From witch hunts and trips to Tanzania to oceanography and honey bees, students at the University of Maine at Presque Isle will showcase their academic research, scholarly work and community service on Wednesday, April 16, during University Day. The theme of this year's event is Engaging Minds for Student Success.
University Day is an event that heightens students' awareness of the work being done by peers in all of the disciplines represented on campus. The annual campus event allows students to better understand how disciplines interrelate and how the academic work they do applies to the local and global community. It is also an opportunity for students to experience a professional conference format. No regular classes are held during University Day, but in their stead, students are encouraged to attend student-led presentations and talks held during six sessions throughout the day.
University Day officially kicks-off on Tuesday, April 15, with a Distinguished Lecturer Series presentation by Noah Hutton, a documentary filmmaker who has explored topics ranging from the oil boom in North Dakota to leukemia. Hutton will speak at 7 p.m. in the Campus Center on his 14-year documentary film-in-the-making, Bluebrain. His talk is titled The Blue Brain Project and the Race to Understand the Human Brain and is free and open to the public.
The next day, more than 100 students will offer more than 40 talks and presentations, covering areas of study as wide ranging as art, athletic training, biology, criminal justice, education, history, psychology, professional communication and social work.
The very successful morning poster session, which has been a part of University Day for the past two years, returns again this year. The poster session, taking place in the Wieden Hall Gymnasium from 8 to 9 a.m., will feature a dozen posters by UMPI students, showcasing the research they have done in environmental studies, geology, biology, ecology, genetics, science, geographic information systems, and education. Students will be present to discuss their posters and answer questions. Beverages and snacks will be available. The posters will remain on display throughout the day for public viewing.
In addition, the International Students Club will host its Culturefest 2014 from 9:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. in Pullen 212. Members of the club will deliver presentations on The New Year in China at 9:15 a.m., China Engagement at 10:20 a.m., The Culture Exhibit at 1:15 p.m., and Introduction to Beijing at 2:20 p.m. From 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., there also will be a Student Clubs and Organizations Fair. Campus groups will have displays in Wieden Gymnasium. Displays will be staffed from 8-9 a.m. and from 4-4:45 p.m.
As a new component to the event, a closing reception and awards ceremony will be held in Wieden Gym from 4-4:45 p.m.
To add to the community spirit of the day, the University will open its doors to the public. The University Day committee has invited students from local high schools, and community members are welcome to attend all sessions.
During lunch, Megan (Fowler) Stanley will be presented with the Distinguished Recent Alumni Award. Stanley, a member of UMPI's Class of 2009, graduated from the University with her Bachelor's degree in Education with a concentration in Special Education. She was immediately hired as the sole high school special education teacher in SAD #32 and provided a high level of service to the school district as she simultaneously worked toward her Master's degree in Special Education, which she earned from New England College in 2013. Not only has Stanley made many contributions to her school, she is also heavily involved in educational and community service activities outside her classroom, including serving as a teacher in Ashland's 21st Century after-school program and volunteering in key support roles for events like the Crown of Maine Balloon Festival.
A complete schedule of University Day activities can be found at www.umpi.edu/uday.