UMF XC Shines Highlighted by Mens’ Victory

By Michael Levesque, Assistant Editor.

On Saturday September 25, 2021, the men’s and women’s cross country teams traveled to Saxl Park in Bangor, Maine to compete at the Husson Harrier Invitational.

A good race day for the men’s and women’s team was highlighted with the men’s squad capturing first place. Five members from the men’s team finished within the top 32 positions with three runners finishing in the top 15.

Captain Joe Ashby, a senior, finished 21st overall and indicated some uncertainty before the race in regards to where they would finish. “Going into the meet we weren’t really sure if we would win because we know that Colby [College] and Husson [University] have really strong programs,” Ashby said. “But we were there to run hard and compete.” Improving on their times was the main focus of practice in the weeks leading up to the meet but actually winning the meet became the overall goal. “We are training really hard for times but at the end of the day, we are here to win the NAC [North Atlantic Conference],” Ashby said.

Coach Sean Cabaniss said through the teams Instagram page that the men’s win was the “first time since 2018.” Cabaniss also said on the page that many of the team members individually had great races with “PR’s[personal records] almost across the board.”Ashby also recognized the efforts of each runner. “We have a really strong team this year. With NAC’s being at a difficult course this year, [Saturday October 30th hosted by Thomas College] we really want to win.”

Ashby knows that even with the recent success, challenges still remain ahead. “Winning is never easy. We weren’t the smallest team there but I do think we were the second smallest.” One major challenge to winning each race is the team size. “It’s hard when you have a bunch of other runners to displace your guys,” Ashby said.

But with any success comes a sense of pride. Ashby recognizes the overall accomplishment of the team. “To win was a great feeling because I don’t think we have won a meet in quite a few years.”

The Cross Country teams will have their next two meets Saturday October 2nd [hosted by Bates] and Saturday October 23 [hosted by Bowdoin] before competing in the NAC championship on October 30th.

Everything Halloween

Everything Halloween

By Charity Webster, Contributing Writer.

Halloween is just around the corner with so many fun things to do this holiday season. What peaks your interest? Is it to dress up, go to a party, or just eat a bunch of candy? Maybe you want to have a marathon of scary films or hang out with your friends at a haunted house or hayride? Maybe all of the above!

The holiday brings a whole world of mystery and fun. Did you know that you originally had to dance for your “treat”? Or that Halloween used to be a great day to find your soulmate? Studies have shown that the holiday actually makes kids act more evil, and that a full moon on Halloween is extremely rare. What’s next? Farmington is full of spookiness too. Some people believe the ghost of Lillian Nordica haunts the halls of Merrill. Whatever your fancy, there is so much to do this season in Farmington and right on campus! Check out below:

 

All year around:

Nightmare Club

The point of this club is for its members to come together under the enjoyment of the horror genre in all of its forms, including but not limited to: film and television, literature, role playing, and video games. In addition to an appreciation and discussion of all of the above, the club intends to work on its own agendas for events to involve both the UMF student community as well as the community of Farmington and the surrounding towns. Meetings are Wednesdays at 8pm. Contact Paul Gies, the faculty advisor, at paulgies@maine.edu

 

October 7th from 7-9pm

“Mission Imagination” Electric Violin Concert and Discussion. Led by Electro-acoustic violist and David Bowie Collaborator Martha Mooke, this event is a concert and discussion of Bowie’s work and creative process. Free at the Emery Community Arts Center

 

October 9th 

Oktoberfest at Saddleback Maine. Visit their website for more details: https://www.saddlebackmaine.com/event/oktoberfest/

 

October 20th from 7pm-9pm 

Full Moon Hike put on by University of Maine Farmington

 

October 27th

“Get out and Horror Soundtracks” by Aaron Wyanski, composer, pianist, and Assistant Professor of Music Composition UMF. According to the New Commons Project page: “critical exploration of soundtrack of horror fills over the last century”

 

October 29th from 4pm-6pm

Trunk or Treat Put on by the Rotaract club 4pm-6pm. A safe place to bring your kiddos trick or treating! Located in the parking lot behind the Fusion Center.

