University of Maine News
A 2013 study conducted by University of Maine economics professor Todd Gabe was cited in a Bangor Daily News article titled, “City reviewing noise complaints in wake of season’s first Bangor Waterfront concert.” In his study, Gabe found the series brought $30 million into the local economy in its first three years. Waterfront Concerts promoter Alex Gray said an updated version of the report is in the process of being finalized and has been sent out for peer review.
The University of Maine will host more than 100 Maine 4-H youth this weekend at the annual 4-H@UMaine: Connecting Kids to Campus.
Youth 12 to 17 years old will stay overnight on the UMaine campus, explore careers and take part in experiential learning during a variety of workshops offered by UMaine faculty and graduate students. The event will be held from 3 p.m. Friday, May 16 until 5:30 p.m. Saturday, May 17.
Workshop topics include composite materials, embryology, fundamentals of acting, aquaculture, high-altitude ballooning, dance, field skills for the forest, ecology, waves in the ocean, veterinary medicine, permaculture, chemical engineering, CSI-geology, nanotechnology, and nutrition and health.
Some 4-H members will also judge the Maine Invention Convention state competition from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at UMaine’s New Balance Student Recreation Center. During this event hosted by UMaine’s Foster Center for Student Innovation, students from around the state will showcase their inventions to solve real-world problems.
More information about 4-H — the youth development program of University of Maine Cooperative Extension — is available online, or by calling Karen Hatch Gagne at 207.592.6980 or Barbara Baker at 207.212.8397.
Winners of the third Correll Book Award for Excellence in Early Childhood Informational Text were announced at the Correll Early Literacy Conference in April.
Children’s book author and illustrator Ted Lewin won the award for the birth to 3-year-old category for his book, “Look!” Wildlife photographer Ingo Arndt was named the winner in the 4- to 8-year-old category for “Best Foot Forward: Exploring Feet, Flippers, and Claws.”
Also, for the first time, three honors books were announced: “One Gorilla: A Counting Book” by Anthony Browne, “Woodpecker” by Dee Phillips and “Bats Biggest! Littlest!” by Sandra Markle.
The national award was created in 2012 through the University of Maine’s College of Education and Human Development to draw attention to the need for quality informational text for young children. The seven-person committee considers informational texts published in the United States in the last calendar year. The winning books are chosen as exemplars of the genre, appropriate for the age group, engaging for young children and sources of accurate information, according to Susan Bennett-Armistead, Correll Professor of Early Literacy at UMaine.
Past award winners include Gail Gibbons for “Gorillas” and Melissa Stewart for “A Place for Bats.”
The University of Maine’s Office of Student Records has published its most recent newsletter. The February–April 2014 issue of the quarterly newsletter “For the Record” is available online.
The University of Maine Humanities Initiative will host the second annual Downtown Bangor Public Humanities Day at various downtown locations on Saturday, May 17.
From 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., free events for participants of all ages will be offered at venues such as the UMaine Museum of Art, Bangor Public Library, Maine Discovery Museum and the Brick Church.
The Downtown Bangor Public Humanities Day was created in 2013 as part of the University of Maine Humanities Initiative (UMHI) to create a better forum for connecting UMaine faculty, staff and students with the general public in our region of the state, according to organizer and UMaine history professor Liam Riordan.
“The goal of the day is to share high-quality cultural work of all sorts that stimulates thought in a fun and informal setting. From student research to music, movies, visual arts and conversation, the day offers a range of engaging events,” Riordan says.
Local partners of the day are Bangor PechaKucha, Downtown Bangor Arts Collaborative, KahBang, Northeast Historic Film, River City Cinema and the string ensemble of The Eastern Maine Pops Orchestra (TEMPO) for Young Musicians.
