Career Services Offers Advice To Help Students Make Most Of Upcoming Career and Educators Fair

By Jordan Glassock 

UMF Career Services will be hosting the 2017 Career Fair on March 20 from 11:30 a.m to 2:00 p.m in the student center. The Educator’s Career Fair is being hosted on the same day from 1:00 p.m to 3:00 p.m in the North Dining Hall. While the Career Fair takes place every year, the Educator’s Career Fair is being brought back after being absent for several years. The Career Services team expects there to be a large number of businesses attending this years fairs.

In past years, weve had about 50 employers come to campus for this fair, and they have things like part time jobs, full time jobs, and summer jobs and they’re specifically looking to recruit UMF students and alumni,said Career Counselor Cyndi McShane.

Students who are not graduating this May should not be discouraged from attending the fairs. Any student is welcome to come to the fair,said McShane, In fact, if you think well, I don’t need a job yet,or  Im not graduating until a few years from now, it would be a good idea to go to the fair because what you can do with that is you can warm up to the idea of talking to employers.

This is McShanes first year being involved with the Career Fair, and planning for the fair begins months in advance. I do a lot of work with talking to the employers, and as the fair approaches were getting into a lot of logistical work,said McShane, but its a small price to pay for what it gives UMF students.

Career Counselor Stephen Davis had some advice for what steps students should take to prepare for the upcoming fairs.

I would start by analyzing the list of employers that are attending,said Davis, then from there I would prioritize the ones that are most interesting to them, and research them.While it is important for students to be thoroughly prepared to meet potential employers, You can be yourself,said Davis, just be a prepared version of yourself.

Davis continued,The other thing I would recommend is that if there is someone there that you have a meaningful conversation with and you’re excited about the conversation, follow up with them afterwards. Send them a thank you note.Davis also said that students should take their time at the fairs.

The Career Services staff said that one of the challenges they often face is communicating to students that the Career Fair is not only a place to meet potential employers, but it is also a learning environment for students who are not graduating in May but are looking to get some job hunting experience.

Even if you look at that list and theres nobody there that they want talk to right away or they already have a summer job, its a chance to go talk to people in these industries,said Davis.

Businesses who are attending this year’s Career Fair and Educators Career Fair are eager to meet and connect with students as well.

For the past 5 years, we’ve attended the UMF Career Fair to connect with the qualified candidates we need,said Dawn Palmer of Backyard Farms via email. This year, we’re celebrating our 10th anniversary at Backyard Farms so we’re particularly excited to attend the Career Fair.

Currently, there are 26 businesses and 14 schools registered to attend this year’s Career Fair and Educators Career Fair.

Wishing Upon A Cure: Annual Relay For Life Event To Have Disney Theme

By Angel Greer, Contributing Writer 

Students at UMF are hosting a Disney themed Relay for Life event for the American Cancer Society to help promote cancer awareness and raise funds to fight the disease.  The annual event will be held Friday, April 7th at 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. at the FRC.

Relay for Life is an all-night event where teams from UMF and the community take turns walking or running around the track at the FRC to raise money for cancer research.

To raise money for the fight against cancer, each team member is challenged to raise at least $100 before the event and to go out and find sponsors who will donate a certain amount of money towards each lap the team members make during the event.

“If a club on campus went out and asked someone to sponsor them, the sponsor could say that they want to donate $0.50 for every lap each team member takes,” said Beckett.  If there are 6 team members and they each took 40 laps each, that team would get a donation of $120 from that one sponsor.  Clubs, students, community organizations, family, and groups of friends are invited to register as a team.

Registration either online or in person is relatively easy.  “It’s only $10 and you can go right online to the Relay for Life website or give the $10 to any club member,” said Relay for Life club member Vanessa Brown, “Plus, all the money goes towards a good cause.”

When not on the track, team members can enjoy Disney themed food, games, music, and prizes which is all run and coordinated by volunteers. There will also be volunteer performances during the event, such as Clefnotes, an acapella group on campus.   

Joshua Beckett, Co-President of the Relay for Life club, asks that a team member is on the track at all times. “Cancer never sleeps or takes a break, cancer patients don’t stop fighting because they’re tired and for one night, neither do the team members,” said Beckett.

Team members also have the option to dedicate a Luminaria. “A Luminaria honors a life touched by cancer,” said Beckett. “You can dedicate them to a loved one currently battling, anyone who overcame it, or loved one you lost to cancer.”  After dark, everyone at the event takes a moment of silence to remember their loved ones they’re dedicating their time to.

