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News from the University of Maine
Updated: 10 hours 47 min ago
WLBZ (Channel 2) spoke with Benjamin Herold-Porter and Heather Anderson, graduating seniors in the University of Maine’s New Media Department, about a fall detection device they developed for older adults to use outside their homes. For their capstone project, the students created a prototype that can detect when the person wearing the device has fallen and automatically text a programmed cell phone number without requiring user action. “We’ve completely removed that user interaction,” Herold-Porter said. Both Herold-Porter and Anderson have active grandparents in their 80s who have fallen while alone outside their homes. Herold-Porter said his grandmother has a device that’s currently on the market, but rarely presses the button when she falls. “She’s less prone to press it then because she doesn’t want to interrupt anyone’s day or anything like that,” he said. The students said future possibilities for the device include using smaller parts, adding GPS and more functions such as a walk counter, vitals detector or the ability to make phone calls.
The Tri-Town Weekly published an article on Limbeck Engineering, the winners of the $5,000 Bruce Fournier Family Foundation technology prize at the 2015 UMaine Business Challenge. College students and former Freeport High school students Travis Libsack, Nick Nelsonwood and Liam Wade, along with Freeport High School senior Josef Biberstein won the prize for their company, Limbeck Engineering LLC. The students are developing a remotely operated submersible robot for underwater exploration and research, according to the article. The UMaine Business Challenge was founded in 2011 by a group of 2010 UMaine graduates who wanted to give back to their alma mater while creating more opportunities for student entrepreneurs. This was the first year in which students from any Maine college or university were invited to apply. “There are many resources on the University of Maine campus, which is just as valuable [as the prize],” said Libsack. Wade is a UMaine student, Nelsonwood attends Princeton University, Libsack goes to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Biberstein also plans to attend MIT in the fall, the article states.
The Ellsworth American reported on a cooking lesson for third-graders that was held as part of an initiative between FoodCorps and Ellsworth Elementary-Middle School (EEMS). The Maine FoodCorps program is the state branch of a national program that teaches healthful eating, expands school-based gardens and increases locally grown food in school cafeterias. The University of Maine Cooperative Extension oversees the state program. The FoodCorps initiative is “all connected to gardening, hands-on activities and cooking, to get more of an understanding of what our bodies need, eating healthily and developing positive relationships to food and nutrition,” said FoodCorps service member Isabel Neal who has been visiting the third-grade classroom nearly every week since last fall and works on other gardening and education projects with other EEMS classes weekly, according to the article.
The University of Maine will hold the annual Clean Sweep Sale 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Friday, May 22 and 8 a.m.–2 p.m. Saturday, May 23 in York Commons.
Furniture, rugs, electronics, appliances, housewares, books, bedding, shoes and clothing will be among the items for sale. Items were donated by the university or students who moved out of the dorms at the end of the semester.
Proceeds will support programs and services offered by the Black Bear Exchange and student service projects coordinated by the Bodwell Center for Service and Volunteerism.
For more information, call the Bodwell Center at 581.3091.
A Public Voice, the newsletter of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, noted that APLU President M. Peter McPherson delivered the UMaine Commencement address May 9. A copy of McPherson’s remarks are online.
The University of Maine Humanities Center has awarded summer research grants to two UMaine students.
Taylor Cunningham, an English major and Honors student with a minor in folklore studies, was awarded the Sandy and Bobby Ives Research Award. Elisa Sance, a doctoral candidate in history, was awarded the center’s graduate student research award. Each award is worth $500.
Cunningham of Massachusetts 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 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.
“As a student research assistant on the Maine Hermit project, I study the historical hermits of Maine — who they were and what they can tell us about the communities that remember them,” Cunningham says, adding she spends a lot of time researching old newspapers and the archives in the Maine Folklife Center, as well as conducting fieldwork around the state.
She says fieldwork is essential to a project that relies on oral history, and has visited historical societies and museums in Patten, Oxford Hills and Monhegan Island. She plans to travel more this summer, and the grant will help with related costs.
While a graduate teaching assistant at UMaine, Sance taught French in the Department of Modern Languages and Classics. For her doctorate, she is focusing on language policies in the 1960s and 1970s in New Brunswick and their effect on people in northern Maine.
This summer, Sance will study the role of the family unit in the transmission of the French language in U.S. and Canadian communities in the Madawaska region.
“The French-speaking population in the Madawaska region was divided by the establishment of the official border between Maine and New Brunswick in 1842. This population shares a common past but has evolved within different legal and political frameworks,” Sance says.
