The Weekly published a University of Maine news release about several student, staff and faculty groups who are leading charitable efforts this holiday season to give back to the community. Groups including the Bodwell Center for Service and Volunteerism, Office of Human Resources, Classified Employees Advisory Council, and several fraternities and sororities are collecting food, toys and clothes for those in need.
The Maine Bound Adventure Center at the University of Maine will hold its 16th annual indoor rock climbing competition Dec. 6.
Boulder Bash 2014 will include a day of bouldering with divisions for men, women and children from beginner through expert climbers. All ages and abilities are welcome. Prizes will be provided by local community outdoor retail partners.
Doors open at 8 a.m., competition begins at 9 a.m. Preregistration is $10, day-of registration is $15. A Boulder Bash T-shirt is included.
For more information or to register, stop by the Maine Bound Adventure Center, call 581.1794 or visit the website.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded the Maine AgrAbility Project a $701,828 grant to continue assisting farmers, loggers and fishermen with disabilities and chronic illnesses so they may remain active in production agriculture.
Richard Brzozowski, University of Maine Cooperative Extension specialist and project director, said the grant will fund the project for four more years. The USDA awarded 21 grants totaling $4.1 million to land grant universities.
Maine AgrAbility works directly with farmers, loggers and fishermen, as well as agricultural service providers, by offering educational workshops, on-site assessments and technical assistance. The free resource is available to agricultural workers, and their family members, with a physical, cognitive or illness-related disability or chronic health condition.
AgrAbility is a nonprofit partnership between University of Maine Cooperative Extension, Goodwill Industries of Northern New England and Alpha One. The program collaborates with other agencies, including Maine Bureau of Rehabilitation Services and Maine Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Conservation. More information about Maine AgrAbility project is available online at umaine.edu/agrability, or by contacting Lani Carlson, AgrAbility Project coordinator, 207.944.1533, email@example.com.
Amy Blackstone, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Maine and chairwoman of the Sociology Department, spoke with the Chicago Tribune for the article, “How couples can start their own Christmas tradition, no kids required.” Blackstone said many relatives often assume if adults don’t have children they have lots of free time, and a couple’s holiday plans should revolve around families that include children. “(As a society), we’re not culturally comfortable with the idea that a family can mean two people,” Blackstone said, adding that our culture is beginning to grasp the idea of many types of families, including those without children. “The idea that (childless) couples don’t form families of their own is a myth,” she said. “They, like all families, enjoy and have every right to spend the holidays as a family, too.”
The Maine Ocean Acidification Study Commission, a panel that spent months studying the effects of ocean acidification, have announced their findings and recommendations, according to the Associated Press. The panel found ocean acidity levels have increased by 30 percent over the past two centuries, and recommends the state improve its monitoring of marine ecosystems and work to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. State Rep. Mick Devin, a Democrat from Newcastle who is a researcher and shellfish hatchery manager at the University of Maine’s Darling Marine Center, spoke with the AP and the Maine Public Broadcasting Network about the study. Devin, who co-chaired the commission, said ocean acidification “threatens an important part of Maine’s economy and coastal communities.” WABI (Channel 5) carried the AP report.
The University of Maine’s graduate wildlife conservation program and undergraduate wildlife ecology program were mentioned in the Online Schools Center article, “30 degrees that will get you dirty.” The report states both programs revolve around animals and their natural habitats, many in Maine, and could lead to a variety of field-based jobs such as wildlife biologist, conservation manager or park ranger. “The content of the bachelor’s program in particular is outdoorsy and exciting: students may go out in the field to assess the behavior of snowshoe hares, or even handle bear cubs in their own den,” the article states. “All this provides plenty of opportunity for getting back to nature — and possibly covered in fur.”
The Bangor Daily News published the opinion piece, “Without health insurance, Down East women subsist on the margins,” by Mary Shea, an assistant professor of nursing and graduate program coordinator at the University of Maine.
A 2008 University of Maine study about hazing among post-secondary students was noted in the Baltimore Sun article, “Hazing at Maryland colleges includes humiliation, coercion, hospital trips.” The report cited statistics from the study that found 55 percent of college students nationwide who were involved in clubs, teams and organizations had been hazed at some point.
The Los Angeles Times published a review of newly released poems by Jennifer Moxley, an English professor at the University of Maine. “Moxley’s earnest and introspective new poems feel almost like personal essays: They take up questions that vex her in daily life, then try to explain why they won’t go away,” the article states of Moxley’s book of poetry, “The Open Secret.”
The Star Tribune of Minneapolis reported Samuel Schuman, a former director of the University of Maine honors program died Nov. 11. He was 72. Schuman, a professor and college administrator, is remembered by many as “the affable chancellor at the University of Minnesota,” the obituary states. In 1977, Schuman moved into his first administrative position as director of UMaine’s honors program, now the Honors College. Four years later he moved on to Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina, where he served as academic dean and vice president of academic affairs, according to the report. The Bangor Daily News also carried the obituary.
