Spirit of Maine Achievement Award

The Alumni Association’s Spirit of Maine Achievement Award is given to an alumnus/alumna who has graduated in the last fifteen years and who has achieved outstanding professional, scholarly, public, and/or entrepreneurial success.

  • One award may given annually
  • Only alumni are eligible
  • Not eligible: any current UMAA board member, current UMAA or UMaine Foundation employee, or current member of the Alumni Awards Selection Committee

Nomination materials:

  1. Two letters from nominators detailing the nominee’s record of achievement and success as a professional, scholar, public servant, and/or entrepreneur

Recipients by year:

2024 Michael Shepherd ’12
Political Editor of the Bangor Daily News

2023 Justin Labonte ’10
Vice President of Global Finance at Emerson 

2022 Derek McKenney ’14
Senior Manufacturing Engineer at Puritan Medical Products

2021 Ernest Scheyder ’06
Journalist at Reuters

2020 Rachel Binder-Hathaway ’12
Behavioral Economist & Research Consultant, UNDP, UN Women, and The World Bank

2019 Abtin Mehdizdegan ’10
Partner at Cross, Gunter, Witherspoon & Galchus, P.C.

2018 George Pullen ’03
Senior Economist at Commodity Futures Trading Commission

2017 Jonathan LaBonte ’02
Director of the Governor’s Office of Policy and Management

2016 Ewa Kleczyk ’01, ’03G
Pharmaceutical market researcher & analyst

2015 Sherri Mitchell ’08
Executive Director of the Land Peace Foundation, a Native-owned, nonprofit legal services organization

2014 Kyle Parker ’99
Policy Advisor for Eurasia at the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe

2013 Pearce Paul Creasman ’03

2012 Rob Brewer ’98
Major, US Army

Merritt D. Janes ’04

Emily Cain ’02
Coordinator of Advancement, Honors College, University of Maine
Representative for District 19, Maine State House of Representatives

William Corbin ’92
Interactive Internet Pioneer/VP, interactive production for
A & E Television Networks

Melissa Reynolds O’Dea ’92
Assistant Attorney General for the State of Maine

Denis Cranson ’90, ’95G
Humanitarian & former Director, Eastern Maine AIDS Network

Dr. Linden McClure ’89, ’90
Principal Design Engineer, Hewlett-Packard Company
Adjunct Professor, University of Colorado

Matthew Kenney ’88
NYC Restaurateur and Businessman

Bridget Ziegelaar ’96
NASA Project Manager for Extravehicular Activities

Dr. Peter Brooks ’88
Cancer Researcher

*denotes deceased