Trustees Elect New Member, Reelect Two, and Recognize Dedicated Service to the College

By Bowdoin News

The Bowdoin College Board of Trustees elected a new member to their ranks, reelected two members of the board, and officially recognized the valued contributions made to the College by retiring members of the faculty, staff, and board of trustees during meetings held May 9–May 11, 2024.

NEW MEMBER

Trustees elected new member Michel Bamani ’08 to a term of five years.

Michel Bamani '08
Michel Bamani '08

Michel Bamani ’08 is an assistant vice president and assistant general counsel at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, with responsibility for rendering legal advice on a broad range of complex banking, regulatory, and corporate law matters with a specialty in “fintech,” financial technology. He was previously assistant counsel at the bank and also served as vice president and counsel at State Street Corporation. Born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Bamani is fluent in French, Swahili, and Lingala. Following his graduation from Bowdoin, Bamani earned his law degree at Boston University School of Law and has taught at Northeastern Law School. He is also president of the board of directors for English for New Bostonians. Bamani previously was a member of the Alumni Council and served on the AF/AM/50 committee a Bowdoin Career Advisory Network (BCAN) advisor, and member of Bowdoin Alumni Schools Interviewing Committee (BASIC) and Bowdoin Regional Admissions Volunteer Organization (BRAVO). He was also a member of the Presidential Search Committee convened in 2022.

REELECTED TRUSTEES

The board voted to reelect Scott B. Perper ’78 and Philip W. Schiller as trustees, both for a term of five years.

 EMERITUS STATUS

Ten retiring faculty and staff members were recognized with emerita/emeritus status for their devoted service to Bowdoin.

2024 retirees with emeritus status
(R. to l., top) Suzanne Bergeron, Rene Bernier, Cindy Breton, Beth Bunting, David Collings, 
(bottom) Laura Jackson, Bruce Kohorn, Janet Lohmann, David Maschino, Nancy Riley.

Suzanne Bergeron was elected assistant director of museum communications emerita. Bergeron dedicated forty-five years to Bowdoin and its world-class Museum of Art. She began her career as secretary to the Museum’s director, as the position was known then. Bergeron has played a leading role in many transformative and remarkable achievements, including collaborating on the creation of the Museum’s first website, serving as liaison with facilities and contractors during the Museum’s major renovation and expansion, and has helped oversee numerous publications—everything from exhibition labels to the catalogues that accompany the Museum’s larger shows.

Rene Bernier was elected laboratory instructor in chemistry, manager of the Bowdoin Science Center and laboratory safety emeritus. Bernier oversaw hazardous waste management, chemical inventory tracking, and biohazard and lab safety training. He mentored thousands of students beginning their science careers at Bowdoin and was especially attentive to students from under-resourced high schools and actively recruited many of these students to work as lab assistants to provide younger students with diverse role models.

Cindy Breton was elected director of the Bowdoin Store emerita. Beginning her career as a customer service assistant, Breton quickly rose to bookstore operations manager and then to running all aspects of the Bowdoin Store. She oversaw numerous developments and changes in her decades at Bowdoin, including new point-of-sale software, the College’s first e-commerce site, and partnerships with L. L. Bean, Apple, Nike, textbook suppliers, and others. Everyone who interacted with Breton talked about her smile, her positive attitude, her unfailing energy, enthusiasm, and encouragement.

Beth Bunting was elected director of alumni and development information systems emerita. Bunting has served as lead administrator for the relationship management platform, hired and overseen talented analysts and programmers, and with her team, helped teach staff about working with data. Her contributions have been crucial to the work of development and alumni relations and, in turn, to the College has a whole.

David Collings was elected professor of English emeritus. Collings’s expertise covers a wide range of subjects, evident in the diverse courses he has taught on British Romanticism, literary and cultural theory, sexuality and gender, and environmental studies. His 2014 book on the human significance of climate change led to some broad and important discussions on campus. Collings was described by colleague Ann Kibbie as the perfect model of a teacher-scholar: “A truly beloved teacher who has made a lasting impression on so many students, as well as being a prolific and influential scholar.” 

Laura Jackson was elected team lead, applications and implementations emerita. Jackson has made significant contributions to nearly every major system at the College, including critical projects like Y2K data conversion, Workday HCM and payroll implementation, and CSGold for OneCard and Dining. Jackson once described her work as “a creative dance between people and software…an interface that translates what they need to what the software can or can’t do."

Bruce Kohorn was elected Linnean Professor of Biology and Biochemistry Emeritus. Prior to his arrival, Kohorn and colleagues at Duke University discovered a family of proteins called “wall-associated kinases”—or WAKs—giving rise to a subdiscipline in plant cell biology. It’s well-known that one of Kohorn’s favorite spots was in the laboratory alongside his students. His colleague Barry Logan noted: “I have one colleague who, when I need to find them, I check their lab before I check their office; that’s Bruce Kohorn.”

Janet Lohmann was elected senior vice president and dean for student affairs emerita. Lohmann taught in the sociology department for several years before shifting her focus to student affairs, where she served in a variety of important roles, including director of accommodations for students with disabilities, associate dean of student affairs, dean of first-year students, and dean of students. In 2019, Lohmann was named senior vice president and dean for student affairs, just months before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. During this period of uncertainty, she was an essential part of the leadership team that navigated months filled with complex challenges and difficult decisions. Lohmann has always made the health, safety, and overall welfare of the student body her top priority, and she has done so with the patience, good humor, and grace that she’s become known for.

David Maschino, who worked in the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum, was elected exhibit coordinator, Arctic museum and Arctic studies emeritus. Maschino transformed gallery spaces into new environments every time an exhibit was changed—and that sometimes included building walls, furniture, and even the brackets that would hold the items. When the museum was housed in Hubbard Hall, that also meant dealing with challenging limitations, including a lack of climate control. Ever-resourceful, Maschino designed his own cooling system, using fans removed from old computers to circulate air over trays of silica gel conditioned to the proper humidity levels.

Nancy Riley was elected A. Myrick Freeman Professor of Social Sciences Emerita. Riley spent the last three decades and more immersed in a variety of fascinating research topics: Asian American experience and politics; US empire, race, and ethnicity in Hawai’i; reproductive health and politics; public health; gender; social demography (especially feminist and critical demography); East Asia and China; and birth planning in China. Riley has written widely on these subjects. Her most recent research is focused on Hawai’i and includes the book project, Chinatown, Honolulu: Place, Race, and Empire, will be published next month by Columbia University Press.

Trustees also honored two departing board members. Michele F. Cyr ’76, who was elected trustee in 2000, and Kimberly Foster Price ’81, elected in 2021, were both elected trustee emerita.

The board also approved a resolution of appreciation recognizing Lohmann for her years of service to Bowdoin, most recently in her role as senior vice president and dean for student affairs, noting among her lasting contributions that her “overarching commitment to gratitude—showing it openly, giving it freely, and teaching it time and time again—has made this College into a place where we truly celebrate one another.”

Board actions regarding the election and reelection of its members, and of faculty, staff, and trustees to emeritus/emerita status are effective July 1, 2024.