Skip Navigation
Return to Layout View | Home | A-Z Directory | MaineStreet | Campus Map | Calendar
Follow UMaine on Twitter | Join UMaine on Facebook | Watch UMaine on YouTube | Admissions | Parents & Family | Apply to UMaine | Give Now | Emergency

UMaine News


Site Navigation:


Three Honored With The First ADVANCE Career Recognition Awards

Three University of Maine faculty members — Kate Beard-Tisdale, Susan Brawley and Mary Tyler — are the recipients of ADVANCE Career Recognition Awards by UMaine’s Rising Tide Center.

Beard-Tisdale is a member of the School of Computing and Information Science; Brawley is in the School of Marine Science; and Tyler is in the School of Biology and Ecology.

The Career Recognition Awards highlight the significant accomplishments of women faculty at UMaine through their teaching, research, constituent service and campus leadership. Sharing the professional successes of UMaine faculty raises the profile of women scientists and is intended to inspire colleagues at every rank.

The honor includes a travel award to support the honorees’ participation at a prestigious conference where their work will be showcased on an international stage.

On campus, the award winners will give lectures about their research and will lead a panel discussion. Tyler will speak on, “Students Are Scientists: Implementing Inquiry-Based Learning,” noon, March 27, Coe Room, Memorial Union; Beard-Tisdale will speak on, “A Passage in Space and Time,” noon, April 10, Coe Room, Union.

Brawley will speak on, “Small Is Beautiful: Marine Eggs, Spores and Bacteria,” 2 p.m., April 16, Wells Conference Center, followed by the awards ceremony and reception. The event will feature a panel discussion with the awardees and accomplished junior faculty offering perspectives on the challenges and opportunities for women in science.

All events are free and open to the public. To register or to request a disability accommodation, call or write the ADVANCE Rising Tide Center, 207.581.3439; risingtide@maine.edu. More information is available online.

UMaine’s ADVANCE Rising Tide Center, funded by a five-year grant from the National Science Foundation, seeks to develop systemic approaches to retaining and advancing women faculty in academic science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and social-behavioral science careers.

Retention, Graduation Focus of Second Academic Faculty Forum on Feb. 3

Provost Jeff Hecker will lead the second of three Academic Faculty Forums 3–4 p.m. Feb. 3 in the Bangor Room of the Memorial Union. The forum will focus on retention and graduation.

The third forum is scheduled for March 31.

In year three of the Blue Sky Project, the focus is on integrating the plan’s strategies and goals into the organizational structure of the university. Just as the Blue Sky Strategic Plan was developed through an inclusive process, integration will emerge through collaboration.

Over the course of the academic year, the Provost’s Office, in collaboration with the Faculty Senate leadership, is holding a series of Academic Affairs Faculty Forums. The forums are designed to create a venue for meaningful sharing of ideas about important initiatives in Academic Affairs. Collaboration between the faculty and administration of the university is essential if we are to advance toward our strategic goals.

A website has been developed to extend the collaboration beyond the public meeting. Relevant materials have been posted and there is a space where faculty members can submit reactions, comments or questions generated by the forum. Additional information, including a summary of key topics discussed at the forum, will be added after Feb. 3. The website is linked on the Provost’s Web page.

Accounting Students to Offer Tax Filing Assistance

Accounting students in the Maine Business School at the University of Maine are offering free federal and state income tax filing assistance, under the supervision of Steven Colburn, associate professor of accounting.

Except for the weeks of March 2 and 9, free help sessions will be held 2-4:30 p.m. Thursdays, Feb. 6 to April 10 at 312 Corbett Business Building and noon to 3 p.m. Fridays, Jan. 31 to April 11 at the Orono Public Library, 39 Pine St.

Filers are asked to bring their tax information for 2013, including:

All filers’ information is treated confidentially. Colburn will review all tax returns before they are filed. People who receive assistance will get a printed copy of their state and federal tax returns.

Appointments, which generally last an hour, are required. To make an appointment, contact Colburn, 207.581.1982, steve.colburn@umit.maine.edu or colburn@maine.edu.

CUGR Research Fellows Announced

The Center for Undergraduate Research (CUGR) has launched the Research Fellows Program, a new Blue Sky initiative to support University of Maine faculty efforts in promoting undergraduate research opportunities. Emerging from 2011 stimulus funding of CUGR as one of six initiatives through the 2011 Presidential Request for Visions of University Excellence (PRE-VUE) Program, this CUGR Research Fellows Program is intended to improve undergraduate research and scholarship mentoring skills, expand curricula to include research and scholarship experiences, and develop proposals for further funding specifically involving undergraduate students.

