Beyond Education

December 2013 News

Summit Natural Gas Announcement at Thomas College

On December 10th, Summit Natural Gas executives, President Laurie Lachance, Governor LePage, state and local elected officials, Maine Chambers of Commerce, key customers, and media gathered in the Summit Room at Thomas College. The theme of the event was Connecting Communities, and Delivering on a Promise.

Laurie Lachance gave a warm welcome and introduction to the event. Lachance announced that Summit will be supplying Thomas with a natural gas line and utility service. Thomas has worked with Summit to secure a fuel source that allows us to significantly reduce our energy costs. Lachance continued to say that the addition of natural gas on Thomas’ campus will diversify our energy resources and reduce our energy costs.

Thomas College will be partnering with Summit by providing an easement on campus property that will serve the Waterville area and beyond. President Lachance articulates that the partnership will support the economic future of Mid-Maine as thousands of homes and businesses will be able to take advantage of lower cost energy. Thomas will benefit from a tremendous energy savings on campus, and residents in the surrounding area will have access to natural gas in the very near future. Lachance finishes her welcome by explaining that Summit has made tremendous progress on their planned $350 million project in the Kennebec Valley. Thomas College is very happy to be working with them and congratulates them on their success.

Mike Earnest, the CEO of Summit spoke about their commitment to Maine, and their customers. "Today's event marks the success of the hundreds of people who have helped us bring natural gas to Maine, and the beginning of a whole new way for Mainers in the region to save on their heating costs. As a company, we wanted to say thank you to the several communities that have supported our efforts and have been impacted by our construction.” Earnest then introduced Governor LePage to speak on behalf of the event.

Governor LePage communicated to attendees the impact that bringing natural gas would have on the Maine community, and expressed the Summit Proclamation. "The arrival of natural gas in this region will have a significant impact on the economy and allowMaine businesses and residents to save on their heating costs. In addition to the savings to their customers, it is great to see the company has made extraordinary progress and will deliver on their promise and commitment to invest in infrastructure in the state, and at the same time create hundreds of jobs for Maine people."

Kim Lindlof, the Executive Director of Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce, went on to speak about the impact that Summit will have on Maine. Mike Minkos, the President of Summit Natural Gas, gave a close the event, and a big thank you to all those in attendance. "We are pleased to have the commitment from Thomas College as we install pipeline in the Waterville area. The commitment from the college is going to provide tremendous energy savings for their campus buildings, plus it means residents in the surrounding area will have access to natural gas very soon, so it's really a win-win for the entire community."

The planning committee for this event consisted of Mike Minkos, Mike Duguay, Julie Rowey, Michelle Moorman, Sara Vanderwood, Nancy Marshall, and Greg Glynn.

IN THE NEWS - Thomas College Guaranteed Job Program 

The Maine Public Broadcasting Network recently reported on Thomas College’s guaranteed job program (GJP). The piece, done by reporter Jay Field, discussed how meeting the requirements of the GJP contract, “you WILL get a job. And if you don't - well, just send your college loan bills back to the school and they'll be taken care of for the next year.”

This guarantee started back in 1999, and the requirements started small. The students had to graduate with a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree; an associate’s degree wasn’t eligible. The student had to graduate with an overall 2.75 GPA, and must have completed at least a three credit hour internship within their field of study. The students had to have registered and had a working relationship with career services while enrolled at Thomas until they have secured employment after graduation. The student was expected to make a reasonable effort to seek a job after graduation. Also, the student couldn’t have an outstanding bill with the College or be in default of their student loans. After August of 2013, the contract changed. Now, students are expected to not only be registered with career services, and sign the contract, but they now must attend two or more workshops held by career services, complete an internship, save a copy of their updated resume to their e Portfolio every year, complete an annual leadership component, complete a minimum of 10 hours of community service, keep at least a 3.0 GPA, and have no outstanding balance upon graduation. Also, if the student is still unemployed 30 days after graduation, they must meet with career services on a monthly basis until the student finds employment.

Jim Libby, the Academic Dean of Thomas, says that he, “remember[s] a lot of the trustees wondering, well geez, what's the upside on the liability here? [Though] If we stand behind this thing, holy cow! You know what? We never have anybody take us up on the guarantee because they all get jobs," Libby says. The guaranteed job program has given life to the campus, and Thomas has now doubled in number of students from 500 to 1100. Fields goes on to say that Thomas is the new up and coming college, and Colby College isn’t the only one building non-stop. Jay shares that, “In October, the college broke ground on the 36,000-square-foot Harold Alfond Academic Center.” Thomas College has combined career services and alumni affairs to help students make more contacts and expose them to potential employers. The guaranteed job program seems to be working in the 14 years since it began, because there have only been two instances where the college has had to pay graduates’ loans because they couldn’t find employment. 

