Today the U.S. Department of Energy announced the selection of finalists for the next phase of its Advanced Technology Demonstration Program. The University of Maine’s offshore wind project known as New England Aqua Ventus was selected fourth and is an alternate.
Three of the six projects, all of which are at 50 percent completion, were awarded full grants to move to the next stage, which includes the completion to 100 percent design and engineering.
The DOE noted that Maine’s VolturnUS technology, which currently is successfully in use on a pilot scale near Castine, was highly favorable and innovative, and “with additional engineering and design, will further enhance the properties of American offshore wind technology options.” The DOE has indicated it will continue to work with UMaine to advance the design to deployment readiness.
UMaine’s New England Aqua Ventus project will remain an alternate for the DOE Advanced Technology Demonstration Program, should additional federal funding become available.
In the coming year, UMaine will use the DOE funding to complete the R&D and to consider the path forward, according to Jake Ward, University of Maine Vice President for Innovation and Economic Development.
“The University of Maine remains enthusiastic about the opportunities from the VolturnUS technology to tap into the largest sources of renewable energy in Maine,” Ward says. ”The winds in the Gulf of Maine are still there. The need for economical, environmentally sustainable renewable energy that can create local and U.S. jobs is still an important goal for Maine and the United States. The extensive work that the UMaine lead team has completed is very important to meeting these goals.”
Contact: Jennifer O’Leary, 207.515.3341
The University of Maine has been named the most desirable college in the state, according to a Business Insider article. The higher-education information website eCollegeFinder created a map showing the most desirable college in each state based on the number of applications the institutions received this year. The map was created with data from the National Center for Education Statistics, according to the article.
Robert G. Walsh has been named University of Maine men’s basketball head coach by Director of Athletics Karlton Creech, effective May 7.
Walsh comes to UMaine with nearly 20 years of highly successful Division I and Division III coaching experience. Most recently, for nine seasons he was head coach at Division III power Rhode Island College. Under Walsh’s leadership, the Anchormen posted an overall record of 204–63 (.764 winning percentage) and made eight straight trips to the NCAA Division III Tournament.
Prior to guiding Rhode Island College, for seven years Walsh was an assistant coach at Division I Providence College. In his seven seasons at Providence, the Friars’ record was 182–146 (.555). In 2004, Providence attained the highest NCAA tournament seed in the school’s history (No. 5) and the highest national ranking in 25 years (No. 12). That year, as well as in 2000, Providence posted its best Big East record of 11–5. Walsh led Providence to four 20-win seasons, two regular season league championships and six post-season appearances.
“I am excited to welcome Coach Bob Walsh to the Black Bear family,” says Creech. “His time at Rhode Island College has been the most successful in the history of the program. In addition to his head coaching experience, Bob has 11 years of experience as a Division I assistant at Providence College, the University of San Diego and Iona College. Bob is a true student and teacher of the game of basketball, and shares his passion for leadership through his Dynamic Leadership Academy. Coach Walsh is highly respected in the college basketball community and ready for the challenge of leading and rebuilding UMaine’s Division I program.”
The UMaine search committee, led by Seth Woodcock, UMaine associate athletic director for development, was charged with finding a candidate who had substantial and successful head coaching experience, substantial experience at the Division I level, New England recruiting connections, and the proven ability to build and maintain a high-achieving college basketball program with an emphasis on and record of academic achievement.
“Bob Walsh is a perfect fit to lead our men’s basketball program,” Woodcock says. “He is a proven winner with a successful system built on the principles of accountability, trust, commitment and good old-fashioned hard work. His blue-collar work ethic, steadfast character, toughness and drive to succeed will resonate with our fans and community, and — most importantly — motivate and position our student-athletes to achieve their goals, both on and off the court. I couldn’t be more excited about Bob being named our next head coach and about the future of UMaine basketball under his leadership.”
Walsh earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Hamilton College in 1994 and a master’s degree in mass communications from Iona College two years later.
He will fill the position vacated by Ted Woodward, whose contract was ended April 14. On May 6, Walsh’s four-year contract was finalized. He will receive an annual salary of $100,000 in the first year, with a $5,000 increase in each of the next two years, and a $10,000 increase in the fourth year, bringing his annual salary to $120,000, effective July 1, 2017.
“I’m excited to begin the challenge of establishing a championship culture at the University of Maine as the leader of the men’s basketball program,” Walsh says. “I can’t wait to be a part of the excellent academic and athletic culture at UMaine, and to embrace the energy and passion of the community.”
