UMF invites young writers to one-of-a-kind Longfellow workshop, July 16-22

FARMINGTON, ME  (March 22, 2017)—The University of Maine at Farmington once again invites young writers to apply for its Longfellow Young Writer’s Workshop to be held Sunday, July 16 through Saturday, July 22, 2017, on the UMF campus. The only weeklong young writers’ summer workshop in New England, Longfellow provides talented high school writers with the opportunity to work with expert UMF faculty and published authors as students immerse themselves in the writing world.

It is sponsored by the UMF Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program—the only BFA in Creative Writing program in the state of Maine and one of only three in all of New England.

Longfellow holds small supportive workshops in poetry, nonfiction, screenwriting and fiction taught by distinguished UMF faculty and guests. Students will publish a chapbook of student work, recreate in the beautiful Maine wild and reside in a campus residence hall under the guidance of campus staff and UMF senior creative writing students. The weeklong program is $800, which includes tuition, room/board and fees.

Joining UMF’s creative writing faculty will be guest faculty, as well as readers and lecturers from the local writing community, including:

      • David Bersell—Memoirist and UMF graduate
      • Sarah Braunstein—Novelist and Maine author
      • Wesley McNair—Former Maine State Poet Laureate and UMF Writer in Residence
      • William Giraldi—Novelist and senior fiction editor for AGNI

Students can apply online at  http://www2.umf.maine.edu/creativewriting/longfellow/.

The UMF Longfellow program is especially pleased this year to announce the new Ilgenfriz Scholarship made possible through a partnership with the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance. This award honors Maine author and MWPA member Elizabeth Ilgenfriz’s life and writing. It will provide full tuition and board to a female student who is entering her sophomore, junior or senior year and lives in Maine’s Knox or Waldo Counties.

Individuals who apply are automatically eligible for the Michael Macklin Scholarship for Young Maine Writers (awarded to male or female writers who are residents of Maine) sponsored by the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance, and several tuition scholarships funded by UMF.

To be considered for all scholarships, a five-page creative writing sample and 500-word statement of need must be submitted electronically with your application no later than May 1, 2017.

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Media Contact: Shana Youngdahl, co-director of Longfellow Young Writers Workshop, 207-778-8024, or shana.youngdahl@maine.edu.

 

UMF Art Gallery hosts Art + Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, March 25

FARMINGTON, ME  (March 16, 2017)—The UMF Art Gallery is hosting an Art + Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon on Saturday, March 25. The event will begin with a panel discussion at 10 a.m. followed by Wikipedia editing workshops from 12-5 p.m. The event is open to all; no previous experience is required and beginners are welcome. Light refreshments and childcare will be provided.

This is the fourth year Art + Feminism Edit-a-thons will be taking place internationally and the first year the program comes to Farmington. The event is one of hundreds of Art + Feminism Edit-a-thons happening all around the world throughout the month of March.

The event aims to improve coverage of women online and also to promote female editorship, noting that the gender imbalance on Wikipedia is well documented, reporting less than 10% of its editors were women as of 2014.

The day will feature a panel discussion about navigating information online and how to meaningfully address the underrepresentation of women on the internet. The panel will include artists Ann Bartges (new media) and Melissa Thompson (performance), Hope Williams (sophomore), Sarah Maline (curator) and arts activator Abby Flanagan.

“Wikipedia is both praised and criticized for its democratic model,” said Flanagan, “It is shared by all of us, the users and the editors. By contributing content to this growing body of knowledge, we directly combat terms such as ‘alternative facts,’ and ‘fake news’ by becoming more engaged and aware of online sources.”

According to event coordinators, the event is incredibly inclusive in that rural communities can tap into the larger network, needing only access to the internet. Participants are encouraged to bring a laptop and power cord, though some loaners will be available.

Each year, the core group of Art+Feminism organizers meets in New York City at the Museum of Modern Art and they report over 300 node events happening in six continents. (http://www.artandfeminism.org/our-story/)

Please RSVP by emailing artandfeminism.edit.me@gmail.com or find the event on the UMF Art Gallery Facebook page. Childcare is available and requires advance registration: please include details on number and age of children when you RSVP if applicable.

