Belanger receives Amodeo Award
At the employee holiday luncheon on Dec. 19, Nola Belanger, Administrative Specialist in the Registrar’s Office, received the 2016 Nan Amodeo Staff Award. Established by Emerita Professor Nancy Amodeo, the award recognizes a UMPI hourly-wage employee for his or her outstanding service to the University. Although Dr. Amodeo was full of admiration for faculty, professional staff, and even administrators, she felt that hourly employees were too often “un-praised members” of the UMPI community and that their dedication deserved appropriate recognition. Here, President Ray Rice presents Belanger with her award.
3rd annual Brain Bee a success
UMPI Biology professor Dr. Scott Dobrin, students from the UMPI Bio-Medical Club, and Aroostook County high school teachers worked together to hold the 3rd Northern Maine Regional Brain Bee on Dec. 6 on the UMPI campus. This event is associated with the International Brain Bee, a not-for-profit neuroscience competition designed especially for high school students that tests their understanding of brains and the nervous system, and how they work together. More than 50 local high school students from Houlton to Fort Kent attended the event and the winner—Paige Hebert of Fort Kent Community High School—earned the opportunity to travel to Baltimore, Maryland, in March to compete in the National Brain Bee.
Students take part in Wrapping Party
UMPI students made a big difference to local families served by Hope and Justice Project this holiday season. Together, 11 student groups hand-wrapped and donated more than 115 gifts to the local organization as part of their Adopt a Family Initiative. It was a major effort to get all the gifts wrapped, so students enjoyed a Wrapping Party in the Center for Innovative Learning to get the job done. Groups included: the University Players, Page Turners Book Club, The Outing Club, Athletic Training Club, Campus Crusade for Christ, Criminal Justice Club, Alpha Phi Sigma (CJ Honor Society), Student Activities Board, UMPI Acapella Group, Varsity Softball, and SEAM.
UMPI hosts employee holiday luncheon, auction
The holiday spirit abounded at this year’s University Employee Holiday Luncheon, held on Monday, Dec. 19 in the Campus Center. The annual event includes a lunch, presented by Sodexo Dining Services, and a holiday auction. This year’s activities also included the announcements of the Nan Amodeo Staff Award recipient (see in Notes) and the winners of the first Deck the Halls door decorating contest (see in Featured stories). Leading up to the event, the campus community was invited to visit the Giving Tree, which is filled with gift requests from foster children in Maine, select gifts to give, and make a donation. This year, the University was able to donate many presents for these foster children as well as checks totaling $550. During the auction, the campus raised $1600 for Wards of the State—these funds are used for a variety of requests, including eye glasses, hearing aids and dentures. Department of Health and Human Services officials were incredibly grateful for the generosity of the UMPI community this holiday season.
UMPI takes part in Festival of Trees
The University participated in the 2016 St. Apollonia Dental Clinic’s Festival of Trees, a fun holiday event that involves businesses and organizations decorating holiday trees that are put on display and raffled off as a fundraiser. All proceeds benefit the private nonprofit children’s dental clinic. This year’s event, held at Northern Maine Community College in early December, featured 51 trees and raised more than $46,000. “Owl Be Home for the Holidays” was the theme of this year’s submission, which featured many goodies, from Adirondack chairs and a fire ring to snow shoes and lots of items for a cold winter night. The completed tree and associated gifts wouldn’t have been possible without the generous donations of the UMPI campus community.
A group from SAGE [Seniors Achieving Greater Education] also submitted a tree for the event, pictured below, and even designed a whole SAGE class around designing and carrying out their plan for the Festival of Trees.
Students host MATA symposium
UMPI Athletic Training students had the privilege of hosting a major statewide event recently when they organized the Maine Athletic Trainers’ Association statewide student symposium during the fall semester. The event, a two-day conference open to Athletic Training students from colleges across Maine, included educational speakers and hands-on workshops. Topics ranged from shoulder evaluations to therapeutic techniques. UMPI gets the opportunity to host this event once every 4 years.
“This symposium is a way to meet our peers, which we may someday be working with,” AT senior Madeline Bither said. “We also get to make connections with all of our speakers and get familiar with our profession. After we graduate and are starting to look for jobs, these connections that we make now will be what helps us get settled into our profession.”
College of Education hosts Family Math and Reading nights
Students in the College of Education took to area schools with Wendi Malenfant, Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education, in the fall to host evenings of learning designed especially for local kids and their families. The group held Family Math Nights at Pine Street School in Presque Isle and Mapleton Elementary School in November, and a Family Reading Night at Hilltop School in Caribou in December. They also conducted a mock election at Easton Elementary School earlier in the semester.
