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University of Maine News
News from the University of Maine
Updated: 7 hours 16 min ago
WABI (Channel 5) reported on the dedication of the University of Maine’s Emera Astronomy Center. The center is the new home of the Maynard F. Jordan Planetarium and Observatory. “Although the weather is not perfect every day, we still have opportunities, and when the weather is clear, to see things a little differently than telescopes in Hawaii and Arizona might see them and we may see things that are not in the sky for them,” said Alan Davenport, director of the planetarium. “This is one of the most sophisticated astronomy centers that we have certainly in the state of Maine. It’s really exciting for young grade school students to come through this facility learn about astronomy,” said Gerry Chasse, president and COO of Emera Maine.
Jon Ippolito, a professor of new media at the University of Maine, spoke with The New York Times for an article about a digital recording tool called Colloq that aims to preserve the complex experience of using social networking websites such as Facebook. The tool has been roughly prototyped by Rhizome, a New York nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting and conserving digital artwork, according to the article. “As close as possible, you’re going to get the experience of interacting with the actual site,” said Ippolito, who has advised Rhizome and is familiar with the tool. “It is reconstructing it, bit by bit, in a technology that is very close to the original and allows users to explore it interactively the way they could with the original.” Ippolito also said giving people the tools to record their online activities is important. “It puts the ability to capture data back in the hands of the individuals. The user is in the driver’s seat, instead of the social network that now owns that user’s information,” he said. Ippolito’s recent book on digital preservation, “Re-collection: Art, New Media, and Social Memory,” also was mentioned in the article.
The Portland Press Herald reported on sculptor and painter Dudley Zopp’s current installation, “Ground/Underground,” at the University of Maine’s Lord Hall Gallery. The exhibition, which runs through Nov. 14, is a continuation of Zopp’s “Erratics” sculptures, and features new, large-format watercolor paintings and 700 smaller oil paintings that suggest geological sediments. “I like how she is moving canvases off the wall, and the simplicity of her presentation. I like that she moves so easily between two-dimensional work and three-dimensional work,” Lord Hall Gallery coordinator Susan Smith told the Press Herald.
Amy Fried, a political science professor at the University of Maine, was quoted in the New York Times article, “Outspoken governor tries to squeak by in 3-way Maine race.” According to the article, some political analysts say creating confusion over who to vote for instead of Republican Gov. Paul LePage — independent candidate Eliot Cutler or Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud — is one of the current governor’s campaign strategies. “There’s an attempt to create a certain degree of chaos so that anti-LePage voters who haven’t gone to Cutler yet will say that Michaud can’t win and will move to Cutler,” Fried said.
James McConnon, a University of Maine economics professor and a business and economics specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, was quoted in the Sun Journal article, “More nonprofits, less money to go around.” According to McConnon, the number of nonprofits increased 25 percent across the country between 2001 and 2011, while the economy struggled. McConnon said he’s not surprised that some nonprofits are having difficulty getting grants or donations. “My own advice is to focus on what you have control over and what you do well, and be open to change,” he said. “Be flexible and nimble.”
The Maine Hunger Dialogue, a two-day event held at the University of Maine that aims to mobilize the power of higher education to end hunger in the state, was mentioned in a Bangor Daily News article about one of the event’s speakers. Alex Justice Moore, a 2003 graduate of Bangor High School who works to help people out of homelessness at D.C. Central Kitchen in Washington, D.C., returned to Maine to talk about a new approach to solving hunger. Moore spoke at the Maine Hunger Dialogue in Orono and during an event hosted by Eastern Maine Development Corp. in Bangor. “Hunger isn’t about food,” Moore said. “Hunger is ultimately about poverty. We’re never going to feed our way out of hunger.”
Mark Brewer, a political science professor at the University of Maine, was quoted in the Bangor Daily News article, “Under crush of negative ads, undecided voters in Maine’s 2nd District appear key to election.” When talking about the race between Democrat Emily Cain and Republican Bruce Poliquin, Brewer said voters who are used to electing relatively moderate candidates are now faced with a choice between candidates who are more firmly rooted in their party’s platform. “Part of me is thinking that maybe the chunk of undecideds is larger because they are both so different from each other and so different from the incumbent,” he said, referring to Democrat U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, who vacated the seat he has held for 12 years to run for governor.
University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s yearlong monthly workshop series, “From Scratch: Your Maine Kitchen” kicks off from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15, at the UMaine Extension Cumberland County office, 75 Clearwater Drive, Falmouth.
At the first workshop, “From the Maine Wild,” “Black Fly Stew” cookbook author Kate Gooding will discuss cooking wild game, including venison, moose and goose. She will prepare Burgundian Beaver Stew, which participants can sample for lunch. UMaine Extension Master Food Preserver Karyn Small will give tips on best food preservation practices for wild game.
Workshops scheduled through February include: “Gifts from the Maine Kitchen” with Kate McCarty, Dec. 6; “Making Sourdough Bread at Home” with Sheri Fistal, Jan. 17; and “Maine Seafood and Edible Seaweed,” Feb. 21.
