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
How New York Times writer Bill Pennington put UMPI on the map
It is not often that Presque Isle, Maine, gets national attention. In 2009, New York Times beat writer Bill Pennington wrote a story on the UMPI Baseball program. “A College Baseball Team, Always on the Road” highlighted the many hardships that players from UMPI endure to play the game they love. “I was on a kick then. It was an on-and-off series to write about people who were involved in athletics, essentially for the love of the game,” Pennington said.
Wieden Hall Reopens for UMPI Basketball Home Games
When the final buzzer sounded on Feb. 15, 2022, Wieden Gymnasium would not see action for another 11 months. In March, huge renovations began on Wieden Hall. This included a complete overhaul to the aging building’s roof. Constructed in 1960, the building was in major need for upgrades to meet the demand of UMPI athletics.
University Day recently made its return for the first time since 2019. Abi Davis, a senior in the Professional Communication and Journalism major, gave a presentation on her senior practicum. Her project on the outside seemed simple. But her presentation proved that it was anything but.
Abi’s professor, Dr. Jacqui Lowman, is a wheelchair user with two service dogs. In fact, she is the only employee in the University of Maine System who falls into that category. Dr. J., as her students call her, has proven many times that labels are meaningless for her. She has gone skiing, climbed Mt. Katahdin and hiked parts of the Appalachian Trail.
In the fall of 2022, Dr. J. will add to her resume. She will make the long voyage driving from her home in Crouseville, Maine, to Alaska– and back, of course. Abi’s practicum was to hash out the logistics for her. “Dr. J. mentioned that this was a trip they were going to be taking and I said, ‘I think that’s right up my alley,’” Abi said.
With this task came a lot of intricate details. Every hotel and gas station had to be planned out and researched for accessibility. Information on this is extremely hard to find. “I ended up calling two big oil companies and really nagging them for information on accessibility,” Abi said in her presentation.
Abi’s role in Dr. J.’s trip gives them much more peace of mind. The Lowmans now know that where they are going will work for them. “Having another person with that level of expertise…. It was a great project for her and was extremely helpful,” Dr. Lowman said.
Abi saw the bigger picture in this project of helping Dr. J. She has also found a joy in helping others. “This class and the PCJ program as a whole have inspired my passion in advocacy and helping marginalized groups find their voices.”
“The Road to Alaska” brought up a lot of things most of us would not think about. Driving from Maine to Alaska is daunting enough. But adding two service dogs and a wheelchair to the mix makes it even more so. But despite the many challenges, Abi couldn’t have found the project more rewarding. “Overall, my favorite part of this class was the opportunity of having the one-on-one time with Dr. J.”
How Capturing a Tragic Moment in Time Becomes Timeless
The Pulitzer Prize awards a wide number of journalism categories. Perhaps the most famous would be those for photography. Images resonate more than words. Tragic images even more so. People remember where they were at these moments. Photography bears witness to those moments, including the tragic incidents in each of the following decades.
1940s: Perhaps no athlete in history has been as polarizing to American culture as Babe Ruth. More than Brady, Gretzky or Jordan. Babe Ruth defined the sport of baseball. He began as a member of the Boston Red Sox. But we mostly remember him as a New York Yankee.
Nate Fein captured this Pulitzer-winning photo. It shows the moment when Babe Ruth returned to Yankee Stadium for the final time. The stadium would go on to be known as “The House That Ruth Built.” He had been retired for 13 seasons. Now his health was failing. The Yankees decided to honor him one more time by retiring his number. This gave the fans one last look at the Sultan of Swat. This is one of the more tragic and heart wrenching photos in the history of sports. Ruth would die just two months later.
UMPI English majors Bethany Tabb, Megan Waceken and Bailey Corley gave a University Day presentation on an organization most of us have not heard of. That is “Canines for Disabled Kids,” a nonprofit organization that helps place Service Animals with children and their families who could benefit from them.
Corley, Waceken and Tabb were all part of an Advocacy class. “At the beginning of the semester, pretty much none of us knew what advocacy was,” Bethany Tabb said. In working on their semester-long projects with CDK, however, they all would leave us with a better understanding of what advocacy really means.
The project involved talking with a number of CDK clients, partners and board members. The board members work Pro-bono. They put their time and energy into CDK’s cause for advocacy. “Meeting new people was my favorite part of all the process,” Bailey Corley said.
One example the presenters gave of CDK’s impact was the story about Jacob and Murphy. Jacob has autism and was diagnosed at the age of three. He was nonverbal before getting Murphy. After CDK helped Jacob get Murphy, Jacob could speak in full sentences. For Jacob, Murphy brought out the best in him.
UMPI’s professor of communication and journalism, Dr. Jacqui Lowman, taught the advocacy class. Dr. Lowman is a wheelchair user who has two service dogs. Her students adore Saint and Dusty.
