The Bangor Daily News reported Rabbi A. James Rudin of Florida will speak at 3 p.m. Thursday in the Bangor Room of the Memorial Union at the University of Maine and at 7 p.m. the same day at Congregation Beth Israel in Bangor. Rudin is the senior interreligious adviser of the American Jewish Committee and has served as the organization’s longtime director of interreligious affairs, the article states. The title of Rudin’s UMaine talk is “The Jewish Jesus and the Christian Christ: Is There a Difference?” Rudin’s Maine appearances are sponsored by several groups including the UMaine Judaic Studies Program, Honors College and the Wilson Center.
The Working Waterfront spoke with John Rebar, executive director of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, and Anne Lichtenwalner, director of UMaine’s Animal Health Laboratory, about Question 2 on the November ballot that will ask Maine voters to approve an $8 million bond for animal and plant diagnostic services. The bond would allow UMaine Extension to build a new facility on campus to house labs for the monitoring and testing of insects and pests that affect domestic and wild plants and animals in Maine. “As a state with a large international border, thousands of miles of coastlines, and people and goods coming to Maine ports every day, the threat of disease and invasive species is increasing annually. This threat can destroy crops, kill or injure livestock and pose a threat to public health,” Rebar said, adding staff is “very limited” in what they can do in the current lab.
A University of Maine study was cited in the Mainebiz article, “On the edge: Monhegan Island’s year-round residents take charge of their future.” The study reported that residents of Maine’s 15 year-round islands pay at least one-third more for basic food items than the state average, according to the article. Recent UMaine graduate Ben Algeo also was mentioned in the article. Algeo graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in political science and renewable energy. He is an Island Institute fellow working with Monhegan and Matinicus islands to identify their most pressing energy efficiency needs and possible solutions, the article states.
University of Maine Campus Recreation will host the 2014 UMaine Community Health and Wellness Fair from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Oct. 27 in the New Balance Student Recreation Center. The event is free for all UMaine students, faculty and staff. Participants will be able to get their blood pressure checked, try biofeedback and have a chair massage. More than 20 vendors from on- and off-campus organizations will provide health and wellness related tests, information, samples and more. Participating vendors include Cigna EAP, Provant, UMaine Dining Services, EMMC providers and the Student Wellness Resource Center. In addition to Campus Recreation, the fair is sponsored by the UMaine Counseling Center, Student Wellness Resource Center, HealthyU, Provant Health Coaching and the UMS Wellness Manager’s Office.
Just in time for Halloween, two thrilling National Theatre Live broadcasts of “Frankenstein” will be presented at the Collins Center for the Arts at the University of Maine.
Version 1, featuring Jonny Lee Miller (“Trainspotting”) as Dr. Victor Frankenstein and Benedict Cumberbatch (“12 Years A Slave”) as Creature, will be shown at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24. Version 2, with the roles reversed, will be shown at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31.
Directed by Academy Award-winner Danny Boyle, “Frankenstein” was a sell-out hit at the National Theatre in 2011. Since then, the broadcast of the production has become an international success. National Theatre Live is the National Theatre’s endeavor to broadcast British theatre live from the London stage to cinemas and arts centers around the world. Concerns of scientific responsibility, parental neglect, cognitive development and the nature of good and evil are embedded within this thrilling, disturbing classic gothic tale.
For tickets, $15 general admission/$10 for students, call 207.581.1755 or visit the CCA website.
The Bangor Daily News published the editorial, “Yes on Question 2: Why it’s worth it to have a lab that tests ticks, moose and more,” about a bond that asks voters to support giving $8 million to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension to build a new animal and plant disease and insect control laboratory. “This $8 million bond is an investment in needed infrastructure at the University of Maine to better protect human health through insect-borne disease detection and food safety testing,” the article states.
WABI (Channel 5) reported on the dedication of the University of Maine’s Emera Astronomy Center. The center is the new home of the Maynard F. Jordan Planetarium and Observatory. “Although the weather is not perfect every day, we still have opportunities, and when the weather is clear, to see things a little differently than telescopes in Hawaii and Arizona might see them and we may see things that are not in the sky for them,” said Alan Davenport, director of the planetarium. “This is one of the most sophisticated astronomy centers that we have certainly in the state of Maine. It’s really exciting for young grade school students to come through this facility learn about astronomy,” said Gerry Chasse, president and COO of Emera Maine.
Jon Ippolito, a professor of new media at the University of Maine, spoke with The New York Times for an article about a digital recording tool called Colloq that aims to preserve the complex experience of using social networking websites such as Facebook. The tool has been roughly prototyped by Rhizome, a New York nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting and conserving digital artwork, according to the article. “As close as possible, you’re going to get the experience of interacting with the actual site,” said Ippolito, who has advised Rhizome and is familiar with the tool. “It is reconstructing it, bit by bit, in a technology that is very close to the original and allows users to explore it interactively the way they could with the original.” Ippolito also said giving people the tools to record their online activities is important. “It puts the ability to capture data back in the hands of the individuals. The user is in the driver’s seat, instead of the social network that now owns that user’s information,” he said. Ippolito’s recent book on digital preservation, “Re-collection: Art, New Media, and Social Memory,” also was mentioned in the article.
