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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

 

University of Maine at Farmington Presents Reading by Performance Poet Sean Thomas Dougherty, Feb. 16

Sean Thomas DoughertyFARMINGTON, ME (February 6, 2012)—The UMF Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program welcomes nationally-renowned performance poet Sean Thomas Dougherty as the next author in its 2011-12 Visiting Writers Series. Dougherty will read from his work at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012, 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.

Dougherty is the author or editor of 12 books of poetry and mixed-genre writing that bring his working class life experiences to life. His works include “Except by Falling” (Pinyon Press 2000), winner of the Pinyon Press Poetry Prize; “Sasha Sings the Laundry on the Line” (BOA Editions 2010), a finalist for Binghamton University’s literary prize for the “best book by a poet over 40”; and his forthcoming “All I Ask For Is Longing: New and Selected Poems 1994-2014.”

Dougherty’s work has been nominated nine times for the Pushcart prize. He has also received two Pennsylvania Council for the Arts Fellowships in Poetry and a Fulbright Lectureship to the Balkans.

Dougherty is currently serving as a part-time creative writing professor at Cleveland State University.

This event is sponsored by the UMF Writers Guild.

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: Pat O’Donnell, UMF associate professor of creative writing, at 207-778-7419, or podonnel@maine.edu.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Photo can be found at http://inside.umf.maine.edu/files/2012/02/RP112-041.jpg

Photo Credit: Submitted photo

Libra Professor and Abenaki Scholar Lisa Brooks Collaborates with UMF Faculty on Native American “Living Language” Series at University of Maine at Farmington

Lisa BrooksFARMINGTON, ME (February 3, 2012)—University of Maine at Farmington visiting Libra Professor and Abenaki scholar, Lisa Brooks, is collaborating with UMF faculty to present “Living Language,” a semester-long series focused on language exchange.  The series will include several events focused on Native American language and culture indigenous to Maine and New England. The events are open to the public and will run from February through April 2012. All events are free unless otherwise noted.

The series begins with a reading by Cheryl Savageau—Abenaki poet, visiting writer, storyteller and textile artist—at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 7, in The Landing, UMF Olsen Student Center. Savageau is the author of three poetry collections, “Mother/Land” (Salt Publishing 2006); “Dirt Road Home” (Curbstone Press 1995), which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize; and “Home Country,” published by Alice James Books in 1992.

Next in the series, Brooks will conduct a conversation with Maria Girouard, former director of Penobscot Nation Cultural and Historic Preservation, and Donald Soctomah, tribal historic preservation officer of the Passamaquoddy Tribe, on “Wabanaki Culture and History: Maine’s Commitment to Native American Studies.” This presentation will address Maine’s commitment to Native American studies and its national obligation to better understand Native culture and history. It will take place at 4 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 28, in The Landing, UMF Olsen Student Center.

The final February event will be a workshop from the Maine Learning and Technology Initiative entitled: “Supporting Language Acquisition through MacBook and NetBook Applications.” It will take place from 11:45 a.m.–1 p.m., on Wednesday, Feb. 29, in Room 113, UMF Education Center.

Brooks is teaching at UMF for the spring semester thanks to the Libra Scholar initiative, an endowed program established in 1989, designed to bring scholars of national and international prominence to campuses throughout the University of Maine System.

“The fund for the Libra Professorship enables us to bring to UMF a scholar, writer, or performer who is at the top of his or her field,” said Michael Johnson, UMF associate professor of American literature. “What’s particularly great about Dr. Brooks is not only is she a nationally-known scholar of Native American literature, but she’s also focusing her research on our area, western Maine and northern New England.”

The John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University, Brooks is an Abenaki scholar specializing in Native American literature and history, with a particular interest in Maine and New England. Her book, “The Common Pot: The Recovery of Native Space in the Northeast” (University of Minnesota Press, 2008), is a groundbreaking study of the way early Native American leaders in what is now New England adopted writing as a tool for reclaiming land rights from English colonists.

