UMaine Machias names three outstanding graduating seniors

MACHIAS, Maine — Three outstanding seniors at the University of Maine at Machias will be honored during its 113th commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 5.

Each year, the senior class chooses one student to receive the Ivy Orator award, which honors the enduring friendships, wisdom and knowledge graduates have gained and their hopes for the future. This year’s award winner is Tristin Hubisz, a creative arts major with a creative writing concentration and minors in English and graphic novel. 

Hubisz, of Peabody, Massachusetts, was involved in many clubs and organizations during his time at UMaine Machias, including serving as 100% Society president and Residence Hall Association (RHA) vice president. He stayed active in these organizations and served as Student Senate vice president; served as Student Activities, Involvement, and Leadership (SAIL) president; and assisted with Student Health Initiative Education & Leadership (SHIELD). 

While at UMaine Machias, Hubisz published a solo project titled “The Meddybemps Letters” by William R. Pattangall and worked collaboratively to publish “Gray Magic” by Herman Landon.

He plans to pursue a Master of Arts in English at the University of Maine before becoming an educator and publishing his own novels.

Faculty selected Sydnie Della Croce and Gabriel Rocca to receive the annual Senior Watch awards for their citizenship, leadership and service to the UMaine Machias community.

Della Croce from Sanford, Maine is majoring in marine biology with a coastal conservation concentration and zoology minor. In addition to her studies, she worked in Machias as a Resident Assistant, an admissions secretary and an ambassador for the Office of Admissions, Student Senate president, 100% Society vice president and was a member of SAIL, RHA, and Audubon Society. 

She also participated in two, week-long additional learning experiences focused on toxicity assays with zebrafish, fruit flies and annelid worms with the IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence 

Della Croce plans to attend graduate school for secondary education licensing and hopes to teach high school science. 

Rocca, an integrative biology major with a minor in botany, completed a senior research project this year during which he worked on procedures to culture wild myxomycetes (slime molds) on agar, a gelatin-like substance derived from red seaweed.

As an active campus resident, Rocca assisted in student intramurals and was a member of the  RHA, Tabletop Gaming Club, SHIELD and Student Senate officer of financial affairs. He plans to attend graduate school where he will study mycology.