The Portland Press Herald reported on sculptor and painter Dudley Zopp’s current installation, “Ground/Underground,” at the University of Maine’s Lord Hall Gallery. The exhibition, which runs through Nov. 14, is a continuation of Zopp’s “Erratics” sculptures, and features new, large-format watercolor paintings and 700 smaller oil paintings that suggest geological sediments. “I like how she is moving canvases off the wall, and the simplicity of her presentation. I like that she moves so easily between two-dimensional work and three-dimensional work,” Lord Hall Gallery coordinator Susan Smith told the Press Herald.
Amy Fried, a political science professor at the University of Maine, was quoted in the New York Times article, “Outspoken governor tries to squeak by in 3-way Maine race.” According to the article, some political analysts say creating confusion over who to vote for instead of Republican Gov. Paul LePage — independent candidate Eliot Cutler or Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud — is one of the current governor’s campaign strategies. “There’s an attempt to create a certain degree of chaos so that anti-LePage voters who haven’t gone to Cutler yet will say that Michaud can’t win and will move to Cutler,” Fried said.
James McConnon, a University of Maine economics professor and a business and economics specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, was quoted in the Sun Journal article, “More nonprofits, less money to go around.” According to McConnon, the number of nonprofits increased 25 percent across the country between 2001 and 2011, while the economy struggled. McConnon said he’s not surprised that some nonprofits are having difficulty getting grants or donations. “My own advice is to focus on what you have control over and what you do well, and be open to change,” he said. “Be flexible and nimble.”
The Maine Hunger Dialogue, a two-day event held at the University of Maine that aims to mobilize the power of higher education to end hunger in the state, was mentioned in a Bangor Daily News article about one of the event’s speakers. Alex Justice Moore, a 2003 graduate of Bangor High School who works to help people out of homelessness at D.C. Central Kitchen in Washington, D.C., returned to Maine to talk about a new approach to solving hunger. Moore spoke at the Maine Hunger Dialogue in Orono and during an event hosted by Eastern Maine Development Corp. in Bangor. “Hunger isn’t about food,” Moore said. “Hunger is ultimately about poverty. We’re never going to feed our way out of hunger.”
Mark Brewer, a political science professor at the University of Maine, was quoted in the Bangor Daily News article, “Under crush of negative ads, undecided voters in Maine’s 2nd District appear key to election.” When talking about the race between Democrat Emily Cain and Republican Bruce Poliquin, Brewer said voters who are used to electing relatively moderate candidates are now faced with a choice between candidates who are more firmly rooted in their party’s platform. “Part of me is thinking that maybe the chunk of undecideds is larger because they are both so different from each other and so different from the incumbent,” he said, referring to Democrat U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, who vacated the seat he has held for 12 years to run for governor.
University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s yearlong monthly workshop series, “From Scratch: Your Maine Kitchen” kicks off from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15, at the UMaine Extension Cumberland County office, 75 Clearwater Drive, Falmouth.
At the first workshop, “From the Maine Wild,” “Black Fly Stew” cookbook author Kate Gooding will discuss cooking wild game, including venison, moose and goose. She will prepare Burgundian Beaver Stew, which participants can sample for lunch. UMaine Extension Master Food Preserver Karyn Small will give tips on best food preservation practices for wild game.
Workshops scheduled through February include: “Gifts from the Maine Kitchen” with Kate McCarty, Dec. 6; “Making Sourdough Bread at Home” with Sheri Fistal, Jan. 17; and “Maine Seafood and Edible Seaweed,” Feb. 21.
The fee for the Nov. 15 workshop is $40 per person; proceeds benefit the UMaine Extension Nutrition Program in Cumberland County. Attendees will receive Cabela’s coupons and be entered to receive gift cards from Cabela’s. Registration is online. For more information, or to request a disability accommodation, contact 781.6099, 800.287.1471 (in Maine) or email@example.com.
In celebration of the national Upward Bound program’s 50th anniversary, three students from the University of Maine Upward Bound Math Science (UBMS) program were selected to attend the Council for Opportunity in Education’s 33rd annual conference, “Achieving College Success through Vision and Action,” and second annual student poster presentation exhibition in Washington, D.C.
Justin Chan, a 2014 graduate of Mattanawcook Academy in Lincoln, along with Ariana Alers and Chris Stewart, seniors at Foxcroft Academy in Dover-Foxcroft, were three of five high school students selected across the country to present their research posters. Nineteen posters were chosen out of the 50 that were submitted by both pre-college and college-level students.
