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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 Mainely Outdoors Holds Annual Canoe and Kayak Race, May 3

FARMINGTON, ME (April 28, 2015)— The University of Maine at Farmington Fitness and Recreation Center is kicking off spring with the fifth annual Canoe/Kayak Race and Fun Paddle on Sunday, May 3, on the Sandy River. Sponsored by the FRC “Mainely Outdoors” outdoor recreation program, the event provides a great opportunity for members of the public to enjoy the healthy outdoor activities that western Maine has to offer.

The Canoe/Kayak Race and Fun Paddle features an approximate 10-mile paddle and will start at 1 p.m., in Strong and end in Fairbanks. The put-in location is at the Strong American Legion at the intersection of Route 4 and 145 and the take-out location is at the Little League ball field on Route 4. There will be a shuttle service to bring paddlers back to their vehicles.

Colleen Ward, UMF community health major“The Sandy River’s mix of flat areas with rips, eddies and pitches makes for a fun and lively paddle,” said Jim Toner, director of UMF Fitness and Recreation Center. “This has become a great spring tradition for many people who enjoy the Maine outdoors and have been anxiously waiting for winter to lose its grip.”

Participants 13 and older of all ability levels are welcome to compete in the timed race or to paddle for fun. Paddlers must provide their own canoe or kayak, paddles, personal floatation devices and other related equipment.

According to the Whitewater Classification System, this section of the Sandy River is identified as Class I—moving water with small disturbances on the surface and a few small waves, to Class II—easy rapids with smaller waves and clear channels that are obvious and where occasional maneuvering may be required.

This year the UMF race is included in the Maine Canoe and Kayak Racing organization’s circuit.

Registration fees are $10 person and $5 for students. Registration forms can be completed by visiting the UMF Fitness and Recreation Center or on site the day of the race from 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Racing categories for participants include high school students; college students; men/women, ages 18-49; century, ages over 50; and family. Children ages 13 and under must be accompanied by an adult.

For race rules, registration form or more information, visit the UMF Fitness and Recreation website at http://frc.umf.maine.edu/, or call at 778-7495.

More on UMF’s Mainely Outdoors

Mainely Outdoors provides an opportunity for individuals and groups to participate in all types of outdoor adventure activities, clinics, workshops and excursions through organized trips and by providing rental equipment to try and promote fitness, to get people active, to expose people to new recreation opportunities, and to take advantage of the abundant natural resources in our area. Programs are open to members of the UMF campus and local community members.

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Media Contact: Jim Toner, director of UMF Fitness and Recreation Center, at 207-778-7495, or james.d.toner@maine.edu

EDITOR’S NOTE: You will find photo at http://inside.umf.maine.edu/files/2015/04/RP145-055.jpg

Photo Credit: UMF photo

Photo Caption: UMF community health education senior Colleen Ward enjoys a day of kayaking on the Sandy River with UMF’s Mainely Outdoors.

 

UMF Announces Joan Benoit Samuelson as 2015 Commencement Speaker

FARMINGTON, ME (April 27, 2015)—The University of Maine at Farmington takes great pleasure in announcing Joan Benoit Samuelson, Olympic gold medalist and champion for women’s distance running, as the Commencement speaker for the UMF Class of 2015. Samuelson will also receive an honorary degree at the ceremony held at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, May 16, 2015, on the UMF campus.

Joan Benoit Samuelson, 1984 Olympic marathon champion, at her homeA Maine native and one of the nation’s most recognizable athletes, Benoit Samuelson has blazed a trail for women of all ages in the sport of competitive running. Her life-long commitment to health, fitness and the sport she loves has redefined the idea of a lifetime runner and inspired a generation on how to never give up on being your best.

“Joan Benoit Samuelson is the image of discipline, passion and excellence both on the race course and in life,” said Kathryn A. Foster, UMF president. “She is a leader in building awareness of the value of a healthy lifestyle and sustainable environment and its effect on how we live our lives. What a distinct and fitting honor it is to have her share her thoughts with our graduates in a year when we launch Outdoor Track and Field as a new varsity sport and further our commitment to health, wellness and sustainability.”

