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New Wood Composite Seawall at MMA was Team Effort

Contact: Nick Houtman, University of Maine Dept. of Public Affairs, 207-581-3777,

ORONO–Maine Maritime Academy has teamed up with the Advanced Engineered Wood Composites (AEWC) Center at the University of Maine, Correct Building Products in Biddeford and the Cianbro Corporation in Pittsfield to build a wood composite sea wall at MMA’s campus in Castine. The wall was completed November 22 and is the first such structure using Correct Building Products’ wood/plastic composite structural members.

The 153-foot long, six-foot high structure replaces a conventional wooden seawall that had deteriorated, allowing soil to erode from a paved boat storage area, according to Jim Soucie, executive director of planning, compliance and facilities operations at MMA. “The existing seawall had been in place for more than twenty years and was in danger of falling into the ocean,” says Soucie.

“We don’t have any extra room on our waterfront so it was critical that we come up with a long term solution. We also wanted to use materials that would have a long life span and be environmentally safe,” he adds.

“We’re excited to expand our market presence into seawalls, piers and other marine structures,” says Martin Grohman, president of Correct Building Products. The new wall is made of the company’s 16-foot long 4×4 composite members that are normally used in CorrectDeck railings. The 4x4s are hollowed out for ease of handling.

Conventional pressure-treated pine posts (NatureWood) were used for the pilings. “About 95 percent of this wall is made of composites. They will not corrode or leach any chemicals into the water. It’s environmentally sound,” says Bob Lindyberg, manager of technical services at the AEWC.

In 2002, Soucie contacted Lindyberg about the possibility of using the seawall project as a demonstration of new wood composite construction materials. “Lindyberg was very enthusiastic about the project as well as the opportunity to demonstrate a new application for engineered materials when we first contacted him,” says Soucie. “One of the obvious advantages of working together was being able to use Bob’s expertise and imagination in the use of engineered composite materials. He was instrumental in helping MMA obtain a grant to help with this project.”

Olivia Sanchez, a UMaine graduate and AEWC research engineer designed the wall and provided project coordination, managing a team of undergraduate engineering students and working with representatives of Cianbro, MMA and Correct Building Products.

For Cianbro, contributing to the project was a chance to give back to their alma mater (CEO Peter Vigue, Senior Vice President Mac Cianchette and many others at the company are MMA grads) and to advance Maine’s economic future. “We couldn’t be happier to be a part of this project,” says Cianchette. “Maine is home to new companies and a research community that is positioning us for jobs and competitive new products that have great market potential. Replacing aging coastal infrastructure is just one area where we can play a big role in the future.”

About half the approximate $92,000 cost was paid by a Wood and Technology grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Cianbro donated equipment, labor and on-site services, and Correct Building Products contributed materials at cost. UMaine also donated indirect costs associated with the USDA grant.

“We received the grant in 2003, and the team worked very well together,” says Lindyberg. “Everybody did a great job to get their work done on time. The wall was designed to be very safe and easy to build.”

More information about each organization is available on the Internet: Correct Building Products,; Cianbro,; Maine Maritime Academy,; and the Advanced Engineered Wood Composites Center,

UMaine Business School Dean Looks Overseas for Partnerships

Contact: Dan Innis, (207) 581-1968; George Manlove, (207) 581-3756

ORONO–University of Maine Business School students soon will have a few more opportunities for international field work, according to Dean Dan Innis, after his recent participation in Gov. John Baldacci’s trade mission to Europe.

Innis represented the University of Maine System as part of a delegation of about 30 Maine business representatives and state business development officials looking to foster better trade opportunities abroad. They visited Germany and Italy during the week-long trip in November.

Innis visited seven universities in five German or Italian cities, looking for exchange and research opportunities with other institutions and European businesses willing to accept UMaine business school students with overseas assignments.

“That was what I was pursuing most aggressively,” Innis says, “but I was also looking to find students there who might come to Maine to work with businesses.”

