Archive for 2007

Two Major Gifts Boost Art Museum

Friday, December 7th, 2007

Contact: Joe Carr at (207) 581-3571

BANGOR — In announcing “two incredible gifts” to the University of Maine Museum of Art in downtown Bangor, University of Maine President Robert Kennedy told those attending a Thursday night reception that the generosity of Machias Savings Bank and UMaine Prof. Jon Ippolito will transform the museum and dramatically increase its community impact.

The announcements begin the museum’s five-year anniversary celebration at its current location in Norumbega Hall on Harlow Street.

Kennedy announced a gift from Machias Savings Bank that will allow UMaine to offer free admission to the museum from now through the end of 2008. Until this point, UMaine has charged an entrance fee to offset some of the costs of operating the museum.

Kennedy says that the increased access will enhance the museum’s role in the community.

“That access — for people young and old — will allow more people to enjoy the beautiful collection and the exhibits that pass through,” Kennedy said. “Our community will be enriched by this gift.”

Machias Savings Bank, led by President and CEO Edward Hennessey, made the gift in memory of Bangor attorney Edward “Ted” Leonard, a museum benefactor and local arts advocate who died in October.

“Machias Savings Bank….has made a gift that will promote the kind of access to the arts that Ted stood for,” Kennedy said. Ted Leonard’s wife, Sandra, was in attendance at the Thursday event. She is chair of the museum’s advisory council and an influential member of the local arts community. Sandra Leonard and Edward Hennessey are members of the University of Maine Board of Visitors.

Kennedy also announced Prof. Ippolito’s donations of eight original paintings created by his father, abstract impressionist Angelo Ippolito. The estimated value of this gift is over $350,000.

Calling Angelo Ippolito “a very influential member of the New York School of Abstract Impressionism,” Kennedy described the late artist’s career, which included exhibitions of his work at some of the leading art museums and galleries, along with faculty appointments at several universities, including the International School of Art, Michigan State University and Binghamton University.

“An accomplished artist of the first order, Prof. Ippolito also made his mark as a teacher and a mentor,” Kennedy said.

Jon Ippolito, who is a faculty member in UMaine’s Dept. of New Media, was present to accept thanks for his donation.

“We are most proud and pleased that Jon and his family have seen fit to make this wonderful donation, and we look forward to the day when we can share this gift with the patrons of this museum, those in our community who will truly enjoy and appreciate the connection to Angelo Ippolito’s contributions to the arts, and who will fondly appreciate Jon’s generosity,” Kennedy said.

Maine Tree Club Offers Outings and Education

Monday, December 3rd, 2007

Contact: Amy Witt, 207-780-4205

PORTLAND, Me.–Maine citizens and visitors can learn more about one of our state’s greatest resources by joining the Maine Tree Club, an educational project designed for people of all ages to learn about trees. The Maine Tree Club is a collaborative effort of University of Maine Cooperative Extension, the Maine Forest Service and the Pine Tree State Arboretum.

The annual registration fee for the Maine Tree Club is $20 per person, $30 per couple, $35 per family and $65 per group of up to 15. A limited number of Maine Tree Club scholarships are available for those in need. There is no deadline for registration. Request a free informational brochure by calling UMaine Extension at 800-287-1471 or e-mailing

The Maine Tree Club is planning at least three outings around the state in 2008, beginning in spring, to get people into the woods for hands-on learning and enjoyment. These outings, guided by experts, are planned for the mountains and coastal regions as well as other parts of Maine. Through these outings and twice-monthly fact sheets featuring different Maine tree species, club members will learn to recognize 50 different types of trees over a period of two years, and will gain skills that can be applied in their own yards and communities.

Participants receive additional materials including a hand lens for close-up viewing of tree parts, an attractive notebook for the tree species fact sheets, a pocket guide to Maine trees and several practical guides related to tree growth and care.

“The Maine Tree Club has been a great way to reacquaint myself with the trees I grew up with and for so many years was distant from,” one club member said. Maine’s trees attract tourists by the thousands; support the state economy; and deliver constant inspiration to area artists, poets and naturalists. They are at the root of Maine’s identity.