In 1979, Benoit Samuelson received All-American honors in cross-country and track and won the Boston Marathon—setting an American and course record—all before she graduated from college. She went on to win the Boston Marathon again in 1983, shattering the American record and breaking the world record by more than two minutes.

One year later, she made history by winning the inaugural Women’s Olympic Marathon in Los Angeles, running the last 21 miles of the race ahead of all competitors. In 1985, she raced to victory in the Chicago Marathon, setting a new American record, and in 2000 she was named a 20th Century Top Athlete by Sports Illustrated.

In the four decades she has been involved in the sport, Benoit Samuelson has taken every opportunity to give back to the sport and to the community. In 1998, she founded the TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K road race in Cape Elizabeth. This race attracts over 6,000 runners annually and benefits a different children’s charity every year.

Benoit Samuelson believes running underscores the importance of individual health and a healthy environment, which provides a common platform to build awareness of their impact on a healthier future. Currently, she is a consultant to Nike, Inc. and gives numerous motivational addresses and fitness clinics throughout the U.S. She has authored two books, her autobiography, “Running Tide,” (Knopf, 1987), and “Joan Samuelson’s Running for Women” (Rodale Press, 1995).Chelsea Lear-Ward UMF Student Commencement Speaker

Graduating senior Chelsea Lear-Ward from Levant will give the student address. With a major in community health education and a minor in environmental studies, she is interested in helping to promote health through sustainability. She came to UMF as a Mitchell Scholar and has been active on campus interning with the TerraCycle recycling program, coordinating events for the Farmington Farmers Market and helping to raise awareness of domestic violence. After graduation, she will be moving to Washington State to work in the wellness field.

Foster and Joseph McGinn, provost and vice president for academic affairs, will confer degrees to this year’s graduates. Karl Turner, member of the UMS Board of Trustees, will deliver greetings to the graduates from the University of Maine System.

Additional Event Details

The outdoor ceremony will be held behind the UMF Olsen Student Center and is free and open to the public. Guests of graduates are also welcome to watch the ceremony live in C131 in Roberts Learning Center. In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held inside the UMF Fitness & Recreation Center. Admission to the indoor ceremony will be limited to those who have already received “Fitness and Recreation Center” tickets. During the indoor ceremony, guests can watch the event live in C131 and C23 in Roberts Learning Center and in the classrooms and Bjorn Lobby in the UMF Education Center. The UMF Commencement ceremony will be webcast live at www.umf.maine.edu and broadcast live on Mount Blue TV community access Channel 11 at http://mtbluetv.org/, whether the ceremony is held indoors or outdoors.

DVDs of the ceremony will be available in early summer for a small fee from the UMF Ferro Alumni Center, which can be contacted at 207-778-7090.

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EDITOR’S NOTE:
Joan Benoit Samuelson’s photo can be found at http://inside.umf.maine.edu/files/2015/04/RP145-052A.jpg
Photo Credit: Kevin Morris

Chelsea Lear-Ward’s photo can be found at http://inside.umf.maine.edu/files/2015/04/RP145-052B.jpg
Photo Credit: UMF Photo

UMF Invites Public to Attend Annual University-wide Symposium, April 29

FARMINGTON, ME (April 24, 2015)—The University of Maine at Farmington is proud to announce its annual, University-wide Michael D. Wilson Symposium beginning at 9 a.m., Wednesday, April 29, at venues throughout campus. This day-long showcase of exciting student research and creative achievements is the culmination of study throughout the academic year. It is free and open to the public.

“Together with Arts Night, Symposium showcases what’s possible when you mix student passion, ambition, perseverance, creativity and talent with faculty joy, mentorship and care,” said Kathryn A. Foster, UMF president. “It’s no surprise that many members of the UMF community count it as their favorite and most uplifting time of the year.”

This year’s Symposium presents the original research and creative projects of the 2014-15 Michael D. Wilson Scholars and Fellows, senior artists and students from academic interests across campus in the form of papers, oral and poster presentations, original student readings, art gallery exhibits and performances.

This year’s presentations include:

  • Combating food insecurity in Franklin County
  • Choking on plastic, can legislation weaken the threat?
  • The role of pets in American society
  • Pharmaceutical compounds in Farmington wastewater
  • Saving the Alewives
  • The oral history of residents of Farmington’s Sandy River Center
  • Farmington winter 2014-15 and climate change

Special events include:

  • UMF Maine Public Policy Scholar presentation
  • UMF Trustee Professor presentation
  • Harvey Aft Award for Excellence in Chemistry
  • Walter Sargent Undergraduate Research Mentor Award
  • Special presentation of the “Last Lecture” by Thomas Eastler, professor of geology, retiring after 41 years of dedicated service to the University of Maine at Farmington

As a complement to Symposium, UMF will also present an array of creative events beginning with the eighth annual Pixel Hunter Video and Animation Festival at 7:30 p.m., Monday, April 27, in the Emery Community Arts Center. UMF Arts Nights will present a rich collection of back-to-back, artistic, musical, cultural and theatrical presentations throughout the Emery Community Arts Center and Merrill Hall beginning at 4 p.m., and continuing into the evening on Tuesday, April 28 and Wednesday, April 29. These events are sponsored by the Department of Sound, Performance and Visual Inquiry and are free and open to the public.

The Michael D. Wilson Symposium is organized by the UMF Culture Committee. A full schedule of Michael D. Wilson Symposium and ARTS Nights events can be found at http://www2.umf.maine.edu/symposium/this-year/.

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: Paul Stancioff, UMF associate professor of physics, at 207-778-7371, or pauls@maine.edu

 

UMF Community Orchestra Presents Two Concerts Featuring Compositions by Retiring Director Philip Carlsen, April 26 & May 10

FARMINGTON, ME (April 22, 2015)—Marking the retirement of its director, Professor of Music Philip Carlsen, the University of Maine at Farmington Community Orchestra presents two concerts featuring his compositions.  The concerts will be presented at 3 p.m., April 26 and May 10 in Nordica Auditorium in UMF’s Merrill Hall.

The first, on Sunday, April 26,  includes a newly arranged suite of music Carlsen wrote for the Sandy River Players production of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in 2009; his solo piano piece “October,” performed by his son Melsen; and the premiere of a highly improvised piece for singers and instruments called “Soft Voices,” based on a text by Shelley.  Singing Shakespeare’s and Shelley’s lines will be local singers Lisl Fuson, Jess Isler, Mardie Porter, Daniel Woodward, and Josh Grams.

The eclectic program also includes a concerto grosso by Corelli, one of the Lachian dances by Janacek, the final movement of Haydn’s “Farewell” Symphony, and two pieces by one of Carlsen’s musical heroes, Charles Ives: “The Unanswered Question” and the fugue movement from his Fourth Symphony.

Philip Carlsen, UMF Professor of MusicThen, on Sunday, May 10, the orchestra joins with the UMF Community Chorus in a performance of Carlsen’s “Night Thoughts,” a musical setting of poetry by Wesley McNair and Emily Dickinson.  McNair, the Poet Laureate of Maine and a Professor Emeritus of UMF, will be present to introduce and read the poems before the performance.  The concert also features the chorus, under its musical director Bruce McInnes, evoking nineteenth-century Vienna with the “Liebeslieder Waltzes” of Johannes Brahms, with piano accompaniment by Patricia Hayden and Kathryn Sytsma.

Carlsen joined the UMF faculty in 1982, coming to Maine from Brooklyn, N.Y., where he had done his graduate work in composition.  He led the orchestra for twenty years, then passed the baton for about a decade into the capable hands of first Graybert Beacham and then Trond Saeverud.  Last spring, Carlsen returned to the podium of the UMF Community Orchestra, bringing his career in Farmington full circle.

He is active as a composer, with performances of his music throughout Maine, as well as in other locations around the country, including New York’s Town Hall and Museum of Modern Art and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.  He has received commissions from the Portland Symphony, the Sebago-Long Lake Region Chamber Music Festival and the Bossov Ballet Theatre.  He was chosen by the National Symphony Orchestra as the composer to write a chamber work representing the state of Maine in connection with the orchestra’s national outreach program.

Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and free for children and UMF students with I.D.  For further information, contact Carlsen at carlsen@maine.edu.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Photo can be found at http://inside.umf.maine.edu/files/2015/04/RP145-054.jpg

Photo Credit: UMF photo

UMF Arts Nights Enrich University-wide Symposium, April 28 & 29

FARMINGTON, ME (April 22, 2015)—UMF Art Nights will offer a rich collection of creative events on Tuesday, April 28, as an exciting prelude to UMF’s University-wide Symposium, and then again on Wednesday, April 29, as an extension of the Symposium. Both days will feature back-to-back artistic, musical, cultural and theatrical presentations throughout the Emery Community Arts Center and Merrill Hall beginning at 4 p.m., and continuing into the evening. All events are free and open to the public.

Tuesday, April 28th

5 p.m. – Vocal Space
Debbra Parent, Merrill Hall Elevator
A performance broken into four segments that explore how space can be used as a tool for performance. Each space is accompanied by a painting by Debbra that corresponds to the work being performed.

6 p.m. – Circles, Cycles, and….
Kyle Sareyani, Emery Performance Space
Life is a cycle. People move in rhythm, with or without each other. People act in patterns, with or without awareness. There are times when a person may piece together their puzzle just right, and times when the pieces are simply in disarray. These ideas are the foundation of the loop-based music of {ÆnNē}.

6:40 p.m. – Live Punch and Judy Puppet Show
Austin Phillips, Emery Lobby (with other performances around campus throughout the day)
Come see a 350 year old British traditional puppet show performed for the first time at UMF. Show consists of several short, fast-paced entertaining skits using a variety of hand carved, wooden puppets. The show explores the relationships between “Mr. Punch” and several other characters through the usage of slapstick comedy. A truly unique opportunity to see years and years of traditional puppetry mixed with a contemporary feel. Show runs approximately 15-20 minutes.

7 p.m. – Dealing With Loss
Victoria MacDonald, Emery Performance Space
This performance consists of four monologues dealing with the loss of a loved one. Three of the monologues where written by Kellie Powell and the fourth is by Samuel French.

7:30 p.m. – Vocal Space
Debbra Parent – Merrill Stairwell

8 p.m. – Restless Superbum
Jon Osborne, Emery Performance Space
A semi-live, multi-media performance that combines musical styles new and old in an attempt to explore sound and composition in the digital age.

8:30 p.m. – Silent Wolf
Nathan Sylvester –
Emery Performance Space
This short film follows the adversity of life in a Dystopia as our hero, a woman branded as an enemy of the state, struggles against her oppressors, putting into question the human condition.

8:50 p.m. – Vocal Space
Debbra Parent – Merrill Nordica Stage

Wednesday, April 29

4 – 4:45 p.m. – Farmington SOUP
Emery Performance Space
The Power Up: Social Cooperation for Change’ CoLab presents the outcomes of Farmington SOUP, a micro-granting dinner for creative projects in the greater Farmington community that they organized this semester.

5-6 p.m. – Identity Theft: Penobscot Nation
Stephanie Schulman – Emery Performance Space
This is a social, political and environmental campaign compiled of print work designed to spread awareness about the issue concerning the Penobscot River Case. The Penobscot Nation has been involved in a three-year legal battle over the interpretation of the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act signed in 1980. Fighting against the Attorney General of Maine and eighteen supporting towns and industries, the nation has years and thousands of dollars defending their sacred territory.

6:30 to 7 p.m. – Vocal Space
Debbra Parent – Merrill Machine Room in basement

7:30-8:30 p.m. – Thom Pain
Austin Hayes – Emery Performance Space
One man’s performance is another man’s confessional. Thom Pain will spend the evening delving into the themes of fear, hate, love, childhood, etc., as he leads you deeper into the rabbit hole of the human experience.

April 28th and April 29th
A Collaborative Exhibition – Emery Flex Space –
Through both days UMF students in several art courses will have their work on display. Exhibit includes inflatable sculptures and an ad hoc ensemble of DIY, computer generated, idiosyncratic sound instrumentation.

