The University of Maine Cooperative Extension Maine Harvest for Hunger program had its most successful year in 2014, as more than 300 volunteers donated 240,937 pounds of fresh produce to 104 organizations from York County to Piscataquis County.
Since the program’s inception in 1999, volunteers have provided more than 1.8 million pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables to people, food pantries and soup kitchens statewide.
According to Feeding America, a national umbrella organization for food banks, 206,000 Maine citizens — 15.5 percent of the population — experienced food insecurity in 2012, a 50 percent increase since 2004. Also according to Feeding America, 36 percent of food insecure Mainers did not qualify for government food assistance programs. Food insecurity and obesity can co-exist for individuals and families, and a goal is to replace high-calorie, nutrient-poor food donated to food pantries with fresh fruits and vegetables.
The Iberdrola USA Foundation, along with Fundación Iberdrola, is accepting scholarship applications for master’s studies in energy and/or the environment at the University of Maine and University of Rochester for the 2015–2016 academic year, according to a press release.
The Iberdrola Scholarship Program is open to graduate students who plan to pursue studies in renewable energy, environmental protection, climate change or energy efficiency.
Global energy leader Iberdrola S.A. established the scholarship program in 2010. The grants cover tuition, health and accident insurance, and a $25,200 annual stipend for other expenses.
For more information or to apply, visit the Iberdrola Foundation scholarship website. Candidates should submit an application to one of the two universities before applying for the scholarship. The deadline to apply is 8 a.m. Feb. 13, 2015.
“Iberdrola and Iberdrola USA are very proud to support this next generation of renewable energy leaders,” said Bob Kump, chief corporate officer for Iberdrola USA.
Three student members of the University Volunteer Ambulance Corps (UVAC) at the University of Maine recently won a competition that involved caring for a simulated pediatric patient at the annual Midcoast Atlantic Partners EMS Seminar in Rockport, Maine.
Melissa Dufault, Alana Silverman and Ryan Buckley competed against several medical response teams with years of service and experience, including seven EMS instructors and paramedics. Joseph Kellner, UVAC chief of service, served as paramedic backup for the team.
“We were up against some of the best providers in the state; all the way from EMT-basics to paramedics. Our team of two EMT-basics and myself, an unlicensed attendant, were the underdogs to say the least,” said Buckley, a marine science major from Milton, Massachusetts, who has been with UVAC for about a year.
The LifeFlight of Maine Human Patient Simulator Challenge tasks teams with the same basic emergency scenario that differs slightly depending on the license levels of team members. This year’s scenario was a pediatric male that had fallen from a skateboard and was unresponsive. The competition is designed to test skills and how well teams assess the patient by responding to the patient simulator as they would in a real emergency.
“We competed against close friends, admired mentors and current instructors,” said Dufault, a nursing student at Eastern Maine Community College who has been with UVAC since spring 2012. “It was an immense honor to stand in front of all the competitors I had looked up to for a long time.”
The contest was administered by LifeFlight of Maine and was held as a benefit fundraiser for the Maine EMS Memorial in Augusta. The team chose to donate its $200 cash prize to the memorial in the name of Matthew Jetton, a UVAC alumnus and flight paramedic who died when the helicopter he was riding in crashed while transporting a burn patient to a Portland hospital in 1993.
The team also won a response bag from Maine-ly Tactical & Uniforms and two days of free simulator training for UVAC provided by LifeFlight of Maine.
“The free simulator training is a chance to train and do patient assessments in a controlled environment where students can allow themselves to make mistakes with no risk of patient harm,” says Dufault of Turner, Maine. “The simulators can blink, talk, breathe; they also have pulses just as a normal patient.”
Dufault says the training will be especially helpful for new members who have no prior experience.
“As a person in the medical field, it is important to stay current. The knowledge of the medical profession is always expanding. This training gives our members an opportunity to train on certain scenarios that don’t occur often so we are prepared when the real thing happens,” says Silverman, a UMaine biology major with a pre-med concentration from Oakland, Maine, who has been working with UVAC for four years.
“I couldn’t be more proud of these three,” Kellner said. “It is a testament to the quality of care that UVAC providers bring to the University of Maine.”
Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747
WABI (Channel 5) reported on the launch of the “Historical Atlas of Maine” at the University of Maine. The atlas is a new geographical and historical interpretation of the state, from the end of the last ice age to 2000, that culminates a 15-year scholarly project led by UMaine researchers. UMaine historian Richard Judd and UMaine geographer Stephen Hornsby edited the book that contains cartography by Michael Hermann. “I think it is a new portal into Maine history that we have not really had before in the sense that it combines graphics with text in a way that allows the reader to use their imagination,” Judd said.
John Rebar, executive director of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, spoke with the Maine Public Broadcasting Network for the report, “In Maine, more hipsters choosing life on the farm.” Rebar spoke about the increase in farming among younger adult couples. “Certainly in Maine, farmers under the age of 35 have increased 40 percent, when nationally that increase is 1.5 percent,” Rebar said. “So, in our state, we are way ahead of that national trend.” He added Maine, which was a hotbed of activity during the first back-to-the-land movement in the 1970s, has many knowledgeable people working in the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA), which offers a training program for new farmers, the report states.
The Bangor Daily News, WVII (Channel 7), WLBZ (Channel 2), Q106.5, WMTW (Channel 8 in Portland) and WABI (Channel 5) were among several news organizations to report comments made by Robert Dana, the University of Maine’s vice president for student life and dean of students, in response to a report about Christmas decorations that were taken down on campus. The original report stemmed from an email that was sent by a supervisor to employees in response to complaints about decorations in the Memorial Union. Dana, who spoke to media at the university, said the email was not based on an official university policy. “We welcome every single faith tradition and we welcome displays of those faith traditions and the university is a place where indeed there is a great deal of diversity and that’s what we want, that’s what we expect,” Dana said. The email also coincided with the planned removal of 16 Christmas trees from the union that were part of the Alpha Tau Omega annual competition-based philanthropy event that collects donations for Crossroads Ministries. The event ended Dec. 7 when the trees were judged and scheduled to be taken down. “Every expression of faith is an open, honest expression and students, faculty and staff have every encouragement and right to have a freedom of speech,” Dana said. Campus Reform and Business 2 Community also reported the story.
Sandra Caron, a University of Maine professor of family relations and human sexuality, spoke with United Educators about peer education at UMaine for the article, “Student-to-student interactions help campuses manage risks.” Caron said when she came to UMaine in 1988, she focused peer education on visible groups such as athletic teams and Greek organizations. In 1990, she found the Greek Peer Education Program and Athletes for Sexual Responsibility. In 2004, she spun off another group, Male Athletes Against Violence, according to the report. “Universities benefit because they have students who are standing up to other students and trying to change the campus from within, as opposed to me as a professor going to a residence hall and talking,” Caron said.
Times Higher Education recently published the column, “‘They’ has arrived at the pronoun party,” by Deborah Rogers, an English professor at the University of Maine.
KFVS (Channel 12), a CBS affiliate in southeast Missouri, carried the Raycom News Network report, “Clean kitchens keep holidays happy, healthy.” The report mentioned the importance of washing fruits and vegetables to help remove any microbes that may be on produce and cited tips from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension.
The last day of operation this semester for the Black Bear Orono Express is Dec. 19. The shuttle service will resume operation at 7 a.m., Jan. 12.