University of Maine American Marketing Association to Host Annual Business Conference

Friday, November 30th, 2007

Contact: Heather Conary at (207) 659-3383

ORONO — The University of Maine chapter of the American Marketing Association will host “You Can Get There From Here!: The Second Annual Collegiate Business Conference” on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2007.

The statewide business conference is open to all Maine students. It will feature inspirational speakers, informational seminars, opportunities for networking and a mini-career fair. It will include continental breakfast and catered lunch. Students of all majors are welcome, as well as professionals from the local business community who are interested in networking with career-minded students.

The day will begin with a keynote speaker, Robin Sawyer, Fairchild Semiconductor’s corporate controller. The afternoon block will begin with a talk by Dick Gleason, president of Gleason Media. Other seminars will feature Meredith Burgess of Burgess Advertising, Kevin Coffin of Prime Financial, and University of Maine business professors, Paul Myer, Omar Khan and Harold Daniel.

Doors open at 8 a.m. for continental breakfast and networking. An optional dinner with participating speakers is also available but seats are limited. Tickets are $10 for the conference, including a continental breakfast and catered lunch. Tickets are $30 for the conference with the speaker dinner. Those interested in sponsorships or tickets should visit or contact Heather Conary, president of the University of Maine AMA.

About the American Marketing Association:

The American Marketing Association is “one of the largest professional associations for marketers, has 38,000 members worldwide in every area of marketing. For over six decades the AMA has been~the leading source for information, knowledge sharing and development in the marketing profession.” The University of Maine Chapter of the American Marketing Association is involved in a National Case Study which takes the group to Louisiana in the Spring to compete, conducting a real life business struggle and promotion for Southwest Harbor, putting together this business conference and numerous other events. The American Marketing Association offers the ability to connect with like-minded peers, as well as access to conferences and other developmental tools, networking with business professional and volunteer with peers. For more information visit:

About the University of Maine Business School:

Maine Business School serves as the primary source of management education, research and service in the state of Maine. Through the integration of research, teaching and extensive interactions with the business community, the MBS develops and communicates knowledge, prepares students for successful careers in a global economy, and contributes to the economic development of the region. The University of Maine Business School prides themselves in being one of New England’s finest business schools. Maine Business School faculty come from all over the country and all over to world to provide a dynamic, experienced and educated group of professional for our students. For more information about the University of Maine Business School please visit:

New UMaine Supercomputer to Offer Maine Students Access to Climate Change, Scientific Modeling

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

Contact: Professor Phillip Dickens, 581-3967; George Manlove, 581-3756

ORONO — Students in Maine schools soon will have an opportunity to experiment first-hand with variable climate change scenarios by accessing the University of Maine’s environmental modeling programs from their own classroom laptops.

The UMaine Department of Computer Science has received two National Science Foundation grants, one for $200,000 to buy a second university supercomputer, and a second, for $300,000, to develop new supercomputer software to improve the transfer of massive data files.

The new supercomputer, and an access portal being developed for it, will allow Maine middle school students to access the University of Maine’s Ice Sheet Model for environmental experiments. It also will enable the university to engage in much larger outreach and research activities, the type that require massive computing power, according to Phillip Dickens, Ph.D., professor of computer science and the principal researcher receiving the grants.

Computer science faculty and students will create a user-friendly, scientific grid portal for accessing UMaine’s vast computing resources, scientific applications and research animations, Dickens explains. Users, ranging from Maine’s top research scientists to schoolchildren, will access the grid portal through the Internet with a standard Web browser.

“This new grid will allow Maine’s leading research facilities to pool computing and data storage resources, creating a single, powerful computational platform,” says Dickens, a high-performance computing specialist. “It will allow the state’s researchers to pursue new areas of scientific discovery that have been heretofore impossible to explore.”

