Sean Cox ’16 Honors Associate
B.A. History, Minors in Anthropology and Music
Class of 2015
As an Honors Student:
- Preceptors: Jordan LaBouff (111), Kathleen Ellis (112), Nico Jenkins (211), Edie Elwood (212)
Tutorials: “Degenerate Musik” with Phillip Silver
Taught by Professor Phillip Silver, an accomplished performer and passionate music historian, the tutorial “Degenerate Musik” explored the suffering of Jewish musicians in heart-wrenching detail.
The tutorial experience was one of the most fantastic classes I have ever had the pleasure of taking at UMaine, as it combined my passion for history and my musical interests in an astounding way. While taking this course, Professor Silver illustrated that Nazi Germany, while committing atrocities also strongly believed in the value of musical culture and refinement. Though the two simultaneous ideologies of human destruction and artistic expression seem mutually exclusive, the Third Reich managed to weave together dogmatic principals which encompassed all cultural fields to bolster the “righteousness” of their cause.
Professor Silver proved to be an endless source of historical and musical knowledge, and provided an exceptional tutorial adventure. While the Honors course load features Civilizations and thesis courses prominently, the tutorial is perhaps one of the most variable and informative episodes as an undergraduate, and should be eagerly anticipated.
Honors Thesis: Acadia National Park and The Efforts of George Bucknam Dorr: How The Preservation Frontier Moved East and The Challenges For Acadia’s Second Century
Advisor: Richard Judd
Committee: Stefano Tijerina, John Daigle, Micah Pawling, Sandra De Urioste-Stone
Description: Through the intrepid efforts of George Bucknam Dorr and the Hancock County Trustees of Public Reservations (HCTPR), Acadia National Park fostered a preservation frontier in the Eastern United States. As a trustee organization, the HCTPR was one of the first in the world to gather lands together with the express mission of preserving them for public use and recreation. While summer residents had more than enough money and legal right to divide up the island between themselves in private ownership, through a distinctive philanthropic effort they donated land and funds to the creation of a shared public space. Federal protection arrived on Mount Desert Island when Sieur De Monts was created as a National Monument, saving a unique natural space in the midst of a rapidly industrializing world. The arduous process of shepherding land from National Monument to National Park was driven by Dorr’s passion and tenacity, making Acadia the first National Park east of the Mississippi River. Finally, as the park approaches its centennial, its future is uncertain due to political happenings and environmental change. Its appreciation and protection is of paramount importance.
I was fortunate enough to grow up in Bar Harbor on the doorstep of Acadia National Park. As a resident of Mount Desert Island, I worked as a musician with the Bar Harbor Town Band, in the mussel-harvesting aquaculture business, and as a Park Ranger in Acadia. I had the pleasure of working with visitors from around the world coming to enjoy the park, and taught public programs on a variety of topics including my specialty of park history. After graduating from UMaine in May of 2015, I worked with Friends of Acadia as a Cadillac Summit Steward to protect the fragile landscape on Acadia’s tallest mountain. Through the winter of 2016, I was a member of the UMaine Admissions staff, and assisted in bringing in the class of 2020 that I now look forward to assisting in their academic endeavors as the Honors Associate for 2017-18!