UMaine Community Takes Part in Efforts to Tackle COVID-19

The University of Maine community is responding to the numerous challenges presented by the COVID-19 epidemic. Faculty, staff, students, the administration, and alumni are addressing the pandemic in various ways. UMaine Online helped countless faculty members transition to online learning and different departments have contributed in a variety of ways.

On the now-quiet campus, several efforts have been taking place.

UMaine microbiology professor Melissa Maginnis studies viruses and how they are transmitted to humans

Jake Ward, UMaine’s vice president for innovation and economic development, has been working with the Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) to research and develop supplies such as hand sanitizer to be used by local hospitals, and PPE. 

Special Collections and Maine Shared Collection Librarian Matthew Revitt is collecting materials to create an archive of the University of Maine community’s experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Emera Astronomy Center is contributing to research efforts with an innovative visualization cluster.

Cooperative Extension has provided a broad range of resources online. One resource enables Maine farmers and fishermen to connect with customers, since farmers markets have closed.

Cooperative Extension has also posted such activities as STEM online “QuaranTEEN” Virtual Science Cafés for students in grades 7-12, 4-H “Friday Fun!” activities for younger children, and more.

Other rich online resources available to the public include virtual tours and art demonstrations at the University of Maine Museum of Art and the Hudson Museum.

Besides these many campus efforts, individual alumni have also helped in various ways.

Chris Violette ’07, a new media graduate, currently living in Ohio, created a website, that traces the availability of essential items in different communities.

At FlowFold, alumni Charley Friedman ‘10, Devin McNeill ’10, and James Morin ‘10 shifted their company’s production from backpacks, wallets, and other gear to producing face shields for healthcare workers.

We know that many other alumni also participated in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. We want to hear from you. What have you done to help professionally or otherwise? Please tell us about your experience.