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April Mulherin
Associate Director of Media Relations
Office: (207) 778-7081
Cell: (207) 491-0064
TDD: (207) 778-7000
april.mulherin@maine.edu

Office of Media Relations

UMF Experts List

 

UMF Presents Acclaimed American Author Laura van den Berg in Visiting Writers Series, Nov. 13

FARMINGTON, ME (October 30, 2014)—The University of Maine at Farmington BFA in Creative Writing program presents acclaimed American author Laura van den Berg as the next reader in its popular Visiting Writers Series. Van den Berg will read from her work at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 13, in The Landing in the UMF Olsen Student Center. The reading is free and open to the public and will be followed by a signing by the author.

Referred to by Publishers Weekly as “a writer going places,” Van den Berg is the author of “The Isle of Youth,” named “Best Book of 2013 by over a dozen venues, including NPR, The RP145-017Boston Globe and O, The Oprah Magazine. It also received the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters and The Bard Fiction Prize.

Her 2009 collection of stories, “What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us,” was a Barnes & Noble “Discover Great New Writers” selection and, along with “The Isle of Youth,” was shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award.

The recipient of an O. Henry Award and a Pushcart Prize, her work has been anthologized in “The Best American Short Stories,” “The Best American Mystery Stories” and “The Best American Nonrequired Reading.” Her first novel, “Find Me,” will be published by FSG in February.

A native of Florida, she lives in the Boston area and teaches fiction at Colby College.

More Information on the UMF Creative Writing Program

As the only Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program in the state of Maine and one of only three in all of New England, the UMF program invites students to work with faculty, who are practicing writers, in workshop-style classes to discover and develop their writing strengths in the genres of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. Small classes, an emphasis on individual conferencing, and the development of a writing portfolio allow students to see themselves as artists and refine their writing under the guidance of accomplished and published faculty mentors. Students can pursue internships to gain real-world writing and publishing experience by working on campus with The Beloit Poetry Journal, a distinguished poetry publication since 1950; or Alice James Books, an award-winning poetry publishing house.

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 Media Contact: Jeffrey Thomson, UMF professor of creative writing, at 207-778-7454, or jeffrey.thomson@maine.edu.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Photo can be found at http://inside.umf.maine.edu/files/2014/10/RP145-017.jpg

Photo Credit: Submitted photo

UMF Named a “Great Affordable Eco-Friendly College” by Best Choice Schools

FARMINGTON, ME (October 29, 2014)—The University of Maine at Farmington has been named a “Great Affordable Eco-Friendly College” by Best Choice Schools, an online educational resource. The site recognizes schools that feature “unique structures or lifestyle characteristics that make them leaders in sustainability,” while also costing less than the average of what one would expect to spend on a year of college.

“UMF is proud to be focused on providing an affordable quality education that also gives our students the skills, encouragement and opportunities to have a positive impact on our environment,” said Kathryn A. Foster, UMF president.

In selecting UMF as one of the top 50 out of 300 universities that made the list, Best Choice cited the college’s year-round, strong commitment to staying green and eco-friendly. It noted UMF’s recent installation of 80 geothermal wells that it plans to use to heat more than 50,000 square feet of existing campus facilities—a move that will save upwards of 30,000 gallons of fuel oil annually.

The Best Choice ranking also pointed to UMF’s Sustainable Campus Coalition, a group of students, faculty, staff and community members who initiate projects each year encouraging sustainability. The SCC is dedicated to making environmental stewardship at UMF a priority, and was instrumental in UMF being honored by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010 for energy solutions that reduce greenhouse gases and long-term energy costs and being an inspiration in making a clean energy campus a reality.

Schools that made the Best Choice Schools list had an estimated net price of under $25,000 per year according to the net price calculator provided by the National Center for Education Statistics.

In addition, UMF has received a number of accolades this year earning it a continued national reputation for excellence and affordability. It was named a “Best College” by U.S. News & World Report garnering the #5 spot as a Public Regional College in the North; a “Best Bang for the Buck” college by Washington Monthly touting its affordability; and a “Top 100 School” by Educate to Career selecting UMF as one of the top 100 schools that did the best job improving the earnings and attainment of quality employment of their students.