Featured events include:
10:30 a.m. to noon
National History Day Open House at the Bangor Public Library where prize-winning research by middle and high school students will be on display
Graphic novel author and illustrator Jimmy Gownley at The Briar Patch
University of Maine Museum of Art sculpture lecture by Andy Mauery, UMaine art professor, and a photography exhibit tour led by George Kinghorn, UMMA’s director and curator
TEMPO youth string ensemble performances at the Maine Discovery Museum
Student and parent discussion at the Bangor Public Library about National History Day’s national competition in Washington, D.C.
Northeast Historic Film’s world premiere public showing of three short films shot by Bangor resident Charles E. Gilbert in 1929, co-hosted with River City Cinema and KahBang at the Brick Church
Humanities 20×20 PechaKucha presentations by UMaine faculty and local practitioners at the Brick Church, co-hosted with PechaKucha Bangor and the Downtown Bangor Arts Collaborative
The Downtown Bangor Public Humanities Day is one of several UMHI events planned for 2014. The initiative, housed in UMaine’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and established in 2010, advances the teaching, research and community outreach of the arts and humanities to enrich the lives of all Maine residents.
Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747
categories: blue sky news, liberal arts and sciences, outreach, pathway 1
The University of Maine Humanities Initiative (UMHI) and the Maine Humanities Council will host the second annual Maine Humanities Summit at the Governor Hill Mansion in Augusta on Friday, May 16.
This year’s summit, “The Humanities and Public Policy,” will feature speakers from across the nation who will discuss ways humanities administrators, faculty and the general public can effectively communicate the value and importance of the humanities to residents and media.
“The summit offers the opportunity to speak to the public and legislators in concrete terms about how important humanities are to our state’s civic and economic well-being,” says Justin Wolff, UMHI director and an associate professor of art history at UMaine. “We hope to persuade policymakers that funding these areas from kindergarten up through higher education is a strong investment with a high return.”
Wolff says in a time of increasing emphasis on STEM education, it’s important to remember the value of the humanities, as well.
“The humanities form the foundation of all disciplines,” he says. “They teach critical writing and communication skills, as well as awareness and sensitivity to place and identity.”
For example, Wolff says, if an engineer plans to build a bridge, it’s important for them to understand the cultural heritage and the needs and desires of the people who live in the region that would be affected by the bridge.
Humanities advocates are often faced with the challenge of not having the hard data that STEM backers may have, according to Wolff.
“It’s very hard for humanities advocates to find and share the hard data to prove what we know. We know the value of critical thinking, and we know employers want workers with the skills the humanities teach, but it can be hard to prove it with charts and graphs,” he says.
About 60 humanities constituents from throughout the state attended last year’s summit. Participants came together to talk about areas of broad concern, new initiatives and programs, and ways to coordinate efforts to advocate humanities. Wolff says the inaugural event led to encouraging conversations, including the idea to make future summits more instrumental.
In an effort to make the second summit more focused, the organizers decided to give this year’s event a theme — “Humanities and Public Policy.” The summit will feature speakers from around the nation who will discuss subjects in one of three areas: advocating the humanities through the use of data and media; the humanities and education policy; and the importance of cultural tourism and the humanities to the state’s economy.
Scheduled speakers include Maine residents, including Hugh French, director of the Tides Institute & Museum of Art in Eastport; and Laura Lindenfeld, an associate professor of communication and journalism at UMaine; as well as national leaders of humanities advocacy, such as Stephen Kidd, executive director of the National Humanities Alliance; and Theda Skocpol, director of the Scholars Strategy Network and Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard University.
UMaine President Paul Ferguson; Jeff Hecker, UMaine’s executive vice president for academic affairs and provost; and Hayden Anderson, executive director of the Maine Humanities Council, are slated to give opening remarks.
“Anyone interested in humanities will gain something from the summit,” Wolff says. “It’s meant to initiate lasting partnerships and collaborations. We want to throw possibilities out and see them take root. It offers a place for people to share ideas for coherent and effective advocacy.”
