Archive for the ‘Alumni’ Category

Maine Business School Receives $25,000 Gift From Competitive Energy Services LLC

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

Competitive Energy Services LLC (CES) of Portland, Maine, has donated $25,000 over five years to support the Maine Business School’s MBA Business and Sustainability Track at the University of Maine.

The gift will provide student learning and educational opportunities through conferences and workshops, according to Associate Professor of Management Terry Porter, who coordinates the Business and Sustainability Track.

“We are grateful to CES for this generous gift which will greatly expand the opportunities we can provide for our students,” she says. “Sustainability is becoming a basic part of most businesses and this gift will help prepare the new generation of business and sustainability professionals.”

The Business and Sustainability Track includes the University of Maine’s chapter of Net Impact, a student sustainability organization with activities for both undergraduate and graduate students. Net Impact seeks to inspire, educate and equip individuals to use business to create a more socially and environmentally sustainable world.

“We want to work with the Business School, collaborate with other areas of the university to help everyone better understand sustainability and assist the university community at-large in living a more sustainable life,” says CES President and Chief Operating Officer Jon Sorenson, a 1986 UMaine graduate, and member and former chair of the MBS Board of Advisors.

“Our company is active with universities, communities and businesses in managing their carbon emissions and sustainability efforts. An investment in UMaine puts a great focus on the educational component that will benefit everyone. We hope to help with the expansion of internships, provide real-life work and knowledge to the Business School, broaden the curriculum, improve campus stakeholder collaboration and provide a vehicle for the Business School to grow and, in time, become a leader in sustainability. We hope our investment and contribution is just a start to something much bigger.”

CES also has supported students in sustainability in other ways, such as sponsoring undergraduate internships.

Founded in 2000 by career energy professionals, Competitive Energy Services is an independent energy services company that advises institutional, industrial, commercial and nonprofit sectors on the procurement and management of their energy needs and issues. Services include alternative energy projects, cogeneration, carbon management and planning, and sustainability planning, etc. CES now serves more than 2,500 accounts across North America, including the University of Maine, and manages in excess of $2 billion in energy and utility spending.

Contact: Ruth Ellen Cohen, 207.581.1926

Media Covers UMaine Commencement

Monday, May 13th, 2013

The Associated Press, Bangor Daily News, WABI (Channel 5) and WLBZ (Channel 2) were among several news organizations to cover the University of Maine’s 211th commencement. 1,665 students graduated Saturday and more than 12,000 people attended the ceremonies.

Nearly 12,000 Attend the Two Graduation Ceremonies and Hear Remarks by Alumnus Lawrence Bender.

Saturday, May 11th, 2013

Upward of 12,000 people attended the University of Maine’s 211th Commencement at Harold Alfond Sports Arena May 11 and heard remarks by alumnus Lawrence Bender, the producer of films that have won a total of six Academy Awards.®

This academic year, 1,665 students — 1,333 undergraduate and 332 graduate students — earned degrees from UMaine.

A 10 a.m. ceremony was held for graduates in the College of Business, Public Policy and Health; the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; the College of Education and Human Development; and the Division of Lifelong Learning. Graduates in the College of Engineering and the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture were recognized at a 2:30 p.m. ceremony.

UMaine President Paul Ferguson, who presided over the ceremonies, encouraged the students to invest their talent, success and great achievements in enriching the world and improving the quality of life of those around them. The hope, he said, is that the students’ experiences and education at UMaine have inspired them to dare and to “achieve greatly.”

“You can be confident that your UMaine education represents the very best of Maine and that you, in turn, represent the very best of Maine,” Ferguson said. “It is with great pride that I remind you that UMaine is now forever a part of your identity, just as you are the legacy of the University of Maine.”

UMaine awarded an honorary degree to film producer Lawrence Bender, whose noteworthy projects such as “Inglourious Basterds,” “Pulp Fiction” and “Good Will Hunting” have been honored with 29 Academy Award® nominations, including three for Best Picture. His film, “An Inconvenient Truth,” which raised unprecedented awareness about climate change, won the Academy Award® for Best Documentary Feature.

In his remarks, which included a standing ovation, Bender said he would not have the life he lives today if not for his University of Maine experience, and he urged the students to find success through consistent hard work and persistence.

“How can you achieve greatness? I would say three basic things,” said Bender, who graduated from UMaine in 1979 with a degree in civil engineering. “One, you must find your passion. Two, failure must be a possibility. And three, never give up, especially when you are failing.”

“The ability to allow yourself to fail is the ability to allow yourself to go full on and to break boundaries. Many times it’s only by failing that you find the real truth. And this is not esoteric, this is basic to the heart of all entrepreneurism.”

Other Commencement speakers included students Emma Burgess Roy of Auburn, Maine, a graduating senior in international affairs, with a concentration in women’s studies; and Lindsay LaJoie of Van Buren, Maine, a graduating senior in food science and human nutrition.

