Two University of Maine sophomores have been named winners of the George J. Mitchell Peace Scholarship and will study abroad in Ireland as part of the student exchange program.
George J. Mitchell Scholars Gwendolyn Beacham and Lorna Harriman will each spend a semester at the University College Cork in Ireland. The scholarship honors the 1998 Northern Ireland peace accord brokered by Sen. Mitchell between Ireland and the United Kingdom and is open to full-time undergraduate students in the University of Maine system.
The scholarship allows one student to study for a year in Ireland or two students to study for a semester each with all expenses paid, including airfare. This year, for the first time, both winners are from the Orono campus.
Harriman, an elementary education major from Troy, Maine, will study in Ireland during the fall 2013 semester. Beacham, a molecular and cellular biology major and Honors College student from Farmington, Maine, will make the trip in spring 2014. Neither Harriman or Beacham have been to Ireland before, and they are both looking forward to the experience.
Along with attending school full time, Harriman is a member of and teacher at the Robinson Ballet Co. in Bangor, and employee of the Family Dog restaurant in Orono. She also volunteers with the Black Bear Mentor Program and makes time every week to visit with her 10-year-old mentee at the Old Town Recreation Department.
Harriman, who has a concentration in English and is working on a minor in psychology, hopes to teach English abroad after she graduates, earn a master’s degree in literacy education and then return to Maine to teach middle-level language arts.
Harriman, who is on the Dean’s List and is a UMaine Merit Award winner, says she chose UMaine because of its financial flexibility and wide range of academic and campus opportunities.
“There are so many opportunities for success at UMaine. If you’re willing to work hard and explore, there is a place for everyone,” Harriman says. UMaine’s College of Education and Human Development “has really encouraged me toward my career goals and made me certain I am on the right path.”
Harriman says the academic atmosphere at UMaine is supportive and many people had a positive effect on her undergraduate experience.
She credits education professor Phyllis Brazee and her class, Teaching in a Multicultural Society, for making her realize she was on the right career path, and honors and English professor Kathleen Ellis for challenging her and helping her become a better student.
“As a student, you really get the feeling that your professors want you to succeed,” she says.
Harriman calls the scholarship an opportunity of a lifetime and looks forward to learning in a new culture.
“My biggest goal is to absorb as much of the culture as possible while I am there, but I also hope to learn about different education styles they may employ that can help me in the future as a teacher,” Harriman says.
Harriman says the scholarship has also given her confidence.
“It has made me realize what I am capable of if I put my mind to it,” she says. “I feel confident and excited about the direction my life is going in. I am incredibly grateful for the people and opportunities that have brought me to where I am.”
Beacham, who is on the Dean’s List and is a Presidential Scholar has won several scholarships, including the Lamey Wellehan Maine Difference Scholarship and the Pine Tree Section ASQ Sumner K. Wiley Jr. Scholarship.
Last summer she was awarded an IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence fellowship and spent eight weeks at the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory in Salisbury Cove, Maine, where she studied the differentiation of primary mesenchyme cells, or cells that form the skeleton, in echinoderm embryos.
During the academic year, Beacham has been researching bacteriophages, or viruses that infect bacteria, and has been focusing her research on the repressor protein.
Beyond academics, Beacham is the secretary of the UMaine student chapter of Engineers Without Borders and will be president of the chapter next year. She traveled with the group to Honduras during Spring Break to install a septic system to improve water quality in a rural community. She is also a member of the Sophomore Eagles, a UMaine traditions group and honor society, and participates in campus dance clubs.
Beacham credits UMaine with challenging her as a student and providing opportunities for personal growth in an open, friendly atmosphere.
“UMaine is a great place,” Beacham says. “The academic courses, my activities, and my research experiences have been nothing but positive. I have learned that I am extremely passionate about science and scientific research, as well as about being involved in a community and helping others.”
Beacham says she considers herself lucky to be a student at a large research university and to have been exposed to research since her first year at the school. Leadership positions in UMaine clubs have also helped her gain confidence in her abilities as a leader.
“I never before imagined I would be able to work with a community in Honduras to help improve their sanitation, or that I would have my own independent research project while only being a sophomore in college,” she says.
Although she says she has worked with many UMaine professors and have had positive experiences with all of them, she has worked the most with assistant research professor Sally Molloy, both in the classroom and in the lab. Beacham says she appreciates the support Molloy has given her.
Beacham says she is honored to be able to study in Ireland as a representative of Sen. Mitchell.
