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News from the University of Maine
Updated: 23 hours 28 min ago

UMaine Extension Offers Open House, Plant Sale, Workshops

Wed, 05/06/2015 - 10:52

A spring plant sale featuring dozens of traditional perennial varieties, many native to Maine, as well as annuals that attract pollinators, will be held from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 16, rain or shine, at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Hancock County Office, 63 Boggy Brook Road, Ellsworth.

The plant sale, sponsored by UMaine Extension Hancock County Master Gardener Volunteers, will run concurrently with Extension’s Open House. There will be free workshops on native plants for the landscape, attracting pollinators with flowering annuals, moss gardening, backyard composting and worm farming. Gardening questions will be fielded at the “Ask a Master Gardener” table. Refreshments will be served.

Funds raised will support 20 Master Gardener Volunteer community projects in Hancock County, including: Kids Can Grow, a children’s gardening program at Maine Coast Heritage Trust in Town Hill; community gardens in Hancock, Seal Cove and Ellsworth that supply thousands of pounds of fresh produce to food pantries; and a public butterfly garden at Charlotte Rhoades Park in Southwest Harbor.

For more information, or to request a disability accommodation, contact 207.667.8212, Information also is available online.

Categories: Combined News, News

Great-Great-Granddaughter of One of UMaine’s First Graduates to Earn Diploma

Wed, 05/06/2015 - 08:44

Five generations of the Haskell family have graduated from the University of Maine since it opened its doors in September 1868.

Edwin Haskell was first in 1872. In fact, he was one of the six men in the first-ever graduating class at the university, then called the Maine State College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts.

This year, on May 9, Haskell’s great-great-granddaughter Johanna Haskell will be among the approximately 1,700 people receiving their diplomas at UMaine’s 150th anniversary year graduation.

Edwin’s focus was in elective studies. Johanna will earn her bachelor’s degree in English, with a concentration in technical writing.

“I think the UMaine legacy is a source of pride for my family,” says Johanna, adding that when she used to walk around campus she’d often think about how her parents met at the university and about how the property would have looked when Edwin studied and worked on the farm on site.

“It was a personal goal for me because of the value placed on graduating college in my family and the love of UMaine.”

Edwin’s direct descendants who graduated in the 143-year span between he and Johanna are his son, Benjamin in 1912; his grandson, Rev. Stanley Haskell in 1966; and his great-grandson, (Johanna’s father), John in 1971.

Edwin’s commencement was held at a church in Orono. Johanna will graduate in the first of two Saturday ceremonies at the multipurpose Harold Alfond Sports Arena.

For Edwin, attending school included working on the campus farm three hours a day five days per week. To gain admittance from 1868 to 1871, students had to be male, at least 15 years old and pass an exam that included arithmetic, geography, English, grammar, United States history and algebra as far as quadratic equations.

For Johanna, a licensed cosmetologist who operates a hairdressing business and is raising three children — Darcy, 6, Daphne 4, and Miles Edwin, 2, with husband Sean Tardif — attending school required excellent time management skills.

Being able to set her work schedule was key, she says, as was the support of her extended family and the opportunity to take online courses.

She credits faculty adviser Charlsye Smith Diaz, associate professor of professional and technical communication, with being a difference-maker. “She was in my corner and was so helpful and knowledgeable,” says Johanna. “She cared.”

When Edwin was a student, M.C, Fernald, professor of mathematics and physics, was acting president until Charles Allen came on board in 1871.

Johanna was a student during the administrations of three presidents — Robert Kennedy, Paul Ferguson and Susan J. Hunter, the university’s first female president.

Johanna, who graduated from Hampden Academy in 2002, first went to cosmetology school. Then she began taking college courses when she was 21 with a personal goal to earn a bachelor’s degree by age 30.

“I just sneaked in,” she laughs. “I turn 31 in August.”

She says she particularly enjoyed writing a blog about hairdressing for her senior project. “I’ve always been interested in writing and good at it and I wanted to develop that and find an application for practical professional writing,” says Johanna. “This was a good blending of my interests.”

Johanna isn’t the only Haskell family member to be a nontraditional UMaine student.

In 1966, her great-grandfather, Rev. Stanley Haskell graduated one semester before his son, Benjamin II and five years before his son, John.

Stanley, says John, worked in banking for more than two decades before attending UMaine and Bangor Theological Seminary.

Johanna’s father, John majored in music at UMaine. After earning a master’s at Boston University, the professional pianist played at venues around the world.

He says he’s extremely proud of his daughter.

“She was determined the whole way through,” John says. “I think it’s great. It’s inspiring.”

