Coming Home: 2023 Style

By Erik Elmer

 Kyle Nichols, Mikey Bramble and Rickey Goupille got out on campus and checked out some of the main events for UMPI’s 2023 Homecoming Week. Students and faculty turned out in good numbers to enjoy bingo night, the lip-synch battle, the Unexpected Food Festival and the beer garden.

      Bingo night drew quite a crowd. Dr. Lowman pointed out that bingo isn’t just for older people. It’s popular with younger people as well. Ricky was there running a concession stand to raise money for the golf team. He was pleasantly surprised at the turnout.  He said, “People just kept coming in and coming in the whole night. There’s something about the luck of the draw the people like, and you win prizes. It was just really, really well attended by staff and a lot of students, too.” 

     It all worked out well for Ricky and the UMPI golf team. Many of the bingo players bought food from the concessions stand. Ricky said, “I was really surprised at how many people wanted to support us and how many people just wanted to eat something. We had a good selection. There were hot dogs, deserts, treats and things.” 

     This year’s lip-synch battle was only the second UMPI has had. Ricky said the crowd was great. It took place in the multipurpose room. Ricky said, “I think people heard about it but didn’t go last year and were like, ‘We’re going to go this year.’” The multipurpose room was packed. Ricky said, “People were standing at tables in the back. It was a good atmosphere. It felt like a high school winter carnival. People were cheering for different people, different acts.”

    Mikey compared the crowd size at the lip-synch battle this year to last year’s. He said, “The crowd was about the same in size and (had) the same amount of energy. But the one thing I noticed was that there were fewer performances this year than there were last year.” They awarded the winners of the various categories differently this year because there were fewer performances. Even though there were fewer acts, Mikey felt that the acts were higher quality overall.

     The Unexpected Food Festival was held in the cafe. Ricky and Kyle attended.  Kyle thought the many Homecoming Week attendees represented the school well. He said, “There was a good amount of people in there. The president was there, so that’s always nice.” 

     The meal was free. That could be one of the reasons for the good turnout. Kyle thought it was a plus. He said, “It was nice because I didn’t have to go in there and pay for anything.” 

     The beer garden had live music and an outdoor area for people to enjoy. The selection of beer is reported to have been good as well. The outdoor section acted as an overflow of sorts for the crowd. Kyle enjoyed the outdoor section. He said, “We got to go outside when it started to get a little stuffy, once they had around 10 people in there.” He clarified that, to be admitted, they checked your ID and stamped your hand.

     The lip-synch battle, Unexpected Food Festival, beer garden and bingo night were each a success because of all the students and staff who came out to enjoy them. There were plenty of other events and activities this year. If you missed those events, be sure to support UMPI and show your school spirit next year. 

Legacies Forever Rememered

Pat Baker and Aaron Marston

By Ricky Goupille

 In the last three years, UMPI has experienced some wrenching losses through the deaths of two of its athletic staff members: Pat Baker and Aaron Marston. The UMPI and Presque Isle community has assured us that no one will forget their positive impacts.

    Pat Baker was an athletic training student in the 2000s. By 2011, he had returned to the university as an AT. He served in that capacity up until his tragic death in 2020. Current Head Athletic Trainer Brian Morrison graduated with Pat. In the summer of 2020, UMPI hired Morrison to become Pat’s assistant AT. “Pat had a tremendous impact on me not just personally, but professionally. I looked up to him during our four years as students and our 15 years of being very close friends,” Morrison said. 

    Pat was an outstanding AT and was beloved by athletes and colleagues because of his devotion to the craft. 

    In an all-too-similar loss two years later, beloved Exercise Science Professor and Women’s Soccer Coach Aaron Marston passed away. 

     Marston graduated from UMPI with a degree in athletic training in 1997. He returned to UMPI years later and became the head women’s soccer coach in 2019. “Aaron had a way about him to impact people by the way that he taught,” Morrison said. “He was basically a walking textbook.” 

    Marston and Baker’s losses were both equally as sorrowful to the community because of their effects on people and the voids they left behind. “Pat and Aaron were a tremendous loss, not just to the athletic department and the school, but just as friends and family,” Athletic Director Dan Kane said. “You really cannot replace them.” 

   The plan was originally for Pat and Aaron to share a memorial bench adjacent to the Park Family soccer field. This was an idea that collectively came to fruition. The one bench was the baseline goal. Then the community really stepped up.

    Fundraising and donations began pouring in. People who didn’t even personally know Pat or Aaron donated generous sums. This is a true testament to who Pat and Aaron were. Even if you didn’t know them personally, you knew their impact and what they meant to UMPI. The fundraising exceeded expectations and allowed for two separate benches. It was the ultimate example of communal caring and generosity.

    The memorial will serve as a great reminder of Pat and Aaron on campus. A bench dedication is the perfect way to honor them. “I think it’s a great way to honor them, especially with everything Aaron did for soccer, and also with how many long days Pat spent out at the soccer field for practices,” Kane said. 

