With tax season in full swing, Accounting students at the University of Maine at Presque Isle are offering volunteer tax assistance services to campus and community members.To gain hands-on learning experience and offer an important service to their fellow students and the community, Accounting students are participating in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. The VITA program allows these student volunteers to prepare individuals' income tax returns (both federal and state) and electronically file them at no charge, according to UMPI Business Management Professor Patric Edward. All students participating in the program have undergone training, and passed the qualifying IRS examinations.
Officials with the University of Maine at Presque Isle and Prometric joined with area business officials at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, March 10 in South Hall for the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Prometric Testing Center that has been established on campus.
This new testing center will allow University students and community members to take important computer-based tests - such as exams for admittance to graduate school as well as a wide range of business licensure exams - at a facility that is close to home and that is able to accommodate test-takers on fairly short notice. Previously, area residents had to travel at least 150 miles south to reach a Prometric Testing Center and, because of the distance, had to schedule tests far in advance."We are pleased at what this means for our students who need to complete important tests to continue their education now and beyond their bachelor's degree, but we also think this is especially exciting for the area's professional business community," President Don Zillman said. "This will provide people in the region - in northern Maine, western New Brunswick and surrounding areas - with a convenience they haven't experienced before. We are so pleased that the University is able to serve our community in this way."
Award-winning painter and printmaker David Estey visits the University of Maine at Presque Isle's Reed Fine Art Gallery from 4-6 p.m. on Sunday, March 15 for the opening reception of his solo show Driven to Abstraction.During the March 15 reception, the Belfast-based, Fort Fairfield-born artist will give a brief talk and answer questions about his work. According to the artist, his work includes primarily abstract paintings and prints in a wide variety of styles and media, but also an abundance of strong, expressive figure drawings in charcoal. This installation of Estey's paintings and drawings will be on display from March 15 to April 18, 2009.
With signs of the County's cold and snowy winter in huge piles around campus, the University of Maine at Presque Isle is hosting its second annual winter survival celebration for students, faculty and staff at 3 p.m. on Thursday, March 19 at Gentile Hall.Frozen Frenzy II will include winter games, contests, and prizes all meant to celebrate the campus's winter "survivability." This year's event is being organized by the UMPI Pride Committee with planning support by Professor Dawn McPherson's Recreation class. Students in the course, which focuses on program planning, will be earning class credit to plan activities for the celebration.
Local kids will unknowingly be getting exercise while taking part in fun activities during the 9th semi-annual Fit and Fun Day, to be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 7 in Gentile Hall. The event is sponsored by the University of Maine at Presque Isle's Physical Education Majors Club.The Club has organized the free play day for area children in grades 1-5 for the past four years to teach them about health and fitness in a fun environment. Activities may include a wide range of activities, from cup stacking, rhythm activities, and parachute games to juggling, and ball handling games, and improving motor skill techniques through activities such as throwing with rubber chickens, frogs, and turtles.
Officials with the University of Maine at Presque Isle and Prometric will host an official opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Prometric Testing Center that has been established on campus at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, March 10 on the main floor of South Hall.
The new testing center will provide University students and community members with a convenient location for taking important computer-based exams, such as the GRE, Praxis and MCAT. Before this center was established, area students and residents had to drive south for more than 150 miles in order to take such tests. Officials will be on hand at the opening event to take registrations and schedule testing times."We are so pleased to be joining with Prometric in officially opening this testing center for the people of northern Maine, western New Brunswick and surrounding areas," President Don Zillman said. "We feel this is going to be a major benefit not only to our students who are required to take certain tests in order to become certified as teachers or to be admitted to graduate programs, but also the many community members who currently have to drive long distances to take important computer-based academic and licensure exams."
Officials with the University of Maine at Presque Isle and Maine School Administrative District #1 have signed an agreement that will allow UMPI Education students to take part in extensive internships at Pine Street Elementary School and Presque Isle High School while providing professional development opportunities for veteran teachers there.
President Don Zillman and Dr. Gehrig Johnson, MSAD#1 Superintendent, signed the memorandum of understanding during a March 2 press conference at Pine Street school. The agreement establishes a Professional Development School partnership between the two educational entities and sets forth five main goals: to increase PK-12 student achievement, improve teacher preparation, enhance professional development opportunities for UMPI and MSAD#1 faculty and staff, more effectively transition students from grade 12 to college, and enhance Advanced Placement opportunities for high school students.Under the partnership, selected students in UMPI's Education Program will have the opportunity to take part in a two-semester teaching internship. The first semester experience would include the first five days of school and one day a week for the rest of the semester, all in the same classroom, while the second semester would be a full immersion into that same classroom for 15 weeks.
The University of Maine at Presque Isle's College of Education has been fully reaccredited by the Maine Department of Education following a unanimous vote on Feb. 11 by the State Board of Education.
