Today’s Alumni Spotlight shines on Heather Whalen of Hartford, Maine, a 2012 graduate of UMM’s Environmental Recreation and Tourism Management program. She is currently a project supervisor for Maine’s Section 28 Agency.
Tell us a little bit about what you are doing now:
I am currently a Project Supervisor for a Section 28 agency. I go into homes and conduct Comprehensive Assessments with families who are in need of Rehabilitative and Community Support Services (RCS) for their child with cognitive impairments or functional limitations. Their child may have behavioral issues, developmental disabilities, or need guidance in activities of daily living. I also write Individual Treatment Plans (ITP) for each client. The ITP’s consist of goals, objectives, methodologies, and other necessary information for addressing the target behaviors identified.
What is the most valuable thing you learned while at UMM?
There were many valuable things I learned at UMM. I was constantly learning new things during my time at UMM. Soak up as much knowledge as you can from fellow classmates and professors.
Do you have any advice for current students at UMM?
Get involved! I joined the Outing Club and MRPASS. I met lots of new people and made great connections and networks at different MRPASS conferences. If you have questions, reach out to your professors. During college, you work alongside professors that can impact your college experience. They are there to help you and want to see you succeed. Take advantage of the beautiful scenery that surrounds you. Go kayaking, hiking, and explore! I never appreciated the ocean until I moved to Colorado right after graduation.
How did your time at UMM prepare you for what you are doing now?
I took a variety of classes while attending UMM, but the ones that stuck with me the most were Senior Seminar, Program Planning, Recreation Administration and Supervision, and Leadership and Group Dynamics. As a supervisor, I direct a variety of different people. I am understanding and try my best to relate to all situations. Recreation Services for Special Populations also prepared me with understanding various types of disabilities and how they affect different people.
How has UMM made a positive impact on your life?
Memories at UMM are ones I will never forget. UMM also built a foundation for lifelong friendships. I still keep in contact with some professors. College taught me preparation and the skills to succeed in any career path. I’m waiting to see where my next adventure will take me.