    Both Pat and Aaron are examples of what it means to devote oneself to UMPI and to the community. “They (the benches) are a great symbol of what Pat and Aaron meant to this university, because they both left this university and came back,” Morrison said. “It’s a great memoriam for Pat and Aaron as they both bled blue and gold,” 

   “It will be nice to sit up there at the benches and remember those good times with Pat and Aaron,” Kane said. 

    Although the time and date for the bench dedication is uncertain, one thing does remain certain: we will not forget Pat Baker and Aaron Marston.

Aaron Marston (Left) and Pat Baker with his daughter Zoey (Right).

The Energy Is in Sync

By Mikey Bramble

     There are many things here at UMPI that you can Sync yourself into. In the past, there were big things such as Variety Shows and Stand-Up Comedians. UMPI also has had small things such as an event where you can build your own snow globe. UMPI has held multiple popular events where people got to perform. One of these popular events was the second annual Lip Sync Battle. This year’s Lip Sync Battle had winners in two categories. The group performance saw the UMPI Women’s Volleyball Team take the win.  

    This year’s Lip Sync Battle saw fewer performances compared with last year’s show.  Even though there were fewer performances, they were worth watching. One of the people in the crowd was UMPI student Serena Lufkin. This was the first time Serena had attended the Lip Sync Battle. Serena said, “It was crazy fun.” She wishes she had gone to last year’s show.

     Sam Morton once again hosted the Lip Sync battle. She thought that there was definitely a bigger crowd this year. This was a crowd that had more excitement than last year’s. When it came to the winner for the solo performance, Sam said, “It was a little bit crazy.” This was due to the fact that the audience seemed to prefer one act over another.

     The solo winner of this year’s Lip Sync Battle was UMPI student Aubrey Sinclair by a close one. She was able to give last year’s winner a run for his money. Aubrey decided to perform because it terrifies her. Aubrey said, “I have an odd habit of seeing something that makes me nervous and doing it.” She credits Bob the Drag Queen for influencing her performance. He did a similar performance and Aubrey wanted to add her own thing to it.

     Aubrey was glad to bring joy to others through laughter. She thought highly of the other performers as well. She said, “The others were so fun that it was truly a surprise to win.” She has also started planning for next year’s performance. Aubrey plans on creating something original to top this year.

     This year’s Lip Sync Battle was definitely an upgrade from last year’s. There was more energy from the performers and the crowd. This year’s winning acts could have been anyone who was up there. Now we can look forward to seeing a truly in sync show next year.

Defending Champion Jackman Daigle looking for the win

An Unforgettable Night at UMPI

By Kyle Nichols

     UMPI’s campus center became a hotspot for food, drinks and music during this year’s Homecoming celebration. With delicious walking tacos, an inviting beer garden and an electric atmosphere from great music, members of the UMPI community enjoyed an evening of festivities as a part of this year’s Unexpected Food Fest and Beer Garden.

     This year, the food festival was one of the best parts of Homecoming. The main dish was walking tacos. These tasty treats were made of crunchy chips topped with veggie or meat stuffing, lots of cheese, lettuce and tomatoes. People loved the walking tacos because they were full of flavor and easy to move around the campus center with. “I wasn’t expecting walking tacos tonight,” graduate student Dakota Morrow said. “I was expecting burgers or hot dogs like other special events, but this was different. I enjoyed the tacos a lot.”

     Once you got your taco, the beer garden was the place to be. Attendees could grab an ice-cold beer for just $5 or go for a glass of wine for $7. The beer garden provided attendees with a lively and friendly atmosphere while they enjoyed their favorite beverages as Aroostook Sky, Professor Larry Feinstein’s band, was playing some great songs. 

     “I love Larry’s band,” Tori Raeihle, a junior at UMPI, said. “I’ve seen him at the farmers market in town multiple times this summer. His music is very alternative, but that’s why I like it,” Raeihle added.

     Homecoming at UMPI was a great week with even better individual days to make it come together. The food festival gave people some great food to go with good drinks at the beer garden. Students from on campus as well as commuters came to the event in large numbers to see what the festival had to offer and it was very unexpected. With this year’s Homecoming in the rear view now, many are already looking forward to what events will show up at next year’s celebration.

Emily Sipe and Larry Feinstein play music at the Homecoming Beer Garden.

I Should Have Bought That

By Meagan Blanchard

 The second week of September at UMPI has become many people’s favorite week of the year. Homecoming brings, not only the school but also its greater community, together to enjoy many different events. Saturday during homecoming is full of numerous events to enjoy with friends and family. One of the events that brings people together is the Snowy Owl Marketplace. Every year vendors from all around gather in Gentile Hall to sell things of all kinds. 

