Editor’s Letter

Dear readers

From where I’m sitting, I can see that the trees outside of Pullen/Folsom Hall are bare. This can only mean one sad thing: snow is coming. Now I know it’s only October, but I swear I saw some snowflakes last night when I was driving home from work. Don’t fear though, because that just means it’s that time of the year when Netflix starts to release all their cheesy Christmas movies. It also means I have an excuse to wear wool socks with my Birkenstocks again. Oh, how I love the crisp fall air and all the excuses cold weather brings me.

Yours truly,

Abi Davis, editor.

Abi Davis

Good Times at the Snowy Owl Marketplace


People shop in Gentile Hall during the Snowy Owl Marketplace.

On Sept. 28, the University of Maine at Presque Isle hosted the Snowy Owl Marketplace as part of its Homecoming Weekend. From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Gentile Hall was filled with a variety of vendors and tables. Students and community members packed the gym in order to see what they could get their hands on during that Saturday.

Many university clubs and sport teams participated in the event, hoping to raise money for their program or organizations. The International Students club sold potatoes and noodles. The Bio-Med Club sold cookies. The History Club sold a variety of coffees. The Criminal Justice Club had lots of success by selling Krispy Kreme Donuts. University Times sold fruit cups, drinks and macaroni and cheese. The baseball team ran a concession stand, selling popcorn, candy, hotdogs, drinks and more. The softball team sold baked goods and coffee.

A diverse assortment of vendors from outside of campus also attended. Many arts and crafts tables were out on display. Another booth had soaps, lotions and bath bombs for sale. Many vendors had autumn and Halloween decorations. Jewelry, blankets and even flavored marshmallows were also sold during the marketplace.

Danielle Pelkey and Laurie Boucher, both employees in the UMPI student financial services office, ran a vendor booth at the marketplace. The pair sold customized crafts and gifts. “I think the Snowy Owl Marketplace went really well. There was a lot of participation from local crafters, artisans, vendors and student organizations/clubs. There’s already brainstorming taking place for next year to make it even better. It was nice having it located at Gentile Hall where the weather didn’t affect the set up and more individuals were able to take part in,” Danielle Pelkey said. “We will definitely be participating again in the future. It was a great way to showcase our homemade and customized items for upcoming holidays.”

The year’s Snowy Owl Marketplace was different from the others held in the previous years. In past years, the marketplace was called the block party. The term Snowy Owl Marketplace is now its new and improved name. The past events were also always held outside at the tennis courts. Due to the weather, Homecoming organizers decided to change the location. A Car Show was held outside of Gentile, which brought in some visitors to the event. UMPI’s men’s and women’s soccer teams also competed in games during the time of the marketplace, bringing in more people.

“I had a great time. I really enjoyed coming out with friends and looking at arts and crafts, jewelry, artwork and homemade baked goods vendors had to offer. It also was very affordable, which gave me a lot to choose from. Even with being indoors, it didn’t take away from the whole marketplace feel. Going to the Snowy Owl Marketplace is something I definitely would do again,” UMPI sophomore Savannah Borland said.

This year’s Snowy Owl Marketplace brought hundreds of UMPI students, staff and community members together for a special day that will be looked forward to during next year’s Homecoming weekend.

An Instant Classic

This year’s Homecoming was a success thanks to community members, alumni and students too.  The car show was no exception.  Participants brought classic rides from as far south as Patten, with vehicles dating back to the 1930s.  From original owners to grandpa’s ride, all owners took great pride in their rides.

Cordell Smith brought his 1967 Chevrolet Impala SS, popularized by the television series, “Supernatural.”  This Impala never made the big screen, but its story is just as interesting.

“My grandfather had a bunch of old cars.  Before he died a couple years ago, he made sure to give this one to me,” Cordell said. “At least, when I turn 25 technically.  For now, it’s at my grandma’s house and I can work on it when I visit.”  Cordell is only 15 years old but did admit, “She lets me drive it in the yard if I mow her lawn.”

Joe Grant and his wife drove their 1966 Plymouth Belvedere II all the way from Patten to be in the car show.  Joe feels that the beauty of old cars won’t be matched ever again.  That’s why he brought his Plymouth to car shows all summer long.  Even the rain couldn’t stop the Grants.  Joe joked about the free cleaning.  “It’s been babied since I’ve owned it.  The wife and I very seldom take it out in the rain.  But hey, you gotta wash ‘em sometime, right?”

