Welcome From the Community and Media Relations Office!

CMR Office Wishes You a Great Academic Year. Eric Brissette, Rachel Rice, Tiffany Smith, Melissa Lizotte, Gayla Shaw, Rowena McPherson.

The staff members of the Community and Media Relations Office send a warm welcome to all new and returning students at the University of Maine at Presque Isle and wish them the best of luck as they begin or continue their college careers.

If you’ve ever attended an event at UMPI or read or watched a news story about great things that are happening on campus, chances are you’ve come into contact with someone from community and media relations.  The office works to increase UMPI’s visibility in media through print and online publications, social media, advertising and graphic design products.  Staff members are passionate about this campus and want everyone to know about its amazing cultural and community events and highlight the achievements of our students, alumni, faculty and staff.

Rachel Rice, the director of community and media relations, coordinates numerous media projects, events and programs at UMPI.  She supports the efforts of the Distinguished Lecturer Series/Cultural Activities committee in bringing new and exciting speakers to campus.  UMPI hosts at least three speakers per semester and hosts many exciting theater and music performers.  Recent cultural events have included nationally renowned Shakespeare theater troupes, the New England-based Adam Ezra Group and Aroostook County’s own Star City Syndicate.  Rachel also provides support for special events such as University Day and Homecoming and coordinates visits from local media.  She writes press releases that promote UMPI events and showcase stories of students, faculty, staff and alumni in the news and publishes UMPI’s monthly online newsletter the image.

Have you or your friends ever had your pictures taken at a campus event?  Did you later see those photos on UMPI’s social media pages?  Even if you haven’t, chances are you’ve seen Rowena McPherson walking around with a camera.  Rowena is coordinator of graphic design, social media and photography.  She designs the graphics and layout for numerous campus publications such as the cultural events calendar, event fliers and brochures, the academic catalogue and admissions materials.  Whenever you like or share an UMPI post on Facebook, Twitter or other social media platforms, thank Rowena.  She regularly posts photos, stories and videos of UMPI students, staff and faculty doing great things on our campus and in the community.

Next up is Eric Brissette, the webmaster for community and media relations.  You won’t see this UMPI owl flying around campus very often, but he takes his work just as seriously as his more visible colleagues.  Eric is responsible for creating the design and layout of UMPI’s official website (www.umpi.edu) and publishing new content on all its pages.  He’s the person whom faculty and staff turn to when they want to improve the content on their academic or office page or create an entirely new page.  He continually works to ensure that UMPI’s website is easy to navigate and that all can find the information that they’re looking for.

Last but not least is Gayla Shaw, the administrative specialist.  Gayla is the first person you’ll see when you come into the office and can answer any questions you have about cultural events or UMPI publications.  She is the support person for all of the community and media relations programs and helps to carry out distinguished lecturer series and cultural arts events.  She also maintains the databases for all university publications and sends Dean’s List and Graduation notifications to news media.

The community and media relations office has two work study administrative aide positions available starting in Fall 2017.  One student would assist Gayla with cutting out UMPI related articles from newspapers, posting and delivering fliers on campus and preparing for events.  The office would also love to hire a student who is a strong writer and could help Rachel write weekly press releases to send to media.  For more information about these work study positions, please contact Gayla at (207) 768-9452 or gshaw@maine.edu.

As an UMPI alumna and former work study student, I can say that working in the community and media relations office was one of the highlights of my college career.  I gained more professional writing and work experiences that helped me as an English major and greater enthusiasm for the office’s contributions to the campus community.  If you’re looking for a fun, exciting and welcoming place to work or would like more information about campus events and publications, Rachel, Rowena, Eric and Gayla encourage you to come by and talk with them.  The office is located in 12 Preble Hall and open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  They welcome all students and look forward to seeing where the students’ UMPI “wings” will take them.