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Martin Luther King Breakfast at UMaine Jan. 19

Contact: Diane Khiel (dkhiel@adelphia.net); Joe Carr (joecarr@maine.edu)

ORONO– The Greater Bangor NAACP and the University of Maine will host theannual Martin Luther King Breakfast Celebration on Monday Jan. 19 atUMaine’s Wells Conference Center.  Doors will open at 8 a.m., with thetwo-hour event scheduled to begin at 8:30.

Outgoing Maine Attorney General Steven Rowe will provide the keynote address. Rev. Dewey Fagerburg, a longtime NAACP member, will offer remarks reflecting on the national NAACP’s 100th anniversary on Feb. 12, 2009. The program will also feature perspectives on the 2008 presidentialelection and President-elect Barack Obama, who will be inaugurated theday after the UMaine celebration.

Those who wish to purchase tickets should call 581-1428.  They cost $20 foradults, $15 for seniors citizens 65 and over, $10 for high school andcollege students w/ID, and $10 for children 12 and under. 

New Map Chronicles Champlain’s 13 Years of Exploration in the St. Lawrence River Valley

Contact: Mike Hermann at (207) 992-3411
Joe Carr at (207) 581-3571

ORONO, ME. –To commemorate the 400th anniversaries of French explorer Samuel Champlain’s founding of Qu

New Recreation, Fitness Center Wins Another Award

Contact: Kenda Scheele, 581- 1403; George Manlove, 581-3756

ORONO — The University of Maine Student Recreation and Fitness Center has become one of 10 new building projects throughout the United States and Canada to receive a prestigious 2008 Athletic Business Facility of Merit Award from Athletic Business Magazine.

The award, accepted Dec. 5 in San Antonio, Texas by representatives from the UMaine Division of Student Affairs and the Canon Design firm in Boston, is the seventh major design award the 87,000-square-foot facility has received since opening in August 2007.

“Out of all the awards we have received, this is perhaps the pinnacle,” says Kenda Scheele, senior associate dean of students, noting that the Athletic Business Magazine award is more competitive than many other design awards.

“It puts us on top at a national level. It really pushed the University of Maine out on the national stage. We get emails and phone calls from people all over the country who have read about these awards,” Scheele says.

The largest building project ever undertaken by the University of Maine, the state-of-the-art center appears to be effective in inspiring UMaine students to get more exercise. One of the most advanced recreation and fitness centers north of Boston, it also has attracted large numbers of UMaine faculty, staff and members of surrounding communities.

Before the center was built, the university’s previous fitness center, Latti Fitness Center at the Memorial Gym, saw about 2,000 people a week at the busiest times, according to Kristie Deschane, associate director for Campus Recreation, and Jeff Hunt, director of Campus Recreation and its programs.

At the new center, “we see over 2000 people on peak days, and average between 1500-1700 people per weekday during the academic year,” Deschesne says.

“The number of people who are engaging in physical activities is just going through the roof,” says Hunt.

Earlier this year, the center received the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association’s “Outstanding Sports Facility” award, and also has received awards from the Society of American Registered Architects, the Associated General Contractors of America and Starnet Design Awards, among others.

The new recreation and fitness center also carries internationally recognized LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, which makes it one of the few silver-certified fitness centers in the United States, Scheele says. LEED certification rates new or renovated buildings in green design categories that include sustainability, efficiency and environmental quality.

The quality of the recreation and fitness center has helped with student recruitment and retention, according to Hunt, and it helps the university attract top-notch researchers and employees.

Robert Dana, dean of students, says the university expected the center to have an important impact on the campus in many ways.

“I am delighted to report that the impact, far greater than we predicted, has been transformative,” he says. “The utilization is remarkable and day after day we hear students tell us ‘this is central to my UMaine experience; I feel welcomed here and this place is the best.’

“Student satisfaction is remarkably high and this means high use. I couldn’t ask for any better outcome,” Dana says.

As of this week, the center had logged more than 465,000 member visits.

