A new high-definition video scoreboard will be installed on Morse Field in Alfond Sports Stadium at the University of Maine next year with the help of an $800,000 gift from UMaine benefactors Phillip and Susan Morse.
In announcing the gift, which will fund the $750,000 scoreboard and support the baseball program, University of Maine President Paul Ferguson cited the Morses’ long history of support for UMaine Athletics and the difference their contributions have made through the years.
“The long-term generosity and commitment of Phil and Susan Morse to Black Bear Athletics is remarkable and is reflective of the long-term loyalty and focus on excellence so characteristic of our UMaine alumni,” said President Ferguson. “We are so grateful for their contribution.”
Phillip Morse, an owner and vice chair of the Boston Red Sox, and his wife, Susan Keene Morse, both graduated from UMaine in 1964. Their daughter, Katherine Morse, is a 1992 UMaine graduate.
UMaine’s Morse Field in Alfond Stadium is named in their honor.
The new scoreboard, approximately 30 feet wide and 20 feet high, will include such features as HD video display and instant replay. The state-of-the-art technology will also provide the opportunity for enhanced fan interaction, including live remote fan shots, video engagement, and posted tweets and texts.
The scoreboard will be installed in time for the first home football game in fall 2014 and will be one of the few outdoor HD video boards in New England.
“The impact of this gift for our football program will be huge,” said UMaine Head Football Coach Jack Cosgrove. “The scoreboard is the single biggest thing we can do to improve the game day atmosphere in the stadium, and I believe it will excite our players, students and fans.”
UMaine’s football and track and field programs will use the scoreboard. So, too, will many high school teams that compete in Alfond Stadium, as well as the annual Special Olympics.
“This generous gift from the Morse Family will take us to another level in fan engagement and will also be a real boost for the many community organizations and high school teams that use Alfond Stadium,” said UMaine Athletic Director Steve Abbott. “Events ranging from the Special Olympics, to high and school and college track meets, to state championship contests in football and field hockey will be greatly enhanced by this state-of-the-art video scoreboard.”
Morse Field was made possible by a generous gift from the Morses in 1997 for the playing surface, lights and scoreboard, which transitioned UMaine’s stadium field from natural to artificial turf. Morse Field opened Sept. 12, 1998.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745
The Wyeth Family Studio Art Center was dedicated Sept. 29 at the University of Maine honoring the legacy of the three generations of internationally recognized artists intrinsically linked to the state’s storied visual arts tradition.
“This is a remarkable gathering of people who love art and love the University of Maine,” said UMaine President Paul Ferguson, looking out over the audience of more than 275. “We want to use this day to reaffirm the central role of art and the appreciation of art in who we are as humans.”
“Our vision in the Blue Sky Project is to aspire to be the most student-centered and community-engaged of the American research universities,” Ferguson said. “This is a perfect example of what we want to be known for at the University of Maine — a place where students learn, grow and are inspired, and where the community comes together to understand our role and mission.”
Artist Jamie Wyeth, the son of Andrew Wyeth and grandson of N.C. Wyeth, was among the dignitaries attending the ceremony. In his remarks, he reflected on his first tour of UMaine’s art facilities in 2001, when he was on campus to receive an honorary degree, and the progress made since then to create a new center for art education named in his family’s honor, which he called “quite extraordinary.”
If just one student “walks into that (new) studio space — as I did over 40 years ago in my grandfather’s studio — and catches fire, it will all be worth everything,” Wyeth said of the long-awaited arts facility.
David Michaelis, the author of two national best sellers, including “N.C. Wyeth: A Biography,” spoke on “Father. Mother. Front Porch. Easel, the Wyeth House of Masters.”
“The endurance of the Wyeths as a family in art says something about who we’ve become and what we still value,” said Michaelis.
The dedication ceremony included tours of the new facility led by UMaine faculty and students. In one of the painting studios were works by students who had never before taken brush to canvas.