“I admire his work very much, and am so appreciative of the support from him and the Mitchell Institute that will assist me in reaching my educational and career goals,” Beacham says. “I am also excited about being able to study in Ireland and experience another culture for a semester, and I am very appreciative of the financial support that will make this possible.”
After graduation, Beacham plans to obtain her Ph.D. in a microbiology-related field and pursue research in microbial ecology or astrobiology.
For the fourth consecutive year, Princeton Review has rated the University of Maine as one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the U.S. and Canada.
UMaine is profiled in the newly released “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges.” Four-year colleges are chosen for the guide based on schools’ course offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation to measure their commitment to the environment and to sustainability.
The Princeton Review creates its “Guide to 322 Green Colleges” in partnership with the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council, with generous support from United Technologies Corp., founding sponsor of the Center for Green Schools.
“This is national recognition of the University of Maine’s leadership and long-standing commitment to being one of the most sustainable universities in the country,” says UMaine President Paul Ferguson. “At UMaine, stewardship of place is a priority in how we live in our campus community, conduct research, and provide service that benefits Maine and addresses global issues.”
The University of Maine’s “Green Highlights” in the guide range from the campuswide Blue Bikes initiative and the Orono Black Bear Express shuttle service that reduce motor vehicle use to UMaine’s Sustainability Council, alternative energy research and the University of Maine Foundation’s Green Loan Fund.
The university is now home to five LEED-certified buildings — three silver and one gold. It has a comprehensive campus Zero-Sort recycling program and a new advanced composting facility, and is a participant in STARS — the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System.
The university was a recipient of the 2011 Second Nature Climate Leadership Award recognizing outstanding climate leadership (UMaine received the award representing doctoral institutions). UMaine is a charter signatory of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2007 and has been a member in good standing for six years. President Ferguson was elected to the ACUPCC Steering Committee in 2012.
The “Green Guide” is one of UMaine’s multiple national ranking citations. This year, for the ninth consecutive time, Princeton Review also named UMaine one of the country’s best institutions for undergraduate education. UMaine is featured in Princeton Review’s 2013 edition of its annual college guide, “The Best 377 Colleges.” Only about 15 percent of America’s 2,500 four-year colleges are profiled in the book, which is Princeton Review’s flagship college guide.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745
A team of University of Maine graduate students and their faculty adviser Jennifer Middleton are the recipients of the 2013 President’s Research Impact Award for the research project “What Happens Next? Examining Child Protection Outcomes in a Cohort of Opioid-Exposed Infants.”
Alison Mitchell, Meagan Foss, Leah Agren, Jenifer Koch and Middleton won the annual President’s Research Impact Award at the 2013 GradExpo where Mitchell presented the project. The award is given to a graduate student and adviser who best exemplify the UMaine mission of teaching, research and outreach. The $2,000 award will be split among the grad students and their adviser.
The community-engaged research project, part of a research methods series for the Master in Social Work curriculum, is being conducted by the graduate students in collaboration with Middleton.
“The Graduate Student Leadership and I created this award last year to recognize the high-quality research of University of Maine graduate students occurring in so many academic areas across the campus,” says UMaine President Paul Ferguson. “I wanted to specifically recognize the research that has tangible impact for our state with the potential to make a difference — in this case, in the lives of some of Maine’s youngest citizens. This is an outstanding example of the research excellence that a land grant university offers to the people it serves.”
Though the population of infants born with prenatal opioid exposure in the Greater Bangor region is growing — from 23 in 2003 to 183 in 2012 — little is know about what happens to the infants after they leave Eastern Maine Medical Center, Mitchell says.
The project aims to clarify what happens, from a child welfare system perspective, after the infant is discharged. The team plans to explore rates and reasons families with opioid-exposed infants become subsequently involved with child protective services through the Office of Child and Family Services, or OCFS, at the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.
Currently, there are no other studies tracking the child protection outcomes of opioid-exposed infants in Maine, Mitchell says, and the project represents the first attempt to share data between EMMC and OCFS.
“Winning this award is enormously gratifying,” says Mitchell, noting that the project is a team effort. “Social workers in general aren’t particularly recognized for their research very often so for that it’s really exciting.”
The project was proposed to Middleton by EMMC contact Mark Moran, a graduate of UMaine’s Master’s in Social Work Program who works with families of substance-exposed infants.
There has been a significant increase in the number of drug-exposed babies born in Maine, from 165 in 2005 to 667 in 2011, and Maine’s opiate addiction rate is also the highest in the country per capita at 386 per 100,000 as opposed to the national average of 45 per 100,000, according to data collected by the research team.
