University of Maine News
In celebration of the national Upward Bound program’s 50th anniversary, three students from the University of Maine Upward Bound Math Science (UBMS) program were selected to attend the Council for Opportunity in Education’s 33rd annual conference, “Achieving College Success through Vision and Action,” and second annual student poster presentation exhibition in Washington, D.C.
Justin Chan, a 2014 graduate of Mattanawcook Academy in Lincoln, along with Ariana Alers and Chris Stewart, seniors at Foxcroft Academy in Dover-Foxcroft, were three of five high school students selected across the country to present their research posters. Nineteen posters were chosen out of the 50 that were submitted by both pre-college and college-level students.
Alers and Stewart traveled to Washington, D.C. in September with Kelly Ilseman, UBMS assistant director and academic curriculum coordinator. Preparing to leave for Greece for his first semester experience through Northeastern University, Chan was not able to attend, but his research poster was displayed.
In addition to presenting their posters and research at two COE receptions, Alers and Stewart also were guests at the National TRIO Achievers’ awards banquet where they met TRIO Upward Bound alumnus John Quinones from the ABC show “What Would You Do?”
The students also met U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, Sen. Angus King and Sen. Susan Collins. As Michaud’s guests, they toured the U.S. Capitol and sat in legislative sessions.
The students’ posters were based on their six-week summer research with mentors at the UMaine UBMS program.
Chan worked with Matt Dube, a Ph.D. student in spatial information science and engineering, to complete his research on gerrymandering titled “Partitioning New England to Represent Republican Populations.”
Interning in Thane Fremouw’s neuropsychology research lab, Alers studied the “Cellular Mechanisms of Chemotherapy-Induced Cognitive Impairment.” Her research involved testing treatments to reduce severity of post-radiation cancer treatment effects known as “chemo fog.”
Stewart worked with Finley Richmond to create a biodegradable plastic in the study “Cellulose Nanofibers in the Synthesis of Bioplastics.”
An additional 32 UBMS students were mentored across campus with professors, graduate students and UBMS summer staff. The students attended from Central High School in Corinth, Foxcroft Academy in Dover-Foxcroft, Mattanawcook Academy in Lincoln, Nokomis Regional High School in Newport, Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in South Paris, Portland High School, Stearns High School in Millinocket, and Schenck High School in East Millinocket.
The Upward Bound Math Science Program is affiliated with the UMaine College of Education and Human Development and offers a six-week college preparatory program to first-generation college students from eight Maine high schools. The program specifically targets students who are interested in pursuing STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) majors and careers.
The Washington, D.C. trip was paid for by donations made to the Upward Bound Math Science Gift Account, as well as a scholarship from the College of Education and Human Development.
More information about the Upward Bound Math Science program is online.
The Associated Press, Bangor Daily News, Portland Press Herald, Maine Public Broadcasting Network, WABI (Channel 5) and WVII (Channel 7) reported on a budget forum held at the University of Maine. UMaine President Susan Hunter, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Jeffrey Hecker and Vice President for Administration and Finance Ryan Low presented preliminary work that has been done to create a balanced budget for the upcoming fiscal year (FY16). The officials announced they must cut next year’s $242 million budget by $7 million, but will not eliminate any academic programs and will try to avoid layoffs. “We really do want to minimize the impact on academic and student services,” said President Hunter, adding the goal is to avoid faculty retrenchments or layoffs. The Sun Journal carried the BDN report. NECN and SFGate carried the AP report.
WABI (Channel 5) reported students and faculty from colleges across Maine are preparing 10,000 protein-packed meals to be donated to campus-based food pantries statewide. The meal packing is part of the two-day Maine Hunger Dialogue at the University of Maine’s Wells Conference Center that aims to mobilize the power of higher education to end hunger in the state. Event organizer Barbara Murphy, a University of Maine Cooperative Extension educator, said there’s a general misconception that if a college student can afford a semester at school, they can afford to eat. “One assumes if you’re attending there, all is good. Not so,” Murphy said. Attendees hope their collective efforts can inspire others to take action, according to the report. “No matter how small you think your effort is, it has ripple effects throughout the community and therefore throughout the state and the world,” Murphy said.
Clay Kirby, an entomologist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, spoke with the Portland Press Herald for the article, “October means season for invasion of the ladybugs.” Kirby said ladybugs, which have a tendency to come inside, are benign and helpful in controlling other insects that are harmful to plants, such as aphids. If a house is overrun with the beetles, he suggests vacuuming or sweeping them up and tossing them outside. For those who don’t want to harm the insect, he suggests storing the bugs in a shoebox in a garage or shed until spring.
