University of Maine News
To help with the high volume of traffic expected in the area Saturday, May 10 for the 212th Commencement ceremonies, the Black Bear Orono Express will have two shuttle buses operating between Orono and UMaine, with a stop on Gym Drive. On campus, six other shuttles will run between Alfond Sports Arena and five parking lots — Collins Center for the Arts, Belgrade, Steam Plant, Hilltop and Buchanan Alumni House.
James Dill, a pest management specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, spoke with WLBZ (Channel 2) for a report about state officials trying to determine the potential negative effects the winter moth could have on crops this year. Experts say the moths lay eggs near the buds of many plants, including ones that can bear fruit. Once the eggs hatch in the spring, the new moths feed on the buds, causing noticeable damage to crops, according to the report. Dill cited apples, cranberries and blueberries as potential crops of concern. He said with a late spring, such as the one we’re having this year, it takes buds longer to break, which allows the moths to do more damage to multiple bud clusters.
The South Portland-Cape Elizabeth Sentry reported Southern Maine Community College’s Horticulture Department has partnered with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension to allow students to grow newly developed varieties of vegetables and flowers as part of a national program to introduce new plants to home gardeners. The students are growing the plants from seeds that were made available to the public for the first time this year, the article states. All-America Selections, a nonprofit organization that tests new varieties of seeds, chose UMaine Extension to showcase the plants at its Tidewater Farm display garden in Falmouth. UMaine Extension then asked SMCC to grow the plants in the college’s greenhouse until they’re ready to be transplanted to the display garden.
The University of Maine Pulp & Paper Foundation’s 64th annual Paper Days was mentioned in a Mainebiz feature on Jennifer Miller, executive vice president and chief sustainability officer of Sappi Fine Paper North America’s coated business. Miller was a keynote speaker at this year’s event that brings together UMaine students, faculty and professionals in the pulp and paper industry to discuss how to better prepare students for careers in the field by focusing on opportunities for students with strong backgrounds in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. At Paper Days, Miller spoke about “What you need in order to be successful in the global marketplace.”
A University of Maine study was cited in a Bangor Daily News Consumer Forum article titled, “Waste is not a terrible thing to mind: Learn how to get the most out of compost.” The study determined that about 38 percent of all municipal solid waste thrown out in Maine could be composted instead of added to landfills.
Students, teachers and parents from Fort Fairfield and Central Aroostook middle schools will visit the University of Maine on Tuesday, May 6 to take part in a daylong event that makes connections between engineering and animal science.
The event, which is a makeup session for some schools that were registered for this year’s Expanding Your Horizons conference that was canceled due to weather, is hosted by the Women’s Resource Center on campus as part of the Maine Girls Collaborative Project (MGCP). MGCP is a member of the National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP) that aims to support educators and organizations working to encourage girls to pursue careers in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
Throughout the day, more than 30 students will be introduced to a variety of engineering careers in nontraditional ways, such as how engineering can be related to working with horses.
Participants will start the day at Witter Farm where Robert Causey, an associate professor of animal and veterinary sciences, and Elizabeth Carpenter, a dairy herdsperson for UMaine farms, will speak about UMaine’s work with retired race horses that live at the farm. The horses are cared for by UMaine animal science majors. A companion program uses the dynamics studied in engineering to assess the safety of racetracks. The program is an example of an emerging career field in the intersection between biological sciences and engineering. While at the farm, students will participate in workshops on anatomy and forces/dynamics, and be able to meet the animal science majors and horses.
Other activities planned include a gender equity workshop at the Women’s Resource Center, tours at the Advanced Structures and Composites Center and a hands-on robotics workshop.
Students from Greely Middle School in Cumberland participated in a similar event on May 2.
These stellar seniors — hailing from rural Maine to Canada and China — share their UMaine experiences. Learn about their research, community service and world travels, and their plans for a very promising future.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745Jinlun Bai Finn Bondeson Ariel Bothen Meaghan Bradica Jennifer Chalmers Dilasha Dixit Kayla Jones Theresa McMannus Janelle Tinkler Chi Truong Sierra Ventura
The University of Maine’s 212th Commencement will be held May 10 in Harold Alfond Sports Arena on campus.
