Students in the Spotlight

A story regarding students in the spotlight

Ph.D. Student in History, Elisa Sance Attends Week-long Forum at University of Saint Boniface

Elisa Sance, a doctoral student in History was one of 50 participants chosen from 400 applicants throughout Canada, the United States, Caribbean, and South America to attend the Forum Des Jeunes Ambassadeurs De La Francophonie Des Ameriques at the University of Saint-Boniface in Winnipeg, Canada. Over the course of this week long event held this June, Sance attended lectures, workshops, screenings, and discussions promoting the French language and culture, intercultural dialog, and the use of new media. The Forum also aimed at strengthening the participants' leadership skills through a series of hands-on workshops and discussions. The six days were life changing for Sance who has been awarded the title of Ambassador of the French-Speaking World in the Americas, along with all her fellow participants. She is now part of a strong network of people involved in the promotion of the French language and culture in the Americas and is looking forward to give a hand with future projects. The Forum was organized by the Centre de la Francophonie des Ameriques, in Quebec, which strives to promote the French language and culture within the Americas.

Sance is a May 2014 graduate from the Master of Arts in French program at UMaine.  For her doctoral studies, she plans to focus on language policies  in the 1960's and 70's in New Brunswick, and their effect on people in Northern Maine.  She is also serving as the Vice President for the Graduate Student Government and is organizing the 2015 GradExpo among her other duties.

Spencer Meyer, A Recent Ph.D. Alumnus in the School of Forest Resources, Receives 2014 President's Research Impact Award

Posted September 2, 2014

Spencer Meyer, Doctor of Philosophy in Forest Resources May 2014 graduate who worked with the Sustainability Solutions Initiative (SSI) through the University of Maine’s School of Forest Resources has received, along with his faculty advisors Dr. Rob Lilieholm and Dr. Chris Cronan, has been awarded the 2014 President’s Research Impact Award for the development of a sophisticated online mapping tool that allows Maine communities to visualize future landscape scenarios in localized areas.

A member of SSI’s Alternative Futures Team, Dr. Meyer led the development of the Maine Futures Community Mapper (MFCM) over four years with team leader Lilieholm, Associate Professor of Forest Policy, Cronan, Professor of Plant Biology and Ecology, and Michelle Johnson, an SSI doctoral candidate in UMaine’s Ecology and Environmental Science program. The groundbreaking tool will allow town planners, conservationists, developers, and the general public to better understand and manage community assets – both in terms of conservation and economic development – now and in the future.

Dr. Meyer, who has been at UMaine for 12 years as both a student and staff member, has been accepted into The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) NatureNet Fellows Program and will begin a two-year fellowship at Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies this fall. Dr. Meyer will work together with Yale and TNC colleagues to address questions about how to prioritize future conservation efforts to sustain the environmental and economic benefits of utilizing forests as natural infrastructure.

UMaine Ph.D. in Communication Alumna, Hollie Smith New Assistant Professor at the University of Rhode Island

Posted August 18, 2014

Dr. Hollie Smith, a recent doctoral graduate in UMaine’s Communication and Journalism program will be moving to Rhode Island to be an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Rhode Island.  Smith, a member of the Knowledge to Action team, worked on a variety of different projects that looked at how to involve stakeholders into the research process and make knowledge more accessible and applicable to different stakeholder groups. Her research focused on the intersection of science, policy, and media as they relate to environmental issues. 

Among other achievements including a number of co-authored publications during her time at UMaine, Dr. Smith placed first in the GradExpo's Oral Presentation for the Social Sciences fields this past April.  

Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies Student, Stephanie Leonard, Receives Fellowship at International Arts School

Posted April 29, 2014

Stephanie Leonard, 2014 candidate for the Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies degree, recently received the Quimby Family Foundation Fellowship. Leonard teaches art for the Bangor School System and also has a Master in Education degree from UMaine. The fellowship, which takes place at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine, is awarded annually to Maine art educators based on a submitted portfolio of work. The school offers intensive studio-based workshops in a variety of craft media and offers a unique experience with internationally-renowned instructors, intensive and focused studio time, a diverse student body, and an award-winning campus. The fellowship provides, room, board and tuition for an extended summer session. Leonard said that the experience provided, “an opportunity to focus on my own art, to re-energize and to experience being a student once again.” Leonard also received the award for Outstanding Service to the Profession by the Maine Art Education Association (MAEA) in April of 2013. The MAEA website says of Stephanie, “(she) is an inspiring art educator. She has spent 14 years in the classroom and is always advocating for programs and kids. No matter where she is she finds ideas for art projects. She is constantly finding ideas for themes, materials for projects, and suggestions for ways to promote art.”

UMaine Alum Kurt Rademaker Wins International Award for Ice-Age Research

Posted April 14, 2014

Dr. Kurt Rademaker, 2012 doctoral graduate from the University of Maine and faculty associate of both the Department of Anthropology and the Climate Change Institute, recently received the 16th Tubingen Research Prize in Early Prehistory and Quaternary Ecology. The award is offered by the Eberhard Karls University in Tubingen, Germany and was created to foster innovative research among young scholars studying Ice Age archaeology, Quaternary ecology and human evolution. As the 2014 recipient, Rademaker delivered the prize lecture February 6th in Germany, received 5,000 Euros, and is expected to contribute a research paper summarizing his research for the journal Mitteilungen der Gesellschaft für Urgeschichte.

