University of Maine artists Noreen and Phillip Silver, also known as the Silver Duo, were mentioned in the Maine Edge article “Highlands Classical Trio embarks on spring tour.” The Silvers listened to the trio perform and offered advice before the group from Dover-Foxcroft and Dexter began their tour.
The Bangor Daily News reported volunteers of the Boardwalk Campaign, a fundraising effort to replace the existing wood boardwalk with composite material, aim to raise $250,000 by July 1 to replace the first 105 sections of the trail in late summer and early fall. The University of Maine jointly manages the Orono Bog Boardwalk with the Orono Land Trust and the city of Bangor.
The latest edition of The Weekly contained an article on the recreational use of the University of Maine bike paths in the spring. The edition also included an article about therapy dogs visiting Fogler Library to ease stress during finals week.
The Village Soup previewed this weekend’s Festival of Art, an annual exhibition at the University of Maine’s Hutchinson Center in Belfast. Alan Magee of Cushing, the featured guest speaker, will give an illustrated talk and question-and-answer session Saturday.
Libraries and information is the theme of the latest issue of “Maine Policy Review,” a joint publication of the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center and the Margaret Chase Smith Foundation, now available at DigitalCommons@UMaine. Among the articles is “Are Libraries Necessary? Are Libraries Obsolete,” by Linda Silka and Joyce Rumery. Rumery also wrote about institutional repositories, and served as a guest editor for the special issue. Ann Acheson is the “Maine Policy Review” editor.
The second annual UMaine Business Challenge for student entrepreneurs recently awarded thousands of dollars in cash and consulting services to a University of Southern Maine student and three UMaine finalists.
Tom Myers, a USM mechanical engineering student from Gray, Maine, won the grand prize of $5,000, as well as the $4,000 technology prize and consulting services donated by sponsors to promote his business, ABC Firewood.
Spencer Wood, a UMaine communications and human development double major from Salisbury, N.H., won the second-place prize of $1,000, as well as patent and law consulting for his business, Body Guard Fitness.
The other finalists, Henry Bonneau, a UMaine civil engineering major from Skowhegan who owns Bonneau & Son Excavation, and Matthew Hodgkin, a UMaine animal science major from Colebrook, Conn., who co-owns LobsteRX, won consulting time with sponsors and judges.
The UMaine Business Challenge (UBC) was started by 2010 UMaine graduates Owen McCarthy, James Morin, Matt Ciampa and Sangam Lama to support and promote new businesses started by UMaine students and to improve Maine’s economy. This year, the team was joined by marketing representative Hannah Hudson, also a 2010 UMaine graduate.
“We started UBC because we are passionate about UMaine and the state,” McCarthy says. “We saw this as an opportunity to pay it forward. It is our goal to see UBC alumni leading the state in economic growth and development while giving back to the university in their time, talent and treasure.”
The competition is sponsored by Maine Technology Institute, Blackstone Accelerates Growth, University Credit Union, UMaine Class of 1944, UMaine Class of 1980, UMaine Class of 2010, Maine Business School, University of Southern Maine, Opticliff ESQ, The Swanson Group LLC, Maine News Simply and WLOB Radio.
The four finalists were chosen after rounds of competition including an intent to participate stage, questionnaire and executive summary. The finalists were then asked to submit complete business plans to a panel of judges including James Page, University of Maine System chancellor; Jesse Moriarity, coordinator of UMaine’s Foster Center for Student Innovation; Jason Harkins, Maine Business School professor; John F. Burns, fund manager for Small Enterprise Growth, Maine’s Venture Capital Fund; Meredith Strang Burgess, president and CEO of Burgess Advertising & Marketing; Gregory Cavanaugh, program manager for external programs at University of Southern Maine; and Marc Brunelle and Brent Larlee, UMaine alumni and entrepreneurs.
The finalists share the same goal of promoting businesses in Maine.
Tom Myers, ABC Firewood
The idea for Myers’ startup business began when he came across a YouTube video of a commercially produced firewood processor.
