FARMINGTON — Several students in the University of Maine at Farmington’s Master’s in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Creative Arts program recently received surprise funding awards in the form of generous academic fellowships from Mariah’s Studio, a Gorham-based non-profit.

The UMF master’s program is the only program in Maine and one of only three in the U.S. integrating the creative arts and therapy. The program provides a solid clinical foundation while integrating creative expression into the practice of counseling and psychology.

Jack Jensen, Mariah’s Studio president, learned of the Farmington program and its alignment with the studio’s mission of supporting art therapy programs as a safe avenue to promote healing. He and Holly Ousback, longtime friend and the studio’s treasurer, contacted the University to see how they could help students with their postgraduate education.

Mariah Elizabeth Gaughan, Jensen’s wife, was a gifted potter, gardener, teacher and outdoor enthusiast who through her calling as a career counselor helped thousands of college students find their first professional career. Her time was cut short by ovarian cancer, but Mariah’s Studio is committed to celebrating her passion for the arts and dedication to supporting students that are inspired to make a difference.

Students in the UMF program filled out applications and three tuition fellowships of $5,000, $3,000 and $3,000 were awarded April 26, 2024, at a festive ceremony in the Bjorn Lobby in the UMF Kalikow Education Center. The fellowship for students enrolled in the program is aimed at helping future Licensed Clinical Professional Counselors (LCPC) fund a creative-arts focused education.

“Mariah’s legacy is the positive change she made in student’s lives,” said Jensen. “These fellowships continue that legacy by helping to support this wonderful program and its students dedicated to helping individuals heal through therapy.”


The popular University of Maine at Farmington program was first offered in 2020 to provide qualified, effective counselors for the growing mental health needs of Maine communities. The program was originally offered as a two-year, full-time, hybrid 70% online and 30% in-person master’s program.

Due to unprecedented demand, UMF created a second four-year, part-time program at a pace to fit working professionals’ lives. Students in both programs are an active part of a cohort model where they learn and develop skills alongside a committed group of colleagues.

“We are so grateful for these fellowships from Mariah’s Studio and for their continued commitment to help  working adults achieve their professional goals as licensed clinical counselors. Our program has grown to its largest cohort yet, a reflection of the increasing interest in utilizing the creative arts in counseling, and the need for counselors in Maine and throughout the country. Mariah’s Studio’s generous gifts will go a long way to helping our students provide much-needed counseling services,” said Lisa Henry, UMF director of the Master’s in Counseling program.

For more information on this program, contact Erin Connor, UMF associate dean for Graduate and Continuing Education, or 207-778-7186.

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