UMF Internship Fair Promotes Post-Graduation Success

UMF Internship Fair Promotes Post-Graduation Success

By Dale J Rappaneau Jr. Contributing Writer


   Back again for its fifth year, the UMF Internship Fair will connect studen

Spring Internship Fair Poster in the Student Center. (Photo by Eryn Finnegan)

ts with local and regional businesses, each of which are in search of interns for various positions.

   The Internship Fair will take place on Wednesday, March 7, from 11:00 a.m  to 1:30 p.m., in the Olsen Student Center, and will feature such businesses as Alice James Books, the Maine State Aquarium, Sebago Trails Paddling, various district attorney offices and more.

   “It’s a smattering of everything,” said Joe Austin, interim Associate Director of the Partnership for Civic Advancement (PCA). “We want students to have a taste and visit tables to talk to folks, some directly involved in their area of interest. We also want them to think about things they might be interested in, yet haven’t thought about before.”

   Austin admits that it can be nerve-wracking for students to approach businesses about internships, but he believes it’s “important for students take the opportunity to put themselves out there.” Austin recommends bringing a resume in case a business asks for one.

   Austin also recommends asking the representatives a lot of questions. “It’s intimidating, but the key to getting over that is to ask questions. ‘What’s your day like?’ ‘How’d you get in the field?’ If you have a genuine curiosity, it comes through.” Austin added, “The businesses that come to the fair, they come because they get great students, and they’re here to help students. Just walk right up and start a conversation.”

   For the last four years, the Maine State Aquarium has been one of the core returning businesses attending the UMF Internship Fair. Elaine Jones, Education Director for the Department of Marine Resources, which oversees the aquarium, said she “treasures their relationship” with UMF.

   “There’s so much opportunity for students,” said Jones, “and a lot of our interns will tell me, ‘We learned more at this job than during an entire year of school.’ The hands-on experience is huge for their growth.”

   The Maine State Aquarium, located in Boothbay, hires three paid interns each summer. The interns work five days a week at the aquarium, caring for and interacting with aquatic creatures of all types. At the time of writing, all three positions are still open.

   “I started as an intern, and I’ve been in this position for twenty-eight years,” said Jones. “Been there, done that—was one of them—and I’m gonna make sure [the interns] walk away being able to call on me for a recommendation.”

   Austin admits that not all students will find their ideal career opportunity at the Internship Fair, which is why he encourages students to contact him at the PCA office and schedule an appointment to discuss internship possibilities.

   “We have many more listings than will be at the fair,” he said. “If they don’t see something they like, we can talk about it. We’ll work with them to find something that works.”

   Students interested in discussing internships with Joe Austin can reach him at

UMF Reflects on Sexuality and Gender Identity with Vagina Monologues

UMF Reflects on Sexuality and Gender Identity with Vagina Monologues

By Darby Murnane Contributing Writer    


   The Vagina Monologues, written by Eve Ensler, were recently performed by the Campus Violence Prevention Coalition (CVPC) and the UMF Counseling Services at Emery Arts Center, co-directed by Mary Ellms, Gavin Pickering, and Riah Pic

The Vagina Monologues present various pieces on feminine identity and sexuality.


   Premiering in the 1990’s, The Vagina Monologues explore the feminine identity and sexuality as well as the taboos surrounding them. The play is performed as part of the V-Day activist campaign, which fights violence against women.

   While some monologues in the play have more comedic value such as one which discusses various types of moans and another which lists strange slang terms for the vagina, many of the monologues tackle difficult subjects like the struggles faced by the transgender community and the violent sexual assaults of Bosnian women.

   Ellms and Pickering, both graduates of UMF, remember seeing the Monologues performed every spring during their time in college. When reflecting on her first time seeing the play, Ellms said, “I felt very uncomfortable the entire time,” as she had never heard women’s bodies being spoken about in such a blunt, bold manner. “And I think I was really culture shocked when I left. I just didn’t know what to do,” Ellms said.

   Pickering felt equally as shocked upon seeing the show and recalled “taking a step back and having to reflect on sort of preconceived notions and privilege and just what we don’t think we don’t know.”