Sance also plans to collect data on the structure and evolution of the family unit as they relate to the establishment of public school systems in New Brunswick and Maine. She is specifically seeking information on the level of education, occupation(s), religious orientation, and size and composition of families.
Sance plans to conduct research at the Blake Library at the University of Maine Fort Kent and the Acadian Archives, which are housed in the same building. The facilities offer several useful documents that are not available anywhere else, Sance says. She also plans to use resources at the University of Moncton at Edmundston, New Brunswick.
She intends to present the paper at a conference organized by the Association of Canadian Studies in the United States in October, and at an on-campus event in March 2016, part of a monthlong series of programs to celebrate the French-speaking world.
The Sandy and Bobby Ives Research Award is funded by David Taylor and LeeEllen Friedland, and the graduate student award comes from other University of Maine Humanities Center (UMHC) funds.
The Bangor Daily News and WLBZ (Channel 2) interviewed Dr. Jonathan Shay, a nationally recognized psychologist and author of two popular books on combat trauma and the trials of homecoming for veterans and their families, who will give two public addresses at the University of Maine on May 13. Shay spoke about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and moral injury, which he says results when a leader who holds legitimate authority betrays what’s commonly accepted as right, in a high-stakes situation. “It just devastates the capacity to have a good human life,” Shay said of moral injury. “When trust is destroyed, it doesn’t leave a vacuum, it doesn’t leave nothing. When trust is destroyed, it leaves behind the active expectancy of harm, exploitation and humiliation.” Shay will speak to the fifth annual Conference of the Maine Military & Community Network at 9 a.m. on, “Psychology and Moral Injury in War.” He also will give a 6 p.m. keynote address, “Combat Trauma and the Trials of Coming Home.” Both are in Wells Conference Center on campus.
Four newly graduated students of the University of Maine wrote an opinion piece for the Bangor Daily News titled, “Work, internship experience, downtown exposure pay dividends for greater Bangor.” Cameron Huston, Sarah Nicols, Spencer Warmuth and Gareth Warr, who graduated Saturday, were students in professor Rob Glover’s practicum in engaged policy studies class. They were invited to contribute a guest piece for the Maine chapter of the Scholars Strategy Network, which brings together scholars across the country to address public challenges and their policy implications.
The Bangor Daily News reported Joe Roberts, the University of Maine’s associate athletic director for external operations, has resigned after nearly 25 years at the university. “It has been a great run. It’s time to do something different. It seemed like a good time [to step down]. Twenty-five is a pretty round number,” Roberts said. Karlton Creech, UMaine’s director of athletics, said Roberts will be missed. “Joe’s a great guy. I enjoyed working with him. He did a good job,” Creech said. “It was his decision. Joe is looking at some new challenges, and I wish him all the best of luck.”
Approximately 150 youth will experience college life at the annual 4-H@UMaine event from 3 p.m. Friday, May 15 until 4:30 p.m. Saturday, May 16, at the University of Maine.
Youth ages 12–17 from 10 Maine counties will explore campus, stay overnight in residence halls, eat at dining halls, swim at the New Balance Recreation Center and attend workshops presented by UMaine professors. Workshop topics include team building through engineering, international diplomacy, forest discovery, astronomy exploration, dancing, learning French and making French pastry.
UMaine Extension 4-H sponsors 4-H@UMaine. More information is online.
The Bangor Daily News reported Dr. Jonathan Shay, a nationally recognized psychologist and author of two popular books on combat trauma and the trials of homecoming for veterans and their families, will give two public addresses at the University of Maine on May 13. Shay will speak to the fifth annual Conference of the Maine Military & Community Network at 9 a.m. on, “Psychology and Moral Injury in War.” He also will give a 6 p.m. keynote address, “Combat Trauma and the Trials of Coming Home.” Both are in Wells Conference Center on campus. “PTSD is not a bad description … [for] the very valid adaptations that occur when people were trying to take your life,” Shay said. “When those leak into life — that is PTSD. It’s not a fear syndrome … it’s a danger adaptation.”
The Weekly published a University of Maine news release about a Hampden-based family that at Commencement earned its ninth UMaine degree among six immediate members. On Saturday, Margaret McCollough received a bachelor’s degree in sustainable agriculture. She is the daughter of Catherine Elliott, a sustainable living specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, and Mark McCollough of Hampden, who met at UMaine in the 1980s and both hold two UMaine degrees. Margaret McCollough’s boyfriend Garth Douston, who she also met at UMaine, has a bachelor’s degree in sustainable agriculture. Margaret McCollough’s brother Aaron McCollough completed a bachelor’s degree in computer and electrical engineering and a master’s degree in computer engineering. While pursuing that degree, he became engaged to Morgan Burke, who completed her bachelor’s degree in wildlife ecology.
