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.
The 28th Annual Graduate Student and Faculty Recognition (Hooding) Ceremony will be held on Friday, May 8th, 2015 from 4 to 6 pm at the Alfond Arena. A reception in Wells Conference Center will immediately follow. For more information please see the appropriate link below, or contact the Graduate School at email@example.com or 207.581.3291.
The Bangor Daily News and WABI (Channel 5) reported Katelyn Massey of Waterville is the 2015 salutatorian at the University of Maine. Massey is a psychology major with a concentration in development and a minor in communication sciences and disorders. Her academic honors include the Frederick W. and Marianne Hill Scholarship, the Marcus L. Urann Scholarship, Class of 1945 Scholarship, and the Jane Gerry Chase Hangar Scholarship. She also was named a Kornetsky Scholar as the graduating psychology student with the highest GPA. For the past four years, Massey has been a forward on the UMaine women’s ice hockey team, serving as assistant captain this year and taking Hockey East Top Scholar Athlete honors from 2012–14. This fall, Massey will pursue graduate work in communication sciences and disorders at UMaine. She also has been selected for a clinical assistantship in UMaine’s Audiology Clinic.
Lisa Morin, coordinator of the Bodwell Center for Service and Volunteerism at the University of Maine, was one of 10 people and three organizations to be honored at the 18th annual Red Cross Real Heroes Breakfast in Brewer, WLBZ (Channel 2) reported. Morin has been the lead on UMaine’s blood drive program for five years, according to the report. Since beginning her work with the Red Cross, Morin has organized more than 30 blood drives, which have recruited more than 3,000 donors and collected 2,852 units of blood, the report states.
Orono High School students visited the University of Maine to prepare for an upcoming engineering and design competition, WABI (Channel 5) and WVII (Channel 7) reported. Instructors from the Advanced Structures and Composites Center helped students transform raw materials into solid, functional wind blades in advance of the seventh annual Wind Blade Challenge that will be held at UMaine on May 1, according to WABI.
Patrick Nason, an undergraduate student in social work at the University of Maine, wrote an opinion piece for the Bangor Daily News titled “How Upward Bound helps low-income, first-generation students succeed.” Nason participated in Upward Bound Math and Science at UMaine from 2012–2014. The article is one of several student pieces produced in an American government class taught by political science professor Amy Fried. Students in the class write and submit letters to the editor or elected officials, or op-eds.
The Village Soup reported University of Maine geographer Stephen Hornsby will discuss the newly published “Historical Atlas of Maine” April 28 as part of Camden Public Library’s Maritime Month. The atlas is a geographical and historical interpretation of the state, from the end of the last ice age to 2000. It culminates a 15-year scholarly project led by UMaine researchers. Hornsby and UMaine historian Richard Judd edited the book that contains cartography by Michael Hermann.
Dana Morse, a Maine Sea Grant researcher who works at the University of Maine’s Darling Marine Center, was quoted in the Bangor Daily News article, “How Maine’s sea farms could be key to feeding the world.” The article argues that Atlantic salmon could be Maine’s farm-raised lobster. Morse said while production of Maine shellfish such as mussels and oysters has been growing, Atlantic salmon brings in the most money for fish farmers. In 2010, blue mussels and American oysters were valued at $1.3 million and $1.7 million, respectively. Meanwhile, Atlantic salmon was valued at $73.5 million in 2010, the article states.
WVII (Channel 7) reported University of Maine student Spencer Wood was named the winner of the latest Big Gig pitch-off finale at the University of Maine’s Foster Center for Student Innovation. Finalists from the last three Big Gig pitch-off events competed for a $1,500 grand prize sponsored by University Credit Union. Wood presented the app Tip Whip that would allow college students to find a ride within a 3-mile ride radius of their location in order to avoid drunk driving, WVII reported. The Big Gig is a series of business pitch events for entrepreneurs in Greater Bangor designed to bring together Bangor-Orono area innovators and entrepreneurs and offer networking opportunities. It was started by a partnership between UMaine, Old Town, Orono and Husson University and is supported by Blackstone Accelerates Growth.
The Sun Journal reported on Androscoggin and Oxford county winners of the statewide National History Day (NHD) competition held at the University of Maine in March. NHD is an academic program that promotes critical thinking, research and presentation skills through project-based learning for students of all abilities. More than 300 students and teachers from 36 middle and high schools took part in this year’s state contest. Exhibits, papers, websites, documentaries and performances were judged, with the top winners becoming eligible to compete in the national contest at the University of Maryland, College Park in June. Students from Bruce M. Whittier Middle School in Poland, Buckfield Junior/Senior High School, Hartford Sumner Elementary School in Sumner and T.W. Kelly Dirigo Middle School in Dixfield were among this year’s winners, the article states.
The research and creative achievement of more than 80 faculty members will be honored at the University of Maine in Celebrating Scholarship, April 21 at the Collins Center for the Arts.
The event, from 5–7 p.m., is part of UMane’s 150th anniversary celebration and will feature exhibits highlighting UMaine faculty scholarship since 2011, including research, books, and visual and performing arts. Celebrating Scholarship, sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research, is free and open to the public.