Peace in the Park Brings Students, Faculty, Community Members Together

Peace in the Park Brings Students, Faculty, Community Members Together

By Elina Shapiro, Contributing Writer

Recently, on a brisk Friday afternoon, roughly seventy-five people, including UMF students, faculty and their kids, as well as community members, stood together in solidarity celebrating diversity and inclusion in UMF’s event Peace in the Park.

   Following anti-Semitic vandalism in Abbott Park a few weeks ago, UMF student 

Mana Abdi and professors Maybury and Linda Beck organized a day where students wore purple in advocacy of inclusion of everyone. “Peace in the Park was an outgrowth of ‘Wear Purple Wednesday,’” said Maybury. Peace in the Park was held in the area that the vandalism took place.

   The gathering began at Abbott Park with attendants sipping their hot chocolate and greeting each other with warm and caring smiles. Karol Maybury, professor of Psychology, introduced UMF student speaker Mana Abdi, who was followed by President Foster’s speech about diversity, inclusion and connection.

President Foster delivers a speech on the importance of diversity. (Photo by Haiyu Zheng)

   “There is a reason we called this group the ‘Diversity and Inclusion Action Team;’for diversity without inclusion offers simply a few of every category and ‘ism’ atomized and disengaged without community or meaning,” said Foster. “Diversity with inclusion form the makings of a strong community, but without action – the third word in the name – we risk falling short of what could be.”

   On November 5th, the Diversity and Inclusion Action Team, which is made up of students, faculty and staff, 

had its first meeting. Maybury, who is also chair of the committee, was very encouraged by the team. “I’ve never been on a committee like this, where the energy is just so positive and just motivated to affirm our values as ‘UMFers’,” Maybury said.

   During this meeting, someone suggested that UMF have a celebration of diversity, and thus, Pea

ce in the Park was born. Maybury said people worked fast to get pins made with #coexistumf, posters created; even the school mascot was involved. “Chompers is a very peace-loving beaver, so Chompers says he’s ‘all over this’ and wants to affirm his peace-loving heart,” said Maybury.

   Heather Leet, a UMF sophomore double majoring in Secondary Education and English, and also a part of the “Diversity and Inclusion Action Team,” was pleased with the turnout and is excited about where the team is headed. “I work with kids all summer [during ‘Seeds of Peace’] to figure out how to coexist, how to work together, how to make a better world,” said Leet. “I am really excited to bring that experience in this group, and offer what I can and collaborate with others as best I can.”

   Leet was impressed with how quickly the team was able to set up this event. “This is my second year at UMF, and so I really feel connected to the community now,” said Leet. “That’s another huge reason why I wanted to join this team, because it’s actually contributing to the community and I love being a part of that. Seeing something come from being on that team, so immediately, gives me a really wonderful feeling of optimism, hope, and motivation.”

   Jonathan Cohen, professor of Philosophy at UMF, emphasized that acts of hate are hate no matter what group they’re aimed at. “Even when an incident or a bit of hate is directed at one group, it really affects everyone,” said Cohen. “It’s great when all the groups stick together and realize that we’re all in it together, that we don’t stand separately, we stand together, and the enemy isn’t hatred at one particular group, it’s hate in general, that’s the thing we’re battling.”

   Peace in the Park was concluded by Peter Hardy, a UMF math professor, playing an original song called Trading Places on his guitar, which encouraged people to think about what would happen if people walked in different shoes.

   Check out Facebook and Instagram for the hashtag #coexistumf and see selfies that people took with Chompers as well as photos from the event.

Education Majors Prepare for the Challenges and Excitement of Student Teaching

By Samuel Carignan – Contributing Writer

 

The end of the semester has Education majors rushing to prepare for their student teaching placements that may start as early as this coming January.

   The final and largest hurdle of the program, students have a lot to do before they can start student teaching.  Despite the challenges, Education majors are eager to take what they have learned at UMF into the classroom.

   Excitement and nervousness filled the Student Center in late November as Education majors learned their student teaching placements after months of waiting. These students now must start working on their responsibilities before the placement even starts, including setting up meetings with the mentor, preparing for interviews, and starting their large Contextual Factors Assignment.

   Although it is a lot of work, Education majors are ready for the challenge.  Senior Elementary Education major Ashley Hinkley recently learned about her placement. “I know that it is going to be hard, but I feel prepared and am ready to start teaching,” said Hinkley.

   Student teaching may seem daunting, but it is one of the highlights of the Education program.  On top of the benefit of it looking great on a resume when applying for jobs, it also makes UMF students some of the most prepared teachers when they graduate.

   Shawna Oliver, a 2017 UMF graduate, is currently teaching fourth grade at Belgrade Central School.  Her student teaching placement was in a fifth-grade classroom in the same district.  Oliver gave some advice for anyone getting ready for student teaching.  “Advocate for yourself,” said Oliver. “If you have wishes, communicate them to your supervisors.”

