Liam Nee, a University of Maine senior studying journalism and political science, spoke with the Bangor Daily News for an article about Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rep. Mike Michaud’s economic development plan. Michaud’s plan proposes students from Maine enrolled in one of the University of Maine System schools would have their sophomore year paid for by the state. Nee said the change would help cut down on the student debt problem he and his peers expect to face when they graduate.
Jon Ippolito, an associate professor of new media at the University of Maine, and Vice President for Student Life Robert Dana spoke with the Maine Public Broadcasting Network for a report about how the music industry is targeting university students in an effort to cut down on Internet piracy of copyrighted material. Ippolito said the effectiveness of the industry’s latest strategy of sending letters to college students and offering to settle for $20 per file remains to be seen. Dana said with the recent increase in letters, the university sees the situation as an opportunity to discuss ethics with students instead of punish them. Sean O’Mara, a lawyer hired by UMaine’s Student Government to provide free legal advice to undergraduate students, was also interviewed.
WGME (Channel 13) interviewed Amy Blackstone, an associate professor and chair of the Sociology Department at the University of Maine, for a report titled “More couples choose life without kids.” Blackstone’s research focuses on childfree couples and their motivations for not having children. She said some of the most common stereotypes of the childfree is that they’re selfish, they don’t like children or they’ll regret their choice. Blackstone says her research shows the stereotypes are “truly myths.”
Margaret Chase Smith Distinguished Maine Policy Fellow Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap will visit the University of Maine on Thursday, Feb. 27.
Margaret Chase Smith Distinguished Maine Policy Fellows are prominent Maine individuals with a past or current career as a policymaker in the state. The Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center brings its fellows to campus for a day to teach an undergraduate class, engage faculty about research and public policy, and meet with UMaine administration and graduate students. Distinguished Maine Policy Fellow Sen. Anne Haskell visited the university in January.
Dunlap of Old Town is a UMaine alumnus and Maine’s 49th Secretary of State. He previously served three terms as Maine’s 47th Secretary of State and is the first person to serve non-consecutive terms in the office since 1880.
Dunlap will be honored with a reception at 4 p.m. at the University Club in Fogler Library. All are welcome to attend the event, and no RSVP is required.
The Portland Press Herald’s Natural Foodie column previewed the 27th annual Camden Conference that will run Feb. 21–23. The theme of this year’s conference and accompanying course offered by the University of Maine’s Division of Lifelong Learning is “The Global Politics of Food and Water.” The conference and course aim to explore water and food security topics from many perspectives around the world as they relate to human life, global climate change and relationships between countries.
WABI (Channel 5) spoke with University of Maine students and faculty for a two-part report on the University of Maine System’s Native American Tuition Waiver and Educational Program. UMaine students Katrina Coston, Tori Hildreth and Catherine Chavaree spoke about their experiences growing up and the importance of the program. UMaine faculty Sharon Oliver, senior director of admissions; John Bear Mitchell, a Wabanaki studies lecturer and associate director of UMaine’s Wabanaki Center; and Darren Ranco, chair of Native American programs also spoke about the program’s benefits and ongoing efforts to spread the word. Ranco said both recruitment and retention of Native American students are works in progress.
WABI (Channel 5) and WVII (Channel 7) attended the open house of the Virtual Environment and Multimodal Interaction (VEMI) Laboratory at the University of Maine. The lab is part of the Spatial Informatics Program in the School of Computing and Information Science and houses Maine’s only research facility that combines a fully immersive virtual reality installation with augmented reality technologies in an integrated research and development environment. The lab’s director Nicholas Giudice, a professor of spatial information science and engineering, and Richard Corey, the lab’s director of operations, spoke about the work being done in the lab. Giudice said the lab offers virtual reality that merges different senses such as sound, sight and touch to make the viewer feel like they’re in the virtual reality.
WLBZ (Channel 2) spoke with University of Maine students Kyle Ossinger and John Woodill, who are members of UMaine’s Cyber Defense Team. The team is preparing to compete at the annual Northeast Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition at the University of New Hampshire in March. Ossinger and Woodill spoke about the importance of cybersecurity and offered tips on how retailers and consumers can defend themselves against attacks.
The Geddes W. Simpson Lecture Series Fund was established in the University of Maine Foundation in 2001 by the family of Geddes Wilson Simpson, a well-respected faculty member who began his 55-year career with the College of Life Sciences and the Maine Agricultural Experiment Station in 1931. Simpson was named chair of the Entomology Department in 1954 and remained in that position until his retirement in 1974. Upon his retirement, he was awarded emeritus status and thereafter worked part time with the Experiment Station as editor.
The Geddes W. Simpson Distinguished Lecture was established to support a lecture series through which speakers of prominence “who have provided significant insight into the area where science and history intersect” are invited to speak on campus. Any field that bridges these two areas of inquiry is welcome, and in the past the series has hosted a broad range of speakers from various academic disciplines. The 2014 lecture will be the 13th in the series.
The Simpson Lecture Series Selection Committee is calling for nominations for the 13th annual Geddes W. Simpson Lecture, which will be held in October 2014. A statement of nomination along with the nominee’s resume should be submitted to: Robert Glover, Department of Political Science, 5754 North Stevens Hall, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469-5754 no later than Monday, Feb. 28 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some past award winners and the titles of their talks:
David C. Smith, Ph.D., Professor of Agricultural History, University of Maine
North American Farmers and United Kingdom Agriculture, 1790–1880 (2002)
Susan H. Brawley, Ph.D., Professor of Plant Biology, University of Maine
The Pursuit of Science and Science Literacy: Claude Bernard to Prozac (2005)
Mary D. Bird, Ed.D., Instructor, Science and Environmental Education, University of Maine
Living Lessons from a Dead Entomologist: The Educational Legacy of Edith Marion Patch (2006)
Robert R. Steneck, Ph.D., Professor of Oceanography, University of Maine
Considering the Future of our Seas Through the Lens of History (2008)
Michelle Murphy, Ph.D., Associate Professor of History and Women and Gender Studies, University of Toronto
Avertable Life, Investable Futures: A Cold War Story of Sex and Economy (2010)
James R. Fleming, Ph.D., Professor of Science, Technology and Society, Colby College,
Fixing the Sky: The Checkered History of Weather and Climate Control (2012)
Grace S. Brush, Ph.D., Professor of Geography and Environmental Engineering, Johns Hopkins University
A Pharmacological Record of Long-Term Connections Between Land and Water (2013)
Robert Harper Babcock, professor emeritus of history at the University of Maine, passed away Feb. 12, 2014. His obituary is available online.