The new 96-processor supercomputer will be housed at Target Technology Center in Orono and overseen by Dickens and four grant project collaborators: Sudarshan Chawathe and James Fastook from the Department of Computer Science, and Yifeng Zhu and Bruce Segee from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

The supercomputer will support the research of participating faculty, in addition to research by members of Maine’s general research community, including The Jackson Laboratory. Data from experiments or simulations at Jackson could be transferred to the university supercomputer in real time over an expanding optical network and returned quickly with scientific feedback.

“The portal will allow researchers from around the world to access some of the outstanding research infrastructure developed here at the University of Maine, including, for example, the widely used University of Maine Ice Sheet Model developed by Jim Fastook,” Dickens says. “Making this powerful model available to the larger research community, as well as models and data from the university’s Climate Change Institute, will significantly increase our understanding of the impact of climate change on the environment.”

The new grid portal also will allow the state’s middle-school students to access UMaine’s modeling simulation software. Students will to be able to simulate and modify environmental parameters and receive immediate feedback on how occurrences like shifting temperatures or varied carbon emissions would affect ice sheets being studied, Dickens says.

“I’m really excited about the educational outreach component of these grants,” he says. “Part of educational outreach is to disseminate important research results to the wider community, and the scientific grid portal provides an excellent platform with which to do so.”

The $300,000 grant for file-transfer software is expected to resolve a data bottleneck issue that handicaps many supercomputers running upwards of thousands to tens of thousands of processors, all attempting to simultaneously store and retrieve data through a common file system. Dickens, with his students and the new supercomputer, will develop software to significantly improve file transfer speeds, resulting in better supercomputer performance in extreme computing environments.

Both grant-funded projects will involve at least a dozen graduate and undergraduate students from UMaine’s computer sciences and electrical and computer engineering programs, providing them a “rare opportunity to become involved in important, cutting-edge computer science research,” Dickens says.

What Women Want: Neither Daredevils Nor Wimps

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

Contact: William Farthing, (207) 581-2053
George Manlove, (207) 581-3756

ORONO, Maine — Are women attracted to men who do physically risky things, such as whitewater kayaking or mountain climbing or skiing fast down the expert slope? From an evolutionary psychology approach, two different predictions can be made — and they seem to be mutually exclusive.    

On one hand, the “costly signaling” hypothesis suggests what women would be attracted to physical risk takers because such behavior signals a man’s desirable qualities such as physical fitness, athleticism and bravery. Such a man would likely be a good hunter and provider and protector for a woman and her children. This view leads to the prediction that women tend to be attracted to daredevils — men who do things that are very risky.

On the other hand, a man who exposes himself unnecessarily to physical risks increases the chances he will be seriously injured or killed, and thus no longer able to provide for and protect a woman and her children. This view might lead to the prediction that women will be attracted to wimps — cautious men who avoid physical risks.

Recent research by William Farthing, a psychology professor at the University of Maine, says that women are not attracted to either daredevils or wimps. Rather, women prefer men who take mild to moderate risks, but not extreme risks.

Farthing asked undergraduate women to read a variety of scenarios involving an opportunity for physical risk taking, and indicate whether they would be more attracted to a man who took the risk or to one who avoided the risk as a potential long-term mate or spouse (other things being equal). Some of the scenarios involved heroic risks, such as rescuing a child from a river, while others involved non-heroic risks, such as risky sports.  Also, some of the scenarios described highly risky acts — with a significant chance of serious injury or death — whereas others described acts that were only moderately risky.  

Farthing’s results indicated that:

1.  For non-heroic risky acts, women are more attracted to risk-takers than to risk-avoiders when a situation is only moderately risky, such as kayaking in medium rapids. But their preference was reversed — in favor of risk avoiders — when a situation is highly risky, such as severe rapids.

2.  For both medium risk and high risk acts, women’s preferences for risk takers were much greater for men who took altruistic, heroic risks than for men who took relatively arbitrary, impractical non-heroic risks.

3.  Risk takers who were described as highly skilled at the required acts, such as kayaking, or self-defense, were more strongly preferred than men only moderately skilled, for either medium- or high-level risks.  

