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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 President Foster Connects with Community

UMF_President_Kate_Foster_4198On a recent visit to the neighboring Oxford Hills community, Kathryn A. Foster, UMF president, had the opportunity to see firsthand the strong relationships that exist between UMF and the region. She toured the Oxford Hills School District, which employs 70 teachers who graduated from UMF, and also touted how UMF can be a resource for students with many professional interests. As reported in the Advertiser Democrat, Foster is anxious to build new connections between the University and Maine communities and sees where UMF programs can, “help prepare students to better Maine’s future.”

Advertiser Democrat

University of Maine at Farmington Creates Financial Literacy Program to Help Students Manage Debt

FARMINGTON, ME (November 15, 2012)—While investing in a college education brings a lifetime of benefits, including an increase in earning power and a decrease in the likelihood of experiencing unemployment—according to the U.S. Department of Labor—it still presents the real possibility of many students having to take out loans for the first time in their lives, for which many are ill-prepared. That is why the University of Maine at Farmington has created the UMF Campaign for Financial Literacy, a new financial literacy outreach program—by students, for students—to help educate students and recent graduates on how to take control of their financial futures.

“It’s important for today’s student to understand how to invest in their education and their future in a responsible and balanced way,” said Kathryn A. Foster, UMF president. “We are very excited about UMF’s new financial literacy program and how it provides students with the knowledge, tools and support that can help them make informed, common-sense decisions about their finances.”

The UMF Campaign for Financial Literacy program was created through the office of financial aid to provide students with personalized money management strategies, financial education resources and debt management guidance that they can use as a foundation to make good financial decisions. The pilot program was developed, in large part, by recent graduate and financial aid counselor Michael Angelides, of Columbia, Conn., in his current position and while a student intern in the office of financial aid.

Working with Ronald Milliken, UMF director of financial aid, Angelides observed that students needed an easy, peer-to-peer, systematic approach to financial management. One that would make it easier for students to understand how to control the amount of debt they were accumulating, how to maximize the amount of money they were saving, and how to be prepared for the repayment phase of their loans after graduation.

“By working one-on-one with students we are able to provide a customized approach that helps students understand their own personal financial picture,” said Angelides. “Our goal is to provide a holistic approach to personal money management from the moment they become students at UMF right through their graduation and loan repayment process.”

The program employs six trained student interns to reach out to students and graduates one-on-one at educational workshops, online and at open-to-the-public sessions. These peer financial assistants are prepared for their work with the program by following the curriculum set out by Angelides’ work with the office of financial aid. They study debt management and default prevention strategies in addition to becoming familiar with various loan programs, lenders and repayment plans available to students.

In addition, training is supported on an ongoing basis by UMF faculty, staff and alumni and collaborative workshops and free financial education resources provided by Mary Dyer, financial education specialist with the Finance Authority of Maine.

“UMF is fairly unique in Maine to have a peer-to-peer program that educates college students on money and debt management,” said Dyer. “Peer-based financial education programs have proven to be very effective in empowering students to make the kind of good decisions that can put them in a better financial position upon graduation. UMF has taken a very innovative approach and we are looking forward to continuing our work with them on their program.”

UMF students interested in learning more can sign up for a one-on-one informational meeting, come to an on-campus presentation, or visit finaidumf.wordpress.com. An online presentation entitled “Budgeting as a college student” has been created by the UMF Campaign for Financial Literacy and is available on their website and on the innovative white board website Prezi.com, where the UMF program has been featured on the site’s homepage and currently has more than 49,000 views.

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UMF Grad Named Maine Occupational Therapist of the Year

Michelle MichaudMichelle Michaud, UMF 2005 graduate and occupational therapist for the Auburn School Department, was just named Maine’s Occupational Therapist of the Year according to an article in the Sun Journal. Michaud works with many young children in the Fairview and Walton schools who are in need of early intervention, fine motor and handwriting skills. Her husband, Jesse, a 2006 UMF graduate, was named Maine’s Occupational Therapist of the Year in 2011.

