Student Spotlight

Brenna Jones sits behind a table bearing food and drinks for the unhoused and precariously housed.

Student Spotlight: Brenna Jones

Brenna Jones discovered her path in research after volunteering with the Greater Bangor Houseless Collective (GBHC) in July 2021. “During this time, Dr. Pitman and I were actively reading literature on homelessness, drawing connections between abstract ideas and the current conditions in Bangor.” Jones has continued working with GBHC over the past few years and […]

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Ellie Walker poses beside her poster at the UMaine Student Symposium

Student Spotlight: Ellie Walker

More than a year ago, Ellie Walker decided she wanted to pursue Speech-Language Pathology as a career path. While looking for a summer job, she looked for positions that were focused on research, and was selected for the MaineHealth Institute for Research’s Summer Undergraduate Research Program. During the summer of 2023, she “worked alongside a […]

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Rachel Coombs poses in front of the VEMI Lab sign.

Student Spotlight: Rachel Coombs

While volunteering as an EMT during high school, Rachel Coombs was exposed to a variety of medical devices and equipment. After viewing a presentation in class from Dr. Caitlin Howell, regarding the project she was currently working on, Coombs began working with her on “antifouling coatings to prevent catheter associated urinary tract infections.” That project […]

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Jamie Fogg, posing for the camera while standing in a boat, holding testing equipment.

Student Spotlight: Jamie Fogg

A class taken in high school set Jamie Fogg on her path to studying marine biology, after having an opportunity to conduct her own research project on Mount Desert Rock (MDR), in Maine. “My project assessed wound rates of gray and harbor seals on MDR. My goal was to understand harm infliction for a remote […]

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Arthur Smallidge, posing for camera in front of a window

Student Spotlight: Arthur Smallidge

After talking with a faculty member in a different department, Arthur Smallidge quickly identified a problem that needed solving and began working to find that solution. That faculty member “had mentioned a project involving automated irrigation, but there were not any small scale automated irrigation systems currently on the market.” Smallidge explains that there are […]

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Sadie Waterman posing with faculty mentor, Jared Talbot, in their lab.

Student Spotlight: Sadie Waterman

One could say that Sadie Waterman’s research journey began at birth. “I have always been interested in human congenital diseases because my life began with a surgery to correct one.” After gaining a strong STEM background during high school, she decided to major in biology and upon arriving at UMaine, she “immediately became involved in […]

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Timber Mattson poses next to a microscope on a laboratory table

Student Spotlight: Timber Mattson

Timber Mattson has always been fascinated by cellular processes and how a single mutation can negatively affect an entire organism. “I am interested in learning about the effects of toxins, stress, and diet on mitochondrial function, and how that altered mitochondrial function can affect human health.”  “Mitochondrial activity is a determining factor in the aging […]

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Sairah Damboise, posing in front of a white background

Student Spotlight: Sairah Damboise

Sairah Damboise has “always been interested in the fabrication of vaccinations and medicine.” That interest made it easy for her when it was time to choose a major. While looking for opportunities to work in a lab on campus, Damboise was offered the chance to work in Dr. Michael Mason’s lab. Damboise says Dr. Mason […]

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Emilie Casey poses at a desk bearing books and three monitors showing graphs and data.

Student Spotlight: Emilie Casey

Emilie Casey came to UMaine planning to focus on geology, but after connecting with one of their professors, glaciology is becoming a much larger part of their academic life. “I came to UMaine with a bright passion for Earth Sciences, eager to use my resources and apply myself. I think my professor picked up on […]

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Lauren Cusson, posing next to her poster at the 2022 UMaine Student Symposium

Student Spotlight: Lauren Cusson

In her freshman year at UMaine, Lauren Cusson took a Phage Genome Discovery course, and suddenly her path to research became clear. “I then joined a virology research lab on campus my sophomore year and have learned so much from it.” She loves “being able to actually apply what I have learned and think outside […]

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Hanna Brooks posing in a laboratory, holding up a container of samples.

Student Spotlight: Hanna Brooks

Though she had always been good at science and interested in the natural world, it was a long while before Hanna Brooks thought of herself as a scientist. It wasn’t until a casual conversation during her sophomore year at Virginia Tech that led to her studying rock samples in Greece, that she first owned the […]

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Laura Curioli, in UMaine graduation regalia, leaning against the pillar of a campus building.

Student Spotlight: Laura Curioli

“Always research something that really grabs your interest. Don’t skip topics just because they’re obscure or maybe not as well-known. Your love for a topic will really fuel your eagerness to learn and discover.” Recent UMaine graduate Laura Curioli has been involved with research since her freshman year and has taken her own advice to […]

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Seth Ashby, seated at counter, looking through a microscope

Student Spotlight: Seth Ashby

For Seth Ashby, his chosen field of research was most interesting to him due to its unique nature. “The idea that we can work backwards to see what isn’t needed, to figure out what is essential, is fascinating.” Ashby is working alongside Dr. Suzanne Angeli, assistant professor in the Molecular and Biomedical Department, to study […]

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Ainslie Allen with Dr. Caitlin Howell

Student Spotlight: Ainslie Allen

While looking for a job on campus during her freshman year, Ainslie Allen happened to listen to a presentation given by Dr. Caitlin Howell and the rest, as they say, is history. Allen has been working in Dr. Howell’s lab ever since and has “enjoyed every minute of it.” Allen says “working with Dr. Howell […]

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Madeline Howorth posing outside, in front of trees

Student Spotlight: Madeline Howorth

For undergraduate Madeline Howorth, research is in her blood. The Center for Undergraduate Research AY2223 fellowship award winner remembers watching her mother study, do homework and perform research. “Growing up in Pennsylvania as my mom pursued her PhD studies full-time, I was constantly surrounded by eager education faculty, used textbooks, and an endless supply of […]

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