More on University of Maine at Farmington

A nationally-recognized public liberal arts college, UMF enjoys a 150-year tradition of providing a quality academic experience combined with the personal attention and close student / faculty collaboration that help prepare all students to be successful. Rooted in a tradition of teacher preparation, UMF offers top quality programs in the arts and sciences, teacher preparation, and business and pre-professional studies. UMF is located in the heart of Maine’s four-season outdoor recreational region and is a welcoming, close-knit academic community that prepares students for engaged citizenship, enriching professional careers and an enduring love of learning.

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Maine Tech Companies Meet with UMF Students to Tout Internships

Chris Bond

Chris Bond, UMF 2013 grad and app developer talks about his employer, Arkatechture, a small data firm in Southern Maine.

UMF recently hosted a Project>Login reception, bringing University of Maine at Farmington computing and technology students together with recruiters for Maine companies who are seeking to fill paid internships for summer 2015 and jobs after graduation. UMF President Foster welcomed representatives from UNUM, Tyler Technologies, Arkatechture and local website development company Aptuitiv, noting the great networking opportunity the event provides, according to the Sun Journal. UMF students, faculty, staff and grads now employed with some of the represented Maine businesses touted the benefits of internship experiences. “Internships break down walls,” said Chris Bond, UMF 2013 grad and application developer with Arkatechture, a data firm in southern Maine.

Sun Journal

UMF Art Gallery Presents “Change”—the Art of Portland Artist and Master Chef Jung Hur

FARMINGTON, ME (October 21, 2014)—“Change,” the art and artistry of Portland artist and master chef Jung Hur, will be the featured exhibit at the UMF Art Gallery on the University of Maine at Farmington campus from Oct. 30 through Dec. 7, 2014. The exhibit is free and open to the public and will host an opening reception Thursday, Oct. 30 from 5-8 p.m., with an artist’s talk at 5:30 p.m.

These days, contemporary painting can seem more at home on a tiny, handheld screen than in real-space human encounters. In dramatic contrast, Portland artist and master chef Jung Hur’s imposing, seductively layered canvases assert their real presence and their spirit of inquiry invites the viewer into a deeper dialogue.

RP145-016

Jung Hur painting, untitled

Rigorously trained in traditional Asian ink painting in his native South Korea, Hur’s fascination with the colors and composition of Japanese food led him to become a chef. Through the two powerful mediums of pigments and cuisine Hur has developed a unique poetics of painting and performance to explore his personal dynamics, the Chinese concept of yin-yang.

This exhibition, curated by Daniel Kany, Portland art critic and historian, and Sarah Maline, UMF Art Gallery director, brings together two significant bodies of Jung Hur’s recent work that together articulate a powerful and personal poetic.

This UMF Art Gallery exhibition is sponsored by the Department of Sound, Performance and Visual Inquiry. The gallery is located at 246 Main Street in Farmington, behind the Admissions Office. Gallery hours are Tuesdays–Sundays 12-4 p.m. and by appointment.  For more information, or to make an appointment please contact Sarah Maline at maline@maine.edu or 207-778-1062.

More about the UMF Art Gallery

The UMF Art Gallery is dedicated to bringing contemporary art and artists to campus and the regional community. In its focus on innovative and challenging new work, the gallery reinforces the academic vision of the university and the Department of Sound, Performance and Visual Inquiry in celebrating art as a powerful agent of community and cultural identity. The gallery develops interdisciplinary educational opportunities for students and community and works with local schools to integrate art into their curricula.

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Media Contact: Sarah Maline, UMF associate professor of art history and UMF Art Gallery director, at maline@maine.edu or 207-778-1062.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Photo can be found at http://inside.umf.maine.edu/files/2014/10/RP145-016.jpg

Photo Credit: Submitted photo

Photo Caption: Hur painting Untitled

UMF Celebrates International Cultures with “Discover the World” Events

FARMINGTON, ME (October 20, 2014)—The University of Maine at Farmington Office of International Programs recently held the first in a series of five “Discover the World” events for 2014-15, celebrating the food, music and cultural activities of countries around the world. The series was developed by Lynne Eustis, UMF assistant director of international programs, to help UMF students, staff and faculty from other countries share their native cultures with the campus and local community.RP145-013A

“With opportunities for learning, understanding and collaboration, these events bring a richness to the community and offer a way for our international students, scholars and staff to share and celebrate their cultures and traditions,” said Eustis.

