News Archive 2009-2018

Bowdoin Employees Honored with 2012 Polar Star Awards Archives

Polar Bear flowers


Five outstanding Bowdoin employees have been named 2012 Polar Star Award winners. President Barry Mills presented the awards at the Campus Picnic Thursday, June 14.

Nominations from faculty, staff, students, trustees and alumni poured in, singling out 52 individuals for excellence in the areas of commitment, customer service, innovation, leadership, and teamwork.

2012 Polar Star Award Winners

Polar Star for Leadership “¢ Mark Murray
Caretaker, Bowdoin Scientific Station on Kent Island (and Caretaker, Coastal Studies Center during the academic year)

Mark Murray

Mark Murray

While Kent Island is cold, wet, and stormy, even during the summer, and while its accommodations are primitive when it comes to modern conveniences, Mark Murray has happily served as the Bowdoin Scientific Station’s caretaker for 20 years, during which time he was worn many hats:

  • Building renovation and boat maintenance
  • Building specialized scientific equipment
  • Teaching seamanship and carpentry
  • Serving as Kent Island’s ambassador to Grand Manan Island
  • Transporting people to the island
  • Supply runs and cooking

No wonder students and faculty affectionately refer to him as “Professor of Insular Polytechnology,” nominators report that alumni continue to sing his praises years after their stays on Kent Island.


Jeanne Bamforth

Jeanne Bamforth

Polar Star for Customer Service “¢ Jeanne Bamforth
Assistant to the Dean for Academic Affairs

Jeanne Bamforth has been called the linchpin that ensures the smooth running of the office. As the minute-taker of three faculty committees, the faculty meetings, and the academic affairs committee of the trustees, she has become legendary for her ability to keep pace with, make sense of, and meticulously boil down meeting business, and compile it into a comprehensive, accurate, and easy to navigate report.

According to her nominators, Bamforth is a standout go-between for the faculty and dean’s office, handling myriad projects with aplomb and good humor. Whatever hoops have to be jumped through, whatever hurdles need to be cleared, she has been lauded for her ability to keep faculty governance running like a well-oiled machine.


Kay McCarthy

Kay McCarthy

Polar Star for Commitment “¢ Kay McCarthy
Housekeeping Team Leader

Kay McCarthy is well-known for her commitment to making sure students live in a safe, friendly, and clean environment, and for helping her colleagues. She’s famous for keeping Bowdoin looking great at all times. Literally all times.

Whenever she gets a middle-of-the-night or weekend call, she shows up quickly with a positive and helpful attitude and a smile on her face – even when the situations she faces are less than pleasant. Nominators report that whether the call is to clean up “troublesome spills and messes” or something more serious, McCarthy takes the utmost care to ensure students’ well-being.


Liza Greenwald

Liza Greenwald

Polar Star for Innovation “¢ Liza Greenwald
Executive Assistant in Development Administration

Liza Greenwald has been chiefly responsible for getting the BoardEffect app up and running. BoardEffect is a new online board of trustees management tool that delivers all board materials and communications via a secure and dedicated portal. Under her guidance and through her painstaking work, Bowdoin has progressed from an outdated, clunky paper-based system to a time- and cost-effective online solution.

Her research, analysis, procurement, management, and training have all been comprehensive, and board members and staff alike praise her for her diligence in ensuring the system was user-friendly and intuitive.


Jose Ribas '76

Jose Ribas '76

Polar Star for Teamwork “¢ Jose Ribas ’76
Technician/Preparator, Bowdoin College Museum of Art

Nominators say Jose Ribas is the “unsung hero” at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. For years, he’s been the one working diligently and proudly behind the scenes: taking down exhibitions, working with the curatorial staff, patching and painting walls, installing new exhibitions, making lighting adjustments, and sharing his vast knowledge about the Museum.

A huge undertaking was last year’s record-breaking major exhibition, Edward Hopper’s Maine, which spread throughout the first floor of the Museum. Ribas’ installation has been called “flawless.”


The following outstanding Bowdoin employees received Polar Star nominations for 2012:

Suzanne Astolfi, Asian Studies
Jeanne Bamforth, Academic Affairs
Patty Bayed, Dining Service
Sherrie Bergman, Library
Tony Bernier, Dining Service
Sue Blier, Facilities Management
Mike Chipman, Facilities Management
Mary Cote, HR
Lorica Cummings, Athletics
Jan Day, Facilities Management
Chris Derbyshire, Dining Service
David DeSchuiteneer, Security
Dan Dowd, Security
Catey Draper, Academic Affairs
Kate Farnham, Chemistry
Adeena Fisher, Dining Service
Holly Fitzmaurice, Facilities Management
Diane Fournier, Controller
Liza Greenwald, Development
Mike Grim, Facilities Management
Heather Heitala, Development
Jessie Jones, Dining Service
Lorna Lavigne, Facilities Management
Mark Lavigne, Facilities Management
Pat Lavigne, Facilities Management
Sue Lindsey, Development
Murray Litchfield, Controller
Adam Lord, IT
Kathi Lucas, Academic Affairs
Jamie Magno, Facilities Management
Dodie Martinson, Academic Affairs
Kay McCarthy, Facilities Management
Mark Murray, Kent Island/Coastal Studies
Liza Nelson, Art Museum
Amy Ouellette, Security
Mona Paschke, Dining Service
Mark Pelletier, Facilities Management
Mike Perkins, Security
Nicole Plummer, Dining Service
Jose Ribas, Art Museum
Kevin Salatino, Art Museum
Silvia Serban, Student Activities
Holly Sherburne, Communications
Georgette Sisto, Dining Service
Kristin Steinman, HR
Cindy Stocks, Student Fellowships and Research
Sue Theberge, Math/Computer Science
Diana Tuite, Art Museum
Ryan Ward, Dining Service
Peter Wiley, Admissions
Bill York, IT
Tia Zukowski, Children’s Center