Celebrating Mothers in the UMPI Community

     As Mother’s Day quickly approaches, it is a great time to appreciate the mothers and special women in our lives. At the University of Maine at Presque Isle, there are many brilliant and loving mothers and mother-figures involved with the institution. There are lots of students, staff and faculty members on campus who are mothers and who deserve some recognition this year. Mother’s Day is on May 9 and it is a perfect opportunity to show every mother-figure in your life that you love and appreciate them. 

     With many states starting to ease COVID-19 restrictions, families are starting to plan some Mother’s Day festivities. While people look forward to this year’s Mother’s Day, they are still reflecting on 2020 and everything that the year took away from them. Many families spent Mother’s Day away from one another. Some families could not see their mothers in person during 2020, so this year’s holiday is something to be very appreciative of. 

     Rachel Rice is the director of UMPI’s marketing and communications department.  She is also the wife of UMPI President Ray Rice. Mother’s Day is a very special holiday for her family, especially her daughter, Naomi, and son, Zach. The Rice family usually spends Mother’s Day relaxing and enjoying quality time together. They eat breakfast together and if the weather is nice, they will spend some of the day outside. 

Ray and Rachel Rice with their children, Zach and Naomi.

     “Naomi and Zach are 12 years apart, so we’ve always joked that we’re the parents of two only children. While they are two very different kids, my favorite part of parenting with both of them are those moments that catch you off guard,” Rachel said. “When you realize how funny or smart or kind this little human being is becoming.” 

     The first person you see when you walk into the UMPI Admissions Office is Nancy Nichols, who works at the front desk. Although she is not a biological mother, many people in the UMPI community look up to her as a kind, motherly figure. Nancy brings energy, enthusiasm and kindness every day when she comes to work. Despite not being a biological mother, she is and has been a mother to many on UMPI’s campus.

     “I’ve always been someone who would ‘take care’ of others. That’s who I am and I am doing the same working in the admissions office. I ‘take care’ of visitors who come on campus. I want their visit to be memorable and fun,” Nancy said. “There is satisfaction in knowing that their visit on campus was an enjoyable experience. I want them to walk away with a positive experience.”

     Michelle Mishaan is an art professor at UMPI who has a young son. She usually spends the holiday with her family, but this year she will be driving to Ohio to spend it with her mother and two brothers. 

     “I usually spend Mother’s Day with my husband and my son. I do not have any immediate family in Maine. My favorite part of being a mother is watching my son grow and learn each day. I get to experience his joy of learning new things,” Michelle said. 

     Rachel, Nancy and Michelle are just a few more reminders of the amazing people working for UMPI. Take the time this Mother’s Day to send some love to every mother-figure in your life. If you are a part of the UMPI community, then you have many wonderful women to choose from.