University of Maine President Susan Hunter has announced that Vice President for Human Resources Megan Sanders also will serve as chief of staff in the Office of the President, effective Aug. 1.
Sanders replaces Julie Hopwood, whose tenure as senior advisor to the president and chief of staff ends July 31.
“I am delighted that Meg has agreed to serve as vice president for human resources and chief of staff,” said Hunter. “She is a skilled, capable member of the cabinet and has a proven track record of working collaboratively to build consensus across multiple constituencies. The chief of staff position will play an important role in ensuring that UMaine continues to achieve the goals described in the Blue Sky Plan, namely continued focus on enrollment management strategies to attract more students to campus, implementation of Signature and Emerging academic and research programs that enhance the national competitiveness of the university, and continued attention to the research and development enterprise, a key economic driver within the state.”
Sanders’ appointment as chief of staff coincides with Hunter’s tenure as University of Maine President. As chief of staff, Sanders will serve as a liaison between the President’s Office and UMaine constituents, and assist the president in managing inquiries and responses that impact the university, among other duties.
“Vice President Sanders will also assist me in ensuring that UMaine remains a collaborative and dynamic member institution of the University of Maine System,” said Hunter.
Sanders joined the University of Maine community in 2012, serving as assistant and associate director of human resources, and associate vice president for human resources and administration. She was named vice president for human resources on July 1, 2014.
Prior to joining UMaine Human Resources, Sanders practiced law for five years at one of northern New England’s largest law firms, focusing on general litigation, and labor and employment matters. Sanders graduated from the University of Maine School of Law (magna cum laude), and has a bachelor’s degree in history and psychology from Bates College (summa cum laude).
The University of Maine Division of Marketing and Communications, which previously reported to the senior advisor to the president and chief of staff, will now report to Provost Jeffrey Hecker.
The Maine Edge published a report about an article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) that documents nearly 15 years of vernal pools research and management by the University of Maine’s Aram Calhoun who is leading an interdisciplinary team at the Sustainability Solutions Initiative (SSI), a program of the Sen. George J. Mitchell Center. In the article, Calhoun and three co-authors analyze a timeline of action and scholarship that spans from 1999 to the present. In that time, the professor of wetland ecology and director of UMaine’s Ecology and Environmental Sciences program has collaborated closely with academic colleagues, government at all levels, nongovernmental organizations, landowners, developers and concerned citizens in an effort to create an environment in which these small, but significant, wetlands can flourish.
WLBZ (Channel 2) spoke with University of Maine President Susan Hunter for a report on University of Maine System trustees approving a five-year plan aimed at closing the system’s budget deficit. “Our goal is to really make education accessible, affordable — certainly very high quality — and have it relevant and have people in Maine really want to get educated, because they see it as the best way forward,” Hunter said.
The Orono Bog Boardwalk will open for its twelfth season at 7 a.m. Thursday, July 24. A ceremony celebrating the completion of the first phase of reconstruction and the official reopening will be held at noon. University of Maine President Susan Hunter is scheduled to speak during the event.
More than 50 volunteers from campus and the community have worked more than 1,000 hours since March to replace the first 105 sections of the boardwalk, which had deteriorated through rot and insect damage during the facility’s 11 years of heavy use. The newly installed sections are constructed of composite decking with cladded aluminum siding and stainless steel footings and are expected to last many years.
The boardwalk is located in the Rolland F. Perry (Bangor) City Forest and extends through forested wetland and out onto a broad, open peat bog. Since it opened in June 2003, the boardwalk has been visited by almost 300,000 people. The boardwalk is free and open from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. seven days a week during the summer, with hours adjusting for day-length changes in the fall.
Volunteers maintain the boardwalk and provide information and education for visitors, including school and community groups. The facility is jointly managed by the Orono Land Trust, UMaine and the city of Bangor. Its operation and maintenance are funded through donations, sales of boardwalk merchandise, and grants. Phase II of the reconstruction campaign is now underway.
More information, including how to volunteer or contribute to the reconstruction and continued operation of the boardwalk is available online or by contacting Jim Bird, director of the Orono Bog Boardwalk, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 207.866.2578.
All five of the Upward Bound Math Science student groups will present their final videos for the summer program’s Group Sustainability Design Project from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Friday, July 25, in the Foster Center for Student Innovation.
The Upward Bound Math Science Program is affiliated with the UMaine College of Education and Human Development and offers a six-week college preparatory program to first-generation college students from eight Maine high schools. The program specifically targets students who are interested in pursuing STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) majors and careers.
This summer, 35 students are attending from Central High School in Corinth, Foxcroft Academy in Dover-Foxcroft, Mattanawcook Academy in Lincoln, Nokomis Regional High School in Newport, Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in South Paris, Portland High School, Stearns High School in Millinocket, and Schenck High School in East Millinocket.
Students will present posters of their individual research projects and explorations completed over the summer from 5 to 9 p.m. Monday, July 28 in the atrium of the D.P. Corbett Business Building during the program’s conference-style STEM symposium.
Due to predicted thunderstorms, the University of Maine’s free screening of the movie “Frozen” originally slated for Wednesday, July 23 has been rescheduled for 8 p.m. Thursday, July 24. The movie will be played on the Harold Alfond Stadium’s new high-definition scoreboard. The event is free and open to the public.
WABI (Channel 5) reported the University of Maine Museum of Art has begun a new 17-year lease with Eastern Maine Development Corporation, maintaining the downtown Bangor location it has occupied in Norumbega Hall for more than a decade. The lease was approved by the University of Maine System Board of Trustees in May, and the Bangor City Council penned a letter of support for the deal. “Our role is to expose the community to new art forms that they may not typically be able to see here in Maine and bring those significant artists in. That’s really an important role of the university and the university land grant mission of service and community engagement, so the downtown location certainly extends the university’s reach,” said George Kinghorn, executive director and curator of the UMaine Museum of Art. WVII (Channel 7) also reported on the museum.
University of Maine student Ray Peck spoke with Bill Green for a segment on WLBZ (Channel 2) about Maine’s declining heron population. This summer, Peck is assisting biologist Danielle D’Auria of Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. To study the birds, Peck and D’Auria are visiting dozens of heron colonies and monitoring bird behavior and reproductive rates. “There’s an aura to them — the way they act, the way they look,” Peck said. “They don’t look like they should be able to fly but they do. They’re really beautiful creatures; really amazing.”
The Maine Edge published an article about University of Maine researchers receiving funds to design and test a wireless leak detection system for the International Space Station (ISS). The project was one of five in the nation to receive funding from NASA’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) for research and technology development onboard ISS. Ali Abedi, a UMaine associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, was awarded a three-year, $100,000 NASA grant through the Maine Space Grant Consortium in Augusta for the project. “This will be a great training experience for our students to learn how to take a prototype out of the lab, and not only to the field but also to space,” Abedi said.
John Dorrer, a consultant with Georgetown University’s Center on Education in the Workplace, spoke with the Maine Public Broadcasting Network for a report based on his Maine Policy Review article, “Do we have the workforce skills for Maine’s innovation economy?”