“We get a lot of students who are first-generation college students and going to be first-generation artists,” said UMaine artist and professor James Linehan. “That’s what I love about teaching — and about teaching in Maine. It’s our hope and desire that our new art facility will become a beacon for young artists from everywhere, but especially from small towns in Maine, that they can get a first-rate art education in first-rate studios right here in Maine at a public university open to everyone.”
The Wyeth Center is UMaine’s new studio art facility, located in the recently renovated Stewart new media/art complex on campus. The more than $10 million renovation of Stewart was made possible with funding from gifts; grants, primarily from the Maine Technology Institute; and state bonds.
The private donations included a $1 million naming gift in honor of the Wyeth family that was made possible through the efforts of Maine business leader Charles Cawley and Bank of America. Generous gifts also were received from Bangor Savings Bank and members of the UMaine Class of 1963.
UMaine’s Department of Art annually offers dynamic, interdisciplinary programs in a challenging, supportive environment for more than 130 art majors, more than 80 students minoring in art, and 300 nonmajors. UMaine offers a B.A. in art history, art education and studio art, and a B.F.A. in studio art. The program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.
The Wyeth Family Studio Art Center is part of a three-phase capital campaign to support UMaine’s leadership in 21st-century visual arts education in the state and to recognize the longstanding, vibrant art communities across Maine.
The first phase of the UMaine capital construction campaign for the arts was completed in 2006 with the renovation of UMaine’s historic Lord Hall to house the art education and art history programs.
The Wyeth Center includes a Wyeth Painting Studio, as well as classrooms and studios for printmaking, photography and 3-D design. The Hartgen Drawing Studio is named in honor of the founder of the University of Maine Department of Art, artist Vincent Hartgen.
Also located in 43,600-square-foot building is the university’s new Innovative Media Research and Commercialization (IMRC) Center, home to the Department of New Media.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745
The North American debut of Orchester Jakobsplatz Munich at the Collins Center for the Arts at the University of Maine Oct. 17 will highlight two days of music, lectures and film celebrating Jewish culture and honoring its history.
The two-day event at the Collins Center begins at 7 p.m., Oct. 16 with the documentary, “Defiant Requiem,” honoring the prisoners of Theresienstadt (Terezín) concentration camp. The film by Partisan Pictures focuses on Rafael Schächter, a brilliant young Czech opera-choral conductor sent to Terezín in 1941. In an act of moral courage and defiance, Schächter taught 150 prisoners the Requiem by Verdi, which they performed 16 times. The last and most infamous performance was on June 23, 1944. With only 60 prisoners remaining following massive deportations, Schächter was ordered to perform the Requiem before high-ranking Nazi SS officers and International Red Cross representatives to support the charade that the prisoners were well treated.
Prior to the Oct. 17 concert, there will be a symposium starting at 4:30 p.m., featuring three lectures. Daniel Grossmann, founder and conductor of Orchester Jakobsplatz Munich, will speak on Jewish life in contemporary Germany and the work of composer Erwin Schulhoff, who died in a Nazi concentration camp.
UMaine Professor of History Alex Grab will speak about the artistic life in Terezin concentration camp, where one of his relatives, opera singer Hedda Grab-Kernmayr, helped found Freizeitgestaltung, the organization formed to oversee all aspects of cultural life in the camp. He’ll also talk about composer Gideon Klein, who also died in a concentration camp.
UMaine Professor of Music Phillip Silver will speak on the Nazi’s attempt to undermine and destroy the reputations of Felix Mendelssohn and Gustav Mahler as part of a systematic process to rewrite the historical record and make it conform to the racial dogma espoused by the regime.
The concert by Orchester Jakobsplatz Munich will follow at 7 p.m., featuring Mendelssohn’s String Symphony No. 12 in G minor, Gideon Klein’s Partita for Strings and Mahler’s Adagio from Symphony No. 10. In addition, saxophone soloist Daniel Gauthier will perform Erwin Schulhoff’s Hot Sonate.
Founded in 2005, Orchester Jakobsplatz Munich, which takes its name from the Jakobsplatz Jewish Cultural Center in Munich, is dedicated to fostering the presence and resurgence of Jewish culture. The ensemble features musicians from more than 20 countries.
