University of Maine News
Charles McKay, a clinical intern and graduate assistant at the University of Maine Counseling Center and Touchstone Resources, spoke with The Maine Edge about the organization’s Out of the Darkness suicide prevention walk slated Sunday, Sept. 29. The walk is part of the group’s ongoing efforts to raise suicide awareness.
Nicolle Litrrell, a University of Maine women’s studies educator and Belfast filmmaker, spoke with the Bangor Daily News about an informational meeting she’s co-hosting on how the possibility of licensing home birth midwives could affect women’s birth options and rights. “MamaBaby, Midwives and the Law” will be held 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 28 at the Belfast Free Library.
Family and Friends Weekend is Oct. 4–6. Friday night events include performances by comedians John Cassidy and Bob Marley. Saturday highlights include the 2013 Black Bear Attack Adventure Race, a lobster bake, football against Delaware and a parent social at the Bear’s Den. Sunday’s events include a family brunch at the Bear’s Den and a men’s ice hockey game against Dalhousie. More information on tickets, registrations and reservations is online.
Sandra Butler, University of Maine professor of social work, is collaborating with a University of Southern Maine colleague to write a monthly profile about Mainers struggling economically.
The yearlong series by Butler and USM sociologist Luisa Deprez is titled “The People Next Door.” It’s scheduled to debut Sept. 28 in the Bangor Daily News.
The series is an outcome of the Scholars Strategy Network, which brings together academics to address policy implications at the national, state and local levels. Each profile will include an interview with a Maine person or family, as well as a sidebar with statistics pertinent to the policy being addressed.
“We’re glad readers will gain information about how certain policies touch the lives of Maine residents,” says Erin Rhoda, BDN editorial page editor. “Sometimes wrangling over legislation can seem distant and abstract, so it’s important to bring the issues home.”
The working class and the need for their voices to be heard in public office will be focus of three public lectures in Bangor, Brewer and Orono, Oct. 2–3.
Nicholas Carnes, assistant professor of public policy at Duke University, will speak at noon, Oct. 2, at the Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine, 96 Harlow St., Bangor, on “Why do Millionaires Run the Country?” From 6:45–8 p.m. that day, he will participate in a panel discussion, “Balancing the Ballot: Working Class Candidates for Public Office,” at Eastern Maine Labor Council, 20 Ivers St., Brewer.
Oct. 3, Carnes will speak on “The Cash Ceiling: How Expensive Elections Affect Who Runs for Office” at 12:30 p.m. in the Bangor Room of the Memorial Union at the University of Maine.
Carnes’ research focuses on U.S. politics, legislative decision making, representation, social class, economic inequality, and state and local politics. His upcoming book “White-Collar Government: The Hidden Role of Class in Economic Policy Making” examines how the shortage of people from the working class in American legislatures skews the policymaking process toward outcomes that are more in line with the upper class’s economic interests.
Carnes is a member of the Scholars Strategy Network, an organization that brings America’s leading scholars together to address public challenges on national, state and local levels. His lectures in the state are sponsored by the Maine chapter of the Scholars Strategy Network and the University of Maine. The League of Women Voters also is a co-sponsor of the noon talk on Oct. 2.
For more information or to request disability accommodation, contact Amy Fried, 207.581.1797 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The North American debut of Orchester Jakobsplatz Munich at the Collins Center for the Arts at the University of Maine Oct. 17 will highlight two days of music, lectures and film celebrating Jewish culture and honoring its history.
The two-day event at the Collins Center begins at 7 p.m., Oct. 16 with the documentary, “Defiant Requiem,” honoring the prisoners of Theresienstadt (Terezín) concentration camp. The film by Partisan Pictures focuses on Rafael Schächter, a brilliant young Czech opera-choral conductor sent to Terezín in 1941. In an act of moral courage and defiance, Schächter taught 150 prisoners the Requiem by Verdi, which they performed 16 times. The last and most infamous performance was on June 23, 1944. With only 60 prisoners remaining following massive deportations, Schächter was ordered to perform the Requiem before high-ranking Nazi SS officers and International Red Cross representatives to support the charade that the prisoners were well treated.