     People from everywhere come to see the different things that the marketplace has to offer. Some look forward to it every year.  UMPI’s chief business officer, Betsy Sawhill Espe, attends the marketplace yearly and will often help the clubs. “It’s not like other craft fairs,” Espe said. There are more than just signs and soaps. You are also able to learn new things, such as what your energy is by using tarot cards. Among many other people, Espe decided it would be interesting to get her energy read. “My energy is good.  Never doubted though,” Espe said. She will continue to come every year to help out the students and support vendors. 

     This year, even though there was a hurricane on the way, lots of people still came out to sell their art and crafts. Some vendors attend the market every year, growing closer to the UMPI community. And for some, it was their first year! Samantha Mattly and her mother,                                                                                                                Brenda Mattly, were among the many participating in the market for the first time. They were selling all sorts of different crochet plushies that they made themselves. Samantha crochets little animals and fruits, while Brenda makes pumpkins. “Only takes us about half an hour for each one,” Samantha said. They didn’t just get a lot of attention for their booth. They were also impressed with the market itself.  “Everything is so well organized,” Brenda said. She had time to look around and buy a few things from other vendors. Everyone supported everyone else.

      Even some of the student clubs get involved and sell things to help them go on spring break and other trips. The past few  years, people have started to look forward to the amazing food the International Students’ Club makes. Sheng Yang is one of the many club members. This year he was at the booth selling while the rest of his club cooked the dumplings.  “We get lots of experience!” Sheng said. He was able to meet lots of new people. This year club members all worked together to make dumplings and rice. These were a great hit! There was a line waiting to get hot food on a cold, rainy day.  

     There was more than just food that student groups were selling. Take the Student Organization of Social Workers. Maddie Buzza and Kristin Ray were two of the students who sat at the SOSW table. This was the first time that they had sold anything at the market. But what they had caught a lot of people’s eyes. They sold three different varieties of plants with cute sayings on the pots such as, “I wet my bed.” “The plants were a huge hit!” Buzza said. The club members nearly sold out of all their plants by the end of the market. This took their club a step closer to being able to attend the United Nations World Social Worker Day in the spring.  

     A great crowd comes and supports UMPI students and the different vendors. The Snowy Owl Marketplace brings the community together with food and trinkets. Each year brings in new people. There is always something fun to do. You are sure to find something unexpected that you like.  

Samantha Mattly on the look out for new customers to attend her table at the Snowy Owl Marketplace.

A Word From the Editors

Hello everyone and happy spring! Dare I say we are in the clear of any more uncomfortably cold weather? Knock on wood. This is my second time helping lay out the school newspaper and I hope now that I have the hang of it. This issue was an especially fun one for me as I had the privilege to talk to a former New York Times journalist for my story (shameless plug). This was a great issue for everyone and I hope you enjoy reading what’s been going on around UMPI (like that talent show). -Ricky Goupille

Hi everyone! Kyle again. It really feels as if everyone has fully gotten back into the swing of things school-wise since coming back from break. Personally, it took me a couple days of my own to truly start back up with everything. That’s expected coming back from Spring Break. We’re getting close to time for finals, so that means everyone will start to get hunkered down and studying. In the meantime, enjoy this issue of the University Times that Ricky and I worked on. I truly enjoyed working on this issue and really felt as though it came together nicely. As a first year editor, that really brings a smile to my face. -Kyle Nichols

A Professor’s Journey

     Dr. Jacqui Lowman is a professor at the University of Maine at Presque Isle. But they are unlike any other professor you may have met. This difference is not because of the wheelchair they use daily. Or because of their two service dogs, Saint and Dusty. Or because of their use of the plural pronouns –we, us, and our– which they use to include their extension of themselves: Saint and Dusty. Dr. J is unique because of their positive outlook on life and determination to fix what is not right. “We’re really good at encouraging people. We’re really good at helping people believe in themselves. And so that’s the thing we do,” Dr. J said. For a long time, Dr. J’s goal was to teach their students to achieve great things. Later on, the goals grew.

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Discover the Benefits of Meditation for Students

     Transform your mindset with daily meditation practice. You will see a big difference.

     As students, we can get stressed and anxious with school and social pressures. Taking a few minutes to meditate each day can really help us feel better.

     Meditation has been around for a long time and people of all ages and cultures use it. It means focusing on one thing, like a thought or activity, to become more aware of our thoughts and feelings.

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The Humanity in a Moment

     Beginning in 1942, the Pulitzer Prize began selecting winners for photojournalism. Since 1968 there have been winners from two categories each year: Feature Photography and Breaking News Photography. The Pulitzer Prize for Photography is a huge honor that a small number of people earn. It is a very respected award. The pictures picked are more than photos of great moments. They are a journal of human life. These amazing images move people across the globe. They shape the way we see the world and make us want to make it better.

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Sunbathing for Energy

     Every day our world is changing to benefit people and the environment. Many people are changing the way that they live by going green. Farms have started to go green to support their potato houses. And schools are starting to go green to support buildings, while helping the environment. There are many ways that you can go green. But for places that use a lot of electricity, solar panels can be one of the best choices. Though they can be a lot of work to obtain, they are very beneficial. 

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