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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 President Foster Kicks Off Mantor Library Transformation with Ribbon Cutting

FARMINGTON, ME (September 19, 2014)—University of Maine at Farmington’s Mantor Library is transforming the way it supports student education, making it a more vibrant and central resource for the campus, while continuing its commitment to the community.

RP145-008A“The Mantor Library now offers a collaboration of library, information technology and learning assistance resources under one roof,” said Frederick Brittain, UMF chief operating officer and associate CIO for the University of Maine System. “As the academic heart of the UMF campus, it gives students a single place to study, research and get academic and technology assistance outside of their professors and academic advisor. “

UMF President Kathryn A. Foster affirmed the importance of advancing the library as a powerful resource in today’s changing information environment. She kicked-off the new initiative with a ribbon-cutting, opening the library’s new, student-run coffee bar.

“A university library plays an integral role on any campus in providing the academic community with the right tools for the expansion of knowledge,” said Foster.  “Mantor’s transformation provides a comprehensive place for student learning and collaboration and a new vision for libraries in the 21st century.”

A new addition to the facility’s services, the UMF library’s front desk now offers a single-point-of-service for reference questions, information technology assistance and item check-out.  The IT walk-up desk provides students with IT support, equipment use and software training.

A significant advancement in the main part of the library is the creation of a Student Learning Commons—a place where students can study alone, collaborate with peers, attend math and writing clinics or receive walk-in tutoring. Professional tutoring is available to students most weekdays, and daytime and evening workshops are also offered.

“We have already seen the Library double in student traffic this semester and the vision of a vibrant space for students to not only quietly study but join together in collective academic endeavors is well on its way,” said Brittain.

RP145-008CUnder oversight by ARAMARK, UMF’s food service, the library’s new coffee bar is open Monday through Friday and offers barista prepared coffee and espresso beverages, natural smoothies and pastries. Organic, fair trade and farm direct coffees are offered and provided by Coffee by Design, a Portland, Maine company.

Along with the changes, UMF’s library still houses three floors of its permanent, physical collection. Students and community members will continue to have access to computers, a growing collection of ebooks, and books and materials throughout the state through URSUS (the catalog for the Maine State Library and libraries throughout the state) and nationally through inter-library loan.

“Mantor Library has just gotten better,” said Vaughan Gagne, UMF manager of administrative services. “Students love the new look and new services. They’re excited about having all this at their fingertips and finding new ways to learn.”

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Media contact: Frederick Brittain, UMF chief operating officer, at brittain@maine.edu or 207-778-7303

EDITOR’S NOTE: Photos can be found at:

http://inside.umf.maine.edu/files/2014/09/RP145-008A.jpg
Photo Caption: UMF Mantor Library’s new Student Learning Commons

http://inside.umf.maine.edu/files/2014/09/RP145-008B.jpg
Photo Caption:  Left to right: Fred Brittain, UMF chief operating officer; UMF senior Nathan Libby; Kathryn A. Foster, UMF president and Andrew Hutchins, director of UMF dining services participate in the ribbon cutting to open UMF Mantor Library’s new coffee bar.

http://inside.umf.maine.edu/files/2014/09/RP145-008C.jpg
Photo Caption:  UMF President Kathryn A. Foster (center) buys UMF senior Nathan Libby (left) the first cup of coffee prepared by Andrew Hutchins, director of UMF dining services (right), in Mantor Library’s new coffee bar.

Photo Credit: UMF photos

Sumner McKane’s True Life Docu-Exhibit “The Maine Frontier” Comes to Emery Community Arts Center on UMF Campus, Sept. 26

FARMINGTON, ME (September 17, 2014)—Maine’s rich history once again comes to life in the Emery Community Arts Center on the UMF campus with Sumner McKane’s “The Maine Frontier: Through the Lens of Isaac Walton Simpson.”  This true-life story of family, work, community and culture in northern Maine in the early 1900s will be presented in the Emery Performance Space at 7 p.m., Friday, Sept. 26. The event is free and open to the public.

RP145-007BA unique historical documentary and live multimedia presentation, The Maine Frontier features the never-before-seen photography of Isaac Walton Simpson, an early 1900s Maine pioneer. Combined with archived and current film, archived oral histories and a compelling musical score, it tells the story of the hard-scrabble life in northern Maine.

A photographer, blacksmith, barber, musician, woodsman, mechanic and father of 13, Simpson chronicled life in Maine with over 1,500 photos taken in the far reaches of the Maine frontier. His images show the faces of the farmers, loggers, railroad workers and well-to-do that carved a living out of the Maine wilderness.RP145-007A

McKane is a composer and filmmaker based in mid-coast Maine who combines archived film, photography, oral history, sound design and live music to present ‘docu-exhibits’ that bring history to life.

