April Mulherin
Associate Director of Media Relations
Office: (207) 778-7081
Cell: (207) 491-0064
TDD: (207) 778-7000

Office of Media Relations

UMF Experts List


UMF Community Orchestra Presents Fall Concert, Nov. 19

FARMINGTON, ME (November 15, 2011)—The UMF Community Orchestra, under the direction of Trond Saeverud, performs music from the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twenty-first centuries when it presents its fall concert at 7:30 p.m., on Saturday, November 19, in Nordica Auditorium in UMF Merrill Hall.

The program begins with the world premiere of “Hysteresis,” composed by UMF alumnus and Maine artist Seth Fogg. The piece is a mix of the old and the new, bringing traditional classical composition techniques together with modern electronic music and featuring improvisational percussionist Gustavo Aguilar, UMF assistant professor of experimental performance.

Mezzo-soprano Patricia Caya takes the stage next to sing three great Baroque arias with the orchestra: Bach’s “Können Tränen meiner Wangen,” from the St. Matthew Passion; Händel’s “But who may abide the day of his coming,” from “Messiah;” and Vivaldi’s “Qui sedes ad dexteram patris,” from the “Gloria.” The concert concludes with one of the late nineteenth-century’s most-loved symphonies, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 in E minor.

Mezzo-soprano Caya began her musical studies in Helsinki, Finland, and subsequently moved to Vienna, Austria, where she continued her studies and began her singing career. She has performed leading roles on the opera stage, given numerous solo recitals, and made solo appearances with such organizations as the Vienna Art Orchestra, Delaware Choral Society, Bach Gemeinde, Poulenc Trio, American Repertory Singers, Concert Artists of Baltimore, and the Vienna State Opera. Caya is a past winner of the Montpelier Recital Competition. The Baltimore Sun described her as a singer “with spirit, assurance, and a juicy mezzo.” This will be Caya’s first collaboration with the UMF Community orchestra.

Saeverud, director of the UMF Community Orchestra and instructor of violin, has performed as violin soloist with major orchestras in Europe and in the United States, including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Lincoln Center in New York City. Currently, he is concertmaster of the Bangor Symphony, first violin in the Nor’easter String Quartet, artistic director of the Harald Saeverud Chamber Music Program and founder and conductor of the new Passamaquoddy Bay Symphony Orchestra with musicians from Canada and the United States.

This event is sponsored by the UMF Department of Sound, Performance and Visual Inquiry. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, and free to children and UMF students with a University I.D.

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Media contact: Philip Carlsen, UMF professor of music, at 207-778-7290 or

The UMF Concert Band Presents Fall Concert, Nov. 20

FARMINGTON, ME (November 14, 2011)—The UMF Concert Band, comprised of UMF students, community members and local high school students, will perform its Fall Concert at 3 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 20, 2011, in Nordica Auditorium at University of Maine at Farmington’s Merrill Hall.

Directed by Anita Jerosch, the performance will feature a colorful program of music inspired by literature and visual art. Among the pieces to be played are “The Hobbits,” from Dutch composer Johan De Mej’s “Lord of the Rings Suite;” the Spanish march “Emparito Roca;” excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker;” and selections from Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition.”

Jerosch, a versatile bass trombonist and euphonium player, is a member of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra and directs the Edith Jones Project—a modern, big band jazz group. She has performed with the Portland Symphony Orchestra and Maine State Music Theater and has played for Carol Channing, Rita Moreno, Barry Manilow and The Manhattan Transfer and performed at both inaugural balls for President Clinton.

The concert is sponsored by the UMF Department of Sound, Performance and Visual Inquiry. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, and free to children and UMF students with University ID. For more information, please call 207-778-7072.

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Media contact: Philip Carlsen, UMF professor of music, at 207-778-7290, or

UMF Testing Services Authorized as Only Western Maine Facility to Offer Computer-Based Teacher’s Certification Exams

FARMINGTON, ME (November 14, 2011)—The University of Maine at Farmington Testing Services, a facility offering professional and educational certification and placement tests and proctoring services, has recently received approval to administer the computer-based Praxis Series exams. With this endorsement, UMF becomes the only testing facility in western Maine, and one of only four centers in the state, to offer the computer-based Praxis I and Praxis II exams.

The Praxis Series exams are taken by individuals in the teaching profession as part of the licensing and certification process. Computer-based Praxis exams are offered year-round by appointment as opposed to paper-based tests that are given only on several fixed-dates during the year.

