University of Maine News
The University of Maine Cooperative Extension was mentioned in a Sun Journal article about a town meeting in Peru. At the meeting, Brenda Swan, director of the Peru Food Bank, was granted permission from selectmen to use land near the Town Office for a community garden. Swan said she is looking to form a steering committee for the project and UMaine Extension will provide guidance.
A University of Maine mechanical engineering capstone project was mentioned in a Bangor Daily News article about the new executive director of the Maine Forest and Logging Museum in Bradley. The museum recently completed a new machinery hall, which will house a machine shop and two Lombard steam log haulers, according to the article. One of the log haulers was the subject of a UMaine capstone project in which students restored the machine to working condition. The log hauler was invented and built in Waterville between 1910 and 1917, and was the first successful tracked vehicle.
The Bangor Daily News ran a feature story about the positive contributions of various friends groups that support University of Maine athletic teams. Friends groups currently back Black Bear baseball, football, men’s ice hockey, softball and women’s basketball teams, according to the article. Maria Baeza, who was president of the Friends of Maine Women’s Basketball for 15 years, said the group fundraises and strives to “create a culture of support for the student-athletes and for the program in general.”
WFSB 3 Connecticut cited statistics from the Lobster Institute at the University of Maine for an article about a yellow lobster that was caught off the coast of Black Point in Niantic, Connecticut. According to the Lobster Institute, the odds of finding a yellow, or calico, lobster is one in 30 million.
A Sun Journal article about the 2014 Business to Business Trade Show mentioned Blackstone Accelerates Growth (BxG) as a resource for future economic growth and development in the Lewiston-Auburn region, as well as statewide. BxG is committed to building a community of entrepreneurs and innovators throughout Maine by providing advisory services, investment funds, entrepreneurial coaching and support through partnerships with the University of Maine, Maine Technology Institute and Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development (MCED). Mainebiz also carried a report about the Top Gun Entrepreneurship Acceleration program, a BxG program offered by MCED, planning to add a midcoast location to its current Portland and Bangor sites. The article also stated BxG plans to start an innovation hub in Lewiston, adding to its Portland, Bangor and midcoast sites.
Dan Kerluke, a former associate head coach for the University of Maine men’s hockey team, was featured in the Bangor Daily News article “Three groundbreaking Maine entrepreneurs share how they did it.” Kerluke spoke about how he and Tim Westbaker, co-founder and chief technical officer of Double Blue Sports Analytics, created the 360 Save Review System, a digital interface to help track goalie statistics within seconds. “I think the biggest thing for us has been the immediate connection and support within the state of Maine,” Kerluke said, adding that Jesse Moriarity, coordinator of UMaine’s Foster Center for Student Innovation, became the company’s “guardian angel” for helping them understand how to expand their business. Kerluke also participated in the Top Gun Entrepreneurship Acceleration program, which is sponsored by Blackstone Accelerates Growth and hosted by the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development.
The University of Maine College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has published its most recent newsletter. The spring 2014 CLAS newsletter is available online.
Mick Peterson, professor of mechanical engineering, was quoted in a New York Times story on the 146th running of the Belmont Stakes and the intense maintenance process involved in ensuring the safety of the mile-and-a-half-track — the longest in North America. Peterson is executive director of the Orono-based nonprofit Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory. In the article, Peterson noted: “The biggest difference on racetracks, which is much more important than the sand or the surface composition, is the moisture. And one of the things that makes Belmont quite a bit different is the time of year when they’re racing and how they maintain that.”
The Portland Press Herald interviewed Sean Birkel, a research assistant professor at the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine, for a story about Maine and Vermont having the fastest rise in annual average temperature in the United States during the past 30 years.
The average annual temperature in both states increased 2.5 degrees from 1984 to 2013 — about twice the average warming nationwide — according to an AP analysis of the National Climatic Data Center report.
Birkel told the Portland Press Herald that part of Maine’s winter warming trend is attributable to melting Arctic sea ice. As the sea ice melts, Birkel says the darker ocean absorbs sunlight, which further heats the air. “As the Arctic warms, Maine and the North will warm because that is where the airflow is coming from” in winter, Birkel said.
FOX 22/WFV Bangor featured Rob Wheeler, University of Maine assistant professor of microbiology, who received a $500,000 five-year grant to study how common pathogens can become killers.
Wheeler and students will study how Candida albicans, the most common human fungal germ, transforms from to a potentially fatal fungus in vital organs of a person whose immune system has been compromised. “One of the issues with Candida infection is people with dentures or a prosthesis can get Candida in those areas of attachment that then interact with the skin and can pass through the skin in ways that doesn’t in healthy people,” Wheeler said.
The Sun Journal interviewed Auburn Mayor and University of Maine graduate Jonathan LaBonte after Gov. Paul LePage appointed him director of the Governor’s Office of Policy and Management.
LaBonte, who earned a bachelor’s in engineering at UMaine and took graduate courses in public administration and governance, told the Sun Journal he is interested in streamlining and making government more efficient and responsive.
The Pen Bay Pilot ran an article about a study conducted by a former University of Maine researcher that indicates lakes in New England and the Adirondack Mountains are recovering more quickly now from the effects of acid rain than they did in the 1980s and 1990s.
Kristin Strock, a former doctoral student at UMaine, says sulfate concentration in rain and snow has dropped 40 percent and nitrate concentration has declined by more than 50 percent in the 2000s. The Clean Air Act enacted in the U.S. in 1970, as well as subsequent amendments, have helped reduce emissions of sulfur and nitrogen by 51 and 43 percent, respectively, between 2000 and 2010, Strock said.
According to reports, approximately 1,500 athletes will take part in the games that begin Friday morning. Opening ceremonies are scheduled for Friday night and events will be held through Sunday.
The Bangor Daily News ran a story about former University of Maine quarterback Marcus Wasilewski winning the Colonial Athletic Association’s Chuck Boone Leadership Award.
The award is presented to the league player embodying the highest standards of leadership, integrity, teamwork and sportsmanship in academic and athletic achievements. Wasilewski graduated cum laude in December with a degree in kinesiology and physical education. The Dean’s List student and four-time Academic All-Conference selection received the “M” Club Dean Smith Award presented to UMaine’s top male and female student-athlete. Wasilewski also was named the CAA Student-Athlete of the Year; he earned a 3.4 grade point average. In 2013, he was made the all-CAA first team and set numerous UMaine records while leading the Black Bears to a league-best 10–2 regular-season mark.
The Maine Public Broadcasting Network spoke with Robert Wheeler, an assistant professor of microbiology at the University of Maine, who was awarded a five-year, $500,000 fellowship from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund (BWF) to study a pathogen. Wheeler will study how and why Candida albicans — the most common human fungal pathogen — transforms from an innocuous yeast in the digestive tract of a person with a healthy immune system to a potentially fatal fungus in vital organs of a person whose immune system has been compromised. Wheeler said Candida albicans is the fourth most common bloodstream disease in hospitalized patients and one in three patients with impaired immune systems who contract the fungal infection while in the hospital will die from it. “A combination of better diagnosis and better drug treatment regimes could make a really big impact in the lethality associated with fungal infection,” Wheeler said. He called the fellowship a new high point in his career and a major boost for microbiology at UMaine. The Associated Press and WABI (Channel 5) also reported the research award.
Science Codex reported findings published by University of Maine researchers Bridie McGreavy and Laura Lindenfeld of the Department of Communication and Journalism suggest films that feature climate change can affect public understanding. The researchers analyzed three films that feature global warming prominently and wrote about their findings in the International Journal of Sustainable Development. They found the films often include problematic and limiting identity politics, which commonly reiterate racial, gender and sexual stereotypes. “It is not just about rational, fact-based reasoning but about making and using films to challenge dominant stereotypes, change social institutions, and empower citizens more broadly,” McGreavy said. Press-News.org also carried the report.
