This week’s Alumni Spotlight shines on Michael Giudilli of Trescott Township, a 2011 UMM graduate with a degree in Environmental Recreation and Tourism Management. Michael is currently a teacher for the Cobscook Community High School Program at Cobscook Community Learning Center in Trescott.
Tell us a little bit about what you are doing now?
Our CCHS program is an interdisciplinary experiential high school option that focuses on getting students outdoors, engaged in service-learning projects, and learning directly from people in our community while building their leadership, outdoor, academic and personal skills.
What is the most valuable thing you learned while at UMM?
The importance of being an engaged member of community. I moved to Maine from upstate New York to attend UMM and at that time had no idea about the power of community and connections that exists within one. It is the connections that I made within this community that have led me to where I am today and I couldn’t be happier.
Do you have any advice for current students at UMM?
I have three pieces of advice for current students at UMM. First, don’t skip class; you are wasting your time and your money. Second, be engaged. While in college you have the opportunity to be within a group of people who have come together for a common purpose, learn from them because they have so much to offer you. Finally, do good work. Don’t put your name on anything that you aren’t proud of.
How did your time at UMM prepare you for what you are doing now?
In a number of ways. My course work in the Recreation and Tourism Program gave me the skills I use now with my students on all of our backcountry expeditions. The connections I made with community organizations and professionals during my time at UMM have also allowed me to strengthen my students’ and my program’s connection to this place, the people who call it home, and the great work that is happening in this area.
How has UMM made a positive impact on your life?
UMM is responsible for getting me to where I am today. It helped me find my passion and helped to make doing it for a living a reality.