Twenty-three faculty members who were nominated by their deans to be CUGR Research Fellows will participate in the two-year development program. Workshops will focus on topics such as mentoring undergraduate students, funding sources, responsible conduct of research and grant writing. Each CUGR Research Fellow receives a modest stipend and one undergraduate assistant.

The CUGR Research Fellows are:

Laura Artesani, Associate Professor of Music
Dan Bilodeau, Assistant Professor of Theatre
Tim Bowden, Assistant Professor of Aquaculture
Steven Elmer, Assistant Professor of Kinesiology and Physical Education
Nuri Emanetoglu, Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Nick Giudice, Associate Professor of Spatial Information Sciences
Rob Glover, CLAS-Honors Preceptor and Assistant Professor of Political Science
Will Gramlich, Assistant Professor of Organic Chemistry
Hamish Greig, Associate Professor of Stream Ecology
Mark Haggerty, Associate Rezendes Preceptor for Civil Engagement
Sarah Harlan-Haughey, Assistant Professor of English and Assistant Professor of Honors
Kim Huisman, Associate Professor of Sociology
Karl Kreutz, Professor of Geological Sciences and Climate Change Institute
Jordan LaBouff, CLAS-Honors Preceptor and Assistant Professor of  Psychology
Roberto Lopez-Anido, Professor of Civil Engineering
Benildo de los Reyes, Professor of Molecular Genetics
Shannon McCoy, Assistant Professor of Psychology
Reinhard Moratz, Associate Professor of Spatial Information Sciences
Balunkeswar Nayak, Assistant Professor of Food Processing
Brian Robinson, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Climate Change Institute
Mary Shea, Assistant Professor of Nursing
Ebru Ulusoy, Assistant Professor of Marketing
Faren Wolter, Lecturer

Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745

Football Team Earns Solid Rankings in National Polls

The University of Maine football team, led by 21-year head coach Jack Cosgrove, finished the 2013 season ranked No. 11 in the NCAA FCS Coaches Poll and No. 12 in The Sports Network FCS Top-25 Poll.

The Black Bears — 10–3 overall — had one of their best seasons in school history. They won the Colonial Athletic Association title with a 7–1 league record, made their seventh overall NCAA postseason appearance and captured 10 wins for the first time since 2002.

In both national polls, FCS national champion North Dakota State (15–0) earned the No. 1 ranking and runner-up Towson University (13–3) of the CAA attained the No. 2 ranking.

The University of Maine Launches an Innovative Faculty Leadership Program

The University of Maine is launching an innovative leadership program that will prepare a group of faculty from across the campus to serve as ambassadors to Maine communities and constituents. The Blue Sky Faculty Fellows Program will help to strengthen UMaine’s contributions to the state by building a network of faculty leaders who can communicate the importance of UMaine, and build stronger bridges to people and organizations across the state.

The six-month program will provide training in media relationships, interpersonal communication, audience analysis and partnership building. As part of the program, the Faculty Fellows will participate in a state-of-the-art communication and engagement training in conjunction with representatives from Stony Brook University’s Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. Combining theater improv techniques with communication training, the experience will help participants communicate about UMaine and their own work with passion and confidence.

Laura Lindenfeld, Associate Professor of Communication and Journalism and the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center, proposed and designed the program in conjunction with Jake Ward, Vice President for Innovation and Economic Development, and Judy Ryan, Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Administration, in order to create better pathways for making UMaine’s work matter more to the state.

“The program is designed to get faculty members and researchers more connected with Maine communities,” Lindenfeld said. “The Blue Sky Faculty Fellows Program will help us bridge boundaries and create stronger connections between our university and the state. We already do so much for the state, but we can do more. Getting a creative, entrepreneurial group of professors together through this program is a remarkable opportunity to increase our ability to help businesses, industries, and citizens. I want this program to help us make a tangible difference, and that is so inspirational and exciting.”

From engineering to marine sciences to art history, the program includes 20 outstanding faculty members who will learn about contemporary issues in Maine. The program will prepare them to make their own research more engaged and relevant to the issues in Maine.

