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

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University of Maine at Farmington Senior Receives Prestigious 3-Year NSF Research Fellowship to Study the Role of Biodiversity in Disease Dynamics

Skylar HopkinsFARMINGTON, ME (May 9, 2012)—Soon to graduate from the University of Maine at Farmington, senior Skylar Hopkins from Hudson has received a prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship that will go a long way to support the next stage of her professional studies. Graduating with a dual major in Biology and Geology from UMF, Hopkins has been admitted to a five-year Ph.D. program in biology with a concentration in ecology at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

The highly-competitive NSF Graduate Research Fellowship—created to ensure the vitality and diversity of the U.S. scientific and engineering workforce—will provide Hopkins with three years of support over a five-year period. Each year of support provides a stipend of $30,000 to the Fellow and a cost-of-education allowance of $10,500 to the degree-granting institution.

“We are so proud of Skylar’s success and thrilled that she has been selected to receive this distinguished NSF award,” said Theodora J. Kalikow, UMF president. “Skylar is an outstanding student whose experiential learning on and off campus has well-prepared her for her doctoral work and the next steps in her professional life.”

Hopkins discovered her aptitude for science while taking some of UMF’s unique outside labs in forest ecology, geology and biology. Taught by full-time faculty, these hands-on learning opportunities helped her develop academic and research interests that were then recognized by UMF’s Wilson undergraduate research program. Hopkins was twice-recognized with single-semester Wilson Scholar awards and this year was awarded a full-year Wilson Fellowship for her project investigating the role of invasive species in the transmission of disease.

Beyond her Wilson projects, Hopkins has had further opportunities for undergraduate research outside of UMF in the form of three summer internships. One of these was at the University College Dublin in Ireland involving a paleontology study. Two took place at Virginia Tech exploring how declines in biodiversity affect disease—a topic that she and her internship team will be focusing on for an article to a professional journal.

While at UMF, Hopkins was also active in community service. She was a member of Rotaract—a Rotary-sponsored service club for young men and women—where she was involved with youth leadership activities. She is also a member of Tri-Beta—a college honor and academic society for students in the biological sciences—where she has participated in the Walk for MS and worked with the Linus Project.

In addition to her NSF award, Hopkins has also been awarded Virginia Tech’s Cunningham Doctoral Scholar Award for students with an outstanding academic record and strong academic potential for successful completion of a doctoral degree. Designed to recruit academically well-qualified doctoral students to Virginia Tech, this award provides a competitive assistantship stipend and tuition scholarship.

Hopkins will begin her Ph.D. program in the fall.

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. Rooted in a tradition of teacher preparation, UMF offers top quality programs in the arts and sciences, teacher preparation, and pre-professional studies. 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: Daniel Buckley, UMF professor of biology, at 207-778-8151, or

EDITOR’S NOTE: Photo can be found at

Photo Credit: UMF photo

UMF Creative Writing Seniors Read Their Original Work at Annual Reading, May 9

FARMINGTON, ME (May 1, 2012)—Thirteen graduating seniors in Maine’s only Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program will be reading from their original works in poetry, fiction and non-fiction at University of Maine at Farmington’s Creative Writing Senior Reading. This free and open-to-the-public event will take place at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 9, in The Landing in the UMF Olsen Student Center.

Student readings will draw from his/her portfolio created as a senior capstone project in UMF’s competitive creative writing program. Portfolios are a culmination of each student’s academic career and consist of the student’s best writing while at UMF, an artist statement and a self-assessment of their work.

Seniors that will read from their work include: Richard Coombs of Islesboro; Renate Dubois of Williston, Vt.; Samantha Ellis of Burlington, Mass.; Jillian Fioretto of Hoffman Estates, Ill.; Marcelle Eyenga Hutchins of Farmington; Katherine Johnson of Hollis Center; Brittany Kashar of Uncasville, Conn.; Katherine Mary Nicoll of Farmington; Emily Pottle of Wilton; Darren Smart of Lincoln; Kristen Start of Camden; Elizabeth Walk of North Yarmouth and Martin Wigall of Lawrence, Mass.

Many graduates of the UMF Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program go on to graduate schools across the country or work as published authors, editors, filmmakers, journalists, and educators and in the fields of graphic design and marketing, among others.

This event is sponsored by the UMF Division of Humanities.

