University of Maine News
The Virtual Environment and Multimodal Interaction (VEMI) Laboratory at the University of Maine will hold its second annual open house from 4–6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 1. The lab, located in Carnegie Hall, is part of the spatial informatics program in the School of Computing and Information Science and houses Maine’s only research facility that combines a fully immersive virtual reality installation with augmented reality technologies in an integrated research and development environment. Guests are invited to explore the latest research and development from the VEMI Lab. Light refreshments will be available. For more information or to request a disability accommodation (Carnegie Hall is not currently wheelchair accessible), contact Richard Corey at 207.581.2151 or email@example.com.
The University of Maine Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies (CCIDS) will be a remote broadcast site for the 15th annual Chronic Illness and Disability Conference: Transition from Pediatric to Adult-based Care on Thursday and Friday, Oct. 2–3.
The conference, located in Houston, Texas, is co-sponsored by Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital. Its objective is to provide an update on issues related to health care transition from pediatric to adult-based services for youth and young adults with chronic illness and disability and their families.
CCIDS will broadcast the conference on the second floor of Corbett Hall and at the CCIDS outreach office, 225 Western Avenue in Augusta.
There is no cost to attend all or some of the remote broadcast, but registration is required. Participants are eligible to receive a certificate of attendance. Social workers are eligible to receive continuing education units (CEUs).
More information about the conference, including the agenda and a link to register is online. For more information or to request a disability accommodation, contact Ann Zielinski at 207.581.1084 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
University of Maine hazing research was cited in a Post and Courier article about hazing on college campuses. “Universities and colleges nationwide have stepped up efforts to combat activities such as sexual assaults, binge drinking and hazing in the wake of studies by the University of Maine and other institutions indicating the practices are widespread and embedded in student culture,” the article states, referring to UMaine’s National Study on Student Hazing led by UMaine researchers Elizabeth Allan and Mary Madden.
The University of Maine’s Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research in Franklin was mentioned in an article published in Coral: The Reef and Aquarium Magazine. The article focused on Sea & Reef Aquaculture, a company that is housed at CCAR and provides aquacultured tropical marine fishes to the saltwater aquarium trade. Soren Hansen, a Sea & Reef co-founder, spoke about how David Townsend, a UMaine professor of oceanography, was influential in getting the business off the ground by providing funding and an on-campus lab through the School of Marine Sciences. Townsend and Hansen said the relationship between UMaine and Sea & Reef is mutually beneficial. Stephen Eddy, a biologist at CCAR, also spoke about the facility’s mission of promoting, developing and facilitating aquaculture in Maine. “Sea & Reef is an excellent example of how aquaculture is far more than salmon net pens and oyster rafts,” Eddy said. “Sea & Reef broadens the perspective of many of our visitors by helping them recognize that, despite the bad things they may have heard about aquaculture, there is much more to the story.”
WVII (Channel 7) spoke with several University of Maine students and Robert Dana, UMaine’s vice president for student life and dean of students, about college campus safety in the wake of a student’s disappearance at the University of Virginia. Students interviewed said they are aware of helpful resources on campus and urge others to use common sense when faced with a potentially dangerous situation. “The first thing we do is try to get students to recognize they are in a real world. That they have responsibility of themselves and to each other and to be a community,” Dana said, adding when most UMaine students see something, they say something.
Jake Ward, vice president for innovation and economic development at the University of Maine, was quoted in a Bangor Daily News article about Bristol residents voting whether to allow UMaine’s proposed offshore wind power project to connect to the grid in town, should the project reach construction. The project would consist of two floating wind turbines in a test site about three miles south of Monhegan and 12 miles southeast of Bristol, according to the article. Ward said the project’s design and engineering phase will be completed using a federal grant, and the project will then remain on standby for more funding.
The Maine Public Broadcasting Network will air a talk given by Robert Ford, former U.S. Ambassador to Syria at 1 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25 as part of its “Speaking in Maine” public affairs lecture series. Ford spoke at the University of Maine earlier this week, hours before airstrikes were initiated in Syria against ISIS. During his free talk, “Syria and Washington Politics — Hard to Agree,” Ford spoke about how domestic politics and U.S. strategy intersect in Syria. The talk can be heard online or on MPBN radio stations.
University of Maine Cooperative Extension Homemakers’ Council in Waldo County is sponsoring Fall Handcrafters’ Day from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25, at Waldo Community Building, Route 131, Waldo.
Volunteers will offer six daylong workshops, including quilt making, painting on glass jars, embroidering greeting cards and making pillowcases to donate to charity. Some workshops have a minimal fee for materials. All proceeds go to the Homemakers’ Council Scholarship Fund.
Registration by Oct. 8 is required. For a brochure and registration materials, contact 800.287.1426 or email@example.com. For more information or to request a disability accommodation, call Rick Kersbergen, 207.342.5971.
WABI (Channel 5), Bangor Daily News, and WVII (Channel 7) covered a press conference led by Jeffery Mills, University of Maine Foundation president and CEO, announcing a new endowed scholarship fund and political science professorship. The John Mitchell Nickerson Professorship of Political Science and the endowed John M. Nickerson Scholarship Fund were established at the University of Maine Foundation with more than $2 million in gifts from John Nickerson, a University of Maine alumnus and professor emeritus at the University of Maine at Augusta who died in May 2013. The John Mitchell Nickerson Room was also dedicated in North Stevens Hall. “One of the things about Dr. Nickerson he was known for was the fact that he cared for the students, the staff and the faculty,” Mills said. “And he was always very aware of making sure that all of them needed a peaceful place to be able to go. That’s why he wanted to have his room with all of his furnishings he collected around the world here at the Orono campus.”