LaJoie is the 2013 salutatorian. The 2013 valedictorian is Spencer Hathaway of Turner, Maine, who received two bachelor’s degrees — economics and business administration in accounting.

Also honored at Commencement, as well as at a Faculty Appreciation and Recognition Luncheon today, were four faculty members in physics, insect ecology, finance and computer science. Professor of Physics Robert Lad, director of UMaine’s Laboratory for Surface Science and Technology is the 2013 Distinguished Maine Professor, an award presented by the University of Maine Alumni Association in recognition of outstanding achievement in the university’s mission of teaching, research and public service.

Professor of Insect Ecology Francis “Frank” Drummond is the 2013 Presidential Research and Creative Achievement Award recipient. This year’s Presidential Outstanding Teaching Award recipient is Professor of Finance Richard Borgman. Professor of Computer Science George Markowsky is the recipient of the Presidential Public Service Achievement Award.

University of Maine System Board of Trustees members Samuel Collins and retired Adm. Gregory Johnson, a UMaine alumnus, delivered greetings from the board in the morning and afternoon sessions, respectively.

Alumna Samantha Lott Hale, chair of the University of Maine Alumni Association Board of Directors, welcomed the new graduates to the ranks of the more than 105,000 University of Maine alumni worldwide.

Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745

New Permanent Exhibit at Maine State Archives Based on UMaine Research

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

A new permanent exhibit at the Maine State Archives in Augusta has its roots in the Ph.D. research of a recent University of Maine alumnus and newly appointed assistant professor.

Ethnohistorian Micah Pawling is the guest curator of “Choosing Survival: Wabanaki Documents at the Maine State Archives.” The exhibit features 18th- and 19th-century Wabanaki documents — petitions and an original watercolor map — that provide a unique perspective on the Maine tribes’ struggle to preserve their homeland. Among them: an 1821 petition on behalf of the Passamaquoddy Tribe to the Maine legislature seeking assistance in staving off the influx of American and British settlers who were dramatically transforming their homeland. Such petitions were an attempt by the Penobscots, Passamaquoddies and Maliseets in present-day eastern Maine, western New Brunswick and the southern shore of Quebec to navigate a new, ever-changing geopolitical landscape. With their very survival on the line, the tribes learned to use petitions as a political tool to negotiate, assert concerns and articulate aboriginal rights to governments.

Pawling’s research on the Native petitions culminated in a Ph.D. and master’s degree, both in history, from UMaine in 2010 and 1999, respectively. In 2007, in conjunction with the Penobscot Indian Nation, Pawling published the book, Wabanaki Homeland and the New State of Maine: The 1820 Journal and Plans of Survey of Joseph Treat. Pawling is now a UMaine assistant professor of history and Native American studies.

Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745

UMaine Grad, Assistant Coach Competes at Olympics

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

Editor’s note: University of Maine assistant track and field coach and alum Viktoriya Rybalko placed 20th out of 32 competitors in the preliminary round of the long jump at the London Olympics. Rybalko, representing her native Ukraine, leaped 6.29 meters that put her 10th in her group and 20th overall for the preliminary round. The top-12 jumpers from the preliminary round advanced to the finals. A July 25 news release has more.

As a 2003 University of Maine graduate who returned to Orono earlier this year to serve as an assistant coach for the Black Bears track and field team, Viktoriya Rybalko considers UMaine to be her second home. This summer, however, she is spending most of her time in Europe. First, Rybalko was in her native Ukraine in order to qualify for the Olympics in the long jump. Having accomplished that goal, she will now head to London to compete in her second Summer Games.

Rybalko finished 12th in the long jump during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

“Why not?” Rybalko says of her decision to attempt to qualify for a second Summer Olympics. “Participation in the Olympics has always been one of the highest achievements for any athlete, including myself.”

The qualifying rounds of competition in the women’s long jump begin Aug. 7 at the Olympic Stadium in London. Rybalko’s personal-best jump of 6.95 meters, which she registered on June 13 during a meet in Yalta, Ukraine, is ranked 16th in the world this year. The distance improved her previous personal best of 6.87 meters.

Rybalko, known as Vika, was named an All-American in 2003 after she finished second in the long jump at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. She won 10 America East individual titles while also leading the UMaine women’s team to the 2003 New England Championship.

In addition to her athletic successes, Rybalko was also a top student while at UMaine. She earned the 2003 “M” Club Dean Smith Award, given to Maine’s top scholar-athlete. Time management and discipline were two key life lessons Rybalko learned during her time in Orono.

“As a student-athlete you learn to integrate academics and athletics until it becomes a way of life,” she says. “The two aspects of intellectual and physical development are important on a day-to-day basis. Learning how to fit everything in one day can be a challenge, but nothing is impossible. Successes in academics definitely help me to move forward as an athlete and a coach. I enjoy everything that I do.”

Since her graduation, Rybalko has earned her master’s degree in microbiology from the University of Rochester and is pursuing her doctorate in exercise science at the University of Texas.

