Pamela Simpkins, a licensed social worker who is currently enrolled at the University of Maine in the master of social work program, wrote an analysis for the Sun Journal titled “We can make a difference in a child’s life.”
The Weekly and The Maine Edge advanced the University of Maine School of Performing Arts’ spring production of “Grease.” Seven February performances of the musical are slated in Hauck Auditorium on campus. Admission is $15; tickets may be purchased online at umaine.edu/spa or at the door.
A team of researchers from the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center won the Best Paper Award from the Society of Naval Architects & Marine Engineers at the 19th Offshore Symposium, Feb. 6 in Houston. The paper, “VolturnUS 1:8 — Design and Testing of the First Grid-Connected Offshore Wind Turbine in the U.S.A.,” was written by Anthony Viselli, Habib Dagher and Andrew Goupee, and outlines UMaine’s design, fabrication, deployment and testing of the prototype, deployed in June 2013 off Castine, Maine. The prototype serves to de-risk the technology as it transitions to a commercial project planned for 2017.
Since 1998, University of Maine has been organizing trips for students to provide volunteer service to others. This year, Alternative Breaks, a student-run organization, will send out eight volunteer groups. The 101 undergraduate members and nine graduate students, and faculty trip advisers will volunteer one week of their spring break to work and travel.
Volunteer activities will take place at a children’s hospital in Denver, Colo.; a national park located in Miami, Fla.; animal sanctuaries and farms located in Woodstock, N.Y., Pittsboro, N.C., Falls Church, Va. and Savannah, Tenn.; and camps and after-school programs for children in West Milford, N.J. and Washington, D.C.
During winter 2013, Alternative Breaks organized a trip working with a nonprofit in Washington, D.C., to prepare and deliver food to people with terminal illnesses.
The organization’s undergraduate site leaders selects Alternative Break locations. Two site leaders will travel to each volunteer site.
Each volunteer pays $200 in dues to Alternative Breaks. Fundraising also helps cover travel expenses.
Volunteer locations this March:
Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary (Woodstock, N.Y.)
Carolina Tiger Rescue (Pittsboro, N.C.)
Camp Vacamas (West Milford, N.J.)
Liberty Hall Livestock Rescue (Falls Church, Va.)
Horse Creek Wildlife Sanctuary and Animal Refuge (Savannah, Tenn.)
Children’s Hospital Colorado/Denver Children’s Home (Denver, Colo.)
Biscayne National Park/Monkey Jungle (Homestead/Miami, Fla.)
The Alternative House (Washington, D.C.)
More information is available online.
University of Maine music professor Stuart Marrs has begun a five-country tour to teach master classes in percussion.
The European leg began earlier this month at the Paris Conservatory of Music, where he offered master classes on the solo timpani works of Elliott Carter — pieces Marrs recorded on an interactive pedagogical DVD in 2006.
Carter’s works were also featured in Marrs’ master classes in Germany with students from Tübingen and Stuttgart.
This month, Marrs also is conducting musicological research at the Paul Sacher Foundation Archive in Basel, Switzerland, where the last manuscript of “Ionisation,” by Edgard Varèse is housed. Marrs is working on a critical performance of the piece, considered a monument of 20th-century music, and the results of the research will comprise a definitive recording with the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music Percussion Ensemble and an article in the international trade journal, “Percussive Notes.”
In March, Marrs will travel to Singapore. In conjunction with master classes, he will be directing and recording with the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music Percussion Ensemble. Marrs will also be performing in the percussion section of the Singapore National Symphony Orchestra in one of its Young Persons Concerts.
His tour will end in Costa Rica at a school where he was one of the founding faculty members. In the 1970s, Marrs was part of the “Musical Revolution” in Costa Rica, founding the school of percussion playing there and which is still active today. He and two former students were invited back to Costa Rica by Bismarck Fernández, also one of Marrs’ former students and now head of the percussion department at the National Institute of Music, for a celebratory festival.
Marrs says it’s rewarding to be asked to return to the school where he spent 11 years teaching and working with students who might not otherwise have been exposed to music.
“The bond created through those years with this talented group of young people is incredibly strong,” says Marrs.
“As a teacher I feel most fulfilled when I can contribute something relatively unique to my field, so that I know I have helped the art form continue to develop,” Marrs says.
A team of University of Maine scientists studying nearly 11,700-year-old ice cores from Greenland found that history is repeating.
