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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 Visiting Writers Series Presents Author and UMF Alumna Melissa Falcon Field, Feb. 5

FARMINGTON, ME (January 28, 2015)—The University of Maine at Farmington Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program is proud to present Melissa Falcon Field, author and 1998 UMF graduate, as the next reader in its popular Visiting Writers Series. Falcon Field will read from her work at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 5, 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.
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Falcon Field is the author of “What Burns Away,” her recently released debut novel. She has been a recipient of the Katherine Anne Porter Writer-in-Residence appointment and attended the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference.

For nearly a decade, she worked as an inner city schoolteacher with Teach for America and AmeriCorps in New York, Boston and San Francisco. She helped pioneer the YEAR UP writing curriculum used nationally. She has taught Creative Writing at small colleges across the country and currently works as an instructor at The Madison Writers’ Studio.

Her writing has appeared in literary magazines and journals, including: Hip Momma: The Parenting Zine, Kaliope Literary Journal, The Portland Phoenix, Across Curriculums, The Austin American Statesmen, The Ballantine Books Reader’s Circle, The Hartford Courant and The Maine Scholar.

Falcon Field earned her MFA in Fiction Writing from Texas State University. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her young son, her husband and three chickens.

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/2015/01/RP145-033.jpg

Photo Credit: Submitted photo

New UMF Alpine Operations Certificate Program Announced for Fall 2015

UMF President Kathryn Foster, joined by industry leaders from Sugarloaf, Sunday River and Saddleback ski resorts, recently announced the University’s new Alpine Operations alpineopsnewsCertificate Program, beginning in fall 2015. As reported by the Portland Press Herald, the 24-credit hour program is designed to teach students business and marketing skills specific to the industry. Courses in ski instruction will be an important component of the program as will an internship at one of the ski resorts. The announcement was made at Titcomb, a community ski mountain close to the UMF campus. According to Foster, the program, “…promotes wellness, the outdoor lifestyle and also an important regional industry.”

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UMF Launches New Alpine Operations Certificate Program to Help Prepare Students for Career in Snow Sports Industry

FARMINGTON, ME (January 21, 2015)— In confirmation of its continuing commitment to the snow sports industry in Maine and beyond, the University of Maine at Farmington is proud to announce the launch of its new Alpine Operations Certificate program.

One of only a handful of similar programs in the U.S., this innovative certificate program is designed to prepare students for a professional year-round career in the snow sports industry while they continue to pursue their undergraduate college degree.

“This exciting new certificate program at UMF recognizes the skiing and snowboarding industry’s important role in western Maine,” said Kathryn A. Foster, UMF president. “We’re so pleased to be able to offer this opportunity to our students and members of the community as we continue to build on the legacy of UMF’s commitment to the outdoor lifestyle and the region’s recreational bounty.”

The UMF Alpine Operations Certificate program was developed in collaboration with ski-industry partners in western Maine. It is open to UMF students of all majors and those pursuing the certificate only, beginning in fall 2015. This interdisciplinary 24-credit certificate program combines business and ski classes with on-mountain instruction experience and an industry internship. Some of these classes include:

  • Management and leadership for Alpine operations
  • Ski instruction for children and adults
  • Communications, marketing and social media for Alpine operations

Students will also receive skiing and snowboarding instructor and coach experience to help prepare them to earn Level 1 PSIA (Professional Ski Instructors of America) certification.RP145-032

UMF’s new certificate program provides students with the skills and experience most valued by employers and is a natural extension of UMF’s unique location within minutes of a local community ski mountain and just an hour’s drive from Sugarloaf, Sunday River and Saddleback—three world class ski resorts.

“An essential piece of this program is our location,” said Clyde Mitchell, UMF professor of business. “Our proximity to some of the best snow sports facilities in the state makes it possible for students to learn the business first-hand, while experts throughout the industry will share their knowledge in the classrooms. I can’t think of a better way to inspire students who have a passion for winter sports.”

