Miranda Gould Contributing Writer
Recent UMF graduate Olivia Sullivan celebrates being hired on-the-spot for her dream job of occupational therapy. As Sullivan works towards getting into graduate school, she is also working as a registered behavior technician through A Brand New Day, an occupational therapy center for children on the autism spectrum, located in Southington, CT.
“It was really important to me to be able to work in the field I went to school for and am most passionate about,” said Sullivan. After getting the job, she got to work immediately the following week.
Before graduating, Sullivan completed over 450 hours in the occupational therapy department and at Franklin Memorial Hospital. She spent her time at the hospital every
week day split between in-patient care and out-patient care. “I worked really hard to get to this position in my life,” said Sullivan, “I’ve always wanted to be an occupational therapist, but the internship my school provided for me before I graduated really made me want it more.”
Olivia Sullivan with her parents at the 2019 UMF Commencement (Photo courtesy of Olivia Sullivan)
“During my time working in-patient care, I would work with patients on placing them in long-term care facilities,” said Sullivan. “When working in out-patient, I would see the same patients for a longer duration of time.” Sullivan worked with these patients on rehabilitating themselves so they could meet their daily life activities, such as hygiene needs, getting in or out of a bed, and preparing themselves meals.
Sullivan feels this internship really expanded her knowledge on occupational therapy and has prepared her for what is to come. Working as a behavior technician, she is exhibiting her new skills that she learned through her internship and time at UMF.
Her job consists of working closely with children with autism and their families in their home. She has taken on three different cases since graduating, and continues to work with them at home daily. “I feel like I’m really helping these kids and their families,” said Sullivan.
Sullivan notes that the job isn’t always easy, for sometimes the children are reluctant to listen, but it’s really rewarding at the end of the day when she realizes she has made an impact and is continuing to pick up skills that will help her grow as an occupational therapist.
In the future, Sullivan hopes to attend graduate school and get her master’s in occupational therapy. She has been working on applying and deciding which school is the right fit for her. “I think my future is really bright,” said Sullivan, “I’m doing exactly what I want to be doing.”
Faith Diaz Contributing Writer
Associate Professor of English, Misty Krueger, recently released her new memoir, “The Roller Coaster: A Breast Cancer Story.” Her collection traces her breast cancer journey in various pieces of prose, poetry, and essays.
The book was written over the course of Krueger’s discovery of her cancer, her diagnosis, appointments, surgery, and more. Different pieces of the text range in times of their creative origin, some having been written in real time as they were happening to her or as reflection after the events had passed.
“Roller Coaster,” according to Krueger, “traces a year in the life of a cancer patient, particularly someone with breast cancer and the treatment that she, I, received and how I dealt with that as a life changing experience.”
As the reader moves through the text, the story traces a linear timeline of Krueger’s life via realizations she has about her body. From being a young woman who did not consider the possibility of physical pieces of her body being removed, to an adult put into the place of having to make many quick decisions in order to save her life.
Misty Krueger with her self-published book, now available on Amazon (Photo courtesy of Faith Diaz)
“I follow that course through my decision to have or not have reconstruction, to have or not have chemotherapy, undergo radiation, to go on medical leave, and then the fall out of that whole experience combined,” Krueger said.
She described the mental toll that the experience took on her and the common misconceptions that the general public has about what it was like to live inside of a body that had cancer. “It is the whole person that is affected; its body, spirit, soul, mind, it’s everything.”
The story traces through all of these facets of Krueger as well as her teaching career at UMF. “I feel I would not have made it through this experience without the support from UMF,” she said.
When she was diagnosed in early 2018, a smaller group immediately took to showing Krueger how much they wanted to support and care for her throughout this difficult time in her life. She said, “People were reaching out to me and doing this in material ways like bringing me cookies, putting signs on my door, sending me cards, and also you know just telling me, ‘We’re here for you,’ ‘We love you,’ and ‘No matter what, you’re going to make it.’”
Krueger cites this positive energy, teaching, her family and more as being essential to her healing process. Her dedication to loyalty to these elements of her life were obvious in her pursuit to keep them close to her throughout her illness. “I knew that, that community would actually give me strength but, it turns out, my body was stronger than my will.”
As her illness progressed, Krueger grew weaker and against her usual ambitious nature, her teaching performance was affected. “I taught a month into the fall semester of 2018 and I just woke up one morning and knew I couldn’t do this to myself anymore or my students,“ Krueger said. “I wasn’t giving them the Misty Krueger experience.”
Through these series of realizations about what her illness meant for the other factors of her life, the UMF community stayed right by Krueger’s side even after she stopped teaching on campus. “I saw people from campus, they’d either come to me or I’d come here and mostly it was social media that really kept that community alive for me.“
Krueger heard from her friends, students and colleagues alike through social media like Facebook and Twitter. Even when she could not physically see her friends due to treatment they continuously made sure she got their message. “I just felt so loved. I felt excited to come back.”
That excitement stayed with Krueger as she survived her illness and began her recovery.
