The University of Maine at Fort Kent Blake Library Gallery will feature a collection of photographs entitled, Friends & Family by UMFK alumnus Darrell McBreairty during the month of October.
Friends & Family is a collection of color prints from transparencies and negatives shot by McBreairty over several decades.
McBreairty completed classes in portraiture and commercial photography at the New York Institute of Photography in Manhattan in 1970 and has had a number of exhibits in different locations over the years.
In addition to his work as a photographer, McBreairty has published a number of books available at Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing online.
The exhibit may be viewed during UMFK’s Blake Library hours. For more information on the exhibit or library hours, please contact Gallery Curator Sofia Birden at 207-834-7527.
2023 Business Breakfast
The University of Maine at Fort Kent Board of Visitors is encouraging the public to attend a Business Breakfast that will take place on Friday, September 22nd, at 7:30 a.m. in the Nadeau Hall conference room on the UMFK campus.
Panelists for the event will be Duane Belanger, UMFK Assistant Professor of Nursing, and Dr. Erin Soucy, Dean of Undergraduate Nursing and Associate Provost.
The panelists will discuss how the UMFK Nursing Program is expanding to enhance the nursing workforce training with its new Immersive Interactive Simulation Center. This is the first of its kind in New England.
A tour of the immersive simulation center will be available after the presentation.
The state-of-the-art center will provide UMFK nursing students with hands-on clinical training to develop the skills necessary to facilitate positive patient outcomes without risk. It includes Immersive Interactive software featuring 360-degree projections on classroom walls and floors, allowing students the benefit of virtual reality educational experiences, complete with smells, sounds, and tactile stimuli. The center also includes high-realism manikins to resemble interactions with real patients. UMFK’s immersive simulation center is the result of a grant written by Belanger and funded through workforce development funds through the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan (MJRP).
The University of Maine at Fort Kent Alumni Association will host its Homecoming Brunch at 11 a.m. on Sunday, September 24, 2023, at the Sports Center during the University’s annual Homecoming Weekend.
The brunch tickets are $10 per person. The public is encouraged to attend the Homecoming Brunch.
At the brunch, the Alumni Association will honor and recognize the 2023 Outstanding UMFK Alumni Award recipient, Dr. Rachel E. Albert, from the graduating class of 1985.
The selection as this year’s Outstanding Alumni is based upon a nomination received, “Dr. Rachel E. Albert embraces her roles of teaching, scholarship, service, and practice wholeheartedly. While Dr. Albert excels in so many areas, she strives for continuous improvement, always reflecting and examining her own efforts and setting new professional goals. Her commitment to the success of UMFK’s nursing students is invaluable. Further, she is committed to the success of UMFK’s nursing program and campus as a whole. Her contributions to the nursing program are substantial and outstanding.”
In addition to her many years of dedicated service to the campus community academically, Dr. Albert held administrative positions, such as Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dean of Faculty, and Executive Director of Planning and Assessment, to name a few. Continuous commitments and contributions to the St. John Valley, Aroostook County, and the state of Maine, such as being a member of the Leadership Team for Closing the Gap, Social Determinants of Health Acceleration Plan; Chair and member of the steering committee of the Aroostook Public Health Council; Board Member of Fish River Rural Health; corporator for Northern Light Health; and team leader and evaluator for the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
Dr. Albert graduated from UMFK, earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She earned her Master of Science in Nursing in 1990 and a Ph.D. in Nursing Science in 2001.
She has over 30 years of experience in higher education at UMFK. Currently, Dr. Rachel E. Albert is a Professor of Nursing and Allied Health and teaches undergraduate and graduate online courses in Healthcare Research and Evidenced-Based Practice, Transcultural Nursing, Ethics and the Law, Integrative Nursing Practice, Ethical Leadership, and Global Health.
During the brunch, the alumni present from the following classes will be recognized: 1943, 1953, 1963, 1973, 1983, 1993, 2003, and 2013.
