A selection of recent mentions of Bates and Bates people in the news.

Sameer Maskey ’02

CEO demonstrates the power of education — EnterpriseAI
Sameer Maskey ’02 founded Fusemachines 10 years ago.

Sameer Maskey ’02 shares with Enterprise AI his personal story of triumph to show the power in education. Growing up in Kathmandu, Nepal, Maskey had very little experience with the internet as a child — yet he later founded the machine learning company Fusemachines, which provides a variety of AI products such as fraud detection. 

“Education has been transformative for my life. The only way to transform lives and make a change is through education,” says Maskey, who is Fusemachines CEO as well as an adjunct associate professor at Columbia University, where he earned a doctorate in computer science. 

Maskey tells Enterprise AI that he discovered computers and computing at Bates, and instantly embraced the new technology. He built the first Nepali speech-to-text voice recognition system and a Nepali-to-English translation system.

In 2013, Maskey quit a job at IBM Watson and went to work on what turned into Fusemachines. “I sat down in my living room and wrote a ton of code and built the first version of our natural language dialogue system,” Maskey says.

Matthew Paul ’09

Film Mode reports strong response to BreakwaterScreen Daily

Matthew Paul ’09, a Bates theater major, former Navy SEAL, and now founder and principal of the independent film production company Loose Cannon Pictures, has seen his most recent feature film, Breakwater, starring Dermot Mulroney, gain international interest through distributor Film Mode Entertainment. 

“Film Mode has closed multiple sales” on Breakwater, reports Screen Daily, noting that rights have been sold to the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East, Germany, Poland, Latin America, Brazil, and various airlines. Meanwhile, Vertical Entertainment is handling North American distribution rights

Breakwater premiered last fall at several festivals, winning Fan Favorite and Best Actor (for Mulroney) honors at the Boston Film Festival in September. David Phillips of AwardsDaily noted, “This is a terrific film, and one of the reasons people like myself love going to festivals: to discover.”

Keelin Godsey ’06

College roundup: Bates graduate Keelin Godsey joins track and field hall of fame — Sun Journal

The Sun Journal reports that Keelin Godsey ’06 was inducted into the NCAA Division III Athlete Hall of Fame. Godsey was a two-time NCAA Division III champion in the hammer throw and a 16-time All-American during his career at Bates. 

The hall of fame is a program of the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, which announced the six new inductees, noting that Godsey “ruled the hammer throw with an iron fist.”

The most decorated athlete in Bates track and field history, Keelin Godsey ’06, photographed in April 2005 as a student, was a two-time NCAA Division III champion in the hammer throw and a 16-time All American thrower. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

“I actually didn’t get heavily involved in track and field until I came to Bates,” Godsey explains in a recent episode of the Bates Bobcast. “When I went to throw the hammer, it just clicked. I became a lucky person who found an event that worked perfectly for me in a sport that worked perfectly for me.”

Godsey’s two-year reign at the top of the Division III hammer-throw charts in 2005 and 2006 included an NCAA Division III championship meet record in the event that stood until 2017.

David Brooks ’77

Prolific and reliable, Monitor’s David Brooks inducted into New England Journalism Hall of Fame — Concord Monitor

After a nearly 40-year journalism career, David Brooks ’77 was inducted into the New England Journalism Hall of Fame on March 22, the Concord Monitor reports. Brooks is well known for reporting the news with accuracy, reliability, and a sense of humor. He gave himself the pseudonym the Granite Geek because of his curiosity and penchant for learning new subjects.

“He reports the news, but he also explains it in a way that’s informative and interesting,” Steve Leone, the Monitor’s publisher, said while introducing Brooks at the Hall of Fame dinner.

Brooks worked at the Nashua Telegraph for 28 years before going to work for the Monitor in 2015. “I must say that the thing I’m really thankful for is being a reporter,” Brooks tells the Monitor, adding he has no plans to retire. “After all, I get paid to badger complete strangers about things that interest me.”

Leigh Weisenburger

College admitted student days: what to know — U.S. News & World Report

In a story about admitted student days, Leigh Weisenburger, Bates vice president for enrollment and dean of admission and financial aid, tells U.S. News & World Report that at Bates’ admitted student days, students can attend mock classes and learn about academic support services, study abroad opportunities, and co-curricular and extracurricular activities. 

Leigh Weisenburger, Bates vice president for enrollment and dean of admission and financial aid, speaks with a newly admitted student during the college’s Bates Beginnings program on April 14, 2023. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

Admitted student days, like Bates’ robust Bates Beginnings program, welcome newly admitted students to campus to have the chance to ask more targeted questions and get more practical information. In addition, Bates offers a suite of virtual resources, such as “ask-me-anything sessions” that answer questions specific to academics, like how to transfer high school AP credits to college credits.

As students review schools they’ve been accepted to, it’s time to “put anxiety behind you since it’s truly a celebratory moment,” Weisenburger says. “It’s really the students’ moment where, you know, we’ve chosen them and then they get to choose us. They’re really in the driver’s seat in that way, so it’s a fun, exciting, celebratory time.” 

Martin Carriere ’24

Youth representative: Martin Carriere — Maine.gov

After being tapped to serve on the Maine Climate Council’s Energy Working Group, Martin Carriere ’24 of Davis, Calif., shares his personal story on the Maine Climate Council’s website. Growing up, Carriere watched his family’s farm struggle from drought caused by climate change. 

Martin Carriere ’24 of Davis, Calif., (right), stops during a tour of Bates’ new solar array in Skowhegan with fellow EcoRep Izzy Larson ’25 of East Aurora, N.Y. (left) and Bates sustainability manager Tom Twist in September 2023, a month after the new array was installed. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

As an EcoRep team member at Bates, Carriere says he’s learned from his classmates about how Maine’s changing climate has affected farm fields in the Northeast, as well. Carriere says he wants to learn more about renewable energy and ways to decarbonize the electric grid.