News of Walsh’s move to UMaine brought comments from a number of his colleagues and former players. Among them:
Providence College Athletic Director Bob Driscoll: “Coach Walsh is one of the most well-rounded coaches I have worked with in 38 years of college athletics. He is an ‘architect’ that understands how to build a foundation that will sustain long-term success on and off the court.”
Columbia University head men’s basketball coach Kyle Smith: “Bob Walsh is one of the most intellectually curious coaches in the college game. He is not afraid to take on different challenges and always finds a way to be a part of winning. The University of Maine will benefit greatly from his hard work, determination and ultra-competitive spirit. A true winner on and off the court.”
Former Providence College All-American Ryan Gomes: “Coach Walsh is one of my favorite coaches that has ever coached me. Maine has hired a great guy who (is) going to challenge his players on and off the court. Glad he’s got an opportunity to show what he can do with a Division I program.”
Providence College head men’s basketball coach Ed Cooley: “Bob is a great teacher and student of the game. His team will compete at a high level and be a tough out.”
BOB WALSH — BY THE NUMBERS
2007, 2009, 2013 Little East Coach of the Year
2007, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014 Rhode Island Sportswriters Coach of the Year
2012 Rhode Island College Alumni Association Staff Person of the Year
HEAD COACH — RHODE ISLAND COLLEGEYEAR RECORD ACHIEVEMENTS 2013–14 20–9 LEC Tournament Champions — NCAA 1st Round 2012–13 26–4 LEC Reg. Season/Tourn. Champs — NCAA 2nd Round 2011–12 23–7 NCAA Tournament — 2nd Round 2010–11 21–8 LEC Reg. Season/Tourn. Champs — NCAA Sweet 16 2009–10 22–8 LEC Reg. Season/Tourn. Champs — NCAA Sweet 16 2008–09 23–6 LEC Reg. Season Champs — NCAA First Round 2007–08 23–7 LEC Tourn. Champs — NCAA Second Round 2006–07 27–4 LEC Reg. Season/Tourn. Champs — NCAA Elite 8 2005–06 19–10 ECAC Finalist
9 YEARS 204–63 (.764)
33–12 (.731) post-season record
21–3 LEC Tournament record
10–8 NCAA Tournament record — 8 straight NCAA Tournaments — 1 of 5 teams in the country
Appeared in eight straight LEC Tournament Championship games — LEC record
First tournament game appearances in school history
First outright Little East Championships in school history
2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013 Regular Season Champions
2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014 Tournament Champions
Two wins over Division I teams
RIC 71, Iona 62 — Nov. 4, 2006
RIC 61, Holy Cross 60 — Nov. 1, 2007
Sam Schonfeld Team Sportsmanship Award (2007) — Awarded by basketball officials
Best season start in school history — 15–1, 2006–07
Longest winning streak in school history — 14, 2008–09
Highest final national ranking in school history — No. 11, 2006–07
Hosted NCAA Tournament for first time in school history in 2007, as well as in 2009, 2013, 2014
Every week in September, University of Maine business management major William “Nick” Smith has been on campus taking classes and participating in student organizations. But come Friday afternoon, he was on the road, driving 90 miles south to Bull Run Farm in the small coastal town of Cushing, Maine. Overlooking a brook lined by lush fields of vegetables, he spent his weekend filling 700-pound totes with the fall harvest he has grown — pumpkins, buttercup squash and sunshine squash — to sell in the area. When Sunday night rolled around, he packed up his truck again and headed north to Orono.
September was always a long month for Smith, but the fourth-generation Maine farmer wouldn’t have had it any other way.
The money Smith has made in the past five years from selling his produce, coupled with a handful of scholarships, has been enough to pay the balance of his tuition — something he has been saving for since he was 12 years old. He’ll graduate from the University of Maine this month with no debt.
Smith, 21, grew up “ingrained” with the black bear mascot, knowing he always wanted to come to UMaine. On campus, Smith has been a student leader as a member of Alpha Lambda Delta and Sophomore Owls honor societies; a UMaine Student Government Inc., senator and vice president of student organizations; vice president of the Class of 2014; and president of the Senior Skull honor society.
Throughout his academic excellence and community engagement at UMaine, Smith has kept true to his goal of applying all he has learned to his family farm, which he will manage once he graduates. Whether it’s his small-business economics class or learning to live in a dorm, Smith utilized every opportunity he had to make his college career the best it could be. And he doesn’t plan to stop using those opportunities.
When Smith graduated high school, his father asked him to start on the farm. But Smith knew he had to get an education first. At UMaine, he majored in business and now not only knows how to keep track of his finances, but also has a few new ideas on how to run his farm.
