Archive for the ‘Blue Sky News’ Category

UMaine, Ward to be Featured in ‘State of the State’ TV Program

Monday, April 14th, 2014

Jake Ward, the University of Maine’s vice president for innovation and economic development, will be featured on an upcoming episode of the Maine Center for Economic Policy’s television show, “State of the State.” The weekly talk show focuses on Maine issues and is hosted by MECEP staff. The new episode will focus on research and development and will look at the university’s role in the growth of two Maine companies — Acadia Harvest and Kenway Corp. The episode will air on Time Warner Cable’s Channel 9 at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 17 and Thursday, April 24. A podcast of the full program also will be available on MECEP’s website. More information about the upcoming show can be found on the MECEP blog.

EMMC Announces Inaugural Chair of UMaine External Advisory Board

Monday, April 14th, 2014

Ian Dickey, MD, FRCSC, lead physician of Eastern Maine Medical Center’s orthopedic surgical specialists, has been invited to serve as the first chair of the University of Maine Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Engineering’s new external advisory board, EMMC announced.

UMaine established the school in 2006 as a collaborative effort between the university, The Jackson Laboratory, Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory, Maine Medical Center Research Institute, University of Southern Maine and University of New England. About 40 Ph.D. students and 100 faculty members are currently involved with the school, researching molecular and cellular biology, neuroscience, biomedical engineering, toxicology and functional genomics.

“To move to the next stage, the program needs the advice of a high-powered, knowledgeable external advisory board,” said David Neivandt, director of the UMaine Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Engineering. “This board, with Dr. Dickey’s leadership, will provide external counsel and perspective regarding scientific direction and curricula, assist in identifying and securing external funding, aid in networking for students and faculty, and serve as an advocacy role both internal and external to the university.”

The full EMMC news release is online.

President Ferguson Elected Vice Chair of ACUPCC Steering Committee

Monday, April 14th, 2014

University of Maine President Paul Ferguson has been elected vice chair of the Steering Committee of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), a network of over 680 colleges and universities addressing climate change and sustainability.

President Ferguson will be working with the new chair, Wim Wiewel, president of Portland State University.

ACUPCC was launched in early 2007. It is staffed and supported by Second Nature, a Boston-based national nonprofit organization that includes colleges and universities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, representing nearly 6.5 million students — about one third of the U.S. higher education student population. The program is led by a Steering Committee of more than 20 presidents of colleges and universities from around the country and across the breadth of higher education. The committee is responsible for guidance, policy and direction of the ACUPCC.

ACUPCC is an intensive partnership among more than 680 colleges and universities to accelerate the education, research and community engagement to equip society to restabilize the earth’s climate, while setting an example by eliminating net greenhouse gas emissions from their own operations. (presidentsclimatecommitment.org). Second Nature works to create a healthy, just, and sustainable society beginning with the transformation of higher education. Second Nature is the support organization of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. (secondnature.org).

The Steering Committee, chaired since 2010 by Timothy White, Chancellor of the California State University system, oversaw an ACUPCC network that not only grew in participation but, by 2014, had reduced greenhouse gases by over 25 percent cumulatively across the network.

“Chairing the steering committee of such an innovative, important, and successful effort has been a privilege and a true highlight for me,” indicated Chancellor White. “It’s now even more critical than when we started the ACUPCC seven years ago, that we continue to drive progress across higher education in developing and implementing effective climate responses. President Wiewel and President Ferguson are exactly the right people to further accelerate our efforts.”

UMaine is a national leader in sustainability. Since becoming president in 2011, Dr. Ferguson has maintained a long-held commitment to engagement, inclusivity and quality. Currently, UMaine is in the third year of the Blue Sky Project, a five-year strategic plan designed to elevate the University of Maine to new levels of excellence as the most distinctively student-centered and community-engaged of the American research universities.

Portland State University has received numerous awards for its sustainability programs. Led by President Wiewel since 2008, Portland State has developed a renewed focus on expanding civic partnerships in the region and achieving a new degree of excellence through investments, such as the $25 million James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation challenge grant for sustainability.

Both universities became ACUPCC signatory schools in 2007 — its first year of existence.

