What Students Really Say About Farmington
What attracted you to UMF?
I really like the community here. I’ve enjoyed growing up in the area and I wanted to give back to the community at some point in time. I also like the open mindedness you see here and that you can get varying perspectives.
How did you end up choosing the majors that you’re in now?
I started in a microprocessor engineering program at a different school and decided it wasn’t the area I wanted to work in, so I switched over to just taking Anthropology, Geography and Political Science courses: trying to figure out what I wanted to do. That led me to eventually switch over to Geography. I went from there to Environmental Planning and Policy because I enjoy looking at the preservation of natural resources, agriculture and things like that, and how to make them sustainable.
Do you prefer Environmental Planning and Policy to Geography?
I can’t prefer one over another because they’re so integrated. The classes are almost the same, except for a few. I like having “Environmental” as part of the major. I like that focus in my degree — looking at natural resources.
Tell me about a favorite Farmington class.
Sometimes it wasn’t always a favorite class, but a course that made me change more than others. Currently, I’ve enjoyed the Geography Planning course, Town and Regional Planning. It’s a hands-on critical view of the area here, which is exactly what I wanted to do, so it’s fun for me and I enjoy the course.
Have you done anything really cool in any of your classes?
Doing that trail map in Advanced Geographic Techniques, I went out and GPS-ed all these local trails. I snow-shoed and hiked and walked through the forest and plotted out all these different trails and overlaid them onto an aerial photo and made this whole map. You’ll see it soon — it’ll be available for students on campus. It was really fun to go out and do that, and get a grade for it.
Have you had any work experiences in your areas of interest?
Yes, I worked with a church group, Mission of the Eastward, and we went to South Africa where I helped fix computers and set some up in a local high schools and communities in Alice, a South African township area. Also in high school, I worked in Honduras after Hurricane Mitch and rebuilt some houses and painted a church down there. I think that’s what led me to look at sustainable developments and agriculture.
For a future job I’d like to work multilaterally with the international community and the local community. When I look at the international community I see a global “Brain Drain,” where a country’s best students are leaving to find work in the United States or other areas. I don’t want to do that with my own community.
Have you worked for anyone while studying at UMF?
Right now, I’m just doing a directed study with Mountain Counties Heritage working with Food and Fiber, and the Community Agriculture Program. I built a trail map last semester in Advanced Geographic Techniques where we mapped out local trails within a mile of campus to help people find out where they can go to walk and bike and hike.
Do you like to play outside?
Oh yeah! That’s one of the reasons why I chose Farmington, compared to Portland where I started college. There, I always had to go drive to exercise. But here, if I want to exercise or do something I consider healthy I can walk right out of my apartment from downtown and be in the woods in no time.
I really love having Titcomb Mountain as a resource. This is a great area to snowshoe, Mount Blue State Park and Tumbledown are great hiking areas. The lakes here are wonderful for ice skating and fishing. We have an ice boat we play around with once and awhile. I think there are a lot of good things in the area. If you’re interested in outdoor activities it’s a great campus to come to.
What do you think Farmington does well?
I think UMF provides smaller classroom sizes so the teachers get to know their students and you can have a personal relationship with your professor. I think that’s a great benefit and what I like the most about Farmington. Here, you can have the one-on-one time that’s really hard to get at larger universities.
Have you had any friends who have left UMF?
Certainly, yeah. They left for a lot of different reasons. A lot of times they just want to be in an urban area or sometimes they want those larger classes, but not me.
What do you plan on doing after you graduate?
Probably something that has to do with sustainable agriculture and development. Maybe working to preserve the rural design of communities and designing a sustainable agricultural workplace in a community, an open and clean space. A lot of times, you’ll have an area that isn’t planned well enough to have a local barter system, a trade system, community agriculture and farms. I think planning comes from looking at the features, the farms and the geographic layout, and then putting in ordinances to make it possible. I enjoyed courses in Community Health Education because you could find out what’s healthy, and it is amazing.
Do you feel well prepared?
Yeah, pretty much! I’m anxious to get out into the workforce.
What will you miss when you graduate?
I really want to get into the workforce so bad but I’ll miss all the new information I get here from having a close relationship with my professors. I find out new things all the time — things I never would’ve learned on my own. I think that’s something I’ll miss — that and the opportunity to ask questions.
- Kristen Bisson
From Waterville, Maine
- Emily Baer
Double major: Art and English
From Brunswick, Maine
- Andrew Thompson
Double major: Music and Art
From Plymouth, Massachusetts
- Shawn Rogers
From Dover, New Hampshire
- Lesley Kittredge
From Mount Vernon, Maine
- Kristen Simoneau
Community Health Education - School Health Education
From Jay, Maine
- Shane Koski
From Auburn, Maine
- Renee Meserve
Early Childhood Education
From Westbrook, Maine
- Casey Myers
Early Childhood Special Education
From Winooski, Vermont
- Craig Nadeau
From Fairfield, Maine
- Michaela Hitchcock
Environmental Planning & Policy
From Springfield, Vermont
- Erica Austin
Double major: History and Geography
From Turner, Maine
- Alison Gerrish
International & Global Studies
From Portland, Maine
- Lisa Kittredge
Liberal Arts Undecided
From Mount Vernon, Maine
- Nate Burns
Double major: Music and Philosophy / Religion
From Wayne, Maine
- Genesis Burke
From Amesbury, Massachusetts
- Mary Beth Kirby
From Farmington, Maine
- Joel Hatfield
Secondary / Middle Education
From Palermo, Maine
- Courtney Church
Sociology / Anthropology
From Portsmouth, New Hampshire
- Emily Langton
From Manchester, New Hampshire