In addition, to help provide UMF students with affordable skiing opportunities in their immediate community, Sunday River Resort has committed to a generous sponsorship that will help fund free, annual combined Alpine/Nordic memberships to Titcomb Mountain in Farmington to full-time UMF students. Free ski instruction will ultimately be made available to full-time UMF students through the instruction programs of the Alpine Operations certificate. This sponsorship will begin in January 2015, and continue for the next five years.

For more information on UMF’s new Alpine Operations Certificate, visit http://www.umf.maine.edu/majors-academics/alpine-operations/.

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: Clyde Mitchell, UMF professor of business, clyde.mitchell@maine.edu or 207-778-7413

EDITOR’S NOTE: Photo can be found at http://inside.umf.maine.edu/files/2015/01/RP145-032.jpg
Photo Credit: UMF photo

Photo Caption:  (Left to right) front row: Kathryn A. Foster, UMF president; Megan Roberts, general manager Titcomb Mountain; back row: Dana Bullen, president and general manager of Sunday River; Ethan Austin, director of marketing of Sugarloaf and Bill Berry, owner of Saddleback join to launch new UMF Alpine Operations Certificate program.

Emery Community Arts Center on the UMF Campus Presents “Transcendence” a Collaborative, Multimedia Exhibit—Jan 20-March 22

FARMINGTON, ME (January 13, 2015)—The Emery Community Arts Center on the UMF campus ushers in the new year with the impressive exhibition, “Transcendence: Beyond the Ordinary.”  The show will be on exhibit from Jan. 20 to March 22, 2015. An opening reception featuring refreshments, stage performances and the sounds of a troupe of local hand drummers will be held from 2-5 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 25. The event is free and open to the public.

RP145-031Transcendence is a collaborative, multimedia exhibit featuring over 35 visual artists and writers. Curated by five artists who helped create the 2013 Emery exhibit, “Spiral, A Journey Without End,” this new showing explores transformational responses in a wide array of media.

Paintings reveal unique voices. Sculptures speak to ascensions. Metals defy their origins. Words recall poetic memories. Color, form, space and light are assembled in a thoughtful, inspiring continuum from door to door. Interactive pieces invite viewers to participate.

“We want this to be about remembering and recording those moments in our lives that have been magical, profound, transforming or inspirational,” said Mary McFarland, Farmington fabric artist who spearheaded the vision for creating both this and the Spiral exhibit.

The show is open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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. Designed by designLAB architects of Boston to complement the historic performance venues of Nordica Auditorium and Alumni Theater, the 15,000-square-foot center is the keystone for the arts complex on the UMF campus.

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Media Contact: Mary McFarland, Farmington artist, at marymcfarlanddesigns@gmail.com

EDITOR’S NOTE: Photo can be found at http://inside.umf.maine.edu/files/2015/01/RP145-031.jpg

Photo Credit: Submitted photo

UMF and Maine Fulbright Association Host Talk by U.S. Senator Angus King, Jan. 23

My Approved PortraitsFARMINGTON, ME (January 12, 2015)—The University of Maine at Farmington and the Maine Chapter of the Fulbright Association are honored to announce a talk featuring U.S. Senator Angus S. King, Jr. on current international issues. The event is free and open to the public and will be held at 3 p.m., Friday, Jan. 23, 2015, in Lincoln Auditorium, Roberts Learning Center at 270 Main Street, Farmington.

“We are very pleased that Senator King will be sharing his views with us as we begin the new academic semester,” said Kathryn A. Foster, UMF president.  “UMF is committed to expanding the international horizons and awareness of our students, faculty and staff, and we look forward to his address, given his unique, Washington perspective.”

Foster’s comments were echoed by Robert Lively, president of the Fulbright Association, Maine Chapter. “The Fulbright Program is committed to furthering international communication and understanding through individual contacts, and we are confident that Senator King’s comments will contribute to that on-going discussion.”

There are fifteen current and recently retired Fulbright Scholars at UMF. The campus was recognized as a 2012 Fulbright Scholar “top producer” by the Institute of International Education and the U.S. Dept. of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs—the Fulbright Program’s sponsor. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields.

Senator King was sworn in as Maine’s first Independent United States Senator on Jan. 3, 2013. He joins a long line of independent leaders from the State of Maine and is a steadfast advocate for the need for greater bipartisan dialogue and relationship building among legislators.