“I was analyzing the production process and got thinking about all the inefficiencies in the design,” Myers says. “I thought about how I would do things differently and the idea grew from there.”
Myers, who will graduate in 2015, says he wants his business to be a leading provider in high-quality, affordable firewood in southern Maine.
“Through the use of innovative, custom-designed processing equipment we will be able to keep production rates and quality high while keeping costs down to a minimum,” Myers says. “We are also aiming to completely change the way firewood is sold.”
Myers says there is currently no quantifiable number as to how much heat a delivery of wood produces. ABC Firewood plans to use a new method for quantifying the heat output of a wood delivery to ensure clients are getting the most for their money and to help weed out dishonest suppliers.
Winning first place in the challenge as well as the technology prize through MTI and Blackstone will allow Myers to begin operations immediately through startup funds, establishing contacts and strengthening business skills.
“By winning, my business plan was suddenly backed and supported by many different people all vowing for its viability,” Myers says. “It gave me the confidence and knowledge necessary to get the ball rolling and start my own business. I think this is a huge obstacle to overcome for any entrepreneur, but an even larger one for a young entrepreneur.”
Spencer Wood, Body Guard Fitness
Wood, who graduated in May and plans to return to UMaine to get his master’s degree in human development, got the idea for his business while playing for the UMaine football team.
“I needed something to keep my body in peak physical condition that I could take on the road and use in the residence halls when I was living on campus,” Wood says.
He describes his business as “the first of its kind.”
“This revolutionary product in full-body fitness and mobility will transform the fitness industry and bodies alike,” Wood says. “It is a unique combination of push-up grip and resistance-band technologies that come together to provide a comprehensive and demanding full-body workout.”
Wood’s goal is for the Body Guard to become a household name and a familiar product in the fitness world. He wants his product to be known for giving users confidence.
Since the challenge, Wood has worked with some of the judges and the Foster Center and is confident the money and counseling he won will greatly affect his business.
“If my product is patentable, which it looks it is, the sky will be the limit,” Wood says.
Henry Bonneau, Bonneau & Son Excavation
Bonneau started his excavation business in May 2012 with a 4-yard dump truck, skid steer and backhoe to complete lawn and residential drainage work. By the end of the summer, he was able to purchase a bulldozer that allowed him to also clear land, put in driveways, dig septic systems and complete large-scale landscaping.
Bonneau says his advertising strategy and eagerness to find work helped him have a successful first year and allowed him to purchase a full-sized 18-yard dump truck.
Last summer’s jobs included septic systems and house lots, as well as larger projects such as working on a $350,000 residential reconstruction project and a land rehabilitation and repair project for Central Maine Power.
Bonneau, who plans to graduate in 2015, wants his company to grow and differentiate itself from other Maine contractors.
“I aspire to emphasize green and ‘low-impact’ construction while incorporating today’s most innovative construction methods and materials,” Bonneau says, adding he already has plans to construct a bioretention cell, or natural soil filter, and look into innovative materials such as tire-derived aggregates.
Bonneau believes the consulting services he won and connections he made from the UMaine Business Challenge will benefit his company.
“I suggest any and all entrepreneurs who are aware of this competition and are anxious to get their business off the ground [or in my case, develop it further] should take full advantage of this opportunity,” Bonneau says.
Matthew Hodgkin, LobsteRX
Hodgkin, who expects to graduate in May 2015, decided to start a business with his partners, Lobster Institute Executive Director Robert Bayer, Lobster Institute Associate Director Cathy Billings, and Stewart Hardison, a business partner from outside the UMaine community, after the four had a conversation about lobster industry waste.
“Our business is taking the lobster processing by-products and trying to find uses for them,” Hodgkin says. “So far we have had success in that we have come across certain antiviral and antineoplastic properties.”
Hodgkin and his partners aim to create products from lobster-processing industry waste. Their goal is to get more money to lobstermen and improve Maine’s economy.
Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.381.3747
Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Student Timothy Baker Receives First Prize at Maine Water Conference
Posted May 15, 2013
Timothy Baker, student in the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program, received first prize for his poster “Combining Environmental Education and Computational Thinking” at the 2013 Maine Water Conference in Augusta. The Maine Water Conference was founded in 1994 by the Mitchell Center as an annual forum for water resource professionals, researchers, consultants, citizens, students, regulators, and planners to exchange information and present new findings on water resource issues in Maine. The conference has grown to become one of the largest environmentally-related conferences in Maine attracting over 350 attendees each year. Baker’s research is focused on watershed education in middle school curriculum. He and a team of UMaine students have developed and tested seven different activities as part of a pedagogical framework combining computational thinking, environmental learning, and integrative thinking. Integrative thinking refers to both system-based learning -such as exploring 'what if' questions of an environmental model and adjusting the model appropriately- and also multi-disciplinary possibilities, such as activities that require or allow students to use skills and knowledge from math, science, english, and other subjects. Baker said of his research, “Water and watershed issues are used to explore creative learning and problem solving through computer programing based activities. The activities provide a way for students to explore and learn about interconnected human and natural systems, specifically watershed systems.”
The Bangor Daily News, WLBZ (Channel 2) and WVII (Channel 7) were among news organizations to report on the UMaine appearance of Oscar-nominated actor David Strathairn. Strathairn participated in a reading of the Sophocles play “Ajax” as part of the Outside the Wire theater program’s “Theater of War.” The reading took place during Maine Center on Aging’s Clinical Geriatrics Colloquium at the University of Maine on Monday.
The Bangor Daily News previewed a free summit Friday in Augusta by the University of Maine Humanities Initiative. Justin Wolff, director of the initiative, told the BDN the goal of the summit is to bring scholars, political leaders and the public together to speak about the benefits of arts and humanities in the state.
David Fuller, agriculture and nontimber forest products professional and fiddlehead expert with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, spoke with the Portland Press Herald about fiddlehead characteristics and this year’s harvest. A video of Fuller and the plants is also featured with the article.
For those who missed The Graduate Student and Faculty Recognition (Hooding) Ceremony on May 10th, the University has provided the live stream available here. Enjoy and congratulations to the 2013 graduates!
A University of Maine study and Cooperative Extension specialists were cited in the Mainebiz article “Potato farmers innovate to find new markets.” The 2010 study found Maine’s potato industry could be well suited to grow stock for the bioplastic industry. John Jemison, water quality and soil specialist and Jim Dwyer, crops specialist with UMaine Extension, were also interviewed about the state’s potato industry.
The newest entry in the Bangor Daily News blog “Education: Future Imperfect,” by UMaine Professor of History Howard Segal is online.
The Associated Press, Bangor Daily News, WABI (Channel 5) and WLBZ (Channel 2) were among several news organizations to cover the University of Maine’s 211th commencement. 1,665 students graduated Saturday and more than 12,000 people attended the ceremonies.
The Maine Public Broadcasting Network cited a recent study by University of Maine economist Todd Gabe on the Maine film and photography industry. Gabe’s study shows steady growth in the area.
Field Notes recently interviewed University of Maine professor of glaciology Gordon Hamilton about his research. Hamilton plans to use his knowledge of glaciers and their flow patterns to aid the U.S. government in uncovering World War II plane wreckage in Greenland.
Mainebiz spoke to Robert Rice, a University of Maine wood scientist, for an article about the Maine Heritage Timber Co. and its plans to harvest wood from the bottom of Quakish Lake in Millinocket. Rice has worked with the company’s co-founder Tom Shafer.
The Bangor Daily News reported Tyler Walsh, the eldest son of legendary University of Maine hockey coach Shawn Walsh, graduated from UMaine on Saturday.
University of Maine President Paul Ferguson’s recent interview on TideSmart Talk with Stevoe is now available online. Ferguson spoke to radio host Steve Woods about his Blue Sky Plan for the flagship campus.
David Fuller, agriculture and nontimber forest products professional and fiddlehead expert with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, spoke with the Maine Public Broadcasting Network about fiddlehead characteristics and this year’s harvest.