The Associated Press reported the Maine Public Utilities Commission is scheduled to vote Tuesday, Jan. 14 on whether to grant initial approval for a state contract to Maine Aqua Ventus, which includes the University of Maine and partner companies. Maine Aqua Ventus is seeking to build two turbines off the coast of Monhegan Island for its pilot offshore wind project. The Portland Press Herald, Boston.com, Seymour Tribune, WLBZ (Channel 2) and The Republic were among news organizations to carry the AP report.
The Bangor Daily News and the Portland Press Herald reported seventh-grader Oliver Wahlstrom of Yarmouth, Maine, has committed to play hockey at the University of Maine, making him the youngest player to commit to an NCAA college hockey program. When Wahlstrom was nine years old, he became an Internet sensation for making a shootout goal during a skills competition hosted by the Boston Bruins. Wahlstrom said he chose UMaine because he likes the campus, training facilities and coaches, as well as the outdoors. Wahlstrom’s father, Joakim Wahlstrom, is a former Black Bear forward.
Village Soup’s The Republican Journal reported one of the University of Maine Museum of Art’s January exhibitions will feature work by Monroe, Maine resident Kenny Cole. The exhibits will open to the public on Jan. 17 and run through March 22. The three exhibits are Kenny Cole’s “Parabellum (Prepare for War);” Hannah Cole’s “Time’s Wife;” and “From Piranesi to Picasso: Master Prints from the Permanent Collection.”
University of Maine students, faculty, staff and alumni are taking part in the Orono Community Theatre’s production of “Proof,” a psychological drama, that will be performed in the Cyrus Pavilion Theatre on campus.
UMaine alumna and Orono Community Theatre Director Sandy Cyrus will direct the production. “Proof” will be the first play Cyrus has directed in the theater since 1994, when the building was named after her late husband and former UMaine theatre professor Edgar Allan “Al” Cyrus.
The cast is composed of Dick Brucher, a professor in and chair of the UMaine English Department; Jennifer Hancock, a current UMaine student; and Hailey and Joel Crabtree, UMaine alumni.
The production team includes stage manager Kaleigh Knights, a UMaine student; scenic designer Deb Puhl, a UMaine alumna; costume designer Hannah Cyrus; and assistant stage manager Andrea Littlefield, communications and program coordinator of Maine EPSCoR.
“Proof” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 16–18, 24 and 25; and at 2 p.m. Jan. 19 and 26. Tickets are $12, $6 for students with a valid MaineCard, and are sold in advance at Orono Pharmacy and at the door 30 minutes before each show.
Members of the University of Maine community are reminded that the inclement weather policy is online (umaine.edu/weatherpolicy), complete with the best options for getting up-to-date information about delays and class cancellations.
For the most timely notification of weather-related class cancellations or postponements, members of the University of Maine community are strongly encouraged to sign up for text and/or email message alerts (umaine.edu/emergency).
Notifications also are posted on the UMaine website (umaine.edu) and portal; in FirstClass folders (Announcements & Alerts; Provost/Academic Affairs and UMaine Forum); and on University of Maine Facebook (facebook.com/universityofmaine) and Twitter (twitter.com/umainenews). These notification options are considered the most reliable options.
In addition, updates can be heard by calling 581.SNOW (1.800.581.SNOW outside the local area), with early morning notifications recorded by 6 a.m., and others made throughout the day. Local media also are notified of UMaine’s weather-related cancellations and delays.
WVII (Channel 7) and WABI (Channel 5) reported on the dedication of the University of Maine’s new Innovative Media Research and Commercialization (IMRC) Center at the renovated Stewart Commons on the UMaine campus. The IMRC Center is home to UMaine’s Department of New Media and the MFA in Intermedia Program and is available to Maine entrepreneurs. Owen Smith, director of the center and the MFA in Intermedia Program; Larry Latour, chair of the New Media Department; and Jeff Hecker, the executive vice president for academic affairs and provost, spoke to reporters about the importance of the center and what it provides to students, faculty and the community.