Alers and Stewart traveled to Washington, D.C. in September with Kelly Ilseman, UBMS assistant director and academic curriculum coordinator. Preparing to leave for Greece for his first semester experience through Northeastern University, Chan was not able to attend, but his research poster was displayed.
In addition to presenting their posters and research at two COE receptions, Alers and Stewart also were guests at the National TRIO Achievers’ awards banquet where they met TRIO Upward Bound alumnus John Quinones from the ABC show “What Would You Do?”
The students also met U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, Sen. Angus King and Sen. Susan Collins. As Michaud’s guests, they toured the U.S. Capitol and sat in legislative sessions.
The students’ posters were based on their six-week summer research with mentors at the UMaine UBMS program.
Chan worked with Matt Dube, a Ph.D. student in spatial information science and engineering, to complete his research on gerrymandering titled “Partitioning New England to Represent Republican Populations.”
Interning in Thane Fremouw’s neuropsychology research lab, Alers studied the “Cellular Mechanisms of Chemotherapy-Induced Cognitive Impairment.” Her research involved testing treatments to reduce severity of post-radiation cancer treatment effects known as “chemo fog.”
Stewart worked with Finley Richmond to create a biodegradable plastic in the study “Cellulose Nanofibers in the Synthesis of Bioplastics.”
An additional 32 UBMS students were mentored across campus with professors, graduate students and UBMS summer staff. The students attended from Central High School in Corinth, Foxcroft Academy in Dover-Foxcroft, Mattanawcook Academy in Lincoln, Nokomis Regional High School in Newport, Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in South Paris, Portland High School, Stearns High School in Millinocket, and Schenck High School in East Millinocket.
The Upward Bound Math Science Program is affiliated with the UMaine College of Education and Human Development and offers a six-week college preparatory program to first-generation college students from eight Maine high schools. The program specifically targets students who are interested in pursuing STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) majors and careers.
The Washington, D.C. trip was paid for by donations made to the Upward Bound Math Science Gift Account, as well as a scholarship from the College of Education and Human Development.
More information about the Upward Bound Math Science program is online.
The Associated Press, Bangor Daily News, Portland Press Herald, Maine Public Broadcasting Network, WABI (Channel 5) and WVII (Channel 7) reported on a budget forum held at the University of Maine. UMaine President Susan Hunter, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Jeffrey Hecker and Vice President for Administration and Finance Ryan Low presented preliminary work that has been done to create a balanced budget for the upcoming fiscal year (FY16). The officials announced they must cut next year’s $242 million budget by $7 million, but will not eliminate any academic programs and will try to avoid layoffs. “We really do want to minimize the impact on academic and student services,” said President Hunter, adding the goal is to avoid faculty retrenchments or layoffs. The Sun Journal carried the BDN report. NECN and SFGate carried the AP report.
WABI (Channel 5) reported students and faculty from colleges across Maine are preparing 10,000 protein-packed meals to be donated to campus-based food pantries statewide. The meal packing is part of the two-day Maine Hunger Dialogue at the University of Maine’s Wells Conference Center that aims to mobilize the power of higher education to end hunger in the state. Event organizer Barbara Murphy, a University of Maine Cooperative Extension educator, said there’s a general misconception that if a college student can afford a semester at school, they can afford to eat. “One assumes if you’re attending there, all is good. Not so,” Murphy said. Attendees hope their collective efforts can inspire others to take action, according to the report. “No matter how small you think your effort is, it has ripple effects throughout the community and therefore throughout the state and the world,” Murphy said.
Clay Kirby, an entomologist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, spoke with the Portland Press Herald for the article, “October means season for invasion of the ladybugs.” Kirby said ladybugs, which have a tendency to come inside, are benign and helpful in controlling other insects that are harmful to plants, such as aphids. If a house is overrun with the beetles, he suggests vacuuming or sweeping them up and tossing them outside. For those who don’t want to harm the insect, he suggests storing the bugs in a shoebox in a garage or shed until spring.
WABI (Channel 5) reported on the 2014 Engineering Job Fair held at the University of Maine’s New Balance Student Recreation Center. About 90 companies were represented at the event that was co-sponsored by the UMaine College of Engineering and Career Center. Patty Counihan, director of the Career Center, said UMaine’s Engineering Department has a 99 percent job placement rate for graduates. Organizers told WABI it was the largest turnout ever for the annual event.
Marcella Sorg, a forensic anthropologist for the state and a research professor at the University of Maine, was mentioned in a Portland Press Herald article about the discovery of eight human remains behind the Town Hall in Cornish. Officials and residents hope to identify who the bones belong to and figure out how they were left behind from a cemetery that locals believed had been moved decades ago, according to the article. Sorg, who works at the state medical examiner’s office in Augusta, will examine the bones and pieces of coffins to determine the age and sex of the remains. The process, which could take months, may even help determine how the people died or whether they suffered from any diseases or injuries, the article states.