WABI (Channel 5) reported on the 2014 Engineering Job Fair held at the University of Maine’s New Balance Student Recreation Center. About 90 companies were represented at the event that was co-sponsored by the UMaine College of Engineering and Career Center. Patty Counihan, director of the Career Center, said UMaine’s Engineering Department has a 99 percent job placement rate for graduates. Organizers told WABI it was the largest turnout ever for the annual event.
Marcella Sorg, a forensic anthropologist for the state and a research professor at the University of Maine, was mentioned in a Portland Press Herald article about the discovery of eight human remains behind the Town Hall in Cornish. Officials and residents hope to identify who the bones belong to and figure out how they were left behind from a cemetery that locals believed had been moved decades ago, according to the article. Sorg, who works at the state medical examiner’s office in Augusta, will examine the bones and pieces of coffins to determine the age and sex of the remains. The process, which could take months, may even help determine how the people died or whether they suffered from any diseases or injuries, the article states.
The Portland Press Herald published the opinion piece, “The University of Maine System could learn from Henry Ford” by Howard Segal, a history professor at the University of Maine.
The Free Press reported the University of Maine Hutchinson Center in Belfast will host the Penobscot Marine Museum’s 2014 History Conference, “Exploring the Magic of Photography: Painting with Light,” on Nov. 1. The influence of photography on how people see themselves and their culture is the subject of the conference that brings together scholars, professionals and the public to explore new ideas on topics relating to the museum’s collections, according to the article. This year’s conference complements the museum’s photographic collection of more than 140,000 images that document life in New England from the late 19th to the mid-20th century, the article states.
University of Maine faculty and staff and their families are invited to join members of the UMaine baseball team for a Fun Day from 11 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 18 at Mahaney Diamond. Guests will be able to meet the team, as well as practice catching and batting. Participants are encouraged to bring baseball gloves. For more information or to RSVP, contact coach Steve Trimper on FirstClass.
A new fund has been established at the University of Maine Foundation in honor of the late founder of the Maine Folklife Center Edward “Sandy” Ives and his wife Bobby.
The Sandy and Bobby Ives Fund will be used to provide financial assistance to full-time UMaine students engaging in ethnography, folklore or oral history fieldwork in Maine and the Canadian Maritime Provinces. The UMaine Humanities Center director will oversee the awards to students.
A reception announcing the fund will be held 11 a.m.–noon Sunday, Oct. 19 at Buchanan Alumni House; the reception also will honor Bobby Ives.
The fund was established in 2014 with a gift from David Taylor and LeeEllen Friedland in recognition of Ives’ mentorship and friendship throughout Taylor’s academic experience at UMaine.
Ives was a popular UMaine English and anthropology professor from 1955–99, an internationally known folklorist and founder of the Maine Folklife Center. He was married to Bobby Ives for 57 years before his death in 2009.
Two undergraduate students who are studying folklore — Hilary Warner-Evans and Taylor Cunningham — will speak during the reception.
Warner-Evans of West Bath, Maine, is an undergraduate Honors student in anthropology and one of the first UMaine students to take the new folklore minor. Since 2012, she has volunteered at the Maine Folklife Center, where she has contributed to the center’s community outreach efforts by conducting research for its Maine Song and Story Sampler on Fogler Library’s Digital Commons.
Warner-Evans will present her fieldwork on songs written about the North Pond Hermit at the National Collegiate Honors Council conference in Denver this November. She also presented her folkloric research on Geoffrey Chaucer’s, “The Franklin’s Tale,” at Plymouth State University’s Medieval and Renaissance Forum last spring.
Taylor Cunningham of Massachusetts is an English major and Honors student with a minor in folklore studies. She is the coordinator of a new interdisciplinary humanities series of lectures on linguistics and culture, and has been working on the Maine Hermit Project for two years.
The Maine Hermit Project is a collaborative interdisciplinary humanities lab venture involving a team of undergraduate researchers working with Sarah Harlan-Haughey, an assistant professor in UMaine’s Honors College and Department of English.
Cunningham has presented her work on greening the humanities in Honors at the National Collegiate Honors Council conference in New Orleans.
Both students are conducting research on songs and ballads written about the North Pond Hermit, as well as conducting interviews, for a book on the topic. The book — co-written by members of the Maine Hermit Project lab using the Maine Folklife Center archives, Fogler Library’s Special Collections and new fieldwork — will explore different facets of Maine’s interest in and valorization of hermits and outlaws, according to Harlan-Haughey.
A buffet will be offered at the reception. For more information or to request a disability accommodation, contact Joan Peters, 581.1154; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747
The University of Maine’s School of Marine Sciences and Darling Marine Center (DMC) were cited in an Education Portal article about the best marine science and marine biology schools in the country. “Students explore the habitats of the Gulf of Maine while learning about marine ecology and the biology of marine invertebrates,” the article states about the Semester By the Sea (SBS) program offered at DMC.
