Lenson ‘20G, a former kicker at the University of Maine, has carved out a niche working with high school place-kickers, punters, and long snappers in Maine. He is the first and only private instructor in the state to work with such players. In just two years, he has built an impressive clientele of athletes from more than 15 schools. 

Sam was a punter and placekicker at UMaine from 2013-17. He became the special teams quality control assistant for the Black Bears while pursuing his master’s degree in educational leadership and before launching his career with Lenson Punting and Kicking in 2020.