Woody Hanstein: Man Of Many Hats

Woody Hanstein: Man Of Many Hats

By Nick Bray, Staff Reporter

Woody Hanstein. (Photo Courtesy of UMF)

Woody Hanstein. (Photo Courtesy of UMF)

There probably isn’t anyone in the state of Maine with a resume quite like Walter “Woody” Hanstein’s. In the fall semester, it isn’t unusual for Hanstein to work a full day at his law practice, then head down to the rugby pitch at Prescott Field to coach the Women’s rugby team, then to a classroom at UMF to teach his weekly law seminar.

Hanstein’s law career began in 1979 when he graduated the University of Idaho with a Juris Doctor (JD) degree. Hanstein is a former navy JAG and former assistant district attorney for the state of Maine. He began his own law practice in 1987 in Farmington.

Throughout his time in school and while in the Navy, Hanstein played and coached rugby. In the late 1980’s, Hanstein coached rugby at Colby College. Hanstein approached UMF’s athletic director in the early 1990’s about starting a rugby team. His law partner at the time, Pat Joyce, had a son, Kevin, who was currently attending UMF. “Kevin had played football at Mt. Blue,” Hanstein said. “So he and a few of his friends and myself started the team in 1991.”

The UMF rugby program is known for being successful but they are even more known for their unique green and gold uniforms. “We have almost exclusively played in the colors of green and gold because it was the only set of rugby uniforms available just a few days before our first game,” Hanstein said.

Starting as the coach of the men’s team, Hanstein switched to coaching the women’s team after their coach left and the assistant coach became the men’s head coach. President and Captain of the Women’s rugby team, Emily Gray, has been involved in the team her entire time at UMF. “Woody teaches you a lot about the game,” Gray said. Not just the skills but he wants you to know how the game works and helping to increase players’ rugby knowledge. “

Hanstein has also been teaching law courses at UMF since 2000, drawing on his experiences as a lawyer to educate students about the legal system. Hanstein believes that using real life cases to make points about the legal system makes it easier for students to relate and understand. In addition to playing rugby, Emily Gray has also taken Hanstein’s law class. “Woody always has little anecdotes and they always come up when he’s teaching or coaching,” Gray said. “He coaches a lot like he teaches, by teaching by example”.

Cadi LaCourse is another student who took Hanstein’s course. LaCourse agrees that Hanstein’s teaching style helped her learn more about the legal system. ”It was much more interesting than reading a text book,” LaCourse said. LaCourse believes she learned more because he is a practicing attorney. “A lot of the course was Woody teaching us to think for ourselves, to use the facts and evidence to support our theories and opinions.”

His law and the legal system course provides an overview of the justice system, but also puts an emphasis on civil rights.“It’s a fine line between informing people about their rights, and explaining to them how to get away with breaking the law,” Hanstein said. “I think a course like Law and the Legal System should be mandatory before students finish high school. They should be able to understand their basic legal rights.”

Hanstein says several students who have taken his course have gone on to law school and are now practicing lawyers in Maine. “I recently saw an assistant district attorney in Kennebec county who I had to beg for a plea bargain, and he took my class,” Hanstein said. “I was trying to remember if I had been nice to him.”

In his spare time Hanstein pursues other interests including fiction writing. He is the author of six legal thrillers featuring small town lawyer Pete Morris. In addition, Hanstein serves as a member of the Titcomb Mountain Ski Patrol. He also directs the Smiling Goat Precision Juggling Corps. “I like to say I am the international founder of parade marching juggling,” Hanstein said. “Nobody else would have bothered to try.”

They march in local parades including the Wilton Blueberry Festival and the Chester Greenwood Day parade. To entertain lawyers at the bar association, Hanstein created a youtube video titled “Juggling for Lawyers.” Hanstein’s brief, four minute tutorial was filmed in the historic Franklin County Superior Courthouse.

Hanstein knows he made the right decision in moving to Farmington. “After getting out of the Navy I could have been an ADA in Portland, Machias, or Farmington,” Hanstein said. “My wife and I came to Farmington and we knew right then this was the place for us. We were right.”

Between his involvement in Rugby and his teaching, Hanstein spends more time with people who are significantly younger than he is than people his own age. Hanstein believes this keeps him young. He even takes life lessons from his students. “You take less for granted. When you see someone see something for the first time that you’ve seen forever, you just appreciate it that much more.”

Through his capacity as coach and teacher, Hanstein has had the opportunity to serve as a mentor to many students. “Woody is an adult in my life I look up to,” Gray said. “He is always ready to help anyone on the team, with anything. If I have an issue I’m not afraid to call Woody and talk about it.”