The Bangor area, which is home to three methadone clinics and a hospital equipped to handle drug-exposed infants, has a concentration of opioid-exposed births compared to more rural areas. Drug-exposed babies who are delivered in regional hospitals get transferred to EMMC for treatment, Mitchell says.
When a substance-exposed infant is born at or transferred to EMMC, the hospital makes a notification and sends it to OCFS, she says.
“All of those infants in our cohort were already in the OCFS database so what this project is trying to do is just match cases,” Mitchell says.
By using the name and birth date of the drug-exposed infants from the EMMC record and having OCFS run a query on the infants one year from their birth date, the team was able to see if the child showed up in protective services’ database again, Mitchell says.
“It really is a three-way partnership,” Mitchell says of the involvement of the UMaine School of Social Work graduate students, EMMC and OCFS. “Each of the partners has had quite a bit of influence in shaping how the project has evolved.”
From their data collection, the team has determined that 68 percent of their sample does not show up again in child protection, while 32 percent showed up as having an open case with OCFS within their first year.
The students expect to receive information from the hospital on the severity of the 60 cases once the hospital eliminates identifying information and clears the data for release.
In the remaining weeks of the semester, the students will conduct statistical analyses. Agren and Koch will graduate in May 2013, while Mitchell and Foss, who are scheduled to graduate next year, will continue to do analyses over the summer once they find out where the cases fall in terms of severity.
Mitchell says she believes one of the reasons the project won the President’s Research Impact Award is because it’s a community-engaged partnership.
During the course of the class, the region received a $4 million federal grant for the Penquis Regional Linking Project, a five-year effort aiming to enhance the network of over 25 agencies in the Penobscot and Piscataquis counties supporting trauma-informed services for substance-exposed children and their families. Middleton is the lead researcher and co-director of evaluation for this project.
The team members think their research will help the agencies in the project reach their goal, and Mitchell says they have already received positive feedback from project members.
“What Happens Next?” also aims to generate knowledge useful in advancing local practice and policy efforts and pave the way for future collaborations.
“The primary aim is right in the title, ‘What happens next?’” Mitchell says. “The goal of the study is to see if we can figure out what happens from a child protective perspective and to establish those precedents of how to come together as a service-providing community.”
Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747
The Barbara Wheatland Geospatial Analysis Laboratory in the School of Forest Resources at the University of Maine will be dedicated in a ceremony April 23 in Nutting Hall.
The state-of-the-art laboratory was made possible by $200,000 from the Maine Timberlands Charitable Trust (MTCT) to honor the Massachusetts native who had a passion for the Maine woods, and was committed to forestry research that can promote environmental quality and economic development. The lab focuses on global positioning systems (GPS), geographic information systems (GIS) and geospatial analysis methods that have revolutionized forest management.
Barbara “Bee” Wheatland earned a degree in economics from Radcliffe College at Harvard University and pursued a 50-year career that included editing articles for the New England Journal of Medicine. Although much of her life was spent in Massachusetts, she sailed and hiked in Maine, and retired to Sargentville, where she built a home and pursued woodlands-related interests that included certified “green” forestry practices.
Upon Wheatland’s death in 2010, her estate established MTCT to be used, in part, to promote the development of forestry or timberland technology and activities that support the forest and other land resources in Maine.
In January 2012, the MTCT provided $200,000 to build and endow the Wheatland Geospatial Analysis Laboratory. The Wheatland Lab was designed to provide a center of excellence for geospatial analysis for undergraduate and graduate education, as well as faculty research.
The lab opened in January 2013 and course enrollment increased from 40 to 70 students.
In addition, MTCT funded a five-year Wheatland Assistant Professorship ($50,000 per year for five years) to hire a new faculty member to teach and conduct research in the laboratory and oversee lab activities.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745
On a cold February day, with a freezing mist in the air and mud and melting snow on the ground, University of Maine wildlife ecology professor Lindsay Seward and her students bundled up and headed deep into the North woods near Alton.
Led by Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIF&W) biologist Randy Cross and his team — Phillip Adams, Lisa Bates and John Wood — the students were on a mission to find a bear’s den, complete with a mother and her cubs.
The trip, part of a wildlife ecology capstone course that teaches students about field, analytical and laboratory techniques for evaluating wildlife habitats, is one Seward has taken 11 times. But for most of the 12 students, it was their first opportunity to see a bear in the wild.
“I tell them to come with no expectations because you never know what could happen out here,” Seward said on the 1.5-mile walk down the logging road.
