University of Maine News
K. Lira Yoon, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Maine, received a $14,989 grant from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation for the second half of the first year of research on menstrual cycle modulation of the relation between cortisol and reward sensitivity in depression. Depression is more prevalent in women than men. Yoon’s project will provide a better understanding of major depressive disorder, focusing on the mechanisms that put women at a greater risk for the disorder.
Seventeen University of Maine nursing students and one faculty member will travel to Belize on March 1 to help administer medical aid to villages throughout the province of San Ignacio during spring break.
On their medical mission trip, the students of the UMaine group Nursing International will bring 250 pounds of medical supplies, most of which was donated by the Partners for World Health.
After fundraising $2,000, the group purchased over-the-counter medications such as vitamins and ibuprofen to donate as part of their weeklong stay. Fundraising also helped pay for the extra luggage costs and gift bags the students plan to give children in the rural areas they will visit near the Guatemala border.
In Belize, the group will work with the local health ministries and International Service Learning. The students plan to blog about their experience.
This is the third year UMaine Nursing International students have traveled abroad on medical missions. The trip is open to all nursing majors. For three senior nursing students, this will be the second time they’ve visited Belize.
“I have freshmen through seniors doing the trip,” said Susan Wheaton, a School of Nursing lecturer and the faculty adviser traveling with the students to Belize. “It has required lots of team building. We need to have freshmen working with the seniors because they have not had the nursing training and assessment so early in their nursing academic career.”
Future missions for UMaine Nursing International are expected to include Cuba and Haiti. The group’s motto is “Healing is an International Language.”
Liam and Logan Nee never expected they would stay in Maine for college. They also never expected to share a school — or a major or off-campus housing.
The senior identical twins from Cornish, Maine, both applied to “about a dozen” schools, but ultimately chose UMaine because of the Division I track program and in-state tuition.
“We certainly didn’t choose it to be near each other,” Liam says.
“We strategically chose our living spaces specifically to avoid each other,” says Logan. “Not in the sense that we didn’t want to see each other. This was sort of our only way of differentiating ourselves.”
That was when they were freshman. Three years later, they both live in the same off-campus house.
“Freshman year, we were not talking to each other, really. People made jokes like ‘oh, are you going to stay together in the same dorm room?’ And we said, ‘We’ll do track and that’ll be our only thing together,’” Liam says.
Since arriving at UMaine, both brothers have competed in the same track event — the 800.
“We always liked to compete in every aspect, but track just puts it in the perspective of an actual race,” Liam says. “Logan’s definitely winning the GPA race, though, so I guess you could say I’ve controlled the track, but he’s controlled the books.”
Logan came to UMaine as a financial economics major, while Liam pursued journalism. Eventually, they both decided to add political science as a second major, but they have never taken a class together. After UMaine, both brothers say they intend to pursue jobs in their fields — Liam as a journalist and Logan as a financial consultant — wherever they need to go.
“Logan and I are pretty strong, and we don’t let a lot of stuff come between us and our goals,” Liam says. “I think we’ll find ways to work or go to graduate school — or both.”
Both brothers have been involved in the many out-of-class offerings at UMaine. Liam is on the staff of the Maine Campus, UMaine’s student-run newspaper, and WMEB 91.9, the campus radio station, where he has hosted five shows. One, an electronic dance music program, he cohosts with Logan.
Logan helped found UMaine’s chapter of No Labels, a national political group that works to promote problem-solving and bipartisanship in Washington, D.C. The group hosted a debate during the United States Senate race in 2012, which drew both major party candidates, although not the election’s eventual winner, Independent Sen. Angus King.
Logan also has been a Farm Credit Fellow and served a term in student government. He has written political commentary for the Maine Campus and PolicyMic, an online outlet for young voices.
Being involved with activities is useful for both resume building and socializing, they say.
“This culture’s very close-knit,” Liam added. “It’s a big school, but you feel like you know everyone.”
In a way, it’s easier to make more friends if you have a twin. “Our freshman year, I’d be walking on the mall and I’d get a wave from someone, and I’d just have no idea who it is. I’d start out the conversation with ‘I’m Logan’s brother, by the way. But I’ll meet you, it’s just not the person you think it is,’” Liam says.
“UMaine helped us reach a comfort level with the twin stuff.”
Paula Burnett, RSVP director of the University of Maine Center on Aging, was awarded a $91,702 grant continuation — year three — from the Corporation for National and Community Service. According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, RSVP is “engaging persons 55 and older in volunteer service to meet critical community needs and to provide high-quality experience that will enrich the lives of volunteers.” Through her work, Burnett will collaborate with 50 agencies and organizations, allowing up to 260 volunteers to work on meeting critical community needs. In FY13, 257 volunteers served approximately 27,849 hours through the work of RSVP.