This first international event celebrated the culture of Asia with over 75 members of the campus and general public participating. Exchange students, visiting professors and members of the UMF community offered instruction on writing Chinese calligraphy with traditional brush and ink, the art of Chinese painting, the popular Eastern and South East Asian game of Mahjong and Origami—the intricate Japanese art of paper folding.

RP145-013BA menu of traditional Asian cuisine was developed and prepared by students and scholars; including a variety of Chinese steamed dumplings; Okonomiyaki, a savory Japanese pancake; and Japanese Chirashi Sushi salad.

Tea, an important element in many Asian cultures, was celebrated with a demonstration by Yuxiao Li, RP145-013Cexchange student from Beijing, China. In addition, Hui Liu, visiting professor of Chinese, wore traditional dress as he led participants in Tai Chi—the ancient Chinese skill of meditation in motion.

The Discover the World event series is free and open to the public and will continue throughout the academic year with the following events:

Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014
Discover the World: Latin America
4 p.m., The Landing, UMF Olsen Student Center

Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014
Discover the World: France
4 p.m., The Landing, UMF Olsen Student Center

Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015
Discover the World: Chinese New Year

3:30 p.m., North Dining Hall B & C, UMF Olsen Student Center

Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Discover the World: Africa

4 p.m., The Landing, UMF Olsen Student Center

For more information, please visit the UMF Events Calendar at: www.umf.maine.edu.

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Media Contact: Lynne Eustis, UMF assistant director of international programs, at leustis@maine.edu or 207-778-7122

EDITOR’S NOTE: Photos can be found at:
http://inside.umf.maine.edu/files/2014/10/RP145-013A.jpg
http://inside.umf.maine.edu/files/2014/10/RP145-013B.jpg
http://inside.umf.maine.edu/files/2014/10/RP145-013C.jpg

Photo Credit: UMF photos

Theatre UMF Presents Pulitzer-nominated Drama “Last of the Boys,” Oct. 23-26

FARMINGTON, ME (October 16, 2014)—The University of Maine at Farmington explores the troubled legacy of war with a presentation of Steven Dietz’s Pulitzer-nominated drama “Last of the Boys.” This Theatre UMF production is presented at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 23 through Saturday, Oct. 25, with a 2 p.m. performance on Sunday, Oct. 26, in UMF’s Alumni Theater.

RP145-014The story begins 30 years after Ben and Jeeter fought together in Vietnam. As the two men come together for a last hurrah, they try to come to terms with the war experiences that continue to haunt them. Jeeter’s girlfriend and her whiskey-drinking mother add to the fierce, funny and touching reflections on the lasting effects of war and how the past continues to echo in the present.

Directed by Peter Simmel, UMF professor of theater, this UMF production is an opportunity for theatre students to “get inside the skin of the character,” according to Simmel.

“Students prepared for their roles with intensive research of the time and events surrounding the Vietnam War,” said Simmel. “It stretches the students’ understanding of the era. But in the bigger picture, this play is a reminder of what anyone whose life is touched by war carries with them afterwards. The war doesn’t end for them just because the fighting stops.”

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, “Dietz has conjured the 1960s and the war in Vietnam better than any playwright has managed to date. Ghosts appear and disappear in this play…and these ghosts are in many ways permanent residents in the bodies and psyches of those who fought in the war, as well as those who became its indirect casualties.”

A native of Denver, Colorado, Dietz is one of America’s most widely-produced and published contemporary playwrights. He has written more than 35 stage plays that have been produced at regional theaters throughout the U.S., Off-Broadway and around the world.

He is a two-time winner of the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays Award and a two-time finalist for the Steinberg New Play Award. He received the PEN USA West Award in Drama for “Lonely Planet,” the 2007 Edgar Award for Drama for “Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure” and the Yomuiri Shimbun Award (the Japanese “Tony”) for his adaptation of Shusaku Endo’s novel “Silence.”

