Franklin Countys First News

UMF student recognized statewide for efforts on campus

AJ Saulnier gives a presentation at the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. conference.

FARMINGTON - Maine Campus Compact recently recognized six undergraduate students across the state for their efforts to "transform" their campuses and communities, including a student from the University of Maine at Farmington.

The Heart and Soul Student Award recognizes individuals who have used innovative approaches to social, educational, environmental, health, economic and legal issues facing their communities and demonstrated leadership through their successful involvement of others on campus and in the community.

University of Maine at Farmington senior Aiden Saulnier was among those recognized for his campus and community-wide passion to reduce food, plastic and fashion pollution. Saulnier is a self-designed Environmental Justice major, focusing on the intersection of social and environmental issues. He has a specific interest in how climate change is influencing migration patterns across the United States and Mexican border.

On campus, Saulnier has played a lead role with the Sustainable Campus Coalition, helping to facilitate the Thrifty Beaver thrift store and food pantry and leading initiatives to cut back on campus food waste. He traveled to Washington, D.C. with the Citizens Climate Lobby to gain support for sustainable policy solutions from members of Congress.

"Being a student leader for the SCC is really important and I have to take on a lot of responsibilities with that, but what I feel like leadership is really about is being able to take the energy and passion you have for something to get other people really excited to do big things," Saulnier said.

Saulnier plans to pursue a lifelong career of environmental activism and policy making.

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  1. I've had the privilege of knowing Aiden for several years, and he's such an upstanding guy, involved in so many activities to benefit the community. If every community had a few dozen people like Aiden, the world would be a much better place.