University of Maine Professor of Political Science Amy Fried, in her Bangor Daily News blog Pollways, discusses the resurgence of culture, arts and educational quality in Bangor and says severe budget cuts proposed by the LePage administration in Augusta threaten to undermine the city’s success.
Maine Public Broadcasting Network aired the second part of a discussion about the value of a “tourism quality label” with Harold Daniel, associate professor of marketing in the Maine Business School at the University of Maine, and retired Bowdoin Professor David Vail. They said the increasingly common marketing tool that might be ascribed to certain hotels, restaurants and businesses that cater to tourists seems to be working well in other states.
The play “One Blue Tarp” written by Travis Baker, a University of Maine Department of English adjunct faculty member, has received the Best Play from the State of Maine award in the 2013 Clauder New England Playwright Competition, hosted by the Portland Stage Company. He’ll receive the award at a May 18 reception in Portland.
For more than two decades, the Clauder Competition has been New England’s most prestigious playwriting award, according to the Portland Stage Company. Thousands of entries are received and awards are given to the best overall work and by each of the six New England states. The award was created in 1981 to celebrate the distinctive voices of our region’s playwrights and to bring their work to the attention of the greater theatrical community, the company says.
“One Blue Tarp” is about a man in a coastal Maine town who decides to defend his right to have a pile of junk under a blue tarp in his front yard in an unorthodox manner — by sitting down. The play was first read as part of the Northern Writes Reading Series at Penobscot Theatre Company in 2010. It also was named a semifinalist for the prestigious Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Workshop in 2011.
Baker teaches creative writing and college composition at UMaine.
University of Maine Professor of History Howard Segal presented the annual James Brown Lecture to a general audience at the Center Theatre in Dover-Foxcroft Jan. 23 on “FDR and TVA: Promise and Disappointment.” The talk was cosponsored by the Thompson Free Library, Center Theatre and the Foxcroft Academy Social Studies Department.
The online maritime news website MarineLink.com has posted a University of Maine news release about the $4 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy to the UMaine Advanced Structures and Composites Center for continued research and development of a pilot offshore wind energy turbine system. The funding is expected to leverage as much as $93.2 million as the project evolves, according to Dagher.
The Bangor Daily News reported that University of Maine System Board of Trustees on Jan. 28 approved a $3.2 million project to renovate Estabrooke Hall at the University of Maine and convert the dormitory to a new “collaborative and active learning classroom” and create space for the UMaine Honors College, the newspaper said. Trustees also heard a report about from Habib Dagher, director of the university’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center, about the progress of UMaine’s offshore wind turbine project.
The 5th Annual Maine VEX Robotics Championship, a robotics competition for middle and high school students, will be held from 8 a.m.–4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2 at Cape Elizabeth Middle School, organized by the University of Maine Black Bear Robotics Club.
Upward of 30 student teams will begin arriving at 8 a.m. to begin practicing. They include teams from Cape Elizabeth High School, Erskine Academy in China, Frank H. Harrison Middle School in Yarmouth, Greely High School in Cumberland, John Bapst High School in Bangor, the Maine School of Science and Mathematics in Limestone, North Yarmouth Academy, United Technologies Center in Bangor and Yarmouth High School.
Opening ceremonies, featuring an address by Dana Humphrey, dean of the UMaine College of Engineering, will begin at 9:30 a.m.
The goal of the competition is to experience real-world engineering, and apply the math and science skills students learn in school. This year’s event is sponsored by the UMaine College of Engineering and Fairchild Semiconductor.
The Maine VEX Robotics Championship is registered with the international Robotics Education and Competition Foundation, which promotes robotics and technology in education. This year, there are 35 active robotics teams active in Maine, up from 29 last year.
In addition to the Maine teams, this year’s competition is expected to include one team each from Vermont and New Hampshire, and two from Massachusetts.
The public is invited to watch the competition. A video of a previous competition is online. For more information, contact VEX Planning Committee chair David Hart, a UMaine student majoring in electrical engineering, 207.838.3733.
