Friday Futurecast — April 16

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,

Our This Is Our Shot, Maine vaccination campaign continues across the UMS campuses, promoting the importance of vaccinations for our health and safety, and the well-being of those we love. Like the COVID-19 health and safety protocols — wearing face coverings, maintaining social distancing, avoiding large gatherings, handwashing and testing — vaccinations can save lives. Please do your part and get vaccinated if you are able to do so. 

The UMS Science Advisory Board and Vaccine Planning and Partnership Task Force are surveying students, faculty and staff to assess vaccination plans, and determine how best to provide information and educational materials to university community members. To date, the survey has received over 4,200 voluntary responses, representing about 13% of the surveyed population of students and employees. The responses suggest a strong commitment to vaccination across the university system, with over half of respondents indicating they had received at least one dose. Just over 70% of those who have not yet received a dose reported that they plan to. These are preliminary findings as the survey will remain open until the end of next week.

We are encouraged by these preliminary results and will be continuing our work to support and educate our community about the importance of vaccination. Information about vaccination sites is on the Maine CDC website.


Joan Ferrini-Mundy

Partnering to address health 

Transparent and continuing communication 

  • Chancellor Malloy will visit the University of Maine at Machias on April 20 as part of his Spring ’21 Campus Tour of all the UMS universities and Maine Law. The Chancellor, President and Head of Campus will lead a hybrid meeting with faculty in Powers Hall and by Zoom from 10–10:45 a.m. This is the link: A hybrid meeting with students in Powers Hall and by Zoom will be held from 2–2:30 p.m. This is the link: A virtual town hall for all members of the UMM community from 2:45–3:30 p.m., led by the Chancellor and President, will include discussion of UMS TRANSFORMS and other campus initiatives, pandemic-related community health and safety on campus, and unified accreditation. This is a link to the town hall:

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

  • Students in UMM’s recreation and tourism management are seeking community feedback that will inform the creation of a management plan for the Outback Trail system, located in the Deshon-Tibbetts woods behind the Machias campus. Faculty, staff, students and residents of Washington County are encouraged to fill out this brief survey.

  • UMM’s Murdock Fitness and Aquatics Center has resumed the sale of new memberships and guest passes. Staff continue to work diligently toward the pool reopening; follow the Campus Recreation page on Facebook for updates.

  • UMaine Symphonic Band will livestream its final performance of the semester from the Collins Center for the Arts at 7:30 p.m. on April 22. The YouTube stream is available here.

  • This week in UMaine Athletics, the men’s and women’s track & field program continues competition at the George Davis Invitational, hosted by UMass Lowell, on Friday and Saturday afternoon. Baseball hosts Hartford for doubleheaders at noon on Saturday and Sunday. All four games can be seen at AmericaEast.TV and heard across the Black Bear Sports Network. The softball team travels to Binghamton for a four-game weekend set beginning with a doubleheader at noon on Saturday. The softball series closes with another doubleheader at 11 a.m. on Sunday. All games can be seen at AmericaEast.TV. The diving team competes at the America East Championships, hosted at Binghamton University, on Saturday and Sunday. Field Hockey closes its regular season on Sunday when it hosts UC Davis at 10 a.m. live at AmericaEast.TV. Reminder: No spectators are permitted at home games, following health and safety guidelines.

  • For the next three Fridays — April 23, April 30, May 7, weather permitting — assistant professor of philosophy Don Beith is again leading contemplative nature walks on the University Forest trails. Participants gather at the trailhead near the New Balance Student Recreation Center at noon and return by approximately 1 p.m. Social distancing and face covering guidelines are in effect. For more information, contact

  • Maine Day is just around the corner (April 28) and the Center for Student Involvement and several campus partners have a day of activities planned. From community service to activities on the Mall, the Maine Day events will follow health and safety guidelines. More information is online.

Flexibility, responsiveness, empathy, and science

  • Student Accessibility Services has created a webpage to help students Finish Spring 2021 Black Bear Strong. The website has tips and strategies to help students through the last weeks of the semester. The STRONG tips include how to be strong together, take care of your mental health, refocus and look at the big picture, organize, get in a note-taking mindset and get enough sleep. Students, faculty and staff can submit their own ideas, tips, quotes or questions using an online form. Virtual gatherings to support students are planned. 

  • The UMaine 2021 commencement stage walks of 2021 and 2020 graduates who have opted to participate, scheduled for April 23, April 26–29, and May 3, will be livestreamed (links are on the commencement website). The stage walks also will be videotaped for inclusion in our virtual commencement presentation available in late May. That virtual presentation will feature elements of our traditional in-person commencement ceremony, such as messages from campus leadership, speakers and music, as well as photos of all graduates who opt to submit images. May 8 would have been the date for the in-person commencement if we had been able to have it. The virtual presentation is later in May to ensure time for all video and photos to be submitted from the Class of 2021 and 2020, and edited. See the commencement website for the latest updates, including a video message from President Ferrini-Mundy.

  • At UMM, an in-person stage walk is scheduled for 2 p.m. May 8; both 2021 and 2020 graduates have until April 30 to register as participants. This portion of the ceremony will be livestreamed and the full video will be available later in the month. More information and a link to the registration form is available on the Commencement website.

  • Now available online: a recording of the April 15 vaccination educational webinar, offered by the UMaine Institute of Medicine, UMaine’s Innovative Media Research and Commercialization Center, and Northern Light Health.

Continuing our missions for Maine