Rybalko’s passion for track and field, her personal training experiences and her years as a coach led her to the field of exercise science. Her major interest is muscle injuries, with a focus on muscle regeneration. Following the Olympics, Rybalko intends to return to UMaine as an assistant coach, while her advisor at the University of Texas establishes a research collaboration at UMaine, which will allow her to continue working on her Ph.D.

“UMaine is my second home. I love everyone there: coaches, staff, administrators and most of all, my athletes,” Rybalko says. “I definitely want to contribute as much as I can to make a difference and help my athletes to learn how to set and achieve their goals. It is the greatest lesson in life any coach can give.”

Contact: Jessica Bloch, (207) 581-3777

UMaine Graduate, Now Assistant Coach, Heading to Second Olympics

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

As a 2003 University of Maine graduate who returned to Orono earlier this year to serve as an assistant coach for the Black Bears track and field team, Viktoriya Rybalko considers UMaine to be her second home. This summer, however, she is spending most of her time in Europe. First, Rybalko was in her native Ukraine in order to qualify for the Olympics in the long jump. Having accomplished that goal, she will now head to London to compete in her second Summer Games.

Rybalko finished 12th in the long jump during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

“Why not?” Rybalko says of her decision to attempt to qualify for a second Summer Olympics. “Participation in the Olympics has always been one of the highest achievements for any athlete, including myself.”

The qualifying rounds of competition in the women’s long jump begin Aug. 7 at the Olympic Stadium in London. Rybalko’s personal-best jump of 6.95 meters, which she registered on June 13 during a meet in Yalta, Ukraine, is ranked 16th in the world

this year. The distance improved her previous personal best of 6.87 meters.

Rybalko, known as Vika, was named an All-American in 2003 after she finished second in the long jump at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. She won 10 America East individual titles while also leading the UMaine women’s team to the 2003 New England Championship.

In addition to her athletic successes, Rybalko was also a top student while at UMaine. She earned the 2003 ‘M’ Club Dean Smith Award, given to Maine’s top scholar-athlete. Time management and discipline were two key life lessons Rybalko learned during her time in Orono.

“As a student-athlete you learn to integrate academics and athletics until it becomes a way of life,” she says. “The two aspects of intellectual and physical development are important on a day-to-day basis. Learning how to fit everything in one day can be a challenge, but nothing is impossible. Successes in academics definitely help me to move forward as an athlete and a coach. I enjoy everything that I do.”

Since her graduation, Rybalko has earned her master’s degree in microbiology from the University of Rochester and is pursuing her doctorate in exercise science at the University of Texas.

Rybalko’s passion for track and field, her personal training experiences and her years as a coach led her to the field of exercise science. Her major interest is muscle injuries, with a focus on muscle regeneration. Following the Olympics, Rybalko intends to return to UMaine as an assistant coach, while her advisor at the University of Texas establishes a research collaboration at UMaine, which will allow her to continue working on her Ph.D.

“UMaine is my second home. I love everyone there: coaches, staff, administrators and most of all, my athletes,” Rybalko says. “I definitely want to contribute as much as I can to make a difference and help my athletes to learn how to~set and achieve their goals. It is the greatest lesson in life any coach can give.”

Contact: Jessica Bloch, (207) 581-3777

Green Outdoors Profiles Fogler Descendants’ Business

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

The “Green Outdoors” show on Maine TV stations WCSH/WLBZ profiled the owners of Stonyvale Farm, a group which includes descendants of Raymond Fogler, an alumnus and benefactor for whom the UMaine library is named. The farm, located in Exeter, Maine, is converting cow manure into electricity through a process called as anaerobic digestion.

Contact: Jessica Bloch, (207) 581-3777

Report on Alumnus in Miami Dolphins’ Organization

Monday, July 16th, 2012

UMaine alumnus and former football player Brian Gaine has been promoted to assistant general manager of the Miami Dolphins, according to a story in the Bangor Daily News. Gaine graduated from UMaine in 1995 with a degree in public administration and said he learned a lot at UMaine about how to handle the physical and emotional stress of college football.

Contact: Jessica Bloch, (207) 581-3777

Woodcock Named Associate Athletic Director for Development

Friday, July 13th, 2012

The University of Maine has named Seth Woodcock its new associate athletic director for development. Woodcock, who worked in development at Maine Medical Center for the past nine years, will assume the role as the lead major gift fundraiser for athletics at UMaine. A native of Farmington, Maine, Woodcock is a 1995 graduate of Mt. Blue High School. He graduated magna cum laude from UMaine, earning a bachelor’s degree in mass communication in 1999.

Contact: Jessica Bloch, (207) 581-3777

Innovation Center Noted in Story on Tight Job Market

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

Renee Kelly, director of economic development initiatives at the University of Maine and codirector of the Foster Center for Student Innovation, was interviewed for a Portland Press Herald business article about how the tight job market is forcing young entrepreneurs to be creative and flexible. Several UMaine graduates in the Portland area also were interviewed about their new businesses and credited the Foster Center for providing solid business advice and guidance.

Contact: George Manlove, (207) 581-3756