Prior to the Oct. 17 concert, there will be a symposium starting at 4:30 p.m., featuring three lectures. Daniel Grossmann, founder and conductor of Orchester Jakobsplatz Munich, will speak on Jewish life in contemporary Germany and the work of composer Erwin Schulhoff, who died in a Nazi concentration camp.
UMaine Professor of History Alex Grab will speak about the artistic life in Terezin concentration camp, where one of his relatives, opera singer Hedda Grab-Kernmayr, helped found Freizeitgestaltung, the organization formed to oversee all aspects of cultural life in the camp. He’ll also talk about composer Gideon Klein, who also died in a concentration camp.
UMaine Professor of Music Phillip Silver will speak on the Nazi’s attempt to undermine and destroy the reputations of Felix Mendelssohn and Gustav Mahler as part of a systematic process to rewrite the historical record and make it conform to the racial dogma espoused by the regime.
The concert by Orchester Jakobsplatz Munich will follow at 7 p.m., featuring Mendelssohn’s String Symphony No. 12 in G minor, Gideon Klein’s Partita for Strings and Mahler’s Adagio from Symphony No. 10. In addition, saxophone soloist Daniel Gauthier will perform Erwin Schulhoff’s Hot Sonate.
Founded in 2005, Orchester Jakobsplatz Munich, which takes its name from the Jakobsplatz Jewish Cultural Center in Munich, is dedicated to fostering the presence and resurgence of Jewish culture. The ensemble features musicians from more than 20 countries.
Funding for the events comes from the Jewish Community Endowment Associates and the Judaic Studies Program at the University of Maine.
The symposium is free and open to the public.
Tickets for “Defiant Requiem are $5; tickets for the Orchester Jakobsplatz Munich concert are $20 and $30. All are available online or by calling the Collins Center box office, 207.581.1755. For more information or to request a disability accommodation, contact the box office.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745
A new partnership between the University of Maine and the Margaret Chase Smith Library will bring the Maine National History Day competition for students in grades 6–12 to the UMaine campus starting in spring 2014.
National History Day (NHD) is an academic program that promotes critical thinking, research and presentation skills through project-based learning for students of all abilities.
Students choose historical topics related to a theme — this year it’s “Rights and Responsibilities in History” — and conduct extensive research before creating projects in the form of exhibits, documentaries, dramatic performances, papers or websites, to present at the statewide competition where the projects are evaluated by professional historians and educators.
More than half a million students, working with thousand of teachers, participate in the national contest annually.
The Maine History Day competition will take place Saturday, April 12, 2014 on the Orono campus, for the first time since the national program began in 1980. Winners from the state competitions are then able to compete in the national contest in Washington, D.C. during June 2014.
“I have had an amazing experience as a judge at the state competition the past two years,” says Liam Riordan, a UMaine Humanities Initiative Advisory Board member and associate professor of history, “and what makes it exciting for students is that they choose their own research topic and the category that most interests them. Plus, students can compete as an individual or as part of a team. It will be great to continue this vital program at UMaine for many years to come.”
Several events leading up to Maine National History Day are scheduled around the state:
4:30–6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013, pizza and introductory session at the Bangor Public Library. The informal orientation and discussion for teachers, students and parents will be co-hosted by the UMaine Humanities Initiative, Bangor Museum and History Center, Maine Discovery Museum, and Bangor Public Library.
9 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013, National History Day Teacher Institute at UMaine. The free professional development program for grade 6–12 teachers will include a keynote lecture by the Maine Department of Education’s social studies specialist. Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided. To register, for more information, or to request a disability accommodation, contact Riordan at email@example.com or 207.581.1913.
9:35–10:45 a.m. Friday, Nov. 8, 2013, NHD panel to speak at the Maine Council for the Social Studies annual conference at the Augusta Civic Center. Riordan; Devin Beliveau, a Thornton Academy teacher; and Christopher Ohge, digital specialist with the UMaine Humanities Initiative are expected to take part.
Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, NHD teacher workshop at the Maine Historical Society in Portland in partnership with the Maine Humanities Council. For more information, email Larissa Vigue Picard at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deadline for schools and/or students to register to compete at Maine National History Day is March 28, 2014.
“National History Day is thrilled about this new partnership among Maine’s most prominent historical and cultural institutions to bring Maine History Day to more teachers and students,” says Kim Fortney, deputy director of NHD in Washington, D.C.
The co-organizers for this new partnership, UMaine and the Margaret Chase Smith Library, are joined by the College of Education and Human Development, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, UMaine Humanities Initiative, Maine Humanities Council, UMaine History Department, Maine Historical Society and many local historical and cultural organizations.
For more information or to request disability accommodations, contact the NHD state coordinator, John Taylor with the Margaret Chase Smith Library, at 207.474.7132 or email@example.com, or visit the Maine NHD Web page.
Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747
The National Science Foundation has awarded a $722,500 grant to a team of researchers in the Laboratory for Surface Science & Technology (LASST) at the University of Maine to develop ceramic-based nanocomposite thin film materials to be used in sensors operating in harsh high-temperature environments.
Miniature sensors that can withstand the intense heat inside machinery such as turbine engines, combustion burners, power plant boilers, oil and gas drilling machinery, and ceramics manufacturing equipment can provide critical information to reduce overall energy usage and increase the lifetime of expensive machinery.
Unfortunately, thin film materials used in the manufacture of sensors rapidly degrade in most industrial conditions, making the sensors unreliable and short-lived.
“There is a real need to develop stable films and reliable sensors for harsh environments above 1,000 degrees Celsius,” says Robert Lad, UMaine physics professor and principal investigator for the project, “since significant cost savings can be gotten by using sensor data to more efficiently operate complex high-temperature machinery.”
The UMaine team, which includes three graduate students and four undergraduates, is working on atomic scale synthesis of multi-layered nanocomposite thin film structures using a combination of boride and silicide materials integrated with platinum and other materials.
The films will be deposited onto several prototype sensor devices and tested inside controlled-environment laboratory furnaces and within small-scale turbine engines.
UMaine researchers in LASST have been developing sensor technology for a number of years and in 2008 demonstrated the operation of a wireless high-temperature acoustic wave sensor as high as 800 degrees Celsius in a jet engine for the Air Force.
The NSF award is part of a new Sustainable Chemistry, Engineering, and Materials (SusChEM) initiative aimed at “enabling the basic science and engineering discoveries that will reduce dependence on nonrenewable energy resources and improve the efficiency of industrial processes.”
Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777
The Associated Press previewed the Sen. George J. Mitchell Lecture on Sustainability at the University of Maine on Wednesday, Sept. 25. Jane Lubchenco, a marine ecologist, environmental scientist and the first female administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), will deliver a lecture titled “Science Serving Society: Achieving Real-World Solutions.” The Houston Chronicle, Portland Press Herald, WABI (Channel 5) and San Francisco Chronicle were among news organizations to carry the report.
Adrienne Leppold, a Ph.D. student in Rebecca Holberton’s Lab of Avian Biology at the University of Maine, spoke with Down East magazine about her research on songbird migration in the Gulf of Maine. Leppold and Holberton are among more than two dozen researchers in the U.S. and Canada who are working together through the Northeast Regional Migration Monitoring Network to better understand bird and bat migration in the Gulf of Maine.
WVII (Channel 7) reported a seismometer at the University of Maine detected a deadly earthquake in Pakistan. Alice Kelley, an assistant research professor at UMaine’s Climate Change Institute, told WVII it took 13 minutes for the first wave from Pakistan to reach Maine.
