UMaine to Receive $25,000 Grant for Traveling Maine Fiber Folk Arts Exhibit

University of Maine News - Thu, 05/07/2015 - 11:41

The University of Maine has been awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for a traveling exhibit on fiber folk arts in Maine.

The project, which is led by Maine Folklife Center Director Pauleena MacDougall, will receive $25,000 from the NEA.

Maine Fiber Folk Arts will consist of four free-standing panels with photographs and text describing a traditional fiber art from the state. The content will come from fieldwork and the Northeast Archives of Folklore and Oral History. The panels will travel around the state through the interlibrary loan system.

“The exhibit will give the public an opportunity to learn about the state’s traditions and to interact with local people who practice those arts,” MacDougall says.

Accompanying the panels will be an online handbook that will give suggestions for putting together a public event relating to the panels and a list of fiber folk artists from around the state. The panels also will be accompanied by an audio CD, which will provide information about the exhibit to seeing-impaired members of the public.

Maine Folklife Center staff plan to visit a few libraries around the state to conduct public events to promote the exhibit when it arrives. The events likely will include a hands-on workshop and panel discussion with fiber artists from the library’s region.

NEA funds will be used to support a graduate student who will assist in conducting research and writing the narrative for the panels.

Through its grant-making to thousands of nonprofits each year, the NEA promotes opportunities for people in communities across America to experience the arts and exercise their creativity.

UMaine’s grant is among 1,023 NEA awards totaling $74.3 million nationwide in the second major grant announcement of the fiscal year.

More information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement is online.

Categories: Combined News, News

Vice President Kim Testifies Before Senate Special Committee on Aging

University of Maine News - Thu, 05/07/2015 - 10:54

On May 6, Technology and Caring for aging seniors was the subject of a hearing before the Senate Special Committee on Aging, chaired by Sen. Susan Collins. Among the academics and experts asked to testify on technology advancements in caring for aging seniors was Carol Kim, UMaine vice president for research and dean of the graduate school. Kim testified about UMaine’s multidisciplinary initiatives focused on helping elders to age and thrive in place. The Committee testimony is on C-SPAN.

Categories: Combined News, News

Immediate Family to Hold Nine Degrees from UMaine Following Commencement

University of Maine News - Wed, 05/06/2015 - 11:24

When Margaret McCollough graduates from the University of Maine at the institution’s 213th Commencement on May 9, her immediate family will hold nine degrees from the university.

McCollough, who will earn a bachelor’s degree in sustainable agriculture, is the daughter of Catherine Elliott and Mark McCollough of Hampden, who met at UMaine in the 1980s.

Elliott, a sustainable living specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, came to UMaine in 1980 to pursue a master’s degree in wildlife management, which she completed in 1983. As a student, she met her now-husband, Mark McCollough, who also was working on a master’s in wildlife management, which he earned in 1982.

The pair stayed at UMaine to complete their doctoral degrees in wildlife. Mark McCollough earned his Ph.D. in 1986 and Elliott earned hers a year later.

In 2011, the couple’s son Aaron McCollough completed a bachelor’s degree in computer and electrical engineering while also a student of the Honors College. He continued at UMaine to earn a master’s degree in computer engineering in 2013. While pursuing that degree, he became engaged to Morgan Burke, who completed her bachelor’s degree in wildlife ecology in 2012 and brought the family’s degree total to seven.

Margaret McCollough’s boyfriend Garth Douston, who she also met at UMaine, has a bachelor’s degree in sustainable agriculture, which he earned in 2014. With Margaret McCollough’s graduation, the family will hold nine UMaine degrees among six members.

“Margaret’s graduation will be wonderful,” her mother says. “Going to college was not at the top of her list of things to do when she completed high school, so having her graduate from a program she has loved is incredible. And to have had her at UMaine for the past four years has been icing on the cake. We are very proud of her.”