 

October 22 & 23, and 29 & 30th

Haunted House at the Farmington Fairgrounds. Fright Nights  7pm-10pm, $20 admission fee. If Halloween is your scare come check us out! According to Mainehauntedhouses.com:  “Join us for this mind blowing, never before seen Halloween event! Three separate terrifying haunted houses in one location, one ticket to rule them all!… FREE Parking! Beer and Cider for those over 21. Vendors! Food! Axe throwing!”

This event is also looking for Volunteers, and benefits The United Way of the Tri Valley Area as well as Titcomb Mountain.

 

 

 

Visit the Apple Orchards in the area all through the month of October!

Pick your own pumpkins and apples, enjoy some goodies, hayrides, and  corn mazes

 

 

Morrison Hill Orchard from 12pm-4pm Daily

Pick your own apples or pumpkins or pick up some fresh pressed cider.

 

Boothby’s Orchard and Farm from 10am-5pm Daily

A unique experience to the area that includes wine tasting made from their apples and their grapes. Also come pick your own apples and pumpkins.

 

Ricker Hill Orchards from 9am-6pm Daily

Pick your own apples and pumpkins, play a round of disc golf, and pick up some of their famous apple cider donuts.

The Center for Entrepreneurial Studies

The Center for Entrepreneurial Studies

By Emma Dipompo, Contributing Writer.

Are you creative? Do you craft for fun? Have you ever thought of taking your hobby to the next level? The Center for Entrepreneurial Studies in downtown Farmington might be a great resource for you. The CES is a small business opened and operated by Bonita Lehigh to encourage students in both high school and college to start their own businesses.

“The mission for the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies is to create a wide-branching support system for workforce development and creative thinking,” Lehigh said. “Our program believes an entrepreneurial mindset allows for a growing and prosperous community. The Center for Entrepreneurial Studies is ‘created by students for students’ knowing that everyone possesses the qualities, skills, and knowledge to form their own businesses and enrich local communities.”

The CES is always looking for new creators, and it is very easy to get started. They are looking to add a creators’ space in the back of the store where people could come and craft without being interrupted.

Sophie Haley-Vigue is a high school student at Mt. Blue High School. Her earrings are one of the top selling items at the CES. “The experience I’ve learned while working here is great, how many 16 year olds do you know that can put in their own purchase order?”

There is currently a donation box in the shop. They are trying to raise $2,016,000 by 2022.

“CES is currently developing a fundraising committee to plan large community events and campaigns,” said Leigh. “We are on the lookout for people who can be passionate, think outside the box, put skin in the game, and be on the ground floor to make positive change in their community. I am also applying for a very large grant and believe we have a solid shot at it.”

Their website is also a good resource. You can apply for an application online at  www.cesmaine.com.

Student interest in extracurriculars on the rise

By Ashley Ward, Secretary and Assistant Editor

FARMINGTON 一 Extracurriculars at the University of Maine at Farmington have reported a struggle with student involvement and membership over the last 18 months as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, group leaders believe that there is hope on the horizon.

For on-campus clubs, it was nearly impossible for students to engage in activities. Those that did join were faced with the responsibilities for several in-club positions.

“We took a hard hit last year with the pandemic and got all the way down to one member,” said Artemis Monteith, President of the Nightmare Club. According to Monteith, the club went all the way from 20 members to almost disbanding. Now the club has up to 16 members.

Learning Commons Coordinator William St. John noted increased difficulty in making new tutor hires for this academic year. “I’ve sent out dozens of emails…offering students jobs. Saying, ‘I’ll hire you! And you get to work your own hours, and get paid 12 bucks an hour!’ and most of them never replied,” St. John said.

St. John said that even though students haven’t been as aggressive at seeking out academic help from tutors, numbers are on the rise.

“…tutoring this semester is doing better than it was last semester at this time,” St. John said.

