UMF’s newest Adjunct Professor and District attorney: Andrew Robinson

By Thomas Young Contributing Writer

   Andrew “Andy” Robinson is a new law instructor at UMF and just finished his first semester as an adjunct professor while being re-elected as district attorney in UMF’s district.

   Robinson is taking over the courses that were taught by Walter Hanstein in previous years. Robinson taught Law and the Legal system last semester and is currently teaching Crime and Punishment.

   Robinson holds many other titles such as Treasurer for Western Maine Community Action and President of the Maine Prosecutors’ Association, along with an unending list of associations and committees of which he is a member.

   Robinson travelled around a lot when he was younger, finally going to and graduating from Limestone High School before going to the University of Maine. While at University of Maine, Robinson met his wife. Robinson’s wife went to school to learn to be a chiropractor while Robinson commuted to University of Maine School of Law in Portland.

   Robinson spent 18 months doing real estate law before being hired as a domestic violence prosecutor by the District Attorney in 1999. A year later Robinson’s first child was born. Soon he was given the position of Deputy District Attorney. In 2014 he won his first election for District Attorney and had three kids.

   In his legal profession Robinson met Woody Hanstein. Robinson had been invited to join Hanstein’s classes in the past. “Woody was always generous about letting me teach his class,” said Robinson. Hanstein had a tradition of inviting Robinson into his class and giving Robinson a gift, such as a t-shirt.

   Robinson got a lot of advice and inspiration from Hanstein “He [Hanstein] gave me the sample syllabus,” said Robinson. Although Robinson credits Hanstein for all of the help, Hanstein wasn’t the only factor. Robinson said, “I have always been interested in teaching.”

   Robinson’s classes focus on group discussion based on readings. Robinson focuses his grading on participation and attendance so that one bad test will not harm a student’s grade too badly. Robinson also believes this is most efficient. “I feel like if everyone participates we all benefit,” said Robinson.

   Robinson has already started thinking about other course he may be able to offer in the future. Robinson has mentioned the idea of comparing different nation’s legal systems and how legal systems work under monarchs as two examples of potential future courses.  Robinson’s eagerness to teach more classes is easily explained by professional interest. “I love the law,” Robinson said.

   Robinson’s has recently been re-elected as the District attorney for Oxford, Franklin and Androscoggin county. With a staff of 14 assistant district attorneys and 26 other support staffers Robinson is able to offer internships at each of his offices. Robinson speaks highly of this involvement in the legal system. “It’s an important experience,” said Robinson.

   This makes Robinson a great resource for any students that are looking to go into a law career. Robinson’s first advice for anyone pursuing law to look at programs such as the program with University of Maine School of Law. “Take a look at the three for three program,” said Robinson. As there is no specific major required to get into law school, Robinson said, “study whatever your interest is.”

Bite-Me-Beaver: Our Horrible Advice Column

Dear Bite,

I am a moderator for HvZ, and the past few semesters have been boring. The missions are always the same, and the players are getting to settled in the status quo. I can’t think of any fun ways to spice up the gameplay. Got any good ideas?

-Bored to Undeath

Dear Undead,

Medical science has achieved some amazing things. Wouldn’t it be wild if somehow, a petri dish (or two, if you’re not a coward) of a rare disease just happened to. . .disappear from the biology labs? And perhaps, break upon the pavement during game play? Decide if you want to be a moderator, or the moderator.


Dear Bite,

I have practicum this semester and I’m assigned to a middle school health class. I’m so prepared to teach, but I don’t understand the modern middle-schooler. I’m worried that I’m not hip or cool enough to make them respect me. Their lingo doesn’t make any sense. I can’t find this vape nation on any map, nor do I understand their obsession with increments of 14 days. What can I do to learn more about the modern child?

-Stuck in the timeline God abandoned

Dear Abandoned,

You don’t want their respect, you want their fear. At this age, those kids are meme-obsessed, demonic little gremlins that will mow down anyone who tries to appease them. Establish yourself as one of the Ancient Ones- one who created the first memes. You know, Bad Luck Brian, Overly Attached Girlfriend. Screw their current, pop-cultures references and slam with the stock format of a single subject framed by white and black block letters, with a set, thematic punchline. Make them understand where you’ve been, what you’ve seen, how it is to be raised in the trenches with the remains of long-dead memes.


Dear Bite,

I’ve only been dating my significant other for a short time, and with Valentine’s day here, I don’t know how seriously to take the day. Is it awkward to plan something special if we’re not at that level, or would seem like I don’t care if I do nothing?

-Sgt. Pepper’s Confused Hearts Club Band

Dear Sgt. Pepper,

Easy- tell your SO, “Babe, I got us matching bracelets!” Then handcuff yourself to them. You’ll be at a real special level by the end of the day.

