Fostering student engagement is therefore important for Dana, who knows a thing or two about longevity and stability. The vice president for student life has been at the state’s flagship university for nearly three decades.
“UMaine truly is a world-class institution and student success is at the top of the priority list,” he says, adding that it’s empowering to help lead the charge for a UMaine Blue Sky Plan Pathway 2 initiative to improve annual student retention by 5 percent by fiscal year 2017.
From 2011–12, UMaine did just that. Eighty-one percent of the 2012 cohort of first-time, full-time students stayed in school. It was a 5-percent improvement from the 2011 cohort, according to the University of Maine Office of Institutional Research.
The national first- to second-year retention rate for four-year public institutions is 72.2 percent, according to ACT (2013) and the national retention rate for selective public institutions is 77.6 percent, according to Consortium for Student Retention Data Exchange (2013).
Dana says that UMaine President Paul Ferguson has energized this community specifically through the Blue Sky Plan and his total commitment to student success and his emphasis on our obligation to support students so they can achieve a college education. According to Dana, this orientation creates all sorts of opportunities.
Opportunities, for instance, to create “super-enriched” interconnected academic, cultural and social environments that serve as effective, durable, connected student support structures. It helps, Dana says, that all faculty and staff are “pulling in the same direction.”
He points to several recent developments intended to bolster student academic engagement and success, including the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Advising Center, the College of Education and Human Development Advising Center and the Unum Black Bear Leaders program.
Advisers, he says, provide academic guidance, personal support and resources and seek to forge authentic supportive relationships with students. The advisers understand that students are complete and complex human beings, and not just an education or engineering major, Dana says.
The Unum Black Bear Leaders program provides selected first-year students with a trained one-on-one coach, team-building activities, as well as yearlong mentoring, seminars, social events and experiences.
The retention rate of the 113 first-year students who participated in the 2011–12 Unum Black Bear Leaders program was 87 percent; 73 percent surveyed said they had gained leadership skills, life skills and knowledge by participating in the program.
Of the students who completed the program, 13 percent withdrew after the first year, compared to 31 percent of first-year students with similar characteristics who chose not to participate.
Jeffrey Hecker, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost, says it’s key that the multipronged approach to improving both retention and four- and six-year graduation rates is informed by data.
Retention is affected by a number of factors, says Hecker, including affordability, quality of instruction, access to required classes and quality of residential life.
There are more than 200 campus organizations in which students can become socially and culturally engaged and connected, says Dana, whether they’re from Maine, another state or country, are a veteran and/or a nontraditional student.
Dana listed a myriad of ways that students can be a contributor and leader on campus, including through research, volunteering, Greek Life, athletics, theater, music, GLBT advocacy, recreation, the campus newspaper and student government.
“Engagement matters,” he says. “Community matters. Being truly engaged in the world around us provides us with the opportunity to realize leadership. We admit people capable of greatness. It’s true you can do anything you want…teacher, doctor, lawyer, scientist…”
Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777
Vice President for Research Carol Kim recently appointed Paul Anderson as the new director of the Aquaculture Research Institute (ARI) at the University of Maine. ARI is a statewide resource for research, faculty expertise and facilities dedicated to informing the development of sustainable aquaculture.
In Maine, marine aquaculture includes salmon, oysters, mussels and seaweeds with a growing interest in other species of both finfish and shellfish. There is also a small amount of freshwater aquaculture used to raise bait fish and other species.
Since 2001, Anderson has directed the Maine Sea Grant College Program, another one of UMaine’s research centers overseen by Kim. He will continue in that capacity. “Paul has tremendous leadership skills,” said Kim, explaining that the ARI is an important asset to the developing aquaculture industry in Maine, “I expect successful results as he takes the helm.”
During this two-year appointment as ARI director, which began December 1, 2013, Anderson will oversee a strategic planning effort, an external review of the institute, and will work to align the faculty, student and facilities that are involved in aquaculture-related research towards common goals. “This is an important time in the evolution of aquaculture in the world and strong science is needed to help ensure that aquaculture is integrated in the working waterfront and into the food systems in an ecologically sustainable manner,” Anderson said.
A UMaine alumnus, Anderson served as the extension leader at Maine Sea Grant before becoming its director. From 1989–1999, he worked for the Maine Department of Marine Resources where he directed the Public Health Division overseeing all aspects of seafood safety. In 2003, he chaired the Governor’s Task Force on the Planning and Development of Marine Aquaculture in Maine.
