By Sarita Crandall, Contributing Writer
UMF Biology Major and artist Hailey Mealey. (Photo Courtesy of Facebook).
Hailey Mealey, a junior biology major, has decided to put her artistic talents to work by opening up an Etsy shop to sell her creative watercolor paintings. Since Mealey is paying for her own education and is going to school full time, she needed an extra boost in her financial life and thought using her own abilities would do the trick.
“I was really nervous when I first opened up my Etsy shop because there wasn’t a lot on it,” Mealey said, “but I got a notification on my phone, it makes a little cha-ching, and so when I got that I was so excited someone had bought this portrait I did!”
Mealey’s biggest seller, compared to her printable downloads, are the colorful portraits that she replicates using a photo of your choice. The customer has to provide the photo either via email or through the mail if the customer lives far away they can physically give the photo to Mealey if they live close by.
Bill Charles was a recent local customer that was genuinely pleased with the portrait he paid for. The photo Charles gave Mealey was a photo of a family trip to Canada. “It’s a very memorable time so to have that personalized portrait really means a lot to me and adds to the significance of that trip,” said Charles, “It really has it’s own memory when looking at it.”
Not only has Mealey been working on her artwork to satisfy her customers, but she is working hard in school. One of her professors, Jean Doty, is especially pleased with Mealey in the classroom.
“I’ve known Hailey since the beginning of the fall semester. She took my Cell Biology class in the fall, and she’s currently taking my Genetics course,” Doty said, “Hailey is very enthusiastic and engaged in my classes. And she has excellent lab skills!”
Bernie Sanders watercolor painting by Hailey Jane Creations. (Photo Courtesy of Etsy)
Most people are confused when they hear that Mealey is an artist but also is highly interested in science, especially biology. “I have a lot of diverse interests,” Mealey said, “I think that’s what is good about both artist and scientist is that they’re more diverse than people give them credit to be.” Mealey said.
Doty agrees with Mealey, “Science requires creativity, too, though, so it makes sense that she’s interested in both art and science.”
This past break Mealey went to MDI to spend the entire week looking through microscopes at worms and learning about organisms through multiple bio labs. While she was there she learned a lot about the other students and professors. One professor was in a cover band for Metallica!
“Sometimes I feel like there are stereotypes of both artist and biologist and I think people don’t realize how common it is for the two to mix,” Mealey said, “Dr. Sherrod is my chemistry teacher and he does theater and singing.”
For further information about Mealey and her artwork, visit Etsy.com, search “Hailey Jane Creations” and view her unique work.
By Lindsay Mower, Staff Reporter
Escaping Maine’s cold winter by traveling 7,800 miles to India, Community Health Education majors at UMF Minarva Craig and Bri Martin are spending their semester abroad studying and spreading health advocacy to local children and their families.
The pair are now settled into New Delhi where they are trying to fully immerse themselves into the culture by learning the basic vocabulary and eating the wide variety of foods.
Bri Martin dressed in traditional Indian attire (Photo Courtesy of Bri Martin)
For Martin, this adventure is a mental promise to embrace the physical chaos in India as she lives outside of the country for the first time. Craig, who grew up in Maine but was adopted as a baby from India, says she is excited to be spending her last undergraduate semester back in her homeland. “When I go to a village and see people I wonder if they may be someone I’m related to,” she said in an online interview. “I will forever thank my birth mother for doing what is best for me,” she said, “My mother in America is the best person I know.”
Craig and Martin have both created blogs where they are documenting their traveling experiences for their family and friends back home. Martin’s blog, “Finding Solace in the Chaos,” is dedicated to reflecting upon her new lifestyle as she deviates from her daily schedule of attending classes in Farmington. Quoting Brazilian lyricist and novelist Paulo Coelho who once said, “If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine; it is lethal,” Martin’s says in her blog post that while taking in the new spicy smells and admiring the intricate clothing patterns around her, she can now see that Coelho couldn’t have said it any better. “I am so beautifully disoriented; so immersed in beautiful chaos,” she says, “My inner stressed out perfectionist missed the flight, but I’m not terribly worried about it.”
Craig says that it’s sad to see the major health disparities she has witnessed among the families in New Delhi. Martin agrees, saying she feels slightly ashamed for not helping any of the people asking her for rupees, after being advised not to for safety reasons. “On a practical level, I understand. On an emotional, and spiritual level, I simply cannot comprehend the rule… I don’t think I will ever be desensitized when a child approaches me for money,” she says.
As part of their exchange, the pair have visited an unorganized living area, also called a slum, where they noticed the community members seemed to have all the necessary amenities, but generally didn’t have an abundance of material possessions. “I saw kids playing with toys, women washing clothes and men sitting in chairs smoking and enjoying each-other’s company,” said Martin, adding, “I got the overall impression that the area was a truly strong community. Neighbors seemed fond of one another and people were laughing.”
Recently, Craig and Martin went on an excursion to Udaipur, “The City of Lakes,” and, Jaipur, “The Pink City,” in the state of Rajastha to visit rural communities and community health centers. Along with their classmates (students from around the world studying in the same program as Martin and Craig) the pair visited a “medicine man training organization” where a 60 year old man with a permanent smile took them on a tour of his herbal garden. Martin, who commented on how he even had a plant to slow the progression of tumor growth, was impressed by his ability to provide natural treatment methods to villagers who otherwise would not have access to medicine; a health care practice that is different than most approaches in the U.S.
