May 21, 2018
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Mainer working in Bangladesh, musician named UMaine valedictorian, salutatorian

By Nick McCrea, BDN Staff

ORONO, Maine — The University of Maine at Orono has named two Mainers as valedictorian and salutatorian for the 2012 school year.

Rachel Binder-Hathaway, a Millinocket native and 1993 graduate of Stearns High School, is valedictorian. Kayla Peard of York is salutatorian.

Binder-Hathaway, a nontraditional student with a 12-year-old son, Jacob, will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in financial economics and a Bachelor of Science in business administration in finance. She also holds a degree accounting.

Binder-Hathaway is a Fulbright Fellow working in Bangladesh, where she is researching ways to alleviate poverty in the country, whose capital, Dhaka, is the world’s ninth-largest city.

She started Seeds of Change Consulting Corp., a nonprofit that aims to provide educational and training opportunities to at-risk street children and women in the developing world.

Before starting course work at UMaine in 2007, Binder-Hathaway worked as a real estate broker in New York City, as a fiscal manager for a nonprofit in the city and as a professional jazz singer.

Among her academic accolades at UMaine are her selections as one of 20 members of the 2011 USA Today’s All-USA Academic Collegiate Team and one of 20 Pearson National Fellows in 2011.

Peard was a music education major and member of the Honors College. She was a four-year trumpet player on the University of Maine Symphonic Band and also managed and directed tours for the group.

Her honors thesis, “The Case for Instrumental Music Education,” explored the academic, physical and social benefits of music education for students.

Peard is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi and Pi Kappa Lambda honor societies.

Peard was valedictorian of her graduating class at York High School in 2008.

She plans to teach music before pursuing a master’s degree in instrumental conducting, according to a university press release.

Both women will be recognized at UMaine’s 210th commencement, which will be held Saturday at Harold Alfond Sports Arena on campus.

Correction: An early version of this story requires clarification. Valedictorian Rachel Binder-Hathaway is graduating with a BA in financial economics, a BS in business administration in finance, and has an additional major in accounting. The article originally reported Binder-Hathaway will graduate with a major in accounting and holds dual degrees in financial economics and business administration in finance.

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