Recent revisions in the UMaine Master of Business Administration program require an international business experience, and undergraduates sometimes pursue foreign study projects, exchanges and internships, through the business school or the UMaine Office of International Programs.

“If we send 15 or 20 students to another country, they match with foreign students and break each group into four or five students, and each group goes to a company to solve a problem,” Innis says. Problems assigned to student groups traditionally are actual business dilemmas, Innis notes, and the solutions are usually implemented.

Innis visited universities in D

Maine 4-Hers Bring Home Awards at the BigE

Contact: Nick Houtman, Dept. of Public Affairs, 207-581-3777,;
Shirley Hager, University of Maine Cooperative Extension, 207-581-3183,

ORONO, Maine – The Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, Massachusetts, may be the mother of New England’s agricultural fairs. For the more than 60 Maine 4-H members who competed at the BigE last September, it was the chance to put finishing touches on months of hard work. Their efforts paid off with awards and first and second place finishes in dairy, horse, beef, sheep and working steer categories.

“The kids work for this all year long,” says Shirley Hager, University of Maine Cooperative Extension program administrator in Orono. “Eastern States is the culmination of a process that starts with projects in local 4-H clubs.” BigE ran from Sept. 17 to Oct. 3 with entertainment, parades, carnival rides, food demonstrations, livestock exhibitions and other attractions.

More than one million people went through the gates, the largest attendance since the first event in 1917.

Like candidates for all-star sports teams, members of Maine’s 139 4-H clubs must qualify for the opportunity to go to the BigE. They participate in at least one and sometimes multiple tryout sessions in which judges rank their knowledge and their ability to care for and manage animals.

Youths in the working steer competition participated in three tryouts during the summer to win a seat on one of the largest working steer youth competitions in New England. Working steer is a young version of a pair of oxen. Eight members of the Maine team attended the BigE and brought home several first and second place honors. The Maine team placed second overall in collective points.

During two days of 4-H sheep showing, the 17 members of the Maine team competed in breed classes and showed their skills through a knowledge exam, a blocking contest, quiz bowl, an educational exhibit and rigorous showmanship classes. The Maine contestants brought home championship and first place honors.

The 61 beef category participants from all states kept busy in five days of competition in judging, educational exhibits, beef records, a hands-on “skil-a-thon,” a beef breed show and fitting and showmanship. The 20 members of the Maine team brought home four first place finishes in the fitting and showmanship categories, winning Grand Champion, Reserved Grand Champion, Highly Commended and Commended showpersons. The grooming team also ranked first.

Members in the 4-H horse program participated in tryouts June 25 in Skowhegan. While twenty-two girls and one boy took a chartered bus to West Springfield, their horses arrived in two vans that hold ten horses each. The show consisted of fitting and showmanship, an equitation class, pleasure class and one other class of the kids’ choice. The extra classes included a command class, hunter over fences, hunter under saddle, trail class or Western handiness. The kids also took a knowledge test and judging class and competed in a quiz bowl.

The Interstate Drill Team, a group of riders from all New England States who perform riding patterns to music, was coached by two Maine volunteers from Houlton.

The Maine 4-H dairy team consisted of 20 members who participated in quiz bowl, clipping, fitting, judging and showmanship competitions. They brought home first place finishes in clipping and judging for Ayrshire cattle. The Maine team also had the second-place State Jersey Herd.

Financial support for the 4-H members’ participation comes from the Pine Tree State 4-H Foundation, the Maine Association of Agricultural Fairs, the Maine Extension Homemakers Council and the Eastern States Exposition, the non-profit organization that hosts the BigE.

UMaine Jazz Ensemble, Combo Concert Dec. 2 at Hauck Auditorium

Contact: George Manlove, (207) 581-3756

ORONO — The UMaine Jazz Ensemble and UMaine Jazz Combo will appear in concert in Hauck Auditorium in the Memorial Union of the University of Maine on Thursday evening, Dec. 2, beginning at 7:30 pm.

