Archive for 2007

UMaine Annual Economic Impact Estimated at $698 Million

Monday, November 19th, 2007

Contact: Joe Carr at (207) 581-3571

ORONO — A new report by economist Todd Gabe estimates that expenditures associated with the University of Maine’s day-to-day operations, combined with student and visitor spending, create an annual total economic output of $698 million to the Maine economy.

Gabe’s calculations, which show $7.65 in total economy activity for every dollar of state investment, are based on data from the year ending June 30, 2006. His new report, “The University of Maine’s Contributions to State Economic Development,” updates a similar study completed five years ago.

Gabe is an associate professor in UMaine’s School of Economics.

In the report, Gabe calls UMaine — the state’s flagship, land-grant university in Orono — Maine’s “leading driver of economic development.

“Along with the institution’s sizable economic impact, the skills and knowledge obtained at UMaine allow our graduates to make productive contributions to the Maine economy,” Gabe notes. “It helps entrepreneurs come up with new ideas, and helps businesses expand and support new investments… the whole state wins with a strong UMaine.”

As part of this new study, Gabe calculated the aggregate increase in lifetime earnings from a single graduating class, projecting that amount over the course of a typical work career. By that measure, Gabe figures that each graduating UMaine class adds a total of approximately $515.5 million to Maine’s economy.

He arrived at that figure by estimating the number of graduates who stay in Maine to work and developing a formula based on 2000 U.S. Census statistics suggesting that a college degree adds “a $16,397 annual wage premium in Maine.” The additional income associated with graduate degrees makes the real number significantly larger.

The report also estimates that visitors to UMaine spend $15.2 million in the local economy on an annual basis.

“These numbers serve to quantify an important aspect of what UMaine means to the people of this state,” says UMaine President Robert Kennedy. “UMaine provides statewide outreach, most notably through Cooperative Extension operations in every Maine county, research that leads to businesses and jobs, and unique, high-quality educational opportunities. In addition, Prof. Gabe’s report demonstrates that UMaine has a tangible impact on Maine’s economy.”

Kennedy says that UMaine’s economic impact is one of several indications of UMaine’s important role as an institution with statewide reach and impact.

“This fall has shown enrollment gains across the board, with new record levels of overall enrollment and first-year enrollment.” Kennedy says. “With regard to statewide impact, it is notable that our first-year class includes more Mainers than any class ever enrolled at a Maine university — 13 percent more than last year. That group includes significantly more students from southern Maine and a sharp increase in community college transfers. UMaine is our state’s college of choice, as more Maine are recognizing it as the key to a brighter future. As Prof. Gabe’s research demonstrates the economic impact of earning a UMaine degree, it is easy to see what these trends will mean to our state’s economy for decades to come.”

Copies of the report are available upon request.

Children’s Wreath Workshop Offered at UMaine

Monday, November 19th, 2007

Contact: Patty Henner, 581-4100

ORONO — The UMaine Page Farm & Home Museum is hosting a children’s holiday wreath-making workshop Nov. 25, starting noon.

The event, open to the public for a $5-per-child fee to cover materials, will provide area children ages 6 and up a fun and creative opportunity to make their own 12-inch holiday wreaths, using real fir boughs, pine cones, berries and other traditional decorations, says Patty Henner, museum director.

Parents and guardians should call the museum on the Orono campus at 581-4100 to register or with questions. Children will need to be accompanied by an adult.

Plan Ahead for Safe Thanksgiving Turkey

Friday, November 16th, 2007

Contact: Beth Calder, 207-581-2791

ORONO, Me. — “Foodborne illness can be an uninvited guest during the holidays,” says Food Science Specialist Beth Calder of University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Calder advises the following food safety practices to ensure a safe holiday season.

Wash your hands often with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.Prevent cross-contamination of foods, and keep cooked and raw foods separate. Washand sanitize cutting boards andfood contact surfaces. Keep yourcold foods cold (refrigerated foods below 40 degrees andfrozenfoods below 0 degrees), andcook foods at the recommended proper cooking temperatures, using a meat thermometer. Avoid holding foods between 40 and 140 degrees F for a period longer than two hours.

