Ask Andrew Egan what he’s most looking forward to in his new job and he lights up.
“The students,” he says. “I can’t wait to get to know them.”
Effective August 13, Egan will be vice president of academic affairs and head of campus at the University of Maine at Machias, and faculty, staff and students are looking forward his arrival.
Egan will arrive on campus in mid-August, fresh from his Peace Corps position in Liberia where he’s been teaching at a forestry college. His extensive background in forestry, along with his experience teaching and working in economically challenged rural areas, has prepared him well for the work ahead at UMM, he says.
His experience includes work with disadvantaged children and people struggling with substance use disorders, and conducting training with and for Navajo people in New Mexico for jobs in the forestry industry. He has worked as a logger and tree marker, a tenured forestry faculty member at University of Maine in Orono and an administrator at Pennsylvania State University.
“Washington County is working to more clearly define itself, and I understand that,” he says. “At UMM, it’s our responsibility and our privilege to be connected within this region and be part of the solution to challenges.”
Egan and his wife were living in Orono when their daughter was born.
“We love Maine and feel very connected to it. It has a wonderful quality of life, and that’s important to us,” says Egan, who is a runner, cyclist and long-distance swimmer. “I’m really looking forward to getting to know this area better.”
For UMM, the two most important priorities are student success and community partnerships, he says. “If we focus on those two things, most of the rest becomes easier.”
This summer, UMM will begin its second year in the primary partnership with UMaine, and it will be important to realize the full potential, he says.
“Part of my job here will be to make sure that the relationship benefits both institutions,” Egan says. “Both campuses have tremendous strengths and the partnership must remain mutually beneficial.”