A University of Maine faculty member, two students and a campus organization were recognized for outstanding public service and civic engagement at the Maine Campus Compact’s (MCC) 13th annual Awards Ceremony on April 30 at the State House Hall of Flags in Augusta.
Robert Glover, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences-Honors preceptor and assistant professor of political science, received the Donald Harward Faculty Award for Service-Learning Excellence. Students Kimberly Dao and Bryer Sousa received the Heart and Soul Student Award, recognizing exemplary civic engagement. UMaine’s Alternative Breaks program was recognized with a President’s Campus Leadership Award. Co-presidents Kelly Covey and Morgan Kinney accepted the award.
Glover was recognized for his work in the classroom, in particular with his “Practicum in Engaged Policy Studies” class, in which students commit to a yearlong, service-learning policy research project. He was also recognized for his advocacy for service learning, as demonstrated by his efforts to develop a Citizen Scholar certificate program through the Honors program and to institutionalize an interdisciplinary minor in civic and community engagement. He also has made a regional and national impact through his writing. In partnership with UMaine faculty member Linda Silka, Glover coauthored an article in the journal Gateways: International Journal of Community Research and Engagement.
Dao and Sousa were recognized for their embodiment of heart and soul for their efforts to engage and empower peers and the community.
Last year, Dao, who has been admitted into the Maine Track Early Assurance program of Tufts University School of Medicine, established a scholarship program to offer undergraduate students financial support to help subsidize professional and personal development opportunities. This year, the senior biology major worked with the Student Women’s Association and Women’s Resource Center to bring the national Elect Her program to campus. UMaine is one of 50 campuses nationwide hosting this program. As student body president, a member of All Maine Women, and an inductee of Phi Beta Kappa, Dao is a leader. With her involvement in Black Bear Mentors, Alternative Breaks, Operation HEARTS and the UMaine chapter of Partners for World Health, Dao has demonstrated her capacity to empower others.
Sousa, a sophomore chemistry, physics and mathematics triple major, was recognized for his work to explore alternative methods of water filtration. During his first year, Bryer established a student chapter of Water for ME, an organization committed to improving public health and water systems in developing countries. He established a partner chapter with Bangor High School to increase opportunities available to aspiring high school scientists. In summer 2013, the recipient of the Davis Foundation Project for Peace grant partnered with Pure Water for the World and Water for ME to fund and install water filters for 50 households in the Trojes region of Honduras. He is a research assistant in a project to design a clean water program for people in Haiti.
UMaine’s Alternative Breaks program was honored for demonstrating the use of service as an integral part of the college experience for students, creating innovative approaches to campus-based efforts to address community issues, integrating strategies into their institutional structure and impacting the campus and surrounding community. Students at UMaine who participate in Alternative Breaks provide a range of community services, from working with underprivileged youth in Florida to environmental preservation in the Grand Canyon.
MCC, established in 1994 and hosted at Bates College, is an affiliate state office of Campus Compact, which encompasses more than 1,100 college and university presidents — representing 6 million students — dedicated to promoting community service, civic engagement and service-learning in higher education. More than 15,000 student volunteers at MCC member campuses provide 1.6 million hours of service annually, with an economic impact of more than $25 million a year.
WVII (Channel 7) reported therapy dogs from Silent Sidekicks visited University of Maine students at the Doris Twitchell Allen Village (DTAV) to alleviate stress during finals week. Another therapy dog session is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 7, the report states.
These stellar seniors — hailing from rural Maine to Canada and China — share their UMaine experiences. Learn about their research, community service and world travels, and their plans for a very promising future.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745
|Jinlun Bai||Finn Bondeson||Ariel Bothen|
|Meaghan Bradica||Jennifer Chalmers||Dilasha Dixit|
|Kayla Jones||Theresa McMannus||Janelle Tinkler|
|Chi Truong||Sierra Ventura|
Image Description: Jinlun Bai
Image Description: Finn Bonderson
Image Description: Ariel Bothen
Image Description: Meaghan Bradica
Image Description: Jennifer Chalmers
Image Description: Dilasha Dixit
Image Description: Kayla Jones
Image Description: Theresa McMannus
Image Description: Janelle Tinkler
Image Description: Chi Truong
Image Description: Sierra Ventura
University of Maine’s Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students Robert Dana was interviewed by the Bangor Daily News for the article, “Maine universities have changed how to process, respond to reports of sexual violence.” Dana said UMaine opened an office of sexual assault and violence prevention in August 2013 that processes all sexual abuse complaints, conducts investigations and offers support for victims. UMaine reported nine sexual offenses in 2010 and six in both 2011 and 2012. Dana said that in 2013, he believes around 30 reports were made, and the increase is a function of the way incidents are reported, not a rise of sexual violence on campus. The Sun Journal also carried the report.
WABI (Channel 5) reported on an event held by the University of Maine student group Male Athletes Against Violence (MAAV) to raise awareness about relationship violence. The event, Unwrapping the Not-So-Sweet Truth of Relationship Violence, also aimed to set a Guinness World Record for the largest number of candies unwrapped at one time. More than 600 students and community members unofficially set the record and are submitting to Guinness for verification. Spencer Wood, an MAAV member, said the group thought the event would be a fun way to attract people to come out and learn about relationship abuse.
Activities of Maine Day, the annual campus-wide spring cleanup tradition, were featured on reports by the Bangor Daily News and WABI (Channel 5). The BDN published a slide show of photos from the oozeball — mud volleyball — championship. WABI reported on other highlights including car smashing, a campus-wide barbecue, a 1k run to benefit the Ronald McDonald House and 75 volunteer projects aimed at sprucing up the campus.
WVII (Channel 7) reported members of the Senior Skull Honor Society at the University of Maine are hosting a 1K race — the Groove Mile — during Maine Day. More than 500 participants are expected to run, jog or dance the 0.6 mile course to support the Ronald McDonald House. “The Ronald McDonald has been a sponsor of ours for a while,” said UMaine student and Senior Skull member Dylan Bousquet-Smith. “We’ve worked philanthropically with them but we’ve never had an event, so we really wanted to branch out this year and grow and allow the Ronald McDonald House to get the benefits of the University of Maine.”
University of Maine’s Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students Robert Dana was interviewed by the Portland Press Herald for the article, “Sex assaults at Maine colleges come out of hiding.” UMaine, with more than 10,000 students, reported five sexual assaults in 2012, down from nine in 2010, according to the article. Dana said UMaine’s numbers will go up as a result of increased education and reporting efforts that began in March 2013 when President Paul Ferguson ordered a full review of sexual assault policies and named Elizabeth Lavoie as the Title IX and sexual assault and violence prevention coordinator. “We launched a full-scale comprehensive program. We feel like we’re in the right place,” Dana said.
WLBZ (Channel 2) and WABI (Channel 5) reported on the Family Weapon Safety and Range Day held at the Orrington Rod and Gun Club and organized by the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the University of Maine student veterans group. Families were invited to learn the proper way to handle different types of firearms and how to keep guns safe in the household. “Familiarization is key,” Christopher Phinney, VFW senior vice commander and treasurer of the UMaine group, told WLBZ. “If people are familiar with the weapons — how they work, how the safeties work — then if they come across the weapon in any situation, they can understand how to operate it or leave it alone safely.”
A University of Maine ROTC training exercise was featured on WABI (Channel 5). Freshmen and sophomore ROTC cadets were flown to Plymouth, Mass. by Black Hawk helicopters as part of a spring training mission with the Army National Guard. The cadets have been training all semester for the exercise. Cadets Ashley Anderson and Thomas Fontaine spoke about their excitement for the challenging off-campus drill.