Students in the Spotlight

A story regarding 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.”

Rachel Kennedy, Doctor of Philosophy Student in Biomedical Sciences, Accepts Postdoctoral Position

Posted May 1, 2013

Rachel Kennedy, a Doctor of Philosophy student set to graduate in the Biomedical Sciences program in August 2013, has accepted a postdoctoral position at Columbia University. She will be working in the neurobiology and neuroscience labs of Drs. Rae Silver and James Curley researching the role of immune cells called mast cells in the brain. These cells are known to defend the body against parasitic attack, and are main effector cells in allergies and asthma, but their normal physiology in the brain is not known. Kennedy’s dissertation research, performed in the laboratory of Dr. Julie Gosse, focused on the effect of environmental toxicants on mast cell degranulation, and she said of her future research, “There is no real understanding of what mast cells are doing in the brain. We are interested in understanding both the normal physiology and pathology of mast cells in the brain, which may have implications for disease states such as anxiety and depression.” While at Columbia University Kennedy will also be a lecturer in psychology for the Frontiers of Science program, part of the core curriculum for undergraduate students.

Joel-Michael Martin, Master in Human Development Student, Presents at Association of Fraternal Leadership Values National Conference

Posted April 15, 2013

Joel-Michael Martin, May 2013 candidate for the Master in Human Development degree, presented his talk “24 Shades of Gray; Leadership without Easy Answers” with associate Douglas Calhoun at the February Association of Fraternal Leadership Values conference. According to their website the AFLV, “exists to stimulate the growth and development of fraternity/sorority councils, chapters, and members by promoting leadership, educational, and values based experiences and resources for student leaders, their advisors, and the larger fraternal market. Martin said of the event, “This was a large honor considering the amount of presentations submitted and the limited number of spots. I was very excited to be involved.” Martin is the Coordinator of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs at UMaine. In this role he advises 24 Greek Chapters and two Councils making up over 1,000 undergraduate students.

Doctoral Student in Higher Education, Daniela Veliz, Leads National Network of Chilean Researchers

Posted March 25, 2013

Daniela Veliz, a doctoral candidate in Higher Education, is leading a new network of Chilean researchers. Working with colleague Dr. Paulina Perez Mejias, Veliz will be holding the first meeting of the Network of Chilean Education Researchers (RIECH) at the annual American Educational Research Association (AERA) conference in San Francisco, California. AERA is the most prominent international professional association with the primary goal of advancing educational research and its practical application. RIECH was born from the initiative of scholars and graduate students -mainly in the United States- who share an interest in contributing to the advancement of knowledge about Chile’s education. The idea behind the network is to connect with other scholars doing research about Chile and to showcase their study results. Veliz says, “We think this network will serve also as a way to share resources and information among its members and to provide opportunities for collaboration.” So far the group has more than 50 members (including graduate students and professors from US and other universities) and every day more express interest in participating. More information about RIECH can be found here. El Mercurio, Chile’s leading newspaper, quoted Veliz in a March 4 story about Chileans forming networks abroad.

Veliz, originally from Chile, is also a Research Assistant for the ADVANCE Rising Tide Center on campus, and is currently working on her dissertation regarding socialization of international women faculty working at research universities.

Rob Gee, Doctoral Student in the History Program, and Dr. Katherine O'Flaherty, Honors College Faculty, receive Digital Humanities Award

Posted February 25, 2013

UMaine History doctoral candidate Rob Gee and Honors College/Maine Studies Program faculty member Katherine O'Flaherty have received an award in recognition of their work in the digital humanities. The 2012 DH Awards recognize excellence in digital humanities in a number of categories. Nominations for DH Awards came from around the digital humanities community and were overseen by the nominations committee.

Gee and Dr. O’Flaherty received their award in the category “Best Professional Resource for Learning About or Doing Digital Humanities Work” for their Digital Humanities Toolbox, which is available here. They were also nominated for the “Best Digital Humanities Blog, Article, or Short Publication” for their post "Summer Project: Start a Digital History Toolbox", which can be seen here.  

The Digital Humanities Awards are a new set of annual awards given in recognition of talent and expertise in the digital humanities community and are nominated and voted for entirely by the public. These awards are intended to help put interesting DH resources in the spotlight and engage DH users (and the general public) in the work of the community. Awards are not specific to geography, language, conference, organization or field of humanities that they benefit. The 2012 DH Awards website is available here

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