Accounting students in the Maine Business School at the University of Maine are offering free federal and state income tax filing assistance, under the supervision of Steven Colburn, associate professor of accounting.
Except for the weeks of March 2 and 9, free help sessions will be held 2-4:30 p.m. Thursdays, Feb. 6 to April 10 at 312 Corbett Business Building and noon to 3 p.m. Fridays, Jan. 31 to April 11 at the Orono Public Library, 39 Pine St.
Filers are asked to bring their tax information for 2013, including:
W-2 forms received from employer(s)
Documentation for other income, including interest, dividends or tax refunds received during 2013, if any
Information regarding deductions they hope to claim (property taxes, mortgage interest, student loan interest paid, etc.)
Social Security numbers for all dependents
Copies of 2012 federal tax and state income tax returns; a copy of the federal return is needed to electronically file the 2013 return
All filers’ information is treated confidentially. Colburn will review all tax returns before they are filed. People who receive assistance will get a printed copy of their state and federal tax returns.
Appointments, which generally last an hour, are required. To make an appointment, contact Colburn, 207.581.1982, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
The Bangor Daily News reported on the Big Gig and spoke to the first two winners of its pitch-off events. The Big Gig is designed to bring together Bangor-Orono area innovators and entrepreneurs and offer networking opportunities. It was started by a partnership between the University of Maine, Old Town, Orono and Husson University and is supported by Blackstone Accelerates Growth. UMaine students and married couple John and Christine Carney won the second pitch-off event for their business Through Thick and Thin, which offers quirky acrylic cupcake toppers, jewelry and ornaments. Christine Carney said it’s invaluable to get feedback from other entrepreneurs in a face-to-face setting. Sarah Newcomb, a doctoral student at UMaine who won the first pitch-off event for a phone app she developed, said the Big Gig event gave her the opportunity to get encouragement and specific next steps for her idea.
WABI (Channel 5) and WVII (Channel 7) spoke with Michael Wittmann, an associate professor of physics at the University of Maine, about a professional development course for science teachers called “Energy Theater.” The program is part of the Maine Physical Sciences Partnership, a collaboration between rural schools, nonprofits and the University of Maine, that aims to advance the teaching methods and learning of physical science in grades six through nine. Wittmann, the evening’s instructor, said hands-on learning gets everybody involved and is as interesting for teachers as it is for students.
Biomass Magazine reported on a new venture between Sierra Resins Inc. and Jason Bolton, a food safety specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Bolton is working with the company as a food safety consultant to advise them on remediation testing and food safety regulations related to the development of next-generation bioplastics for the food services and food processing industry using fisheries waste material.
WVII (Channel 7) spoke with University of Maine nursing student Shannon Lyons about her upcoming trip with other nursing majors to Belize during spring break. About 20 UMaine nursing students will take part in a 10-day medical volunteer program. Lyons called the trip a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and said it’s unbelievable to be able to gain clinical hours in a place like Belize.
Boston.com, Seacoast Online, Winnipeg Free Press and WLBZ (Channel 2) carried an Associated Press report on the performance of an offshore wind turbine prototype that was deployed last summer off Castine. Habib Dagher, director of the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center, said the 65-foot-tall turbine has performed as engineers expected even as the waves exceeded the platform’s design limits in November and December. The Free Press also reported the town of Bristol has appointed a Wind Power Advisory Committee that has created a website to inform residents on the offshore wind project proposed off Monhegan Island by Maine Aqua Ventus, which includes UMaine and partner companies.
WVII (Channel 7) reported on the University of Maine Museum of Art’s winter exhibitions that will open to the public on Jan. 17 and run through March 22. The exhibits, “From Piranesi to Picasso: Master Prints from the Permanent Collection,” Hannah Cole’s “Time’s Wife” and Kenny Cole’s “Parabellum (Prepare for War)” include art from Maine locals to famous artists such as Francisco Goya and Pablo Picasso. George Kinghorn, the museum’s director and curator, said some of the works UMMA is lucky to own are also owned by museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
The Maine Edge reported parents in the Orono and Old Town area will be able to encourage reading with “Literacy to Go” kits that include informational text, a storybook and a storyboard in a themed pizza box. The University of Maine Raymond H. Fogler Library in partnership with UMaine’s College of Education and Human Development, Old Town Elementary School and Old Town Public Library will train librarians how to use the kits to promote early literacy.
