Previous Events


– June 21

“Where Is Home?” An Immigrant Experience

Yetunde O. Ajao, MPA, Ph.D. is the Assistant Director of the Student Life for Training and Multicultural Programming at the University of Maine, Farmington. As a mother of five children, Dr. Ajao shared her experience as a scholar, mother, and “non immigrant,” along with insights into the rich and unique culture of Nigeria, her country of origin.

No video recording is available for this particular forum.

– April 18

Gaining Perspective: Ukraine’s History and Rich Legacy

Kateryna Bagrii was born in and spent her first 28 years of life in Ukraine. In May 2014, the war started in the Eastern part of the country where she lived and worked. To save her life and the lives of her two children, she left her home and job and spent two years in Europe, waiting for permission from the U.S. government to enter the country. Upon arriving in the U.S., she decided to focus on nursing.

She completed her two-year nursing program at Eastern Maine Community College in 2021, her bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) program at the University of Maine at Fort Kent in 2022, and now is working on the master’s degree in nursing (Acute Care Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner) program at Husson University.

Kateryna is working in ICU at Maine Coast Hospital and is a full time Nursing Faculty at Beal University. She also works as an adjunct instructor with the Departments of Nursing and Math and Science at Eastern Maine Community College and teaches Russian and Ukrainian Languages at the University of Maine. Nursing Education is her ultimate passion. Also, it appears that the path of becoming a Nurse Practitioner with a specialization in Cardiology and Palliative Care is her true calling. She hopes to be able to combine her clinical work and teaching so she can share her knowledge and experience with future generations of nurses.

Kateryna spends all non-work-related time with her four children, traveling, and engaging in educational and recreational activities.

Kateryna Paliukh was born in Ukraine in a town called Khmelnytskyi, on the west side of the country. She participated in an exchange program called Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) when she was 16. She got to spend her exchange year (2014-2015) in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.

Currently, she resides in Yukon, Canada working for the Government of Yukon. She received her undergraduate degree in Political Science and Public Administration. The course of her studies was determined by political events in her country, which sparked a desire to understand how political and historical events in the world intertwine and affect our lives.

– March 15

Advocating for French Heritage Women’s Voices.

Rhea Cote Robbins

Rhea Cote Robbins is the Founder/Director of the Franco-American Women’s Institute (FAWI), which advocates for the creativity of French heritage women and provides a safe place for those women to express their creativity. Robbins discussed the purposes, history, activities, and plans for the future of the Institute.

– February 15

A Muslim Immigrant Runs for Public Office.

Dina Yacoubagha, a Muslim immigrant running for public office, discussed the challenges and barriers she encountered, the support she received in the running for the Bangor City Council, and the comparisons between the election process in the US and in her native Syria. Dina talked about the recent catastrophic earthquake that hit Tukey and Syria.

– January 18

One of Each – Raising Adopted Sons from Russia and Ukraine

Robert Klose, a Prize Winning Author and adoptive parent of boys from Russia and Ukraine, recounts his experience in navigating the joys & challenges of foreign adoption, where one must interface with cultures whose ways are unfamiliar and where American conceptions of justice, fair play, and freedom of expression may have little meaning.

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