Cross, a UMaine alumnus, lets the class observe biologists assessing and tracking the bears in their Maine Black Bear Monitoring Program, which began as a study in 1975 and includes tagging the newest cubs.
“I basically contact Randy each year and ask if we can tag along,” Seward said. “I feel a bit sheepish asking Randy to accommodate our large group each year. It’s no small request. But, the rewards of showing an undergraduate wildlife ecology student a black bear den is worth the coordination and effort.”
MDIF&W has three study areas, one of which is the Bradford study area that includes Alton, and 93 collared bears — around 10 of them yearlings that were recently collared. Every winter the biologists make the rounds to dens of the collared bears to see how many cubs were born and to collar 1-year-olds. This year the biologists visited 82 dens and handled 180 bears between early January and late March.
The den checks help biologists monitor the bears and their environment by tracking how many cubs are born and survive from year to year.
“Randy is willing to bring these focused, wildlife ecology seniors because he recognizes that it’s an experience of a lifetime and looks to contribute to our student’s education,” Seward said.
When students first enroll in the wildlife ecology program, it’s often because they’re interested in animals and the outdoors, but most don’t know specifically what that means in terms of a career, Seward says.
She says the program attracts a variety of students, but all of them think carnivore mammals are fascinating. Most of the students realize these animals are difficult to study because it usually involves expensive and logistically complicated work such as trapping, sedating and safe handling.
“To actually get to see this kind of work in action is a rare and special experience that most people will never experience due to the intrinsic challenges of working with carnivores,” Seward said. “That’s why I try to facilitate this trip each year — it means so much to the students to have this unique experience with a charismatic species.”
Senior wildlife ecology major Joe Roy was one of the few who knew what to expect after the quiet walk into the woods because he’d made the trek before.
Roy, who loves bears, spent two summers volunteering to trap the animals with Cross. He was part of a team that set bait sites to trap bears for radio collaring. The collars allow pilots to use a transmitter to track bears before den visits.
“It was the best job I’ve ever had,” said Roy, a native of Jay, Maine, who plans to attend graduate school before becoming a bear biologist.
Not all students prefer bears over other animals, but they all welcomed the February field trip.
Emily Patrick, a senior wildlife ecology major from Greenville, Maine, prefers elephants to bears, but she calls herself an “equal opportunity animal lover” and said she felt “lucky to get this opportunity.”
Once the group made its way down the logging road and to the edge of the woods, Cross and his team went ahead of the group to tranquilize the female bear and secure the site. The students waited patiently and quietly in an effort to not spook the mother.
Derek Trunfio, the lone zoology major in a class of wildlife ecology majors, whispered he was “stoked” about seeing and handling the bear cubs.
“I’ve never been up close and hands-on with any wildlife like that,” Trunfio said. “I’ve handled animals like squirrels, but nothing like a bear.”
Trunfio, from Billerica, Mass., knew coming out of high school he wanted to work with animals and the University of Maine seemed to have the best programs and hands-on opportunities.
He called the bear den trip a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” and was most interested in seeing how the cubs would react to humans.
Once Cross gave the OK, the group climbed over and under branches on a twisting, overgrown path that led to the ground den covered with branches and four glossy-eyed, dark brown, fuzzy cubs.
The cubs, who cuddled together and snuggled close when held by the students, let out cries and shivered in the cold, but didn’t seem to mind the attention.
The students had their own comments while passing around the cubs:
“She’s so tiny.”
“This is amazing.”
“This is the first time I’ve seen a black bear.”
“I just want to put her in my jacket to keep her warm.”
“This is really exciting. It’s putting together what you learn in the classroom out here,” wildlife ecology major Olivia Reed said while holding a cub.
After juggling all four bears at once for a photo, Jennifer Hussey of Gray, Maine called the experience “exciting, definitely a highlight of the program.”
“They have a way of humbling us,” Hussey said of the critters.
Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747
Two University of Maine graduates are the recipients of prestigious Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowships awarded by the National Sea Grant College Program, according to Maine Sea Grant at UMaine.
Katherine Farrow of Cousins Island and Erin Wilkinson of Saco have joined 47 fellow graduates from throughout the country to work on marine policy in Washington, D.C. The one-year fellowships provide an opportunity for recent graduates to apply their scientific background to marine and coastal policymaking at the national level.
Since 1997, 12 of the Knauss Fellows have been from Maine, according to the National Sea Grant website.
Farrow completed her undergraduate studies in economics at UMaine in 2009, and earned two master’s degrees in global policy and resource economics and policy from the university in 2011 and 2012. She has worked as an assistant to the director of the UMaine School of Economics, and also collaborated with Maine Sea Grant and the National Sea Grant Network to survey and advance best practices for conducting economic impact evaluations of Sea Grant research, extension and education programs.
