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).

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

15 Minutes of Fame, 14 Years Later 

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. 

Continue reading15 Minutes of Fame, 14 Years Later “

The Return of the Sixth Man

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.

Continue readingThe Return of the Sixth Man

‘One of Those People’

The Impact of Aaron Marston

By Ricky Goupille

     It’s difficult to put into words the effect Aaron Marston had on everyone he encountered. But if words don’t suffice, perhaps an enormous crowd of blue and gold can help.

The UMPI crowd at the October 29th playoff game at Husson University. Photo by Edie Shea
Continue reading “‘One of Those People’”

The Road to Alaska

    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 Davis speaks on the difficulties of finding accessible hotel rooms during her presentation, The Road to Alaska.

     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.” 

The Impact of Tragedy

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. 

Lending CDK a Paw

    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.

Bethany Tabb, Megan Waceken, and Bailey Corley give their presentation on CDK and advocacy.

     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.

A Dangerous Truth

The Investigative Journalism That Nearly Cost Us

the First Amendment

     “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. 

Trailer Promo: 

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.

For the Love of the Game

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.

The baseball team gets ready to break the huddle before a March 15th game versus SUNY Brockport. Photo courtesy of Tim Goupille.

     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.