All spring arts celebration events are sponsored by the UMF Department of Sound, Performance and Visual Inquiry and the Emery Community Arts Center.

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Media Contact: Gustavo Aguilar, UMF assistant professor of art gustavo.aguilar@maine.edu

 

 

UMF Professor Jennifer Reid Named Prestigious Guggenheim Fellow

FARMINGTON, ME (April 21, 2015)—Jennifer Reid, University of Maine at Farmington professor of religion, has been selected as a 2015 Guggenheim Fellow by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.  This prestigious distinction is a lifetime appointment that recognizes mid-career scholars on the basis of Impressive achievement in the past and exceptional promise for future accomplishments, according to Edward Hirsch, president of the Foundation.Jennifer Reid, UMF Professor of Religion

A widely-respected academic and member of the UMF faculty since 1995, Reid was named to the 2015 Guggenheim class of fellows based on her project “Re-Thinking Religion Indigenous Land Rights in a Secular Age.”

“I am so thrilled at this unexpected honor,” said Reid. “Throughout the process I was happy just to know I was being considered. It’s a wonderful feeling when you see your life’s work being recognized by such a distinguished institution.”

According to her research, indigenous peoples the world over are engaged in struggles for legal recognition of land claims. These have had limited success in the courts as the courts generally refuse to recognize indigenous religious values as comparable to secular property rights. The task of intellectually clarifying indigenous land rights before the courts has fallen to anthropologists and historians due in part to a general social reluctance to bring religion to bear on secular law.

For a number of years, Reid has been studying the legal foundations of property-based law in ex-British colonies that have repudiated other longstanding (and generally religious) indigenous claims. During the course of her fellowship, she will be speaking with indigenous lawyers and land rights activists in the United States, Canada, and Australia to establish a clearer picture of how religion scholars can have a more vital public voice in the legal adjudication of indigenous land claims.

“Jennifer is an outstanding scholar and highly regarded, long-time faculty member who brings a wonderful compassion and intellectual prowess to UMF, “said Kathryn A. Foster, UMF president. “We couldn’t be prouder to have her important work recognized by this premier fellowship program.”

Reid has previously received a Maine Humanities Council / National Endowment for the Arts grant. She is currently a researcher with the Niwano Peace Foundation’s New Archê & World Peace Project, Tokyo.

The Foundation receives between 3,500 and 4,000 applications each year, with approximately 200 Fellowships being awarded. Applicant’s proposals go through a rigorous selection process where they are critiqued and ranked by experts in the field. Recommendations are then forwarded to a Committee of Selection that sends its recommendations to the Board of Trustees for final approval.

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: Jennifer Reid, UMF Professor of Religion, jreid@maine.edu or 207-778-7409

EDITOR’S NOTE: Photo can be found at http://inside.umf.maine.edu/files/2015/04/RP145-050.jpg

Photo Credit: UMF photo

UMF Visiting Writers Series Features American Poet Beth Ann Fennelly, April 23

FARMINGTON, ME (April 16, 2015)—The University of Maine at Farmington presents award-winning author Beth Ann Fennelly as the next and final reader of its 2014-15 Visiting Writers Series. The reading, sponsored by the UMF Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program, will take place at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, April 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.

Beth Ann FennellyAn American poet and prose writer, Fennelly has published three books of poetry, including “Open House,” “Tender Hooks” and “Unmentionables.” She has also written the nonfiction “Great with Child” and co-authored the novel “The Tilted World” with her husband, Tom Franklin.

Her work has won a Pushcart Prize and three times been included in “The Best American Poetry” series.
She is also the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Award, a Mississippi Arts Commission Grant and a United States Artist Grant among others.

Fennelly directs the Master of Fine Arts Program at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, where she was named Outstanding Teacher of the Year.

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/2015/04/RP145-051.jpg

Photo Credit: Submitted photo

UMF Students Named to Prestigious Michael D. Wilson Undergraduate Research Program

FARMINGTON, ME (April 15, 2015)—Twenty-one University of Maine at Farmington students have been named Michael D. Wilson Scholars and Fellows for the 2014-15 academic year. This prestigious undergraduate research program provides funding and faculty mentorship to top UMF student scholars as they pursue the highest level of undergraduate research investigation.