Deadline to purchase tickets is Friday, September 8, 2023.
The Alumni Association is pleased to welcome you to the UMFK campus for the 2023 Homecoming Weekend taking place on September 22nd – 24th. We hope you will also join us on the UMFK campus for a weekend of celebration and fun activities that include UMFK Bengals soccer and volleyball games and special events. All alumni, students, family, friends, and community members are invited to attend.
Michael Simon Field Lighting
The University of Maine at Fort Kent proudly announces the dedication of its newly lit soccer field, the “MICHAEL SIMON FIELD.”
Please join us for a special Light the Field event on Friday, September 22, 2023, beginning at 4:00 pm at Michael Simon Field. This will kick off UMFK’s Homecoming Weekend and will feature the Fort Kent Community High School Warriors playing a double-header, with the first game beginning at 5:00 pm.
Festivities will include activities to suit all ages and interests. There will be inflatable bouncy houses, obstacle courses, and field games, and a quiet play area will be available for children and the young at heart.
The public is encouraged to attend, and the first 300 people who check into the event will receive $10 food truck vouchers!
Lighting the UMFK soccer field has been a top UMFK capital priority for years. Michael’s brother, Jamil, funded the project in memory of his late brother, Michael Simon, and the field has been renamed for Michael Simon. Michael, who passed away last June, was beloved on the UMFK campus and in town and was a Fort Kent resident for almost 40 years.
The “Light the Field” event is an opportunity to remember Michael and celebrate the caring bond between him, UMFK, and Fort Kent at large. The official dedication will take place during halftime. UMFK’s soccer teams will take the field along with Athletic Director Carly Flowers, UMFK President Deb Hedeen, and UMFK Foundation President Stephanie Chick to raise a toast to Michael Simon. In honor of Michael’s love of the color red and Diet Coke, giveaways will feature Diet Coke, red drink koozies and cups, as well as many glow-in-the-dark and light-up toys.
Please join us for this event to honor Michael as UMFK celebrates having lights for the first time on the Michael Simon Field.
For information regarding the dedication and to register for UMFK Homecoming events, please go to the UMFK Homecoming webpage or call Shannon Lugdon at 207-834-7800.
Mills of Madawaska Book Launch
The University of Maine at Fort Kent Acadian Archives/Archives acadiennes will welcome author Joseph Ralph Theriault for the launch of both volumes of Moulins du Madawaska/Mills of Madawaska on Sunday, September 10 from 1 to 3 p.m. in Powell Hall, room 123 (Acadian Archives entrance) on the UMFK campus. The event is free and open to the public.
The book is the culmination of years of research on an essential aspect of Valley history. From the dawn of the Acadian era in the Madawaska territory, the flour mills, sawmills, and wool carding mills produced the food, shelter, and clothing necessary to sustain the local community. The first volume focuses on the culture and history of twelve of the early mills in the St. John Valley, while the second volume is a historical register of the 250 mills that existed in the Valley from 1785 to 1985.
The son of Théodule and Elsie Dubé Theriault, Joseph Ralph Theriault grew up in Upper Frenchville, Maine. He is an electrical engineer by profession and is a retired officer of the United States Air Force. He worked for the Raytheon Company in Lexington, Massachusetts, for many years. Mr. Theriault founded the Terriot Acadian Family Society in 1999, which boasts about 125 members.
“These two volumes represent a colossal undertaking,” said Patrick Lacroix, the director of the Acadian Archives. “Mr. Theriault’s work helps us understand countless facets of Valley history. It is a privilege to be able to welcome him to campus and to share his work with the community.”
The event is organized by the Acadian Archives with the support of the Terriot Acadian Family Society, the publisher of Moulins du Madawaska/Mills of Madawaska.
The author will offer remarks and answer questions. Copies of the book will be available for sale and signing. Copies will be available for sale on-site. Softcover editions of volume one and volume two are priced at $15 and $25, respectively; hardcover copies are $25 and $35.
