UMF proudly hosts “Art Explorations: Mt. Blue High School Student Exhibition,” May 17- June 1

by Jennell Allen

by Jennell Allen

FARMINGTON, ME  (May 9, 2018)—The University of Maine at Farmington is proud to announce the “Art Explorations: Mt. Blue High School Student Exhibition” will be on display at the Emery Community Arts Center Thursday, May 17 through Friday, June 1, 2018.

An opening reception will be held from 5-7 p.m., Thursday, May 17. The show is free and open to the public.

The Mt. Blue High School show is a local highlight of the Emery Flex Gallery and embraced by the campus and community. This year, the Emery Community Arts Center is thrilled to collaborate with two new high school art teachers, Pamela Chernesky and Nienke Adamse.

“In my classes, students focus on demonstrating proficiency of the art standards to create unique and interesting compositions,” said Chernesky. “MBHS Art Explorations showcases risk-taking and creativity by both introductory Art students as well as advanced artists from Clay, Advanced Clay, 2D/3D, Drawing, Advanced Art and Portfolio classes.”

by Madge Curtin

by Madge Curtin

The exhibit includes work of at least 50 students from grades 9-12. Close to 20 students will have individual displays of their work in Emery’s Flex Gallery. In addition, areas outside the gallery will have student work grouped by class assignment.

“As an art teacher I like to teach my students the basic elements of art and principles of design through a variety of two and three dimensional assignments and materials,” said Adamse. “The students choose from a list of categories and mediums to express their title in an artwork.”

In addition, some of the students have been working on their concentration—a personal visual research project in which they explore a visual concept, theme, idea or technique.

The MBHS Student Art Exhibition is sponsored by the Emery Community Arts Center.

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Media Contact: Ann Barges, director of UMF Emery Community Arts Center, at or 207-778-7461

EDITOR’S NOTE: Submitted mages can be found at:
Photo Caption: by Jennell Allen
Photo Caption: by Madge Curtin


UMF actuarial science student named George Mitchell Peace Scholar

FARMINGTON, ME  (May 1, 2018)—The University of Maine at Farmington is proud to announce that Drew Kelso, a junior from Hampden, has been 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.

This prestigious scholarship honors the Northern Ireland peace accord brokered in 1998 between Ireland and the United Kingdom by Senator Mitchell. The scholarship covers tuition and fees, housing and includes a supplemental stipend.

“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 student Drew Kelso, named 2018 George Mitchell Peace Scholar

UMF student Drew Kelso, named 2018 George Mitchell Peace Scholar

At UMF, Kelso has a double major in actuarial science and applied mathematics and a minor in coaching. His strong academic interests drew him to Farmington, the only college in Maine with a program in actuarial science—a program that is also embraced by University College Cork.

During his time at UMF, Kelso has taken every opportunity to pursue his interest in the mathematical discipline that assesses statistical and financial risk. Kelso has participated in undergraduate internships with both Actuarial Designs & Solutions and Unum—during which he worked online with his counterparts in Ireland. He will be completing his third internship with Aetna this summer in Atlanta.

Students in UMF’s innovative Interdisciplinary Studies program can concentrate in actuarial science and acquire the broad knowledge of mathematics, computer science, business and economics needed for this high-demand profession.

In addition to his academic pursuits, Kelso has worked on campus for two years as a tutor and supplemental instructor in math and philosophy. He is a volunteer student assistant coach at UMF. Kelso was selected as a UMF Michael D. Wilson scholar. He also started a club for actuary students and serves as its president.

The George J. Mitchell Peace Scholarship is an agreement between Maine and Ireland for a student exchange at the University level. The first Peace Scholarship exchanges took place during the 1999-2000 academic year. The University of Maine System awards one full scholarship or two one-semester scholarships per year.

To be selected for the George J. Mitchell Peace Scholarship, students’ applications are reviewed by a University of Maine System committee comprised of study abroad professionals. Selection criteria includes high academic achievements, leadership skills, commitment to community service and the ability to promote the scholarship to the academic and wider community.