Additionally, she is the co-editor of and contributing author to “Reasoning Together: The Native Critics Collective” (2008). In 2009, Brooks was elected to the inaugural Council of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association, an international academic association. She also serves on the editorial board of the journal Studies In American Indian Literatures and on the advisory board of Gedakina—a non-profit organization focused on indigenous cultural revitalization, educational outreach, and community wellness in northern New England.

Brooks received her Ph.D. from Cornell University.

Additional “Living Language” events will include:

“Environmental Justice and the Penobscot River”
presented by Barry Dana, Penobscot leader and educator
11:45 a.m., March 14, Emery Community Arts Center

“Homeland: Four Portraits of Native Action”
Film screening and Q & A about the impact of environmental policy on the Native American way of life and discussion with Barry Dana, Penobscot leader and educator
7 p.m., March 14, Lincoln Auditorium, UMF Roberts Learning Center

“Language, Culture, and the Changing Face of Maine”
Margie MacDonald and Shelly Chasse-Johndro of Project Opportunity, UMO
11:45 a.m., March 19, Lincoln Auditorium, UMF Roberts Learning Center

“Anthropoeta, An Evening of Poetry and Improvised Music”
Renato Rosaldo and Cristian Amigo with Gustavo Aguilar
April date, time and location TBA

“Living Languages: Language Keepers—an Evening of Native Stories and Language”
Featuring Roger Paul, Passamaquoddy/Maliseet Language Keeper and Educator, Jesse Bruchac, Abenaki Language Keeper and Author, and another guest, to be confirmed, from the Wabanaki tribes of Maine

7 p.m., April 10, Emery Community Arts Center

“Joseph Bruchac, Abenaki Storyteller and Writer”
7 p.m., April 11, Emery Community Arts Center

“Telling Room Students: A Window into the Young Writers and Leaders Program”
Screening of works by students who are members of the YWL program, an afterschool program for recent immigrant and refugee students
3 p.m., April 17, Education Center, Rm TBA

“Language Loss and Revival and the Work of Language Keepers”
A discussion with Julia Schulz and Ben Levine
11:45 a.m., April 18, Emery Community Arts Center

“Language of America”
A film by Ben Levine
7 p.m., April 18, Lincoln Auditorium, UMF Roberts Learning Center

“The Language of Dance: Acholi Dancers of Portland Maine”
April date, time, location and cost TBA

The “Living Language” series is sponsored by the UMF Provost’s Office, UMF Diversity Committee, UMS Diversity Committee, Libra Scholar Program, University Culture Committee, Mantor Library, University of Maine Project Opportunity, State of Maine Learning Technology Initiative, and the UMF Multicultural Club. Funding has also been received for the series by Gedakina, a non-profit group aimed at strengthening and revitalizing the cultural knowledge and identity of Native American youth and families from across New England.

For the latest information on events, please visit: http://teachereducation.umf.maine.edu/diversity-conference/diversityevents/living-language-series/

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Media Contacts: Michael Johnson, UMF associate professor of American literature, at 207-778-7424, or michael.johnson@maine.edu; or Lisa Brooks, UMF visiting libra scholar, at lisa.brooks@maine.edu

EDITOR’S NOTE: Photo can be found at http://inside.umf.maine.edu/files/2012/02/RP112-040.jpg

Photo Credit: Submitted photo

Photo Caption: Lisa Brooks, Abenaki Scholar and visiting UMF Libra Professor

University of Maine at Farmington Offers Early Childhood Education Bachelor’s Degree Program at New Site on Southern Maine Community College Campus

FARMINGTON, ME (February 1, 2012)—University of Maine at Farmington announces that it will begin offering classes at Southern Maine Community College in UMF’s Early Childhood Education Off-Campus Bachelor’s Degree Program in fall 2012. This additional site is being introduced to make it easier for educators to complete a four-year degree in early childhood education while continuing to live and work in southern Maine.

“This program was created in partnership with Southern Maine Community College to help improve early childhood educators’ access to continuing education,” said Katherine Yardley, UMF associate provost and dean of education. “We’re looking forward to being able to provide working professionals with a practical pathway to a bachelor’s degree that works best for their life situation.”

According to Yardley, all courses in the UMF off-campus bachelor’s degree program will be taught by full-time UMF faculty members. Courses will be offered using several delivery methods including a blend of distance learning and traditional classroom settings and will be taught at times that best meet the needs of educators, including evenings and weekends (Friday evenings and Saturdays.)