Kathleen Bell, Associate Professor of Economics, was selected to participate in the program. She hopes to gain knowledge, skills, and experiences that will help her advance as a leader, researcher, and community member.

“I adore living in Maine and working at UMaine,” Bell said. “This program really presents me with a unique opportunity to understand the shared histories of Maine and UMaine, and to participate actively in their shared future.”

Ali Abedi, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, will also participate in the program and hopes that it can bring about new connections between the state and the university.

“The University of Maine has been playing a pivotal role in Maine’s economy and improving people’s lives for a long period of time, but it is often hard to clearly link the research activities and their impact to the State’s quality of life and show the importance of investing in educating the next generation of students,” Abedi said. “The Blue Sky Faculty Fellows Program is a great way for UMaine faculty to get trained in how to communicate their research with Maine’s stakeholders in a language that is clear, concise and to the point.”

Lindenfeld and the UMaine administration will be running monthly training sessions with faculty this spring semester and plan to make the program a cornerstone training initiative at the university. The program, funded in large part from the Office of President Paul Ferguson, clearly aligns with the vision and strategies of the University of Maine’s strategic plan, the Blue Sky Project.

“Part of our job as faculty members at a land and sea grant institution is to create a shared vision with the state and find ways to connect our efforts in research and teaching with the daily lives of Mainers,” Lindenfeld said. “This is a big responsibility that we bear, and my aspiration in designing this program was to help us increase our ability to address the needs of people right here at home. We hope this program is a big step in that direction and are so excited to have launched the Blue Sky Faculty Fellows.”

The Blue Sky Faculty Fellows Program will hold its first training session Jan. 14 at UMaine’s Foster Center for Student Innovation.

The Blue Sky Faculty Fellows

Ali Abedi
Associate Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Kathleen Bell
Associate Professor, School of Economics

Amy Blackstone
Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Sociology

Mark Brewer
Associate Professor, Department of Political Science

Nic Erhardt
Assistant Professor in Management, Maine Business School

Janet Fairman
Associate Research Professor, Center for Research and Education & Maine Education Policy Research Institute

Lee Karp-Boss
Research Assistant Professor, School of Marine Sciences

Jessica Leahy
Associate Professor of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, School of Forest Resources

Rob Lilieholm
E.L. Giddings Associate Professor of Forest Policy, School of Forest Resources

Margo Lukens
Professor, Department of English
Director of Academic Programs, Innovation Engineering

David Neivandt
Professor, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering
Director of the Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Engineering

Mauricio Pereira da Cunha
Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Rich Powell
Associate Professor, Department of Political Science

Jasmine Saros
Associate Director and Professor, Climate Change Institute, and School of Biology and Ecology

Denise Skonberg
Associate Professor, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition

Shihfen Tu
Associate Professor, Department of Education and Human Development

Rick Wahle
Research Professor of Marine Sciences

Aaron Weiskittel
Associate Professor of Forest Biometrics and Modeling, and Irving Chair of Forest Ecosystem Management, School of Forest Resources

Justin Wolff
Associate Professor, Department of Art

Gayle Zydlewski
Associate Professor, School of Marine Sciences

Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745

Dedication Ceremony for UMaine IMRC Center, Conference ‘Celebrating Creative Innovation’ Jan. 9

The University of Maine will dedicate its new Innovative Media Research and Commercialization (IMRC) Center with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and an afternoon conference celebrating innovation and the state’s creative economy Jan. 9.

The 15,000-square-foot IMRC Center in the newly renovated Stewart Commons is home to UMaine’s Department of New Media and the MFA in Intermedia Program, and available to Maine entrepreneurs for creative exploration. It features intermedia graduate research labs, state-of-the-art technology classrooms, audio and video production studios, a 3-D and immersive visualization presentation environment, and facilities for prototyping, fabrication and computer numerical control (CNC) manufacturing.

The more than $10 million renovation of Stewart Commons, which also houses the Wyeth Family Studio Art Center, was funded in part by the state of Maine through a Maine Technology Asset Fund award from the Maine Technology Institute.

The IMRC Dedication Ceremony begins at 5 p.m., followed by a reception and facility tours. For more information or to request a disability accommodation, call 207.581.3582.

The conference, IMRC Maine: Celebrating Creative Innovation, from noon to 4:30 p.m., is held in partnership with the Camden-based Juice Conference and Midcoast Magnet, the Belfast Creative Coalition and Realize Maine Network.