Dietz is a professor at the University of Texas at Austin.

Tickets for the performance are $7 for adults, $6 for all students and $5 for seniors. Tickets are available at the time of the performance or can be reserved by calling the Theatre UMF box office at 207-778-7465.

This presentation is sponsored by the UMF Department of Sound, Performance and Visual Inquiry. It contains some adult language.

CAST: with student hometowns
Ben. . . . .Jagger Trouant, Gardiner
Jeeter. . . . .Nathan Sylvester, China Village
Salyer. . . . .Sara D’Angelos, North Providence, Rhode Island
Young Soldier. . . .Aaron Verrill, Belgrade
Lorraine. . . . .Amanda Buckley, Farmington

CREW:
Director. . . . .Peter Simmel
Scenic/Lighting Designer. . . . .Stan Spilecki

More on University of Maine at Farmington

A nationally-recognized liberal arts college, UMF enjoys a 150-year tradition of providing a quality academic experience combined with the personal attention and close student / faculty collaboration that help prepare all students to be successful. Rooted in a tradition of teacher preparation, UMF offers top quality programs in the arts and sciences, teacher preparation, and pre-professional studies. UMF is located in the heart of Maine’s four-season outdoor recreational region and is a welcoming, close-knit academic community that prepares students for engaged citizenship, enriching professional careers and an enduring love of learning.

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 Media Contact: Peter Simmel, UMF associate professor of theater, at 207-778-7461, or simmel@maine.edu

EDITOR’S NOTE: You will find photo at http://inside.umf.maine.edu/files/2014/10/RP145-014.jpg

Photo Credit: Channa Schroff

Photo Caption: UMF students, (left to right): Amanda Buckley, Sara D’Angelos, Nathan Sylvester and Jagger Trouant in scene from Theatre UMF production of Steven Dietz’s Pulitzer-nominated drama “Last of the Boys.”

 

UMF Hosts Teacher Panel on Helping English Language Learners, Oct. 17

FARMINGTON, ME (October 10, 2014)—As American society changes so do its classrooms. Today’s educators face a number of challenges including how to most effectively work with today’s English language learners.

To help UMF students, area educators and members of the public learn practical ways to meet the needs of English Language Learners, the University of Maine at Farmington is presenting a panel discussion of area teachers titled “Working with Maine’s English Language Learners—What I  Know and What I Wish I Had Known.”

This seventh annual UMF Teaching and Working in a Diverse World event takes place at 12:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 17, in North Dining Hall in the UMF Olsen Student Center. It is free and open to the public.

The event brings together teachers currently working in Lewiston and Auburn classrooms to discuss their experiences working with ELL and share their insights and some practical tips. Among the topics they plan to explore are the changing nature of Maine’s classrooms and what kind of training best prepares educators to be successful with English language learner’s needs. The discussion will be followed by breakout sessions for participants to learn about specific grade-level strategies.

Panel members include: Brenda Theriault, Headstart; Tiffany Demarest, Lewiston Montello Elementary; Becky Skilling, Auburn Park Avenue Elementary; Amy Favreau, Lewiston Longley Elementary; Diana Carson, Auburn Middle School; Erik Anderson, Lewiston Middle School; Jill Highland, Edward Little High School; Amanda Martemucci, Edward Little High School; James Koch, Lewiston High School; and Hilary Barber, ELL Director for Lewiston Schools.

This UMF Diversity event is sponsored by the Office of the Associate Provost & Dean of Education.

More on University of Maine at Farmington

A nationally-recognized public liberal arts college, UMF enjoys a 150-year tradition of providing a quality academic experience combined with the personal attention and close student / faculty collaboration that help prepare all students to be successful. Rooted in a tradition of teacher preparation, UMF offers top quality programs in the arts and sciences, teacher preparation, and business and pre-professional studies. UMF is located in the heart of Maine’s four-season outdoor recreational region and is a welcoming, close-knit academic community that prepares students for engaged citizenship, enriching professional careers and an enduring love of learning.

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 Media Contact: Linda Gamble, UMF coordinator for special projects, at 207-778-7177, or llgamble@maine.edu.

