Friday Futurecast — October 23

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 we complete the eighth week of the semester, I again want to thank everyone — for testing, masking, distancing and caring. We successfully celebrated a virtual Homecoming, passed the mid-semester census with the highest UMaine enrollments since 2009, resumed campus tours under new conditions for potential future Black Bears, hosted the Chancellor in his “Keep It Up” tour at the University of Maine at Machias, and kept on teaching, learning, researching and partnering.

Enjoy the weekend and stay safe. 


Joan Ferrini-Mundy

Partnering to address health 

  • If you or people you know in the UMaine or UMM communities have concerns about COVID-19 symptoms, close contact or a positive test:

    • Call the COVID-19 information line — 207.581.2681

  • The Professional Employees Advisory Council’s Food4Thought series at noon Oct. 27 features Hilary Freeman from TrestleTree discussing wellness options during the winter months, with a focus on mindfulness. Registration is online. For employees attending this one-hour program, this counts toward the Level 2 Wellness Incentive.    

  • UMaine Mind Spa offers weekly Monday Meditation from 10–10:30 a.m. via Zoom and weekly Friday Chat with Friends from 11 a.m.– noon, also on Zoom.

  • The UMaine Counseling Center has Life Skills Groups for students. Workshop topics include suicide prevention, eating disorder awareness and working with students in distress. To schedule a workshop, contact Jessica Browne,

  • The UMM Counseling Center offers monthly group sessions for students from 1–2 p.m. In “Falling Down the Rabbit Hole,” participants discuss various losses related to COVID-19 and ways to cope on Nov. 3 via Zoom. “Laughter Is the Best Medicine” is an opportunity to discuss ways to stay positive, tell jokes, funny stories and more on Nov. 17 via Zoom. In addition, a wellness program for faculty and staff, “Eat Calm and Let Your Hair Down,” promotes mindful eating while learning skills and engaging in activities to reduce life stressors. The program is offered from noon–1 p.m. Nov. 4 and Nov. 18 via Zoom.

  • Round five of UMaine COVID-19 phase three testing will be held from 9 a.m.–2 p.m. Oct. 27 and Oct. 29; noon–5 p.m. Oct. 28. 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 are notified by email. 

  • Round five of UMM COVID-19 phase three testing will be held Oct. 26. Those selected for random sample testing will be notified via email. For more information, contact

Transparent and continuing communication 

  • The recording and materials from this morning’s virtual FY21 and FY22 Campus Budget Forum are online.

  • In our most recent student flash survey, we asked UMaine students if they currently have access to an adequate broadband internet connection and if they will have a connection in the residence where they will be taking courses after Thanksgiving break. Overall, 8% of respondents indicated they do not currently have access to an adequate broadband internet connection and 9% indicated they would not have access after Thanksgiving break. We are exploring potential options to address this need.  

  • The Office of International Programs (OIP) holds virtual office hours 3–4 p.m. every Wednesday; contact for a Zoom link. International Coffee Hour, 4–5 p.m. every Friday, is in-person, weather permitting, at the OIP entrance of Stodder Hall, following health and safety guidance; virtual via Zoom in inclement weather. Sign up for the International Coffee Hour online. The Intensive English Institute (IEI) offers ENG 101 tutoring for non-native speakers from 3–4 p.m. on Thursdays via Zoom. Students also can make an appointment with IEI instructor Erin-Kate Sousa:

  • Reminder: 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. 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: You are welcome to send questions to

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

  • UMaine and UMM have registered dietitians who can answer students’ questions about food allergies, dietary restrictions and general health and wellness. The free services include personal consultations, healthy eating guidance, how to navigate the dining hall safely with an allergy or intolerance, religious meal needs, sports nutrition and more. At UMM, contact Chelsea Champagne,, for more information or to schedule a meeting. At UMaine, contact Dara Raymond,, for more information or to schedule a meeting. In addition, there are online resources.

