The Bangor Daily News and Portland Press Herald reported that Ryan Low, vice president of administration and finance at the University of Maine, will become the chief financial officer for the University of Maine System. The promotion is part of the system’s move toward combining the financial management of the seven universities, according to the Press Herald. Low is tasked with overseeing the system’s Unified Finance and Administrative Model, which trustees approved in May as part of Chancellor James Page’s One University initiative, according to the BDN. Under that model, the system creates the budget and passes allocations down to campuses instead of campuses proposing their own budgets to the system, the BDN article states. “Ryan has the financial acumen, commitment to collaboration and credibility needed to unify our seven, siloed, financial systems into one seamless, statewide model,” said Samuel Collins, UMS board of trustees chairman.
An archival University of Maine photograph of cows grazing in front of Carnegie Hall Library in the early 1900s is on the cover of the July issue of College and Research Libraries News. Andrew Carnegie donated $50,000 to construct Carnegie Hall as the campus library in 1907, according to the Association of College & Research Libraries publication. In 1947 the library moved to what is now the Raymond H. Fogler Library. The image is part of Fogler Library’s DigitalCommons collections.
Ivan Fernandez, a professor in the Climate Change Institute and School of Forest Resources at the University of Maine, was mentioned in the Portland Press Herald article, “Sea change: Challenge of climate change presents opportunity for new energy.” The article focused on a recent Envision Maine event to discuss climate change and Maine’s economy. More than 300 business owners, civic leaders and scientists attended the event which featured 30 presentations on the many threats associated with a warming climate, according to the article. Fernandez suggested the best response for dealing with climate change challenges is to multiply the ways residents creatively address interlinked economic and ecological challenges.
The Weekly and The Maine Edge published a University of Maine news release about scientists who traveled to Mongolia to learn about processes that launch Earth out of an ice age. Aaron Putnam, a research associate with UMaine’s Climate Change Institute, is conducting glacial geology research with doctoral student Peter Strand. Fieldwork will include mapping and collecting samples of moraines and glacial geomorphologic features around Khoton Nuur. Strand and Putnam are blogging about their experiences during the monthlong trek, which is being done in collaboration with Mongolia University of Science and Technology.
The University of Maine was mentioned in a Portland Press Herald article about a manuscript by author and UMaine alumnus Stephen King. An Auburn bookstore manager believed he had the working version of a manuscript that eventually became “Under the Dome,” a King novel that was turned into a TV series, according to the article. Marsha DeFilippo, King’s assistant, said the manuscript is a copy and not an original, the article states. DeFilippo said King has donated many of his original papers to Fogler Library. “Most of it is already at the University of Maine,” she said.
The Maine Edge reported on scheduled public star shows in July at the University of Maine’s Emera Astronomy Center. The Maynard F. Jordan Planetarium shows are held 7 p.m. Fridays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Additional shows at 11 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays will run throughout the summer. Friday nights in July feature “Astronaut” and Sunday afternoons feature “Magic Tree House: Space Mission,” for younger sky watchers. “Secret of the Cardboard Rocket” will be shown on Tuesdays, with “Cosmic Journey” on Thursdays. Admission to all shows is $6, and seating is limited.
University of Maine graduate and former field hockey standout Holly Stewart will compete at the 2015 Pan American Games, a qualifying tournament for the 2016 Olympic Games.
Stewart of North Vancouver, British Columbia was one of 16 women selected to the Canadian field hockey team that will compete in the Toronto tournament from July 10–26.
The winner of the Pan American Games will earn a spot at next year’s summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Stewart wrapped up her UMaine career this past fall. Earlier in June, she was named the 2015 America East Woman of the Year.
Team Canada’s schedule is online.
Mainebiz mentioned the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center in an article about Brunswick-based Harbor Technologies Inc. which creates hybrid composite beams for bridge construction. The company works with research facilities including the UMaine Composites Center for testing, according to the article. Roberto Lopez-Anido, a civil engineering professor at UMaine, said he has seen the lab grow from nothing when he first arrived on campus 17 years ago to a world-class accredited testing facility whose industry clients range from Fortune 500 companies to startup firms developing innovative products and processes, the article states. Lopez-Anido said the center provides a valuable service to Harbor Technologies and other Maine composites companies. “Our mission is to support industry in this region, to help them get products into the market,” he said. “We’re also training students to get proficient in working with these products so that they have the skills to work at these Maine companies after they graduate.”