More About the University of Maine at Farmington

The University of Maine at Farmington is a welcoming, close knit community of learners located in the heart of central Maine’s beautiful lakes and mountain region. The oldest public education institution in Maine, 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.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Image can be found at:
Photo Credit: UMF photo
Photo Caption:  UMF student Drew Kelso, named 2018 George Mitchell Peace Scholar

UMF spring Symposium: displaying academic research and creative work

The University of Maine at Farmington’s university-wide, day-long, spring Symposium took place on Wednesday, April 25, displaying the depth and breadth of academic research and creative work by students from every corner of the university. According to the Daily Bulldog, the Symposium included close to 300 student presenters, mentored by nearly 50 faculty sponsors. These student research projects and original creative works are, “the product of hard work, inventiveness, financial support and deep commitment,” observed Kathryn A. Foster, UMF president. Highlighted presentations included Trustee Professor Jonathan Cohen on “The Music of Nietzsche’s Life” and Libra Professor Christos Teazis on “New Turkey: Towards a New Islam.”

Daily Bulldog


UMF Creative Writing Program hosts seventh annual summer workshop for talented high school writers

FARMINGTON, ME  (April 25, 2018)—Looking for an exceptional summer writing workshop for talented high school writers? University of Maine at Farmington’s seventh annual Longfellow Young Writer’s workshop will be held from Sunday, July 15 through Saturday, July 21, 2018, on the UMF campus and is taking applications.

Longfellow holds small supportive workshops in poetry, nonfiction, screenwriting and fiction taught by distinguished UMF faculty, authors and guests including:

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

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.

Three full scholarhips are sponsored by the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance, including two Michael Macklin Scholarships for Young Maine Writers that will be awarded to Maine Residents and the Ilgenfritz Scholarship awarded to  a female student living in Waldo or Knox County.

Several partial scholarships sponsored by the UMF Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program are open to any student applicant.

Students can apply to the Longfellow program online at

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 15, 2018.

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Media Contact: Shana Youngdahl, co-director of Longfellow Young Writers Workshop, 207-778-8024, or

UMF leads the way with third annual Nature-Based Education Summer Institute, May 18-20

FARMINGTON, ME  (April 24, 2018)— Interested in implementing or expanding upon nature-based programming in your classroom? The University of Maine at Farmington, a long-standing leader in teacher education, is pleased to announce its third annual Nature-Based Education Summer Institute—Friday, May 18 to Sunday, May 20, 2018, on the UMF campus.

This innovative conference will help educators inspire learning in their classrooms and educational settings based on a child’s sense of wonder about nature.

Miyako Kinoshita

Miyako Kinoshita

Kicking off this year’s institute will be a free, public lecture by Miyako Kinoshita, a farm education program manager at Green Chimneys, from 7-9 p.m., Friday, May 18, in the Emery Community Arts Center.

Green Chimneys is a non-profit organization in Brewster, New York, that serves children with special needs. Kinoshita, with a diverse background in special education, is Green Chimneys’ key facilitator specializing in emotional and behavioral crisis and management in animal assisted activity and animal assisted education settings.

She trains and supervises 12 Sam and Myra Ross Institute interns every semester and consults with therapists on campus on how to incorporate animals and nature into therapy sessions. A noted speaker, Kinoshita has lectured extensively in the U.S. and internationally.

Saturday, May 19, will offer a full-day conference. Space is limited, so please submit your registration and payment soon to reserve your space for Saturday’s conference. For cost, registration forms and more information on all sessions, please visit”

Anne Stires

Anne Stires

It begins with registration at 8 a.m., in the UMF Olsen Student Center, followed by a keynote by Anne Stires, founder and director of Juniper Hill School for place-based education in Alna, Maine, at 9 a.m., in Lincoln Auditorium in Roberts Learning Center.

With an affinity for nature and environmental education, Stires founded the Juniper Hill School to share her enthusiasm for learning through the lens of place. Her school, formerly her grandmother’s farm, is now where her students begin their immersion in the adventure of learning by studying the natural and human environments around them.

Stires directed a place-based education program for 25 schools on the the midcoast region of Maine for the Quebec-Labrador Foundation Marine Program. She has a master’s degree from Antioch University where she teaches.

A full-day of diverse nature-based session options will follow the keynote.

A Hut Hike overnight experience Saturday, and a half-day nature-based activity on Sunday will complete the institute.

Low-cost accommodations are available on-campus for Friday and Saturday night. Participants will stay in a single residence hall room with bedding provided.

