PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Craig Cormier, a 26-year-old Fort Fairfield resident and a 2006 graduate of the University of Maine at Presque Isle, is never afraid to try something new.
Whether it is taking on a new project, establishing his own business or founding a magazine that focuses on day-to-day life in Aroostook County, Cormier accepts new challenges as they come his way.
That characteristic, as well as his hard work, dedication and the success he has realized after trying new things, were just some of the many attributes that secured Cormier UMPI’s 2010 Distinguished Recent Alumni Award.
Cormier graduated magna cum laude from the college with a bachelor’s degree in history and a minor in management information systems. He was given the award as part of UMPI’s University Day celebrations last week. The accolade is given to a graduate who has been out of college between two and 12 years and has distin-guished himself in his career or service to community.
Cormier was nominated for the award by Kim Sebold, associate professor of history at the university.
Sebold noted that Cormier contributed his time and talent to work on a major local history project with Dr. Richard Graves. The two put together the book “Forgotten Times: Presque Isle’s First 150 Years.” Sebold also said Cormier’s talents and willingness to work were an instrumental force in the development of UMPI’s Lo-cal History minor program.
“Craig decided to keep his talents in Aroostook County by coming to UMPI,” Sebold said in nominating Cormier. “Once at UMPI, he became involved with the campus community and took advantage of every opportunity offered to him. He continues to do this in his everyday life and is a great representative of what can be ac-complished with talent, initiative and an UMPI education.”
“I knew that Dr. Sebold was going to nominate me for the award, but I didn’t know what my chances were at getting it,” Cormier said Friday. “I got a letter telling me that I’d won the award, and I was very honored.”
As a student, Cormier served as a resident assistant and was involved in Student Senate and the student activities board.
In 2006, Cormier became co-owner of his graphic design firm, C3 Creative in Fort Fairfield. He began taking on major projects right away. Through his business, Cormier published, designed, printed and consulted with Graves on “Forgotten Times.” He also prepared the reprint of the 1904 Fort Fairfield town registry, created the look of the Fort Fairfield 150th anniversary celebration, and designed and printed the Fort Fairfield 150th anniversary celebration book, Portage Lake’s centennial book project, and “Caribou: Through the Ages” for the Jefferson Cary Foundation.
“As far as the ‘Forgotten Times’ project with Graves, I had never done a project that big before,” he said Friday. “I also was working on other projects as well, so I was keeping busy.”
Along with his design work, Cormier serves as a community outreach coordinator and project assistant with the Power of Prevention Program, part of Aroostook’s northern region Healthy Maine Partnership.
Last summer, Cormier helped establish Our Maine Street and is editor-in-chief of the quarterly magazine, which focuses on life in The County. Cormier’s father, Charles Cormier, is the magazine’s circulation director.
“The magazine is doing well,” Cormier said, with subscribers increasing daily. “We are happy with the results we’ve had so far. People seem to be very interested in it, and sales have been good.”
Starting the magazine was a challenge, he said, as he had never published a magazine before.
“It has been a learning experience,” Cormier acknowledged. “No one had even put out a product like we have, a full color, bound magazine with advertising and articles about events and life in The County.”
Cormier noted that The County has Echoes Magazine, a journal that celebrates the heritage of County communities, people and families.
“Our magazine is different, and we did not start the magazine to compete with any existing product,” he said. “We were trying to fill a gap.”
“Most of our subscribers are from out of state,” he said. “We ship the magazine as far away as California. It is neat to see where all of the people who were born in The County have gone, and how they all want to stay connected to this area.”
Keith Madore, director of alumni relations at UMPI, noted that Cormier “has exemplified the goals and ideals that higher education seeks to instill in all those who choose its path.”
“The university is proud to call Craig one of our own,” Madore added.
Cormier said he hopes his award shows others that young people can stay in the area, secure an education and be successful.
“You can do a lot with a local education here,” he said Friday. “Education in The County is affordable and can take you a long way. I am also honored to receive the award because it is nice to be an example to others that you can stay here and try something new and be successful at it.”