The University of Maine’s 211th Commencement will be held May 11 in Harold Alfond Sports Arena on campus.
Held in two ceremonies at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., the university’s Commencement is one of Maine’s largest graduation events. Live streaming of the ceremonies will be available online (umaine.edu/commencement) for friends and family worldwide. Also on the Commencement website that day will be the names of all graduating students.
This year in keeping with UMaine’s leadership as a nationally recognized “Green campus,” each graduating student attending one of the ceremonies will receive a digital Commencement program on a commemorative 2GB USB flash drive. The full program will contain the names of all degree-earning undergraduate and graduate students, as well as a welcome message from the University of Maine Alumni Association. At the ceremonies, an abbreviated print version of the program will be available for audience members.
The 10 a.m., ceremony is for graduating students in three colleges: Liberal Arts and Sciences; Business, Public Policy and Health; and Education and Human Development. Joining them will be students graduating from the Division of Lifelong Learning.
The 2:30 p.m., ceremony is for graduates in the College of Engineering and the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture.
The honorary degree recipient and Commencement speaker will be UMaine alumnus Lawrence Bender, the producer of films that have won a total of six Academy Awards®. He will address both ceremonies. Bender graduated from UMaine in 1979 with a degree in civil engineering. His successful career as a producer and activist spans two decades. His films, which include such noteworthy projects as “Inglourious Basterds,” “Pulp Fiction” and “Good Will Hunting,” have been honored with 29 Academy Award® nominations, including three for Best Picture.
This year’s valedictorian and salutatorian are Spencer Hathaway of Turner, Maine, and Lindsay LaJoie of Van Buren, Maine, respectively. Both were 2009 valedictorians of their high schools. 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.
Also being honored at Commencement and at a Faculty Appreciation and Recognition Luncheon that day are four faculty members in physics, insect ecology, finance and computer science. Professor of Physics Robert Lad, director of UMaine’s Laboratory for Surface Science and Technology 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.
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.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745
During the last two weeks of the semester at the University of Maine, when undergraduates are camping out in Fogler Library poring over textbooks and notes in preparation for finals, Joey will be on duty. He may be only a few feet tall, but his silky hair, dark brown eyes and gentle demeanor make him the perfect calming agent.
Joey is one of seven certified therapy dogs who will have special office hours in the Reserve Reading Room on the library’s first floor, May 1–8, for any student or faculty member looking to escape from end-of-semester stress.
No appointment is necessary.
“We really think of this as the student’s library,” Fogler’s Public Relations Manager Gretchen Gfeller says. “They brought the suggestion to us, so we wanted to do it for them. We’re trying to keep it as relaxed and open as we can.”
The event is in response to student suggestions on the library’s comment board to “please bring puppies” during finals week, according to Gfeller, who says this is the first time Fogler Library will host therapy dogs.
Fogler’s staff did research into similar successful programs at the University of New Hampshire and Massachusetts Institute of Technology before reaching out to Rebecca Henderson of Holden-based Renaissance Dogs who organizes a group of trained handlers not affiliated with her business.
Henderson says visiting with the dogs would be great for someone who is missing their own pet, seeks comfort and laughter from animals, or wants a five-minute diversion from studying.
“Studies have proven that petting a dog can lower blood pressure and reduce anxiety,” Henderson says. “What other time are students more stressed than during finals week?”
Seven dogs of various sizes and personalities are scheduled to visit the library, according to Henderson, who will bring her own yellow Labrador retriever Atticus and two papillons, Finch and Keeper. The other dogs include another Lab, a Sheltie, a corgi and a goldendoodle. All of the animals have been trained and certified by either Therapy Dogs International, Therapy Dogs Inc., or Love on a Leash.
One of the dogs scheduled to visit the library is owned by Patty Counihan, director of UMaine’s Career Center.
Counihan’s dog Joey is a 6-year-old Shetland sheepdog, or Sheltie, who will be making his official debut since passing Therapy Dogs International’s certification test a few months ago.
Counihan, who has used Henderson’s boarding, doggie day care and agility training services for years, thinks the event will be a great way to help students and is confident everyone will love Joey.
