UMaine’s Congressional Internship Program Celebrates 50th Anniversary With Washington, D.C., Celebration Hosted and Sponsored by Peter Madigan ’81
April 6th, 2009
The University of Maine’s Congressional Internship Program turned 50 last month with a celebration hosted and sponsored by Peter Madigan ’81 at his Washington, D.C., lobbying firm of Johnson, Madigan, Peck, Boland & Stewart.
Attending the reception were nearly 80 guests including current and former UMaine interns from the offices of Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins and Rep. Michael Michaud. Also on hand were UMaine faculty and staff and UMaine Honors College students, as well as former Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen and former Maine Governor John Reed.
Professor Emeritus Kenneth Palmer, who directed the prestigious internship program from 1969 to 2004, traveled to Washington, D.C., from his home in Kittery for the event.
“People very much appreciated the opportunity Peter afforded us to get together and meet the many alumni of the Congressional Internship Program,” said Professor Palmer, noting that interns representing all five decades of the program attended the event.
“For the first time I met alumni who had participated in the program before I took over in 1969,” he continued. “I mean people in their 60’s and not far from my age – 72. It was great! ”
“The event was terrific,” said William Kourakos, a 1977 UMaine graduate and former congressional intern who spent the final semester of his senior year working in Sen. Edmund Muskie’s office.
“It was great to get together with other former interns to see how they viewed their experience,” said Bill, who lives in New York City but remains close to his Maine roots and maintains a residence in Cape Elizabeth.
“Listening to remarks by Peter Madigan, Professor Palmer, Gov. Reed and Secretary Cohen made me feel like I was going back 32 years.”
Bill credits the internship program with paving the way for his career in finance. After graduating from UMaine, he spent a year in Portland working at a newspaper start-up before returning to Washington to work in Sen. Muskie’s office. That job enabled him to finance his graduate school education at George Washington University where he earned an MBA.
“The program opened my eyes to the outside world and sent me on a journey that I never would have taken,” said Bill, now a partner with Perella Weinberg Partners, LP, a financial services firm in New York City.
For Peter Madigan, a congressional intern with Congressman David Emery who later worked with Sens. William Cohen, George Mitchell and Olympia Snowe, the program was a life-changing experience that helped him launch an illustrious career. He was appointed to a senior position in the Treasury Department in the Reagan administration, and has been a strategist for Fortune 100 companies, non-profit organizations, small businesses and foreign heads of state in presenting their issues to Congress.
Other former interns have similar stories. More than a quarter of the 200 UMaine students who have participated in the program are involved in public service or some form of government activity, according to Professor Palmer. “We regarded the program as an especially valuable learning experience for motivated students who wanted to gain exposure in national politics.”
UMaine’s Congressional Internship Program was established in 1957 by Professor Edward Dow, chair of UMaine’s then Department of History and Government, who wanted to provide students with practical government experience to complement their classroom work. Dow knew a number of Maine politicians, including Sens. Frederick Payne and Edmund Muskie, who liked his idea and helped him launch the program.
Since 1972 every member of Maine’s Congressional Delegation has had a UMaine intern. These young people are regarded as full time staff members. They monitor hearings and debates, write press releases, deliver documents to the Capitol, conduct research, attend meetings and events, and correspond with constituents.
The program at UMaine is unusual because students are paid a monthly salary by the congressional offices which helps defray the costs of living in D.C. and ensures that the offices are guaranteed a good worker for the whole semester. Selected each year according to their academic records as well as personal maturity and professionalism, the interns are given a significant amount of responsibility, an indication of the reputation and success of UMaine’s program.
“I believe our program is the gold standard – it is also one of the oldest in the country,” said Professor Palmer. “Right from the beginning it was a partnership between the political science faculty and the Maine delegation members and their staffs. It worked so well because the students did a great job, becoming contributing members of their staffs, and also because we in Orono did our part too. We carefully screened students and made sure the team every year was strong. We worked closely with the congressional delegation and their office staffs. For example, we visited each of the Washington offices every year to check on the progress of the interns.
