Beyond Education

October 2013 News

Mid Maine Chamber Business Breakfast

The next Business Breakfast, presented by Thomas College and the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce, will host Stephen Pecukonis, President and Principal Consultant with HRD Associates. Pecukonis will identify and describe the key "outside" behaviors that effective leaders provide their employees, committee and team members, and followers. In addition, he will examine the "inside" characteristics and beliefs of a leader that inform and empower those "outside" behaviors. The breakfast will be held on Thursday, November 14, from 7:15 – 9:00 a.m. in the Spann Commons Oak Room on Thomas College’s campus at 180 West River Road in Waterville.

As Principal Consultant with HRD Associates of Topsham, Maine, a human resource development training and consulting firm he founded in 1985, Steve works with clients from business, industry, government, health care, social services, and education. He has served as adjunct faculty at the University of Maine at Augusta, Thomas College in Waterville, and Central Maine Community College in Auburn, and has facilitated more than seventy-five Community Leadership Development programs in various regions around the state of Maine since 1987, including the Kennebec Leadership Institute sponsored by the Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce and UMA. In his years of corporate and independent work Steve has developed special expertise in interpersonal and organizational communication, leadership and management skills development, and organizational development and team building. He is a frequent conference speaker and seminar leader throughout the Northeast.

Prior to starting his independent training and consulting practice Steve held management, personnel, and training positions with General Mills and Digital Equipment Corp.. He also served as Director of Training and Consulting Services for a private, non-profit healthcare organization. Steve holds two degrees from Michigan State University.

Steve very recently accepted a position as Executive Director of the Augusta Downtown Alliance and will serve as the Downtown Manager helping to bring about the revitalization of Augusta’s downtown. He will continue to facilitate Community Leadership Institutes in Kennebec and Androscoggin counties.

The Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce holds informative presentations on a variety of educational business topics monthly at Thomas College’s Spann Student Commons. The cost of the Business Breakfast is $15 for those members who register before the event and is $17 at the door. The general admission is $20 for the public. A hot breakfast is included with the reservation. To register, go online to or call 207.873.3315.

The sponsors for the Business Breakfast are AT&T; People’s United Bank; Higgins & Bolduc Insurance; Nicholson, Michaud & Company; and, O’Donnell, Lee, McCowan & Phillips, LLC.

Thomas College Hosts ACUMS Conference

THOMAS COLLEGE HOSTS ACUMS CONFERENCE Posted on October 28, 2013 Thomas College will host the Association of College & University Mail Services (ACUMS) Fall 2013 Conference on October 28 and 29. Representatives from colleges and universities all over the country will attend this two-day conference, highlighting the importance that mail service centers hold to the campuses, and further creating a networking environment for those employed in campus mail centers.

Representatives will be on hand from the United States Postal Service (USPS), Boston University Medical, Utah State University and vendors like Design Advantage, presenting on a wide variety of topics, ranging from interpreting USPS postal policies, rate changes, Business Mail, Intelligent Mail Compliance Codes, and ergonomics within mail centers. Attendees will tour Thomas College and Colby College’s centers, visit vendor booths and will be entertained on Monday evening by Thomas’s own talented Music Club members. That same evening, ACUMS President, David Nelson will make a donation to the Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter from ACUMS.

ACUMS is a membership-based organization, founded in 1978 “to address issues and challenges unique to processing mail in an academic environment.” Mail Service Center Coordinator for Thomas College, Rebecca Kane was referred to and joined the association one year ago and attended her first ACUMS conference just one month after becoming a member.

Rebecca says, though the way of the world is electronic communication, mail centers are still letters and packages between students and families, equipment and document communication via the USPS and other shipping services continue to play a vital role in campus communications. Students save their acceptance letters, notice of merit scholarships and Dean’s List certificates for years to come. She shared a touching story of a student recently receiving a note and a magnet from her elderly grandfather. Rebecca will share some of her own experiences in the Mail Service Center at Thomas, along with a video sharing her ride-along with a carrier for the Belgrade Lakes, who delivers mail via boat to the town’s residents.

To learn more about ACUMS or the upcoming conference, please visit:

- Posted on October 28, 2013

Thomas College Dedicates Turf Fields

During Homecoming and Family Weekend at Thomas College, both all-weather turf fields were renamed. On the evening of Thursday, October 17, between the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Field Hockey games, the “Red Field” was dedicated to Brian ’88 and Amy Bernatchez and was renamed “Bernatchez Field.” Brian is a member of Thomas College’s Board of Trustees, and Amy is the Director of the Maine Majestix Field Hockey Club. “Tonight we recognize their extraordinary commitment to Thomas College by dedicating the field currently known as the “Red Field” in their honor,” announced Bob Moore ’79, Vice President of Advancement for Thomas College.

On Saturday, October 19, after the Women’s Soccer game vs. Husson, what was previously known as the “Black Field” was dedicated to Todd ’92, M.B.A. ’99 and Kelly Smith M.S. ’12 and was renamed “Smith Field” in honor of their commitment to the Thomas Soccer program. Todd is a Co-Chair of the Board of Trustees, and Kelly is a volunteer Assistant Women’s Soccer Coach for Thomas. As Bob Moore brought the couple and their family over to unveil the new “Smith Filed” sign, he motioned to them to look up to the sky. Above the field, five parachuters jumped out of their plane to the joy of onlookers. Carrying an American flag and a Thomas Terrier flag, the last two jumpers from Vacationland Skydiving owned by alum Brad Fisher ’02, showed off their “dive bombing” skills to finish off the performance.

- Posted October 22, 2013

 Thomas College Hosts Pechakucha Night - October 25th

On Friday, October 25, Thomas College is hosting PechaKucha Night Waterville, Volume 13. This dynamic event will be held in the Spann Student Commons Oak Room and will feature Emcee Margy Burns Knight.

Started in 2003 by Klein Dytham Architects, PechaKucha Night is an opportunity for creative types of all stripes to present their work. PechaKucha is a fast-paced, friendly social hour where you can see and/or present work while enjoying a beer and meeting others. Each presenter has an opportunity to share 20 slides x 20 seconds (6 minute and 40 seconds). For more information about PechaKucha Global, visit

Presenters at this event include local talent Scott Beale, Michael Kiser, Graham Mallory, Abbott Meader, John Meader, Jean Rosborough, Jo Southard, and John Willey.

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. with presentations beginning at 7:20 p.m. Admission is $5 at the door. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres and cash bar. This event is sponsored by Thomas College, Klein Dytham Architecture, Colby College Museum of Art, and Waterville Public Library.

- Posted October 22, 2013

Thomas College Breaks Ground on New Harold Alfond Academic Center

October 18, 2013 – Thomas College will break ground on its new Harold Alfond Academic Center on Friday, October 18, at 10:00 a.m. “The addition of this state-of-the-art facility will transform our campus and provide much needed space for our growing student population,” said President Laurie Lachance.

With full-time, undergraduate enrollment increasing steadily over the past several years, Thomas academic facilities have reached full capacity. Lachance notes that existing classroom space is in constant use for the current student body of more than one thousand, which includes nearly eight hundred undergraduates. “The Harold Alfond Academic Center along with the plan to build a new residence hall – both scheduled to open in August 2014 – illustrates our dynamic growth and what Thomas has to offer students,” said Lachance.

“The design of this new academic commons represents the best of what contributes to teaching and learning. We have integrated space for individual and group work, library and technology resources, and excellent classrooms and computer labs. Our faculty and staff will have great places to teach and our students will have great places to learn,” commented Dr. Thomas Edwards, Provost at Thomas. When completed, the Alfond Academic Center will be span 36,000 square feet and will host classrooms, a state-of-the art library, a financial center, a peer tutoring and mentoring center, and faculty offices.

Leading the groundbreaking will be President Laurie Lachance with Greg Powell, Chairman of the Harold Alfond Foundation, and Board Co-Chairs Todd Smith and Conrad Ayotte, both Thomas alumni. Speakers will include Student Senate President Jasmine Turner and Faculty Senate Chair Pamela Thompson.

Lachance noted that a generous challenge grant from the Harold Alfond Foundation, through which it matches each dollar raised towards the construction, up to $4 million, made the building’s construction possible. “The Thomas community has generated the philanthropic investment to leverage the Foundation’s tremendous gift. The Harold Alfond Academic Center would not be possible without everyone involved.”

The groundbreaking ceremony will kick off Thomas’s Homecoming and Family Weekend, welcoming alumni, family and friends to its campus.

- Posted on October 18, 2013

President Lachance Named Relay For Life Chairwoman

President Lachance has been selected by The American Cancer Society to serve as honorary chairwoman for this year’s Relay For Life of Waterville In Memory of Martha “Marty” Spann. The Relay for Life will happen on October 25 at 6 p.m. in the Alfond Athletic Center at Thomas College.

For more information or to participate, visit Relay For Life.

Mid-Maine Chamber Business Breakfast Series - October 10

The next Business Breakfast, presented by Thomas College and the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce, will host Senior Governmental Relations Specialist with the Maine State Chamber of Commerce Ben Gilman. His presentation will be “What’s Hot and What’s Not: A Look Ahead to the Second Session of the State of Maine 126th Legislature.” Gilman will cover business and economic issues facing the 126th Maine Legislature and give us a sneak preview of what to expect from its upcoming second session. The breakfast will be held on Thursday, October 10, from 7:15 – 9:00 a.m. in the Spann Commons Oak Room on Thomas College’s campus at 180 West River Road in Waterville.

Mr. Gilman joined the Maine State Chamber of Commerce in 2010. In his capacity at the Chamber, Ben focuses primarily on utilities and energy, natural resources and business regulation issues. Prior to that, he served as Director of Government Affairs with the Maine Energy Marketers Association, Director of Government Affairs for Associated Builders and Contractors, as a legislative staffer at the state and federal level, including as Director of Outreach and Economic Development for U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe. Ben received his BA from the University of Maine, Orono, JD from the University of Maine School of Law, holds a certificate in International Law from Santa Clara University School of Law, and is a licensed attorney in the State of Maine. Originally from Westbrook, Ben now resides in Gorham with his wife Jessica and their daughter Anna.

The Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce holds monthly informative presentations on a variety of educational business topics at Thomas College’s Spann Student Commons. The cost of the Business Breakfast is $15 for those members who register before the event and is $17 at the door. The general admission is $20 for the public. A hot breakfast is included with the reservation. To register, go online to or call 207.873.3315.

The sponsors for the Business Breakfast are AT&T; People’s United Bank; Higgins & Bolduc Insurance; Nicholson, Michaud & Company; Sheridan Construction; and, O’Donnell, Lee, McCowan & Phillips, LLC.

- Posted on October 8, 2013

Homecoming and Family Weekend - October 18th - 20th, 2013

Thomas College will welcome alumni, families, students, and friends to our annual Homecoming & Family Weekend October 18 – 20. Join us for this three day celebration of Thomas and see all of the exciting changes on campus. Many events are planned throughout the weekend, including the Groundbreaking Ceremony of the Harold Alfond Academic Center, Athletic Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction, family and student activities, annual Homecoming & Family weekend Party, annual 5K Terrier Trot, as well as alumni athletic games throughout the weekend.

- Posted on October 4, 2013

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