“This gives our pre-service teachers the opportunity to create meaningful lessons and activities they can use to work with children in the field,” Malenfant said. “They are getting into local schools and building relationships with teachers, students, and families. These are experiences we can’t fully create in the College of Education classroom, and we are thankful local schools are welcoming us to participate in this manner.”
FIRST LEGO League Robotics competition
The University was pleased to serve as the site of the 1st Northern Maine FIRST LEGO ® League Qualifier. Nine teams from Aroostook County came together for the day of fun and competition. Teams hailed from Houlton, Fort Fairfield, Fort Kent, Frenchville, New Sweden, and Dyer Brook, and were made up of 68 children and 14 coaches. Student participants were between the ages of 9 and 14, and had worked since September getting ready for the competition.
The FIRST LEGO League is an international STEM competition that has youth solving real world problems while they do research into this year’s theme as well as building and programming LEGO robots to compete on this year’s playing field. This year’s competition was run by Maine Robotics.
UMPI hosts Aspirations Orientation for high schoolers
Students who want to learn more about local college enrichment programs and how best to take advantage of them will get an inside look at the opportunities available when the University of Maine at Presque Isle hosts its very first Aspiration Orientation at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 10 in the Campus Center. This free, two-hour event open to all local high school students is being offered at UMPI in conjunction with the Maine Campus Compact and with the facilitation of AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer Victoria Forkus.
To learn more about this opportunity, see the full story here. For more information about the UMPI Aspirations program, please contact Victoria Forkus (AmeriCorps VISTA; Early College Initiatives Coordinator) at 207-768-9602 or email@example.com.
UMPI/Community Band hosts winter concert
The UMPI/Community Band held its winter concert on Dec. 7 in the Auditorium of Wieden Hall, presenting a concert that included everything from classic band literature to modern works from The Who and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra to a full house. For those who weren’t able to see the concert in person, it is now available for viewing on youtube. The UMPI/Community Band is a unique ensemble whose members range from local high school students to professional musicians. To learn more about the group or to join, contact Jon Simonoff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CJ Club Prize-a-Day Raffle is Back
The Criminal Justice Club is once again selling prize-a-day raffle tickets. $5 gets you 28 chances to win. Every day in February, they will draw a ticket to win local gift cards (minimum $25 value) and all winning tickets are re-entered so you can win more than once. On Feb. 28, there will be a grand prize of $200. All proceeds go to fund the club’s spring trip to Washington, D.C. You can get your tickets from Lisa Leduc or from any of these students: Erica Hemphill, Carrigan Levesque, Craig Pullen, Joe Estey, Seth Cropley, Crysania Walker, Courtney Cote, Jayme Cyr, Kristina Page, Scott DeLong, Bjorn Bartlett, Ryan DuBois, Valentina Annunziata, Josh Morrow, Chris Arnold, Brett Pictour or Idella Thompson.
Biomedical Club students attend meeting
Ten UMPI Biomedical Club students attended the Maine Chapter for the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting at the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor in the fall. The meeting brought undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty from across the state together to learn about neuroscience research being conducted in Maine. The day was spent hearing presentations and discussing student posters about a range of topics from the genetics of Alzheimer’s disease to sleep patterns in human neonatal opioid withdrawal. MDI Biological Laboratory and the INBRE grant from the National Institutes of Health provided housing for the students.
University Players present improv show
The University of Maine at Presque Isle’s University Players presented an Improv show on Friday, Dec. 2 and Saturday, Dec. 3 in the Auditorium in Wieden Hall. These shows were interactive with the audience, and were fun for all ages to attend. Each show was totally different. Both cast members and the audience had a great time!
Carol Ayoob’s ART 107 class does art project
Carol Ayoob’s Art 107, Experience of the Arts students participated in a collaborative art project which is described as “uniquensemble.” The description of this piece calculates the actions of 20 people who came together for what seemed a strange and playful endeavor. Twenty students bring 20 things, uniquely random, and make 20 tracings of the 20 things. Three times in size and shape, 20 students place 20 tracings as 20 shapes in space on paper with 40 hands and 20 hearts. They overlay and hang in the display case.
November Student of the Month: Dylan J. Michaud
Congratulations to November Student of the Month Dylan J. Michaud, from Presque Isle, a senior majoring in Business Administration, with a Management concentration and a minor in Art. Michaud is a past member of CRU and he is a great asset to Gentile Hall. He serves as a positive role model and is always willing to help students, employees and community members.
Congratulations again, Dylan!