The summit is one of several UMHI events planned for 2014 and serves as a key program in the initiative’s outreach efforts. The initiative, housed in UMaine’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and established in 2010, advances the teaching, research and community outreach of the arts and humanities to enrich the lives of all Maine residents.
The mission of UMHI is twofold: To support and promote the excellent humanities scholarship being created on campus, and to bring that research and scholarship into contact with all Maine residents through an aspect known as public humanities, according to Wolff.
“UMHI is a very strong advocate of the public humanities and efforts to break down walls between the university and the community at large,” Wolff says, adding that UMaine humanities professors and students are working on behalf of all Maine residents.
More information on the Maine Humanities Summit and UMHI is online.
Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747
A significantly greater number of students fail science, engineering and math courses taught lecture-style than fail in classes incorporating active learning that expects them to participate in discussions and problem-solving beyond what they’ve memorized.
Active learning also improves exam performance — in some cases enough to change grades by half a letter or more so a B-plus, for example, becomes an A-minus.
These findings are from the largest and most comprehensive analysis ever published of studies comparing lecturing to active learning in undergraduate education, says Scott Freeman, a University of Washington principal lecturer in biology and lead author of a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences the week of May 12.
Co-authors are Mary Wenderoth, Sarah Eddy, Miles McDonough, Nnadozie Okoroafor and Hannah Jordt, all with the UW biology department, and Michelle Smith, University of Maine assistant professor in the School of Biology and member of the Maine Center for Research in STEM Education.
The researchers based their findings on 225 studies of undergraduate education across all of the STEM areas: science, technology, engineering and mathematics. They found that 55 percent more students fail lecture-based courses than classes with at least some active learning. Two previous studies looked at subsets of the STEM areas and none before considered failure rates.
On average across all the studies, a little more than one-third of students in traditional lecture classes failed — that is, they either withdrew or got Fs or Ds, which generally means they were ineligible to take more advanced courses.
On average with active learning, a little more than one-fifth of students failed.
“If you have a course with 100 students signed up, about 34 fail if they get lectured to but only 22 fail if they do active learning according to our analysis,” Freeman says.
“There are hundreds of thousands of students taking STEM courses in U.S. colleges every year, so we’re talking about tens of thousands of students who could stay in STEM majors instead of flunking out — every year.”
This could go a long way toward meeting national calls like the one from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology saying the U.S. needs a million more STEM majors in the future, Freeman says.
Attempts by college faculty to use active learning, long popular in K–12 classrooms, started taking off in the mid-1990s, Freeman says, though lecturing still dominates.
“We’ve got to stop killing student performance and interest in science by lecturing and instead help them think like scientists,” he says.
In introduction to biology courses, Freeman’s largest UW class had 700 students. He expects students to read their $200 textbooks and arrive in class knowing the material for the day. Quizzes on the assigned readings keep their feet to the fire.
“These students got into college by being ferocious memorizers so we don’t need to spend class time going over what they’ve already read,” Freeman says. “A reading assignment on how sperm and eggs form might then lead me to ask the class how male contraceptives might work. After giving them time to come up with their own ideas and rationale, I might give them a couple more minutes to discuss it with each other, and then I call on students randomly to start the discussion.”
Knowing they could get called on at any time encourages students to stay focused, he says.
Smith, of UMaine, agrees.
“Students are asked to come to my class with their ‘minds on,’” says Smith, who has incorporated active learning into her classes for eight years.
“My main teaching responsibility includes a general genetics course for undergraduates. My teaching philosophy is that students learn best when they actively engage in the classroom, their conceptions of the material are acknowledged and used as a starting point for instruction and they see the relevance of the material they are learning.”
Wenderoth, a UW principal lecturer and paper co-author, says having students use clickers — hand-held wireless devices — to answer multiple-choice questions in class is another example of how active learning keeps students engaged. “We characterize it as, ‘Ask, don’t tell,’” she says.