Among the pieces to be performed by the Jazz Ensemble is Larry Kerchner’s arrangement of Joe Zawinul’s fusion classic, “Birdland,” originally recorded by the band Weather Report.

Well-known composer Matt Harris’ wonderful new composition, “The Prez,” is an up-tempo original for jazz big band, featuring a sextet within the larger ensemble, says Karel Lidral, associate professor of music and director of jazz studies and of the UMaine Ensemble and Combo.

Student solos in the piece are by Steve Barter on the tenor saxophone, Sarah Nichols on piano and Tim Applegate on the drumset.

Composers Bobby Troup and Neal Hefti collaborated on the wonderful ballad, “Girl Talk,” recorded by, among others, the Count Basie Orchestra. Mary-Anne Chesley is featured on alto saxophone in this arrangement by veteran composer Mark Taylor.

A new piece, from composer Lars Halle, “Sonidos De La Calle” (Sounds of the Street) is set in a “tremendously exciting” Latin rhythm, the mambo, Lidral says.  Soloists include students Laura “Zuke” Zukowski on baritone saxophone, Jarrod Bishop on trombone, and Andrew Gerke on trumpet.

“The astute listener will hear a brief quote from a classic swing era big band composition, “The Peanut Vendor,” Lidral adds.

The remainder of the Ensemble’s “book” includes contemporary and classic compositions from Dominic Spera, David Springfield, Bill Liston, Dean Sorensen and Bob Mintze — and some very exciting solos by Justin Obie, trumpet, Rodger Wong, trombone, Christine Sawtelle, piano, and Karl Varian, trumpet, as well as others.

The four pieces to be performed by the Jazz Combo are chosen from eight works that the group has worked on in the fall semester. Those compositions include four by Sonny Rollins (“Oleo,” “Pent Up House,” “St. Thomas” and “Tenor Madness”) and four by Thelonious Sphere Monk (“Blue Monk,” “In Walked Bud,” “‘Round Midnight” and “Straight, No Chaser”), all arranged by Frank Mantooth, a wonderful jazz composer, arranger and pianist who passed away earlier this year. Solos are liberally spread around the organization, and include those from trombonists John Maclaine and Jamie Colpoys, tenor saxophonist Steve Barter, pianist Justin Obie (who plays trumpet in the Jazz Ensemble), and drummers Caleb Wheeler and Jason LaVerdiere.

Tickets are $6, although UMaine students are admitted free with a MaineCard. More information is available by calling the Maine Center for the Arts Box Office at 581-1755 or online at

Michael Hastings Named Director of UMaine Grants Office

Contact: Nick Houtman, 207-581-3777,

ORONO, Maine — Michael M. Hastings, a resident of Hampden and a former congressional staff member for Maine senators William Cohen and George Mitchell, has been appointed as the director of the University of Maine Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP). Most recently, Hastings was the director of the Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center located on the UMaine campus.

In his new role, he will have responsibility for ten staff members who work with UMaine scientists on grant proposals and ensure that research activities comply with federal and state reporting requirements. The ORSP also helps to identify potential sources of new research funding, including government agencies and private foundations.

In the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2004, UMaine received $56.7 million in grants and contracts, its largest annual amount ever. All of the increase over the previous year’s funding came from federal sources.

To continue that growth, Hastings wants to identify new sources of research support and to make sure that officials who manage those funds are aware of UMaine’s expertise. “All federal funding for research came about as a result of legislation,” he explains, “and we need to work more closely with program officers at the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health and other agencies.”

In turn, scientists need to be aware of agency priorities and pending research topics before formal requests for proposals (RFPs) are published, Hastings adds. “When an RFP is published, we should already have something ready to go. The RFP should not be our first look at a program area.”

Hastings credits increasing staff productivity for keeping the number of ORSP employees stable in recent years, despite increases in research funding. “I’d like to use computer technologies further to free up staff time to help faculty with research grants and to focus on sectors such as biotechnology, defense, health and other areas,” he says.

