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University of Maine News
News from the University of Maine
Updated: 15 hours 43 min ago
WABI (Channel 5) covered the inaugural Maine Science Festival that was held throughout downtown Bangor and at the Cross Insurance Center. Several UMaine facilities and community members offered events as part of the festival. UMaine’s Virtual Environment and Multimodal Interaction (VEMI) Laboratory provided hands-on, virtual reality activities, including a driving simulator. “Little kids are pretty excited about how cool some of the virtual reality is. The older kids are stopping and talking to our programmers and asking them how it’s done,” said Richard Corey, the lab’s director of operations. Nicholas Giudice, a professor in the School of Computing and Information Science who directs the lab, said he hopes the lab and festival inspire others. “A lot of these kids that are coming in have never thought about this stuff and are leaving going, ‘Wow, that’s amazing,’” Giudice said.
The Morning Sentinel reported on Waterville High School students who are participating in the Bridge Year Program, an educational collaborative involving UMaine that aims to increase the number of Maine students who earn a college degree by giving them access to college classes during their junior and senior years in high school. The program offers credits at a fraction of the cost of attending college, according to the article. In Waterville, 14 students are taking part in the collaboration between the high school, UMaine and Mid-Maine Technical Center. The students travel together to English, math, science and social studies classes taught by high school teachers who have become adjunct UMaine professors and work with the university’s professors to ensure that the students are meeting standards of both the high school and college, the article states.
Syracuse University reported the University of Maine was one of 10 colleges to compete during the 2015 Northeast Collegiate Cyber Defense competition March 20–22. The team earned its spot in the contest hosted by Syracuse and the School of Information Studies (iSchool) after placing fifth in a preliminary competition with 13 other schools that was held in January. According to the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition, the contest simulates security operations for a small company. Teams must quickly familiarize themselves with network systems and software before beginning to defend against attacks while also providing customer service to users.
Marcella Sorg, a forensic anthropologist for the state and a research professor at the University of Maine, spoke to the Bangor Daily News about drug overdose deaths for the article, “Maine’s methadone debate puts spotlight on addiction treatment.” Most of the overdose fatalities from methadone don’t involve doses dispensed at clinics, according to the article. Methadone also is prescribed as a pain medication, and it’s that form turning up in the majority of drug deaths involving methadone in Maine, said Sorg, who analyzes statistics on drug fatalities. In 2013, 37 of the 176 drug deaths in Maine involved methadone, she said.
The Associated Press, Maine Public Broadcasting Network and Kennebec Journal/Morning Sentinel cited University of Maine economist Todd Gabe’s 2014 study on the maple industry’s financial impact on the state. Gabe’s study found the industry contributes an estimated $27.7 million directly to the state’s economy and generates 567 full- and part-time jobs and $17.3 million in labor income. Including multiplier effects, the industry annually contributes about $49 million in revenue, 805 full- and part-time jobs and $25 million in wages to the state’s economy. Beaumontenterprise.com and timesunion.com carried the AP report.
Richard Judd, a history professor at the University of Maine, was quoted in a Sun Journal article about the summer of 1816, which is referred to in Maine as “the year without a summer” and “the summer that never was.” A massive volcano that erupted in Indonesia a year earlier was credited for causing the yearlong winter, according to the article. The summer of 1817 also was cold and prompted many Mainers to move to Ohio, which “promised opportunity, cheap property, better soil and warmer weather,” the article states. Even though the soil was rich in Ohio, the weather wasn’t warm because the state was in the same weather pattern as New England. Many Mainers returned, but Judd said he doesn’t think it ever equalled the amount of people who left.
Tufts University reported the university’s School of Medicine and Maine Medical Center recently celebrated the third group of students in the Maine Track MD program during Match Day, when medical students across the country learn where they will begin their residency training following graduation this spring. A partnership between Tufts University School of Medicine and Maine Medical Center, the Maine Track MD program trains medical students interested in practicing medicine in underserved urban and rural communities in Maine. The program annually reserves a limited number of seats for sophomores from University of Maine System institutions, Bowdoin, Bates and Colby. The program was established in 2008 — students were first admitted in 2009 — with the hope that a significant number of graduates would go on to practice medicine in Maine.