The University of Maine School of Performing Arts will present the Silver Duo in concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, in Minsky Recital Hall on campus.
The Silver Duo — UMaine faculty members pianist Phillip and cellist Noreen Silver — will perform with special guest violinist Lydia Forbes. The program will include works for cello and piano by Debussy and Berwald, and the Trio in B flat Op. 21 by Antonin Dvorak.
The Silver Duo has performed throughout Europe, Israel, the United States and Scandinavia. Their imaginative programming, in which lesser-known masterpieces are given exposure alongside established repertoire favorites, has proven very popular and made them much in demand.
Lydia Forbes, a member of the DaPonte String Quartet, is an internationally renowned soloist and chamber music performer. She has performed throughout Europe and recorded with some of the world’s most prominent classical labels: Sony Classical, CNM and Harmonia Mundi.
Admission is $9; free for students with a MaineCard. For tickets or disability accommodations, call the Collins Center for the Arts, 207.581.1755.
The performance is supported in part by a grant from the UMaine Cultural Affairs/Distinguished Lecture Series.
Contact: Monique Hashey, 207.581.4721
Members of the University of Maine MBS (Maine Business School) Corps were interviewed for a Channel 2 (WLBZ) news report on volunteer assistance the group provided Aunt Nellie’s Attic, a thrift store in Holden that benefits the Hammond Street Senior Center in Bangor. Students shared knowledge about marketing, product placement, customer relations and other aspects of running a business as a way to help local communities and also apply lessons from the classroom to the real world. Channel 7 (WVII) also carried a story on the project on its Jan. 27 evening newscast.
Harold Daniel, associate professor of marketing in the Maine Business School, joined retired Bowdoin Professor David Vail and Maine Public Broadcasting Network’s Irwin Gratz for a news feature about the marketing potential of a “tourism quality label” that might be ascribed to certain hotels, restaurants and businesses that cater to tourists as a way to boost business.
In December, Associate Professor of Social Work Gail Werrbach was named as one of five members of the newly established Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission. She and the other commissioners — alumnus Matthew Dunlap, UMaine adjust instructor gkisedtanamoogk, Sandra White Hawk and Carol Wishcamper — will be seated in a ceremony Feb. 12 in Hermon. Maine’s truth and reconciliation commission, the first of its kind in the nation, will make recommendations on how the Maine child welfare system can work better with Wabanaki people.
The University of Maine women’s ice hockey team is raising money for the annual Hockey East Skating Strides Against Breast Cancer campaign. Team members have been selling pink paper pucks at UMaine sporting events and will hold an auction of their game-worn pink jerseys during their game at 7 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 2 against Boston College at the Harold Alfond Sports Arena. An autograph session for fans is planned after the game.
The eight-member conference-wide event raised a record $45,215 last year for the Friends of Mel Foundation, which distributes the funds to organizations throughout New England, including the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing in Lewiston, which received more than $8,000 from the UMaine fund drive. All proceeds from UMaine go directly to the Dempsey Center. For additional information, call 207.581.4849.
Kim Dao selected for the Maine Track Early Assurance program of Tufts University School of Medicine
Kimberly Dao is diligent about sleeping eight or nine hours of each night.
The University of Maine junior biology major knows sufficient shut-eye is important for memory, health, mood and energy level.
It’s also a time to dream.
And Dao, who was accepted at the end of her sophomore year into the Maine Track Early Assurance program of Tufts University School of Medicine, has a long list of goals to accomplish when she’s awake.
Dao, who is from Saco, Maine, is the 11th UMaine scholar accepted into the Maine Track program. She’ll enter Tufts Medical School in fall 2014, several months after she becomes part of the first generation of college graduates in her family.
Dao, who is the UMaine student body president and Class of 2014 president, earned a 3.97 grade-point average in the fall 2012 semester. Earning a 4.0 semester GPA is still on her bucket list.
So too is carving out more time to paint, attend concerts and improvisation shows, and become a better ukulele player. Dao’s days are packed and that’s the way she likes them.
