Francis Avery, a scientific research specialist with the University of Maine School of Forest Resources, spoke with WLBZ (Channel 2) about tapping the university’s maple trees. He said the trees were tapped three weeks ago, but he hasn’t seen much sap flowing yet.
University of Maine Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance Janet Waldron will resign to join the University of North Texas (UNT) System as vice chancellor of finance, effective April 28.
Waldron has led UMaine’s Office of Administration and Finance for 11 years.
“I look forward to this new opportunity and challenge working in a larger, more diverse system with Chancellor Lee Jackson and the University of North Texas System leadership. The senior leadership team in North Texas is highly experienced and committed to increasing educational opportunities for the citizens of Texas,” Waldron said.
“This decision has come with deeply mixed emotions as I care for and respect President Ferguson, his vision and our successful partnership at UMaine. I will deeply miss the wonderful faculty, staff, alums, my cabinet colleagues, directors, students and the campus community. One of the proudest days for me was becoming an honorary member of the UMaine Class of ’44.
“I leave with a sincere hope that the remarkable legacy and detailed strategic planning that we have done at the University of Maine will be fully supported in the future by the state and University of Maine System,” Waldron said.
In a letter to the UMaine community April 8, UMaine President Paul Ferguson noted that Waldron played a vital role in UMaine’s leadership and sustainability for more than a decade. “Through her deep experience, wisdom and insightful pragmatism, she has been instrumental in the growth and development of Maine’s flagship university,” President Ferguson said.
As vice chancellor for finance, Waldron will oversee system-wide financial planning and analysis, according to a UNT System news release. She will be responsible for the system offices of Budget, Business Services, Controller, Treasurer and Information Technology, which provide centralized, shared services to all UNT System institutions.
Waldron has spent more than three decades leading strategic business administration and operations in complex organizations. She has had key involvement in financial management and budgeting, information technology, human resource management and employee relations, and capital facilities management. She came to UMaine in 2003 after more than 15 years in Maine government offices, the last eight of which were as the state’s chief financial officer.
An interim UMaine vice president for administration and finance is expected to be named this month.
Maine adults who want to return to college may qualify for as much as $4,000 per year in scholarships for up to four years, in a new Adult Degree Completion Scholarship Fund announced by the University of Maine System.
The system’s fund aims to help Maine people complete their academic studies — many adults started their university education years ago, but did not complete a degree program for some reason, likely due to family or work obligations.
The new scholarships are for adult students returning to a system university after an absence of three years or more, and who are completing their very first baccalaureate degree. Courses may be taken at any of the seven universities in Maine.
“Maine has over 200,000 adults with some college, but no degree,” explained UMS Chancellor James Page. “That is a significant stranded cost — both in terms of monies invested and opportunities lost. Our goal is to work with these folks to help them achieve their educational goals and move Maine forward.”
The funding for the program comes from a portion of gaming revenue made possible by citizen initiatives that authorized gambling in Bangor and Oxford and a one-time appropriation from the Maine Legislature last year.
Those adults returning to a university will be in good company. At the University of Maine System, adult students age 25 or older currently represent more than 36 percent of all students enrolled in degree programs and more than 60 percent of those attending part-time.
Currently there are few scholarships or other forms of financial aid available in Maine for adults, especially those who work full-time.
“One of the many challenges adults face as they return to college is financing their education,” noted Rosa Redonnett, UMS chief student affairs officer. “Since our goal is degree completion, we’ve set up a tiered scholarship program so Mainers who have previously earned a significant number of credits are incentivized to quickly complete their degrees. And we are also providing smaller scholarships for those who have completed a handful of courses toward a degree, but want to finish that work.”
In addition, a new concierge service has been established to guide students to assist adult students, in the same way that the hospitality industry has concierges to help guide guests to explore a new area. The university concierges, based in 15 Maine communities, will help adult students achieve their educational goals through activities such as applying to a university, choosing a major, finding financial assistance and registering for courses.
“Unlike traditional age students, most adults are also balancing work, family and other commitments,” said Bonnie Newsom of Eddington, a member of the UMS Board of Trustees who also serves on the Adult Baccalaureate Completion Distance Education (ABCDE) committee. “As a result, financial help and the assistance of a concierge may mean the difference between finishing that degree — or not.” Newsom added that the scholarship fund and concierge service are part of a larger, statewide adult degree completion effort under way at the system.
The ABCDE committee was created as a result of a Board of Trustees directive in 2012 to develop and implement a system-wide plan to enhance baccalaureate degree attainment and completion by Maine’s adult and noncampus based citizens. Efforts under way will incorporate consideration of the multiple pathways that students may follow such as certificates, associate degrees and prior learning assessment.
There are three opportunities for students to apply for the scholarships: May 8, Aug. 1 and Dec. 1. Applications can be found here. Applicants must meet the following criteria in order to qualify for the scholarship:
Must be a matriculated student at a UMS institution seeking a first baccalaureate degree.
