UNE to honor three prominent Maine Women with Deborah Morton Awards

Portrait of Deborah Morton
Portrait of Deborah Morton

September 15, 2016

Dr. Susan J. Hunter
Dr. Susan J. Hunter
Gilda E. Nardone
Gilda E. Nardone
Eileen F. Skinner
Eileen F. Skinner

Three prominent Maine women will be honored at the 55th Annual Deborah Morton Society Convocation on Tuesday, September 20, 2016, at 11 a.m., in the Eleanor DeWolfe Ludcke Auditorium on the University of New England’s Portland Campus.

The Deborah Morton Award, first presented in 1961, was the first annual award in Maine to honor women for their achievements. Bestowed upon women who have achieved high distinction in their careers and public service, or whose leadership in civic, cultural or social causes has been exceptional, the award was named in memory of Deborah Morton of Round Pond, Maine, valedictorian of the 1879 class and a longtime faculty member of Westbrook Seminary, the forerunner of Westbrook College, which merged with the University of New England in 1996.

In the past 54 years, the event has honored more than 180 Maine women. This year’s award recipients are:

Dr. Susan J. Hunter

Susan Hunter received a B.S. in biology from James Madison University and a Ph.D. in physiology from Pennsylvania State University. She completed her postdoctoral work at Case Western Reserve University and Pennsylvania State University.

Hunter began her full-time career at the University of Maine in September 1991. She served five years as the executive vice president for Academic Affairs and provost at the University of Maine. At UMaine, she also has held the positions of associate provost and dean for Undergraduate Education; assistant director in the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture; and a faculty member and chair of the Department of Biological Sciences.

Hunter was named president of the University of Maine, effective July 7, 2014. Prior to starting her appointment as UMaine’s first woman president, President Hunter served as vice chancellor for Academic Affairs for the University of Maine System, a position she assumed in September 2013.

President Hunter served on the Board of Directors of the Maine School of Science and Mathematics and the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance and currently serves on the boards of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra and the Maine Development Foundation.

Gilda E. Nardone

Gilda Nardone received an M.S. in education from Wheelock College, a B.A. from the University of Massachusetts and an A.A.S. from Westbrook College (University of New England).

In 1978, Nardone was named executive director of New Ventures Maine, an organization that provides training and services to individuals in work/life transition throughout the state of Maine, and currently continues to hold this position.

Nardone is the recipient of the Maine Commission for Women's Progress Award, the Maryann Hartman Award and the Women in Public Life Award. She was inducted into the Maine Women's Hall of Fame in 1993 and the WomenWork! Hall of Fame in 2004.  She is also the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the University of Maine at Augusta, the Tower Award for Alumni Achievement from Westbrook College and the Women in Business Champion for Maine and New England, Small Business Administration award.

Nardone has been the chair of the Women’s Employment Issues Committee of the Maine State Workforce Board, the Family Law Project Advisory Board and the Leadership Work Group of the Justice Action Group’s Statewide Planning initiative. She is also a former board member of the Eleanor Humes Haney Fund, the Maine Equal Justice Project and the Women Work! The National Network for Women’s Employment.

Eileen F. Skinner      

Eileen F. Skinner received an M.H.A. in health administration from Tulane University, a B.S. in Medical Technology from St. Mary’s Dominican College and is a Fellow with the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE). 

Skinner is a health care administration executive with many years of experience.  She was most recently the president and chief executive officer of Mercy Health System of Maine, a member organization of Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems (EMHS).

Originally from New Orleans, Skinner moved to Maine when she assumed her position at Mercy in September 2002.  Prior to arriving in Maine, she was executive vice president of Alton Ochsner Medical Foundation and CEO of Ochsner Foundation Hospital. 

Skinner also currently serves on the Maine State Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the Junior Achievement Laureate Nominating Committee and the Muskie MPH Advisory Committee.

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