UMaine has aquaculture research facilities at three locations in the state: the Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research in Franklin; the research laboratory at the Darling Marine Center in Walpole, and the Aquaculture Research Center in Orono.
Learning more about the invasive European green crab and its effects on Maine’s coastal and marine resources will be the focus of a Dec. 16 conference at the University of Maine.
Maine Sea Grant, Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR), Maine Coastal Program and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will hold the Maine Green Crab Summit from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Wells Conference Center on the Orono campus.
The public is welcome to attend the free event that aims to offer an opportunity for researchers, fishermen and coastal community members to share information about green crabs, as well as discuss different approaches for green crab control, future management and research.
“Although these invaders have been here for decades, in recent years they have proliferated to a level that is causing severe impacts on the clam fishery and is having other impacts on coastal ecosystems,” says Paul Anderson, Maine Sea Grant director and marine extension program leader.
During the conference, DMR officials plan to release data from a coast-wide survey the organization conducted in August to gain a better understanding of how severe the European green crab invasion in Maine is.
Researchers from UMaine, DMR, University of Maine at Machias, USGS and the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s Maine Coastal Program are among those scheduled to present.
Online registration is required by Dec. 9, and limited funding is available to commercial fishermen to help with travel costs. Lunch will be provided. The summit will also be streamed live online and recorded for those unable to attend.
More information about the summit, including the event’s agenda and details for accessing the webcast, can be found on Maine Sea Grant’s website. A snow date of Dec. 18 has been set.
The Maine Sea Grant college program at UMaine is one of 33 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) programs throughout the coastal and Great Lakes states and is focused on improving Maine’s coastal communities.
Ways in which commercial fishermen, aquaculturists and those in the tourism industry can work together to create greater economic success will be the focus of three workshops offered by Maine Sea Grant and University of Maine Cooperative Extension in partnership with the Lobster Institute, Island Institute and Maine Aquaculture Association.
The Fisheries, Aquaculture and Tourism workshops will take place 5–8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11 at the UMaine Hutchinson Center in Belfast; 5–8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12 at Machias Savings Bank Community Room in Machias; and 1–4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13 at University of Southern Maine’s Abromson Building in Portland.
Anyone involved in the fisheries, aquaculture or tourism industry or related support organizations is invited to attend any of the free workshops. Sessions will include information from guest speakers on topics such as the legal issues pertaining to offering boat or farm tours and ways seafood producers can enhance their businesses by building relationships with tour operators, restaurant owners and innkeepers.
“The workshops are intended to respond to the need for information expressed by fishermen and aquaculture farmers who seek to diversify their earnings by tapping into the tourism market by offering activities such as lobster boat tours or fish farm tours,” says Natalie Springuel, a marine extension associate with Maine Sea Grant. “Likewise, these workshops respond to the growing interest in the tourism industry to provide customers with fisheries and fish-farming-related experiences.”
Scott Gunst, an attorney with the admiralty and maritime law practice Reeves McEwing LLP in Philadelphia, Pa., will present at each session. Other guest speakers will vary depending on location. They will include fishermen and/or aquaculture farmers who will talk about their businesses, as well as members of the tourism industry who will share opportunities for marketing and partnerships.
The workshops will include an information session about the legal framework of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism, followed by interactive conversations with those who work in the field and a question-and-answer period with representatives of related resources, including the United States Coast Guard, insurance companies and the host organizations.
Pizza will be offered at the Belfast and Machias sessions and snacks will be provided at the Portland workshop.
This is the second time this workshop series has been offered. The first was offered at the Maine Fishermen’s Forum in Rockland in February 2013.
A registration form and more information, such as fact sheets and legal research produced for the series, are available on the Maine Sea Grant’s website. Registration is required.
The Maine Sea Grant college program at UMaine is one of 33 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) programs throughout the coastal and Great Lakes states and is focused on improving Maine’s coastal communities. The University of Maine Marine Extension Team (MET), is a collaboration of Maine Sea Grant and UMaine Extension, that provides educational and applied research programs in coastal community development, ecosystem health, fisheries, aquaculture and tourism.
The University Volunteer Ambulance Corps (UVAC) at the University of Maine was named the 2013 Region 4 EMS Service of the Year by the Atlantic Partners EMS.
The announcement was made earlier this month during the 33rd annual seminar of Atlantic Partners EMS, an organization that consists of providers in three of the state’s six EMS regions.
The seminar honors members of the emergency medical services community in Region 3, Kennebec Valley EMS; Region 4, Northeastern Maine EMS; and Region 6, Mid-Coast Maine EMS. This year, the organization focused its awards on EMS agencies that have a strong commitment to community and improving the statewide EMS system.
