WLBZ (Channel 2) spoke with Benjamin Herold-Porter and Heather Anderson, graduating seniors in the University of Maine’s New Media Department, about a fall detection device they developed for older adults to use outside their homes. For their capstone project, the students created a prototype that can detect when the person wearing the device has fallen and automatically text a programmed cell phone number without requiring user action. “We’ve completely removed that user interaction,” Herold-Porter said. Both Herold-Porter and Anderson have active grandparents in their 80s who have fallen while alone outside their homes. Herold-Porter said his grandmother has a device that’s currently on the market, but rarely presses the button when she falls. “She’s less prone to press it then because she doesn’t want to interrupt anyone’s day or anything like that,” he said. The students said future possibilities for the device include using smaller parts, adding GPS and more functions such as a walk counter, vitals detector or the ability to make phone calls.
The Tri-Town Weekly published an article on Limbeck Engineering, the winners of the $5,000 Bruce Fournier Family Foundation technology prize at the 2015 UMaine Business Challenge. College students and former Freeport High school students Travis Libsack, Nick Nelsonwood and Liam Wade, along with Freeport High School senior Josef Biberstein won the prize for their company, Limbeck Engineering LLC. The students are developing a remotely operated submersible robot for underwater exploration and research, according to the article. The UMaine Business Challenge was founded in 2011 by a group of 2010 UMaine graduates who wanted to give back to their alma mater while creating more opportunities for student entrepreneurs. This was the first year in which students from any Maine college or university were invited to apply. “There are many resources on the University of Maine campus, which is just as valuable [as the prize],” said Libsack. Wade is a UMaine student, Nelsonwood attends Princeton University, Libsack goes to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Biberstein also plans to attend MIT in the fall, the article states.
The Ellsworth American reported on a cooking lesson for third-graders that was held as part of an initiative between FoodCorps and Ellsworth Elementary-Middle School (EEMS). The Maine FoodCorps program is the state branch of a national program that teaches healthful eating, expands school-based gardens and increases locally grown food in school cafeterias. The University of Maine Cooperative Extension oversees the state program. The FoodCorps initiative is “all connected to gardening, hands-on activities and cooking, to get more of an understanding of what our bodies need, eating healthily and developing positive relationships to food and nutrition,” said FoodCorps service member Isabel Neal who has been visiting the third-grade classroom nearly every week since last fall and works on other gardening and education projects with other EEMS classes weekly, according to the article.
The University of Maine will hold the annual Clean Sweep Sale 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Friday, May 22 and 8 a.m.–2 p.m. Saturday, May 23 in York Commons.
Furniture, rugs, electronics, appliances, housewares, books, bedding, shoes and clothing will be among the items for sale. Items were donated by the university or students who moved out of the dorms at the end of the semester.
Proceeds will support programs and services offered by the Black Bear Exchange and student service projects coordinated by the Bodwell Center for Service and Volunteerism.
For more information, call the Bodwell Center at 581.3091.
A Public Voice, the newsletter of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, noted that APLU President M. Peter McPherson delivered the UMaine Commencement address May 9. A copy of McPherson’s remarks are online.
The University of Maine Humanities Center has awarded summer research grants to two UMaine students.
Taylor Cunningham, an English major and Honors student with a minor in folklore studies, was awarded the Sandy and Bobby Ives Research Award. Elisa Sance, a doctoral candidate in history, was awarded the center’s graduate student research award. Each award is worth $500.
Cunningham of Massachusetts is the coordinator of a new interdisciplinary humanities series of lectures on linguistics and culture, and has been working on the Maine Hermit Project for two years.
The project is a collaborative interdisciplinary humanities lab venture involving a team of undergraduate researchers working with Sarah Harlan-Haughey, an assistant professor in UMaine’s Honors College and Department of English.
“As a student research assistant on the Maine Hermit project, I study the historical hermits of Maine — who they were and what they can tell us about the communities that remember them,” Cunningham says, adding she spends a lot of time researching old newspapers and the archives in the Maine Folklife Center, as well as conducting fieldwork around the state.