The Bangor Daily News spoke with Ben McNaboe, a senior music education major at the University of Maine, about the upcoming School of Performing Arts fundraiser show he created and organized. On Jan. 17 McNaboe will lead about 90 musicians and vocalists in a student-produced show titled “An Evening of Rodgers and Hammerstein Classics.” It will be the largest student-run performing arts production at UMaine in more than a decade, the BDN reports. McNaboe said he chose the music of Rodgers and Hammerstein because “the audience for their music is huge” and “all generations can relate to it.”
Robert Steneck, a marine scientist at the University of Maine, was quoted in a Huffington Post blog post titled “Shrimp down, lobster up: Is there a connection?” Warming temperatures are leading to a thriving lobster population in the Gulf of Maine while lobster numbers are declining farther south, according to the report. Steneck said the shift is happening because warming waters in the area have aided the lobster boom, but he worries if temperatures get too warm — above 20 C (68 F) — the area could become too stressful for lobster.
SB Nation College Hockey, CBS Sports, NESN, Diehard Sport and Examiner.com reported seventh-grader Oliver Wahlstrom of Yarmouth, Maine has committed to play college hockey at the University of Maine. Wahlstrom is the youngest player to commit to an NCAA college hockey program and won’t be able to attend the university until the fall of 2019, according to the reports. At nine years old, Wahlstrom became an Internet sensation when he made a shootout goal in a skills competition hosted by the Boston Bruins.
Research from the Maine Folklife Center at the University of Maine was cited in the latest entry of the Portland Press Herald blog, “The Root: Dispatches from Maine’s food sources.” The post, titled “The Beans of Maine,” stated according to the Maine Folklife Center’s foodways research, Maine’s Saturday bean suppers originated from the pilgrims, who would cook enough so they would not have to cook on the Sabbath. The beans cooked all day Saturday, and were eaten for dinner that night and the next morning.
Kate Garland, horticulturist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, spoke with WABI (Channel 5) for a report on the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association wanting a presence in Penobscot County. To test community interest, the group is hosting a Stone Soup Social Jan. 11 where members are invited to bring chopped vegetables to add to a pot of soup. Garland said the event’s purpose is to gather enough interested people to determine if setting up a Penobscot County chapter would be a viable option and to find out what educational and social activities people are interested in.
The University of Maine School of Performing Arts’ presentation of “Ein deutsches Requiem” by Johannes Brahms has been rescheduled for 7:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 20 in the 900-seat Hampden Academy Performing Arts Center in Hampden.
Retiring Professor Ludlow Hallman will conduct the Oratorio Society Concert, which is dedicated to the memory of those killed during the December 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Jan. 20 was chosen as the new concert date in tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. Kelly Scheetz, soprano; and Justin Zang, baritone, will be soloists.
Brahms’ Opus 45 is a prayer for the souls of the departed. “Brahms’ text addresses those who are left behind, with words of comfort and consolation,” Hallman says. “It is a very personal and heartfelt master work. He envisioned it as a work for all of humanity, transcending specific religious belief or nationality.”
Hallman has conducted the University Orchestra, an auditioned group of 45 musicians, and the Oratorio Society, a mixed choral ensemble of community members and university students. He has also directed the Opera Workshop, chaired UMaine’s Music Department and served as resident director of the New England Universities in Salzburg program — which was the immersion training for students of German. In addition, he has conducted and directed music for multiple operas and musical comedies and served as assistant conductor of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra.
Admission is $10, free with a student MaineCard. For tickets or disability accommodations, call 207.581.1755. Tickets will also be available at the door prior to the performance.
The University of Maine is launching an innovative leadership program that will prepare a group of faculty from across the campus to serve as ambassadors to Maine communities and constituents. The Blue Sky Faculty Fellows Program will help to strengthen UMaine’s contributions to the state by building a network of faculty leaders who can communicate the importance of UMaine, and build stronger bridges to people and organizations across the state.