Robert Seymour, the Curtis Hutchins Professor of Forest Resources at the University of Maine, wrote an opinion piece for the Bangor Daily News titled “Let’s celebrate the success of public lands forestry, not ruin it.” Seymour also was quoted in the Portland Press Herald article, “Public land becomes epicenter in state fight.” According to the Press Herald article, Seymour frequently takes his forestry students to tour the public reserved lands, which he considers model examples of timber management.
Joshuah Salkind, a first-year student at the University of Maine, spoke with the Portland Press Herald for an article about the cost of attending public universities. Salkind, who was senior class president and valedictorian at Easton Junior-Senior High School in Aroostook County, said he decided to attend UMaine because he liked its size and that it wasn’t too far from home. “I like a larger environment just in terms of the opportunities,” he said.
First-year student Samantha Frank is a 2015 National Collegiate Women’s Wrestling Association champion.
The 105-pound Frank pinned two-time All-American Mikayla Pica of Southwestern Oregon Community College to capture the crown in March in Allen, Texas.
Frank, a nursing major, was voted Most Outstanding Wrestler at the meet and earned All-American status.
While Frank was the sole female wrestler for the Black Bears, her win catapulted UMaine to a fifth-place finish (21.5 points) in the 15-team field.
Southwestern Oregon Community College won its fourth consecutive women’s team title with 128 points. Ottawa University in Kansas (98), Springfield Technical Community College (64.5) and University of Massachusetts Amherst (26.5) placed second through fourth, respectively.
Frank began wrestling in middle school. She wanted to play football, but says her father persuaded her to wrestle because she would be competing with people of similar size.
After all her accomplishments, Frank could have executed a quality celebratory cheer; the Windham High School graduate also is a cheerleader at UMaine.
“I like being the face of the school and being a positive example,” she says.
Frank, who is training to be a resident assistant at UMaine, also strives to be a positive role model to young girls she coaches.
UMaine wrestling coach Don McCann says Frank has a lot of natural talent but that her work ethic and determination distinguish her as a wrestler. At practice, McCann says Frank’s teammates, all men, outweigh her by about 20-25 pounds.
Two of those men — Jacob Powers and River Robertson — also earned All-America honors as they led the Black Bears to a fourth-place finish (49.5 points ) among 57 Division II teams. Washington State University won the Division II men’s team crown with 66.5 points.
Powers, a senior who graduated from Camden Hills Regional High School, garnered a fourth-place finish in the 174-pound division. And Robertson, a first-year wrestler who graduated from Bucksport High School, placed fifth in the 184-pound class.
Powers and Robertson, both state champions in high school, are captains of the UMaine squad.
McCann, Mike Carter and Aaron James are UMaine coaches, and Bill Osmer is an adviser.
Bob Bayer, executive director of the Lobster Institute at the University of Maine, spoke with the Bangor Daily News for the article, “Study: Green crabs pose parasite threat as lobster bait.” There has been heightened interest in recent years for finding a commercial application for invasive green crabs, and using the crabs as lobster bait has been considered, according to the article. However, a new study by a pair of Canadian scientists determined a parasite has been found in lobsters baited with the crabs. Bayer said he recommends lobstermen do not use green crabs as bait, at least until further studies can be conducted. “These are credible people,” he said of the scientists who conducted the study. “Don’t do it.” Bayer also said the cold weather this winter could have drastically reduced the green crab population.
Michael Alpert, president of the Greater Bangor Area NAACP, was a recent guest on the Maine Public Broadcasting Network’s “Maine Calling” radio show. The show, titled “Anniversary of the march on Selma,” celebrated the march and examined where the nation stands in regards to civil rights 50 years later. Alpert also is the director of the University of Maine Press, a division of UMaine’s Raymond H. Fogler Library.
Richard Kersbergen, a University of Maine Cooperative Extension educator on sustainable dairy and forage systems, wrote an article for the Bangor Daily News titled “How Maine’s vast pastureland can help farmers grow revenue.” Even though Maine is seeing a surge in small farms, Kersbergen suggests farm revenues and viability can be increased by tapping into an underutilized resource: grass. “Maine has a huge amount of grass pastures and hayfields that can produce quality milk and meat at a low cost,” Kersbergen wrote. He added Maine has a lot of acreage that could potentially produce high-quality forage for beef and lamb production.
