WATERVILLE — Travis Mills will be the opening keynote speaker at Thomas College’s fourth annual Diversity Conference set for 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 2, in the Spann Student Commons Summit Room. “Disability: Understanding and Overcoming the Obstacles” is this year’s theme according to a news release from the college.

The free public event is held by the Thomas College Diversity Committee. Lunch is not included, though food will be available for purchase at one of the three different cafes and dining services on campus.

Mills, a retired U.S. Army staff sergeant of the 82nd Airborne, is a warrior, motivational speaker, actor and an advocate for veterans and amputees. He authored “Tough As They Come,” and his film, “Travis: A Soldier’s Story” is playing nationwide. During his third tour of duty in Afghanistan, he was caught in an IED blast four days before his 25th birthday.

Mills was one of only five soldiers from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to survive a quadruple amputation. Despite this, Mills continues to overcome life’s challenges, breaking physical barriers and defying odds. Travis lives by his motto: Never give up. Never quit. Mill’s story has been featured on local and national news.

Other topics will include brain injuries, learning styles and ADA law.

Peter Lowe, attorney at Brann and Issacson in Lewiston, also will talk about ADA/HR Law for employees with disabilities.

Thomas College junior Arielle Rolfe participated in the diversity conference last year. The psychology major talked about multicultural diversity in the classroom by presenting examples of traditional lessons and inclusive lessons.

“The diversity conference is important to attend to have empathy for others that you may interact with in your lifetime. Many topics are discussed that teach you about sensitive issues that you are either unaware of or may feel uncomfortable to ask about,” Rolfe said in the release.

For a schedule of events or to register, visit www.thomas.edu.

For more information, contact Dena Wade at 859-1243 or [email protected].

About Thomas College: Founded in 1894, Thomas College is at the forefront of affordability, access to college education, and providing students with a good return on investment. The private, career-oriented college is committed to preparing its undergraduates for careers in all forms of business, technology, criminal justice, psychology, and education. On average, 94 percent of Thomas graduates are employed within 90 days of graduation. The college is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and awards a Master of Business Administration (with concentrations in Accounting, Health Care Management, Human Resources, and Project Management); a Master of Science in Education, Educational Leadership, and Literacy Education; a Bachelor of Science, a Bachelor of Arts; an Associate in Science, and an Associate in Arts. For more information, visit www.thomas.edu.

For additional information, contact MacKenzie Riley at [email protected] or 207.859.1313.

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