These stellar seniors — hailing from rural Maine to Canada and China — share their UMaine experiences. Learn about their research, community service and world travels, and their plans for a very promising future.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745
|Jinlun Bai||Finn Bondeson||Ariel Bothen|
|Meaghan Bradica||Jennifer Chalmers||Dilasha Dixit|
|Kayla Jones||Theresa McMannus||Janelle Tinkler|
|Chi Truong||Sierra Ventura|
Image Description: Jinlun Bai
Image Description: Finn Bonderson
Image Description: Ariel Bothen
Image Description: Meaghan Bradica
Image Description: Jennifer Chalmers
Image Description: Dilasha Dixit
Image Description: Kayla Jones
Image Description: Theresa McMannus
Image Description: Janelle Tinkler
Image Description: Chi Truong
Image Description: Sierra Ventura
The University of Maine’s 212th Commencement will be held May 10 in Harold Alfond Sports Arena on campus.
Held in two ceremonies at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., the university’s Commencement is one of Maine’s largest graduation events. An estimated 1,660 students — undergraduates, master’s and doctoral — are expected to participate in the event.
Both ceremonies are ticketed events. All students marching were offered up to five guest tickets. Live streaming of the ceremonies will be available online for friends and family worldwide. In addition, live streaming of both ceremonies can be viewed on a big screen in the Bear’s Den in the Memorial Union on campus.
For the second consecutive year, in keeping with UMaine’s leadership as a nationally recognized “Green campus,” each graduating student attending one of the ceremonies will receive a digital Commencement program on a commemorative 2GB USB flash drive. The full program will contain the names of all degree-earning undergraduate and graduate students, as well as a welcome message from the University of Maine Alumni Association.
At the ceremonies, an abbreviated print version of the program will be available for audience members. The Commencement website that day will feature the full program with the names of all graduating students.
The 10 a.m., ceremony is for graduating students in two colleges: Liberal Arts and Sciences; and Education and Human Development. Joining them will be students graduating from the Maine Business School and the Division of Lifelong Learning.
The 2:30 p.m., ceremony is for graduates in the College of Engineering and the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry and Agriculture.
The honorary degree recipients and Commencement speakers will be two icons in literature and music in Maine — international best-selling author Tess Gerritsen of Camden and singer-songwriter David Mallett of Sebec. Mallett will address the 10 a.m. ceremony; Gerritsen will address the 2:30 p.m. ceremony.
This year’s valedictorian and salutatorian are Sierra Ventura of Belfast, Maine, and Jennifer Chalmers of Foxborough, Mass., respectively. Ventura will receive a bachelor’s degree in music education. Chalmers will receive two bachelor’s degrees in English and in history. She has majored in English and history, with minors in education and Spanish, and received highest honors for her thesis.
Also being honored at Commencement and at a Faculty Appreciation and Recognition Luncheon that day are four faculty members in marine sciences, electrical and computer engineering, and computing and information science.
Mary Jane Perry, professor of oceanography and interim director of UMaine’s Darling Marine Center, is the 2014 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.
J. Malcolm Shick, professor of zoology and oceanography, is the recipient of the 2014 Presidential Outstanding Teaching Award; School of Computing and Information Science Professor M. Kate Beard-Tisdale is the 2014 Presidential Research and Creative Achievement Award; and the 2014 Presidential Public Service Achievement Award recipient it Bruce Segee, professor of electrical and computer engineering, and director of the University of Maine System Advanced Computing Group.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has selected University of Maine student Anne Marie Lausier as a 2014 Graduate Research Fellow.
Lausier, a graduate student in civil engineering, says her research will focus on the inclusion of stakeholder equity considerations in water management and that her goal is to “help facilitate the movement of water policy closer to sustainability in a changing environment.”
“National Science Foundation graduate fellowships are the most prestigious major program in the country for graduate students,” says Dan Sandweiss, dean and associate provost for graduate studies. “Students choosing to take this fellowship here is a great indicator of the quality of our graduate faculty and programs.”
Before attending UMaine for graduate school, Lausier double majored in geography and environmental studies at The George Washington University, in Washington, D.C. There, she conducted research assessing the evolution of municipal green building legislation, with a focus on Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED)-certified public buildings.
