Feature Friday: Aiden Ciaffaglione ’21

The Honors College’s Feature Friday series highlights an Honors student every Friday and shares a little bit about their experiences in Honors and at the University of Maine.

This week, our feature is on Aiden Ciaffaglione. Aiden is a fourth-year sociology and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies major with minors in political science and psychology. They are from Southington, Connecticut.

Aiden expressed a love of the Honors College’s tight-knit community: “The Honors College is like a little family. From the first day I moved into Balentine [Hall], I have been given nothing but support, kindness, and appreciation. I have been given so many great opportunities and memories because of the Honors College!”

Their favorite Honors Civilizations text is Body Counts by Sean Strub. Aiden contributed to the text’s adoption in the curriculum, proposed by Honors Preceptor Dr. Jennie Woodard. Aiden noted, “It was an honor being able to propose a text and topic that hold a lot of value within my community.”

As for Aiden’s favorite thing about UMaine, they said, “I love our community’s dedication to supporting and serving one another. Whether you’re new to Maine or have been here your whole life, UMaine truly offers a Hearty Maine Hello!”

Aiden is currently working on their Honors Thesis project on queer activism and advocacy. “Utilizing an autoethnographic approach, I will analyze current literature around the queer community and its forms of activism to determine whether or not my experiences and research of the 1974 Gay Symposium make me a queer advocate.

I will also be looking at the development of my queer advocate identity over my undergraduate career to see which experiences informed my identity.

Through this project, I hope to not only define queer activism, but also bring light to the experiences and trends in queer leadership and advocacy.”