University of Maine at Farmington interim President Eric Brown
Eric C. Brown, provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University of Maine at Farmington, has been appointed interim president of the university by the University of Maine System board of trustees. As reported by the Portland Press Herald, Brown has bachelor’s degrees in English and zoology from the University of Maine, a Ph.D. in English from Louisiana State University and served as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of English and American Literature at Harvard University.
“As interim president, my approach will be to identify, encourage, and invest in our best ideas, our more innovative programs, our most energetic and forward-looking initiatives,” Brown said. “There is no shortage of excellence at UMF, and I believe my experience as a scholar, teacher and administrator here has well-prepared me to draw on this excellence to work towards solutions to both the immediate problems at hand and the larger challenges ahead.”
Portland Press Herald
Bangor Daily News
Alice James Books, leading national poetry press and proud affiliate of the University of Maine at Farmington, is pleased to announce that Kaveh Akbar’s “Calling a Wolf a Wolf” has been named the recipient of both the 2018 Levis Reading Prize from Virginia Commonwealth University and the gold winner in the 20th annual Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards.
Akbar was a featured poet in UMF’s popular Visiting Writers Series.
Akbar’s debut full-length collection is published by Alice James in the U.S. and Penguin in the UK. His poems appear in The New Yorker, Poetry, The New York Times, The Nation, Tin House, Best American Poetry 2018, Harvard Review, AGNI and more.
Founded in 1973, Alice James Books is a leading independent press of national reputation dedicated to discovering and publishing exceptional poetry. The press continues to grow its list and is seen as an innovator in the field. AJB is committed to publishing a range of voices, supporting writers’ careers, and publishing women and other writers whose work may otherwise be marginalized. AJB also focuses on collaborating with writers in the publishing process, namely design and production. As they urgently engage with numerous pressing, public issues, many AJB books reach far beyond the “standard audience” for poetry. Since 1994, AJB has been a proud affiliate of the University of Maine at Farmington.
For more information about Alice James Books and their partnership with the University of Maine at Farmington, please visit: www.alicejamesbooks.org.
UMF graduate and Fulbright Scholar Lauren Crosby was looking for a way to help her students in rural Thailand with their English skills while opening new doors to friendships and cultures. Crosby’s “The Postcard Project” did just that, according to the Daily Bulldog, by providing her students with the materials to make handmade postcards and share them with students at Mt. Blue Middle School and across Maine. “Most of my students dislike English because they are only taught grammar, spelling, and pronunciation in a rote learning routine. I wanted a way to show them that with English, you can open the doors to new friendships and cultures,” Crosby said.
The University of Maine at Farmington has announced that Drew Kelso, a junior from Hampden, was selected as a 2018 George Mitchell Peace Scholar. Kelso’s scholarship will take him to the city of Cork on the south coast of Ireland where he will study for a semester at the University College Cork of the National University of Ireland in spring 2019.
The prestigious scholarship honors the Northern Ireland peace accord brokered in 1998 between Ireland and the United Kingdom by Senator Mitchell. “I am so honored to be considered a George Mitchell Peace Scholar,” said Kelso. “This is a unique opportunity to broaden my knowledge, grow friendships and exchange ideas halfway around the world.”
UMF President Kathryn A. Foster
University of Maine System Chancellor James H. Page announced that University of Maine at Farmington President Kathryn A. Foster and former University of Maine System Trustee and Maine Business Leader Eleanor Baker have been elected for three-year terms to serve on the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. The election was held as part of the 132nd Annual Meeting of the accrediting body being held this week in Boston, Massachusetts. “President Foster and former Trustee Baker are public servants who understand our state, its people and the service mission of public higher education,” said University of Maine System Chancellor James H. Page. “On behalf of the Board of Trustees I want to thank Kate and Ellie for bringing their perspectives and strategic thinking to the Commission.”
The University of Maine at Farmington has created a new World Language Education major to prepare educators for a career teaching Spanish or French in K-12 classrooms. As schools in Maine and across the nation flounder in their searches for world language teachers, the University of Maine at Farmington is rolling out a new major in hopes of helping educators to fill the gap, according to the Bangor Daily News. “Command of a foreign language is an essential skill for Maine students in a global economy,” said UMF President Kathryn Foster. “This exciting new program will prepare language teachers for service in elementary, middle, and high schools, at once educating Maine’s youth and addressing a critical shortage in K-12 language teachers.”
Bangor Daily News
UMF Assistant Professor of French Olivia Donaldson (standing far right) and her teaching assistant work one-on-one with students mastering the French language.
UMF Mitchell Scholars Brittany Wakefield, Sean Brock and Michaela Carney
In an effort to give back to the community, the University of Maine at Farmington Mitchell Scholars Club donated turkeys, stuffing and all the fixings for a Thanksgiving meal to the Western Maine Homeless Outreach shelter, as reported by the Sun Journal. The club’s goal was to raise $100 for the dinner in a short period of time, and students were pleased when scholars, students, faculty and UMF President Kathryn Foster pitched in to raise nearly $200. “It feels good to give,” said Michaela Carney, co-chairman of the UMF student club and a junior from Richmond.
UMF student Bryce Neal
What volcanic secrets are hidden beneath Yellowstone National Park and how does a University of Maine at Farmington student get the opportunity to investigate them? According to the Sun Journal, Bryce Neal, UMF senior from New Gloucester and a geology major spent the past summer with a team of researchers with the National Science Foundation’s competitive Research Experiences for Undergraduates program measuring Yellowstone’s magma chambers and super-heated water located in the Earth’s upper crust. The Yellowstone research was led by Adam Schultz, Oregon State University professor of geology and geophysics, and hosted by OSU’s College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences. “This was a terrific opportunity for me as I headed into my senior year,” said Neal. “UMF’s geology program has a huge field component. And with that experience in hand, I felt prepared for the field research in Yellowstone and for where it would take me.”
Sodexo food service at the University of Maine at Farmington is surpassing expectations when it comes to supporting the Maine food economy. The company committed contractually with the University of Maine System to buying 20 percent of its food from local sources by 2020, as reported by the Sun Journal. The UMF food service surpassed that goal in it’s first year, purchasing 21.3 percent of its food from local sources and has already bought 24.8 percent locally from July through September, this year, said Adam Vigue, Sodexo general manager. The food must be purchased in Maine, within 150 miles of campus to be considered local. “About $1 of every $4 spent (at UMF) on food buys local food,” said Vigue.
The University of Maine System plans to invest $1.2 million to expand the University of Maine at Farmington’s successful Peer-to-Peer Financial Literacy Program across Maine’s seven public universities, according to a Mainebiz article. Started in 2013, the UMF pilot program trained students to help their peers have a better understanding of their finances and how to make good choices that would affect them now and in the future. The planned five-year expansion will train students throughout the system as “peer financial educators” who will initially deliver financial literacy programming and resources to their college peers. When fully implemented, the program will grow to include further outreach efforts to middle and high school and community college students to instill Maine students with the habits and awareness needed to make informed decisions about their personal finances and avoid excessive debt.
Bangor Daily News