Twenty-nine college students are participating in the 2014 Maine Government Summer Internship Program administered by the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center at the University of Maine.
The full-time, 12-week paid work experience program offers a unique opportunity for talented college students to work within Maine state government. The program provides valuable assistance to state agencies and affords students the chance to gain practical skills in their fields of study. This year, the program expanded to include internships in Maine municipal government.
In 1967, the 103rd Maine Legislature established the Maine Government Summer Internship Program to attract and select college students with ambition and talent for temporary internships within Maine state government. A total of 1,685 students have participated since its inception. This year, 107 students applied for 29 agency positions. Undergraduate and graduate students who reside in Maine or attend a Maine school are eligible.
The 2014 interns are:
Robert Figora of West Gardiner, Maine, a student at the University of Maine at Augusta, is assistant to city manager at the City Manager’s Office in Ellsworth;
Sean McCarthy of Winslow, Maine, a student at the University of Maine at Augusta, is an engineering plans archiving assistant with the Property Management Division of the Bureau of General Services at the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services;
Amanda Findlay of Manchester, Maine, a student at Colby College, is a juvenile justice advisory group assistant with the Juvenile Justice Advisory Group at the Maine Department of Corrections;
Casey Weed of Gorham, Maine, a student at the University of Maine, is a public relations assistant with the Maine Department of Defense, Veterans and Emergency Management, at the Maine Emergency Management Agency;
Tyler Oversmith of Hampden, Maine, a student at Maine Maritime Academy, is an energy and real property data management intern with the Military Bureau at the Maine Department of Defense, Veterans and Emergency Management;
Chelsea Dean of Seabrook, New Hampshire, a student at the University of Maine, is a civil engineering intern with the Dam Safety Program in the Maine Emergency Management Agency Operations and Response Division at the Maine Department of Defense, Veterans and Emergency Management;
Mary Taylor of Readfield, Maine, a student a Saint Michael’s College, is a digital learning content intern with Learning through Technology at the Maine Department of Education;
Chris Jones of Litchfield, Maine, a student at Wentworth Institute of Technology, is a digital learning content intern with Learning through Technology at the Maine Department of Education;
Grace Kiffney of Portland, Maine, a student at the University of Maine, is a migrant education field and office assistant with the Migrant Education Office at the Maine Department of Education;
Courtney Burne of Topsham, Maine, a student at the University of Maine, is a migrant education field and office assistant with the Migrant Education Office at the Maine Department of Education;
Hannah Caswell, of Manchester, Maine, a student at Villanova University, is a stream watershed assessment technician with the Land and Water Environmental Assessment/Watershed Management Unit at the Maine Department of Environmental Protection;
Benjamin McCall of Falmouth, Maine, a student at the University of Maine School of Law, is a legal intern with the Office of the Public Advocate at the Maine Executive Department;
Caroline Bowne of Falmouth, Maine, a student at Skidmore College, is a technical writer with the Bureau of Unemployment Compensation, Division of Employer Services at the Maine Department of Labor;
Michael Bailey of Waterville, Maine, a student at the University of Maine, is a labor historian with the Bureau of Labor Standards at the Maine Department of Labor;
Nancy Bergerson of Plymouth, Maine, a student at the University of Maine, is an intern with the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services-Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Central Office at the Maine Department of Labor;
MacKenzie Riley of Waterville, Maine, a student at St. Thomas University, is a communication assistant with the Office of the Commissioner at the Maine Department of Labor;
Jonathan Whittemore of Limestone, Maine, a student at Husson University, is a technical field writer with the Bureau of Unemployment Compensation, Division of Employer Services at the Maine Department of Labor;
Abigail Pratico of Falmouth, Maine, a student at the University of Maine, is an assistant to the principal examiner with the Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection at the Maine Department of Professional & Financial Regulation;