Funding for the events comes from the Jewish Community Endowment Associates and the Judaic Studies Program at the University of Maine.
The symposium is free and open to the public.
Tickets for “Defiant Requiem are $5; tickets for the Orchester Jakobsplatz Munich concert are $20 and $30. All are available online or by calling the Collins Center box office, 207.581.1755. For more information or to request a disability accommodation, contact the box office.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745
A new partnership between the University of Maine and the Margaret Chase Smith Library will bring the Maine National History Day competition for students in grades 6–12 to the UMaine campus starting in spring 2014.
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 choose historical topics related to a theme — this year it’s “Rights and Responsibilities in History” — and conduct extensive research before creating projects in the form of exhibits, documentaries, dramatic performances, papers or websites, to present at the statewide competition where the projects are evaluated by professional historians and educators.
More than half a million students, working with thousand of teachers, participate in the national contest annually.
The Maine History Day competition will take place Saturday, April 12, 2014 on the Orono campus, for the first time since the national program began in 1980. Winners from the state competitions are then able to compete in the national contest in Washington, D.C. during June 2014.
“I have had an amazing experience as a judge at the state competition the past two years,” says Liam Riordan, a UMaine Humanities Initiative Advisory Board member and associate professor of history, “and what makes it exciting for students is that they choose their own research topic and the category that most interests them. Plus, students can compete as an individual or as part of a team. It will be great to continue this vital program at UMaine for many years to come.”
Several events leading up to Maine National History Day are scheduled around the state:
4:30–6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013, pizza and introductory session at the Bangor Public Library. The informal orientation and discussion for teachers, students and parents will be co-hosted by the UMaine Humanities Initiative, Bangor Museum and History Center, Maine Discovery Museum, and Bangor Public Library.
9 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013, National History Day Teacher Institute at UMaine. The free professional development program for grade 6–12 teachers will include a keynote lecture by the Maine Department of Education’s social studies specialist. Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided. To register, for more information, or to request a disability accommodation, contact Riordan at email@example.com or 207.581.1913.
9:35–10:45 a.m. Friday, Nov. 8, 2013, NHD panel to speak at the Maine Council for the Social Studies annual conference at the Augusta Civic Center. Riordan; Devin Beliveau, a Thornton Academy teacher; and Christopher Ohge, digital specialist with the UMaine Humanities Initiative are expected to take part.
Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, NHD teacher workshop at the Maine Historical Society in Portland in partnership with the Maine Humanities Council. For more information, email Larissa Vigue Picard at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deadline for schools and/or students to register to compete at Maine National History Day is March 28, 2014.
“National History Day is thrilled about this new partnership among Maine’s most prominent historical and cultural institutions to bring Maine History Day to more teachers and students,” says Kim Fortney, deputy director of NHD in Washington, D.C.
The co-organizers for this new partnership, UMaine and the Margaret Chase Smith Library, are joined by the College of Education and Human Development, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, UMaine Humanities Initiative, Maine Humanities Council, UMaine History Department, Maine Historical Society and many local historical and cultural organizations.
For more information or to request disability accommodations, contact the NHD state coordinator, John Taylor with the Margaret Chase Smith Library, at 207.474.7132 or email@example.com, or visit the Maine NHD Web page.
Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747
The National Science Foundation has awarded a $722,500 grant to a team of researchers in the Laboratory for Surface Science & Technology (LASST) at the University of Maine to develop ceramic-based nanocomposite thin film materials to be used in sensors operating in harsh high-temperature environments.
Miniature sensors that can withstand the intense heat inside machinery such as turbine engines, combustion burners, power plant boilers, oil and gas drilling machinery, and ceramics manufacturing equipment can provide critical information to reduce overall energy usage and increase the lifetime of expensive machinery.
Unfortunately, thin film materials used in the manufacture of sensors rapidly degrade in most industrial conditions, making the sensors unreliable and short-lived.
