Student research was displayed during the 6th annual Undergraduate Research and Academic Showcase on April 14.
The event, sponsored by UMaine’s Center for Undergraduate Research (CUGR), was open to any undergraduate at the university and featured 121 presentations from 229 students in the form of 92 posters, 16 oral presentations or performances, and 13 exhibits. Several presentations included multiple students.
Following are the winning presentations:
- Samuel Gates of Old Town, Maine; and Meghan Hurlburt of Union, Maine, “Multi-Tag Radio Frequency Indication for Use in Indoor Positional Tracking Systems;” adviser: Nicholas Giudice, School of Computing and Information Science
- Danielle Walczak of Lee, New Hampshire, “Forward, Not Back: Young People’s Search for Farming and Community in Maine;” adviser: Melissa Ladenheim, Honors College (first place)
- Vincent Digiovanni of Belmont, Massachusetts, “Chemical Degradation and Functionalization of Acarbose for the Creation and Study of Novel Alpha Amylase Inhibitors Related to the Acarviostatin Family of Natural Products;” Adviser: Matthew Brichacek, Department of Chemistry (second place)
- Eliza Kane of Deer Isle, Maine, “The Geochemistry and Historical Ecology of a Burnt Mississippian House at the Lawrenz Gun Club Site in the Central Illinois River Valley;” adviser: Alice Kelley, School of Earth and Climate Sciences (first place)
- Kai Hermansen of Old Town, Maine; Abbie Gray of Poland, Maine; Evan Nadeau of Brewer, Maine; Viktoria Staples of Brooklin, Maine; and Roger Brasslett of Brewer, Maine, “Exercise Education at Brewer High School Health Class;” adviser: Elizabeth Bicknell, School of Nursing (second place)
- Jacob Posik of Turner, Maine; Cameron Marcotte of Lewiston, Maine; Jacob Hatch of Portland, Maine; Harold Trey Stewart III of Presque Isle, Maine; and Adam Thibodeau of Bangor, Maine, “Confronting The Challenges of Studentification in Residential Orono Neighborhoods;” adviser: Robert Glover, Department of Political Science (third place)
Also announced at the showcase were the five winners of a $3,000 Summer Research and Creative Academic Achievements Fellowship:
- Spencer Desrochers of Biddeford, Maine, “Optimizing Power Usage of Modern Computing Systems;” adviser: Vincent Weaver, electrical and computer engineering
- Ailish Foley of Montville, Maine, “The Effects of Collection Time, Auxin Concentration, and Wounding on Root Formation of Softwood and Semi-Hardwood Cuttings of Rhododendron Canadense;” adviser: Bryan Peterson, School of Food and Agriculture
- Zachary Mason of Wells, Maine, “Increasing Resolution of Tropical Last Glacial Maximum Record with Cosmogenic Surface Exposure-Dating;” Brenda Hall, Earth and Climate Sciences
- Scott Mitchell of Haymarket, Virginia, “Use of FAME Profiling to Detect Differences in Microbial Activity in Compost from Horses Treated with and without Antibiotics;” adviser: Robert Causey, School of Food and Agriculture
- Jessica Moore of Bangor, Maine, “Investigating a Link Between Inflammation and Invasive Candidiasis;” adviser: Robert Wheeler, molecular and biomedical sciences
Gregory Porter, chairman of the Department of Plant, Soil and Environmental Sciences; and Matt Schultheis, a student in Porter’s lab, spoke with the Maine Public Broadcasting Network for a report about a new potato variety created by UMaine and the Maine Potato Board. Porter described the Caribou Russett as having high quality for fresh consumption, such as a baked or mashed potato, as well as for making healthier french fries. It also produces high yields and has a good internal quality, he told MPBN. Schultheis spoke about how a potato is created in the lab by collecting and transferring pollen. “I’m collecting pollen from individual clusters and then taking pollen from other plants and applying them to the stigma of individual other clusters that we have made for crossing by taking the anthers off and applying the pollen directly to the stigma,” he said.
The Bangor Daily News, WABI (Channel 5) and WVII (Channel 7) reported on the 2015 1st Lieutenant James R. Zimmerman Memorial Fitness Challenge at the University of Maine. The event, hosted by the UMaine Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC), was established in 2011 to honor and remember Zimmerman, a 2008 UMaine graduate from Presque Isle, who was killed in action in November 2010 while in combat during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. More than 40 teams of four competed in a variety of physical activities including pack runs, pull ups and a crawl through a mud pit on the course through campus as well as surrounding fields and trails. “This is very special today; to have him remembered,” Zimmerman’s mother Jane told WVII.