Alan Majka, associate Extension professor at the University of Maine, received a $3,500 grant from the Healthy Acadia Coalition to fund “Dining with Diabetes Down East.” Majka will work in Washington County, providing diabetes self-management support through diet-related education at several sites. The program will address basic diabetes and diet concepts, and practical skill development regarding planning and preparing meals through hands-on cooking. In Washington County diabetes prevalence is at 10.4 percent. It is estimated that 3.1 percent of Maine adults are unaware that they have diabetes.
The Weekly published a feature article on University of Maine students and siblings Emily and Jared Duggan who are volunteers in UMaine’s Black Bear Mentor Program offered through the Bodwell Center for Service and Volunteerism. The Duggans are two of more than 80 UMaine students who are currently participating in the program. The Black Bear Mentors meet with local third- to eighth-grade students once a week and work with students on activities such as sports, arts and crafts, homework, board games, and community service projects.
U.S. News University Directory published an article titled “Maine congressman wants to make sophomore year free” that referenced a Bangor Daily News article about Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rep. Mike Michaud’s economic development plan. Michaud’s plan proposes students from Maine enrolled in one of the University of Maine System schools would have their sophomore year paid for by the state. Liam Nee, a University of Maine senior studying journalism and political science, was cited as saying the change would help cut down on the student debt problem he and his peers expect to face when they graduate.
WABI (Channel 5) reported a list of the University of Maine Singers’ spring tour dates. Over spring break the group will perform five free public concerts in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. The tour kicks off March 10 at First Baptist Church in Bar Harbor, Maine.
The Village Soup reported on the 27th annual Camden Conference. The theme of this year’s conference and accompanying course offered by the University of Maine’s Division of Lifelong Learning was “The Global Politics of Food and Water.” The conference and course aimed to explore water and food security topics from many perspectives around the world as they relate to human life, global climate change and relationships between countries.
University of Maine School of Performing Arts students will perform “Baba Yaga and the Black Sunflower” at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 22, at Al Cyrus Pavilion Theatre on campus.
Carol Korty, professor emerita at Emerson College and a guest artist at UMaine, wrote and directs the folktale recommended for children 8 and older. It contains themes about getting along with others, intuition, imagination and courage.
Two main characters are Baba Yaga, a wise, feared witch, and Maryushka, a young girl who feels like she doesn’t fit in. Baba Yaga is a Russian folktale character. She brews magic potions, is rumored to eat misbehaving children and lives in a five-sided talking hut that walks on giant chicken legs. She flies through the deep forest in a giant mortar that she steers with a pestle. Maryushka, who loves nature and is scared of it, has gotten into trouble and is determined to find a way out.
Korty hopes the play captures the essence of a traditional Russian Baba Yaga folktale as well as the feeling that she had and that other adolescents have of living in two different worlds — one with family and one with schoolmates.
During UMaine’s spring break, the cast and crew of “Baba Yaga and the Black Sunflower” will stage free performances at area schools, including in Bangor, Ellsworth, Hermon, Lincoln and Presque Isle. Tickets are available at the door for the March 22 performance at UMaine. Cost is $5 per person, or free with a valid student MaineCard.
A University of Maine professor helped develop an observation protocol that can document college instruction and student learning of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Michelle Smith, assistant professor in UMaine’s School of Biology and Ecology and a member of the Maine Center for Research in STEM Education, designed the classroom observation protocol with three researchers from the University of British Columbia.
Over a two-year period, Smith and her colleagues developed, tested and validated the Classroom Observation Protocol for Undergraduate STEM (COPUS) by which observers document instructor and student behaviors in two-minute intervals during the class period.
“Many observation protocols ask observers to rate instructor quality, but the COPUS focuses on how students and instructors are spending the time,” says Smith.
The resulting data, which can be put into pie chart form, informs professors of their behaviors and the behaviors of students during class. The information is valuable in light of research that indicates undergraduate college students learn more in courses with active-engagement instruction.
A total of 13 student behaviors are documented, including listening to instructor/taking notes, working in groups, answering a question with the rest of the class listening, and engaging in whole class discussion.
A total of 12 instructor behaviors are codified, include lecturing, asking a clicker question, listening to and answering student questions with class listening, guiding ongoing student work during active learning task, and one-on-one extended discussion with one or a few individuals.
Educators can use the information to better understand how they utilize classroom time, as well as identify possible professional development needs. Observation data can also be used to supplement faculty tenure/promotion documentation, Smith says.
Several Maine middle and high school teachers helped Smith and her colleagues test and modify the protocol. “The local teachers were enormously helpful,” says Smith. “They are very dedicated to partnering with UMaine to enhance the STEM education experience for all students.”
