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University of Maine News
News from the University of Maine
Updated: 16 hours 41 min ago
A Bowdoin College student’s experience in the Innovate for Maine Fellows program was the focus of a post on the Bangor Daily News blog, “Disruptive Growth: Entrepreneurship in Maine and the people, policy and issues related to it.” The student spoke about his participation in the program that is based in the University of Maine’s Foster Center for Student Innovation. The internship program connects Maine college students with growing companies as a way to create jobs in Maine through innovation and entrepreneurship. The student worked as an economic analyst for the Maine Technology Institute (MTI).
Jeff Thaler, assistant university counsel and a visiting professor of energy policy, law and ethics at the University of Maine, was quoted in a Bangor Daily News article about an attorney and energy project developer who purchased land at the former Navy radar base in Corea, where he plans to build the state’s largest grid-connected solar project. The developer said financing for the $9 million project depends on changes in state law that would allow solar projects to sell renewable energy credits, according to the article. During a March 25 forum on electricity subsidies, Thaler said the return on investment for a commercial solar project can be as long as 18 years, the article states.
The Weekly published a University of Maine news release previewing the 2015 Undergraduate Research and Academic Showcase to be held April 14 at Wells Conference Center. More than 200 students will display their research during the sixth annual event sponsored by UMaine’s Center for Undergraduate Research. Presentations in the form of posters, oral presentations and performances will be featured.
Lillian Shields, a graduate assistant and instructor of peer education at the University of Maine’s Student Wellness Resource Center, wrote an opinion piece for the Bangor Daily News titled “It’s time for Maine to stop shackling pregnant women.” Shields is expected to receive her master’s degree in social work this summer.
WABI (Channel 5) advanced the 15th annual Great Maine Bike Swap that will be held at the University of Maine’s New Balance Student Recreation Center on Sunday, April 12. The Bicycle Coalition of Maine is hosting the swap to give people the opportunity to buy affordable and used bikes, as well as sell their own. Admission is $3 dollars; UMaine students and children under 13 get in free.
University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering a free apple tree pruning and grafting field day from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 25, at Avalon Acres Orchard & Farm, 234 Dexter Road, Saint Albans.
Avalon Acres owner Mark Sheriff, an alumnus of the UMaine Extension Master Gardener Volunteers program, will present information about general planting and management practices for apple trees, and demonstrate pruning and grafting in the orchard. Home orchardists and those planning to plant apple trees this spring are invited to attend.
Pre-registration is requested but not required. Attendees should wear footwear appropriate for walking on uneven terrain. For more information, to register, or to request a disability accommodation, contact Pete Bastien, 207.474.9622, 800.287.1945 (toll-free in Maine).
The Associated Press reported the University of Maine has been awarded two food safety competitive grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), including a $4.9 million, five-year award to improve processing technologies to enhance the safety and quality of fresh produce and low-moisture foods, such as raw grains, spices, seeds and nuts. The school is among 36 universities in the country to receive a total of $19 million in grants from the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The awarded projects are led by Vivian Wu, professor of microbiology and food safety in the School of Food and Agriculture. Wu, who in addition to the $4.9 million grant, also is receiving a two-year, $150,000 grant to improve food safety through the use of magnetic resonance imaging to examine pathogens in plants. Maine Public Broadcasting Network, Portland Press Herald, seattlepi.com and WABI (Channel 5) carried the AP report.
Carmen Linden, a graduate student in the School of Social Work at the University of Maine, wrote an opinion piece for the Bangor Daily News titled “A proven treatment that can improve the lives of Mainers.” Linden of Old Town earned an undergraduate degree in sociology and anthropology from UMaine in 2009.
The Kennebec Journal reported on a public recognition ceremony in Augusta to honor statewide winners of the 2015 National History Day competition that was held at the University of Maine in March. The ceremony was hosted by the Maine State Archives, Museum and Library and was held in the Cultural Building atrium. National History Day (NHD) is an academic program that promotes critical thinking, research and presentation skills through project-based learning for students of all abilities. More than 300 students and teachers from 36 middle and high schools took part in the state contest this year. Student exhibits, papers, websites, documentaries and performances were all judged, with the top state winners becoming eligible to compete in the national contest.
