Students in the Spotlight

  • Master of Arts in Global Policy student, David Slagger, Runs for Governor of Maine

    Posted June 13, 2013

    David Slagger, student in the Master of Arts in Global Policy program, is running for governor of Maine in 2014. He is the first announced candidate for the Green Independent Party’s nomination and recently spoke at the party’s annual convention in Belfast. Slagger has a strong history in Maine politics and was the first representative of the Maliseet Indian tribe to the Legislature when he took office in January 2011. He has also run for House District 22 seat as an independent in an effort to take a more active role. He says of his run for governor, “I am running because I want our state to be the first in the energy fields (tidal and off shore wind) and information technology. I want companies to want to come to Maine because of our dedicated work force and strong history of independent, hard workers. I want Maine graduates to be able to work in Maine as a state that pays a wage comparable or in excess of other states.” 

  • Beth Logan, Ph. D. Student in Clinical Psychology, Named 2013 Outstanding Graduate Student in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

    Posted June 3, 2013

    Beth Logan, Doctoral Student in Clinical Psychology, was named the 2013 Outstanding Graduate Student in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Logan’s doctoral research focused on babies born to drug-dependent women and was designed to isolate methadone use during pregnancy and to measure its effect on early development. She says that, “the issue of methadone maintenance therapy during pregnancy is of particular significance in Maine, where in recent years the rate of addiction to prescription painkillers and other narcotics has skyrocketed to one of the highest in the nation.” Logan and other researchers are associated with the Maine Infant Follow Up Project that assesses development of both mothers and children after birth. While most babies in the control group are standing, cruising and preparing to take their first steps at nine months, nearly 40 percent of babies in the methadone group are still having trouble crawling and sitting. Logan has been invited to give an oral presentation of the findings at an upcoming meeting of the Pediatric Academic Society in Boston. For the full story on Logan’s research, please go here.  

  • Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Student Timothy Baker Receives First Prize at Maine Water Conference

    Posted May 15, 2013

    Timothy Baker, student in the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program, received first prize for his poster “Combining Environmental Education and Computational Thinking” at the 2013 Maine Water Conference in Augusta. The Maine Water Conference was founded in 1994 by the Mitchell Center as an annual forum for water resource professionals, researchers, consultants, citizens, students, regulators, and planners to exchange information and present new findings on water resource issues in Maine. The conference has grown to become one of the largest environmentally-related conferences in Maine attracting over 350 attendees each year. Baker’s research is focused on watershed education in middle school curriculum. He and a team of UMaine students have developed and tested seven different activities as part of a pedagogical framework combining computational thinking, environmental learning, and integrative thinking. Integrative thinking refers to both system-based learning -such as exploring 'what if' questions of an environmental model and adjusting the model appropriately- and also multi-disciplinary possibilities, such as activities that require or allow students to use skills and knowledge from math, science, english, and other subjects. Baker said of his research, “Water and watershed issues are used to explore creative learning and problem solving through computer programing based activities. The activities provide a way for students to explore and learn about interconnected human and natural systems, specifically watershed systems.”

  • Two Physics Graduate Students Present at 2013 Meeting of the American Astronomical Society

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Posted May 6, 2013

    Merida Batiste, PhD student in Physics, and David Pearson, Master of Science student in Physics, presented at the 221st Meeting of the American Astronomical Society. The meeting is the largest annual meeting for astronomers and astrophysicists in North America and attracts scientists from all over the  globe. Presentations at the Meeting can take one of three forms: posters, regular oral presentations which are five minutes, and dissertation talks which in  15 minutes aim to explain a major conclusion from thesis work. Batiste presented her research on gravitationally bound superclusters of galaxies, the largest structures in the universe held together by gravity. She said of her present ation, “While about 10 million superclusters of galaxies have been identified in the Universe, bound superclusters are incredibly rare; prior to our work only one had been identified. I presented on my results for the Corona Borealis supercluster, which provide the most conclusive observational evidence to date that this structure is bound and in collapse.”

    Pearson presented his research on superclusters of galaxies as well, in which he looks for the signature of dark energy in the large scale structure of the universe. He said of his presentation, “My talk discussed computer simulations of these structures, the results of which highlighted that if we only consider the mass contained inside individual clusters of galaxies then there is a good chance that these structures will not be gravitationally bound, though a few may be. We also compared our simulation results with the predictions of two analytical models, finding that they could be used to establish
    widely separated upper and lower bounds to the true limits. These results are the basis for a paper which I recently submitted to the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.”