Edwin went on to found Haskell Silk Mills in Westbrook and become a trustee of the university.

Johanna says, for now, she will continue to rear her children and operate her hairdressing business. In the future, she says she may earn an advanced degree or put her technical writing skills to use.

The list of Edwin’s direct descendants who graduated from UMaine are his sons, Ralph (1905), William (1911), Benjamin (1912) and Theodore (1914); grandsons, Donald (1939), James (1944) and Stanley (1966); great-grandsons, Benjamin II (1967) and John (1971); great-great-grandchildren, AbbyLynn Haskell Campbell (1996), Rebecca Haskell Bagley (1998) and Johanna Haskell (2015).

Edwin’s great-granddaughter Elizabeth Haskell Clancy also attended UMaine but did not graduate. Two Haskell spouses also graduated from UMaine, including Benjamin II’s wife, BettyAnn Coulton Haskell (1969) and John’s former wife and Johanna’s mother, Jan Parsley (1972).

Johanna’s sister, Jessica graduated in 2003 from the University of Southern Maine.

With such a heritage at UMaine, it’s no surprise that Benjamin II and John received the 2006 Fogler Library Legacy Award from the University of Maine Alumni Association. The award is presented annually to a family with a long tradition of attending UMaine.

From UMaine’s first graduation in 1872 to its graduation in its 150th anniversary year, the Haskell family legacy is unmatched.

Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777

Categories: Combined News, News

Two Innovate for Maine Fellows Part of Bitzy Baby Success

Tue, 05/05/2015 - 14:46

Bitzy Baby, a juvenile safety product company in Brunswick, Maine, has been selected as a finalist in the U.S. Small Business Administration InnovateHER Business Challenge, a nationwide competition for entrepreneurs to develop products and services to enhance the lives of women and their families. Bitzy Baby has been involved in the Innovate for Maine Fellows program, supported by Blackstone Accelerates Growth and managed by the University of Maine’s Foster Center for Student Innovation.Through the program, the company received marketing and social media assistance from two Innovate for Maine Fellows — UMaine students Jim Barry, a food science and human nutrition major, and Courtney Norman, who is majoring in marine sciences.

More about the InnovateHER Business Challenge is online.

Categories: Combined News, News

Garland Speaks with BDN About Upcoming Gardening Season

Tue, 05/05/2015 - 12:07

The Bangor Daily News interviewed Kate Garland, a horticulturist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, for the article, “Despite harsh winter, Maine farmers hopeful for upcoming season.” Even with record-breaking snowfalls this winter, Garland said farmers and gardeners shouldn’t see any long-term damage to the quality of soil, according to the article. She also said she is watching weather patterns while eagerly waiting to start her own garden this season. “This time of year, I’m checking the [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration] website everyday, figuring out what’s going to work and making contingency plans as needed,” she said.

Categories: Combined News, News

Wind and Wave Facility Awarded $351,000 Grant by MTI, WABI Reports

Tue, 05/05/2015 - 12:06

WABI (Channel 5) reported the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center has been awarded $351,092 by the Maine Technology Institute for its new wind and wave facility. The grant will add two additional pieces of equipment to the $8 million facility that will house W² — the world’s first wind and wave lab to feature a rotating open-jet wind tunnel above a 100-foot-long by 30-foot-wide by 15-foot-deep wave basin. The facility is currently under construction and is expected to be completed this summer, according to the report.

Categories: Combined News, News

BDN Publishes Op-Ed by Social Work Grad Student

Tue, 05/05/2015 - 12:05

Amy Tunney, a graduate student in the School of Social Work at the University of Maine, wrote an opinion piece for the Bangor Daily News titled “Want a cost-effective public investment? Make Maine seniors’ homes energy-efficient.” Tunney recently completed a graduate internship with At Home Downeast, which is dedicated to supporting residents of the Blue Hill Peninsula to remain safely and comfortably at home as they age.

Categories: Combined News, News

Press Herald Quotes Professor Emeritus Palmer in State Politics Article

Tue, 05/05/2015 - 12:05

Kenneth Palmer, a professor emeritus of political science at the University of Maine, was quoted in a Portland Press Herald article about the current combative tone in Maine politics. “Maine is generally less combative and nasty in its discourse,” Palmer said. “But we’re getting some of it. It’s part of a national trend. It’s there and developed in the last decade or so.” Palmer also said the state’s tradition for individualized politics has often trumped ideology and is one of the reasons Maine has elected two independent governors.