UVAC is one of 79 state-licensed EMS providers in Region 4, which includes emergency service providers in Hancock, Penobscot, Piscataquis and Washington counties. This is the first time the UMaine group has won this award.
The group was recognized for its members’ dedication to serve others, the more than 30,000 volunteer hours it provides annually, and for establishing a comprehensive CPR program on campus, which included the placement of more than 20 automated external defibrillators (AED) and relevant training for staff and students.
”This is a wonderful award to receive,” says Joseph Kellner, UVAC chief of service. “It showcases the dedication and drive the large group of student-volunteers have for selfless service, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It shows that despite the relatively new exposure to the field of EMS, our student-volunteers show professionalism, compassion and skill that is on par with our long-term professional colleagues. I am very proud to be a part of this organization.”
UVAC is a volunteer-based service that operates as part of UMaine’s Auxiliary Services and delivers emergency medical services on campus and to surrounding communities. The group is composed of 62 UMaine students, in addition to a dozen staff and neighboring EMS providers. More than 60 percent of the members are EMTs, while others serve as drivers and assistants.
The students in UVAC come from a variety of majors from all of UMaine’s academic colleges. Previous medical training is not required to join the organization and online applications are accepted anytime.
The six regional EMS offices are independent, not-for-profit corporations that operate under a contract for services with the Board of EMS. The Board of EMS is part of the Maine EMS system which is a bureau within the Department of Public Safety, according to the state of Maine’s government website.
Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747
People in the giving spirit at the University of Maine have been making the holidays brighter for others.
The UMaine Bodwell Center for Service and Volunteerism, Greek Life, athletic groups and student organizations have all spearheaded charitable efforts this season.
The Bodwell Center has been a driving force for the Holiday Sharing Program and FIGI Christmas since 2004. In collaboration with Greek Life, the center collects holiday gifts for Crossroads Ministries, where families from the greater Old Town and Orono areas select presents for their children from among the donated gifts.
People may donate gifts through Dec. 6 at the Bodwell Center on campus or to Crossroads Ministries in Old Town.
Bodwell Center volunteers also participated in an American Red Cross blood drive and the fourth annual GobbleFest. At the Nov. 13–14 blood drive at the New Balance Student Recreation Center, donors gave 174 units of blood and about a dozen double red cell donations. The American Red Cross and UMaine Office of Student Life sponsored the drive.
GobbleFest was a combined effort of the Bodwell Center and Old Town-Orono YMCA. Nov. 17 at the YMCA, UMaine students collected turkeys and cash donations so Crossroads Ministries could provide Thanksgiving dinners for families in need. The Bodwell Center continued to collect turkeys and cash donations through Nov. 22.
Crossroad Ministries also will benefit from a food drive sponsored by UMaine Printing and Mailing Services. Campus mail carriers are accepting nonperishable food donations as part of the drive, and drop boxes are located in Keyo Building. The food donations will be accepted through Dec. 16.
Male Athletes Against Violence and HerCampus sponsored a Cans For Those Who Can’t event Nov. 23. That night, people who donated canned goods for Strong Mind-Strong Body Inc.’s Thanksgiving food drive were admitted free to the Bear Brew Pub in Orono.
The University of Maine Sports Medicine Team and the University of Maine Student-Athlete Advisory Committee collected nonperishable food at UMaine football, women’s basketball and men’s ice hockey games. The donated canned goods were given to The Parish of the Resurrection of the Lord Food Pantry, which serves those in need in the greater Bangor, Orono and Old Town communities. Donations continued to be accepted through Nov. 22 at the Mike Kessock Sports Medicine Center in Memorial Gym.
Kappa Sigma sold donated coats for $5 each at its second annual Coats for the Cold on Nov. 15–16. HerCampus UMaine, an online publication, held a bake sale in conjunction with the coat sale. All the combined proceeds went to Fisher House Foundation, which has homes near military and VA medical centers. When servicemen and women are hospitalized due to combat injuries and sickness, their loved ones can stay at the houses.
Alpha Delta held a food and clothing drive Nov. 11–22 in Memorial Union and gave all donated items to Hope House, a homeless shelter in Bangor.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745
Dr. David Bronson, University of Maine graduate and president of Cleveland Clinic Regional Hospital, will deliver the 2013 Distinguished Honors Graduate Lecture titled “Healthcare Reform and the Bumpy Road to Universal Access” on Wednesday, Nov. 20 at Buchanan Alumni House on campus.