More on the UMF Art Gallery

The UMF Art Gallery is a teaching gallery dedicated to bringing contemporary art and artists to campus and the regional community. In its focus on innovative and challenging new work, the gallery reinforces the academic vision of the university and the Department of the Visual and Performing Arts in celebrating art as a powerful agent of community and cultural identity. The gallery develops interdisciplinary educational opportunities for students and community and works with local schools to integrate art into their curricula.

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UMF Women’s Soccer Team holds bone marrow drive in support of USM player, March 16

FARMINGTON, ME (March 9, 2017)—The UMF Women’s Soccer Team is joining with the Be The Match Registry to host an “All for Ally” bone marrow registry drive from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursday, March 16 in room CR 123 in the UMF Olsen Student Center.

Members of the campus and community are welcome to drop in anytime. The screening process involves having your cheek swabbed and filling out a brief form.

The drive is in support of a fellow soccer player, Ally Little, of the University of Southern Maine, who was recently been diagnosed with Severe Aplastic Anemia. A bone marrow transplant is currently the only cure for the disease and there is no match in the marrow registry at this time.

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 Media Contact: Molly Wilkie, UMF head coach Women’s Lacrosse and Soccer instructor, at molly.wilkie@maine.edu or 207-778-7529

UMF brings Ionesco’s “The Bald Soprano” to the stage, March 16-19

FARMINGTON, ME  (March 9, 2017)—The University of Maine at Farmington brings Eugene Ionesco’s “The Bald Soprano” to the stage as its spring theatrical production. Performances will take place at 7:30 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, March 16-18; and at 2 p.m., Sunday, March 19, in the UMF Alumni Theater.

Directed by Melissa Thompson, UMF assistant professor of performing arts, “The Bald Soprano” is an important example of the Theatre of the Absurd. In it, Ionesco takes on an upper-middle class dinner party in which four dinner guests engage in the social rituals of “good society.”

They try to follow the rules, only to discover in increasingly ridiculous ways that their language does not have the power they think it does. Fast paced, highly physical absurdity results as the characters try harder and harder to maintain control and their composure.

The Theatre UMF production of Ionesco’s The Bald Soprano

UMF students in Theatre UMF production of Ionesco’s The Bald Soprano.

The leading figure of Absurdist Theater and an internationally renowned master of modern drama, Ionesco is one of the great innovators of the modern stage. He went on to become famous for the comic proportions and bizarre effects that allow his work to be simultaneously hilarious, tragic and profound.

This Theatre UMF production is sponsored by the UMF Department of Visual and Performing Arts.

Tickets for the performance are $7 for adults,$6 for seniors and $5 for students with I.D. Tickets are available at the time of the performance and can be reserved by calling the Theatre UMF box office at 207-778-7465.

Cast and Crew: (student names include hometowns)

Director: Melissa C. Thompson
Assistant Director: Devin Gilman, Farmington
Stage Manager: Alyssa Higbie, Clinton
Assistant Stage Manager: Bridgett Keith, Scarborough
Scenic and lighting design: Stan Spilecki
Costumes: Madison Uliano, Bar Harbor
Technical support comes from the students in Space Lab THE 202A

Mrs. Smith: Morgan Steward, Anson
Mr. Smith: Keith J. Clark, Presque Isle
Mrs. Martin: Julia Allen, Cromwell, Conn.
Mr. Martin: Nate Red, Portland
Mary: Summer McCollough, Rumford
Fire Chief: Jonas Maines, Portland

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Media contact: Melissa Thompson, UMF assistant professor of performing arts, at melissa.thompson@maine.edu

EDITOR’S NOTE: You will find photo at:
http://www2.umf.maine.edu/inside/wp-content/uploads/sites/159/2017/03/RP167-039.jpg
Photo Caption: UMF students in Theatre UMF production of Ionesco’s The Bald Soprano.
Photo Credit: UMF Photo

Mainebiz spotlights UMF as it puts the ‘hire’ in higher education

UMF President Kathryn A. Foster

UMF President Kathryn A. Foster

UMF was recently featured by Mainebiz for “putting the ‘hire’ in higher education. The Maine business news publication touted Farmington’s success at giving students a leg up in their career aspirations through a focus on academics and experiential learning. Students in environmental planning and policy, teacher education, alpine operations and actuarial science are but a few examples of how internships and real-world experience help students be successful in and out of the classroom.