Juice conferences connect leaders of the creative economy to foster growth and prosperity. Weaving the arts, technology and entrepreneurship, Juice inspires innovation by bringing talented people together from widely different backgrounds to learn, exchange ideas and share success stories.

The UMaine event will be a mini-Juice conference and the first outside the midcoast region.

The conference will feature a keynote by award-winning graphic designer John Bielenberg, co-founder of Future, and two seminars: “What’s Possible Tour,” featuring presentations by entrepreneurs who have used the IMRC prototyping and media development facilities, and “Diving Deeper: Prototyping Specifics,” featuring detailed presentations on 3-D printing and media production.

The full schedule of IMRC Maine is online. For more information, call 207.236.6545.

UMaine Cited for Community Engagement

The Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies at the University of Maine has received a 2013 Exemplary Program Award from the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) for its 22 years of commitment to community engagement.

Each year through a competitive proposal process to receive the $20,000 C. Peter Magrath University Community Engagement Award, four-year public universities are recognized for outreach and engagement efforts by the C. Peter Magrath University/Community Engagement Award and the Engagement Scholarship/W.K. Kellogg Foundation Engagement Award, sponsored by APLU and the Engagement Scholarship Consortium. Dr. Lu Zeph, associate provost, dean of lifelong learning, and director of the Center for Community Inclusion and Dr. Claire Sullivan, associate dean for community engagement in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, prepared the proposal for consideration.

UMaine was among eight universities nationwide honored for exemplary proposals for the Engagement Scholarship/W.K. Kellogg Foundation Engagement Award. Finalists for the 2013 C. Peter Magrath Award were the Young Scholars Program at Ohio State University, the Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship Program at Pennsylvania State University, the Nuestra Case Initiative at the University of Texas at El Paso and the McCall Outdoor Science School at the University of Idaho. The awards were presented at the 14th Annual Conference of the Engagement Scholarship Consortium Oct. 8 at Texas Tech University. The recipient of the 2013 C. Peter Magrath University Community Engagement Award — Ohio State University — was honored at the national APLU Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., Nov. 12.

Image Description: community_engagement

‘Literacy To Go’ Kits Feed Interactive Learning

Parents in the Orono and Old Town areas will soon be able to feed their young children’s love of reading with “Literacy To Go” — informational text, a storybook and a storyboard all delivered in a themed pizza box kit.

The University of Maine Raymond H. Fogler Library is utilizing a $43,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to partner with UMaine’s College of Education and Human Development, Old Town Elementary School and Old Town Public Library to train librarians to promote early literacy with informational text.

Informational text is nonfiction that imparts information about the arts, sciences and social studies. The vocabulary is technical and realistic photographs and illustrations are generally included.

“The kits are really just the vehicle for this change in thinking about libraries as a source of support for family literacy,” says Susan Bennett-Armistead, the grant’s principal investigator and Correll Professor of Early Literacy in the College of Education and Human Development.

Fogler Library purchased books for its kits and the Correll Fund purchased books for kits at Old Town Elementary School and Old Town Public Library.

A variety of themes will be highlighted in each set of 20 kits, which will be distributed in January to Fogler Library on campus, as well as to the Old Town sites. Two books in each kit will be written for children birth-to-5 (most are for children 3–5 years of age); one is fiction and one is informational text. The third book is for parents to read. The books are intended to promote conversation between parents and children and the felt storyboard can be used to reinforce concepts.

It’s important for good-quality informational texts to be accessible to very young children, says Bennett-Armistead. “When you’re doing read-aloud with your little ones and when you’re playing with these materials, you’re actually building their vocabulary or you’re helping them build their world knowledge, which has a direct impact on their comprehension.”

Librarians will be taught how they can use the kits, how they can develop future kits and how they can work with the families around promoting early literacy concepts during a series of six training workshops that start in late January.

“The real change is the knowledge base of librarians,” says Bennett-Armistead. “Librarians are now going to be in the fold for really advocating for parents and their children to be interacting around text. We’re hopeful that we’ll be able to assist librarians in thinking about ramping up summertime programs, so that we don’t have as significant an educational loss in the summertime.”

Bennett-Armistead is thankful that the Institute of Museum and Library Services saw the potential in promoting early literacy in this way and of the opportunity to work with Fogler. “Whenever there’s an opportunity for collaboration, you have a richer outcome,” she says.

