Communication class project develops a UMaine bucket list for students

This past spring, 23 University of Maine seniors in a communication course collaborated on a capstone project to create a useful resource for UMaine and its students for years to come.

The project, “50 Things to Do Before You Graduate from the University of Maine,” is a UMaine bucket list for students by students. It was developed by Associate Professor of Communication and Journalism Claire Sullivan in collaboration with UMaine’s Division of Marketing and Communications.

Undergraduates in Sullivan’s class conducted in-person interviews with 286 UMaine students in different majors and years in school to get their input to compile the list of 50 must-do activities and places to see.

A goal of the 50 Things Project is to get students, including those new to UMaine, engaged in a range of activities and discovering the “hidden gems” on and off campus, said James Carroll of Cortlandt, New York.

The list represents “how adventurous and appreciative” students are to be “in nature,” said Jessica Bergstrom of Belfast, Maine.

“What surprised me the most was how many of my interviewees said ‘go to Acadia National Park,’” said Samantha Johnson of Randolph, Vermont. “It’s one of those places everyone mentions and even though it’s a little far away (45 minutes from campus), it’s something that everyone does or tries to do in the time they have here.”

The 50 things list will be shared with incoming and current students, as well as alumni in a poster and a website developed by Marketing and Communications, said Sullivan.

“This list can provide a fun way to explore and discover some of UMaine’s traditions, and to challenge students to break out of their comfort zones and be a part of some true UMaine experiences,” said Sullivan, who leads UMaine’s Engaged Black Bear digital badging initiative.

Sullivan said this is a project she has thought about doing for many years. “Other universities have lists of events and activities to help students get involved and discover the best of the local community. I wanted a class project that could get all students excited and could potentially ‘give back’ to the University of Maine,” she said.

Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745