“Anne has a stellar track record,” says Shaleen Jain, her adviser and an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering. “This is a highly competitive and coveted award, and a prestigious honor for Anne, as well as a point of pride for UMaine and the College of Engineering.”
Fellowships are awarded to “individuals selected early in the graduate careers based on their demonstrated potential for significant achievements in science and engineering,” according to the NSF. The fellowship provides three years of financial support within a five-year fellowship period for research that leads to a master’s or doctoral degree.
“UMaine has been pivotal in establishing my interest in research,” Lausier says. “This NSF fellowship is valuable in providing me support to continue.”
Lausier is no stranger to water or research at UMaine. During her senior year at Bangor High School she interned in UMaine’s Department of Chemistry as part of the Maine Space Grant Consortium MERITS program. Her research project titled “Detection of Pharmaceuticals in 3 Maine Lakes by Synchronous-Scan Fluorescence Spectroscopy” was the 2009 Stockholm Junior Water Prize state champion and placed among the top eight at the national competition. It was subsequently published in the competition’s journal.
“Anne Marie was a star the minute she walked through the doors in honors chemistry at Bangor High School,” says Cary James, science department head at Bangor High School. “She is one of a long list of water researchers that have gone on to do great things.”
Free Press Advances SPIA Conference on Implications of Diminishing Arctic Sea Ice
The Free Press reported on a May 20–21 conference co-hosted by the University of Maine School of Policy and International Affairs and the Maine Army National Guard to explore challenges and emerging opportunities in the Arctic. The free conference, titled “Leadership in the High North: A Political, Military, Economic and Environmental Symposium of the Arctic Opening,” will be held at the Maine Army National Guard Regional Training Institute in Bangor. Speakers will address global, national and state issues and implications related to diminished sea ice in the Arctic, including the changing environment, trade, geopolitics and policy.
The University of Maine School of Policy and International Affairs and the Maine Army National Guard will co-host a conference May 20–21 to explore challenges and emerging opportunities in the Arctic.
The free conference, titled “Leadership in the High North: A Political, Military, Economic and Environmental Symposium of the Arctic Opening,” will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. both days at the Maine Army National Guard Regional Training Institute in Bangor. Speakers will address global, national and state issues and implications related to diminished sea ice in the Arctic, including the changing environment, trade, geopolitics and policy.
Scheduled speakers include: Gen. Charles Jacoby, commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command and United States Northern Command; Rear Admiral Jonathan White, oceanographer and navigator of the Navy, director of Task Force Climate Change; Paul A. Mayewski, director of the UMaine Climate Change Institute; Major-General Christopher Coates, deputy commander, Canadian Joint Operations Command, National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces; Philippe Hebert, director of Policy Development for Canadian Department of National Defence; and John Henshaw, executive director of Maine Port Authority.
Officials from the U.S. Army Mountain Warfare School will share experiences and display cold-weather operations equipment.
For more information, call Lt. Col. Darryl Lyon, 207.430.5888. The symposium is free but seating is limited and tickets are required to attend. For tickets, contact Peter Fandel, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Maine Studies Program at the University of Maine has announced the winners of the 10th annual Maine Studies Research and Creativity Awards.
Each year the award is given to an undergraduate and graduate student — or group of students — to highlight exemplary student research related to the study of Maine. All UMaine research papers or projects related to Maine and created within the last year are eligible for the award.
This year’s undergraduate winner is a group of students: Benjamin Algeo, Shannon Brenner, Alexandria Jesiolowski, Joshua Morse, Victoria Schuyler and Braden Sinclair. Their interdisciplinary research project, “Building a Better Orono Together: Cultivating Organic Community Connection with University and Orono Stakeholders,” examined the relations between UMaine and Orono and exposed the students to the valuable practice of engaged research under the guidance of Robert Glover, an assistant professor of political science.
Hollie Smith is this year’s graduate winner. Her research paper, “Science and Policy in Maine: Opportunities for Engagement with the Maine State Legislature,” examines ways graduate students at UMaine might contribute more effectively to Maine’s policymaking process. Laura Lindenfeld, an associate professor of mass communication and media studies and public policy, supervised the project.
For the past 10 years, the University of Maine Foundation has provided financial support for the awards.
