By Lindsay Mower – Staff Reporter
When Farmington native and Biology Major Hailey Mealey isn’t outside collecting bugs for the entomology course she’s enrolled in this semester, she will most likely be found crafting works of art for Hailey Jane Creations, the grassroots art business she started up last fall.
Biology Major and local artist Hailey Mealey. (Photo by Waylon Wolfe Photography)
Creating art has been a consistent outlet for expression for Mealey, though she became increasingly inspired to turn her passion into a way to sustain herself financially through the persuasion of her family, who encouraged her that people would most definitely be interested in buying her artwork. “I’ve always made art because it’s just something I super love,” said Mealey.
Mealey says she always thought that no one would be interested in her artwork. “My family would always try to convince me to sell my work, and I would be like, guys, no one wants to buy an eight-foot painting of an eyeball turning into a lizard,” she laughed, adding, “I don’t know a lot of people in the market for that.”
Having her high school art teacher at Mount Blue High School, Roger Bisaillon, as a mentor also played a pivotal role early on in encouraging Mealey that she had a gift that had potential. Bisaillon, who recently retired, and his wife are both successful local artists in Farmington. “I was really lucky to have him in class,” said Mealey. “He really guided me through that period of development and was always so supportive: he still is.”
After graduating from Mount Blue High School in 2014, Mealey studied Art Education at the University of Maine at Orono for a year before deciding to transfer back to her hometown university to pursue her passion for Biology. “Sometimes I get a little hometown-angsty being back in the area, but the Biology program is so great here and all the professors and students are so nice. There is a different atmosphere returning than having grown up here,” said Mealey.
Paintings from Mealey’s bug series. (Photo Courtesy of Hailey Mealey)
Though she is now studying Biology, Mealey hasn’t given up making art, she has even found a way to effortlessly combine her pair of passions. “I realized that what I was learning at Orono wasn’t what I loved about art… I love Biology. It’s just such a wide field, I can do so many things with it, and it’s inspired a lot of my artwork too.” Mealey smiles as she describes the bug series she has been working on, influenced by her love for the outdoors and the entomology class she is currently taking.
The idea to create her own business sprung to life around the time she left her job, according to Mealey. “I wanted to be able to focus on school, while still doing the things I enjoy, and I was just in a really unhappy place,” she said.
For Christmas Mealey painted some watercolor portraits of her and her siblings for her Grandparents and uploaded them to Facebook to demonstrate a custom gift she could make for someone else as a means to make some money. To her surprise, the post caught attention immediately. She began to successfully sell some of her work on Etsy, and has since launched her own website at haileyjaneco.com.
Mealey’s Maine inspired creations. (Photo Courtesy of Hailey Mealey)
Along with Mealey’s zany creations like eyeballs morphing into lizards, her creations take on many different themes. Facebook users may have stumbled across her popular watercolor designs in their newsfeed, like her rainbow painting of Bernie Sanders that she posted last year around the election, or her Maine-centric art. One of her more recent works features an outline of the state of Maine featuring a watercolor painting of ‘It’ from the Stephen King movie released earlier this fall painted inside.
As the holiday season approaches, Mealey has been balancing her class work with fulfilling custom orders. Although she will be busy for the next few weeks, she will be accepting orders again very soon. She can be contacted on her Facebook page under Hailey Jane Creations.
By Kaitlyn Polk, Contributing Writer
UMF student Stephen Riitano. (Photo courtesy of Facebook)
Stephen Riitano is a friendly face around UMF and is very excited to graduate in 2018 with a major in secondary education. Currently a CA in Mallet Hall, Riitano is also the vice president of Student Senate, president of Operation Giveback, and will be a Resident’s Assistant starting next year. He has a lot on his plate and continues to have a smile on his face while balancing his many involvements.
Being a CA makes him a familiar face around campus. “I call being a CA the fishbowl effect,” Riitano said. “You become a face on campus that everyone knows and goes to.” He strives to help all of his Mallet Hall residents so that they can be the best they can be.
Riitano has a passion for teaching and always has. “I have always wanted to be a teacher since 3rd grade,” Riitano said. He had his eyes set on UMF when he was in the eighth grade. “For years I have dreamed of coming to UMF,” Riitano said. Now that the end is so close, it is exciting to be finally in the profession.”