Mainebiz reported the state is receiving $602,679 in specialty crop block grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to support 10 agricultural initiatives, including one that aims to develop a hops industry to support the state’s growing craft beer industry. The grants also aim to increase the competitiveness of crops such as potatoes, wild blueberries, maple syrup and other fruits and vegetables, according to the article. The development of a hops industry will involve a federal study conducted by the University of Maine, evaluating 12 hops varieties that will be planted at an experimental agricultural station in Monmouth, the article states. Results will be shared with farmers and brewers through workshops, fact sheets and online material.
WABI (Channel 5) reported the University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering a workshop for those interested in starting a small specialty or value-added food business Thursday, Oct. 23, at the UMaine Extension Penobscot County Office in Bangor. Workshop topics include personal goals, key business concepts, product development and licensing. Scheduled presenters are Extension faculty Louis Bassano, small business educator; Beth Calder, food science specialist; and Jim McConnon, business and economic specialist.
The Bangor Daily News, Portland Press Herald, WABI (Channel 5), WLBZ (Channel 2) and SB Nation covered the announcement of the Savage Challenge, a five-year endowment drive for the University of Maine men’s ice hockey program that will be launched by a $1 million donation to UMaine by alumnus Tom Savage and his wife, Sally, of Key Largo, Florida. The donation will be used to match up to $1 million in gifts from UMaine hockey alumni and former coaches to the endowment fund. The endowment will provide direct operational support for the men’s ice hockey team. The goal of the Savage Challenge is to motivate former Black Bear men’s ice hockey student-athletes and coaches to become directly involved with the program’s future. “The Savages have been loyal supporters and donors for years. They’re true blue all the way,” said UMaine President Susan Hunter.
Paul Mayewski, director of the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine, was quoted in an article by The National, Abu Dhabi Media’s first English-language publication, about a climate change conference in the city. The annual conference on Climate Change and the Future of Water is hosted by the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research in collaboration with the University of Maine and features speakers from academia, government and field experts on panels, according to the article. Mayewski said that water scarcity has led to critical policy changes for societies, with projections showing Earth will continue to suffer drought well into the middle of the 21st century. He said to adapt to water demands, organizations and governments must understand and anticipate drought conditions and plan accordingly, the article states.
WABI (Channel 5) reported on the 2014 Northern Maine Children’s Water Festival held at the University of Maine. About 650 fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade students from 13 area schools spent the day at the New Balance Field House learning about clean water, wetland ecosystems and the importance of stewarding Maine’s most rapidly renewable resource. Ruth Hallsworth, the strategic program manager for the Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions at UMaine, called the event a “real fun day,” with lots of interactive activities for children to learn while having fun. “We’re very lucky in Maine. We have a lot of water here, but we still need to protect it,” Hallsworth said.
The Weekly previewed the University of Maine Alumni Association Homecoming Craft Fair and Maine Marketplace to be held 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18, and 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19, in the New Balance Field House. “It’s a beautiful location, with bright lights and colors; a nice, exciting atmosphere. There is much more natural light and [craft fair] vendors [and fair goers] will love it — it is UMaine atmosphere for sure now,” said Christine Corro, director of alumni programs at the University of Maine Alumni Association, commenting on the field house’s new look. “We’re really looking forward to it after not having it for a year. A lot of alumni [indicated they] missed it last year.”
The Ellsworth American reported David Megquier, director of the Maine Education Opportunity Center and Talent Search programs at the University of Maine, was honored with the Council for Opportunity in Education’s (COE) Walter O. Mason Award. The award, established in 1988, is the highest honor awarded by COE and recognizes individuals for outstanding contributions to the federal TRIO Programs and the advancement of educational opportunity for low-income, first-generation students, according to the article. Megquier, an Ellsworth resident, has been actively involved with COE for the past 33 years and has served in multiple leadership roles, the article states.
The Bangor Daily News published the opinion piece “The compassion divide and why it should worry all of us — not just the poor” by Sandra Butler, a professor of social work at the University of Maine. Butler also is a member of the Maine Regional Network, part of the Scholars Strategy Network, which brings together scholars across the country to address public challenges and their policy implications. Members’ columns appear in the BDN every other week.
The University of Maine Museum of Art in downtown Bangor is hosting Fall Family Fun! from 1–3 p.m. Saturday, Oct 18. The public is invited to make autumn-themed crafts at the museum on 40 Harlow St. Admission and supplies are free. Registration is not required. For more information or to request a disability accommodation, contact UMMA education coordinator Eva Wagner at 561.3360 or email@example.com. Information also is on UMMA’s website.