A Walk Through The Gallery:  Senior Art Thesis Exhibition

A Walk Through The Gallery: Senior Art Thesis Exhibition

By Jessica McKenna, Contributing Writer

Artist Shane Cynewski stands next one of the sculptures from his body of work “Investigating Undesirability Through the Unmonumental.” (Photos by Jessica McKenna)

Artist Shane Cynewski stands next one of the sculptures from his body of work “Investigating Undesirability Through the Unmonumental.” (Photos by Jessica McKenna)

A semester’s worth of hard work came to an end on April 13th with the opening of the Senior Art students’ Thesis Exhibition, “Five to Nine.” The sun slowly disappeared from the sky over the UMF campus casting a faint blue shadow as four of UMF’s Senior artists made their way down the tarred pathway to the small art gallery near the green. The artist entered the compact gallery where their names were printed on the wall brightly lit by a spotlight for all to see. Each floor was a mixture of different artists creations using various media to convey their work.

 For Senior artist Gabrielle Ganiere the exhibition signals an end to her journey at UMF. “This is my last big thing,” said Ganiere. “I do have a symposium talk about my artistic process but this is the pivotal moment.”

Ganiere’s work stood out amongst her peers as her media consisted of pantyhose, trash bags, yarn and other fabrics that brought a softer tone to the exhibition. Each piece embodied a creature of sorts with some invoking memories of childhood stuffed animals or beloved pets, while others made spectators think twice before they took a step closer. “I want them to be confused on how they feel,” said Ganiere, “Do they want to get close or stay away, I like to see people’s expectations of each piece.”

A pink mattress laid against a wall with plastic milk jugs, a wooden chair, and a blond wig attached to the once familiar object. Artist Shane Cynewski’s body of work made spectators feel as though they had entered a home but the everyday items they encountered had changed.

“I used sculpture as my media and domestic objects, so items you could find in a home,” said Cynewski. “The reason I use those objects is I try to inverse the desirability of them.”

Each sculpture turned household items into unknown objects to the viewer with a changed purpose. Cynewski and his classmates had been preparing for the show since the fall of 2016 starting with senior seminar.  “We wrote our thesis in the fall and then started working on our body of work,” said Cynewski. Each Senior spent their spring semester finishing their body of work, participating in faculty critiques every few weeks and writing press releases and artist statements.

As the crowd grew larger the artists were surrounded by friends, family, and professors sharing words of congratulations and acknowledgments of a job well done. Spectators moved from piece to piece at a glacial pace taking in as much as they could trying not to miss any part of the artist’s message. UMF President Kathryn Foster spoke with an artist in the middle of the Emery Community Arts Center flex space, and followed her to a piece of work to delve into the meaning and the artist’s process. “It’s thrilling to see the culmination of so much thought, hard work, and creativity!” said Foster.

The exhibition continues through May 13 in both the UMF Art Gallery and the Emery Community Arts Center showcasing the works of the six senior UMF artists.

McKayla Marois: First-Year Student Making an Impact on UMF

McKayla Marois: First-Year Student Making an Impact on UMF

By Caleb Grover, Contributing Writer

First-year Secondary Education Major at UMF McKayla Marois. (Photo Courtesy of McKayla Marois)

First-year Secondary Education Major at UMF McKayla Marois. (Photo Courtesy of McKayla Marois)

There are not enough hours in a day, or that’s how it seems for first-year McKayla Marois. Marois is a secondary education major with a concentration in English, and a minor in music. Teaching has been Marois’ dream since she was in elementary school, and influencing others to better themselves, has always been a part of who she is. “I like seeing people’s faces suddenly light up when they understand something,” said Marois.  

Currently she is the secretary of the UMF College Republicans, and is expanding her leadership in the club, as she will be the vice president next semester. In addition to that, Marois will also be the Vice Chair of the Maine Federation of College Republicans next semester. “McKayla is a good leader because she takes initiative in all of the tasks at hand,” said Isaac Michaud, President of the UMF College Republicans. “McKayla is very outgoing and social. She is a wonderful person to be around and she never ceases to make me smile or laugh!”

Marois works as an Admissions Ambassador, the job she wanted before her freshman year started. Marois said that like teaching, she enjoys seeing people’s expressions on tours when they realize UMF is where they want to be. Marois hopes to one day be in a leadership position in Admissions. She strives to be her best as a tour guide, and always represent UMF with a smile and a warm welcome.              

“She is someone who is dependable, absorbs a great deal of information quickly and will ask questions if she needs clarification, that’s one of the most important things,” said Lisa Ellrich, Associate Director of Admissions, “I love her quiet leadership style. She takes it all in and is very thoughtful about her responses and reactions.”

Marois will be a C.A. in Dakin Hall next semester. “I really like the community here, and hope to use all the tools I am gaining through my experiences, in my classroom someday.”