Jim Dill, a pest management specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, was quoted in the New England Center for Investigative Reporting (NECIR) article, “Despite spread of Lyme disease, Mass. dedicates no money to prevention.” Dill said the extremely cold winter most likely didn’t kill many ticks because “most of them were three feet under … warm and well-insulated” by the snow, the article states. Northeast states generally don’t spend much on tick-borne disease prevention, according to the article, although Maine voters in November approved $8 million for a UMaine Extension lab that will test ticks and conduct other pest-related research. Massachusetts’ Eagle-Tribune, Lowell Sun and Worcester Telegram & Gazette carried the NECIR article.
WABI (Channel 5) covered the University Credit Union’s 8th annual Healthy High 5k/10k and 1-mile run/walk at the University of Maine on April 20. The race promotes health and wellness for members of the university and surrounding community. Proceeds benefit the UMaine Bodwell Center for Service and Volunteerism and the Black Bear Exchange food pantry and thrift store. During the race, the UMaine student organization Male Athletes Against Violence hosted the awareness event, “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes.” Male student-athletes wore red high heels and walked one mile to symbolize the difficulty of being a woman in today’s society. Organizers told WABI they hope the demonstration helps raise awareness for the prevention of sexual violence. WVII (Channel 7) also reported on the race.
The Bangor Daily News interviewed Kate Garland, a horticulturist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, for an article on the science and folklore of companion planting. Science shows that planting certain crops together can yield more bountiful results and potentially keep pests away, according to the article. “A lot of people feel very strongly about companion planting. Maybe they learned about it from their grandfather or grandmother, so it may not be based in science — but it works,” Garland said. “But, no one person is going to be 100 percent right all the time.” Garland said there are many suggested plant pairings related to either plant compatibility or timing.
The Portland Press Herald published a feature for its “Meet” series on Esperanza Stancioff, an associate professor and climate change educator with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Maine Sea Grant. Stancioff oversees the Signs of the Seasons program, which uses volunteers to observe and record seasonal changes as a way to track Maine’s changing climate, according to the article. “We are constantly reaching out to people all over the state, and we’d love to have more people out there observing,” Stancioff said of the program that began in 2010. “The more data, the better information we are going to get.”
Nicolle Littrell, a University of Maine women’s studies educator and Belfast filmmaker, wrote an article for the Bangor Daily News about UMaine’s Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program. Her article examines five common misconceptions about the discipline that persist despite recent curriculum changes that reflect a broader, more inclusive approach to programming. Some of the myths are addressed in a new video campaign from the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program titled, “This is what a UMaine Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Student Looks Like,” according to the article. The campaign launches Tuesday, April 21, in the Bangor Room of the Memorial Union.
More than 80 student leaders gathered in Orono for a summit to discuss ways to improve student culture and involvement across all seven campuses of the University of Maine System, the Maine Public Broadcasting Network and WVII (Channel 7) reported. During the conference, students were expected to hear talks by UMaine President Susan J. Hunter, University of Maine System Chancellor James Page, and other university leaders, as well as presentations from student leaders across the system, according to MPBN.
The Bangor Daily News referenced University of Maine Cooperative Extension videos and a guide on how to compost in the article, “Interested in composting? Here’s what you need to get started.” The report cited the UMaine Extension bulletin, “Home Composting,” as well as two videos featuring Mark Hutchinson, a UMaine Extension educator and professor.
The University of Maine will award honorary doctorates on May 9 to alumni Dana Connors of Gray, Maine, president of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, and Dennis Rezendes of Boulder, Colorado, who pioneered the hospice program in the United States; and M. Peter McPherson, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU).
The honorary doctorates will be conferred at UMaine’s 213th Commencement, part of the university’s 150th anniversary celebration.
McPherson will deliver a keynote address at both the 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. ceremonies.
As the leader of the state’s largest and most diverse business association for more than 20 years, Dana Connors oversees the Maine State Chamber’s broad range of activities: advocacy efforts, economic development initiatives, workforce development opportunities, and a wide variety of member services on behalf of the state’s business community.
Connors began his career as the city manager of Presque Isle for 16 years, and then spent 11 years as commissioner of the Maine Department of Transportation. He has been president of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce since 1994.
A Maine native, Connors received a bachelor’s degree in public management from UMaine in 1965. He has been appointed by the Governor to serve on the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority and the State of Maine Governor’s Business Roundtable for Early Childhood Development. Other boards on which he currently serves include Maine Economic Research Institute; Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership; and Maine & Company.
