Graduates and alumni celebrated at 108th UMM Commencement ceremony

Ninety-six University of Maine at Machias students were awarded degrees or program certificates at the 108th Commencement ceremony on May 12.

The ceremony featured an address by Dwayne Tomah, a Passamaquoddy language instructor and archivist who has been instrumental in recovering early song and language recordings, and creating a digital heritage for the Passamaquoddy people. Trevor Hustus, a University of Maine System trustee, also addressed the graduates.

This year’s Ivy Orator, traditionally selected by members of the senior class to present an oration at the Honors Convocation and Commencement on their behalf, was Colleen Kostovick. She graduated with a degree in biology with a concentration in wildlife, and will work for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, studying black bear populations.

Several UMM alumni, all from Machias, were recognized for outstanding achievements: Joseph McBrine, the Distinguished Service Award; Larry Barker, the Distinguished Achievement Award; James Black, the Distinguished Alumnus Award; Danielle Wormell, the Young Alumni Award.

McBrine, a Maine Criminal Justice Academy graduate and a Maine game warden since 1992, earned a bachelor’s degree in recreation and tourism management from UMM in 2009. He has been an instructor at Maine Warden Service Advanced Warden Academy and helped develop UMM’s conservation law courses.

Barker, who earned a degree in business administration from UMM in 1995, has been the president and CEO of Machias Savings Bank since 2011. He has served as a board member for the Sunrise County Economic Council, the Washington Hancock Community Agency and Washington Academy, and is a member of the Maine Bankers Association Executive Committee and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council.

Black is the associate principal of Machias Memorial High School, where he has also taught history and social science since 1974. He is vice chair of the Washington County Regional Support System and a former president of the Machias Education Association. Black graduated from Washington State Normal School (now UMM) in 1969 with a bachelor of science degree in education and will celebrate his 50th class anniversary this year.

Wormell is the assistant manager of Pat’s Pizza in Machias. She graduated from UMM in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and community studies, and was known for her skills on the basketball court. Wormell is now pursuing a master’s degree at the University of Maine.