Friday Futurecast — October 9

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,

One of the joys of being president is to meet and connect with you in Orono, Machias, and at research centers and Extension offices all over the state. During the past several months, I’ve missed being able to gather at events, games, performances and celebrations, including celebrations at which colleagues are recognized.

Last spring because of the pandemic, we weren’t able to come together to congratulate the 53 colleagues who attained milestones of 25, 35 or 45 years of service at UMaine, or the four coworkers receiving employee awards of distinction.

Now we are having a ceremony 2020-style. It will be similar to the walk-thru and drive-thru commencements that some area high schools hosted last spring. Our version is a drive-thru/walk-thru employee recognition ceremony. We’ll thank honorees and present them with a gift and pin — while socially distanced and wearing face coverings — from 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13, in the Corbett Hall parking lot.

I sincerely appreciate the dedication, talents and varied contributions of our coworkers. From the dining halls to the Admissions Office, and from labs to Fogler Library, they have helped to make UMaine a positive, welcoming place to learn and grow. To see the names of all the honorees, please visit the Office of Human Resources website. My thoughts and thanks also are in this video.

I also want to express my gratitude to the 63 people who in 2020 retired from their careers at UMaine. They cumulatively served this university and thousands and thousands of students with distinction for 1,700 years! In the coming weeks, we’ll send each of them a personalized tribute book.

As we near the midpoint of the semester, I also want to sincerely thank everyone in the UMaine and UMM communities for your admirable resolve and resilience this fall. I wish you all a safe, healthy and enjoyable long weekend, including the opportunity to reflect on Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

Be safe and healthy.


Joan Ferrini-Mundy

Partnering to address health 

  • The UMaine Wellness Fair is noon–2 p.m. Oct. 21. Participants will sign up on the Mall and be sent to stations campuswide to stamp their wellness “passport,” get in some steps and be eligible for prize drawings, all while maintaining health and safety protocols. More information will be available on the Student Wellness Resource Center website.

  • UMaine Mind Spa is continuing the “You are not alone” campaign for Suicide Prevention. The campaign includes warning signs and symptoms, reasons for living examples, and on- and off-campus resources. More information about Mind Spa is online.

Transparent and continuing communication 

  • President Ferrini-Mundy and other leaders will hold an informal virtual town hall for the UMaine and UMM communities from 1–2:30 p.m. Oct. 13 to discuss how the semester is going, and the Harold Alfond Foundation gift for UMS TRANSFORMS. The link is here:

  • The UMaine Office for Diversity and Inclusion virtual lecture series provides a space for faculty, staff and students to explore their knowledge of policies and systems that complicate and challenge equity. It also hopes to engage our community to consider intersecting perspectives, and to broaden the basis for critical thought and understanding. Anyone interested in presenting a topic, leading a workshop or creating space for dialogue around a topic should contact Click here to learn more about the topics and dates, and to sign up for notifications. 

  • Reminder: Daily updates about COVID-19 testing results for the University of Maine System, the UMS asymptomatic test summary dashboard and weekly reports on wastewater sampling for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 are on the Together for Maine website.

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

  • UMaine Homecoming 2020 will feature a variety of virtual social events, programs, performances, sports and entertainment. Learn more in the guide to virtual UMaine Homecoming. The Homecoming Royalty tradition, recognizing student leaders and their commitment to our community, continues this year; vote online Oct. 9–15. 

  • The McGillicuddy Humanities Center Symposium Film Series continues with the theme “The Story of Climate Change.” The films, offered online, present visions of our past and future, and examine our relationships with the environment, energy, material culture and the power structures that shape the many stories of climate change. The films on Oct. 12, Oct. 26 and Nov. 9 begin at 6:30 p.m. EST and feature introductions by UMaine experts. Email to register. 

  • The UMaine Center for Student Involvement’s October issue of News Flush is online. Check out Nintendo on the Mall at 9 p.m. tomorrow.

  • At UMM, Friends and Family Weekend is set for Oct. 16–18, and will incorporate both in-person and virtual programming, including a movie night in the Reynolds Center Gymnasium, a virtual game night and a pet photo contest.

  • The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences presents the 2020 Maine Heritage Lecture at 4 p.m. Oct. 15. Liam Riordan, Adelaide & Alan Bird Professor of History, will ask “What do we want history to do to us?” The Maine Heritage Lecture showcases research and creative work about the state, with particular emphasis on Maine’s sense of place, history, diverse cultures, society and policy. Click here to register for the talk.

Flexibility, responsiveness, empathy, and science

  • Northern Light Cutler Health Center is offering the second UMaine employee flu clinic of the 2020 season on Oct. 14 and Oct. 16. The clinic will be held in Alfond Arena. Clinic hours: 1–3 p.m., Oct. 14; 10 a.m.–noon, Oct. 16. To schedule a visit, follow this link: Students should call 207.581.4000 to schedule their flu shot.

  • Round three of phase three random sampling COVID-19 testing on campus is Oct. 19–23. Members of the UMaine community will be notified by email if they have testing appointments.

Continuing our missions for Maine

  • The UMaine College of Education and Human Development has created a website for teachers and parents to help address questions and provide research-backed information related to remote learning and other issues raised by COVID-19. The PreK-12 Resources for Educators and Families site includes links to helpful materials on topics such as social-emotional learning, trauma-informed teaching, special education, literacy and more.

  • Yesterday ahead of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, the University of Maine Alumni Association offered the webcast “First Persons: The Wabanaki Peoples of Maine.” It featured a panel of representatives of Penobscot Nation and Passamaquoddy Tribe that included UMaine alumnae sharing perspectives on the history of the region’s original inhabitants, as well as the public policy, social and cultural issues that Native Americans continue to address. A recording is on the association’s webinar series website.