The University of Maine at Fort Kent’s eleventh annual Scholars’ Symposium will take place on Tuesday, April 26th, and Wednesday, April 27th, on the UMFK campus. The theme of this year’s event is “Perspectives: a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.”

“Our committee composed of faculty, students, and staff felt Perspectives was an important theme in recognition of the complexity of the diversity of perspectives and outlooks on our campus and globally,” said Dr. Kaisa Holloway Cripps, co-chair of the committee along with colleagues Dr. Michael Curran and Dr. Leo Trudel. “The theme provides a way for us to share our opinions and engage in collegial conversation to continue to build our positive campus and Fort Kent community.”

The two-day showcase of students’ academic achievements kicks off on Tuesday evening with a talk by Acadian Archives/Archives Acadienne Director Dr. Patrick Lacroix, who will share perspectives on the Acadian and Franco communities of St. John Valley and beyond. The presentation will be held at 6:00 p.m. in the Bengal’s Lair, located in Cyr Hall.

Dr. Lacroix earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees in history at institutions throughout Canada and New England. Dr. Lacroix has published several pieces in publications. He recently published in the American Review of Canadian Studies, Prelude to the “Great Hemorrhage”: French Canadians in the United States, 1775-1840.

On Wednesday, the symposium will begin with a welcome from UMFK President Dr. Deb Hedeen at 8:30 a.m. in Fox Auditorium. She will be followed by the keynote speaker Honorable Troy Jackson, Maine State Senate president and UMFK alumnus from the class of 2001, who will speak to the UMFK campus community at 8:40 a.m.

Troy Jackson is a fifth-generation logger from Allagash, Maine. Jackson serves in the Maine Senate from District 1, representing northern Aroostook County. In 2018, he was unanimously elected president of the Maine Senate, and in 2020, Jackson was re-elected to that position.

According to his webpage, “In Augusta, Troy has emerged as a health care champion, spearheading legislation to lower the cost of prescription drugs, increase access to care, and fund rural hospitals. He has fought for property tax relief so hardworking Mainers can afford to stay in their homes and communities. He has led the charge to protect workers’ rights and worked to promote good-paying jobs in rural Maine.”

At 9:10 a.m. in Fox Auditorium, undergraduate awards will be presented by Dr. Hedeen.

“Lightning Talks,” which are five-minute presentations that will focus on a single topic, example, idea, project, or technique, will be presented by UMFK faculty and community members beginning at 9:30 a.m. in the auditorium.

The symposium will include a panel discussion by Dr. Paul Mayeswski and Dr. Alice (Pips) Veazey on “Maine and the Arctic: Perspectives on the Connections and Solutions.”

Dr. Mayewski is Director and Professor of the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine and Distinguished Professor in the Schools of Earth and Climate Sciences, Marine Sciences, Policy and International Affairs, the Business School, and Law School. He is an internationally acclaimed glaciologist, climate scientist, and polar explorer, leader of many expeditions.

Dr. Veazey is Director of the UMaine Portland Gateway. She has led numerous teams of students, educators, scientists, decision-makers, and community partners to increase research competitiveness, promote economic development efforts, and expand statewide workforce programs.

Question and answer sessions will follow presentations held in the auditorium and be monitored by the UMFK Scholar Symposium committee chairs.

The afternoon will highlight students’ research with poster sessions, presentations, and demonstrations, and the students will answer questions about their methodologies and findings. These will be held simultaneously from 1:30 pm to 3:30 p.m. around the campus.

Students can earn an Undergraduate Research Scholar micro-credential through their research and are eligible to earn awards and certificates.

The symposium is free, and the public is welcome. Please check for requirements related to Covid-19.