Friday Futurecast — March 19

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 Vice Chancellor and President Joan Ferrini-Mundy:

Dear members of the UMaine and UMM communities,

As noted in our community message and in Division of Student Life emails to all students and student organizations earlier this week, we very much want to keep our campuses open and have as many in-person events as possible. Of the state’s new coronavirus cases, most have been detected in adults in their 20s. And UMaine’s positive case numbers are up.

We need renewed commitment from everyone to continue to follow civil and University of Maine System health and safety guidance. That includes maintaining social distance, wearing face coverings, participating in weekly testing and keeping gatherings limited to the people in your daily living space. Don’t encourage or attend large events — this is hugely important. There is an urgent need for all of us to remember that safety matters most in order to keep our semester going and all of us healthy.

In addition, with the Reading Day and mini-break next week, we encourage you not to travel and potentially contribute to community transmission of COVID-19. Please be safe, follow UMS travel guidance and get tested prior to returning to campus. If you test positive or have symptoms, please fill out the self-reporting form or email

We understand that there is significant fatigue from this pandemic and we all feel it. Please help us keep our campus communities safe by remaining vigilant.

Together we can ensure the well-being of each other and our university communities.


Joan Ferrini-Mundy

Partnering to address health

  • In ongoing public health education efforts, the UMS Science Advisory Board recommends two upcoming virtual community events being offered by the Maine Science Festival: “COVID-19 vaccine distribution and public health,” with Dr. Noah Nesin, Penobscot County Health Care, and LuAnn Ballesteros from The Jackson Laboratory, 1 p.m., March 24 (; and “COVID vaccines explained,” with Elisabeth Marnik, Husson University, 4 p.m., March 30 (

Transparent and continuing communication

  • Check out the activities planned by the Center for Student Involvement, including during the upcoming Reading Day and mini-break.

  • For members of the UMaine community thinking about planning an event this semester, an updated online checklist is available.

  • Reminder: UMaine and UMM Reading Days, mini-break and Maine Day, March 23–24, April 15 and April 28, are meant to remain free of new assignments to provide time for students to pursue academic work that is most appropriate for them or to take the time off if that is what they need most. Only a limited number of classes, including clinicals required for licensure, are occurring, based on exemptions requested in the colleges. All community members are encouraged to scale back, and postpone and/or reschedule nonessential meetings on these days. Phase six COVID-19 Shield T3 testing will be held as scheduled; however, those with testing appointments on those four days who are not coming to campus can opt out. UMaine and UMM are open all four days, with regular hours of campus programming, dining, recreation centers and libraries. Our goal is to balance the psychological, academic and social needs of our community in the spring 2021 semester.

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

  • In UMaine Athletics this weekend: Football is at Stony Brook at noon tomorrow (live video; live audio); Field Hockey will take on the University of California in a neutral site contest at Lowell and Softball is at Fordham (live audio), both at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Softball takes on Fordham in a doubleheader beginning at 11 a.m. (live audio) and Women’s Soccer is at UMass Lowell at 4 p.m. (live video).

  • UMaine Athletics will host the 32nd annual scholar-athlete recognition awards ceremony virtually at 7 p.m. on March 23. The event is the annual celebration of the tremendous honors our student-athletes have achieved in the classroom over the past year. This year, we will honor a total of 370 student-athletes — the most in the history of the scholar-athlete program. This will mark the 17th consecutive year in which UMaine will honor more than half of its student-athletes. UMaine Athletics also will announce TEAM MAINE, presented to the student-athletes who have achieved the highest academic year grade point averages on each team, and announce the M Club Dean Smith Award recipients. To watch Tuesday’s live recognition awards ceremony, click here.

  • The UMaine School of Performing Arts Division of Theatre will present its next performance via on-demand streaming rental March 26–31. Presale tickets are now available for “God of Carnage,” written by Yasmina Reza and directed by UMaine student Pooja Rawat.

  • Fogler Library’s Literature Review Challenge for Undergrads is March 29–April 2. Participants will receive a daily email with brief tasks designed to help with all elements of conducting a literature review. The program is online and asynchronous. RSVP to join.

Flexibility, responsiveness, empathy, and science

  • Tuesday, Maine residents age 50 and older will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccination, and anyone age 16 and older will be eligible April 19. The latest information, including vaccination sites statewide, is online. UMS employees are eligible for two hours of paid administrative leave time that can be used to get the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

  • The UMaine Writing Center offers free, synchronous and online appointments. All university community members can use the Writing Center for coursework, projects unrelated to UMaine, or as a space to discuss research initiatives, study habits and time management strategies. UMaine writing consultants also offer 30- and 60-minute tutorials daily.

Continuing our missions for Maine

  • The 2020–21 Maryann Hartman Awards ceremony will be held virtually at 5 p.m. on March 25, presented by the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Program and the University of Maine Alumni Association. Registration available here.

  • Reminder: This is the link to all the virtual Women’s History Month events offered by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

  • Racial Injustice: Using Racial Impact Statements to Inform Change,” is the focus of the third webinar in Maine Law’s Racial Injustice Forums, at 6 p.m., April 1. The panel includes Rep. Rachel Talbot Ross, Rashmi Dyal-Chand, Northeastern University School of Law; Meagan Sway, Maine ACLU; and Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Boston University School of Law. Register for the event at: