First Year Fusion — Three Different Fusion Week Sessions

Aug 13-18  |  Aug 19-25  |  Aug 20-25


You’ll arrive at Orientation with half a course under your belt, a connection with faculty, a crew of fellow UMF-ers to call your friends, your mind alive with ideas, and some good stories to tell.

The Rest of the Semester
The remainder of your First Year Seminar will be taught by the same faculty member during the first half of the Fall Semester. Fusion courses end in Week 8. This First Year Fusion course is part of your regular schedule, not in addition to it.

Course fees vary by course and will be included in your Fall bill. Scholarships for First Year Fusion are available.

It was a transformative experience. I never would have imagined that a college course could be so impactful on my life.
— Koley True, UMF Class of ’23

Course Offerings for First Year Fusion 2022

Instructor: Associate Professor of Rehabilitation Services Gina Oswald
Course Fee: $200

Gina Oswald portrait
Assoc. Professor of Rehabilitation Services Gina Oswald

FYS 100 Adventure Therapy (Fusion)

Adventure Therapy leverages challenging activities, often in nature-based environments, to support the therapeutic healing process. In this FYF section, you will discuss and explore application of the principles and benefits of adventure therapy. During Fusion Week, you’ll experience different types of recreational activities available throughout Maine. This course will help you gain a solid foundation in the purpose and evidence-based practices of adventure therapy although it is not meant to provide you with adventure therapy, mental health treatment or personal therapeutic services. The final project will allow you to design an adventure therapy session based on knowledge gained in the class guided by your own personal interests.

  • Hiking and camping in the High Peaks Region
  • Canoeing and / or kayaking on our local lakes and rivers
  • Try the UMF ropes course

Explore Adventure Therapy as potential course of study and / or career path while enjoying the recreational activities with a group of new classmates and friends.

Instructor: Professor of Creative Writing Gretchen Legler
Course Fee: $260

Gretchen Legler
Professor of Creative Writing Gretchen Legler

HON 101  Gardening for Change (Honors Fusion)

Gardening for Change lets you ground yourself in the earth and get your hands dirty growing and harvesting food while exploring critical issues such as food justice, sustainable farming, and restorative agriculture. You’ll spend 3 days / 2 nights at the Maine Local Living School where you’ll participate in life on a local homestead and “unplug” to reflect on our relationship with the earth.

  • Experience living close to the land during our 2-night stay at Maine Local Living School
  • Get out of your comfort zone and learn new things like whittling your own spoon
  • Plant seeds for change on campus and in your community
  • Collaborate with your classmates to imagine a more just world

During the fall semester, you’ll tend to the on-campus UMF Community Garden and other campus grow-spots, visit local farms and food banks as you explore, discuss and write about gardening for change. Prerequisites: Acceptance in the UMF Honors Program, or permission of instructor.

Instructors: Associate Professor Kelly Bentley and Associate Professor of Anthropology Nicole Kellett
Course Fee: $100

Kelly Bentley
Assoc. Professor Kelly Bentley
Nicole Kellett
Assoc. Professor of Anthropology Nicole Kellett

FYS 100  Conflict and Compassion (Fusion)

Passionate about diversity, equity, and social justice? Conflict and Compassion will allow you to explore these issues through interactions with activists from across the State. You’ll begin by attending the “Mawiomi (gathering) of Tribes” of the Aroostook Band of Miꞌkmaq peoples to learn about the community’s culture and traditions through drumming, dancing, music, foods, crafts, ceremonies and more.

By exploring Maine’s different communities (and cuisines), you’ll learn more about the diversity that enriches our State, reflect on ways in which we are interconnected, and how you can foster knowledge and actions to address conflict and promote compassion.

  • Enjoy camping with the Aroostook Band of Miꞌkmaq peoples at the Mawiomi Gathering of Tribes
  • Engage in traditional dancing, drumming, crafts, music, foods and ceremonies to learn about the strength, spirit, and endurance of the Aroostook Band of Micmacs
  • Learn about organizations, agencies and individuals dedicated to celebrating and promoting diversity in Maine
  • Collaborate with a small cohort of students to engage with community resources and cultural life at UMF

During the fall semester, you’ll meet with other organizations working on social justice, civil rights, diversity, and inclusion, including LGBTQAI+ and immigrant and refugee groups.

Instructor: Assistant Professor of Biology Rachel Hovel
Course Fee: $150

Rachel Hovel
Asst. Professor of Biology Rachel Hovel

FYS 100  Freshwater in the Anthropocene (Fusion)

Lakes and rivers provide important habitat and cultural connection. Access to water defines political boundaries and decisions. Yet, freshwater ecosystems are changing rapidly in the current Anthropocene era where human activity is the dominant influence on the environment.

