Archive for the ‘Honors College’ Category

Three Students Receive Top Honors in Forestry, Wildlife Ecology

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Lara Katz, a senior from Arlington, Virginia majoring in wildlife ecology, with minors in anthropology and psychology, is this year’s Robert I. Ashman Scholar, the top academic award in UMaine’s forest resources and wildlife programs.

Growing up in the suburbs of Washington D.C., Katz began her wildlife career volunteering at the Smithsonian National Zoo where she discovered her passion for conserving wildlife and their habitats. At UMaine, she is involved in research focused on fish ecology and river restoration. Her career goals include working as a wildlife biologist and effectively communicating wildlife science to the public for sound conservation.

Also selected for recognition as top students in forest resources and wildlife as Dwight B. Demeritt Scholars are Lucas Lamond and Tabatha Hawkins.

Lamond is a senior from Brewer, Maine majoring in forest operations, bioproducts and bioenergy. He is a student employee working in the University Forests and plans to start his own business managing Maine woodlands for improved wildlife habitat.

Hawkins is a senior from Norway, Maine majoring in wildlife ecology. She also in the Honors College, conducting thesis research on the factors affecting the reintroduction success of the federally endangered tiger beetle in Nantucket. Hawkins is co-president the UMaine Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society, and is a student ambassador for the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Conservation Biology.

BDN Advances Talk by Leading Rabbi in Christian-Jewish Relations

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

The Bangor Daily News reported Rabbi A. James Rudin of Florida will speak at 3 p.m. Thursday in the Bangor Room of the Memorial Union at the University of Maine and at 7 p.m. the same day at Congregation Beth Israel in Bangor. Rudin is the senior interreligious adviser of the American Jewish Committee and has served as the organization’s longtime director of interreligious affairs, the article states. The title of Rudin’s UMaine talk is “The Jewish Jesus and the Christian Christ: Is There a Difference?” Rudin’s Maine appearances are sponsored by several groups including the UMaine Judaic Studies Program, Honors College and the Wilson Center.

Reception Announcing Sandy and Bobby Ives Fund Oct. 19

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

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; joan.peters@umit.maine.edu.

Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747

BDN Covers Environmentalist, Author McKibben’s UMaine Talk

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

The Bangor Daily News reported on a University of Maine talk given by environmentalist and author Bill McKibben. McKibben’s lecture, “Making a life on a tough new planet,” was hosted by the UMaine Honors College as part of its Honors Read program. The 2014–2015 Honors Read is McKibben’s book, “Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet.” He spoke about the importance of coming together to make a difference against climate change. “I can’t promise you that we’re going to win, but I can promise you that we’re going to fight,” McKibben said. “This is by far the biggest problem that humans have ever stumbled into.”

WABI Covers University of Maine Foundation’s 80th Anniversary Celebration

Monday, October 6th, 2014

WABI (Channel 5) reported on the University of Maine Foundation’s “Ensuring the Future” 80th anniversary celebration. During the event, the foundation awarded one graduate from each of UMaine’s colleges with the President Abram W. Harris Award. Each awardee was a scholarship recipient as a UMaine student, and evidences exemplary and extraordinary leadership, contributions to his or her community and/or service to UMaine. “We wanted to honor each one of the representatives from the different colleges to show other students, give them aspirations at the University of Maine and also show the importance of scholarship support because none of these people would have been able to go on to have the careers they have today without private donations of scholarships,” said Jeffery Mills, president and CEO of the University of Maine Foundation.

University of Maine Foundation Presents Awards to Six Alumni at 80th Anniversary Celebration

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

As part of the celebration of its “Ensuring the Future” 80th anniversary, the University of Maine Foundation presented one graduate from each of UMaine’s colleges with the President Abram W. Harris Award.

The award was established in 2003 by President Harris’ grandson Abram ”Pete” W. Harris III ’50 and his friend, Marion Waterman Meyer ’51.

Each awardee was a scholarship recipient as a UMaine student, and evidences exemplary and extraordinary leadership, contributions to his or her community and/or service to UMaine — the essence of Harris’ efforts as the president of the University of Maine from 1893 to 1901.

“These six outstanding UMaine alumni represent the results of scholarship support,” said Foundation President/CEO Jeffery N. Mills. “This year, scholarship support from the Foundation to the University of Maine was at a record high of over $4.1 million. In a few years, we expect some of those who received that support to be back to accept their Harris awards.”

The recipients:

Dr. Debra A. Gervais, who graduated in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in Honors and chemistry, is Division Chief of Abdominal Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital and Associate Professor of Radiology, Harvard Medical School.

Originally from Madawaska, Gervais attended Tufts Medical School, where she was named to the Alpha Omega Alpha honor society. She completed an internship year in internal medicine at Maine Medical Center in Portland. Gervais did her residency training in diagnostic radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital, where she served one year as Chief Resident in Radiology and pursued sub-specialty fellowship training in abdominal imaging and intervention. Prior to her return to Massachusetts General Hospital, Gervais was a private practice radiologist and an attending radiologist at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Christopher P. Keating, an Investment Management Executive in the Boston area, received a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1979.