In addition to his experience with aquaculture and federal policy, Hastings managed activities for Catholic Relief Services in Africa between 1984 and 1991. In that capacity, he arranged for food shipments to Sudan and Liberia to help people affected by civil strife.

UMaine Cooperative Extension Japanese Exchange Program Honored

Contact: Jill Coffren, University of Maine Cooperative Extension, 207-645-3248,

ORONO, Maine — The Maine 4-H International Exchange Program, which brings Japanese youth to Maine every summer, has received an “Outstanding Quality Program” award for 2004. Along with three other states, Maine received the award during the Fall Coordinators Conference Nov. 11-14 in Valley Forge, PA.

The award was made by the 4-H International Programs Committee, which is made up of Extension staff from across the country. According to Jill Coffren of Jay who manages Maine’s program for University of Maine Cooperative Extension, each state program is reviewed by committee members and the executive director of WorldWise Exchange Services.

Programs are evaluated on the basis of management and year-to-year enhancements. In 2004, the program brought 24 Japanese students to Maine for stays in households across the state. Nineteen of the students spent one month with a host family, and five stayed for a full year.

More information about the program is available from Coffren at 207-645-3248 or

UMaine Celebrating African-American Holiday Kwanzaa Dec. 3

Contact: Shezwae Fleming (207) 581-1425; Gretchen Faulkner (207-581-1901;
George Manlove (207) 581-3756

ORONO — The UMaine community will celebrate the African-American holiday Kwanzaa on Dec. 3 — a celebration of family, friendship, community and culture marked by a seven-day observance of seven principles of life.

The public is invited to ceremonies being held from 10-11:15 a.m. at the Hudson Museum in the Maine Center for the Arts on the Orono campus.

The celebration of Kwanzaa, the Swahili term for “first fruits of the harvest,” includes gift-giving, music, a candle-lighting ritual, a discussion of the seven life principles of Kwanzaa and a feast.

The Kwanzaa observance at UMaine will condense the components of the seven-day holiday into a program of about an hour and a half, according to Shezwae Fleming, director of multicultural programs and the ALANA Center at UMaine and coordinator of the celebration. Instead of a traditional banquet, light refreshments and a sampling of African cuisine, courtesy of the UMaine African Student Association, will be available. The event is sponsored by the Office of the Dean of Students and the Hudson Museum.

“It’s fun. It’s educational. I want to make it as engaging as possible,” Fleming says. “I’m hoping to have a diverse group of students participate. I think it will articulate the universal nature of Kwanzaa.”

Established in 1966 in California by Maulana Karenga, a professor and now chair of the Department of Black Studies at California State University at Long Beach, Kwanzaa is intended to preserve, revitalize and promote African-American culture. It traditionally is celebrated from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, but is being observed at UMaine on Dec. 3 because of the Holiday break.

Though Karenga wanted to create a way for African-Americans to better understand their ancestral roots, Fleming explains the holiday transcends race and ethnicity. Though spiritual, it is not a religious holiday.

“Civic and community responsibility, economic development, family values all are a part of it,” she says. Celebrated by 18 million people throughout the United States, Europe, Latin America and Asia, Kwanzaa highlights wholesome values for any culture, she says.

The signature centerpiece of Kwanzaa is a kinara, a candle holder with one black candle with three red and three green candles on each side. The red candles represent past struggles and the green represent a fruitful future. On each night of Kwanzaa one of seven candles is lit and one of the holiday’s core principles (Nguzo Saba) are discussed.

The seven principles are Umoja (unity); Kujichagulia (self determination); Ujima (collective work and responsibility); Ujamma (cooperative economics); Nia (purpose); Kuumba (creativity); and Imani (faith).

Kwanzaa was first introduced to UMaine in 1999 by Associate Dean of Students Angel Loredo, who says he organized the first Kwanzaa “because it is a very holistic, healthy and spiritual experience to go through Kwanzaa. It provides students an opportunity to look at other cultures and to see how it fits into their own lives,” he says.