Sun Journal

UMF Visiting Writers Series Presents Reading by Susan Conley, Maine Author and Co-Founder of The Telling Room—Nov. 15

FARMINGTON, ME (November 9, 2012)—The University of Maine at Farmington Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program is proud to present Maine author Susan Conley as the next writer in the 2012-13 Visiting Writers Series. Conley will read from her work at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 15, in The Landing in the UMF Olsen Student Center. This event is free and open to the public and will be followed by a signing by the author.Susan Conley

A native of Maine, Conley is a non-fiction writer, novelist and poet. Her recent nonfiction book, “The Foremost Good Fortune,” is her debut memoir in which she writes about her and her family’s two-year experience living in a high-rise apartment in Beijing. Their lives change in Beijing with many daunting experiences including when Conley learns she has breast cancer. Peggy Orenstein of the New York Times Magazine calls “The Foremost Good Fortune” “a treasure…one that explores the meaning of our lives, the meaning of motherhood, the meaning of partnership.”

The Daily Beast and Livestrong.org published excerpts from the book. It was picked as a Top Ten Pick for February by O, The Oprah Magazine, and it was chosen to be “Book of the Week” in early March by Slate Magazine. Her other writings have been published in The Paris Review, The Harvard Review, The Massachusetts Review, The Gettysburg Review, The North American Review, Ploughshares as well as others. She is currently finishing writing a fiction novel.

Conley received her B.A. from Middlebury College and her M.F.A. in creative writing from San Diego State University. She taught poetry and literature at Emerson College, but eventually moved back to Portland, Maine where she co-founded and served as the executive director of The Telling Room—a nonprofit creative writing center for students ages 6-18.

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 jeffrey.thomson@maine.edu.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: Photo can be found at http://inside.umf.maine.edu/files/2012/11/RP123-023.jpg

Photo Credit: Submitted photo

UMF Brings Tour of Two-Story Globe to Geographers and Students with Regional Geography Conference

RP123-022

Geographers, educators and students tour Earth, inside and out, at UMF hosted geography conference.

FARMINGTON, ME (November 5, 2012)—More than 80 geographers and their students from across New England and Quebec recently gathered at the University of Maine at Farmington—and literally brought the world with them. Participants convened at UMF for the annual New England–St. Lawrence Valley Geographical Society Conference that included hands-on geography lessons with “Earth View,” a 22-foot inflatable globe; the regional World Geography Bowl competition; an academic paper and poster session and a discussion on sustainability science.

As part of the conference, faculty and students from Bridgewater State University led more than 200 students and educators from local schools and UMF faculty through a series of lessons and exercises with “Earth View’ to be able to “see the world in its entirety.” The two-story-tall inflatable globe’s outside is a hand-painted large-scale map of the Earth’s surface, while the interior—which participants can enter and experience first-hand—reveals tectonic plate boundaries and ocean spreading centers. “Earth View” was unveiled by Bridgewater State University in 2008 as a traveling teaching tool that could help teach students about plate tectonics, global cultures, biogeography, political geography and climate change.

Six teams competed in the World Geography Bowl with Clark University from Worcester, Mass., taking first place and Salem State University, from Salem, Mass., taking second. 30 student and faculty papers and poster sessions were presented throughout the day.

In the Emery Community Arts Center Performance Space at UMF, Robert Kates, a geographer, independent scholar and co-convener of the Initiative on Science and Technology for Sustainability, reflected on a long career as a geographer.  Kates and Matthew McCourt, UMF associate professor of geography, engaged in a wide ranging discussion about the sustainability science and the role of academics in forming public policy.

Cathleen McAnneny, UMF professor of geography, who has worked with NESTVAL in many capacities for 18 years, was recognized with the organization’s Distinguished Service Award. “I am thrilled to receive this award and equally pleased to be able to help bring eye-opening educational opportunities like this to our local community,” said McAnneny. “It isn’t every day students can take a tour of the Earth, inside and out, to better understand the science of how our planet works.”