An associate’s degree in early childhood education or an equivalent, such as human services, arts and science with an early childhood concentration or child development is required for admission into the program. However, UMF staff members are available to review student transcripts to determine if they meet eligibility requirements.

Applications are available through the UMF Admission Office and can be obtained by contacting Chris Yardley, UMF admission counselor at 207-778-7065, or yardley@maine.edu, or online at http://umf.maine.edu/cohort/.

Upcoming information sessions will be held from 6:30-7:30 p.m., on Feb. 6 and 15, on the Southern Maine Community College campus at the Early Childhood Education Center, 36 Broadway, South Portland.

For more information contact Carolyn Drugge, UMF coordinator and advisor of the Early Childhood Cohort Program, at 207-778-7274, or carolyn.drugge@maine.edu.

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Media Contact; Carolyn Drugge, UMF coordinator and advisor of the Early Childhood Cohort Program, at 207-778-7274, or carolyn.drugge@maine.edu

UMF Invites Public to Celebrate Kalikow Legacy with Contemplative Events, Feb. 8-11

Bhavani Lorraine NelsonFARMINGTON, ME (January 26, 2012)—In celebration of Theodora J. Kalikow’s visionary leadership during her 18-year tenure as UMF President, the University of Maine at Farmington is proud to present the experiential workshops in meditation and mindfulness of Bhavani Lorraine Nelson, a professional-level Kripalu Yoga teacher. These events are free and open to the public and will be presented Feb. 8-11, at various campus and community venues.

“Through the years, UMF and Farmington have worked hand in hand to create a unique place for students and community members to live, grow and prosper,” said Kalikow. “This wonderful series of events will be a joyful celebration of song that will provide a way for everyone to connect and celebrate everything we’ve accomplished together.”

A Yoga teacher who has practiced and taught meditation for more than 40 years, Bhavani leads workshops in meditation, mindfulness, stress reduction, and her primary work, the power of the voice.  According to Tresca Weinstein, editor of the Yoga Bulletin of the Kripalu Yoga Teachers, “With wisdom, humor, crystal clarity, and down-to-earth, detailed directions, Bhavani Lorraine Nelson makes meditation not only possible, but also understandable, approachable, and inspiring.”

Affiliated with Kripalu since 1988, Bhavani has taught across the United States, Canada, Japan, and Iceland. She has several albums of singing, chanting, and sounding experiences in addition to her Meditation Made Possible CD series.

Experiential Workshops in Meditation and Mindfulness by Bhavani Lorraine Nelson:

Wednesday, Feb. 8

CHANTING WORKSHOP
11:45 a.m.-1 p.m. Lobby, UMF Education Center

Bhavani, accompanied on the harmonium, presents the joyful practice of Sanskrit chanting.
Bhavani conducting chanting workshop
SOUNDPLAY
7-8:30 p.m. Office of Christie James, Western Maine Osteopathic Healthcare, 225 Main St., Farmington
This is the foundational workshop for all of Bhavani’s work with sounding. In it she teaches how everyone is made of sound and prepares participants for singing, chanting or speaking with fun, easy exercises to open the body and release the voice. To register, please call 778-7242. Spaces are limited.

Thursday, Feb. 9

KIRTAN
7:30-9 p.m. Performance Space, Emery Community Arts Center

Prepare for a joyful evening as Bhavani presents the enchantment of Sanskrit chanting with drum accompaniment. Reception to follow. In case of inclement weather, the snow date for the Kirtan is 7:30-9 p.m., Friday, Feb. 10.

Friday, Feb. 10

MEDITATION MADE POSSIBLE
12 -1 p.m., The Landing, UMF Olsen Student Center
In this workshop, Bhavani uses a unique process to help people experience the meditative state.

Saturday, Feb. 11

TRANSFORMING STRESS INSIDE AND OUT
9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. North Dining Hall A, B & C, UMF Olsen Student Center
A relaxing and informative experience, in this session, Bhavani shares a tool-kit of transformative stress-relieving techniques and practices. (12-1:30 p.m. lunch break on your own)

These events are sponsored by the generous gift of an anonymous donor.