For the paper, researchers examined more than 640 studies comparing lecturing with some kind of active learning. The studies, conducted at four-year and community colleges mainly in the U.S., appeared in STEM education journals, databases, dissertations and conference proceedings.
Some 225 of those studies met the standards to be included in the analysis including: assurances the groups of students being compared were equally qualified and able; that instructors or groups of instructors were the same; and that exams given to measure performance were either exactly alike or used questions pulled from the same pool of questions each time.
The data were considered using meta-analysis, an approach long used in fields such as biomedicine to determine the effectiveness of a treatment based on studies with a variety of patient groups, providers and ways of administering the therapy or drugs.
The findings showed grade improvements on exams increased an average of 6 percent. Using grading typical in UW’s introductory biology, physics and chemistry courses, a gain of 6 percent would have raised students half a grade turning a C-plus into a B-minus, for example, or a B-plus into an A-minus.
If the failure rates of 34 percent for lecturing and 22 percent in classes with some active learning were applied to the 7 million U.S. undergraduates who say they want to pursue STEM majors, some 2.38 million students would fail lecture-style courses versus 1.54 million with active learning. That’s 840,000 additional students failing under lecturing, a difference of 55 percent compared to the failure rate of active learning.
“That 840,000 students is a large portion of the million additional STEM majors the president’s council called for,” Freeman says.
Community colleges and universities could help faculty incorporate effective active learning by providing guidance — UMaine, for instance, has the Faculty Incentive Grant Program and University Course Observation Program supported by the RiSE Center.
“My hope is that this article both inspires STEM instructors to use active learning strategies, and institutions to provide sustained professional development for faculty, postdocs and graduate students,” Smith says.
The Associated Press, WLBZ (Channel 2), WABI (Channel 5) and the Bangor Daily News reported on the University of Maine’s 212th Commencement ceremonies in Harold Alfond Sports Arena on May 10. More than 10,200 family members and friends attended to watch most of the 1,660 students — undergraduates, master’s and doctoral — receive their degrees. This year’s honorary degree recipients were Maine singer-songwriter David Mallett of Sebec, who serenaded graduates with his “The Garden Song,” and international best-selling author Tess Gerritsen of Camden. “The University of Maine is now part of your identity just as you are the legacy of the University of Maine,” President Paul Ferguson told the graduates. SFGate carried the AP report. The Sun Journal carried an article about a graduate proposing during the ceremony and the BDN also carried an article on UMaine student Josiah Corbin who slept in his car to save money. Corbin graduated Saturday debt-free with a biology degree.
James Dill, a pest management specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, spoke with WLBZ (Channel 2) about grubs — the immature larvae of beetles that can cause dead, brown patches on lawns. Dill said grubs also attract other animals, such as skunks and crows, that can damage lawns by digging. Dill warns that treatment should have been done in the fall, and any method used now — such as pesticides or microscopic worms that eat the grubs — will only prevent more grubs from emerging later. He adds grub patterns can be unpredictable, and suggests contacting a professional before using chemicals.
92.9 FM The Ticket, WABI (Channel 5), WLBZ (Channel 2), Bangor Daily News and Portland Press Herald covered the formal introduction of Bob Walsh as the University of Maine men’s basketball head coach. UMaine athletic department officials held a press conference at the Cross Insurance Center to introduce Walsh. “I’m thrilled about it,” Walsh said. “Coaching at a place where I’m comfortable and can stay for a long time is really important to me.”
Gary Anderson, a University of Maine Cooperative Extension associate professor, spoke with the Maine Public Broadcasting Network for a report titled, “Maine farmers providing ark for critically endangered breeds.” Experts say biodiversity in the world’s farmyards are shrinking, according to the article, and efforts are underway to monitor several farm animals that appear on a list of critically endangered domestic breeds. Anderson said today, big agriculture is all about making more food for less money. He gave an example of chickens; stating that in 1926, the average chicken produced 126 eggs per year, and today, a hybrid hen created by agribusiness Hy-Line International lays 240 eggs per year. He added the hens are also eating less; from more than 7 pounds of feed to make a dozen eggs 60 years ago, to only 2.8 pounds of feed today.
