open search close window
close window
close window
Students smile at the camera in their caps and gowns during Commencement.

Melik’s Memo – December 2023

As we embrace the festive spirit of the holiday season and reflect on the achievements of this year, I am thrilled to update you on some of the major happenings going on at Unity Environmental University. 

Amidst the festive cheer, we are eagerly anticipating a landmark event in our university’s history—our first-ever December Commencement at our Pineland Farms Campus in New Gloucester on December 15.

Students smile at the camera in their caps and gowns during Commencement.

This occasion not only celebrates the exceptional achievements of our students but also heralds a new era for our institution. For detailed information on commencement proceedings, I encourage you to visit our commencement webpage. Let’s celebrate together the successes and the bright futures that await our graduates.

You will be able to watch commencement live – be on the lookout for a link our team will post to our page on Facebook on the big day!

Learn More

Alumni Spotlight

Juan smiles at the camera in a suit.

Those students will soon join the ranks of our awesome alumni, like Juan Torres ’22 who graduated with a degree in Wildlife Conservation and Management. Currently, Juan serves as the Community Organizer at the NY League of Conservation Voters, spearheading groundbreaking initiatives like ESB3 in the Bronx – the first of its kind in NYC, focusing on clean energy and electrifying school buses.

Juan is also a Wild Encounter Host at the Bronx Zoo, collaborating closely with dedicated zookeepers and immersing himself in the world of wildlife conservation at the esteemed Wildlife Conservation Society.

He attributes his success to his time at Unity, a pivotal moment that he says equipped him with the necessary knowledge to help him discover his true passion and navigate diverse career paths in conservation.

His advice for our future grads? He says, “network relentlessly and remain open to exploring different career paths. Your education at Unity Environmental University is a powerful tool that can open doors you might not have even imagined. Just like the diverse ecosystems we seek to protect, your career in conservation may take unexpected turns. Embrace new experiences and opportunities because every step forward is a chance to contribute to the preservation of our planet and its incredible wildlife!”

Student Stories

Steffanie smiles at the camera in a forest near plants.

I love learning about what our current students, like Steffinie Blankenship, are up to! Steffinie is currently attending Unity while also running a business with her husband in Floresville, Texas. That’s dedication! 

She says she’s attending Unity to make a career change and chose Unity because of our focus on environmental degrees. 

“I am an undergrad majoring in Wildlife Conservation and want to study plants and animals, and our involvement in protecting them. I hope to gain a well-rounded understanding of our planet and how we can preserve it. My career goal with this degree is to become a Wildlife Biologist. I volunteer in my free time at a prairie restoration project near me and could see what I was learning first hand and was excited to use the knowledge learned in my Wildlife Habitat Management course! Every new term at Unity is exciting. Every six weeks I’m learning something new!”

You can read about Steffanie’s journey here.

Driving Educational Excellence

To support our growing student body and program offerings, we continue to make significant strides in our journey toward educational excellence. We have recently welcomed five exceptional new hires to our Distance Education academic team. A move that underscores our dedication to delivering superior education to our students. 

This team of distinguished educators brings a wealth of expertise and innovation, further enriching the learning experience for our students. For more information on our new faculty members and their roles, visit our press release.

Future Partnerships Budding

In my previous communication to you, I talked a bit about our new Bachelor of Science in Agroforestry program. Recently, a group of Unity faculty and staff members visited the Festival Beach Food Forest in Austin, Texas, to gain inspiration for how this new degree track translates to real-life results. The relationships established on the trip will contribute to the program by offering both a model and network of subject matter experts seeking to share their knowledge.

Faculty laugh and work together on the recent trip to Austin, TX.
Faculty and volunteers dig holes and work to plant trees in the recent Austin trip.

During the festival, the team helped prepare beds for edible plants and spread wildflower seeds for pollinators. Throughout the visit, they met with a collaborative network of Festival Beach Food Forest representatives and other Austin area organizations to discuss partnerships.

Discover the transformative impact of food forests and see firsthand how these vibrant ecosystems enhance local environments and foster community spirit and sustainability within communities by exploring their journey by clicking the video below.

Unity Receiving $100K for Student Mental Health Program Building Plan Development

Unity Environmental University is honored to be one of the two Maine colleges chosen to be part of an impactful initiative, receiving a portion of a $3.275 million grant dedicated to addressing student mental health. This funding, shared among 13 institutions, highlights our unwavering commitment to the well-being of our student body. It represents a significant step forward in enhancing our mental health services, providing our students with the necessary support for their mental and emotional health.

Funding for the Future

Recognizing the importance of experiential learning, Unity has established the High Impact Learning Scholarship Fund to support students facing financial barriers. 

This initiative is crucial, as 80% of Unity’s students come from under-served communities and often struggle to afford immersive learning opportunities which are vital for employment, considering 76% of employers prefer candidates with practical experience. 

The scholarship fund, enhanced by recent donations, aims to remove these financial hurdles, allowing more students to participate in internships, research, and capstone projects. Your contribution can make a significant difference in empowering students from diverse backgrounds to seize these life-changing educational opportunities. 

This fund recently received a generous $20,000 gift. I hope someday that it grows enough to where no student has to pay tuition out-of-pocket or take a loan to attend Unity. Help us make that a reality!

To support this endeavor, please donate at

Thank you for being a part of our vibrant network and for your dedication to making a positive impact on our world.

As always, please contact me at, with any questions or comments you may have.

With Pride,
Dr. Melik Peter Khoury