Seating will be available at the chanting and meditation workshops. Participants are also invited to bring yoga mats or cushions for their personal convenience. For more information on Bhavani Lorraine Nelson, please visit her website at http://bhavanilorrainenelson.com/.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Photos can be found at:

http://inside.umf.maine.edu/files/2012/01/RP112-036A.jpg

Photo Credit: Submitted photo

Photo Caption: Bhavani Lorraine Nelson

http://inside.umf.maine.edu/files/2012/01/RP112-036B.jpg

Photo Credit: Submitted photo

Photo Caption: Bhavani conducting chanting workshop.

Emery Community Arts Center Presents Interactive Exhibit “WE. . . .are connected,” Feb 6–March 10

FARMINGTON, ME (January 25, 2012)—In celebration of the stories, images, ideas and ways in which we all connect, The Emery Community Arts Center presents “WE. . . . are connected,” an interactive exhibition on the UMF campus. This free and open-to-the-public exhibit is on display in the Emery Flex Space Gallery and throughout the center and runs from Feb. 6-March 10, with an opening reception from 5-7 p.m., Monday, Feb. 6.

Curated by Penny Hood, a local artist and art therapist, “WE. . . . are connected”  brings together the work of over 20 artists, performers, musicians, storytellers,  videographers, writers  and other inspired people.  Their creations, including, hand-made quilts, abstract art, poetry readings, paintings, photography, sculptures, porches, games and web-links all celebrate our shared connections.Poster of We ....are connected Exhibit

“Cyberspace has erased boundaries and brought us all closer together while also limiting our in-person relationships,” said Hood. “With this exhibit, I wanted to create a space where the visitors become the participants and can connect with each other in ways as simple as seeing each other’s images in a mirror, swapping stories in the pass-a-long cupboards, or leaving comments on post-it notes.”

During her career, Hood has been active in the art scene in Western Maine and around the state. She has had one-woman shows at the UMF Art Gallery; and in Waterville; Livermore Falls; and Northampton, Mass. She curated a show entitled “Prayers and Meditations” in Farmington at the Holman House. Her digital “bowl” photography is on permanent display on the Auburn Art Wall, a 700-ft. outdoor exhibit that was installed last fall.

This exhibit is sponsored by the Emery Community Arts Center. Located on the UMF campus, the center is connected to UMF’s Alumni Theater and adjacent to Merrill Hall. The Flex Space Gallery is open from 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Mon-Fri; and 12-6 p.m., Sat & Sun.

More About the Emery Community Arts Center

The Emery Community Arts Center is an innovative, dynamic 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 barn doors that open onto an outdoor performance space 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: Jayne Decker, director of Emery Community Arts Center, at 207-778-7880 or jdecker@maine.edu.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Photo can be found at http://inside.umf.maine.edu/files/2012/01/RP112-038.jpg

Photo Credit: UMF photo

UMF Faculty Member Kristen Case Named Editor of Prestigious Academic Journal on Thoreau

FARMINGTON, ME (January 25, 2012)—Kristen Case, University of Maine at Farmington assistant professor of English, has recently been named editor of the Concord Saunterer, the professional journal of the Thoreau Society—the oldest and largest organization devoted to an American author. During Case’s tenure as editor, the prestigious academic journal will be housed on the UMF campus. This will bring the journal to Maine—an important part of Thoreau’s life and work.

“Kristen Case is an outstanding scholar, and we are all excited that she has been named as editor of the Concord Saunterer,” said Daniel P. Gunn, UMF provost and vice president for academic affairs. “UMF is proud to be the new institutional home of this highly regarded journal.”Kristen Case

One of the most influential and eloquent writers of the 19th century, Henry David Thoreau was born in Concord, Massachusetts and educated at Harvard. His writings reflect his interest in simple living, the study of nature and the political struggles of his day. His book “Walden” is considered a masterpiece of American literature, and Thoreau is seen by many as an inspiration to today’s environmental movement.