“It helped me get through radiation which I was going through as I was teaching and the transition to the drugs that I have to take for 10 years to stave off the cancer. Being here helped me get through that. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for everyone here,” Krueger said.
During her treatment and upon her arrival back into the UMF community in the spring of 2019, Krueger had been continuously writing about her experience with breast cancer, for which she found a wealth of support to publish her work.
Upon the book’s release, an education class utilized the text as part of an in-class analysis. On Nov. 6, Krueger visited class to talk about her experience and answer any questions that students may have had.
Students were intrigued by how Krueger could publish something that had detailed descriptions of her body and mind, and were awed at how she could be so vulnerable on the page. One student, Christine Destephen, asked, “How did you deal with putting the book out and exposing yourself?
Krueger said, “I will tell you my husband did not want me to write this book. He said, “This is too much, you are exposing yourself, You are going to let people read this? Especially strangers?’”
Misty Krueger’s self-published book, now available on Amazon
It was more than the idea of strangers reading her work that concerned Krueger’s husband. “Even worse for him was people we knew because he thought, ‘Strangers can read it, that’s whatever. The people you know, now they really know you, stuff about you they don’t want to know, are afraid to know, stuff that might traumatize them.’”
Krueger still wanted to write the book because she thought that in a way, that was exactly the point. “If we don’t talk about these things, if we keep all of this stuff a secret, then no one else will talk about it and we are all suffering alone,” she said.
As the class continued to ask their questions it was obvious that Krueger’s unique story was not only about her anymore, as she said, “It is about me and my story but there are other peoples’ lives that come into play because they are close to me.”
And with that closeness, for those that have since read her book, there are lives that have been affected and people that have found pieces of themselves within Krueger’s pages.
An unnamed student in the course had struggled with her own surgery and illness of a Cardiovascular variety and found Krueger’s description of coming out of surgery in this surreal wonder and uncomfortable state of surprisingly being alive, to be a spot-on representation of the experience. She ended her comment to Krueger simply with, “Thank you for writing this book.”
Krueger’s self-published book can be purchased on Amazon.
Krystin Paine Contributing Writer
With the winter season creeping upon us, UMF students are getting excited about ski season. Skiing is one of the most popular outdoor winter activities Maine has to offer and a great way to make fun memories with friends and family.
Priyanka Miller, junior and psychology major, has been skiing since she was five years old. “It’s like a freeing feeling to be skiing down a mountain.” Miller said.
“My fondest memory of skiing is when I went with a few friends and we were teaching one of my friends how to ski,” said Miller, “One of my friends almost fell down the mountain but it was just really fun and it was just really nice to hangout with them.”
Garrett Pooler, sophomore and rehabilitation major, has never been skiing but is willing and excited to try this year. “My friend, Noah Erskine, was the one who convinced me to try skiing this year,” Pooler said. “I’m looking forward to learning how to ski. I’m also a little nervous because it is mildly dangerous.”
“I think it will be a fun new experience that all my friends can enjoy doing together,” Pooler continued. “I plan to go skiing at Titcomb Mountain some time during the winter, hopefully as soon as it opens.”
Emily Murphy, senior and rehabilitation major, recalls the first time she skied. “It was absolutely amazing. I didn’t really know how to ski but I yeeted downhill going full speed screaming as everyone on the ski lift watch me from above” she said. “Then, I crashed at the bottom but popped right back up laughing because it was the most fun I had all semester. I was happier than Eloise on a Friday afternoon.”
“I would love to go this year and have another great experience. It would be silly not to take up the chance to go,” said Murphy, “I skied at Titcomb Mountain and it is so inexpensive and reasonably close to campus.”
Chivan Panosain, sophomore and undeclared major, has been skiing around two years. He usually skis at Sugarloaf Mountain in Carrabassett Valley and Titcomb Mountain in Farmington. “I like the thrill of going fast down the mountain,” Panosain said, “The first time skiing, I went to the top of the mountain at Sugarloaf. It was absolutely beautiful. Looking down from the top, I saw everything covered in snow. The view was amazing.”
“Definitely almost hit a tree, though,” said Panosain, “I had to throw myself to the ground to stop. At the time, I didn’t know how to. I was zooming.”
“I am so very excited for ski season,” Panosain continued. “I can’t wait to try doing tricks on the rails and other stuff. I just want to improve my ability.”
Noah Erskine, sophomore and secondary education, has skied since 5th grade. “I remember one time, a bunch of my buddies and I loaded the car and went to Sugarloaf,” said Erskine. “We got to the mountain and it was a very nice day. The lines were very short. This made it easier to go up the hills and trails quicker.”
“Hitting the rails was such a thrill,” Erskine said. “My adrenaline was pumping because it is very dangerous to do tricks. Each time improving every trick made it easier to go down the mountain.
Some places to ski or snowboard around Farmington are Titcomb Mountain in Farmington, Sugarloaf in Carrabassett Valley, and Sunday River in Newry, or Lost Valley in Auburn.
Kaitlynn Tarbox Contributing Writer
As students progress through their degree, many opt to move off campus to experience life on their own. But the big question is: where is the best place to live off campus?