UMF Headlines Award-winning Poet V. Penelope Pelizzon in Visiting Writers Series, Oct. 23

FARMINGTON, ME (October 9, 2014)—The University of Maine at Farmington Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program proudly brings award-winning American poet V. Penelope Pelizzon to UMF as the next reader in its notable Visiting Writers Series. Pelizzon will read from her work at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 23, in The Landing in the UMF Olsen Student Center. The reading is free and open to the public and will be followed by a signing by the author.

RP145-012“Nostos,” Pelizzon’s first book (Ohio University Press, 2000), won the Hollis Summers Poetry Prize for a first book of poetry in 1999. In its selection, judge Andrew Hudgins noted, “With immense poetic verve, Pelizzon finds flamboyance in places where it has been forgotten and brings it back to vivid life—and she sees it for what it is. Her vision is then both passionate and dispassionate at the same time, a maturity of perspective that is just one of the many accomplishments of this superb first book.”  It was also awarded the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber First Book Award.

Her second poetry collection, “Whose Flesh is Flame, Whose Bone is Time,” is forthcoming in 2014 from Waywiser Press. She is also the co-author of “Tabloid, Inc: Crimes, Newspapers, Narratives” (Ohio State University Press, 2010) a study of the relations among American sensation journalism, photography and film from 1927-1958.

Pelizzon’s awards include a 2012 Amy Lowell Traveling Scholarship, the 2012 Center for Book Arts chapbook award, a Lannan Foundation Writing Residency Fellowship and the “Discovery”/ The Nation Award.

Her poetry and prose have appeared in journals including Poetry, FIELD, The Hudson Review, The Kenyon Review, The Nation, Fourth Genre, The Yale Journal of Criticism and The British Journal of Aesthetics. Her translations appear in The FSG Book of Twentieth-Century Italian Poetry and Poetry.

Pelizzon earned her Ph.D. from the University of Missouri. She is currently an associate professor of English at the University of Connecticut.

More Information on the UMF Creative Writing Program

As the only Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program in the state of Maine and one of only three in all of New England, the UMF program invites students to work with faculty, who are practicing writers, in workshop-style classes to discover and develop their writing strengths in the genres of poetry, fiction and non-fiction. Small classes, an emphasis on individual conferencing and the development of a writing portfolio allow students to see themselves as artists and refine their writing under the guidance of accomplished and published faculty mentors. Students can pursue internships to gain real-world writing and publishing experience by working on campus with The Beloit Poetry Journal, a distinguished poetry publication since 1950; or Alice James Books, an award-winning poetry publishing house.

 # # #

 Media Contact: Jeffrey Thomson, UMF professor of creative writing, at 207-778-7454, or jeffrey.thomson@maine.edu.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Photo can be found at http://inside.umf.maine.edu/files/2014/10/RP145-012.jpg

Photo Credit: Submitted photo

Jennifer Dorman, UMF Grad, Named 2015 Maine Teacher of the Year

Jennifer Dorman, UMF graduate of the class of 1993, was recently named 2015 Maine Teacher of the Year by the state Department of Education. According to the Morning Sentinel, she is the 50th bell in distance newsMaine Teacher of the Year since the program began in 1954, and only the second special education teacher named to the honor, along with another UMF graduate. Dorman is currently a special education teacher at the Skowhegan Area Middle School, prior to which she was an elementary special education teacher in SAD 54. Of the four finalists for this year’s Maine Teacher of the Year award, three were UMF grads. In addition, five of the past seven Maine Teachers of the Year are UMF grads.

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UMF Awarded $20M College Readiness Grant

UMF Sign Mantor newsThe University of Maine at Farmington has been awarded a $20 million, 7-year GEAR UP grant by the U.S. Department of Education to help prepare at-risk students beginning in seventh grade for postsecondary education. UMF is one of 10 states to receive the grant, according to the Morning Sentinel. It will serve up to 7,600 students annually from 63 rural schools in 26 districts. UMF will be collaborating with 19 partners, key of which is Syntiro, a non-profit organization that will be administering the grant. “UMF looks forward to working closely with our partners and supporters so we can help improve student achievement and continue to advance Maine’s future,” said Kathryn A. Foster, UMF president.

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