For more information on the book launch, please contact Patrick Lacroix at (207) 834-7535.
Hall of Fame Class of 2023
The University of Maine at Fort Kent will host its fourteenth annual Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Dinner and Ceremony on Saturday, September 23rd, in the University’s Sports Center during the University’s Homecoming weekend.
Following very successful classes before whose achievements and contributions exemplify the ideals of good citizenship, these three inductees of the UMFK Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2023 are a distinguished group in their own right. Odean Irons graduated from UMFK with a bachelor of science degree in social science in 2018; Samantha Carapelluci graduated at UMFK earning a bachelor of science degree in behavioral science in 2017; and Brianna Krystek earned her bachelor of science degree in biology at UMFK in 2017.
Each of these individuals to be inducted had a big impact on Bengal athletics as an athlete and has contributed to their communities since.
In addition to the induction ceremony, Derrick Cooper, who graduated at UMFK in 2008 earning a bachelor of science degree in elementary education, will be honored as the recipient of the Floyd “Red” Powell Award.
The Athletic Hall of Fame ceremony begins at 5 p.m. with a social followed by a banquet and awards ceremony. The public is encouraged to attend.
The University of Maine at Fort Kent’s Blake Library, in collaboration with the St. John Valley Senior College, will host American Pop Artist and Author Michael Albert’s famous art program and discussion on Wednesday, August 2, from 1 to 3 p.m. in Blake Library.
The program is designed for ages 17 and up, and there will be limited seating. Please contact Sofia Birden, Blake Library Director, at 207-834-7527 or email@example.com to sign up or for more information.
The “Modern Pop Art Experience” generally includes an artist appearance (Meet the artist!) and an artist talk and presentation, where Mr. Albert introduces himself to the group and shows examples of his works. Then he will hold a hands-on collage workshop, where participants will get to create their own collages using the same materials he uses to create his serious works of art.
At the end of the program, each participant will leave with a free poster. Mr. Albert will have on-site about 20 different prints, which he has self-published in limited quantities, to choose from as a special gift for coming to the event.
In addition, that evening, from 5 to 7 p.m., the Fort Kent Public Library will host Mr. Albert’s Pop Art program for families and their children.
Michael Albert will bring his nationally renowned “Modern Pop Art Experience” art programs to more than 85 cities in 11 states this summer and to many in Maine and Canada for the first time. He has run this program for over a decade and has brought it to more than 1,000 libraries, museums, arts events, and schools in 43 states. Michael Albert is in Maine from July 29th through August 12th and will run his programs throughout the state of Maine.
Mr. Albert was born and raised on Long Island in New York and currently lives and works in White Plains, New York. Albert is the author of an artist autobiography titled “An Artist’s America” (Henry Holt, 2008), and he is nationally known for making collage artworks from cereal boxes and other printed cardboard consumer brand packages. His work has been described as a cross between pop art, cubism, and recycling.
Albert’s pop art is often referred to as “modern” since he has been creating it for the past 25 years and continues to create new works on a regular basis, whereas the Pop Art movement began almost 70 years ago with the ‘old masters’ such as Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, and others who started creating art themed about everyday things (products and objects) and subjects (current events, etc.).
Albert’s official beginning as a Modern Pop artist back in 1996 was his Frosted Flakes box collage. He calls this collage “Portrait of An American Classic: The Birth of Cerealism.” Since that breakthrough creation, he has created over 700 collages from cereal boxes such as this, and thousands more with different themes, using the same everyday materials in all artworks.
He said his true goal in all his works and effort is to create a masterpiece worthy of hanging in a major museum like the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City.
Please be sure to sign up for this interesting and fun art workshop held at UMFK’s Blake Library and the Fort Kent Public Library.
The Mills of the Valley Exhibit
The University of Maine at Fort Kent Blake Library Gallery will host an exhibition titled “The Mills of the Valley, 1785-2023: A Graphic Essay” by Al Craft. The exhibition will be on display from August 28th through September 28th on the University campus. The event is free and open to the public.