“Year after year, the Wilson Program supports top-notch students as they work with expert faculty to hone their research skills on topics they are passionate about,” said Kathryn A. Foster, UMF president. “This undergraduate exploration broadens and deepens their knowledge and creates a wonderful synergy for a whole host of experiential learning opportunities that are happening every day at UMF.”

The UMF Wilson Program names student awardees twice-a-year including single-semester scholars and year-long fellows. They are supported at every stage of their research by faculty mentors who work one-on-one with their students—providing sponsorship, guidance with proposal development and research methodology, and continuing assistance with pre-professional and post graduate opportunities.

This year’s Wilson Scholars and Fellows are producing plays; publishing original written works; and investigating a wide-array of topics including petrography and geochemistry, algorithmic game theory, people’s perceptions of online comments and the progression of multiplication in K-12 curricula. These students will present the results of their original research at the annual Michael D. Wilson Symposium, a free and open-to-the-public, University-wide spring showcase of UMF student research and creative achievements.

UMF’s 2014-15 Wilson Fellows are: Tyler Belanger of South China, Christopher Roberts of Arundel, Joshua Wynne of Saco and Hannah Lust of Bangor.

UMF’s 2014-15 Wilson Scholars are: Darrian Church of Farmington, Kimberly Clark of Farmington, Curtis Cole of Winthrop, Austin Hayes of Gorham, William Jennings of Farmington, Nicholas Lacasse of Farmington, Nathaniel Libby of Lincoln, Shannon McCaffrey of  Kingfield, Tyler Michaud of Madison, Kelsey O’Connor of Carnation, Wash., Sam Oppenheim of Acton, Mass., Katelynn Orcutt of Farmington, Donald Osthoff of Stockton Springs, Kellie Sanborn of Gray, Philip Smith of Farmington, Alexander Stevens of East Winthrop and Kiera Timme of Farmington.

The Wilson program provides funding to help underwrite student project expenses. It was established by Michael and Susan Angelides, of Columbia, Conn., in honor of their good friend and UMF alumnus Michael D. Wilson, class of 1976.

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 First-Year Students Awarded Project Canopy Grant to Increase Campus Sustainability

UMF First-Year Students Awarded Project Canopy Grant to Increase Campus Sustainability

FARMINGTON, ME (April 9, 2015)—Sixteen students in University of Maine at Farmington’s first-year seminar course, “Sustainability in a Changing Climate,” are making a real-world difference in their local community with a $7300 Project Canopy grant they recently received from the Maine Forest Service and GrowSmart Maine. The grant will directly impact UMF and the surrounding area with the planting of about 20 full-size, trees and shrubs encompassing 11 species native to Maine on the Farmington campus next fall.

UMF students awarded Project Canopy grantProject Canopy is Maine’s urban and community forestry program.  Its mission is to create and maintain healthy urban and community forests for the economic, ecological and quality of life benefits for Mainers.

The idea of submitting a Project Canopy grant proposal was embraced by the students as a class project early in the 2014 fall semester. UMF’s first-year seminar courses are designed around a topic beyond the classroom that helps orient first-year students to college-level academics.

Recent construction of the Emery Community Arts Center and installation of heat wells for UMF’s Preble and Ricker Halls led to the removal of a number of large trees on campus that reduced its carbon storage capacity. Students saw the grant as a chance to increase the biomass on campus by planting new trees while also stimulating public awareness of the benefits of the role of forests in the community.

Andrea Nurse, UMF faculty member teaching the seminar course, divided the class into separate groups with each group working on a section of the grant proposal, including completing an application form, narrative, three-year maintenance plan, project-map and collecting letters of support.

Students spent much of the fall semester building the grant “from the ground up,” concentrating their research efforts on carbon storage, erosion, tree selection and the importance of mature trees to the environment and aesthetics of the community.

“These students not only did a tremendous amount of research, but learned how to apply that research and write about it in a concise way that got the attention of the Project Canopy program,” said Nurse.