Mark Brewer, a political science professor at the University of Maine, was interviewed for a Portland Press Herald article about independent Maine gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler’s campaign and his dominance in affluent suburban communities such as Yarmouth. Brewer said he’s not surprised Cutler has strong support in Yarmouth again because “He’s doing all the right things — campaigning hard, putting forth substantive policy proposals and calling for debates.” He added Cutler will need to convince voters in Yarmouth and beyond that he can win a three-way race and not just play the role of spoiler. “I know his people disagree, but this race will be decided by what the people who don’t like LePage do,” Brewer said.
The Associated Press reported Maine Sea Grant is seeking proposals for research projects related to the nearshore scallop fishery in Maine.
The program is making money available for projects that emphasize cooperation between fishermen and scientists, with the goal of improving the management of Maine’s scallop fishery. Maine Sea Grant said it expects proposals will include requests for $2,000 to $10,000 in grant money. Proposals are due by June 16. SeacoastOnline, Fisherynation.com, SFGate and WGME (Channel 13) carried the AP report.
The Maine Association for Search and Rescue (MASAR) will hold its annual training conference May 17–18 at the University of Maine’s New Balance Student Recreation Center in Orono.
MASAR is a nonprofit organization that helps the Maine Warden Service search for people who are lost or missing.
Any search and rescue personnel, dogs and vehicles spotted in the greater Orono area during this time are likely involved in the conference.
Many of the seminars are hands-on activities and include topics such as weather awareness, evidence preservation and lost person behavior. There also will be outdoor training exercises in litter carry, shelter building, land navigation, clue awareness and radio communications.
The conference is open to anyone 18 or older who is interested in learning about or becoming involved in search and rescue. Registration is $100 per person and will be accepted the day of the event, however meals and lodging can’t be guaranteed for those who register after May 12.
More information, including the registration form and event schedule, can be found online or by calling 207.951.0526.
More than 10,200 family members and friends attended the University of Maine’s 212th Commencement ceremonies in Harold Alfond Sports Arena on campus today.
Most of the 1,660 students — undergraduates, master’s and doctoral — receiving degrees from UMaine this year were on hand for one of the two ceremonies at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. In addition, a Graduate Student Recognition Ceremony was held Friday afternoon.Commencement 2014 [see the SlideDeck]
This year’s honorary degree recipients were Maine singer-songwriter David Mallett of Sebec and international best-selling author Dr. Tess Gerritsen of Camden.
As the Commencement speaker for the morning ceremony, Mallett performed two of his legendary songs, “I Knew This Place” and “Garden Song.” He told the audience that he discovered songwriting as a University of Maine student studying theater. He also met his wife at UMaine.
“I wrote my first well-known song two miles from here in Old Town,” said Mallett, whose performance ended with a standing ovation.
Gerritsen’s address focused on creativity — “making connections between things that no one else has tried combining before,” and finding ways to blend unrelated elements into something new and remarkable.
She talked about her creative writing process and encouraged the students to become similar lifelong collectors of information by reading, exploring and cultivating new interests.
“A builder studies an anthill and sees a new design for an underground parking lot,” Gerritsen said. “A musician goes bird-watching, hears a robin sing, and it becomes the melody of his new song. A scientist walks on a beach, picks up a seashell and admires its beautiful internal curves. Years later, as he’s struggling to understand the structure of a protein, he remembers that seashell and suddenly the protein makes sense. When he first picked up the shell, he had no idea that studying it would ever be important until one day, it is.”