The researchers’ article, “The Classroom Observation Protocol for Undergraduate STEM (COPUS): A New Instrument to Characterize University STEM Classroom Practices,” was published in the Winter 2013 edition of CBE-Life Sciences Education.
Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777
The University of Maine announced on Tuesday that Holly Stewart (North Vancouver, British Columbia) of the field hockey team, Kelton Cullenberg (Chesterville, Maine) of the cross country and track and field teams and Marcus Wasilewski (Kulpmont, Pa.) of the football team are the recipients of the 2014 “M” Club Dean Smith Awards. The awards are presented annually to the top male and female student-athlete with outstanding academic and athletic achievement along with citizenship and community service.
Stewart, a kinesiology and exercise science major with a 3.984 grade point average, finished second on the field hockey team in scoring her junior season with 12 goals and six assists for 30 points.
Cullenberg, the first UMaine male runner to compete in the NCAA Cross Country Championship since 1979, has been named to the Dean’s List six times and has posted a perfect 4.0 grade point average four times.
Wasilewski capped his senior season by leading Maine to the CAA Title and a first-ever home NCAA playoff game and was named to the Colonial Athletic Association All-Conference First Team. He also earned the New England Football Writers Gold Helmet of the Year.
The “M” Club Dean Smith Award was first presented as the “M” Club Scholarship Award in 1980. The award was renamed to honor Dean Smith in 1993. Dean Smith was a recipient of the Walter Byers Award presented by the NCAA. Smith combined the top grade-point average among senior electrical engineering majors with the NAC scoring title as the captain of the 1989-90 men’s basketball team.
In addition, the University of Maine Athletic Department named its sixth annual “Team Maine” representing the top sophomore, junior or senior achieving the highest grade point average for the calendar year 2013. Representing “Team Maine” for 2013 are:
Logan Fullmer, Baseball, Food Science and Human Nutrition
Till Gloger, Men’s Basketball, Business Administration
E. Kelton Cullenberg, Men’s Cross Country and Track and Field, KPE — Exercise Science *
Arron Achey, Football, KPE — Exercise Science
Kyle Williams, Men’s Ice Hockey, Finance
Robert Bickford, Men’s Swimming, Biochemistry
Megan Smith, Cheering, Nursing
Rachele Burns, Women’s Basketball, KPE — Teaching and Coaching
Holly Stewart, Field Hockey, KPE — Exercise Science *
Brianne Kilgour, Women’s Ice Hockey, KPE — Teaching and Coaching and KPE M. Ed. (Grad)
Katelyn Massey, Women’s Ice Hockey, Psychology *
Stephanie Wood, Softball, Biology
Abigail Linn, Women’s Swimming, Sociology
Taylor Cunningham, Women’s Cross Country and Track and Field, English and Anthropology (DM) Honors College
Darien Lewis, Women’s Cross Country and Track and Field, KPE Exercise Science – Honor College
Carolyn Stocker, Food Science and Human Nutrition — Honors College *
Rachel Wilkinson, Women’s Cross Country and Track and Field, Food Science and Human Nutrition *
Ashten Hackett, Women’s Track and Field, KPE Exercise Science
Lisa Bijman, Women’s Soccer, KPE Exercise Science *
Meaghan Bradica, Women’s Soccer, KPE Exercise Science #
WABI (Channel 5) and WVII (Channel 7) reported University of Maine students in an advanced art education course are facilitating an art-making and fundraising project to benefit the Shaw House of Bangor, an organization that works with youth who are homeless or are at risk of becoming homeless. The art education students are helping the Shaw House teens make ceramic pins that will then be sold to buy instruments for the many residents who take music lessons from the staff and volunteers. Constant Albertson, an associate professor of art education who teaches the class, said the course helps students develop service learning projects for when they become art teachers. Julie Roach, a student in the class, said the project is a great way to incorporate art and community together.
University of Maine sociologist Amy Blackstone spoke with WABI (Channel 5) for the second part of its two-part series “Baby? Maybe?” Blackstone and her husband spoke about their reasoning and decision to not have children. Blackstone said having discussions about choosing whether to have children is important and that “every kid deserves to be wanted.” Blackstone and fellow UMaine sociologist Kim Huisman also discussed motherhood and childfree living for the first part of the series.
The Village Soup advanced the March 11 University of Maine Singers concert that will take place at the Owls Head Transportation Museum. The show is one of five free public concerts the group is performing in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts over spring break. The Maine Edge also carried a report on the group’s tour.
