McKayla Marois: First-Year Student Making an Impact on UMF

McKayla Marois: First-Year Student Making an Impact on UMF

By Caleb Grover, Contributing Writer

First-year Secondary Education Major at UMF McKayla Marois. (Photo Courtesy of McKayla Marois)

First-year Secondary Education Major at UMF McKayla Marois. (Photo Courtesy of McKayla Marois)

There are not enough hours in a day, or that’s how it seems for first-year McKayla Marois. Marois is a secondary education major with a concentration in English, and a minor in music. Teaching has been Marois’ dream since she was in elementary school, and influencing others to better themselves, has always been a part of who she is. “I like seeing people’s faces suddenly light up when they understand something,” said Marois.  

Currently she is the secretary of the UMF College Republicans, and is expanding her leadership in the club, as she will be the vice president next semester. In addition to that, Marois will also be the Vice Chair of the Maine Federation of College Republicans next semester. “McKayla is a good leader because she takes initiative in all of the tasks at hand,” said Isaac Michaud, President of the UMF College Republicans. “McKayla is very outgoing and social. She is a wonderful person to be around and she never ceases to make me smile or laugh!”

Marois works as an Admissions Ambassador, the job she wanted before her freshman year started. Marois said that like teaching, she enjoys seeing people’s expressions on tours when they realize UMF is where they want to be. Marois hopes to one day be in a leadership position in Admissions. She strives to be her best as a tour guide, and always represent UMF with a smile and a warm welcome.              

“She is someone who is dependable, absorbs a great deal of information quickly and will ask questions if she needs clarification, that’s one of the most important things,” said Lisa Ellrich, Associate Director of Admissions, “I love her quiet leadership style. She takes it all in and is very thoughtful about her responses and reactions.”

Marois will be a C.A. in Dakin Hall next semester. “I really like the community here, and hope to use all the tools I am gaining through my experiences, in my classroom someday.”

Marois finds that competing and playing sports allows her time to relax from her busy schedule. She frequently participates in intramural sports at the FRC, and is a member of the UMF Women’s Lacrosse team.

A tenured member of UMF’s premiere a capella group, Clefnotes, Marois attends three rehearsals a week. She goes to every club meeting, attends lacrosse games and practices, works three days a week in Admissions, and still finds time to balance a social life and a GPA well over 3.0.

As a freshman, Marois’ college journey has just begun, and it seems that her impact on UMF and the surrounding community will only continue to grow. “I see more leadership roles in her future at UMF, and making a positive impact on the UMF community and the greater Farmington community,” said Michaud.

Mainely Outdoors Hosts 7th Annual Canoe and Kayak Race on the Sandy River

By Caleb Grover, Contributing Writer 

The Sandy River Canoe and Kayak Race and Fun Paddle is being held on April 30 by Mainely Outdoors and is open to community members, high school and college students.

The race allows people to enjoy the outdoors and make good memories with their friends. “This race provides a great outdoor recreation opportunity,” said Jim Toner, director of the FRC and Mainely Outdoors program. “This is something most people probably wouldn’t do on their own, so it allows people to get out and enjoy the great outdoors with their friends.”

The race attracts people of all skill levels. Competitive kayak racers who are in MaCKRO (Maine Canoe and Kayak Racing Organization) participate in the event as a part of their circuit of races across Maine. The Mt. Blue High School outing club and the UMF Outing Club have both participated in the race, as well as many community members, of all ages and professions.

Although all of the water is either class 1 or 2, the river still provides a few challenges for the participants. Last year low water levels led to a rockier, shallower river than normal, which was due to a lack of snow. This made strategy more important than ever. “There is a foot drop off in the last mile of the race, and only a few good places to get down it depending on the water levels said Toner. “It’s all about picking your channels though.”  

The race is run in heats, people of like skill level are put together. Fun paddlers go together and the competitive racers go together. “It allows the racers to go as fast as they want without having to paddle around slower people, and it lets the people who are there to fun paddle not to feel rushed,” said Toner.

Avery Isbell, a sophomore and elementary education major, worked in last year’s race as a sweep kayak. Sweep kayaks follow behind the last person in the given heat, to make sure nobody gets left behind or put in a dangerous position by themselves. “It’s something fun and new for people to try in a very safe environment, with people who are trained and experienced always nearby,” said Isbell.

“Be prepared with warm clothes just in case you get wet,” said Isbell. “The water is typically very cold in April.”

The race starts at 1:00 p.m. on April 30 by the American Legion in Strong. Registration on race day runs from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and the pre-race meeting is at 12:30 p.m.. People interested in participating can also register beforehand at the FRC. Registration is $10.00 per person, and $5.00 for UMF students. For any questions, contact Jim Toner.