“There is a real need to develop stable films and reliable sensors for harsh environments above 1,000 degrees Celsius,” says Robert Lad, UMaine physics professor and principal investigator for the project, “since significant cost savings can be gotten by using sensor data to more efficiently operate complex high-temperature machinery.”
The UMaine team, which includes three graduate students and four undergraduates, is working on atomic scale synthesis of multi-layered nanocomposite thin film structures using a combination of boride and silicide materials integrated with platinum and other materials.
The films will be deposited onto several prototype sensor devices and tested inside controlled-environment laboratory furnaces and within small-scale turbine engines.
UMaine researchers in LASST have been developing sensor technology for a number of years and in 2008 demonstrated the operation of a wireless high-temperature acoustic wave sensor as high as 800 degrees Celsius in a jet engine for the Air Force.
The NSF award is part of a new Sustainable Chemistry, Engineering, and Materials (SusChEM) initiative aimed at “enabling the basic science and engineering discoveries that will reduce dependence on nonrenewable energy resources and improve the efficiency of industrial processes.”
Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777
This week, University of Maine President Paul Ferguson is attending the September meeting of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) Steering Committee at Portland State University in Portland, Ore. ACUPCC focuses on presidential leadership in promoting sustainability on college and university campuses, and in communities and in society. The meeting of the 36-member steering committee will include sessions on the public and campus-based roles of presidents in addressing challenges faced by climate change and strategically addressing sustainability solutions. President Ferguson was selected to serve on the steering committee in 2012.
ACUPCC is a consortium of more than 670 colleges and universities committed to reducing carbon emissions and aggressively promoting energy efficiency. The steering committee is ACUPCC’s chief governing body, responsible for guidance, policy and direction. ACUPCC colleges and universities pledge to conduct annual inventories of all greenhouse gas emissions; implement immediate “tangible actions” to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; develop a customized climate action plan to reach climate neutrality in operations; make sustainability a part of the educational experience for students; and to make periodic progress reports publicly available to facilitate and accelerate progress for fellow institutions and society. The University of Maine fully participates in the ACUPCC, producing its Climate Action Plan in 2010.
Additionally, the role of higher education in forwarding sustainability is the focus of a new thought leadership series featuring essays by President Ferguson and 10 other college and university presidents nationwide. “Elevating Sustainability Through Academic Leadership” is the 2013–14 edition of Presidential Perspectives, a higher education leadership series sponsored by ARAMARK. Now in its eighth year, ARAMARK’s Presidential Perspectives is a collection of essays by college and university presidents whose institutions are at the forefront of innovative practices.
President Ferguson’s contribution is entitled “A Sustainability State of Mind: Smart Growth for UMaine as A Green Campus with Blue Sky Thinking.” In addition to President Ferguson, other contributing thought leaders for this year’s Presidential Perspectives include presidents Michael Crow, Arizona State University; Mark Huddleston, University of New Hampshire; Wim Wiewel, Portland State University; Gloria Larson, Bentley University; Jonathan Gibralter, Frostburg State University; Harry Williams, Delaware State University; Theodora Kalikow, University of Southern Maine; and presidents emeriti David Shi, Furman University; Judith Ramaley, Winona State University; and David Hales, College of the Atlantic. Dr. Hales is the current president of Second Nature. Beginning this month, one chapter essay of Presidential Perspectives will be released each month.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745
Blackstone Accelerates Growth and its partner, the University of Maine Foster Center for Student Innovation today, were recognized for the Innovate for Maine Fellows program.
The program, designed to give Maine undergraduate and graduate students opportunities to work with innovative Maine companies, was launched in 2012.
It is a cornerstone of the Blackstone Accelerates Growth initiative in Maine, whose mission is to accelerate the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs. The program, administered by the University of Maine, this year placed 30 Maine students with 33 companies and organizations across the state. A list of students who have participated in the program is online.
