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Harold Westerman Passes Away

Harold Westerman, former University of Maine football coach and athletic director, has passed away at the age of 94. Westerman spent 33 years at UMaine as an assistant football coach (1949-50), head coach (1951-66) and athletic director (1967-82). Under Westerman, the Black Bears won several conference championships and advanced to the Tangerine Bowl in 1965. He is a member of the University of Maine Sports Hall of Fame and is one of four members of the Black Bear Football Ring of Honor.  A UMaine athletics department news release, which has also been posted on the Bangor Daily News website, has more information.

Contact: Laura Reed,; Jessica Bloch, (207) 581-3777 or

Sydney Carroll Thomas 1954-2011

Former University of Maine College of Education and Human Development faculty member Sydney Carroll Thomas has died at the age of 57. Thomas, who left UMaine in 2008, was an associate professor of counselor education and also taught in the Honors College. According to an obituary in the Bangor Daily News, Thomas joined the UMaine faculty after obtaining a doctorate at the University of Rochester in New York. Thomas is survived by two children and five grandchildren. A memorial service will be held 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012, at The Church of Latter-day Saints, 639 Grandview Ave., Bangor. In lieu of flowers, donations in Sydney’s honor may be made to ASPCA, 424 East 92nd St., New York, NY 10128-6804 or at; PETA at; or Avian Haven, 418 North Palermo Road, Freedom, ME 04941. Notes of condolences may be left at


Martin Column on the Merits of Renting

In his latest column in the Columbia Journalism Review, Justin Martin, a UMaine College of Liberal Arts and Sciences-Honors College Preceptor of Journalism writes about his decision to rent rather than buy a house, despite low mortgage rates and affordable real estate. Martin writes that there is too much risk due to the bad job market, high national debt and legislative struggles to be tied to a piece of property.

Contact: Jessica Bloch, 207-581-3777

Brunswick Pre-Engineering Center in Column

In a Bangor Daily News business column, Michael Aube, the president of Eastern Maine Development Corporation in Bangor included as a notable business development in 2011 UMaine’s partnership with Southern Maine Community College to create a pre-engineering program at the former Brunswick Naval Air facility.

Contact: Jessica Bloch, 207-581-3777

Lecturer Comments on Humbleness Study

Jordan LaBouff, a lecturer in UMaine’s psychology department, was quoted in a report on the website Psych Central about a new study that found humble people are more likely than arrogant people to offer a helping hand to someone in need. LaBouff, who was the lead author of the study, said the findings are surprising because in 30 years of research on helping behavior, very few studies have shown any effect of personality variables on helping.

Contact: Jessica Bloch, 207-581-3777

Newspaper Editorial Notes UMaine Hazing Research

An editorial in The Anniston Star newspaper of Anniston, Ala., noted a 2008 study of hazing by UMaine researchers Elizabeth Allan and Mary Madden. The editorial called for stopping the tradition of hazing and cited statistics from the report, which found more than half of U.S. college students involved in clubs, teams or organizations have experienced hazing.

Contact: Jessica Bloch, 207-581-3777

Follow-up to Forbes Column on Dagher’s Wind Power Plan

The Forbes magazine website has a follow-up column to a piece written several weeks ago in which the writer lauded UMaine’s Habib Dagher, the director of the AEWC Advanced Structures and Composites Center, for his innovative thinking in the plan for a deepwater wind farm in the Gulf of Maine. In the follow-up, the writer noted Dagher, and the State of Maine, possess a strong and compelling narrative about the role of innovation in our society.

Contact: Jessica Bloch, 207-581-3777

Extension Homemakers Report in Sun Journal

A report about a recent meeting of the Franklin County Extension Homemakers Advisory group, a partner of UMaine’s Cooperative Extension, was included in the Lewiston Sun Journal. The report noted Deborah Killam, an associate extension professor, was introduced as the Maine Extension Homemaker Council Advisor for 2012.

Contact: Jessica Bloch, 207-581-3777

J. Norman Wilkinson, 1930-2011

J. Norman Wilkinson, who taught performing arts at the University of Maine for 35 years, has died at the age of 81. Born in Liverpool, England, according to an obituary in the Bangor Daily News, Wilkinson also was an actor, playwright and Maine Masque theater director. His survivors include his wife of 54 years, Dorothy, a son and a daughter. There are no calling hours. A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 29, at Congregational Church of Wells, 1695 Post Road, U.S. Route One in Wells. Donations may made in his memory to American Alzheimer’s Association – Maine Chapter, 383 U.S. Route One, Suite 2C, Scarborough, Maine, 04074, or The Rotary Club of Ogunquit, P.O. Box 2338, Ogunquit, Maine, 03907.

Martin Column on Presidential Debates

In his latest column in the Columbia Journalism Review, Justin Martin, a UMaine College of Liberal Arts and Sciences-Honors preceptor of journalism, argues that one of the upcoming U.S. presidential election debates, particularly the one that focuses on foreign policy, should be held outside the U.S. The gesture of holding a presidential debate abroad, Martin wrote, would signal to other countries that the U.S. takes foreign policy seriously, as well as remind any ethnocentric Americans that other countries are worthy of our time and respect.

Contact: Jessica Bloch, 207-581-3777


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Orono, Maine 04469
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