Today’s Alumni Spotlight shines on Colleen Coffey of Bangor, a 2013 UMM graduate. Colleen is currently a library assistant at Nottage Library at the University of Maine Augusta.
Tell us a little bit about what you are doing now:
I currently live in Bangor with my long-time partner and lovely daughter. Some of you might remember Emmaline who accompanied me on my educational journey at UMM. She is now eight years old; lovely and abundant in both talent and energy.
I work full time as a library assistant for UMA-Bangor. It’s a small library, with only 25,000 books. The majority of my work consists of bookkeeping and purchasing, assisting student research and providing library instruction. I also administer our Facebook and Twitter page. But probably the best part of my job is outreach and programing. This allows me to plan events such as art shows, invite speakers, and organize student groups. Last week, our featured speaker was “TC and the Duck of Justice” (Bangor Police Department’s Facebook Admin.). TC brought the DOJ and spoke on his success as a detective, writer, and social media tycoon. Two days later we hosted the Good Shepherd Food Mobile who unloaded 935 lbs. in an hour and half to those in need, serving individuals from 24 towns.
Most recently, I have been accepted to USM’s Masters in Adult and Higher Education program, in hopes of studying holistic approaches to student success. I am passionate about higher learning and my dream is to continue to work for colleges and one day direct a student success center.
What is the most valuable thing you learned while at UMM?
Two of the most valuable take-aways from UMM are my skills in research and passion for community service. I studied history under two of the greatest professors, Randall Kindleberger and Kay Kimball. It was through their high standard, guidance, and great wit that I learned so many valuable and transferable skills.
I have always been passionate about helping others and pledging Kappa Alpha Kappa is one of the best decisions I have ever made. Through sisterhood and public service, I earned another kind of degree. Even at this moment, my sisters are just a call or text away to laugh, cry, shout, and have fun with, but most importantly we serve together. KAK alumni and actives raise money and volunteer throughout the year in a variety of causes and manners. They truly are the best women I know (and also the best brothers).
Do you have any advice for current students at UMM?
Do not give up or take “no” when you are following your dreams. Do the heavy lifting, do research, find truth, self-care, and serve others. Each day is another day to be a better YOU!
How did your time at UMM prepare you for what you are doing now?
UMM taught me to be a better writer, reader, researcher, public speaker, and leader. I use the skills I learned there every single day. My education at UMM transformed me and prepared me well for the world of work and higher education.
How has UMM made a positive impact on your life?
The education I received was top-notch. A great many professors contributed but to mention a few, Gene Nichols provided an opportunity to make music with a true master, Marcus LiBrizzi allowed me to write in the first person (a huge gift to any academic) and read some fascinating materials, Professor Charles Crittenden was the best web instructor I have ever had, being able to make the sometimes chilly on-line learning environment warm and welcoming. But of course UMM extends beyond faculty, to the entire UMM community– a great group of people who choose to live and work in beautiful Downeast Maine. I am so proud to say I am a graduate of the University of Maine at Machias.