Margaret Chernosky, a teacher from Bangor High School who teaches geography, advanced placement geography and GIS was recognized by UMF as a Friend of Geography.  Noted as a national leader in high school GIS education, Chernosky has created materials that have been used in nationwide curricula. Her students have created maps that appear on the Esri community atlas website and their projects have won several awards from Maine GIS user groups.

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Media Contact: Cathleen McAnneny, UMF professor of geography, 207-778-7443, or mcanneny@maine.edu
EDITOR’S NOTE: Photo can be found at http://inside.umf.maine.edu/files/2012/11/RP123-022.jpg

Photo Credit: Submitted photo

UMF Names Pete Lefresne as Interim Sports Information Director

FARMINGTON, ME (November 1, 2012)—University of Maine at Farmington Director of Athletics, Fitness and Recreation Julie Davis is pleased to announce that Peter Lefresne has been named as the interim UMF sports information director. Lefresne comes to the university from Juniata College in Pennsylvania where he served for five years as an assistant athletic director, sports information director and public relations contact.Peter Lefresne

“We are very excited to have Pete join the UMF athletics team,” said Davis. “He brings years of experience and knowledge in promoting NCAA Division III athletics in concert with the mission of University. During his 20-year career, he has worked throughout the communications field and brings an in-depth understanding of promoting university athletics through traditional, print, web and social media. We look forward to how Pete’s skills and ideas will continue to help showcase the quality of a UMF education and our remarkable athletics programs.”

At Juniata, Lefresne cultivated close working relationships with local, regional and national media outlets and helped develop media strategies to increase public awareness of University athletics programs. He also helped implement a number of new initiatives, including a redesign of the school’s athletics logo and the development of a new athletics website. Prior to his work at Juniata, Lefresne worked in sports information at the University of Maine, Old Dominion University and Virginia Military Institute.

A priority for Lefresne at UMF will be continuing to build on the University’s use of new technology for sports information.  He is also looking forward to interacting with student athletes and communicating who they are and what they are involved in beyond their athletics interests. “The really neat thing about Division III is that it encourages student-athletes to take full advantage of everything available to them in their college experience,” said Lefresne. “It’s a lot of fun to tell the stories of young men and women who have a range of academic and personal interests and for whom athletics is but one part of their own UMF experience.”

Originally from Ottawa, Ontario, Lefresne received his BA from Old Dominion University in Virginia.

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For more information, please contact UMF Director of Athletics, Fitness & Recreation Julie Davis at 207-778-7264, or jadavis@maine.edu.


EDITOR’S NOTE: Photo can be found at http://inside.umf.maine.edu/files/2012/11/RP123-020.jpg
Photo Credit: UMF photo

University of Maine at Farmington Presents Family Energy Night, Nov. 13

FARMINGTON, ME (November 1, 2012)—Families in the Mt. Blue community are invited to take part in a Family Energy night presented by the University of Maine at Farmington, from 6-7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 13, in the North Dining Hall, in the UMF Olsen Student Center. This event is free and open-to-the-public.

Family Energy is an energy literacy program under development by the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance and funded by Efficiency Maine that targets energy education and conservation. The program is modeled after nationally recognized Family Science and Family Math programs and is being hosted as part of a National Science Foundation grant on Maine’s Energy Education Future.

Carole Lee, UMF assistant professor of science education, is collaborating with the MMSA and her pre-service science teacher education students to host the event. Lee and her students will be on hand as facilitators and partners in learning during the evening. Upper elementary and middle school-age students and their families will participate together in a number of interactive, hands-on, self-guided energy themed activities that allow exploration of energy concepts and how to make wise energy choices.

Families interested in attending this free event are asked to preregister by Nov. 5 at www.powersleuth.org or by calling 207-626-3230. More information can be found on the registration link provided including a sneak peak at what happens at a Family Energy event.

Families attending the event are eligible for door prizes. Light refreshments will be served.

Event Contacts:
Lynn C. Farrin, Science Education Specialist, Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance
lfarrin@mmsa.org   207-626-3230 x112

Dr. Carole Lee, UMF assistant professor of science education, carole.lee@maine.edu  207-778-8167

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Public Invited to Creative Literary Arts Events at Emery Community Arts Center on UMF Campus

FARMINGTON, ME (October 25, 2012)—The innovative Emery Community Arts Center on the UMF campus presents three exciting literary arts events during the month of November. These events, featuring a performative reading, book launch and celebration of UMF faculty authors, are free and open-to-the-public. They will be held in the center’s multipurpose performance space.

