University of Maine News
The Portland Press Herald published an in-depth Q&A session with Karlton Creech, the University of Maine’s new director of athletics. Creech spoke about his past, UMaine’s hockey and basketball programs, campus facilities and his goals for his new position.
Jon Ippolito, an associate professor of new media at the University of Maine, and Vice President for Student Life Robert Dana spoke with the Maine Public Broadcasting Network for a report about how the music industry is targeting university students in an effort to cut down on Internet piracy of copyrighted material. Ippolito said the effectiveness of the industry’s latest strategy of sending letters to college students and offering to settle for $20 per file remains to be seen. Dana said with the recent increase in letters, the university sees the situation as an opportunity to discuss ethics with students instead of punish them. Sean O’Mara, a lawyer hired by UMaine’s Student Government to provide free legal advice to undergraduate students, was also interviewed.
The University of Maine and its working relationship with Kepware was mentioned in the Mainebiz article “Little-known Portland software company Kepware surges in growth.” The company is tapping UMaine and other local universities to offer internships and scholarships that could lead to new employees, the article states. Kepware also recently donated $36,000 worth of its software licenses to UMaine so students can familiarize themselves with the software, as well as benefit from its application, according to the article.
The Bangor Daily News published the sixth article in a yearlong 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. “First a parent, then a scholar: How this Maine woman finally completed college,” is the pair’s latest column to share stories of Mainers struggling in today’s economy. The article focuses on UMaine graduate student Elizabeth “Liz” Franck.
Mainebiz published a Q&A with Carrie Enos, the University of Maine Pulp & Paper Foundation’s new president. In January, Enos formally took over leadership from Jack Healy, who is retiring in the spring. Enos graduated from UMaine in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and has worked in the paper industry since 1997. She said she sees the appointment as her opportunity to give back to the foundation and industry.
The Bangor Daily News reported on a letter sent by University of Maine President Paul Ferguson that warned faculty and staff of impending budget cuts on the Orono campus stemming from a shortfall affecting the University of Maine System in fiscal year 2015. Ferguson told the BDN the letter was “the initial communication to set out basic information and to set the stage for campus community conversations over the next several weeks. In those meetings, we will share more specific information that directly applies to campus units.”
Working from 3 to 11 a.m. isn’t what most college students hope for their summer jobs. Yet for University of Maine environmental horticulture graduate, Ryan Urquhart, 22, working at Walt Disney World Resorts in Florida last summer was the perfect opportunity.
“Disney is a magical place and everything gets fixed and brought back up to expectations before sunrise,” says the Greene, Maine, native.
Urquhart was one of 33 interns chosen out of 20,000 applicants to work as a Horticulture Professional Intern. Working in all Disney parks, hotels and vacation spots, aside from physical labor, Urquhart learned 250 new plant species and landscaping techniques, and managed job sites from design phase to finished landscape.
“The biggest rule at Disney is you’re there to make the guest happy. For some people, they save their whole life to make one trip to this place. It’s your job to make them happy and feel welcomed. So guest interactions and public relations is what I really enjoyed the most,” says Urquhart.
Urquhart, who was president of the Horticulture Club at UMaine, graduated in December and is currently working at Plainview Farms in North Yarmouth, Maine, as a landscape foreman and will begin full-time landscaping in March.
The business minor plans to work at smaller-sized landscaping businesses in Maine before opening his own landscape company either in Maine or New England.
“I want to get the fundamentals of landscaping and the methods to owning a business down pat before I get involved with something of my own,” he says.
How did you find out about your internship at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida?
I found out about my internship simply by looking online at unique internships in horticulture. Most students in environmental horticulture look in state for a summer internship. I wanted to broaden my skills that I learned at UMaine and use those tools to benefit myself outside of the state. Since we are from a colder climate, we only get to learn so much due to the shortened seasons. This includes plant material, construction techniques, designs and cultural facts about horticulture. I wanted to get more than just the same education as I did at UMaine. This ultimately made the decision to go to Florida much easier, and I’m glad that I did.
How did UMaine prepare you for your internship?
UMaine prepared me by teaching me the fundamentals of horticulture. I use what I learned in the classroom and put it in real-life situations. The amount of people you meet and the contacts that you make at UMaine really help to broaden your horizons and think outside the box. I think that is why I had such a great time in Disney, because of the skills that I learned at UMaine. In environmental horticulture you are required to do an internship at least 400 hours long. Having UMaine require this as part of its curriculum ensures that students will have a positive and beneficial impact on the field they are pursuing.