After graduating from the University of Maine, Keating played for seven years in the National Football League, spending six years in Buffalo and one in Washington. He became registered as a stockbroker and worked during his last three off-seasons from football. Upon retirement, Keating earned his law degree from Suffolk University Law School in 1991.

John K. Veroneau graduated in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in English.

He practices international trade law at Covington & Burling LLP, a Washington, D.C.-based global law firm, where he co-chairs the International Trade and Investment practice group. He has served in U.S. Senate-confirmed positions in Republican and Democratic administrations. Under President Bush, he was Deputy United States Trade Representative (USTR) and USTR General Counsel. Under President Clinton, he served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs. Veroneau was Legislative Director to former U.S. Sen. Bill Cohen, Legislative Director to former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and Chief of Staff to U.S. Sen. Susan Collins.

Calen B. Colby, P.E., graduated with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1985 and a master’s degree in civil engineering in 1991.

Colby spent the first part of his career overhauling nuclear attack submarines. For 15 years, he worked for a national contractor designing and constructing power plants, then became a project manager in the paper industry in the United States and Europe. Following this, Colby worked in the A/E consulting engineering field. Among many notable projects in his career, Calen worked with international artist Michael Singer, on structural and mechanical systems for a sculpture at the U.S. embassy in Athens, Greece. He is a registered professional engineer in 27 states and five Canadian provinces. In 2008, Colby and his wife Sarah Emily founded Colby Company Engineering, a Portland, Maine-based firm with 26 employees.

C. Ann Merrifield graduated with a bachelor’s degree in zoology in 1973 and a master’s in education in 1975.

She works with a number of small technology businesses as an independent board member, adviser or investor. From 2012 to July 2014, she held the role of President and Chief Executive Officer of PathoGenetix, Inc., a commercial stage developer of an automated system for rapid identification and typing of pathogenic bacterial strains. Prior to her role at PathoGenetix, Merrifield spent 18 years at Genzyme Corporation, a diversified global biotechnology company. Earlier in her career, Merrifield was a partner at Bain and Company, a global strategy consulting firm in Boston, and she was an Investment Officer at Aetna Life & Casualty in Hartford, Connecticut.

Mark “Rookie” A. Letendre graduated in 1978 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education. He is Director of Umpire Medical Service in the Office of the Commissioner for Major League Baseball.

In 2000, he was selected by the Major League Baseball Commissioner’s Office to develop and oversee a first-ever comprehensive athletic health care program for the 74 umpires in MLB. He served as a Major League Baseball Head Athletic Trainer for 14 years with the San Francisco Giants and eight years as a Minor League and Assistant Athletic Trainer with the New York Yankees. Letendre was honored to serve as National League athletic trainer at the 1987 and 1994 MLB All-Star Games. He has been recognized with many awards and serves on several civic-related committees.

Along with the Harris award, and to honor their legacy as successful scholarship recipients, the Foundation also presented each awardee with a $1,000 scholarship named in his or her honor. The scholarships will be awarded during the next academic year by the UMaine Student Financial Aid Office.

The Harris Awards were presented by the college deans. Foundation Board President Austin presented the scholarships. Almost 300 people attended the celebration and annual meeting.

The University of Maine Foundation was established in 1934 to encourage gifts and bequests to promote academic achievement, research and intellectual pursuit at the University of Maine. Currently, the Foundation manages more than 1,500 endowed funds that benefit UMaine.

Contact: Monique Hashey, 207.581.5104, 207.974.9899 or monique@maine.edu

Environmentalist, Author McKibben to Speak at UMaine Oct. 7

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Environmentalist Bill McKibben will speak about “Making a Life on a Tough New Planet” at the University of Maine’s Collins Center for the Arts on Tuesday, Oct. 7.

The lecture, which runs from 3:30–5 p.m., is hosted by the UMaine Honors College as part of its Honors Read program in which entering students read and discuss an important recent book as part of the curriculum. The Honors Read for 2014–2015 is McKibben’s book, “Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet.”

Described by The Boston Globe as “probably America’s most important environmentalist,” McKibben is the author of 15 books and a frequent contributor to The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, Outside and The New York Review of Books. His 1989 “The End of Nature” is often regarded as the first book on climate change written for a general audience. McKibben is founder of 350.org — a worldwide, grassroots climate change movement — and he currently serves as the Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2013, McKibben received the Gandhi Peace Award and the Thomas Merton Award for his ardent environmental activism.

Honors students who chose “Eaarth” as this year’s Honors Read were persuaded by McKibben’s argument that the “reality of global climate change is not up for discussion.”

The event is free and open to the public. Co-sponsors include the UMaine Cultural Affairs/Distinguished Lecture Series; School of Policy and International Affairs; School of Marine Sciences; Maine Business School; College of Education and Human Development; College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; College of Engineering; UMaine Humanities Initiative; Department of Chemistry; School of Earth and Climate Sciences; Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program; and Department of History.

Two Students Receive Fulbright Canada Awards

Friday, September 5th, 2014

Two University of Maine students have been selected by Fulbright Canada as Killam Fellows for the 2014-15 academic year.