   For many Education majors, student teaching is a way to test what they have learned over their time at UMF.  Student teaching can only be done after all methods classes have been finished, so many are eager to take the knowledge they have learned out into the field.

   Leah Boucher, a senior Elementary Education major, was excited about her placement in a third-grade classroom.  She is one of many students who has been waiting for years for this experience.  “UMF has made me feel ready to start student teaching,” said Boucher. “I can’t wait to start this next adventure.”

   Much like a capstone, student teaching is the final test of a person’s skill in their field of study.  It is a sixteen-credit course, meaning this one class has an entire semester worth of work involved with it.  

  For any students who are uneasy about student teaching, Oliver has some experienced advice.  “As long as you are meant to be a teacher, you will love it,” said Oliver. “The praise that you have heard about the teachers that UMF prepares is true.  UMF does prepare its pre-service teachers as best they can.”  

UMF Senior Awaits Peace Corps Service in Mongolia

UMF Senior Awaits Peace Corps Service in Mongolia

By Gavin Elliot, Contributing Writer

 “I’ve always have been interested in serving my country, but I’m not a military person. So I knew if I wanted to, I had to find a way without carrying a gun around,” said Danny Marshall as he leaned forward.

   Marshall, originally from Auburn, Maine, will be graduating from UMF in 2018 with a degree in Philosophy and Religion. Just a few weeks later, he will be flying to Mongolia to co-teach English in the Peace Corps. The process of him applying to the Peace Corps started in the Spring semester of 2017. After talking to a Peace Corps representative, he decided to fill out the “send me anywhere” application.

Philosophy and Religion major Danny Marshall (Photo Courtesy of Danny Marshall)

   “When I told my family that I had started the application process, they thought it was unlike me at first,” said Marshall. “But, I questioned my maturity and I felt the need to actively seek out responsibility.”

   Like many others in college, Marshall undergoes many adulthood norms, but still doesn’t always feel like one. “Even though I pay rent, have a job and go to school full-time I don’t really feel like an adult,” said Marshall.

   He also saw the Peace Corps as an opportunity to travel and immerse himself in another culture. “I’ve always wanted to travel, but I don’t want to be a tourist. I want to be a part of the community. I don’t like the idea of just going to some place, taking pictures and doing touristy things like buying a t-shirt,” he said chuckling.  

   After Marshall received confirmation that he was accepted into the Peace Corps and traveling to Mongolia, his family’s mood changed. “When I told them I was going to Mongolia, they were happy,” he said.

   Setting his sights to his move in May, Marshall is unsure of what it will be like without running water, electricity, and other commodities. “I’d be lying if I didn’t say I wasn’t worried about how I will adjust to new living conditions, let alone a complete new country. I believe that I will do pretty well for myself,” said Marshall with a smile. “I don’t think it will be hard to take what I have learned from my Philosophy teachers and apply it over there.”

   However, he knows that what he’s learned in his time here at UMF won’t be quite enough. “This is my last semester. So, during the spring semester, I will be doing as much research about the Mongolian language and traditions I can, while dealing with nerves and excitement,” said Marshall. “I’ll be the most nervous while anticipating my flight. The combination of it being my first flight and a big change will probably be the worst. But until then, I will have to try to relax and get some sleep.”

UMF Ultimate Team Snags 9th Place at Lobster Pot Tournament

UMF Ultimate Team Snags 9th Place at Lobster Pot Tournament

By Alicia Davis – Contributing Writer

The UMF Ultimate Disc team recently participated in the Lobster Pot Tournament at Wainwright Sports Complex in Portland, Maine.

The team played four games on Saturday and won three of them. Saturday was a calm, cool day, which helped UMF beat out most of their opponents. The weather conditions on Sunday were much more harsh, with high gusts of wind affecting the players’ ability to throw. Despite the weather, UMF played three games and won all three.

UMF Ultimate Disc team at the Lobster Pot Tournament in Portland
Photo Courtesy of Sam Carignan

Overall, the UMF ultimate team took 9th place out of the lower men’s division despite being seeded 15th place, breaking seed by 6 places. Joe Brichetto, a UMF senior who will be playing his fourth year of ultimate, felt that the team worked well as a unit, which helped them be successful at the Lobster Pot.

“This is the best tournament the team has played at since my freshman year,” said Brichetto. “It was really vindicating for the senior players to now be the leaders who helped carry the team to victory.”

Sam Carignan, who will be in his third year playing ultimate, felt that this tournament was an important one for the team. “This weekend helped bind us together as a team,” he said.

Like Brichetto, Carignan also believed that the team worked well together. “I’m very proud of the team both on and off the field, because not only did we play physically well, but we kept the high ground and stuck with a good attitude,” he said.

Dan Abbatello, who will be playing his second year of ultimate, felt that this year’s Lobster Pot went much smoother for the team than last years.

