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Braden Theater to host official film premiere on UMPI’s Wind Project

The University of Maine at Presque Isle’s wind project will appear on the big screen for one night only when the Braden Theater hosts the official film premiere of Wind 101: The University of Maine at Presque Isle Builds a Wind Turbine on Thursday, Nov. 19 from 5-6:30 p.m.

The half-hour long, high definition film, directed by local videographer and filmmaker Frank Grant and narrated by long-time theater professor Joseph Zubrick, follows the step-by-step process it took for the University to complete this major renewable energy project – from the very first energy survey to the very last installation detail – and the bumps encountered along the way. This film also shows the work the University has done to turn this project into an educational opportunity for its students and the greater community.

The film premiere will include a social time with hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar prior to the screening, which is set to begin at around 5:30 p.m. Following the film showing, there will be a short question and answer session with the filmmakers and University officials highly involved in the project.

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UMPI to offer energy courses starting this spring

With its wind turbine spinning and lots of questions about renewable energy, the environment, climate change and sustainability in the air, the University of Maine at Presque Isle will offer during the Spring 2010 semester the first of many energy courses designed especially for those who want to understand these key topics and the issues surrounding them, and are thinking about becoming active players in the industry.

“We have made renewable energy and climate commitment top priorities at the University of Maine at Presque Isle and we are proud to make this initial offering of energy courses a very important part of the work we’re doing in this arena,” President Don Zillman said. “These are among the most important issues of our day and it’s going to take the involvement of many knowledgeable and dedicated people to meet the challenges we face. We anticipate that these courses will help to add more informed and committed individuals to the conversation.”

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Koks honored during November reception

The University of Maine at Presque Isle hosted a special reception on Nov. 3 – including the surprise unveiling of a granite table and benches in front of Wieden Hall – to honor two long-time members of the UMPI community for their decades of service.

Jan and Evelyn Kok came to UMPI in 1952 when it was known as the Aroostook State Teachers College to serve, respectively, as a music professor and a librarian. Jan Kok came to the school with a Master’s degree from Harvard University, and Evelyn Kok was trained as an artist and medical illustrator. During their many years working and living in northern Maine, the two touched many lives.

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GIS Mapping project underway at Fairmont Cemetery

Officials with the University of Maine at Presque Isle and the Fairmont Cemetery Association are partnering on a unique project that is helping to preserve important information about a local cemetery for future generations.

Drs. Michael Sonntag, Lynn Eldershaw, Kim Sebold and Chunzeng Wang have garnered two MEIF [Maine Economic Improvement Fund] Small Campus Initiative Fund grants – one this year and one last year – totaling $23,000 to complete a project titled “Developing a Cemetery GIS Database for Historic, Cultural, and Social Research in Aroostook County.”

The University officials are working with members of the cemetery association to create a GIS database that will allow people to search an inventory of information about the Fairmont Cemetery, including burial data and more than 5,000 photographs of burial plots. The Fairmont Cemetery, established in the 19th century, represents one of the oldest and largest graveyards in northern Maine.

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Jim Carter holds book signing at UMPI Bookstore

A long-time local educator and coach who wrote a book chronicling Presque Isle High School’s basketball history from 1950 to the present paid a visit to the University of Maine at Presque Isle Bookstore for a book signing event on Nov. 4.

Jim Carter, a 1964 PIHS grad who played on the basketball team in 1963 and 1964, spent long hours researching and collecting information for his 92-page book, titled “Six Decades of Wildcat Basketball: A History of Boys & Girls Basketball at Presque Isle High School 1950-2009.” The book includes team rosters, statistics, coaching records, athlete honors, and old photographs.

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University hires Project Compass Director

The University of Maine at Presque Isle is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Eddy A. Ruiz as its Project Compass director, completing an effort that has been underway since the summer to establish a three-member retention team for the initiative.

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UMPI recognizes Maine Community Foundation, local donors during Nordic event

Officials with the University of Maine at Presque Isle recognized the Maine Community Foundation and local donors who have given a combined total of more than $50,000 in support over the next two years to the University’s new NCAA Division I Nordic Ski program. The recognition ceremony took place during a special event held on Thursday, Oct. 29 in the Campus Center.

The event served as a celebration for the ski program in achieving its new NCAA status and as an introduction of the new ski team and its new coach – Alexei Sotskov – to members of the region’s skiing community. At the start of the event, University officials held a short recognition ceremony for major donors to the ski program.

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Campus, community create Wabanaki Heritage Project garden

Members of the campus and community are working together to create a new garden for the University that is tied to the local region and Native American culture.

Professors Alice Sheppard and Dave Putnam received a 2009 Project Compass Educational Mini-Grant for about $1,000 this summer to work with students and community members on the installation of representative plant specimens at a small plot near the central campus park woods. These plants are used by the region’s Native peoples in many ways, including food, healing, dyes, ceremonies, and artifacts.

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Three at UMPI achieve scholarly distinction

VPAA article on RateMyProfessors.com published
UMPI Vice President of Academic Affairs Michael Sonntag has had an article he co-authored about the website RateMyProfessors.com published in the most recent issue of the peer-reviewed journal Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education.

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Art class releases projects on Aroostook River

Students in Art Professor Renee Felini’s ceramics class headed to the Aroostook River on Sept. 30 for a special class project that helped them to understand more fully the organic nature of the art form they’re learning about.

Felini and her class gathered at the boat landing near the Route 1 Bridge at the north end of Presque Isle to release into the river more than a dozen hollow, clay spheres that they had made in the ceramics studio.

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