WCCC Names 2019 All-Maine Academic Team

April 30, 2019

Three hard-working students from Washington County Community College (WCCC) have been named to the 2019 All-Maine Academic Team by the Maine Community College System. Briggette Newell-Bowen, Cindy Rier, and Gloria Tinker will each receive a $500 scholarship as a result of the honor.

While they share certain attributes in common – including being a dedicated student – each woman followed their own path to gaining a spot on the team. Human Services student Newell-Bowen came to the college as a recovering addict looking to help others.

“I have used my previous lifestyle and not so pretty history to motivate me in all of my endeavors and to keep me focused on what I choose to now do with all of my past experiences,” Newell-Bowen said. After graduating in May, she’ll be continuing on in the field of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Counseling at the University of Maine in Augusta. “I am completely and utterly excited and anxious – and I have a very strong desire to help others in any way I can and to hopefully inspire and make a difference.”

Rier, a student in the Medical Assisting program, credits the support she received at WCCC and at home for her success. “All of the teachers are amazing and make you feel empowered. I’ll be walking across the stage and receiving my diploma because of them and my family. I can’t thank them enough!” Rier will be “spending many years working as a Medical Assistant” from her home base in East Machias.

Business Management student Tinker was similarly grateful for the support she received at WCCC – particularly how it enabled her to gain more than just academic prowess. “When I first began this journey one of the first things I was told was to be my own advocate,” Tinker said. “I was encouraged to get out of my comfort zone and do things that challenged me to grow, no matter how far out of my comfort zone I was. You really do get what you put into it and because of it I have gained a confidence I never knew I had.”

Like many students at WCCC, each woman is non-traditional, meaning they’ve returned to college after time outside of school. Tinker describes how, from her perspective, being a non-traditional student can be empowering on multiple levels – and not just for the student. “I strive to do my best as I know my kids are cheering me on, watching, and I want to set a good example.”

WCCC will hold a celebratory recognition ceremony to honor the students and their family members in May.