Jim Dill, a pest management specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, spoke with WVII (Channel 7) about insects that most likely survived the winter. Dill said to impact the most insects, the winter needs to be cold with not a lot of snow on the ground. “We had a cold winter, but unfortunately we had lots of snow,” he said. “If you’re an insect and you’re down in the leaves and stuff and all of a sudden you’ve got 3 feet of snow on you; down there in the leaf litter where you are it’s probably 25–28 degrees even though the air temperature might be -20.” Dill said the winter may have increased the survival of ticks and maintained the survival of black flies, but may have harmed mosquitoes. He said although it’s hard to predict, early-season mosquitoes don’t seem as if they will be as bad as they normally are.
Live Science reported on climate change research conducted by a team of scientists including Paul Mayewski, director of the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine. The article, “Million-year-old bubbles reveal Antarctica’s oldest climate snapshot,” focused on research led by John Higgins, a geochemist at Princeton University. Higgins’ co-authors included Mayewski; Michael Bender, also of Princeton; and Ed Brook of Oregon State University. The researchers uncovered a one-million-year-old ice core from Antarctic blue ice in a region called the Allan Hills, according to the article. Bubbles inside the ice provide a glimpse in Earth’s ancestral climate because gases such as carbon dioxide and methane were trapped and preserved inside the bubbles when snow fell in the past, the article states. The researchers said the core offers the oldest record of Earth’s climate from Antarctic ice.
The Bangor Daily News cited a University of Maine Cooperative Extension video for the article “Want compost? Let worms make it for you.” The worm composting video features UMaine Extension educator and professor Marjorie Peronto who offers tips on how to get started. Worm composting — or vermicomposting — is where earthworms eat and digest organic matter, such as food scraps, and turn them into usable compost, according to the article. “Worms can process about half their weight in food per day,” Peronto said.
Gordon Bromley, a research assistant professor at the University of Maine’s Climate Change Institute, was quoted in a Columbia Chronicle article about a a meta-analysis by a University of Connecticut ecology and evolutionary biology professor that states the impact of global warming is more tangible and destructive than previously thought. Mark Urban’s study, which was published in the journal Science, states if global temperatures continue to rise at their current pace, up to one in six species will be in danger of extinction. “To pin the blame on our actions in such a stark way is appropriate but entirely new,” Bromley said of the study. “We’ve heard a lot about how climate is going to keep changing, but we’ve never looked at what the impact will be on species.”
“Behind the Beautiful Forevers,” a gripping play about people living in a slum in Mumbai, will be broadcast live from London to the Collins Center for the Arts at the University of Maine at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 28.
David Hare’s play is based on the unflinching book of the same name that Katherine Boo wrote after she recorded the lives, dreams and devastations of residents in the makeshift settlement for three years. “Behind the Beautiful Forevers” won the National Book Award for nonfiction.
In the shadow of ritzy hotels surrounding the gleaming Mumbai airport, people who live in a slum next to a sewage lake are part of Mumbai’s informal rubbish collecting industry.
Zehrunisa and her son, Abdul aim to recycle enough rubbish to fund a proper house. Sunil, 12 and stunted, wants to eat until he’s as tall as Kalu, a scrap metal thief. Asha seeks to steal government anti-poverty funds to turn herself into a “first-class person” and her daughter, Manju wants to be the slum’s first female graduate. But their plans are fragile. Injustice and corruption reign. A global recession threatens the garbage trade and one slum-dweller makes an accusation that will destroy herself and shatter the neighborhood.
Since 2009, NT Live has transmitted the best of British theatre live from London to cinemas and venues around the world. The broadcasts are filmed in front of a live audience, with cameras positioned throughout the theatre to ensure cinema audiences get the best-seat-in-the-house view. Productions are transmitted via satellite to the CCA, then projected onto a 40-foot high-definition screen — one of the largest in the state.
For tickets, which are $18 for adults and $8 for students, visit collinscenterforthearts.com or call 581.1755, 800.622.TIXX.
The Maine Autism Institute for Research and Education at the University of Maine will receive more than $150,000 from the Maine Department of Education to continue its work as the state’s first autism institute, according to a Maine DOE news release.
The funds are in addition to the $209,802 the department and UMaine’s College of Education and Human Development contributed to open the institute in 2014.
Autism is a developmental disability with varying degrees of severity that affects a person’s ability to communicate, to reason and to interact with others. An estimated 1 in 68 children is now being diagnosed with autism. The new funding will further the institute’s initial efforts to build statewide capacity to improve outcomes for young Mainers with autism, the release states.