The fee for the Nov. 15 workshop is $40 per person; proceeds benefit the UMaine Extension Nutrition Program in Cumberland County. Attendees will receive Cabela’s coupons and be entered to receive gift cards from Cabela’s. Registration is online. For more information, or to request a disability accommodation, contact 781.6099, 800.287.1471 (in Maine) or email@example.com.
In celebration of the national Upward Bound program’s 50th anniversary, three students from the University of Maine Upward Bound Math Science (UBMS) program were selected to attend the Council for Opportunity in Education’s 33rd annual conference, “Achieving College Success through Vision and Action,” and second annual student poster presentation exhibition in Washington, D.C.
Justin Chan, a 2014 graduate of Mattanawcook Academy in Lincoln, along with Ariana Alers and Chris Stewart, seniors at Foxcroft Academy in Dover-Foxcroft, were three of five high school students selected across the country to present their research posters. Nineteen posters were chosen out of the 50 that were submitted by both pre-college and college-level students.
Alers and Stewart traveled to Washington, D.C. in September with Kelly Ilseman, UBMS assistant director and academic curriculum coordinator. Preparing to leave for Greece for his first semester experience through Northeastern University, Chan was not able to attend, but his research poster was displayed.
In addition to presenting their posters and research at two COE receptions, Alers and Stewart also were guests at the National TRIO Achievers’ awards banquet where they met TRIO Upward Bound alumnus John Quinones from the ABC show “What Would You Do?”
The students also met U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, Sen. Angus King and Sen. Susan Collins. As Michaud’s guests, they toured the U.S. Capitol and sat in legislative sessions.
The students’ posters were based on their six-week summer research with mentors at the UMaine UBMS program.
Chan worked with Matt Dube, a Ph.D. student in spatial information science and engineering, to complete his research on gerrymandering titled “Partitioning New England to Represent Republican Populations.”
Interning in Thane Fremouw’s neuropsychology research lab, Alers studied the “Cellular Mechanisms of Chemotherapy-Induced Cognitive Impairment.” Her research involved testing treatments to reduce severity of post-radiation cancer treatment effects known as “chemo fog.”
Stewart worked with Finley Richmond to create a biodegradable plastic in the study “Cellulose Nanofibers in the Synthesis of Bioplastics.”
An additional 32 UBMS students were mentored across campus with professors, graduate students and UBMS summer staff. The students attended from Central High School in Corinth, Foxcroft Academy in Dover-Foxcroft, Mattanawcook Academy in Lincoln, Nokomis Regional High School in Newport, Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in South Paris, Portland High School, Stearns High School in Millinocket, and Schenck High School in East Millinocket.
The Upward Bound Math Science Program is affiliated with the UMaine College of Education and Human Development and offers a six-week college preparatory program to first-generation college students from eight Maine high schools. The program specifically targets students who are interested in pursuing STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) majors and careers.
The Washington, D.C. trip was paid for by donations made to the Upward Bound Math Science Gift Account, as well as a scholarship from the College of Education and Human Development.
More information about the Upward Bound Math Science program is online.
The Associated Press, Bangor Daily News, Portland Press Herald, Maine Public Broadcasting Network, WABI (Channel 5) and WVII (Channel 7) reported on a budget forum held at the University of Maine. UMaine President Susan Hunter, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Jeffrey Hecker and Vice President for Administration and Finance Ryan Low presented preliminary work that has been done to create a balanced budget for the upcoming fiscal year (FY16). The officials announced they must cut next year’s $242 million budget by $7 million, but will not eliminate any academic programs and will try to avoid layoffs. “We really do want to minimize the impact on academic and student services,” said President Hunter, adding the goal is to avoid faculty retrenchments or layoffs. The Sun Journal carried the BDN report. NECN and SFGate carried the AP report.
WABI (Channel 5) reported students and faculty from colleges across Maine are preparing 10,000 protein-packed meals to be donated to campus-based food pantries statewide. The meal packing is part of the two-day Maine Hunger Dialogue at the University of Maine’s Wells Conference Center that aims to mobilize the power of higher education to end hunger in the state. Event organizer Barbara Murphy, a University of Maine Cooperative Extension educator, said there’s a general misconception that if a college student can afford a semester at school, they can afford to eat. “One assumes if you’re attending there, all is good. Not so,” Murphy said. Attendees hope their collective efforts can inspire others to take action, according to the report. “No matter how small you think your effort is, it has ripple effects throughout the community and therefore throughout the state and the world,” Murphy said.
Clay Kirby, an entomologist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, spoke with the Portland Press Herald for the article, “October means season for invasion of the ladybugs.” Kirby said ladybugs, which have a tendency to come inside, are benign and helpful in controlling other insects that are harmful to plants, such as aphids. If a house is overrun with the beetles, he suggests vacuuming or sweeping them up and tossing them outside. For those who don’t want to harm the insect, he suggests storing the bugs in a shoebox in a garage or shed until spring.
WABI (Channel 5) reported on the 2014 Engineering Job Fair held at the University of Maine’s New Balance Student Recreation Center. About 90 companies were represented at the event that was co-sponsored by the UMaine College of Engineering and Career Center. Patty Counihan, director of the Career Center, said UMaine’s Engineering Department has a 99 percent job placement rate for graduates. Organizers told WABI it was the largest turnout ever for the annual event.