Last year the club raised over $14,000 towards cancer research and hope to beat that amount this April. Other clubs at UMF also had chance to raise money for their own clubs by selling baked goods during the all-night event.  

Operation Give Back Kicks Off Semester Long Campaign For Poverty Awareness

By Harley Davis, Contributing Writer 

UMF’s Student Maine Education Association (MEA) kicked off a semester long campaign to bring awareness to poverty in Franklin County with Operation Give Back, a food and clothing drive aimed at providing local students and families with warm clothing and food for winter. Operation Give Back featured six guest speakers from Franklin County who have experienced poverty in their own lives or through their work.

The discussion of Operation Give Back focused on poverty that is prevalent in the local community and resources within Farmington and Western Maine that are available to individuals and families who need support. Speakers at the event included Dr. Tom Ward, RSU #9 Superintendent, Steven Johndroe with Western Maine Community Action, Lisa Laflin with United Way, Kirsten Swan with the Partnership for Civic Advancement, Professor Beth Evans, a Secondary Education Professor at UMF, and Jan Collins, a high school science teacher who has been teaching for 25 years.

Dr. Ward began the talk with his history. As a child who grew up in poverty, Ward devoted his life to positively impacting children and families experiencing similar situations with poverty. “I firmly believe in giving back to your community,” Ward said.

The need to treat all people with care and compassion no matter their economic status was a reoccurring theme among the six speakers. “To be a human being to another human being means to be kind and understand them and listen to them,” Evans said. “It’s always wonderful when we can actually call on each other and get help from one another.”

President of the Student MEA Stephen Riitano was inspired to give back to the UMF community after reading “See Poverty, Be the Differenceby Donna Beegle and seeing the effects of poverty on children first-hand during his practicum experience. “You can read about something and say that’s an issue. But until it actually personally affects you, that’s when you have a call to action,” Riitano said. “UMF is such a community based school, but we’re in a bubble here too. We’re directly in the center of the community but we’re also in our own little world sometimes.”

Operation Give Back drew a large crowd of students from all majors and the local community members. “We had to turn people away because of the fire code,” Riitano said.

Melissa Eelman, a junior with a major in Elementary Education attended Operation Give Back. “It was very insightful,” Eelman said. “Dr. Tom’s talk was inspirational.”

   Throughout the semester UMF’s Student MEA will be hosting other events on campus to bring awareness to poverty in the area. Currently there is a clothing and food drive to collect mittens, scarves, snow pants, clothing items and any perishable food items. Boxes for the clothing and food drive are located in the residence halls, the Fitness and Recreation Center, and Mantor Library until Feb 17.

Later in the semester #operationkeepwarm will begin. During this event the Student MEA will be collecting socks to give to students in local schools. The aim of the campaign is for people to give back what they can. “We know that not everybody has a dollar, two dollars, or three dollars to give,” Laflin said.

“There’s a lot we can do. It doesn’t mean just giving money. It means spreading the word and being a liaison between you and a student or you and a family and knowing the resources and pointing them in the right direction,’ Riitano said. To donate, contact the Student MEA at umfstudentmea@gmail.com.

Recent Grants Bring Upgrades To Hippach Field Skating Rink

Recent Grants Bring Upgrades To Hippach Field Skating Rink

By Sarita Crandall, Contributing Writer 

Community Ice Rink at Hippach Field in Farmington, Maine. (Photo by Seth Noonkester)

Community Ice Rink at Hippach Field in Farmington, Maine. (Photo by Seth Noonkester)

The ice rink at Hippach Field is an opportunity for the students and the community to gather for some free and fun winter activities. While the rink has been available for public skating and hockey nights in previous years, recent grant funding has made it possible, among other upgrades, to purchase a rink liner to improve the quality of the ice.

Hannah Emery, a junior at UMF, recently visited the rink for a hockey night. “The first time I went down I think it was on a Tuesday night,” Emery said, “I was a little nervous at first but the ice was great and it was a great environment to be in.”

The rink has lights that turn on close to dark making it convenient for night skating and hockey nights.

“I enjoy that the ice is kept up in good shape, the lights are always on and like I said it is in a great place in town, it’s easily accessible and open for anyone of all ages,” Emery said.