“Joey is so sweet and cuddly — not to mention soft and furry — and petting him is really soothing. He will just crawl in your lap and snuggle in,” Counihan says of her pet. “I know how nice it is to cuddle with Joey when I’ve had a bad day or if I’m stressed, so I’m looking forward to sharing him with others who might need a four-legged, furry destressor.”
Henderson, whose dogs also volunteer at the Bangor Public Library, is excited to introduce more people to therapy dogs while giving back to the community. She says she is proud of the owners and dogs who are volunteering their time.
Gfeller says if the event is well received, the library would like to expand the program and host the dogs two or three times a semester in addition to finals week.
Dogs will be available in the library 2:30–4:30 p.m. May 1 and May 8; 10 a.m.–noon May 2–3; and 2–4 p.m. May 6–7. For more information or to request disability accommodations, call Gfeller, 207.581.1696.
Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747
Over 25 digital posters by University of Maine Art Department students in Kerstin Engman’s 2-D design class are on display through finals week in Hauck Auditorium.
The posters depict climate change issues, such as sustainability and the divestiture of fossil fuels, and are the result of a collaboration between Engman and Karen Marysdaughter, organizer with 350 Maine, a grassroots movement dedicated to solving the Earth’s climate crisis.
Engman asked the students to chose a particular climate change topic and direct a clear, visual message to the campus community.
“By working together as a community of concerned students, the hope is that the impact of a collective effort will have greater inﬂuence in general public awareness and policymaking,” Engman says.
For more information, contact Engman on FirstClass.
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
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
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
University of Maine alumnus Lawrence Bender, the producer of films that have won a total of six Academy Awards®, will return to his alma mater May 11 to receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree and share remarks during Commencement ceremonies.
Bender will address both the 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. ceremonies as part of UMaine’s 211th Commencement in Harold Alfond Sports Arena.
“Lawrence is one of our truly outstanding alumni,” says University of Maine President Paul Ferguson. “We are so pleased to award him a Doctor of Humane Letters in recognition of his excellent contributions to the arts through film and his deep commitment to addressing some of the major issues facing our society. I am confident our new graduates will enjoy and value hearing how his UMaine degree provided a foundation for such success and passion.”
Bender graduated from UMaine in 1979 with a degree in civil engineering. His successful career as a producer and activist spans two decades. His films, which include such noteworthy projects as “Inglourious Basterds,” “Pulp Fiction” and “Good Will Hunting,” have been honored with 29 Academy Award® nominations, including three for Best Picture, and have won six.
His film, “An Inconvenient Truth,” which raised unprecedented awareness about climate change, won the Academy Award® for Best Documentary Feature. His documentary, “Countdown To Zero,” which features Tony Blair, Pervez Musharraf, Mikhail Gorbachev, Frederik De Klerk and Jimmy Carter, among others, details the urgent risk posed by proliferation, terrorism and accidental use of nuclear weapons.
Bender’s other films include: “From Dusk Till Dawn” (1996), “Anna and the King” (1999), “The Mexican” (2001), “Innocent Voices” (2004) and Quentin Tarantino’s “Reservoir Dogs” (1992), “Jackie Brown” (1997), and “Kill Bill” — Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 (2003–04). He has also produced “Havana Nights: Dirty Dancing 2”; “Knockaround Guys”; “A Price Above Rubies”; “White Man’s Burden”; “Killing Zoe”; and “Fresh.” His most recent film, “Safe,” which stars Jason Statham, was released worldwide early last year, according to biographical information provided by Lawrence Bender.
Bender is also a passionate social and political activist. In 2003, he co-founded the Detroit Project, a campaign advocating vehicles that will end the U.S. dependence on foreign oil. He also traveled to the Middle East with the Israeli Policy Forum, meeting with heads of state. Bender is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Pacific Council. He received the ACLU’s Torch of Liberty Award and was named a Wildlife Hero by the National Wildlife Federation.