“Stepping into these roles after such incredible progress and leadership that has already been demonstrated allows us to build on a foundation that, since 2007, has enjoyed the active commitment of not only a diverse and engaged Steering Committee but also the entire network,” said President Ferguson. “ACUPCC continues to play an enormous role in helping our students thrive in the 21st century, and we aim to continue to promote and grow this effort.”

“The 680 ACUPCC institutions employing a wide variety of solutions to make sustainability a bedrock principle of society are not only rebuilding our economy but are also helping to chart a future in which prosperity, security, and health coexist easily,” said David Hales, President of Second Nature. “At Second Nature, we are thrilled that Dr. Wiewel and Dr. Ferguson have agreed to head the Steering Committee and we look forward to continuing to support the ACUPCC network and their leadership.”

UMaine is in a “smart-growth” period of sustainability. Even with essential new construction and necessary upgrades to older infrastructure, multiple building renovations and energy-efficiency upgrades have contributed to an overall reduction in energy use and greenhouse gas emissions since 2005. And thus far, the university’s sustainability initiatives have earned it national recognition.

Continued sustainability at UMaine is important because it can produce reductions in operating costs that save money for the university, community and students; promote institutional leadership by setting models for other buildings in the state and country; and create community engagement through the use of local building or energy companies.

The university is now home to five LEED-certified buildings, including three silver and one gold. It has a comprehensive campus recycling program, which includes a new, advanced composting facility, and is a participant in STARS — the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System. Among UMaine’s recent honors and distinctions recognizing its national leadership as a green campus:

  • In 2009, UMaine developed an award-winning Campus Master Plan focused on sustainability.
  • In 2010, UMaine received a Special Recognition Award from the U.S. Green Building Council.
  • Listed in Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges from 2010–2013 and named to Princeton Review’s Green Honor Roll, a list of 16–20 U.S. colleges and universities, in 2011 and 2012.
  • Recipient of the 2011 Second Nature Climate Leadership Award recognizing outstanding climate leadership. UMaine received the award representing doctoral institutions.
  • UMaine is a charter signatory of the ACUPCC and has been a member in good standing for seven years.

Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745

UMaine to Host IFTSA Regional Meeting, April 11-12

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

About 75 students from the University of Maine, University of Massachusetts, Penn State, Rutgers and Cornell are expected to gather at the UMaine campus April 11–12 for the Institute of Food Technologists Student Association’s (IFTSA) North Atlantic Area Meeting.

The event brings together students from food science departments in the North Atlantic area, and provides them with updates and information from the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) and its student association.

The meeting also serves as a food science trivia contest among the five universities. The winning institution of the North Atlantic Area College Bowl Competition will advance to the finals at the IFT Annual Meeting in New Orleans, La. in June.

Mary Ellen Camire, president-elect of IFT and professor of food science and human nutrition at UMaine, will speak at the regional meeting’s welcome dinner on April 11.

For more information or to request a disability accommodation, contact UMaine student Kaitlyn Feeney on FirstClass.

UMaine Bioengineering Students Collaborate With The Jackson Laboratory, IDEXX Laboratories on Capstone Projects

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Three University of Maine student research teams in bioengineering are collaborating with The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor and IDEXX Laboratories Inc., in Westbrook on senior capstone projects.

Working under the supervision of Professor David Neivandt, director of UMaine’s Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Engineering, and coordinator of the undergraduate bioengineering program, the bioengineering seniors are involved in semester-long capstone projects in which they develop device concepts and methods to improve biological systems that benefit society.

“In the early stages of our classes, we have a lot of canned problems,” says Jeff Servetas, Hancock, Maine, of his bioengineering coursework. Now as seniors, the students are developing solutions to open-ended questions that have not been addressed before.

Two teams are working with IDEXX — one team will work to develop a device veterinarians could use to test for ear mites in dogs, while the other team’s focus is to design a method to provide precise, accurate and rapid quantification of spot density in the IDEXX SNAP® test for screening for diseases.

“I really feel like I’m making a difference,” says Servetas of the project. “If the work I do relieves pet owner of the burden, we’re making a difference.”

