STAFF REPORT

Alexis Baxter, a 2008 graduate of Winslow High School and a Fulbright scholar, said Gov. Paul LePage’s characterization of Maine students and their reception at colleges out of state is insulting.

And she is not the only accomplished central Maine college student to take issue with the governor’s assertion Wednesday that Maine students are looked down on.

“It really made me mad, especially because two of his kids went to the same college I did,” Baxter, 21, said.

Baxter graduated in May from Florida State University, where she studied biochemistry and environmental chemistry. She recently earned a fellowship from the Fulbright program and, as a result, will travel next week to Norway, for almost a year of intensive research.

Baxter said fellow students sometimes questioned whether Maine was a first-world state — with access to services like health care — but never looked down on her as a student.

“I did not suffer one bit in college. I got all As my first semester, so obviously I was prepared,” she said. “I think what he said is bogus.”

Erica Machlin Cox, who graduated from Waterville Senior High School in 2001, earned a degree from Yale University and attends graduate school at Stanford University, where she and a team of collaborators recently won the 2011 Cozzarelli Prize for biomedical sciences from the National Academy of Sciences.

Cox said she never felt looked down upon.

“I don’t feel like people judged me based on where I went to high school. I think people look at the work I’m doing now and judge me based on that,” she said. “I really feel like I got a great education. I loved my teachers, they taught me well and I definitely had a solid basis for going off to college.”

Mitchell Snowman, 25, of Skowhegan said he and other students from Maine fit right in while attending college in Boston.

“I never experienced anything that I would consider being looked down upon by either administration or other students in Boston,” Snowman, a 2012 graduate of Emerson College said. “It never came up and there certainly were other Maine students at Emerson and at different schools in Boston.”

— Staff reporters Ben McCanna and Doug Harlow contributed to this report

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