Margaret McCollough says she hadn’t planned to go to college after graduating from high school. She worked for a summer on a couple of farms out west before she discovered that UMaine had a sustainable agriculture program. She decided it was time to make a change and came back to enroll in the program that fall semester.

The program provided her with opportunities to network and build relationships with those already working in agriculture throughout Maine, she says.

“To be a good farmer you have to have a good working understanding of multiple disciplines. It won’t happen for you just out of a love of nature and an ability to do physical work. UMaine has provided me with a breadth of knowledge and analytical skills that will certainly serve me well as I work to build both a sustainable and profitable farm,” Margaret McCollough says.

Margaret McCollough and Douston now run Sweet Thyme Farm in Arundel, Maine. This past summer was the pair’s first season. They planted about 1.5 acres of crops and plan to add another acre this year. The farm, which has been certified by the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA), produces a variety of vegetables and some herbs, as well as raises ducks and chickens for eggs.

Margaret McCollough credits two student-run agricultural programs for giving her and Douston the confidence to start the farm. For two summers, Douston managed the Black Bear Food Guild, a student-run community supported agriculture (CSA) program; and she managed UMaine Greens, a winter greens production program run by student volunteers.

“Both of these programs require those students who participate to take on a lot of responsibility,” she says, adding they allow students the chance to grow at production scale while managing customers and co-workers, meeting deadlines, staying on budgets and keeping accurate records.

Margaret McCollough says UMaine has allowed herself and her family to do work that makes them happy.

“My mom, dad and older brother love the work that they do; they’re so passionate about their disciplines, and also really good at what they do,” she says. “I will feel proud to join them in doing good work in a field that I feel really passionate about. I know that my parents are really proud of my brother and I; recognizing the value in education.”

While Elliott, Margaret McCollough’s mother, was finishing her Ph.D., she was hired as a research associate in the Department of Wildlife Ecology. After graduating, she became a faculty member with UMaine Cooperative Extension. By June, Elliott will have been employed by UMaine for 29 years.

Elliott’s husband Mark McCollough works on endangered species recovery at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Ecological Services Maine Field Office in Orono.

“My parents still gather with a large group of friends that they made while studying here, and they’ve become mentors and basically extended family members to my brother and I growing up,” Margaret McCollough says.

Aaron McCollough and his fiance Burke live in Manchester, New Hampshire where Burke is pursuing a doctorate in physical therapy at Franklin Pierce University. Aaron McCollough works for L-3 Insight as an embedded software engineer. They will be relocating to Portland, Maine in June while Burke does clinical rotations to complete her degree.

Categories: Combined News, News

Socolow Cited in Telegraph Article on ‘War of the Worlds’ Panic Myth

University of Maine News - Wed, 05/06/2015 - 11:03

The Telegraph cited an article by Michael Socolow, an associate professor in the Communication and Journalism Department at the University of Maine, in a report about the overblown reports of panic following Orson Welles’ 1938 radio broadcast of “War of the Worlds.” In 2013, Socolow and Jeff Pooley, an associate professor of media and communication at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pa., co-wrote an article for Slate magazine about the reported mass hysteria. Pooley and Socolow argued newspapers created the hype in an attempt to discredit radio and win over advertisers. “How did the story of panicked listeners begin? Blame America’s newspapers,” the pair wrote. “Radio had siphoned off advertising revenue from print during the Depression, badly damaging the newspaper industry. So the papers seized the opportunity presented by Welles’ programme, perhaps to discredit radio as a source of news. The newspaper industry sensationalised the panic to prove to advertisers, and regulators, that radio management was irresponsible and not to be trusted.”

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BDN Interviews Cryer About Decline of Unions in Maine

University of Maine News - Wed, 05/06/2015 - 11:03

Marc Cryer, director of the University of Maine’s Bureau of Labor Education, spoke with the Bangor Daily News for the article, “Decades in decline: The fall of unions in Maine.” Currently, 11 percent of Maine workers are members of a union, just slightly below the national average of 11.1 percent, according to the article. Cryer said the loss of jobs in manufacturing industries such as pulp and paper, shoes and textiles has contributed to declining union membership, while service-oriented industries that typically aren’t easy to unionize, such as retail and tourism have grown. He said if unions want to increase their membership, they will have to “go out and organize people they usually don’t organize.”