As a United States Senator, he sits on four oversight committees – Rules, Intelligence, Armed Services and Budget. These committees play a key role in furthering his ability to best serve and protect the interests of Maine as well as the country.

In 1994, Senator King was elected Maine’s 72nd Governor. During his two terms in the Blaine House, he focused on economic development and job creation, and reforms in education, mental health services, land conservation, environmental protection and the delivery of state services.

He served as UMF’s 2006 Commencement speaker.

Senator King is married to Mary Herman and has four sons, one daughter and six grandchildren. He lives in Brunswick.

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Media Contact: Shelby Childs, UMF President’s Office: shelby.childs@maine.edu, 207-778-7256; Robert Lively, Maine Chapter, Fulbright Association: lively@maine.edu, 207-645-2982.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Photo can be found at http://inside.umf.maine.edu/files/2015/01/RP145-030.jpg

Photo Credit: Submitted photo

UMF Partnership for Civic Advancement Celebrates Three Years of Student Internships and Community Partners

FARMINGTON, ME (January 6, 2015)—The University of Maine at Farmington’s Partnership for Civic Advancement celebrated its third year of operations during a dinner event recently held on the UMF campus. Sponsored each year by the Partnership’s sustaining partner, Bangor Savings Bank Foundation, the annual event recognizes the contributions made by the program’s student interns, their community sponsors and faculty advisors.

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Representatives and student interns from Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance, one of several regional organizations recognized during the UMF Partnership for Civic Advancement’s third annual dinner. Left to right: Yellow Light Breen, Bangor Savings Bank; Toni Pied, BRCA milfoil and stewardship director; Dr. Jean Doty, UMF professor of biology; student interns: Sara Quimby, Sebastien Dumont and Jacob Taylor; and Kathryn A. Foster, UMF president.

This year, 41 student interns were recognized for their work through 44 different internships with 33 regional businesses and organizations. With the launching of the Partnership’s leadership education and training component this fall, this year’s celebration also recognized the achievements of 17 student leaders who successfully completed the Partnership’s 2014 Leadership Summit.

Announcing Bangor Savings Bank Foundation’s recent decision to continue their support for the Partnership for an additional three years, Celeste Branham, director of the Partnership and UMF vice president for student and community services, expressed the University’s appreciation for the generous support Bangor Savings Bank has demonstrated to the Partnership, UMF and throughout the regional community.

“The Partnership is a highly successful experiment in experiential learning at UMF, designed to benefits students and the community beyond UMF,” said Branham. “This vision could not have been realized without the sustaining sponsorship of Bangor Savings Bank to whom we are indeed indebted.”

Yellow Light Breen, executive vice president and chief strategic officer for Bangor Savings Bank, noted that making a second three-year commitment to the same program was not something the Bank’s Foundation normally does. “It was so compelling to us because of what the Partnership’s accomplished,” said Breen. “They knocked it out of the park and blew the cover off of it.”

According to Breen, the UMF Partnership approached Bangor Savings Bank with this program concept three years ago and said they would have 30 student interns and 50 community partners.  Earlier this year, they already had 77 student interns and more than 80 community partners and are rapidly closing in on 100 community partners.

“The decision to invest in the partnership is totally selfish,” stated Breen, because they see the reward to their company. “The returns are so obvious, to western Maine and Maine,” he stated, “and we’re darn proud of it.”

UMF’s President, Kathryn A. Foster, told the students the story of her internship experience in Baltimore while in college and how that experience changed her life. “It not only gave me a chance to use the knowledge I’d gained in the classroom and test myself in the real world, it helped me gain important skills needed on the job and confidence.” This experience “was real,” she stated, “and I felt like I had made an important contribution to the city.”

Guests at this year’s event were treated to a live improvisational music performance by Ellen Bowman, counselor and psychotherapist at Belgrade Central School, and Brandon Monroe, a UMF senior majoring in psychology and minoring in music who has been working at the Belgrade school during the fall semester as the expressive arts therapies intern.