Mainbiz

One-of-a-kind UMF Math Coaching Project receives $174K grant

Left to right) Shannon Larsen and Sandra Macarthur, UMF education faculty and staff members, announce a $174,848 grant the UMF Maine Mathematics Coaching Project received from the Maine Department of Education’s Math and Science Partnership Project.

(Left to right) Shannon Larsen and Sandra Macarthur, UMF faculty and staff members, announce grant UMF received from the Maine Department of Education.

The UMF Maine Mathematics Coaching Project, a unique offering that trains math coaches to help educators with new instructional strategies, has received a $174,848 grant from the Maine Department of Education’s Math and Science Partnership Project. The UMF MMCP is the only one in Maine and one of only a handful nationally that requires participation by both teachers and district administrators, according to the Morning Sentinel. The grant funds will help K-8 educators and their districts strengthen teaching and learning in mathematics with the goal of increasing the math proficiency of Maine students. Twenty-nine educators are currently participating in two, two-year cohorts with a third cohort starting this June.

Morning Sentinel
Daily Bulldog
Sun Journal

UMF students spend school break helping needy children a world away

FARMINGTON, ME  (March 7, 2017)—Seven UMF students just returned from a life-changing experience at Safe Passage, a school and Maine-based non-profit charitable organization built on the edges of the Guatemala City Garbage Dump in the Republic of Guatemala in Central America.

The UMF students—members of the UMF Rotaract Club—along with two Mt. Blue High School students, three Maine teachers and two local Rotarians, spent their February break in community service helping children of the poorest of the poor a world away.

UMF Rotaract students and Farmington group volunteers arrive at Safe Passage preschool in van previously donated by the Farmington Rotary.

UMF Rotaract students and Farmington group volunteers arrive at Safe Passage preschool in van previously donated by the Farmington Rotary.

The dump is the largest in Central America with 500 tons of trash dumped each day and approximately 11,000 people who live and work in and near the dump and rely on the garbage to survive.

Bryce Neal, a UMF junior from New Gloucester, said the experience cemented his commitment to help others. A geology major and treasurer of the UMF Rotaract club, he helped organize the fundraising efforts to pay for the students’ lodging, transportation and meals in Guatemala.

According to Kirsten Swan, UMF director of student leadership and service and the club’s advisor, the students raised more than $3,000 doing lawn work, parking cars at the Farmington Fair, selling handmade Fair Trade bracelets and more. In addition to their fundraising, each volunteer had to pay for their own airfare.

While at Safe Passage, the volunteers helped children whose parents worked in the dump. They coordinated and assisted with day-to-day educational activities, created lesson plans, helped with reading and math, played soccer and got to know them. They quickly observed that in spite of the children’s demanding life circumstances they were still just children eager to learn.

Art work created by student at Safe Passage.

Art work created by student at Safe Passage.

Blair Bailey, a UMF junior from Presque Isle, is majoring in elementary education. Involved in community service since high school, she values learning by experience and wants to share the Safe Passage experience with her students in the future.

“It was such a privilege to go on this trip and have a wider view of the world,” said Bailey. “The children in Guatemala were wonderful, creative and self-reliant. I typically collect children’s books, but this time I brought back some of the children’s artwork that I plan on incorporating in a diversity and letter exchange lesson plan I’m creating.”

Of special importance to Melissa Eelman, UMF junior from Merrimack, New Hampshire and UMF Rotaract president was the chance to meet the Safe Passage student the UMF Rotaract Club supports throughout the year.

“It was great to meet him and have the chance to actually see the difference we’re making in his life,” said Eelman. “I wish we had the means to sponsor more children because it truly does change their lives.”

