Live Science Reports on Mayewski’s Antarctic Climate Change Research

University of Maine News - Tue, 05/12/2015 - 10:28

Live Science reported on climate change research conducted by a team of scientists including Paul Mayewski, director of the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine. The article, “Million-year-old bubbles reveal Antarctica’s oldest climate snapshot,” focused on research led by John Higgins, a geochemist at Princeton University. Higgins’ co-authors included Mayewski; Michael Bender, also of Princeton; and Ed Brook of Oregon State University. The researchers uncovered a one-million-year-old ice core from Antarctic blue ice in a region called the Allan Hills, according to the article. Bubbles inside the ice provide a glimpse in Earth’s ancestral climate because gases such as carbon dioxide and methane were trapped and preserved inside the bubbles when snow fell in the past, the article states. The researchers said the core offers the oldest record of Earth’s climate from Antarctic ice.

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BDN Features UMaine Extension Video, Tips on Worm Composting

University of Maine News - Tue, 05/12/2015 - 10:27

The Bangor Daily News cited a University of Maine Cooperative Extension video for the article “Want compost? Let worms make it for you.” The worm composting video features UMaine Extension educator and professor Marjorie Peronto who offers tips on how to get started. Worm composting — or vermicomposting — is where earthworms eat and digest organic matter, such as food scraps, and turn them into usable compost, according to the article. “Worms can process about half their weight in food per day,” Peronto said.

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Bromley Quoted in Columbia Chronicle Article on Climate Change

University of Maine News - Tue, 05/12/2015 - 10:26

Gordon Bromley, a research assistant professor at the University of Maine’s Climate Change Institute, was quoted in a Columbia Chronicle article about a a meta-analysis by a University of Connecticut ecology and evolutionary biology professor that states the impact of global warming is more tangible and destructive than previously thought. Mark Urban’s study, which was published in the journal Science, states if global temperatures continue to rise at their current pace, up to one in six species will be in danger of extinction. “To pin the blame on our actions in such a stark way is appropriate but entirely new,” Bromley said of the study. “We’ve heard a lot about how climate is going to keep changing, but we’ve never looked at what the impact will be on species.”

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CCA to Broadcast Play that Unearths World of Mumbai Trash Pickers

University of Maine News - Tue, 05/12/2015 - 10:25

“Behind the Beautiful Forevers,” a gripping play about people living in a slum in Mumbai, will be broadcast live from London to the Collins Center for the Arts at the University of Maine at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 28.

David Hare’s play is based on the unflinching book of the same name that Katherine Boo wrote after she recorded the lives, dreams and devastations of residents in the makeshift settlement for three years. “Behind the Beautiful Forevers” won the National Book Award for nonfiction.

In the shadow of ritzy hotels surrounding the gleaming Mumbai airport, people who live in a slum next to a sewage lake are part of Mumbai’s informal rubbish collecting industry.

Zehrunisa and her son, Abdul aim to recycle enough rubbish to fund a proper house. Sunil, 12 and stunted, wants to eat until he’s as tall as Kalu, a scrap metal thief. Asha seeks to steal government anti-poverty funds to turn herself into a “first-class person” and her daughter, Manju wants to be the slum’s first female graduate. But their plans are fragile. Injustice and corruption reign. A global recession threatens the garbage trade and one slum-dweller makes an accusation that will destroy herself and shatter the neighborhood.

Since 2009, NT Live has transmitted the best of British theatre live from London to cinemas and venues around the world. The broadcasts are filmed in front of a live audience, with cameras positioned throughout the theatre to ensure cinema audiences get the best-seat-in-the-house view. Productions are transmitted via satellite to the CCA, then projected onto a 40-foot high-definition screen — one of the largest in the state.

For tickets, which are $18 for adults and $8 for students, visit or call 581.1755, 800.622.TIXX.

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Maine Autism Institute Gets Additional Funds from Department of Education

University of Maine News - Tue, 05/12/2015 - 10:24

The Maine Autism Institute for Research and Education at the University of Maine will receive more than $150,000 from the Maine Department of Education to continue its work as the state’s first autism institute, according to a Maine DOE news release.

The funds are in addition to the $209,802 the department and UMaine’s College of Education and Human Development contributed to open the institute in 2014.

Autism is a developmental disability with varying degrees of severity that affects a person’s ability to communicate, to reason and to interact with others. An estimated 1 in 68 children is now being diagnosed with autism. The new funding will further the institute’s initial efforts to build statewide capacity to improve outcomes for young Mainers with autism, the release states.

Much of the funding will be used to expand training in evidence-based practices for teams from Maine school districts to help increase the academic and social success for autistic students.