This new service offers pre-service teachers and teachers in the field consistency in test administration, faster scoring and reporting and the convenience of being able to complete their testing at a time most suitable for their schedule. Online registration for the computer-based Praxis exams will be available beginning Monday, Nov. 7, with the first exam offered at UMF on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2011. Anyone interested in this and future exams can register online at

“We’re excited about being able to provide this service for students and teachers throughout the region,” said Ann Lynch, director of Field Services at UMF. “Technology plays an increasingly important role in the preparation of today’s educators. Being able to offer computer-based licensing and certification testing helps streamline the credentials process to make sure educators have the specific skills and knowledge they need to be effective professionals in today’s classrooms.”

UMF Testing Services administers over 350 exams ranging from graduate school placement to professional licensure exams. In addition to the Praxis Series exams, the service also partners with ACT and ISO Quality for professional licensing tests, Accuplacer, Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES), College Level Exam Program (CLEP), College Credit Exam (DSST), Graduate paper-pencil subject tests (GRE), Miller Analogies Test (MAT), Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), proctoring for distance learning exams, and many others.

For more information please contact Susan Ronald, UMF program coordinator at, or 207-778-7666. For a complete listing of services, fees and hours of operation visit the UMF Testing Services website at

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Media Contact: Susan Ronald, UMF program coordinator at, or 207-778-7666

University of Maine at Farmington Vice President F. Celeste Branham Appointed by Governor to Maine Commission for Community Service

FARMINGTON, ME (November 9, 2011)—F. Celeste Branham, University of Maine at Farmington vice president for student and community services, was recently appointed by Governor LePage as a commissioner F. Celeste Branhamrepresenting the Lewiston area to the Maine Commission for Community Service.

The commission builds capacity and sustainability in Maine’s volunteer and service communities and is represented by a bipartisan group of 25 citizens who are appointed for three-year terms and represent every region of the state. Branham has been assigned to the commission’s task force on service learning—a teaching and learning strategy that enriches classroom learning with hands-on experience and meaningful community service.

“I am honored to have been selected to serve on the commission that helps Maine students, from kindergarten to college, connect what they are learning in the classroom with real-world experience,” said Branham. “By teaching students early how their academic lessons relate to real-life application, service learning enriches students’ education, gives them new workplace skills and encourages life-long civic participation.”

Actively involved with the development and management of student services in higher education throughout her 31-year career, Branham is committed to helping students throughout the state add to their experiential learning and work credentials through volunteerism and service to the community.In addition to her appointment with the commission, Branham is leading the development of the new UMF Partnership for Civic Advancement. The Partnership will promote experiential learning opportunities for UMF students through service learning, internships, undergraduate research, leadership training and education, and volunteerism and promote and strengthen regional development.

At UMF, Branham oversees all student services, helping provide students with the best overall learning environment. Previously, she served as Dean of Students at Bates College until 2005 and was a consultant with the New England Association of Small Colleges and Universities Reaccreditation Evaluation Team. Branham also served, by gubernatorial appointment, as chair of the Maine Commission for Women. Her term led to the ratification of an equal rights amendment by the Maine State Legislature and the passage of the first Family Medical Leave Act in the nation.  She is concluding her term as Co-President of the Board of Trustees for the Center for Preventing Hate and has just begun a term as Co-President of the Board of Directors for the Western Maine Community Action agency.

She received her master’s in public administration from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and received certificates in Management Development from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education and in Leadership for the 21st Century at the Harvard University Kennedy School.

Established in 1994 by Executive Order, the Maine Commission for Community Service is the state government partner of the Corporation for National and Community Service—the federal agency that administers AmeriCorps, Senior Corps and Volunteer Generation programs.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Photo can be found at

Photo Credit: UMF photo

University of Maine at Farmington Recognized by U.S. State Department as 2012 Fulbright Scholar ‘Top Producer’

FARMINGTON, ME (November 3, 2011)—University of Maine at Farmington was recently 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. The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to “increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.”

“UMF is thrilled to be recognized as a 2012 ‘top producer’ of Fulbright Scholars,” said Theodora J. Kalikow, UMF president. “We are especially proud of all UMF Fulbright Scholars who not only are awarded the opportunity to teach and learn in the international community but also to serve as ambassadors to the world.”

UMF’s 2012 Fulbright Scholars were selected through the Fulbright Program’s competitive process based on academic merit and leadership potential and include Gretchen Legler, professor of creative writing, and Jeffrey Thomson, associate professor of creative writing.

