Friday Futurecast — January 15

Health and safety update for university community members

Welcome to this week’s Friday Futurecast

These updates are archived on the UMaine Spring ’21 website. The University of Maine at Machias also has a Spring ’21 website.

Message from President Joan Ferrini-Mundy:

Dear members of the UMaine and UMM communities,

Next week our campuses will be much more lively as groups of residential students arrive for their return-to-campus testing. I look forward with great anticipation to the start of the spring 2021 semester. Faculty and staff have been planning, and we are eager to get started. 

We have a new weekly testing program starting Feb. 1 to help keep us safe and healthy, and we continue to monitor the status — and promise — of vaccine delivery in Maine.

I wish all a reflective Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday — an important annual touchstone and source of inspiration regarding diversity, equity, inclusion and racial justice that we can carry with us every day in how we teach, learn, work and live.

Be well. And safe.


Joan Ferrini-Mundy

Partnering to address health 

  • The University of Maine System has entered into a partnership with Shield T3 to provide weekly on-campus COVID-19 PCR testing beginning Feb. 1. A mobile testing laboratory at UMaine will eliminate the need to ship collected saliva samples for processing. Test results are expected to be delivered electronically to participants within 24 hours. A news release with more details is online. UMaine’s phase six testing will be in Wells Conference Center and the Collins Center for the Arts.

  • LiveWell, a program of the UMaine Student Wellness Resource Center, is accepting student mentors and mentees for the peer education program. LiveWell is a way for students to coach or learn about health and wellness. To participate, email Other center programs are online.

  • Beginning next week, UMaine residential students on campus and out-of-state off-campus students with at least one face-to-face class on campus this spring will be tested at designated days and times as part of UMaine’s COVID-19 phase four testing. Phase five testing is Jan. 25–29. More information about phases four and five testing is online. A COVID-19 Testing Guide for Students also is online.

  • Also next week, UMM residential students and off-campus students with in-person classes will be tested as part of phase four COVID-19 testing. Phase five testing is Jan. 25, with make-up test dates available as needed. More information for UMM students is online.

Transparent and continuing communication 

  • UMM virtual Faculty Work Days are Jan. 21–22. In addition to updates from Dan Qualls and Heather Ball, there will be workshops offered by the Counseling Center, IT and others. Topics include the first-year student experience, program assessment and research opportunities. More information is available by emailing or division chairs.

  • Reminder: The Box to OneDrive personal space migration cutover occurs this weekend. Beginning 8 a.m. Jan. 19, you will use OneDrive to access your files and folders previously created in Box. The next virtual Information session is 1–1:50 p.m. Jan. 20; registration is online. More information is on the Box Migration to OneDrive for work or school and SharePoint project page. In addition, a series of Virtual OneDrive open office hours have been scheduled where faculty, staff and students can drop in via this Zoom link.

  • A virtual Budget Town Hall was held yesterday. The recording and PowerPoint are online.

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

  • The Hutchinson Center’s virtual winter and early spring professional development programs begin this month. New programs focus on such timely, important issues as racial equity and self-care for clinicians. Also offered are the center’s long-standing professional development programs in grant writing, project management and intimate partner violence prevention training. Information is online.

  • New Balance Student Recreation Center is open and will return to regular semester hours on Jan. 21. Reservations for facility use have space limits of 50. 

  • Maine Bound Adventure Center opens for regular hours on Jan. 25 and reservations for facility use have space limits of six. Both Maine Bound and the Rec Center are open to UMaine students, staff, faculty and members.

  • The Virtual Career Fair on Feb. 3 will include more than 92 employers offering full-time jobs and internship opportunities. A list of employers and more information about the Career Fair is on the Career Center website. UMaine and UMM students can prepare by meeting with a career counselor or participating in the Career Fair Preparation Event with Unum on Jan. 28. Sign-up through CareerLink.

  • The UMaine Spring Student Organization Fair, 3–5 p.m., Feb. 9–11, is an opportunity for students, especially new and transfer students, to connect with student groups and learn how to get involved. Details, including the Zoom link for this virtual event, are online.

Flexibility, responsiveness, empathy, and science

  • Ten regionally promoted On Track for College events will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays every school week beginning with On Track for College: Aroostook on Feb. 3. During February and April school vacation weeks, statewide 9 a.m. Saturday events (Feb. 13 and April 17) will be held in lieu of the regional evening events to support families not able to attend evening events. A full schedule of planned events is online. The On Track for College campaign is offered by the University of Maine System, the Finance Authority of Maine, and the Maine Department of Education.

  • A new Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning website is compiling and coordinating resources and services from all across the university for faculty teaching for the spring semester. It includes guidance on webcam use. Information about CITL events and workshops also is online.

Continuing our missions for Maine

  • The 2021 Martin Luther King Jr. Day Virtual Celebration is 5–6:15 p.m. Jan. 18, featuring the free webinar, “Being Black in Maine: Lived Experience and Prospects for Change.” The event is offered by the Greater Bangor Area Branch NAACP and the UMaine Alumni Association. More information is online. Here is the YouTube link for the livestream.

  • In observance of Black History Month, the UMaine Black Student Union and the Alumni Association will offer the free webinar, “Black Studies in 21st Century Higher Education,” 6–7:30 p.m., Jan. 28. Black culture and history scholars John Bracey of UMass Amherst and Sonia Sanchez will discuss the history of Black studies, current reckoning, and the relevance of Black knowledge, creativity and spirituality in higher education. Registration is online.

  • UMaine has been selected as a finalist for Paciolan’s “Innovation of the Year” award for utilizing the Collins Center for the Arts and Maine Black Bears ticketing system in support of the university’s COVID-19 testing program. Paciolan is a leader in ticketing solutions, powering more than 500 live entertainment organizations that sell more than 120 million tickets annually. The awards acknowledge organizations that exceeded expectations and achieved uncommon results. Winners are determined by the most number of votes submitted on the Paciolan website. Voting closes on Jan. 22 and winners will be honored at a virtual ceremony on Feb. 23.