Marois finds that competing and playing sports allows her time to relax from her busy schedule. She frequently participates in intramural sports at the FRC, and is a member of the UMF Women’s Lacrosse team.

A tenured member of UMF’s premiere a capella group, Clefnotes, Marois attends three rehearsals a week. She goes to every club meeting, attends lacrosse games and practices, works three days a week in Admissions, and still finds time to balance a social life and a GPA well over 3.0.

As a freshman, Marois’ college journey has just begun, and it seems that her impact on UMF and the surrounding community will only continue to grow. “I see more leadership roles in her future at UMF, and making a positive impact on the UMF community and the greater Farmington community,” said Michaud.

CA Joe Brichetto Elected Incoming  President of Student Senate

CA Joe Brichetto Elected Incoming President of Student Senate

Newly elected Student Senate President for the upcoming 2017-2018 year. (Photo Courtesy of Facebook)

Newly elected Student Senate President for the upcoming 2017-2018 year. (Photo Courtesy of Facebook)

By Kaitlyn Polk, Contributing Writer

Student Senate recently elected a new president, Joseph Brichetto whom you may know for his many involvements around campus. You can find him in the basement of Scott Hall taking care of his residents, you can catch him on the green playing Ultimate Frisbee, hanging out in the Mainely Outdoors building, or making lesson plans for his secondary education classes. His laugh is infectious and he captures the UMF spirit.

Brichetto, the long-legged, ultimate frisbee player shows pride as he talks about why he decided to run for Student Senate President, “I want to be Senate President because I feel that I can be very effective in the role in terms of giving back to the UMF community,” said Brichetto. “Throughout my time here, I’ve strived to make UMF a place for students to fall in love with like I did and Student Senate President seemed like the next logical step.”

He became involved with student senate his sophomore year because he didn’t attend UMF his freshman year. He started at Orono right out of high school after graduating from Bangor High School. He didn’t want to venture out of his comfort zone. “Being a freshman and an undeclared major and a commuter, I naturally hated it,” said Brichetto. He traveled up to UMF one weekend to visit some friends from high school and he knew this was the school for him and he transferred.

Being the great friend that he is, Brichetto would proxy for all of his friends who couldn’t vote and this would occur on a regular basis. “So naturally when a seat opened up, I ran for the spot but ended up losing to OCA Jaramillo,” Brichetto said with a giggle continuing, “Thankfully, six seats on general assembly opened up that next semester and I was appointed to one of those.”

Now a junior, he has served as club commissioner this year and has a passion to do more for clubs. “There are just a few pragmatic changes that could be made which would jive better with how clubs run today,” said Brichetto, “I think would be beneficial for Senate and clubs alike.” He is a member of one of the club sports and really wants to make a difference.

Brichetto believes that leadership is a key to being a good president and while he exceeds in leadership being a Community Assistant in Scott Hall, he recently passed his exam to be a certified EMT and is always around when his residents need him.

Amanda Swart a resident of Brichetto’s hall said, “Joe is a great a CA and leader and always makes sure his residents feel welcome.”

Brichetto and vice president Stephen Riitano are lucky that they get to work together. Riitano and Brichetto both attended Bangor High School, are CAs, and even have the same major; secondary education.

Along with the rest of senate e-board, Brichetto showed excitement to start working with them. “I’m excited to work with all of my eboard,” Brichetto said. “I know them all well and understand their work ethic and problem-solving styles and believe theirs will be a high level of cohesion.”

Student Senate President Jamie Austin Says Farewell

Student Senate President Jamie Austin Says Farewell

Former Student Senate President Jamie Austin. (Photo by Emily MacCabe)

Former Student Senate President Jamie Austin. (Photo by Emily MacCabe)

By Sofia Vanoli, Contributing Writer

Walking out of Olsen Student Center heading towards South Street, it is nearly impossible not to turn your head and catch a glimpse of the motion inside the Student Senate office, where a long table with usually two or three people around it are working on their computers or sharing ideas. That is where you can find Jamie Austin, the outgoing President of UMF Student Senate.

Austin is from Springvale, Maine, and a well-known face around campus who will charmingly say good morning with a wide smile. She is going through the final stages of completing her degree or how she put it, “surviving my spring semester of my senior year.”

Austin knew she wanted to come to Farmington when she was a freshman in high school, and she originally wanted to be a social studies teacher. However, there was a slight shift in her plans. “I took a political science class with Dr. Beck in my first semester and it kind of pulled me into that direction,” she said. In a few short weeks Austin is graduating with a degree in political science.

The Student Senate has always been part of her UMF experience. Her first and second year she was a senator and her third year she became Officer of Financial Affairs, a position she found to be very rewarding.

Austin recalls her experiences with student senate fondly. “I often tell people when I give tours, when I work in the Admissions Office, that I’m kind of majoring in Student Senate,” she said with a big smile.

