Justine Bassett named one of 2022’s Mainers of the Year by Maine Magazine
Justine Bassett, M.S., director of Innovation and director of the P.D. Merrill Makerspace, is one of Maine Magazine’s 2022 Mainers of the Year.
Bassett was selected for the Community and Public Service category.
The magazine cites Bassett for supporting UNE staff and students by immediately putting into use her more than two decades of experience in teaching design thinking and finding innovative solutions to complex problems. Bassett encourages students to be active changemakers in their communities by designing new solutions to a wide variety of problems, such as those posed by immigrant health needs and commercial fishing.
“Many, many times, the students felt they had failed when they encountered obstacles or had to change their ideas,” Bassett told Maine Magazine. “But this is where the real magic happened.”
Over the past year, Bassett has had more than 1,000 interactions with students in the on-campus makerspace and has worked with faculty to pilot podcasts, prototype projection maps, run design sessions, and launch the first annual UNE Innovation Celebration. With the support of philanthropist and entrepreneur David Shaw, she piloted a student innovation fellows program.
Bassett was recently named director of Innovation at UNE, and she now occupies that position simultaneously with her role as director of the P.D. Merrill Makerspace.
“Innovation is about imagining and designing a more positive future, and that makes it relevant to everyone at UNE,” Bassett explained. “Expanding my title to include innovation reflects the university's priority of helping everyone think more creatively and collaboratively about change. There is an openness to new ways of thinking and doing — not just with our students but also with faculty and staff — across the University.”
Krystal Williams, a UNE Board of Trustees member, was also recognized as a 2022 Mainer of the Year in the Business category.
Williams is an accomplished and results-driven organizational strategist and attorney. She is adept at leading cross-functional teams operating in complex environments.
Williams is the founding manager at Providentia Group, a legal and business advisory firm focused on achieving economic dignity for all. Through Providentia Group, Williams recently launched a virtual diversity training program.
“Our beta cohort participants really appreciated the safe and supportive space that I and my co-instructors created for them to practice key concepts and communication techniques,” Williams told Maine Magazine.
In 2020, Williams founded the Alpha Legal Foundation, a non-profit organization with a mission to diversify Maine’s legal profession.
The 2022 Mainers of the year are featured in Maine Magazine’s October issue.