AUGUSTA – Glass ceiling? No way!

A former University of Maine at Farmington dean and vice-president/provost was the lone inductee into the Maine Women’s Hall of Fame this year.

Last month, Dr. Nancy H. Hensel, who currently serves as the president of the University of Maine at Presque Isle, was honored with a gala celebration in Augusta that included remarks from U.S. Rep. Michael Michaud and an awards ceremony.

Hensel came to rural western Maine from California to serve as the dean of the College of Education, Health and Rehabilitation from 1992-1995 before assuming the provost and vice president for academic affairs position, which she held from 1995-1999.

Since relocating to UMPI, she has worked to establish the one-stop Houlton Higher Education Center where individuals can receive work training, earn college degrees or complete their GEDs, and she has chaired the state Committee on Results Based Teacher Certification.

Hensel’s many adventures outside of the college community have taken her to the far reaches of the globe as she has explored Tanzania, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and gone down under to the South Pole.

“I thought she was an incredible role model for rural Maine women,” said Deborah Burd of the Western Mountain Alliance who along with Pamela Wilson, a coordinator for community outreach at UMF, nominated Hensel to the hall.

“Plus, she is an incredibly kind and wonderful friend who serves both as a mentor and a sounding board. Nancy the person is why Nancy the professional is so successful. This is a real affirmation for her that she has made a difference.”

In a convincing case for Hensel’s nomination, Burd and Wilson wrote, “She has achieved a remarkable career and has a strong sense of herself, but her actions come from a selfless place. In an environment traditionally dominated by males, she has taken a chair at the leadership tableAll citizens of Maine should be proud that 10 years ago, she chose Maine as her home.”

Hensel’s induction signifies back-to-back nods to the Women’s Hall of Fame for UMF administrators. Last year, college President Theo Kalikow was also inducted.

“That speaks to the fact that we have creative and innovative women in rural western Maine,” said Burd proudly. “They are successful professional and more so, they are accessible. They are both involved in celebrating the communities they’ve lived in and they are setting a great path to be followed.”

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