Case’s term as editor of the Thoreau journal will begin with the upcoming volume. “This is a great honor, and I am so appreciative to the Thoreau Society for this opportunity,” said Case. “The Concord Saunterer is a unique publication in that it serves both dedicated Thoreau scholars and general readers interested in Thoreau. We publish material ranging from scholarly and technical articles to personal essays and poems. I’m very excited to be part of this wide-ranging and dynamic conversation.”

Case’s scholarly work on Thoreau, originally part of her Ph.D. dissertation, began in 2007 and has since become a major endeavor.  With it, Case has undertaken the transcription and publication of an online edition of Thoreau’s “Kalendar.” This previously unpublished work represents a decade worth of Thoreau’s scientific observations aimed at creating a biological timeline tracking the natural year.

Currently teaching courses in American literature, Case came to UMF in 2010. “I feel incredibly lucky to be working at UMF at this time,” said Case. “UMF is an institution that supports in-depth, interdisciplinary research and understands how important the experience of seeing this type of scholarship up close can be for students. “

Case’s book “American Pragmatism and Poetic Practice: Crosscurrents from Emerson to Susan Howe” (Camden House, 2011) was recently published. Her essays have appeared in The Robert Frost Review, Concord Saunterer and Southwest Review, among others. She previously taught at Lebanon Valley College, S.U.N.Y at Oneonta and Brooklyn College.

She received her Ph.D. in English from The Graduate Center, City University of New York.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Photo can be found at http://inside.umf.maine.edu/files/2012/01/RP112-037.jpg

Photo Credit: UMF photo

Emery Community Arts Center Presents Cheryl Hamilton’s One-Woman Show “Checkered Floors,” Feb. 1

Cheryl HamiltonFARMINGTON, ME (January 19, 2012)—The Emery Community Arts Center on the University of Maine at Farmington campus is bringing Maine writer and performer Cheryl Hamilton and her one-woman show, “Checkered Floors,” to its performance space at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, February 1, 2012. This event is open to the public with requests for donations at the door.

“Checkered Floors” tells the story of a recent college graduate who returns to Maine amid the arrival of 1,500 Somali migrants and the hilarities and horrors of her homecoming as she works to help her new neighbors make homes of their own. Filled with heart and humor, Hamilton’s play is a window into her personal experience of how the Somali migration to Maine changed her life.

Hamilton’s drama workshopped at the Emerging Artist Theater’s “One Woman Standing” festival in New York City and premiered in 2008 at a World Refugee Day celebration in Baltimore. Since then, “Checkered Floors” has been performed at colleges, conferences and community theaters across the country. It made its Maine premier in Portland in 2010 and its hometown premier in Lewiston in 2011.

Hamilton began her career in the refugee field in Maine during the 2002 Somali migration and has dedicated herself to supporting refugee integration. She worked as national coordinator for RefugeeWorks at Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service in Baltimore and the Center for Preventing Hate in Portland. She currently manages communications for the international organization RefugePoint in Boston.

The performance of “Checkered Floors” is sponsored by the Emery Community Arts Center.

Hamilton’s play includes subject matter not appropriate for children. Doors open 30 minutes before all performances.

More About the Emery Community Arts Center

The Emery Community Arts Center is an innovative, dynamic 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 barn 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: Jayne Decker, director of Emery Community Arts Center, at 207-778-7319 or jdecker@maine.edu

EDITOR’S NOTE: Photo can be found at http://inside.umf.maine.edu/files/2012/01/RP112-035.jpg

Photo Credit: Submitted photo

University of Maine at Farmington Recognized by National Research Organization for Commitment to Creating “College Friendly Jobs”

FARMINGTON, ME (January 19, 2012)—University of Maine at Farmington was recently recognized by the Forum for Youth Investment, a national research-based organization, for its bold commitment to expanding on-campus student employment opportunities through the unique UMF Student Work Initiative.

UMF is one of three national universities cited for their promising student employment strategies in the organization’s recent Ready by 21® publication supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation entitled “When Working Works: Employment & Postsecondary Success.” According to the organization’s research findings, “college friendly jobs” like those created by the UMF program promote greater student engagement in learning, improved work skills, better college persistence and an advantage in today’s job market, while also helping students afford college.

