Students in the Spotlight

A story regarding students in the spotlight

GSG President and MS in Human Development Student Jeffrey Falvey Selected to Present at National Conference in Washington, D.C.

Posted November 25, 2013

Graduate Student Government President Jeffrey Falvey was selected by Bacchus, the National Peer Education Network, to present at the National Conference in Washington D.C. on November 16th. A grad student in the MS in Human Development program, Jeff coordinates a student group of undergraduate athletes, Athletes for Sexual Responsibility, who peer educate around the Orono campus on an array of sexual health topics relating to college student's daily lives. He presented alongside his fellow graduate classmate, Spencer Wood (MS student in Human Development), who coordinates a similar spin-off group called Male Athletes Against Violence. As a former student-athlete at the University of Maine, Jeff takes great pride in being able to influence current student-athletes to become more active members of their community in such a positive light. 

Master of Science in Civil Engineering Student Md. Rakibul Hassan Khan Receives Fellowship to Present Research at Chilean Conference

Posted November 18, 2013

Md. Rakibul Hassan Khan is one of six students (one of three Master level students) in the world chosen to receive a Chilean-German fellowship to attend and present his research at the First Conference on Natural Resources and Development in Viña Del Mar, Chile on November 25-27, 2013. According to the website for the event, this conference will focus on, “food, water and energy security: integrated science for sustainability as an opportunity to connect the scientific and academic world to the governmental area and the private sector. The Conference aims to be a space to disseminate updated knowledge regarding the food, water and energy security in the frame of sustainability.” The conference is jointly organized by the Center for Natural Resources and Development; an international network created to involve different universities of the world in the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations.
Khan will present his research on the development of robust decision tools that investigate water allocation policies to understand the policy expiration, trajectories of suboptimal allocation with respect to climate scenarios and prospect of adaptive policy. Khan said of his research, “The research explores the hydro-chemical and ecological linkages and their sensitivity within a watershed. The decision tools incorporate testing and development of hydrologic modeling tools coupled with climate model scenarios, integrated with decision analysis and visualizing tools to explore the hydrologic regimes, climatic changes and uncertainties.” Khan is advised by Dr. Shaleen Jain of the Civil Engineering Department.

Graduate Students in Communication and Journalism: Recent Publications

Posted November 11, 2013

Since 2012, graduate students in Communication and Journalism have co-authored 15 publications (student authors are in bold).











Smith, H., & Norton, T. (2013). Environmental Groups on Par with Government Sources. Newspaper Research Journal, 34 (1), 50-61.

McGreavy, B., Hutchins, K., Smith, H., Lindenfeld, L., Silka, L. (2013) Addressing the complexities of boundary work in sustainability science through communication, Sustainability, 5(10), 4195-4221.

Green-Hamman, S., & Sherblom, J. C. (forthcoming). The influences of optimal matching and social capital on communicating support. Journal of Health Communication.

Smith, H., & Norton, T. (forthcoming). That’s why I call it a task farce: Organizations in participatory processes. Environmental Communication.

McGreavy, B., Silka, L., & Lindenfeld, L. (forthcoming) Interdisciplinarity and actionable science: Exploring the generative potential in difference. Journal of Community Practice.

McGreavy, B., and Lindenfeld, L. (forthcoming). Entertaining our way to engagement? Climate change films and sustainable development values. International Journal of Sustainable Development.

Lindenfeld, L., Smith, H., & Norton, T. (Forthcoming). Risk Communication & Sustainability Science: Lessons from the Field. Sustainability Science.

UMaine Biomedical Science Student Amanda Favreau Published in Prominent Peer Reviewed Journals

Posted October 28, 2013

Amanda Favreau, Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Sciences student, has published multiple research papers since beginning her graduate studies at the University of Maine. Favreau has worked on a variety of research topics in her rotations in both Dr. Sathyanarayana’s and Dr. Vary’s labs at the Maine Medical Center Research Institute. Her own thesis research focuses on the role microRNA have in acute myeloid leukemia with the hope that by better understanding what, how, and why microRNA are being regulated, researchers will be able to create more successful therapeutic approaches for the disease. Her most recent publication as first author is a paper titled “CD44 Receptor Unfolding Enhances Binding by Freeing Basic Amino Acids to Contact Carbohydrate Ligand” in the September 2013 issue of Biophysical Journal. The research for this paper was conducted while she worked under Dr. Olgun Guvench at the University of New England. Favreau said of the paper, “This study utilized computational molecular dynamics to determine the structural binding of the cell receptor CD44 to its ligand/activator, the carbohydrate hyaluronan. Because CD44 is associated with various cancers, understanding how this protein-carbohydrate interacts will give better insight into the key components that small molecule inhibitors will need to block CD44 activation as a therapeutic.” During her studies, Favreau has also been first author on articles for the American Journal of Hematology in 2012 and in Leukemia Research in 2011.  