Safe Passage was founded in 1999 by Hanley Denning, a Maine teacher, who went to Guatemala to learn Spanish. Once she saw the living conditions of the tens of thousands of people who lived and worked there, she committed herself to create a program that would provide the families with an education, social services and a chance to move beyond extreme poverty.

Denning died in an auto accident in 2007, but her dream of providing the people of Guatemala with a gateway out of poverty continues. According to the Safe Passage website, the organization provides more than 550 children and 100 parents with education, assistance and hope for the future every day.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Photos can be found at:
http://www2.umf.maine.edu/inside/wp-content/uploads/sites/159/2017/03/RP167-038A.jpg
Photo Credit: Submitted photo
Photo Caption:  UMF Rotaract students and Farmington group volunteers arrive at Safe Passage preschool in van previously donated by the Farmington Rotary.

http://www2.umf.maine.edu/inside/wp-content/uploads/sites/159/2017/03/RP167-038B.jpg
Photo Credit: Submitted photo
Photo Caption:  Art work created by student at Safe Passage.

UMF brings recruiting representatives to campus for annual Career Fair, March 20

FARMINGTON, ME  (March 6, 2017)—The University of Maine at Farmington is bringing together employers from both the business and education world for its annual Career Fair, Monday, March 20, 2017. This event is free and open to the public.

More than 50 recruiting representatives will be on hand to network with attendees as they interview and hire for full-time and part-time career positions, seasonal jobs and internships.

Traditional career fair employers will be present from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the corridor of the UMF Olsen Student Center. These include representatives from community service and health organizations, summer camps, private businesses and Maine state and federal agencies.

Education employers will be in the North Dining Halls in the UMF Olsen Student Center from 1-3 p.m. Recruiters will be present from Maine and New Hampshire school districts, the Bureau of Indian Education in Maine and educational organizations focusing on urban and international teaching opportunities.

Job seekers are encouraged to bring their resume and wear attire appropriate for a job interview.

Employers interested in participating can register online or contact Cynthia McShane, UMF career counselor, at cynthia.mcshane@maine.edu or 207-778-7035.

To see a full list of participating employers or to register as an employer, please visit the UMF Career Services website at: http://careers.umf.maine.edu/job-fairs-and-career-events/umf-spring-job-fair/

In the event of cancellation due to inclement weather, the fair will take place Wednesday, March 22.

This year’s Career Fair is sponsored by UMF Career Services and generously co-sponsored by Toddle Inn Child Care and Community Health and Counseling Services. The Educators Career Fair is generously co-sponsored by Maine Indian Education.

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Media Contact: Cynthia McShane, UMF career counselor, at cynthia.mcshane@maine.edu or 207-778-7035.

UMF presents award-winning poet January Gill O’Neil as next Visiting Writer, March 16

FARMINGTON, ME  (March 2, 2017)—The University of Maine at Farmington is proud to host award-winning poet January Gill O’Neil as the next reader in its notable Visiting Writers Series. Sponsored by the UMF Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program, the reading will take place at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, March 16, 2017, in The Landing in the UMF Olsen Student Center.

The reading is free and open to the public, to be followed by a meet and greet with the author.

January Gill O’Neil

January Gill O’Neil

O’Neil is the author of “Misery Islands” (CavanKerry Press 2014) selected for a 2015 Paterson Award for Literary Excellence. It was also selected as a Must-Read Book for 2015 by Mass Center for the Book and won the 2015 Massachusetts Book Award.

According to American poet Major Jackson on Misery Islands, “O’Neil candidly writes about family … of single-motherhood and of love, and in doing so penetrates the exquisiteness of the everyday while also highlighting the challenges of living as artist and mother. Indeed, there is fine balance of imagery and story and song that makes this a fine collection to own, to read back one’s own solitariness, one’s own joy.”

O’Neil is also the author of “Underlife,” (2009) and “Rewilding” to be published by CavanKerry Press in 2018. Underlife was a finalist for ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Award and the 2010 Paterson Poetry Prize.

Her work has appeared in the American Poetry Review, Callaloo, Green Mountains Review, Harvard Review, Literal Latte, New England Review, North American Review and Ploughshares among many others.