“We told newly selected interns that they were ambassadors from the University of Maine and that their work would have an impact on how well the Congressional Internship Program operated the next year. Their performance was always excellent and it made a positive impact on both public policy and their individual careers, for which I’m enormously proud.”
Office of Development and Dr. Paul Mayewski, Director of Climate Change Institute, Host Antarctic Cruise
March 17th, 2009
Members of the UMaine Office of Development Antarctic Expedition
“You can’t protect what you don’t know.”
– Lars-Eric Lindblad, Swedish-American entrepreneur and explorer who led the first tourist expedition to Antarctica in 1966
Dr. Paul Mayewski, director of the University of Maine’s Climate Change Institute, has explored more regions of the Antarctic than anyone else in the world. Over the last four decades, he has led dozens of scientific expeditions to this most pristine of continents that serves as an early warning system for greenhouse gas warming. Known worldwide for his global scale collection and analysis of ice core samples, he has demonstrated the existence of abrupt changes in climates of the past and the impact of humans on the climate, and has made important predictions about the future.
Last January, Paul returned to Antarctica – this time as an expert scientist with a group of 90 tourists as part of an 11-day cruise organized jointly by the University of Maine Office of Development and Travel Dynamics International (NYC). The travelers – including 15 adventurous UMaine alumni and friends – were eager to experience the dramatic beauty of the “white continent” and gain a better understanding of how climate change is affecting our environment.
Aboard the 297-foot Corinthian II, a luxury cruise ship ice-strengthened for voyages into Antarctic waters, Paul presented lectures and seminars to the enthusiastic travelers who hailed from all parts of the U.S., as well as from Canada, Netherlands, New Zealand, England and Australia. Utilizing the fleet of Zodiac inflatable crafts, he, with the expedition staff, conducted shore landings and excursions so the group could explore the unspoiled wilderness of the islands, visit scientists at weather and research stations, and enjoy up-close encounters with penguins, seals, whales and icebergs.
Departing from Ushuaia, Argentina, sometimes referred to as Fin del Mundo (End of the World), the travelers began their adventure by crossing the Drake Passage and entering the Southern Ocean which surrounds Antarctica and is a key region in determining global climate. As the ship made its way through scenic waterways, passengers were treated to a panorama of icebergs, glaciers and snowcapped mountains.
“It was really an outstanding trip,” said Dan Churchill ’63, a retired businessman who lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife Betty. “Paul’s lectures were a major contribution to our experience. We came away with an increased understanding of climate change as well as a better appreciation of the vibrant beauty of Antarctica. It was a wonderful opportunity to observe such abundant wildlife in this beautiful and unique part of the world and to realize how very vulnerable it is to changes man is making to the environment.”
The Churchills, who have been associated with the Climate Change Institute for many years through their support of graduate research, said Paul has a knack for making complex scientific information understandable and interesting. He offered a fascinating look at how Antarctica is being affected by climate change and explained the implications this has on the rest of the world.
The Antarctic is changing rapidly because human activities have led to greenhouse gas warming of the lower atmosphere and ozone depletion in the upper atmosphere, according to Paul. “When we first started working there we thought of it as absolutely timeless. But it is beginning to show dramatic changes. The edges of the ice are melting and contributing thus far to a small amount of sea level rise. We’re seeing the early effects of human source pollutants and we’re seeing stronger winds because of ozone depletion.” People can help mitigate climate change and its impact at the local level by driving more fuel efficient cars, building energy efficient homes, and buying locally grown foods, he told the group.
On the forays ashore, he provided much-needed perspective on global warming as the group toured the Vernadsky Research Station where scientists discovered and now track the Antarctic Ozone hole that is the direct consequence of humanly engineered CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) that are so efficient at destroying the ozone that protects Antarctica from solar radiation.