WLBZ (Channel 2) spoke with first-year student Samantha Frank about becoming a 2015 National Collegiate Women’s Wrestling Association champion. The 105-pound Frank recently captured the crown in Texas. Frank, a nursing major who also is on the UMaine cheering squad, was voted most outstanding wrestler at the meet and earned All-American status. While the Windham High School graduate was the sole female wrestler for the Black Bears, her win catapulted UMaine to a fifth-place finish in the 15-team field. “Wrestling for Maine is huge because it’s home,” Frank said.
The Free Press reported U.S. Sen. Susan Collins will give the Margaret Chase Smith Public Affairs Lecture at the University of Maine on March 31. Collins’ address, “Incivility and Hyperpartisanship: Is Washington a Symptom or the Cause?” begins at 3:30 p.m. in the Collins Center for the Arts. RSVP is required for the free public event by calling 581.1648 or writing MCSPC@maine.edu.
The Free Press published an article about University of Maine student Sacre Bahati and his drive to be a professional bodybuilder. Bahati of South Portland is training for the OCB Pine Tree State Bodybuilding Competition this April in Westbrook, according to the article. “As long as I bring my best and have done my best, I don’t care if I come in 10th place. If I was my best self, that’s more than what most people can say,” Bahati said.
Fans can catch all the action of the University of Maine women’s basketball team’s first-round WNIT contest with Villanova at 7 p.m. Friday.
An online stream is available and the Black Bear Sports Network is broadcasting the contest at 94.1 FM/1230 AM on the radio dial.
This will be the third time in program history that UMaine (23–8) has played Villanova (19–13). Each squad has won once.
Because UMaine was a co-regular season America East champion, it earned an automatic bid to the 64-team WNIT field. The Wildcats of Villanova earned the automatic qualifier for the Big East conference.
This is UMaine’s fourth appearance in the WNIT; the Black Bears also participated in 1990, 2003 and 2005. In 1990, UMaine topped Wyoming, 68-48.
If the Black Bears win Friday night, they will play Old Dominion University on Monday; the Monarchs (21-12) bested University of Virginia, 69-62 on Thursday night.
The University of Maine College of Liberal Arts and Sciences will host a three-day artist residency on salsa and jazz that will include interactive workshops, classes, a community jam session and a concert.
Salsa for Everyone! will feature Bobby Porcelli and his Afro Latin Jazz Group with members of the Arturo-O’Farrill Orchestra. The performers will be on campus from March 26–28 and will offer a variety of programs for the UMaine community and general public.
Porcelli of New York is considered one of Latin and Afro-Cuban jazz’s most accomplished saxophonist and flautist.
Events begin Thursday, March 26 with an interactive workshop with Sam Burtis, a New York jazz scene veteran who has lived in Maine; followed by a percussion studio class and history of jazz class.
Friday’s activities include an advanced improv class, salsa clinic, community music jam session, brass workshop with Burtis for UMaine students and area high schoolers, and recording session with the Maine Public Broadcasting Network hosted by Rich Tozier that is open to the public.
Saturday will close the residency with an open rehearsal, Q&A session and concert.
Most events are free and open to the public. The full schedule is online. For more information or to request a disability accommodation, contact Eleanor Kipping at 581.4721, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The residency is supported by the UMaine departments of history, modern languages and music.
Renee Kelly, director of economic development initiatives at the University of Maine, was quoted in a Portland Press Herald article about the planned end of the $3 million Blackstone Accelerates Growth (BxG) initiative that aimed to support entrepreneurship in Maine. Among the programs created through BxG is the Innovate for Maine Fellows program that is based in UMaine’s Foster Center for Student Innovation. The internship program connects Maine college students with growing companies as a way to create jobs in Maine through innovation and entrepreneurship. Since it was founded in 2012, it has placed roughly 100 college students at Maine companies, according to the article. “We saw a real need because we interact with students every day,” Kelly said. “They feel like they don’t know about opportunities and have to leave the state to find good opportunities, and at the same time we work with companies that are desperate for talent. We felt there must be a better way, and this program is a way to build those connections. And the Blackstone funding was critical to help get that off ground.”
WVII (Channel 7) reported the University of Maine is holding the fourth annual 12-hour Bearfest Dance Marathon on March 21 at the New Balance Student Recreation Center. Since 2012, the event has raised more than $130,000 to help area hospitals support local children. This year, UMaine student organizers hope to raise $75,000 for EMHS Foundation Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, including Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. Starting at 3 p.m., participants will stay at the center for 12 hours, where they will dance and play games, as well as be joined by several children who have received treatment at the hospital, according to the report.