UMaine Library Closing Next Four Saturdays

Contact: Joe Carr at (207) 581-3571

ORONO — The University of Maine’s Raymond H. Fogler Library will be closed on the following Saturdays: December 20 and December 27, 2008 and January 3 and January 10, 2009. For complete hours please call 581-1664 or visit http://www.library.umaine.edu/about/hours.htm

UMaine Scientist Recognized For Images

Contact: Aimee Dolloff, (207) 581-3777; Sara Lindsay, (207) 581-2739

ORONO, Maine ­ They’re far from a family portrait, but University of Maine marine science professor Sara Lindsay’s images of tiny marine worms have earned recognition by two international imaging competitions.

Using confocal microscopy, which uses optical sectioning and lasers to create detailed images from specimens stained with fluorescent probes, Lindsay took~ images of the muscles in marine worms that she studies, constructing a three-dimensional picture of how the muscles are layered and intertwined in a whole worm.

Feeding, burrowing and building tubes in sand and mud requires coordination of a complex complement of muscles in marine worms. In her winning images, the muscles that control movement of bristles on the worm’s body and the feeding tentacles are strikingly clear.

For her photos, Lindsay received an “Image of Distinction” recognition in the 2008 Nikon Small World competition, and an honorable mention in the 2008 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging competition.

She also was featured on Nov. 17 in the online edition of Scientific American as a featured winner of the BioScapes competition. Her image appeared in the site’s slideshow.

Lindsay’s images can be found at the following Web links:

Study Shows Exercise May Mitigate Mental Risks Caused by ‘Belly Fat’

Contact: Greg Dore, (207) 581-2022; Pete Elias, (207) 581-2097; George Manlove, (207) 581-3756

ORONO, Maine — New research from the University of Maine Department of Psychology has established that that belly fat carried around the middle (central adiposity) is related to decreased cognitive (mental) functioning, with adjustment for multiple cardiovascular risk factors.

However, adjustment (statistical control) for physical activity weakened this relationship significantly. They also reported data consistent with the hypothesis that regular exercise has a measurably positive influence on mental ability and cognitive functioning.

This finding brings new information to earlier research by the UMaine researchers and others who previously established a link between being obese and decreased cognitive function.

In a recent study of more than 900 people participating in an ongoing, 34-year-old research project, psychology graduate student Greg Dore and UMaine psychology professors Merrill F. “Pete” Elias, Michael Robbins and Penelope K. Elias, and Marc Budge of the Australian National University Medical School, looked at the relationship between belly fat and cognitive performance. They found that study participants with less belly fat performed better in a large battery of mental tests than participants who carried extra pounds around the middle. Further, the study revealed that participants who reported getting regular exercise performed better on the tests, regardless of their weight.

The researchers discuss their findings in an article, “Relation between Central Adiposity and Cognitive Function in the Maine-Syracuse Study: Attenuation by Physical Activity,” published recently in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine, a leading behavioral medicine journal.

The Eliases, Robbins and Dore do not define the amount of exercise an individual needs to mitigate effects of excess belly fat. But they do say they support recommendations set forth by the Centers for Disease Control, that about 30 minutes a day of moderate physical activity like walking, hiking, bicycling or swimming is a reasonable goal for both better health and better cognitive performance.

Additional benefits of regular exercise include improved circulation and the development of “collateral circulation,” microscopic arteries that facilitate blood supply to the heart and brain. The health benefits of exercise can be substantial, and any exercise is better than none, the researchers say.

The Maine Syracuse Longitudinal Study, which Elias began in 1975 as a professor at Syracuse University and David HP Streeten, professor of medicine at State University Medical Center in New York. In collaboration with Robbins and Penelope Elias, this work has continued at the University of Maine for more than 33 years and has resulted in several hundred published papers and presentations by Pete Elias and colleagues.

Dore was the principal author of the latest article, which reports on the study of central adiposity and cognitive function. He has co-published six scientific articles, including original research papers, editorials and letters to the editor, since he has been in training, and he has several that have been accepted for publication, pending revision.

UMaine Scientist Participates in Children’s Climate Change Book

Contact: Aimee L. Dolloff, (207) 581-3777

ORONO, Maine — Climate change is a difficult subject to explain to adults, but even more complicated to explain to children because of its magnitude.