“I feel like we really learned so much just by having Dr. J. as our teacher. Because you don’t know a lot about something unless you’re experiencing it firsthand,” Megan Waceken said.
Overall, CDK is a humble organization whose mission is simple: help those in need. In talking to the members of CDK, these three presenters grasped a great understanding of what advocacy and helping others really means. That is, doing so out of the goodness of your heart, and not expecting anything in return.
“All the President’s Men” is a film released in 1976. It detailed two Washington Post journalists’ quest to dig to the bottom of the infamous Watergate scandal. The journalists, Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, quickly discovered a huge cover-up. No one they reached out to would reveal any information. At first it seemed that Bernstein and Woodward were on a wild goose chase to find a dangerous truth. They knew it existed, but had no idea what the consequences of finding it could bring.
Because of their persistence they were finally able to publish an initial story. The story implicated very important men close to the president of engaging in highly criminal behavior. Because of this, the two reporters found themselves in hot water. The executive editor, Ben Bradlee, put things in perspective. “Not that there’s a lot riding on this. Only the First Amendment and Freedom of the Press and maybe the future of our democracy.”
Bradlee’s line highlights the reality of the situation. The cover-up spanned just about every governmental department. Had the cover-up succeeded in suppressing publication, it would have set a dangerous precedent. It would have given the government the power to censor the press if a story could potentially make those in power look bad.
Bradlee, Bernstein and Woodward put their lives at stake and dared to go out and get the story anyway. Had they not, Watergate likely would not have become a national scandal. But most important, Freedom of the Press would have an exception to that rule.
“All The President’s Men” has a unique story arc. The entire film is the quest for any information at all. Woodward and Bernstein knew there was a cover-up. But they struggled to write a credible story. When they finally did obtain necessary information, it only got worse. Beyond Bernstein, Woodward and Bradlee, the heroes of the film are the Press and their sacrifices.
Two journalists for the Washington Post brave the possible ramifications for their mission of finding a dangerous truth against the President of the United States.
What the UMPI Baseball and Softball Teams Do to Play
the Game They Love
“Are we there yet?” junior infielder Joey Blake asked jokingly as the 30-passenger bus rolled out of campus at 4 in the morning and began to head south on Route 1. The UMPI baseball team had about 30 hours of driving ahead of them. Both the baseball and the softball teams were heading to Florida for their spring trip. The baseball team would play nine games in five days in Davenport. The softball team, 10 games in five days in Fort Myers.
Baseball decided to drive, and Softball decided to fly. Both means of travel have their benefits and drawbacks. Some of the negative effects for the baseball team when traveling down were the early mornings. The first two days of travel, the bus was rolling at 4:05 a.m. and 3:41 a.m., respectively. On day one, sophomore infielder Kyle Nichols almost missed the bus. “I tried to stay up all night and I fell asleep and almost missed my trip,” Nichols said.
If it weren’t for residence assistant Campton Tinkham, also a sophomore on the team, Nichols may have missed the bus. “Shoutout to Tink for waking me up and grabbing me. Also thanks, Coach, for waiting for a few minutes,” Nichols said.
The long journey, mostly down Interstate 95, was broken up into 12 hours on each of the first two days. After a quick stop for batting practice in Brunswick, Georgia, the team finished the last five hours of the journey on the third day of the trip. Despite the long, boring days, team morale never wavered. “I think guys really enjoyed themselves on the bus. There was a lot of laughter and jokes happening. At one point, most of us were watching March Madness on different screens all at the same time,” Nichols said.
The headaches of traveling from Maine to Florida you might think you could cure by flying instead.
The softball team would have to tell you otherwise.
The NCAA Is Getting Its Northernmost Division I School
The University of Maine at Presque Isle has an enrollment of around 1,100 students. It has just three resident dorms and 12 building structures. The small-town feel of UMPI is why many students choose to attend. Naturally, UMPI currently competes at an NCAA Division III level. They are part of the North Atlantic Conference. But starting in the 2023-24 athletic season, that will all change.
UMPI athletic administrator and men’s basketball coach, Daniel Kane, recently made a huge announcement. UMPI will become a Division I school. “We are all beyond excited. It will be huge for the university to get this exposure,” Kane said. UMPI will compete in the Atlantic Coast Conference for all athletics.
Their conference opponents will be many universities known for their athletic success. Duke University, North Carolina Chapel Hill, the University of Virginia are a few. “As the men’s basketball coach, I personally can’t wait. We get to go to Duke and UNC and compete against those powerhouses,” Kane said.
Also worth noting is the revenue that UMPI will bring in for traveling to those huge schools. One trip to Notre Dame will bring in nearly a quarter of a million dollars for the university. “Obviously the money will be a huge benefit. We hope we can use it to improve not just athletics but for every aspect of UMPI,” Kane said.