Being a busy student, president of the Horticulture Club and having good grades is a full-time job, how did you make an internship work with your education? Are these types of unique experiences available for anyone at UMaine
Yes. Indeed, I definitely had a very busy career at UMaine. I believe that these experiences are available to anyone that wants to find them. People who have the ambition, work ethics and motivation, and are willing to do something different, all have that opportunity at UMaine.
Why did you choose UMaine?
I chose UMaine because it was affordable, it was in state, and its campus offers much more than just an education. I wanted to be a part of something better, something that was different than your daily school grind. I balanced my work, club activities and extracurricular activities as well as school workload to the best of my abilities. UMaine was the place for me, and I’m glad I chose to be a part of something so great.
Have you worked closely with a mentor, professor or role model who has made your UMaine experience better, if so how?
All of the professors in the Horticulture Department helped in every way possible. Meeting with me and talking to me about classes, personal experiences, or simply just asking how I was doing; that is what I liked the most about UMaine teachers. They care and are there to offer any assistance you may need not just during regular hours but during the weekends and at all hours of the night as well.
What is the most interesting, engaging or helpful class you’ve taken at UMaine? Why?
I think a class that everyone needs to take would be finance. This class explains all of the basic accounting, payrolls and other essentials needed for life. This class taught me how to be prepared for the real world. That is one thing that many schools lack: teaching students how to become successful in the real world once they are done with college. This class offers this, and much, much more.
What difference has UMaine made in your life, helping you reach your goals?
They offer classes that are beneficial to me in my field as well as other aspects of life. I believe that my goals are obtainable and my future has endless possibilities because of the University of Maine.
What advice do you have for incoming students?
I would give two pieces of advice to incoming students. The first — join as many clubs that interest you and participate in anything that you may be interested in. The worst that may happen is you won’t like it anymore. But if you love it, then you will meet so many new people that you will be grateful you did so in the end. My second piece of advice would be that college is tough and aggravating, no matter how hard you think it is and how easy it is to quit, in the end you will be satisfied with who you have become.
What is your favorite place on campus?
I would have to say my favorite place on campus would be Alfond Arena. Every time I go there the atmosphere is like no other. Everyone that attends games and other functions are so upbeat and proud to be there. I got the opportunity to work in the ticket office for four years while going to school; I cannot say that I had one bad experience doing that. Everyone was proud to be from Maine. Sometimes I would even run into a proud alumni fan that was just coming back to relinquish their college years.
Have you had an experience at UMaine that has shaped the way you see the world?
Yes. UMaine has a great degree of diversity and culture. Interacting with different people from around the world, different religions and different ethnicities really opened my eyes. A good example of this would be the Horticulture Club. We had 12 members that I would interact with on the daily. Learning and getting to know each one of them outside of the classroom was a unique opportunity for me to broaden my skill sets. This is also why, I believe, I was able to interact with everyone at Disney. Everyone from all over the world comes to Disney and wants a great experience and I was able to relate and tell them firsthand stories about my life, college and the skills that I have learned at such a young age.
Steven Kydd, a 1991 University of Maine graduate who majored in business administration, remembers growing up in Orrington, Maine, with a passion for food and an awareness of where his food came from. His family grew their own vegetables and his uncle was a lobsterman.
In 2012, Kydd and his business partners Joe Perez and Larry Fitzgibbon took their shared love of food and converted it into Tastemade, the world’s first global food network built for digital platforms.
Tastemade’s mission is to connect the world through food by allowing creators to make and share video programming instantly on a global and social scale. Tastemade has more than 100 food channels in the Americas, Europe and Asia, and has had episodes uploaded from more than 250 cities, 25 countries and in 10 different languages.
Tastemade’s YouTube channel offers original programs featuring recipes, cooking and travel. Many Tastemakers film their shows for free in the company’s California studio that was designed to create high-quality productions and inspire collaboration. The company also offers a mobile app that allows users to produce and share their own one-minute episodes about their favorite foods and restaurants.
Before Tastemade, Kydd was part of the founding team of Demand Media and executive vice president of Demand Studios, was vice president of business development and strategy for Yahoo! and served as vice president of Internet marketing with 20th Century Fox International in Hong Kong, Indonesia and Los Angeles.
Kydd now lives in Santa Monica, Calif., with his wife and two children, where he shares his passion for food at home and at work.
Tell us about Tastemade and why it was founded:
We created Tastemade with one goal in mind — to connect the world through food. A generation ago the cable industry launched category-defining brands in food and lifestyle, and we believe the same opportunity exists for today’s global, social and mobile digital platforms. My partners and I founded the company in 2012.
