The University of Maine at Presque Isle held a special Veterans Day event on Tuesday, Nov. 11, gathering together several local veterans and University officials for an evening of tribute and appreciation for what our nation’s veterans have lived through.
A seven-member panel discussed the veteran experience – from the initial decision to enter military service and the nature of that service to the impact of a veteran’s service on loved ones and the lessons that stay with a veteran for the remainder of life. This special event was part of the University’s weeklong 1968 Retrospective, held November 10-15, which commemorated the 40th anniversary of a transformational year in politics, education, science and culture. Event organizers believe the University’s 1968 Retrospective is the only event of its kind to take place in Maine, if not New England.
Participating in the panel were four local veterans – Rudy Buitron, US Army retired (Sgt. 1st class), who now lives in Portage; John Barlow, US Air Force (Staff Sgt.), who now lives in Fort Fairfield; Disabled American Veterans Chapter 10 Commander Don Pelkey, US Air Force (Sgt.), who now lives in Fort Fairfield; and Lionel Lavoie, U.S. Marines (Sgt.), who now lives in Frenchville. Also participating in the event were Chancellor Richard Pattenaude and UMPI President Don Zillman, both veterans, and Dr. Carol Hawkins, Director of the Farnham Writers’ Center and Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Colby College.
Every Veterans Day holds a special significance for Professor Anderson Giles, a University of Maine at Presque Isle art professor who has worked for more than two decades to preserve – through film, photographs, paintings and other collections – the history of World War II in the Pacific.
For Giles, Veterans Day is not only a time to honor all military veterans, but also an important reminder that the nation’s WWII veterans are quickly passing away and that time is running out for him to preserve the memories of those who lived through those terrible times more than 60 years ago.
In the face of this challenge, Giles has worked doubly hard to document their experiences and share their stories with people around the world. This year, he was awarded a University of Maine System Trustee Professorship, which has allowed him to complete a significant amount of documentation and research.
Giles was able to take a spring sabbatical and share his research by lecturing on three different Pacific cruises that visited many of the islands associated with WWII in the Pacific. Giles offered lectures on everything from Guadalcanal and the Battle of Iwo Jima to the conquest of Guam, Saipan and Tinian aboard the Cruise West: Legends of the Pacific, Cruise West: Pearls of Polynesia, and the Princess Cruise: World Cruise on the Pacific Princess (South Pacific portion) voyages.
The University of Maine at Presque Isle celebrated the completion of $2 million in improvements and energy efficiencies to its major classroom building with an official Rededication Ceremony and Ribbon Cutting at Noon on Thursday, Oct. 30.
The event provided community members with their first opportunity to view the renovation work that was done at Folsom Hall, which includes three floors of science labs, computer labs, traditional classrooms, and the University’s major lecture hall. Construction crews outfitted the building with new floors, windows, ceilings, ADA accessible bathrooms, exterior facades, and updated heating and ventilation systems. A&L Construction of Presque Isle served as the general contractor on the renovation project and North Peak Architecture of Presque Isle completed the architectural work. The renovations, the first significant improvements Folsom Hall has received since it was built in 1966, have provided vastly improved educational facilities for students and faculty.
The Apollo 8 mission. The Tet Offensive. The French Student Movement. The Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. All of these were major events that happened in 1968 and all of them will be discussed during the University of Maine at Presque Isle’s 1968 Retrospective, to be held November 10-15. The public is invited to attend all activities connected with the Retrospective.
The week-long event commemorates the 40th anniversary of a transformational year in politics, education, science and culture and will include roundtable discussions, presentations, movie screenings, slideshows, musical performances, an art exhibit, and a conversation with journalist and Vietnam War correspondent Richard Dudman. The Retrospective will culminate in a day-long conference covering topics from student demonstrations to Second Wave Feminism to the Cinema of 1968. Event organizers believe this is the only event of its kind happening in Maine, if not New England.
A geology professor at the University of Maine at Presque Isle and his research partners in China and Japan recently received word that they have been awarded a 560,000 Chinese yuan grant (about $80,000 in U.S. funds) from the National Natural Science Foundation of China for a three-year project.
Dr. Chunzeng Wang, along with research partners Dr. Xiaofeng Li of the Institute of Mineral Resources of China National Academy of Geosciences, and Dr. Watanabe Yasushi of the Institute of Geo-Resources and Environment of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in Japan, will use the funding to continue research into mineralization processes for several important copper and gold deposits in south China.
Local kids will unknowingly be getting exercise while taking part in fun activities during the 8th semi-annual Fit and Fun Day, to be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 8 in Gentile Hall and 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 to teach them about health and fitness in a fun environment. Activities will include cup stacking, rhythm activities, parachute games, juggling, and ball handling games, and improving motor skill techniques through activities such as throwing with rubber chickens, frogs, and turtles.
Think late fall is a time to bundle up and start getting ready to sit out the winter? Think again. The University’s Outdoor Adventure Program International (OAPI) is offering a series of late fall adventures for campus and community members to enjoy, including rock climbing, backpacking and caving trips.
The fun starts Saturday, Nov. 8 with a rock climbing day trip to Clifton, Maine (rain date is Nov. 9). The group will depart from Gentile Hall at 5:30 a.m. and will return to Presque Isle by 10 p.m. No experience is required. OAPI will provide transportation, climbing equipment and a certified climbing instructor. Cost is $30 for students, $40 for non-students.
The University of Maine at Presque Isle is looking for community projects that need completing as part of its Engaged Learning effort, which matches faculty expertise and the skills students are learning with the needs of the community.
Engaged Learning is a hands-on type of learning that utilizes partnerships with agencies, organizations and whole communities outside of the classroom to help students apply the material they are learning in the classroom, according to Kim-Anne Perkins, chair of the Center for University Programs, which oversees the University’s Engaged Learning Center.
Engaged Learning can take many forms, although it must always include an assessment of student performance. It can be a service learning project, an experiential learning field trip, or even a project that evolves over the course of several semesters. Two examples of past Engaged Learning projects are Management Information System students who created a new web page for a community organization and History students who helped a local historian to gather information and publish a book on Presque Isle’s past.
Folk singer David Mallett will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 1 at the University of Maine at Presque Isle’s Wieden Auditorium to perform his newest work, “The Fable True,” as well as songs from his decades-long career.
Mallett, the quintessential Maine folk singer/songwriter whose work spans four decades, has released a dozen albums worth of songs he wrote and performed. His latest album takes a slightly different tack, setting new melodies to 22 stories in Henry David Thoreau’s book “The Maine Woods.” The album was created, in part, to mark the 150th anniversary of Thoreau’s trip to Maine in 1857.
A University of Maine at Presque Isle History professor and her students are participating in a $10,000 Maine Historical Society grant project meant to preserve the history of the City of Presque Isle while promoting local partnerships that explore and celebrate local history.
Dr. Kim Sebold and her history students are working with several community partners, including SAD 1, the Presque Isle Historical Society, and the Mark and Emily Turner Memorial Library, on a Maine Community Heritage Project. The Maine Historical Society awarded grants to 8 Maine communities including Presque Isle – 50 applied – for this first-of-its-kind project designed to foster the study of local Maine history and strong community partnerships.