Loredo and Fleming both say they have noticed “a disconnect” between many young people today and their ancestry. Even within the black community, Fleming adds, many African-Americans born and raised in the United States know little about their African roots.

Fleming hopes people of all color and nationality will come to the Hudson Museum and learn about Kwanzaa. A university like UMaine, with such a culturally diverse population, is a logical place for students to learn about multicultural holidays, Loredo observes.

Hosting Kwanzaa also is another way that Hudson Museum Director Gretchen Faulkner can offer cultural programs to area residents.

“We’re hoping the public and school groups will come and learn about Kwanzaa,” she says. The Hudson Museum celebrates many cultural traditions from around the world, she says. “We host Kwanzaa as the museum has extensive African collections. In spring 2005, a new exhibition of this material will open on the museum’s third level.”

More information is available by calling Fleming at (207) 581-1425 or Faulkner at (207) 581-1901. The official Kwanzaa web site is at:

Students to Face Tough Values Questions

Contact: Kay Hyatt at (207) 581-2761

ORONO, Maine — How do young people learn to deal with the tough dilemmas that pose questions of ethical decision-making and require deeper thinking about personal and community values? More than 50 students from schools across the state will define and explore such issues at the Developing Leaders with Moral Courage summit, taking place Tuesday, Nov. 30 at the University of Maine.

Conducted by the National Center for Student Aspirations of UMaine’s College of Education and Human Development, the summit is expected to draw student leaders and those with leadership potential from more than a dozen school ranging from Carrabec High School in Anson to Sumner High School in Sullivan and from Belfast High School to Forest Hills Consolidated School in Jackman. The summit is sponsored by a $10,000 gift from the Bangor Savings Bank Foundation.

The summit will focus on the moral courage (choosing to stick to one’s values in the face of opposition and the risk of personal sacrifice) needed to make wise and meaningful decisions even when faced with “right vs. right” situations. Students will consider values such as citizenship, commitment, honesty, freedom, respect, responsibility, obedience and trust as they ponder the moral courage needed to put values into action. Activities will focus on doing the right thing, even when no one is looking or when the decision may not be popular, as they weigh dilemmas of trust vs. loyalty, self vs. community, short-term vs. long-term, and justice vs. mercy.

Dave Goldsworthy, a leadership and responsibility motivational speaker from New Zealand will be the keynote speaker, opening the summit and setting the tone for the day at 8:30 a.m.

The summit takes place at Wells Conference Center. Media are welcome to attend. Contacts at the summit are Carla Ritchie and Sharon Wilson-Barker, co-directors of the National Center for Student Aspirations. An agenda follows:

Developing Leaders with Moral Courage Summit

Tuesday, November 30, 2004
8 am — 2:30pm
Wells Conference Center
University of Maine

8 a.m. — 8:30–Registration and Refreshments

8:30 — 9:15–Dave Goldsworthy –   Keynote Speaker                                  

9:20 — 11:30–Session I — Break-out groups

11:30 — 12:15 p.m.–Lunch (Includes Values Auction; what are people betting on and battling over?)

12:15 — 1:40–Session II — Break- out groups

1:45 — 2:15–Reflection

2:15 — 2:30–Closing Remarks & Certificate Presentation

UMaine Rolls Out Public 2005 Public Administration Courses for Augusta

Contact: George Manlove at (207) 581-3756

ORONO — The University of Maine at Orono will offer three graduate level public administration courses in Augusta in the Spring 2005 semester, which begins Jan. 10.

The courses can help working professionals and recent college grads add to their post-graduate education or work toward a master’s degree in public administration.

Both the courses and the MPA program, which the university has offered in the Augusta community since 1968, can help move professionals toward new career opportunities, particularly in state and local government, non-profit, healthcare or public policy fields.