If you have food safety questions while planning and preparing your holiday meal, call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854), or visit the food safety “virtual representative” at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/food_safety_education/ask_karen/index.asp#Question.

Fresh or Frozen Turkey?

The USDA defines fresh turkey as “whole poultry and cuts that have never been below 26 degrees F.” Fresh birds are usually of better quality; however, if the birds were properly frozen, they will maintain good quality for at least a couple of years. If you are buying a fresh bird, you should buy your turkey one or two days before cooking to ensure that fresh quality. Frozen turkeys should be purchased early enough to allow time for safe thawing before cooking.

Don’t buy a prestuffed turkey unless it displays the USDA or state mark of inspection on the packaging. If you buy a frozen, USDA-approved, prestuffed turkey, do NOT thaw before cooking, and follow the package directions.

Thawing Turkey Safely

You can safely thaw a frozen (not prestuffed) turkey in one of three ways: in the refrigerator, in cold water, or the microwave oven.

Refrigerator:

The time required for thawing a turkey in the refrigerator depends on the weight of the turkey. For example, a 12-pound turkey will take up to two days to be completely thawed, a 16-pound turkey will take three days, and a 20-pound turkey will take four days. A good guideline is 24 hours for approximately every five pounds of frozen turkey. Make sure that your refrigerator is at 40 degrees F or below. Keep the turkey in its original wrapper and place a drip pan in your refrigerator in case of thaw drip and to prevent cross-contamination. A completely thawed turkey can be refrigerated for one to two days, but then must be immediately cooked or refrozen.

Cold water:

Place the turkey in a waterproof bag. Check the original packaging material for cuts to ensure that no water will get through if you are using this as your thawing bag. Allow six hours for a 12-pound turkey, nine hours for a 16-pound turkey, and 12 hours for a 20-pound turkey. Change the water every 30 minutes. Cook the turkey immediately after it is completely thawed and do not refreeze.

Microwave:

Check your owner’s manual to determine the size turkey that will fit in your microwave oven and the recommendations for the power level and minutes per pound to thaw frozen turkey. Remove the outside wrapper and place turkey in a microwave-safe dish. Once the turkey is thawed, cook it immediately and do not refreeze.

A turkey should never be thawed on the counter at room temperature. This is because thawing takes place from the outside in. At room temperatures, bacteria on the surface of the turkey may grow at potentially harmful levels before the inner turkey will have time to completely thaw.

Stuffing

Stuffing your turkey is not recommended. However, if you choose to roast a stuffed turkey, the bird should be stuffed right before cooking. You can prepare the ingredients for the stuffing ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook the bird. Mix the ingredients right before stuffing the bird; do not stuff the bird and store it before cooking. Make sure that the stuffing is cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.

Roasting

Place the bird breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Cover loosely with aluminum foil, with the shiny side in. Cook your turkey all at once: do not start roasting on one day and finish the cooking on another. Uncover the turkey 20 to 30 minutes before the cooking time is up. Birds are completely cooked when the internal meat temperature reaches at least 165 degrees F. (If you use roasting bags, more time is needed to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.) Insert a meat thermometer in the innermost part of the thigh and breast to determine if the turkey has reached a safe minimum temperature of 165 degrees F.

Approximate Roasting Times

8–12 lbs.:  2 3/4 to 3 hours unstuffed; 3 to 3 1/2 hours stuffed

12–14 lbs.:  3 to 3 1/4 hours unstuffed; 3 1/2 to 4 hours stuffed

14–18 lbs.: 3 3/4 to 4 1/4 hours unstuffed; 4 to 4 1/4 hours stuffed

18–20 lbs.: 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 hours unstuffed; 4 1/4 to 4 3/4 hours stuffed

20–24 lbs.: 4 1/2 to 5 hours unstuffed; 4 3/4 to 5 1/4 stuffed

Campus Presentation on Universal Design and Teaching Scheduled

Friday, November 16th, 2007

Contact: Sandra Horne, 581-1236

The University of Maine’s Center for Teaching Excellence is offering a presentation on Nov. 28 that will review the principles of universal design in higher education and making subject matter accessible for everyone.

