UMaine announces valedictorian, salutatorian for 2013

Posted April 12, 2013, at 11:59 a.m.

ORONO, Maine — An aspiring accountant and a nutritionist have been named the University of Maine’s top students for 2013.

Spencer Hathaway of Turner and Lindsay LaJoie of Van Buren are valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, the university announced Friday. Both were valedictorians in 2009 at their respective high schools. Hathaway will receive bachelor’s degrees in economics and business administration. LaJoie will receive her bachelor’s in food science and human nutrition.

Hathaway, a Leavitt Area High School graduate, plans on accepting an auditing position at Baker Newman Noyes, a Portland-based accounting firm, in hopes of becoming a certified public accountant in the future.

“Early on, I knew I wanted to get into the business world,” Hathaway said in a university news release. “Then I took my first accounting class and really enjoyed finding the nuances of how the accounting world fit into the business world. … Economics is more than just money.”

Hathaway interned at the firm in the summer of 2012, doing tax and audit work to help companies prepare financial statements. In 2011, he was project manager on a statewide waste composition research project, lead by a UMaine professor with the former State Planning Office.

The Turner native also spent two years tutoring student-athletes and teaching accounting and economics.

LaJoie, a Van Buren District Secondary School graduate, worked as a student research assistant in the laboratory of a human nutrition researcher at the university. There, she worked a project that involved gathering health-related data from 18- to 24-year-olds to examine potential improved health resulting from eating behavior. She also assisted in a five-year study of a childhood obesity prevention program.

“I’ve always been interested in health care,” LaJoie said. “I was fascinated to learn that what we eat plays a huge role in overall health and wellness. Through taking classes, my interest has grown in the field of nutrition. It’s very up-and-coming.”

She volunteers in nutrition services at Eastern Maine Medical Center and has interned at other clinics and rehabilitation centers, according to the university. She also is president of the All Maine Women Honor Society and Kappa Omicron Nu honor society.

“Spencer and Lindsay represent the very best of our outstanding UMaine students — both for their outstanding academic success, [and] for their dedicated service to the campus and community as well,” University of Maine President Paul Ferguson said Friday in the news release. “We are extremely proud of their achievement.”

Both graduates will be recognized at UMaine’s 211th commencement ceremonies, scheduled for 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Saturday, May 11, at Harold Alfond Sports Arena.

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