Marcella Sorg, a forensic anthropologist for the state and a research professor at the University of Maine, was mentioned in a Portland Press Herald article about the discovery of eight human remains behind the Town Hall in Cornish. Officials and residents hope to identify who the bones belong to and figure out how they were left behind from a cemetery that locals believed had been moved decades ago, according to the article. Sorg, who works at the state medical examiner’s office in Augusta, will examine the bones and pieces of coffins to determine the age and sex of the remains. The process, which could take months, may even help determine how the people died or whether they suffered from any diseases or injuries, the article states.
The Portland Press Herald published the opinion piece, “The University of Maine System could learn from Henry Ford” by Howard Segal, a history professor at the University of Maine.
The Free Press reported the University of Maine Hutchinson Center in Belfast will host the Penobscot Marine Museum’s 2014 History Conference, “Exploring the Magic of Photography: Painting with Light,” on Nov. 1. The influence of photography on how people see themselves and their culture is the subject of the conference that brings together scholars, professionals and the public to explore new ideas on topics relating to the museum’s collections, according to the article. This year’s conference complements the museum’s photographic collection of more than 140,000 images that document life in New England from the late 19th to the mid-20th century, the article states.
University of Maine faculty and staff and their families are invited to join members of the UMaine baseball team for a Fun Day from 11 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 18 at Mahaney Diamond. Guests will be able to meet the team, as well as practice catching and batting. Participants are encouraged to bring baseball gloves. For more information or to RSVP, contact coach Steve Trimper on FirstClass.
A new fund has been established at the University of Maine Foundation in honor of the late founder of the Maine Folklife Center Edward “Sandy” Ives and his wife Bobby.
The Sandy and Bobby Ives Fund will be used to provide financial assistance to full-time UMaine students engaging in ethnography, folklore or oral history fieldwork in Maine and the Canadian Maritime Provinces. The UMaine Humanities Center director will oversee the awards to students.
A reception announcing the fund will be held 11 a.m.–noon Sunday, Oct. 19 at Buchanan Alumni House; the reception also will honor Bobby Ives.
The fund was established in 2014 with a gift from David Taylor and LeeEllen Friedland in recognition of Ives’ mentorship and friendship throughout Taylor’s academic experience at UMaine.
Ives was a popular UMaine English and anthropology professor from 1955–99, an internationally known folklorist and founder of the Maine Folklife Center. He was married to Bobby Ives for 57 years before his death in 2009.
Two undergraduate students who are studying folklore — Hilary Warner-Evans and Taylor Cunningham — will speak during the reception.
Warner-Evans of West Bath, Maine, is an undergraduate Honors student in anthropology and one of the first UMaine students to take the new folklore minor. Since 2012, she has volunteered at the Maine Folklife Center, where she has contributed to the center’s community outreach efforts by conducting research for its Maine Song and Story Sampler on Fogler Library’s Digital Commons.
Warner-Evans will present her fieldwork on songs written about the North Pond Hermit at the National Collegiate Honors Council conference in Denver this November. She also presented her folkloric research on Geoffrey Chaucer’s, “The Franklin’s Tale,” at Plymouth State University’s Medieval and Renaissance Forum last spring.
Taylor Cunningham of Massachusetts is an English major and Honors student with a minor in folklore studies. She is the coordinator of a new interdisciplinary humanities series of lectures on linguistics and culture, and has been working on the Maine Hermit Project for two years.
The Maine Hermit Project is a collaborative interdisciplinary humanities lab venture involving a team of undergraduate researchers working with Sarah Harlan-Haughey, an assistant professor in UMaine’s Honors College and Department of English.
Cunningham has presented her work on greening the humanities in Honors at the National Collegiate Honors Council conference in New Orleans.
Both students are conducting research on songs and ballads written about the North Pond Hermit, as well as conducting interviews, for a book on the topic. The book — co-written by members of the Maine Hermit Project lab using the Maine Folklife Center archives, Fogler Library’s Special Collections and new fieldwork — will explore different facets of Maine’s interest in and valorization of hermits and outlaws, according to Harlan-Haughey.
A buffet will be offered at the reception. For more information or to request a disability accommodation, contact Joan Peters, 581.1154; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747
The University of Maine’s School of Marine Sciences and Darling Marine Center (DMC) were cited in an Education Portal article about the best marine science and marine biology schools in the country. “Students explore the habitats of the Gulf of Maine while learning about marine ecology and the biology of marine invertebrates,” the article states about the Semester By the Sea (SBS) program offered at DMC.
Mainebiz reported the state is receiving $602,679 in specialty crop block grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to support 10 agricultural initiatives, including one that aims to develop a hops industry to support the state’s growing craft beer industry. The grants also aim to increase the competitiveness of crops such as potatoes, wild blueberries, maple syrup and other fruits and vegetables, according to the article. The development of a hops industry will involve a federal study conducted by the University of Maine, evaluating 12 hops varieties that will be planted at an experimental agricultural station in Monmouth, the article states. Results will be shared with farmers and brewers through workshops, fact sheets and online material.