Unity College News

Goodbye Nancy Ross

Today, like every day for the last twelve years, Nancy Ross commuted over seventy miles to come to Unity College to do what she loves.

Ross is a professor at the college and will be retiring at the end of the current semester.  She hasn’t always worked at Unity though. In fact she stated that she had had two careers prior to her current position at Unity College. Her position here at Unity really started after she finished school at TUFTS University.

After getting her PhD in Agriculture for the Environment, Ross said she was looking for a teaching position and had gone on many interviews, however, “I thought do I really want to move?” Ross grew up in Maine and wanted to stay in the state that she had come to care so much about. “Then this job came up, so it was a God send for me.”

Since then, Ross has taught governmental, social science, policy, and core classes at Unity. Ross is also the faculty advisor for Constructive Activates, a student run organization at the college, and has worked on many different advocacy projects and campaigns in her Environmental Advocacy class.

Outside the college Ross has also been a part of a number of advocacy programs and organization. Some of these include the Carrot Project, MOFGA, and the Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine. According to Ross, working on these campaigns helped her become a better professor. “…I wouldn’t be able to teach the skills unless I were practicing [them].”

The Environmental Advocacy that she teaches at the college actual started off as a topics class. “The class was not on the books before I came here,” said Ross. According to her the students liked the class so much that it became a regular course that the college currently offers.

Her favorite campaign she worked on while working at Unity was in fact the first advocacy class campaign. “The first time I taught it, now you wouldn’t believe it, but we didn’t recycle,” said Ross. That first class started the recycling program on the Unity College campus. Their enthusiasm for the campaign really stuck with Ross. “They were [just] so engaged.” This was one of the things Ross was going to miss the most.

“I’m going to miss students that really care.”

At one point in her career at Unity College, Ross had Lyme disease for the duration of two years. “I could barely walk.” She remembers this time on campus not as a time of unpleasantness, but rather as a time her students showed they truly cared. “Students would take me by the arms and help me down the bridge.” She was referring to the bridge that used to be at the top of the hill near, what is now called, Higgens Wing.

“It’s hard to speak about it now, but I’ll probably miss teaching [also].”

The one thing Ross wants her students to get out of her classes the most was, “to think, to think critically.”

Samantha Longo, Ross’s current work study student, said that Ross has been like a mentor to her while she has been at Unity. “[She] has really helped me dive right into the environmental policy, law, and society program.”

At first Ross wasn’t sure she needed a work study student said Longo. However after meeting each other, Ross decided to take Longo on in a work study position.

“I have enjoyed all of my time working with Nancy, said Longo, “I will miss Nancy very much.”

Longo said that Ross will be missed not only by her, but also by many others including the students she has taught. “Nancy is a great professor with so much enthusiasm for her students to learn and be engaged. She will be missed by many.”

-Michelle Plance

Homeopathy Welcomed by Wellness Center

UNITY – A pilot program offering homeopathic healthcare to Unity College students is being tested at the Harrison Aldrich Wellness Center every other Friday from now until April.

According to Carleen Johnson, an administrative assistant at the Wellness Center and a certified professional Homeopath who sits on the board of the North American Society of Homeopathy, the desire to treat students holistically is what prompted the initiation of the program.

Alternating between clinic weeks, and discussion weeks, Johnson said the next treatment clinic is scheduled for March 8th, while the next discussion meeting will be held today, March 1st between the hours of 4pm and 5pm in the Wellness Room.

To be treated in the clinic, which runs from 9am to 4:30pm, according to staff at the Wellness Center; students need to call ahead and schedule an appointment. The discussion meetings are meant to educate students on the topic of homeopathy as well as to help train them on how to effectively use it as a first aid treatment option in addition to conventional methods of medicine, according to Johnson.

Marina Theberge, a Unity College student who has attended both the treatment clinic and the discussion meetings, said she is a fan of the program so far because she finds it interesting and likes that “it’s completely safe.”

Homeopathic medicine, based on the premise of treating illness symptoms with the “Law of Similars” is described by The National Center for Homeopathy as a treatment that works by eradicating illness symptoms with an “ultradilute” tincture made from ingredients found in nature. These ingredients if taken by a healthy person would cause similar symptoms to those being experienced by the sick person.

