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University of Maine News
News from the University of Maine
Updated: 14 hours 43 min ago
The Tri-Town Weekly published an interview with Tori Jackson, an associate professor with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, ahead of her Feb. 10 talk on growing elderberries at the UMaine Extension office in Lisbon. Jackson will host the meeting for gardeners who either grow the berries or are considering growing the crop. “Elderberries are one of those fruits everyone has heard of, but not many people have grown,” Jackson said. “We have elderberries growing wild in Maine, but since they are not eaten fresh, you would have to know what to do with them to enjoy them.” She said the fruit is commonly used to make jams and jellies, pies, juice or wine, as well as for medicinal purposes.
The Ellsworth American reported soprano Karen Pendleton, who teaches in the University of Maine’s School of Performing Arts, and tenor and pianist Colin Graebert, a UMaine student, will perform a free concert in celebration of Valentine’s Day. The program of love songs is the second show in a series of free noontime concerts presented by the Ellsworth Community Music Institute (ECMI) at the Bryant E. Moore Community Center in Ellsworth, according to the article. Pendleton and Graebert, who is completing a degree in music education with a concentration in voice, will perform selections from the classical and music theater genres as well as some familiar standards during the Feb. 11 event, the article states.
The Maine Edge advanced two new exhibitions on display at the University of Maine’s Lord Hall Gallery from Feb. 6 to March 13. “Featured Faculty/2015” will show new work by Department of Art faculty that will include photography, painting, ceramics, glass and mixed media installations. “Illusions and Reality: The Photographs of Alan Stubbs” is a retrospective of photographs by former UMaine psychology professor Alan Stubbs, who also was an accomplished photographer who taught courses in the Department of Art. Stubbs died in October 2014. The exhibition honors his contributions to the department’s faculty and students, as well as the university. The Maine Edge also reported the Career Center’s 17th annual UMaine Career Fair that was previously scheduled for Jan. 28 is now scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 11, due to a winter storm. The event will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the New Balance Student Recreation Center and will feature more than 110 employers from Maine and around the country with job and internship opportunities.
The University of Maine’s 26th annual Scholar-Athlete Recognition Ceremony will honor 268 student-athletes for their academic success on Feb. 9 in Wells Conference Center.
At the 6:30 p.m. ceremony, 187 student-athletes will be recognized as scholar-athletes for achieving a 3.0 or higher grade point average for the 2014 year and/or having a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. Eighty-one first-year student-athletes will be honored as “rising stars” for earning a 3.0 GPA or higher in their first semester at UMaine.
A total of 3,376 medallions have been presented since the annual awards began in 1989. This year marks the largest group of student-athletes to be recognized at the ceremony. It also is the 11th consecutive year that more than half of the university’s student-athletes will be honored.
During the reception, the annual recipients of the M Club Dean Smith Award — presented to the top male and female scholar-athlete — will be announced. Team MAINE will also be named, honoring the sophomore, junior or senior from each team who has achieved the highest grade point average in 2014.
The event is sponsored by the University of Maine Foundation, University Credit Union, University of Maine M Club and the UMaine Alumni Association.
Jonathan Rubin, a professor of resource economics and policy at the University of Maine, was a recent guest on the Maine Public Broadcasting Network’s “Maine Calling” radio show. Rubin and other guests spoke about electric rates in Maine, including how rates are determined and why they fluctuate.
Per Garder, professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Maine, talked about the impact of the recent deluge of snow on the economy in the Sun Journal piece “Businesses mixed on too much snow.” “People have gotten the expectation nowadays it should be possible to drive like summertime, all the time, everywhere. If we go back a couple of generations people had very different expectations,” Garder said. “To a great extent, I think, snowstorms just delay. People don’t go out shopping today but tomorrow will be a sunny, beautiful day and there’s a pent-up need. I don’t think snow and winter is devastating to the economy. And of course it can also be beneficial that people come to Maine for snowmobiling or skiing.” A 2010 study that Garder co-authored for the UMaine Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center estimated agencies in Maine spent $98 million ($76 per person) maintaining winter roads and purchased about 750 pounds of rock salt per person each winter.
Mark Brewer, a political science professor at the University of Maine, spoke with the Portland Press Herald for an article about Gov. Paul LePage’s proposed budget and planned State of the State address. LePage is expected to outline his tax reform and budget proposals during the address and then take his message around the state to gain support among voters and lawmakers, according to the article. Brewer said often the best way to sway undecided legislators is to convince constituents to make the case. “I think it is even more important in this case because the governor’s budget, as proposed, is such a dramatic change from business as usual in Maine,” he said. “We are hearing from a lot of Republican legislators who are very uneasy about this budget … so he needs to go out and sell this proposal, and not only sell it to local leaders but sell it to regular Mainers.”
The Weekly published a University of Maine news release about research on teaching methods by Michelle Smith, an assistant professor in the School of Biology and Ecology. Aleszu Bajak penned “Lectures Aren’t Just Boring, They’re Ineffective, Too, Study Finds,” for ScienceInsider about the research that Smith and others conducted with lead author Scott Freeman of the University of Washington, Seattle. The piece was ScienceInsider’s third most popular of 2014, just behind articles on plagiarism and Ebola.
Sylvia Most, a high school teacher in Windham, spoke with the Maine Public Broadcasting Network about her current Maine Policy Review commentary, “Creative Pathways Through High School: A Response to John Dorrer, ‘Do We Have the Workforce Skills for Maine’s Innovation Economy?’” Dorrer’s piece appeared in an earlier edition of the Maine Policy Review. Most said the image of the trades needs to change in education.