Dennis Rezendes provided national leadership to improve end-of-life care for millions of people by helping establish the hospice program in this country, offering quality and compassionate care for those with terminal illnesses. As a volunteer and philanthropist, he devoted himself to educational and social justice causes at home and abroad. He is a strong believer in the power of education to open minds and change lives. With his wife, he has contributed generously to scholarships and the arts, and has created UMaine endowments to support a visiting scholar in ethics, an ethics essay competition and the Honors College.
Under the auspicious of the Global Volunteers organization, he also endowed a program enabling a student to volunteer for two weeks in a Third World country.
Rezendes is a member of the Charles F. Allen Society, President’s Club and Stillwater Society. In 2012 he received the Stillwater Presidential Award. In 2014, he was the recipient of Bernard Lown ’42 Alumni Humanitarian Award. He received the Founder’s Award from the National Hospice Organization (NHO), which provided national leadership to define hospice and develop the standards of hospice care. Rezendes provided direct leadership in the passage of federal legislation enabling hospice care to be a Medicare benefit. In New Haven, Connecticut in 1974, he became the nation’s first hospice executive director, guiding the development of the first hospice program of care.
Of Portuguese heritage, Rezendes is a second-generation immigrant and the first of his family to graduate from college. After graduating from UMaine in 1957 as an honors student with a degree in public management, he continued his education at the University of Pennsylvania, the Wharton School. From 1960–70 he served as director of administration for the City of New Haven, Connecticut. He has had a successful career both in government and the private sector.
Since 2006, M. Peter McPherson has been president of the Washington, D.C.-based APLU. The association, founded in 1887, is North America’s oldest higher education association, comprised of public research universities, land-grant institutions and universities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, four territories, Canada and Mexico. APLU is the leading research, policy and advocacy organization for public research universities like UMaine.
McPherson also chairs the Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa, an organization he co-founded to address agricultural production and rural income issues. He is chair of the advisory committee for HarvestPlus, an organization funded at approximately $40 million annually to research the biofortification of crops grown by workers in poor countries. Biofortification is the genetic improvement of crops to fortify them with vitamin A, iron and zinc.
From 1993–2004, McPherson served as president of his alma mater, Michigan State University. Prior to that, he was a group executive vice president with Bank of America, based in San Francisco. He also served as deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). McPherson is a former chair of the board of directors of Dow Jones and Company, publisher of The Wall Street Journal.
McPherson received an MBA from Western Michigan University and a J.D. from American University Law School.
Dollars & Sense: Real World Economics published, “Maine farmers and climate change: Reactive or proactive?” by three University of Maine professors. The article was written by Stephanie Welcomer, an associate professor of management and associate dean of the Maine Business School; Mark Haggerty, an associate professor of Honors and Rezendes Preceptorship of Civil Engagement; and John Jemison, a soil and water quality specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension.
The Kansas City Star article “Kansas and Missouri move to tighten welfare rules” cites a 2013 study by Sandra Butler, a University of Maine social work professor. Butler’s study, “TANF Time Limits and Maine Families: Consequences of Withdrawing the Safety Net,” found that families kicked off Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) because exceeding lifetime benefits in Maine experienced an increased reliance on food banks, inability to pay utility and other bills, and overcrowded housing conditions or reliance on homeless shelters, according to the article.
The Village Soup reported Julia Sell of Cushing is one of two University of Maine seniors who have been awarded Graduate Research Fellowships from the National Science Foundation. Sell is a physics major, honors student and undergraduate researcher at UMaine’s Laboratory for Surface Science and Technology. Gwendolyn Beacham of Farmington, a biochemistry major and honors student at UMaine, also was among 2,000 students nationwide selected from among 16,500 applicants in the 2015 competition.
Gary Anderson, a University of Maine Cooperative Extension professor, was quoted in a Castine Patriot article about the latest legislative push to allow unlicensed raw milk sales in Maine. Two proposed bills would require milk and milk products to be labeled as unpasteurized, that farmers undergo a dairy sanitization course, and prohibit the advertising of products, according to the article. Anderson recently testified that while no illnesses related to drinking raw milk have been reported in Maine, 26 states reported 81 raw milk outbreaks from 2007 to 2012, causing 979 illnesses and 73 hospitalizations, the article states.
The Free Press reported the University of Maine Hutchinson Center in Belfast has received $500,000 from the estate of Marilyn Duane. The gift was one of four grants totaling $2 million that were presented to local organizations at a meeting of the Belfast Rotary Club at the Hutchinson Center. Duane, originally from Bangor, retired to Belfast in 1987 with her late husband, James T. Duane; James Duane was a member of Belfast Rotary Club, and Marilyn Duane was a member of the Belfast Garden Club and Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), according to the article. Marilyn Duane was inspired by UMaine alumnus James Patterson, founding director of the Hutchinson Center and member of Belfast Rotary, who, she said, helped students access affordable higher education in a supportive and flexible environment, the article states.
categories: umaine in the news
“Memphis, the Musical” winner of the 2010 Tony Award for Best Musical, will bring energy, explosive dancing and electrifying songs to the Collins Center for the Arts at the University of Maine at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 28.
