Erica Mendes, a third-year student at the University of Maine, has been named one of 31 Killam Fellows for 2013–2014. The Killam Fellowships Program provides an opportunity for exceptional undergraduate students from Canada and the United States to spend a semester or an academic year as an exchange student in the other country. Mendes, whose hometown is Brunswick, Maine, will study at the Université de Montréal during the spring 2014 semester. Here, the marketing major and French minor talks about her UMaine experience and her plans for next spring.
How did you hear about the Killam Fellowship opportunity? Describe the application process?
A friend of mine, and previous Killam Fellowship recipient, Sarah Denslow, told me about the [Killam Fellowships Program] and encouraged me to apply. The application process required many different pieces of information and recommendations from different sources. It was time consuming but very much worth it.
How were you informed that you had received the fellowship?
I received an email offering me the fellowship a little over a month after I submitted my application.
Did you choose Université de Montréal for spring 2014? If so, why?
I chose Université de Montréal for the second semester of my junior year because I felt like it was an ideal moment to experience new ideas, cultures and languages. I specifically wanted to study abroad for the second semester so that I could do a little traveling throughout Montréal and the province of Québec after my classes end.
What do you hope to gain from your experience?
I hope to achieve fluency in French and learn more about the history and culture of Montréal.
Why did you choose to attend UMaine?
I chose to come to the University of Maine for financial reasons and because I wanted to stay in New England to finish school.
How would you describe the academic atmosphere at UMaine?
There are many people at UMaine — students and faculty — who have so much knowledge to share and are always willing to help. I think the academic atmosphere is open and not just confined to the classroom.
Have you worked closely with a mentor, professor or role model who has made your UMaine experience better? If so, who and how?
Sarah Denslow has been a great role model and friend. She encouraged me to apply for the Killam Fellowship, gave me more information on the program and helped to answer many of my questions.
Have you had an experience at UMaine that has changed or shaped the way you see the world?
I think any experience changes your perception of the world. All of my experiences at UMaine have shaped how I view things and who I am as a person. I hope that attending Université de Montréal will give me many new experiences to change how I see things a little more.
The University of Maine’s 9,000-pound offshore wind turbine prototype VolturnUS is featured in an Al Jazeera America article titled “A turning point for offshore wind energy?”
The article describes the “floating lab” that since this summer has been collecting data and producing enough energy for five homes off the coast of Castine, Maine. It also details DeepCwind’s future goals, including installing two full-size turbines off Monhegan Island in 2016 and having a full-scale wind farm generating 5 gigawatts of power offshore by 2030 — “twice as much power as the entire state of Maine requires and the equivalent output of five nuclear power plants.”
Bangor Daily News editorial page editor Erin Rhoda highlights University of Maine graduate student Rachael Joyce in a blog titled Arguably.
Joyce, who is studying civil engineering and works at the university’s Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center developing offshore wind turbine technology, also assists her boyfriend with Volition Ski Co. — a startup company that hand-builds skis. Consider the positive impact, writes Rhoda, if 2,000 more young, talented people from Maine chose to stay and work and create businesses in the state.