The Canadian-American Center at the University of Maine announced it is accepting applications for the 2014 Summer Foreign Language and Areas Studies (FLAS) Award.
The award is federally funded and is offered to students during the academic year and summer to support the bilingual research (English and French) of master’s and doctoral candidates whose studies focus on Canada.
Summer FLAS Awards are specifically aimed at developing language skills. The awards are open on a competitive basis to U.S. citizens and permanent residents who seek to improve their proficiency in French as a tool for graduate research.
Candidates must be willing to commit to six weeks of intensive French study. Programs covered by the award are offered in the U.S. for students with novice level of proficiency, and in Canada for students with higher levels of proficiency. The federal grant covers up to $4,000 in tuition and offers a living allowance stipend.
The Canadian-American Center is designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a National Resource Center on Canada and provides the award as part of its mission.
More information, including how to apply, is available online.
University of Maine doctoral student Skylar Bayer, aka “The Lonely Lady Scientist” among fans of “The Colbert Report,” was quoted in a Slate article titled, “Stephen Colbert is the Best Source of Science on TV.” Article author David Shiffman, a University of Miami doctoral student, said he hoped Colbert would continue to showcase scientists when he succeeds David Letterman as host of “The Late Show.” Bayer told Shiffman that Colbert’s method of using humor and sarcasm to explain science is effective. After she played the Colbert segment in which she appeared to high school students, she asked them for their impressions. “I asked them what they thought about scientists afterwards. They said I seemed pretty normal,” she said. “I asked them if they learned anything about scallop reproduction. They said they got that it was important to the fishery. Getting some high-schoolers to get those two pieces of information out of a TV segment while laughing hysterically is a huge accomplishment.”
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.
More than 100 presentations were made made during the 2014 Graduate Academic Exposition (GradExpo) in separate categories of four areas of competition — poster presentations, oral presentations, intermedia and fine arts exhibits, and a PechaKucha, or rapid-fire slide show event — as well as a graduate student photo contest.
About $15,000 worth of prize money was awarded at this year’s expo, including the $2,000 President’s Research Impact Award given to the graduate student and adviser who best exemplify the UMaine mission of teaching, research and outreach.
Following are the winning presentations:
President’s Research Impact Award — Spencer Meyer and advisers Rob Lilieholm and Chris Cronan
Innovation Award — Spencer Meyer
Provost’s Innovative/Creative Teaching Award — Rebecca White, first; John Bell, second; and Matthew McEntee, third
Graduate Dean’s Undergraduate Mentoring Award — Brittany Cline, first; Agnes Taylor, second; and Kara Lorion, third
Graduate Student Video Award — Hari Prasath Palani
UMaine Alumni Association Alum Award — Lauren Thornbrough
Graduate Student Photo Contest, Graduate Student Life Category — Eva Manandhar, first; Brett Lerner, second; and Corey Cole, third
Graduate Student Photo Contest, Graduate Student Research Category — Amy Pierce, first; Timothy Godaire, second; and Robin Arnold, third
PechaKucha — Theodore Wilhite, first; Amy Pierce, second; and John Bell, third
Intermedia — Julie Riley, first; Amy Pierce, second; and Jessica LeClair, third
Arts and Humanities Oral Competition — Rebecca White, first; Nataliya Shpylova-Saeed, second; and Ian Jesse, third
Arts and Humanities Poster Competition — Hari Prasath Palani, first; John Bell, second; and Bethany Engstrom, third
Natural Sciences Oral Competition — Brianna Hughes, first; Anna Breard, second; and Maureen Correll, third
Natural Sciences Poster Competition — Luke Groff, first; Donna Kalteyer, second; and Julia McGuire, third
Physical Sciences and Technology Oral Competition — Mojtaba Razfar, first; Panduka Piyaratne, second; and Silas Owusu-Nkwantabisah, third
Physical Sciences and Technology Poster Competition — David Pearson, first; Supamon Singkankachen, second; and Merida Batiste, third
Social Sciences Oral Competition — Hollie Smith, first; Kourtney Collum, second; and Addie Pelletier
Social Sciences Poster Competition — Theodora Ruhs, first; Tyler Quiring, second; and Steven Hutchinson, third