The Times Higher Education (London) published a weekly “From Where I Sit” column by Howard Segal, a history professor at the University of Maine. The article, titled “Demonisation and hatred,” focuses on the American Studies Association’s boycott of Israel.
Skylar Bayer, a marine biology graduate student at the University of Maine’s Darling Marine Center, will participate as a storyteller in The Story Collider event “Charting New Territory” Jan. 28 in Cambridge, Mass. During the live show, which may be recorded for later use as a podcast, Bayer and four other science enthusiasts will share stories about “charting the abyss and mapping the beyond — from inside ourselves to deep underwater.” The Story Collider is a group that believes everyone has a story about science and is dedicated to letting people share their stories to depict how science is important in all our lives.
The Center for Undergraduate Research (CUGR) has launched the Research Fellows Program, a new Blue Sky initiative to support University of Maine faculty efforts in promoting undergraduate research opportunities. Emerging from 2011 stimulus funding of CUGR as one of six initiatives through the 2011 Presidential Request for Visions of University Excellence (PRE-VUE) Program, this CUGR Research Fellows Program is intended to improve undergraduate research and scholarship mentoring skills, expand curricula to include research and scholarship experiences, and develop proposals for further funding specifically involving undergraduate students.
Twenty-three faculty members who were nominated by their deans to be CUGR Research Fellows will participate in the two-year development program. Workshops will focus on topics such as mentoring undergraduate students, funding sources, responsible conduct of research and grant writing. Each CUGR Research Fellow receives a modest stipend and one undergraduate assistant.
The CUGR Research Fellows are:
Laura Artesani, Associate Professor of Music
Dan Bilodeau, Assistant Professor of Theatre
Tim Bowden, Assistant Professor of Aquaculture
Steven Elmer, Assistant Professor of Kinesiology and Physical Education
Nuri Emanetoglu, Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Nick Giudice, Associate Professor of Spatial Information Sciences
Rob Glover, CLAS-Honors Preceptor and Assistant Professor of Political Science
Will Gramlich, Assistant Professor of Organic Chemistry
Hamish Greig, Associate Professor of Stream Ecology
Mark Haggerty, Associate Rezendes Preceptor for Civil Engagement
Sarah Harlan-Haughey, Assistant Professor of English and Assistant Professor of Honors
Kim Huisman, Associate Professor of Sociology
Karl Kreutz, Professor of Geological Sciences and Climate Change Institute
Jordan LaBouff, CLAS-Honors Preceptor and Assistant Professor of Psychology
Roberto Lopez-Anido, Professor of Civil Engineering
Benildo de los Reyes, Professor of Molecular Genetics
Shannon McCoy, Assistant Professor of Psychology
Reinhard Moratz, Associate Professor of Spatial Information Sciences
Balunkeswar Nayak, Assistant Professor of Food Processing
Brian Robinson, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Climate Change Institute
Mary Shea, Assistant Professor of Nursing
Ebru Ulusoy, Assistant Professor of Marketing
Faren Wolter, Lecturer
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745
For reports on fatal overdoses in Maine, the Bangor Daily News and Portland Press Herald cited research by Marcella Sorg, a medical and forensic anthropologist in the University of Maine’s Department of Anthropology, Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center and the Climate Change Institute. Sorg has been tracking drug-related death patterns in Maine with Margaret Greenwald, the state’s chief medical examiner, since 1997 and found heroin deaths in 2013 are likely to exceed those in 2012. Sorg also said drug abuse in Maine affects other aspects beyond overdoses such as number of arrests and treatment admissions for addicts.