Former University of Maine graduate student Ian McCullough’s study of water clarity in Maine lakes was cited in a Portland Press Herald story about lake quality decline. The paper covered the Natural Resources Council of Maine’s report titled “Troubled Waters” that indicates programs to protect lakes have been eliminated due to cuts in staffing and funding at the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. McCullough, who earned his master’s in ecology and environmental science at UMaine, is a graduate student researcher at University of California, Santa Barbara. His study indicated the worsening of lake clarity may indicate a trend toward eutrophication — a process in which excess nitrates and phosphates, generally due to fertilizers and sewage, stimulate growth of algae, which depletes oxygen in the water.
The Portland Press Herald spoke with Mark Brewer, a political science professor at the University of Maine, for an article on Independent Eliot Cutler formally announcing he will run for governor in 2014. Brewer spoke about the public’s undecided view of Cutler, saying it’s possible the public doesn’t have a strong view or fully formed opinion of him and only voted for him in 2010 because they didn’t want Paul LePage to win.
WVII (Channel 7) reported on a new program offered by the Challenger Learning Center and the University of Maine’s Society of Women Engineers to create a mentoring program for future engineers. The Discover Engineering program is free and open to eighth graders.
Mary Ellen Camire, president-elect of the Institute of Food Technologists and professor of food science and human nutrition at the University of Maine, was interviewed for a Time magazine article on Burger King’s new healthier french fries called Satisfries. Camire spoke about the fat-fighting batter technique the fast food chain is using on the new fries. She said adding modified starches to the surface of foods or adding ingredients such as proteins or gellan gum to wet batters are well-known ways to make fried foods less absorbent, but the challenge is maintaining the taste of deep-fried food.
WABI (Channel 5) reported on a new program being offered by the Challenger Learning Center and the University of Maine for future engineers. The Discover Engineering program is free and open to eighth graders. Students who take part will be partnered with college mentors who are studying engineering.
The University of Maine’s National Study on Student Hazing was cited in a News Channel 9 WSYR (Syracuse, N.Y.) report on hazing following the suspension of the men’s lacrosse team at Cornell University and the boy’s cross-country team at Baldwinsville High School in Baldwinsville, N.Y. The UMaine study found 61 percent of male college students and 52 percent of females have experienced hazing, 25 percent of the time coaches or advisers were aware and 95 percent of students never reported their hazing experience.
The Portland Press Herald and Bangor Daily News were among news organizations to report an increase in calls to the Public Utilities Commission to release details of the University of Maine’s offshore wind project proposal. The two chairmen of the committee that oversees energy issues in the Maine Legislature were the latest to publicly ask for details. The Bangor Daily News also published an article titled “Business consultant: LePage intervention in Statoil deal could damage Maine’s image in global energy” about Gov. Paul LePage’s administration working to derail Statoil’s agreement with the state for an offshore wind project, paving the way for the UMaine to submit a proposal.
The University of Maine College of Education and Human Development will host the Symposium on Gender in Higher Education from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3 in the Wells Conference Center on the UMaine campus.
The professional development conference will explore issues of gender in higher education with a focus on intersectional approaches to gender within education. Break-out sessions will be divided into research and practice tracks.
The University of Maine’s Elizabeth Allan, a professor of higher education leadership, and Dan Tillapaugh, a postdoctoral fellow in higher education, will deliver keynote speeches. Panelists will include D. Chase Catalano, director of the LGBT Resource Center at Syracuse University and doctoral candidate in the social justice education program at UMass Amherst; Susan Marine, assistant professor and program director of the Higher Education Graduate Program at Merrimack College; and Brian Reed, assistant dean for undergraduate students at Dartmouth College.
The symposium is open to UMaine students, faculty and staff, as well as off-campus professionals. For more information or to request a disability accommodation, visit UMaine’s higher education graduate programs Web page. Registration is also available online.
The University of Maine’s National Study on Student Hazing was cited in a Bloomberg News article on the suspension of Cornell University’s men’s lacrosse program following a hazing incident two years after the death of a sophomore led the school to ban hazing. The study found more than half of all U.S. college students in clubs, teams and other organizations are hazed.