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 professor of English, at 207-778-7419, or

UMF Mainely Outdoors Program Offers Second Annual Canoe Race and Fun Paddle, May 5

FARMINGTON, ME (April 27, 2012)–The University of Maine at Farmington Fitness and Recreation Center is offering a Cinco de Mayo canoe/kayak race and fun run paddle on Saturday, May 5, on the Sandy River. Sponsored by the FRC’s “Mainely Outdoors” outdoor recreation program, this canoe/kayak race & fun paddle was created to kick off the spring with a fun opportunity to promote fitness while enjoying the outdoors.Dawn and Brad Kog, from Bowdoin, paddle a section of the Sandy River on their way to winning last year’s open canoe 2-person category in UMF’s annual Canoe Race and Fun Paddle.

“We’re excited to offer this canoe and kayak event again this season,” said Jim Toner, director of the UMF Fitness and Recreation Center. “This is what Mainely Outdoors is all about—providing opportunities for the community to enjoy Maine’s natural resources. Last year’s response was overwhelmingly positive with 35 boaters participating, and we are looking forward to another great time!”

The Cinco de Mayo kayak/canoe race and fun run 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.

Participants 12 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.

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 12-14 must be accompanied by an adult.

For race rules, registration form or more information, visit the UMF Fitness and Recreation website at, 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

EDITOR’S NOTE: You will find photo at

Photo Credit: UMF photo

Dr. Kathryn Foster Named Next UMF President

Foster_photo_thumbDr. Kathryn Foster, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C., will become the next president of the University Maine at Farmington, according to a recent story in the Washington Post. Foster is replacing Theodora J. Kalikow, the longest-serving UMF president since the school became a four-year college in 1945. University of Maine System trustees recently approved the appointments of new presidents at the University of Maine at Farmington and the University of Maine at Presque Isle. Foster will start at UMF on July 1.

Washington Post
Portland Press Herald
Morning Sentinel
Sun Journal
Kennebec Journal
Bangor Daily News

President Kalikow Shares “Last Lecture” With Full House

RP112-004UMF faculty members, staff, students and community members filled the University’s Lincoln Auditorium to hear UMF President Theodora J. Kalikow’s reflections on her time at UMF and the possibilities for education in the future.  According to the Morning Sentinel, the audience  gave Kalikow a standing ovation as she shared her thoughts on UMF’s humble beginnings and the importance of public access to higher education. Soon to retire as the longest-serving UMF president since the school became a four-year college in 1945; Kalikow was inspired to give her talk by “The Last Lecture,” a book written by Randy Pausch, a Carnegie Mellon University professor who was diagnosed with cancer.  Her lecture served as a prelude to this year’s UMF Symposium Day to be held on April 25, a daylong celebration of student achievement originally initiated by Kalikow in 1999.

Text for “Theo’s Last Lecture”

Morning Sentinel
Daily Bulldog

University of Maine at Farmington Hosts International Conference on “Shakespeare in Performance,” May 4-5

FARMINGTON, ME (April 24, 2012)—An international conference on “Shakespeare in Performance” will be hosted by the University of Maine at Farmington in cooperation with the international faculty of the Université du Maine in Le Mans, France, on May 4-5. The conference is free and open-to-the-public and features presentations by scholars and experts in the field from UMF, Université du Maine and colleges and universities around the U.S.  Events will take place in the Performance Space in the Emery Community Arts Center and other venues on the UMF campus.

The two-day conference was designed to make the study of Shakespeare more accessible to the general public. Co-organized by Eric Brown, UMF associate professor of English, and Estelle Rivier, from the Université du Maine, the conference includes both traditional and state-of-the-art presentations and workshops on a variety of works by the English poet and playwright.

“Shakespeare’s stories and characters have always led a double-life on the page and the stage,” said Brown. “This conference is an exploration of how those energies crisscross, and how such exchanges inform not only the teaching of Shakespeare but our understanding of his works in an increasingly global context.”

Included in the two-day conference are presentations on Faulkner’s Retelling of Macbeth, Shakespeare in Hungary, Composing “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Traces of Shakespeare’s Tragedies in Africa and more.  For the entire conference schedule, including times and locations, please view the conference program at:

In addition to the international conference, a free and open-to-the-public roundtable discussion on Shakespeare and performance in the classroom will be held at 11:45 a.m., on May 2, in the Performance Space in the Emery Community Arts Center on the UMF campus.

“Shakespeare in Performance” is sponsored by the UMF Culture Committee, Office of the Provost, Office of the Associate Provost, UMF Division of Humanities, UMF Division of Inclusive Secondary and Health Education and the Maine Humanities Council.