The goal of UMF’s Partnership for Civic Advancement is to engage students in meaningful community-based activities. When fully implemented, Partnership activities will include internships, volunteerism, undergraduate research, service learning and leadership education and training. All Partnership activities are designed in collaboration with the western Maine community to address community needs and economic and community development priorities, and with students and faculty to achieve specific learning objectives of the students.

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 Media Contact:  Lorraine Pratt, Grants Writer and Assistant Director, Partnership for Civic Advancement, 207-778-7516, or lorraine.pratt@maine.edu

EDITOR’S NOTE: Photo can be found at http://inside.umf.maine.edu/files/2014/12/RP145-029.jpg

Photo Credit: UMF photo

Photo Caption: Representatives and student interns from Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance, one of several regional organizations recognized during the UMF Partnership for Civic Advancement’s third annual dinner. Left to right:  Yellow Light Breen, Bangor Savings Bank; Toni Pied, BRCA milfoil and stewardship director; Dr. Jean Doty, UMF professor of biology; student interns:  Sara Quimby, Sebastien Dumont and Jacob Taylor; and Kathryn A. Foster, UMF president.

UMF Leads the Way with New Free Application Policy

RP145-028newsUMF announced that it will be the first school in the University of Maine System to eliminate application fees for prospective students, beginning January 1, 2015. According to Eileen Reading, UMF associate director of admission quoted in the Morning Sentinel, “It’s about access for everyone.” The new free application policy creates a level-playing field for every applicant regardless of need or manner in which they apply. “We want to make sure that students interested in applying to UMF and benefitting from the UMF Experience have every opportunity to do so, without barriers,” said Kathryn A. Foster, UMF president. “Reducing costs for students and their families demonstrates UMF’s continuing historic mission to preserve affordable access to higher education for all students.”
 

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UMF Leads the Way in Removing Barriers for All Applicants with Elimination of Application Fee

FARMINGTON, ME (December 17, 2014)—In an effort to help make access to four-year colleges more affordable, the University of Maine at Farmington has announced that it is eliminating the $40 application fee all prospective students are charged when applying to the Farmington University.

RP145-028“We want to make sure that students interested in applying to UMF and benefitting from the UMF Experience have every opportunity to do so, without barriers,” said Kathryn A. Foster, UMF president. “Reducing costs for students and their families demonstrates UMF’s continuing historic mission to preserve affordable access to higher education for all students.”

UMF’s new free application policy creates a level-playing field for every applicant regardless of need or manner in which they apply. Farmington is the only college in the University of Maine System that currently offers free application for all applicants.

As determined by data based on IPEDS and information from the Common Application, approximately 490 U.S. colleges have application fees of $50 or greater, 239 of which are public institutions. While many colleges waive the application fee for students applying online or with special circumstances or financial need, applicants still pay between $10 and $75 per school when submitting a traditional application, according to U.S. News.

“Students who are motivated to continue their education have a lot of pressures and expenses,” said Eileen Reading, UMF associate director of admission. “By eliminating the application fee, we’re saying to them, ‘You’ve done all the hard work you needed to in order to prepare yourself for the next steps in your education. Don’t worry about this additional expense; just concentrate on finding the best college for you.’”

The new policy is in effect as of January 1, 2015, and also applies retroactively to any first-year, transfer or international students who applied for admission to UMF for the 2015 spring and fall semesters. Any student who paid to apply for enrollment for these semesters will be contacted by the UMF Admission Office regarding next steps in the reimbursement process. To apply to UMF, visit www.umf.maine.edu.

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 Contacts:

Eileen Reading, UMF associate director of admission, 207-778-7052, or eileen.reading@maine.edu

Lisa Ellrich, UMF associate director of admission, 207-778-7054, or ellrich@maine.edu

EDITOR’S NOTE: Photo can be found at http://inside.umf.maine.edu/files/2014/12/RP145-028.jpg

Photo Credit: UMF photo

UMF Partnership for Civic Advancement Receives Davis Educational Foundation Grant

FARMINGTON, ME (December 11, 2014)—The University of Maine at Farmington’s Partnership for Civic Advancement has been selected to receive a grant totaling $108,910 over the next two years from the Davis Educational Foundation, which was established by Stanton and Elisabeth Davis after Mr. Davis’s retirement as chairman of Shaw’s Supermarkets, Inc.