Despite the limited student participation last year, organizations on campus are optimistic about student interest levels returning to pre-pandemic levels with enough time. Advisor of the Student Senate Kirsten Swan said each incoming class of first year students brings a wave of reinvigorated enthusiasm back to extracurricular activities on campus. The increase of participation is observed in the demographics of several clubs and their members, as well as in the Student Senate.

“I think the future is pretty bright for the Student Senate. Everybody on the executive board is new, except for the President, and there are a lot of first and second year students that are Student Senators. There seems to be a lot of good energy in terms of wanting to get involved and wanting to find out what the Student Senate is all about,” Swan said.

UMF hosts first Inclusive Maker Summit to support rural students with and without disabilities

By April Mulherin, Contributing Writer

FARMINGTON, ME  (September 30, 2021)—The University of Maine at Farmington hosted the first Inclusive Maker Summit on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021, to support rural students with and without disabilities in STEM education and career pathways.

The event, funded through a National Science Foundation INCLUDES Planning grant, brought together over 40 Maine educators, administrators, librarians, students with disabilities, and other community stakeholders to network and share knowledge around broadening the participation of rural students through accessible makerspaces. The $96,377 grant was secured by Gina Oswald, UMF associate professor of rehabilitation services, and Theresa Overall, UMF professor of secondary education.

“A makerspace is simply a ‘space’ filled with tools, resources, and work surfaces where people gather to design and ‘make’ something new,” explained Overall.

Participants gathered at UMF to engage in meaningful discussions and hands-on activities focused on facilitating accessible measures and fostering inclusion of all students within makerspaces, locations where individuals are able to prototype, test and refine solutions to real-world problems and products to meet community needs.

“During the previous grant activities that involved surveying teachers and completing site visits to makerspaces around the state of Maine, we learned that many teachers were already engaging in makerspace-type activities,” said Oswald. “Unfortunately, these teachers often feel isolated within their own schools and communities, unable to problem-solve everyday issues and concerns or expand their activities beyond their classrooms. We recognized quickly that makers around the state need a network and resources to thrive and bring meaningful STEM-related makerspace activities to rural students of all abilities.”

The keynote speaker at Saturday’s event was Sylvia Martinez, author of “Invent to Learn: Making, Tinkering and Engineering in the Classroom,” a book hailed as the “bible of the maker movement in schools.” In addition, a three-person expert panel included Lily Bailey, UMF NSF Consortium member and local student; Hailey Howard, vocational rehabilitation counselor II at the Maine Division of Vocational Rehabilitation; and Paul Meinersmann, Technology & Makerspace Director at St. George Municipal School Unit.

Breakout sessions also included presentations from Jeff Bailey and Matt McWilliams from Mountain Valley High School, John Brandt of Maine CITE, Susan Capwell of Searsport District Middle/High School, Stephen LaRochelle and Joseph Brittelli from Kennebec Valley Community College, and Theresa Overall of UMF.

Presentation topics included small maker activities for the classroom;, how to scale the ideas of the Maker Movement for your lesson, unit, classroom, or school; using different scanner types to create a 3D printable self-portrait; how to make electronic content (word documents, pdfs, videos, etc.) accessible; using Scratch and TinkerCAD software; and what do makerspaces around the country and the world look like.

Tours of the accessible Makerspace at UMF’s Mantor Library, the Center for Assistive Technology in the Spenciner Curriculum Materials Center, and Everyone’s Resource Depot in the Theodora J. Kalikow Education Center were also provided.

Exhibitors shared resources for funding opportunities for classroom teachers, information about Engineering Week, and a display of individual backpacks each with a Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM) focus (astronomy, entomology, forensic science and architecture.) The “STEM kits to go” backpacks contain books and hands-on materials related to each focus (a telescope, plaster casting materials, butterfly net).

Overall described the event as, “A day of networking and learning. We created opportunities for conversations among like-minded individuals, whether their commonalities were the grade levels they served or their geographic proximity to each other. Participants who weren’t even sure what a makerspace was, as well as some of Maine’s pioneers in maker education, all felt they left the event with new ideas and next steps they could take in their pursuit of inclusion.”