Farrow grew up on Casco Bay, where she first became aware of the intricate connections between ocean and coastal ecosystems and coastal economies. She also has worked as an island caretaker and field volunteer for the Maine Island Trail Association, a stewardship organization that cares for a recreational boating trail that links islands along the entire coast of Maine. For her Knauss Fellowship, Farrow is working as a fisheries economist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service Office of Science and Technology.
Wilkinson received an undergraduate degree in marine sciences from UMaine in 2008, and completed her master’s degree in marine sciences at the University of New England in 2012, where she examined ecological relationships between predatory fish and lobster in the Gulf of Maine. During her graduate studies, she worked closely with recreational fishermen in Southern Maine to raise awareness about striped bass research and to facilitate local angler contributions to research efforts.
Prior to her graduate work, Wilkinson participated in numerous research projects through internships and research technician positions with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, UMaine’s Darling Marine Center and Aquaculture Research Center, the University of Georgia Marine Institute on Sapelo Island, Ga., and MariCal Inc., an aquaculture research facility in Portland, Maine. In addition, she spent 13 months working at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Research Station on Antarctica. Wilkinson’s Knauss Fellowship position is with the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service Office of Sustainable Fisheries.
The Knauss Fellowship was established in 1979 for students interested in ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources and the national policy decisions that affect those resources. Qualified graduate students spend a year with “hosts” in the legislative and executive branch of government in Washington, D.C. The program is named in honor of one of the founders of the National Sea Grant College Program, former NOAA Administrator John A. Knauss. More information about Knauss Fellowships is online.
Contact: Beth Bisson, 207.581.1440; email@example.com
Challenges facing older veterans and the resources available to them in Maine will be the focus of the 8th annual University of Maine Clinical Geriatrics Colloquium May 13 on campus.
The colloquium, “Serving Our Older Veterans: Today’s Clinical Issues and Best Practices,” will be held from 7:45 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. Monday, May 13 at Wells Conference Center, hosted by the University of Maine Center on Aging, University of Maine School of Social Work and Hartford Partnership Program for Aging Education at the University of Maine.
There were 9.2 million veterans 65 and older in 2011 representing 43 percent of the military veterans in the United States. Some of the major challenges in serving veterans are developing programs and services that respond to the health needs of a rapidly aging population and ensuring that veterans in need of care are aware of the services that exist.
“We need to be aware of the extent to which veterans are surviving into old age but are not necessarily having their needs attended to,” University of Maine Center on Aging Director Lenard Kaye says.
The event, sponsored by Lunder-Dineen Health Education Alliance of Maine, Maine Veterans’ Homes, Maine Gerontological Society and Maine Association of Area Agencies on Aging, includes a screening of the award-winning film featuring Bangor troop greeters “The Way We Get By” and an evening performance of Outside the Wire’s “Theater of War.”
“Older veterans make up large proportions of every community across the state of Maine,” Kaye says. “We need to recognize the fact that they have issues and experiences having served in the military that can in some cases color the way they approach old age.”
Participants will hear from veterans who will describe their experience of growing older as well as practitioners and clinicians who will explain services available to veterans, according to Kaye, who is also a UMaine School of Social Work professor.
Several speakers including United States Congressman Mike Michaud and Chairman of the Maine Troop Greeters Board of Directors Charles Knowlen are expected to attend.
Participants can register online or download a paper form at the UMaine Center on Aging’s website, mainecenteronaging.umaine.edu/colloquium. The $50 regular registration fee includes all colloquium materials, continental breakfast, lunch and admission to the screening of “The Way We Get By.” Registration for Maine Gerontological Society members and employees of sponsoring organizations is $40. Students can register for $25. The deadline for mailed registration forms is Friday, May 3.
The Outside the Wire’s “Theater of War” performance 7 p.m., 100 D.P. Corbett Business Building is free and open to the public. Participants are asked to RSVP to Prudence Searl at firstname.lastname@example.org; 207.262.7925.
“Theater of War,” produced by social impact company Outside the Wire, presents readings of ancient Greek plays to serve as a catalyst for town hall discussions about the challenges faced by service members, veterans, their families, caregivers and communities. The May 13 performance will feature award-winning actor, David Strathairn, of “Lincoln” and “Good Night, and Good Luck.”
“It’s going to be a full day of events,” Kaye says. “People will learn, people will be entertained, people will have an opportunity to participate.”