One of several on-campus employment opportunities for students, UMF’s Student Work Initiative was launched in 1998 by Theodora J. Kalikow, UMF president, to strengthen and diversify interactions between students and faculty, integrate student jobs with academic majors and student life and improve college persistence.

“On-campus jobs that empower students to be involved with their learning help them stay in school and learn how to be successful with their educational and career goals,” said Kalikow. “Students are challenged and engaged when there is a strong connection between their work and academic interests and these experiences provide a powerful learning tool and help them see their way forward in the world.”

As reported in the Ready by 21® publication, “college friendly jobs” share some common characteristics that appear to support student success in college including: flexible hours (no more than 20 hours per week), “school comes first” environment, opportunities for skill building, hands-on experience, connections to classroom content, career-related learning, professional work environment, consistent and constructive feedback and academic credit.

A UMF junior majoring in international studies that holds a Student Work Initiative position as co-coordinator of the Sustainable Campus Coalition is cited in the Ready by 21® publication. “I came in undecided and my job with the Coalition helped me find my path and prepare for it,” she explained. “It gets me involved in campus life and is very hands-on work.”

UMF Student Work Initiative position proposals are created by faculty or staff and include specific skill development objectives for students, working conditions that will facilitate retention and strategies for individualized supervision. Jobs range from research and service opportunities to working as lab and computer repair technicians.

All UMF students are eligible to apply for Student Work Initiative positions, regardless of financial need. Returning students are required to maintain a 2.75 grade point average. Nearly half of UMF’s 2,000 students are employed on campus between the Student Work Initiative, Federal Work Study and other programs.

The Forum for Youth Investment is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization founded in 1998 by Karen Pittman and Merita Irby, two of the country’s top leaders on youth issues and youth policy. The organization works in partnership with foundations, nonprofits and state and local governments to help strengthen programs and practices that contribute to safe and supportive environments for learning and development. Ready by 21®, its signature initiative, is a set of innovative strategies that helps communities and states improve the odds that all children and youth will be ready for college, work and life.

More on University of Maine at Farmington

A nationally-recognized liberal arts college known for its commitment to student success, UMF provides a challenging yet supportive environment to prepare students for both careers and further study. Located in the heart of Maine’s four-season outdoor recreational region, UMF 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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University of Maine at Farmington Promotes Health and Wellness with New Tobacco-Free Policy

FARMINGTON, ME (January 17, 2012)—The University of Maine at Farmington announces that it is beginning a new chapter in promoting health and wellness at UMF with the introduction of a tobacco-free policy, beginning January 1, 2012.  With this action, UMF joins many other institutions of higher education across the nation in claiming health safety as a number one priority for all community members.

“UMF is committed to promoting a healthy environment for our students, faculty, staff and community,” said Theodora J. Kalikow, UMF president. “This new policy is a positive step in helping to reduce health risks and encouraging healthy lifestyle choices.”

UMF’s new policy is based on the international consensus of medical authorities that smoking, secondhand smoke, and tertiary residue from smoking are harmful to an individual’s health. The tobacco-free policy covers all tobacco products, including, but not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, snuff, chewing tobacco, and non-FDA approved nicotine delivery devices, such as e-cigarettes. It applies to the entire campus, inclusive of the athletic fields and parking lots.

This initiative was born of the committed work of the UMF Tobacco Task Force, a group of faculty, staff, and students, who joined forces in 2005 to help limit the campus community’s exposure to second-hand smoke and began working in earnest on the development of a smoke-free policy for the campus in 2007. Prior to that, UMF smoking policies complied with all Maine laws prohibiting smoking in University buildings and outside in areas of the campus where non-smokers might be exposed to smoke. A smoke-free corridor was created on the UMF campus in 2002, in addition to smoke-free areas, including handicapped entrances and UMF owned vehicles.

To support the UMF community’s transition to the new tobacco-free environment, the University is making smoking-cessation guidance available through the UMF Health Center. For additional assistance, UMF is also making connections available to resources such as the Healthy Community Coalition, Healthy Maine Partnerships (Maine CDC), Partnerships for a Tobacco-Free Maine and the Maine Tobacco Free College Network.