The Bangor Daily News reported on the 2014 “M” Club Dean Smith Award winners at the University of Maine. The honor is given to the top male and female student-athletes who have displayed outstanding academic and athletic achievement along with citizenship and community service. UMaine field hockey player Holly Stewart, cross-country and track team member Kelton Cullenberg, and quarterback Marcus Wasilewski were selected as this year’s award recipients.
The Maine Edge previewed the University of Maine Department of Art’s inaugural Wyeth Family Heritage Lecture to be held Feb. 27 in Lord Hall. David Pariser, an art education professor at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, will deliver an illustrated talk titled “The Juvenile Work of World-class Artists: Can we tell from their work that these children are bound for glory?” His lecture will focus on the development of childhood graphic skills and the juvenile work of famous artists, including the Wyeths.
Faculty and graduate students in the University of Maine’s History Department will offer an informal History Lab to provide one-on-one support for students, teachers and parents who are working on a National History Day (NHD) research project.
The drop-in History Lab will be held from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 5 in the computer classroom on the first floor of UMaine’s Fogler Library. Faculty and graduate students also will be available to talk about historical research, local resources and current developments in historical scholarship. Anyone interested in history — whether local, regional, national or global — is welcome to attend.
National History Day (NHD) is an academic program and competition for students in grades 6–12 that promotes critical thinking, research and presentation skills through project-based learning for students of all abilities. More than 500,000 students, working with thousand of teachers, annually participate in the national contest.
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 and websites, to present at the statewide competition. The projects are evaluated by professional historians and educators.
A new partnership between UMaine and the Margaret Chase Smith Library will bring the Maine National History Day competition to the university campus Saturday, April 12, 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.
For more information about the History Lab, including how to obtain a campus parking permit and request a disability accommodation, email Liam Riordan, associate professor of history at UMaine, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 28 is the registration deadline for schools and/or students to compete at Maine National History Day. Registration is available online. More information about Maine National History Day is available on the UMaine website and on Facebook.
More than 60 summer camps from throughout Maine are expected to participate in the University of Maine’s third annual Summer Camp Fair for Kids 4–7 p.m. March 12 in the New Balance Student Recreation Center on campus.
Camp representatives will be available to provide informational materials and answer questions about the variety of programming available for youngsters and teens.
Formerly known as the Camp Bangor Fair, hosted by the United Way of Eastern Maine and associated with the Camp Bangor Program, the event typically has a turnout of more than 500. Parents and children interested in local and regional summer camps are encouraged to attend.
The fair is free and open to the public. All attendees will receive a free day pass to UMaine’s New Balance Student Recreation Center.
Alper Kiziltas, a doctoral student in the University of Maine’s School of Forest Resources, was named by the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) as the recipient of the 2013–2014 PerkinElmer Graduate Scholarship.
The PerkinElmer Instruments Co., in conjunction with the Composites Division of SPE, sponsors the annual $2,000 scholarship dedicated to the promotion and dissemination of information on the science, engineering fundamentals and applications of advanced polymer composite materials. This year, more than 40 applications were reviewed and judged by six members of the SPE Composites Division.
Kiziltas will accept the award in April during SPE’s annual technical conference — ANTEC 2014 — in Las Vegas. His research, as described in the winning abstract, will be presented at the conference.
Kiziltas conducts research at UMaine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center under the supervision of Douglas Gardner, professor of forest operations, bioproducts and bioenergy, and in collaboration with Hemant Pendse, department chair of chemical and biological engineering.
Kiziltas is currently working in composite material development and processing, including nanocomposites and reinforced engineering plastics for automotive applications. His particular interest lies in the development of sustainable composite materials sourced from recyclable materials such as bio-based resins, cellulose, discarded carpet fibers and natural fibers that serve as reinforcements for bio-based micro- and nanocomposites. His work is supported by UMaine’s Forest Bioproducts Research Institute (FBRI) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“Alper’s research skills span over diverse fields such as nanomaterials, polymer processing, bio-based composites and sustainability. He is extremely innovative, unpretentious, collegial and cooperative,” says Gardner.
Kiziltas spent the 2013 summer and fall semesters working in plastics research at Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn, Mich. While at Ford, he studied ways to extend the use of soy in polyurethane flexible foams for seat cushions and seat backs as well as sustainable nylon composites for under-the-hood applications.
Kiziltas is the author of more than 10 publications in journals such as Applied Nanoscience and the Journal of Nanoparticle Research. He has presented results of his research in several national and international conferences and has won more than 15 awards including Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition (ACCE) Graduate Scholarship Award from the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE), the Dean’s Undergraduate Mentoring Award at UMaine’s 2013 Grad Expo, first place in the 2012–2013 SPE ACCE poster competition, and 2013 outstanding Ph.D. student in UMaine’s College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture.