Chapter History



September 21, 2006:  Celebrating the Fulbright Program in Maine, Launching the Maine Chapter. Hosted by the Fulbright Association and Robert Kennedy, President, University of Maine, and Richard Pattenaude, President, University of Southern Maine.

June 16, 2007: The Maine Chapter is officially affiliated at the national Fulbright Association’s Board of Directors meeting.

June 2007: Founding Board Members, Maine Chapter:

  • Karen Boucias—University of Maine
  • Ann Cohen – St. Joseph’s College (Secretary)
  • Suzanne Crawford – Bowling Green State University (Treas)
  • Dorothy Klimis-Zacas—University of Maine
  • Cindy Lahar-York County Community College
  • Rob Lively – University of Maine at Farmington
  • Peter L. Murray—Harvard Law School
  • Beth Richardson–St. Joseph’s College (President)
  • Esther Taylor—Orono High School
  • Erika Waters – University of Southern Maine
  • Victoria Murphy, former member of the Fulbright Commission in Washington DC, functioned as an external advisor.


EVENTS 2017 – 2020

2021 events and beyond will be listed on our events page.

October 25, 2017: Co-sponsorship of the Judge Frank M. Coffin’s Lecture on Law & Public Service at Maine Law by Ambassador Barton

Summary: The Maine Chapter of the Fulbright Association, in association with the University of Maine School of Law and Dean Danielle Conway (a Fulbrighter), co-sponsored a talk by Ambassador Rick Barton on “International Peacekeeping: America’s Role in a Troubled World.” Ambassador Barton discussed “International Peacebuilding: America’s Role in a Troubled World” at the 2017 Judge Frank M. Coffin Lecture on Law & Public Service.  Ambassador Barton’s diplomatic career includes over 20 years of peacebuilding work in more than 40 global conflict zones. He has broad experience in addressing international conflict having served as former Deputy High Commissioner of the United Nations Refugee Agency, former U.S. Representative to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, and the first Assistant Secretary of State for Conflict and Stabilization Operations. Ambassador Barton was actively involved in the establishment of UN Women, the advancement of the UN Peacebuilding Commission, the post-earthquake reconstruction in Haiti, and efforts to better align U.S. and UN development programs. In 2013, he received a Department of State Distinguished Honor Award for his promotion of peacebuilding as well as for the empowerment of women, youth, and other agents seeking peaceful change.

March 16, 2018: Unity College – Alumni Reception/Dinner and Talks on Climate Change

Summary: The Fulbright Association of Maine organized and sponsored a dinner and set of talks at Unity College on climate change. Following a board meeting, the group was taken on a Sustainability Campus Tour with Chief Sustainability Officer Jennifer DeHart. Unity College is known as “America’s Environmental College.” The Fulbright Alumni Reception and Dinner followed, introduced by an address by President Dr. Melik Khoury, Unity College Center for the Performing Arts. Post-Dinner Talks were on: “Climate Change and Common Species: A Case Study of the Bananaquit,”  by Dr. Brent Bibles, Professor of Wildlife Biology, Distance Education Graduate Faculty, Unity College; and, “The Effects of Climate  Change on the Distribution of an Important Northern Forest Ant,” by Dr. Amy Arnett, Professor of Ecology,  2009 Fulbright Scholar, Chief Distance Education Officer, Unity College. These talks took place at the Unity College Center for the Performing Arts.

April 8, 2018: Bangor Symphony Orchestra, Reception and Performance

Summary: The Maine Chapter of the Fulbright Association and the Bangor Symphony Orchestra collaborated to organize a reception and performance in Orono. Through the work of Brian Hinrichs, BSO Executive Director and Fulbright alum, the BSO and Fulbright co-sponsored a 1:30 pm reception on April 8, 2018 at the Collins Center for the Arts, Orono, followed by a performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 and Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, K 427. The mass featured the University of Maine Singers and the Oratorio Society. The BSO/Fulbright reception was held with Lucas Richman, Conductor, at the Collins Center for the Arts, Orono. This was followed by a pre-concert talk by Lucas Richman. The BSO/Fulbright reception that followed concluded with attendance at the concert.

April 18, 2018: KVCC Reception and Talk by KVCC President and former World Bank senior education specialist Richard Hopper

Summary: Maine Chapter of the Fulbright Association and Kennebec Valley Community College co-sponsored a tour/dinner/presentation on the KVCC Harold Alfond Hinckley Campus. The event began with a tour led by KVCC President Richard R. Hopper, Fulbright alum and formerly of the World Bank. The tour, titled “Farm to Table,” highlighted the college’s programs in Culinary Arts, Timber Frame Construction, and Sustainable Agriculture. A dinner reception followed at Farm Education Center. At the dinner, a public talk was delivered by President Richard Hopper titled Higher Education in the Palestinian Authority. Farm Education Center. President Hopper came to KVCC in 2013 from the World Bank, where he served most recently as a Senior Education Specialist for the Europe and Central Asia area. His other World Bank responsibilities took him to South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia, and Latin America.  He holds a doctorate in education policy from Harvard University, taught for several years each in France, Switzerland, and Japan, and was a Fulbright Scholar in Bangladesh. He continues to serve as an international education consultant.

July 26, 2018: Joint Maine and New Hampshire Chapters Day in Portsmouth, NH

Summary: Close to fifty chapter members of the combined Fulbright Associations of Maine and New Hampshire converged on Pease International Tradeport in Portsmouth, N.H. on July 26th2018 to spend the day together, networking and learning about international trade and East Asian economic transformation.  Over the course of one very busy day, we shared lunch, a bus tour, a cruise, dinner, and two lectures.  During the bus tour we heard from the Executive Director of the Pease Development Authority, David R. Mullen, about the functioning of Portsmouth’s International Tradeport, including a visit by the New Hampshire Port Authority and Foreign Trade Zone Director, Geno Marconi.  Our cruise with the Isles of Shoals Steamship Company introduced us to some historic and architectural highlights of Portsmouth Harbor.  Following that, we enjoyed dinner at local landmark Geno’s Chowder House, accompanied by two lectures from local academics.  During the first lecture, we learned about young female entrepreneurs of South Korea from Dr. Ali Akhtar, Associate Professor of Asian Studies at Bates College in Maine.  The second, delivered by Dr. Lawrence C. Reardon of UNH’s Political Science Department, concerned economic changes in China since the 1980’s.  “Our members enjoyed the joint chapters’ day and found the integrated theme stimulating” declares Ann T. Ackerman, President of the New Hampshire Fulbright Association.  Her counterpart, Robert Lively, President of the Maine Chapter, adds “We always find it valuable to meet with members of other chapters; to share stories of our Fulbright experiences.”  Elaine Potoker, President Elect of the Chapter and a coordinator of the event, expressed the important of international commerce to the Fulbright legacy and mission.

October 31, 2018: Annual Meeting

We held our Annual Meeting at the University of Maine at Farmington on October 31, 2018. We began with a luncheon, followed by the meeting. The meeting included a review of our 2017-2018 activities, committee reports, and upcoming events in 2018-2019. We were welcomed by UMF Interim President and Fulbright alum, Dr. Eric Brown.  Prior to the luncheon and meeting, we were invited to attend a talk by the American pianist and composer, Anthony Davis. The title of his lecture and performance was “Race, White Backlash, and the Spiritual Quest:  Jazz Responds to the Struggle for Civil Rights.”  His talk was part of UMF’s “New Commons Project,” a UMF public humanities initiative that is working to increase free public access to and participation in a variety of creative works valued by the Maine community. The project is made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon foundation. Mr. Davis and the faculty organizer of the series joined us for lunch.

End of the Year 2018 Get-Togethers

We held a series of informal get-togethers at Colby College, Portland, and Bangor to celebrate our Fulbright visitors and our Fulbright alums. At Colby College ( November 27) a luncheon was held for the visiting Fulbright Arabic teacher Amira Chatti from Tunisia. In Portland (November 29) we hosted the visiting Fulbrighter Inass Yassin from the West Bank who is in the MFA in Fine Arts program at the Maine College of Art. And we capped off the season with an informal get-together in Bangor ( December 5) where we discovered some previously unknown Fulbright alums on the faculty of the University of Maine.



This event was held at the Bangor Public Library in Bangor, Maine.  The venue fit with our Chapter’s goal to make Fulbright activities and the Fulbright legacy more accessible to local Communities.  It focused on the topic of Korean Peninsula unification. Graduate students from the University of Maine’s School of Policy and International Affairs (SPIA) presented the results of their professional research on the question of reunification of the Korean Peninsula.  Subsequent to their presentation, there was a panel discussion, followed by a dinner. Panelists included: Mr. Peter Madigan: Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State; 27 year member of the Board of the International Republican Institute; has worked in development, security and democracy for a quarter of a century; Col. Jack Mosher: US Army ret., combat veteran; U Maine graduate; Bronze star and Purple Heart recipient; Mr. Kim Eun Han: Visiting Fellow at the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation; on sabbatical from the Ministry of Unification of the Korean government.


This event, at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, focused on the life-altering opportunities afforded by Fulbright awards.  It involved a campus tour, and panel discussion and dinner. Panelists included the following Fulbright Alumni: Nicole Bermudez, politics ’16 (Colombia); Wesley Chaney, Bates History (China); Anita Charles, Bates Education (India);); Alison Melnick, Bates Religious Studies (India); Jamie Naso, biochemistry ’16 (Colombia); Cynthia Reedy, Hebron Academy French Department (Morocco). Associate Dean of Faculty, Margaret Imber introduced the event, and Robert Strong, Director of Graduate Fellowships and Lecturer at Bates College, provided welcoming comments. Malcolm Hill, V.P of Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty, welcomed guests at dinner.


This was the second annual Market Place hosted by the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, Maine.  The 2-day event, open to the public, hosted 100 juried Native American artists from across North America, up from 70 last year. The event showcases native arts and crafts including basket making, jewelry, clothing, painting, sculpture and carving.  Some artists have work in permanent Smithsonian collections.  Singing and drumming events were staged throughout the day. There was a vote for viewers’ favorite artwork, plus original fashion designs, including those by one designer invited to this year’s Paris fashion week.  Professional native dancers performed between sets of the fashion show, with magnificent, handmade costumes.  Karen Boucias, former Board member, organized this event.


Poet Richard Blanco visited to Belfast, Maine, over two days to celebrate the union of diversity, imagery, and poetry.  It was in every sense a community event—an important Maine Chapter programming goal. The event pulled together sponsors such as the Maine Chapter of the Fulbright Association and the University of Maine Hutchinson Center, along with key Belfast organization partners who assisted with promotion: e.g., Belfast Creative Coalition, Our Town, Belfast Chamber of Commerce, Belfast Free Library, Arielle Greenberg—Belfast Poet Laureate who did a satellite workshop on Blanco’s poetry as a “warm up” for his visit with 5th graders at the Walker Memorial School in Liberty, ME.  Linda Buckmaster, former Belfast Poet Laureate and author, M.C.’d the evening reading event.  We also invited the top student in literature from Belfast high school (Skye Cheskin) who won first place in the 2019 poetry contest along with her teacher, also the Chair of the English Dept. (Zach Smith).

Here are several media links that describe the event:



This event brought together at the University of Maine experts in the fields of Nutrition, Food Science, Soil Science and Plant breeding to increase public awareness and address critical issues related to how food in its various stages of production, packaging, purchasing and preparation affects the health of the individual consumer.  Presenters included:

  • Ms. Sarah Alexander, Executive Director of Maine’s Organic Farmers, Gardeners Association (MOFGA), having over 15 years of experience advocating for sustainable, local and fair food systems.
  • Dr. John Jemison, an Extension Professor of Soil and Water Quality, he develops and delivers educational programs designed to encourage growers and homeowners to implement practices to improve soils and protect surface and ground water supplies.
  • Dr. Dorothy Klimis-Zacas, Professor of Clinical Nutrition, Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Maine, and collaborating professor at the University of Milan (DeFENs), Italy and Harokopio University of Nutrition and Dietetics, Athens, Greece.  She is a Fulbright Fellow and a member of the Fulbright Board, Maine chapter. She teaches and researches the role of nutrients and food bioactive constituents on human health and chronic disease.
  • Dr. John Navazio, Leafy Greens and Root Crops Breeder/ Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Albion, Maine. He has spent the past 20 years as both a commercial plant breeder and teaching plant breeding at the College level. He is co-founder of the non-profit advocacy organization, the Organic Seed Alliance, in Port Townsend, Washington.

Fulbright members and Fulbright friends, the community, UMaine faculty and graduate students participated and contributed with their time to the event. The event included a luncheon composed of local and in-season foods and coffee breaks.  The Maine Fulbright Chapter Annual Business meeting took place post-event.


The Maine Chapter of the Fulbright Association and the World Affairs Council of Maine partnered on June 18, 2020 to celebrate stories that showcased the impact and value of international education programs, people to people diplomacy, and global outreach in Maine and internationally. WACM and the Maine Chapter of the Fulbright Association represent the two flagship programs of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. State Department, which made this get-together particularly special. Plus, the speakers (aka Storytellers), were amazing.  COVID-19 circumstances precluded an on-site face-to-face event at DiMillo’s on the Water in Portland.