Four UMaine Mechanical Engineering Students Receive Prestigious Fellowships

Posted October 21, 2013







Three Doctor of Philosophy and one Master of Science students in Mechanical Engineering from four different home countries have received prestigious funding awards. Matthew Hall received a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Fellowship from the Canadian Government, Razieh Zangeneh has been named a Correll Fellow, Javier Moreno is an Iberdrola Foundation Scholar, and Domingos de Sousa Freitas is a Fulbright Scholar. All four students are part of Correll Professor Krish Thiagarajan’s research group.

Sonja Birthisel, Master of Science in Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Receives Grant from Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station

Posted October 15, 2013

Sonja Birthisel studies how both weeds and weed seed predators affect farming in Maine. A Master student in Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Birthisel works under UMaine’s School of Food and Agriculture to study how local environments influence weed seed predators and the activity and density of particular species. Using a 10 acre organic farm in Dixmont, Maine Birthisel established a 20 meter grid and conducted pitfall trapping to characterize the invertebrate community, and seed feeding assays, with and without invertebrate exclosures. Her results show that habitat features such as vegetative cover and presence of key plant species are more important regulators of seed predation than spatial orientation. Her work led to the development of a method to measure second-order predation of invertebrate seed predators, and to conducting work investigating the effect foodweb dynamics may play in regulating seed predation. This work led to a grant from Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station. Sonja’s results have also been accepted into the publication Biological Control and she has presented her research at the national meetings of the Ecological Society of America and the Weed Science Society of America.

Ph. D. Student in Ecology and Environmental Science Participates in Major Study on Impact of Hurricane Sandy

Posted on September 25, 2013

Maureen Correll, Ph.D student and IGERT fellow, was involved in a ten-state wide study under the National Science Foundation’s Saltmarsh Habitat and Avian Research program to assess Hurricane Sandy’s devastation of bird communities in coastal marshes. IGERT is the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship of the National Science Foundation; UMaine’s latest IGERT program is the first of its kind to focus specifically on adaptation to abrupt climate change. Correll’s role in the NSF study, which extended from Maine to Virginia, was coordinating data collection from New York to Maine from 2011 to 2013. For her dissertation, Correll will be taking a look at the change in bird communities both within and outside of Sandy's impact zone. She will work with a large historical survey database covering the same ten-state study area as the current study, but will include some data dating back to the early 1990s as well. Correll said of her work, “I am interested to see how the short-term community change caused by Sandy compares to longer-term change we detect in these bird communities. Do extreme storm events such as Sandy incite community change similar to slower, gradual change occurring over longer timescales? The larger goals of both my dissertation research and my collaborative research program are to inform conservation goals and support management decision-making at local, state and national levels.

Wildlife Ecology Doctoral Student, Kristine Hoffman, is the Focus of Television Broadcast

Posted September 9, 2013

Sustainability Solutions Initiative (SSI) and Wildlife Ecology doctoral student Kristine Hoffman was featured recently in a news broadcast on Bangor TV stations Fox 22 and ABC 7. The UMaine student is studying researching the breeding ecology, habitat selection and life histories of the blue-spotted salamander (Ambystoma laterale), including the distance they emigrate from vernal pools. The broadcast featured highlights from Kristine’s research focusing on the conservation and habitat of the salamander. In recent years, vernal pools have become a topic of discussion and concern due to a worldwide decline of amphibians, some of which breed in the vernal pool in which they were born. Hoffmann says data from her research may inform proposed legislation about zones of consultation in Maine. As Hoffman’s research continues, she will investigate research a new type of blue-spotted salamander to see what effects genotype (different genetic compositions), female body size and environmental factors have on egg mass structure and fertility. Additionally, she will examine which environmental factors — pond depth, canopy density, distance to roads and presence of other breeders in the pool — impact breeding site selection. And she’ll explore whether juvenile habitat choice differs between the genotypes. Kristine is a member of SSI’s Protecting Natural Resources at the Community Scale project. For more information, check out the Maine Public Broadcasting Network’s feature on Hoffman here.

UMaine Graduate Students Tutor Local High School Students with Great Results

Posted July 8, 2013

UMaine graduate students are tutoring local area high school students with great results. Nathan Dee and Mary Butler, both students at Bangor High, have won awards for their work: Dee won the Maine 2013 Stockholm Junior Water Prize and will compete in the national competition in Portland, Oregon, while Butler won the state science fair to go on to the national INTEL competition in Phoenix, Arizona. Dee was tutored by doctoral student in chemistry James Killarney and Butler was tutored by doctoral student in chemical engineering Finley Richmond. The connection between UMaine and the Bangor High science department came about largely due to the influence of science teacher Cary James, UMaine alumnus from the Master of Science in Botany and Plant Pathology program. His work building relationships at the University has led to many graduate students working with high school students on projects. The goals, according to James, are primarily to get high school students excited about research and to allow them to have access to the labs and equipment at UMaine. “So many of the professors and students have been instrumental in this process, have been willing to help out, and really make a difference for my students.”

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