Mike Marshall drove his 1954 GMC work truck to the Homecoming celebration.  This was his truck’s first ever appearance at a car show.  The rare, five-window truck has survived a lifetime of work and Mike still uses it regularly.  “I probably use it like a truck more than a toy,” he said about the old GMC. “But that’s nothing compared to what they used it for originally.  I got it from a paper mill in Portland.  Guys would stand on the hood in a warehouse and as they went down the rows, they’d work off it.  I had to put a whole new hood on it because the old one was all shoved in,” Mike said.

Every car has a story, the same as people.  The survivors, like the old work truck or grandfather’s hotrod, are the stories worth sharing.  This is why it’s so important for these car shows to continue: to trade stories and history.  Each dent, scratch or rust bubble tells its own tale.  Homecoming is much like an alumni car show.  The “collectors” group and share history, stories and tricks of the trade.  Only, they leak a lot less.

Aroostook County Brew and Wine Festival: A Hope for the Future

The logo of the festival.

On Saturday, Oct. 5, beer and wine lovers from all over Aroostook County and beyond gathered at the Aroostook County Brew and Wine Festival at the Aroostook Shrine Club on Houlton Road for a beautiful afternoon full of delicious local beer, wine and food.

The festival was established in 2015 by the Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce with the purpose of showcasing the growing craft beer and wine industry in Maine.

Destiny Wetherell, an UMPI student, shared her festival experience.

“The atmosphere was really great and the different types of beer and wine were fantastic. It was great seeing that many local beer and wine vendors here in the County and I am very glad I got to try and support our local crafts.”

The brewfest was the event of the month, attracting a lot of people from all over the county, including some of our local politicians, entrepreneurs and local community leaders. The lines to enter the event extended beyond the gate all the way to the parking lot.  People floated around, trying all the different beer varieties in the tent, trying some of the gigantic hot dogs and barbecue that was available and overall enjoying the clear and sunny Aroostook sky.

Tiffany Smith, another UMPI student who attended the festival, said:

“It was a really nice community event that brought a lot of people together. It was a very happy environment with a lot of friendly faces.”

Events like these are a clear indication of a growing industry here in Maine.  With the support from our communities we can all elevate and encourage these businesses and support the local faces behind all the hard work and the products that we see. The deeper message behind the brewfest–beyond the love for beer–is community support of our local brewing and wine-making industries. The growing development of this festival is a great indication for a very hopeful future supporting local industries and local products. Andbrew and Wine  at the same time for us consumers, it is a great sign of more delicious products available for us here in the County.



LDLS Speaker Captures His Audience at First Lecture of 2019-2020 Academic Year

Dr. Van Alst Jr. giving his lecture entitled Matters of Place.

On Sept. 26, 2019, the University of Maine at Presque Isle welcomed LDLS speaker Dr. Theodore C. Van Alst, Jr. After a brief but heartwarming welcome from President Rice, Alst took the stage. Delivering a talk entitled “Matters of Place,” Alst captured his audience’s attention with humor and his apparent passion for writing.

Alst graduated from UMPI in 2004 with a bachelors in behavioral science.  He shared how he found his way to UMPI. “I’m from away,” he said. “But both of my kids were born here. They were both born at TAMC.  It was pretty cool.” After his children were born, Alst was working for a local mill when he decided to begin classes at UMPI. “I found a cool program and they sent me to UMPI and paid for my first semester,” Alst said. “They were like ‘you have to get new clothes, though.  You can’t dress like that.” He went on to share a story of how he received a voucher to go buy new clothes and wound up buying more of the same clothes he had before.

Reminiscing about his days at UMPI and the classes he took with then Dr. Rice, Alst shared how he found his interest in writing. “Editing is actually a joy,” he joked. “The next tattoos I get are going to be the proofreader symbols.” Giving further advice on the importance of editing, Alst touched upon writing for an audience. “You have to tell them everything that you want them to know,” he said. “You’re not there reading along, pointing out this mistake or that one. You know, like when you’re trying to impress your significant other by playing guitar and you go ‘Oh wait, oh wait, oh wait’? You can’t do that.”

Kylee Mejia, a first-year student at UMPI, found her first LDLS to be more interesting than she thought it would be. “I wasn’t sure if I would find interest in the lecture,” Mejia said. “But then when Dr. Alst began cracking jokes, I got more into it. He made listening to him talk enjoyable, like I wasn’t at a distinguished lecture.” Mejia shared that her experience attending the lecture made her interested to attend more in the future.

To conclude, Alst shared three readings from his latest novel “Sacred Smokes.” His truly inspiring but deeply emotional stories really captured the attention of his audience at UMPI. If you are interested in reading about him further or purchasing his work, Alst’s latest novel can be found for sale on Amazon,  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0826359906/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0.