For more information, contact Sue Farris, UMF coordinator of education assessment and special projects at or 207-778-7315.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Images can be found at:
Photo Credit: Submitted photo
Photo Caption:  Miyako Kinoshita
Photo Credit: Submitted photo
Photo Caption:  Anne Stires

UMF celebrates university-wide spring Symposium, April 25

FARMINGTON, ME  (April 20, 2018)—The University of Maine at Farmington’s university-wide, day-long, spring Symposium is taking place Wednesday, April 25, 2018, and invites campus and community members to enjoy the depth and breadth of academic research and creative work by students from every corner of the university.

It begins at 9 a.m. and is free and open to the public.

This year’s Symposium has close to 300 student presenters, mentored by nearly 50 faculty sponsors. These student research projects and original creative works are, “the product of hard work, inventiveness, financial support and deep commitment,” observed Kathryn A. Foster, UMF president.

“Congratulations to all those who contribute to this unique day on our campus,” said Eric C. Brown, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Presentations will take place at multiple venues throughout the UMF campus and will include talks, poster sessions, readings, installations and performances.

Symposium presentations include the following, and much more:

“Microbrew Culture in the State of Maine”
“Intergrating Virtual Reality into the Elementary Science Classroom”
“Service Animals: Use and Controversy”
“Exploring Multiplayer Game Design”
“Environmental Impacts of Winter Recreation”
“Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’; Proto Sci-Fi?”
“The Value of Intergenerational Classrooms”
“Sea Level Rise in Maine”
“Farmington, Maine: Stories and History Told by Its People”
“What is the Value of an Internship”

Highlighted among these are special presentations by UMF 2017-18 Trustee Professor Jonathan Cohen on “The Music of Nietzsche’s Life” at 11:40 a.m. in Lincoln Auditorium in the Roberts Learning Center, and Libra Professor Christos Teazis on “New Turkey: Towards a New Islam” at 7 p.m. in room 101 of the Fusion Center (formerly UMF Computer Center.)

Student shares results of his research with campus and community members at earlier UMF Symposium.

Student shares results of his research with campus and community members at earlier UMF Symposium.

Also spotlighted is the work of the 2017-2018 Michael D. Wilson Fellows and Scholars. The competitive Wilson Research Program helps top UMF student scholars, supported one-on-one by faculty mentors, pursue original, high-level undergraduate research projects. This year’s awardees include 2 year-long fellows and 18 single-semester scholars. Their original research projects will be presented in Lincoln Auditorium and the North Dining Hall in the Olsen Student Center throughout the day.

The Michael D. Wilson Symposium is organized by the UMF Culture Committee. A link to the full schedule of Michael D. Wilson Symposium and Arts Nights events that run from April 23-27 can be found at:

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Image can be found at:
Photo Credit: UMF photo
Photo Caption: Student shares results of his research with campus and community members at earlier UMF Symposium.

UMF Community Chorus and Orchestra present Brahms’ “A German Requiem,” April 29

FARMINGTON, ME  (April 19, 2018)—The UMF Community Chorus and Orchestra, under the direction of Bruce McInnes, will present a performance of  “A German Requiem” by Johannes Brahms, at 3 p.m., Sunday, April 29, in
Nordica Auditorium in UMF Merrill Hall.

With many symphonies and orchestra’s presenting concerts on the same day, Professor McInnes looked to local communities as he gathered an orchestra for this concert. He emphasizes the real community nature of this performance with a chorus made up of students, faculty, and staff at UMF and members of the public from Farmington, Wilton, Weld, Temple, Phillips, Strong, Vienna, and other villages in the greater Farmington area.

Brahms himself prepared a two piano accompaniment for his Requiem. The regular accompanist of the Chorus, Patricia Hayden, will be joined by Robert Ludwig, director of the Bangor Children’s Chorus and a resident of Rangeley, on the second piano part.

The essential timpani part as well as the ethereal wind parts and commanding brass will be played by teachers and gifted students from area High Schools, including Mt. Blue, Messalonski and Livermore Falls. String players from the Farmington area along with some visitors from Boston will play the luscious, sometimes ominous low string parts that Brahms composed.