A more emotional experience for the pair was visiting a child malnutrition center. Martin says she tried to make the mothers laugh because her Hindi probably didn’t make much sense to them. “‘What’s your name?’ ‘beautiful child’ and ‘nice to meet you’ was the extent of our conversations, but it was nice to create a connection,” she said. Another intense moment for her was seeing a man missing one of his legs, shimmying himself down the street. Martin says, “You wonder, is he severely impoverished? How did he lose his leg? Was it infection related?”
Mina Craig laughs with local children in New Delhi, India. (Photo Courtesy of Minarva Craig)
The cultural adjustment is made easier for both of the girls with the help of their host family. Martin admits she is struggling with learning Hindi, but has gotten some assistance from her host family’s woman helper who is around her age. “The funny part is that she’s learning English at the same time that I am learning Hindi. Her and I have become good friends. We often like to quiz each other on English and Hindi words.”
Craig commented on how time in India works differently than in America in her blog. “When someone invites you to their house at 8:00, it would appear strange to arrive any earlier than 9:00,” she says, joking, “I have been in India for about a month and it’s nothing like Elizabeth Gilbert’s, ‘Eat Pray Love.’ I don’t wake up and partake in meditation, I eat way more then Elizabeth Gilbert and I am constantly on the move in New Delhi.”
One of Martin’s most recent blog posts gives an update on her adaption to the crowded streets. “I am still scared as Hell of crossing the street but I’m trying to think of it as an extreme sport,” says Martin. “I have not picked up on the honking cues, but I am convinced that I will learn another language other than Hindi while I am here; the Delhi Honk.”
In a new country where they can barely speak the language, the girls are adapting quickly. Craig says, “I have learned the best experiences or adventures are when you go out of your comfort zone. I will continue to learn more Hindi and enjoy every moment of it.” In the meantime she manages to find others ways to communicate; she says, “Everybody smiles in the same language.”
You can follow Craig’s blog at minagoestoindia.wordpress.com and Martin’s blog at findingsolaceinthechaos.wordpress.com.
By Sarah Williams, Assistant Editor
Casually dressed for the in person interview in a button down black shirt and jeans, Jonny Islieb knows where he is at. Working four days a week while attending UMF full-time, as well as being a member of the Rugby team, Islieb leads a busy life.
Islieb talked about his active lifestyle and how he balances everything while remaining sane. “I’m in my fourth year, business economics,” he explained, “I’m interested in helping small and local businesses compete on a larger scale so they have more room for growth in their community.” Said Islieb, “Right now I am in Managerial Economics. It’s a senior class it’s pretty intense. I do about 2-3 hours studying per night for my classes.” Islieb went on to talk about a philosophy class he is taking which turned out to be quite interesting for him. “We are talking about the difference between science and religion and social context.”
Living off campus with roommates, Islieb also works at U.S.Cellular part time as a retail sales associate. “I started there in July, after working at The Roost, a local pub, for a little over a year. I’m a sales consultant. I love my job.” He expanded saying, “It’s definitely difficult getting into a routine with work and school, but once you get a schedule it’s easy to manage.” He admitted that last semester he did work full time and it took away from his being able to play rugby. “So I’m excited to take more days off and get back into the sport,” he said enthusiastically.
”I play rugby, this will be my fourth season playing. A few guys recruited me and I went to some of the practices and I fell in love with it.” Islieb said they meet a few times per week and have two tournaments this coming Spring. They are The Maine Cup in Portland sometime in May, and Beast of the East, April 22 and 23 in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. “I play fourteen, which is the wing.” He said rugby is like a mixture of football and soccer with the physical aspects of football but the nonstop pace of soccer. Islieb then echoed a famous quote by Winston Churchill, “Rugby, a hooligans sport played by gentlemen.”
“I grew up in Willimantic, Connecticut. I went to a really small public school where I played basketball and I was in a band for awhile playing guitar a few years.” Islieb went on saying he played punk rock, and that he still played guitar as well as piano.
Islieb has big plans for the future. “Eventually I want to move out west and start my own business someday. I want to explore and see what the country has to offer.” He explained that he had been to California when he was younger and liked it. “I want to start a fitness center and a recording studio.” In his free time he likes to play music. On a final note he mentioned his favorite eats. “Burritos and breakfast sandwiches, l live off them.”
Congratulations to UMF students Melissa Sawyer-Boulette, Ronie Morales, and Rhiannan Jackson, who, with the help of Community Health Education professor Dr. Kelly Bentley, recently secured a $5,000 grant for the Western Maine Homeless Outreach homeless shelter to help fund an 11-week daytime educational program. Amazing work, guys!
UMF student and Tip Whip representative Tom McGowan. (Photo courtesy of Tom McGowan)
Thanks to the tremendous efforts of five UMF students, Tip Whip is now officially operating on campus! For those who don’t know, Tip Whip is an exclusive ride sharing service for UMF students, fully operated by UMF students. It’s kind of like Uber, but way cooler because you only pay the tip! A special thanks to UMF senior Tom McGowan for serving as the UMF Tip Whip representative on campus. Congratulations to all five students on this wonderful achievement!