In 2013, his self-produced live multimedia presentations earned him a Maine Arts Commission Media and Performing Arts Fellowship. In 2012, he received a Horizon Foundation grant to present his docu-exhibit “In the Blood,” on the life of Maine lumberman in the early 1800s, in Maine schools. He received a Maine Humanities Council major grant in 2011.

He is currently touring with The Maine Frontier and In The Blood. He is booking performances in arts venues and theaters, as well as presenting for middle school, high school and college students. He is working on his latest film, titled: “Running Rum in the Northeast” and touring with the Don Campbell Band.

McKane teaches at the Midcoast Guitar School in Wiscasset and Buckdancers Choice Music School, in Portland. He studied photography at the Rocky Mountain School of Photography and at the University of Montana. He graduated from the University of Southern Maine.

This UMF presentation is sponsored by the Emery Community Arts Center.

More About the Emery Community Arts Center on the UMF Campus

The Emery Community Arts Center is an innovative, experimental venue on the UMF campus for the arts in Western Maine. It features an exciting 2,500-square-foot, 160-seat multipurpose performance space with dynamic vertical foldaway doors that open onto an outdoor performance area and a 1,600-square-foot Flex-Space gallery for traditional exhibits, new media and performance art. A dramatic interior corridor offers additional exhibition space and connects the center with the existing Alumni Theater. The 15,000-square-foot center was designed by designLAB architects of Boston to complement the historic performance venues of Nordica Auditorium and Alumni Theater.

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Media contact: Jayne Decker, director of Emery Community Arts Center, at jdecker@maine.edu, or 207-778-7319

EDITOR’S NOTE: Photos can be found at:

http://inside.umf.maine.edu/files/2014/09/RP145-007A.jpg
Sumner McKane

http://inside.umf.maine.edu/files/2014/09/RP145-007B.jpg
“The Maine Frontier”

Photo Credit: Submitted images


UMF Features Acclaimed Essayist David Gessner as First Reader in Visiting Writers Series, Sept. 25

FARMINGTON, ME (September 15, 2014)—The University of Maine at Farmington is proud to present David Gessner—acclaimed American essayist, memoirist, nature writer, editor and cartoonist—as the first reader in its 2014-15 Visiting Writers Series. Gessner will read at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 25, in The Landing in the UMF Student Center. This event is free and open to the public and will be followed by a signing by the author.

Gessner is the author of nine books, including “The Tarball Chronicles,” which won the 2012 Reed Award for Best Book on the Southern Environment and the Association for Study of LiteratureRP145-006 and the Environment’s award for best book of creative writing in 2011 and 2012. He also is the author of “Wallace Stegner and the American West,” “Return of the Osprey,” “Sick of Nature,” “My Green Manifesto” and the forthcoming “All the Wild That Remains: Edward Abbey.”

His essays have been published in numerous magazines, including Outside magazine and the New York Times Magazine and have won the John Burroughs Award for Best Nature Essay, a Pushcart Prize and inclusion in Best American Nonrequired Reading.

He recently appeared on MSNBC’s The Cycle to offer his take on the anniversary of Hurricane Sandy.

Gessner taught environmental writing as a Briggs-Copeland Lecturer at Harvard and is currently a professor at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington where he founded the award-winning literary journal of place, Ecotone.

This event is sponsored by the UMF Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program.

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/2014/09/RP145-006.jpg

Photo Credit: Submitted photo

UMF Receives U.S. News and Washington Monthly Accolades

Merrill Facade (news)UMF has received national recognition as a ‘Best College’ by U.S. News & World Report for the 17th year according to the Sun Journal. The national rankings, released on Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, named UMF number five in the Top Public Regional Colleges category and number 18 in the ranking of both public and private Regional Colleges in the North. In addition to being included in the top U.S. News rankings, UMF has also been named a “Best Bang for the Buck” baccalaureate college by Washington Monthly magazine for 2014. The bang for the buck feature was added to Washington Monthly’s rankings in response to the federal government’s interest in a rating system that shows what colleges are offering the best value to students and taxpayers. “UMF prides itself on creating a vibrant community of learners preparing for a productive future and results like these annual rankings highlight our success,” said Kathryn A. Foster, UMF president.

Sun Journal
Daily Bulldog
Bangor Daily News

UMF Holds Eighth Annual U.S. Supreme Court Case Review in Honor of Constitution Day, Sept. 17

FARMINGTON, ME (September 11, 2014)—Once again, the University of Maine at Farmington will honor Constitution Day with a U.S. Supreme Court case review by Jim Melcher, UMF professor of political science and adviser for the UMF pre-law program. This eighth annual observation of Constitution Day features a docket of U.S. Supreme Court cases that discuss last term’s highlights and this term’s coming attractions. Free and open-to-the-public, this event will be presented at 11:45 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 17, in Lincoln Auditorium, in UMF Roberts Learning Center.