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Media Contact: Eric Brown, UMF associate professor of English, at 207-778-7457, or

University of Maine at Farmington Announces Maine Poet Laureate Wesley McNair as 2012 Commencement Speaker

FARMINGTON, ME (April 23, 2012)—Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate and University of Maine at Farmington professor emeritus and writer in residence, will deliver the commencement address at UMF’s Commencement ceremonies celebrated at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, May 12, at an outdoor ceremony on the UMF campus.Wes McNair

Regarded by U.S. Poet Laureate Philip Levine as, “one of the great storytellers of contemporary poetry,” McNair was appointed by Maine Governor Paul LePage to a five-year term as Maine Poet Laureate in 2011. The author of nine volumes of poems, including “Lovers of the Lost: New and Selected Poems,” he has held grants from the Fulbright and Guggenheim foundations, two Rockefeller Fellowships, two grants in creative writing from the National Endowment for the Arts and an Emmy Award.

McNair has been invited twice to read his poetry by the Library of Congress, served as a guest editor in poetry for the 2010 Pushcart Prize anthology and has served four times on the nominating jury for the Pulitzer Prize in poetry. In 2006, he was selected for a United States Artists Fellowship as one of “America’s finest living artists.” The recipient of numerous prizes for his poetry, McNair’s many honors include the Robert Frost Prize, the Theodore Roethke Prize, the Jane Kenyon Award for Outstanding Book, the Sarah Josepha Hale Medal for “distinguished contribution to the world of letters” and three honorary degrees.

At UMF, he directed the creative writing program and shared his love of poetry with his students, colleagues and the wider community. In addition, he was instrumental in inviting Alice James Books, an award-winning poetry press, to take up residence at UMF. McNair was the recipient of both the UMF Distinguished Faculty Award and the Libra Professorship and currently serves as a guest faculty member for UMF’s Longfellow Mountains Young Writers summer workshop

The University will award honorary degrees of Doctor of Humane Letters to McNair and Seth Wescott, American snowboarder and Olympic gold medalist. Wescott, a U.S. Snowboarding Team veteran who was raised in Farmington and currently resides in Sugarloaf helped to develop interest in the sport of Snowboard cross in the U.S. and on an international level.  He was instrumental in having it included in the 2006 Winter Olympics and currently holds the only two Snowboardcross Olympic gold medals ever awarded.

Merissa “Moe” Beaulieu, graduating senior from Monmouth, will give the student address. At UMF she majored in secondary education with a concentration in English. During her four years in Farmington she was employed in the Admission office, was a varsity golfer and studied abroad in Krakow, Poland. She will be going back to Poland this summer to volunteer with youth groups at the Auschwitz Concentration Camp Education Center. When she returns, she looks forward to student teaching and working toward her ultimate life goal—being the first UMF grad to summit Mount Everest.

Theodora J. Kalikow, UMF president, and Daniel P. Gunn, vice president for academic affairs, will confer degrees to this year’s graduates. Marjorie Murray Medd, 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. However, 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. Guests of graduates are also welcome to watch the ceremony live over closed-circuit television in classrooms in the UMF Education Center and in Lincoln Auditorium and C23, located in the UMF Roberts Learning Center. The UMF Commencement ceremony will be broadcast live on Mount Blue TV community access Channel 11, 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: Photo can be found at

Photo Credit: Submitted photo

UMF Community Chorus Takes Listeners on a Journey to Broadway, April 29

FARMINGTON, ME (April 20, 2012)—The UMF Community Chorus takes listeners on a journey to Broadway—from the grand opera of Lincoln Center to the musical theatre of 42nd Street—at 3 p.m., on Sunday, April 29, in University of Maine at Farmington’s Nordica Auditorium.

Under the leadership of Bruce G. McInnes, with Patricia Hayden, pianist, the singers commence with the famous Anvil Chorus from Verdi’s “Il Trovatore,” complete with anvil. The program continues with other well-known operatic selections from Bizet’s “Carmen,” Verdi’s “Nabucco,” Delibes’ “Lakmé,” Mussorgsky’s “Boris Godunov,” and concluding the first half with the Bridal Chorus (“Here comes the bride”) from Wagner’s “Lohengrin.”

The second half of the concert begins with an excursion to the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company in London for two selections by Gilbert and Sullivan: “Three Little Maids from School are We” from “The Mikado,” and “Oh Men of Dark and Dismal Fate” from “Pirates of Penzance.” Guest conductors for these numbers will be Dan Woodward and Jane Parker.