There are two main housing companies around the Farmington area, one being Riverbend Properties and the other being Foothills Management. Riverbend owns 78 properties around the Farmington area, 71 of those being apartments, as well as five houses and two commercial spaces. They offer wifi, sewer, heat, hot water, water, and trash removal at most of their units. Each building also has coin-operated laundry on site and the only thing not included in rent is electricity. Their highest rent is $1700, but their lowest is $365 which is one furnished room.
Foothills Management is the other major company that rents to students. They have 128 apartments in the Farmington area. Included in their rent is electric, heating, WiFi, and parking/snow removal, and garbage.
Sharon Buker, sophomore elementary education major, currently rents from Riverbend her first off-campus apartment. She said, “It’s nice to have my own space. I can have friends over whenever I want and it’s a lot quieter than living in the dorms. Being able to have my cat is a huge bonus for me!”
The application process, Buker said is “really simple, I filled it out online with basic income information, what I was looking for number-of-bedrooms-wise, and whether or not I had pets. I received an email just a couple days later about going to look at an apartment.”
Jon Ferguson, a senior biology major, also rents from Riverbend Property Management. For Ferguson, the main perk of renting an apartment is having a kitchen all to himself. “I enjoy having my own place where I can cook my own food. I also enjoy where my apartment is located. I’m next to Stone and Dakin so I can still enjoy on-campus events.” Being close to campus can be beneficial to some students as they might not have a vehicle, so getting to classes is easier the closer you are to campus.
In the spring semester, UMF usually hosts a number of companies and landlords who table in the Student Center to tell students about off-campus housing options. “The application process was rather easy. I went in during the day that the campus puts on for off campus housing,” Ferguson said. “I got a tour of a couple of places and had signed the lease for my apartment by the end of it all.”
Charlotte Allard, a junior Outdoor Recreation Business Administration major, rents from Riverbend as well. She went through the same application process that Ferguson did, which was at the off-campus housing fair.
For some students such as Allard, on-campus living is not for them. Allard said, “ I didn’t really enjoy living in the dorms. I always felt kind of crammed in a room. I don’t feel crammed in a room with my apartment.”
The ability to have pets is a bonus for many students such as Buker and Allard. Allard said “I also enjoy the feeling of being independent, having my own place, and being able to live with my two cats.”
Buker said, “The owner of the apartment does a lot of the maintenance himself. There is a form on their website to put in a service request and the one time I needed to use it, he was here within half an hour to fix it.”
Faith Diaz, a senior creative writing major, has lived in three apartments owned by Foothills Management. She said, “I like the ability to come and go as I please without having to check in with a [CA]. I enjoy having my puppy, who is my ESA (Emotional Support Animal), but he has more room to live than if we were in the dorms. And I work so it’s nice to have my own space without interruption.” Foothills has a 25 pound limit on pets in their buildings.
The only issue Diaz has had is “the parking becomes an issue because we are so close to campus they confuse it for campus parking.” There are a few staff that work for maintenance on the buildings and Diaz said, “They are constantly working on all of the buildings and they are the real MVPs. But they are understaffed and the buildings are old and need more help being up kept.”
Leanna Farr Contributing Writer
For the second year in a row, the UMF women’s soccer team has made it to the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) championship game. The beavers won the NAC championship last year for the second time in program history. The championship win last season was unexpected after the beavers had a rough start to the season.
McKenna Brodeur, junior psychology major, and leading goal scorer on the team with 52 career goals, said in an email interview “Winning the NAC was surreal. I think since it was so unexpected, it felt like a dream. There was so much energy in the air that day.” Brodeur comes from Oakland, Maine and is one of the key players in the offense.
On Nov. 10, the team made it to the championship game once again. “As a team, making it to the NAC championship again showed how much we have progressed. We were successful in areas that we have not been in the past,” Brodeur said “I knew how good we could be and how far we could make it. There is always pressure when you win one year and come back the next year. People do expect certain things to work out.”
The sophomore returning player Adriana Novella, a community health major, said, “Just making it to the NAC final proved what type of team we are and how hard we fight for each other and what we want.” Novella plays center back and is a crucial part of the beavers’ defense.
Women’s Soccer During Gameplay (Photo courtesy of Molly Wilkie)
During the regular season players always have another game to do better, but post-season playoffs become so much more important. Brodeur said, “It’s win or go home. The energy is different.”
In the audience, the energy and atmosphere at the game was a level up with all the UMF students and parents yelling and cheering with airhorns every time they made a good play. The Maine Maritime Academy (MMA) men’s team, who were playing next, yelled and cheered for their women’s team before leaving at half time to prepare for their game.
When it comes to being a UMF beaver, “I have never been part of such a close-knit team before. Everyone has your back and wants what is best for you. We are best friends on and off the field,” Brodeur said. “Our goal was to make it back to the championship game, and although we hoped to win, just being there felt like a huge accomplishment.”
“This season we all truly embraced our vision of family over everything. We overcame a lot of things that we did not think we could at the beginning of the season,” Novella said. “Just making it to the NAC final proved what type of team we are and how we fight for each other and what we want.”