Collins and Musgrave to be honored in Maine Women’s Hall of Fame
U.S. Senator Susan M. Collins (R-Maine) and Professor Emerita of Food Science and Human Nutrition Katherine O. Musgrave of the University of Maine were selected last month to be included in the Maine Women’s Hall of Fame, a permanent exhibit in the Bennett D. Katz Library at the University of Maine – Augusta. Each year, Maine women are nominated for the honor by local organizations, businesses, and individuals.
This year’s two honorees will be inducted at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 19, in celebration of Women’s History Month. 2011 marks the twenty-second year of the annual event, which will be hosted in Jewett Hall at the University of Maine at Augusta.
The Maine Federation of Business and Professional Women, a nonprofit group that provides support to workingwomen, created the Hall of Fame in 1990. “The Hall of Fame is dedicated to women who have met these specific criteria: the woman’s achievements have a significant statewide impact, the woman’s achievements significantly improved the lives of women in Maine, and the woman’s contribution has enduring value for women,” states the University of Maine at Augusta’s website.
After candidates have been nominated, an independent panel of judges reviews the applications and makes a final selection of one or two honorees per year.
According to their nominators Mary G. Canning of Dexter, Darlene Grass and Shelley O’Rourke of Caribou Business and Professional Women, and Geri L. Martin of Fort Kent Business and Professional Women, Collins embodies all of the qualities set forth in the Hall of Fame guidelines. In the same vein, Musgrave was nominated by Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost of the University of Maine Susan J. Hunter and Karen M. Baldacci, the former First Lady of Maine.
Collins has been in office since 1997 and she currently serves on four U.S. Senate Committees: the Homeland Security Committee, the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Appropriations Committee, and the Senate Special Committee on Aging. She is the Chairman and the current Ranking Member of the Homeland Security Committee.
As a Senate Republican, Collins’ supporters note that she has a record of reaching across party lines. In a 2009 survey conducted by [the Hill], a congressional newspaper that publishes when Congress is in session, out of the 99-seated senators that year, Collins was ranked the most bipartisan Republican by her colleagues.
“She’s [Collins is] reasonable, principled and doesn’t get scared off by peer pressure,” U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) said to [the Hill].
“As she always does, Senator Collins is working diligently and across party lines to find solutions to the challenges that confront our country,” U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman (I-Connecticut) said in a press release.
With regard to Collins’ own view on government, “We’re seeing a lack of civility in our society at large,” she said in a televised interview. “But, I think that our leaders in Washington need to set a higher standard than that…It may not be easy to feel passionate about civility and compromise, but it is easy to feel passionate about a vibrant, just and prosperous America.”
In addition to the Maine Women’s Hall of Fame, Collins was presented the Secretary of the Navy’s Distinguished Public Service Award in 2009. The National Federation of Independent Businesses has named her “Guardian of Small Businesses” and the American Diabetes Association called her the “Legislator of the Year.” Collins joins her mother, Patricia M. Collins, who was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 2005 for her work as Mayor of Caribou and board member for Catholic Charities Maine.
Musgrave, the second honoree, joined the University of Maine faculty in 1969 as a professor of food science and nutrition. Although she officially retired as a full-time professor in 1985, she still plays an integral part in the university system. Even at 90 years old, Musgrave continues to reach students through her online courses. This has proven especially beneficial to working women or mothers, who might be unable to attend courses on the university campus.
“Katherine is an exceptionally enthusiastic champion of nutrition and good health and continues to teach and counsel hundreds of students as well as working with local physicians to advise patients on healthful eating habits,” states a University of Maine press release. “Her long teaching and research career in human nutrition has drawn national attention to the University of Maine…and has educated generations of Maine’s children and their parents on striking the proper balance between a healthy diet and adequate exercise. She truly cares for others and does what it takes to help those around her live a better life.”
Musgrave has also worked as a dietetic counselor at several local hospitals. She hosted a weekly talk radio show on the Maine Public Broadcasting Network and she was the nutrition advisor for the [Bangor Daily News]. Among her numerous awards, she was recognized with the Maine Nutrition Council Public Service Award in 1992 and the Maine Dietetic Association’s Outstanding Dietitian Award in 1998, in addition to being ranked one of the best faculty members of the university system on her course evaluations.
On March 19, Collins and Musgrave will join the Hall that has been twenty-two years in the making in recognition of both March as Women’s History Month and the local accomplishments that can be achieved by Mainers. The event will be held in Jewett Hall at the University of Maine in Augusta. Please contact Sally Ann Parks, chair for the Hall of Fame, at 207-453-6004 for more information.