4.  In choosing adjectives to describe the men in the scenarios, women characterized men who took high-level risks as more physically fit, athletic and brave than risk avoiders, but also as more impulsive, attention-seeking and foolish. Takers of high-level heroic risks were seen as similar to non-heroic risk takers on those dimensions, but heroic risk takers were viewed as more altruistic, conscientious and sexy than non-heroic risk takers.

Thus, Farthing concludes, women do not prefer daredevils or wimps. Most women prefer men who have the ability and bravery to engage in moderately risky acts, but also the thoughtfulness to avoid highly risky daredevil acts. Men who are highly skilled are preferred over men who are less skilled at the same risky acts, at least partly because highly skilled men are actually taking less risk than less skilled men.  

The lesson: Men rarely have a chance to do anything truly heroic, but if they get the chance, they will appeal to women because of it. Most of the time, men considering activities such as risky sports would be advised to try moderately risky activities and learn the skills to do them safely, and avoid looking foolish by attempting high-risk daredevil stunts. When it comes to impressing women with physically risky behavior, more is not better.

Farthing’s study – “Neither daredevils nor wimps: Attitudes toward physical risk takers as mates” – is in the current issue of the journal Evolutionary Psychology and is available online at:


Farthing’s teaching interests include evolutionary psychology, motivation, cognition and general psychology. His research interests include risk-taking behavior, the decision-making processes and evolutionary approaches to thinking and behavior.

He can be reached at (207) 581-2053 or by email:

For more information on the University of Maine, see:

UMaine Engineering Students Build New Ramp for Old Town Museum

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

Contact: Dick Eustis, (207) 827-2238; Tom Weber, (207) 581-3777

The Old Town Museum is a modest operation that exists on donations and the generosity of volunteers. So when the time came to replace the building’s wheelchair ramp, which was in terrible shape and no longer met accessibility standards, the museum board faced a tough financial decision.

“Building a new ramp was a big, expensive task for us, but it needed to be done,” says Dick Eustis, the board’s president.

Fortunately, help was just down the road, at the University of Maine. The student chapters of the American Society of Civil Engineers and Associated General Contractors are always on the lookout for projects they can do as part of their community service mission. When they heard about the museum’s need, they decided to donate their time and talent to the cause.

Led by third-year mechanical engineering major Drake Voisine, the service project coordinator, the students designed a new, longer ramp and prepared a list of materials that the museum paid for. About 10 students tore apart the old ramp’s framework one weekend, and resurfaced it with the help of a local contractor. The following Saturday, Nov. 17, nearly 20 different students chipped in to build the sturdy, pressure-treated wood replacement.

“I think it was a good experience for everyone,” says Voisine, who is from St. Francis.

Eustis couldn’t agree more. Without expensive labor costs, he figures the local history museum saved about $2,200 on the project.

“Obviously we’re very grateful for everything they did,” Eustis says.

Golden Age of Trotting Horse, Lithography Are Subjects of Page Farm & Home Museum Talk Dec. 6

Thursday, November 22nd, 2007

Contact: Patty Henner, 581-4100

ORONO — The history of the trotting horse and Currier & Iveslithography — and their connections to Maine — are topics beingcombined for a brown bag lunch lecture at noon, Dec. 6, at theUniversity of Maine Page Farm & Home Museum.

“Currier and Ives: The Maine Connection” will feature a discussion byUMaine alum Clark Thompson, an authority on the Maine trotting horseand its place in Maine history from 1840-1895.   

A trotting horse historian since 1977, Thompson, also a former Bangorattorney, has served on the Board of Directors for the Bangor StateFair and focuses his research on Bass Park. For the last three years hehas worked on a Maine heritage trotting horse trail to memorializetrotting horses or racetracks from southern Maine to Bangor. Thompsonalso is a member of the Page Farm & Home Museum Board of Directors.

Thompson will display several Currier & Ives lithographs, known fortheir iconic depictions of life in rural America, including manylithograph prints of horses on farms, racetracks and pulling sleighs,wagons and fire-fighting apparatus.

