Seth Noonkester: The New General Manager Of Titcomb

By Sarita Crandall, Contributing Writer

“I am extremely excited for my new position,” Noonkester said. “I feel really motivated to make Titcomb successful and hold true to it’s values.”  Noonkester graduated from UMF in May 2015 and has been giving back to the community through his work with the town’s recreation department for the last two years. With his experiences and fresh ideas, Noonkester is ready to take on whatever comes his way in his new position.

Noonkester attributes a lot of his success to the ORBA program and how it’s run. The program has the components of a business major but with some recreation activities mixed in such as white water rafting classes. “You get an idea of how business works in common recreation activities that people enjoy,” Noonkester said.

An important requirement that Noonkester pointed out was that the ORBA program has their students find an internship so they’re acquiring real world experience rather than just reading about it in a classroom setting.

Professor Clyde Mitchell agrees with Noonkester saying, “Internships are very helpful in forming relationships, networking and ultimately getting jobs.” Mitchell tries to teach his students that making connections, stepping up, and taking opportunities are going to be the building blocks towards the career that they want.

Along with Noonkester’s new position at Titcomb, another UMF student and fellow ORBA major, Drew Bates, has been elected onto the Titcomb Board of Directors as Head of Terrain Parks. Bates was involved in the Snow Cats program at Titcomb and noticed that the kids always requested going to the Beagle—where the terrain park is located—and hopes to make the park friendly and challenging for all ages.

“I’ve heard Seth’s name tossed around a bit when I first came here and I knew he did his internship at Titcomb,” Bates said. “When the job opened up at Titcomb a lot of people were saying that it would be a young kid, like a UMF student. I wasn’t surprised that Seth got the job, he knows how Titcomb works and I like that he has a terrain park mind!” Bates said. “I am really looking forward to working with him and seeing how much we can do for Titcomb.”

One of the first events coming up for Titcomb will be a fundraiser for their education foundation; a golf tournament being held at Sugarloaf on June 6. Teams are made up of four players and any level of play is welcomed. Contact for further questions.

Beavers Capture Win Against MMA Women’s Lacrosse

Beavers Capture Win Against MMA Women’s Lacrosse

By Sarita Crandall & Marissa Chamberlain, Contributing Writers

Senior members of the 2017 UMF Women’s Lacrosse Team. (Photo Courtesy of Patty Smith)

Senior members of the 2017 UMF Women’s Lacrosse Team. (Photo Courtesy of Patty Smith)

It was looking like it was going to be a beautiful spring afternoon to play a game of lacrosse, but despite the ominous weather that grew over the field at Thomas College, the Women’s Lacrosse team never gave up and defeated Maine Maritime Academy (MMA) with a final score of 10-1. The rain added a dramatic component to the game, which was considered a home game for the Beavers despite the necessity of an alternative venue due to the conditions of Prescott Field.

As the Beavers warmed up before the game, Coach Beth Lebel, who is in her first year as head coach of UMF lacrosse, noted that this was going to be a game that they needed to compete. “MMA is going to battle, they’re physical, they’re fast and athletic, but we are too. If we can just connect our passes and transitions, then I think we should compete fairly well,” said Lebel.

Carly Raymond, a key player for the Beavers, said that on game days it’s an adrenaline rush. “I can’t focus in school, can’t sleep the night before,” Raymond said enthusiastically, “It’s all nerves and excitement!”

At the blow of the whistle to signal the start of the game the intensity was there for both teams, but UMF was more in control of the field and scored a goal in the first three minutes. The first goal was scored by Danielle Conway and assisted by Raymond.

UMF Women's Lacrosse players warm up for their game. (Photo Courtesy of Patty Smith)

UMF Women’s Lacrosse players warm up for their game. (Photo Courtesy of Patty Smith)

It didn’t stop there for UMF. They continued to send four more goals into the net by the end of the first half. MMA was becoming discouraged by the control, composure, and finesse that our Lady Beavers were showing during the game. Some MMA players were becoming aggressive and unsportsmanlike out of frustration. Raymond mentioned that many teams are aggressive on the field and can get out of hand if the refs don’t set them straight. “Our team keeps our heads on our shoulders and fights through, we rarely fall to their level of checking and pushing,” Raymond stated proudly, “UMF in general has great sportsmanship!”

