Rural Innovation Strategies Inc. has announced that Central Maine Growth Council, a public-private economic development organization serving Waterville, Winslow, Oakland and Fairfield, has been chosen in a highly competitive process to participate in the 2020 Rural Innovation Initiative.

The initiative is made possible through a cooperative agreement between Rural Innovation and the U.S. Economic Development Administration. Rural LISC and Venable LLP are strategic partners.

“Central Maine Growth Council is doing an impressive job of cultivating the conditions for downtown and mid-Maine vibrancy,” said Matt Dunne, executive director of Rural Innovation and founder of the Center on Rural Innovation. “We’re excited to partner with CMGC as they continue to harness regional assets to grow a knowledge, technology, and innovation economy with opportunities for talented workers and entrepreneurs in mid-Maine.”

“Five years ago, in partnership with the city of Waterville and many others, Colby planned a series of investments to ensure both the college and community would grow together to create a stronger mid-Maine,” said Brian Clark, vice president of planning at Colby College. “Participation in the Rural Innovation Initiative is another sign that this partnership model is having a significant impact, and can serve as a blueprint for other communities to follow. We’re eager to continue partnering with the Growth Council and others to advance strategies that further the region’s innovation economy and drives job creation.”

Rural Innovations is also creating a virtual network to support capacity building, link innovation hubs, enable communities to make connections to new sources of capital, expand their networks with national technology leaders, and secure digital economy jobs for remote workers in their communities.



Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance’s Hannah Lakin as afterschool leader 

The National AfterSchool Association has selected Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance’s Hannah Lakin as a 2020 Next Generation of Afterschool Leader.

Lakin joined Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance in January 2016 as a science, technology, engineering and math, also know as STEM, education specialist. With a passion for bringing depth and authenticity to learning, she supports STEM educators through programs, coaching and consulting. She works closely with the ACRES Project Team to bring professional development coaching and resources in STEM to afterschool educators in rural regions. She also leads the Experiential STEM Project that leverages student voice to enact change in the community, according to a news release from the alliance.

Lakin is a graduate of Merrimack College, where she earned a degree in mathematics and secondary education. She also holds a certificate of graduate studies in math leadership from the University of Maine at Farmington. She is a certified 7-12 mathematics teacher, and previously taught middle school mathematics and science and high school mathematics in California and Maine. She has also served in afterschool and out-of-school settings as a coach and leader for afterschool groups and teams.

Lakin’s recently published blog post in PBLWorks highlights her commitment to student leadership and embedding community into math and STEM education overall. This recognition from AfterSchool Association draws attention to Hannah’s leadership through the alliance’s Afterschool Coaching for Reflective Educators in STEM.

“We are delighted that Hannah has received this well-deserved recognition for the amazing work she does for MMSA” said Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance’s Executive Director Dr. Ruth Kermish-Allen, “she is an outstanding member of the MMSA team. Her ability to push the boundaries of innovation in math education and virtual learning is a asset to the entire state of Maine and beyond.”

In selecting the Next Generation of Afterschool Leaders 2020, the National After School Association sought to highlight emerging young leaders who are active in the afterschool community — with a proven passion for professional development, efforts to elevate the field and persistence in their work to grow as leaders. Honorees were profiled in the Winter 2020 issue of NAA’s AfterSchool Today magazine.


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