“I’ll take a few more risks, (because) if you don’t take risks you get left in the dust,” he said. “College taught me to be more open-minded. It was more about learning about life and people. At the end of the day, we’re all human. Just appreciating everyone, not ruling people out because of a social issue.”
One of Smith’s goals at UMaine was to meet as many people as possible. The hundreds of new people he has met as a member of the university community have informed his business perspective on the products his customers will want in the future and, in many cases, have resulted in friendships that will last a lifetime.
Growing up on a farm, Smith says, “taught me to live small, taught me to live within my means. On a farm, if you don’t put labor in, you don’t get your three squares a day. You learn a lot of work ethic on a farm.”
Going above and beyond applies to Smith’s life. His father taught him to always give his customers a little extra per pound.
“It doesn’t hurt. You just want to make sure you’re fair,” he says. “That’s who people want to do business with — someone who is above and beyond fair.”
Taking over Bull Run Farm, which his father started in 1975, will be an education in itself for Smith. He will move from the vegetable division to manage the entire farm — beef, vegetables and hay. But feeling prepared by the Maine Business School, Smith is excited.
“It’s a little odd having friends who already have jobs set up to make $65,000 to $67,000 a year,” he says. “But I have no debt. I can eat all of the food that I grow. It will be a crude lifestyle for a little bit, but it’s going to pan out because I’m motivated to do it.
“If I don’t do it, who will?”
Robert Kates, Presidential Professor of Sustainability Science at the University of Maine’s Climate Change Institute, was interviewed for a Portland Press Herald article about the newly released National Climate Assessment report, which found global warming is already affecting life in Maine and other New England states. Kates, who is a coauthor of the report’s northeastern states section, told the Press Herald many people see beach erosion as the most pressing threat for Maine’s coastal communities, while officials are often more concerned about aging or inadequate culverts to deal with the increasing number of severe storms. “The culvert problem is real,” said Kates, who has worked with UMaine’s Sustainability Solutions Initiative to help communities develop long-term culvert plans.
WVII (Channel 7) reported therapy dogs from Silent Sidekicks visited University of Maine students at the Doris Twitchell Allen Village (DTAV) to alleviate stress during finals week. Another therapy dog session is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 7, the report states.
To help with the high volume of traffic expected in the area Saturday, May 10 for the 212th Commencement ceremonies, the Black Bear Orono Express will have two shuttle buses operating between Orono and UMaine, with a stop on Gym Drive. On campus, six other shuttles will run between Alfond Sports Arena and five parking lots — Collins Center for the Arts, Belgrade, Steam Plant, Hilltop and Buchanan Alumni House.
James Dill, a pest management specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, spoke with WLBZ (Channel 2) for a report about state officials trying to determine the potential negative effects the winter moth could have on crops this year. Experts say the moths lay eggs near the buds of many plants, including ones that can bear fruit. Once the eggs hatch in the spring, the new moths feed on the buds, causing noticeable damage to crops, according to the report. Dill cited apples, cranberries and blueberries as potential crops of concern. He said with a late spring, such as the one we’re having this year, it takes buds longer to break, which allows the moths to do more damage to multiple bud clusters.
The South Portland-Cape Elizabeth Sentry reported Southern Maine Community College’s Horticulture Department has partnered with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension to allow students to grow newly developed varieties of vegetables and flowers as part of a national program to introduce new plants to home gardeners. The students are growing the plants from seeds that were made available to the public for the first time this year, the article states. All-America Selections, a nonprofit organization that tests new varieties of seeds, chose UMaine Extension to showcase the plants at its Tidewater Farm display garden in Falmouth. UMaine Extension then asked SMCC to grow the plants in the college’s greenhouse until they’re ready to be transplanted to the display garden.
The University of Maine Pulp & Paper Foundation’s 64th annual Paper Days was mentioned in a Mainebiz feature on Jennifer Miller, executive vice president and chief sustainability officer of Sappi Fine Paper North America’s coated business. Miller was a keynote speaker at this year’s event that brings together UMaine students, faculty and professionals in the pulp and paper industry to discuss how to better prepare students for careers in the field by focusing on opportunities for students with strong backgrounds in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. At Paper Days, Miller spoke about “What you need in order to be successful in the global marketplace.”
A University of Maine study was cited in a Bangor Daily News Consumer Forum article titled, “Waste is not a terrible thing to mind: Learn how to get the most out of compost.” The study determined that about 38 percent of all municipal solid waste thrown out in Maine could be composted instead of added to landfills.