Saturday, Nov. 3, 7 p.m.
A Performative Reading of the “Sirens” Episode of “Ulysses”

This performative reading includes a large cast of faculty, students and community members. It presents several sequences in an experimental, simultaneous format and emphasizes the interplay of sounds including choral echoes in several of Bloom’s monologues. The reading is coordinated and organized by UMF faculty and staff including, Steven Pane, professor of music; Phil Carlsen; Jayne Decker, instructor of theater and Emery director; Michael Johnson, professor of English; and Daniel Gunn, provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Friday, Nov. 9, 7:30 p.m.
Book Launch Reading and Reception for Bill Roorbach’s “Life Among Giants”
Roorbach will read from “Life Among Giants” that, according to Publisher’s Weekly is, “. . .a soapy and THRILLING INDULGENCE, a tale of opulence, love triangles, and madness, set against a sumptuous landscape of lust and feasts….”. The book tells the story of David “Lizard” Hochmeyer, who lives across the pond from the High Side, a mansion the size of an embassy, home to world famous ballerina Sylphide and her even more famous English rocker husband, Dabney Stryker-Stewart. When Lizard’s parents are mysteriously killed, he and his brilliant but unstable sister, Kate, are left adrift and full of questions. Lizard’s path to answers is more than circuitous; it’s a journey laden with pro football stars, a master chef tattooed head to toe and a beautiful transvestite.  It’s a path that leads back, again and again, to the fabulous couple on the other side of the pond, particularly, the beautiful Sylphide.

Tuesday, Nov. 13, 4-6 p.m.
Celebration and Reception for UMF Faculty Authors for 2011 and 2012
The public is invited to meet the authors and celebrate the recently published original fiction and non-fiction of UMF faculty members from across academic disciplines. The program will begin at 4:30 p.m. and will include light refreshments.
The authors and their work include:

Drew Barton, et al., “The Changing Nature of the Maine Woods” (UNE Press, 2012)
Kristen Case, “American Pragmatism and Poetic Practice” (Camden House, 2011)
Elizabeth Cooke and Jon Oplinger, “The Wicked Small People of Whiskey Bridge” (iUniverse, 2011)
Amy Fried and Jim Melcher, “Tea Party Talk—The Governors” (CreateSpace, 2012)
Bryce Moore, “Vodnik” (Tu, 2012)
Patricia O’Donnell, “Necessary Places” (Cadent, 2012)
Jennifer Reid, “Religion, Writing, and Colonial Resistance” (Davies Group, 2011)
Luann Yetter, “Portland’s Past: Stories From the City by the Sea” (History Press, 2011)
Shana Youngdahl, “History, Advice & Other Half-Truths” (Stephen F. Austin University Press, 2012)

In addition, the “In the Realm of Folklore” exhibition will continue in the Emery Flex-Space Gallery through Nov. 16. Gallery hours are 11 a.m.-6 p.m. daily.

More on University of Maine at Farmington

A nationally-recognized liberal arts college, UMF enjoys a nearly 150-year tradition of providing a quality academic experience combined with the personal attention and close student/faculty collaboration that helps 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 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: Jayne Decker, UMF director of Emery Community Arts Center, at 207-778-7319, or jdecker@maine.edu

UMF Research Partnership Receives National Science Foundation Grant to Study Connection of Environment and Long-Term Economic Development

FARMINGTON, ME (October 24, 2012)—A University of Maine at Farmington faculty research group has received a 2012-2013 National Science Foundation EPSCoR Grant of more than $89,000 to continue its study of the relationship of the environment to long-term economic sustainability in the Rangeley Lakes Region of western Maine.

This core group of UMF faculty researchers and student interns is partnering for this part of the project with The Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust and the Rangeley Lakes Region Logging Museum, community advisors, and area educators and high school students to explore how understanding and protecting the region’s natural resources will help advance economic development.