According to Johnson, homeopathy is a treatment so lacking in side effects it is safe enough to use on infants.

-Sass Linneken

Stephen Mulkey Increasing Climate Change Worst Enemy

President Stephen Mulkey gave a talk at the Unity College Center of Performing Arts (UCCPA) on Monday Feb 18.  The lecture was on Climate Change.

One of the key points that Stephen tries to make is Unity College should become more active in Climate change and to participate as activists on climate change.

Stephen Mulkey’s activism became widely recognized by his announcement to put all of Unity College’s di-vestment into becoming independent of fossil fuels.  In an interview between Stephen Mulkey and Green America Mulkey says, “If you are a student in college today, and you’re not an activist, I wonder what’s wrong with you.”

Stephen Mulkey in his talk at The UCCPA says that the first step in getting student activists is to educate students about the situation.  He even believes that it is a disservice to the students for professors not to encourage activism.

Stephen Mulkey told students he considers himself an activist. He enforced his statement when he spoke at the 350.org rally in Portland on January 26 and he attended the DC rally in Washington on Keystone Pipeline on February 17, this type of activism from college president is revolutionary.

He encourages activism from students, teachers, and “climate change is not going away,” he says during his lecture.

Sass Linneken student at Unity College says she attended several of Stephen Mulkey’s lectures, she always found them intuitive and eye opening. She said “I have attended several of his lectures, they are always informative.”

The lecture was to introduce climate change to the Issues and Insights course, which is a course to inform students about the hot environmental issues today.  Sarah Cunningham Professor of Captive wildlife and Education said, “Climate Change affects everyone.”  The lecture teaches students without the need for professors to assign long readings or watching a documentary according to John Zavodny

John Zavodny, Philosophy Professor at Unity College who teaches one section of Issues and Insights says “Climate Change number One issue.”  Stephen Mulkey’s talk seems to have a message outside of the facts of his lecture, which is students and professors should become more active in climate change.

This lecture by Stephen Mulkey is to occur again each semester for the issues and insights course.  Since the consensus is climate change is an issue and it’s not going away, students will continue to attend the lecture for Issues and Insights Course.

The reason the issues and insight course was introduced, was the original four courses which made up general education were converted into three courses instead.

-Steven Beason

Unity Woodsman Team Prepares for Spring Meet

The Unity College Woodsman team was in Truro, Nova Scotia on Saturday the 10th for the 28th Annual Rick Russell Woodsmen Competition. The school hosting the event was Dalhousie University Agricultural Campus. “The A team placed second out of eleven” said woodsman team member, Elmer Deforge. “The team has been preparing for the event since the beginning of the school year, in August”.

The members of the Unity College Woodsman A team who placed include “Cody Jackman and Blake Wilder won the underhand chop, and the team, consisting of Cody, Blake, Travis Courser, Matt Finch, Jeff Merrill, and Brandyn Hurd, was first in the team crosscut sawing.  Matt Finch was tied for second place in axe throw with Ken St. Pierre from the men’s B-team. Second to finish in the standing block chop were Travis and Brandyn, and Cody sprinted up the pole for a strong second position. The team also showed their speed in the team pulp throw achieving second place”, stated Unity College Woodsman team advisor Pat Clark. Having placed second overall, the Unity College woodsman team has been practicing for its next big event, the spring meet in April.

During the competition in Nova Scotia, the Unity College Woodsman B team “made up of Kevin Cummings, Tyler Law, Elmer DeForge, Ryan O-Neill, Ken St. Pierre, and Matt Leagan followed the winning A-team to reach fourth place in team crosscut. Ryan Joos was the men’s alternate” said Pat Clark.

“The Unity Women were also strong competitors in a field of nine teams. Jennifer Michaud, Katrina Wert, Shelby Hicks, Paige Blaker, Alyssa Maltman, and Liz Whitney placed fourth in team crosscut and fifth in pulp throw and Swede saw. In the single buck sawing, Jen ended in fourth position, while Shelby Hicks was fourth in pole climb. Finishing fifth individually were Alyssa in axe throw and Liz in chain saw, Nicole Harmon was the women’s alternate”, said Pat Clark.