At a meeting in Augusta, the State Board of Education voted unanimously to reaffirm UMPI's Education programs after reviewing the interim status report officials had submitted near the beginning of the year. In reviewing the report, one MDOE official stated that she was "impressed with the amount and the quality of the work" that has been done. The affirmation extends the University's state approval cycle for its education preparation programs through the winter of 2011."This is an important accomplishment and members of the College of Education - its chair Dr. Reginald Nnazor, the college's faculty and staff, and all other support staff - are to be commended for their hard work," Dr. Michael Sonntag, Vice President of Academic Affairs, said. "I was present at the meeting in Augusta and the Board commented on the positive change in atmosphere as well as the sense of renewed energy and focus on our campus since their last visit. I feel confident we will be able to show them even better things at their next visit in the winter of 2011."
A University of Maine at Presque Isle program that serves local residents over 50 and believes in "learning for life" will host its spring kick-off with a luncheon event at 11 a.m. on Thursday, March 19 in the Campus Center.
Seniors Achieving Greater Education [SAGE] has worked for more than a decade to bring short courses in arts, sciences, and specialty areas to the region's senior community. SAGE is one of 16 senior colleges in the Maine Senior College Network, and the only one north of Orono.At the March 19 luncheon, participants will have the opportunity to socialize with SAGE members. Following lunch, they will learn all about upcoming SAGE classes. This spring, SAGE officials are offering a dozen courses and learning excursions - on topics ranging from Darwin's Origin of Species and Financial Foundations to the Civil War and Italian cooking. Learning excursions include trips to the Southern Aroostook Agricultural Museum, the Musee Cultural Du Mont-Carmel in Lille, and the Houlton sector of the U.S. Border Patrol.
Momentum Aroostook and the University are teaming up for the second year in a row to provide the area's young professionals with a one-of-a-kind leadership development opportunity.
The two entities will host the Young Professionals Institute, a professional development short course designed specifically for emerging leaders looking to hone their professional skills. The program will be offered at the University during eight afternoon sessions between March and April. The Wednesday sessions will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. on March 4, 11, 18, and 25 and April 1, 8, 15 and 22.Officials are pleased to be partnering again on this project and hope to build on the successes they realized during the 2008 course.
The University of Maine at Presque Isle will host its Annual Job & Career Fair in the Campus Center from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 25. Thirty businesses and governmental agencies from the region and across the state are expected to participate in the event."The Job & Career Fair provides a unique opportunity for our students and the public to network with employers, discover opportunities, and to gain professional employment," Barbara DeVaney, Director of Career Services, said.
The University of Maine at Presque Isle recently received some positive news from its national accrediting body that confirms the institution is meeting important standards set forth for institutions of higher learning.The New England Association of Schools and Colleges [NEASC] through its Commission on Institutions of Higher Education recently accepted the University's five-year interim report, submitted in the latter half of 2008. NEASC, one of six regional accrediting associations in the U.S., conducts comprehensive evaluations of schools every 10 years. UMPI was last fully reviewed and reaccredited in 2003. The University's next self-study will be due in 2013.
Campus and community members will learn all about journeying to the stars when the University hosts a NASA astronaut and space shuttle commander in March as part of its Distinguished Lecturer Series.
Pamela Melroy (Colonel, USAF, retired) has served as a NASA astronaut since 1995 and has participated in three space flights, logging more than 900 hours (more than 38 days) in space and helping to conduct important assembly work for the International Space Station. She will speak on "Human Spaceflight-Shuttle, International Space Station and Beyond" at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 9 in the Campus Center. All are encouraged to attend. During her visit to Maine, Melroy will speak with students at the Maine School of Science and Mathematics and at a school in Mars Hill. On the LCS/MSSM campus, she will speak at 11 a.m. on March 9 in Boothby Auditorium.Melroy completed a 13-day flight in 2000 aboard the space shuttle Discovery, a 10-day flight in 2002 aboard Atlantis, and a 15-day flight, on which she served as shuttle commander, in 2007, again on the space shuttle Discovery. On her 2000 and 2002 flights, she served as the shuttle pilot. She will speak about her missions, her work as commander of a shuttle, and spacewalking, robotics and living in space.
Senior International Studies Major Dave Hamilton will receive the first-ever Darrell Dorgan Community Journalism Scholarship. The $600 scholarship was created through gifts from Darrell Dorgan, an award-winning journalist, and an anonymous donor.
Hamilton, of Mapleton, serves as the Editor of the University Times, the student newspaper."I'm honored to receive this scholarship and to be its first recipient," Hamilton said. "Working with the University Times has given me the opportunity to go out into the community and coordinate with people to get local stories into our newspaper and also help to build positive relationships that will last."