The University of Maine Center on Aging, which was established in the winter of 2002, is a multidisciplinary center within the University of Maine System devoted to aging-related education and training, research and evaluation, and community service.
For additional information or to request disability accommodations, contact Prudence Searl, 207.262.7925.
More information about the colloquium can be found online.
Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747
Four faculty members in physics, insect ecology, finance and computer science will receive the University of Maine’s top annual awards May 11 as part of Commencement activities on campus.
Professor of Physics Robert Lad, director of UMaine’s Laboratory for Surface Science and Technology (LASST) is the 2013 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.
University of Maine President Paul Ferguson announced that Professor of Insect Ecology Francis “Frank” Drummond is the 2013 Presidential Research and Creative Achievement Award recipient. This year’s Presidential Outstanding Teaching Award recipient is Professor of Finance Richard Borgman. Professor of Computer Science George Markowsky is the recipient of the Presidential Public Service Award.
“These annual awards offer us an opportunity to not only honor the outstanding achievements of the very best of our faculty members, but also to celebrate the teaching, research and outreach contributions of all our faculty who are at the heart of the UMaine community,” says Ferguson.
The award recipients will be honored at the Faculty Appreciation and Recognition Luncheon, noon–1:30 p.m., May 11 at Wells Conference Center.
The following faculty descriptions are excerpted, in part, from the nomination packages submitted to the selection committees.
Dr. Robert Lad, 2013 Distinguished Maine Professor Award
Bob Lad has been a member of the Department of Physics and Astronomy since 1988 and, for the past 16 years, has directed the Laboratory for Surface Science and Technology (LASST), an internationally recognized interdisciplinary center for surface science, nanotechnology, sensors, and materials science research. He received the 2006 University of Maine System Trustee Professorship and the 2004 UMaine Presidential Research and Creative Achievement Award. Lad, an internationally recognized materials researcher, has been a primary member of many of the LASST project teams, serving as principal or co-principal investigator on more than $35 million in research and development grants. Many of the projects, such as the current research on high-temperature sensors for use in jet engines, power plant generators and other extreme environments, have led to major advances and assisted Maine industries in their development and manufacture of high-tech products. Most recently while on sabbatical last year, Lad’s expertise aided the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s solar programs as he, concurrently, pursued his ongoing interest in finding new areas of research that can connect to Maine. Lad has a talent for blending fundamental and applied research, which is reflected in his collaborations with more than 30 Maine companies. The research teams he has led includes undergraduates, graduate students and postdoctoral researchers, thus, training the next generation of physics and engineering researchers and industry leaders. In addition to his research, Lad teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses. His 200-level Introductory Quantum Physics course is legendary, not only for how Lad excites students about the field, but also how he engages them by interfacing examples of ongoing research with the rigorous theory. Current students, alumni and colleagues describe Lad’s enthusiasm for education, research and outreach as contagious.
Dr. Francis Drummond, 2013 Presidential Research and Creative Achievement Award
Entomologist Frank Drummond has been a member of the UMaine community for a quarter-century. He is a professor in the School of Biology and Ecology, and University of Maine Cooperative Extension. The breadth of his career is reflected in his research interests that range from pollination ecology to insect pest management, and scientific techniques that span statistical modeling and computer simulation to molecular genetics. His research venues range from Maine’s blueberry and potato fields to Australian sugarcane plantations. Drummond has always worked in cooperative research with other researchers at UMaine and beyond. Today, his productivity and project diversity involves 60 research colleagues. Drummond has been the principal or co-principal investigator on more than $15.7 million in research funding. That funding includes USDA grants investigating the genetics of blueberry production and pollinator conservation to address colony collapse disorder in honeybees. Since joining the UMaine community, Drummond has been leading bee research, focused on their health, conservation and role as crop pollinators. As an applied entomologist, Drummond finds solutions to important agricultural insect problems, especially in Maine. One of his many successful efforts to help farmers manage the blueberry maggot fly, an effort that saved growers money and reduced the environmental impact of insecticide applications. With several UMaine colleagues, Drummond has researched and developed organic methods for blueberry production — the only complete organic insect pest management plan for wild blueberry production in North America. Drummond also created a model to predict the impact of human activity on streams, which became the basis for Maine law and informed national Environmental Protection Agency guidelines.