  • Join UMaine’s Fogler Library and the Department of Communication and Journalism for “Friend, Enemy, or Frenemy? A News Literacy Challenge.” Each day for five days, Oct. 26–30, participants will receive brief tasks designed to build their news literacy, while having fun and learning something new. Activities include discerning fact from fiction in popular news stories, deconstructing the purpose and content of the news, and examining the role of confirmation bias in how we interact with news media. RSVP to join or contact Jen Bonnet with questions at

  • Halloweekend at UMaine, Oct. 28–31, features online and in-person events, including virtual escape rooms, a paint party and much more. For event information, check out Facebook and Instagram, and on the Center for Student Involvement website. At UMM, Phi Tau Phi and Kappa Mu Alpha will host the 2020 Monster Mash from 7–10 p.m. Oct. 31 outside Kilburn Dining Hall, with refreshments and a costume contest. All in-person events will follow health and safety protocols.

  • At the UMM Art Gallery, “Works by Maine Artists from the UMM Permanent Collection: Celebrating 200 Years of Maine Statehood” is on exhibit through February. The exhibit, which includes representational and modernist works from a number of prominent Maine artists, was curated and installed by students as part of a course on museum management. The gallery in Powers Hall is open 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday; 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.

Flexibility, responsiveness, empathy, and science

  • UMaine Admissions tours for prospective students and their parents, offered for up to six participants at a time following health and safety protocols, are in high demand and booked through the end of next month. This fall, UMaine student recruitment efforts include extensive virtual academic presentations, allowing prospective students to participate in multiple information sessions to learn about the breadth and depth of the university’s majors and minors. Virtual open house information is online.

  • Registration begins Nov. 2 for University of Maine Winter Session, Jan. 4–22, 2021. Courses will be available to view on MaineStreet Oct. 26. The more than 50 online courses include several general education requirements, as well as some upper-level courses. Winter Session courses are intensive in nature, with students earning one to three credits in three weeks. For more information, including a list of courses and how to register, visit the Winter Session website. Information about Academic advising support is online.

  • The Office of Student Records has posted the Spring 2021 Enrollment Appointment Schedule. Spring course registration begins Nov. 2. Students may begin creating and validating their Wish List as soon as the schedule of classes becomes available. Students may “Validate” their Wish List in MaineStreet, which performs prerequisite and time conflict checking. More enrollment information is online.

  • The UMS Scientific Advisory Board monitors wastewater for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 on a weekly basis at UMaine, UMFK and the Gorham campus at USM. These campuses account for 78% of the residential student population across UMS. All weekly results have been negative since monitoring began in August. The latest three weeks of results are posted at

Continuing our missions for Maine

  • President Ferrini-Mundy will deliver the Seaman Knapp Memorial Lecture in a virtual webinar sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). The Oct. 28 event from 3–5:30 p.m. begins with the Community of Scholars Celebrating Excellence: Cooperative Extension & Research Awards Presentation, followed by the Seaman Knapp Memorial Lecture at approximately 4:55 p.m. Registration for the webinar is online. The Seaman A. Knapp Memorial Lecture honors the “father of Extension” of the land grant university system. 

  • The annual census of the UMaine Office of Institutional Research and Assessment confirms UMaine has 11,741 students — 9,465 undergraduate and 2,276 graduate students — and UMM has 762 students this semester. UMaine and UMM students combined represent 50 states and over 75 countries. 

    • UMaine’s fall 2020 total enrollment is 1.5% above last year and UMaine’s highest enrollment since fall 2009. 

    • Graduate enrollment is up about 7% over last year. 

    • UMaine’s first-year incoming class is 2,059 (57% in-state/43% out-of-state), and included 478 new transfer students.

  • The Stephen E. King Chair lecture series presents “Good and Mad: Rebecca Traister on Women, Anger and Political Change” at 5 p.m. Oct. 29 via Zoom. Traister is an award-winning journalist and leading voice on gender, society and politics. Click here to register.

  • Join the Hudson Museum for its virtual Day of the Dead celebration, featuring a prerecorded presentation by Eunice Loredo on Día de Muertos. The museum is offering a limited number of kits containing arts and crafts materials and instructions to create traditional decorations in middle school and high school classrooms. For more event information and a link to the presentation, contact Hudson Museum director Gretchen Faulkner,