“He provided a great deal of information on climate history and on the increases in the principal greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide and methane which are now driving this change,” said Dan. “We had many opportunities to ask questions, observe, and learn throughout the trip.”
The Churchills agreed that the shore expeditions were the highlights of the voyage. “The Antarctic Peninsula has some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. We were lucky to have such great visibility,” said Betty, noting the sunny days and 30- to 40-degree temperatures typical of the Antarctic summer during which the sun rises at 5 a.m. and sets at 11 p.m.
One minute the voyagers were gazing in awe at craggy peaks and rocky precipices, massive glaciers and spectacular ice formations both above and in the polar waters. The next found them marveling at the diverse marine life and laughing as hundreds of inquisitive Adelie penguins descended upon them, grunting and barking.
“The penguins really are very endearing,” Dan said. “Both the adults and juveniles are curious and without any natural fear of man…they come up and peck at your clothing and gaze at you in a very studious manner. We saw many different seals including a large leopard seal which put on quite a show, investigating us and tasting our Zodiac before porpoising through the sea in pursuit of a penguin which successfully fled for its life.”
Paul, who calls himself “truly passionate about translating science to the public,” said cruise ship expeditions are particularly valuable in helping people become aware of the impact of climate change.
“They are an opportunity to spend several days with people who are excited about the Antarctic and who can become ambassadors and tell others about the importance and beauty of this region,” he said. “This is a place very few get to visit. Once you see a place, it’s easier to appreciate it. Antarctica has the cleanest air on the planet so you can see long, long distances. And the only thing you can hear is the sound of the natural system – nothing else. There’s no other continent on the planet about which you can say that.”
Sustaining our quality of life requires some effect on the environment, he said. But once people see the Antarctic’s dramatic beauty and learn how it has been altered by human activity, “they will have a better idea of what we’re trading off and how much we’re willing to trade off.”
The cruise created an important link between UMaine and supporters, according to Pat Cummings ’89,’44H, director of development for the College of Engineering. Serving as the university’s representative on the voyage, Pat said the Development Office’s first-ever sponsored trip “highlighted the Climate Change Institute – one of UMaine’s Centers of Excellence – and gave people a chance to get to know Dr. Paul Mayewski, one of our premier researchers, and see the impact of what he does.”
In addition to the Antarctic, Paul has led scientific expeditions to many remote places including the Arctic and the Himalayas. Through his groundbreaking research, he has observed the historic impact of humans on climate, reconstructed past atmospheric conditions, and demonstrated associations between climate and disruptions to civilization. He has received numerous awards and citations for his seminal contributions to the understanding of climate change.
|Author of “The Ice Chronicles,” which was published in 2002 and documents 100,000 years of climate history, Paul speaks to hundreds around the world each year and has appeared on CBS 60 Minutes, Good Morning America, Fox News and NOVA and been interviewed by more than 350 newspapers including the Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and the Christian Science Monitor, as well as by National Public Radio.
As director of UMaine’s Climate Change Institute, he coordinates more than 50 faculty/staff members and researchers plus nearly 30 graduate students who are experts in the fields of climatology, archaeology, glaciology, geochemistry, ecology, history and marine geology. He founded and currently leads a 21-nation program called the International Trans Antarctic Scientific Expedition (ITASE), whose goal is to understand the climate change of the last 200-1000 years in the Antarctic and the Southern Ocean.
For Paul, it was as important to educate travelers about the strides UMaine has made in climate change research as it was to educate them about climate change. The university “has been one of the primary sources of researchers working in the Antarctic in the country if not the world,” he said. “We have made a name for ourselves – not just because of the numbers of people and expeditions that UMaine and the CCI have sent to Antarctica, but because of our discoveries.”
UMaine researchers have demonstrated the existence of abrupt climate change, contributed to the understanding of humans’ impact on the climate system through burning fossil fuels and polluting with toxic metals, determined what parts of the Antarctic ice sheet are susceptible to rapid melting, and provided a long term perspective on how the climate is changing, Paul said.