The six-month program will provide training in media relationships, interpersonal communication, audience analysis and partnership building. As part of the program, the Faculty Fellows will participate in a state-of-the-art communication and engagement training in conjunction with representatives from Stony Brook University’s Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. Combining theater improv techniques with communication training, the experience will help participants communicate about UMaine and their own work with passion and confidence.
Laura Lindenfeld, Associate Professor of Communication and Journalism and the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center, proposed and designed the program in conjunction with Jake Ward, Vice President for Innovation and Economic Development, and Judy Ryan, Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Administration, in order to create better pathways for making UMaine’s work matter more to the state.
“The program is designed to get faculty members and researchers more connected with Maine communities,” Lindenfeld said. “The Blue Sky Faculty Fellows Program will help us bridge boundaries and create stronger connections between our university and the state. We already do so much for the state, but we can do more. Getting a creative, entrepreneurial group of professors together through this program is a remarkable opportunity to increase our ability to help businesses, industries, and citizens. I want this program to help us make a tangible difference, and that is so inspirational and exciting.”
From engineering to marine sciences to art history, the program includes 20 outstanding faculty members who will learn about contemporary issues in Maine. The program will prepare them to make their own research more engaged and relevant to the issues in Maine.
Kathleen Bell, Associate Professor of Economics, was selected to participate in the program. She hopes to gain knowledge, skills, and experiences that will help her advance as a leader, researcher, and community member.
“I adore living in Maine and working at UMaine,” Bell said. “This program really presents me with a unique opportunity to understand the shared histories of Maine and UMaine, and to participate actively in their shared future.”
Ali Abedi, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, will also participate in the program and hopes that it can bring about new connections between the state and the university.
“The University of Maine has been playing a pivotal role in Maine’s economy and improving people’s lives for a long period of time, but it is often hard to clearly link the research activities and their impact to the State’s quality of life and show the importance of investing in educating the next generation of students,” Abedi said. “The Blue Sky Faculty Fellows Program is a great way for UMaine faculty to get trained in how to communicate their research with Maine’s stakeholders in a language that is clear, concise and to the point.”
Lindenfeld and the UMaine administration will be running monthly training sessions with faculty this spring semester and plan to make the program a cornerstone training initiative at the university. The program, funded in large part from the Office of President Paul Ferguson, clearly aligns with the vision and strategies of the University of Maine’s strategic plan, the Blue Sky Project.
“Part of our job as faculty members at a land and sea grant institution is to create a shared vision with the state and find ways to connect our efforts in research and teaching with the daily lives of Mainers,” Lindenfeld said. “This is a big responsibility that we bear, and my aspiration in designing this program was to help us increase our ability to address the needs of people right here at home. We hope this program is a big step in that direction and are so excited to have launched the Blue Sky Faculty Fellows.”
The Blue Sky Faculty Fellows Program will hold its first training session Jan. 14 at UMaine’s Foster Center for Student Innovation.
The Blue Sky Faculty Fellows
Associate Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Associate Professor, School of Economics
Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Sociology
Associate Professor, Department of Political Science
Assistant Professor in Management, Maine Business School
Associate Research Professor, Center for Research and Education & Maine Education Policy Research Institute
Research Assistant Professor, School of Marine Sciences
Associate Professor of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, School of Forest Resources
E.L. Giddings Associate Professor of Forest Policy, School of Forest Resources
Associate Professor, Department of English
Director of Academic Programs, Innovation Engineering
Professor, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering
Director of the Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Engineering
Mauricio Pereira da Cunha
Associate Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Associate Professor, Department of Political Science
Associate Director and Professor, Climate Change Institute, and School of Biology and Ecology
Associate Professor, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition
Associate Professor, Department of Education and Human Development
Research Professor of Marine Sciences
Associate Professor of Forest Biometrics and Modeling, and Irving Chair of Forest Ecosystem Management, School of Forest Resources
Associate Professor, Department of Art
Associate Professor, School of Marine Sciences
Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745
Phys.org 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.