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Kansas City Star Cites Butler’s TANF Study

University of Maine News - Wed, 05/06/2015 - 11:02

A 2013 study by Sandra Butler, a University of Maine social work professor, was cited in a Kansas City Star article about Missouri lawmakers voting to override the governor’s veto of a bill that would cut thousands of low-income residents off a federal welfare program. Butler’s study, “TANF Time Limits and Maine Families: Consequences of Withdrawing the Safety Net,” found that families kicked off TANF because of exceeding lifetime benefits in Maine experienced increased reliance on food banks, inability to pay utility and other bills, and overcrowded housing conditions or reliance on homeless shelters, the article states.

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Brewer Quoted in BDN Editorial on Legislature’s Avoidance of Big Issues

University of Maine News - Wed, 05/06/2015 - 11:01

Mark Brewer, a political science professor at the University of Maine, was quoted in the Bangor Daily News editorial, “Why the Legislature so often punts on crucial issues facing Maine.” Term limits have lessened expertise and forced lawmakers to more quickly try to make a name for themselves and rise through the leadership ranks, according to the article. The amateur lawmakers are easy prey for lobbyists who often have spent years in the State House, Brewer said. To fix the Legislature’s structural problems, he recommends ending term limits, hiring more staff and increasing lawmakers’ pay (coupled with a longer session), the article states. Brewer said he also would lengthen Senate terms and cut the size of the House.

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Boothbay Register Reports on Darling Marine Center Grad Student Awards

University of Maine News - Wed, 05/06/2015 - 11:00

Boothbay Register published a University of Maine Darling Marine Center news release about three graduate students who have received awards and recognition from UMaine. Jesica Waller received a 2015–2016 Canadian-American Center Fellowship from the UMaine Canadian-American Center; Noah Oppenheim received the George F. Dow Graduate Scholarship, presented by UMaine’s College of Natural Science Forestry and Agriculture (NSFA); and Bayer received the Janet Waldron Doctoral Research Fellowship and the NSFA’s Outstanding Service Award. The students are in UMaine’s School of Marine Sciences and are advisees of Rick Wahle, a research professor at DMC.

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Maine Edge Previews ‘Man and Superman’ at CCA

University of Maine News - Wed, 05/06/2015 - 10:52

The Maine Edge published a University of Maine news release advancing the live broadcast of “Man and Superman” at 7 p.m. Friday, May 14, at the Collins Center for the Arts. Academy Award-nominee Ralph Fiennes plays Jack Tanner in the sold-out stage production at the Lyttelton Theatre in London. “Man and Superman” is billed as a romantic comedy, an epic fairy tale and a fiery philosophical debate that asks fundamental questions about how we live. Tickets, which are $18 for adults and $8 for students, are available online or by calling 207.581.1755, 800.622.TIXX.

Categories: Combined News, News

UMaine Extension Offers Open House, Plant Sale, Workshops

University of Maine News - Wed, 05/06/2015 - 10:52

A spring plant sale featuring dozens of traditional perennial varieties, many native to Maine, as well as annuals that attract pollinators, will be held from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 16, rain or shine, at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Hancock County Office, 63 Boggy Brook Road, Ellsworth.

The plant sale, sponsored by UMaine Extension Hancock County Master Gardener Volunteers, will run concurrently with Extension’s Open House. There will be free workshops on native plants for the landscape, attracting pollinators with flowering annuals, moss gardening, backyard composting and worm farming. Gardening questions will be fielded at the “Ask a Master Gardener” table. Refreshments will be served.