   However, when approached by CVPC about putting on the show, they were eager to do so. For the directors, some of the shock-value has worn off and the material has begun to more natural.

   Pickering, who has a history with theatre dealing with social issues, said, “I feel like we’re coming from the perspective of educators and that changes how we hear what we’re doing.”

   “For me, The Vagina Monologues is about women empowering other people to be okay with who they are and to reclaim who they are,” Ellms said. She believes that this play is not just for women, but for people of all different gender identities. The play encourages people to be more open about their shared experiences and breaking the silence surrounding some of these experiences.

   Pickering agreed with this idea and expressed his hopes for a diverse crowd as he believed it would help further the discussion of consent and sexual assault.

   “I hope that a lot of men come to the show, young men come to the show to learn about the female experience, because it’s so important to hear the perspective,” Pickering said. “And that’s what I remember about seeing the Vagina Monologues is that sort of new heightened awareness of what the female experience really is, especially the fear and the risk involved in just living your daily life as a woman.”

   Cast member Aurora Bartley, a third year English major, finds a sense of empowerment in her involvement with the play. “I thought it was very liberating because you know doing this production about vaginas feels really important to me especially in a time where all of these sexual assault allegations are coming out in the news and everything,” Bartley said.

   Ellms hopes the audience finds that sense of empowerment too. “It’s really important for people to hear that vaginas are okay, and that it’s okay to have one, it’s okay to like them, it’s okay to talk about them and to ask questions about them,” she said. “It’s all okay, you don’t have to be afraid of it.”

UMF Office of Global Studies Hosted Chinese New Year Celebration

UMF Office of Global Studies Hosted Chinese New Year Celebration

By Nicole Stewart Staff Reporter

Chinese Chess (Photos by Nicole Stewart)

The UMF Office of Global Studies hosted a Chinese New Year Celebration in the recently renovated Fusion Center that brought together the community as they celebrated with music, food, and activities.

   Participants were greeted with red envelopes filled with chocolate gold coins inside, meant to bring happiness and good luck. The celebration featured food such as pork and vegetable dumplings, Kung Pao and rice and activities including  Chinese Chess, Chinese Paper Cutting, learning Mandarin, and practicing Chinese Calligraphy.

   Haiyu Zheng, an international exchange student, explained that Chinese New Years is “the biggest celebration in China, because we don’t have any other celebrations.” Zheng further added that “this is a period of time where people, family members gather together and it is a celebration that lasts about two weeks, from the Chinese New Years Eve till the Lantern Festival.”

  During Chinese New Year, each family has different celebrations and traditions.

   “Basically we write Chinese calligraphies and we put them on the wall,” said Zheng. “We decorate our room with those things as a sign of good luck. Happiness, unity, all of those good things.”

   Lynne Eustis, Assistant Director Of Global Studies said that UMF has hosted celebrations of the Chinese New Year since 2003. The planning of this event began in the fall.

   “We started talking to our visiting Chinese professor,” said Eustis, who asked visiting Chinese students to talk about what activities they would like to see at the event.

   Freshman Sara Szanty, in charge of the calligraphy station, believed that the community members and UMF students enjoyed practicing calligraphy and liked seeing the amount of people who attended.

   “It’s great seeing people of different cultures coming together to enjoy the Chinese New Year,” said Szantyr. “I think it is a great way to experience a culture without traveling all the way to China.”

All students were welcome at the event.

   Eustis said that they used the red envelopes to keep track of attendance. “Based on what we had left, we figured we had about 150 or more people,” Eustis said. “Which is pretty good, that’s about what we had last year.”

   Zheng stated that the celebration reminded her of being back in China. “It makes me feel so homey, and so much better because during this time usually it is a time that family gets together and I am away from home,” Zheng said. “Seeing something familiar makes me feel very welcomed.”


UMF Students Bring the Joy of Reading to Mallett Elementary

By Keely McConomy Contributing Writer

The Read To Maine Challenge is taking UMF by storm by preparing UMF Education majors for their futures and helping younger kids learn the power of literacy. The statewide program is a challenge to prove that reading to a young kid for 15 minutes can change their lives in big ways.

