March Dean’s List Reception Will Recognize Student Achievement

By Richard Southard Contributing Writer

UMF will be holding its annual Dean’s List Reception, an event that will congratulate the academic achievements of first year and transfer students in March. The event is specifically held to honor those who made the Dean’s List during their first semester, and encourage further success in their upcoming semester.

   Lori Soucie, the coordinator for the reception, commented in an email interview that the event has value from an education perspective. “A well-known formula for success in higher education is high achievement in the first semester. Students who are successful in their first semester are often successful thereafter.” The reception is an opportunity to celebrate new student’s academic achievement.

   While UMF certainly honors Dean’s List recipients, the way it affects the lives of students can vary. Second-year Creative Writing major Sylvia Schulze, who has been on the Dean’s List since her first semester, commented that its effects on her work effort are neutral.

   “It’s kind of a personal goal,” Schulze said. “It motivates me a bit, but I’m more self-motivated.”

   Schulze values the Dean’s List as a goal, but does not let the idea of it cause any stress. “If I don’t get it, it’s no big deal to me,” Schulze said, who did not hear about the event during freshman year.

   Third-year Health major Bethany Berger holds a similar opinion towards the Dean’s List. “I think being on it in high-school kind of set up the expectation, but took away all the excitement.” Berger said. “I don’t ever aim to be on it or check to make sure I’m on track for it.”

   Berger still sees value towards the Dean’s list, and said “If I’m not on it at the end of the semester, I feel like I should’ve tried harder, and I’m a bit disappointed.” Berger did not attend the Dean’s List Reception during her first year.

   Creative Writing professor Patricia O’Donnell stated in an email interview that the Dean’s List is a good way to honor student effort. “I think the Dean’s List is a congratulations to students,” O’Donnell wrote. “They should be proud to see their name there, a sign that they worked hard and were given this honor.”

   While O’Donnell sees the Dean’s List as a valuable honor, it does not shape her expectations for students in any specific ways. “Sometimes students are very bright and creative, but have rough semesters.” O’Donnell said. “It happens. Other times they pull together and make the Dean’s List. I expect good work from all of my students.

   The event will also introduce students to groups such as Student Leadership, the Honors Program, Career Services, and Alpha Lamda Delta, who along with faculty and staff, will be providing information on various academic, leadership and experiential opportunities.

   “This event is an opportunity to celebrate students’ success and to show them opportunities at UMF that may attract their interests,” Soucie said.

   The reception is being held on March 6th at 5:30 p.m. in the North Dining Hall. If you qualify and are interested in attending, contact for more information and to RSVP.

Professors and Students Brace for Upcoming Snow Days

Professors and Students Brace for Upcoming Snow Days

By Richard Southard Contributing Writer

UMF facilities maintenance removing snow on campus after two sudden storms. (Photo by Emily Mokler)

Students and professors alike have started preparing for winter class cancellations, after a winter storm at the beginning of the semester brought a late start to many classes. With more predictions of snowy weather, their effects on weekly schedules may become apparent.

   English Professor Christine Darrohn said, “[The weather] can be unpredictable.” The effects of class cancellations can vary, depending on the class and its workload. “It depends on a few different factors such as what days are they affecting, and if they are hitting the same classes,” Darrohn said.

   Darrohn mentioned that, in the case of literature courses, snow days can result in assignments being more compressed. “It can sometimes be hard to combine two classes worth of reading into a single day. But it is Maine, and I try to prepare for it as best as I can.”

   English Professor Michael Johnson prepares for snow days well in advance. “Snow days and cancellations just seem to come with living in Maine,” Johnson said. “I always expect that they will happen.” Johnson alters his schedule before the semester begins, in order to be more flexible during the unpredictable weather. “I plan accordingly,” Johnson said, “either by building an open day or two in the syllabus, or already having in mind what to cut or combine if need be.”

   For students, the feelings around snow days are rather mixed. Third-year Education major Nate Red stated that snow days are more negative in excess. “You get some time to catch up, but you’re losing time to learn,” Red said. Red expressed that having only a few snow days are “super positive”, as they give some chance to relieve some stress. “Before high-school, snow days were always fun, but after then, it’s a bit different.”

   As an educator, Red has also experienced the teacher’s perspective to snow days. “It’s a day you lose to teach kids,” Red said. “When you’re looking to go into teaching, that’s what you want to do, and cancelled classes affect that.” Bryce Neal, a fourth-year Geology major, had a similar feeling. “I’m paying for classes, so I’m missing something I paid for,” Neal said. Overall, a class cancellation can reduce some of the workload for the day, but can sometimes increase it. “I try to make them productive”,  Neal said.

   Despite the negative effects snow storms can have on schedules, it can leave room for some leisurely activities. “Snow days do allow me to try some different things,” Neal said. “Sometimes I like to ski in the roads.”

  As the Spring semester continues with two cancellations already, both students and professors expect for more snow and cancelled classes, but just how many is unsure. “I’m sure there will be more,” Neal said. “At least two or three more.”