“UMF has a long history of collaborative efforts that reach across the region and invigorate both the University and the community,” said Kathryn A. Foster, UMF president. “This prestigious National Science Foundation funded project demonstrates the value of bringing together academic, environmental and economic partnerships that can yield long-term benefits and insure the beauty and sustainability of western Maine.”

The Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) program is designed by the NSF to help fund research and development in areas of the country that typically receive less support and to help increase their national research and development competitiveness.

This NSF grant provides full funding for the fourth year of UMF’s five-year Rangeley Lakes Region study. Projects focus on understanding the complex human-environment interaction and using it to develop a knowledge-to-action plan for the Rangeley region.

This year’s funding will help support UMF faculty and student research in the fields of biology, computer science, geology, geography and economics. Studies include how water quality and land use affect native species and property values, how the effects of climate change are impacting the trout fishing industry and how good sustainability practices work to help protect and sustain the region’s broad outdoor-based tourism economy.

Matthew McCourt, UMF associate professor of geography and this year’s team leader, is bringing together community leaders, UMF student interns and Rangeley Lakes Regional High School teachers and students to create a bottom-up inventory of sustainable practices throughout the region and a corresponding smartphone application. “It’s really inspiring to see how this study brings together so many people throughout the community with the same goal—to understand how taking care of our environment today provides for a promising and sustainable economic future.”

The Rangeley Lakes study is part of the Maine’s Sustainability Solutions Initiative—an NSF supported partnership shared by the University of Maine, University of Southern Maine and other Maine institutions of higher education. Its goal is to transform the state’s capacity to address scientific challenges in ways that directly benefit Maine and other regions and increase economic activity and technological innovation while sustaining Maine’s “quality of place.”

More on University of Maine at Farmington

A nationally-recognized liberal arts college, UMF enjoys a nearly 150-year tradition of providing a quality academic experience combined with the personal attention and close student / faculty collaboration that helps 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 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: Matthew McCourt, UMF associate professor geography, at 207-778-7044 or matthew.mccourt@maine.edu

University of Maine at Farmington Authors Read From Original Work at Visiting Writers Series Event, Oct. 25

Shana Youngdahl

Shana Youngdahl

FARMINGTON, ME (October 22, 2012)—The University of Maine at Farmington’s Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program is proud to present Shana Youngdahl and Patricia O’Donnell as the next authors in its 2012-13 Visiting Writers Series. Youngdahl and O’Donnell will read from their work at 7:30 p.m., Thursday Oct. 25, in The Landing at the UMF Olsen Student Center. The reading is free-and-open-to-the-public and will be followed by a signing by the authors.

Youngdahl is the author of the chapbook entitled “Donner: A Passing.” Her newest collection of poems “History, Advice, and Other Half-Truths,” was a finalist for the Hudson Prize while still in manuscript form. Her poems have appeared in Third Coast, The Briar Cliff Review, Margie, Shenandoah and High Desert Journal. She currently teaches at the University of Maine at Farmington. She received her Master of Fine Arts at the University of Minnesota.

Patricia O'Donnell

Patricia O’Donnell

O’Donnell’s recently published debut novel “Necessary Places,” received advance praise from New York Times bestselling author Richard Ford. Her short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Agni Review, The

North American Review, Prairie Schooner and other journals. In 2005, she received the Martin Dibner award for short fiction. O’Donnell is currently the director of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Maine at Farmington. She received her Master of Fine Arts at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

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 with The Beloit Poetry Journal, a distinguished poetry publication since 1950; or Alice James Books, an award-winning poetry publishing house—both affiliated with UMF.

 

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Media Contact: Jeffrey Thomson, UMF associate professor of creative writing, at 207-778-7454, or jeffrey.thomson@maine.edu.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: Photos can be found at

http://inside.umf.maine.edu/files/2012/010/RP123-018-Youngdahl.jpg
http://inside.umf.maine.edu/files/2012/10/RP123-018-ODonnell.jpg

Photo Credit: Submitted photos