Legler is one of only two professionals to ever receive a Fulbright Award to Bhutan, a small Buddhist country in the eastern Himalayan Mountains, where she is currently doing research and teaching college writing, creative writing and American literature.

Thomson—named the Fulbright Distinguished Scholar in Creative Writing affiliated with the prestigious Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland—will serve a six-month residency at Queen’s University Belfast, beginning in January 2012. He will teach creative writing, conduct a postgraduate poetry workshop and offer public readings of his published work and work in progress through the Seamus Heaney Centre and Queen’s University School of English. In addition, Thomson will be working on a collection of poems based on his ancestors’ emigration experience.

Faculty members at UMF who were previous Fulbright Scholars include: Linda Beck, associate professor of political science; Eric Brown, associate professor of English and current Fulbright Scholar Program campus representative and Fulbright Student Program adviser; Rod Farmer, professor of social studies education; Rob Lively, associate provost and dean of academic services; and Anne Marie Wolf, assistant professor of history; as well as adjunct faculty Bruce McInnis (Chorus) and Chris Brinegar (Biology). Lively and Marisela Funes, UMF assistant professor of Spanish, serve on the Board of Directors of the Fulbright Association of Maine.

Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided almost 300,000 participants—111,000 from the U.S.—with the opportunity to study, teach, conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The Fulbright Program operates in 155 countries worldwide.

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Media contact: Rob Lively, UMF associate provost and dean of academic services, at 207-778-7431, or

University of Maine at Farmington Visiting Writers Series features New York Times Editor’s Choice award winning author Lily King, Nov. 17

Lily KingFARMINGTON, ME (November 3, 2011)—The University of Maine at Farmington’s Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program is proud to present award-winning author Lily King as the next writer in its 2011-12 Visiting Writers Series. King will read from her work at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011, 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.

King is the author of “The Pleasing Hour” (Atlantic Monthly Press, 1999), “The English Teacher” (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2005), and “Father of the Rain” (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2010) along with other short works. Her first novel, “The Pleasing Hour,” won the Barnes and Noble Award as well as being a New York Times Notable Book and an alternate for the PEN/Hemingway Award. “The English Teacher” was a Publishers Weekly Top Ten Books of the Year, winner of the Maine Fiction Award and a Chicago Tribune Best Book of the Year. Her most recent novel, “Father of the Rain,” was the winner of the New England Book Award for Fiction, New York Times Editors’ Choice, Amazon’s Best Books of the Month for July 2010, An Indie Next List Notable selection for July 2010, O Magazine’s 2010 Summer Reading List and the 2011 Maine Literary Awards Winner, Book Award, Fiction.

In addition, King has received a MacDowell Fellowship and a Whiting Award. Her short pieces have been featured in literary magazines such as Ploughshares and Glimmer Train.

She graduated from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in English Literature, and received her M.A. in Creative Writing from Syracuse University.

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 associate professor of creative writing, at 207-778-7454, or

EDITOR’S NOTE: Photo can be found at

Photo Credit: Submitted photo

University of Maine at Farmington Student Life honored by Maine professional organization

FARMINGTON, ME (November 1, 2011)—University of Maine at Farmington Student Life staff members Peter Osborne and Maya Kasper were recently honored at the Maine Association of Student Affairs Professionals conference held at the University of Southern Maine at Gorham.

Peter Osborne and Maya Kasper

Left to right: Peter Osborne, UMF assistant director of residence life; and Maya Kasper, UMF assistant director for the Center for Student Involvement with awards from Maine Association of Student Affairs Professionals.

UMF assistant director of residence life and current USM graduate student, Osborne received the Richard F. Stevens Outstanding Graduate Student Award for his demonstrated academic achievement, leadership and significant contribution to the UMF campus. A 2009 UMF graduate, Osborne supervises UMF’s Scott Residence Hall, its student community assistants and the educational and social programming they provide. He is also active with the UMF Sustainable Campus Coalition; teaches RAD, a national standard in self-defense and risk-reduction class for women; and advises the UMF chapter of Alpha Lambda Delta, a first-year honor society. In addition to the MASAP award, Osborne received a scholarship to attend the upcoming regional conference of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators in Sturbridge, MA.

Kasper, UMF assistant director for the Center for Student Involvement, received the Program of the Year Award for her contribution to student development and the UMF campus with the design, management and operation of the UMF Weekend Adventures and Excursions Program. This popular UMF program provides a wide variety of weekend travel experiences throughout the northeast to engage students in cultural, educational and social activities. Kasper’s many UMF responsibilities include oversight of the UMF student activities program, student clubs and organizations, student–life publications, and advising of the UMF radio station and Association for Campus Entertainment. With this award, the UMF Weekend Adventures and Excursions Program is eligible to be selected as the Program of the Year for Region I at the upcoming regional NASPA conference.