Kristen Swan, Director of Student Leadership and Service and the faculty advisor to Student Senate, has had the opportunity to work with Austin throughout the senior’s tenure in the organization. Swan spoke highly of Austin and her accomplishments over the last four years.

“She was a student employee, a Special Projects Assistant, when I was the Director for the Center of Student Involvement where she really is to be credited with helping to bring structure to the club sports program,” Swan remembered in a very heartfelt email.

Sarah Carlson is a sophomore and a special education major, but also she is currently the chair of the Leadership Banquet and the incoming Secretary of Student Senate. She had the opportunity of working with Austin this past year and she used nothing but friendly words to talk about the senior. “Being the Leadership Banquet Chair, I had to work with her more than a General Assembly member,” Carlson said. “And she was always eager to assist me.”

Carlson described Austin as, “very organized and invested in the Student Senate and UMF as a whole.” Carlson continued, “She took her position as a president very seriously and got things done.”

Austin is very proud of her team and she mentioned that one of their biggest accomplishments was to approve a three year allocated budget of $55,000 per year for the Snow Sports Organization. She trusts that that organization will keep growing and she hopes that is a lasting mark they can make in the University.

Joe Brichetto is the new senate president and Austin has big hopes for the incoming team. “I’m leaving senate in very capable hands. I have no worries about that,” she said.

Austin couldn’t help but get a little choked up about the thought of it almost being over. “Everything is a learning experience, no matter what. And the last four years whether it was senate or academics, and it’s been all about learning,” she said smiling nostalgically.

Event Spotlight: A Filmmaker’s Journey Through A Life Of Art And Practice

Event Spotlight: A Filmmaker’s Journey Through A Life Of Art And Practice

By Courtney Fowler, President

Alrick Brown, artist and filmmaker. (Photo Courtesy of aalbc.com)

Alrick Brown, artist and filmmaker. (Photo Courtesy of aalbc.com)

The silence that fell across the room after watching Alrick Brown’s four-minute short film that highlighted historical lynching in America was a profound silence indescribable to those who were not present; the type of silence that makes you hesitant to make even the slightest move or take a breath. As the bright lights flickered to life overhead and my eyes readjusted to my surroundings in Thomas Auditorium, Brown quietly said, for the second time in his presentation, “When I take the time to tell a story, it needs to matter.”

Brown, who was dressed from head to toe in black clothing and spoke with a slight Jamaican accent, is currently working as an Assistant Professor of Undergraduate Film and Television at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Though his dedication and passion for teaching is what drives him, it is his love for film and inspirational life story that truly catches the attention of his audience.

Originally from Kingston Jamaica, Brown immigrated to the United States as a young boy, shortly after the brutal murder of his father when he was just three years old. With such dramatic life events, coupled with a constant feeling of being an outsider in his newly established New Jersey home, Brown found himself seeing the world in a different light. A self-called “natural observer,” Brown began noticing stories around him that others did not see; the stories of individuals that were not being told.

   In one particularly transformative experience, Brown traveled in West Africa to see the famous slave castles in Ghana, an experience he now credits as the moment he realized his future as a writer and film director.

“Visiting the slave castles in Ghana was stimulating, it was historically painful, emotional; every fiber in my being was going off. The walls were still stained black with blood,” explained Brown. “As I looked around, I thought to myself, ‘How can I ever explain this experience to others and make them feel what I do?’”

From this life-changing moment in Ghana, Brown fearlessly and relentlessly pursued his dream to tell the stories of those who were not being heard, those who could no longer tell the story themselves. Specifically describing his tactics as “looking at the world with your head tilted slightly toward the side,” Brown discussed the obstacles he faced throughout his career and the challenges of bringing a story to film.

“Art is created within limitations,” said Brown. “We are constantly bound by rules. Take for instance, a Shakespearean sonnet: fourteen lines, three quatrains, and the final couplet. The sonnet is bound by a structure that miraculously gives it meaning and purpose.”

In the final moments of his presentation, Brown presented a behind the scenes look at the making of his Sundance World Cinema Audience Award winning film, “Kinyarwanda. Maintaining his mission to tell the hidden stories of those otherwise unseen, the film brought together six true stories of individuals who lived through the horrors and survived the Rwandan genocide. Through his work, Brown not only gave a voice to these remarkable individuals, but inspired many in the process.

Moving forward, Brown plans to continue to devote his time seeking out the stories that matter; the ones that change the way people feel and see the world. His most anticipated project is one that features a documentary of children in Jamaica who hold a quiz show competition in their spare time.

Brown was graciously brought to UMF for his presentation by the Honors department, specifically the Honors First-Year Seminar, Travelers’ Tales: Outward Journeys, Inner Truths.

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