Friday Futurecast — April 30

Health and safety update for university community members

Welcome to this week’s Friday Futurecast

These updates are archived on the UMaine COVID-19 updates website. The University of Maine at Machias also has a COVID-19 updates website.

Message from President Joan Ferrini-Mundy:

Dear members of the UMaine and UMM communities,

This week was abuzz with end-of-semester activity on our campuses and a clear sense of what the pathway will be to a late summer and fall in post-pandemic times. On Wednesday, UMaine’s Maine Day observance returned and UMM launched its first. Both were a big success. In Orono, more than 500 volunteers were involved in over 40 service projects, followed by a grab-and-go lunch and activities on the Mall, all planned with health and safety protocols in mind. In Machias, students participated in a cleanup of the Outback Trail and Labyrinth, held an event to benefit a local animal shelter, and finished the day with a safe and socially distanced hot dog roast at the fire pits. 

All this week at UMaine, 2021 graduates who have felt comfortable participating have attended commencement stage walks. This coming Monday, we will welcome members of the Class of 2020. By May 4, we will have completed 18 commencement stage walks with nearly 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students, and 2020 alumni. UMM’s in-person stage walks will be May 8, all following health and safety guidance. Our thanks to the many UMaine and UMM staff members making these commencement activities possible for our graduates.

Thoughts now turn to all our students and faculty during finals week. I wish everyone the best and know that I appreciate all the collective effort it has taken to successfully complete the semester.

All the best for the last week of the spring 2021 semester.

Sincerely,

Joan Ferrini-Mundy

Partnering to address health 

  • Two of the most important updates to health and safety protocols on our campuses and at our locations statewide have to do with face coverings and asymptomatic testing. Face coverings are recommended but not required to be worn outdoors when individuals are able to social distance. Face coverings remain required indoors. Members of the UMaine and UMM communities now have the opportunity to upload their vaccination cards to the UMS PointNClick Web App. Log into umaineportal.pointnclick.com with your university username and password. For help with PointNClick, email help@maine.edu. Weekly asymptomatic testing will continue beginning the week of May 10 for summer. For all university community members who submit bona fide verification of vaccination, an exemption from asymptomatic testing is available effective that week. Asymptomatic testing continues for all, including vaccinated individuals, next week. Details on this new guidance are available on the UMS Together for Maine website. A news release also is online.

  • The University of Maine System’s guidance for summer activities on our campuses and at our facilities statewide is now online.

  • All UMaine summer events and activities (May 1–Aug. 1) will require adherence to policies and safeguards that minimize the risk of COVID-19 infections. This summer 2021 events checklist is provided to event coordinators through UMaine’s event planning website. Each event planning form captures the nature of the event and point of contact, and has a checklist guide for conducting safe activities. The event request will be processed and returned to the applicant with the necessary approval, denial or request for further information. The event also will be evaluated to ascertain if Emergency Operations Center involvement is necessary and if the President’s Office should be notified due to the event’s unique nature. More information is available by emailing um.eventrequest@maine.edu.

  • At UMM, a reduced summer schedule for COVID-19 testing will begin the week of May 10. Testing in Sennett Hall will be offered 10 a.m.–noon Tuesdays and 2–4 p.m. Thursdays. More information about summer testing is online. At UMaine, phase seven testing will begin May 11 at Alfond Arena and be held throughout the summer — noon–6 p.m. Tuesdays and 6:30 a.m.–noon Wednesdays. More details to come next week.

  • A second vaccination clinic on campus, in partnership with Penobscot Community Health Center, will be held from 1–3 p.m. May 26 in Wells Conference Center. At the clinic on Wednesday, 234 people received vaccinations.

Transparent and continuing communication 

  • President Ferrini-Mundy will lead a Virtual Budget Town Hall from 4–5:15 p.m., May 4. Joining the President will be Provost John Volin; Vice Presidents Robert Dana, Kimberly Whitehead and Kody Varahramyan; Interim Vice President and Chief Business Officer Joanne Yestramski; and Vice President for Academic Affairs/Head of Campus at UMM Dan Qualls. The forum will include an update on the UMaine/UMM FY21 budget and preliminary discussion of the planning process for the FY22 budget. The link to the event: https://youtu.be/6WiQF_AbcwQ.

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

  • UMM Honors Convocation awards were presented virtually this week, representing over $64,000 in scholarships and awards for academic excellence in arts and letters, environmental and biological sciences, and professional studies. Class of 2021 graduates who received special recognition were Lexi Daggett, Ivy Orator, and Teresa and Dan Gallanti, Senior Watch Awards. A news story about those students is online.

  • The UMaine commencement website includes links to academic recognitions by the Maine Business School, the College of Education and Human Development, and other colleges, as well as the Graduate School Hooding Ceremony.

  • This week in UMaine Athletics, the men’s and women’s track and field teams travel to UMass Lowell for the America East Championships. Day one will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 1 with the second and final day of competition slated to begin at 9 a.m. on Sunday. All events can be seen live at AmericaEast.TV. UMaine softball hits the road for a three-game weekend series at UMBC, beginning with a doubleheader at 1 p.m. on Saturday. The series will conclude with a single game at noon on Sunday. All games can be seen at AmericaEast.TV. Baseball also hits the road for a pair of doubleheaders at UAlbany on Saturday and Sunday with both events starting at noon. All baseball games can be seen at AmericaEast.TV and heard live on the Black Bears Sports Network.

Flexibility, responsiveness, empathy, and science

  • The Counseling Center has created the Speak Your Truth Project, a poetry platform for students and staff to give voice to their experiences through the pandemic and racial/socio/political unrest. Submit work in written or video form with this link: https://umaine.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8BRAFM9VRBgLUmG

Continuing our missions for Maine

  • Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (CITL) and the UMaine/UMM Faculty Ambassadors will host an event May 10–11, Lessons Learned During the Pandemic: A Faculty Showcase. The event will include an asynchronous gallery walk, synchronous watch parties and virtual discussions around the following themes:

    • Teaching Beyond the Physical Classroom 

    • Inclusive Learning and Building Community 

    • Rethinking Assessment for Learning 

    • Flipping Forward: Re-Prioritizing Our Courses for Engagement

Registration and more information are online.