Christopher Goodwin of Farmington, Maine, a student at the University of Maine at Farmington, is an actuarial assistant with the Bureau of Insurance at the Maine Department of Professional & Financial Regulation;
Sara Poirier of Winslow, Maine, a student at St. Joseph’s College of Maine, is a special projects coordinator with the Board of Licensure in Medicine at the Maine Department of Professional & Financial Regulation;
Brady Frautten of Winthrop, Maine, a student at the University of Tampa, is a Maine Information and Analysis Center intern with the Maine State Police at the Maine Department of Public Safety;
John Horton of Falmouth, Maine, a student at Bowdoin College, is a Maine Information and Analysis Center intern with the Maine State Police at the Maine Department of Public Safety;
Andrea Cashon, of Milford, Maine, a student at Cornell University, is an environment-natural resource field and data assistant with the Environmental Office-Field Services at the Maine Department of Transportation;
Nicholas Abbott of Gardiner, Maine, a student at the University of Maine at Augusta, is a bridge assistant with the Bureau of Maintenance and Operations/Bridges and Structures at the Maine Department of Transportation;
Hannah Ober of Brunswick, Maine, a student at the University of Southern Maine, is a hydrology-water resources intern with the Environmental Office at the Maine Department of Transportation;
Adam Cotton of Biddeford, Maine, a student at the University of Maine, is a field assistant with the Bureau of Maintenance and Operations at the Maine Department of Transportation;
Emily Maynard of Portland, Maine, a student at the University of Southern Maine, is a transportation planning intern with the Maine Department of Transportation;
Natalie Edmiston of Gray, Maine, a student at the University of Southern Maine, is an assistant with the Office of Employee Development at the Maine Department of Transportation; and
Cynthia Hunter of Portland, Maine, a student at the University of Maine School of Law, is a legal assistant with the Advocate Division of the Portland Regional Office of the Maine Workers’ Compensation Board.
Maine 4-H Days begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 20, at Windsor Fairgrounds, 82 Ridge Road, Windsor, with volunteers packing 16,000 meals to be donated to Good Shepherd Food Bank.
At least 100 volunteers registered for Maine 4-H Days are needed to pack the meals, which will be distributed to youth from Kittery to Fort Kent. Outreach Northeast is coordinating the volunteer opportunity.
Maine 4-H Days, an annual event sponsored by University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the Maine 4-H Foundation, runs through Sunday, June 22. Enrichment workshops include archery, chess, country line dancing, yoga, Lego robotics and numerous animal topics. An ice cream social and a law enforcement K-9 demonstration also will be held.
Weekend registration is $7 per person, $20 per family. For information about the food-packaging event, contact Sarah Sparks, 207.353.5550 or email@example.com. For information about Maine 4-H Days, to register or to request a disability accommodation, contact Jessy Brainerd at 207.581.3877, 800.287.0274 (in Maine) or firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration materials and more information are available online.
Ed Grew, a research professor of geological sciences at the University of Maine, was acknowledged by Geoscience Australia for his role in getting Antarctica’s Stornes Peninsula designated as an Antarctic Specially Protected Area by the Antarctic Treaty signatories.
The action taken during the May 2014 Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting strengthens international environmental protection for the area in Antarctica where Grew discovered minerals during fieldwork in 2003–04 on the Australian Antarctic Expedition.
The designation formally recognizes the peninsula’s outstanding geological significance and gives it the highest level of environmental protection under the Antarctic Treaty’s Protocol on Environmental Protection.
More information is online.
The Bangor Daily News and WVII (Channel 7) reported University of Maine senior track and field student-athlete Kelton Cullenberg was named the inaugural America East Man of the Year at the conference’s annual meeting. The distance runner from Chesterville, Maine, was honored for his athletic and academic achievements with the recognition, which coincides with the America East Woman of the Year award that has been given out since 2006. “It shows that my school and my conference recognize how hard I have worked, not just in athletics, but academics, the community, and through leadership positions,” Cullenberg said of winning the award.