REM Award Honorees (2002) — Sheila McCarthy (Kotlas Connection)

Sheila McCarthy is an Associate Professor of Russian in the Department of German and Russian at Colby College. She and her family have lived in Waterville since 1987.

Sheila is married to Cliff Reid, Dana Professor of Economics at Colby. Their son Matt graduated from Waterville High School and is now majoring in chemistry at the University of Chicago. Matt was a participant in the Kotlas Connection’s Rivers Project under the direction of Messalonskee High School science teacher Michael Waters. Matt is studying in Vienna for the fall semester.

Sheila originated the Russian Sampler, a day of study on the Colby campus of things Russian. Area junior high school students participate; last year nearly 250 students from fourteen schools attended. Sessions at the Sampler include language, history, economics, everyday life, and the arts. Students attend lessons on Russian stamps, Russian fairy tales, Russia on the Internet. They participate in hands on activities including painting on wood, painting Ukrainian eggs, birch bark cutting, painting clay figures, and Russian cooking. At her invitation, the Kotlas Connection assists in the planning and implementation of the program. Colby Russian program students work with the Connection members planning the year¹s program and leading sessions.

Always willing to assist, Sheila interprets for visiting Russians, does outreach with the schools, translates letters and documents, and provides Russian language instruction for people planning to visit there. She provided language instruction for the area students in the Rivers Project. Russian and East European students with whom she has contact are urged to participate in local school programs. Members of the Connection are always invited to participate in activities of the Russian Department on the Colby Campus.

We have chosen Sheila as this year’s Kotlas - Waterville Area Sister City Connection’s volunteer of the year because of her unselfish assistance to the Connection. When there is a need, she always responds positively-and with a smile. She is deeply appreciated.

For more information about the Kotlas - Waterville Area Sister City Connection, please visit its website.

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