Award-winning independent filmmaker Jay Craven reads at UMF Visiting Writers Series, Oct.15

FARMINGTON, ME (October 6, 2015)—The University of Maine at Farmington presents Jay Craven, award-winning film maker, director, writer and producer, as the next reader in the UMF Visiting Writers Series. Craven will read from his work at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 15, in the Emery Community Arts Center on the UMF campus. The reading is free and open to the public.

Jay CravenAn independent New England filmmaker, Craven leads the film studies program at Marlboro College, in Vermont. He also directs the Movies from Marlboro program where 22 professionals mentor and collaborate with 32 students from multiple colleges to make a full-tilt, professional feature film for national release every two years.

His latest film produced through the program, “Peter and John,” is set in 1872 on Nantucket and stars Jacqueline Bisset. Craven has written and directed seven feature films including “Where the Rivers Flow North,” with Rip Torn, Tantoo Cardinal, and Michael J. Fox; “Disappearances,” with Kris Kristofferson; and “Northern Borders,” with Bruce Dern and Genevieve Bujold.

Craven has also made four documentaries and an Emmy-winning regional comedy series for public television.  His films have played 73 international festivals, including Sundance, and he has had special screenings at Lincoln Center, The Smithsonian, Harvard Film Archives, Art Institute of Chicago, Cinematheque Francaise and many others.

Craven’s awards include The Producer Guild of America’s 1995 NOVA Award for Most Promising New Motion Picture Producer of the Year; two New England Emmys (for Windy Acres); 1998 Vermont Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts and two National Endowment for the Arts Regional Film fellowships.

For more information, contact Jay Craven at jcraven@malrboro.edu or visit Movies.Marlboro.edu.

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/159/2015/10/RP156-011.jpg

Photo Credit: Submitted photo

UMF student receives prestigious Pioneer Scholar Award at Mitchell Institute Gala

FARMINGTON, ME (October 5, 2015)—Veronica Manasco, a first-year student at the University of Maine at Farmington, was recently honored at the 2015 Mitchell Institute Fall Gala with the distinguished Paddy Frank Walsh Pioneer Scholar Award.  Pioneer Scholars are specially selected Mitchell Scholars who show great promise in terms of citizenship, scholarship and perseverance and have overcome tremendous obstacles to achieving success.

Manasco was one of only 34 out of 2,400 Mitchell Scholars and Alumni to be specially recognized at this year’s gala. “Veronica’s intellect, strong connection to her family and great resilience made her a natural selection for the Paddy Frank Walsh Pioneer Award. We are proud to count her among our Mitchell Scholars and look forward to helping her achieve her dreams,” said Meg Baxter, president and CEO of the Mitchell Institute.

UMF Student at 2015 Mitchell Institute Fall Gala

Senator George Mitchell with scholars at 2015 Gala. Veronica Manasco, UMF student and Pioneer Scholar, front row, standing, third from left.

In addition to this award, Manasco has also been named a 2015 Mitchell Scholar, 2015 Horatio Alger Maine Scholar and 2015 Dell Scholar—three prestigious awards that provide ongoing support and assistance to help students overcome adversity on the road to higher education.

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Senator Olympia Snowe with Veronica Manasco

Originally from Poplar Bluff, Missouri, Manasco moved to the Canaan area of Maine eight years ago along with her mother, step-father, younger sister and two brothers, to be closer to family. She started sixth grade in Clinton Elementary and helped her mom care for her ailing grandmother.

While a new start for the family, finding affordable living accommodations was a constant challenge, and they sometimes found themselves homeless, taking shelter for a time in a tent or a car. According to the American Psychological Association, homelessness is particularly difficult on children, but Manasco persisted and made things work. Her love for learning and desire to be an example for her siblings helped her succeed.

As a rising junior at Lawrence High School, she became involved with Upward Bound, a federally-funded program that provides fundamental support to students to prepare-for and succeed-in college. Though her home life was sometimes unpredictable, she persevered, did well at school and in her last two high school years completed four Advanced Placement courses in addition to making the honor roll every quarter.

In her senior year she visited more than 20 college campuses, but decided on UMF, a place, she said, felt like home. Now majoring in biology at UMF, Manasco has her sights set on being a doctor. She volunteered as an aid for six weeks this past summer in the emergency room at Franklin Memorial Hospital and loved the opportunity to provide help and support to people in need.