Frank Wertheim, an agriculture and horticulture extension educator with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, was interviewed by The Village for a feature article on himself and his work with Cooperative Extension. Wertheim said the best part of his job is “creating programs and working with a community of volunteers, farmers and the farming community, and engaging others.”
The Maine Edge published an article previewing the University of Maine Museum of Art’s winter exhibits that will open to the public on Jan. 17 and run through March 22. The three exhibits are Hannah Cole’s “Time’s Wife;” Kenny Cole’s “Parabellum (Prepare for War);” and “From Piranesi to Picasso: Master Prints from the Permanent Collection.”
Renewable Energy News reported the Maine Public Utilities Commission will consider a long-term energy contract for a proposed offshore wind project by Maine Aqua Ventus, which includes the University of Maine and partner companies. Regulators will deliberate the project’s proposed term sheet Jan. 14.
The University of Maine in collaboration with the Greater Bangor Area NAACP will celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr. with events including a march, lunch and panel discussion from 12:30 to 5 p.m. Jan. 20.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Day events will kick off at 12:30 p.m. with a march starting at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King Memorial Plaza that will be led by the Black Student Union, a University of Maine student organization.
Lunch will be served at 1 p.m. in the Bangor Room of the Memorial Union and music will be provided by the singing group Voices for Peace. After lunch and opening remarks, a panel will discuss “What Would King do? Lessons for Today” followed by a question-and-answer period and small group discussions on the ways King inspires hope for change individually and throughout the world.
All events are free and open to the public.
The University of Maine’s Target Technology Incubator was named the winner of the Maine State Merit Award by the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) in its announcement of the 2014 New England Higher Education Excellence Award winners. The six state merit awards — one for each New England state — are given to individuals, programs, organizations, institutions or businesses that exemplify excellence in promoting college readiness and success for students. The Target Technology Incubator houses UMaine researchers and private sector technology firms and provides an environment for business development and commercialization. The NEBHE will hold its 12th annual award ceremony March 7 in Boston.
The University of Maine will dedicate its new Innovative Media Research and Commercialization (IMRC) Center with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and an afternoon conference celebrating innovation and the state’s creative economy Jan. 9.
The 15,000-square-foot IMRC Center in the newly renovated Stewart Commons is home to UMaine’s Department of New Media and the MFA in Intermedia Program, and available to Maine entrepreneurs for creative exploration. It features intermedia graduate research labs, state-of-the-art technology classrooms, audio and video production studios, a 3-D and immersive visualization presentation environment, and facilities for prototyping, fabrication and computer numerical control (CNC) manufacturing.
The more than $10 million renovation of Stewart Commons, which also houses the Wyeth Family Studio Art Center, was funded in part by the state of Maine through a Maine Technology Asset Fund award from the Maine Technology Institute.
The IMRC Dedication Ceremony begins at 5 p.m., followed by a reception and facility tours. For more information or to request a disability accommodation, call 207.581.3582.
The conference, IMRC Maine: Celebrating Creative Innovation, from noon to 4:30 p.m., is held in partnership with the Camden-based Juice Conference and Midcoast Magnet, the Belfast Creative Coalition and Realize Maine Network.
Juice conferences connect leaders of the creative economy to foster growth and prosperity. Weaving the arts, technology and entrepreneurship, Juice inspires innovation by bringing talented people together from widely different backgrounds to learn, exchange ideas and share success stories.
The UMaine event will be a mini-Juice conference and the first outside the midcoast region.
The conference will feature a keynote by award-winning graphic designer John Bielenberg, co-founder of Future, and two seminars: “What’s Possible Tour,” featuring presentations by entrepreneurs who have used the IMRC prototyping and media development facilities, and “Diving Deeper: Prototyping Specifics,” featuring detailed presentations on 3-D printing and media production.
The full schedule of IMRC Maine is online. For more information, call 207.236.6545.