The Bangor Daily News reported international engineering volunteer Robert Sypitkowski of Bangor will speak at the 21st annual HOPE Festival on April 25 at the University of Maine. Sypitkowski went from a career in theater design to a career as an environmental engineer after earning a degree in engineering at UMaine in 1990. He currently is active with the organization Engineers Without Borders. The festival, which stands for Help Organize Peace Earthwide, is put on by the Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine as a way to celebrate the Earth and the people on it.
Baird Callicott, a philosophy professor at the University of North Texas, will present the 2015 John M. Rezendes Visiting Scholar in Ethics Lecture at 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 22, in Nutting Hall, Room 100 at the University of Maine.
Callicott’s Earth Day lecture is titled, “Thinking Like a Planet: The Land Ethic and the Earth Ethic.” A reception will be held at 3:30 p.m.
Callicott is the University Distinguished Research Professor of Philosophy and formerly the Regents Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Texas. He is the co-editor-in-chief of the Encyclopedia of Environmental Ethics and Philosophy and has written or edited several books, journal articles and chapters on environmental philosophy and ethics. He has served as president of the International Society for Environmental Ethics, Yale University’s bioethicist-in-residence, and visiting senior research scientist at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center.
Callicott’s research focuses on theoretical environmental ethics, comparative environmental ethics and philosophy, the philosophy of ecology and conservation policy, and climate ethics.
The John M. Rezendes Visiting Scholar in Ethics Lecture was established in 1999 to critically engage students, faculty and the community in ethical issues of national importance.
The lecture is part of the John M. Rezendes Ethics Initiative, a program established through a gift from Dennis and Beau Rezendes, which also includes the John M. Rezendes Ethics Essay Contest open to undergraduate students at UMaine.
For more information or to request a disability accommodation, contact Nick Moore at 581.3285 or email@example.com.
Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain members will sing, whistle and play ukuleles they bought with loose change at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 23, at the Collins Center for the Arts at the University of Maine.
The eight-member ukulele orchestra, which formed in 1985, is on its 30 Plucking Years World Tour. In June 2015, it will have clocked 16 million minutes of ukulele action. The performances of the six men and two women are described as “funny, virtuosic, twanging, awesome and foot-stomping.”
The orchestra members, who think all genres of music are available for reinterpretation, as long as they are played on the ukulele, dress in formal attire and sit in chamber group format. Selections may include Tchaikovsky, Nirvana, Otis Redding and Westerns.
For tickets, which are $35, $33 and $28, visit collinscenterforthearts.com or call 581.1755, 800.622.TIXX.
The University of Maine has been awarded two food safety competitive grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), including a $4.9 million, five-year award to improve processing technologies to enhance the safety and quality of fresh produce and low-moisture foods, such as raw grains, spices, seeds and nuts. The awarded projects are led by Vivian Wu, professor of microbiology and food safety in the School of Food and Agriculture.
UMaine was one of 36 universities nationwide to receive a total of $19 million in awards from the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), including more than $6.7 million for antimicrobial resistance strategies. The grants focus on research to ensure a safe, nutritious food supply and maintain American agricultural competitiveness, according to the announcement by the USDA.
Wu receives a two-year, $150,000 grant to improve food safety through use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to examine the invasion and localization of pathogens in plants. MRI technology, the same used in medical radiology to visualize internal structures in detail, has the potential to provide more accurate information when compared to the traditional microbiological methods.
This new project is expected to develop a novel, noninvasive method using MRI to better determine and understand the internalization of pathogens — first, in produce, and eventually in live animals. The MRI detection system could inform pre-harvest interventions to reduce internalized contamination, meeting USDA/NIFA’s goal to reduce food-borne illness and deaths through a safer food supply.