The full Maine DOE release is online.

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Combat Trauma and the Trials of Homecoming for Veterans the Focus of Keynotes May 13 on Campus

University of Maine News - Tue, 05/12/2015 - 08:40

Dr. Jonathan Shay, a nationally recognized psychologist and author of two popular books on combat trauma and the trials of homecoming for veterans and their families, will give two public addresses at the University of Maine on May 13.

Shay will speak to the Fifth Annual Conference of the Maine Military & Community Network at 9 a.m. on, “Psychology and Moral Injury in War.” He also will give a 6 p.m. keynote address, “Combat Trauma and the Trials of Coming Home.” Both are in Wells Conference Center on campus.

Shay, one of the nation’s leading authorities on combat trauma and the trials of homecoming, is a psychiatrist who has specialized in treating combat veterans. He was a staff psychiatrist in the Department of Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic in Boston. He is in Maine for three days of meetings with veterans groups and community supporters, and public talks.

In his research, Shay found that viewing the experiences of combat veterans from perspectives found in Homer’s “Iliad” and “Odyssey” provide insight into both PTSD and what he has come to term “moral injury.” These insights led him to write “Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character” (1994), and “Odysseus in America: Combat Trauma and the Trials of Homecoming” (2002).

Shay is a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant. In 1999–2000 he led the Commandant of the Marine Corps Trust Study; in 2001, he was visiting scholar-at-large at the U.S. Naval War College; 2004–05, he was chair of ethics, leadership and personnel policy in the Office of the U.S. Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, and was the 2009 Omar Bradley Chair of Strategic Leadership at the U.S. Army War College.

His visit to Maine is sponsored by the Maine Infantry Foundation, Maine Military & Community Network, Acadia Hospital, the University of Maine Humanities Center, the Bangor Daily News, and the law firms of Verrill & Dana in Portland, and Vafiades, Brountas & Kominsky in Bangor. The goals of the Odysseus in Maine project are to raise awareness about combat veterans’ experiences; train providers in best practices for serving combat veterans; forge a “way ahead” in dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder and other combat-related injuries; and instill an ethical leadership model.

Shay will be in Portland May 12, speaking to members of the Maine State Bar Association and the Maine Judiciary. The talk will keynote a Maine State Bar Association Veterans Committee continuing legal education programming exploring the Maine Veterans Court and related issues of importance to legal challenges faced by Maine’s veterans.

He also will meet with local veterans and counselors on the final day of his Maine visit.

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Volunteers, Cheer Stations Sought for Black Bear Marathon

University of Maine News - Mon, 05/11/2015 - 13:56

Organizers of the University of Maine’s inaugural Black Bear Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K are seeking volunteers to assist on race day and at packet pickup, as well as host cheer stations along the route.

The races begin at 7:30 a.m. Sunday, June 21 and will start and finish on the UMaine track located at the Harold Alfond Stadium. Runners will be broadcast over the video scoreboard when they cross the finish line.

The 26.2-mile course is a double loop of the 13.1-mile course that begins on campus and travels around Orono and Old Town and back through the university’s bike path. The marathon will be a certified course, which gives runners the opportunity to qualify for larger races, such as the Boston Marathon. A 10K race also has been added to the lineup for those who like to race shorter distances.

A race expo and packet pickup will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 20 at the New Balance Field House. The expo will feature sponsor and vendor tables. Race packets also will be available at the UMaine track from 6–7:15 a.m. on race day.

Registration for the full and half marathon, as well as the 10K, is online. Registration for the 10K will close at the end of the expo.

Those interested in volunteering for the race at packet pickup or on the course can register online or email Lisa Morin at

Race organizers also are recruiting cheer squads for the course and will supply noisemakers and poster board for any group interested in encouraging the runners.

Residents who live along the course and host a cheer station can aid runners by putting a hose on spray mode over the course; handing out paper cups with water, ice (while wearing plastic gloves) or unwrapped Popsicles; playing loud music on a stereo or instrument; or ringing bells, using noisemakers, shouting and holding signs.

To be listed as an official race cheer station, contact race director Lauri Sidelko at or 581.1423.

On-campus housing is available for runners, volunteers and spectators. Single rooms are $75 and double rooms are $55. Cots can be added to double rooms for $15 each. Double room occupants can register together or be assigned a roommate. Housing registration is online.

A pasta dinner will be held from 5–7 p.m. Saturday, June 20 at Wells Conference Center. Tickets are $17 for adults, $15 for children, and can be purchased online.

