ELLSWORTH — The 2018 Class of Maine Policy Scholars (MPS) was recently honored during a special graduation ceremony in the Bangor Room in the Memorial Union on the University of Maine campus in Orono.
One student from six of the seven campuses of the University of Maine system pursued a year-long program of applied research in the area of Maine public policy. Issues addressed included care of mentally ill inmates in Maine prisons; how public policy can support literacy promotion for school-aged youth; and increasing recycling in rural Maine.
The 2018 scholars are Allison Bernier, University of Maine at Farmington; Valentina Annunziata, University of Maine at Presque Isle; Alex Gillis, University of Maine at Fort Kent; Erik Squire, University of Southern Maine; Liz Whittaker, University of Maine at Machias; and Corey Claflin, University of Maine.
The scholars presented their policy recommendations to a panel that included Rhiannon Hampson, Maine Policy Scholar alumnus; Rebecca Wyke, president, University of Maine at Augusta; Joe Perry, Bangor City Councilor; and Tony Cox, business owner and son of program founder Peter Cox. The discussions were moderated by the Honorable Elizabeth Mitchell.
During the academic year, the scholars work with faculty advisors to research a policy issue facing Maine. They produce a report in the form of a memo to the governor or appropriate policymaker, which outlines the issue and offers policy solutions. The memos are available online.
The Maine Policy Scholars program is managed by the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center in partnership with the Maine Community Foundation.
To learn more about the foundation, visit www.mainecf.org.