University of Maine students and married couple John and Christine Carney were featured in a Bangor Daily News report about the three married couples who are finalists for the $1,000 grand prize of the Big Gig. The Big Gig is a series of business pitch events for entrepreneurs in Greater Bangor designed to bring together Bangor-Orono area innovators and entrepreneurs and offer networking opportunities. It was started by a partnership between UMaine, Old Town, Orono and Husson University and is supported by Blackstone Accelerates Growth. The Carneys will pitch their business Thick & Thin Designs, a company that specializes in laser-cut acrylic cupcake toppers, during the finale on April 8, at UMaine’s Foster Center for Student Innovation.
The Forecaster reported University of Maine President Paul Ferguson will be one of three judges of the final round of Gorham Savings Bank’s Launchpad competition April 10 in Portland. Five independent Maine businesses will pitch their products and services to the judges for a chance to win $30,000. The Bangor Daily News also carried the report.
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:
Nicole Curtis-Bray (electrical and computer engineering), “Remote Excitation of the Resonant Transverse Shear Mode in AT-cut quartz;” adviser: John Vetelino
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)
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
Bangor Metro reported two new potato varieties — the Easton and the Sebec — that were developed by the University of Maine and the Maine Potato Board over the past several growing seasons will make their debut this year. The varieties are targeted at the french fry and potato chip industries. Kris Burton, director of technology commercialization in the UMaine Department of Industrial Cooperation, said several other varieties are currently being evaluated for release over the next few years through the university’s partnership with the Maine Potato Board. “Working closely with the board allows us to commercialize the best varieties to support the Maine potato industry and further research in the field,” Burton said.
The Portland Press Herald reported Maine lawmakers are taking up a proposal for a $73 million bond package that would target investment in the state’s biotechnology and marine sectors and help the growth of small businesses. The package, called the “small business and innovations jobs bond,” includes a proposal of $8 million to renovate and improve a University of Maine Cooperative Extension lab that assists farmers and foresters and identifies pests, as well as plant and animal diseases.
Jake Ward, the University of Maine’s vice president for innovation and economic development, spoke with the Portland Press Herald for a report about the University of Maine School of Law eliminating the Maine Patent Program, which provides free legal services to inventors and entrepreneurs. Ward was an advocate for the program’s creation 15 years ago, but told the Press Herald the University of Maine School of Law probably wasn’t the best organization to house the program, adding that in tough budget times, organizations must focus on their core constituency, which for the law school doesn’t include inventors and entrepreneurs. Ward said he’s not happy about the cut, but sees it as a potential opportunity for organizations such as the Maine Technology Institute and the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development to pick up the program.
The University of Maine was mentioned in an Area Development Online article about RollEase, Inc. opening a new product innovation center at Brunswick Landing in Brunswick. Greg Farr, senior vice president of the company that creates custom window treatments, said the Brunswick facility is “an exciting opportunity to expand our design and development of new products and to be around like-minded businesses at Brunswick Landing, as well as partner with other Maine businesses and the University of Maine.”
University of Maine undergraduate research will be highlighted during the 5th annual Undergraduate Research and Academic Showcase, 8 a.m.–5 p.m., Tuesday, April 1 at Wells Conference Center.
The event is sponsored by UMaine’s Center for Undergraduate Research and is open to any undergraduate at the university. Presentations from 149 students in the form of 77 posters, 21 oral presentations or performances, and nine exhibits will be featured. Several presentations include multiple students.
Students presenting projects that receive the highest scores from judges in each format will receive awards ranging from $100 to $200 in various categories, according to Ali Abedi, director of the Center for Undergraduate Research (CUGR).
Vice President for Research Carol Kim will deliver opening remarks at 8:30 a.m. Students are encouraged to pose questions for Kim via Twitter using #CUGR2014.
UMaine President Paul Ferguson is expected to give closing remarks during the awards presentation starting at 4:30 p.m., followed by the announcement of the Summer Research and Creative Academic Achievements Fellowship winners by Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Jeff Hecker. Ten students will each be awarded a $3,000 fellowship for their research.
The UMaine community and general public are welcome to attend the free event. For more information or to request disability accommodations, call CUGR, 207.581.3583. More information on the showcase is available online.
Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747
University of Maine graduate students will showcase their research and artistic works during the Graduate Student Government’s 2014 Graduate Academic Exposition.
More than $8,000 in prizes will be awarded to participants of the GradExpo. The event will be held 8 a.m.–4 p.m. Thursday and Friday, April 3–4 in the Innovative Media Research and Commercialization (IMRC) Center on campus.
The GradExpo will feature four areas of competition — posters, oral presentations, intermedia and fine arts exhibits, and a PechaKucha, or rapid-fire slide show event. About 106 submissions are expected at this year’s event.
The poster and oral presentations will highlight the physical sciences and technology, natural sciences, humanities and social sciences. The intermedia and fine arts exhibits will include art works, projects and performances. The PechaKucha competition, open to students in all academic disciplines, invites participants to share their work in a slide show lasting under seven minutes. Unlike the other presentations, the PechaKucha talks will be judged by the audience rather than faculty reviewers.
Two new awards have been added this year, and will be presented during the awards gala, slated for 6 p.m. Friday, April 4 at the IMRC Center.
The Provost’s Innovative/Creative Teaching Award worth $500, $300 and $150 will be given to graduate students who are lead instructors of a UMaine course and use innovative and creative teaching methods. Eligible candidates will present at the expo. Jeffrey Hecker, UMaine’s executive vice president of academic affairs and provost, will designate judges to select the winners.
The UMaine Alumni Association Alum Award worth $250 will be given to a graduate student who earned their undergraduate degree at the University of Maine. Selected candidates will present their research to Alumni Association staff members who will select the winner.
Other awards will include:
Graduate Student Government Awards — Presented to three students in each of the four presentation divisions. Faculty judges choose winners based on academic worthiness, excellence of presentation and skill in making the work understandable to a wide audience. Prizes are worth $600, $300 and $150.
Graduate Student Photo Contest Awards — Presented to graduate students who submitted photos in the categories of graduate student life, graduate student research, and graduate student teaching. The awards are worth $100, $50 and $25.
The Graduate Dean’s Undergraduate Mentoring Award — Presented for effective undergraduate mentoring in research, with awards worth $500, $250 and $100.
The President’s Research Impact Award — A $2,000 award given to the graduate student and their adviser who best exemplify the UMaine mission of teaching, research and outreach.
Innovation Award — $100.
Details of the expo are online. For more information or to request a disability accommodation, contact Robin Arnold, Graduate Student Government vice president, at email@example.com or 207.581.2398.
Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747
University of Maine economist Todd Gabe’s study on the maple industry’s financial impact on the state was cited in a Morning Sentinel article about Maine Maple Sunday. According to Gabe’s study, Maine has the third-largest maple syrup industry in the country, and each year, the industry directly contributes about $27.7 million in revenue, 567 full- and part-time jobs and $17.3 million in wages to Maine’s economy.