Dr. Richard Borgman, 2013 Presidential Outstanding Teaching Award
Rick Borgman joined the Maine Business School faculty in 1995. He received the Maine Business School’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 2011. Borgman is cited as an enthusiastic teacher whose excellence has shaped the lives of numerous students, and whose deep knowledge of his subject results in engaging courses. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in finance, and has led a 2009 MBA study trip to Japan. Student evaluations reflect their appreciation of Borgman’s ability to effectively link theory with current developments in the business world, and apply this knowledge creatively to complex situations. Repeatedly, students comment on Borgman’s ability to seize learning opportunities from current events and correlate them with theoretical class presentations. One student noted that Borgman’s classroom was a place “to savor the pleasures and rewards of learning.” Borgman also is known for his excellent organization of course subject matter and his emphasis on developing students’ writing and analytical skills. He has developed numerous cases for classroom use that target concepts students need to learn; one case earned him the Maine Business School’s 2012 Research Award. Borgman also is involved in curriculum development at the graduate level. He served as adviser to the MBA Association from 1997–2003, and was director from 2001–04. He chaired the Maine Business School Graduate Committee from 2004–11, and was a major architect of UMaine’s revised MBA program that launched in 2004. Maine Business School alumni cite the difference Borgman made in their successful careers through his teaching excellence, outstanding mentoring and inspiration.
Dr. George Markowsky, 2013 Presidential Outstanding Public Service and Outreach Award
George Markowsky joined the University of Maine faculty as the first chair of the Department of Computer Science in 1983. He serves as associate director of the School of Computing and Information Science, and is a cooperating professor in the School of Policy and International Affairs, and in Mathematics and Statistics. Markowsky’s extensive public service record is testimony to his ceaseless vision in advancing people’s knowledge outside the classroom. He has provided leadership in the promotion of the computational sciences, providing outstanding, dedicated professional service to UMaine and the state. Markowsky has organized countless activities to promote the many facets of computer science and its importance to modern society. His vision of exposing students to the latest advancements culminates in events that raise student aspirations and public awareness. Those events include the Northeast Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition, a game programming project for first-year computer science majors, and the 2008 Green Supercomputing event. Markowsky’s service and outreach go far beyond campus, including his advocacy for the importance of university research in the state’s economy as a member the UMaine Faculty Five in the 1990s. Also during that time, Markowsky was founding president of the Maine Software Developers Association, which became the trade organization for all high-technology companies in the state called TechMaine. Currently, Markowsky serves as president of the Bangor Foreign Policy Forum and serves on the Maine Advisory Board for the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition. In 2010, Markowsky received the Outstanding Achievement Award for Leadership and Outstanding Contributions in Cybersecurity Education from the World Congress in Computer Science, Computer Engineering and Applied Computing. Also that year, he received an honorary degree from the Ternopil National Economic University for his work in establishing the American-Ukrainian School of Computer Sciences and Technologies and for his role for establishing a municipal area network in Ternopil, Ukraine.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745
University of Maine President Paul Ferguson has announced Spencer Hathaway of Turner, Maine, as the 2013 valedictorian and Lindsay LaJoie of Van Buren, Maine, as the salutatorian.
“Spencer and Lindsay represent the very best of our outstanding UMaine students — both for their outstanding academic success, but for their dedicated service to the campus and community as well,” Ferguson says. “We are extremely proud of their achievement.”
Both will be honored at UMaine’s 211th Commencement ceremonies in Harold Alfond Sports Arena May 11.
Hathaway will receive two bachelor’s degrees — economics and business administration in accounting. LaJoie will receive a bachelor’s degree in food science and human nutrition.
Both were 2009 valedictorians at their high schools and received the University of Maine Top Scholar Award.
Hathaway has accepted an auditing position in the Portland, Maine-based accounting firm Baker Newman Noyes, and plans to be a CPA. LaJoie has a dietetic internship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston this fall. She plans to pursue a career as a clinical dietitian.
Hathaway, a graduate of Leavitt Area High School, received a number of other awards, including the Class of 1945 Scholarship and, most recently, the Maine Business School Excellence in Accounting Award.
Last summer, Hathaway interned with Baker Newman Noyes, doing tax and audit work to help companies prepare their financial statements. In summer 2011, he was a project manager on the statewide waste composition research project, led by UMaine Professor of Economics George Criner in conjunction with the State Planning Office. Also that summer, Hathaway was an intern in the Farm Credit Fellowship Program, working with loan officers in Presque Isle.
For two years, Hathaway was a peer tutor with Academic Support Services for Student-Athletes, teaching accounting and economics, and mentoring in the Maine Business School’s accounting lab. He also was involved with UMaine’s Knowledge Transfer Alliance, helping small businesses set up or revamp their accounting systems using QuickBooks software.