At the Mitchell Gala, she was seated at a table of doctors who understood her passion for helping others. “I am so grateful for all the kindness and support I’ve received,” said Manasco.  “Through all this I have learned to appreciate what I have, to work hard for what I want, and to be the best person I can be.”

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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EDITOR’S NOTE: Photos can be found at:

http://www2.umf.maine.edu/inside/wp-content/uploads/sites/159/2015/10/RP156-012A.jpg
Photo Caption: Senator George Mitchell with scholars at 2015 Gala. Veronica Manasco, UMF student and Pioneer Scholar, front row, standing, third from left.
Photo Credit: Submitted photo

http://www2.umf.maine.edu/inside/wp-content/uploads/sites/159/2015/10/RP156-012B.jpg
Photo Caption: (Left to right) Senator Olympia Snowe with Veronica Manasco, UMF student and Pioneer Scholar, at 2015 Mitchell Institute Fall Gala.
Photo Credit: Submitted photo

UMF “Public Classroom” lecture series explores the high cost of child abuse, Oct. 7

FARMINGTON, ME (September 29, 2015)—The University of Maine at Farmington is pleased to announce ”A Look at the High Costs of Childhood Abuse and Neglect,” a public presentation by Katherine Kemp, UMF lecturer in rehabilitation services. The second topic in UMF’s popular “The Public Classroom” faculty speaker series, this lecture will take place at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 7, in the Emery Community Arts Center on the UMF campus.

A serious and prevalent public health problem in the U.S., child abuse and neglect has reached a critical level in Maine, and specifically in Franklin County. Overall, more than 100 children in every 1,000 living in Franklin County experience  some form of abuse and/or neglect each year—an estimated 1 in every 10 children.

Although neglect is considered to be the most common form of abuse, many also experience chronic physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Research during the past twenty years demonstrates that an array of human and social problems resists solutions if we do not respond to the urgent need to prevent the abuse and neglect of our children.

RP156-010In this talk, Kemp introduces three branches of science that have allowed for the greater exploration of knowledge about the effects of psychological trauma, abuse and neglect. These are neuroscience, the study of how the brain supports mental processes; developmental psychopathology, the study of the impact of adverse experiences on the development of minds and brain; and interpersonal neurobiology, the study of how our behavior influences the emotions, biology and mind-sets of those around us.

Kemp will also introduce the ACE study, an ongoing collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Kaiser Permanente, as a tool to analyze and solidify the relationship between childhood trauma and the risk for physical and mental health disabilities in adulthood.

Kemp’s area of expertise is working with individuals with severe and persistent mental health disabilities in the field of case management and counseling. A licensed clinical social worker, she is a teacher and advocate with a strong belief in the strength of community partnerships as a tool to challenge and change this serious public health problem. She works diligently to help students appreciate the critical connection between social problems, social programs and policy and how research contributes to the competency of a profession and leads to evidence-based systems change.

Kemp received her Masters of Social Work at the University of New England.

“The Public Classroom” series is sponsored by the UMF Office of the President. Lectures in this series are free and open to the public.

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Media Contact:  Katherine Kemp, UMF lecturer in rehabilitation services, at katherine.kemp@maine.edu or 207-778-7082


EDITOR’S NOTE:
Photo can be found at http://www2.umf.maine.edu/inside/wp-content/uploads/sites/159/2015/09/RP156-010.jpg

Photo Credit: UMF photo

UMF Professor of History speaks on Papacy on MPBN’s Maine Calling

Anne Marie WolfAnne Marie Wolf, UMF associate professor of history, recently joined Jennifer Rooks, host of MPBN’s Maine Calling, and other guests in a live discussion on Pope Francis and his historic visit to the U.S. Wolf is a medieval historian and a dedicated teacher. She teaches both halves of Global History, several courses on Europe from the Roman period through the 17th century and several others, mostly on the Middle East and the Mediterranean world. She received her PhD from the University of Minnesota.

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UMF professor receives federal grant to research impact of high severity fires on western forests

FARMINGTON, ME (September 21, 2015)—During a time when the western U.S. is bracing for a historic fire season, Drew Barton, University of Maine at Farmington professor of biology, has received a $67,000 federal research grant to investigate some of the impacts of high severity fires on forests in the west.

UMF Prof. Drew BartonBarton and his two collaborators, Helen Poulos of Wesleyan University and Graeme Berlin of Yale University, will use the 18-month research grant to examine how the change in fire regime is altering the forest. The results of this research will be presented to forestry specialists to help policymakers and land managers make sound, science-based decisions about fire and land management.