Christopher Stobart, a London businessman who took the cruise along with his wife Diana, said he came away wowed by UMaine’s accomplishments. “I was impressed by the extent of their efforts and the amount of traveling which Paul and others do to collect fresh samples from distant parts of the world. It was very impressive and interesting to see the conclusions and predictions which they derived from their analyses – for example that global temperatures can jump two-three degrees in two-ten years. This was something quite new and startling to me.”
Calling Paul “a knowledgeable and charming man – quite modest as well,” Chris said climate change is a subject most everyone’s concerned about. “It was a great treat and a privilege to speak to someone who is really dedicating his life to finding some serious answers.”
Chris said he enjoyed the Black Bear spirit that was evident throughout the voyage. UMaine alumni and friends regaled their fellow travelers with the Stein Song, one of the most recognized collegiate songs in the U.S. Even those not affiliated with UMaine happily joined in. A game of Maine trivia was met with the same enthusiasm. Answers to such questions as what is Maine’s highest peak, what is the name of Maine’s national park, and who is UMaine’s most famous alumnus (author Stephen King) were accompanied by plenty of laughter and prizes. Flagship pins, Maine Ice Age Trail Maps, and blue and white M & M candies –representing UMaine’s colors – were handed out to everyone.
For their part, the Churchills are grateful for the unique opportunity to help raise awareness about the Antarctic and its vulnerability to human activity. They said the UMaine trip helped them nurture a deep sense of environmental responsibility and that they have indeed been inspired to talk to others. They know they are educating people every time they share pictures and stories about their adventures.
“People really do become ambassadors for the Antarctic once they appreciate the beauty and the vulnerability of the region and understand the risks of climate change,” said Dan.
The UMaine Office of Development plans to offer a cruise to Greenland and the Canadian Arctic from July 31-Aug. 15, 2010, featuring Dr. Paul Mayewski as lecturer. For more information, call Dorain Foster at 581-1159.
Click here for the Climate Change Institute website where you will find “Maine’s Climate Future: An Initial Assessment,” a University of Maine report presented to Gov. John Baldacci in February 2009
KeyBank Provides $25,000 to Name Elevator in Collins Center for the Arts
February 18th, 2009
(L-r): John Patches, executive director of the Collins Center for the Arts; Gail P. Conley, KeyBank market manager and senior vice president KeyBank National Association; and Adam Robertson, KeyBank vice president of private banking
KeyBank in Bangor has provided a $25,000 gift to name the new elevator in the renovated Collins Center for the Arts at the University of Maine.
A dedication plaque recognizing KeyBank’s generosity will appear prominently on the elevator which transports people to the third floor where the VIP suite, the Bodwell Lounge and the entrance to the Hutchins Hall balcony all are located. There is certain to be plenty of hustle and bustle in the area, with people attending receptions, meetings and dinners or relaxing with a glass of wine during intermission.
The Collins Center for the Arts, honoring UMaine alumni Richard R. and Anne A. Collins ’59, ’61, who provided a $5 million gift toward the building’s renovation, reopened Feb. 1 with a performance by the Bangor Symphony Orchestra . The remodeled building features a spectacular new entrance, a renovated lobby, a new Hudson Museum on the second floor, an expanded Bodwell Lounge, and a significant facelift to Hutchins Hall.
“We’re delighted with KeyBank’s commitment to the Collins Center for the Arts,” said John Patches, executive director of the CCA. He noted that Adam Robertson, KeyBank’s vice president of private banking and member of the CCA’s advisory board, played a key role in securing the gift.
His colleagues at the bank were extremely enthusiastic about providing the gift for the CCA, Robertson said. “We like to support the Bangor marketplace, and the university is a cornerstone in that marketplace.”
