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Melik’s Memo — January 2023

2023 is well underway, and I am more energized than ever to further the goals of inclusion and educational equity here at Unity College. I am incredibly proud that Unity College’s multifaceted Units directly address the systemic barriers and disparities that prevent certain groups of students, such as those from low-income backgrounds or underrepresented minorities, from accessing and succeeding in higher education. By removing these barriers and promoting educational equity, more and more institutions of higher education can increase diversity, inclusivity, and social mobility, which ultimately benefits society as a whole.

It was not easy to get to this point, but the results at Unity College speak for themselves! We are now an institution serving more than 5,000 full-time learners and growing! To put that in perspective, at this time last year, Unity was home to 3,573 students. In that same timeframe, the Institutions self-disclosed diverse student population grew from 19% to 23%!

According to Maine Biz, Unity now ranks as the second largest institution of higher education in Maine based on full-time enrollment. This is in large part due to the expansion of our Distance Education program, which is the fastest-growing program in the state. 

Distance Education is just one of our many offerings and a recent Maine Biz article does a fantastic job of reporting on how all of our Educational Units work to support the needs of all students. 

That’s just the tip of the iceberg of what we’ve been up to here at Unity!

A collage of pictures of students outside in nature.
Three master's students sit and listen to a speaker at winter commencement.

Last month, dozens of Distance Education and Hybrid Learning students, as well as their parents joined us in Unity for December Commencement. A little bit of snow didn’t damper the party! I loved seeing some of our students and their families from the south experience snow for the first time.

Check out some of the highlights here.

Four New Degree Programs

Two of our educational arms launched four new degree programs recently to help support our future students. Distance Education announced three new programs, and Hybrid Learning also announced the start of a new program. All four of the degrees are already receiving applications for our upcoming terms!

Distance Education:

M.P.S. Environmental Marketing and Behavioral Economics

B.S. Degree in Wildland Fire Science and Management

B.S. Sustainable Horticulture

Hybrid Learning:

B.S. in Natural Resources Conservation & Management

Proud Partnerships

Building a Robust Credential Program: Unity College Enterprise was selected as a participant in the Credential As You Go Initiative (CAYG). Unity is among 28 Institutions Selected Nationwide. This selection means Unity College Enterprise will receive extensive access to expert technical assistance as the College continues to craft robust certification and upskilling programs within our different Sustainable Education Business Units. The CAYG program was powered by a generous grant from Walmart. 

Check out the news!

Two logos sit next to each other for Unity Environmental University and Credential As You Go.

The Next Generation of Environmental Superheroes

A young person in a military uniform in front of a flag.

Dylan Bivins: Pursuing a Master’s in Wildlife Conservation & Management

Dylan joined the United States Air Force out of high school and has served for 11 years in many locations around the world. Currently, Dylan is stationed in Landstuhl, Germany where he is enrolled in the Unity College Graduate program. “Unity offered the exact program that I was looking for at a lesser price than the other few schools I found with the same program.”. Looking ahead to life after the Air Force, Dylan hopes to combine his love of travel and wildlife management into the perfect career.

Nick Burnett: Pursuing a Bachelor’s in Wildlife Conservation

Nick came to Unity College after a career in the U.S. Army. He was able to use the G.I. Bill to help him get started on his new future with a major in Wildlife Conservation. Throughout his experiences it has become obvious to Nick that the present system of species conservation is inadequate. That realization helped steer him to Unity College. While at Unity, the care and professionalism of the professors has helped lead to the success Nick has seen in his course work. “They actually take the time to provide constructive criticism at an individual level”.

A young person in highlighter yellow shorts poses in front of the camera with a walking stick.

Hybrid Learning Students Living and Learning in Unity

In the second week of the Silviculture course, Hybrid Learning students alongside Professor Doug Fox, ventured out into the forest to gather data. They measured trees to find the average diameter and worked together to create a distribution histogram of the Hemlock, Sugar maple, and Beech trees.

A group of students in bright hunting orange vests examine a yellow monitor in the woods.

A young person with a bright red hair scrunchie smiles with their horse.

New Alumni Spotlight

Brittany Reed – Class of 2022

Graduated with a Master’s in Animal Health & Behavior

A love of animals, especially horses, brought Brittany to Unity College. The ability to earn her masters in less than a year and the knowledge that her time at Unity would put her in line to attend veterinary school made her college decision easy. She says the support she received from faculty and staff were a big part of her success, and when asked what she would tell others that were considering attending Unity College her response was simply, “take the leap”. Brittany’s future goals not only include veterinary school, but also furthering her experience with equine management.

Learn more about all the important work our alumni are doing here.

Leading the Way

10 years ago, Unity College announced a plan to divest its endowment from fossil fuels — making it the first school in the country to do so. In the decade since, the movement has snowballed, with hundreds more institutions following in Unity’s steps. 

You can read more about how Unity’s past is helping to shape the future in this new article from Maine Public Broadcasting.

A large stone sign that says Unity Environmental University sits in a grassy field.

Unity in the News ICYMI

What about you? What is your story? We invite you to update your information here and let us know what you are up to. 

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

With Pride,

Dr. Melik Peter Khoury