The Assistant Parks and Rec Director Seth Noonkester, UMF graduate of 2015, has been working hard writing grants to get funding for the rink. So far the REC has received the Walmart Community Grant for $1,000 in addition to a $7,000 grant from the Healthy Community Coalition.

It was with the help of these grants that the Recreation Department was able to replace old milk crates that helped younger kids learn how to skate with Skate Aids for better skating posture.  They were also able to purchase ice skates, pucks, hockey sticks, and a new liner for the rink.

“Previous years we have always flooded over the grass, which is not efficient because any hot day the sun will melt layers of the ice and then when it cools again it causes shell ice. The liner helps us save on water as well.” Noonkester said.

Noonkester thinks that there are limited activities for college students to do in the wintertime but this is an activity that is less than a five-minute walk from campus.

Carly Raymond, a junior at UMF, said that her favorite part about the rink was the free rentals. “I think the free ice skate rental is pretty cool because a lot of my friends don’t have skates or they left them at home so you can just go and rent them for free.”

Raymond said she enjoyed not having to plan a time to go down and skate because it’s always open if the lights are on.

The rink offers public skating hours from 10:00 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. daily with warming hut hours on the weekends. Hockey nights are also available for Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday nights only.

For more information on the ice rink visit the Farmington Parks and Recreation Department on Facebook.

 

Senate Approves 15k To Send Athletes To Nationals

By Nick Bray & Andrew Devine, Staff Reporter; Contributing Writer

The UMF Student Senate recently approved a $14,700 amended proposal from the snowsports team to send up to seven athletes to the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association (USCSA) National Championship at Mount Bachelor in Oregon this March. This amount is down from the original proposal, which was $25,000 and would have funded up to 10 athletes and their three coaches.     

This proposal passed unanimously through the senate Financial Affairs Committee, where the proposal was then sent to the General Assembly for consideration. During a 90 minute discussion of the proposal, senators expressed their concern with the high price tag for the nationals request. Members of the snowsports team were in the audience to explain why they believe the proposal should be accepted.

The snowsports program consists of Alpine and Nordic ski teams, as well as a combined Freeski and Snowboard team. The team is considered a club sport, with varsity status. All three teams expect to send athletes to the national competition, which is why all three coaches need to travel to Oregon with the athletes. If athletes qualify, this would be the third time UMF has participated in USCSA nationals.

Even following the cost reduction the proposal is one of the largest in the history of the student senate. According to Kirsten Swan, who has been the advisor of student senate for 10 years, she cannot recall ever seeing any single request exceed $15,000. The snowsports proposal includes the cost of airfare, lodging and registration for each athlete who attends nationals. The cost per athlete is $2,100 and the cost per coach is $1,500. The club has fundraised to pay for athlete’s meals.

In addition to the overall cost of the proposal, senate was concerned about having enough funds to cover other expenses for the remainder of the semester. Due to overestimating enrollment, which determines funds raised by the student activity fee, the senate is left with a shortfall. This shortfall was addressed by transferring funds from the senate reserves into the operating account. These funds will be used to pay for the Leadership Banquet, Spring Fling, and proposals from other clubs.

After the tabling discussion of the proposal, senators met with administrators in the athletics to come up with a compromise in order to reduce the total proposal amount. Director of Athletics Julie Davis discovered $4,500 remaining from a grant which the university secured to jump start the ski team, which was reestablished about 10 years ago. “Part of accepting that grant was to find ways for the university to sustain support for the program,” Davis said. “Between the athletics department and the student senate, we have found ways to accomplish this.”

The $4,500 could be used to fund the coaches, with a balance of $21,000 to be funded by the senate. In a compromise, Senator Allison Bernier made a motion to amend the proposal from 10 athletes to seven athletes. This would be at a total cost of $14,700 to the senate. This amended proposal was unanimously approved.

Club Sports Commissioner Joseph Brichetto recognizes the given budget situation, but also doesn’t want to discredit the team’s accomplishments. “They have an opportunity they should take advantage of as they work hard,” Brichetto said. “At some point, you can’t please everybody. I think the resolution we came to will leave everybody slightly displeased but it was definitely the best call.”

After the decision to amend the proposal was finalized at the Senate meeting, Ski Team player Quinn Fogarty responded, “I think if we do qualify for nationals, we have the commitment to the school, the school should commit to us athletes as well.”

Senator Matt Lulofs, also an athlete on the Ski Team remarked, “I’m happy that the Student Senate decided to support us on this because obviously they could have given us no funds for it, we at least got something.”

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