She says fieldwork is essential to a project that relies on oral history, and has visited historical societies and museums in Patten, Oxford Hills and Monhegan Island. She plans to travel more this summer, and the grant will help with related costs.
While a graduate teaching assistant at UMaine, Sance taught French in the Department of Modern Languages and Classics. For her doctorate, she is focusing on language policies in the 1960s and 1970s in New Brunswick and their effect on people in northern Maine.
This summer, Sance will study the role of the family unit in the transmission of the French language in U.S. and Canadian communities in the Madawaska region.
“The French-speaking population in the Madawaska region was divided by the establishment of the official border between Maine and New Brunswick in 1842. This population shares a common past but has evolved within different legal and political frameworks,” Sance says.
Sance also plans to collect data on the structure and evolution of the family unit as they relate to the establishment of public school systems in New Brunswick and Maine. She is specifically seeking information on the level of education, occupation(s), religious orientation, and size and composition of families.
Sance plans to conduct research at the Blake Library at the University of Maine Fort Kent and the Acadian Archives, which are housed in the same building. The facilities offer several useful documents that are not available anywhere else, Sance says. She also plans to use resources at the University of Moncton at Edmundston, New Brunswick.
She intends to present the paper at a conference organized by the Association of Canadian Studies in the United States in October, and at an on-campus event in March 2016, part of a monthlong series of programs to celebrate the French-speaking world.
The Sandy and Bobby Ives Research Award is funded by David Taylor and LeeEllen Friedland, and the graduate student award comes from other University of Maine Humanities Center (UMHC) funds.
The Bangor Daily News and WLBZ (Channel 2) interviewed Dr. Jonathan Shay, a nationally recognized psychologist and author of two popular books on combat trauma and the trials of homecoming for veterans and their families, who will give two public addresses at the University of Maine on May 13. Shay spoke about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and moral injury, which he says results when a leader who holds legitimate authority betrays what’s commonly accepted as right, in a high-stakes situation. “It just devastates the capacity to have a good human life,” Shay said of moral injury. “When trust is destroyed, it doesn’t leave a vacuum, it doesn’t leave nothing. When trust is destroyed, it leaves behind the active expectancy of harm, exploitation and humiliation.” Shay will speak to the fifth annual Conference of the Maine Military & Community Network at 9 a.m. on, “Psychology and Moral Injury in War.” He also will give a 6 p.m. keynote address, “Combat Trauma and the Trials of Coming Home.” Both are in Wells Conference Center on campus.
Four newly graduated students of the University of Maine wrote an opinion piece for the Bangor Daily News titled, “Work, internship experience, downtown exposure pay dividends for greater Bangor.” Cameron Huston, Sarah Nicols, Spencer Warmuth and Gareth Warr, who graduated Saturday, were students in professor Rob Glover’s practicum in engaged policy studies class. They were invited to contribute a guest piece for the Maine chapter of the Scholars Strategy Network, which brings together scholars across the country to address public challenges and their policy implications.
The Bangor Daily News reported Joe Roberts, the University of Maine’s associate athletic director for external operations, has resigned after nearly 25 years at the university. “It has been a great run. It’s time to do something different. It seemed like a good time [to step down]. Twenty-five is a pretty round number,” Roberts said. Karlton Creech, UMaine’s director of athletics, said Roberts will be missed. “Joe’s a great guy. I enjoyed working with him. He did a good job,” Creech said. “It was his decision. Joe is looking at some new challenges, and I wish him all the best of luck.”
Approximately 150 youth will experience college life at the annual 4-H@UMaine event from 3 p.m. Friday, May 15 until 4:30 p.m. Saturday, May 16, at the University of Maine.
Youth ages 12–17 from 10 Maine counties will explore campus, stay overnight in residence halls, eat at dining halls, swim at the New Balance Recreation Center and attend workshops presented by UMaine professors. Workshop topics include team building through engineering, international diplomacy, forest discovery, astronomy exploration, dancing, learning French and making French pastry.
UMaine Extension 4-H sponsors 4-H@UMaine. More information is online.