As a Tick superhero gathers comic book and video followers, Maine state Sen. Jim Dill, a UMaine Cooperative Extension professor, has emerged as a key expert in the real-life challenge of understanding the often-disease-carrying insects.
NEBHE presented its 2017 regional Higher Education Excellence Award to Dill, during the organization’s board meeting at the Sable Oaks Marriott in South Portland, Maine, on Thursday, Sept. 14.
Dill is currently the UMaine Cooperative Extension professor of pest management and cooperating professor in the School of Biology and Ecology. He is serving his second term in the Maine Senate, after serving two terms in the Maine State House of Representatives. He also serves on the National Conference of State Legislature’s Education Committee.
Dill received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Maine before completing his doctorate in entomology at Purdue University. Upon graduation, he accepted the position of assistant professor of entomology at Rutgers University. After two years at Rutgers, he returned to his home state in the role of pest management specialist at the University of Maine. He has chaired both the Old Town/RSU#34 School Board and the United Technologies Center School Board.
Since 2003, NEBHE has formally recognized people and groups with New England Higher Education Excellence Awards for their exceptional leadership on behalf of higher education and advancement of educational opportunity.
Past Excellence Awardees have included U.S. Sen. George Mitchell of Maine, as well as the late U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, noted oceanographer Robert D. Ballard, Dartmouth College President emeritus James Wright and Eastern Connecticut State University President Elsa M. Núñez.
For 2017, NEBHE moved its New England Higher Education Excellence Awards to the region’s statehouses. NEBHE has bestowed state-level 2017 Excellence Awards on: University of Hartford President Walter Harrison; the Student Success Center/Summer Success Academics/Student Veterans of America at Eastern Maine Community College; Bristol Community College President John Sbrega; the New Hampshire College & University Council; and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
The award to Dill represents NEBHE’s 2017 regional award.