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Johnston to receive Distinguished Recent Alumni Award

The University of Maine at Presque Isle’s Alumni Board of Directors has announced that a Maine State Trooper has been named the recipient of its 2011 Distinguished Recent Alumni Award.

Michael P. Johnston, a Maine State Trooper with the Maine State Police Troop E in Orono, Maine, will be presented with the Distinguished Recent Alumni Award during the University Day luncheon at Noon on Wednesday, April 13, in the Campus Center.

Johnston graduated cum laude from the University in December 2001 with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and was salutatorian of his class. His commitment to learning, especially the discipline of criminal justice was noted by Dr. Richard Ayre, who nominated Johnston for the honor. “Michael was not only an outstanding student here, he was, in many respects, the kind of student a college professor encounters once in a generation” said Ayre.

After earning his degree at UMPI, Michael attended the Maine State Police Academy where he graduated as valedictorian of his class in 2002. Since that time, he has earned numerous professional certifications, completed extensive forensic and general training programs, and represented the Maine State Police on several committees related to law enforcement.

In 2005 and 2009, Johnston was named Trooper of the Troop for Troop E. He was a Nominee for Trooper of the Year in 2005, 2008 and 2009. He was named the 2009 Trooper of the Year for the State of Maine, an award initiated by troop command staff.

In addition to his regular duties, Johnston’s specialties include serving as the primary motor vehicle law instructor for the Maine State Police Academy and for the Maine Criminal Justice Academy’s Basic Law Enforcement Program. According to Ayre, teaching at the Academy is an honor in itself as instructors are required to develop the courses they teach and go through an extensive vetting process before they can teach the course. Johnston is also an Evidence Recovery Technician with the Maine State Police Evidence Response Team and a Field Training Officer.

During his career, Johnston has been very active in community service, from speaking to retirement community members regarding phone and e-mail scams, to speaking about child safety issues and “cruiser tours” with young students. He has been a guest speaker for UMPI classes, and recently returned to the UMPI campus to represent the Maine State Police at its Career Day event.

His professional success prompted the Alumni Board of Directors to honor Johnston with this year’s recent alumni award.

“Since graduating from the University of Maine at Presque Isle, Michael has exemplified the goals and ideals that higher education seeks to instill in all those who choose its path,” said Keith Madore, Director of Alumni Relations. “Michael has made some excellent achievements in just a few short years as a Maine State Trooper, including recognition as the 2009 Trooper of the Year for the State of Maine. If the past is any indication of the future, the State will be well served by him for years to come. The University is proud to call Michael one of our own.”

The Distinguished Recent Alumni Award is given to a graduate who has been out of college between 2-12 years and has distinguished himself or herself in his or her career or service to community. Past honorees include Scott Boucher ’00, Craig Cormier ’06, Bryan Thompson ’03, Erika Valtinson ’05, and Neal Labrie ’97. This is the sixth time the award will be presented during University Day, an event that heightens student awareness of the work being done by peers and how that work applies to service and the professional life of a community.