This event, from 9-11 a.m. in the Totman Lounge of the Memorial Union, is free and open to all UMaine faculty, instructors and teaching assistants. The program is titled “Starting with the Syllabus: Universal Design Applied to Instructional Practices in Higher Education.”

Facilitators include: session leader Tina Passman, associate professor of classical languages and literature; Sheridan Kelley, adjunct assistant professor of art; Valerie Smith, assistant research professor, Center for Community Inclusion & Disability Studies; and Lu Zeph, associate professor of education and director of the UMaine’s Center for Community Inclusion & Disability Studies.

Universal Design is the concept that by anticipating and planning for the diverse needs of potential users during the design process, the resulting product or putcome will better suit the needs of all users. It goes beyond accessible design for people with disabilities to make all aspects of the educational experience more accessible to all students and instructors.

After a brief review of the principles of universal design, participants will use the example of the accessible syllabus template used by College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Undergraduate Program Curriculum Committee to illustrate how universal design principles provide inclusive and complete information for all students — those with disabilities and those without. A roundtable discussion will follow the presentation.

The presentation is appropriate for all disciplines and addresses live classroom and online courses. It should be of particular interest to those reviewing their syllabi and curriculum design in anticipation of the coming NEASC Reaccreditation visit.

Registration is required. Please call 581-3472, or e-mail registration information by Monday, Nov. 26, to CTE@umit.maine.edu.

The program is supported by the Adelaide C. and Alan L. Bird Fund for Instructional and Faculty Development.

Annual Maine Indian Basketmakers Sale and Demonstration Dec. 15

Friday, November 16th, 2007

Contact: Gretchen Faulkner, (207) 581-1904; George Manlove, (207) 581-3756

ORONO — The University of Maine’s Hudson Museum is holding its annual day-long Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance Sale and Demonstration on Saturday, Dec. 15, offering the public a rare opportunity to learn first-hand about Maine Indian culture, traditions and artforms.

The event is scheduled 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at UMaine’s newest building, the Student Recreation and Fitness Center on Hilltop Road, in the northeast corner of the Orono campus. It is free and open to the public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The annual event is one of three annual shows where Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy and Penobscot artists from Maine showcase and sell their work. It also is one of the largest Native American gatherings of this sort in Maine. Consumers and basket collectors typically come from throughout New England and across the country for the annual basket and crafts sale.

The event features one of a kind, ash splint and sweet grass basketry ranging from rugged creels, pack and potato work baskets to strawberry- and blueberry-shaped fancy baskets and curly bowls. Authentic porcupine quill jewelry, wood carvings, birch bark work and other art will be available.

Throughout the day, attendees will see how a brown ash log is transformed into a basket, how root clubs and walking sticks are made, as well as listen to traditional music and storytelling.

Traditional foods prepared by members of the Penobscot Nation Boys and Girls Club include hull corn soup, fry bread and blueberry desserts, and will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. From 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., the Burnurwurbskek Singers will drum and sing, and dancers will present a wide range of traditional dances.

Though the event is free after 10 a.m., early bird shopping is available from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. for a $10 fee; tickets may be purchased at the door.

The opening welcome features a traditional song of greeting sung by Kelly Demmons, greetings from the Penobscot Chief Kirk Francis, the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance and the University of Maine. Passamaquoddy and Penobscot authors Allan Sockabasin (“An Upriver Passamaquoddy”) and Charles Shay (“Florence Nicolar Shay: Penobscot Basketmaker and Tribal Advocate” and “Princess Watahwaso: Bright Star of the Penobscot”) will have their books available for sale and signing until 11:30 a.m. Kelly Demmons will sing Penobscot songs and John Bear Mitchell of UMaine’s Wabanaki Center will tell traditional stories.

The Hudson Museum Friends will raffle off a brown ash Katahdin Butterfly basket made by renowned basketmaker Fred Tomah, Maliseet, according to Gretchen Faulkner, museum director. Raffle tickets are $5 each and are available at the MCA Box Office in the Class of 1944 Hall, the Wabanaki Arts Center Gallery in Old Town and at the event.

More information can be obtained by calling the Hudson Museum at 581-1901.

iPhone Drawing Dec. 3

Friday, November 16th, 2007

Contact: Joe Carr at (207) 581-3571

ORONO — One lucky University of Maine student will win an iPhone on Monday, Dec. 3.