“I think something that has been a powerful takeaway from the energy working group is that there is a plan. Motivated people are working everyday to form a plan that is deeply grounded in Maine’s climate reality. It’s very inspiring,” Carriere says.

Holly Ewing

Experts say building resilience needed for watersheds to withstand climate change — Sun Journal 

A front-page story in the Lewiston Sun Journal quotes Bates Professor Holly Ewing on how Maine’s lakes and sources of drinking water need to become more resilient to combat the impacts of climate change and manmade threats.

“The intersection between climate change and land-use change is the biggest threat we have to all our lakes here in the Northeast,” says Ewing, Bates professor of environmental studies and the Christian A. Johnson Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies.

Ewing says big rain storms during the winter months, on the heels of snow storms, are also happening more frequently, eroding roads and carrying material into lakes. “This is the kind of thing we have to worry about now that we didn’t before,” Ewing says.

Jon Cavallero

This year’s Bates Film Festival reunites old Hollywood friends — Portland Press Herald 
Oscar-winning actor Chris Cooper is just one of the notable guests speaking at the fourth Bates Film Festival.

“Jon Cavallero’s vision for the growing Bates Film Festival is to make it sort of a summer camp for filmmakers, a place where they can reunite with old colleagues and catch up on each other’s work,” writes Portland Press Herald reporter Ray Routhier in his story advancing this year’s festival.

The festival is distinctive for how it’s produced: by Bates students who are guided by Cavallero, an associate professor of rhetoric, film, and screen studies.

Running May 14–19, the 2024 festival features 26 films and 23 guests, with venues at Bates and in Portland. Guests include Oscar-winning actor Chris Cooper (recently interviewed by the Press Herald) and his wife, actress and writer Marianne Leone; director Nancy Savoca and her husband, producer Richard Guay; and Oscar-nominated screenwriter and director John Sayles and his longtime partner and producer Maggie Renzi.

“This will be a chance to meet up with some old friends, people I’ve known a long time,” Sayles tells Routhier. “Plus I haven’t been to Maine in about 40 years.”

Films include a range from the Academy Award–winning French legal drama Anatomy of a Fall to the documentary We Are the Warriors, about a Maine high school coming to terms with having a Native American mascot.

Molly Newton ’11

Opinion: What is lost when students choose their roommates? — The New York Times 

The New York Times sought out Molly Newton ’11, senior associate dean of students at Bates, for a column decrying the trend of colleges giving first-year students control over roommate selection, even letting students choose first-year roommates.

Molly Newton ’11, senior associate dean of students at Bates, uses her trademark kick scooter to seemingly be everywhere at once on Opening Day for new students on Aug. 31, 2022. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

Learning to get along with a complete stranger in close quarters is “essential to preparing young people for the world,” writes Pamela Paul.

At Bates, Newton oversees the professional team that, among other work, assigns first-year roommates using survey information from students. As she told Paul: “Roommate experiences are an intense learning experience. They’re fun and they’re hard,” Newton says.

“Today’s divided campuses need students to learn as much as possible about getting along with the kinds of people they don’t know,” writes Paul. “Kids certainly deserve the chance, too.”

Bates Inauguration 

Garry Jenkins formally installed as ninth president of Bates College — Sun Journal

Bates President Garry W. Jenkins’ inauguration, was featured by the Sun Journal’s Steve Collins.

The 90-minute installation, Collins writes, “offered huge heaps of tradition, including handing Jenkins the records kept starting in 1855 by Bates’ first president, along with oft-cited hopes for an even brighter future for the widely respected liberal arts institution.” 

President Garry W. Jenkins is just the ninth president installed at Bates College — and the first Black and openly gay president — since the college was founded in 1855. (Rene Roy for Bates College)

Collins writes that when Jenkins took office last July he became the first Black and the first openly gay president of one of the first colleges in the United States to accept women and Black students.   

Collins generously quotes Jenkins’ address, titled “Rising Together,” including how Jenkins said the ceremony “represents exciting beginnings and celebrates some historic firsts.”

Michael Rocque 

Opinion: five reasons why immigrants aren’t bringing high crime, as Trump claims — CNN Opinion

Associate Professor of Sociology Michael Rocque writes with Steven E. Barkan for CNN Opinion how Americans historically have linked immigrants with crime and former President Donald Trump has repeatedly stoked this fear. But Rocque and Barkan contend Trump’s claim is false. 

Rocque and Barkan explain how research and evidence on immigration and crime contradict such beliefs.

“Based on many studies from the past two decades, the answer here is clear: Immigration does not produce more violence or other crime, and immigrants do not have higher crime rates than native-born Americans,” Rocque and Barkan write.

Myron Beasley 

Bates College professor awarded Maine’s Public Humanities Prize — Sun Journal 
Myron Beasley was awarded the Maine Humanities Council’s public humanities prize. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

Myron Beasley, associate professor of American studies and gender and sexuality studies at Bates, was recognized by the Maine Humanities Council on May 8 for his innovative leadership in conversations around art and the breadth and depth he brings to his creative projects, the Sun Journal reports. 

“Myron Beasley’s work as a scholar, curator, and performance artist recognizes the power of art and ideas to transform communities,” says Luis Millones, a Maine Humanities Council board member.

“We wanted to honor his commitment to highlighting the important stories and work of people from marginalized groups.” 

Maya Williams, Portland’s seventh poet laureate, was the other winner of the 2024 Maine Humanities Council’s Constance H. Carlson Public Humanities Prize.