Accounting students in the Maine Business School at the University of Maine are offering free federal and state income tax filing assistance, under the supervision of Steven Colburn, associate professor of accounting.
Except for the weeks of March 2 and 9, free help sessions will be held 2-4:30 p.m. Thursdays, Feb. 6 to April 10 at 312 Corbett Business Building and noon to 3 p.m. Fridays, Jan. 31 to April 11 at the Orono Public Library, 39 Pine St.
Filers are asked to bring their tax information for 2013, including:
W-2 forms received from employer(s)
Documentation for other income, including interest, dividends or tax refunds received during 2013, if any
Information regarding deductions they hope to claim (property taxes, mortgage interest, student loan interest paid, etc.)
Social Security numbers for all dependents
Copies of 2012 federal tax and state income tax returns; a copy of the federal return is needed to electronically file the 2013 return
All filers’ information is treated confidentially. Colburn will review all tax returns before they are filed. People who receive assistance will get a printed copy of their state and federal tax returns.
Appointments, which generally last an hour, are required. To make an appointment, contact Colburn, 207.581.1982, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
The Center for Undergraduate Research (CUGR) has launched the Research Fellows Program, a new Blue Sky initiative to support University of Maine faculty efforts in promoting undergraduate research opportunities. Emerging from 2011 stimulus funding of CUGR as one of six initiatives through the 2011 Presidential Request for Visions of University Excellence (PRE-VUE) Program, this CUGR Research Fellows Program is intended to improve undergraduate research and scholarship mentoring skills, expand curricula to include research and scholarship experiences, and develop proposals for further funding specifically involving undergraduate students.
Twenty-three faculty members who were nominated by their deans to be CUGR Research Fellows will participate in the two-year development program. Workshops will focus on topics such as mentoring undergraduate students, funding sources, responsible conduct of research and grant writing. Each CUGR Research Fellow receives a modest stipend and one undergraduate assistant.
The CUGR Research Fellows are:
Laura Artesani, Associate Professor of Music
Dan Bilodeau, Assistant Professor of Theatre
Tim Bowden, Assistant Professor of Aquaculture
Steven Elmer, Assistant Professor of Kinesiology and Physical Education
Nuri Emanetoglu, Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Nick Giudice, Associate Professor of Spatial Information Sciences
Rob Glover, CLAS-Honors Preceptor and Assistant Professor of Political Science
Will Gramlich, Assistant Professor of Organic Chemistry
Hamish Greig, Associate Professor of Stream Ecology
Mark Haggerty, Associate Rezendes Preceptor for Civil Engagement
Sarah Harlan-Haughey, Assistant Professor of English and Assistant Professor of Honors
Kim Huisman, Associate Professor of Sociology
Karl Kreutz, Professor of Geological Sciences and Climate Change Institute
Jordan LaBouff, CLAS-Honors Preceptor and Assistant Professor of Psychology
Roberto Lopez-Anido, Professor of Civil Engineering
Benildo de los Reyes, Professor of Molecular Genetics
Shannon McCoy, Assistant Professor of Psychology
Reinhard Moratz, Associate Professor of Spatial Information Sciences
Balunkeswar Nayak, Assistant Professor of Food Processing
Brian Robinson, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Climate Change Institute
Mary Shea, Assistant Professor of Nursing
Ebru Ulusoy, Assistant Professor of Marketing
Faren Wolter, Lecturer
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745
Dr. Jeff Hecker, University of Maine Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost, is enthusiastic about his role in facilitating implementation of the Blue Sky Plan — the university’s blueprint to become a nationwide leader among America’s research universities in student success, achievement and community engagement.
UMaine President Paul Ferguson named Hecker to this position in July. He replaces Susan Hunter, who was named Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for the University of Maine System.
Provost Hecker, the former Dean of the UMaine College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, says his challenge is to manage the day-to-day operations of the Academic Affairs division while keeping an eye on the big picture — communicating long-range, mission-driven goals, and moving Blue Sky Plan initiatives forward in collaboration with faculty, other Cabinet members and the broader UMaine community.
Hecker describes the Blue Sky Plan unveiled in October 2011 as unified, ambitious, focused and inclusive. He is primarily focused on those initiatives that relate to the academic affairs agenda that are integral to each of the five major Blue Sky Pathways.
“The heart of UMaine’s mission is undergraduate education. As we pursue our research, community engagement and graduate education goals, we can’t lose sight of that core mission,” he says. “The beauty of the Blue Sky Plan is that it is at once aspirational and pragmatic. We are committed to growth as Maine’s land grant research university and equally committed to pursue excellence in our core mission.”
Provost Hecker and Associate Provost for Academic Affairs Jeff St. John are leading the campus in addressing a number of the Blue Sky Strategic Initiatives related to academic affairs. The newly reconstituted University Teaching Council and several Blue Sky Advisory Teams are assisting them in addressing a number of priority issues.