Over the years, KeyBank has supported the university in a variety of ways. It provides annual student scholarships through the Mitchell Institute, named for U.S. Senator George J. Mitchell, and it is one of the sponsors of the Maine hockey program.
Plum Creek Provides $15,000 for the Forestry Summer Camp Safety Fund
February 9th, 2009
Paul Davis (left), Plum Creek's general manager for the New England Region, with Edward Ashworth, dean of the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry and Agriculture
University of Maine forestry students will be safer in the forest thanks to a $15,000 gift from Plum Creek, the largest and most geographically diverse private landowner in the nation.
The Plum Creek Forestry Summer Camp Safety Fund, administered over three years, will provide safety equipment for 20 students who participate in the annual three-week training session which offers intensive, hands-on experience in forest management.
Heretofore, students were required to purchase their own helmets and eye, leg and boot protection at a cost of approximately $250. Now, thanks to Plum Creek’s generous gift, forestry camp will be more affordable for these young people who learn to use chainsaws, logging equipment, road construction equipment and other tools in their quest to become forestry professionals.
“Plum Creek’s contribution is much appreciated. With lots of students working together, strong attention to safety is vital,” said Louis Morin, an instructor in the School of Forest Resources who directs the summer forestry camp, held both on campus and in Acadia National Park.
The gift also will go a long way in easing the financial burden for forestry students, Morin pointed out. “The forestry camp is one of the most expensive courses that forestry students have to take. Not only do students have to buy their own equipment and pay for room and board, they also lose three weeks of income that they would have earned through summer employment.”
Based in Seattle, Plum Creek owns more than seven million acres in major timber producing regions of the United States, including 928,000 acres in Maine’s Piscataquis, Somerset, Franklin and Penobscot counties.
“We wanted to support the University of Maine because it is a very valuable resource for the state and the forest products industry,” said Mark Doty, community affairs manager for Plum Creek’s Maine headquarters in Fairfield. The company also has field offices in Greenville, Bingham and the Jackman area.
“As a practically-oriented organization, we felt it was important to provide something that would be useful to students,” said Doty, who graduated from UMaine in 1986 with a degree in forest engineering.
This isn’t the first time that Plum Creek has given UMaine a boost. “Plum Creek has been a tremendous supporter of the university through its active membership in the Cooperative Forestry Research Unit,” said Professor Robert Wagner, director of the School of Forest Resources, referring to a group of forestland owners and managers that funds scientific research at UMaine to develop new information that will improve sustainable forest management practices in the state.
Noting that Plum Creek’s priorities include protecting the environment and acting as a strong community partner, Doty said at least 18 UMaine graduates currently are employed with Plum Creek and are working in Maine. Several others work for Plum Creek in other states.
These talented young people “come ready to work with a great work ethic and a can-do attitude,” he said.
“The forestry summer camp is a big part of preparing these students. That’s why we wanted to support something practical like that. Academics are important, but on the ground training is too.”
John “Jack” Lavery ‘70 Establishes Scholarship for Economics Students
January 26th, 2009
John “Jack” Lavery ‘70 Establishes Scholarship for Economics Students
John (Jack) W. Lavery, who earned a master’s degree in economics from the University of Maine in 1970 before embarking on a successful career as a leading economist, has provided $300,000 over 10 years to establish a scholarship fund for students in UMaine’s College of Business, Public Policy and Health.
Chairman and CEO of Lavery Consulting Group, L.L.C., a New Jersey-based economic and public policy research firm specializing in client presentations, Jack created the Jack W. Lavery Scholarship Fund for outstanding undergraduate and graduate students majoring in economics at UMaine.
“I liked the economics program at the University of Maine,” said Jack. “I learned a great deal. I had good teachers who not only took a pragmatic approach to the subject but also made it analytically rigorous. My education at UMaine made a real positive difference in my career.”