Others honored in the Commencement ceremonies were this year’s valedictorian and salutatorian — Sierra Ventura of Belfast, Maine, and Jennifer Chalmers of Foxborough, Mass., respectively. Ventura received a bachelor’s degree in music education. Chalmers, an honors student, received two bachelor’s degrees in English and in history. She also minored in education and Spanish.
Between the Commencement ceremonies, five faculty members were honored at the annual Faculty Appreciation and Recognition Luncheon — Mary Jane Perry, professor of oceanography and interim director of UMaine’s Darling Marine Center, as the 2014 Distinguished Maine Professor; J. Malcolm Shick, professor of zoology and oceanography, the recipient of the 2014 Presidential Outstanding Teaching Award; School of Computing and Information Science Professor M. Kate Beard-Tisdale, the 2014 Presidential Research and Creative Achievement Award; the 2014 Presidential Public Service Achievement Award recipient it Bruce Segee, professor of electrical and computer engineering, and director of the University of Maine System Advanced Computing Group; and Sandra Sigmon, professor of psychology, recipient of the 2014 ADVANCE Rising Tide Center Excellence in Faculty Mentoring Award.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745
More than 100 middle school students from around the state will gather at the University of Maine on Saturday, May 17 to participate in the Maine Invention Convention state competition.
The statewide contest promotes problem solving and innovation by Maine students in grades five through eight. Throughout the school year, students work with their peers and teachers to identify and solve everyday problems they are passionate about by using Innovation Engineering, a systematic approach to innovation with fundamental concepts including methods for creating, communicating and commercializing meaningfully unique ideas.
“This program fosters and enhances the learning of our Maine students by creating a culture of innovation and problem solving. It supports the youth of today and the workforce of tomorrow by providing unique skills and opportunities to help students learn and grow,” says Jordan Nickerson, assistant community outreach coordinator at UMaine’s Foster Center for Student Innovation.
After competing against their peers at the local level, top students from 15 schools, as well as students who are homeschooled, are invited to attend the state contest from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the New Balance Recreation Center on campus. Students will compete for top prizes in each grade level, as well as for 2014 State Champion, People’s Choice Award and 4-H Choice Award. The 4-H award will be judged and presented by students participating in 4-H@UMaine. Honorable mentions also will be chosen.
Every winner will receive a medallion made at the Advanced Manufacturing Center on campus. Savings bonds from Bangor Savings Bank will be given to the overall winner as well as the top winners in each grade.
The Maine Invention Convention competition is put on by the Foster Center with support from Bangor Savings Bank, Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems, University Credit Union, Cole Land Transportation Museum and Foster’s On the Run.
This is the second year the Foster Center is hosting the event, which has existed for more than 20 years and was previously run by middle school teachers.
Last year, Grace Perron from James F. Doughty School in Bangor, was selected the overall winner for her invention of Cremu, a homemade emu oil hand lotion. A total of 90 students representing 11 middle schools attended last year’s event.
More information on the Maine Invention Convention is online.
Two University of Maine sophomores have been named winners of the George J. Mitchell Peace Scholarship for the 2014–15 academic year and will study abroad in Ireland as part of the student exchange program.
George J. Mitchell Scholars Morgan Gustin and Hilary Warner-Evans will each spend a semester at the University College Cork in Ireland. The scholarship honors the 1998 Northern Ireland peace accord brokered by Sen. Mitchell between Ireland and the United Kingdom and is open to full-time undergraduate students in the University of Maine system.
The scholarship allows one student to study for a year in Ireland or two students to study for a semester each with all expenses paid, including airfare. This year — for the second time — both winners are from the Orono campus.
Gustin, an animal sciences major from Merrill, Maine, will study in Ireland during the fall 2014 semester. Warner-Evans, an anthropology major from West Bath, Maine, will make the trip in the spring of 2015. Both students are enrolled in the Honors College.
While in Ireland, Gustin plans to pursue animal science courses from a new perspective, specifically through integrating Ireland’s farming, livestock and agricultural techniques into her learning.