This year, Wu also receives $900,000 in funding as part of the $4.9 million, five-year research project she leads, focused on enhancing the safety and quality of fresh produce and low-moisture foods by waterless, nonthermal technologies. The focus is on the effectiveness and mechanisms of inactivating bacterial, viral and parasitic pathogens using light and gaseous treatments.
In recent decades, there has been a significant increase in the consumption of produce and low-moisture foods, such as nuts, cereals and spices, which are susceptible to contamination by pathogens, from pre- to post-harvest. The challenge for food scientists is to develop new technologies that will improve the safety and extend the shelf life of food products without compromising safety or sensory properties.
Unless they are fresh fruits and vegetables consumed raw, most foods are thermally preserved or cooked at high temperatures. Nonthermal treatments allow for the processing of foods below the temperatures used during pasteurization and canning, causing minimal changes in flavor and quality while removing pathogens.
This project will investigate the emerging nonthermal technologies, such as decontaminating lights, gaseous treatment and cold plasma (ionized atmospheric air) — processes used on an industrial scale for manufacturing of electronics and medical instruments. Wu’s team will use combinations of technologies to optimize product quality and inactivate pathogens, with a goal of commercializing the process.
With the technology transfer to industry, it is expected that processors will spend less money on energy inputs — energy for heat, water and chemicals — passing the savings on the consumer.
With the increasing outbreaks associated with fresh produce and low-moisture foods, the ability to provide effective microbiological control will be critical to maintaining consumer confidence in the agricultural and food industries, both in the United States and with international trading partners.
This five-year project led by Wu is built on the collaborative efforts of UMaine, USDA ARS Eastern Regional Research Center, University of Delaware, Ohio State University and Virginia Tech.
Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745
More than 200 students in grades 6–9 throughout the state will take part in an out-of-this-world collaborative engineering design challenge Saturday, April 11, at the University of Maine.
Hosted by the Maine Center for Research in STEM Education at the University of Maine (RiSE Center), the 2015 Student Summit encourages participants to successfully transport a “life-form” through explorations on an earthquake-ridden planet in another solar system. Student engineering teams will share ideas and design solutions to accomplish the challenge, which will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Estabrooke Hall.
“The student summit is a chance for my students to experience being on a college campus while also working with students from other schools on a space-related engineering design project,” says Amy Taylor, ninth grade science teacher at Hermon High School and one of the lead organizers of the Summit.
“As teachers, we value the chance to collaborate with other science teachers from other schools through the RiSE Center. We thought it would be cool to give our students the same opportunity to work on science with their peers from around the state.”
A total of 60 grade 6–9 physical science educators will assist at the summit and take part in a chemistry professional development session with Mitchell Bruce, UMaine associate professor.
Members of Kappa Delta Pi, an International Honor Society in Education at UMaine, and students in the Master of Science Teaching (MST) Program at UMaine will volunteer at the event.
Teachers of participating students have been engaged with Maine Physical Sciences Partnership (MainePSP) for five years through a grant from the National Science Foundation. The partnership between UMaine and 28 school districts seeks to strengthen rural science education in Maine by supporting a professional development community for science teachers and improving science teacher recruitment, retention and preparation at UMaine.
It also seeks to advance teaching, teacher knowledge and student learning and utilizes a challenging curriculum that encourages schoolchildren to study more science. Visit umaine.edu/mainepsp for more information on the program.
Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777
Rachel Goetze, a second-year University of Maine clinical psychology doctoral student from Hampden, is one of 10 winners of the 5th Annual Beck Institute Student Scholarship Competition. She was selected from a pool of 800 applicants to attend an intensive three-day workshop on Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Depression and Suicidality at the Beck Institute in Philadelphia. The Beck Institute is a world-renowned training center for mental health professionals to learn cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). CBT is an empirically supported approach for treating a variety of mental disorders.
Goetze grew up in Exeter, Maine, and received a Top Scholar award from UMaine. From 2001–05 she earned a bachelor’s degrees in psychology and social work. She worked in the neuropsychology department at Eastern Maine Medical Center before joining UMaine’s Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program.