Jocelyn Runnebaum, Marine Sciences Graduate Student, Receives Major Grant

Posted April 14, 2014

School of Marine Sciences graduate student Jocelyn Runnebaum helped develop and write the recently funded project for studying Atlantic cod and cusk bycatch in the lobster fishery, which potentially has significant impacts on the management of the Maine lobster fishery. Runnebaum is in the dual MS program in Marine Policy and Marine Biology. The Saltonstall-Kennedy Grant grant was awarded through NOAA for a two year project. Specifically this research aims to assess if Atlantic cod and cusk can survive physical trauma that is induced when brought to the surface in a lobster trap if a treatment is applied in a timely manner. Jocelyn will be working with Dr. Chen to play a critical role in the three components of the research; modeling, fieldwork, and outreach. This is a cooperative research endeavor that utilizes opportunistic sampling methods by researchers accompanying commercial lobster harvesters on regular fishing trips to collect data about Atlantic cod and cusk. Jocelyn has identified fisherman participants and has already been working with them to collect data on cusk; she will continue conducting research on cusk and a future graduate student will focus their research on Atlantic cod.

Jenny Shrum, Ph.D student, Researches the Connections Between Climate Change and Maple Syrup Production

Posted February 24, 2014

Jenny Shrum, a Ph.D. candidate in the Ecology and Environmental Sciences program, seeks to understand what factors influence sap flow in maple trees, how climate change may influence the factors, and how Maine maple syrup producers will be affected. Shrum is interested both in the biophysical relationships as well as the human dimensions and implications of a changing maple syrup season. She will be using on-site weather station data and sap flow rates at three different Maine test sites to better understand the process of sap flow and how exactly freeze-thaw events stimulate that process. Recent data has suggested that the timing and sequence of these events has been shifting, potentially altering the sugaring season in Maine. Shrum also wants to understand how this, and other potential climate change impacts, will affect maple syrup producers and how. Larger operations, for which sap collection is their primary business, will likely be able to adjust to seasonal changes, but smaller producers may be adversely affected. “They might not be able to change their season,” she says. “A lot of the smaller operators have multiple jobs; they make money off maple syrup, but also in other fields such as woodcutting or construction. It just so happens maple syrup is a block of time when they’re not doing anything else, so it makes sense. But if that season changes, it might not fit into their schedule as well.” Despite this, Shrum feels confident that maple syrup production will remain a possibility in Maine. For further information, please go here.

Ashley Hellenbrand, MS Student in Chemistry, Receives Third Prize for Poster at Conference

Posted February 4, 2014

Master of Science in Chemistry student Ashley Hellenbrand presented her research at the 2013 International Conference on Wood Ashesives in Toronto, Canada, where she won third prize and $100 for her poster “Formaldehyde Emissions from ‘Native Wood’”. Hellenbrand is a member of the Wood-Based Composite Center at Virginia Tech, an organization that brings industry and universities together to work on projects collaboratively and to solve or understand major issues. Her research on formaldehyde emissions is “an important topic because the government has been setting levels of emissions so low that ‘native’ wood itself will surpass the emission levels. Major players in the industry would like to know now much “native" wood emits naturally, what the conditions are that produce the most emissions and what is the best mechanism to monitor emissions.”

Master of Civil Engineering Student, Rachael Joyce, Manages Local Business on the Side

Posted January 28, 2014

Rachael Joyce is a graduate civil engineering student who also co-manages and -owns Volition Ski Co. with her fiancé, Christopher Bagley. They hand-make skis out of environmentally friendly materials which are sold online, at Ski Rack Sports in Bangor, and Side Country Sports in Rockland. The company was born from Joyce and her fiancé’s hard work, creativity, and an investment from the Maine Technology Institute. Joyce also works full-time at the Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center on a team developing offshore wind technology, including the system currently being tested off the coast of Castine, ME. She said of her involvement in off-shore wind and the ski company, “My hope is that new industry flourishes as a result of the work being done at the Composites Center. On a smaller scale, I hope that maybe other entrepreneurs see what we are trying to do at Volition Ski Co. and be encouraged to pursue their own venture.”

The Bangor Daily News recently published a story on Joyce from the perspective of keeping young, innovative individuals living in Maine. To check out that story, please go here.

Eight UMaine Graduate Students Present Research at the 2013 ACSUS Biennial Conference

Posted December 9, 2013

The University of Maine was well represented by eight graduate students at the 2013 Association for Canadian Studies in the United States Biennial Conference in Tampa, Florida November 19th through the 23rd. UMaine grad students presented six papers while four other students served on a panel for a round table discussion with two UMaine faculty. See the list below for participant contributions.

Papers presented:

Bad Men and Horrible Bosses: Masculinity and the Folksongs of Larry Gorman
Ian J. Jesse, Ph.D candidate, History Department

Freedom, Slavery, and the Evolving Understanding of Race British Abolition: A Nova
Scotian Narrative, 1825-1835

Gabriel Lévesque, Ph.D candidate, History Department

Two Brownstowns Two Nations: The “Faulty Memory” of a Few Small Skirmishes in North America
Joseph Miller, Ph.D candidate, History Department

The Rhetoric of Boundary Confrontation: Demagogues, Banditti, and the 'alarming state
of things' in New Brunswick, 1838-42.

Michael T. Perry, Ph.D candidate, History Department

The Evolution of Acadian Identity in Song
Elisa Sance, M.A. candidate, Department of Modern Languages and Classics

“You Are What You Eat”: Cookbooks and Women’s Identity, 1812-1860
Rachel A. Snell, Ph.D candidate, History Department

Round table panel:

"Canadian History at the University of Maine: New Thematic and Interdisciplinary

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