Faculty Development is at the top of the list. Those initiatives include promotion of best practices in the classroom, labs and studios, creating faculty development opportunities for the more than 100 adjunct faculty UMaine employs every year, enhancing online teaching quality, and launching the new Blue Sky Faculty Fellows Program to develop the next generation of faculty leaders and university spokespeople.
Due to significant enrollment increases, particularly in engineering and sciences, Provost Hecker is also exploring a new initiative to bring postdoctoral fellows to UMaine as Visiting Assistant Professors.
During their two- to-three-year fixed-length appointments, the visiting faculty will hone their teaching and research skills to prepare themselves for careers in academia. At the same time, they will help address the need for high-quality instruction in high-demand areas, such as mathematics, English and laboratory sciences.
The idea, Hecker says, is to create opportunities that benefit both the postdoctoral faculty member and UMaine. “These positions could be an important piece of the puzzle,” Hecker says. “We are exploring cost-effective ways of meeting our students’ needs for quality, innovative instruction.”
A second Blue Sky emphasis for Provost Hecker is student success. He is leading a multipronged approach to improve the four- and six-year graduation rates by 10 percent by 2017. “Relative to our peers, we do well,” he says, adding that UMaine’s four-year graduation rate is about 40 percent and its six-year rate is about 60 percent. “But we can do better.”
An advisory group is gathering data about factors that impact whether students remain enrolled, including affordability; timely access to courses they need; and quality of their campus experience.
Dr. St. John, says Provost Hecker, is also working on the UMaine Blue Sky Plan Pathway 2 initiative to improve annual student retention by 5 percent by 2017. From 2011–12, UMaine succeeded in that effort — 81 percent of the 2012 cohort of first-time, full-time students stayed in school, which was a 5 percent improvement from the 2011 cohort, according to the University of Maine Office of Institutional Research. The challenge is to maintain that improvement.
Lastly, Provost Hecker and Faculty Senate President Harlan Onsrud are working collaboratively to create a process of inventorying UMaine’s academic programs to better define UMaine’s strengths and opportunities. By jointly hosting Academic Affairs Faculty Forums in which faculty members discuss academic initiatives and how to best advance strategic goals, the university is engaging in an open process that will help to guide investments central to future success.
“It’s fantastic having an opportunity like this,” Hecker says. “This is my 28th year of employment here and I am thrilled to be in a leadership role, helping UMaine achieve its goals.”
Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777
The Bangor Daily News reported on the UMaine Business Challenge for the article, “UMaine competition seeks to create entrepreneurs and keep them in the state.” The competition was started in 2011 by a small group of 2010 UMaine graduates who wanted to give back to their alma mater while creating more opportunities for student entrepreneurs. Spencer Wood, last year’s second-place winner who is now a UMaine graduate student, and James Morin, one of the competition’s founders, were interviewed for the article.
Mainebiz reported on a 21 percent increase in enrollment at the University of Maine’s Maine Business School. The school reached a record enrollment this year with 947 undergraduate students, up from 785 students last year. Mainebiz cited a previous Bangor Daily News report.
The Bangor Daily News wrote a piece about the all-time high undergraduate enrollment at the Maine Business School (MBS) at the University of Maine.
MBS Dean Ivan Manev says the school attracts students for a host of reasons. There are accessible faculty who are experts in their fields, a new concentration in entrepreneurship, high post-graduate job placement and a wealth of learning opportunities, including a student-run investment group, access to the Bloomberg Terminal and trips to the New York Stock Exchange.
“I was born in Maine, raised in Maine, educated in Maine and now I’m employed in Maine,” Bethany Mealey, ’09, of Farmingdale, Maine, said in the story. “I wanted to study business and the Maine Business School allowed me to do that,” said Mealey, who works at UNUM in Portland.
Read more here.
The University of Maine Office of International Programs announced winners of the Study Abroad Photo Contest. The contest is open to UMaine students who have studied abroad or are currently abroad and is usually offered every semester.
The contest started about eight years ago and for the past few years has been run on the UMaine Study Abroad Facebook page where anyone can view the photos and vote for their favorite image by “liking” it.
This year’s winners are:
First place: Katherine Silver (250 votes). Silver, an international affairs major, is currently studying at Bangor University in Wales on a direct exchange program. The photo of herself in the city of Pompeii with Mount Vesuvius in the background was taken while she was traveling in Italy.
Second place: Terri Bastarache (225 votes). Bastarache, a management major, spent a semester at the University College Cork in Ireland after winning the George J. Mitchell Peace Scholarship through the University of Maine System. Her photo was taken in Sevilla, Spain while she was skydiving during Easter break in March 2013.