“We are so proud of Peter and Maya’s accomplishments and this recognition on a state level,” said Kirsten Swan, UMF director of the Center for Student Involvement. “This is a wonderful example of how our Student Life staff and student workers commit themselves on a daily basis to creating challenging and interesting programs that help our students have the richest college residential experience possible.”

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Media contact: Kirsten Swan, UMF director of the Center for Student Involvement, at 207-778-7347, or

EDITOR’S NOTE: Photo can be found at

Photo Credit: UMF photo

Photo Caption:  Left to right: Peter Osborne, UMF assistant director of residence life; and Maya Kasper, UMF assistant director for the Center for Student Involvement with awards from Maine Association of Student Affairs Professionals.

University of Maine at Farmington hosts talk by 2011 Mainebiz Large Company Business Leader of the Year Fletcher Kittredge, Nov. 2

FARMINGTON, ME (October 24, 2011)—University of Maine at Farmington is hosting a presentation by Fletcher Kittredge, entrepreneur, businessman and founder and chief executive officer of GWI, Inc.—a leader in Northern New England’s telecommunication industry. The talk entitled “So What Do You Do with an English Major?” will take place at 11:45 a.m., on Wednesday, Nov. 2, in North Dining Hall in the UMF Olsen Student Center, and is free and open to the public.Fletcher Kittredge

Kittredge was named 2011 Mainebiz Large Company Business Leader of the Year in recognition for the continued rapid growth of GWI and his leadership on broadband expansion in Maine. In his presentation, Kittredge, joined by Colin Haley, his special assistant, will discuss how a liberal arts education provides good preparation for successful careers in this age of globalization. Both Kittredge and Haley will share their personal experiences on how they built on their liberal arts educations as English and history majors to become successful executives at GWI—a technological firm that has been recognized three times by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest growing private companies in America.

A native of Arundel, Kittredge started Biddeford Internet Corporation in 1994, a company that still operates today as GWI. He led the company’s efforts to obtain a $25 million Federal grant to deploy 1,110 miles of high capacity fiber optic in rural Maine as part of the Three Ring Binder project, later transitioning those funds to independent Maine Fiber Company in order to foster competition and lower broadband costs for rural Maine.

A dedicated advocate for broadband growth and network neutrality, Kittredge serves on the ConnectMaine advisory board in addition to his role at GWI. He holds a degree in English from Colby College and a Master of Computer Science from Harvard University.

Haley, special assistant to the CEO and manager of government relations, served as a staff assistant on Senator Olympia Snowe’s re-election campaign in 2006 and was the Southern Maine Coordinator for Peter Mills’ gubernatorial campaign beginning in 2009. He holds a B.A. in History from Hamilton College, in Clinton, N.Y.

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Media contact: Roberto Noya, UMF vice president for enrollment management and marketing, at 207-778-7058, or

Photo can be found at

Photo Credit: Submitted photo

UMF alumni and friends honored at annual Alumni Awards Reception

UMF alumni and friends honored at annual Alumni Awards Reception

Left-right: Ryan Low, UMF vice president for administration, honored Chandler Woodcock, Alison Hagerstrom, Lou Hight and Charlotte Warren at UMF’s annual Alumni Awards Reception

FARMINGTON, ME (October 18, 2011)—Four outstanding University of Maine at Farmington alumni and friends were recently honored for their significant contributions to the University, the community and the state of Maine at the annual UMF Alumni Awards Reception. Presentations were made by Ryan Low, class of 1997 and UMF vice president for administration, in the new Emery Community Arts Center to Charlotte Warren, mayor of Hallowell; Chandler Woodcock, commissioner of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife; Alison Hagerstrom, executive director for Greater Franklin Development Corporation; and Lou Hight, area businessman.

An alumna dedicated to public service, Warren was honored with one of this year’s Alumni Achievement Awards. Established in 1979, the Alumni Achievement Award honors a graduate who has achieved distinction in his/her field, and therefore honor to the University. Warren, class of 1994, is the Mayor of Hallowell and dedicated to the belief that everyone should have a voice—and each voice should be heard. She was elected as mayor in November 2009, after serving as a City Councilor for eight years, including City Council president for two years. She also currently serves as associate director of the Maine Women’s Lobby and the Maine Women’s Policy Center and has worked for more than a decade with TRiO programs to increase the success of students involved with UMF’s Upward Bound program.