Since the program’s inception, students from 16 colleges and universities have been selected for the competitive one-year fellowship. The fellowship includes training, networking opportunities and an intensive summer or academic-year internship experience with some of Maine’s leading companies and organizations. The students are matched with companies and organizations that are themselves carefully chosen for the value of the opportunity they offer students. In preparation for their assignment, students undergo a rigorous boot camp designed to introduce them to Maine’s innovation landscape and ground them in the skills required to bring products to market through UMaine’s Innovation Engineering® program.
Tony Nuzzo, a 2013 graduate of the University of Maine with a degree in electrical engineering, worked with Pika Energy in Westbrook. During his assignment, Nuzzo learned to be “unstoppable” in pursuit of his project to help Pika develop and launch a new high-efficiency wind turbine. The internship was so successful, Pika hired Nuzzo as a full-time employee in May.
Renee Kelly, director of UMaine’s Foster Center for Student Innovation, indicated the program grew significantly in 2013 in terms of both students and companies participating. More students applied for the program this year, making the selection process even more competitive. Currently, Kelly is planning on placing 50 or more students in the program in 2014, with 60 or more companies and organizations.
The Blackstone Accelerates Growth program benefits early-stage entrepreneurial companies that need skilled people, but cannot afford them. The program pays a portion of the intern’s stipend. The companies get smart, energetic interns who get to work on significant projects with interesting and growing companies.
The Maine Development Foundation (MDF) is a private, nonpartisan membership organization created by state law in 1978 that drives sustainable, long-term economic growth for the State of Maine. The Champion Award was created to recognize organizations that provide outstanding opportunities for Maine’s young people to realize their professional and personal aspirations in Maine.
“Blackstone’s Innovate for Maine Fellows program provides students and recent graduates an excellent opportunity to work with exciting Maine companies, and to see that challenging and rewarding jobs are available for young professionals in Maine,” according to MDF Chief Executive Officer Ed Cervone.
Robert Martin, president of the Maine Technology Institute, a partner in the Blackstone Accelerates Growth initiative in Maine, said this program shows that Maine has a vibrant community of entrepreneurs and innovative businesses that thrive with smart, dedicated young professionals who help build successful new businesses.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745
Empowering female and minority high school students, their teachers and communities to create innovative solutions to the environmental problems related to stormwater management is the goal of a new three-year project at the University of Maine, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).
The more than $735,000 award from NSF’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) is part of the portfolio of projects of Maine EPSCoR at the University of Maine. It is expected to involve approximately 180 Maine high school students and 45 teachers in hands-on projects led by science, technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) professionals in areas such as engineering design, science, computer modeling and information technology to monitor and map water quality around several Maine communities.
The UMaine award was announced Sept. 17 by NSF as one of five projects aimed at broadening STEM participation through regional improvements to education and human resources infrastructure. A news release about the other projects at the University of New Hampshire, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Nevada System of Higher Education and University of Kentucky Research Foundation is online.
The goal of UMaine’s project, which will begin in January 2014, is to attract students who are often underrepresented in the engineering field to STEM education by investigating innovative and cost-effective solutions to local stormwater problems.
“Bringing together a diverse community of high school and middle school students, teachers, local and regional water authorities, environmental protection groups and tribal communities with university scientists and students, this project has the potential to make significant improvements in water quality across the state while engaging participants in STEM education.
“Using the tools of engineering technology, real-time data management and Web-based digital mapping, students will be directly involved in every project stage — from design of water-quality sensing units to implementation of community outreach programs about stormwater pollution issues,” according to Mohamad Musavi, UMaine associate dean of the College of Engineering and professor of electrical and computer engineering, who is also the principal investigator of the project.
The project activities will begin in the summer of 2014 with a five-day Stormwater Institute at the University of Maine, to introduce the students and their teachers to the issues, science and engineering related to managing stormwater runoff.
With a focus on investigating and improving water quality, which plays a role in the health of our environment and economy, the project is expected to attract a variety of individuals and community groups. Students will work on the project throughout the year under the mentorship of a teacher and/or community leader.
Along with advancing the knowledge of a variety of students and teachers in STEM education, the project will produce new watershed maps and management plans for several streams that will lead to improved water quality.