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

Show your support of breast cancer awareness this month.  Don’t forget to

wear Pink during the month of October.

Students, always remember that my fitness classes are FREE!  Fit Camp is Monday,

Wednesday and Friday from 5-5:45 p.m.  Tuesdays I have Total Body Circuit Training from

12-12:45 p.m.  Fusion Training is on Mondays and Thursdays from 12-12:45 p.m. in the

Campus Center, room 112.

Intramurals are a great way to stay active and meet new people.  Basketball will be going

on for the fall semester on Tuesday and Thursday nights from 6-10 p.m.  Soccer will start

during the month of November.  If any students are interested in playing intramurals, you can

contact Jonathon Bowman for more details at jonathon.bowman@maine.edu.

This is the best time of year to enjoy hiking with all of the wonderful colors.  Get outside

and enjoy hiking Haystack Mountain in Mapleton, Aroostook State Park in Presque Isle with

some excellent trails and Big Rock Mountain in Mars Hill.  Come see us for tents, sleeping

bags and backpacks for an overnight hiking trip.  We also have canoes and kayaks to rent!

Fall is the best time for fresh apples and pumpkins!  Check out our local school farm

on State Street in Presque Isle.  They have a variety of delicious apples to choose from, fresh

apple cider, wonderful vegetables, sweet homemade jams and pumpkins.

Diet and exercise are so important to keep our bodies healthy and strong.  Here is a

healthy applesauce recipe that you and your kids will love!


Fresh School Farm Apples of your choice:

5-6 cups of Apples cut, peeled and sliced into a pot.

½ cup to 1 cup of water

Bring apples to a boil and cook until apples are soft and mushy.

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Optional if you like cinnamon.

1 teaspoon of sugar

Optional if you like it sweeter (most apples are sweet enough that you won’t need the sugar).

Let it cool and refrigerate.  So good!

You can make a double or triple batch and store in containers and freeze them.




UMPI Alumni Back in the Spotlight


Kati Christoffel’s Mountain Piece, This Makes it Worthwhile. This is on display in CC 112 and for sale on her website katichristoffel.com

University of Maine at Presque Isle’s annual homecoming is designed to bring people near and far and of all ages together.  And that’s exactly what the Alumni Art Show did  Three different UMPI alumni showed work in the art show this year.

“I had my BFA sesior Show at UMPI, as well as a few other student shows, but this is my first show there as an alum. I was excited when Rowena proposed the idea of this show,” Kati Christoffel said.

Christoffel, Rowena McPherson, UMPI’s graphic designer, and Karrie Whisler displayed work in the show.

Christoffel received her BFA from UMPI in 2014. She submitted a small collection of lighthouses and a painting of mountains. “I made the lighthouse series because I was living in Portland and wanted to make a new series of 12 pieces for a calendar, and I figured that locals would like it,” Christoffel said.  “I chose to display the lighthouses in this show because I like them, and they are small so relatively inexpensive to frame and ship.”

Christoffel particularly liked her painting of the mountains, “Nature, and where I currently am, generally inspires my work. I particularly like painting mountains and wild landscapes,” she said, “I like to be able to express my feelings about a place through my work, and it’s fun to take a gorgeous landscape and play with the lines and colors.”

McPherson’s work took up the majority of the show. She had a few different collections: some bigger, more abstract pieces and a more intense and raw series of small and close up watercolors. “The current work up now is a cross-section of my practice since I graduated. I’ve made it a point over the last few years to teach myself something new,” McPherson said. “Each individual piece is inspired by something different, from raw emotion to peoples’ faces, to just the little interactions in life.”

McPherson is very busy and has a hard time finding time to create art, but she manages to do it. “We can all find reasons not to do something. I catch myself making excuses too,” McPherson said, “If you don’t have opportunities like that, find an art buddy and keep each other accountable for whatever goals you set. Or join a Facebook group. I don’t actively participate much, but I’m part of a few groups that are wonderful inspiration.”

Whisler displayed some more abstract pieces in this show and found inspiration in a unique place for the pieces she displayed in the show. “These particular pieces are part of a bigger collection I made inspired from a poem I wrote on an airplane ride home from Virginia.  The poem was very informal, more stream of conscious, and I titled each piece in the show after the line it was inspired by,” Whisler said. “I like how these two pieces play off of each other when they’re shown side by side.  I think there is something interesting about the color palette and the applied techniques.”