Brahms was only 34 when he composed Ein Deutsches Requiem, which is his longest work and the one which helped to establish his reputation as a major composer. He chose to set carefully selected portions of scripture in the vernacular rather than the traditional Latin texts of the Roman Catholic Mass for the Dead. This was, at least in part, so that the audience would understand what was being sung, which, likewise, is our hope today by presenting our performance in English.

Admission is $8, $6 for seniors. Tickets are available at the door.

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UMF presents new play by world-renowned Bread & Puppet Theater, April 28

FARMINGTON, ME  (April 18, 2018)—The University of Maine at Farmington is excited to once again welcome the world-renowned Bread & Puppet Theater to the Emery Community Arts Center for a performance at 7 p.m., Saturday, April 28.

The theater company will be presenting a new play, “The Basic Bye-Bye Show,” a manifesto on transformation inspired by Albrecht Dürer’s apocalyptic woodcuts, birch branches lost during an ice storm, and the daily news.

One of the longest-running, nonprofit, self-suporting theater companies in the U.S., the Bread and Puppet Theater uses performance to protest the most urgent political issues of our time.

Bye-Bye ShowIn the Basic Bye-Bye Show a series of quiet object fantsies unfolds in black, white and grey inside a small fabric stage printed with elementary words. Outside, an orchestra of nonsense instruments arises, spins and recedes. A birch forest grows. Sculpted clouds produce hands, chairs and rain. The storm passes. The show’s episodes develop in abstract counterpoint to various brutal unnecessities of our current politics.

According to Peter Schumann, director, the show is based on the fact that our culture is saying its basic bye-bye to Mother Earth by continuing the devastating effects of the global economy of our planet. Schumann founded the theater company in 1963 on New York City’s Lower East Side. In 1974 it moved to a farm in Glover in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, where a 140-year old hay barn was transformed into a museum for veteran puppets.

After the performance, Bread & Puppet will serve its famous free sourdough rye bread with aioli.

Admission is by donation $10-$25, with a sliding scale for seniors and students. No one is turned away for lack of funds. Tickets will be on sale in the Emery Community Arts Center lobby starting at 6pm on the night of the performance. Advance tickets are available at Up Front and Pleasant Gourmet (15 Front St. Farmington.)

Bread and Puppet’s “Cheap Art” including: books, posters, postcards, pamphlets and banners from the Bread and Puppet Press will be for sale at the performance.

More on the UMF Emery Community Arts Center

The Emery Community Arts Center is an innovative, experimental venue for the arts in Western Maine. It features an exciting 2,500-square-foot, 109-seat multipurpose performance space with dynamic vertical foldaway 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 UMF Alumni Theater.

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Media Contact: Ann Bartges, director of UMF Emery Community Arts Center, at

EDITOR’S NOTE: Image can be found at:
Photo Credit: Submitted photo

UMF announces Bill Green, award-winning broadcast journalist, as 2018 Commencement Speaker

FARMINGTON, ME  (April 17, 2018)—The University of Maine at Farmington is proud to announce that Bill Green, award-winning broadcast journalist, feature reporter and host of the highly-acclaimed magazine program Bill Green’s Maine, will be the Commencement Speaker for the UMF Class of 2018. He will also receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters at this year’s ceremony, which will be held at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, May 12, on the UMF campus.

“Bill Green is a broadcasting legend in Maine,” said Kathryn A. Foster, UMF president. “He is a professional of the highest standards with a long history of excellence in his craft. His stories and insights about the Maine way of life, its places and people, are at once educational and endearing. We are so proud to have him address our 2018 graduating class.”

Bill Green

Bill Green

A lifelong Mainer, Green was born in Bangor and was educated in Bangor schools and the University of Maine. While still in college, he began working behind the scenes in the news business, and three years later debuted as a sportscaster at WLBZ2. He went on to anchor weekend sports statewide with WCSH6 in Portland.

His interest in Maine and Mainers and his desire to understand and share the deeper story soon found him as a full-time feature reporter at the Portland station. In 2000, he started producing Bill Green’s Maine and has been covering all-things-Maine ever since. In 2015, he won a Regional Edward R. Murrow Award for feature writing and an Emmy for Outstanding Light Feature. The following year, Bill Green’s Maine won the Regional Emmy as Outstanding Magazine Program in New England.