Third place: Kimberly Dao (90 votes). Dao is a biology major, student in the Honors College, and the current student government president. Dao’s photo of herself riding a camel was taken during her summer study abroad program in Marrakech, Morocco.
The Office of International Programs awarded the winners with University Bookstore gift cards.
The winning photos can be seen online.
Undergraduate enrollment in the Maine Business School (MBS) at the University of Maine is at an all-time high of 947 students, an increase of nearly 21 percent from a year ago. And, at the same time the SAT scores of the incoming classes have consistently improved since 2009.
MBS Dean Ivan Manev says the 162-student increase reflects the quality of the school’s education and is the result of institutional recruitment and marketing efforts by MBS Associate Dean Stephanie Welcomer, student ambassadors and faculty.
The school’s enrollment jump aligns with Pathway 2 of UMaine President Paul Ferguson’s Blue Sky Project, which targets ensuring the university’s financial sustainability by attracting more students, particularly to signature programs, Manev says.
One big draw for the MBS includes the recently acquired Bloomberg Terminal, which affords students the ability to observe and analyze real-time financial market data and electronic trading. Students can learn important skills, including how to access global economic and security price information, as well as energy prices, interest rates, currency rates and supply chain analysis — advantageous skills for those seeking to land jobs in banking and marketing research.
Students also can glean valuable experience managing the Student Portfolio Investment Fund (SPIFFY), which is a part of the University of Maine Foundation’s endowment. More than 70 students actively participate in this group led by faculty adviser Professor Robert Strong. In October 2013, SPIFFY surpassed $2 million for the first time, says Manev.
And, through the IRS-sponsored Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, business student volunteers gain hands-on skills preparing tax returns while simultaneously providing a community service for students and low-income taxpayers.
This year, U.S. News & World Report cited the Maine Business School as one of the nation’s top 150 business undergraduate programs. The MBS offers a four-year undergraduate degree in business administration with majors in accounting, finance, management and marketing, and concentrations in entrepreneurship, international business, and management information systems. It also offers an MBA. The school’s mission is to prepare students for successful careers by challenging them to discover their potential, develop business skills, and act responsibly.
Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777
The Free Press previewed the Nov. 7 William S. Cohen Lecture at the University of Maine. “The State of Our Nation: Hardball vs. Civility” will be the focus of the talk featuring former U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming, co-chair of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. Former Secretary of Defense William Cohen will join Simpson in the discussion.
“The State of Our Nation: Hardball vs. Civility” will be the focus of the William S. Cohen Lecture at the University of Maine on Nov. 7 featuring former Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson, co-chair of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.
Simpson will be joined by former Secretary of Defense William Cohen in the discussion, moderated by alumnus Mark Woodward, former Bangor Daily News executive editor.
The 3 p.m. event in the Collins Center for the Arts is free and open to the public. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis by calling the Collins Center for the Arts box office, 581.1755 or 1-800-MCA-TIXX. Box office hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
The moderated discussion on hardball versus civility in Washington is the second time a question-and-answer-style discussion format has been featured in UMaine’s William S. Cohen Lecture Series, which began in 1998. Cohen, the Bangor native who represented Maine in Congress for 24 years before joining President Clinton’s cabinet, established the series when he donated a collection of papers chronicling his Congressional career to the university’s Fogler Library.
Taking the stage this year with Cohen will be Simpson, a U.S. senator from 1979-97. From 1985-95, he was assistant Republican leader. In his Congressional career, Simpson sponsored legislation that dealt with the establishment of federal standards for clean air and water, toxic waste cleanup, and nuclear regulation. He was active on issues regarding veterans, aging, the environment and immigration laws.
In 2006, Simpson was named to the 10-member Iraq Study Group, a Congressionally appointed panel co-chaired by Lee Hamilton and James Baker, charged with assessing the Iraq War and offering policy recommendations. In 2010, President Barack Obama appointed Simpson and Erskine Bowles to co-chair the 18-member National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, commonly referred to as the Deficit Commission or Debt Panel.
Simpson will be the ninth Cohen Lecturer since the start of the series, established to bring to UMaine a distinguished speaker with informed perspectives on matters related to international policy and commerce. Cohen delivered the first lecture in the series in March 1998; Madeleine Albright, then Secretary of State, followed in 1999; retired U.S. Senator and former astronaut John Glenn, 2001, former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, 2003; former CBS News correspondent Dan Rather, 2005; Washington Post journalist and author Bob Woodward, 2007; Attorney General Eric Holder, 2009; retired U.S. Marine Gen. James Jones, 2011.
The 2013 Cohen Lecture is a function of UMaine’s William S. Cohen Center for International Policy and Commerce, established in 1997. Cohen, who is a former UMaine business faculty member, donated his collection of papers to UMaine’s Fogler Library when the center was established. In January 2001, Cohen gave the papers from his tenure as Secretary of Defense to the university.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745