Melcher will discuss five cases from the upcoming Supreme Court term, and five cases from the 2013-14 term. Among the cases to be discussed from the 2013-14 term are Burwell v. Hobby Lobby , the contraceptive mandate in the Affordable Care Act; Riley v. California, on police searches of cellphones; McCutcheon v. Federal Elections Commission, on aggregate campaign donation limits and McCullen v. Coakley, which concerned a Massachusetts law limiting protests outside of family planning clinics.

Coming cases include First Amendment cases Elonis v. US, Holt v. Hobbs and Department of Homeland Security v. MacLean.

Opinions on last term’s cases can be found at www.supremecourtus.gov.

Previously known as Citizenship Day, Constitution Day was created by Congress in 2004. This federal holiday was revised to recognize not only those who have become U.S. citizens, but also the ratification of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787. In addition to renaming the holiday “Constitution Day and Citizenship Day,” the act mandates that all publicly funded educational institutions provide educational programming on the history of the American Constitution on that day.

UMF’s Constitution Day event this year is sponsored by the UMF Provost’s Office, UMF Pre-Law Program and UMF Dept. of Political Science.

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 helps 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: James Melcher, UMF professor of political science, 207-778-7416, or jim.melcher@maine.edu

UMF Visiting Writers Series Opens Semester with Talk by Maine Filmmaker Desi Van Til, Sept. 18

FARMINGTON, ME (September 10, 2014)—The University of Maine at Farmington’s Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program is proud to present Maine filmmaker Desi Van Til for a special event to open its 2014-15 Visiting Writers Series. Van Til will discuss her films at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014 in the Emery Community Arts Center on the UMF campus. This event is free and open to the public.RP145-004

A native of Farmington and graduate of Mt. Blue High School, Van Til studied English Literature at Princeton University, then enjoyed a post-graduate cinema intensive fellowship in Paris before moving to Los Angeles to work in film. She worked with mentor Greg Silverman at Revolution Studios and Warner Brothers, then served for five years as vice president of development for Roth/Arnold Productions.

She associate-produced Gary Winick’s “13 Going on 30” starring Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalos and Judd Apatow’s “Drillbit Taylor” starring Owen Wilson. In 2004, Van Til adapted and produced the short film “Last Night” starring Frances McDormand, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival.

In 2007, she moved to Maine with her husband director Sean Mewshaw to create Rusticator Pictures and produce the comedic love story “Tumbledown” from her own script. It is currently in its final stages and stars SNL alum Jason Sudeikis.

Van Til has also written a feature comedy script for Warner Brothers entitled “Married Off.”

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/2014/09/RP145-004.jpg

Photo Credit: Submitted photo

UMF Receives U.S. News and Washington Monthly Accolades

FARMINGTON, ME (September 9, 2014)—The University of Maine at Farmington has received national recognition for the seventeenth year by U.S. News & World Report as one of the “Best Colleges” for 2015. The national rankings, released on Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, named UMF number five in the Top Public Regional Colleges category and number 18 in the ranking of both public and private Regional Colleges in the North.

In addition to being included in the top U.S. News rankings since 1998, UMF has also been named a “Best Bang for the Buck” baccalaureate college by Washington Monthly magazine 2014.

According to their website, the Washington Monthly guide ranks colleges based on the economic value students receive per dollar, and asks the question, “Are you getting the most for your money?” The bang for the buck feature was added to Washington Monthly’s rankings in response to the federal government’s interest in a rating system that shows what colleges are offering the best value to students and taxpayers.

“We’re so pleased to receive these highly-respected accolades,” said Kathryn A. Foster, UMF president. “UMF prides itself on creating a vibrant community of learners preparing for a productive future and results like these annual rankings highlight our success.”

The 2015 U.S. News & World Report rankings include more than 1,360 accredited four-year colleges and universities throughout the country. The rankings are based on data from multiple sources including the U.S. News statistical survey and information provided by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.

Of the total national colleges included in the U.S. News & World Report ranking, 364 Regional Colleges are assessed in four geographic regions: North, South, Midwest and West. UMF’s region includes all six New England states plus New York; New Jersey; Pennsylvania; Maryland; Delaware; and Washington, D.C. The colleges and universities in each category are ranked against their peer group in each geographic area.