Must be a resident of the state of Maine.
Must be an undergraduate reentry student who has experienced a gap (three years or more) in the pursuit of postsecondary education. Students who returned to higher education beginning in fall 2013 or more recently will be considered.
Must demonstrate financial need as determined by a completed FAFSA and/or statement outlining ability to pay/financial resources available for education.
Must be registered at least part time: 6‐8 credits per semester (fall and spring) or 9–12 credits total for the two semesters.
More than 100 area high school students will convene at the University of Maine on Friday, April 11 to celebrate World Languages Day with traditional dance lessons and a campuswide scavenger hunt.
Students from Foxcroft Academy as well as Bangor, John Bapst Memorial, Hermon and Orono high schools will attend. School teams will compete in a culture bowl to answer questions about geography, holidays, famous people, history and current events related to their language studies. The two languages highlighted will be French and Spanish. World Languages Day, scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., will also include opening and closing ceremonies and lunch in Memorial Union. Judges will be selected from UMaine faculty, staff and advanced students.
UMaine students, many from the Modern Languages and Classics Department, will teach crafts and guide students around campus. In addition, master folk dancer Cindy Larock will teach traditional French-Canadian dancing.
Danielle Beaupre and Maria Sandweiss, lecturers in French and Spanish, respectively, planned the event. The last World Languages Day was in 2009; it has been revived in 2014 thanks to sponsorship from the Department of Modern Languages and Classics, The Canadian-American Center and the Foreign Language Association of Maine (FLAME).
The University of Maine has opened registration for its three girls’ basketball summer camps. The Black Bears will offer an Elite Camp for girls entering grades 9–12 from June 21 to 22, Youth Overnight Camp for grades 3–9 from July 14 to 17, and Youth Day Camp for grades 3–9 from July 28 to Aug. 1.
Elite Camp focuses on advanced skill development, as well as speed and agility workouts, while offering commuter and overnight options. Youth Overnight Camp offers instruction from UMaine players and coaches, as well as the opportunity to play games, learn fundamentals, participate in drills and have fun at all levels of experience. Day Camp includes focused skill work and games.
Participants of each of the three camps will receive a T-shirt. Roommate requests for overnight camping can be made until two weeks before the beginning of the selected camp.
More information about UMaine’s girls’ summer camp sessions, such as how to register and pricing, is online.
With an initial $2,500 donation, The Maine Steiners, the University of Maine’s oldest a cappella group, became the first performing arts student organization to establish an endowed scholarship fund with the University of Maine Foundation.
The Maine Steiners Vocal Music Scholarship Fund will promote ensemble singing at the University of Maine, according to the group’s business manager Morgan Cates.
“We wanted to find a way to support involvement with the School of Performing Arts for years to come. It is our goal that this scholarship will give students the opportunity to get involved with the arts who otherwise may not have had that opportunity,” Cates says.
The $2,500 gift along with an $8,000 pledge met the $10,000 goal established for new endowed funds with the addition of matching funds from the University of Maine Foundation’s 80th anniversary matching gift program. The gift included $500 for immediate distribution of the first scholarship in fall 2015.
“We are very appreciative of the Maine Steiners for their commitment to this much needed scholarship support and their vision for the future of the performing arts at UMaine,” says Foundation President Jeff Mills. “This fund represents a significant contribution for a student group.”
Ongoing fundraising for the scholarship fund will occur with the creation of limited edition engraved steins in a “Fill the Steins!” campaign. Steins are currently in production at UMaine’s Innovative Media Research and Commercialization (IMRC) Center in partnership with the Intermedia MFA Program.
The campaign will offer a different stein design annually for the next four years. The first stein will be unveiled in the coming weeks, with subsequent designs offered every January. Each of the 25 annual steins cost $100.
In addition, the Steiners’ next album “Thank You for the Sing!” will be out this month. It is the Steiners’ first album since 2010. The group has spent more than 60 hours in the IMRC Center’s studio, recording tracks in collaboration with audio engineer Duane Shimmel.
“Thank You for the Sing!” will include arrangements of classics such as “Live Like We’re Dying” and “A Little Less Conversation.” A launch party for the album will be held at the IMRC Center April 25. All seven current Steiners perform on the album.
Gateway Mastering, owned by Grammy award-winning mastering engineer Bob Ludwig, will master the tracks. Shimmel and Cates are the producers.
These efforts are in addition to the Steiners’ preparation for their annual spring tour, which will happen in May and take the group across the state and as far as New York.
In addition to Cates, who is from Camden, Maine, the other Steiners are: five other members from Maine — Cain Landry and Forrest Tripp of Saco, Avery Topel of Windham, Derek Willette of Hampden and Mike Knowles of Charlotte; and Rob Laraway of Tilton, N.H.
