Archive for the ‘Liberal Arts and Sciences’ Category

WABI Reports on Maine National History Day Competition at UMaine

Monday, April 14th, 2014

WABI (Channel 5) covered the Maine National History Day competition held at the University of Maine. More than 300 students, teachers and chaperones from about 20 Maine middle and high schools gathered at the event to show off their exhibits, websites, documentaries and performances. National History Day (NHD) is an academic program that promotes critical thinking, research and presentation skills through project-based learning for students of all abilities. Students’ projects were judged, and the top two winners in each category became eligible to compete in the national contest in Washington, D.C. in June. A scavenger hunt with activities from a half dozen museums and history organizations, including a Civil War re-enactment group, also were offered to students.

The Free Press Advances Darling Marine Center Symposium

Friday, April 11th, 2014

The Free Press reported on the upcoming symposium, “Maine and The Mortal Sea: Taking Stock of the Past, Present and Future of Our Living Sea,” to be held at  the University of Maine Darling Marine Center (DMC) in Walpole on Saturday, April 26. Fishermen, historians, marine scientists, authors, students, economists and fisheries managers are expected to gather at the interdisciplinary event that is based on the award-winning book, “The Mortal Sea: Fishing the Atlantic in the Age of Sail,” by University of New Hampshire historian W. Jeffrey Bolster.

2014 GradExpo Winners

Friday, April 11th, 2014

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

Waldron Named Vice Chancellor of Finance in UNT System, Media Report

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

The Bangor Daily News, Denton Record Chronicle and Lewisville Leader reported University of Maine Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance Janet Waldron will resign to join the University of North Texas (UNT) System as vice chancellor of finance, effective April 28. In a prepared statement, Waldron said the decision “has come with deeply mixed emotions as I care for and respect President Ferguson, his vision and our successful partnership at UMaine.” UMaine professors Robert Rice, a professor of wood science, and Howard Segal, a history professor, spoke to the BDN about Waldron. “She has risen to be, at least in my experience here, the most competent of CFOs we’ve ever had. She has worked tirelessly to help the university through some of the most challenging times we’ve had, including the current one,” Rice said. Segal said Waldron is “extremely well respected on campus not only for her exceptional expertise in finances overall, but also for her ability to find sources of funds for various campus needs that might have been missed by less capable persons.” Waldron has led UMaine’s Office of Administration and Finance for 11 years.

WABI Interviews Jones, Markowsky About Windows XP Losing Support

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

WABI (Channel 5) spoke with University of Maine professors Nory Jones, a professor of management information systems, and George Markowsky, a professor of computer science, for a report about what people should expect when Microsoft stops supporting Windows XP. The discontinuation means Microsoft will no longer provide updates — including security updates — for the program. “There’s a very active cyber criminal world out there that is just looking for all sorts of opportunities. And you don’t want to be the one to give them an opportunity,” said Markowsky. Jones spoke about how the discontinuation forces businesses to upgrade and become more effective, efficient and compatible with emerging technologies.

UMaine Officials, Faculty Interviewed for BDN Article on Professor Pay

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

The Bangor Daily News spoke with several University of Maine officials and faculty members for the the article “UMaine relying more on lower-paid professors as budget shrinks.” Jason Canniff, a part-time faculty member who teaches English and Honors College courses, spoke about his typical work week. Pat Burnes, coordinator of UMaine’s First Year Writing Program, and Ludlow Hallman, chairman of the Music Department, spoke about hiring more adjuncts to replace retiring professors. Jeff Hecker, UMaine’s executive vice president of academic affairs and provost, said the university’s plan to pass a balanced budget for FY 2015 was an attempt to “meet our needs and commitments, while we develop a more thoughtful, longer-range plan.”

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;

WVII Covers Student Art Exhibition

Monday, April 7th, 2014

WVII (Channel 7) reported on the University of Maine’s 2014 annual Student Art Exhibition, “Be, Do, Make,” that opened Friday, April 4 in Lord Hall Art Gallery. The exhibition features 116 pieces from 62 student artists in a variety of media. Michael Grillo, chairman of the Department of Art and associate professor of art history, credits the university’s new Wyeth Family Studio Art Center with helping students create work. “We opened the new building last September, and what we’re seeing is that there’s an exuberance in the work. We’re seeing the ability to make things on a scale and size which we have not been able to do before,” he said.

UMaine Graduate Students Showcase Work at Expo, WABI Reports

Monday, April 7th, 2014

WABI (Channel 5) reported on the Graduate Student Government’s 2014 Graduate Academic Exposition (GradExpo) at the University of Maine’s IMRC Center. The GradExpo featured about 106 submissions in four areas of competition — posters, oral presentations, intermedia and fine arts exhibits, and a PechaKucha, or rapid-fire slide show event. More than $8,000 in prizes were awarded to participants. Stanley Levitsky, a graduate student studying intermedia, told WABI it felt great to have his work on display after many hours of preparation.

UMaine Students Creating Demo for Virtual Reality Program, BDN Reports

Monday, April 7th, 2014

The Bangor Daily News reported the University of Maine’s IMRC Center is one of a handful of facilities in the state to own an Oculus Rift. The Rift is a virtual reality headset made by Oculus VR that is poised to revolutionize everything from video games to military, aerospace and industrial training simulations, according to the article. Two UMaine new media majors — Ian Lusk and Lucas Richards — are creating a demo program for the Rift that combines virtual reality with interactive motion sensor technology.