Presented with another of this year’s Alumni Achievement Awards, Woodcock, class of 1978, was recognized for the way he has always valued education and service to others. Recently appointed by Governor LePage as commissioner of the Maine Dept. of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, he has also served in the Maine State Senate representing Franklin County. He taught high school for 25 years in Livermore Falls, Mt. Blue and Skowhegan and led the Mt. Blue girls’ varsity basketball team to two Class A State Championships as their coach.

A model of dedication to service to her community and her alma mater, Hagerstrom, class of 1973, was presented with this year’s Florence Hewey Archibald Service Award. For more than 25 years, this award has honored an individual or group for outstanding service to the University’s Alumni Association. Hagerstrom has been a loyal ambassador to UMF since she was asked to serve on the Alumni Council nearly 20 years ago. She is at the forefront of economic growth in western Maine serving as the executive director for the Greater Franklin Development Corporation and co-chair of the UMF Board of Visitors. This is her second award from UMF. In 1991, she received the Alumni Achievement Award.

A helpful contributor to UMF’s strategic directions, Hight was awarded this year’s Friend of UMF Award. Established in 1978, this award shows appreciation to a non-graduate who has provided outstanding support or service to the University and the western Maine region. A notable local businessman at the helm of a family business with more than 100 years of success, Hight is a thoughtful adviser and effective advocate for UMF and active participant on the University’s Board of Visitors. Throughout the past decade, he has offered important perspectives that have helped keep UMF vigorous.

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Media contact: Jennifer Eriksen, director of alumni relations, 207-778-7048, or

EDITOR’S NOTE: Photo can be found at

Photo Credit: UMF photo

University of Maine at Farmington presents fourth annual “Teaching and Working in a Diverse World” conference—Oct. 21

Stephen Wessler

Stephen Wessler, founder and former executive director of the Center for Preventing Hate, will be the keynote speaker at the upcoming “Teaching and Working in a Diverse World” conference at University of Maine at Farmington, Oct. 21.

FARMINGTON, ME (October 11, 2011)—University of Maine at Farmington will take a closer look at social justice and education with its fourth annual “Teaching and Working in a Diverse World” conference. This half-day conference is free and open to the public and will be held from 11:45 a.m.-4 p.m., Friday, Oct. 21, at selected venues on the UMF campus.

This educational forum will begin with a keynote address by Stephen Wessler, founder and former executive director of the Center for Preventing Hate, at 11:45 a.m., in Lincoln Auditorium, UMF Roberts Learning Center. Wessler’s talk, “The Power of Words to Hurt and Heal: Creating Safe and Respectable Schools,” will address the pervasive use of degrading language in schools, its serious impact and skills for responding to and preventing hate in schools.

Following the keynote address, a series of informational sessions, films and discussions will be presented by faculty members and professionals in the field examining topics that show how educators promote equality in the learning environment. Among the topics to be discussed are: “Service Learning: A Method for Including All Students,” “Addressing Social Injustice through Readers Theater,” “Understanding and Preventing Childhood Bullying,” “Speaking Peace in the Classroom” and more.

As an attorney in the Maine Attorney General’s office from 1992 to 1999, Wessler developed and directed the civil rights enforcement effort, creating the Center for the Prevention of Hate Violence in 1999. A member of the faculty at University of Southern Maine, Wessler advocates for the prevention of bias motivated violence and consults on issues affecting school climate across the U.S. and in Europe.

He has been widely recognized for his work on hate crimes and their prevention and has received numerous awards including: the 2008 Androscoggin Chamber of Commerce, Education/Business Partnership Award; the 2003 Dirigo Alliance, Leader for Change Award; and the 2002 Maine Bar Foundation, Howard Dana Award for services provided to Maine’s vulnerable populations. Wessler is a graduate of Harvard College and Boston University School of Law.

The UMF Diversity Conference is sponsored by the UMF Office of the Associate Provost and Dean of Education and the UMF Diversity Committee.

For a list of the conference session descriptions, presenters, times and locations, please visit the conference website at

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Media Contact: Linda Gamble, coordinator for special projects, at 207-778-7177, or

EDITOR’S NOTE: Photo can be found at

Photo Credit: Submitted photo

Photo Caption: Stephen Wessler, founder and former executive director of the Center for Preventing Hate, will be the keynote speaker at the upcoming “Teaching and Working in a Diverse World” conference at University of Maine at Farmington, Oct. 21.