Tony DiMarco, vice president for research and development at IDEXX, says working with UMaine students in co-ops and on capstone projects is enjoyable. “The students are fantastic — they jump headlong into projects and thrive on working through complex design problems, using a systematic approach that reveals their intense training. It allows us to get a head start on new projects, or explore some new areas that we might not otherwise work on,” he says.

A third bioengineering team was asked by Jackson Laboratory to develop a device to keep mice warm during embryo transplant surgery, thereby improving the success rates.

The next project in the course will send the students to Dirigo Pines in Orono, where they will be working with the residents and staff to identify problems that can be addressed with engineering solutions.

Majoring in bioengineering at UMaine means majoring in problem-solving, says Coady Richardson of Madison, Maine. “I’ve always liked puzzles and solving problems. (Bioengineering) is the most challenging program on campus,” says Richardson, adding that working with Jackson Lab mentors has taught him how to effectively communicate about research.

Having a well-rounded “toolbox” of problem-solving and communication skills with which to address bioengineering challenges is a true boon, according to the students.

“We learn to be professionals,” says Haylea Ledoux of Bedford, N.H. While communicating in different “engineering languages” is important, being able to learn in different styles has made the most difference, she says.

“It’s a big test for us to prove to ourselves that we have the knowledge and are capable of doing this,” says Ledoux.

Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745

UMaine’s Oldest A Capella Group Becomes the First Student Performing Arts Organization to Endow a Scholarship With the University of Maine Foundation

Monday, April 7th, 2014

With an initial $2,500 donation, The Maine Steiners, the University of Maine’s oldest a cappella group, became the first performing arts student organization to establish an endowed scholarship fund with the University of Maine Foundation.

The Maine Steiners Vocal Music Scholarship Fund will promote ensemble singing at the University of Maine, according to the group’s business manager Morgan Cates.

“We wanted to find a way to support involvement with the School of Performing Arts for years to come. It is our goal that this scholarship will give students the opportunity to get involved with the arts who otherwise may not have had that opportunity,” Cates says.

The $2,500 gift along with an $8,000 pledge met the $10,000 goal established for new endowed funds with the addition of matching funds from the University of Maine Foundation’s 80th anniversary matching gift program. The gift included $500 for immediate distribution of the first scholarship in fall 2015.

“We are very appreciative of the Maine Steiners for their commitment to this much needed scholarship support and their vision for the future of the performing arts at UMaine,” says Foundation President Jeff Mills. “This fund represents a significant contribution for a student group.”

Ongoing fundraising for the scholarship fund will occur with the creation of limited edition engraved steins in a “Fill the Steins!” campaign. Steins are currently in production at UMaine’s Innovative Media Research and Commercialization (IMRC) Center in partnership with the Intermedia MFA Program.

The campaign will offer a different stein design annually for the next four years. The first stein will be unveiled in the coming weeks, with subsequent designs offered every January. Each of the 25 annual steins cost $100.

In addition, the Steiners’ next album “Thank You for the Sing!” will be out this month. It is the Steiners’ first album since 2010. The group has spent more than 60 hours in the IMRC Center’s studio, recording tracks in collaboration with audio engineer Duane Shimmel.

“Thank You for the Sing!” will include arrangements of classics such as “Live Like We’re Dying” and “A Little Less Conversation.” A launch party for the album will be held at the IMRC Center April 25. All seven current Steiners perform on the album.

Gateway Mastering, owned by Grammy award-winning mastering engineer Bob Ludwig, will master the tracks. Shimmel and Cates are the producers.

These efforts are in addition to the Steiners’ preparation for their annual spring tour, which will happen in May and take the group across the state and as far as New York.

In addition to Cates, who is from Camden, Maine, the other Steiners are: five other members from Maine — Cain Landry and Forrest Tripp of Saco, Avery Topel of Windham, Derek Willette of Hampden and Mike Knowles of Charlotte; and Rob Laraway of Tilton, N.H.

Anyone interested in the spring tour performance locations or in supporting the fund by purchasing an album or stein can contact steiners@umit.maine.edu or go online (mainesteiners.com). Albums are $10 and will be available at Bull Moose Music and the University Bookstore, and at all Maine Steiners live performances.

Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745;

2014 Undergraduate Research and Academic Showcase Winners

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Student research was displayed during the 5th annual Undergraduate Research and Academic Showcase on April 1.

The event, sponsored by UMaine’s Center for Undergraduate Research (CUGR), was open to any undergraduate at the university and featured presentations from 149 students in the form of 77 posters, 21 oral presentations or performances, and nine exhibits. Several presentations included multiple students.

Following are the winning presentations:

Exhibits

  • Nicole Curtis-Bray (electrical and computer engineering), “Remote Excitation of the Resonant Transverse Shear Mode in AT-cut quartz;” adviser: John Vetelino

Oral Presentations

  • Paige Martin (molecular and biomedical sciences), “Exosome-Mediated Drug Delivery for Treatment of Brain Cancer;” adviser: Carol Kim (first place)

  • Christine Gilbert (Honors), “Sustainability Inconvenient Discourse;” adviser: Mark Haggerty (second place)

Posters

  • Samuel Hatch and Emily Blackwood (anthropology), “Native American Plant Use: Pollen Analysis of Shell Middens;” adviser: Brian Robinson (first place)

  • Chi Truong (chemical and biological engineering), “Separation of Sodium Acetate from Maine hardwood extract via Electrodialysis;” adviser: Joseph Geneco (second place)

  • Elizabeth Chenevert, Rebekah Flanders, Lindsay Thornton and Sylvia Paradis-Reynolds (nursing), “Radon Detect To Protect;” adviser: Elizabeth Bicknell (third place)

Also announced at the showcase were the 10 winners of a $3,000 Summer Research and Creative Academic Achievements Fellowship:

  • Danielle Walczak (communication and journalism), “Fresh Light: Maine’s Young Small Diversified Farmers Growing Hope in Maine;” adviser: Margaret Nagle

  • Gwendolyn Beacham (molecular and biomedical sciences), “Towards Understanding Cluster E Phage Integration and Maintenance of Lysogeny;” adviser: Sally Molloy

  • Marissa Bovie (anthropology), “Landscape Evolution and Human Agency Along Croatia’s Adriatic Coast;” adviser: Greg Zaro

  • Tyler Roy (psychology), “Activated Microglia in a Mouse Model of Chemo-Brain;” adviser: Thane Fremouw

  • Julia Sell (physics), “Platinum-Zirconium Diboride (Pt-ZrB2) Multilayer Thin Film Structures for Sensor Applications in Harsh High;” adviser: Robert Lad

  • Torey Bowser (marine sciences), “Arsenic Exposure of Zebrafish (Danio rerio) Embryos and the Potential to Affect Adult Fish Behavior;” adviser: Rebecca Van Beneden

  • Katrina Harris (molecular and biomedical sciences), “Identification of Genome and Integration Morphology of Mycobacteriophages ChipMunk and EvilGenius;” adviser: Keith Hutchison

  • Amy Fish (food and agriculture), “Evaluation of Persistence Factors in C.pseudotuberculosis;” adviser: Anne Lichtenwalner

  • Taylor Merk-Wynne (mechanical engineering), “Micromechanical Modeling of Fiber Reinforced Composites;” adviser: Senthil Vel

  • Juliana Tavora (marine sciences), “Satellite-Measured Bio-Optical Measurements of Lagoa dos Patos, Brazil;” adviser: Andrew Thomas

Thirty-two UMaine Faculty Members Receive Tenure and/or Promotion

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

The University of Maine System Board of Trustees has approved promotion and/or tenure for 32 University of Maine faculty members. The professors were nominated by University of Maine President Paul Ferguson based on a peer and administrative review of their successful work in teaching, research and public service.

“This annual process and recognition of excellence constitutes an important tradition to celebrate the University of Maine’s faculty and their role in the distinctiveness of Maine’s flagship, land grant university,” says President  Ferguson. “Their teaching, research and community outreach reaffirm the impactful role of public higher education in the quality of life for Maine citizens.”