Paul Mayewski, director and distinguished professor of UMaine’s Climate Change Institute, says today’s climate situation in the Arctic is equivalent to, but more localized, than the warming during the Younger Dryas/Holocene shift about 11,700 years ago.
Mayewski led the research team that examined Arctic ice formed 11,700 years ago during a rapid climate transition from the Younger Dryas (near-glacial) period to the Holocene era (period of relative warm since then). Ice cores, in essence, are timelines of past climates.
The abrupt shift then included a northward shift in the jet stream, an abrupt decrease in North Atlantic sea ice and more moisture in Greenland. These changes resulted in milder weather, fewer storms and initially more than a doubling of the length of the summer season around Greenland, the team says.
“It is highly unlikely that future change in climate will be linear as evidenced by the past and by the recent, abrupt and massive warming in the Arctic,” Mayewski says. “Understanding and ideally predicting the likelihood, timing and location of future nonlinearities in climate is essential to realistic climate prediction, adaptation and sustainability.”
The ice formed during that one-year onset of the Holocene climate “sheds light on the structure of past abrupt climate changes and provides unparalleled perspective with which to assess the potential for near-term rapid shifts in atmospheric circulation and seasonality,” Mayewski says.
Additional exploration of the ice cores, with respect to the length of seasons, is expected to yield information about precursors for abrupt climate shifts. “Identifying and using the precursors will fill an essential void in climate prediction models by testing for sensitivity in the context of past analogs,” the researchers say.
In the university’s W.M. Keck Laser Ice Facility, the researchers had the first-ever ultra-high-resolution look at ice cores formed during the swift shift from the near-glacial period to the current period of relative warmth. The ice core samples were removed from a depth spanning 1,677.5 meters to 1,678.5 meters, or from 11,643 to 11,675 years ago.
Mayewski has led more than 50 expeditions to the Arctic, Antarctica, Himalayas, Tibetan Plateau, Tierra del Fuego and the Andes. He has shared his research with numerous media venues including “60 Minutes,” “NOVA,” BBC, “Fresh Air” and “The Diane Rehm Show.”
The research team includes Sharon Sneed, Sean Birkel, Andrei Kurbatov and Kirk Maasch, all from UMaine. The researchers’ findings are included in the article, “Holocene warming marked by abrupt onset of longer summers and reduced storm frequency around Greenland,” published in the January 2014 issue of the Journal of Quaternary Science.
Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777
Lenard Kaye, director of the University of Maine Center on Aging and professor in the UMaine School of Social Work, spoke with Mainebiz about UMaine’s effort to apply engineering to aging for an article about Maine retirees rejoining the workforce. Kaye said the initiative follows the example of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s AgeLab, which is engineering products that could improve and extend the quality of life for seniors. The UMaine initiative aims to allow seniors to remain in their homes or at work longer, and even inspire them to start their own business or return to the workforce.
The Bangor Daily News, WABI (Channel 5) and WLBZ (Channel 2) covered the University of Maine women’s basketball team’s Play 4Kay game. The team raised $13,585 for the Kay Yow Foundation to support breast cancer research. Coach Richard Barron, who dyed his hair pink for the game, made good on his promise to shave his head if the team met its goal of $10,000. Play4Kay is named after Yow, a longtime North Carolina State women’s coach who died of breast cancer in 2009.
A study being conducted by University of Maine researchers to determine what flowers are most attractive to bees was the topic of the latest column in the Portland Press Herald’s Maine Gardener series. UMaine professors Alison Dibble, Lois Berg Stack and Frank Drummond are conducting the study at gardens in Old Town, Jonesboro and Blue Hill with the help of graduate student Eric Venturini. Honeybees have become scarcer and more expensive to bring in from out of state, which makes wild and native bees more important to commercial growers and home gardeners, according to the article.
The Bangor Daily News reported 20-year-old University of Maine student Margaret Howson was elected chair of the Hampden Republican Committee at the caucus held by the Penobscot County Republicans. She will also head Hampden’s 23-member delegation to the Republican state convention in April. Howson, who is majoring in English and psychology and minoring in political science and journalism, said she didn’t think of herself as a political animal until recently.
The Maine Public Broadcasting Network spoke with Bob Bayer, executive director of the Lobster Institute at the University of Maine, for a report titled “Weak Canadian ‘Loonie’ worries Maine retailers.” Bayer said cheaper Canadian goods currently aren’t making a difference for Maine’s live lobster market, but he predicts there could be an effect on processed lobster this summer. He said Maine has fewer processing facilities than Canada and a weaker Canadian dollar allowing for cheaper workers could worsen the situation for Maine.
