The University of Maine at Fort Kent Foundation Board of Directors has funded three gift requests from the UMFK campus community, totaling more than $10,000, according to information released by the Foundation’s Grant Request Guidelines Committee.
The three approved requests are:
• A gift that will fund a $2,500 stipend for an independent study student to provide DNA analysis of an isolated DNA virus isolated by UMFK students. UMFK was selected to participate in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Phage Hunters (SEA-PHAGES) program this year. Two biology classes participated in a national project to collect and study harmless viruses, or phages, that live in soil. Worldwide, 2,400 phages have been collected, and only 362 of them have undergone DNA analysis. UMFK students contributed nine new phages to the world collection, and one of them — named Sheen — is quite rare. The stipend will allow the independent study student to submit data about Sheen to an international databank. The student, and UMFK, will receive recognition as authors of the databank submission.
• A $4,560 gift to remodel the Waneta T. Blake Library Gallery. The Blake Library provides space for students and community members alike to exhibit works of artistic expression. The space dedicates specific months for exhibits by UMFK art students, as well as for the SAD27/AOS95 Young Artist exhibitions. Space also is provided for other campus organizations to present work developed through experiential processes. Formal receptions, or informal Art Talks, usually are scheduled for each exhibit, which offers a means for the artist to discuss their work, techniques, and general background with the community.
• A gift of $3,000 from the Foundation will provide a $30 stipend to 100 nursing students to offset travel and lodging expenses for required clinical experiences in Bangor, Maine. UMFK’s highly-rated nursing program requires junior year students to complete a 32-hour clinical rotation at Eastern Maine Medical Center, and senior year students to complete a 36 to 48-hour clinical rotation at Acadia Hospital. The clinical experiences require two to three overnight stays; a cost borne by the nursing students, and not always covered by financial aid. The gift will provide students with some financial relief.
The Grant Request Guidelines Committee was created in 2010 to establish a process for applying for gift requests from the Foundation. Request proposals follow an annual theme. The theme for 2012 is Experiential Learning and Student Success. The Foundation’s awards generally are made within the $2,000 to $5,000 range, with an emphasis on requests that have a broad public benefit.
The UMFK Foundation supports endowed scholarships, faculty research, state-of-the-art technology upgrades, cultural events, new equipment, and other campus investments not budgeted for in the University’s annual operating budget.