WABI (Channel 5) reported on a Middle East course taught by Seth Singleton, a professor of international affairs and political science at the University of Maine. The current conflict in Syria has become a topic of discussion in the class, according to the report. “The whole Middle East is in tumult, it’s in the middle basically of a revolution. It probably has another 10 or 20 years to go before that works itself out,” Singleton said. Hamdane Borji, a graduate student who is co-teaching the class, said he is glad he can share his perspective with students. “I think what’s going on is really, really important to understand because it’s going to take a little while and there are different things that are going on that we need to analyze and predict what’s going to happen in the future and that basically will affect the entire world,” he said.
Mick Peterson, a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Maine, was interviewed by The Guardian for an article about the U.S. horse racing industry looking at track conditions to lower horse injury and fatality rates. Peterson spoke about his research on the correlation between racetrack surfaces and racehorse injuries and his work introducing science and uniformity into racetrack maintenance to help reduce the variability of a racing surface. “The consistency of the racetrack changes from day to day as well as around the track,” Peterson said. “You can hear all sorts of controversy surrounding the biomechanics of horses, about different types of surfaces, about horses adapting to different surfaces, but I’ve never found anyone who could argue that horses aren’t looking for a consistent or even surface.”
WVII (Channel 7) reported on the latest Big Gig pitch-off and networking event that was held in Orono. The Big Gig is a network for innovators and entrepreneurs in the Orono, Old Town and Bangor areas that was started by a partnership between the University of Maine, Old Town, Orono and Husson University and is supported by Blackstone Accelerates Growth. Event participants were preselected to deliver a three-minute elevator pitch about their business idea to a panel of judges and attendees. Among the pitches was one made by Emma Wilson, who spent most of her senior year at UMaine working as a marketing intern for a small Orono business called Zeomatrix. Wilson pitched the company’s Zeo Litter Bag — a biodegradable bag lined with the company’s zeolite technology that absorbs the odor of used cat litter.
Mark Brewer, a political science professor at the University of Maine, was quoted in a Reuters article about debates in the Maine gubernatorial race.
Democratic candidate Mike Michaud criticized Gov. Paul LePage for threatening to call off all their debates ahead of the November election, according to the report. Brewer said the real loser in the debate argument could be undecided voters. “If you believe the polls, marginal changes could really affect this race. Taking debates off the table would be a big development,” he said. Orlando Sentinel carried the Reuters report.
Karlton Creech, the University of Maine’s director of athletics, spoke with the Maine Public Broadcasting Network for a report how smaller Division I college football programs, like UMaine’s, often get paid to play at least one game against an opponent with a bigger following. This year, a new playoff system will decide the national championship in major college football, with a selection committee picking four teams to face off for the title, the report states. The change makes game schedules even more important, and has some smaller football programs worried they won’t be able to schedule “payday” games, according to the report. “It’s an important part of our budget scenario for our football program to try to schedule these games every year,” Creech said.
An endowed scholarship fund and political science professorship have been established at the University of Maine Foundation with more than $2 million in gifts from John Nickerson, a University of Maine alumnus and professor emeritus at the University of Maine at Augusta who died in May 2013.
Jeffery Mills, University of Maine Foundation president and CEO, made the announcement in UMaine’s North Stevens Hall, where the John Mitchell Nickerson Room was dedicated in honor of the member of the UMaine class of 1959.
The professorship will be known as the John Mitchell Nickerson Professorship of Political Science and will provide support for an accomplished UMaine political science professor.
The endowed John M. Nickerson Scholarship Fund will make merit awards to UMaine juniors and seniors who are Maine residents and are majoring in political science or participating in the prelaw program. The fund is expected to generate approximately $100,000 per year for scholarships, starting in 2016.
The full news release is online.
The Associated Press, Bangor Daily News, Portland Press Herald and WLBZ (Channel 2) reported Michelle Obama is coming to the University of Maine to campaign for Maine gubernatorial candidate Mike Michaud. The first lady will join Michaud and Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, at the Oct. 3 rally. WABI (Channel 5), Maine Public Broadcasting Network and Sun Journal carried the AP report.
Kelly Shaw, outreach coordinator and clinical psychology resident at the University of Maine Counseling Center, wrote an article for The Weekly about the sixth annual Out of the Darkness Community Walk that will be held Oct. 5 on the UMaine campus. Shaw serves on the organizing committee of the event that’s hosted by the UMaine Counseling Center and St. Joseph Healthcare, in conjunction with several area sponsors. Funds raised from the noncompetitive 5K walk through campus will benefit research initiatives of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). “Bringing suicide ‘Out of the Darkness’ is a critical step in getting a person at risk the support they so desperately need,” Shaw wrote.
WVII (Channel 7) and WABI (Channel 5) reported on a talk given by Robert Ford, a former U.S. ambassador to Syria, in the Buchanan Alumni House at the University of Maine. Ford, who held the position from 2011 until earlier this year and served 30 years in the U.S. Department of State and Peace Corps, spoke about how domestic politics and U.S. strategy intersect in Syria in a free talk titled “Syria and Washington Politics — Hard to Agree.”
Michael Day, an associate research professor of tree physiology and physiological ecology at the University of Maine, was quoted in a NJ.com article about expected fall foliage conditions in New Jersey. “Adequate precipitation and lack of wind disturbances has resulted in trees with an exceptional amount of foliage still attached,” Day said.
The Working Waterfront published a report about Douglas Rasher, a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Maine Darling Marine Center, winning the Mercer Award for publishing an outstanding ecological research paper before the age of 40. He received the award at the 99th annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America (ESA) Aug. 11 in California. Rasher was chosen the recipient of the 2014 Mercer Award for his study on Fiji’s coral reefs that provided insight into management and conservation of coral reefs.