-Arthur Nerzig

Faculty Search at Unity College

Unity College is currently looking for five new faculty positions to be filled by the fall 2013 semester.

Stacey Hachey, Administrative Assistant for Unity College, stated that the five new positions include Sustainable Forest Management, Sustainable Fisheries Management, Adventure Therapy, Human Ecology, and Sustainable Enterprise. Hachey stated that the hopes are that these positions will be filled by July of this year.

Mick Womersley, Professor of Human Ecology, stated that the college is looking to developing a new degree program in Sustainable Enterprise sometime in the future which will be a business program with a sustainable focus. This program will “bring in new and different students,” Womersley said, he feels that this may be a popular degree. “We hope to get new more interesting viable programs.”
The two sustainability programs that are offered at the college are Sustainable Agriculture and Sustainable Energy Management. According to Melissa Merritt, Student Government President, believes that the “sustainability majors have a lot of potential and will be important in the science field now and even more so in the coming years.” As the programs improve, Merritt believes that they will “become more popular among incoming students.”

Currently there is only one Sustainable Enterprise course. This course consists of the “basic business start-up and operations from envisioning a product or service to understanding market niche and the constraints and opportunities posed by the taxation and regulatory environment” as well as “working on individual plans for a green business” as taken from the 2012-2013 Catalog from the college.

The Human Ecology position will include teaching some of the Environmental Issues & Insights and Environmental Scenarios & Solutions courses which focus on learning about the environmental problems the world is presently facing and possible solutions to solve these problems, from the 2013-2013 Catalog.

Both the Human Ecology and Sustainable Enterprise positions will have fewer classes to teach within their program and will also contribute in the general education at the college. “The faculty probably would not have asked for a new human ecologist or a sustainable enterprise position. The president was willing and enthusiastic to hire people in those areas and once he offered those positions, we were willing to accept” Womersley added.

The Sustainable Forest Management, Sustainable Fisheries Management and Adventure Therapy are all replacement positions for previous faculty members who are leaving the school. The Management positions are going to be more focused on climate change and habitat management problems, as clarified by Womersley, “climate change has become very important in wildlife management.”

-Megan Miville

A Chicken In Every Pot

Unity College in partnership with Waldo County Technical School received a Future Farmer’s of America (FFA) Food for All grant to raise 100 Red Broiler chickens in the spring semester to be donated to the Belfast Soup Kitchen and Regional Food Pantry, according to Unity College’s FFA president.

This is the second grant that Unity College has received, said Shayne Van Leer, Unity College’s FFA president, pointing out that this year’s grant is a comparative study between chicken tractor raised broilers and open range broilers.

Sixty of the chickens will be open range, having 160 feet of fencing surrounding them, which will be moved between four locations, while 40 will be moved via chicken tractor, says Van Leer.

The students of the FFA chapter at Unity College as well as the students of the FFA chapter at Waldo County Technical School, a high school in the area, will be caring for the chickens, says Van Leer.

Sara Trunzo, Unity College’s Food and Farm Projects Coordinator, says this project will benefit students by “filling the gap until permanent animal presence.” Students should be involved in all aspects Trunzo said, “chick to slaughter.”

Trunzo said this project was appealing to students who asked for animals on campus, more experience in animal handling, and student-led projects. Next semester, she added, there is a plan to hire a barn manager and to have an animal facility.

The chickens will be arriving in early March, Trunzo said, and will take about nine weeks to raise until they are full grown and sent to slaughter.

Trunzo called Van Leer the “resident chicken king.” While Van Leer said that Trunzo came to him with the grant, which she said was “the perfect fit.”

According to Van Leer, Red Broilers are broilers for the pasture-raised system. Broilers, he said, are chickens raised for their meat, and will not be laying eggs.

Last year’s project was called “Pastured Poultry for Food Security” said Van Leer, who is the leader of this project. Van Leer said he had raised egg layers at home and chickens are his primary interest.

Trunzo said last semester’s project was when they really figured it out. Fewer chickens were raised but they figured out the timing to finish the whole process within the semester.

There will no longer be a need for a grant or this project following this semester said Trunzo, the new animal facility plan should cover the area of chickens on campus.

-Anna Mueller

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