Times Higher Education recently published a review by Deborah Rogers, an English professor at the University of Maine. Rogers wrote about “Loving Literature: A Cultural History,” by Deidre Shauna Lynch.
Kenneth Palmer, a professor emeritus of political science at the University of Maine, spoke with the Maine Public Broadcasting Network for the report “Why is Maine so politically independent?” Maine has more unenrolled voters than it does voters registered with either of the major parties, and it is also one of the most reliably “purple” states, which means in both statewide and presidential elections, Mainers may vote for a member of either party, according to the report. Palmer spoke about several reasons for the high number of independent voters in the state, including Maine’s communitarianism culture, high political engagement and dislike of professional politicians.
University of Maine Cooperative Extension 4-H invites alumni to take part in a national contest to help it win a $10,000 “Innovation Incubator” Science Sponsorship.
The contest is part of the 4-H GROWN Alumni Campaign, sponsored by the National 4-H Council and HughesNet. The goal is to share hands-on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning experiences with youth in small communities across the country.
Maine 4-H alums are asked to “check in” online, tag friends and cast votes. If UMaine Extension 4-H wins the contest, the $10,000 sponsorship will provide for STEM activities that encourage youth to design innovative science solutions for real community challenges. The contest ends Monday, March 16.
Also, if Maine 4-H wins, two local young innovators will have a chance to receive an all-expense paid trip to the flagship 4-H National Youth Science Day in Washington, D.C., where they will participate in the world’s largest youth-led science experiment.
More information is available online or by calling 207.581.3188.
The second Academic Affairs Faculty Forum, focusing on evaluation of student learning outcomes in foundational areas, will be held from 3–4:40 p.m., Feb. 4, in the Bangor Room, Memorial Union. The open forum will continue the dialogue started at the Oct. 6 Faculty Forum focused on “Foundational Competencies for the 21st Century.” In addition, the Feb. 4 forum will include discussion of the Multi-State Collaborative (MSC), an agreement among signatory states to work together on a pilot project to test a process for learning outcomes assessment based on the LEAP VALUE rubrics, that UMaine has been invited to join.
More about the Feb. 4 forum is online.
You can find relevant background materials, including video of the Oct. 4 forum, linked on the Provost’s Web page.
Robert Milardo, a professor of family relations at the University of Maine, was quoted in the Bangor Daily News article, “Despite recent decline, Maine’s divorce rate is still among highest in U.S. Why?” Milardo said the majority of divorces occur by the seventh year of marriage because around year five to seven, the romance starts to decline and conflicts increase. He also said having young children can put stress on a relationship, and couples are less likely to divorce the older they are when they get married. “Those people who are marrying in their late 20s or early 30s develop more stable relationships. They enter the marriage more financially secure and more secure in themselves,” Milardo said.
Paul Mayewski, director of the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine, co-wrote an opinion piece on climate change for the Bangor Daily News with Darryl W. Lyon, a lieutenant colonel in the Maine National Guard. The article is titled “Maine is a leader in confronting climate change in the High North.”
The Portland Press Herald mentioned the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s Harvest for Hunger program and interviewed program organizer and UMaine Extension educator Barbara Murphy for the article “Maine food pantries connecting with farmers to provide fresh produce.” For more than 15 years, gardeners across Maine have grown nearly 1.9 million pounds of produce for Harvest for Hunger, according to the article. In most counties, the food is taken to food pantries to distribute, but in Oxford County, the program hosts weekly distribution nights where 180 families pick up produce, watch cooking demonstrations and sample dishes made with the food they receive that week, the article states. Murphy said it’s encouraging to hear the Oxford County families say they are changing their eating habits or are better able to pay household bills because of the program.
An op-ed on local wood banks written by Jessica Leahy, an associate professor of human dimensions of natural resources at the University of Maine, and Sabrina Vivian, a senior studying ecology and environmental sciences, was mentioned in the Bangor Daily News article, “Wood banks start to catch on in Maine, but not without some growing pains.” Waldo County Woodshed, a Belfast-based nonprofit that seeks to provide firewood to low-income residents, began after a local business owner read the pair’s op-ed in the BDN, according to the article. “Each one has to be grassroots, to fit the need of the community,” Leahy said about starting wood banks. “The more the idea spreads, the more the communities can be proactive. It’s people being self-sufficient, spending time together and helping each other,” she said. The Sun Journal also published the BDN report.
The Bangor Daily News reported about 40 English teachers from Harbin, China, and the surrounding area toured John Bapst Memorial High School in Bangor, met city officials and visited the University of Maine to learn about American education and government. According to the article, the delegates were scheduled to attend a foreign language education workshop at UMaine, which has actively recruited foreign students, including from China.
The Bangor Daily News published the latest article in the yearlong “The People Next Door” series by Sandra Butler, a professor of social work at the University of Maine, and Luisa Deprez, a professor and department chair of sociology and women and gender studies at the University of Southern Maine. “Living in a house of cards: A look back at people in Maine who are just scraping by,” is the pair’s latest column to share stories of Mainers struggling in today’s economy.
Today’s Energy Solutions published a Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Maine MEP) news release announcing a new agreement between Maine MEP and the University of Maine’s Advanced Manufacturing Center (AMC). The partnership, which will place a Maine MEP project manager at AMC, will promote closer collaboration between the organizations with the goal of enhancing the services available to manufacturers in the state, according to the release.