This new grant will also pay for two UMF students to join Barton for six weeks of field work in Arizona in May and June 2016.

According to current research, most of the forests of the southwest U.S. are adapted to low-severity ground fires that occur naturally every few years. These fires are characterized by minimal, short-term ecosystem effects that open up the vegetation, rarely affecting the taller overstory vegetation.

More than a century of fire suppression, however, has led to a build-up of forest fuel, which now often burns in high-severity crown fires. This is being exacerbated by warmer temperatures and less rain.

This change in fire regime is altering the forest, according to Barton.  The grant will investigate whether these large fires are permanently transforming diverse, mixed pine and oak forests into more simple oak woodlands, and whether a change in fire management can help them return to a more resilient and sustainable ecosystem.

Jointly funded by the Department of Agriculture and Department of the Interior’s Joint Fire Science Program, the research project will be conducted in the Coronado National Forest and the Chiricahua National Monument in the Chiricahua Mountains, in Arizona.

Representatives of the Forest Service, Bureaus of Land Management, Indian Affairs, Fish and Wildlife Service, Park Service and the U.S. Geological Survey will oversee the grant.

A long-time faculty member at UMF, Barton teaches biology with an emphasis on forest ecology, conservation and environmental science. He has worked on fire ecology for many years, including in the Chiricahua Mountains in southeastern Arizona and on the dynamics of Jack Pine on Great Wass Island and Pitch Pine on Phippsburg peninsula, both in Maine.

His scholarly interests include the study of the ecology of forest communities, the dynamics of these communities and the role of both natural disturbance and human-caused disturbance. His research often involves Farmington students, who work as research assistants and collaborators.

In 2013, Barton was named a Maine Literary Award winner by the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance. His 2012 work “The Changing Nature of the Maine Woods,” in collaboration with Alan S. White and Charles V. Cogbill, was awarded the John N. Cole Award for Maine-themed nonfiction.

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Media Contact: Drew Barton, University of Maine at Farmington professor of biology, barton@maine.edu

EDITOR’S NOTE: Photo can be found at http://www2.umf.maine.edu/inside/wp-content/uploads/sites/159/2015/09/RP156-009.jpg

Photo Credit: Submitted photo

 

 


UMF recognized as “Best College” by U.S. News for 18th year

For the 18th year, UMF has been recognized as a “Best College” by U.S. News & World Report. Merrill FacadeAs reported in the Sun Journal, UMF has been named a “Top Public Regional College” in the North, where it garnered the No. 6 position this year and No. 10 among both public and private colleges in that category.

UMF was also recognized as a “Best College for Veterans.” UMF was also recently recognized for the third year in a row in Washington Monthly’s “Best Bang for the Buck,” where it was ranked the top Maine college this year out of more than 400 public and private colleges in the Northeast.

“We are delighted by national recognition from U.S. News and others of UMF’s quality. These rankings and accolades speak volumes about what UMF does every day to provide an affordable, top notch education for our students,” said Kathryn A. Foster, UMF president.

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UMF faculty engage community with new “Public Classroom” speaker series

Opening lecture by Natasha Lekes, UMF assistant professor of psychology, Sept. 23

FARMINGTON, ME (September 15, 2015)—The University of Maine at Farmington is proud to announce “The Public Classroom,” a new occasional series featuring UMF’s outstanding new faculty that engages the community in exciting academic topics explored by experts in the field.

The opening lecture: Making a “To Be list”: Do your values influence your happiness?, is presented by Natasha Lekes, UMF assistant professor of psychology, at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 23, in the Emery Community Arts Center on the UMF campus.

Caught in the busyness of modern life, many of us regularly make to do lists, without taking the time to think about our core values. Yet writing a “To Be list” or reflecting on our values may foster our overall well-being.

In this talk, Lekes explores the following questions from the perspective of her field of psychology, UMF faculty Natasha Lekesdrawing on her research, as well as her experiences as a parent, teacher and psychotherapist. How do we define happiness? How do different types of values relate to our happiness and well-being? Are wealth and image linked to happiness as advertisers would have us believe? Is striving for our own personal values incompatible with taking care of our environment?

As a therapist, teacher, and researcher, Lekes is passionate about the role that psychology can play in helping people to live more satisfying and fulfilling lives. Her practice as a psychologist has included individual counseling, couples therapy and sex therapy. She feels privileged to guide students in exploring questions on how mental disorder is defined and treated, views on death and dying and approaches to mental health and well-being. Her research has examined the relationship between values and happiness. Her work is most recently published in the Journal of Positive Psychology and the Journal of Research in Personality.

