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The Year of Opportunity — Donors to Date

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Announcing UNE’s Year of Opportunity

The Vision 2017 ten-year strategic plan developed under the leadership of President Danielle N. Ripich is largely completed. But before we can declare the campaign a complete success, we still have a little more work to do in order to ensure that every student who aspires to be part of the UNE experience has the Opportunity to do so. That’s why contributions for scholarships and student support will be our primary focus during the final year of the Moving Forward campaign, the Year of Opportunity.

Stories of Opportunity at UNE

Carlos Aquero

Carlos Ag├╝ero ’16, a native of Coachella, California, received his degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of New England (UNE), in 2016. He has been accepted into George Washington University’s prestigious Master of Science program in Data Science, and will begin classes there in the fall of 2017. 

As an undergraduate at UNE, he received several scholarships which helped him enhance his studies and opportunity to do research. These included the Presidential Scholarship, the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Scholarship, the Leadership Scholarship and the National Security Education Program (NSEP) David L. Boren Scholarship. The generous financial support of these scholarships played a crucial factor in his decision to apply to UNE and afforded him the opportunity to take advantage of numerous programs available to students attending the University.

During Carlos’ first year at UNE, he served as a resident adviser, a political columnist and a first-year representative in UNE’s Undergraduate Student Government. He also created UNE’s very first Jazz Club and was an active participant in the Math Club. At the end of his first year, he became an Orientation Leader, which gave him the chance to meet new students, forge new connections and participate in field trips across the state of Maine. For someone who — only two years prior — did not know where Maine was on the map and wanted to experience the state’s many offerings, this was the perfect opportunity to do so.

During his sophomore year, he had the opportunity to participate in Model United Nations, a UNE Political Science Course. Comprised of students and faculty from around the world, participants in the course engage in cooperative, hands-on, experiential learning and develop a better understanding of the inner workings of the United Nations by fine-tuning their skills in diplomacy, collaboration, public speaking and research. Participating students represent countries other than that from which they are from, giving Carlos the opportunity to represent the country of Libya. One unique aspect of the course was the opportunity to gain insight from Professor Ali Abdullatif Ahmida, who is a leading authority on Libyan politics and a UNE Political Science professor. Though he was not the course instructor, Professor Ahmida involved himself with the class, often dropping in to provide insights into Libyan studies that would be difficult to obtain anywhere else. The culmination of the program was a conference held at the United Nations in New York City, and Carlos’ trip to the UN was made possible by generous funding from UNE. 

During his second and third years at UNE, Carlos had the opportunity to vigorously pursue his passion for linguistic and cultural immersion alongside his central focus on Mathematics. This was exemplified by the junior year he spent abroad in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), taking courses in Mathematics and computer science, all the while building on the Arabic he first studied at UNE. The Global Affairs Office at UNE was instrumental in helping to create this opportunity by working around the clock to track down additional scholarship funds, which included the National Security Education Program (NSEP) David L. Boren Scholarship, a scholarship which provided partial funding for ten months of study at the American University of Sharjah, in the UAE. As a recipient of the Boren Scholarship, Carlos was able to study abroad for ten months at the University of Sharjah in the UAE.

After returning from the UAE, Carlos devoted his final year at UNE to on-campus research which focused on digital signal processing, with an emphasis on comparing different dialects of languages to see how they could be visualized using programming and mathematics. The results of his research in signal processing will be a valuable tool he plans to use in graduate school.

Throughout his four years at UNE, Carlos made the most of the educational, extracurricular and study abroad opportunities presented to him by the University.

“It’s seems like a paradox that in the last two years I’ve been expanding my interest, such as in the field of refugee aid and languages while also narrowing my interests such as knowing what government agency I want to work for. UNE affords students many opportunities, and I am grateful to have benefited from them.”

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