Whisler was excited was she was asked to be a part of this show.  “I graduated with a BFA with concentrations in drawing, painting, photography and 3D design, and a BA in Art Education certified to teach K-12….  I truly loved my time at UMPI and love to come back any chance I can get.”

These collections of work are up until the end of October is CC112 Gallery. If you get the chance, go admire the art.

UMPI Welcomes Growth With a State-of-the-Art Greenhouse


Those involved in the production of the Zillman Family Greenhouse cut the ribbon at the dedication of the facility.

UMPI kicked off Friday’s homecoming festivities with the dedication ceremony of the Zillman Family Greenhouse. Back in March 2018, UMPI revealed a new bachelor’s degree program for Agricultural Science and Agribusiness. At the same time, UMPI also announced the launch of a fundraising campaign to create a greenhouse that would aid in the success of the program. At this time, the Zillman Family Greenhouse was announced.

The weather was in cooperation with the ceremony, with blue skies and warm temperatures. This helped draw in a crowd of faculty, staff, students, community members and those involved in the production of the greenhouse.

Matt Payan, UMPI junior environmental science major, is in a plant biology class this semester. “The greenhouse will give students a place to enhance the hands-on skills that modern-day employers are looking for,” Payan said.

UMPI senior Evan Zarkadas is proud of the direction UMPI is going. “I decided to attend the greenhouse ceremony because seeing our school develop and expend so much is something I’m very proud of. I wanted to make sure I was there for that very special moment in UMPI history and support the people that spent so many hours and years working on this,” Zarkadas said.

The 2,400-square-foot greenhouse is a state-of-the-art facility. It’s the only smart greenhouse in Maine. The greenhouse includes technologies such as LED lighting, intelligent watering, a ventilation system and an advanced climate control system. This will help support a number of different research projects, such as disease management and soil fertility. The greenhouse will allow for year-around research.

“It will help UMPI by bringing more students to our institution through the sciences and agribusiness program. Also, since it is one of the best in probably New England, it brings UMPI to the forefront of technology and progress,” Zarkadas said.

“This greenhouse will further set UMPI on its path to innovate and give students the best possible opportunities for success,” Payan said.

The greenhouse wouldn’t have been a success without the help and support of many people, including the Zillman family, who helped make this a possibility.

Lady Owls Soar at Homecoming

The University of Maine at Presque Isle Owls women’s soccer team took on Northern Vermont-Lyndon for the 2019 UMPI Homecoming game. The Owls beat NVM-Lyndon 2-1 in the game. This gave them their first win in the North Atlantic Conference.

This game ended very differently for the Lady Owls last year when they lost to SUNY Canton 2-1. Emily Ward (Jr. Peterborough, NH), who has been with the team since her freshman year at UMPI, says it is due to the new way the team has been playing. Ward said, “ We managed to really come together as a team in ways we haven’t in the past.”

The attitudes of the players also contributed to their playing. Ward said, “Coming into Homecoming, we were ready to fight.  We all wanted this to be our first conference win so bad.”

That new attitude, combined with hard work, carried the day.

2019 Lady Owls Homecoming Soccer Game.

Astronomy Aroostook County

Hello and welcome back to a new year of classes and adventures at the University of Maine at Presque Isle. Northern Maine is a great place to live and, if you like astronomy, it is a great place to be.  Northern Maine has rich dark skies full of stars and celestial events.

The University Times runs this ongoing series of articles about astronomy throughout the year.  The topics vary from edition to edition and will contain news related to astronomy and information about various sky events.  Although I have some articles in mind, I would like your input on possible articles.  If you have any questions or would like to suggest an article, please feel free to email me at jimamdbeckystepp@gmail.com.

Here are a couple of places you can go to find more information about astronomy in Aroostook County.

The Aroostook County Astronomy Club provides educational opportunities and occasional observing nights throughout the year.  Joining the local astronomy club is easy: just join their Facebook group “Aroostook County Astronomy Club.”  By joining this page, you will be able to receive interesting articles about astronomy, be notified of upcoming club events, receive information about celestial events and receive notifications about possible northern lights.

The Maine Solar System Model was dedicated in 2003.  At that time, it was the largest to scale solar system model on Earth.  Now it is the second largest.  One mile is equal to 93,000,000 miles in this 40+ miles model.  At this scale, the Earth is located near Percy’s Auto Sales one mile south of UMPI’s campus on Route 1.  For more information about the Maine Solar System Model, go to http://pages.umpi.edu/nmms/solar/.