Cynthia Crosser, Fogler’s social science and humanities reference librarian, and Jason Charland, grants management coordinator for the College of Education and Human Development, wrote the grant proposal with Bennett-Armistead. They were awarded the grant in late September.

In January, they’ll apply for a grant renewal titled “Literacy To Go Farther” to expand the training program and kit concept.

Provost Jeff Hecker Focuses on Goals for Faculty and Student Success

Dr. Jeff Hecker, University of Maine Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost, is enthusiastic about his role in facilitating implementation of the Blue Sky Plan — the university’s blueprint to become a nationwide leader among America’s research universities in student success, achievement and community engagement.

UMaine President Paul Ferguson named Hecker to this position in July. He replaces Susan Hunter, who was named Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for the University of Maine System.

Provost Hecker, the former Dean of the UMaine College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, says his challenge is to manage the day-to-day operations of the Academic Affairs division while keeping an eye on the big picture — communicating long-range, mission-driven goals, and moving Blue Sky Plan initiatives forward in collaboration with faculty, other Cabinet members and the broader UMaine community.

Hecker describes the Blue Sky Plan unveiled in October 2011 as unified, ambitious, focused and inclusive. He is primarily focused on those initiatives that relate to the academic affairs agenda that are integral to each of the five major Blue Sky Pathways.

“The heart of UMaine’s mission is undergraduate education. As we pursue our research, community engagement and graduate education goals, we can’t lose sight of that core mission,” he says. “The beauty of the Blue Sky Plan is that it is at once aspirational and pragmatic. We are committed to growth as Maine’s land grant research university and equally committed to pursue excellence in our core mission.”

Provost Hecker and Associate Provost for Academic Affairs Jeff St. John are leading the campus in addressing a number of the Blue Sky Strategic Initiatives related to academic affairs. The newly reconstituted University Teaching Council and several Blue Sky Advisory Teams are assisting them in addressing a number of priority issues.

Faculty Development is at the top of the list. Those initiatives include promotion of best practices in the classroom, labs and studios, creating faculty development opportunities for the more than 100 adjunct faculty UMaine employs every year, enhancing online teaching quality, and launching the new Blue Sky Faculty Fellows Program to develop the next generation of faculty leaders and university spokespeople.

Due to significant enrollment increases, particularly in engineering and sciences, Provost Hecker is also exploring a new initiative to bring postdoctoral fellows to UMaine as Visiting Assistant Professors.

During their two- to-three-year fixed-length appointments, the visiting faculty will hone their teaching and research skills to prepare themselves for careers in academia. At the same time, they will help address the need for high-quality instruction in high-demand areas, such as mathematics, English and laboratory sciences.

The idea, Hecker says, is to create opportunities that benefit both the postdoctoral faculty member and UMaine. “These positions could be an important piece of the puzzle,” Hecker says. “We are exploring cost-effective ways of meeting our students’ needs for quality, innovative instruction.”

A second Blue Sky emphasis for Provost Hecker is student success. He is leading a multipronged approach to improve the four- and six-year graduation rates by 10 percent by 2017. “Relative to our peers, we do well,” he says, adding that UMaine’s four-year graduation rate is about 40 percent and its six-year rate is about 60 percent. “But we can do better.”

An advisory group is gathering data about factors that impact whether students remain enrolled, including affordability; timely access to courses they need; and quality of their campus experience.

Dr. St. John, says Provost Hecker, is also working on the UMaine Blue Sky Plan Pathway 2 initiative to improve annual student retention by 5 percent by 2017. From 2011–12, UMaine succeeded in that effort — 81 percent of the 2012 cohort of first-time, full-time students stayed in school, which was a 5 percent improvement from the 2011 cohort, according to the University of Maine Office of Institutional Research. The challenge is to maintain that improvement.

Lastly, Provost Hecker and Faculty Senate President Harlan Onsrud are working collaboratively to create a process of inventorying UMaine’s academic programs to better define UMaine’s strengths and opportunities. By jointly hosting Academic Affairs Faculty Forums in which faculty members discuss academic initiatives and how to best advance strategic goals, the university is engaging in an open process that will help to guide investments central to future success.

“It’s fantastic having an opportunity like this,” Hecker says. “This is my 28th year of employment here and I am thrilled to be in a leadership role, helping UMaine achieve its goals.”

Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777


Sidebar

Media Resources

Popular Posts

Recent Posts


Contact Information

UMaine News
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
207.581.1110
A Member of the University of Maine System