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UMPI to celebrate 10th annual University Day Presentations by students and alumni/ae to be featured

From spiders to solving the DNA puzzle to inmate partner violence, students at the University of Maine at Presque Isle will showcase their academic research, scholarly work and community service on Wednesday, April 13, during University Day. The theme of this year’s event is A Decade of Learning: Showcasing 10 Years of University Day, 2001-2011. As part of the special ten year celebration, several alumni/ae who participated in previous University Day presentations will speak about their experience and its impact on their careers.

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 five sessions throughout the day.

More than 110 students will offer 20 talks and presentations, covering areas of study as wide ranging as recreation, criminal justice, social work, education, special education, psychology, biology, literature, and foreign language. Many of the presentations address the connections between learning and the community.

In addition, the International Students Club will host its Culturefest 2011, which will include a display of artifacts from a variety of countries and international snacks. At 11 am and 2 pm, a panel of international students will answer questions about Nepal, Israel, Brittany France, and China. Throughout the day, there will also be poster sessions in Pullen 210 and Folsom 206 and displays from student clubs and organizations along the halls of Pullen/Folsom.

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, Michael P. Johnston will be presented with the Young Alumni Award. Johnston graduated from the University in the fall of 2001 as salutatorian of his class with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. He was valedictorian of his class at the Maine State Police Academy. Johnston is a Trooper with the Maine State Police Troop E, headquartered in Orono. His duties include enforcement of state criminal and traffic laws, investigation of crime scenes and traffic accidents, and testifying in court to aid prosecution. In 2005 and 2009, Johnston was named Trooper of the Troop for Troop E, and in 2009 he was recognized as the 2009 Trooper of the Year for the entire state.


In the evening, the University’s Distinguished Lecturer Series will feature Dr. Anthony D. Cortese, a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow. Cortese is a founder and President of Second Nature, a non-profit organization focused on making environmental sustainability a foundation of all learning and practice in higher education. Cortese will speak at 7 p.m. in the Campus Center on The Critical Role of Higher Education in Creating a Healthy, Just and Sustainable Society. His talk is free and open to the public.

A complete schedule of University Day activities can be found at