“This year we played a lot better because we had a lot more numbers,” said Abbatello. “Last year, we went to the Lobster Pot with eight players, and seven played on the field. Having 15 players come down to the tournament this year really helped.”

Abbatello believed that the tournament was great for new players on the team. “This weekend was full of experience for our new players, giving them the chance to play at a competitive level,” he said.

“Ultimate is always looking for new members of any skill level,” said Brichetto.

Practices take place 3:30­-5:30 Monday through Friday on Prescott Field. Practices are optional, so people can still play even if they do not go to all of the practices. For more information, contact co-­presidents Cory McCullough at cory.mccullough@maine.edu or Tim Pacini at timothy.pacini@maine.edu.

UMF Student Costumes Come to Life for the Halloween Dance

UMF Student Costumes Come to Life for the Halloween Dance

By Bryan Eldridge – Contributing Writer

UMF students all around campus transformed from their everyday selves into entirely new identities as costumes arose from the dead for another year of the spectacular Halloween Dance.

Every year, UMF holds a Halloween themed dance for students to help get into the holiday spirit and give creative minds on campus a spotlight during a fun and popular time of year. While many shared the intent of going to the dance, almost nobody arrived with the exact same costume.                                               

“I thought it was really interesting to see all the different variations,” said Katie Franke, a UMF freshman dressed as Daphne from Scooby-Doo. “Some people came up with really creative costume ideas.”

The dance is often a great time for many friends to get together for the same event. “I liked how so many people came together,” said Franke. “It wasn’t just some event where no one showed up, everyone was there,” Franke said with enthusiasm.

Franke’s residence hall, Mallett, was one of many to hold fun social events before the dance to keep the students excited about the evening.

“We carved pumpkins, we played [ping] pong with skeletons, we had snacks and people talked [with one another]” Franke added.

Harry Potter even made the cut at the dance, as Dolores Umbridge was found within Mallett Hall. Tommy Hainsworth found the costume very fitting for the popular movie hit.

Tom Cruise from Risky Business and a friendly scarecrow shared a laugh together before they grooved their way into the Halloween Dance. For these two, the stress relief was a much-needed break from everyday life.

“Our favorite part was letting loose and having fun!” said Preston, a first-year student at UMF through an online forum.

The wide variety of costumes at the dance is something that many students look forward to each year and is what often brings them back. Rebecca Reed and Hope Faulkingham, both freshman this year, found this particularly true.

“I had fun with my friends. I think I would go back again next year to see the wide variety of costumes,” said Reed.

“I really wanted to go because it seemed like a lot of people were going and it seemed like fun!” Faulkingham exclaimed with excitement.

Three referees found themselves officiating the noise and excitement levels as they made their own rulings at the dance.

From L to R: Ian Kelly, Spencer Wilkinson, and Bryan Eldridge made their call on this year’s dance.
Photo Courtesy of Rebecca Reed

The dance takes place each year at UMF around Halloween time and is sure to be an event you don’t want to miss. For more photos and videos from this year’s dance, visit the Entertainment Redefined Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/ERTour/

Farmington Community Unites in Honor of Somali Terrorism Victims

Farmington Community Unites in Honor of Somali Terrorism Victims

By Gwen Baker – Contributing Writer

A diverse group of Farmington community members came together at UMF to hold a vigil for the victims of a truck bombing in Mogadishu Somalia.

After hearing about this news, Mana Mohamed, a senior majoring in Political Science and minoring in International and Global Studies, felt compelled to do something about it.

With a large community of Somali students attending UMF, many were directly impacted by this news. Mohamed felt it was disheartening that so many were uninformed about such a big event.

“It felt like it was on me to remember them if no one else was willing to do it,” said Mohamed. She organized a vigil to inform others of what was happening and to rightfully honor the victims of the attack.

“The purpose of [the vigil] was to stand in solidarity with the people who lost their lives in the bombing and also to let the students affected know that we stand in solidarity with them,” said Sitey Mutkar, a senior Pre-Med major and friend of Mohamed’s.

Mohamed did not expect many to attend the vigil, but she was pleasantly surprised to find 30 people in attendance, including UMF students, faculty and high school students. Mohamed ran most of the event but offered others who felt obligated the chance to speak. Linda Beck, one of the professors in attendance, was grateful there was a safe space being offered for the victims.

Mutkar spoke about how she was directly affected by this act of terrorism. “My first cousin, who was attending the university there, was amongst the people who died in the bombing,” she said.    

While the person responsible for the attack’s intention was to target parliament members, the bomb was placed near a tank, causing it to explode and intensifying the blast. Many students and children were amongst those who were killed, with over 300 people injured with and the death toll rising to over 500.

Mohamed emphasized the importance of not picking and choosing who to remember. “I think it’s incredibly important that we don’t become blind and choose which people to remember and which people we ignore,” she said. “Every death impacts somebody in this world. It’s making someone hurt, it’s making someone incredibly hard to live by.”

Skip to toolbar