Friday Futurecast — February 12

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,

It has been another memorable week for our universities and the state, beginning with COVID-19 testing on campus on Monday. At UMaine, we’ve had five particularly successful days of phase six testing, thanks to the exceptional dedication of the many staff members and students working at our two testing sites on campus. They have worked countless hours to ensure the safety and efficiency of the Shield T3 testing, and those students and employees who came for their appointments noted their appreciation. We thank all for their patience with the phase six testing process since Feb. 1. The improvements now in place will inform the COVID-19 T3 testing that begins at UMM next week. Thank you to all for your patience and commitment to the weekly testing that continues through the semester.

It takes all of us, working together, to continue our learning, teaching, research and service mission, and to meet our goals amid the challenges of a pandemic. Yesterday’s virtual State of the University address reflected that community leadership and mindfulness. We heard from multiple members of the UMaine and UMM communities, reflecting on the good work in their areas in the past year and the difference it has made for our universities. Their perspectives reinforce how much good work we accomplished and the many ways we all have leadership roles to play in shaping the future.

Also this week, we reached a milestone with the installation of the last beam atop the structural steel frame of the new Ferland Engineering Education and Design Center. If you missed the livestreamed virtual Topping Off Ceremony earlier today, you can watch the recording online

We start next week with a holiday, and I hope you have the opportunity to rest and recharge. 

Stay safe.


Joan Ferrini-Mundy


Partnering to address health 

  • Presidents Day is Monday, Feb. 15. Classes are not in session, and administrative and academic offices are closed. At UMaine and UMM, there will be no phase six COVID-19 testing on that day. Individuals scheduled for testing on Mondays at UMaine will participate in testing again on Feb. 22. UMM will offer make-up testing 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Feb. 16, and will have regular walk-in hours from 4–6 p.m. Wednesday and 9 a.m.–noon Thursday; anyone required to test weekly should plan to test during those hours.

  • Beginning next week, the Shield T3 mobile testing laboratory at UMaine is scheduled to start processing the COVID-19 PCR tests administered on campus. With on-campus processing, results are expected within 24 hours of testing. UMaine’s phase six testing continues weekly in Wells Conference Center and the Collins Center for the Arts. Any students and employees who have not come to their testing appointments should email to confirm their on-campus status.

  • A new online mental health tool is now available free of charge for the well-being of UMaine and UMM students. SilverCloud is an online platform that offers self-guided programs for anxiety, depression, stress and resilience. The online resource aims to provide treatment for mild or moderate issues and is not meant to replicate individual therapy. More information about SilverCloud and registration is available at the UMaine and UMM counseling center websites.

Transparent and continuing communication 

  • The deadline for UMaine students to select pass/fail grading for a spring 2021 course has been extended to Feb. 22. Note that this pass/fail grading option is different than it has been for the last two semesters. More information about the pass/fail option for this semester, including FAQs on how to make the decision, is online

  • UMaine and UMM Commencement Committees are now planning virtual ceremonies to honor and recognize the hard work, dedication, achievements and perseverance of our undergraduate and graduate students during this particularly challenging time. We want to hear from you as that planning continues. On the Commencement websites, you can share your ideas and suggestions for what we can do, under the conditions we all face for observing safety and health protocols, to make your Commencement recognition as memorable and meaningful as we can possibly manage. As updates become available, we will post them on the UMaine Commencement website and UMM Commencement website

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

  • UMaine Winter Carnival is Feb. 16–21, with many virtual events and outdoor activities planned, all following health and safety guidance. Check out the full list of activities, Tuesday through Saturday.

  • UMM Winterfest is Feb. 20. Check the campus life calendar for details.

  • The UMaine Center for Student Involvement, in partnership with the University of Maine System, is offering students the ability to earn digital badges to recognize their competency in leadership. In addition, as part of the Dirigo Leadership Society, students also can earn initiative and empathy badges based on ongoing work. More information is online.

  • Join the Career Center for Prep for Success Week, Feb. 15–19, with resources to help UMaine and UMM students succeed in the professional online world — from email to social media. More information is online.

  • The Innovate for Maine Fellows Program connects Maine college students with exciting, growing companies and business leaders in the state to help grow and create jobs. Emphasizing innovation and entrepreneurship, the program prepares students to collaborate with companies on innovation projects that accelerate company growth and give students a paid, meaningful, hands-on internship experience. The early application deadline for students and companies is Feb. 26. More information about the program is online.

  • The 2021 annual UMaine Student Symposium on April 16 invites UMaine and UMM students to submit their research and creative activity abstracts by March 10. Students’ research and creative activities, presented in videos, will be judged by faculty, staff and community sponsors. More information is online.

Flexibility, responsiveness, empathy, and science

  • Interested in forming a study group for one or more of your classes at UMaine or UMM? There’s a built-in tool in your Navigate app for that called Study Buddies. Join for any of your courses and you’ll be able to email other students who have also opted in so you can form a study group. For more information on downloading the Navigate app, click here.

Continuing our missions for Maine

  • Join the Professional Employees Advisory Council and Anila Karunakar, director for diversity and inclusion in UMaine’s Multicultural Student Center, for a two-part workshop on racial equity. Participants will engage in guided discussions: “Unpacking Self for Racial Equity.” Part 1 is 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. Feb. 22, registration link; Part 2 is noon–1 p.m., Feb. 24, registration link.

  • The University of Maine Racial Justice Collection is a Digital Commons archive of primary sources by, from, and about the Black community and racial justice issues at the University of Maine and in the greater Bangor region. The collection was created in response to the increased social awareness of racial justice issues in the U.S. following the death of George Floyd in 2020. Fogler Library university archivist Matthew Revitt ( encourages faculty to send him curriculum material and publications they may have created on the subject of racial justice.

  • Reminder: Watch the recordings of yesterday’s virtual State of the University address and today’s virtual Topping Off Ceremony for the Ferland Engineering Education and Design Center.