In making this award, the Trustees of the Davis Educational Foundation expressed their support for the project’s objectives of ‘increasing student engagement with faculty and campus and community-based experiential learning.’ The grant will provide funding to expand the capacity of the university’s Partnership for Civic Advancement in order to help students make the connection between liberal arts education and rewarding and successful careers, graduate education, and civic leadership, as outlined in UMF’s strategic plan.

The Partnership’s internship program, which was launched in the summer of 2012, has grown by more than 300 percent over the past three years.  Two additional components of the Partnership program, volunteerism and leadership education and training, have been initiated during the past year.

In the relatively brief time that the Partnership has been active, “it has made a significant difference to individual students, community organizations and to the fabric of UMF,” noted Kathryn A. Foster, UMF president.  “We are deeply grateful to the Davis Educational Foundation for their recognition of the importance and success of the Partnership’s work.”

“This significant award from the Davis Educational Foundation will provide the support needed to integrate experiential learning effectively throughout the educational program at UMF,” said Celeste Branham, UMF Vice president for student and community services and director of the Partnership for Civic Advancement.  The grant will provide funding for community outreach, faculty development, and curricular and project/program development.

The Partnership for Civic Advancement was designed to provide the foundational structure through which the University can effectively cultivate and sustain strong university-community relationships, and, through those relationships, develop and support a wide variety of opportunities for student engagement in meaningful community-based experiential learning activities.

When fully implemented, it will provide the full range of experiential learning and student-community engagement formats, including:  internships, volunteerism, undergraduate research, service learning and leadership education and training.

All Partnership activities are designed in collaboration with the western Maine community to address community needs and economic and community development priorities, and with students and faculty to achieve specific learning objectives of the 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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 Media Contact: F. Celeste Branham, UMF vice president for student and community services, 207-778-7087, or cbranham@maine.edu

UMF President Foster Appoints Jeffrey McKay as New Director of Facilities Management

FARMINGTON, ME (December 9, 2014)—Kathryn A. Foster, University of Maine at Farmington president, recently announced Jeffrey McKay as the new director of facilities management for UMF.

RP145-026In his new position at UMF, McKay is responsible for the University’s overall facilities operation and its interface with the campus and the general public. Working with faculty, staff, students and multiple constituencies on and off campus, he will ensure a high-quality, sustainable physical plant and oversee all facilities personnel, strategic and financial planning, construction management, grounds maintenance, housekeeping and utilities operations.

A leader in the higher education facilities management field, McKay comes to UMF from the University of Southern Maine. He served with their facilities services for the past eight years, most recently as assistant director for maintenance and operations.  Prior to that, he operated a successful residential and commercial landscaping business in southern Maine and worked in a high-level supervisory position with the Maine State Parks.

“We feel very fortunate to have Jeff at the helm of UMF’s campus facilities,” said Foster. “His professional knowledge, practical experience and leadership skills will help shape our campus as we continue to strive to provide our students with the most effective and environmentally sustainable educational setting.”

Throughout his career, McKay has provided oversight and leadership in construction management, operations and maintenance, grounds and custodial operations and other related services. He has held or currently holds licenses or certificates in arboriculture, boiler operations, composting, American Institute of Architects contract documents and the American Plant Association Institute for Facilities Management. He is also a board member of the Northern New England chapter of the American Physical Plant Association.

“College facilities today are more than just buildings; they surround students with a learning environment that impacts the way they think about the world,” said McKay. “I am excited to be a part of UMF’s vision for its campus, and look forward to working with a great team.”

McKay received a B.S. in environmental studies from the University of Maine at Machias.

He has recently completed a graduate certificate in community planning and development and has been accepted in a Massachusetts Maritime Academy program where he will be earning a master’s degree in facilities management.

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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EDITOR’S NOTE: Photo can be found at http://inside.umf.maine.edu/files/2014/12/RP145-026.jpg

Photo Credit: UMF photo