PORTLAND, Maine – Three members of the Huskies' Athletics community were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the University of Southern Maine and surrounding communities at the 2019 USM Student Leadership Awards Gala Friday, May 3 at the Abromson Community Education Center.
Senior student-athletes Kimberly Howrigan (Fairfield, Vermont/Bellows Free Academy) of the women's basketball team, Matt Norris (Casco, Maine/Lake Region) of the men's tennis team, Tyler Mathieu (Stillwater Lake, Nova Scotia) of the men's ice hockey team, Sheddy Agbonsalo (Lynn, Mass./Lynn Classical) of the men's soccer team, and junior Tracy Edwards (Cranston, R.I.), and Huskies' women's basketball coach and advisor to USM's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Samantha Allen (Bridgton, Maine/Lake Region) were among the many students, faculty and staff honored at the University's annual celebration of the incredible accomplishments of its most spirited and involved community members.
Norris, who will earn his bachelor's degree in Leadership and Organizational Studies later this month, was presented with the Spirit of USM Award – an honor given to a USM community member (student, faculty or staff) who has demonstrated an exceptional passion for the University, exemplified the spirit of the University both on-campus and in the community, and committed themselves to scholarship, service and involvement at USM.
Norris chose Southern Maine to further his education after serving in the United States Marine Corps. A member of Husky Vets (the University's Student Veterans Association), serving as the group's secretary this year, Norris has actively been involved in a variety roles at USM. Working as a student associate in the Veterans Services Office, Norris also completed an internship as a member of the University's Department of Human Resources. Competing and participating as a member of USM's Collegiate Leadership team, Norris is a two-time regional champion along with the rest of his CLC team members. This fall, Norris was a co-speaker at the Student Veterans of American 2019 National Convention, and this spring, Norris continued his commitment to service volunteering at the annual Husky Day of Service. During his years at USM, Norris has continued his service with the USMC in its reserves and has earned the rank of sergeant.
A 2019 co-winner of the Athletic Department's Paula D. Hodgdon Leadership award, Howrigan was presented with the University's Outstanding Student Leader Award. This award was created to recognize a student leader who has demonstrated leadership during his or her time at USM, been involved on campus and in the community, showed a commitment to academic success, served as a role model for their peers, practiced ethical leadership, and fostered inclusion and collaboration.
A four-year member of the Huskies' women's basketball team, Howrigan served as the 2018-19 team captain and has been an active member of the University's SAAC, serving as the student-organizations vice president as a junior and as its president this academic year. An Accounting & Finance major, Howrigan is a three-time William B. Wise Scholar Athlete and Little East Conference All-Academic team selection and recently completed an internship with MacPage, LLC this past summer. In her role as the SAAC vice president, Howrigan earned the University's Outstanding Community Service Individual award in 2018. As SAAC's leader, Howrigan has helped organize and administer many of the student-group's award-winning community service events such as the Special Olympics Unified Sports Program, Spike the Stigma, the Annual Community Halloween Party, and more. Howrigan's effective leadership and service-over-self mentality has helped USM's SAAC grow in reach and has earned national, regional and University honors for its mental health awareness and Special Olympic activities.
Edwards, a two-year member of the Huskies' women's tennis team, earned the Contribution to Campus Life Award for her efforts to make USM a better place for students, her involvement on campus and in the community, demonstrated academic success and her positive impact on campus life for their peers and colleagues. In addition to her responsibilities as a student-athlete and a Health Sciences major, Edwards is a Resident Assistant. Through her work as an RA, Edwards has helped enhance the campus culture on the Gorham campus, and is known for inclusive programming and events.
Another Resident Assistant and student-athlete, Mathieu was presented with one of several Residential Life Awards, earning the Make Their Day Award. A Mechanical Engineering major, Mathieu is a three-year captain for the men's ice hockey team and a three-time William B. Wise Scholar Athlete.
A Leadership Studies major and William B. Wise Scholar-Athlete, Agbonsalo was honored for his part in USM's Award winning Collegiate Leadership Team Competition. A three-year member of the Huskies' men's soccer team, Agbonsalo has played midfield, defense and forward for Southern Maine.
In her fourth year as the Huskies' women's basketball coach and SAAC Advisor, Allen was named the Outstanding Student Organization Advisor. With the help of Allen's guidance and the hard-work of the SAAC members, USM was recognized at the national level with the first place prize for Community Service from the National Association of Division III Athletic Administrators (NADIIIAA) in its inaugural Special Olympics category. Huskies' SAAC was also recognized with a third place finish in NADIIIAA's Array of Activities award.
"Although I am being honored individually by the University for my work with the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, I would be remiss not to recognize the SAAC members who have put in national award winning efforts this year," said Allen. "Just as it has done in the past, SAAC and its members has continued to lead USM's charge in community service, collaboration with other student organizations, and fostering inclusion."