David Yarborough, a blueberry specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and professor in the School of Food and Agriculture, was quoted in an Associated Press article about the abundance of rain in June and how it has affected Maine farmers. The rain has saturated some low-lying crops, made fields too muddy for farm machinery and delayed the first cutting of hay in some parts of northern New England, according to the article. Yarborough said wild blueberry growers needed rain after a dry spring, but the timing of the rain and cooler weather prevented maximum pollination, potentially reducing the crop’s size. The Portland Press Herald, Times Union and The Caledonian-Record carried the AP report.
Jessica Miller, a clinical bioethicist at Eastern Maine Medical Center and chair of the Philosophy Department at the University of Maine, was quoted in the Bangor Daily News article “Should the Internet pay for your health care? Maine kidney surgery raises ethical quandary.” A 24-year-old South Portland mother who used an online crowdfunding campaign to cover her kidney transplant raised nearly $50,000, eight times the amount sought, according to the article. Royles’ transplant surgery was delayed because the hospital was leery of federal regulations that prohibit individuals from profiting off the donation of an organ, the article states. Miller said online campaigns for medical care raise a unique set of issues. “The spaghetti supper draws on community relationships and community identity,” Miller said. “The GoFundMe, the Indigogo, the YouCaring [sites] draw on strangers. It’s almost like you have to fill in your own gaps. In your mind, what is a deserving patient? There’s no context,” Miller said, adding the gaps leave room for morally loaded judgements. “It rewards the perfect patient,” she said. “The cute child with cancer might be more likely to have their campaign funded than, say, a woman who has a campaign to obtain an abortion.”
The Portland Press Herald spoke with Gianna Marrs, director of student financial aid at the University of Maine, for the article “In many Maine households, parents shoulder high costs of college.” According to Sallie Mae, the nation’s largest private education lender, two-thirds of parents help pay for college, while the average amount saved in advance by parents is only $10,400, the article states. Marrs told the Press Herald her office receives the most calls in March, April and May, as parents seek help calculating costs and explore borrowing options. “We’re not being a good nation of savers, whether it’s for retirement or our children’s college education,” she said. “That really puts pressure on students to pay their own way through college.”
Wiscasset Newspaper reported the University of Maine’s Darling Marine Center in Walpole will celebrate its 50th anniversary with summer events including Wednesday Walking Tours, Science on Tap Seminars and an open house. From July 1 through Aug. 19, visitors are invited on Wednesday mornings for a walking tour of the center’s waterfront laboratories, according to the article. The 90-minute tours will highlight current research projects focusing on lobster ecology and fisheries management, shellfish aquaculture, remote sensing, coastal food webs, and ocean acidification, the article states. The first Science on Tap Seminar will be presented by UMaine marine scientist Bob Steneck on July 8. The open house on Aug. 8 will feature activities for all ages to introduce visitors to the plants and animals that share the shore and learn about marine research tools and technology, the article states.
David Marcinkowski, a dairy expert with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and animal and veterinary science professor in the School of Food and Agriculture, was quoted in a Portland Press Herald article about Portland business ImmuCell Corp. The company, which develops products to prevent and treat diseases among dairy and beef cattle, recently completed its most profitable quarter in 12 years in part because of harsh environmental conditions faced by cattle ranchers in the West, according to the article. Dairy farmers generally bring feed to their cows, which becomes expensive when farmers need to truck in hay from other locations, Marcinkowski said. As a result, the price of milk hit a record high in mid-2014 before dropping down because of overproduction, he said. In the beef and dairy industries, the price of a calf increased 40 percent from 2012 to 2014, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Now that herds are expanding again in some states, prices should begin to normalize, the article states. However, Marcinkowski said it is a long process that could take four or five years.
The Sun Journal reported on students from the Lewiston-Auburn area who are taking part in the 2015 Maine Government Summer Internship Program. The program, which began May 26, has 34 college students interning in various state agencies. The Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center at the University of Maine administers the full-time, 12-week, paid work experience. Students’ majors include political science, economics, engineering and environmental science. Most study at in-state colleges and universities, while others are Maine residents pursuing their education out of state.
University of Maine student Stephanie Griffin was awarded a 2015 Next Step Maine Employee of Promise Scholarship.
Griffin, who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree, is the account manager assistant at Allen Insurance and Financial in Camden, Maine.
The goal of the Next Step Maine Scholarship Program is to support and recognize working adults who are attending school while juggling jobs, families and other responsibilities.
The third annual event included 12 scholarship award recipients from 11 Maine employers, according to a Maine Development Foundation press release. Scholarship amounts ranged from $500 to $2,300.