Green is an inductee in the Maine Broadcasting Hall of Fame, the Maine Sports Hall of Fame and the Silver Circle of the New England Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

He is a registered Maine Guide and a senior warden at Trinity Episcopal Church of Portland. He and his wife live in Cumberland and have two grown children.

Bryce Neal, UMF senior speaker

Bryce Neal, UMF senior speaker

Graduating senior Bryce Neal from New Gloucester will give the student address. A geology major, Neal was accepted last summer to do field research in Yellowstone with the National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates program and investigated high elevation ponds in Maine as a UMF research assistant.

He also worked as an AmeriCorps volunteer with the Maine Conservation Corps, building and maintaining trails on Maine public lands and state parks; served with the University’s Rotaract organization and skied with UMF’s Nordic Ski Team. After graduation, Neal plans on doing geophysical fieldwork for the EarthScope project, an NSF funded project.

Foster and Eric Brown, provost and vice president for academic affairs, will confer degrees to this year’s graduates. James O. Donnelly, member of the UMS Board of Trustees, will deliver greetings to the graduates from the University of Maine System. University of Maine System Chancellor James H. Page will also be present.

Additional Event Details

The outdoor ceremony will be held behind the UMF Olsen Student Center and is free and open to the public. Guests of graduates are also welcome to watch the ceremony live in C131 in Roberts Learning Center. 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. During the indoor ceremony, guests can watch the event live in C131 and C23 in Roberts Learning Center and in the classrooms and Bjorn Lobby in the UMF Theodora J. Kalikow Education Center. The UMF Commencement ceremony will be webcast live at and broadcast live on Mount Blue TV community access Channel 11 at, 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

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Images can be found at:
Photo Credit: Submitted photo
Photo Caption: Bill Green
Photo Credit: UMF photo
Photo Caption: Bryce Neal, UMF senior speaker

Theatre UMF presents first Festival of New Plays and original works, April 19 & 20

FARMINGTON, ME  (April 13, 2018)— The University of Maine at Farmington is proud to present its first Festival of New Plays, at 7 p.m., Thursday, April 19 and Friday, April 20, in UMF Alumni Theater. These performances are free and open to the public.

Created through a collaborative workshop process, the festival provides creative writing and theatre students with an opportunity to write, direct and perform their original works for an audience. These original works are written, produced, directed and performed by students in the UMF class on writing for the stage.

The New Works:

“You Done?”
Written and directed by Kristen Sarasin (Plaistow, N.H.)
Cast – Ian Grima (Rockland) and Astra Pierson (Farmington)

Written and directed by Jonas Maines (Portland)
Cast – Brock Bubar (Etna) and Steffon Gales (Roxbury, Mass.)

Written and directed by Hailey Craig (Trenton)
Cast – Eila McCulloch (Scituate, Mass.), Declan Attaway-Murphy (Portland), Kristen Sarasin (Plaistow, N.H.)

“Don’t Mess with Bob”
Written by Josey Lewis (Farmington) and directed by Noah Willette (Norway) and Josey Lewis
Cast – Avery Isbell (Waterville) and Henry Wanat (Parkman.)

“Eggshell Walls”
Written and directed by Cynthia Bugenske (Gray)
Cast – Gail Bello (Waltham, Mass.), Cynthia Bugenske, Chloe Hoecker (Boothbay Harbor), Brittany Paradis (Jay), Laney Randolph (Hartford) and Chloe Woodward (Augusta)


Written by Cody Campbell (Lisbon)
Performed by Matthew Dotson (Boerne, Texas)

“Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner”
Written and performed by Kristen Sarasin (Plaistow, N.H.)

Stage Manager – Billie Rose Newby (Machiasport)
Costume Designs – Declan Attaway-Murphy (Portland), Ben Hayes (Berwick), Madison Uliano (Bar Harbor) and Sam Wood (Franklin, N.H.)
Faculty in Theatre – Jayne Decker
Technical Director – Stan Spilecki
Running Sound – Nick D’Aleo (Plymouth, N.H.)
Running Lights – Sarah Smith (Plainfield, Conn.)

These productions are sponsored by Theatre UMF, the on campus student theater organization and the UMF Department of the Visual and Performing Arts.

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Media Contact: Jayne Decker, UMF instructor of theater, at or 207-778-7319