Inspired by actual events in the underground dance clubs of 1950s Memphis, Tennessee, the musical tells the fictional story of white radio DJ Huey Calhoun (Daniel Hines) and black club singer Felicia Farrell (Zuri Washington). Their personal ambitions as well as pressure from outsiders who don’t accept their love and test their relationship.
Bon Jovi founding member David Bryan wrote the music for “Memphis.” In addition to winning a Tony for Best Musical, “Memphis” won for Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score and Best Costume Design.
“Memphis, The Musical” is a Prather Touring production. Tickets, which are $73, $63, $48 and $33, are available online or by calling 581.1755, 800.622.TIXX.
Maine School Garden Day will be held from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, May 9 at Sanford Regional Technical Center (SRTC), 52 Sanford High School Blvd., Sanford.
The day is designed for Maine prekindergarten–12 educators and enthusiasts who want to start or continue a school garden. Topics include saving seeds, cooking with youth, managing a school orchard and garden management models. A panel discussion with school-based gardeners will be held, and participants may tour the SRTC garden that uses high-tunnel and aquaponics technology.
The $30 fee — $40 after April 29 — includes a lunch made with local food. Scholarships are available; participants will receive certificates for contact hours or CEUs. Registration is available online or by contacting email@example.com, 287.5522. To request a disability accommodation, call 207.342.5971, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The PBS Nature show “Animal Homes: Location, Location, Location” featured a field site of the Saltmarsh Habitat & Avian Research Program (SHARP).
University of Maine assistant professor Brian Olsen is a principal investigator with SHARP; its goal is to establish priorities for the long-term conservation of tidal marsh birds.
Ecologist Chris Morgan hosted “Animal Homes: Location, Location, Location,” which aired at 8 p.m. April 15. The second of a three-part series documented the critical placement of nests of saltmarsh sparrows in coastal marshes from Maine to Virginia, “where ocean and land collide.” Just-born chicks can drown if a rising tide covers the nest.
The University of Maine’s top honors are being awarded to faculty in civil engineering, philosophy, history and communication.
The 2015 Distinguished Maine Professor is Bill Davids, the John C. Bridge Professor of Civil Engineering. The annual award is presented by the University of Maine Alumni Association in recognition of outstanding achievement in UMaine’s statewide mission of teaching, research and economic development, and community engagement.
Kirsten Jacobson, associate professor of philosophy, will receive the 2015 Presidential Outstanding Teaching Award; Richard Judd, Col. James C. McBride Distinguished Professor of History, will receive the 2015 Presidential Research and Creative Achievement Award; and Laura Lindenfeld, director of the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center and associate professor of communication, will receive the 2015 Presidential Public Service Achievement Award.
The award recipients will be honored at the Faculty Appreciation and Recognition Luncheon, noon–1:30 p.m., May 9 at Wells Conference Center.
“In our 150th anniversary year, there is no better way to look at the difference a land grant university makes than through the quality teaching, research and community engagement demonstrated by four faculty members of this caliber,” says UMaine President Susan J. Hunter. “The work of Bill, Kirsten, Dick and Laura in Maine is known nationally and internationally. The direct beneficiaries are UMaine students and the people of Maine.”
The following faculty citations are excerpted from the nomination packages submitted to the selection committees:
2015 Distinguished Maine Professor
John C. Bridge Professor of Civil Engineering
Bill Davids is a gifted, committed educator and outstanding researcher with a strong record of public service. His popular and rigorous upper-level undergraduate and graduate courses produce well-prepared structural engineers who truly understand how engineers design. Davids’ internationally recognized research applies numerical modeling to a wide range of multidisciplinary problems. He has made fundamental contributions to structural, geotechnical, environmental and pavement engineering, and engineering mechanics. Davids’ work has been central to many University of Maine-developed technologies, including blast-resistant structures. His work on inflatable structures resulted in a NASA-funded project focused on atmospheric reentry systems for spacecraft. The breadth of Davids’ expertise makes him a resource for the state. As a structural engineer with particular expertise in bridge engineering, he is frequently tapped by the Maine Department of Transportation for critical safety assessments. He also has helped many Maine-based engineering firms solve difficult structural modeling problems. Davids’ many national, state and UMaine awards include the 2012 L.J. Markwardt Wood Engineering Award from the Forest Products Society and the George Marra Award from the Society of Wood Science and Technology. In 2010, he was named the State of Maine Civil Engineer of the Year by the Maine chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Davids was the UMaine valedictorian in 1989. He also received a master’s degree in civil engineering from UMaine in 1991, and a Ph.D. in civil and structural engineering from the University of Washington in 1998. That year, Davids joined the UMaine College of Engineering faculty. He has chaired the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering since 2012.