Sports Management Students Enjoy Networking Event at the Boston Celtics

Sport Management Students Enjoy Networking Event at the Boston Celtics On Wednesday, November 13th Thomas College provided an opportunity to their 3rd and 4th year sports management and accelerated MBA students to attend a networking event at TD Garden in Boston, MA and stay to watch the Celtics play the Charlotte Bobcats. This opportunity was to expand the students’ network and learn first-hand about the sports management industry. This event was sponsored by sports management professor Greg King in conjunction with Career Services. Only the first fourteen students to sign up were able to attend. Those students in attendance were Tim Brosnahan ’14, Bud Prue ’16, M.B.A. ’16, Thomas Blake ’15, Travis Blondin ’16, M.B.A.’16, Nicholas McCann ’14, Elizabeth Goodall ’14, Pat Rogers ’13, Sean Twohig ’14, Lauren Hachey ’14, Tyler Gilcott ’13, Kate Thibodeau ’14, Tyler Skowronski ’14, Jazz Bishop ’13, M.B.A. ’14, and Denzel Solomon ’14.

One student in attendance, Kate Thibodeau, says that this opportunity was, “was such a great experience, and I definitely learned a lot! I spoke with Paul Cacciatore, who I had already met once a few years ago when he visited Thomas. I think he actually remembered me! He was helpful once again in telling our group to get out there and get experience but to also know many other people are out doing the same thing. This event truly put into perspective how many other people are out there in the world of sports management vying for the same job as I am. I learned to try and make yourself stand-out and be noticed with good experience, researching people who you interview with, and making good eye contact.” Kate goes on to say that she then was able to speak with Mackenzie Silverio, the Vice President of Ticket Sales & Advertising. She found it “refreshing” to speak with a woman in her career field. “After speaking with her I felt very confident that someday I could have such a job title even in a male dominant profession.” Thibodeau and all students in attendance were very thankful for the opportunity, and would highly recommend it for other students entering the sports management field of study.

Fall 2013 Internship Exposition

On Thursday, December 5th, Thomas College hosted an internship expo for students who completed an internship during the fall semester. Many employers were in attendance as well as Jim Libby, Academic Dean of Students, and Dr. Donald Cragen, Assistant Professor of Sports Management. Dr. Jim Libby praises the expo by explaining that, “The Internship Expo at Thomas College represents a first step in the achievement of our students’ professional ambitions. These students have successfully built a solid foundation for adding value to organizations, causes, and community service projects going forward. By establishing internship objectives with local and national organizations, and then by carrying them out, these future graduates have prepared themselves for success in the workplace, their neighborhoods, and our nation.” Dr. Don Cragen says of the event, “There has been a great turnout, and we see that the requirement as part of the guaranteed job program continues to grow. Internships definitely bridge the gap between school, and the work force. Students are able to gain valuable experience, and hit the job market running. As time goes on, we will be seeing continued success.”

The internship students that presented at the expo included: Stephanie Chery ’14, Jaclyn Hartwell ’14, Morgan Hutchins ’14, Jimmy Quirion M.B.A. ’14, Jason Robinson ’15, Kassandra Shackley ’15, Nicholas Waldron ’14, Danielle Welch ’14, Garrett Anthony ’14, Adam Bedard ’14, Ashley Bingham ’14, Rachel Boucher ’14, Emmalee Elliott ’15, Meghan Fortier ’15, Stephanie Foster ’14, Wendy Grenier ’14, Amy Grivois ’14, Carrie Hadcock ’14, Nathan Lambert ’14, Patrick Lucenti ’13, Patrick Mank ’14, James McLamb ’14, Tyler Mitchell ’14, Kylee Risinger M.B.A. ’14, Gunnar Shelton ’14, Miranda Tinsman ’14, Allison Young ’14, Shelby Atwood ’14, Colby Averill M.B.A. ’14, Lateaka Brewster-Wentworth ’14, Carly McCarthy M.B.A. ’14, Marquis Pollard ’14, Katrina Carr ’13, Sarah Maffei ’14, and Kyle Sheridan ’14.