Funds raised will support 20 Master Gardener Volunteer community projects in Hancock County, including: Kids Can Grow, a children’s gardening program at Maine Coast Heritage Trust in Town Hill; community gardens in Hancock, Seal Cove and Ellsworth that supply thousands of pounds of fresh produce to food pantries; and a public butterfly garden at Charlotte Rhoades Park in Southwest Harbor.

For more information, or to request a disability accommodation, contact 207.667.8212, Information also is available online.

Categories: Combined News, News

Great-Great-Granddaughter of One of UMaine’s First Graduates to Earn Diploma

University of Maine News - Wed, 05/06/2015 - 08:44

Five generations of the Haskell family have graduated from the University of Maine since it opened its doors in September 1868.

Edwin Haskell was first in 1872. In fact, he was one of the six men in the first-ever graduating class at the university, then called the Maine State College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts.

This year, on May 9, Haskell’s great-great-granddaughter Johanna Haskell will be among the approximately 1,700 people receiving their diplomas at UMaine’s 150th anniversary year graduation.

Edwin’s focus was in elective studies. Johanna will earn her bachelor’s degree in English, with a concentration in technical writing.

“I think the UMaine legacy is a source of pride for my family,” says Johanna, adding that when she used to walk around campus she’d often think about how her parents met at the university and about how the property would have looked when Edwin studied and worked on the farm on site.

“It was a personal goal for me because of the value placed on graduating college in my family and the love of UMaine.”

Edwin’s direct descendants who graduated in the 143-year span between he and Johanna are his son, Benjamin in 1912; his grandson, Rev. Stanley Haskell in 1966; and his great-grandson, (Johanna’s father), John in 1971.

Edwin’s commencement was held at a church in Orono. Johanna will graduate in the first of two Saturday ceremonies at the multipurpose Harold Alfond Sports Arena.

For Edwin, attending school included working on the campus farm three hours a day five days per week. To gain admittance from 1868 to 1871, students had to be male, at least 15 years old and pass an exam that included arithmetic, geography, English, grammar, United States history and algebra as far as quadratic equations.

For Johanna, a licensed cosmetologist who operates a hairdressing business and is raising three children — Darcy, 6, Daphne 4, and Miles Edwin, 2, with husband Sean Tardif — attending school required excellent time management skills.

Being able to set her work schedule was key, she says, as was the support of her extended family and the opportunity to take online courses.

She credits faculty adviser Charlsye Smith Diaz, associate professor of professional and technical communication, with being a difference-maker. “She was in my corner and was so helpful and knowledgeable,” says Johanna. “She cared.”

When Edwin was a student, M.C, Fernald, professor of mathematics and physics, was acting president until Charles Allen came on board in 1871.

Johanna was a student during the administrations of three presidents — Robert Kennedy, Paul Ferguson and Susan J. Hunter, the university’s first female president.

Johanna, who graduated from Hampden Academy in 2002, first went to cosmetology school. Then she began taking college courses when she was 21 with a personal goal to earn a bachelor’s degree by age 30.

“I just sneaked in,” she laughs. “I turn 31 in August.”

She says she particularly enjoyed writing a blog about hairdressing for her senior project. “I’ve always been interested in writing and good at it and I wanted to develop that and find an application for practical professional writing,” says Johanna. “This was a good blending of my interests.”

Johanna isn’t the only Haskell family member to be a nontraditional UMaine student.

In 1966, her great-grandfather, Rev. Stanley Haskell graduated one semester before his son, Benjamin II and five years before his son, John.

Stanley, says John, worked in banking for more than two decades before attending UMaine and Bangor Theological Seminary.

Johanna’s father, John majored in music at UMaine. After earning a master’s at Boston University, the professional pianist played at venues around the world.

He says he’s extremely proud of his daughter.

“She was determined the whole way through,” John says. “I think it’s great. It’s inspiring.”

Edwin went on to found Haskell Silk Mills in Westbrook and become a trustee of the university.

