Class of 2018 Winter 2022 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 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.

Kino Tek announced that CEO Justin T. Hafner was recently named to the prestigious Front Office Sports Rising 25 Award. He became the first Maine-based business leader to be chosen for this coveted award. Established in 2017, the Rising 25 Award has become one of the most competitive and prestigious awards in sports business, with over 500 nominations being received last year. Justin co-founded KinoTek with the mission to make movement analysis mainstream. The company’s first product,, will provide clinicians and patients with human movement data that enhances patient engagement and improvement in quality of care.

The P.E.O. (Philanthropic Educational Organization) Sisterhood awarded UMaine Ph.D. student Sara Sophia Lowden G the $20,000 P.E.O. Scholar award. The P.E.O. Scholar Awards Program, established in 1991, provides merit-based awards for women of the U.S. and Canada who are pursuing a doctoral-level degree at an accredited college or university. Sara, a Ph.D. candidate in the anthropology and environmental policy program, was one of 100 doctoral students selected to receive an award from a pool of 847 candidates in the U.S. and Canada. She is a 2013 magna cum laude graduate of the University of Arizona. A top scholar, Sara has numerous publications and extensive fieldwork and teaching experiences.

Her doctoral research documents relationships with human and non-human species in the Mexico-U.S. borderlands, namely conservation efforts focused on bats and agaves in northern Sonora, Mexico, and southern Arizona.

Genevieve Kurilee McDonald is currently in her second term as a Maine legislator. Her story recently came to light through an admiring teacher’s response to her 25 years later! The teacher, Ms. Lynn Bonsey, of Bucksport, has been a teacher for 43 years, 27 of which were at the Surry Elementary School. As it turned out, Genevieve, who had an unstable home life and ended up in foster care, was befriended by Bonsey, who became an “anchor in the storm,” paying close attention to her by listening and showing kindness. Abruptly, during that school year, Genevieve became custody of the state and ended up at KidsPeace in Ellsworth. After years of the challenges of moving and working, Genevieve returned to Maine and worked on a lobster boat. Between her resiliency, determination, and strength, she earned her captain’s license and bought her own fishing boat in Stonington. While recuperating from a broken arm, she decided to enroll in online classes at UMaine and graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in university studies and a minor in Maine studies. The bottom line is that yes, some connections between educators and their pupils fade over time but this one didn’t!

Aliya Uteuova is a visual reporter covering environmental justice at Guardian US. Her freelance work on Central Asia has appeared in outlets like the BBC, The Lancet, and Eurasianet. After UMaine, Aliya earned a master’s degree in data journalism from Columbia University.