Boston.com, WLBZ (Channel 2), WGME (Channel 13), San Antonio Express-News and News OK carried an Associated Press report about the University of Maine’s plans to deliver an update on the performance of its offshore wind turbine prototype that was deployed last summer off Castine. Habib Dagher, director of UMaine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center, is scheduled to speak Jan. 16 about the 65-foot-tall turbine at the University of Southern Maine. The Maine Public Utilities Commission voted Jan. 15 to approve the terms of an agreement between the state and Maine Aqua Ventus, which includes UMaine and partner companies, granting initial approval for the consortium’s offshore wind pilot project. The Bangor Daily News also published an editorial on the project titled “Maine’s offshore wind project is worth the risk.”
The Bangor Daily News reported John Patches, executive director of the Collins Center for the Arts at the University of Maine, announced he will retire effective Jan. 31. Patches, 70, has been the head of the center since 1992 and said he is retiring to spend more time with family in Maine and California.
Slate published an opinion piece on net neutrality by Michael Socolow, an associate professor in the Department of Communication and Journalism at the University of Maine. The article focuses on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals decision to strike down the FCC’s network neutrality rule that would make it illegal for cable and phone companies to block sites to users.
The Maine Edge reported on the dedication of the University of Maine’s new Innovative Media Research and Commercialization (IMRC) Center in the renovated Stewart Commons on campus. The center is home to UMaine’s Department of New Media and the MFA in Intermedia Program, and is also available to Maine entrepreneurs. The program was led by Jeff Hecker, UMaine’s executive vice president for academic affairs and provost.
Maine Insights magazine reported on the progress of a marine protection bill put forward by Rep. Mick Devin of Newcastle who is also a researcher at the University of Maine’s Darling Marine Center. Devin’s bill proposes the establishment on a commission to look at the effects of ocean acidification and its potential effects on commercial shellfish harvested along Maine’s coast.
The Maine Edge reported on research on the sexual selection of birds conducted by Brian Olsen, assistant professor in the University of Maine’s School of Biology and Ecology and Climate Change Institute. Olsen found when looking for a mate, female coastal plain swamp sparrows choose males with large bills. He also found small-billed males are more at risk of being cheated on by their mates.
Jamal Sanad Al-Suwaidi was recently awarded the United Arab Emirates Head of State Merit Award in recognition of his patriotism and achievements. United Arab Emirates president H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan presented Al-Suwaidi with the award in December 2013. Al-Suwaidi is the director general of the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) in Abu Dhabi and a professor of political science at the United Arab Emirates University in Al-Ain. He has been a University of Maine School of Policy and International Affairs board member since 2007 and has served as director general at two conferences in Abu Dhabi co-hosted by the school and paid for by the ECSSR. Al-Suwaidi said winning the award is an honor that fills him with pride for his home country. More information on the award and the UMaine School of Policy and International Affairs is available online.
John Patches, the longtime director of the University of Maine Collins Center for the Arts, has announced he will retire effective Jan. 31 in order to spend more time with his family. Patches will be dividing his time between Maine and California to be with his grandson. Recognition of Patches’ 22-year legacy and role in Maine’s cultural arts will be held in the fall in conjunction with the Collins Center for the Arts Annual Gala.
“Under John’s direction, the Collins Center has become a cultural focal point in the state and region,” says Janet Waldron, senior vice president for administration and finance. “We appreciate his passion for the arts and his service to UMaine. He will be missed.”
Patches has been a member of the UMaine community since 1992, first as director of the then-named Maine Center for the Arts. In 1999, he also was named UMaine’s associate dean of cultural affairs and, in 2002, was named executive director of the Collins Center.
Patches came to UMaine from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where he spent more than a decade as the associate director of the Fine Arts Center.
He has served on the boards of the Association of College, University and Community Arts Administrators, and of the Atlantic Presenters Association. His awards include the 2009 Vincent Hartgen Award and the 2006 Wilma Award at UMaine, and the 2003 Professional Presenters Award from the Atlantic Presenters Association.
Patches is the second director of the Collins Center/Maine Center for the Arts since its opening in 1986.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745