Are you a good cook? What’s your favorite dish to prepare and/or eat?
I have no culinary training whatsoever, but growing up I learned some baking tips from my mum and recently learned a lot about cooking from my wife Sal. My favorite dish to eat is a simple steamed lobster which we catch from my parents’ traps off Deer Isle, Maine.
Tell us about your previous jobs and how they have influenced your professional life:
I have been working in the media business for most of my career, and I love that it is a combination of art and commerce. Early in my career I made it my mission to find mentors and learned from them what it takes to be a senior executive at a big company.
I was fortunate to work at great media brands like 20th Century Fox and Yahoo!. However, along the way I learned that I was at my best when starting something new, and that led me toward leaving the corporate world and into startups.
What are you professional and personal goals?
For me, personal and professional goals must be linked. When you start your own company it becomes part of your family life. Fortunately, my family gets to be involved in the development of the company, and that is rewarding for everyone.
What are your biggest professional accomplishments to date:
I had always dreamed about ringing the bell on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to celebrate the IPO of a company I helped build. I was fortunate to be part of the founding team of Demand Media, and in January 2011, my dream came true.
Another highlight was being asked to speak at Google Zeitgeist this year to tell the story of how my partners and I formed Tastemade.
Both of these events were shared with my partners Joe Perez and Larry Fitzgibbon, who were co-founders of both companies with me.
What difference has UMaine made in your life and in helping you reach your goals?
For a couple years I served as the head of the UMaine tour guides — showing prospective students and their parents around campus. Looking back on this, it was a great way to build my storytelling skills. Any entrepreneur will tell you that storytelling is critical to starting and growing a new business.
Most memorable UMaine moment:
The day I was accepted to the study abroad program in France for my junior year.
Any advice for current students?
First, study abroad — it is one of the best things you can do to grow personally and professionally. Second, start a business — any business. You will learn more from being an entrepreneur than you will from any textbook. Lastly, find great partners — everything in life is better when you can share it with people you care about.
WABI (Channel 5) and WVII (Channel 7) interviewed Jenny Shrum, a Ph.D. candidate in the ecology and environmental sciences graduate program in the University of Maine School of Biology and Ecology. Shrum is researching the biophysical relationships between weather and sap flow. Her goal is to better understand what drives flow and how expected trends in climate may affect the processes and harvesters in the future. Shrum showed the reporters two of her research sites where she is tapping and has set up weather stations. The Weekly also carried a report on Shrum’s research.
WGME (Channel 13) interviewed Amy Blackstone, an associate professor and chair of the Sociology Department at the University of Maine, for a report titled “More couples choose life without kids.” Blackstone’s research focuses on childfree couples and their motivations for not having children. She said some of the most common stereotypes of the childfree is that they’re selfish, they don’t like children or they’ll regret their choice. Blackstone says her research shows the stereotypes are “truly myths.”
Dennis Cox, professor of music and director of the Choral Music Program at the University of Maine, spoke with WVII (Channel 7) about preparing for his final tour directing the University Singers. Cox, who came to UMaine in 1978, announced he will retire at the end of the school year. Daniel Williams, associate director of planned giving at the University of Maine Foundation and part-time faculty member in the School of Performing Arts, spoke about a fund that will be established in Cox’s name to benefit the University Singers. Tori Mason, UMaine student and president of the University Singers, said the endowment will allow the group to continue the tradition of touring.
Woody Higgins, who helps organize the annual Eastern Maine Sportsmen’s Show for the Penobscot County Conservation Association, told the Bangor Daily News event attendees will likely notice the newly renovated New Balance Field House at the University of Maine where the show will take place. He said he thinks people “will be impressed with the brightness, the niceness” of the facility. The 76th show runs March 7–9 in the New Balance Field House, Memorial Gym and Stanley Wallace Pool.
A Portland Press Herald article about proposed waterfront concert venues in South Portland and Westbrook cites a study by Todd Gabe, an economics professor at the University of Maine. Gabe’s study found Bangor’s Waterfront Concerts have generated more than $30 million in local spending in the first three years of the series.
A Maine Public Broadcasting Network report titled “Bill to protect Maine lakes sparks disagreement,” cited information from former University of Maine graduate student Ian McCullough’s study on water clarity in Maine lakes. The study found the clarity in Maine’s lakes has declined since 1995.