Women’s Lacrosse Coach Discusses Leadership and the Upcoming Season

Women’s Lacrosse Coach Discusses Leadership and the Upcoming Season

By Heather Kinee  Contributing Writer

Coach Beth Lebel, a UMF Graduate, is inspired by the coaches she had has an undergrad. (Photo Courtesy of UMF Athletics Page)

With the women’s lacrosse team nearing its season, head coach Beth Lebel was able to shed some insight on their upcoming season. Lebel, a UMF graduate, didn’t find her passion for coaching until she worked in sports information.

   “I knew that after my experiences as a student athlete here I didn’t want to be done with athletics,” Lebel said. Since Label was once a student athlete herself,  she found the drive to become a coach at UMF. Label already knew the town, the other coaches, the community, and she wanted to give back through coaching.

   One coach that had a huge positive impact was Molly Wilkie, the women’s soccer coach. “Having a coach that believes in you is 80 percent said Lebel and Molly was that coach.”

   While attending UMF, Lebel played four years of soccer and two years of lacrosse. When Lebel graduated, she jumped in as an assistant coach with her former coach Wilkie. “I looked up to Molly as a coach,” said Lebel, “and now I had the opportunity to work along side of her as my mentor.”

   Lebel started off assistant coaching soccer and lacrosse but when the position opened up for the head coaching position, she applied and got the job. Lebel has now been assistant coaching soccer for five years and and has been head coach of the women’s lacrosse team for three.

   Only a week into the season Lebel says that the team is meshing really well together already. “Having everyone who did fall ball is now here on the team really makes a difference,” said Lebel. The team is already way ahead of where they were last year.

   Though the lacrosse team lost a couple of key players last year, they have a good chunk of experienced players coming back, including six seniors, three of which are captains. “Having such a strong core as our highest class is great as they all lead as examples and really help and encourage our underclassmen,” said Lebel.

   Sam Cross, a senior Biology Pre-Vet major, has played lacrosse at UMF for all four years. Cross is one of the captains and also has high hopes for the season. “The team has changed over the years by becoming more accepting to all players and working more on team chemistry,” Cross said in an online interview. “When you look at our team, there are not cliques and you honestly cannot tell who belongs in each class which is something that we take pride in.”  

   Cross and the team are all on the same page as for what they want for the season. With hard work and dedication they have been putting in the are ready for the season to start with the NAC championship in sight.

   “Any team hopes to make it to the conference championship but seeing the women’s soccer team do it and win has really inspired the lacrosse team,” said Lebel. This has driven the team to to give any team a run for their money.

   While they struggle with snow on the ground, the team is able to make accommodations by practicing inside as well as traveling to Thomas to play on their turf. Since there are many other sports during the spring, the women’s lacrosse team has to be very flexible with sharing time inside the gym, such as practicing at 6 a.m. in the morning. “The girls have a great attitude about it and after a little while it’s just routine to them,” said Lebel.

   The lacrosse team is built up of strong hard workers and as the season goes on Lebel is excited to see how the team will unravel and progress.

Painting Your Way Towards a Sense of Community

Painting Your Way Towards a Sense of Community

By Madison Lecowitch Contributing Writer


UMF Senior Juliana Burch is the host of Paint Night. (Photo courtesy of Juliana Burch)

The Center for Student Involvement at UMF will be holding monthly Paint Nights in The Landing to promote creativity, inclusivity and community. Juliana Burch, a senior at UMF, is the host of paint night.

   Burch’s job is to select a painting to recreate, and to show students how to paint it with step-by-step instructions. “I’ll go on the internet and I’ll look at paint night photos on google images to kinda see what people do, and I try to find one that I think would be fun and that I would want to have on my wall,” Burch said. “I try to pick one that I feel people would want to do that might help them to feel better.”

   Burch is majoring in English, with a double minor in International and global studies and film studies. She explains that painting has alway been a passion of hers. “I’ve always really loved art,” Burch said. “It’s such a great way to shut off a part of your brain. The worrying and the anxiety and the stress and everything that college and life puts on you.”

   Although Burch enjoys all things art, painting doesn’t come very easy for her. Burch is color blind, which affects her ability to see specific colors. “I was in a bit of an accident when I was younger in the garage, and it resulted in a minor explosion, and basically the way I see color now is I can see green fine, but I can’t see blue and yellow,” Burch said. “Blue and yellow kind of blend in to green, so where everyone can see the green spectrum, the blue spectrum and the yellow spectrum, they’re all one long spectrum of green for me.”

