While a student at Unity, Stephenie MacLagan ’07, environmental policy, was involved in a dizzying array of academic, student life and experiential learning projects.  She has been referred to as a “born activist,” so it is not surprising that her career progressed quickly.

An environmental specialist III – shoreland zoning coordinator for Eastern and Northern Maine for the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), MacLagan leveraged her five internship experiences while an undergraduate into a job after graduation with Powerhouse Dynamics of Blue Hill, Maine, where she worked as a market researcher on small-scale renewable energy and energy efficient technologies. By the time she graduated, she had an intimate understanding of non-profit networks, and understood the difference between advocacy and activism.

MacLagan is the embodiment of what “hands on” learning is all about.  From her first year at Unity, MacLagan took every opportunity to discover and advance her career.  She landed two seasonal job offers through the annual Unity College Environmental Career Fair, eventually working as a field biologist for Florida Power and Light, a major dam operator in Maine that is required to monitor fish passage.

MacLagan is where she wants to be in her professional life thanks to what she calls the “blurring” of disciplines that happens at Unity.  Her message is that life as a Unity undergraduate can be like drinking from a fire hose.

“Work study jobs, internships for credit and not for credit, and other volunteer and extra-curricular experiences provided and introduced many skills that I wouldn’t have gained simply from classes,” MacLagan said.  “Unity College faculty and class curriculums were very accommodating to blurring those lines [between disciplines.]  Showing prospective employers that these skills can be applied in a work place, not just an academic setting, increases chances for employment.”

Monday, February 03, 2014