Scholarship recipients were nominated by their employers who are part of the Next Step Maine Employers’ Initiative. The initiatives is a statewide network of 245 Maine employers committed to the skill development and educational advancement of their employees. Fifteen higher education partners are involved statewide, along with local and regional support providers, the release states.
The full MDF release is online.
More about the Next Step Maine Scholarship, including awardee profiles, are on the organization’s website.
WABI (Channel 5) reported on the University of Maine’s Stormwater Management Research Team (SMART) Institute, a three-day program that focuses on creating innovative solutions to environmental problems related to stormwater management. About 100 students and teacher from high schools around the state participated in the program that aims to engage a diverse group of students and teachers in training for the implementation of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in their schools while addressing an important environmental issue. Throughout the conference, students took part in hands-on projects led by STEM professionals in areas such as engineering design, science, computer modeling and information technology to monitor and map water quality. “It’s really cool because we are actually doing something that will affect our community. To be part of something that is groundbreaking and going to make a difference,” said Sarah Montenbeau, a junior at Traip Academy in Kittery. Cary James, chairman of the science department at Bangor High School, said students are learning about a variety of topics, including science and engineering, technology, and mathematics. “Someone made the comment yesterday that they’re used to being lectured, and this is as far as you can get from that,” James said. On Wednesday, students took water samples from the Stillwater River, WABI reported. “And we’re analyzing whether it’s healthy to drink; whether it’s healthy for fish to live in,” said Takquan Parks, a senior at Bangor High School.
Per Garder, a civil engineering professor at the University of Maine, was quoted in an Associated Press article about commuting times in Maine’s largest metropolitan area. Workers in the Portland-South Portland area enjoy shorter commuting times than the national average despite the area’s status as an employment hub for the state, according to the article. Commuters in the area spent an average of 24.1 minutes getting to work in 2013, slightly less than the national average of 25.8 minutes, the article states. About three-fourths of Maine’s workforce commutes alone by car, and because Maine has few major employers and they aren’t concentrated in one city, many workers commute long distances every day. “We have seen the same trend as the rest of the U.S. — that people are moving out of the service centers and living not only in nearby suburban municipalities but even ex-urban places 30 minutes away or so,” Garder said. “Workplaces on the other hand seem to be concentrating to the traditional urban centers.” Fosters.com, Sun Journal and the Portland Press Herald carried the AP report.
The Bangor Daily News published the opinion piece, “A tech-friendly future for seniors: From ‘smart homes’ to an app that lets you read to your grandchildren remotely” by Jennifer Crittenden, assistant director of the University of Maine Center on Aging. UMaine has recently designated aging as an emerging area of excellence, Crittenden wrote, adding the designation will stimulate the development of cutting-edge aging-in-place technologies in Maine. Crittenden is a member of the Maine chapter of the Scholars Strategy Network, which brings together scholars across the country to address public challenges and their policy implications. Members’ columns appear in the BDN every other week.
The Maine Public Broadcasting Network covered the launch of Maine State of Learning, a statewide effort supporting learning and skill-building to ensure growth, empowerment and success for all Maine residents. The project is fueled by public and private partnerships across the state to provide more learning opportunities to Maine residents of all ages; recognize that learning through digital badges; and connect it to statewide proficiency standards, career pathways and personal goals. The University of Maine is a founding partner of the initiative along with Breakwater Learning, Maine Afterschool Network, Badge Labs, Gulf of Maine Research Institute and Educate Maine. Jay Collier, Educate Maine program director, said the effort will allow learners to collect digital badges at a number of locations around the state, including after school programs and camps, according to the report. The badges are designed to serve as verifiable records of learning. Participants can earn three digital badges in the UMaine 4-H STEM Ambassador program.
Liam Riordan, a University of Maine history professor and director of the University of Maine Humanities Center, was quoted in a Bangor Daily News article about the Colonial Theatre in Belfast being put on the market. Riordan told the BDN downtown theaters such as the Colonial matter a lot to the cultural lives of Maine communities. “I do think theaters have played an extraordinary role as a hub of local culture,” Riordan said, mentioning the Criterion in Bar Harbor, the Grand in Ellsworth, the Alamo in Bucksport and the Strand in Rockland as some other examples of early 20th century downtown theaters that remain relevant along the coast. “Now all are multifunctional spaces and performance hubs,” he said. “We do need these kinds of gathering spaces. They can include music and dance and lectures.”