In the long term, the research aims to benefit society by offering a viable and cost-effective solution to the problem of stormwater through a project that has been designed to be replicated, scaled and used by other educators nationwide.
The initial focus of the pilot project will be on students from four partner high schools: Bangor, Portland, Lewiston and Edward Little in Auburn, plus students from Maine’s Native American communities. As space allows, students from additional high schools in the targeted Maine water district areas (Lower Penobscot, Portland and Lake Auburn Watershed) will be added to the project.
More information about how to get involved will be available soon on EPSCoR’s website.
Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747
An 11-member delegation of scientists and industry officials from Japan, including the president of Hirosaki University, will be at the University of Maine Sept. 16–18 for the second Marine Energy International Symposium.
UMaine President Paul Ferguson and Hirosaki University President Kei Sato will open the symposium, designed to be a collaborative exchange between researchers in the Maine Tidal Power Initiative, based at UMaine, and various Japanese institutions.
Also expected to be on hand are U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, and representatives from the Governor’s Office and Ocean Renewable Power Company.
Highlights of the three-day visit include a presentation by Tetsuo Yuhara, research director of the Tokyo-based Canon Institute for Global Studies, focusing on Japan’s marine energy development; and UMaine and other researchers of the Maine Tidal Power Initiative, including director Michael Peterson, discussing the status of ocean energy development in the state.
The Japanese delegation also is expected to travel to Eastport to visit Ocean Renewable Power Company’s generation site.
Last year, the first symposium involved several UMaine researchers traveling to Japan to discuss tidal power development and potential research opportunities in Maine and Aomori Prefecture. Maine and the prefecture have similar geography, climate and industrial structure, and a common interest in ocean energy development.
In addition to research collaboration, symposium participants are exploring the potential of student exchange programs involving ocean renewable energy research.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745
In the wake of dramatic glacier retreat and ice shelf collapses on the Western Antarctic Peninsula, a University of Maine marine scientist will explore how Antarctic corals, which provide habitat for thousands of connected species, cope with warming ocean water.
Rhian Waller, an associate research professor in the School of Marine Sciences, received a National Science Foundation grant of more than $381,380 for her two-year project titled “Cold Corals in Hot Water — Investigating the physiological responses of Antarctic coral larvae to climate change stress.”
Cold-water corals, Waller says, are “important ecosystem engineers” that benefit many organisms, including commercially important species such as rockfish, orange roughy (deep sea perch) as well as young cod, and many crab species.
Accelerated climate change, she says, “is likely to affect in presently unidentified ways the many benthic (organisms living on or in sea or lake bottoms) marine invertebrates that live within narrow temperature windows along the Antarctic Continental Shelf.”
In this first systematic study of the larval stages of polar cold-water corals, Waller will examine whether larvae can develop normally in the next century.
Scientists predict water around the Western Antarctic Peninsula, which has warmed nearly 1 degree Celsius the last 50 years, could warm at an even more accelerated pace the next 50 years.
Understanding how the coral larvae react will help scientists predict future changes in those benthic communities around the planet, says Waller, who is based at the university’s Darling Marine Center in Walpole, Maine.
Waller will conduct climate change experiments on coral larvae at Palmer Station on Anvers Island in Antarctica, just north of the Antarctic Circle, beginning in November 2014. The Western Antarctic Peninsula, she says, is experiencing “rapid climate change at one of the fastest rates of anywhere on the planet.”
Waller’s findings will be placed on a research website and distributed via social media. She’ll also make presentations in local schools.
In March 2013, Waller was featured as a risk taker in the “New Age of Exploration” in National Geographic Magazine. The National Geographic Society, one of the largest nonprofit scientific and educational institutions in the world, is celebrating its 125th birthday in 2013 with a yearlong series highlighting 21st-century explorers who “press the limits.”
Waller has pressed the limits of diving during more than 40 expeditions around the planet. In a submersible, in 2005 she plunged to a depth of 3,600 meters for corals on the New England Seamount chain.
Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777