Johanna says, for now, she will continue to rear her children and operate her hairdressing business. In the future, she says she may earn an advanced degree or put her technical writing skills to use.

The list of Edwin’s direct descendants who graduated from UMaine are his sons, Ralph (1905), William (1911), Benjamin (1912) and Theodore (1914); grandsons, Donald (1939), James (1944) and Stanley (1966); great-grandsons, Benjamin II (1967) and John (1971); great-great-grandchildren, AbbyLynn Haskell Campbell (1996), Rebecca Haskell Bagley (1998) and Johanna Haskell (2015).

Edwin’s great-granddaughter Elizabeth Haskell Clancy also attended UMaine but did not graduate. Two Haskell spouses also graduated from UMaine, including Benjamin II’s wife, BettyAnn Coulton Haskell (1969) and John’s former wife and Johanna’s mother, Jan Parsley (1972).

Johanna’s sister, Jessica graduated in 2003 from the University of Southern Maine.

With such a heritage at UMaine, it’s no surprise that Benjamin II and John received the 2006 Fogler Library Legacy Award from the University of Maine Alumni Association. The award is presented annually to a family with a long tradition of attending UMaine.

From UMaine’s first graduation in 1872 to its graduation in its 150th anniversary year, the Haskell family legacy is unmatched.

Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777

Categories: Combined News, News

Two Innovate for Maine Fellows Part of Bitzy Baby Success

University of Maine News - Tue, 05/05/2015 - 14:46

Bitzy Baby, a juvenile safety product company in Brunswick, Maine, has been selected as a finalist in the U.S. Small Business Administration InnovateHER Business Challenge, a nationwide competition for entrepreneurs to develop products and services to enhance the lives of women and their families. Bitzy Baby has been involved in the Innovate for Maine Fellows program, supported by Blackstone Accelerates Growth and managed by the University of Maine’s Foster Center for Student Innovation.Through the program, the company received marketing and social media assistance from two Innovate for Maine Fellows — UMaine students Jim Barry, a food science and human nutrition major, and Courtney Norman, who is majoring in marine sciences.

More about the InnovateHER Business Challenge is online.

Categories: Combined News, News

Garland Speaks with BDN About Upcoming Gardening Season

University of Maine News - Tue, 05/05/2015 - 12:07

The Bangor Daily News interviewed Kate Garland, a horticulturist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, for the article, “Despite harsh winter, Maine farmers hopeful for upcoming season.” Even with record-breaking snowfalls this winter, Garland said farmers and gardeners shouldn’t see any long-term damage to the quality of soil, according to the article. She also said she is watching weather patterns while eagerly waiting to start her own garden this season. “This time of year, I’m checking the [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration] website everyday, figuring out what’s going to work and making contingency plans as needed,” she said.

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Wind and Wave Facility Awarded $351,000 Grant by MTI, WABI Reports

University of Maine News - Tue, 05/05/2015 - 12:06

WABI (Channel 5) reported the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center has been awarded $351,092 by the Maine Technology Institute for its new wind and wave facility. The grant will add two additional pieces of equipment to the $8 million facility that will house W² — the world’s first wind and wave lab to feature a rotating open-jet wind tunnel above a 100-foot-long by 30-foot-wide by 15-foot-deep wave basin. The facility is currently under construction and is expected to be completed this summer, according to the report.

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BDN Publishes Op-Ed by Social Work Grad Student

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

Amy Tunney, a graduate student in the School of Social Work at the University of Maine, wrote an opinion piece for the Bangor Daily News titled “Want a cost-effective public investment? Make Maine seniors’ homes energy-efficient.” Tunney recently completed a graduate internship with At Home Downeast, which is dedicated to supporting residents of the Blue Hill Peninsula to remain safely and comfortably at home as they age.