Bronson, who also practices internal medicine on the main campus of the Cleveland Clinic, graduated in 1969 from UMaine. A reception in his honor begins at 3:30 p.m. in Andrews Leadership Hall, and his lecture starts at 4 p.m. in the McIntire Room.
In 2002, the Distinguished Honors Graduate Lecture series was established to show appreciation to UMaine Honors graduates and to recognize their accomplishments, vision and connection with UMaine.
François Amar, dean of the Honors College, said the UMaine community is excited to welcome back the distinguished alumnus. Bronson’s leadership in creating systems for patient-centered medical care make him uniquely qualified to speak on current trends in healthcare reform, Amar said.
Bronson has received numerous honors and teaching awards and for more than 20 years Cleveland magazine cited him as a “Best Doctor.” In 2011, the immediate past president of the American College of Physicians was honored as a “Living Legend” and “Cleveland Father of the Year” by the Center for Families and Children. Bronson also serves on the board of the Cleveland Play House, America’s oldest regional professional theater.
He is married to Kathleen Franco, who is board-certified in psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry and psychosomatic medicine and is associate dean of admissions and student affairs at Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University. They have six children.
The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, or to request a disability accommodation, contact the Honors College at 207.581.3263 or email@example.com.
Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777
Opposition to same-sex marriage is greater on Election Day than indicated in pre-election polls, according to new research by a University of Maine political scientist. That’s because people being surveyed tend to say they’ll vote the way they think is socially desirable, regardless of their real position on the issue.
Richard Powell, UMaine associate professor of political science, said polling systematically minimizes resistance to same-sex marriage; opposition to it at the ballot box on Election Day is about 5 percent to 7 percent greater than in pre-election polls.
The 2009 vote in Maine is indicative of this pattern, Powell says. In that year’s final pre-election poll, 40 percent of Maine voters indicated they would vote in favor of Question 1 to restrict marriages to opposite-sex couples. Election Day, Question 1 passed with 53 percent of the vote.
Powell examined the accuracy of polling on same-sex marriage ballot measures relative to polling on other statewide ballot issues in 33 states from 1998 to 2012.
He said social desirability bias on ballot measures such as same-sex marriage is more prevalent in states with larger populations of Republican and highly religious voters.
While social desirability bias has largely disappeared on issues of race and gender, Powell says it likely continues to impact polling on same-sex marriage because societal attitudes with regard to homosexual rights lags behind that of attitudes about race and gender.
Based on prior research, Powell says as a greater number of people accept same-sex marriage, there will be fewer potential polling respondents available to give misleading responses.
“This is a question that will be fascinating to study over time to see if it, indeed, turns out to be the case,” he writes in “Social Desirability Bias in Polling on Same-Sex Marriage Ballot Measures” published in American Politics Research.
Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777
University of Maine marine scientist Rhian Waller has been named a Fellow in an elite international group of adventurers who encourage scientific discovery while exploring land, sea and space.
Founded in 1904, Explorers Club members attempt to attain new heights and depths; they’ve been the first to reach the moon, North Pole, South Pole, the Mount Everest summit and the deepest part of the ocean.
Waller, an associate research professor in UMaine’s School of Marine Sciences, fits right in. In 2013, National Geographic Magazine celebrated her as a 21st-century risk taker who presses the limits in this “New Age of Exploration.”
Based at the Darling Marine Center (DMC) in Walpole, Maine, Waller has pushed the limits of diving during more than 40 expeditions around the planet. In a submersible, she has plunged to a depth of 3,600 meters to examine corals on the New England Seamount chain.
“I feel extremely honored to have been voted into the Explorers Club, and really pleased to have been recognized for the scientific exploration work I’ve been doing across the globe,” Waller says.
“There are so many conservation issues surrounding the deep ocean, I hope I can use this opportunity to spread the word more widely that the deep sea is important to our whole planet, and does need our protection.”
As a Fellow, Waller has access to the Explorer’s Club research collections, including a library and map room, and she’s connected with a global network of expertise, experience, technology, industry and support. The Explorers Club supports exploratory expeditions and provides opportunities for the 3,000 members worldwide to carry an Explorers Club flag on voyages that further the cause of exploration and field science. Since 1918, flags have flown at both the North and South poles and aboard Apollo 11.
The seven founders of the Explorers Club were two polar explorers, a curator of birds and mammals at The American Museum of Natural History, an archaeologist, a war correspondent/writer, a professor of physics and an ethnologist. Today its members — including archaeologists, astronomers, entomologists, mountaineers, zoologists and now a new deep-sea researcher — conduct explorations and research in more than 60 countries around the globe, and beyond.