Held in two ceremonies at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., the university’s Commencement is one of Maine’s largest graduation events. An estimated 1,660 students — undergraduates, master’s and doctoral — are expected to participate in the event.
Both ceremonies are ticketed events. All students marching were offered up to five guest tickets. Live streaming of the ceremonies will be available online for friends and family worldwide. In addition, live streaming of both ceremonies can be viewed on a big screen in the Bear’s Den in the Memorial Union on campus.
For the second consecutive year, in keeping with UMaine’s leadership as a nationally recognized “Green campus,” each graduating student attending one of the ceremonies will receive a digital Commencement program on a commemorative 2GB USB flash drive. The full program will contain the names of all degree-earning undergraduate and graduate students, as well as a welcome message from the University of Maine Alumni Association.
At the ceremonies, an abbreviated print version of the program will be available for audience members. The Commencement website that day will feature the full program with the names of all graduating students.
The 10 a.m., ceremony is for graduating students in two colleges: Liberal Arts and Sciences; and Education and Human Development. Joining them will be students graduating from the Maine Business School and the Division of Lifelong Learning.
The 2:30 p.m., ceremony is for graduates in the College of Engineering and the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry and Agriculture.
The honorary degree recipients and Commencement speakers will be two icons in literature and music in Maine — international best-selling author Tess Gerritsen of Camden and singer-songwriter David Mallett of Sebec. Mallett will address the 10 a.m. ceremony; Gerritsen will address the 2:30 p.m. ceremony.
This year’s valedictorian and salutatorian are Sierra Ventura of Belfast, Maine, and Jennifer Chalmers of Foxborough, Mass., respectively. Ventura will receive a bachelor’s degree in music education. Chalmers will receive two bachelor’s degrees in English and in history. She has majored in English and history, with minors in education and Spanish, and received highest honors for her thesis.
Also being honored at Commencement and at a Faculty Appreciation and Recognition Luncheon that day are four faculty members in marine sciences, electrical and computer engineering, and computing and information science.
Mary Jane Perry, professor of oceanography and interim director of UMaine’s Darling Marine Center, is the 2014 Distinguished Maine Professor, an award presented by the University of Maine Alumni Association in recognition of outstanding achievement in the university’s mission of teaching, research and public service.
J. Malcolm Shick, professor of zoology and oceanography, is the recipient of the 2014 Presidential Outstanding Teaching Award; School of Computing and Information Science Professor M. Kate Beard-Tisdale is the 2014 Presidential Research and Creative Achievement Award; and the 2014 Presidential Public Service Achievement Award recipient it Bruce Segee, professor of electrical and computer engineering, and director of the University of Maine System Advanced Computing Group.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745
The Portland Press Herald published a feature on Anne Lichtenwalner, director of the University of Maine’s Animal Health Laboratory. Lichtenwalner, who is also an assistant professor of animal science and a UMaine Cooperative Extension veterinarian, spoke about how she splits her time between the lab, researching and teaching, as well as the advice she gives to the general public about raising backyard chickens or dairy cows.
David Fuller, an agricultural and non-timber forest products professional with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and fiddlehead expert, gave a walking talk about the ferns at the Fiddlehead Festival and Local Food Day in Farmington, according to the Morning Sentinel. Fuller, who took a group of 20 attendees on a walk in the woods to show how unchecked foraging could wipe the fern out from a harvesting area, stressed the importance of using sustainable practices when picking fiddleheads. Those practices include harvesting no more than half of the fiddleheads in an area and not going back for a second harvest that year.
John Jemison, a soil and water quality specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, spoke with the Portland Press Herald for the article, “Monsanto and Maine: A look at Maine’s sometimes fractious relationship with the GMO giant.” Jemison, who also serves on on the steering committee of the coalition Maine Food Strategy, spoke about people’s fear of genetically engineered crops. He recalled an incident in 1999 when he was researching corn that was genetically engineered, and rows of corn he had planted were chopped down during the night. Jemison said he knows a lot of opponents of genetic engineering believe researchers are paid by companies such as Monsanto, and that he was probably seen as the enemy. “From that perspective, I agree with what they did,” he said. “They were trying to make a statement and they made it. I still disagree with the methods.”
