Friday Futurecast — April 23

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,

In this semester, we have a week of classes and a week of final exams remaining. We are very close to completing this spring semester, which is why I’m going to reiterate the health and safety reminders that were shared with students earlier this week.

With the springtime weather — even though it snowed yesterday — and the ready availability of effective vaccines, I know we all are optimistic and eager to come together again. Indeed, we are very close to a healthier time in this second year of the pandemic. But we are not there yet

I urge you to remain vigilant in your care for yourselves and others in order to keep our community safe. We have had an uptick in positive COVID-19 cases and related close contacts on the University of Maine campus over the past several days. Please continue with COVID testing, wearing your face coverings, washing your hands, maintaining social distance, getting vaccinated and avoiding large gatherings. Our continued attention to these health and safety measures will help us to remain healthy, stay on our campuses and offer more in-person opportunities for activities.

UMaine and UMM commencement activities are planned with all these health and safety protocols in mind. We look forward to recognizing our graduates and the successful completion of the semester for all our students.

Take good care.

Sincerely,

Joan Ferrini-Mundy

 

Partnering to address health 

  • The University of Maine System is exempting fully vaccinated, asymptomatic individuals from quarantine requirements if they come in close contact with someone known to have COVID-19. An individual is considered fully vaccinated 14 days after receiving a J&J injection or 14 days after a second Pfizer or Moderna injection. The change in policy follows consultation with state public health officials. A news release with more information is online.

Transparent and continuing communication 

  • UMaine Graduate School commencement stage walks are taking place today. Thanks to all the graduating graduate students who are participating. Beginning Monday, undergraduates who opted to participate will have stage walks with the colleges and schools. We will welcome members of the Class of 2020 back for stage walks on May 3. All are livestreamed; find the links on the commencement website. The recordings of the stage walks, along with photos from all graduates who submit them, will be included 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. Questions about UMaine’s commencement plans can be emailed to umaine.alerts@maine.edu. Updates will be provided regularly on the commencement website.

  • Reminder: UMM’s in-person stage walk is scheduled for 2 p.m. on 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.

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

  • UMaine First — Share Your Story Week is April 26–30, sponsored by the Alton ’38 and Adelaide Hamm Campus Activity Fund. Are you the first in your family to attend college? Share your story online and it will be showcased in the Memorial Union. UMaine alumna Erica Wolfe will share her first gen story in a virtual presentation at 4 p.m. on April 27. Sign up to attend by emailing um.summerprograms@maine.edu

  • UMaine School of Performing Arts will present an online performance rental of its production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, filmed in the Lyle E. Littlefield Ornamentals Trial Garden on campus. The production, directed by Julie Arnold Lisnet, will be accessible from April 28–May 10. Preorders are available now; rental downloads are $12 or $3 with MaineCard, and accessible for 48 hours.

  • April 28 is Maine Day, coordinated by the Center for Student Involvement and several campus partners. Faculty, staff and students can sign up online to participate in service projects, following all health and safety guidelines. Information about all Maine Day activities is online. A reminder that this is the same day as the Maine Day of Giving, coordinated by the University of Maine Foundation. 

  • This week in UMaine Athletics, the swim team competes in the three-day America East Championships at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Friday through Sunday afternoon. The America East Swim Championships can be streamed on ESPN+. The softball team returns home for a three-game weekend series against Stony Brook, beginning with a doubleheader on Saturday at noon followed by a single game on Sunday at 11 a.m. All softball games will be streamed on ESPN3. Baseball hits the road for a four-game series, with doubleheaders beginning at 2 p.m. on Friday and at noon on Saturday at UMass Lowell. The games can be heard on the Black Bear Sports Network and seen at AmericaEast.TV. The men’s and women’s track and field program wraps up the regular season with a meet on Saturday at New Hampshire at 11 a.m. Saturday’s meet can be seen at AmericaEast.TV. And as you know, all involved in our athletic events are following all required safety and health guidelines.

Flexibility, responsiveness, empathy, and science

  • The Office of Student Financial Aid distributed more than $2.4 million in CARES Act II (HEERF II) emergency student grants to eligible UMaine and UMM students the week of March 29. For questions, contact Student Financial Aid, umfinaid@maine.edu.

Continuing our missions for Maine