What Students Really Say About Farmington
Did you start here as a freshman or did you transfer from another school?
I transferred during the last half of my sophomore year.
Tell me a bit about the Computer Science major at Farmington. What's it like?
Well it varies from different colleges but basically what they do here is more of an overview of all of the related topics for computer science. So a lot of it is actual programming and coding and that sort of thing. They also cover a lot of theory behind it.
Did you come to UMF knowing you wanted to major in Computer Science?
Oh, yes. I've been into computers and programming since my freshman year of high school.
Have you had a favorite class or favorite experience here at UMF?
I don't know if I could pick out just one in particular Computer Science class, but I really came to enjoy a lot of the classes I took from Gail Lang [Professor of Computer Science]. Last year was the first time I had her for a professor and she takes some getting used [laughs] to but I really like the way she teaches. I ended up learning a lot.
What are some really interesting classes you've taken in Computer Science?
Actually I'd probably say the Computer Graphics class I'm taking right now is pretty interesting because normally in computer science you don't really get to actually see your results. Usually, you see the results of your coding but a lot of times the hard-core coding can get pretty boring. With the Computer Graphics class I actually get to make 3-D design and see the results immediately, which is pretty cool - and very different from my programming.
What do you think are the strengths of the Computer Science program here? I'd have to say that one of the strengths of the program is that here you get to know your professors really well. And they keep the computer labs up-to-date too, so you're working with the most current software and hardware, which - in the Computer Science field -- is absolutely critical.
Have you taken a class here at Farmington that changed your view on things?
I got some pretty good insight in my Philosophy class. Oh, and my Intro to Chinese Culture class was really interesting, too, because beforehand I knew practically nothing about Chinese culture or history. That would was a really good class.
Do you feel that UMF is preparing you well?
I think so, yeah. The Liberal Arts emphasis here gives you the overview of everything so you really get a feel for different career fields you could go into after you graduate. All in all, I think you get a pretty good grasp of everything.
Do you feel you get much work here? Are your professors too easy or too hard?
This particular semester all of my classes are major-specific and I was expecting it to be ridiculously hard and actually it's not too bad. I think that part of the reason is because a lot of our work is done in the CS (Computer Science) lab, which is good, but I think it's an appropriate amount of work.
What would you have liked to know before you transferred here?
I actually knew most of what I needed to know before coming here because I knew several people that went to school at Farmington ... which was part of the reason I transferred here. I think I was pretty well informed.
What school did you transfer from?
I transferred from RIT, Rochester Institute of Technology in New York.
Why did you want out of that school?
Well actually to be honest I didn't want out of that school. I transferred for financial aid reason. It was just ridiculously expensive to go to school there. To make a long story short, just before I was to go back for my second year, RIT informed me that my private loan -- that was supposed to cover the rest of my tuition -- was denied. So I had to look into different options and I ultimately chose to come here.
OK, now that you've experienced two different colleges what do you feel sets Farmington apart?
I think the small-town atmosphere here at Farmington is nice. Going to RIT, it's a huge school and also it's sort of set off from everything - you feel really isolated. So when it gets into wintertime there are serious cabin fever issues at RIT [laughs]. Here, we're basically integrated into the town. Everything here is pretty student-friendly. So I think that that's one of the nice things about Farmington -- the close campus/town atmosphere. And the fact that UMF is a smaller school is great. Like I said before, here you have a better connection with a lot of your professors.
What did people think when they heard you were transferring here?
There were a few people who wondered about my decision to transfer because they knew Farmington isn't considered a tech school like RIT is. But for the most part people thought it was a good decision to make given the situation.
Overall, are you happy with your decision to transfer to UMF?
Yeah, I am. There were some issues with my transfer credits but that wasn't UMF's fault, it was actually RIT's fault, which is a long story. But as far as the way things were handled here, I think Farmington has done pretty well by me.
Are there any Farmington professors you've really connected with or have inspired you?
I think that I've connected with Gail Lange pretty well - I mean, I'm in her class for like 6 hours a day. So, if there was anyone I was going to pick it would be her. She can get a little quirky - but other than that it's a pretty good experience. [laughs]
What makes someone a good professor?
Being able to see things from a student's point of view is big. College professors are really, really intelligent people but they don't always necessarily know how to teach what they know. So being able to understand that while the he or she knows all this stuff inside and out, their students don't. At my old school, I had professors who just can't understand why students don't get what they're teaching. So yeah, I think that being able to step outside of their "professor-ness" is an important quality.
What's it like to live in the Residence Halls here?
Well, compared to my freshman year in the dorms at RIT it's a much better experience here. Maybe that's because there are more girls at Farmington and they're generally a lot cleaner than boys are. The dorms at RIT were just a war zone room. [laughs] Scott Hall here was a pretty nice. It's a relatively new dorm, so that was nice. Comparatively, it was a pretty good experience here.
Tell me a little bit of what you do at your on-campus job.
I work at the Computer Center where we service, repair and help people with their laptop problems. I've been working here almost two years and I've learned a lot about trouble-shooting computer problems. It's kinda fun.
What can someone do with a degree in Computer Science?
They can do a lot. A friend of mine wants to be a network administrator and he has learned a lot on that end. There's the software end which is more coding and software development and that kind of thing. There's Web design and that sort of "creative computer" thing, which is what I'm doing. So there's a pretty broad spectrum. I can't imagine having a hard time finding a job.
What do you plan on doing after you graduate?
I'm actually running my own business right now, so I intend to continue doing that. Hopefully that will take off -- I'm planning for it to, anyway. I found out that I actually like living in Maine, so if I can I'll probably stick around here.
Has UMF been what you expected?
Actually I think it's been a little bit more than I expected. Because I knew it was a Liberal Arts school, and I was coming here for a really technical-related major, I guess I wasn't expecting much. But I actually got more out of it than I intended.
- Kristen Bisson
From Waterville, Maine
- Emily Baer
Double major: Art and English
From Brunswick, Maine
- Andrew Thompson
Double major: Music and Art
From Plymouth, Massachusetts
- Shawn Rogers
From Dover, New Hampshire
- Lesley Kittredge
From Mount Vernon, Maine
- Kristen Simoneau
Community Health Education - School Health Education
From Jay, Maine
- Shane Koski
From Auburn, Maine
- Renee Meserve
Early Childhood Education
From Westbrook, Maine
- Casey Myers
Early Childhood Special Education
From Winooski, Vermont
- Craig Nadeau
From Fairfield, Maine
- Michaela Hitchcock
Environmental Planning & Policy
From Springfield, Vermont
- Erica Austin
Double major: History and Geography
From Turner, Maine
- Alison Gerrish
International & Global Studies
From Portland, Maine
- Lisa Kittredge
Liberal Arts Undecided
From Mount Vernon, Maine
- Nate Burns
Double major: Music and Philosophy / Religion
From Wayne, Maine
- Genesis Burke
From Amesbury, Massachusetts
- Mary Beth Kirby
From Farmington, Maine
- Joel Hatfield
Secondary / Middle Education
From Palermo, Maine
- Courtney Church
Sociology / Anthropology
From Portsmouth, New Hampshire
- Emily Langton
From Manchester, New Hampshire