To say that Alex Koch, a 34-year-old senior at Unity College, has had an accomplished and busy college career would be a serious understatement. While studying Parks & Forest Resources, Alex has served as President and Secretary of the Beekeeping Club, President and Secretary of the Forestry Club, President and Founder of Forestry Club, Treasurer of the Language Club, and the Earth Science Program Representative for Student Government Association. He also took top honors in the 2017 National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest, and was invited by the Ticknor Society to present at a roundtable at the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair.

Last week, the Maine Campus Compact honored Koch with yet another accolade to add to his resume with the Heart and Soul Award. Koch was one of six students from colleges and universities in Maine to receive this award, which was presented at the Maine Campus Compact’s 18th Annual Awards Celebration on Wednesday, April 24 at the University of Southern Maine Lewiston-Auburn College.  

“It isn’t all about me. Unity College has afforded me the opportunity to do things I never thought would be possible in my life,” Alex said after accepting the award. “It is thanks to Unity that I have had the ability to engage community and participate in so many ways to promote land conservation, historical preservation, and enhance rural community both on and off campus.”

“I am so pleased to see Alex receive the Heart and Soul Award from the Maine Campus Compact. In Alex’s time here, everyone on campus has gotten to know both him and his work,” said Dr. Melik Peter Khoury, President of Unity College. “It would be tough not to, because he is so active and engaged in not only the Unity College community, but in the town of Unity and the region as a whole.”

At the Fall semester Student Conference, Alex worked with Brooke Wetherell, Hannah Brazier, and Ariana Chavez on a project titled “The Future of the Alder Stream Watershed: A Management Plan Framework.” The project earned multiple awards from the panel of faculty judges.

“I was blown away by the effort and research that the team put into that project, tackling an issue that is very real and very important to the community,” added Dr. Khoury.

“As a student interested in rural economies and the lumber industry, his civic engagement extends beyond his academic studies and he serves conservation efforts in many ways,” said Unity College’s Chief Academic Officer Dr. Erika Latty in presenting Alex with the award. “As a sample, he serves on the board of directors at the Unity Barn Raisers, an organization dedicated to enhancing small-town character. He is the only student member of the Maine Coast Heritage Trust’s Vision for The Maine Conservation Task Force. The work of this group will be key in developing Land for Maine’s Future bond referendums.”

Maine Campus Compact is a coalition of 18 member campuses whose purpose is to catalyze and lead a movement to reinvigorate the public purposes and civic mission of higher education.