New signage has been posted on the campus in all buildings, reminding employees, students, and visitors of their responsibility to maintain a tobacco-free environment.

The University of Maine campus initiated a similar tobacco-free policy in 2011.

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Media Contact: F. Celeste Branham, UMF vice president for student and community services, at 207-778-7087, or cbranham@maine.edu

UMF Partnership for Civic Advancement Awarded $45,000 Grant by Bangor Savings Bank Foundation

Becky Davis-Allen, Theodora Kalikow and F. Celeste Branham

Left to right- Becky Davis-Allen, vice president and branch manager at Bangor Savings Bank’s Farmington Main Street location, presents check to Theodora J. Kalikow, UMF president, and F. Celeste Branham, UMF vice president of student and community services, to help fund the student internship program, known as the UMF-Bangor Savings Bank Interns, of the new UMF Partnership for Civic Advancement.

FARMINGTON, ME (January 11, 2012)—University of Maine at Farmington was recently awarded a three-year grant totaling $45,000 by the Bangor Savings Bank Foundation to help fund the student internship program of the new UMF Partnership for Civic Advancement. Becky Davis-Allen, vice president and branch manager at Bangor Savings Bank’s Farmington Main Street location, presented the initial check of $15,000 to Theodora J. Kalikow, UMF president, and F. Celeste Branham, UMF vice president of student and community services, at a recent ceremony at 149 Quebec St.—new home for the Partnership on the UMF campus.

“We are thrilled with Bangor Savings Bank’s generosity and enthusiasm for UMF’s innovative new internship program,” said Kalikow. “This is an exciting moment for both the University and Bangor Savings Bank as we find new ways to work together to benefit the community while enhancing student learning with meaningful, hands-on experience in professionally-based work environments.”

The UMF Partnership for Civic Advancement is a new initiative that is being implemented to engage students in meaningful community-based activities. These activities will be designed in collaboration with the western Maine community to address community needs and economic and community development priorities, while also achieving specific learning objectives of the students.

“This significant financial award from the Bangor Savings Bank Foundation will provide the needed scholarship support to permit our brightest, most committed students to work on community development priorities, while they acquire a range of new educational, professional, and leadership skills,” said Branham.

In recognition of Bangor Savings Bank’s support of this initiative and projects throughout the community, interns sponsored through this grant will be known as the UMF-Bangor Savings Bank Interns. The grant from the financial institution will provide stipends to outstanding student interns in the new internship program. Bangor Savings Bank will also sponsor an annual event to recognize the contributions these interns, their faculty mentors and their partnering businesses and organizations have made to the community. Internships are expected to begin in the fall of 2012.

“This grant award from the Bangor Savings Bank Foundation to the University of Maine at Farmington signifies our commitment to improving the quality of life in the communities we serve by supporting programs like the student internship program at UMF,” said Davis-Allen. “Bangor Savings Bank is excited to be working with the University of Maine at Farmington to help connect students with small businesses and community organizations in their community.”

The community-based student internship program, a key component of the Partnership, will match the skills and interests of undergraduate student interns and faculty mentors with the needs of small businesses and community organizations requiring assistance with projects that are critical to their operating and strategic success. Through these internships, students will gain valuable work and life experiences and develop the professional, civic and leadership skills they will need to be productive and successful employees and to be actively engaged and responsible citizens, while small businesses and community organizations will benefit from having access to important resources they need to succeed.

More on University of Maine at Farmington

A nationally-recognized liberal arts college known for its commitment to student success, UMF provides a challenging yet supportive environment to prepare students for both careers and further study. Located in the heart of Maine’s four-season outdoor recreational region, UMF 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

EDITOR’S NOTE: Photo can be found at http://inside.umf.maine.edu/files/2012/01/RP112-032.jpg

Photo Credit: UMF photo

Photo Caption: Left to right- Becky Davis-Allen, vice president and branch manager at Bangor Savings Bank’s Farmington Main Street location, presents check to Theodora J. Kalikow, UMF president, and F. Celeste Branham, UMF vice president of student and community services, to help fund the student internship program, known as the UMF-Bangor Savings Bank Interns, of the new UMF Partnership for Civic Advancement.