UMaine will randomly select a student from the list of those who have registered with umaine.txt, the university’s system that allows the university to communicate with members of the UMaine community during an emergency. Messages are delivered by cell phone text message, email or both.

“This technology presents an invaluable way for students to receive the information that can keep them safe in an emergency,” says UMaine Vice President and Dean of Students Robert Dana. “We hope that this incentive will inspire more students to register with the system.”

Registration is free and usually only takes about a minute. The registration website is at www.umaine.edu/umainetxt.

Apple, Inc. donated the iPhone for this drawing. Doug Marchio, director of The Computer Connection at UMaine, was instrumental in making the donation arrangements with Apple.

The umaine.txt mechanism is part of UMaine’s new emergency communications system, instituted this fall. The overall plan also includes an audible siren and other forms of electronic communication intended to provide important information during an emergency.

Carnegie Foundation Names UMaine’s Strong 2007 Maine Professor of the Year

Friday, November 16th, 2007

Contact: Joe Carr at (207) 581-3571

ORONO — Robert A. Strong, a University of Maine professor of finance, has been selected as the 2007 Maine Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE.)

Established in 1981, the Professor of the Year award is the only national program that recognizes undergraduate professors for outstanding commitment to their students, educational institutions, profession and communities.

“Obviously I am very pleased with this honor,” says Strong, “but there is a certain amount luck involved, after all, considering that there are so many other people out there qualified to win it.”

Maybe so. But for Matthew Rossignol’s money, none of them could be more deserving than his former business professor and mentor.

“There is no one, in my opinion, more worthy of this honor than Dr. Strong,” says Rossignol, who received his undergraduate degree in business administration in May 2007 and now works for State Street Global Markets in Boston. “His commitment to excellence in teaching, on a personal level, has inspired me to achieve a career in finance that I would not have been been able to do otherwise.”

Strong, winner of the 2005 Distinguished Maine Professor Award, earned an engineering degree at the United States Miltary Academy at West Point, a master’s in business administration from Boston University and a Ph.D in finance from Penn State. Now in his 24th year at UMaine, the highly regarded finance professor is convinced that campus life trumps the private sector as an outlet for his abundant energy and passion.

“Everything’s a tradeoff,” says Strong, an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys sea-kayaking and fly-fishing, “but I’ve found that academics is the best job in the world for me. I like teaching very much, I like writing textbooks and I also enjoy the public service part.”

Strong’s scholarly output is voluminous and far-reaching. He has written more than 75 articles for business journals, many of them about his teaching methods, and books on a variety of financial topics. His three textbooks are used in more than 100 universities around the world.

Over the years, he has generously shared his considerable financial and investment prowess with many private an not-for-profit boards in the region, and is in demand as an expert witness and consultant.

“Bob’s strong leadership in the business community and service in the nonprofit world complement his significant contributions to academic teaching and research,” says Jim Conlon, president and CEO of Bangor Savings Bank, which has benefitted from Strong’s involvement there as trustee, foundation director and advisor. “His expertise, dedication and ethics make him a professional colleague and decision maker of absolute first rank.”

The license plate on Strong’s car reads BUA 353 — a cryptic message to most people roaming the UMaine campus, perhaps, but instantly recognizable to students of the Maine Business School. The plate refers to Strong’s undergraduate investment strategy course, the biggest class he teaches and one of the most thought-provoking.

“It’s a class that sparks their interest,” says Strong, who is the University of Maine Foundation Professor of Investment Education. “People are naturally interested in the topic, because everyone is going to wind up investing money in their lives, whether it’s a 401K at work or whatever. The class really gives them ideas.”

In 1993, Strong, working with the University of Maine Foundation, started a club that has allowed 30 to 40 students a year to put some of those ideas to the test by acting as real-money portolio managers for UMaine Foundation funds. The Student Portfolio Investment Fund, or SPIFFY, has since increased its original $200,000 allotment to more than $1.2 million today.