In her doctoral research Goetze collaborates with Emily Haigh, UMaine assistant professor of psychology. Excerpts from Goetze’s application focusing on her research follow:
Tell us about your work in cognitive behavior therapy.
The University of Maine has longstanding dedication to rigorous training in cognitive therapy through coursework, practicum experiences and research opportunities. My mentor, professor Emily Haigh, has reinforced my training and exposure to the science and practice of cognitive therapy. I have utilized a CBT framework to work with individuals with depression, social and generalized anxiety, panic and post-traumatic stress symptoms.
How do you hope to use CBT in the future?
As a scientist-practitioner, I am dedicated to using CBT in the classroom and treatment room, as well as a model to inform my doctoral research. My current research interests are in obesity, specifically in binge eating disorder and bariatric surgery candidate populations. I aim to investigate the role of perceived control as a potential target for treatment. My overarching hypothesis rests squarely on a CBT foundation: Modifying an individual’s perception of control will significantly impact binge eating behavior and associated maladaptive emotions such as sadness, embarrassment and hopelessness.
What else do you hope to gain from this training experience?
As a lifelong Maine resident, I am familiar with the constraints of seeking and receiving services in a rural area. I hope to be a part of Maine’s commitment to disseminate empirically supported treatment such as CBT by utilizing tools such as telemedicine in order to enable providers statewide. This training with the Beck Institute would allow me to gain expertise in CBT so that one day, I can be in a position to help serve the mental health needs of Maine’s rural communities.
University of Maine professors and Center for Research on Sustainable Forests leaders Sandra De Urioste-Stone and Robert Lilieholm spoke with the Maine Public Broadcasting Network about a study they are conducting to identify sustainable economic development pathways for the Penobscot River corridor that protect and leverage the region’s natural resources and quality of place. The researchers are mailing 3,000 surveys to residents along the river to learn their views on recreational use, as well as their thoughts on the community and its ability to adapt to changing social, economic and environmental conditions. “We’re interested in learning more about the residents along the Penobscot River, their perceptions of the river, how they use it, how they see their connection to the river,” De Urioste-Stone said. Lilieholm said the study focuses on the often undervalued and uderutilized river. “We started looking at the river as the greatest asset for this region — for Bangor, Brewer and North,” Lilieholm said. “The Penobscot just represents this incredible resource, and we really haven’t taken advantage of it as we should.” The Maine Edge also reported on the study.
Mainebiz reported the University of Maine Alumni Association will host the second annual Black Bear Business Conference on April 24 at Buchanan Alumni House. Tom’s of Maine Founder Tom Chappell is scheduled as a guest speaker at the half-day event. The conference aims to bring Maine’s small business owners and entrepreneurs together with economic development resources and successful business leaders, the article states. The event will include presentations, exhibits and panel discussions that will focus on topics such as technology, financing, marketing and legal issues associated with starting a business.
The Maine Edge published a University of Maine news release announcing the University of Maine Department of Art will present the 2015 annual Juried Student Art Exhibition until May 1 in the Lord Hall Gallery. The exhibition features more than 90 works of art that were selected from over 300 submissions in a range of media by current studio art, art history and art education students.
WVII (Channel 7) reported the University of Maine Cooperative Extension will host a workshop in Newport that will offer tips and techniques on how to reach out to potential customers of agricultural products. UMaine Extension educator Donna Coffin will lead the $15 workshop from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. April 29.
The Maine Public Broadcasting Network will air a talk given by U.S. Sen. Susan Collins at 1 p.m. Thursday, April 9 as part of its “Speaking in Maine” public affairs lecture series. Collins delivered the Margaret Chase Smith Public Affairs Lecture at the Collins Center for the Arts on March 31. During her address, “Incivility and Hyperpartisanship: Is Washington a Symptom or the Cause?,” Collins urged her congressional colleagues to restore civility by putting “progress over partisanship, statesmanship over stridency and compromise over conflict.” The talk can be heard online or on MPBN radio stations.