   During the month of February, everyone in the state of Maine is challenged to read to kids and post on social media to raise awareness of the importance of literacy. Read To Maine is benefitting both the children and college students, especially at UMF, known for its education program.

   Kathryn Will-Dubyak, a professor and a UMF representative with the Department of Education, has made this into a month-long activity at W.G. Mallett School in downtown Farmington.

   “I think it’s a real strength of UMF, how embedded we are in the community,” said Will-Dubyak. “I’m trying to build outreach with our campus,” she said.

   At Mallett School last year, Read to Maine was only a day-long activity with many adult volunteers from UMF and the community reading to groups of kids. This year, Will-Dubyak has now introduced the Super Beaver Readers, a UMF student, typically an education major, who goes to Mallett School once a week to read to a group of second graders, as well as other guest readers. The volunteer will read chaperbooks to the group during lunch to challenge the kids. The guest readers can also have groups that include kindergarteners and first graders.

   Will-Dubyak stressed the importance of having younger kids seeing their older peers being involved with reading instead of just seeing their teachers or parents.

   “The Mallett children get to see that other people besides their teachers value literature, value reading,” Will-Dubyak said.

   Tracy Williams, the principle of Mallett School, is completely on board with the Read to Maine challenge because of how beneficial it is for the children to “See people around them reading and enjoying reading.”

   Emily Beaudoin, a first grade teacher at Mallett, notices how much it improves her students. “[First graders] are able to listen to a fluent reader, expand their vocabulary, as well as work on their comprehension skills,” Beaudoin said.

   Christina Kouros, a senior and Education major at UMF, just started getting involved in the program this year as a Super Beaver Reader. Kouros loves being active in the program to help the kids, “It gets you in the classroom and you get to have more experience being around children.”

   Kouros enjoys building relationships with the children at Mallett and considers this as an opportunity to have real hands-on experience with children before she graduates UMF.

  Will-Dubyak wants to become even more involved with the Read to Maine Challenge and grow it as much as she can.

   “It’s really about the joy of reading,” she said.

Purington Hall Commits to Building Community

By Olivia White Contributing Writer

Purington Hall has stepped up its game since last year in its quest for a strong supportive community. Samantha Kane, current sophomore and resident, said, “Purington really embraces the idea of community that UMF tries to build in its residence halls.”

   Kayla Falco, Residence Hall Director for both Mallett and Purington, said that there are many “residents that plan impromptu gatherings in the hall, from potlucks, to big games of Werewolf, to Super Bowl parties.” Abbi Libby, returning resident and sophomore, agreed with Falco, saying that “people are more involved and actually show up to programs.”

   Falco also said that there are “different residents this year from last year, with different interests. Because of this, each CA will have different approaches to community building, which is true of all CAs. What worked last year might not work this year, and vice versa.”

   Kane has lived in two other residence halls during her time at UMF, “and even though all CAs attempted to build a community, it is very different in Purington,” she said. “There are always people in the lounge doing homework or watching TV or playing a game and everyone is always very welcoming if you want to join. Everyone knows everyone and even though that makes it hard, living so close is nice because you always have someone to turn to.”

   Jasmine Corkins, the current treasurer for Purington’s Campus Residence Council, said that “Purington’s community [is] really wholesome and good natured. Everyone gets along and can just talk without having to force it. I love being able to say hi to anyone, with or without knowing them super well. It’s a real sense of family in the hall.”

   Falco praised a series of events that took place in the fall semester called “Back to School,” crediting its popularity with improved community life. Purington CAs held a themed program every day for a week at the beginning of the fall semester. They each ran a program a day, and did a program together on the 5th day. During this week-long event, CAs and residents traveled back in time throughout the week, participating in events relating to high school moving all the way back to preschool.

   The CAs in Purington Hall have expressed their commitment to creating a supportive community in many ways. Kane believes that out of all of the events held in Purington Hall, the residents were brought together most by the “Diversity Glitter Jars,” a program put on by CA Josh Beckett, UMF psychology major.