UMFK honors three outstanding alumni

Posted Sept. 24, 2009, at 8:19 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:41 a.m.

FORT KENT, Maine — The University of Maine at Fort Kent Alumni Association paid tribute to three individuals whose lives have been touched by UMFK and who have, in turn, made an impact on the campus community at the annual Alumni and Friends Banquet held Sept. 19 in Nowland Hall on the Fort Kent campus.

William B. Wark, a 1964 graduate of UMFK, was presented with the 2009 Outstanding Alumni award. Andrew Stickings, a graduate from the class of 1994, received the Outstanding Young Alumni award in absentia. Heather DeCotes, who will graduate later this year, was presented with the Outstanding Future Alumni award.

Wark received a Bachelor of Science degree in education from UMFK in 1964. He later earned a master’s in public administration at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He is a graduate of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces on the National Defense University Campus at Fort McNair in southwest Washington, D.C.

Wark is a native of Caribou. He was appointed by former President George W. Bush to the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board in September 2006.

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The chemical safety board is an independent federal agency charged with investigating industrial chemical accidents. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the agency’s board members are appointed by the President and confirmed by the United States Senate.

From 2003 until his appointment to the chemical safety board, Wark provided emergency management consultant services to a number of companies and frequently was a featured speaker at international symposia on managing the consequences of terrorism.

He resides in northern Virginia.

Stickings, the Outstanding Young Alumnus, grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and has taught in the area for 15 years since graduating from UMFK in 1994.

Stickings currently is a fifth grade teacher at Ecole Grosvenor Wentworth Park School.

Through his guidance and encouragement, students have created various films on history and the environment and have even gone so far as to win national awards for their work. Andrew loves to travel and learns as much as he can about various places and people, happily sharing his love of travel with his students.

Andrew toured the Battlefields of France with a group of teachers in 2007 and enjoyed sharing that experience with his students. He has been a hockey and soccer coach through the years.

Andrew and his wife, Alison, a librarian, have two children, Ainslie, 4, and Oliver, 2.

DeCotes of Albany, N.Y., is a senior at UMFK, pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental studies. She will graduate from UMFK in December 2009. She has made the UMFK’s dean’s list since transferring to UMFK in 2007.

DeCotes has been an active member of the campus Environmental Studies Program. She was the coordinator and organizer of the weeklong campus Earth Day event, which took place this past spring. She is the president of the ecology committee and has been asked to attend a variety of campus environmental meetings to share her knowledge with campus officials and other interested parties.

This summer, as part of her senior project, she did research under the direction of professor Kim Borges. She is doing water tests to check if specific types of bacteria are present in our local brooks and streams.

DeCotes is active in the community as a member of Fort Kent PAWS. She has visited first-graders from local elementary schools and taught them how to compost and volunteered her time at Fort Kent Rotary’s Earth Day event to introduce composting to the community members.

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