Sportsmanship and work ethic are two traits the Women’s Lacrosse team represents very well for UMF. The Beavers goal as a team was to have a positive team culture, and this was evident in practice the night prior to their game against MMA.

With a winter that seemed to last forever and piles of snow speckled with dirt still covering the UMF campus, many spring athletic teams can be found practicing anywhere they can find dry ground. A line of lacrosse sticks and equipment tucked behind the sidelines and a cluster of athletes with UMF maroon shorts and Beaver lacrosse tanks came into view when walking into the last two courts. Coach Lebel practiced her behind the head shot while the team warmed up. The first shot flew wide and landed a couple of laughs from her team. “Practice makes perfect!” she yelled. This seems to be the motto the Women’s Lacrosse team goes by.

After going for a two lap warm up run, the team came back to the court to complete their routine dynamic stretching, strength exercises, and basic skills. The team’s personality can be described as encouraging, lighthearted and supportive, all while having a competitive, intense edge. “They’re fun to be around,” said Lebel, “and they also know when it’s time to put their game faces on and work for everything.”

The 2017 UMF Women's Lacrosse Team. (Photo Courtesy of Patty Smith)

The 2017 UMF Women’s Lacrosse Team. (Photo Courtesy of Patty Smith)

The team had just come off of a couple of losses over the weekend at New England College and Castleton ending a four game winning streak, but these athletes did not come to practice that Tuesday to dwell on those losses; they came to work and prepare for their next conference matchup against the MMA Mariners.

Despite the adversities caused by a Maine winter and being a young, fairly inexperienced varsity team, the Beavers have had a successful season so far with a record of 5-3. Coach Lebel doesn’t look at having players who are new to the sport as a hardship though. She explained that newcomers make positive contributions including work ethic and excitement to learn and get better at the sport.

Some of the success of the rookies definitely comes from support from the more seasoned players. Rhi Jackson, one of five seniors on the team, attributes this to a lot of team bonding and Coach Lebel’s “Big Beavs and Little Beavs” idea. Lebel paired each upperclassman with an underclassman. The “team buddies” give each other gifts and pump each other up before games.

Looking towards the future of UMF Women’s Lacrosse, Lebel hopes to expand the program further. “We will continue to take players who haven’t played before and those with limited high school experience, along with veteran high school and club lacrosse players,” said Lebel. “Girls’ lacrosse in Maine is expanding rapidly and I’m looking forward to continuing to grow the game with my team and program.”

Needless to say, their hard work did not go to waste. The Beavers came out even stronger in the second half of their recent matchup against MMA, scoring five more goals to assure them the win. Whenever a goal was scored there seemed to be a new energy on the field for UMF. For Raymond when she scores—during the game she acquired two goals—it’s a sigh of relief. “All the work to get to the net finally paid off!” The next game for the Beavers will be their Senior Game, Saturday, April 22 at 7 p.m. at Thomas.

Hailey Mealey: When Art and Science Mix

Hailey Mealey: When Art and Science Mix

By Sarita Crandall, Contributing Writer

UMF Biology Major and artist Hailey Mealey. (Photo Courtesy of Facebook).

UMF Biology Major and artist Hailey Mealey. (Photo Courtesy of Facebook).

Hailey Mealey, a junior biology major, has decided to put her artistic talents to work by opening up an Etsy shop to sell her creative watercolor paintings. Since Mealey is paying for her own education and is going to school full time, she needed an extra boost in her financial life and thought using her own abilities would do the trick.

“I was really nervous when I first opened up my Etsy shop because there wasn’t a lot on it,” Mealey said, “but I got a notification on my phone, it makes a little cha-ching, and so when I got that I was so excited someone had bought this portrait I did!”

Mealey’s biggest seller, compared to her printable downloads, are the colorful portraits that she replicates using a photo of your choice. The customer has to provide the photo either via email or through the mail if the customer lives far away they can physically give the photo to Mealey if they live close by.

Bill Charles was a recent local customer that was genuinely pleased with the portrait he paid for. The photo Charles gave Mealey was a photo of a family trip to Canada. “It’s a very memorable time so to have that personalized portrait really means a lot to me and adds to the significance of that trip,” said Charles, “It really has it’s own memory when looking at it.”