Categories: Combined News, News

Professor Emeritus McCormack Writes BDN Report on Maintaining Woodlot

Tue, 05/05/2015 - 12:03

Maxwell McCormack, a research professor emeritus of forest resources at the University of Maine, wrote “Here are the tools I use to maintain my woodlot,” for the new Homestead section of the Bangor Daily News. McCormack has been a forester for more than 60 years.

Categories: Combined News, News

Plant Sale to Benefit UMaine Extension Slated in Lisbon Falls

Tue, 05/05/2015 - 12:03

The Androscoggin-Sagadahoc Counties Extension Association (ASCEA) will hold a plant sale 3–6 p.m. Friday, May 15 and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 16, at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension office, 24 Main St., Lisbon Falls.

Perennial flowers and plants, vegetable and herb seedlings, annual and perennial flower seedlings and seed packets, raised bed frames, birdhouses and other garden-related craft items will be for sale. Children 10 years and younger will receive a free gift. Proceeds will benefit UMaine Extension outreach programs in the two counties that are supported by ASCEA.

For more information or to request a disability accommodation, call 353.5550 or email

Categories: Combined News, News

UMaine Grads Headed to Veterinary Schools in U.S., Scotland and Canada

Tue, 05/05/2015 - 11:38

The School of Food and Agriculture’s Animal and Veterinary Sciences Program traditionally has a high acceptance rate of student applicants for veterinary schools. This year, that acceptance rate is nearly 90 percent, with seven students graduating and heading to veterinary schools nationwide, and in Scotland and Canada:

  • Brian Blanchard, Thorndike, Maine, Atlantic Veterinary College, Prince Edward Island, Canada
  • Rachel Chase, Warren, Maine, Ohio State University
  • Elena Doucette, Cumberland, Maine, University of Glasgow, Scotland
  • Amy Fish, Mountville, Pennsylvania, University of Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Taryn Haller, Mystic, Connecticut, University of California, Davis
  • Jeffery Vigue Jr., Whitefield, Maine, Virginia-Maryland Regional Veterinary College
  • Ariana Wadsworth, Thomaston, Maine, Oregon State University

Two other Animal and Veterinary Sciences Program students from the Class of 2014 applied this year for veterinary school and were accepted. Kristyn Souliere of Saco, Maine, is headed to Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine, and Bethany van Gorder of West Tremont, Maine, is going to the University of Glasgow.

Brian Blanchard grew up on a small dairy farm in Thorndike, Maine that converted to standardbred racehorses in 2001. He currently drives and trains horses competitively in Maine, and will continue that work in Prince Edward Island while earning his veterinary degree.

Elena Doucette, who grew up in Cumberland, Maine, embarked on a four-month mission trip with Heifer International after high school, gaining experience with livestock husbandry that inspired her to pursue a career in veterinary medicine.

Rachel Chase is an honors student from Warren, Maine. Her family raised dairy goats, and broilers and laying hens, and she owns a horse.

Amy Fish, Taryn Haller and Ariana Wadsworth also are honors students. Honors student Jeff Vigue grew up on a beef farm in Whitefield, Maine, and worked at several local dairies.

Categories: Combined News, News

MPBN Features Device That Assists People Who Fall

Mon, 05/04/2015 - 14:40

MPBN highlighted a device built by University of Maine new media students that senses when a person has fallen and uses mobile networks to send assistance. The device, which was tested on volunteer ice skaters, has a gyroscope that detects movement, a cell module and a microcontroller that interprets data. It can be worn on a lanyard around the neck, according to the report.

Categories: Combined News, News

WABI-TV Presents Wind Blade Challenge

Mon, 05/04/2015 - 14:39

WABI (channel 5) covered the University of Maine’s seventh annual Wind Blade Challenge, at which 40-plus teams designed a set of wind blades from three blocks of foam and a sheet of fiberglass. The goal was to generate the most energy in three minutes or less. Team members also prepared a presentation about their respective designs and engineering process. WABI reported that Baxter Academy won the challenge.

Categories: Combined News, News

WCSH6 Highlights The Museum of What’s Left

Mon, 05/04/2015 - 14:38

WCSH6 highlighted The Museum of What’s Left, a final class project created by University of Maine intermediate art students. Students’ sentimental objects, including love letters, records, necklaces and a stuffed animal, were objects inside the repurposed 1985 Burro camper. Students were invited to take another person’s donated piece as a way of continuing the story.