In 2009, Bender was one of five alumni honored by the University of Maine Foundation at its 75th anniversary celebration. He also was inducted into the College of Engineering’s Francis Crowe Society as a distinguished engineer in recognition of extraordinary accomplishments to society and his profession. Bender returned to campus that fall to give an address at the Maine Business School.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745; 207.949.4149
Image Description: LB Cannes 09 headshot
The public is invited to a series of master classes in April, the first featuring trumpeter Bryan Davis, and others with Mnozil Brass as part of the University of Maine School of Performing Arts season.
Davis, a British trumpeter, based in New York City, will perform as a guest artist with the UMaine Jazz Ensemble in its at 7:30 p.m. April 25 concert at Minsky Recital Hall, admission is $9 or free with student MaineCard. Tickets are available at the Collins Center for the Arts or at the door.
The next day, Davis will offer a free public master class from 1–3 p.m., in Room 100 Class of 1944 Hall.
Also on April 26, the UMaine Jazz Ensemble and Davis will perform live on MPBN Radio’s Friday Night Jazz with Rich Tozier, 9–11 p.m.
The Austrian brass septet Mnozil Brass will perform at the Collins Center for the Arts at 3 p.m. April 28. For tickets, call the Collins Center box office, 207.581.1755.
The day before their concert, the Mnozil Brass artists will offer free public master classes from 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m., Room 100 Class of 1944 Hall. The public is welcome to come and observe the master classes; participants have to bring their instruments. Their April 27 master classes schedule is:
All Brass, 10 a.m.–12 p.m. — a fundamentals workshop for all brass players, led by Roman Rindberger, trumpet
Exhibit of Schagerl instruments, 12–1 p.m. — open for testing
Trombone, 1–2:30 p.m. — led Gerhard Füssl, trombone
Tuba, 2:30–4 p.m. — led by Wilfried Brandstötter, tuba
Jazz Combo, 4–5:30 p.m. — led by Leonhard Paul, trombone/bass trumpet
For more information on the School of Performing Arts concert and the master classes, or to request disability accommodations, contact Monique Hashey, 207.581.4721.
The University of Maine’s Darling Marine Center in Walpole will offer a Natural Science Illustration Workshop from Aug. 5–9. Participants will have the opportunity to collect and draw live marine specimens and work with instructor David Wheeler’s collection of shells, bones and artifacts. Wheeler, who teaches at the Pratt Institute’s Center Extension Campus at Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute in New York, is a marine science illustrator whose artwork is in the permanent collections of museums, universities and marine centers in the country and abroad. He has made life-sized models of dinosaurs for the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and the Osaka Museum of Natural History in Japan. Previous workshop participants have included high school and college students, K–12 educators, artists and illustrators interested in natural sciences, art, anthropology and archaeology. The cost of the five-day workshop is $370; registration deadline is June 1. Room and board at the Darling Marine Center are available for an additional fee. Course information and registration materials are available on the DMC website. For more information or to request disability accommodations, contact Linda Healy, 207.563.8220.
The transformation of the world’s oceans due to overfishing, pollution and climate change will be the focus of a lecture at the University of Maine by a senior scientist emeritus at the Smithsonian Institution.
Jeremy Jackson’s lecture, “Ocean Apocalypse,” begins at 4 p.m. April 11 in Wells Conference Center, sponsored by the UMaine School of Marine Sciences. The lecture, followed by a reception, are free and open to the public. For more information or to request a disability accommodation, call 207.518.4385.
Overfishing, pollution and climate change are laying the groundwork for a massive transformation of the oceans with dire implications for biodiversity and human well-being. Jackson will speak about the fundamental changes humans need to make in order to save the oceans and themselves.
Jackson, the author of “Shifting Baselines: The Past and Future of Ocean Fisheries,” also is professor of oceanography emeritus at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. He studies human effects on oceans and the ecology and paleoecology of tropical and subtropical marine ecosystems. He has written more than 150 scientific publications and is the author or editor of eight books.
Jackson has received many awards including the 2012 Darwin Medal from the International Society of Reef Studies, the Peterson Medal from Harvard University and the Paleontological Society Medal. Jackson and filmmaker Randy Olson co-founded the Shifting Baselines initiative in which filmmakers and marine scientists collaborate to bring marine environmental issues to the larger public.