The University of Maine’s Foster Center for Student Innovation is hosting an open house 4–6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 9 at the center, 123 Long Road, across from Knox Hall.
Students, faculty and staff are invited to take guided tours and learn about the innovation education and courses the center offers. The event will include giveaways, free food, coffee from Hide & Seek and a cash bar.
The Foster Center for Student Innovation teaches people how to innovate by helping students develop a mindset and skills for creating, testing and achieving ideas.
The Associated Press reported Daniel Sandweiss, an archaeologist at the University of Maine, was named a Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for his contributions to the field. Alan Leshner, CEO and executive publisher of Science, says Sandweiss’ notable discoveries include his “pioneering interdisciplinary studies of early colonization of South America and the origins of El Niño.” Sandweiss, a professor of anthropology and quaternary and climate studies and cooperating professor of Earth and climate sciences and global policy, has been at UMaine since 1993. The Maine Public Broadcasting Network, WABI (Channel 5), Portland Press Herald and the Worcester Telegram & Gazette carried the AP report.
WABI (Channel 5) and WLBZ (Channel 2) reported the University of Maine women’s basketball team and coaching staff volunteered at a free Thanksgiving meal offered by Manna Ministries in Bangor. Members of the team filled plates, served guests and sang songs to entertain more than 100 guests. “We wouldn’t be here playing for the university if it wasn’t for all the surrounding community, and I think to give back is something that we really look forward to,” UMaine basketball player Courtney Anderson told WLBZ.
WVII (Channel 7) reported on the University of Maine Page Farm and Home Museum’s wreath-making workshops. Everyone — from beginner to professional — is invited to make a double-sided holiday wreath with trimmings. “Part of our mission is to get people in touch with their agricultural roots, and I feel that doing small workshops like this and helping to foster the local economy helps us meet our mission,” said Patricia Henner, director of the museum. The museum’s December sessions will be held 5–7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 2 and 6–8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4. The fee is $18. To register or for more information, call 207.581.4100.
George Soctomah Neptune, an accomplished Peskotomuhkati (Passamaquoddy) artist that will be featured at the 20th annual Maine Indian Basketmakers Holiday Market, was named by the Portland Press Herald as one of the “Ten Mainers we’re thankful for.” Neptune, 26, and his 75-year-old grandmother, Molly Neptune Parker, will showcase and sell their signature baskets during the Dec. 13 event at the Collins Center for the Arts. Neptune also is an educator at the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, where he said he thinks constantly about how to teach non-native people about native culture, according to the article. Neptune’s first exhibit as a curator at the museum goes up this winter and will focus on the women of Indian Township who deal with substance abuse and its effects in the Passamaquoddy community, the article states.
James McConnon, a University of Maine economics professor and a business and economics specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, spoke with the Sun Journal for an article about shopping this Black Friday and throughout the holiday season. “Consumer enthusiasm is as high as I’ve seen it since the Great Recession in 2007,” McConnon said, adding holiday shopping is important to the economy. Retailers make between 20 and 40 percent of their annual income from holiday sales, according to the article. McConnon also spoke about “Web-rooming” — when shoppers look through fliers and online to compare sale prices among stores. “It’s the opposite of showroom,” he says of Web-rooming. “Social media is a growing trend of consumers Web-rooming — comparing discounts and products. That bodes well for stores.”
WABI (Channel 5) reported on the University of Maine Museum of Art’s Drop and Shop event held in downtown Bangor on Small Business Saturday. Parents dropped off their children while they shopped downtown to support local businesses. Children explored the galleries and created holiday ornaments, cards and gifts. “We felt it was really important to say, ‘Hey, this is our downtown; come down, enjoy it, let your kids see what there is to do here and support those local businesses who are our neighbors and our community members,’” said Eva Wagner, UMMA education coordinator.
The Bangor Daily News published the latest article in the yearlong “The People Next Door” series by Sandra Butler, a professor of social work at the University of Maine, and Luisa Deprez, a professor and department chair of sociology and women and gender studies at the University of Southern Maine. “Same bills, one-third of the income: A Maine husband’s death and the loss of 3 income sources,” is the pair’s latest column to share stories of Mainers struggling in today’s economy.
The Ellsworth American reported Amy Fried, a political science professor at the University of Maine, spoke about the recent election during a Hancock County Democrats meeting in Ellsworth. Fried said Republicans had a well-articulated message that resonated with voters and did better among their key constituencies in the elections that took place in November. She said Democrats in general are “having problems prevailing on economic issues,” while the GOP projects a better message on the topic, the article states.
Howard Segal, a history professor at the University of Maine, was quoted in the U.S. News & World Report article, “Poorest states cut what experts say could help the most: Higher ed.” Maine and Mississippi “are the vanguard of what will happen to public higher education in many of the other 48 states, or already is happening in some of them,” Segal said of two states with high rates of poverty and lower-than-average levels of college education. The Hechinger Report also carried the article.