Friday Futurecast — September 18

Health and safety update for university community members

Welcome to this week’s Friday Futurecast.

These updates are archived on the UMaine Fall 2020 website. The University of Maine at Machias also has a Fall 2020 website.

Message from President Joan Ferrini-Mundy: 

Dear members of the UMaine and UMM communities,

This afternoon, Chancellor Malloy and I sent a letter to students that noted: “Today, Maine’s public universities are the envy of America. We are ending our third week of classes without a single student known to be infected with COVID-19 and living under an isolation order from a public health agency.” We thanked the students and we made it clear that we need to keep up all of our efforts to distance, test, wear face coverings, and not gather in large groups. We need to follow the Black Bear and Clipper pacts.

And at the same time, all of the great things that happen in universities are happening here.  There is a lot coming up — take advantage of all that is being offered, and enjoy the official beginning of fall wherever you are.

Stay safe and healthy.

Sincerely,

Joan Ferrini-Mundy

Partnering to address health 

  • UMaine’s Counseling Center has adapted its approach to outreach in response to the ambiguity and isolation we are experiencing given COVID-19 and societal upheaval. Virtual workshops and support groups focus on fostering connection, and promoting social emotional growth and healing. Examples of the center’s programming: Virtual Mindful Monday Workshops; a COVID-19 support group focused on loneliness, isolation and all the ways our lives have been affected; an LGBTQ+ support group in collaboration with the Rainbow Resource Center; a Students of Color support group in collaboration with the Multicultural Center; an International Student support group in collaboration with the Office of International Programs; and a COVID-19 support group for the RAs on the front lines in Residence Life.

  • Reminder: The daily screening app #CampusClear is being used on University of Maine System campuses to provide users with a daily symptoms check and guidance based on responses. The goal is to help community members make informed decisions about their participation in on-campus activities. #CampusClear is available on both the App Store and Google Play. 

Transparent and continuing communication 

  • Due to changes made last month to the spring 2021 academic calendar, the Division of Lifelong Learning has adjusted the dates for the upcoming Winter Session. Winter Session will now run Jan. 4–22, 2021. This will be a three-week online session. For questions about Winter Session, contact Patty Libby, patricia.libby@maine.edu; 207.581.8020.

  • In light of current UMS travel restrictions, the fall 2020 cycle of the Bangor Savings Bank faculty travel grants application process has been canceled. Provided that travel restrictions have eased by then, the unused fall funds will be applied toward the spring 2021 funding cycle, doubling the total support available to faculty in that round of grants. If you have questions about the Bangor Savings Bank process, contact Dianne Avery (diannea@maine.edu; 207.581.1595) or Jeff St. John (jeffrey.stjohn@maine.edu; 207.581.1591).

In-person, on-campus experiences and other learning modes

  • Student Life’s Center for Student Involvement has an online list of upcoming activities. Information about UMM activities is on the student engagement website. In particular, mark your calendars for UMaine’s virtual Family and Friends Weekend, Sept. 25–27, this year featuring a 5K that families and students complete on their own. UMM’s virtual Family and Friends Weekend is slated for Oct. 16–18, with more information to be announced.

  • Join the #4UMaine competition. Post your face covering selfies to Instagram and Twitter using #4UMaine to show off your Black Bear spirit and the chance to win a gift card. We’re in competition with UNH to see which university will have the highest number of entries by Nov. 1.

  • The Bear’s Den has a new free mobile dining app. The app, which requires a MaineStreet ID, can be used to order takeout from 7:30 a.m.–2 p.m. on weekdays; the Bear’s Den remains open for in-person orders Monday–Friday until 4 p.m. Mobile orders can be picked up at Union Central Market. More information is online.

Flexibility, responsiveness, empathy, and science

  • Student Accessibility Services (SAS) has met with and coordinated accommodations for over 100 first-year or transfer students, and sent accommodation letters to more than 300 students and their faculty. SAS has helped coordinate the procurement and distribution of clear masks or face coverings with clear windows to staff, faculty and students throughout the University of Maine System to provide access to students and employees who are deaf or hard of hearing. Members of the UMaine community who have questions or need assistance should contact SAS, um.sas@maine.edu.

Continuing our missions for Maine

  • Maine Impact Week showcases our land, sea and space grant university’s diverse research and creative activity that impacts each of us — locally, nationally and beyond. From experiential learning for our students and professional development opportunities for our community to research and outreach partnerships worldwide, our UMaine impact is a point of pride. This year’s online events will include a Climate Change Institute virtual forum, UMaine AI webinar, virtual tours and Q&A sessions from various labs and centers. It culminates with the virtual UMaine Student Symposium; registration is online.

  • Fogler Library’s Special Collections Department has launched a virtual tour to help introduce patrons to collections, resources, spaces and services. Currently, Special Collections is open by appointment and with limited seating capacity. The virtual tour can provide a general overview to students, classes or faculty interested in learning more about UMaine archives and collections. For questions, contact Special Collections staff.