“Early on, I knew I wanted to get into the business world,” says Hathaway. “Then I took my first accounting class and really enjoyed finding the nuances of how the accounting world fit into the business world. Economics? I had no idea what it meant before I came here, but I discovered all of the different questions you can answer with an economics mindset. Economics is more than just money.”
Hathaway says he chose UMaine because it is close to home in the state he loves. The university is also affordable and has a great reputation, he says.
“The University of Maine has made all the difference,” Hathaway says. “People here are so inviting. If you want to do something, they help you do it.”
LaJoie, a graduate of Van Buren District Secondary School, received numerous awards, including the Frank B. and Charles S. Bickford Prize, and the Edward and Grace Cutting Award. She also minored in child development and family relations.
For two years, she worked as a student research assistant in the laboratory of Adrienne White, professor of human nutrition, where LaJoie was involved in two multistate research projects. The first, “Young Adults Eating and Active for Health,” was led by UMaine graduate student Jennifer Walsh, and LaJoie collected health-related data on 18- to 24-year-olds to understand the potential for behavior changes for improved health, including weight management. The second project, called iCook 4-H, led by graduate student Douglas Mathews, is a five-state study of a childhood obesity prevention program.
LaJoie is a nutrition services volunteer at Eastern Maine Medical Center. Last summer, she interned with St. Apollonia Dental Clinic in Presque Isle and, in 2010, was a dietary aide at Borderview Rehabilitation and Living Center in Van Buren.
On campus, LaJoie is president of All Maine Women Honor Society and Kappa Omicron Nu Honor Society. She is also an active member of the Nutrition Club, through which she has volunteered at such community organizations as Manna Ministries, the YMCA and the Ronald McDonald House.
In her sophomore and junior years, LaJoie also was involved in UMaine’s Alternative Breaks, traveling to El Paso, Texas to volunteer with a child crisis center, and to West Milford, N.J., to volunteer at Camp Vacamas, a camp that serves at-risk youth.
“I’ve always been interested in health care,” LaJoie says. “I was fascinated to learn that what we eat plays a huge role in overall health and wellness. Through taking classes, my interest has grown in the field of nutrition. It’s very up-and-coming.”
LaJoie says she chose UMaine because of its proximity to her family and the beauty of the campus.
“There’s just something about the buildings and the atmosphere that makes you feel like you’re in a special place,” she says. “The faculty and administration emphasize the value of education, making me as a student value my education.”
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745
Inventive, imaginative, resourceful and innovative are synonyms for creative.
And in the wake of the Great Recession of 2008, they also were synonymous with better employment prospects, according to a new study by a team of researchers.
The team, including University of Maine economist Todd Gabe, found that from 2006–11, members of the creative class — including those with careers in knowledge-based, creative fields of computers, architecture, arts, business, health care and high-end sales — had a higher probability of being employed than people in the working and service classes.
Having a creative career was even more valuable in the two years after the Great Recession, which may indicate the U.S. economy is undergoing a structural change, say Gabe, Richard Florida of Martin Prosperity Institute in Toronto, Canada, and Charlotta Mellander of Jönköping International Business School in Jönköping, Sweden.
Florida labels the change resulting from the economic crash “The Great Reset.” In his book of the same name, subtitled How New Ways of Living and Working Drive Post-Crash Prosperity, Florida says a vibrant future of innovation and dramatic change in lifestyle will result due to the shift in the framework of employment.
Unemployment rates for creative class occupations were lower than unemployment rates in the U.S. economy prior to, during and immediately following the recession, according to the researchers’ analysis of 2006–11 data from Current Population Surveys, conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Before the recession (2006–07), the unemployment rate for all occupations was 4.7 percent; for the creative class it was 1.9 percent; for the service class it was 5 percent; and for the working class it was 6.5 percent.
During the recession (2008–09), the unemployment rate for all occupations was 6.9 percent; for the creative class it was 3 percent; for the service class it was 6.9 percent; and for the working class it was 11.1 percent.
In the two years following the recession (2010–11), the unemployment rate for all occupations was 9.4 percent; for the creative class, it was 4.1 percent; for the service class it was 9.3 percent; and for the working class, it was 14.6 percent.”
Working class jobs include those in production, construction, transportation and maintenance. Service class occupations include those in home health care, customer service, food preparation and retail sales.
Researchers say creative class workers may fare better than service and working class members because the work they do is less standardized and thus they are more difficult to replace. They also may be more equipped to reinvent themselves and their jobs are locally driven, rather than export-based, say the three-person team.
The researchers’ article, “The Creative Class and the crisis,” was published in Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society.
Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777