Employer Bob Lent of U.S. Geological says of student Nick Walden, who completed internship for his organization, “[Nick] was hired to do office operations for us, but quickly learned our business and helped our office in a number of ways. He did a lot more than he was asked to do, or paid to do.” He goes on to say that, when I have a difficult issue to solve and needs to be done quickly, Nick is able to take over and solve the problem. He is a well-organized student who is vital to our organization, and shows great maturity. He has been offered a position at any New England office of his choice.” Jared Mills, officer for the Augusta Police Department, shares that internships are a valuable asset to any student, and prepares them for what is to come when they leave the classroom, and enter the real world. Students who partake in internships are able to gain first-hand experience you can’t get in any classroom. Dr. Pamela Boivin gives a quote about student Danielle Welch, who interned for her organization, the Family Violence Project. “I just offered her a job yesterday, and she is just amazing. She has one of the strongest work ethics I have ever seen, and she just really wants to help people. The first time she helped a victim, I knew she was right for our organization. She has a big heart, and showed me her dedication through her internship.”

Many students commented on their internship experiences and how it was helpful on the road to entering the work force. Student Carly McCarthy says, “My internship showed me the difference between the classroom, and actual field experience. I had no idea what to do at first, but through my internship at Kennebec Savings Bank in the IT department, I was prepared for the work force.” Student Katrina Carr puts forth that, “Through my internship with Assistance Plus, which is a mental health organization, I was taught how to case manage, and was pushed to realize my true potential. I was prepared for when I finish school, and get ready to enter the work force. This experience definitely helped me to reach my potential.” Student Wendy Grenier shares that, “Through my internship at Thomas College in the Public Relations department, I did a lot of writing, press releases, and editing for the Terrier Tracks. I learned so much and am so thankful for the valuable experience.”

Thomas College was very happy to have held this expo for not only students to share in experiences, but for their employers to provide input. These students are now more prepared to enter their field of study, and hit the ground running. 

Celebration of Light

Thomas College celebrated their annual Celebration of Light. The Celebration of Light is a celebration of different religions who come together to celebrate Kwanzaa, Chanukah, and Christmas. Faculty, staff, and students attended the event, which was hosted by the Club Cru who lit the Advent Wreath, and Phi Beta Lambda, who lit the Christmas tree at the conclusion of the ceremony. This event was sponsored by the Office of student Life. The ceremony consisted of holiday songs, and the history of each holiday. It was a great send off to winter break.

Thomas College Alumni & Career Services Present at Educate Maine Conference

WATERVILLE, December 2013 – On December 6th, Bob Moore, the Vice President of Advancement, and Lucy Campbell Pelsma, the Assistant Dean of Alumni & Career Services, were invited to Educate Maine’s Pipeline to Prosperity Symposium to present on Thomas’s Guaranteed Job Program.

More than 300 business, policy, education and community leaders attended the annual Symposium held in Portland. The Symposiums was a day full of thought provoking plenaries, workshops led by Maine business and education leaders from early childhood through post-secondary, and a celebration of Maine's education leaders.

As the first college in the nation to offer a Guaranteed Job Program, Thomas College was asked to present an overview of its’ unique Guaranteed Job Program and share success stories of Thomas students who received employment through the Guaranteed Job Program. Thomas College ensures students are ready for the workforce by a number of key ways - connecting students with alumni to better establish connections, hosting career development events and programs along with alumni and career services speaker series, requiring internships, and giving leadership experience and community service opportunities.

Established in 1999, the Guaranteed Job Program guarantees jobs to all qualifying students within 6 months of graduation. Thomas is so confident in the rigor of their academic programming, out of classroom experiences, and the career training Career Services provides, that the College guarantees jobs to all qualifying students.

About Educate Maine: Educate Maine is a business-led organization whose mission is to champion college, career readiness and increased education attainment. Educate Maine was created by the merger of the Maine Coalition for Excellence in Education and the Maine Compact for Higher Education. The mission of Educate Maine is to champion college and career readiness and increased education attainment. Educate Maine’s vision is that Maine’s students and workers will be the best educated and highly skilled in the world.

About Thomas College: Thomas College, founded in 1894, is a private, liberal arts and business college in Waterville, Maine. Thomas offers a rich professional studies curriculum for undergraduate and graduate students in a wide variety of programs including business, arts and sciences, criminal justice, education, and technology. Thomas is focused on providing an accessible and affordable quality education to any student who is motivated to work hard and succeed. Thomas provides a supportive learning environment for all students - many of whom are first generation college students - and encourages them to discover and fulfill their unique potential. Thomas offers its students Guaranteed Tuition and its graduates Guaranteed Job Placement within six months of graduation. For more information about Thomas College, please visit

For additional information, contact Jennifer Buker at or 207.859.1319.

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