WVII (Channel 7), WABI (Channel 5) and WLBZ (Channel 2) reported on the construction of the University of Maine’s Emera Astronomy Center that is slated to open in the fall of 2014. The $5.2 million astronomy center will be the new home of the Maynard F. Jordan Planetarium and Observatory. The center will feature a planetarium dome 33 feet in diameter — the largest in the state — equipped with a state-of-the-art projection system. “It’s very exciting for me to see the program invest in something that’s going to bring a lot of young people in and teach them about STEM education,” said Karl Ward, president and CEO of Nickerson & O’Day, a Maine-based firm that was awarded the construction bid for the center.
Kathy Savoie, a University of Maine Cooperative Extension educator, provided the Portland Press Herald with step-by-step instructions on how to make quick refrigerator pickles with a variety of spring vegetables.
The Bangor Daily News reported on University of Maine President Paul Ferguson’s announcement of the appointment of Judy Ryan as vice president for administration and finance and Megan Sanders as associate vice president for human resources and administration, effective May 1. The appointments result from the departure of Janet Waldron, former UMaine senior vice president for administration and finance. “I am very grateful that Judy and Meg have graciously agreed to step into these significant management positions at a critical time for UMaine,” said President Ferguson.
Mark Brewer, a political science professor at the University of Maine, was interviewed for a Kennebec Journal article about the race between Bruce Poliquin and Kevin Raye for the Republican nomination in the 2nd Congressional District. Brewer spoke about the importance and prevalence of the issue of residency in the primary race.
University of Maine’s Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students Robert Dana was interviewed by the Bangor Daily News for the article, “Maine universities have changed how to process, respond to reports of sexual violence.” Dana said UMaine opened an office of sexual assault and violence prevention in August 2013 that processes all sexual abuse complaints, conducts investigations and offers support for victims. UMaine reported nine sexual offenses in 2010 and six in both 2011 and 2012. Dana said that in 2013, he believes around 30 reports were made, and the increase is a function of the way incidents are reported, not a rise of sexual violence on campus. The Sun Journal also carried the report.
WLBZ (Channel 2) reported on the sixth annual Maine Wind Blade Challenge held at the University of Maine. Developed by Maine Composites Alliance, in partnership with the Maine Ocean & Wind Industry Initiative, the contest matches high school teams with Maine-based advanced composites manufacturers to research, design and manufacture model wind blades. In addition to giving presentations, high school teams from all around Maine competed to generate the most energy over two minutes. The Maine Wind Blade Challenge was designed to inspire student exploration of alternative energy and advanced materials by participating in a hands-on STEM application. Students from Portland’s Baxter Academy were this year’s champions. Their blade produced between 30 and 35 volts of electricity, according to the report.
The Associated Press, Morning Sentinel, Bangor Daily News and WLBZ (Channel 2) covered the Maine Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Jack Cosgrove, head coach of the University of Maine football team, was one of nine people to be inducted into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame at its 39th annual awards banquet. Other inductees included Joseph L. Ferris, who pitched for UMaine in the 1964 College World Series, and Edward J. Flaherty, an All-American performer at UMaine in 1975. WABI (Channel 5) and The Washington Times carried the AP report.
WABI (Channel 5) reported on an event held by the University of Maine student group Male Athletes Against Violence (MAAV) to raise awareness about relationship violence. The event, Unwrapping the Not-So-Sweet Truth of Relationship Violence, also aimed to set a Guinness World Record for the largest number of candies unwrapped at one time. More than 600 students and community members unofficially set the record and are submitting to Guinness for verification. Spencer Wood, an MAAV member, said the group thought the event would be a fun way to attract people to come out and learn about relationship abuse.
Jason Bolton, assistant extension professor and statewide food safety specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, spoke with WVII (Channel 7) about guidelines to follow before eating fiddleheads. Bolton warned fiddleheads should never be consumed raw, and should be fully cleaned and cooked by steaming or boiling for about 12 to 15 minutes. “We do hear a lot about people just sauteing them, microwaving them at restaurants or even at home, and the food-borne illness resulting from that,” Bolton said, adding that typical food-borne illness symptoms, such as vomiting, come on fast and last for about a day.