Not only has Mealey been working on her artwork to satisfy her customers, but she is working hard in school. One of her professors, Jean Doty, is especially pleased with Mealey in the classroom.

“I’ve known Hailey since the beginning of the fall semester.  She took my Cell Biology class in the fall, and she’s currently taking my Genetics course,” Doty said, “Hailey is very enthusiastic and engaged in my classes.  And she has excellent lab skills!”

Bernie Sanders watercolor painting by Hailey Jane Creations. (Photo Courtesy of Etsy)

Bernie Sanders watercolor painting by Hailey Jane Creations. (Photo Courtesy of Etsy)

Most people are confused when they hear that Mealey is an artist but also is highly interested in science, especially biology. “I have a lot of diverse interests,” Mealey said, “I think that’s what is good about both artist and scientist is that they’re more diverse than people give them credit to be.” Mealey said.

Doty agrees with Mealey, “Science requires creativity, too, though, so it makes sense that she’s interested in both art and science.”

This past break Mealey went to MDI to spend the entire week looking through microscopes at worms and learning about organisms through multiple bio labs. While she was there she learned a lot about the other students and professors. One professor was in a cover band for Metallica!

Sometimes I feel like there are stereotypes of both artist and biologist and I think people don’t realize how common it is for the two to mix,” Mealey said, “Dr. Sherrod is my chemistry teacher and he does theater and singing.”

For further information about Mealey and her artwork, visit, search “Hailey Jane Creations” and view her unique work.

UMF Welcomes New Athletic Communications Director Cameron Eggeman

UMF Welcomes New Athletic Communications Director Cameron Eggeman

By Sarita Crandall, Contributing Writer 

UMF's new Athletics Communication Director Cameron Eggeman (Photo Courtesy of UMF Athletics)

UMF’s new Athletics Communication Director Cameron Eggeman (Photo Courtesy of UMF Athletics)

UMF has selected Cameron Eggeman for the position of the Athletic Communications Director that was vacant this fall. The position requires Eggeman to have extensive knowledge about many applications such as Photoshop and Adobe InDesign to name a few. Eggeman uses these applications to create one of a kind schedules, covers for game days as well as athlete specific Photoshop images.

“The stuff you see on our Instagram page, our Baseball Coach Chris Bessey makes those,” Eggeman said. “We try to communicate so we don’t put the same people on every image, get a variety of athletes.”

Eggeman has been at UMF for the majority of the Basketball season and made a unique cover for the “Play 4 Kay” game. The cover for this game did not have a spotlight player on the cover Eggeman clarified, “This game was a little different, it was the pink game and we had to advertise what Play 4 Kay is.”

Every sports team at UMF has a “pink game” where the athletes wear some item of pink to support breast cancer awareness. During the “Play 4 Kay” game money is donated and then collected to go to an organization that supports research for finding a cure.

Eggeman is originally from Rhode Island and the same area that UMF Softball player Alison Hamilton hails from. Hamilton notices that Eggeman is compatible with the staff within the athletic department. “I see him talking to the other coaches and the trainers, he seems to fit in really well,” said Hamilton.

Not everyone gets an internship within their college career, but Eggeman did when he was a freshman at St. Joe’s. It was part of a class assignment to help at a sporting event and Eggeman had originally missed his event due to a change of dates without his knowledge. So instead of working a field hockey game Eggeman announced stats for a basketball game. “For my class I had to have him (the Athletic Director) sign a piece of paper saying I was there and on the paper he wrote, ‘If you want a job come see me.’ So I said ‘okay!’” Eggeman recounted. He was the intern for the next three years.

Hamilton seems pleased with what Eggeman is doing for the athletes of UMF. She applauds him with creating new fresh images with the help of Bessey. “I mean they’re definitely new and it doesn’t look old, it’s relevant,” Hamilton said.

“I had played against his younger sister in softball, we were town rival towns,” said Hamilton, “He still wears the Middletown Blue and I’m like ‘take that off!’” Soon enough Eggeman will have more maroon in his closet than blue.

Eggeman has offered to any students at UMF to come visit him below Dearborn. “Always looking for help, can never have too much help especially in these offices. If anyone wants to learn a program, I’m all for it!”

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.