Top five UMaine news stories from 2023 

The past year has been a busy one for the University of Maine, and with the non-stop activity came numerous stories of student and faculty success, innovation, research with local and global impacts and exciting new services and facilities.

As we look forward to 2024 and another year of accomplishments from and additions to the campus community, we wanted to highlight stories featured on the UMaine News website this year that attracted the most interest.

These are the top five UMaine stories from 2023, based on views as of Dec. 12: 


Number 5: Study illuminates grief of parents of children with serious mental illness

Many readers, 3,601 on UMaine News, to be exact, were eager to learn more about how parents raising children with serious mental illness and violent tendencies experience and express grief similar to those of children who have died, according to research led by associate professor of sociology Karyn Sporer. 

Raising a child with a serious mental illness, one which substantially impairs or limits a person’s major life activity, can be challenging and lead to a range of emotions for parents and caregivers, from anxiety and shame to guilt and grief. The study from Sporer and her colleagues informs how practitioners can help these caregivers cope with the stress.

Read the full story about this study here


Number 4: UMaine ranked among top institutions in 2024 college guides

Black Bears new and old rejoice whenever the “college of our hearts, always” garners national praise. That’s why news of UMaine once again being named a top academic institution by multiple college guides garnered 3,633 views. 

This fall, UMaine was featured in U.S. News and World Report’s 2024 Best Colleges, Princeton Review’s “Best 389 Colleges: 2024 Edition” and Washington Monthly’s 2023 College Guide and Rankings. The university also was included in Fiske Guide to Colleges 2024, released in the summer. 

Click this link to find a detailed breakdown of these accolades


Number 3: Thirty-one faculty members receive tenure and/or promotion 

At UMaine, we love to see our world-class educators receive recognition for their hard work and excellence. That’s why this story became the third most popular of the year with 3,995 views on UMaine News.

The annual announcement recognizes outstanding achievement in teaching, scholarship and research, and community engagement. 

“These are world-class faculty members who contribute to the quality of the UMaine and UMaine Machias student experience, and to the mission of the state’s R1 university in meeting the needs in Maine and beyond,” said John Volin, UMaine executive vice president for academic affairs and provost at the time of the announcement. “We are extremely proud of their achievements and the difference they make through their teaching, scholarship and outreach.”

Click here to learn which faculty received a tenure and/or a promotion in the spring


Number 2: Meet the 2023 Outstanding Graduating Students

Each year, every college and the Division of Lifelong Learning selects two Outstanding Graduating students, one from the U.S. and one from abroad, to recognize for their academic achievements and notable contributions to the campus community. Black Bears were eager to meet this year’s cohort — the story announcing it garnered 5,628 views. 

Many of them have been leaders of clubs and campus organizations, creative student researchers, ambassadors of their colleges, excellent athletes and successful interns. As we highlight their accomplishments during their undergraduate careers, we look forward to hearing about their future success in the years to come.

If you haven’t yet, read about this year’s Outstanding Graduating Students here.


Number 1: Meet the Kiwibots

While UMaine launched many new programmatic offerings and services in 2023, no addition to campus has received more intrigue than the Kiwibots, UMaine Dining’s food delivery robots. The story announcing them received 7,297 views. 

The semiautonomous Kiwibots navigate campus using a camera and GPS system to deliver food ordered through UMaine Dining’s Everyday app. At the beginning of the fall semester, 15 of these adorable androids, which also express themselves with various emoji eyes and sounds, were deployed in order to meet the student demand for food delivery services. There are now 20 Kiwibots on campus. 

Read the full story about the Kiwibots at UMaine here


Thank you for reading these stories and others and sharing them with your own friends, family and colleagues. As we enter the new year, please continue visiting our website, reading our news alerts or following us on social media for the latest UMaine News. If you have a great idea for a UMaine story, click this link to share it with us

Contact: Marcus Wolf, 207.581.3721;