The talk is free and open to the public.

The Page Farm & Home Museum on the Orono campus collects,documents, preserves, interprets and disseminates knowledge of Mainehistory relating to farms and farming communities between 1865 and1940, providing an educational and cultural experience for the publicand a resource for researchers of this period. The museum can bereached at (207) 581-4100.

Maine Joins National Effort to Better Help Girls Explore Math/Science Careers

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

Contact: Sharon Barker, (207) 581-1501
Tom Weber, (207) 581-3777

ORONO — For more than 25 years, myriad organizations have sprouted up in Maine and the nation to encourage more girls to study science and math in school and make their careers in these traditionally male-dominated fields.

All too often, however, the groups wind up working toward the very same goals independently of one another, rarely collaborating on projects or sharing resources and methods that could make their common missions much more effective.

The University of Maine’s Women’s Resource Center (WRC) hopes to change that by establishing a first-ever formal network of state organizations whose aim is to create more opportunities for girls in science, technology, engineering and math. This new regional clearinghouse will allow disparate groups and individuals to not only find one another within the state but to tap into a national database of like-minded programs and better identify gaps in services.  

“There’s a lot going on in Maine, and this will help strengthen all of the state’s girl-serving initiatives,” Sharon Barker, the WRC director, said recently in announcing the university’s role in the national effort.  

The National Girls Collaborative Project, funded by the National Science Foundation, is the outgrowth of a pioneering program begun in 2002 by the Puget Sound Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology. Called the Northwest Girls Collaborative Project, its purpose was to help organizations in Washington and Oregon address the complex issue of gender equity in the fields of science and math.

The successful program was copied two years later in California, Massachusetts and Wisconsin, and offered nationwide last year with regional oversight and additional funding from the American Association of University Women (AAUW.)

As part of the effort, UMaine’s WRC will receive more than $28,000 to coordinate the state inventory, establish an advisory board, set up conferences and forums, and provide mini-grants to individual projects.   

“We’ve had programs and conferences in the country for the last 20 or 30 years,” Barker said, “but there’s never been any formal evaluation of them so we could know if what we’re all doing is the most effective approach. This would provide the infrastructure to do that.”

A public presentation by Karen Peterson, who heads the national project, will be held Nov. 29, at 2 p.m., at the Buchanan Alumni House, to explain the initiative and UMaine’s involvement. On March 10, two leadership team members and an AAUW representative will travel to Seattle, Wash., to learn how to get the program off the ground. Maine’s kick-off conference will be scheduled for sometime next fall.

Barker said the WRC’s long experience in working for economic and educational equity, and the university’s unique land-grant mission of public service, make UMaine well-suited to lead the three-year initiative. Among its many projects, the center organizes the annual Expanding Your Horizons Conference — the 22nd will be held in March — that brings hundreds of middle-school girls to campus to learn about career opportunities in math and science while interacting with female role models working in those fields.

“This project is a way to leverage all our efforts in Maine,” Barker said, “and make sure we’re all plugged in so we get the biggest bang for the buck in serving the interests of girls in the state.

UMaine Campus Activities Recognized for Programming Excellence

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

Contact: Gustavo Burkett, 581-1736

ORONO — The University of Maine Division of Student Affairs’ Campus Activities and Events and its Campus Activities Board have been recognized by the National Association for Campus Activities Northeast for programming excellence.
Excellence in Programming awards recognize outstanding member schools in each of three student population categories by region. The three category awards are:

- Most Original Article of Clothing, awarded to a school in the Northeast region that has the most original design and most innovative idea. UMaine was recognized for the “6-Day Forecast” shirt designed by student Ashleigh Briggs, the co-chair of the Campus Activities Board.

- The Best Student Designed Website, awarded to a school in the Northeast that has the most useful and innovative website design. UMaine was recognized for the Campus Activities and Events website — — designed by student Kevin Taschereau, a Campus Activities and Events intern.