The exhibit explores ways geography affected – and was affected by – the nearly 350 saw and grist mills that historically operated in the Upper Saint John River Valley.
During and after a 2021 visit, three things triggered Al’s interest in the project: an act of kindness, something someone said, and something someone wrote. Daniel Tardif, owner-operator of Tardif Saw Mill in Fort Kent, kindly allowed Al to take photos of his mill in operation. An amateur digital photographer, Al jumped at the chance. Monica Tardif, Dan’s wife, was Al’s mill whisperer. She mentioned to him her impression that many young people in the community seem unaware of how mills feature in the community’s history, economic evolution, and cultural identity.
While Al wondered if there might be a way to use his photos to help spread the word, he had the good fortune to come across Joseph Theriault’s 2022 two-volume ground-breaking study, Moulins du Madawaska. “The importance of Mr. Theriault’s work cannot be overstated,” says Al, who trusted in it as a solid foundation upon which to build his project viewed through a geographer’s lens.
Al interviewed numerous farmers, woodsmen, businessmen, civic leaders, academicians, and millers of grain and wood in The Valley and beyond. He undertook seemingly unending cyber searches of libraries, repositories, and archives from London to Quebec, Fort Kent to Washington, D.C., and many more in between. He consulted hundreds of books, journal articles, and academic studies, as well as an equal or greater number of maps, paintings, tables, charts, and photos, some of which he has included in the installation.
The exhibit also covers American Indian use of Aroostook’s natural landscape; the Acadian, French Canadian, and Anglo arrivals and their respective use of mills; and how major historical inflection points – for example, the Webster-Ashburton Treaty, the days when lumber held powerful sway, the railroads’ fitful arrival, and region’s economic center of gravity shift from lumber to potatoes – affected Valley millers and mills.
Al leaned heavily on Sofia Birden, director of Library Services at the Blake Library, for expert research guidance and academic mentoring from Dr. Patrick Lacroix, director of the Acadian Archives. Judging that an intimate bridge to the community’s values and culture would leaven the project, he also reached out to Annette Grant and Don Raymond, life-long area residents, who helped steer and shape the project along the way as community advisors.
Of the 350 or so mills that operated in The Valley during the period of study, fewer than five remain open. Among those few, the longest continuously running mill in The Valley’s history remains open in Fort Kent: blades still whir at Tardif Saw Mill, a small but mighty family-owned heritage enterprise, now more than 100 years old. It serves not just as a mill but also contributes to community cohesion and the area’s unending attachment to its natural endowment.
Al believes that cohesion – a difficult-to-define but altogether precious quality – distinguishes The Valley from so many other localities he has come to know across the country. If Monica Tardif was right, Al thinks that the project will have succeeded even if just one young person sees it and comes away from it with a newly kindled sense of awe, knowing more about the centrality of mills in The Valley’s geography, history, economy, and culture.
A UMFK 1980 alumnus, Al resides in Raleigh, North Carolina. After leaving Fort Kent, he earned a master’s degree in geography at the University of Georgia. He retired from federal service more than a decade ago, however, and since then, he has returned to Fort Kent each fall.
The exhibit can be viewed during regular library hours. For more information, contact gallery curator Sofia Birden at (207) 834-7527.
Spring 2023 Dean’s List
The University of Maine at Fort Kent is proud to announce the Dean’s List for the spring 2023 semester. This list includes full-time and part-time students.
“Congratulations to the students who have made the UMFK Dean’s & Academic Recognition Lists,” said UMFK’s President Deb Hedeen. “The Dean’s List includes full-time students who have earned a 3.2 grade-point average, while the Academic Recognition List acknowledges our part-time students who have also earned a 3.2 GPA. Their accomplishments are to be acknowledged and celebrated. We are incredibly proud to have these talented students as members of the UMFK community.”