2015 Presidential Outstanding Teaching Award
Kirsten E. Jacobson
Associate Professor of Philosophy
Kirsten E. Jacobson is recognized for her enthusiasm for teaching and how she encourages students to think for themselves. Since coming to the University of Maine in 2006, she has taught undergraduate and graduate classes in 19th- and 20th-century continental philosophy and the philosophy of art, and has created topics-based courses in response to the interests and demands of students, and reflecting her active research. By incorporating ideas, examples and texts from multiple disciplines — from biology and political science to art history and physics — she empowers students in active learning. She encourages students to find the relevance of significant philosophical debates in their lives and in the community, marrying theoretical engagement with practical concerns. That involvement goes beyond the classroom, as Jacobson advises students in Phi Sigma Tau, the philosophy honor society, and the Philosophy Club. Another example of Jacobson’s commitment to the quality and value of teaching is in the volunteer-based service-learning program she established in 2009 called Philosophy Across the Ages. The initiative connects UMaine undergraduates with area high school students and retirement community members to discuss philosophical questions and examine their relevance in everyday life. Philosophy Across the Ages epitomizes Jacobson’s commitment as a teacher to “continue always to ask questions of myself and others about the nature of human experience in order that we might become increasingly adept at reflecting and responding to the reality of our situation.” Jacobson received a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from St. John’s College in 1996 and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Pennsylvania State University in 2006.
2015 Presidential Research and Creative Achievement Award
Richard W. Judd
Col. James C. McBride Distinguished Professor of History
Richard W. Judd is an internationally recognized researcher and author of environmental history who exemplifies the importance of academic scholarship with a public purpose. By bringing a Maine and New England perspective to bear on how environmental history is conducted and conceptualized, Judd’s research has reshaped — and continues to inform — this area of scholarship. He has inspired the current generation of environmental historians and earned UMaine a reputation for pioneering environmental history research. The depth and breadth of Judd’s scholarship were most recently reflected in The Historical Atlas of Maine, published this year by the University of Maine Press. Judd co-edited and contributed to the Atlas, a geographical and historical interpretation of Maine, from the end of the last ice age to the year 2000. The volume culminates a 15-year humanities project led by Judd, Stephen Hornsby and other UMaine researchers. Judd also is the award-winning author of 11 books, including Second Nature: An Environmental History of New England, published last year; and the definitive history of the state, Maine: The Pine Tree State from Prehistory to the Present, published in 1995. His 12th book, Finding Thoreau: The Meaning of Nature in the Making of an Environmental Icon, is expected in 2016. For three decades, he has been the lead editor of the state journal of historical record, Maine History, published by the UMaine History Department and the Maine Historical Society. Judd came to UMaine as a postdoctoral researcher in 1980 and joined the History Department faculty four years later. He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history from California State University, Fullerton, and a Ph.D. in history from the University of California at Irvine.
2015 Presidential Public Service Achievement Award
Laura A. Lindenfeld
Director of the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center
Associate Professor of Communication and Journalism
As a researcher of communication, Laura A. Lindenfeld has demonstrated a deep commitment to applying her knowledge and skills to enhancing the public good and well being of citizens and organizations in Maine. Her research focuses on understanding stakeholders’ needs and helping build more effective partnerships, developing strategies to help align University of Maine resources with the state’s needs. By linking her research, teaching and mentorship of students to on-the-ground action, she has advanced collaboration across organizations and contexts. In 2013 in collaboration with the Office of the Vice President for Innovation and Economic Development, she launched UMaine’s Faculty Fellows — a two-year professional development program to empower 20 faculty leaders to advance the impact of their work by engaging with communities and university stakeholders. The second cohort of Faculty Fellows is now being selected. Lindenfeld’s community engagement initiatives also include leadership on engaging students in a series of advertising campaigns that directly supported local businesses and nonprofit organizations; stewardship of teacher training grants to support English as a Second Language educators in Maine; membership on the Governor’s Task Force to Engage Maine’s Youth; and service on the Maine Humanities Council. Lindenfeld joined the UMaine faculty in 2004. She received a master’s degree in German and Scandinavian literature and language studies from the University of Bonn, and a Ph.D. in cultural studies from the University of California, Davis.