In a new children’s book, “How We Know What We Know About Our Changing Climate,” University of Maine Professor Paul Mayewski and other scientists provided a glimpse of their research to author Lynne Cherry and author/photojournalist Gary Braasch, who in turn wrote the book to provide an educational platform to help today’s youth understand and effectively fight climate change.

Mayewski also is the director of UM’s Climate Change Institute.

The book is designed for children in grades four through nine, their teachers and parents, with the idea that these children will inherit a planet that is changing rapidly from the past.

“How We Know What We Know About Our Changing Climate” is based on Braasch’s coffee table book “Earth Under Fire: How Global Warming is Changing the
World.” Braasch traveled around the world for eight years documenting evidence of climate change and following climate scientists. While working on the coffee table book, Braasch discovered that scientists are a lot like detectives and thought children would be interested in their work if it was correctly presented.

The book depicts scientists at work; teaches children the language, methods and process
of science; imparts knowledge of technological tools and data collection; provides
methods and ideas for school and home projects about weather and climate; describes and
encourages participation in citizen-science programs; shows how each child can
immediately reduce their carbon footprint and inspires them to do so by showing the
effects of many kids working together already influencing communities to change.

The book also includes a reference section and a companion Teacher Guide
with classroom ideas and even more information is available.

A preview of the book, additional resources, and purchasing information can be found at www.howweknowclimatechange.com.

Warhola Paper Published in Forum on Public Policy

Contact: Joe Carr at (207) 581-3571

Dr. James W. Warhola, a faculty member of the University of Maine, recently published a paper titled “Dilemmas of the Modern Secular State: The Case of Russia under Putin” in the Forum on Public Policy, a journal of the Oxford Round Table.  Dr. Warhola’s paper was published in Volume 4, Number 1, 2008 edition of the Forum on Public Policy.

The Table of Contents is available on-line here.

The Forum on Public Policy is an online and hard copy, peer-reviewed, academic journal of the Oxford Round Table, Ltd., a not-for-profit educational organization chartered in England and Wales. The papers published in the Forum must, in the judgment of peers, make a significant contribution to a field of knowledge relating to a pertinent aspect of public policy and academic enquiry. Papers submitted to the Forum emanate from presentations and discussions at symposia of the Oxford Round Table held in Oxford, England.

Memorial Ceremony Planned Dec. 12 for Mumbai Terror Victims

Contact: Pank Agrrawal, (610) 570-6903

The South Asian Association of Maine (SAAM) at UMaine has scheduled a memorial ceremony Friday, Dec. 12, at 4-5 p.m. at the Memorial Union to remember the victims of the terror attack in Mumbai, India. A ceremony and a short talk by Doug Allen, professor of philosophy, will be part of the hour-long program, being held in the FFA Room in the Union.

The University of Maine has been home to many students, faculty and staff from the South-Asian region for many years. The SAAM community extends its support and condolences to those who suffered in the attack on unarmed civilians and citizens of many nations. Members of the university and surrounding communities are invited to the program.

For further details, call Pank Agrrawal, SAAM faculty adviser, at (610) 570-6903.

Zeph Receives Service Award from Association of University Centers on Disabilities

Contact: Sandra Horne, 581-1236

Photo available upon request

ORONO – Lu Zeph, director of the University of Maine Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies (CCIDS) and associate professor of education, recently was honored for six years of service (2002-2008) to the Association of University Centers on Disabilities’ board of directors.

Zeph served as president of the board from 2005-2006. AUCD is a membership organization composed of three national networks of interdisciplinary, university-based centers dedicated to research, education, leadership training and policy development, and direct service for people with disabilities.

Zeph received the award from President-Elect Michael Gamel-McCormick and President William Kiernan at the AUCD Annual Meeting and Conference in Washington, D.C.

Since 1992, Zeph has served as the founding Director of CCIDS, Maine’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. She has published and presented extensively in a number of public policy areas, including inclusive education and early intervention, community inclusion, and systemic change.

In 1999, she was awarded a Kennedy Public Policy Fellowship and served as a Congressional Fellow with U.S. Sen. Jim Jeffords and the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. In 2000-2001, while on leave from the University of Maine, she served as executive director of the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation.


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The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
207.581.1110
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