For her research, Waller routinely scuba dives in temperatures 35 F and colder. She studies how environmental factors such as climate change, fishing and oil exploration affect deep-sea coral ecology and reproduction, as well as what effect that altered life cycle could have on the rest of the marine ecosystem.
Last summer, Waller was part of a research team that discovered two deep-sea coral communities in the western Jordan Basin and Schoodic Ridge regions of the Gulf of Maine.
Last month, Waller returned from an expedition to Chile. She had traveled to Huinay Scientific Field Station near the northern Patagonian fjords to collect final samples from a yearlong deep-sea coral monitoring program. She’s examining how climate change, salmon farms, fishing and oil exploration affect deep-sea coral reproduction, and what effect any altered life cycle could have on the marine ecosystem.
In her Oct. 11 blog on that trip, Waller wrote that corals, which she calls the rainforests of the ocean, “are not just beautiful to look at … they’re also extremely important to the health of our oceans, and ultimately the health of the planet.”
Next year, Waller will utilize a $381,384 National Science Foundation grant to investigate how Antarctic corals, which provide habitat for thousands of connected species, are coping with warming ocean water.
Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777
In September, University of Maine Professor Stephen Butterfield helped train students at China’s Beijing Sport University (BSU) how to test motor proficiency of children with intellectual disabilities.
Despite being 6,500 miles from Orono, Maine, Butterfield says the experience was much like being in an American classroom; the 30 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students he taught each had an American name (as well as a Chinese name), spoke some English and wore Western-style clothing.
The BSU students are taking part in the Chinese government-funded study to develop a national database, says Butterfield, professor and chair of UMaine’s Department of Exercise Science and STEM Education. The data they gather about motor proficiency of youth with intellectual disabilities will likely be used to generate policy and provide direction for instruction and research, he says.
“I was honored to be invited to participate in this project,” Butterfield says. “It’s a pretty big study and will reach all parts of China. Eventually this project should result in Chinese children with disabilities receiving better physical education and opportunities to participate in sports. Data can speak very powerfully. Dr. Glenn Roswal, a world leader in APE (Adapted Physical Education), contacted me about a year ago. In terms of travel, the timing wasn’t great — second week of classes — but Dean (Dee) Nichols was very supportive.”
Butterfield conducted the training with Roswal from Jacksonville State University in Alabama and Mike Loovis of Cleveland State University in Ohio.
BSU has more than 14,000 students who study various fields within exercise science and sports, including coaching, sport science, management, journalism and rehabilitation. Butterfield says its facilities are impressive; the 1,400-acre campus has 25 gymnasiums and 62 outdoor sport fields. In the previous four Olympics, BSU staff and students have won 30 gold medals, 16 silver medals and nine bronze medals, according to the school’s website.
Butterfield says the students he trained were professional, smart, attentive, inquisitive and respectful of the youth with whom they worked. While a return trip to China is possible, Butterfield says additional consulting will likely be done electronically.
The weeklong all-expense-paid trip, Butterfield’s first to China, was gratifying. He visited Tiananmen Square and the Great Wall of China, dined at a country club adjacent to a golf course and was asked by a number of Chinese citizens to pose for pictures. Youth gave him artwork.
“The Chinese were wonderful hosts,” Butterfield says. “The subway system was clean and efficient and the traffic was unbelievable — it flows like a river. The air quality was variable and a lot of people wore masks.”
While Butterfield is widely recognized as a leader in adapted physical education, the specialty wasn’t part of his early career plan. In the early 1970s, after completing his bachelor’s at Springfield College focusing on curriculum and instruction in physical education, he was offered a job teaching physical education and coaching boys basketball at Austine School for the Deaf in Brattleboro, Vt.
“I wasn’t really interested at first, but my wife was expecting and I had no job so I took it,” he says.
Butterfield learned sign language and found the job to be tremendously gratifying. “No one appreciates you more than kids with disabilities and their parents,” he says. “It’s a pretty big reward.”
When youth with multiple disabilities began attending the school, Butterfield decided he needed additional training to remain an effective educator. When he returned to school — The Ohio State University — he earned his Ph.D. with a focus on adapted physical education.
At UMaine, one of Butterfield’s courses is Adapted Physical Education, a required class for kinesiology and physical education majors in which students are paired with children and adults with disabilities. Butterfield has been teaching the course for nearly three decades.
Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777