The Francis Malcolm Science Center, located in Easton, Maine, has a planetarium and hosts occasional planetarium shows and observing nights. The science center is a great place to visit and, when possible, their shows will be listed here and on the astronomy club’s Facebook page.  For more information about the science center go to https://www.francismalcolmsciencecenter.com/.

Happy stargazing.




All of the times and events listed below are from www.calsky.com.  You may register at this site and load your location (anywhere in the world) to be able to get event information and times.  The University of Maine at Presque Isle is located at 68d00m7.8s west longitude and 46d40m45.6s north latitude.


The International Space Station is visible as follows:

Morning – Until Sept. 16.

Evening – Sept. 18 to Oct. 12.

Morning – Oct. 23 to Nov. 12 .


To get a free sky chart, go to www.skymaps.com.


Sun and Planet Visibility


06:15 Sunrise .

18:34 Sunset

18:48 – 19:00 Mercury.

18:36 – 18:54 Venus.

Not visible Mars.

18:42 – 21:54 Jupiter.

19:00 – 23:48 Saturn.



06:42 Sunrise.

17:54 Sunset.

18:24 – 18:30 Mercury.

17:54 – 18:24 Venus.

05:36 – 06:12 Mars.

18:06 – 20:42 Jupiter.

18:24 – 22:30 Saturn .


09/12 @ 05:00 ISS passes 1.2 degrees from Alnilam (Epsilon Orion).

09/13 @ 04:11 ISS passes 0.5 degrees from Elmath/Al Nath (Beta Taurus).

09/13 @ 09:01 Mercury 0.3 degrees from Venus.

09/13 @ 09:16 Moon at apogee – farthest from the Earth (252,514.6 miles/406,382.8 km).

09/14 @ 00:32 Full moon.

09/21 @ 22:40 Last quarter moon.

09/23 @ 03:50 September Equinox – Fall begins in the northern hemisphere.

09:24 @ 19:58 ISS passes Arcturus (Alpha Bootes).

09/26 @ 06:00 Equilux – Equal day and night in Presque Isle, ME.
09/27 @ 22:17 Moon at perigee – closest to the Earth (222,324.0 miles/357,795.8 km).

09/28 @ 05:42 Comet 13P Olbers at perihelion – closest to the sun = Mag 7.2.

09/28 @ 14:26 New moon.

10/03 @ 02:12 Mercury at aphelion – farthest from the sun (43,382,500 miles/69,817.300 km).
10/05 @ 12:47 First quarter moon.

10/06 @ 19:00 Draconid Meteor Shower – 6 meteors/hr.

10/07 @ 19:00 Draconid Meteor Shower – 8.8 meteors/hr.

10/07 @ 21:08 Winter begins on Mars’ northern hemisphere.

10/08 @ 19:00 Draconid Meteor Shower – 11 meteors/hr.

10/09 @ 02:00 Draconid Meteor Shower Maximum – 12.4 meteors/hr.

10/09 @ 19:00 Draconid Meteor Shower – 10.4 meteors/hr.

10/10 @ 14:18 Moon at apogee – farthest from the Earth – (252,228.4 miles/405,922.2 km).

10/10 @ 19:00 Draconid Meteor Shower – 7.8 meteors/hr.

10/11 @ 19:00 Draconid Meteor Shower – 5.3 meteors/hr.

10/13 @ 17:07 Full moon.

10/20 @ 00:00 Mercury greatest elongation = 24.6 degrees east – visible in the evening sky.

10/20 @ 05:00 Orionid meteor shower – 6.3 meteors/hr.

10/21 @ 05:00 Orionid meteor shower – 8.8 meteors/hr.

10/21 @ 08:39 Last quarter moon.

10/22 @ 05:00 Orionid meteor shower – 10.5 meteors/hr.

10/22 @ 10:00 Orionid meteor shower – 10.6 meteors/hr.

10/23 @ 05:00 Orionid meteor shower – 9.8 meteors/hr.

10/24 @ 05:00 Orionid meteor shower – 7.4 meteors/hr.

10/25 @ 05:00 Orionid meteor shower – 5.2 meteors/hr.

10/25 @ 06:03 ISS passes 0.9 degrees from the moon.

10/25 @ 08:06 Mercury at half phase.

10/26 @ 06:31 Moon at perigee – closest to the Earth (224,498.9 miles/361,295.9 km).
10/27 @ 06:01 ISS passes 0.4 degrees from Betelgeuse (Alpha Orion).

10/27 @ 23:38 New moon.

10/28 @ 04:02 Uranus at opposition – directly behind the Earth.

10/31 Mercury 2.5 degrees from Venus.