Michael Shepherd ’12 – Spirit of Maine Achievement Award

Michael Shepherd ’12 has been chosen to receive the Spirit of Maine Achievement Award. The award recognizes an individual who has graduated within the past 15 years and has achieved outstanding professional success. Shepherd earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2012 at the University of Maine where he held the position of editor-in-chief of The Maine Campus student newspaper. It took him less than 10 years to rise to his current role as political editor of the Bangor Daily News, where he has established himself as one of Maine’s most reliable and reputable media authorities on government and politics. Shortly following graduation, Shepherd won the “Bob Drake Young Writers Award” for his work with the Kennebec Journal. The award is presented each year to a journalist with less than two years of experience whose work demonstrates ability and great potential. In 2015 he joined the Bangor Daily News as a political reporter. 

Shepherd’s unbiased reporting on several nationally significant political races, including the closely watched 2020 Senatorial campaign featuring Senator Susan Collins and Sara Gideon, has solidified his standing as a prominent figure in the national arena. His analyses and insights have become highly valued by journalists, columnists, and commentators across the United States, particularly during pivotal political campaigns in Maine throughout 2018, 2020, and 2022. 

Shepherd returned to the UMaine campus in 2022, serving as the Alan Miller Fund Visiting Journalist in the Department of Communications and Journalism. In 2023, Shepherd was honored with the prestigious Journalist of the Year Award by the Maine Press Association.

Shepherd holds a master’s degree from the University of Southern Maine’s Muskie School of Public Service. He resides in Central Maine. 

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