In 2015, the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) elected O’Neil to their board of trustees. She is the executive director of the Massachusetts Poetry Festival and an assistant professor of English at Salem State 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 professor of creative writing, at 207-778-7454, or jeffrey.thomson@maine.edu.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Photo can be found at:
http://www2.umf.maine.edu/inside/wp-content/uploads/sites/159/2017/03/RP167-037.jpg
Photo Credit: Submitted photo
Photo Caption: January Gill O’Neil

One-of-a-kind UMF Maine Mathematics Coaching Project Receives $174K Maine Department of Education grant

FARMINGTON, ME  (February 23, 2017)—The University of Maine at Farmington is excited to announce that its one-of-a-kind Maine Mathematics Coaching Project has received a $174,848 grant from the Maine Department of Education’s Math and Science Partnership Project.

First launched in 2015, the project is the only mathematics coaching preparation in Maine and one of only a handful nationally that requires participation by both the teacher and their school administrators. This significant component not only helps educators understand and adopt new instructional strategies, but also provides them with the district-level support that can ensure their success.

Left to right) Shannon Larsen and Sandra Macarthur, UMF education faculty and staff members, announce a $174,848 grant the UMF Maine Mathematics Coaching Project received from the Maine Department of Education’s Math and Science Partnership Project.

Left to right) Shannon Larsen and Sandra Macarthur, UMF education faculty and staff members, announce a $174,848 grant the UMF Maine Mathematics Coaching Project received from the Maine Department of Education’s Math and Science Partnership Project.

Funds from this highly competitive grant will go to help Maine kindergarten through eighth-grade educators and their school districts strengthen teaching and learning in mathematics with the goal of increasing the math proficiency of Maine students.

“Today’s students are continually challenged by the demands of higher level mathematics, as demonstrated by recent test scores,” said Shannon Larsen, UMF assistant professor of elementary mathematics education. “Having well-prepared math coaches embedded in their school districts will provide classroom teachers with consistent, cost effective professional development and the skills and support they need to help their students master math.”

Educators in the two-year project are nominated by their school districts. Current participants include cohorts that started the two-year project in June 2015, and June 2016, and include 29 teachers from every corner of the state.

The grant will provide participants with three days of professional development at UMF and two regional learning labs and discussion groups for teachers and their administrators in Auburn and Orrington. Funding will also assist with data analysis on student performance to help inform decisions and identify progress.

In addition, $10,000 is allocated for K-8 mathematics teaching materials including, manipulatives, technology and books for educators and students. These materials will be permanently housed in the Loraine J. Spenciner Curriculum Materials Center located in the UMF Theodora J. Kalikow Education Center.

“UMF created this project to be accessible to every educator in Maine no matter where they live and work,” said Sandra Macarthur, UMF director of educational outreach. “Our focus is to help teachers be the strongest educators they can be.”

The next cohort begins this June and still has several openings.

For more information, visit the website at http://www2.umf.maine.edu/gradstudies/maine-mathematics-coaching-project/ or contact Sandra Macarthur at sandra.macarthur@maine.edu, or 207-778-7186.

More on University of Maine at Farmington

A nationally-recognized public liberal arts college, UMF enjoys a 150-year tradition of providing a quality academic experience combined with the personal attention and close student / faculty collaboration that help prepare all students to be successful. Rooted in a tradition of teacher preparation, UMF offers top quality programs in the arts and sciences, teacher preparation, and business and pre-professional studies. UMF is located in the heart of Maine’s four-season outdoor recreational region and is a welcoming, close-knit academic community that prepares students for engaged citizenship, enriching professional careers and an enduring love of learning.

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

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

EDITOR’S NOTE: Photo can be found at
http://www2.umf.maine.edu/inside/wp-content/uploads/sites/159/2017/02/RP167-035.jpg
Photo Credit: UMF photo
Photo Caption: (Left to right) Shannon Larsen and Sandra Macarthur, UMF education faculty and staff members, announce a $174,848 grant the UMF Maine Mathematics Coaching Project received from the Maine Department of Education’s Math and Science Partnership Project.