When the USS Somerset is commissioned in Philadelphia March 1, a University of Maine alumnus will be at the helm as its first commanding officer, and a retired Navy captain and now UMaine professor will be in the audience, representing Maine’s flagship university.
The first commanding officer of the USS Somerset, Capt. Thomas Dearborn, a native of Mount Vernon, Maine, received his commission in 1988 through the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) program at the UMaine, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in production and processing technology.
James Settele, the executive director of the University of Maine School of Policy and International Affairs, will also represent UMaine at the commissioning. Settele is a retired captain from the U.S. Navy who served more than 27 years on active duty.
The USS Somerset is named in honor of the passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93 that crashed in Somerset County, Penn., on Sept. 11, 2001. The San Antonio-class ship joins the USS New York and USS Arlington named in commemoration of the 9/11 attacks.
The 22-ton steel bucket that was used by recovery personnel at the scene of the Flight 93 crash was melted down and cast into the Somerset’s bow stem, “embodying the strength and determination of the people of the United States to recover, to rally, to take the fight to the enemy,” according to the Navy League of the United States, which is organizing the commissioning.
The USS Somerset was launched in 2012. The March 1 ceremony is the formal shipboard commissioning that celebrates the ship’s formal entry into Navy service.
In honor of Black History Month, the University of Maine’s LGBT Services will host “A New Renaissance: Celebrating LGBT Poets of Color” 5:30–7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18 in the Coe Room of the Memorial Union. Guests are invited to recite their favorite poems. A social gathering and discussion also will be held.
The University of Maine’s Hudson Museum is home to an artifact that may have inspired the logo design of the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks: a carved Northwest Coast transformation mask.
The wooden mask, which depicts a bird of prey when closed and reveals a painted depiction of a human face when opened, is part of the William P. Palmer III collection on display at the museum.
The brightly colored mask, which has mirrors for eyes, is 2 feet long when closed and 3 feet long open. Hudson Museum Director Gretchen Faulkner says it likely was carved from cedar in the late 19th or early 20th century.
Faulkner says Richard Emerick, the late UMaine anthropologist and founder of the Hudson Museum, told her years ago that the wooden mask was the inspiration for the Seahawks logo that was unveiled in 1975. But there was no corroborating information in the mask’s collection file linking it to the Seahawks.
Now, though, a possible link exists.
Robin K. Wright, curator of Native American art and director of the Bill Holm Center at Burke Museum at the University of Washington, attributes the mask to the Kwakwaka‘wakw (kwock-KWOCKY-wowk) — Indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest Coast.
A few days before Super Bowl XLVIII, Wright posted a blog “Searching for what inspired the Seattle Seahawks logo.”
The mask that Wright pictures in her blog as the likely motivation for the Seahawks design appeared in Robert Bruce Inverarity’s 1950 book, “Art of the Northwest Coast Indians.”
It’s believed to be the same mask displayed at the Hudson Museum, catalogue number HM5521.
In 1982, avid baseball fan William Palmer of Falmouth Foreside, Maine, bequeathed the mask, as well as other Northwest Coast art and an extraordinary collection of Pre-Colombian artifacts, to UMaine.
After the Seahawks Super Bowl win over the Denver Broncos on Sunday, Feb. 2, Faulkner told museum board member Isla Baldwin what Emerick had shared with her years ago about the mask being the inspiration for the Seattle football team’s original logo.
Baldwin discovered Wright’s blog while doing online research.
Contacted earlier this week, Wright says she’s thrilled to learn where the mask is housed. In a televised interview just prior to the Super Bowl, Wright said she expressed hope that the blog and TV interview might help unearth the location of the mask.
Masks are worn in Kwakwaka’wakw ceremonies that include singing, dancing and giving of gifts, Wright says, and often memorialize a deceased chief.
When the logo was unveiled in 1975, John Thompson, then-general manager of the Seahawks, was quoted saying that the logo designers referenced books about Northwest Coast art for inspiration. A call to the Seahawks was not returned by Friday morning.
Faulkner invites fans of art and athletics to visit the museum to see the piece; the museum is open Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777
Companies considered to be good social performers are more likely to limit the levels of pay for their executives than similar firms within their industries, according to University of Maine researchers.