Because of its success, SPIFFY has become an ideal adjunct to Strong’s investment class and an ambitious, student-driven model for other universities. A contingent of SPIFFY students also travels to New York City each year, where they mingle with Wall Street investment pros and witness firsthand the frenzy and clamor of the stock exchange at work.

Rossignol, SPIFFY president in his senior year, calls his investment club involvement “the most positive and worthwhile experiences of my UMaine career.”

“The opportunities Bob makes for his students are invaluable,” says Todd Saucier, president and executive director of the UMaine Alumni Association. “He provides a solid basis for their growth and is continuously cultivating their minds and whetting their appetites about the world of finance.”

 

Page Farm & Home Museum Planning Old-Fashioned Holiday Party Dec. 7

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

Contact: Patty Henner, 581-4100; George Manlove, 581-3756

ORONO — The Page Farm & Home Museum at the University of Maine is inviting members of the university and surrounding communities to its annual old-fashioned holiday party Dec. 7, from 6-8 p.m.

It is a time to experience the spirit of trimming the tree, make ornaments, decorate gingerbread cookies and do some carolling, says museum Director Patricia Henner.

Refreshments will be served and children are welcome. The event is free.

“This one of our most popular events that is chance for the whole family to come together during the holiday season,” Henner says. “Kids will have a chance to make their own crafts and enjoy a variety of sweets.”

The Page Farm & Home Museum collects, documents preserves, interprets and disseminates knowledge of Maine history relating to farms and farming communities between 1865 and 1940, providing an educational and cultural experience for the public and a resource for researchers of this period.

For details and information, the farm and home museum can be reached at 581-4100. The museum website ( www.umaine.edu/pagefarm ) has information about exhibits, events and hours.

Page Farm & Home Museum Plans Holiday Shoppe Sale, Wreath Workshops

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

Contact: Patty Henner, 581-4100; George Manlove, 581-3756

ORONO — The UMaine’s Page Farm and Home Museum is expanding its annual Holiday Shoppe exhibits and sale this year, as a dozen traditional Maine craftspeople and artisans have been invited to offer their creations to the public.

Special Holiday Shoppe activities are scheduled Saturday, Dec. 1, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 2, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The public is welcome to stop by and meet the artists and crafters, and also visit the museum’s old-fashioned gift shop with its traditional Maine-made crafts, clothes, books, artwork, pottery, toys and games. With crafters on hand in person this year, visitors can meet soap and candle makers, fiber artists, jewelry designers and representatives from local non-profit organizations, including the Patch Friends Group. The group is dedicated to preserving the legacy of Edith Patch, a famed entomologist, author and UMaine teacher in the early 20th century.

The gift shop will offer discounts during the Holiday Shoppe hours.

 

30th Anniversary of Book Drive at UMaine to Help Young Readers

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

Contact: Theresa McMannus, (207) 581-2441

ORONO — The University of Maine College of Education and Human Development is again joining the Old Town-Orono Kiwanis Club in an effort to collect books for area youngsters, through their 30th anniversary book drive.

Members of the public are invited to join in the tradition by donating new books suitable for toddlers to teens.

Former College of Education & Human Development Dean Robert Cobb established the collection effort 30 years ago, and current Dean Anne Pooler says the college is committed to carrying on the tradition.

“We are committed to helping students discover the joy of reading,” she says.

Since its early days, the community book drive has made thousands of books available to deserving area children. The college takes the lead in collecting the books, and Kiwanis Club members distribute them at the service organization’s annual holiday party for area children.

As part of the tradition, children from the campus Child Study Center also collect books for the drive. This year, the children will deliver books they have collected on Dec. 5 and Dec. 6 at 10 a.m. Their annual visit with the college dean usually includes reading a fun children’s book, caroling, and a simple conversation about the gift of giving.

Additionally, the UMaine Bookstore in the Memorial Union again is joining the college to boost the number of books collected and children served. The Bookstore started collecting books for the drive on Nov. 12. During Children’s Book Week, Nov. 12-17, children’s books will be 25 percent off, and the Bookstore will contribute a book of equal value for each book purchased there for the children’s book drive.

Books may be brought to the College of Education and Human Development at Shibles Hall at UMaine, through Friday noon, Dec. 7. For information, call Theresa McMannus at 581-2441.