ORONO — The 2020 Maryann Hartman Awards recognizing the inspirational achievements of Maine women will be presented to retired director of the University of Maine’s Women’s Resource Center Sharon Barker of Bangor, Penobscot Nation Ambassador Maulian Dana of Old Town and executive director of Maine Hospice Council Kandyce Powell of Wiscasset.
The women will be honored in a ceremony at 5:30 p.m. on March 25 at Buchanan Alumni House at the University of Maine. The event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by UMaine’s Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program and the Rising Tide Center.
Barker, a community organizer and advocate, was named the first director of UMaine’s Women’s Resource Center in 1991. She worked with faculty and staff, and was a liaison with women’s organizations in the community. Barker also mentored countless students, helping them develop their ideas and projects. Her leadership included gender equity workshops for girls, professional development workshops in gender dynamics for teachers, and training for UMaine students as role models and presenters as part of the annual Expanding Your Horizons program for middle school girls. Her focus in the Maine Girls Collaborative Project and other state and national initiatives was on sustainability and understanding and changing the culture, not “fixing” women and girls. Barker co-founded the Mabel Wadsworth Women’s Health Center and served as president, and chaired the state’s Women’s Employment Issues Committee. She retired from UMaine in 2014.
Dana was appointed as the Penobscot Nation ambassador by Chief Kirk Francis in September 2017. In that role, she advocates for social justice and equity for Native Americans, including working to eliminate derogatory mascots and school icons across Maine, lobbying for legislation that allows prosecution of non-Native offenders in tribal courts, and enhancing awareness of the murdered and missing indigenous women in Canada and the U.S. She currently serves as a member of the Penobscot Nation Tribal Council, and is working to strengthen programs that preserve and teach the customs and traditions of the Penobscot people.
Powell has served as executive director of the Maine Hospice Council and Center for End of Life Care in Augusta since 1992. Her focus on quality end-of-life care, particularly for rural and underserved populations, has motivated her successful lobbying of the state Legislature, where she co-authored Maine’s hospice licensure law (LD 1821), and more recently, LD 782, An Act to Improve the Quality of Life for Persons with Serious Illness. She developed a hospice program at the Maine state prison, which she directed from 2000–18. In this role, she secured grant funding to produce a CD featuring the Maine State Prison Hospice Band, “The Sounds of Comfort.” Powell co-chairs the Maine Hospice/Veterans Partnership and, in 2018, served as a visiting professor at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, Scotland to continue her collaboration focused on humanizing health care.
Maryann Hartman Awards recognize Maine women whose achievements in the arts, politics, business, education, health care and community service provide inspiration. The awards honor the legacy of the late UMaine associate professor of speech communication who was a distinguished educator, feminist, scholar and humanitarian.