However, the top executives at the large firms examined in the study are not being penalized. The average compensation package in the sample was about $8 million, and additional pay above this level is not likely to generate additional motivation, say Maine Business School faculty members Patti Miles and Grant Miles, who conducted the study.
In their findings, published in Social Responsibility Journal, the researchers suggest that executives for the good social performers may be willing to “sacrifice at least a piece of financial compensation for the intangible rewards of being seen as good corporate citizens.”
A review by the journal publisher congratulated the researchers for their study findings that relate to “wider debates that have gone on around corporate ethics.”
Their findings were based on an examination of data from a sample of 57 firms identified as possessing “good corporate social responsibility,” which were compared to 57 firms of similar size and in the same industries. All of the firms included in the study were drawn from the Fortune 1000 list, and most rank within the Fortune 500.
The companies were selected as good social performers based on criteria such as inclusion in Fortune’s list of most admired and most accountable companies, or by filing reports with the Global Reporting Initiative and United Nations Global Compact. Overall, 33 industry segments were represented, with the greatest number coming from pharmaceuticals and petroleum refining.
Executive compensation data were drawn from public reports from 2005–07. The researchers examined both CEO pay and average compensation for the company’s top management team. In both cases, there was a significant correlation between corporate social responsibility and lower levels of executive pay.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745
Michelle Hale of Bangor has been named project leader of Maine Career Connect, a Bangor-based nonprofit program of the University of Maine Rising Tide Center.
Maine Career Connect, funded by a $284,093 grant from the National Science Foundation, will work to network a consortium of employers in central and eastern Maine with newly relocated professional families, with an emphasis on spousal employment.
Hale has a decade of experience in nonprofit work, most recently with United Way of Eastern Maine, where she coordinated local community initiatives. She has a bachelor’s degree in social work and is completing a graduate certificate in business at the University of Maine. Hale also is a participant in the 2014 Bangor Region Leadership Institute.
Maine Career Connect will work with newly relocating professionals and employers of the region to ensure successful integration into the community. Dual career spouses will have access to high-level professional networking with employers that align with their professions in an effort to accelerate their job search process.
Professionals will receive networking assistance, both in seeking employment and also building social connections. Customized portfolios of vetted local resources will be offered to help families meet their particular needs outside the workplace.
The program, based on an innovative model adopted by Tech Valley Connect in Troy, N.Y., will benefit the region by helping to attract and retain talented professionals in a variety of fields.
For more information on Maine Career Connect, call 949.0098.
Contact: Michelle Hale, 207.949.0098; Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745
The Morning Sentinel cited research from the Lobster Institute at the University of Maine for an article about a proposed bill designed to protect Maine’s lobster industry by banning two pesticides that have been partially blamed for hurting lobster populations in New York and Connecticut. According to research from the Lobster Institute, the lobster industry pumps $1.7 billion into Maine’s economy.
The Bangor Daily News reported three former University of Maine hockey players will take part in the winter Olympics. Goalie Jimmy Howard, who plays for the Detroit Red Wings and played for UMaine from 2002 to 2005, will play for Team USA in Sochi. Howard’s Detroit teammate Gustav Nyquist was named to the Swedish Olympic team. Matthias Trattnig, a member of UMaine’s 1999 national championship team, will make his second Olympic appearance as an assistant captain for Team Austria. The Portland Press Herald carried an Associated Press report on Nyquist being named to the Swedish team.
The Bangor Daily News reported a proposed seven-mile methane gas pipeline between Juniper Ridge landfill in Old Town and the University of Maine has been scrapped because of lack of financing, according to an official with the landfill’s parent company Casella Waste Systems Inc. UMaine spokeswoman Margaret Nagle said the university and Casella are reserving the right to continue discussions should the opportunity present itself to create a pipeline that would provide cheap, renewable heat to the campus.
Fifty-six University of Maine student-athletes were named to the 2013 fall America East Honor Roll for obtaining a semester grade-point average (GPA) of 3.00 or higher.
A conference-record 708 student-athletes competed in fall sports for America East institutions, and 68 percent of all competitors garnered honor roll recognition.
Student-athletes from the UMaine women’s cross-country team took the title for most Black Bears named to the list, as 19 student-athletes qualified. Women’s soccer was next highest with 15, followed by field hockey with 13 and men’s cross-country with nine members qualifying for the honor.
Below is a full list of Maine’s honorees:
*Denotes Commissioner’s Honor Roll