University of Maine Faculty Promoted and/or Tenured, 2013–14

Promoted to professor

College of Engineering
Howard Gray, Civil Engineering Technology
M. Clayton Wheeler, Chemical Engineering

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Francois Amar, Chemistry
Mark Brewer, Political Science
Samuel Hess, Physics and Astronomy
Jon Ippolito, New Media
Richard Powell, Political Science
Liam Riordan, History

College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture
Robert Lilieholm, Forest Resources
Ann Rosebush Sossong, Nursing
Vivian Chi-Hua Wu, Food Science and Human Nutrition

Promoted to associate research professor

Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Environmental and Watershed Research
Sarah Nelson

Promoted to associate professor with tenure

College of Engineering
Nuri Emanetoglu, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Melissa Maynard, Civil Engineering

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Daniel Bilodeau, Theatre
Dylan Dryer, English
Mary Hough, History and Women’s Studies
Shannon McCoy, Psychology
Robert Meulenberg, Physics and Astronomy and Laboratory for Surface Science and Technology
Kathleen Yoon, Psychology

Maine Business School
Niclas Erhardt, Human Resources
Jason Harkins, Entrepreneurship
Patti Miles, Operations Management

College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture
Julie Gosse, Biochemistry
Teresa Johnson, Marine Policy
Robert Wheeler, Microbiology

Promoted to associate Extension professor with continuing contract

Tori Jackson, Cooperative Extension
Kristy Ouellette, Cooperative Extension
Andrew Plant, Cooperative Extension

Promoted to associate Extension professor and associate professor with continuing contract

Anne Lichtenwalner, Cooperative Extension and Animal and Veterinary Sciences
Ellen Mallory, Cooperative Extension and Sustainable Agriculture

Granted tenure at current rank of associate professor

Honors College
Margaret Killinger, Rezendes Preceptor of the Arts

Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745

Three Honored With The First ADVANCE Career Recognition Awards

Monday, March 24th, 2014

Three University of Maine faculty members — Kate Beard-Tisdale, Susan Brawley and Mary Tyler — are the recipients of ADVANCE Career Recognition Awards by UMaine’s Rising Tide Center.

Beard-Tisdale is a member of the School of Computing and Information Science; Brawley is in the School of Marine Science; and Tyler is in the School of Biology and Ecology.

The Career Recognition Awards highlight the significant accomplishments of women faculty at UMaine through their teaching, research, constituent service and campus leadership. Sharing the professional successes of UMaine faculty raises the profile of women scientists and is intended to inspire colleagues at every rank.

The honor includes a travel award to support the honorees’ participation at a prestigious conference where their work will be showcased on an international stage.

On campus, the award winners will give lectures about their research and will lead a panel discussion. Tyler will speak on, “Students Are Scientists: Implementing Inquiry-Based Learning,” noon, March 27, Coe Room, Memorial Union; Beard-Tisdale will speak on, “A Passage in Space and Time,” noon, April 10, Coe Room, Union.

Brawley will speak on, “Small Is Beautiful: Marine Eggs, Spores and Bacteria,” 2 p.m., April 16, Wells Conference Center, followed by the awards ceremony and reception. The event will feature a panel discussion with the awardees and accomplished junior faculty offering perspectives on the challenges and opportunities for women in science.

All events are free and open to the public. To register or to request a disability accommodation, call or write the ADVANCE Rising Tide Center, 207.581.3439; risingtide@maine.edu. More information is available online.

UMaine’s ADVANCE Rising Tide Center, funded by a five-year grant from the National Science Foundation, seeks to develop systemic approaches to retaining and advancing women faculty in academic science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and social-behavioral science careers.

2014 Engineering EXPO to be Held March 22

Friday, March 21st, 2014

The public is invited to take part in hands-on activities and view demonstrations at the 2014 Engineering EXPO from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 22 in the University of Maine’s New Balance Field House. The event is free and open to the public with a suggested $2 donation. Maine’s top engineering firms, schools, educators, government agencies and societies will offer activities and exhibits to encourage children to pursue careers in engineering during Maine Engineers Week. More than 1,500 people are expected to attend. The first 600 visitors will receive a free 2014 EXPO shirt.