McInnes returns to the podium for a medley of tunes by Rodgers and Hammerstein from their great musicals “Oklahoma,” “The Sound of Music,” “The King and I,” “State Fair”, and “South Pacific.”  The concert concludes with a nostalgic look back at the 1930s and the song “Will You Remember?” from Sigmund Romberg’s “Maytime.”

The occasion will be nostalgic and bittersweet in another way, as it marks the final appearance by Patricia Hayden as accompanist of the chorus, a post she has faithfully held for more than thirty years. Her many friends and admirers are invited to come celebrate Patricia’s contributions to the musical life of Farmington with this afternoon of delightful music, followed by a reception for her in the Emery Community Arts Center.

This event is sponsored by the UMF Department of Sound, Performance and Visual Inquiry. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for senior citizens and free for children and UMF students. For further information, please contact Robin Palmer-Mosher at 778-7290.

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University of Maine at Farmington Hosts Annual Career Fair, April 24

FARMINGTON, ME (April 18, 2012)—In the continuing tradition of creating events to help connect UMF students, graduates and the general public with exciting career opportunities, the University of Maine at Farmington is holding its annual spring Career Fair from 12:30-3:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 24, in North Dining Hall in the UMF Olsen Student Center. This event is free and open-to-the-public.

Previously focused solely on openings in the field of education, this year’s career fair has been renamed to the UMF Career Fair: Education and Liberal Arts and expanded to include career opportunities in education, business and human services.

“UMF Career Services is always assessing the current economic conditions to best meet the career needs of our students,” said Stephen Davis, UMF career counselor. “This year we have broadened the scope of employers and organizations invited to our spring career fair to increase our students’ exposure to the improved opportunities in the current job market.”

Nearly 30 employers, including representatives from five school districts, will be attending the UMF Career Fair with thoughts of hiring full time and part time employees. In addition, Jessica Whittier, from the Finance Authority of Maine, will also be assisting students with information on student loans and loan repayment planning.

For an updated list of employers, visit the UMF website at:

This year’s UMF Career Fair is sponsored by SchoolSpring and UMF Career Services.

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Media Contact: Stephen Davis, UMF career counselor at 207-778-7232, or

University of Maine at Farmington and Emergency Responders Create Mock Accident Scene to Raise Awareness of Dangers of Drunk and Distracted Driving, April 26

UMF Merrill HallFARMINGTON, ME (April 18, 2012)—In an effort to educate young drivers on the dangers of drunk and distracted driving, the University of Maine at Farmington departments of Student Life and Public Safety and NorthStar EMS—the regional ambulance service for greater Franklin County—are collaborating to bring a mock OUI accident scene to the UMF campus at 4 p.m., Thursday, April 26.

The simulated crash scene will be staged between UMF’s Mantor Library and the UMF Computer Center on South Street, which will be closed to traffic that day from 3-6 p.m. The exercise will present campus and community members with a graphic reminder of the dangerous and potentially deadly consequences of alcohol and distracted driving.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens, and one out of three of these is alcohol related. “Staged accidents like this are valuable because they raise awareness of the consequences of drunk and distracted driving and hopefully save lives,” said Ted Blais, UMF director of Public Safety. “We’re pleased to be able to bring this public service exercise to the UMF campus and hope spectators will share what they’ve learned with their friends and family.”

The Franklin County dispatch center will be notified of the simulation prior to the event and will announce over their radio network that it is only a drill as the scenario unfolds. Spectators can expect to see several student volunteers taking on different roles in the scenario, including as an intoxicated driver and injured or deceased passengers.

A multitude of public safety and emergency responders will participate in the mock OUI scene. UMF and Town of Farmington police, emergency medical services, the Farmington Fire Department and the Adams-McFarlane Funeral Home will proceed as if this was an actual accident.

The Maine State Police will be on hand to demonstrate the arrest process and accident reconstruction. Representatives from Franklin County Emergency Management and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department will be available to speak with spectators. In addition, representatives from the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety will demonstrate the “Seat Belt Convincer,” an educational tool that teaches the importance of wearing a seat belt.

This event will take place outdoors, rain or shine. The event is free and open to the public; however it is important for community members to realize that the scenario is of a graphic nature and may not be suitable for some children.

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Media Contacts:

Peter Osborne, UMF assistant director for residence life, at 207-778-7188, or

Edward Blais, UMF director of public safety, at 207-778-7033, or