The advantage of the program, says G. Thomas Taylor, chair of the Department of Public Administration, is that students can continue working and attend classes without commuting to Orono.

“It’s right in Augusta’s back yard,” Taylor says. “It’s Augusta’s best-kept secret. The real important point of an MPA program, at least this one, is that it’s set up so you can come in without a lot of prerequisites.”

People with degrees from accredited undergraduate colleges or universities may take a class as a non-degree student. Credit may be applied toward an MPA degree, should the student decide to apply later. While registration deadlines are flexible for non-degree students, MPA candidates should call the UMaine Department of Public Administration (207-581-1872) or email: by Dec.1, 2004. 

“This program is set up for working people in many different professions,” Taylor says. “This allows them to explore, and I would say a lot of them stay with us and apply for admission into the accredited program.”

With locally offered classes, students can continue graduate studies gradually if that fits better with family, financial or career plans.

The three courses offered in spring of 2005 include Administrative Theory, State Administration and Policy Studies. UMaine faculty in Orono, or adjunct faculty from throughout Maine, will commute to Augusta to offer the classes.

“Our adjunct faculty are professionals working in government, healthcare or other management or policy-making positions,” Taylor adds. “It adds a real-world perspective to the course material.”

Administrative Theory covers theories of leadership, culture and organizational structure, and will be taught by Carolyn Ball, associate professor of public administration. Prior to her appointment at UMaine, Ball worked in nonprofits, healthcare and state government. 

The class will discuss recent examples how organizations change or are created in response to current events, including the creation of the 9/11 Commission and Department of Homeland Security and the recent restructuring of the Department of Health and Human Services — all involving significant public policy responses. 

State Administration, taught by Robert Baldacci, managing director at Pierce Atwood, LLP and brother of Maine Gov. John Baldacci, covers the management, operations and budgeting of state governments, with special emphasis on understanding Maine state government and the role of states in economic development. 

Baldacci works actively with state and local governments on economic development projects and has served as chair of the board of the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) and vice chair of the Maine Guarantee Authority. 

Policy Studies covers policy development from ideals to practice, with emphasis on the democratic and moral values that affect policymaking. Jay Harper, assistant to the commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services, will teach this course.

Harper previously served as director of the Division of Public Education for the Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, and has held human services management and policy analysis positions with Massachusetts state government and with nonprofit organizations.

More information about the classes, schedules or applying to the UMaine MPA program is available by contacting Cindy D’Angelo, Department of Public Administration, University of Maine, Orono, 04469-5754, calling (207) 581-1872 or emailing:

Construction Management Students Place 2nd in Regional Competition

Contact: Nick Houtman, UMaine Dept. of Public Affairs,,

ORONO– A student team from the University of Maine Construction Management program placed 2nd in the heavy highway division of the region one construction management competition held November 11-14 in Fairfield, New Jersey.

Between 8 a.m. and midnight on the first day, the team assembled a complete written bid proposal for a real project being built by Kiewit Construction Company: replacement of deteriorated track foundations and subgrade materials under existing track at a major urban railway station. The comprehensive proposal included detailed cost analysis, schedule, labor requirements and plans to do the work itself.

After the midnight bid opening, the following day the team personally presented their proposal to Kiewit Co. representatives in a closed discussion forum.

The annual competition and job fair is organized by the Associated Schools of Construction and sponsored by regional contractors, such as Kiewit Construction, Turner Construction and Hensel-Phelps Construction.  Other firms participate in the job fair as well.

Locally, the team was sponsored by a generous donation from Eldon Morrison of CPM Constructors, Freeport, Maine.

Team members included Travis Ridky of Oakland, ME; P. Brady McGowan of York, ME; Byron Beauregard of Rangely, ME; Seth McGee, West Gardiner, ME; Robert Lightbody, Embden, ME; Gerard Bard of Greenfield, ME; and Anthony Cincotta of Waltham, MA. William Manion and Philip Dunn were the faculty advisors.


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