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.
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.
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.”
By Paige Lusczyk, Contributing Writer.
The University of Maine at Farmington’s Art Gallery will be showcasing installation artist Samantha Jones’ work, “Vital Traces,” until Oct. 28. Last week, Jones spoke about her work at a public reception on Mantor Green.
“Vital Traces” is split up into three different sections, one for each floor of the gallery. Each floor connects to a different feeling of grief.
“There is a joy that comes from the body that the brain can’t handle,” Jones said. The pieces shown in “Vital Traces” and the materials used helped Jones step out of her body and be one with her grief, she said.
“There is no border for me between personal and art,” Jones said. “Our Ego is in the way of our ability to connect to the rest of the world… in the way of saving ourselves.”
The first floor holds many different styles of art ranging from glasswork to jewelry sculptures to digital aluminum prints. Jones likes to call the first floor “Area 51” or “Seance.” The work is all about reaching.
“It’s not human. It’s all types of being,” she said.
With her piece, “Seance with Malka,” Jones admitted to channeling her late grandmother-in-law to help her place each piece of jewelry. The jewelry itself was her grandmother-in-law’s and she felt even more connected to her as she placed each piece.
“She was a walking art piece,” Jones said, “I channeled her.”
One of the more curious display pieces of “Vital Traces” would be the breastmilk soap on the first floor. Jones saw the art as an excretion of the initial process. She connected a child to that process and actually used her own breast milk from nursing her son.
“The art that comes has its own life; it becomes its own. It then gets to teach me,” Jones said. “It is not doing it according to our bidding.”
The second floor is “where the pieces get to reach back.” As you walk up the stairs a beautiful piece is draped along the staircase that is full of life and conversation. The piece, “L’esprit de L’escalier,” was inspired by Diderot, an artist that talked about how we only think of good comebacks when we walk away from the situation. “When the earth starts to speak,” Jones said.
Pieces “Entanglement III” and “Seismic Dreams” are the largest pieces in “Vital Traces.” “Entanglement III” falls differently in every installation. It becomes one with the room.
“Seismic Dreams” was made with no plan. Jones worked in a way with the material so she would not interfere with how it wanted to form. The piece was not titled until Jones opened the folded cloth. “It was telling me what it was,” Jones said.
The third floor is more of a cathartic gesture. It holds only one piece titled “Immanence” which tries to capture the essence of topless churches in Rome. The piece brings a sense of “connecting the architecture to the atmosphere.”
Jones admitted that she sees the “materials [she] works with as living creatures.” Seeing her work as living beings helps the process be more organic for Jones. Although she did admit that “it’s terrifying not knowing where you’re going.”
However, Jones said her art is truly all about the process. Most of the work that she displayed in the gallery was made by trying to avoid a true plan and letting the art speak for itself.
“It is a way into care, it’s a way into reconnecting to things that we have subverted and ignored by trying to make a plan,” Jones said.
Gallery Director, Sarah Maline took the initiative to reach out to Jones. “I had been stalking her work online for a couple of years,” Maline said.
“Vital Traces” was postponed for another year after the initial acceptance because of the pandemic. “The whole show changed after that year. Right? Because you can’t have just…. something that you thought you had, then you’re in a different place, right? You gotta be where you’re at,” Jones said.
Recent UMF Alumna, Samantha Taylor, opened up for Jones in the public reception. Taylor performed by singing and playing songs on a guitar for a half hour.
By Page Brown, Contributing Writer.
After a year of canceled competition due to COVID-19, all six UMF fall varsity teams are well underway with an active season. The Beavers have seen immense success, with teams placing in several events and tournaments alongside individual athletes receiving numerous accolades.
The field hockey team experienced a tremendous kickoff to their season, winning the Caryl Newhof Classic tournament at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. The team defeated Westfield State 6-1, with senior Alex Bessey knocking in a career-high of 4 goals, and Smith College 3-2 in the final game. Alex Bessey and Grace DiMarco both took home the top New England Collegiate Conference awards, with Bessey claiming Offensive Player of the Week and DiMarco hailed Goalkeeper of the Week for the opening week of play. Since then, the team has posted a 3-3 record, including 1-1 in conference play.
The men’s soccer team has also exhibited a strong start to the season, posting a 5-1 record in the opening few weeks of the Fall 2021 campaign. The team faced early obstacles of game cancellations due to COVID and weather, however senior captain goalkeeper Jonah Sautter said these obstacles have only brought the team closer. “We’ve continued to look forward and focus on what we can control,” Sautter said. “We are all connecting on and off the field.” In their season opener, the Beavers performed strong, winning 5-1. The victory was the first opening game victory since 2017. Yusuf Mohamed scored two goals, with Sautter tallying a career-high of nine saves. The accomplishment awarded Sautter with the North Atlantic Conference Men’s Soccer Defensive Player of the Week for the conference’s first week of play.
