MMA Student Life Awards Recognize Outstanding Leaders and Community Members at 18th Annual Banquet

Posted on: April 15, 2019

CASTINE, Maine—At a banquet held on Wednesday, April 3, the Maine Maritime Academy Student Life Awards Committee recognized outstanding members of the MMA and Castine community whose contributions include various service projects, athletics, employment and volunteer programs, and other co-curricular activities.

For the 18th annual banquet and awards ceremony, the Student Life Awards Committee, made up of staff and faculty, accepted nominations from the entire MMA community and selected the top five nominees in each category. Top nominees were recognized during the ceremony before the awardee from each category was announced as the winner.

The following awards, nominees, and award winners were announced at the ceremony:

• The Athletic Integration Award recognizes the positive contributions intramural, club or varsity athletes make to the campus community. It is awarded to a student athlete who has impacted campus life through leadership and collaboration with others. Winner: Abigail L’Abbe of Topsham, Maine. Additional nominees: Rachel Bunker, Hannah Butland, Alexa Cacacie, and Gabrielle Guinto.

• The Emerging Leader Award recognizes two first-year students who have emerged as leaders and who can be expected to contribute significantly to the campus community and the welfare of their fellow students during their time at the Academy. Winners (2): Gabrielle Guinto of East Hampstead, New Hampshire and Nickolaus Lewis of Sanford, Maine. Additional nominees: Shannon Gardaz, Kailyn Russell and Nicholas Sobkow.

• The Non-Traditional Student Impact Award is presented to a non-traditional student who has used their life experiences to make a significant impact in the campus community including, but not limited to, campus life, academic achievement, leadership, and community service. Winner: Bryon Fogg of Winslow, Maine. Additional nominees: Joshua Blaine, Michael Leone, Michael Libby, and Rebecca Rankin.

• Outstanding Collaboration Award recognizes a member of the student body who has collaborated with multiple constituencies. This student has led with integrity to unify the student body and make significant contributions to the greater campus community. Winner: Mary Shea of Brownfield, Maine. Additional nominees: Gretel Williams, Sydney Knowlton, Trenton Lloyd-Rees and Justin Burgess.

• The Award for Outstanding Contribution to Residential Life is presented to a student who has made significant contributions to the community and experience of students living in the residence halls. Winner: Justin Waceken of Millinocket, Maine. Additional nominees: Sarah Gilmore, Gabrielle Guinto, Bryant Peterson and Avae Traina.

• Social Entrepreneurship Award recognizes a student, or group of students, who have pursued an innovative idea with the potential to enhance community or to address a pervasive community issue. Winner: The Non-Traditional Student Association. Additional nominees: Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA), and Student Government Association (SGA).

• Student Employee of the Year Award recognizes a student worker who has demonstrated a high quality of work, leadership skills, and impact on the department in which he or she works. Winner: Avae Traina of Edgecomb, Maine. Additional nominees: Kyla Desmarais, Jakob Hemmerlein, Trenton Lloyd-Rees and Miranda McIntire.

• Student Government Leadership Award recognizes a student affiliated with the Student Government Association who has shown immense integrity and perseverance in striving to improve student life and welfare. Winner: Keith Jordan of Waltham, Maine. Additional nominees: Rachel Borisko, Ashley Elder, Oliver Higgins and Brandon St. Germain.

• Mariner Pride is a community-wide nomination that honors an organization, event, or activity that enhances Mariner Pride by bringing people together and helping to strengthen the campus community. Winner: the Inter-Academy Monomoy Challenge. Additional nominees: the Campus Activities Board, Men’s and Women’s Swimming, the Schooner Crew, and the Wrestling Club.

• The Sarah F. Hudson Unsung Mariner award is a student-nominated award given to a faculty or staff member for demonstrating outstanding community service and support of student life. Winner: Alexander “Zanny” Stwertka. Additional nominees: Nathan Gandy, Kelly Gualtieri, Donald McCann and Peter Stewart, and Kyle Willette.

• Phyllis Tenney Community Service and Leadership Award is presented to the student who has displayed outstanding dedication and loyalty to MMA, commitment and service to the Castine community, exemplary leadership skills, and has also achieved great success academically and socially at MMA. Winner: Kyle Fallon of South Berwick, Maine. Additional nominees: Rachel Borisko, and Geoffrey Knight.

Maine Maritime Academy is a co-educational, public college on the coast of Maine offering 22 programs of study in engineering, management, science, and transportation. The college serves approximately 950 undergraduate and graduate students in career-oriented degree programs. The job placement rate for MMA graduates is approximately 90 percent within 90 days of graduation. The college is consistently recognized for providing a high-value education by organizations such as the Brookings Institution, U.S. News and World Report, and Money Magazine. For more information, visit