Lekes received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from McGill University.

“The Public Classroom” series is sponsored by the UMF Office of the President. Lectures in this series are free and open to the public.

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Media Contact:  Natasha Lekes, UMF assistant professor of psychology, at natasha.lekes@maine.edu or 207-778-7287

EDITOR’S NOTE: Photo can be found at http://www2.umf.maine.edu/inside/wp-content/uploads/sites/159/2015/09/RP156-008.jpg

Photo Credit: UMF photo

UMF ranked as “Best College” by U.S. News for 18th year

FARMINGTON, ME (September 14, 2015)—For the eighteenth year, the University of Maine at Farmington has been recognized as a “Best College” by the U.S. News & World Report. Once again, the national rankings have named UMF a “Top Public Regional College” in the north, where it garnered the number 6 position this year—behind only military and marine academies—and number 19 among both public and private colleges in that category.

In addition, in the U.S. News ranking of the “Best Colleges for Veterans” UMF is recognized as the “Top Regional College” in Maine. This category ranks 721 schools across 10 categories to help veterans and service members pursue a more affordable college education.

“We are delighted by national recognition from U.S. News and others of UMF’s quality. These rankings and accolades speak volumes about what UMF does every day to provide an affordable, top notch education for our students,” said Kathryn A. Foster, UMF president. “Their success in college and in life is what we’re all about.”

UMF was also recently recognized for the third year in a row in Washington Monthly’s “Best Bang for the Buck” rankings where it was named the top Maine college this year. Of more than 400 public and private colleges in the northeast ranked in Washington Monthly’s 2015 “The Other College Guide: A Roadmap for the Right School for You,” UMF was ranked number 14 overall, skyrocketing up from 151 place in three short years.

Washington Monthly’s 2015 College Guide also recognized UMF for its contribution to the public good, ranking the college 52 out of nearly 350 U.S. baccalaureate colleges. In 2014, Educate to Career, a leading resource for information on career outcomes, selected UMF as one of the top 100 schools that did the best job improving the earnings and attainment of quality employment of their students and Best Choice Schools, an online educational resource, named UMF a “Great Affordable Eco-Friendly College.”

To be included in the U.S. News rankings, a college must be regionally accredited and have a total enrollment of at least 200 students. Categories are defined using the Carnegie Classification system. Of the total national colleges included in the 2016 U.S. News & World Report ranking, 363 Regional Colleges were assessed in four geographic regions: North, South, Midwest and West.

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UMF Visiting Writers Series presents American author Benjamin Nugent, Sept. 17

FARMINGTON, ME (September 9, 2015)—The University of Maine at Farmington Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program is proud to announce the return of its acclaimed Visiting Writers Series on Thursday, Sept. 17, with American author Benjamin Nugent. The reading, and subsequent book signing, will take place at 7:30 p.m., in The Landing, in the UMF Olsen Student Center. This event is free and open to the public.

Benjamin NugentBenjamin Nugent’s nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time and n+1. His short stories have appeared in The Paris Review, Best American Short Stories, Tin House, Vice and elsewhere.

His work also appears in the forthcoming anthology “The Unprofessionals: New American Writing from the Paris Review.” He’s the author of the novel, “Good Kids” (Scribner, 2013) and a cultural history, “American Nerd: The Story of My People” (Scribner, 2008).

Nugent is currently the director of the Low-Residency MFA in Fiction and Nonfiction at Southern New Hampshire 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/159/2015/09/RP156-006.jpg
Photo Credit: Submitted photo

UMF ranked top college in Maine by Washington Monthly for ‘Best Bang for the Buck’

GraduationOut of 400 public and private colleges in the northeast, UMF has just been recognized as the top college in Maine by Washington Monthly’s 2015 ‘Best Bang for the Buck’ rankings. Skyrocketing up from 151 place in three short years, UMF is ranked as a best value based on “net” price, graduation rate and students’ post-graduate earning ability to pay off their student loans. UMF juniors Chelsey and Shawna Oliver aren’t surprised at UMF’s stature in the rankings, according to the Morning Sentinel. The Oliver sisters, who both receive UMF academic scholarships based on their performance in high school, say affordability is only one of the perks of studying at UMF. The sisters cite accessibility to professors, small class size, walkability to downtown Farmington and friendly people who wave to you from their porches as some of the reasons they love the university.

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