Claire Fouchereaux of Yarmouth, a history and French major, will study at the University of Montreal this spring. Nicole Turmel of Hermon, an international affairs major, is studying at the University of Ottawa this fall.

Fulbright Canada is a joint, binational, treaty-based organization supported by the Canadian and U.S. governments. The Killam Fellowships program, sponsored by Fulbright Canada, allows undergraduate students from Canada and the U.S. to participate in a program of residential exchange to foster mutual understanding between the two countries.

The Fulbright Program, created under the Fulbright Act of 1946, with aid from Arkansas Sen. J. William Fulbright, operates in more than 150 countries. The Fulbright Scholarship program is highly competitive and has produced more than 300,000 scholars.

More information about the Killam Fellows is online.

Michele Girard: Volunteering in Haiti

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

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University of Maine senior Michele Girard is a political science major with a minor in international affairs. The North Yarmouth, Maine, native is an Honors College and Dean’s List student, and an accomplished athlete, with three top-10 triathlon finishes in her age category. In September 2014, Girard is volunteering to work with youngsters in Haiti as part of the Be Like Brit organization.

Describe the organization you are volunteering through.
The organization I am working for is called Be Like Brit. The orphanage was started from tragedy. Britney Gengel was 19 and volunteering in Haiti when she was killed in the 2010 earthquake. Before the quake hit, she had sent a text to her mom saying that she wanted to start an orphanage. A year later, her family started Be Like Brit, one of the most unique orphanages in the country. The goal is to house 66 children; they have just accepted their 47th.

I chose Be Like Brit because its story was so personal. They founded an orphanage in her name, I knew it was a group I’d want to work for because of the compassion of this family.

What will you be doing in Haiti?
When you apply to be a Britsionary, a long-term one, you can stay one to three months. To be accepted, you have to submit a proposal for what you would like to teach the children, as well as a detailed outline of the goals you plan to achieve. My proposal was to teach field hockey, a sport they don’t know, because it provided a lot of structure in my life when I played at Catherine McAuley High School in Portland, Maine. I thought it would help these children, too. For one month, I’ll be living at the orphanage teaching the sport, as well as working on various renovation projects and teaching English.

Beyond academics, what extracurricular activities occupy your time?
I am the current president of the Delta Mu Chapter of Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity. I also teach in the children’s program at Sugarloaf Mountain, and have participated in triathlons in the New England area. I love to travel. This past May, I went to Russia with the Maine Business School and have been to England, France, Ireland and Canada, and, in a few weeks, Haiti as well.

What are your plans after graduation?
I hope to attend graduate school for foreign service. I’d be assigned as an ambassador to countries where the Unites States want to maintain a presence; most current ambassadors are going to places the Middle East, Latin America and Africa. It is a two to four year program for graduate schools such as John Hopkins, Harvard and Georgetown.

What difference has UMaine made in your life and in helping you reach your goals?
The support I have had here on campus has been overwhelming. My professors have gone above and beyond to ensure that I can reach my academic goals. But more than that, they have cared and continue to care about my development and achievements outside of the classroom.

Why UMaine?
UMaine was special to me because it allowed me to explore what I wanted. There are such a variety of departments and classes, I can be extremely well rounded. In addition, the relationships students have with each other add perspectives that I knew I wanted to have in my collegiate experience.

How would you describe UMaine’s academic atmosphere?
Rigorous. The classes I have taken both in the Honors College and in the Political Science Department require me to constantly re-evaluate what I know about the world. Every day I get excited about a new idea, whether it is an unfamiliar phrase in one of my language classes or upcoming U.S. foreign policy. I am never bored.

Have you worked closely with a professor or mentor who made your UMaine experience better?
I am so fortunate to have many mentors on campus. For example, with my trip to Haiti, the Political Science Department, as well as the Honors College, bent over backward to shift my classes so I could go. I think that says volumes for how much the staff cares about the success of students and the role of the UMaine community in the world.

What is your favorite place on campus?
The highest riser at the football stadium. I have woken up at 3 or 4 a.m., walked to the football field, and climbed to the highest place I can to watch the sun come up over campus. Sometimes friends are with me and sometimes I’m alone, but it always seems to help me think.

While in Orono, I’ve spent too much time…
Chatting with Professor Singleton about foreign policy.

Class that nearly did you in?
It was my freshman year and I had Professor Brewer for a freshman seminar in the Honors College. He is now my adviser and one of the professors I respect most on campus, but he was tough. I was introduced to the rigors college very quickly.

If I knew then what I know now, I would have …
Taken the time to really listen to people. It’s one thing to not talk, but I’ve learned it’s another to really understand who they are.

Persian Folk Concert Sept. 8

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

The University of Maine presents “An Evening of Persian Folk Music” with Amir Vahab at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 8 in the Minsky Recital Hall on campus.

The free concert is co-hosted by UMaine’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Department of Music and Honors College.

Vahab is a composer and vocalist of folk music from the Middle East, according to his website. He plays and teaches several instruments including the tar, setar, tanbour, saz, oud, ney, daf and zarb.

For more information or to request a disability accommodation, call Beth Wiemann at 207.581.1244. More about Vahab and his music is online.