More about the race is on the Black Bear Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K website and Facebook event page. For more information or to request a disability accommodation, contact race directors Sidelko at, 581.1423; or Thad Dwyer at

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Media Cover UMaine’s 213th Commencement

University of Maine News - Mon, 05/11/2015 - 12:22

The Associated Press and Maine Public Broadcasting Network were among news organizations to report on the University of Maine’s 213th Commencement. M. Peter McPherson, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, delivered the Commencement address and received an honorary degree. Dana Connors, executive director of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, and Dennis Rezendes of Colorado, who pioneered the hospice program in the U.S., also received honorary degrees, according to the AP. The Bangor Daily News, WABI (Channel 5) and WVII (Channel 7) reported on UMaine graduate Johanna Haskell — the great-great-granddaughter of Edwin James Haskell, one of six members of UMaine’s first graduating class in 1872. “I am incredibly proud to both carry on the legacy of our family and to have accomplished a personal goal of graduating,” Haskell said. Seacoastonline, WMTW (Channel 8 in Portland) and seattlepi carried the AP report.

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Dean Haddad, Liberal Arts Grads Speak to MPBN About Value of Degrees

University of Maine News - Mon, 05/11/2015 - 12:20

The Maine Public Broadcasting Network spoke with Emily Haddad, dean of the University of Maine’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and several graduating students of the college for the report “UMaine’s liberal arts grads take uncertain future in stride.” Students Cameron Dwyer, Marlee Huston, Taylor Cunningham, Ciarán Coyle and Nellie Kelly spoke about the value of their liberal arts degrees and career goals. “I think in any discipline, you need creativity. You need critical thinking,” said Cunningham, an English and anthropology double major with a minor in folklore. “And if you don’t have that then there’s something very severely lacking. So I think I have a lot to give in that way.” Haddad said people who graduated with liberal arts degrees during their peak earning period — typically in their late 50s — earn, on average, $2,000 a year more than people who had graduated with professional and preprofessional degrees.

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Sun Journal Publishes Interview with 2015 Valedictorian

University of Maine News - Mon, 05/11/2015 - 12:20

The Sun Journal published a Q&A profile of Gwendolyn Beacham, the University of Maine’s 2015 valedictorian. Beacham, a Farmington native, is a biochemistry major and Honors student and was named the Outstanding Graduating Student in the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture. This fall, she will enter the Ph.D. track at Cornell University in biochemistry, molecular and cell biology. Beacham spoke about her time at UMaine, career goals, extracurricular activities and love of science. “Before college, I was always very interested in many different subjects and I honestly can barely remember what initially made me decide to study science,” she said. “However, once I got to UMaine and began classes, I realized that I loved scientific research.”

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Grad Student Featured in BDN Video Series on Veteran Homecomings

University of Maine News - Mon, 05/11/2015 - 12:19

Joe Miller, a University of Maine graduate student studying history, was featured in a Bangor Daily News video series on veterans who talk about what coming home meant to them. Miller, a captain in the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, served three tours in Iraq, according to the report. After serving, he looked to Maine for a fresh start and chose UMaine because it was the first college where he felt welcome, and the school counted his military experience, the article states. Nicolas Phillips, a commander of the Maine Army National Guard’s 185th Engineer Support Company who served two tours in Afghanistan, also was featured in the series. Phillips, who grew up mostly in Germany with his active-duty parents, said it felt right to come to UMaine for college because his father was from Embden, Maine. Both profiles advanced a UMaine talk on veterans’ recovery from trauma by MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient and psychiatrist Dr. Jonathan Shay at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 13, at Wells Conference Center.

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MPBN Reports on Doctoral Students Studying Snow-Soil Connection

University of Maine News - Mon, 05/11/2015 - 12:17

The Maine Public Broadcasting Network reported on soil research being conducted by Corianne Tatariw and Kaizad Patel, University of Maine students who are pursuing doctoral degrees in ecology and environmental science. Tatariw and Patel are researching how seasonal climatic changes from winter to spring affect soil nutrient cycling and therefore the biology, chemistry and physical characteristics of the woods. This winter, the students shoveled four plots of land in the University Forest in Old Town every time it snowed, according to the report. “So we basically removed a thermal barrier,” Tatariw said, adding the idea was to keep the areas clear to compare how soil was impacted by snow. The researchers found ground temperature with snow maintains a constant temperature of around freezing, the article states, and without it, ground temperatures would swing drastically. “And as a result you’re going to lose the root biomass, you’re going to lose the microbial population, and that would affect nutrient availability as well,” Patel said.