The following game was against NAC rival Husson University, where a late rally saw the Beavers fall short 2-1 with Jimmy Pelletier scoring the sole goal. Since the loss, the Beavers have won five consecutive games including victories against Castleton University, Northern-Vermont University-Johnson, the University of Maine at Presque Isle, SUNY Cobleskill, and SUNY Delhi. The Beavers saw narrow victories against Castleton University, Johnson, and SUNY Cobleskill, with the pair of 2-1 victories being attributed to the overall grittiness of the team. The 5-1 victory against UMPI saw the Beavers take 28 shots on goal, with Gracien Mukwa netting two goals. The strong start creates an optimistic look into the postseason. Senior Captain Silas Mohler highlighted this excitement, yet remained focused on the upcoming games. “The conference is full of talented teams hungry to win, it should be a fun postseason,” Mohler said. “We have a great group of guys and I’m excited for what’s to come.”
The women’s soccer team has posted a 1-5 record in their opening games. The squad now heads into conference play, having faced University of Maine at Presque Isle, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and SUNY Delhi. The team has gone 1-2 against NAC opponents. The team’s conference victory came with a 1-0 win over the University of Maine at Presque Isle. Morgan Thompsom logged the lone goal for the day, while Farmington held a 28-10 advantage in total shots, alongside six corner kicks to UMPI’s one.
The cross country teams have participated in three invitational tournaments at Colby-Sawyer College, Thomas College and Husson University. The group is young, with 13 of the 22 runners being first-years. Head coach Sean Caniss noted their effect, saying they have “made a big impact” on the competitiveness and culture of the team.
On the women’s side, the Beavers took fourth place at the Colby-Sawyer Invitational, with Anna MacDonald finishing in 16th place with a time of 23:37.43. The Beavers scored 96 points, finishing behind Colby-Sawyer with 29 points, Plymouth State with 52 points, and St. Joseph’s College of Maine with 62 points.
The women had a strong finish at Thomas, clinching second place with 48 points, with Husson University winning the event with 37 points. MacDonald finished in seventh, with a time of 27:04.78. Emily Eaton finished just behind MacDonald, crossing the finish line in eighth place with a time of 27:10.18.
At Husson, the women finished in third place with 66 points. Charlotte Wentworth finished tenth, with a time of 23:05.6. Colby College won the Husson Harrier event with 38 points, followed by Husson University with 47.
The men’s cross country team ended in second place at the Colby-Sawyer Charger Invitational. The Beavers saw three runners finish in the top seven. Justin Castaldo was the first finisher for the Beavers, placing fourth with a time of 17:01.10. The Beavers scored 40 points, with Plymouth State winning the meet with 34 points.
At Thomas College, the Beavers finished in third place with 74 points, behind the University of Southern Maine with 33 points, and Husson with 63 points. Justin Castaldo finished the race with a time of 31:03.57, securing 10th place. Teammates Covy Dufort and Jimmy Reel finished in 13th and 14th place, with times of 31:31.10 and 31:50.53, respectively.
The Beavers won the Husson Harrier Invitational, with five scoring runners in the top 13. Justin Castaldo was the first Beaver to cross the finish line, coming in sixth place with a time of 29:20.5, with teammate Covy Dufort crossing at 29:25.3, earning him seventh place. UMF scored 49 points to lead the event, with Husson finishing in second with 53 points, followed by Colby College with 63 points, Maine Maritime with 66 points, and Thomas College with 103 points.
The UMF Golf Team has participated in five matches so far. In a dual match against Thomas, UMF lost 340 to 325. Neil Larochelle III scored a 78 on the par 70 Waterville course, while teammates Kellen True and Ryan Sargent both scored 86. The team placed fourth at the Thomas College Invitational, with Larochelle III scoring a 70 on the same Waterville course. Chris Frey scored an 81, which earned him an 11th place tie. At the UMF Invitational, the Beavers placed sixth with a total of 337 points. Larochelle III finished with 79, while teammates Daniel Mickiewicz completed with a score of 85 and Jack Burton scored an 86. At the University of Southern Maine Cup, the Beavers placed third with a score of 231. The golfers played in pairs, with Mickiewicz/True tying for third with 73, Larochelle/Sargent finishing with 74, and Burton/Frey earning 10th with an 84. At the Bowdoin Invitational, the team ended in 15th place. Sargent scored an 83, while True and Larochelle both scored an 85.