In addition to pre-med classes that start at 8 a.m., labs, government meetings and office hours, she routinely works out at New Balance Recreation Center, plays on a club field hockey team, bicycles, cooks and participates in the Black Bear Mentors Program at Old Town Recreation.
The multitasker often studies while she eats. And she beams when she talks in rapid-fire fashion about the fun she is having, and her goals and plans for the future.
In a January meeting with her adviser, Farahad Dastoor, Dao, who speaks English and Vietnamese, says she wants to learn a third language, possibly French or Spanish.
Dastoor, a lecturer in the School of Biology and Ecology, describes Dao as a modest, genuine, focused, purposeful leader. And organized. “She has amazing time-management skills,” he says.
While achieving excellence appears effortless for the self-described eccentric, Dao says academics weren’t always easy. She says things started to click in school after she fell off a roof as a youngster and had staples put in her head.
“Looking back, that’s when my grades improved,” she laughs.
In 2010, Dao was a top 10 graduate at Thornton Academy, where she also excelled in a slew of sports, clubs and activities.
Dao plans to eventually practice family medicine in Maine, where her parents chose to settle after living in California, Virginia and New Hampshire.
Family medicine, Dao says, combines her love of healing and helping with the ability to have long-term physician-patient relationships.
At an early age, Dao was captivated by medical procedures. She says she was engrossed watching surgeries on medical shows while her peers were mostly just grossed out.
Bonding with others is also important to Dao. In middle school, she volunteered with Special Olympics and at a local nursing home.
She says she knew her interest in medicine was a calling when she got a taste of clinical experience in the emergency room at Southern Maine Medical Center in Biddeford and when she aided a UMaine friend having a diabetic seizure.
“His roommate pounded on my door,” she recalls.
Dao, who had already become a Certified Nursing Assistant at Biddeford Regional Center of Technology while she was in high school, took charge and injected her friend with glucagon.
She says she felt a surge of excitement and purpose handling the situation and thought, “This is what I’m meant to do.”
Dao will be able to fulfill her calling through the Maine Track curriculum.
Maine Medical Center in Portland partners with Tufts University Medical School to offer the unique program.
Maine Track Early Assurance annually reserves a limited number of seats for sophomores from University of Maine System institutions, Bowdoin, Bates and Colby. The program was established in 2008 — students were first admitted in 2009 — with the hope that a significant number of graduates would go on to practice medicine in Maine.
Dao will attend the bulk of her first two years of instruction at TUSM in Boston. For her third-year clerkship and some of her fourth-year rotations, she’ll gain clinical experience in rural practice, as well as training at a major tertiary medical center in Maine.
Dao says she’s excited about practicing medicine in Maine, and is looking forward to a world of opportunities, including travel.
“I’m interested in a lot of things,” she says. “I appreciate the little things. If I’m ever sad, I give myself five minutes to complain, then I go do something fun.”
In her quest to experience as much as possible, Dao utilizes weekends and vacations to read and study.
And summers. From June to August, Dao will take part in Semester at Sea, a study-abroad program sponsored by the University of Virginia. She’ll board the MV Explorer, a 24-000-ton “floating university” in London, England and learn about comparative civilizations while traveling to Morocco, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Malta, France, Spain and Portugal before returning to London.
She credits her parents’ work ethic and sacrifice with inspiring her to dream big and make the most of experiences.
Dao appreciates that her parents, Kevin and Mai, toiled six days a week at their small business to support her and her siblings. “My parents worked so hard,” she says. “I recognize I have a great opportunity.”
The George Mitchell Scholar also is grateful that others have financially supported her academic efforts, including her scholarship’s namesake, former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell.
“He’s my role model,” Dao says of the Waterville, Maine native and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient. “He is the epitome of the American dream. His support and support of others like him, is why I am here. And I love this place (UMaine). I’m excited to be here.”
One of her goals as student body president is to bring to students’ attention the incredible and varied resources, organizations and opportunities that exist on campus.
And she looks forward in the near future to being able to give a financial boost to other aspiring students.
“I’ll be able to help someone else and help their dreams comes true,” she says. “That’s a big deal to me.”