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### Exceptional Graduate Student and Assistant in Kinesiology: Garrett Graham’s Success Story

Garrett Graham, hailing from Newport News, Virginia, has been recognized as the 2024 Outstanding Graduate Student/Graduate Assistant in Kinesiology and Physical Education at the University of Maine College of Education and Human Development. Delve into a Q&A session with Graham below.

Reflecting on your journey, how has UMaine impacted your life and propelled you towards your aspirations?

Photo courtesy Garrett Graham

The University of Maine has been instrumental in shaping my personal and professional growth, offering me invaluable experiences and fostering lasting relationships. The unwavering support I received during both triumphs and challenges has been truly exceptional.

Share an instance at UMaine that significantly altered your perspective on the world.

During my senior year as an undergraduate, a memorable moment transpired after football practice when a guest lecturer infused profound wisdom into a kinesiology class I was attending. It wasn’t merely the subject matter but the compassionate approach to teaching that left an indelible mark on me. Witnessing genuine care for each student as an individual ignited a newfound drive for self-improvement, both internally and externally.

Have you collaborated closely with a mentor or professor who enhanced your UMaine experience?

My tenure as a graduate assistant under the guidance of Jennifer McNulty and Dr. Robert Lehnhard was akin to finding a second home. Dr. Lehnhard’s blend of intellect and empathy, coupled with his tough-love demeanor, prioritizes the well-being of those around him. Jennifer McNulty’s unparalleled work ethic and unwavering dedication to shaping future educators exemplify her remarkable character. It’s a privilege to work alongside such remarkable individuals.

For incoming graduate students, what guidance would you offer to kickstart their academic journey effectively?

To incoming graduate students, I advocate for the pursuit of one’s passion. Whether it be a career path, a research thesis, or a specific subject area, immersing oneself in their chosen field fosters expertise and a clear sense of purpose. Continuous learning and growth are perpetual, shaping a defined academic trajectory.

Why did you choose UMaine as your academic home?

UMaine provided me with the unique opportunity to pursue my academic endeavors while engaging in football, a dual pursuit that enriched my collegiate experience.

Share a cherished memory from your time at UMaine.

The fondest memories at UMaine revolve around the camaraderie shared with close friends over the years, fostering bonds that endure beyond graduation.

A heartfelt message of gratitude:

I extend my deepest gratitude to all who have supported and believed in me, granting me the privilege to serve as a graduate assistant. The journey over the past six years has been a blend of laughter and tears, a testament to the invaluable connections forged along the way.