   Burch really tries to focus on making others happy. At the first Paint Night, students painted a sunset with cacti and shrubbery. “We’re in the middle of winter. It’s cold and it’s dark and it’s sad, so I wanted to do a sunset or sunrise because I feel those fill people with hope and happiness,” Burch said. “I thought that might be a nice way to warm people up with how cold winter is.”

   Burch explained that Paint Night was formed to bring UMF together as a whole. “I’m a Community Assistant in the residence halls, and we host programs every semester to try and encourage kids to get out of their room and meet people and engage in, and kind of foster that sense of community that Farmington has,” Burch said.

   Amethyst Leeman, a freshman, enjoyed the engaging community atmosphere that was created for Paint Night. “It was fun, and I liked hanging out with friends and seeing everyone’s finished product,” Leeman said. “I thought Juliana was fun, she really engaged the audience.”

   The first paint night had about 24 attendees. Burch hopes that more people will show up for the next paint night. “I would love to try to make this a bigger event, especially if we have the funding for it,” Burch said. “I don’t want to turn people away from wanting to paint.”

   In an email interview, Sydney Goodridge, a student on campus, explained that she chose to participate in Paint Night because it’s a creative outlet for beginning artists. “I participated in Paint Night because it seemed fun and simple enough for a novice,” Goodridge said. “I loved how Juliana created a pleasant atmosphere and easy-to-follow instructions.”

   The next Paint Night will take place Monday, Feb. 25 at 8 p.m. Burch’s email is, and she encourages people to reach out to her for tips and suggestions on what they would like to paint next, or any music suggestions they have for the upcoming paint nights.


FRC Group Fitness Classes Adopt “Phase” System

By Avery Ryan Contributing Writer

   This January the Fitness and Recreation Center (FRC) adjusted its community group fitness classes to the classification system used by the University’s PHE-010 courses.

   The transition to the “Phase” system follows three years after its implementation in the PHE classes. Previous to phases, the mandatory PHE class was separated into specific forms of exercise, including Play Fit, Aquatics, Strength & Conditioning, and Cardiovascular Fitness.     

   This separation saw mixed success until Assistant Director Alison Thayer “had an epiphany during one of [her] personal training courses.” Thayer, the Director of Fitness and PHE Coordinator, found inspiration in the American Council of Exercise’s separation of fitness into four phases and adjusted these categories to better fit PHE.

   The result was a separation of PHE into three phases:

  • Phase 1: Designed for the entry-level exerciser, Phase 1 is intended for those with little to no fitness experience.
  • Phase 2: A middle-level fitness group. Participants in this group are familiar with some forms of exercise but still retain some unfamiliarity or need additional instruction.
  • Phase 3: This phase is intended for those who are familiar with most types of exercise. These are your high school athletes and passionate fitness enthusiasts.

   The phases also did away with specific categories of fitness interest. Instead of having to choose between Play Fit and Aquatics, for example, students would be exposed to all options of fitness in one form or another through their time in PHE. “I wanted the students to have a more well-rounded experience,” said Thayer. Group Fitness Coordinator Mike Colella added, “It gives students the opportunity to say where they are in their own fitness.”

   This change to phases has also impacted instructors at the FRC. The phases require that instructors have a more holistic understanding of fitness and are better trained and prepared for diverse exercise experiences. “Instructors need a larger toolbox and an open attitude,” said Thayer, “We found that [they] are communicating more and requesting for guest instructors more often.” Thayer has found that this change has been successful, emphasizing greater consistency in fitness familiarity inside of individual classes— allowing for a stronger sense of camaraderie through PHE.

   Starting in January all group fitness classes are being adjusted to the phases that PHE recently adopted. Thayer detailed, “We are trying to put similar PHE standards on the community members.” The group fitness schedule now labels its classes according to the PHE phases and includes descriptions on what the phases mean. Thayer emphasized that these labels are suggestions and that part of being a fitness instructor is being prepared to make modifications for members with different levels of fitness experience.

   In labeling classes according to these classifications, Colella was surprised. “[We had] the realization that we didn’t have enough entry-level classes.” Colella continued excitedly, “Now we have at least one [Phase One class] six out of seven days a week.”

   Thayer echoed this excitement, “Our goal is to get anybody who has ever wanted to attend a group fitness class the opportunity to do so.” Thayer also hopes that these changes will make the group fitness classes more accessible for UMF students.

   Thayer also emphasized how this change has allowed for her PHE instructors to transition into becoming group fitness instructors. Instructors are better prepared and gain experience across multiple fields of exercise. Thayer concluded, “We are part of an educational institution, and our mission is education— for our student instructors and students alike.”

   The group fitness schedule is available on the Fitness and Recreation Center’s page on the University website and is available in paper in the lobby of the FRC.