“We are honored by Jack’s gift,” said John Mahon, dean of the College. “It is yet another way in which Jack contributes to both the field of economics and to the College. His generosity to the College and to the next generation of students reflects his commitment to his profession and to the College.”
During his nearly 40 years as an economist, Jack worked at corporations including Provident National Bank, Aetna Life & Casualty, and Western Electric Company. He also had an extraordinary 20-year career with Merrill Lynch & Co.
He joined the financial services company in 1981 as chief economist and director of economic research. In each of his four years as chief economist, Jack made the Institutional Investor All-Star team. Prior to Jack, no economist at Merrill Lynch had ever made the I.I. All-Star team in economics. He then went on to build and orchestrate Merrill’s global securities research and economics complex for eleven years, run its worldwide global equities business for three years, and serve as director of corporate strategy for one year. He also created and ran the firm’s corporate and public policy research group. He retired from Merrill Lynch in 2000 to accept the position of Visiting Professor of Economics and Executive-in-Residence at Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey, his undergraduate alma mater from which he earned top honors while majoring in economics. He established Lavery Consulting Group in 2001.
In addition to gaining a strong foundation in economics from UMaine, Jack acquired something else: a love of teaching. Shortly after beginning his first semester in 1968, he was entrusted with teaching the large lecture hall session in Principles of Economics after Professor Samuel “Bud” Talley was injured in an accident. These new duties were in addition to his ongoing responsibilities for the recitation sections that were part of his teaching assistantship. In the five weeks or so that Professor Talley was recuperating, Jack handled the entire Principles course. It was a whole new ballgame.
“It worked out very well,” said Jack, who discovered that he enjoyed producing clear, straightforward yet challenging and thought provoking lectures as well as synthesizing a large amount of material so students could focus on the most important aspects of the subject.
“I learned a great deal teaching that 80-minute economic principles course three times a week,” he said. “I had to make sure that I was comfortable with the subject and that I understood it thoroughly so I could express myself extemporaneously without reference to notes.”
Jack never lost the passion for teaching and scholarship that he developed at UMaine. He would intersperse his long and varied career as an economist with stints as an educator – sometimes full-time, sometimes as an adjunct professor.
“My desire to teach was always there,” said Jack, who taught economics at the University of Hartford, Niagara University, Seton Hall University, and LaSalle University. He also taught while he was a graduate student at the University of New Hampshire. In keeping with his love of teaching, he traveled the country, giving presentations to corporations, financial institutions and money management entities.
Jack’s former economics professors often made it a point to be in the audience when their protege gave presentations in Maine. “It meant a lot to me to have people like John Coupe, Tom Duchesneau, and David Wihry there. I think they were proud of me and I was proud to have the opportunity to do something in front of them.”
Nowadays, as head of the Lavery Consulting Group, Jack is busy researching and writing articles on the economy and the financial markets, domestic and global. He continues to travel the country, providing dynamic, insightful and understandable forums on the U.S. and global economies, financial markets, politics, and public policy. He always takes questions from the audience and enjoys the lively exchange that inevitably follows.
“It’s an exciting time to be involved in economics and the demand for what I do is high,” he said. “Economics can be theoretical and mathematical, but I focus on delivering important, pragmatic real world economic and financial market implications.”
The University of Maine has remained a big part of Jack’s life. For the past five years he has chaired the advisory board for the Maine Business School in the College of Business, Public Policy, and Health, which meets several times a year to determine the overall direction for the MBS; provide input from the perspective of major employers; identify trends in business; and advocate for the College and the University.
He and his wife, Charlotte, who had their first two children at St. Joseph Hospital in Bangor while Jack was a graduate student at UMaine, enjoy visiting the campus and often extend their trip so they can spend time in Bar Harbor. For her part, Charlotte is delighted about Jack’s allegiance to his alma mater and fully concurs with his gift to the university.
Jack plans to continue his commitment to UMaine. “I’m doing everything I can to help the university. My role may change, but I hope to always have an important connection.”