  • Learn firsthand about lake ecosystems
  • Spend two nights at Maine Huts & Trails exploring Flagstaff Lake
  • Identify and investigate a contemporary topic related to freshwater ecosystems in our region
  • Complete a hands-on project to improve awareness and connection to freshwater in our own community

During the fall semester, you’ll explore local lakes and rivers, identifying and working collaboratively to address challenges to critical freshwater ecosystems in our local landscape.

Instructor: Humanities faculty member Denisa Cundick
Course Fee: $200

Denisa Cundick
Humanities faculty member Denisa Cundick

FYS 100  Success & Failure: How to Succeed in College (Fusion)

What does it mean to be successful? Why do some people see failures as steps on the path to success while others do not? In Success & Failure: How to Succeed in College, you’ll explore different ways of thinking about success and what it can mean, as well as the role failing might play in success. You’ll explore around town and beyond, talking to successful people, learning more about how to stay active and healthy, as well as how to manage your money and time.

  • Explore what it means to be successful in college and how to go about setting yourself up for a positive college experience
  • Learn about the resources UMF and the Farmington area have to offer to ensure your success in college and life
  • Figure out how to eat well at college and try at preparing your own food
  • Enjoy going on adventures on campus and off as you find your footing with a group of peers, making the whirlwind first days of the academic semester easier to manage

During the fall semester, you’ll talk with people about the paths they took to get where they are today, and what success looks like to them so you may develop your own plan for success at UMF and beyond.

Instructor: Sustainability Coordinator Mark Pires
Course Fee: $195

Mark Pires
Sustainability Coordinator Mark Pires

FYS 100  The Sustainable Campus (Fusion)

Sustainability means different things to different people in different contexts. In The Sustainable Campus, you’ll explore how people in and around Farmington conceptualize and promote sustainability through a series of outings, including a 2-night stay at Maine Huts & Trails.

Planned August outings include visits to:

During the fall semester, you’ll use the UMF campus as a learning laboratory to examine how principles of environmental sustainability and stewardship are put into practice right in your own academic backyard. For your final project, you’ll develop your own proposal to help make UMF a more Sustainable Campus. You’ll tour and discuss a variety of campus sustainability initiatives, including:

  • UMF Biomass Heating Plant
  • LEED-certified Kalikow Education Center
  • UMF Community Garden
  • Tom Eastler Memorial Compost Site
  • Sustainable Campus Coalition meetings

For your final project, you’ll develop your own proposal to help make UMF a more Sustainable Campus.

Instructors: Professor of Music Steve Pane and Assistant Professor of Creative Writing Lewis Robinson
Course Fee: $50

Steve Pane
Professor of Music Steve Pane
Lewis Robinson
Asst. Professor of Creative Writing Lewis Robinson

FYS 100  Urban Maine: The Stories and Sounds (Fusion)

HON 101  Urban Maine: The Stories and Sounds (Honors Fusion)

Maine is more than a pastoral vacationland. Its cities like Portland and Belfast continue to evolve and add new layers to their unique histories. In Urban Maine: The Stories and Sounds, you’ll travel to these two coastal cities to meet with a wide variety of Maine urbanites: from fishermen to artists, shopkeepers to chefs.

  • Explore the coastal Maine cities of Portland and Belfast
  • Investigate how the dynamics of sounds shape place and experience
  • Learn how to record and produce audio
  • Craft powerful stories from the soundscapes you collect
  • Collaborate with your classmates as you explore Maine and join the UMF community

During the fall semester, you’ll gather and document individual narratives and soundscapes, and then create your own work in the form of audio podcasts, sound collages and videos.

My First Year Fusion course gave me the confidence to connect with other students. It was a terrific way to kick start my time at Farmington. — Ryan Bruenighaus ’23

Ready to start your next adventure?

To enroll in First Year Fusion, you’ll select Fusion courses and Honors Fusion courses (as well as other General Education courses) on the Course Planning Form, which is on myCampus. So be sure to have your MaineStreet Username and Password ready.

Course Planning Form

We’re here to assist. Let us know if you’ve got any questions, need help registering, would like to know about more scholarships for First Year Fusion, and anything else about the program.

Contact Us

Office of Admissions
University of Maine at Farmington
246 Main Street
Farmington, Maine USA 04938-1994
tel  207-778-7050
fax  207-778-8182
TYY (via Maine Relay Service) dial 711