Stephen White is a post-9/11 veteran who served as a meteorologist in the US Air Force from 2000-2005. While in the Air Force, he attained the rank of Staff Sergeant and won the John L. Levitow Leadership Award. Stephen received a A.A. in Weather Technology in 2002, a B.A in Psychology in 2004, and an M.B.A. in 2006. He was a Public Utilities Specialist at the Bonneville Power Administration from 2009-2015. He is currently a social work intern at VA Togus and expects to graduate with his Master’s Degree in Social Work in May 2019. Stephen plans to use his graduate degrees to serve veterans who are struggling with post traumatic stress, alcoholism, and drug addiction.
Omar Andrews served in the Marine Corps infantry from 2010 to 2016 and was twice awarded the Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal. Following military service, Omar began pursuing a bachelors degree in Political Science at the University of Southern Maine while advocating for student veterans at the state and federal level through the Student Veterans of America Policy Liaison Program. He has accepted fellowships through High Ground Veterans Advocacy, Veterans in Global Leadership, and the Wounded Warrior Congressional Fellowship. Currently Omar is on Congresswoman Pingree's Maine staff as the Veterans Constituent Services and Field Representative
Mary Swanson is a post-9/11 veteran who left Maine at age 17 to serve as an Ammunition Technician in the United States Marine Corps from 2009-2017. Following her military service, Mary began to pursue a degree in biology at the University of Southern Maine (USM). She is now the President of USM’s Chapter for Student Veterans of America and was nominated for Student Veteran of the Year 2018. Mary anticipates expects to graduate in the spring of 2020 and plans to apply to medical schools closest to her two children, Jaxon and Mackenzie.
Ashley Collins has served in varying capacities throughout the Health and Human Services sector including mental health, developmental disabilities and substance abuse. Ashley is a strong advocate for students in general and veteran students in particular. She worked at University of Southern Maine for six years before leaving to serve with the Navigators as the Administrative Coordinator for the Northeast Region.
Rob Sanford is a Navy veteran who went to college on the GI Bill, earning a B.A. in Anthropology from SUNY-Potsdam in 1982. He received an M.S. and Ph.D. from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) at Syracuse, then worked as an environmental consultant and environmental regulator. He has been on the faculty of the Department of Environmental Science & Policy at the University of Southern Maine in Gorham, Maine since 1996.
Ed Suslovic has served as Mayor and City Councilor of Portland ME as well as in the Maine House of Representatives. His areas of policy expertise include environment and sustainability, transportation, finance and taxation, public safety and public health. He has been President of both the Greater Portland Council of Governments as well as the Greater Portland Transit District. He has also been a member of the Board of Directors of ecomaine, a municipally owned waste-to-energy and single-sort recycling facility for 10 years. He is currently with the New England Environmental Finance Center at University of Southern Maine’s Cutler Institute.
Nick Wilson has extensive research and policy experience in gun violence prevention, drug policy, and mass incarceration. He was the Executive Director of States United to Prevent Gun Violence and the Maine Gun Safety Coalition. Prior to moving to Maine, he worked at Everytown for Gun Safety and the National Network for Safe Communities in New York, and researched public health issues for the non-partisan ProCon.org in California. He graduated with a degree in political science from UCLA and earned a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He is an Eagle Scout.
Nate Russell served in the US Navy. Following military service he enrolled in Southern Maine Community College pursuing an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice. He has spent two years as President of the Veteran Student Organization there. Now Nate is organizing veteran resource fairs teamed with various veteran organizations all across Maine and featuring them in colleges to help members of the military community who are going to school.