Friday Futurecast — October 16

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,

As the weather gets colder, as we move into the second half of the semester, I appreciate hearing how you all are doing, and know that these past few weeks have been challenging for so many. I invite you to write directly to me at umpresident@maine.edu by next Friday, Oct. 23, about your experience, your worries, your concerns. We will address them in the town hall on Oct. 26 (see details below).

Happy Homecoming, and have a great and restful weekend.

Sincerely,

Joan Ferrini-Mundy

Partnering to address health 

  • Students are requesting more mental health services through this extraordinarily challenging year. In an effort to provide our community with safe and effective support, the UMaine Counseling Center provides appointments over Zoom or phone; the UMM Counseling Center offers appointments by Zoom and phone, and in person following health and safety protocols, including face coverings and social distancing. To schedule an appointment, call 207.581.1392 for UMaine and 207.255.1343 for UMM.

  • In the interest of community safety and well-being, round four of UMaine COVID-19 phase three testing will be held from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Oct. 19–23. The PCR diagnostic test, the same used in phases one and two, will be administered at Alfond Arena under the University of Maine System ConvenientMD/Jackson Laboratory partnership and is at no cost to UMaine community members. Participants in the random sampling were notified earlier this week by email. 

  • At UMM, round four phase three testing has been ongoing through yesterday and today. The tests were administered to all residential students, as well as to a random sample of the faculty, staff and student population. If you were selected and were unable to be tested, email marnie.kaler@maine.edu to schedule a make-up test in the coming week.

Transparent and continuing communication 

  • Chancellor Malloy’s fall 2020 “Keep It Up” Campus Tour at the University of Maine at Machias will be on Monday, Oct. 19. The Chancellor is visiting all University of Maine System universities and the University of Maine School of Law to highlight the many innovations, hard work and leadership that are making it possible to provide in-person instruction, and prioritize community safety and well-being during the pandemic. A virtual town hall from noon–12:45 p.m. (link: https://youtu.be/YxokFavTrkU) will provide an opportunity for the Chancellor to learn more about how operations have needed to change to adhere to health and safety guidance, and to thank faculty, staff and students who are making it possible for us to be Together for Maine this fall. While on campus, the Chancellor will be a guest lecturer in a class from 1–1:30 p.m., followed by a walking tour for a “behind the scenes look” at campus life. 

  • In the fourth flash survey, students were asked about their technology, learning and ability to interact with their instructors and classmates with respect to the various modalities of their courses. Two takeaways from the survey:

    • 13% of undergraduate respondents indicated they disagree or somewhat disagree that their technology will be effective for taking courses in at least one of their modalities after Thanksgiving break.

    • Overall, as seen in the second week’s flash survey, undergraduate respondents were notably more positive about their in-person courses than their remote courses. In particular, respondents were more likely to disagree that they are able to effectively learn and interact with instructors and classmates in synchronous or asynchronous online/remote courses. Academic Affairs is exploring potential options for addressing student concerns regarding online and remote instruction. Graduate respondents were more positive than undergraduate respondents about their remote and online courses. They indicated that they disagree or somewhat disagree that their technology will be effective for taking their courses in at least one of their modalities after Thanksgiving break.

  • President Ferrini-Mundy, Provost Volin and Vice President for Academic Affairs Qualls will lead a virtual FY21 and FY22 Campus Budget Forum from 10 a.m.–noon Friday, Oct. 23. The forum will include an update on the FY21 budget and preliminary discussion of the FY22 budget. The link to the event: https://youtu.be/YvEiyhyBSEE. All are welcome to send questions to umaine.alerts@maine.edu. As many questions as possible will be addressed during the live presentation.

  • On Oct. 26, join President Ferrini-Mundy for an informal virtual town hall for UMaine and UMM students to discuss how things are going, consider issues for the remainder of the semester and look ahead to spring 2021. The event will be held at 3:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 26. Among those joining the President will be Provost Volin, Vice President Qualls, Vice President Dana and Dean of Students Kaler. The link to the livestream: https://youtu.be/r_-qikgVQy0. You are welcome to send questions to umaine.alerts@maine.edu

  • President Ferrini-Mundy is holding office hours from 2–3 p.m. Oct 23, Oct. 26, Dec. 7 and Dec. 8; from 11 a.m.–noon Nov 17. Schedule an appointment online.

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

  • Among the UMM events scheduled for Family and Friends Weekend: The Virtual 5K tomorrow, Oct. 17 — run, bike, swim, roller blade, do it on an elliptical or whichever way you choose to participate; Nature Walk on The Trails at 5:30 p.m., with candy apples for participants; S-more Fun at The Firepits at 7 p.m. On Sunday, join the UMM Science Club Egg Drop on the Mall at noon; Reynolds Center gym in case of rain.

  • UMaine Homecoming is underway today. The full schedule online includes Athletics’ Virtual Game Day beginning at 12:30 p.m. tomorrow EST. The virtual event, which will be streamed on Athletics’ Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channels, features opening remarks by President Ferrini-Mundy and a virtual tailgate party welcome with a special guest, coffee talk with head coach Charlton, a State of Black Bear Nation by AD Ralph and more, all leading up to the rebroadcast of the Maine vs. UAlbany 2018 Homecoming game. And the link to the UMaine Center for Student Involvement Homecoming activities is here: umaine.edu/studentinvolvement/homecoming.

  • Every Friday through the end of semester (weather permitting), assistant professor of philosophy Don Beith is leading contemplative forest walks on the University Forest trails. Participants gather at the trailhead near the New Balance Student Recreation Center at noon for a 12:15 departure, returning by 1:30 p.m. Social distancing and face covering guidelines are in effect; walks are limited to 20 participants. For more information, contact donald.beith@maine.edu.

Flexibility, responsiveness, empathy, and science

  • The Black Bear exchange food pantry continues to provide food for UMaine community members in need. For more information: umaine.edu/volunteer/bbe.

Continuing our missions for Maine

  • The University of Maine Virtual Engineering Job Fair will be held from 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Oct. 21. The UMaine Career Center and College of Engineering have partnered for 22 years to connect students with employers. This year’s virtual format is a platform provided by Symplicity, utilizing the CareerLink Career Management System, which may be accessed through the Career Center’s website. There are 90 employers participating in the event and 79% of them are looking for summer interns. Students should prepare by updating their CareerLink profile, reading the Student Virtual Career Fair Day of Guide, and identifying their target list of employers; all found on the Career Center website. For questions: 207.581.1359, umainecareercenter@maine.edu 

  • Tomorrow is an early voting day in Orono. Voters can cast ballots from 11 a.m.–3 p.m., Oct. 17 at New Balance Field House on the UMaine campus. Absentee ballots can be requested online by filling out this form no later than Oct. 29. Election day, Nov. 3, UMaine on-campus students and Orono residents can vote from 7 a.m.–8 p.m. in the Field House. UMaine students in Old Town can vote from 7 a.m.–8 p.m. at Elks Lodge, 37 Fourth St. All students (in state and out of state) are eligible to register and vote locally or register and vote in their home district if they retain a legal residence there. To register outside of Maine, follow this link. For more information, see the UMaine UVote website or contact Jennifer Desmond, jennifer.desmond@maine.edu.

  • Residents of Machias can register to vote at the Machias Town Office, 106 Court St., 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Monday through Friday. While it is possible to register to vote on election day, students are strongly encouraged to register early to avoid crowds and long lines at the polling place. Registered voters may also request an absentee ballot online or in person at the Machias Town Office. In-person polling will take place 8 a.m.–8 p.m. Nov. 3 at the Machias Town Office.