- And the Most Creative Gimmick award, given to a school with the most innovative gimmick. For this award, Campus Activities Director Gustavo Burkett says UMaine was recognized for the Campus Activities Buzz, a weekly publication that highlights weekly campus events and provides students with relevant information on campus departments or programs. The “Buzz” also offers a section with horoscopes, games and trivia.

Award criteria includes: organizational goals; the types of events on the program calendar; budget; programming board membership; the advisor’s involvement; planning and preparation; campus resources that contributed to the success of the programs; publicity and promotion; and advertising methods and creative techniques used, in addition to program evaluation and impact on the campus community.

Selection of award winners takes into consideration the amount of support for campus activities by campus administrators or students, who are invited to offer testimony on the value of the programming efforts as they relate to the educational mission of the college or university.

NACA Northeast member schools may nominate themselves for an Excellence in Programming Award. Nomination submissions must be accompanied by supporting materials. All nominations are reviewed and the nominee list is narrowed to four finalists in each school size category. The four finalists must prepare an oral presentation to be presented before a panel of judges and conference attendees at the fall conference. The panel then selects a winner in each category.

UMMA Art Exhibition December 7 – April 5, 2008

Monday, November 19th, 2007

Contact: Kathryn Jovanelli, 207-561-3352,,

Digital images available.

Bangor, Maine – The University of Maine Museum of Art is pleased to present the second half of a two-part exhibition A Legacy of Collecting: 1983 – Present beginning December 7. A Legacy of Collecting celebrates the Five Year Anniversary of the Museum of Art’s relocation to downtown Bangor. The first exhibition focused on the formative years of the Museum’s Permanent Collection, 1946 – 1982, under founding director Vincent A. Hartgen.

A Legacy of Collecting: 1983 – Present

A Legacy of Collecting celebrates the University of Maine Museum of Art’s Permanent Collection. The first exhibit featured works accepted into the collection during the tenure of founding director Vincent A. Hartgen’s incredible 37 year career. This second half of the exhibition series focuses on additions to the collection by the four directors that followed Hartgen.

Two major gifts helped shape the collection after 1983, the gift of 43 objects by American artist William Gropper and 305 works from the collection of 1938 alumnus Robert Venn Carr, Jr. Each of these gifts concentrated primarily on what had by this time become the principal focus of the museum’s collection – works on paper. Sophie Gropper’s gift of her husband’s works includes a number of important drawings made for reproduction in magazines such as Harpers and Vanity Fair.

As a collector, Robert Venn Carr, Jr. amassed a robust collection of American, German and English prints. His vision encompassed benchmark examples of printmaking in all forms. These include important works such as German painter Georg Baselitz’s large portrait of his wife Elke titled Akt im Lehnstuhl (Nude in Arm Chair) which the artist carved into floor vinyl, inked by hand, and then printed. Other examples from the Carr Collection include museum favorites Mick Jagger by Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein’s nod to German Expressionism Reclining Nude.

The Museum of Art moved to Bangor in December 2002 and embarked on an active exhibition program that focused on photography. Included in the exhibition are works by Manuel Alvarez Bravo and George Tice which were acquired after their solo exhibitions. Since its relocation, the museum has programmed exhibitions that highlight artists who work in Maine.

Included in A Legacy of Collecting are works by Maine artists Paul Caponigro, Jonathan Bailey, Sam Cady, Jessica Gandolf, Bernard Langlais, Jocelyn Lee, Melville McLean, Alex Katz, Melonie Bennett and Barbara Sullivan.

The exhibition includes works by celebrated artists Berenice Abbott, Eugene Atget, John Marin, Neil Welliver, Max Beckmann, Richard Diebenkorn, Pablo Picasso, and Yvonne Jacquette, as well as a multi-panel work by Los Angeles artist Charles Garabedian, and an unusual installation in the museum’s stairwell of work by John Baldessari.

Museum of Art
40 Harlow Street
Bangor, ME  04401
Hours: Monday — Saturday 9 a.m. — 5 p.m.