The University of Maine at Fort Kent is the northernmost campus of the University of Maine System. It is the academic center for Acadian and Franco-American culture for the greater Fort Kent area and beyond. In addition, the diverse campus offers students a close-knit community experience with an international perspective.
UMFK offers multiple degree paths, which lead to associate, bachelor, and master’s degrees. For a complete program listing and more information, please visit umfk.edu.
FULL-TIME DEAN’S LIST
MAINE STUDENTS: ST. JOHN VALLEY
FORT KENT MILLS
MAINE STUDENTS: AROOSTOOK COUNTY
MAINE STUDENTS: NOT AROOSTOOK COUNTY
VALLEY GLEN, CA
NEW MILFORD, CT
FLOWERY BRANCH, GA
VALLEY COTTAGE, NY
LAKE ARIEL, PA
SAINT ALBANS, VT
LOWER KNOXFORD, NEW BRUNSWICK, CANADA
LONDON, ONTARIO, CANANA
CHELSEA, QUÉBEC, CANADA
LEUTKRICH IM ALLGÄU, GERMANY
RIVER SALLEE, SAINT PATRICK, GRENADA
ST. ANN, JAMAICA
ST. ELIZABETH, JAMAICA
DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA
Carla Rodriguez Medio
PART-TIME ACADEMIC RECOGNITION
MAINE STATE: ST. JOHN VALLEY
FORT KENT MILLS
MAINE STATE: AROOSTOOK COUNTY
MAINE STATE: NOT AROOSTOOK COUNTY
Sherri Dill Chandler
Jennifer La Count
Nora Van Leuvan
EL DORADO, CA
ATTLEBORO FALLS, MA
BALLSTON SPA, NY
Beth Ann Hughes
Nadyne Boucard Raymond
SAINT ALBANS, NY
Rolanda Jean Francois
MYRTLE BEACH, SC
SOUTH HERO, VT
LIFE Review, Volume Three
The University of Maine at Fort Kent is pleased to announce the publication of the ENG 100 and Rural U Writing Project Composition Series: LIFE Review, Volume Three.
In a Zoom event on June 7, 2023, hosted by English faculty members Dr. Joseph Becker and Professor Geraldine Cannon Becker, the third book of the series was unveiled.
These student interview essays went through a peer review process and were evaluated before being nominated for publication by their teachers. The selected essays were finally read by a panel of objective judges to select for the awards.
This year, the Old Sylvain House Press Awards were funded by Dr. Joseph E. Becker and Professor Geraldine Cannon Becker.
Winners of the awards are: first place, Norah Christensen (Durham, ME); second place, Aaliyah Samuels (Fort Kent); and third place, Isabelle Martin (Bangor, ME); as well as three honorable mentions: Anna McLaughlin (Chelsea, QC, Canada), Trinity Bordei (Newport, NH), and Crystal Forbes (Fort Fairfield, ME).
“English studies and publication opportunities are important in all fields. English and Communication courses give students tools and techniques for LIFE. An English minor would go deeper into how to more effectively apply skills of communication and creativity to their individual fields of study,” said Dr. Joseph E. Becker.
All money from book sales goes into the Old Sylvain House Press Award Fund. This Fund was put in place by Dr. Becker and Professor Cannon Becker to benefit the education of students at UMFK and honor their commitment to the importance of education for young people, specifically in the area of English Language Arts.
Professor Geraldine Cannon Becker said, “Students could select to earn a certificate by completing six courses or take a minor in Nature and Environmental Writing (NEW). Compatible with many majors, students could choose to minor in English at UMFK, and we would be happy to help them succeed. Come grow with us!”
On top of paying for the publication of essays written for the Composition Series: LIFE Review, depending upon funding, an annual scholarship may be awarded to a student who has had an essay published and is pursuing a degree in an area of study that is compatible with English at UMFK.
UMFK’s Development Officer, Shannon Lugdon, notes that anyone interested in donating toward the publication or scholarship award could give at UMFK.edu/give and designate Old Sylvain House Press Award Fund in the memo.