Jeffrey McKay, UMF director of facilities management, and Patty Cormier, Maine state forester for the region, visited the class several times during the process to help students with the technical aspects of the grant and to answer any questions.

“The grant process was in-depth, but pretty straight forward,” said Timothy Pacini, a first-year environmental science major from Methuen, Massachusetts. “It was well-organized and Mrs. Nurse kept us on task while helping us to accomplish much of it on our own.”

According to Ted Wallace, secondary education major from Derry, N.H., this was just about everyone’s first experience with researching or writing a grant proposal. Mickayla Wiley, an early childhood education major from Buckfield, said everyone saw it as just a class project at first until the pieces started coming together.

“That’s when we started thinking we actually had a chance to be successful and make a difference in Farmington for years to come,” said Wiley. “Our trees could still be on campus 100 years from now. That’s exciting to think about.”

According to the Project Canopy grant criteria, a matching monetary amount will be provided by the University as in-kind services to establish and maintain the new plantings.

The Project Canopy program was made possible through a grant from the Maine Forest Service and the USDA Forest Service.

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: Andrea Nurse, UMF lecturer, andrea.nurse@maine.edu, or 207-778-7361

EDITOR’S NOTE: Photo can be found at http://inside.umf.maine.edu/files/2015/04/RP145-047.jpg

Photo Credit: UMF photo

Photo Caption: Sixteen UMF students in Andrea Nurse’s “Sustainability in a Changing Climate” first-year seminar course received a Project Canopy grant to maintain healthy biomass on campus. (Left to right) back row: Taylor Lockhart, Gardiner; Timothy Pacini, Methuen, Mass.; Ted Wallace, Derry, N.H. and Jeffrey McKay, UMF director of facilities management. Front row: Andrea Nurse, UMF lecturer and Mickayla Wiley, Buckfield.

UMF Launches First-of-its-Kind in Maine Program to Raise Pre K-8 Math Proficiency

FARMINGTON, ME (April 6, 2015)—As a leader in teacher education, the University of Maine at Farmington is launching a first-of-its-kind in Maine mathematics coaching graduate program that will help educators raise the math proficiency of their students and better prepare them for higher level career and college mathematics demands.

Developed in partnership with school districts and the Maine Department of Education, UMF’s Maine Mathematics Coaching Project will prepare Pre-K through eighth-grade teachers to become math coaches in their school districts and provide them with the kind of ongoing professional development and support that they need to make an effective difference.

According to the 2014 Educate Maine report, Maine students’ math scores are lagging behind those of students in other New England states at both the fourth and eighth grade proficiency levels. This new program will seek to improve teaching and learning in mathematics in Maine classrooms and to increase the interest and engagement in math for both students and teachers.

“By giving today’s math coaches what they need to be successful, we’re better preparing our students to learn the math skills they’ll need for the STEM jobs of the future,” said Shannon Larsen, UMF assistant professor of elementary mathematics education.

Beginning in spring 2015, school districts throughout Maine will be able to nominate teachers for enrollment in the new, two-year program.  Once accepted into the program, teachers will attend two, two-and three-day summer institutes and complete three graduate courses over two consecutive years, starting this June.

To ensure these new math coaching skills are then effectively implemented, a designated UMF faculty member will visit the teachers’ school district to personally conduct four training sessions during each of the two program years. These visits will help support teachers transitioning to the role of elementary mathematics coach and assist educators in implementing strong mathematics teaching strategies.

“Teachers serving as math coaches often are no longer teaching in a regular class and do not have a  coordinated network of support,” said Sandra MacArthur, UMF director of educational outreach. “This program was created to prepare them with the best research-based practices, to connect them with what individual teachers are working on in the classroom and to help put those practices into action.”

For more information on the Maine Mathematics Coaching Project, visit the UMF website at:
http://www2.umf.maine.edu/gradstudies/maine-mathematics-coaching-project/

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:

Sandra MacArthur, UMF director of educational outreach, at sandra.macarthur@maine.edu, or 207-778-7186

Shannon Larsen, UMF assistant professor of elementary mathematics education, at shannon.larsen@maine.edu, or 207-778-7167