The University of Maine Museum of Art was mentioned in a Portland Press Herald article about the Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock announcing it received 290 watercolors and drawings by the modernist John Marin, who spent much of his life and career in Maine. The gift was courtesy of Marin’s daughter-in-law Norma B. Marin, who lives in New York and Portland and administers his estate. Maine museums have more than 100 works of art by Marin. The University of Maine Museum of Art in Bangor has 26 of those pieces.
The University of Maine announced 261 student-athletes will be honored and recognized for their academic success at the Scholar-Athlete Recognition Ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 25, 2014 in Wells Conference Center.
At the ceremony, 195 student-athletes will be recognized as scholar-athletes for achieving a 3.0 or higher grade point average for the 2013 year and/or having a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. Sixty-six first-year student-athletes will be honored as rising stars for earning a 3.0 GPA or higher in their first semester at UMaine.
Now in its 25th year, the awards have been presented annually since 1989 and 3,189 medallions have been awarded. This is the 10th year in a row that more than half of the university’s student-athletes have been honored. The event is sponsored by the University of Maine Foundation, University Credit Union, the M Club and the Alumni Association.
“Recognizing over half of our student-athletes as scholar-athletes is an impressive accomplishment,” says UMaine Director of Athletics Karlton Creech. “This group exemplifies what it means to be a student-athlete, excelling in both the classroom and in their sport. I congratulate them on this outstanding achievement.”
At the reception, UMaine will honor the student-athletes and also announce the annual recipients of the M Club Dean Smith Award, presented to the top male and female scholar-athlete. Team Maine will also be announced, honoring the sophomore, junior or senior from each team who has achieved the highest grade point average for the 2013 calendar year.
All scholar-athletes will receive a medallion, the color of which represents the number of years a recipient has earned the award. This year, 97 student-athletes will receive bronze medals signifying the first time they have received the award, 56 will receive silver medals signifying the second time they have won the award, and 36 will receive gold medals signifying the third time they have received the award. Four student-athletes will receive double gold medals for their fourth award.
A list of the student-athletes to be honored is available online.
Marc Cryer, director of the University of Maine’s Bureau of Labor Education, was quoted in a Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting article titled “Tax ‘game’ allows some towns to protect their state at expense of other towns.” The report states every year the state shares money it collects in taxes with Maine’s schools and municipalities. The state determines which communities get how much by a formula that includes the size of the town and the total value of its real estate. According to the article, an exception that lets some richer municipalities and school districts look poorer to get more money is tax increment financing, or TIF. Cryer said he’s not aware of any data that shows TIFs improve local economies or increase jobs in Maine. The article also cited a 2000 report by the state’s Economic Development Incentive Commission that quoted UMaine economist Todd Gabe who found “there is not a statistically significant relationship between employment growth and an establishment’s participation in the TIF program, all other things being equal.” The Bangor Daily News and Portland Press Herald also carried the report.
A Times Union article on Tech Valley Connect, a nonprofit group in North Greenbush, N.Y. that helps newly relocated families settle into the area, cited a similar program at the University of Maine. The article states Tech Valley Connect’s success has encouraged the National Science Foundation to replicate the program in other areas of the country. UMaine’s Maine Career Connect received a $284,093 grant from the NSF to network a consortium of employers in central and eastern Maine with newly relocated professional families, with an emphasis on spousal employment. NSF is also funding a similar program at the University of California at Davis.
The Penobscot Bay Pilot reported on a handheld device developed by University of Maine researchers to quickly detect disease-causing and toxin-producing pathogens such as algal species that can cause paralytic shellfish poisoning. The device — called a colorimeter — could be instrumental in monitoring coastal water in real-time, thereby preventing human deaths and beach closures. Janice Duy, a recent graduate of UMaine’s Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Engineering led the research team that included UMaine professors Rosemary Smith, Scott Collins and Laurie Connell.
Margaret Chase Smith Distinguished Maine Policy Fellow Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap will visit the University of Maine on Thursday, Feb. 27.
Margaret Chase Smith Distinguished Maine Policy Fellows are prominent Maine individuals with a past or current career as a policymaker in the state. The Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center brings its fellows to campus for a day to teach an undergraduate class, engage faculty about research and public policy, and meet with UMaine administration and graduate students. Distinguished Maine Policy Fellow Sen. Anne Haskell visited the university in January.
Dunlap of Old Town is a UMaine alumnus and Maine’s 49th Secretary of State. He previously served three terms as Maine’s 47th Secretary of State and is the first person to serve non-consecutive terms in the office since 1880.
Dunlap will be honored with a reception at 4 p.m. at the University Club in Fogler Library. All are welcome to attend the event, and no RSVP is required.