“Studying in Ireland will allow me to broaden my understanding of life in a different culture, expand my horizons within animal sciences, and gain experience that will help me decide whether my goal of living abroad long term is a desirable reality,” Gustin says, adding that she is looking forward to pushing herself out of her comfort zone personally and academically.
In the long term, Gustin aspires to explore a variety of areas within animal science, particularly field research on large animals and management practices within the context of a ranch.
She has worked as a student farm intern at the University of Maine Witter Farm Equine Cooperative and as a tour guide and carriage driver with Carriages of Acadia in Bar Harbor. At Carriages of Acadia she leads narrated historic tours of Acadia National Park and the carriage road system while driving and handling draft horse teams in a variety of situations.
Gustin also is a College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA) Level 1 certified tutor for the UMaine Tutor Program and a member of the student leadership group for Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU). She has taken mission trips to Chile and Haiti as a member of CRU, volunteering her time to serve others and raise funds for the expeditions.
“I hope to return with an even deeper insight on how to step into the unknown and rise up to meet the challenges it presents,” Gustin says of her next adventure.
Warner-Evans, who is pursuing a degree in anthropology and aspires to become a folklorist, will study Irish folklore while abroad.
“Folklore is a discipline uniquely suited to celebrating both cultural variation and universality,” she says. “An understanding of it provides insight into both the specific identities of groups and the dynamics between them.”
Since 2012, Warner-Evans 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 webpage. She also volunteers as a UMaine Conversation and Cultural Partner and is a member of Maine Peace Action Committee, the UMaine German Club and the Honors College Student Advisory Board.
“The Mitchell Scholarship will give me an unprecedented opportunity to broaden my understanding of the field of folklore, as it will expose me to a second interpretation of the discipline,” says Warner-Evans, who is currently working on a research project about reactions to the discovery of the North Pond Hermit and how those reactions relate to Maine identity.
Warner-Evans says she is driven by her dream of living in a world where tradition and tolerance are valued equally, and where groups with different views can take pride in their own identities while acknowledging that does not mean they are inherently superior to others.
“The ability to study folklore at University College Cork is an invaluable tool for me to further the implantation of my vision of a more tolerant and empathetic world,” she says.
More about the George J. Mitchell Peace Scholarship is online.
Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747
The Bangor Daily News spoke with the University of Maine’s Class of 2014 valedictorian Sierra Ventura of Belfast, Maine, and salutatorian Jennifer Chalmers of Foxborough, Mass., for the article “UMaine valedictorian, salutatorian both hope to be teachers despite changes in education system.” Ventura, who will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in music education, said she plans to pursue a master’s in music education and eventually become a music teacher. “What really gets me is seeing the look on the kids’ faces when they get it. When we’re working on something, and it finally clicks. It’s so cool to get that spark,” Ventura said. Chalmers, a history and English double major, said she has joined Teach for America, a teacher training program that puts recent college graduates in schools with socio-economically disadvantaged student populations, and will teach in New Jersey in August. “I just love learning, and other than trying to learn forever, the only way I can think to do anything with that is to help others like it,” Chalmers said.
WVII (Channel 7) spoke with mechanical engineering professor Michael “Mick” Peterson and several students at the Mechanical Engineering Design Open House. More than 60 mechanical engineering students displayed their capstone projects that ranged from a surgical device that can be used for adult circumcision to the reduce HIV transmission rates in Africa, to a snowmobile powered by compressed natural gas. Most projects focused on the development of heat pumps and other energy-related devices. “They couldn’t have built any of these projects if they didn’t have the three previous years of engineering training,” Peterson said.
Barbara Murphy, a University of Maine Cooperative Extension educator and gardening expert who helps beginning gardeners achieve successful harvests, was a guest on the Maine Public Broadcasting Network’s “Maine Calling” radio show. The show focused on spring gardening advice, and touched on topics such as annuals, perennials, container gardening, vegetables, sun, soil and pests.