Students, teachers and parents from Fort Fairfield and Central Aroostook middle schools will visit the University of Maine on Tuesday, May 6 to take part in a daylong event that makes connections between engineering and animal science.
The event, which is a makeup session for some schools that were registered for this year’s Expanding Your Horizons conference that was canceled due to weather, is hosted by the Women’s Resource Center on campus as part of the Maine Girls Collaborative Project (MGCP). MGCP is a member of the National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP) that aims to support educators and organizations working to encourage girls to pursue careers in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
Throughout the day, more than 30 students will be introduced to a variety of engineering careers in nontraditional ways, such as how engineering can be related to working with horses.
Participants will start the day at Witter Farm where Robert Causey, an associate professor of animal and veterinary sciences, and Elizabeth Carpenter, a dairy herdsperson for UMaine farms, will speak about UMaine’s work with retired race horses that live at the farm. The horses are cared for by UMaine animal science majors. A companion program uses the dynamics studied in engineering to assess the safety of racetracks. The program is an example of an emerging career field in the intersection between biological sciences and engineering. While at the farm, students will participate in workshops on anatomy and forces/dynamics, and be able to meet the animal science majors and horses.
Other activities planned include a gender equity workshop at the Women’s Resource Center, tours at the Advanced Structures and Composites Center and a hands-on robotics workshop.
Students from Greely Middle School in Cumberland participated in a similar event on May 2.
These stellar seniors — hailing from rural Maine to Canada and China — share their UMaine experiences. Learn about their research, community service and world travels, and their plans for a very promising future.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745Jinlun Bai Finn Bondeson Ariel Bothen Meaghan Bradica Jennifer Chalmers Dilasha Dixit Kayla Jones Theresa McMannus Janelle Tinkler Chi Truong Sierra Ventura
The University of Maine’s 212th Commencement will be held May 10 in Harold Alfond Sports Arena on campus.
Held in two ceremonies at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., the university’s Commencement is one of Maine’s largest graduation events. An estimated 1,660 students — undergraduates, master’s and doctoral — are expected to participate in the event.
Both ceremonies are ticketed events. All students marching were offered up to five guest tickets. Live streaming of the ceremonies will be available online for friends and family worldwide. In addition, live streaming of both ceremonies can be viewed on a big screen in the Bear’s Den in the Memorial Union on campus.
For the second consecutive year, in keeping with UMaine’s leadership as a nationally recognized “Green campus,” each graduating student attending one of the ceremonies will receive a digital Commencement program on a commemorative 2GB USB flash drive. The full program will contain the names of all degree-earning undergraduate and graduate students, as well as a welcome message from the University of Maine Alumni Association.
At the ceremonies, an abbreviated print version of the program will be available for audience members. The Commencement website that day will feature the full program with the names of all graduating students.
The 10 a.m., ceremony is for graduating students in two colleges: Liberal Arts and Sciences; and Education and Human Development. Joining them will be students graduating from the Maine Business School and the Division of Lifelong Learning.
The 2:30 p.m., ceremony is for graduates in the College of Engineering and the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry and Agriculture.
The honorary degree recipients and Commencement speakers will be two icons in literature and music in Maine — international best-selling author Tess Gerritsen of Camden and singer-songwriter David Mallett of Sebec. Mallett will address the 10 a.m. ceremony; Gerritsen will address the 2:30 p.m. ceremony.
This year’s valedictorian and salutatorian are Sierra Ventura of Belfast, Maine, and Jennifer Chalmers of Foxborough, Mass., respectively. Ventura will receive a bachelor’s degree in music education. Chalmers will receive two bachelor’s degrees in English and in history. She has majored in English and history, with minors in education and Spanish, and received highest honors for her thesis.
Also being honored at Commencement and at a Faculty Appreciation and Recognition Luncheon that day are four faculty members in marine sciences, electrical and computer engineering, and computing and information science.
Mary Jane Perry, professor of oceanography and interim director of UMaine’s Darling Marine Center, is the 2014 Distinguished Maine Professor, an award presented by the University of Maine Alumni Association in recognition of outstanding achievement in the university’s mission of teaching, research and public service.
J. Malcolm Shick, professor of zoology and oceanography, is the recipient of the 2014 Presidential Outstanding Teaching Award; School of Computing and Information Science Professor M. Kate Beard-Tisdale is the 2014 Presidential Research and Creative Achievement Award; and the 2014 Presidential Public Service Achievement Award recipient it Bruce Segee, professor of electrical and computer engineering, and director of the University of Maine System Advanced Computing Group.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745