Anyone interested in the spring tour performance locations or in supporting the fund by purchasing an album or stein can contact email@example.com or go online (mainesteiners.com). Albums are $10 and will be available at Bull Moose Music and the University Bookstore, and at all Maine Steiners live performances.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745;
The Bangor Daily News and Penobscot Bay Pilot reported on the University of Maine Symphonic Band’s trip to Vinalhaven to perform two concerts. The 45-member instrumental ensemble, which includes music majors and students pursuing a variety of academic disciplines, traveled to the island by ferry as part of their four-day, nine-performance spring tour. Christopher White, who conducts the group, said the trip marks the first time one of UMaine’s top performance ensembles has gone to an outer island to hold a concert. “So many of our kids have never done anything like this,” he said, adding that the annual tour is part of the group’s community service.
WVII (Channel 7) reported on the University of Maine’s 2014 annual Student Art Exhibition, “Be, Do, Make,” that opened Friday, April 4 in Lord Hall Art Gallery. The exhibition features 116 pieces from 62 student artists in a variety of media. Michael Grillo, chairman of the Department of Art and associate professor of art history, credits the university’s new Wyeth Family Studio Art Center with helping students create work. “We opened the new building last September, and what we’re seeing is that there’s an exuberance in the work. We’re seeing the ability to make things on a scale and size which we have not been able to do before,” he said.
Kathy Savoie, a University of Maine Cooperative Extension educator, provided the Portland Press Herald with a step-by-step demonstration on how to make flavored vinegar. Savoie’s method can be used with any herbs, such as rosemary, basil and mint; and for any type of vinegar, such as apple cider or champagne.
WABI (Channel 5) reported on the Graduate Student Government’s 2014 Graduate Academic Exposition (GradExpo) at the University of Maine’s IMRC Center. The GradExpo featured about 106 submissions in four areas of competition — posters, oral presentations, intermedia and fine arts exhibits, and a PechaKucha, or rapid-fire slide show event. More than $8,000 in prizes were awarded to participants. Stanley Levitsky, a graduate student studying intermedia, told WABI it felt great to have his work on display after many hours of preparation.
The Bangor Daily News reported the University of Maine’s IMRC Center is one of a handful of facilities in the state to own an Oculus Rift. The Rift is a virtual reality headset made by Oculus VR that is poised to revolutionize everything from video games to military, aerospace and industrial training simulations, according to the article. Two UMaine new media majors — Ian Lusk and Lucas Richards — are creating a demo program for the Rift that combines virtual reality with interactive motion sensor technology.
Andrew Pershing, an associate professor in the University of Maine School of Marine Sciences and researcher at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, was interviewed for a Morning Sentinel article about a research proposal from the institute and the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences that was chosen to compete for NASA funding. The project aims to use Earth-system data to predict the movements of key species in the Gulf of Maine and provide seasonal forecasts for the lobster industry. Pershing, who is the project’s senior scientist, said providing predictions about the timing and volume of lobster landings could help the industry avoid a repeat of the early glut of soft-shell lobsters in 2012 that drove lobster prices down.
The University of Maine School of Performing Arts celebrates the musical vision of composer, jazz trumpeter and Maine educator Don Stratton during a two-part concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 11, at Minsky Recital Hall.
The concert, titled “Pythagoreanism and the Music of Don Stratton,” will feature Stratton’s multifaceted music. A jam session and refreshments will follow.
The first piece is “Ktaadn, The Highest Land,” directed by Dan Barrett. Rich Tozier of the Maine Public Broadcasting Network will narrate passages from Henry David Thoreau’s “The Maine Woods.” Tozier will be accompanied by a brass ensemble, woodwind trio and singers. The second set will showcase some of Stratton’s jazz compositions.
Tickets are $9, or free with a student MaineCard. For tickets or disability accommodations, call the Collins Center for the Arts, 207.581.1755.
The University of Maine Foster Center for Student Innovation will offer a workshop Friday, April 11, for businesses and community members to learn a systematic approach to innovation. The workshop will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the UMaine Hutchinson Center in Belfast.
Participants will learn about the Innovation Engineering (IE) system, which includes tools and methods for creating, communicating and commercializing meaningfully unique ideas. IE addresses the biggest threats to innovations at the beginning of the process, thereby speeding up innovation while decreasing risk.
This is a Blackstone Accelerates Growth-sponsored event. Blackstone Accelerates Growth (BxG) is developing innovation hubs in various regions of the state. Entrepreneurs leading startup and existing companies become part of a network to learn from each other and to cost-effectively access entrepreneurial support resources. The workshop costs $149 for business and community members. Lunch is included. Full scholarships are available for growth-oriented, for-profit companies. To learn more and to register, visit the Foster Center’s website.
The works of Vincent Hartgen, founder of the University of Maine Museum of Art and longtime UMaine professor of art, will be on display at Boyd Place Gallery, 21 Boyd St., Bangor. The show, “Maine Masters,” features works of Hartgen and Arthur Thompson. The exhibit is open daily, 9 a.m.–7 p.m., through May 31. A reception is slated for 3–5 p.m. Sunday, April 27.