UMPI welcomes new faculty and staff
PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The University of Maine at Presque Isle welcomed eight new faculty and staff in the first part of the 2020-2021 academic year.
Kenda Batchelder will be working as a research associate with Dr. Larry Feinstein. After earning her master’s degree at the University of Maine, she began pursuing her Ph.D. in computational biomedicine before relocating to Ashland from Bangor.
This past summer, she worked as a research assistant at the Computational Mathematics Analysis of Imagery and Numerical Experiments (CompuMAINE) Lab. She will be studying antibiotic-resistance genes with Dr. Feinstein.
Dr. Bee Khim Chim is a new assistant professor of sustainable agriculture for the University of Maine Cooperative Extension in Presque Isle and has an appointment with UMPI to teach one course in its agricultural and agribusiness program.
She has a master’s degree in soil fertility from Oklahoma State University and a PhD in crop and soil environmental science from Virginia Tech. Her office is located at the Cooperative Extension office in Presque Isle.
Michael Dobbs joins UMPI as an instructional technologist for the Center for Teaching and Learning. Dobbs is an Army veteran, who brings extensive experience in Instructional Design.
He is also an UMPI graduate and is working toward a master’s degree at the University of Maine. He is looking forward to returning to the UMPI community and supporting his colleagues and their students.
Dr. Md Rafiul Hassan joins UMPI as an associate professor of computer science and curriculum development specialist as part of the Tile III: Strengthening Institutions grant. He comes with extensive knowledge from K.F. University of Petroleum and Minerals in Saudi Arabia, where he has taught for the last 10 years.
He holds two U.S. patents, and has conducted research in data science, machine learning, big data, and intrusion detection. He is looking forward to developing the computer science program for UMPI and serving as a vital member of the university and Aroostook County.
Brian Morrison joins the UMPI athletics program as athletic trainer. A Class of 2008 UMPI graduate, he worked for the Halifax Mooseheads hockey club and Lewiston Maineiacs hockey club as athletic trainer. In 2011, he relocated to Presque Isle, where he began employment with County Physical Therapy, LLC and serving Aroostook County high schools as an athletic trainer and strength and conditioning coach.
He is a board certified and licensed athletic trainer in the state of Maine, and is also a certified functional strength coach, a performance enhancement specialist, and holds a certification in concussion management.
Leah Sinko joins UMPI as the campus’ newest admissions counselor. Originally from Milton, Vermont, she graduated from Lyndon State College (now Northern Vermont University at Lyndon) in 2013 with a bachelor of arts degree in liberal arts with a fine arts concentration.
She has worked in admissions as a student ambassador at Lyndon State and as a sales leader at the retailer Simply Mac.
William Turner joins the University as a master electrician with the facilities team. Turner joins UMPI with 30 years of electrical experience through training, the U.S. Navy, and as an independent electrician.
He has been involved with almost all aspects of the field including residential, commercial, and industrial construction and maintenance.
Dr. Tara Whiton joins UMPI as an assistant professor of health administration (community health) and curriculum development specialist as part of the Title III grant. She has a master’s in health and human development and PhD in sport physiology and performance. She is passionate about chronic disease prevention through health education.
Prior to earning her doctorate, she previously worked for UMPI as a part-time faculty member and most recently as the dean of athletics and STEM faculty at Gould Academy in Bethel.
The following part-time faculty also have joined campus since spring 2020: Korrin Patterson, Anders Gårdestig, Melanie Junkins, Sarah Wilcox, Jorge Conesa Sevilla, Tim Whiton, Sandy Flacke and Meagan Corriveau.
In addition to these new faculty and staff, two familiar faces have taken on new titles or accepted new positions.
Carrie Bosse has been promoted to early college counselor.
Sarah Coyer has been promoted to associate dean of students.
Alissa Edwards has begun a regular, part-time position for Student Support Services as a student success coach. She continues her work as UMPI’s softball coach.