"I think learning in a hands on environment really helps in the learning process."
Hometown: Peaks Island, Maine
Major: Conservation Law Enforcement
Current job: US Customs and Border Protection in Skagway, Alaska. Currently in my 17th year with USCBP.
My wife LeeAnne (Ouellette) Deane (‘00) is a Unity College alum, with a degree in Wildlife, working for Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park with the National Parks Service in Skagway, AK and previously worked for both NH and VT Fish and Wildlife.
Were you a transfer student to Unity?
No. I did attend the summer program at Unity before my freshman year and before my NOVA trip.
Any tips for Unity students who are in their first year or who may be undecided about their major?
Seems like at Unity many of the majors contain the same classes. So just because you select one major you most likely will not have wasted any time if you do need to switch majors.
What was your favorite thing about Unity College? Do you have a favorite tradition?
Small classes that were hands on. It is hard to just sit in a classroom for a semester and not put your learning to work. I think learning in a hands on environment really helps in the learning process.
What do you miss most about being a Unity College student?
Comradery it was amazing how you can take such a wide variety of majors Con Law, wildlife, outdoor recreation etc and everyone can get along on Friday nights at the student center.
Did you utilize career services for you internship or career search?
Yes, I did my internship with the US Coast Guard in South Portland, ME, which was arranged through the school.
What tips would you give to a student starting out in the Conservation Law major?
I am not sure if it was the career services or a professor who suggested it but I was told if you are going into the law enforcement field sign up to take as many tests as you can. I think this is still a great idea. I took the test for my current job 3 years before I graduated just to take a test. I was hired a year after graduation from that testing.
Are you happy in your current career?
Yes, I am currently an Officer with US Customs and Border Protection. I have been with this agency for 17 years. I have had great opportunities for working in different parts of the country. My wife and I whom I met at Unity College have lived and worked in Maine, Vermont and now Alaska. She is currently employed at the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park with the National Parks Service.
Is this the job you planned on having after graduation, or did you end up going a different direction than you thought?
My whole time at unity I focused on being a Marine Patrol officer in Maine. That is all I ever wanted to do. Well things didn’t work out that way and I ended up with US Customs and Border Protection which has been great plus the pay is excellent.
Is there anything you would have done differently education wise?
Being that I was focused on being a Marine Patrol officer sometimes, I did not pay attention to other parts of my learning because I did not feel like it would benefit me. Therefore, I would say take in all you can and do not limit yourself to just one career path. I had never even thought about US Customs as a possible career path and it only happened because of one of those many practice tests I took.
Did you feel Unity College prepared you for your career?
Yes even though I didn’t end up with the job I thought I wanted my learning has helped me in my current job weather it is using the Latin names of animals when inspecting Fish and Wildlife items or my interpersonal skills of interviewing and investigative techniques when questioning people crossing the border.