Much of the funding will be used to expand training in evidence-based practices for teams from Maine school districts to help increase the academic and social success for autistic students.
The full Maine DOE release is online.
Dr. Jonathan Shay, a nationally recognized psychologist and author of two popular books on combat trauma and the trials of homecoming for veterans and their families, will give two public addresses at the University of Maine on May 13.
Shay will speak to the Fifth Annual Conference of the Maine Military & Community Network at 9 a.m. on, “Psychology and Moral Injury in War.” He also will give a 6 p.m. keynote address, “Combat Trauma and the Trials of Coming Home.” Both are in Wells Conference Center on campus.
Shay, one of the nation’s leading authorities on combat trauma and the trials of homecoming, is a psychiatrist who has specialized in treating combat veterans. He was a staff psychiatrist in the Department of Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic in Boston. He is in Maine for three days of meetings with veterans groups and community supporters, and public talks.
In his research, Shay found that viewing the experiences of combat veterans from perspectives found in Homer’s “Iliad” and “Odyssey” provide insight into both PTSD and what he has come to term “moral injury.” These insights led him to write “Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character” (1994), and “Odysseus in America: Combat Trauma and the Trials of Homecoming” (2002).
Shay is a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant. In 1999–2000 he led the Commandant of the Marine Corps Trust Study; in 2001, he was visiting scholar-at-large at the U.S. Naval War College; 2004–05, he was chair of ethics, leadership and personnel policy in the Office of the U.S. Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, and was the 2009 Omar Bradley Chair of Strategic Leadership at the U.S. Army War College.
His visit to Maine is sponsored by the Maine Infantry Foundation, Maine Military & Community Network, Acadia Hospital, the University of Maine Humanities Center, the Bangor Daily News, and the law firms of Verrill & Dana in Portland, and Vafiades, Brountas & Kominsky in Bangor. The goals of the Odysseus in Maine project are to raise awareness about combat veterans’ experiences; train providers in best practices for serving combat veterans; forge a “way ahead” in dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder and other combat-related injuries; and instill an ethical leadership model.
Shay will be in Portland May 12, speaking to members of the Maine State Bar Association and the Maine Judiciary. The talk will keynote a Maine State Bar Association Veterans Committee continuing legal education programming exploring the Maine Veterans Court and related issues of importance to legal challenges faced by Maine’s veterans.
He also will meet with local veterans and counselors on the final day of his Maine visit.
Organizers of the University of Maine’s inaugural Black Bear Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K are seeking volunteers to assist on race day and at packet pickup, as well as host cheer stations along the route.
The races begin at 7:30 a.m. Sunday, June 21 and will start and finish on the UMaine track located at the Harold Alfond Stadium. Runners will be broadcast over the video scoreboard when they cross the finish line.
The 26.2-mile course is a double loop of the 13.1-mile course that begins on campus and travels around Orono and Old Town and back through the university’s bike path. The marathon will be a certified course, which gives runners the opportunity to qualify for larger races, such as the Boston Marathon. A 10K race also has been added to the lineup for those who like to race shorter distances.
A race expo and packet pickup will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 20 at the New Balance Field House. The expo will feature sponsor and vendor tables. Race packets also will be available at the UMaine track from 6–7:15 a.m. on race day.
Registration for the full and half marathon, as well as the 10K, is online. Registration for the 10K will close at the end of the expo.
Race organizers also are recruiting cheer squads for the course and will supply noisemakers and poster board for any group interested in encouraging the runners.
Residents who live along the course and host a cheer station can aid runners by putting a hose on spray mode over the course; handing out paper cups with water, ice (while wearing plastic gloves) or unwrapped Popsicles; playing loud music on a stereo or instrument; or ringing bells, using noisemakers, shouting and holding signs.
To be listed as an official race cheer station, contact race director Lauri Sidelko at firstname.lastname@example.org or 581.1423.
On-campus housing is available for runners, volunteers and spectators. Single rooms are $75 and double rooms are $55. Cots can be added to double rooms for $15 each. Double room occupants can register together or be assigned a roommate. Housing registration is online.
A pasta dinner will be held from 5–7 p.m. Saturday, June 20 at Wells Conference Center. Tickets are $17 for adults, $15 for children, and can be purchased online.
More about the race is on the Black Bear Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K website and Facebook event page. For more information or to request a disability accommodation, contact race directors Sidelko at email@example.com, 581.1423; or Thad Dwyer at firstname.lastname@example.org.