Before Riitano graduated from Bangor High School in 2015, he knew right away where he wanted to go next. “I decided to come to UMF based upon its esteemed reputation in teacher preparation,” Riitano said, “I came here my junior year for a tour and absolutely loved the campus and feel I got. I couldn’t wait to apply.” He loved the campus so much that he works as an Admissions Ambassador and gladly gives tours to incoming students and strives to make them love UMF as much as he does.
Riitano has had many impact on friends and students, including fellow Bangor High alum, Jake Harris. After both graduating high school in 2015, Riitano went on to college while Harris took a year off. Riitano knew UMF was a perfect fit for Harris and did his best to get him to apply.
“He told me how great the campus was, so I came here for a tour and fell in love with the place,” Harris said, “I would have never come to UMF without Stephen.” Harris is currently a freshman with a major in psychology.
Officer of Financial Affairs for Student Senate, Marshall Maxsimic, believes that Riitano is doing great things as well. They will be working together on the Eboard of Senate, and Maxsimic couldn’t be more excited. “Steve is really involved with a lot of things on campus so he brings a unique perspective,” Maxsimic said, “One example was Operation Give Back through SMEA, which was a huge success so I know that Steve gets results.” Operation Give Back is designed around a Create Grant that was given to the Student MEA last semester.
By Grace Leathers-Pouliot, Contributing Writer
Senior Special Education major and music minor Anna Ammarell. (Photos courtesy of Anna Ammarell)
Senior Anna Ammarell, who is graduating with a degree in special education and a minor in music will be doing her own rendition of the National Anthem at the Commencement Ceremony this year.
Anna’s love for music began at the age of 14 when she began chorus in high school. Ever since then, “it’s been a snowball effect,” said Ammarell. As music has been a huge part of Ammarell’s college career, it will be a nice way to bid farewell to college for the young aspiring teacher.
Ammarell was ecstatic to hear that she was chosen to sing the National Anthem at graduation. She received an email asking fellow students to send in a video of their own take on the National Anthem. She heard back from them saying that she got the spot. “Singing is a huge part of my life I really enjoy, and have always loved to do it, hearing I got the part was awesome news,” said Ammarell. Although she has been singing for a while now, she is still nervous, “it’s one thing to just sing all out in your room and another to just switch over to singing to hundreds of people in a crowd,” she said.
In Ammarell’s spare time she loves to continue her passion for music by practicing piano, ukelele, and singing. Sharon Henderson, a lifelong friend and roommate said, “When it comes to singing or practicing the piano, Anna commits to practicing music everyday.” Henderson describes Ammarell as fun to be around and said, “she can always find the light in even the darkest of places.” She is caring, loves to laugh and stands out from the rest.
When Ammarell first came to college she began taking voice lessons to learn about the science behind singing and to grow as a singer. Ammarell is now in her fourth year of voice lessons and works with Theresa Henderson who was hired through UMF because of Ammarell.
She also sang in UMF’s Clefnotes, for three years, which helped fuel her love for music in college.
Senior Anna Ammarell. (Photos courtesy of Anna Ammarell)
While Ammarell is extremely dedicated to music she is also a very hard working student. As a special education major she is able to work for Kimberly Ladd in the Division of Rehabilitations Services and Special Education. “Anna has been here longer than me so she actually showed me the ropes in my first semester working in this position,” said Ladd.
Ammarell’s contributions to the UMF community have been prevalent to faculty and fellow students in the last four years. “She is the only special education major work-study and to my knowledge the only musically driven one I have ever had in 11 years of supervising at UMF,” said Ladd.
Ammarell’s biggest motivation in the last four years of college have come from her family and friends, as well as her faith. “My pursuits and passions have really given me that drive I needed,” said Ammarell. She hopes to continue her love for music throughout her career and will enjoy spreading knowledge and education to her future students.
(Photo Courtesy of UMF Website)
Fifth-year senior and former UMF baseball player Sean Cabaniss was recently featured on WCSH 6 for his research work developing a mathematical system for creating optimal batting line-ups. Cabaniss graduated last year with a degree in secondary education and returned this year to complete a second degree in math with a minor in coaching, according to WCSH 6. Using Major League Baseball (MLB) statistics Cabaniss has found that there are over 360,000 ways to arrange a lineup up of nine players. According to a UMF press release, Cabaniss has also relied on the use of mathematical Game Theory and the support of his faculty advisors to reach his conclusion. Cabaniss will be presenting his findings at UMF’s annual Michael D. Wilson Symposium on April 26. He hopes to eventually publish his work so that professional teams may benefit from his research.
By Caleb Grover, Contributing Writer
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.