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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UMF Announces Bachelor’s Degree Program in Growing Outdoor Recreation Industry

FARMINGTON, ME (September 8, 2014)—Kathryn A. Foster, University of Maine at Farmington president, recently announced that UMF is elevating its highly-successful, interdisciplinary studies program focusing on the growing outdoor recreation industry to a full Bachelor of Arts in Outdoor Recreation Business Administration.

This advancement recently won the approval of the University of Maine System Board of Trustees and continues in the footsteps of the original program, preparing students to invest their passion for the outdoors in pursuing rewarding careers in the four-season outdoor recreation industry.

“We’re so excited to be able to offer our students a full bachelor’s degree in this expanding Maine industry,” said Foster. “This enhanced ORBA program renews UMF’s commitment to Maine’s four-season outdoor recreation sector and reaffirms our active partnership in the state’s continued overall economic development.”

An emphasis on business administration in the outdoor recreation sector sets Farmington’s ORBA program apart from similar programs available in New England, qualifying some out-of-state students for the New England Board of Higher Education Tuition Break program. All students have the opportunity to take business classes on subjects such as Retail Operations, Financial Management for Recreation and Tourism, and Human Resources Development in addition to coursework in outdoor recreation and adventure sports like snow sports, the river industry, hiking and camping, golf and inland fishing.

A required 6-credit internship is a core component of the program. It provides students with on-the-job experience that opens doors for future employment options, with many internships providing some type of compensation to help with student expenses.

Clyde Mitchell, UMF professor of business, will oversee the ORBA program, and is looking at ways to make the degree more flexible and responsive to the industry’s changing needs.

“UMF is ideally located to prepare students in the outdoor recreation sector. We’re just about an hour from many of Maine’s largest adventure sports and recreation areas,” said Mitchell. “With this advanced program, we will continue to give our students the necessary skill sets to live and work in this region or at any four-season recreation area and pursue a lifestyle and a profession they’re passionate about.”

The program was originally developed in 2009 in collaboration with an advisory board of leaders from Maine’s four-season recreation industry who indicated the need for a program that focuses on the development of business knowledge and leadership skills appropriate to careers at all levels in the outdoor recreation industry. The new ORBA bachelor’s degree program will likewise have the guidance of a board of outdoor recreation leaders that will be chaired by Dana Bullen, CEO of Sunday River.

Students currently enrolled in the program can choose to remain in the interdisciplinary degree program or change to the new degree program. New students will automatically be admitted to the bachelor’s degree program beginning this fall.

For more information visit: http://www.umf.maine.edu/majors-academics/outdoor-recreation-business-administration/

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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First UMF Art Gallery Exhibit of the Year Features Innovative Multi-media Artist Barry Whittaker

FARMINGTON, ME (September 3, 2014)—The University of Maine at Farmington proudly presents an exhibit by multi-media artist and designer Barry Whittaker as the UMF Art Gallery’s opening exhibition for the fall 2014 semester.

The exhibit, “Throwing Things at the Sky to See if They Stick,” will be held from Sept. 11 through Oct. 19. There will be an opening reception from 5-8 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 11, featuring an artist talk at 5:30 p.m. The show is free and open to the public.RP145-002

Whittaker investigates myth, language and miscommunication through a variety of technology and collaboration-based multi-media projects. His digital prints, videos and game-based interactions explore the ways in which we communicate in our technology-driven world.

Speaking to each other through machines generates misunderstandings that expand through media to become ubiquitous, accidental “information.”  Whittaker says, “I like to image communication in its most fractured and disrupted forms.  Our inaccuracies travel through space and time.  We’re only aware of our communication tools because of their failings and shortcomings.”

Whittaker has exhibited extensively throughout the United States and Japan and recently returned from a residency at 3331 Arts Chiyoda in Tokyo.

He received his BFA in Photography from the University of Texas at Austin and his MFA in Photography/Media at the University of Colorado, Boulder.  Whittaker is assistant professor of new media at the University of Toledo.

This UMF Art Gallery exhibition is sponsored by the UMF Department of Sound, Performance and Visual Inquiry.

The UMF Art 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 call her at 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 compelling 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/2014/09/RP145-002.jpg

Photo Credit: Submitted image

New UMF Students Receive a Warm Welcome

UMF gave a warm welcome to 518 new students on its campus at its annual Matriculation ceremony on Saturday, Aug. 30. Eighty-eight percent of the new class of 2018 comes from Maine, FARmatriculation2P083114according to an article in the Sun Journal, representing 15 of the 16 Maine counties. New students are also from Arizona, California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont and Africa. UMF President Kathryn A. Foster made the welcome official while giving the students the matriculation cords they would wear when graduating from UMF. “I am honored to receive this class—so smart and talented— from nearby and far,” said Foster.

Sun Journal