Alumni Webinar Series

In an effort to stay engaged with UMaine alumni and to keep them informed on relevant university-related topics, the University of Maine Alumni Association is proud to offer the Alumni Webinar Series, a special, bi-weekly webinar program to keep Black Bears up to date on students, current events, university initiatives, and more. Click here for full playlist

MLK Day Virtual Event: “Being Black in Maine:
Lived Experience and Prospects for Change”

Event Co-hosted by the Greater Bangor Area Branch NAACP
and the University of Maine Alumni Association

This year’s MLK Day event will feature a panel of UMaine alumni, students, and friends who will address the topic of “Being Black in Maine: Lived Experience and the Prospect for Change.” The event will also include a special announcement about the establishment of a new civil rights speakers series. The event was live streamed on YouTube. Watch it here.


“‘Most Wonderful Time of the Year’: Religious Holidays in December” Webinar


While Christmas gets a great deal of attention each December, the month is significant to many cultures and religious traditions. In fact, much of what is commonly associated with Christmas comes from interfaith borrowing of practices and customs that have occurred over the centuries.

This webinar and Q&A, presented by Derek A. Michaud ’99, a lecturer in UMaine’s Department of Philosophy and the coordinator of its Religious Studies and Judaic Studies academic minors, explores the representative beliefs and practices associated with these holidays.

“Constellations and the Christmas Star” Webinar


Shawn Laatsch, director of the Versant Power Astronomy Center and Jordan Planetarium shared the stars, constellations, and planets visible in our winter skies. Participants learned how to find these objects in their own backyard, got a special look at a special December planetary conjunction, and looked at what the famed Christmas star might have been.

“Interpreting the 2020 Elections: Expert Analysis from Orono” Webinar


UMaine political science professor and 2020 Distinguished Maine Professor Award recipient Dr. Richard Powell shared his interpretation of this year’s election outcomes in this edition of the Alumni Association’s webinar series.

Powell’s research and teaching interests include the U.S. Presidency, Congress, Leadership, Elections, and American Political Thought. He is the author of numerous books, journal articles, and book chapters on presidential-congressional relations, presidential communications, presidential and congressional elections, and state politics.

“First Persons: The Wabanaki Peoples of Maine” Webinar


Maine and several other states will commemorate Indigenous Peoples Day on Monday, October 12th.

As has been the case for Native Americans most everywhere, for centuries Maine’s original inhabitants have maintained their Tribal Nations as well as resisted and struggled against powerful political and social forces for the rights, opportunities, and protections legally retained by them as indigenous people and promised to them in treaties.

While minor progress has been achieved in some areas—most recently, the establishment in Maine of Indigenous Peoples Day and the elimination of Native names and imagery as mascots—many issues and tensions remain, especially as they relate to tribal sovereignty. Discourse continues in Augusta and throughout the state, in many instances led by Native Americans with strong UMaine ties.

“First Persons: The Wabanaki Peoples of Maine” featured a panel of representatives of Penobscot Nation and Passamaquoddy Tribe. Each shared her perspective on the history of the region’s original inhabitants as well as the public policy, social, and cultural issues that Native Americans continue to address.

The presentation featured the following panelists:
Maulian Dana ’06
Sherri Mitchell ’08
Bridgid Neptune

Donna Loring ’86 moderated the discussion.

“Commemorating Maine’s Statehood: What We Can Learn from Its Bicentennial” Webinar with Dr. Liam Riordan

Maine’s path to statehood in 1820 followed years of tensions with the political and economic powers of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, of which Maine was a part.

Now, 200 years later, remnants of those early political, economic, and cultural issues remain. As Maine celebrates its bicentennial as a state, what can we learn by revisiting Maine’s evolution over these many years? Professor Liam Riordan will address those issues and will take questions from members of the webinar’s audience

“Mt. Everest Expedition” Webinar with Dr. Paul Mayewski

UMaine Professor Paul Andrew Mayewski has been to the top of the world—literally.

Mayewski was the leader of a 2019 expedition to Mount Everest, which installed the world’s highest weather-monitoring station and extracted the highest-altitude ice core ever collected. The expedition was organized and funded by National Geographic and Rolex. Listen as he tells UMaine alumni and friends what it was like.

“What’s Ahead for UMaine Football?” Webinar with Coach Nick Charlton

The pandemic has wreaked havoc on college football for UMaine and most other schools. What does this mean for players, recruits, and fans of the Black Bear program?

Listen as Head Coach Nick Charlton addresses these questions as part of the UMaine Alumni Association’s twice-monthly webcast series.

“Taking Care of Business During Tough Times” Webinar

Small businesses and their customers and clients continue to experience the pandemic’s economic consequences.

Listen as officials from Bangor Savings Bank share an online presentation and Q&A about how owners and managers can protect their businesses during times of economic uncertainty and hardship.

“Horror and Humanity” Webinar

As Stephen King fans know, horror stories can be a great escape from the stress of everyday life. But what happens when life starts imitating art?

Watch UMaine professor Caroline Bicks, holder of the Stephen E. King Chair in Literature, as she discussed what scares us and why, and what she learned with the students in her Horror and Humanity class last semester as they all face the unknown—on the page and in real time.

“Summer Gardening Webinar”

Watch UMaine alumni Katherine  Garland ’01, ’09G, a horticulturalist with UMaine Cooperative Extension address frequently asked questions about flower and vegetable gardening, suggest things that could still be planted in a vegetable garden in late June, and provide an overview of UMaine Cooperative Extension’s resources to help both experienced and new gardeners.

“George Floyd, Anti-Black Racism and #BlackLivesMatter”

Watch three members of the UMaine Alumni community, share their perspectives and answer questions about their experiences being Black in the U.S. in an important discussion.

“Black Bear Athletics and the Pandemic”

Watch Ken Ralph, the University of Maine’s Director of Athletics, address the future of UMaine sports. Ralph shared his insights regarding Black Bear and NCAA athletics in light of the current pandemic and answered questions from webinar participants.

“Unusual and Unprecedented: The Final Semester of UMaine’s Class of 2020”

Hear from three members of the UMaine Class of 2020 as they reflect on how the pandemic disrupted their final semester on campus—their abrupt departure from campus in March, the shift to online classes, the loss of a traditional graduation ceremony, and much more.

“Journalistic Ethics During the COVID-19 Pandemic”

How well are the news media covering the pandemic? How well are the news media covering media coverage of the pandemic? Dr. Michael J. Socolow, a noted media historian and faculty member of UMaine’s Department of Communication and Journalism, addresses these and other questions posed by participating alumni and friends about media ethics and practices.