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University of Maine News
News from the University of Maine
Updated: 13 hours 18 min ago
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.
A five-session University of Maine Cooperative Extension beginning beekeeping course starts 6:30–8:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26, at the Washington County UMaine Extension office, 28 Center St., Machias.
Master Beekeeper Andrew Dewey will teach the course, which will be held Thursday nights, except for March 19, through April 2. The course also will be available remotely at Washington County Community College, 1 College Drive, Calais.
Course topics include the honeybee colony, constructing hives, seasonal management, pests and diseases and honey production. Students will visit a local hive for observation and hands-on experience during a field lab. Class graduates will become members of the Washington County Beekeepers, a chapter of the Maine State Beekeepers Association.
Course fee is $60 per person or per couple to help cover the cost of materials. Class size is limited to 15 people in Machias and 10 in Calais. Thursday, Feb. 19 is the registration deadline. To register, and for more information, visit or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To request a disability accommodation, call 800.287.1542 (in state) or 207.255.3345.
The Top Gun Entrepreneurship Acceleration program is an annual five-month business accelerator for entrepreneurs. Top Gun combines mentoring and curriculum in three locations statewide: Orono, Portland and Rockland. The program is offered through a partnership among the University of Maine, the Maine Technology Institute and the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development.
The University of Maine’s Target Technology Incubator coordinates and hosts the Orono Top Gun class as a part of its focus on helping Maine-based startups and innovative companies grow their businesses.
Entrepreneurs enrolled in the program:
- Participate in biweekly training sessions, each one focused on a single business topic
- Are assigned one or more mentors who provide guidance and answer questions throughout the five-month period
- Engage with other entrepreneurs who share successes, failures and lessons learned
- Receive guidance, practice, and feedback on business pitches
- Get a chance to deliver a business pitch and/or showcase a business to an audience of over 300 potential investors, business leaders and journalists
Participants from the 2013 class from Penobscot, Hancock, and Piscataquis counties include:
- The Juice Cellar, Belfast
- Specialty Sweets, Bangor
- The Loyal Biscuit Company, Belfast, Camden, Rockport, Waterville
- The Northern Maine Distilling Company, Brewer
- GenoTyping Center of America, Bar Harbor
- Oats Any Time, Palmyra
- Sandra B. Dressing and Dressage, Dover-Foxcroft
Of Top Gun’s 79 graduates, close to 95 percent are still in business. To date, Top Gun graduates have landed over $8 million in grants and other financing.
The Maine Edge reported on scheduled public star shows for the month of February at the Emera Astronomy Center. The Maynard F. Jordan Planetarium’s winter series of programs begins with “Stars” every Friday at 7 p.m. The show examines the lives of stars with close-up images and narration by the original Luke Skywalker, Mark Hamill. For the younger crowd, at 2 p.m. Sundays, the star dome fills with models and simulations that explain the mysterious, often vital interactions of “Earth, Moon & Sun” with the help of a foolish coyote. Admission to all shows is $6, and seating is limited.
Jesse Moriarity, coordinator of the University of Maine’s Foster Center for Student Innovation, was a recent guest on WZON’s Pulse Morning Show. Moriarity spoke about the 2015 edition of the Top Gun entrepreneur accelerator program. The program is offered by Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development (MCED) and UMaine’s Target Technology Incubator as part of the Blackstone Accelerates Growth initiative. Top Gun participants attend biweekly classes at the University of Southern Maine, the Target Technology Center or University College at Rockland and work with mentors who will help them apply what they have learned to accelerate growth. Moriarity said this year’s class is the largest yet.
The Lord Hall Gallery at the University of Maine will present two new exhibitions that display art created by current and former UMaine faculty.
An exhibition of new work by Department of Art faculty will be held in the Lord Hall Gallery from Feb. 6 to March 13. Work by Constant Albertson, Louise Bourne, Susan Camp, John Eden, Michael Grillo, Laurie E. Hicks, Samantha Jones, Gregory Ondo and Matt Smolinsky will be featured. Art will include photography, painting, ceramics, glass and mixed media installations. The exhibition presents an overview of the research and creative accomplishments of studio, art education and art history faculty.
Illusions and Reality: The Photographs of Alan Stubbs
A small retrospective of photographs by Alan Stubbs will be held in his memory in the Lord Hall Gallery from Feb. 6 to March 13. Stubbs, who retired as a psychology professor at UMaine, also was an accomplished photographer who often taught courses in the Department of Art. His research at the university was on visual perception, and his photographs — diverse in form and subject — reflect his interest in and understanding of the ways people perceive their surroundings. Stubbs died in October 2014. The exhibition honors his contributions to the department’s faculty and students, as well as the university.
The exhibitions are free and open to the public. Lord Hall Gallery is open from 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Monday through Friday and is wheelchair accessible.
The new Maynard F. Jordan Planetarium in the Emera Astronomy Center at the University of Maine launches its first year of operation with family star shows that will let audiences experience space through the most advanced sky theater in Maine.
In February, the planetarium’s programs include “Stars” at 7 p.m. every Friday, starting Feb. 6. The show examines the energetic lives of stars with close-up images and narration by the original Luke Skywalker, Mark Hamill.
For the younger crowd, at 2 p.m. Sundays, starting Feb. 1, the star dome fills with models and simulations that explain the mysterious, often vital interactions of “Earth, Moon & Sun” with the help of a foolish coyote.
The planetarium’s Definiti digital visualization theater features a model of the universe that will recreate a cluster of the moon, Mars and Venus that takes place in late February. Star show visitors will learn how to view the rare grouping in the Maine sky and how the planets and moon align from an astronaut’s point of view.
In March, “Undiscovered Worlds” will explore the planets of distant stars on Friday evenings; and “The Little Star That Could,” a show of stars and success for younger children, will play Sunday afternoons.
Admission to all shows is $6, and seating is limited. Tickets can be purchased in advance by phone, mail or in person at the Jordan Planetarium, 5799 Emera Astronomy Center, Orono ME 04469-5799. More information, show descriptions and a full schedule are available at the Emera Astronomy Center website. For more information about visits and programs, call 581.1341.