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Press Herald Quotes Professor Emeritus Palmer in State Politics Article

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

Kenneth Palmer, a professor emeritus of political science at the University of Maine, was quoted in a Portland Press Herald article about the current combative tone in Maine politics. “Maine is generally less combative and nasty in its discourse,” Palmer said. “But we’re getting some of it. It’s part of a national trend. It’s there and developed in the last decade or so.” Palmer also said the state’s tradition for individualized politics has often trumped ideology and is one of the reasons Maine has elected two independent governors.

Categories: Combined News, News

Professor Emeritus McCormack Writes BDN Report on Maintaining Woodlot

University of Maine News - Tue, 05/05/2015 - 12:03

Maxwell McCormack, a research professor emeritus of forest resources at the University of Maine, wrote “Here are the tools I use to maintain my woodlot,” for the new Homestead section of the Bangor Daily News. McCormack has been a forester for more than 60 years.

Categories: Combined News, News

Plant Sale to Benefit UMaine Extension Slated in Lisbon Falls

University of Maine News - Tue, 05/05/2015 - 12:03

The Androscoggin-Sagadahoc Counties Extension Association (ASCEA) will hold a plant sale 3–6 p.m. Friday, May 15 and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 16, at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension office, 24 Main St., Lisbon Falls.

Perennial flowers and plants, vegetable and herb seedlings, annual and perennial flower seedlings and seed packets, raised bed frames, birdhouses and other garden-related craft items will be for sale. Children 10 years and younger will receive a free gift. Proceeds will benefit UMaine Extension outreach programs in the two counties that are supported by ASCEA.

For more information or to request a disability accommodation, call 353.5550 or email

Categories: Combined News, News

UMaine Grads Headed to Veterinary Schools in U.S., Scotland and Canada

University of Maine News - Tue, 05/05/2015 - 11:38

The School of Food and Agriculture’s Animal and Veterinary Sciences Program traditionally has a high acceptance rate of student applicants for veterinary schools. This year, that acceptance rate is nearly 90 percent, with seven students graduating and heading to veterinary schools nationwide, and in Scotland and Canada:

  • Brian Blanchard, Thorndike, Maine, Atlantic Veterinary College, Prince Edward Island, Canada
  • Rachel Chase, Warren, Maine, Ohio State University
  • Elena Doucette, Cumberland, Maine, University of Glasgow, Scotland
  • Amy Fish, Mountville, Pennsylvania, University of Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Taryn Haller, Mystic, Connecticut, University of California, Davis
  • Jeffery Vigue Jr., Whitefield, Maine, Virginia-Maryland Regional Veterinary College
  • Ariana Wadsworth, Thomaston, Maine, Oregon State University

Two other Animal and Veterinary Sciences Program students from the Class of 2014 applied this year for veterinary school and were accepted. Kristyn Souliere of Saco, Maine, is headed to Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine, and Bethany van Gorder of West Tremont, Maine, is going to the University of Glasgow.

Brian Blanchard grew up on a small dairy farm in Thorndike, Maine that converted to standardbred racehorses in 2001. He currently drives and trains horses competitively in Maine, and will continue that work in Prince Edward Island while earning his veterinary degree.

Elena Doucette, who grew up in Cumberland, Maine, embarked on a four-month mission trip with Heifer International after high school, gaining experience with livestock husbandry that inspired her to pursue a career in veterinary medicine.

Rachel Chase is an honors student from Warren, Maine. Her family raised dairy goats, and broilers and laying hens, and she owns a horse.

Amy Fish, Taryn Haller and Ariana Wadsworth also are honors students. Honors student Jeff Vigue grew up on a beef farm in Whitefield, Maine, and worked at several local dairies.

Categories: Combined News, News

MPBN Features Device That Assists People Who Fall

University of Maine News - Mon, 05/04/2015 - 14:40

MPBN highlighted a device built by University of Maine new media students that senses when a person has fallen and uses mobile networks to send assistance. The device, which was tested on volunteer ice skaters, has a gyroscope that detects movement, a cell module and a microcontroller that interprets data. It can be worn on a lanyard around the neck, according to the report.

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