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Leahy Quoted in Morning Sentinel Article on Open Land Access Trash Concerns

University of Maine News - Mon, 05/11/2015 - 12:16

Jessica Leahy, an associate professor of human dimensions of natural resources in the University of Maine School of Forest Resources, spoke with the Morning Sentinel for an article about some Maine landowners restricting recreational access because of trash left by visitors. The article cited Leahy’s 2008 study that found the biggest reason Maine landowners cut off public use is littering and illegal dumping. About 30 percent of private landowners were “actively considering” placing restrictions or prohibiting access to their property, primarily because of problems with littering and illegal dumping, according to the study. “You could have all the positive use you could imagine — grandfathers taking their grandkids fishing — but it really only takes one bad incident for the landowner to close off access to the land,” Leahy said. She added much of the garbage is left from local people who are not using their transfer station, and not from recreational users.

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Volunteer Training to Begin for Maine Bee Census Project, AP Reports

University of Maine News - Mon, 05/11/2015 - 12:15

The Associated Press reported officials with the Maine Bumble Bee Atlas project will begin training citizen volunteers Saturday at the University of Maine. The project aims to help determine Maine bee range and abundance, according to the report. The project is being coordinated by the state, UMaine and the University of Maine at Farmington. Sun Journal, WGME (Channel 13 in Portland) and WABI (Channel 5) carried the AP report.

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Brian Bray Appointed Director of Conference Services

University of Maine News - Mon, 05/11/2015 - 10:16

The Division of Lifelong Learning is pleased to announce the appointment of Brian Bray as director of Conference Services. Bray brings more than 20 years of experience in conference and event planning to the University of Maine. He served as the chief executive officer of the Grant Professionals Association and executive director of the Association of Midwest Museums. He has worked in alumni relations at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

The Conference Services Division furthers UMaine’s academic mission by bringing together groups of participants and qualified resource people to share information and ideas, develop new skills and insights, and problem solve. It accomplishes this by professionally coordinating a varied and rich selection of conferences, meetings, seminars and symposia, showcasing the UMaine facilities and resources.

Conference Services is a one-stop shop and can assist faculty and staff with event planning needs, including site selection, housing, dining, budgeting, marketing and registrations. For additional information about conference services, contact Brian,; 207.581.4091.

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Part of the Legacy

University of Maine News - Sat, 05/09/2015 - 16:47

More than 10,800 family members, friends and colleagues filled Harold Alfond Sports Arena May 9 for the two ceremonies of the 213th Commencement at the University of Maine.

An estimated 1,687 undergraduate and graduate students participated in Commencement, one of the largest graduation events in the state. This year’s Commencement is part of UMaine’s 150th anniversary celebration.

Commencement speaker M. Peter McPherson, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, told members of the Class of 2015 that they are now part of UMaine’s 150-year legacy — and have a role to play.

“This institution’s work and commitment to bettering Maine are found in its students and in every corner of the state,” McPherson said. “The University of Maine is committed to its public purpose of seeking new knowledge, and helping to solve problems throughout Maine and beyond.”

The University of Maine has lived up to the vision of the Morrill Act, signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln, to enable every state to have a land grant college with a statewide mission of teaching, research and public service, McPherson said.

“This land grant, sea grant and flagship university will continue to change, but it also will continue to be more than the sum of its parts,” McPherson said. “No other institution in Maine is in position to play the same leadership role in academic, research and engagement within the system and for the whole state.”

UMaine’s land grant mission is “at the center of its being” and imparts an obligation on its graduates to be “constantly working to make a more fair, just and prosperous world.”

“Being from a land grant institution, particularly one as notable as the University of Maine, means that you have an obligation to carry that land grant status with you — and as part of you — for the rest of your life,” said McPherson.

“The University of Maine sweatshirt you now have should not just be a sign of where you’re from, but where you’re going,” McPherson said.

The morning Commencement ceremony included the College of Education and Human Development, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Division of Lifelong Learning, and the Maine Business School. The afternoon ceremony includes the College of Engineering, and the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture.

Honorary doctorates were awarded to McPherson, and 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.

This year’s valedictorian is Gwendolyn Beacham of Farmington, Maine, a biochemistry major and honors student. The salutatorian is Katelyn Massey of Waterville, Maine, a psychology major with a concentration in development and a minor in communication sciences and disorders, and a member of the UMaine women’s ice hockey team.

Also honored were four faculty members in civil engineering, philosophy, history and communication who received UMaine’s highest awards:

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, is the 2015 Presidential Outstanding Teaching Award winner; Richard Judd, Col. James C. McBride Distinguished Professor of History, the 2015 Presidential Research and Creative Achievement Award; and Laura Lindenfeld, director of the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center and associate professor of communication, the 2015 Presidential Public Service Achievement reminded of their role in carrying the land grant mission forward.

Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745

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Nathan Rockwood: Jump-Starting College

University of Maine News - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 13:56

Nathan Rockwood, a second-year economics major at the University of Maine, started his college career while he was a student at Ellsworth High School.

The University of Maine Academ-e, the first early college distance education program in Maine, allowed Rockwood to take three courses for university credit before he finished high school.

The online program is open to Maine high school juniors and seniors who are nominated by principals, guidance counselors and teachers. All Maine high schools are eligible to have students enroll in Academ-e on a first-come, first-served basis.

Academ-e consists of courses representing mathematics, sciences, arts, humanities and social sciences.

Through Academ-e, Rockwood took Principles of Microeconomics taught by economics professor Caroline Noblet; American Government with political science professor Richard Powell; and Introduction to World Politics with G. Paul Holman, adjunct professor of political science and Libra Professor of International Affairs.

What was your favorite course and why?
My favorite was Introduction to World Politics. It really gave me a great knowledge base for why certain world events occur, as well as a greater urge to get involved in world politics once I graduate and finish my schooling.

How did you benefit from Academ-e?
Academ-e allowed me to work at my own pace and set my work ethic. Of course, Academ-e wasn’t the only class that prepared me for college. My Advanced Placement U.S. history class also helped establish work ethic, allowing me to complete homework assignments and study properly for exams.

How would your college experience be different if it weren’t for Academ-e?
I don’t think I would have adjusted as quickly to the intensity of the college workload if I had not taken Academ-e.

Would you recommend this program?
I would absolutely recommend the Academ-e program. I would recommend the program to any high schooler — be they junior or senior — who wants to find out what they want to do in college or at least get some general education credits or preparation for college before they enter.

What are your plans for after graduation?
I would like to use my economics degree to get involved in government. Some graduate school could be in the cards as well to insure that my job placement is firmed up a little more. If I could go to graduate school, I would get an international affairs or political science degree.

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Vice President Kim Describes Inventions to Help Older Adults Stay at Home, BDN Reports

University of Maine News - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 12:39

The Bangor Daily News published a report about Carol Kim, vice president for research and dean of the graduate school at the University of Maine, testifying before the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging. Kim spoke about UMaine’s multidisciplinary initiatives focused on helping elders to age and thrive in place. A lot of UMaine’s aging research focuses on helping to prevent seniors from falling and helping to mitigate injury upon a fall, according to the report. Kim testified at the hearing titled “Aging in Place: Can Advancements in Technology Help Seniors Live Independently?” at U.S. Sen. Susan Collins’ request, the article states. MobiHealthNews also reported on the hearing.

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UMaine Community Members Share Campus Memories with WABI Ahead of Commencement

University of Maine News - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 11:18

Members of the University of Maine community spoke with WABI (Channel 5) about their time at the University of Maine and the university’s 150-year legacy ahead of Commencement. Katherine Musgrave, who taught nutrition at UMaine from 1969 until last year, spoke about what campus looked like when she first arrived. “When we walked across the campus at the University of Maine for the first time and I saw those stately brick buildings, well arranged but very sedate, there was nothing glitzy at all,” she said. “I immediately fell in love with it.” Senior Peter Violette spoke about the community’s friendliness. “The campus is really accepting and inviting, and you can really go and talk to anybody you wanted to and strike up a conversation,” he said. University of Maine College of Engineering Dean Dana Humphrey spoke about the univeristy in relation to its 150th anniversary. “To be able to look up and see Fogler Library on one end and Memorial Gymnasium on the other; that’s an image of the University of Maine I think will remain for the next 150 years, and that’s exactly as it should be,” he said.

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Graduating Baseball Player Featured in BDN Article

University of Maine News - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 11:16

The Bangor Daily News published a feature on University of Maine senior Luke Morrill. Morrill is a South Thomaston native and member of the UMaine baseball team. He graduates Saturday with a degree in business management after a year juggling school, baseball and fatherhood. Morrill has a 10-month-old son with his fiancee Bri Hammond, who completed her degree in child development last semester and works as part of UMaine’s student-athlete academic support staff, according to the article. Morrill took three summer classes a year ago to make sure he would graduate in four years, which he calls his biggest accomplishment at UMaine, the article states. Coach Steve Trimper said Morrill has demonstrated considerable personal growth and improved baseball skills while at UMaine. “Luke has matured and grown up in four years,” Trimper said. “He’s one of those guys that if he’s made a mistake, he’s learned, and it’s made him a better person.”

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