Categories: Combined News, News

Weinrich’s Induction into MSHoF Widely Reported

Mon, 05/04/2015 - 14:37

The Kennebec Journal, Morning Sentinel, Portland Press Herald and Bangor Daily News were among the media organizations that covered former University of Maine men’s ice hockey player Eric Weinrich’s induction into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame. Weinrich played 17 years in the NHL, where he made three all-star appearances and was named to the 1991 All-Rookie Team. He also represented the United States in the World Cup, Olympics, Canada Cup and at nine World Championships. Weinrich, who skated at UMaine for coach Shawn Walsh, graduated in 1985 from North Yarmouth Academy. MPBN carried the Associated Press report.

Categories: Combined News, News

Aultman Signs Contract with Dolphins, Media Report

Mon, 05/04/2015 - 14:37

The Portland Press Herald, WABI (channel 5) and Bangor Daily News reported University of Maine football player Damarr Aultman signed an undrafted free-agent contract with the Miami Dolphins. According to the BDN article, in 2014, the senior wide receiver and kick returner caught a team-best 48 passes for 498 yards and ran back 28 kicks for a single-season, record-tying 645 yards.

Categories: Combined News, News

Five Black Bears Bound for Maine Baseball Hall of Fame, PPH Announces

Mon, 05/04/2015 - 14:36

The Portland Press Herald reported that five former University of Maine baseball players — Bob Anthoine, Gerry Berthiaume, Rod Choroszy, John Dumont and Clarence Keegan (posthumous) — will be among the 11 inductees into the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame in June.

Categories: Combined News, News

BDN Reports on Social Work Grad Students’ Suboxone Research

Mon, 05/04/2015 - 14:36

The Bangor Daily News reported on research conducted by three graduate social work students at the University of Maine. Last fall, Mikala Thompson, Alaina Crowley and Daniel Cohen began researching how many doctors in the state prescribed Suboxone, which is used to treat opioid addiction, according to the article. Three months after the students began planning their project, Gov. Paul LePage’s proposal to eliminate state funding for methadone treatment in favor of Suboxone made headlines, the article states. By contacting the 100-plus doctors on a government list, the students found less than half prescribed Suboxone, according to Thompson, the project’s lead researcher. Forty-three confirmed they’re prescribing the medication, 42 confirmed they weren’t and 27 failed to respond, she said. “Maine is proposing policy decisions based on inaccurate data,” Thompson said. The article was a related story to the report, “‘A system that doesn’t exist:’ Without methadone, patients rely on addiction treatment few Maine doctors prescribe,” which also cited the study.

Categories: Combined News, News

BDN Profiles UMaine Business Major in Remission From Cancer

Mon, 05/04/2015 - 14:35

The Bangor Daily News profiled business major Ethan Hawes and his two-year journey to manage multiple myeloma, which included chemotherapy and stem cell transplant to treat the cancer. The 23-year-old will be among the 1,687 undergraduates and graduate students expected to participate in the 213th Commencement on May 9. “Maybe it won’t hit me, maybe it will,” Hawes said, “but I know that once I hold that diploma, it will be one of the most significant moments of my life so far, because of what it symbolizes and what it means.”

Categories: Combined News, News

Philosophical Fairy Tale ‘Man and Superman’ to be Broadcast Live at CCA

Mon, 05/04/2015 - 14:34

Simon Godwin’s reinvention of Bernard Shaw’s witty 1903 classic “Man and Superman” will be broadcast live on the big screen at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 14, at the Collins Center for the Arts at the University of Maine.

Academy Award-nominee Ralph Fiennes plays Jack Tanner in the sold-out stage production at the Lyttelton Theatre in London. “Man and Superman” is billed as a romantic comedy, an epic fairy tale and a fiery philosophical debate that asks fundamental questions about how we live.

Tanner, a celebrated radical thinker and rich bachelor descendant of Don Juan, seems an unlikely choice as guardian to Ann (Indira Varma), an alluring heiress. Despite the love of a poet, Ann decides she will marry and tame Tanner. When Tanner’s chauffeur tips him off to Ann’s plan, Tanner flees to Spain, where he’s captured by bandits and meets The Devil (Tim McMullan). A dream debate of heaven versus hell ensues. When Tanner awakens, Ann is there, as fierce in her certainty as he is in his.

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 carefully 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.

Tickets, which are $18 for adults and $8 for students, are available online or by calling 207.581.1755, 1.800.622.TIXX.

Categories: Combined News, News

Mechanical Engineering Design Open House

Mon, 05/04/2015 - 14:33

The Mechanical Engineering Design Open House on May 5 will feature an address by Professor Emeritus Richard Hill, “Fossil Fuels and Alternatives,” beginning at noon in Hill Auditorium, followed by an exhibition of capstone projects from 1:10–5:30 p.m., first floor of Crosby Laboratory. For more information, call 207.409.6872.

Categories: Combined News, News